Monday, 9 February 2015

Guest Review - Jupiter Ascending

It looks like no amount of postponement and special effect can save a movie, even from the supposedly promising directors (the ones brought us the classic Matrix Trilogy). Yeah, I am talking about Jupiter Ascending, it opened last week in US with a disappointing box office standing (at number 3 with mere $19 million). 

Personally, I have not watched the movie and to be frank when I saw the first trailer last year, it seems to be quite promising, especially from special effect perspective. Having said that, I think we've seen so much of equally beautiful and awesome stuff already and hence special effect alone doesn't cut it anymore. 

In any case, let's see how bad is it, in the words of my friend, Ben : 

Jupiter Ascending should be called Jupiter Crashed or What's so important about Jupiter? or the way to make a lazy person work hard is to let that person go through royalty.

The film was originally slated for release for June 20, 2014. But the studio delayed the film's release and pushed it back almost an entire year (9 months to be exact) to give the production more time in the post-production process. Everytime when a studio delayed the release, you know there is trouble. After watching it, I can understand why; confused plot, mediocre acting and almost no characters' development, they really need to beef up on the CGI so that audiences will not demand a refund.

Let's start with the good points. Visually there are no fault here, big budgets were spent to make the scenes vibrant and lush. The duo Wachowski siblings always has a way with concept and this time was no exception. The concept of Earth is a farm for harvest was interesting but sadly the execution was badly done.

They tried very hard to make an otherwise run-the-mill type of Chosen One plot interesting by throwing a lot of subplot and jargon terms. Unfortunately many of them were blandly delivered and often led to no resolution. Towards the end, I have no idea why Jupiter is that important, they could have close the case by harvesting the planet immediately.

Characters were painstakingly one dimensional with Eddie Redmayne (he really shined in Theory of Everything) giving one of the worst villain performances in movie history. Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum shared little screen chemistry, with Mila being the atypical damsel in distress role whose decisions in the movie made me rolled my eyes.

Jupiter Ascending is a visual feat no doubt, but I think they learned from Transformer school of movie directing, many a times the actions were so confusing and blurred that I have no idea what's going on.

Verdict 2 1/2 out of 5 stars. Watch if you like mindless action movie (not one which try to pretend to be smart), if you are looking out for The Matrix or even Cloud Atlas type of Sc-Fi movie, you maybe better off scrapping the toilet bowl.

Have you watched the movie? What is your review?


Friday, 6 February 2015

Guest Review - Whiplash

Sorry for the long absence from posting. I am back and I am bringing back my friend, Ben, to provide his latest guest review - Whiplash. It is not a 3D or IMAX movie but it is deemed a MUST WATCH movie of the year (in his own word).

Whiplash is a powerful drama written and directed by Damien Chazelle with strong casts like Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons and Mellisa Benoist. Without further ado, check out my friend, Ben's equally strong review below ;

What can I say? This is a MUST WATCH movie.

To start of, I know nothing of the movie, didn't even see the trailer. What I knew it is a movie about drummer, which is evident in the movie poster that I walked pass. This is one of the movie that I will place as low priority viewing.

How wrong I am and how glad I was to catch this masterpiece. The movie is about an aspiring drummer and his relationship with the acid-tongued sadist professor of the prestigious music academy. The starting scene wonderfully described the coming love-hate tension between the pair.

The story was top notch, with turn and twists that defied what normal movies will head. Many a time, I thought of how the story would continue and the movie proved otherwise, in an unexpected but realistic way. I was siting at the edge on a movie that's not even supposed to be a thriller, and this movie succeeded in making every turn memorable. In addition, the spitfire dialogues were witty and sharp, with the constant swearing and the F words earned this movie an R ratings. This is a pity as I think this is a movie that teenagers, who are at the start of their career and life, should watch.

The chemistry between actors Miles Teller (in some way gave me hopes for the coming Fantastic Four reboot as Teller will be the new Reed Richards) and J.K. Simmons was astonishing, full of tension and yet strangely fulfilling. Both characters were flawed and yet something we all can relate to.

Ultimately this movie ask how much we would sacrifice for our dream? How much is too much? Where is the line between abuse and inspiring to excel oneself? Is it true on what Fletcher said: There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job?

Another part that I like the movie is that it challenged you to think of the motives of Fletcher, was he just a selfish asshole who will do anything to get his goal (to win in the competition) or was his reason as noble as he claimed?

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

p/s I find actor Miles Teller looked uncanny like the late Elvis Presley.