The Force Has Awoken

100% No spoilers. Guaranteed. Tread Freely.

The question surrounding, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, for about a year prior to its release was, would J.J. Abrams be able to do what the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas himself failed to do a decade and a half ago? Would the movie itself be able to live up to the hype and the crazy marketing campaign surrounding it? And of course, could the new cast be as loved as our heroes from the galaxy far, far away? To my immense satisfaction, all of these questions were answered, and boy, were they answered in style!

About the movie itself, no spoilers, but its similarities, to Episode 4: A New Hope, are extremely uncanny. Right from the opening crawl, with John Williams now classic, beloved score. A piece of brilliant music that’s been around since 1977, but never termed as over-used, never called clichéd. A piece of music that is now in its third generation and is still as much “music” to your ears as the first time you were introduced to it.

The only major problem with the movie, was that it failed to take any risks. Probably it’d learnt enough not to do so from the Prequel Trilogy, but there is a desperate need for something new to be done, and to be executed with a panache, and of course without the wall to wall CGI, for the audience to love it.

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Anyways, enough of the negatives, now it’s time for the positives. There’s a lot of new characters, and considering I haven’t read/ seen any of the comics or TV Shows or well anything that could’ve come out related to Star Wars except of  the 6 (now 7) movies, I have absolutely NO CLUE as to who they are, or could be or which expanded Star Wars universe property or character they could be related to. But of course, I trust Lucas and Kasdan enough to know that I won’t need to follow any of the aforementioned expanded universe properties to find out, neither will any of the enjoyment that I experience be reduced. So the people who’re bringing those awesome characters to life, the actors also do a really great job, notably Daisy Ridley who, it seems, is going to be the best thing about the new trilogy and John Boyega whose character and acting is something I’m looking forward to, come 2017. Oscar Isaac has a small role, but that seems totally Oscar Isaac these days with him being a part of everything here and there, but he does a good job. And of course, if there’s any award for the Best Droid in the Universe, just hand it to BB-8 already.

The musical score, two words, John Williams. Need I say more? Okay I will, check the end of the article for links to his music and if you don’t already you will experience the power of his music (Along with the festive season, this being the Awards season, I must add, this year it’s going to go down the wire between John Williams here and Ennio Morricone for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s latest western, The H8ful Eight). The Production Design only adds to the allure of the movies, after the forgettable all-CGI of the Prequel Trilogy. The 2-time Oscar Winning Production Designer, Rick Carter, is definitely a strong contender to add to that tally this year.

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After this movie, it looks like Lawrence Kasdan’s been infused with a new breath of life, and it’s definitely a the right time with him set to pen the upcoming Star Wars movies and some of the spin offs as well. Although he hadn’t given anything great, since Raiders of the Lost Ark, in 1981, it seems he’s making a return to the quality of his heyday. About J.J. Abrams, all I can say is, with people threatening to christen you Jar Jar Abrams if you fail to deliver something awesome, you will deliver something awesome. That threat, is more threatening that almost anything you can imagine, upon the face of planet Earth and trust me, it worked. I think it’s safe now to say that just hand anything that’s dying to Abrams and he’ll bring it back to life. Though therein lies the problem, people now seem to believe he’s just some sort of phony with no individual sense of creativity. Anyways, that story is for another day.

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Yes indeed Chewie, we’re home…

Right now, go rush to your nearest theatre and experience the spectacle for yourself. Even if you have a bootlegged copy downloaded, don’t ruin it for yourself. You might thing, “So What? Disney’s making big bucks anyways! Star Wars is earning tens of millions every day, how will my money make a difference?”. But honestly, it’s not about that, it’s about going out there and seeing it on the biggest screen you can with people shouting and hooting and every awesome scene, every throwback moment to the 70s and the 80s (and trust me, there’s just about enough of them to make you go crazy over it too) and the sound immersing you. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Go see the greatest, the grandest the most mind blowing-ly awesome fan film ever made!

PS. Of course, as promised John Williams’ Best Music, well at least a part of it, feel free to explore more and more as you’re hooked on to it.

What Was That? : Man of Steel

I wouldn’t call myself a superhero movie fan. I don’t read comics. I hardly ever care to get into any of the arguments surrounding what’s coming up next in a franchise of what happens next. In fact that is what I hate about superhero movies! There’s just so much buzz about them online and then what happens next? As Jason Statham said you could put his grandma in tights with a cape and a CGI loaded film would be the resultant “Block-Buster”!

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This Scene Sums Up The Argument Against Excessive and Un-necessary Special Effects/

The factors the made me waste my time on this film were, for starters Amy Adams. She is simply one of the best actors in Hollywood today and she showed her acting prowess by making every frame she was in, better. Another reason that led me to see Man of Steel was that it was the first film in the DC Cinematic Universe which will be bringing “Suicide Squad” to us next year.

With all the positives in the film exhausted it’s time to move on to the reasons as to why it was complete torture.

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Is That An Attempt At A #Duckface?

Henry Cavill’s performance as a “dark” Superman was a shot at territory uncharted on film for this particular character. It was, for the lack of a better word, lackluster and uninspiring! Michael Shannon does a half decent job as the antagonist General Zod, he did some good acting, but it’s the script that let him down. Russell Crowe too suffered because of bad dialogues, which unfortunately his acting couldn’t cover up for.

It is hard to believe that Christopher Nolan was the writer for this film! Man of Steel didn’t have any of the factors that make Nolan’s films so great. No “mind-numbing” twists, nothing.

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The cinematography too lets the film down. I knew I was in for a “darker” version of the classic superhero when I saw the opening with that Warner Brothers Logo, but the dark, “grey” tone of the film doesn’t bind well with the overall story and makes it a bit uncomfortable to watch. The one thing that made superhero films worth the watch was the visual effects. However, the visual effects in this film don’t have much aesthetic value, which makes it an even more dull watch.

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It is a very “choppy” watch, as there are constant cuts between the past and the present and between multiple events taking place at different locations at the same time, without letting the build up in a particular scene do any significant good.

Hans Zimmer delivers another stunning musical score! It is just surprising how one man delivers one mind-blowing piece of music after another without losing his touch! Although the music at times was used in wrong places and didn’t fulfill the need of the moment.

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Zack Snyder doesn’t do a good job behind the camera. This film is extremely disappointing and unlike his other outings like 300 or Watchmen, it isn’t even an all out entertainer!

All-in-all, unless you’re really interested in superhero movies, there’s no need to trouble yourself with seeing it. Just read a basic synopsis online to go into the movies that shall follow in this franchise. All it does is, make a Michael Bay Transformers version of our beloved Superhero!

A Film For The Ages: The Aviator

For me, what makes a great biographical film (or bio-pic) is that it should not feel or seem like a bio-pic in the first place! Although there are some great bio-pics that go straight out saying, “I Am A Bio-Pic” these are usually the ones made on the lives of more famous personalities, some examples being “The Social Network” (Directed by David Fincher, based upon the life of Facebook Co-Founder, Mark Zuckerberg) or “Lawrence of Arabia” (By David Lean, based upon the life of T.E. Lawrence). However, many a times, it is the films that you don’t perhaps know are bio-pics, or the ones based upon the lives of the people who changed the world in their day, but now lie forgotten in the ravages of time. The Aviator too, is one such story brought to life, by Martin Scorsese. 

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Leonardo di Caprio’s filmography boasts of some of the greatest films of all time. However, in my humble opinion his performance in this film, is his finest till date. Portraying the American Film-Maker, Innovator and of course, Aviator Howard Hughes. For those who aren’t quite acquainted with this illustrious historical personality. You can call him the Tony Stark, of the 1930s.

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Imagine one great actress from the modern age, portraying another great actress from the bygone days. Yes, Cate playing Kate. Katherine Hepburn one of the finest actresses to ever grace celluloid being portrayed by Cate Blachett who even won The Academy Award for this role. Katherine Hepburn’s independent and “fiery” spirit can be expressed with these words, which are her own, “If You Obey All The Rules, You Miss All The Fun!” Cate Blanchett perfectly captures that way of speaking, that body language with true grace!

Kate Beckinsale did a great job in the short role she has. She was almost un-recognizable from those awful vampire and other crazy creature movies.

One of my favorite shots, from the best scene in the film!

One of my favorite shots, from the best scene in the film!

Matt Ross, Alan Alda and Alec Baldwin deliver some stupendous performances, they increase the overall flavor of the film. I’d say the true hero of the film is Leonardo di Caprio, but no. Wondering if it’s Martin Scorsese? Martin Scorses who does a tremendous job or bringing this great project to life, who does complete justice to the brilliant script by John Logan is not the hero either. Screenshot (116) The people who truly steal the show are those working on the technical aspects. Everything from the music, to the production design, the costume, was perfect and truly gave the feel of a slick period film. Even the cinematography was breath taking and earned some well deserved Oscars!

That symmetry!

That symmetry!

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The Costume Design…

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Though the film is extremely well crafted and every moment on screen is filled with action, there are some scenes that are a bit disturbing. This can be noticed very well as the film takes a darker turn in the last hour.

In conclusion, “The Aviator” is simply a tale of a boy fulfilling his dreams, living his life as he dreamt. A corporate and a life lesson that stands will appeal to the audience of today as well…

The Feeling of Dissatisfaction That Follows the Failure of Expectations or Hopes to Manifest.

The meaning of that long (make that really long) title is disappointment. This here, it’s a list of some of the movies that were, to put it simply, disappointing. There have been a lot of movies which we had massive expectations from, and kept following it till the day we watched it. And the day since, we’ve been disappointed in the movie, actors, directors and even the entire franchise for making a movie so terrible.
This list contains 11 movies which I felt were the most disappointing and didn’t live up to the expectations we had with it. So here goes (in no particular order).


VANILLA SKY (2001)

I’m a huge fan of Psycho thriller and mind-fuck movies, and stumbled across this while searching for some. Seeing that the movie had a decent cast with Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz, I were expecting a nice spend of 137 minutes. Alas, it was in vain. The plot revolving around Lucid Dreaming was fantastic and the story was gripping, but had too many potholes. The music was mesmerizing and Cruise and Diaz acted brilliantly, but failed to pull it off.

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THE TOURIST (2010)

Again, expecting a lot out of a dream cast containing Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, this was just a pain. Jolie is one of the best actresses you’ll call for an action movie after the Lara Croft series and other movies like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Torque, but just fails in this one. Depp, the perfectionist, misses the mark, in a movie, a bit different than his usual. It pains me to see this movie in the filmography of two outstanding actors.


KNOWING (2009)

The movie revolves around a mentally deranged girl, predicting all natural and man made disasters and writing the dates and death count on a paper, which was to be put into a time capsule, to be opened 50 years later. When 50 years later, the time capsule is opened and the paper is given to Nicholas Cage’s son. Later, Cage gets his hand on the paper and cracks the code. Sounds gripping doesn’t it? The ending is completely opposite to the amazing start. Adam and Eve? Wiping human race and starting again? Angels? Wait what?

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GHOSTBUSTERS II (1989)

Ghostbusters, arguably is among the best comedy movies of all time. I wish I could say the same about it sequel. The plot is a little bit off track. The ensemble pulls of their parts, but the jokes now started to get a bit lame and the movie gets a little serious at the middle. There’s a reason Bill Murray refused the third. All I can say is, Nice try Reitman, nice try.


LEGION (2010)

Another one of those apocalyptic movies where god has lost faith in humanity and wants to start over. The plot this time, is a bit more gripping, where gods sends his own Archangels and angels to finish off the human race. Alas, the acting is terrible and the story gets complete disaster and is full of plot holes. Why would saving one child keep the race alive? Why that child, why not any other? Ugh….


IRON MAN 2 (2010)

The expectations with this one were really high. With the addition of Scarlet Johansson, we were expecting a slam dunk by Robert Downey Jr. Alas, this was just like one of those fillers a franchise often pulls off. Mickey Rourke was amazing and did his part. I felt the movie got a bit more focused on Stark vs Hammer industries than the already uninteresting story of how ‘The thing keeping him alive is killing him simultaneously’. Perhaps a little more screen time to Robby and ScarJo might’ve done the job.

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EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (2014)

It’s almost like everything that Christian Bale touches, turns into magic. But this was one of those failed experiments. Perhaps there are too many historical movies already. And everyone but Bale were out of tune. The storyline was blurry and the music was often missing the spot. And I was waiting for Aaron Paul to shout, “SCIENCE BITCH!” in the middle of the battlefield as even he fails to pull this one off.


TERMINATOR SALVATION (2009)

 

This is like one of those sequels which completely destroys a franchise. The Terminator series needed a movie to finish what it started. But this is completely unlike what a Terminator movie is supposed to be. And this one is just full of Humans vs Machines stuff. AND HOW DID YOU EVEN THINK THAT WE WOULD LIKE A TERMINATOR MOVIE, WITHOUT ARNOLD SHWARZENEGGER (Did I spell it right?) In my opinion Terminator Salvation revolved too much around machines and didn’t even give enough space for the ensemble to breathe. If Terminator Genisys is like this one, I’ll keep believing that the Terminator series was a trilogy.

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GREEN LANTERN (2011)

Ah, where do I start with this one? This might’ve made No. 1 but we don’t have any particular order (of course, there are more disappointing ones too). This movie was a big disgrace for DC. The acting was abysmal, Ryan Reynolds was just not fit to play the part of a super hero. They didn’t even use 30% of the powers that Green Lantern is supposed to have and it was a tad more Lovey-Dovey than it should have been. Blake Lively and Mark Strong acted pretty well but again, lacked screen time.


PROMETHEUS (2012)

When the trailer for Prometheus released, it got all the Sci-Fi geeks like me drooling. But this was just terrible. Michael Fassbender nailed his part. The confrontation was the part we were looking for and I couldn’t have been more disappointed. A 5 minutes confrontation in which we almost couldn’t understand 60% of the conversation. The concept of ‘Engineers’ was nice but the fact that they created humans but despised them from the moment they created them was a bit ironical. There were a lot of theories tangled with this movie and the fact that this was a prequel to the Horror Sci-Fi master Piece ‘Alien’ got most of us to watch this one and I couldn’t have been more disappointed with the plot holes and the predictable story line.
PS. I was also pretty disappointed by the ending, which seemed pretty abrupt, I guess I’d just expected something more.

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GONE GIRL (2014)

Note- This one was added by “The Cap’n” and please direct no hate towards Moviemphetamine as a whole, or any other writer for that matter for this decision.

Let me begin, be honest, ask yourself, was this what you’d expected from the movie? An international best-seller as the source material, DAVID FINCHER directing, quite a bit of a star cast, with Neil Patrick Harris, Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck. I admit, that the movie was well cinematographed, but well, it gets WAY to stretched and Pike’s acting, it’s just too irritating after sometime. Also that extra “fog” of sorts, that’s covering her voice, just makes the feel of the movie, un-likeable. To be honest, it wasn’t a BAD movie, per se, like the others on the list, it’s just that I wanted more!

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Well, that’s it, list’s over, thanks everyone for reading. If any of you do not agree with our views, or maybe wish to justify something, you’re free to comment, we’d LOVE to discuss with you guys. Also, do note, that this is just Chapter 1 we’ll have more coming, ’cause it’s just impossible to cover up all of the “The feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest” in just one list, so please, your suggestions would be appreciated.

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– List compiled by Sunb3am

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