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)

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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

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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’‹

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

Atomic Blonde

​The trailer of Atomic Blonde gave a feeling that the film would be an incredibly cool, cold war thriller with insane action sequences. Unfortunately, the film is a letdown.

Lorraine, played by Charlize Theron, is an MI6 agent sent on a mission to Berlin to recover a stolen list of undercover secret agents. But with the Cold War coming to an end, Russian KGB also wants the list so they can control the post-conflict future. Lorraine is accompanied by David, played by James McAvoy, who is the MI6 station chief in Berlin.

The overall look of the film is highly stylized with lots of neon colors and graffiti-style titling filling up the frame. The action scenes are very real and brutal. There is a long single shot fight sequence which is bloody and messy without any theatrics. Charlize would certainly give a tough competition to James Bond and Jason Bourne.

Charlize Theron plays her part with ease and perfection. A talent like her is wasted in this film. Talking about fashion, Theron’s outfits are the scene-stealers, which include spiky heels of all lengths & heights, coats fitted and cut to perfection.

The narrative lacks energy and the movie feels very dry being a spy action-thriller film. The makers have tried to make the story complicated which feels unnecessary. Keeping the plot a little simpler would have helped the film. Also, there is a lesbian sub plot which exists for no reason but to titillate the viewers and then give Theron’s character someone to root for.

You don’t really feel the urgency which the story tries to convey throughout. The twists and turns in the story show up only in the second half which saves the film from being a total flop.

Overall, Atomic Blonde is a bland cocktail of action, style, and fashion which many won’t find entertaining. Watch it only for Charlize Theron.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

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Genre: Action, Thriller

Directed by: David Leitch

Based on: The Coldest City by Antony Johnston, Sam Hart

Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Sofia Boutella, Toby Jones

Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan is known for skillfully weaving a complex story structure in most of his movies. And he’s done just the same for Dunkirk.

Written and Directed by Nolan, Dunkirk is a story of relentless efforts to rescue 4,00,000 British soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, who are surrounded by Germans from all sides and the only way out is by sea.

The story is told through 3 different characters, who are at 3 different locations, at 3 different time frames. To top it off, each of the incidents are shown from 3 different perspectives – air, land, and sea! That’s Nolan for you.

Dunkirk has an ensemble cast of good actors like Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, James D’Arcy, Cillian Murphy and debutante Harry Styles (Of One Direction Fame), who has also done a commendable job.

Nolan smartly uses fast intercuts constantly between the stories of soldiers, the RAF pilots, and a civilian on his boat chugging towards Dunkirk. This makes the film intense and very engaging.

The action sequences feel real and takes you directly into the war. You become a part of this survival story and can feel the hopelessness of the characters. The movie is all visuals and less dialogues. The cinematography gives the film a gloomy and surreal feel, which no other war movie has achieved. As always the background score by Hans Zimmer is amazing and it brilliantly adds to the tension and depth of the story.

The characters are not much explored emotionally with no backstories shown. But, Nolan has used each and every trick from his bag to pull off this film and you easily ignore these small things. Christopher Nolan shows off his craft and proves that he is one of the finest directors of this century.

Dunkirk is an intensely dramatic, immersive and moving film. You definitely do not want to miss what could be the best movie of 2017.

Rating – πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ & 1/2

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Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy

Cinematography:  Hoyte van Hoytema

Edited by: Lee Smith

Music: Hans Zimmer

War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes is the third installment of the Planet of the Apes franchise by Twentieth Century Fox. Picking up a few years after the harrowing events of the previous film, this film puts us right into the conflict between the smart Apes and the destructive humans fighting to reclaim their supremacy.

Caesar, played by Andy Serkis, has to lead his people to safety as a group of unidentified soldiers plan to attack the Apes’ stronghold, and the evil Colonel, played by Woody Harrelson, who leads the soldiers has hidden plans of his own.

The story is really not about the war between apes and human beings. It’s about Ceaser’s internal journey and the conflict of not becoming like Koba, who was the negative character in the previous film. The character of Ceaser is maturely evolved across the franchise. The focus is more on Apes and the story is told from their perspective. Apart from the existing characters like Maurice and Rocket, a new character is introduced Bad Ape, which is played by Steve Zahn. The arrival of Bad Ape brings a little humor to this dark and emotional film.

After watching the previous two films of the franchise, it is normal to expect an epic battle sequence at the end. But it doesn’t happen that way. The film also feels slow and little lengthy at few times in the second half.

The motion capturing done for creating the apes is so outstanding that you never feel that it’s the CGI. The apes look very real like a human being. The cinematography is remarkable and gives an epic feel to the story. The background score does justice to the crucial emotional moments throughout the film.

Overall, War for the Planet of the Apes is a great ending to the trilogy. It is an emotional, thought-provoking and brilliantly crafted film. Hail, Caesar!

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ & 1/2

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Genre: Action, Drama, Adventure

Directed by: Matt Reeves

Starring:  Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Sara Canning, Ty Olsson, Terry Notary, Devyn Dalton, Aleks Paunovic, Alessandro Juliani, Amiah Miller, Chad Rook, Karin Konoval, Gabriel Chavarria

Music: Michael Giacchino

Cinematography: Michael Seresin

Spiderman Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a reboot and also the character’s first solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The story picks up after the events of Captain America: Civil War in which Tom Holland made his debut as the new Spiderman.

After his short mission with the Avengers, Peter is back at home and has to face challenges like any other teenager: school, exams, and girls. To make matters worse, Tony Stark flatly refuses to involve him in any more superhero stuff, and wants him to just remain the β€˜friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man’. But Peter cannot stay quite when he sees something wrong happening around him and goes off fighting criminals on his own. This is Peter Parker’s journey to prove to himself, that he is ready for the big, bad world.

When compared to previous Spiderman movies, this one is more on the fun side and less on the sad personal emotions. The Spiderman’s new high-tech suit is very much like Iron Man and you can see glimpses of Tony Stark in the new Peter Parker. Well, a student always tries to be like his mentor.

Tom Holland has done a good job and looks promising. Michael Keaton was a great choice for the character of Vulture. But he would have made a great villain if had been shown fiercer and brutal. Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role of Tony Stark and is like a cool mentor to the young Peter Parker.

The humor is good and enjoyable. The action sequences look realistic with less use of VFX. It’s a break from the VFX-heavy action seen in many superhero movies nowadays.

Keeping the flaws aside, Spiderman Homecoming is a refreshing teenage superhero movie. It is small in terms of scale but big on entertainment.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ & 1/2

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Genre: Action, Superhero, Comedy

Directed by: Jon Watts

Starring:  Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr.

Cinematography: Salvatore Totino