Kill the Messenger (2014)

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

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) An educational movie for the audiences to understand the CIA-Contra deal to traffic cocaine into the US.
2) Andy García as Norwin Meneses. The flamboyant drug-lord in a Nicaraguan prison.

 

CONS –
1) The biographical tone of the movie is it’s the biggest problem. A story from a different point of view would’ve been more interesting. A TV Series like Narcos explaining how the drug trafficking actually started would be worth watching.

 

QUOTE –
Some stories are just too true to tell.

Wait Until Dark (1967)

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

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 
PROS –
1) A Hitchcockian movie not directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It has all the elements of a stage play as seen in Dial M for Murder (1954), Rope (1948), and Rear Window (1954).
2) A blind woman turning the tables against her adversary by embracing her greatest shortcoming. Watching Audrey Hepburn playing the damsel in distress was a delight.
3) The cinematography without lights put the audiences right in the middle of the action.
4) Alan Arkin (with “Geraldine“) as a cold-blooded hitman giving Anton Chigurh a run for his money.
5) Presence of Julie Herrod as Gloria, the adventure-loving audacious girl next door gave a very Nancy Drew touch to the story.

 

CONS –
N/A

 
QUOTE –
Susy Hendrix: As soon as your safe, I’ll call the police.
Gloria: Okay. Gee, I wish something like this would happen every day…

Strangers on a Train (1951)

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

VERDICT – 3/5

 
PROS –
1) Robert Walker as Bruno Antony: A lunatic with a theory of criss-cross murders.
2) The tension built-up during Guy’s tennis match and Bruno trying to pick the lighter from the storm drain.
3) The climax on the out of control carousel.

 

CONS –
1) The greatest flaw of this movie is the absence of mystery. The audiences are only waiting for the culprit for getting caught.

 
QUOTE –
Bruno Anthony: Don’t worry, I’m not going to shoot you, Mr. Haines. It might disturb Mother.

The Invisible Guest (2016)

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

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) Devasted parents of a murdered son plan out the ultimate ploy for justice.
2) Ana Wagener as Elvira. Hiding in plain sight throughout the movie.
3) It’s a courtroom-drama enacted completely outside the courtroom with shades of Rashomon effect.
4) Mediocre first-half but exceptional second-half with the story unfolding with multiple plot twists.

 

CONS –
N/A

 
QUOTE –
In my 30-year career, I’ve met two types of clients. Those who accept their situation and cooperate, even if it means going where they don’t want to go, and those that think they’re smarter than I am and want me to get them off without getting dirty. You’re the second type. But let me be clear on this. There’ll be no salvation without suffering, and you’re not smarter than I am.

Un Flic (1972)

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

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 
PROS –
1) Catherine Deneuve as Cathy impersonating as a nurse killing Marc with an air embolism.
2) Valérie Wilson as Gaby the blonde transvestite police informer – a fascinating character. There was clearly a romantic angle between Coleman and Gaby which is intentionally left up to the audiences to decide.

 
CONS –
1) It’s hilarious how the principal heist scene is done with a toy train and an RC helicopter.
2) An over-rated Jean-Pierre Melville movie. Neither the story is special nor the movie got any memorable scene.

 
QUOTE –
Coleman: The only feelings mankind has ever inspired in policemen are those of indifference and derision.

Searching (2018)

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

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) 6 minutes quick prologue like Up (2009)
2) Spooky as everyone can relate to it. Most of the movie is in POV mode with all major social media tools & websites. The camera angles are desktop recordings, hidden camera, news footage, facetime etc. A landmark movie for cinematography technique.
3) The Detective Vick twist.
4) Upbeat climax.
5) This movie joins the ranks of other good “missing person” movies like Gone Girl (2014), Changeling (2008), Prisoners (2013),  Taken (2008), The Searchers (1956) etc.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
David Kim: I didn’t know her. I didn’t know my daughter.

Population Zero (2016)

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

VERDICT – 1/5

 
PROS –
1) The “Vicinage Clause” element.

 

CONS –
1) Julian T. Pinder as the main lead directing the mockumentary – not at all convincing
2) A mediocre twist in the thriller

 
QUOTE –
“You know, you put a man through what he went through, I guess everybody would have a breaking point”