Deadpool 2 | A love story for the families, NOT.

Deadpool 2 was one of the movies that we were waiting for since it was announced. We did manage to book tickets for the first day. It sure did deliver what it promised. It’s an ode to the content of the script and comic timing of the actor that Ryan Reynolds is. There was not a single dull moment in the entire movie and yet it was not ‘breath-taking’ or ‘out-of-the-world’ by any means. The story line is hardly something to applaud but the dialogues and scenes make it interesting.  I would go to the extent of saying that it is a movie spoof through and through and yet it is so original that you laugh till you cry !  Pssst..It has the best ever mid-credit scene of any marvel movie. 

*** NO SPOILERS***

Deadpool dies or does he ?? Its not a spoiler if I leave it as a Open ended question ! Morena Baccarin should have had more screen time. But hey, it is not her movie – so I guess I cannot complain.

Josh Brolin (Nathan Summers / Cable), turned out to be nothing like Thanos. His backstory was inaptly handled and there definitely was no brooding sense of villainy surrounding him. He was the perfect ‘deadpool-villain’. There were some other surprises as well with the cameo appearances from Brad Pitt and Hugh Jackman . Brad Pitt’s appearance was a blink and you miss it one. Even though i saw the character, I failed to recognize him but my partner shouted out ‘Brad Pitt’.  

Zazie Beetz , rocked the role of Domino and kept on proving that luck is indeed a super power. Julian Dennison as Russell, the ‘kid who must be saved’ had some really goofy, off-the-charts moments with Deadpool. 

Deadpool goes about making a mockery of everything under the sun including but not limited to DC, Batman, Marvel, Thanos, Green Lantern and Ryan Reynolds.

I would recommend it to anybody who loved the first installment as it is more of the same. You can go in with head full of problems and come out with an clear head along with the satisfaction that you laughed your brains out to some of the wittiest dialogues delivered by some of the best in business.

Best Scene:
Someone: Who are you?
Deadpool: Batman!

Anon | Netflix | Another decent futuristic thriller

A dark, futuristic Sci-fi thriller Anon sticks to age old streamlined story telling.  Anon hinges on the idea that anonymity is a thing of the past and that its impossible for anybody to get away with a crime as both the perpetrator and the victim both have every single second of their life available and recorded for the officers of the law. What you see is a digital footprint in itself. Everything is pretty much an open and shut case before the investigation even sets off ! Then, however, things go for a toss when you no longer can believe what you see. Yes, Anon pretty much deals with the hacking of the human mind.

Sal Frieland (Clive Owen) is a detective who investigates murders and is pretty good at it. Things change when he is called into a crime scene where the last few moments that a victim had seen through her eyes was what the perpetrator saw through his/her eyes. A series of such murders and a chance encounter with a anon, led the investigators to believe that a lady (Amanda Seyfried) was the common denominator in all the crimes. Amanda’s character is a human mind hacker who can erase the memories and replace them with fresh memories. The rest of the story is a well paced thriller which sticks to the usual dark setting corresponding to every Netflix Futuristic Movie/Series.

I would suggest this as a one time watch to anyone interested in thrillers. Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried are good in their roles, as expected and background music is pretty engaging throughout.

 

Money Heist | La casa de papel | Netflix | A classic thriller with more oomph than dud moments.

Money Heist came in as a highly recommended series , by many of my friends and it did not disappoint. Its an ‘almost masterpiece’ which at times failed to keep up with the dizzying plot build up that it had over the first few episodes. It’s about a group of robbers spearheaded by the meticulous mastermind ‘El Profesor’ (Álvaro Morte) who plans to rob the ‘The Royal Mint’ by printing 2.4 billion Euros and thereby accomplishing the biggest heist ever !

Like most of the heist stories of our times, the group is carefully assembled together from scratch by the brain of the whole operation and here its the Professor. He teaches and prepares the team of robbers for 6 months so that they can pull off the perfect heist and go by their chosen city names. Thus, the calm and composed  Berlín (Pedro Alonso), hothead and narrator/heroine Tokio (Úrsula Corberó) , genius counterfeiter Nairobi ( Alba Flores),  computer whizkid Río (Miguel Herrán) , the father son duo of Denver and Moscow and the muscles of the twin brothers come together to take hostages and lock out the Royal Mint as they go about their business of printing Money. On the other side of the fence is the brilliant Raquel Murillo ( Itziar Ituño) who heads the investigation against the Professors team. 

Money Heist has its fair share of ups and downs throughout and some of the plot twists could not have been timed any better. Even with all that what got to my nerve is the fact that is the character of Tokio, from whose point of view the whole heist is explained. Every single time something goes south in the plan we know whom to point to fingers at and this was probably a masterstroke by the creator  Álex Pina. It always add to the intrigue when you dislike the main character and yet love the plot. 

I ended up binge watching both the seasons of ‘Money Heist ‘ and loved it for most parts. If you are into thriller genre and can ignore a few unwanted (read – boring) scenes you would end up loving the series like I did. The fact that they ended it properly after the second season is a huge plus point and this is something I would definitely recommend to anybody who love thrillers and can ignore small deficiencies and yeah, the writers definitely believed in the phrase ‘love is blind and stupid’.

 

Lost in Space Review | Netflix’s first authentic foray into Disney territory.

Lost in Space , is not your regular Sci-fi, supernatural Netflix Original. It’s more of a family friendly, time-pass, high-production-value, yet flawed series which makes you feel that somebody made it for Disney and ended up showing it in Netflix. Its a reboot of the 1998 namesake starring, Gary Oldman and honestly this one didn’t fare much better.

Set 30 years into the future, the Earth is now uninhabitable. The story-line follows the Robinsons who are part of a colonization expedition which crash lands on an alien planet and follows this family of five in their fight for survival and getting back on course to the real destination. There are a few other characters as well, since they had to stretch it to 10 episodes worth of material.  Parker Posey as Dr Smith, plays the villain and she is the most confusing character of all ! There are places where she does some silly, ‘evil’ things just for the sake of it. 

In short, this is one Netflix Original for the families. You will enjoy watching this with your kids or if you have to entertain someone else’s kids ! Mediocre acting and shoddy script-writing might make you lose temper at times – if you are watching it alone. The CGI and some of the scenes are breathtaking but half the time you are left clueless on what the end game is, with the villain 🙂

Lilyhammer | Netflix Original | As Good as a Comedy-Crime Drama could get !

Lilyhammer is a fabulous binge-worthy comedy/crime series that popped up in my Netflix feed out of the blue. It starts with the New York mobster and second-in-command,   Frank Tagliano (Steven Van Zandt) getting in line of the cross-hair, when the chief dies and the brother takes over the Mafia. Frank’s dog gets killed and he escapes by the skin of his teeth and before going all John Wick on the perpetrators he decides to do the sensible thing and turn States witness. In return he gets to choose any new identity anywhere in the world. However, he chose to go to Lilyhammer, Norway, as he loved the place when he saw the 94 Winter Olympics on TV and thus begins the adventure. 

Lilyhammer is more of a Norwegian production than an American one and it turns out to be a dark comedy version of The Sopranos and its only fair that Steven got the role. There is not a single dull moment in the entire series as the ex-mobster makes friends (more of partners in crime) in the ever lovable, ice-cold Lilyhammer. Every frame is absolutely postcard worthy  and every single character is a masterpiece in itself. It would be a crime though to not mention Torgeir Lien( Trond Fausa) who plays the dumb, lovable and fiercely loyal second-in-command as Frank tries to build his own Mob base in Lilyhammer. The makers Eilif Skodvin & Anne Bjørnstad deserve a lot of credit as well for churning out something so funny out of an otherwise dark theme.

I would recommend Lilyhammer to anybody who is into Dark comedy and Gangster shows. Watch it with subtitles ON as half of the conversation is in Norwegian – that’s however something you will not complain about. It’s fun, definitely just for adults and a perfect way to wind down after a stressful week at work.

Requiem (2018) | Netflix | Another decent British Supernatural Thriller.

‘Cold case of a missing kid’ seems to be the formula that works the best for most of the British Supernatural Thrillers these days. Requiem , too follows the trend when 23 years later, the case of a toddler who went missing in 1994 comes into limelight. The series begins in breathtaking pace and the subsequent episodes somehow goes meandering and is unable to keep up with the brilliant beginning.  It’s definitely not as good as DarkThe Five or Broadchurch but definitely better than 1922 and Collateral.

The series begins with an old man in a small Welsh Village commits suicide, followed by another suicide in London of the mother of a rising Cello star Matilda Gray (Lydia Wilson) right in front of her. The element of supernatural is laden in the very first shots itself. Matilda and her friend Hal Fine(Joel Fry) travels to the Welsh Village in search of the truth following the few clues left behind by her mother. The remainder of the season is all about the mystery of the two suicides, the missing kid and village filled with secrets. 

There are so many good things going on about Requiem including the very beautiful locations in Wales. The nature in itself casts its eerie shadow throughout adding to the mood of the series. The cast does a decent job and background music is very riveting. I do, however, think that the makers missed a trick by dragging the series on for 6 episodes. They could have wrapped it all up in 4 and could have made a much more entertaining watch out of it. The series did remind me of <Movie Name Spoiler !  > and was a bit too predictable in the end. In short its a decent one time watch if you are into thrillers belonging to the supernatural genre.

The Outsider | Netflix Original | Slammed by the critics, loved by us

The Outsider (Gaijin), starring Jared Leto, is the latest addition to those Netflix Originals that was slammed by most of the critics and yet turned out to be an enjoyable watch for me. This Netflix Original tries to experiment with the less talk and more acting type of storytelling which is not often seen in the genre of crime thrillers. For an out and out Jared Leto movie, The Outsider is more than 70% Japanese .

The movie follows the story of an American soldier imprisoned in post-war Japan who enters the Japanese Mob Family, Yakuza after befriending one of them while in prison. The support cast of Tadanobu AsanoKippei Shîna and Shioli Kutsuna are amazing throughout but no gaze goes past the intensity of Nick Lowell, portrayed by Jared Leto. The intensity and honestly he brings to his character is beyond words. The story telling style and the exhaustive usage of Japanese in the movie makes it difficult to convert ‘The Outsider’ into a fast paced thriller that it could have been. 

The way the movie ended was a bit anticlimactic and was open ended, probably with the intention of bringing out a part 2. I would go with the title ‘The Insider’ for part two though. I would recommend this movie to anybody who is a fan of Jared Leto and likes slow-burn crime drama’s.  Do not expect any classic dialogues as the dialogues itself are few and far between.

From the wife: Jared Leto has always been an intense actor. I feel he has done justice to the role. He has perfected the expression for pain, rage and dark amusement. You cannot help but feel sorry for the character even though some part of you is telling you that the character is part of local mob and does not deserve your sympathy. Watch it for Jared Leto and his incredible performance.

 

Collateral | Netflix Limited Series | A British mystery with more drama than thrills.

Collateral (2018), is a  new four part limited mini-series that was made by BBC and presented to the rest of the world as a Netflix Original. We were thoroughly intrigued by the trailer which promised a lot with the stellar cast. The 4 episodes of this mini series occur over four consecutive days. They have tried to address too many issues in this short mini series, which in my opinion might have muddles the waters a bit. Carey Mulligan as DI Kip Gillespe, Jeany Spark as Major Sandrine Shaw, John Simm as MP David Mars and Nicola Walker (one of my favorite mini screen actors) as a gay clergy were stellar in their roles. 

The series has bits about the pains of a homecoming soldier, the desperation of the refugees fleeing from their terror riddled home countries, drug abuse amongst young mothers,  LGBT acceptance amongst the English clergy, rank abusing Army superiors and the immigration stance that has ravaged all developed nations. They have bitten off more than can chew and it becomes glaringly obvious when you watch the characters struggle with their problems.

To summarize, I would say its a decent watch which promised a lot more than it eventually delivered. Too many issues and too little a screen time (and yet there were a few boring fleeting moments in between) might have acted against in making this an exceptional watch. Its a nice enough watch but nothing earth shattering.

Cheapest and Best Wireless Carrier in USA – TMobile

How I came to  realize that TMobile is the cheapest and best Cell Phone Carrier in the USA, that provides the biggest bang for your bucks.

My monthly Cell Phone bill has taken quite a steep downward turn after I switched to TMobile One Plan.  I am on one of the best plans available and I pay less than 20$ a month (30$ if I use more than 2GB of LTE). The plan is not grandfathered as of 2018/March/06. The following are what I receive:

  • Unlimited 4G LTE smartphone data
  • Unlimited Talk & Text
  • Free Netflix Standard Subscription
  • Scam ID
  • T-Mobile Tuesday Benefits
  • Other benefits I am unaware of around in flight wifi and international roaming.

If you have following, you can follow my hack and get your monthly payments down to ridiculously low amounts:

  • Good Credit Score
  • 08 – 10 Lines. (Trusted family/friends who will pay you back timely)
  • A little bit of patience

How to get on this amazing plan:

1. Get the T Mobile One Family Plan. The Plan costs are 130$ for first 2 lines. 25$ per line for 6 lines after that. 30$ for last 2 lines. All taxes are included so no surprise charges.

  • With 8 Lines the cost per line = (130 + (25*6)) / 8 = 35$ per line
  • With 10 Lines the cost per line = (130 + (25*6) + (30*2)) / 10 = 34$ per line

2. TMobile has auto pay discount of 5$ off per line up to 40$. You must log into their site and enable auto pay.

  • With 8 Lines the cost per line = 35$ – 5$ = 30$
  • With 10 Lines the cost per line = 34$ – (40/10) $ = 30$

3. Once this is done, log into account settings and enable Kickback on every line. So, if any line does not use 2GB of data in the current billing cycle, they will get 10$ off in the next cycle.

  • Cost per line = 30$ – 10$ = 20$

4. Call the customer care (They hardly have wait times and they are amazing and helpful folks) and check if there are any extra costs per line. There will at least be 1 extra feature on at least one line. Ask them to disable everything that will cost you extra bucks. You are now set.

Few things to Note:
1. There will be Initial set up costs.
2. Kickback will start only from Month 02.
3. The coverage isn’t that great if you travel into wilderness a lot. No complains in cities. Their recent bandwidth purchase gives me hope that the coverage is getting better.
4. T Mobile Tuesday – Freebies, Coupons, Fuel Discounts, Free Movie Rentals etc easily add up to over 20$ a month. But I do not use all of them and maybe get 10$ of benefit a month.
5. Corporate discount doesn’t work on this plan (I tried. Else I would have had an extra 20% off).
6. They also occasionally have Buy One – Get One free offers on the most amazing phones (but that is a blog for another day)
7. They provide free signal boosters if your residence does not have enough T-Mobile bandwidth.

I have been using T Mobile for over 3 years now ( 6 Months on prepaid, 2 years on Simple One Now-Grandfathered Plan and the rest with TMobile One). I have had no complains and highly recommend this cell phone carrier.

Love Per Square Foot – Netflix Original Hindi – Worth a Watch

Netflix does it again! A much needed breathe of fresh air as far as Hindi movies are concerned. After getting used to the faster than average pace of English series these days, I had given up on Hindi movies when Netflix recommended this gem to me.

The plot starts with character introduction of 2 bank employees, each with a mediocre salary and a dream to own a house in the expensive Mumbai. They run into each other quite by chance and enter a business deal where they pretend to be married so that they can qualify for a housing scheme. They jump head first into this dream considering themselves practical till they realize that their hearts have a different plan. Add to this weird deal two different religions, a little bit of confusion, traditional parents, original and lovely music and a crazy boss lady.

It has the right combination of humor and drama. The story is very well written and the characters are extremely relatable. Perhaps what stands out is the impeccable comic sense even amidst all the drama.

Vicky Kaushal : Resembles a young Hiten Tejwani and delivers an amazing performance and is the star of this movie. For a change, he is an eye candy who can act.

Angira Dhar and Alankrita Sahai are fresh faces who play their role convincingly. They are both beautiful and confident and bring us a smile with their lovely performances.

Ratna Pathak Shah, Supriya Pathak and Raghuvir Yadav: I do not know why such powerful stars were part of this movie but their performance is simply delightful which shouldn’t really surprise anyone.

To summarize – it is a lovely movie that makes you smile long after it is done. (Am writing this review after a day and am still smiling). Go, turn on Netflix and watch this original today.