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Blog posts December 2014

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb - Movie Review

Verdict - "Night at the Museum 3 is a definite pass! Strictly a rental."

Identical to the majority of the sequels these days, Night at the Museum 3 falls into the same league where it needs an insignificant subject to be carried along with the drift and end up displaying a ninety minute movie which is not necessarily important for the franchise.

This time, the erroneous narration gyre around the magic golden tablet. During the expedition of Egypt back in 1938, amid of capturing the tomb of Akhmenrah, the locals warn the excavators that if they disturb the tomb the "end will come". Subsequnetly, after many long years, the tablet now starts to react, as it gets corroded and Larry (Ben Stiller) is the only single hope to get things straight.

To profess few things before, I really love the first installment of this franchise, hated the second one and this movie is in between the previous two movies. I didn't love it nor I didn't hate it. The disconcerting element is that the movie created a trouble-free vibe around itself without taking too many risks. It felt stale and lazy and the writing department failed terribly in this aspect.

The screenplay was just asinine filled with annoying scenes, unwitty cameos and overall a doltish conclusion for a historic setup, it all felt ridiculous. However, they're few redeemable comedic and emotional scenes in the movie that are slightly enjoyable to watch and the director Shawn Levy did a good job in highlighting them in a pretty decent way.

Being one of the last movies of Robin Williams, it was just spectacular to watch him reprise his role of Theodre Rossevelt in the movie and this one particular scene in the climax really made me cry and reinforces the fact that we will really miss him forever. Ben Stiller was no different, he was the same old guy as before and I didn't care much about him and his look-alike character "Laaa". Rebel Wilson, Dan Stevens, Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan did their part well without infuriating me too much.

Finally, The Night at the Museum 3 was tolerable if you don't bother about the narrative structure or the explanation of the movie. It was just a casual film where you can just sit back on your couch and watch it when you're asleep. Probably a "rainy day" rental.

My Rating - 2/5
Grade - C (Meh! Probably a rental)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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PK - Movie Review

Verdict - "Funny and Entertaining! PK was enjoyable as a complete movie."

The plot revolves around an extraterrestrial named PK (Aamir Khan) who arrives to earth in a spaceship with no clothes around his body except for a remote control which has the ability to call back the spaceship when needed. Eventually, after losing his remote control, PK starts his search for the device and in the course he struggles and learns the language, culture and many other things about religion which elevates the story to another level and introduces us to the focal theme of the movie.

Counting in the positives of the movie, the comedic aspect was very funny. Hirani's distinct humour and style was very genuine and I laughed out a numerous times in the movie and I'm very pleased about it. Also the dramatic sequences in the movie are quite heart-trending and were really well supported by the religious aspect of the movie.

However, they're few aspects in the movie which didn't really pay-off, mainly the romantic angles between Anushka and Sushanth and Aamir and Anushka were underwhelming. It almost felt generic and when they pulled out a dramatic sequence from it, the perfection was missing and it's not convincing.

The movie did have a diverse storyline but it felt like a little out of place for me, it didn't feel important in the first place and the turns it took didn't astonish me for the most part. Sure, the climax was surprising, but it could've been much better. Also there's a social aspect displayed in the movie and it didn't work for me too.

The chief storyline written by Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi was one of the best part of the movie, it was sundry and I felt like I'm watching good movie that didn't dawdle to convey the unconventional message in a pontifical world. Hirani's direction and the humour which he adds to the movie was very admirable.

There's no other actor who could've played the character of PK better than Aamir? I would say no. But overall, this is a well arranged character for Aamir which he utlized it to the best. His funny bhojpuri slang and his weird persona felt unique and Aamir did a fabulous job in portraying the character in the proper way. Anushka Sharma did fine as a supporting character in the movie and as I mentioned earlier her love angle didn't work out.

On the whole, PK didn't live up to all my expectations. But it was very funny and entertaining as a complete movie. Aamir and Hirani should be appreciated for trying something which was very distant and delicate at the same time. PK is a must watch and one of the best movies of 2014.

My Rating - 3.5/5 | Grade - B+ (A perfect weekend pick!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - Movie Review

Verdict - "A decent way to end a majestic franchise. Hobbit 3 is an incredible action-packed experience."

Two trilogies, six movies, one epic tale! It should be disheartening to see our very own beloved franchise finally concluding this time. Heroic stories were told in a spectacular way and we're lucky enough to experience everything in a theatre with the best visual effects possible. Here's my review for "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies".

The movie kicks off with Smaug destroying Laketown in a barbaric fashion. Eventually the belittled hero of the town, Bard puts down the beast and a legion of orcs and elves start to wind up at Erebor, which is now jam-packed with gold and ruled by it's very own suzerain, Thorin.

Now the obvious question that battered our mind before the release was that, will this movie stand-out as a well structured narrative? Is there enough story left to make a movie out of it. Well! that ideally brings in my complaints about the movie, it did have few narrative issues.

At the outset, the subplots in the movie are pretty boring, I completely understand that all the characters must conclude sooner or later, but it was a little dreary. I didn't hate it, but the love angle between Tauriel and Kili and the character arc of Bard and his family didn't make an impact.

Also, identical to my previous argument, they're too many unwanted characters added in this movie which simply elongated the runtime with no definite reason. Are they vitally needed? There's no enduring reason. And it's also quite tough to keep up with these characters and remember them.

With all my complaints and arguments out-of-the-way, I can now say that the action in this movie was astounding. Although final act was a bit lengthy filled with all the awe-inspiring battle sequences and the dramatic scenes, it was still incredible to watch all the armies team up and going after the orcs and the director Peter Jackson did a fabulous job in displaying them perfectly and the overall structure for the final act really looked good.

Furthermore, I did observe the CGI in the movie was a little underwhelming. It didn't looked great mainly the orcs were appaling, little more effort could've helped it. The addition of 48 fps in 3D was pretty amazing to look at, because it's quite indifferent when compared to all the usual 3D movies.

When it comes to the cast, the most superior characters are Bilbo and Thorin. Martin Freeman was decent as usual and the climax scene which he had with Thorin was heartwarming. Richard Armitage was the best out-of-the-bunch in my opinion, because his character has a little more insight in the movie with numerous shades and layers included it and Armitage was flawless in executing it.

Finally, this is a decent way to end the franchise but it's not quite remarkable. Sure, the movie have few incredible moments to watch, but they're also certain parts which didn't really fit well and that's my only complaint about the movie. Nevertheless, it's a type of movie where you can enjoy watching it in the theatre other than in a home video.

My Rating - 3.5/5
Grade - B+ (A perfect weekend pick!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Lingaa - Movie Review

Verdict - "Astonishing performance from Rajnikanth; let down by poor screenplay".

Lingaa, the most awaited movie of this year, starring “Super Star” Rajnikanth released today amidst mammoth expectation. It’s a double celebration for all the Rajnikanth fans worldwide as it’s the Super Star’s birthday today and we all get to watch Thalaivar on a live action film after four years.

Theatres were all decorated with banners, walls will posters and paintings. Fans thronged the theatres and performed Paal abhisekham to their matinee idol, all these celebrations began by late night 1am. Could you even believe this? Yes! That’s the craziness of fans for Thalaivar. It’s not craziness; it’s their love and affection towards him.

Lingaa has Rajnikanth in the lead and Anushka Shetty, Sonakshi Sinha as the lead ladies. It also has Santhanam, Karunakaran, K. Vishwanath and many others doing the supporting role.
Rajni plays dual role in the film, as an Engineer Raja Lingeshwaran who wants to build a dam for the people of his region. But his idea is opposed by the Britishers citing various political reasons. Hence he takes up the whole responsibility and inspires the people of the village to build the dam. He also spends his own wealth for the dam. In spite of facing many hurdles from people with evil intentions, the dam is built successfully.

Now in the present day, a corrupt MP puts the entire village in danger. An old village head man played by K. Vishwanath comes to know about this evil plan and wants grand-son of Raja Lingeshwaran to open a Shivan temple near the dam which was also build by Raja Lingeshwaran himself to solve the problems of the people. Why was the temple closed? What are the dangers befallen on the villages forms the rest of the plot.

K.S.Ravikumar had come up with a good story, but he has failed to work on the screenplay. With a mighty length of 2 hours and 55 minutes, Lingaa has got nothing new to offer. Climax fight sequence was made in a stupid way. The momentum which the movie carried was just destroyed by the climax fight scene and I was like dafuq just happened??

No one is a match for the energy level of Rajni. His charisma and evergreen screen presence makes the film enjoyable, as he carried the entire film on his shoulders. Fiery dialogue delivery, ever stylish walk makes us still go mad. Though Anushka and Sonakshi have a little time on screen, they did their part in an appreciable way. As usually Santhanam made us laugh our socks off with his one liner and his comic interlude with Rajni have worked out well. Supporting actors were just average doing their respective parts well on their own ways.

I was pretty impressed with DOP Rathnavelu’s camera work. It was a feast to eyes to see the scenic beauty of landscapes and majestic palaces through his lens. His joint work with DI Colourist to bring out the difference between two time periods must be appreciated. Sabu Cyril, as a production designer has done a brilliant job in visually presenting the attractive sets, especially the pre-independence era.

Samjith Mohd should have taken utmost care in editing the movie. He must have interacted well with the director to trim the movie and make it racier. Mighty length of the movie is a downer.

A.R.Rahman’s songs and background score was mediocre. Mona Gasolina and Indiane Vaa were good. Misplacement of the songs in the movie made it not so enjoyable.

To sum it up, Lingaa fails to impress and meet the sky-high expectation it had. Except for Rajnikanth there is nothing to enjoy in this film, usual story with faint narration. Can give it a try for Thalaivar and his grand screen presence.

My Rating - 3/5
Grade - B (Worth a Watch!)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK (@Nirmalraj2911)

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Exodus: Gods and Kings - Movie Review

Verdict - "Exodus is an amazing spectacle with a distressing screenplay."

Are biblical movies starting to perk up? So far, 2014 is been a bulgy year for theological genre and it just got better with movies like Noah, Son of God and now Exodus. In the interest of Ridley Scott directing this movie, my expectations are pretty high and I'm totally unaware with the source material.

With Hebrews held captive and treated as slaves for almost 400 years under the Egyptian Kings, the Hebrew God has an answer by the form of Moses (Christian Bale) who is an audacious chief under an egotistical and smug King Ramses (Joel Edgerton). In due course, Moses learns that he is a Hebrew and starts a rebellion in conjunction with the Hebrews against the Egyptian Empire with the guidance of his illusory messenger sent by God.

We'l kick off with one of my biggest problems of the movie, the screenplay. Don't get me wrong, I do understand that the complete first act assembles the plot, characters and all the essential things needed for the second act. But you will surely experience the emptiness in the script. The scenes abruptly end and we don't get to learn more about the characters. The melodramatic sequences start to bore and the hostile elements turns tiresome to watch. And I do believe this only chief factor that costed the movie.

However, the movie restores itself quickly and the whole second and third act had few exciting moments to cheer about. The ten devastating plagues were displayed magnificently and the final showdown didn't let me down. And that's the main attribute of the movie, it was a spectacle but when it comes to dialogues and screenplay it was mediocre.

This was moderately a superior movie from Ridley Scott when compared to his previous work after American Gangster. It didn't even get as far as Gladiator, but they're few sequences in the movie which should be valued and appreciated. Mostly, the production work and the CGI were satisfactory. Being a majestic extravaganza with wide shots and enthralling visuals, Ridley Scott and his crew did a fantastic job in delivering what is needed.

Christian Bale was extremely good as the topmost lead in the movie, his charisma, acting skills and star quality upheld the movie to a great extent. He delivered his best in every single frame and made the character believable even though it lacked the developmental shell. Joel Edgerton rendered a tough competition too, his conceited character and his nervy charm added that extra ingredient to hate him easily whenever we see him on-screen. And that's an accomplishment!

On the whole, Exodus: Gods and Kings was a fascinating experience, it surely respects the three dimensional format and is clearly a fun movie to watch in theatres. But if you're looking for a great story telling tale like Gladiator, you'l definitely get disappointed. This movie fails in the writing department but had few redeeming elements to look at.

My Rating - 3.25/5
Grade - B (Entertaining! With few noticeable flaws)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Verdict - "Undoubtedly the weakest film of the franchise. Mockingjay: P1 is a mind-numbling experience."

Subsequently after spoiling the Hunger Games in "Catching Fire", Katniss Everdeen is perceived as a pagan symbol (proudly named as the Mockingjay) for all the people in the districts who were contrived by the dirty politics rendered by President Snow from the Capitol. How does she truimph over from all these stumbling blocks narrates you the plot of the movie partially.

Now with all consciousness, we all agree with the fact that this movie shouldn't have been cut into two parts because there's nothing complicated to explain to do so. The last movie ended with a major foresight and that elevated my expectations to this movie but with a minimal story line and a two hour runtime made this movie look mediocre and tedious.

And I also agree with the argument that this movie enacted as a great supporting element for the characters of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. But did it end up perfectly? No! Also they were few surplus scenes in the movie which didn't feel needed and they took me out of the movie for the most part.

Jennifer Lawrence was breathtaking to look at, I have no complaints about her nor with anyone in the movie because this is a movie where performances will not be itemized more, it's about the story structure and the direction and this movie did feel a little underwhelming in those departments.

To conclude, this should've been a good tight forty five minute first act of the Mockingjay franchise. It will leave you with a empty feeling and is such a mind-numbling experience which you'l prbably never visit back again. I have nothing more to say about this movie because I'm left with a perception that I only watched a half movie. That is all!

My Rating - 2.5/5
Grade - C+ (It deserves your attention for a while!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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