Tag Archives: J.K. Simmons

La La Land (2016)

La La Land review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A Classic is born and it will make you sing and fall in love all over again!

My Ratings: 4.3/5

The original 1953 20th Century Fox logo reappears on the big la- la-land-posterscreen and makes it seem even bigger, and then the magic begins!

Yes, the resurrection of the old Hollywood charm, that feeling when the white shoes start tapping in rhythm and the dialogues metamorphose into soothing songs – the sheer magic of experiencing a musical, an odd combination of a modern classic!

And you are lost in the darkness of the theatre, well suspended on your disbeliefs, wondering in a world so full of love and dulcet melodies, absorbed in the sheer beauty of brilliantly choreographed, colourful, talking Cinema!

“How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future.”

Director Damien Chazelle‘s love for Jazz was pretty evident in his previous film Whiplash but this time he makes a more definite statement – a desperate effort to save Jazz!

And thus he join hands with Ryan Gosling who learns to play piano like a professional just for this film, and then Gosling’s chemistry la- la-land-poster1with Emma Stone (undoubtedly one of the best actresses at present) is just so sublime! When they dance looking at each other’s eyes – that’s a major part of the ‘magic’ in the film that I was talking about earlier!

Long song and dance sequences masterfully choreographed that takes Justin Hurwitz‘s music to another level; great camera work and colour play by Linus Sandgren and crisp editing by Tom Cross. But again along with superlative directional capabilities thanks to Damien Chazelle‘s brilliantly written love story!

Recommended only for those who adore Jazz, Musicals, Ryan GoslingEmma StoneDamien Chazelle and powerful Cinema!

P.S – Oscar winner J.K. Simmons makes a guest appearance where he seems to hate good music!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

The Accountant (2016)

The Accountant Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A math genius who can also kick asses big time as and when required!

My Ratings: 3.8/5

Ben Affleck is back, not exactly as ‘Batman’ but then with pretty much similar life goals to achieve – saving the weak and punishing the evil! 

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is THE accountant who works for the world’s most dangerous criminal organisations, maintaining their ledgers and straightening out their accounts.

Too many secrets to handle, he soon gets involved into a conspiracy that makes him the target. Now, when hunted by a group of ruthless accountant-posterkillers his primary goal is to save himself (which seems to be a problem too easy to handle for him) but then (to complicate things) he chooses to save the life of a junior accountant Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), an innocent girl, a victim in this dangerous racket.

The whole film revolves around this Christian Wolff’s character, who as a kid had a certain form of autism but still under his father’s strict guidance does manage to turn himself into nothing less than a superhero – a math wizard by default and also a trained warrior in all forms of combat!

Directed by Gavin O’Connor (of Warrior fame), overall The Accountant is a very well made film, subtle and surprisingly sensitive accountant-poster1inspite of being essentially an action flick. 

The supporting cast J.K. SimmonsJon BernthalCynthia Addai-RobinsonRobert C. Treveiler and John Lithgow all have managed to convincingly hold their grounds.

But the ending, by which I mean the climax of the film could have been much better if it had been a bit less dramatic – too Bollywoodish!

Other than that I somehow feel that the film is pretty similar to the ‘Solomon Grundy poem‘ (repeatedly recited by the main character as a chanting to calm himself down), where a series of events unfold in quick succession (almost on a daily basis), a tad repetitive but with a quick definite conclusion!

Definitely worth a watch for Ben Affleck’s super cool performance!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Best of Hollywood 2014

Best of Hollywood 2014 

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Best of Hollywood 2014 – is not at all an easy list to make. 2014 being an awesome year for film-lovers and thanks to Hollywood for giving us such a balanced dose of entertainment; Thrillers, Hollywood-2014SciFis, Comedies, Love stories War Dramas, Horror flicks and lots of Biographies.

But then again, it’s the time to remember the best performances of this year (no foreign language films included in this list), the awesome directorial ventures, those brilliant visuals and mesmerizing background scores – the films that touched your heart, amazed you and made you fall in love with Cinema (all over again).

But first a few honorable mentions (films that almost made the list) – WildInherent ViceThe Hundred-Foot JourneyPrideAmerican SniperCalvaryStill AliceCamp X-RayPredestinationKill the MessengerCake and Mr. Turner

And now the countdown begins.

10. Selma

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic

Hollywood-2014

It was 1965 and Martin Luther King leaded the epic march from Selma to Montgomery (Alabama), a nonviolent protest demanding for the right-to-vote for all black men and women in the country.

(Click for the film review)

Such a powerful film evidently backed by some outstanding performances. A must watch.

9. Gone Girl

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esGn-xKFZdU

Hollywood-2014

Gone Girl is fast paced film that demands your full attention, a superbly crafted thriller that plunges into the depths of a psychologically twisted marital relationship.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performance by Ben Affleck but the real stunner is Rosamund Pike; she proves to be the perfect cast possible for the ‘gone girl’ character.

Hollywood-2014A dangerously realistic, gritty tale based on the concept of our unconscious satisfaction in watching other people’s loss and tragedy. Thanks to the news channels.

(Click for the film review)

Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) – is he a scavenger or a survivor, a psychopath or a potential businessman, a cold-hearted predator or an insane professional?

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fg5iWmQjwk

Hollywood-2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most stylish comedy I have seen in years.

(Click for the film review)

Wes Anderson’s obsession for perfect production design, bold color schemes, faultless framing and as always the cheeky humor brings out an unique creation. Simply wonderful to watch, probably his best work till date.

6. Interstellar

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSWdZVtXT7E

Hollywood-2014

A Sci-Fi starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathway and Jessica Chastain, Interstellar is a film about space and black holes, about dimensions and relativity; and then again it’s also about love and betrayal.

(Click for the film review)

By the acclaimed director Christopher Nolan and undoubtedly one of his best films ever.

5. The Theory of Everything

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Salz7uGp72c

Hollywood-2014

The Theory of Everything tells the emotional story of Stephen Hawking and his then wife Jane Wilde.

(Click for the film review)

Eddie Redmayne this year won the Oscar (in the Best Actor category) playing Stephen Hawking’s character with extraordinary authenticity and brilliance. A must watch.

4. Foxcatcher

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8361stZ8n0w

Hollywood-2014

Foxcatcher is a film that tells the tale of two troubled souls, a multimillionaire and a wrestler, both disturbed and consumed by their own ambition and distorted personal lives.

(Click for the film review)

The film doesn’t fit the mainstream, melodramatic sport-movie pattern but after watching i am sure you will be thankful it didn’t.

3. Whiplash

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d_jQycdQGo

whiplash-poster

The intense story of Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a 19-year-old aspiring jazz drummer and Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), his brutal school music instructor.

(Click for the film review)

Whiplash is a gritty and uncompromising take on ambition and success – it stretches the boundaries of all previous student-mentor relationship based dramas.

2. Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJfLoE6hanc

Hollywood-2014

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and this year’s Oscar winner.

(Click for the film review)

Michael KeatonEdward NortonNaomi WattsZach GalifianakisEmma Stone and all others are magical in front of the camera.

The whole film is edited to look like one continuous shot, a tremendous effort and brilliantly executed.

1. Boyhood

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys-mbHXyWX4

Hollywood 2014

A film so real and shot through such an unreal time-span that it gives you the feel of being a part of the journey with this boy Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who was 7 years old when Richard Linklater started filming and 18 when he finally felt it’s time to wrap up.

(Click for the film review)

Boyhood is something very special, a daring experiment and totally worth it.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. The Imitation Game

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5CjKEFb-sM

Hollywood 2014

Based on the life of an unsung war-hero, a genius mathematician and a troubled soul who never got the recognition he deserved – Alan Turing.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley The imitation game is one of the best biographies made last year – a perfect combination of history and good cinema.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.

Whiplash (2014)

My Ratings: 4.3/5.

“Nieman, you earned the part. Alternates, will you clean the blood off my drum set?”

The above dialogue sets the tune of the film so damn well.

Whiplash is a film that stretches the boundaries of all previous student-mentor relationship based dramas.

The story of Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a 19-year-old aspiring jazz drummer and Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), his brutal school music instructor.

Pumped up with such energy and passion, a young achiever ready to shed enough blood and sweat till he achieves; while on the other hand a tutor who believes in pushing his pupils to accomplish beyond what’s expected of them.

Whiplash is a gritty and uncompromising take on ambition and success from the point of views of both a trainee and the trainer.

whiplash-posterShot over a period of just 19 days, writer-director Damien Chazelle‘s Whiplash has taken the festival circuit by storm since its 2014 Sundance Film Festival premiere.

Performances are outstanding: Miles Teller (one of the most talented young actor of recent times) perfectly exhibits the young musician’s hunger for perfection and fame, while J.K. Simmons (his best ever performance) brilliantly commands the ruthless manipulative jazz instructor’s part (in search for the next Charlie Parker).

The casting director Terri Taylor deserves a mention for such a perfect casting. Justin Hurwitz must be credited for the awesome Jazz music through out the film.

Numerous awards and acclamations aside, Whiplash is a film that kind of syncs your heart with young Andrew’s drums and by the end of the film they beat together with passion.

I am not exaggerating. Watch the film and then you tell me!