The Imitation Game (2014)

During World War II, the Nazis used a complex coded communication method that reset every 24 hours, making it seemingly impossible to decode. Alan Turing, a socially-handicapped Cambridge professor and legitimate genius, led a team of brilliant mathematicians whose mission was to crack the code and win the war. The Imitation Game is sure to become a classic in the coming years, as it’s one of the best biopics you will ever see.

Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock) knocks it out of the park with his highest profile leading role to date. He earned an academy award nomination for his focused, at times funny, sympathetic, and tragic portrayal of Alan Turing. The Cambridge professor may have gone on to become the father of computer science, but that doesn’t mean he was easy to get along with, or even likable. His unconventional methods and behavior drew the ire of his fellow mathematicians, in addition to the stern and intimidating Commander Dennison (Charles Dance, Game of Thrones). Eventually, he tempers his arrogance and wins over his colleagues (the commander excluded), who (contrary to his initial belief) provide invaluable assistance in breaking the Nazi code and winning the war. Turing’s time at Bletchley Park is fraught with conspiracy, agonizing decisions, betrayals, secrets, and the end of his story is sure to leave the audience legitimately heartbroken.

Despite covering a complex and intellectual topic, the film gracefully glides between the main story and two other plots. Thanks to its Oscar-nominated editing, The Imitation Game keeps audiences equally invested in the main story, Turing’s troubled time at boarding school, and when he’s under investigation for “indecency” (the term used when homosexuality was illegal) a few years after the end of World War II.

Tenet (2020)

Big Nolan fan here. Doodlebug, Memento, The Prestige, Inception, Interstellar – all fresh and evocative stories. Needless to say, the bar was high going into Tenet.

It starts off well enough, and the backward visuals look interesting enough, but gradually everything starts to feel very gimmicky. The “message” isn’t revealed until somewhere around the last fifteen minutes, and mostly as a sort of parenthesis or footnote, and by then I had sat through two hours wondering who the enemy was, what they wanted and why I should care.No question, the visuals were great, the acting was great, but the editing, PLOT and over-all effect was simply unsatisfying.

The plot is full of discontinuity and random plot elements, and the main time reversal issue is never adequately explained, resolved or identified, and even the cryptic “Tenet” keyword never seems to appear outside of the trailer cuts. The most annoying aspect was the often incomprehensible audio, due to masks and bad editing, that made many key moments a total mystery.

The plot is also littered with bad science of every possible kind, random statements that simply make no real sense (even using the odd time scenario) , and when viewed as ongoing story make you stop and say, how did we ever get HERE? The gun and bullet demonstration really sticks in my mind as total and complete cinematic plot garbage.

I don’t doubt this could have been a masterful movie, but unlike Memento or Inception, the script and story continuity were simply not up to the complex story task.

Revolutionary Road (2008)

A young couple living in 1950’s suburbia think they are different from all the other families living the American Dream. Although, they soon find out that not every dream comes true and they fall exactly into the situations they didn’t want to be in. Their marriage is falling apart, they have trouble raising their children and they want out of this lifestyle.

Even though Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road is set in the suburbs, the reality is, that it is set in a dream world, an illusion; The illusion of purpose, of ones place in society and of what we are ‘supposed’ to do. We are supposed to get married, we are supposed to have children, and we are supposed to move to the quite suburbs and raise a family. Why? Because that is what everyone does, what everyone has done, and is the ingrained belief that everyone will continue to follow; there is no other reason, it’s the blind leading the blind. That is the message that perforates the film, and is the hell that consumes the lives of April and Frank Wheeler. Revolutionary Road is and intricate and intimate portrait of how the so called ‘American Dream’ is sometimes the ‘American Nightmare’.

There are some compelling, memorable, emotionally gripping scenes between DiCaprio and Winslet, which should interest acting students who wish to know what it means to be “in the moment”. Additionally, there is the immensely talented Kathy Bates, whose humorous scenes balance out the heavily dramatic ones nicely and which are sure to leave a warm spot on your heart. Also adding humor to the movie is Michael Shannon as Bates’ psychologically unstable son, who steals just about every scene he’s in. There are moments where the dialogue can seem to feel cliché, but with everything else working so well, those moments can be forgiven. This is a film not to be missed. I’ve become a greater admirer of DiCaprio’s acting ability to enwrap the viewers with each of his performance.

Sound of Metal (2019)

As a person going deaf, this movie means a bit more to me than the average person. The loss of hearing is a sensory device, a part of us, which when lost is overwhelming to deal with and often debilitating to the point of extreme suffering of the mind.

Taking the auditory experience of film to a brand new and original level, Riz Ahmed signs an immensely authentic performance as a drummer locked from sound without warning. The film builds around the way he learns to come to terms with the challenges his disability presents, through the discovery of who he really is as life, meaning and purpose graft perspective to his being. With a great supporting cast, this is a landmark piece of cinema to be savoured.

Sound of Metal is one of those films which will keep you thinking for days after about so many aspects of life such as addiction and how some relationships may simply serve a purpose in the short term for our life but ultimately must be let go. How it illuminates aspects of the deaf community that few get a chance to see is important. But there is so much more to this film that to pigeonhole it as merely being about deaf people does a grand disservice to the many fantastic qualities in every aspect of its creation. I highly recommend taking the time to watch this film.

Get Out (2017)

Horror tension, mystery tension and racial tension blend together into a gripping and formidable nail-biter in “Get Out,” the astonishing directorial debut of Jordan Peele. The former half of the comedy duo “Key & Peele” has found a way to both honor and subvert the thriller and horror genres in a way that’s unmistakably modern.

The story follows a young black man named Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) who goes to meet his girlfriend, Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents at their fancy estate where things go from slightly uncomfortable in terms of Chris being black to deeply messed up in one slow but inevitable fell swoop.

Peele sets a tone of creepiness largely with the help of composer Michael Abels, also making his feature film debut. The unpredictable nature of Georgina and Walter as characters, the ever-increasing suspicion of all the white characters and the way Peele keeps you nervous about who or what is just outside the frame fuel the fear and paranoia as well as if not better than any horror movie featuring more overtly malevolent forces does.

Kaluuya, in a role that will deservedly put him on the map, gives a performance that will connect with viewers who identify with Chris as a man trying to feel comfortable while out of his element experiencing strange things, and those who truly understand Chris’ experience as a man of color undergoing the very same events. It would be fascinating to know the different ways a black viewer would experience the film compared to a white one, but the most important thing is that everyone will identify with and feel for Chris.

Not everything adds up by the end of “Get Out,” but the film plays out in extremely satisfying fashion. Fans of horror and fans of thrillers who don’t mind horror when it’s done well should both enjoy the technique and experience. It provides thrills of the pulse-pounding, thrill-seeking and thought-provoking variety and few genre films can say the same.

Real Steel (2011)

Set in the near future, Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a former boxer with an interest in robot boxing. He is struggling for cash and will seemingly give anything to get a robot good enough to raise some funds. Charlie discovers that he has an 11 year old son (Max played superbly by Dakota Goya) but he is not really interested in getting to know him.

He signs custody over to the boy’s aunt in exchange for cash but Charlie and his son have to spend at least one summer together. They don’t get on very well together until Max shows an interest in the Robots. It is a very nice father & son development story and as the film progressed I began to like the characters more and more.

The digital effects work very well together, and are much more eye appealing than the similar ones used in the Transformers series. For one thing, the fight scenes are coherent, entertaining, and extremely well scored by Danny Elfman, who this time gives us some delightfully different music.The robots are captured using a variety of digital techniques. Some are animatronic, some are used through motion capture animation, where actors get fitted for special suits and imitate the motions of the character, and some just plain ol’ CGI. All of these three techniques are blended very well together, and make for a very entertaining visual spectacle.

What makes it a bit better is the fact that the cast approaches it with optimism and the mentality that they will “make it work.” Jackman certainly does, pulling off a sleazy, ignorant father who grows to appreciate his son and his job a bit more, and Dakota Goyo, like I said before, hits almost every note just right. The problem is the screenplay which hammers us with several movie clichés we’ve seen many times before. The rags to riches story has shown itself many times, not to mention one’s rise from humble beginnings to a successful career. At least Real Steel recognizes the movies it’s paying homage to, like the whole end scene that slightly mirrors Rocky.Director Shawn Levy has successfully made success out of two underdogs; the film itself and Atom. His previous flicks like Just Married and Night at the Museum were lightweight innocent features that failed to include anything on the same level as Real Steel.

Fight Club (1999)

I first saw Fight Club when I was 8 years old. I didn’t understand any of it, but I liked the fighting and editing.

I saw it again when I was 15 and just started seeing movies for what they were – a language. A language through which the filmmakers interpret their own views on the world. I understood more of it, especially being part of “the middle children of history” generation.

To criticize a film for having a shallow or confused message is understandable. The problem with this criticism is that, in the case of “Fight Club”, the movie’s message is not confused. It knows exactly what it’s saying; but many people don’t.

Not only do some people jump to the conclusion that “Fight Club” is condoning violent or sociopathic behavior, but they think it’s condoning fascism and terrorism, when it’s actually outright mocking it. It’s showing the juvenile pointlessness of it. Not only do some people miss that it’s satirizing the teenage-rebellion mentality, but they assume it’s pandering to it.

“Fight Club” is the story of two people representing two extremes: the Narrator, a white-collar worker who’s become a slave to consumerism and the social construct around him, and the other is Tyler Durden, a violent nihilist with no regard for society or others, who feels the human race has been emasculated by materialism and advertising. Essentially, these two are exact opposites. But as the two of them become friends, they start an underground boxing club for the catharsis of people who feel just as trapped and emotionally apathetic as they do. Ultimately, Tyler takes this entire concept and evolves it into “Project Mayhem”, a group devoted to vandalism and general mischief, but from there, it actively grows into a terrorist organization.

The thing that should be the giveaway that it’s not promoting this behavior is through the death, of an innocent man as the result of these actions, and the fact that we see the misguided members of Project Mayhem lose their personal identities to a dangerous cult mentality.


The film blatantly portrays Tyler Durden as a fascist and a terrorist, and yet, people actually think it’s promoting him, simply because it doesn’t outright tell you what to think.

In short: “Fight Club” is condoning Tyler Durden’s actions and beliefs as much as “Schindler’s List” is condoning the Holocaust.

Of course, that’s my take on how the message is misconstrued, so what else does “Fight Club” have to offer?

Well, as you’d expect from Fincher, it’s a remarkable-looking movie, and the actors make the absolute best of it. It’s consistently funny, full of unforgettable characters and dialogue, and most of all, it captures the world and feel of Generation X quite unlike any movie I’ve ever seen. But therein lies something fascinating: it’s the absolute film for its time and place, yet it doesn’t feel dated at all. The reason, I theorize, is because it does such an outstanding job of making you a part of the time in which it’s set, and giving us something timeless to think about.

Everything about Fight Club is simply amazing. The acting, the directing, and the story is simply superb.It’s ridiculously smart, deep, beautiful and cool.It questions reality. It is strikingly thought provoking and visually stimulating.

Sex Education (2019)

Sex Education is a coming of age story about 16-year-olds, their life in high school and at home, and, most importantly about their sexual developments. The main storyline unfolds around a boy named Otis. His mom is a sexual therapist, which makes sex and everything connected with it even harder for him to talk about. Ironically, Otis, who has very little experience and feels tremendously awkward when it comes to sex and relationship, is surprisingly good at giving advice on those subjects to others. Therefore, this edgy cool girl Maeve, who is, as most would say, way out of Otis’ league recognizes his “talent” and encourages him to start a sex clinic inside school. And so that the story starts.

Compared to other teen series and films found on Netflix, Sex Education may be the most substance-rich, but it lack innovative concepts and novel themes to be called a round work. So you get presented many important discussion that deal with homosexuality, family problems to far-reaching critical issues such as abortion. However, I found dealing with these conflicts often very clumsy and superficial. In many places I had wanted more depth and a more intensive handling of the individual topics. Instead, the discussions were kept to a minimum and barely picked up by the characters and packed into meaningful dialogues.

The first season of the show is pretty good, very good actually. The suspense was there. Everyone were waiting for the Otis – Maeve relation to happen and this main line was getting me intrigued for all the first season. The show basically descended at the end of the first season. At the last minute of the last episode to be exact, Otis chooses a completely opposite and I mean it when I say completely opposite girl to Maeve. This just spoils everything.

The second season isn’t even a 1 out of 10. As they went just too far with this relation suspense and yet they go again at the end of season two. I mean for all 8 episodes I was waiting for their relation to happen again and each time some really stupid thing happens to stop this relation from happening. The end of the second season is just an insult. As we again can understand that this thing will continue for the third season.

I mean this show demonstrates the biggest problem of Netflix. It is the lack of good ideas, scenarios, scripts. This is probably one of the few shows with a decent main story/suspense line on the streaming service (the love relation of two main characters) but Netflix just had to abuse it too much like they do every time.

Gemini Man (2019)

Henry Brogan (Will Smith) is an aging but elite assassin who’s ready to call it quits. However, his plans are put on hold when he suddenly becomes the target of a mysterious operative who can seemingly predict his every move. The assassin who stalks him has a very familiar feel to him…

Lets not beat around the bush, Smith and Winstead deserve a better screenplay than this. The writing is weak and lazy, Lee is clearly the wrong director for such a high concept action film, while the action scenes are shoddy in effects. In fact the storyline, as trite as it is, is unfairly in a constant battle against the CGI on show.

However, film never sits still and refuses to let boredom take a hold. The lead actors are engaging enough to hold attention throughout, and even as the sugary coatings fill out the final throes, we at least can acknowledge there were earnest intentions to make an existential clone thriller here. Smith is a commanding and amiable presence and actually the cast did quite well with what they were given and considering what they were given, which would be beneath anybody. The ossuary brawl is spectacular. But with Jerry Bruckheimer on production you can see there’s a popcorn action film trying to break free of the literary treacle.

Hardly the worst clone sci-fi that some have called it, but it’s not memorable either.

Inception (2010)

Inception is an interesting movie without a doubt and I will also make the presumption you have seen the movie, as it’s not productive to repeat the plot. A fair amount of time has gone since I saw the movie (twice), and although that means I’ve had lots of time to think it through, I don’t remember all the details.

First, let me state the most immediate reason to why I didn’t like the movie that much: The second half of the movie is a long string of bog standard action sequences. Yes, it’s trying to be tense, but it doesn’t manage to surprise me one bit – the ending is nearly completely predictable. Throughout, I care about only a few of the characters, and about none of the endless imaginary minions they are facing. If this fairly large flaw had been absent, the movie would at least have been a 9/10 for me.

Now for the more subtle problems: I feel that not enough was done to emphasize that the mission takes place in a dream world. Most of the time, the movie’s “dream” world is indistinguishable to the real world. This similarity is intended (it is argued that the dreamer otherwise would become suspicious and wake up, or reject inception). Unfortunately, it means there are few chances to surprise us… That’s where we return to “bog standard action sequences”: Sure there are a few cool twists that illustrate the characters are in a dream, like the city being turned upside down; but these devices are for the most part absent once the inception mission starts, and thus have minor impact in total.

Obviously, this movie defies all physical laws, which would be okay if there is an alternative set of rules to cover for reality. It doesn’t have such a coherent rule set however; instead, it is mostly reminiscent of movies where anything convenient is made up for whatever is supposed to be happening on screen. The bad guys perform wildly differently depending on whether the protagonists are supposed to be able to escape or not, rules for various dream levels diverge too much, and so on. In short, the script fails to lend itself credibility – one cannot simply say “it’s a dream, we don’t have to care about plausibility”.

All in all, these complaints are pretty minor (except for the aforementioned way Inception attempts too much to be an action/thriller movie towards the latter parts). Considering the great works given by Chistopher Nolan before and all the hype this movie had with it, it had my expectation bar raised a bit higher which made me rethink about it’s viability in essence.

Little Women (2019)

From books to plays, to films, the Little Women story is one of those stories that just keeps getting updated, which isn’t a bad thing, as long as they are doing it for a specific reason and not because they are out of ideas. Thankfully, it’s very clear that this adaptation was updated for the modern age, which felt like a strong enough reason when watching it. Now, I’ll be very upfront with this before diving into my review and state that I don’t have any knowledge of this classic material, prior to viewing this movie, so it felt pretty fresh to me. For that reason, you may want to take this review with a grain of salt, but here’s why I believe the 2019 version of Little Women is worth your time.

Flashing back and forth between time periods, the focal point of this film is Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) and her writing ambitions. The film begins and concludes with her story, but the rest of the movie places her sisters Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) at the forefront as well. All trying to find a man to love and discovering what love truly is, these young women strive to become something greater than how they grew up. Diving into very emotional struggles as the film goes on, there is quite a bit of depth to this story. Loss and relationships are what kept this film emotionally resonant with me and I believe the care that was put into the characters is what made it work so well.

There are times, especially throughout the majority of the second act where the movie seemed to really slow down. Yes, these moments were buoyed by effective drama, but I found myself waiting for the next scene to come on a few occasions. This is a wonderful film that I just found to be a little too slow.

In the end, although the pacing of this movie did hurt my experience a little, which doesn’t usually happen with slow-paced films, I still was able to really admire it. Little Women is a fantastic effort by director Greta Gerwig and many of the technical aspects stood out to me as well. Quick shout out to the set design and costume work as well, as those will probably be worth of awards very soon. This is a wonderful movie from start to finish and it deserves all the praise it’s receiving, but I just didn’t quite love it myself. Still, it’s a very good movie nonetheless.

Parasite (2020)

Firstly, movie hype of the wildfire sort (ovation, talk of Cannes, etc) grossly overinflates expectations for a film. If you’ve read 50 reviews calling something ‘best film ever’ and then watch said film, I can almost guarantee you will not share their opinion afterwards. No, it’s not a flawless masterpiece that will be remembered for centuries – but just because others think so is no reason to hate on it either, since it is undoubtedly an accomplished and entertaining piece of filmmaking.

Lots of reviewers talk about the underlying themes and motifs and whatnot, vaguely alluding to what those are – class struggle, a dash of political allegory – but no one so far has written up any sort of concrete analysis that decodes the film, pointing out the literary, cinematic, political, or psychological allusions in specific scenes. If you read enough of these reviews, you know there’s always at least one arch-geek who takes on the challenge and posts something that borders on coherent and insightful. 

Though it’s definitely not a ‘pro-capitalism’ film, it is quite ambiguous about its morality, and there is no one to really root for or hate. This is actually one of its more subtle but grandiose achievements.

More to the point are criticisms of the acting, which may or may not be annoying (I don’t speak Korean, so I cannot fully judge). Plot is on the improbable side, although the ‘fun factor’ of watching this unravel counterweighs the contrived nature of the initial setup. The final stretch doesn’t quite deliver (if it did, this would be a 9-10), and there’s an unnecessary and rather maudlin coda.

But overall, strong work, and definitely one of the year’s must-see films.

Lucy (2014)

Unless you are nearly brain dead, you will find this film stimulating. If you are a sci-fi buff like me, even more so. This film was brilliantly directed by the French Maestro. Beautifully acted, by Scarlette Johansson.

While the transformation is happening, we see Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman) giving a lecture on the capacity of the human brain. He says people generally use only about 10 percent of their brain’s capacity. (Yes, it’s an urban legend, but you’ll enjoy the movie a whole lot more if you ignore that fact and just go with it.) Norman, an authority in this field, has no idea his path will soon cross with Lucy’s.

Lucy accidentally ingests the drug and her neurons begin firing. Her brain begins to grow ever-more powerful – so powerful that she’s able to easily disarm any captor and figure a way out of any situation she’s in. She needs someone who understands brain function to help her while a team is hot on the trail to dispense with her. The film moves at such a frantic pace and provides such mind-boggling visuals and fascinating concepts about time and existence that it’s impossible not to be entertained. Besson also throws in some brief but exhilarating nature scenes to emphasize Lucy’s vulnerability (at first) and then to expound upon what she is learning.

Somewhat improbably, it’s also an ideal culmination of a sci-fi trilogy Johansson may not have even realized she was making. It’s near impossible to imagine Lucy without Johansson and her perfectly calibrated performance, a crucial component to investing in the story’s inherent silliness.

The action was a little over the top at times. What you’ll find here, is a well-crafted science fiction yarn that might make you think more than you bargained for while you enjoy the shoot-ups and vehicle crashes.

Catch me if you can (2002)

Frank Abagnale Jr. (Di Caprio) makes his way across America posing as a lawyer, a pilot, a doctor whilst all the while being chased by Carl Hanratty (Hanks) Based on the true story of conman Frank Abagnale Jr. this ambitious crime caper is a turn for excitement harmless joy that encodes spurts of comedy in a dramatic construction of a man looking for a sense of mayhem and wealth, to live in his father’s footsteps.

Flowing with the energy from a Spielberg project alongside Oscar nominated scorer John Williams you would expect a ferocious appetite of crime shindigs and sharp tantalising scenarios across America and for the most part we see a relaxing and remarkable story that is hard and equally remarkable to believe really happened.

From the charming animated title sequence (featuring John Williams’s delightfully sneaky score) to the end, this is an enormously entertaining film from the gifted craftsman, Steven Spielberg, who is so damn good people take him for granted or resent his “manipulation,” i.e. his seemingly effortless ability to create effective drama.

The movie is filled with delightful supporting performances, starting with Hanks and continuing on with Nathalie Baye as the boy’s selfish mother, Amy Adams as his immature fiancée and on down to the tiniest role. I’m especially grateful for the sympathetic part given to Christopher Walken, as the mischievous and spirited Abagnale Sr., whose life darkens as his fortunes fall. Walken is one of my favorite actors, but while I enjoy the occasional one-dimensional freak or villain he plays, I wish most of his parts were like this.

Spielberg’s movie is rich with fascinating details and memorable incidents, while the script by Jeff Nathanson moves backward and forward in time to tell the story in the most engrossing way possible. This is top-notch entertainment.

Call me by your name

Italy, 1983. To the villa of Professor Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg), the father of 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet), arrives assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer) for the summer. Everyone loves him: from the maid Mafalda to local beauties. But most of all he is sympathetic to the young Elio, who can not fully determine his feelings for the guest. Italian director Luca Guadagnino presents the adaptation of the novel by André Asiman about the first love and its complexities.

“Call me by your name” – like a long-awaited trip to a country house from a noisy megapolis. Here, the silence of a summer day is broken only by the call for lunch or a horn of a bicycle. Peaches are ripening on branches, pending until they are ripped off. The pool is always filled with water and waits for someone. Here you go out for breakfast, when everyone has already had lunch. And the nights are as hot as everyday life: discos, walking with friends, swimming in the lakes. And in this idyll he invades, americano, riotous and bright, like a wind on a rocky cliff, bringing confusion to Elio’s plans for the summer. Oliver introduces the professor’s son to new feelings and experiences, which are unknown to him. But Guadagnino does not go into tragedy, he adapts Asiman’s novel brightly and sometimes funny. The filmmaker took the best of Asiman’s novel and smoothed out the rough erotic edges, so the scenes of the intimate closeness of the characters were shot as decently as possible, and even the episode with peach can not be called very vulgar. Guadagnino removed from the adaptation the girl Vimini, who was sick with leukemia, he decided to concentrate on the feelings of the main characters, and not on the secondary lines. But also the director deliberately excluded Elio and Oliver’s meeting 15 years later, so as not to turn the film into a complete statement, but leave a feeling of understatement, as well as between the characters themselves.

During one of the dinners at the villa, one of the Perlman’s guest says the phrase: “Cinema is not a reflection of reality, but a filter for it.” That Asiman in the novel and Guadagnino in the film created a partly fabulous story of the first love with its difficulties and delights. “Call me by your name” – a coming of age drama (magical in its atmosphere), a movie about growing up through the first experience and about what it means to be alive and free.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1995)

It’s what you do that really matters.”This movie couldn’t be more suitable for my journey. In a lot of ways I’ve felt like Gilbert lately. Just kind of a shell. Going through the motions, taking care of my family, feeling empty.

“Cooped up… Taking care of everybody else… Forgetting about you” 

I have the same desire as Gilbert to just get out of my situation.

“What do you want for you? Just for you…” 

“I want to be a good person.” 

Also have done things I’m not particularly proud of to cope; like his relationship with the married woman Betty. Someone recently came back into my life, and rekindled the flame inside for me, just like Becky did for Gilbert while passing through town.

“…just like he was already dead” 

“I use to know a guy like that.”

I love the peaceful music and landscape shots throughout. Gently reminding that there is beauty everywhere, if you’re willing to see it. The ending of Gilbert and Arnie finding peace and escape means a lot to me. Fire reminds me of the phoenix, and how new beginnings can be born out of ashes. 

First of all, the character development when watching the film is absolutely raw and perfect from start to finish where it feels as believable as possible.Arnie Grape is highly autistic and mental where his body language looks very high-octane and hyperactive. Now when I type the word “mental”, not every one of his characteristics describe mentality. He behaves very sweet and honest at times when interacting to people (especially when he is interacting to his mother), but there can be showings of mentality when there is a bump on the road in his brain when the film continues to develop.

Family is probably the biggest and most important theme of this film because there is a strong, romantic connection between Gilbert and Ellen that not just has a strong effect on the Grape family, but also personally on Gilbert as well. There are several scenes where Arnie excitedly interacts with his obese mother where he shows a desirable love towards her that comes off as sweet.

“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” can be analyzed in cinema as experiencing the mental human conditions as well as dealing with that condition. Both Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio deliver their career-best performances in pure high fidelity like Levinson’s “Rain Man”, where many emotional twists increase through event after event.Truly beautiful movie, and a perfect time for the viewing experience. 

The End Of The Fucking World

“I feel, I dunno, I feel comfortable with him,” is how 17-year-old Alyssa (Jessica Barden) describes her burgeoning relationship with James (Alex Lawther), another teenage misfit whom she met at school, in the first episode of The End of the F***ing World. “I feel sort of safe.” Unbeknownst to Alyssa, while she’s pondering her feelings, James is ferociously sharpening a hunting knife with a gleam in his eye, plotting how to kill her.

Based on the comic book series by Charles Forsman, the show follows teen outsiders James and Alyssa as they embark on a road trip to find Alyssa’s father, with Alyssa unaware that James plans to kill her.

If that synopsis or the title didn’t make it clear enough, The End of the F***ing World is often a very dark show, but more in the sense of pitch-black humour rather than anything particularly nasty or graphic, although the third episode does contain a fair amount of blood.

The show is a success thanks to the two outstanding lead performances from rising British stars Alex Lawtherand Jessica Barden. James and Alyssa could easily come across as extremely irritating and to some, the mannered performances might be off-putting, but Lawther and Barden are so engaging that their dysfunctional love story carries a surprising amount of emotional weight. The likes of Gemma Whelan, Steve Oram and Wunmi Mosaku provide able support, but this should be a star-making vehicle for both of its young leads.

They’re helped by the show’s arresting visual style which will be familiar to fans of Edgar Wright’s work, utilising cutaway gags and voiceover from both characters to keep the show feeling fresh and fast-paced.

Crucially, it’s never afraid of being what it is and there are no punches pulled right from its opening voiceover – “I’m James, I’m 17, and I’m pretty sure I’m a psychopath” – to its ambiguous ending that leaves it open for a second season. It’s not for the faint-hearted (especially if you have a problem with swearing), but then it’s not trying to be.  The End of the F***ing World has an ambiguously retro vibe, and one that’s geographically indistinct.  The second season is slower than the first but that doesn’t lets down the audience for a while. Overall, the show is a heartwarming, quirky romance between a budding psychopath and a truculent, wounded teenager which can take you to their world altogether.

Before Trilogy

A lot of romance movies have sitcom-lite subplots that have nothing to do with the actual love story, like the leading man has to give a big presentation at work or something similarly generic.

The conversation-driven storytelling of the Before trilogy keeps its focus squarely on character. Through dialogue, Jesse and Céline reveal their innermost desires, the lies they’re telling themselves, and their deepest insecurities. In the hands of Hawke and Delpy, who were heavily involved in the writing of the trilogy in addition to starring in it, Jesse and Céline really come to life and their romance rings true as a relationship between two human beings.

Across three movies, the Before trilogy takes viewers from Jesse and Céline’s initial chance encounter on a train to well into a committed relationship that’s become marred by complications. It’s practically unparalleled in telling a rounded, complete, perfect story in three parts.Before movies never get pigeonholed as either comedies or dramas. There are scenes that are hilarious and scenes that are heartbreaking, and along the way, the trilogy evokes every emotion in between.

Dialogue is the focus of the entire trilogy, calling back to the works of Éric Rohmer, and it’s impeccably written. Richard Linklater, in collaboration with his stars Hawke and Delpy (and, on the first two movies, Kim Krizan), penned three of the greatest naturalistic screenplays ever written.

After each movie in the Before trilogy, it’s impossible not to imagine where Jesse and Céline will find themselves a few more years into the future in the next movie. But despite begging these questions and getting imaginations running wild, the trilogy still manages to constantly keep the viewer guessing.

The Before trilogy is a rare example of a story that subverts its audience’s expectations at every turn, yet doesn’t have a single plot point that feels misplaced or out of character. It all culminates in an incredibly engaging series of movies, and it achieves this without putting the world at stake; it’s just a human story about whether two people will end up together.

Ugly (2013)

Disclosing what Ugly is about will not be justifiable to the movie itself. It is one of the best to have come out of the Kashyap factory in terms of script and characters. It is one taut, dark, intense and disturbing tale of wretched nature of the human motives and how the grand plan has it’s own way of laughing at those.

Interestingly Ugly through each of it’s elements will take you back to Kashyap’s previous works and remind you why he is truly the king. The brilliant script writing will remind you of Black Friday, Kashyap’s first masterpiece. The excellent visual treatment, even though it’s not a feature throughout the film is something without which any of AK’s films is incomplete. The trippy background score by Brian Oncomber is the stand out feature in the second half of the film when the film begins to approach the tipping point.

Without doubt, the hero of the film is it’s characters. Rarely would you come across a film full of complex characters, where the motives of every action of those characters get automatically clear as the story progresses. You do not know what to appreciate more, the courage with which the director is bluntly showing the depraved complexion of human nature or the ease with which that has been knit in a story.The non linear nature of the storytelling in the first half brings the necessary variation which adds to the build up.

Rahul Bhat who is seen on screen after a long gap tells you why there is no dearth of excellent character actors in the country, it’s just that there are not enough roles for them. Vineet Singh, aka Danish Khan from GOW, will make you cringe and laugh with the expletive chain reaction. Ronit Roy, in his second powerhouse appearance in a Kashyap production, is perfectly cast. And one performance which is straight out of life is of Girish Kulkarni, as the police inspector. There is as much sincerity in his laugh as is in his sombre face. The one liners are so on mark that you would forget that there is a reel rolling.

Surely, the film has some of it’s elements similar to that of Fargo, the classic Hollywood dark comedy, but it never plays on your mind, so it wouldn’t qualify as lifting. The movie is so real, for an Indian audience he would not be surprised with a lot of things as he/she know the system, but he would definitely be surprised to see the limit of it, and to see what could be wrong.  

Casino (1995)

Ace Rothstein (De Niro) and Nicky Santoro (Pesci) are two mobsters who move to Las Vegas to make their fortunes. But they come into conflict with Ace falls for a pushy showgirl, Ginger (Sharon Stone) and Nicky falls into a cycle of drugs and violence.

A complex, multilayered, beautifully directed film, Martin Scorsese’s Casino is a masterpiece of destruction and betrayal. Few films take so many chances and succeed so wonderfully. It takes some of the basic formulas that were found in Goodfellas and applies them to another type of story – while Goodfellas’ view was ground-level, telling the story of the “blue collar” gangsters of NYC, this film tells the story of the guys who controlled those guys. And it’s fascinating to watch these people run Las Vegas, control the flow of money, and then fall from the heights of power due to lust, hubris, and greed. An amazing film that will hopefully get the recognition it deserves in the years to come.

The film deals with a particular time period and a particular atmosphere and accomplishes an overwhelming achievement by creating and accurately portraying both. The art direction is splendid, most likely the best of any film Scorsese has ever done. The acting is superb. I never thought Pesci would be able to top his dynamic performance in Raging Bull until I saw Casino. Every time I watch this picture I fall in love with it all over again. This is the most honest depiction of Las Vegas, especially of the time period it was portrayed in.  Sharon Stone gives the best performance of her career.

Ultimately, the genius of Scorsese is not just in the mastery of the medium, but in the understanding and appreciation for the necessity of great collaborators on all levels that Scorsese has consistently utilized throughout his career. Casino exemplifies not only the best of a Scorsese film, but transcends it. This film is truly a gem.

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

In BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, Freddie Bulsara (Rami Malek) dreams of being a singer and goes to clubs to hear his favorite band play. When their lead singer quits, Freddie gets the job. He changes his last name to Mercury, and the band becomes Queen. Thanks to Mercury’s astonishing vocal range and the band’s hard rock sound, they find immediate success. Freddie marries his sweetheart, Mary (Lucy Boynton), and starts to deal with the pitfalls of fame, including drinking and drugs, ego wars, and his own sexual identity. Spending time with the wrong entourage sends Freddie down a bad path, pursuing a doomed solo career. In 1985, when Queen is invited to play the Live Aid show, Freddie must apologize to his former bandmates and get their groove back. Can they be ready for the performance of a lifetime?

This movie was a brilliant portrayal of the mixed up life, and massive talent that was Mercury , and that is in no way meant to diminish the other fabulous musicians who made up this wonderful band. Whilst Freddie’s life and death are quite well documented, his inner turmoil is not – this movie opens this up for all to see, and highlights actions and individuals who had a large influence on his fragile life, both good and horrendously bad. If only he could have been happy with the knowledge that he had one of the best singing voices, if not THE best, that ever fronted a rock band. Rami Malek does a wonderful job of portraying him, and in so many ways has captured his mannerisms to a tee. 

Sitting through this movie I had goosebumps. The casting just works and watching the actors playing May and Deacon you’d be forgiven in thinking someone had access to a time machine. Even Kenny Everett was instantly recognizable. I felt this movie as a strange combination of elated and terribly sad. Elated to hear the music, watch the story and yet sad that Freddie was so desperately lonely. Ultimately, I think Freddie would have approved of the whole thing. His genius and flamboyance shone through. Truly brilliant!

A Beautiful Mind(2001)

A man sees what no one else can, and we call him a genius. A man sees what no one else does, and we call him crazy. This Academy Award-winner for Best Picture is about a man who was both. It’s the true story of genius John Forbes Nash, Jr.- played by Rusell Crowe, who revolutionized mathematics and struggled with mentally illness. More than 40 years later, as he edged back into sanity, his contribution was recognized by academics in Sweden. They awarded him the Nobel Prize.

Its a hard movie to pinpoint. Its not like any other movie I’ve ever seen, in that a character exists that is not real. John Nash’s mind is the reality of the movie and its not until the movie is half over that you realize this and its jarring that you’ve been taken on a ride with this man’s illness, and accepted it as the real world. Its also a very heartbreaking thing.

From the middle point, John and you see the world differently because he starts to receive treatment. Russell Crowe does not overdo it for a minute and turns in his customary brilliant performance. Just as good but with less screen time is the beautiful and talented Jennifer Connelly, who the world may finally get to see in a mainstream movie. Her chemistry with Crowe is vital to the movie and neither of them disappoint the audience at all in that respect.

I enjoyed it immensely and felt like I had seen a movie when it was over. I was shown a person at their best and the worse and everything in between, by a masterful actor at the top of his game. This movie touched me on many levels. The psychology of the movie was intriguing, the mathematical philosophies were actually realistic from my own experience, and the icing on the cake making the movie stand out was surprisingly the humanistic side of Love. While love is a common basis in most movies, the interaction of this theme with other aspects of the plot was planned phenomenally.

All The Bright Places (2020)

“All the Bright Places,” based on the best-selling novel of the same name, is chock full of the kinds of Young Adult tropes that aim to make viewers swoon and soak their hankies with tears but isn’t able to deliver the content with the same maturity.

The story follows two young adults in their journey of loss and love in the 21st century. The film highlights the unlikely relationship between misfit Theodore Finch (Justice Smith) and sociable-turned-quiet Violet Markey (Elle Fanning), after the passing of her sister in a traumatic car accident. Finch and Markey find themselves on a journey exploring the ins-and-outs of the seemingly mundane state of Indiana for a school project, but along the way learn to discover the beauty in the small and unexpected things in life. 

The movie is not all sunshine and butterflies though, as it touches on Markey’s loss and trauma, as well as Finch’s deteriorating mental health characterized by what he calls “dark moods.” The movie eloquently dances around the topic of mental health, making sure to include the realness and raw emotions that come with all of the aforementioned loss and trauma.

It should be considered that the movie is nowhere near the book but has tried its way through the cinema. One who has read the book will find this movie a drag and a total let down. The actors lack their individual voice in the movie and overall it goes plain on the screen , glorifying teen suicide and managing to make it less weary than 13 Reasons Why . “All the Bright Places” rests on the notion that you never really know what others are going through, that people who seem to have it all together on the outside might have a lot more going on underneath. Perhaps that’s not a novel, earth-shattering concept, but it’s one that’s as worthwhile as ever. And the film’s frank talk about mental illness, suicidal thoughts, physical abuse and family loss is so potent and necessary that it makes you wish Fanning hadn’t been saddled with a treacly narration at the end, summarizing the themes. Young people are bright—they can handle these kinds of complex concepts.

Goodfellas (1990)

“As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a gangster.” – Henry Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1955.

From the mid-1950s as a young teen, to the 1980s as a broken, recovering drug addict in fear for his life, the real-life Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) was a member of the Mob. In Henry’s words, “I belonged,” and that to him meant everything. In lockstep with the icy, controlled violence of Jimmy Conway (Robert de Niro) and the unbalanced savagery of Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), Henry traveled in style, breaking laws, abusing those he loved, untouched by corrupt cops and revered by fawning hangers-on. Only when Henry’s mistakes, fueled by drug addiction and paranoia, led to certain awareness that his days in organized crime were numbered did Henry turn himself in to the FBI, rat on his friends, and talk his way into the witness protection program.

If there was one word that I could use to describe Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas”: it’d be priceless. The movie needs to be seen to be believed; in one word: perfection. Every frame, every voice-over, every song – it all comes together at the exact right moment to create the perfect film experience. This film makes you really understand and feel what makes the American mafia so compelling; in the eyes of a kid, who was unfortunate enough to grow up in a tough neighborhood, those gangsters are rock stars. Live fast, die young – but when you die, it ain’t gonna be of a glamorous suicide or drug overdose – the ending will be brutal, ugly and sad. And it may very well be one of your best friends that will blow your brains out.

I’ll never get tired of watching Goodfellas; the entertainment value of this film is just amazing. It doesn’t happen very often that every person involved in the process of making a film is at the peak of his/her game. And rarely do art and entertainment come together the way they did here. Storytelling with impeccable pacing, this is what it’s like when a master composer conducts his masterpiece. All hail the king; the most versatile and talented filmmaker of his generation: Martin Scorsese.

American Hustle (2014)

Inspired by the real-life story of a con artist who is compelled by the FBI to help snag bigger fish in a criminal pond, director David O Russel’s AMERICAN HUSTLE finds Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), a small-time hustler and dry cleaning store owner, taking his game to another level when he meets, teams up with, and falls for Sydney Prosser (Amy A dams), a formidably smart stripper who helps to refine their scams. But when an ambitious FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) ensnares them, the only way out for Irving and Sydney is to set up a bigger con that would lead to a more valuable prize: a well-meaning but corrupt politician (Jeremy Renner) and a mob boss (Robert De Niro). Complicating matters is Irving’s interesting, charming, but bizarrely eccentric wife (Jennifer Lawrence), whom Irving cares for but doesn’t want to live with anymore. His step-son is the main reason he’s sticking around. But if he and Sydney don’t reel in the bigger marks, they’re done.

This sexy looking inspiration of the Abscam operation lacks a fast-paced plot and intrigue that made other conman films such as ‘Catch me if you can’ and ‘Argo’, exciting movies. Loud characters protract several insipid sequences that outlast their importance from the script. The seriousness of the entrapment plot is often overshadowed with the digressed focus on the characters and their relationships and while this dilutes the story-telling, it isn’t such a bad thing when you have such a talented cast. However, one can only go so far with just acting, good looks, sexy styles and 70s tunes. David Russell fails to engage the audience with a tight script and twists in a con-artist’s story that are only few and far apart. Clearly, style over substance was his approach here with entertainment left solely upon the actors’ talents.

Christian Bale put on 40lbs for this movie. It isn’t the first time he has transformed himself on-screen and won’t be the last.David Russell hasn’t showcased his fine talents in a script that needed to be funnier, wittier and tighter. The actors improvise on their greyish characters and provide more entertainment than the script possibly could. That certainly isn’t the film-maker’s achievement but he did choose the right cast that could pull that con off on the audience. Overall one can enjoy it for the gorgeous women, the committed actors and the stylish times but should not get ensnared in the hype surrounding this hustle.

About Time (2013)

After turning 21, Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) has a discussion with his father and learns that he has the ability to travel through time to any point in his own life. He spends a summer learning to use his gift and fails to win his summer crush(Margot Robbie), a pretty blonde houseguest. One night, he meets Mary and falls in love. Unfortunately, he learns that by changing other events that happened that night, he hasn’t actually met her yet. So he must re-meet Mary and win her again. More complications arise when he learns that his time traveling affects his children. But as his time destinations become more limited, he begins learning deeper and more profound lessons about life.

‘About Time’ is a witty, intelligent, charming, sweet film with surprising depth and heart. The script was well written, the direction was great and the casts made a decent performance in their respective roles.

The film done a fine job in balancing the comedic and dramatic elements of the story, providing enough laughter and allowing it to flow smoothly without feeling too overly long despite its 2 hours running time.

Despite the time-traveling plot device, the story focuses on the father-son relationship of Tim and his dad and the lovely romantic relationship between Tim and Mary, without being too sappy, too overly lovey-dovey or too sentimental. The message or overall theme of the film about appreciating life as if it was your last was subtle and not too forceful or preachy.The selection of songs for the film was appropriate and not too overly done for the emotional scenes.The on-screen chemistry between Rachel and Domhnall are convincing enough for the audience to watch them going through life together. On the other hand, Domhnall and Bill, as father and son, their connection is felt throughout the film and certainly evoke some poignant memories when watching them together.

It might seem senseless to some people but that is all what fiction and cinema is about sometimes. About Time is surely worth a watch in spite of it’s predictable storyline.

The Great Gatsby (2013)

THE GREAT GATSBY stars Leonardo Di Caprio as Jay Gatsby, a wealthy, mysterious, self-made man who moves into a Long Island mansion and makes a name for himself by throwing lavish, bacchanalian parties all for the singular purpose of winning back the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan (Carrey Mulligan). Daisy’s husband, Tom (Joel Edgerten), is oblivious (at first) to it all because he’s so preoccupied with his own dalliances. Witness to it all is Gatsby’s neighbor, Daisy’s cousin, Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), who plays a part in bringing them together and witnesses a series of events that ultimately reveals the characters’ tragic flaws.

Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” is fairly accurate to the classic novel and keeps most of its themes intact. However, Luhrmann’s own flair adds a new dimension to the story. Visually this film is incredibly stunning. From grand sets to the detailed period dresses, this film is a treat for the eyes. Never once does it not take your breath away from its impressive scenery. Many people might be worried about the updated music, but there is nothing to fear. Jay-Z’s track and Lana del Rey’s exotic voice works incredible well with the film and complements the era in which it is set.

The direction in this film is impeccable. The cinematography is marvelous and really lets the viewer absorb the sheer artistry that has gone into making this film. Luhrmann keeps a high level of energy throughout the film and the party sequences are choreographed and edited in a way that it makes you feel envious of not being a part of it. Editing in the film is seamless and really keeps the viewer engaged. 

Performances are phenomenal by the entire cast. Carey Mulligan’s Daisy is every bit as careless as one would expect, but she also manages to show some complexity in her role. Tobey Maguire is very much the viewer as he sees everything happening, but is ultimately helpless to change anything. The true standouts in the film are Joel Edgerton and Leonardo DiCaprio.  

Overall it’s an epic melodrama that fuses old-movie theatrics and subjective filmmaking, period music and modern pop, real sets and unreal landscapes, psychological drama and speeded-up slapstick.

Shutter Island (2010)

In 1954, federal marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo Di Caprio) and his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Raffalo) arrive on Shutter Island, a treatment facility outside of Boston for the criminally insane, to search for an escaped murderess. Haunted by past images from Nazi concentration camps and visions of his dead wife (Michelle Williams), Teddy has another, more personal reason to visit the island. Unfortunately, he soon discovers that there might be far more sinister things going on, and that doctors Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and Naehring , may be involved in some kind of hideous experiment. But even if Teddy can find proof, will he ever get off the island?

 Each scene provides a turn against their leads and compels them to look for more whilst searching in places we couldn’t comprehend, including their minds. Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo feed off each other and supply great performances for their characters as expected, but some of the other characters are sensational as well. The two that stuck out to me most were Ben Kingsley (Dr. Cawley) and Michelle Williams (Dolores, Teddy’s wife), each of whom brought so much dramatics and new questions to the movie, developing plot twists and controversy. I don’t think this film would be the same without them. Officially the best filmmaker in the world, Scorsese enjoys himself here and has truly made a masterpiece for a movie. The visual effects in the movie are a bit over the top in some scenes but that doesn’t dull the movie anywhere.

This is also a film I would recommend seeing a second time. In fact, it is even better the second time. All those pieces of that puzzle you didn’t catch the first time, you will the second. You see, we as the audience are first put in the shoes of Teddy. The second? Well, without giving too much away, lets just say you are put in someones else’s shoes entirely during the second viewing.

Shutter Island. A film that will make you question your own sanity. A film that will leave you breathless. A film that has re-ignited the thriller genre. A film that will leave you, and the main character, searching for answers.

The Night Manager (2016)

Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) , a former British soldier, is the night manager. Pine has a complex character with a military background and schooling at the Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover. We first meet him in that capacity at the Hotel Meister Palace in Zurich. He is on duty when the “worst man in the world”, Richard Onslow Roper, arrives with his entourage on a cold, blizzardy night. Roper is a billionaire criminal who traffics illegal arms and drugs. The series is based on the novel which is about Pine’s preoccupation with undoing Roper’s criminal enterprise, which began earlier, in Cairo, where Pine was working as the night manager at the luxurious Queen Nefertiti hotel.

One night in Cairo, Pine met Sophie, a French-Arab woman, the mistress of the hotel owner, Freddie Hamid, who had ties to Roper. Sophie characterised Roper as “the worst man in the world”. She provided Pine with incriminating documents, asking him to forward them to the Egyptian authorities. Pine did so but disregarded her warning that Roper had ties to British intelligence. He forwarded copies to a friend with MI6. A short time later, Sophie was murdered.

Several years later, Pine is working in Switzerland. He is approached by ex-SIS Chief Leonard Burr and his senior civil servant backer Rex Goodhew, who have set up a small counter arms-proliferation office and are planning an elaborate sting operation against Roper. Eager to avenge Sophie, Pine agrees to go undercover to infiltrate Roper’s vast criminal empire. 

This is a rare thing: a genuinely classy thriller. I’ve become so used to dodgy story lines and plots that resemble Swiss cheese that this is something of a shock. Of course, it helps that the acting is so brilliant with top performances from the likes of Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander and Elizabeth Debicki but a great actor needs a great script. The bedrock for this classy thriller is, of course, John le Carre, supported in the adaptation by David Farr. Susanne Bier’s direction is a masterclass. The cinematography is stunning.

Fans of Le Carre’s work are likely to enjoy The Night Manager, as are those who enjoy an atmospheric mystery populated with beautiful men and women, intelligent writing, and international stakes. Not a series to watch without paying attention, it is a series well worth the time and effort to absorb and enjoy it fully. All in all its a suspenseful series plenty of emotion , intrigue , thrills ,crosses and double-crosses . The extreme intrigue and tension are extended from start to finish .This expensive miniseries is considered to be the most lavish TV drama in the history of BBC for sure.

Attack on Titan (2013)

“Attack on Titan” also known by it’s homeland name “Shingeki no Kyojin” is a Japanese dark fantasy anime television series adapted from the manga of the same name by Hajime Isayama. It is set in a world where a part of humanity lives inside cities surrounded by enormous
walls due to the Titans, gigantic humanoid beings who devour humans without any particular reason. The story follows the journey and struggles of Eren Jaeger and his friends Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlet, whose lives are changed forever after a Colossal Titan breaches the wall of their home town. They vow to reclaim the world from these Titans and Eren and his friends join the ‘Scout Regiment’, an elite group of soldiers who fight the Titans.
The manga (First released in 2009) gained indubitable recognition and was among the best sellers as well as the adapted anime has gained much popularity and is among one of the most famous animes like Naruto, One Piece, Death Note, Black Clover and Tokyo Ghoul.
One of the many factors which make the show so interesting and deep rooted is that the plot not only revolves around the protagonist Eren but also shows the struggles and sacrifices of almost every character which promotes to compose a more ‘realistic’ storyline and keeps the audience stick to the show. Also the voice over of each character is done so remarkably by some of the most famous Japanese voice actors like Hiroshi Kamiya, Daisuke Ono, Yui Ishikawa and many more who have done voice overs in many other popular anime shows like “Noragami”, “Sword Art Online”, “My hero-Academia” and “Jojo’s bizarre adventure” and the internationally admired anime
movies like “Weathering with you” and “A silent voice”. Even the soundtrack can not be overlooked. The flabbergasting openings and original themes won’t fizzle to engross you. Especially
“Feuerroter Pfeil und Bogen” by Linked Horizon and “Shinzou wo Sasageyo” by the same band which would give absolute cold shivers to the viewers.
Other than that the anime doesn’t have any fillers [extra episodes added in the anime which are not included in the original manga] which makes the storyline more original and flawless and the anime even more binge worthy.
Besides that every segment and scene has been so thoroughly coordinated, all thanks to the brilliance of Isayama. The amount of cliff – hangers and mysteries yet to be disclosed goof up your mind so much that you can never have enough persistence to wait for what’s going to happen next. To conclude “Attack on Titan” is a completely electrifying and action-packed anime which is definitely worth giving a try.

-Yuvika Saxena.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2009)

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is a splendidly made film based on a profoundly mistaken premise. It tells the story of a man who is old when he is born and an infant when he dies. All those around him, everyone he knows and loves, grow older in the usual way, and he passes them on the way down.

Daisy (Cate Blanchett) lies dying of old age in a New Orleans hospital. In her final hours, as Hurricane Katrina descends on the city, her daughter reads to her from the diary of one Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt), a man born under unusual circumstances.

Frail, wrinkled and riddled with arthritis – a baby-sized old man – Benjamin is rejected by his horrified father and abandoned on the steps of an old people’s home. Raised among the elderly and told he does not have long to live, Benjamin assumes he is just like everyone else there, until he discovers that he is ageing backwards.

It comprises two distinct halves that don’t blend together perfectly. The first is a quirky, often comedic record of Benjamin’s early years as he begins to outgrow his frailty and embarks on his adventures at sea, while the second is slower and elegiac, focusing on his relationship with Daisy.

While always in his thoughts, Daisy is an inconstant presence in Benjamin’s life. Their love story isn’t a fairytale romance and the film’s pragmatic approach to their relationship is refreshing. Their lives are literally moving in opposite directions; it’s absolutely right that they don’t always fit together. Daisy has come under critical fire for the self-centredness and pretension she displays in her early twenties; well, what else is to be expected from her at that age? Why should she be the perfect, patient love interest anyway? When the two finally ‘meet in the middle’ in their forties, their relationship finally makes sense.

Button is a film about responsibility and sacrifice; about fate versus free will; about grasping any opportunity to live life to the full while you can. Mostly, it’s about the transience of things; of youth, of beauty, of happiness, of life itself. It isn’t perfect, but it should not be derided and dismissed as pointless and poorly-told. If you’re willing to forgive the negatives, it will reward you with moments of great beauty and poignancy that will stay with you. It’s a simple tale told in a convoluted way, but its essence shines through.

Ultimately, your enjoyment of the film will depend on whether, when presented with Benjamin’s remarkable condition, you accept it and allow the story to unfold around it, or ask what the point of it is. You won’t find one. The film won’t present you with answers, or reveal some divine purpose behind its premise. It’s a fairytale, a magical-realist yarn that will draw you in and engage your interest, but only if you go with the flow and let it.

V for Vendetta ( 2006)

In the not-too-distant future, Britain has become a fascist, totalitarian state, its population cowed and apathetic. But the nation receives a wake-up call when mysterious masked terrorist “V” (Weaving) blows up the Old Bailey and calls for the citizens to rise up against their oppressors. 

On Nov. 5, the eve of Guy Fawkes Day, British schoolchildren for centuries have started bonfires to burn Fawkes in effigy. On this eve in 2020, V saves a young TV reporter named Evey from rape at the hands of the police, forces her to join him, and makes a busy night of it by blowing up the Old Bailey courtrooms.”V for Vendetta” will follow his exploits for the next 12 months, until the night when he has vowed to strike a crushing blow against the dictatorship. We see a police state that hold citizens in an iron grip and yet is humiliated by a single man who seems impervious. The state tries to suppress knowledge of his deeds — to spin a plausible explanation for the destruction of the Old Bailey, for example. But V commandeers the national television network to claim authorship of his deed.

There are some that will, upon seeing this film, say that it was akin to Andrew Lloyd Weber attempting to make a political statement: overly dramatic. These people would be well served to remember that the symbol of drama is a mask, which certainly begs one important question- Why, if you are so put off by an overtly dramatic motion picture, would you choose to see a movie that stars as the (anti)hero a man in a mask? Heavy-handed pronouncements exemplify V for Vendetta’s distrust of viewers to interpret what they see, making the film’s political and social commentary seem more cartoonish than insightful. Yes, imperialism is really bad, and yes, Nazi-ish iconography is a sure sign of a regime’s need for change. What’s less clear, and could use some reflection, is how V’s violent acts will or will not produce more victims and vigilantes. “Freedom and justice are more than words,” he says, “They are perspectives.” And as such, they need rethinking at every step.

The move overall includes amazing acting, visceral action, great special FX, and faithful yet creatively interpretive of the graphic novel.

One Day (2011)

“One Day” is a film based on the David Nicholls best-seller about a boy and girl who graduate from the University of Edinburgh on July 15, 1988, and spend the night together. The story follows them by dropping in on July 15th of their lives for year after year, which is a useful device, because it eliminates the need to show us the events of the other days of their years. Success, failure, marriages, divorce, can take place off-screen if necessary. What matters is their accumulating effects.Dexter (Jim Sturgess) is a twit. In the 1970s, he might have been known as a Hooray Henry. Emma (Anne Hathaway) is an earnest, hard-working girl. Dexter is upper-class. Emma is middle-class. Dexter goes into television production. Emma gets a job as a waitress in a Tex-Mex restaurant . Dexter becomes famous quickly and fades inexorably because there is really nothing there. Emma becomes obscure quickly and only gradually becomes successful because she persists in believing in herself and her gift for writing.

The film has a very unique atmosphere, as it is much quirkier than your average romance. Also, without giving away the ending, I can say that it isn’t as predictable as one might think. What I really liked about it was the complexity of the different human relationships that we are shown. The relationship between Emma and Dexter is by no means an easy one, nor is it one-sided. Given how different they are, there is a lot of conflict between them, although they do love each other. Similarly, what Dexter and his ex-wife feel for one another is never pure hatred, but there is a lot of understanding between them. As a consequence, the story seems like it could be taken from real life.Plus, both Hathaway and Sturgess are as convincing as always, which makes this film absolutely worth seeing.

The film depicts that how with some people, we are destined to become lifelong friends. It can’t be planned that way. Chance plays a role. There is an underlying harmony that persists despite the whims of fate.

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

 Race car driver Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) wins the 1959, 24 Hours of Le Mans race but is forced to retire due to a heart condition. Meanwhile, at the Ford Motor Company, Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthall) proposes that the company start making race cars as a way to improve their image with younger drivers. An attempt to partner with Ferrari goes south, so Ford hires Shelby to build their car. Shelby, in turn, hires Ken Miles (Christian Bale), a talented but volatile driver, to help work out the bugs. Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) puts executive Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas) in charge of the racing division, and Beebe immediately sets out to get rid of Miles. But Miles and Shelby have an ace up their sleeve. They actually have the talent to win races and have their sights set on the 1966 Le Mans. Nevertheless, Beebe has one last weaselly plan.

This enjoyable fact-based racing movie runs a little long, but it manages to keep up a good, breezy pace, focusing more on pure entertainment than on trying to be dutifully “important.” At the heart of Ford v Ferrari are two fine performances by Damon and Bale, whose characters forge a touching friendship that’s based more on small gestures than on big demonstrations. Miles is a show-off, but Bale makes him seem real, with relatable worries and outrages. And Damon clearly enjoys his clever, quick-witted character, who still somehow makes genuine connections. Ford v Ferrari is so simple and classic that it could have been sent here directly from the early 1960s. The racing sequences are impeccably timed, with thundering, thrilling sound design that could convert newbies into hard-core racing fans. Still, the movie’s best achievement is the sly way it depicts the central friendship, largely unspoken but still surprisingly tender.

“Ford v Ferrari” delivers real cinema meat and potatoes and its motor show spectacle deserves to be seen in a theater. 

La La Land (2016)

Musicals made me a romantic. They taught me that some emotion is so powerful that it can’t be put into mere words, it must be sung. La La Land centers on Mia (Emma Stone), an actress still waiting for her break, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a brilliant jazz pianist who dreams of opening up his own club where great jazz musicians will make beautiful music and patrons will learn about and celebrate the art form. After repeatedly running into each other in Los Angeles that’s presented in full old-school Hollywood glory, they succumb to the inevitability of their love affair. But they soon discover, as many young lovers have before them, how challenging it is to maintain a relationship even as you try to find your place in this world. 

Beyond the chemistry of its stars and a brilliant score, La La Land has the one element that’s essential to a nearly perfect movie: a script that manages to take a well-worn theme – boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl discover that loving someone doesn’t solve everything and make it feel new. And not just new, but also heartbreakingly wise. It’s a story of artistic passion, and how easy it is to get derailed from your dream. Sometimes it takes another person to push you back on to the tracks to find it again.

Gosling and Stone get these characters, finding grace in their movement but emotional depth in their arcs; Stone has never been better.  Perhaps the look and feel are what bring out the melancholy in the film’s story. You need light to find the darkness and the darkness to appreciate what’s bright. La La Land will take your breath away and break your heart, even as it helps you find an even deeper capacity for love. 

Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest is born to an Alabama boardinghouse owner (Sally Field) who tries to correct his posture by making him wear braces, but who never criticizes his mind. When Forrest is called “stupid,” his mother tells him, “Stupid is as stupid does,” and Forrest turns out to be incapable of doing anything less than profound. Also, when the braces finally fall from his legs, it turns out he can run like the wind.

That’s how he gets a college football scholarship, in a life story that eventually becomes a running gag about his good luck. Gump the football hero becomes Gump the Medal of Honor winner in Vietnam, and then Gump the Ping-Pong champion, Gump the shrimp boat captain, Gump the millionaire stockholder , and Gump the man who runs across America and then retraces his steps.

It could be argued that with his IQ of 75 Forrest does not quite understand everything that happens to him. Not so. He understands everything he needs to know, and the rest, the movie suggests, is just surplus. He even understands everything that’s important about love, about Jenny, the girl he falls in love with in grade school and never falls out of love with.

The actors are top-notch, the effects brilliant and the storytelling technique impeccable. The very essence of the film is random ,from the first scene with the swirling feather to the last, the film tries to show us how randomness governs our lives and that one should seize the chances when it comes. Now, though, if you take a closer look at the movie, it is not at all by chance that governs Forrest’s life, but Mom, God, and the government. It is also thanks to these three elements that things are going well for Forrest in life.

If we take a closer look at the girl Forrest loves, Jenny, then they are each other’s complete opposites. Jenny is impulsive and intelligent and questions her existence and governing power while growing up with an intense hatred of her destructive father.

If I had to choose one of Tom Hank’s films as his best, it will undoubtedly be Forrest Gump. He has done many different roles and usually succeeds in interpreting odd characters. Admittedly, you can say that Forrest Gump is odd, yet he somehow personifies the best in us all and reminds us that how important it really is to be kind.

Her (2014)

On the verge of getting a divorce, sad and perpetually self-analyzing, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) shuts himself away in his house to avoid contact with the outside world. The only social activity he indulges in is commuting to work every day and occasionally interacting with neighbor Amy (Amy Adams). Theodore is not cynical though. He just doesn’t know what he wants from life, people and relationships anymore.

Theodre’s life takes an unexpected turn when he begins to find solace in the voice of his new computer operating system Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). Heartfelt conversation with Samantha, fills the void in his life, making him fall in love with ‘Her’!

In spite of its futuristic setting, the concept is alarmingly real and there lies its brilliance. Given our addiction to technology, I-phones and Siri already, it won’t be long before we do consider having a relationship with our gadgets! As the story moves forward, we just keep questioning that can this bizarre relationship work?

Joaquin Phoenix is tasked with holding the screen for the majority of the film’s scenes, and he once again proves to be a great actor of his generation, with a very sensitive portrayal of a man searching for the next phase of his life. He’s never over-the-top or melodramatic, and his interactions with an off-screen character feel as genuine and emotive as a scene with an actual actress.

While the premise of Her may seem silly or unappealing initially, Jonze and his performers certainly sell it well and ground it in a way that anyone who has ever struggled with the mysteries of love and self-identity will find at least one familiar chord to serve as a port for them to plug into the tale. It kind of merges with the now persisting long distance online relationships too where people are often not able to meet each other but get way too attached for a perfect relationship to build. And if in ten years we see people seeking the solace of love from digital companions, we’ll have only to say that Spike Jonze showed us the way.

American Beauty (1999)

Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a 42-year-old man who’s lost touch with anything that made him feel alive. His wife, Carolyn (Annette Benning), is a Realtor who’s so highly focused that she’s clenched. His daughter, Jane (Thora Birch), is a sullen teenager. Both barely disguise their contempt for him, which he accepts as his due. One night at a high school basketball game, Lester sees a vision that transforms him. Jane performs in a cheerleading routine with a girl named Angela (Mena Suvari). Lester is overcome by Angela’s youth and beauty, and for the first time in his memory, she gives him a goal: He wants to make love to her. He quits his job, begins to work out, smokes some very expensive marijuana supplied by the teenage boy next door, and buys the red Firebird he dreamed of back when he was passionate about his dreams. The boy next door (Wes Bentley) uses the money he makes from selling drugs to buy video equipment, with which he films everything he sees, especially Jane.

“American Beauty” is not about a Lolita relationship, anyway. It’s about yearning after youth, respect, power and, of course, beauty. The moment a man stops dreaming is the moment he petrifies inside. Lester’s thoughts about Angela are impure, but not perverted; he wants to do what men are programmed to do, with the most beautiful woman he has ever seen.

“American Beauty” is not dark or twisted attempt to shine a light under the rock of American society. It’s more about sadness and loneliness than about cruelty or inhumanity. Nobody is really bad in this movie, just shaped by society in such a way they can’t be themselves, or feel joy. Lester may have lost everything by the end of the film, but he’s no longer a loser.

The Terminal (2004)

You might be thinking that The Terminal is another splashy romantic comedy with Tom Hanks back on home turf, goofing off in a funny accent and lifting those puppy-dogs in the direction of brittle, lovely Catherine Zeta-Jones and being sleepless At Gate 67, then it ain’t. Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) arrives in a vast American airport just as his nation, Krakozia, has fallen in a coup. Therefore his passport and visa are worthless, his country no longer exists, and he cannot go forward or go back. Dixon the customs official (Stanley Tucci) tells him he is free to remain in the International Arrivals Lounge, but forbidden to step foot on American soil.

Navorski is a man unlike any Dixon has ever encountered, a man who is exactly who he seems to be and claims to be. He has no guile, no hidden motives, no suspicion of others. He trusts. The immigration service, and indeed the American legal system, has no way of dealing with him because Viktor does not do, or fail to do, any of the things the system is set up to prevent him from doing, or not doing. He has slipped through a perfect logical loophole.

Less effective, though, is Navorski’s role as romancer. Wearing his heart on the sleeve of a new Hugo Boss suit, he woos listless, man-troubled stewardess Zeta-Jones, who is drawn to his honesty, failing to register this curious person as anything more than a frequent flier. Half the world, it seems, is to some extent trapped in an airport.The film also traverses a wonderful array of supporting players, immigrant workers caught on the fringes of life with whom Navorski finds communion. 

Tom Hanks does something here that many actors have tried to do, and failed. He plays his entire role with an accent of varying degrees of impenetrability, and it never seems like a comic turn or a gimmick, and he never seems to be doing it to get a laugh. He gets laughs, but his acting and the writing are so good, they seem to evolve naturally. That is very hard to do. He did the same thing in “Forrest Gump,” and Navorski is another character that audiences will, yes, actually love. The screenplay also sidesteps various hazards that a lesser effort would have fallen to, such as a phony crisis or some kind of big action climax. “The Terminal” doesn’t have a plot; it tells a story. We want to know what will happen next, and we care.

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