Vice (2018)

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

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) The transformation of Adam McKay from a full-fledged comedy director to political black comedy is remarkable.
2) The false end credits in the middle of the movie. It can’t get more audacious than that.
3) Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney gave her best performance to date.

 
CONS –
1) While the movie is indeed informative, it’s trivializing and simplifying history at the same time.

 
QUOTE –
Anonymous: Beware the quiet man. For while others speak, he watches. And while others act, he plans. And when they finally rest… he strikes.

Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood (2019)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) One can keep guessing how Tate murders will be shown in the movie only to realize that it’s a Tarantino movie and we are watching a piece of alternate history from his point of view. In Inglourious Basterds (2009), he gave his personalized treatment to Hitler, this time it was Manson Family‘s turn.
2) Leonardo DiCaprio – the last movie star of Hollywood – gave one of his best comedy performance.
3) A great homage to 1960s Italian-Westerns with fake movie posters and plot details.

 
CONS –
1) Too much archival footage, too much narration, too much radio commercials.
2) QT movies are revered for their soundtrack but this movie disappoints.
3) All in all, this is not Tarantino’s best work where he poured his soul. This is a second rung QT movie in the league of Jackie Brown (1997). QT loves pop-culture/movie references. This movie is so much laden with such references that it’s more about references than the actual movie.
4) There are a few scenes which are not leading anywhere. Although the same formula worked out great in Pulp Fiction (1994), but it didn’t work this time. One cannot make a cult film intentionally.
5) The missing Tarantinoesque scene. The Bruce Dern scene was very close to that but it fizzled out in the end.
6) The entire scene where Sharon Tate is in a movie theater watching The Wrecking Crew (1968) was completely futile. Al Pacino scene was poorly written.

 
QUOTE –
When you come to the end of the line, with a buddy who is more than a brother and a little less than a wife, getting blind drunk together is really the only way to say farewell.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

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

Verdict – 2/5

 

Pros –
1) James Bond themed opening credit scene.
2) X-Force recruitment with Brad Pitt Cameo before they MacGrubered
3) Zazie Beetz as Domino and her superpower – luck.
4) Post-credits scenes. We equally hate X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Gavin Hood’s version of Deadpool.
5) Rednecks discussing toilet papers. Was that a product placement for Huggies Baby Wipes?

 

Cons –
1) Are we suppose to take this meta-plot seriously? This film is toying with the X-Men timeline and creating a fiasco. While the movie is good entertainment full of good jokes and good one-liners but Deadpool is breaking the 4th wall and giving pop-culture references to justify every plot hole.
2) So basically Cable travel back in the past to alter future by killing Firefist, and Deadpool is trying to save him to attain salvation while the prime-villain “headmaster” is killed by Dopinder.

 

Quote –
Cable: Who are you?
Wade Wilson: I’m Batman.

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

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

 

Verdict – 4/5

 

Pros –

 

1) The movie negates “Ripple Effect” – Past cannot be altered
2) A similar theme to Blade Runner
3) Movie references and homages : Vertigo, Woody Woodpecker, Monkey Business

 

Cons –

 

1) Brad Pitt as Jeffrey – too much overacting
2) Madeleine Stowe as Kathryn Railly – miscast

 

 

Quote –

 

Jeffrey Goines: There’s no right, there’s no wrong, there’s only popular opinion.

Moneyball (2011)

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

 

Verdict – 1/5

 

Pros –

 

1) Jonah Hill as Peter Brand : His best non-comedic performance so far.

 

Cons –

 

1) Same old “escape to victory” plot.
2) No heated argument scene between Philip Seymour Hoffman and Brad Pitt –  even for the sake of artistic liberty.
3) Chris Pratt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright : good actors with no scope in the story-line.

 
Quote –

 
Billy Beane: When your enemy’s making mistakes, don’t interrupt him.

The Big Short (2015)

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

 

Verdict – 1/5

 

Pros –
1) For those who missed the documentary Inside Job (2010)

 

 

Cons –
1) Everyone is “all-over-the-place”. Too much over-acting or over-reacting.
2) Pseudo-documentary

 

 

Quote –
Ben Rickert: Do you realize what you just did? You just bet against the American economy.

True Romance (1993)

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

Verdict – 5/5

 

Pros –
1) Nerdy Clarence (Watching Sonny Chiba triple feature / Working in a comic store and discussing Spiderman 1 on his date / discussing Elvis’ rockability as pick-up lines)
2) The mentor “Elvis”
3) The huge supporting star-cast (including Samuel L Jackson)
4) Christopher Walken Cameo (almost Pulp Fiction)
5) Dennis Hopper’s Sicilian Monologue
6) Gary Oldman as Drexl the pimp
7) James Gandolfini Murder Scene
8) Bum Brad Pitt
9) “Coming Home in a Bodybag” (A possible Spin-off)

 

Cons –
1) Missing Non-Linear Storyline (In that case there would be no Pulp-Fiction)

 

Quote –
Clarence : You wanna see what Spider-Man#1 looks like?
Alabama : You bet.