DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow

 

 

Probably the most anticipated tv debut in recent time. It lived up to all it’s hype and more. The episode was a testament to how far television has come.
Spoiler Alert: In shows like Flash, Arrow, LoT, you don’t want a gradual build up. It has to be instant, in the first few minutes to get your attention. Year 2166, second London Blitz and Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) has control of the entire planet. He kills a mother and child. And you are instantly hooked. You have a very good idea what you are up against.
And from there on, it’s a roller-coaster ride. The funny moments were reserved mostly for Dr. Stein ( Peter Garber) and Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller). A very touchy scene between Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Atom (Brandon Routh) where funnily enough Arrow being the voice of reason. And then something everyone has been waiting for…the emergence of White Canary (Caity Lotz).
But the most heart breaking? Probably when the team realizes that they were not chosen because they were heroes but because if they die, their death will affect the natural timeline of 2166 the least. They are inconsequential in the bigger picture, the most expendable.
The plot twists…. The kid, Jonas killed along with his mother at the beginning by Savage is Rip Hunter’s wife and son. Arthur Darvill shines like a beacon all through the show. But the biggest twist is probably Dr. Aldus Boardman. When he hands the pic to Kendra (Ciara Renee), it’s a typical panto moment where you know what’s coming next but still go WOW Man! Didn’t see that coming.

The fight scenes were expertly executed and the computer graphics were sleek to say the least.
All in all, an incredible Pilot. It felt like Dr. Who and Star Trek had a love child in the DC Universe. Can’t wait for next week.

Insurgent: The Movie

The highly anticipated second installment of the Divergent series.
I had long figured out, if a movie is based on a novel, the only way to enjoy both is to watch the movie first and then read the book. I deviated from my own set rule and as a result found Insurgent a huge disappointment.

Comparison between the book and the movie is inevitable. Insurgent as a book had two very strong plot lines running parallel to each other and at times crossing over. Relationship and action, both an integral part of the story.

Insurgent as a movie showcased only the action, not realizing, the actions a lot of times were a direct result of the relationship turmoil the characters were having with each other. The relationships were volatile, changing, shifting, disintegrating, and solidifying and hence affecting the character’s decision to run, fight, betray, take revenge, kill or forgive. The most important was the relationship between Four and his abusive, cruel, power hungry father Marcus. This was the backbone of Insurgent and got a screentime of a whole 30 seconds. As a result, the movie seemed choppy, disjointed and one dimensional.

But if the movie is seen as an individual entity, it has it’s moments of glory albeit only in its special effects.
Shailene and Theo would have had a lot of chance to show their acting prowess if the movie had stuck to the books. But instead they were reduced to just the medium around whom the special effects were created.

Octavia Spencer as Johanna was a very wrong choice. In the book Johanna is a tall, white, slim woman, with a scar running from her eyebrow to her lips rendering her blind in one eye. Octavia is short, plump and black with no scar or blindness. Naomi Watts looked the part but had not much to do. The only one who came out a winner was Kate.

I am aware I have ruined Allegient for me too when that comes out.

What do you get when you take a Bond movie and put four James Bonds in it? You get 4 times the action, 4 times the adrenaline rush, 4 times bigger a canvas, 4 times craziness and 4 times more fun. Or you can say you get Furious 7.
This is as craziest over the top movie as it gets. And it is a whole lot of fun. I was turned into an adrenaline junkie wanting more and more of that action. The movie’s fast pace, crisp taut editing, breathtaking locales, outrageous mind blowing stunts made the experience a total thrill.
I know it had the Paul Walker emotional quotient woven in every frame where he was present, and the tribute at the end was poignant, emotional, classy and made its mark but the movie belonged to Vin Diesel. He dominated every scene with his powerful presence, charisma and effortless portrayal of his tough and his softer side.
Tyrese Gibson cut himself a special place among all the muscles and explosions with his perfectly timed comic relief.
I don’t think I have ever loved a bad guy in a movie as much as I loved Jason Stathum. The fact that he wasn’t killed off in the end gives me hope I’ll see him again in the next installment and so does Kurt Russell who came in like a comet and disappeared without a trace.
All in all I got 4 times my money’s worth and I am furiously praying for part 8 to come fast.

Cinderella

Ok, here is the thing, I was skeptical when I started hearing about Cinderella and how she is portrayed as a girl of today, strong, powerful and not a damsel in distress. I could not but envision this new Cinderella in ripped jeans and AC/DC t-shirt, partying it up in a nightclub when she is approached by a prince with piercing and tattoos. She, dancing the evening away in her Jimmy Choo till the clock strikes 2 (last call), then runs out leaving her one Choo behind, jumps in a Uber cab and disappears.
So I sit in the theatre almost scared to open my eyes not sure what version of my favourite childhood fairytale I’m going to see.
And then the movie unfolds. It was a dream I didn’t want to wake up from. The lush green meadows, the snow capped mountains, blue flitting birds, sparkling sky and a victorian stone house with a quaint little garden in an enchanted corner of a kingdom far far away.
In this picture perfect landscape wafts in a breathtakingly beautiful damsel (not in distress), with hair spun out of gold, soft and kind eyes like a doe’s, laughter like bell chimes, our very own Cinderella (Lilly James). She was everything I ever thought Cinderella would be and more. But I was just starting to snuggle in to the deepest layer of my perfect dream made even more perfect by the devilishly beautiful stepmother (Cate Blanchett), the annoyingly funny stepsisters (Holliday Grainger and Sophie McSera) and the magical fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter).
With all these very special ingredients and with a little help from the visual arts and costume departments Kenneth Branagh weaves an exquisite tapestry, wondrous to behold. It’s spellbinding, it’s emotional, it’s hilarious and it’s charming.
Did I say charming? The charming part is all Richard Madden….the perfect prince.
And together it’s sheer magic.

The Imitation Game

After watching The Imitation Games, I battled with myself trying to figure out which aspect of the movie I should focus on.
The part where we as human beings were an epic fail, when we asked a civilian, a college mathematics professor to join the British Intelligence Service to break the Enigma Code, which cut short World War ll by almost 2 years and as per historians, saved over 14 million lives and then promptly jumped on our moral righteous high horse and awarded the man with a choice– 2 years in prison or chemical castration ‘ hormone therapy ‘ for being a homosexual. He chose the later and after a year of ‘ treatment’ killed himself.
Or I should just focus on the man who came into our lives as a crazy narcissistic brainiac Sherlock, then introduced us to Julian Asange in The Fifth Estate, and went on to be the odd son in a dysfunctional family in August – Osage County, which he followed with the gold loving, fire breathing, terrifying Smaug and finally gave us the brilliant mathematician, at times crazy, socially awkward Alan Turing….. Benedict Cumberbatch.
While watching the movie one realizes and appreciates the saying ‘ less is more’. To portray the horrors of war one doesn’t need reels of gruesome war scenes. The horror can be equally effectively projected in subtle ways. As a result, the focus of the film never wavered from the actual topic- Alan Turing.

Although there were quite a few well known faces in the movie, Keira Knightly, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Allan Leech ( Downton Abbey), Charles Dance ( Game of Thrones), the only person who stays with you after you leave the theatre is Benedict Cumberbatch. His stellar performance captures Turing’s passion, brilliance, awkwardness, helplessness, fear and finally his resignation to his fate, to perfection. His Oscar nomination is rightfully earned.
On a happy side note: In 2013, the Queen gave Royal Pardon to Turing. I am sure he is beside himself with joy and hanging upside down from the branch of a golden apple tree in heaven. Oops, sorry. Hell not heaven. For a moment I forgot he was a homosexual.

GONE GIRL: THE MOVIE

GONE GIRL: There were lots more “Gone” than just the girl in the movie. Like
1. A marriage ‘gone’ wrong
2. A wife ‘gone’ off her rockers
3. ‘Gone’ was any logic
4. ‘Gone’ was any rhyme or reason
5. ‘Gone’ was any feeling of satisfaction after watching the movie
6. ‘Gone’ was any justification for spending my money
7. ‘Gone’ were 2 hours of my life I will never get back

Now lets talk about what all were present
1. Ben Afflec
2. Ben Afflec
3. Ben Afflec
4. Ben Afflec
5. Ben Afflec
6. A creepy but brilliant Rosamund Pike
7. A sense of horrified disbelief

That pretty much sums it up.

Christopher Nolan’s most ambitious project yet. A movie that spans across 3 planets, 2 galaxies, a warm hole and a black hole, a story more abstract than Inception, more fantastic than the Batman trilogy and more magical than Prestige.

A world in the verge of extinction, a community struggling to survive, a government disqualifying everything science achieved in space.

Cooper (Matthew McConaughe), an astronaut who is forced to become just a farmer in order to survive on a dying planet, is asked by NASA to take an epic journey across galaxies to find a new home for mankind.

True to the movie’s promotional catch phrase, it is definitely an IMAX experience. We witness a side of Nolan we had never seen before. His grasp of human relationships and weaving that emotional quotient in an otherwise sci fi thriller was brilliant. As you watch the drama unfold, the sheer magnitude of the canvas makes it almost impossible to wrap your mind around. Your every sense is fine tuned to a degree where they react to every blast and every pin drop, every dust storm, 100 ft waves, frozen clouds and massive expanse of barren, icy planet land.

But at the same time, your mind is in free fall. Desperately trying to grasp a shred of understanding but very soon loses any sense of time and space.

‘Inception’ was an absurd and abstract idea but as one sits watching the movie the whole concept seems legit and credible. But ‘ Interstellar’ with it’s constant name dropping of quantum physics, relativity and gravity, never could achieve credibility for this outrageous concept.

It still didn’t matter. It was a 3 dimensional audio, visual treat like no other up until Nolan succumbed to the gravitational pull of cliche’d Hollywood drama and dragged us into a black hole from which when we finally emerged, everything had changed.

The secret weapon in Nolan’s arsenal which I am sure was intended to be something similar to a spectacular meteor/star shower, was actually the reason why the movie did a full 180° on it’s axis and from incredible it just became Meh.

But it’s still a must watch, if not for anything else, then at least for the visual splendour. I never thought there was any room left for my love and respect to grow for Matthew McConaughe but seeing him in one particular scene my heart swelled with so much pride and emotion that I couldn’t breathe. Ever dependable Jessica Chastain and Mackenzie Foy as Murph were unadulterated brilliance. ***1/2

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