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.

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Zorba the Greek (1964)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) An half-English writer’s disastrous business venture in a poverty-stricken Greek village with a mystical man called Zorba.
2) Lila Kedrova as Madame Hortense. The poignant subplot of this courtesan was extremely touching. Once a damsel and now spending her final years recounting her glory days of a bygone era.
3) The plight of a young widow in a narrow-minded village. The character played by Irene Papas shares a great resemblance to that of Malena (2000)
4) Zorba – the easy-going man full of life. The juxtaposition of stoic & epicurean at the same time.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Alexis Zorba: You’ve got everything except one thing: madness! A man needs a little madness, or else…
Basil: Or else?
Alexis Zorba: …he never dares cut the rope and be free.

The Upside (2017)

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

VERDICT – 1/5

 

PROS –
N/A

 

CONS –
1) Neil Burger added nothing new to the Hollywood remake of The Intouchables (2011).
2) I wonder how Nicole Kidman agreed for this petty role.

 

QUOTE –
Dell Scott: You can have any girl you want. What about this lady with all the Botox? You’re perfect for each other. You can’t move your body, she can’t move her face.

Green Book (2018)

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

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) An Italian bouncer with a huge appetite employed by an uptight gay negro pianist in 1960s United States for a musical concert tour.
2) From the director of one of the funniest road-movie Dumb and Dumber (1994) comes another heartful road-movie addressing racism.
3) The allegation of this movie being a “white savior” movie is absurd. If this is a “white savior” movie, The Intouchables (2011) should be regarded as a “black savior” movie. The themes are strikingly similar.
4) Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali both deserved Oscars for their roles. Viggo’s physical transformation was unbelievable.

 

 

CONS –
1) Music of a biopic about a musician could’ve much better.

 

 

QUOTE –
Tony Lip: You know, Doc, something’s been eatin’ at me this whole trip.
Dr. Don Shirley: Hmm?
Tony Lip: That Titsburgh was a major disappointment. I didn’t notice any difference at all.

Instant Family (2018)

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

VERDICT – 1/5

PROS –
1) Margo Martindale as Sandy – small role but she reigned every time she’s on screen.
2) Tom Segura as Russ got the best lines.

 
CONS –
1) Promising start but the screenplay was too predictable.
2) Lack of good supporting cast – the 3 foster kids were not impressive.
3) Mark Wahlberg sidelined to a supporting role.

 

QUOTE –
Russ: You just spent 30 minutes talking about the deep state. You don’t have an opinion on your own family?
Jerry: None of my business.

Velaiilla Pattadhari (2014)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) The current plight of unemployed graduates is accurately illustrated in the movie.
2) The Dhanush monologue about the hardship of students

 

CONS –
1) Typical masala second half.Entirely predictable and quixotic.
2) Uneventful romantic subplot

 

QUOTE –
You white trash! With absolutely no talent or academic qualification…You’ve jumped straight to the boss’s chair because your father was rich…Without doing a single day’s hard work, ever! If you can be so arrogant…My parents struggled to pay the donation and put me in school I studied so hard from kindergarten to tenth grade……just to pick a difficult subject in high school. Because that’s the only way I can become an engineer I took a different tuition for physics, maths, and chemistry I was juggling from one class to my another And my parents were juggling from one job to another… …to pay for those tuitions I’d stay up all night to study, sipping tea……waking up to an alarm every morning just to study And those grades weren’t enough so….another two months of preparing for entrance exams. The cut off from those exams were not good enough So we pledged my mother’s jewelry……to get an admission in an engineering college. I cleared the arrear papers in the fourth year. I enter into the society just to get jibed for not having a job Running from one place to another to find a job. For years, I was sitting at home idly to be called a freeloader by my father. All that food was stuck in my throat and hurting me, it was choking me And finally some good soul decided to give me a job…..and a jackass like you wants to take it away from me I’m standing before here talking to you, handling all this and more An unemployed graduate like me can be just as arrogant.