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?

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

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

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 
PROS –
1) Gary Oldman’s performance as Count Dracula stands out. The entire movie is sympathetic to Dracula making it more of a romantic film.

 

 
CONS –
1) The terrible casting of Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in the lead roles.
2) Incoherent screenplay and bad acting. Even a veteran like Anthony Hopkins playing Van Helsing can’t do any justice to his character with such bad writing.

 

 
QUOTE –
Dracula: I have crossed oceans of time to find you.

The Karate Kid (1984)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) The story is formulaic, the climax is predictable but the movie is still a good watch especially for young-adult audiences
2) Pat Morita’s performance as Mr. Miyagi is the role of a lifetime.

 

 
CONS –
1) For a karate themed movie, the action is quite underwhelming.

 
QUOTE –
Daniel: I’m not by myself. I’m with you.
Miyagi: To make honey, young bee need young flower, not old prune.

His Girl Friday (1940)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) A single day story of a ruthless newspaper divorced couple where the ex-husband uses every dirty trick in the book to get rid of ex-wife’s soon-to-be-husband and get her back working on the big story.
2) Dialogues are spoken so fast it’s difficult to catch up and process it at the same time. Howard Hawks’ 1940 wonder can’t find it’s a match even in 2020.
3) Rosalind Russell’s performance as Hildy overshadows every other actor. It’s difficult to imagine to find such a strong, ambitious, and cold-hearted female character in a 1940 movie.
4) This is less of a rom-com and more of black-comedy diving into the vulturous world of print media at the expense of human tragedy and politicians leaving no stone unturned for getting re-elected.
5) Joe Pettibone‘s first scene was one of the most hilarious scenes of the movie.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Walter Burns: Hey, Duffy, listen. Is there any way we can stop the 4:00 train to Albany from leaving town?
Duffy : We might dynamite it.
Walter Burns: Could we?

The Remains of the Day (1993)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) A heartfelt story of an old diligent workaholic butler making a last attempt to revive his unfinished and repressed love story.
2) The World War II / Nazi backdrop is only a ruse in this poignant love story of two duty-bound people.
3) Anthony Hopkins’s performance is Oscar-worthy. His stone face reactions as the duty-bound butler concealing his emotions even during the death of his father, or him refusing to answer any auxiliary question to his master’s guests deserve special mention. He was acting through his eyes.
4) The final goodbye in the rain is one heart-rending scene

 
CONS –
N/A

 

 
QUOTE –
Stevens: In my philosophy, Mr. Benn, a man cannot call himself well-contented until he has done all he can to be of service to his employer. Of course, this assumes that one’s employer is a superior person, not only in rank, or wealth, but in moral stature.

Miracle Mile (1988)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) Almost real-time screenplay after Harry gets the fateful call.
2) Soundtrack by Tangerine Dream – Running Out Of Time

 
CONS –
1) Forgettable main cast.
2) I wasn’t expecting a dark nuclear holocaust climax for a movie which appeared as a rom-com from the very first minute.

 
QUOTE –
Julie Peters: People are gonna help each other, aren’t they? Rebuilding things?
Harry Washello: I think it’s the insects’ turn.

Stand by Me (1986)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A classic coming-of-age movie influencing a generation of directors and artists.
2) An adventure of self-discovery by four friends on a hike to find a dead body of a missing boy.
3) End credits: Stand By Me – Ben E King
4) Among the four young actors, River Phoenix’s performance as “Chris” stands out.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?”

Silverado (1985)

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

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 
PROS –
1) Danny Glover as Mal Johnson – the most watchable character from the movie even with less screentime. A clear inspiration for Django Freeman character.
2) Exceptional star-cast

 
CONS –
1) A grand ensemble of talent wasted with a mediocre 1950s western plot without anything new to offer.

 

QUOTE –
Stella: The world is what you make of it, friend. If it doesn’t fit, you make alterations.

Murder by Death (1976)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A spoof of the whodunit murder-mystery films with characters resembling famous fictional detectives.
2) A huge ensemble of Hollywood A-listers including Alec Guinness, David Niven, & an unrecognizable Peter Sellers as Sidney Wang.
3) The climax is nonsensical but at the same time apt for a movie meant for spoofing this genre.
4) Peter Falk as Sam Diamond was spot-on parodying Sam Spade (or Humphrey Bogart in general), accompanying his sexy & mistreated secretary who is ending her every spoken sentence with “Sam”.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Sam Diamond: The last time that I trusted a dame was in Paris in 1940. She said she was going out to get a bottle of wine. Two hours later, the Germans marched into France.

When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) Nora Ephron magnum opus uplifted with the direction of Rob Reiner.
2) Great editing, great cinematography, effortless performances – a definitive rom-com.
3) Billy Crystal and Bruno Kirby will remind anyone of Jerry & George from Seinfeld. The whole conversational screenplay gives a very Woody Allen touch to the movie.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Harry Burns: I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.