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Blog posts July 2015

Ant-Man - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Fun Little Popcorn Flick!"

At the first impression, who else thought that a movie about Ant-Man would be ridiculous? Most certainly, we all did! But with a stalwart presence like "Marvel Studios" behind it, we can all reach an understanding that everything is in good hands.

Following the origin story of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) as Ant-Man, the movie starts on a critical note with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) trying to prevent his adversary Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) from marketing the Yellow Jacket, as he thinks that it's unsafe in certain situations. 

As the story progresses, Pym decides to wind down Darren's ferocity by training Scott as the Ant-Man and organizes a heist to steal or destroy the Yellow Jacket.

Similar to every other Marvel movie,  Ant-Man has few impediments when it comes to setting up a new franchise. At the outset, the story was never exhilarating. Sure! It was simple, understandable and never felt like an ostentatious superhero extravaganza. But I never felt that I'm watching something very distinctive that would've been possible with a tight screenplay. Unfortunately, it felt generic and incredibly predictable.

Then it comes to the characters in the movie. Remember when director David Ayer took the center stage for the Suicide Squad panel at Comic-Con and ranted about Marvel not having commanding villains? Well, he was not wrong! Corey Stall as Darren Cross is horrible in the movie and it's not even his fault. He never seemed like a formidable threat to Pym nor Lang and felt like he was just present to share one liners and create a comprehensive good guy, bad guy drama.

Evangeline Lilly as Hope was a complete surprise in the movie, as her character felt significant and essential for future installments. But the romantic angle between her and Lang appeared to be rushed without any development. Michael Pena, T.I and David were completely astounding in their characters, but the progress and screen presence was quite minimal.

But on a brighter side, the movie had the amusing vibe throughout its run time, the visual effects looked great and the screenwriters made sure that the portrayal of the Ant-Man character on-screen was not silly or stupid by any means.

Overall, Ant-Man was a fun little movie theater experience that will appeal you if you don't take the plot too seriously. The comedy, visual effects and the performances made the movie tolerable to watch, but like I stated earlier in my review it was not stimulating nor distinct and is quite forgettable. 

My Rating - 3.25/5 | Grade - B (Entertaining with noticeable flaws!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal) | Ant-Man - Posters and Stills: Click Here

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Instant Movie Review #28 (Bajrangi Bhaijaan)

Kabir Khan's - "Bajrangi Bhaijaan"

1) Story 
2) Performances
3) Direction

1) First act screenplay
2) Music

Introduction and Plot: Did you ever imagine that you will shed a tear specifically in a 'Bhai' movie? With a poignant storyline about a missing girl from Pakistan, Bajrangi Bhaijaan explicates many things about love, morality, and courage.

Analysis: Initiated with a tedious screenplay, the narration of the movie gets a little repetitive in the first half and it certainly feels exasperating. But the heart and the emotion in the second half of the movie was utterly heartwarming and it was quite revitalizing on Salman's part as he portrayed his character flawlessly alongside with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Harshaali.

Verdict: Overall, BB suffers a little with its gigantic run time, but in the end, after an emotional second act I can say that this movie is certainly one of the best we've seen from Salman in recent times.

My Rating - 3/5 | Grade - B (Worth a Watch!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Instant Movie Review #27 (Inside Out)

Pete Docter's - "Inside Out"

1) Story and Screenplay
2) Characters
3) Direction

1) Complex storyline

Introduction and Plot: Cited as a comeback movie from Pixar Studios, Inside Out follows the storyline about a little girl named Riley and explores the life of the emotions that happen inside her brain from joy, anger to disgust. 

Analysis: Arguably, I consider Inside Out as the most complex outing from Pixar till date, the film reconnoiter more into intricate platforms that may not appeal young age children. But, gladly, on a storyline perspective, this movie has a lot to offer when it comes entertaining and encouraging people. Also, the amusing narrative part of the movie was skillfully done by explaining all the minimal things with interesting characters.

Verdict: Altogether, Inside Out is a surprising and a refreshing take on a distinct subject that is certainly worth watching.

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

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Maari - Movie Review

Verdict - "A Commercial Pot-Boiler with Low Content!"

Maari is one of the most awaited movies of the year starring Dhanush, Kajal Agarwal, Vijay Yesudas and “Robo” Shankar. Directed by Balaji Mohan, the film's music is composed by Anirudh.

Maari (Dhanush) is a local don with a generous heart and is interested in Dove race. But no one knows how he advanced to his power. There is a rumour that Maari took over as a local don after killing another powerful goon in that area. But there isn’t any eye-witness for that. 

Arjun (Vijay Yesudas), a police sub-inspector gets transferred to that area and tries to collect enough proof about that murder case with the help of Sridevi (Kajal) who has a personal grudge on him. In the course of time, Maari gets arrested. Returning from jail, Maari finds out an evil plan for Arjun. What happens next forms the rest of the plot. 

Director Balaji Mohan doesn’t offer anything new in Maari. He uses the same template of all the classic commercial entertainers to make this average flick with no new inventions in it. 

Dhanush was in his thaara local best. He carries the movie with his electrifying screen presence, thunderous dialogue delivery and swagath mannerism. The ways he twirls his moustache and utters the word “Senjiruvan” will definitely appeal the masses.

Another strength to the film is “Robo” Shankar who steals the show with his unique body language and one-liners. He impresses us by giving his career best performance in Maari. Kajal Agarwal gave a passable performance. She doesn’t have much to do, except for few songs. Vijay Yesudas is a misfit for the role of a cop and fails to impress us. 

Though Anirudh’s songs had already become chartbusters, the background score was mediocre. Om Prakash’s camera work perfectly captures the locals of Chennai in a stylish way. Some of the slow motion shots and single shots are to be applauded.

On the whole, Maari is a complete masala film with low content and entertainment. The film may intrigue Dhanush fans and a certain class of moviegoers. For the others just go with zero expectations and try to enjoy the content offered. 

My Rating: 2.5/5 | Grade: C+ (It deserves your attention for a while!)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK (@Nirmalraj2911)

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Bahubali: The Beginning - Movie Review

Verdict - "A game-changer! Bahubali deserves the word 'epic'."

Three years in making, two years of high anticipation and with a colossal hype wrapped around it, Bahubali is the biggest motion picture from India with an inflated price tag of 175 crores. With a protracted narrative structure of nearly five hours, the film was divided into two parts -- The Beginning and The Conclusion. But with a mixture of an audience throughout India who incline towards a quick finale will "Bahubali - The Beginning" astonish and amaze a common and a diehard movie fan who had been waiting for more than a year.

The storyline evolves around this warrior group trying to extricate princess Devasena (Anushka Shetty) who was held captive for years under the malicious leader named Bhallala Deva (Rana Daggubati). On the other hand, Sivudu (Prabhas), a valiant and a heroic chap who was swayed by the elegance of the warrior girl Avantika (Tamannaah) joins the army to free the princess all alone. Will he triumph over? And what is the significant truth behind Sivudu's exalted past?

Here are my few complaints! Judging by the synopsis above, the storyline of this movie was not spectacular and certainly not what I expected it to be. It's simple, straightforward and conventional. The screenplay was a bit stale in the first half as it never felt exhilarating, the process of rescuing Devasena was also quite mind-numbing.

The most significant and the imposing attribute of the movie were the special effects as they looked mind-boggling. Particularly, they're a few eye-popping scenes in the first fifteen and the last thirty minutes of the movie, that were enthralling and jaw-dropping to watch. 

Subsequently, K. K. Senthil Kumar's amazing cinematography and Sabu Cyril's awe-inspiring production design bolstered as the backbone of the movie. The set designs looked authentic and meticulous as it sustained the precise vibe that is needed for an epic film.

Also, M.M. Keeravani's music elevated the movie to the next level with its ostentatious presentation. Every single note in the BGM resided flawlessly with the situation and it was a perfect match.

Prabhas and Rana were the perfect fits in their respective roles, they appeared intrepid and stout in carrying their characters throughout the movie and it completely looked plausible with these valiant actors in the lead roles. 

Tamannaah felt like she was entirely overdoing her character and that made her performance look artificial. Anushka was only given a single moment to shine in the movie and the build for her character in the second part was perfectly done.

Ramya Krishnan astonished me with her commanding performance in the movie. Her character felt very critical, real and I felt that it certainly is one of the most powerful female characters I've seen in Tollywood cinema for a while. Satyaraj was given a vital role and he always gives out the best in every movie he's in and it was a pleasure watching him perform.

Is SS Rajamouli is arguably the only director in India who is capable of making these type of big budget epic movies? Over the years, he gained a lot of trust and respect throughout India that made him one of the most popular directors in the country. And with a director who is sincere towards his work and with a lot of credibility under his belt, things would never go wrong and they never did (except for the story and screenplay). All the points I mentioned above about the performances, CGI, music, etc. would've never been astounding without Rajamouli and I'm sincerely humbled for the immense hard work that he put into this movie.

Nonetheless, Bahubali is surely a game-changer in Indian cinema and is unlike any other epic film you've seen before. The movie takes us to a whole new different world with its breathtaking visuals and impressive production work. We should be very grateful for Rajamouli for attempting this project that will remain as a special film in the history books.

-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Terminator Genisys - Movie Review

Verdict - "Complex and disappointing."

In a cycle of reboots, sequels and prequels we get every single year, only a few movies rationalize the meaning to revisit the franchise and the others just feel like a cash grab that studios love to produce. 

Will Terminator 5 or Genisys (spelling alert) stick out? Or will it at least reach the standards of the first two movies?

Terminator Genisys kicks off in the year 2029 where the Resistance led by John Connor (Jason Clarke) takes over the machines in an unceasing war against the Skynet. After realising that a T-800 terminator was sent back in time to kill his mother Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), John nominates his trusted combatant Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) to travel back to the year 1984 to save and protect his mother.

"Convoluted" is the perfect word with which I can describe this movie, it takes place in three different timelines with a messy screenplay and it's hard to sit back and comprehend the puzzling premise. Your brain will be confused with many logical questions, searching for few distinct answers. But in the end, nothing doesn't make any real sense.

The most notable and significant parts the first two Terminator movies were the action sequences, as they still stand out till date. But when it comes to this movie, the action scenes were totally forgettable because of the poor modern fast-cut edit style that completely ruins the experience. We never get that awe-inspiring feeling because of the fact that they're not properly choreographed and shot. And I sincerely, don't remember even one action piece from the movie.

Altogether, the performances from the cast were quite decent. Emilia Clarke was a perfect fit and was believable as Sarah Connor. Jason Clarke performance felt like he was overdoing his character a bit and Jai Courtney had nothing special to offer as Kyle Reese, as he always lacks charisma in every single role he's in. The characters were completely bland in the movie and were never memorable.

But then again, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the only alluring and captivating part of the movie. He was entertaining, hysterical and is still capable of pulling out few solid scenes which were fun to look at.

Nevertheless, Genisys is a pile of perplexing storyline, modeiocre action scenes, and insipid characters that make Arnold the only best part of the movie. It's definitely a "switch-your-brain-off" popcorn summer action blockbuster that we usually get and I don't recommend watching it.

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

Terminator Genisys - Posters and Stills: Click here

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