San Andreas

Disaster movies usually tend to draw the audience thanks to the tons of drama and oodles of CGI used in film. Be it a 2012 or for that matter Day After Tomorrow, films based on natural disasters have performed decently at the box office. Now coming to SAN ANDREAS that promises to be yet another disaster film, featuring wrestling world's Rock aka Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti, Hugo Johnstone -Burt and Art Parkinson, it offers the viewer loads on destruction and mayhem along with the usual fanfare of characters being saved in the nick of time, not forgetting the stereotypical feel each of them have.

Coming to the story, there isn't much to say. Ray (Dwayne Johnson) a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his estranged daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) with his onetime wife Emma (Carla Gugino) by his side. SAN ANDREAS starts off with Ray making a rescue in the nick of time saving a stranded youth from certain death, cut to, the problems he is facing in his personal life with his wife, who is seeking a divorce from him, telling him that she is moving in with her new lover. Though fazed by this, Ray who is supposed to be on a break is recalled in light of a massive earthquake along the San Andreas Fault. While on job, Ray learns of his wife stranded in a high rise and makes a dangerous effort to save her, only to learn that Blake who is in San Francisco desperately needs assistance.

Technically and scientifically sound, Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) as a CalTech professor lends ample support in this field giving SAN ANDREAS a much needed realistic feel. However, right from the start, SAN ANDREAS is highly predictable (as most disaster films are) with ample amount of focus being thrown on Ray's ability to rescue literally anyone from anything.

Director Brad Peyton does a good job with the VFX and action department, directing both with equal amount of precision while ensuring that despite the destruction heavy film, the base story of a family stands out. In fact post the release of 2012, which was one of the largest disaster films encompassing almost every natural calamity from floods, to landslides to earthquakes and tsunamis occurring across the globe, SAN ANDREAS does well in stepping up the ante.

Coming to the performances in the films, Johnson is his usual, stoic (for the lack of a better word) best; unfortunately he fails to give the much needed facial expressions which would certainly have been an add on. However he does manage to bring in a bit of emotion to the film, when at the half way point he opens about the reason for his divorce and the grief he faces post the death of one of his daughters. A special mention here goes to screenplay writer Carlton Cuse who does a marvelous job of adding a human touch to Johnson's character, instead of painting him as a larger than life hero. Carla Gugino as the ex-wife Emma has a rather stereotypical role, that of a damsel in distress being saved by her knight in shining armour, only to fall back in love with the man she was leaving. However, Alexandra Daddario adds a little flavor to her role that changes what could have well be a boring character into something that is more watchable. Peyton's constant striving to add more depth to each character is something that could have been done away with, since at the end of the film viewers are more interested in watching a family survive all odds, rather than their personal life story.

SAN ANDREAS fully captures the terrifying power of a massive earthquake, but the film literally follows the typical disaster movie formula to a fault. While the ending (read climax) of the film is pretty evident right from the start, what gives the viewer a bank for his buck is the massive scale of destruction that remains unhindered with emotional baggage from the story of the film.

On the whole, if you like widespread destruction, mayhem and tons of CGI that comes with a disaster movie, SAN ANDREAS is worth a watch. However like most disaster films, the numerous loop holes and a rather predictable story line can be a letdown for those interested in something that has depth.
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Welcome 2 Karachi

While on one hand, Bollywood has been a witness to serious terrorism based films like BABY, on the other hand, there have also been films dealing with the subject but in a comical space. Films like FILMISTAAN, TERE BIN LADEN etc. are stark examples of the latter. This week's release WELCOME 2 KARACHI also has terrorism as its mainstay, but the film has been layered with comedy. Will WELCOME 2 KARACHI be a blast at the box-office or will it turn out to be a damp squib... let's analyze.

The film starts off with 'business dealing' of party organizer Mitesh Patel (Dalip Tahil), who convinces a client to have their wedding party atop his chartered boat that's being 'captained' by Shammi Thakur (Arshad Warsi) and Kedar Patel (Jackky Bhagnani). This also becomes a blessing in disguise for Shammi and Kedar to go to USA by boat, because they always have faced rejection whenever they had applied for a USA visa (by flight). Amidst the mid-sea party atop the boat, they encounter a sudden storm that washes them away all the way to Karachi (Pakistan). What happens out there is a series of misunderstanding, miscommunication and everything else that leads to the two boys landing up in messy situations. While Shammi disguises as a doctor and is forced to delivery a baby a la Rajkumar Hirani's 3 Idiots style, the dumb Kedar roams around in a sherwani that has a bullet hole right near that chest. After a failed attempt to steal pizza, Shammi and Kedar land up in front of a deadly don. What follows after this are chance encounters of the duo with the likes of Taliban, ISI, jihadis, Pakistani ministers, and Intelligence Bureau, which try to keep the viewers 'entertained' throughout the film. If that wasn't enough, the viewers are also treated to a cross country firing that involves the likes of China, Pakistan, Israel, USA and many others. It is only towards the end (read 'climax') that the film manges to pick up and has Shammi and Kedar trying to save a bunch of 'special children' from the evil hands of a Taliban, that is about to blow the plane carrying those children. Do Shammi and Kedar find their way out of Karachi and come back safely to Mumbai, do they manage to save the innocent children from the evil hands of Taliban... is what forms the rest of the film.

The film happens to be the second venture of director Ashish R Mohan (his first film being KHILADI 786), sadly Ashish 'sinks' mercilessly as a director with this film. The film's plot and direction go haywire right from the word go. With Arshad Warsi being the sole anchor of the film, it was a tough situation for him to carry the film alone. Right from the first frame, the viewers are treated to nonsensical script, forced humor and amateurish VFX. While the film's first half is a complete washout, the only saving grace is the climax. Rest of the movie is just episode after episode of idiotic adventures of Shammi and Kedar.

As far as the performances are concerned, Arshad Warsi steals the show. Not a newcomer to situational and comical one liners, Arshad spearheads the film right from the word go. That doesn't mean that, Arshad overshadows Jackky intentionally. It only means that, Jackky has yet to master his Ps and Qs of acting. He needs to work really hard on his comical timing. While he can be appreciated for his on screen sincerity of the role, what really acts as a drawback is his poor screen presence. Lauren Gottlieb, besides acting as an eye candy, does nothing exceptional to the film. The rest of the actors help the film move forward.

While the music of the film (Jeet Ganguly, Rochak Kohli, Amjad Nadeem) is nothing to write about, the film's choreography (Bosco Martis, Caesar Gonsalves, F A Khan, Brinda) is pretty average. If you add average editing (Steven Bernard) and not-so-exceptional cinematography (Mark Nutkins) to the film, it only leaves the film as a helpless proposition. The film's only saving grace are its dialogues (Vrajesh Hirjee).

On the whole, WELCOME 2 KARACHI can be avoided without a regret.
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Tomorrowland

Today when we see a multitude of Hollywood films either being made based on novels, bestsellers or real life stories, TOMORROWLAND comes as a breadth of air with its rather unique and futuristic theme and story. Directed by Brad Bird, who has over the years proved his mettle as a brilliant storyteller, TOMORROWLAND yet again reinforces that claim. The film follows former boy-genius Frank Walker (George Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, who bound by a shared destiny embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as Tomorrowland. What they must do there changes the world-and them- forever.

Starting off with the line 'Imagine a place with nothing is impossible' TOMORROWLAND commences with a monologue delivered by Academy Award winner George Clooney detailing the premise of the film, and is soon joined by Britt Robertson. From here on the film goes back in time to when Clooney's character Frank was a kid, his experience at the New York World's Fair and his eventual encounter with Athena (Raffey Cassidy). As a child, Frank was a boy genius who was out to change the world with his ideas and innovations. Being one of the chosen few invited to be part of the world of the future, Frank soon becomes a rather established innovator. However as fate would have it, he is exiled from Tomorrowland by Nix (Huge Laurie) for creating something that should never have been. While on one hand Frank lives out the rest of his years exiled to earth Athena, he is still on the lookout for one special individual who will be able to counter what Frank built. In her search Athena finds Casey, who as she puts it, is an optimist. Once enrolled to be part of the chosen few for Tomorrowland, Casey sets off on a journey that spans time, dimensions and feelings. But does the film really manage to hold the audiences's interest with its futuristic thought or does it become yet another sci-fi film... is what we analyze.

Right from the start, TOMORROWLAND has that uncanny Brad Bird directed feel intense, action packed, gripping, and creatively imaginative and emotionally charged cinematic experience complete with an important message that could only be expected in a Disney film. Though the message of good and evil constantly battling for dominance isn't thrust upon the viewer, its inclusion via subtle means has a powerful impact. Apart from this, the film also deals with heavy weight questions like what is mankind's ultimate reason for existence, the possible existence of parallel universes, what does the future really hold and can we actually influence or change the future. Though there are plenty of holes within the theories proposed, there is enough content in the film to keep the viewer engaged. As for the flow of the film, each time the narrative slows down and the viewer is about lose interest, there is a twist that grabs your attention. With ample amounts of CGI and visual effects, TOMORROWLAND can be a visual treat for the kids. However, for the more matured viewer, the film does leave a lot of questions it raised, unanswered, effectively diminishing the overall appeal of the film.

As for the performances in TOMORROWLAND, Academy Award winner George Clooney is at his usual best, Britt Robertson as Casey does an equally good job, but there are instances that could use a makeover. Raffey Cassidy as the child robot from the future puts up a stellar performance that just makes you want her to be seen more on screen. Huge Laurie, though unlike his TV avatar as Dr. House, isn't as wittily sarcastic, however he does put up a good show.

On the whole, TOMORROWLAND can well be summed up in Brad Bird's words, "Any time that there is an empty canvas, there are two ways to look at it: One is emptiness and the other one is wide open to possibility. And that's how I like to look at the future-wide open to possibility", and the same is true for the film as well. In fact TOMORROWLAND if watched with an open mind sans overthinking the plot and theories, definitely makes for a pleasant cinematic experience.
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Tanu Weds Manu Returns Movie Review - Revisiting Old Marriage Video

Expectations:

In our Hindi cinema, it's often seen that films are planned and made in order to match up with the star value of the hero. Films are conceptualized with the star actor as its center point and the stories are woven around them, so that the makers can quickly cash in over the star power and its fandom. Almost every big actor has been a part of such type of films, including many female superstars like Hema Malini, Rekha, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit and many more during their peak times. Films like 'Jooth','Madam X', 'Raja', 'Nakabandi','Nigahen', 'Gajagamini' and many more are perfect examples of filmmakers making concept based films in order to cash in over its female superstar's value and hold over the box office. The trend still continues with actress likes Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor, Vidya Balan and others, including the recent 'Queen' of Bollywood - Kangana Ranaut. Kangana was known and appreciated for her performances in films like 'Gangster', 'Woh Lamhe', 'Fashion', etc., but found her first touch of stardom with 'Tanu Weds Manu' followed by the phenomenal success with 'Queen'. Her fans and cine lovers wanted to see Kangana in more such types of films, where the potential of this talented actress can be shown in a glorified manner. 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' seems to be the perfect film for Kangana in order to sustain her new found superstardom. Thus, let's find out, whether 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' will add another feather in the cap of Kangana Ranauat or, might end up being one of those films which are made only to cash in over its past success and stardom of the star actor.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns Movie Review

Story:

'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' is a sequel to 2011 released film 'Tanu Weds Manu' and continues the after marriage tale of Tanu (Kangana Ranaut) and Manu (R. Madhavan). Four years after their marriage the couple seeks professional help in order to avoid the fights and arguments between them. This leads Manu into a mental asylum and Tanu returns back to her parents. At her parents' place, Tanu meets a new tenant Chintu (Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub) and Manu returns back to his parents with the help of his friend Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal). Manu receives a legal notice for divorce with Tanu and at that time he meets Datto (Kangana Ranaut), who is a look alike of Tanu. Manu starts getting attracted towards Datto and what happens next is what the entire film is all about.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns Still

Screenplay & Technicalities:

The story is one liner and has nothing unusual in it except for the track of Datto the Haryanvi girl. But, despite of such a thin story line the movie is full of back to back happenings and moments, which have been brilliantly placed in the film by writer Himanshu Sharma. Himanshu adds up small nuances and rib crackling humour with some outstanding dialogues and keeps the mood and tone of the film very light at heart. The first half is out and out entertaining with back to back interesting and hilarious scenes leading to a promising second half with some scenes like the marriage video, Kangana - Madhavan's fight and argument in front of the counselors, K.K.Raina's advice of marriage and divorce to Madhavan, Deepak Dobriyal's medical speech, Madhavan meeting Datto (Kangana) followed by interactions with her, Deepak's view over Datto (Kangana) followed by informing Madhavan about Jimmy Shergil, Kangana and Jimmy trashing Mohd.Zeeshan Ayyub, Madhavan-Kangana-Deepak at Eijaz Khan's function and many more.But, after a brilliant start the second half keeps wandering and dragging in the middle portion leading to confusion, half baked and unconvincing climax.There are many unwanted tracks in the film like Deepak Dobriyal love track, Eijaz - Swara child track, Kangana-Rajesh Sharma Haryana track leading to the over the top climax part with a couple of songs and melodrama. Despite of all these good and bad points, the basic soul or the purpose of the film is highly missing, due to which the character of Madhavan and Kangana are neither justified nor well defined in the film. The reason for their behaviour is unconvincing with a super dragging last portion of the film. The climax is typical Bollywood style. You might not feel sorry for Tanu or Manu in the film rather, might end up feeling sorry for Datto. Luckily, the humour quotient does not dry away due to which one tends to keep himself/herself connected to this film. The camera work is good and manages to keep the feel of the film intact.

Music & Direction:

Music of 'Tanu Weds Man' was one of the strong selling point of that surprise hit film, whereas, 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' has some decent songs like 'Banno','Old School Girl', 'Move On', 'Mat Ja Re' and others. 'Ghani Bawri' and 'Ja Ja Re Bewafa' were unwanted and badly placed in the film. 'Ghani Bawri' is a total misfit for the character of Tanu due to its placement and dialect of the song with its character.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns Wallpaper

Director Anand L. Rai comes up with yet another tale of a small town with large hearted people and narrates it in an entertaining manner. He, along with his writer adds up many entertaining moments in the film due to which the audiences will enjoy the film. Every character has its own tale to narrate and that's the brilliance of a good director. Sadly, Anand L. Rai ends up his films with weak climax and confused screenplay. 'Tanu Weds Manu' and 'Ranjhana' were perfect examples of how the creative director failed to enhance his films in the finale portions and similarly continues his tradition in 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'. The last part of the film is a let down, with dragging and unwanted moments 'leading to unconvincing and forced ending. Wish the maker had been more bold like in the case of 'Tanu Weds Manu', the end results would have been super encouraging.

Performances:

Kangana Ranaut as Tanu looks ravishing, but it's the Kangana Ranaut as Datto which will win your heart. She looks, talks, acts brilliantly as per her character with a fine command over the Haryanvi accent. The whole character of Datto, is impressive and one will love the cuteness of Kangana in this role. Madhavan is fine in his part and does justice to his character. Though, he does not enhance his character like he did in the earlier part. Deepak Dobriyal is outstanding and one of the biggest reasons (along with Haryanvi Kanagana Ranaut) for you to watch this film. His comic timing, dialogues, expressions and screen presence is amazing. Even in the worst scenes he keeps doing his part, with grace. Jimmy Shergil looks impressive, but does not have much to offer. Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub is fine in his part. Eijaz Khan, Rajendra Gupta, Navni Parihar, K.K.Raina, Rajesh Sharma and others were wasted. Swara Bhaskar was enjoyable.

Final Verdict: So bol meri FILMI KHOPDI iss film mein kitna hain Dum?

Dum??? Well the movie is an enjoyable experience, especially due to its fun filled first half followed by ace performances by Kangana Ranaut (as Datto) and Deepak Dobriyal along with fantastic dialogues. There's no doubt that the movie is made to cash in over the star value of Kangana Ranaut and the past glory of 'Tanu Weds Manu' as the basic soul of the film was missing due to which its lead characters fail to get established and justified. Also, the last part of the film is a let down due to its confused screenplay and predictable melodramatic ending. On an overall basis, 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' is a must watch for Kagana Ranaut and 'Tanu Weds Manu' fans as its like revisiting an old marriage video which starts with super fun, excitement, enjoyable moments along with nostalgia, dragging to routine stuffs towards the end.

Ratings: 3.5/5
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Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Around five years ago, a film named TANU WEDS MANU hit the silver screens. In a world of vfx, gadgets and gizmos, this film not just stood out, but also proved to be a huge box-office hit, purely because of its simple content and easy-to-digest plot and very relatable performances by its cast. This week, the film's sequel titled TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS hits the silver screen. Will it be as simple yet powerful as the original or will it apply brakes at the box-office windows, let's analyze.

The film starts off with the nostalgic wedding day of Tanuja Trivedi aka Tanu (Kangna Ranaut) alongwith Dr. Manoj Sharma aka Manu (R. Madhavan) with the iconic 'Sunn saahiba sunn' track playing in the background. The opening scene sets the tempo of the film. This is then immediately followed by the admission of Manu in St. Benedict's Asylum by Tanu. After that, she returns to her hometown Kanpur to be with her parents. But the human side of her being makes her call Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) and ensures that he frees Manu from the asylum. When she reaches Kanpur, she meets up with Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Sheirgill), who is on the verge of getting married. Around the same time, when Manu reaches Delhi, he sights upon the very 'sporty' Kusum (Kangna Ranaut), who happens to be a state level athlete. The very moment Manu sees her, he falls in love with her so much so that he starts following her and ultimately convinces her and her relatives for marriage, despite being a 'second hand' man, which is how Kusum describes him as. Meanwhile, with the help of her just-graduated lawyer friend Chintu (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), she manages to threaten Manu with a divorce notice. Frustrated and aggravated because of this action, Manu ultimately decides to marry Kusum. Seeing her 'husband' about to tie the knot with Kusum, Tanu lands up with Raja at the venue, despite being all geared up for all the insults. Will Tanu realize her marital mistakes and be able to stop Manu from marrying Kusum, does Manu actually love Tanu or Kusum, does Raja Awasthi land up marrying the girl of his dreams... is what forms the rest of the film.

Right from the word go (read 'first frame), the film's director Aanand L. Rai successfully hits the right cord. At the onset, it may sound and look very easy to make a successful film's sequel, but real challenge lies in transforming the sequel into a goldmine at the box-office. And Aanand. L. Rai achieves that successfully and how! Backed with an immensely believable plot (Himanshu Sharma), Aanand. L. Rai helms his role of a director very successfully. There are times when you get a feeling that he has surpassed the original as far as storytelling and film presentation is concerned. It's a very wittily written film and superbly performance oriented film. He has successfully demonstrated the onscreen version of the famous adage 'Marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.' Aanand. L. Rai establishes the 4-year itch in the first five minutes of the film, which sets the tempo of the things to come. Despite it being an almost flawless film, it starts lagging midway in the second half, but makes up for all this in the chilling climax. His direction is excellent and artistic but hugely entertaining. The end of the film is absolutely conventional. The film's one liners are sure to bring the house down.

As far as the performances are concerned, absolutely no prizes for guessing who is the undisputed captain of the ship - Kangna Ranaut, who delivers a career best performance. Her performance in the film is definitely award worthy, which will also add one more feather in her cap after QUEEN. She really knows how to carry the film on her shoulders. Despite having excelled in both the roles, it is her portrayal of Kusum with Haryanvi accent that remains etched forever. The impact of her roles is so significant that you just cannot imagine any other actress in her role. She gets into the skin of both the characters the very way like a fish takes to water. As far as Madhavan is concerned, he excels in his role despite it being a restrained one, which was anyways the call of his character. He is very endearing who never tries to overshadow anyone and emerges a winner. It is his simplicity and realistic approach to his character that makes him endearing. Deepak Dobriyal is absolutely amazing with his character. His one liners are absolute epic. His character adds to the film in making it immensely likeable and watchable to the core. Other actors like Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Jimmy Sheirgill, Eijaz Khan, and Swara Bhaskar help with their 'contributions' in making the film a winner all the way.

The film has its share of melodious music (Surj-Rdb Rythm Dhol Bass, Krsna, Tanishk, Vayu). What one observes about the music is that, despite the songs being very situational, it has a superb music score. While the tracks like 'Banno' and 'Ghari Bawri' were already popular, tracks like 'Old School Girl' and 'Move On' are real gems, which are bound to grow once people watch the film.

On the whole, TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS makes for a must watch, especially for Kangna's spellbinding performance, outstanding plot and amazing one-liners. SURE-SHOT HIT!
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