Prehistoric Planet (2022)

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Blade runner 2049 (2017)

Blade runner 2049: Director of Arrival, Denis Villeneuve brings us the sequel of Blade runner, 35 years later. I have a vague memory of the first one but seeing this was a wonderfully reflective experience.

Set in 2049, the film continues its basic premise from the previous one. Almost allegorical, it weaves in a modern version of an age old theory in the world of replicants. The background score is haunting, the lack of emotions is stifling and the art direction is mind blowing.

A true science fiction film, the perfect symmetry and minimalism is unique. No unnecessary blinking lights and technical jargon, here life in the future spells out where the human race is headed, albeit not in the next 32 years perhaps. Technology and it’s advances are so poetically placed, that you feel sad, rather than enthused.

Ryan Gosling’s dead pan expression is perfect for his role. Ana de Armas is enchanting, Jared Leto is quietly menacing and Sylvia Hoeks leaves a lasting impact. Harrison Ford is still rocking at age 75, a true legend.

There are many sequences which leave you dumbfounded. How history, artificial intelligence and the modern ruin of society are woven to paint a morbid and dark picture of the future is fascinating. Long at 163 minutes, it’s worth it!

3.5/5

Dunkirk (2017)

Christoper Nolan directs another genius film on all levels, recreating the events on land, air and sea. He doesn’t resort to theatrics, gore or unnecessary violence. The dialogue is limited, the impact is lasting.

The background score creates a unique tension, keeping audiences glued to the screen, at the edge of their seats. While the odds are briefly explained, the beauty is not in over-emphasising them, but to soak in the aesthetics with its visual, sound and story layers.

There is a sense that we were part of something larger than a film, witnessing a slice of history, with its sweeping expanse, though liberating on some levels was also quite helpless and captive on many others.

For that and a lot more that can’t be written but only experienced, watch the maestro at work.

3.5/5

Kung fu Panda 3 (2016)

The first feeling while you are watching the film and the last thought as it completes, is how rich it is. Abundant in animation, characterisation, message and values, it is engaging at every level.

Directors Nelson and Carloni bring an appropriate part 3 to the audience, tying in pandas to the story and explaining why Po was chosen to be dragon warrior. We see some leaps for the characters, but as always there is a short yet mystical explanation for it. They managed to create a state of wonderment and awe throughout which in itself is worthy of applause.

The all star cast who lend their voices to these lovable characters do a flawless job, with lots more who join the Panda party.

In a world where we should strive to be original individuals, this film sends a simple yet deep message home.

3.5/5

Interstellar (2014)

A ruined ecosystem forces humans to look for another planet. We become semi-physicists via the subtle yet detailed theories described in the film. From worm holes to black holes, time space singularity and gravitational time dilation, we get the whole deal and have enough time to process it at 169 minutes.

Director Christopher Nolan does what he does best, combining music, aesthetics and performances to provide a kick ass (pun intended) film. While we can guess what may happen, we cannot fathom how. The way that is explained is the beauty of his direction. It is not an easy or entertaining subject, but he achieves both.

Actors Mathew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain deserve special mention for their efforts, while a few other greats support them. Music by Hans Zimmer is heart moving and thrilling, while the special effects create varying landscapes and almost mythical geographies.

The result is a film which has to be enjoyed on the largest screen possible. A must see for Sci-fi lovers and those who enjoy the genre of space.

4/5

Man of Steel (2013)

A character created in 1933, is still going strong 80 years later. In this reboot, we see the story of Superman told with rich visual detail from his birth till date. His journey from Krypton to Earth, and most importantly the rationale for that, is well developed. The motive of those who oppose Superman, or rather, what he and his Krypton family stand for, is also appropriate.

The visual effects of the film tend to get too dramatic. Though they are of superb quality and precision, it gets a little draining for the viewer to take in all the 3D detail. The sequences which we see remind us of a lot of films in the past, and though they have achieved a good mix of all of them, it is still too much to digest.

The film tends to unfold like a video game at points, but that is not its only flaw. While the world is at stake, it seems the action is between Superman, the Daily Planet, the American Army vs. the Krypton Army. Its over simplified for an issue which threatens the genocide of the entire planet.

Henry Cavill fits the part of Superman very well, and so do the other artists who play his younger selves. His form gives him a real quality one can aspire towards, rather than an unreal super hero. Russel Crowe as his father, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Kevin Costner & Diane Lane as his Earth parents, all lend credibility to roles and also support a younger actor like Henry. This was probably missing from the earlier ‘Superman Returns’ starring Brandon Routh.

The action and the slow drama scenes were entertaining but the film as a whole leaves you wanting the same dish served differently. It could have worked better if it was of shorter length, and not too over simplistic. Its strength was the flashbacks which kept us informed of the development of Superman.

It is a Summer special effects bonanza with the Nolan, Snyder and Zimmer names attached to it.

2.5/5