Category Archives: Movies

Movie Trailers: A Lost Art?

I am sure many of you are pumped about the new ‘James Bond: No Time to Die’ and ‘Fast and Furious 9’ trailers that just released recently. I am excited that the trailers were released, but I am not excited about the trailers themselves. Let me explain. A trailer being released sets up awareness (in some cases hype) for a movie and gives us information on when the movie is releasing so we can mark our calendars. And this is all good. The problem though, lies with the trailers themselves. They are far too long nowadays! They are not trailers anymore, they are spoilers. They show you the best scenes from the movie straight up. I know of comedy movies where if you saw the trailer you would have been convinced that it was going to be a hilarious ride, but you walk out of the theater with the realization that all the jokes were actually embedded in the trailer and the movie had nothing new to offer. I saw a trailer of a romantic movie (I forget which one), wherein they show how the romance starts, i.e., how the couple met together, the magical times they share, the surprising conflict that ensues and drives them apart and finally the denouement where they get back together. I thought the movie looked good and had I not known exactly how things are going to play out I may have seen it.

From what I remember, the trailers being made more than a decade ago had it right. They were shorter and smarter. They intrigued me without revealing everything the movie has to offer. Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore. The trailers of yesterday are the teasers of today. The reason could perhaps be the increased competition movies face against each other (heck even a great TV show rivals a movie nowadays) or that budgets have gotten bigger. So, the primary goal becomes to sell the movie, not the audience satisfaction. Hence the need to dump every good thing within the trailer in the hopes that people buy a ticket. But it can be counterproductive too – just like what happened with me and the romantic movie.

In any case the way I deal with this now is quite simple. It takes me about 20-30 seconds while watching a trailer to understand if this is a movie I am going to watch. If the answer is yes, I shut down the trailer. If I am in a movie hall, I simply stop paying attention and look away from the screen. If I realize after the 20-30 seconds that this is not a movie I am going to watch, I continue watching the trailer. I might as well use all the reveal to my advantage and enjoy an entire movie in 3 minutes while I can!

I am going to keep this article short – just like how our trailers should be.

Movie Review: Dawn of the Planet of Apes

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You would think that watching apes fight humans would be an out of sync, outdated plot which is sure to be…umm uninteresting. But you would be wrong. This movie is a great watch for anyone who likes a good story with depth in its plot and characters. The scenario is intriguing enough. Post a mass virus pandemic attack the human communities have become largely isolated, dystopic and resources deprived. This story is different in the sense that it involves a clash of two different species.

It was a refreshing watch and it gives you a unique perspective (at least to me) on life, family and how war actually begins. Our time on earth is limited and in the end we are just another species which is looking to survive and it would be interesting if you were to put yourself in the shoes of the humans in the movie. The movie touches on several topics. Is war due to need justified? This is an age of ‘grey’ characters (they have become quite a fashion). I liked the fact that neither the humans nor the apes were portrayed as villains. Each species’ actions were justifiable (mostly). I liked that this movie did not go the *Humans are evil…apes are innocent victims… so humans deserve to die* way. I was actually proud when a human offered beer to an ape. Both worlds are so similar yet both worlds seemed to be acting only to their elementary needs of survival and self-defense.

This one lacked a James Franco, but I think Jason Clarke did a commendable job as a human who is as terrified as the rest of them but has a heart. I enjoyed this one more. The apes are so fantastically done (CGI etc.) with a personal touch and you seem to feel each ape having it’s own personality. The facial expressions, the body language are so real …at times you think you know each ape. Ceaser’s character continues to develop in different ways but is yet as endearing. The execution and animations and ape world just had to be so perfect to make sense and they did.

Apes ain’t bad. Humans ain’t bad. But there are bad apes and there are bad humans. Unfortunately they are sometimes all it takes to screw the world.

Rating: 4.5/5

Movie Review: Transformers 4 Age of Extinction…Ready to trip?

 

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The future is back. The Tranformers’ franchise returns with possibly their last movie but of course we can never be sure of such things. This one was bound to be different with Mark Wahlberg replacing Shia as the protagonist which was not to my liking. Fortunately though he is playing a different character (There is no Sam in this one) which makes it slightly better because Shia was amazing and because Mark is any day a poor replacement for any body; especially for Shia since they are poles apart.

I did myself a favor. I did not watch the trailers – which are nowadays more spoilers than trailers (3 min long, all great scenes shown). Anywho the movie starts well. The cast is pretty amazing. Inspite of my bias against Mark (Cade Yeager) he is really good in this one and suits his part. I loved Nicola Peltz (his daughter) and I think she carried out the role of a smart 17 year old who looks after her dad, all while looking hot perfectly. Stanley Tucci’s character was fun as well.

I liked the first one and half hour or so. Decent (relatively) storyline, good characters and lots of action. Heck if they had clubbed this with the last 15 min and tied up the story I would have actually being completely satisfied. But then they had to do it over the top (Michael Bay). After the first hour and half, the next one hour was well…I don’t know what it was because I was tripping. I got zero space to breathe. Poles are falling, roads are getting shattered, buildings are falling, robots are falling, everything seems to be falling. Ear shattering ultrasound mixes with high frequency sound mixes with robots fighting each other mixes with conversation of characters mixes with… mixes with …everything is a mix! There is simply TOO much happening. You think one action scene has ended only to find that another has begun which is bigger and louder. I think people were relieved when the movie ended and their heads and body were still in one piece (perhaps that was the idea: extinction of us viewers).

I found myself covering my ears in that period (and it is not like I am new to intense action movies). A dizzy headache and a needless hour later I was out of the theater. But I had survived. Chances are you will watch Tansformers anyway (and I shall reiterate that the first hour and half and last fifteen min are great). However I suggest you carry noise-cancelling headphones along.

Overall Rating: 3/5