Mad Max on Opening Day: Why Ever Not?

Mad Max on Opening Day: Why Ever Not?

  

You Will Be Missed, Mr. Corliss!

You Will Be Missed, Mr. Corliss!

    

Age of Avengers: Because We Like Opening Night

Age of Avengers: Because We Like Opening Night

  

Paul Blart, You Weren’t Such a Blast!

Paul Blart, You Weren’t Such a Blast!

  

Amazing Grace, 2007

Seven years late in the viewing, but the richer for it. That would be my one-sentence summary of my reaction-cum-review of this thoughtfully made film on England’s long struggle and saga to abolish the practice of slavery.

I was more intrigued and drawn to the movie for its title and the story behind its composition, in that the slave-trader John Newton who authored that famous hymn was the inspiration to William Wilberforce, England’s Member of Parliament, who took it upon himself to use the power of his office to persuade his colleagues to draft and pass a bill for abolition.

Thoughtfully crafted, this is a period-piece which weaves historical drama, much of it quite dry and yet compelling alongside the personal stories of the key players in the process, played masterfully by all, especially the young Benedict Cumberbatch.

It is note-worthy that England succeeded in passing laws of abolition more than a hundred years before the United States of America did. The story, in terms of content and context was very much in line with the more recent film Lincoln.

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Kingsman: The Secret Service, 2015

If you have a good week night you wish to throw away, as well as anywhere between $10-25 you don’t care about, by all means go see this movie. Because you will have accomplished a splendid way to throw away both time and money. In fact, such a waste of both things was the viewing that I felt I had wasted not just time but my life itself.

If anything, a movie such as this drives home quite vociferously the point that even having the likes of Colin Firth, Michael Caine, and Samuel L. Jackson, does not a good movie make. Which is really too bad, because I truly had high hopes for a spy story with such a stellar cast.

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A Most Violent Year, 2015

Is there an underside of the American Dream? The answer would be a resounding ‘yes’ after having watched this film – a drama about an immigrant from Colombia trying to make his way to the top in crime-ridden New York City in the year 1981.

Oscar Isaac is undoubtedly the star of this film, and actually, were it not for his arrestingly good looks, there are times when the dry bones landscape of a graffiti-laden NYC tends to lose its artistic charm and the tightly controlled and expertly coiled plot seems to underwhelm ever so slightly. But Mr. Isaac and his self-determined, beautiful, and compelling wife played by Jessica Chastain are a power couple, and you cannot help but watch with wonder as they engage a potential investor to close a deal. With his camel-hair topcoat and her plunging neckline, this is uber-cool gangster dynamics at its best.

There is not so much direct violence as is suggested in the title as there is in the mood of the film. And the mood is both violent and pregnant with suspense, so much so, that one almost wishes the violence would erupt already and be done with. And yet, there is both a sense of relief as well as a feeling of being underwhelmed with an ending that offers no redemption. Such is the fate of violence, as it most always is.

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