Hi, I shall use this blog to broadcast my opinions on anything entertainment, be it games movies music. Haters welcome, always up for discusions

Friday, 24 August 2012

The Avengers (2012)

I'm sorry to say The Avengers isn't a good movie; it's a GREAT MOVIE!!!! It's not only the best team superhero movie ever made, but it may just be the best comic book adaption made period!

The Avengers is the culmination of what began in Iron Man; and continued through The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America. It was only a few years ago that my son and I had just finished watching Iron Man and as the credits were ending, Samuel L. Jackson appeared on screen as Nick Fury and spoke to Tony Stark about joining Avengers Initiative…in that short scene, the framework for potentially the greatest comic book movie of all-time had begun!

Director Joss Whedon, most known for the T.V. series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, takes the foundation that was built in the prior films and brings together the greatest team of superheroes in film history, The Avengers: Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) as "assembled" by Nick Fury. Whedon's scripts usually include clever banter, gripping action sequences and an air of mystery and The Avengers is no different. Whedon has an utter love for comic books, and it is proudly put on display in The Avengers.

The cast does a great job of bringing these iconic characters to life, beginning with Robert Downey Jr. Unlike Iron Man 2, in which Downey seemed to skate through scene after scene, Downey plays Stark almost effortlessly, delivering his lines with relative ease allowing his charisma, charm and smugness to shine through; Robert Downey Jr. IS Tony Stark! Chris Evans' solidifies himself in the role of Captain America. He was very good in his solo film, but truly owns the role standing alongside Iron Man and Thor. Chris Hemsworth's Asgardian god Thor has some incredible battle scenes and indirectly provides one of the film's most funny moments. After being seriously underutilized in Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow is provided a back-story, which helps in developing the character and provides an opportunity to prove she is much more than just a pretty face; she's as dangerous psychologically as she is physically. I could envision myself enjoying a beat-down at the hands (and feet) of Black Widow. The character I was most concerned about being given little story and the least amount of screen time was Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye; happily, he's not left by the wayside and does a more than admirable job of developing the character. Hawkeye stands alongside Robin Hood and Katniss Everdene (The Hunger Games) as the best archers to grace the silver screen. I'd like to see more of him in a film of his own. Mark Ruffalo, the most recent choice to play Hulk, is far better suited to the role than Eric Bana (The Hulk) and Ed Norton Jr (The Incredible Hulk). Ruffalo looks more the part of the nerdy scientist Banner and plays the part without looking angry in every scene. In The Avengers, the Hulk is at his most impressive, both in his on-screen transformation and the violence he displays when the opportunity calls for him to "hulk out". If any character appeared to stand out a little bit more than the others, for me it was the Hulk. Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury is finally more than just the guy making surprise appearances. Fury is finally able to stretch his legs some, and Jackson slides quite easily into the role. Clark Gregg's Agent Caulson returns, and Cobie Smulders makes her Marvel films debut as Agent Maria Hill, and she is a welcome addition. The film's main villain is Thor's adopted-brother Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston. You would think the part would be a difficult one to play being opposite such powerful personalities and strong characters, but Hiddleston does a fantastic job; the performance should not go unnoticed, because it's one of the strong points of the film. Loki is not a villain without purpose and Hiddleston comes across as a devious mastermind without being cartoonish.

At a running-time of 2+ hours, The Avengers is well paced and time flies by. The effects are top-notch, the acting is very good, and the script drives the movie elevating its strengths. For viewers that may not have seen any of the other films (and if so, why not!?!?), we're provided just enough information to bring everyone up to speed without feeling overdone. Whedon provides more than just a standard comic book film, but a story with reason that's backed up with incredible action and humor.

Although the film is filled with larger than life characters, none are short changed; each character is given at least one great scene to work with, and the opportunities don't go to waste. The film's finale provides a deafening crescendo of action that is breathtaking. As usual with Marvel films, be sure to stay around for the post credit sequence, which provides a surprising reveal.

I went into The Avengers with unfairly high expectations, due to all of those that were involved, as well as the films that came before it. After viewing the initial trailers and not being blown away, I had set myself up for disappointment. It was only a matter of minutes after the film started that I was put at ease, and just minutes later when my expectations were blown away. I never imagined that it was possible to put onto the screen, what I was watching. I'm happy that Marvel had the sense to keep these properties to themselves and to move forward with these characters in the manner in which they did. Marvel Studios and Disney are going to make a boatload of money off this film, and deservedly so; because there's never been another movie made of its caliber.


Sunday, 19 August 2012

Sherlock Series 10/10

As a die-hard fan of the source material, I have tracked down and went through nearly every radio, television, film, and comic book interpretation of Sherlock Holmes - which run a mean gamut regarding quality, as you probably already know - and so I approached this incarnation skeptical but sanguine. Doubtful it would match the eminent Jeremy Brett series in quality, but hopeful it might preserve Conan's tone - something I think that series did well and the Downey Jr. movie did not.

To my surprise, and delight, this show just so happens to be the bomb-diggity. Let me explain.

Ever notice how lots of Agatha Christie fans complain when screenwriters change Poirot and Marple stories? I'm not one of them. I like new and different interpretations of those stories because otherwise, in the case of literary characters brought on screen, what's the point? What's the point if we film and re-film the same story, the same story which we've already read once, twice, maybe three times? Especially in many cases, what's the point when it's been done so perfectly before? In the case of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles has been filmed at least 24 times according to Wikipedia. So another iteration won't thrill me. However, one that takes liberties with the source material, i.e. bringing the characters into the 21st century, I'm all for it. Surprise me. That's what I say.

And there are two things I really love about this series. 1) For longtime fans there are many, many "Easter eggs" to discover in each episode. And, best of all, 2) My boyfriend loves this series. And I can't pay him to watch a Jeremy Brett episode. He did enjoy the Downey Jr. movie (as did I, I just prefer a less swashbuckling Holmes - one reason among many that I didn't love the film), but he's never excited to watch Sherlock anything. This series is different. He loves it. For any Sherlock fan that would like to get their significant others on the band wagon, this is a great gateway. (And my boyfriend's actually a very good barometer for high-quality mainstream television shows. Usually, if something's firing on all cylinders, he knows it. More risky fare - he's off-put.)

And, you may rightly ask, why should I give a crap what my boyfriend likes? Good question. I happen to be of the mind that TV and film can accomplish what my favorite art form - literature - cannot. The TV and film experience can be enjoyed by a group. Sure, book clubs discuss books, but with TV and film you and whomever you want to hang out with, experience story at the exact same time, in real time, and you can easily observe each other's initial, unguarded reactions. Plain and simple, it's fun to enjoy the mediums with others - to laugh together, to be scared, sad, thrilled, etc. It enhances the experience. I think literature's strength is the opposite. For me, the best thing about settling into a good book is that I'm alone. Just me and the test, together making up a story.

Well, if anybody has read this far, I apologize for the rant. But if you're on the fence about buying the DVD or renting it or whatever, take a chance. Take a tip from me. You'll be pleasantly surprised. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Friday, 17 August 2012

The butterfly effect


10 out of 10 for me!!! I am very glad I read the reviews posted by reviewers (thanks a bunch people!). I didn't see this movie in the theater, though I was intrigued too. After reading many reviews saying to watch the directors cut, I rented it and watched that version first. Wow was I blown away… I'm glad that I never saw it in the theater and instead saw the directors cut first. I actually was very teary eyed at the end as it made such an impact (and that never happens to me). Every now and then a movie comes along that makes such a profound impact that it takes a part of you with it, or changes you in some way. This was one of those movies for me. And I can count on one hand the movies that have done that to me… I can't give an unbiased opinion on this, but had I seen the theatrical version first, I probably would have given it an 8 out of 10 instead.

As with many movies, once they hit DVD, there is often additional scenes or a directors edition, and many times they are subtle additions or changes, not with this movie, mark my words. That is why it's important to watch the directors cut first. All this being said, I can see why they released the theatrical version instead as the directors cuts wasn't very Hollywood like. It would have been a risk to release the directors cut as the original theatrical version, but I think it would have done better (again my opinion). So just know the directors edition is more or less a different ending with one or two additional scenes in the middle to support it. But wow how 5-10 minutes of change can make a difference.

I certainly don't want to give much away in this review and for your sake don't read too many reviews or your bound to find one that will spoil it for you, and this is one of those movies that you don't want spoiled if you haven't seen it. So that being said I won't give any spoilers away. I thought the acting was well done by all the actors. The story line is intriguing and kind of Sci-Fi, but is one that you kind of have to accept the time travel thing up front, otherwise you simply can't get into the story. The effects were good, though they weren't a big aspect in my opinion, meaning I don't think the movie depended on them like so many others to succeed. Often times with time travel movies, you always have guys going ape over things and pointing out loopholes. Admittedly they bug me too when they are obvious. With this movie, it was either so carefully thought out or too much for my brain to handle, but in essence I didn't see any major plot holes. I thought the flow of the movie was excellent as it reels you in the more you go along, so much so that you don't even want to pause it to hit the bathroom.

If you like suspense, Sci-Fi's, drama's, `What if' kind of movies then see this movie (Directors cut first) and make up your own opinion. Then watch the theatrical version after. As said in another review, this movie is very involved and interwoven in that if you miss anything, get up to do something or tune out for a bit, you will loose your place and will get confused. So no getting up for pop corn, no bathroom breaks and no other outside interruptions without pausing it first, very important. In fact I would wait until you know you will have 2 hours to yourself before watching. Good nighttime movie. It also has good replay value too as you will understand things from a different perspective the next time around. I wouldn't recommended this movie to those who have been abused in there early childhood, or at least if you have, be ware. It can be a bit much at points as there are some sensitive scenes and I don't recommend to children at all. But the best movies IMO are the ones that chew you up and spit you out, and this one certainly does that.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Breaking Bad Review


First season took off a little slow. It settled up premise, characters, the mood of the show, its world, if you will. It has some great moments though, like body disposal scene from the second episode which made me choke on my own laughing tears.

Second season blew me away. Completely. Right from the very beginning. Second episode Grilled along with sixth episode Peekaboo,being so damn hilarious, bizarre and gripping, I'm sure, will fill find their places in the TV's Hall of Fame, trust me.

What third season will bring, has yet to be determined.

The show has quality to surprise. At first I was a bit skeptical toward it: A school teacher turns to be a drug dealer? Yea' I've heard something similar is already on TV, and I wasn't excited. So if creator of the show appeared to be someone else than Vince Gilligan (who made earlier in his career significant contribution to development of another great show "The X-Files") and if the show was on channel different than AMC or HBO, I even doubt I'd give it a chance. By the way, the pilot was shot with intention to be sold directly to HBO, that's why it later was edited for nudity and explicit language by AMC, which still is a cable channel, but apparently trying to remain more "family friendly."

"Breaking Bad" could be ridiculously funny and hellishly creepy, it contains some rough images and topics, not to mention that it's filmed astoundingly, unbelievably beautiful. Juxtaposition of plots, characters, places, even colors and sounds provides unique installments which had me on the edge of my seat, shaking with laughters and shivering with excitement and aesthetic delight.


Show's overdramatization brings us to the part which I praise the most: Style. It's kind of style that first puts before our eyes some quite clichéd soap-like picture: Common middle-America family consisting of middle-aged Chemistry high school teacher, his pregnant wife, and their cerebral-palsy-inflicted teenaged son. Then chain of circumstances invokes some highly absurd and eerie, often impossibly funny, unbearably scary and hopelessly sad situations. It's the kind of style you may find in 50's noir films, in pictures of French nouvelle vague, in characters of movies by Quentin Tarantino, the Cohen brothers and Robert Rodriguez.

In spite of the vortex of intense and dangerous situations the show manages to carry throughout all its episodes some unexplainable vibe of incredible, Buddhism-like calmness. As if we were told some sort of ancient myth or fable. Of course it has a lot to do with sophisticated work of cinematographers and subtle inputs of art designers. Although I usually prefer dark, foggy, shadowy – could be said depressing – cinematographic atmosphere ("Twin Peaks," "the X-Files," Millennium," "the Sopranos"), I found myself amazed by crystal clear images of "Breaking Bad." Insignificant and empty on the surface, yet filled with dimness and despair; New Mexican sun that doesn't burn you, it gives chills and almost numbs you in the end.

I'm not going to say anything about lead actor Bryan Cranston. His character doesn't speak that much either, it's all written on his face. Aaron Paul's character, on the other hand, has some mouth on him, but don't let him disencourage yourself, yo biach. Their intentions are good, in different ways. But you know the road to hell is paved with what, aren't you?

All of the above combines in highly unorthodox, exceedingly entertaining and fa

Monday, 13 August 2012

21 Jump Street

When I first came to know that (yet) another old TV show is dusted off for a big-screen adaptation, I wasn't that excited at all. After all, that show happens to be the once-popular 21 Jump Street which starred then-young Johnny Depp who became a star here before he gradually earned his distinctive reputation in the Hollywood cinema. Back then, the story about an undercover police unit composed of young-looking officers specializing in youth crime is refreshingly new. But now, it's seriously a worn-out cliché. Then there's the casting of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum -- oh, wait -- Channing Tatum does a comedy? I smell an immediate recipe for disaster here, but directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord's (2009's CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS) live-action debut here seriously caught me by surprise . For all those naysayers out there, this big-screen version of 21 JUMP STREET is surprisingly funny and very entertaining as well.

Like the TV show, the movie revolves around Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), two young-looking cops who both transferred to the 21 Jump Street division where they will be going undercover posing as students to infiltrate the drugs-dealing business that has been going on at a local high school. Both of them go by their names of Doug and Brad, and once there, they must find way to investigate the rampant use of a dangerous hallucinogenic called H.F.S. Their first lead is a dealer and classmate Eric (Dave Franco), whom they are trying to get close with, in hope that one day he will lead them to the mysterious supplier.

Story-wise, Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill's screenplay is actually nothing new at all. But what makes it refreshingly different than most like-minded script out there is the way how the execution is played out in such a hilarious manner. While there are times the script is trying too hard to be funny, rest assured most of the scenes never fail to elicit some genuine laughs. Thanks to the hard R-rating, Bacall and Jonah Hill let the story rip with all those colorful profanities like nobody's business. Added to that, is some of the worthwhile self-parody gags throughout the movie, especially the highway car chase scene involving the theory of exploding vehicles.

Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller knows well how to keep the pace as entertaining as possible, while the cast here are no doubt the main star attraction here. Jonah Hill proves once again he's one of the genuine comic talents working today, but it was Channing Tatum who totally hits the ballpark with his surprisingly hilarious performance. Personally, I always thought Tatum's acting skill is always wooden at any given genre he's been involving so far (action, drama, romance) but he's finally proved himself as an excellent performer. In fact, both he and Jonah Hill are terrific together. And that's not all -- the rest of the supporting cast are equally playful and memorable as well, including Brie Larson as love interest Molly and Ice Cube at his profane best as Captain Dickson.

Apart from a flair of comedy, Phil Lord and Chris Miller does show some genuine talents in term of delivering well-crafted action sequence. Case in point is the aforementioned highway car chase scene and the violent shootout finale. Overall, 21 JUMP STREET is one of the best action comedy movies really need to be checked out for. And while you're at it, there's a surprise cameo appearance (priceless, indeed) throughout the movie.

Thursday, 2 August 2012


I went with very few expectations, despite being a fan of Neeson and Besson. I came out pleasantly surprised. The film is very much in the Bourne trilogy mold - Neeson's character is a been-there-seen-it-all former CIA agent who knows all the tricks and is also a dab hand at dispatching henchmen quickly and effectively.

Another reviewer (while giving the movie 1/10) noted all the clichés in the movie. That is true, pretty much everyone is a composite of previous action movie stock characters. The acting is pretty wooden at times, and Neeson's American accent (as usual) doesn't overly impress.

I say above "could've been even better" and sadly it does seem like this was an opportunity missed to make a movie that would challenge Bourne. Sadly it falls short there. The action is excellent, Neeson is a very believable tough guy, though the audience I watched it with laughed towards the end when his character takes on almost-superhuman powers.

The film offers a very brief glimpse into the world of sex traffickers but you get the sense that Neeson's character doesn't care about any of these women except his daughter. I think in the end that saves the movie - Neeson doesn't try to save the world, he only wants to save one person and will do pretty much anything to achieve that.

Highly recommended, but don't expect any daring social commentary, just sit back and enjoy, while wondering why Liam Neeson has never tried his hand at any role of this sort before.

Monday, 30 April 2012

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Czech director Milos Forman seems to be obsessed with rebellious characters that don't like to go with the flow. Just think about Larry Flynt in "The People vs. Larry Flynt" or Andy Kaufman in "Man on the Moon", in the two most recent movies of Forman. The central character in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" played by Jack Nicholson is also one of those characters, that wants to break the routine and even starts a revolt against the staff and nurse Ratchett in particular, in a mental institution.

The movie is perhaps more comedy and entertainment than heavy drama. Still that doesn't mean that the movie isn't filled with some powerful emotional sequences. The tension between the patients and the staff gets more and more notable and grows throughout the movie, which eventually leads to a 'wonderful' ending which I'm not going to spoil.

Yes, Jack Nicholson is truly splendid in his role and it seemed like he was improvising all his lines and actions during the entire movie. It was a really Oscar worthy performances, which he also received. Another Oscar winner for her performance was Louise Fletcher, which in my opinion is a bit too much credit. She plays her role well but nothing more than that. She did not deeply impressed me or anything. This movie also marks the debut for some today well known actors such as Danny DeVito (he looked so young and different!), Christopher Lloyd and Brad Dourif, who also received an Oscar nomination.

Really one of those movies that you must have seen at least once in your life.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Finding Nemo

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/1c/Nemo-poster2.jpg/220px-Nemo-poster2.jpgI'll be totally honest and confirm to you that everything what they say about this movie is true. It's a brilliantly animated masterpiece with lots of humor that actually works and a plot that really brings tears to your eyes from time to time. The modern artists of Pixar never cease to amaze the audience in expanding their horizons. Finding Nemo is visually stunning and you can have nothing but respect for the people who created it.

I was more or less skeptic about watching it, because it was so overhyped ! Two days before it got released in my country, the TV and press loudly announced that the DVD broke all records in the USA during its first release-day. That's usually a sign of being typically mainstream and fake...but Finding Nemo is not. I'm allergic to fake sentiment and pathetic feel-good movies but I was really touched by this one. The moral and valuable life lessons are always present, but they're not shoved down your throat or thrown in your face all the time. This movie really relativates itself and that's important for a good comedy. And it's hilarious !!! Every side character in Finding Nemo (and there are a LOT of them) is exceptional and worth a mention. And the voices are cast perfectly as well...like the voice of Willem Dafoe for Gill, for example...a perfect choice. The character of Dory ( speaks through the voice of Ellen DeGeneres ) steals the show. She's an adorable blue fish who suffers from amnesia. She forgets what she's doing or going to every five minutes and that really leads to hilarious situations.

Movies like this aren't just being made for children exclusive... They're good for everyone to realize you have to entertain yourself from time to time and just to enjoy the little things in life. I recommend this to everyone in the world. No matter if you're 9 or 99 years old, Finding Nemo will bring a smile on your face and leave behind a warm feeling in your heart.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Scarface (1983)


The story turns around Antonio 'Scarface' Montana, an ultra-violent Cuban refugee who comes to the United States with less than nothing, and makes a place for himself at the top of the cocaine trade...

As a calculating man with a conscience, and extreme ambitions, Tony strongly begins to desire the things he sees a criminal high-roller enjoying, including his luscious lover... Heights his way out of a refugee camp by enjoying the chance to stab a former taker of Freedom, takes out rival dealers, gains the confidence of an important drug lord by eclipsing a local gang boss in Miami, and eventually makes it to the highest levels of the drug organization...

Pacino shows the results of greed and lust for power on the human psyche... He guns his way through the sunny streets of Miami where he got 'the world and everything in it.' With his ruthlessness, obscene dialog, and his negotiation skills, he begins to imagine himself invulnerable and above all others... He quickly moves deep to the world of gangs, and becomes more ruthless than anyone else can possibly imagine...

Michelle Pfeiffer looks dazzling as the addicted wife with no inner life... She succeeds in portraying the trophy 'object' navigating uncertain waters with her anti-hero... Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio happens to be the best in Tony's life, the only thing that is good and pure... Her revulsion at the end of the movie is so fiery that her whole head could have blown off... Robert Loggia exhibits a weak and fearful disposition, especially when faced with Pacino as a challenger... He proves to be a less-ambitious boss in a position of power... Steven Bauer shines as the man of charm, loyal ally and faithful friend...

The Oliver Stone-scripted 'Scarface' is a change in genre, lifting scene after scene of Hawks' classic while updating the rise-and-fall gangster saga to modern, drug-infested Miami... But, as always, the focus is on decadence, profanity and violence—memorably a sickening chainsaw murder, rather than on the psychological and social reasons for the hoodlum's psychopathic behavior...

I really hope they remake this, into an equally awesome movie with new guns and cars and explosions.

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Yes, it's true. Return of the King may have won more of the Oscars as the culmination of Peter Jackson's magnificent cinematic achievement, but history will in fact adjudge "The Two Towers" as the greatest of the three Rings. If Fellowship was a road movie and ROTK was a friendship film, then Two Towers is an unadulterated war movie of heroic proportions. Peter Jackson said he based it on "Zulu"- and we can see why. It has a dramatic intensity and flow which none of the other films quite share. Good against evil are so sharply contrasted that you could cut your fingers on them. TTT also has the best score Howard Shore has produced. And it has the best dialogue.

The screenplay explains (with barely disguised contemporary resonance) what we are protecting in Western civilisation when we defend ourselves against those who would wish to destroy it. When Sam tells Frodo that there are "some things worth fighting for", when Merry tells Pippin that there "won't be a Shire" unless they do something about it, when King Theoden laments that "the sun has gone down in the West" this film could be entitled not the "Two Towers" but "the Twin Towers". It is Miltonic in its scope. It is cinema as art.

Yes, one may quibble about certain Entish details, and I know that the Elves weren't supposed to be at Helm's Deem, and that Faramir is a little undeveloped, but does this matter? Not at all. The Extended version is better than the original, but does not need to make such a quantum leap as Fellowship managed with its EE. However it will be a film that is seen as a landmark in cinema. A trilogy which may never be bettered. And a reminder of what we are all here for

Friday, 6 April 2012

Toy Story 3

The best magic tricks in the world are ones that cannot be unraveled, reverse engineered or dissected to figure out exactly how they are pulled off. This philosophy is doubly applicable to Pixar's "Toy Story 3", the storyline-ending outro of the beloved Toy Story, uh, story.

I feel it relevant somehow to divulge my age, as it somehow validates the powerful emotions evoked throughout the film. I am a 28 year old male, who, fifteen years ago, was fresh into the teen years of supposed adolescence at the release of some weird, 3d animated movie (wait, they can animate with computers?) entitled "Toy Story". This was a pretty bold move, a calculated stroll to the edge of the cliff and a daring leap off into the thin air of creativity and innovation. And it was a hit, ensuring 3d animation a place right alongside (more or less) 2d animation. And naturally, Pixar would be at the forefront, leading the cavalry charge of digital animation ranging from great to gawd-awful.

"Toy Story 3" starts off as comfortably as possible, with our friends Woody and Buzz Lightyear doing what they do the best...playing with Andy in his world of make-believe adventure. We are then treated to some familiar Pixar progression, like abandonment, solidarity, coming back to friends, and the passing of the torch. Clearly, in the eleven years between this point and when "Toy Story 2" wrapped, a computer revolution or four has occurred, allowing a world of unsurpassed clarity, reality and imagination to shine through like never before. TS1's spark is TS2's candle, and that in turn is TS3's blazing sun.

Roll the last fifteen minutes of film. It became clearly obvious that the figurative tables have been turned, because a good number of the adults in the audience (including myself) were sniffling and teary-eyed, while the kids were looking up, likely thinking "jeez mom and dad, they're just toys, get over it".

Wasn't it conventional wisdom that just the kids get emotional over losing plastic playthings? With "Toy Story 3", Pixar has shown us one of the greatest magic tricks in modern showbiz history, likely not to be outdone or duplicated, that we all have very real and deep connections to our childhoods and to the things and people that allowed us as kids to be free, and innocent, and pure, and most importantly, to dream. This, to me, is a life lesson worth remembering, to infinity and beyond.

"Toy Story 3" gets 10 of 10 blazing stars

Friday, 30 March 2012

Princess Mononoke


http://thisdistractedglobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/Princess%20Mononoke%20pic4.jpgA few years ago I would have tossed this film into a collection of movies I like to call the rubbish pile. Recently, however, I have forced myself, with great difficulty, to open my mind and look at the entire picture. Instead of focusing on one or two aspects of the movie I do not like and formulating a biased opinion based on my hasty and clouded notions, I can now decipher both the good and bad points of a given flick. Upon watching Princess Mononoke, I must say I first thought it would be very difficult to look past the animation style and see it for what it was- a dynamic film directed be the highly acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki. After about ten minutes of dwelling on the follies (and there are, in my opinion, many) of the "anime" style of art, I became enthralled with the quickly unfolding plot and the subsequently dire fate bestowed upon Ashitaka, the protagonist of the film. After Ashitaka leaves his village to search for a treatment to remedy his affliction, I no longer cared that this was an animated feature; I was on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. I no longer disliked that every character had abnormally large eyes (though not over-sized to the point of utter absurdity) or that the English overdubbing was a little choppy. In fact, I even began to enjoy the accomplished yet subtle computer generated effects interspersed throughout. By the last half hour I was hooked to the screen, eagerly awaiting the conclusion I wanted so badly to end the bitter conflict of the plot. By the end, I realized that this movie carried a powerful moral with it: man's continuous tampering with nature brings about as much savagery as it does progress, as much suffering as it does good, and that a sound compromise must be struck between nature and civilization. I do not harbor any negative feelings towards those who rated this movie poorly, as I used to be one of those people. All I have to say to them is this: look at a both the visual and symbolic attributes of a movie before rating it harshly. If, after observing all these features and idiosyncrasies, you still wholeheartedly hate the film, then by all means give it a one. After all, what would the world be like if we were all did not criticize or question our surroundings?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Game of Thrones


Do not believe any of those negative reviews. I honestly cannot understand why some reviewers have given this such a low rating. I think some people love the sound of their own voice and think their opinion is worth something and will be disagreeable simply for the sake of it.

Having said that, this show is stunning. I have never read the books and now I want to. There is so much crap on TV that is renewed year after year (CSI, House etc.) which uses cheap gags, pointless and sometimes ridiculous plots, unbelievable and many times one dimensional characters and yet all the truly great shows get cancelled.

There is enough brain-dead television. But once in a while a show comes along that transports you to another world and makes you believe in the magic of television again. Game of Thrones is one such show.

It is complex, multi-layered, surreal, vibrant, imaginative and it draws your eye in to the surprising level of detail, from the sweeping vistas, to the narrow dungeons, from the beautiful castles and magnificent trees, to the contrasting landscapes. It is worth watching just for the scenery alone.

Yes the acting seems a little cold and even wooden at times, but this is perfectly in keeping with the medieval look and feel of the show. Yes it is dark and gloomy, but again in keeping with the narrative.

The scripting is intelligent and well delivered by competent acting, led by Sean Bean perfectly cast as Lord Edard. Although Sean Bean is better known for brooding bad guys, he strikes the perfect balance between father, husband and Lord and soldier. He is well supported by other well known actors and many new to the scene.

After watching and sometimes enjoying Camelot, this show makes that one look more like "Merlin" by comparison. And where Camelot lacks in depth and scripting, Game of Thrones strikes the perfect balance between brooding medieval angst and wonderful fantasy story telling.

Even if you have never watched a fantasy show before, you should not miss this.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Incredibles


This film completely, utterly flabbergasted me with its brilliance. I've been a big fan of Pixar (along with a few hundred-million others), and I was aware that 'Incredibles' was going to be a departure from their usual fare, but WOW - this simply blew all expectations of what a 3D animated movie can be beyond the stratosphere, in my humble estimation. There simply can be no going back from this! I honestly think most people cannot comprehend just how special this film is. I cannot understand how anybody could see this movie and be anything less than astonished, much less be negatively critical of it. 'Incredibles' literally has it all, and in my opinion is virtually flawless - damn it, it IS flawless! How does one really define greatness in cinema? Quality of direction, scriptwriting, performance, production design, editing, photography, scoring - on all counts 'Incredibles' triumphs, with deceptively effortless ease. I say deceptively because nothing this relentlessly magical is achieved without unfaltering attention to detail and supreme craftsmanship. Brad Bird simply has to be acknowledged as a visionary and creative genius. I come from a graphic arts and visual design background and throughout the entire two hours of this movie I found myself quite literally unable to believe what I was seeing. It is all so breathtakingly realised. It is aesthetically beautiful and completely fearless in its execution. This is so much more than an animated movie. It is so much more than a comedy-drama. It is so much more than an adventure film. It is so much more than a comic book exploding into incandescent life before our very eyes. 'Incredibles' is nothing less than a milestone in cinema, and a totally transcendent experience. This IS what all movies should aspire to be!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Machinist

Christian Bale is Trevor Reznik, a machinist in an anonymous factory somewhere in America. He is obviously scarred by some past incident but what is it? He finds mysterious notes on his refrigerator, saying 'who are you?' He sees colleagues that don't exist. He seems to have lost it completely.

A Spanish production, but with Brad Anderson at the helm as director and an almost exclusively American cast, this is basically an American film. I must admit, I kept shelving this one, due to reasons I cannot really recall now I've finally watched it, but it probably had something to do with Christian Bale's insane weight loss and all the surrounding publicity. I assumed the film was all about Bale's loss of weight and not much more. A method boy in a film solely hyped for an actor's dedication to play the part, but the film blew me away, as simple as that. Christian Bale gives a solo turn here almost unseen before. No matter how many pounds he lost, it's a remarkable performance.

Director Brad Anderson succeeds brilliantly in conceiving an atmosphere that is so compelling, as one other user on the IMDb stated, 'You just HAVE to know what the hell is going on here.' I think that's the key factor in what makes this film so incredibly compelling. The whole setting is an anonymous industrial town somewhere in the US, that could be Pennsylvania, Michigan or upstate New York (actually, it was shot near Barcelona), but it doesn't really matter where the story is located. It's the atmosphere of estrangement that does it. And Christian Bale gives such an intense performance you really want to know his cause and background. Where on earth does he come from? We know he works in a greasy factory, but why is he skin-over-bone? Why hasn't he slept in over a year? Brad Anderson creates an atmosphere so broody and sleazy, it's like a netherworld, an urban nightmare. In a certain way it reminded me of the strange urban landscape in "Eraserhead" by David Lynch.http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2009/364/2/8/the_machinist_1_by_rubyjune.jpg

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Shutter Island


Finally, a horror/thriller that actually, genuinely scares the crap out of you. Not because it has fancy villains in masks or sadistic buckets of gore throughout. No, it scares you because it messes with your mind. Most will hate this movie, they don't like their brains being tampered with. I loved it. It's what we needed after all those gory R-rated and sometimes lame-duck PG-13 horror crap-fests.

The horror/thriller genre has been raped lately, with gore and scantily clad- women replacing the noir and terror that Alfred Hitchcock perfected in the '50s and '60's. Here director Martin Scorsese delivers in full blast, crafting a thriller in his own unique vision. The atmosphere throughout the movie is tense and unsettling. Slow as it may be, but it is crucial to the movie and it's genuinely gripping. Your attention WILL not be lost. The scenery is beautiful and finely done with no excessive lighting, grain or darkness. The editing by Thelma Schoonmaker is fluid and pitch-perfect, and never makes the film lose focus. The movie is based on a book by Dennis Lehane and is packed with twists and turns that will leave you breathless and uneasy. The movie cranks the breathlessness and uneasiness up to the power of 5. The music is also perfectly suited with the scenes. There is sometimes no music during suspenseful moments, and sometimes the music makes the scene even more disturbing and memorable. Alfred Hitchcock's noirish thriller style is back with a vengeance, here to teach today's moviegoers the REAL meaning of suspense and horror.

All the actors in the movie are in top-form. Once again, you can't go wrong with a Leonardo DiCaprio/Martin Scorsese collaboration. As the protagonist, we the audience are thrust into his shoes and we are about as confused and scared as his character is, we feel what he feels. It becomes a psychological trip that poses many, many questions about oneself, that to discuss them here would spoil the entire movie. There are some flashbacks in the movie, but all of them are important clues to DiCaprio's character. DiCaprio gives a stunning performance, once again tempting the Academy to give him another Best Actor nomination. DiCaprio gives a vivid portrayal of a vulnerable, haunted and ultimately terrified man. Apart from DiCaprio there's really not much I can say about the supporting cast, because they are all also terrific. Ben Kingsley; Mark Ruffalo; Michelle Williams; Max Von Sydow; Jackie Earle Haley; Emily Mortimer; Patricia Clarkson; Ted Levine; Elias Koteas; John Carroll Lynch. All of them.

In short, this is a psychological and frightening masterpiece that will make you scared, will make you think, and will make you seek psychological help. This is one of the best films of the year. See it, go in with an open mind and prepare to be blown away.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Monsters Inc


The best way to describe this movie in one word is; fun! "Monsters, Inc." is a movie you can easily fall in love with. It has some great fun character, some awesome moments and some well placed comical moments. "Monsters, Inc." is entertainment at its bests.

The voice cast is amazing. John Goodman and Billy Crystal form a great leading duo. Steve Buscemi is a great villain and James Coburn has a great voice that fits his character perfectly. John Ratzenberger as always is very entertaining this time in a role as banished Yeti.

The story itself is pretty simple but thats what makes it easy to follow and so much fun to watch. The movie not only knows how to entertaining but also knows how and when to emote. The combination of fun and emotional things is perfectly balanced and placed within the movie.

There is some great dialog but the true power of "Monsters, Inc." are the wonderful characters. Not is there only a wild variety of strange and weird characters but also some characters that are good for some serious laughs and Boo is simply adorable and a pretty fair representation of a kid in real life. Well done Pixar!

Pure entertainment for the entire family!


Friday, 2 March 2012

District 9


District 9 is a story about aliens who make contact with Earth and the relationships with humans and society. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa's District 9. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens' welfare. Their sole interest, alien technology and weapons. Weapon research would mean huge profits for the company. Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) is placed in charge of the filed operation to evict, remove, and place the aliens in a new holding facility. Conflict and tension threaten the operation as agents move in.

Don't be fooled. This isn't your typical alien sci-fi action movie. What got me was the believability. If there were aliens out there that were able to make contact with Earth, it seems it could have gone something like this. The way the perspective switches from mock documentary style to standard third person certainly contributes to it. "Real" news footage and interviewers tell the story in retrospect, as the events of the movie have already occurred when they are being interviewed. I think it all added to the realism of the experience.

Usually in these type of films, it's mostly mindless action and the story is lost. Not the case here. There's so much more to it. It's also about betrayal, loyalty, trust, relationships, and sacrifice. It can actually be pretty deep and thought provoking with many themes floating around. The film's really about the story which is really a fresh, gritty, original concept, which is good to see nowadays.

While the creatures can be most readily described as monsters, though they are like us. Family and friendship are still important ideals in their world. The film explores a fine line between human emotions and monsters. With all the selfishness, hatred, and greed within us, maybe we are the real monsters or at least that's how it can be perceived.

Neill Blomkamp does a tremendous job with the direction and realism of the film. Sharlto Copley blew me away. I was shocked to see this was his first acting role. The action sequences were well done as well. District 9 is a very unique sci-fi film, one that shouldn't be missed. Mind you, this isn't a film for everyone. It's violent, and many parts can be cringe worthy. Be warned but be ready for one of the best films of the year thus far.

Monday, 27 February 2012

The Lion King


While the Disney Renaissance presented us such great classics like "The Little Mermaid", "Beauty and the Beast", and "Aladdin", they released another movie that has talking lions and other talking animals and such great wonder also known as "The Lion King". Before I begin, let me ask one question: Why is it that every movie you have saw just literally become such great classics? It's because of their creative efforts and mere pride and this movie is one of them.

The story tells of a young cub named Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), the son of Mufasa (James Earl Jones) who is destined to become king of the Pride Rock. One day, Simba's ruthless evil uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) plots to take over Pride Rock by killing his father and tricks Simba into feeling guilty which causes him to flee from the kingdom never to return. Once he disappears, he meets two friends named Timon, a meek rat, and Pumbaa, a warthog who helps teach him the meaning of "Hakuna Matata". A few years later, after reuniting with his friend Nala, Simba, now an adult (Matthew Broderick) realizes that he doesn't know who he is anymore and is aware that Scar has destroyed everything that the lions had hunted for. He is then persuaded to return to Pride Rock and must overthrow his uncle to restore the kingdom to its rightful place.

After its success at the box office with $783 (Now $912) million dollars which marks this movie as the 32nd highest grossing feature film, everything else has been praised due to Disney and their intelligence.

The music score by Hans Zimmer and the songs written by Elton John and Tim Rice were considered to be successful in cinema history, The animation and characters were very memorable, The acting was superb and the cinematography was terrific.

The Lion King is one of the greatest animated movies of all time and is one of my childhood favorites that will teach me that this movie means no worries. Thank you Disney. With your charm and brilliance, a thumbs up from me.


Friday, 24 February 2012

Back to the Future

Back to the Future is one of those rare, almost forgotten, pieces of pop culture that, surprisingly, draws little attention to itself. Unlike such notable gimmicks as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jaws, and Independence Day, there aren't any low-budget leeches trying to imitate off this work and cash-in on its success. This is due to the near flawless script. Why it didn't win an Oscar, you're guess is as good as mine. Making a time-travel storyline as in this movie that doesn't fall into plot holes the size of Terminator's is exceptionally difficult. I'd know.

The film starts slow, and gradually accelerates as it progresses. You could almost call it a Jerry Bruckheimer movie for kids with Spielberg's trademark nostalgia. The characters themselves are typical stereotypes for a movie like this and none of them, not even Marty himself, gel with potential. In some ways it's as if MAD magazine made the film in an attempt to be serious.

With such an automotive obsession as this film has, one must wonder if George Lucas was involved.

Overall, I have to praise this movie for its inventiveness and originality, even if it created most of our time-travel cliches. 4 out of 5 stars. Well worth your time.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


On a partial first viewing, I didn't like "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." I thought it was a slow, tedious story about a bunch of unpleasant jerk characters involved in a bog-standard conflict over money. It all seemed very macho and self-consciously cool, and it had obviously inspired all the overrated macho directors I don't like in my own generation - Tarantino, for example, and Robert Rodriguez. In short, I was unimpressed.

Years later, after hours of convinsing by my dad I gave the film a second shot, watching it all the way through this time. I loved it. What had changed?

For one thing, I took more notice of the technical side of the film. I paid attention to Leone's famous use of close-ups, his selection of memorable character actors, and his wonderful scene-setting. I admired the detailed sets and the sweeping landscapes, the props and the costumes and all those weird, wonderful faces that Leone clearly loved to photograph.

I also got hooked by some of the quieter moments that I had skipped over in my first viewing. One of the most effective scenes involves Eli Wallach's character, Tuco, quarreling with his brother when they meet after they've been apart for years. Their argument is great, emotionally charged stuff, made all the more effective by the suggestion that they really do love and care about each other. It's the kind of sensitive, human scene you never get to see in a Tarantino or Rodriguez movie.

Before I get too fuzzy-wuzzy, I should also like to point out that, on my second viewing, I LOVED all the action, too. Every gunfight is great, in its own way, and they're all a bit different. The greatest of them all is, of course, the final confrontation between the trio, which is accompanied by some of the most rousing music I've ever heard in a film. And hey, there's even a huge Civil War battle to provide a change of pace from all the small-scale action.

Ultimately, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is probably just a potboiler of a film, without too much to say about, for example, the human condition. But what a potboiler! It doesn't have to try to be cool - it simply IS cool. In fact, it probably defined heroic coolness for an entire generation. Eli Wallach's performance, Leone's direction and Morricone's music alone are enough to elevate it to classic status - and the fact that everything else in the movie is great, too, helps elevate it to the level of perhaps the greatest action film ever made.

And to think, I missed all that the first time through...

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Blog award

So i have been nominated by TheRandomGuy for the Leibster award.
And  I'm very surprised and pleased. Thanks a lot bro, I appreciate it.
(Shameful copy pasting):

So pretty much, here are the rules to accept the award:
  • Link back to the person who gave you the award.
  • Pick 5 people deserving of the award and notify them on their blogs.
  • Post the award on your blog and spread the love.
 so now i have to pick 5 people who deserve the award:
  1.  Baur
  2. My2Pesos
  3.  Come at me bro
  4. Zyu
  5.  Shockgrubz
Gratz, you deserve it 

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Saving Private Ryan

 Tom Hanks

It gives a million reason why no one should go to war and one very powerful reason to go to war. It is a soul numbing realistic depiction of what our grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers and sons have faced in humanities darkest moments. Not just in WWII but in any war. No one can see this movies without being altered in some way. No one should miss it with the EXCEPTION of those war veterans that have already been there. The surround sound puts the audience in the middle of the battle.

Steven Spielberg has out done himself and effectively held up a mirror to civilization for events to which we should all be ashamed of, rather than appalled at the movie for its real life depictions. I suggest that this movie be made standard view for congress as well as the President each and every time the question of war comes up. This movie would not stop future wars but I would hope the objectives would be much more clearly defined. I say this as a US Marine.

Thursday, 16 February 2012



This is wonderful storytelling. The opening Battle Scene simply mesmerizes, showing the brutal nature of combat for Roman conquests. I went back to see the film again. The first time I didn't hear anything Crowe said before the battle. I was just too visually caught-up. The second time I listened very closely and caught the wise yet succinct line from Maximus "what we do in life... echoes in eternity." Awesome.

A simple man v. an emperor. I just loved the resilience Maximus showed throughout the movie. I find in most movies, there is an irritatingly slow process where the character has to "find himself," not so with Gladiator. Maximus does what is needed.

I liked how there were only two or three issues within this film. One was the afterlife. Aspects of the afterlife are opened, but not overdone. Love of family is given sizable focus. I liked the theme of love of country that we see as well, although it may not be justly deserved, it is never questioned.

The visual effects were amazing. It actually had me wanting to believe that's the way Rome actually looked in all it's glory. The battle of Carthage reenactment was really great.

The ending is just hypnotic. Intentionally or unintentionally it was simply emotional. The music is wonderfully beautiful as if Maximus' family are telling him...you have arrived.

Bottom line: magnificent. Visually and emotionally satisfying.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Batman - The Dark Knight


I had the honor of watching TDK during a screening and was completely blown away! This isn't just the best Batman movie ever made, this is one of the best movie ever made. Everything in this film is excellent, not one piece of annoyance.

Bale marvels as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Ledger has made The Joker in to an iconic movie villain. His performance belongs there at the top with Hopkins Lecter. The Joker has finally been portrait properly on film, he has earned his place between the big boys in movie villandom. This is the true Joker every Batman fan knows, loves and fears. Ledger deserves any and every movie award known to man for this brilliant display.

Nolan has made his "I will always be remembered" movie, this is the crownjewel in his portfolio. Perfect directing, perfect story, perfect balance between action and drama, everything is perfect.

Even if you hate Batman, you will love this film. If you don't, then something beez wrongz with youz!

Saturday, 11 February 2012


Christopher Nolan (and cast) have pulled off what I hadn't dared to dream - a Batman every bit as good as Burton/Keaton's vision - and eradicated the camp, feverish memories of Clooney, Kilmer and (cough..) O'Donnell.

The story is as good an origin story as you'll find - covering all the major (true-to-the-comic) events, and not wasting ages on them. We see Wayne's all-important training period (previously ignored), and his connection to the Tibetan shadow-ninja clan led by Ra's Al Ghul. We see Bruce come up with ideas for his symbol, his costume, his gadgets, his car, his cave - IT ALL FITS SO PERFECTLY.

That's not all - Liam Neeson is perfect (as ever, when Lucas isn't writing his lines), Batman's first mad nemesis (the Scarecrow) is genuinely frightening; with some outstandingly scary 'fear' effects.. Gary Oldman looks just like a young Commissioner Gordon (and doesn't dominate), Morgan Freeman and Rutger Hauer give solid heavyweight support to the boardroom machinations at Wayne Enterprizes. I love Michael Gough(?) but Michael Caine is great as Alfred. It's only Katie Holmes who didn't ring true for me - not because of her performance, but simply because she looks all of 15 years old (sorry Katie). I am always blown away by Christian Bale, and this is no exception.

The fights are great, the Bat-gadgets all there, the car is amazing, the plot is thorough and exciting, Gotham looks great, Batman really is frightening & menacing (and lethal!).. And the scenes with the bats themselves FINALLY get across the idea of how scary they can be.

There is some humour, but it's fairly dry. The soundtrack, like all the best original soundtracks, is excellent - you hardly know it's there, but the emotions of the scene are enhanced and boosted. For the most part this is a serious Batman film, with plenty for long-time fans. This NEW Batman is one I'd like to see again. Bravo Mr Nolan, bravo.

Also i feel in love with this actor (no-homo):

Started watching every single movie by him.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Fight Club


The script was tight, the theme fascinating, the acting incredible (especially Edward Norton, as one might expect), the direction inspired, and the cinematography stunning. It is one of the few films of the past five years that deserves to be seen multiple times. In fact, if you have seen it only once, you have missed something. I was seriously hoping the movie would receive Oscar nominations for Best Actor (Norton), Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Picture.

So, how is it that the film received no nominations? Unfortunately, it had a mismatched ad campaign. The ads made it seem like the movie was about street boxing, instead of a intellectual and emotional ride through a man's psyche as he takes a strange path toward rebellion against consumer society. As a result, most who went to see it were disappointed, and those who would recognize its brilliance stayed far away from the movie theaters. This is one of the most underrated movies I know.

I always love movies that keep you entertained and keep you guessing, and this movie scores a 10 in both. Those who enjoyed The Game, Memento, or The Matrix really should check it out.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Good Will Hunting


Sure, this film's plot is fairly predictable. Sure, if you boiled it down to its essential components it wouldn't amount to much. Sure, Will Hunting's genius is profoundly unrealistic.

Yet I'm giving this one 10 out of 10.

I don't know whether Matt and Ben have ever been in therapy, but they certainly understand a lot about the human psyche, how it ducks responsibility, and pushes blame onto others, how it dismisses the real gifts it has and concentrates on running itself down. How many of us suffer from the same problems as Will? Only those who deny their own vulnerability will remain unaffected by this film.

Not only is the script powerful, but the dynamics between the characters - all of them selfish, even Skylar - is vividly and plausibly executed. The film just about manages to avoid easy answers, preferring to acknowledge (indeed, highlight) the complexity and pain of personal growth and self-realisation.

You could read a lot of self-help books, but they won't bring across to you as powerfully as this film what it's like to be scared, what it's like to experience loss, how difficult it is to shake off your old ways of thinking, how important honesty to yourself is. If this is the kind of revelation Matt and Ben are going to come up with, I look forward to their future efforts.

The first time I saw it, I felt moved as the credits rolled. On my way home from the cinema, I felt sombre. When I got home, I finally burst into tears. This film burns slowly, inside you.

As cinema, it's fair to middling. The performances are all first class. The script is a jewel. As wisdom, it's second to none. A fine achievement.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King


I know its an old movie but as a movie watcher, I tend to become bored with the constant, overdone, overdrawn, underplayed, overdramatized performance and production quality of most Hollywood films. It's a trait that in recent years has sadly driven me away from most big budget American films. A decent idea will become mangled by the money making machine that is Hollywood, hoping to pump the most raw cash they can out of it before it drops dead in the street.

We all saw the catastophre of a failure that arose from the Matrix Franchise. Such immense hype and professed genius only made the failure all the more poignant for those of us that really wanted and expected more from the franchise.

That all being said, I must say that The Lord of the Rings is an amazingly powerful visual experience. Not even just a visual experience. Peter Jackson has crafted one of the finest written pieces of our era into THE quintessential epic. He supplements the brilliant storytelling of JRR Tolkien with one of the most awe-inspiring collection of films ever created.

The 7 hours of film that leads up to the Return of the King is only precursor though, when you sit and watch this film. It's just plain brilliance. Everything about the film is wonderful. The manner in which Jackson has arranged the scenes, detracting slightly from the original flow of the novel really helps to keep the suspense strong in all three story branches. The Tolkien humor is intact perfectly and the gallantry and just plain coolness of these heroes is plain amazing. (Check out Legolas in the BIG battle) It's all just too much for words.

If one were to gripe, and I suppose there will never be a film made that one cannot find a point at which to grip, it is painfully long running time here. I personally believe that this is the only way such a film could be made, true to the source material and completely engrossing, but I found myself more worried about the pain in my posterior than the emotional final minutes after 4 hours (including ads and previews) that I had spent in a cramped seat. As such, this will be all the better (at least for me) when it's release on DVD (can't wait for the extended...get to see the Sauroman scenes that they cut out).

As a film though, this is amazing. A true lasting legacy in story telling and now cinema. Bravo Mr. Jackson.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Grey

Warning! This is not a date movie, nor a Disney nature pic. Do not take your kids under 16 or so (maybe a mature 14 or 15). Do not take your grandmother. Do not take your faint-of-heart girlfriend. But if you want a kick ass action movie that does not take the usual course of 'action' flicks and, as some of the above reviews state, a movie that will stay with you a while this is it. This movie does not have car chases, nor 'bad guys', so don't go looking for those. This is a movie that gets into your head. Liam Neeson is one of my favorite actors in almost anything he's in, but this role seems tailored to him. Ottway is a broken man at the start of the movie, as he himself says in his first few lines. He works at the end of the world doing a dirty job to protect the scum that have washed up with him there. Yet there is steel in him that only tremendous adversity can bring out. In this movie the cold and frozen landscape is as much a character as any of the supporting cast, and on a par with the wolves to challenge any man. I once saw Neeson as Ethan Frome and I thought that was a bleak, cold landscape. This movie is several degrees bleaker and colder. The supporting cast are great as a batch of misfit men thrust into a situation they have never had any preparation for. This film could have been written by Hemingway and Jack London collaborating with Homer. Do round up bunch of your buddies and go see this movie - oh, and stay till after the credits roll. Seriously.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Thing 2011


Like most, when I heard they were going to remake John Carpenter's The Thing, I got worried. Then I heard the interesting news that it was going to be a prequel, focusing on the Norwegian's story that was alluded to in the first film. I became very curious to see what they would do with it. If you've seen the original movie, you know for a fact there is only ONE way this movie can end. And there are also several key moments that needed to occur in order to keep in tune with the continuity.

Well you know what? Not a single beat was missed. From the red axe in the wall to the two faced creature burned in the snow to even the dog running from the helicopter. IT'S ALL THERE. And it's amazing. This prequel kept the spirit of the original film and a lot of themes while even embellishing and complimenting them. It was excellent. I have never been more pleased by a prequel or even a sequel for that matter.

And I honestly think it's harder to make a prequel, because you have stricter guidelines. But this movie shines as a perfect example of what a proper prequel should look like. Nothing was over looked and every important detail was accounted for. And as people have already stated, the epilogue, mixed with the Carpenter theme is not only awesome, its chilling.

There is nothing wrong with this prequel film and no true Carpenter fan should find a reason to complain. It in no way detracts from the first movie at all.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena


There were many skeptics leading into this new season (not technically season 2) of "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena", many feared it would not be worth watching without Andy Whitfield. For those with concerns, here is some advice: watch it! The major antagonist was lost from the previous season, but the character depth/story of the new leading actor is building AND new depths of past characters from "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" are unveiled. The history of how they developed is fascinating. The relationship differences between the two season are significant, thus there is a huge void of curiosity leftover to reveal how they developed to become the personalities they portrayed in season 1.

It would be remiss to leave out the absolute, succulent gratuity that peaks our senses! The world is enriched with beautiful people, outstanding wardrobes cast in a time that fascinates most, the Roman Empire. Did I mention that many of these beautiful people are quite revealing? Nudity! It is with taste I might add! Of course, references to porn are made, but no porn has the character depth and sophistication that gives the sexual scenes the passion that is conveyed in this series. The necessity to produce these scenes is important in fostering the time-period's stance of sexual openness. The costume range is great; the rich are adorned with lavish jewelry and a colorful, flowing wardrobe which is artistically chosen, and for the poor, well sometimes they are left with nothing. The gladiators are especially left without much clothing, but the armor they do wear is often demonic, intimidating and everything you would naturally expect to find on a person when they are fighting to the DEATH!

The fight scenes are well choreographed and blood is everywhere! The array of weapons to choose from, the differences in fighting styles, the varying levels of fighting skill all make for interesting battles in the arena. Also, bear in mind that the arena is not only for physical fighting, but the political fold is the pressing force behind the fights. Basically, it is more than just a fight, what you see is not entirely what you get. The fight's value is difference for the gladiator, than it is for the crowd, than it is for the owner's of the gladiators; and, these differences are excellently contrasted. The graphics are not top-notch, but it adds a stylistic element to the show. The blood is vibrant and sometimes seems to defy physics--it's great! The acting is intense and the director seems to strive away from being "natural" which is good. The intensity is not monochromatic and individual to each characters personality.

In a short and sweet summary, this gratuitous mash of beautiful people, fight scenes, political undertones is nothing short of brilliant. Watch it for what it is and you will not be disappointed.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

The Shawshank Redemtion

I believe that this film is the best story ever told on film, ever, and I'm about to tell you why.

Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, a city banker, wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. He is sent to Shawshank Prison in 1947 and receives a double life sentence for the crime. Andy forms an unlikely friendship with "Red" (Morgan Freeman), the man who knows how to get things. Andy faces many trials in prison, but forms an alliance with the wardens because he is able to use his banking experience to help the corrupt officials amass personal fortunes. The story unfolds....

I was so impressed with how every single subplot was given a great deal of respect and attention from the director. The acting was world-class. I have never seen Tim Robbins act as well since, Morgan Freeman maybe (e.g. Seven). The twists were unexpected, an although this film had a familiar feel, it wasn't even slightly pretentious or cliched, it was original. The cinematography was grand and expressive. It gave a real impression of the sheer magnitude of this daunting prison.

But the one thing which makes THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION stand above all other films, is the attention given to the story. The film depends on the story and the way in which it unravels. It's a powerful, poignant, thought-provoking, challenging film like no other. If Andy were to comment on this film, I think he might say: "Get busy watching, or get busy dying." Take his advice.

Thoroughly recommended.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Inglourious Basterds

I will just start with some quotes from other reviewers that describes it the best.

"This is easily one of the most overrated films of the year and probably the worst film Tarantino has ever done." "The ONLY good thing in this movie was the performance of Mr. Waltz".

"So I was really disappointed, and seeing this movie on place #40 of the greatest movies of all time is the only thing about this, that leaves me with my mouth opened" Now for more details go and read "Hated it" reviews.

One thing I hate about a movie is when it treats audience as bunch of dumb people. (Spoiler ahead). Now I know Tarantino's style is based on fantasy and fictitious plots, but come on, Adolf Hitler and 200 top Nazis Officers will be in attendance of a movie premier in occupied France and you have only two guards in the whole theater and the surroundings? Where also an American-African walks around freely with steel pipes locking doors and setting fire. These 2 guards are then executed in seconds opening the door for our 2 "heroes" to slay Hitler at point blank with around 100 rounds... very dumb. At least, challenge our intelligence and create a smarter plot to kill one of the most feared tyrants of all time (Go watch Valkyrie). Besides, Mike Myers impersonation of a British general is more realistic and authentic than the guy doing Hitler, just picture that.

What ruined it further, is that the only smart and powerful character, which nailed everyone in the movie, with his psychological and mind bending interrogations, ends up to be effortlessly tricked by the most mindless character in the movie.

After watching the movie, I was sympathizing with Nazis, who were portrayed to have more bravery and humanity than our Basterds!!! Imagine that.

My recommendations, if you have insomnia, 2hrs 33 min to waste or you want to give your mind a break, go watch this movie.

Supremacy 1914 Review

Supremacy 1914 is a free online multi-player real-time strategy RPG. Up to 30 competitors battle for several weeks for control of Europe. Both, military and diplomatic skills will be essential on your road to victory!

This review made a particular description of the game start. Here you can see the analysis of graphics, sounds, the interface of the game etc. Will Supremace 1914 be your favorite game? Check details below:

The highlights are firstly the environment which is well promoted by the carefully selected graphics. The whole setup makes you think you are really into 1914 and taking decisions for your country.

Another highlight is the strategy when moving your troops. If you have played Risk (the board game), you will find that the game map structure is much similar to it. This enhances strategy and players have to be very careful as war may not always be declared; Surprise attacks are pretty common.
The graphics are nothing special but still they are enough. Perhaps some improvements could be made into the moving units on the map which are currently represented by a single pin stick.

The game has no sound and perhaps this is something to consider as this is not a classic browser game. Perhaps with an extra download players could download some music files. It would further enhance the environment.

The interface is not perfect and certain weaknesses have to do with the amount of precision you got to have at times. However it quickly becomes familiar and all you got to do is to try and have some patience.
All your progress is rated with ranking points, which contribute in your character total. There is a series of ranks which you earn in your way up and these ranks are used to discern you from other players, a symbol of your skill and experience within the game.

The community seems to be noisily active and this is obvious by looking at the active games as well as the forums. We hadn’t the time to actually meet the players but in such a game it seems that community can be a heavy part of enjoyment so always be careful with whom you team up.

As im writing this I'm currently playing two games. One of them im Burma and together with vietnam am invading the provinces between us. The other game, I am The Arch Duke of Norther russia, who just formed an alliance with Russia and mobilising troops to attack Sweeden.

I would greately appreciate if you used my referal to chekc the game out, it helps me gain some GoldMarks (in game currency):

Thursday, 26 January 2012

30 Minutes or less


Despite multiple viewings, I was never a fan of Zombieland. It was not a horrible film by any measure, and was quite the debut feature for Reuben Fleischer, but it still disappointed me every time I tried to watch it. So I went into an advanced screening of his follow-up 30 Minutes or Less this week with significantly lower expectations. Rather thankfully, it surpassed all of them and then some.

Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) is a bit of a slacker, and living a fairly miserable life. He delivers pizzas for a living, while his roommate Chet (Aziz Ansari) has just started teaching in a local elementary school. On the last delivery of the night, Nick gets jumped by two wannabe- criminals, Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson). They want to have Dwayne's father killed, but cannot come up with the money in order to get it done right. So they strap a bomb to Nick's chest, and give him ten hours to rob a bank and bring the money back to them.

30 Minutes or Less is a rare breed of comedy, especially for this summer. It may sound derivative, and may sound even more like it has too much going on at once. But after a chaotically hilarious opening twenty minutes, the film nestles into its niche, and quickly becomes a fairly twisted story that gets more outrageous and dark with every turn. But instead of slowly falling apart like Horrible Bosses and especially The Hangover Part II, the film stays consistent throughout, balancing its tone and its laughs exceptionally. Despite being shorter than Zombieland, Fleischer and screenwriter Michael Diliberti pack in enough material to allow the story to flow briskly, while also never finding a moment to slow down. The one-liners come faster and furiously with every passing minute, and you may miss a lot from laughing so hard. This is a ludicrously high-concept comedy that could have gone horrendously wrong (especially given how dangerously close it plays out to a real life event), but it thankfully rarely misses the mark it sets out for itself.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Sin City

I'm only a marginal comics fan - I read a bunch of stuff over the course of a year or two in college and haven't read much at all since. Frank Miller was my favorite writer then and the I always loved the Sin City series. I didn't realize the movie was even being made until I saw the notice for the preview screening (if that's an indication of how much I follow comics these days).

This movie was as perfect an adaptation of those books as I could imagine. The look, cast, atmosphere, everything was just spot on. The stories were all gripping and intertwined with each other nicely and I thought the brief Josh Hartnett spots were great bookends to the movie. I was amazed the entire length of the screening.

If you're into comics at all you'll love this movie. You won't be disappointed. I'm not sure how to recommend it to others but you certainly don't need to be a comics fan to enjoy it. I loved it without reservation.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer


To my dismay this movie has been accused of dealing with the addressed subjects only on the surface and just trying to shock the audience with extreme imagery. I strongly have to disagree with that. "Das Parfum" may be a lot of things but shocking sure isn't one of them. Of course it is visually overwhelming and not only with pictures of pretty flowers and sounds of the wind softly shaking the trees on a warm summer night but what is this movie, if not a piece about the sensuality of the human being? Yes, it is about smells but smelling is just simply not one of the things you can experience while sitting in a movie theatre. This motion picture however comes very close to it. We see close-ups on maggots crawling around and fish getting their heads chopped of but also human bodies in all their perfection and people declaring their honest love for one another. It might be impossible to make the audience fully understand the world in which Jean-Baptiste Grenouille lives but it does manage to create a similar vibe that brings us close to what Grenouille "feels" when he smells. Tom Tykwer beautifully achieves to always put the audience in the right mood, with the help of an amazing soundtrack and great camera work.

One could criticize that Ben Wishaw is too good looking for the part but we have to keep in mind that this story is supposed to be about the character of Grenouille and the way he himself sees his live. Since to him, the smell is the soul of every being, his appearance does not matter to him. So we might as well thank Tom Tykwer for casting an actor who is pretty decent to look at for two and half hours.

Please watch this movie without any prejudices. Open your mind to images and sounds and try to imagine what your feeling could "smell" like. And even if that does not work you can still just enjoy a beautifully told story. Either way, you will be touched.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Pulp Fiction


To put this in context, I am a fan of Sci-Fiction and I have to say that this is the best film I have seen without doubt and I don't expect it will be beaten as far as I am concerned. Obviously times move on, and I acknowledge that due to its violence and one particularly uncomfortable scene this film is not for everyone, but I still remember watching it for the first time, and it blew me away. Anyone who watches it now has to remember that it actually changed the history of cinema. In context- it followed a decade or more of action films that always ended with a chase sequence where the hero saved the day - you could have written those films yourself. Pulp had you gripped and credited the audience with intelligence. There is not a line of wasted dialogue and the movie incorporates a number of complexities that are not immediately obvious. It also resurrected the career of Grease icon John Travolta and highlighted the acting talent of Samuel L Jackson. There are many films now that are edited out of sequence and have multiple plots etc but this is the one they all want to be, or all want to beat, but never will.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol


I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise as a person and that sometimes influences my opinion on a film. Even with this point in the back of my mind I must say that Tom Cruise still got it. He's a fantastic actor who doesn't even chose to have a stunt double in MI4. I couldn't even think of trying some of these. Now to the main film. You may think it's going to be just like all the other action movies and all the other Mission: Impossible parts. But with every new part of the series it gets even more spectacular: the equipment is beyond imagination, the locations are mind blowing, the secret plans are super clever, the characters are cool and smart. Also the trailer was that good that I just wanted to see this at the movies and couldn't wait for it to be released. I haven't seen any MI film at the movies and this was definitely a great decision. The best action film in years.

I'm giving it a 10/10 because there was nothing I didn't like about this movie and it was worth every cent!

War Horse

This is a wonderful "against all odds" inspirational story about courage and relationships. A horse of truly amazing spirit touches the lives of so many during War I - including British soldiers, German soldiers, French civilians and even other horses. I cannot recall any foul language throughout the film. The background and drama are epic. Steven Spielberg will take you through many emotions from humor, to sadness, to tears of joy. The scenery is gorgeous, the acting splendid, and the performances by the animals is simply remarkable. The cinematography has to be the best I've seen in a film. The last scene alone is a masterpiece.

Jeremy Irvine as "Albert" was particularly outstanding. I was also moved by the performance of French actor Niels Arestrup as the Grandfather and that of Celine Buckens who plays Emilie - his granddaughter. Of course, the War Horse -Joey- steals the show.

I cannot give a film any higher recommendation than I give this one. You will be moved to tears. Everyone in the family will enjoy it and you'll be pleased that you "participated" because you will be fully invested in this story emotionally.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

How to train your dragon

Hiccup a young Viking befriends Toothless, a young dragon. This is the best movie I've seen since the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Virtually everything about it is wonderful. Rarely have I been so drawn in to an animated movie. The 3D aspects are thrilling and the movie has a great story, amazing animation, non stop action and a positive and constructive message. It made me want to go out and get a pet dragon. This movie is perfect for people of all ages. Now I know what a feel good movie is. This movie will make everyone feel good. Congratulations to all who contributed to this amazing film. It will make toy dragons a popular gift item. Hope to see it again and again. 3D at it's best.

Friday, 20 January 2012


Dexter will never disappoint. Each and every episode is a work of art, and it never gets boring or old. To start, we have excellent deliveries from Michael C. Hall as the serial killer (yet a like-able one) known as Dexter Morgan. Add "The Excorcism Of Emily Rose" star Jennifer Carpenter, who plays Dexter's sometimes moody sister, Deb.

It's a hard accomplishment to get someone to actually love a serial killer. But Dexter is one of those few attempts that works. It's not forced upon you- the show doesn't shove the whole "well this serial killer had a terrible childhood..." in your face. And it doesn't need to in order to get you to love its main character. You just do.

Michael C. Hall can play any emotion he's handed. Jennifer Carpenter fits her character perfectly, as does everyone else in the cast.

Then there's the actual story lines. It's not cliché. It's actually scary and chilling. It keeps you guessing. It's one of those mysteries that is very difficult to solve, but it still keeps your interest.

'Dexter' can also be hilarious when it wants to be, depressing when it wants to be and especially thrilling when it wants to be. And it doesn't come across as trying too hard.

Strong writing, clever dialogue, talented stars. It all makes for a wonderful TV show. Definitely the best new show of the season and will become one of the best shows of all time.