Sunday, December 11, 2005


Let me tell you before. This is not a movie everyone will like. It is very narrative in nature, with the director making it seem at times that the camera is actually eavesdropping. Many times in the movie you will feel that the actors are actually real people unaware that there is a camera watching over them The movie has been brilliantly made by Stephen Gaghan whose past exploits include Traffic. The movie is about the lives of five different people, who all go about their lives in different sub plots. In the end the director still does not show how these plots match up, but does show to the watcher, that they lead to the same consequences. The director makes a bold political drama, with the innuendo of an oil company merger. George Clooney plays the role of a CIA operative, something he has done all his life. Suddenly he realizes that was he has done is nothing but play into the hands of his bosses. Matt Damon plays an energy expert who looses his son to a tragedy and becomes an economic advisor to the elder prince in the gulf. The elder prince is more of a reformist compared to his ailing father the king, and wants the country to not obey foreign powers, especially the Americans. On the other hand, the younger prince wants to play exactly like his father, and allow American oil companies to drill holes in their land. So he plays well into the hands of the oil industry heads and will allow anything that will get him and maybe his country some profits. Jeffery Wright plays a lawyer in a firm in the US and has been given the job of completing the merger of two oil companies by any means necessary, even though it may be wrong in the long run. He is reluctant at first, but when he sees what people will do to get what they want he looses his inhibitions as well. Then there is the Pakistani boy who works in an oil rig in the gulf. However, he looses his job due to the merger and is falls prey to a cleric who is on the look out for such boys. The movie unfolds brilliantly. It shows, the working of the people in Washington, in the high corporate offices, to field workers and workers on the rig. It is brilliant and when it comes out on DVD I am buying it. It is a bold movie and has shown pretty much the current state of affairs between the middle east the rest of the world, most notably the US.

SPOILER ALERT ( Read on at own risk )

I felt I should analyze the movie. The movie starts off with a deal that goes bad between George Clooney, a CIA operative and the Iranians. He is made to believe that he is actually selling it to the Iranians but he lands up selling to the Arabs. When he goes home, he gets the brunt of the whole thing. Matt Damn plays an energy consultant, who has been invited to Spain to attend a royal party. However, he looses his son there to an accident and the elder prince offers him a position as his economic advisor after he is impressed by his ideas. The elder prince and the younger prince are at odds with each other. The younger prince is shown being manipulated by the west oil leaders to sell his oil to the Americans. There is a cheaper and more profitable venture, wherein the oil can be sent to Europe of Asia and more profits can be made. But the Americans don’t want it to happen, rather the American oil tycoons. The tycoons are making a huge merger. The success of the merger will depend on the approval of the US dept of state. However, they will not approve of it unless many American companies go broke. Thus the deal is rigged such that the Chinese get the oil deal to a small part in the gulf, Kazakhstan, so that the US state is worried and allows that merger. The company formed will then own almost all of the gulf, with the owner getting an annual GDP greater that that of Pakistan or Albania. To broker this merger, the companies also higher a lawyer. The lawyer is idealistic at first, but then when he sees the back doings of all the people involved he looses his inhibitions. Eventually the movie unfolds showing how the tycoons will use any tactics necessary to get what they want. Christopher Plummer plays one such oil tycoon, who manipulates the young prince. He wants to gain so much from the merger that he even manipulates the CIA into giving Clooney the bungling jobs so that Clooney gets all the bad credit. He makes the CIA go and eavesdrop on the elder prince, and makes the Arab intelligence believe that he is actually there to assassinate the prince. Once he is deported back to the US, the people believe that the elder prince is safe from an assassination, giving the true assassins the chance to make tier move. Eventually George Clooney realizes this and tries to make the save but looses in the end. In all this is the story of a young Pakistani muslim lad who is working happily on an oil rig in the gulf. Due to the merger he looses his job. His inability to find work makes him fall prey to the teachings of a charismatic cleric. The cleric only shows him and puts on him the ideas he thinks is right, and impresses upon him that he must destroy the merger. Thus on the day of the merger, he carries out a suicide attack on the first ship drilling oil in the seas. The transformation from a hard working man to a religious fanatic has been beautifully shown by the director. It makes one winder how easy it is to change a persons thinking, depending on the circumstances. Here is the story of a lad, who wants to get his mother there and stay together as a family in the start. In the end he has nothing on his mind but revenge for loosing his job, thanks to the cleric. In the end what comes out is that the merger is made, but at the cost of making a lot of enemies. The heads of the companies will reap the benefits but the governments will be forced to curb the terrorism it will result in. The people of America will get all the oil they will need, but the people who actually drill for it have no job security. Come another merger, and more jobs will be lost. Finally the policy making in the company will continue to be independent of the work force they have on the field. If you have power, you will continue to abuse it.

The Village

M Night Shyamalam does it again. He once again creates a simple movie, with so many suprises, it will make your head spin. I finally got to see the whole movie on DVD. Its been excellently made, and the imagery after digital mastering is brilliant. You see the dark life of a village in full color. The story is about a secluded village, the inhabitants of which live in constant fear of the creatures of the surrounding woods, the ones who must not be spoken of. Whenever the boundary is breached, the creatures come into the village and kill, or so the legend goes. A sort of disease seems to have hit the village and medicines are needed. The local boy Lucious Hunt (played by Joaquin Pheonix ) decides that he will cross the border to the nearby towns and come back with medicine. However, he is stabbed by Percy Noah (Adrian Brody), retarded man, who also likes the same blind girl Ivy ( excellently roled by Bryce Howard). However, the village elders will not have this, until the girls parent, and the chair of the elders, played by William Hurt decides to allow it. What happens next unfolds the whole story of the village and shows how come there exists a village such as this where all the people are happy, and kind and no money exists. There are many twists after this point. At one point the director makes you bileve something, only to have it turned around the next, and once again after. The movie has been so made that there are not real scary scenes in it, but due to the suspense created by the director, one cant but help to get scared, just by the sound of creaking woods. The actors and actresses all have acted brilliantly. The sound quality is good enough to build on the suspense. People who think the “climax” has been let down are wrong ad should see the movie for the true climax. I would recommend this as a movie to buy and keep with you to see whenever you want to see, how life was, a long long time ago, when there was no greed, but just innocence.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The third Potter movie was better than the earlier two, and keeping up with traditional this Potter movie turns better than all three. Yup better than the third one too. So what changed? Its no longer a movie for children. The plot, the story and the setup is very much like a regular movie. Good action, some suspense full momements, exciting thriller, normal human emotions like jealousy and competition, someone dying, and elements of a love story. I think the movie does quite well in combining so many facets and yet doing a good job of it. This movie is definitely darker than anything seen so far, its PG13 rating is very much required. Well the gang has certainly grown up a lot. Daniel Radcliff does not look a 14 year old who is is a mismatched with the 17 years old. Ruper Grint looks very buff and grown too. And to think the movie seris just skipped one year 2004 where they didn't have Potter movie out. The first came out in Novemnber 2001. There are a lot of talented actors on the cast, but most of them end up being neglected, but thats what the book is for. Read about how each character is developed. Ralph Fienes is totally wasted as Lord Voldemort. His look is erriely similar to the one he had in English Patient, the strechted skin and bald look. I mean anyone could have played the role. For Harry Potter fans this is a real feast, and for non Potter fans this is a good watch given the dearth of good movies in theaters.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Wedding Date

Compared to this movie, Govinda movies are better. I know there is something beneath rock bottom. First things Dermot Mulroney seems tooo old to play the "hot" guy. Debra Messing needs a date for her sister's wedding, so she hires male escort as her date. Her ex-fiance who dumped her before their wedding is the groom's best man. So you expect a few laughs instead you just get a messy pentagon (instead of a love triangle). There simply isn't anything more to talk about it, other than stay away from it. The movie is supposed to be a romantic comedy but there neither any romance nor any comedy in the movie.

Its all about love

This is one the most boring movies I have seen this year. My vote on the dud of the year goes to this one. Its a futuristic (set in 2021) love story (supposedly). Joaquin Phoenix and Claire Danes are residents of a world where people randomly just drop dead on the streets (the only explanation they give is, "its the heart"), the force of gravity just gives away (only in Uganda), there is a time of the night where the temperature hits absolute zero and all fresh water freezes, it starts snowing in New York in July, and you can die of simply loneliness. So there you are going thinking, maybe the movie is a doomsay kinda movie, maybe some cool unrealistic things to see. But here is the thing all the afore mentioned things just randomly appear in the movie. They have no relation to the story (even though its really hard to even find one) and all the things happening seem to be just distorted fragments put together. For the rest of the movie an evil empire has cloned Claire Daines who is famous skater. They have three more versions of her. So that when she stops skating they can still keep minting money. They want her dead and ofcourse Joaquin Phoenix is the hero and is going to save her. Well he does manage to save her from the villans but unable to save themselves. ( I think they wanted an escape from watching this terrible movie thats why they go into wilderness, they get lost and die). And believe me, I have made the plot sound more more interesting than the screenplay writers of the movie do.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Well the movie is finally out. The game that revolutionised the single player combat sport in the mid nineties, and also the gore that follows the mauling, is out as a movie. It was sometime aorund 94-95 that iDSoftware came out with the revolutionary Doom platform. People immediately took a liking for it, and after that scores of such games and genres have come out, the latest being Quake IV. In fact I have been having weekly LAN parties, where we have been playing a lot of Quake III Arena. Now about the movie. The movie is good enough for a video game. I mean, which video games of the past had any meaningful story. Even then, the movie does have a hint of a story in it. The makers have done a good job with that. IT starts of with a containment breach at the Olduvai Research facility on Mars in the near future. Genetic experiments have led to people becoming zombies and dead. The Rapid Response team is called up to Quarantine the situation. The movie is basically how they take care of the situation. The movie has a lot of good effects and guns. The BFG, “Bio Force Gun”, or known to the gaming world, and myself, as The “Big F***** Gun” is shown in the movie too, but I think they could have shown it better than they did. In terms of acting, everyone does an ok job. Nothing great. I mean, what’s there to act, if you just have to blow down the zombies that are out to get you. They have tried to recreate the original game play and they have done a great job. In fact there is about 5 mins in the movie, where the camera is on the actor as he moves and mauls down the zombies. It looks as though you are in the game. That was my favorite part of the movie. I would go to this one, only if you are gamer, or like violence and gore, cause let me tell you, there is plenty of that in this movie. IT GAME TIME!!!!


Friday, October 21, 2005

Flight Plan

The movie tries to blend different genres into a single platform. The movie starts as off as spooky blend of real and imaginary. Two different scences are juxtaposed into each other. The story really begins with Jodie Foster and her daughter boarding a airplane. The story is the incidents occuring on the plane. The momentum of the story keeps swinging back and forth. One moment it is predictable the other time you are surprized with the turn. **** Spoiler Alert ***** Don't read anymore if you don't want to know what happens. There are some good entertaining points of the film but there are too many holes in the script. How can people around Jodie have not seen her daughter? Its a claustrophic aircraft, not some spacious lounge where people don't see whats around them. Also if they pre-boarded how could the other air-hostesses or stewards not see the child? Well these two are the most obvious and most glaring points. If they had shown some intelligent way of these things could be explained for then the movie could have been a lot nicer. Jodie Foster as usual is top notch. The movie is worth watching for her alone. But there is no real value of watching the movie in a theater. Can easily wait for it to come out on video. 2.5/5(Average) Rating. But a good time pass flick if you have nothing better to do.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Phantom of the Opera

An out and out Bollywood story. The young lovers who want to be togther. The villian in love with the girl, trying everything in his power to get her. The flashback is in color and the current day is shown in black and white. I think that is pretty interesting. The lead girl Emmy Rossum is very pretty and a beautiful voice. She fits the role of Christine very well. Minnie Driver as Charolata is hilarious. The movies begins in flashback with Christine, an orphan singing in the Paris Opera House. One of the mentors of the opera house Raoul is Christine's childhood sweetheart. They fall in love all over again. But there is a phantom that haunts the opera house. People die, bad things happen if the directives of the phantom are not followed. He has also been the secret teacher who has taught Christine music and trained her wonderfully. He starts to get protective and jealous when she starts loving Raoul. Slowly the story is revealed that he is not really a Phantom but is a human in flesh and blood. I loved the movie. This was my first exposure to the Phantom of the Opera. But then I always loved musicals like Evita and Chicago. The music is very nice with the stamp of Andrew Lloyd Weber all over the place.

Up and Down (Horem Padem)

This is a Czech film. Here is the thing I know about most European films. Most Hollywood movies start with a story, slowly build to a climax and bring it to an end. European movies don't have that. Most of the times there is no sense of closure to the movies. Its supposed to be more realistic, like life goes on and things like that. This movie is a fun one though. Just see it with the right expectation : Don't expect the Hollywood cliches. The story starts with a couple of crooks transporting a bunch of illegal immigrants across the border (Indians actually). There is a misunderstanding and a baby gets left behind in the truck. The way the film starts is pretty funny. The crooks are making some inane conversation at a gas station about battered and fried bat :S. Its just funny the way it is potrayed. The second story is about a couple who can't have a baby, and they can't adopt a child because the husband has a federal record. He was arrested for rioting in a scoccer match. The wife instictively steals other people's babies. So when she hears there is an abondaned baby she clears her savings and buys the baby. The have to be extremely careful and not take the baby out otherwise people would know something is wrong. Even though these two stories start first they are not the integral story. The main story is about a family a man and his wife seperated for a long time, and an estranged son who lives in Australia. He has a 18 year old daughter from his mistress. I am not going to give out the rest of the story since its the crux of the movie. There are many sub-plots in the movie, some that are relevant and other that are not. I guess you could say thats real life, but sometimes you get bored if they drag too long. The humor of hte movie is dark and funny; I don't think the drama is so exciting. But the moment that really gets you is when the son returns to his wife and son in Australia. It explains a few things about the complexity of his relationship with his parents. This is a good change from the regular Hollywood fare. I would say this movie is a good experiment to vary the flavor.

The Merchant of Venice

A film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. It has Al Pacino as Shylock, Jeremy Irons as Antonio and Joseph Fienes as Bassino. The movie is very beautifully cherographed and extremely well acted. You would expect nothing less with a star cast like this. But the adapation too dark for the play. This is not a Macbeth or Hamlet. Shylock is a victim of anti-Semitism. The European Jews were not allowed to own property, so they became money lenders. It was against the Christan law at that time to take interest. But thats what Jews would do to earn a livelihood. Bassino is in love with Portia but he doesn't have the money to go seek her hand. His very good friend Antonio comes to his rescue by loaning from Shylock. The terms of payment are Antino has to pay the money in three months or Shylock can have a pound of his flesh. Bassinio marries Portia, Antonio comes accross some back luck and can't pay his debt. Shylock wants to take his revenge for all the insult he has ever faced. You end up sympathized with Shylock since he is the victim of society. Even the end which is supposed to paint him the a-la villian fails. I think in all the opulence of the movie the essence of the play is missing. In the scene where Portia and Nerissa are chastizing their husbands for losing their wedding rings seems too forced. This should have been a scence that makes the audience forget about the sad things that have happened and laugh about the mix up. Somehow the zing is missing. It does have Shakespeare's beautiful literature. My favourite is Shylock's soliquoy : If you prick us, do we not bleed? .. and if you wrong us shall we not revenge. Its worth a watch if you really are into Shakespeare. Don't if you are not into it.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Jo Bole So Nihaal

I Puked ...... vomit vomit vomit ......


I dont know what to say about this picture. It seems all hifi and all, but in the end its a pathetic movie, only showing how the brash the US is when it comes to following intl. borders. Its about how three pilots in the future are hired to fly special aircrafts. They are then responsible to teach an aircraft that has been built to fight unmanned. Its actually pathetic. I dont know why Jamie Foxx has acted in it. He is there for but the first half. There are no memorable scenes or dialogues. Totally bland movie. No good effects nothing. I dont know. I think you can gove it a miss. The actors and actresses have no good acting skills, not even Foxx. They think they can invide any country and attack it, carelessly. I did not like it ... and rightfully the theater was empty first day first show.