Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Sherlock Holmes foils Professor Moriarty‘s grand plan to instigate a world war among European countries by assassinating one of the ambassadors in a peace summit in Switzerland.
2) The action cinematography makes this movie worth watching. Even a mediocre story is elevated with slow-motion fight sequences and bullet-time scenes.
3) The movie can be deconstructed into major action scenes. The Watson’s bachelor party; Shootout On The Train; Arms-factory scene; Forest Chase Scene, and the climactic chess scene over Reichenbach Falls.
4) Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes was a treat.

 

 


CONS –
1) The entire sub-plot with Noomi Rapace finding her brother was a drag.

 

 

QUOTE –
Professor Moriarty: You see, hidden within the unconscious, there is an insatiable desire for conflict. So, you’re not fighting me, so much as you are the human condition. All I want to do is own the bullets and the bandages.

The Premature Burial (1962)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A British aristocrat is consumed with the fear of being buried alive after the same happened to his father. His phobia is reinforced by his evil wife and finally, she succeeds to send him in the grave alive in a cataleptic state. Another macabre horror from Edgar Allan Poe with all it’s essential elements.
2) Ray Milland’s [as Guy] elaborate vault equipped with several safeguards in case of his premature burial.
3) The climactic twist is unexpected as the wife never appears like a suspect.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
I shall not kill you. That sorry task I shall leave to the earth…and the darkness…and the terrified pounding of your own heart.

The Client (1994)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A 11-yr old street-smart kid witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer. Before the lawyer killed himself he gave sensitive information to the kid for which now he’s wanted by the mafia as well a flamboyant US Attorney with political ambitions. The only person he can trust now is a female lawyer with a troubled past.
2) Brad Renfro as Mark Sway is the star of the movie. He doesn’t play a typical “scared witness” but rather a go-getter kid with a witty and confident attitude.
3) John Grisham’s story assures entertainment with legal knowledge. The screenplay is fast-paced and gripping.
4) Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon one-on-one against each other is the highlight of the movie.

 

 


CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Lawyer’s Secretary: Where are your parents?
Mark: Where are yours?
Lawyer’s Secretary: Are you even injured?
Mark: Do I look injured?
Lawyer’s Secretary: Well, we only do injuries.
Mark: Well, I’ll just go get hit by a truck and come back.

Charley Varrick (1973)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A former stunt pilot with his wife, and an accomplice rob a rural bank in New Mexico. The heist is successful but he later realizes that the bank manager was secretly involved in money laundering operation and the money they robbed belongs to mafia. Now Charley Varrick need to outsmart the police as well as the mafia.
2) Walter Matthau’s performance as Charley Varrick was outstanding. Even the audiences will left surprised with his unexpected elaborate planning.
3) Main Theme by Lalo Schifrin.
4) A lesser known and underrated Don Siegel film.

 

 


CONS –
N/A

 

 


QUOTE –
Molly: I don’t sleep with whores… at least, not knowingly.

Phantom of the Opera (1943)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A penniless violinist is dismissed from Paris Opera House after working there for 20 yrs. To make the matter worse, he was anonymously funding for voice lessons of a young soprano whom he secretly loved. After a misunderstanding, he ends up killing a publisher and got his face scarred by acid. Now wanted for murder, and dwelling in the opera’s underground sewer, his sole purpose is to establish the singing career if his love interest in the opera even at the cost of murdering any competition.
2) Watching the movie in Technicolor is always a charm.
3) Nelson Eddy & Edgar Barrier as the two suitors in love with Christine DuBois, made it appear like romantic-comedy.

 

 


CONS –
1) Unlike The Phantom of the Opera (1962), the movie follows a chronological order leaving no thrill/suspense for the audiences. Also, the title character Erique Claudin is not a victim but just an obsessive lover.
2) Claude Rains as Erique Claudin/The Phantom Of The Opera is sidelined as a supporting character.

 

 


QUOTE –
“Are you suggesting that we re open the Opera with a murder as an added attraction?”

The Hitcher (1986)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A psychopathic hitchhiker is after a young man who initially escaped from his murderous plan. The hitcher is not just chasing him relentlessly like a ghost but also framing the young man of all the murders.
2) Rutger Hauer played the intimidating title character of the remorseless killer without any motive.

 

 


CONS –
1) It clearly borrowed the plot from Steven Spielberg’s Duel (1971).
2) The hitcher’s motive is never revealed. The whole movie is a violent thriller without any back-story.

 

 


QUOTE –
Jim Halsey: They’ll catch you.
John Ryder: Yeah… sure. So what?

Funny Games (2007)

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

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) It’s a meta home-invasion thriller where two sleek psychopathic young men are jumping house to house killing wealthy homeowners in their vacation lake houses.
2) While in front of the camera we see the two psychopaths forcing their victim to participate in a number of sadistic games, in hindsight the director is playing a similar frustrating sadistic game with the audiences. The antagonist is frequently breaking the fourth wall, directly challenging the audiences. Even the customary retaliation by the victim is “rewinded” by the antagonist by a remote much to the annoyance of the viewers.

 

 
CONS –
1) The entire home-invasion plot bears an uncanny resemblance to the A Clockwork Orange (1971). The sadist nature of the two young men is strikingly similar to Alex DeLarge & Co.

 

 

 

QUOTE –
Anna: Why don’t you just kill us?
Peter: You shouldn’t forget the importance of entertainment.

The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 

 
PROS –
1) The annual Purge returns with a new set of hunters and victims. It’s definitely better than The Purge (2013).
2) There are some realistic addition to the dystopian Purge like the upper-class wealthy Purgers bidding for human hunting, and the anti-purge resistance group. The primary concept created by James DeMonaco is so fascinating that its almost equivalent to Orwell’s 1984. Unfortunately, this franchise awaits a good plot with a good cast.

 

 

CONS –
1) The cast is relatively unknown. Not a single A-List actor.

 

 

QUOTE –
Carmelo Johns: Get ready to bleed, rich bitches! This is our time now!

Dead Ringers (1988)

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

 

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 

 

PROS –
1) Twin brothers and successful gynecologists are living a synchronized lifestyle and sometimes substitute each other in professional as well as in personnel life. Their understanding deteriorates when one of them falls in love with a drug-addict actress.

 

 

 

CONS –
1) There is no thrill, no mystery. Up to an extent, Nolan’s The Prestige (2006) borrowed some elements from the movie however there is nothing else in the plot.
2) It’s a slow movie with a few moments of Cronenberg’s trademark body-horror.
3) Apart from Jeremy Irons, there is a complete absence of a good supporting cast.

 

 

QUOTE –
Bev: There’s nothing the matter with the instrument, it’s the body. The woman’s body is all wrong!

Caché (2005)

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

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) The ghosts of childhood deeds return to a man. As a kid, he deprived his Algerian farmworkers’ son get adopted by his family by fabricating lies about him.
2) The primary theme appears to be anti-racism/pro-immigrant however it’s indeed a solid thriller. The identity of the man who’s sending the tape is never revealed but in the end credits, it’s implied it’s either Majid’s son or Pierrot.

 

 
CONS –
1) The screenplay is slow and there is very little action throughout.

 

 

 

QUOTE –
Georges Laurent: Isn’t it lonely, if you can’t go out?
Georges’s Mom: Why? Are you less lonely because you can sit in the garden? Do you feel less lonely in the metro than at home? Well then! Anyway, I have my family friend… with remote control. Whenever they annoy me, I just shut them up.