Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Wire Season 5 (TV Series 2008)

Creator: David Simon
The fifth and final season of 'The Wire' continues to examine the Baltimore Police Department, the Stanfield organization and city hall while introducing a fictionalized version of the Baltimore Sun newsroom.

Very good conclusion to the series with this cynical best season.

My Rating: 5/5

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Amadeus (1984)

Director: Milos Forman
Writer:    Peter Shaffer
Cast:      F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge
Amadeus tells the incredible story of final years of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told in flashback mode by Antonio Salieri- now confined to an insane asylum. Its a highly fictionalized account.

The film won academy awards for best film, director and actor (Abraham). The performances of the two lead were incredible.

Rating: 4.5/5

The Wire Season 4 (TV Series 2006)

Creator: David Simon
In the fourth season of 'The Wire', it introduces Baltimore's school system and several middle school students while continuing to examine the remnants of the Barksdale organization, the ascendant Stanfield organization , the Baltimore Police Department and politicians.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Snowman (201?)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer:    Adapted from novel by Jo Nesbo
Martin Scorsese is set to return to the crime genre with 'The Snowman', an adaptation of the seventh book in Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo's series of novels about hardboiled Oslo detective Harry Hole.

Mediterraneo (1991)

Director:   Gabriele Salvatores
Writer:      Enzo Monteleone
Language: Italian
The film is set during second world war, and regards a group of Italian soldiers who become stranded in  on a Greek island and are left behind by the war.

The film  won the academy award in the Foreign language category but I can't see any reason why. Its a very ordinary film.

Rating: 2/5

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Magnolia (1999)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer:    Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast:      Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Philip Baker Hall, Jeremy Blackman, Melora Walters, John C.Reilly, William H.Macy
Its a day in the life of 9 interrelated characters who have some connection between them in terms of their plight.

I thought the film was good but not  that great the first time round. On the second watch I feel its a great film and among the best from Paul Thomas Anderson along with Boogie Nights and There will be blood. Tom Cruise's role in this is the best of his career in my opinion along with the role he did in 'Collateral'.

Rating: 4.5/5

Tabloid (2010)

Director: Errol Morris
Stars:      Joyce McKinney, Kent Gavin, Dr.Hong
Tabloid is a documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon missionary. The story becomes a wildfire among British tabloid press.

Documentary us well made but the subject matter is not that interesting to me. I guess those lived during the times when the events happened would like it more.

Rating: 3/5

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Life of David Gale (2003)

Director: Alan Parker
Writer:    Charles Randolph
Cast:      Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney
David Gale is a philosophy professor, a man against capital punishment,  and is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row. Three days before the execution he grants interview to a journalist to prove his innocence after his death.

The twist can be seen from the get go and the film is rife with cringe worthy scenes and shitty editing. Bit sad to see Kevin Spacey waste his talent on so many shit films this side of the century.

Rating: 2/5

Meantime (1984)

Director: Mike Leigh
Writer:    Mike Leigh
Cast:      Tim Roth, Gary Oldman, Phil Daniels
Meantime is a TV film made by Mike Leigh looking at how dole affects the under class brits. Its set during the recession under Margaret Thatcher's premiership.

Its more of a black comedy and not like a Ken Loach feature as the plot would suggest. Its very well acted and is a nice little film.

Rating: 3.5/5

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Wire Season 3 (TV Series-2004)

Creator: David Simon
Cast:     Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn, Idris Elba
Season three of 'The Wire' introduces Baltimore's local politicians and the upstart drug dealing Stanfield organization while continuing to examine the Barksdale organization and the Baltimore police department. The highlight of the season is a renegade major's 'Hamsterdam' experiment which makes a compelling case for Legalization of drugs.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Wire Season 2 (TV Series-2003)

Creator: David Simon
Cast:     Dominic West, Chris Bauer, Paul Ben-Victor, Pablo Schreiber
For the season two, the case begins when McNulty, who has been banished into the harbor patrol after his exploits in season one, finds the body of a woman floating in the water. Valchek has a gripe to grind with his rival, Frank Sobotka in the local stevedores union. It leads to the same team as in the first season investigating the happenings in the port which leads them to smuggling of goods, drugs and women.

The second season is very slow in its build up compared to the first season. Also the time given for the main villains is less. Overall its not good as first season but still is great to watch.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Wire Season 1 (TV Series 2002)

Creator: David Simon
Cast:     Dominic West, John Doman, Deirdre Lovejoy, Idris Elba
I finally got round to watching the much hyped about TV series 'The Wire' and have to say that its all justified after finishing season one. Its the best thing I have seen on TV. If I have to compare, its like the film 'Heat' on TV, showing both the cops and the felons. There is so much time given to all the characters, even the minor ones. Am off to watching season two.

Rating: 5/5

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Knight of Cups (2014)

Director: Terrence Malick
Writer:    Terrence Malick
Cast:      Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Isabel Lucas
Knight of Cups is set for release on 2014 as Terrence Malick become more prolific these days and hopefully without compromising on quality.

Lawless (2013)

Director: Terrence Malick
Writer:    Terrence Malick
Cast:      Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Rooney Mara
Lawless is Terrence Malick's new project set for release on 2013.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wuthering Heights (2011)

Director: Andrea Arnold
Writers:  Andrea Arnold, Emily Bronte (Novel)\
Cast:      Kaya Scodelario, James Howson, Oliver Milburn
A poor English boy named Heathcliff is taken in by the wealthy Earnashaw family where he develops an intense relationship with his younger foster sister, Cathy. Film is based on the classic novel by Emily Bronte. Previously it has been adapted with the same title in a film in 1992 starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliettte Binoche. This is Andrea Arnold's follow up to critically acclaimed 'Fish Tank'.

Fish Tank (2009)

Director: Andrea Arnold
Writer:    Andrea Arnold
Cast:      Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender
Mia, a foul-mouthed, stroppy 15 year old, lives on Essex estate with her tarty mother, Joanne, and little sister Tyler. She has been excluded from school and is awaiting admission to a referrals unit and spends her days aimlessly. She begins an uneasy friendship with Joanne's handsome boyfriend, Connor, who encourages her one interest, dancing. What could go wrong?

Its extremely well acted by the two leads, Katie Jarvis as Mia and Michael Fassbender as Connor. This is a film that can be put alongside the other British kitchen sink classics like, 'This is England'. Film gets better as it goes on and it does not resort to tiresome cliches. The cinematography is excellent.

Rating: 3.5/5

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

Director: Woody Allen
Writer:    Woody Allen
Cast:      Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Alan Alda
The film has two story lines with the first one about an opthamologist who is threatened by his mistress to reveal their affair to his wife and the second one in which Woody Allen plays a married documentary film maker who is infatuated by another woman. The first story is of tragic nature and the second one is black humor. As is usual with Woody Allen films, there is plenty of philosophy involved and its a very mature film and the only draw back of the film is a very exaggerated Woody Allenish character of himself in some scenes.

Rating: 4.5/5