Category: movie reviews


One of the most anticipated movies of all time, avengers is a movie event that comic book fans will love.
At the end of the first iron man movie, hints were dropped that marvel were putting in place plans to bring the avengers on screen. Later, individual superhero movies were made to set up characters like the hulk, Thor and Captain America. With the additional members, Hawkeye and black widows playing minor cameos in other hero’s movies.  So a lot of credit has to be given to marvel for pulling this off, they’ve been building this thing for ages, and now they can finally reap their rewards.

The story revolves around “Loki” (brother of Thor), as he decides to invade earth with an alien army. His first act was to attack “shield”, a military organization led by general nick fury (Samuel .L. Jackson), a wounded shield then has no choice but to invoke the “avengers initiative” to bring about the special heroes to join together as a team.
Since the characters have already been set up in their previous movies, no introductions are in order, and we are sent directly to the warzone. We get to see the heroes meeting each other for the first time , and  as in every time heroes meet in comics , they fight (though quite unnecessarily) .
Though predictable, these are all moments that fans of these characters have been dreaming about. The only character development, is that of the team as a whole, and you do see some of it by the end of the movie.

And no person other than Joss whedon is perfect for bringing scenes like this to life.  He has done an excellent job writing these characters as they should be, though I did feel captain America was a bit off. The tension between the heroes is apparent, and whedon has just the right lines to make it not seem boring. He has even instilled some great humor that came along with all his former TV shows (angel, Buffy, firefly). Since 6 characters are fighting for screen time, I felt whdeon did them all justice, even the lesser used “Hawkeye” is given his fair share of moments in the second half to balance his absence in the first half. And the movie does feature the best iteration of the hulk (personally my favorite character in this movie) that has ever been created on screen and he steals the show.


The visuals are spectacular, and the best among all comic book movies made till date.  The fighting, character movements, explosions have been well choreographed and are quite comprehensible. (Michael bay should learn a thing or two)

But it’s not all good news, the story though good, was completely predictable. (Comic book readers should’ve seen this coming ages ago from the trailers).
I felt the 3D was a  distraction , quite annoying  too , I was more concerned  on whether I was watching it right than  watching the movie.
I felt Thor was underutilized , for a Norse Demigod (he is supposed to be in the same league as superman), he spend way too much time fighting alien foot soldiers among humans , while iron man went around battling the bigger aliens.
Also, this is made as a sequel to the preceding individual superhero movies, so for the normal audience that are newly introduced to these superheroes, they will find it a bit hard to grasp their individual characterizations.

I give the avengers   3.5/5 (or B+) for being an awesome visual and fun experience.  Summer blockbuster
material, released early cause let’s face it, this year’s summer belong to just ONE superhero 😉  .

I was able to see a joss whedon (creator of Buffy, angel, firefly, avengers) movie called “cabin in the woods”, and it is the most original take on the horror genre I have seen in ages. It is clearly a movie made just to insult the typical modern age horror movies where monsters have been replaced by in whedeon’s words “torture porn”.

The story starts of as a much expected typical “group of friend’s visits cabin in the woods” scenario, but what you don’t expect is that the entire thing is set up by a government organization that governs this “ritual” event annually.
the entire movie feels like a joke , so on the acting front don’t expect much , but some of the mysteries of horror movies like “why are the teenagers in horror movies this stupid ?” are answered here. There is star cameos from all of whedons past shows. And that awesome “whedoni-ian” humor has come with them.
There are monsters from all fronts of the imagination joining along too, and their brief moments onscreen makes you realize how awesome it would be if all of them had their own individual movies.
Zombies are ridiculed to an extent, and the ones that do appear are given personalities.

Rather than scares, you will be laughing most of the time, and that’s a good thing. this should be enough to shake up the movie producers n studios before they decide to green light another saw/resident evil/hill have eyes movie . There are a lot of metaphors here that you will recognize as ridicules of the entire modern age horror genre, and in one way this feels like a tribute to his fans.

I love all of joss whedons work, though he may not be the classiest, he does know how to make any scenario much more enjoyable. And his writing is excellent too; I have yet to find a character of his that has sounded stupid (without a reason).

I give this movie a 4/5 for being such a nice surprise and for the final scene. Or A+

Naalu Pennungal (Four Women) by master filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan is a story retold with restraint about the struggles of women within Kerala homes between the 1940s and ’60s. The movie is comprised of four vignettes: of women in different social roles – the prostitute, the virgin, the housewife, and the spinster. A fragmented narrative that allows Adoor a kind of liberating space in terms of story-telling. The movie has no linear plot, and staves off closure in different ways, giving the director freedom to explore women’s differing positions under different times and in different social strata in Kerala society. Quartet of tales, profiling a domestic/sexual dilemma suffered by women in subservient positions, tend toward repetition while stoking similar thematic points, and extending any one of these to feature length, particularly the finale starring Nandita Das, would have been a smarter option.

The first part of the film is sub-titled ‘Oru Niyamalankhanathinte Kadha’ which means ‘Story of a prostitue’. The woman in this part is Kunjipeenu (Padmapriya) who plays the role of a sex worker who later chooses to live by working as a road worker. The storyline later moves on to what happens when Kunjipennu at last finds someone who loves her dearly and who wants to lead a life with her, as her husband.It portrays how the society treats such women even if they have decided to live in good lines in one part of their life. The story predictably has an ironical ending where the couple is separated and punished for aspiring to build their future together without any official sanction. But, the sweet gist of the story lies in the portion that shows the intimate relationship between the couple, where they discuss their wage or their dream of having a roof on their heads.

The heroine in “The Virgin” is a business-savvy young woman whose parents arrange a match with a man whose reputation in business is her equal. The viewer wouldn’t expect how the husband’s business skills affect their marriage (although the title provides a hint). The changing phase of the society is depicted when the friends of the bride-to-be demand that the girl should have a look at the prospective groom before disclosing her decision.

The third part of the film named ‘Chinnu Amma’ is about the life of Chinnu (Manju Pillai) who does not have children in her life. She is a naive yet strong lady trying to protect(or prevent) herself from commiting a sin.

The fourth story Nityakanyaka is about Kamakshi, a girl from an affluent family, who remains a spinster even after her younger sisters and younger brother get married and live with their families. The plight of Kamakshi and the way society sees her and the way she reacts to the responses of those around her forms the plot. The story of this character occupies the longest space, but compared to others, this is the meekest of all. This is also the story that remains fresh in our minds long after we leave the theatre, maybe because it is the last one to roll out in the sequence of stories. It is also the most conventional and stereotypical story of the lot.

The cinematography was by M.J Radhakrishnan and he has succeeded in bringing the raw realities of life on to screen. The director lets the characters play out scenes instead of prodding their movements. The editing, art-work, sound recording, costume-designing and the background score make the film stand out.

The helplessness and vulnerability of the fairer sex, the inherent strength they have, and the vicissitudes of Fate to which women often fall prey in a male dominated society are some of the issues that get discussed in Naalu Pennungal.

4/5

Haneyl Jacob : 

Ending the first day at the film festival with all it’s glory, Kanasemba Kudureyaneri was shot on the outskirts of Bijapur in the southern Indian State of Karnataka, and follows the life of a grave-digger, Irya (Vaijanath Biradar), and his wife, Rudri (Umashree). Literally eking a living off the dead, Irya worships, Siddha, the messenger of death who appears in his dream every time  someone in the village dies. Alerted about the death of the old landlord, Gowda (Akki Chennabasappa), Irya begins to prepare the grave. But he is faced with a difficulty when Gowda’s caretaker, Mathadayya (Sadashiv Brahmavar), denies that his master is dead. Irya and Rudri begin to worry about the dreams going wrong, and their lives get even more depressing.


Vaijanath, a popular comedian in the Kannada film industry shows his audience another dimension to his acting persona. Also accompanying him is veteran actress Umashree who plays a sweet yet powerful role as Irya’s wife, Rudri. The film is a brilliant study of “Faith” in rural India and how one’s beliefs change when tempted with troubles. It also depicts how one person’s dreams can paint guilt on another‘s life, which eventually turns out to be his nightmare, as in the case of Mathadayya. Kasaravalli draws a moving comparison between Irya’s righteous principles and those of the landlord’s rich son, Shivanna (Shivaranajan), who callously leaves the father’s corpse to rot while he completes his main priority — a long business engagement.

Girish Kasaravalli’s Riding the Dreams (Kanasemba Kudureyaneri)  is a perfect example of the finest Indian movies up to date where the Director analyzes every bit of the storyline and decides to experiment in a non – linear narration. It’s not surprising that Kasaravalli’s movies aren’t box – office successes, considering the type of crowd that could grasp a movie like Kanasemba Kudureyaneri, undaunted in the face of the current item song/ Bollywood generation of movie watchers in India.

4/5


The finale of the movie series delivers with more punch and epicness than even its own source material. (I don’t want to spoil this for the first time watches, please go see the preceding movies, or read the books to better understand the plot)
The movie shows harry and friends out hunting the remaining horcuxes, and fighting the final fight against voldemort at the place we grew up loving so much, Hogwarts.

Being a person who read all the books, it was weird seeing everything tie up in ways I’ve never imagined it. I’ve always imagined Hogwarts to be a more brighter , more yellow  less grey place  (mainly because I only started reading the books , once I’ve saw  the first 2 movies made by Chris Columbus )  . I still remember the first time I saw the sorcerer’s stone (the first movie in the series), I had gone to a friends birthday party, as a kid, I went in anticipation knowing I would be able to see the movie, but instead they played dr. Doolittle (that dumb Eddie Murphy flick), but by the end of the party I was able to sneak their copy of the movie out of the house, and watch it at home.
Ever since movie 3, everything’s been darker, with little hints of humor. My favorite in the series is still movie 6 , because I loved all the little details of studying in Hogwarts , I loved the interactions between slughorn and harry , the potion making classes and that awesome half blood prince chemistry book .

This movie was dark and gloomy, just as how it should be, to show how much is at stake for the heroes and to show how overpowered they are in front of the villains. Most of the scenes were shot brilliantly and with so much power in the acting department.

Daniel Radcliffe is still brilliant as harry, and in some scenes really brings out all the reasons why we love harry potter so much. Scenes like the one where harry prepares to face death, is just excellent, maybe even more powerful than I could’ve ever imagined it to be. Some of the more dramatically intense scenes in the book (especially, Dumbledore’s back-story) have been omitted entirely; I don’t mind it though, because it may have really slowed down the pace of the movie.

Special effects, felt lesser, but all of them looked great.
The battles are well done, and are on par with the hold-the-fort battles from the lord of the rings series. Considering the last movie didn’t show even a bit of Hogwarts, it was great to see Hogwarts come alive to defend itself. To see all the students and harry wearing their old school cloaks really brings out that nostalgia feeling.  Also the climax scene just reeks of nostalgia and made me want to see the first movie one more time.

It’s a great thing, that even if I read the last book more than once, the movie still felt fresh and had my attention entirely.

Overall rating: 9.5 /10   or    A,
Better than expected.
There were rumors of the dark knight teaser trailer premiering with this movie . I wonder if it shows in India

It is highly recommended that you see the preceding movies or read the books, at least figure out the preceding story from your friends before going in to watch this movie.


lakers fans ?

Salt n’ Pepper is a great love story but could’ve been much better.

The story revolves around a bachelor (kalidasan played by lal) and bachelorette (Maya played by shwetha menon), both quite aged, and trying to work up a relationship. Both of them live life as it comes, enjoying it, you could say event-driven in a manner. Things aren’t as simple as it seems. Both have good reason to be not married. They both have certain complexities that govern what they think of themselves and what others should think of them, thereby not preventing them from taking the initiative to start working on a relationship. But fate in the form of “great food” creates the necessary spark to ignite the flame of a relationship.
Food is something you will see a lot in this movie. The idea is to live life to enjoy its flavors and experiences. The two leads end up meeting by phone when Maya ends up calling kalidasan’s number thinking it was a restaurant’s delivery number. And then begins the flame. The relationship grows, as they both start cooking recipes.
But things get a little harder as when it gets time to meet in person, they send their younger relatives as substitutes to do some recon work. The subs fall in love (not knowing their real identities) and block the older couple’s relationship from continuing.  The rest of the story revolves around how the flame is reignited and overcoming self-doubt.

The good:
The dialogues and writing is well done.
Story, though slightly predictable, had a few surprises along the way.
The character development is excellent, and acting by lal and swetha menon is perfect. They were perfectly cast .Pretty much every actor, even the supporting cast brings a whole lot to the table.
Asif Ali plays the nephew of kalidasan who plays the substitute, he has really developed in his acting skills, his character is supposed to represent the pre-adult post-college days and along with Maya’s younger substitute creates an example for young age relationships that probably won’t go very well.
The editing and direction are also great and feels completely fresh .
This movie has one of the best opening credits of all time 😀

The bad:
The young couple (the subs for kalidasan and Maya) get way too much screen time, nobody want to see their relationship work, and we even have to see a lame romantic song involving the 2, when we know that both of them just wont work in any sense (she’s smart, he’s an idiot, it’s that smart girl falling for the really dumb guy relationship). It’s not bad per say, but it feels like it just wastes time , all the audience wants to see is lal and swetha.
The movie felt really short, and was ended way too fast. The ending is a music video, which should be in the credits. (Old people got frustrated)

overall:  7.5 / 10 or   B

It’s a good movie, for having a great time with friends. Older people might find this quite boring.  Do not be surprised if you feel hungry 5 minutes into the movie .

 


Bombay march 12 is an almost documentary-like drama that needs to be noticed for the message it’s trying to tell.  Its screenplay is setup from different time periods in the story, so it may be a little hard for common folk to keep a track off. So if you want to have a fun time at the movies on the weekends, this movie is not for you.

The movie is directed by the script writer for the movie “city of god”, so you can expect the same form of story telling, with bits and pieces of the story being showing to you, and forming a complete picture only by the end of the movie.
The movie tries desperately to show the injustice provided to Muslims   from society because of certain terrorists. The various treacherous tactics used to recruit new young terrorists are also discussed here.
The script writing and acting by the leads is excellent.
Mammoty is excellent in his portrayal of 2 different characters played by the same person. Even the supporting cast helps set the atmosphere as a serious movie that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Though the movie is interesting, its flaws are in the screenplay department.  There is way too much re-usage of footage that you will get a little tired of seeing the scenes more than once.
Stories of 3 characters are told, and how their lives are interconnected, so expect to see scenes repeated more than thrice.
The movie has some great suspenseful atmosphere, at some parts, but most of the time, the story is just trying to push itself to the finale.
The climax is where the movie gets really interesting, and leaves you wishing to see the sequel.
(Yes! a sequel is in store for this one)
the background score too is quite sad though I think that was the intention.

Overall rating:  7/10 or B-

This is strictly an award category film, but has hints of a future sequel that keeps me interested.


I actually saw this movie on the night before the official release. I was able to acquire tickets to an early screening at Oberon mall in Cochin. I wanted to post a review earlier, but I realized you guys would probably go see it anyway, cause lets face it, transformers isn’t for intellects, it’s for people just out to have a great time.

About the movie, it’s the 3rd movie in the trilogy of transformers movies created by Michael bay (the rock, bad boys). This movie reveals some fictional secrets that the US government had been hiding from the auto bots (good robots). These secrets, in the hands of the decepticons (bad robots) could allow them to open a space gateway that allows their armies to reach earth.

The good,
The story this time around, has better screenplay, slight surprises and also manages to create a much faster and dangerous atmosphere.
The movie is actually quite better than the first one in the series.  And most of the major annoyances from the second movie are gone (no more robot scrotums).
It’s visually an excellent movie, they’ve managed to blend 3D in great places, and none of the CGI effects felt cheap or incomprehensible. Though personally I felt the 3d was gimmicky, and I was constantly removing the glasses and seeing the clarity of the original film (3D makes the image quite dull and reduces brightness and contrast by a huge margin). This would be better to be seen in high definition.
On the acting front, Shia leboef plays Sam witwicky once again, he plays a commendable job and alongside him, is a new actress who manages to remove all traces of the previous actress (Megan fox).  The stunts in this one felt cooler, especially all the work the “humans” do to beat the decepticons.

The bad (oh boy),
the story, even though it is intriguing, has a lot of plot holes (tons of them). Because of these plot holes, the second half feels like a circus, with the robots doing stupid things for no reason.
Michael bays direction is fine, but some times it feels like he is just trying to rush to a scene to blow stuff up. In between the blowing stuff up, you may see hot women, hot cars, or just old stupid men that could’ve altogether been removed from the movie.
A big problem with this movie is that the character development for most of the supporting cast is quite absent. I just hear them run around, scream and shoot some stuff.

Aside from these factors, the movie is great way to end a trilogy that was ruined thanks to the second movie “the revenge of the fallen”. This is the last transformers movies from Michael bay, a reboot or new direction is in order.

Overall: 6.5 / 10 … or C-
It’s a visual feast, but everything else is a bore

“Green Lantern” movie review


Let me begin the review by telling you how important  Green lantern is to the DC comic book universe . In the comics ,  He has done stuff that even superman couldn’t , the entire history of green lanterns is so huge that every storyline of theirs is a huge epic event . When superman and batman protect the earth and Gotham , the green lanterns protect the remaining universe .

So you see , I had huge expectations  before seeing the movie  , also due to the fact that it was going to be directed by Martin Campbell ( he made the james bond movies “Casino royal”  and “Golden eye” , he also made “the mask of Zorro”) .

The movie begins with a brief description on the evil force that is parallax (much different from the comic books) and  the origin story of the green lantern corps.
We are then introduced to Hal Jordan and the reasons for his lack of self-esteem and fears . A dying green lantern Abin Sur manages to send out his ring to find a worthy successor , and his ring finds Hal Jordan thus making him a new green lantern.
We get to see Hal visit the planet Oa (green lantern headquarters and the centre of the universe)  and learn to project constructs with will power .
(the green lantern rings runs on the mind’s will power , it constructs whatever the user imagines , as long as the user has enough will power to maintain the construct . It will be explained better in the movie )

The movie is great in these beginning scenes ,  but  switches to a  low-budget movie territory , by bringing Hal back to earth and using Hector Hammond (a scientist gone mad , by influences of parallax)  as the movie villain .
The movie then shows Hal Jordan battling his inner fears  and figuring out ways to defeat Hammond and the evil entity parallax .

First problem with the movie  is ,  it requires a better budget , the CGI effects are not that good , and would’ve been better if it were in a complete CGI movie (like Beowulf) .  A movie like green lantern requires at least  “avatar” level of money and visual effects .
Next , it needs a better plot , this movie’s script was pathetic .  They  fused  2 great green lantern villains (krona and parallax) into one pathetic ugly yellow cloud monster called parallax . You should never screw up movie villains . (remember what happened to galactus and the fantastic four) .
The other potential threat is hector Hammond , who shouldve been avoided all together .
The sequences on OA and with other alien green lanterns were very less (must be around in total 10 minutes of overall screen time) . The beauty of green lantern stories is the variety of alien species , and battles on other distant planets . Instead ,  almost the entire movie is  wasted on earth .
Sinestro , a vital character of the green lantern universe (he will become the first yellow lantern , the arch-enemy of hal Jordan ) was given very little importance in the movie .  It’s amazing that they screwed up this rival chemistry .
Pacing of the movie is way too fast in the really good scenes , but goes really slow in the boring scenes , it feels like they were rushing to finish this movie with the least visually taxing scenes as possible  .
The movie should have been directed by James Cameron .

see me do "the people's elbow"

Although not everything is bad ,  Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan is excellent , he nailed Hal Jordan perfectly , and really shows a man who conquers fear , and blake lively is quite descent as the heroine .
If I remember right , I think she turns into star sapphire (purple lantern) in the future .
Scenes in Oa are great though short .
Mark strong as sinestro is excellent . If they do make a sequel , it will be amazing to see Hal and sinestro fight it out in the war between the green and yellow lantern corps .

overall rating : 5/10  or  D –

It’s not a good sign when I have to pick out good stuff from an overall bad experience .
This had ambition , but falls flat .
I must point out that is not a bad movie , it’s just barely satisfactory .  (it’s not fantastic four : rise of the silver surfer level of bad 😛 )
They can fix the problems in the sequels , as long as Ryan Reynolds sticks around .

FYI , batman and green lanterns have an ongoing feud with each other in the comics , not a serious one though 😀  but it is quite funny , heres a link about their silly fights http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/One_Punch

” X-men : first class ” movie review

check out Xavier's HAIR

X men first class is the “origin” movie for the x-men team . This should have been x-men 1 !

Set in the cold war era (1960’s) , this shows how  Charles Xavier started building his first team , and how magneto (Erik) decided to fight the humans for world power . Xavier and magneto are the yin and yang of the marvel universe , here we see a bright life enjoying optimistic Xavier and on the other side a tormented revenge driven soul of a man called Erik .
Xavier wants to find mutants and help them fit into society and help society accept them in peace.
Erik wants to kill  Sebastian Shaw , the man who killed his mother during the world war 2 era . Shaw wants to destroy humanity by igniting a nuclear war between Russia and America .
Xavier , while  trying to help the CIA catch Shaw (now in the modern age  and in a younger mutated form) , finds a troubled rage driven Erik and helps him  find and train a group of mutants to form a team , as the CIA needs a mutant team on their side so that they can fight the Russians (who has Shaw and his team of mutants) .

We get to see the  first batch of mutants all training to master their powers . (something that should have been done better in the previous movies). Most  of them have great character development ,  must point out  “mystique” , who was so lovely in this movie , that it makes you wonder why Charles Xavier never had feelings for  her (I blame Charles for she being evil ).
While some of the new characters need a lot of development ,  one movie really isn’t enough to show all of their stories .
This movie is mostly about Erik and Charles  .
During the training , we get to see the friendship bond between Erik and Xavier growing .
This character and relationship development is  really well done here,  it’s so well done that  it is really sad to see them split up into 2 factions of mutants in the end (even if it is expected) .

Acting by the james mcavoy (xavier) and michael fassbender (Erik)   is excellent , and makes you wish this is a reboot (it is not , it is a prequel). Especially in a scene , where  Xavier accesses Erik’s mind and uncovers a forgotten childhood memory.  Both are portrayed so differently from their older versions , Xavier here is a party loving ladies man , while Erik is a professional assassin that makes James bond look lame (fassbender would make an excellent james bond).
The new kids (or old ones ?) are good but not great .

The CGI and visual effects are excellent and not over done . This would be excellent in a blue ray collection. Unlike the previous  x-men movies , this one has some great well-lit scenes in the day that are amazing  and would look gorgeous in HD.

Now  I really want to see the sequels once again . I wonder how they are going to develop future x-men movies , a sequel to first class is planned , but I also want to see what happens after x-men 3 ( xavier is alive after the credits)
I would love to see x-men members help out  the avengers and vice-versa . Spiderman should be helping them out too . (sigh) geeky fanboy dreams  🙂

overall : 9/10
They should just take this movie as a reboot to the franchise (only keep  hugh jackman as wolverine )