Movie Review: Murder On The Orient Express (2017)

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Remakes don’t always work. Not merely because the audience was expecting something and got something else but because the original might have captured the entire essence of the movie the first time around and not left much for the remake to work with.

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In my eyes, David Suchet is the perfect Poirot much like Jeremy Brett was the ultimate Sherlock Holmes. I didn’t like Albert Finney as Poirot in the original Murder On The Orient Express movie but the rest of the cast were aces. They brought every character that Christie wrote about, alive on screen.

The new movie released 43 years after the first one manages to capture the snow panoramic views and locales beautifully and in a way which was not as easily done in the former but the characters seem very one dimensional despite the rather exceptional cast present.

However when you have the stalwarts like Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Perkins, Sean Connery and Michael York essaying roles that Michelle Pfeiffer, Kenneth Branagh, Josh Gad try to justice to you find yourself wanting to switch over to the older version even if the cinematography wasn’t as slick as the new one. The one exception was Johnny Depp. That guy can pull off anything, Scissorhands, Willy Wonka, Jack Sparrow and now Rachett.

Bottom line: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But if you like the old fashioned whodunits but without the relatively slow paced versions, then maybe this movie might prove to be entertaining. Some of us like an old fashioned…

The Old Fashioned

 

Oh No You Did Not!!

Red and I impose parental controls on TO’s digital media views and mainly their content.

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It’s not so much to keep him away from profanity (he gets a dose of that when I drive) but also to keep him away from concepts that he may not be able to understand and end up getting freaked out about stuff in the process.

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A while back he and 2 of his cute little friends let it slip how they’d sneaked a peek at The Conjuring while playing unsupervised at another friend’s house. I was able to correlate that with a period of being kicked out of my own bed because someone was afraid to sleep alone in their own room. Or even when they did sleep alone, they wrapped themselves up like a mummy and gave me sleepless nights about suffocation and what not!Image result for kids watching horror movies

This morning I was telling Red over coffee that I had weird dreams last night from seeing clips from The Shining and being partly sleep-deprived and suddenly pipes up a voice from behind me, “Oh yeah, that boy with his cycle and those 2 girls who meet him in the hallway and that old guy who gives him icecream and tells him not to go in a room…that movie, right, with all the blood?”

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After internally WTFing with myself liberally I turned around to ask him how he knew about the movie which he did not have the clearance to watch. He told me very casually that he’d watched it at another friend’s house but only a little bit and he wasn’t scared of it at all!

A part of me is happy that he’s choosing good stuff to watch and not getting messed up in his head by watching things like Evil Dead or the Saw movies, but almost 10 may not be the best age to watch someone’s spiral into insanity and attacking their family with an axe. Just saying.

And while my mother let me watch horror movies when I was his age, I can honestly say I was in it for the blood and gore and she was ok with it because she knew it was a phase and I’d outgrow it. She steadily kept her hand over my eyes during the scenes with nudity though. Come to think of it, most Hollywood undead serial killers are such perverts! They wait till a person is “otherwise occupied” and choose that time to cut their heart out. But those days of cozying up with my mom on the couch, hogging on Hershey’s chocolate pudding cups and watching Jason slash through teenage bodies with his chainsaw…oh the nostalgia. Am almost choked up.

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But if this kid thinks he’s going to watch gore before he’s 35 he’s got another thing coming!

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P.S: This blog post and the others like it have been brought to you courtesy of a Macbook Pro that I was given so very thoughtfully for my birthday this year and about which I have not waxed on eloquently enough.

Disclaimer: This is not an Apple sponsored advertisement. More like Red-sponsored.

 

 

Movie Review: Deep Blue Sea-2

Verdict: Spare yourself. Seriously.

Sharks are beautiful creatures with rows of serrated teeth and soulless eyes that would scare the bejesus out of anyone who saw them up close and personal.

But they are worthy of that respect that comes with fear. They aren’t the Jason or Freddy of the scary creature movie world. They are the Damians and Michael  Meyers who stalk silently and without too much brouhaha. Because brouhaha isn’t classy. It’s massy and doesn’t have enough gravitas.

I have proved again and again I have rather low standards when choosing movies. I’ll usually watch anything once without feeling too snobby about it. But when a movie is so ridiculous that it just makes you want to throw things at your beloved telly, then there’s truly something rotten in the state of Denmark. Note: Author has no idea about the sudden and inexplicable segue into Shakespeare. Let’s put it down to the brain getting scrambled by this movie.

Back to the ranting! I usually screen whatever movie my child wants to see especially if it’s beyond a PG rating. Deep Blue Sea is something he’s not seen yet so I was wary about the part-2 since they usually go OTT trying to get people to like it as much as the previous one. But this installment of the movie is a joke. With baby bull sharks being confused about their sharky heritage and acting like a bunch of piranhas instead. Yech.

The acting is so sub-par that is doesn’t behoove me to mention it at all. With the movie copying the iconic scenes from the 1st movie you are just in a hurry to switch it off and move onto something like White Chicks to restore your faith in creature flicks.

 

So, will TO be allowed to watch this film? NO! If he has to hurt his eyes by watching crap, I’d rather he watched Sharknado. It has the distinction of ‘being so bad it’s actually good’!

Creature Movie Bloglet

As a reward for a decent first term report card TO was given the permission to watch The Meg. It’s a PG-13 movie for what reason I know not, but ostensibly to ward off screams from kids. That the screams maybe of joy seems to have escaped the censors.

Anyhoo, the brat turned into a proper prophet of doom with his sepulchral pronouncements of ,”They’re gonna die”, “The shark’s going to eat them all”.

 He added a chomp-chomp to emphasize the eating bit when the Meg took a while to appear on the screen.

This cheering section is totally for the shark!

Movie Review: Aquaman

Aquaman is totally worth the money because for the price of one movie, you can view a whole bunch of movies because there’s hardly anything that Aquaman hasn’t borrowed from.

Let’s start with Jason Momoa shall we? The fresh faced young man from Baywatch Hawaii

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morphed into Khal Drogo

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and then Arthur Curry/Aquaman and made having uncombed, tangled hair and a heavily tatted bod a USP.

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He doesn’t act all that convincingly but then again, beefcakes don’t need to be method actors either. They flex their pecs and go through the gamut of expressions between a frown and a smile.

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Amber Heard- someone was channeling the Little Mermaid when they got Mera to be such a blatant redhead. I mean the RED is totally out there. Barring that, Amber is just Amber. She meanders from scene to scene and tends to be vacuous pretty much all the time. 

Nicole Kidman- Looks good for her age. Fills out a body suit pretty well and that’s the extent of it.

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Patrick Wilson- the James Wan favorite isn’t chasing specters this time around. He’s the overambitious blonde haired claimant of the undersea kingdom. Possibly the only guy who seems to make sense in this whole movie. 

Willem Defoe- some men weren’t meant for manbuns.

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He is one of them. Hard to believe where he’s landed up since the days of Mississippi Burning. On the flip side, he was such a good bad guy in Spiderman that whenever he smiles, all I see is the Green Goblin! 

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Aquaman is a mishmash of the Predator, The Sword In The Stone (no excusing the pun that the lead male character is also called Arthur), Transformers, LOTR (the huge machines which show up in the Return Of The King) and every movie cliche there ever was. Momoa even channels SRK at one time with his signature move.

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With next to no chemistry between the male and female leads and the underwater scenes not being anything superlative; this movie is purely for those who want to gawk at Momoa or is an individual below 10 years of age.

As far as the DCverse goes: this one comes up short. It’ll make money because most of us have kids we have to cater to. Bring back Superman, Aquaman is all washed up!

Movie Review: Baywatch

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Unless you have a few bottles of booze handy OR are supremely bored OR just want to test the waters and see at what point you say ‘enough’, don’t watch this movie. Reasons are given below in no particular order but with a lot of feeling:

  • You will never get back those 116 minutes that the movie runs.
  • You will wonder why The Rock would pick the role of Mitch Buchanan over other roles where he can be the macho up to the gills and still not be a part of a gag reel.
  • Zac Efron has weird ears, cannot emote and has bulked up. That’s it.
  • Priyanka Chopra is sashaying her way a la Bollywood movies and ending every sentence with an “already” and trying to look seductive, alluring and femme fatalish. None of which works. She should stick to Dil Dhadakne Do-type roles.
  • Alexandra Daddario- has a perplexed look on her face the entire time and seems to be confused half the times that she’s on a beach and would actually have been perfect for the role played by Pam Anderson in the teleseries. Image result for pamela anderson baywatch gif
  • The rest of the cast kind of meanders through the movie, using the F word liberally and acting like a bunch of goofballs playing at being crime fighters. They also keep calling each other ‘brah’…as if!

If you’re ok with “junk jokes”, people looking toned, anned and botoxy lips and have no effs to give then this movie might even end up being entertaining. But hey, I watched the entire Sharknado series so who am I to be a critic?

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Movie Review: The Meg

Ever since I was a cute little girl and got introduced to killer sharks by my semi-misguided parents who thought it was ok to take a 2 year to a creature flick; I have sought out shark movies.

I have watched the good ones viz Jaws, Deep Blue Sea, The Shallows and its rather limited ilk.

I have also watched the meh-kinds viz like Shark Night 3D and its bretheren of which there are more.

The same goes for the ” it’s so bad it’s good” category under which umbrella Sharknado totally rules the roost!

But today I watched the mostly boring movie: The Meg. I can’t say Steve Alten is spinning in his grave somewhere because he is alive and kickin’ but I don’t see how he willingly gave the script of this movie his blessings.

With many departures from the riveting book, the movie features a tired Jason Statham, a humongous shark, lots of explosions and mainly people falling in water. Everyone else is a bit player with hokey dialogues and an ability to scream when they’re about to die.

If you’re a creature movie enthusiast and are curious about the film, aren’t into piracy, then paying the price of the ticket would be worth it. Else give it a miss. Barring the expected jolts one gets with the shark breaching or looming up behind, this movie is a dud. 

The cinematography isn’t flat but the use of drone photography probably does a bit to make it visually less BLAH.

All in all, it’s a yawn fest for a Friday night.

Rating: 1 out of 5.