The Godfather of all movies.

MOVIEBOOKREVIEW

I remember seeing the movie in middle school, and reading through Mario Puzo’s works in high school, they were light reading, to say the least, my father used to read the paper while I read the books, that how easy and comprehendible the words were, and for the most part the movie was the same, sticking to the premise with the attention rightly given to the words that were written in the book, the casting was the hallmark of this movie, and the acting made the book come to life, very few instances have made me say that, the only other at the moment that comes to mind are the first two movies in the harry potter series, among others, but as I have to review them I won’t share the names just so hastily, as prematurely speaking, is a seed that isn’t one that is in time worth reaping.

Marlon Brando was exceptional and F.F.Cappolla was a man who knew what he was doing, among modern day filmmaking that is something else that one can’t say without giving credit to the CGI team and the cinematographer in equal regards, as its more smoking mirrors than back then, when cinema was pure, writing, acting and directing, the three hallmarks of a good movie, in my book.

Al Pacino was a sight for sore eyes as well, he emulated the character of Michael Corleone to an E. The premise and the way the first movie fed into the second, taking a topic that Goodfellas and a few others did take into the right direction, but sadly more bad movies have been made on the Mafia than good, and that is the problem, and also a silver lining for this playbook, as it is made classic thanks to that, the only genre that has worse movies in abundance is horror, well actually all do, my standards are very high for a movie, and this only gets 3, only because of the fact that I don’t want to be biased and have a neutral view, very few critics do that, having been bought by media and production houses on a retainer, it would seem, but that’s something I’ll never do, selling out my love for writing, is more of a death wish, than a respite.

The movie lacked depth in certain areas as did the book, the supporting characters could’ve been better written, no fault of the writer, as in his time there weren’t much to push the mind, but in our time, there has to be more, as anything less won’t be worthy of my time at least, there are iconic dialogues, but they are few and far between, with scenes that grip going in the same direction, as a visual spectacle it doesn’t live up to the hype of the actors that should’ve done a better job, yet Brando and Pacino are deviations from the standard, the standard being average acting, that we saw and in the case of Sunny Corleone, played by a man who doesn’t deserve to be mentioned, over acting seemed to be the only thought that came to mind.

The Godfather is worth a 2- time watch and a one time read, but if you’re not into the mafia way of life, then try to stay clear of this one, as it is nothing but about family dynamics and drama that takes place in the chaos of a family that had so much promise on paper.

 

Advertisements

I didn’t get Shawshanked.

Shadow Rating- 35

Firstly having read the book by the same name, yet having been presently surprised at the man who actually did write it, Stephen king wrote to make it a novella, and not a novel, and the movie wasn’t better than the book, the need to call it one of the best movies of all time is ludicrous, as it’s preposterous, as nothing other than specific instances make this movie worth the high billing.

An accountant with a colorful past, though it wasn’t alluded to in much detail about the fact, rather we got thrust into the near unbreakable Shawshank prison, a place that was filled with the tropes that make any prison the way it is today, corrupt guards, impeccably led by their ringmaster, and that one disgruntled employee who takes offence at the new guy, it was like reading a badly written book.

Red, thank the writers, not the one who directed this shoddy trash, was a breath of fresh air, and the ending was okay, not that surprising, as being a man who dreams death and escapes for a living, I found different ways in which one would’ve traversed the path of a great Houdini act, yet being an accountant and that angle was decent enough, the part with the tunnel was preposterous as it was idiomatic for if you tell someone that a prisoner was planning that, with a number of mistakes, that he committed would not be caught, I would call you delusional.

The ending was the only good thing, not exceptional thing, about the movie, as the depth of characters wasn’t truly there, other than the two main ones, and that was discouraging, as every character who gets more than 3-5 percent screentime, deserves something more, and sadly at not being given that much a backstory to the main character as well,  should’ve shown flashbacks, playing on the fact that there was more to the loser, than met the eye, was tragic as well.

On the whole the movie was decent, a one time watch, not the kind of masterpiece that it is reverently alluded to, as the godfather, which is the second movie on my list of reviews, having taken it upon myself to review the IMDB top 250, having seen them all, and research most of them, this is going to be fun, I just hope that other books that were made into a movie, having read all the one’s that are on the list, that have been adapted from a book, meet the kind of thoroughfare that comes with its billing.

Now these are my personal views, and though you might disagree, respect them none the less, for I would do the same for you, as I’ve done for the delusional people who make the list the way it is on IMDB, having not seen more than 500 movies, while my movie encyclopedia stands at more than 2000, ranging from English, Hindi, French, German and one or two Russian as well.

So if you feel that Shawshank Redemption, for anything other than its cinematography and set design is worth seeing, then good for you, but it’s not good enough for me, as cinema is more about the things unsaid yet shown, and shown in a manner that they can be unsaid, this movie fails on both counts, yet compared to the films that have come in recent time, barring one or two, it’s a masterpiece, only by contrast.

The role of Red will still be the only bright light into this dark tunnel, that most of you used to escape, without realising that the ending doesn’t always come in the swamp, but in a shot, that takes your life, and that is exactly how prisons have worked, if it was as easy as this to escape prisons, especially the super max type one they spoke of in Shawshank, then people wouldn’t mind going into them, rather than being terrified.

 

 

 

 

The best thing this weekend

Movie To Watch This Weekend.

There will be people who might say go and see Unforgettable, or why not the promise, but the real movie, that might be as revolutionary as it’s unique has to be Born In China, the Disney adventure that takes you through the lives of three very distinct species in the wild forests of the Chinese ecosystem.

Where this movie might not be liked by the masses would be in its appeal for preaching about a topic that people don’t normally deem worth a watch, and this is one of the many reasons that make this movie worth watching, for it tells of lives that you won’t normally come in contact with, and definitely won’t be able to relate to without watching, Disney has tied up with the east, and this is just another one of their joint ventures, so from a profitable business venture point of view they have done well, but trying to tap into the same streams where nat geo and discovery have made killings is only half the battle.

I personally would watch this over Unforgettable or the Promise, because where my darkened heart would love a psychopathic murder rampage or mind-altering moment that would not come in plenty, but few in one movie and my soul would love to take in the Armenian culture and the ottoman era, one of my favorite empires, by the way, it doesn’t satisfy them both, which is where Born in China comes in, it piques my mind, and that in itself is worth watching it.

So doing nothing and have kids who you want to show something worth their time to, falling in love with pandas and the lions that are as majestic as the snow in which they live will be worth every cent.

Movies to Watch this Weekend.

This weekend's Movie Recommendation

Now, never being a Fast & Furious kind of guy, not to mention having lost any respect for the franchise after the 2nd and 3rd movie, the only thing I’ll say about the whole genre of car racing movies, is boring, it has been years since a decent car chase, or movie centred around a car took place, the only car that’s worth making into a movie in my book is the duke’s and nothing else.

This week we have two very different movies to recommend, one is a french movie that has been dubbed in English, though Heal the Living might seem peachy, the script and characters are engaging and the situations that are mentioned, shown in the movies are interconnected, so see the romance and tragedy unfold, if you are one of those people who likes to see the reality of life being shown through love’s eyes.

The other movie and the one I’ll be reviewing is dark, its about a lesbian couple, one of whom belongs to a coven of witches, that hold a dark past in their shadows and it seems a pretty intriguing movie on the basis of what I’ve read, the book of course, so I’m curious to see just how accurate the movie can be, as I hate nothing more than a movie made on a book that flatters to deceive.

The two movies mentioned by me are not wide releases, therefore, catching them at your nearest cinema hall might be tricky, but with only one wide release, that is boring and pedantic as fuck, I would recommend that you none the less wait till Monday, or try to find a cinema hall, streaming site, pay per view site that might have these movies, because you might think seeing Fast & Furious is going to be a blast, but there are more chances of seeing the rock give a good performance in Baywatch.

So hopefully I helped at least one person to get curious about the independent limited releases this week, rather than falling for the gambit of the big money production houses, who churn out sub-par movies, knowing people will watch them.

The Case for Christ: Reviewed.

Shadow Rating- 35

One of the few times that I haven’t read a book and seen the movie, now though I have to read the book, because the movie though in parts was balanced and subdued, compared to the other indoctrinating cinematic experiences that have graced the silver screen, this was a breath of fresh air.

A Journalist takes on a case about proving once and for all that the myth that made Christianity a religious force to reckon with, the resurrection of Christ, was actually fabricated and not something that can be seen as a miracle but just a hoax that led to lie which is Christianity. Vogel, playing the man on a mission, to bust a theory, that theologians and archeologists, must’ve tried disproving before, is something refreshing, not to mention unique, his wife though, played by Christiansen, though was the perfect foil, as she was a devout Christian, with a bible and belief to match her devotion.

Though the movie does try to show a balanced view on religion and the skeptical aspects that atheists feel about the topic, it tends to draw out in instances, trying to overdue the premise at times, yet it keeps you wondering, not about the plot or twists, for let’s face it, the title is pretty straight forward about what the ending would be. Yet, at times the path the movie charts tends to make it seem like, just maybe, it may throw a different punch than the one anticipated from the beginning.

That buildup though, led me to rue, not only the ending and the movie on a whole but some facets of the acting, that were for the most part sub-par, the only reason it got an average rating from me, was the plot, the need to show atheism on the silver screen, has been an issue that most filmmakers have shied away from, yet Jon Gunn, to his credit, tried something new, and it could’ve paid off, if only he would’ve thought more about the ending, rather than pandering to the masses.

On the whole, being an atheist, this movie was all it promised, hence making it a one time watch, yet it was the things that it could’ve achieved, that made me feel sad, for the promise of something great and the inability to deliver it, is what makes regrets. The Case for Christ in this regard will go down, as another movie that just wasn’t there yet.

The best scene from the movie had to be the restaurant one when a miracle took place, or for me and my fellow skeptics, the law of undeniable proximity. So catch it, not for the acting, or the subpar cinematography, but the premise, the direction was okay and the costumes and periodic indications, were precise, the only saving grace of sorts, but overall it won’t be a movie I’ll remember mentioning to others, as a must see, but I will mention it as a movie that subdued, the message that some of the top Hollywood movies based on religion have tried and failed to do over the years.

What to watch this weekend?

Totemprince.Inc

This weekend pits a lot of movies against each other, the main ones though, are Going In Style, starring Morgan Freeman & Michael Caine, there is a third person who is pretty famous yet doesn’t seem to be coming to mind. The Smurfs are back as well, with a pretty insane concept that might just make this franchise, just expand further, so those two are the big ones that duke it out this weekend.

The other movie that I researched as well and had to put, in front of a movie starring Arnie ” Aftermath ” and another one starring the best actress of her generation, according to me, Anne Hathaway in ” Colossal ” is 1 mile in you, the concept and plot of this movie, seems to be intriguing for one, with a limited release though, it might not be earning a lot of cash, but other than Going in Style & The Smurfs, not to mention The case of Christ, which is a laughable attempt by an industry run by religion, to showcase an atheist as the main role, are the only nationwide releases, I would love to see all three movies that I’ve made the poster on, yet it’s the one I’ve left out that will be feeling my sharp mind’s probe and my critical insight, just because they chose the concept that piques me, being an atheist, it seems like a great movie to tear apart, or justifiably hail as something great, only time will tell.

So if you love 3 old guys who want to do the what the Oceans have done, or whether the family wants to get lost in the world that smurfs at the prospect of a child’s smile, take your pick,go out and enjoy and let me know how the others movies were, though I probably would see them over the week anyways.

Movie Review: The Zookeeper’s Wife.

Shadow Judgement- 25

Having read the book by Diane Ackerman, I was pretty much looking forward to a great movie, with Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh and Daniel Bruhl, two very talented actors and one okay one, Jessica Chastain was excellent in Interstellar, the Martian and especially Zero Dark Thirty, so her credentials at holding a movie on her shoulders goes without question, Johan Heldenbergh is one of the most all rounded creative artists to enter Hollywood, though Daniel Bruhl, on the other hand, has not had many sole lead roles and it showed in this movie as well.

The Direction of this movie was lacking in certain areas as well, Niki Caro, though having given some decent movies, like North Country and Whale Rider, she had to really pull a rabbit out of the hat to make this movie as good as the book, the topic that was discussed as well, wasn’t an easy topic to take up in today’s time, the holocaust and the destruction it caused, has been rarely given its due respect in cinema, The last movie to be made on the Holocaust and get mass recognition, wasn’t a serious movie but one about the Inglorious ones, so the bar was raised pretty high.

The story revolved around a couple who ran a Polish zoo ( I really don’t want to give too much away, as people still haven’t seen the movie.) The premise is basically that the exodus and subsequent hunting down of jews by the nazis gave rise to many heroes, who otherwise were just normal people, this story revolves under just this reality, though the setting is a zoo, that for some reason, reminds me more of a lab testing facility than anything else, but that’s just me.

The story though was written again, from two sources, one being the book and the other being the letters and journals that were written by Antonina Zabinski, might have been a wrong idea, to get more clarity and reality into the movie, the two sources were obviously used, yet the interpretation and emotions weren’t taken properly from either, hence making it tough.

The music as well wasn’t as good as, Dunkirk, a movie that is being touted as the best war movie to release in quite a while, nor does the music compare well against other movies that have been released under this highly explosive and emotionally driven genre.

This is the second movie in which the choreography and to some extent the editing has impressed me, yet it has been another failure of a movie to either be as good as or try to beat the original book on which it was adapted.

Will I recommend this movie?

I’ll only recommend it if people haven’t read the book or have heard about this story before, without having something to compare the movie to, you might enjoy it but take it from me, if you’ve read the original book, don’t try to fall for Hollywood’s sub-par need to take beautiful books and destroy them, as its the worse facet of movie making, not to mention it preys on the need of bibliophile’s among other moviegoers to always go through the same cycle of

Anticipation.

Anxiety.

Movie.

Disgust.

Rant.

 

 

 

Shadow Films to Watch this weekend.

The Shadows Recommend.

Two very different movies, each trying to draw the hordes into the theaters with the promise of a strong female role, the kind of thing that doesn’t get seen on too many occasions from Hollywood, which tends to always favor having a man in the lead, surrounding him with women, hence taking the shine away from what could be a pivotal role in its own right being played by a talented actor.

Ghost In the Shell, a manga that got launched on the idiot box in the 90’s in the form of an anime, which has been seen by yours truly, seems to have divided the fans of the show/manga, some would be shocked at the sheer stupidity in the casting and subsequent need to add a director, who for the most part only made flash, rather than fire.

Scarlett Johansson is a talented lady, she is gifted, yet this movie is not for her, it actually shouldn’t have been for anyone, making an anime into a live action movie has been a bad idea, something that should not have been practices by Hollywood, until they can understand the intricate dynamics of sublimating the intrinsic demands and motions that make an anime great, it isn’t always about the flash, as most animes that are still the best, are from a time that didn’t even have good CGI.

So I will be avoiding this movie, on the basic principle that it won’t be good, not tot take anything away from the writer who thinks that they can emulate Masamune Shirow, the mind that made a reality of this mechanical monstrosity.

On the other hand we have a great novel, that much like Shindler’s list talks about the tribulations of the Nazi’s annexation of its neighboring countries in an attempt to weed out and kill any human, irrespective of them being a man, woman or child that believed in the philosophies and belief systems that made them be referred to as Jewish.

The book talked about a couple, who took in the jewish community that came begging for asylum at their door, kept them hidden and fed, in a zoo that they were themselves not the owners of, in an attempt to show that humanity existed in a time and place where everyone knew it was lost. The movie though, according to what I’ve heard from friends today, not watching it yet, as I only see movies on Sundays, isn’t one that does justice to the book, yet the story in itself is gripping and thus makes it the better of the two movies for at least me to watch.

If any of you are curious about the less known, yet equally heroic life of a couple, who without a care for themselves, took it upon their own shoulders the burden to balance the atrocities that plagued the land around them, then you have to go and see this movie, if not for the political and humanitarian impact of the movie, then for the animals that so poetically show the life that some humans lived in that time.

In my initial recommendation, I don’t give much away in the form of story or characters, because I feel that if people go with an open mind and with less information, but the basic that is needed, their experience is far more enjoyable, then if given all the facts, hope some of you will read my review on Sunday night about the Zookeeper’s wife.

 

 

 

 

 

Movie: Life.

Add heading (4)

Not a lot of times in life do we get to see alien movies, well I wish I could say that but let’s face it, every year like a washing machine with a constant load, Hollywood keeps on cleaning out their closet with movie scripts that rather than change the perception of the audience and alter their thinking, all it does is make one wonder that where are the good writers gone?

Alien was supposed to be another movie that could bring thrills and chills back while relieving one’s childhood with a blob, the only difference is that the movie named theirs Calvin, and the first thing that came to my mind was Calvin and Hobbes, hence taking away any future dread I might get from the creature.

Revolving around the constantly revolving ISS or International space station, we were introduced to characters that we wouldn’t remember in a dinner conversation about the same movie in a week, let alone a month.

Jake Gyllenhall’s character for one got short chained, the most haunted of the main trio, we never got to delve deeper into him at all, while no other character even touched the mark, Ryan Reynolds tried his best to save a sinking ship, but a movie that is more about the screenplay and cinematography, not to mention the director due to its genre, this one was sadly no Alien, that is the best suspense thriller revolving around extraterrestrials and hence the benchmark, because if your movie can’t push the envelope further, what good is it.

Now Gravity for one, another movie about the ISS and yet so different, that movie had a good script, that could’ve been great if Hollywood wouldn’t bank so much on the CGI in a movie and more on the elements of illusion created by words.

Calvin, the blob that becomes well, just big and like a 100 forgotten monsters in sub-par horror movies forgotten, or maybe one can remember him when someone says flubber was cute, you can reply that Calvin wasn’t, now the movie was the brainchild of the director behind movies such as the Boxer, a movie he shot in Denmark in the earlier days of his career, that sadly hasn’t seen too many good movies since.

The writers of the movie gave us Deadpool and that was last year, so by the laws of balance giving us a movie that could be good but turned out to be average wasn’t totally their fault.

Seamus McGarvey, the cinematographer that has given us the Avengers has lived up to his billing, as the camera work in this movie was brilliant, the only redeeming value for Life is the suspense of it, that coupled with the concept, for the most part, was supposed to help it excel but for me it didn’t.

The acting was okay, the direction was nothing special and writing was fine, nothing about the movie though was amazing, other than some camera shots, that built mystery, and a little fear. If I had to go and see a blob kill people slowly, like Jason Vorhees, I would rather watch Friday the 13th. Rebecca Fergusen did well fo the limited growth that was given to her characters, but for the most part, such movies are more about camera angles and hysteria that you can get from anyone if you lock them with a thing wanting to kill and eat them.

There were some loose ends as well that went unexplained, which I won’t clarify as the movie hasn’t been in theaters for too long and it might be deemed as intense spoilers, but as a writer, those are the main drawbacks.

Would I recommend seeing Life?

The only reason you could would be if you’re bored and have to see a movie on the weekend, compared to the other two which are remakes, at least this concept hasn’t been tried before, so you won’t feel dejected, but in hindsight it is a one watch movie, the macabre behind certain scenes might still not be worth the ticket price, though, die hard fans of the actors might go and children who love horror, but sci-fi fans should not try to view this movie at all.

 

Thanks for the time that you took in reading this review, with time I’ll get better and though you might disagree with this rating, please bear in mind that compared to other movies that have come out in sci-fi and horror, this doesn’t make the top 20 in either, being a writer it’s important for me to judge on the script, as having been on ad shoots and behind the scenes on a shoot, camera angle and direction are necessary to be judged harshly, as those two have the most power on set.

I plan to do 100’s of reviews and this is just the beginning, have a nice week and let’s meet up again next week for another review, might even do an old classic movie review during the week.

 

 

 

Movie Releases 24th March.

SHADOW-CINEMA

Bored this weekend with nothing to do?

Normally on the roulette wheel of weekend movie releases it’s very rare to see three movies that are so diverse compete for the main title of the best movie for that week, yet if you, like me are a movie aficionado then it is the best time to get out of the house and watch a movie.

Having seen the original TV series Chips, seeing it again on the big screen with Hollywood special effects and that slapstick humor that made the show great would be great for anyone, if not everyone who loves comedy, yet for some reason in my gut I’m skipping watching it, as remakes seldom do justice to the original and I really don’t want to relive another failed attempt.

Power Rangers is another such endeavor on Hollywood’s behalf that I really don’t want to be a part of further propagating or fuelling, it’s like they have run out of ideas in the city of dreams, recycling the same old themes and scenarios and trying to suck any dollar they can get like an ATM machine in reverse.

That leaves us with Life, which on the onset would seem like jumping on the bandwagon of movies such as Interstellar and Passenger, though with Ryan Reynolds doing a great job with some of his previous releases and Jake G in the movie as well, it might be a one time watch, having no star power in the female actor’s category though is more troubling for me than anything else, as giving a shot at raw talent and new faces is good but on the greater platform of promoting women equality in cinema, it might not be.

So there you have it, the shadows recommend that you see life, but irrespective of what you do decide to see, or don’t see anything at all, this weekend has some interesting movie choices for the masses and I for one am pleased.

Keep a look out for this section of my blog for a review of Life, from Direction to Cinematography, not to mention acting and how it’s written.

Have a great weekend guys and girls and remember in the game of life, when power might range depending on minds, all you need to do sometimes is wait and see where the chips fall.