Pelé: Birth of a Legend Review – Pelé: Birth of a Legend is an American biopic released in 2016. The movie is based on the life of the legendary Brazilian footballer Pelé. It deals with the time frame where he rose from an ordinary boy to a national treasure.
I was a bit skeptical before watching this movie due to the average reviews it has been receiving. But realized, I was wrong should never go with the critics. The movie is high on emotions and goosebumpy moments which keeps you engaged in the movie. The best part of the movie is that it doesn’t cover much of what the world knows about Pelé but goes into the part where you see an innocent boy, a janitor’s son go on a journey to become a legend. In many scenes, they don’t show the goal but people’s expressions and emotions.
The emotions are not cloying ones but kept well placed in the script to lift up the human spirits. The movie focuses more on the conflict of Brazilian game style being forcefully removed and how Pelé struggles to get it back.
High Points: The sequence where the kids get the cloth ball rolling without a bounce, The same repeated when the entire team is demotivated where they take it to the light house. The background score of A R Rahman adds a special dimension to the whole film. There are lot more goosebumpy moments you would love. The history of Ginga.
Low Points: If you don’t like an emotional script then you might be disappointed with this, which might be the reason for the average reviews.
Overall Pelé: Birth of a Legend is a true tribute to the legend himself. A country that is obsessed with football as a religion, one man had believed in their core values to lift their spirits high and win for them. If you love football you should definitely watch this one, even if not there is plenty for you to cherish.
Nightcrawler Review – Nightcrawler is an American neo-noir thriller film released in 2014. A small time thief in Los Angeles finds a business opportunity in filming incidents to be sold to news channel.
The movie stays true to its neo-noir genre. It is dark and brings the dark side of human life which can go to any extent for caring for oneself. Most of the movie sequences too happen in the night and it throws a light on the unethical and unprofessional elements in the news industry where bad news sells. It always operates in a fine margin of selling bad news and almost creating it. Jake Gyllenhaal has given a very compelling performance in the lead role. His character arc through the movie is handled very well. From the point where he is negotiating the price of a stolen watch to the point where in he owns a top notch news business his transition is very well handled in the script.
Director Dan Gilory has made the script stay close to the main theme of the movie and has not tried to do anything dramatic. The scenes build up from one part to the other flows naturally. I would recommend this movie a notch higher than Gone Girl.
High Points: Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance, the scene in which he trades a bicycle for the video camera and police scanner, the way he goes about negotiating his terms with people is just brilliant, the climax chase sequence is shot very well.
Low Points: Not really a low point but you may not like this if you don’t like neo-noir movies.
Overall if you are fan of neo-noir films you should not miss this one. Even if you are not a fan of neo-noir films this one has much more to offer to keep you engaged.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Review – How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an American animation movie released in 2014. This is a sequel to the How to Train Your Dragon movie. After changing the culture of Berk to co-exist peacefully with the dragons Hiccup and Toothless are out on another adventure where they have to face a deadly villain called Drago.
The movie has capitalized on the success of the first part and has the necessary plot points to entice you one more time. The movie majorly succeeds in maintaining the interest of the audience throughout but for few dragging sequences. If you were to compare this one with the first part then you might like the first installment better. But as it goes with any sequels it is not as fresh as the first one. Also many sequences would remind you of the first part. Leaving this aside if you watch this movie you would certainly enjoy many parts of this one. The way they have ended this movie promises for yet another sequel.
The quality of animation is very good. There are also new types of dragons introduced in this one which makes it even more interesting. Toothless steals the show completely. The way the character of Toothless is shaping up would create a very memorable dragon character for the viewers.
High Points: Chemistry between Toothless and Hiccup, The flying sequence between Toothless and Hiccup, The new game invented by the citizens of Berk, Some new kind of dragons
Low Points: Not great when compared to the first part, Few of the sequences seem bit repetitive and dragging.
Overall this one may not be as great as its predecessor but nevertheless a great watch. If you have kids do watch this one with them.
Watchable – for the Night Fury Toothless!
Related: How to Train Your Dragon
Penguins of Madagascar Review – Penguins of Madagascar is an English animation movie released in 2014. The penguins from the Madagascar franchise embark on a new adventure in which they face a fearsome villain from whom they would have to save the entire race of Penguins and the love of people for Penguins.
This one is banking on the popularity Penguins have got with the Madagascar franchise. The movie has a plot that is focused on making the audience laugh and letting the Penguins do what they are best at. Although in parts the movie would resemble to the minions episode in Despicable Me 2. Still the movie would engage you throughout and make you laugh at many places. The quality of the animation is very good.
There are more characters in this other than the Penguins. The new characters have similar taste in adventure as the Penguins do. However they fail to fit in well as Alex and party in the Madagascar series.
High points: The scene in which the penguins fall off a plane is hilarious, their entire adventure in the streets of Shangai is good, The core focus being on the Penguins is a big plus for the movie considering how the last two movies from the Franchise have fared.
Low points: Similarity of the plot and sequences with Despicable Me 2, The new spy characters did not fit in too well for the Madagascar franchise
Overall despite the short comings this one is a better movie compared to the last two Madagascar movies. If you are a fan of Madagascar Penguins don’t miss this one. Kids would enjoy this movie very much, so if you have kids do take them to watch the adventure of the Penguins.
Interstellar Review – Interstellar is an American science fiction film released in 2014. In the future Earth’s resources are depleted and run short of food. In order to offset the human race switch to an agrarian society and concentrate on farming. But the environment is becoming non-conducive for living. Former NASA pilot Cooper is into farming. He and his daughter chance upon a NASA project which is targeted to save the human race by finding an alternate suitable planet. Cooper gets on board the exploration much against the wish of his daughter. Will they succeed in the mission is the plot of Interstellar.
Director Christopher Nolan is a genius film maker who can think multi-dimensional and create complicated plots. He has done the same with Interstellar. The subject is complicated for a lay man who does not have the basics of space travel and theory of relativity. Although there are scenes which explain some of the concepts as it travels but still it demands some intelligent viewing. If you go into the hall expecting a Dark Knight or Inception then you would find this bit overwhelming. But if you go into the hall expecting a Memento or Prestige then you would enjoy this. The visuals are quite stunning. The movie is deeply emotional as it progresses. The background score by Hans Zimmer fits well. Certain high points that would enthrall you in the movie are
- The scene in which they first launch into the space there is a loud noise inside the space craft and as the camera pans out there is absolute silence and this alternates.
- The spectacular view of the wormhole
- The scene in which they land on the Miller’s planet and what happens later
- The entire climax sequence
Matthew McConaughey has delivered a good performance and is ably supported by all other cast as well. As you would see in all other Nolan movies, the dialogues are very powerful.
Overall if you are a fan of complicated science fiction movies then you would fall in love with Interstellar and it would be an experience to watch it.
You might also like: Gravity Review | Interstellar Guest Review
Big Hero 6 Review – Big Hero 6 is an American animated superhero movie released in 2014. This movie is based on the Marvel Comics of the same name. A 14 year old genius and robotic expert Hiro Hamada has to form a super hero team to fight a villain who is suspected to have played a role in his brother’s death.
If you have read the comics you might already know what you would need to expect from the movie. However if you haven’t then one of the things you might need to know is this is not yet another animation movie that targets kids with a good moral message like Wall E, UP, Frozen, Brave and so on. There is no such thing this Big Hero 6 conveys. The movie is more of a super hero movie than that of a kid’s animation movie. During the break one of the kid exclaimed to her mom that she couldn’t understand the movie. If we are looking this more from a superhero movie angle then it has all the ingredients that would entice you. The animation is of great quality and the characters are all sketched very well. The health care robot Baymax is very cute and the scenes involving the interactions between Hiro and Baymax are funny and would make you laugh. The initial portions of the movie are more enjoyable than the climax itself. The climax is large and involves destruction on a large scale and reminded me of the Avengers and Man of Steel climax. This large scale destruction has now become a trademark for superhero movies. The movie revolves more around Hiro and Baymax. There is little space for the other four characters which I believe would be more prominent in the upcoming editions. The movie does have a post credit sequence which promises a premise for the next edition. So don’t leave the theater before the end of credits.
Overall Big Hero 6 has all the elements to entertain you and keep you engaged for 100 minutes. If you are a fan of Superhero and animation movies then don’t miss this one.
Gone Girl Review – is an American thriller social drama released in 2014. Nick returns home on his fifth wedding anniversary to find his wife missing from home with broken furniture and covered up blood stains in the house. As the police starts investigation the mystery deepens and the plot thickens as the suspicion turns towards Nick.
Gone Girl is not just a mystery thriller but more of a social drama which hits hard on the various aspects of the society such as media frenzy public, effect of recession on marriage, dishonesty in strained relationships, upbringing of a child and so on. This one is based on the book with the same name written by Gillian Flynn.
One of the thing that would starkly hit you when watching Gone Girl is that it is very slow paced and the lighting is gloomy throughout reflecting the mood and the theme of the movie. The movie doesn’t have many elements that you would expect in a suspense thriller and I believe Director David Fincher has done it deliberately to focus on the social issues. A lawyer specializing in protecting husbands framed for wife’s murder, reality shows and interviews with emotional confessions are brilliantly woven into the movie. The dialogues like “Your parents have plagiarized your childhood”, “There is a always an idiot in a locality” are hard hitting on the issues the movie is dealing with. Ben Affleck is in his usual self and the role kind of suits his style of acting as it did in Argo. Rosamund Pike has a meaty role to play in the movie and this would be one of her top Hollywood movies so far.
Overall if you enjoy watching movies that are slow and with multiple twists you would enjoy Gone Girl. Many of you would find the length to be longer and a bit dragging. If you are able to appreciate the movie much beyond the pure mystery thriller it deserves a watch.
Go for this Gone Girl she ought to be found!
Finding Fanny – is a bilingual (Hindi and English) movie released in 2014. In a small Goan village Pocolim, the old post master Ferdie receives an undelivered letter which he had written 46 years ago to Fanny proposing to her. Ferdie embarks on a roadtrip along with a young widow, her obnoxious mother in law, an old painter who is looking for inspiration for his last painting and an egoistic mechanic go to find Fanny and convey his love for her.
After the commercial outing with Cocktail, director Homi Adajania is back to his home turf creating a off-beat cinema with an ensemble of popular star cast. The movie does not have any strings attached. You should watch it for what it is. None of the situations are dramatized nor dragged to evoke emotions. There is subtle and intelligent humor one would enjoy (if you like such humor). Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapoor dominate the screen. Deepika looks so lovely, simple and beautiful like the script itself. Dimple Kapadia has done a very interesting character like the one she did in Being Cyrus. The characters based on Goan Catholics gives a very fresh look to the movie.
The movie is a road movie with some dysfunctional people who through their journey rediscover love. Although there is a slight slowness in the script post the interval it makes up for it in the end. You would walk out of the movie hall with a smile on your face. This movie may not appeal to everyone. If you love movies like Little Miss Sunshine then you would like this movie as well.
Scarface – is an American crime drama released in 1983. Tony Montana, a criminal in Cuba arrives to the United States along with the Cuban refugees. He becomes part of a criminal gang and rises to power due to his arrogant, aggressive and brutal attitude.
Although the movie has been shot in 1983 it is still one of the best gangster movies. Right from the start till the finish you see street fights, gang wars and shootouts. Al Pacino has set a great role model for any gangster role in movies that would be made. Many of Indian gangster movies have been influenced by this one. The recent one is Billa 2 starring Ajith. As the movie progresses you could see a remarkable transition in Al Pacino’s character, mannerisms and style. All these have become iconic now. If you love gangster movies this one is a must watch. Strictly not for kids for the violence it has.
Jakob The Liar – is an American war comedy film released in 1999. During the Holocaust in a ghetto in German occupied Poland a rumor spreads that shopkeeper Jakob has a radio. Playing along with the rumor Jakob starts telling lies to people in the ghetto to keep up their hopes. This is not the only lie he is telling but he is also hiding a young Jewish girl who had escaped from an extermination camp deportation train. Jakob soon becomes the symbol of hope for the community and he goes a long way to give everything for his people.
The movie is made from a Novel by Jurek Becker. It is a remake of the East German DEFA film Jakob der Lügner from 1975. But I felt it was tailor made for Robin Williams.The movie has a tone of the movie Life is beautiful. However here the protagonist is spreading belief and hope for an entire community and gives everything in the end for his people. A very nice tale told in the background of one of the cruel times. Robin Williams brings Jakob’s character from book to life. This is a must watch for all Robin Williams fans.
The tag line – When all hope was lost, he invented it. – how fitting it is for Robin Williams… we will miss him.
Must Watch – for all Robin Williams fans
Rope – is an English suspense thriller released in 1948. Two friends commit a murder of another friend just for the pleasure of committing a murder and on the same eve with his body still in their apartment they host a party to the dead man’s family and few of their common friends. The movie is directed by Hitchcock based on a play by Patrick Hamilton
The movie has the usual element of suspense that you would see in a Hitchcock movie. But the specialty of this movie is such that the entire movie seems to be taken of a single continuous shot. There is a peculiar party thrown in celebration of a murder committed by two men. What happens through the party is the rest of the movie. The movie has some wonderful performances, great dialogues and good use of props. The set is extremely detailed. Overall a thrilling screenplay makes this movie a compelling watch.
3 Days to Kill – is a French American action thriller released in 2014.The movie is about an experienced CIA agent who discovers he is going to live only for few months and wants to patch up with his wife and daughter but gets involved in a high pressure CIA assignment.
The movie has a tone of Taken. However the plot and the subject it deals with are different of a CIA agent balancing between work and life. Kevin Costner has played the role of experienced CIA agent and his performance of balancing act between a talented CIA agent and wanna be family man attending to his teenage daughter and wife. The movie sticks to this theme, the conflicts around it and moves along. The movie is not an out and out gripping thriller like Taken. If you are expecting Taken you would be disappointed but if you are able to appreciate the subject this one deals with you would enjoy the movie. Give it a shot.