Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bronson (2008)

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writers:  Brock Norman Brock, Nicolas WInding Refn
Cast:      Tom Hardy, Kelly Adams, Luing Andrews, Matt King
A young man who was sentenced to 7 years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending 30 years in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality supplanted by his alter ego, Charles Bronson.

Its filmed very stylishly and well acted. But apart from there is nothing much else. Disappointing. Nice to see Super Hans from Peep Show though.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

50/50 (2011)

Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer:    Will Reiser
Cast:      Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick
Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27 year old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis , and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.

Its based on Will Reiser's own experience with his cancer and Seth Rogen played the same role he played in real life as friend of Will. Its a good film with a soft  middle.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Take Shelter (2011)

Director: Jeff Nichols
Writer:    Jeff Nichols
Cast:      Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigam
Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.

Fantastically directed and acted you really end up caring for the characters. A small budget masterpiece.

Rating: 4.5/5 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Proof (1991)

Director: Joceyln Moorhouse
Writer:    Joceyln Moorhouse
Cast:      Hugo Weaving, Russell Crowe, Genevieve Picot
The life of a blind photographer who is looked after by a housekeeper is disrupted by the arrival of an agreeable restaurant worker.

Its a nice little Australian film.


Melancholia (2011)

Director: Lars Von Trier
Writer:    Lars Von Trier
Cast:      Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland
Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a new mysterious planet threatens to collide with the earth.

Its another character study on depression and also dwells on Haneke like bourgeoisie. The contrast between the behavior of sisters when is planet is going to collide is highlighted.

Rating: 4.5/5

The Interview (1998)

Director: Craig Monahan
Writers:  Craig Monahan, Gordon Davie
Cast:      Hugo Weaving, Tony Martin, Aaron Jeffrey
A duel between a suspected murderer and a detective pressed by people who want results. But whose skin is really wanted.

Its a low budget Australian film in the vein of Usual Suspects. Things are not resolved in the end and we are left to interpret. Tremendous performance from Hugo Weaving.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, March 26, 2012

Game Change (2012)

Director: Jay Roach
Writers:  Mark Halperin, Danny Strong
Cast:      Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Ed Harris
Follows John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, from his selection of Alaska GovernorSarah Palin as his running mate to their ultimate defeat in the general election.

Its a great cringe comedy. Stunning performances from Harrelson and Moore. If anything its a bit tone down on Palin's stupidity and gaffs.

Rating: 3.5/5

Sunday, March 25, 2012

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

Director: Lynne Ramsay
Writers:  Lynne Ramsay, Rory Kinnear
Cast:      Tilda Swinton, John C.Reilly, Ezra Miller
Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly vicious things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will  be beyond anything anyone imagined.

Its a really subtle film leaving us to interpret the whole nature vs nurture debate as we see fit. How it didn't even get nominated for Oscars, I don't know. Just proves how shit the Oscars are.

Rating: 5/5

Silent Running (1972)

Director: Douglas Trumbull
Writers:  Deric Washburn, Michael Cimino, Steven Bochco
Cast:      Bruce Dern
In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's plant life being kept in a greenhouse on board a spacecraft.

Film is too simple with weak  script and bad special effects considering it came after 2001.

Rating: 2/5

The Ides of March (2011)

Director: George Clooney
Writers:  George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
Cast:      Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, George Clooney, Paul Giamatti
An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty packets during his stint on the campaign trail.

Very good film from Clooney with his cynicism towards the human nature and politics. Great ensemble cast and great performances as you would expect.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, March 23, 2012

The King's Speech (2010)

Director: Tom Hooper
Writer:    David Seidler
Cast:      Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
The story of king George 6 of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Its a typical Oscar winning kind of film- period and feel good. Good performances but not a film that you want to watch again.

Rating: 3/5

The Descendants (2011)

Director: Alexander Payne
Writers:  Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, Kaui Hart Hemmings
Cast:      George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller
A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

Its a good film but has some cliched character (Alexi's boyfriend). Not Payne's best film by any measure but still great to watch.

Rating: 3.5/5

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Carnage (2011)

Director: Roman Polanski
Writers:  Yasmina Reza, Roman Polanski
Cast:      Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster, John C.Reilly
Two pairs of parents hold a cordial  meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the evening into chaos.

Its a good little film with great performances from the cast. Christoph Waltz is boss as usual.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

Director: Philip Kaufman
Writers:  Milan Kundera (Novel), Jean-Claude Carriere, Philip Kaufman
Cast:      Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin
In 1968, a Czech doctor with an active sex life meets a woman who wants monogamy, and then the soviet invasion further disrupts their life.

Its an adaptation of Milan Kundera novel with the same name. The characters speak with funny accent and I prefer people doing things in the language with subtitles or do without any phony accents to have Eastern European slant. The script feels awkward but the performances are good. Its a good film but nothing more.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

Director: Doug Liman
Writer:    Simon Kinberg
Cast:      Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Adam Brody
A bored married couple is surprised to learn that they are both assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other.

Its a watchable film and better than what the plot suggests if you take it as a comedy.

Rating: 2/5

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Incendies (2010)

Director:   Denis Villeneuve
Writers:    Denis Villeneuve, Wajdi Mouawad
Language: French/Arabic
Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history, and fulfill their mother's last wishes.

The film is very well made with excellent performances and great soundtrack. Guessed the twist very early.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, March 9, 2012

Too Big to Fail (TV 2011)

Director: Curtis Hanson
Writers:  Peter Gould, Andrew Ross Sorkin
Cast:      James Woods, John Heard, William Hurt, Paul Giamatti
Chronicles the financial meltdown of 2008 and centers on treasury secretary Henry Paulson.

Its better to watch the other documentaries on the financial collapse like Inside Job, Meltdown etc. The dramatization looks poor and there isn't much substance to the film. It improves towards the end. Overall very average.

Rating: 2.5/5