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’‹

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Genre: Drama, Biography

Directed & Written by: Jason Hall

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

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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

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

The Mummy (2017)

The Mummy is a reboot of The Mummy franchise and the first installment in the Dark Universe film series. This time we have a woman mummy in the form of the evil Egyptian Princess Ahmanet, who is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert.

The story starts with Nick Morton(Tom Cruise) who accidentally reawakens the Mummy of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) and immediately gets cursed. A young archeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), and the scientist Doctor Jekyll(Russell Crowe) come to Nick’s rescue. They are part of Prodigium, a secret society dedicated to hunting supernatural threats.

The story does excite you to some extent initially. But it doesn’t live up to the expectation when it reaches to the end. The character of Nick lacks purpose and isn’t properly fleshed out. His love for Jenny is never built up and lacks conviction. The character of Princess Ahmanet is very well designed but never used up to its full potential. The same goes with Doctor Jeykyll.

Sofia Boutella is compelling and immensely watchable. Russell Crowe manages to entertain too. But Tom Cruise fails to make an impression. It is probably one of the worst movies of his career.

The production design is impressive in many places and the visual effects are decent. But, the action sequences don’t do justice to it. The climax is far too simple with nothing exciting to offer.

Overall, The Mummy is a bad mixture of comedy, action and horror. It is a one time watch for movie freaks for its visuals and nothing more.

Rating – πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

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Genre: Action, Horror

Directed by: Alex Kurtzman

Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance,Marwan Kenzari, Russell Crowe

Wonder Woman

After delivering multiple disappointing superhero films, DC & Warner Brothers have made a terrific comeback with Wonder Woman.  This is a superhero origin story that digs into Diana’s transformation from a naive warrior to an inspiring hero.

Diana, played by Gal Gadot, is the princess of the Amazons, who are living peacefully on a hidden island. Their sole purpose is to defeat the god of war, Ares, and bring peace to the world. One day a British spy Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine crashes on the island while escaping from the German forces in the First World War. Trevor tells Diana of the β€˜war to end all wars’ and she decides to go with him and end the war.

Diana’s innocence and no knowledge of the human world brings out humor without using any cliched one-liners. Diana experiences falling in love for the first time and the romantic moments between Diana and Trevor are emotional and heart warming. Gal Gadot fits the bill perfectly as Wonder Woman. She pulls off the fight sequences with ease and style. Chris Pine plays an important supporting role and does justice to his character. 

The cinematography on the film is stunning. Also, the background score is memorable, especially during Diana’s fighting sequences which stays with you past the movie. The climax war scenes look incredible with great visual effects.

Overall, Wonder Woman is an emotional and inspirational tale of a woman superhero. It will engage and entertain you for sure.

Rating – πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹
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Genre: Action, Superhero

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Starring:  Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya

Music: Rupert Gregson-Williams

Cinematography: Matthew Jensen

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Fast and Furious 8

Fast and Furious 8 is the eight installment in the Fast and Furious franchise starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and his other team members from the previous film F7. This time Dominic Toretto goes rogue while on a mission and his own team has to stop him at any cost.

For the first time in this franchise, we have a lady villain in the form of a mysterious cyber-terrorist called β€˜Cipher’ played by Charlize Theron who blackmails Toretto to rob some Russian nuclear codes.

F8 has more humor and more realistic action scenes as compared to F7. Two of the action sequences are mind blowing and worth mentioning:

1.  When Cipher hacks into thousands of cars and uses them as zombies

2.  A huge iron ball blows away all the cars from the road

What may disappoint you is that the villain never engages in a physical fight or a action sequence and it’s only computers and technology along with some evilish dialogues.

Overall F8 has all the elements for which the franchise is known for. It is a thrilling and entertaining ride with lots of surprises at the end.

Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

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Genre: Action, Thriller

Directed by: F. Gary Gray

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Scott Eastwood, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Kurt Russell, Charlize Theron

 
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Ghost in the Shell

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Ghost in the Shell is a sci-fi action film based on the classic Japanese anime of the same name that inspired the movie ‘Matrix’. Set in the near future where the line between humans and robots is becoming blurred. The movie revolves around the main character β€˜Major’, played by Scarlett Johansson, who has her brain placed in a cyborg body after meeting a dreadful accident.

The actual story starts when Major and her team are asked to hunt down an anonymous hacker who is brutally killing all the top scientists of a top robotic firm. Simultaneously, Major is also trying to find her own identity and her past. Is she a human, a robot, or just a weapon? What’s her purpose? Does she have a family? All these questions get answered as the story moves forward.

The visual effects and action sequences are stunning and even more enjoyable in 3D. Scarlett Johansson is the soul of this film and she is an absolute beauty to watch on screen. Director Rupert Sanders has successfully managed to keep the balance between technicality and human emotions which are essential for the story.

What might disappoint fans is the missing haunting background score of the original anime movie, which was used only during the end credits.

Overall, Ghost in the Shell doesn’t drag and keeps your curiosity intact till the end. If you are looking for a good sci-fi film with some exciting visual effects, you should definitely watch this!

Rating:  πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹ & 1/2

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Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Thriller

Directed by: Rupert Sanders

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Michael Carmen Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han, Juliette Binoche

Produced by: DreamWorks Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, Arad Productions, Shanghai Film Group Corporation, Huahua Media