Movie Reviews

Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

Apr 26, 2015

Who says penguins can’t fly? Well, the quartet penguins from the movie Madagascar has just ‘flew’ into cinemas, becoming a hit among cinemas goers after their debut in the spin-off of Madagascar film. Die-hard fans of DreamWorks Animation will be able to instantly recognized these penguins, the bold and self-proclaimed leader, Skipper, the brains of the team, Kowalski, the one who has the ability to swallow anything, Rico and of course, the young sweet little brother Private. These flightless birds were once primary characters in the Madagascar film that their parts were merely as show stealers. Besides, they were very shallow characters with the least development in Madagascar. There was not much information about these penguins other than that they are a group of penguins with outrageous break out attempts and ambitious plans. Although appearing just as minor characters, these penguins have amazed viewers for many years with their cool personalities. With a growing liking among viewers on the penguins, DreamWorks have finally decided to have a spin-off of Madagascar featuring only the penguins. Some might have criticized DreamWorks decision to produce a film of these penguins but well, they were wrong. Penguins of Madagascar is no usual animation featuring cute cuddly animals. From the beginning to the end of the film, you can’t stop laughing at these adorable penguins. They are just too hilarious even at serious sad scenes. Once the film started, we are instantly served with heart stopping action and witty dialogues exchanged among the penguins. For example, when young Skipper, Kowalski and Rico decided to go against nature and save the rolling penguin egg. At the same time, they were actually filmed by a group of documentary crews. Then, thegags began rolling in. Werner Herzog made his cameo appearance as the narrator of the documentary. We are introduced to the dark nature of documentaries when Werner Herzog ordered one of the crew to push the penguins down for a more exciting scene. Werner’s description of the penguins’ conflict was so dramatic and silly for the older audience. There were so many clever word plays in this film especially when the villain started to order his minions using celebrity names like...

Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl (2014)

Apr 21, 2015

  You know those dreams. We all have them. Nothing scary has happened. If anything it’s mundane, you’re walking through the streets, your house, but still the nightmare feeling is ever present. The air is heavy, your body uneasy, almost sick. You so badly want to wake up, if only to feel something normal again.   This is the world of Gone Girl. David Fincher’s thriller tracks the waking nightmare of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) as he attempts to unravel the ever-growing mystery of his missing wife Amy (Rosamund Pike). The world watches via news broadcasts and talk shows and scrutinize his every move, his identity instantaneously shifting from grieving husband to murder suspect. But this disappearance is anything but cut and dry and Nick’s journey will be anything but easy.   Fincher teamed up with long time collaborator Director of Photography Jeff Cronenweth once again to great visual success. The two have created the eerie worlds of Fight Club, the American take on Girl With a Dragon Tattoo series, and Social Network. This time they’ve outdone themselves, creating a sinister air that bites at Dunne. He appears alone, miniscule in a hazy world of gray.  It is Amy who has disappeared but Nick that is shrinking away within the pressure of it all.   This film used each filmic device so brilliantly to promote the uneasiness of this horrible dreamlike reality. There is an incredible disembodied quality about the sound of voices, especially that of Amy. Voices echo out of the mouths of the characters, never quite feeling entirely grounded.   This punctuates an already ethereal performance of Rosamund Pike. She has a sinister charm, a coldness that intrigues, as though everything could shift in a moment. Without these nuanced qualities Affleck’s hazy performance would seem out of place. He is repressed. Like a man who is perpetually still halfway in a dream, not fully recovered from the shock of waking. Within the first minutes of the film a confused Nick is being interviewed by detectives. “Should I be worried?” he asks. He never seems to get very far past this stage, he is confused. This is all happening so fast. He never...

Captain Philips (2013)

Captain Philips (2013)

Apr 16, 2015

Captain Philips Movie Review Captain Philips is an American thriller movie which was directed by Paul Greengrass and released in 2013. Tom Hanks and Birched Abdi are the main two characters of this movie. The film was framed based on the real story of Maersk Alabama hijacking by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean in 2009. When the pirates take of the Captain Richard Phillips from MV Maersk Alabama ship then the event was triggered. Tom Hanks was the right choice of Paul Greengrass to excavate such an incredible true story. Hanks played role as a Philips with simplicity. On way to the port of Oman he discuss with his wife about their children and today jobs market. The container ship starts voyage to Mombasa, Kenya from Port of Salalah, Oman through the Gulf of Aden. When the first officer, Shane Murphy checks out the security condition of ship and finds two skiffs of Somali pirates. Philips calls knowing pirates are listening radio traffic and pretend to reply the call as well as ensure immediate air support. To listen the Philips answer one skiff go back and another skiff attack the ship with four armed pirates led by Abduwali Muse. The pirates ride on the ship with ladder while Philips advices the crew to hide in the engine room. Philips offers $30,000 to the Muse to be free from captive but Muse’s demand was millions of dollars ransom from shipping company. The pirates search the ship during searching the engine room the pirates, Bilal cut of his feet with the broken glass. When Muse continues to search alone the crews ambushes Muse and demand to release Phillips. However, the pirates did not consent to release the captain and they left the ship with a lifeboat along with captain. The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Bainbridge launches their voyages to rescue the captain Philips from the captive of pirates. Frank Castellano, the captain of Bainbridge orders to stop the pirates reaching mainland by any means. Muse did not want to surrender and the negotiators are unable to change his mental condition even after long discussion. However, at the last time Muse agree to broad the Bainbridge to...

Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (2014)

Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (2014)

Apr 13, 2015

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, Michael Keaton was one of the greatest, most sought after actor after his portrayal as Batman in both Tim Burton’s movies in 1989 and 1992. However, his decision to quit acting as Batman although being offered $!5 million for the third sequel shook the media industry. $15 million was a lot back then and it was absurd for someone, like us to just reject the contract. So when Keaton is set to cast in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, it was quite amusing news as technically, Keaton and Birdman’s protagonist, Riggan Thomson were almost like a reflection on a mirror. Really. Riggan Thomson is a once upon a time actor who is famously known for his portrayal as Birdman, a flying comic book superhero in costumes. (Having a bit of déjà vu feeling? Keaton was once famous for being Batman too) However, he seemed to lose his tune in the acting industry and his career plummeted. Desperate, he decided to rebuild himself by directing a Broadway play using his own hard earned money. The play adapted from Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love was not only directed by Riggan, but he too starred in with another Hollywood star sitting on the same boat as he was – to seek respectability. When his actor was no longer available after being knocked out by a flying mysterious object ( most probably sabotage), Riggan has no choice but to bring in Mike Shiner (Edward Norton), a Hollywood actor who has been fired during a shooting for another movie.  Then, we have Riggan’s daughter, Sam (Emma Stone) who has just being released from drug rehab, Riggan’s supposedly pregnant lover, Laura (Andrea Riseborough) and his ex-wife, Sylvia (Amy Ryan). Not to forget Zach Galifianakis’s portrayal as Riggan’s show producer. With the addition of all these characters, one would certainly expect the common conflict between all the characters. Do expect some cliché conflicts to happen throughout the movie. Birdman’s most iconic scene where Keaton has to run through Times Square half naked was the only scene which was hilarious.   Director by Mexican film producer, Alejandro González Iñárritu,...

Time (2006) – Kim Ki Duk

Time (2006) – Kim Ki Duk

Feb 23, 2015

When it comes to plastic surgery, some of us feel the need to blame society or even worse make a case of moral justice out of it. It’s a sensitive matter that intertwines spiritual and emotional aspects of our own existence. But, plastic surgery is not always about the ego or the desire to fit one’s ideals. With the passing of time it became an industry, not to be judged by the personal needs of the individuals that make use of it. Plastic surgery is about choice and accepting your own body, some people even go to the extent of saying that it’s the art of creating yourself.  It’s true we live in a society that makes us strive for perfection in terms of appearance. Some blame the media for that, some the fashion industry, but that’s not what really matters.   In all this craze we forget about our emotional side, our insides, metaphorically said. It’s the psychological causes and effects that must be taken into account when considering plastic surgery.   These represent the prime motives of the South Korean director Kim Ki Duk’s movie Time. A movie that’s not just a bad love story, or a pretended documentary on plastic surgery. Kim Ki Duk creates a statement that has its roots in his own society, South Korea having the best plastic surgeons in the world as some analysts may say. Although artsy and at times full of symbolism in close connection to the director’s own cultural references, Time manages to create a full-blown picture of the psychology behind a very particular case of why an individual wants plastic surgery.   Starting with the story of a failed modern love relationship, the plot itself leaves the spectator quite baffled. At first we meet the two partners, before and having a blunt break up alongside the reasons behind it – this manages somehow to represent the key point in the movie. The woman, See-hee, clearly unstable from a psychological standpoint, and having deep issues about her face in correlation with the relationship with her lover, decides to have plastic surgery. That’s the moment that marks the unleashing of the drama, following her lover,...

Boyhood – Review

Boyhood – Review

Feb 17, 2015

Thank God for Boyhood. Or more precisely, thank God for Richard Linklater. Boyhood is the story of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and his life along with his sister (Lorelei Linklater) and his divorced parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke). When we meet Mason he is 5 and when we leave him he is 18. It is not just Mason that grows, each character is introduced as adolescent. Not just Mason’s older sister, but also the dead-beat “musician” dad who likes bowling and french fries, the needy mother who clings to a series of bad husbands.From the first day of elementary school, to the first day of college, Boyhood is a photo album of a life spectacular in it’s banality.   Linklater was the mastermind behind this completely innovative way to shoot a film about growing up. Over the course of 12 years, he gathered the same cast and shot moments of a life, a little bit each year. Richard Linklater devised a childishly simple plan to get at the hearts of an audience and deliver more moments of profound honesty to a film then has been done, maybe ever. And he did it by not following the rules.   Boyhood is far from fault-free. There are points where the dialogue can get clumsy and too leading (i.e. “life doesn’t give you bumpers!”). Many of the supporting characters are broad and seem out of place amongst the much more nuanced main characters.  The second half of the film seems to support a floating first half, and overall, its grandiose 3-hour length seems to suggest a certain universal quality that can come off as preachy, instead of sweet. But this technique shows potential, and more than that, it shows sensitivity to honesty.   More to the point, Boyhood is not a perfect film, but instead is an incredibly important film. It falls into the category of those films that first experimented with sound and color because those filmmaking pioneers also refused to follow the rules, they took what seemed like a gimmick and revolutionized cinematic storytelling.   This 12-year “gimmick” works for this story of Boyhood, for many reasons. We, as the audience get to check in...