Thursday, February 19, 2009

Two more movies!

Vicky Christina Barcelona
A tale of love and sex and a lot of crazy - it might even look like a freak show to some. But it makes you understand how life is for people unlike us and why they sometimes do the crazy things they do. The movie's characters fall into different categories, each strong-willed and well fleshed out - some love the excitement of the unknown and are the ALWAYS-YES-group, the others are the arty ones who nobody really understands or cares about except for their art that people pretend to understand but they dont, and of-course some are the doubting Mary's who are too scared to get out of their comfort zone and prefer to keep to the dull but well-travelled roads and lastly - some repent their decisions and try to live their desires by meddling in others' lives. Sounds complicated - it's not! It's just a little crazy.

In a nutshell, no one is happy in the movie and almost everyone sleeps with everyone else - and the behaviour is kind of glorified as well. Life's short, isn't it - that's how it's justified.

"I love him. But I am not in love with him."
Translates to "I somehow want to get rid of him but I also want to come out of the mess as the saint".
Sometimes a perfectly happy life you had a moment before is shattered to pieces when you get a new frame of reference - sometimes it's a new shiny car or sometimes it's the person you want to marry. When it's the latter, it's time you really had a good look at the way you think. Cause something is not right!

Look out for the character played by Penelope Cruz. The movie takes a dramatic turn the moment she appears on the screen. And she has portrayed so well that little bit of contempt Europeans always seem to have for Americans.

Barcelona looks so charming in the movie. Perfect setting for a tale of love, crazy or not!

But one thing I fail to understand is why would some parents bring a 3-year-old to watch such a movie. You think he/she's too young to understand the hanky-panky? Well, that's when sometimes **** happens!


Billu Barber
Another remake from Priyadarshan - thank God it's not another Akshay Kumar starrer. This one seems to have pushed all the right buttons for me, because, for once I liked the remake a tad more than the original mallu movie. Of course the credit of the story goes to the one and only Sreenivasan!

The story is focused on a chance meeting of two long lost friends. One, a struggling barber and the other, the equivalent of the mighty Khan. I think the movie had more impact in Hindi as a Bollywood star such as SRK leads such a glamorous life and is world famous compared to his counterpart - Mammooty, in the original movie, who leads a pretty normal life in spite of being a big star. The gap between the common man and a movie star is so much more in Bollywood compared to Mollywood. And that's exactly what the movie is based on!

The village the movie is shot in - Pollachi in TN - comes alive in the big screen. Am glad it was shot amidst all the greenery and misty mountains though the vilage is depicted to be in UP - this is so much more pleasing to the eye for sure!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lost in movies

Alright. So I am back.

That's not really true as I have been here all along, but was on a forced no-internet mode. More on that and what I've been upto in the next post.

Lately, I've been watching a whole lot of movies within a day or two of their release here. A movie-crazy husband, a multiplex within 2-minute walk from my new place, self inflicted unemployment, a not-so-expensive unlimited movies deal with the promise of a quick 2 hour release from the woes of recession - aren't they enough reasons to go watch a movie? Well, they were for me.

So here's a list of all movies I've seen within the last two months or so and my take on them.

How to lose friends and alienate people
The movie belongs to the genre 'if you saw the trailer, you've seen it all'. The rest of the movie is pure yawn inducing material.

Burn after reading
Not for everyone. But a must watch if you are looking for different and interesting movies. I personally liked the way the storyline was developed. The strong line of actors help too.

Taken
Fast paced and a hard-core action movie. A gripping drama about kidnapping. Has my vote as it kept me awake even though I braved a 11PM show.

Eagle eye
Avoidable. Blinding lights throughout the movie put me off. If you like car chases, you might want to watch it, but I am sure you would have seen better even in cartoons.

Aegan (Tamil)
Starring self-proclaimed 'Ultimate superstar' Ajith. The movie is a Tamil spoof of Main Hoon Na and does a terrible job of it. As for the actor Ajith, the only things that stood out were his beer belly and the dark bags under his eyes (which could he why the producer might have insisted that he wear dark glasses throughtout the movie.)

Housebunny
An honest mistake. We were stuck in a mall and had a 2 hour slot that suddenly opened up on our day. So what could be better than watching a movie? Looking back, they were the two hours of my life wasted watching a 'pink' movie. If you love pink and if you adore barbie girl, you might like it. For the rest, reading the terms and conditions on your credit card might prove better use of your time.

Ghost town
If you are a follower of the sitcom 'Office', you might like this movie as it stars the same actor. Otherwise it is a so-so movie. Something to fill an afternoon with just before you fall into that refreshing nap. The movie's about a boring guy and the sudden changes to his life when he finds out that he can see and communicate with dead people. I found this movie a little dragging and with no suspense. It's a very predictable storyline and by the end of the show, I just wanted to get home and nap!

Golmaal returns (Hindi)
Bakwaas. Bheja fry. Kareena's character is so irritating. So was the guy trying to act as a deaf and dumb guy. I had a headache at the end of it.

Quantum of Solace
Was this really a Bond movie? Cause this one seemed to be an imposter. No jazzy gadgets, no style - it was just another average action flick for me. My cine-erudite hubby reasoned that it's the story of the Bond starting out as a trainee in his career and hasn't quite yet acquired the flare and the chutzpah that we have come to expect in 007. Whatever the reason, I got bored watching the movie.

The Warlords (chinese)
It's a story of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It's a very gory movie. War in your eyes, but not just another war movie. Very gripping and a must watch.

Easy Virtue
The story is all about the comic situations that arise when you put a typical Brit family and a footloose American together. A fun movie to watch and forget.

Before the rains
Yet another movie that tells the story of an unusual love story set during British Raj. The plus points of this movie are Rahul Bose, Nandita Das and Santosh Sivan's magic! Storyline is quite predictable and ends abruptly. Watch it for the actors if not for the movie. I watched it because it had a Santosh Sivan tag to it. Every frame in the movie is impressive - Kerala captured at her best.

Positive (Malayalam)
Story of four friends who dream big. You have the usual elements of love, comedy, let's-form-a-band, drugs etc that you would expect in a youth movie. Though there no big stars in this one, it's worth a watch.

Vaarunam Aayiram (Tamil)
Clearly this movie is a tribute to the father figure. The story spans two generations and is very endearing. Surya does a brilliant job and superbly portrays the character from the age of 15-30ish and the hero's father from the age of 20-65ish. Great movie, good musical score, a little bit of comedy and drama - in fact a good package. I watched it twice - easily my favourite movie of 2008.

Dostana (Hindi)
Bollywood comes out of the closet? Wish it was done in a better way. I am sure the gays would have felt the same too - realism takes to the backburner in a Bolloywood entertainer. Worth a watch just to see what the hell the hype is all about.

Max Payne
Apparently it is based on a hugely popular video game character. It's a thriller movie with lots of violence and not-so-great acting. It's about a revenge cop......wait a minute! That's all I remember about the movie. Don't think I had a great opinion about it after I watched it, so big deal.

Yuvvraj (Hindi)
I warmed the cineworld seat briefly for 30 minutes - 15 minutes of which were ads. The movie was so bad, I was ashamed to be caught coming out of the hall. Everything sucks in this movie - storyline (if any), acting, dialogue and even the music by A R Rahman isn't that great.

The day the earth stood still
Another alien vs humans movie. I think I fell asleep halfway through. Not recommended.

Rab ne bana di jodi (Hindi)
The tagline 'There is an extraordinary love story in every ordinary Jodi' is well deserved by this movie. A simple and predictable story executed very well. Music helps too. Gets a thumps up from me. The decision of the protagonaist to remain simple rather than try to change himself to make himself more lovable was a good message. Something people often ignore when in love, but repent later.

The wrestler
The movie is a drama about a professional wrestler who is well past his prime coming to terms with his life. When health takes a hit, things that were forgotten come to the front row and emotions take a front seat. Liked the movie for the insights it gives us commoners into a specialist profession like wrestling. Apparently the backstage scenes were all real scenes captured after real matches.

Chandi chowk to China (Hindi)
Total bakwaas. Not my kind of movie. We left the cinema in 20 minutes.

Ghajini (Hindi)
A distorted version of Memento and a frame to frame copy of Ghajini (Tamil). If you haven't watched the movie in Tamil, you might like this one. Else, the Surya starrer in Tamil wins hands down - try to watch one with subtitles. I could be biased too as I would prefer a Surya movie to an Aamir movie anyday!

Slumdog millionaire
A behind the scenes story of KBC. An unexpected turn of events brilliantly depicted. But somehow the English dialogues spoiled the fun for me. Renewed the love-hate relationship I have with Mumbai while watching this movie. Definitely worth the money and the time spent.

Madagascar 2 - Escape to Africa
An impressive sequel. It's as funny as it gets! Planning to watch this once again.

Seven pounds
A different kind of Will Smith movie. The movie builds up very slowly and after sometime you realise that the main theme in this movie is death. It's depressing and uplifiting at the same time. I got a little bored midway though.

Frost/nixon
A movie in between a documentary and a drama. It managed to keep me interesed through-out, but if you've already seen the related videos on youtube you might be left wondering 'So what's the big deal' in the end. This movie also brings to light the hard research that goes behind a programme you watch on TV.

Valkyrie
I watched this Tom Cruise starrer around the same time I was following the 'Remembering Anne Frank' series in BBC. The plot of the movie is based on one of the numerous assassination attempts made at Hitler. The play of emotions and the scare of death are shown very well and you just can't escape that sinking feeling in the bottom of the stomach when you realise that something has gone terriby gone and there's no escape. A movie that makes you feel sorry for those who had Hitler written in their destiny. But it also brings to attention that our woes like the recession and the like pales in comparison.

Luck by chance (Hindi)
Another movie showcasing the behind scenes drama of Bollywood. Performances are brilliant - Farhan, Konkona, Juhi Chawla and Rishi Kapoor. Some of the dark secrets of the industry are brought out through humorous incidents that run along the main story where a lot of wannabes try desperately to get into the movies - by hook or crook!

The curious case of Bejamin button
Story line is simple - a person born looking old and grows backward throughout his life. It's a 3 hour movie that shows this extraordinary man's journey through life - his moments of lonliness and happiness, the love he finds and the love he has to let go and the way he finds peace with his existence. The movie looks fabulous - but you feel a little silly watching the movie. So what is it - sci fi? Or maybe you are watching somebody's dream.

He's just not that into you
A movie made for gals who find it hard to understand when a guy says NO. The movie blames it on the way we are brought up - always trying to see the postive and to hide the uglies under the blanket. The only reason for me to go see the movie was Jennifer Aniston who entertains me most evenings even now through FRIENDS. So this was my way of saying thank you :)
It's an average movie and a good timepass. Guys might find it boring though.

Revolutionary road
Definitely not a commercial movie. This much hyped about movie starring Leonardo and Kate Winslet is as different as it could be from Titanic. It brings out the touchy subject of 'what you really want to do in life' and how most of us are scared to walk down that road less travelled and to what extent some people may go to get a little closer to what they want. It's not a movie you can enjoy, but is definitely worth a watch if you like attention to detail and movies that go delve into the subject. And yeah, great acting too!

Bolt - 3D
After 'My dear Kuttichathan' seen around 20 years ago, this would be the only other 3D movie I've had the chance to watch. The 3D effects are amazing and it shouldn't be long before all cinema and TV are shown in 3D. This animated movie is a tale of a dog trying to get back to it's beloved owner. The interesting bit is that the dog thinks very highly of itself - a superdog, whereas it's just another ordinary mutt. A fun movie but feels a little too long.

Phew! Lost track of time. Am almost late for the next movie!

Dishwasher

She, washing up in the kitchen : "Grrr...that does it. I want a dishwasher. Recession or not!"

He, watching TV: "We don't need a dishwasher honey, you've got me."

She: "I want one that wouldn't watch TV all day. I want one that works."