James Movie Reviews

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No Time To Die

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James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
EN
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Writers: Neal Purvis (screenplay), Robert Wade (screenplay) | 6 more credits »
Stars: Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Rami Malek | See full cast & crew »

Great Movie Entertaining It was OK Could have been better A waste of time

Wonder Woman

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Story
Diana’s (Gal Gadot) story picks up in the mid-80s where she resides in Washington, DC, working at the Smithsonian and covertly (in the loosest terms possible) keeping the peace as her costumed alter ego. At work, she makes a new friend in the sweet and nerdy Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), who almost immediately finds herself in awe of Diana’s entire being. Also passing through the museum, as well as through both of their grasps, is the film’s deadly dramatic object – the mysterious citrine “dream stone”, an ancient wish granting jewel sought after by the power-mad wannabe oil tycoon and TV personality, Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal).

Eventually, all three come to make a wish on the stone. Through a little charm and chicanery, Max obtains the stone and wishes to become the magical item itself, going on to use his newfound wish granting ability to take what he wants and slowly bring the world to a tipping point. Diana’s wish brings Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) back into her life, though Barabara’s brewing, newly granted feral attitude puts the Amazon’s second chance at love at odds with her duty to save the day.

Wonder Woman 1984-Gold Armor

Related: Wonder Woman Director Patty Jenkins Reveals First Film’s Ending Was Changed By Warner Bros.

Spoiler Alert!
The biggest problem Wonder Woman 1984 has is that it does almost nothing to exceed the expectations of anyone who’s been looking into this flick since last January and kept appraised of online rumors (like yours truly). From Steve’s return in a ‘Quantum Leap’-type scenario, to the Golden Eagle armor belonging to an ancient Amazon warrior named Asteria, to Max standing in for President Trump and always wanting more-more-more, most of the Reddit spoilers from February are accurate. If you’ve read them, you’ve essentially seen the movie.

Hoping for any curveballs or extra nuance? You’ll be disappointed for the most part.

Great Movie Entertaining It was OK Could have been better A waste of time

Luca

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Luca takes its name from its attractive hero, a popular artist played by Tovino Thomas. It tells an engaging story made all the more so by Thomas’ easy charm and natural chemistry with the charismatic heroine. Arun Bose’s direction, the writing by Mridul George and Bose himself, and the acting by the lead couple are designed to conjure up a halo of heartache around this young man who has known loss and unimaginable pain.

We are introduced early in the film to Niharika Banerjee (Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela’s Ahaana Krishna, credited here as Ahaana Krishnakumar). She is a PhD student in Kerala for some research when she accidentally bumps into Luca who, at first, comes across as a stereotypically temperamental artist. Their maiden encounter is a pleasant little overturning of the age-old “boy meets girl, boy and girl have misunderstanding, boy and girl are antagonistic towards each other which leads to an attraction that she at least masks so that she can have him chasing her, until at last they acknowledge their love for each other” Mills and Boon-style silliness.

Yes they do start off on a spat but it comes from a believable – and quite funny – situation, unlike the contrived bunkum commercial Indian cinema has been serving us for decades in this space. They clear up the misunderstanding almost immediately, there is no faking of anything between them, and they become instant friends.

With its uncommon treatment of a lead couple getting off on the wrong foot, the film ends up getting off on the right foot, its determination to steer clear of clichés becoming evident from here on. And for the most part, it does stick to its goal.

Luca’s atypicalness is one of several reasons why an aching sweetness envelops it from the start. If we get its understated messaging, good for us, but if we don’t, there is still a simple, heartwarming romance to be enjoyed here. The film does not seek to impress us with intellectual profundities although it does end up having a point to make. Many points, in fact.

Great Movie Entertaining It was OK Could have been better A waste of time

 

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