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Saw (2004)
8/10
a "twisted pictures" production
15 May 2005
that is the first sign, the name of the production company. and if you still want to see the movie, then you better be prepared for what is coming your way. actually, that would be pointless. this i easily the most convoluted, twisted, nasty picture i have ever seen. and I've seen my fair share of them.

saw is a mind-bending work of evil genius, the script is full of devious twists that keep you marvelling and yet leaves you wondering at the tighter holes the characters keep getting drawn in. yet the scriptwriters constantly unravel new twists that keeps the audience on edge.

the movie does slacken towards the end in a faux-ending, but picks up with a brilliant twist, leaving the audience on a high. this is destined to be a huge underground cult hit.

full marks to script-writer actor leigh whannel and script-writer director james wan. but why the heck did they put up with cary elwes' amateurish performance??
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Audition (1999)
8/10
gruesome yet compelling
13 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
takashi miike pulls no punches in this movie that is clearly not for the squeamish. the movie is devious and gory, yet credible enough to keep the intelligent viewer wondering.

The PLOT: aayoma, the lonely widower, meets asami a pretty single young woman through an audition set up for the purpose of helping aayoma find a suitable girl. as aayoma begins to fall for asami hard, there is more to her innocent pretty-girl looks than meets the eye. a dark sinister secret surrounds her and her demanding love results in a tragic and incredulous end.

The ANALYSIS: Audition has its shock value, but is there more to the movie than that? definitely. the plot (based on the infant terrible of Japanese literature, ryu murakami's novel) which starts off in a linear narrative hurls the audience through an impossible vortex as it hurtles through a horrifying finale, where the narrative spans through time and reality back and forth, leaving the viewer guessing what is real and what is a dream.

PLOT BREAKDOWN -(SPOILERS herein): Aayoma falls for asami, he goes on a date with her, they spend a weekend together at a resort where he proposes marriage, she accepts, he wakes up while in bed with her having a nightmare, she realises that even while in bed with her, his thoughts are not entirely hers. asami's brittle and disturbed mind takes this as a sign that he doesn't love only her. presumably sometime he has discussed with her how much he loves his son too. anyway, he wakes up the next morning to find her missing. he investigates, finds out about her, her lies, her past involving her uncle, her aunt (who she probably mutilated and murdered, it is upto the viewer to decode and understand this). her record company agent has incurred her wrath too and he gets 'suitably' punished by asami. asami sneaks into aayoma's house and drugs his drink, kills his dog. in the drugged state, even as aayoma's subconscious is beginning to unravel all this information mixing up his own personal inner demons with the realisation about asami that he is figuring out, asami enters to wreak havoc. she is not done with aayoma yet. she begins to inflict serious torture on aayoma, including amputating his feet. enter aayoma's son and he saves his father from suffering more. end of story.

FINAL VERDICT: Audition is an audacious movie, it subverts the viewer, throwing sadistic images and thoughts at him. However what makes it work is the study of alienation, childhood abuse, loneliness and the subtle insights into the working of a sick mind, what makes it so compelling is that the sick mind hides in the body of a gorgeous woman (Eihi Shiina who plays asami is a former model). Audition is a sick metaphysical tour de force, that leaves the viewer gasping for breath, while the beginning is a bit too slow-paced it is essential in shocking the viewer by lulling him into a sense of complacency leaving him totally unprepared for the sick mayhem that follows.

A definite must-watch, but only if you have the stomach and heart for some very scathing cutting-edge cinema
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9/10
delightfully quirky!
3 October 2003
this is one of the few successful attempts at trying to capture the vitality, the heart-break, the ecstacy and the madness of college life and campus romances. this is about the desperate and hurried search of adolescents, on the brink of adulthood, for meaningful romances and fulfilling careers. the terrible reality of their tribulations and the utter pettiness of their failures, the monstrosities of their triumphs and the fleetingness of their celebrations.

debutante director emma kate croghan captures all this beautifully in putting together a few days in the lives of group of friends. the shoe-string budget of $37,000, provides for the warmth and credibility of the characters and their situations. clearly this is a movie that would have been a disaster with a million dollar budget.

the characters are portrayed extremely realistically by the fresh actors and each of the characters shines through with their ability to convey the humor of their plights.

all in all, a delightful movie that does not tax the viewer much, but takes one along for a voyeuristic look into campus lives. this might not be one of the three best movies of my life (watch the movie to understand the significance of top three movies) but it is one of the top 5 English language movies of the 90s, whose central theme is love.

5. chasing amy 4. as good as it gets 3. love and other catastrophes 2. before sunrise 1. high fidelity

anyway, this one is a winner. a delightful 9!
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5/10
what a royal rip-off!!!
6 August 2003
Matrix - The Movie, ended where it did. The makers realising the enormous potential of the huge hit decided there was more money to be made and worked out some ill-conceived plot, offcourse nobody knows what it is, you have to watch The Matrix Revolutions to find out, which goes by the name of The Matrix Reloaded. Offcourse every Matrix fan is going to go back to the theatres to see the second helping of Matrix (just like i did) and because this movie leaves you in limbo you have to go back and see the Matrix Revolutions to see what it is all about anyway.

It might well turn out that the second part of Matrix (which has been split into 2 movies as reloaded & revolutions) has a tight plot and great fun, but frankly i am quite dismayed at the fruitlessness of this movie. extremely disappointing and disingenious way of ripping off the hard-earned bucks off the matrix fans.

shame on you guys!

the movie in itself offers a glimpse of a plot which hopefully will be 'unraveled' in revolutions. the action scenes were boring and repetitive, honestly i was quite tired of the multiple agent smith stunt scenes. pointless. monica bellucci is the real payoff, she looks devastatingly beautiful. and offcourse we are going to believe that hte episode with her was there for a real reason, whether it is true or not we will know come december. the highway stunt scene was the only bit of excitement in the movie. stil the movie had enough going for it, just wish that reloaded n revolutions was put together in one movie so i wasnt getting ripped off.

a disgraceful 5!
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9/10
extraordinarily atmospheric horror classic!!
19 April 2003
super!! roman polanski has got it down perfectly in this engrossing thriller. the build up is beautiful, suspenseful, sparse movements, slow but sterady mounting of the thrills establish this movie as a masterpiece in the thriller horror genre.

mia farrow looks fetching and her expressions are a delight, ruth gordon ofcourse thoroughly desrving of her oscar.

the movie in its psycho analytical viewing is a beautiful account of motherhood. but lets just leave that nonsense aside and hail it for the horror classic that it is. dont miss this one.

a chilling 9!
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Bad Boys (1995)
3/10
juvenile and pretty stupid
9 March 2003
why martin lawrence, will smith, the police chief and everyone else in this movie at like theyve all had a little too much sugar is beyond me. they seem to be screaming and shouting at each other and themselves right through the movie without much purpose.

a grand total of 2 funny scenes, amounting to 7 seconds of laughter. there have been funnier and smarter movies. give this scream fest a pass

a juvenile 3!
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Three Kings (1999)
9/10
brilliant and touching satire!
2 February 2003
most satires are scathing. this one is. few satires are moving. this one is.

Three Kings is one of the best war satires ive seen. Brilliantly funny, Heart wrenchingly tragic, Bloodily violent and mind bendingly intelligent. Three Kings is a standout movie. A movie that takes a dark stark look at mankind, its wars, its idiocy and its greatness. The movie restores faith in humanity. The problem with most hollywood war movies is that it is so mind numbingly patriotic, that it is nauseating. while the heroes of the movie are american, so are the villains. turns out the real heroes are the ones with hearts.

clooney gives his usual performance, same expressions, but they work. wahlberg is effective, as are ice cube & surprisingly spike jonze too. The star of the movie is david russell's excellent and gripping direction. a must watch for war movie buffs and everyone who loves a good human story. this movie takes a great stark look at war, while managing to be intellectual and funny.

A completely entertaining 9!!
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Dahan (1998)
9/10
brilliant expose of middle class indian morality!!
1 February 2003
in dahan, crossfire, rituporno ghosh weaves a brilliant movie with a screenplay that is as good as any that ive seen. the movie's premise is evocative - a bunch of ruffians try to molest a newly wed woman, while amny pass by one offer to help, until a brave young teacher infuriated by what she sees, turns on the men and saves the girl. all this happens in the first 20 minutes of the film, the next 2 hours is about how various people react to the incident and the scandal it brings to the family reputation, the newly-wed, her husband, her in-laws, her parents. the brave young teacher, her parent, her grandmopther with whom she shares a special bond, her brother who idolizes her.

this multitude of characters each add depth to the screenplay that is a brilliant insight into indian middle moralities and what is justice, bravery, right and wrong, morals, crime, punishment and so on. while all this might have been too much in the hands of weaker men, the director thanks to the excellent screenplay manages to make sure there is enough on the plate without it brimming over. a deeply moving film, with sparks of bright wit, intelligence and underlayed realism that shines like a beacon.

it is movies like these from india that should be showcased on the global scene. not nonsense like devdas(2002).
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8/10
pleasantly funny!!
29 January 2003
kiss me goodbye is a pleasantly funny romantic comedy, that manages to be romantic without getting into the mush that most movies of this genre fall into. the movie, naturally credits from the solid performances of sally fields, james caan & jeff bridges.

the plot premise is an oft-used one, but the creditable performances with a lot of charm and verve makes it a treat to watch. while the movie isnt laugh out funny for a long part, it definitely keeps the corners of your mouth in an upward curve for the most part.

a leave your worries at the door and park your brains and watch movie.

a very pleasantly funny 8!!
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Forward! (2002)
8/10
simple, elegant & charming socio-political commentary
29 November 2002
Screened at the International Film Festival, Mumbai conducted by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI)

Plot Synopsis: 2 School Boys, Best friends. One's Father is a communist party secretary, the other is an anti-communist quiet rebel. What happens when they both begin to fall in love with the teacher of their troublesome kids.

Review: Forward is a cute little movie that captures the attention of its audience by keeping the spirit of the movie light-hearted despite dealing with a seemingly heavy theme.

the actors perform competently and bring warmth to the characters, but the director steals the show with excellent portrayal of seemingly mundane scenes.

The movie is pleasantly engaging, not very demanding but worth a quiet evening's watch.

A pleasant 8!
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9/10
beautiful fairy tale ...
28 November 2002
Buddhadeb Dasgupta's "Tale of a Naughty Girl"

Screened at the International Film Festival, Mumbai by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images.

Plot Synopsis: A prostitute decides to sell her young teenage daughter to a rich old man, so they can escape the bleakness of their lives. But the young girl who has been to school wants to pursue studies. All this unfolds against the backdrop of News of Man's First Trip to the Moon reaching the sleepy village.

Review:

Poetry and beauty against the harsh reality of prostitution. Uplifting hope and innocent beauty in the world of perversion and denigration. And a touching, inspiring metaphor. These are the elements that come together to make this stunningly simple, touching movie.

The story revolves around the idyllic beauty of the indian country side and the harsh ugliness of its brothel. The characters are mostly predictable but the sensitivity with which they are portrayed makes it a delight to watch. The Kind Hearted driver, the dirty old man, his yes-man, the prostitute who knows her time as a young femme fatale is at teh end of the tether, the donkey that always gives the truthful answer .... all make excellent characters in this tale that is woven like a fable. The protagonist is the

little girl who dreams of acquiring knowledge, what seems unattainable to her ... the metaphoric comparison with Man setting foot on the Moon. All of these beautiful elements make a sensitive movie that fills your heart and is completely uplifting.

The beautiful camera work, the lilting music, convincing performances and deft direction make this movie a delight to watch.

A charming 9!!
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Let's Talk (2002)
8/10
Tellingly Real, Great Characterisation
27 November 2002
Seen during the International Film Festival, Mumbai organised by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images

Plot Synopsis: A woman, married for 10 years, has an extra-marital affair and gets pregnant. She debates on whether she should tell her husband and plays out various scenarios in her mind about how he will react to her confession.

Review: Let's Talk is the debut feature film for practically every member of the crew. You wouldnt realise it going by the brilliant performances and gripping screenplay (written by 2 of the cast members, the director and one other screenwriter).

The movie has only 3 characters, the wife, her husband and the friend to whom she confesses. The small cast and crew has given the freedom to explore various angles and situations, bringing out excellent scenarios. One of the best things about the movie is the consistency in characterisation of the lead actors, how the wife when she thinks about her husband's reactions, there is always a certain believability and consistency to his reactions, extreme as they are. this is a very thin line and they have walked it well.

Director Ram Madhvani does a good job of keeping the atmosphere real and intimate. Maia Kartik performs brilliantly as the wife, while Boman Irani's role as the husband is bound to get him popular and critical appreciation.

The highlight of the movie is its screenplay, however this is its minor defect too. the movie is structured entirely like a play and very few cinematic techniques are used to highlight the situations, almost every trick is straight out of theatre.

That apart the music in the movie is a highlight, Ram Sampath does a brilliant job here and as one of India's most talented although little known musicians, heres wishing that he gets adequate recognition for his work here.

In all a movie that is highly recommended for people who like intimate movies that let the audience explore the meaning of love & what happens to relationships over time.

A Gripping 8!
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7/10
Interesting especially for movie trivia lovers
25 October 2002
Nosferatu is a classic movie. Shadow of the vampire is a docu-drama that is in many ways a tribute to the madness surrounding the movie and its legend.

The movie holds a lot of excitement for fans of movie trivia and history especially those who love "horror" movies. Shadow of the Vampire is not in itself a very scary movie thought it does have its moments. the movie is woven around one premise which can best be described as artistic license.

That aside, the movie is artistically and beautifully shot maintaining the tension right through, the standouts are the brilliant performances of willem dafoe & john malkovich. How dafoe did not win the oscar is a surprise to many.

Highly recommended for those who love nosferatu and still worth a watch for all fans of classic horror movies.

A Chilling 7!
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Signs (2002)
10/10
The beauty, the beauty of it all!!
12 September 2002
Warning: Spoilers
What a movie!! Shyamalan scores again with an absolutely riveting thriller. i can totally understand why many people think the ending is disappointing, but for me, this is one of the most poetic, beautiful endings ever. forget the ending though, which by now is the thing that everybody is really looking forward to in a "Night Film".

The movie starts chillingly and stays that way right through, the sustained tension, built up eerily in the most beautiful way. the director proving it is not what one sees but the unknown and the unseen that is truly scary. using it to great effect, we hardly get to see any aliens, alien space-ships or anything of that kind for 95% of the movie.

the performances are simply brilliant, the kids deserving special mention. manoj shyamalan himself is very convincing in his cursed role.

i will not say much about the plot, it is pretty well-known. what i will tell you is .... wait!!

*******SPOILERS HEREIN*******

Everybody came to the theatres expecting a scary movie. that they get. another thing evreyone expects is a movie about aliens. how shyamalan uses it as a hook to pull the audience into the theatre and tell a beautiful message at the end deserves high praise. forget the bigger issues of whether god really exists, or whether everything was a coincidence (of course Night answers these questions in his own way in the movie, but it is just a story). it is the beauty of the story and how every single element fits in to make these strange coincidences add up to the Big truth of the existence of God is extraordinary. and this coming from an atheist is quite something indeed.

an absolute must-watch at least once, and for me a few times to soak in the poetic beauty of it all!!

An Exciting, Scary but Beautiful 10!!
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Rope (1948)
8/10
Engaging thriller but the ending fails to convince
3 September 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Hitchcock's nemesis - poor endings strikes here again. but for a few movies like Vertigo, 39 steps and Marnie, most of Hitchcock's films tend to have predictable and straight-jacket endings that do not leave much to be pondered about. Rope which is tremendously gripping and captivating for most of its 80 minutes cold have been an absolute masterpiece if it had been just a little shorter and had the movie ended differently.

that having been said, the performances of almost everyone is brilliant. the script is very taut and the lines are a total treat for lovers of dry wit and humour. apart from offcourse the interesting cinematic style - the real time narration, the long shots and so on.

the movie as terrific as it is fails to become a masterpiece because of it's, as i said before, predictable ending.

here is my take on how the movie "could" have been a masterpiece.

*******SPOILERS HEREIN******

Rope's ending could have been so much more powerful had it been a little more intriguing. my take is that the movie should have ended before rupert sees what is inside the chest. he does not know for absolutely sure what happened, but there is a tacit suggestion that he has a very good clue, especially with the "rope" in his hand and with brandon's expression. rupert leaves the house then and the movie ends. what happened? maybe rupert went and informed the cops. maybe he did not, maybe brandon got away. or maybe rupert went away to plot brandon's downfall in his own evil way. this open ending would have left it open and upto the viewer to take a mind-trip. the beauty of art!!
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Traces of Red (1992)
4/10
horribly pretentious
23 August 2002
a movie that attempts to be far smarter than its makers are capable of producing. the movie twists and turns through miriad plot "surprises" at a desperate attempt to kep the audience guessing, offcourse puncturing the "plot" with steamy scenes they thought would help it along.

james belushi is involved in this pseudo-intellectual attempt and just sleep walks through the movie. the same applies for the other "actors". the plot is quite silly and tacky. whih in itelf is not such a crime, but towards the end, the tremendous plot-twists get very tiresome and boring.

however, the movie does manage to generate some interest in the middle. in all worth a lazy watch on a really boring day, but don't fret if you miss this one.

a rather lame 4!
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Mr. Wonderful (1993)
7/10
pleasantly romantic and enjoyable
15 August 2002
this is a passive movie by ace director anthony minghella, the movie has an awesome star cast and they all give competent performances early in their careers.

the movie does not have much of a plot and though the story seems veers to a cliched and predictable end, there are enough minor twists that abound in the movie, making it quite an enjoyable watch. the standout features of the movie include its tight script, terrific lines and smart performances.

the plot in itself is no great shakes but this movie is a fun watch for a relaxed evening.

an enjoyable and pleasant 7!
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Chasing Sleep (2000)
7/10
psychological babble ...
2 June 2002
chasing sleep is a deftly made albeit extremely slow paced movie about an insomniac coming to grips with his wife's infidelity and consequent disappearance. jeff bridges as college professor ed saxon portrays a grim picture in this psychological drama. his meagre touch with the outside world gets slimmer as the thread of reality frays and he is faced with possible mental & psychological illnesses. none of these are blatantly put across, they are all subtly interwoven in the plot and the characters' contacts with the detective, the lonely student, and the support group adviser.

it is perhaps a more ambiguous movie than most people will be comfortable with, but fans of ambiguous themes which provide a lot of scope for introspection, deeper analysis and understanding of characters and themes will enjoy this psychologically deft movie.

the director uses various themes like repeated interruptions through the phone and the door-bell to accentuate the character's plight, in dealing with his faulty drainage and plumbing at home. but what caused it? is everything what it seems? is the professor an ordinary man suffering from anxiety or is there more to him? ... questions not all of which are answered. this movie is worth the effort for those who like heavy movies.

points docked for slow pace and absolute lack of accessibility for the average viewer.

a deft 8!
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8/10
Weird, but wonderful!!
30 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
this movie is totally whacky and wonderful, forget the metaphysical, philosophical meanings and everything else. this is one very hilarious movie. the plot is quirky, but what stands out are the brilliant lines, great situations and absolutely outstanding acting.

****spoilers herein****

john malkovich is totally mindblowing, when he plays craig schwartz, you see john cusack and not malkovich. truly brilliant. catherine keener has the most attractive role and she does full justice, cameron diaz in a deglamorized role shines.

apart from the acting, the quirky movie is radiant with brilliant humor that makes one laugh out loud. the weirdness of the situations get more and more complex and are very well handled by the director spike jonze. this movie has a terry gilliam feel to it, without going totally overboard. the plot gets quite absurd, but honestly, i didnt care. it was a fun movie. weird, yes, but wonderful.

a quirky 8!
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7/10
the magic of the book is impossible to capture
15 May 2002
peter jackson has done an outstanding job in interpreting lotr for the big screen. by itself, the movie is probably a 9 pointer. but having read the book there is nothing new, and nothing can compare to the freedom of ones own imagination. despite this, lotr is a wonderfully crafted movie and the casting is brilliant.

i had a lot of dificulty with the way many complex characterisations could not be captured on the big-screen. but the best thing about the movie is that it will drive many people to go ahead and maybe read the book and experience the magical worl created by tolkien. this is as good as mythology gets.

as far as the movie is concerned, it was wonderfully crafted. conveying the complex history of the ring and its many bearers. my favorite performance was from cate blanchett as galadriel, she truly seemed to understand the character and her voice was simply perfect. just the way i imagined galadriel would sound. another pleasant surprise was the beautiful cinematography, the locales were outstanding and a visual treat. i just wish that gollum had a speaking character, guess we will just have to wait for "he two towers". i just am crazy about gollum's way of speaking. its very captivating :)

on the whole a terrific movie. there is absolutely no scope for complaint, save the fact that the characterisation is just not as intricate as in the book. for instance gimli is a much more sincere and nice dwarf, than what the movie shows him to be. oh! and legolas was really well cast too.

if you havent read the book it would be great. but for me having read the book, it just doesnt match up.

a 7 is all it will get
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5/10
pathetic and silly storyline, but well executed
7 May 2002
wesley snipes delivers one more mindless action movie. they are not so bad in themselves the problem with this one is that it pretends to have some sense. the whole movie defies believability. the plot is outrageously stupid.

having said that if you're willing to sit through all that, this movie is a lot of fun, the action scenes are quick to come, they dont keep you waiting too long and they are fast and well executed. dont ask any questions (you wont get answers in this movie). just another mindless well-made fast action flick.

a mediocre 5!
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Goodbye Lover (1998)
7/10
surprisingly passable entertainment
6 May 2002
okay, firstly i have to admit i goofed up big time. the screenplay to this movie is co-written by a certain joel cohen. i in my half bored-to-death stupor thought it was joel coen of fargo, hudsucker proxy and o! brother fame. so i decided to watch this movie on t.v the other day.

the movie though is surprisingly not so bad, it is a silly little crime thriller (?) or a smart little dark comedy ... or somewhere in between, doesnt matter. the fact of the matter is that the plot is quite unbelievable and silly, but thee are enough interesting twists coming at you all the time, that it doesnt seem so bad at all.

have a little patience and you might well be rewarded in watching this quirky little movie. give it a shot, it aint all that bad. patricia arquette is a total miscast as the femme fatale, very unconvincing. ellen degeneres is quite funny (rude, yes. but funny still) the rest of the cast just fills up the numbers in this not so bad dark comedy / light thriller

a mildly entertaining 7!
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8/10
good psychological thriller marred by a few cliches
6 May 2002
the hand that rocks the cradle was a very gripping psychological thriller, there is hardly any action or violence in the movie till the very end. the suspense and the thrills are at a very psychological level and this is what makes this movie rise above the ordinary, rebecca de mornay as the psychologically imbalanced nanny is terrific. the script was surprisingly good for a large part and the thrills were built up very convincingly.

there is obviously a lot of situations that defy belief, but with a little suspension of disbelief, they can be accepted. the cast is ordinary, and the performances of the young couple was very amateurish, as also the performance of ernie hudson as the mentally challenged person.

this movie would have been a lot more thrilling and dark and satisfying if it had not towards the end fallen in a whole deluge of cliches and predictable lame movie ending traps. call me sick, but i think the movie would have been far better with a darker ending.

on the whole a thrilling 8!
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Chicken Run (2000)
7/10
funny and engaging but nothing original
5 May 2002
chicken run was yet another funny and engaging little animated movie in a long series of such movies ever since pixar's toy story became a runaway hit. chicken run though fails to come up with an original and gripping plot. despite an interesting premise of a prison escape from the point of view of chickens, the plot fails to hold one's interest for long. having said that, the rest of the movie is engaging and very funny. forget the cliches relax, dont expect anything original and you will love this cute comedy.

chicken run has terrific production values and is extremely slick and smartly made. the script is fast and funny, naturally mel gibson does a capable job but so does julia sawalha as ginger and the 2 rats are hilarious too :)

watch the movie with kids, or just by yourself too ... not as good as the toy story series, but pretty good in itself.

a cute and funny 7!
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9/10
excellent and gripping
5 May 2002
phew!! what a gripping movie. brian de palma one of the masters of the whole gangster flick scene pulls off this stunner. easily among the best in the genre. the untouchables is a really tight and slick movie. i dont much care for historical accuracy in movies. well, thats why its called a movie, truth be damned.

kevin costner is good, but obviously the scene stealer is robert de niro in his small but devastating role as al capone. why sean connery won the best supporting actor oscar will remain a surprise. except for the fact that malone is pretty much the people's hero in the movie.

technically the movie is streets ahead of de palma's hard-hitting scarface and being told from the side of the good guys makes it maybe more fun to watch, more acceptable, if you will. the costume, the music, the cinematography, the editing everything is incredibly slick and all these terrific production values come together in a very slick manner.

apart from these, the script is what really steals the show, it is very tight, just the right amount of humour and ruthlessness. there are many obvious references to past classics. particularly the staircase scene a retelling of the classic scene form battleship potempkin is brilliantly done. brian de palma later uses a similar scene - stairway in the station in his other classic movie carlito's way quite effectively as well.

but this is the movie when all of brian de palma's tricks became treats. the movie where everything gels perfectly, forget historic accuracy, nobody goes to a movie to study history, this is a terrific retelling of an interesting historic episode.

a tight and slick 9!!
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