Videos

The Nun (2018)

The Nun Review

written by Anu Gopinath

The Nun touted to be one of the most awaited horror flicks of the year, falls desperately short of expectations and one feels robbed off all the excitement and anticipation created by an exemplary original movie and a well made trailer.

My Ratings: 1/5

Last night, after a long deliberation and strong recommendations of my fellow CFians (The Members of the Official Cinema Forensic Film Club), when I finally watched the classic that is The Shining, I The-Nunrealized that it is considered a classic not because it scared the wits out of the audiences but because of the way it toyed with our minds! Mr.Kubrick used the story, the settings, the background score and the actors to successfully weave an intricate web of darkness in the hearts of the audiences, thus making us feel the horror and plight of characters!

But unfortunately the subtle points where Mr.Kubrick scored with his classic is exactly where Corin Hardy falters with his new flick The Nun.

Set as a prequel to the extremely successful Conjuring series, director Corin Hardy tries and tries in vain to explain the origins of one the most feared villainess of recent cinema history. The Valak!

The movie is set in the year 1952 with a priest and a sister being send to an abbey in Romania by the Vatican to investigate the recent suicide of a nun. The eerie settings of the abbey and competent cinematography of Maxime Alexandre makes the perfect setting for a decent horror flick!

Borrowed heavily from the likes of its predecessors and classics like The-NunThe Omen (1976), the movie on the onset, which had everything going for it, come a cropper the moment director failed to instigate suspense and intrigue in the minds of the audience and inadvertently looses their interest and attention!

Relying heavily on the rigmarole of the usual gimmicks of a below average horror show, it makes the mockery of a movie franchise whose original (The Conjuring 2013) is entitled with the honor of redefining this genre in the last decade!

The cast – Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet and of course Bonnie Aarons does a commendable job of holding the fort but their hard works are completely undone by a loosely written script which lacks in both substance and suspense! It neither The-Nunmanages to convince us of the origins of the spectacular villainess nor does it do justice to its originals!

The background score from Abel Korzeniowski which should have been the pillar of support to an already failing storyline, also fails to live up to the expectations and compounds to the misery that is The Nun!

The filmmakers often tend to forget that a movie just because it belongs to the horror genre doesn’t always need to be loud and dramatic. At times subtlety is the need of the hour to lure the audience towards the story and if possible have a more meaningful experience.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

The Shining – a plethora of confusions, reincarnations, theories and assumptions!

The Shining – a plethora of confusions, reincarnations, theories and assumptions!

written by Sebastian DK

In the year 1980, Stephen King‘s famous novel The Shining got adopted into a feature film (by the same name), directed by none The-Shiningother than Stanley Kubrick, casting Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers among others. A film that became a cinematic milestone and since then being celebrated around the globe as one of the top psychological horror movie ever made!

But then, how many of you have watched The Shining more than once just to comprehend the overall notion of the film – please raise your hands!

Well, to be honest I personally needed repeated viewings of this mystic feature in order to grasp the various complexities in the The-Shiningstoryline and also to dismantle the various theories that circles around this Kubrick classic.

And here are a few such theories that I hope will clear out some of the doubts which invariably people have after watching The Shining for the first time!

/ The 1921 Jack Torrance Photograph Confusion

I think this confusion could be cleared up to some extent (though not completely) with the help of certain points/facts placed under two theories: a) The Reincarnation Theory, and b) The Absorption Theory.

Before reading, keep in mind the fact that the hotel only reveals its dark magic when people are alone there. By isolating its inhabitants, the hotel illustrates how people behave differently when they know there’s no one else around.

a) The Reincarnation Theory:

There are many (tiny, easy to miss) hints throughout the film that suggest that Jack had been at the hotel before, and the present Jack The-ShiningTorrance is actually a reincarnation of the old Jack. These four hints stated below are the ones I found out to be the most significant:

* The bedroom conversation scene between Jack and his wife Wendy, in which Jack says, “I feel as if I had been here before”. One of the very first hints, and it actually points straight at ‘reincarnation’.

* In the washroom, Delbert Grady, during a conversation with Jack, says, “You’ve always been the caretaker. I’ve always been here”. Delbert implies that it was actually Jack, and not him, who was the The-Shiningactual caretaker of the hotel.

* During a conversation with the ghostly bartender Lloyd, Jack exclaims, “I like you, Lloyd. I always liked you”. Now that’s a strong suggestion that Jack sure had visited this place before, no?

* Jack is always at ease while being around or with ghosts. Though negligible, this fact is also a tiny suggestion that Jack was very much a part of The Overlook Hotel, in a different life, at a different time, and since he is used to it, he therefore blends in pretty well with the ghosts at the party/ball. Its all a normal occurrence to Jack, and that’s what Kubrick wants to show us.

b) The Absorption Theory:

Okay, if you wish to dismiss the idea of Jack’s reincarnation, go ahead, I say! Yeah we could do that since there isn’t anything solid The-Shiningthat confirms it, just mere dialogues that could very well be ignored. Now let’s look at it from a different angle.

It is possible to place a fact stating that “the photo might signify that Jack has been ‘absorbed’ from the present into the hotel’s past”. What if (a strong “if” here) Jack is a normal person who has been sucked into the hotel’s darkly violent spirit? My point is, its a horror movie adorned with a smooth touch of the supernatural, no? The message in that scenario might be that we can’t escape such powerful histories or forces of evil, and The Overlook Hotel was itself built on stolen native land and founded on cruelty.

Now we sure can give Jack the title of Mr. Protagonist, and the title The-Shiningof Mr. Antagonist to The Overlook Hotel. Funny, but actually makes (a little) sense!

In the reincarnation theory, Jack was always a part of the hotel. In the absorption one, Jack is merely sucked into it. Either way, Jack becomes a part of the hotel’s history and that’s all there is to it.

Many other things also come into play, like ‘environmental isolation leading to madness’, and (I’m repeating here) The Overlook Hotel itself being a supernatural evil spirit (“Delbert Grady opening the door to set Jack free” is a valid strong point as in this scene a supernatural force does a ‘real’ thing). But, to be honest, there is no specific clear explanation to anything at all, and I think the director intended to keep it that way.

/ The Charles And Delbert Grady Confusion

What about the two Gradys? Ever noticed Charles Grady being mentioned only once, while Delbert Grady is seen several times in the movie? Think it was a mistake on Kubrick’s part?
Confusing, no? I agree!

Ok here’s what…..
* The hotel manager tells Jack that his predecessor did hire a
‘Charles Grady who was totally normal to begin with, but lost his
The-Shininghead because of cabin fever (environmental isolation) and murdered his wife and two daughters and subsequently took his own life with a shotgun’. Nobody mentions Charles post that scene. (correct me if I’m mistaken, I don’t remember hearing ‘Charles Grady’ more than once)

* As for bald Delbert Grady, well, he is seen quite a few times in the movie. That dude is like a bad disease that won’t go away!
In the washroom, Jack encounters Delbert’s ghost (their first
meeting) and addresses him as the caretaker, also adding that he
recognized Delbert from the newspapers. But Delbert only replies
The-Shiningback saying that the caretaker is in fact Jack himself and not him (already stated above). Remember Delbert saying that one of his daughters attempted to burn the hotel down, so he had to ‘correct’ (kill) them, and also his wife when she interfered.

* Striking Common Fact: Charles and Delbert both ‘had a wife and two daughters each, and both committed familicide’.

So, about the confusion surrounding the two Gradys, I guess its possible to place three contrasting facts:

* Well, if ‘reincarnation’ is the trend here, then its possible that one
is the reincarnation of the other, and that both are from the past (Jack’s past).

The-Shining* Filmmaker’s error with the names.
I’m not neck-deep into this as Stanley Kubrick is one of the finest guys in the business. But he is also human. What do y’all think?

* Fun fact: What was baldo’s full name again?
Could be “Delbert Charles Grady” or even “Charles Delbert Grady”.
I mean, it sure is yet another strong fact that sure as hell satisfies the condition!

Hope this post clears most of the confusions surrounding the movie The Shining. Undoubtedly one of the most confusing, multilayered film, but then I believe that’s exactly the reason why it is also one of the greatest, and of all time!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Mission: Impossible – Fallout Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Mission: Impossible – Fallout Review: If there is one movie that is meant to be watched and awed only for its Stunts – this is the one!

My ratings: 4/5

‘The end you’ve always feared is coming. And the blood will be on your hands. The fallout of all your good intentions.’

Finally got to see the latest adventures of Ethan Hunt, a fresh set of impossible missions that of course was made possible by Tom Cruise and his IMF team (no suspense there) and this time they call it Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie (his second MI directorial mission after Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation); the basic plot for this movie is simple enough, primarily hinging on Hunt’s emotional decision to save a life of his team member and while doing so complicating his original mission and risking lives of millions.

And speaking of his team members Ving RhamesSimon PeggAlec Baldwin – the original Impossible Missions Force (IMF) is back; and
yes, they all look pretty old and glum but still carry enough nostalgia
for the audience to look beyond those aged faces and enjoy their sentimental bonding instead.  

Henry Cavill fits in perfectly and proves to be a worthy opponent for Hunt. And beware – he is not a ‘scalpel‘ but a ‘hammer‘ and ‘He’s not Mission: Impossible - Falloutjust some observer. He’s an assassin.’

Both Vanessa Kirby as the sexy vicious White Widow and Angela Bassett as the calculative CIA head make their presences felt. Rebecca Ferguson is back with a twist of her own, Sean Harris resurfaces as the dangerous criminal mastermind, even Michelle Monaghan has a cameo, but unfortunately Jeremy Renner who was a part of both Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation was no where to be seen!

But remember this movie is not about the plot, not even about star-cast or the performances, not about the cinematography, the editing or the background music (which are all pretty much awesome though), and definitely not about the suspense of completing the final mission. Mission: Impossible – Fallout is all about the
unbelievable stunts that have been performed throughout the movie with incredible accuracy.

There have been enough media hype over this and I am sure by now you all must be aware that Tom Cruise does most of his death-defying stunts himself and that is indeed an extraordinary feat for any actor, but then at the age of 56 – now that is what I call an impossible mission to accomplish! And hat’s off to Mr. Cruise’s Mission: Impossible - Falloutdedication and fitness level that he performs these stunts in supreme style and perfection!

Let’s first consider the 25,000 ft High-Altitude Low Opening parachute jump performed in Abu Dhabi for which Tom Cruise trained for an entire year and it is the first time ever that any actor have risked trying such an antic for a movie!

Then there is the helicopter chase in New Zealand for which he actually learnt to fly a helicopter – got both private and commercial pilot’s license, and finally did a Downward Spiral which most experienced pilots won’t dare attempt!

Also a helmet-free high-speed motorcycle chase through the busy Paris streets against the traffic and that too without any safety rig!

Then of course the infamous London roof-top chase where Tom had to leap from one building to another, unfortunately broke his ankle as he landed, still pulled himself up and completed the shot – because he Mission: Impossible - Falloutknew that he’d broken his leg and they wouldn’t get a chance for
another take!

And also there are those deadly hand-to-hand combat sequences, risky rock climbing moments, hanging for your life from a helicopter situations and some intense car chases just to keep you attentive for the entire 2h 27min run time!

Trust me, these stunts are the real reasons to go for this sixth franchise Mission: Impossible – Fallout and it is totally worth watching them on the big screen!

‘How many times has Hunt’s government betrayed him, disavowed him, cast him aside? How long before a man like that has had enough?’

Honestly no idea how long before Tom Cruise has had enough or in other words how many more MI instalments will be coming up in future but then one thing is for certain – for Mr. Cruise ‘age’ and ‘MI instalments’ are just a number!

Keep them coming I say!

Similar Interest: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

Sacred Games ( TV Series)

Sacred Games Review

written by Anu Gopinath

The series takes a dark undertone from the word go and it’s highly appreciative of the directive duo for discussing the subjects of sex and violence with such level of authority!

My Ratings: 4/5

Long has been the content driven cinema taken a backseat and was pulled into the eroding deluge of memories of a lost generation who
revelled in their Bajaj and bell bottoms! Long has been the pride of Sacred-GamesIndian cinema taken a beating when the world was presented with the narcissistic, megalomaniacal and voyeuristic version of our life and cinema. The same pride that we earned and the respect that we commanded from the world cinema, which took eons of pain and hard work to achieve but still demanded the sacrifices of the lifetime of works of some of the greatest auteurs of Indian cinema like Satyajit RayGuru Dutt, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and company!

And when I completed watching the new web series Scared Games starring “the content “ in the lead, it is with absolute relief and pride that I can say, that all hopes are not lost for Indian Cinema!

Directed by two of the brilliant visionaries of contemporary cinema, Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, the first Indian Netflix Original TV Series – Sacred Games tells us the story of the intertwined lives of a mafia don nearing the twilight of his life and the struggles of an honest cop trying to do right amidst a corrupt system. The series bears the rare stamp of authenticity and manages Sacred-Gamesto hit all the right tones in its adaptation of the Novel of the same name written by Vikram Chandra.

The series hinges on the story of the rise and fall of gangster Gaitonde, played brilliantly by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and how his life is intertwined with life of the honest cop, Sartaj Singh performed by Saif Ali Khan.

The TV series takes a dark undertone from the word go and it’s highly appreciative of the directive duo for discussing the subjects of sex and violence with such authority that was seldom seen in Indian cinema and has to be considered as one of their masterstrokes. The story deals with religious terrorism with a brilliant screenplay which has a heavy dose of bloodshed, sex, gore and violence and the end product which is devoid of any unwanted transgressions by the censor board, makes it a compelling watch.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays the gangster with such elan and composure of an artist who is in control of his creation, taking his Sacred-Gamesown time to paint the shades of white when in love, dark when he’s avenging his enemies and grey, when keeping his comrades in line.

Saif Ali Khan has finally found his calling and he’s absolutely brilliant as the inspector Sartaj Singh and to his credit, underplays his role of a cop who is constantly being harassed, degraded and kicked around by his corrupt seniors. He in no way comes across as a conventional hero who fights the villains single handedly and saves the day. But he is our below average common man who is scared and thinks a hundred times before taking a step, an under performing overweight policeman who has a conscience, a simpleton who runs towards the warm embraces of his mother when things get too tough for him. And he absolutely delivers the goods with an astounding performance and
Sacred-Gamesfinally is given the platform to display his talents – the same talent which we had a few of the fleeting glimpses in the brilliant Omkara and Ek Hasina Thi. The Nawab is back and how!

But, when brilliance of Nawazuddin Siddiqui is always expected and Saif’s performance is worthy of appreciation, it’s the work of the supporting cast that completely steals the show and is what makes this series apart! Such is the depth and brilliance of their acting that one has the feeling of sitting in an Opera House and has been accorded the rare honour of seeing the brilliant performances of one sopran after the other, with each trying to outplay the other with the performances of their lifetime.

Sacred-GamesSpecial mention should go to Jitendra Joshi who was an absolute hoot as the constable Katekar, Rajshri Deshpande as Subhadra, Kubra Sait as Kukko, and then Neeraj Kabi and Geetanjali Thapa. Each and every single one of them gave a performance worthy of an ovation and carries the story on their shoulders and keeps the story moving.

Radhika Apte, the crown jewel of parallel cinema is surprisingly left with a role that is not as meaty compared to her colleagues but the woman holds her fort whenever pitted against the brilliance of Saif and the cast.

Superbly written by Varun GroverVasant Nath and Smita Singh, cool camera work and brilliant editing compounded with unique storytelling and absolutely mind blowing background score by Rachita Arora and Alokananda Dasgupta makes this thriller an Sacred-Gamesedge of the seat affair. Not to forget the perfect casting by Mukesh Chhabra Sacred Games is probably the best thing to have come out of Bollywood since Gangs of Wesseypur!

Sacred Games is, by no means over and with the serious talents of the likes of Pankaj Tripathi waiting in the wings and with a plot line left at an interesting juncture, one can expect a cracker of a second season in the cards!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com, Sacred Games Facebook page

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

written by Anu Gopinath

“The difference between a great artist and an ordinary one is the ability of the former to know when to stop” – Sherlock Holmes.

My Ratings: 1.5/5

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom review: Gone are those days when heart wrenching stories were told through the medium of cinema and timeless classics told the Jurassic-World-Fallen-Kingdompoignant tales of love, heartbreak and injustice.

Cinema was once the medium of common man through which he expressed his frustrations against injustice, his lament for his long lost love and his youthful exuberance of his triumphs. But while sitting through the tiring 2 hours of the latest installment of Jurassic Park, one cant help but wonder about the futility of the rigmarole that is “sequels”.

A movie riddled with scientific inaccuracies and mindless special effects, has the two main characters reprising their roles of the previous installment and gives a below par performance Jurassic-World-Fallen-Kingdomwhich makes the film a painful watch.

It is high time Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard give a long review of their resume and decide whether the characters they have done till now do justice to their abundant talent. With absolutely nothing new to offer the film huffs and puffs through its entirety with a wafer-thin storyline and below par special effects.

An almost non-existent storyline which borrows heavily from the first two installments, the director J.A. Bayona even dares to touch the controversial topic of human cloning in a desperate effort to hold the attention of the audience – but fails spectacularly!!!

The timeless classic that is Jurassic Park (1993) has stood the test of
time and it was the touch of the finest auteurs of world cinema that Jurassic-World-Fallen-Kingdommade this movie what it is today – Steven Spielberg.

Its unique storyline, spell binding special effects and amazing background score struck the right chord with the audience and yet it is the same traits that become the new installment’s undoing.

It’s with a heavy heart that I am writing the obituary of a grand cinema franchise which not only did redefine the genre but also became a benchmark to which future sci-fi flicks would be weighed, measured and judged!!

If only men knew when to walk away …  if only …

Similar Interest: Jurassic World review

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Deadpool 2 Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Deadpool 2 Review: If you like quirky insolently funny kind of comedy blended with extreme gore – this is your game!

My ratings: 4/5

11 years in the making, the first Deadpool film emerged in 2016, Canadian actor Ryan Reynoldspet-project that went on to become an unexpectedly Marvel-ous success of the year! The film was made out of $58 million (only) and went on to collect a whooping $783 deadpool-2million worldwide – the highest grossing Superhero-movie with an
R-rating!
The trailers created such hype and immense fan-following that the producers announced its sequel Deadpool 2 just 3 days before even the first film hit the theaters!

And finally the wait is over, the second installment is hot out of the oven and it is no less inappropriately funny (often to the point of vulgarity), addictively raunchy and disrespectfully sarcastic than the first one. Guaranteed boost in violence, swearings, racist jokes, sexually awkward moments and self-referential super-hero-world wisecracks!

You all better get ready for the lizard-skinned Wade Wilson who managed to gain extraordinary healing powers from an accident and got transformed into this cool superhero Deadpool; and mark my words – this time he is determined to take down all the baddies of the world!

‘You’re no hero. You’re just a clown, dressed up like a sex toy.’ Ouch!

deadpool-2Like any other superhero from either DC or the Marvel universes Deadpool also has certain set of responsibilities (mostly self-imposed though) and by the end of the movie he goes through enough comic sufferings to achieve the impossible (well almost).

But the real question that needs our attention is that this buffoon of a superhero who every now and then breaks the fourth-wall and chat up the audience just to deliver another smart one-liner – will he be able to commit to a dream from a loved one and sacrifice his life if necessary to save an innocent?

Superb comic-timing by Ryan Reynolds – definitely his foul sense of humor is the core of this franchise! Not to forget Colossusdeadpool-2DopinderBlind Al and Deadpool’s girlfriend Vanessa who continued to be at their very best in this sequel too.    

Introduction of director David Leitch (who replaced Tim Miller) and also the introduction of a whole bunch of new characters – the one-eyed villain from the future Cable played by Josh Brolin, the most ‘lucky’ new recruit in the ‘X-Force’ team Domino played by Zazie Beetz and Julian Dennison as the kid who has problems in controlling his superpowers. Awesome cool performances all around! 

And guess who plays the Vanisher? Hint: The same guy was supposed to play Cable – but didn’t. 

deadpool-2Overall a highly entertaining film that turns out to be exactly what it promised to be!

And let’s face it, when grotesquely violent action-sequences (like a guy being shredded into pieces in a huge grinder, another one literally torn into half from his belly, and hundreds of chopped heads and limbs flying around the screen most of the time) make you heartily chuckle, eat your popcorn with a smile and wait for the next gag – then the writers Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds must have done something right!

Wade Wilson is undoubtedly the funniest superhero in a costume and lucky for us he is kinda immortal, which means never-ending franchises. Wink. Wink.

‘Tell me they got that in slow-motion’ Absolutely hilarious!

P.S: Still wondering about Stan Lee’s cameo – couldn’t find him anywhere in the film!

Similar Interest: Deadpool review

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

A Quiet Place (2018)

A Quiet place Review

written by Anu Gopinath

A Quiet Place Review: John Krasinski, a terribly underrated actor with an abundance of potential comes off age and finally shows the world what he’s capable of!

My Ratings: 3.5

Though touted to be a horror thriller, A Quiet Place plays in to the hearts of the audience with its gripping tale of love, bereavement and forgiveness!

The young actor that is Millicent Simmonds, is an absolute
revelation and her acting prowess make us reminisce quiet fondly of
one brilliant Abigail Breslin swooping the world off its feet in M. Night Shyamalan‘s Signs.

The movie starts on an ominous note and the first quarter of an hour is well spent on explaining the storyline and ground rules of the plot. Now with the plot line set, Krasinski, in a move that can only be deemed ‘audacious’, thrusts the prodigal talent of Ms. Simmonds
into the limelight and boy, doesn’t she deliver! And that’s where Krasinski, the director shines!

A-Quiet-PlaceHe along with Emily Blunt, quite brilliantly plays the parents who are holding on to their loved ones at the times of adversity, coming in terms with the heartbreak of their lost child and giving hope to their progenies when they have the luxury of keeping none for themselves!

The young Ms. Simmonds carries the movie on her little shoulders depicting the heart break of an young girl who has to come in terms
with untimely and cruel death of her brother, the suppressed
laments of a deaf girl who blames herself for his untimely death and
the resultant isolation from her dad and ultimately, the stark
realisation and the defiant acceptance of her responsibility to save her younger brothers and her mother from the aliens!

Brilliant cinematography by Charlotte Bruus Christensen, a simple plot and credit goes to Marco Beltrami for the clever use of A-Quiet-Placebackground score or even the lack of it; the suspense plays well into the minds of the audience and keeps them engaged through out.

Though not exceptional by any measure, the success of the movie is in the vision of the young director John Krasinski to create a decent thriller devoid of any gimmicks and instead tell it though the pains and heartbreak of a grieving family – and that is what makes this movie a must watch flick of the year.

It’s not everyday that the world gets to see a prodigal talent unravelling its various layers and it took 16 long hard years since Abigail Breslin and a very underrated actor /director, to see the birth of one!

N it’s been worth the wait!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Tomb Raider (2018)

Tomb Raider Review

written by Anu Gopinath

Tomb Raider: Rome was not built in a day and no superhero paid heed to their true calling without going through the tests of life and making the ultimate sacrifice!

My Ratings: 2.5/5

The movie franchise that sky rocketed Angelina Jolie to her stardom reboots with Alicia Vikander playing the title character! In all Tomb-Raiderfairness the movies with Jolie in the lead had her already established as the well known adventurer and told the story of one of her many adventures. But director Roar Uthaug has delved too deep into the storyline for this reboot which concentrates on the early life of Lara Croft and tells the story of making of the legendary adventurer. And that’s where the movie scores!

Vying for throne left vacant by Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix Trilogy) and Angelina Jolie – it is no less than a herculian task but Alicia Vikander shoulders the responsibility with an amazing ease and panache that screams volumes of her talent.

And her claims to the throne is truly justified as she backs it up with the stunning portrayal of a woman who is in the cusp of being elevated into the greatness, yet riddled with insecurities and self doubts. Her punches are misplaced, her arrows miss the targets and her bouts, tapped out!

She absolutely delivers the goods by portraying the vulnerability of a lost child, the strength of a daughter whose father makes the Tomb-Raiderultimate sacrifice and inevitably, the acceptance of her true calling!

This time the film Tomb Rider goes deep into the earlier life of Lara Croft and examines her relationship with her father, played brilliantly by Dominic West, thus establishing the reasons and sacrifices that made Lara Croft who she is and whom eventually the world have come to know.

But though the movie starts on a promising note, it soon loose its way due to lack of a strong storyline or for that matter, a strong villain character! And this ultimately becomes the movie’s undoing!

The visual effects is at par with the best in business but lack of action or the scarcity of it and a weak supporting cast drags Tomb-Raiderthe movie down like dead weight. The world is yet to see the talent that Walton Goggins is and though an accomplished actor, he by no means could shoulder the responsibilities that comes with playing the negative character of a Tomb Raider franchise. And that’s where Angelina Jolie movies score higher!

With Wonder Woman laying the foundations and ultimately setting a bench mark for how an origin movie should be told, Tomb Rider falls desperately short of expectations though there are a few highs that the audience can take home with!

Is Tomb Rider a good origin-movie? Yes! Is it a good movie? Debatable! It’s a question only time and a great sequel will answer!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow Review

written by Anu Gopinath

Red Sparrow: ‘The Cold War did not end, it merely shattered into a thousand pieces.’

My Ratings: 2/5

Red sparrow, the latest offering from Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton tells the story of the post cold war era espionage but can only be deemed as a feeble attempt at the spy thriller genre and is
not fit to hold a candle to the classics like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Red Sparrow tries too hard to be a part of that genre but the problem is… it falls flat on its face!

The film depicts the story of a Russian prima ballerina Dominica Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) who gets entangled in the spy games of the state and is forced to become a ‘red sparrow’ and eventually tells the story of her revenge and redemption.

In paper, the movie looked to have everything going for it and director Francis Lawrence tries too hard to delve into the life of the protagonist but given the limited running time of the movie, he could neither give a proper character definition for Jennifer Lawrence nor could he establish an emotional connect for the character with the audience. In his desperate attempts to successfully make the
transformation to the movie from a novel written by Jason Matthews, the director forgot the perennial rule of filmmaking. Red-SparrowIronically it’s the same golden rule that a spy lives by and that a filmmaker should never forget … “Nothing ever goes according to the plan!”.

Jennifer Lawrence shoulders the movie with her innate talent of getting into the skin of any character she plays. However same cannot be said about the multitude of talents that goes wasted namely, Charlotte Rampling and Mary-Louise Parker.

Joel Edgerton huffs and puffs through a role which hardly requires him to do anything more than a mere supporting role and it’s a shame to see such a brilliant talent with a horde of potential being thrown in to dumps of a pretty average cinema!

Jeremy Irons commands the screen presence in any and every scene he is in but is completely undone by the lack of screen time and lousy writing.

Red-SparrowIt’s the brilliance of the technical team that keeps the movie intriguing, interesting and afloat. The cinematography by Jo Willems is one of the best works I have seen in recent times. Added to that, a stunning background score by James Newton Howard successfully recreates the blanket of eerie, gloomy and mysterious atmosphere that is remnant of the cold war era Soviet Russia and the Russian federation that came into being since its fall.

Despite its 143min long running time, the movie fails to capture the attention of audience and one fails to empathise or sympathise with the lead characters . The emotional discord between the audience and movie is quite evident!

For once now, when I kick back with a glass of vodka, I can only Red-Sparrowsquirm and sigh hard at the state of spy thrillers and the movies that has come to pass as the spy thrillers and can only get nostalgic about movies like North by Northwest  or Manchurian candidate which redefined this genre and cinema.

All the flicker of hope that was rekindled with the release of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy about the resurgence of this genre has been doused !

One can only raise his glass of drink in despair and give good wishes the condition of the spy-genre that has been laid to waste. “NAZDAROVYE!”

Similar Interest: Best Conspiracy Thrillers ever made

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

The Rage – a Psychological Thriller (Short Film)

The Rage – a Psychological Thriller (Short Film)

The Rage is a psychological thriller that explores the relationship between sex, anger and violence. Take an atmospheric trip into the life of Oscar as he deals with his rage and the decision it drives him to make.

Directed by Alrik Bursell, starring Oakland California actors, L. Jeffrey Moore, Sophia LaPaglia and Gretta Sosine, The Rage challenges our understanding of sex and violence, and the passion that can come out of anger.

There is nudity and violence in the film so it’s totally NSFW.

Writer/Producer/Star – L. Jeffrey Moore

https://www.ljeffreymoore.com

The Rage is a fictional diary of my thoughts in my personal life as both a father and a black man dealing with a wide myriad of things. I wrote this knowing that not everyone would like it or want to see it, and honestly I’m fine with that. Art isn’t necessarily made to be liked the-rageby all audiences. Art is an expression of the human experience and should not be afraid to push boundaries, The Rage is no different.

The film started as the simple yet complex thought of a man, put in a situation where his role as a husband and “provider” are questioned, and the toll it can take on him.

Writer/Producer/Director – Alrik Bursell

http://www.bursellproductions.com/the-rage

When Jeff first brought the The Rage to the table I saw that this was a story I related to, not only as a man but as a person having gone through a tough relationship. We wanted to translate into a film that the-ragehad no voice over and no dialogue. Given the intense graphic material, I knew I wanted to keep it raw in translating it into a film and that we wanted to make a statement through the story. What Jeff and I came up with was a metaphor using the sex and violence to deliver a message as the story unfolds.

Like Jeff said, this film won’t make everyone happy, but I hope it will get every person who watches it talking and open up discussions about violence, sex and anger, so we can help keep all of our the-rageemotions in check.

We did a kickstarter to raise about a third of the budget for the film, the other two thirds was paid out of pocket.

Here is more information about the podcast, we had our star Sophia LaPaglia on this weeks episode to talk about nudity in film and we are going to have Jeff on next week to talk about making polarizing films.
We’ve been making this podcast for almost three years now and it’s just a forum for indie filmmakers to talk about their struggles making their films. My co-host Timothy Plain pulled this quote from the-rageone of our episodes of me describing what the podcast is.

“Who am I to even have a podcast? Why is my opinion more valid than anyone else? In some ways it’s not, but that’s also kind of the point. We’re just two examples of people making movies in our own ways. We’re not any more special than any other filmmaker. There’s nothing about us that makes us any different or unique. We’re just doing it. And I think that’s the point, just go out and do it, make your movies. And these are the struggles that we face and this is how we’re trying to overcome them.”

Poster courtesy: Alrik Bursell and his production team.