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!

Marriage Story (2019)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) The fiery arguments between Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver are one of the highlights of the movie.
2) The movie remains engaging thanks to three colorful divorce lawyers. The expensive and brash Ray Liotta, the swanky and flamboyant Laura Dern, and finally the bumbling Alan Alda.

 
CONS –
1) The movie is equally pretentious like Noah Baumbach’s previous venture. There are already a dozen movies directed by Woody Allen with the same theme.
2) It should’ve been titled “Divorce Story”.

 

 

QUOTE –
Ted: Criminal lawyers see bad people at their best, divorce lawyers see good people at their worst