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A modestly budgeted engrossing sci-fi thriller!
This film deserves a better rating than the 5+ from 100+ users. It is much better than your average sci-fi.
I will dispense with the need for the synopsis. Let me begin by stating that if you are expecting a special-effects visually dazzling extravaganza, then you will be sorely disappointed. But if you are in the mood for some brain-teasing, mind-wrapping concept that functions as a psychological thriller with drama and suspense thrown in for good measure, than you are in for a some treat.
The central premise can be compared to THE CELL meets GHOST (roughly).
Actor Sasha Roiz, who audiences would be familiar with as Captain Sean Renard in the supernatural series GRIM, is quite good in the lead role. His tremendous screen presence is an asset in getting the viewer hooked to his plight. By the time the events escalate into a race against time, you are thoroughly invested in his dilemma.
Although the initial segments can be confusing (thanks to some creative editing), everything becomes crystal clear by the second half.
I would recommend this film to all those seeking small modestly budgeted gems like THE AGGRESSION SCALE, MIDNIGHT SON etc. You won't regret it.
An account belonging to a major underworld don has been hacked into, and has been totally wiped out (around 220 crores!). Cops, media, and the said don all are very upset. [Scene change] Boy (Shahid Kapur - new promising kid on the block) sees girl (Kareena Kapoor). Boy goes ga-ga over girl! Boy convinces girl she is the girl of his dreams. Girl embraces boy. Boy starts singing/dancing etc. After much songs - story goes for a twist. Girl has financial problems (around 6 crores worth). Boy decides to rob a bank. Boy goes to the bank, sees another dude (Fardeen Khan) withdrawing a huge amount from the bank (around 7 crores - how convenient!). Boy decides to steal from the dude. And so the twists pile up on twists with a final twist at the climax!
Sounds thrilling? It cudda been!
The best part about Fida is that it clocks in at an amazing 2 hours and some change (and the songs are easy on the ears too). But the proceedings tend to disappoint every time you think the excitement level is going to notch up a little. Pacing is uneven, and the performances are inconsistent. Shahid Kapur has good screen presence and is a hit with the ladies, but his future strictly depends on his shrugging off the SRK hangover. Kareena Kapoor and Fardeen Khan are just OK. Make no mistakes - this is a director's vehicle, and Ken Ghosh seems to have lost his enthusiasm for the project somewhere after the first few reels.
I, Robot (2004)
*** Possible Spoilers ***
A movie that could've upped the ante after Minority Report, and the standard-setting Blade Runner, gets reduced to a typical mindless summer blockbuster, right there with Bad Boys II. Director Alex Proyas, whose previous works I've held in high regard, and consider them to be close to near-perfect celluloid realizations, disappoints big time. There is a lesson to be learned from Chronicles of Riddick & I, Robot - never give cutting-edge talented directors like David N. Twohy & Alex Proyas the kind of excessive budgets reserved only for Jerry Bruckheimer productions. More budget = bad scripts, bad pacing, and loss of edge. Although in comparison, Chronicles of Riddick still manages to entertain, which is more than I could say for I, Robot. This movie needed to be more darker, with a tight budget, and a tighter script.
I am no pseudo-intellectual, or an Asimov-ist(??!!) to put on display the glaring holes in the sacrilegious adaptation of Asimov's work.
Am just your typical discerning viewer, who wants his money's worth when he heads out to the local multiplex. And I didn't get that satisfaction!
Lastly - the HAL syndrome has been done to death. They should have a law against any screenplay that uses the HAL-gone-bad conclusions.
I hope that Alex Proyas does not indulge in the near future in such mindless fares. He should stick to the dark themes, and tight budgets that result in exemplary works of cinema.
Gin gwai (2002)
Sixth Sense meets Final Destination!
The skeletal layout of The Eye is somewhat as follows - a girl who has been blind for 18 years undergoes a cornea transplant operation that results in her ability to see dead people.
Anyone expecting a Ringesque creep-out might be heavily disappointed, as this film plays more like a supernatural thriller rather than a horror. And perhaps that is intention of the directors. But there are few moments of geniune eerieness that raise the goosebump level a bit. Technical credits are absolutely superb, and you might be forgiven to assume that it is a Hollywood product. The climax is a visual treat boasting impressive SFX, camerawork and editing. This film has been deftly handled with some excellent perfomances from the leads.
I would like to add though, that this movie is not a Japanese film, as some of the commentators have mistakenly taken it to be. It is a Honk Kong/Thailand product.
For those of you seeking a Ringesque ride, I'd advise you look elsewhere, but if you do wanna be entertained, then the Eye could be your cup of tea.
Batoru rowaiaru (2000)
If only I could my hands on more movies like this
I had read the review for this movie some months ago on "aint it cool news.com" and had totally given up on ever being able to get my hands on a gem like this (it had joined the list along with "Ring" and "Violent Cop"). So when while browsing through the VCD catalog of my regular supplier's collection, I came across this movie, I almost did a double flip. I went home, didn't change, didn't have any grub, just put the VCD in my DVD player and remained frozen for the next two hours. Beautifully lensed, masterfully helmed, this movie is simply a masterpiece, a collector's item, a new cult phenomena. Disturbing to a great extent, it is not for the weak of heart. And definitely not a kiddie flick. If you are a movie buff, wouldn't mind straining your eyes to read the sub-titles, and would like something other than the tear-jerkers, rom-coms or the Bruckheimers being dumped your way, then this your dish. Bon Appetite!