Posts Tagged ‘f word’

The Bronze is Golden

Sundance movies have a “feel good” factor about them, and this is clearly visible in every aspect and every moment in the reel of pretty much every movie they show. The Bronze is no different in this regard.

The Bronze is the story is about a former Olympic medalist (not a true life story) who is struggling to move on with her life. Hope Ann Gregory (Melissa Rauch, or better known as Bernadette from the Big Bang Theory), is an extremely crass and bad mouthed ex-Olympic gymnast who hasn’t’ really moved on from her 15 minutes of fame. A decade ago, Hope landed a flawless beam dismount despite having an injury in her Achilles heel and till date gets off on it! (Literally!) She parades around her small, podunk town of Amherst, Ohio in her USA outfit owning her celebrity status, as she is a regular at a local mall and the diner where she never pays for anything and has drink and food specials in her honor.

As a result of her foul mouth and pretty horrible attitude towards everyone around her, she still lives with her father Stan (played by the often under-appreciated Gary Cole), who is trying hard to tread the fine line between being a responsible father and slapping the teeth off his obnoxious daughter. In an effort to get her out of the house, he fakes a letter from Hope’s Olympic coach who has committed suicide and claims that she has left a will, stipulating Hope could receive $500 million so as long as she sets her ego aside, and trains the town’s up-and-coming gymnastics star, Maggie Townsend (the vivacious Haley Lu Richardson).

Tossed up between her want to milk her fame in her small town versus the possibility of losing her fame in exchange for 500 big ones, Hope has to decide and strategize her next steps. Will she train the new incumbent and step aside from her fame or will she burn the youngster? (It’s not a tough decision is it? J )

The film is satirical but not comic satire per se and this isn’t a movie like Office Space and obviously it won’t win any awards either, however it does have what you call a high level of ‘re-watchability’ and some of its one liners are absolute gems. The opening scene for one sets the outrageous tone and hats off to Melissa and her partner in crime (and life) Winston Rauch for writing something silly and intangibly wonderful.

The cast isn’t stellar but they are somehow apt for this low budget indie film. Melissa is the heart and soul of the movie and is competently backed up by Cole, Richardson and the rest of the cast. Special mention to Twitchy Ben (Thomas Middleditch of Silicon Valley fame) who plays the sweet guy and burgeoning love interest of Hope and does his best to pull her away from the dark side.

Bryan Buckley (of Asad fame) has done a decent job in his direction of this R rated comedy. However, if truth be told, the movie is carried on the petite yet powerful Melissa Rauch and her impeccable dialogue delivery with her poker face profanity-spewing-tongue.

If you break the story down to its basic elements, you will realize that there is nothing new in it. Evil ogre turns into village saving hero. But what really works for the movie is how it has been handled. A basic concept directed well and a script written funnily enough to ensure the audience does get its money’s worth of laughs. Throw in the aforementioned talent who all enact their parts to perfection and you somehow have a mix that breathes life into a resuscitated storyline making it entertaining and a reliable ‘sports’ movie.

The only downside of the movie is something I haven’t been able to pin so far. The movie is worth a watch, but the more you think about it, the more you realize, that the movie had the potential to be a Gold, but falls short …agonizingly so and thus gets a Bronze. (My sense of humor needs work, I know!)

It could be the lack of a stronger story or maybe the screen presence of someone more iconic, but the movie falls short at a certain level and maybe that is why it isn’t up there with Office Space or even Dodgeball or Blades of Glory.

With dialogues that would make a sailor blush and a scenes that will burn hysterically disturbing imagery in your mind for life, I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who is easily offended. But, if you’ve got the skin for it, I can’t recommend this comedy more.

 

Thoughts: Awesome…..by 140 million miles!

To begin with, has it ever occurred to you how much money the US government spends to “make” Matt Damon and then how much MORE money they spend on getting him back after he screws up?

Starting back from Saving Private Ryan where Tom Hanks goes through hell and high fire to get him back and ends up dead, followed by the Bourne series where the government again devotes an obscene amount to train him and then three movies and billions of dollars’ worth of blow ups and car chases are spent further trying to get him back. Next, in the Adjustment Bureau, he is trained to be President and then AGAIN runs away and finally in Interstellar where (surprise surprise) the American government spends a butt load of money on him becoming an awesome super stud astronaut and screws up so badly, he nearly kills the crew sent there to rescue him and (yet) again damages billions of dollars’ worth of equipment. I guess Matt Damon has found his niche!

Jokes aside, there is one clear fact from this 2 hour long epic….Hollywood can definitely make big budget films and thus Bahubali can eat chicken feces!

In the movie, NASA has decided to send a few scientists to study Mars and see how worthwhile the planet is for habitation. During one of these manned missions, the crew faces a sudden storm and they need to rush out of the planet. Whilst evacuating, Mark Watney (Mark Wahlberg) is lost, presumed dead and thus left behind by his crew. Unbeknownst to the crew, Watney has survived (The government groans!!) and he finds himself stranded and alone on a planet with bare minimum supplies. Keeping in mind that “Help is only 140 million miles away”, Watney steps up his game and shows survival skills that would shame Bear Grylls. NASA of course need to earn their moolah and work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home. Will he make or will he die, lonely and a million miles away from home? (No spoilers here!)

Ridley Scott is a science fiction God and with movies like Blade Runner, Alien and Prometheus he knows his stuff in zero gravity. Mr. Scott has pulled out another master class and it would be very surprising if he doesn’t get an Oscar nod for this one. (Ironically he never got an Oscar nod for any of his sci-fi flicks till date!) The movie keeps you on the very edge of your seat right from lift off and there is no reason for you to ever get comfortable.  The strength of this movie is that it feels less like science fiction and more of a biopic and that isn’t easy when you are convincing people your lead lives on a different planet. The Martian is based on a book by Andy Wier (some GK for you!) and R. Scott has somehow managed to keep the verbiage same as the book (which I gather is pretty heavy from a layman’s perspective) and still ensured that the users don’t lose the plot.

 

The movie is supported by some stunning cinematography and fantastic visual effects. The scenes on Mars and in space are impeccably shot (wouldn’t expect anything less from Ridley Scott) and this is one of the best features of the movie.

Matt Damon does a good job as Mr. Cast Away with a PhD in Botany and Potatoes as his Wilson. He ‘sciences the shit’ out of everything and quips a bit of humor to keep the audiences engaged. A bit disappointed to learn that he used a body double and that puts a negative tick against him for me. (Where is the effort man!!?) The supporting cast was phenomenal as can be expected since the actors were class. Jessica Chastain as the tough talking Commander of the mission, Jeff Daniels as the Dammed-if-I-do-dammed-if-I-don’t role of the NASA director. Sean Bean, Michael Pena, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover & Kate Mara are all brilliant and do very well in their roles keeping in mind that this is literally a one man show.

If there were a few drawbacks I would have to cavil on, I would pick the humor. Personally I think some of humor elements were a bit drab and they could have been much improved, but it takes nothing away from the movie overall.

The strongest part about the movie remains how the main character never displays any signs of loneliness, despair or fear. He is more like “Oh, crap I missed my flight. Fine, guess it’s time to grow potatoes”. Also, thankfully they never showed his 4 year old son fighting with his 3 year old daughter and his wife who is pregnant with their 3rd kid in the white picket fenced house in suburban United States as the main reason to come back. His main motive to come back, is and remains “It’s frigging MARS!!!”

Martian displays’ s Scott’s skill as a storyteller who understands the strongest and most base of human feelings; fear, the unassailable will to survive, the nadirs of isolation and the inexplicable pull to return home. All the while keeping the milieu as space with its infinite possibilities which ignite the human imagination like no other. After all, it is the Final Frontier. 🙂

If you are a fan of ‘Interstellar’ or any other science fiction survival tale or even some of Scott’s previous science fiction work, then this is one to definitely watch. Best viewed on the big screen so don’t cheap out by downloading it! 😛

 

Thoughts: What Do We Know – Zom, Rom, Com; What Have We Learnt – There is hope

After a brief hiatus, I’m back. Yes I am back, back again writing. *takes a bow* (waits for applause to die down)

I am trying to get more regular on this, so I shall try and watch more movies. (Of course this requires moolah…you will not believe the cost of tickets these days, so kindly wire the money to my account and I’ll ensure your wishes comes true 🙂 )

So one of my first summer flicks this year was Go Goa Gone and was I in for a surprise. Being honest, I didn’t go into this one with much of an expectation. Here was what I knew about it, it’s a Hindi comedy movie (yawn) …with Vir Das (hmmm)…and Kunal Khemu (double yawn)…n Saif Ali Khan… (Yaaaww…) as a blonde Russian mafia… (..aawwnn!!) and there are zombies…(say WHAT!!)

Yup you heard me, we have had actors like who look like zombies, we have had directors who direct like zombies, dancers who dance like zombies (for those in a spot of doubt about this, please watch any Sunny Deol movie as reference) but FINALLY, we have put the foreigners who come to soak up the sun in Goa and end up as extras in small time flicks in the right movie, though a few I think were from the Appy Fizz advertisement, I guess Saif beat the fizzy drink to get these women (well done sir!) and were finally cast in roles they deserved to be in. Cast as walking twisted horde of make-up and no dialogues. Perfect!

The movie has a simple premise, best friends Luv (the very funny Vir Das) and Hardik (Kunal Khemu) are regular twenty something guys, who smoke pot, drink and go to work when they get the time. Luv gets dumped by a girl he plans to marry and he is heart-broken, Hardik is also on the verge of losing his job and both are stuck in a rut. Enter their third roomie Bunny (Anand Tiwari) who is going on an office trip to Goa. These guys decide to jump on their luck and go to Goa to blow some steam off. Once in Goa enter Luna (the long leggy Pooja Gupta) who meets Luv and invites him for a rave party being run by the “Russian mafia”. Next thing they know, all the party goers have turned zombies and they are stuck up (insert dirty word here) creek without a paddle. That now leaves the three friends, Luna and the ‘Russian’ mafia Lord Boris (Saif Ali Khan) who organized the party, against an island of zombies for the next 72 hours. Do they make it out alive? (Everybody Panic!)

Go Goa Gone is refreshing change from all the usual riff raff we see these days. A Zom Rom Com as its tagline states and it connects on all three. Zombies…check, romance….check… (Sure it’s more of guys looking for one night stands but let’s call it love) and comedy…double check. The dialogues and slapstick comedy at times might seem a little overdone, but the cast pulls of all the lines and delivers them beautifully. The acting is the strength of this movie as all three of the male leads appear to give an effortless performance. Most zombies were brilliant but for me personally Vir Das stole the show. He is a brilliant showman, confident on screen and he bought his A game to the movie. Kunal Khemu finally shows some light with his light hearted wit and I think he had found a gold mine if he continues to act in this genre.

Saif does a good job as well pretending to be a fake Russian. The only zombie was Pooja Gupta who I think was pretty with her long legs and all, but as far as acting goes she still has a long way to go.

Directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK have done a good job with their work behind the camera. They still have a long way to go, but they are on the right track. The music of the film, composed by Sachin-Jigar, is also catchy and sort of adds to the flavor of the movie. ‘Khoon choos le’ is a good start to the movie.

It is by far one of the better comedy movies I have recently seen in a long time and a nice change from the usual Sallu bhai flick we see in the name of comedies. Watching Tareek Mehta Ka Oolta Chasma made me always believe that we could never understand comedy and unless accompanied by voice over laughter we would never be able to bring a smile to television watching folk. But GGG changes that, the audiences were laughing away and no I didn’t mean the odd giggle here and the snort there. They were in splits. There are the naysayers who say that it’s a crass sense of humor, but either way the movie does hit the funny bones 4 out of 5 times. To those familiar with zombie movies, it’s something like Shaun of the Dead, with Zombieland and add a dash of Delhi Belly for the Indian flavor to it. (Complicated but I think it’s a personal opinion)

‘Go Goa Gone’ is a good and fun watch and though some claim its gory personally it’s no worse than what most of us have already seen on screen. So there are a few scenes which might make you flinch but eventually once you get caught up in the movie altogether it’s just another comedy movie. The witty one liners and the facial expressions are enough to invoke a laugh. Go and watch how to “keel dead people” 🙂