The Pianist (2002)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) Roman Polanski’s holocaust masterpiece. A Polish-Jewish pianist’s survival story from his POV. The central character is not a fighter but a mere spectator trying to survive.
2) A screenplay with minimal dialogues. The final 45 minutes are almost without dialogues with edge-of-your-seat events. The screenplay is extraordinary and keeps the pianist as the central character during the entire duration of the movie. No silly sub-plots.
3) The Pianist title is quite inappropriate and makes it sound like a romantic musical journey of an artist during the 2nd World War. This is an out and out Holocaust drama, and almost equivalent to Steven Spielberg Schindler’s List (1993).
4) Adrien Brody gave an unforgettable performance as the timid pianist Władysław Szpilman.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Wladyslaw Szpilman: What are you reading?
Henryk Szpilman: “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”

Red Sun (1971)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) A grand crossover of Western & Jidaigeki genres starring two of their respective greatest stars.
2) The trinity of international stars: Charles Bronson, Toshirō Mifune, and Alain Delon.

 

CONS –
1) Terence Young missed an epic opportunity of making probably one of the greatest movie of all time. The story with elements of honor, deceit, and sacrifice was ruined by bad direction and wacky soundtrack.

 
QUOTE –
Link Stuart: I think you’re one hell of a man.
Kuroda Jubie: I think you are one son of a bitch.

Persepolis (2007)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/4

 
PROS –
1) This movie is a crash course on the Iranian Revolution
2) Black-and-white animation kept the feel of reading a graphic novel.
3) A great blend of historical facts from one person’s POV.
4) Emotional and funny at the same time.
5) The defiant character of Marjane’s grandmother.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Marjane: I remember I led a peaceful, uneventful life as a little girl. I loved fries with ketchup, Bruce Lee was my hero, I wore Adidas sneakers and had two obsessions: Shaving my legs one day and being the last prophet of the galaxy.

Un Flic (1972)

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

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 
PROS –
1) Catherine Deneuve as Cathy impersonating as a nurse killing Marc with an air embolism.
2) Valérie Wilson as Gaby the blonde transvestite police informer – a fascinating character. There was clearly a romantic angle between Coleman and Gaby which is intentionally left up to the audiences to decide.

 
CONS –
1) It’s hilarious how the principal heist scene is done with a toy train and an RC helicopter.
2) An over-rated Jean-Pierre Melville movie. Neither the story is special nor the movie got any memorable scene.

 
QUOTE –
Coleman: The only feelings mankind has ever inspired in policemen are those of indifference and derision.

Lucy (2014)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) A fast-paced action-packed sci-fi flick with a lasting effect on the audiences.
2) The comparison to Limitless (2011), Akira (1988), and 2001: A Space Odyssey is inevitable. However, this movie got a life of its own.
3) Presence of legends like Morgan Freeman and Choi Min-sik.
4) Astounding CGI – especially towards the end of the movie.

 

CONS –
1) The climax will make you ask the reason for making this movie. The ending is not ambiguous but reduces the entire movie to a science documentary with a Korean mob sub-plot.

 
QUOTE –
Lucy: Ignorance brings chaos, not knowledge.

Beauty and the Dogs (2017)

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

Verdict – 4/5

 

Pros –
1) The slow and vicious wheels of govt. bureaucracy. From the hospital to the police station.
2) From the birthplace of the Arab Spring comes a powerful film with some great performances especially from the lead actress – Mariam Al Ferjani. Even the movie trailer was brilliant with Battle Cry by Wild Yawp.
3) A story from dusk till dawn. Superb screenplay divided into 9 chapters.
4) Great Cinematography – most of the scenes are single sequence shot.

Cons –
N/A

 

Quote –
“My whole life is a zombie movie. The walking dead run after me, trying to bite me.I’m trying to save myself. Sometimes I get away and sometimes, they get close to me. I might let them eat me.I’ll become a zombie and rest.”

Le Samouraï (1967)

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

Verdict – 4/5

Pros –
1) Alain Delon as Jef Costello: The sociopathic hitman with stylish fedora, pale trench coat, and his iconic car keychain.
2) The police line-up scene – almost 20 minutes long.
3) Jef’s analogy to the caged bird.
4) The Samurai killed his Master and he must honor his profession by either completing the contract or by committing the ritual suicide.
5) A highly influential movie for modern directors and glimpses of this character is seen in many future movies.

 

Cons –
N/A

 

Quote –
Valérie: Why Jeff?
Jeff Costello: I’ve been paid to.

Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)

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

Verdict – 2/5

 

Pros –
1) It can’t get more La Nouvelle Vague than this.
2) Uplifting romantic climax
3) Innovative opening credits with tarot card

 

Cons –
1) A slow and boring film. Being an art-house movie is no excuse for being tedious.

Quote –
Antoine: You seem to be waiting for something, rather than someone.

The Night Eats the World (2018)

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

Verdict – 0/5

Pros –
1) Study of paranoia while alone

 

Cons –
1) In an era of “The Walking Dead”, this movie is redundant and sub-standard
2) Meaningless climax – in fact, there is no climax.
3) Sarah – unnecessary sub-plot adding nothing to the story.

 

Quote –
Sarah:… that you’re the last human on earth? Sorry to disappoint you.

Dunkirk (2017)

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

Verdict – 2/5

 

Pros –
1) Music and Cinematography – Top notch! Hans Zimmer’s music will keep you on edge of your seat throughout the movie.
2) Opening ambush scene – Open matte.
3) “We shall fight on the beaches”.

 

Cons –
1) Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy – meaningless roles. While one is shell-shocked in a boat doing nothing, the other’s face was shown 2 times in the entire film
2) There are claims that Atonement‘s one-track-shot of Dunkirk is better than this entire movie – well those are not entirely wrong. The emotion captured in that 5-minutes scene is way strong and captivating than this entire 100 million adventure.
3) No doubt there are few great moments in the movie but the movie as a whole is like a war documentary with unknown nameless characters.

 

Quote –
Captain Winnant: What do you see?
Commander Bolton: Home.