Tag Archives: Ridley Scott

Why The Martian can never be an Interstellar or a Gravity?

Why The Martian can never be an Interstellar or a Gravity?

written by Souranath Banerjee

This article is only for those who have already seen The Martian OR for those who have no intention of seeing it in near future.

Yesterday i watched Ridley Scott‘s latest space adventure The Martian (2015) and the film made me love Interstellar (2014) and Gravity (2013) more than ever!

Well, that’s just another way of saying that The Martian is extremely over hyped.

martian-posterOf course I have my reasons for pillorying everyone’s favorite film (so it seems because of it’s box-office collections) but before that, let me put forward a few points which are actually pretty impressive in the film (unfortunately only a few).

Firstly, no doubt Matt Damon‘s acting skills!

He almost single handedly towed the film to stability; nothing extraordinary though but always up to the mark, he never gave anything for us (pseudo-critics) to complain about. 

The same goes for the entire cast actually – Jessica ChastainKristen WiigJeff DanielsMackenzie DavisMichael PeñaSean BeanChiwetel EjioforKate Marapretty stereotyped casting and everyone sleepwalked through their roles with distinction.

And then, the other thing that is unique about The Martian is the concept of potato-farming in Mars.

martian-poster3Yes, the possibility of a botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) to science the shit out and start growing his own food to survive in the red planet – now that’s something innovative and probably the one and only ‘wow’ element of the film.

They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially colonized it. So, technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!

Other than this, the script simply cannot be more predictable.

Within the first fifteen minutes the basic storyline is more or less visible to you – a man thought to be dead but very much alive, deserted in some lonely planet and now he has to survive through great difficulties until he is rescued.

And you won’t believe your speculation skills – absolutely no diversions, no surprises, no twists in the storyline – and yes, at the end he actually gets rescued!

martian-poster5US government has always invested and taken great risks to rescue Matt Damon, be it in Saving Private Ryan or in Interstellar. So The Martian doesn’t come to us as a surprise in that context as well. 

And thus, the whole film is about How astronaut Matt tries to survive and How NASA tries to bring him back – and then, even many of these ‘Hows’ can be anticipated.

For example in the middle of the film when everything seems to be suspiciously going fine; in Mars the potatoes are growing fat enough and in Earth the NASA rescue plans are looking possible, then suddenly Jeff Daniels (the head of NASA) looks almost directly to the camera and says something like ‘i hope nothing goes wrong in-between’!

And in the very next scene (as so expected) some accident brings death to Matt’s potato plants.

In several such occasions the film is too easy to predict and even the problems or the related emotions are too much on your face.

Visual effects was though pretty good over all, except for the titling- sequence-debris being unnecessarily noisy and jittery. And also the poorly mismatched shots of a body double being used to show the skinny version of Matt Damon towards the end of the film (before he finally does the long build up Iron Man stunt).

martian-poster6The comparison with the two earlier mega-space films Interstellar and Gravity are inevitable but unfortunately The Martain neither have the brilliant plot twists of Interstellar nor the innovativeness of Gravity.

Legendary director Ridley Scott has given us far better SiFi films earlier in his career, the likes of Blade Runner (1982) and Alien (1979) and thus our anticipations are always rocket high.

Anyways, let’s cheers to the discovery of water in Mars and to better Mars/space films in future!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com

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Ex Machina (2015)

Ex Machina review.

My Ratings: 4/5.

At one time Nathan (Oscar Isaac), the genius billionaire in a drunken feat recites these words before he finally swoons away.  …In sleep, in confusion, in the depths of shame, the good deeds a man has done before defend him.

ex-machina-poster2Another time Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), the young employee shares another quote with his boss Nathan. “I am become death, destroyer of the worlds”

These lines are extracts from Bhagavad Gita. J. Robert Oppenheimer’s quoted these exact lines after he successfully tested his infamous invention – the atomic bomb!

But what exactly did Nathan create which can be so dangerous and even has the potential to destroy the world?

A robot, Ex Machina or in Latin ‘Deus ex machina’ which means ‘a god From the Machine’.

ex-machina-poster3Mastermind Nathan, the creator of ‘Bluebook’ which seems to be the ‘leading search engine’ of the world (more like google in the real world) has recently managed to develop artificial intelligence! 

His latest robotic model is named Ava (Alicia Vikander), a female version of course. Beautiful and seductive.

And for the final ‘Turing test’ (a test that determines if the machine can pass itself off as human to another human), Nathan brings in one of his company’s young employer Cabel with the sole intention to monitor Cabel’s interaction with Ava.

By one week, if Ava doesn’t qualify the test, then she will be scrapped like her earlier versions and a new model will take her place. 

ex-machina-poster4But is Ava aware of her fate? Is she capable enough to change her own destiny?

A tensed Sci Fi thriller that revolves mainly around these three characters, a perfect combination of Nathan’s arrogant intellect, Cabel’s innocent confusion and Ava’s seductive benevolence.

Norway is the actual location of Nathan’s ultramodern house, though most of the film is shot indoor, which gives a claustrophobic feel and also symbolizes Ava’s confinement i guess.

Ex Machina is Alex Garland‘s directorial debut (also famous for writing novels and screenplays such as The Beach28 Days Later…Never Let Me Go) and undoubtedly he has done a great job. 

Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac, both did great portraying their somewhat complicated characters. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander deserves a special mention since being a robot her expressions and body-language had to be very subtle yet effective.

ex-machina-poster5But the real winner in this 1 hour 48 min futuristic drama is the brilliant use of visual effects. The amazing special effects give the film it’s much necessary believability.

Rob Hardy, the cinematographer played well with the colors, mostly used Red, Green and Blue (RGB). And the music by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury compliments the visuals and often helps intensifying the tension. 

Many famous films like Steven Spielberg‘s A.I. Artificial IntelligenceRidley Scott‘s Blade Runner and then the latest Neill Blomkamp‘s Chappie – all has their individual takes on artificial intelligence but Ex Machina is probably the first one to make a psychological thriller out of it.

A bit slow paced maybe, and mostly dialogue based but in spite of not being personally a fan of Sci Fi movies, i find it pretty impressive.

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Most anticipated world films of 2014 (Part 1)

Most anticipated world films of 2014 yet to release. The trailers are convincing enough to make us impatient but all in good time.

Here follows a list of Ten films that promises awesome entertainment. Do enjoy the trailers for now and make sure you don’t miss any of these on the big screen.

Let the fun begin.

1. Sin City: A dame to kill for (releasing on 22nd Aug)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhu32sdAGbo

Sin_city a dame to kill for

Finally Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez teams up again for the second installment of a tour of the city where it’s permissible to sin.

Sexy and stylized as usual, adopted from the famous graphic novel, and guaranteed out-of-the-world action.

Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis just to name a few. A must watch.

2. Exodus: Gods and Kings (releasing on 12th Dec)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6G1vRbvgiU

Exodus-Gods-and-Kings

Christian Bale and Aaron Paul together in Ridley Scott‘s next – a historic drama.

Seems like the film is based in Egypt, the grandeur of the sets and the detailing of the period looks amazing in the trailer.

It’s the story of Mosses, how he was responsible to lead the Israelite slaves from Egypt. A film to check out for sure.

3. Fury (releasing on 14th Nov)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OGvZoIrXpg

fury

World War 2 as the backdrop, Brad Pitt in his army-crew-cut hairstyle leads his small team of men to attack Germany against incredible odds.

Focused on tanks as the weapon of choice i am sure this is going to be the best war film of the year.

Directed by David Ayer of ‘End of Watch’ fame – also starring  Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman.  

4. Birdman (releasing on 10th Oct)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-umj5cxtgBA

birdman

The name Alejandro González Iñárritu as a director should be enough to stir up curiosity for a film.

And with a star cast of Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts this film is probably the most awaited release this year.

It’s about how an actor who played the part of a superhero controls his ego in his real life.

5. Horible bosses 2 (releasing on 26th Nov)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B45XU3v9sPw

Horribel bosses 2

Remember the first time you met the most horrible bosses and what fun you had!

Well, here is an opportunity to meet them again – Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and a especial addition of Christoph Waltz.

The trailer is hilarious and hopefully the director Sean Anders has done a great job. I am sure it will be an enjoyable laugh riot.

6. Gone girl (releasing on 3rd Oct)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym3LB0lOJ0o

gone girl

After ‘The Social Network‘ and ‘The girl with the dragon tattoo‘ my favorite director David Fincher‘s next – a suspense thriller about a girl who’s gone missing.

Ben Affleck, the husband who is also a suspect tries his best to prove his innocence but no body knows what really happened.

Unless of course you watch the film – so wait till it’s released.

7. The Interview (releasing on 10th Oct)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnalZzJ-XS4

The Interview

A deadly plan to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un but unfortunately the least qualified men are chosen by the CIA for the mission.  

Who else but Seth Rogen and James Franco. The more they try to be serious the more they look funny.

The plot seems to be hilarious, I am sure this film will be a perfect political satire to look forward.

8. The Judge (releasing on 10th Oct)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBvK6ni97W8

the judge

A mystery to be unsolved, a family drama to experience and a father-son relationship to be revived.

Robert Downey JR, a big shot lawyer find his father (Robert Duvall) a judge to be suspected of murder.

The plot sounds interesting enough to become curious and with actors of such caliber it does raises our hopes.

9. Magic in the moonlight (releasing on 25th July)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG71z-AP524

magic in the moonlight

Woody Allen is back and this time it’s a romantic comedy casting  Emma StoneColin FirthMarcia Gay Harden.

A girl’s authenticity who seems to possess some special power needs to be verified by an English magician.

The trailer looks as funny and quick-witted as any Woody Allen film promises to be.

10. Guardians of the galaxy (releasing on 1st Aug)

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89q_HH-3ghk

guardians of the galaxy

Bradley Copper, John C. Reilly, Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana – all are part of this entertaining space movie.

Directed by James Gunn; the trailer looks cool and funny, high in visual effects and packed with action.

They call themselves the guardians of the galaxy – now lets wait and watch if they can really keep their words and protect our planets.

For Most anticipated world films of 2014 (Part 2) click the link below: http://www.cinemaforensic.com/most-anticipated-world-films-of-2014-2/
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Best of Stanley Kubrick

Best of Stanley Kubrick.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Regarded as the most talented and versatile film-maker of all times, Stanley Kubrick indeed was responsible for evolving Cinema to new heights.

Inspiration to the likes of Martin ScorseseSteven SpielbergJames CameronWoody Allen,The Coen brothersRidley Scott – in 2000, BAFTA renamed their lifetime achievement award in the name of Stanley Kubrick!

He never won an Oscar in the ‘best director’ category (the only time he won was in 1972 for his film 2001:A Space Odyssey in ‘best visual effects’ category) but all his films are immensely popular and groundbreaking in their own ways.

Introducing visual effects never seen before, using steady cams for the first time ever, shooting with lenses meant to be used by NASA and combining all that with brilliant selection of music – Stanley Kubrick is unique and awesome.

All of Stanley Kubrick’s films are favorites of mine and this list almost covers his entire life’s work.

Ok then, here we go.

10. Spartacus (1960)

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcIMY1Ah3aw
Spatacus

A slave revolting against an empire – this film was the first of it’s kind.

Thanks to Kirk Douglas not only for his superb acting but primarily for looping in Kubrick as the replacement director for this film.

Won four Oscars Spartacus is one of the best historical film ever made.

Kubrick’s last Hollywood project.

9. The Killing (1956)

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiDUFG56wT4

the killling

Kubrick’s first so-called professional film that has the touch of his genius.

Only in his twenties Kubrick managed to create a superb suspense thriller. One of the best in it’s genre till date.

Good performances and a gripping story line.

A classic heist story told in style – film noir at it’s very best.

8. Lolita (1962)

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRVqgvW8100

lolita

Kubrick was bold enough to adopt Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel and that too successfully.

A young girl ‘a nymphet’ and a middle-aged professor (her step dad) – a scandalous affair in the making.

In those days when censor boards were proudly rigid only Kubrick could have done justice to such a plot. And believe me he did.

7. Paths of Glory (1957)

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmDA60X-f_A

paths of glory

WWI was never been shown in such realistic and non-glamorous way before this film.

According to many this film is Kubrick’s first masterpiece. Shot beautifully, superb script and great acting by Kirk Douglas.

An anti-war film that stands the test of time, one of my personal favorite.

A must watch.

6. Barry Lyndon (1975)

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lzSoKOs1fc

barry lyndon

An artistic, slow yet passionate film that got seven Oscar nominations and won four of them.

A simple story of an Irish man, his love and his passion shown in gorgeous details.

Kubrick’s craftsmanship as a director is simply extraordinary in this film; each frame looks like a painting.

 

5. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9f6JaaX7Wg

Full metal jacketThis time Kubrick tags the audience with a soldier’s journey- through the training till the actual war in Vietnam where as the poster says ‘the wind doesn’t blow, it sucks’.   

The first half connects us more strongly but the second half is equally important – the film is like an open-ended justification. (if that makes any sense at all).

The music is awesome – a special treat for war-film lovers.

4. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) 

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE9CmX15PYA

Dr. Strangelove

A cup of fresh, dark, black comedy for you.

Only few filmmakers can take the most serious topic of the season and turn it into something hilarious. Kubrick yet again proves to be the master of it.

George C. Scott is too good in the film but Peter Sellers steals the show by playing three different characters in the film including Dr.Strangelove (as the title goes).

3. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEfyfcEdW4Y

Eyes Wide Shut

The last film of Kubrick – a film that denies to clarify realism from fantasy.

It talks about sexuality in a way completely different from any other so-called sexual films.

The suspense that a single note of piano can create, the exquisite acting capabilities displayed by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman – Kubrick’s ultimate swan song.

2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2UWOeBcsJI

2001

According to many this film is Kubrick’s artistically most productive one.

A slow-paced film that tops the Sci-Fi genre (as most of Kubrick’s films tops their individual genre ratings).

Incredible advancements in visual effects (the film got an Oscar in this category), Kubrick not only makes a futuristic film but also enlightens the future of Cinema.

1. The Shining (1980)

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S014oGZiSdI

the shining

It’s time to get scared as Kubrick contributes to the horror genre.

The film is interpreted in many different ways but still at the core it is a terrific horror thriller and probably Kubrick’s best creation ever.

Great performances by Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and the kid who knows how to shine – Danny Lloyd.

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

+1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmm5jeeH8mY

Clockwork Orange

Extreme violence, painfully sexual, emotionally draining, often perverse and deeply wicked – according to me this is the ultimate film that Kubrick made in his lifetime.

A crazy film and hat’s off to Malcolm McDowell for such a performance.

Art of film making at it’s best, Kubrick’s disturbing yet entertaining satire will make you uncomfortably satisfied.

Famous quote by Stanley Kubrick.

“How could we possibly appreciate the Mona Lisa if Leonardo had written at the bottom of the canvas: ‘The lady is smiling because she is hiding a secret from her lover.’ This would shackle the viewer to reality, and I don’t want this to happen to 2001″

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