Double Feature: Knight and Day (2010) & Bang Bang (2014)

Welcome to another double feature!

This time we have a deliberate pair-up. Knight and Day was released in 2010 and is a through and through Hollywood production with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. According to Rotten Tomatoes (and a few people that I mentioned to), it isn’t really that well received. Which makes it weird that it was turned into a Bollywood film in 2014 called Bang Bang! starring familiar faces like Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif, both of which I’ve seen movies of before. You’d think that I saw Knight and Day first but I actually saw Bang Bang first and then decided to give the original a shot to see how they compare.

Knight and Day (2010)

Knight and Day

Director: James Mangold

Cast: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Jordi Molla, Viola Davis, Paul Dano

A young woman gets mixed up with a disgraced spy who is trying to clear his name. – IMDB

Knight and Day is pretty much and action comedy with hints of romance. Its a fun ride with some awkward moments. You can never fault Tom Cruise for not delivering on action but how can we be satiated when we have the last two Mission:Impossible, right? With that said, there seems to be forced dialogue and some things that don’t always flow well along with characters that try to be deep but never quite hit the potential. It might simply be the fact that Tom Cruise has always been a cool dude so when he is doing the passive thing or saying some sarcastic or some misplaced encouragement or whatnot to Cameron Diaz’s character June, there is the rare moment that it works but mostly, it doesn’t seem to fit the character too well or maybe its because its Tom Cruise and it doesn’t fit him. Always a danger of this happening when using huge stars.

Knight and Day also has some familiar faces like a cameo by Gal Gadot. Viola Davis is the Director who is the head of the good side, aka managing the spy and her mission is to catch Roy who has gone rogue. Then you have Paul Dano who is the nerd kid who invented a powerful something that everyone is after. Possibly, the most fun is in the final act particularly after a truth serum is used. Cameron Diaz has always been a hit and miss. For example, I didn’t like Bad Teacher but I love The Holiday.

Overall, I honestly don’t have much to say about Knight and Day. Its good for a watch and it was fun and entertaining but something didn’t feel right and the more I think about it, it might just be awkward dialogue and my not seeing Tom Cruise as this character.

Or it could be that I saw the remake first…

Bang Bang (2014)

bang bang

Director: Siddharth Anand

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Pavan Malhotra, Danny Denzongpa, Javed Jaffrey, Jimmy Shergill, Vikram Gokhale

A young bank receptionist gets mixed up with Rajveer Nanda, a man who has a mysterious background. – IMDB

Some of you know that with Netflix having more foreign films, I have opened up my world slightly and slowly to Bollywood films. They do take up a ton of time but its usually a decent experience so far. I am a fan of Hrithik Roshan since Dhoom 2 (review HERE). The man is like the whole package and some and in Bang Bang, he proves that he can also be almost like Tom Cruise. Knight and Day being a Bollywood remake is the perfect fit. The corny dialogue and the serious and fun but over the top action: it works here so well. The key here is that Bang Bang keeps a tone that is very light-hearted. To be honest, the Bollywood singing and dancing parts are used quite sparsely in comparison to other films so it makes it possibly even an easily entry point for those that feel less inclined because of these usually odd transitions. I always find Bollywood musical segments appealing to watch. This one is absolutely no exception especially because both Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan got the moves.

Bang Bang only changes the story a little as in its stealing a diamond Kohinoor and that its a more personal affair than the original. At the same time, Bang Bang also remakes some of the scenes almost exactly the same. In fact, some of the dialogue is also incredibly similar. If you went into Bang Bang having already seen Knight and Day, a good at least 70% of this will look familiar. Bang Bang definitely does lack originality on that front. There is no denying it, especially in many scenes like the beach scenes where only the escape is different or how the attack was constructed. Same applies for the final scene that I loved so much in the original.

However, what Bang Bang makes up for is the charm that it has with Hrithik Roshan playing Rajveer and Katrina Kaif playing Harleen. Somehow, the music and dance and their personalities truly shine and match with this story. Its a much better fit for these characters. There is some cheesy moments but it also comes with the expectations and Bollywood films that I’ve seen tend to be structured in this way tonally. It just blends very well together with what this type of story tried to achieve. Of course, Indian cinema has changed now and there are horror films and other more dramatic entries and especially more action which is void of the whole Bollywood musical thing.

With that said, I like Bang Bang more than Knight and Day. I like Knight and Day for its finale whereas Bang Bang was much more of an overall experience.

Have you seen Knight and Day and/or Bang Bang?
Also, if you did see it, I made a little banner for this double feature. What do you think about it?

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Bollywood Double Feature: Dil Chahta Hai (2001) & Dostana (2008)

Movie reviews have been scarce on here and I apologize deeply for it.  Its just I’ve been trying to get a life outside of the internets going, like getting certain priorities straight.  Don’t get me wrong though.  I still watch movies and I have a ton backlogged.  I just can’t write as fast I used to.  But, the review for the first of these two Bollywood features have been sitting in the back of my mind for a little while (a few months maybe) and I just felt like they deserved a little review so here we go with a Bollywood double feature.

Bollywood or any Indian cinema takes time to watch.  Nothing short of 3 hours to spare in your schedule is needed and it really sucks when it doesn’t really even give the slightest of entertainment value.  That’s something that makes me hesitate to watch it sometimes but when the crushing deadline of Netflix appears threatening to expire them, I cozy up with some tea and clear out my schedule and that is how I ended up seeing these two: Dil Chahta Hai and Dostana.

Let’s check them out!

Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

dil chahta hai

Director: Farhan Arhtar

Cast: Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Sonali Kulkarni, Dimple Kapadia

Three inseparable childhood friends are just out of college. Nothing comes between them – until they each fall in love, and their wildly different approaches to relationships creates tension.- IMDB

Dil Chahta Hai is a movie on friendship and love, but mostly on friendship.  The beginning leads us into backtracking to how two of the three friends haven’t seen each other in a few years and now one of them is sitting in a hospital for some unknown reason.  It peaks the interest in getting us intrigued for one, who is in the hospital and in a seemingly serious problem and two, who is this third friend and why is he refusing to come even in an extreme situation.  What is the falling out so serious that could cause this, right?

This is a powerful movie if anything.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the songs themselves but other than that, the story was really well in developing each of the characters.  The friendship was something that was so strong and well-emphasized and it gives somewhat of a good look at how the dynamic of friends and each of them balance each other so that their friendship thrives.  Most of this is by giving each friend a good amount of their own time to tell each of their own stories and their feelings and that helps us to understand of each of them and connect deeper to the characters.

I don’t want to go too much into detail here but Dil Chahta Hai is an impressive drama about friendship and it was done so well that by the end of it all, I was pretty touched at the end and got a little misty. That was pretty much unexpected for me and in such a good way.

Dostana (2008)

dostana

Director: Tarun Mansukhani

Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Bobby Deol, Boman Irani

Two straight guys pretend to be gay in order to secure a Miami apartment. When both of them fall for their roommate Neha, hilarity ensues as they strive to convince one and all that they’re gay, secretly trying to win her heart. –IMDB

 Dostana is a fun, lighthearted comedy done in absolutely the most hilarious ways.  I have to say, it charmed me quite a bit.  I personally don’t think Abhishek Bachchan is all that handsome but somehow I managed to even see some charm in him.  In fact, for the first bollywood movie EVER, I knew all the main cast.  Its something to be proud of, okay? Dostana had me laughing so hard throughout the whole movie plus as cheesy as some of the music usually is, and it has that whole opening song to start the movie (which usually is a sign of extreme cheese), this one redeemed itself really quickly.  John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra have the best chemistry and they are all extremely charming characters.   Plus, the whole pretending to be gay thing works out to make this even more laugh out loud and there’s just so many of those.

There aren’t enough compliments I could give this one because it swept me off my feet unexpectedly.  I truly expected it to be just a really ridiculous concept but the way they did it was quite smart.  I don’t have all that much to say about this one because it was just so fun and hilarious.  The characters are charming and it never gets too dramatic.  There is really no better way to spend 3 hours than to be constantly laughing and knows how to do just that 🙂 As much as this is about love, its also about friends so it makes this quite a memorable movie.

Overall, two very good Bollywood movies.  They are both worth your time.  If you’re looking for a good drama (with a few laughs), Dil Chahta Hai would be your choice and if you want to just turn off your mind and downright roll off your chair laughing at the hilarious situation two guys pretending to be gay while living with a pretty girl, Dostana is a sure fire! Its rare I get back to back winners in these double features but both of these boast a pretty great cast and a very well executed storyline.  If you cross paths with them, you should definitely give it a chance! 🙂

Have you seen either of these? If you have, did you like it?

Double Feature: Don (2006) & Je Crois Que Je l’Aime (2007)

While I was just about to hatch a schedule to get some Academy Awards nominated movies for this year within this next month, Netflix has decided to rule my life.  So many movies expiring.  I had about a week of break before it all started up again. Although, I’m working on reviewing everything I watch, I might just end up saving a few of these next few Netflix for the future while I get the more urgent issue done.

Still, here’s a little double feature for two foreign movies…

DON (2006)

DON 2006

Director: Farhan Akhtar

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Isha Koppikar, Boman Irani, Om Puri

A simple man (Vijay) from the city of Mumbai is recruited by a police officer to masquerade as the Don, the leader of an international gang of smugglers. But things go wrong, the officer is killed and now Vijay is on his own, with only his lover (Roma) and a lame ex con artist to help him to prove his innocence. – IMDB

Don is an Indian action thriller with a runtime with 171 minutes (a little less than 3 hours), it took me about 3-4 evening to finish.  Unlike Kahaani, which was a little shorter, this one had an incredible issue with pacing.  It was just so boring and I kept falling asleep so I had to turn it off.  Its not really a problem with the story because as it is a thriller, the little twist ending was decent.  I’m pretty sure the thought would have skimmed your mind at the turning point of events but if you were like me, you might dismiss it.  The last hour was massively better than the first two thirds.  I am glad that I didn’t give up and just turn on something else. I did have another 2 Indian movies in queue ready to expire.

I’m not exactly sure if there is a hype for Don. Seeing as there was a sequel, I figured the first one must have been relatively well received. This one is definitely far from one I’d ever venture to see again.  So slow, felt extremely long and man, I just wasn’t buying Don as Don.  The songs weren’t particularly appealing to me either. The only actor that saved this movie was Boman Irani who plays DCP de Silva.  That man acted the hell out of that role. By the way, this man was the Professor in 3 Idiots (review HERE) and he was so awesome in that one also!

I’m taking a little break before I check out Don 2 but I’ll eventually do it, maybe when its bordering on Netflix expiration again 😉

JE CROIS QUE JE L’AIME (2007)

JE CROIS QUE JE L'AIME

Director: Pierre Jolivet

Cast: Vincent Lindon, Sandrine Bonnaire, Francois Berleand, Kad Merad

Lucas, a wealthy, 43 year-old divorced businessman, is irresistibly attracted to Elsa, a 38 year old renowned sculptor from whom he has commissioned a piece to decorate the reception at his office. –IMDB

Je Crois Que Je L’Aime (English title: Could This Be Love) is a French romantic comedy.  The only reason this landed on my Netflix queue was because I had previously seen a movie called Queen of Play with Sandrine Bonnaire and she was pretty amazing in that one.  Coming to this one, Sandrine Bonnaire still holds the charm as the female lead as a ceramic artist passionate about her work and willing to give up a job to avoid any trouble of difference in opinions.  Still, being caught where she needed the money, she gave her new employer, wealthy businessman Lucas a second chance.  Sandrine Bonnaire plays the more serious Elsa.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that Lucas, played by Vincent Lindon, has a certain chemistry. The story is more mature as these actors are older than the average romantic comedies.  Its a different vibe.  I don’t have a problem with these things, love is love, age isn’t really an issue.  However, the story didn’t really build up from much. Thats not saying that its not good because it has a good bit of fun moments mostly because Lucas is so afraid that being tricked out of his money in his previous relationship, he ends up being suspicious before falling in love but he just can’t help falling in love with Elsa, so he hires a private investigator to check her background and track her and the lack of communication between those two are absolutely hilarious.

There are some funny and sweet moments but the story was not built up properly so it had choppy moments.

Overall… Je Crois Que Je L’Aime was more entertaining than Don. Although both of these are average, beware of Don’s length and pacing before you attempt.  Consider yourself warned 😉

Have you seen either of these? Thoughts?