Dear friends, I'm pleased to announce that I've uploaded my new short film on YouTube. The title is Multiple Personality Disorder and it showcases the main character dealing with this psychological condition.
(Multiple Personality Disorder)
I'm eager to know what you thought about it in the comments below.
Just when you think you've had enough of 2016 summer
blockbusters, you come across a film with a recognizable name, but no
familiarity with its source material. The Legend of Tarzan (2016) is a movie
which would've been better off unproduced.
The Plot: Tarzan and Jane are happily settled in London, but
when there's a sudden danger reported in Africa, our protagonist must visit his
homeland once more.
The Good and The Bad: I disliked this flick so much that it
was difficult for me to find any positivity from it. I reckon that the single
saving grace was Samuel L. Jackson's portrayal of George Washington Williams.
Jackson showcased humor at the right time. And his sarcasm was spot on just
when you'd think there was no hint of versatility in the narrative.
The CGI was bearable, although given its $180 million
budget, it could've been better. The animals were sleekly designed and overall the
cinematography was average. I preferred the darkened scenes over the lit-up
ones. The venture in its 110 minutes duration, heavily relied on style over
substance, just like for the casting of the main role.
Alexander Skarsgard looks super awesome as Tarzan yet his
acting was like a muscular wax figure had been given the gift of life. Margot
Robbie was brilliant as Jane but maybe more so because she suited the role than
due to her talent. I was shocked that Christoph Waltz and Djimon Hounsou, both
Oscar-nodded actors, wasted their skills in this flick. Waltz looked more like
a Bond villain throughout the picture, and Hounsou seemed like he starred just to
pass the time as Chief Mbonga.
The script by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer was just bad.
There are too many small plotlines incorporated into the central narrative. And
not only is the movie's usage of flashbacks generic, but its predictability
level is quite high, with the conclusion becoming foreseeable just after the
initial hour has passed.
David Yates, the director, should have spent more time
adapting the screenplay properly than relying on Jackson and Waltz to shift
focus away from the clichés that this feature offered on a grand scale. The
characterization was good, the action was moderate, but without a unique take
on the story, the end-result was a failure.
The Verdict: To view The Legend of Tarzan as holiday
entertainment, and not on a serious note, is the only way it can be watched.
It's safe to declare that Hollywood has made Tarzan more of a brand name
instead of trying to revive a legacy long forgotten.
The Shallows (2016) has been generally classified as a
horror flick, but it comes out as more of an exhibition of survival.
The Plot: A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is
attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the
ultimate contest of wills. (IMDb)
The Good: Some years ago I attended a course called
Production Practices 1 at my university. There another student asked the
professor that what would he do if he had limited resources but wanted to make
a proper thriller. The professor told him that if you want to make any kind of
feature properly then utilize the resources already at your disposal.
So, that is where The Shallows succeeds brilliantly. It
doesn't have much to offer narrative-wise, and by viewing the trailer you could
easily see that $17 million as a production cost was intelligently utilized.
And the worldwide gross of $99 million ensured that everything paid off.
These resources not only included the hiring of only one
famous thespian, but also that the rest of the cast was smartly included at the
right moments. We have Mexican locals as Nancy is an American tourist. And
these locals range from the friendly ride-giver, to fellow surfers, and even a
drunk middle-aged man (wait for his appearance because it's the funniest
sequence in this venture).
Another positive factor is Blake Lively's lead performance
as Nancy. Not only does the actress look hot in a bikini but she manages to
pull off a strong, will-driven act throughout the 86-minutes duration. The
CGI-created shark is also to fear but it's all down to how Nancy will fight to
her last breath to survive.
The Bad: However, Anthony Janswinki's script didn't promise
more than what you watched in the trailer. Sure, The Shallows has everything a
survival picture can offer, but nothing more than what meets the eye. It's a
showcase where what you see is ultimately what you get.
The Verdict: In my opinion, I found that The Shallows was
not hard to review, but difficult to assign a rating to. If you have high
expectations as a veteran viewer then you'll be disappointed, but if you watch
it solely for the purpose of entertainment, then it is a satisfying experience.
The Rating: 2.5 out of 4.
If you favored Blake Lively as a beach blonde then what's your opinion about Paris Hilton?:
20 poems of insatiable lust. Topics range from women in stilettos, the temptations of adultery, infatuations with Persian beauties, Paris Hilton and so much more. Get your copy here: Shadow of your Lust.
There are good home-invasion films, and there are bad ones, but Knock Knock (2015) is satisfyingly original.
Directed by horror veteran Eli Roth (Hostel, Hostel 2, The Green Inferno) with a screenplay co-written by him and two others, this erotic thriller arouses more than just your attention.
Keanu Reeves has the main role and gives the performance of a lifetime. Lagging close behind are Lorenzo Izzo (Roth's real-life wife) and Ana de Armas. The story follows Reeves answering the door on a stormy night to two beautiful strangers. Little does he know that these attractive faces hide psychotic traits. And throughout most of this feature he gets tortured by them.
Acting is simply awesome. The three major characters share a twisted chemistry. And the whole scenario looks and feels so real. Cinematography is top-notch with the house sets chosen beautifully to match the dreadful visual narrative. The pacing balances well with the running time.
However, there is are still flaws: The villains' backgrounds are left unexplored. They are evil but never reveal themselves or why they are tormenting the lead. The conclusion, though unpredictable, leaves a lot to question.
To end with, Knock Knock is a psychological shocker, that will make you hesitant to reply: "Who's there?"
Don't forget to check out the link posted under the cover image above. Most importantly, I'd like to thank all the readers of our blog for giving me the necessary motivation to finally self-publish my sophomore poetry collection!
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016) almost manages to come
close to the original's spontaneity. The following review contains spoilers:
The Plot: A sequel to Neighbors (2014), it follows the same
dim-witted couple, and this time around, they have to outwit a sisterhood that
has moved next door.
Analysis: Despite the start being a bit boring, Neighbors 2
becomes more fun when Chloe Grace Moretz's character, Shelby, and her group of
friends, move into the house next door to our main couple's abode. They are
again played convincingly by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne.
There's no shortage on acting talent, though we have seen
Moretz in more challenging roles, she does make fora convincing freshman. The themes of
minorities, same-sex marriages and adolescent depression are made fun of, but
not with offense, rather with a postmodernist outlook of humor. Although, the
frequent usage of the word "sexist", could have been taken down a
Compared to the last entry, Neighbors 2 isn't that much
different in terms of cinematic style. That's because Neighbors was a more
original venture which showed both the couple, and the frat brothers, engaging
gradually and understanding each other. But in this part two, we have the plot
of the sorority sisters becoming a secondary storyline altogether.
The afore-mentioned factor is really annoying when the movie
starts, but as the running time progresses, you realize that Neighbors 2 is one
of those flicks that gets better as the plot moves along. And it was also a
treat for me as I dislike comedies that are much longer than 90 minutes, but at
91 minutes, it made for an overall entertaining experience.
Of course, this picture does try to replay old jokes and
dialogues just to showcase it as a sequel, and it's a bit too generic in some
sequences. But with Byrne's Kelly Radner giving a feminist speech very much
near the ending, seeing old friends unite, and then new family members emerge, the
movie has not forgotten its prequel's roots at knowing how to finish off a
comedy in proper fashion.
And not to mention when Teddy Sanders (Zac Effron) mentions
that the girls have become what they hate, now if that's not deep enough for
you, then watch another comedy, because after all the indecency, the hidden
messages of acceptance in the narrative still come out as strong.
The Verdict: Neighbors 2 doesn't have its forebear's
brilliance, but it's still worth watching if you liked the first part, and also
because it's superior to most of the farces that Hollywood keeps churning out
year by year.
Now You See Me 2 (2016) is one of those sequels that makes
you wonder if Hollywood will ever stop churning out part twos. The following
review contains spoilers:
The Plot: In this part, the Four
Horsemen finally resurface to the public, only to get involuntarily recruited
by a tech genius to pull off an impossible heist.
The Analysis: To start with, not
only was the movie's plot dumb, but every sequence seems disconnected to the
central storyline. We have a starting scene of a flashback which leads to one
of our main character's past dilemma. This forwards to Jesse Eisenberg's J.
Daniel Atlas seeking out the Eye himself.
With these two points of offset,
the viewer isn't sure which story to follow, which was not the case in the
prequel. The first part was better in terms of incorporating mystery foremost
then concluding with a twist ending. But with this second attempt, writer Ed
Solomon showcased that he couldn't convince audiences of the bizarre idea that
he and Peter Chiarelli came up with.
The characters aren't that
intriguing either. Although, majority of the thespians playing them have given
Oscar-worthy, and even Oscar-nominated, performances before. Morgan Freeman
suited portraying Thaddeus Bradley but at his age he could play such roles in
Literally, there's no shortage of
talent here: Eisenberg is perfect as he was in the last film as Atlas, Mark
Ruffalo is wasted as Agent Dylan (don't get me wrong, his acting was spot on), Daniel
Radcliffe seemed like he was supposed to be on another set, Woody Harrelson played
a dual act with finesse but ultimately it's just another double role, and
Michael Caine appears out of nowhere like he just missed being in big-budget
But we have two saving graces for
this one: Dave Franco as Jack Wilder, and Lizzy Caplan as Lula May. Both these
figures brought a renewed fire onto the screen. I think Caplan served as a
welcome addition to the ensemble. As Luna, she provided relevant comic relief
when it was needed, and most of her antics diverted the attention from the
other Horsemen's cheesy dialogues.
The direction by John M. Chu
constantly made the film feel like it was a dance movie, with all the UV lights
and such. So, I wasn't surprised at all to find that Chu helmed my favorite
dance flick: Step Up 2 (2008). He also served as the director of G.I. Joe
Retaliation (2013). Therefore, this exhibition came as a mix-up of two genres,
comedy-action, but it played out more like a dance movie.
However, the afore-mentioned
factor of playing out like a dance movie is not a negative one. Pacing is one
of the foremost positive points for this picture. Even at a running time of 129
minutes, you never get bored with the swiftness of the shots, and if you're
more into glamorous thrillers, then you won't even notice when the closure
There's one sequence I hold in
highest regard and that was the laboratory scene where the heroic crew had to
steal a chip, and they do this by pasting it on a card, which they pass along
to each other. That sequence was the best one of Now You See Me 2. And I
commend Mr. Chu for showcasing his directorial skills at that mark when I
thought this movie comprised mostly of unoriginality.
Still, you can't help but get
turned off by the serendipity of events that led to the happy ending for our
protagonists. When the closing trick was revealed it came to me as no shocking
revelation. Furthermore, the secondary storyline of Agent Dylan's grudge
against Bradley was actually superior to the major scenario. And if the writer
had made this the main plotline then the comprehensive experience would've been
The Verdict: Overall, I recommend
this movie to viewers watching strictly for entertainment purposes, but to me
it was just another run-of-the-mill summer flick. In the end, Now You See Me 2 is
all about what's on the surface with nothing much of value underneath.