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An 8 for that crazy dream sequence!
I love all the Scarecrow episodes. This one is no exception. Especially with the start where we find out that Batman is deemed "disturbed" and put in Arkham Asylum. The story is great. The dialogues are great. But that is the case for every single episode in this series.
What truly makes this episode stand out is that brilliant dream sequence (watch it first to see how awesome it is). The visual detail behind the shape shifting, the "fear" that each character talks about and the feeling of helplessness in Batman's eyes... feels like a Grateful Dead concert.
This scene took up an entire 2 minutes of the 20 minute episode. This leaves just 18 minutes to show the flashbacks, develop the villain's plans, show Batman's actions and a gazillion other things. Most dream sequences in this series are stunning (the Two Face one is especially touching). It is extended scenes like this that make us realize the pain that Batman goes through every night of his life and develop his character into one that we truly feel for.
Another tragic villain
Batman: The Animated Series has a history of developing amazing back-stories for their villains (Mr. Freeze in Heart of Ice is probably the greatest such story). The time guy in this episode is my second favorite.
This man is paranoid about being on time. One day, during his train ride to office, Mayor Hill tells him to loosen up and delay his afternoon coffee by 15 minutes. He eventually is late for court and loses $20 million! He goes absolutely psycho after this.
I was blown away by this. Think about it. If you were never, ever in your life late for an appointment and the only time you are behind schedule, you end up losing everything in your life, imagine how it would affect you! That is what I love about this series. On some level, you feel sorry for the villains. What the villains do is almost always rational, but never ethical. But Batman is such a beacon of perfection, you know deep down that what the Dark Knight is doing is always right. The Clock King is one more episode in this list of pure awesome.
I give it only an 8 since I found the actual plot to be a bit mundane. The villain himself is quite bland. His motivation is riveting. But his execution is boring.
Solid fun movie
One of my friends got tickets for the movie. So, I had absolutely no idea what Ted was going to be about. Then I saw Seth Macfarlane's name in the credits, and I instantly knew what to expect. Even the opening scene had the audience laughing!
Ted, the carefree, weed-smoking teddy bear has been Mark Wahlberg's one and only friend from the age of 8. At 35, he is having trouble with his girlfriend (Mila Kunis) because of his immature behavior, mostly because of his teddy bear. As the movie progresses, we realize that he must decide between his true love and his beloved teddy.
The jokes include the typical Family Guy sort of humor - ranging from crude and crass to Seth's favorite 80s cultural references. Family Guy fans should enjoy a movie version of their favorite family. The story line is almost too predictable, but we almost forget about the story in the middle of all the humor.
I recommend watching the movie with a few friends and have a nice laugh. Just like an episode of Family Guy. Oh, and Mila Kunis is absolutely gorgeous and extremely lovable. There, you have one more reason to watch. 7 on 10 for the constant humor and the ridiculously funny teddy but the extremely ordinary storyline.
Diarios de motocicleta (2004)
I watched this movie on TV at around 3 in the night. No advertisements. The silence of the night amplifying the beauty of the journey of the two friends who travel just to travel.
Very few movies have had an effect on me like The Motorcycle Diaries. Maybe it is because of the uncertainty of the outcome of their voyage right from the beginning. Maybe it is because the movie is more of an exploration of your mind rather than an exploration of South America. Maybe it is because I too turned 24 recently and hope to go on a life-changing journey to break the monotony surrounding my life. As naive as that sounds, it is the childish idealistic thoughts that made me love the movie more than anything else.
Some scenes will never ever disappear from my mind. Like the one where Che's father tells him how he wanted to be younger and wished to travel with him. The way Che breaks the heart of a doctor who doesn't write well, with something that most of us have forgotten - honesty. The coldest night that he spent with the mining couple. And that mesmerizing speech. All of which played a significant role in defining the Che we all know and wear on our t-shirts. One day, I hope to get the courage to break the shackles of society and discover myself just like Che did.
Friday Night Lights: Pilot (2006)
My favorite Pilot of all TV shows
This pilot had everything that the show had to offer, all summarized into a 1 hour capsule. That in my book is the perfect Pilot episode. The first few minutes are scintillating, with the radio show discussing about what the new coach(Eric Taylor) has to offer. After this we see an interview where all the football players are introduced. I found both of this to be extremely effective ways of introducing all the characters without making it look clichéd.
But, the best part of the first half of the show was the absolutely stunning soundtrack from Explosions in the Sky. The background music perfectly suits the theme of the series, the touching moments, the passion during the game and most of all during Coach Taylor's inspirational pep talks.
The twist at the end of the Pilot sets up the whole series beautifully Some of the characters undergo massive transformations, some happy, some sad. All in all, my favorite episode mostly because I like to think how the series would have evolved if it had not been for that major twist in the episode...
American Beauty (1999)
Beauty lies in the eyes of the ........ ?
Where does beauty lie? Why do you find something beautiful that your closest friend dislikes? What is beauty itself? These are just some of the million questions that I have asked myself after viewing American Beauty, possibly for the 8th or the 9th time. In our daily lives, all we do is complain about all the things we don't have. But if we just "look closer", there is always beauty in every little thing. We just can't appreciate it all, because there is way too much beauty.
This movie has changed my life in ways I couldn't have possibly imagined. If I am in a train and bored, I just look around at all the people, or just stare at the running trees... And it is not just beauty in vision, even music that sounded ordinary before sounds better because I am able to appreciate it better.
The one scene that is totally out of this world is the flying paper bag scene.A lot of people don't seem to like it, but the minute I saw it, I felt goosebumps all over my body and it didn't stop until the scene was over.
There are so many aspects to this movie. I haven't even discussed the characters, the plot, the underlying satirical exaggeration. But, the only reason I gave it a 10 (the only other movie I have given 10 is Shawshank's Redemption) is simply because it has changed the way I perceive life. I live life by the day and at night, think of all the beautiful things that I saw or did or heard that day. And that gives me great satisfaction and a beautiful sleep...
Hagane no renkinjutsushi (2003)
By far, my favorite story
This title is only one among the four titles that I have ever given 10 on 10s. The story is so powerful that it is tough to not shed a tear once in a while. At the same time, it gets so hilarious when it comes to jokes about Ed's height! This mixed bag of emotions is the first thing that drew me towards FMA.
The story is beautifully told and the characters are wonderfully developed, especially the older brother. The principle of equivalent trade in alchemy is used to explain everything in life, including life and death. Each character brings a different mood to the scene. When you see the Colonel, you are sure to feel the Military-environment. Armstrong means, jokes about his ancestors! Winry means, Ed and Al's past. And the Elric brothers' means, their long journey.
The best part of the series has to be its soundtrack. The Russian folk song, "Brother", fits the FMA brothers' story perfectly. I don't have a sibling, maybe that's why their love for each other seems so powerful.
I don't know about the English dubbing, though many say that FMA is the best anime dubbing ever made. Anyway, I enjoyed the subtitled version, even though Al's voice was very girlish. It does depart from the manga, yet preserves the basic sentiment in the story.
Overall: 10/10, without doubt!
At first, when the concept of removing "Feeling" was introduced, I was almost laughing at the idea. But I decided to watch the movie since I was such a big fan of Christian Bale (especially in Batman Begins and Prestige). He once again gives a great performance, transforming from villain to hero, one of the handful actors who can play both sides equally well.
Another thing I did see was that a lot of people compared this movie to The Matrix. In my opinion, the action scenes in Equilibrium look really stylish but they are too made up. The enemies just stare at our superhero while he pumps lead into their bodies. But this was not the case in Matrix (and even if it was made up in the Matrix, I wouldn't have minded since it wasn't supposed to be in the real world!)
So then, why did I even give it 6 stars? Mostly because of the style factor. The action scenes were well made (except for our IQ=0 masked morons). I also like the ending because, sometimes, war/rebellion is the solution! A war-less society where life has no meaning or purpose can't compare with the one that we have now.
All in all, the mixture of fantastic action sequels and the clichéd idea of new world order was a risky yet innovative one. This one is worth watching.