Battle of the Sexes (2017)

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

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Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes is a 2017 biopic starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell. It is a pretty good, engaging and very well acted biopic.

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I’m the ladies number one. I’m the champ. Why would I lose?

Because dinosaurs can’t play tennis

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Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

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It is about the titular historical event which was a televised tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. The film not only traces that match, but it also depicts the beginning of the women’s tennis movement and lives and personal problems of both Bobby and Billie. And I liked that as the film could have easily just focused on her, but the focus on him is nice and I liked how they humanized him. Although his story remains much less interesting than hers.

It was interesting seeing the lesbian romance in it is well. The movie is about feminism in professional sports but also about secret gay lives during the seventies. It explores that really well and subtly. I found the match overly excessive at length which was to be expected and of course the film is somewhat too traditional and straightforward, but still very subtle in its messages and not at all too preachy which I respected.

Let’s talk about the actors. Andrea Riseborough as Marylin actually did a really good job. Understated and memorable. She is very likable in her role. Steve Carell was typecast, but he still delivered a solid performance. But of course this is Emma Stone’s film to shine and she stole the show entirely.

It is interesting how she got all the awards for ‘La La Land’ the previous year when in actuality this is her better performance and probably her career best work. She is very subtle, nuanced and believable in a difficult to pull off role and of course it helped that the make-up apartment transformed her so successfully.

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Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

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Battle of the Sexes is way too long and sometimes not as interesting to watch. It was overly extended and not all that well paced or directed. The strong performances carry this movie along with a very interesting real life story and strong dialogue. The movie thus succeeds as a biopic as it definitely acquainted me with a previously unknown event and important movement.

Battle of the Sexes is overlong and too straightforward, but it is propelled by a very interesting real life story, great dialogue and a thankfully more subtle approach in storytelling and thematically. Emma Stone definitely stole the show here with a powerhouse, career-best performance in a very difficult role.

My Rating – 3.5

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Porky’s Tire Trouble (1939)

Porky's Tire Trouble ReviewPorky’s Tire Trouble Review

Porky’s Tire Trouble is a 1939 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a solid short.

I liked this short, but I also found it underwhelming as certainly the premise and the characters demanded better execution. Porky Pig is surprisingly underutilized here and he unfortunately continues to lose his presence in the series. I want more of him in the future. But that crazy dog is quite funny and he was emphasized more and thankfully he is amusing and deservedly got the spotlight here.

But the gags aren’t all that great and I wished for more silly scenes with that dog. The setting is fine, but we’ve been there before and here we do not get to see anything new done with it. The score and the animation are both underwhelming here as well. So the film is solid, just not up to the quality of some of Porky’s best.

Porky’s Tire Trouble has a funny dog in it, but other than that, the film is rather underwhelming in action and humor.

My Rating – 3.4

 

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The Trouble with Harry (1955)

The Trouble with Harry Movie Review

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The Trouble with Harry Movie Review

The Trouble with Harry is a 1955 romantic comedy mystery film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Edmund Gwenn and Shirley MacLaine. It is a pretty good, original flick.

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He looked exactly the same when he was alive,

only he was vertical

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The Trouble with Harry Movie Review

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Yes, this one is quite probably the most authentic, most atypical Hitchcock outing as he has never really made a film quite like this one. It is at its core a romantic comedy. Yes, not just a comedy but a romantic one as well. And the fact that there exists a Hitchcock romantic comedy just made my day.

So the film is about a hunter in a village who finds a dead body in the forest and then three more people join him in the guessing game of who killed him, but eventually the four people turn into two pairs of romantic couples. So it is not a thriller, but it definitely is a mystery as we do not know at first what really happened. I thought that the film succeeded in both mystery and romantic comedy departments as the mystery is involving and the film is quite charming and funny.

Edmund Gwenn gave such a strong performance in the lead role. He is the most endearing and likable character of the bunch here and I loved him. John Forsythe is the weakest link not only in terms of acting, but also when it comes to the character himself who is just not as interesting as the rest.

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The Trouble with Harry Movie Review

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I loved Shirley MacLaine who here made a terrific screen debut. A great character and a very strong performance. But Mildred Natwick should not be forgotten as she also acted so well here and this old lady character is very funny in her odd behavior and demeanor.

The Trouble with Harry is not a great film. The pacing is definitely very slow and it takes its time to get there owing to a slow start plus some of the scenes in the third act weren’t as interesting as the rest. I thought that the film needed less music and much more dialogue to pull off its character-driven, humorous approach, but it still succeeds as a pretty original film.

To me the highlight is the relationship between Captain Wiles and Miss Gravely. The two are such a charming, odd and ultimately endearing old couple and I loved how they interacted together. That was the most emotionally resonant and best developed part of the film. Some of the lines are quite funny here and the dialogue is truly terrific, not to mention very honest too, surprisingly so for the fifties. Some of the lines are quite brave when you think about them.

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The Trouble with Harry Movie Review

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So the film is definitely not hilarious, but it is quite funny in a couple of scenes and I found its subtle humor really pleasant and very clever. What Hitchcock set out to make is a quirky little comedy and he mostly achieved what he wanted to do.

The film is gorgeously shot, absolutely lovely to look at. The leaves, the forest, the houses and the people – everything is so well shot, depicted and it transports you to its small village so successfully. The country mood is so palpable and I loved its leisurely, elegant approach at filmmaking. I also found its score terrific and frequently highly beautiful.

The Trouble with Harry is somewhat slow in some parts and far from hilarious, but still quite funny in a couple of scenes and its subtle, quirky humor is mostly quite good. Edmund Gwenn is the highlight and Shirley MacLaine is excellent in her film debut. The film is gorgeously shot and evocative in its country mood plus the score is beautiful and elegant. The characters are weird and charming, the story is very interesting and the film succeeds as a very eccentric romantic comedy mystery. It’s by far Hitchcock’s most atypical effort.

My Rating – 4

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Robin Hood Makes Good (1939)

Robin Hood Makes Good ReviewRobin Hood Makes Good Review

Robin Hood Makes Good is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a weaker short.

A bunch of squirrel friends play a game of pretend and they cannot decide who is going to be Robin Hood. That premise is actually solid, but the execution is quite mediocre. Basically it started off well but ended up being quite boring and unfunny in its very weak second half.

I liked their quarreling about playing the role. That was amusing. But the introduction of the villain did not pay off, the voice acting is quite poor in this one and the film just sort of ended in an abrupt, unsatisfactory manner. The problem with this film, the biggest problem actually, is its cheap look. The score is not great and the animation is some of the weakest from this period with a very unpolished look to it.

Robin Hood Makes Good has a fine, amusing beginning, but a weaker second half and mediocre animation.

My Rating – 3.3

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Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

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Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones Movie Review

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones is a 2002 space opera film directed by George Lucas and starring Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman. It is the worst entry in the entire series.

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I don’t like sand.

It’s coarse and rough and irritating

and it gets everywhere

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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

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Yes, I really did not like this one. ‘The Phantom Menace’ has a couple of truly great scenes, but this one doesn’t even have those. It is certainly less insufferable and less childish with a thankfully reduced screen time for Jar Jar, but the other introduced elements are worse than its predecessor’s aspects quite a lot.

I am talking about the overwhelming action and the romance. The action is fun in the lightsaber duel and some other scenes, but for the most part it was dull as it is basically a war film with the clones fighting the Jedi. Those scenes bored me and the film is definitely overlong and dragging quite a bit.

But oh boy does the romance suck and carry this entire film down significantly. This has to be the worst romance ever put on film. The relationship between Padme and Anakin is boring and uninteresting. The two actors lack chemistry and their performances are terrible. Their lines of dialogue are awful and all of their scenes are basically giant detours with no purpose whatsoever other than to make you laugh how ridiculous they are.

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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

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Attack of the Clones is an honorable, but failed experiment. And what I mean by that is that the film tries to give us Anakin’s troubles with his temperament and we are meant to witness his shift to the dark side. It is thematically an interesting film and it does that shift really subtly and in an anti-cartoony manner. However, because the dialogue is so horrible across the board and the execution is so bad, those scenes that should have been dramatic and emotional are the worst ones here which is just unfortunate.

Natalie Portman gave one of her worst performances here. She is usually a very good actress, but here she is mediocre. But Hayden Christensen is just awful and he gave such a horrible, undeniably atrocious performance in an essential role that he single-handedly destroyed this entire film. I do think that he was cast in this role for looks alone as he has no acting talent whatsoever.

Obi-Wan Kenobi should have been used more here and Mace Windu is solid, but somewhat forgettable. The robots are quite amusing in some scenes, but mostly unnecessary. Palpatine and Count Dooku are excellent villains and again they should have been used in more scenes. Yoda is also reliably great. The fight between Yoda and Dooku remains the only truly good scene in this film as it is a great fight and easily the highlight of this otherwise unexciting film.

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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Movie Review

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Attack of the Clones has reliably terrific special effects and also some of the scenes featured excellent imagery and planet scenery. The score and the sound effects are both pretty good too. This script I think was good in its initial stages and it had potential as certainly its intentions were excellent, but the execution is so bad that it rendered the entire affair dead in tracks. The dialogue is some of the worst that I have ever heard in a film. That’s why it’s the worst film in the entire franchise.

Attack of the Clones looks great, the duel between Yoda and Count Dooku is excellent and the film had very good intentions, but the execution is so bad that it rendered the entire film mediocre. Rarely have I heard worse dialogue than this one as many lines spoken here are ridiculous and even hilarious. The action scenes are overwhelming, the film is too long and the romance between Padme and Anakin is so bland and all their scenes together are terrible. Hayden Christensen is simply an atrocious actor and he single-handedly destroyed this entire film. It is undoubtedly the worst entry in the entire franchise.

My Rating – 2.5

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Mickey Cuts Up (1931)

Mickey Cuts Up ReviewMickey Cuts Up Review

Mickey Cuts Up is a 1931 Mickey Mouse cartoon. It is too oddly structured.

Again we see a Mickey Mouse short which only begins in its third act. So basically Mickey sings and dances to Minnie trying to make her feel special and woo her. And then only after five minutes, the action comes in as the cat disrupts the fun and everyone chases her with Pluto wrecking everything.

I liked the turtle scene and the final scene was quite endearing. Pluto is sweet here and the two mice are also pretty endearing. But the first half remains dull and the action at the end is rushed and not particularly exciting. It is thoroughly lacking in strong gags and once again the structure ruined the whole film.

Mickey Cuts Up starts only near the end and thus it is a problematic effort with some sweet moments, but otherwise lacking in gags.

My Rating – 3.4

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Doctor Who Season 17 (1979)

Doctor Who Season 17 Review

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Doctor Who Season 17 Review

The seventeenth season of Doctor Who is another weak season with most of the serials being pretty mediocre.

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Do you mean an alien’s trying to steal the Mona Lisa?

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Doctor Who Season 17 Review

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Destiny of the Daleks is another very weak Daleks’ story and of course I was bored by it. It is easily the worst serial of this season. City of Death is actually pretty solid as this conspiracy thriller storyline with a couple of excellent scenes and a very strong, fun story.

The Creature from the Pit definitely has an overly familiar storyline that we’ve seen countless times by now with the monster and everything. However, it is still a solid serial thanks in no small part to a pretty terrific, memorable villain who posed some serious threat and stole the show here.

Nightmare of Eden has a pretty solid premise which is actually rather original when you think about it, but the realization of said premise is not all that great leading to a weaker than should have been serial.

The Horns of Nimon is pretty much the same. The premise is solid and fun, but the execution not so much and I wanted more entertainment from it. I was disappointed in it quite a bit.

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Doctor Who Season 17 Review

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Overall, this season is definitely not bad thanks to a couple of solid serials, but most stories here are weak and not particularly memorable. Romana is still not all that memorable and although this season is shorter with just twenty episodes in it, it was still boring and it needs change for sure. It needs more companions which the next season will finally bring us thankfully.

 

Worst Serials: Destiny of the Daleks and The Horns of Nimon.

Best Serials: City of Death and The Creature from the Pit.

 

Worst Episodes: Destiny of the Daleks Part One, Destiny of the Daleks Part Two and Destiny of the Daleks Part Three.

Best Episodes: City of Death Part One, City of Death Part Four and The Creature from the Pit Part Two.

My Rating – 3.2

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The World of Apu (1959)

The World of Apu Movie Review

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The World of Apu Movie Review

The World of Apu is a 1959 Bengali drama film directed by Satyajit Ray. It is a pretty solid conclusion to this trilogy.

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What do you know about love?

You’ve never been within ten yards of a girl!

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The World of Apu Movie Review

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I actually really liked this final entry. It isn’t on par with ‘Pather Panchali’ but it’s definitely much better than ‘Aparajito’. That is because it is much more interesting in its plot. Where previously it was standard, this one is actually quite memorable and not all that cliched.

To me the film lacks focus and that could have easily been fixed with shorter running time and quicker pace. A lot of stuff goes on here and the most inspired and interesting plot points are in the second half with the first half being uninteresting, at least to me.

The film is well directed by Ray, but not greatly directed. Again the pacing is ridiculously slow and the movie is frequently quite boring. The dialogue is solid and the acting is pretty strong, but the character development needed to have been stronger to pull off its more character-driven, simpler and emotional dramatic approach.

The World of Apu actually features a very interesting second half. I loved the exploration of India and those scenes were amazing, but the scenes with Apu’s son are great. I found his eventually successful marriage problematic as it sends a somewhat problematic message for Indians and his wife needed more screen time, but the ending itself is undeniably beautiful in the father-son reunion.

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The World of Apu Movie Review

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The film is actually much more cinematic than both of its predecessors and in that area it trumps them by large and finally becomes big screen worthy. I loved the scenery of India and its various landscapes are gorgeous to watch. The score is good, but the cinematography is strikingly terrific and definitely the artistic height of the entire picture.

The World of Apu is a pretty good conclusion to this trilogy with a flawed, less interesting and slow first half, but pretty memorable, frequently wonderful second half with such a beautiful ending. It is much better than its predecessor thanks to a much more interesting plot plus the film is unexpectedly cinematic with terrific cinematography providing us many gorgeous shots of the country.

My Rating – 4

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Hamateur Night (1939)

Hamateur Night ReviewHamateur Night Review

Hamateur Night is a 1939 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a very solid short.

Finally after a couple of lackluster efforts here comes a pretty solid one. And I did not expect that at all as the first half is entirely forgettable. Nothing in that first half works all that well as the various performers on stage are dull and they did not make me laugh.

However, the second half fixed that as the Hamlet scene was pretty funny and of course the highlight was the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene which is hilarious. Those two shotgun moments are priceless and very dark for sure. I also loved the ending with Egghead where he wins and we see that the audience itself is comprised of Eggheads.

Hamateur Night takes its sweet time to get there, but when it does, it offers us a hilarious scene on the balcony as well as such a memorable ending.

My Rating – 3.8

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Horrible Bosses (2011)

Horrible Bosses Movie Review

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Horrible Bosses Movie Review

Horrible Bosses is a 2011 black comedy film directed by Seth Gordon and starring Charlie Day, Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis. It is one of the best comedies of this decade.

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This is what’s gonna happen. I’m going to take

a two-week-long, very expensive holiday with my fiancee.

Let’s call it a honeymoon. And you’re going to pay for it!

Then I’m going to return to a nice, rape-free workplace from now on.

Because if you so much as look at my sexy little ass, Julia,

I will have yours locked the fuck up

you crazy bitch whore!

Man, that felt good!

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Horrible Bosses Movie Review

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It follows three men who set out to kill their bosses after they have been tormenting them for quite some time. They also have a raise in mind by doing that. It is a killer premise which did not stay unfulfilled but it also so well executed and explored. It doesn’t go too dark as some may state, but I liked that as the three remained likable that way. They would otherwise be too unlikable and not easy to root for.

Let’s first talk about the characters. And there is a lot to talk about here as almost all characters are so terrific. Of course Nick, Dale and Kurt are the highlights. Nick is the straight guy in the team but even he got some great moments to shine in terms of the humor. Kurt is this sex-obsessed, perverted guy and his obsession with sex and his looks (and ass) led to a lot of hilarious moments.

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Horrible Bosses Movie Review

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Of course Dale is the best of the three as his various lines are the funniest here with the ending being particularly effective. He is the most likable and the funniest part of the team. That goes without saying as Charlie Day plays him. He was great in ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ and here he is just as good. His high-pitched voice is funny and his comedic timing is terrific. Jason Bateman and especially Jason Sudeikis are both very good, but Charlie Day steals the show here. The three have such great chemistry that I bought them entirely as friends.

I thought Colin Farrell’s character was both typical and underutilized. But Jamie Foxx is so amusing and of course Kevin Spacey is very menacing and suitably cast in the most dangerous and villainous role. The scene where he gave himself another job was so funny.

But one of the highlights is Jennifer Aniston and rarely have I seen here in a better role. She almost steals the show from the rest how funny she is. Her sexually charged, crazy character works and each of her scenes was a winner in my book. She delivered such a great comedic performance, unexpectedly great. Every scene with her and Day was the standout one in the film and those made me laugh the most.

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Horrible Bosses Movie Review

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Horrible Bosses has its flaws – the second half is less funny than the first one, some of the scenes were rushed and some were too convenient. I think I just wanted more strong humor in the third act, but other than that, this is truly a stupendous comedy that is one of the best of the 2010s. The dialogue is great, its black humor works entirely, various lines are hilarious here and the delivery from the actors is top-notch. The script is stellar and the film is relatable. And both direction and pacing are pretty solid too, though not great. This was a really pleasant surprise and a highly underrated comedy flick.

Horrible Bosses is such a great comedy fueled by a superb chemistry between the three leads. Its ensemble cast is terrific and everyone did a great job with the highlights being Charlie Day and Jennifer Aniston whose comedic timing and delivery are perfect and those two made me laugh the most. It has a killer premise, but terrific execution as well. It is a hilarious riot almost from beginning to end thanks to stellar dialogue and many memorable scenes. This is easily one of the best comedies of the decade.

My Rating – 4.5

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