Movies Movies Movies

Transformers 2 – Was most disappointing. What was all the emotional family drama doing in there?? Seriously?! It was most over-dramatic, what with people dying and coming back to life again, etc. (i still love bee and optimus prime). I would’ve been quite happy if, like the first part, this too had too little plot (especially the twisting kind), and plenty of unexpected special effects to make up for it. Instead, i had very confused and emotional Shia whatever-his-name-is, sorry Shia LaBeouf, an extremely annoying Julie White, and Megan Fox and Isabela Lucas with stupidly constant look-i’m-hot expressions. i give it a 1.73/5. But having said that, i’ll probably still watch it again. Why, you ask? Because, i went to Mayajaal the first time, and i’m hoping that the better sound and image clarity at Sathyam will somehow make the movie better in my brain.

The Bourne Series – S and i sat and watched this trilogy back to back on Saturday. The plot is fairly simple; in fact, after identity, it’s almost predictable. But somehow that doesn’t take away from the movie. Perhaps because it no longer needs to deal with the plot, the movie is able to shift focus on to the character. And that’s fabulous. I find Bourne most fascinating, not because he was a spy/assassin (or because he is played by Matt Damon who is…well…not hot exactly, but pretty good looking, and a pretty decent actor), but because of the way he deals with his loss of memory, and consequently, his identity. He lives through the angst of identity crisis and experiences it at a level most of us, thankfully, cannot comprehend. And the crew of the movie quite nicely handled that. Except Julia Stiles. But it’s ok. I’ll leave it go. I’ll give this series a 3.95/5.


A little Birdie

I watched a tamizh movie called “Kuruvi” starring Ilayathalapathy
Vijay (lol)! I mean, I thought they did that only with Rajni. But
apparently I’m waaay behind my time. 🙂 S tells me as I stare
astonished at the words “Ilayadhalapathy Vijay ” (IV, please, can I?)
flashing on the screen. Now the thing is, I have seen this fellow. Ok
maybe I should warn any possible Vijay fans reading this post (ha!
Totally unlikely, but anyway) that I may tend to “disrespect” your God
a bit. But take solace in knowing that I may have done the same even
if it was (OMG, no!) Rajni. Cuz you see, I’m one of those
characterless people who is not into movies, and (according to Some
people) is unreasonably critical of them. So you might find me LOLing
at inappropriate moments and hitting my head when I should be going
“aaha! Ooho!” (in praise, hey!).
So yeah as I was saying, I have actually seen this guy. Seen him, that
is, from a distance. He was there when I went for an IPL match. Before
this, I had seen all of one Vijay movie, the incredible ATM (refer to
the unrated one paragraph review of the movie in one of my previous
posts). You know, he’s one of those people who on screen looks (at
least to me ) like the usual tall, wheatish and ..ermm..boyish next
door neighbor you wish you had, but in reality, although he is boyish
and wheatish and stuff, the tall thing he is definitely not. For all
you know, he might actually be shorter than me. He was almost lost in
the middle of the bunch of bodyguards or escorts or whatever. All I
could keep saying was, “That’s him?! That..?? But he’s so small!” No,
seriously. He’s small built. Gyms and all that I suppose, cuz he’s in
pretty good shape, but he’s slim and well..small framed. I mean, not
that that’s a bad thing or anything. Its just that, moments like that
make you realize just how potent camera angles can be. He was all cute
and lovable n all, but not impressive like an ilayathalapathy (the
word is probably wider than his waist). The point is, when I saw the
words “IV” flash on the screen, I found it very difficult to connect
them to the figure of the boy I saw at the stadium.
But moving on…the movie itself is quite appalling. It barely had a
story, but us mallus can technically call it adi-poli, cuz that’s
about all there was in the movie – a lot of fights and then some
random destruction.
The plot: he wins car race, goes to Malaysia, beats up peoples in
Malaysia and charms damsel by dropping her into a swimming pool whilst
attempting to rescue her from emotional distress (or was it falling
off a building, I forget), comes back to Chennai (damsel follows him),
beats up people, goes to some place in Andhra, beats up people, beats
up more people, beats up even more people, beats up everyone and his
brother in law, movie over. There’s an awful lot of baddies in the
movie. But, of course, he (our own IV) can crush them all single
handedly. In fact, after getting beaten up by him, people look like
they have been hit by a train. No really. The doc in the movie says
that. It’s awesome. Or not.
If you go to the official site of the movie ( here ), you’ll find that
they keep using phrases like “interesting plot,” “interesting and
whirling screenplay,” “twist in the plot,” “gaining heat and force,”
etc. Don’t know how any of them relate to the movie, honestly. Talent
has been wasted really. Ashish Vidhyarthi, a potentially good actor,
wasted. Vivek, wasted even more. *shakes head* Makes me sad, I tell
you. But then, I guess, when our IV is around, there’s no room for
anyone else. What? Kharrect only no?

Rating: sorry, yit is unratable.

(Not so) Random Updates

This post is mainly to let everyone know of one important development in my life. But then to say that directly would be to compromise on the, shall we say, effect i need it to have. So instead of getting straight to the point, as i usually do, i shall, this time, beat around the bush a bit.

Update 1:

I am now officially on Facebook…too. People who know that i am on Orkut will wonder why i am now on Facebook as well. i mean, it’s not like i do anything with my Orkut account. Well, that by itself can be considered my reason. See, the thing is, i now work for a company that thinks that blocking 80% of the World Wide Web will make its employees more efficient. It’s wrong of course. It only makes the employees try seven times as hard to find ways around the thingie. For example, if you are happily driving along on the most convenient route to your house and you come across a block, would you just sit there? No. You would look this way that way, twist here, turn there and find your way around it. It’s really that simple. Anyway the company I work for obviously has not understood that, and so it persists in blocking 80% of the internet, Blogger, Orkut, and some other rather useful sites included. However, Facebook, as i discovered recently, has by some miracle been excluded. And therefore i got me an account on it. Now the problem is that Facebook is not as easy to use as Orkut (i’m sure a lot of you will disagree). i have no clue what the hell is going on on it. A bunch of vampires and werewolves and slayers are stalking me. And then every once in a while, i get invited to hangman tournaments, IQ tests (my brother invited me to that one…bleddy…what only does he want to prove?!) and other such things. i’m thoroughly confused. Anyway, i guess with time all will be alright. Or so i hopeth.

Update 2 (and 3 and 4):

I saw three movies. Two of the three were Tamil. Just by way of a sort of background info, i don’t usually watch Tamil movies.

First was Azhagiya Tamizh Magan (ATM) which translates to Pretty (or Handsome) Son of Tamil Nadu. It was a fascinating movie in that it had a hero who was also the villain (aah! the joys of double role), a female lead who did a half hearted job of looking pretty, supporting characters who really had nothing to do except be part of a crowd that was not required in the first place, disappointing soundtrack (considering it was Rahman, it was very sad, which i already knew (because i’d heard it many many times in the car and on the radio. Wonly title song is nice and they went and ruined it in the movie). And it really didn’t help that they were shot and choreographed as appallingly as they were. i really feel sad for Rahman fans :P), a plot which can be told in exactly one and a half sentences and directed by someone who thought that adding a lot of these gravity defying special effects will make up for all the previously mentioned defects (among several others) (and yesh, he was wrong). i started writing a review for that movie. In fact, i still wouldn’t mind writing a more elaborate review, but somehow something or the other comes up and it doesn’t happen. Yeah well. i’ll keep trying to take time out for it.
Then another was this movie called Polladavan. i asked my sis what that means (after i saw the movie) and she said it means “one who goes about his business as long as you don’t mess with him. But if you mess with him, he may just kill you.” Pretty cool to have fit all that into one word huh? Yeah ok. Anyway, it was pretty aptly titled. This movie was ok. Fairly nicely shot but with the usual lot of totally unnecessary songs. i think this movie would’ve looked really good with just a background score. Having said that, there’s an SPB song on the soundtrack that i simply cannot get enough of. Of course, the other issue i had with this movie was all the violence. Now now, i realize that a lot of that is real and that life is all violent today. But simply because it’s real doesn’t have to mean that I’m ok with it. And unlike most people believe, it’s not that it scares me. It really doesn’t. It doesn’t gross me out either (in the sense of…ewwww look at all that blood…ewww grosss…blech). It doesn’t make me cry (as in…omg…look someone’s head’s been cut off (yeah that’s actually shown in the movie. they talk about killing people, and suddenly there’s this shot of a head rolling on the road)..That must’ve hurt *sob sob*). But in another sense it (violence) upsets me. i’ve tried to explain it to people before; i’ll try one more time (no harm done, right?). i get upset when i see violence because i think violence is an absolutely unnecessary thing. To me, violence, like shouting (unless of course the other person is hard of hearing) is totally useless, an absolute waste of effort. So when i see violence, it pisses me off. So if you see tears in my eyes, understand that they are angry tears. (It’s ok, i don’t expect you to; but at least i tried to explain…again). Anyway forget all that. Coming back to the movie. i would give it a 2.8 on 5. Mainly because i liked the plot. It was crisp and fairly real (i say fairly because i really didn’t like the stereotypical romance).
Then finally, i saw Jab We Met. i don’t have much to say about this movie. Nothing much can be said about it anyway. It was one of those typical Bollywood movies with rather typical performances. Screenplay was not too bad – quite funny in places, but, as i was telling a friend of mine, the delivery was messy so nothing clicked. Movies like this one and ATM are not ratable, so kindly excuse.

Update 5:
i went for the 10:55 pm show for Polladavan and not with family. Yeah it’s a big deal. 😛 so stop laughing.

Update 6:

Do you see this badge on the side panel? The NaNoWriMo Participant badge? Well, you won’t see it for much longer. Actually, its disappearance is long overdue. Sometime in October, i signed up for the thing with full josh. My head, as usual, was full of ideas. But, what with one thing or another, they never reached my fingertips and i never put them down. It is a sad. i actually did start writing. On November 1st, i wrote a nice 1700 words (a word count, if i had maintained it, that would have surely reached me to my goal of 50K words by November 30). But since then, i would’ve written a total of 2000 (rather disconnected) words. *shakes head at self* Very bad.

Update 7 (the main one):

I have been driving to work since Friday! For most (if not all) of you out there, this won’t sound like a big deal, and you’re all probably going “yeah whatever.” But if you could only ever see me park (or for that matter reverse) a car, you would’ve understood why it’s such a big deal (especially for my dad to let me take the car on my own 😛 )(Hey! But i drive ok. Wonly parking is a problem). Friday’s drive in was a little shaky. But i’m strategically coming to work a little early so that there’s plenty of space for me to use to reverse and move forward (a couple of hundred times) before i finally have the car parked properly. Monday, the drive in was pretty comfy. As was the parking (so what if i still had a lot of space). *sigh* i feel all grown up now. Driving to work and all. 😀
Sub-Update: Bleddy! i came to work very early today! Was here by 9:20 (Shut up! A lot of people come happily around 10, so 9:20 is early. Go). But there were already two cars parked. Nonsense! What the hell?! Why the hell are they so early?? What were these people thinking?!! Can’t they come a little later?! Parking itself was no big deal. i mean, my usual slot was there all waiting for me, so i only had to drive in and stop the car. But i’ll have trouble when i’m leaving in the evening because i’ll have to do the whole reversing thing. Part of my brain is all, “Oooo…a new challenge!” But the other part just can’t stop saying, “Oh Crap! Oh Crap! Oh Crap!” BN! Some people, i tell you!

Mozhi – Review

I watched an unexpectedly interesting movie yesterday. A Tamil movie called Mozhi. Yes yes, i know it’s not a new movie but that’s really ok. I’m used to not watching movies as and when they release.
Just as an aside (although it’s rather early in the post to go into asides) all those who have been tossing and turning and generally losing sleeping cuz they were overwhelmingly jealous of the fact that my company gives me free tickets to the latest movies (along with free drink, pop corn, and cab ride), need lose their sleep no longer. i have switched companies. My current employer doesn’t believe in doing any of the aforementioned things. i am a mere mortal like the rest of you all now, and watch movies after buying tickets or getting them from the local DVD rental place or buying myself a copy of the thing. In fact it was a similarly bought copy of the thing (as in the movie Mozhi) that i watched and that i started this post about.
So yeah, as i was saying, Mozhi was unexpectedly interesting. If you know me, then you know why i am saying this. i am typically not into movies (which should explain why i seem to watch movies looong long after they release). When i do watch a movie, it’s not to escape reality; altho if the movie can manage to do that, i’m only appreciative. It’s a little difficult to define the kind of movies that i do like. i’m somewhat unpredictable. i generally hate mush, for example, but suddenly you might find me smitten by an extremely romantic movie. Or, for example, i don’t seem like the kind of person who would like action flicks like Die Hard, but i totally loved the latest one. Typically though, i like movies that have a slightly different theme and/or have treated your average theme slightly differently – using, say, a different perspective. Mozhi is a movie like that.
It is about a musician boy Karthik (Prithviraj) falling in love with a girl, Archana, who cannot hear or speak (Jyotika). These two main characters are flanked by their friends, grand moms, neighbor-guardians, and other random people from the apartment complex in which they both live. As the guy’s friend, Viji (Prakashraj) observes, everyone there seems to have a sad story behind them, i.e., everyone except the neighbor-guardian, who is there primarily to do silly things like talking in Tamil Chinese after breaking his nose, falling off his balcony after trying, unsuccessfully, to kill a cockroach, making an ass of himself by thinking that some college going chick has a crush on him – you know, that sort of thing. Actually, you never know, maybe there’s a sad story behind him too. Maybe the reason he doesn’t like bachelors in the complex (apparently he’s the apartment association’s secretary and it’s in the rules that bachelors cannot be given flats in the complex) is cuz his wife cheated on him, or maybe he cheated on her, and he can’t bear to live with the guilt of the possibility of that happening again. *shrug* Who knows.
Anyway the guys (that would include namba hero Karthik and viji) are both happy-go-lucky chappies, the girls (Archana and Sheela) have somewhat tragic pasts. One is a widow, her husband having died in an accident within a year of their marriage, and the heroine herself comes from a family where the father was stupid enough to leave when he found out about his child’s “defect” (or “disease”…i forget the term that was used in the movie) and a mom who died trying to deal with the shock of the deserting husband and raising the child on her own. She was raised by her grand mom from age 6, and grew into this strong, brave and fiercely independent woman who despised any kind of sympathy from anyone, and/or men in general.
That doesn’t mean she is not colorful. She is in fact full of purpose. Somewhat serious, but not without a sense of humor. She’s not projected as someone who lacks anything in her life. She seems pretty comfortable with herself. Just a little defensive at times, but not more or less than any of us are. Hmm…actually, the more you think about her, the more she seems like a woman empowered, you know, like someone who knows she’s no less than anyone else. When the boy goes through all that trouble to get close to her and be her friend, she just seems to shrug and say yeah ok, come along. The boy himself is all happiness, she is the light of his life and he is totally committed to her, altho of course she doesn’t realize any of it. The problems in fact only come up whenever he expresses any strong bond towards her. When he asks her to marry him, she recoils (with a strength that, in all honesty, didn’t surprise me). In those few scenes, she is every other woman, no longer extraordinary, with the same insecurities, the same fears, and the same lack of conviction. i like that scene where the two women talk right after Jyotika hands the boy the bulb and tells him to get out of her life. i like how in that scene, the strong woman is suddenly exposed as a pretender. it puts an ironic twist on the entire thing, and makes you ask, “like, but why?? She seemed fine to me…i mean, like why??” The boy is once again the brave, sacrificing, compassionate, committed, and terribly-in-love person who walks around with a veritable rock in his heart cuz his lady love has handed him the bulb. He respects her however, which is, of course, cool. Rather predictably, the woman will realize the truth and/or the absoluteness of his commitment and go to him asking him to take her back.
Yes, it’s not an unpredictable, open-ended movie. But like i said, it’s the treatment. For one, the characters were fairly well thought out. The screenplay was pretty well done. When they ask Jyotika, what music is as far as she is concerned, she says, it is to her like any other language – like Hindi, for example, that she doesn’t know. i like that. Simple, but effective. Most of the comedy sequences were pretty close to brilliant, probably cuz they were brilliantly executed as well. This brings us to the performances. To give credit where it’s due, the four of them seemed to have made some effort to learn sign language. I shall be good and not question the accuracy of it (also, cuz i really am not qualified enough to question it). Actually they all did a fairly decent job. Jyotika looked slightly expressionless sometimes, and Prithviraj looked slightly silly, again, sometimes. The people who never got out of character, according to me at least, were Prakashraj, and the college going chick who would, without fail, bump into something or the other every time she saw/met Prithviraj. 😀

Rating: (PI – (one by fi) ) / fi

300 – Review

Disclaimer: Slightly dated. Wrote it a while ago but was there was a hesitation when it came to publishing. Got a comfidence boost when Sheesh, who has also done a review of this movie, told me it was “wonderful.” (Still can’t believe how soft we are getting. *shakes head*) Well, here it be.

What did I like about the movie?? Ok, wait. Lemme start from the beginning. Yes, it was one of those movies that I got free tickets to. Yes, I know my office is cool. Yes, I got free popcorn and drink to go along with the movie ticket. Yes, I know this is not fair, life simply isn’t sometimes. I don’t want to make a song and dance of the fact that I was picked up and dropped cuz that sorta thing is taken for granted now. As is the rest of the stuff but then I wanted to make a song and dance of all that so you feel free to just, you know, deal with it.

And so there it was, or I was. I ought to tell you at this point that, well, that first, I’m gonna be going into a few details, so if you haven’t watched the movie and have thus far taken great pains to avoid forming an opinion by reading and/or exposing yourself to reviews of the movie, then you really should consider not reading any further. Second, I’m not a big fan of war cuz I think of it as mindless violence, so you may or may not find that my review is slightly ermm…non-flattering (?) Well, I’m hoping you understand what I’m trying to get at.

So the movie is, as I’m sure Everyone knows, about Spartans. The Persians are on their way to attacking Greece and obviously, like any sane country, Greece wants to stay, Sparta is a part of Greece or something like that (Wikipedia says something of that kind anyway). In any case, Persia is primarily into expanding their, shall we say, influence. Imperialism is their thing. They don’t really actually want to go to war or anything, but you know how it is, they are on this ego trip of ‘hey, you wouldn’t want to mess with us. No, no seriously, you wouldn’t, cuz you know…well..just you take a look behind me..see all that endless black stuff on the hillside and beyond there? That’s not trees nor nothing. That’s just my army.’ So the way it worked was…Xerxes would send his messenger over to the next kingdom he wants to have control over, basically came on his way anywhere, have them show some severe attitude, at the end of which, basically, the king or whatever would say ok boss, here’s my kingdom on a platter. And if that dude didn’t, he simply got mauled by the army from the hillside and beyond. And so it happened till it was Greece’s turn.

It is also common knowledge I know that the story is, in particular, about the battle of Thermopylae. A limitless army held back by a handful (relatively speaking) of Greeks + Spartans. See now that in itself is cool. But hey there are war movies and then there’s 300. I don’t know about the best one ever n all, but it’s the one I have liked in quite a while. Well, the blood and gore and the violence has never been my kinda thing. It’s the strategy and the spirit of the thing rather than the body count. I’m a very Guns of and Force 10 From Navarone kinda person you know. Yes I realize that I just contradicted myself, but the making of the body count was so beautifully choreographed in 300. It was like a bleddy ballet. There is lot of raw power just floating non-chalantly around. Its just you as the audience that feels it, its really quite matter-of-fact for the characters. Come on, who in their right minds would take on like an army of a Million with just about 300 people behind you. It’s crazy. But thats what Leonidas does. Its like the most natural thing for him to do. And guess what, his men are equally crazy, laughing at their own little jokes while shielding themselves from the arrows that blot out the sun. And you sit there watching all this and smile like an idiot cuz its kinda funny and crazy and cool and a few other things at the same thing. It helps that the men are scantily clad, and oooh did they look hot or what! But we shall deal with that later.

So the things I liked about the movie, other than the brilliantly choreographed battle scenes, which admittedly are most of the movie, are the other small little things like plot and screenplay. The plot is very very simple, and that’s always a good thing, cuz as we all know, too many characters means too much confusion. So it is good. Persia wants to take over Greece, Sparta says not in your dreams, Persia is like fine then we’ll just attack, Greeks + Spartans assemble a tiny little preliminary army, block the pass of Thermopylae, and proceed to systematically destroy the army little by little. Of course there’s a traitor, thanks to whom the small little Spartan troop (cuz apparently the Greeks left by that time) gets surrounded, and yeah, killed. As you can see…fairly linear. Doesn’t torture the brain, like say a 007 movie would. Of course there’s that whole thing about the politics in Sparta while their king Leonidas is fighting it out at Thermopylae, but like I said it doesn’t distract from what is happening. And then there is the obvious parallel between the boy and wolf episode and Sparta and Persians thing. All very beautifully taken. The visuals just imprint themselves in your brain.

As do the dialogues. There ain’t much of it. No high philosophy n all. Quite literal and straight forward. Even the part where the queen is negotiating with that useless gay guy…well ok, I just call him gay. He obviously proves that he isn’t, maybe bi…but whatever. The point being that even in that part there is no mincing of words. We all know what is going to happen even before it happens and expect it and hate that we expected it and hate the guy but yeah dialogue wise its kept quite clean and simple. When the queen later addresses the…err…elders (?), her words are simple and to the point. Very crisp. And it’s consistently that…crisp. No needless emotion, no needless weaving flowers into an insipid garland to throttle you with. I think it just went with the whole Spartan theme. Minimal and all that.

This brings us to the costumes…which are also decidedly kept minimal. I’m not sure if the guys in Sparta actually dressed (if you can call it dressing, i mean…) like that, but really what do i care, they all looked hot, at least all the soldiers did and that’s who were on the screen most of the time. (Me and my friend were wondering what the audition for this movie might have been like…the thought fascinated us for a while) The women were also rather revealingly clothed. Very linen, interesting use of lines and stuff. I liked the costumes, wouldn’t mind owning that red one the queen wears to the counsel. That was beautiful. Simple and elegant.

Overall I thought the movie was great. Not a classic but pretty good. I saw’ed it twice, once on IMAX and once on the normal screen. It’s an IMAX movie. If you’ve watched it on the normal screen I’d still say you’ve missed out on something. And if you’re watching it at home, then god bless you.

Rating: 3.56 on 5