Thursday, February 15, 2007

The one minute movie review post

Like the previous time, the idea is to list all the movies I've seen lately so that at a later time I won't have to go halfway through a movie to realise that I've already watched it.

This time most of the movies I saw had some themes. Have them categorised accordingly.

Star Wars

It was rather shameful that I hadn't seen the 'real' Star Wars movies yet. Decided to rectify that. Though after such a long time all three parts have blended into one another and it is difficult to remember what was when.

A New Hope: Honestly for me the better parts were the conversation between C-3PO and R2-D2. Visual effects are way beyond their age. Wait, you don't need me telling that.

The Empire Strikes Back: Forget everything, I discovered Chewbacca's blog! hrrrrrrrrrrrrnnnhhhh!! Coming back, people say this is the best Star Wars movie. Would have loved to agree had I been able to recall.

Return of the Jedi: Seriously what was with the teddy bears for half the movie? Imagine those fuzzy little primitive bears beating laser gun armed empirical guards. What about evolution baby? The dark side dialogues were impressive nonetheless.


Bergman

Persona: Completely blown away by this. Cinematography is such that it feels like watching high resolution award winning photographs one frame after another. Script is riveting, dealing with human pysche, dark sides of it. Cast is perfect and minimal with just two very beautiful actresses, Ullman and Andersson playing the intentionally mute actress and the nurse. I realised how little I understood of this movie when I went through the multitude of essays about it. These are the movies they study in movie making PhD courses I guess, so I won't even pretend beginning to describe exactly what everything meant. Unforgettable experience.

Wild Strawberries: Had very, very high hopes after watching Persona. A totally different movie, chronicling the life of an aging man who goes on a journey, both literally and figuratively, figuring out all the mistakes he has done through his lifetime. Again thought provoking.

Seventh Seal: Most famous of Bergman's works. Very symbolic. Kind of reminded me of a poem we had done back in school, 'Journey of the Magi'.

Hitchcock


The Lady Vanishes: I could watch this over and over again just for the two cricket obsessed characters whose only motive is to get to England and watch the Ashes test match. At one point of time they refuse seeing the 'vanished' lady just because they do not want any trouble that would stop the train to England! Wonderful.

Shadow of a Doubt: Easily one of the best Hitchcock movies. Set in a suburban home where a girl discovers that her uncle might be a serial killer. Given the constraints of the home and the realtions they have to keep, no one can make a decisive move, but someone has to. Classic.

Strangers on a Train: Back to the murder mystery type, but with a special twist. The Hitchcock twist. A stranger convinces a tennis star switch murders. Enjoyable.

Westerns

Shane: This movie leaves quite a few things open to interpretation. None more than the almost mysterious and superhuman character of Shane, the good cowboy who moves from town to town to make them a better place, risking his life in the process. Why, no one knows. Best remembered for the last lines, "Shane, Shane come back Shane." He must have been used to hearing that by then.

Rio Grande: A western with a family touch, a 'family western'. John Wayne and his son do a good job of driving away the Indians though.

Unforgiven: I'm used to seeing the Clint Eastwood of early years, the nonchalant sharpshooter with his trademark poncho. Was shocking to see an old guy struggling to ride a horse to go on one last mission. And the fact that after showing him struggling for about 80% of the movie, he does what is suited for a Hindi film hero. Inexplicable.

AFI's 100 Years 100 laughs

I had the urge to complete all the top movies in this list. Sadly had to do the job of the bringing the movies myself. It was a great thing that I managed that though.

The Producers: Two producers trying to produce the biggest flop play and hiring pathetic actors, directors to implement an insanely numb script called 'Springtime for Hitler'. Even thinking of such a thing makes me laugh. 'Springtime for Hitler' was genius, would love to watch a real life rendition :)

One Night at the Opera: Marx Brothers, enough said. Liked Duck Soup better though.

Young Frankenstein: Another Mel Brooks movie. Hilarious script, funny for most part.

Blazing Saddles: Mel Brooks again. The ultimate western spoof. Imagine a black guy as the sheriff of a town. And that is just the beginning. A satire I gather, and a good one.

Recent Releases

Apocalypto: I did not find it gross as people warned me it would be. A great tale of survival instincts and evolution. Loved the ending. Now everytime someone stands next to us waiting for us to get off a table after we've finished eating, I can't help but recall the ending. (Nothing to do with restaurants, don't worry!)

The Prestige: Great storytelling. I wondered if would ever like Bale after having watched American Pyscho. But Batman Begins and now this movie have changed my opinion.

Blood Diamond: Saw this in Regal as a part of the job treat. The fact that Di Caprio got nominated for this movie and not The Departed does speak volumes about his acting. A few scenes with the mindless killings and the children reminded me of City of God. And the exclamatory sighs when India's name was mentioned as a part of the whole diamond nexus, though not in a derogatory manner, was unmissable.

The Good Shepherd: I thought a movie based on CIA, Cuba, Cold war and having Matt Damon and De Niro (director) could not be boring. I was proved terribly wrong.

Generally..

The Thing: The fan base this movie has generated is huge and remains Kurt Russell's probably only megahit movie. The underlying theme of mistrust is very well executed and the isolated setting of a research station in Siberia add to the chill. The ending is quite good too, kind of reminds me of Orr in Catch-22. The graphic details of the slimy 'Thing' are supposed to be highly repulsive, but I'm way past that stage I guess.

Gosford Park: Only the second Altman movie I have seen after MASH and I don't need to reiterate how big a MASH fan I am. Loved this movie form start to end, a murder mystery in a British country house. Brings out the 'upstair' and 'downstair' relationships pretty well too. Wonder why it isn't that widely acclaimed.

Raging Bull: I'm sceptical of watching boxing movies, but this one is an exception. My favourite De Niro movie now. The 'I coulda had class' lines from On the Waterfront came back to haunt me again at the end of this one and also inspired two lines of the poem, if I have the liberty to call that so, I had written a while back.

It Happened One Night: It is tough to watch a movie when you know everything that is going to happen beacuse you happen to have seen the Hindi remake about 3-4 times already. Once you get rid of that scepticism, this is one wonderful movie. Worth watching only for the dialogue exchanges if you still need a reason.

Big Fish: Strange movie. How facts get exaggerated and change into unbelievable fiction which sound like fables when passed on from one generation to another. I didn't think the ending was sad in any way though, discussed in a lot of places. Nice movie.

Glory: Watched this movie after I found out that Blood Diamond was by the same director. Based on the true story of the general who led the first black battalion. Inspiring in parts.

The Night of the Hunter: I've never seen a movie with such great visual symbolisms used to such haunting effects. One of the chilliest villians in movie history, posing as a priest and having the words 'LOVE' and 'HATE' tattooed on his knuckles, chasing two little innocent kids who know the secret to a fortune. The underlying religious themes are quite intense too.

American Graffiti: Felt like watching 'Happy Days' all over again. Underrated Lucas movie.


Not only this, compulsivley got all seasons of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and gobbled them up. Larry David provided the long needed respite from the popular, unfunny, drab sitcoms I see floating around these days. Hadn't had the Larry David dose since Seinfeld. Feels much better now.

Meanwhile life goes on. Exams are due in 2 days time. The last midsems ever.

1 comment:

Sumit said...

hey why not something on teh mushy romantic movies??