Posts Tagged ‘ Michael Caine ’

Interstellar

Interstellar-poster

Interstellar
Release date: November 7, 2014 (India)
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Matthew McConaughey, John Lithgow, Mackenzie Foy, Timothée Chalamet, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, David Gyasi, Wes Bentley, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Bill Irwin, Josh Stewart

Christopher Nolan takes his love for intricate human interactions and his inquisition about the space-time continuum and presents a film so big it’s impossible to not be awed by it all. The story is being told via an older Murphy Cooper (Ellen Burstyn) and more senior inhabitants of a futuristic township.

In an agricultural town in the countryside, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a widowed father of two who lives with his father-in-law Donald (John Lithgow); Cooper and Donald both agree how the mankind has come down to only sustaining itself by any means possible and how it was different earlier when some invention came out every day. But their local college wants more farmers, and not engineers.

Cooper’s ten year old daughter Murphy (Timothée Chalamet) shares his love for science. Professor Brand (Michael Caine) convinces Cooper into joining a space mission to trace some of their other already intergalactic researchers and also search for more planets where humans can possibly migrate to. To survive, to die or even just suffocate. Cooper is accompanied by Brand’s daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway), Romilly (David Gyasi) and Doyle (Wes Bentley) along with TARS, a talking robot (voiced by Bill Irwin)

The Nolan brothers take the often raised complaint of being anti-humorous and present us with a robot that has an inherent humor setting of 75 per cent. Yet, humor is not what they aim for. Interstellar is magnanimous in its scale of emotions, breathtaking visuals, and some over-simplified moments of scientific walls being broken.  The dialogues aren’t as remarkable or memorable as most of Nolan’s other creations. The only one without an overbearing sense of existentialism that has stayed with me so far is, “Parents are the ghosts of their children’s futures.”

You don’t have to be a major in science to understand everything that goes on in the space shuttle, and on alien planets, as the characters spell out most of the technical mumbo-jumbo for you. To a point that it becomes irritating by the end. Without a doubt, the sight of space scientists watching videos from their loved ones, sent over the years, will make you weep. I wept! From there on, the makers take the liberty of neglecting such strong exchanges and prefer to stay focused on the juxtaposing stories of general struggle to live on earth and on new planets.

There are minute sub-themes running under the plot to provide more insight into the possible future of the earth, the uncertain utilization of time as a dimension which could be turned back and similar tales of inebriated, vague discussions. For what it’s worth, for great lengths of the film, you will not remember that you’re watching just another movie. And that is what renders an epic feel to the entire endeavor. Hans Zimmer’s score is on point as usual, often creating more of a visual than extensive shots of objects revolving around planets. The wonders of extra-terrestrial bodies are subtle, some cliched and some marvelous. Look out for the giant wave!

McConaughey is sublime in his soon-to-be repetitive purring speech pattern. He displays relative longing and the bravado and survival skills of an explorer extremely well. Hathaway is understated with her anxious Amelia. While Jessica Chastain as the older Murphy is persistently passionate in her performance, no matter how limited her character’s screen space is.

Interstellar gives you hope, makes you ponder why aren’t we thinking of the stars, and why aren’t we looking beyond the usual. For that alone, the film becomes more important than it is.

My rating: ***1/2 (3.5 out of 5)

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Now You See Me

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Now You See Me
Release date: May 31, 2013
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Mélanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Common, David Warshofsky

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t. This line had to fit somewhere. (I missed the start, so I give them the benefit of doubt.)
Forget that you ever read those two lines.

The summer film is a semi-thriller-cum-whodunit with the exception of the actual murder. A group of four performers: Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) and Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) are assembled by an anonymous benefactor, claiming to be a member of the mystical lineage of The Eye. They find a rich sponsor in the form of insurance magnate Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) who pits them as the next big thing in the world of magic.

After they manage to perform a heist on camera, also going against the conventions of the trade. FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is assigned to be the lead investigator along with Interpol Agent Alma Vargas (Mélanie Laurent) on the whole magic fiasco. Agent Vargas is intrigued by the history aspect of their tricks and does her research 24 x 7. Literally. Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) is a retired magician who makes money by exposing other magicians’ tricks on his TV show. Rhodes and Bradley try tracing the self proclaimed Four Horsemen’s steps.

The characters that are on the run aren’t given much footage, neither their reasons are well-established, except for a few confessions about not knowing what could happen next. The major focus is on the interpretation of their techniques by the people trying to nail them down. Jesse Eisenberg  does his usual fast-talking shtick which very much fits in with the arrogant air around his persona. Isla Fisher plays up the eye-candy quotient with spunk. The tricks and script devices are pretty slick and you are gripped until the intermission.

Mark Ruffalo is tenacious on the job, while Mélanie Laurent has the French accent and all the um, Omelette Du Fromage wonder to her character. The climax is laced with hiccups, it leaves with some questions unanswered and the rest overtly answered. Safe to say, the film disintegrates after the halfway mark. But the disintegration isn’t particularly jarring. The film leaves you half an ounce smarter about a few more magic tricks too!

My review: *** (3 stars out of 5)

The Dark Knight Rises


The Dark Knight Rises
Release date: July 20, 2012
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine

Before I get to the actual reviewing part, I make a promise to not dole out any spoilers and ask you to resist clicking even on the Wikipedia page of this movie. I am also going to stay away from the usage of any fanboy terms like: ‘epic’, ‘awesome’ or (in rare cases) ‘godlike’.

Christopher Nolan has given us two of the most absorbing Batman storylines, perhaps in decades. Does the third installment have the same impact? You will not be blown away with flying explosions with painful 3D. As this is a conclusion of the three-part series, we get a final showdown of elements that have played out their roles in the earlier parts.

Harvey Dent, Gotham’s fallen hero-cum-villain in disguise has made way for stringent laws & a much lower crime rate under the order of Police Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is much older, as 8 years have rolled by and he’s a weaker Batman now. Gordon & Wayne are the only ones who know about who the real savior of Gotham was but they still manage to keep it a secret.

Bane (Tom Hardy) has his intentions of overthrowing the existential Western Civilization and create a new one, that puts the oppressed and the poor in power and lead a lawless land. Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) is a non-whip carrying Catwoman, much to my displeasure. With an unclear intent of getting a ‘clean’ ID, Kyle strikes a deal to get some fingerprints and burgles her way out. Marion Cotillard plays Miranda Tate, trying to get Wayne back into his much glorified past avatar. That of a swashbuckling, suave and philanthropic   billionaire.

Bonus poster

Bonus poster! I couldn’t stop myself from adding this.

The tale is of an incapacitated and weakened Batman trying to fight his fears and salvage Gotham’s dilapidating integrity and serenity. Nolan digs into the insecurities of a megalomaniac and secret identities. But along with that, there is a stronger struggle of separate forces that fail to make you connect with the characters’ problems. Surely, the production design and the costumes are brilliantly done. There are a few inconsistencies in the plot which I won’t point out in particular because that would just add up to being a spoiler. But the back-up Batman suit is purely ridiculous.

Apparently, Nolan has taken a liking to Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as they appear in his two consecutive ventures, i.e. Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. They justify that liking with fine performances. At the end, The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t cut through the skin of this viewer although it is entertaining and builds a riveting climax. It is the individual struggles that don’t quite blend in perfectly with the collective plot.

The Dark Knight Rises has the right twists and turns in the story which could possibly elevate it into a superleague of successful third movies from a franchise. It isn’t as magnificent as it was expected to be.

My rating: *** (3 out of 5) 

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