Movies You Watched This Month – June 2014

The Raid 2 : Berandal

raid2

Prologue : The Raid 2 had been on my must-see list for a lot of reasons from great critical reviews to the comparison of Iko Uwais with Tony Jaa and so on. But the low promotion of the film in India and the market for foreign films of this genre being weak, the film was not released like other international releases here.

It released on select plexes and i had to travel a bit farther to watch this on the big screen. Today being a Sunday there was mega block of local trains, so took a taxi and had to shell out Rs 150 just to make sure I don’t miss a single scene. As it turned out, the Sterling cineplex of South Mumbai is far from the hype that it has on the internet. Its shady and a horrible mess of a theater, worse than the single screens of Dadar with very poor sounds and a very small screen. I was expecting 5-10% occupancy but it was nearly 50% full but unfortunately and shockingly filled with many old couples in the age group of 45-60. I wonder what prompted these ugly old blokes to check a film like Raid 2. One couple sat just next to me and the movie had not even begun and they started taking their stuff out of the bags and begin munching on groundnuts and popcorn right into my ears making irritating chewing sounds. I was hoping that they have probably come in this screen by mistake and they weren’t supposed to watch Raid 2. That was not to be. Bloody fucking fat ass ugly looking paunchy bastards.

Synopsis : The film is about an aging gangster named Bangun whose son wants to take his position. The son gangs up with his father’s nemesis named Bejo to kill his father. Iko Uwais as Rama is the undercover police agent is given the role to enter this gang and prove a nexus between corrupt police officials and the gangsters.

Review : I am not going to talk about its story at all. There is a decent bit of plot but you can read it on Wikipedia 🙂 What I want to talk about is the direction, how many action scenes does the film have and how good they are.

There are only 3 fight scenes in the first half each one of short duration. Two fight scenes are in prison. The first prison fight is like the Oldboy scene which was done in a narrow lane with a gang attacking one person. That scene had only one camera angle which was the side view angle. Here some more camera angles are used – side, top back and the fight is more intense. But its very short may be 1-1.5 minutes duration and ends abruptly. Not much in terms of any innovation in choreography but camerawork is good. There is one shadow boxing scene right after this scene where Iko Uwais displays tremendous box-speed on the wall. Its a vast improvement from his earlier outing in the Raid Redemption. He has bettered himself in terms of speed and seems to have got some training in Wing Chun boxing.

The second fight scene is a prison riot where Iko saves the son of the gangster. Visually its like the riot mission of GTA Vice City PC game. It was a good opportunity to choreograph a one-vs-many fight but the director Gareth Evans limited it to one-vs-one and max one-vs-two fight. The fight is choreographed well but there is too much shaky camera work in this scene. Background music is very good in this scene and also throughout the film. Cinematography is quite good. Slow motion is used at appropriate places and never during the fight which was good.
The third fight scene is in a warehouse and its a regular fight scene evading the possibility of one-vs-many.

The film has better action scenes post intermission. It starts with the fight scene of a female henchwoman “Hammer Girl” with a gang of armed men in a train. The scene reminds you of a similar Uma Thurman fight scene in Kill Bill but unlike that shitty OTT scene directed by that idiot wannabe action filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, Gareth Evans has done a good job. The scene is very bloody and gory but quite realistic. Julie Estelle as the Hammer girl is not an exceptional talent like a Jeeja Yanin but she did well being an Indonesian model. There is one fight scene of Yayan Ruhian who played Mad Dog in part 1 and those who have seen part 1 know how good he was in the climax fight scene. He has 2 fight scenes in this, both choreographed very well. In fact his scene is better than even the scenes of Iko Uwais. He has knowledge of parkour combined with Penchak Silat. His death scene is classic not to be missed.

The climax has 2 good fight scenes back to back. One is Iko Uwais vs Hammer girl & baseball bat man and another between Iko Uwais and Cecep Arif Rahman (guy in the first pic). First scene is a medley of Kama and baseball bat fight scene using techniques from Penchak Silat, Kung Fu and a bit of Kali. Basketball bat is used as the stick fight from Kali while the Kama is used for Silat and Kung Fu style. Iko Uwais uses Silat, Taekwondo and couple of Jujitsu ground techniques (joint locks, leg locks etc) this time which we never saw in part 1. So this was good.

The final fight is a one-on-one between Iko Uwais and Cecep Arif Rahman and its the best choreographed scene technically. Various forms of fight styles are used and it ends with Kama fight with Iko Uwais slitting and slashing every part of Arifs body and then slashes his throat out, not recommended for fainthearted.

Overall, I found that the film has good action scenes, better than any action film released in recent years but there is no one-vs-many scene in entire film. The USP of the film is the gore and violence, not technique and choreography. Mostly what we see in usual films is when bullet is fired or sword slashes the body, the screen blacks out cut to the next scene. But director Gareth Evans likes showing what happens after a bullet hits the head point blank, how the skull tears apart, how the Kama slashes the throat and how the veins and meat come out and so on 😀

A word on Iko Uwais in comparison to Tony Jaa, Micheal Jai white and Scott Adkins:

Iko Uwais has bettered himself a lot in this outing. He has learnt some more fighting styles which I talked above. But I will still put him behind Tony Jaa and Scott Adkins as of now. He is surely the more quicker among the 4 but he is not yet ready to give us a good one-vs-many believable action scene. He has to learn some parkour techniques. I would put him above Micheal Jai White though.

Rating : 4/5 Recommended

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78 Comments
  1. Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

    Q
    1) why is there an intermission? is it only for Indian audiences?

    • Baba 5 years ago

      its a 2.5 hrs film. so they stop the film midway and declare intermisson. the original film might not have one

  2. Baba 5 years ago

    found some scenes that i liked a lot but they are not in good quality. so if you are planning to see the film, dont watch it

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=6MEg2Uue-68

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=UKYINmE2vzg

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=i5Kf_V_26_Q

    • sputnik 5 years ago

      Good review. Liked the baseball bat man fight scene, hammer girl & baseball batman fight scene and the final fight scene.

      • Baba 5 years ago

        thanks. there are some more good scenes especially the one of mad dog , his death scene is artistic with awesome bgm and cinematography. infact a lot of scenes involve great camera work and direction even when its not an action scene. i havent talked about many of them it in the review. there are some twists towards the end of the film which you should be able to predict but are good noentheless . the ending is again awesome and directed brilliantly.true art at display. i dont want to give spoilers anymore. you should watch the film now!

    • aryan 5 years ago

      @Baba
      Last one is excellent scene. too long but interesting.

      • Baba 5 years ago

        yes aryan. its the longest fight scene of the film. actually the mad dog fight with iko in part 1 was also of similar duration.

  3. silahkandibajak 5 years ago

    if u didnt see the on-vs-many fight u should know lil bit about silat technic. u can see in youtube when iko & yayan visited to japan they teach how to fight more than one opponent in silat. He told that in silat style, when opponent attack in same time we must move to one space that we only face one of the opponents so we cant attack them one by one event they attack us in same times. that’s called “langkah silam /dissappear step”.

    • Baba 5 years ago

      silah – thanks for your comment. i know the technique you are talking about. its about “not being there”, isnt it? but the thing is it works for a person facing max 2-3 opponents. i am talking about a whole gang of 15-20 ppl attacking one person from all corners. in this situation the disappear step will not work. IMO it should involve parkour. check this video. gareth evans, the director of the film talks about the disappear step that you mentioned.note that it involves only two opponent at a time. anyway yours was one of the better comments to any post of mine on action threads. thanks for coming and sharing your views.please check my other threads as well on similar topic.

      watch from 4:25

  4. Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

    Baba, saw all videos and a good informative review. I am not well equipped to say/comment more than that on this topic 😛 . But yes, it was very informative did some youtube searching on silat too and saw few videos.

    • Baba 5 years ago

      haha, no ritz, once you see the film , you will be well equipped 😛 the film has lot more going for it than just the action scenes. as i said earlier, i have not spoken about those aspects. once you see the film, you can.it has a nice story with twisted characters. i found hammer girl and her brothers characters quite fascinating and deep even though they have small roles. there are many scenes with sheer artistry in direction. the death scene of prakoso (mad dog of raid 1 ) is great. also some other scenes of execution by cecep arif rahman. i distinctly remember one scene in a sugarcane field where there is a close up of the sugarcane leaves for some 5-6 sec and you wonder whats the point and suddenly there’s a splash sound and the leaf gets soaked in blood, the camera then moves to the left and its found that rahman just slashed someone’s neck!

      check this interview of the director. he speaks about some of the characters and viewers request to have a spin off for the hammer girl and baseball bat man.

    • Baba 5 years ago

      this one has julie estelle talking about the background of hammer girl

  5. Baba 5 years ago

    for ritz, sputnik and everyone else who might be interested, here is the prakoso death scene from raid 2. i uploaded it from a camrip i have so quality is not that good. one of my fav scenes from the film ,Epic BGM , visuals and acting. watch till the end. you will like it more in the context of the film

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=_ZV_yRhwB4M

  6. sputnik 5 years ago

    Trespass A husband and wife find themselves pushed to their absolute limit when they’re held for ransom by brutal thugs who invade their home.

    Its like Panic Room without the Panic Room. The movie has some similarity with Unlawful Entry in that the person who set up the security is involved and that he is a psycho who is crazily in love with the female lead. The movie was annoying with repetitive scenes and all the screaming and crying. The daughter is out of the house initially, comes home gets caught, then she escapes but gets caught, then she goes out with the women kidnapper kills the kidnapper comes back and gets caught.

    Read on Wikipedia and IMDB that the movie is copied from the Spanish movie Secuestrados (Kidnapped). So skimmed through the English dubbed version of Secuestrados. The first half of Trespass is definitely copied from it whether its the main plot, characters and even some of the scenes. But Trespass though bad is better than Secuestrados. Secuestrados is just a sick movie where the teenage daughter gets raped and the ending is just horrible and pointless.

    Nicolas Cage was good as the fast talking businessman and diamond dealer. Nicole Kidman looked pretty but was annoying with all the screaming. Ben Mendelsohn was good as the bad guy. Liana Liberato was annoying as the daughter. Cam Gigandet was good as the psycho lover. Jordana Spiro was good as the crazy female kidnapper.

    ———————-

    Failure to Launch In a desperate attempt to push their thirty something son out of the nest, his frustrated parents hire a beautiful “relationship consultant.”

    Its a ok time pass romantic comedy.

    Matthew McConaughey was good. Sarah Jessica Parker acted just like she always does in Sex in the City. Zooey Deschanel was good as her friend. Justin Bartha was good as the geek. Bradley Cooper has a small cameo.

  7. sputnik 5 years ago

    Bernie In this black comedy inspired by a true story, affable Texas mortician Bernie befriends the small town’s wealthiest widow and then kills her.

    Liked it. Good movie but quite slow paced. It has these interviews of different people and some or most of them are supposed to be the real people who knew the real Bernie.

    The real Bernie got a life sentence in 1999 Link but was released from his life sentence recently on $10,000 bail and the condition that he must live with the director Richard Linklater, who made the film. Link

    Jack Black was excellent as the sweet talking Bernie. The real Bernie is 6’2″ so casting Jack Black as him is an odd choice but this has to be his best performance. Shirley MacLaine was good as the mean old woman. Matthew McConaughey was excellent during the interview parts with his mannerisms and all. He was ok in the courtroom scenes.

    ——————–

    Romancing the Stone When a romance writer learns her sister’s been kidnapped, she’s soon embroiled in a wild adventure involving hidden treasure and a dashing mercenary.

    Its the usual treasure hunt movie – watchable mainly because of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner’s chemistry. The plot is quite silly and has lot of implausible stuff.

    Michael Douglas was good. Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito were ok.

  8. cr7 5 years ago

    About Schimdt– Liked it . It has typical Alexander Payne humor which I love . But I found the movie very depressing compared to his other films .So Its not really a comedy . But one thing for sure Alexander Payne is one of the best directors working currently . Jack Nicholson is brilliant as usual . It felt like the character is written for him and no one could play the role except for him .

    Watched a British sitcom called The inbetweeners .It is like the television version of American pie but much more hilarious . Give it a try if u like this genre .

    Also started watching Black Books . Crazy show. British sitcoms are way funnier than american . Enjoying it .

    • sputnik 5 years ago

      Will check out About Schimdt soon. Loved both The Descendants and Nebraska directed by Alexander Payne. Sideways was ok too.

      Don’t like British sitcoms and don’t like the British humor. Had tried watching the British version of The Office but could not watch past a few minutes. Had watched a few episodes of the American version of The Office. It was funny in parts but the things shown are too weird or out there to happen in a office.

      • cr7 5 years ago

        British sitcoms are crazier. Not very realistic but great fun to watch . Have seen 4 shows till now, It crowd,inbetweeners,black books,coupling and Loved all of them. And the best thing was they were funny till the very last episode . Problem with american shows is that they are usually stretched unnecessarily and lose their charm after first few seasons . Some of my favorite American sitcoms are -m Friends(all time favorite),The big bang theory,Two and half Men(Ashton kutcher ruined it),Modern family(not as funny as before but still watchable) .

        • sputnik 5 years ago

          Agree that Friends dragged a lot. Some of it was soap opera stuff with Ross and Rachel being together and then breaking up and being back together. There were also all the pregnancies. It was still the second best sitcom after Seinfeld for me.

          Two and Half Men was ok. Saw a few episodes but never liked it that much. Have not seen The Big Bang Theory and Modern family.

          Watched all seasons of The 70s show recently. Its not as funny as Seinfeld/Friends but its hilarious in parts. Some of the jokes don’t work and it is weird in parts. It also dragged a lot and the final seasons were not that good. Also all the main actors started leaving like Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace but they did return in the last episode.

          Its Ashton Kutcher’s debut show and he was great in it as the dumb good looking guy. It also starred Topher Grace of Spiderman villain fame. And Mila Kunis was just 14 years old when she started acting in this.

  9. cr7 5 years ago

    Also watching Game of Thrones every week which is getting better & better with each episode .Too good . Anyone else watching ? 😀

    • FS 5 years ago

      It’s the best television show ever I guess… Every episode has something fresh, thrilling & excellent experience to its viewers. Watched 7 episodes continuously & couldn’t resist 8. So eagerly waiting for rest ofthe episodes.

      • cr7 5 years ago

        Totally agreed . Take a bow the directors . The story is well written but maintaining the drama,suspense in episodes after episodes is a genius job . I knew some of the things but still the directors were able to make it thrilling . Too good .

        • FS 5 years ago

          The second episode of Joffery’s death and tragic end in 8th episode is what keeps u longing for such seasons. Kudos to directors.

        • I.One 5 years ago

          Eagerly waiting for the finale of the 4th season. This season was the best one, with too many twists and shocking scenes. I thought Breaking Bad was the best TV series, but GOT wins hands down. The series have kept me glued right from last 39 episodes. Sad we are coming to the end of season 4.

  10. sputnik 5 years ago

    Stolen A master thief is ready to leave his criminal past behind. But when his daughter is kidnapped, he’s forced to pull off one last heist.

    Its a usual heist thriller with some unbelievable/implausible stuff. There are things that will make one feel like why is the character being stupid and so on. Its watchable though.

    Nicolas Cage was good as the thief. Josh Lucas was good as the bad guy. Danny Huston was ok as the cop. Malin Akerman looked pretty. Sami Gayle was ok as the daughter.

  11. sputnik 5 years ago

    Seeking Justice After his wife is brutally raped, Will is approached by a man from a vigilante group who offers to exact revenge on the perpetrator, for a price.

    Good thriller. Its part masala but it had enough plot and was interesting right until the end.

    Nicolas Cage was good as the teacher who agrees to the vigilante group’s offer of avenging his wife’s rape only to be forced into committing a crime. January Jones looked very pretty and was good as the wife coming to terms with her rape. Guy Pearce was good as the vigilante.

  12. sputnik 5 years ago

    Citizen Ruth An unfit, pregnant mother of four gets caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between anti-abortion and abortion rights activists who want to use her.

    Had watched this movie around release of Peepli Live because of the similarity in the plot.

    Found out that it is Alexander Payne’s directorial debut so watched it again. Its a satire a dark comedy. While the lead character is crazy it shows that both the anti-abortion and abortion rights activists are as crazy as her. Liked it but not everyone might like the movie. The lead character is not someone likeable.

    The main lead is played by Laura Dern, daughter of Bruce Dern of Nebraska fame. She was excellent as the homeless woman who loves getting high sniffing spray paint and who doesn’t care about her kids who have been taken away from or her pregnancy. Swoosie Kurtz was good. Kurtwood Smith and Mary Kay Place were good as the pro life (anti abortion) activists who take her home. Kelly Preston was very good as the pro choice (abortion rights) activist. Burt Reynolds was good too.

  13. sputnik 5 years ago

    What About Bob? Determined to receive treatment, a neurotic New Yorker struggling with a host of phobias follows his psychiatrist on vacation in this quirky comedy.

    Deewana Mastana is inspired/copied from this movie but Deewana Mastana is way better than this which was not funny at all. It was so irritating/annoying that I stopped after watching half of it. The crazy patient stalking the psychiatrist on his vacation and his family being so nice to him seemed completely unbelievable in the American context.

    Bill Murray was horrible and looked completely miscast for the part. There was nothing lovable about him. In the first scene he is a wreck and in just a few minutes he is fooling people and so confident. No consistency at all. It was a screenplay of convenience. Have never liked Bill Murray or any of his movies. He is one overrated actor.

    Richard Dreyfuss was good as the psychiatrist but the movie tries to show him as the bad guy for not being nice to a crazy stalker. Julie Hagerty (wife), Charlie Korsmo (son)
    and Kathryn Erbe (daughter) characters were all unbelievable. The 26 old Kathryn Erbe was trying to pull off a teenager.

  14. sputnik 5 years ago

    Fight Club An insomniac corporate drone (Edward Norton) meets roguish rebel Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), and together they form a cathartic but brutal underground society in which men fight each other freely in director David Fincher’s sharp Oscar-nominated flick. But the line between reality and sleepless haze begins to blur when propagandist Durden transforms Fight Club from a group of non-conformists into a nihilistic cult.

    Had watched this movie way back in 2002. Had liked the movie except the twist ending back then. It was a novelty for its time but now this ending has been done to death in a lot of movies.

    With the twist already known the movie was not as engaging as it was the first time. Felt like the movie was too long and dragged a lot. There are quite a few hints to guess the twist though.

    Brad Pitt was excellent as Tyler Durden and Edward Norton was excellent too. Helena Bonham Carter was good.

  15. sputnik 5 years ago

    The Hard Way An actor needs to get under a cop’s skin to research an upcoming role, and he picks an irritable New York City hard case as his source material.

    Main Khiladi Tu Anari is copied from this movie. Not only the main plot/story but many of the scenes and even dialogues are copied from this. There is no hero’s sister angle in this and they Bollywoodized it with Shilpa’s double role and all.

    Very entertaining and hilarious movie. Loved it.

    Michael J. Fox was excellent as the movie star. He is too short though and they have some jokes about his height. Even though I liked Saif back then in MKTA he was not as good as Michael J. Fox. And Saif was too girly looking back then. James Woods was good as the cop who can’t stand the movie star. Stephen Lang overacted as the psycho killer. Annabella Sciorra was ok as the cop’s girlfriend.

  16. sputnik 5 years ago

    Omar With his girlfriend, Nadia, living on the other side of an Israeli-built boundary wall, young Palestinian Omar regularly scales it to visit her.

    The movie was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film at the 2014 Oscars.

    Excellent movie. Loved it. It is set against the backdrop of the Israeli occupation of Palestine but it is basically a love story/thriller on love, friendship and betrayal. There are a few twists in the movie. While I was able to guess the first twist in the jail and partly guess the second twist, the twist in the climax was excellent and unexpected.

    The movie is a bit slow paced but its been excellently directed by Hany Abu-Assad. The movie doesn’t say anything about the time period in which it is set but there are no cell phones used and the lovers pass love letters/notes.

    Adam Bakri was excellent as Omar. Samer Bisharat was good as Omar’s friend Amjad. Waleed Zuaiter was very good as the Israeli Agent Rami. Leem Lubani looked cute and acted very well as Omar’s lover Nadia. Eyad Hoorani was good as Nadia’s brother Tarek.

    Highly Recommended

    • Baba 5 years ago

      ” it is basically a love story/thriller on love, friendship and betrayal”

      “The movie doesn’t say anything about the time period in which it is set but there are no cell phones used and the lovers pass love letters/notes.”

      looks like a remake of na tum jaano na hum

      • sputnik 5 years ago

        Ha Ha. I watched NTJNH back when it released and it was crap. Did not remember the story so read it from wikipedia. Its just a love story that too a mix of Sirf Tum, KKHH and Saajan.

        Actually there is a scene in the movie where the Israeli agent uses a cell phone (that too a flip one) so not sure why there are no other scenes of cell phone usage. I mentioned the point about no cell phones because the story or the miscommunication that happens in the movie is difficult to happen with the use of cell phones.

  17. cr7 5 years ago

    @Zacked- Your thoughts on Cesc and possible return of Vela ?

  18. sputnik 5 years ago

    Three Men and a Baby When an infant named Mary is left on their doorstep, three bachelor roommates channel their feminine side and become surrogate parents to the tyke.

    Its a remake of the French movie Trois hommes et un couffin (Three Men and a Cradle). Heyy Babyy is inspired/copied from this movie but thankfully there was no flying diaper scene.

    Its a very 80s movie and it looked very dated now. Did not like it much. It was weird to see three older man living together as roommates and then being so attached to the kid by the end. There was a silly subplot of drug smuggling too. Can’t believe that this was the biggest hit of 1987 (Link)

    Tom Selleck was ok but looked too old. Steve Guttenberg was ok. Ted Danson looked too old too. Nancy Travis was horrible with her British accent. Margaret Colin looked cute.

  19. dwnpiyush 5 years ago

    That Awkward Moment: Romantic comedy about three friends and them sorting out their relationships. Nothing great, but was quite entertaining while it lasted. Some lines were very clever.

  20. Zacked 5 years ago

    I was dissappointed when Fabregas to Chelsea was announced, one of my favourite players going to the team and manager i hate most. I thought i wont be able to see him in the Chelsea shirt.. but i am over it now.. .. Also Vela deal seems to be off.. and we are getting some money from them.

    Also after watching yesterdays Costa Rica vs Uruguay game, i am convinced Joel Cambell will do better than Vela..

    I just hope we make the signings required. So we need a striker (Cavani/Balotelli/Benzema), a DM (Bender/Khedira/Schneiderlin) plus a right back and a reserve goalkeeper and i will be happy. Just that the striker we need should be world class and we will be fine.

    What are your thoughts?

    • cr7 5 years ago

      Similar thoughts on Cesc & Vela .Though i won’t mind Vela . But strictly as 3rd striker .He can bee efficient as a Super sub . I saw the highlights of costarica match . Campell looks the real deal .Will do better than Sanogo & Vela .Agree with your assessment . Cavani/Balo/benzema,Khedira/bender,Aurier/uchida/coleman,1 reserve GK will pretty much make us a strong contender .I would love to see a replacement for Monreal too .I think he is very error prone But that’s not a priority .DM & ST is top priority But i don’t trust Wenger to spend this big . He will somehow find the cheapest options and ensure top 4 🙁 . And he looks very reluctant till now . The more we delay the less quality players will be available . Deals are getting done . Chelsea already done with their shopping for next season . So lets see . One more important think is We’ve to hold onto current squad . There are rumors about santi . Wenger shouldn’t let him go . Even I think we should keep Vermaelen too .

      Anyway, Who do u think gonna win the world cup .Brazil and Germany looks super favorite .

      P.s : U watching Fargo ? If not give it a try . Best new show of this year .

  21. Zacked 5 years ago

    To let Fabregas go to Chelsea indicate that something big is going to happen.. i am hoping anyway.. Also after winning the FA cup Wenger did mention a new arsenal squad is about to emerge. I just hope we do not dither and be bold in the transfer window. Get the signings done before the pre season and we will be good. Wont be fussed with Vermaelen leaving tbh but then we need to buy another CB.

    Dont think Santi will leave because if he was to leave then we sure would have signed Cesc, no?

    About the World Cup, like always ill support Argentina and France and wont mind Germany winning it because of Ozil, Poldi and Per.

    Re. fargo i downloaded 3-4 episodes but am yet to watch them.

  22. hithere 5 years ago

    Saw “Her” – Highly recommended if you like emotional drama. Good acting by cast set in future.

    Jack Ryan – Shadow recruit – Time pass fun.

    The Suspect (2013 – Mekhi Phifer)- If you remove some of the implausibility and holes in narrative, it was a good thriller.

    • sputnik 5 years ago

      You have watched Her quite late. Watched it back in January and liked it a lot for its novel screenplay. My comment on it. Link

      Have added The Suspect to my Netflix queue and will watch it soon.

      You should check out Omar. Its a good thriller/love story and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film.

      • hithere 5 years ago

        It just got released on DVD. For some reason, I thought Joaquin Phoenix was nominated. His portrayal was excellent. I will check Omar.
        ps – Please don’t have high expectation with The Suspect. But it is decent. I thought climax could have been better handled.

        • sputnik 5 years ago

          Watched The Suspect last night.

          I think it had potential to be a very good thriller. But as you said there was “implausibility and holes in narrative”. There were too many flashbacks and the flashback at the motel was too long.

          Mekhi Phifer was good. William Sadler was excellent as the older cop and Derek Roché was good as the younger deputy.

  23. sputnik 5 years ago

    Annie Hall Diane Keaton and Woody Allen star in this Oscar-winning romantic comedy about the relationship between a neurotic writer and a quirky aspiring singer.

    Had watched this back in 2000 or so and did not like it back then. Did not like it this time either. It has a 8.2 rating on IMDB and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and won 4 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay but I think its a overrated movie.

    Its shot in New York and the cinematography is good with shots of the bridges. There is some novel stuff in the movie like two people arguing about a famous person and the person showing up or characters who are being narrated a flashback being present in it or Woody Allen’s character asking relationship questions to random people on the street. The only thing funny was Woody Allen’s character thinking everyone was being anti-Semitic.

    Woody Allen was his usual talkative neurotic self. Diane Keaton looked pretty but was dressed in some weird costumes.

    —————

    Picture Perfect In order to convince her boss that she’s stable enough to get promoted, single girl Kate invents a fiancé out of a videographer she met at a wedding.

    Its a boring romantic chick flick. Jennifer’s character was not likeable and it was hard to believe that Jay Mohr’s character would put up with her her character.

    Jennifer Aniston looked very pretty and dressed just like she is in Friends. Jay Mohr was ok. Kevin Bacon was ok but looked a bit old.

  24. sputnik 5 years ago

    48 Hrs. A detective paroles a wisecracking hustler to help him catch a pair of escaped cop killers, but the odd couple only has 48 hours to get the job done.

    Its the usual buddy cop movie except that one of them is not a cop. It was watchable and entertaining. Some of the scenes were quite thrilling. Was surprised to see Nick Nolte’s character using the N word and some other politically incorrect language which wouldn’t happen in today’s movies.

    Eddie Murphy was good as the fast talking convict. Nick Nolte was good as the jaded sloppy cop. James Remar was excellent as the bad guy.

    • Baba 5 years ago

      what is the N word?

        • Baba 5 years ago

          weird. is calling someone Nigger/nigga such a big deal in US? its used widely in so many films pulp fiction, blood and bone etc. its widely used even in youtube prank videos uploaded by american artists.

          • sputnik 5 years ago

            Its ok for Black people to use the word among themselves but its not ok for White people or others to use the word against Black people as it is considered a insult/derogatory word and they may get thrashed for using that word.

            In the movie Nick Nolte uses the word to address Eddie Murphy but apologizes later that he did not mean it. Since he was the good guy (the hero) his using that word was odd.

            Quentin used the word in Pulp Fiction and even in Django Unchained but then Django Unchained is set during slavery.

  25. Baba 5 years ago

    might see holiday tmrw in theatre. not bcos i really want to see the film but i have sme spare time tmrw and pvr phoenix is a good place for bird watching

  26. Baba 5 years ago

    just back from holiday. surprisingly good after reading some bad reviews. it has a good story and direction for most part. romantic /comic scenes of sonakshi are unneceesary and the weakest part of the film. the villian freddy daruwala has played his role quite well though vidyut as villian would have taken the film to another film. akshay starts from where he left in s26. very good sutble performance except the climax where he was trying to overact like vijay in original. the first training fight is bad but the other fights are well done, chases are good, akshay displays some nice parkur techniques even at this age. climax fight is as horrible as original and disappointing. overall a far better, saner and subtler film than murugadoss’s previous hindi film ghajini

  27. FS 5 years ago

    Game of thrones – best ever series in my opinion

    • cr7 5 years ago

      Loved this season . Perfect in all aspects . Up there at the top with Breaking Bad as my most favorite TV show ever. 10 month wait for the next season will be painful. You watching any other shows ? Give a try to Fargo .Liked the show .

      Spoiler

      I’m not a book reader . But one of my friends shared tyrion’s escape chapter from book . After reading that i feel that scene could have been better in the show .It lacked some detailing . btw season 5 gonna be epic . The last episode changed so many dynamics . With tywin gone kings landing will be vulnerable . And stannis looked super strong and he may have the wildings on his side . Jon snow’s character has evolved in this season . Started to like him a lot . The only boring plot is Khaleesi and her dragons .

      • FS 5 years ago

        Spoiler – I doubt that season 5 will be great because all the great characters have been killed, now only few are remaining. The good part of the Show was that the negative characters were as strong or more strong than the protagonists. As we see that they are even we have to see how The other characters evolve.

        • cr7 5 years ago

          Quite a few new characters will be introduced in season 5 .So hope for the best .

  28. sputnik 5 years ago

    The Stepford Wives After moving to the beautiful suburb of Stepford with her husband, a woman begins to suspect something is radically wrong with the neighborhood wives.

    The movie is a remake of 1975 movie of the same name. Have not seen the original but read the plot of the original from wikipedia. The original is darker and they turned this into a comedy with a happy ending. This is more a movie targeted towards the woman though it seems sexist for a while with the whole male fantasy of a completely obeying Stepford Wife.

    Nicole Kidman overacted a lot. Bette Midler was ok. Matthew Broderick was bad in a sidekick role. Glenn Close was good specially in the climax. Christopher Walken was good and the country singer Faith Hill looked pretty.

  29. sputnik 5 years ago

    Ankhon Dekhi After a dramatic incident, Raje Bauji, a man in his late fifties, decides that he will only believe what he sees with his eyes.

    The movie started off well but it lost its track just after half hour or so. The concept was interesting but it felt like Rajat Kapoor, the director did not know what to do with it. There were lot of meaningless scenes with no real purpose. Even though the movie is just over one and a half hour it was boring and felt longer.

    The lower middle class setting reminded of Hum Log specially with Seema Pahwa (Badki from Hum Log) being one of the actors. Some scenes involving the different family members and their relationships were good.

    The movie is rated 8.4 on IMDB and had got very good ratings from all the critics but I don’t think it deserved all that. Its like all the critics follow herd mentality when it comes to some movies and are scared to give bad or average ratings.

    Sanjay Mishra was very good as Bauji. Rajat Kapoor was good as the younger brother. Seema Pahwa was excellent as Bauji’s wife. Namit Das was ok as the daughter’s boyfriend. Maya Sarao was good as the daughter. Manu Rishi had a part which was forced. Brijendra Kala did not have any important role either.

    • hithere 5 years ago

      I liked it immensely. The characters made the movie. Probably best Hindi movie by some distance this year.

      ps – Loved Sanjay Mishra and his wife interactions in movie.

      • sputnik 5 years ago

        Yes the main characters were good and the performances by them were good too. Loved Sanjay Mishra and his wife interactions in movie too and Seema Pahwa who played his wife was excellent.

        I liked the movie as long as it was about real situations but I don’t think the concept of Ankhon Dekhi was used well. I did not get why he has no problem lying to his wife and others when he quits his job because he does not want to lie. Also I don’t think the Jua/Teen Patti part was properly tied to his Aankhon Dekhi realization. I did not get him having new followers part either.

  30. cr7 5 years ago

    Watched Departed . Loved it . Great drama throughout the film . Well acted by Leo,wallbarg,Damon,Jack . the climax was abrupt but that didn’t take away the greatness . I kept hearing that Its Scorcessi’s weakest film yet he got an oscar for it . I disagree,This is one his best works . Far superior than film like Taxi driver . The BGM is epic . Totally enhanced the experience .

    • FS 5 years ago

      Watch infernal affairs. Departed is the remake of IA.

      • cr7 5 years ago

        Yup,I know . Downloaded it too . But as u can assume from my lack of comments in this post , Hardly watching any movies these days . Too busy . Downloaded Omar too . Sputnk’s review is very positive . Will try to watch IA and Omar this weekend .

  31. sputnik 5 years ago

    Wicker Park After an advertising executive spots his long-lost love, who disappeared two years ago without explanation, he pursues a trail of clues to find her.

    The film is a remake of the 1996 French movie L’Appartement, which in turn is loosely based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There is a scene where one of the characters is acting in that play.

    The movie is very confusing with a non linear screenplay. For a while I thought it was another Mulholland Drive. In the end its not like that but there are lot of contrivances which just don’t make sense. The characters do have cell phones but they don’t use them to make this ridiculous plot possible.

    Josh Hartnett was good. Did not like Rose Byrne and her character was also crazy. Matthew Lillard was ok. Diane Kruger looked pretty.

    —————————–

    Jane Eyre Driven from her post at Thornfield House, young governess Jane Eyre reflects on her youth and the events that led her to misty moors.

    The movie is based on Jane Eyre, a 1847 novel by Charlotte Brontë and has been made into a movie 19 times before this and a TV series thrice.

    Its a love story which is very slow paced and requires quite a bit of patience. Lost interest in the middle and did not pay much attention to it.

    Mia Wasikowska of Stroker fame was excellent as Jane Eyre. Michael Fassbender was very good too. Judi Dench was usual.

    • hithere 5 years ago

      Have seen Wicker park sometime back but have forgotten.

  32. FS 5 years ago

    Chinese Zodiac– After such a long time I was able to enjoy Jacki Chan film and his agility, stunts and even the movie. Highly enjoyable and Recommended

  33. sputnik 5 years ago

    Unbreakable An ordinary man makes an extraordinary discovery when a train crash leaves his fellow passengers dead but him unscathed. Is he truly unbreakable? The answer could lie with a mysterious man who has a disease that renders his bones as fragile as glass.

    The movie would have been excellent if it was not for the bad twist ending. Still a very good movie and definitely recommended. It is slow paced and has a very moody atmosphere created by the cinematography.

    This was M. Night Shyamalan’s next movie after The Sixth Sense and it did not do as much as The Sixth Sense at the box office. This is also in similar vein in that the lead has a supernatural power and a Sixth Sense by which he can glimpse criminal acts committed by the people he touches.

    Nolan fans praise him for the way he changed superhero movies but I think Shyamalan already did that with this movie. I had heard some people praise this movie but I think this is one underrated movie.

    Bruce Willis was very good as the Unbreakable. Samuel L. Jackson was good as Elijah. Robin Wright Penn was good as the wife and the kid Spencer Treat Clark was ok.

    • hithere 5 years ago

      I liked it a lot when I saw. It is slow but it goes with movie.

  34. sputnik 5 years ago

    Blow Based on a true story, “Blow” chronicles the high-speed rise and fall of George Jung (Johnny Depp), who became the largest importer of Colombian cocaine to the United States, forever changing the face of drugs in America. Set in the decadent 1970s and 80s, “Blow” traces Jung’s partnership with Pablo Escobar, one of the most infamous and dangerous drug lords in history.

    Thanks to @fearlesssoul for the recco. Good engaging movie though its similar to other drug smuggling movies. Liked the father-son and the father-daughter relationships portrayed in the movie.

    Johnny Depp was excellent as George Jung. Penélope Cruz was horrible and very irritating. She did not look pretty either. Ray Liotta was very good as the father. Found both Rachel Griffiths and the mother character that she portrayed very annoying. The supporting cast was good.

  35. Baba 5 years ago

    revisited guru. its a south masala minus the action. everytime something happens, “guru bhai guru bhai” bgm starts loudly. it promotes corruption and glorifies criminals

  36. FS 5 years ago

    Raid 2 – Had such a high expectations from the movie after the first part but unfortunately somehow I disliked it. There was no proper basic foundation at all, whatever it was full of cliché’s and predictable. It looked faked and all I can understand was that they were trying to cash it on the success of first movie.

    The first part was not only about display of his action skills but the action choreography was excellent and to some what plausible even though how gory the violence turned out to be but in this case there was nothing to rely on except wait for some action.

    The first fight sequence itself was a turn off for me but I was just waiting for something I was expecting and that happened in the climax fight. The last Fighting scene was fantabulous and extremely well choreographed. Both the antagonist and protagonist were best in one of the best one-one fight in action Genre.

    Honestly I am little disappointed over all. Deleted the movie as soon I finished it.

    • Baba 5 years ago

      yes when i watching this in theatre, just after interval i had this feeling that the film is just not good as the first. bcos you simply have to keep waiting and waiting for an action scene to come. this was my criticism for the film right since the second promo came . i knew the film is overplotted and that means compromise on the number of action scenes. but the fight scenes post intermission are more and also better choreographed with interesting characters like baseball batman and hammer girl. also some scenes like the prakoso death scene and assassin sugarcane scene are artistically shot which you wil appreciate after you watch it the second or third time. go to your recycle bin and restore it i say 😉 yes the film doesnt have as much action scenes as raid 1 but there are some other good aspects and characters worth visiting.

  37. sputnik 5 years ago

    The Bank Jim Doyle, a young mathematician, may have the key to the future of the financial markets but is bamboozled by a ruthless CEO, Simon O’Reilly.

    Its an Australian movie so the actors are unknown and it looked like a B movie but its still an interesting thriller. There is lot of math formula and some software involved in the movie which is hard to understand. If this was a big Hollywood movie with big stars then this movie could have been something else.

    There is a parallel track of a family who lose money because of the bank and their kid dies. The movie doesn’t show how the kid died and that part of the movie is very amateurish with bad acting. The people being angry will remind you of Dhoom 3 🙂

    The twist at the end will remind you of a 90s Bollywood movie. I don’t want to mention it cause its a spoiler.

    David Wenham was good as the young mathematician. Anthony LaPaglia was very good as the ruthless CEO. Sibylla Budd was very odd looking with a big face and her acting was bad.

  38. sputnik 5 years ago

    Ordinary Decent Criminal In this taut crime thriller, a charming thief delights in plotting heists with the kind of élan that makes him popular in the very city he plunders.

    Its an entertaining heist thriller where the hero played by Kevin Spacey is a thief with a gang who keeps outsmarting the cops. It has a few funny scenes. The movie is set in Ireland. Found out later that the film is loosely based on the story of Martin Cahill, a famous Irish crime boss.

    Kevin Spacey was very good. Linda Fiorentino was good. Helen Baxendale (Emily of Friends) looked cute. They both play sisters who are married to Kevin Spacey’s character. Stephen Dillane was good as the cop. David Hayman was good as his associate. Colin Farrell is one of his gang too and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained fame) has a small part.

    ——————

    Urban Cowboy A Texas farm boy who moves to the city gravitates to a honky-tonk with a mechanical bull and fast women, including a sassy flirt he impetuously weds.

    Did not like the movie and did not understand the point of the movie. John Travolta’s character wants to be a cowboy and ride a mechanical bull. John and Debra’s verbal fights could not keep the movie engaging and he even hits her physically once. Scott Glenn keeps beating up her.

    John Travolta was ok. Debra Winger and Madolyn Smith Osborne looked pretty. Scott Glenn was good in a negative role.

    ——————

    Ever After: A Cinderella Story When mistreated orphan Danielle stumbles onto Prince Henry, who’s fleeing an arranged marriage, the two inspire each other to resolve their troubles.

    Its a adaptation of Cinderella set in sixteenth century France without the Fairy Godmother part and the magic part. Instead they added a lot of meeting scenes between Danielle and Prince Henry. The movie is completely heroine oriented with the Prince’s character being just a sidekick to the heroine.

    Crap movie which felt like a B grade movie. Surprisingly it got good reviews and has a decent 6.9 rating on IMDB.

    Drew Barrymore was bad with her acting. She was acting just like he always does. Anjelica Huston was good as the stepmother. Dougray Scott looked like a B grade hero. Megan Dodds was good as the elder step sister.

  39. Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

    Miracle in the cell no.7 – a korean film.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2659414/
    Dragged too much in the end and emotionally manipulative. I dont know why so high rating for it. There was no point in the end.
    The film was ok till 1hr30mins.

  40. sputnik 5 years ago

    Watched Ek Villain. Yes it borrows the main plot of the villain killing the hero’s pregnant wife and the hero who keeps thrashing him. Even I saw the Devil had a son part which led to a very good ending.

    It has been heavily Bollywoodized though with so many back stories and sub plots and all the sentimental stuff. This is a prime example of over plotting the story and the result is that it felt like watching a never ending saga.

    The hero from the original has been changed from a cop to a Gunda/henchman with a back story from the 70s and 80s. The heroine’s character is just like Asin’s from Ghajini – annoying as hell with her non stop chatter and helping old people here instead of kids. She has a back story for being like that – she is suffering from some terminal disease and so has her bucket list but then miraculously is declared fine later. Riteish Deshmukh is the killer and he also has a backstory – he is an ordinary middle class man with a nagging wife who keeps getting insulted by women.

    In I Saw the Devil the hero says that he will keep interrupting the vilain’s attempts to kill to frustrate him but here Sidharth keeps doing that without any such intention. The CBI cop instead tells Sidharth that he will keep interrupting Sidharth’s attempts to frustrate him.

    Except for Galiyan all the songs were bad and seemed forced. The Awari song was so slow and a completely wrong choice for an item song.

    Sidharth Malhotra was ok as the brooding hero seeking revenge for the most part – good in some scenes and wannabe in some. I had not liked the hero from the original and I think Sidharth was better than him. Shraddha Kapoor was so irritating. Riteish Deshmukh was very good in the negative role as well the ordinary middle class guy part. He was not as good as Min-sik Choi of Oldboy fame though who was excellent. KRK was very good. Perfect casting for that role of MCP husband and he even used his 2 rupees people dialogue.

    ————–

    My comment on I saw the Devil.

    “Just finished watching I saw the Devil. Agree with you that is “gory, brutal kinda flick” but I did not like it that much. The violence is Saw territory and is almost like torture porn.

    The Korean police looked like a joke to me – similar to our Bollywood police.

    Choi Min-sik (Oldboy hero), who played the serial killer was excellent.

    I did not like Lee Byung-hun who played the lead that much. I think his acting was bad and why was he wearing that stupid jacket all the time. And it also seemed so silly to me that he can get anywhere that he wants so easily.”

    My Top 10 Korean Movies Of All Time – FS

  41. sputnik 5 years ago

    Single White Female An up-and-coming fashion designer’s mousy new roommate seems perfect — until her envy takes a sinister turn in this dark psychological thriller.

    Its a psychological thriller which takes a while to get started but it is engrossing and manages to scare at places. It has some implausible stuff in the last half hour or so.

    Bridget Fonda looked pretty and was good as the lead. Jennifer Jason Leigh was excellent as the psychologically disturbed character. Steven Weber was ok as Bridget’s boyfriend. Stephen Tobolowsky was good in a small role as usual.

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