La La Land – A Review

This is a musical, yes. To most that is enough reason to give this film a miss but I would advise against such action. There is a reason this film has garnered such acclaim.

The performances by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are brilliant and really explores the range of these artists. The cameo performance by John Legend is also well placed. The story is brilliantly told with music that resonates with every emotion.

The set designers and the art directors involved deserve the highest praise for seamlessly merging Art Deco settings and fashion into current everyday situations.

A must watch for any individual who respects great cinematography, scripting and direction.

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Assassin’s Creed

This is a film based on the extremely popular game. The likes of Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, Final Fantasy,  Doom, Double Dragon and Tekken, were all rather lame or average. Warcraft was, in my opinion, the only great game to movie adaptation. I am no gamer but appreciate good story telling irrespective of format and platform.

I went to see Assassin’s Creed without any expectations. I was pleasantly surprised – I thoroughly enjoyed it. The chase scenes were great. The story-telling and effects were layered and rich. The move through the different timelines were done really well and just enough information was given to make the story work at each point while still leaving enough room for mystery. Dialogue and acting was well scripted and directed. There have been many negative sentiments regarding this film which I do not understand but then again each person has their own criteria regarding what makes for good entertainment.

I would go and watch it again.

WAZIR – Review

It’s not very often that I review a Bollywood movie, largely because it is very rare for there to be anything really different and worth reviewing. Last night I watched Wazir just because it was on circuit and I took my mum to watch a movie. I was very pleasantly surprised. The story was brilliantly told with none of the signature song and dance that Bollywood movies are known for. The performances from every cast member was brilliant and so was the music. I usually spot the plots twists and call the endings on most movies so I get bored at about halfway. This film took me by surprise. If you love the game of chess and a good story try this one out. If you only watch Bollywood films for the song and dance escapism than this is not your cup of chai.

STAR WARS VII – Review

Not since The Lord of the Rings trilogy has there been a film of such epic proportions. Like many others I too was sceptical about Disney’s ability to do justice to a franchise such as Star Wars – I was pleasantly surprised. There were a few scenes in which the actors failed to be convincing but what this film did have was an excellent blend of wit, drama, nostalgia and above all the undiluted representation of the light and dark sides of the force. The Force is strong with this one. Watch it.

Ender’s Game – Book versus Movie

I finally watched “Ender’s Game” a few days after completing the book. I appreciated that much of the dialogue and the story remained the same but I found the movie to be rather boring and lacked any sense of threat which was prominent in the book. The fact that these children were bred as soldiers and had no real sense of childhood is not expressed in the film. Characters which were rather pivotal in the book were peripheral in the film. I totally understand that a film can never incorporate everything that is contained in a novel but I feel there was a lot more that could have been done in the film to real get the story to work. Sir Ben Kingsley is prominent on all promotions of the film yet his character in the film is a cameo. Harrison Ford who has a far greater appearance in the film is rather wooden. That said my girlfriend watched the film with me, having never read the book and she enjoyed the film.

Books still rule.

THOR – THE DARK WORLD

In 2011 Marvel released the first Thor movie and I was a fan. Kenneth Branagh directed a brilliant story that, in my opinion, stands among the best of the comic book to film adaptations. Thor – The Dark World, although directed by Alan Taylor, upheld high standards. The story follows quite nicely from the first film and the Avengers. The story was rich, dialogue witty and special effects were awesome. The only criticism is that if you are a die-hard Marvel fan like myself and stick around till after the end credits the little tit-bits that followed this film were rather superfluous.

STAR TREK – INTO THE DARKNESS: Living long and prospering may prove difficult

STAR TREK – INTO THE DARKNESS, is quite aptly named if “the darkness” refers to the deep sleep this film will induce. The story is weak and the acting seems forced. The witty comments are ill-timed and ill-delivered. Hollywood has had too much “Twilight” and “Stephanie Meyer’s” influence seems to be poisoning much of Hollywood. This film is a long and boring bro-mance lacking the intense extra terrestrial encounters that  have been the core of the franchise. The “Klingons”, which are considerably among the most popular of the Star Trek aliens, make an insignificant cameo appearance and come of as little more then the bullies at the playground. With the 2009 “Star Trek” there was hope that new and exciting adventures and aliens awaited.  If “Into the Darkness” is anything to go by we may soon find the Star Trek franchise entering a dimension which no sentient being will ever visit.