Captain America : Civil War Review

**** Star movie!

Captain America: Civil War could very well have been named Avengers as it includes one and all from the Marvel universe.  We have Captain America, Iron Man, Ant Man, Spider Man, Black Panther, Bucky or the Winter soldier, Black Widow, Falcon, Hawkeye, War machime, Vision, and many more appear in the movie.

Captain America wants to save Bucky and Iron Man wants to kill him.  There is another trajectory about the government wanting to possess more control over the Avengers as they have had some civilian fatalities and there are a few that think that they are a hindrance if left to be on their own.  Russo brothers do an amazing job with direction and so does the cast.  There is a scene with Robert Downey Jr. as a teenager that has really good VFX as well as the sequence where the two sides fight each other at the airport is a nail-biting action sequence.  The starting chase scenes are also nicely done and there is no dull moment in the movie where you feel bored.

Lately we have had a lot of movies that are dark and grim with the superhero brooding over the meaning of his existence and it is a relief to have movies like Captain America Civil War bring a fresh perspective to superhero movies.  There are some really witty one-liners especially from Spidey, Iron man (as usual) and Ant-Man.

I would say the movie is a must watch for all superhero fans… Marvel has got movie making business perfectly taken care of and are bound to make Stan Lee millions.

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo : Maine Sardard payo

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo

The Cast

As in all Sooraj Barjatya directed movies, there is a huge starcast here.  The primary stars are Salman Khan in double role, Sonam Kapoor, Deepak Dobriyal, Anupam Kher, Armaan Kohli, Neil Nitin Mukesh, two sisters to Salman Khan (I don’t want to call them actors because they have no idea on how to act!) and bunch of others.

The Story

This movie is a royal family saga with lots of drama and huge amounts of songs.  Salman Khan plays the role of Prem Dilwala who is a singer in some small scale Ram Leela.  His sidekick is played by Deepak Dobriyal.  Prem falls in love with a royal princess who runs some NGO.  He travels to meet her to neighboring village but finds that the prince of the neighboring village resembles him.  There has been an attack on the life of Prince Vijay Singh (played by Salman again) and there is a coronation ceremony coming up.  The security staff decide to use Prem instead of the Prince so that nobody figures out that Vijay is hurt and the coronation would go as planned.  Armaan Kohli (Estate manager) and Neil Nitin Mukesh (Younger prince named Ajay Singh) along with some idiotic female lead play the role of villains.  There is also a side story where the King had an affair with some other lady and Salman had 2 step sisters from this relation.  The sisters hate Vijay Singh and want more moolah which the actual prince declines but Prem Dilwala gives out.  Essentially, Prem fixes all problems with the relationships, fixes up the bad guys and gets the princess in the end.

The Good

  • Salman Khan is back to looking amazing and he surely entertains.  His comic timing is wonderful especially when he pulls Anupam’s leg calling him Virgin Bapu.
  • Lavish sets and nice royal dresses all throughout and Sonam carries herself really well

The Bad

The movie is waaaaayyy too long at 2:45 hours.  The part after the prince has been found seem overstretched and the action in the movie is poorly executed.

The sisters don’t know how to act and are boring to see on screen

The football game where a team that is up by 12:1 still ends up losing!

Too many songs… Except for Prem Leela and the title song the other songs are not something to remember

Conclusion

The movie is doing good business and will most likely recover the money spent.  I had huge hopes for Sooraj and Salman getting together after ~15 years but this movie has brainless execution and poorly written script.  This time Bhai tries to save the movie but ends up giving a sardard to the moviegoers.

I would rather watch the parody which is more entertaining than the movie itself.  I give the movie 1.5 stars (1 star for Salman and 0.5 for the movie itself)

The Spy: Movie Review

Spy (2015)

Spy Movie poster

THE CAST

Spy is a movie directed by Paul Feig and stars Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Allison Janney and Bobby Cannavale in prominent roles.  It also stars Nargis Fakhri in a guest role.

The Story

Melissa McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst who goes into the field following the disappearance of a suave super-spy portrayed by Jude Law.  Statham played an overconfident yet clumsy spy and Cannavale plays a villain along with .

A suitcase nuke has been stolen by a gangster, who gets accidentally shot by Jude Law.  This means that the only person left who knows the location of the nuke is his daughter.  McCarthy has to leave her desk job and play a super spy like Bond, which causes the funny moments in the movie.

The Good

  • Jason Statham in a surprise comic role is super funny.  His one liners are hilarious and his overconfidence always gets him in trouble
  • Melissa McCarthy shines in her role and provides ample of hilarious shots.
  • Peter Serafinowicz and his role of italian spy that is obsessed with making out with Melissa is also funny.

The Bad

I loved the movie too much to find any faults with it.  It was hilarious and funny and the only bad was too much cursing and lots of british accent.

Conclusion

Very funny and must watch movie not to be missed.  I give it 4 stars out of 5 (a star for Jason coz am a huge fan!!).

Dhoom 3: Review

Dhoom 3 Poster

Dhoom 3

The Cast

Dhoom 3 is directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya unlike the first two films in the franchise.  Cast lineup includes Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Jackie Shroff and Siddharth Nigam along with american actors portraying different roles.

The Story

A bank robber is unleashed on the streets of California.  Without giving out the spoilers, the basic plot is given out here.  Jackie Shroff plays the owner of a circus company that is on the brink of bankruptcy because of huge loans from the Western Bank of Chicago.  He comes up with a last trick to save his circus by including a magic trick involving young Aamir Khan.  Even though the trick is good, the lenders refuse to give Jaggudada any more time and helpless Jackie commits suicide.  The young Aamir Khan decides to rob branches of the Western Bank and close shop for the bank, all the while working hard to revive the circus.  Once he commits robbery, the Americans call in Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra to assist in the investigation.  They reprise their role as Jai Dixit and Ali respectively.  Katrina Kaif plays Aamir’s love interest and a part of his circus troupe.

The Good

  • A strip show by Katrina Kaif
  • Aamir Khan acts out the role really nicely and proves again that he can carry the weight of a movie on his shoulders
  • BMW Bikes and the way Chicago is captured is beautiful
  • Aamir’s poem “Bande hai hum uske, hum par kiska zor…” is catchy and repeated with conviction

The Bad

  • The length of the film is a bit long and the song Tu hi Junoon could have been omitted entirely
  • Action sequences and VFX is utter nonsense.  Cables appear suddenly, inflatable plastic turns to hard plastic, etc.  Flawed execution of the action causes you to lose interest in the movie

Conclusion

The maker of Dhoom 3 last directed Tashan… This is in itself reason enough to assume that the movie would be stylish but stupid.  The movie starts off in 1990 showing a young Saahir, played by Siddharth Nigam, walking through Chicago.  Jackie Shroff shines in his few minutes as Saahir’s dad and essays the role of a dad wonderfully.  Mr. Andersen is stern and portrayed as an evil bank personnel, who forces Jackie Shroff to commit suicide because of bankruptcy in his circus.  The young kid vows to bring down the bank by robbing it once he grows up and there is an accomplice to help him out with his robberies.  Aamir khan eventually manager to revive the circus, while looting the bank and forcing its closure.  However, the law catches up to the criminal and instead of facing the law, Aamir choses to die.

The best part in the movie is the sizzling Kamli strip by Katrina Kaif.  She looks gorgeous but her dance moves in the song are not that gracious.  However, Katrina doesn’t get to do much in the movie except dance and look hot.  Abhishek Bachchan delivers his lines as if he is least interested in the movie and the poor guy makes his entry in the movie by breaking a wall driving a rickshaw.  People seated behind me shouted “Aukat yahi hai iski” when he made this moronic entry.  Uday Chopra tries to be funny and apart from a rare once or twice, his lines fail to evoke even a smile.  Young Aamir Khan played by Siddharth Nigam looks good and does his part with great sincerity.  The american cast members are also good but they don’t get to do much as well.  This is an Aamir Khan movie all the way.  He plays his role nicely but the utter nonsensical action scenes are what bored me in the movie.

When Aamir Khan is running down a bank wall after his first robbery in the movie, the cable attached to his back keeps on appearing and disappearing at will.  Sometimes it seems to have been hooked to his waist and then in the next scene, it connects to his backpack.  There are some other rubbish sequences that caught my eye.  For example, when Aamir wants to jump atop an open bridge, why does he wait for the bridge to fully open if he has made his mind to jump into the river beneath?  He then has to accelerate real hard once the bridge has opened up.  Also, while he is jumping down the bridge, he presses a button to create inflatable plastic to wrap around the lower body of his bike and convert it into kind of a Jet Ski.  However, in the next scene when the bike has hit the water, this inflatable plastic has changed into hard solid plastic, almost kinda shining metal!!!  Saahir really knows how to perform magic here.  Another example, Jai (Abhishek Bachchan) jumping from the back of a bike driven by Ali (Uday Chopra) to punch a villain in the stomach who has jumped from a balcony on a 3 floor house and gets back onto the bike after hitting the villain.

The chase sequences are senseless and people will lose interest after a while.  The storyline was predictable after a while and the second half seems dragged.  I fail to understand how such a pathetic screenplay and story goes on to earn more than 300 Crore rupees!!  Aamir Khan’s haircut introduces a new hero in the movie: Aamir’s huge ears!!  Uday Chopra is doing a great service to the nation by not working anymore in movies and he should stay behind the camera for Christ’s sake.  Katrina Kaif deserved a better role.  The music of the movie also fails to impress.  The scene where Aamir jumps off the cliff and is falling is almost comic because of the song that plays in the background.  The song is beautiful with awesome lyrics but appears to play at the wrong time.  I really don’t understand why the actors spent so much time learning Parkour and circus tricks as it was not needed.  The Action directors have failed miserably here along with the script writers!!

My rating *** stars. 1 star solely for Katrina’s dance.  Here is a good article I read @ The Hindu

Goliyon ki raasleela: Ram-Leela Review

Ram-Leela Review

Goliyon ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela

The Cast

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is the Director for the movie with prominent cast members being Ranveer Singh (Ram), Deepika Padukone (Leela), Supriya Pathak (Dhankor Baa), Gulshan Devaiah (Bhavani) and some special appearances by Priyanka Chopra, Raza Murad, Sharad Kelkar, Richa Chadda, etc.

The Story

Goliyon ki raasleela: Ram-Leela is basically the Romeo and Juliet story against the backdrop of Gujarat.  There are two warring families namely Rajadis and Sanedas.  Rannveer Singh (Ram) belongs to the Rajadis and is a non-violent person who flirts with all the women of the city and is a womanizer who owns a porn video shop.  Deepika Padukone (Leela) belongs to the more powerful family overseen by Supriya Pathak (Dhankor baa).  On a holi festival night the lovers meet and fall in love at first sight.  As luck would have it, they have to run away from their village because Ram’s brother mistakenly shoots Leela’s brother and Ram shoots him in return and things get crazy!!  But they are caught and after a few twists and turns which are not at all needed, they end up dead in vain.

The Good

  • Vibrant colors and beautifully captured visuals.
  • Deepika looks gorgeous and her dress designer has done some fantastic work
  • Rannveer’s toned body
  • Some songs like Nagada sang dhol, Ang lagale and Ram Chahe Leelo

The Bad

  • Story is utter bullshit and senseless.  I mean how can two people fall in love, within 3 hours start sracking the cheapest shayari you can ever hear, elope when Ram has murdered Leela’s brother, Return back to the village but even though they can reconcile their differences still continue with the bloody war between the caste, Die without any reason in the end
  • Music sucks except for the songs mentioned above.  SLB should really get some composer to do his music
  • 0% chemistry between the lead pairs
  • Vulgar and cheap dialogues that are totally unnecessary and neither funny

Conclusion

The movie opens up showing enmity between two warring factions of a city.  However, even though bullets are used like water, no one ends up dying almost until the interval time.  Each frame in the movie is beautiful with everybody decked in traditional colorful gujarati dresses and jewellery.  Deepika sizzles and tries real hard to look like a bubbly girl who is cute and cunning at the same time but fails miserably.  The lead pair shows affection towards each other as if they are forced and the exchange of words between them feel like trash talk.  The first night they meet, Rannveer sends a slew of cheap messages to Deepika and that kinda impresses the girl.  However, it didn’t surprise me at all because she was already a sex starved adult as evident from the holi sequence when she kisses Rannveer who is a total stranger.  Its like they don’t even exchange a single word until then and kiss!!  I’ve still to witness this in real life and so am I still to witness Unicorns in existence and mammoths to walk the earth.  Why does Ram have to own a porn video shop? Why is Leela so desperate to get laid?  Why is there no blood spilling in the first half?  These and many such questions will walk with you when you leave the cinema hall.

If you don’t care about any logic and enjoy life’s simple pleasures of munching on a tub of popcorn and sipping chilled coke while sitting in the awesome chairs at the cinema hall then this movie is surely for you.  I would again emphasize that after Black and Guzaarish, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has truly returned to his route and used colors in each scene.  The surprise element for me in the movie was Raza Murad.  The choreography is really good in Bhai-Bhai, Lahu munh lag gaya and Nagada sang dhol.  Ang laga de is amazingly picturized on the lead pair and they both sizzle in the song.  Damn its one of the sexiest song I’ve seen in any bollywood movie recently.

I really disliked the movie though and would only give it a 3 star rating.  1 star for Deepika and the other for the amazing cinematography and choreography.  Rannveer, sorry buddy but I wanted to give one star for your chiseled look but then your poor acting skills balanced it out.

***

Netflix on Ubuntu

Once I installed Ubuntu on my desktop, I was not able to go back to windows for some weird partition issues.  I am still struggling to find out how to re-install Windows.  However, I tried logging into the Netflix website from Firefox on Linux Ubuntu and got the following error when trying to view a video.

Ubuntu displayed the following error when playing Netflix Video

Ubuntu displayed the following error when playing Netflix Video

Unfortunately, Netflix requires you to have silverlight plugin to view videos and this plugin is still not available for Ubuntu.  I did some websearch and found a solution to the issue.  Hopefully, this will also help others who want to watch Netflix on Ubuntu OS.  This is a nice tool developed by Erich Hoover and you can donate on
http://netflixonlinux.chipin.com/netflix-works-on-ubuntu to thank him for his work.

So, all you need to do to get netflix to work is open a command terminal and type in following:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop

The above commands will start the installation of the netflix-desktop application.  In case the installation didn’t go through fine, you can delete it using the following command:

sudo apt-get purge netflix-desktop
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-add-repository --remove ppa:ehoover/compholio
rm -rf .wine-browser/

One issue which caused me to get stuck at the end of the Gecko Wine installer was navigating the GUI menu but the TAB key helps you move and Enter selects the OK option to proceed.  I was able to start watching netflix using this desktop app and by default it starts it in full-screen mode, you can hit F11 to change it to a window.

The Rise of the Minions

Despicable Me 2 is in theatres and finally over the weekend I had the chance to go and watch the movie.  If you remember the first movie left off when Gru, a super villain, starts parenting three girls and finally resorts to non-evil way of life.  The second movie in the franchise brings back Gru along with his cute minions and the three female kids named Margo, Edith and Agnes.  Agnes highlights the film with her cute gestures and is the most likable of the three kids.

The minions having a fun time

The minions having a fun time

However, I felt the show stealers to be the minions.  They are so much fun.  I always thought that the minions speak sort of Hindi lolz… In the movie they make you laugh be it the scene where RamsBottom says his name and the minion start making fun of him, the part where the minions chase kidnapped Gru or when they buzz at the entrance of El-Macho’s hideout and start placing order for Indian food (Paneer Tikka Masala).  The movie is surely a must watch for adults as well as kids.  I am looking forward already to the third movie 🙂

Inception Time – Awesome Tune

I was not able to find the original tune on youtube, but Hans Zimmer has done a great job here.  Inception in itself has been an awesome movie and I have realized that for a movie to work, all the elements that form its core need to be simply perfect.  Time begins to play near the final 5-10 minutes of the movie.  It starts off with slow chords of piano.  A haunting melody is created using time spaced key presses to create a melody that lingers in your mind.  Slowly, the cello and violins join in to accompany the piano.

The initial part of the music is astounding and is bound to raise the hair on the back of your head or give you goosebumps for sure.  Slowly, more and more instruments join in and rises to the crescendo formed by using drums, metallic guitar, piano, cello, violins, etc instruments.  Again, after reaching the climax it all calms down and you are left with the final sinister tune of the piano.  I would recommend you switch off your lights, fire up youtube and listen to the tune.  I always imagine shooting some awesome video to the backdrop of this and someday maybe I will and upload it in here.  You know the kind of video where you begin in a distance and slowly zoom into a car cruising throughthe death valley or the highway 1 in a slow motion…  and finally the video ending with a car crash in slow motion!!  Or maybe not that serious I don’t know but there is so much that I can imagine though!!!

The video I have posted here doesn’t do full justice to the music and try to get the original from iTunes or Google play (exactly what I did).  Give it a try and let me know how you liked it 🙂

Life of Pi: Or Life of Pi and Tiger

The life of Pi

The life of Pi

The Cast

Life of Pi is a movie directed by Ang Lee (Maker of Brokeback mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and stars Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Suraj Sharma and Adil Hussain in the main roles.  The other characters are mainly animals particularly the Bengal Tiger who is named Richard Parker lolzzz.

The Story

This movie is based on the Booker Prize winning novel by the same name penned by Yann Martel.  As the name suggests, the movie is about Piscine Molitor Patel also knows as Pi.  The movie starts with the present day Pi, played by Irrfan Khan, retelling a story of his survival in the Pacific Ocean to a novel writer played by Rafe Spall.  Pi is born in Pondicherry and is currently an immigrant in Canada.  The story begins with Piscine’s childhood where everyone teases him as “Pissing” because of his name.  He is named after a swimming pool in France that his Uncle was fond of and thus his parents named him Piscine so that he has a clean soul like the water in that incredible pool.  Pi is taught swimming at a young age by his uncle Francis, who is portrayed rather hilariously with having a large chest and chicken legs.  His father runs a zoo and owns a bunch of animals and is rather non-religious.  Tabu plays the role of Pi’s mother, a devout Hindu and a vegetarian female lead.  Because of his failing business, Pi’s family decide to move to Canada in Winnipeg where they could then sell off the animals in North America, earn some money to start fresh in the new country.  While travelling in the Pacific Ocean, their Japanese ship is hit with thunderstorm and that causes the ship to sink leaving Pi, zebra and Orangutan on the boat along with a ferocious tiger named Richard Parker.  The movie revolves around how Pi survives and swims ashore along with the Bengal Tiger.  There is a twist in the end that I rather not disclose 🙂

My Verdict

The real actors in the movie are the background visuals and the cinematography.  Each and every frame feels like a wonderful piece of art.  The vast Ocean at night, the fishes swimming in the water, the thunderstorm and the rainbow after the storm subsides all make for amazing imagery.  The special effects really are beautifully executed and to watch the movie in 3-d is a real joy.  Ang Lee also uses the animals wisely and the viewer is exposed to each and every expression of the animals be it fear, compassion or sadness.  Some scenes in particular like the sea filled with jelly fishes, the whale jumping out of the sea and the 5 minute duration when Pi and Richard Parker are looking in the ocean make for a great watch.

Life of Pi has beautiful visuals and a good story to back it up.  The beginning credits roll out with an ensemble of animals walking around.  We get to see Rhinos, hippos, elephants, birds, etc.  The city of Pondicherry is shown brilliantly and Ang Lee has captured an Indian city without going overboard with the stereotype that other directors follow.  Pi’s childhood (played by Gautam Belur) provides some humor quotient in the movie with scenes like his schoolmates making fun of his name, the way he tries to get the nickname of Pi and his interest in different religions.  Tabu and  Adil Hussain portray their short roles rather nicely as Pi’s parents.

The adoloscent Pi is portrayed by Suraj Sharma and has the most substantial amount of role in the movie along with the Bengal Tiger.  The way Suraj interacts with the tiger and trains it, fetches food for it or when the tiger jumps in the water, all will make the viewer ask for more.  I did find some parts of the movie stretched especially the divine intervention that Pi seeks near the end… It seemed unnecessary and repetitive.

I would rate the movie a must watch for everyone just for the great visuals, Richard Parker and some good 3-D special effects.