Saturday, June 30, 2012
"Dil Chahta Hai" is a poorly executed film that starts off reasonably well but eventually overstays its welcome. The 3-hour run time is a major problem with the film, as there doesn't seem to be much purpose in the screenplay. The film is about love and relationships but fails to provide an interesting story. As someone who is fairly well acquainted with Bollywood films, I am used to the lengthiness of their films. This one however, becomes torturous somewhere around the 2 hour and 15 minute mark. It is at this point that a major character says something so joltingly insensitive that completely contradicts the prior scene. It reveals the dishonesty of the script and is practically offensive to the viewer. As a result, we are forced to endure another 40 minutes dedicated to fixing this repercussions of this incident (among other boring plot points). As I said before I'm a fan of Bollywood and enjoyed some of the comedic bits and song-and-dance numbers, but the inadequacies of the script are far too irritating to ignore. By final scene, the film attempts another overly sentimental pull to appease the viewer, but it's unfortunately too late.
Friday, June 29, 2012
In the hope of playing my part in building a sense of community in the LAMB (Large Association of Movie Blogs), I've decided to start posting my weekly favourite posts/links from my fellow lammies. Check out these great posts below:
Stevee lists 10 useful blogging tips she has learned from her own experience. I'm already following her advice and working on my review index.
After ruminating over it for a while, Sati has finally posted her in-depth review of Prometheus.
Courtney also shares his thoughts on Prometheus over at Big Thoughts From A Small Mind.
The "Film Facts About Me" seem to have turned into a blogathon. Check out Andy's list.
On the latest French Toast Sunday podcast, the gang discusses their favourite movie stoners. If you aren't following their podcast already, do so now! They are quite funny.
Over at Next Projection, Greg compiles a great list of his favourite creative film countdowns.
Tom reviewed Take This Waltz for Moviedex . I liked the film more than he did, but I can definitely understand where he's coming from.
Will praises Cameron Crowe in his review of We Bought A Zoo, a film I also liked.
Ryan finally watches Bambi and is impressed by its visual splendor and maturity. I saw it ages ago and can't remember a thing. He makes me want to revisit it.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
After a short break, "Hit me with your best shot" is back on track, yay! This week we looked at Francois Truffaut's "The Story of Adele H.". The film tells the story of Victor Hugo's daughter Adele (played by Isabelle Adjani) and her obsession with a British Soldier. Unfortunately, the love is unrequited and it basically drives her insane. The plot is fairly simple, but the film is directed with such grace that it is never boring. I found the cinematography is quite dreary though and it was difficult to find a striking image for the purpose of this series.
Click below for my favourite shot...
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
It's been a while since I made one of these lists. 2002 was a pretty decent year, with 2 of my all-time favourites landing at #1 and #2 (City of God and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers). Here are my 10 favourite films of 2002:
City of God
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
About A Boy
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Road To Perdition
City of God
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
About A Boy
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Road To Perdition
Monday, June 25, 2012
"Chinatown" is a yet another brilliant film by the gifted director Roman Polanski. This neo-noir film boasts a fine script and features 2 magnetic performances by Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. To me the slow pacing was tedious at times, but the performances held my interest. Nicholson’s performance was especially eye-opening for me, as I had never seen him so fresh and charming. I usually picture him as slightly intimidating and brash. In the film, he plays private detective J.J. Gittes, hired to unravel a seemingly simple infidelity case. Of course, things get a little more complicated and he gets involved with a beautiful woman (Evelyn Mulwray) who is interconnected with some criminal activities. Dunaway is equally captivating in her role and her intimate scenes with Nicholson have a real natural feeling. Considering their other work (Bonnie and Clyde, Network, As Good As It Gets, Something’s Gotta Give etc.), the delicacy they show here is pleasantly surprising. Throughout the film Polanski directs with a steady hand and creates a truly authentic noir film. The production design really captured the 1930’s setting with the relevant music, costuming, set design and even the accents (particularly Dunaway’s). The attention to detail is really impeccable. This film is a true classic of the genre.
This film is part of my List of Shame.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Eva Marie Saint with her Best Supporting Actress Oscar
Oldie Goldies is back this week with a superb film - "On The Waterfront". This film is the perfect blend of brilliant writing and acting. I recently saw this for a 2nd time and it plays even better on repeat viewings. The AMPAS certainly loved it too, giving it a whopping 12 Oscar nominations - Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Picture, Best Writing, Best Score and 3 Supporting Actor nods! In the end, the film went home with 8 of these awards (Actor, Supporting Actress, Art Direction, Cinematography, Director, Editing, Writing and of course, Best Picture).
Monday, June 18, 2012
I didn't see anything to rave about this week, so here are a few thoughts on a film I saw some time ago. "Sling Blade" is slow but thought-provoking film by actor-director-writer Billy Bob Thornton. Despite testing my patience at times, it’s still a fascinating film that poses some subtle questions about morality and intolerance. Thornton is simply masterful in the lead role.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Here's a late edition of "Oldie Goldies" this week, with a look at a great piece of Italian neorealist cinema - "Rome Open City". This first film in Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy is nicely shot and features a really compelling story. It certainly deserved its Best Screenplay nomination for the 1947 Oscars.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I never planned to watch this film, but I got roped into seeing this with my mom and my sister. This is probably Tyler Perry's worst film. My mom and sis are both Tyler Perry fans and even they thought the plot was silly and unrealistic. There was one good scene in an elevator, but the rest was appallingly bad. It almost made me re-consider the acting talents of Thandie Newton and Gabrielle Union, who can be pretty decent when given the right roles. Unfortunately, this script was so bad that any actor would look like an amateur. If the horrible formulaic trailer didn't deter you already, take my advice and avoid this film.
Monday, June 11, 2012
2012 has already seen its fair share of blockbuster hits ("The Avengers", "The Hunger Games" etc.) but none of them really floored me. What a treat then, to find a truly skilled genre director (Ridley Scott) who delivers the goods. "Prometheus" is a wonderful addition to the "Alien" franchise, as it is riveting from start to finish. Scott is clearly a master of sci-fi, as he hooks you in from the first breathtaking scene. When I think of this film, so many adjectives come to mind. It's visually stunning, thrilling, mysterious, thought-provoking and at times downright terrifying. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen for a second. This film is a real directing triumph, but the entire production team must be commended. Maybe the IMAX 3D experience played a part, but I found the film's look and feel really lived up to the epic grandiosity of the trailers. Among a strong cast, Noomi Rapace shines in a plum role (Fassbender is outstanding too, but I kinda hated his character). This is her best performance to date (even better than her Lisbeth Salander imho). She has a bright future ahead, go get 'em girl! I will admit, the film doesn't fully answer all the ambitious philosophical questions it poses. In my view, if you are dealing with the origins of mankind, it's damn near impossible to give a satisfying answer. There will always be the question "Who created the creator?" For me, I was just happy that a summer blockbuster would have the gumption to provoke such deep thought. In addition, the pure enjoyment levels of this film should appeal to many, regardless of the minor plot flaws.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
With $564 million (and counting) in the bank already, "The Avengers" is generating some inevitable Oscar buzz. I don't think it has any chance, but for argument's sake I'm putting it on "Oscar Watch". The film is a fun romp, with smart direction and writing from Joss Whedon. I love that the film acknowledges its comic book roots, as opposed to forcing some deeper real-world meaning. The cast works well together, giving each performer some good character bits. Whedon's great writing skill is evident in the banter between characters, as I was often surprised by the intelligent detail in the humour. I really commend him for not dumbing down the jokes. Tom Hiddleston is best in show for me, as he nails the dramatic flair of his character and his sense of entitlement. In the end, the film really is very entertaining, but it doesn't really redefine the genre or explore any grand themes. That's fine with me though, as the film successfully carries out its intended purpose.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
So, this is a very hard review to write. Reason being, I felt very indifferent while watching this movie. I certainly didn't hate it, but it didn't really grab my interest either. This is definitely a film for Wes Anderson fans. His distinct style will thrill his loyal fans, but may irk those (like me) who just don't "get" him. The strong reviews however, have caused various Oscar pundits to declare this as a Best Picture contender. I personally don't see it, as I really can't see Academy members truly loving it (unless the membership suddenly became full of young hipsters). However, I do think it has a strong chance in Best Original Screenplay, as it seems like the sort of imaginative originality that tends to do well in that category. To a lesser extent, it could also challenge for a Best Director nod. Anderson is certainly meticulous and and purposeful with his style and really embodies the notion of the auteur. I think the film would have to be unanimously adored for Anderson to get into the highly esteemed director category at the Oscars, so I can't see it happening. Overall, the film undeniably contains all the pieces necessary for a good film. The cast is great, working with fully-developed characters, while the cinematography and music are also very good. However, the deadpan dry humour failed to resonate with me.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
This week's featured film on Oldie Goldies is a classic noir film - "Possessed". The film stars Joan Crawford as a love-obsessed, but scorned woman. Of course, you can expect all sorts of "stank face" as she goes mad trying to win her man's affection. In the end, her performance earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Monday, June 4, 2012
So, my "Bridget Jones's Diary" review (great film btw) has disappeared from my laptop and I'm a bit scatter-brained right now. Hence, my "Movie of the Week" is a film that I saw months ago - "Real Steel". This film is a surprisingly thrilling robot actioner. Although entirely predictable, the film rises on the strength of its acting and visual effects. Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo had really great chemistry together. The visuals were really cool too. Jackman was clearly enjoying himself in this film and I was too.