Movies

Karthik calling Karthik: For a thriller, it made two huge blunders: 1. The pace: Here and there. The transformations of Karthik to loser-cool dude-loser was too quick and abrupt, time spent on the Karthik-Shona romance was too much which made the movie feel draggy (even though the romance was well thought out and well acted out). 2: The twist: A  twist which made the potential “ahaa, I never expected that” moment into a “what, just this” moment. Farhan Akthar was brilliant in the movie and Deepika gorgeous. 2/26/2010

Shutter Island: It is a must watch. Brilliant direction and screenplay that keeps you on the edge of your seats and a story that plays tricks with your minds! 2/19/2010

Up in the air: I went to watch the movie on an evening in which I felt lonely and alone (and also bored). But despite the movie, I came out liking George Clooney’s lifestyle. Although, not in the way the director supposed, the movie worked for me. 2/6/2010

Johnny Gaddar: Pretty nice movie, gripping most of the time, unexpected ending, no loose ends. But it felt a little slow at places in the second half. 1/24/2010

Julie and Julia: Once again, a brilliant performance by Meryl Streep. Engaging story about two cooks. Worth a watch. 1/21/2010 (On board ANA flight 12)

Its Complicated: The title says it all. Meryl Streep was brilliant. The comedy was good at times. The story: Well. 1/20/2010 (Singapore)

3 Idiots: After the first watch, the first thought that came to my mind was Raju Hirani is the equivalent of a great cook. Almost anybody has access to the ingredients and recipes, but great  cooks bring that difference to the dish that make it finger licking good. Raju Hirani has made himself a name in cooking the movie that addresses a social issue with comedy. After watching it the second time, it felt as if portions were over-cooked. Aamir motivating Madhvan to follow his passion, Aamir motivating Sharman to shed his fears and the punchline “Pursue excellence, success will follow” were all good, but blaming everything on the system, ridiculing Bomman Irani and making Chatur a joke although he made it big staying within the “system” was a tad over-done. For all its flaws, the “system” exists still because it still has some merit and is not all evil. 1/15/2010(Chennai) and 1/21/2010 (I-90 stretch between O’Hare and Madison)

Yeh Zindagi ka safar: Watched it because I had listened to its soundtrack on the loop back in 2001. It  starts as a throwback to the yesteyear movies, with lyrics that are almost a part of the story and dialogues full of metaphors. Later it became more banal, and as I found out that it was a Tanuja Chandra movie, it was not a surprise that a rape was a major part of the movie. Watchable first half. The movie should have ended there. 1/12/2010 (Chennai)

What Happens in Vegas: Watching it for the 4th time. One of the better feel-good-chick flicks. 12/31/2009 (Chennai)

Vettaikaran: Typical Vijay movie. Played like a Vijay video-game (now isn’t that a great business idea). Everyone and his brother is a bad guy and Vijay beats them at their game one by one. Don’t even think of logic. 12/31/2009 (Chennai)

Sherlock Holmes: Loads of style, but a slightly weak plot. Great mysteries have the ah! effect, why did I not think about that. This one had explanations coming in the end which seemed liked Science Fiction for the 18th century. 12/26/2009 (Singapore)

When Harry met Sally: Ever-fresh movie. 12/23-24-25/2009, On board ANA Flight 11

(500) Days of Summer: Second watching and still great. I just love this movie. 12/23-24-25/2009, On board ANA Flight 11

Avatar: Great, Fantastic, Brilliant visual splendor meets Fantasy fiction-101. A cocktail of fantasy fiction plot points, none of which were explored seriously or in depth holds this absolute special effects treat together. Watch it for the special effects. Think about it for the awesome fantasy fiction story it could have been. 12/19/2009

Buddha Mil Gaya: Trust the master, Hrishikesh Mukherji to give us a revenge-mystery-comedy movie, with so many plot changes and twists that Hitchcock would have ah!ed at it. Who could believe that a plot that would fit Amithabh Bacchan or Dilip Kuma. Honest intentions and trust is misused, and AB comes back, spending 12 years in jail to take revenge. Now, replace AB with the jija-ji of Chupke Chupke and tell the story through two unemployed comedians. A Treat. 12/18-19/2009

Rocket Singh, Salesman of the year: Have seen three contrasting Ranbir Kapoor movies this year, and he has been brilliant in each of them. Rocket Singh is a mature movie, which believes in its simple script to pull the movie through. There are no unnecessary plot features that make the movie drag. A simple story brilliantly told. Must Watch. 12/15-16/2009

Kanda Naal Mudal: A great feel good movie. All the characters were caricatures, the honest boy, the witty boy, the ungrateful NRI mapillai, over-acting mother etc etc. But like Abhay Deol’s Socha Na Tha, the film had a hint of honesty in it, a pinch of reality. Good Watch. 12/14/2009

Invictus: Sports develop personality. Sports develop team spirit. Sports develop discipline. Sports develop character. This is a story about how the visionary leader Nelson Mandela used Rugby to help unite a nation and develop a national spirit. Well made. Must watch. 12/12/2009

Shakespeare in Love: The very little of Romeo and Juliet that I saw in the movie was so touching that I have started reading the play. And, I loved the movie. Was loads of fun. Although, right now, I feel like a hypocrite because it is the same premise that I refused to buy to wiggle out of watching Dil Bole Hadippa. 12/11-12/2009

9 Songs: Found this movie in the steamy romance section in Netflix. Found a review that said it was an experimental movie. But it turns out to be a movie directed  by a porn-film director turned Music documentary maker. It turns out that the director was a poor- porn-film maker and an even poor music documentary maker. Totally pointless movie. 12/8-9/2009

Absurdistan: What can you expect from a movie named Absurdistan. It is a satirical take on the heroic mythical stories we grew up hearing. Young Aya preaches abstinence and leads her fellow women in an remote forgotten village in Russia to do the same till Aya’s boyfriend and the lazy men of the village find a solution to the water troubles in the village. Aya’s boyfriend, for love, heroically saves the day. 12/2-3/2009

Antaheen: I saw a Bengali film after a long time and this made me realize that the average Bengali audience taste is so much different. This is a contemporary Bollywood story, with a not so “happy” ending. But it has been made so tastefully and with such doses of realism (in the dialogues, no songs and dance, no un-necessary sentimentalism), and such artful acting that it makes the movie a must watch movie. 11/29-30/2009

The Blindside: Amazing movie, a story that will surely touch you. All the performances were so real, and that made the movie feel that much more better. It makes you believe that you can make a difference in the world. 11/24/2009

Kurbaan: Don’t understand why the movie has such polarized reviews. Even more inexplicable are the good reviews of the movie. What was I missing. It was such a pathetic attempt at making a thriller based on terrorism that  I gave up half way through the movie. Even if the story could have been good, the dialogues were written by 8 year old kids. Stay away. 11/24/2009

Aagey se Right: A lost gun makes a simple policeman turn Mumbai’s saviour. A dance-girl makes a terrorist turn poet. A don with a mallu-accent who does not know why he is in the movie. A bhel-puri of comic situations. Watchable once. What stood out in the movie was some of the signs here and there. My favourite one, at the entrance of a pedal-boat place : “Conserve Energy, Towing Charges Extra”. Decent movie. 11/20/2009

Ajab Prem ki Gazab Kahani: The intro scene of the movie made it amply clear: Don’t take me seriously. I am just a bunch of gags held together by a thin string pretending to be a plot. The gags were nothing new, out of the ordinary or memorable. Only one aspect of the movie made it a worthwhile watch and that was Ranbir Kapoor.  11/13/2009

Rang de Basanti: On the second viewing of the movie, I understood why Delhi-6 was that much more disappointing. Almost everything was perfect in the movie, and you get drawn into the story, although it may be slightly freakish when you think about it after the high of the movie is over. The best part to me was the BGM and the clever use of songs. Powerful soundtrack, mesmerizing lyrics and a beautifully integrated into the movie. 11/1/2009

Manorama Six Feet Under: Abhay Deol has one thing his family members do not have: Intelligence. He knows he has a wooden face that can hardly emote, but he chooses roles in which wooden faces are enough. A great detective movie, set in rustic-small town Rajasthan. Was gripping and good fun to watch. 10/30-31/2009

A Serious Man: Amazing caricatures of the characters, and the plot had its funny moments. I did not get the ending, but laughed a lot in the movie. 10/23/2009

Where Wild Things Are: A story about a dreamy child, who feels unwanted and unloved because his mother and sister do not want to inhabit his fantasies, goes into a dream world with the wild animals that stand for someone he knows. As his fantasy story takes shapes and moves towards a logical ending, the kid understands about love and greets his mother as a happy contended kid. A great story, but the story-telling was poor, with periods of brilliance coming few and far between periods of absolute boredom. 10/20/2009

Wake up Sid: Everything about the movie was cliched, or repeated from some other movie, right from the dialogues, which seemed vaguely familiar (Usne tere khuddari ko lalkara hai, Be a man…), to the characters, mature yin to an immature yang, a doting mother, a dad with a soft heart hidden behind a stern exterior, two absolutely bindass friends, to lyrics that seem to be anagrams of previously written songs, to the music that makes you go, Haven’t I heard that earlier, to the story, to the monologues about Bombay . But, funnily  it worked. There was a streak of realism in the story, that made it work. Recommended. 10/19/2009

39 Steps: Typical Hitchcock…a super slow build up, so slow that you almost question your decision to watch the movie, redeemed by an extreme ah! I never saw that coming ending…Nice stuff. 10/10/09

Whip it: Awesome fun masala movie. 10/6/2009

Siva Manasula Sakthi: A  TTMM (Typical Tamil Masala Movie). Fun in the beginning and boring towards the end. 9/25/2009

Sleepless in Seattle: Had lots of recommendations for this movie, and for a Rom-Com lover like me, I was surprised that I had not seen it till now. Cheesy and unbelievable, with the super sensitive man, over emotional lady and a obnoxious little kid (They don’t exist, right?). We have seen this before and loved it. 9/23-24/2009

The Informant!: The preview was more funny than the movie. Very good adaptation of a complex true story, but I felt it dragged a bit. 9/18/2009

Omkara: Saif gives an amazing lesson in subtle double crossing. Pity, the end was sad for him. Liked it even more on the DVD with the rewind and the subtitles. 9/17/2009

Baton Baton Mein: My favourite type of 70’s hindi movie. Watched it for nostalgia’s sake, and loved it. 9/12/2009

9: Pointless movie, a badly made animated version of Terminator series… 9/11/2009

Life in a metro: I had watched it sometime when it released, and since then, I had a vague idea of the story, but a strong recollection of liking the movie. Not a bad watch the second time around.  Irrfaan and Konkona were so natural, that they pulled of all the cliched scenes. 9/9-10/2009

In the loop: Brilliant, satirical take on how the war in the middle east began….And it added a new word to my vocabulary : CatastroFUCKING! 9/9/2009

Sita sings the blues: Ramayana through blues music sung by a voluptuous animated Sita. Don’t know what would happen if the VHP/RSS types see the movie. 9/8/2009

Jackie Brown: Started out like a typical QT movie, but became ordinary as the plot thickened! Below QT expectations 9/4/2009

Shades of Ray: An American-Pakistani movie about being half-white, half brown. Watchable. 8/28/2009

Laakhon ki Baat: An offbeat 1970’s hindi movie, with Sanjeev Kumar as a lawyer chasing easy cases, and his plan to mint money from his brother-in-laws accident at work. Brilliant in parts, but could have been much better towards the end. 8/27/2009

Kitaab: Few movies are so true! A very well made and a very engaging movie about a kids view of things in life. Almost, transports you back to your school. And, drives in the point that when “growing up” is ensured by time, why do parents have to enforce it on a kid. 8/26/2009

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: Came highly recommended after Kaminey, and did not dissapoint. Although, the late night and Brit Accent made me lose the plot once or twice, it was a memorable movie, especially the Ganja inside the house part. 8/23-24/2009

The Blue Umbrella: Delightful movie. Brilliant writing, acting and direction which has extracted all the feelings: pity, apology, greed, lust, selfishness in Nandkishore, the store owner. A nice little story (which I want to read now), adapted brilliantly for the big screen. 8/22/2009

Inglourious Basterds: QT delivers again. Enthralling movie, although slow in the middle, the final flourish kept viewers hooked. Brilliantly detailed and as-usual, awesome dialogs and BGM. Cannot wait to watch it again 8/21/2009

Revolutionary Road: A mad woman married to a slightly less insane man who bicker constantly. Makes for boring watching even though Leonardo and Kate have acted really well. Oh! and an actually insane character was included who said things as they were, in-case we do not get the point. 8/20/2009

Run Lola Run: Second watching, A movie with a bizarre set-up and 3 bizarre endings…Nice background track. Is there any philosophical message that I missed? 8/16/2009

Kaminey: Classic movie. Had too much fun watching it. Bollywoods Pulp Fiction! 8/14/2009

Casablanca: Ah! the classic!  A story that Bollywood would love to spoil with thousands of back stories. Liked it, but did not love it…But while watching it, the suspense of what Rick would do was well maintained! (All the same, Bollywood should love the movie, loads of places to put in the mind-numbing dialogues about love, patriotism, loyalty and all that shit). Probably what makes the movie click is that the dialogues, for the most part are sane.

Two Days in Paris: It seems Delpy tried to recreate the magic of Before Sunset…a similarly paced movie, structured around dialogues, but the end result is very ambivalent. Did not get the point of it all. Were the French in the movie weird or are all French weird? 8/13/2009

Funny People: Was funny in parts, but mostly it was just watchable…All the comedians were obsessed with dicks and balls, and Australian accent is a little hard to follow. 8/11/2009

The Ugly Truth: Another Chick flick that shows the holy grail of all relationships: The perfect one….This one is pretty good 🙂

Love Aaj Kal: Cannot decide if the movie had a logical story packaged illogically or the other way round…The Love aaj story was nice, but it was too choppy and discontinuous…no emotion came out anywhere…except the Saif scene at Deepika’s marriage….Still, Watchable once….8/8/2009

Don’t come knocking: Borring! Started out not so bad….but went on becoming weirder and creepier….and it is so so Slow….Torture! 8/7 /2009

(500) days of Summer: Some love stories are too sweet, too unrealistic, some are too stupid, some are too good to be true and some are overly melodramatic. This one is real. Too real. 7/31/2009

Nadodigal: What was the point of the movie again? Love, Friendship, Loyalty…Meaningless movie. 7/28/2009

Sankat City: Nice time pass, good fun…a treat of a performance by Anupam Kher!! 7/21/2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: AA, perhaps the best Potter movie made….Loved it!!! 7/15/2009

Whatever Works: Smart, witty, intelligent and really really funny. A laugh riot, and typical Woody Allen…Much enjoyment. 7/14/2009

Harlod and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo bay: Mindless shit, but well worth it for the geek-love poetry, The Square root of three (read it here). Good Time pass fun! 7/10/2009

Public Enemies: Chor-Police game between Depp and Bale which puts the audience into deep slumber. Barely watchable, but has some good scenes. 7/7/2009

Kambakkht Ishq: Loud, stupid and irritating for the most part. It is a  copy Pammal K Sambhandam, but the original was a million times better. And, how do people watch and like Kareena….she has such a huge head, it occupies the whole screen…7/4/2009

Bombaiyer Bombete: Reminded me of the Summer Vacations in Calcutta and Feluda movies on installments on the TV show Chutti-Chutti. Pretty good fun for what is essentially a kids mystery novel adapted to a movie. 6/30/2009

Kadhala Kadhala: Typical fare by Crazy Mohan, Confusions galore. But comes out as a pretty lame effort. 6/26/2009-6/27/2009

The Proposal: I was tempted to write that it is JATCF (just another typical chick flick), but to be frank, it could put a corny Bollywood cringer to shame….Utterly hopeless….In the end, I still don’t know why Ryan Reynolds fell for Sandra Bullock….Waste of time 6/25/2009

Mein, Meri Patni aur Woh: Very intelligent movie about the insecurities of an under-confident man who ends up with a beautiful wife. Brilliant acting by Rajpal Yadav. 6/23/2009-6/24/2009

99: Refreshingly funny. Perhaps the best dialogue to be written in hindsight that I have heard in a while : “Saale, inhe (Indian Cricket Team) ko sirf 20 over khelne chahiye. 20 over ke match mein world champion banenge” 6/22/2009

Little Miss Sunshine: One helluva road trip! 6/21/2009-6/22/2009

Dil Chahta Hai: N^{th} revision, with Akshay Khanna parts fast-forwarded! 6/17/2009

Vennila Kabbadi Kuzu: Brilliant movie, with a ending that I did not like (but was well made). The music, the Tiruviza scenes and the first underdog pep-talk were awesome! Must watch. 6/15/2009

Sarvam : Did not read the reviews. First half seemed totally pointless. Five minutes into the second half, the story is clear. The story is stupid. So, stopped watching it (They killed Trisha off, more reason not to watch it). 6/14/2009

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