Monday, November 17, 2008

la vie en rose

Saw this film over the weekend (a bit late in the day since I had already heard a lot about the film before) about the life of Edith Piaf.
It's really just an ordinarily good film - but with extraordinary acting from the lead actress. Amazing performance...
Now on to discover more about the songs of Edith Piaf - youtube, here I come...

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Ghajini Thread

Dear all,

I will keep you posted on the latest happenings on GHAJINI, a long-awaited action thriller from Aamir Khan.

Here's the first look revealed just before Diwali:

And here's the first promo revealed last week:
click to open

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Death At a Funeral

This was the funniest film I have seen in a long time. It is a small film set in a single location and works almost like a play. Unpretentious and sans the ‘Hollywood’ air it had bunch of characters that looked and felt real. A typical British film this one reminded me of ‘Full Monty’ or ‘A Fish Called Wanda’. Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lukewarm Tarantino

Saw “DeathProof” yesterday. After starting off provocatively it ended up being just a bunch of conversations with random graphic violent moments thrown in. Undoubtedly the Tarantino touch is there, like all of his films it is compulsive viewing, but the point he is trying to make is missing. At least I missed it. The whole film is like listening to the conversation on the next table. That the occupants of the table are beautiful and sexy girls has its points of interest. But eavesdropping into other peoples conversations can take you only so far and beyond a point it gets boring. Having said that one has to put in a note about the use of music; as usual the Tarantino magic is spot on when it comes to the background score. I didn't know any of the songs but they were so right for the situations and sounded really good in the film.

Being an admirer of films like “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction” and even his not so successful “Jackie Brown” I was looking forward to the film turning a corner and revealing something absolutely amazing. Unfortunately nothing like that happened. The film kept meandering and then like a bad 70’s action film (it pays a tribute to that genre) it ended in a climax where the bad guy got what was coming to him. Like the “Kill Bill” franchise “DeathProof” too did not live up to the expectations.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Snorezzzzzzzzz. It’s a big film with big production values. The problem is everyone from the director downwards seems to take that definition too seriously. Every frame is thought through in the minutest detail. I didn’t look deep enough but I am sure god was in there. That it got 7 nominations and the best film Oscar confirms my long held belief that the committee is easily impressed by the typical Hollywood show of strength.

Atonement put me to sleep. Twice. For me nothing worked. All the spit and polish left me cold. It was like looking at beautiful but soulless images. The actors seemed lifeless and the only word that comes to mind to describe their work is ‘ponderous’. The same could be said about the cinematography- it was beautiful but didn’t do anything for me. A shot of planes reflected in the water and the scene at the beach were beautiful- maybe too beautifully shot. They were screaming to be looked at. The background track where the typewriter was used well left me with a headache. Once again it was well produced but very heavy going.

Overall it is an example of how excellence in individual departments didn’t add up to make a brilliant film. .

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekly (weakly??) Round-up

Now, I set up this blog with great plans of putting my pearls of wisdom, and other indicators of filmic knowledge out there for the world to see, but clearly, this is not happening. My writer-giri (or lack therof) stands exposed, my excuses of not having time just excuses.
So in an attempt to turn out something I can read back to myself when I am old (and not very choosy) I am from now on at least going to post a weekly round up of "What I Watched" last week. Here goes:

1. Michael Clayton (on DVD) - pretty good film, in a very "I know what's going to happen next" type of way. Of course George Clooney is eminently watchable as always.
I DID NOT get why Tilda Swinton got so heavily awarded for this one though, maybe for being the first ever actress not afraid to show underarm sweat. Bravo!
2. Katha - (old, old film on a very scratchy DVD) - I picked this up to watch with my 10 year old, because I remembered how much I had enjoyed it as a kid - it still holds up. Great fun, and now that I live in Bombay I can appreciate the little nuances even more.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Top 3 Movies on my ‘HAVE-to-means-HAVE-to-watch’ list

1.) The Dark Knight:

Two words why – Heath Ledger. Lot of respect for the actor he turned out to be.. and boy, did it show in Monster’s Ball, Lords of Dogtown and Brokeback Mountain.

And of course, Christian Bale. He gets my 5000 brownie points for resurrecting the uber-coolism in Batman movies. Correction – ALL superhero movies.

'Have made a mental note to keep a watch on Aaron Eckhart. That guy has made some wise choices of late, namely Thank You for Smoking and No Reservations. I bet he's got more sass for the killer role of District Attorney, Harvey Dent he's playing here.

2.) Sex & the City :

Purely because I know I’ll have mixed opinions. Like I did for The Simpsons Movie (which I thought was strictly ok, as compared to the South Park movies). The trend is familiar – the series does great, generates a cult following, ends in flying colours and big awards. Then hype builds up for ‘talks about a full feature’. Eventually so do the rumours, the endless discussions and co-stars leaking secret botox implant stories of other co-stars…

Although, I’d have to admit – I loved the show. I really am a sucker for relatable female protagonists like these four larger-than-life women in SATC.

And of course I'm planning this outing with two great gal pals. Besides if the story disappoints, at least there’s haute couture fashion and Blahniks to drool at…

3.) Hancock:

Take a completely original plot- “A hard-living superhero who has fallen out of favour with the public enters into a questionable relationship with the wife of the public relations professional who's trying to repair his image.”

Take two stellar actors of today – His Handsome Highness, Will Smith and Charlize Theron

Andvoila- you have promise of great entertainment.

Or even if you swear by the superhero format, that would do. But be prepared to be pleasantly surprised…

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Neither Black nor White

Movie is about a very hot subject. I am sorry Subhash Ghai could not make it very convincing the professor is too decent, his wife is too loud to the point of being un natural the professor believes a stranger blindly. When his wife is killed no body comes to know about it, a ‘midnight funeral’ is conducted. How did he manage all this is never clarified. Mind you they are living in a pretty congested area of Chandni Chowk. Next day he makes sure to reach red fort which seems quite bizarre. He tries to save the terrorist even when police had given a proof of his being so because. The professor is too gullible to think that the boy is reformed.

Enter Vanilla

For a long time the only kind of cinema we in India produced was the independent kind. Generally these films were poor on quality and content and their (mostly) smalltime producers were a much maligned bunch. Notorious for being bad pay masters and their “sab chalta hai” attitude they probably deserved all the scorn they got. Now with the corporates coming in that has begun to change. Cheques by the buckets are being pumped into the business. Initially a lot of these faceless outfits, they are bursting at the seams with shirt and tie wearing MBA’s, found it tough going. But now the tide is turning. They have invested in buying upstream and downstream business making it impossible for the filmies to side step and avoid them.
All of this, it is being argued, is good for the business. I am not sure that is entirely true. The biggest loser is PASSION. Films are as much about passion as they are about business. For all his faults the small indie producer could not be faulted for lack of passion. He would put his own money, often by mortgaging his entire life, into the films he produced. Passion was a big reason why he was a part of this business. Unfortunately the corporates only have a passion for the balance sheet. While I will agree that in general terms there will be better films- with more money comes better equipment, better techniques and resources that will lift the finish levels of most films. But with it also comes the vanilla effect. Most films from the corporates already look and feel the same. Recent offerings from Yashraj are a case in point. Up ahead I see this vanilla effect effecting films for a long time. We will be lucky if we get more than a couple of really good films a year. If you like quirky films with great stories- you are probably not going to find them.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why, why, why…

Why do they keep messing with Dr. Seuss? First there was the atrocious Grinch movie (everyone must watch the fabulous old animated version if they can get it); then the even worse, Cat in the Hat. For me personally though this 3rd one is the most annoying, because I’ve never cared for Grinch as a character, and my kids never got into the Cat series for me to care either way if their childish imaginations were being ruined by Hollywood.

But Horton?? In my house Horton is the God of small things. After reading Horton Hears A Who (aloud with actions, when I’m half asleep with tiredness) for the 3 millionth time, I may get sick of him, but I shall never, never, never imagine him with the mannerisms of Jim Carrey (blasphemy), doing a slick Hollywoodish number. If there’s one thing that defines Horton the elephant, it’s his earnestness and insistence on sticking to his own un-cool path, no matter what everybody thinks of him, and if there’s one thing Jim Carrey is, its overbearingly smart alecky in playing to the gallery. As far as I’m concerned the twain should never have met.

BTW, I haven’t seen the movie (nor will I ever if I can help it), so I’m just reacting to info about the movie that has filtered over to me. Apparently a rodent has been added as a sidekick to Horton, no doubt to air the leftover wisecracks that even Jim Carrey felt were too cheesy. The sidekick is called Morton…says it all, I think.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

(w)hat (i)'m (w)atching - Prison Break - 1st season

I've seen a few episodes of this hit show on DVD with half an eye on the proceedings and the other half on my daughter, but then this is the kind of show I can watch only with half an eye (and about a quarter of the mind) looks really well made though.
This kind of tv show or movie always makes me wonder why people who sneer at chick flicks (you know who you are), don't show the same superior attitude to "typical" action stories - cops, prisons, NY street language, quick, jarring cuts, hip hop soundtrack. On the other hand I could be totally wrong, and this is a great show which I will only appreciate if i pay attention.

Blood Diamond (2006)

A must watch for every one who knows "Diamond" and would like to know "Diamonds from the Conflict-Zones".

IMDB info here
Official movie website here
Trailer(s) here

Can you guess by whom the Background Music/Score is by?

Here it goes!!

Finally...I blog.