Hard Eight (1996)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A guilt-ridden professional gambler Sydney is helping out a young man by teaching him the tricks of the trade. What the young man doesn’t know is that Sydney killed his father years ago.
2) A solid crime thriller with an ominous theme. There is very little action that too towards the end of the movie but still, we can anticipate the forthcoming violence.
3) Philip Baker Hall’s performance as Sydney is single-handedly elevating the movie. His background is not widely elaborated but his expressions and mannerism speak for themselves.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Sydney: Never ignore a man’s courtesy.

Paatal Lok (Mini-Series)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A small-town politician decides to get rid of his rival’s loyal henchman and ends up opening a pandora box. The numerous colorful characters involved in this mess are merely a ruse, irrelevant to the main puppeteer Bajpayee (played surprisingly by Anup Jalota).
2) The sub-plots and backstories are better than the main plot. Without the flashbacks, it’s an ordinary episode of Crime Patrol.
3) Jaideep Ahlawat finally landed up in a show where he can show his true prowess.
4) Fast-paced screenplay and brilliant writing by Sudip Sharma.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
“aisa shaastron mein likha hua hai, par maine WhatsApp mein padha hai”

Better Call Saul (Season 5)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) Gus Fring taking out his frustration on Lyle, one of his puny employees of Los Pollos Hermanos. This will go down as the best scene of this season.
2) Mike’s character getting better with every passing episode.
3) Lalo Salamanca as another fearful member of the Salamanca family.
4) Hank Schrader & Steven Gomez coming back for a cameo.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Mike: I don’t think fear is a great motivator.
Gus: A dog who bites every owner he’s had…can only be disciplined with a firm hand.Or… put down.

Sacred Games (Season 2)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) An Osho like Guru running a drug-fueled mission to bring Sat Yug post-nuclear winter. The plan is executed by a Muhammad bin Qasim fanatic, completing his dream of Gazwa-E-Hind.
2) Full of smart references like Dawood Ibrahim, Karan Johar, RGV, Kangana Ranaut, Divya Bharti, etc.

 
CONS –
1) The entire Kenya sub-plot doesn’t add anything to the story.
2) The cliffhanger ending is pointless as all the secrets are already out. Also, with most the main character being dead, what’s left for next season?
3) The mob-lynching plot is clearly part of Anurag Kashyap’s personal outrage rather than adding anything to the story.

 
QUOTE –
Aham Brahmasmi

The Mule (2018)

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

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) The movie deserves a standing ovation just for the sheer commitment of Clint Eastwood at this age to act and direct in a movie.
2) Andy García as Laton: the only actor who was making any effort.
3) Clint Eastwood movies always go hand-in-hand with subtle messages of racism.

 

CONS –
1) Clint Eastwood needs to get over his Bradley Cooper obsession.
2) None of the supporting actors were making their presence felt. Laurence Fishburne and Michael Peña were just sleep-walking in their respective roles.
3) Weak third-act. The entire screenplay is devoid of any thrilling scenes.

 

QUOTE –
Earl Stone: For what it’s worth, I’m sorry for everything.

L.A. Confidential (1997)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) A cop-drama about corruption-riddled LAPD in the 1950s. Three cops unearthing multiple layers of corruption whose foundation was laid by other three cops years ago.
2) Climactic shoot-out.
3) The two stars of this movie are Kevin Spacey as the morally corrupt detective Jack and Russell Crowe as hot-headed cop Bud.

 

CONS –
1) The entire Kim Basinger plot as Veronica Lake look-alike was pretentious and sluggish.

 
QUOTE –
Captain Dudley Smith: I wouldn’t trade places with Edmund Exley right now for all the whiskey in Ireland.

Apharan (Season 1)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) Extensively shot in real locations.
2) Weak start but strong third act and final twist.
3) Varun Badola and Saanand Verma performances stand out.

 

CONS –
1) Random misuse of classic Bollywood songs without any context. Legendary songs are forcefully added in various situations.
2) While the supporting cast is great, the lead actors Arunoday Singh and Nidhi Singh are not convincing at all.

 
QUOTE –
“jab insaan sab kuch haar chuka ho, to wo sirf jeet hi sakta hai”

The French Connection (1971)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) Charnier waving goodbye to “Popeye” Doyle after outsmarting him at Grand Central station.
2) High octane car-train chase scene

 
CONS –
1) Stakeout, Chase, Repeat – An average cop thriller with sloppy editing and weird climax.

 

QUOTE –
Jimmy ‘Popeye’ Doyle: What is this, a fuckin’ hospital here?

Better Call Saul (Season 4)

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

 

Verdict – 3/5

 
Pros –
1) Great finale! Jimmy’s character is fascinating and a matter of study. Someone who enjoys crime and mischief; someone who’ll always cut corners. He may look like a victim every now and then however his true self will remain Slippin’ Jimmy.
2) Werner’s death scene is now bigger than Gale’s death scene in Breaking Bad.
3) Mike’s no-nonsense character is now getting iconic.
4) Huell’s rescue plot.
5) Ep.7 brilliant split-screen time jump sequence between Jimmy and Kim. Frank and Nancy can’t be much prouder.

 

 

Cons –
N/A

 

Quote –
Kim: “What?!”
Jimmy: “S’all good, man!”

Blood Simple (1984)

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

Verdict – 5/5

 

Pros –
1) A story driven by decisions made by characters. Every next move depends on the characters involved.
2) M. Emmet Walsh as Private Detective Visser – cold-blooded rat.
3) Great editing and score.
4) The climactic scene where Abby drives the knife through Visser’s hand.

 

Cons –
N/A

 

Quote –
Ray: Never point a gun at anyone, unless you mean to shoot him And if you shoot him, you better make sure he’s dead. Because if he ain’t dead, he’s gonna get up and try to kill you. That’s the only thing they taught us in the service that’s worth a god damn.