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Hollywood

13 Hours-The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Review: Michael? No Bay!

13 Hours-The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Review: Michael? No Bay! This 144 minute film is a good 44 minutes too long for its own good. It reconfirms the golden rule that true stories are not necessarily film material, unless worked-on real hard by a team of talented individuals, more behind the camera than in front of it. That it is produced and directed by Michael Bay adds to the disappointment. How accurate it is, in terms of recent history, is a matter of debate, both in the USA and in Li...

London Has Fallen, Review: The Butler did it

London Has Fallen, Review: The Butler did it If he can save the White House, can London be far behind? To be accurate, it never really fell. Yes, London Bridge was blown up. A few hundred armed terrorists, with a few dozen combat vehicles, had gained access to the city’s communications network, donned local police uniforms, blown-up most of the historical monuments and deployed surface to air missiles locked at the escaping US President’s helicopter, and all was well, until Mike B...

The 88th Academy Awards

By Maria Esteves – March 2, 2016 The 88th Academy Awards hosted by Chris Rock commenced Sunday, February 28, 2016 at Dolby Theatre & Highland Center, Hollywood, C.A. Presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.), the Oscars honor outstanding film achievements of 2015. Mad Max: Fury Road was top winner with six Oscars including Best Film Editing MARGARET SIXEL and Best Production Design COLIN GIBSON. Three Oscars went to The Revenant including Best Dire...

Gods of Egypt, Review: With Gods like these…

An Australia-United States co-production, Gods of Egypt was shot in Australia, predominantly on green screens, at Fox Studios, Sydney. Most ‘Egyptian’ Gods are played by Caucasian actors and the boundaries between earth, the sky, heaven, hell, man, god, ferocious bird, plasto-metallic creatures, life and death, are all blurred. CGI, forced perspective, shooting with two cameras side-by-side, motion control, are the flavours of the day. Authenticity is conspicuous by its absence. R...

Carol, Review: Sensitised, Sanitised, Lesbianism

It happens around Christmas, so Carol is the quite the name of the season. Yes, there is snow and Christmas trees and gifts, but Carol is no innocent Santa Claus tale. Rather, it is an exquisitely woven love story, between two women. We can call them lesbians today, without looking over the shoulder, but when Patricia Highsmith wrote the novel, in Senator McCarthy’s America of the early 1950s, a time of witch-hunting, the term would surely invite wrath. Sixty-four years later, there are ...

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Review: Gory pride, bloody prejudice

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Review: Gory pride, bloody prejudice It’s not quite like anything you have seen before. Imagine going on a cruise, in a carrier that is part horse-drawn and part ship. On board, there are two sets of activities going on: a family of five sisters and their parents are trying to get the girls married by hook or by crook, and another set of creatures, called the zombies or the undead, are fe eding on human flesh, threatening to eat up all the humans who in...

How to be Single, Review: Not this way, for sure

How to be Single, Review: Not this way, for sure There is no success formula to being single, just as there is no magic prescription for being married. Time was when you were either single or married. Time is when you could be single, married, twice married, thrice married, nth time married, divorced, nth time divorced, undergoing trial separation, in a relationship, into one-night stands…. But the title of this film indicates that is about persons who are single, so let’s keep i...

Deadpool, Review: Deaddy Cool

After it was shown to the Central Board of Film Certification in Mumbai last week, I learnt that Deadpool was offered a U/A (under 16 not allowed unless accompanied by adults), if they deleted some content, otherwise the certificate would say A (for Adults Only). The distributors were happy with an A rating, so the content was left intact. But the question that arose then, as it had arisen when I learnt that it was rated R abroad, was why is a super hero comic cartoon character film being rest...

Trumbo, Review: Oh my God! A Communist wrote Roman Holiday!

Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) is a successful American screen-writer in the Hollywood of the 30s and 40s. However, his outspoken support for labour unions, and his membership of the Communist Party of the USA, draws the contempt of staunchly anti-Soviet entertainment industry figures, such as columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) and actor John ‘Duke’ Wayne (David James Elliott). J. Parnell Thomas (James DuMont) heads the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Trumbo is one o...

Rivetting Spanish Movie on Real-Life Spanish teacher, in Nepal

  Arresting Movie on Real-Life Spanish Teacher in Nepal “ The film romanticized my life, which was much tougher in actuality!”   An arresting movie called "Kathmandu, A mirror in the sky", by noted Spanish Director Iciar Bollain, was made on an amazing real-life Spanish teacher in Nepal, starring talented actress Veronica Echegui, who won many awards for her performance. The film  was screened at  Bangkok recently, in the presence of the real-li...

Room, Review: Psychopathos

24-year-old Joy (Brie Larson) and her five-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) live in a squalid shed they call “Room”. They share a bed, toilet, bathtub, a rickety old television, and a rudimentary kitchen; the only window is a skylight. They are captives of a man they call ‘Old Nick’ (also an old Christian nickname for the Devil), Jack's father (Sean Bridgers), who abducted Joy seven years ago, and routinely rapes her, while Jack appears to be sleeping in the wardr...

Joy, Review: Mop to the Top

Joy, Review: Mop to the Top Is it possible to watch a film based on a true story and feel that some of the scenes are unreal, artificial or contrived? It is. Probably more so, when the writer/director takes liberties galore with the original story and tries to universalise it, adding smart anecdotes and witticisms where honest narrative might have worked better. Joy is one such example. It’s a genre-defying tale, and that’s welcome. Half-baked plot points and half-hearted characte...

The 5th Wave, Review: Earthnic cleansing

The 5th Wave, Review: Earthnic cleansing Aliens want the earth, without the baggage of humans. Obviously, 6.5 bn humans are not going to commit mass suicide, to oblige the extra-terrestrials, so the aliens decide to exterminate them. But, for reasons unclear, they are unable to do so in one attempts; several ‘waves’ are launched, some of them literal and tidal, to carry out operation decimation. Nothing new, except plot structure. And the not entirely credible premise that childre...

The 33, Review: Deep, Down, Dark, and Die-hard

The 33, Review: Deep, Down, Dark, and Die-hard A Chilean-Colombian co-production, The 33 (Los 33 in Spanish) has a Mexican director, Puerto Rican and the son of Guatemalan immigrants as two of the writers, American, British, Irish, French, Brazilian and Filipino members in the cast, and even more nationalities in the production. This is what we can call an international ensemble film, in the real sense of the world. It is an almost true reproduction of a mining disaster that trapped 33 miner...

AKIRA KUROSAWA, By Adrienne Papp

SPOTLIGHT MEDIA PRODUCTIONS   AKIRA KUROSAWA RETROSPECTIVE, By AP   ...

The Hateful Eight, Review: Bounty-hunters v/s cowboy gangs

The Hateful Eight, Review: Bounty-hunters v/s cowboy gangs Some things are characteristic Tarantino: Crime, betrayal and revenge; several guns going off at regular intervals; chapter-wise narrative; a central black character, repeatedly referred to as ‘nigger’; flash-backs or intertwined narrative; a large ensemble cast, with good footage to each actor; direct or indirect reference to the Bible or Jesus Christ. The Hateful Eight has all these elements, and even more QT traits. And...

Daddy’s Home, Review: The Ex factor

Daddy’s Home, Review: The Ex factor A sensitive, sentimental true story goes through Hollywood’s spin doctors and comes out with a load of slap-stick comedy, a few sharply contrasting stereo-types, and some above the PG-13 certification content. If you can detach yourself from identifying with a well-intentioned hubby who goes crazy when faced with the prospect of losing his nuclear family, you can enjoy several laugh-out-loud moments. If you stay with the plot, however, these lau...

Our Brand is Crisis, Review: Dirty politricks

Our Brand is Crisis, Review: Dirty politricks On one hand, Our Brand is Crisis dispels all delusions anybody might still have about elections being the ultimate manifestation of democracy…and how! On the other, it makes mud-slinging look exceedingly simple to indulge in, with pictures and quotes being the only real weapons you need. Of course, there are the obligatory debates, baring of hearts on live television, and the dirty tricks department of state machinery, that play their parts...

Point Break, Review: Death-defying spectacle and spectacular deaths

  Point Break, Review: Death-defying spectacle and spectacular deaths Point break: Noun. In surfing, a type of long-lasting wave, found off a coast with a headland or point. Example: A point break is formed when a swell moves around the land, almost at a right angle to the beach, and a break, which begins near the point, gradually progresses along the wave. A young Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) watches helplessly as his extreme sports partner Jeff (Max Thieriot) falls to his death from a mou...

112 Original Scores In 2015 Oscar® Race, By Adrienne Papp

SPOTLIGHT MEDIA PRODUCTIONS   112 Original Scores In 2015 Oscar® Race   By Adrienne Papp The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on December 18th that 112 scores from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2015 are in contention for nominations in the Original Score category for the 88th Academy Awards®. The eligible scores along with their composers are listed below, in al...

Celebrity Skin Care Line, Fytofontana, Has Arrived to the United States

SPOTLIGHT MEDIA PRODUCTIONS   Celebrity Skin Care Line, Fytofontana, Has Arrived to the United States   By Adrienne Papp Aging. It’s the inevitable condition that all human beings face and that annoying “thing” that we all dread. Recent advances in anti-aging technology have made some of the aging symptoms much less severe, and healthier lifestyles mean that many of us will be able to continue to lead active, youthfu...

Secret in Their Eyes Premiere in LA with smiling beaming Julia Roberts

Red Carpet Footage, Interviews & Photos From The Premiere at The Hammer Museum In Theaters November 20, 2015     ...

'Liza, the Fox-Fairy', 'The Prime of Life' Win CDFF Audience Awards

  9 November 2015 For Immediate release   OTTAWA, ON – The credits have rolled and the ballots are in! The audiences of the second annual Cellar Door Film Festival name Liza, the Fox-Fairy (Liza, a rókatündér) and The Prime of Life (La force de l‘âge) as the winners of the Audience Award for Best Feature Film and Best Short Film, respectively. Liza, the Fox-Fairy, directed by Károly Ujj Mészáros, is a dark fantasy/comedy f...

Goosebumps, Review: BlackJack Stine and the ‘loose’ characters

Goosebumps, Review: BlackJack Stine and the ‘loose’ characters It’s enough to give you goosebumps: over 400 million Goosebumps books have been sold worldwide, in 32 languages, with author R.L. Stine recognised as one of the highest rated, bestselling, children’s authors in history. Goosebumps had its TV adaptation running from 1995 to 1998. Now, here comes the movie, with so much material that the makers were spoilt for choice. A clever technique is used to get past th...

Hotel Transylvania 2, Review: Vampa ire

Hotel Transylvania 2, Review: Vampa ire When you want to turn horror into comedy, what better ploy than to make them animated/CGI characters? Add 3D to that, and the spell is cast. Only problem is, the funnier it gets, the less scary it remains, and vice versa. Like the passers-by in Hotel Transylvania 2, who are far from scared at the past-their-prime monster brigade’s pathetic attempts at instilling fear in them, the audience might find the proceedings short of being very scary or too...
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