Tag Archives: Pete Travis

The Big Sick (2017) Review

Time: 120 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive Language
Cast
Kumail Nanjiani as Kumail (based on himself)
Zoe Kazan as Emily Gardner (based on Emily V. Gordon)
Holly Hunter as Beth
Ray Romano as Terry
Adeel Akhtar as Naveed
Zenobia Shroff as Sharmeen
Anupam Kher as Azmat
Director: Pete Travis

Kumail Nanjiani is a Pakistani comic who meets an American graduate student named Emily (Zoe Kazan) at one of his stand-up shows. As their relationship blossoms, he soon becomes worried about what his traditional Muslim parents will think of her. When Emily suddenly comes down with an illness that leaves her in a coma, Kumail finds himself developing a bond with her deeply concerned mother (Holly Hunter) and father (Ray Romano).

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The Big Sick was a movie I heard about only recently, I heard that it was a romantic comedy that a lot of people really loved. I really didn’t know what to expect, the trailer was funny and looked like it had potential, so I was cautiously optimistic before seeing it. The Big Sick surprised me on many levels, it surprised me how funny it was, it surprised me how emotional it was, and it also surprised me how great it was overall, this is probably one of the best romantic comedies I’ve seen (then again it’s not saying a lot).

I won’t lie, I really am not a fan of romantic comedies, save for a few like 500 Days of Summer. In order for a romantic comedy to really get me to like them, they have to really be well written and something different from all the countless generic romantic comedies that are dumped out every year, and it really does. The Big Sick is a very unconventional romantic comedy. This movie is written so incredibly well, the movie is absolutely hilarious with every joke hitting hard, the dialogue fantastically written. At the same time though you actually care about what’s going on with these characters. It felt so real and genuine and not fake at all. To summarise, this movie isn’t pretentious, it doesn’t succumb to any typical lines or moments that are in typical romantic comedies movies. Like don’t expect a montage of someone being sad with a cheesy sad song, when the film is emotional, it feels earned. The Big Sick also has some social commentary about many things including interracial relationships and religion, especially with Kumail’s family, and how Kumail has to abide by his family’s rules, as otherwise he might be removed from the family and never spoken to again. The drama and comedy are balanced out very well. If there are any potential flaws with the movie, the 3rd act does go on for a little too long. As for how accurate it is (as it’s based on a true story) I can’t comment, but given the people who wrote this movie, I’ll just say that it’s highly likely that its true.

The acting overall was really good for the movie. Kumail Nanjiani was hilarious and likable in his role (as himself), but also handles the dramatic scene very well, you really care about him. Equally as great is Zoe Kazan as Emily, Kumail’s girlfriend. The chemistry between the two is perfect, they are so likable and fun to watch. The supporting actors are also great, particularly the parents of Emily, played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. They were also so entertaining and also have some great moments.

I am truly surprised at how much I loved The Big Sick. It is fantastically written, hilarious, emotional, real, unpretentious and its just so great overall. If you don’t like romantic comedies, I still recommend seeing it, as someone who doesn’t like romantic comedies either, I thoroughly loved this movie, it is a lot different than you’d think this movie would be. The Big Sick is one of the best films of 2017 and is definitely worth checking out.

Dredd (2012) Review

Time: 95 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Graphic violence and offensive language
Cast
Karl Urban as Judge Dredd
Olivia Thirlby as Judge Cassandra Anderson
Lena Headey as Ma-Ma (Madeline Madrigal)
Wood Harris as Kay
Director: Pete Travis

Mega City One is a vast, violent metropolis where felons rule the streets. The only law lies with cops called “judges,” who act as judge, jury and executioner, and Dredd (Karl Urban) is one of the city’s most feared. One day, Dredd is partnered with Cassandra (Olivia Thirlby), a rookie with powerful psychic abilities. A report of a terrible crime sends Dredd and Cassandra to a dangerous area controlled by Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), a drug lord who will stop at nothing to protect her empire.

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Dredd had a lot of potential to fail. There had been a Judge Dredd movie with Sylvester Stallone in the mid 90s, which while enjoyable as a guilty pleasure, isn’t very good. Dredd was a surprise to many including myself, it had all the elements of a very solid action flick fun time, and from what I can tell its an accurate representation of Judge Dredd. One of the most underrated action movies in recent years.

This movie is very straightforward, it’s just our main characters going from room to room while hoards of enemies hunt for them. Now I’m not a Judge Dredd comics fan but I could tell that the original Judge Dredd was more of a Sylvester Stallone action flick than an actual Judge Dredd movie. Dredd is truly a Judge Dredd film. The world is really nicely realised, it is a grim and dark world, the R rating really helped the movie go deeper into it. I was entertained throughout, from the set up at the beginning to when the film actually kicks off, which is when our protagonists are actually facing endless amounts of people trying to kill them and it doesn’t let up. There isn’t anything wrong about the film that I could pinpoint, it has great protagonists, a threatening antagonist and an interesting world, everything that Dredd needed.

Karl Urban is Judge Dredd, that’s all I can really say. He is ruthless, badass and unrelenting, and no, at no point do you see him without his mask. This movie really isn’t a character study or anything like that, so don’t expect a lot of character depth with his version of Judge Dredd, but it worked very well for the movie as it was a straightforward action movie. Olivia Thirlby is also really good as a rookie judge with Dredd, who does have psychic powers, those two worked together well as our main characters. Lena Headey makes for a great villain, ruthless, sinister and brutal, she stole every scene she was in. Also the way she plays the role and reacted to certain situations made her have such a strong screen presence.

Dredd surprisingly only has a 30-45 million dollar budget, making it a much smaller film than you’d expect. However that budget was used well because this film is directly greatly. The action is great, it is very violent and pretty much how I would imagine a Judge Dredd film would be. This film also involves slow-mo, and they find a way to make slow-mo actually make sense, as there is a drug literally called slow-mo that slows down the brain of whoever takes it and it was portrayed so well on screen. The R-rating is not always necessary but sometimes it is really needed to fully make the movie they want. This is one of those cases. The film is brutal and dark, definitely far from the Stallone cheesefest from the 90s, and I loved it.

I thoroughly enjoyed Dredd, the actors were great in their roles, the action is good. This film isn’t revolutionary, I don’t think I’d consider it one of the best action films of the 2010s, but for what it was trying to be it succeeded very well. I have no idea if they are making a Dredd sequel but I’d love to see one, I wanna see more of the world that they portrayed.