Da 5 Bloods (2020)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Beneath Spike Lee’s usual black emancipation theme, this movie is an intense treasure hunt adventure where 4 US Army veterans return to Vietnam to retrieve the hidden gold. What happens next is the routine story of greed and mistrust.
2) Delroy Lindo as Paul gave the performance of his lifetime.
3) The same actors played their younger-self in the flash-back scenes without any make-up or de-aging effect. This was a bold move from the director.

 

 

CONS –
1) 154 minutes running time is not acceptable for this story. The entire first hour was spent on plot built-up.
2) Spike Lee’s obsession with the black community and racism ruins everything. He should try making a stand-alone documentary next time to vent out his bitterness.
3) The primary plot borrows heavily from the back-story of Charade (1963). 

 

 

QUOTE –
Otis: Madness! Madness!

Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill (2020)

CONTENT – 0
EXECUTION – 1
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 1/3

 
PROS –
N/A

 

CONS –
1) Jerry Seinfeld said almost 20 years ago ‘I’m Telling You for the Last Time’ (1998), but he coming back to the same material over-and-over again.

 
QUOTE –
But that’s what marriage is. It’s two people…trying to stay together without saying the words “I hate you.”

Triple Frontier (2019)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A generic heist movie constitutes of few common acts: recruitment, planning, heist, snafu, & escape. In this movie, the heist part was the easiest while the escape part took an unexpected turn.
2) One hell of an adventure covering Andes Mountains, cocaine farm field, Colombian jungle, treacherous mountains across South America.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Pope: You’ve been shot 5 times for your country and you can’t even afford to send your kids to college.

Extraction (2020)

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

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 

 
PROS –
1) The single continuous 10 minute shot of that car chase scene. It looks straight from a mission from Call Of Duty: Black Ops.

 
CONS –
1) Saju, Ovi, Neysa – Who is suggesting such weird Indian names to the writer. ?
2) The portrayal of Bangladesh in an extremely bad light as some militia run state. A Black Hawk Down level of city-wide carnage with machine guns, armored vehicles, and helicopters – all for a kid whose gangster father can’t even pay the ransom.
3) Veterans like Pankaj Tripathi is given a blink-and-miss role while Priyanshu Painyuli is playing the crime lord. Huge miscast.

 

QUOTE –
Asif: Here’s some advice, a gift. Keep your other finger. Because no matter how badass you think you are, there’s always a badass who’s bigger than you.

Spenser Confidential (2020)

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

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) One time watch Sunday afternoon action movie with a possibility of a sequel.
2) The team of Spenser-Hawk is like a modern version Sherlock-Watson duo on steroid.

 
CONS –
1) A half-baked effort from Peter Berg.
2) Alan Arkin wasted.

 
QUOTE –
The FBI does not solve crime, they manage them. They play some big abstract game, trying to trade-up for some vague masterplan, a big fish, which they never do.

Shaft (2019)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) Good ol’ fun-action watch with all juicy dialogues from Samuel L. Jackson enough to burn the entire snowflakes generation. No doubt the movie got better audiences ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.

 
CONS –
1) Tediously formulaic plot.

 
QUOTE –
John Shaft II: I’m an equal-opportunity ass-whooper!

Uncut Gems (2019)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) How Much Land Does a Man Need? Safdie Brothers recreated Leo Tolstoy’s classic tale of greed. A gambling addict risked it all but paid with his life.
2) Adam Sandler as Howard Ratner gave his performance of a lifetime. Never Before.
3) The movie reminds me of Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing (1956), where the audiences are rooting for the protagonist to win but the climactic twist will leave everyone shell-shocked.
4) Kevin Garnett’s playing himself gives great weightage to the plot.

 

CONS –
N/A

 
QUOTE –
Howard Ratner: I know, I know. Jews and colon cancer. What’s is that? I thought we were the chosen people.

Dracula (2020 Miniseries)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) Ep 1: Gripping screenplay; the first episode was somewhat faithful to the original book and also the best in the series.
2) Agatha Van Helsing vs Count Dracula grand dual at the gate of the convent.
3) Ep 2: Climactic 123 years time-leap was surely surprising.
4) Witty one-liners by Count Dracula in all 3 episodes.

 

CONS –
1) Lucy Westenra sub-plot in Ep 3 was utterly useless. The entire modern-day England twist was disappointing.
2) The quality of the show goes down with every passing episode.
3) Climactic revelations establish Dracula as an ashamed warrior with survival guilt.

 

QUOTE –
She: What’s the state of him?
Dracula: He’s downstairs.
She: Drunk?
Dracula: Well, that’s certainly one way of putting it.

Ghost Stories (2020)

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

VERDICT – 1/5

 
PROS –
1) Janhvi Kapoor’s performance stands out in this mediocre horror movie.

 
CONS –
1) I’m never expecting anything from an anthology film anyway. This is just a Netflix contractual project with the 4 directors.
2) All 4 stories are stale where you can smell the twist from a mile.

 
QUOTE –
“let me get this right. maa laash hai, granny bhoot hai, aur tumhara husband choot hai.”

Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) The movie is funny from the first minute to the last. It’s not a parody of blaxploitation movies like Undercover Brother (2002) or Black Dynamite (2009). It’s an authentic biographical movie about an aspiring and ambitious man.
2) Eddie Murphy is finally back on the big screen after a hiatus and what a comeback! The writing is great and ain’t pretentious at all.
3) A great all-black cast including Craig Robinson, Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, Snoop Dogg, Keegan-Michael Key, etc.
4) Though the movie shares a plot similar to The Disaster Artist (2017) and also Ed Wood (1994), Eddie Murphy’s performance elevates this movie to another level.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Rudy Ray Moore: Dolemite is my name, and fuckin’ up motherfuckers is my game!