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All The Money In The World



Oil tycoon John Paul Getty---the richest man in the world . But a mean miser with money....or maybe I am being too harsh on him , because his mean ways were obviously what earned him all the money in the first place . However , does all the money in the world matter when your precious grandson is kidnapped and the possibility arises that you will not be able to see him ever ? It does , especially if you are John Paul Getty . The old man fears that a precedent of him paying ransom money may spark off further kidnappings of other family members for money and simply refuses to pay at first .

And the refusal to pay money sets in motion a long saga of the grandson's suffering in captivity , of his mother running from pillar to post to try to do something to get her son back , of his grandfather sending his ex CIA dealmaker to try get the grandson out by making a deal with the kidnappers , of the Italian police meddling in...for the grandson has been kidnapped in Italy .

What makes you really feel for the family of the kidnapped boy is the acting by Michelle Williams as Gail Harris---the boy's mother . Her struggle to eke out the required amount from the hard old man Getty , her expression when she gets false news that her son has been killed , her relief when she finds out that he is not dead , her repeated meetings with Getty's dealmaker Fletcher Chase ( played by Mark Wahlberg ) in her quest to get her son free , her tears and her efforts---all make you really empathise with situation she finds herself in .

Michelle's great acting is however outmatched by Christopher Plummer as Getty , who plays a person as tough minded as a billionaire who has earned his billions through sheer hard work ought to be . In private he does care for his kidnapped grandson , but seems almost loathe to admit it....as if it would be a insult to a man in his power and position to bow before a bunch of mere thugs who hold the grandson . And he does not care for the heartache he gives to the boy's mother with such a hardened attitude .

As the matter spirals out of control due to the boy being sold to another gang and his escape attempt nearly succeeding but failing , and Getty's miserly attitude resulting in the kidnappers cutting off one ear of his grandson , it is left to the deal maker to show some conscience and threaten the powerful old man into parting with his money by literally grabbing his arm .

The movie which is based on real events unfolds as a thriller that relies more on the acting of it's protagonists than it's action . And it relies on the tension on the faces of the protagonists and the sweat created by the tension on their brows to hold us in it's grip . The publicity generated by the kidnapping and the photographers and news reporters falling over themselves to report the news adds to the tension .

Background music is appropriate for the situations and photography is decent , but colours are grim just like the scenes . The movie does keep us on tenterhooks for a long time as to the fate of the kidnapped boy . But amazingly , the film makes you worry more about what the mother will go through if he does not return home than what will happen to the boy himself . And watching the relief on the mother's face when she finds her boy is just priceless . Watching 'All the money in the world' is certainly your money's worth .

Verdict---Good .




Darkest Hour



'Darkest hour' centres around Winston Churchill from the time he was made prime minister of Britain till the evacuation of British troops from the french port of Dunkirk during world war 2 . The movie starts with the removal of former prime minister Neville Chamberlain from his post for failing to confront Hitler . Majority of the cabinet wants Lord Halifax to be PM , but he feels his time is not yet come . So the onus falls on Churchill to be PM .

Churchill's wife and children raise a toast for his elevation , but privately Churchill tells his wife that making him PM during Britain's darkest hour is like taking revenge . Obviously if anything goes wrong as it seems will happen , then Churchill can be made scapegoat . It is upto him to prove his detractors wrong and make history .

But the movie does not glorify Churchill and does not just show the fiery speeches that he gave , but also concentrates on his private moments . And many of them are filled with self doubt and even tears . Also many of his private moments are spent on his commode in the WC phoning allies like US president Roosevelt . And many moments are disappointing , like when the US president says he cannot give the fifty warships Churchill wants as he is bound by the neutrality act .

His female secretary/stenographer ( played by Lily James ) is witness to many of these happenings . When the British army is surrounded at Dunkirk and she does not understand the situation , he personally takes her to the war room to show the situation on map . And watches her tears flow as she comes to know....her brother is trapped there never to return you see....Churchill just keeps on looking at her face....

His plan to ask 4000 British soldiers to divert the Germans on themselves so that those trapped in Dunkirk can escape does not receive the support of anyone , but he pushes the plan and those soldiers are sacrificed . His wife ( played by Kristin Scott Thomas ) is his pillar of strength , egging him on to fight the nazis . King George VI ( played by Ben Mendelsohn ) would plainly have preferred to have Lord Halifax as PM , as he admits to Churchill . But later he warms up to Churchill , visiting him in his all too humble quarters asking him to reach out to the people . And Churchill is shown doing just that ; a fictitious journey is invented by the moviemakers in which Churchill travels through the London underground to assess British public opinion about the war . And the opinion of all is not to surrender .

But behind the scenes there are people willing to negotiate with Hitler , and they want Churchill out because of his adamant opinion that war is a must to preserve western civilisation . Leading them are Lord Halifax and Chamberlain , who is dying of cancer . They consider him a drunkard and a man who has only 4 good ideas among 100 , with the rest 96 being bad ideas . Indeed Churchill is shown forever drinking and smoking a cigar . But the speech he makes in parliament makes him unstoppable . ''We shall fight them on the beaches , we shall fight with growing confidence in the air'' he says . And promises to carry the fight across the seas if Britain shall fall .

The speech makes a rousing climax to the movie and Gary Oldman has wonderfully acted every bit of his part as Churchill , making us feel as if the PM himself was with us making the speeches . He is helped by the some great music as background score and good photography . What would disappoint an ordinary viewer is the fact that there are no action scenes . Ultimately Churchill's decision to send civilian boats to evacuate the British soldiers stranded at Dunkirk proves to be right as the boats manage a successful evacuation , but you will have to see the movie 'Dunkirk' for that . This movie is about what went on in the centres of power in Britain's darkest hour .

Verdict---decent .




12 Strong



Review contains spoilers

In the aftermath of 9/11 , task force dagger consisting of 12 men is assembled by the US army to go to Afghanistan under the command of captain Mitch Nelson ( played by Chris Hemsworth ) . Their task is to join the forces of Afghan warlord Rashid Dostum , who is part of the northern alliance fighting against the Taliban . But the other members of the northern alliance are at loggerheads with Dostum's forces too . In Afghanistan no one trusts each other .

However task force dagger meets up with Dostum's forces in the middle of the night in a meeting where they almost come to blows with Dostum's troops because they can't identify each other at first . As dawn breaks out they move on horseback into the rugged mountains of Afghanistan which would have had a stark beauty of their own if they had not been so war torn .

The duty of task force dagger is to go as close as possible to the Taliban to give co ordinates to B 52 bombers of the US air force so that they can bomb the Taliban . But Dostum warns that going too close to the Taliban will bring them in range of their guns . However Mitch does move close because the bombs miss when he is afar and then gives proper co ordinates which rain death on the enemy in the form of bombs which give out black smoke that spirals after yellow explosions . But this brings him in range of the Taliban's fire . And the fire is deadly from their Kalashnikovs .

Wearing all black dresses , the Taliban are truly formidable fighters who are not afraid to die as they have been promised riches in paradise after death---as Dostum warns . Amazingly , he is in touch with the local Taliban commander on radio . But he tells Mitch that his family has been murdered by the Taliban commander and one day he wants revenge . He reminisces about the old days when women used to move about freely and they had movie theatres . But as the Taliban have moved in , they have unleashed horror where any girl above eight who is being taught by her mother has to see her mother killed as women's education is forbidden---as a brutal scene in the movie shows .

The tactics of the Taliban are gruesome . Many of them come in the guise of surrendering , and when they come close one of them cries out ''Allahu Akbar'' which is signal that he is going to explode a suicide bomb . As he explodes , the others begin to attack from their guns . They also have battle tanks which surprise Mitch and his men , and rocket launchers for which they have a seemingly endless supply of rockets to launch at Dostum's men .

Dostum has to use ruthless tactics too . Because all help from America will cease if the members of force dagger are hurt , he assigns small boys with guns to follow and protect the members on pain that the boys' families will be killed if they fail in their duty .

As the dagger force along with Dostum's forces finds it difficult to pass a choke point where they are bottled up by the Taliban , Mitch decides to lead a cavalry charge right into the heart of the Taliban forces so that the road to the town of Mazar e Sharif ( the preliminary objective of the US forces ) is cleared . His success in the charge which allows Dostum to kill the Taliban commander and fulfil his vow of revenge is stuff of legend , something that inspired making of this movie .

The action scenes in the movie are great and the photography of the rugged mountainous topography of Afghanistan is awe inspiring . Background music is good and so is the acting . Of course , with benefit of hindsight we know the sheer pointlessness of fighting endlessly in Afghanistan---the graveyard of empires . But the movie is a welcome addition to the genre of war and military movies .

Verdict---Good .




Phantom Thread



Review is full of spoilers



I went to see this movie because the critics were going ga ga over it . The setting is 1950s London . Reynolds Woodcock ( Daniel Day Lewis ) is a famous fashion designer who creates dresses for high society , though I don't remember a single scene where he makes clothes for men ; it seems he makes clothes only for women . The movie showcases the memoirs of his wife Alma Elson ( Vicky Krieps ) as she tells the story to his doctor ( Brian Gleeson ) besides a fireplace .

Woodcock is a confirmed bachelor until he meets Alma , but unlike fashion designers nowadays ( especially those who make clothes for women ) he is not gay ; maybe gay people had not captured the fashion industry in the 50s . He sees Alma who is a waitress at a restaurant where he orders his quirky order for food , and asks her out for date . Soon he is making a dress using her body as model ; his sister and partner Cyril ( Lesley Manville ) steps in to oversee the making of the dress . Alma soon discovers that Cyril is an indispensable part of Woodcock's life ; she is everywhere they are .

Woodcock is dominating and egoistic and quirky ; he does not like Alma making grating noises during buttering bread while he is concentrating and walks out . Of course , the noise was deliberately increased by the moviemakers in the soundtrack ; buttering bread does not make such loud sound normally . But the bickering does not stop at that ; Woodcock does not like the food Alma makes at a surprise romantic date and his sister has already warned that he does not like surprises anyway .

But Woodcock has met his match in Alma ; earlier also she has shown her mettle when a rich lady does not behave properly but gets drunk and unconscious wearing a Woodcock designed dress . She makes Woodcock go with herself to the lady's bedroom and forcibly removes the dress from her body in a scene which made me wonder why the drunk lady did not file a case of outraging modesty on the two later .

Now sensing that Woodcock is slipping from her hands , Alma poisons him and does not even let the family doctor treat him . Then she takes care of him and impresses him so much that he finally proposes marriage . Soon she is poisoning him whenever she wants to control the relationship and Woodcock who has realised what she is doing acquiesces in whatever she has been doing !! The lion has decided to get himself tamed....

Background music is most wonderful in the movie and acting by everyone is great . The dresses shown created by Woodcock are beautiful too . The only thing that was lacking in the situation was a viewer having real taste in movies . Sorry but I as a viewer / reviewer lack the taste to fully appreciate such a movie and I thought it was okay but not as great as the reviewers were saying .

Verdict---Okay .




Hostiles



Review contains spoilers

Captain Joseph Blocker ( Christian Bale ) hates the Native Americans whom he calls savages . He has killed a lot of them in the past . And yet he is called upon to do the most detestable task for a man like him ; he has to escort a dying Native American chief named Yellow Hawk ( Wes Studi ) of the Cheyenne tribe back to his ancestral land after release of the chief from imprisonment . This journey will take them from fort Berringer in New Mexico all the way to Montana . The year is 1892 . The native American chief himself has killed a lot of people quite brutally in his days , and that makes the task doubly detestable for Blocker . But the orders are from the President himself and can't be disregarded on pain of court martial .

But by the end of the journey the captain is a changed man . He defends the native chief's right to stay and die on the land against other white men who believe that natives have no rights by fighting the white men with gunfire . And he helps bury the chief and his clanspeople who have died in the fight .

So how did the captain change ? The movie does not quite show any particular moment when his mind changes . But the dangerous journey in which both the Cheyennes and the party of troops escorting them have to fight numerous threats to their life and limb probably makes him a better man . Comradeship in intense circumstances has a way of melting people the way nothing else can....

On the way they encounter a devastated woman who has lost her entire family including her husband and children in a massacre by Native Americans of the Comanche tribe . Rosalie Quaid ( Rosamund Pike ) is at first scared on seeing the natives in the troop as they remind her of the natives who had killed her family , but she learns to accept them and they are on their way .

But violence continues to plague the group in the form of further gun battles with the Comanches and others . The fight scenes are brutal and the killings are realistic . There is no mercy shown in many of the situations . By the time the climax is finished many of the protagonists have died violent deaths . Only a few are left . And those few who are left are on the point of developing permanent relationships with each other . Yes , Blocker and Rosalie and the only surviving Native American little girl may become a family in the end . Thus the grim movie ends in a high point and on a note of optimism .

This is a progressive western different from the westerns of an earlier era which showed the natives are villains and whites as heroes . Here some natives are good while others are bad , similar to whites in the movie who may be good in some cases or bad in the other . Some characters in the movie spout dialogues about the injustice of the whites' treatment of the Native Americans . However this makes it a serious movie rather than an entertainer . Tilting towards the art form of movies though not completely . But even though it tries hard to be pro Native American , it does not fully succeed . The Native American characters are not well developed ; maybe the barrier is language as they cannot speak English well and we can understand only English . The characters of the whites are of course fully developed and both hero and heroine are white .

Photography is the hallmark of the film , with stunning scenes of black clouds in the sky in the monsoon and fog and mist as it rains later in the movie . In the earlier part of the movie we see glorious shots of the changing American landscape which is yellow in the beginning in the desert and turns greener with pine trees as we go north with shots on rivers being crossed in between . Acting is good by all actors and background music is appropriate for the situations . The characters in the film look hardy and increasingly weatherbeaten as the movie progresses . Yet both Rosamund Pike and Christian Bale look good . So does the movie .




Three Billboards Outside Ebbing , Missouri



Review has spoilers

A woman approaches the businessman who has the rights to three Billboards outside Ebbing in the state of Missouri in US . She pays real money to have them painted with words provocative to Sheriff Willoughby ( Woody Harrelson ) . The words ask him to take action on the case of the rape and murder of her daughter , because nothing has been happening in the case after some investigation which reached a dead end . One of the billboards says 'raped while dying' .

The sheriff is outraged , his deputy is outraged , and indeed the whole town is outraged . That's because the sheriff is respected locally and also because he is dying due to cancer . But that is not going to deter Mildred Hayes ( Frances McDormand ) . When the local priest tries to coerce her into removing the billboards , he gets blasted off by a tirade by her about churchmen screwing altar boys . The leftists' opponent ( the church ) thus gets a lambasting , and God is brushed aside as nonexistent .

Earlier when deputy Dixon ( Sam Rockwell ) of the police station tries to get Mildred remove the billboards , he is shown his place by Mildred with taunts of being a black hating racist . From this point one has to assume that the rapists of her daughter must be white , even though they are not yet found ( and are not ever found in the movie ) . For it is obvious from the movie's tone that it is going to be politically correct and that demands a white rapist . Sure enough , a white suspect is found but he is not the daughter's rapist . Never mind , Mildred and deputy Dixon then set out to kill him instead because the deputy has overheard him boasting about a rape when drunk .

Participation in this killing is part of the redemption of Deputy Dixon ; redemption for being a black hating racist . We have to presume that he is racist due to verbal accusations flung on him mostly by Mildred . But scenes of him actually practising this racism are not really shown . That would have tarnished his image beyond redemption . But his violence is shown in a scene where he throws the guy who owns the billboards from the first floor after he has heard news that Sheriff Willoughby committed suicide by shooting himself by a gun .

At first we definitely sympathise with Mildred while seeing the movie . The lady is feisty and has tough words for anyone who tries to strike a verbal duel with her , or even anyone who doesn't . The dialogues in the movie are sharp and laced with dark humour that keeps in splits even in grim situations . But later her persona goes out of control by burning down the police station with petrol bombs after it has closed down in evening . She does not know that Dixon is there , but he escapes only to help her later even though he has got burns on his face due to the attack .

The director could have chosen to have a conventional ending by showing the man overheard boasting about rape as the real culprit . But the real culprit is never found , and the movie is thus about the effects of the rape on a very active mother and how she manages to shake up things in her town when she does not get justice .

There is some violence in the movie and foul language ; cuss words are regularly used . There is no denying that the proceedings are gripping . Background music and photography are decent , but it is in acting and dialogue delivery that the movie scores .

Verdict---Good .




Red Sparrow



Review has spoilers

Jennifer Lawrence plays Dominika Egorova , a Russian ballerina who has an accident due to which her career as ballerina is finished . Her uncle works for the Russian spy agency , and promises her that if she does a task for the agency then her ageing and sick mother will be cared for . But the task is not what Dominika thought it would be , and she is then forced to get herself recruited to be a sparrow whose task is to seduce people to get information . She however resists some part of the training for becoming a sparrow where she has to compromise her dignity for seducing others .

But her uncle ( played by Matthias Schoenaerts ) is there to seemingly further her career and she is assigned to Budapest the capital of Hungary to gain the trust of an American spy named Nate Nash ( Joel Edgerton ) so that he reveals the mole of the Americans within the Russian spy agency .

Nate Nash has come under Russian scanner because he risked his life to save the Russian agent working for the Americans by diverting attention to himself , thereby forcing him to flee Russia . He is a real gentleman as can be found in this deadly spy business , and do we even have to say that Dominika falls for him....he being the only nice guy she has met in years .

But she can't escape her fate of being a Russian spy and can't wiggle out of her job of finding out information from Nate , for otherwise the Russians will kill her mother in Russia . And so she is condemned to see unbelievable torture being met out to Nate....and worse , she is forced to participate in the torture . But she does try to help him as much as she can....God bless her loving soul...

But her Russian masters come to know of her contacts with the Americans due to an unlucky twist of fate , and Dominika is forced to undergo real torture herself . But inside her is still the will to survive , and the will to overcome the incredible odds stacked against her and not only go back to her normal life back with her mother , but also take revenge against her uncle who forced her down such a dangerous path . And will she be ever reunited with Nate , the man she loves ? Watch the movie for the answers .

The movie has many scenes of torture that are not easy to watch , and some of rough sex that make you cringe . The only loving scene is when Dominika makes love to Nate , but that is so short . The movie shows how dangerous and difficult is the life of secret agents , a far cry from the glamorous life shown in James Bond kind of movies . They may have to undergo gruesome physical torture , and women agents may have to compromise with their honour and sleep with strangers .

The movie rests on the acting of Jennifer Lawrence as Dominika , and she does prove equal to the task of carrying the weight of the film on her shoulders . She is beautiful and vulnerable and deadly as the situation requires . The action in the film is brutal and raw , and is not the routine slam bang kind of action found in action films .

Background music is decent , and photography and colours of the movie are good . Sometimes in the second half , the movie gets overcomplicated and difficult to follow . Barring this drawback , I found it an entertaining watch .

Verdict---Good .




Red Sparrow



Review has spoilers

Jennifer Lawrence plays Dominika Egorova , a Russian ballerina who has an accident due to which her career as ballerina is finished . Her uncle works for the Russian spy agency , and promises her that if she does a task for the agency then her ageing and sick mother will be cared for . But the task is not what Dominika thought it would be , and she is then forced to get herself recruited to be a sparrow whose task is to seduce people to get information . She however resists some part of the training for becoming a sparrow where she has to compromise her dignity for seducing others .

But her uncle ( played by Matthias Schoenaerts ) is there to seemingly further her career and she is assigned to Budapest the capital of Hungary to gain the trust of an American spy named Nate Nash ( Joel Edgerton ) so that he reveals the mole of the Americans within the Russian spy agency .

Nate Nash has come under Russian scanner because he risked his life to save the Russian agent working for the Americans by diverting attention to himself , thereby forcing him to flee Russia . He is a real gentleman as can be found in this deadly spy business , and do we even have to say that Dominika falls for him....he being the only nice guy she has met in years .

But she can't escape her fate of being a Russian spy and can't wiggle out of her job of finding out information from Nate , for otherwise the Russians will kill her mother in Russia . And so she is condemned to see unbelievable torture being met out to Nate....and worse , she is forced to participate in the torture . But she does try to help him as much as she can....God bless her loving soul...

But her Russian masters come to know of her contacts with the Americans due to an unlucky twist of fate , and Dominika is forced to undergo real torture herself . But inside her is still the will to survive , and the will to overcome the incredible odds stacked against her and not only go back to her normal life back with her mother , but also take revenge against her uncle who forced her down such a dangerous path . And will she be ever reunited with Nate , the man she loves ? Watch the movie for the answers .

The movie has many scenes of torture that are not easy to watch , and some of rough sex that make you cringe. The only loving scene is when Dominika makes love to Nate , but that is so short . The movie shows how dangerous and difficult is the life of secret agents , a far cry from the glamorous life shown in James Bond kind of movies . They may have to undergo gruesome physical torture , and women agents may have to compromise with their honour and sleep with strangers .

The movie rests on the acting of Jennifer Lawrence as Dominika , and she does prove equal to the task of carrying the weight of the film on her shoulders . She is beautiful and vulnerable and deadly as the situation requires . The action in the film is brutal and raw , and is not the routine slam bang kind of action found in action films .

Background music is decent , and photography and colours of the movie are good . Sometimes in the second half , the movie gets overcomplicated and difficult to follow . Barring this drawback , I found it an entertaining watch .

Verdict---Good .

That's what I most look forward to



That's what I most look forward to
Actually there is also a rape scene . The lead actress gets raped.



Death Wish



Review is full of spoilers

Paul Kersey ( Bruce Willis ) is a doctor who has a perfect family , including a daughter named Jordan ( Camila Morrone ) and a wife named Lucy ( Elizabeth Shue ) . Too perfect of course for the happiness to last long in an action movie . One day a group of burglars come to rob their house and one of them tries to molest the daughter , resulting in her defending herself and a shootout that kills the wife and leaves the daughter in coma .

Paul waits in vain for justice to be delivered by capture of the perpetrators of the crime . Meanwhile he needs sessions with his psychiatrist . One day he gets hold of a gun and becomes a hooded vigilante delivering his own brand of justice . He begins to stalk dangerous areas of his city Chicago and shoots anyone who he sees committing crime . This hooded persona soon becomes famous as the 'grim reaper' as videos of him shooting people ( but without a clear picture of his face ) begin to circulate on the internet. TV shows organise discussions on whether he is a hero or zero . Those wanting instant justice obviously root for him , making a sort of unknown folk hero .

But Paul has not been too careful with his methods and has exposed himself to danger of being caught by the police and being killed by the criminals whom he stalks . Especially those who have killed his wife and hurt his daughter are being shadowed by him and he is increasingly coming in their radar too . As if he cares....remember the title of the movie---death wish .

But one day his daughter wakes up from coma and Paul decides to stop his vigilantism to take care of her . Too late for that ; he has already killed some of those who attacked his family and the toughest and meanest among them is ready to strike back....the final reckoning takes place in a bloody shootout at Paul's house .

The movie's action scenes are good enough to be liked by fans of the bald action hero , and I have been his fan since the 'Die hard' days . Violent justice delivered instantly without any ado has the ability to warm the cockles of your heart like nothing else . Pistols and automatic weapons are fired with equal gusto by both hunter and hunted in the movie . Blood is spattered around in neat circles all around throughout the movie . The crunching sound of bones being broken and smashed is a regular in the film .

I wish it was the era of the eighties when such movies could be enjoyed without any guilt . However we live in an era where the sociopolitical ramifications of movies such as this are considered important . Can't we enjoy some action in the comfort of the theatre and then forget about it when we come out of it ? But no , the movie has come just after a recent shootout in USA and it shows the hero buying a gun from a gun shop and going bang bang without caring for the law . And the police cover up for him in the end and do not even bring him to justice !! He goes free....and the critics are not happy at the film for showing all this at the wrong time .

But if you take this movie as only for entertainment , then it delivers some good on the spot action packed entertainment . Bruce Willis is in his element here ; just like he was not intending to cause trouble in the 'Die hard' movies but was drawn into the trouble in those movies , here too he is drawn into creating trouble in this movie .

Photography is decent and colours are okay in the movie . Acting by everyone is good enough .

Verdict---Good .




7 Days In Entebbe



June 1976 . An Air France airliner carrying many Israelis is hijacked by two Palestinian and two German terrorists and taken first to Benghazi in Libya for refuelling and then to Entebbe in Uganda . They demand the release of over 50 Palestinian terrorists , most of whom are prisoners of Israel . The terrorists are welcomed by the cannibal dictator of Uganda , Idi Amin .

Once the hijacking is complete and the passengers brought to the airport terminal , the two German terrorists are sidelined to mere guard duties over the hijacked passengers and the negotiations are taken over by the Palestinians who have been joined by more of their comrades . That brings us to the question as to what were the two Germans doing in the whole hijacking in the first place . In fact , the movie concentrates a lot on the motives and doings of the two German terrorists than on the Palestinian terrorists .

One of the Germans is a woman , Brigitte Kuhlmann played by Rosamund Pike . The other is Wilfried Bse played by Daniel Bruhl . They are leftist revolutionaries who believe that the Israeli government is acting in a fascist manner towards the Palestinians . But what will the world think of Germans kidnapping Israelis ?---brings memories of the holocaust back . Soon they two realise that there is no going back home , a fact borne out in a phone conversation that Brigitte makes to herself as the phone is actually not working .

In Israel , Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin ( Lior Ashkenazi ) is in favour of negotiations with the terrorists and spouts dialogues saying that whole of Israel will become a prison if it does not negotiate with the terrorists . These are given real prominence in the movie . Defence minister Shimon Peres ( Eddie Marsan ) wants to do a military operation , and a military operation does happen .

But instead of showing a successful military operation in all it's glory , the operation is juxtaposed with a dance that the girlfriend of one of the soldiers participating in the operation is doing . The military operation is shown only haphazardly , and is overshadowed by the increasing tempo of the music as the dance happens . The dance shows dancers in a semi circle and they begin to throw off their outer clothes as the tempo of the drum beats increases . It symbolises the increasing violence around Israel that the moviemaker claims Israel will never get itself rid off....unless as the Prime minster says yet again , Israel negotiates with it's enemies . And before the closing credits roll , we are once more shown the message that as of march 2018 no negotiations are occurring between Israel and it's opponents .

One definitely sees the hand of the leftist lobby behind this movie . That Israel should negotiate with it's opponents has been a long standing demand of the left isn't it ? And that was the reason the movie was made ; after all many movies have been made on this spectacular rescue operation and what was the need to make another movie on this anyway , except to push the leftist agenda ? Another scene where a comrade of the Israeli soldier tells him to call it quits with his girlfriend if he is going to be on his duties because the war against Israel's opponents is going to be never ending also shows the left's intention to dampen Israeli morale and bring it to the negotiating table .

Acting is good by everyone especially Rosamund Pike , whose character takes centre stage in the movie---which is strange , considering the fact that the real power was in the hands of the Palestinian terrorists after the plane landed . Idi Amin entertains by giving himself a host of grandiose titles when he introduces himself to the hijacked passengers . When the military operation takes place , the non Israeli passengers have been released by the hijackers . Earlier , the scenes of separating the Israelis from the non Israelis by making the Israelis go through a big hole broken in the wall to another room looked really sinister . Colours look old fashioned in the movie , maybe because it is set in an older era . Photography is good . Music especially of the dance performance is the hallmark of the movie . The movie has some grip for some time but loses it's grip as the climax disappoints with the rescue operation improperly shown .

Verdict---Okay .




The Strangers : Prey At Night



A family goes to a trailer park for a short picnic , where they are supposed to meet their aunt and uncle who are already living there . The family consists of parents Mike ( Martin Henderson ) and Cindy ( Christina Hendricks ) , and children Luke ( Lewis Pullman ) and Kinsey ( Bailee Madison ) . But when they arrive they find that the whole area is dark and totally isolated , and that most of the trailers don't seem to have any life in them . They also do not find their relatives at least immediately , so they settle down in the trailer they have got keys for .

They receive a knock on their door and a girl whose face cannot be seen asks for somebody . Sometime later she again comes and asks for the same person . But the family tells her that they do not know the person and she goes away both times . As the teenaged son and daughter go out for a walk , we see that a person is stalking them at a distance . The son and daughter find a trailer with it's door invitingly open and go in , only to see that their relatives have been slashed with knives and are dead . The horror has begun .

Soon all the four are being stalked by masked psycho killers who have actually nothing to do with them except satisfy their own bloodlust . Just like the audience....we too have come to satisfy our lust to see knives slashing , axes clawing , blood dripping at least on celluloid haven't we.....and the film does satisfy our craving for such blood and gore entertainment upto a certain extent .

There are three masked killers , and they set to kill the family and the family has to run from trailer to trailer and from place to place in order to save themselves . Guns and shotguns are fired , sharp weapons stuck on live bodies , and axes welded to slaughter . A policeman who intervenes is killed too .

But the family does fight back , and soon the scores are evened by them striking death onto their killers . A deadly game of death goes on , and sometimes it is heavy for the heart . After several rounds of deathblows , some are left alive . But who are they , the victims or the perpetrators ? Watch the movie for the answers .

The movie does chill you with it's isolation and eerie dark atmosphere of the night , which is interrupted only by some popular old music being played by the murderers....which only adds to the eeriness . A vast area without much population is a splendid setting at night in darkness for a movie with mysterious killers hanging about with intent to murder . Some of the tricks seem old , but do give you some on the spot entertainment .

Photography and colours are decent , and background music is appropriate for the settings . Acting by everyone is appropriate too .

Verdict---Decent .




A Quiet Place



This film can be viewed because it is a different film from other horror films .

Why the name 'A quiet place' ? Because humans are forced to remain quiet all the time in the scenario painted by the movie . The earth has been invaded by creatures which are armoured on the outside against firepower , which is useless against the armour . They are blind creatures which locate humans and other animals by tracking them by sound and attack them and kill them . So humans are forced to remain quiet all the time , because if they make a loud sound they can be located tracked and killed by the horrid creatures .

The movie shows the travails of a family consisting of parents played by Emily Blunt and John Krasinski , and children played by Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe . The parents lose their third child in the beginning of the movie to the creatures stalking them , because he has been nave enough to emit sound from a toy . The rest of the movie shows the remaining family struggling for survival against the creatures constantly on their trail .

The creatures do look duly horrifying and emit horrifying sounds . There are some scary situations that the family has to go through , especially when the character played by Emily is going to give birth to their fourth child and the creature enters their house in response to sound stimulus . The only way to stop the creature is to find a way to overcome it's armour and expose it's inner structure to firepower , and where there is a will there is a way....

Background music is appropriate to the situations , and special effects and photography are decent . Because of lack of paranormal entities the movie is more thriller than horror . There are some nerve wracking moments in the movie .

Verdict---Good .




Rampage



Review has spoliers

Energyne , which is a genetic research company has sent a station into space . It's experiments of increasing the size of animals have so spectacularly succeeded that a rodent has grown enormously in size and destroys the station . It falls onto the earth scattering pathogens from it's research samples around , which infect a reptile living in water , a wolf and an albino gorilla named George . All three begin to grow enormously in size .

The caretaker of George is played by Dwayne Johnson , who is a primatologist with more love for animals than women , as a luscious babe who propositions to him discovers . But as George grows in size and becomes more ferocious , he is drawn into protecting the city of Chicago from catastrophe . For the owners of Energyne are emitting powerful radio signals from a tower in Chicago to call those animals infected with the pathogens to come . The owners have no plans to use their newfound technology for any good , but instead plan to use it as a biological weapon . That is what a rogue scientist ( played by Naomie Harris ) who once worked for Energyne says to the character played by Dwayne .

As the enormously grown ferocious creatures threaten Chicago , the military plans to use huge conventional bombs to destroy them . But that will flatten the entire city . It is up to the characters played by Dwayne and Naomie to stop the mayhem by unleashing some mayhem of their own . They are helped by George the friendly gorilla , who hopes that the couple will shack up in the end !!

The action is nonstop and so are the thrills . Armed helicopters , tank buster aircraft , automatic weapons fitted with latest scopes---all add to the action . But the hero of it all is Dwayne Johnson , who carries the film on his admittedly all too broad shoulders . He is helped by the character played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan , who struts about like a cowboy and has the drawl of from the western movies of yore .

Buildings and skyscrapers and boats are turned upside down in the mayhem created by the animals . And the huge animals have been recreated well by special effects . Their most frightening feature is their sharp teeth , which are shown to good effect in the movie .

Acting wise , the movie has some decent performances . Special effects are good and the movie looks good especially in the IMAX form that I saw it in . Photography is good and colours are okay . But the movie and it's action can't be taken too seriously and it is good only for some on the spot entertainment .

Verdict---Decent .




An officer and a gentleman ( 1982 )



Richard Gere plays aviation officer candidate Zack Mayo . He has not had a great childhood . His mom overdosed with sleeping pills in his childhood thus committing suicide and leaving him in the responsibility of his whoring father , who was in the navy . Zack grew up among his father's whores in various US naval bases in different countries . So Zack is a rebel .

But a burning ambition to fly navy jets brings him to a training base inspite of his father's incredulousness , where he is under the training of Sergeant Emil Foley ( Louis Gossett Jr ) . Foley is a tough sergeant and training under him is exceptionally harsh . Foley is forever shouting at his trainees and taunting them and forces them to undergo gruelling exercises . He punishes very harshly for the slightest misdemeanour .

Zack being a rebel , comes to loggerheads with Foley on numerous occasions . Zack sells buckles as a side business and is rigorously punished by Foley for doing so . In fact Foley pushes him to the breaking point , until Zack is forced to admit to him that he has nowhere else to go except the navy . But that is not the last time the two come to loggerheads and things have to be settled between them in a karate bout in the end .

Zack has other team mates with him , and his best friend is Sid Worley ( David Keith ) . The two get into romantic relationships with Paula Pokrifki ( Debra Winger ) and Lynette Pomeroy ( Lisa Blount ) respectively . This inspite of Sergeant Foley having warned them about local girls who might trap them into marriage by becoming pregnant , as they have dreams of marrying naval aviators to escape the dreary life of the town . The girls come from working class families and work in a factory there . The local boys are jealous about the navy boys getting the best girls and then dumping them and Zack and Sid get into a fight with the locals in which Zack's karate skills come mighty handy to defend themselves .

Paula develops real feelings of love for Zack , who promises nothing to her at all . It is exactly this kind of attitude that irks Lynette , who is determined to trap Sid into marriage . But she goes one step ahead than other girls in this ; she fakes pregnancy which is not there . On the other hand Paula invites Zack to her house to meet her family , where Zack sees her father giving him strange looks . Outside the house Paula tells Zack that he is not her real father , who was exactly an aviation officer candidate like Zack . But he dumped her mother after fathering Paula , and she had to marry the man giving Zack strange looks because he was wondering if Zack would do the same to Paula that her real father had done to her mother....

Meanwhile we are shown the rough basic training that aviation officer candidates get before they can qualify for further training to fly jets . It consists of miles and miles of running singing songs in order to make one tough physically . It also consists of climbing obstacles that one female candidate finds really difficult until Zack eggs her on to climb . Also it consists of simulating an aircraft crashing in water after being hit and how to survive the dive . Karate training is given by Sergeant Foley ( who is a tall and extremely fit black man ) himself to the candidates to survive in physical combat with the enemy . Also it consists of surviving in low oxygen atmosphere .

It is in the last part that Sid cannot handle the pressure , as he is under mental tension due to Lynette's faked pregnancy . He decides to take a D. O. R.---that is drop on request ; basically decides to quit the training . This inspite of being the best candidate so far . But when he tells this to Lynette and asks her to marry him , she tells him that she is not pregnant and refuses to marry him because he is no longer going to be a naval aviator . With both his career and his woman gone , Sid is shattered and commits suicide . Zack and Paula search the town for him until they find Sid having hanged himself in a motel room .

Zack is angry with Sergeant Foley for not having stopped Sid from taking a D. O . R. and the two head for a fight in the karate training arena . But inspite of the bitterness Foley grudgingly acknowledges that Zack was a special candidate when the time for graduation comes .

When graduation happens other candidates meet and embrace their near and dear ones , who have come to cheer them . But Zack is left alone with no one to cheer him , as his unworthy father has not come to salute his son who has become an officer . There is one solution to this loneliness and that is to be with Paula , because she truly loves Zack . And committing himself to the lady who really loves him will make Zack a real gentleman . An officer and a gentleman....

The climax in which Zack arrives in the factory to lift Paula in his arms to the cheers of those working there including Paula's mother ( and to Lynette's chagrin ) is about the most uplifting and romantic climax you would ever see in a movie . And it lifts the movie to a class that is way above other movies of the same category .

Background music and photography is good and acting by everyone is good too . The movie show people from working class backgrounds and their dreams and ambitions . Some people are honest like Paula and others like Lynette are dishonest . Even the candidates for naval aviation are from working class backgrounds , including Zack whose father was just a petty officer in the navy . Not the elite of America are these people....but the movie was liked by even the elite critics , who ranked it the best movie of 1982 . And I liked it too .

Verdict---Good .

Four out of five stars .



Hereditary



The critics are singing praises of this movie , and all major reviewers have given high praises to this horror movie . Which is why I went to see it . But on seeing it I found that the movie is for the high fundoo reviewers only . Only self proclaimed 'intellectuals' will like it . The common people won't.

Grandmother dies . She has had a troubled relationship with her daughter , mother of grand daughter Charlie and son . Charlie begins to see visions of her grandmother and follow them . She is a strange looking child . Her brother takes her to a party where she falls sick and he has to rush her to a doctor by his car . But she is so sick that she bobs her head out of the window and when her brother is forced to swerve the car to avoid something on the road her head hits an obstacle and is chopped off .

Mother son relationship which is already on the rocks goes off the rocker with this horrific death . Mother has sleepwalking problem and we don't know when she is really sleepwalking or having nightmares , or her son is having nightmares . Soon mother goes to a group for consoling people coping with grief and tells her problems . One day she is invited by Annie to do a seance to communicate with the dead . The seance is so effective that mother decides to do the seance in her house , forcing her reluctant husband and son to participate in it .

After the seance , Charlie makes her appearance felt in the house by turning pages of a book she used to draw on . The son bangs his head into his table in classroom in school in front of the girl he likes . At this juncture , mother discovers a dead body in the attic , which has it's head cut off just as Charlie had her head cut off in her accident . Mother discovers from old photos that Annie was actually grandmother's friend , so she had been probably sent by grandmother to communicate with dead Charlie .Mother tries to burn the drawing book of Charlie , only to discover that she is burning herself . So she has to remove the book from the fireplace . She then asks her husband to burn the book , which leads to him being burnt completely .

Son wakes from his sleep to see his mother being lifted to the tree house outside his house . His dead grandmother who was a witch is behind all this . He is soon forced to become king of hell , which is what his grandmother wanted him to be . The soul of king of hell had been mistakenly born in his sister Charlie , but now it has been successfully transplanted into him .

Colours and photography and background music is good . But movie is not scary at all . Horror jolts are not much effective .

Verdict---Bad movie with bizarre ending .



Sicario : Day Of The Soldado



Review contains spoilers

Muslim terrorists strike the United states yet again , but this time it is Mexican drug cartels who are suspected to be smuggling the islamic terrorists across the border . To retaliate against this , the US government gives permission to CIA agent Matt Graver ( Josh Brolin ) to carry black operations across the border into Mexico . Graver recruits Alejandro Gillick ( Benicio Del Toro ) who specialises in such operations . Gillick kills a lawyer working for a cartel , and Graver kidnaps Isabela Reyes ( Isabela Moner ) who is the daughter of the head of the rival cartel .

The CIA team then fake the daughter's rescue and transports her back to Mexico , making her think that they rescued her from those who kidnapped her . But the Mexican police double crosses the CIA team and attacks them , forcing the CIA team to retaliate and kill the corrupt policemen . Scared for her life in the midst of the fighting , Isabela runs off . Gillick alone takes up the task of relocating her while the rest of the team go back .

While Isabela and Gillick are stranded in Mexico , Graver is stunned by the reversal of the Presidential order to carry out the black operation . Now the team is ordered to erase all proof of involvement of US forces in the operation as the President fears that he may be impeached if knowledge of the operation becomes public due to killing of the Mexican policemen , though Graver argues that the policemen were killed in self defence .

Further , Graver is ordered to kill Isabela and he is forced to ask Gillick who has found Isabela to kill her . But by this time Gillick has formed a bond with Isabela who reminds him of his dead daughter , and real emotions come to play as he refuses to kill her . This is the emotional angle of what is essentially a ruthless action movie . But what is action without emotion ? Good movies are those which combine action but have an emotional core and the movie does exactly that .

But as Gillick tries to transport Isabela back to America disguised as an illegal immigrant , he is recognised by Miguel ( Elijah Rodriguez ) who is a Mexican American boy working for the gang which transports the immigrants . And both Gillick and Isabela are captured . So will the two survive the ruthlessness of the gang's members and go to America safely , especially after Isabela is recognised as daughter of a cartel head ? The movie is worth watching to find out the answers .

The movie has pitiless action scenes and great cinematography of the dry mexican landscape , backed by good acting from Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin . Isabela Moner looks cute and tough at the same time , evoking fatherly feelings in the character played by Benicio---though this is never openly expressed . But low key emotion plays the key turning point in this high octane action triller . Music is good too , pulsating rythmically throughout the movie . I missed the presence of Emily Blunt , who was a key performer in Sicario part one . But still I would give the movie a thumbs up .

Verdict---Good .




Hotel Artemis



The movie is set in futuristic Los Angeles a decade from now . The hotel is not actually a hotel but a hospital only for criminals , and is funded by a criminal head honcho . It is run by a nurse ( played by Jodie Foster ) , who seems to be the only medical staff there .

Riots break out in the city and all sorts of wounded bad elements take refuge in hotel Artemis . And the character played by Jodie has to take care of them all . Also one injured female cop is taken by her in , which is against the rules because the hotel/hospital is only for criminals .

In the midst of all this , there is an emotional twist . Jodie still remembers her son who was killed a while back . And the killer of her son also has taken refuge in hotel Artemis .

As fighting breaks out among the criminals who have taken refuge in the hotel/hospital , Jodie is caught up in the midst of it all . Futuristic weapons come into play in this fighting . Outside the hotel riots are still raging in the city .

So how does Jodie handle all this ? Who is the killer of her son and will Jodie take revenge on him ? Watch the movie for this .

Acting wise the movie is good , especially by Jodie . Photography is okay , and action is decent . Background music is okay too . Colours wise the movie has a darkish hue .

Verdict---Okay .

Two and a half stars out of five .