Now you see me 2 (2016)

Jon M. Chu directs the second instalment of Now you see me, a film that held appeal in its first part and tried to up the ante in the second.

The attempt wasn’t entirely unsuccessful, with the original cast up to its usual shenanigans. It was joined by some new members and a surprisingly convincing Daniel Radcliffe, as a ‘man-child’ villain. His father is another surprise. They are caricature antagonists, not to be taken seriously but enough to move the plot along.

The proceedings aren’t entirely predictable, but could have been more funny and edgy. The end result was a satisfactory film with enough twists and turns which led to a goofy climax.

2.5/5

Spotlight (2015)

Story telling is at its best by director Tom McCarthy in this evenly paced yet riveting film. An ensemble cast it may be, but you feel as if you are observing a real life story unfold in the office of the Boston Globe.

The era is recreated appropriately, for people who knew Boston and how it looked at the time, you feel transported back through the years. The way research was done, the mention of the World Wide Web, is proof how soon the world has progressed to its current state.

Performances are stable and dependable, whilst covering every aspect of a very sensitive and horrific reality. We see the sides of the survivor, the people fighting for them, those who want to keep it quiet, the people who support through silence and the perpetrators. Though humanity is very adept at closing its eyes and ignoring something wrong, this film awakens the sense of responsibility we all have towards justice.

Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci are superb in their various roles, amongst many others who play their parts with sincerity and strength. They have altered their body language and communicate nuances which don’t scream for attention, but demand it, purely through their simplicity.

The lesson out of it is very clear: TRUTH WILL OUT, Always. Watch to see a reality that is still happening everywhere. A subtle slap in the face.

3.5/5

Avengers : Age of Ultron (2015)

Written and directed by Joss Whedon, the film uses its length to tell you how close it can get to a video game but stay in the realm of a film.

The forced humour doesn’t save the ensemble cast who just don’t have synergy this time round. They are facing an enemy with great odds and introduce challenges and complications in a ‘by the by’ manner. There is no tension, drama, urgency or good old fashioned excitement.

The resolution and turn of events is an unceremonious as the obstacle. End result? Glad it’s over and could have spent time watching or doing something else. Points for a scene between Iron Man and the Hulk and a few frames which are slick. The rest makes Vin Diesel look good.

It’s flat, long and blah. No fun.

1.5/5

Foxcatcher (2014)

A critically acclaimed film which offers pure
drama (without a background score) it relies on a simple yet effective
technique of building tension and strain.

The 3 principal cast members have displayed a layered
brilliance in their performances and have been nominated for, and won some
awards as well. Steve Carrell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum sport altered
physical features and body language. The lingering silences and soft hushed
tones make for many awkward moments.

Director Bennett Miller has captured the film with sweeping
cinematography, which creates a metaphorical imagery. It is very technically
sound in its approach and is a distinct runner for the awards, and audiences.

3/5

Begin Again (2014)

Keira Knightley (Gretta) and Mark Ruffalo (Dan) cross paths at emotionally volatile times of their lives. One is a song writer and singer, the other is a producer of music. While their chance meeting seems like it won’t go anywhere, it takes them and us, on a musical journey across New York City.

We come across other talented musician characters, the sights and sounds of the Big Apple and witness how the two lead individuals evolve. Their performances, along with the supporting cast, are vulnerable, understated and real. Through them, we have a greater appreciation of music and its process of creation.

For music lovers and musicians, this film is a must watch. For the rest, this is a beautiful film about relationships, friendships, talent and perseverance, which is all bound by the sound for the soul – Music.

3.5/5

Now You See Me

Magic is deception, we trust the magician and believe the trick. This film shows the skills of 4 illusionists and others entwined in their story. High production value scenes packed with crowds and spectacles, interspersed with a FBI/Interpol agent chase give it a fairly fast pace. The acts leave you wondering ‘how??’ and thankfully, you are given answers. Soon the plot takes on a ‘whodunnit’ angle and you are left guessing. The end was not predictable, but a bit of a downer. Probably one scene less and the punch would be just right.

3/5