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The Post: Movie review

via reviews http://ift.tt/2r62VOx 'The Post'
U/A: Biography, drama
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Tracy Letts, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon
Rating: 
The Post may be about the Pentagon Papers – infamously nicknamed as The Expose On The House Of UnAmerican Activities, but it could well be a timely intervention that could liberate the Press from being under the thumb of despotic rulers, who use it as an effective tool to cover up their innumerable flaws. Everyone with even a little imagination can see that the same thing is happening with Trump in the USA and Modi in India today. The parallels are ominous.It was a cover-up that spanned four US Presidents and pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and an editor to pitch a battle that pitted journalists against the government. Most political scandals are easily forgotten and that is what eventually happened to the Pentagon Papers, which took on the shape of a huge controversy when The Washingto…

Kaalakaandi Movie Review

via reviews http://ift.tt/2mJsi4f Kaalakaandi
Comedy; A

Director: Akshat Verma
Actors: Saif Ali Khan, Vijay Raaz
Rating: Here's one of my regrets in life (or maybe it's not a regret, since life's not over yet). I haven't tried LSD. Surely there's a right place and time for it. About the place, people will give you enough suggestions ("Out in the open, in the wilds; nature, my friend, nature!"). But if you don't experiment with substances when you're relatively young (college, ideally), by the time you hit late adulthood, so many people have already tried it, and discussed it ad-nauseam (a mix of horrific and inspiring tales) that you know this excessive self-awareness, overload of second-hand info, is going to screw up your trip anyway.Saif's character in this film takes the perfect call -- standing in his balcony, just popping a red-coloured stamp, without quite worrying, or getting overtly excited about what it's going to do to him. You don…

Mukkabaaz Movie Review

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Mukkabaaz poster
Mukkabaaz
U/A: Sports Drama
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Vineet Kumar Singh, Jimmy Sheirgill, Zoya Hussain
Rating: In case there's some confusion on that front, this film is essentially a true-blue love story, rather than a boxing/sport film (strictly speaking), or even a film on the love of sport. What's clear as bottled water though is its sharp, unsubtle political statement. Politics - whether caste/Dalit/gender -- in the correct sense, defined as response to oppression, or injustice of any kind.The film is set in Bareilly: boondocks of Uttar Pradesh. And in a filmic way, no one, absolutely no one, gets the North Indian boondocks better than filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, if his masterpiece Gangs Of Wasseypur (2012) is anything to go by. You can smell the 'mitti ki badbu' (stench of the street, soil) in all its flavours, while the second-unit gives you a fine, wide view of the semi-dystopia you're specifically situated …

Insidious: The Last Key Movie Review

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Insidious: The Last Key
Insidious: The Last Key
Horror; A

Cast: Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Josh Stewart, Kirk Acevedo, Tessa Ferrer, Bruce Davison, Caitlin Gerard, Spencer Locke, Javier Botet
Director: Adam Robitel
Rating: Parapsychologist Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), fresh from a fair run at 'Insidious: Chapter 3' progresses to the main lead in 'The Final Key.' And that's probably the best thing that's happened to this film because Shaye's Elise resonates with a vivacity that lesser actors would find hard to match. The narrative tone is set-up with the younger Elise's (Ava Kolker) backstory she lived close to a prison where inmates were on death row - from thereon her peculiar sensitivity towards the dead lay exposed. Much later in life, she (now played by Lin Shaye) is shown as haunted by the traumatic memories of her past. Her abusive father, her mother's untimely death and her energy depleting paranorma…

All The Money In The World Movie Review

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All The Money In The World
All The Money In The World
Drama; U/A

Cast: Christopher Plummer, Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer, Timothy Hutton and Romain Duris
Director: Ridley Scott
Rating: This film is loosely based on the 'real' 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer), the grandson of miserly billionaire J.P. Getty (Christopher Plummer ), by Italian mobsters. The ransom amount demanded was a cool $17 million- which JP could have well been earning from subsidiary interest alone but alas he was unwilling to part with his money while his son's wife, Gail(Michelle Williams) and custodian of his four grandchildren had no money given that her divorce settlement gave her custody in lieu of waiving all rights to the much flaunted moolah. J.P. instead, entrusts the rescue of his grandson to his #1 security man, ex-CIA agent Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg) but the initial reports suggest that this kidnapping may well ha…

Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle movie review

via reviews http://ift.tt/2BSm6fE 'Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle'
Director: Jonathan Liebesman, Jake Kasdan
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Bobby Cannavale, Ser'Darius Blain, Rhys Darby, Madison Iseman, Alex Wolff, Missi Pyle, Tim Matheson, Marc Jackson, Morgan Turner
Rating:It's not very clear whether 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' is a sequel, reboot or a remake- but it continues to be about the game that gets it's players transported into it's jungle setting and forced to play the different levels in order to save their own lives. Four high school kids, nerdy Spencer (Alex Wolff), Athletic Fridge (Ser'Darius Blain), airy princess type Bethany (Madison Iseman), and socially anxious Martha (Morgan Turner) who have the typical insecurities and issues. end up inside the Jumanji videogame, transformed to Dwayne Johnson (Spencer the nerd); Kevin Hart (as Fridge the jock); Karen Gillan (as the super-fit avatar of …

The Greatest Showman Movie review

via reviews http://ift.tt/2Cjq0Bu The Greatest Showman
Director: Michael Gracey
Cast: Zac Efron, Hugh Jackman, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Williams, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Paul Sparks, Diahann Carroll
Rating: The inspiring story of how P T Barnum the legendary 19th-century ringmaster, originated his first full-fledged circus act after trying his luck with giving unusual looking people a leg-up on the performance stage, this film may have omitted out much of the seamier side of that do-gooding philosophy but it doesn't renege on the entertainment.Barnum's indelible influence on American and world culture is barely acknowledged so this film manages to give his historic efforts it's due moment in the sun. In a way Barnum was giving these marginalised people space in the mainstream but he was also exploiting them to fill-in his own coffers. He did tag them as amazing though and also paid them a minimum wage. The only time this amazing and luminous sp…

Tiger Zinda Hai Movie Review

via reviews http://ift.tt/2phOExo 'Tiger Zinda Hai'
Director: Ali
Actors: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif
Rating:
Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif (L) in the poster of 'Tiger Zinda Hai'Honestly, the first part of this film Kabir Khan's 'Ek Tha Tiger' was much, much better. For once, it brought reasonableness, research, even intellectual heft, if you may, to action-king Salman, who is a franchise all by himself.Fifteen minutes into this movie, when its goal gets locked, you figure this isn’t merely an excuse to somehow stitch together a sequel either. There’s a definite objective: To evacuate 40 Indian-Pakistani nurses in Tikrit, Iraq, who have been held hostage by the IS (Islamic State), with the latter having taken control of the town’s main hospital.The Americans have decided to bomb this IS hideout. The Indian government has a week to clear out nurses from this US target. Only one man can accomplish this mission impossible. Much like Rambo in exile, Tiger (Salman), th…

Tiger Zinda Hai Movie Review

via reviews http://ift.tt/2ze4sRr 'Tiger Zinda Hai'
Director: Ali
Actors: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif
Rating:
Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif (L) in the poster of 'Tiger Zinda Hai'Honestly, the first part of this film (Kabir Khan’s 'Ek Tha Tiger') was much, much better. For once, it brought reasonableness, research, even intellectual heft, if you may, to action-king Salman, which is a franchise all by itself.Fifteen minutes into this movie, when its goal gets locked, you figure this isn’t merely an excuse to somehow stitch together a sequel either. There’s a definite objective: To evacuate 40 Indian-Pakistani nurses in Tikrit, Iraq, who have been held hostage by the IS (Islamic State), with the latter having taken control of the town’s main hospital.The Americans have decided to bomb this IS hideout. The Indian government has a week to clear out nurses from this US target. Only one man can accomplish this mission impossible. Much like Rambo in exile, Tiger (Salman), the…

Ferdinand Movie Review

via reviews http://ift.tt/2yvNQnF 'Ferdinand'
U/A; Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Cast: John Cena, Adam DeVine, Paul Feig, Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Mark Valley, Daveed Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Rating:

Ian Southwood adapts the Robert Lawson and Munro Leaf authored 1936 short story 'The Story Of Ferdinand' about a pacifist bull and turns it into a film starring the voice talent of wrestling superstar John Cena with Carlos Saldanha helming the show. A giant but gentle, sensitive bull, Ferdinand (John Cena) must find a way to break free from his captors and return home to his family.

The film has an anti-bullying theme and is very child-friendly in its expanse. Ferdinand escapes from the Casa Del Toro as a calf and gets sent back there as an adult hulk. He, of course, was not meant to be a Matador's plaything, so he persuades Lupe the Goat(Mckinnon) and the other bulls(voiced by Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant, …

Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All Movie Re

via reviews http://ift.tt/2yvNDAT 'Hare Krishna: The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All'
Cast: Srila Prabhupada, Bonnie McElroy, Michael Grant, Allen Ginsburg, George Harrison
Director: John Griesser, Jean Griesser, Lauren Ross
Rating: This a largely glossy documentary on the life of Srila Prabhupada aka A.C Bhaktivedanta swami, the 70-year-old Indian Sage, a Gandhian and Vedic scholar, who authored the English translation of several puranas including 'Srimad Bhagwatam,' and whose Krishna Consciousness drives him to America at a time when New York was swamped in snow, without support or money and yet, from there, ignites a worldwide spiritual phenomenon that crisscrosses the globe, now known as the Hare Krishna Movement.Those were turbulent times, mid-sixties in America, where people were protesting causes-the beginning of the counter culture movement. It was also the height of the hippie movement and youngsters were looking for something beyond LSD and…

Monsoon Shootout Movie Review: This film is thrice as good

via reviews http://ift.tt/2AKV8u4 'Monsoon Shootout'
U/A: Crime-thriller
Director: Amit Kumar
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vijay Varma, Tannishtha Chatterjee
Rating: Monsoon Shootout is by no means the end of our search for the ideal chor-police movie. But there is so much going in this compelling, slow-burning, well-enacted tale set in the dark, grimy underbelly of Mumbai that you can applaud the effort of debutant director Amit Kumar. Inspired by the 1987 Polish film, Blind Chance, or rather the more famous 1998 German thriller, Run Lola Run, it narrates the story again, this time in three different scenarios. The city's rains play a pivotal role in it.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui's performance is remarkable, but monotonousThe film takes you through the journey of a rookie cop, Adi (Vijay Varma). Having been appointed to the crime branch, he is reminded of the principles that his deceased father believed in. There are three paths that one can take in his/her life, his mother remind…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

via reviews http://ift.tt/2yqKRwI Star Wars: The Last Jedi (IMAX/3D)
Cast: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Benicio Del Toro, Gwendoline Christie, Laura Dern, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis
Director: Rian Johnson
Rating: Writer/director Rian Johnson's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" is an expansive, eventful, spectacular driven by strong characterisations, amazingly scaled-up and deep visuals and rejuvenated new generation action surrounded by enveloping signature sound. The action here picks up from the end of "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" taking us through a set-piece opener that is as breath-taking and adrenaline gushing as they come. The legend of the Jedi endures with a fresh blood inducement, expanding the famed mythology to new territories, new battles while saying a befitting goodbye to the old.
Star Wars: The Last JediThe surprises here stay true to the originator George Lucas' …

Fukrey Returns Movie Review: The misses outnumber the hits

via reviews http://ift.tt/2kC6lpa 'Fukrey Returns'
U/A; Comedy
Director: Mrighdeep Lamba
Cast: Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, Ali Fazal, Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh
Rating: When a serpent metamorphosises into Bhooli naagin Richa Chadha - unabashed as she flaunts a not-so-perfect frame in a serpent attire, ala Mouni Roy in the TV show Naagin - you only hope Fukrey (doesn't) Return with such supernatural foolery. Given that the second instalment of the outing hits screens after four years, it's easy to forget that such fetishes are only among the quirky dreams of Choocha (Varun Sharma), which continue to be reinterpreted by buddy Hunny (Pulkit Samrat) to bring success to the duo's lottery business. Fortunately, for those who aren't tickled by a gyrating naagin in the forest, this comedy has more to offer.
Fukrey Returns posterFukrey Returns picks up a year after the conclusion of the first instalment, with Bhooli Punjaban now eager to be free from imprisonment. The gangs…

Firangi Movie Review: Kapil Sharma fails to deliver

via reviews http://ift.tt/2zTvBya 'Firangi'
U/A: Romance-drama
Director: Rajiv Dhingra
Cast: Kapil Sharma, Ishita Dutta, Monica Gill, Aanjjan Srivastav
Rating: Midway through Firangi, Kapil Sharma's love interest, Ishita Dutta, tells him, 'Mujhe kuch samaj nahi aa raha hai tu kya kar raha hai.' That's probably what the audience would ask the comic throughout the film. Firangi is boring. The farcical performances and unnecessary melodrama are reminiscent of a bygone era in cinema. Set in 1921, 26 years before India's independence, the movie kicks-off with the familiar baritone of Amitabh Bachchan, whose narrative is redolent of the one he lent in Lagaan (2001). But, why bring up the Aamir Khan blockbuster in the same sentence as Firangi?
A still from FirangiOn the surface, the film is about Sharma, a village simpleton. He is a jobless man aspiring to join the police force under the British Raj, but is unable to procure a spot after three attempts. He meets Dutta,…

Wonder Movie Review

via reviews http://ift.tt/2ALt2OC 'Wonder'
Director: Stephen Chbosky

Cast: Julia Roberts, Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic, Noah Jupe, Bryce Gheisar, Elle McKinnon, Daveed Diggs, Mandy Patinkin
Rating: It's a wonder that this film, based on the R.J. Palacio novel of the same name - which follows a year in the life of August Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), Auggie, suffering from a genetic abnormality, doesn't overtly drip with sentiment and melodrama. That in fact is because of Director Stephen Chbosky's understated, immensely engaging and skilful rendition of a pathos ridden story-on display here.Auggie (10), born with a genetic abnormality that has required him to undergo surgeries and medical treatments since his earliest days, rendering his face malformed, has to get integrated into the real world after having been home schooled in an entirely protected environment, by his mother (Julia Roberts) up to the fourth grade. In fifth grade, attending a mainstream e…

Amityville: The Awakening Movie Review

via reviews http://ift.tt/2i5CBwF Amityville: The Awakening
A; Horror/Thriller
Director: Franck Khalfoun

Cast: Jennifer Leigh, Bella Thorne, Thomas Mann, Cameron Monaghan, Kurtwood Smith, Jennifer Morrison, Taylor Spreitler, Mckenna Grace
Rating: The found footage construct of the horror genre is played out all over again in writer-Director Frank Khalfoun's 'The Awakening' allowing for the age-old case to be 'reopened' for further commercial exploitation. After 18 Amityville films having done their bit to create the legend following the 1974 murders, I guess it was time for another one to make some dent on the collective unconscience. Technically, this one is a reboot of 1979's "The Amityville Horror" and it basically discounts what came before as bad, insufferable horror fiction.
'Amityville: The Awakening'The footage found is from 1976 when the original Amityville film happened - and an ambitious television news intern shepherds a team of clergy…