The Godfather: Part 2

A Commandment of powerful living. And a worthy sequel for a great movie.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Cast: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

Year: 1974

Awards: 6 Academy Awards including the Best Picture. 

Genre: Crime, Drama

Based on the Novel, “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo.

The Godfather: Part 2, is indescribably the best sequel a movie of the Godfather standard can deserve. So much so that I feel it cannot be called a sequel but a set which completes the first movie. And, with a much stronger storyline than the prior. It is one of those rare movies which surpass the glory of their prequel.

Plot

Movie opens with the life of an Italian boy, Vito Corleone from his childhood and his rise as the Don in the US neighborhood. After his family is killed in Sicily by a local don, Vito is smuggled out to USA, where he grows up into a man with a loving wife and children. Grim circumstances lead him to become Don Vito Corleone, after he kills the local gangster Fannucio. Michael Corleone, the new Don and the flashbacks to the story of his father unravel the intricacies of the Family. He is looking forward to control the gambling empire in Nevada by taking over the casinos there. He faces challenges when the distant parts of the Corleone crime family end up in the wrong pie with his business associates. Following is the story of a family man who cannot trust his own or his associates, as he glimpses the ghastly consequences of this lucrative business idea. The family seems to crumble, as Michael starts having second thoughts with his life and gets uneasy with his wife, when ultimately he should continue strong for the sake of an unblemished future for his children. The story revolves around betrayal, conniving games and The Family. 

Likes & Dislikes

The movie is an astonishing tale of the bond in the family and the tests of time which finally unfold their true benevolence.It comes as a surprise to me, that best of directors sometimes fall short when it comes to a strong storytelling. But two stories different in their era, characters and situations have been masterfully directed by Francis Coppola with a simple yet profound storytelling. Screenplay owed to both Coppola and Mario Puzo, is very distinct and creates no ambiguity between the separate stories of Don Vito and Michael with a discernable emotional linkage with their families. The slightest of actions and their ghastly consequences are meticulous in their showcase. When they say, All the issues can be solved by communication, I’ll remember this movie. Since it has exemplified the wise words and the actions that follow. The Music is charming and soothing. But when the times change, the same can anticipate calamities. The movie needs a few more watches before commenting on anything subtle about it. 

The people who’ll dislike this movie will get a reason as big as 3hours and 20 minutes. To bear through an intense crime drama with a bafflingly detailed story and a slow pace needs steely patience and interest. The movie will seem like a focused study with a few leisure breaks. Better bunk it than stumble in between. 

What’s my Point?

5 times Academy Award winning director Francis Ford Coppola brings out a valuable contribution to cinema with Godfather 2. With the twisting Social Camaraderie and an intense predisposition for power, the movie is a classic on the carousel of greatest movies of all times.

Road to Perdition (2002)

Beautifully ominous but a borderline bore.

Sam Mendes has a unique skill of directing beautifully haunting movies. They have a melodious music, textured like A Calm amidst the Storm. Road to Perdition is a movie similar to “American Beauty” in its existential and emotionally revealing picture of a man’s life.

road_to_perdition_ver2

Plot

A crime family, headed by Rooney lived far north in the times of Mob enforcement. Michael Sullivan is their trusted gun, leading a quiet and mysterious life with his wife and two young boys. The story is narrated by the elder son, Michael Sullivan Jr when he witnesses his father and Connor Rooney, the heir to the family, murder an associate. In a foul attempt to shut his mouth, Connor kills the younger son and the mother and attempts an assassination of Michael Sullivan. The son, now has to come to terms with his father’s dangerous profession and his tormented life. Ravaged by the news, Michael Sullivan devotes himself to protecting his son and vengeance for his family. Along the Road to Perdition, junior observes a previously unknown side of his father’s sentiments and his existential crisis. Where in, the father’s action however immoral and dangerous for both of them, leads to moment of an inexplicable truth and choice. Where he shall preserve his son’s conscience and redeem his future with the hopes of leading a better life than his.

road-to-perdition

Likes and Dislikes

I’ve always had a special liking for movies of Sam Mendes. Be it the intrepid course of existentialism in “American Beauty” or the complex intricacies of a couple’s lives in “Revolutionary Road”, His movies are “Beautifully Haunting”. He displays his signature charms and idiosyncratic direction in this movie too. Tom Hanks is at his usual best throughout the strong events that shape the movie. The movie hooks in a strange way, where the storyline and the plot flow aren’t as important as their hidden emotional manifestations and metaphors.

The story had less of showcasing. Most of the times, the screen seems dull with no apparent use of the ongoing scene. With no elements of surprise or glamour till the end, the movie can come off as uneventful and boring. Certainly not a qualifier for the robust entertainer.

What’s My Point

With its simple plot and well-presented emotional and realistic content, Road to Perdition has a beautifully clear story and message. A good watch for anyone into graceful, story oriented movies with a hint of entertainment and room for afterthought.

 

Gladiator (2002)

An epic story, with an everlasting effect on the senses.

gladiator_ver3_xlg

I was 8 when I first saw this movie in a pirated DVD. And I hardly paid much attention to the craft except for the gore and action. But with time, this movie grew on me and I now realize that Ridley Scott outdid himself with this legendary story of Roman Empire. Winner of 5 Academy Awards, of the 8 nominations, Gladiator stands as a testament to everything altruistic about making a historic drama.

Plot

General Maximus is the epitome of honor and loyalty in the army of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Commanding the allegiance of the hoard, he has lead Rome to its greatest victories and now there are none left for the challenge. When terminally ill, Emperor Marcus tells Maximus about his plans for making Rome a Republic and giving the power back to people. Restoring the vision and dream, on which the now corrupt empire was built upon. But these plans need Maximus to be the protector of Rome. Butat the king’s much dismay,he declines the offer. His wicked son, Prince Commodus, feeling betrayed by his father’s distrust in him, murders him and sentences Maximus to death. Escaping his death, Maximus returns home and finds his family burnt alive, by the tyrant. A series of trials follow, where and after Maximus is taken in for the Gladiator games. Where he shall stop at nothing till he has won the hearts of the crowd with his ruthless skills and complete his revenge on Commodus. In the kingdom of twisted political corruption and noble lives at the risk of the torment, Maximus stands as the only hope for ensuring the Dream that Rome once was, is realized.

Gladiator13

Likes & Dislikes

With the staggering display of Rome’s ancient glory, the movie has the best of visuals one can expect from a historic war movie. Inspite of the vast storytelling and the characters, their lives and actions are plain and easily understood. Russell Crowe as “Maximus” is flawless and Joaquin Phoenix as the tyrant “Commodus” is stellar. The story instantly grips, living upto the resonating words like Honor, Strength, and Courage. The location, the background score are unmistakable and perfectly synchronize with the moods which follow throughout the narration. Ridley Scott’s style of directing war movies becomes very clear and distinct as the violence, gore, old fashioned fights and the politics of ancient times form a perfect cocktail for senses.

I personally can’t think of anywhere the movie went wrong. But for people looking for action and war, 3 hours of intense historic drama might come off as boring.

What’s My Point?

With a story worth telling a hundred times, Gladiator has never failed to entertain me anytime in the past 14 years. With a lot of subtle things it teaches about life, the movie is visually appealing and mentally rejuvenating. Gladiator will always be cherished as an eternal tale of Honor and Strength.

You’ve Got Mail

Reading. Rivalry. Romance. Revealing..In that order.

I finally understood why people consider Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as one of their favorite on screen pairs. My first time seeing Tom Hanks in a romantic role after a glimpse of it in the Terminal. It wasn’t disappointing and in fact, was a pleasantly surprising make over of typical love story between the rivals.

youve-got-mail

Plot

New York city. Its the era of internet. While some people are busy clamoring about the technology, Kathleen Kelly is really fond of it. This fondness is because of the feely emails she’s been exchanging with an unknown person online. Playing it safe, both have marked specifics of their lives as off limits. Her emails contain nothing of substance and yet hold her honest perspectives about life. Kathleen owns an affable children’s book store which holds her deep sentimental values. On the other side, Joe Fox is a successful businessman in the light of bookstores. His brand of a giant bookstore is about to open in the same corner as Kathleen’s and she’s about to run out of business. A budding rivalry between the two continues in a rage, but little do they know, that everyday their heartfelt emails are actually being sent to each other. Joe realizes this soon in time but has realized that Kathleen will never forgive him for closing down her mother’s bookshop. He realizes that he has only one way of winning her over. As Joe fox himself. He tries to redeem their relationship by acting aloof about the emails and slowly starts bonding with Kathleen. And finally, he makes her realize that the person she mails to, is the man she’s truly in love with.

mqdefault

Likes & Dislikes

The movie provides a realistic view of the ugly situations, when personal life and business interfere without your control on either of them.With a simple story in hand, the most complicated emotions surrounding the plot are dealt with ease. From the dialogues to the philosophy, the movie practices what it preaches.Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have an impeccable chemistry on screen and complete the feel of the movie. With a very good show of bitter turned sweet romance, the story is eloquently intricate and provides a revealing sense of the things as “Nothing is what it just looks like”.

The first half of the movie seems dragged, and is boring at many instances. Although the subject background is important, but the main plot seems to be scanty in comparison to their initiation. A little more time on screen developing the plot would’ve made it more enjoyable. There are few shots, which are ineffective and have no purpose, although the screen presence and the frames are excellent.

What’s my Point?

An entertaining watch, which is filled with hilarious moments and subtle romance. The movie is light hearted and yet intricately developed with a few cliched scenes. But a watch worthwhile for any Rom Com lover.

Be Back Hungry!

 

The Recruit

A gripping, well paced thriller with good twists and spot on action.

I remember the first time I saw this movie. It was a pleasant change from the other thrillers i had watched then. With the right amount of flair, drama and deviousness, The Recruit is a fine choice for a well paced thriller and a story that’ll keep you at the edge of your seat.

recruit_ver2

Plot

James Clayton is an expert hacker and a grade A cryptographer. He and his friends are into building server hacking softwares, which are retailed to interested companies at conventions. He makes a modest living as a part time bartender where he meets a mysteriously sharp witted man called Walter Burke. Walter introduces himself as a recruiter of CIA and invokes the interest of James to join CIA. After the preliminary elimination, the selected candidates are taken into the training institute of the agency. After a series of tests in both psychological and physical aspects, an unexpected bond develops between him and an ambitious woman Layla. After a grueling torture where James succumbs and gives out Walter’s identity in a CIA’s test for terrorist info extraction, he is terminated from CIA. But his life takes an unexpected twist, when Walter reveals to him that he is the chosen NOC(no official cover) agent and his assignment is to get close to Layla who is a double agent and retrieve a deadly computer virus which breaks down the entire system and results into a national emegency. The plot is thickening and James will realize he cannot trust anyone or anything he sees or hears except his own instinct. Nothing is what it seems like.

Likes & Dislikes

The well developed storyline is gripping and avoids major cliches which are evident in other thrillers. Al Pacino is devious and at his quick witted best. Colin Farell has a given a commendable performance which adds to the air of uncertainty and mis-judgement throughout the plot. The movie offers a set of great visuals and twists which set a mood for the exact action sequences. The movie takes the depiction of the Agency seriously and the story runs along the high tech, priviledged system of Langley accordingly.

The main fault i found with this movie is the absence of any room for further speculation. The movie once watched, hardly has much different opinions or perspectives to be offered during the next watch. The suspense fades along the repeated viewing. Something unlike other cult thrillers like Fight Club and The Departed. While the story might prevail, background score doesn’t accentuate the thrilling effects and often is dull and uneventful.

What’s my Point?

The movie comes off as a fairly complex suspense thriller without any redundant factors. A thrilling watch, where the plot provides a lasting memory and effect of the unique storyline and charisma the movie has to offer.

Be Back Hungry!

 

Yes Man

A Unique, fun filled comedy with short term memory span.

Jim Carrey, the name stands for showmanship and hysteria. Out of all his comedy gigs I’ve watched, Yes Man is probably the most innovative in a “non fantasy” topic. The Mask & Bruce almighty were feel good movies, with light realistic touch over a wholly imaginary scenario. With Yes Man, while there are sensible comic and fun filled moments, the philosophy behind the movie is quite garbled.

OneSheet (Page 1)

Plot

Carl Allen’s life is a slump. His unenthused and a refuting lifestyle has made him a bore and unable to enjoy life. His friends have nearly given up on him, because of his sheer lack of mortal fun and inability to change his pathetic lifestyle. One fine day, he meets an old acquaintance who tells him about the way he’s exploring and enjoying his life after habituating a single word in it. “Yes”. He then tells Carl to attend a seminar. The challenge is for every man to say “Yes” for every opportunity in life. Skeptically, he initiates the habit and starts saying YES for everything. A rough start on his newly found “Yes” track gets him stranded & ends up meeting him up with Alison, a young and brash woman with a penchant for spontaneity. From then on, his life changes and his positive charm gets him lots of accolades, promotion, makes him popular with his friends and makes Alison fall in love with him. A suspicious encounter reveals her about the Yes Man program, after which she questions, if her relationship with Carl is just an act of him saying Yes or did he actually mean them for her. Along the way he realizes that saying “No” has its own consequences and not all Yes’s are always meant to be.

Likes & Dislikes

The concept is unique, and provides a fresh look at things in normal life. Jim Carrey as Carl and Zooey Deschanel as alison form a cute couple and give an enthusiastic outlook. The movies has humour and realism mixed up in lots of imaginative ways and is definitely a fun filled watch with no wits spent.

The philosophy behind the program was blur and doesn’t give an effective intiation to the plot. After a while, things take a monotic track and the humour starts fading along with the plot. The morale of the movie looks cold with no certain satisfaction or reason for the storyline. Few loopholes and boring moments along the way, till a far fetched ending is reached. The movie fails to excite and seems dull at times.

What’s my Point?

As far as Jim Carrey is concerned, there are much better comedies to be watched. With a unique yet dull plot, the movie is fun filled and cheery. On the whole, the movie needs no wit and is easily a friday night show to sleep over.

Leon: The Professional

A Professional exemplar for the distinctive action, thrill and powerful storytelling.

Had been meaning to watch this movie for a long time now. Too bad i didn’t. The director of classic action flicks like Taken & Transporter set his own trend of quite storytelling, powerful emotions and gangland style action movies with Leon: The Professional. Thrilling drama, action and socially challenging emotions, there are very few movies in the genre which can match its archetype.

professional_ver1 images (1)

Plot

Negotiations are something Leon is very good at making happen. One policy. No woman No children, Leon is an expert hitman. His skills become evident as the movie begins and he strikes a negotiation with a drug lord after executing his men in a very “Serious” way. A softer side of him is revealed when he saves a young, mentally troubled girl from getting killed at the hands of a corrupt and maniacal cop and his minions, who have already killed her adopted family and a 4 year brother. Now the girl seeks vengeance. She asks Leon to train her for that and to work his household in return. What follows is a story of an unusual bond which develops between the girl and the assassin. As he prepares her with guns and aiming during his contract kills, she educates him and reinforces his kindred spirit. He finds peace and redemption in the eccentric girl who falls in love with him. Once he told her that revenge should be forgotten, today he will fulfill her revenge by taking on the madman and his force at his front door.

download

Likes and Dislikes

With a distinct style of action and quite & emotional storytelling, the movie is as interesting as entertaining. Reality hasn’t been excluded while filming any scene. The association of the cops with the mafia bosses and drug lords in the city are picturesque. The performances delivered by Jean Reno & young Natalie Portman are very intense. The bond, the sexual innuendos and their contrasting yet warm feelings for each other are surreal in the movie.The changing course of a violent life when caring for an innocent spirit are shown momentously. Gary Oldman commands the attention with his substance abusive and maniacal bearing. An emotional yet commanding storyline and thrill are brilliantly directed. Camerawork stands out in a few scenes and are very effective.

A couple of times, it seemed monotonous. The lifestyle, the locality, even the way a few shots are fired. Not a compelling watch at times and fails to constantly hook the attention on screen. There are minor junk scenes in the movie which could have been avoided. But in all other aspects, the movie surpasses the expectations of genre.

What’s my point?

If you’re looking for a hardcore action movie, it’ll disappoint. But if willing to try a powerful storyline, the atypical action and an offbeat emotional drama, Leon: The Professional is an exciting watch.

Be Back Hungry!

 

 

 

Definitely, Maybe

Definitely a keeper, maybe a bit mushy and preachy.

It had been sometime since i last saw this movie. And now, after watching it i get the same old upbeat feeling again . A well written and delicately intertwined set of occurrences foretold, the movie doesn’t shy away from presenting the downright practical and optimistic nuances of love in life.

Definitely_Maybe_poster4_large

Plot

William Hayes is a tumbling political consultant, going through a divorce and father of a very curious and high spirited 11 year old daughter Maya. The movie starts when Maya asks him how he met his wife and about his past relationships with women. From then on, a simple and well woven narration by the father hooks the little girl. On the note that she has to figure out who her mother is, among the three women his story revolves around. The three relationships take him through various phases of life and make him confront his ambitions, feelings and choices one has to face within them. In the course of his story, he transforms from his boyish self with dreams, to a man who has faced the ordeals and has made difficult resolves between his love and career. The movie winds when the optimism of his child, drives him to tie up the loose ends with the woman he really loved.

Likes and Dislikes

The best part about the movie is its light hearted and yet strangely profound way of showcasing love. The movie slyly hooks up. The intricacies in the different relations with different people are spot on. The changes a vibrant energetic atmosphere instills in people are well scored. The moving on in life, changes in demeanor a person undergoes over time, choices between relationships and career are very pragmatic in the movie. Ryan Reynolds fits the lead very well. Rachel Weisz in her intellectual lady looks, Isla fisher as the girly one and Elizabeth Banks as the girl next door have been very well chosen for the kind of characters they play.

At times it gets boring with all relationships, profession, love & life seem to keep foul-play and entertaining factors off the screen. Unnecessary emotions at times can be a kill. Cheesy lines in a few places, unrelated rants, mushy instances and self-preaching could be avoided. Background score although lively seems dull at times and doesn’t connect. Although the movie has a good outlook despite of several minor flaws.

Whats my Point ?

Definitely a good watch. One of the best romantic dramas out there without too much of fantasy. Easily understandable and optimistic, It’ll be some time before I watch it again but it won’t be the last.

Be Back Hungry!