Monthly Archives: November 2010

Movie Review : Due Date

Just yesterday we did a short road trip from St.Louis to Kansas City, a 4 hour drive, to take part in the Diwali celebrations and watch the fireworks in the temple. It was a nice trip with some of us enjoying the music in the front seat, while guys in the backseat were playing cards. We had our stop-overs for food and drinks. But what we did not have is crazy fun because we did not have an Ethan Tremblay who would stopover for marijuana and spend all the money on drugs rather than money for gas or take his dog Sonny around in his lap or sleep on the wheels and fly off the freeway or drive into Mexico border mistaking it to be Texaco.

Since Hangover-2 is due in 2011, let me call this movie Hangover-1.5. This is really a worthy successor to Hangover and Todd Philips has directed this movie with the same energy and effort that he had put in Hangover.

The movie has all the elements of any road trip, but it has the zaniness which very few movies have. Robert Downney Jr as Peter Highman and Zach Galifianakis as Ethan Tremblay are people from two different worlds; one is a suave handsome gentleman and the other a slob, sloppy and mindless buffoon. Both of them get on to the plane for LA, then why the road trip? That in itself explains what comical situations have been weaved into the movie.

Ethan: My father always had a saying “When a day starts like this it’s all uphill from here”.
Peter: Uphill? No, it’s all downhill from here.
Ethan: But nobody wants to be down, everybody wants to be up. It’s all uphill from here.
Peter: But it’s easier to go downhill. So your dad had no idea what the fuck he was talking about.

This is a fine example of what their conversations are like, and the difference of opinion. Its 90 minutes of fun ride, with nice touches of emotional sequences. In fact, the movie begins on an emotional note. Peter’s wife is pregnant and her due date is in a few days while Ethan has to bid goodbye to his dead father’s ashes. And both are forced into staying together for a cross-country drive from east to west, Atlanta to LA. How the emotional start turns into a howlarious movie is fabulous, sometimes amounting to black comedy.

By the end of the movie Peter ends up with a fractured arm, bullet in the abdomen, torn shirt and trouser, banged up face while Ethan is scratch-proof, still bubbly and sloppy and a little more mindless than he was at the beginning of the movie.

The strange thing was that after the movie got over, we first couldn’t locate our car. After we located it, the GPS was conked and we could not get directions to find an eat-out. Actually, the map in the GPS was not updated and some new roads were constructed. Hence, we were lost. Then blackberry cell came to our rescue with all the maps and directions. This was probably the perfect way to end our day after a wonderful movie about a road trip. Let me end this with words of wisdom from Ethan: You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Enjoy the movie, its a great watch.

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Posted by on November 8, 2010 in hollywood, movie review


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kahani mei twist …

The movie went well past the 90 minutes mark, and I was wondering how is this movie gonna end? A lovelorn magician whose lady-love is killed and he has nothing to look forward to in life. All he wants is to bring the Crown Prince to justice, but what chances did he have when the officer-in-charge, Inspector Uhl, was hand-in-glove with the prince. A tale that started as a lost and found lovestory; a young boy meets a sweet innocent girl whom he gifts a geometrically magical pendent. He loves her and next thing we know, she is gone; he loses her. As the movie progresses, he goes onto become a magician of repute with fantastic shows like the orange tree which leaves everyone baffled. Accidentally, he finds his lady-love again, but in the arms of the Prince who is her betrothed. Having met her after so many years, old flames of passion finds new wind and this makes the Prince jealous and suspicious. The suspicion finally leads to her death. And now, Eisenheim seeks justice/revenge. But is that all?

I was not done wondering yet, when a strange turn of events took place that left me dumbfounded. How did I not see that coming! I was swept over. It was one of those Oh My God moments, when the realisation dawned upon me as much as it dawned upon Inspector Uhl. Heck!, both of us were taken for a ride. Eisenheim was the best illusionist ever. But all credit should go to the screenwriters and the director of the movie. They set us in from the very first frame, beguiling us into the lovestory and then showing a heartbroken lover so all our sympathies are with him. The build-up was very believable, the slow pace and the archaic royal backdrop just added to the eerie and melancholic feel of the character of Eisenheim.

Yes, I talking about movies that twist your guts, pull your tongue and eyeballs out and push you back on your seat, leaving you in total disbelief over what just happened on-screen. Movies that have a weird twist to it. And no, I am not talking about whodunnits! I am talking about movies with a twist which is visually impacting and gives new dimension to the story/characters.

Three fortnights from the release of The Illusionist came another movie in the same genre. A story about two competitive magicians who are trying to pull a fast one on the other, trying to spoil the other’s game show and outsmart the opponent. The movie did have some aggressive twists and unchartered turns, and it had a mindblowing end. The Nikola Tesla figment was beautifully incorporated in the movie. Robert meets Tesla in a bid to get a machine which will help him duplicate a living being. He brings home that monster of a gadget but till the very end, he really did never know how Alfred had managed to do the act without the use of any such mechanism. A simple end to a complex and convoluted story and plot-line. One of the finest movies ever to be made, The Prestige. The movie cannot be easily classified as belonging to a particular genre because what it deals with falls in realms of mystery, suspense, fantasy, science-fiction all rolled into one. And yet, there is that X factor that makes it such a fabulous watch.

Another movie thats close to my heart is The Shawshank Redemption. The movie took its own sweet time to unfold. It did start with a brutal murder, gunshot from point blank range, a crime of passion; but it soon turned into a story of realization and repentence. And just when you thought that the movie would end on a philosophical note about destiny and fate and finding inner peace, Andy comes up with a different plan. It was like, you throw a boomerang into the sky and wait for it to return, it does not return and you cant seem to spot it any more. And just when you turn your back, it comes and hits you like a bolt. That’s exactly how it happens. In the first few scenes when Andy requests for a pick-axe, he makes it amply clear that he will be using it to create stone sculptures and not boreholes on the wall. And just when everyone had forgotten about it and went along with Andy’s tax saving schemes for the jailor, no one even cared to see what shoes he walked out in, from the jailor’s chamber. Who knew what desperation and craving for liberation can do to a man. Andy showed us just that, in this amazing movie filled with some brilliant dialogs. Dufresne, the guy who Red thought would be the first to vince and roll because of his white collared stature, actually turned out to be a guy with grit and determination. Hope is a dangerous thing, indeed.

David Fincher is one of the masters when it comes to making movies and giving it the twist. The movie The Game, which starts off as a simple fun and harmless entertainment goes on to harass Nicholas no end. His younger brother Conrad gifts him a small entertainment package from a service provider called Consumer Recreation Services to add some spice to Nicholas’ boring life. But Nicholas gets more than what he had bargained for; he gets trapped in a game which he cannot quit in-between. Let me just say that quite a bit of this movie was ripped-off and pasted in Abhishek Bachchan’s Bluffmaster, especially the last half hour of how the game comes to an end. This was a thriller in the true sense, to the last minute. Michael Douglas as the banker Nicholas and Sean Penn as the addict out of rehab Conrad played their parts really well. Although I know the climax, I still enjoy watching it for the sheer suspense and drama.

Se7en was another movie that had a kick-ass twist in the last half hour. The tricky part was that the character who provides the twist was not credited in the beginning of the movie. A series of murders and each marked by one of the seven deadly sins reveals the killer’s moto. But the gruesome manner in which the crimes are committed and the ravaged bodies are found along with deliberate clues left behind, makes it really absorbing. Even after introducing the character, his true intentions are never known till the very last minute. John Doe delivers a twist, literally and figuratively, in the middle of a no man’s land, a deserted highway. It was quite a disturbing sequence which I couldn’t forget for a long time. The general apathy with which he justifies himself leaves no room for mercy; the unmaking of a twisted mind.

Lets get out of dark and distrubing themes and talk about a funny movie. Adam Sandler is mostly known for his comical portrayals and one such movie was Click. I know I shouldn’t be bringing up a comedy when talking about Nolan and Fincher. But yet, this movie surprised me. Sandler’s visit to the local electronic store, in search of a universal remote, changes his life by 360 degrees. Now, he is able to fast-forward the parts of his life that he dislikes, mute a conversation, setup an auto program so it performs the same task routinely etc. This gives him the ultimate power to control his life and while he climbs the ladder of success in a hurry, its actually leaning against the wrong building. And that he discovers a little too late, but soon enough that he can correct it. Watch it for some nice funny moments and a moral towards the end. Really humorous but drags towards the end, and then ends like one of the Jeffery Archer stories.

This piece would be quite incomplete without mentioning The Sixth Sense. Manoj Night Shyamalan’s first big movie featuring Bruce Willis as Dr.Crowe, a psychologist who gets shot by one of his patients within first few minutes of the movie. Haley Osment as Cole plays the child who can see people beyond the grave, the same symptoms that Dr.crowe’s ex-patient, who shot him, sufferred from. Dr.Crowe begins the treatment of Osment’s hallucinations and delusions as the young boy goes on to interact with the ghosts. All the time that Dr.Crowe interacts with the child, he also goes back home to his cold wife who just does not acknowledge his presence. The movie had a cunningly hidden twist and only in the end we understand the behaviour pattern of Dr.Crowe’s wife and Cole’s mom. I know a lot of people who watched the movie several times to understand the climax. And of course there were a few ones who claimed that they had guessed it all along.

Anyways, there are so many movies that I want to talk about like Unbreakable, Fight Club, Usual Suspects etc. I shall leave the rest for the discussions. So, please bring up your choice of movies which have kahani mei twist.

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Posted by on November 5, 2010 in hollywood, movies


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