Saturday, September 29, 2012

What to expect, when you're expecting (2012) - Drama

It may not be the best on the subject but it certainly was a heart warming experience for us. Worked big time like a time machine and sent us back by 7 years when we were expecting our daughter. We smiled, laughed, agreed, disagreed and enjoyed those moments lived on screen with a couple of our own favorite actors. I wasn't looking forward to this one after reading quite a few negative reviews but still couldn't resist the movie with Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Brooklyn Decker (Battleship), Chris Rock and Dennis Quaid. Also, it is full of cameos from a lot of other lesser known celebrities from TV and stuff. As a parent of a 6 year old kid – it was all been there done that stuff for us but can be a great learning experience and eye opener for would be parents. A funny take on how life changes but for good once you become a parent or on the verge of becoming one. It was a great time pass and a fundoo one time watch for sure. 

Jennifer Lopez
The Movie: As the name suggests – story revolves around the lives of 5 couple expecting their first babies. They are all related to each in one way or the other and its hilarious to see the situations change so fast and how it all ends – its quite comically timed. Our favorite will always be the story of Jennifer Lopez as Holly the photographer with a husband in music business and her emotional story, since she couldn't conceive in normal circumstances. They have no option but to adopt a kid and even to do that – they have to prepare themselves for the baby's arrival with new house etc. The second best was obviously Cameron Diaz as a celebrity dance show contestant and a host of a fitness weight loss show with her husband. I guess Cameron is a good dance and she always looks forward to a dance item in all her movies – here too it starts with a small dance number from her and its hilarious to see how it ends. The third great one was Elizabeth Banks who was Wendy Cooper wife of Gary played by Ben Falcone. As they break their story of expecting a baby to his father – they get shocking news that even his father played by my favorite Dennis Quaid and his wife hottie Brooklyn Decker too were expecting their first kid. The father and son relationship is too good and their scenes are one of the high points of the movie. Super Rich dad with a mansion and a golf course of his own, simply superb, Dennis Quaid at his hilarious best.

Brooklyn Decker
The Mothers
The Gang of Guys: Walking in the part with their babies in the strollers is too good. I mean it's amazing to see how life changes for a couple after marriage first and then after they become parents. How every one adjusts into their new roles without panicking and you see every new guy who is yet to be a parent having those panic attacks. It reminded us of our own memories not so long ago when one fine Sunday morning my wife broke the news that she was pregnant. I can never forget the way I reacted “What??? Are you serious? How could that be? I mean, are you sure???” It was great news yet we weren’t expecting it that sooner and we are way too glad today to have a baby like the one that we have, it’s a blessed feeling to have a kid at the end of the day. All the couples have their own ups and downs too like the way Jennifer loses her contract because of cost cutting and goes job less. Cameron Diaz’s husband couldn’t continue his dance show anymore because she is alone at home and he needs to be there with her, the way he sacrifices his positions by faking a fall on the dance floor, is totally awesome. There is another story of a young couple, the girl becomes pregnant right after a one night stand with a guy and they part ways because of confusion, although she loses the baby too, yet she loves the guy and looks forward to be with him, how their story moves and ends is heart warming. We found the movie pretty good than an average fare, it was hilarious in parts but all in all a nice one time watch for sure.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Weird (2008) - Korean Comedy / Action

Korea’s reply to western “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and what a movie it was – I must say. Although no ways – it can be compared with Sergio Leone’s original but it stands out on its own in being a damn good entertainer. Like all the other Korean movies are – over the top and fully loaded with mind blowing action, comedy, drama and lots of blood / gore too. This movie’s USP big time is its cinematography – I mean – I must have seen close to 250 movies this year and none comes close to this one’s camera work – totally OUTSTANDING. You’ve got to see it to believe it and if you have already seen it – I am sure you will agree with me. Right from the very first shot till the very end – it’s an amazing visual treat, almost 2 hours and a little longer – it’s a total treat. If you know what Korean movies stand for – you can’t miss this one at any cost. I am going with a good 3 thumbs up for this one. It’s certainly a great one time watch at least.

The Good
The Movie: As I mentioned earlier and if you have seen the original – you exactly know where this movie is going and how it all is going to end. But the question is again how? And that’s the best part about this movie – the way they have shot the whole story with so many characters thrown in between all fighting first for the same map and then to locate the treasure and dig it out. Visually it’s a stunning movie right from the very start – we were hooked to its cinematography right from the first aerial shot of a flying eagle picking up a dead bird from a train track as the train passes by – totally awesome shot. Then the camera shifts first to the left then to the right of the track before entering inside with a train robbery by two different groups being attempted. Here we are introduced to the good (Jung Woo-sung) and the weird (Song Kang-ho) followed by the final and the best character of the movie the bad (Lee Byung-hun). The fighting sequences and the robbery is shot in such a fiery pace that its just amazing to see so much going in such a short span of time. Before even you realize where it’s going and how its going to end the bad guy takes over.

The Bad

The fighting sequences are done so well and are so stunning that I have not seen something like that this year. So many laugh out loud moments with the weird guy doing all kinds of weird stuff as he is famous for. Even the guy that they picked up I guess is a master of comedy in Korean movies – I remember I saw another movie with him in lead couple of weeks back and there too – he did a commendable job of making us laugh big time with his histrionics. Although the good guy never comes close to our own Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone’s movie but still he holds it pretty good. As per me – the full credit goes to the guy who plays “The Bad” – he is damn good, in his facial expressions, fighting sequences, his hair style, the way he does all his stunts etc. His best movie to date will be “I Saw the Devil” and he was excellent in that one. Initial one hour the fight is for the Map between the good, bad and the weird. Once the map is set with good and weird joining hands for a joint operation followed by bad, we are up for a thrilling chase between all the gangs.

And The Weird
The Finale: Between The Good, The Weird, followed by further more Manchurian Bandits, Japanese army and The Bad man’s gang – is an awesome watch, totally hooking stuff with so much of going on that too in such a style that its hard to keep a track yet its simply outstanding job on screen. The ending as we already know is classic too with the treasure and final fights between all of them. That’s one movie which deserves a proper Blue Ray viewing with a good home theater to say the least. I am up for a damn good print and couple of more future viewings for sure.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Premium Rush (2012) - Thriller

After a long time we get to see a damn good intelligent thriller on bicycles, the last it reminded me of was made in 1986 (Rad) that too on BMX bikes and it was a grand success – at least for us on VHS at that time. We loved it so much and saw it so many times back to back, even this one – undoubtedly turns out to be an edge of the seat thriller right from the very start and mind it – it does deserves your attention and intelligence. The movies fiery pace never lets you take rest and there are so many and I actually mean so many moments that you just go “WOW”, “Holy Shit”, “Oh My God”, one amazing watch – not to be missed at any cost by thriller lovers especially those who love movies with fantastic bike chases – this should be called one of the best of the recent times. Joseph Gordon Levitt proves yet again that he is one hell of an actor and Michael Shannon as the bad ass cop makes you hate him some more. A delivery boy with an important packet being chased by a cop, what’s in the packet and why he is being chased that badly is the movie all about? I seriously couldn’t watch sitting straight on my chair as it had so many shocking moments – do not miss it guys, I am actually waiting for its big screen release in our part of the world – I am sure it will be a fantastic watch.  

Joseph Gordon Levitt
About the Director: He is the same guy who earlier made a fantastic movie called “The Trigger Effect” and even “Secret Window”. Both of them were damn good thrillers which I saw so many times on Star Movies. He wrote so many other damn good movies like Mission Impossible, Spider Man, Panic Room etc. This is his 5th movie as a Director and I am sure this one is good enough to establish him as a good Director now.

Dania Ramirez
The Movie: The super fast paced thriller is based on a couple of hours in the life of a Bicycle messenger Wilee (Joseph Gordon Levitt) as he delivers a package from one place to another in busy New York City traffic on his bike with no gears and no brake. His fundaa is pretty clear that brakes will kill someone someday hence he uses an age old bike with none of them and is super fast in the whole gang of biker messengers. They claim New York has 1500 of guys like him doing this job everyday. Its simply superb to watch him do his job day in day out, one hell of a biker he is that you understand right after he delivers the first package of the day in super fast speed with his mind working in all the permutation and combinations to use the safest and yet the fastest path to do his job. One fine afternoon he picks up an urgent envelop from an office which has to be delivered by 7 PM at a specified address. The problem starts when he is being chased by a cop who wants that envelop back as he has a doubt that it holds a ticket to some illegal money transfer. The movie is running backwards with the final scene shown to us in advance and it keeps going back by half an hour to 45 minutes. Audience need to be attentive to keep in mind what they saw and what happened earlier, that was so damn good to see in reality. The background of the cop too is shown that he loses some money in gambling and needs this ticket to pay off his debts.

Michael Shannon the Cop
Wilee has no idea of the content of the envelop and his job is to just get it delivered at any cost. How he does that after being chased by this cop is the rest of the story. How he delivers the package with the help of his girl friend and friends is just amazing. They are being chased by a cop (Michael Shannon) who wants that packet at any cost and by another cop on bicycle himself chasing Wilee big time right from the very start of the movie. The USP of the movie is the fantastic sequences shot in bicycles in the busy streets of New York. I have never seen something like that earlier – we all have seen car and bike chases but none on bicycles so far. The sub plots too are developed in a great pace and quite convincing but the cake is taken by Joseph Gordon and Michael Shannon – how it all ends is a damn good watch. It isn’t that easy as it looks like as Wilee has a competitor in house too who takes the package later in confusion and goes to deliver it right to the bad ass cop. He gets out of one situation only to enter into another troublesome one shortly. Its hilarious to see one problem popping up right after another and that too all hell breaks lose just in 91 minutes of running time. We had to follow the timeline closely as what happened when to keep a track of time and activity going on a fiery pace. I and my wife argued on couple of scenes and we had to rewind the whole movie to see it right from the very start – this time we kept taking in stock all the scenes and activities going on. It was actually fun to watch. Go ahead – check it out – do not miss it at any cost. If you have already seen it – let me know how you like it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Heroine (2012) - Drama

After watching “Heroine”, I can definitely say that Madhur Bhandarkar has lost it big time and is right now walking on the footsteps of Ram Gopal Varma. After winning four national awards for some of his great movies – this is what he ends up making on a subject which he should know like back of his hands. Right from the moment “Go” this one is full of clichés, so many and so much that it looks pointless to even point out now. What we were expecting and how it turns out to be is way too different – in the final product the only reason why one should watch this is “Kareena” only. No ways, he has shown us anything that we do not know already. It does makes you smile and laugh at times on the references. My full sympathies to one of my favorite actor Randeep Hooda again as even this one doesn’t works for him and makes him shine, the last one was a laughable “Jism 2”. None of the characters other than Mahi (Kareena) had any scope of development – they just keep coming, playing their part and get lost in the movie somewhere. I guess Madhur tried too hard with this one hence the outcome – he should stick to the reality formula that worked in the past for him and get away with that “Commercial” stuff. It looks too fake, forced and been there done that stuff. Give it a miss if you haven’t seen it – rather download its songs and watch them – they are way too better than the whole movie and that’s where you see the hottie Kareena rest of the movie is just a passé. 

Hottie Kareena Kapoor
The Movie: As it was supposed to be – it is based on the life of an Indian Actress (Fictional) Mahi Arora played by one of the best Actresses of her own times Kareena Kapoor – she is one hottie that we have. Suffering from a bipolar disorder and changing times, how she copes with sudden success followed by someone else replacing her in the industry gradually and by being thrown out of movies. Getting in and out of the lives of her co-stars and cricketers who she cannot marry cause of her flourishing career and what not she does to achieve stardom is the movie all about. Unfortunately the handling and what is being show to us is so mediocre and been there done that feel that it hardly shocks you. As Madhur Bhandarkar is famous for shocking the audience with on your face truth – that typical Madhur touch is seriously missing in this one and it looks out and out a movie made to make money and nothing else. Which indeed it has made in the first week itself and the producer’s investments have fetched good returns already. I felt cheated specially cause it has no entertainment value whatsoever – the only good thing about it is gorgeous Kareena Kapoor and some scenes which does bring smile to your face. That’s about it.

Different Avatars Kareena Kapoor
A Guy, who has given us wonderful movies like “Chandni Bar”, “Satta”, “Page 3” and “Traffic Signal” – for whom he got National Award as Best Director followed by couple of damn good ones like “Fashion” and even his last outing a good comedy “Dil to bachcha hai ji” was a great time pass. I felt there is something wrong with him, he seriously ran out of thoughts and idea to put this one up. The less I should talk about the glaring mistakes is better like throughout the movie’s timeline you see Kareena using a iPhone, I wonder she never changes her phone throughout the years she is shown on screen. There are so many mistakes and goof ups – the ones that you least expect in a Madhur movie at least. So many celebrity references and incidents picked up and beaten to death in the movie. Medial and PR agencies doing whatever it takes to bring them to news and make them famous.  The typical party goof ups with girl friend meeting celeb wives and misbehaving. Going down to their knees to land a perfect role which can make or break their career. Actress hooking up with upcoming cricketer. Doing art movies to call themselves Actors and what not. So many things feel so tacky, like the award ceremony and the trophy that they made – feels so sad – I mean that’s the best they could do for their movie? C’mon – it says they made this movie with 30 Crore – where did all that money go? Unfortunately it never works for the audience as there is nothing new in all that and we have already seen it so many times earlier. This would go down in the history of bollywood as the worst movie of Madhur Bhandarkar – it may work out well on the box office commercially but will never be called as one which did justice to the subject it picked up.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Towering Inferno (1974) - Action / Disaster

After seeing so many disaster movies in the recent times including a 3D review of “Titanic” – I will still rate this one as one of the best I ever saw. Made in the year 1974 when there was no computer graphics stuff involved – this still is a bloody edge of the seat thriller as watching it last night – I realized there were moments that I was forced to hold my breath in reality to see what goes on screen. Simply outstanding work by all and amazingly shot movie – never for a moment I felt as if I was watching a movie which was made almost 40 years ago. Two of my all time favorite stars in lead – Paul Newman as Doug the architect who designed the building and fantastic Steve Mcqueen playing the San Francisco fire department 5th battalion chief. Unbelievable shots and amazing almost true to life action sequences – I wonder how they did it as still it feels so damn good even today after we have seen so many of those movies. The problem I face in today’s movies is that they do look damn good onscreen but do not give you that real time feeling and once you see “The making” of any of them – you actually laugh on how they made it look so good. This is a must watch for all action / thriller lovers – I bet – you wouldn’t have seen a better disaster movie than this one ever.

The Glass Tower
Tower on Fire
The Movie: Right from the moment “Go” this one is truly a visual delight – from the starting shot of a chopper flying over San Francisco with credits rolling and outstanding background music playing. I almost sat thinking how many musicians must be playing their instruments to make that kind of awesome music. It almost gives you a feel that you are watching an Opera live sitting in a hall full of people. Another good thing that I totally love about these 70’s movies is their cars – they don’t make those cars anymore – those long sporty muscle cars – totally a delight in these movies – this too had some of the best ones on display, if you know what I mean. Once you are introduced to the world’s tallest tower with 138 floors – you already know that the disaster is about to strike with every moment passing – I had this doubt that anytime it may go off and then you come across the compromises done by the builders son in law to save and make some money by putting cheap electrical items than the required ones. Paul Newman as Doug Roberts the no nonsense, non compromising super successful architect is simply superb and the way he carries his character is simply outstanding – I guess the only other guy in Hollywood who could have done this role any better or equally good would be Clint Eastwood.

Steve McQueen
First time when I saw this movie – I had no idea that this was based on a building – I somehow always imagined that this would be a movie based on a volcano – I can still not forget the shock when I realized after first half hour that the bloody tower is going to be on fire in no time but by that time it was too late and to my horror I saw the disaster. It was a perfect edge of the seat thriller as what happens next is amazing stuff – never seen before thing. I haven’t seen a better movie in my movie watching career of last 20 odd years – I would say. The fire department and these brave men put their life forth to save the others is heartwarming stuff. Some scenes which will be engraved in my memory for ever – is the one where this black security guard saves a cat from the burning room. An executive having an affair with his secretary as the party goes on – no one has an idea that they are in the building – how he tries to call for the firemen and dies while his girl friend jumps from the building to save herself from the fire reminded me of those horrific 9/11 videos where we saw people jumping from burning WTC. Who would have imagined it would come this close to reality. There is this scene where Paul saves a female with two kids and as they go down the stairs – the whole stair case falls and he is hanging with the railing – terrific camerawork and the way he saves them with that hanging railing is truly amazing stuff. One scene to watch out – I was almost sitting on the edge of my sofa with a hand on my mouth – no believing what I was seeing on screen.

Paul Newman and Faye Dunaway
The way rescue work goes on and even the elite guests like the Senator and the mayor of town helps everyone is commendable. First the elevators, followed by the outside scenic elevator, when that blows off too and is picked up by a chopper by Steve McQueen is one stunt which will bring your heart into your mouth. Finally one person at a time hanging on a chair from one building to another shorter one – was one stunt I could never imagine in my wildest of the dreams that too in a movie made way before I was born. It never makes you relax while you go through almost two hours and 45 minutes of terrific action. Every scene right from the moment fire goes off to the last person saved is fantastic. How one person’s stupidity kills so many people self included. It delivers a solid punch – even the last line when Steve McQueen the fire department chief says to Paul Newman “You know we were lucky tonight, body count under 200, you know one of these days they are going to kill 10000 trapped in one of those firetraps, I am gonna keep eartin smoke and bringing out bodies – till someone asks us how to build them” to which Paul says “OK, I am asking”, again Steve says “You know where to reach me, so long architect”. Simply WOW. Missing this movie as per me will be a crime – if you haven’t seen it – go ahead – do not miss it anymore and if you have seen it already – let me know how you like it. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mr. Brooks (2007) - Thriller

I guess it never released in our part of the world otherwise I am sure, I wouldn’t have missed it with a cast like that with Kevin Costner playing the “Man of the year” serial killer pursued by evergreen Demi Moore. William Hurt plays a ghost who is always with him – it’s fantastic to see them discuss everything, Hurt advising Kevin every now and then is totally fantastic – movies high point is their discussions with fantastic thrilling cat and mouse game between killer and cops. Every one has their own background and story too to tell. Demi Moore (Daughter of a millionaire) working as a detective and has a personal score to settle with her husband fighting a divorce case while Mr Kevin is on a killing spree with a new intern. His own daughter he suspects has murdered someone too. It has so much going on all the time that you are totally hooked to it. Fortunately I got a Blue Ray print and I wish I could freeze some stunning shots and show them to you – its one of those movies that should not be missed by thriller lovers. Why is Mr. Man of the year on a killing spree? The way he does all the murders is simply outstanding. Would he ever get caught? What happens to the daughter and his intern? Who’s William Hurt? You’ve got to watch it to know all the answers. Trust me guys – its one hell of a watch – do not miss it.

Demi Moore
Isn't She Stunning?
What I liked about the movie is its fantastic handling and building suspense, where you actually want to know – why are those crimes being committed and by the time you know the reason it’s too late. You actually try to predict how it all is going to end but guess what – I can guarantee you that your prediction is never going to come true. Mine did not; rather I was shocked with the ending. What’s commendable about its cast is the way they carry it on their shoulders. Kevin Costner is simply superb and he looked even better in a blue ray print. Demi Moore I guess is getting better with age – the last movie I saw of her too was an action movie and this one beats that one hands down. She is simply stunning and even better in a detective’s character – suits her well. You will love her action shots for sure. I have always been a fan of William Hurt’s style of subtle acting – here too he is exceptional and the kind of chemistry he shares with Kevin is awesome. I kept imagining he should be Kevin’s dad in the movie – coming back as a ghost to help him carry out those murders. It’s almost two hours long but has the quality that makes you keep wanting for more. Even when it ended I waited through the end credits thinking something may come up by time the last name rolls out.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Expendables 2 (2012) - Action

The Team
Would you still ask for more when you get to see Stallone, Statham, Bruce Willis, Arnold, Chuck Norris, Jet Li and JCVD – all in one movie with kick ass action? Still, I am missing a couple of more damn good names intentionally as these were more than enough reason for me to watch this fundoo movie at least a couple of times. I have lost count how many times I have seen the first part and I guess that’s why – this one was awaited even more eagerly – yet some how I missed it on big screen – how sad that it. It will take me at least an hour to explain what I loved about this movie J seriously. Right from the word “Go” its an out an out action movie – yeah yeah – we have seen all that in so many other movies but that’s ok – I can live with that – that too happily. Seeing Arnold and Stallone in one frame that too with guns in their hands is a sight to behold. First 15 minutes of ground breaking action is totally awesome. I specifically love the Boom Boom gun Ceaser (Terry Crews) uses – the sound it makes is fantastic and you’ve got to see the impact it makes too. Its totally a damn good time pass stuff with so much happening and every now and then you have some one or the other popping up to make you smile and impress you. Missing this kind of a movie is a crime and watching it again and again is total fun. I will recommend it to every one with two thumbs up; do not miss it at any cost.

"Terminator", "Rambo" and "Die Hard" All in One.
The Movie: Unfortunately, the second part doesn’t works for me big time as I kept comparing it with the first one which was totally rocking but if I see it as an individual movie and do not compare – it works wonders. Although there is no surprise element here as everything is run of the mill yet you want to see your favorite yesteryear heroes do their part in style and they do it damn good. Age is showing on all their faces and bodies as in the end of the movie there is this line Stallone says “That belongs to a museum” seeing an age old plane in tatters to which Arnold replies “We all do”. Fantastic, isn’t it? Still the initial 15 minutes of action makes you too happy and impresses with what they are doing at this age, all the running around, shooting, killing, hand to hand combat etc. One more highlight of the movie for me was whenever this guy Stallone talks to Statham – its totally fun stuff. Once you are done with the initial action – you get the first surprise in the form of Jean Claude Van Damme and his signature kick the way he kills Billy, reminded me of all his movies from the past.

Chuck Norris after ages
Another surprise – not exactly a surprise but yes, it works is the entry of Chuck Norris – right when they need him badly and don’t even expect – simply the “WOW” moment of the movie and what he does is worth applauds. And then you have that legendry entry of Arnold with “I am Back” which I guess would be most repeated dialogue of its own time for sure. He too comes at a right time and bang on the action continues. You actually don’t care about the story and there isn’t any great one here either but how they do what they do is worth all the money and time. One final scene that too a hand to hand combat between JCVD and Stallone is another high point of the movie and you do notice that he takes his lucky ring off his finger once he is done with him. Even a superhero of his caliber is superstitious at least in the movie. What I love even more was its background score – those rocking songs work wonders too for the magic like they worked big time in the last part. The only problem I had with the movie is – I so much wanted Stallone to Direct it but I guess he is done with that, hence it went to Simon West – he too has give us some of the best action movies we have seen so far from Hollywood. I am sure they are working on the third installment now and if they are not – I will pray they do shortly.

Hottie Yu Nan
Some Scenes: rather some damn good ones other than the ones mentioned above is – there is this one scene in which they are inside an airport terminal and shooting each other down, Bruce Willis gets inside a small car parked in the terminal and gives Arnold a lift to come over and help him kill the goons while on a move, the way Arnold rips open the car door and it flies off is hilarious and they drive it off and shoot so many of them while driving that little car. The local village women shooting our heroes as they arrive and shots going left and right without hitting them is another good one. I had my first doubts on Dolph Lundgren as Jensen even in this part that he is going to betray them and my second doubt was on hottie Yu Nan as Maggie Chan that she may be the one who is going to change sides but none comes as a shock. There is this another scene with Stallone riding his big bad bike and Yu Nan comes over to see him in her spanking new bike and speeds off – is one hell of a scene – for a moment I thought he is going to give her some competition but I guess no bike chases were in the story here. Other than these there are so many short instances between them that make us laugh out loud – all in all it’s a damn good one time watch and multiple watches for that fan in you.

Kramer VS Kramer (1979) - Drama

What a perfect timing to watch this one as my wife was gone home for two weeks on a family emergency and I was serving as a single parent to our six year old school going daughter – I came across this gem of a movie based on marriage. Dustin Hoffman as a workaholic husband and father is simply too good and damn convincing – he is one which keeps impressing me with all his movies – I really wonder if he has done any blunders in so many years of his career? I haven't seen one bad movie of him yet. The less I talk about Meryl Streep the better, with maximum Academy Nominations and Victories – no one can ever come any closer to her – even in this one she doesn’t have half as footage as Dustin, still not only she was nominated – she ended up winning it too. Hats off to her – totally. It’s a must watch for all in today’s time as its more relevant today then it was at the time of its release – I firmly believe. It reminded so much of my own father to me because we spent good 5 years alone in each others company – although I was in my teenage then and not as young as Dustin’s son but had a great learning time with him and I still cherish those years big time. The very first scene when you see him make a French Toast for his son and how it turns out is one hilarious scene and the same scene you see again done professionally at the very end of the movie but this time you smile with again tears in your eyes as that happens to be the last French Toast made by him for his son. One thing I love about Hollywood or shall I say other than Indian movies is that they are too close to reality – unlike us where we have 90% movies ending on a happy note. Watch it – if you haven’t seen it yet. One hell of a movie – not to be missed by anyone.

Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep
The Movie: Is about a workaholic Ted (Dustin Hoffman) who is an advertising executive working with a firm and is on the verge of being made a partner in the same if everything goes well with one of the deals he is about to strike. As he goes back home one fine day with the great news – realizes his wife is about to leave him for good. He couldn’t believe his eyes and takes away her suitcase – still she goes off, he believes she is going to come back soon but didn’t realize that she is gone for good. What happens next is totally out of this world experience – as he was married for good 8 years and has never taken care of his young school going son still with no clue – his life goes forward and somehow he manages his office and his kid’s school, games, house and other stuff. Their relationship although starts on a bad note but gradually he picks up and they develop quite a good bond as father and son. Right when you think everything is going good – he looses his job as he isn’t able to concentrate and perform on his job cause of household pressure. One after another bad things keep happening as his son falls off a climbing frame in the park and gets hurt badly right below his eye. The following scene of him getting stitched and Ted in pain is something outstanding, one hell of a scene that I will never forget in my life and as a parent myself – I could actually feel his pain that too alone with no one to fall back on. And right when we think everything is falling in place – his wife returns but this time to fight a custody battle for her child who she loves big time but had to leave due to the situation. What pursues is a courtroom drama where we see both their characters being assassinated by their opposition lawyers.

Father and Son
It’s heartening to see him lose his wife first because of his job and then lose his job because he couldn’t manage his time well being a single parent and by the time he gets into another job – he is on the verge of losing his son now. Unbelievable job done by Dustin as father and Meryl as mother. The scenes with them on court are so life like that it’s hard to believe a movie is going on in front of you. I kept imagining the end but could never hit it the way Director handled it. Fantastic is the way they had captured the emotions of its cast, be it father, mother, or the concerned neighbor, even the lawyers were too good. I will definitely watch it again especially for its lead cast they both are too good. Couple of scenes deserving a mention are the French toast scene, kids accident, his interview for a less paying job, the whole courtroom drama, neighbor in witness and the final scene.

PS: Both Dustin and Meryl got Academy Award for their roles as Kramers as movie ended winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Barfi! - 2012

Barfi! This is the second movie in the recent times that I believe I am not capable of reviewing and even if I do – I will not be doing justice to the same. WOW, what an impact it had on us. Fantastic treatment and what an awesome job by its cast in totality – even the lesser known ones (Footage wise) were too good, like the guy who plays Ranbir’s dad – I keep forgetting his name, Ranbir’s side kick (Thank god they did not take Rajpal Yadav), Rupa Ganguly (Ileana’s mother), PC’s foster home caretaker grand dad and his assistant, Saurabh Shukla’s assistant, Ashish Vidhyarthi etc almost all of them make a great mark on the audience. Another fantastic thing was the Anurag and Pritam combo – I totally loved the live music of “A life in….. Metro” the way Pritam performed those songs in between the movie and here too – the way his band of three keeps playing the background throughout the movie sitting and standing on various locations – its totally awesome – even they become a character in the narrative. Songs are damn well placed – they make you laugh, make you smile throughout, they make your eyes moist at times and there is this one moment that you actually are in tears yet smiling. We saw it in a packed hall and trust me when I say this – even as the last frame freezes barring a few college going kids – almost no one got up – expecting something to come up again and they do as they showed some shots with the end credits – again the public loves it till finally the screen goes black with only names rolling – is when every one gets up with a smile to go back to their regular lives – I guess I read some people complaining of its length – I am glad that Anurag did all the detailing he could like showing the faces of the characters for quite good 20-30 seconds to capture those priceless expressions which as per me was required and works damn well. We had no issues with its length rather we kept asking for more as it ended. I disagree on another point that PC will give any competition to Vidya for best actress this year – no ways, she is damn good no two things about it but this movie certainly belongs to only one person and that’s Ranbir – she doesn’t even have that much screen presence that I would give her a best actress award (Over Vidya Balan for sure) – otherwise this was certainly one of her best jobs till date and she did it perfectly (Thank god she didn’t go overboard) as my kiddo who has an Autistic classmate kept saying “Papa, Naomi bilkul aise hi karti hai jaise priyank chopri karti hai”. (Dunno why she calls her Chopri)

Finally, we have our own “Life is Beautiful” now as my wifey too said the same couple of times that this movie reminded her of that too much. Anurag did take too many cinematic liberties but that's all forgivable in the name of a classic movie. I am sure we are going to watch it couple of more times as we do with almost all of Ranbir movies but this one is definitely putting him in a different league altogether. He is like a fresh breath of air right from the moment “Go” and remains etched in your memory long after the movie is over – Life means a little different for him and does changes your outlook towards the same a little at least if not much. His best companion in this one as per me is none other than Saurabh Shukla as the cop behind him all the time. Its totally funny watch they fight off each other both are a damn good compliment to each other – reminding us of good old days with Charlie Chaplin, Goodies, Laurel Hardy and other comedians. One seen was a total rip off of a Jackie Chan movie too with them chasing each other in congested corridors – knocking each other out with opening windows. It was a laugh riot to say the least as almost the whole crowd was cheering, shouting, yelling and laughing with them. I almost forgot for quite a while that there is Priyanka Chopra too in the movie who was yet to come and it gets a little brighter with her arrival. Once she comes – you forget about the rest and get engrossed in her story and character. And then you think again what happened to Ileana? The story yet again goes back to her and bang! There we are finally with all of them together. Its such an engrossing and intertwined that it never leaves you free. After half the way it becomes almost an edge of the seat thriller with some real good twists and turns – it all ends in a damn good way with a great message – I would say it certainly is an experience of a life time and a great lesson in learning to see them moving forward in life even after so many set backs later. Damn! That was inspiring. A damn good and a must watch for all. 

Hottie Ileana
Almost everyone leaves a big impression on you – let’s not even talk about Ranbir as Burfi or Murphy – whatever! He is totally out of this world – every scene with him is a delight – he knows the magic to make you smile, laugh, cry and smile again – all in one go. There were more then 2-3 scenes which had that kind of impact on me, I wouldn’t write about them here as if you haven’t seen it – it loses the impact once you see and if you have already seen it – you exactly know what I mean. Unfortunately, I’d been a Priyanka disliker till today and now as you see that was the past – after this – respect for her has certainly grown – what a fantastic job she has done in this one. I have almost seen all the South Indian movies of Ileana as we have lived quite a few years in Hyderabad – I tell you she is one hottie to watch out for down south and I am way too glad that she got a perfect break – looking forward to her upcoming hindi movies big time now. She is too good and fits the character damn well. This movie is a kind of a complete package – it has everything for everybody, we all enjoyed it together – my kiddo who is just 6 years old never got bored for a moment yet it has so much to keep us hooked to it. Go ahead, watch it, do not wait any longer before someone tells you how it all ends, still then I would say – see it for yourself – its worth all the money and time that you put in.