The front runner (2018)
An underwhelming film with great acting by Hugh Jackman, it speaks of the real life of aspiring candidate Gary’s Hart, who was a favourite to win the presidents’ race in 1988. How a seemingly harmless challenge he presented to the press turned to be his downfall, changed the way politics and privacy have been treated since then. It could have had more impact, but left the audience with lukewarm sentiments and sympathy for the lead character.
The Greatest Showman (2017)
Hugh Jackman has a certain sincerity which is synonymous with all his performances, and this long cherished dream of his shows us every ounce of it.
Debut director Michael Gracey has made a stunning film, an original musical which has great performances from the principal cast, namely Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya.
The central premise is a risky venture, but isn’t every worthwhile idea a step, or many, outside our comfort zone? A noteworthy supporting cast communicates many messages; prejudice, equality, loyalty and unique individualality to name a few.
An entertaining and heart warming tale which is predictable yet endearing.
I do not enjoy very violent films. I can’t digest gore. But this film is filled with so much adrenaline, raw action and well shot sequences, that it took my breath away.
Touted as the best X-Men film, it makes a huge impact, because it shows the vulnerable, weak and hidden side of a mutant delicately. We see an aging Logan, who fights with demons on the inside and lonely realities on the outside, only to be confronted by very uncomfortable truths.
The villain here is not a person, though there are antagonists. The ‘bad guy’ here is the inner turmoil, facing what we are trying to escape, and above all, the fear of ‘feeling’.
Young Dafne Keen, who plays Laura, will blow your mind with her performance. She is a powerhouse, who plays both ends of the spectrum with so much ease, it’s shocking to note she is only 11 or 12 years old. Patrick Stewart and Stephan Merchant provide able support, while adding finishing touches to their characters.
A fitting farewell to Hugh Jackman’s much admired
character ‘Wolverine’ by director James Mangold, Logan is a class act.
Bryan Singer shows us what a good action movie can be, while developing characters and showing us great special effects.
Unlike The Avenger series, where cliched dialogue and mindless destruction in the form of a CGI overload usually mark the proceedings, here we have effects for the sake of narrative.
Oscar Isaac plays the villain with a patient, menacing quality, while Michael Fassbender plays Magneto with the dilemma most mutants face. James McAvoy is dependable as Charles Xavier, growing into his role and communicating volumes about his gifts and others’.
The ensemble cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn and Lucas Till, who add dimensions to the story with their character and are all important in the forces for and against. The premise, though anarchic, is also a direct attack on how we live our lives today and what we would be better off without.
An engaging tale, which is built slowly, giving actors the depth to perform and connect with the audience, the films’ strength was its story telling without relying on special effects. A remarkable feat!
When a super hero film doesn’t try too hard to impress, this is the result. It was easy to watch, the characterisation was strong, the effects were excellent (a standard these days) supported by a decent plot. You settle into the film pretty quick after its dramatic beginning, knowing exactly how it will end, but the action, drama and visual sequences are engaging till its timely conclusion.
An ensemble cast comprising of Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are surprisingly given important and appropriate footage, except Halle Berry who has very little presence.
Bryan Singer has directed X-Men, X2, Superman Returns, produced X-Men: First Class, amongst many others, so is no stranger to the genre, which shows in his film making. He builds the right tone and feel quickly, taking you on a mixed paced ride with enough thrills and mutant theories to await the next one. Watch out for a 10 second glimpse after the end credits have completely finished.
The words ‘captive audience’ were quite appropriate for how I felt during this film. As the first scene began, I felt a sense of impending doom looming over me. The weather, the colour palette, all carefully chosen to weave a helpless mood for a bizarre and complicated case.
Sometimes we played detective, other times we were victims. Never did we feel like a bystander and for a film to achieve that for the entire 151 minute duration is commendable.
The events get more convoluted and we feel trapped, held against our will, wanting desperately to know what’s the motive and if it will end.This very essence makes it an experience, only if you engage yourself from the very beginning. Otherwise you might just get lost in the maze.
Jake is restrained with a visible ‘character tick’, whereas Hugh plays the emotionally wounded father with extreme pain and aggression. Director Denis Villeneuve requires you to bring your IQ with you, you need all the gray matter you have.
I have heard Japan is an expensive country to visit. Want a cheaper option? Watch this film, sponsored by Japan tourism. And if you find Wolverine in it, there are bonus points for you! Hugh Jackman is more dominant then the character he is playing and the 127 minutes trudge along with very few highs and lows to get any reaction. The train sequence and the scene after the end credits deserve mention, rest are all missing soul, drama, action or a combination of all three. And another thing, why was it in 3D?
Straight to DVD for its fans, for the rest of us, pass!