Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

PROS –
1) Tom Riddle aka Lord Voldemort divided his soul into seven pieces by creating Horcruxes. Dumbledore deploys Harry to figure out this hidden secret from the Potions professor Horace Slughorn. The major chunk of the movie is spent in this plot.
2) Severus Snape, the title character, the man torn between two vows.
3) Death of another major character [Albus Dumbledore].

 

 

CONS –
1) Ron Weasley‘s romantic sub-plot with an overly attached girl-friend was completely futile.
2) No major battle sequences and neither any appearance from Voldemort. Without much action, the 153-minute run-time is a drag.
3) One can understand that the story is getting thematically darker but at the same time, the director shouldn’t make it “literally” dark up to an extent where it’s impossible to figure out what’s happening. The lighting in the film is so annoyingly dark that hardly anything is visible.

 

 

QUOTE –
Professor Minerva: Why is it, when something happens, it is always you three?
Ron Weasley: Believe me, Professor. I’ve been asking myself the same question for six years.

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.

War & Peace (2016 Miniseries)

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

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A grand adaptation of a grand novel. Leo Tolstoy’s masterpiece with a classic happy ending. Primary themes of this classic include love triangles, forgiveness, sacrificing love for family, spirituality, the cycle of karma, etc.
2) Great casting including Jim Broadbent, Brian Cox, Paul Dano, etc.
3) A story is as good as it’s the main villain. This grand story’s grand villain is none other than Napoleon Bonaparte.
4) Rated-R war scenes
5) Andrei and Natasha love story
6) Some of the most fascinating characters of this story are the mild-mannered generous Count Ilya Rostov, and the villain-turned-hero Fedor Dolokhov.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Pierre Bezukhov: They say sufferings are misfortunes. But if I was asked, would I stay as I was before I was taken prisoner, or go through it all again? I would say for God’s sake, let me be a prisoner again.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

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

Verdict – 5/5

 

Pros –
1) Though Sharon Maguire is the official director here, all credits go to Jane Austen and the undisputed king of Brit-Rom-ComRichard Curtis
2) Presence of Hugh Grant and Colin Firth makes it a must watch.
3) The love story of an insanely lucky over-weight slacker.
4) Soundtrack (“Someone Like You” by Van Morrison)
5) Colin Firth – definitive Darcy

 

Cons –
N/A

 

Quote –
Mark Darcy: I don’t think you’re an idiot at all. I mean, there are elements of the ridiculous about you. Your mother’s pretty interesting. And you really are an appallingly bad public speaker. And, um, you tend to let whatever’s in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences… But the thing is, um, what I’m trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are.

Gangs of New York (2002)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill the Butcher – Probably his definitive role. It’s a shame he didn’t win the Oscar for this role.
2) Music: “Shimmy She Wobble” – Dead Rabbits riot

 

CONS –
1) To make the movie an “epic”, the length is unnecessarily increased. For the first 2 hrs, the story is stuck in the same place. The movie kick-starts once Amsterdam’s identity is revealed.
2) Epic start but not an epic climax.
3) Son returns to avenge his father’s death – secretly working for his father’s killer eventually killing him – every 80’s Bollywood movie ever.

 

 

QUOTE –
Bill: That, my friends, is the minority vote.

Paddington (2014)

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

Verdict – 2/5

Pros –
1) Peter Capaldi as Mr. Curry

 

Cons –
1) Movie only for kindergarten kids

 

Quote –
Clyde: Gentlemen, these were no dumb beasts. They were intelligent and civilized.
Geographer: Come off it, Clyde. They didn’t even speak English.
Clyde: Well, no, but…
Geographer: Did they play cricket? Drink tea? Do the crossword? Pretty rum idea of civilization you’ve got, Clyde.

The Damned United (2009)

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

VERDICT – 2/5

 

PROS –
1) It’s NOT the “same-old-miracle-last-minute-triumph” story.
2) Sporting rivalry movie highlighting “Revie Vs Clough”.
3) The “Yorkshire TV” Interview.
4) The “rise” of Derby.

 

CONS –
1) Bad supporting cast.
2) The story was supposed to focus the ill-fated 44 days tenure. But it ended up in built-up.
3) Inaccurate inputs for cheap thrills
4) Making a monster out of Don Revie
5) The rushed climax confirms this is more like a documentary.

 

QUOTE –
“Brian Clough: I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the country. But I’m in the top one.”