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Back on the blogosphere April 14, 2010

Posted by nitish krishna in Life, Movies, Music.
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In recent weeks I’ve been tempted to start blogging again, given my endless supply of free time and movies to watch, I thought I’d add to the movie reviews section of my blog.

But this time round,I’m going to ask you guys to recommend the movies you want me to watch and review.

So here’s to this new idea…

Lets see how it goes

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Road To Perdition July 13, 2009

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Road to Perdition

Road to Perdition

Movie : Road to Perdition

Director : Sam Mendes

Starring : Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, Daniel Craig

Road to Perdition is a fantastic film, with very rich tones and beautiful cinematography. This Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) period gangster movie is based on a graphic novel by Max Alan Collins and is one of the few films which are more celebrated than their original source.

The mood of the movie is stark and the lighting mirrors this. The movie is a prime example of neo-noir film-making and as a gangster movie it impresses with it’s storyline of betreyal and revenge.

Tom Hanks plays Michael Sullivan, a mob hit man, who is betrayed by his boss (Paul Newman) who treats him as his adopted son. Daniel Craig is fantastic as the trouble making son of the mob boss and is responsible for the movie’s tragedies.

Hanks finds himself on the run along with his son, who he trains to become a getaway driver. Indeed this is the most heartful part of the story. Sullivan doesn’t want Mike Jr. to take the violent path and does all he can to make sure his son sees his own follies.

The rest of the movie is the standard tale of revenge, but interspersed with some Father-Son emotion. Jude Law deserves special praise as the psycho killer Harlen Maguire who is sent after Hanks. His eerie stare rivals that of Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

WATCH THIS FILM IF : You like mafia movies or tales of revenge. It is also an intriguing drama.

DON’T WATCH THIS FILM IF : You don’t like people killing each other and you want to see something sunny or funny.

Warning : Violence

Barton Fink July 12, 2009

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John Turturro as Barton Fink

John Turturro as Barton Fink

Movie : Barton Fink

Director(s) : The Coen Brothers

Starring : John Turturro, John Goodman

This is one extremely wierd film. The Coen brothers wrote this movie to express the difficulties they had with shooting Miller’s Crossing, their gangster epic.

However, this movie by itself is a tremendously remarkable work of art. It is heavy with symbolism and most of the characters and props are representative of emotions or states of mind.

The main crux of the movie is the struggle of Barton Fink (played by Turturro), a celebrated Broadway playwrigth to write a movie in Hollywood. His first assignment is two write a wrestling movie.

Coming from a background of elite writing, he suffers from writers block and tries to get some inspiration from his buddy and neighbour Charlie Meadows. Both of them live in the eerie Hotel Earle which again is a symbol for lonliness and disparity.

This movie is very metaphorical so don’t expect a straightforward story with a straight-forward ending. There are some movies which try to be good by being wierd, like the works of David Lynch. This movie achieves nothing, which maybe what it is supposed to do. It feels like a dream you have when you eat a very heavy meal before you sleep.

At the end of it you don’t know if what you saw was stupid, smart or just absurd.

WATCH THIS MOVIE IF : You want a taste of what “Art” cinema is like. This movie won multiple awards at Cannes. I would also recommend Pink Floyd The Wall if you like this.

DON’T WATCH THIS FILM IF : You want a straightforward story and don’t like thinking while watching a movie.

Warning : Some violence

Rope July 11, 2009

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Rope by Alfred Hitchcock

Rope by Alfred Hitchcock

Movie : Rope

Director : Alfred Hitchcock

Starring : James Stewart, John Dall

This movie is based on a play by  Patrick Hamilton, which in turn was inspired by the real life case of Leopold and Loeb.

It’s the story of two men who follow the teachings of Fredrick Nietzsche and think of themselves as part of an elite class of ¬†“Supermen”. They believe they have the right to murder any person who belongs to the inferior class.

Their philosophy is based on the teachings of their mentor, Rupert Cadell, their ex-school master. At the beginning of the movie, the two men (John Dall and Farley Granger) murder their friend Dick Kentley and organize a party to celebrate their “perfect murder”

The rest of the movie is about how the suspicious Cadell learns the truth behind the party.

What’s remarkable about this movie is the use of long takes without cuts. The movie itself is set in real time and thus mirrors the play it is based on. Alfred Hitchcock uses ten minute takes and even the cuts are hardly noticable. This is a truly remarkable piece of film-making, especially because it is very hard to direct long takes.

This movie is a must watch if you like character dramas and murder mysteries…although here it’s more suspense than mystery.

WATCH THIS MOVIE IF: You’re a fan of suspense movies and like watching plays.

DON’T WATCH THIS MOVIE IF: You only like action adventures and gun toting gangsters

Gomorrah (Italian) July 10, 2009

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Gomorrah

Gomorrah

Movie : Gomorrah

Language : Italian

Director : Matteo Garrone

This movie is based on a best selling book of the same name by Roberto Saviano. Saviano had written the book with a mix of fiction and non fiction and this is reflected in the movie. Most scenes are very very realistic and the characters too are very real.

This movie won the Gran Prix at Cannes probably because it shows a side of Europe that we rarely get to see. The movie is set in Scampia, a very poor suburb of Naples, that is the base for drug peddling mobsters.

Through the course of the film we meet seven people whose lives are inextricably linked to the Gomorrah (the name given to the Naples Mafia). There’s Don Ciro, the cash carrier, who gives out payments to the families of the imprisoned. Pasquale is a haute coutre tailor who gets on the wrong side of the mob when he offers his services to Chinese fakers. Roberto is a young man looking for a dream, but he realizes that he’s looking in the wrong place. Toto is a small kid who is awed by the gangsters and he is forced to make some hard choices if he wants to be one of them.

But the best characters are of Marco and Ciro, two wannabe-Tony Montanas who frequently act out scenes from the movie. Their story is the most heart-breaking.

On the whole the movie is a treat for lovers of gangster movies. It does not have as much action as the Departed but is still an engaging watch.

WATCH THIS FILM IF: You love gangster movies. It has the style of Miller’s Crossing and the charm of Crash.

DON’T WATCH THIS FILM IF: You abhor violence in all forms or don’t like watching movies with subtitles.

Warning : Copius amounts of violence (not much blood-gore though)

The Hangover July 8, 2009

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Three men and a baby? Not Quite

Three men and a baby? Not Quite

Movie : The Hangover

Director : Todd Phillips

Starring : Brad Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, Zach Gailfianikis

Well, this is definitely one movie worth watching. Todd Phillips, the comic stalwart (Starsky and Hutch, Road Trip) is back with this 100 minute laughathon.

The story is similar to Dude, Where’s my car, but minus the aliens and lame jokes and with much more hilarious insanity. I’m not saying it’s a ripp off of Dude, but the story is definitely not original.

The humour though, is. Four guys decide to go to Las Vegas to have a big fun filled Bachelor’s Party and wake up the next morning with a lot of things….A tiger in the bathroom, a baby in the closet, missing teeth and above all…no recollection of the previous night.

Thus starts their hilarious journey to find their missing friend (the groom). The movie is filled with sex-comedy, some of it disgusting but most of it rip-roaring hilarious. Seriously, this movie is one of the funniest I’ve ever seen.

Zach Gailfianikis is spot on as the totally stupid Alan, the brother in law – to be of Doug played by Justin Bartha. His loser character is responsible for most of the laughs in the film. Ed Helms as “Doctor Faggot” Stu is another quirky character who wants to be treated like a Doctor though he is a dentist.

Totally wasted, Stu gets married to a gorgeous Heather Graham What Happens In Vegas style. One madcap situation leads to another and before you know it, Mike Tyson is on screen punching out Alan’s lights.

This movie is a laugh a minute ride that you wish will never end.

WATCH THIS FILM IF: You want to see a hilarious movie with friends. Do not take ur parents along because the copius sex jokes will undoubtably make them uncomfortable.

DONT WATCH THIS FILM IF: You think throwing a condom around in a car is disgusting.

Warning: Copius sex jokes, language

Terminator Salvation July 8, 2009

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John Connor with a Hydrobot

John Connor with a Hydrobot

Movie : Terminator Salvation

Director : McG

Starring : Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Helena Bonhom Carter

Let me be frank with you. I saw this movie only because I didn’t get tickets for the Hangover yesterday. T S was one of the most anticipated movies of the year and it is just such a big dissapointment.

If you liked the first two Terminator movies then please stay away from this one. Yes, it is as bad as they all say it is. I would put the blame entirely on McG, who previously directed the two Charlie’s Angels movies.

Some of the action scenes are stunning no doubt, but the characters seem very indifferent to whats going on. For example, Sam Worthington wakes up 15 years in the future and the only reaction he gives is a look that says “Hmmm…(looks to horizon) Hmmm…(looks pissed)”

Unlike T2 where you are rooting for Arnie and Edward Furlong, you feel no sympathy for Christian Bale. For an actor of his caliber this role performance just flat. There is no coherence in the story, Bale spends as much time fighting his superiors as he does the machines.

There are a very few scenes featuring the Terminators, which is another dissapointment. I noticed that most actors had blinding white and straight teeth, which is wierd given that Colgate stopped manufacturing toothpaste years ago. And even if there was paste available, would you really be worried about oral hygiene when there are robots running around trying to kill you?

But the ending of the movie takes the cake. It features a Sivaji-like electro resuscitation, a heart transplant in the middle of the desert and a final dialouge that says this is just the beginning.

This film is nothing but a one and a half hour ad for Ducati Bikes and Helicopter Gunships (not that you would be interested in either).

WATCH THIS FILM IF: You’re a fan of shoot-em-up type movies and don’t expect much story.

DON’T WATCH THIS FILM: If the above doesn’t apply to you.

Warning : Some violence

There Will Be Blood July 6, 2009

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There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood

Movie : There Will Be Blood

Director : Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Paul Dano

This Movie is an epic rags to riches story of a California Silver Miner Daniel Plainview(Day Lewis). Adapted from Upton Sinclair’s Oil!, it showcases the bitter struggle for money in Pre-Great Depression America.

Let that not put you off. Many of you might find Drama movies boring, but this one will keep you occupied despite it’s length (Almost 2 and a half hours). Day-Lewis is brilliant as the tough, manipulative oil magnate and he is superbly supported by Paul Dano who plays Eli Sunday, a preacher in a local church.

Eli and Daniel are always at loggerheads, the preacher bemoaning Plainview’s rampant seizure of land in the village and the oilman perennially vary of the preacher’s passionate sermons.

The sub-plot of the movie revolves around young H.M.Plainview, whom Daniel adopts after his father is cruelly killed during a drilling operation. A key point in the film is when H.M. loses his hearing in an accident and Daniel is forced to send him away.

The movie is very picturesque and P.T.A. has done a remarkable job with the pace of the story. The movie lacks his usual quirky long shots and multiple character scenarios, but more than makes up with the accompanying music.

When you watch the movie, you will definitely notice the soundtrack. It keeps the story flowing very well and adds character to many scenes. Johnny Greenwood, the Radiohead guitarist is the one responsible.

On the whole, definitely a worthwhile watch.

WATCH THIS FILM IF: You want to see some very good acting and beautiful scenes of the California Desert.

DON’T WATCH THIS FILM: If you detest character dramas. There is nothing in this movie that will excite you.

If you liked this, check out: No Country For Old Men, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford

Warning: Some violence, language.