Category Archives: Movie Review

The Dark Knight Rises

Yes. He has risen. And with aplomb and grandeur.

I went with an open mind, not expecting anything. The words that crossed my mind at the end were-a fitting finale. Nolan closes the chapter for once and all(but an opening is left, subtle enough).  This is one inspiring film-not only the theme, but the way the dark knight pulls himself out of every failure to do his duty.  You must see the climb to understand the inspirational part.  Let’s see some excerpts-

The poster was clear enough of the confrontation and the next one was indicative of a dark intermission-

But the warning is given before hand by the one whom we have seen in a different form in Batman Returns.

But what is the beauty is that the man inspires dozen others to take the battle and fight for their freedom.  The day of reckoning comes, but Gothamites survive, a rookie is inspired for a greater role, bat signs pop up in fire, and…..the music is the crown jewel.

This will be cherished for a long time to come.

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The A Team

This is one movie that stays in your mind long after you have seen it. Such is the narration, screenplay and acting. Not to miss out the humor and pun in the dialogues, with tons of action thrown in.

The A Team (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0429493/) starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper tells the story of the Alpha Team or A Team of Hannibal Smith, Baracus, Face, Murdoch, of the US military. They undertake a covert operation for their superior officer Morrison, being the recovery of intaglio plates for currency printing. Things go wrong, Morrison is killed before the team’s eyes and the four are subjected to court martial and sent to jail. They make their escape(that too how!) and the rest is…..an exciting part.

Right from the first scene when Hannibal Smith(Liam Neeson) escapes with the help of his firing pin to the way Murdoch manipulates the helicopter, to the way they fly the tank(that is a scene not to be missed, folks) to the very last when they hatch the final plan to trap the traitor-brilliant. A sample scene below:

Watch the expression on Baracus’ face as Murdoch ‘pancakes’ his jeep..:)

The way each of the team escapes the prison-especially the Murdoch episode is a rip roaring one. Holler who? Holler who? Holler me…

This a fine example of brainy stuff and being cool under pressure.  Do watch it next time on Star Movies.

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Shutter Island

This one will give you a real scare.

If you say that you have been/are watching horror/psychological flicks and are yet to be bowled by them, then try Shutter Island(2010) *ing Leonardo Di Caprio, Ben Kingsley, directed by Martin Scorsese.

The film is set in the year of 1954 in a mental institution(actually situated in an island known by the title name) where Federal Marshal Teddy Daniels(Di Caprio) goes with his new partner Chuck to investigate the strange disappearance of a female inmate. This is no ordinary institution for the mentally insane, but a notch higher-for the criminally insane who have been abandoned by all. Dr. Cawley(Kingsley) runs the institutiion and all is hush hush about the place.

From alighting in the island start the mind games, seemingly between Teddy and Dr.Cawley in uncovering the truth. The doctor is hospitable but cagey which makes Teddy even more suspicious. And the other patients he interrogates are terribly afraid of the place and warn him to RUN.

The place gives the creeps to the legendary Marshal and he decides to cut short the investigation with no help forthcoming from the administration. Teddy has his own personal agenda for taking up the case-to find out what happened to the cleaner whose actions led to his wife’s death in a fire.

But getting away from the island is not so easy with a terrible storm setting in and the marshals grounded for the time.And Teddy’s partner disappears.  The strange stories begin to circulate then-of experiments on the patients, lobotomies on unsuspecting inmates in the name of science, psychotropic drugs in cigarettes, coffees producing hallucinations..and all. And Teddy has reasons to believe that he is drawn into a much clever game by the doctor.

The performances of the lead actors are stupendous. The screenplay is mind blowing and you just can’t get enough of the story and wanna see it again to get it right. And there is that REAL twist at the end which is purely a twist, making you sit up and watch more keenly.

Wanna know more? Watch the film. A real scare it will be, a pure intellectual delight.

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X Men: First Class

We are the future Charles. Not them-from X Men.

I am a fan of X Men right from the day I watched the film on TV. So when X Men:First Class released, I didn’t want to miss the fun. Especially Magneto.

So there I was, on the second day it released in my city(we don’t have many good theaters here and good films don’t last forever).  I wasn’t disappointed.

What a film! Fantastic. I was equally thrilled to see the theater houseful with kids and parents alike and a couple of guys like me with an eccentric liking .Shame that they are dubbing it in the local languages. One ought to watch it in the original language to get the pun and sarcasm right. I don’t blame the dubbed version watchers-only one thing-improve your language.

The prequel keeps its pace very well in relation to the previous films and is faithful. We get to see young Xavier, Mystic, Eric et al. Delightful! And the line that seperates Xavier and Eric are well brought out by the narration and visualization, till the very last where with Xavier injured, Eric takes his own stand and forms the Brotherhood of Mutants-as Magneto(the last scene is a must watch)

The film is not just a film alone but imparts good values, if watched closely. If you had watched the entire set of X Men films-X Men, X2-X Men United, X Men The Last Stand, X Men Origins-Wolverine, and this one, you will find how against all adversaries, some mutants keep their cool and go on to help humanity in a great way while the others, equally gifted as they are, are doomed to fail(the last scone in X Men Last Stand where Eric is all alone pushing his chess pieces is a stunning scene)

Yes. It is a good one and you will love it. Do take time to watch all of them. And relax.

Here’s a scene I loved from X Men Last Stand for you:

 

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K-PAX

What the mind can believe, it can conceive.

A very true phrase. Apt for people who are extremely talented, successful and the lesser fortunate of the lot-the lunatics. The world they live is strange. Sometimes wonderful in nature, sometimes terrific, as determined by the individual person based on his sufferings. Not only is the creator of these fantasies affected by his creations, it is also the other person with no link to the fantasy, who is dragged into this wonderland.

K-PAX(2001) starring Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges directed by Iain Softley falls in this category. The film is a treat to all, especially the student of psychiatry/psychology and the curious lot. It gives you an interesting picture of what one can achieve, in whatever state one is, provided his mind believes what he says.

A man claiming to be a visitor from an outside planet called K-PAX lands in New York railway station. Arrested on suspicion, he is sent to the psychiatric care, where Dr.Powell(Jeff Bridges in a fantastic role) tries to understand this new challenge. For unlike any of his other patients, Prot, as the man calls himself, is different in  every respect. Extremely intelligent, understanding, confident-that is Prot. He sticks to his claim that he is an alien from a far away planet called K-PAX on a tour of the galaxies collecting information for a study.

Though childish at first it seems to Dr.Powell and the hospital, the confident way in which Prot puts his claims, supporting it with facts and figures which would astonish an astronaut makes Dr.Powell hesitate in making fun of him.

What more, Prot sets to cure the other patients in the hospital in his own way and almost manages to do so. He astonishes a group of scientists at the space research center by answering all their queries and shutting them out. His claims of light travel and the mode of life at K-PAX and his various anectodes make the company pinch themselves in disbelief.

As an alternative approach, Dr.Powell invites Prot to his house party and there, the first clue to his illness starts to fall in. From there, it is a race against time as the doctor rushes to save his patient from a certain ominous end, which he sees as a way to end his sufferings. Further by way of hypnosis, Dr.Powell learns of the place where Prot might have lived prior to his illness and does his own research on him-to get a horrifying result.

The performances of the lead actors are a treat to watch. Especially Kevin Spacey(you should watch him as the evil, scheming MickeyRosa in 21).  It is indeed a challenging role. The lunatic has been played by many, but not of this calibre. The way he shuffles about the couch mumbling about light travel and his explanations to the scientists and the doctor makes it a repeat watch. Jeff Bridges makes an equal contribution by being no less a competitor to Spacey’s spaceman act.

Fine direction makes this an interesting watch. A mystery, indeed. Especially the climax is a true treat. Don’t miss it.

A scene from the film:

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The Illusionist(2006)

Magical. Entertaining. Witty.

That’s how I would say about The Illusionist starring Edward Norton, Jessica Biehl, directed by Neil Burger.This is based on the short story titled Eishenhiem the illusionist by Steven Millhauser  I have previously reviewed The Prestige and find that this film is in a class of its own with The Prestige.

Films on magic and magicians have always drawn my fancy and add to that a dash of wit and intelligensia, you have the perfect mix.

The Illusionist is about a magician named Eishenheim and his love for a Duchess. The fiance of the Duchess, a crown prince, tries to prevent them from joining, intent on his own plans to secure the crown. But a series of incidents change everything and ultimately causes the downfall of the prince.

The witty and clever way the director has packed the story is worth watching it. It kind of stimulates your interest and makes you chuckle at times. The last reel is a must watch as you come to know how the magician manages to pull of his extraordinary illusions, fooling the Crown Prince and winning his girl in the process.

The tricks are a delight to watch-the orange tree, the painting trick, the sword act, the death experience all are entertaining and speak of great team work.

Yes, Edward Norton does pull a Houdini off this one!

The Orange Tree Trick

The Sword Scene

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The Last Lear

I strongly recommend you watch this movie.

The Last Lear-the title was intriguing. The star cast was a sure draw. What were Amitabh, Priety, Arjun Rampal doing in here? And the director-Rituparno Ghosh.It sure did sound interesting. When the movie was telecast a few times in Zee Studios, it drew my attention. And I was mesmerised.

The dialogues are in English, considering the star cast’ BG. Of course, you can always dare to break the mold and be a lion.  The performances are intense.

The story is simple-a brilliant,  aging Shakesperaean actor by name of Harish/Harry is visited by an eccentric director Siddharth to star in his new movie. Reluctant because he had never done movies except stage plays, Harish refuses. But Siddhart convinces him to take on the challenging role(a splendid scene where both excel at every frame-Bachan’s demo, Rampal’s silent persuation, beauty.)

The story is told in narration by the only leading ladies in the cast in their POV. The smallest human elements are brought out splendidly here-the nurse with a suspecting boyfriend, the reporter who comes to interview Harish, the last scene where Shabnam(Priety) meets AB, mumbling Shakespeare all along, wonderful.

In a film like this, some may find it boring and lacking in action. But it is as fantastic as a film should be. The scene where AB interviews a passerby to confirm his theories/deductions is a sample of the quick witted dialogue exchange and amply highlights the intellectual level of the actors involved. Equally moving is the scene where Bachan crawls on his knees to Rampal demanding one last chance.

The nuances of a stage actor are brought out excellently by AB(who else?) The man is amazing at this age and is damn lucky to get a script like this. He outshines in every frame till the last. Underplaying an intense role is no easy feat. Considering I have myself acted in Hamlet in my school function, I would say that every lover of the Bard and AB will love this film.

 

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