Category Archives: SciFi

2.0 Review

2.0 Review – 2.0 is a Tamil Sci Fi action film released in 2018. Dr. Vaseegaran brings Chitti back to take on an evil force that goes around killing people.

For quite sometime Indian movies have been aspiring for recognition of making movies of big scale and making it work. Movies like Chandralekha gave this confidence in the yesteryear. Now movies like Baahubali and 2.0 push the needle in the positive direction in creating a large-scale movie on high budgets and still making it commercially workable. Shankar’s extravagant dream and realizing them as grand visuals makes 2.0 a visual treat. Rajnikanth has shouldered the movie to make it entertaining throughout. As the commercial values rested on Rajnikanth, this has definitely overshadowed the power and purpose of Akshay Kumar’s character which is pivotal to the plot.  That is where the movie falters, the character arc which is always a strong point of Shankar’s movie goes weak. Like many of Shankar’s movies, there is a very essential social message in this one too. However, due to the weak characterization, the message doesn’t hit you hard in your face as it did in Anniyan like it did in Indian.

In essence 2.0 is all about visual extravaganza and superstar show. You are sure to get entertained for the 160 minutes. Shankar has repeated the subtle introduction of the Superstar without any frills like in the first installment. The absence of force fitting of songs is a welcome change, Amy Jackson portions are there merely to add humor to the proceedings. The body language transformation from Vaseegaran to 2.0 is still a treat to watch and forms some of the high points in the movie. As a superstar fan, you would want to whistle as the transformation happens. There are some surprise shades of characters he has played as well, which you would watch in the movie. The scenes comprising of Vaseegaran, Chitti, and Akshay Kumar at the crossroads in the second half is constructed very well and makes you long for more. The movie has a fitting grand climax sequence that has been action choreographed very well. From visual spectacle, we have already seen Chitti and 2.0. The stunt sequences of Bird and the formation of particle animation to create the bird is quite stunning to watch. The bird not being revealed completely, but in parts across various scenes would remind you Spielberg movies like JAWS and Jurassic Park.

High Points: Shankar’s visualization, Rajnikanth’s screen presence, Visual effects, 3D movie, Action Sequences, Animation of the Bird, Social message.

Low Points: Weak Characterization,  Flaws in the screenplay. Sujatha’s magic is missing in the screenplay.

Overall 2.0 definitely pushes the envelope of creating a movie with visual grandeur and adoption of latest technology in Indian movies. This can change the commercial landscape of Indian Cinema in a positive way. Shankar’s dream stands tall at the end of it.

If good writing combines with such technology then it would be a treat to watch. Go watch the visual spectacle in 3D, you would be entertained if you are willing to forgive the flaws in the script.

Don’t miss the post-credits scene like Marvel Style 🙂

Worth a Watch

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Review – Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom is an English science fiction movie released in 2018. Three years after abandoning the island, Claire and Owen form a team to go back to the island to rescue selected species of the dinosaurs from the erupting volcano.

The movie is a sequel to the Jurassic World movie which is a reboot of sorts to the original Jurassic Park series. However in the latest series the backed scientific facts and the possible miracles in the genetic engineering space takes a back seat and more money is invested in attempting to make the audience jump out of the seats or spill popcorns. Although the attempt has not succeeded as much as the production house would have wanted, still they help in letting the script advance with lot of flaws swept under the carpet.

If you love Jurassic Park movies directed by Steven Spielberg, then you would have many moments to enjoy here as many scenes are replicated in here to create a nostalgic effect of the original. After watching the trailer I was just hoping that this does not create the same awkward moments of letting a dinosaur in downtown as in the Lost World. Fortunately not yet, at least not in this movie. (Sigh of relief)

The visual effects are quite stunning and the moment of thrills that work are pretty well done. As long as you don’t think about logic and science behind the scenes you would enjoy this movie.

High Points: Thrilling sequences, The emotional bond between Owen and Blue (raptor), nostalgic recreation of the scenes from the old movie.

Low Points: Lack of scientific facts and logic, over the top action sequences, very predictable screenplay.

Claire tells to Owen at one point, “Do you remember the first time you saw a dinosaur? You don’t really believe it. It’s like a miracle.” This holds good for the movie to. When we first watched Jurassic Park and got to see the dinosaurs on screen, it was like a miracle. Now we have got used to them like the King Kong, Superheroes and so on. Stretching this beyond this runs a risk of becoming cloying for the viewers.

Overall if you are a fan of the Jurassic World then go and watch this one on the big screen without worrying about logic. This is more of a commercial entertainer than science fiction.

Worth a Watch

 

24 Review

24 Review – 24 is a Tamil science fiction thriller released in 2016. A scientist named Sethuraman invents a time travel watch.  His twin brother Athreya after the watch and kills him. But before he dies Sethuraman sends  his infant son and the watch in a train.  Was Athreya able to get his watch back? what happened to Sethuraman’s son?… is the rest of the story.

The plot had a very interesting premise that has not been handled in Tamil cinema so much. The biggest positive of the movie is the plot and the belief of the makers in making this into a full-length movie. The production quality is very good. The visuals and frame construction are well done. The character of Athreya has come out well and Suriya has done it well. There are brilliant moments in the movie. The initial chase sequence, the interval block and the sequence in which Mani (Sethuraman’s son) learns the capabilities of the watch.

The biggest weak point in the movie is the screenplay. It is a big let down. But for 45 minutes the movie seizes to be a Sci-Fi thriller and sets its course to become a romantic comedy movie. I felt I was watching a totally different movie. The entire angle of Samantha and her family seem to be force fitted into the screenplay to let the movie go forward. An ensemble of actors in Samantha’s family was largely underutilized including Girish Karnad. The second weak point is the dialogue. Seems like the makers were too carried away to make Athreya’s dialogues perfect that they did not have time to polish other’s dialogues. There are a lot of sequences where the same dialogue is repeated too often and causes displeasure. In particular, the romance portion between Samantha and Suriya the dialogues are way too off.

High Points: The plot involving time travel, Production quality, costumes and Art design. The initial chase sequence. Suriya’s performance. The sequence where Suriya learns about the capabilities of the watch. A R Rahman’s score makes it very pleasant.

Low Points: Screenplay is a big let down. Repeated dialogues make it uninteresting. Weak characterization as only time has been spent on building Athreya’s character. Overload of characters without much screentime. Very less time spent on Sci-Fi genre.

Overall 24 ends up to be a wanna be Sci-Fi thriller that only entices in parts. If I had the watch I would go back in time and not book the tickets for the movie rather wait for it to be screened on TV.

Wait for DVD/TV

The Martian Review

The Martian Review – The Martian is an American science fiction film released in 2015. During a manned mission to Mars, the base is hit by a Martian storm. They are forced to abandon the machine and lose one of the crew member Mark Watney in the storm and presumed to be dead. But Mark survives and has to find a way to survive till he gets a help in 4 years. Does he survive is the plot of The Martian.

Director Ridley Scott has struck the right chord yet again to give a movie that is thoroughly entertaining and also appeals to your intelligence. I was not very much impressed with Exodus Gods and Kings, but The Martian makes it up for all. The movie would remind you of many lost alone movies like Cast Away and also the space movies like Gravity and Interstellar. The story is a compelling tale of human perseverance against all the odds.

There is a lot of scientific accuracy behind many of the incidents that take place and a few in which they have taken some creative liberty to bring in dramatic elements. The movie is based on Andy Weir’s novel in the same name. Ridley Scott has chosen to focus on the determination and survival of a person more and let the scientific theories run in the background.  This is one of the greatest strengths of the movie which makes it a widely appealing flick. Matt Damon has performed very well and this would be one of his most remembered movies.

High Points: The movie is based on a best-selling Novel, The  screenplay captures the essence of human perseverance, The visuals of the Martian planet, Matt Damon’s performance, Scientific theories and their accuracy.

Low Points: Not many low points, the climax I felt was a bit over dramatic.

Overall The Martian is a space movie that you would enjoy as you have enjoyed Gravity and Interstellar. The movie keeps you engaged for two and a half hour and is a trip worth taking when it is in theaters.

Must Watch

Netru Indru Naalai Review

Netru Indru Naalai Review – Netru Indru Naalai is a Tamil science fiction comedy film released in 2015. Elango and his friend Pulivetti Arumugam chance upon a time traveling device sent from the future and uses it make a successful business. But things go hay wire when they alter some undesired things in the past.

A science fiction movie in Tamil is always not a viable commercial option. It takes a lot more to make it appealing to the general mass. While many of the makers are hesitant to take up one debutante director Ravikumar. R should be lauded for his efforts in making a science fiction movie in Tamil and yet making it with wide appeal. If you have seen movies like Back to the future then this concept may not be new to you, however the brilliance of the script is in adapting the time machine to Indian context.

Vishnu and Karunakaran combo strike very well. The sequences involving them are hilarious.  The makers have created some similarities to the english movies which I think is intentional. Like the design of the time machine resembles the device from the movie The Time Machine released in 1960 and the scientist Parthasarathy resembles Doc Brown from Back to the Future movie series.

The way the time traveling concept is explained to people should be appreciated as it is simple and neat. When the scientist take out all the time traveling books like theory of relativity, a brief history of time to help the lead characters understand it, they ask him to explain it in simple terms. Thats how the screenplay handles it.

High Points: The screenplay is easy on people without much complications, The comedy has worked very well, A time travel movie in Tamil is a welcome change.

Low Points: Dragging screenplay in parts, in particular when the romance angle of the lead characters are portrayed. This slows down the pace.

Overall there is lot to enjoy in this movie. Although it is not talking about any new scientific theory, the screenplay makes it an enjoyable ride between the present, past and the future.

Worth a Watch 

Jurassic World Review

Jurassic World Review – Jurassic World is an American science fiction adventure movie released in 2015. The movie is a sequel to the franchise of Jurassic Park. After 22 years of the incidents in the island of Jurassic Park there is a new theme park created with genetically altered dinosaurs. Things go awry when the newly created predator Indominous Rex breaks free into the wild.

The movie of dinosaurs releasing after 22 years made it very special for this movie. Many of us who have seen the first installment had nostalgic moment of going to this movie. When Jurassic Park was released it was almost considered, as a sin for not have watched the movie. Although Jurassic World did not create the peer pressure but still drew people by recreating the nostalgic memories of seeing dinosaurs on big screen.

Jurassic World has the chills and thrills that you expect from the movie. Although it can never match up with the first one due to the fact that we have already seen dinosaurs on screen, still it is successful in recreating the magic world much bigger and fancier this time. The movie’s money shot is the sequence in which the biker drives alongside running Velociraptors.

Jurassic World Bike sequence with Velociraptors
Jurassic World Bike sequence with Velociraptors

It is said that Steven Spielberg wanted to create this scene in the new installment of the movie, which was originally in the Lost World book but he could not add it to the movie. The end output had worked very well.

Director Colin Trevorrow should applauded for recreating the magic of Jurassic Park all of us have enjoyed in the past. The imagination of a theme park has gone wild and the sequences are visually very appealing. It is also great to see Irrfan Khan having a substantial role in this compared to his role in The Amazing Spiderman.

It is really unfair to compare this with the first one then you may not enjoy it very much. Go with an open mind and get enticed with the visuals you see on screen. If you have kids take them along with you they would enjoy this a lot.

Must Watch

Appuchi Gramam Review

Appuchi Gramam Review – Appuchi Gramam is a Tamil science fiction comedy film released in 2014. Oblivious to the fact of a large meteorite that could potentially destroy a village, people in Appuchi Graamam go about their routine life where village heads fight against each other, young men stalk girls, drunkards flocking the wine shop and misers saving more money and wealth. What happens when they become aware of the fact that their life might end in a day is the plot of Appuchi Gramam.

Director Vi Anand has taken a genre that is not prevalent in Indian cinema for his debut film. This fact needs to be appreciated. All of us would have heard about incidents where people believed that the world is going to end and react to it. Appuchi Gramam is a snapshot of it. The movie is a symbolism of the self-centered and materialistic nature of humanity where there is no care for people. The way in which the movie traverses with its plot is definitely engaging for most parts. The high points of the movie are the following scenes

1. When Subramani is bought back to the village from Police station.
2. When the first meteor strikes the villagers think it is the goddess and start worshipping it.
3. The spat between the two step brothers in the village
4. Meteors striking the village

The major drawback of the movie is the cast. As most of them are new comers their acting is not as convincing in many places. Thanks to some of the veteran actors to make up for the short comings. Some more work on acting and the dialogue department could have worked well. Comedy works for most parts but in few places it drags a bit.

The production quality of the movie is decent enough for a low budget venture. The music and the background score are pleasant. The movie has just enough ingredients to keep you engaged. Also the short length of the movie is another plus point as there is not much in the story.

Overall Appuch Gramam would deserve a watch from you and you would enjoy it sitting on your couch.

Wait for DVD/TV