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Ant-Man and the Wasp - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "Dumb Fun!"

Directed by Peyton Reed, Ant-Man and the Wasp is the 20th movie in the illustrious Marvel Cinematic Universe and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Peña in recurring roles and Hannah John-Kamen portrays the villainous character of Ghost alongside with Walton Goggins.

Facing few repercussions due to his involvement in The Civil War, Scott Lang is in house arrest spending quality time with his daughter and his helping his waggish gang in running a security company. On the other side, Hope and Hank Pym were in a hideout trying to find, explore and create the possibilities of going inside the quantum realm in hopes to find Janet (Hank's wife) who is lost and trapped in the abyss. But, they soon find trouble with the arrival of the Ghost, who has her own agenda when it comes to capturing something significant.

Let's start with the positives, as always, much like every other MCU movie, the action sequences were a delight to watch. They're enough exhilarating scenes sprinkled all throughout the film to keep you entertained despite few storyline issues. Furthermore, the visual effects is another noteworthy positive of the film, as it is amazing to experience the marvel of CGI and the up-and-coming de-aging effect on the silver screen.

Advancing to the characters, the relationship between Scott Lang and his daughter Cassie is once again one of the primary highlights of the film and it is heartwarming to watch them together on-screen. But, Evangeline Lilly as the Wasp is the stand-out character as she had much more delve into in this film and she served as the perfect counterpart for the Ant-Man. 

However, here are the negatives. Back in 2015, in my review of Ant-Man, I openly wrote that I'm not a huge fan of the film's storyline cause it's too ordinary or orthodox for me. Now, with this film, the story felt much more uninteresting, unimportant and overall mundane to watch. You might make a point or even argue that MCU needed a much lighter toned film coming off the chaos of Infinity War, but, if you take this as an individual film or maybe watch it after few years, I'm sure that you'll most probably find it lackluster.

Also, due to the insipid plot, the screenplay also suffered substantially as the writers tried to narrate the story in a perplexing fashion which did not do any favors. The villains were once again disappointing as nothing felt like a serious threat to Ant-Man, Wasp or even Luis. Likewise, Michael Peña's comedic act quickly got stale and unhumorous after a certain point as it carried on hit to the same beats again and again.

Overall, Ant-Man and the Wasp felt like the majority of the Marvel films; packed with entertaining action scenes, quick-fire comedy and a minimal intrigue added to the plot. I consider this as dumb fun cause it appealed more to the 8-year old sitting next to me who flabbergasted when the Hello Kitty Pez dispenser came out flying from the back door of a van and I have to say that he started to annoy me after a while with his buddy by screaming and jumping out-of-the-seat several times. Anyhow, back to my verdict, fortunately, there's plenty of fun that you can have with this film but it just felt like an ordinary film which is easily forgettable the next day.

My Rating - 2.75/5 | Grade - C+ (A Decent Flick!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
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Kadaikutty Singam / Chinna Babu - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - “Decently Made Commercial Entertainer!” 

Director Pandiraj’s movies have always been entertaining and commercially successful ones. With Kadaikutty Singam, he has delivered an ideal movie to spend the weekend, a movie which has nothing new to offer yet doesn’t bore us in any way.

The movie revolves around Perunazhi Ranasingam (Satyaraj) and his huge family comprising of his two wives, their children, and grandchildren. The problem arises when Ranasingam’s only son Gunasingam (Karthi) decides to marry Kannukiniyal (Sayyeshaa) when his family members thought he will marry any one of his nieces. The further movies show Gunasingam’s struggle to convince his family members for his marriage. 

Now, we have seen a lot of movies in Tamil which deals with such family issues, what makes this movie unique is Pandiraj's screenplay and his profound execution. I do agree that the film had many cliché scenes but none of them were boring or unwanted, besides, they were refreshing. 

Karthi’s previous film “Theeran: Adhigaram Ondru” was one of the best of 2017, it was intense in terms of script and filmmaking and his acting did justice for it. With Kadaikutty Singam, he turns into a village macho and the role of farmer suits him more than perfect. One thing which I like about Karthi is, he tends to live his character and make sure he does his part with utmost sincerity and completeness. 

I never liked Soori’s comedy lately cause it's boring and unfunny. But he has improvised a lot and teaming up with the supportive cast; he did manage to crack some decent comedy this time.

I have admired Sayyeshaa Saigal since her Tamil debut “Vanamagan”. She was a chubby girl then and her moves for the song “Damn Damn” were stunning to watch. But in Kadaikutty Singam, she seems to have lost lots of weight with clear jawline and I personally didn’t find her attractive, though she did her part as Kannukiniyal, a simplicity loving college girl role satisfactorily. 

This film has a huge list of actors doing supportive roles and everyone essayed the given character to the best of their ability. I especially liked Priya Bhavani Shankar’s (of Kalyanam Mudhal Kadhal Varai soap opera and Meyyadha Mann fame) performance.

D. Imman usually gives quality songs and background score for a movie with village backdrop but his songs were mediocre and didn’t create an impact, at the same time the background score was pretty much satisfying.

On the whole, Kadaikutty Singam is just another regular family drama where the director cleverly crafted the screenplay and added a social message about the importance of agriculture. A worthy film to watch with your family after a busy week. 

My Rating – 3/5 | Grade – B (Worth a Watch)
-An Honest Movie Review by Nirmal Raj aka AK (@Nirmalraj2911)
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Hichki & 102 Not Out - Double Header Review

Wassup Movie Freaks! I hope your really (not) enjoying the Summer weather unless you are in Mumbai and got drenched in rain #MumbaiRains. Anyway, I've done few of these Double Header Reviews in the past but this time I'm sharing my thoughts on two Bollywood movies I haven't had the chance to watch in theaters. However, thanks to Amazon Prime Video, I'm now able to catch up, cause they're few really good ones I missed out on.

Before we start, you guys know our on-going tradition, let's see how well these films performed commercially. Hichki made 76.54 crores worldwide with a production budget of 20 crores. 102 Not Out made 78.59 crores worldwide from its 10 crore production budget.

"Hichki" Overall Thoughts / My Rating - 3/5

Directed by Siddharth P. Malhotra, Hichki starring Rani Mukerji tells us the story of Naina Mathur who has a rare disorder called as Tourette syndrome and is unable to land her aspiring job as a teacher for five years. In the long run, despite many warnings from the school's administration, she accepts the job to teach for a notorious and impish group of kids who are known for doing absurd things.

Now, you may have seen many movies in the past with a similar plot cause the storyline of Hichki is something which is tried and tested in films numerous times before. But, the movie had heart and emotion in the right place. The perfect blend of witty and poignant scenes and a well-paced narrative made Hichki so much special and charming at the same time. Another great asset for the film was Rani's outstanding performance. Her likable and appealing character was well developed and Rani made sure that the audience got behind her character effortlessly.

On the whole, although predictable, Hichki was a delightful watch from start to finish and Rani gives yet another award-worthy performance. See it!

"102 Not Out" Overall Thoughts / My Rating - 3.25/5

102 Not Out starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in the lead roles is a story about a jovial carefree 102-year-old father (Amitabh Bachchan) who decides to break the record as the oldest man alive in history. But, the dreary and the lifeless attitude of his 75-year-old son (Rishi Kapoor) discourages and throws cold water on his hopes. Later, he willingly chooses to send his son to an old-age home so that he can find peace and concentrate more on smashing that world record.

Deposited with a slick 150-minute runtime, this movie is on point with its execution. The comedic sequences were tight, hilarious and entertaining. Concurrently, the emotional scenes were poignant and hit all the right notes perfectly. But, the most significant aspect is the chemistry between Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan, who seemed to had a ton of fun acting together and the humor and the emotion that they brought to this table was heartwarming and enjoyable.

Overall, for a movie which only had four primary characters, 102 Not Out delivered much more than I expected as I found myself laughing out loud and crying emotively within those 150 minutes. This is a prime example of heartening family drama and I urge you to watch it on Amazon Prime Video in case if you still haven't had the opportunity to do so.

-A Double Header Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
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Sicario: Day of the Soldado - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "Gruesome! Engaging! Soldado Delivers!"

Directed by the Italian filmmaker Stefano Sollima, Day of the Soldado is the sequel to the 2015 film Sicario which went on to become a fabulous hit on home video and streaming platforms and is directed by one of the best directors working today, Denis Villeneuve. Starring  Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin in recurring roles, I was very much excited to watch this film cause Sicario is one of my favorites from 2015. I still remember that day leaving the theater feeling quite uncomfortable because the film felt so real and gritty with its vibe and is one of the best and memorable movie theater experiences I ever had.

After a few devastating and destructive human bombing incidents, the United States government comprehends that these events are heavily orchestrated by the Mexican Drug Cartels and their interference in transporting illegal immigrants across the border. So, the Secretary of Defense James Riley (Matthew Modine) appoints Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) for a secret contentious mission that sets our movie underway.

Written by Taylor Sheridan, who also penned the script for Sicario ensured that the storyline is engaging enough to sit through for two hours. Much like Emily Blunt's relatable character in the first film, in Soldado, Sheridan focused on how Cartel war and gangs disturb and affects the lives of teenage kids and told the story in two subplots involving a boy and a girl. These underplots had a through line and added a much-needed emotional impact which is one of the main positives applauded by the critics and the audience in the prequel.

Furthermore, I'm happy to see director Stefano Sollima maintaining or even elevating the franchise's gruesome tone and the ghastly vibe as they're quite a few terrorizing scenes which are agonizing and not at all entertaining to watch. But, the magic that Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins created in the first film is certainly missing, the scenes from the border or in the tunnel from the climax were one of the most intense and skillfully shot and directed sequences in recent history and sadly Sollima dropped the ball when it comes to delivering those high-intense prospects.

As far as the characters, Benicio del Toro is once again on top of his game, the way that he carried his demeanor is profound as he shaped his character as likable even though he continues to do awful stuff. Josh Brolin's character had so much more to explore in this film with a significantly more range and parts to deal with.

Overall, Sicario: Day of the Soldado is an engaging and a spine-tingling thriller in all respects and the best part is I can still remember or can recall everything in the film, therefore, it is also memorable. It had a few pacing issues and lacked the intensity as nothing can top the masterpiece which is the first film. Nevertheless, Soldado is still a solid movie to watch with low expectations.

My Rating - 3.25/5 | Grade - B (Entertaining! With Few Noticeable Flaws)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
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Sanju - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "A Curated Look at the Controversial Life of Sanju!"

Directed by the acclaimed and celebrated director Rajkumar Hirani, Sanju starring Ranbir Kapoor in the lead role is a 'biopic' of the controversial yet admired film star Sanjay Dutt. The film explores the early days of his film career, his drug-addiction phase and his involvement in the 1993 Bombay bombings.

The film opens up with the Supreme Court of India announcing that Sanju (Ranbir Kapoor) should, in fact, serve his notice in jail and offers him 30 days to surrender so that he can complete his unfinished projects. Sanju then meets the admired biographer Winnie Diaz (Anushka Sharma) to pen his notorious life story and despite few issues, they decide to work together as Sanju starts his story remembering his time on the sets of his first film Rocky (1981).

Alright, let me start by saying this, this is not your traditional biopic where it encompasses the complete story of Sanjay Dutt, they're many uncharted territories that you expect answers from, but Rajkumar Hirani focuses more on the moments which made or destroyed Dutt's career. The timeline is almost non-existent in the film, we jump from incidents out of the 80's to the 90's and to the 2000's and I felt like large chunks of details were left unexplained.  I understand that the makers cannot cram everything into the two-hour-forty-minute runtime but I found myself out-of-the-loop trying to piece together the plot regularly. Moreover, few scenes in between these timelines were almost hard to believe. Maybe the man truly had such an outlandish lifestyle or maybe it's fictionalized, we never know.

The first half focuses on the early stages of Dutt's career from the 80's and more on his reckless and slapdash attitude and how he's not able to focus on his career, family, and life. But, I might be in the minority for saying that I didn't like the approach that the writers took to infuse comedy into serious moments. Like, he obviously did some awful stuff, but the way it was told or portrayed was a bit nonsensical.

But, one of the main aspects that shines the most throughout the movie was the relationship that Dutt had with his father Sunil Dutt and his dear friend Kamlesh. They're extremely emotional, genuine and made the film feel very special. The concern that these guys showed towards Dutt at the darkest times of his life was well showcased and made the lead character look endearing.

Advancing to the performances, Ranbir Kapoor is in top-form here and he transformed himself into Sanjay Dutt when it comes to the physical transformation, facial expressions, voice, mannerisms and I didn't feel even for a second that I was watching Ranbir Kapoor on-screen. But, Vicky Kaushal as Dutt's friend Kamlesh is the show-stealer here and made his character delightful to watch. The Gujarati accent, innocence, and the earnest gratitude that he had for his best friend was heartwarming and Kaushal made sure to knock it out-of-the-park in every single scene. Other notable performances include Paresh Rawal as the loving father and Anushka Sharma as the no-nonsense biographer, both their characters had equal importance in the movie with much significance.

Overall, Sanju felt less like a biographical drama and more of a story that Dutt wanted to tell the audience through his point of view. Disgraced by negligent journalism, Dutt answers most of the significant questions about his drug use, involvement with the terrorists and his asinine behavior but I felt like many phases of his life are still left unexplored. But then again, the performances were top-notch and the relationships between the focal characters were remarkably displayed which makes Sanju an engaging film from beginning to end.

My Rating - 3/5 | Grade - B (Worth a Watch!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
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