18 July 2016


A fairly charming and moderately entertaining comedy/horror that was surprisingly still sexist despite its much touted all-female lead.

The film, co-written by Katie Dippold and Paul Feig, and directed by Feig was uninspired and unoriginal. And if it was not for the nostalgic moments and Easter eggs that peppered the show, it was hard to be very interested in the Ghostbusters.

Sure, there were some funny moments and some good lines, but mostly the tone was flat with a lot of repetition and indifference. The best moments were too fleeting and you know you are in trouble when one of the best moments of the film is when the credits are rolling, with no audio..and the soundtrack over it.

Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy were undeniably the two leads - not necessarily the biggest stars - but their chemistry together were weak and tired (and tiring). Wigg plays the straight woman to McCarthy's kooky/eccentric one,  but at least Wigg understood comedy whereas McCarthy is, and always had been, an overacting, look-at-me-I-am-so-funny, hyper-loculating actress.

The core quartet did not have much chemistry with each other, but thankfully, there were pairings that worked, especially with Leslie Jones. And thankfully,  Kate McKinnon was the breakout star of this film. Chris Hemsworth stole the show though - a standout star and saving grace.

Stay tune for the mid-credits scenes and the post-credit scene definitely sets up a sequel that I might catch on a plane.

14 July 2016

Steve Jobs [Blu-Ray]

Such a pity that this film was largely ignored by audience and during the last awards season.

Aaron Sorkin's script was biting, fierce and sharp, and Danny Boyle's direction matched the electricity and fiery of Sorkin's words. Not that the whole film was all speeding-train fast. When Sorkin's script dialed down to bullet time, Boyle equally, and effectively, matched the tamping of mood and moment.

But none of all that if not for the excellent cast. Primarily the main duo of Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet. Fassbender gave one of his best performances, easily eclipsing Leonardo DiCaprio who won for The Revenant. Similarly, Winslet was brilliant - as (almost) always. She and Rooney Mara should have been the real contenders for Best Supporting Actress - Alicia Vikander's role in The Danish Girl was really more lead than supporting.

Eddie the Eagle [SQ Inflight Entertainment]

An unabashedly feel good, the-underdog-triumphs, sports movie that effectively embraced its own schmaltz-ness and inspires the audience that dreams can come true. The film's strength laid in that it never took itself too seriously with a healthy dose of comedy mixed in with the over-wrought drama to tide us through its predictable 105 minutes run time.

Taron Egerton plays the eponymous with such indefatigable pluck and optimism that it was truly hard to resist not rooting for him. And Hugh Jackman...he was just being Hugh Jackman - effective in this case - but not essential (they couldn't get a real American to play a fake American?...or is that a meta joke?)

Speaking of which, it would have elevated the film if it was actually more rooted in fact.

The Lobster [SQ Inflight Entertainment]

A deliciously black and wholly original satirical love story masquerading as a fairy tale by Yorgos Lanthimos. The plot is simple, but the journey to the end - is it the end? - is not in a straight line.

Colin Farrell has never been better and Olivia Colman stole the show whenever she is on the screen. Strong performances by Rachel Weisz and Lea Seydoux with the always reliable Ashley Jensen, John C. Reily and Ben Wishaw providing backup.

A piercing commentary on our current societal obsession with pairing up and the superficiality of dating apps and yet, simultaneously not excusing the absurdity of those who vehemently oppose such behaviour. But ultimately, The Lobster is still a hopeful romantic at heart.

As Phoebe Buffay would say, "She's your lobster!"

The BFG [3D]

A magical, family-friendly adventure fairy tale that will sure to delight children and the adults unfamiliar with Roald Dahl's classic.

For those who grew up mesmerised by Dahl's creations, this film is a potent mixture of nostalgia, masterful directing by Steven Spielberg, superb acting by Mark Rylance, magical music by John Williams and gorgeous cinematography by Janusz KamiƄski, that will entertain and amaze through the 117 minutes.

Finding Dory

A fun, entertaining and worthy sequel that delivered the laughs, the drama and the emo-pathos. Finding Dory lives up to Pixar's legacy, but ultimately, it lacked the originality and wide-eyed, awe-inducing spectacle of the original and Pixar's best works.

Captain Fantastic

The first truly great film of 2016 (that I've watched)!

A familiar yet wholly original family road-trip dramedy that is a strange and wondrous brew of what a Wes Anderson-esque Little Miss Sunshine would have been like. A truly fantastic cast all around, including all the young actors, and bolstered by strong supporting turns by George MacKay, Frank Langella and Ann Dowd. But this film belonged to Viggo Mortenson who gave a career-best performance that was utterly sensitive and mesmerising.

Writer/Director Matt Ross gave us a charming, touching and funny film that ran through a whole gamut of feelings and emotions from joy to sadness to heartbreak to love. At times it was cringe-worthily embarrassing and at times just blistering funny. The amazing chemistry and bond between the casts - particularly the children - was phenomenal and really entrapped the audience into their world.

I think this indie gem will be a shoo-in come awards season, with Mortenson in the running for a Best Actor nom.

Stephen King's Doctor Sleep

This was unexpectedly good. It was not Oscar-winning good, but it was a thoroughly entertaining horror-thriller. Kudos to writer/director...