Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Star Wars franchise which began its journey in 1977 with the release of Star Wars: A New Hope, continues to have a large fan following until today. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the ninth film of the Star Wars universe and the second film of the new trilogy which was started with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As it is one of the biggest releases of this year, let’s find out what it has to offer.

The story takes off where the previous film ended. Rey finally meets Master Luke Skywalker on an unknown planet and asks for his help to save the Rebels from the First Order.

The film has a cast of good actors which includes Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. There is nothing new in terms of the story, but the treatment and matured character arcs make it an interesting watch.

Writer-director Rian Johnson has successfully maintained the soul of the Star Wars franchise. The story and characters have a depth which really connects with you. Especially the Jedi-triangle of Kylo, Rey, and Luke, who are the highlights of the film.

You would find many resemblances to the previous Star Wars movies like the Luke-Vader-Emperor climax scene from Return of the Jedi and few others. The film depends on too much of nostalgia. But it does so with cleverness and depth. The visual effects and action sequences are really good and enjoyable.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is undoubtedly one of the best Star Wars movies and it is a treat to fans. So go ahead and book your tickets this weekend. We promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ & 1/2

(Note: To really understand the story at a deeper level, we would recommend you watch all the previous Star Wars movies. If that is not possible then at least watch the previous film, which could considerably help you understand the story in a better way)

___________________________

Genre: Action, SciFi, Adventure

Directed by Rian Johnson

Based on: Characters by George Lucas

Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly, Marie Tran

Music by: John Williams

Cinematography: Steve Yedlin

Advertisements

Daddy’s Home 2

Just two years after the average Daddy’s Home released, this Christmas we have its sequel hitting the theatres. Is it really worth watching? Let’s find out.

Daddy’s Home starred Will Farrell who played Brad, and Mark Wahlberg who played Dusty, both of whom reprised their roles in Daddy’s Home the sequel. Daddy’s Home 2 introduces two grand β€˜daddies’ to spice things up. Enter Mel Gibson and John Lithgow, visiting the newly-blended families for Christmas.

While the first film gave more focus on the duo of Brad & Dusty, This time the other characters too get equal importance and screen presence. Watching the first film can help you familiarise with the characters and few story references in this sequel. Surprisingly, John Cena gets more than a special appearance this time. 

The first film used up all the gags out of the premise of Brad and Dusty’s rivalry over the care of their step and biological children, respectively, and there nothing new to tell in the sequel. We find many familiar scenes like Brad almost dying because of electric shock, from the first movie. Nevertheless, there are enough jokes to crack you up.

The duration of this movie is around 93 minutes, but feels much longer. Few of the scenes were unnecessarily stretched out, Especially, the scene before the ending which was too  childish.

Overall, Daddy’s Home 2 is a stupid and forgettable comedy. It is worse than the first film, but can be seen as a family entertainer. So if you’ve got nothing better to do this Christmas, you could give it a watch.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

___________________________

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Directed by: Sean Anders

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, John Cena, John Lithgow, Mel Gibson

Wonder

Wonder, based on the 2012 best-selling novel by RJ Palacio of the same name, tells a story of a boy named August, nicknamed Auggie, who was born with a condition that causes facial deformities. Even after going through 27 surgeries he still looks noticeably different from other kids his age. After years of home-schooling, Auggie is sent to attend a regular school. And the different kind of problems he has to face and how he fights back, forms the crux of the story.

Wonder is blessed with stunning performances by its great cast which consists of Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Izabela Vidovic, Noah Jupe, Danielle Russell and others.

All the characters are very well developed. Instead of only focusing on the central character, the story shows the point of view of other characters too. This really helps the viewer to connect with the film. Every moment of emotion fits like a puzzle with each viewpoint and that convincingly flows in every scene.

Co-writer and Director Stephen Chbosky never allows the story to go over dramatic and successfully manages to keep it real and believable. The movie rightly delivers the message of kindness, forgiveness and the importance of self-love, which makes it a wholesome family entertainer.

Overall, Wonder is a simple and warm emotional drama with a lot of heart. It is a gem of a movie which is rare to find in today’s age of superhero and blockbuster films.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ & 1/2

_______________________

Genre: Drama, Family

Directed by: Stephen Chbosky

Screenplay by: Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, Stephen Chbosky

Based on: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Starring: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Mandy Patinkin, Daveed Diggs

Murder On The Orient Express (2017)

Murder On The Orient Express is based on Agatha Christie’s 1934 classic novel of the same name, which has been earlier adapted into a film and a couple of tv shows too. So whats different this time? Let’s find out.

World’s famous detective, Hercule Poirot(played by Kenneth Branagh), is trying to take a vacation while traveling on a packed luxury train from Istanbul to England. But unfortunately, even here he is interrupted by a murder of a fellow passenger. Now everyone on the train is a suspect and Poirot has to find the killer. The passengers are from different countries, having different careers but are somehow connected with each other. That was a small hint which should excite you to go and watch this film.

The ensemble cast comprises an enjoyable mix of actors Johnny Depp, Olivia Colman, Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, PenΓ©lope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley. Kenneth Branagh delivers a performance that overpowers everything else.

The film starts as any typical detective film but ends on a different tone. The film mostly involves verbal discussions so pay good attention to the dialogues to understand the details and to follow the unfolding of the mystery.

The cinematography is grand and beautiful. It is not a fast-paced thriller, but a medium paced mystery-suspense drama. The film fails to create the sense of urgency and tension which murder mysteries are supposed to offer.

If you are a fan of murder mysteries, you should definitely give this film a try.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

_________________________

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Suspense

Directed by Kenneth Branagh

Based on: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, PenΓ©lope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley

Cinematography: Haris Zambarloukos

Thank You For Your Service

We have seen many movies where American soldiers fight heroically for their country and win wars. But what happens when these soldiers come back home after facing the horrors of war? Thank You For Your Service, produced by DreamWorks and Reliance Entertainment, tries to address this issue in a hard-hitting way.

Based on the 2013 non-fiction book of the same name by David Finkel, Thank You For Your Service is the story of 3 American soldiers who are back home from Iraq. The trio suffer from PTSD i.e Post Trauma and Stress Disorder and attempt to gel in with civilian life which forms the crux of the story.

Miles Teller gives an evocative performance. Beulah Koale is all natural and makes you feel empathetic for him. Also, Joe Cole in a brief role is heartbreaking and effective. Debutant director Jason Hall, who wrote American Sniper,  manages to keep the story real but couldn’t bring the outrage that was supposed to be the core idea.

The treatment of the film is kept very real without using any theatrics. The dialogues are relatable, and most of the film is covered via inter-personal conversations.

Thank You For Your Service is an emotional drama with passionate performances from all the actors. This film is not for entertainment but will surely leave you unsettled.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

______________________________

Genre: Drama, Biography

Directed & Written by: Jason Hall

Starring: Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Joe Cole, Amy Schumer, Beulah Koale, Scott Haze

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

______________________________

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

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’‹