November 11, 2019No Comments

Netflix’s The King Review

Rating 5/10 (Underwhelming Medieval Drama) 

Cast: Timothee Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Robert Pattinson, Ben Mendelsohn, Sean Harris, Thomasin Mckenzie, Lily-Rose Depp, Dean Charles Chapman

Director: David Michod

Writers: Joel Edgerton and David Michod

Based on: Henry IV Part 1 and 2, Henry V by William Shakespeare 

Cinematography: Adam Arkapaw

Editor: Peter Sciberras

Music: Nicholas Britell

Producers: Brad Pitt,Dede Gardner,Jeremy Kleiner,Liz Watts,David Michôd, Joel Edgerton

Runtime: 140 mins 

Shakespeare is often called the greatest writer of all time. So what happens when you adapt his work and make it into a political drama with no high moments overall? The result is Netflix's The King.

For every film, you have people who like it and dislike it. I didn't dislike The King. But I wouldn't say it's good either. Writers David Michod and Joel Edgerton have stripped away the iambic pentameter and immersive nature of Shakespeare and the narrative is so overly serious and long you just feel exhausted by the end.

The King is about King Henry V (Timothee Chalamet) and his ascension and rule to power as his father is slowly losing his health and grip on the throne. What follows is his journey and the internal politics that he traverses as the new King of England.

Timothee Chalamet makes a triumphant return to the screen after another stunning performance in Beautiful Boy. Chalamet is simply sensational as Hal and brings all his talents and acting prowess and delivers another powerhouse performance establishing himself as a true acting talent in Hollywood. Many people and colleagues of his have stated he is this generation's Leonardo Dicaprio and The King does more than enough to justify that argument. Chalamet makes the most simple scene seem incredible and filled with emotion. The accent and transformation into the character is impeccable and he's really the only reason one would even consider watching this movie. However with the physique of a stick figure, watching him fight and winning battles is quite unbelievable.

The rest of the cast of Sean Harris as the aide, Joel Edgerton as the mentor, Ben Mendelsohn as the father King Henry IV all deliver sincere performances. Mendelsohn in particular is becoming synonymous with playing cold blooded and ruthless characters with the utmost convincing in each passing film.

It seems to be the time of the Pattinson bandwagon and I'm a changed man after watching The Lighthouse. Pattinson is hilariously convincing as a French Dauphin with a ridiculous French accent and funny antics that provide the only comic relief in an otherwise bland film. The sliding in the mud later on is surely to make you laugh as well. His mere presence is all of 3 scenes but he steals the show in every single one.

David Michod's 9th directorial venture is an attempt to serve the audience a very Game of Thrones type narrative and be engaging. Unfortunately he doesn't succeed. The King feels greater in moments than as a whole. The entire narrative starts off well and treads a familiar path in a son succeeding his father for a throne.

Either the writers were staying too true to the source material or they just removed any fun from the experience but the film is not engaging whatsoever. At times it's extremely slow and snail paced. And overly serious. The brilliance of Game of Thrones was that it was able to transcend non fantasy lovers and bring them into a world and care about the characters.

The King succeeds on most fronts in terms of characters, setup, feel, and action sequences. But what it lacks is an engaging story that's good enough to keep the audience interested till the very end and just leaves them looking at their watch half the time. Blame it on the script or the direction. But somebody is at fault here.

Technicality wise, The King does not disappoint. Music by Nicholas Britell serves up a haunting and reflective score perfectly capturing the essence of 15th century England. Cinematography by Adam Arkapaw is often gloomy and shows what the Middle Ages were to supposed to be like. A grey color scheme is mostly used throughout the film. Special mention to the Production Designer Fiona Crombie and Costume Designer Jane Petrie. Their work is simply outstanding and it gives the production a very realistic and aesthetic look in tune with the film's period setting. Sound Mixing is very good. Action Sequences are well shot. The Production Values by Brad Pitt and the other producers are extravagant.

Coming to the flaws, it's really the direction that's a bummer. The setup and period setting work well but all that's missing is that engaging story that could have made this movie so much more. However, Chalamet does his best and roars in his role which makes it wactable to an extent. The hierarchal politics take too much time out the film's plot and this is perhaps the biggest problem. Or maybe it's just my cynical mind complaining about pace once again.

Overall, The King is an underwhelming Medieval drama from Netflix. Timothee Chalamet delivers a flawless performance as usual, but the film is too long and drawn out and rarely has any high moments in a runtime which feels like an eternity. 

Watch it only if you like Medieval dramas or you're a fan of Timothee Chalamet. Honestly, you're not losing much besides 2.5 hours you'll never get back in your life. See if you can spot the joke.  

 

November 11, 2019No Comments

Motherless Brooklyn Review

Rating: 6/10 (Decent Detective Drama) 

Cast: Bruce Willis ,Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Suplee, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Josh Pais , Bobby Cannavale

Director: Edward Norton

Writer (based on the novel): Jonathan Lethem

Writer: Edward Norton

Cinematography: Dick Pope

Editor: Joe Klotz

Music: Daniel Pemberton

Runtime: 144 minutes 

What happens when a trailer looks amazing and the movie doesn't live upto the expectations? The result is Motherless Brooklyn.

Writer and Director Edward Norton has a lot to chew and gives a period take on it's modern source material in Motherless Brooklyn. Detective Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton) is trying to solve a murder in Brooklyn that heavily involves a corrupt highway department and speaks of the abuse of power.

Norton, who is already a fantastic actor himself pushes his limits and delivers a stunning performance as man affected with Tourettes Syndrome. While the disability should be something that is acknowledged, it instead ends up becoming a tool for comic relief due to the often odd and unpredictable situations Norton's character gets put in.

Featuring an ensemble cast, Bruce Willis is apt as Frank, Lionel's boss and mentor.

Alec Baldwin is extremely convincing as the power hungry Moses Randolph. It's almost as if the actor is playing himself and channeling his inner personality in the role which really adds to the conviction of the performance.

Willem Dafoe is terrific as always as Paul, an investigative journalist who tries to help Norton along the way. Gugu Mbatha Raw's role is central to the plot and she does a fine job.

The other cops played by Bobby Cannavale and Ethan Suplee are adequate. Cannavale in particular does a role he's far too used by now. The rest of the cast is apt and fit all their respective roles very well.

Contrary to the popular belief, this is Norton's 2nd film as a director and not his directorial debut. His first was Keeping Up with the Faith, a hilarious take on a love triangle between a Jewish Rabbi and Catholic priest who fall for the same girl. Almost 20 years later, Norton once again wields the mic. And one can easily say he falls short of delivering what could be so much more. Motherless Brooklyn has been a passion project for Norton ever since he read the book, but it seems he was so fascinated and enamored by the idea that when it came, he just couldn't translate his vision onto the screen.

Motherless Brooklyn is by no means a bad film. But you often need a solid pace and constant guessing and mystery surrounding what the conclusion will be. Motherless Brooklyn has a very slow and adequate first half. Norton's introduction and the Tourette's syndrome keep you entertained throughout and the 2nd half of the movie is well written when the mystery and proceedings start to speed up. The themes of abuse of power and racism are featured prominently in this film and Norton does a fine job of depicting these subtly.

They all come to fruition in the climax and they are very relevant to today's times and leave an impact on the narrative and the viewer. The problem lies therein where the jargon and unnecessary scenes and pace test the patience of the audience who expected a lot more in the 1st half.

In the end, one feels that a better director could have done wonders for Motherless Brooklyn and made it a riveting detective drama than the output Norton has given. His acting capabilities aren't the same as his directorial ones and wielding one too many hats on the overall production makes Motherless Brooklyn feel like a slightly missed opportunity in the end to make something amazing.

Technically, most Hollywood productions seem to be very sound. With a 30 million budget, the look and feel of the film is excellent. The Music by Daniel Pemberton, Cinematography by Dick Pope, Costume Design by Amy Roth, Production Design by Beth Mickle, Sound Mixing by Danny Michael, and the Art Direction by Michael Ahern are all fantastic. The cinematography in particular feature very vibrant or very dark visuals as more than half the film is shot at night. The only complaint would have to be the Editing by Joe Klotz. At 144 minutes and the sluggish first half, the movie does seem like a chore at times.

Coming to the flaws, most of them were explained before. The script seems overstuffed and the length makes it a drag despite the performances. Perhaps the modern setting would have been better suited than the period era that Norton's production looks for. It's almost as if Norton's goal was to make a an old school Sherlock Holmes type drama set in the past and give a very neo-noir vibe to the overall aesthetic of the entire production and he does succeed to an extent. It's just not as engaging or riveting as one could hope for it to be.

Warners Brothers should be commended for taking a risk and green lighting this film. Despite its flaws, it's always nice to see movies like Motherless Brooklyn get made because it makes people have hope that original stories or adapted stories can survive and coincide with the blockbuster and franchise obsession that has plagued the world's most iconic film industry.

Overall, Motherless Brooklyn is a decent crime drama powered by Edward Norton's stunning performance as Lionel Essrog. Despite the slugging first half, slow pace, and excessive length, it's offset by a solid 2nd half, a solid mystery at its core, and meaningful climax with themes that are sure to resonate with present day. 

If you're a fan of Edward Norton or detective movies, give Motherless Brooklyn a watch. Just make sure you have plenty of energy. And patience.

November 10, 2019No Comments

Jojo Rabbit Review

Rating: 7.5/10 (Entertaining Political Satire) 

Cast: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Alfie Allen, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Archie Yates, and Scarlett Johansson

Written and Directed by: Taika Waititi

Based on: Caging Skies by Christine Leunens

Cinematographer: Mihai Malaimare Jr.

Music: Micheal Giacchino

Editor: Tom Eagles

Producers: Carthew Neal, Taika Waititi, Chelsea Winstanley

Banners: TSG Entertainment, Defender Films, Piki Films

Runtime: 108 minutes

It's a known fact when that Adolf Hitler was one of the most bizarre and polarizing figures and the Swastika and Nazi have gone onto become symbols of hatred and racism amongst human beings since their demise post World War II.

But what if in an alternate world, Hitler was actually a comedian who helped little children achieve their dreams of becoming Nazi's and running a camp dedicated to serving the Nazi party. Sounds ballsy and borderline offensive right? Well that's exactly what director Taika Waititi accomplishes with his latest film Jojo Rabbit.

The film's story is simple. Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is a young Germany boy who dreams of becoming a Nazi soldier one day. He's aided by his imaginary friend Adolf Hitler played by Waititi himself. However his world is turned upside down when he finds a Jew named Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) in his house, which questions the prejudice and the way he sees the world.

What follow is a beautiful and hilarious tale of innocence, prejudice, and satire in this movie.

Everybody is aptly cast and delivers a splendid performance. Roman Griffin Davis all of 10 years old delivers a charming performance and is infectious as the titular Jojo. Thomasin Mckenzie is excellent as Elsa, the girl trying to fit in a war torn world filled with discrimination and prejudice. Taika Waititi as Adolf Hitler is a laugh riot and brings his classic wit and charm to the role which makes it all the more effective.

Sam Rockwell, Alfie Allen, and Rebel Wilson are all hilarious in their respective roles and despite the respective nationalities in American, English, and Australian, the trio pull off the accents with flawless rendition and pronunciation.

Rockwell in particular shines throughout and gets a nice moment towards the climax. Stephen Merchant in more of a cameo is apt as a Gestapo officer.

Lastly, Scarlett Johansson as Jojo's mother delivers an endearing performance. It's a nice welcome change for the superstar actress after constant studio blockbusters in the last few years and reinforces her acting capabilities and ability to make you shed a tear.

Usually when genre shifts happen, sometimes the mark of a director is often lost in translation or completely ditched in hopes of reinvention and the prove a point. Waititi, known for his quirky sense of humor and funny guy acts, thankfully stays true to his forte. One could easily say that Jojo Rabbit is more of an arthouse film rather than the massive film yet hilarious film that was Thor Ragnarok. You can see his mark all over the film with hilarious sequences and subtle humor sprinkled throughout. The first two acts are dedicated to the comic sequences and building the characters. However it's in the last act that the message and goal of the film really comes to fruition.

A film on Nazi's cannot be overly happy and joyful and Waititi aims to break that stereotype for the majority. As other critics might have stated, the satire might not be for everyone and that's ok. What matters is that Waititi's direction is pretty good for the most part. The characters, story, setup, humor and emotions are all balanced in the right proportions which makes Jojo a lighthearted satire with a nice message in the end.

Technically, the film is sound. Music by Micheal Giacchino complements the story well and the songs used throughout fit the overall comic mood very well. The cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr. is excellent. The color patterns and scheme fit very well with lighthearted angle of the movie. Vibrant colors such as green are featured predominantly throughout the narrative. Editing by Tom Eagle is apt. Production Design by Ra Vincent is outstanding. The sets and the whole production as whole gives that Nazi and peak World War II feeling. Costumes by Mayes C. Rubeo is fantastic. The costumes look authentic throughout the film. Lastly, the Production Values are extravagant and the producers and the executives at Fox Searchlight should be commended for making an honest film in 2019 given the studio setup and current situation in the film industry.

Waititi's goal to make a lighthearted movie based on Nazi's works mightily. So in terms of flaws, Jojo is obviously not perfect. Depending on one's tastes, it's not for everybody. Satire and political jokes about such an offensive party may not go down well with certain section of the audience and maybe Jojo could have dealt deeper into the Nazi issues and prejudices. Maybe one could also complain that the film doesn't go deep enough into its characters or the real Nazi atrocities, but given the sensitive subject matter, it's something can be overlooked in the end.

Because it's not a history lesson, it's a film in the end. Which begs the question of the tolerance of the film's content.

If you're easily offended by Heil Hitler dialogues and Nazi jokes and presence of a Swastika, then by all means do not watch this movie. It's not a universal comedy entertainer meant to please everyone's feelings.

This is an arthouse film with a very niche audience who have the stomach and ability to not take it so seriously and just be entertained and moved by the story.  Going by the trailer, you know what to expect and you're a fan of Waititi's previous work, you will probably enjoy this movie.

Overall, Jojo Rabbit is a lighthearted and entertaining political satire film that has its heart in the right place. Nicely sprinkled humor throughout, solid performances, and an emotional third act make this movie worth a watch. 

It borderlines the fine line between offensive and funny and what type of film connoisseur you are determines how much you'll enjoy this film. If you're not a snowflake who gets offended easily that is. 

October 31, 2019No Comments

The Lighthouse Review

Rating: 9/10 (Exhilarating Art Film) 

Cast: Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe

Director: Robert Eggers

Written by: Robert and Max Eggers

Cinematography: Jarin Blaschke

Editor: Louise Ford

Music: Mark Korven 

Theater Watched: AMC Lowes Palisades 21

There's something about the intrigue about movies that the audience can't seem to figure out. It is a source of entertainment or a piece of art that should be talked about and appreciated for ages to come? Perhaps the first thing that comes into a filmmakers mind is this question. And given the expertise and perfectionism of someone like Robert Eggers, it's safe to say the director aims for the latter.

Through scintillating trailers and an gutsy decision for film a modern film in black and white, Eggers takes a risk most filmmakers today wouldn't. Making a piece of art that is as ambiguous as it is entertaining.

On the surface, the story is simple. Ephraim Winslow played by Robert Pattinson and Thomas Wake played by Willem Dafoe are two sailors tasked with carrying out duties on an isolated rock for a lighthouse. Both men seem to have mysterious pasts and they need to figure out a way to survive, within themselves and with each other.

Sometimes in film we see a one man show. But Eggers pulls a casting coup and makes The Lighthouse a two man show from Pattinson and Dafoe. Both men are exemplary with their performances perfectly encompassing the emotions of pain, isolation, identity, and friendship brilliantly throughout. Pattinson in particular steals the show throughout with a magnificent performance and with a monologue towards the climax that is sure to impress even the greatest of haters and get the common person excited for that movie that involves a man dressed up in a Bat costume.

What ensues is a concoction of inexplicable things that must be experienced on the big screen. As mentioned before this is only the surface. Perhaps no film in recent times is rooted more in symbolism and ambiguity than the Lighthouse in recent times. Eggers script is simply brilliant and there are so many sequences which could be termed as mind bending that you are constantly asking yourself whether the narrative that's unfolding is real or just a imagination of what the character and director want you to believe. The seagulls, the lighthouse itself, the sea, mermaids, and lobsters are symbols and motifs that serve a much greater purpose in the narrative and it takes a true cinephile to understand and appreciate these tones.

Not only this but like the recently released Joker, The Lighthouse explores a myriad of themes such sexuality, isolation, companionship, identity and most of all sanity. All these move the narrative forward in a deeply compelling and timely manner.

After it's premiere all anybody could talk about were the technicalities of the film and rightfully so. Movies are about great storytelling along with the other crafts that are involved. The Music is fantastic but the Sound Mixing in particular is simply unreal. The sound effects involving the eponymous title itself or during a moment of tension only add to the feeling of what the characters are feeling. Cinematography by Jarin Blaschke is outstanding. The aspect ratio and the gutsy move to shoot the film in black and white pays dividends as each and every shot is a glorious painting in it's own right. The aspect ratio in particular enhances the claustrophobic feeling the movie serves to give. Editing by Louise Ford is perfect and sets the pace for the film much like Pattinson jobs shoving coal into a fire. It's a slow burner. The rest of the technical departments should be commended for making a wholesome cinematic experience.

That being said, the film's only flaw might be the pace. It is a slow burner and that might not be for everyone. But when watching a film like this, entertainment is not the goal. It's to appreciate the story telling and the art that is unfolding in front of us and for that reason alone, The Lighthouse is not everyone's cup of tea.

The ambiguity of the films narrative is what will stay with you at the end. If anything, the film is a thesis about human nature itself. Isolation, sex, and companionship are all things we need to survive as humans. Precisely, this was Eggers goal. And he achieves it mightily. Perhaps not everything should be explained in a film and the audience should be the ones to piece together the rest of puzzle and what just unfolded between their eyes.

Having not witnessed The Witch, one can easily the directorial style as a first time experience is simply brilliant. The ambiguity of the films ending is perhaps the most intriguing and leads to a cohesive investigation of the narrative all over again.

Overall, The Lighthouse is an exhilarating piece of art and a simply breathtaking film from Robert Eggers. With it's ethereal Sound Mixing, incredible cinematography, and ambiguous and symbolic narrative, The Lighthouse is a true cinematic experience that every hardcore filmmaker and movie buff should watch. 

While the war between what films should be in terms of the art and commercial space rages on, films like The Lighthouse come around and reminds you why exactly we go to the movies.

Is to be entertained or make a piece of art to be dissected and talked about for ages to come? Choice is left up in the air. Much like the film itself. 

October 9, 2019No Comments

Joker Review

Rating: 10/10 (A True Cinematic Masterpiece) 

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, and Marc Maron

Director: Todd Phillips 

Written by: Todd Phillips and Scott Silver

Cinematography: Lawrence Sher

Music and Background Score: Hildur Guðnadóttir

Editing: Jeff Groth 

Based on: The DC Comics Character Joker

Producers: Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper, and Emma Tillinger Koskoff

Production Companies: DC Films, Village Roadshow Pictures, Bron Creative, Joint Effort

One of the most awaited movies of the year is Joker. It stars one of Hollywood's most incredible actors in Joaquin Phoenix and this is a fictional take on the classic origin that is shrouded in mystery of the supervillain, the Joker, best known to audiences as Batman's arch nemesis. Directed by Todd Phillips best known for the Hangover movies, the movie has faced severe controversy for its glorification of it's protagonist and the social implication the film might have. Is it worth all the hype and controversy? Let's find out in this review.

Plot: Joker tells the origin story of failed comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) and why he became psychotic and the reasons for him turning into the Joker.

Performances: Joaquin Phoenix is simply otherworldly in this film and does a masterclass on acting. He's world class as Arthur Fleck/Joker. A lot of people have said its a film on character study and what not. All that can be said is that he is simply sensational and the way he has performed his character will give you the chills and will probably haunt you as you leave the theater. From the iconic cackling laugh to the mental condition to the dialogues and reactions to the people around him, he performs each and every scene phenomenally and gives it his all. Unless the controversy train can do something to derail his prospects, the Oscar next year is surely his. To sum it up, he is terrifyingly convincing as the Joker and his antics and psychotic behavior is surely going to be remembered for a long time.

The other actors in this movie are overshadowed by Joaquin completely. Robert De Niro's much hyped cameo is adequate and the legend brings his classic dialogue delivery to the role. But its nothing memorable or special.

Zazie Beets' character is just there and has little value other than a few chilling scenes with Arthur.

Frances Conroy is excellent as Arthur's mother. Glenn Fleshler best known from True Detective is fine. Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne is fine as well.

The rest of the actors are apt and well cast.

Direction: After 3 Hangover movies and dealing with comedy, the biggest doubt for Joker was perhaps the director. Yet, Todd Phillips shuns the criticism and delivers a true classic of a movie. This is a complete departure from comedy and comedy is known as one of the hardest genres to pull off given the comic timing and situations and dialogue. As portrayed in the cartoons, the Joker offers a lot of comic moments despite the chaos he creates. The cinematic versions never allow him that chance barring Jack Nicholson. While Ledger's version was based more on menace, this version of Joker is more about psychotic behavior and the backstory behind it. Usually origin stories adhere to a formula as seen in Marvel or DC movies in the past such as Iron Man or Wonder Woman. Yet Joker sets itself apart in the visual aesthetic of the narrative. One could say it's an arthouse movie disguised as a comic book movie. The writing of the film is good. It's not mind blowing but it does enough to make you feel for Arthur and be invested in his backstory. The twist are well placed throughout the narrative. It's clear why Warner Bros chose Phillips to make the project and why he chose Phoenix specifically for the one. What results in a chilling experience in which the lead actor carries the movie and mesmerizes you from start to finish, The backstory and all the events that are shown are meant to show how the Joker was born and the incidents and reasons why he became that way. What ensues is either one of two things, disgust or fear. If it is the latter, then the director has succeeded in what he was trying to do. Overall, Todd Phillips direction is excellent and makes Joker an exceptional film in the end.

Technicalities: Music and BGM by Hildur Guðnadóttir is phenomenal. The score in the beginning of the film is haunting and the climax score gives you goosebumps. Cinematography by Lawrence Sher is extraordinary. The visuals presented for the time period and the stair shots and in the climax as well are extraordinary. Editing by Jeff Groth is perfect except the final scene. It seems a tad dragged and the film could have ended with the previous scene. Dialogue by Todd Phillips and Scott Silver is very good. All the dialogues are apt and nothing seems forced or odd at any point. Costume Design by Mark Bridges is fantastic. Production Design by Mark Friedberg is extraordinary as well. The sets and attention to detail for the time period is simply excellent all around. Lastly, the Production Values for Joker are extravagant. Despite a limited $60 mil for a superhero film, the movie is visually stunning throughout.

Positives: 

+ Literally Everything 

Negatives: 

- One too many laughing scenes 

Analysis and Final Take: Ever since the day that Joker was greenlight at the Warner Brothers studio, there was always a curiosity about how the audience would receive the film. After the legendary performance of Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, the late Australian's performance has been regarded and hailed as one of the best not just in comic book history, but cinematic history as a whole. It would take someone as good or even better to come close to match his performance. And Todd Phillips chose Joaquin Phoenix, who is among Hollywood's most incredible actors.

That casting alone made the audience sit up and take notice because they know of Phoenix's acting prowess and versatility. His take on the Joker is very different from what we saw from Heath Ledger and he gives his own solid entry to the character. One thing is for sure. The characters brings out the best in each actor. Phoenix's take makes you very uncomfortable and is extremely chilling. His version makes you fear him As mentioned before,

The Joker is known for his psychotic behavior and sick sense of humor in the cartoons. There's a lot you can do in animation and a lot of liberties. In film, you can't necessarily take that risk. If anything, Joker is the closest thing we get a super hero adhering to realism and being relatable.

The story of Arthur Fleck could very well be a true life story. The first act of the film sets up Arthur's life and his problems and showcases it in a very convincing manner. The 2nd act is probably the meat of the story in terms of showcasing how he became the Joker. However, the 3rd act is where the film shines and the real Joker that you came to see takes place. From the talk show scene with De Niro the climax shot, the last 30 mins is worth your ticket itself.

A lot of complaints have been made my people about not enough Joker and too much backstory. Well in the name of story telling, you must convince the audience and show them the transformation for them to invest a character's journey and lay the foundation for the events.

The narrative is very much an origin story but it is laced the realism aspect that sets it apart from other superhero movies in the past. I never felt bored at any point in this film. The climax wherein two different tracks from the Batman lore are shown simultaneously is simply brilliant and goosebumps inducing stuff.

The brilliance of the movie is in the character and the way that you can connect with it. Even if you know nothing about the Joker from cartoons or comics, this film still does a phenomenal job of making you invested in it's narrative. While the controversy about glorifying mass murderers and killers is justified, frankly the film does a solid job of addressing why that is.

The backstory presented is convincing enough to show you why somebody could become so psychotic. Whether that will inspire real life incidents and normalize behavior like this is highly unlikely, but in the grand scheme of things, one can see why it's there. However that's up to the individual.

Another thing is the visual aesthetic and the narrative. It's not for everybody and Joker despite being a worldwide movie is not everyone's cup of tea. If you're willing to watch a movie about a psychotic killer clown or like the character, definitely go for it. And its leading man runs the show from start to finish and delivers a performance for the ages.

Overall, Joker is a true cinematic masterpiece from Warner Brothers and in the comic book genre. Joaquin Phoenix's masterclass performance, stunning technicalities, and an extremely uncomfortable and chilling narrative makes Joker a truly haunting and terrifying cinematic experience. 

May 10, 2019No Comments

Avengers: Endgame Review

Rating: 10/10 (Masterpiece)
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd Josh Brolin, Don Cheadle, Brie Larson, Bradley Cooper, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana, Chadwick Boseman, Dania Gurira, Evangeline Lilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau, Micheal Douglas, Haley Atwell, Natalie Portman, Rene Russo, Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen and Samuel L. Jackson
Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo
Music: Alan Silvestri
Producer: Kevin Feige
Banner: Marvel Studios
The most awaited film of the decade, Avengers Endgame has finally arrived. After an unprecedented 11 years of storytelling, this phase of Marvel movies dubbed the Infinity Saga finally comes to a conclusion. Produced by Kevin Feige, Robert Downey Jr. called Endgame Marvel's crowning jewel. Does the film live up-to the gargantuan expectations and deliver a satisfying end? Find out in this week's review.
Plot: Following the events of Infinity War, Thanos (Josh Brolin) has retired and successfully eliminated 50% of the world's population. The remaining Avengers try and figure out a way to reverse the snap and bring all their fallen allies back. How they do this and whether or not they succeed forms the rest of Avengers Endgame.
Performances: After 11 years of playing the character, Robert Downey Jr. still brings that same enthusiasm and swagger to the role of Tony Stark. He is outstanding and gets many moments to shine as Iron Man throughout the movie.
In his 8th outing as Captain America, Chris Evans also delivers a knockout performance and leads the team for most of the movie. The relationship between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers is one of the backbones of the entire movie and it's beautifully executed.
Jeremy Renner makes a return as Hawkeye and gets a crucial role and does well. Scarlett Johansson brings the necessary emotional quotient and is at ease with Black Widow.
Mark Ruffalo provides comic relief but it's Chris Hemsworth's Thor that packs a massive surprise and a twist the makers have in store for the audience. It's more of Ragnarok type character for Hemsworth and the character arc is beautifully written.
Paul Rudd brings his classic comic timing and charm as Ant Man who plays a crucial role in the story.
Bradley Cooper as Rocket and Don Cheadle as War Machine provided added comic relief. Brie Larson as Captain Marvel has more of a cameo appearance after her solo outing.
Lastly, Josh Brolin as Thanos is superb once again. Due to the story events, this Thanos is different and not as ruthless, but equally adept and Brolin does a fantastic job once again who gets to really shine in the third act of the film.
Direction: Russo brothers, take a bow. To pull off a film, let alone top the spectacle that was Infinity War, is an achievement in itself. Endgame is a film that on paper, should be a disaster. There is so much going on the film and so many surprises and so many plot twists, that after a point the film should come crashing down at any moment. But the film never does and the Russo brothers somehow make it work. This film literally has all the commercial elements one would expect in an Avengers movie and more. There are twists, there is the right balance of comedy, and most importantly emotions. If Infinity War was all about action and pace, Endgame is more about emotions and dialogues. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have written a script that has so many different subplots going at the same time but never do you feel confused at any moment. The way they have written a separate character arc for each of the original 6 Avengers is just brilliant. Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor are all given closure while Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Hulk are all given proper conclusions as well. This film will make you cry, laugh, and cheer throughout. And the third of act of Endgame is the greatest act in all of comic book history. The final battle will be remembered for the rest of cinematic history. Overall, Avengers Endgame is the ultimate gift to fans and a masterpiece from the Russo brothers who so effortlessly pulled off the biggest film of the decade which makes for a satisfying and thrilling conclusion to this saga of Marvel movies.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Alan Silvestri is a masterpiece. The score is just simply breathtaking and the track Assemble which comes during the climax will give you goosebumps for sure. Cinematography by Trent Opaloch is extraordinary. Each and every frame is brilliantly captured. Editing by Jeffrey Schmidt and Matthew Ford is ok but the film never feels drags once throughout the 181 minute run-time. Production Design by John Plas and Charles Wood is magnificent. Costumes by Judianna Makovsky is brilliant and awesome to watch. Dialogues by Markus and Mcfeely are one of the backbones of the movie. The only problem this time around would be the VFX. While all Marvel movies have world class VFX, Endgame does suffer from times from questionable VFX. But that's a very minor problem in a incredibly well made film. Lastly, Production Values are otherworldly by Kevin Feige. This man built the MCU from the ground up and Robert Downey Jr's words are very true: This is Marvel's crowning jewel and perhaps Feige's biggest achievement of his career at Marvel.
Positives:
+ Literally Everything
Negatives:
- Questionable Ending
- Logistic Plot Points not explained
Final Take and Analysis: 11 years ago, I watched a film called Iron Man with Robert Downey Jr. The film was controversial because of the stars past and what he had been through. But a man named Jon Favreau instilled faith in him and convinced Marvel to give him the part. And would you know the movie become a blockbuster and started off the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it today. 11 years and 21 movies later, I couldn't be more proud to have been a fan of this franchise. The expectations in Avengers Endgame were gargantuan. And the Russo brothers deliver what is such a satisfying film.
Avengers Endgame has all the commercial elements of a blockbuster film while also being multilayered. From having so many subplots and giving each of the 6 Avengers their due recognition and importance, Endgame balances so many acts and still comes out on top. You will laugh, you will cheer, and you will cry throughout the film. The movie is loaded with fan moments and other things. The film to be quite frank doesn't make any sense and the whole time travel rules are established by the Russo brothers themselves.
The first 20 mins of the movie are sluggish but picks up when the Quantam Realm plot starts. From then on, the film becomes very entertaining. The final battle is indescribable to be honest. If I say anything, it's a spoiler but all I will say is that it tops the iconic moment from Infinity War when Thor arrives in Wakanda. There is one shot in the final battle which will have you in tears as a hardcore comic book fan. The climax of the film is very emotional and changes the MCU as we know it forever. And the end is questionable and will definitely make some people confused with the logistics. But everything works out in the end.
Overall, Avengers Endgame is Marvel's crowning jewel and a cinematic masterpiece from Marvel Studios. Emotional, multi-layered, and a final battle that will be remembered forever, Endgame is THE conclusion to the greatest movie franchise of all time for the time being. GO AND WATCH IT. 

May 12, 2018No Comments

Avengers: Infinity War Review

Rating: 9/10 (Masterpiece but the end...)

Cast: Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Benicio Del Toro, Brie Larson, Idris Elba, Benedict Wong, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, with Vin Diesel as Groot and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo

Producer: Kevin Feige

Banner: Marvel Studios

The wait is over. The biggest film of the year and quite possibly the biggest ensemble ever seen in cinematic history has arrived. Spanning an unprecedented 10 years, Marvel Studios biggest film, Avengers: Infinity Was is here. Does the film live up to the gargantuan expectations and deliver on all counts? Let's find out.

Plot: The Avengers, operating in separate factions team with up with the Guardians of the Galaxy and use all of their allies and resources to try to stop Thanos (Josh Brolin) from eliminating half of humanity in the universe.

Performances: The Russo brothers have stated that Infinity War is a Thanos film. And it really is. Josh Brolin is impeccable and outstanding as Thanos. Marvel films have often had horrendous villains with only Loki and Erik Kilmonger making an impact. It's safe to say that Thanos is easily the best villain the MCU has ever created. Brolin's performance of empathy, rage, and conquest are all easily portrayed by the veteran actor and it's rare where you get to see a film from the villain's point of view for the majority of a movie. The movie belongs to Josh Brolin.

Since it's a massive ensemble, there is only so much screen time available to other characters but the Russo brothers do a fantastic job of balancing the cast.

Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans all bring a new dimension to their characters and the stalwarts are flawless in their portrayals of their respective superhero characters.

The Guardians of the Galaxy provide most of the jokes in an otherwise serious film and Pratt and co. deliver once again. Dave Bautista steals the show with his comic timing.

However, Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther is the odd one out in this film. After a historic success, the King of Wakanda has a mere 15 minutes of screen time and it feels more like a cameo than an actual role.

The rest of the cast and crew is adequate and all perform well. Special mention to Tom Holland and Zoe Saldana as they provide the film's most emotional moments and they are excellent.

Direction: The Russo brother's had massive pressure on them to deliver in this film. Originally a two part film with one story, the directors opted for two different films. Having delivered two blockbusters already in The Winter Soldier and Civil War, they were tasked with handling Marvel's biggest film to date. And they pass with flying colors. Filmmaking is no easy task whether you are a a commercial director or an artistic one and the effort and strain they've put into the film show. How do you balance almost 30 characters while making each and everyone have an impact on the story? Ask the Russo brothers. The brilliance in this film is how well they balance each form and shade of the film. It has the tone of Doctor Strange while not losing out on the comic brilliance that is the Guardians of the Galaxy. It has banter between Stark and Strange that is brilliant because of how similar their characters are. Even small characters have a big part to play. They successfully do what Joss Whedon did in the first Avengers and they balance everything perfectly. The various subplots merge into one and make for an incredible experience from start to finish. Also the emotional stakes and weight of the film are handled with precision. Infinity War is a film based more on human emotions with an action undercurrent and that's a first for a Marvel film. Thanos while hell bent on destroying the world, is somebody who is empathetic and you feel for him. Some of the other characters have emotional arcs as well such as Vision and Scarlet Witch. While making a movie like this might have been a daunting task, the Russo brothers deliver what will be remembered as a classic yet so incomplete because of the cliffhanger ending.

Technicalities: Marvel Studios has always had superior production values and Infinity War takes that to the next level. Music by Alan Silvestri is outstanding. Cinematography by Trent Opalach is ethereal. The visuals during the action sequences are simply godlike. Production Design, Makeup, Editing, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing are all phenomenal. The visual effects in Infinity War are quite simply the best graphics you will ever seen in a movie period. They are simply unbelievable. Whether it be the attention to detail in Brolin's Thanos or the world's they have created, Marvel has outdone themselves with this one. Action Sequences deserve a special mention. Infinity War features about 5-6 action sequences and all of them are fabulous and a treat to watch. The climax sequence in Wakanda is probably the pick of the lot while the Battle on Titan is also brilliant. Production Values by Kevin Feige are out of this world. IF the dictionary could feature a picture next to the world planning, Kevin Feige's face should be right next to it. What this man has been able to accomplish has been nothing short of extraordinary and the fact that 19 films later, the audience is still lapping up the films tells you something about the brand of Marvel Studios.

Positives:

+ Literally Everything

Negative:

- Ending!!!!!!

Final Take and Analysis: After 10 years, it's hard to believe Marvel is where it's at. They started it with a movie called Iron Man and cast a man with a sinking career as Tony Stark in Robert Downey Jr. and the rest is history.

10 years later, they're the highest grossing franchise in history and will probably will be for the rest of time and they make films with minimum content and churn out consistent blockbusters every time.

It's safe to say they push the boundaries and in Infiinity War, it feels as if Marvel has outdone themselves. The film as a whole is fantastic from start to finish. The direction and performances are simply outstanding and the film runs at a breakneck speed that you never feel bored and will find it hard to breathe.

The first act deals with Thanos and his conquest before your favorite Avengers start getting introduced one by one. Captain America and Thor are responsible for the films best moments and Thor in particular gets a scene that literally brings the house down towards the end.  Ragnarok has changed his fortunes and don't be surprised if Thor is now on your list for favorite Avengers. All of the characters play a crucial part in the story in stopping Thanos from achieving his ultimate goal. The brilliance and differentiation lies within the emotional stakes. Most Marvel films are built on action sequences and the story while leaving emotional moments out.

Infinity War is perhaps the most emotional movie because of everything that happens throughout the film. You will cry, you will laugh, and you will cheer because Marvel is not playing around this time and they've catered to every section of the audience with every possible genre. Infinity War is essentially a masala entertainer. It has action, comedy, drama, and a little bit of romance thrown in there.

The ending though, is probably what will stay with you. The Russo brothers and the writers of the film have come up with an ending that is surely going to haunt you. It is equivalent and as shocking as the end of the Telugu film Baahubali The Beginning and is highly reminiscent of that film. You'll be thinking about it until the fourth Avengers film arrives next year.

Overall, Avengers: Infinity War is a masterpiece from Marvel Studios and delivers on all fronts and lives up-to the hype. With a massive ensemble cast, brilliant direction, and ethereal action sequences, this movie is simply amazing. Go and experience the cinematic journey that is Infinity War. 

March 1, 2018No Comments

Thor Ragnarok Review

Rating: 7.5/10 (Best Thor Yet) 

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Taika Waititi

Director: Taika Waititi

Producer: Kevin Feige

Banner: Marvel Studios

The Thor series have been Marvel's sore thumb so to speak. While the box office numbers speak for themselves, the general tone and reception of the two preiovus films in the franchise haven't excatly been the best. Keeping this in mind, Thor Ragnarok changes it's course and has director Taika Waititi at the helm of things? Can this film deliver a solid film for the Thor franchise? It def does. Let's find out why

Plot: When Thor (Chris Hemsworth) gets stranded and is taken prisoner on the alien planet Sakkar, he must find a way to escape and prevent Ragnarok, the prophecy of Asgard's extinction from becoming a reality with the help of the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson).

Performances: In his 5th outing as the Norse god, Chris Hemsworth is  the main attraction in Thor Ragnarok. The Australian star has always been a fit man and has taken his next physique to the next level in this film. He delivers a knockout performance as Thor and showcases his excellent comic timing and carries the film.

Tom Hiddleston gives another solid performance as Loki. Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk is superb in whatever screen time is given to him. Even though the trailers made it seem like a cameo appearance, he has a much larger role in the film than one would expect. The scenes between Hulk and Thor are an absolute delight to watch.

Tessa Thompson as Valykrie does a good job but her character isn't anything special. Jeff Goldblum is excellent as the witty Grandmaster on Sakkar.

It's director Taika Waititi who steals the show as Korg, a motion capture Rock like character. His accent, dialogues, and the way he says hey man will have you in splits every time. He is outstanding.

Cate Blanchett as Hela is wasted in another poorly written comic book movie villain role. Idris Elba makes the most of his cameo as Heimdall and Karl Urban entertains as Skurge.

Direction: Full credit has to go to Taika Waititi. The New Zealand native has made a film that has broken all the conventions of the Thor franchise and has made a hilarious film from start to finish. The film is just an absolute joy ride and Waititi's knack for witty humor works in favor of the film. His grip on comedy and the way he has created such an entertaining character in the form of Thor needs to be commended. The film however, is not without it's flaws. The film is a little too funny for it's own good and ends up being entertaining in certain instances where it needs to be serious. Also add the fact that having an actress of Cate Blanchett's caliber and wasting her in a hollow villain role doesn't help the film either. Nevertheless, Taika Waititi knocks Thor Ragnarok out of the park and delivers a supremely entertaining film in the end.

Technicalities: Music and BGM by Mark Mothersbaugh is good. Cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe is phenomenal. Some of the slow motion shots in the climax and the visuals during the opening scene and the Thor-Hulk fight sequence are excellent. Production Design is excellent. The Thor films always feature extravagant sets and Ragnarok is no different. Editing by Joel Negron and Zene Baker is fine. Dialogues are hilarious and Hemsworth gets to mouth some of the best one-liners. Action sequences are incredible and beautifully choreographed. Production Values by Kevin Feige are world-class as usual.

Positives: 

+ Performances

+ Humor

+ Direction

Negatives: 

- Villain

- Sticks to the Formula

Final Take and Analysis: Thor Ragnarok is by far one of the funniest Marvel movies ever made. If you hated the first two Thor's, you're bound to like this one. And if you loved them, then of course you'll like this one.

While Taika Waititi breaks down barriers and starts afresh with the 3rd entry, the film does suffer from following the Marvel formula. In other words, despite having excellent humor and good situational jokes in a rather boring franchise, Thor Ragnarok doesn't deviate from the Marvel formula one bit, essentially undoing any out of the box progress it's made.

While the film is definitely entertaining, it does suffer from it's flaws mentioned in this section. Nevertheless, Thor Ragnarok proves to be one of Marvel's most entertaining entries ever with an in form Chris Hemsworth leading the way.

Overall, Thor Ragnarok is no doubt the best Thor made and a sure shot blockbuster. Amazing fights, good performances, and excellent comedy are the highlights of this popcorn blockbuster. If you're a Marvel fan or a Thor fan, go for it and thank me later. 

June 24, 2017No Comments

Transformers: The Last Knight Review

Rating: 4/10 (Drags on and on)

Cast: Mark Walhberg, Laura Haddock, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Isabel Moner, Stanley Tucci (Guest Appearance), Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, and Frank Welker as Megatron

Direction: Micheal Bay

Producers: Don Murphy, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom De Santo, Ian Bryce

Banner/Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Plot: During the Dark Ages, King Arthur along with the help of the magician Merlin seeks the help of 12 Ancient Cybertronian guardians in helping them defeat an army and were given a weapon powerful by them called the Staff of Merlin that has the power to wipe out the Transformers as a whole. Merlin dies with the staff and only a descendant of Merlin can wield the staff.

1600 years later, Cade Yeager (Mark Walhberg) is still on the run and circumstances arise where he meets an English lord Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins) and an Oxford Professors Vivian Wembly (Laura Haddock) in London. The 3 humans now race against time to save the universe from an incoming attack by the creator  of the Transformers herself Quintessa, who seeks to resurrect Cyberton on Earth. Whether our heroes are successful or not forms the rest of this bizzare story.

Performances: Mark Walhberg is decent as Cade Yeager once again and gets to show his ripped physique in a scene.

Laura Haddock is smoking hot and performs well.

Sir Anthony Hopkins plays his role with aplomb and it's surprising to see an actor of his caliber in a Transformers film.

Josh Duhamel has a small role when compared to the original trilogy as Lennox. He is adequate.

Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and Frank Welker as Megatron do justice to the iconic Transformers.

Direction: I think high-time Micheal Bay starts understanding that his formula isn't working. The Last Knight is more or less from what you'd expect from a Transformers movie with amazing visual effects and action, but at least the other movies had a half decent story. Bay's obsession with massive climaxes and long run-times are highly evident in this movie and when he could have ended the film at a certain point when Optimus Prime comes back, he drags the film for another hour with a never-ending climax. Overall, this is Bay's worst Transformers film in my personal opinion and no where near as entertaining as Age of Extinction.

Technicalities: Music and BGM by Steve Jablonsky is superb. Cinematography by Jonathan Sela is breathtaking. The visuals and shots of London and in the climax are excellent. Dialogues are ok. Story is a joke. Editing is an absolute mess. The film should have ended an hour earlier. Action Sequences are superb. VFX work is mind blowing. The fact that the entire film is CGI and looks so real is just a testament to the visual effect department. Production Design is pretty good.

Positives:

+ Mark Walhberg and Laura Haddock

+ Visual Effects and Cinematography

Negatives:

- Story

- Screenplay

- Direction

- Runtime

- Climax

- Barely Any Optimus Prime

Analysis and Verdict: As I mentioned previously in my Age of Extinction Review, no one gives a damn about the story in a Transformers film. But for the first time, one gets a hint that the writers have completely lost their mind.

We have all heard the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and how his aid, the magician Merlin was by his side during the times of war. Well that works if that was a regular film. But to intertwine that with Transformers mythology and claim that Transformers have been around since the Dark Ages is too much to handle.

In Revenge of the Fallen, the pictures of the Transformers from the 1940's and Ancient Egypt were believable.But the writers have now officially established that Transformers have been around during the time of Dinosaurs and they were there since the beginning of time which is just nonsense.

If the whole Arthurian angle of the film was cut out, The Last Knight probably would have been a much better film. But it wasn't.

The film then comes into it's senses after the opening period when Mark Walhberg enters. The military works with the Decepticons this time around and their interference and the constant interruption of the flow of the film by a certain physicist doesn't help the film.

Once Cade Yeager reaches London and the truth about Laura Haddock's character is revealed, the film is predictable to the core and we all know how it will end. The screen presence of Optimus Prime is heavily reduced in this film as he spends the majority of the film as a prisoner on Cyberton. His evil avatar lasts for a whole 10 minutes before he comes back to the good side. After he returns and gives a certain speech, Bay should have ended the film right there. But he doesn't and he proceeds on with his immensely long dragged climactic action bonanzas that he loves and the drags the movie for another hour and puts your patience to the test.

The movie is ok until the climax which literally saps all of your energy as a viewer. Some die hard fans like me will definitely question whether they will have the stomach to watch the 6th film when it hits theaters in 2019.

Overall, Transformers The Last Knight is the worst Transformers film. An insipidity plot coupled with poor direction and shoddy editing makes this Transformers film a truly tedious watch.

Watch it if you're a die hard fan of the franchise, but you'll definitely feel the franchise is finally starting to run out of gas.

June 22, 2017No Comments

Transformers Age of Extinction Review

Rating: 6/10 (Entertaining Robotic Adventure)

Cast: Mark Walhberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, TJ Miller, Titus Welliver, Jack Reynor

Direction: Micheal Bay

Producer: Don Murphy, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom De Santo, Ian Bryce

Banner/Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Plot: Destined to find out what the Transformers real purpose is in the universe, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) enlists the help of a washed up mechanic named Cade Yeager (Mark Walhberg) to help him find a Cybertronian Seed that may hold the answer to the question as to why the Transformers were created.

Performances: Mark Walhberg replaces the sorry excuse of a franchise lead known as Shia Leboeuf in the 4th installment and he is 100 times better than Shia. While the character has nothing to boast about, Walhberg possesses star power and brings about a new energy and life into the franchise.

Nicola Peltz is ravishing as Walhberg's daughter and Jack Reynor is adequate but a terrible actor.

Kelsey Grammer is wasted while it's Stanley Tucci that steals the show as KSI employee Joshua Joyce. He is excellent.

Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime is evergreen and somehow brings about a new iteration of the character every time he plays him. Optimus Prime is once again the highlight of the movie.

This is a Transformers movie so you can't really judge the acting as it's going to be terrible across the board.

Direction: Back at it again for the 4th time, Micheal Bay once again stamps his authority down on the franchise. The film has all the staples of a classic Bay film. Wicked story but entertainment value as it's best with high robots beating the shit out of each other, mind blowing VFX, unlimited fights, chases, and action sequences. What more could you ask for in a big budget summer popcorn blockbuster? On the direction front, he does the usual and ensures a fan of these films will have a good time.

Technicalities: Music and BGM by Steve Jablosnky is superb. Cinematography by Amir Mokri is phenomenal. The movie has some superb aerial visuals and breathtaking slow motion shots. Editing by William Goldenberg, Roger Barton, and Paul Rubell is a mess to say the least. Dialogues by Ehren Kruger are ok. Production Design by Jeffrey Beecroft is phenomenal. Action Sequences by Kenny Bates are superb. VFX by Industrial Light and Magic are world class. As usual, Transformers films have top notch VFX quality. Production Values are incredible.

Positives:

+ Mark Walhberg

+ Optimus Prime

+ Action Sequences

+ VFX

Negatives:

- Story

- Screenplay

- Editing

Analysis and Verdict: First things, first. In a Transformers movie, you don't look for the story or Oscar worthy performances. You care about giant robots beating the shit out of each other, explosions, car chases, action sequences, buildings being destroyed, and hot people. For women, you have Marky Mark. For guys, well Nicola Peltz isn't exactly Megan Fox. Now with that aside, Age of Extinction is everything that I just mentioned in the 2nd sentence.

I personally love these movies for their fights and entertainment value and I could care less about the story because these movies have none. Add the shoddy editing and ridiculous length, I could really care less.

Micheal Bay has perfected the art of making critically panned films and making loads of profit off of them proving that critics have no effect on the film as long as it's entertaining. In fact, that goes for most movies.

The film starts off with the Age of the dinosaurs and then proceeds on wards. As soon as Optimus Prime is introduced the film becomes action packed until the credits start rolling. This movie is loaded with fights and action, so if you like action movies, definitely watch it.

Overall, despite it's ridiculous story and technical flaws, Transformers Age of Extinction is another entertaining installment in the robotic franchise. Giants robots fighting, explosions, and unlimited action. What more could you ask for in a big budget summer popcorn blockbuster?