Tombstone (1993)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 


PROS –
1) Retired lawman Wyatt Earp arrives in Tombstone, Arizona with his two brothers and their wives to settle down. But he’s reluctantly pulled into the same violent business when the town is wrecked by an outlaw gang called “The Cowboys” which led to the death of one of his brothers.
2) Made in 1993, the movie follows the classic western theme of good vs evil. The second-half of the movie is full of duels, and great gunfights.

 

 


CONS –
1) Val Kilmer’s performance as alcoholic Doc Holliday is quite annoying.
2) It’s highly overrated as one of the best western movies released in the 1990s. There is no way it can be compared to Unforgiven (1992), and Dances with Wolves (1990).

 

 


QUOTE –
Doc Holliday: Make no mistake, it’s not revenge he’s after. It’s a reckonin’.

All the President’s Men (1976)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Investigative journalism at its best. The story of how two young reporters from “The Washington Post” uncovered the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.
2) A landmark movie in newspaper-movie genre documenting a significant event in US history.

 

 

CONS –
1) A boring movie for an average viewer. Alan J. Pakula could’ve just made a documentary.

 

 

QUOTE –
Deep Throat: Oh, I can’t tell you that.
Bob Woodward: But you could tell me that.
Deep Throat: No, I have to do this my way. You tell me what you know, and I’ll confirm. I’ll keep you in the right direction if I can, but that’s all. Just… follow the money.

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) The cat and mouse game between an FBI agent and a young talented con-man in the 1960s.
2) Christopher Walken as Frank Abagnale Sr. gave an extremely touching performance of a heartbroken person who wasn’t able to recover from the shock of losing his home and family after encountering tax problems with the IRS.
3) There is Steven Spielberg charm all over the screenplay which makes even a con-man an adorable character.
4) One of the most memorable Leonardo DiCaprio roles.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Frank Abagnale Sr.: Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.

In the Name of the Father (1993)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A petty thief and vagrant is imprisoned for crimes he didn’t commit. It took him his father’s death to gather strength to fight for his own justice. An intense prison-drama cum court-room drama.
2) While Daniel Day-Lewis plays the lead character, the most praiseworthy performance is from Pete Postlethwaite as the helpless father and wrongfully accused man keeping his faith in justice until his last breath. His scenes with Daniel Day-Lewis in particular are well-written and performed.
3) The immense presence of Don Baker as Joe. A small role but equally profound screen presence.
4) Opening Credits: Bono and Gavin Friday – In the Name of the Father“.

 

 
CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Gerry Conlon: When can I go back to Belfast?
Detective: Next time you’ll see Belfast, they’ll be flying day trips to the moon.
Gerry Conlon: I always wanted to be an astronaut.

Victoria & Abdul (2017)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A senile Queen at the last stage of her reign obsessed with an exotic servant.
2) As compared to Mrs Brown (1997), this chapter of Queen Victoria is much more significant and deserves a special mention in her reign.
3) A screenplay kept the movie amusing without any tedious subplot.
4) Judi Dench’s monologue.

 

CONS –
1) Abdul Karim’s character was reduced to a minor character in the second half. The climax is heavily exaggerated and highly fictionalized.

 

 

QUOTE –
Queen Victoria: I am 81 years of age. I’ve had nine children and 42 grandchildren, and have almost a billion citizens. I have rheumatism, a collapsed uterus, I’m morbidly obese and deaf in one ear. I have known 11 Prime Ministers and passed 2,347 pieces of legislation. I’ve been in the office for 62 years, 234 days. Thus, I am the longest-serving monarch in world history. I’m responsible for five households and a staff of over 3,000. I am cantankerous, boring, greedy, fat, ill-tempered, at times selfish and myopic, both metaphorically and literally. I am perhaps disagreeably attached to power and should not have smashed the Emperor of Russia’s egg. But I am anything but insane.

Mrs Brown (1997)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) A grieving Queen finds solace and comfort in a confidant servant. A walk in a park role for Judi Dench as Queen Victoria.
2) The conversation between Disraeli and John Brown on top of the knoll is one of the highlights of the movie.

 
CONS –
1) While the performances of each actor are praiseworthy, the movie covers a trivial part of Queen Victoria‘s colossal history.
2) Billy Connolly’s performance as the Scottish John Brown is decent but someone like Sean Connery would’ve made it everlasting.

 
QUOTE –
Benjamin Disraeli: Princes and lords are but the breath of kings. An honest man is the noblest work of God.

The Young Victoria (2009)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 

 
PROS –
1) High production value as required in any period movie.
2) Paul Bettany played the meaty role of Lord Melbourne.

 
CONS –
1) An unsought average movie chronicling the uneventful life of young Victoria. Apart from the Bedchamber crisis, and the assassination attempt the movie got no compelling plot points.
2) The supposedly prime villain (Mark Strong as Sir John Conroy) is a feeble character.

 

 
QUOTE –
Queen Adelaide: You are confusing stubbornness with strength, my dear.

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?”

Amadeus (1984)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A highly fictionalized biography of Mozart showcasing the eternal conflict of talent vs taste.
2) F. Murray Abraham gave an enduring performance as Antonio Salieri. He carried the movie on his shoulders. A jealous and scheming rival, but also the sole true connoisseur of Mozart’s musical genius.
3) Not just the movie got the superb screenplay, even technically the movie is a triumph. The cinematography on Panavision Cameras gives it such a fresh look to the movie that even after three decades the movie doesn’t look dated.
4) The costume, make-up, art direction, and music is first-rate.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Antonio Salieri: From now on, we are enemies – You and I. Because You choose for Your instrument a boastful, lustful, smutty, infantile boy and give me for reward only the ability to recognize the incarnation. Because You are unjust, unfair, unkind, I will block You, I swear it. I will hinder and harm Your creature as far as I am able. I will ruin Your incarnation.

Spotlight (2015)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

PROS –
1) Geat ensemble of actors.

 

CONS –
1) The original story of the investigative journalist “Spotlight” team covering the sex abuse scandal is bigger than the movie.
2) Mark Ruffalo is playing the lead of the Spotlight team but his performance as the eccentric investigative reporter is absolutely annoying.

 

QUOTE –
Mitchell Garabedian: If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.