The Manchurian Candidate Review

In the 60’s, most of the grand American movies had two types of villains – either the aliens or the Russians. The Manchurian Candidate is thankfully about the latter. It deals with a plot which oddly seemed genius and vacuous at the same time, that one part of you wants to fully immerse yourself in this thrilling tale while the other parts of you yearns to find holes in this script and finds them, only to disregard them later, for this is too much off a fun movie.

It deals with the concept of brainwashing (or dry cleaning of the mind, as it is referred to in the movie) where a trigger makes a man subject to the will of his operator. On the surface this idea does look doltish, but so does a man falling in love with his operating system. But, what makes these movies classics is the fact that everyone seems convinced of this idea. That enough evidence is put forth so as to make it believable.

The Manchurian Candidate has the structure of a Hitchcockian movie, thronged with twists and beautiful women, and to no surprise considering how obtrusive the novel from which it was adapted was, in terms of sensuality. To be honest, it seems like the only fallacy in this movie, and a very major one considering how large an influence it has on the movie, that none of the romances here are chalked up, particularly the one concerning Janet Leigh.

Yet, if we look beyond that, this is a really intelligent movie, in its own way, a kind of a science-fiction. There is a cracker of a concept here, and the makers do construct a plot which does make the viewer be on the edge of his seat. Considering the age in which the movie was made, there is exceptional professionalism maintained in preventing this movie from going over-the-top.

In this era, I do not think the concept and treatment of The Manchurian Candidate holds up much, but that clearly did not deter Hollywood from coming up with a needless remake, however, by considering the time when it hit the screens, it affirms that it was an explosive movie which clearly took sides, instead of the movies nowadays which are like pups wanting to be petted by everyone. The Manchurian Candidate is hell of a fun movie. Thrilling, yes, but not a great one. However, I wouldn’t mind recommending it to anyone who cares.

RATING : 7.8 / 10

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.

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The Conversation Review

On the outer side, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation looks like a nerve-wracking thriller, but the truth is, it is not about the plot as much as it is about the character. It is common to be mistaken by this fact and then be disappointed about this movie, because it creates an environment where it does actively pursue the plot. But all it is about is a character pursuing his innermost fears in an out-of-proportion blown morality crisis. The thrilling stuff is just the backdrop of it all.

The man at the center stage is Harry Caul, played by Gene Hackman, who is a professional surveillance expert. He maintains a neutral status about his line of work, for he believes that whatever the tapes he has recorded amount to, he has no responsibility.Until a case pops up where he develops a concern for the two individuals in question and things start going haywire.

Now when I say things start going haywire, it also, and mainly concerns his personal life. This is a character of so many layers and the movie explores the nature of his personality by using the moral crisis. The real mystery is not the plot, it is the character.

The plot on the other hand delves into the ethics of the world of surveillance. It attempts to open the doors of closed rooms  that we are so often thrilled and petrified of. And this is one of the few movies (Ace In The Hole is the only other one I recount) in which the theme explored holds relevance to the modern time rather than the one in which it was made and to more horror, I think instead of waning, this relevance is bound to enhance.

The movie encapsulates the master storytelling ability of Coppola with eerie silence used to generate paramount fear to best effect. Coppola transcends Hitchcock’s ability to explore obsessions, and let’s just say, that Palme D’Or was rightfully deserved.

The Conversation is one of the most engaging thrillers ever made, for it manages to create thrills out of the most inexplicable elements of cinema – emotions. And whether you like it or not, believe me, after watching this movie, there will be an irregular check of the sides of your telephone or the curtains. Just in case….

Rating : 9.2 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOOhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Demanded-Critical-Reviews/1565666967024477?ref=hlYOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.

Chinatown Review

Can you believe it? We’re in the middle of a drought, and the water commissioner drowns. Only in L.A – Morty

In 2013, I watched two masterpieces from the world of cinema. The first was ‘Argo’ directed by Ben Affleck on the Iran crisis and the second was ‘Inception’ directed by Christopher Nolan on subconscious espionage. They both occupy a very special place in my movie watching experience. See, when I was watching these movies, my attention was completely on the screen, undiverted. It was pure classic escapism. For the run time of those movies, I was shoved into a sort-of one dimensional space with just the frames of the movies as my companion. And as the story progressed, every second was an adrenaline rush for me.

I consider the thriller genre as my favourite genre of all time. Why ? Because it has the pure  cinematic essence which I look out for. That essence which in which there are only three components existing in the run time of the movie, the projector – audience – screen. And both Argo and Inception had that thrill which leaves you dumb founded. Now combine the tension, thrill and urgency of both the movies, and you get Roman Polanski’s Chinatown.

Roman Polanski’s Chinatown is about Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) who is hired by the wife of Hollis Mulwray (Darrel Zwerling) the chief engineer of Water and Power Department of Los Angeles to investigate about an affair she suspects her husband of having. Jack investigates and exposes the affair, and the story breaks out the next day in L.A.Times. But, something unexpected happens and Jake gets caught up in a web of lies, deceit, corruption all leading back to Chinatown.

There are four movies which every aspiring film-maker who hopes to make his entry in the thriller genre ought to see. They are Inception, Chinatown, Primer and The Fountain. I love the first two, the same courtesy hasn’t been extended by me towards the latter two. Why ? All four of them have mind-blowing scripts and great performances and function soundly on the technical aspects as well. So what is it that distinguishes the prime two from the latter two ? What is it that makes the difference from being a great movie and an average movie ? It is a 7-letter word that makes all the difference – BALANCE. There are so many things going on in the run-time at the same time in all these movies. But, the first two lets the audience soak it in and comprehend the complex plot. While the latter two expects its audience to be as intelligent as the movie itself. But unfortunately not all of us are Nikola Tesla or Charlie Kauffman. We are plebeians with a normal level of comprehensive skills and intelligence. That is what amazes me the most about Chinatown, the balance.

I haven’t seen a movie in my life which is as complex as Chinatown. But even I, a 14-year old, could comprehend it with ease. Roman Polanski would have made a great teacher I presume. The movie is stylish. The noir effect is mind-numbing. Once again we see the balance being displayed. It is stylish, sexy some may assert with its catching lines and beautiful women and the mythical effect of the cinematography, but never for a second does it go over-the-top. It maintains that beautiful sublime balance between a smart movie and a popcorn fare.

Jack Nicholson is stupendous (as always) in this role. Although my favourite Nicholson performance is his role in The Departed by Scorsese, this comes in at a good, hell-worthy second. After watching this movie I realize, Jack would have made a great James Bond. He has that amazing balance between being that stylish, uber, sexy one-line cracking detective to being a hell serious detective. What Daniel Craig did in the 21st century, Nicholson could have done in the 20th century. He would have given James Bond that redemption that the character deserved. He is unforgettable here and leaves a mark on the mind and senses like none another. Dunaway as Evelyn is fabulous. It is one of those few characters that I have seen in cinema that work like a Rubix Cube. You always sense a shroud of mystery around her character that leaves you digging for more.

As any great movie, it is an inspection of our society. Grim, entangled in lies, deceit, adultery, corruption and what not. As much as it is a thriller, it is a grim morality play. Nicholson here succeeds as a characters because he looks at the story from our viewpoint, not as a personal conflict of any sort, but purely as a mystery. It is when the personal factory kicks in, that he appears confused for the first time, when layers of his smart-ass personality are peeled, and we actually see him transparently, a man befuddled and enraged and more than that, tired at the misery around him. He is as shocked and helpless as we are at the climax, which may upset many I presume for its stark reality. It is not for its depiction of stark reality that we are horrified, it for its willingness to accept that all stories do not have a happy ending. We have always seen movies as a portal towards a mystic world similar to our own, but full of hope. But hope is always present as a dominant force in the moving of the plot. It is shattered just at the right time, when Nicholson is in Chinatown again, which is a symbolic representation of the real world. All the hope is vapourised from Nicholson and he comes in terms with the reality. He accepts that world is a grim place where morality is a thing of the past. He realizes that the only thing he can do is to do as little as possible. And he forgets, because after all, it is Chinatown.

  Rating : 9.4 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOOhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Demanded-Critical-Reviews/1565666967024477?ref=hlYOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Prestige Review

Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige is about a tragedy which cause a great rivalry between two aspiring magicians Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) as they both try to defeat each other by creating the greatest illusion in the history of magic.

When you see the name Christopher Nolan, you know you are in for something great. The guy even made the superhero genre great and that is your pass to the hall of legends and if this guy isn’t the Stanley Kubrick of our times, nobody is. I had my doubts with The Prestige, I admit. It is based on a novel of the same name by Christopher Priest. Now, I had my doubts not because I thought the Nolan siblings are going to falter in the film-making but I had serious doubts if during the process of adapting a 404 pages book into a 130 minutes movie will falter. Magic, as we know it, is the perfect harmony of the steps and if the magician falters in one step, the whole act goes down. And to adapt a 404 page trick with steps being interconnected in every phase is a humongous task to be accomplished in a 2 hour movie. But, I forgot we were talking about Christopher Nolan.

The screenplay became the trick, and what it made it more special, what made it great, is the showmanship. There is a tension that Nolan carries right from the dressing room after the first show to the climax that drifts us away to the later half of the 19th century. The Prestige begins on a slow note. The story progresses as a tragedy of mishaps and we see, and sorry I stand corrected, we feel the tension between them. And then, it is time for the big guns.

When Borden comes up with The Transportation Man, the greatest trick Angier ever sees. And in it, Nolan triggers pure sheer magic and also the demonic nature of a rivalry which intensifies after every performance. There is a driving force beyond each of the character. Angier’s is the demise of his love, after which he works just to justify his title ‘The Great Danton’. Borden’s is his conquest to do something great, so great that Angier won’t be able to figure it out.

The common mistake that directors do when they make a movie which pits two individuals of the same calibre is that they make the audience love one of them from the start to the end, and the other one repugnant from the first to the last. There are dire need of moments when the audience is in a fix about which character they will chose as their sweetheart. The most accomplished work in this aspect is Ron Howard’s Rush which put me in Niki Lauda’s side first, then James Hunt and then did the unbelievable, in the climax, I viewed them both as equals, without any prejudice cornered to any of them. I won’t say this movie accomplished this aspect, and thankfully it shouldn’t have as well, but there is a line from Rush in which Niki says, and I am paraphrasing ,”You learn more from an enemy than you learn from a friend. And a good nemesis keeps you going.” The tragedy or the reason of the satanic fog around the rivalry of Angier and Borden is their inability to comprehend this fact.

Hugh Jackman is brilliant as Angier. Christian Bale is superb. Michael Caine works like he always does, the safe bet of Nolan. Scarlett Johansson gives an average performance. Andy Serkis and David Bowie are spectacular.

The cinematography is just beautiful. That scene in which those light bulbs flash in a white snowy layout is just fabulous. Wally Pfister then follows the lead of Dick Pope by using small lightings set against a dark background giving the set-up a dark and grim sensation, just like Pope’s The Illusionist released the same year, when magic smeared the cinematic arena.

And obviously we do have to talk about the climax, the big twist which I won’t spoil. But, if you haven’t seen the movie, you may find some of the sentences ahead uncomprehending and sunder. Some say that Nolan leaves the audience at an ambiguous point, and yes, you end up feeling or awe or fucked up, but I think the main intention is that Nolan must feel that audience must comprehend what was the nature of the movie. We see that Angier is the better showman and Borden is the better magician. The end actually turns the tables on it. The complexity of his thoughts, his so called desire, Borden sold the idea of an unimaginable apparatus of the trick to us, the audience and to Angier which just says he was always the better showman, not the magician. But Angier on the other hand, was always the better magician. There is a scene in which Michael Caine enhances the simple pigeon act into a modification which was worthy to be the climax of a show. Angier took a trick and stretched it into impossible heights. He just didn’t realise he was the better one.

There is a line ‘Are you looking closely ?’ that Bale uses constantly. We undoubtedly are. The climax is the prestige. It is an illusion for which we won’t find the secret because in quite honesty there were a lot of markers about the twist. We didn’t pay heed to them, because we never really were looking closely, we always wanted to be fooled.

The Prestige is grim and magical and a superb character study. My heart thumped with every footstep Angier took when he unveiled his great illusion and I found myself sitting amongst the audience, full of anticipation and clapped when the prestige materialized. That is what I always wanted a movie to be, a magical journey, a portal to another world, where we are perplexed, observing and more than that, amazed.

 Rating : 9.4 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOOhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Demanded-Critical-Reviews/1565666967024477?ref=hlYOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.

Death Note Manga Review

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He who attacks first always wins – L

Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s manga ‘Death Note’ is about Light Yagami, an intelligent teen who is fed up with the evilness of the world. So one day, he discovers a supernatural notebook which enables the writer to kill anyone in this world just by writing the name of the person who they want to kill in the book. So, Light wages a war against crime by killing all major criminals and terrorists to pave the way for a righteous future but it turns into a battle of brains when L, an equally intelligent Interpol secret agent gets behind the tail of Kira, the name used by Light to finish off the scums.

So, I was in a dilemma whether to kick off my manga reviews with Death Note or Detective Conan. But I have chosen Death Note because if you, my friend, do not watch manga and want to begin now, Death Note constitutes of only 37 30-min under run time episodes.

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But beware, if you start watching this series you might fail in your next math test or get fired from your job because this series defines addictive.

Never have I seen or read or experienced something this powerful and engrossing. Does something move faster than light ? Well, Death Note does. Imagine the tension and thrill of The Silence of the Lambs, Zodiac, Se7en, Jaws and Argo put together, that’s the pace that this series advances. This is pure unadulterated thrill ride from the beginning to the end. This is the art form of Manga at its purest form.

Compared to manga, American animation’s image is puerile and moronic. Don’t get me wrong friend, I love How To Train Your Dragon and Despicable Me movies. I just love Rise of The Guardians, which is one of the most underrated movies ever. The LEGO movie was just awesome. But, there is something missing. What is it ? I think it it is the lack of material for adults to enjoy. I am 14. I don’t really give a crap about Kung Fu Panda, Cars or Wall-E. They are unappealing to me. I have sort of reached a stage when I have started to care about the depth of the story.

And believe me, Death Note has the most layered script of all time. What do you need to make a great thriller? You need tension. Never judge people by their outward appearances. Light’s first shot makes us think that he is a normal teenage boy who is good in studies, hits it with gals because of his good looks and will be caught with his pants down masturbating on a Kate Hudson poster at night. But, he is none of that. He is a philosophical genius who is tired of the evilness prevailing in the world and wants to show the world light towards the good path. But, that’s literally Star Wars or something but what separates him from the others is that he may show you the light towards the good path, but if you do not follow it at once, he will dim it forever. And then comes L. The carbon copy of Light except for the fact that he doesn’t like competition for the spot of the best criminal genius in the world that he holds. And there is this sort of bond woven between them throughout the series but the moment they get out of that vibe, this psychological battle begins that makes us feel as if this friendship is just an act to drown us in false perception.

Now you need intrigue. Good guy always gets the battle in his hands like in literally every goddamn movie but no no no, this is Death Note we are talking about. This series will make you hold onto your seats and will instill a chip inside you which will won’t let you blink for a second in the fear of missing something. The plot changes and changes and changes and has literally millions of twists. That look in the eyes of the victims of Kira just before they die will give you the chills.

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Now you need character development and some other stuff. Our hero’s not a dark vigilante, he is a crooked genius, but in this horrible town, isn’t everyone? The city Light lives in is worse than Somerset’s city in Se7en. From a confused and frustrated teenager, Light becomes a cruel criminal supremo who eyes for a better world. But is he our hero ? The thing about many good movies/sitcoms is having multiple choices to root with. And we can choose Light as well as L. I chose Light.

This series questions humanity in ways I have never seen before. These philosophical discussions and memories touching upon various human elements question the situation of the world we live in and ask to choose a way : either shut up or do something. Light chooses to do something and begins finishing evil. I say if he is finishing the bad guys, then why does anyone else has any qualms about it ? If killing bad guys makes you a bad guy just because of that shitty idea that only God, or in this case Shinigami has the right to take a life, is Batman a bad guy ? No he is not, but right now I am not going to bolster this argument because this post will surely take a philosophical turn if I do so.

But let’s focus on the mind blowing script. Heck with all other thrillers ! (No offense Frances, a joke that you will only understand if you watch ‘The Middle’) Don’t worry I am not going to spoil it for you, but there is an idea that Light uses to give him the advantage in the cat and mouse game that he plays with L and this deeply involves his girlfriend Misa Amane and the two Shinigamis. When the truth of it dawned upon me, my jaw dropped. Believe me, that idea makes even Inception look like a UNO game and that is saying something !

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This is like Game of Thrones. Every action in this thriller has a consequence and everything connects in the end. I was not satisfied with the end but I am sure friend that you will be, but the climax scene of Light and Ryuk brings tears into your eyes. It all came back to where it began.

Death Note is not a series my friend, it is an experience which should be lived. Meant for the age group of teenagers, Death Note bombards psychological battles upon you and its sagacious philosophical ideas as well as its sophisticated and layered script makes it one of the best thrillers I have ever seen and undoubtedly the best 1100 hours long thriller ever made. Seriously, my friend, this is a work of art and should be appreciated and popularized as much as possible.

Rating : 9.9 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS/HAVE ANY DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Demanded-Critical-Reviews/1565666967024477?ref=hl YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com .

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