This is a ‘something for everyone’ kind of flick. The concept of Jumanji was introduced to us by Robin Williams starrer movie with the same name in 1981. However, this not a sequel – it is a reboot. So it’s a standalone movie which would make sense in its own way even if you have not watched the original.
Jumanji is a board game which converts itself to a video game and calls out to the world with its drum beats and takes the players into its own world, to be released back only when the game is finished. With this premise, four youngsters gets pulled into the game and gets turned into Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan.
The entire experience is an Indiana Jones style fantasy-adventure loaded with hilarious comedy. Jack Black as the mean girl turned middle aged cartographer (map reading expert) is amazing, Kevin hart pulls of his usual high pitch slapstick comedy with grace, but the expected show stealer is Dwayne Johnson as Dr. Bravestone. ‘The rock’ is fantastic as the videogame playing self-doubting teenage nerd.
The story isn’t just another over the top action comedy, it does not only focus on the saviour and his sidekick and love interest. It does justice to the characters individually and also to the creative premise. All the game avatars are very well defined including the NPCs (non playing characters)
Director Jake Kasden has done a commendable job and part of the credit goes to the writing by Chris Mckenna. Cinematography by ‘the maze runner series’ expert Gyula Pados is a treat to watch. Mark helfrich edits the movie to less than 2 hours and that makes all the difference.
Verdict – watch it for the ‘smoldering’ look.
This movie deserves an applaud just for not showing another spider biting peter parker transforming to Spiderman sequence. There is no flashback or ‘uncle Ben’ and also aunt May is quite hot. We all know the origin story, but now that Spidy is an Avenger it makes a whole lot of sense to show how the teenage kid can fit into the marvel universe just before infinity war.
But there is Tony Stark in the movie and he is at his sarcastic best. There is a quick sequence shot in India as well (yay!…) But the show stealer is John Fraveau who plays Happy Morgan the perfect bored, uninterested and slightly loathing grumpy baby sitter.
Laura Harrier as the teenage crush fails miserably and Zendaya was hardly given any screen-space. One thing that I wanted to see was the upside down trademark spidy kiss (and it came sooo close in one sequence) Ned, as the confidante/side-kick is just about ok and Chris Evans as captain America features in lame educational videos.
Michael Keaton is the vulture – supposedly the villian, and in spite of everything anybody can relate to this guy. I mean…. You cannot ignore him; He is the batman after-all and has won 26 awards for the movie Birdman in 2014. He makes the character of Adrian Toomes/vulture so much believable.
The runtime of the entire movie is 2 Hours and 13 Minutes but there is not one slack moment. Making a movie 3rd time with 2 very successful franchises behind is a commendable job and Jon Watts does a pretty good job about it. Jon has directed ‘clown’ & ‘Cop Car’ prior to this movie. Both these movies have got average success in box office. So I guess this is his big ticket.
Verdict – watch it because it’s not a origin story and also because Tom Holland did a better job than Tobie Maquire and Andrew Garfield put together.
PS: Don’t wait for the post credit scene, its not worth the time.
Its good to know that like marvel & DC even Indian movies are getting into origin stories. The familiar characters portrayed in BABY (2015) resurface again minus Rana Daggubati who is busy with Bahubali2 release.
There is no doubt that Naam shabana is a no non-sense kick ass action thriller. The story starts with establishing the normalcy of the college going Shabana with a past. Manoj Bajpayee as the handler and recruiter is near perfect. The supporting cast include familiar faces including Anupam Kher and his ridiculous wig playing Shukla. Of course Akshay kumar had to be a part of this movie, how else would you establish the making of BABY-2 which I am quite sure is already in Neeraj Pandey’s pipeline.
The direction is handled by Shivam Nair. Shivam nair is more famous in the TV circuit. His notable contribution was ‘Sea Hawks’ of the 90s in DD Metro. But Neeraj Pandey has kept the Production, writing & screenplay to himself. Prithviraj Sukumaran plays the suave arms dealer, being the main baddie he could have been given more screen space as he is brilliant when it comes to negative roll (Kana Kandaen – 2006 tamil movie) and also can hold his own (Aurangzeb – 2013, Hindi)
Tapsee herself is absolutely fantastic; it’s difficult to acknowledge anything other than her when she is on screen. Her transformation from South masala movie heroine to character roles likes Pink and now this is truly mind blowing, The plot is tight, screenplay is crisp, the song ‘Zubi Zubi’remix is foot tapping. The action choreography is realistic along with the actors themselves.
A bit more editing to bring the entire movie under 2 hours would have made it more watchable. The climax mission could have been a bit detailed whereas the prep could have been cut shorter. As a result the execution is not that great
Verdict – If you liked BABY in 2015, you will like this as well
People who are tired of seeing Ilayathalapathy doing the same role with the same look of 3-day old stubble plz give me a cheer. That was the LOUDEST cheer I have heard in a while, thank you.
There is absolutely nothing new or unexpected in Vijay’s 60th movie. So, in this movie the hero Bairavaa is a loan collector. yes, that is apparently a job which requires him to wear tie to office. The damsel in distress is played by Keerthy Suresh who otherwise has nothing to do than look defiantly a few times, cry a little and of course dance in four songs.
Talking of the songs except the title song ’Varlaam Varlaam Vaa’ every other song is like a irritant sticking out from the entire narration and looks forced. Soul touching lyrics from Vairamuthu has been complete wasted. The background sound effects is very prominently noticed, hence they are not so much background I guess. There is however a song which is shot in the beautiful valleys of Switzerland, which tempts you to plan a vacation there.
The screenplay is really bad, the 1st half sort of keeps the audience a bit interested in the story but after the interval the movie falls with the velocity of Niagra Falls. The direction is pointless and editing is pathetic. Other than the lead pair the other characters have no depth and Jagapati Babu playing the villain is not scary at all, in fact he gives the impression of a soft grandfather who is surrounded with not so witty goons.
In conclusion, it has everything you can expect in a vijay movie – over the top action, half baked comedy, expected flashbacks, too much repeated punch dialogs, insignificant side actors and of course long preaching dialogs from Vijay which everyone hears with rapt attention…Yawn…..
Verdict – Varlaam Vaarlam Vaa Bairavaa……. Can go back in the same route plz.
Yes, Befikre is definitely a love story.
Set in the beautiful city of Paris the story shuttles between the 1 year gap showing the relashionship-development between Dharam and Shyra. The flashback and present transitions are signified by hum-tum style drawings and feels a bit unnecessary to the screenplay.
Dharam is a stand-up comic from Delhi recently arrived in Paris and Shyra is a free-spirited girl brought up in France by her Indo-French chef parents. The relationship starts with a dare and the free-spirit modern attitude is portrayed quite effectively.
The cast and crew have quite a few French involvements and the lead actors have adopted their characters very well. When it comes to the intimate scenes both look at ease and the onscreen chemistry is pleasant to watch. The director is very seasoned in love stories and hence is almost flawless, editing is very efficient. Music by Vishal-Shekhar duo along with Mikey McCleary is quite refreshing.(BTW…Mickey is the Brother in Law of Lucky Ali) ‘Nashe Si Chad Gayi’ by Arijit and ‘Ude Dil Befikre’ by Benny Dayal are already topping the charts. The surprise number ‘khulke dhulke’ by Punjabi Rock-star Gippy Grewal has turned out quite good.
Both the lead pair can dance quite well and has done justice to all the peppy songs
In conclusion this is a feel good love story which reminds you of ‘love aaj kal’, ‘Friends with benefits’ and maybe a bit of ‘The ugly truth’.
Verdict – Watch it – Befikar
At the outset JK Rowling must recognise the fact that not all book writers can write screenplay. With the last movie of Harry potter series in 2011, the director David Yates had set a bar for us and when the same guy comes up with FBAWTFT (wow, even the acronym is too long) the expectation are high. But unfortunately, the essence of magic is lost the moment you look at Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne in his underacting methods. Eddie Redmayne is the same guy who delivered a brilliant performance in ‘the Danish girl’ but unfortunately he is not the right cast selection for Newt.
The rustic world of magic is upgraded to a slightly modern version in its new setting in New York and most of the daily magical awe is replaced with ‘seen that before’ graphics. The spells are unrecognizable except ‘Alahamora’ and at the final scene ‘Revealio’ and the muggles are called ‘no-maj’, as in no magic, Really?
Collin farrel looks like count Dracula instead of a ministry official and the leading lady Katherine Waterston looks and acts like the unmarried aunt of the house.
The cast selection is uninteresting and in the attempt to bring back the magical world the animators have gone overboard, and so the result is excess magical intervention which is unappreciated, but the 3D effect is very good. The beasts themselves are adorable animations but have very little screen space.
In conclusion, a simpler non-glamorous direction and tight editing could have improved the experience but the screenplay itself is the biggest drawback.
Verdict – trust me, finding this beast of a movie is not worth it.
Let me begin by saying that this apple has fallen quite far from the tree. It is way better than the original Force in every aspect. The plot is very tight and keeps you on edge throughout the 1st half. Abhinay Deo is the guy who shot to fame with debut direction ‘Delhi Belly’.
John’s ripped muscles and the 8 pack abs are put to good use that the lack of expression on his face can be easily forgiven, there is a towel scene as well. Sonakshi maintains her no nonsense ‘Akira’ attitude. But the highlight of the cast is Tahir Raj Bhasin. Remember the baddie in ‘Mardaani’. Even here he is his nasty best. Slewed remarks and sarcastic tidbits brings about a rawness in the character which makes it believable and at the same time fear him.
Rest of the cast just goes unnoticed but the cameos by Raj Babbar, Jenelia Deshmukh and Boman Irani are welcome surprises. The direction is neat; cinematography is exceptional and editing is strict keeping the slag moments at a minimum. The fight sequences could have been shortened a bit.
Special mention to the innovative first person camera at the climax fight sequence in the style of ‘Quake arena’
Verdict – if action thrillers your favorite genre then you should not miss it.