Special 26 (Neeraj Pandey/India/2013)

Story:

A team of tricksters pose as CBI officers and conduct raids to rob politicians and businessmen of their black money. With the real CBI on their trail, they decide to pull off their biggest heist.(google)

My Opinion:

Inspired by true events. While I certainly believe that parts of this could be true, it is really the word INSPIRED we should keep in mind here. I didn’t make any research yet, but some parts of the movie just seemed too good, or in the worst cases too illogical, to be true.

That doesn’t take the fun out of the movie though. It is really entertaining from beginning to the end. Always nice to see Anupam Kher and Akshay Kumar also gives us a good performance.

I don’t know what more I could say about this one. It’s a highly entertaining heist-movie and probably well worth your time

Trailer

Run (Aneesh Chaganty/USA/2020)

Story:

Chloe, a teenager, is forbidden from seeing the mail and is kept in isolation. She soon starts suspecting her mother of keeping dark secrets and decides to investigate.(google)

My Opinion:

The newest movie of Aneesh Chaganty, the director of the highly recommended „Searching“, is a really solid thriller.

Overall there probably isn’t much that we haven’t seen ,somwhere or somehow, before (except a few unique details) and the conclusion is rather simple. BUT same as in daily life, sometimes the journey is the goal and that really fits here. Iam sure a lot of people will foresee what happened but the strengths of the movie is really the tension that is on a pretty high level most the the time. On top of that we get some really good performances.

So yeah, if you find the story interesting enough and if you like thrillers, maybe give this one a try.

Trailer

When Fortune Smiles (Anthony Chan/Hong Kong/1990)

Story:

When a rich man dies and wills his fortune to his daughter, other members of the family launch dubious schemes to get some of the money.(Netflix)

My Opinion:

I really don’t know what to tell you anymore, since the movie is not totally different from other movies with Stephen Chow. I have a passion for these movies and I enjoyed this one.

So if you are already a fan, givr it a try. If you want to discover Stephen Chow movies, this one is probably not the best but ok. If you never liked these movies, don’t watch it.

It’s really as simple as that.😂

Trailer

Hosts (Richard Oakes,Adam Leader/UK/2020)

Story:

A family falls victim to unimaginable terror when they invite their sweet young neighbours over to celebrate Christmas Eve. ( Google)

My Opinion:

Well, Iam really open minded and actually the beginning was quite promising. Yeah really, if you are in for some hard hitting violence and terror the beginning is really promising.

Then after that the movie pretty much disappointed me. Look, Iam not someone who needs splatter or who expects too much from a movie. Whatever direction a movie wants to go – it’s fine with me as long as it is good and keeps my attention. On the positive side, the tension is pretty ok until the end. The problem is, you soon start to feel that this will not make any sense at all or won’t offer a satisfying solution or explanation.

Sure, I admit that Iam sometimes really not fast enough or really even too stupid to get things. Some things in the movie were familiar. There are probably some genius explanations all over the internet. The movie just didn’t give me enough to really care about it. I mean if we see it on a straight forward story level, there isn’t much to say. You could use the plot-summary and probably one additional sentence to explain the movie. Then, sure, the movie tries to make you feel like there is a higher meaning behind all of this. I didn’t find it, maybe you are more lucky.

Probably for fans of „Mandy“ or „Colour Out Of Space“, both with Nicolas Cage. Only to make it clear, „Mandy“ bored me to death and „Colour Out Of Space“ was pretty awesome. Still, in the end they probably have both more to offer than „Hosts“, which is a lot simpler in my eyes and like I said, anything else I wasn’t able to find.

Trailer

A Sun (Chung Mong-hong/Taiwan/2019)

Story:

A family reckons with the aftermath of their younger son’s incarceration and a greater misfortune that follows. (Netflix)

My Opinion:

Wow, this is one of them movies where I don’t really know what to say or how to explain them or whatever.

We often have a lot to say when something was bad, but sometimes great movies just leave me without much to say at all. Lucky Iam not a professional reviewer and I don’t pretend to be one.

All I can say is that „A Sun“ feels like a very personal and intimate family drama that always keeps your attention. If you like these kind of movies, without much action or anything fast paced, then definitely give this one a try. Don’t get me wrong, this movie is not really slow to be artful or whatever. Slow is probably not even the right word. Yeah, it’s personal and intimate.

So if you like the story or the trailer and if you are into this kind of movie, you probably won’t regret spending your time with „A Sun“

Ps: maybe I take back what I said about the Trailer, feels a bit too artsy for this film. Anyway, just watch the film.😂

Trailer

Badla (Sujoy Ghosh/India/2019)

Story:

Naina, a successful entrepreneur and married woman, gets caught in a web of accusations when her lover is found dead. She then hires a reputable lawyer to work with her on the case and find answers. (Google)

My Opinion:

Sujoy Ghosh seems to be one of Indias thriller experts. That’s already the second movie I, believe it or not, unintentionally saw of him in the period of a few days. The other one was „Kahaani“

Thinking back now, the shoe really fits. The layers of how the thriller works are pretty much the same. The actors are well chosen, it is always a delight to see Amitabh Bachchan since not many can challenge his presence. Then things never get boring and you wonder how it happened. Everything ends with some pretty heavy twists and turns and you’ve spent your time well if you like thrillers. The twists and turns, although a bit hard to foresee, stay believable and are not too over the top. The movie plants a few things, but overall it is probably not as intelligent as it thinks it is. Again, Iam not the fastest but I would argue that it is hard to foresee all of that. The audience is being tricked, but not in the most intelligent way. It is more like “ Haha noooo it is not like that, it is like this cause I say so“. Yeah something like that, but it all makes sense. So no need to be afraid that everything is totally unlogical for the sake of a twist.

Yeah, „Badla“ is a solid thriller for fans of thrillers. You probably won’t be totally disappointed watching this one. It doesn’t go very deep, it relys on its tricks. Which is ok for me, a thriller is a thriller and nobody says a thriller always has to be super deep or whatever. Just a thriller has a few things that can make it outstanding. Its level of suspense, its cleverness or maybe different layers. „Badla“ is outstanding in neither of those things. In the end its solid, no next level stuff BUT solid. Anyway, although the movie doesn’t go very deep in my opinion, there is probably a message that feminists will find to be a bit problematic.😉

Also to not forget that point, the movies is based on the Spanish movie „The Invisible Guest“ from 2016. I didn’t see that one, yet.

Trailer

Love Is Love (Tommy Leung Ga-shu/Hong Kong/1990)

Story:

Defying family expectations, a pair of childhood sweethearts wed and move to the big city, where work life and temptations test their relationship.(Netflix)

My Opinion:

Wow, it is still pretty strange for me to see Stephen Chow in one of his normal movies. While this is still a romantic comedy, it is almost a serious movie for Stephen Chow standards. Nothing over the top happening here.

That being said, „Love Is Love“ is not the most special or original movie you’ll ever see but it isn’t bad at all. If you are in the mood for a HK RomCom it won’t hurt to give this one a look. Props also to Shing Fui-on for his role as the father in law.

As often the trailer is just too long. Give it a minute to get the idea, so you won’t know the best scenes already.

Trailer

Nayattu (Martin Prakkat/India/2021)

Story:

Three police officers become pawns for unscrupulous lawmakers when they are framed in an incident amid political elections and must flee to evade arrest. (Netflix)

My Opinion:

Instead of „Kahaani“, which I watched recently, I would rather call this one „the best indian thriller ever made“. Iam not a big fan of such superlatives, but I wouldn’t mind people calling „Nayattu“ one of the best thrillers. It is surly amongst the best I have seen.

It just fits my personal taste a bit more than movies like „Kahaani“. It goes deeper in my eyes and doesn’t have to rely only or not at all on twists and turns. It has an authenticity that makes it gripping without you only waiting for the next twist. Then this movie delivers more than what meets the eye. The characters are authentic and relatable. Once again it is a movie that deals with cultural matters and the deeply implented corruption that is a part of living in India and that corruption comes from the highest places.

That doesn’t mean that there is no suspense. Just the suspense doesn’t come from twists and turns, like I already said a few times. The suspense is created by the fates of our characters since we care for them on a higher level. Well, I stop now. Iam not good at explaining this kind of stuff.

If you have a chance to watch it, you should do it.

Trailer

Once A Gangster (Felix Chong/Hong Kong/2010)

Story:

A successful restaurateur finds his idyllic life turned upside down when he must temporarily replace a mob boss.(google)

My Opinion:

It’s pretty seldom, but it happens. „Once A Gangster“ is a HK comedy/satire that I didn’t really like and also wouldn’t recommend, especially for foreigners who are new to asian movies.

The film feels messy and unfocused at times, but that is not even something uncommon when it comes to the crazy world of HK comedys. The thing is, there is nothing really funny and that is probably the worst thing that can happen. I would say the movie lacks timing and punch, it just drags on and on without much energy. While fun is surly something very subjective, the movie just has these general problems for me. So yeah, maybe if you are a fan of one of the actors give it a try. If not, I find it hard to recommend and there is not much worth to see, despite a few scenes maybe.

Trailer