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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ghajini - Keep the logic aside and enjoy the ride

This is one is much hyped and publicized movie that I am sure you all must be aware of. It is indeed a love story at the heart of it and only the outer shell is that of action. I personally liked the love story part better than the action part, more so because of natural charm of Aamir Khan and innocence and perkiness (without being annoying) of the leading lady Asin. The action is also good, actually very good but does not hit you hard and is very superficial.

The concept of the movie ripped off from Chris Nolan/Guy Pierce movie 'Memento' but is not a copy of that movie, actually it is very different. The week part of the movie is the villain 'Ghajini' (yes the movie is named after the bad guy!), the actor does its part ok, the problem lies in the characterization which is very over the top and does not come across as someone who would need so much strength and challenge to overpower and finish in the end. The hero seems all so powerful and only resorts to hand-to-hand combat in the climax which seems silly as even the gully goondas now days have guns... boom! and our heros fist-power would have been put to rest. So, there is no logic in the action of the movie, even the romance is beyond any logic. All said and done, I found the movie very entertaining, what we call 'paisa-wasool' and don't regret seeing it. If nothing, then one can see it for Aamir Khan and Asin's excellent performance. And yes, the action tend to get very gory at time so beware. (7/10)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Idiocracy - The natural selection

Idiocracy is a nutshell is a mediocre movie but the concept is brilliant, it could have been a great satire but missed it by a narrow margin. Also, I do not know many people who have seen this movie as I heard it did not get promoted and had a very limited release, too bad.

At the beginning the narration goes: "Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence." Instead, it rewards "those who reproduce the most." To illustrate this, we meet a highly educated and intelligent couple who want to have kids, but they're very thoughtful regarding their surrounding , want to take it easy and get 'settled' first, and then his sperm count's low… and it doesn't happen. Then we cut to Clevon, Jr., a white trash who with every woman in the trailer park and keeps reproducing like their is no tomorrow, same goes for his children, and the cycle continues. As this nationwide phenomenon progresses over time, the Bell curve of the U.S. population slides over to the dumb and trashy side.

The movie is about our protagonists, a very average-joe, Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) and a prostitute Rita (Maya Rudolph of SNL), transporated to future as part of a secret army experiment that goes wrong and they are stuck in future. A future where everything is chaotic, stupidity rules and these two are the most intellegent human beings on the planet. The movie reached peak at this point and starts to slide towards a predicted and crude (yet funny though!) climax.

It is definitely worth a watch, at least for the brilliantly ironic concept. (8/10)

Sling Blade - Sharp, really sharp

I have been aware of Billy Bob Thornton's impressive resume but never been his fan. He has been good in movies like "U-Turn", "A Simple Plan", "Pushing Tin", "Bandits" and "Monster's Ball". Prior to all these movies he wrote, acted and directed in "Sling Blade" and that changes everything for me to his credentials. He is simply superb in all these responsibilities in this movie, which is a true gem! He plays a southern simpleton, Karl, who was involved in a gruesome murder of his mother and her lover when 10 years old. As a result of this he spends 25 years in a mental institution and gets the tag of "retarded", I felt he was not though he was a bit "slow" and simple. His acting a flawless and at times you forget that you are watching Billy Bob here!

While Karl is simple, he shows us the complexities of life through less experienced eyes, and yet the film never gets preachy. It is also a tale of true friendship, the meaning of love, an amazing morality fable, and some beautiful imagery. All of it to be found in the simplest of places. It feels slow at times, but the pacing actually enhances the experience of being pulled in to the Deep South.

Do yourself a favor, watch this one at your first chance. (9/10)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

12 Monkeys - The future is history

I never really got around watching this movie either, it is from 1995 and a sci-fi kind also. After watching I feel that this was more than a sci-fi and also a pioneer in it's content. There are other movies that now I feel must have been inspired by this one, for e.g. I am Legend, Children of men, 28 Days Later etc. The legendary director Terry Gilliam managed to create a future that is dark and chaotic. The movie challenges the concept of mortality, morality, time travel, intelligence and progress. It is not a very fast paced and no typical action, also very long at 129 mins. The acting is flawless and honest (read against the star images), Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt and Madeliene Stowe, all are brilliant. You may or may not enjoy this movie, but will definitely ponder and feel amazed. In the end, you'll never forget, something incredibly powerful and possibly unique. I recommend it, just have some patience, the director will not explain everything but by the time titles start rolling, everything will make sense. (8/10)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Movies that I watched recently and appreciated

I shall write detail reviews afterwards, here is the list from top of my head:
1. Alpha Dog - Based on true story, drug mafia and kids - 2006 - R
2. Stardust - Fantasy drama, Robert DiNero plays a gay pirate what more do you want?!! - 2007 - PG13
3. History of violence - Action, great acting - 2005 - R
4. Falling in Love - Drama, mature love story of 'married couple', Robert DiNero, Meryl Streep - 1984 - R
5. Sunshine - SciFi, great concept and acting - 2007 - R
6. Anchorman - Comedy, over the top satire on 70's television, Will Ferrel - 2004 - R
7. Zatoichi - Action, Japanese samurai story, very different and cool - 2003 - R
8. Ek Ruka Hua Faisla - Hindi adaptaion of '12 angry men' and a good one too - 1995 - PG
9. Inside Man - Heist movie with intellegence, Spike Lee at his best, watch out for the title song! - 2006 - R
10. Children of Men - Futuristic movie about World without children, good though provoking concept - 2006 - R
11. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Atypical cop buddy movie, very cool - 2006 - R

Long Kiss Goodnight and The Clearing

Some nasty bug in my stomach kept me at home yesterday and in bed, as a result I ended up watching two movies back to back.

Long Kiss Goodnight
I don't know how I missed watching this one for such a long time, it was released in 1996 and I remember it from my early days in US when it was playing on pay-per-view while I was holed up in a Days Inn motel but I never got to watch it. Let me tell you folks it is a kick-ass cool action movie!! The main lead here is a woman with amnesia and her past comes to haunt her, rather she is the one who goes after it and it seems to overpower her "new identity". Gina Davis fits the role like hand in glove and does full justice to it. Samuel L Jackson her side kick here, is a foul mouth ex-cop who has got one of the best one-liners in the movie. They both make the movie really cool and cool is what is required for a great action movie. I recommend it big time and any one like me who has missed it, please catch it at next chance. (8/10)

The Clearing
After watching Long Kiss Goodnight, I was up for some more action but couldn't find much that would match the requirement so I went with this lesses known Robert Redford movie. You can not go very wrong if the movie has actors like Robert Redford, Williem Dafoe and Helen Mirren. I was right to some extent as the movie itself is not great but has some fantastic performances by the entire caste actually. This is a movie about kidnapping, self-realization, values and redemption. It is pretty heavy actually and you really need to be in the mood for such a stuff. I was not so I could not appreaciate it much but can tell that the movie was not bad, it was me. I recommend this one too if you are in mood for some pensive stuff. (7/10)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Brave One - Review

So I ended up watching 'The Brave One' over the weekend. To start with, it is a revenge story mixed with vigilante justice but has a lot of soul-searching in the process. That was expected from a movie that has Jodie Foster in it, she won't go for a mindless action revenge saga. Is it OK to kill the killers of your loved one, will this not make you a killer then? Can you just go out, buy a gun and go on with your revenge or kill the bad guys to clean the society, is it that simple? Well no, as our protagonist in the movie goes through a lot of turmoil and self-conflict on every step. Jodie Foster has effectively portrayed this on screen and her acting is top class. However the movie lacks in excitement, it tends to become more of drama than action movie so guys may feel bit disappointed. But ultimately it is a good watch. (6/10)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Movies for this weekend

Nothing in theatre this week appeals to me so I have following flick options for this weekend:
1. The Brave One (Jodie Foster, thriller drama)
2. Malgudi Days (Swami and his friends)
3. Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (that 80's show)
4. Kachchi Dhoop (Ashutosh Gowarikar and Bhagyashri first appearance)
5. Last Man Standing (Bruce Willis western action)

Badly wanted to watch Iron Man but my DVD lib does not have it available.

And yes, I saw "Persepolis" yesterday, thought it was OK, wouldn't rate more than 6/10. It was hugely recommended by Masand so I went for it but found that it was slow for my taste and very predictable. May be for Western world it would be appealing to see the life of a Iranian girl and her misadventures, I for one did not find it interesting enough. Good animation though, not the high-tech 3-D one but very effective.