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Musicalish #115

Is it just me or are commercials really getting a lift lately? Also starting to pop up more and more often in my feed. Last time it was Andrew Huang, and now...

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Airlift (2016)

Airlift (2016)

170,000 refugees. 488 flights. 59 days. 1 man.

Airlift is the story of the maybe biggest evacuation in modern history, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, and 170,000 Indians were involuntarily caught in the middle of a slaughter. Unlike the Kuwaitians they were left alive, but also left with nowhere to go, and what starts as a simple escape plan for Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar) and his family, ends with a coordinated escape for pretty much the entire Indian population in Kuwait.

It's an inspiring movie, and Akshay is the perfect leader, charismatic and familiar. The scenes of war are devastating - the streets soon desolate and trashed, and the dystopian city scenes are layered with scenes of winding desert roads that slither around billowing dunes of sand in a land devoid of life, yet full of beauty.

The filming is stylish, the fights empowering, and there's a few light-hearted dance breaks (wouldn't be a Bollywood movie if there wasn't!) along with the more somber scenes. Characters like George (the one who always complains) might be cliché, but he's the perfect excuse for both an inspiring speech and the overhanging threat of potential rebellion. It wouldn't be the same without him.

The fact that all of this is based on a real story only makes it better, and I'm glad Akshay was the solo popularization of what was actually two people: Mr. Mathunny Mathews, and another man who... was mentioned by name in the movie credits but apparently is barely mentioned anywhere else! Who was this mystery mention? Well, either way, Akshay combines the two and turns it all into an inspiring movie.

Great watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Duel At Silver Creek (1952)

The Duel At Silver Creek (1952)

I think I might get into Westerns again! Even in the fifties, these movies weren't bad. I was expecting a slower pace, but it held the suspense well. In fact, some scenes feel almost too sped-up.

It's a bit strange seeing a world so unlike the modern one, without any traces of technology, or even factory-made items. It sets the atmosphere, and though I reckon I'd miss common modernities like lights, or a bathtub, the old days had a certain charm to them. Everything was real. Life was lively, people were helpful, and everyone was involved, all as life should be lived, albeit maybe without some of the old stereotypes, and those out-of-place consolidations like Cry if it makes you feel better.

Though the dialog was mighty different back the day, it's still understandable, and without that strange style of speech the dusty towns of the wild old west wouldn't feel as authentic.

As for the movie? The action's good! There aren't any crappy special effects to distract either. Both gun smoke and explosions all look - and I expect are, real. There's plenty of intrigue, and though there's little surprise since none of the scheming is hidden from the viewer, it's an enthralling ride nevertheless. Simple, but satisfying. Good watch.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Along Our Long Path Of Wrong

The lessons we learn in life,
Will anyone learn them before them?
Like night always comes before morning,
I wonder if some things are destined.
I wonder if some things lie dormant,
And wake only when we're right on,
Their tile on our path of wrong.
Ride on.

Speed (1994)

Speed (1994)

Here's another classic action movie you shouldn't be without.

Like all good Nineties action movies, it incorporates large doses of explosions, and attitude, clever plot twists, tales of justice and revenge, and plenty of chase. In some ways it's a bit of a thriller, considering how people do die, and the villainous Howard Payne (played by Dennis Hopper) always seems to have the upper hand, leading Jack Traven (that's Keanu Reeves) on a wild ride across the city. It's a bit like Die Hard 3, but instead of a cab there's the bus.

It starts with a runaway elevator, then moves on to this runaway bus - where he first meets Annie, and just when you thought it was over we're taken on a runaway subway.

A maniac bombman is on the loose, demanding a ransom, and Keanu can't do much else than follow along. Though he does try.

The speed itself isn't always that high, but the notion of speed comes across plenty, especially when the bus is swerving around corners on two wheels. It's intense, and the Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock (Annie) combination is perfect. That's part of what makes this more than the sequel, though the movement between different methods of transportation is another part. Though the prospect of a runaway cruise ship (that's the sequel) is on a whole other level, it's also too big a machine for you to really wrap your mind around, with too many people involved, and the speed isn't as perceptible on water. It wasn't bad, but it goes a bit overboard. Moderate doses of people and public methods of transportation seems to be the winning formula.

Keanu puts on a great performance here, even if he is just like he always seems to be - himself. The other characters contribute to the mood, and the sceneries of a nineties L.A. are somehow nostalgic to view, even though I've never been there. I keep thinking it was better in the old days, and maybe it was. The pollution was prevalent, but so were the relations between strangers, and the vehicles back then definitely looked tougher than they do now.

It's a tough movie, and it moves at perfect speed. Great watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Expendables 2 (2012)

The Expendables 2 (2012)

Jean Claude Van Damme is as convincing a villain as you'll get, with a name to suit, and the team are as tough as ever. This time however, not all of them make it, and the atmosphere quickly gains a somewhat more somber tone. It's not just a story about retribution though, it's a story about vengeance. (Though... isn't that the same thing?)

Apart from the regular team, a few new additions jump in. Chuck Norris makes an awesome appearance, and Liam Hemsworth makes a brief one. Jet Li is back in the gang too, and Nan Yu tags along this one time. The action feels more polished overall - never unnecessarily fast-paced or blotchy, and each main persona gets a decent dose of screen time.

I like how the script plays back on certain details from the past movie as well, like the little What are you doing Gunner? exchange, and it feels like everyone's gaining more and more personality as their movie persona. There's punchlines, jokes, and action spanning a larger range of locations. Almost too many movie-related puns, especially with Arnold, but I do appreciate the homage.

Overall it's another awesome bout of action, with one of the most convincing villains in an action movie, though it's a shame his sidekick (Scott Adkins) doesn't get more fight time. Great watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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