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Hacksaw Ridge (2016) - Movie Review

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Hacksaw Ridge is a war-drama based on the true story about Desmond Doss, an American combat medic in WW2, who saved 75 lives in the battle of Okinawa, one of the bloodiest battle of the pacific theater. Directed by Mel Gibson who, after a 10 years gap, returned to the world of cinema, and in full form. 
Andrew Garfield plays as Desmond Doss and in the process gave the best performance of his career. You feel for him, you understand his character, and you root for him all the way. Teresa Palmer plays as the love interest, and she was simply lovely. Their short love story was quite sweet and they both had great chemistry. The performances were great across the board, and there were some surprising ones too like Vince Vaughn. He portrays a sergeant and I loved him in this film. He had a comedic layer to his role but was also dramatic when the movie called for it. The show stealer side-character performance was from Hugo Weaving, though, who plays as Desmond's father, and he was simp…

Arrival (2016) - Movie Review

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Arrival is a sci-fi drama directed by Denis Villeneuve, who I think is one of the better directors working today with previous films like Sicario and Prisoners under his belt, and it is about mysterious aliens spaceships coming down to our blue planet and our attempt at understanding why. 
The movie focuses on the character of Amy Adams, who's a renowned linguist and is recruited to help the US army communicate with the visitors. She gives one of the best performances of her career here, and I hesitate to reveal anything more in the case of spoiling anything, so I'll just say that her character arc was profoundly moving. She is accompanied by several side characters, notable ones being portrayed by Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, and they both delivered good performances.

Now the way this movie approached the aliens scenario was my favorite thing in Arrival. The focus on language and communication felt like a fresh take. It was really intriguing to see Amy Adams' chara…

Hacksaw Ridge (2016) - Movie Review

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Hacksaw Ridge is a war-drama based on the true story about Desmond Doss, an American combat medic in WW2, who saved 75 lives in the battle of Okinawa, one of the bloodiest battle of the pacific theater. Directed by Mel Gibson who, after a 10 years gap, returned to the world of cinema, and in full form. 
Andrew Garfield plays as Desmond Doss and in the process gave the best performance of his career. You feel for him, you understand his character, and you root for him all the way. Teresa Palmer plays as the love interest, and she was simply lovely. Their short love story was quite sweet and they both had great chemistry. The performances were great across the board, and there were some surprising ones too like Vince Vaughn. He portrays a sergeant and I loved him in this film. He had a comedic layer to his role but was also dramatic when the movie called for it. The show stealer side-character performance was from Hugo Weaving, though, who plays as Desmond's father, and he was simp…

Battlefield 1 (2016) - Video Game Review

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Battlefield 1 is the next title in the franchise from DICE, bringing a much-appreciated change of setting, taking place in The Great War (World War 1). Now I was quite excited to finally play it, but at the same time, had some reservations about the campaign considering DICE's history with them. Thankfully, the improvement curve that was witnessed from BF3 to BF4 continued. 
Story:  I'll be honest, I LOVED the fact that this took place in WW1 as I don't think I have ever played a big-budget AAA game focusing on that era. And it felt like a breath of fresh air amongst the saturated futuristic focus we've been getting for the past several years.  
The campaign is divided into five war-stories, each taking place in different parts of the war with characters of their own. This enhanced the feel of the war and reeled you in more. Also, each of the stories boasts great cinematic presentation, with well crafted cut-scenes and moments, giving it a more EPIC feel. It also makes…

John Wick 2 (2017) - Movie Review

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John Wick 2 is a sequel to the 2014 surprise hit John Wick, and it follows him as he is forced to return to his former life once again. The trailers did a good job of not giving much away, so I'll keep it vague as well. The first one was great, so naturally, I was hyped for the sequel, and suffice to say it delivered where it mattered. 
Keanu Reeves once again reprises the role of ultimate bad-ass assassin John Wick, with different character motivations this time around, resulting in a more subdued performance than last time, which nonetheless works for the story, and it's just great seeing Keanu again in style. There are some familiar faces from the previous film like Ian McShane (Winston) and Lance Reddick (Hotel Manager), giving similarly good performances. And new ones like Laurence Fishburn, resulting in a reunion of Neo and Morpheus, which should make any Matrix fan cheer up inside, and he gave a good performance as well.
One of the things that stood out to me in Part 1…

Vampire Academy (2014) - Movie Review

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Well, I thought Vampire Academy might make fun of twilight movies or something, so my curiosity got the better of me and I gave it a chance. Should have left it alone. 
This movie is about two girls, one a vampire pure-blood, and the other, her protector (half-blood). They attend the vampire academy, a prestigious old school, which teaches and hones their skills so that they can defend themselves from feral vamps, and also learn other stuff.
I'll keep this short, throughout the entire time, it felt like I was watching a mush, a blob, floating by consisting of characters, cringe-worthy romance and love triangles, lame action, boring plot progression and subplots, and a huge sequel bait. Nothing meshed together properly, nothing hooked me, and the movie was moving so fast that (in a badly edited way) any lore or development was immediately overridden by the next scene, leaving you with nothing, hence the mush feeling.  
The things that I can say I kinda liked were Lucy Fry, she'…

The Accountant (2016) - Movie Review

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The Accountant is an action-drama-thriller directed by Gavin O'Connor, who directed one of my favorite films of 2011 i.e Warrior, and it is about a guy with neurological disorder/autism who lives as an accountant (both normal and the dangerous kind), using his disorder to his benefit. Now, this isn't an action heavy movie with fights around every corner, but instead is a drama with some thrilling action sequences. The movie takes its time to tell you about the main character, as well as secondary ones. It sets up the world well enough that you care and are involved in the plot, which is something I quite enjoyed and it even felt a bit fresh. 
Ben Affleck gave an excellent performance as the accountant. He had subtlety, depicting the character's issues with socializing quite well, and at the same time showing dedication and fierceness when needed. Anna Kendrick was sweet and fun as the love-interest, and I enjoyed her rather limited screen time. JK Simmons was good as the …

Deepwater Horizon (2016) - Movie Review

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Deepwater Horizon is a disaster movie based on true events. It is about an offshore drilling rig where things took the turn for the worst, resulting in the largest oil disaster in USA's history. I'm an avid disaster movie fan, and while you do get fictional ones every now and then, getting a well-executed one based on a true story is almost non-existent. Hence, I was very contented when the movie was over.
Peter Berg, just like with Lone Survivor, returns to direct with Mark Wahlberg as the lead in another based-on-a-true-story movie. And in a similar fashion, the movie spends a hefty amount of time on the first act, setting up the characters and location etc, leading up to the climactic release. The screen-time was distributed properly, no one character hogged all the time and apart from the setup, no focus to lovey-dovey stuff was given, all of which contributed to a solid first act.
The acting was good all around. Mark Wahlberg did a good job (great at times) as this avera…

The Purge: Election Year (2016) - Movie Review

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The Purge: Election Year is the third movie in the franchise which is set in a world where America holds an annual purge, and everything becomes legal including murder on that day. After watching this movie, I'm still waiting for them to properly utilize this world they have created. 
Election Year has, well, politics thrown into the mix where Frank Grillo returns as the lead, and this time he's the head of security for the senator, played by Elizabeth Mitchell, who's fighting in the election and wants to end the purge while the evil government opposition is trying to get rid of her during the purge. Couple that in meh execution along with some forgettable subplots and side characters, bad and way over-the-top acting, stupid/nonsensical scenes, and just an overall forgettable experience, and you have another wasteful purge movie (Anarchy was fine, loads better than the other two).
The only characters I had any interest in were the two leads, that's it. Both delivered …

Sense8 (2015) - TV Series Review (Season 1)

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Sense8 is a sci-fi drama series from Netflix and is created by the one and only Wachowskis (and J. Micheal Straczynski). It is about eight people from around the world that are mentally linked with each other. This premise gave the series a large main set of characters of different ethnicities, culture etc, and made it quite varied. Now, the Wachowskis have had a really bumpy ride so far, with supreme highs like The Matrix to abysmal lows as Jupiter Ascending, so I wasn't really sure what to expect from this series. But I'm glad to say that this is a proper comeback from them. 
The story is interesting, and while there is the main overarching storyline that connects everything, you also get eight different storylines. Not all of them are equally good or interesting, BUT even the worst among them is still intriguing enough. Same is the case with the characters themselves. There are some I definitely liked/loved more than others, but the show does a great job of giving each of …

Glitch (2015) - TV Series Review (Season 1)

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Glitch is an Australian mystery-drama TV series and it is about a small town where things turn upside down for a cop and other people as six deceased people suddenly rise back one fateful night.  
The story/premise intrigued me from the start. You feel just as confused as the people in the show. How did they come back? Why are they back? Is it something supernatural? Or is it science related? All these questions and more raise through your head in the first episode and becomes the framework of the series experience. 
Now, there is a good amount of characters in it, but they don't get an equal amount of development, nor are they all interesting or well acted. But the ones that are interesting certainly keep the intrigue level high enough that you want to know more and want them to solve this mystery and get answers. 
The story creates interesting scenarios and makes you wonder what would you do if you were thrown in this situation. And like I said earlier, while some characters ar…

The Crown (2016) - TV Series Review (Season 1)

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"We’re all dying. That’s what defines the condition of living."
The Crown is a series about Queen Elizabeth II and her early years as the Queen. Now personally, I don't really have that much interest in the subject matter and wouldn't go actively look for media showcasing it, but after hearing so many great things about it, I decided to give it a watch. To my surprise, I was hooked from the start. The series is so well made, the execution of everything is so exemplary, and its pacing is remarkably well balanced (for a series like this), that I couldn't help but have a wonderful time with it. I was intrigued by the inner workings of the royal household, and how the crown weighs on the bearer and the people surrounding them. 
The casting was damn good. Many of the actors do look similar to the personalities they are portraying in that time, and the acting itself was marvelous. Clair Foy is so lovely and plays as the queen with great beauty. John Lithgow, the stando…

Westworld (2016) - TV Series Review (Season 1)

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"These violent delights have violent ends."
Westworld is a sci-fi series from HBO and is about a futuristic western-themed park populated by artificial being or hosts (as they are called in the series) where rich people can come and do whatever they want.
The premise alone was enough for me to warrant a watch as the subject matter of the series is something I have a very high interest in. And to my utmost delight, the series deeply explored it and gave me the experience I always wanted. 
It is created by Jonathon Nolan (brother of Christopher Nolan) and Lisay Joy, and they both did a marvelous job with it. The world, the characters; the moral, ethical and philosophical dilemmas; all the interesting stuff I look forward to in things tackling this genre were top notch. 
The series boasted an impressive cast with some A-List actors thrown in the mix and the resulting acting was good to spectacular across the board, but the two standouts for me were Anthony Hopkins and Thandie N…

Birdman (2014) - Movie Review

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"A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing."
Birdman is a film about a washed up actor, who was once famous for starring as Birdman (Superhero), and his battle with himself and those around him during the final days of his broadway play premiere.

This film boasts an immense ensemble of talent, and you definitely get the result. Micheal Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Zack Galifianakis and some others all deliver amazing performances. It is truly a feat to see everyone just acting their best.And at the center of it all is Micheal Keaton and his career's best performance. He was awesome. Period.

Because of awesome performances, every scene was a joy to behold, the dialogue delivery was great, the dialogue itself was great. Another thing I really enjoyed about this film was that how its story paralleled with Micheal Keaton's and Edward Norton's real life. Micheal Keaton is most known for his role in Tim Burton's classic Batman film and its …

Furious 7 (2015) - Movie Review

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"One last ride."
So finally watched the 7th installment in the popular Fast and Furious franchise. Its amazing how this franchise has increased its popularity and success, be this long, and not be based on a book or something. Directed by James Wan, who previously was known only for famous horror flicks like The Conjuring and Insidious, did a great job delivering a full on high budget action film and a great send off to Paul Walker, gotta give him kudos for this.

The passing of Paul Walker had an overall presence throughout the movie. And it only got more potent as the movie went on. This is the last film of his, and the movie gave him an amazing send-off. The tribute at the end was truly beautiful. In fact, this marks the first time that I was brought to tears in a cinema. I did a full re-watch of all the previous parts prior to watching this, so everything was fresh in my mind and while watching the tribute, I Just couldn't hold it anymore. Knowing that this will be the …

Jupiter Ascending (2015) - Movie Review

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*Sigh* So much potential, such a waste.

This movie really infuriated me. The universe it is set in was just brimming with potential of a really epic franchise but instead we got a lame ass love story that almost reached Twilight level (Almost). There was no chemistry whatsoever between the two leads, everything was rushed, and even the acting felt emotionless. The movie went on for too long, had bad pacing and the villain sucked. I mean Eddie Redmayne (Stephen Hawking in Theory of Everything) is an awesome actor but boy oh boy was he horrible in this movie. Whatever he was trying to do with that phony cliche villain voice and style just didn't work.

That aside, there was some good stuff in the movie. Some characters I did like, like Sean Bean's. The setting was awesome. Action was actually well shot and good, did ran on for too long sometimes though. CGI was great, beautiful effects inhabited the screen and made weird technologies and alien planets come to life. Soundtrack wa…