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Siraj Syed reviews Passengers: Window seat at the journey of a life-time
They’ve got it right. Not perfect, but right. Mind-boggling special effects and a mind-toggling emotional narrative. It’s an elusive, coveted recipé, and for once, somebody nailed it. Use state-of-the-art VFX, but blend them with an equally compelling story-line, sometimes shaken, sometimes stirred, and then pray you hit bull’s eye. Passengers is a journey that starts in outer space, but gets you...
Siraj Syed reviews Allied: Two Allies, Both Spies, One Cries, One Dies
There are a few things to like about Allied. Then there are a few things you don’t like so much. At the end f the report card, you might end up with as many –ves as you mark +ves, which doesn’t get you anywhere, really. Brad Pitt’s third war movie in a row and Marion Cotillard’s sequence of big projects promises you CasaBlanca, but gives you Morocco instead. Almost everything in the film is co...
Siraj Syed reviews Assassin’s Creed: As a sin’s breed
Where do we begin? In 2016 (technically, in most places), when the game has notched up more than 100 million copies in sales, and the film franchise has leapt from centimetre screens to metric rectangles? Or, in 2007, when, in less than four weeks, Assassin’s Creed recorded more than two-and-a-half million units in worldwide sales?
How about going back a little farther, to 1986, when the five Guillemot brothers created U...
Siraj Syed reviews Incarnate: This Entity is an Omen for the Exorcist
In cinema, as in most other industries, if you don’t innovate, you are dead. Innovation is an essential part of the survival kit, and if new genres are proving elusive, makers must, nevertheless, try to reformat the template. So, if you can’t re-incarnate, at least ‘incarnate’. A good example of eschewing supernatural tropes and plying atypical ropes instead is Incarnate. That it stumbles occasionall...
Siraj Syed reviews Rogue One, A Star Wars Story: While there is war, there is hope!
“Learning to make films is very easy. Learning what to make films about is very hard.”
— George Walton Lucas, Jr.
"It's the reality of war. Good guys are bad. Bad guys are good. It's complicated, layered; a very rich scenario in which to set a movie." --Gareth Edwards.
It has been reported that the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, liked Rogue One very much, and that th...
Siraj Syed’s IFFI 2016 diary, V: And the Oscar for restoring classics goes to…AMPAS!
American body Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is best known for presenting the annual awards, which are characterised by a figurine called the Oscar. Though that is the face of the academy, it does much more service to the cause of both American and international cinema than most people would imagine, including holding an annual student Oscars.
At the Black Box of Panaji&rsqu...
Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema Submssions Open Trailer
Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema Submssions Open Trailer
Walk-in, run-in, let-in, give-in, turn-in, move-in, sit-in...now comes shut-in. “A shut-in is a person who, due to physical, mental and/or emotional reasons, is not able to leave his or her home. These conditions can cause a person to feel lonely, isolated, sad and cut off from the rest of the world. Sometimes, they do not have family and friends available to visit and spend time with them. They often lack any kind of companionship.” Shut In, the movie, is a generic psychological t...
HELLO, Everyone! We’ve got NEWS.
Winter is coming, yet summer's on our mind. Our second edition of The Black Sea Festival is now OPEN for SUBMISSIONS [http://blackseafilm.ro/submit/].
News, FEATURE FILM is eligible, now [Narrative, Documentary, Animation & Experimental],
GOOD luck to you all!
Siraj Syed reviews Billy Lynn’s Long Half-Time Walk by Ang Lee
>“Americans are children, who must go somewhere else to grow up, and sometimes die.”
> “How does anyone ever know anything—the past is a fog that breathes out ghost after ghost, the present a freeway thunder run at 90 mph, which makes the future the ultimate black hole of futile speculation.”
>“It is sort of weird, being honored for the worst day of your life.”
Trust Ang ...
OPEN CALL FOR ENTRIES • Select a Category of Entry to continue.
All Genres accepted. Fiction or Non-Fiction. Must be over 70 minutes in length.
All Genres accepted from all countries around the world. Must be under 40 minutes in length. May be Fiction or Non-Fiction.
Non-Fiction Documentaries covering any subject or genre. Subm...
Siraj Syed reviews Doctor Strange: Surgery and sorcery go hand in hand
Comics can be victims of overkill, especially when they traverse the distance from page to screen. Casting might be (mis)guided by name and fame, when suitability is of greater import. Marvel’s Doctor Strange, with part Disney talent and full distribution channels in tow, is ridden with both pitfalls. It’s a marvel then that the film manages to serve above par, enjoyable fare, for which credit largely goes to t...
You will be surprised at what we have in store for you. MiSciFi 2017 is nearly here. We are creating an amazing line up of films, long, short, screenplays, plus more!
In a few short weeks, tickets will go on sale, rooms will be ready to be booked. I have my armor, do you?
Ben Hur, Review: Chariots for hire
What do you remember about the 1959 screen version of the 1880 story? Nothing, unless you are a Senior Citizen, even if the Indian release was probably two years later than the Hollywood opening. I remember the chariot race, with Charlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur and Stephen Boyd as Messala. Edge of the seat stuff, especially Messala. The sub-text of Christ, Christianity, Judaism, and the Roman Empire’s sadistic tyranny, was lost on the bunch of school-...
"ROCK PAPER SCISSORS"
SET TO TAKE YOU ON ONE WILD THRILL RIDE
Award-Winning Team Begins Shooting in New Jersey August 2016
“How will they know when they've won”
Production is announced today for the frightening new Thriller feature film "Rock, Paper, Scissors." Director Doug Bollinger(“Waltzing Anna”, “Mail Order Bride”) takes you on a violent, psychological ride that pushes a simple suburban couple to t...
Six moms and a common problem: being mothers of school-going children in present-day USA.
Amy (Mila Kunis) is a woman with a seemingly perfect life--a great marriage, a boy and a girl and a dog; a beautiful home. Now for the downside: she's over-worked, underpaid (by a 20 something boss Dale Kipler: Clark Duke), over committed to her family and exhausted to the point that she's about to snap. Moreover, she finds that her husband Mike (David Walton) is having a torrid online affair, an...
Ghostbusters-Answer the Call, Review: Making the ghost of it
Sequel? No. Remake? Well, almost. The term going around is re-boot. Thirty years after the first ghost was busted, we have a new version, where the male protagonists are replaced by females, the female by a male, several of the original cast are invited to do cameos and the original writers/director are given all due credit It’s a joy-ride that is slow to take off, but grows on you, almost like the gargantuan balloon of a ghos...
Star Trek Beyond, Review: Nebulous Enterprise
On TV, Star Trek was conceived in 1966, as a weekly NBC series, running for three seasons. Graduation to the big screen was logical. Since 1979, we have had a dozen treks so far, and here comes the 13th Enterprise, marking the golden jubilee year, and spelling the end of star-billed Starship Enterprise, its literal destruction. The film is disruptive in plot, personal in dramatisation and modest in special effects.
Three years after its five-year...
The Legend of Tarzan, Review: Gorillas in the Midst
Remember the immortal lines, “Me Tarzan, you Jane”? Now try this, "He's Tarzan, you're Jane. He'll come for you," says her captor to Jane. He sure will. He’s been coming on to the screen for the last 98 years, in 41 movie and 57 TV outings. Adds up to 98 again. The Legend of Tarzan, preceding the character’s on-screen centenary by a whisker, is a slightly over-written exercise, without too ...
Independence Day-Resurgence, Review: Anniversaries and aliens
It takes four presidents of the USA to battle a here and now alien invasion—five if you count the first one, in 1996--but the battle is not over yet. German director Roland Emmerich, who gave us the original Independence Day, agreed to helm Independence Day-Resurgence, despite being a self-confessed sequel sceptic. Now, since the end has been left open, he might even return for a trequel or a prequel. However, if they do make...
Every 20 years I am cast in a film which remains at the top of the most favorite watched films worldwide by audiences. In 1971, it was The Godfather in a minor role as an usher.
In the early 1990's I was very involved in producing evenings with IFP West now known as Film Independent, with directors Robert Altman, Stephen Frears and many other filmmakers. I ran their screening program and I met Bryan Singer at the screening of hi...