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.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) An imposter on a murder spree to hide his misdeeds.
2) Mostly shot in scenic Italy.

 

 
CONS –
1) Tedious first half, boring screenplay overall. The movie is 30 minutes too long. It’s more drama and less thriller.

 

QUOTE –
Tom Ripley: I always thought it would be better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody.

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A love story of a sociopath. I see shades of Marty (1955).
2) Unique soundtrack by Jon Brion including “Hands and Feet”.
3) Adam Sandler vs Philip Seymour Hoffman epic confrontation over the phone.
4) Exceptional cinematography by Robert Elswit

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Barry: I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine.

Synecdoche, New York (2008)

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

 

Verdict – 0/5

 

Pros –

 

1) Surreal meta-drama full of analogies, motifs, and symbolism

 

 

Cons –

 

1) Incomprehensible, pretentious and boring like an abstract art.What’s the purpose of making a feature film if the main intention is to confuse average audience? It’s a movie only for film festivals.
2) Unexplained weird time-leaps. Halfway through, the movie stops making any sense at all.

 

 

 

Quote –

 

 

“Die”

 

Boogie Nights (1997)

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

Verdict – 3/5

 

Pros –

 

1) Heather Graham as “Rollergirl” – An Iconic Character
2) The Raging Bull type final monologue scene with “big” revelation.
3) Goodfellas without the gangsters and narration.

 

Cons –

 

1) Poor man’s Pulp Fiction
2) Too long for a mediocre story-line
3) Too many unwanted characters with no significance in the plot

 

Quote –

 

Floyd Gondolli: I like simple pleasures, like butter in my ass, lollipops in my mouth. That’s just me. That’s just something that I enjoy.

Moneyball (2011)

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

 

Verdict – 1/5

 

Pros –

 

1) Jonah Hill as Peter Brand : His best non-comedic performance so far.

 

Cons –

 

1) Same old “escape to victory” plot.
2) No heated argument scene between Philip Seymour Hoffman and Brad Pitt –  even for the sake of artistic liberty.
3) Chris Pratt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright : good actors with no scope in the story-line.

 
Quote –

 
Billy Beane: When your enemy’s making mistakes, don’t interrupt him.

Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 

Pros –
1) Philip Seymour Hoffman as Gust Avrakotos: Superb character
2) Explained Birth Of The Mujaheddin
3) Om Puri as Zia-ul-Haq
4) Another great war black-comedy from Mike Nichols after Catch-22 (1970)

 

Cons –
1) Emily Blunt: What was she doing there?
2) Trivializing the history

 

Quote –
Charlie Wilson: What is the U.S. strategy?
Gust Avrakotos: Well, strictly speaking, we don’t have one. But we’re working hard on that.
Charlie Wilson: Who’s ‘we’?
Gust Avrakotos: Me and three other guys.

The Ides of March (2011)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 

 

PROS – 
1) The Title
2) Great Supporting Cast : Hoffman & Giamatti
3) Hoffman’s loyalty speech.

 

 

CONS – 
1) Watching this movie after “House Of Cards” leaves you with zero impact. It’s like watching a kids movie after watching a Rated-R movie.
2) Ordinary execution of an ordinary story.

 

 

QUOTE – 
“Stephen Meyers: If you want to be president, you can start a war, you can lie, you can cheat, you can bankrupt the country, but you can’t fuck the interns.”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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

Verdict – 4/5

 

Pros –
1) 3 Finger Salute
2) No more “Battle Royale. Now it’s La “Truman Show”
3) District 13 twist
4) Mockingjay Dress

 

Cons –
n/a

 

Quote –
“President Snow: Fear does not work as long as there is hope.”