Thursday, February 12, 2009

A quarter full of movies

It has been long time that I had been away from my blog, I am not sure if I will be able to continue it the way I intend to but I surely will strive coming back and writing as much as I want. So to make up for not posting any movie review blog for more than 3 months, here goes my list of movies that I watched over last 2 months. (Thanks to Bigflix). I am sure I would not have the liberty to write a long review the way I generally do but would try and breif the entire movie watching experience in a line or two. I watch most of these movies at home and hence the choice of movie for half the time is mine and for the other half its my wife's, so few of the movies listed here, would not have made it to the list if not her:)

Movies I watched In Theatre
There are a lot of movies, that are in queue and I have not watched it, but 2 I could catch up with. Utter nonsensical though as both of them were, I enjoyed it for the same reason. The two movies that I could catchup were....

I know you might ask me to shoot myself for not catching the great acts of Vinay Pathak, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap, Aamir Khan and so on. But unfortunately these were the only 2 movies that I could watch and man, both of it have one thing in common - sparks of humor few and ok throughout the movie. Dostana was a good watch because of Kiron Kher's track and for Boman Irani too. Few dialogues in the movie are really humorous, I liked the "Kabhi Khusi Kabhi Bum" :) one. Bobby Deol is a certified bore. Abhishek, John does ok and so does Priyanka chopra. Spirit of Karan Johar will always live in this movie. Similarly RNBDJ would have meant little without the character of Surinder Sahani - the rest of the movie with SRK flaunting his pink, orange, red, yellow wardrobe was irritating. End credits werer really interesting. Salim Sulaiman did good in their first big break but the choreographer disappointed (I mean how could you create steps which cannot be tried by common people on lines like "Jaise suia saat se barah" or "zara kamar ko aise hilana, jaise hawa mein aath banana). Not more than 2* for each of it.

Movies at Home
Well there is a list of it , but I would divide these movies in "His Movies" and "Her Movies" Category for the obvious reasons.
His Movies

Taxi Driver : The idea of being lonely, and feeling disconnected with everything around is so beautifully played by Robert De Niro, that makes this movie favourite of many. You try and see the world from perspective of a man who finds the usual - absurd. I liked the way Martin Scorsese has used the camera in the movie. The movie is intensly metaphorical with each thing from a porn movie to a crumpled note, having potential to be interpreted in a 100 ways. He wants to save the world, a world that he does not understand. He thinks the scum needs to be cleaned but who would allow him to? The movie could have had a stronger story line and a better score. I would have loved a darker ending. Dialogues and direction are beautiful. 3.5* for the movie.

Charlie Wilson’s war : A good Man with some character flaws is what Tom Hanks gives us with his role of Charlie Wilson. The movie not only relates the history to the character of wilson well, but also touches human aspect of a real person. At times though the movie gets a little boring. The movie has got great acting from the 3 lead characters - Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Hoffman. 3* for the movie for its actors.

The Queen : The problem with the rulers of the world is that no one sees them as mortal beings. The Queen depicts the same very well. Every public figure has a different relationship with public very differently defined then the one they have in personal life. Same was the case with Diana. The movie takes us through the Queen's point of view on events after Lady Diana's death. The idea of her rule being questioned for her not overtly showing remorse, making her years of dedication to public futile is so beautifully acted out by Helen Mirren. Special mention to Michael Sheen for his portrayal of Tony Blair. 4*.

Kundun: Another great movie by Martin Scorsese, a biography of Dalai Lama. The whole process of Dalai Lama being chosen as Kundun and then followed is shown with a third person point of view, even Dalai Lama sees it that way. No value judgement is made on anything except China. Dialogues are beautiful. I loved the interaction that Dalai Lama has with Mao Zedong where the latter says "Religion is a poison. Your people are infected by it and so they are inferior. we are better becaue we want development" The cinematography is breath taking. 4* .

The Dark Knight: Well a lot has been said about this movie and a lot will be said in times to come. Its not a super-hero movie, its a super villain movie. If I start on it I think it will take a lot of time but still would like to put a couple of lines on the movie. The best thing that the movie gave I thought was the fact that both Joker and Batman are outcast, they are so similar and yet so different. I loved the scene when Joker in interrogated by Batman in the cell. The dialogues are simply marvelous, especially in the second part of the film. Special affects well and aptly done. The movie is so layered that it requires multiple viewings and thoughts to keep on discussing on the same. Though I would say that I was underwhelmed by the movie after a great great hype which preceded the DVD release. Any day a 4* and more I guess, had I watched it one the first day. Heath Ledger, you gave us a gift of your life time. Nolan and Bale team is good as before.

Iron Man : Its a very typical super hero movie. Usual genius getting the bad guys down single handedly. 2 things could have made this movie as good as the dark knight, layered dialogues and prodding characterization. The characters almost are black and white and has no depth, dialogues too are just ok. The fact that Ironman was a creation to destroy the harmful affects of his earlier creation could have been beautifully done but alas its a mass-pleasing take. Robert Downey Jr. is a fabulous actor and he shows it why. Iron man would havenot got 3* if not for him.

Hancock : One more good idea wasted. A superhero with PR crisis. Well the movie is silly at many times and the end, the fact that love makes him human, was really heavy to digest. Will Smith and Charlize Theron ofcoure are charming, but the movie is just average. 2*

Wanted : Ok, this is not the best of action movies that one would watch, but it was good. Infact, it was far better than what I expected out of it. John Mcvoy has been doing such a variety of role and all too well. Angelina Jolie, looks old and Morgan Freeman shows why is he one of the best. The whole concept of fraternity and loom of fate is interesting but does not appear to be ground breaking. The movie too doesnot involve the scale that we are used to see in such movies. It is about the characters and finishes just at them. 2.5* for this not so bad one.

Her Movies
Road side Romeo : I have never found dogs to be cute, and that was the problem with Roadside Romeo, everyone was a dog, trying to look good. It did not work for me as far as cuteness quotient is concerned. But I think I was absolutely floored by 2 people whom I would credit the entire movie to, Jugal Hansraj and Javed Jaffery. One with great sense of humor for dialogue writing and another with a great delivery of it. A definite 3* movie, first animation movie for adults from our Bollywood teams.

Thoda pyaar thoda magic, is both avoidable and unpardonably silly. Director woudl have done better if he had known the target audience, i thought it was made for children till the time I saw a Amisha Patel shedding her clothes!!! Utterly nonsensical, this movie is the worst I watched in last 3 months, 0.5* for the kids who look good onscreen.

Wall-E : Wall-E was very very cute. The way he calls "Eva...", the way he is mighty impressed by his love and travels across the universe to get her, the way the human race moves to a flabby, lazy lot, is all funny, satirical and serious at the same time. Andrew Stanton comes up with a very original story and a great direction. Special mention for the magic of music created by Thomas Newman - most of the scenes are without dialogues and still takes the story forward beautifully with music. A definite 4* for a beautiful treat.

Kung Fu Panda : This was hilarious, I almost related myself comletely to PO's character. The movie had very well etched characters. I liked the way it turned out to be, though I thought that the movie could have been longer. Animation and Music are really good, though i feel that the dialogues lacked punches. 3.5* for Kungfu Panda.

Definitely, Maybe : was it Bachna E haseeno or Kuch Kuch hota hai that was inspired by this movie?! or is it viceversa. The movie is funny and interesting, i liked the plot where the girl listens to a story of his dad talking about his love affairs, as she tries to find out which amongst them is her mother. All the actors especially Abigail Breslin have done well. (3*)
Mamma Mia! : The only musical on this list, this actually surprised me, very good music, great acting makes a charming fairy tale of a movie. A girl trying to find out who her father is, who can give her away to the man she is getting married to. Pierce Brosnan is charming and you might fall in love with Meryl Streep. I personally liked the movie, but thought that screenplay and story could have been better developed along with the characters. (3*)
Bedazzled : I like movies with multiple stories in it. Bedazzled is quite a fairy tale, rather a devil tale, that would make you laugh in pieces, some of the episodes though are brief and boring. Brendan Frazer fits the role very well and would have liked if someone more sexy and innocent might have played the devil. (2 *)
Never Been Kissed : I like Drew Barrymore and that might make me a little biased for this movie. Imagining her playing an ugly duckling, after watching other movies of her first was not possible for me:). The story is silly and reminds me of another horror-Main hoon na. All the actos could have acted better.(2* for the okie dokie stuff). Baby Mama : This movie is a bore apart from the character played by Tina Fey. Its funny in parts but mostly just another movie. 1.5* for Baby Mama (I did not like the title).
Erin Brokovich :
This is a fantastic movie, you relate to everything that Erin Brokovich is. The dialogues are very well placed and Julia roberts is a great actress. Steven Soderbergh has researched the case well and has put it in a way that everyone understands. 4* and I am going to watch this movie again. Thomas Newman needs a special mention for his music here too.

Woking Girl : Watching Harrison Ford in a romantic movie and almost like a sidekick role was quite amusing. The movie is a feel-good romantic movie where signey weaver steals the show from both ford and Mellanie Griffith. A better editing and better dialogues would have made this movie a lot more entertaining though. 2.5* from my side.
License to wed : Its a Robin Williams movie- no other reason you should watch this movie for. Reverend Frank has his rules for giving the license to wed. A good humorous base, with a light hearted plot makes the movie enjoyable but not good. 2* for Robin Williams and the 2 bald dalls used in the movie.

Other Movies that I watched

There were a few more movies that I watched but would not like to review it now, following is a list of them and my ratings for the same.
The Darjleeng Limited (2*, director has no idea about India)
300 (4*, you feel like a spartan watching this one)
Ramchand Pakistani (3*, it could have been more engaging but the cause of the movie is worth it)
Platoon (3*, people say its a classic, but I could not relate to it)
Rock on (3.5*, superb effort by Farhan Akhtar and Shankar Ehsaan Loy to create a desi version of Rock music that is more relatable)
In Love and War (3* , inspried by true story of Ernest Hemingway, well acted by Sandra Bullock and Chris O'Donnel )
The Butterfly Effect (2.5*, thought I was watching pieces of other movies)
Yella (A german Film 2*, its about a young accountant)
1920 (Silly stupid and pointles 0*, watchout the end -exorcism by Hanuman Chalisa)
Train to Pakistan (1.5* , read the book instead)
Bachna - E - Haseeno (Typical bollywood Masala, 2*, but entertaining.)
Shakespeare Classic - Macbeath (2*, well acted by James Mcvoy, the story is a little boring, rather watch Maqbool)
Back to the Future (3.5*, I love this movie, have watched it 5 times till date)
The Prestige (4*, Superb movie, well acted, well made, nice dialogues)
Ahista Ahista (3*, Abhay Deol is a versatile actor)
Terminal (3.5*, watch this along with charlie wilson's war and Forest gump, and Tom Hanks will be your favourite actor)

{Ratings Here are no value judgement on the content of the film, take it only as my way trying to give my readers a prioritizing tool, if they have yet to watch this movies}

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