Justice League

After the super success of Wonder Woman, DC & Warner Bros are back with their next superhero outing Justice League. The trailer & recent posters of Justice League have been giving out hints of Superman making a comeback. Does he really? Well, don’t worry we won’t spoil the surprise for you.

The story starts where Batman vs Superman ended. The world is mourning the death of Superman and feels hopeless without him. A new danger is looming around the corner and Batman alone cannot save this world. So he decides to put together a team of heroes.

Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot reprise their roles of Batman & Wonder Woman. We are introduced to new superheroes Aquaman, Cyborg, and Flash, which are played by Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, and Ezra Miller respectively.

Flash is an immature teenager who’s excitement and silly questions bring out little laughter on the other hand, Batman and Wonder Woman act like matured parents trying to keep the team together.

Director Zack Snyder gives us another average movie which had the potential to be a kick-ass superhero flick. Out of the three newly introduced superheroes, Flash is able to make some impact. But the characters of Cyborg and Aquaman fail to impress. Having standalone movies for both of them could have made a difference here.

There is lots of action to enjoy. But the VFX and CGI are average and sometimes gives you a feeling of playing a video game. It lacks realness and smoothness. The ending gives some hints about new members joining the Justice League in the future movies.

Overall, Justice League is an average superhero movie which fails to pack a punch but is still watchable.

Rating:  πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ & 1/2

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Directed by: Zack Snyder

Screenplay by: Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon

Based on: Justice League by Gardner Fox

Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons

Music by: Danny Elfman

Cinematography: Fabian Wagner

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Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

When the trailer of Thor Ragnarok released earlier this year, it got everyone very excited about the film as it gave a vibe of something new and different that would be coming our way. Let’s find out if this is true or not.

The story takes off where the last Thor movie ended. Even if you haven’t seen the previous movies, you can easily understand the story. Ragnarok is a prophecy which says Asgard will be destroyed soon. Odin is gone, Thor’s hammer is destroyed and the Goddess of Death has taken over Asgard. It’s now up to Thor to save his world in any way possible.

Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba reprise their respective characters. The film also has new characters played by Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson and Jeff Goldblum. This time we have a lady villain Hela, which is stylistically played by Kate Blanchett. She is brutal, dangerous and sexy.

Director Taika Waititi brings in the technicolor aesthetics and peppy soundtracks. But the story and characters become a second priority. Individual character arcs are vague and the characters themselves feel unrecognisable. Too much of humor sometimes brings down the seriousness of the scene. But that’s how Marvel movies are nowadays.

Because of the improved CGI and VFX, the Hulk looks more real and the action sequences are a visual treat. It is also quite a treat to listen to Hulk’s dialogues which so far has been a rare occurrence.The gladiator style fight between Hulk and Thor is a fun spectacle to watch.

Overall, Thor: Ragnarok is a standard Marvel action blockbuster which will delight your senses. So grab some popcorn and get entertained.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

Stranger Things (Season 2)

Ever since Duffer brothers announced the release date for the second season of Stranger Things, fans have been eagerly waiting for the Halloween weekend to come. The trailer too promised a darker and stranger sequel. So does it fulfill its promise? Let’s find out.

Almost a year after Will was rescued from the Demogorgan, he starts experiencing nightmares which connect him to an evil force from the ‘Upside Down’ world. At the same time, some strange things start happening in the town of Hawkins. Are these things connected? What does the evil force wants?

The writing and story structuring is almost perfect across the entire season. The story gets divided into multiple branches where different characters are solving different problems. At the end, all the strings come together seamlessly and connect the dots perfectly. You can also see the changes and the maturity in the characters as the story reaches the end.

The first two episodes are little slow which just connect the viewers to the first season and sets up the curiosity to binge race the entire season. Season 2 is bigger and better than the first season. Few new characters are introduced which are only supporting. The old characters truly drive the show with their superb acting. The essence of the story and the characters are maintained. Season 2 lives up to the expectations and even goes beyond. 

To summarize, Stranger Things still remains one of the best shows currently on Netflix and better than any other over-hyped shows out in the world. Like always, the ending will make you well up and wait eagerly for season 3.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ & 1/2

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Genre: Science fiction, Horror, Supernatural

Created by: The Duffer Brothers

Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Matthew Modine, Noah Schnapp, Joe Keery, Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery, Sean Astin, Paul Reiser

Music by: Kyle Dixon, Michael Stein

Geostorm

The story of Geastorm is set in the near future where global warming has reached its peak resulting in alarming climate changes. To tackle this situation all Nations come together and construct a worldwide network of satellites that can control the climate and keep any storm at bay. But this system starts malfunctioning after few years and can only be repaired by its creator Jake Lawson, played by Gerard Butler.

Geostorm also stars other actors like Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish and Ed Harris, who play important roles in the film. It is directed and co-written by Dean Devlin, who was the writer and producer of Independence Day and the 1998 Godzilla remake.

In the lines of The Day After Tomorrow & 2012, Geostorm is a cliched disaster film which tries to be different & slick. Though the concept is interesting it fails to make an impact because of the poor acting, hollow screenplay and average VFX disaster scenes.

The positives are that the movie is fast-paced with the right amount of humor at the right places, which doesn’t really give you time to think about any flaws. The film never goes overboard with emotions or action sequences. The length of the film is under 2 hours which works in its favor.

If you are looking for an entertaining film to watch this weekend, give Geostorm a try. Keep logic aside and you will be entertained. 

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ & 1/2

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Directed by: Dean Devlim

Written by: Dean Devlin, Paul Guyot

Starring: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Richard Schiff, Robert Sheehan, Daniel Wu, Eugenio Derbez, Ed Harris, Andy GarcΓ­a

Gerald’s Game

This year we saw two adaptations of Stephen Kings novels, The Dark Tower and It, the former was failed to attract audiences and the latter became a box office hit. Unlike most Stephen King film adaptations, the new Netflix movie Gerald’s Game doesn’t announce itself as being based on a Stephen King novel until you reach the end credits of the film. And it works because this story is so different than the other King’s novels.

Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) are a married couple who are hoping to spice up their sex life by indulging in a dirty weekend away in the countryside. Gerald plans to handcuff Jessie to satisfy his sexual fantasy about which Jessie has no idea. But things go horribly wrong and Gerald has a heart attack while Jessie remains in cuffs. Will she survive or not? Head to Netflix and find out yourself.

One of the best things about this movie is its smallness. Almost the entire film takes place in a single room. It is a mixture of multiple genres and themes like horror, psychological, thriller, feminism, survival, childhood trauma, supernatural, etc. That’s the beauty of this film. The actors have done a fine job especially Carla Gugino. She keeps it real and believable.

Director Mike Flanagan, who has made critically acclaimed horror hits, Hush and Ouija: Origin of Evil, uses smart pacing and well-crafted storytelling to make this film engaging. In one of the scenes where a past memory is shown using a surreal solar eclipse filter, looks cinematically awesome and gives a tonality to the film.

Overall, Gerald’s Game is more than just a survival tale which you should check out to experience a new kind of storytelling.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

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Directed by: Mike Flanagan

Written by: Jeff Howard, Mike Flanagan

Based on: Gerald’s Game by Stephen King

Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas, Chiara Aurelia

Cinematography: Michael Fimognari

Blade Runner 2049

Last year Denis Villeneuve won us over with his slow-paced, brainy sci-fi film ‘Arrival’, which was critically acclaimed and also worked at the box office. This year he is back with his next film which is a sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi film Blade Runner.

Blade Runner 2049 takes the original story forward with a leap of 30 years. β€œK”, played by Ryan Gosling, is a detective working for the LAPD and hunts down replicants, who are bioengineered humans created as a labor force. ‘K’ comes across a surprising discovery buried near the home of a target and the investigation leads him to a startling revelation about the world and himself. We won’t tell you more about the story because the real joy is in discovering it yourself.

The story is engaging and has lots of things to discover and explore. The cinematography, production design and architecture is marvelous and it brings you right into the world of Blade Runner. Director Denis Villeneuve successfully keeps the essence of the first film and also adds his own creative touches.

Harrison Ford reprises his role of Rick Deckard, who connects the stories of the two films. We also have Jared Leto playing the role of Wallace, who is the creator of new age replicants and wants to eradicate all the old ones.

The duration of the film is over 2 and a half hours, which doesn’t really concern for the experience it gives. This film is for the viewers who are comfortable with slow-paced suspenseful sci-fi films. It’s not a blockbuster type action-packed film. The fans of the older Blade Runner film will surely enjoy it. 

(Note: It would be helpful to watch the first film to understand the few details, the characters and the feel of the film)

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

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Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Screenplay by: Hampton Fancher, Michael Green

Story by: Hampton Fancher

Starring:  Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista

Cinematography: Roger Deakins

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

After the success of the first film, director Matthew Vaughn is back with the next installment Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

The movie starts with an exciting action sequence where Eggsy, played by Taron Egerton, is attacked by men of an underworld organization called The Golden Circle. The Kingsman are under attack and seek help from another sister organization called ‘The Statesman’. What does the Golden Circle want and what is their evil plan? For that, you need to watch the movie.

Other than the original trio of Colin Firth, Taron Egerton and Mark Strong, we have new actors like Channing Tatum, Pedro Pascal and few Oscar-winning actors Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges & Halle Berry. But unfortunately the story doesn’t allow to show their acting prowess. We also have Sir Elton John giving more than just a guest appearance.

This time we have a lady villain in the form of Julianne Moore, playing the character of Poppy Adams, who is a big drugs supplier. But the villain’s character is dry and boring. 

What is an even bigger let down is the story. It is too simple and has nothing new to offer. The dangers do not evoke much panic. The makers have focused more on style, clothing, gadgets and less on storytelling.

The positives about the film is that the action sequences are superbly choreographed and are truly enjoyable. The background score compliments them as well. The comic scenes and one-liners make you chuckle every now and again.

Overall, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a fun movie packed with explosions, chases and visual spectacle. Watch it with few expectations and lots of popcorn.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ & 1/2