Edge Of Tomorrow Review

bhaskar chanda eotEdge Of Tomorrow – High concept thrillers are difficult to pull off. The fresher and more inventive the concept is, the more intelligent the screenwriter and director have to be in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. You can’t have glaring plot holes but you also can’t get caught up in trying to explain them a way when you have a story to tell. Lastly, you need stars who can ground the action with realism, emotional depth, and humor. In Edge Of Tomorrow, an alien race called Mimics have taken over Europe. Lt. Col. Bill Cage, played by Tom Cruise, is reluctantly thrust into combat and is promptly killed, whereupon he finds himself stuck in a never-ending time loop. Cage is forced him to relive this suicide mission again and again until Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) explains to him the mysterious source of this power, and endeavors to train him to use it to mankind’s advantage. Edge Of Tomorrow succeeds because of the intelligence and care of its makers. Like 2012’s Looper, which matches EOT in its tone, and Groundhog Day, which matches the film in its device, Edge Of Tomorrow is a solidly smart, if not brilliant, new take on what a sci-fi action movie can be. Penned by a three-man team of Jez and John-Henry Butterworth (Fair Game, The Last Legion, Birthday Girl) and Christopher McQuarrie (The Uual Suspects, Valkyrie, The Tourist, Jack Reacher), the script crackles and pops along at a no nonsense pace under Doug Liman’s (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Jumper) capable directing. The performances by Cruise and Blunt are first rate, as are the supporting performances by Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson. I highly recommend this movie to anyone looking for something a cut above the standard Hollywood fare. 4.5/5 stars.

Bhaskar Chanda |2014 Reading List | 1 of 14

A-Life-Decoded-My-Genome-Venter-J-Craig-9780143114185

A LIFE DECODE | Of all the scientific achievements of the past century, perhaps none can match the deciphering of the human genetic code, both for its technical brilliance and for its implications for our future. In A Life Decoded, J. Craig Venter traces his rise from an uninspired student to one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in science today. Here, Venter relates the unparalleled drama of the quest to decode the human genome – a goal he predicted he could achieve years earlier and more cheaply than the government-sponsored Human Genome Project, and one that he fulfilled in 2001. A thrilling story of detection, A Life Decoded is also a revealing, and often troubling, look at how science is practiced today.

How To Train Your Dragon 2

 

How To Train Your Dragon 2 | We are in an uncharted territory where a sequel is a triumph over the original. DreamWorks and director Dean DeBlois’ has a set a new standard of  how to do a sequel right. Not only How To Train Your Dragon 2 has successfully incorporated all the best-selling parts of its prequel but it has also made inroads into new “awe-territories” (both literally and figuratively). This clearly shows that the animated followup doesn’t take its franchise lightly, and is ready to take its world-building to the next level.

In addition, the 3D view is something worth cherishing in this movie. It is a testament that when 3D is incorporated “properly” into story telling it can creates wonder – breaths life into landscapes and engages audience into virtual reality. These features have also made sure How To Train Your Dragon 2 taps into its rich franchise potential. Peter Degbruge has aptly proclaimed How To Train Your Dragon 2 to be “Braver than the ‘Brave’, more fun than ‘Frozen’. The mother of all animated sequels has arrived – all kinds of record in the history of animated movies are about to tumble! 4.5/5.0 stars

 

Xmen: Days of Future Past Review

bhaskar chanda toronto xmenOne of the most awaited movie of the year 2014 – Xmen: Days of Future Past (DOFP) has lived up to its expectation rather has surpassed most critics imagination – it surely did mine. A visually stunning movie, with a spectacular story line and great cinematography.

If the job of a director is to make it utterly difficult for the fans to pick the best movie of an action blockbuster series, then Bryan Singer did an excellent job. If money is sole measure of success, I cant think of any other action series that would surpass xmen at $2.6 billion. That’s around $300 million per movie; however, with number running in the favor of the current DOFP it is expected to break $600million mark! Though with few more blockbusters realizing soon such as How To Train Your Dragon 2 (June 17) and Transformers (June 27) that number may fall short. So catch a glimpse of this movie while the craze last, or wait for it to be released on DVD. In a nutshell, its worth every penny you’re going to spend on this movie! 4.5/5 stars.

Godzilla Review

Godzilla (2014)

bhaskar chanda godzillaHaving seen this latest Hollywood blockbuster, I’m having trouble understanding why anyone would be disappointed in this movie. Unfortunately, I’m also having trouble understanding why anyone would find it amazing. And yet, many of the reviews I’ve read are polarized in this way. Me, I enjoyed it well enough–for a doomsday flick, it hits all the right notes plot-wise while delivering some of the best broad scale special effects I’ve ever seen. And yet it sorely lacked a human element that would have taken it beyond the cheap thrills into a place where I really cared about these characters and what was happening to them. Directed by newcomer Gareth Edwards and penned by equally unknown Max Borenstein, Godzilla approaches one of the most iconic movie monsters through the eyes of Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Supporting roles are played by big names, including Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, and David Strathairn, and while the performances are solid, the screenplay never quite lifts any of them above basic Hollywood formula. But you know what you’re getting into at this point with this kind of film, as long as your expectations aren’t too high, you’ll have a fun if forgettable time. 3.5/5 stars.