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End of Watch (2012)
2 LAPD cops are going around doing their job. Lots of violence, realistic crime scenes, violence, family scenes etc. They are marked for death because....they do a good job (?). After spending so much energy making the whole 'street-cred' worked out, I am surprised to see that the director did not go ahead and make the whole storyline worthwhile. The story is basically a disappointment. I wished there was actually a point to the whole movie. Very disappointing. Towards the end, I found myself thinking 'Thats it???'. The movie ended abruptly, and there seemed to be no satisfactory conclusion. Also, the shaky hand-held-camera shooting technique was a little overdone. It triggered nausea, so I had to move from the front to the back of the theater. Just watch something else if you have the option.
Battlefield Earth (2000)
Very interesting story - lousy execution
I was interested in seeing this film because I saw Ron Hubbard's name (the same person who founded Scientology, of the Tom Cruise fame). The story is very interesting the world has been taken over by a very humanoid alien life form that is exploiting the earth for its minerals. Most humans are enslaved, and those that are not, have degenerated to a low level of technology. In spite of a significant difference in technology, the humans revolt, and incredibly, win. But given this interesting story line, this is an incredibly idiotic film. These aliens rule the universe, but are incredibly stupid in how they relate to each other. In spite of much evidence to the contrary, they believe that humans cannot think. They are so obviously based on the Klingons that the story borders on plagiarism. Some of the special effects were very nice (as when they aliens teach Johnny Tyler their language). For all the hardships humans face, all of them appear well fed, well groomed, have great teeth and look great in general. The movie is lost in execution a nice opportunity lost.
Akhiyon Se Goli Maare (2002)
Typical Govinda nonsense
If you like Govinda, go ahead and see this film. If you are not, and think that his acting is silly/melodramatic, then don't bother with this movie. A goon (Kader Khan) wants his daughter to only marry a goon (he must know all the perks of the job, so wants his future son-in-law to be from the business). A rich boy (ie, Govinda) loves this goon's daughter (surprise, surprise), and is willing to do anything to marry her. So, he tries to become a goon, and succeeds handsomely. Raveena Tandon's presence seems almost incidental to the whole plot. Govinda's acting is as silly as ever. The dialog is cheap, ridiculous and frivolous. Govinda's 'costumes' are as colorful as usual. The story is so far-fetched that it does not merit much attention - the ONLY reason to watch this film is if you like Govinda.
Can we grow up now ??
What a lousy movie. Seems like the plot was copied from a bunch of Hollywood and old Bollywood films. It has elements that are supposed to represent tenderness, kindness and sacrifice ("I'll marry my dead sisters husband to help take care of the kids") except that it is so far fetched that it ends up being merely funny (ever heard of baby sitters/servants ???). I am sure Anil Kapoor's character can afford baby sitters, especially as he is among the top 1000 richest people in India, instead of marrying his dead wife's sister. In the first half of the film, Anil Kapoor reminds me of ...... Snape in Harry Potter movies: stern, foreboding and in serious need some humor. Kareena Kapoor looks so lifeless and sad all the time, I guess it is time for her to see her therapist. The gamut of emotions she shows goes from A to B and stops !! For heaven's sake, even if you are having an affair, you can smile once in a while.
Swades: We, the People (2004)
21st century collides with rural India
I liked this movie, but most likely because I can relate to it. A very 'feel good' production. It has a predictable Bollywood-like storyline. After watching the first 30 minutes, I could predict how the story was going to go. And, as expected there had to be a pretty woman (who looked very incongruous in a rural setting with her plucked eyebrows, boutique-style dresses) to keep the Hero interested. In spite of these flaws, this movie is definitely worth watching. The movie has several stereotypes, many of which are true (ignorant village leaders, caste-ism, etc), but others, like that of the dumb compliant villagers, are somewhat irritating. When Shah Rukh Khan wants build a dam, all the villagers stand around and help in an extra-ordinarily orderly manner. Indians are never this orderly ! I read some reviews calling this one of the best Indian movies ever...not true. Its a merely a good movie, not a great one.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
I had heard a lot about this film, so made a major effort to rent and watch it. I was somewhat disappointed. I could not figure out if this film was meant to focus on the portion on life in PA, or in Vietnam. It's almost as if there were 2 films made "Life in Average-ville, PA" and "Horrors of Vietnam War" and they were fused together. Somehow, I did not feel any sorrow/angst for the people who were playing Russian roulette for money, which made the end of the movie somewhat 'blah' for me. The POW-Russian roulette scenes were very gripping. The movie focused so much on this Russian roulette issue that I was beginning to wonder if this is the national sport of Vietnam. Is it? Does anyone know? There were several other ways to show the 'impact of the war' focus on the loneliness of the widows/wives left behind. Or, show some more of the suffering of the Vietnamese people. They seemed to be mere 'extras' in the movie.
good plot, lost in execution
A surprisingly good offering from Bollywood. A bank robbery is planned by a disgruntled ex-employee who is upset because he was fired. The plan involves recruiting 3 blind people, training them, etc. The goal, of course, is to rob the bank while making all the witnesses believe that the perpetrators were not blind. If they are caught, who would believe that they were the thieves, right ? But, twists, double crosses and love-twists abound. Understandably, filming such an intricate plot elegantly is beyond Bollywood writers/directors. The plot gets somewhat flimsy at places, where the director tries to forcibly insert some bollywood-ese sections. On the whole, a worthwhile film to watch. Amitabh shines. Paresh Rawal's melodrama is painful to watch. One gets the idea that this was an attempted copy of some Hollywood film.
This is a typical melodramatic Bollywood production. The system (cops, courts, etc) is corrupt and THE hero (whose only qualification seems to be that he knows how to fight) is going to fix it all. I am not sure what the message for the viewer is: is someone upset with corruption supposed to start mayhem in the streets to get revenge ? The songs were average as well. The acting is mediocre in general, with a few good sections. Amrish Puri has done a good job in his role as a honest police officer. Akshay Kumar is at best, mediocre. The story is somewhat improbable, with bombs being tied to people to kill them in public by blowing them up - wouldn't it be easier to just shoot someone or do something similar ??