The Help (2011)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A story about African-American women working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960s. Racism and civil rights are the primary themes of the movie with a generic white-savior.
2) While Viola Davis was there with her gloomy presence, it was Octavia Spencer’s performance which makes this movie watchable.

 

 
CONS –
1) Movies exploring racism are often emotionally touching and this movie is also counting on the same formula.
2) This 146-minutes period drama is too long for a one time watch.

 

 
QUOTE –
Aibileen: You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

“Into the Dark” – The Body (2018)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 0
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 0/5

 
PROS –
N/A

 

CONS –
1) Neither horror nor funny. This is a formulaic slasher movie with a bad cast.
2) The entire movie appears like a parody of the slasher genre.

 

 

QUOTE –
Hell’s empty and all the devils are here.

The Cowboys (1972)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Young schoolboys hired as cowboys for a cattle ride took revenge of their mentor/employer.
2) Bruce Dern played the role of a compelling villain especially during his duel with John Wayne.

 
CONS –
1) This movie is gloomy even by conservative standards. John Wayne played a rough rancher with no nuisance even when dealing with teenage kids.
2) The death of John Wayne’s character was unexpected and watching as a fan, it was very distressing to see him die on-screen.

 

 
QUOTE –
Jebediah Nightlinger: I regret trifling with married women. I’m thoroughly ashamed at cheating at cards. I deplore my occasional departures from the truth. Forgive me for taking your name in vain, my Saturday drunkenness, my Sunday sloth. Above all, forgive me for the men I’ve killed in anger … and those I am about to.

Hard Candy (2005)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A 14-yrs old girl taking revenge from a pedophile.
2) This rape-and-revenge film got some strong unseen body-horror element. The false castration scene is quite disturbing to watch.

 

 
CONS –
1) It could’ve been a better movie with a better screenplay.

 

QUOTE –
Jeff Kohlver: Those letters are mine.
Hayley Stark: Nothing’s yours when you invite a teenager into your home.

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A father trying a make a work-life balance after his wife abandoned him and his child all of a sudden after 8-yrs of marriage.
2) Dustin Hoffman’s performance as the father stands out. Audiences will sympathize more with his character as he got more screen-time as compared to his estranged wife.
3) This movie will get divided opinions depending on the gender and perspective of the audience.

 

 

CONS –
1) The story and screenplay are little biased towards the husband and demonizes the wife.
2) This child-custody story is over-rated. The courtroom drama is hardly 10 minutes long.

 

 

QUOTE –
Margaret Phelps: Joanna is a very unhappy woman and it took a lot of courage to walk out this door.
Ted Kramer: How much courage does it take to walk out on your kid?

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) Powerful acting, great monologues, and brilliant writing. This 3-hrs long black & white courtroom-drama is the epitome of good cinema.
2) The colossal presence of Burt Lancaster in the courthouse as the guilt-ridden Nazi judge. He was silent most of the time but the monologue he delivered in the 3rd act of the movie was impending from the very first minute.
3) The movie depicts post-war German people trying to exonerate their guilty conscience by gaslighting themselves about not knowing what was happening in the concentration camps during the Nazi regime.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Ernst Janning: My counsel says we were not aware of the extermination of the millions. He would give you the excuse: We were only aware of the extermination of the hundreds. Does that make us any less guilty? Maybe we didn’t know the details. But if we didn’t know, it was because we didn’t want to know.

The 39 Steps (1935)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) An unwilling man accused of murder, trying to stop foreign spies from taking British military secret. In his run from London to Scotland, he is entangled between assassins, the police, and a woman.
2) It’s a classic prototype Hitchcock plot which can later be seen in many of his future movies including North by Northwest (1959).
3) An extremely influential movie in the spy-movie genre.
4) The astonishing twist of Mr. Memory being the medium of smuggling. The secrets are not being smuggled from a document, letter, a CD, or a flash drive. It’s the brilliant mind of Mr. Memory.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Heckler in Audience: When did Chelsea win it?
Mr. Memory: 63BC in the presence of Emperor Nero!

Charade (1963)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 
PROS –
1) Four retired US soldiers are in search of the $250,000 from the widow of their fifth partner who double-crossed them during the 2nd World War.
2) Multiple plot twists towards the end of the movie. The Walter Matthau twist blow the lid off audiences’ heads.
3) The movie is an out and out Hitchcockian mystery movie. However, at the same time, it appears like a Billy Wilder’s rom-com set in Paris with the presence of Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn featuring Henry Mancini’s music.
4) “Charade (Main Title)” by Henry Mancini.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Alexander Dyle: There’s an old riddle about two tribes of Indians. The Whitefeet always tell the truth, and the Blackfeet always lie. So one day you meet an Indian. You say, “Hey, Indian, what are you, a truthful Whitefoot or a lying Blackfoot? He says, “I’m a truthful Whitefoot.” But which is he?

Throw Momma from the Train (1987)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 0
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 0/5

 

 
PROS –
N/A

 

 

CONS –
1) Even the presence of comedy duo Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal can’t save this film. It’s a laughless disaster taking its primary plot from Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951).

 

 
QUOTE –
Owen: Where are you going?
Larry: I’m gonna kill the bitch. You want something?
Owen: Could you get me a Chunky?

Duplex (2003)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 0
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 0/5

 

PROS –
N/A

 

 

CONS –
1) While the movie appears like a normal home-invasion comedy like The Ladykillers (1955), Home Alone (1990), or Mousehunt (1997), this movie darker and disturbing than any of those mentioned. This reminds me of The Cable Guy (1996) which by no means was a comedy movie.
2) As the movie progresses, the misery of the young couple getting their life devastated by the trio of real-state scammers makes it unbearable to watch.

 

 

QUOTE –
Nancy Kendricks: Okay, come on. We don’t have that much time.
Alex Rose: I know. She’s running errands. That only gives us twelve hours.