Munna Michael Movie Review

Munna Michael Review {2.5/5}: Tiger fans will have a field day with his breakdancing

CRITIC’S RATING: 2.5/5
AVG READERS’ RATING: 2.7/5

REVIEW THIS MOVIE
CAST:Tiger Shroff, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Nidhhi Agerwal, Ronit Roy
DIRECTION:Sabbir Khan
GENRE:Action
DURATION:2 hours 20 minutes
SHOW TIMINGS IN YOUR CITY
FacebookTwittergPlusLinkedinPinterestMailCommentsPrintAA
  • CRITIC’S REVIEW
MUNNA MICHAEL STORY : Munna (Tiger) is an orphan brought up by an ageing chorus dancer Michael (Ronit) in a Mumbai chawl. The boy grows up idolising Michael Jackson. To realise his dream of grooving like the King of Pop, he even agrees to tutor a hoodlum, Mahindar Fauji(Nawazuddin). Their bromance turns ugly when both end up falling in love with Deepika aka Dolly (Nidhhi).

MUNNA MICHAEL REVIEW : With Tiger around, filmmakers normally do not bother finding a script. Instead they just coast along joining the dots of a routine story with neatly-choreographed songs and fights at regular intervals. You can almost record screen proceedings with your stopwatch because after every 15 minutes, there is a–song, fight, song, fight and some more blah.

Tiger has in the past made films like Heropanti, Baaghi work at the box-office with just his agility and sincerity. So director Sabbir Khan, whose third outing this is with the star-cub, continues providing formula for the intellectually challenged. But Tiger fans will have a field day with his breakdancing.

In what seems like an encore of his previous work, Tiger dances like a dream and breaks bones with the grace of a ballerina. You can only tell that this is a different film only because he mouths a different dialogue here. It goes, “Munna jhagda nahi karta, munna sirf pithta hai.”

How cleverly original that is! But, grant it to this star-son. He continuously pulls out weapons from his arsenal–back-flip, midair Van Damme-split and kick, glide, moonwalk or a just bare-body shot—forcing his audience into submission, even though there’s no semblance of anything coherent showing on screen.

When the fidgeting reaches a frustrating point, you’re introduced to the land-grabbing, gun-toting goon, Mahindar, who hires Tiger to teach him some mean moves on the floor. Furthermore, this Don with a Rajasthani dialect explains that the reason he needs to correct his two left-feet condition is because he’s madly-in-love with Dolly, a dream-dancer from Meerut.

Debutant Nidhhi, who is the bone of contention here, is overconfident and underwhelming by turn. She wears a neat shape on her but then again, it is Tiger’s chiseled frame that draws more whistles than the newbie’s.

Nawaz continues to be a revelation in each film. Here he adds a new dimension to his terribly mean, horribly funny routine, making you chuckle.

Well, if you’re in the mood to get rid of the monsoon blues with the foot-tapping ding dang, ding dang ditty, you should get introduced to Munna Michael; he’s not making breaking any new ground, but his moves are certainly infectious.

[“Source-timesofindia”]

GoPro Hero5 Session Review

GoPro Hero5 Session Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The GoPro Hero5 Session supports 4K video and voice commands
  • The new model features a 10-megapixel sensor and wide-angle lens
  • The GoPro Hero5 Session is priced at Rs. 29,500

GoPro officially launched its latest range of action cameras in the Indian market around December last year, and they are now available across online and offline retail stores. We reviewed the Hero4 Black and Silver last year but didn’t have the chance to test the Hero4 Session, which we felt was the most interesting camera of the lot.

This time, we begin with the Hero5 Session, a brand new action camera that offers most of the capabilities of the older and more expensive Hero4 Black along with some new features that are exclusive to the Hero5 series. Being a premium action camera, the Hero5 Session doesn’t come cheap. For those looking at a solid, one-time investment, does it offer the best bang-for-buck?

GoPro Hero5 Session design and build

GoPro has streamlined its lineup into three models: there’s the flagship Hero5 Black, the Hero5 Session just below it, and a third one called the Hero Session, which is essentially a rebadged Hero4 Session. Physically, the Hero5 Session is extremely compact, with a cube shape that makes it easy to place it pretty much anywhere. Its body is sturdy and has a nice rubberised coating. There’s provision in the front to attach a lanyard, which is thoughtful given how easy it could be to misplace such a device.

There’s a small monochrome display next to the shutter button on the top, along with a secondary button at the back. This combination of buttons is used to navigate the menu and change settings, although it does get a bit tedious after a point. It’s much easier to set everything up using the Capture app on a paired device. There’s a speaker and a microphone grille on the back, and two LED lights on the front which tell you what state the camera is in. You can disable the status lights altogether from the app if you wish to go full stealth.

GoPro HEro5 Session display ndtv gopro

There’s a water-sealed flap on one side which covers the USB Type-C port and SD card slot. The Hero5 Session requires at least a Class 10 or UHS-1 rated SD card in order to function optimally. It’s nice to see GoPro adopt the current USB standard for connectivity.

Sadly, this camera still doesn’t have a tripod mount. Instead, it ships with a plastic casing which you’ll need if you want to mount the camera onto things. The casing is also smartly designed, giving you cutouts on three sides so you can position the camera depending on which direction you want to mount it in. This is especially useful as GoPro doesn’t provide any pivoting arms with the Hero5 Session.

You get two adhesive mounts (one flat and one curved) in the box, along with a Type-C cable. The base of the housing is compatible with older Hero 4 mounts, so you can use your existing accessories. Overall, the camera is built superbly and we love its inconspicuous design.

GoPro Hero5 Session features

Physically, it’s hard to tell the new Session from the previous model but there are big changes once you get into the specifications. For starters, the Hero5 Session gets a 10-megapixel sensor with a wide-angle lens, and the video recording resolution now maxes out at 4K. It also gets a much higher burst rate of 30 frames in one second. Waterproofing stays the same, with the unit capable of functioning immersed up to 33 feet or 10 meters deep without need for an additional housing.

GoPro HEro5 Session flaap ndtv gopro

The Hero5 Session also supports video stabilisation for resolutions up to 2.7K, and a new voice control feature which lets you trigger actions like starting a timelapse or burst. We found this to be a very handy addition and it works well, provided there isn’t too much ambient noise. The list of commands is accessible from the Capture app, in case you forget them. The camera supports automatic uploading to the GoPro Plus cloud, which is a subscription-based service. It isn’t currently available in India, but GoPro tells us it will be launching here soon.

There’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connecting the camera to the Capture app on your smartphone. Available for Android and iOS, this app lets you control all the camera’s settings and also shoot remotely. You can download files from the camera to your device and edit them using the Quik app. This app also lets you add background music and effects to your videos along with applying quick fixes. For more advanced editing like getting rid of barrel distortion, etc, you can use the GoPro Studio desktop app.

GoPro Gero5 Session app ndtv gopro

GoPro Hero5 Session performance

Under good lighting, the Hero5 Session manages very good videos and images. Pictures have sharp detail with punchy colours, and the video framerate is rock steady throughout. Low-light video clips tend to be a bit noisy, which is our only real gripe with the camera in terms of image quality. Just like the Hero4 Black, the Session’s outer body gets warm quickly when shooting in 4K.

Even with the latest firmware, we ran into some bugs intermittently. For example, the camera sometimes wouldn’t sync properly with its app.

It’s most fun to use the camera when mounted onto something. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any of the other mounts to play with, apart from the adhesive ones.

(Tap to see full-sized GoPro Hero5 Sesssion camera sample)

When shooting stills, it’s best to switch to ‘Linear’ mode if you want to avoid distortion, but that crops the frame. On the other hand, ‘SuperView’ offers the widest field of view but distortion can be jarring. For this reason, we found it best to stick to the ‘Wide’ view for video as it offers the best balance.

The GoPro Hero5 Session lacks certain video features that are restricted to the Hero5 Black, such as SuperView at 4K resolution, and higher framerates at resolutions above full-HD. The higher-end model is also the only one with RAW format support and built-in GPS.

Battery life will vary drastically depending on the resolution you’re shooting at, and whether or not you have features like stabilisation and the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios switched on. We were able to get about an hour’s worth of 4K footage, and dropping the resolution to 1080p gave us a lot more time. Having Wi-Fi on has big impact on battery life, so if you’re not going to be using the app, we suggest turning it off. Battery life is another area in which we wish the Hero5 Session performed better.

GoPro HEro5 Session mount ndtv gopro

Verdict
There’s a lot to gain in upgrading from the Hero4 Session to the new model, and for professional users, it might be worth the investment. The Hero5 Session offers excellent video quality in good lighting, and plenty of shooting modes to play around with for both video and stills.

The added voice control functionality makes this camera easier to use, and electronic stabilisation results in smoother videos. Battery life is still of a pain point, and it’s still disappointing not to have a native tripod mount. Also, for Rs.29,500, we expected more than just two adhesive mounts in the box. Some pivot arms would be really welcome, especially for buyers who don’t have accessories lying around already.

Overall, the GoPro Hero5 Session is one of the best action cameras in the market right now and is recommended, if you can stomach the price.

Price (MRP): Rs. 29,500

Pros

  • Rugged and inconspicuous design
  • Very good image and video performance
  • Big upgrade over its predecessor
  • Voice control is useful

Cons

  • Bundle feels sparse
  • Battery life isn’t great
  • Expensive
  • Low-light video could be better

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 4.5
  • Performance: 4
  • Value for money: 3.5
  • Overall: 3.5

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Film Review: ‘Blind’

'Blind' Review: A Cliched Love Story

Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin play Manhattanites forced together by adversity in this muted drama.

In 1996 Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore starred in “The Juror,” an uninspired thriller (with the unfortunate ad line “There is no defense”) in which she played a single mom  blackmailed by his Mafia hitman into swaying the jury she’s on, lest he kill her son. Both actors had just passed the crest of their brief big-screen stardom, though that wasn’t necessarily evident at the time, even if “The Juror” certainly didn’t help keep them at the top.

Two decades later, Baldwin is something of an institution — albeit mostly for TV comedy, not a path one would have anticipated back then — while Moore, though she’s worked sporadically, feels like a missing person in any recent pop-culture census. The difference in their career arcs can be attributed to many things, an obvious one being Hollywood’s greater willingness to grant a second act to male stars who’ve aged out of their initial hunkdom, as opposed to women who outgrow ingenue roles.

It’s safe to say that their pairing in the new film “Blind” isn’t a reprise anyone was clamoring for and won’t stir any great excitement on its own. This slick but muted drama — a first directorial feature for producer Michael Mailer, written by actor/playwright John Buffalo Mailer, both sons of late literary maverick Norman — reunites the actors in a (somewhat) less pulpy-melodramatic context. This time the emphasis is more on midlife romance than suspense. But the amour is as unconvincing as the tension is underdeveloped. The result is a watchable, albeit unsatisfying, vehicle for two stars who’ve now made a pair of movies together in which their skills constitute the main attraction, yet who aren’t particularly well-served by either film.

Moore plays Suzanne Dutchman, first encountered celebrating her 19th wedding anniversary with husband Mark (Dylan McDermott). They’re penthouse-dwelling members of a Manhattan elite, about to suffer a downfall all too familiar to their class. The Feds arm-twist his lawyer associate (James McCafferty) into exposing some high-end financial skullduggery that’s serious enough to get Mark thrown in jail while awaiting trial. Suzanne’s earnest plea that she knew nothing about these doings (though Mark used their mutual accounts as a cover), rings true enough with a judge to limit her to community service for her unknowing complicity.

Thus she finds herself at a center for the blind, volunteering as a reader for crankily incorrigible Bill Oakland (Baldwin). He’s a novelist of moderate renown who lost most of his sight five years ago in a car accident that killed his wife. He still teaches writing in college, which requires another set of eyes to read his students’ stories aloud.

The two get off to a poor start, as he goes out of his way to offend her, recognizing her shyster husband’s last name, while she proves all-too-easily offended. Nonetheless, the program’s administrator (Eden Epstein) isn’t about to let this overdressed socialite abandon court-ordered duties over a personality clash. So the two keep at it, eventually getting past their mutual dislike.

It’s when the grudging pleasure they begin to take in one another’s company turns into something more that “Blind” forsakes its moderate early promise for shaky contrivance. While the lead characters aren’t fully dimensionalized in the script (which is based on a story idea by producer Diane Fisher), the actors attain a certain amiable frisson so long as erudite but semi-insufferable artiste Bill is playfully goading the uptight Suzanne, whom Moore imbues with a refined reserve bordering on resentment. (That Moore’s performance is occasionally a bit stilted, particularly early on, actually works in her character’s favor.) But when Bill commences pitching “Scent of a Woman” woo, and Suzanne eventually succumbs, the dynamic — both in acting and psychological terms — grows much less convincing. The more we’re meant to be swept up in their romantic chemistry, the less it’s evident.

Nor is “Blind” helped by the simultaneous darkening of Mark, who behind bars reveals a sneakiness, jealousy and violence that somehow evaded his wife’s notice until now. McDermott is up to the job, but he’s playing a villain in a near-thriller that occupies little of the runtime. He ends up seeming to exist in a different, fragmentary movie — something considerably more like “The Juror” — awkwardly cobbled onto the main one.

Various supporting characters are more distracting than enriching. These include Epstein, as well as Steven Prescod (as an aspiring writer), Drew Moerlein (as Mark’s own wannabe-protege), Viva Bianca (a predictably backstabbing fellow socialite), and scenarist Mailer as a janitor. The young Mailers surely must have witnessed sufficient Big Apple celebrity, power, talent, striving, ego and excess to make all these character types come alive. Tethered to a central love-story concept that never quite gels, however, none of them quite do.

In the larger scheme of things, Bill is the biggest disappointment: Always a confident, competent screen performer, Baldwin nonetheless can’t elevate the material’s rote movie notion of “serious author” as rude, rascally and able to pull literary quotes from thin air.

While narratively underwhelming, “Blind” is smoothly packaged, its veneer of Manhattan high life amplified by well-chosen locations, Michal Dabal’s attractive widescreen compositions, and a soundtrack filled with lightly jazzy contributions from various musicians.

Film Review: ‘Blind’

Reviewed online, San Francisco, July 13, 2017. MPAA rating: R. Running time: 106 MIN.

Production

A Vertical Entertainment release of a Michael Mailer Films presentation in association with Foresight Unlimited, AMPM Enterprises, Tremendous Entertainment, El Dorado Pictures, Haymarket Annex II and Funding Group of Kingston. Producers: Michael Mailer, Diane Fisher, Pamela Thur, Jennifer Gelfer, Martin Tuchman. Executive producers: Alan Helene, Alessandro Penazzi, Scott Kluge, Alec Baldwin, Mallory Schwartz, Mark Damon, Tamara Birkemoe, Terry Allen, Kramer Khuloud, Kelly Rabadi, David Moscow, Jonathan Gray.

Crew

Director: Michael Mailer. Screenplay: John Buffalo Mailer, from a story by Diane Fisher. Camera (color, widescreen, HD): Michal Dabal. Editor: Jim Mol. Music: Dave Eggar, Chuck Palmer, Amy Lee, Sasha Lazard.

With

Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore, Dylan McDermott, Steven Prescod, Viva Bianca, John Buffalo Mailer, Eden Epstein, Drew Moerlein, James McCaffrey.
[“Source-variety”]

Off Broadway Review: ‘Pipeline’ by Dominique Morisseau

Pipeline review

Karen Pittman is giving a sensational performance in the new play at Lincoln Center Theater, “Pipeline,” starring as a mother who fights tooth and nail to save her son from the “school-to-prison pipeline” that bedevils students of inner-city public high schools. Dominique Morisseau has written some quietly devastating social dramas (“Skeleton Crew”) on her way up, but now the playwright has definitely arrived with this emotionally harrowing, ethically ambiguous drama that raises barbed questions about class, race, parental duty, and the state of American education.

Credit Lileana Blain-Cruz, who recently directly “The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World” at the Signature Theater, for the excellent tech work, as well as for the terrific ensemble work of a small, tight company starring the underappreciated Pittman (“Disgraced”).  The actress plays Nya, a dedicated African-American teacher at an overcrowded public school that looks totally menacing in the giant projections that Hannah Wasileski splashes across the cinderblock back wall of Matt Saunders’ barely-there set. As for the costumes, Montana Levi Blanco has found casual but elegant work outfits to flatter Pittman’s tall, lean frame, and make the point that teachers don’t dress to be dowdy.

The congested, dangerous, mostly black high school where Nya teaches has its share of committed teachers like herself. Tasha Lawrence is painfully funny as Laurie, a seasoned veteran of the public school system. “I’m a white chick who has never had the luxury of winning over a class full of black and Latino kids,” she says. Having just returned to the classroom from a long absence for reconstructive face surgery (the family of a failing student cut her up), this tough cookie has no illusions about race relations in public schools. “This is war,” she says of the hostilities between white educators like herself and their black and brown students.

It’s a war that Nya is determined to keep her own teenaged son, Omari (Namir Smallwood, a find) from fighting on his own home turf. But Omari has carried his seething rage all the way upstate, to the expensive private academy where his protective mother enrolled him. A sensitive kid, he’s picked up the unacknowledged but ingrained racism of his privileged environment — and now he’s in danger of being expelled for hitting a teacher.

Omari tries to explain to his girlfriend Jasmine (Heather Velazquez, a jolt of pure energy) why he’s so edgy and tense. “Truth is, I got too many worries,” he tells her. “You feel me?” But she’s so keen, this little bombshell, that she gets right to the heart of the issue. “You sayin’ I’m addin’ to your stress level?” she demands. “I’m sayin’ I got stresses,” Omari snaps back. “Real ones. And hidin’ out in your dorm ain’t doin’ nothin’ but prolonging the inevitable.” The kicker to this fantastic exchange of idiomatic teen talk comes from Jasmine. “Maybe you your own stress problem,” she smartly throws at Omari, “and I ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.”

It’s no wonder that Morisseau is a co-producer on Showtime’s bleak comedy series “Shameless.” She respects the raw power of the emotionally loaded street language that she puts into the mouths of young people like Omari and Jasmine.

Although Nya teaches English, not Drama, some of her desperate pleas to Omari feel self-consciously literary. But for the most part, Nya loves the language of poetry and is determined to unlock its beauty and pain to her students. It was Morisseau’s brilliant idea to have Nya teach Gwendolyn Brooks’ “We Real Cool: The Pool Players Seven at the Golden Shovel,” a poem so powerful it shocks the class into paying attention.

In a less excoriating tone, the play also picks at the painful scab of social class. There’s a sense of insecurity about Nya, who lives with the constant threat that a poorly paid teacher, a divorcee, and the single mother of a kid with big problems could lose her own middle-class professional status. She visibly shrinks when her ex-husband, Xavier, makes an entrance in the formidable person of Morocco Omari. The classy suit helps, but his deep voice and overpowering stature clearly announce that his job is to make money. Nya needs some of that money, which makes her financially dependent on her ex-husband and emotionally in thrall to her son. No wonder she has a panic attack.

[“Source-variety”]