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Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Simple Life (Tao jie) 2011



If anyone asked me what exactly a “BEAUTIFUL” movie is, I have just the answer for them. A simple story of what unfolds when a maid, for 60years to a family, decides to retire into an old age home. She has taken care of generations in this family. The love & gratitude by everyone towards her for that seems more than justified.

There is an instant connection to both the lead characters and I loved them in no time, it was like a story about someone I knew, which isn't far from the reality for anyone I guess. We all had/have a person in our lives who has spoilt us taking such good care growing up and towards whom we have an undying gratitude for it. The choices these characters make seem so unreelistic, so grounded & difficult that you almost forget it’s a movie.

The intent and presentation is so so honest, I doubt anyone could go untouched by it. It’s one of those rare gems that come and go without much hoopla and when you watch it years later by accident you wonder "How come I never heard of this one?". If you are in Chicago it’s playing at a modest, old school, single screen theatre called "FacetsCinematheque", it’s worth watching it there if you ask me. It’s a wonderful movie with an amazing story. It’s a BEAUTIFUL movie.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises - A preview







        Christopher Nolan. This name comes with a promise. A promise to all movie watchers to make the best of the movies. Breaking all the shackles and overcoming all the apprehension, Nolan has created many cinematic marvels with his work.

He was at the helm of the project when Warner Bros. decided to reboot the Batman franchise. With his unique take on the origin story and following it up with one of the best superhero movies made, Nolan showed how superhero movies could exist in a real world. He took away all luxuries and super powers away from Bruce Wayne reducing him to a real world protagonist with a will to fight against the evil. The first two stories have not just been well told but also have been presented with characters that have left an equal mark if not more than Batman himself. Heath Ledger's Joker will be remembered as one of the best ever. Michael Caine as Alfred is Bruce's real world connection and keeps him rooted. Similarly, Rachel, Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Dent and so many other characters from these movies were so well etched.

So, the final chapter in the trilogy has been quite a wait. Nolan can be well trusted to give a fitting finale to the Caped crusader's saga.


Release Date : 20 - July - 2012

Synopsis : Eight years after Batman took the fall for Two Face's crimes, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham's finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

Cast and Crew

Director - Christopher Nolan

Writing credits - Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan (screenplay)
                           Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer (story)
                           Bob Kane (Batman characters)

Producer - Kevin De La Noy, Jordan Goldberg, Benjamin Melniker, Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Dileep Singh Rathore, Emma Thomas, Thomas Tull, Michael E. Uslan

Original Music - Hans Zimmer

Lead Actors -
Tom Hardy                     as    Bane
Christian Bale                as     Bruce Wayne / Batman
Liam Neeson                  as     Ra's Al Ghul
Joseph Gordon-Levitt    as     John Blake
Anne Hathaway             as     Selina Kyle / Catwoman
Gary Oldman                 as     Jim Gordon
Morgan Freeman           as     Lucius Fox
Marion Cotillard            as    Miranda Tate
Michael Caine               as     Alfred

Trailers

Teaser(Trailer 1)



Trailer 2



Trailer 3




Trailer 3




For more videos - Click HERE to go to the official YOUTUBE channel of Warner Bros.


Original Music

Hans Zimmer had teamed up with James Newton Howard to compose music for the first two movies. He also worked with Nolan on Inception. All 3 movies had , what now is referred to as iconic score. In the process, Zimmer secured an Oscar nomination for his work in Inception.

So, it was all but obvious that music for this movie would be special. Whatever one got to hear in the trailer was immensely comforting to know that Zimmer has hit the bullseye again.

The complete score was posted by the EMPIRE magazine sometime ago and the music has to be the best work done by Zimmer so far.

You can listen to the score on the EMPIRE website by clicking HERE.


Bottomline(s)

Along with the humongous expectations, there are also a few questions bugging the fans since the second movie came out. Will Nolan be able to create a bigger spectacle than 'The Dark Knight' ? Will Tom Hardy's Bane be able to create a monster as big as, if not bigger than the Joker ? Will this movie make this one of the best trilogies ever ?

To find the answers to these and many other questions, catch 'The Dark Knight Rises' at a theatre near you from 20-July onwards.

THE STORM IS COMING!!


Videos - Youtube
Information - Wiki, IMDB, Official Site

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur - A preview



        In last few years, every movie that Anurag Kashyap is associated with, has made a lot cine-goers excited. He and few others have given a new shape and direction to the Indie cinema. Many of the movies directed by him and the ones coming from his banner are now cult in nature. This in turn has made his loyal fans(including yours truly) wait for his every release with bated breath.

His last offering as a director, 'The Girl in Yellow Boots' wasn't appreciated as much as few of his earlier movies were. So, this adds more to the anxiety associated with 'Gangs of Wasseypur'.

Release Date : 22 - June - 2012

Synopsis :  Towards the end of colonial India, Shahid Khan loots the British trains, impersonating the legendary Sultana Daku. Now outcast, Shahid becomes a worker at Ramadhir Singh's colliery, only to spur a revenge battle that passes on to generations. At the turn of the decade, Shahid's son, the philandering Sardar Khan vows to get his father's honor back, becoming the most feared man of Wasseypur. Staying true to its real life influences, the film explores this revenge saga through the socio-political dynamic in erstwhile Bihar (North India), in the coal and scrap trade mafia of Wasseypur, through the imprudence of a place obsessed with mainstream 'Bollywood' cinema. (From IMDB)

Cast and Crew :

Director - Anurag Kashyap

Story - Zeishan Quadri

Producer - Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Guneet Monga, Sunil Bhora, Anurag Kashyap

Lead Actors - Manoj Bajpayee, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Piyush Mishra, Richa Chadda, Remma Sen, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Jaideep Ahlawat, Yashpal sharma, Huma Qureshi, Anurita Jha

Music - Sneha Khanwalkar

Lyrics - Varun Grover, Piyush Mishra


Trailers

The first trailer was mindbogglingly awesome.


Then came the song trailers and the first one to lead the pack was 'Jiya ho Bihar ke lala'


Song promo of 'I am a hunter'


Song promo of 'O Womaniya'


Dialogue Promo


For more videos - Click HERE to go to the official YouTube channel.


Music

        Sneha Khanwalkar made a mark with her music for movies like 'Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!' and 'Love Sex Dhokha'.  She was credited to be one of the most imaginative and innovative of the current crop of music composers. She further enhanced her reputation by her show on Mtv, 'Sound Trippin'.

So, people were really curious to see what she packed in the album for this movie. All the more because 'Gangs of Wasseypur' was always said to be a musical. She did not disappoint anyone. Aided by the brilliant lyrics of  extremely talented Varun Grover and the maestro Piyush Mishra, she has composed few of the brilliant songs one has heard in the last decade or so. Songs that are so apt for the theme of the movie and yet so mesmerizing if you even consider this solely as a music album.

Songs like 'Jiya Ho', 'O Womaniya' and 'Keh Ke Loonga' among others are so rich musically and are so well written that one feels like the repeat button on the music players was made for these kind of songs.

(Cutting it short with a hint of sadness that this music deserved one full post on its own merits)


Controversies


  • The movie was in the news during its shooting because of a freak accident that resulted in the death of   Sohil Shah who was the AD on the shoot. It must have been difficult for the crew to overcome this tragic event and complete the shooting of the movie.
  • Reports were out stating that the Kashyap was at loggerheads with Censor board when they asked him to put a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie that it is a work of fiction. It turned out that this wasn't true when Kashyap and the producers clarified that there were no issues with censor board.
  • It was reported in the media that the locals of Wasseypur were unhappy with the use of their city's name and also the way they could have been portrayed in the movie. The makers came out in their own defense stating that this report was untrue and there was no issue like this.


 Bottomline(s)


         Gangs of Wasseypur was thoroughly appreciated when it was screened at Cannes Film Festival as part of the Critics week.Indian audience will finally get to watch the movie in less than a week from now. Going by all the trailers and the positive words coming from Cannes and other screenings, it does seem like Anurag Kashyap has made a good movie. We can't wait to watch it and can't wait to hear what Indian audience will think of it.



Videos - Youtube
Information - Wiki, IMDB, Offical Site

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Two Escobars (2010)

When: Circa 1960
Where: Medellin, Columbia               

              Carlos Escobar was the world’s most dreaded drug lord from Medellin. Andres Escobar was a gifted and loved Columbian football defender. Fate crossed their paths and tragedy ensued. 1970’s was a time when Columbia was a shining example of social inequality where the rich grew richer and poor were left to rot. This created a perfect setup for crime and young Carlos took it upon himself to steal from the rich. Coming from a poverty ridden family he couldn’t bear to see how the rich never gave anything back to help the society, stealing from them was the only right path he could think of. What started with car thefts moved on to Kidnapping and finally drug trafficking. He went on to become one of the wealthiest men in the world and the most feared druglord there was.

                Andres Escobar was a soft spoken, shy by nature football played hailing from Medellin, fondly nicknamed as the “Gentleman of Football” by fans. Started his pro career with playing for Atlético Nacional at 18, went on to captain his national team which was then at its very peak. He was loved by the Columbian people and commanded respect from players. Always the one to think how football can heal the society he lived in, how it can grow to be more than just a game.

                Carlos had his own way of giving back, other than slaughtering his rivals and channelling 80% of the world’s cocaine at that time, he helped the poor by fulfilling their basic needs and nurturing football at grassroots. He had a deep love for football and this led him to pump money into initially creating football grounds for locals to later funding Atletico Nacional team, team for which Andres played, which in turn served as a perfect cover for his drug money laundering operation. Eventually Carlos grew so big with drugs that the world, especially US DEA, took notice and started a hunt for his head by calling for his extradition.

The documentary goes on to say how these two people completely unrelated by blood, nature or what they represented to the world had an effect on others lives in the most unthinkable ways. How what started as a totally unrelated incident resulted in the death of people who had nothing to do with it, along with ones who did, and also the death of a country’s passion and hope. A brilliant documentary which keeps the viewer engrossed in a story that seems so unreal and completely scripted.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

American Reunion - That thing called NOSTALGIA !


        Quite a few teen comedies have been a part of the pop culture in the last few decades. But, 'American Pie' stands out. People loved the movie and laughed their guts out at the way Jim(Jason Biggs) made a jackass out of himself or how Stifler(Sean William Scott) walked around being a jerk pissing others off and lots of other hilarious characters/scenes. The 2 movies that followed were good too and then the series lost the plot.

They have now tried to get their act together with the basic story revolving around the reunion of the familiar faces that made the first 3 movies tick. They bank on nostalgia and come up with this movie that carries the mood forward.

All the 5 central characters, Jim, Stifler, Oz(Chris Klein), Kevin(Thomas Nicholas) and Finch(Eddie Thomas) are now approaching middle age and are dealing with their own issues in their respective lives. A high school reunion sounds like a perfect getaway for them to meet friends who made their high school lives memorable. Add Michelle(Alyson Hannigan), Vicky(Tara Reid), Heather(Mena Suvari), Eugene Levy(Jim's Dad), the ever so popular Jennifer Coolidge (Stifler's Mom) and what follows is a fun ride.

All the characters are instantly relatable due to the connect that the audience has with the series. But, it is Stifler who makes you yearn for more movies of this sort. He is,like always, an obnoxious and irritating character but everything that he says or does evokes a chuckle or a laugh, for sure.

They start off with memories of their lives shown in the first 3 movies and the events constantly keep relating to those movies. So, this movie is not a bad watch for anyone who liked those movies even a bit.





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