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Showing posts from March, 2012

The Descendants

The descendants is a feel good film. It is a comedy for a major part. It is this humour that works best for this picture that has been directed by Alexander Payne. The film has been neatly shot in the locations of Hawaii and moves at a leisure pace. The films story is rather simple but there are lots of details in it as well. The screenplay focuses on the character of Matt King and others through his eyes. The writing brings out humour from the conversations of his children to an extent. The children performed by Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller are a delight. The little girl, Scottie, played by Amara, reminds me of a less violent Mindy from Kick-Ass. I wonder how these writers manage to write such brilliant lines for the younger members in the cast.  But the film rests more or less on the shoulders of George Clooney. He is very natural and totally convincing as the Matt King. Judy Greer who appears in a short role was also wonderful. The film did not give a strong emotional feel or…

The Artist

The Artist is an interesting piece of film. It's a film from France that tells the story of an artist (or actor) during the times of Hollywoodland in black and white and mostly in silence, except for the music. I saw the film twice, once during the International Film Festival of India that happened at Goa, when the film hadn't won the Academy Awards or nominations, and once again a couple of days back after the film was screened with all the Academy Award glory hanging on it. The film is a delightful watch and its terrifically made. It's like watching a film like Sunset Boulevard that's far more lighter and without the burden of words. I loved the plot of the artist and the way Michel Hazanavicius has treated it. I don't think the film could have been such an effective watch if it was made in the more contemporary of manners. It is a film that deserves to be seen for the disciplined making the director has followed which replicates the old era in a manner that see…

The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn was a delightful watch. I loved it more during my second watch largely because my first watch was in a poor theater and couldn't really follow all the dialogues clearly. Steven Spielberg's first animation film is indeed different from all the other animation pictures that I had seen. The experience is different because even as the film is animation, Spielberg seems to have treated it just like a live action picture at times especially with his shot divisions that captures the actions so seamlessly. I haven't completely read the comics of Tin Tin by Herge but whatever I had read and the animation adaptions I had caught up with on television, I was certain that it had scope for a great movie. Spielberg has utilized that advantage to the fullest in making an engaging adventure film. Having Peter Jackson also on board to be the second unit director should definitely have helped the film a good deal. Besides the shot division…

Layer Cake

Layer Cake is Matthew Vaughn's debut film as director. His close associations with Guy Ritchie might have resulted in his debut being a film of this sort. Layer Cake is a film that has the flavor of a Guy Ritchie film yet different as well. Layer Cake is based on the novel by J. J. Connolly. He has also written the screenplay. It is a crime film but one that is far less funnier than the Guy Ritchie sort of films. I wish it was a little more funnier but then, the making is a little more stylized here. The editing by Jon Harris to the shots of Ben Davis totally backs the film into being a crisp watch. The transitions and the movement of the film from one scene to another is of so much fun here. Also, Daniel Craig is a delightful middleman to watch out for.

The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness is based on a true story. It is a brilliantly made film that has been splendidly performed and equally well written. I had tears on my eyes even as I watched it a second time and that's the emotional impact this film had on me. The film is very neatly made. Gabriele Muccino's execution merely captures the life of Chris Gardener just as it is happening. That is the impression that is got from the way the film has been executed. This kind of a making gives a great believable feel and that definitely helps a narration like this. But the film has been narrated by the protagonist and that is a cinematic device very well used by writer Steven Conrad to evoke the mood of the film.  The performance in the film is actually one that is above everything. The casting is just too good. Thandie Newton in her small role is wonderful. But the stars of the film are Will Smith and his son, Jaden Smith. Jaden has been presented in a very tricky way by the director. I…

Swordfish

Swordfish isn't a very intelligent crime thriller. But it is one that has its share of fun and one that might leave you wanting more. Dominic Sena's Swordfish is a wonderful film in the visual sense. Skip Woods' writing has ups and downs. More than ups and downs there is a sort of a lack in clarity with the proceedings. Maybe the makers dint want the film to be very serious and left the details. There are twists and turns that sometimes evoke interest and sometimes not. The film opens brilliantly. It opens to the close up of John Travolta speaking of the mistake done by Sunny, the protagonist in the film, Dog Day Afternoon, while robbing the bank. The film has references to some of the cliches of Hollywood and tries to drift away from them. But in its final form, Swordfish works only in parts. Halle Berry does her first topless scene in this picture and I was surprised to see it as I was unaware about it when I started watching the picture. Like many of the other nude sce…

Hachi: A Dog's Tale

Hachi or Hachiko is a film that has a dog in the lead. It's the story about this dog named Hachiko and his master, played by Richard Gere. It's based on a true story that could be summed up in a line. It's an emotional film that has been terrifically made. The film by Lasse Hallstorm has been neatly written by Stephen P. Lindsey. To my surprise the film hasn't won a single award or mention as per imdb. I wonder why this film dint even get nominated for anything. It has a terrific one line and an apt extension to everything from that line. The film is a remake of a 1987 Japanese film. I wonder how emotional that is. It is one of those films that one would expect Disney to bring out but one that Disney dint. It was distributed by Stage 6 films.

Everybody's Fine

I loved the film Everybody's fine. It is a film that has got its heart at the right place. It's just a couple of minutes ago that I discovered that the film is actually a remake of a Giuseppe Tornatore film. Now I can't wait to catch up with that film as well. I'm sure it is going to be no less a great viewing. In terms of a story, maybe the film Everybody's fine is a little too simple. But it is the way it looks in its final form with all those great acting, writing and making that makes the film so damn good. Kirk Jones has made the film real well. Robert De Niro is so real as the concerning old father and Drew Barrymore is no less wonderful in the picture as his daughter. The film has brilliant frames all through but the makers could have shot the film on celluloid. But that isn't such a big issue as it the film still works fine. The film gets real emotional at times and the great acting adds even more feel to it. 

Hitman

I haven't played the game Hitman. The film version of the game is an interesting one indeed. I had listened to the soundtrack of the film even before catching up with the film. The OST was just too good that I was curious as to how the film would be. The film has been terrifically shot and made. But the writing falls short. There are moments but then there would definitely be a sense of Deja Vu at a lot of places. And if you are the kind of guy who can't shut the brain even a little while watching action films then you are sure to encounter plenty of dumb moments as well. Olga looks hot and fabulous. The role of the protagonist has been handled just fine by Timothy Olyphant but I wonder how it would have been if the makers cast Jason Statham as the Hitman. Maybe casting Statham would even have been a cliche by the sketch of the character! There is lots of shooting and but I don't think this is like a computer again anymore. Xavier Gens has managed to make an action film t…

Kick-Ass

I just checked what I had written when I watched Kick-Ass for the first time. I now differ from my own view of the film, ie. with the second viewing of the film. So, here is my new and improved view of Kick-Ass.
Kick-Ass is a fun film. It is brilliantly written and executed with style by Matthew Vaughn. The film follows the nature of a comic book in the beginning but that style seem to loosen up later on in the picture. There is a sequence that reveals the back story of Hit Girl and Big Daddy in the picture and that is one of the most memorable of things in the picture. I truly loved the style that the makers had shown and the execution of the same was just top notch. The film has been neatly performed by the cast and brilliantly edited. The edit and background score of the film have a smart sync just like the well choreographed action instances in the film.

Friends with Benefits

Friends with benefits is a lovely flick. It does not give a great emotional experience by any chance but a totally engaging fast paced relationship story with nice touches of humour. I watched it twice and the experience was no different. The film has been treated in a very dialogue driven manner with an editing pattern that doesn't even give breathing space between the dialogues. I guess this style, that was also seen in the social network, is a reason why this film works so well. The screen chemistry of Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis is simply charming. The performances by these leads also makes this a great watch. The film even has its share of cliches but I dint mind having them because Jamie, the character so well played by Mila, wants them in her life!

Mayakkam Enna

Selvaraghavan has got to be a genius. He is so good at writing films. I haven't thought of him as a filmmaker who got exactly what he wanted filmed for his audience. But watching Mayakkam Enna was different. This would easily be the best picture that Selvaraghavan has pictured in his career till date. The visuals of Ramji and the splendid underdog style tale of Selvaraghavan work with super awesomeness here. The content is driving by music that works just as good as the visuals in the film. The lyrics by Dhanush and Selvaraghvan add so much more life to the tunes of G. V. Prakash. The film works great at the emotional level and is filled with characters wanting to be loved. The performance side is just as powerful as the writing. Dhanush and Richa Gangopadhyay are just terrific in their roles. I wonder who would have done these characters in an even more convincing manner. The scene where Richa controls her anger and bursts into tears is one of the most splendidly acted scenes I …

4th Class

4th Class is a 2009 Korean film. It is sometimes credited as 4th Period Mystery or as Detectives in 40 Minutes. It is a slick thriller that I managed to watch that is neat as long as it runs. I had always wanted to make a thriller of this sort. Something that wasn't bloody serious. Something that had school going children doing all the investigative stuff. Something that was slick, smart and terrifically shot. 4th Class is just that. The film does not run more than an hour and a half but has some splendid moments all over it. Watch this small film that is directed by Lee Sang-youg and written by Sin Dong-yepp for the excitement, fun and mystery that would be unsolved by people in school uniforms! This might not be half as good as the best murder mystery I have read or seen. But the entertainment and excitement that it gave me as I watch the stylish thriller unfold was something totally worth it.

Nidra

I haven't seen the original version of the film, Nidra, which was directed by Bharathan. But the version his son, Sidharth Bharathan, made was lovable for the way it was made. Nidra is a neat film. It has a writing material well adapted by Sidharth and Santhosh. The dialogues from Santhosh Echikkanam are bang on! Loved the visuals of the film as well but it seemed to have an excess of blue all over it. I wonder if Sameer Thahir did that to cover up for the excess of white that he might have had to  accommodate while shooting on the Red camera. The music and background score of the film sounded well with the film. The editing and sound design were no less good. It did feel as though there where a couple of instances when the footages jumped creating a disturbance for a second or two. But, otherwise the editing by Bavan Sreekumar was just too good. I loved the editing on all those scenes that featured the redish look from Sameer and the scene at the dining table that featured one e…

The Cat Vanishes

The cat vanishes is an Argentinean film that works with very few characters. I was curious as to what sort of a film this would be since I came to know about the film's title during the IFFK 2011. But I missed the screening of the film during IFFK and caught up with it just today! The cat vanishes is a well performed and brilliantly made film. My friend, Ritwik, who had seen the film told that I should check it out cause he felt this one to be something that seemed like a Hitchcockian film. I'm one huge fan of Hitchcock and Ritwik's words made even more curious about the picture. Once I saw the film, it  merely dint fall in the Hitchcockian ways of filmmaking but maybe a little of the Staney Kubrick way (of making the Shining) as well!
The film falls in the mystery genre and proceeds with supreme execution. The director, Carlos Sorin, doesn't have a great writing material but manages well with his classy making. The sound design and the shot division of the film adds …