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Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010)

Director: Werner Herzog and Dmitry Vasyukov Genre: Documentary With "Happy People: A Year in the Taiga" Werner Herzog ...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dracula is Back!!

Dracula UntoldThe origin story of Dracula is being retold in 2014. While Luke Evans does look the part, the act is going to be a tall order. Considering, how accurately and fascinatingly Stefan Sileanu brought the legend to life on big-screen in the Romanian epic VLAD TEPES (1979/80). 
Come fall of 2014, and we will know whether this film measures up to the greatness of original.

At this point, it seems upcoming film will be more of a fantasy than history—unlike 1979/80 one. In any case, I look forward to seeing one of the most intriguing and mystical legend live onscreen again, and hope you do too!

More on IMDB.
My take on the Vlad Tepes of Romania.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Director: Doug Liman

Of late, mainstream cinema is once again seeing some solid films with time loop as an underlying plot, e.g., SOURCE CODE, LOOPER; and now, “Edge of Tomorrow” is another deserving addition to that list. 

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Strong Points—

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)Emily Blunt: plays a headstrong and beautiful leader. No wonders Cruise’s character didn’t mind being murdered by her time and again! She is not there for eye candy; complements Cruise in each and every frame, and makes her presence felt strongly. Apparently, she underwent some intensive physical training, along with yoga, while preparing for the role. Effort clearly shows and works well for the film.

Tom Cruise: his popularity and dashing looks are more than enough to make a film box office success; however, these qualities often overshadow his performance and we tend to overlook how robust a performer this man has been. Ever since TOP GUN Cruise has been a consistent actor, always delivering the goods for his productions. This film is no different; stardom aside, he excels in the role. Watch out for his transformation from a mildly timid man into a leader and ultimate savior.  

Screenplay: terrifically done! A lot of cine goers prefer a certain degree of complexity in a film dealing with non-linearity, and most times the complexity simply can’t be avoided. Here, the makers purposely put together a storyline that should come across as elementary to every casual cine enthusiast—so, don’t expect a PRIMER or even SOURCE CODE. Very cleverly, the repeat scenes are first shown in length, and then, after a few replays once audience is also well acquainted with all that is happening, arbitrary cut-to scenes to the relevant point in storyline are used.    

Blunt and Cruise: love story angle is nicely intertwined into the plot without ever overdoing it or impacting the storyline. When a hottie and hunk hook up some love-sparks are bound to flare; good thing makers didn’t ignore this natural human disposition in favor of: duty/saving the world comes first.

Good humor throughout. Supporting cast is majorly a part of comical elements of the film.

A minor weakness was the ending. It wasn’t at all disastrous but should have been left at Blunt sacrificing herself to give Cruise a shot at delivering the killer blow and killing Omega, and dying himself in the process. However, the film did maintain an amorous and somewhat humorous tone throughout, so perhaps director went for a happy ending. Furthermore, when Cruise and Blunt were tracking down the omega, they came across an idyllic house; in that scenario I so wanted a little display of intimacy! It might have been calamitous for the plot; except, we never know...maybe it did happen :)
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Plot does seem like a concoction of “Groundhog Day” and “Starship Troopers” but it is not blatantly lifted, rather reworked purposefully. Special effects are expectedly good, and so is alien (Mimcs) design.

Final verdict: this is Doug Liman best work after the masterful “Bourne Identity” and I hope he keeps at it now! Indeed a fast-paced, entertaining, and high-octane showdown that deserves a big-screen outing.


Trivia: Verdun and D-Day (Normandy) are clearly references to World Wars; there is also one reference to TERMINATOR’s judgement day by a Sergeant Farell played by Bill Paxton!  

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