• TV Show Review

    Pepsi, Where’s My Jet?, a miniseries that was gripping

    Can a half-a-line plot make a gripping mini-series? To see one, watch the Netflix show Pepsi Where’s My Jet? It is about a twenty-year-old John Leonard in the 1990s, fighting the mighty PepsiCo to make good on their promise of rewarding a Harrier fighter jet for those who collected seven-million Pepsi points in 1995. The four-episode series was not a courtroom battle, not a thriller of corporate espionage, not of unexpected twists, yet it was interesting and made me complete over an evening. If you ask what John Leonard did was audacious, yes it was! I liked the way the director Andrew Renzi focused on the two main individuals, John Leonard…

  • Movie Review

    See How They Run (2022), unpretentious yet entertaining

    There are films which have a simple plot, familiar characters, and unpretentious handling by the director, yet are entertaining. The comedy, murder-mystery film, See How They Run (2022) was one of those films and gets our Ripe rating. The lead actors Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan were instrumental in ensuring the period film set in 1953 London was humorous and enjoyable. Available on Disney+ Hotstar. A murder happens backstage during Agatha Christie’s play in a famous London theatre. A voice-over says this is yet another Whodunit (Who has done it) genre story. Though it was of that genre, the screenplay was uncomplicated and easy to follow.  I liked the recreation of…

  • Movie Review

    The Swimmer (1968)

    Can a movie create a story in the minds of the audience without describing it directly or showing visuals of the happenings? If you had watched The Swimmer (1968) starring Burt Lancaster you will emphatically answer yes. The film may not be interesting all the way, but it will certainly leave you thinking about it for a long and even the characters who appear briefly will impact you. That’s how well it has been made by Director Frank Perry and gets a Ripe. On a random summer day, we see Ned, a well-built man nearing his fifties swimming in a private pool in a suburb of Connecticut. In the next…

  • Movie Review

    Top Gun: Maverick (2022) – An authentic sequel

    When it comes to making a worthy sequel for a popular movie, most often the makers fail. As a pleasant surprise, Top Gun Maverick succeeds in the near-impossible task. The movie had been in the making for over a decade, thankfully Director Joseph Kosinski, the late Tony Scott and the crew have spent the time well and got it right. The film is an authentic sequel to the original, Top Gun (1986) and gets my rating of “Ripe”. Top Gun: Maverick (TGM), is set 36 years from the predecessor and follows the life of Tom Cruise in the character of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell who is still serving as a captain,…

  • Movie Review

    Late Night (2019)

    Starring Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson, Late Night (2019) is about a celebrated TV talk show host struggling to adapt to the times or retire gracefully. The plot was familiar, we had seen portions of this in Anchorman (2014), in Tina Fey‘s 30 Rock (2006-2013) and recently in the Great News (2017-2018). Yet, the fine performance by the lead actors and a sharp and witty screenplay make it enjoyable. Available on Netflix, it gets a Ripe. The host of a late-night talk show, Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is a self-absorbed, rude TV anchor who has won numerous Emmy awards. Unfortunately, over the decades, she is saddled with a complacent team…

  • Movie Review

    Top Gun (1986)

    With the release of Top Gun Maverick (2022), it was time for me to (re)watch the super hit original, Top Gun (1986).  This film catapulted Tom Cruise to stardom and paved the way for his future successes including the Mission Impossible series. The plot was a simple one. A talented Navy Pilot, Maverick behaves impulsively and often runs rogue, which affects the safety of his overall team. How the relationship with a civilian instructor, Charlotte (played by Kelly McGillis) and an unfortunate incident, mellows down Maverick and turns him into a hero was the film about. It gets a Ripe rating for its brilliant cinematography and forthright screenplay. The movie…

  • TV Show Review

    Lost in Space (TV series)

    Lost in Space (2018-2021) is a science fiction, remake of a series of the same name from the 1960s. The story was about the Robinson family, who are part of a group of colonists (the 24th group) who are on their way to the Alpha Centauri star system to settle down. After a sudden alien robot attacks their spacecraft (Resolute), their escape spaceship (Jupiter) crashes and lands on an unknown planet and things fall apart quickly. The Robinson couple has two daughters and a son who are all interested in science and space exploration. The youngest, Will Robinson, encounters an alien robot and the two become friends. The robot keeps…

  • Movie Review

    The King’s Man (2021)

    The King’s Man (2021) is the third instalment of the fictitious British spy organization and is the prequel to Kingsman (2014) and Kingsman 2 (2017). The story happens around World War I, and the events that led to the formation of the secret organization that saves the world. Unlike the first movie, this one was routine and lacked any of the humour that made it popular. The film gets my Raw rating. Ralph Fiennes comes as Duke of Oxford and the founder of King’s Man, he has done his role well. As Polly Watkins, the maid to Duke of Oxford and a trained fighter, Gemma Arterton has given a memorable…