Pi (1998)

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

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 
PROS –
1) A paranoid mathematical genius trying to find a pattern in the stock market for making stock predictions. The primary plot sounds intriguing but the output is meaningless.

 

CONS –
1) Pretentious to say the least. High contrast Black&White film is not serving any purpose.

 
QUOTE –
Sol Robeson: Have you met Archimedes? The one with the black spots, you see? You remember Archimedes of Syracuse, eh? The king asks Archimedes to determine if a present he’s received is actually solid gold. The unsolved problem at the time. It tortures the great Greek mathematician for weeks – insomnia haunts him and he twists and turns in his bed for nights on end. Finally, his equally exhausted wife – she’s forced to share a bed with this genius – convinces him to take a bath to relax. While he’s entering the tub, Archimedes notices the bath water rise. Displacement, a way to determine volume, and that’s a way to determine density – weight over volume. And thus, Archimedes solves the problem. He screams “Eureka” and he is so overwhelmed he runs dripping naked through the streets to the king’s palace to report his discovery.
Sol Robeson: Now, what is the moral of the story?
Maximillian Cohen: That a breakthrough will come.
Sol Robeson: Wrong! The point of the story is the wife. You listen to your wife, she will give you perspective, meaning. You need a break, you have to take a bath or you will get nowhere.

Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

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

VERDICT – 4/5

 

PROS –
1) A modern reinterpretation of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. A dying man clinging to his last breath imagining an entire lifetime in his last minutes.
2) Gripping direction and tight screenplay.
3) The movie got few surreal scenes which are the stuff nightmares are made of. Jacob stuck in a locked subway station; Jacob in a gurney cruising through human body parts in a ramshackle mental hospital.

 
CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
“The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won’t let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they’re not punishing you. They’re freeing your soul. So the way he sees it, if you’re frightened of dying and… and you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. But if you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth. It’s just a matter of how you look at it, that’s all.”

Escape Room (2019)

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

VERDICT – 0/5

 
PROS –
N/A

 

CONS –
1) A death game for the pleasure of wealthy customers featuring “lone survivors”. This death game plot is now done to death.
2) Unknown cast.
3) Black Mirror has completely ruined the market for such movies.

 

QUOTE –
Games Master WooTan Yu: When the horse wins the Kentucky derby it doesn’t win a prize.

Gerald’s Game (2017)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) A compelling performance from Carla Gugino as Jessie. The audiences will sense the entrapment along with the main protagonist just like Rear Window (1954).
2) This movie is neither a survival film like 127 Hours (2010) nor a slasher film like Saw (2004). This Stephen King‘s story is about a sexually abused woman fighting her childhood nightmares and finally coming out triumphantly.
3) Carel Struycken as “the man made of moonlight”.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Jessie Burlingame: You’re so much smaller than I remember.

Identity (2003)

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

Verdict – 3/5

Pros –
1) Multiple plot-twists towards the end of the movie. The final twist came when the audiences thought the movie is already over.
2) The whodunit premise – a convict, a patient, adverse weather, and 10 strangers.

 

Cons –
1) I lost interest when 20 minutes before the climax, it’s revealed that the entire action is taking place inside the fat man’s head. A major flaw in the screenplay.

 

Quote –
As I was going up the stairs, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today. I wish I wish he’d go away.

Unsane (2018)

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

Verdict – 3/5

Pros –
1) Stalker-psychological-thriller with elements of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
2) Nate being a journalist plot-twist
3) The horrific side of the insurance scam

 

Cons –
1) Shot on iPhone 7 Plus in 4K. Why? It’s not adding anything to the film. Soderbergh being an established A-Lister don’t need this gimmick.

 

Quote –
Nate : Column number two, for life.

Circle (2015)

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

 

Verdict – 2/5

 

Pros –

 

1) 87 gripping minutes
2) 12 Angry Men with an alien Jigsaw

 

Cons –

 

1) It’s  “Black Mirror” episode with an uncertain climax.
2) Unknown cast
3) It’s like Primer – a good concept but average execution

 

 

Quote –

 

“Oh yeah, he bought us 2 minutes. Throw him a Purple Heart”