First Reformed (2017)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A small-town church’s pastor already battling his personal past and current health, got distressed with climate change concerns after one of his radical-environmentalist parishioner kills himself.
2) Cedric the Entertainer surprising performance as Pastor Joel Jeffers.

 

 


CONS –
1) Another Paul Schrader character-driven story which is as boring as it can be. The uncertain climax doesn’t redeem the movie either.

 

 


QUOTE –
Reverend Joel Jeffers: Well what if this is His plan? What if we just can’t see it?
Reverend Ernst Toller: You think God wants to destroy his creation?
Reverend Joel Jeffers: He did once. For 40 days and 40 nights.

Indecent Proposal (1993)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A young couple’s relation is turned upside down after a billionaire offers one million dollars to them for one night with the wife.
2) Robert Redford plays the suave billionaire John Gage, who believes everything’s for sale in this world for a price.
3) Scintillating Demi Moore in her prime.

 

 

CONS –
1) While the first act is fast and rich, the remaining movie is a formulaic sappy drama without any interesting outcome.

 

 


QUOTE –
Diana: Someone once said, if you want something very badly, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it was never yours to begin with.

A Ghost Story (2017)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Where do dead people go? The movie tries to explore the existence of people after they are dead. How they try to reach their loved ones when they can’t communicate with them and how exactly they get salvation from their earthly attachments.
2) Nameless characters and almost without dialogue, except for the hipster’s monologue.
3) The movie was slow, boring, and pretentious until the salvation of the next-door ghost.

 

 


CONS –
1) The first hour is slow however last 15 minutes clarify the vision of the director.

 

 

QUOTE –
2nd Ghost :I don’t think they’re coming.

Macbeth (2015)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A decent adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.
2) A Scottish general murders his King after getting instigated from his ambitious wife following a prophecy from a mysterious trio of witches. The film encapsulates the tyrannous advent and downfall of the power-hungry warrior committing murder after murder of his close aides to save his throne.
3) The battle sequences are worth watching.

 

 

CONS –
1) An underwhelming performance by Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth.
2) Shakespearean English is not everyone’s cup of tea.

 

 

 
QUOTE –
Macbeth: Then comes my fit again. I had else been perfect, whole as the marble, founded as the rock, as broad and general as the casing air. But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound into saucy doubts and fears.

The Apartment (1960)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A lonely man sacrificing his personal life and comfort in order to climb the corporate ladder until he had enough of it.
2) A romantic story of two broken people.
3) Billy Wilder’s crisp writing and tight screenplay without any boring sub-plot.
4) All in all, it’s a Jack Lemmon’s show playing the lovable and pitiful character of C.C. Baxter.

 

 

CONS –
1) Ruined by unofficial Bollywood remakes like Raaste Kaa Patthar (1972) & Yes Boss (1997).

 

 

QUOTE –
C.C. Baxter: Ya know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe; I mean, shipwrecked among 8 million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were.

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A movie documenting a dismaying experience of a naive gigolo from Texas in New York, who befriends a crippled bum.
2) This is possibly one of the most compelling performance from Dustin Hoffman as the penniless limping con-man “Ratso“.
3) ‘Everybody’s Talkinby Harry Nilsson.

 

 
CONS –
1) It’s an art-house drama about the cold-hearted city of New York without any entertainment value.

 

 
QUOTE –
Ratso Rizzo: I’m walking here! I’m walking here!

The Help (2011)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A story about African-American women working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960s. Racism and civil rights are the primary themes of the movie with a generic white-savior.
2) While Viola Davis was there with her gloomy presence, it was Octavia Spencer’s performance which makes this movie watchable.

 

 
CONS –
1) Movies exploring racism are often emotionally touching and this movie is also counting on the same formula.
2) This 146-minutes period drama is too long for a one time watch.

 

 
QUOTE –
Aibileen: You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A heart-rending father-son movie for generations. The right blend of comedy and despair. One of the best Holocaust movies ever made.
2) A man trying to protect his son using his wit and humor in the most desperate times. This movie belongs to the ranks of The Kid (1921) and Bicycle Thieves (1948).
3) Life Is Beautiful – (Main Theme) by Nicola Piovani
4) The ominous first hour of the movie appears like a Disney movie with the amusing performance of Roberto Benigni.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Guido: What are your political views?
Man: Benito, Adolf! Sit down! Sorry Guido, what did you say?

The Remains of the Day (1993)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) A heartfelt story of an old diligent workaholic butler making a last attempt to revive his unfinished and repressed love story.
2) The World War II / Nazi backdrop is only a ruse in this poignant love story of two duty-bound people.
3) Anthony Hopkins’s performance is Oscar-worthy. His stone face reactions as the duty-bound butler concealing his emotions even during the death of his father, or him refusing to answer any auxiliary question to his master’s guests deserve special mention. He was acting through his eyes.
4) The final goodbye in the rain is one heart-rending scene

 
CONS –
N/A

 

 
QUOTE –
Stevens: In my philosophy, Mr. Benn, a man cannot call himself well-contented until he has done all he can to be of service to his employer. Of course, this assumes that one’s employer is a superior person, not only in rank, or wealth, but in moral stature.

Cinema Paradiso (1988)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A grand tear-jerker. A movie tapping the element of nostalgia. A simple story but everyone can relate to it. There is no tragedy, no villains but still, it’s deeply touching.
2) A man coming back to his small town for his mentor’s funeral. The good screenplay did great character development for even minor characters with negligible screentime.
3) The full-filling “kissing scene” montage. A moment for movie aficionados.
4) The enchanting character of the projectionist Alfredo played by Philippe Noiret; a man quoting John Wayne, Clark Gable, etc. as life lessons.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 
QUOTE –
Alfredo: Living here day by day, you think it’s the center of the world. You believe nothing will ever change. Then you leave: a year, two years. When you come back, everything’s changed. The thread’s broken. What you came to find isn’t there. What was yours is gone. You have to go away for a long time… many years… before you can come back and find your people. The land where you were born. But now, no. It’s not possible. Right now you’re blinder than I am.
Salvatore: Who said that? Gary Cooper? James Stewart? Henry Fonda? Eh?
Alfredo: No, Toto. Nobody said it. This time it’s all me. Life isn’t like in the movies. Life… is much harder.