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Mr. Brooks (2007)
Disappointed by the way the story was handled.
It was a poor execution of a potentially good plot which left me disappointed by the movie.
While the characters were relatively well defined with an air of suspense throughout the movie, the movie tended to take on the appearance of a lousy TV show at times, especially when dealing with the cops. The writer did not concern himself with filling out proper details in the big picture of a good script. Kevin Costner played the character rather well but was not supplemented by other actors. Although, the cinematography was well executed.
To summarize, the shallow reality of the script let down a potentially good movie.
Could have been better
I have just watched the first episode yet, on recommendation by some friends.
But, as far as the pilot goes, there was nothing in it which would be able to hook someone to the series.
It is a sci-fi series, with an interesting concept. But, its flooded with cliché's and extremely poor acting by the cast. The emotions are barely present on the actor's faces. A large number of elements have been included in the pilot itself (like car chase, plane crash, mass destruction, hostility among colleagues, a born wasted genius, apart from the regular sci-fi stuff); maybe to make the pilot more interesting, but it does more harm than good as many elements are just superfluous. There has been some very poor attempts at anecdotes here and there, but their placement and (ir)relevance fails to generate any humor on the audience side.
Finally, everything is depicted as being impacting the whole world, resulting in its destruction and no one having a clue about what's been happening. While this may have sounded interesting even 2-3 years back, but with plenty of similar series and movies already out there, like Heroes and Resident Evil, there does not seem any creativity from the creators of the show.
I would be watching some of the other episodes, and I wish for the sake of the series, that they bring in more original stuff on the audience's plate, and develop the major concept of the series, rather than dwelling on the commonplace scenarios which have already bored the audience.
Teen Crushes vs the Darkest Magic
Its been a long wait for this film especially after the postponement of its release date from November 21,2008 to July 15,2009. One thing that the postponement was successful in accomplishing was increasing the excitement and the expectations for the movie. And I could never afford to miss the premiere show of HBP in India.
All the previews had been indicating a darker side and a hormonal rush at the center stage of the film. Although I did welcome the darker side, but didn't like the sound of hormonal rush so much. And sure enough, you would notice that the movie at multiple places, looks more like a teen romantic comedy with crushes and love triangles and silly irritating girls pouncing all around the Hogwarts castle.
As for the darker side, I do appreciate the feel of the movie in that regard. Draco did emerge as the main villain in the movie with Snape not lagging far behind. But Voldemort was absent from the film. Though Bellatrix was brilliant but Fenrir Greyback did not get a chance to show his mettle as a werewolf.
The movie starts off very well with the screenplay juggling between dark scenes and light anecdotes and the scent of love staling in the air even with the dementors around. But as the movie progresses, the familiar Harry Potter touch is lost with barely one classroom scene throughout the movie and it being difficult to decide whether the movie is revolving around good versus bad or the infatuations or lack thereof among the characters.
In spite the fact that every inhabitant of the castle is a wizard or a witch (or a squib), there is definitely a deficiency of (good quality) magic, if I may. But I must admit that the film made use of its last opportunity of showcasing Quidditch quite extraordinarily and the few Quidditch scenes are simply brilliant. Another exciting scene was the one with the Inferi and it was very successful in hooking the audience to their seats. Though I fail to reconcile with a specific scene where the Burrow is burnt down and can't seem to find its importance in the movie.
Again, the film forgot to lay appropriate emphasis on the should-have-been central aspects of the film like Lord Voldemort's past and the Horcruxes. Strangely, the Horcruxes appear almost at the end of the film and no detailed discussions are depicted on the topic, considering their importance.
One huge disappointment was the absence of the Hogwarts castle fight at the end. I strongly feel that if they had included that amazing fight with all the special effects that they are capable of, instead of some of the romantic scenes, it would have made the film extremely fun and exciting to watch.
Just to wrap up with some mention of the characters in the film -
Harry clearly got a lot mature and had a very good eye for beautiful girls!
Ron still doesn't know that Harry did not add any Felix in his cup before the match and it was he all along who made those excellent blocks in Quidditch.
Both Ron and Harry got their hands full with girls.
Hermione was not the most brilliant student anymore, at least in Potions (the only class that the trio attended in the film) and she herself had a lot of admirers, though not the one she desired.
Ginny did not get a chance to show her magical skills but did get to kiss Harry near the end after many futile attempts throughout the film.
Lavendar was shown a silly "dumbo" who's overly passionate about her boyfriend Ron and did not really play any other part except at snogging him.
Luna was brilliant with her eccentricities, as always.
Dumbledore directed Harry throughout the film and the film did justice to his role.
Fred and George got a small share, in their own shop - the Weasley's Wizard Wheezes - which has been created vividly with lots of details.
Before I close, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical of the film considering how high my expectations were. At the end, I would just say that in spite of all the shortcomings, it is still a brilliant Harry Potter film and definitely worth visiting your nearest multiplex and I would not miss a chance to watch it again.
The Other End of the Line (2008)
A pretty decent romantic comedy
I really can't figure out why people have rated this movie so low, at least as yet. I won't say that the movie was exceptionally good in acting or directing or screenplay or whatever. But, on a whole, the movie did quite well in doing what it was meant for. Its a simple romantic comedy with a dream romance between an Indian girl and an American guy and it scored pretty well there. Some of the moments with Anupam Kher were really very very hilarious. Though, I would say that at some points the movie lifted up from reality and went into the ideal state. But, then again, romantic movies are usually like that only.I liked the movie to give it a decent 7/10. I'd suggest that you go and watch the movie, it'll be a real fun to watch!!!
A simple film from the beginning till the end. In spite of being a very emotional film, it does not exaggerate them in any way. A very realistic and accurate depiction of emotions by the director. The actors have been simply brilliant. Both the beautiful ladies - Kristin Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein - have played their characters extremely well and their emotions and expressions fit into the situations wonderfully. The pace of the movie completely contrasts the explosive emotions contained inside the characters but also depicts that the characters have somehow made peace with their lives and have reached a very stable state. Of course, I could write a million good things about the movie, but, then, I want you to watch it and judge it yourself. A great movie after a long time!