Sunday, October 30, 2016

7 Days in Hell (2015) USA

It wasn't even a match. It was something else.






Genre:
Comedy, Sport, TV Movie.


Length:
Approximately 4-minute read.


Review:
     This is a 45 minute mockumentary made for the television that was aired on HBO last year. Directed by a some television director, who recently made his feature film comedy, 'Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates'. It is an American film, but the story takes place in England.

     This is the story of two top tennis players who class for a big match that lasts for the 7 days. You heard me right, the film reveals how the game was dragged for a week and in between that, some flashback clips and interviews were attached.

     The film sets in the 2001, but when you look at the settings, particularly the players' appearances that gives the impression of the 70s or maybe the 80s. Whatever, it was so good, miles ahead to those real comedies from the recent time. The jokes were amazing, sometime I laughed loudly out of the control.

     I think they designed this story and its characters so well. The actors, totally nailed it. I usually like Andy Samberg's films and his performances, but for the first time I liked him for real. If you ask me, I would say this is his best film so far I'd seen. Sadly, it was not a theatrical film.

     Looks like the director aimed it for a short film, as he has made plenty of them prior to this. But I appreciated him for making it as an independent television episode with a fine length where he developed the story and its character brilliantly.

 This is like nothing I've ever seen.
Spectacular! Absolutely spectacular! 

     Less than an hour, but the entire film was shot within the three days of time without compromising on the production quality. The actors too were not amateurs while displaying their sporting skills. Since it is a comedy, that could have been neglected, but really well done drafting those scenes accurately.

     Recently Andy Samberg did another mockumentary on the music theme called 'Popstar; Never Stop Never Stooping', but looking at this one and its success, there won't be any surprise it is going to be turned into a feature film-come-mockumentary.

     Of course the preference was given more to Andy's role, but Kit Harrington was equally amazing. He's in a very important role and I think between these two, it reminded me the Nadal and Federrer taking on each other.

     There are some guest appearances which were very crucial for this tale to narrate what it wanted to tell in the most comedic way as much as possible. So there's no way you end up unsatisfied, but you should be open minded for that.

     I was surprised by the overall film, Because I was not expecting it to be so smart, at a time funny as well. Definitely this film is for the grownups, because there are many adult jokes with unexpected nudities and sexes. But who cares, if you are old enough, just enjoy what it offers.

     From the great title to the wonderful performances to the beautiful writing, this is definitely a must see. I hope you won't miss, especially if you are a tennis fan, you would find it a lot funnier than the others. My final word is, recommended!



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Forgotten Silver, What We Do in the Shadows, Borat.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lea to the Rescue (2016) Hollywood

An American girl in the Amazon Jungle.






Genre:
Adventure, Family, Mystery.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     This is the tenth film in the 'American Girl' franchise. And this time the theme is a rescue mission. Like I mentioned in the 'Grace Stirs Up Success' (the previous film), I haven't seen all film in the series. This is for children, particularly the preteen girls. So for the grown ups it is like a joke, especially if you are a man. But basically I watch anything, there's no restriction to that, because I want to be an all-rounder. Despite I'm not the target audience, I think it is just an okay film, I mean an average. Though the response from the kids would differ, so watch for them, with them, if you have got one in your family.

     Well, the 'American Girl' films never followed the order or the cast had ever returned. It is so random from the story to the characters and the timeline. So this tale is about another American girl called Lea Clark, who loves adventures and the wild animals, but it is a far more dream than reality to her. But when her family receives a message that her brother gone missing in Brasil, she packs her bag along with her mother and lands in Manaus. While her mother making an effort to bring him back, Lea makes her own attempt and while doing that, she gets lost in the Amazon forest. From there how she makes back and what about her brother, all comes solving in the final quarter of the film.

 What one finds is not stolen. Whoever lost was careless. 

     The little girl Maggie Elizabeth Jones from 'We Bought a Zoo' all grown-up to a teenager. Looks like another young artist who might make big in the filmdom in the near future. Because many who played in this series are now the well known names. Maggie's role was decent, but the issue was the story's silly and predictable. Anyway, that's how a children's film looks like, without the adult contents and explosions. So if you want to watch this, you must compromise on those stuffs, otherwise don't go for it.

     As I have heard, the story takes place in the Amazon forest, but the filming was done in the African rainforest. But I guess some of them were the settings. Overall, the locations are very beautiful and they make good use of it tell the story. Since it takes place in Brasil, some of the lines are in Portuguese. This is suppose to be a comedy, but the theme was very serious, still somewhat it manages to produce a few jokes now and them. A good mix of everything, like a whole family can sit and watch together.

     Not all the films in this series were the theatrical product, but this one was with a couple of others. One thing I always fascinated with this franchise is that they all gives a good message to the youngsters. So every time with a different topic and on the bottom line, takes a bit sentimental dip as well. This time it is highlighted the poaching and its related problems. The wildlife and the forest conservation is a good message to teach kids in this global warming era. So I think it would be a good watch for them. It's nearly time for the production house to announce the next film, so I'm looking forward to know what theme they would choose. Meantime, if you think it is not for you, at least show it to your kids.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
Kit Kittredge, Grace Stirs Up Success, Saige Paints the Sky, Chrissa Stands Strong.


External link(s):
    


WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in

Monday, October 24, 2016

Landmine Goes Click (2015) Georgia

Seeking help from a crazy person.






Original title:
Nagmi (Georgian)


Genre:
Crime, Thriller.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     When you see this film poster, that gives an impression of it is some kind of a B movie from the Hollywood. Yes, if it was from the United States, but this is a Georgian film that dominated by English dialogues. Because it is a tale of three young American tourists and theirs unexpected little revenge game that emerges in an unexpected circumstance. Very thrilling, despite it was stretched too much, especially towards the conclusion.

     It is a similar theme to those like 'I Spit on Your Grave' and 'The Last House on the Left'. So this film does not suit everybody, this is particularly for the adults. You know the psycho character makes uneasy for some viewers like families. I don't know why one should watch it, whether for an entertainment or pleasure from the tortures. Anyway, my anticipation was nothing, because I did not know what kind of film is this. But saw it and I think it is an okay type, particularly being made in and by a Georgian.

     So when the three American tourists end up camping in a remote place, one of them learns that his girlfriend cheated on him. As a revenge act, he sets up his friend in a landmine and leaves behind along with his girlfriend. How those two struggles to escape from unhurt or whether is it a possible to attempt is the event that follows. The remaining narration is focused to tell when an unexpected help comes their way and from there where it takes us is a little suspense before the finale commence.

 This Georgian hospitality is wonderful. In the States you'd be lucky for somebody to even open the door. 

     Don't expect it something like 'Kajaki'. But it is the same category film and I liked how a small film like this was improvised its screenplay decently. At a same time, the doubts arise as is it really possible or would it happen in the real world? Who knows what kind of a crazy person is wandering around us, especially in a remote place like in this film. But the film comes to the point by revealing all the event carefully. I mean there's only two events, but how they are developed. Especially the end was expected, but still leaves behind a message how worthy the vengeance is.

     Since I don't know the cast and crew, it is natural to anticipate a good story over the actors and their character displays. Particularly one of the main characters, the American one looked alike Aaron Paul. No need a source to learn it is a low budget film, but I liked the production quality. I had seen lots of foreign film, I don't recall that I ever saw a Georgian film before.

     Seems they are not popular in the international arena, so a small film like this is a lot if it reaches the global audience in any platform, even it does not meet the success they were expecting. Just a simple recognition is what worth a lot for them to grow and I think this film did that. Especially for being an English language film is the reason. Even many European film industries doing the same, like making an English language film occasionally.

     If you are interested in a crime-thriller, you should try this. But I warn you, it is not a Hollywood or a Korean, but still an acceptable for where it comes from. So like I mentioned in the very first paragraph, don't expect too much after seeing its poster. It is a different film, but also there are many tense scenes if you are focused enough to understand the situation in the story. I've mixed feeling while suggesting it, so I won't do that and I can't declare it is one of the worst either. If you get a chance you should try, otherwise don't bother.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
I Spit on Your Grave, The Last House on the Left, The House at the End of the Street, Red State.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
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Friday, October 21, 2016

The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015) UK

All the genius had struggled their way to achieve something extraordinary.






Genre:
Biography, Drama.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     A British biographical film about a great Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan from the 1910s. I was looking forward to this film since it was in the production, but upset with how it was treated by the film critics. It was liked by the movie goers and I too liked it, but not as much as I was expecting it earlier. No doubt it is a fine film, though I was disappointed for not detailing the person of the film. Might be the perspective of the story narration to be blamed, because it was told from another man's view like how he saw the S. Ramanujan.

     It opened in the Madras presidency of British India, where a struggling young mathematic prodigy, obviously its S. Ramanujan, gets much needed recognisation when he receives a reply letter from the Cambridge university professor GH Hardy. That is the first step how Ramanujan's contribution to mathematics came to exist. Leaving his mother and wife behind, he embarks a sea journey to the west seeking people who can understand his passion. Yet he finds hard to fit in in the London society. From food to culture, and often victim to the racism, how he makes use of his lifetime opportunity despite struggle is the remaining film to disclose.

     It was based on the book of the same name that tells mostly from the mathematics professor Hardy's perspective. But the opening few minute sets in an Indian city which is his outside view. That is just to improvise the tale and I wanted that part a little more. So it was about those two men since the day they have met and their collaboration for nearly 5 years, till the Ramanujan return to India when his health gets worse.

     That's the point I think, to reveal his stint in England with Hardy. Those parts were very nicely told, but still I'm wondering how the original source got those crucial information. I mean the book was written and published in the 1990s about a man who lived a century ago. It might have been the hell of a research to preserve a life story of such genius.

 It's like a painting, I think.
Only imagine it is with colours you cannot see. 

     There are other similar famous films from Hollywood, so I have heard that people comparing them and that's one of the reasons for them not liking it. But when a film is based on someone's real life, definitely that is worth a watch. There are many similar histories since we started to take note for our history book. So that does not mean they are worthless. Every story has its own specialty and so this film.

     This does not just tells how Ramanujan and mathematics came along, but there are cultural differences. Especially a man from India, that too was a century ago means, he totally feels alienated when he crosses the ocean. Unlike Europeans, Indians never interested invading foreign, hence they culturally tied to their homeland for centuries. So he tries to adopt the new society, despite his hunger over something else. I think he would have achieved a lot more if the same support came from his motherland. But at that time India lacked in advancement of any field, so since they are in the British Raj, it was an opportunity to go to England.

     That last part, I'm kind of disappointed with it. Because I wanted to learn how he struggles further with his health condition. Maybe that story leads to a different topic, so I think that's why it was stopped there only to focus on mathematics. If this film had met the success what the filmmakers were anticipated, we could have had hope to see another film on his return to India, where how he handled his torn apart family as well as his love for mathematics.

     Unlike 'The Theory of Everything', this film did not prefer to tell the main character's personal life. It is all about mathematics, so if you are a maths enthusiastic, you might enjoy it. Two mathematics experts produced it with others, it should have been honourable for them to do that and obviously they helped with the equations and formulas that you see in the backdrop.

     This director is kind of new and he did a good job including writing a neat screenplay. I never liked Dev Patel's performances before, I thought he always gives excessive expressions, but I'm very pleased with this one. Anyway, he's not anywhere close to the real Ramanujan in physical and facial appearance. I feel Suraj Sharma would have been good, but in the end, I liked this film mainly because of Dev. Jeremy Irons' contribution was good and so little bit from others including Toby Jones. It is a must see film, because of a person whose contribution to the math field still considered one of the major leap. Don't think the familiarity of the theme, just focus the person and what he did achieve. So I recommend it to all!



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
Theory of Everything, Good Will Hunting, The Imitation Game, A Beautiful Mind.


External link(s):
      


WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in