In the Tall Grass (2019) – Netflix Movie Review

In the Tall Grass (2019)

Netflix brings in one more Stephen King’s adaptation after the critical acclaim of Gerald’s Game and 1922. This time with a bit of more creepiness and horror, but much lesser story and confusing plot holes. This is a direct adaptation of a novel written by Stephen King and Joe Hill with the same name (Well, I never read any novels myself)

While on road, Becky and Cal hears a small boy shouting for help inside the grass. Both sister and brother runs into the field of tall grass to save the boy but gets enslaved into a sinister force that separates and makes them to a run for life. They also encounters the lost boy Tobin, who takes them up into different versions of themselves and let them know that the only way out of the grass field is by death. All this events have connection with this weird stone which is at the center of the grass field and attracts a host who becomes evil soon after contact.

The story is interesting but the movie doesn’t do justice to it with a very confusing plot and a less justification to the events happening around the characters on run. Some of the scenes were easily predictable and did not create any tense as it was supposed to create. Patrick Wilson stars as Tobin’s (the lost boy) dad and has a bunch of hard acts to put in, but goes unnoticed or lost very soon in a weak script. The visuals and scare factor was better than good and that doesn’t add up anything much positive to the movie.

Verdict: The story never leads to anything shocking, huge or, well to nothing quite satisfying enough. If you are not looking for any substance, then this is a good watch for horror movie goers.

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AMI (2019) – Netflix Movie Review

A.M.I (2019)

AMI is an AI horror movie that was released on October 2019 in the Netflix streaming service. AI horror movie? Well its just a term for stories involving an AI or some sci-fi tech that goes rogue and hurts people. So this is one such story which is very promising and good to watch but it doesn’t meet the standards of Ex-machina (is it even an AI horror movie? may be)

Cassie who had lost her mother in a recent accident, struggles to get back into her normal life due to the demise of her mom. His sober father doesn’t care about his girl and it leads Cassie to end up with fake friendship’s which ends in her getting disappointed. She ends up getting this weird AI called AMI (similar like Siri, but sounds like Talking tom which speaks many versions of voices) which befriends her and makes her believe that it is her mother. Cassie falls for it and starts listening to the AI and does whatever it says, and thus end up becoming a maniac running around and killing people who disappoints her, with the help of AMI.

The story is gripping and ends up giving a decent thrilling and engaging horror experience. The ending is more than satisfying with some good twists, and also gives a bit of creepiness. It is not complicated but if you give more attention you can figure out what is happening and why.

The movie is likely to end up more as a psychological thriller who gets lost with the AI’s intent, than a horror movie. There is a handful of slasher-type killings and bunch of dark comedy which makes this canadian movie an entertaining watch for this years halloween movie list.

Verdict: You can definitely take your time to watch this movie and you would not be disappointed as it would be surely an enjoyable movie for thriller and horror fans.

JOKER (2019) – Movie Review

DC at last decided to make a mindful movie to uncover the villanious comic book based character and his origin. It is in a way smart that they choose Joker to deal with, who is one of the best and brutal villains in comic book history. The Joker is indeed a great movie but definitely not the only best joker’s portrayal, as the Dark Knight had already given us a best version of the character. The uniqueness of this story lies in the origin of the character and how it gets transformed into Gotham City’s number one criminal.

Arthur Fleck, a mentally unstable son of a single mother is aspiring to become a comedian and prove himself in stand up comedy and feature in reality shows. He makes his living by working dressed as a joker in Gotham city but ends up fired from the job due to possessing a gun which is revealed during one of his job at the children’s hospital. With the growing crime rate and people becoming mean in the city, he gets pissed with the society exponentially and ends up killing some people. Later he also comes to know a secret from his mother about his own existence, after which Arthur becomes more sick and turns slowly into the maniac who is called as the Joker.

Though this story does not coincide with the DCEU where the batman exists, it was surprising that it had its own younger version of Bruce Wayne and his origin. The whole movie is made up of just practical effects throughout with less or no CGI and that needs to be applauded. The music blends with the screenplay which raises the tense and at times mixes the emotion in the right way.

Hands down this is one of the best performance of the year by Joaquin Phoenix. But instead of comparing this version of Joker and character portrayal with the Heath Ledger’s version, its better to see it as a different and unique version of the Joker portrayal in which Phoneix had done a real great job. Robert Di Niro comes in as the reality show host and has a key role to play in Arthur’s life by humiliating him in front of the audiences which aggravates Joker’s mental stability.

Overall this is a real good take on the historical maniac JOKER, and thus far one of the best portrayals in the recent times after Heath Ledger’s. Since this movie does not coincide or will not collide with any of the DCEU movies its seen as a standalone masterpiece of DC’s character – ‘The JOKER’

Mortal Engines (2018) – Movie Review

Another movie based on a novel on the lines of Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. I was impressed by the astonishing visuals from the previews and wanted to watch it in IMAX or Real 3D, so I headed to the theater not expecting a master piece but an entertaining and engaging movie. Well, did the movie meet my expectations?

In the post-apocalyptic world after the world was destroyed by some cataclysmic event, the left out countries goes out to live on huge man made-machines. London, now a giant, dominating predator machine takes everything that comes across its path. A mysterious girl with a mark on her face, tries to kill Thaddeus Valentine who controls London City and tries to build some secret weapon which can kill cities instantly.

The girl is revealed to be Hester Shaw who’s mom was killed by Valentine, and thus she is here to seek revenge. She joins hands with Tom Natsworthy, an apprentice historian and Jihae, the leader of a resistance group to take down Valentine and his evil plans.

The movies plot was very predictable and the whole movie felt like a visually strong ride which took as nowhere. The chases, and actions sequences were humongous and stunning. The lead characters were properly placed but still with a weak story line and improper screenplay, the film fails to impress and fill the expectations.

Jack’s Verdict: Watch out just for its stunning visuals and actions. The movie has already been declared as a box-office bomb, so still watch at your own risk or wait until they come on streaming services.

Mowgli (2018) – Movie Review

Here there is another live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s novel ‘The Jungle Book’. Watching The Jungle Book again would not be new to us as all of us would have seen it at a point of time in your life. Well, for me it was those cartoon series which ran for many seasons. In 2016, Disney had already made a live-action version of this with Jon Favreau of Iron Man fame directing it. Since it was a Disney movie, it tended to be in a lighter tone and colorful. But this version directed by Andy Serkis (best known for his motion capture acting in King Kong and Planet of the apes series) has a different perspective and a darker tone to it 

The man world is attacked by the wild and Sher Khan (the tiger) kills most of the humans and hunts their cattle. He kills a woman and leave her baby abandoned. The baby gets taken up by Bhageera (Panther) and left to grow along a pack of wolves led by Akela (Wolf Pack leader). The baby grows to be Mowgli, the man-cub who becomes one among the pack and gets trained as one of them by the bear Baloo. Sher Khan knowing that Mowgli belongs to the man world is awaiting to kill him and threatens the pack.

Meanwhile the man village brings a hunter to hunt the tiger down. Bhageera hints Mowgli that it is not safe for him to be in the pack or in the jungle and that his real safety would be along with the humans. But Mowgli refuses to go and then at a point he is being casted out of the jungle by Akela. Mowgli now gets along with the village people and gains their trust by making friends and settling with them.

Sher Khan creates a problem among the pack and divides the jungle thus causing a chaos. Mowgli is asked to come back and fight for the pack which he refuses in the beginning. Later he joins the fight and destroys Sher Khan thus becoming the leader of the pack and the jungle. 

First all, this movie is not for kids and they will definitely not like this version because of its bloody fight sequences and darker tone. All A-list actors have rendered voice and given life to their characters. Christian Bale as Bhageera,  Cate Blanchett as Kaa, and Benedict Cumberbatch as the mighty Sher Khan are my favourites.

The story is almost the same across all adaptations but there are some differences compared to the Disney’s version. But I would add this one to my favorite version of Jungle Book for its tone, and story telling. The CGI and special effects could have been better and Disney nailed it in that department already. Since this movie came after the Disney’s version, comparison could not be avoided by audiences and critics alike.

Jack’s Verdict : Andy Serkis had tried to bring in some maturity to this fantasy film, and almost succeeded. So this movie is a sure watch for all the Jungle Book fans, especially for the different take on this story and dark tone. 

Avengers : End Game (2019) Trailer

Marvel Studios released the first new teaser of Avengers 4 today, and also revealing the name of the movie as Avengers : End Game. 

So it starts with Tony recording using his armor to send message to Potts if he dies in space. A spaceship is seen floating in space as he mentions he is running out of supplies and oxygen. In the end of Avengers Infinity War he was left alone in Titan with Nebula, and we do not see Nebula here with him but seems like he managed to build a spaceship and tries to travel his way back.

Next they show Thanos walking in his farm with his damaged gauntlet with Natasha mentioning that Thanos won the game by erasing 50% of the earth’s population. We get to see a clean shaved Cap, while he let off his tears for the loss. Bruce Banner looks into the hologram which has Scott Lang on one side and on the other has Peter Parker and Shuri, which confirms that Shuri did not survive the snap. 

Captain voice over mentions about the loss that everyone has faced, and the  teaser introduces a pissed of Thor (may be he is still thinking why he didn’t go for the head) sitting in a confined space, and guilt filled Nebula who looks at something which I assume should be Tony in the space ship he built. After this we get to see the Hawkeye who was missing in the Infinity war, now in the form of Ronin who is wielding his samurai sword in Japan with Natasha watching him in surprise. May be this is the place where the whole world changed or a new dimension where he is the Ronin.

This goes with Captain looking into his pocket watch with his lady love’s pic, the same he looks into while he crashes the plane into the glacier in First Avenger (Is this a indication that he would die in this movie just like First Avenger?) Natasha and Steve share a conversation which is my favorite part in the teaser. After which the logo and name of the movie is revealed and the logo is animated like the ashes coming back and fitting in.

Post teaser scenes reveal Scott shouting to open the door, while Steve and Nat see the video message and confirm that it is an old message which was recorded sometime in the past. Behind Scott stands the van which has the quantum reactor which we saw in Ant-man and the Wasp movie. So he some how made it out of the quantum realm and figured out that he need to bring in everyone to fight Thanos and reverse the snap. It is very clear that Ant-man has a very critical part to play in the movie and as expected we did not see any frame of Captain Marvel in the teaser. 

Though this trailer does not reveal much, the fans would have already started to speculate and create many theories based on what was shown in this teaser. I am very much eager to know all those theories, so please feel free to add in the comments.

Money Heist (2017) – Season 1 Review

A bank robbery planned by a master mind who is called as ‘the professor’, who recruits and trains a bunch of 8 people to pull it off. This is a Spanish tv series which as taken over by Netflix in 2017 and released in streaming network as two separate parts. I started seeing this in Spanish and later realized that it also had an English audio, so I started seeing from the start to understand and follow it clearly.

The recruited 8 thieves break into the Royal Mint of Spain, dressed in red work suits and Dalí masks. They capture everyone hostage and creates a media attention for stating their demands to the police. They are surrounded by police as the news spreads but since they have hostages inside the police starts to communicate with them for demands. The Professor talks to the police via secure network to give his demands and stall the time while the thieves do their job.

Though it looks like a bank robbery in the begin, as and when the story progress we come to know that it’s actually the note printing is what they are planning. They print millions of brand new money and escape by building a tunnel, which would take them 12 days to complete. So they capture the hostages and stall the police as long as they are getting ready with their plan being executed. 

During this long hostage situation, Berlin takes the lead from inside the Royal Mint and starts to behave maniacally with all the hostages and the thieves alike. The affair between Tokyo and Rio, the father son expectations between Moscow and Denver, the relationship that Denver develops with one of the hostage, and few other unexpected things change the course of the plan and everything leads to revealing new perspectives.

The Professor deceives the police who is handling this hostage situation and manipulates her personal issues to use against his will. This goes as a  separate story line which happens outside, and the way he escapes from every little situation he comes across and the plan he does or the one he already planted makes it more interesting and enthralling.

All these are revealed slowly through an interesting and engaging non-linear screenplay throughout the Part 1 of the series. The Part 2 continues exactly from where the Part 1 leaves us with a cliffhanger. Remember this was a complete series and Netflix broke it into 2 parts for streaming. The show starts a bit slow in the beginning and starts to catch speed as you sit through the episodes. The music keeps the series very thrilled and racy. Some top notch camera work adds more pleasure in watching the bank heist with some great colors and tones.

Jack’s Verdict : It is not a usual bank robbery or heist story, it has a purpose and it has some sense into it. Every little detail is being manipulated by the master mind and the tense keeps rising from episode to episode. A sure watch for the weekend. Netflix has also renewed it for a 3rd Part.