The Big Sick

Big Sick (2017)
ReviewerAutar Kaw
Grade: A
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating: R
Running Time: 121 minutes

If you are in for a rom-com that is built with laughs but navigates fearlessly in parallel with the serious, you will love the Big Sick. Based on a true love story of a comedian of Pakistani origin with a “white” girl, it binds and contrasts through culture, honesty and just plain life. There are no stereotypes here, even for laughs, but just everyone is trying to find their place and purpose.

I have not laughed this much since I saw the Hindi movie called Gol Maal in 1979. For others, Knocked Up might be the last movie since you may have laughed this much.

It will certainly get a nod for original screenplay Oscar but it may fall short in getting acting (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) and best movie nominations as Oscar judges have short memories.

The 2-hour length does feel stretched at the end – the optimum for any rom-com comedy is around 90 minutes. And that is the only reason for not giving it an A+, but the points do not matter.

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Get Out

Get out (2017)
ReviewerAutar Kaw
Grade: A
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Rating: R
Running Time: 103 minutes

If you have already gotten out, you have been treated to a modern classic. If not, get out this weekend to see “Get Out”.
 
What seems to be a “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” remake is a well-done horror movie with many doses of comic relief. Daniel Kaluya plays the black boyfriend of a white woman played by Allison Williams. They are both going to meet her parents for the weekend. But the turn for horror takes place soon after they reach her secluded home.

 
 
The beauty of the movie is how the scares are put in real and believable context, while you are simply thrust into rooting for the central good guy and other players start showing their bad side to the audience.
This is a gem of a debut from the director Jordan Peele and would like to see more from him. I hope he does not follow M. Night Shyamalan’s path, although I will publicly confess that I liked most of the movies MNS made after Sixth Sense.
 
Some believe that the movie had racial tones and references to recent incidents, but Peele has little intention of pointing out the obvious as he never gets sentimental, and instead lets the audience squirm in deciding what to do – snicker, laugh or contemplate.

BIRDMAN

Birdman
Reviewer: Autar Kaw
Grade: B
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R
Running Time: 119 minutes

A movie about a washed-out actor trying to make it on Broadway is one that will be loved by some and hated by others. I liked it and it is not a popcorn movie. The acting ensemble of six – Keaton, Watts, Norton, Stone, Galafinikas and Ryan is worthy of a watch. I did not know that Keaton is so versatile in his depiction of emotions, and Watts always makes it look so easy.

The music was chaotic and it put me on the edge – may be that is what the city of NY is supposed to be portrayed as. It will be nominated for original score for the Oscars but I think it would be for the wrong reasons.

Whatever you may think about the movie, it is a cinematography marvel because of its fluid motion camera work and many long single-shot takes. There are some good lines, but some may be pretentious, but then again we are talking about actors acting as actors.

The movie is not playing in regular theaters – so we went to Zephyrhills Cinema 10 – that may have been a bad choice as the sound system is as good as the Tampa theater. Tickets are cheap and so is the popcorn, but once one gets used to the good stuff at Muvico 20, one gets spoiled.