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July 16, 2017

Movie : Wreck It Ralph (2012)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 9:42 pm

imageCall me simplistic but I think I am easily pleased.

 

This movie in all rights should not appeal to me. It is a spin off on old 80’s game characters and the plot is a hackneyed one that has been written and told millions of times to young children. A bad character in a game who does not like being bad and wants to be good. Oh so old.

 

But, here is the thing. The movie appeals to me. The dialog, the sequences and the composition all blend seamlessly, and though it does not have the voice talents of A-list stars (with due apologies for John C Reilly and Sarah Silverman), the emotions and actions and dialog all hang together to create a pleasant experience.

 

Mind you, I say pleasant, not spectacular.

 

Ralph is jealous of Fix It Felix, the good guy in the game. He, Ralph, is always wrecking things and creating havoc whereas Felix is the epitome of the good guy, who can fix anything.

 

Ralph seeks help in Bad Anonymous, and explains how his self esteem is low after 30 years of being bad. He does not want to be bad anymore but other members advise him that he is designed to be bad, and if he turns good, he will wreck the game he inhabits.

 

He is determined to win a medal for heroism and thereby prove his good intentions and skills, Ralph sees a chance when he meets a soldier in a bar who is from the game Hero’s Duty whose nerves are shot hunting Bugs in the game. When Ralph hears that there is a medal at the end, he takes the soldier’s armor and his place in the game.

 

The story gets confusing from here. Ralph skips from game to game while in Fix It, they find that Ralph is missing. The game is frozen with an Out of Order sign and all the game characters are terrified that if Ralph does not come back, the plug will be (literally) pulled and that they will all lose their lives. They go in search of Ralph.

 

After a ton of cat and mouse chase, Ralph finally teams up with another character from a different game. She is Vanellope. They together get the medal from a racing game.

 

Well, there is a ton more that happens but it is all too episodic to narrate. Consider the release of the evil Cy-bugs in an accident and their getting into Candy Land and sugar rush makes them multiply – they have the capacity to wreck all games. Consider Vanellope being a glitch in the game herself and not part of the original game. Consider Felix on his hunt for Ralph, being imprisoned by the Mad King.

 

All said and done, Ralph finally appreciates that the work he does is very much appreciated and he does not have to be a good guy to get kudos.

 

Nicely told, better than it sounds here.  6/10

 

– – Krishna

 

 

July 7, 2017

Mega Mind (2010)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 10:38 pm

imageI know.  I know… the movie is an old one. I also know that I have not spelled the name as the producers spelled it, but I prefer this version.

What an interesting movie. I will be honest. I generally do not like the brand of comedy favoured by Will Farrell but this is one movie of his that I enjoyed. The reason is that it adopts an interesting trick that has been later followed in many other movies like Despicable Me, to quote only one example: it does not take itself very seriously and just provides a fun ride for you to go along with.

 

Consider this: An alien planet is being destroyed and two babies are saved in two spaceships – the two babies are all that survived from that planet. (This is not a logical movie so don’t ask why they did not send a bigger ship with more people or any of the hundred questions that may occur to you. Remember? Just go along for the ride). You would expect them to be identical in features etc, right? Wrong! One of them looks like a strong hunk, and is the superhero (called Metro Man). He is played by our own Hollywood Hunk Brad Pitt (ie after the baby grows up). The other baby is not strong in body, is blue with a bloated head and is not even good looking but a man with phenomenal mental powers. Since the shallow world of ours hated him and mistreated him almost from childhood, he turned into a Supervillain Mega Mind (Will Farrell)

 

They both reside in the same city. (Metro City, which if, of course, in America – where else?). Metro Mind is of course, adored and the city even opens a museum for him. Mega Mind has had enough. He gatecrashes into the opening ceremony, with the help of his assistant – well, it is a fish in a bowl bolted onto a robot’s body. As an aside, the assistant is called Minion. The most interesting thing is that Despicable Me (the original of the sequence) was released in 2010 and so was this movie. So is the name Minion chosen in both a true coincidence?

 

However, on with our tale. He came to get his revenge and lures Metro Man into a sealed lab by kidnapping Metro Man’s girlfriend Roxanne Ritchie (played by Tina Fay). He tries to destroy the entire museum and so kill Metro Man who has been his enemy and envy all his life but the stupid laser takes too long to heat up.  Just when he feared that Metro Man had escaped, Metro Man finds that the copper plating of the entire building prevents him from getting out and he gets burnt down to his skeleton. Roxanne escapes in the melee.

 

Mega Mind is thrilled. No one can save his victims in Metro City anymore. He has a free hand. But he finds that he has lost the will to torment. There is no fun in tormenting without a worthy opponent like, say, the Metro Man. It is sooo boring to be in charge of everything with nothing going wrong, no surprises whatever.  He mourns Metro Man’s death and goes to the museum to pay his respects. There he meets Roxanne (she did not see Mega Mind when he kidnapped her earlier) and posing as a curator of the museum, strikes up a friendship with her. Roxanne is bitter about “this Mega Mind” who destroyed Metro Man and hopes that a new hero will rise to take Metro Man’s place because ‘heroes are created, not born’. That gives Mega Mind a terrific idea. He uses Metro Man’s DNA to create a serum that will turn anyone into a super hero!

 

Meanwhile, Mega Mind finds Roxanne refreshing and begins to hope that he can leave the life of crime if there is a chance of a life with her. She is funny, charming and most amazingly, seems not to hate him! But he still needs to create a superhero with the serum before retiring.

 

When he is ready with it and pondering whom to turn to a super hero worthy of opposing, the serum accidentally is ingested by Hal Stewart, the most annoying photographic assistant of Roxanne, who has a crush on her to boot but is completely ignored by her. Mega Mind, seeing him ingest a serum, decides that he is The One and trains him (disguised as Space Dad).

 

When Minion leaves because he cannot comprehend that super villains wanting to be good people, and when Roxanne discovers who he really is and rejects him, the universe comes crashing down on Mega Mind and he goes on an evil rampage, true to his Super Villain form. He expects Titan to come to the rescue of the town but when he does not, goes to Titan’s home to find out why! Titan is bored of being good and wants to be a supervillain and almost kills Mega Mind when he protests.

 

Mega Mind remembers that copper was, so to speak,  Metro Man’s Kryptanite, and surrounds Titan with copper but it seems to have no effect on him. There is a new supervillain rampaging Metro City and there is no help at all to be found. He persuades Roxanne to take him to her ex boyfriend’s pod to see if they can glean any other clues to contain Titan when they discover a big twist regarding Metro Man.

 

The movie slowly makes you love Mega Mind and at the end, you rejoice when he finally vanquishes Titan and saves the city. (A small twist at the end can be revealed, though – he gets his own museum now!)

 

A lovely movie, well crafted, well animated, very intelligent and tugs all the right spots in your heart.

 

8/10

–  –  Krishna

June 10, 2017

Movie: Django Unchained (2012)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 11:33 pm

imageI realize why so many men are Quentin Tarantino fans. This man has a style, pizzaz, and a way of making the movies stand out.

 

Take Kill Bill, one of his earlier films. The movie may be just totally commercial (though stylish) but the dialogs were great. Especially where Bill talks to his ex wife about superheroes and how Superman is very different from all other superheroes. Nice.

 

This movie is audacious in its breadth. Look at the very opening scene where Dr. King Schultz (played with great skill by Christopher Waltz, who played the Nazi general in another of Quentin’s memorable works, The Inglorious Bastards and who seems to have become one of the repeat favourites of  Quentin) meet the slaves being brought along a forest and enquires about Django. Nice. How he deals with the Speck brothers is amazing. He even pays for Django, making him technically a free man.

 

Given that it is the slave trading South, the way he shocks people by treating Django (Jamie Foxx) is amazing. Scene after scene we find Django being paraded as an equal nonchalantly by Dr Schulz. The bewilderment of the people is amazing. You slowly learn that Dr Schulz is no dentist but is in fact a bounty hunter. He teaches Django the tricks of his trade.

 

He learns that Django was separated from his wife who was sold as a slave in another plantation and that they both speak German, his mother tongue. He takes Django under his wing, teaching him the tricks of the trade.

 

The scene is the saloon where, during segregated days, Schulz walking calmly with Django to a saloon and ordering a drink is priceless. Then he simply shoots the sheriff who comes to enquire, and proves that he is within his rights to do so – the reason is brilliant and by this time, you are hooked helplessly into the movie like you are in most Quentin movies.

 

What is the name of the wife? Broomhilda. No, I am not kidding, another example of the nerd humour that Quentin spontaneously displays in his movies.

 

Then there is a great scene where three evil brothers attempt to whip a slave girl for breaking eggs and Django takes care of them all. Again Schulz provides evidence to prove that what they did was legal. Incensed the people don Ku Klux type of masks (with hilarious dialogs) and go to kill these two strangers who appear to be camped outside town on their carriage with disastrous results.

 

Then starts the most brilliant sequence. He takes Django to the slave plantation whose owner is the evil Calvin Candie (another Quentin favourite, Leonardo DeCaprio) and the brilliant black assistant Steve (an amazingly memorable and different role by Samuel L Jackson).

 

Steve is suspicious of the nigger who behaves like a white man and blows their cover to Calvin. Calvin raises the price and when Schulz pays up, he insists that he shake hands or else the whole deal is off. Amazing turns and you are shocked to see how a big character like Leonardo dies.

 

The story goes into a typical Quentin crescendo and we lose a few characters we love and some that we loathe. I do not want to give up the ending. It is definitely worth seeing. A beautiful movie!

I will give it a 8/10

– – Krishna

May 31, 2017

Movie : Sing (2016)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 11:16 am

image.jpgInteresting movie. It is so unlike the trailers that it takes you by surprise a bit. Let me explain before someone says ‘What the hell do you mean? It is exactly like the trailers’.  Yes, the animation is as good as the trailers, the story is about music, which comes out loud and clear in the trailers (heck, look at the title of the movie and you know what it is about), the humour is there right through the movie, as trailers promise. And I did not mean that the surprise I got was a nasty or negative surprise. I did not expect to see the movie as two movies in one. That is all.

 

On the surface is all that animation, humour, and crazy antics of the animals. The animation is top class and the expressions on all those animals are top class. However, there is a parallel story of passion for music, dreams turning into dust and then rebuilt again from those ashes to make a sensational success. The story about how ordinary people trapped in their ordinary lives rise to extraordinary heights animated by a single passion that unites them, a kind of diversity story where different ‘animals’ come together in harmony to produce something that is classic; how seemingly annoying characters could and will have a heart of gold. That story could have been told with people as actors and would still have been beautiful. With animation of this class, it does lift it to another plane and makes this movie memorable long after you have seen it.

 

The base story is simplistic and even comes across as a children’s tale. There is not much here that cannot be summed up in a paragraph but what makes it great are the little nuances and embellishments they have poured into the thing. A simple typing error generates dreams of fame in diverse people and the ordinary auditions are moved to a higher plane by the extraordinary circumstances of each family and what they have to do in order to be a part of something great – when the something that they aspired to is not even what they thought it was, but a small time audition for a small time musical.

 

The story is about Buster Moon, a koala bear, voiced by Mathew McConaughey. His assistant is the hilarious Miss Crawley (voiced by director Garth Jennings). They hit upon auditioning for a musical to revive their flagging theatre. The various characters who audition, the trials and tribulations, the ruin they face, the disillusionment of the people who came to sing when they realize how small (or fake) the prize money is, is the rest of the story.

 

The fun is in the characters themselves. The brash and loud but  stylish Gunter  and the shy housewife Rosita (both pigs) and the husband Norman of Rosita who does not even notice her struggling with their 25 children. You have Johnny the gorilla who is encouraged by his father to be part of his gang of looters but wants only to sing; the more talented Ash (porcupine, voiced by Scarlett Johanssen) whose boyfriend Lance, who has less talent always ignores and insults her at every turn. Meena the Elephant sings like a diva but does not know how good her own voice is. There is the selfish Mike the mouse.

 

I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to anyone who can get past the preconceived notion of watching a simple children’s story embellished with good characters, art and wit.

 

7/ 10

– – Krishna

 

 

 

April 30, 2017

Movie : Rogue One (2016)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 4:40 pm

imageThis is a much anticipated side story on Star Wars and it does have its moments – like how the plans of the death star got into the hands of the rebels.

Just like the Disney reboot of the Star Wars : The Force Awakens, there is a cameo from Princess Leah herself in this movie. This is made more poignant by the fact that Carrie Fisher died after this movie’s release, so speculation is rife on whether the future cameos from her would be a digitally animated version or not.

I definitely have a beef with the casting on this one as well. The casting of both the central characters does not gel with my idea of a Star Wars world. But I am sure I am in a very small minority. The dialogs also do not seem to be powerful : yes, I realize that the original Star Wars also had some pretty sappy dialogs but having grown into a cult status and having control handed to a colossus like Disney, I guess I expected more.

 

The story starts well and has the adorable robot which seems to have disjointed spheres sticking beside each other. Other than that it is a complicated Star Wars tale. For instance we learn that the heroine Jyn’s mother is killed by the Imperial Force when the father refuses to go work for the Emperor but the father is forcibly taken and goes to ‘save his daughter’ who is in hiding at that time.

The rebel forces want to take out the father but Cassin lies to her and makes her take him to the father’s location. In the meanwhile they go to weird places and a blind warrior asks Jyn about the necklace given by her father before he went away. See? I told you it is a complicated story.

It is best to see this. I think that the story’s complexity take away from the simple enjoyment of the story. You are constantly trying to recall who is who. For instance, Saw, who saved Jyn earlier, turns up later with an oxygen mask and a prosthetic leg and they have an argument on why he abandoned her. A lot of characters come and go, and at the end of the movie, you feel as if you studied for an exam.

 

There are scenes where tensely the rebels extract the plans for the death star in what looks like pre 3-G circuitry.

 

All in all, I’d say a 5/ 10

–   – Krishna

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 26, 2017

Movie: Arrival (2016)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 10:12 pm

imageI don’t know what to make of this movie. In one sense, it is not like many other alien movies, especially those of yesteryears (and some current movies) where the aliens are definitely humanoid and the problem in the earlier years could be really solved by having people wear suits. Done. And mostly the aliens speak English (or fudged by the statement that they communicate at a mental level, which seems like English to us humans).

 

As long as we are diverging in this preamble, I may also add that the one movie that was extremely impressive from yesteryears, based on Carl Sagan’s story, called Contact that came out in 1997, also sidestepped the issue of what aliens look like. The movie is beautiful in its own right, and if you have not seen it, I urge you to do so when you have a chance.

 

I am not claiming that this is this is the first movie I have seen that recognizes the fact that the aliens may not even look like us, not even a little bit, and their way of communication may be completely incomprehensible to us. Anyone who has seen the Aliens series can vouch for that. However, this takes the item in a different light. In Aliens series, for instance, people were not trying to understand what they were saying. In this one they do, and kudos to the team for that. Evolution can wreak wonders even in an isolated island in this world (witness the unique species in Australia and Madagascar, to name but two) and who knows what it would have wrought in other planets?

 

The reason for their arrival (the title of the film) is really interesting as well. The story is about Dr Louise Banks who is a language professor. We learn that she and her husband are separated and a daughter who grew up got a incurable disease and dies early. Seems unrelated to the main movie, because then you see her invited to help US when a spacecraft lands in US (and in many other parts of the world as well) since she is the best language expert in the world, but keep it in the back of your mind because it all connects later. She meets a theoretical physicist called Ian Donnelly.

 

The spacecraft is huge, oval, and seems flat as a cardboard and yet they all can get in and explore. The theories of language where they try to parse the alien speak is phenomenal. The daring Louise trying new things to understand the really strange beings is phenomenal and her exceptional gift, which is slowly revealed and that also helps in averting a catastrophe of epic proportions (when China refuses to listen to the aliens or make contact with them but threatens to nuke the spaceship that landed in their territory) is amazing.

 

The movie can be a bit confusing but all in all, it stands together, very intelligently crafted and the new emphasis on taking you backwards and forwards in time works well again in this movie.

Amy Banks and Jeremy Runner do a credible job in their roles.

 

To tell more would be to give away some of the interesting things about the movie.

 

I think it definitely is a 7/ 10

– – Krishna

February 25, 2017

Movie : Moana (2016)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 9:15 pm

imageDisney has figured out the magic formula to make hits. In 2016, according to the trade magazines, all top six hits were from the Disney stable. It of course takes a lot of money, especially in an animated movie like this.

 

This time they have gone to Polynesian culture for inspiration and the plot, really, is very simple. A Pacific Island nation has withdrawn into itself and has forgotten, and even fears, to do what should naturally come to them : go out into the sea on boats. Why? That is indeed the story.

 

The way the story unfolds is amazing. Moana, the young girl from the tribe seems to be unafraid of the sea and the water, unlike everyone else, with the exception of the crazy old grandmother.  The island of Te Fiti (What? No I did not say Tahiti, I said Te Fiti.) lost its “heart”, a stone with the spiral shape, to the arrogant and greedy demi-god called Maui. (What? No, not the island Maui, the demi-god Maui.)

 

When the desolation that this created threatens to overwhelm even the island where Moana lives, she wants to go after Maui and persuade him to return the heart to the island. In true Disney’s style, Maui can become any creature, a hawk, a lizard or himself and he uses all these to spectacular effort when he steals the heart of Te Fiti.

 

The other cute thing is that all of his life experiences become tattoos on his body and sometimes the tattoos move to tell the story.

 

Here in the movie, the sea (water) is a living thing that protects Moana and is an ally.

 

Like I said, the story itself is simplistic. She goes and meets the arrogant Maui and forces him to understand (and respect) her. We are introduced to his past and why he is what he is. The final confrontation with the fire breathing monster Te Ka and who that really is are good twists in the movie.

 

But where the movie really sparkles is in the animation. The worlds that it brings in front of you is fascinating, the images are brilliant and the dialog, though in my mind not as brilliant, supports the story and moves it along. The scene where baby Moana plays with the sea (water) is brilliant. She also gets a stone with the spiral heart in it from the sea. (We do not know what it is at this point in the movie.)

 

She goes on the inevitable voyage and the obligatory dumb animal (In this picture it is Heihei, a dumb rooster). She meets Maui and he reluctantly goes with her, arguing and wanting to quit all the way. There are also diversions like the cute Kakamora, tiny coconut shell wearing creatures.

 

A good entertainment, and brings to live Pacific Islander’s culture. Just don’t look for deep meaning in the story or any educational aspects.

 

6/ 10

– – Krishna

January 1, 2017

Movie: Dr Strange (2016)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 1:25 pm

imageLet me make a confession first : I went with some misgivings to this movie. First off, Dr Strange is not a major comic book here. I know that he had some dedicated fan following (which comic book hero does not?) but he is not as famous as the Spiderman, Superman, Batman trio. Even the movie makers seem to have turned to him after exhausting every other character – maybe with the exception of even more obscure characters like Plastic Man or She-Ra.  Even Wonder Woman came before him.

 

But sheer movie making can make a huge difference and change my mind and this movie has done exactly that. In fact, it has done this so effectively that I now consider this movie one of my favourites of recent times, even on par with that all time new wonder, Frozen.

The story starts spectacularly, with the battle between Kaecilius, a sorcerer, who steals some pages from a very powerful book chained to a shelf and The Ancient One, who pursues him. The style and the battles, and even the ‘weapons’ used by the Ancient Ones are breathtaking. The first scene sets such a high pace that the next few scenes were a major disappointment. The only other movie I can think of where the first scene is totally unbelievable is that all time classic ‘The Matrix’. Remember the heroine jumping from one tall building to another and the pursuers saying ‘But this is impossible!’?

The next few scenes were disappointing to me because I am hasty to judge and I judged wrong. I thought that the movie was going to go slow after that. It is about a doctor Dr Strange, a famous neurosurgeon who gets into an accident. The neurosurgeon was too ordinary and “normal”. I should have waited. It takes off, and you find how much of a perfect match is the man to the role.

I love how the story has been updated for the times. I have not read the comic books and so do not know what Dr. Strange’s original occupation was, but I am not sure it was a neurosurgeon and also am sure  that he would not be distracted by his cellphone when the accident happened as cell phones did not exist them. (In the TV movie of the same topic made earlier in 1978, Dr Strange is a psychiatry resident – close enough.)

Dr Christine Palmer, his colleague and it seems, a budding romantic interest, saves him but his hands have become useless. He is obsesses with getting his hands back so that he can be that famous and rich neurosurgeon again, he meets a man called Jonathan, who completely recovered from a paralysis from which  the doctors had given up on saving him  and is now well enough to play basketball. On his advice, he goes to Kathmandu, Nepal, in search of the woman who helped Jonathan.

He meets her after showing his stubborn tenaciousness and is slowly absorbed into her world. The story is brilliant, and in not taking itself seriously – with several seriously comic moments in the midst of amazingly tense storytelling (reminds one of the same trick they pulled with Olaf in Frozen). The scene where he is injured and comes as astral projection is an example. Christine, shocked to see his ‘ghost’ near his comatose body asking “What are you doing?”. He: “Using astral projection to help you save me”. Christine “Are you dead?” He : “No, but I soon will be, if you don’t follow my instructions”. And who can forget the fight between the two astral projections as she is focusing on saving him? Astounding.

In addition, the opening of the portals, the way it is portrayed, seems fresh and an entirely new approach to visual effects. It has become the trademark of the man, and I have no doubt that he will join the pantheon of heroes in   Avengers.

 

Right up to the ending, where he confronts the infinitely more powerful Dormammu who is bent on destroying the world and how he wins using his brains and “some accessories” is brilliantly told.

 

Before that, the scenes where everything goes backward in time while three of the heroes and a villain walk calmly forward in time is also a new concept. ( I realize it may not be that difficult to do with special effects of today but for the concept alone, it gets my full admiration)

 

Even tiny touches like the never smiling Wong trying to constantly admonish Dr Strange or how the cloak likes him enough to choose Strange as its new ‘owner’ are all superbly woven together.

 

A great movie, a very good entertainer. Definitely worth a 9/ 10

–  – Krishna

November 6, 2016

Movie : Sully (2016)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 4:29 pm

imageI think that there is no one who was not aware of the feat of Captain Chesley Sullenburger who managed, in the face of a disaster to land a plane on the Hudson and managed to sasve the lives of every one of the 155 passengers on board. This movie tells the story of that man (Sully is the nickname of the man)

 

The story when told straight will not take more than 15 minutes. How can you make a full length movie on this stuff? The people who made Sully not only show how it is done but also show a new angle which makes this movie absolutely fascinating.

When the movie opens, the incident has already taken place and the investigation into the incident is starting. Not only are they hostile but they paint a picture where Sully has not taken basic precautions and also one where, if found to have done wrong, his entire career and his impending retirement with sufficient benefits is under threat.

When “evidence” mounts against him, he and his fully loyal co-pilot Jeff Skiles are very confused and Sully keeps insisting that he did the only thing that seemed to him as feasible under the circumstances.

When the investigation claims that all evidence points to the fact that only one engine was damaged by birdstrike and that the left engine should have been intact, and when they insist that the expert opinion indicates that he should have been able to get back to La Guardia airport or the nearby Teterboro airport. The left engine was lost and could not be found for an actual verification but the flight records and the log indicate that it was working.

In addition, a simulation by similarly experienced pilots in a simulator shows that both options of a return to La Guardia and to Teterboro were possible and would have been safer seems to add a final grim nail to the evidence coffin against Sully.

In a Superhero film fashion, how things end with them is the fabulous climax of the film.

The character of Sully as a man who bears responsibility totally for people under his care comes through bright and clear. And the contract between public and media adulation and the tension, even the hostility of the investigators in a private room is extremely well told. Focusing on the investigat­ion and bringing the events of the day slowly in multiple flashback is a crowning achievement of both screenplay and direction. The movie as presented is so full of suspense that it can vie with any written plot in an imaginary story.

 

And Tom Hanks does a phenomenal job as Sully, in mental turmoil. For the man who has portrayed Apollo 13 and Castaway, living the character comes naturally and the fact that he has been able to show a completely different personality from both of those movies is a fascinating achievement and is a testament to the ability of this method actor to immerse himself into any character. A brilliant portrayal. His wife Lorraine is played by Laura Linny but she might as wellbe called a ‘brief appearance by’ since her role in this movie is tiny.

 

The end is fabulous and the most memorable line comes near the end of the movie: “Well you are trying to prove whether there was human error through this simulation. Then put real humans in this simulation!”

 

A nail biting pace, satisfying end, brilliant plot, dialogs, and screen play. A pleasure to watch.

9/10

 

  • – Krishna

October 22, 2016

Movie : Lights Out (2016)

Filed under: Hollywood Movies — Tags: , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 9:46 am

image.jpgInteresting premise. Even for someone who has seen a lot of horror movies and so are very used to the formula used, this strikes as something new, which I guess is a very nice bonus.

 

The movie opens with an assistant in a mannequin factory – great, ideal setting for all those plastic wrapped mannequins standing out in semi darkness – notices a presence in the darker corners of the room. She sees that the presence seems to ‘disappear’ when she switches the light on and comes back when it is off. She gets scared, tells the owner, Paul, that there is something weird.

 

Paul is not the main character of the movie because, going investigating, he gets killed. The story is about his family, especially his children – Martin, a young boy and his grown up sister, Rebecca.  Their mother, Sophie, also figures in the movie.

 

It is the little touches that are well done. Martin notes his mother acting strangely. She acts as if there is a person in the house. And talks of ‘we’ as if she and another are living together. When you learn that she has psychological problems, we tend to discount it as hallucinations. A casual, ‘Did we wake you?’ when he hears his mother in the middle of the night talking to someone in her dark bedroom and a creepy hand when he turns back to look at his mom looking at him through a semi closed door… All add that element of mystery mixed with terror. Works well.

 

Now, you say ‘a demon or presence that shuns light? What kind of thing is that?’ There is a good explanation (I did not say logical explanation, just a good one) for that in the movie. And the fact that light is the enemy of the demon is well used, especially where the boyfriend of Rebecca ‘runs away’. I will not give out details, as it would be a big spoiler.

 

The other touches are good too. Martin unable to sleep at home due to sheer terror causes him to fall asleep at school and Rebecca is summoned. When Martin says that their mom has been talking to someone called Diana, Rebecca stops, stunned. We understand why later in the movie.

How Sophie realizes that Diana, who she thought was her friend is not, and even more importantly, how she gets rid of Diana are also extremely well told.

The scenes, earlier, where Martin and Sophie try to watch a movie and Sophie tries to introduce Martin to Diana are chilling.

 

Nice imagination, very good narration and story. If you discount the fundamental premise of malevolent entity which can do anything except be in well-lit spots, the story stands together too.

I definitely had fun watching this one, and so I will say 7/10

 

  • –  Krishna

 

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