Darkman (1990)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) An homage movie to The Phantom of the Opera, The Elephant Man, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Frankenstein. A tribute to all freaks and monsters.
2) It’s a fun-filled 90s super-hero movie.
3) Sam Raimi doesn’t forget to be funny. Adding Bruce Campbell as Darkman in the final shot opened the way for any other actor to reprising the role of Peyton Westlake / Darkman in the future.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Strack: You let me die, and you become as bad as me. Worse. You can’t. I know you too well. Dropping me is not really an option for you. It’s not something you could live with.
Darkman: I’m learning to live with a lot of things.

The Mission (1986)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

PROS –
1) The sheer persistence of Jesuit priests for their mission is remarkable. A priest climbing a near impossible Iguazu Falls, to spread the message of God to a hostile tribe with only an oboe is astonishing.
2) Gabriel’s Oboe – Ennio Morricone all-time classic. If God would ever decide to play the oboe, he’ll play this tune.
3) Father Gabriel’s sacrifice – a shepherd who refuses to abandon his herd. Jeremy Irons gave the performance of a lifetime.
4) The opening scene of the priest tied to a wooden cross falling down the falls is one Oscar-worthy scene. A masterpiece conveyed mostly through action rather than dialogues in the first half.
5) Captain Mendoza’s Sisyphean penance.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Gabriel: If might is right, then love has no place in the world. It may be so, it may be so. But I don’t have the strength to live in a world like that, Rodrigo.

Men in Black: International (2019)

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

 

VERDICT – 0/5

 
PROS –
1) Kumail Nanjiani as Pawny – clichéd but the only entertaining character in the movie.

 
CONS –
1) MiB movies are known for their distinctive humor and action. This movie got none.
2) Chris Hemsworth is at his annoying best.
3) Not the same franchise without Tommy Lee Jones And Will Smith.

 

QUOTE –
Always remember: the universe has a way of leading you to where you’re supposed to be, at the moment you’re supposed to be there.

Unknown (2011)

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

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) A fast-paced and gripping thriller from the first to the last minute.
2) An assassin who mistakes his fake identity to be his reality because of a freak accident.
3) Great supporting cast with legends like Frank Langella and Bruno Ganz

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Ernst Jürgen: In the Stasi, we had a basic principle: ask enough questions and a man who is lying will eventually change his story. But the man who tells the truth cannot change his, however unlikely his story sounds.

Cold Pursuit (2019)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) Cold snowy weather, tombstones, revenge plot – all the essential elements of a Liam Neeson film. He is now the Charles Bronson of our time.
2) The character development of the bad guys is the most fascinating aspect of this movie. Apart from the usual vengeance drama, there is a plot involving Indians with a great sense of humor, a gay enforcer, a black hitman known as The Eskimo, a drug lord who is also an over-protective father.

 

CONS –
1) Nothing extraordinary for Liam Neeson fanboys. A recycled storyline with zero memorable action sequences.

 
QUOTE –
I say make them all legal. Meth, ex, opium. An opium den in every mall, that’s my platform. Give the people what they want. Tax the shit out of it, then double our pay.

Husbands and Wives (1992)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) A mockumentary on relationships with familiar elements of a Woody Allen film.
2) Judy Davis as Sally Simmons. Her meltdown scene before going to the opera was one of the best scenes.
3) Juliette Lewis as Rain. A young student who attracted to older men.

 

CONS –
1) A one-time watch relationship drama for the uninitiated. Nothing strong comes out from this done-to-death plot.

 

QUOTE –
Sally: It’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics: sooner or later everything turns to shit. That’s my phrasing, not the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) Meal Ticket – Liam Neeson as the cold-hearted impresario and Harry Melling as the limbless artist stole the show in this wintry tale.
2) The Gal Who Got Rattled – The sorrowful end of a budding love story.
3) All Gold Canyon – An uplifting climax of a Gold Miner.

 

CONS –
1) Anthology movies are destined to be doomed. Coen Bros being great writers themselves used a small collection of their short-stories and developed this project for Netflix. Interestingly, the story of a dybbuk which was already used in a prologue of their 2009 released A Serious Man belongs to this project.
2) Buster Scruggs – The most lifeless story.

 
QUOTE –
Trapper: Well, I’m not an enemy of betterment, but I’m kept very busy with my traps.

The Commuter (2018)

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

Verdict – 2/5

 

Pros –
1) Entertaining one-time watch as expected from the duo of Liam Neeson & Jaume Collet-Serra
2) Hand to hand combat scenes

 

Cons –
1) Unnecessary shaky camera
2) Mediocre primary motive
3) Too many loose ends in the screenplay including the epilogue.

 

Quote –
“You want proof you’re a good man, take a look at your family”

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.

Love Actually (2003)

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

VERDICT – 5/5

 

PROS –
1) A feel-good romantic montage – narrated in the prologue with arrivals at Heathrow and established with the characters in the epilogue.
2) Quintessentially British.
3) A huge ensemble beautifully executed with a strong fast-paced screenplay.
4) Not to forget cameo by Billy Bob Thornton & Rowan Atkinson
5) Excellent Soundtrack – The Calling – Wherever You Will Go

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Jamie: A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.