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Harold Ramis, 1944-2014

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I know that this message is very very late, but I still have to write it and pay homage to one of the greatest writers, film-makers and actors of all time: Harold Ramis.

Why countless people and I adore this man so much is not only because he has entertained us and made us all laugh a million times, but also because he has helped cinema reach the stage where it is today.

This man, along with Bill Murray and John Candy established comedy in the 1980s. He took risks and produced movies which were incredible beyond words and are still remembered. All his movies - whether it be Groundhog Day, Stripes, Caddyshack or Ghost Busters - just took the genre to a different level. They were funny alright, but they were also new and interesting and different… They had lovely characters, mind blowing plots and wonderful humour! They made you laugh, they made you dream and imagine, they made you feel nice and they even made you realise things about life you otherwise probably wouldn’t - and all this is because of that one man.

Whether he enacted in movies or directed them or just wrote them - it didn’t matter. They were good and in fact, they still are! That’s all that matters. That’s all that has ever mattered, and that’s all that will ever matter.

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Goodbye, Harold Ramis and rest in peace. You’ll always be remembered and your legacy will remain forever. Thank you for all that you did.

The Spectacular Now

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You know how, as teenagers, many of us run from the future? We like to live in the now - because it’s spectacular or maybe even because the future is scary and because we don’t see a point in growing up and becoming an adult. That. That and much more is exactly what James Ponsoldt’s fantabulous film, The Spectacular Now, is about.

It’s a character driven film whose characters are played by two exceptionally great actors, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. Miles’s character Sutter Keely is who we follow as the film continues.

Sutter is the life of the party, the class clown, the kid who doesn’t care about the future - because high school is great! He does as he likes - all to make life happy. He believes in now - the spectacular now. To him, the future doesn’t matter. He is charming and can become friends with just about anyone. He is living the best time of his life and he knows that. Then why should he care about the future?

Well, because he has flaws too - and these flaws can affect him badly if he doesn’t do anything about them. You see, the thing is that he is just an average looking guy who is failing school and who is addicted to alcohol. He makes life fun and he makes parties lively, but all of it ends up affecting him so badly that one day his girlfriend Cassidy dumps him and he ends up sleeping in some random guy’s lawn.

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That’s when Shailene Woodley’s character, Aimee Finecky, enters the picture. She, on her way to distributing newspapers around the neighbourhood, finds Sutter lying unconscious. She wakes him up. And then they connect. Of course, it’s not this quick. Aimee and Sutter are worlds apart. Aimee is the kind of girl who enjoys reading more than partying, who thinks about her future and who isn’t really social. She is under-confident and thinks less of herself. Such different people need time to connect. And the film gives them time.

It doesn’t rush anything and gives off an hour of its one hour thirty minutes run-time to its characters. It digs deep into their lives and brings out all the struggles of their lives, only to showcase why they became what they are today. This makes the film feel real. The characters face real-people problems and represent real-people. They talk like actual teenagers, behave like actual teenagers and think like actual teenagers.

Moreover, it’s not just the relationship between Sutter and Aimee that this film tackles so honestly. It’s all the relationships in Sutter and Aimee’s lives. Take Sutter and Cassidy, for instance. They were perfect. They had the best relationship possible and yet, they broke up – because Cassidy wanted a future while Sutter didn’t even care about one.

This flexible approach of showing the struggles of both Sutter and Aimee with the people in their lives brings us to what might be called the climax of this film. The point when Sutter and Aimee face not only each other, but also themselves. See, Sutter and Aimee have parental issues – yet another problem teenagers face - and both of them aren’t ready to face these issues. At least, not until they meet each other.

For Aimee, it’s facing her mother who is totally dependent on Aimee. And for Sutter it is meeting his father – a man who his mother and sister have kept away from him. That’s when Aimee and Sutter realise how much they need each other and how much being together has changed them.

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Of course, what really impressed me were the actors of this film – Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller. They do a terrific job in playing out their roles. The honesty and reality with which they act will amaze anyone. No wonder Sundance created a special prize for them.

However, one aspect of the film which disappointed me was the complete ignorance of Sutter’s drinking problem. He drinks throughout the film and even passes on this habit to Aimee. In fact, he is even part of a drunk-driving accident. Yet, he doesn’t stop drinking.

Fortunately, the film is interesting, strong and spectacular enough for this to not become a problem. Overall, I guess it’s safe to say that this was truly one of the best films of this year – but then again, I have a thing for coming-of-age movies, so I might be biased. In fact, I guess why I love this film sooo much is because it reminds me of John Hughges and all those other 80s movies (such as Say Anything…) which helped define an era.

The Kings Of Summer

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I tried some countless different starts when I began writing this review, but in the end I couldn’t come up with anything to describe the simplicity of this amazing movie called The Kings Of Summer. So now, here I’m - with a completely different approach to describe how much I enjoyed this movie. 

It’s hard to decide what to begin with, so I guess I’ll start from the beginning: around five months ago, I got to know about this movie. As you might have guessed, I was very excited to see it. But sadly, due to some reasons of mine, the only way for me to see this was to wait for the DVD release.

So that’s why I was pretty delighted this week (the DVD came out, after all). But, what was the point of telling you all this in a film review?

Well, I…don’t know. But I will still take a guess, just so that I don’t look like the fool I’m. Okay, then: the purpose of all this was…to write because I felt like writing it. It made me feel independent - something which all the three main characters of this movie want to feel. Yep. 

Anyway, moving on, if I were to describe this movie in one single word I’d probably say that it was ‘hysterical’. Why, everyone (at least every sane one) must be wondering. Well, I guess it’s because this movie not only had the quirkiness to make me laugh, but also the emotions to make me cry.

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The characters were so strong that I,
A. not only got to relate to the main characters,
B. but also feel for the ones I never expected to feel for. All the thanks go to Nick Offerman for being the ridiculously good actor he is.

And while we are at characters, I’ve to say that Moises Arias impressed me SO much that I can’t even describe it. I really do have to give it to him because I for one could never have thought that Nico from Hannah Montana would end up being so amazing! But, Arias’s character isn’t the one who drives the movie forward - in fact, I feel that Moises’s character was a mystery whose role only came to importance in the end. His character was just for entertainment which, even though crazy at times (“I met a dog the other day that taught me how to die”), was welcoming.


But, perhaps what really makes me feel nice about this film are its other two characters. Their story has already been told too many times: running away from home because of either annoying or angry-for-no-reason parents. Yet, it feels so different! I suppose it’s because of their urge to become men and their want for being friends for life - friends who wouldn’t betray or give up on each other.

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While this dream of theirs is beautifully represented by Jordan Vogt- Roberts through his montages (the most beautiful one either being the boys creating energetic, exciting and ambitious beats as they become one with nature or the boys actively making the house of their dreams as they enjoy each other’s company and have the most amount of fun they ever had in life), the film doesn’t forget that all this is still a ‘dream’.

Friendship without fights is impossible and there are many reasons for that. In this case, it’s love - something which walks hand in hand with friendship.

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I personally feel that with a very subtle touch of love, this film showcases several different conflicting emotions felt by teenagers as they grow up and understand life.

Something else which impressed me is how this film (like no other) has a very diverse soundtrack. It varies from country to something which I believe was hip-hop. This allowed me to have a very refreshing approach to the film as I could feel various different emotions flooding through the characters.

However, I was disappointed over one point. Before saying anything else, I first have to point out that I’m not sure when this film has been set. Hence, I’m assuming it’s the current times.

Now, moving on to the main point of discussion: how in today’s world did these teenagers manage to live with technology? According to what I saw - they had troubles accepting the sudden transition in food. Well, what about technology? Teenagers of today’s world are too tech-savvy to easily accept an internet-free life. But, I guess that would have killed the film’s plot.

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Oh, and before I forget, I’d like to point out another thing which grabbed my attention. The beautiful scenery. This film has been constructed with so many masterfully shot clips of nature that it really makes you wonder about the beauty of life.

Overall, I believe that everyone will understand this film differently. It’s just that kind of a film. All this - whatever I wrote - was what impressed me and was what I understood. I don’t know what you are going to see or what you are going to understand, but I do know that you - whoever you are - should watch this film because the chances are that you most probably will like what you see. At least, I did.

Now You See Me!

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With Now You See Me, Louis Leterrier has managed to create a simple, yet magnificent movie which can, and will dazzle your mind.

The movie is an illusion about an illusion. Its ideology is easy - The closer you look, the farther you are from the truth. The title, therefore, is a play of words which I personally adore.

What is so good about this movie is that the truth is right there all along, yet you don’t see it because the closer you see, the farther you get from the truth. To be precise: The movie is layered with illusions, mind bending techniques and magic which melt and blend with each other all for the final piece of the puzzle.

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With quirky dialogues such as “First rule of magic: Always be the smartest guy in the room”, the movie is not only able to bring out humour but also, the ass Jesse Eisenberg so lovably plays. He manages to bring back that terrific arrogance which we last saw in The Social Network and prove to us, yet once again, that he has the ego and the attitude which takes to be excellent.

The story, itself is also excellent. It is about four magicians called the four horsemen, which include: Eisenberg’s over-confident, a bit charming and control freak of a street magician. Isla Fisher’s talented escape artist. Woody Harrelson’s witty and amusing hypnotist. And Dave Franco’s quick thinking pick pocket.

All of them, as different as they are from each other, unite together and try to make it big by performing a few magic tricks which together form one big trick, all while being chased by the FBI’s leading man Mark Ruffalo and also, Morgan Freeman (an over-confident magician turned magic buster).

Why, you ask? I think it’s because of the part when they rob people live - openly - on a global scale during their magic shows and aid the poor. That’s why FBI is chasing them. On the other hand, Morgan Freeman is chasing them because these magicians looted a rich man who wants them down and is ready to pay Freeman loads of dough to make sure that what he wants happens!

 Anyway, these guys aren’t Robin Hood. They are being instructed by some unknown guy to do all of these charades of theirs, because…well, you’ll have to see the movie to know why, right?

Another thing glamorous about this movie is the way it manages to show extreme character development. The four horsemen, at first were all so different from each other, but, by the end of the movie, their relationship really grows strong. They start thinking of themselves as a group, even though they are all very different. Basically, they get closer to each other as the movie progresses.

The film is so fast-paced that you won’t realise how much time has passed by the time it ends - I think that is because the way the movie has been directed and its screenplay itself are so quirky and so on-the-face, that the movie feels real and henceforth quick.

Moreover, it’s able to cover up much more than it’s supposed to. Mark Ruffalo’s character story and chemistry with newly found partner Melanie Laurent are just bits of this. The side story of the first magician who Morgan Freeman busted is another example. In fact, there’s a lot more! But I can’t let this post be spoiler-full. Now, can I?

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If all that isn’t enough, the movie has packed a cast of A-Listers. I have already mentioned these people before, but I feel that if you read their names together, you will realise what all the fuss is about in a much better way. So, here we go! Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Melanie Laurent…yeah, these guys are big shots. And as you would expect, so are their performances.

If you ask me, the movie was very cleverly constructed. Every small detail was a spoiler for the bizarre ending. Again, kudos to Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo and everyone else for a groundbreaking performance which grips you till the very end.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, go watch it. You’re missing out, you really are. And oh, here’s a tip - it may or may not spoil the movie for you - Whatever you see, whatever you hear, just pay attention. It’s all out there. You just have to realise it all, because whatever happens, happens for a reason.

Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I wanna ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life.

EASY A

The references to Say Anything, The Breakfast Club, Can’t Buy Me Love and Sixteen Candles are perfect. <3