Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oldboy (2013)

Director: Spike Lee
Writers:  Garon Tsuchiya, Nobuaki Minegishi, Mark Protosevich
Cast:      Josh Brolin, Christian Bale (Rumored)
Spike Lee and Josh Brolin are now attached to the hollywood remake of Korean Classic 'Oldboy'. Christian Bale is also rumored to play the role of the rich man taking revenge. All round better choice than the previous Spielberg-Will Smith one.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Death and the Maiden (1994)

Director: Roman Polanski
Writers:  Ariel Dorfman (Play), Rafael Yglesias
Cast:      Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, Stuart Wilson
A political activist is convinced that her guest is a man who once tortured her for the government. Ben Kingsley is great as the guest and Stuart Wilson is good as the confused husband. I was not that inpressed by Sigourney Weaver. The initial part of the plot is very contrived and the ending was disappointing for me. I between the film is good and watchable.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, August 26, 2011

Kevin Smith: Sold Out - A Threevening with Kevin Smith (2009)

Stars: Kevin Smith
Its basically a Q&A stage show in Kevin Smith's hometown in Jersey on his 37th birthday. Great to watch and hear his stories.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Paradise Lost (2012)

Director: Alex Proyas
Writers:  Lawrence Kasdan, Stuart Hazeldine, Philip de Blasi, Ryan Condal, John Milton (Poem), Byron Willinger
Cast:      Bradley Cooper, Benjamin Walker 
'Paradise Lost', the new film from Alex Proyas set for 2012, is an action heavy take on John Milton's epic poem centered on the war in heaven between archangels Michael and Lucifer. Cooper is set to play Lucifer and Walker will play Michael.

Flirting with Disaster (1996)

Director: David O'Russell
Writer:    David O'Russell
Cast:      Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Tea Leoni, Josh Brolin
A young man, his wife and an incompetent case worker travel across the country to meet the man's biological parents. Its a solidly good comedy with some set piece characters thrown in.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Crow (1994)

Director: Alex Proyas
Writers:  James O'Barr (Comic Book), David J.Schow, James Shirley
Cast:      Brandon Lee, Michael Wincott, Rochelle Davis
Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his fiancee Shelly is brutally murdered in the eve of their wedding. One year later he comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancee's murder.

The story is very simplistic but the film is very unique because of his unique visual style and good one liners. Its the best comic book adaptation I have seen along with 'Sin City'. Brandon Lee, legendary Bruce Lee's son, plays the lead character with great aplomb and I was reminded greatly of Heath Ledger's Joker Character in Dark Knight. Lee died 8 days before the end of the schedule because of wound from an accidental gunshot. The scenes that were not completed were the flash back scenes.

Rating: 4.5/5

Blade Runner 2 (?)

Director: Ridley Scott
Seems Ridley Scott is gonna make another blade runner film. Not sure whether it would be a sequel, prequel or side sequel. Original Blade Runner was a loosely based adaptation of Philip K.Dick novel 'Do androids dream of electric sheep'. It has several cuts with the final cut being the best one. When the film was released it was spoiled by studio interventions.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spanking The Monkey (1994)

Director: David O'Russell
Writer:    David O'Russell
Cast:      Jeremy Davies, Alberta Watson, Elizabeth Newett
Ray is a promising medical student ready to begin a prestigious summer internship in Washington, which he is desperate to do.. He is forced to come back home to take care of his depressed mother who is recovering from a fractured leg, as his father was going away on a sales trip. Troublesome events leaves him emotionally confused as he and his mother are left alone together, and they develop an incestuous relationship.

This was the debut film of David O'Russell and is commendable effort considering the daringness of the subject matter. It was made on a very low budget and was well received by the critics. There is no cop out ending which is also great.

Rating: 3.5/5

Monday, August 15, 2011

I ♥ Huckabees (2004)

Director: David O'Russell
Writers:  David O'Russell, Jeff Baena
Cast:      Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law, Mark Wahlberg, Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Isabelle Huppert, Naomi Watts
The film is also called 'I heart Huckabees' and in it Bernard (Hoffman) and Vivian (Tomlin) plays existential detectives who help their client to find out about the meaning of their life. They believe that everything in the world is interconnected.They have a rival, Caterine (Huppert), who believes that their is no meaning to life and it is full of cruelty and despair. Jason Scwartzman play Albert Markovski who campaigns for nature (Open Spaces) and is being ousted from his coalition by Brad (Jude Law)  who is an executive at Huckabees corporation and has jumped on the bandwagon. He lives with Dawn (Watts), the model for the company ads. There is also Tommy Corn (Wahlberg) who campaigns against petroleum after the 'September Incident' and is also a client of Bernard and Vivian. As you can see this incredible sets of characters forms this quirky film dealing with existential philosophy and the meaning of life.

The performances of Wahlberg is excellent in one of the best roles of his career. All the others are great too. The film didn't do well at the box office grossing just 20 million on its 22 million dollars budget. Its understandable as the film would attract a narrow audience only.

Rating: 4.5/5

Salt N' Pepper (2011)

Director: Aashiq Abu
Writers:  Syam Pushkaran, Dileesh Nair
Cast:      Lal, Aasif Ali, Shweta Menon, Mythili, Baburaj
Salt N' Pepper is romantic comedy which narrates the love of two couples who all come to know about each other through a dosa. The film is stylishly shot with  great opening and closing credits. It has a great first half where the focus is more on love of food while in the second half the focus is on human love only. I thought this was a let down. There are many 'Thattikoottal' scenes in the second half with lots of drag with unnecessary songs. Still there are plenty of laughs and its a great entertainer.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, August 12, 2011

Will (2011)

Director: Ellen Perry
Writer:    Ellen Perry, Zack Anderson
Cast:      Damian Lewis, Bob Hoskins, Alice Krige
The film Will was premiered in Cannes this year and its about an orphan running away journeying across Europe to see what turned out to be the greatest final ever in Istanbul. From the trailer it looks a bit too melodramatic. The concept is good and if they focus more on his journey then it might turn out to be good. Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher makes cameo appearances in the film.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Director: George Nolfi
Writers:  George Nolfi (Screenplay), Philip K.Dick (Short story 'Adjustment Team')
Cast:      Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie
David Norris is a congressman from New York who is standing for the senate. He loses the election and before his speech he meets a woman in the Men's room. He meets her again in the bus next day and falls for her. But as he gets to office he finds something that he was not supposed to, he learns that there are people called 'The Adjustment Bureau' who help channel the events in the world according to the plans of the chairman. He learns from them that he must forget about the woman and if he tells anyone what was revealed to him he will be lobotomized. The rest of the film deals with the affair between over the years and the bureau trying to thwart it.

The film is very well acted and shot. Its essentially a love story between a politician and a ballerina in a mysterious setting where there is clash between their happiness with the relationship and their ambitions in life. It is let down by the ending which could have been a bit darker like in 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'. Still its worth a watch.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Source Code (2011)

Director: Duncan Jones
Writer:    Ben Ripley
Cast:      Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright
Source Code is an action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he's part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. He has eight minutes to do get the clues and go back again and find more clues. Its bit like Groundhog Day but in the fantasy/sci-fi/thriller genre. The film is not as dark as Jones' debut film Moon and its understandable considering the bigger budget. Its a bit let down by the acting of support cast. Despite of the plot holes and iffy acting its a very decent watch.

Rating: 3/5

Hit Somebody (2012)

Director: Kevin Smith
Writer:   Kevin Smith
Cast:      Alan Rickman, John Goodman, Michael Angarano
The story of a hockey player with a talent for fighting. Based on the song of the same name by Warren Zevon, which was written by Mitch Albom.