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The Big Sick (2017)
Another boring and predictable love story, this time with a Pakistani person in it.
To paraphrase the leading actress of the movie, "You know that yawning thing that happens when you watch a really boring film? That happened." A lot.
Like a sociopathic child dragging it's torn and half eaten teddy, I too was dragged along to see this movie by my significant other, whose depiction of the film was roughly of "a struggle for acceptance by an interracial couple in the west." Unfortunately, this film was only barely that.
Yes, he is Pakistani. Yes, he is in a not-so-hot interracial relationship. Yes, he seems to be rebelling against the stereotypical beard wearing, head bobbing, rice eating, Urdu speaking family he appears to be a member of, but the depiction seem to stop there.
Firstly, the acting, like watching Bruce Forsyth perv on the dancing on ice girls, was just barely tolerable through all the cringe worthiness and specifically the casting of Zoe Kazan was just plain wrong. I really didn't enjoy watching her; she can barely deliver dialogue, she looked awkward and gaunt the whole time (even when she was well) and there was no chemistry on screen with either Kumail or her on-screen parents. The argumentative scenes were poorly dialogued and seemed too hyperbolic and forced and just showed what an awful actor she is.
Coming onto the story itself, it's basically a story of a Pakistani stand-up comedian whose white girlfriend falls sick, gets better and then everyone is happy - with very little of interest in between. The pathetic little in-depth exploration of cultural differences and intra-customary variations were only ever skid marks on the undies of revelation and portrayed as quippy stereotypes and cheap gags. For example *Pakistani accent* "why don't you grow a beard like your brother" and "oh, Mrs 'whoever' was just driving by and dropped in" (don't forget to roll the R's). Additionally, every brown character in the movie seemed to have a Pakistani accent despite them telling us some were USA born and bred - again this points to the forced and farcical nature of the approach to humour in the movie.
Furthermore, if you've read any of my previous reviews, you'll know I detest medical inconsistencies in movies. I'm sorry but one minute Emily has a chest infection (for which she would have received some anti-inflammatories at some point - I'll come onto why this is important in a minute) and the next minute she's so unwell she's materialised five jargon jabbering Jar Jar Binks style doctors and needs urgent surgery (for god knows what - she had no indication a second ago of empyema/pleural effusion etc and I'm sorry but I've not really heard of just cutting an infection out of someone's lung, even TB isn't managed like that these days!) Then hey presto, Dr House obviously came along and matched the swollen ankle tid-bit from earlier with her apparent "inconclusive biopsy" (again - Huh?) and came up with Adult Onset Still's Disease. Her condition then rapidly improved the minute they gave her some anti-inflammatories - which dare I say she would have got in the ER the minute she walked through the door for her apparent chest infection, so, none of this medical mumbo-jumbo would have happened anyway! Really, if they wanted me to care about her medical condition they should have focused and put some effort into getting the details accurate, because apparently it may actually have happened exactly like that, if this movie really was based on a true story.
However, regardless if the medicine was accurate or depicted well, like an impending meteor the rubbish that ensued whilst Emily was unconscious had already sealed this movie's fate. An obligatory 9-11 related scene could never go amiss here, the bombing out on stage (excuse the pun), the pointless screaming at a PA system over 4 slices of cheese and the overall boring conversations just left me feeling sleepy. I have no idea why the story then suddenly waffled on about Emily's parent's marital issues - what on earth did that have to do with the price of chips?
Overall, this movie picked a great topic to explore but failed miserably at exploring it. The focus here should have been on delving into Pakistani culture, how the second generation are adapting it into Western Culture and how both generations are dealing with this paradigm shift. This should have been a film about Kumail's and Emily's parents bonding and accepting each other's cultures through the eyes of their children, especially as Emily battles for her life. This could have been a movie about the younger American-Indian/Pakistani/whatever generation teaching the older generations of their identity struggle, how they strive to fit into both worlds and how the older generation need to change to be more accepting of this brave new world. Yet, instead this was a film about cheesy quips, borderline racist stereotypes and just the usual white people issues and pointless yelling, boiling down to just being another boring chick-flick type romance movie with some basic comedic moments.
Watch Bend It Like Beckham, East is East, Marigold Hotel or even Bride and Prejudice *sigh* if you expect more exploration of cultural differences. This is barely watchable. 6/10 as the funny bits are funny.
The best stories are true stories
After hearing everything from, "don't watch this movie it's too depressing, it'll ruin your day" to "I cried all the way through it, what a great movie!" I was thoroughly confused about what to expect with this one. I hadn't seen a trailer and other than the few comments from friends I had nothing else to go on. Let's just say I'm glad I went to see it!
The film is a touching story of a lost boy, his adoption and his journey through the first half of his life. Played by child actor Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel this portrayal of a true story was impeccable. The direction, cinematography, locations, costumes and music were spot on. At times I felt like I was actually there, with little Saroo lost on the train tracks searching for home on a journey through India, in locations very similar to what I would call home too.
Like I said, I loved how real the story felt. Growing up in the 80's - the styles, furniture, hair, clothing and the "there's this new thing called Google Earth!" moment felt incredibly nostalgic and relatable. I could easily relate to little Saroo as I would have been roughly the same age and we spent a lot of time on local Indian transport in those days! As a child of immigrants, I could feel Saroo's confusion and the internal battle of growing up different in an alien world.
My only gripe with the movie was the poorly fleshed out love story section, but this is understandable given 1hr 58mins had to squeeze in a story spanning 25 or so years. The initiation of the Rooney Mara's character felt cheesy and more typical of an embarrassing low budget 80's Bollywood movie. Saroo actually gives Lucy "the look" - reminded me of Chunky LaFunga from Goodness Gracious Me!! I believe there were literally two scenes where one minute they were in bed and the next they were breaking up in the street with the cliché "you deserve better than me" line and then somehow they were semi-clothed and semi-friends and in bed again - huh? The timeline at this point felt confusing and immersion breaking and left me feeling jaded. It could easily have been left out as Lucy didn't have any real impact on Saroo's life, past the point of planting the seed to hunt for his parents. I think they should have portrayed her as just a concerned friend without the need to elevate her to girlfriend status and abandoned her character at the "friends chilling" scene.
The remaining cast were as spectacular as their peers. Nicole Kidman's portrayal of the adoptive mother was as powerful, realistic and as touching as Priyanka Bose's portrayal of Kamla and Divian Ladwa played the disturbed adoptive brother wonderfully!
This movie wasn't just the typical "boy on a journey to find his past" Hollywood-style B-movie that I'm so bored to death of watching and it had none of the pompous and over-exaggerations we're also so fed up of from Hollywood-style movies. This movie was an exploration of the challenges of adoption not only from the child's perspective but the adoptive parents' too.
Not only did they manage to explore Saroo's story but also touch beautifully on the difficulties some children experience with adoption. Here the story became gritty, the raw emotion and isolation was tangible as we know this is an experience shared by many adopted children. Other themes explored included estrangement from ones lands (which is apt considering it's an Australian movie) and the internal identity crisis of immigrants, whilst highlighting issues of Indian corruption, failure of government systems, the railway children, language barriers and interracial relationships.
Overall, this is a layered and deep movie, definitely one to watch multiple times. Finally, watch the movie if only to answer the question, "how did they get the title for this movie?"
Yet another embarrassment to the credibility of Bollywood on the world stage
Crying babies, heckling Indians and a pointless love story made this cinema experience a true waste of time. But it's Shah Rukh Khan? I hear you say, you're a fan aren't you!? As much as this may be true, it is also true that no level of masala, charisma or unnecessary parading of porn stars could have saved this movie from it's own certain failure. Like cycling through shards of glass this movie literally only got through the first few minutes before it's tyres exploded and the viewer fell nose first into the chaos of broken bottles, blood and mangled metal that represent the disorder of this production.
Sure, the film does start with a cutesy story of a poor boy growing up with his mother (I don't remember seeing a father either) unable to afford basic amenities and grafting to make a living in an otherwise sleepy little town in the "dry state" of Gujarat, India. However, this is like praising your dog for soaking only one cushion when he's gone and defiled on the couch! So, naturally following this, the now mandatory Bollywood "shirtless ripped male" scene heralded forth nothing but boredom and frustration coupled with an irrelevant heroine role and extraneous songs which left most of the audience either playing catch in the cinema hall (that's Indian kids for you) or half asleep or playing with their phones.
Like the inevitable consequences of drinking a bottle of laxatives on an empty stomach, there was a direct correlation between the number of spectacles SRK wore and the directions the movie took. I'm not sure if this was the production team's way of adding intrigue/suspense or whatever or just their way of proving that having nausea and explosive diarrhoea at the same time is not a feeling you'd want on a Tuesday.
I think SRK must have tried hard to make this ridiculous script work; he did pull out all his usual repertoire of signatures moves - the on screen cry, the slow motion walk, the floppy hair with a headband and the wet hair, the close up on the red teary eyes, the growling angry voice, oh and of course the six pack - so you can't blame him for not giving it his best shot.
The most notable performance was of course Atul Kulkarni - calm, immersive and genuine as always. Whereas, Mahira Khan clearly had the most pathetic excuse for being on screen - literally not a word she spoke was required for story progression and her presence should have been exclusively edited out.
Some quick fire irritations for the ADHDs amongst us:
- the story felt forced to move towards the predictable eventuality of this kind of movie (an ending so perfectly established by the likes of Sanjay Dutt and Vivek Oberoi in their classics of this kind).
- I didn't realise Indians had invented the silent shotgun - it looks and works and even has audible sound effects like your usual Fisher Price shotgun but no one but you can hear it go off
- The Indian parkour looked cool for a second but then very quickly tumbled into the realms of 1980's South Indian trampolining and hilariously unrealistic string work.
- There were a number of 'green screen' moments that were about the same quality as those used in chitty chitty bang bang
- I didn't know SRK was immune to tear gas maybe the USA army should be testing him?
- Finally, hold on no one noticed 5 huge boats go by?? What about the beating in the drive-in cinema?? Surely, someone saw SRK walking out of the club covered in blood?!?!? Surely?!?!?
Overall, the story was forced and superficial and felt like they'd thrown 7 stories in a blender and put them together again as one. The police and politicians came across lame (and unrealistically corrupt with Nawazuddin Siddiqui representing the only straight cop in all of Gujarat), the fight scenes were dull and almost on a timer, the love story, the baby thing, the tea thing, the glasses thing and even the constant transferring of the main police dude were all inconsequential to story progression and felt gimmicky.
Seriously, this video felt like a pure money maker, with no heart or soul whatsoever. Maybe the producers had tax reasons to make it? Maybe this was just a hideous excuse to introduce a terrible Mahira to a wider audience? Or maybe SRK just wanted to show that he'd maintained his six pack since the days of Om Shanti Om? Who knows
At least three things haven't changed in Indian cinema; the use of toy guns (doesn't the sound they still make take you back to the 90's?), the use of ketchup and the same bullet hole technology irrespective of if you're shot with a shotgun or pistol and lastly, the time it takes for the hero to die - roughly a full 10 minutes of screen time.
Time for bed.
Nostalgia only goes so far
Like a never ending tube of toothpaste the star wars franchise just never stops giving and this episode was no exception. Its minty fresh goodness left a lovely taste in my mouth and a smile on my face as my buddies and I left the movie theatre, which these days I feel is becoming quite the rarity.
The movie did well to combine cakey nostalgic goodness with a sprinkling of a few fresh ideas. The return of Han, Chewy, C3PO and co. worked well with new characters Finn, Rey, and Poe. Together with the Millennium Falcon and numerous homages to bygone characters this truly felt like an episode that belonged in the series.
Although the beginning set up a fairly predictable and basic storyline, I loved how it played out. The dodgy predator-style-face-branded storm trooper losing his nerve and the sand dwelling poor metal scavenger girl, felt like familiar Disney characters whilst sticking within the rendering of past movies. Daisy Ridley (as Rey) is sublime and reminded me of a girl version of young Anakin Skywalker, you know that sand dwelling poor metal scavenger (pod racing) boy. Poe on the other hand is a badass Zoro- super-pilot (who can fly anything) with awesome Red Arrows style aerial combat scenes that left me whipping my fingers like Ali-G.
The remainder of the movie has more familiar space battles, beautiful scenic planets, strange species' hanging out in a bar, holograms and weird bad guys in husky-voice inducing masks and is thoroughly entertaining (with just the right amount of 80's cheesy jokes) and absorbing all the way through. Basically a movie I'd highly recommend (and if you don't want to know the bad stuff you can stop reading now, but then again ).
Unfortunately, the teat of nostalgia can only feed for so long and so this also becomes the movie's greatest flaw. The plot felt lazy, the bad guy was basically a sloppy Darth with a bigger Death Star (penis envy much?) and the death of Han felt like a mandatory plot twist that was so obviously predictable my friend and I whispered it to each other at the same time 3 mins before it happened!
Why did R2D2 just randomly wake up 10 mins before the end of the film? And why is "he" the only one with a map of the galaxy to hand? surely if they have speed of light travel they have Google maps? If he had done that when BB8 first came to say hello *sigh* seemed like a loose end they turbulently tied up before the end of the film. I would have much rather they left that loose and picked it up and developed it as a full arc in the next movie. Also, how does the untrained sand dwelling poor metal scavenger girl beat a highly trained Sith in a Lightsaber battle!? How does she just suddenly HAVE the Jedi mind trick when she wakes up one morning (all shackled to her bed)? How did Ren not sense Han's presence? Was it just me or did anyone else think Ren was like a teenage boy who missed his (grand) daddy and had serious anger issues (I mean talk about throwing his toys out of the cot/at his computers!)?
Lastly, did anyone else think General Hux's speech before the attack on the Hosnian Star system seemed very Nuremberg Rally-esque The Red and black flags in the background, troops all lines up in front, the Führer like screaming and close-ups in his dodgy uniform and to top it all off the Nazi-style salute at the end of it?? I'm not sure if that was what they were going for
I loved the aesthetic of the movie, it looked great, the music was engrossing, costumes were impeccable and the 3D was smart (I actually found myself dodging and swerving a few times!). My friend joked that this movie (like most movies touting the illusion of political correctness today) was basically just episode four with girls, old people and a black guy and perhaps the next one will have some Asians and a disabled character too, but I disagree. I think the casting was great, well thought out and each actor played his or her role brilliantly and believably.
Overall, I left feeling like I'd spent my money well (I actually managed to get a discount off my ticket too!). I really enjoyed the movie and would recommend it. If you haven't seen the others then watch them in the Machete order and then watch this, I think you'll really enjoy it! So, here's to eagerly awaiting episode VIII where hopefully Finn will be the new Han Solo and Ray will probably be related somehow to Anakin/Luke Skywalker/Leia/Hans/Ren &/or Jar-Jar just kidding.
Not even close to cigar
I felt like Homer Simpson during this movie, I thought I was so close to making it across the gorge (on my metaphorical skateboard) but now after having my second thought I find myself suddenly plunging once again to the depths of cinematic failure and disappointment; Doh! I mean when did both Bond and his villains suddenly become such apron clutching delinquents who start bed wetting the moment they find out Santa isn't real?
My real problem with the movie was predictability. Right from the outset the story had holes wider than the pretty boy inmate we all love and like my friend with OCD you knew what would happened next. The story goes from capturing a hard drive to Bond on vacation to a terrorist plot to protecting M – all plot lines which were tossed aside like last night's left overs! Peppered with poor attempts at being techy (sorry Sheldon, Raj, Howard and Lenard), gloomy shots of a London summer and some old Scottish fart living in the shadows I was pretty bored for much of it. And we all knew he didn't pass the tests! Off course the baddie escapes his Hannibal lecter prison cage! Obviously "years of planning" is never enough (the bad guy still gets it wrong)! 'Woman in shower' always equals 'Bond infiltrating unthreateningly from behind' (I always get a squeal and a slap when I try), I mean bond is like a fungal nail infection – it never really dies, so stop trying to convince us he has!
Everyone who watches bond watches it for 3 reasons: 1) the bond girl 2) the larger than life eccentric villain and 3) gadgets. This movie really had none of these! It's sad that they actually make a point of being gadget-less! What happen to the good ol' days when Bond always ended in bed with the girl? Where are the villains who want to take over the world, start WW3, have a satellite sun ray gun thingy, metal teeth, killer hats and a fluffy pussy (cat)? Instead we have to put up with a whiny, homo-erotic, Boris Johnson lookalike who has a fetish for computers (is that supposed be Mendes' attempt at bringing Bond into the 21st century?) and likens himself to a rat – and boy does he have mummy issues...
I guess if you look at this film as a memento to the 50 years of Bond it actually does okay. The old school Bond cheese always makes me smile, the endless references to the old movies, the half-baked desperately intertwined story lines (from old Bonds) and the return of a certain iconic gadget we all loved and wanted to one day own (once we'd grown up and had enough money) do give it a nostalgic feel and made me want to go home and start an old school Bond marathon.
All in all I think this movie had the ingredients for being something special, instead it's special like how you tell the dumb kid in class that he's "special". The nostalgia was great but the plot holes and 'M for mother' feel in the movie left me bewildered like the armless man with a spare watch
By the way, where did that hard drive go?
Poor acting, filthy, predicable and boring – basically a poorly made female hangover
Last week I was blackmailed into sitting through this chick flick which I'd heard (from guys and girls I thought I trusted) was "hilarious", but the fact that the opening scene almost made me hurl my face off, paved the way for yet another predictably awful cinema experience. I sat through the movie secretly making notes on my Android, got home, sat down to write this review and thought "where do I start?" and that's when I realised, "when suddenly it becomes difficult to write a review on a movie I hated, I know I've hit an all time favourite" (or not, as it may seem).
The story basically follows a bride and her bridesmaids as they try and make it from engagement to marriage and for one reason or another "things don't pan out the way you'd expect" (but actually they do). Refreshingly though, the bride is not protagonist of this movie its one of her bridesmaids; personally I'm bored to death of watching bridezillas! The trailers do a good job making this squashed bike wreck look funny – I smile even now as I watch it again – oops – but believe me when I say those are the only funny moments in the movie.
There's an uncomfortable silent-but-violent odour of "the hangover" all the way through the movie, the character profiles are roughly the same (the frustrated married one, the sensible one, the crazy one and the weird permed one) but throw in rich-lonely-bimbo and closet lesbian and you basically have 99% of womanhood represented in the movie. The other hangover whiffs are: the (wannabe) Vegas hen do, stolen puppies' v stolen baby, missing bride v missing groom.
The acting came across more forced and scripted than an apology from Bart Simpson; most of the humour (ironically) is toilet humour and why oh why is there some limp, flaccid love story in mix? (Oh yeah, it's a chick flick). Again, maybe this is a girl thing, but I didn't understand anything the women said, I felt like I was watching a schizophrenic have a conversation with a pinball machine (maybe my man-brain just switched off as soon as I heard what I thought were women nagging). Why did Matt Lucas humiliate himself doing this gibberish? What was wrong with Chris O'Dowd's American/Irish accent? Was he meant to sound like bipolar, devil possessed Emily Rose with a speech impediment? By far the worst scene in the movie was the speech scene, I was cringing so hard I think I think my Buccinator (the muscle that makes you smile) went into spasm. The best scene in the movie was the street poo scene – again, ironic how toilet humour (ie man humour) got the theatre erupting.
Finally, Melissa McCarthy was brilliant! Although her character was obviously a rip off of Alan from "the Hangover" she played it convincingly and naturally, it's no wonder she is doing great professionally (check out Mike & Molly and we all know she's in Gilmore Girls too). I personally prefer classy, sweet women, so the filthy innuendoes didn't impress me but all in all she's the only thing that makes the movie bearable. Ultimately, I'm an open minded guy ergo most chick flicks I wouldn't actively avoid watching, but this is the clear exception.
p.s. I didn't even talk about the dumb British girl, endless woo girls, Rastafarian Father of the bride (huh?) and the Porsche guy (double huh?)...
7 Khoon Maaf (2011)
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
It's not often you see a Bollywood movie rated on IMDb at 6.8. Now, although that is perilously close to my bare-minimum-for-watchability boundary, for Bollywood I made the exception – and I was glad I did! This altogether dark and mysterious movie of a desperate woman and her fatally unsatisfactory love affairs is both clever and non-repetitive keeping the viewer hooked whilst retaining a sweetness that only Priyanka Chopra can bring. I'm sure there's a Hollywood counterpart somewhere, but I'm well prepared to look past that (not to say I no longer trust Bollywood to be original anymore).
The story starts with a shocker (one you can almost overlook) and the inclination that this will be a forensic style murder mystery movie, but after a rather innocent introduction to the character of Vivaan Shah (Arun Kumar) the movie has its first twist, becoming a story-telling movie about Arun Shah's first love instead. Priyanka Chopra's character from the outset is shown as a dark and mysterious, unhappy, love craving hyena destined to always be dressed in black (and play with snakes) – a role Priyanka played flawlessly – and chronologically tells the story of 6 husbands who initially promised eternal love but after marriage bloomed a fatal flaw, each swiftly dealt with, with the help of her trusty servants.
Essentially the story revolves around one house and its participants, yet Vishal Bhardwaj manages to somehow cleverly squeeze 6 original murders into- and around it – proving that there is more than one way to skin a cat. All the supporting males are fantastic and very well cast, some hailed as giving the best performances of their career. The music is brilliant – from the ponging cheese of "O mama" (and the religious version "O matha!") to the catchiness of Doosri Darling to the romantic epic of Awaara, all giving the viewer the pick and mix variety without the sick aftertaste. A couple of negatives, but by no means deal breakers: 1) the story seems a little slow to start with, seeing the deaths of most of the husbands in the last hour or so. 2) I failed to see where the comedy was – I definitely didn't have any laugh-out-loud moments. 3) This movie doesn't show Indian forensics in a good light, getting the facial recognition stuff HORRIBLY and unconvincingly wrong.
I'm not going to go through the 6 murders, that's for you to watch and enjoy. But, isn't the film called saat (7) Khoon Maaf? Again, a mystery you must watch to find out, although I will say the seventh fashions for a very fitting and crafty ending altogether making you once again side with the murderer. Overall a very clever, dark, multi-layered movie with a sprinkling of Priyanka's unique sweetness making this experience perfect for the movie goer's palate.
Fast Five (2011)
Fast, fun and mindless fury ... once again
I went into this movie expecting the usual; fast cars and hot babes held together with a more than flimsy action-packed story line and Justin Lin seemed to schizophrenically deliver (or did he?). The movie starts with a famously stolen and instantly aggravating "one last job" scene, obviously not something any movie goer can believe in this instance because let's face it who finishes a movie series on its fifth? This movie sees the return of all the usual (and previous) F&F characters and same tricks of the trade we have seen Brian and Dom perfect with all the usual so-called tense last minute escapes Hollywood has rinsed dry, yet still this movie does deserve its 7/10 rating.
How? Rio and the favelas are beautifully shot, the new characters are refreshing and VERY well casted, the vehicles are awesome, although lacking in their usual "bling" quality and the witty humour running through from previous F&F's is a little bonus for fans of the previous movies. Coupled with a sprinkling of nail biting moments and generous helpings of laugh-out-loud moments this testosterone injected movie is no doubt a fun, easy on the mind movie to go and watch.
Unfortunately, like all "fun and easy on the mind" movies, the simplicity of it all becomes very predictable and the same is true for this movie. The story line, although containing a couple of very interesting screws, is essentially like any other heist movie we've all seen before (you already know the conclusion and you always wonder where they magically get all that military level kit from). The fight scenes have obvious outcomes, the alliances of certain characters are openly questionable and the character of Matt Schulze (Vince) is more pointless than jet skiing in your 15 meter, back garden swimming pool.
The UNENDING swarms of mind-blowingly beautiful women and roaring hot cars are haplessly missing in the trial to create a more interesting storyline, which has only lead to needless additions into the story which add nothing to the overall plot. This movie is like a man in his late 20's desperate to become something more yet hold onto his youth and ending up messing up on both fronts. There's a token nitrous moment amidst the scores of needless carnage and overflowing testosterone levels from the tanking cast and developments in Brian and Mia's relationship add nothing to the story.
Overall, the movie is enjoyable but lacks the zing of maybe the first two. It falls short of a modern day epic man-movie like the "expendables" and clearly lacks the strong storyline and acting prowess of a brilliant modern day heist movie like "the bank job". Saying that, it would still be a shame to miss this movie.
Peepli (Live) (2010)
An exciting cinematic roller-coaster with a serious message to portray.
I actually saw this movie a few months ago but the unfortunately it has take this long for the hot happy genius juice of this movie to evaporate off my face! So, now that I'm back I must honestly say/type that if ever there was a cinematic roller-coaster of a movie has got to be it! Right from the word "go" this movie is pure bulimic genius, simultaneously purging out humour whilst also exposing the sorry state of India today.
This movie exposes the truly schizophrenic situation of normal Indian farmers today, where suicide has become a logical option for those desperate enough to save themselves from debt. So why is this a must see movie? The simplicity of this message and the realistic portrayal of it are the pillars which hold up this stairway to heaven with the cast and dialogue as the lukewarm banisters that support you all the way up to moist cinematic bliss. The hilarity comes once the media is involved in this ordinary man's predicament. Like vultures to a carcass the media flock upon Natha's home and village and everyone (including politicians) is desperate to spin to the story for their own corrupted gains.
Omkar Das plays the cowardly, scared Natha very convincingly and Raghuvir Yadav is as brilliant as ever and I'm going to stop my brown nosing of the cast there as everyone already knows how great they all were! Let's talk about something else, like say the stupidity and desperation of the media to make absolutely ANYTHING news – even a pile of human excrement! Classic Indian thinking if you ask me. Or the politicians involved – some representing lower cast issues, some representing the state in general behaving like pant wetting 40-60 year old virgins commanding Natha to, or not to die! The absolute commotion of the movie leaves the viewer truly mesmerised and shocked like when you see a quadruple amputee with no eyes destroy tony hawks on the half pipe (well, he may just have 2 thumbs and 2 fingers missing!)
Aamir has received some stick for not making this movie as blazingly inspiring as Rand De Basanthi for example, but personally I don't want to see a Bollywood version of a "one-man-saves-the-world/India" Hollywood movie! I mean we all know that a) I generally despise the pretentiousness of Hollywood these days and b) we all know what the adulterated child would look like – we've all seen Chiranjeevi's 1985 rendition of thriller in Donga (if not look it up – I guarantee you will scarred for life)! Another point in Aamir's favour is that the exposure of such issues itself should be enough to make people take a stand against them, I doubt the general Indian public are so absorbed by their own rectal mucosa that unless they are instructed to so they have no sense of responsibility for their own country's circumstances.
Overall, this is definitely a movie to go and see, buy on DVD or however you get your movies because like the blind man said to the goat, "I probably won't feel like this again for a while" when its metaphorical sugar coated horn was thrust into his mouth. Finally, I just have to do my impression of the lower caste leader... NATHA MARE GA!! That felt good...
My Name Is Khan (2010)
My name is Shahrukh Khan and I'm a fool for doing this inaccurate, unrealistic propaganda movie
There are many benefits to being bi- (well actually tri-) lingual (*toot toot*), clearly one being the fact that I can torture myself in three different languages and in case you're looking for new effective non- (physically) scarring methods of self harm then this easily replaces your cutting blade. Believe me when I say that I write this review with a metaphorical barbed wire coated weight on my heart (or maybe I'm having a coronary?) because unlike most SRK fans I'm a truly "out of the closet" shameless SRK fan, so watching this Parkinsonian dribble felt more painful than having your nipples twisted by a hungry, death rolling crocodile. From Karan's typical brand love story and the political propaganda message to the whimsical inaccurate use of medical and physical terminology, I felt like a college girl whose innocence was stealthily being robbed by five teenage boys after she's had one too many alcopops.
Let's get to the meat. Firstly, my favourite, the so-called Asperger's syndrome. SRK plays an exceedingly inaccurate; inadequately written character that masterfully tilts towards the "I'm a retard" act whenever Kajol or the US president is looking whilst being otherwise perfectly capable (blame Shibani Bathija for that one). SRK plays dim whilst being completely sociable at times, lacks classic repetitive and restrictive behavioural patterns whilst displaying savant-like qualities and is fully self-reliant, enough so to save a drowning village, report terrorists to the FBI, kill Godzilla single-handedly, find a cure for cancer and oh yes, meet the president.
Secondly, don't think the dastardly attempt at a Hollywood brand propaganda movie went unnoticed! I've always believed that propaganda movies were a Hollywood speciality, subliminally polished and buffed to perfection in order to turn their worldwide audience into stars and stripes loving drones ready to baptise their children in the name of George Bush, but it seems our beloved, potentially gay director Karu has also jumped on that soldier-blood stained bandwagon (I hate bandwagons). Don't get me wrong; the Islamic community is topping my minority ethnic groups of all time top ten, second only to chocolate coated gummy bears, but this was just scandalous to say the least. Why is Rizwan always called Khan (yes, he does have a first name, in case you didn't catch it during the movie)? Why an almighty Muslim guy with "Asperger's," it doesn't add anything to the storyline (neither do the Wilhelmina sections for that matter), an omnipotent Muslim version of SRK's character in Kal Ho Na Ho would have played just as dramatically? Oh... I just remembered this movie is co-produced by FOX entertainment; the propaganda angle suddenly makes more sense...
Positives. The post-911 Islamophobia was very powerfully and accurately depicted, the non-Indian actors could actually act and Kajol looks more beautiful than ever... her mesmerising smile and enchanting laughter coupled with those angelic eyes easily pinch the movie *AHEM* erm, sorry about that...
Overall, this movie is to be avoided, it makes every attempt possible to prove the unmistakable – that autistic people can fix anything. The only way I see this movie existing as anything other than an obtuse illegitimate FOX/Johar creation is if the entire film and PR crew were held at gun point by middle aged Asian and black autistic terrorists dressed in pink jumpers and flip flops compelling Shibani Bathija to succumb to their demands. And did I mention this movie is just too long?
Toy Story 3 (2010)
A fun and cutesy but unfortunately sleep inducing movie, unsuitable for kids
A formula is great thing, it helps you solve complex problems in a simplistic, time efficient manner but unfortunately the same is not true for movie making and once again Pixar has used the same old Toy Story formula of "save my plastic back(side)" in this movie too. A movie which starts pleasantly dims off to a sleep inducing monotone by the end and you find yourself scratching your head thinking "déjà vu" by the middle but because you're in a cinema you keep quiet and lull yourself off into a numb surrender instead.
The movie entrées with the toys all warring with each other and before you gasp in horror and disbelief or question why you realise it's just Andy playing with his toys, probably for the last time since he's going to college soon. The sequence is creative and playful and forces out a chuckle or two, but as soon as it's over things go pear shaped. Queue the separation sequence. Whereas in previous Toys Stories it's one toy lost, everybody save, it seems the bigger budget and new technology has helped Pixar to think outside their box a little, but still only just far enough to keep them still sitting in its shadow. Instead of one toy lost, it's now many toys lost and instead of everybody helps to save one toy lost, it's now one toy saves the playground (so to speak) and hey presto you have your classic Hollywood "one man saves the world" movie, but with toys instead.
The classic characters are all still "real" and believable and no one is missing (which is good), the new toys are also very well done, funny and how you would probably imagine them to be if they were really alive (how cool would that be!). The voiceovers are great and the humans are surprisingly well done too, unlike TS1 and TS2 where detail to them was cunningly skimmed over.
Again, things turn nasty with the introduction of Mr Hitler pink teddy! A predictably kind and wise old ring leader with evil eugenically inspired intentions, the textbook villain for our hero toys to escape from and all the while wholly inappropriate for the young in the auditorium! A quick glance at my neighbours qualified the fact that if this sequence had gone on any longer we would have had a few crying kids on our hands. And the terminator Chucky doll didn't exactly help roses bloom in my heart!
Basically, Pixar has pulled an offensive hand gesture to their target audience on this one and just regurgitated and older toy story with 3D effects. Which on further inspection was shamefully weak and uninspiring anyway; as I have had said before, I don't want to be sitting with my face melting in my hand during a 3D movie, get the audience moving, ducking and dodging! I for one would expect the medium of animation as one which can truly stretch this technology to its limits (again, go watch the 3D show at Thorpe park), seems like Hollywood is fresh out of revolutionaries and there are now none to the likes of the Wachowski Brothers left.
My advice and closing comment, if you are ten or less, you'll be crying watching this so get mummy or daddy to fast forward the scary bits and if you're a parent your nippers will be crying, so fast forward the scary bits, if you're a teenager or anything else you'll probably enjoy this movie, more so if you're tipsy or have an IQ <100.
Another adulterous faecal stain on the slowly diminishing brand of Prince of Persia
Frankly, I'm flabbergasted at the positive reviews bestowed upon this movie, seems like Hollywood is the (anti) Sheppard and the masses are the sheep – well NOT ME! Occasionally, I'll have a happy thought and it happened again a few days ago when I thought, "let me don my happy-go-lucky cap and tinkle skip to the cinema to watch my favourite prince in action." Only to be roundhouse kicked in the face whilst freerunning off the cinema seats by my metaphorical prince representing bafometic Hollywood.
The difficulty is choosing where to begin, so I'll start with the storyline. Prince of Persia (POP) fans will be horrified to know that the storyline is some made-up dribble, an iota of which doesn't follow the game with an opening scene which has a shameless and uncanny resemblance to Disney's Aladdin. Why can't "adaptation" movies just follow the already established and much loved story of its original? Wouldn't that make for easy writing too? Another theft is the "leap of faith" and panoramic cinematic views stolen from the Assassin's Creed games, although like in the game – I loved 'em!
Okay now some positives; the costumes and actors are perfect for their roles. Jake Gyllenhaal (who plays the prince – I'll come back to this bit) plays his role convincingly and has the costume nailed to the "T", but Gemma Arterton (who plays the absolutely divine Princess Tamina) schizophrenically flits between Selene (from underworld), Vicky Pollard and Bridget Jones which is exasperating.
Okay that last bit wasn't really a positive, but oh well, back to what's wrong with this movie. A strange indecision regarding the characters' accents looms throughout the movie! One minute they're (and I'm using plurals because all the characters do it – bar the cockney, Grant Mitchell wannabe merchant guy and the black guy who just mumbles a bit) American and next minute they sound like they work on a market stall selling fruit in the East end of London!
Back to prince himself – firstly, why the silly name "Dastan" (which means "story" in Hindi/Persian/Urdu). Subsection; The Prince has always been known as The Prince. Subsection two; if you ARE desperate to name him, why not something fitting like Kismat (meaning "fate" in Hindi/Urdu). Now the Parkour, OH the parkour, the prince we know effortlessly combines his slick yet daring parkour moves with his neck snapping butt slicing attacks, here he barely moves with grace of a retired nursing home dwelling circus acrobatic these days using a Zimmer frame! As a loving fan I wanted to see more impossible wall runs, at least one ripping slide down a curtain (they took time to tantalise us with a wonderful shot of a carpet on a wall but alas no sliding partook) and especially more matrix style super flips whilst cutting people's heads off! Fight scenes are too fast, short, few and far between that if you blink you'll not see another for 30 minutes, gone are the days movies like The Matrix slowed time to ultra slow-mo showing off every mind-boggling moment so the viewer could savour every moment whilst dribbling uncontrollably on our seats staring exophthalmically at the screen.
In conclusion, this movie is an embarrassment to POP, the storyline is ridiculous and doesn't follow the game, the central element of parkour blended with gratuitous broad sword violence is pretty much absent and every time you start twitching with frustration close to having a seizure they just show you some beautiful scenery or Princess Tamina's illustrious beauty to calm the brewing storm (if not to start another *wink* *wink*).
Advice: watch the trailer and that should be enough to satisfy your carnal needs, anymore and you'll only be disappointed, like when you walked in on your wife and your best friend... or erm something similar!
Strip away the pretty pictures and you're left with a truly worthless waste of money excuse for a movie
Basically a crap film. Don't watch it.
Okay fine, IMDb rules state I can't just give you the short version of my review, so here goes. My angst with this movie began 6 months ago in seriously sexy Hong Kong. After enjoying the day molesting Chinese ladies whilst practicing my Cantonese (by which I mean I almost got date raped and robbed by a septic hooker with a fake sister) I thought, "It would be great to finish off my run-away-with-my-wiener-still-attached-to-me day at a top notch HK cinema, at least I could chill and enjoy a good movie, right?!" WRONG!!
It seemed like the numerous Gods we squabble over these days where having a good old pissy giggle at my expense ERGO I left the cinema feeling like a used tampon – enjoying my little time in heaven's ally just before being drowned in a river of clotted filth with no escape and then being tossed into a bin full of other rotting, swollen, wailing, blood monsters!
Anyone with a brain cell (or should I say a couple of neurones with synapses, axonal sheaths and working nodes of Ranvier...LOOK IT UP!) can tell you this movie was nothing more than a bully showing off his new 3D tricks whilst all the other kids looked up in awe and forgot that he was the bully and started worshiping his long shiny ____!
Essentially if you pulled the £200 Armani pants off this film you'll see this movie is nothing but an America-hates-all slash one-man-saves-the-world slash blue-is-the-new-black bestiality porno!! (There's a dick joke in there somewhere...). I'm not even black and I was offended by this film. Hollywood has this theory that all otherworldly creatures are basically Bantu and Zulu tribes whilst Americans are God's chosen people (no offense Jews) to spread the human seed everywhere and in the words of our favourite shampoo commercial "CORRUPT and go".
The story was predictable and stolen from Pocahontas, the acting was abysmal, the scenery and creature designs were all stolen from the final fantasy games, namely FFXII and the strange interspecies communion (by which I mean sex) using their stupid tails was just disturbing. I mean if I want to tame a horse I don't go and stick my knob in it do I? Finally, if I watch a 3D movie I want to be dodging and ducking from things flying at me from the screen not checking whether my thumbs still looks 3D with those stupid glasses on and then falling asleep, I can get a more entertaining 3D experience at Thorpe Park.
This movie had the potential to be something great, but like any school kid told they have potential it ultimately turned out be a pitiful American war movie set in Ivalice (the FFXII world) with overgrown African Smurfs everywhere having (inter- and intraspecies) sex with their tails. After being given the dog collar of "interesting movie" to wear it was as though the chain was pulled harshly back about 10 minutes into the film and I was left there hanging until my neck snapped. Oh and now it's out on DVD – Lord help us...
So, basically a crap film. Don't watch it.
The Machinist (2004)
A predictable, engaging but dimly lit psychological thriller
A piano and a few violins which sound like a cat is being savagely strangled is all you really need to make any situation feel as nerve racking as watching a woman parallel park into a tight spot and this movie exploits that fact very schemingly. All the way through its torture to your ears like someone is tickling your cochlear with a sulphuric acid soaked soldering iron.
Basically this is a story of a guy who has insomnia but like everything else Hollywood it can't JUST be insomnia, you know the problem you just go to your family doctor about and take sleeping pills for, NO! He's had insomnia FOR A YEAR and its only when the film begins that he starts to lose his mind over it, seems like he was doing fine before that, just a bit freakishly skinny that's all (hold that thought). The movie is gripping and sticky right up until we meet Mr Ivan, he's a shinny, bald headed, squeaky squirrel voiced, irritating version of Tony Soprano (wow, lots of adjectives!) and from then on its pretty Mr predictable. Oh by the way did I mention his weird toe hand? The movie has your standard twists and turns but with a nifty and downright heartbreakingly evil use of a mundane everyday office item – Mr post-it note, I will never look at him the same way again! And whilst I'm on the subject will someone please teach Trevor (played by Christian Bale by the way) how to play hangman!
There are two moments in the movie when we actually have some technicolour and that happens to be both the times Jennifer Jason Leigh (who plays Stevie) is naked – fine by me, but why does even a sunny day in the movie look like it was shot using a camera from the 1900s and not 2004?
Back to skinny Mr Bale. I'm not really sure how him being as skinny as a 1980s anorexic HIV positive heroin user with a strange addiction to bleach (I don't think he really knows you can just use soap) adds to the storyline but it's really disgusting and pretty cool at the same time. I mean you know you shouldn't look, like when you see two dogs humping in the park but you still do! I, like everyone else who critiques this movie am amazed at how he did it but I guess it becomes a lot easier when you know a big fat cash injection will be coming your way for doing it but that aside "nuff props" to him for doing so (and that's me being cool).
Overall, and I don't say this much so cherish it, a pretty good movie, engaging, interesting, dark and gross but unfortunately predictable even if you have just a tiny bit of movie know-how. A good performance by Christian Bale and we all know how generally a nice and bubbly guy he is – especially to his DP. I'd almost say I'd recommend it – wait; that's enough of me being nice I think I just swallowed some vomit whilst typing that last line so I'm going to stop there.
The Hurt Locker (2008)
Another propaganda movie in case we forgotten how great the Americans are!
It seems these days any movie baring the name and fame of "Americans at war" is bound for gut wrenching success and by gut wrenching I mean aorta exploding instant death success (oh, that's the BIG artery in your body) and the same goes for this pathetic excuse of a movie.
Basically this is a "movie" with no plot or feeling, lifeless poor acting and the odd racial slur thrown in here and there (hajji – not a nice word B.T.W.) and it seems to have made most you yogurt brained Americans happy. I say Americans specifically as this is clearly another movie designed to remind the thick masses of how fantastic, awesome, courageous images of Jesus all American soldiers are – in case we forgot the revision course last week. Actually let's not be too hasty, the British do pop their beany little mongoose heads up through the sand too (mind the pun) but only for about 5 minutes, yet again only to remind us that when compared to the Americans the British are like handbag chiwawas barking at the ankles of the colossal mighty Thor!
A few other nits to pick; why does every civilian come across as a "terrorist" INCLUDING the children? Why is the beginning the same as the end? Is Kathryn B/Mark B trying to be arty? And most importantly, why does that bomb suit look so stupid!?
The reason I am giving this a 3 is perhaps because at least there has been some, although feeble attempt at looking at war from another angle, assuming we need another flaming angle! The poor bomb squad guys probably felt totally left out of the Hollywood-war-movie tea party before this movie (I'm sure some colonel must have had a word with other mums). Plus the little Iraqi kid was "proper jokes!"
Overall, if you need to remind yourself how "distinguished" the Americans are at the art of war or have just forgotten what good they have done in Iraq I suggest you continue picking your nose and eating the bogey you produce. The sad, as in pathetic (at the risk of using an adjective twice) revelations the characters have just made me want to laugh, wait better yet I did laugh, so hard in fact I got out one sarcastic HA and stopped...
It seems I've done my conclusion paragraph... don't watch this movie!
an inaccurate, brain meltingly boring and often laughable copy cat
For a generous 7/10 IMDb threshold for watching movies I expect to enjoy myself when I watch one, but yet again deceived by the over-fed-fat-5-year-old-kid generosity this film has received from reviewers I feel compelled to write this review. About 30 minutes into the film, about the time when the sweet little Russian orphan girl is introduced to her new home a car-crash-like-memory-whiplash wounds my fragile mind and it hits me that this movie bears a striking resemblance to a movie I'd watched several weeks ago – case 39! Except, that this movie turned out to be a demented killer kid/"adult" (yes... BIG QUOTATION MARKS - "adult") version of the devil's sprog story – reeeeeaaaaallll original Alex Mace (writer (fool)).
Most of the time I was bored and stared out of my window at the dark field I live next to hoping I'd see some real monsters out there and rest of the time I spent predicting the script. It seems writers these days all go to McDonalds and get their movie ideas off the backs of happy meals. I think I'm still being generous giving this movie a "3". The adorable little daughter (Aryana Engineer) and a very well played part by Isabelle Fuhrman are definitely the only salient features. The frustrated crazy woman act is as dead as the knights templars (or are they?) and the little girl manipulating dopey-old-I-give-a-crap daddy act is as dry as a sun dried humerus in the Sahara desert (that's the arm bone that's connected to the shoulder bone - for all you Americans (don't forget to sing along)).
Finally, as you may know I have a thing against medical inaccuracies in movies and I can see it now, my poor friends the endocrinologists tearing their £7 haircuts out at the obscene drooling melaena spewing from the mouth of the "doctor" in the movie regarding Esther (I'll let you find out for yourself). Another word of advice Alex, try AT LEAST reading Wikipedia before you write (by the way melaena is...oh I can't be bothered look it up yourself) Overall, a pretty boring movie, a waste of 2 hours or however long it was, but if you want to watch a medically unrealistic, anti-Russian/pro-BS-American "ideals" propaganda movie, promoting child deviance and anti-social behaviour be my guest – because you're all going to hell! Praise Lord Jesus Christ!!! By the way I'm not Christian..........
Terminator Salvation (2009)
well made, believable film, exciting and fun to watch!
I went to see this film today and honestly on seeing the trailer a couple of weeks ago, I was very sceptical, I thought once again another typical high octane, no brainer action film belittling the already tarnished name (thanks to T3) of a beautiful classic cult film classic. BUT, after watching the film I must admit I felt the slap across my sceptical ego! I really enjoyed the film, it was fast, but not so fast that the film just felt like a 2hr blur in your life, it was cheesy but not ABBA cheesy, and the "special guest appearance" was humorous yet serious and a tribute well done. I even enjoyed the CGI! For me this is usually a big issue with films of the 21st century – generally too much CGI, which although looks pretty, doesn't do too much for the film (e.g. the Transformers film). This film is different though, there was just the right amount to remind you that this is a film made with 21st century, HD tech but it didn't override the story! I mean I loved the hydraulic cheek muscles – they move as it talks!
So, why have I given it 8/10? As with most Hollywood films, the medical accuracy seemed WAY OFF. Although an issue for me, I guess most people don't really care. These inaccuracies take place twice during the film, but, although I can almost forgive the first, the second made my skin crawl! The second reason I gave this film 8/10 is because like a lot of films released these days, most of the good bits are put into the trailers! As I sat there watching the film I felt as though I already knew what was going to happen a lot of the time, and the sole reason for that is the fact that I watched 1, yes, 1 trailer for this film. It's a shame they didn't put as much effort into the trailer as they did the film. The last reason (because I just lost the rest of my train of thought) I'm giving this film 8/10, is because of one useless character, that was literally just there to fill a space! This character reminded me of Larsa (any FFXII fans?!?!?) – Totally unnecessary (actually Larsa probably was necessary to the story of FFXII) but just seemed to have the right thing at the right time (just like Larsa's unlimited potions – ideal in battle!) with a cute smile to finish.
Overall, I really enjoyed the film, my qualms bring this film down a little, but I can understand that they can also be easily looked over. Most kids will LOVE this film (as did my lil bro), most people for whom Terminator and Arnie is part and parcel of their childhood, will also appreciate and enjoy this film and the hard work both the cast and crew have put into it. It's an unprecedented improvement on the last, humiliating terminator film.