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All reviews - Movies (31)

What's wrong?

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 08:48 (A review of The Hurt Locker)

I am totally surprised that the critics are praising this one. Yes, we all understand the efforts of American soldiers and I have nothing against them. But this movie totally degrades an experience that could truly have been marvelous. The movie makers had a lovely chance of making a classic cinema. This truly is an example of politics. The movie is... But certainly not Oscar worthy.

I agree that there are intensifying shots in the movie. But they are only "shots" not the whole movie itself. The trailer did impress me. The starting scene is amazing. But the graph goes down very rapidly. There are moments of emotions but then, which war movie (or anti-war) doesn't?

Well if you disagree... you're welcome to argue... I hope there will be something that I might be missing...

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Anime that made me cry...

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 08:44 (A review of Grave of the Fireflies)

Wow! I am 19 years old and admittedly I cried for like a minute after the movie ended. I have never seen any movie (in this case an anime, which is hard to believe) come so close to true "perfection" and doubt whether the director will ever outmatch himself or not. We see the dreadful scenario through the eyes of the two innocent children. The first dialog itself is quite strong and makes you think. I was disappointed with Oscars though. They honor "Beauty and the Beast" with Best Picture Nomination but not an entirely humane and realistic film. Hats off to Studio Ghibli for bringing another nostalgic and tear jerking anime classic. Hats off to the entire team... I am Speechless... :'(

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A new addition to the list of Cinematic milestones

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 08:38 (A review of A Separation)

Nader and Simin are a couple married for 14 years. But there is a problem. Simin insists on moving abroad but Nader cannot as his father has Alzheimer's syndrome. Thus Simin decides to separate from him and take her 11 year old daughter with her. Nader refuses the divorce and plainly ignores the problem as he knew she would never leave. But then one thing leads to another and gap begins to widen. Will they Separate? Well, last year, This small Iranian film took the world by storm. You might have heard a lot about it. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language and was nominated in the Original Screenplay Category. This film... Wow! A Separation completely won my heart for it's brilliance but at the same time broke it because of what it depicted. Rarely does any movie comes closer to perfection. The film is rich culturally, visually and in character development. It's a great Dramatic Thriller that grips you straight by the collar and that too from the very first dialog!! The first scene takes place in the Courtroom where Nader and Simin are arguing on the matter of divorce. The entire first scene is shot without a single break continuously for 3 to 4 minutes! Now that's such a difficult task but the directed pulled it off. And after we are gripped completely by the movie, it delivers the most intense, thrilling and realistic experience you might not get in any other action or thriller movie!! Hats off to Farhadi and I hope that he makes more movies like these. Truly, for the first time I think that we owe something to this movie watching experience and A Separation truly deserves a long bow... Highly Recommended!!

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Postmen in the Mountains review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 08:37 (A review of Postmen in the Mountains)

In my college, we have a Film Appreciation club of which I am a member. They screened this beautiful little film one day and it did take me by surprise. As the synopsis suggests, this is a journey film where we expect to meet interesting people and get to swim through the Chinese culture. But moreover, the film turns out to be more simple than engaging. It's a gentle sweeping film with simplicity at it's best. But people usually while watching this film forget the complex character development and emotions behind the scenes. There are always good moments in the film. No rape, no murder, no thrill, no action, but just a simple tale of passing a job from one generation to another. And that itself is a great moment.

Everyday in our lives we enjoy small moments like a friend's party, an anniversary celebration, a trip to a Hill Station,etc. If these moments were to be filmed, then while watching them is like watching Postman in the mountains. Subtle, slow, simple, even boring... but it's because we probably don't know how to place ourselves in other people's shoes and enjoy life's small moments. The father-son relation was the of course the best thing in this film. The way he gets emotional when he sees his son do his job in the end brings out emotions. There is also a cute dog in the film that connects the father and the son in some ways.

Postman in the mountains deserves more attention as it is a small masterpiece in the film world. Definitely a worth watch on a calm summer afternoon when you are in a good mood... If you haven't seen this film, please do watch it.

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Metropolis review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 08:34 (A review of Metropolis)

Set in a futuristic metropolitan city, Metropolis is the story of the conflict between the workers of that city and the heads who designed it.

Woooooow! Whenever I hear the name of Lang, Metropolis is the first thing that pops in my head. This German cinema has become a priceless classic today. Metropolis shows us big roads, tall skyscrapers, planes flying in the sky, nudity as a new fashion, etc. So far, Metropolis has been right in it's futuristic design and imagination. (Even about robots) That's one aspect of Metropolis that shows us how great film this is. Another aspect of it is that, Metropolis shows us the conflict between the people who made the city and the people who designed it. If both don't work together properly, then the city won't function properly. The film while explaining this situation also brings into limelight examples from other ancient civilizations that went under similar circumstances. Thus, this film is actually a lesson for us future generation that these kind of problems might arise. It also shows us the effect of "Seven deadly sins", sins that could destroy us.

The Fact is that over the years, about 25 to 30% of the film was believed to be lost. Thankfully, the damaged prints were found and a completely new Metropolis came out of the restoration process. Even it's score was re-recorded.

But overall, even if one ignores it's moral lessons, Metropolis is silent but highly entertaining art film. The score of the film is quite ahead of it's time. It was made in the silent film era when expressions not dialog was the center of all emotions. Even if you don't like the overacting stuff they do in silent films and even if Metropolis is your "first" silent film, you would probably enjoy it a lot! Highly recommended!

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In Cold Blood review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 08:31 (A review of In Cold Blood)

Truman Capote's chilling account of a true story wherein two drifters murder a family has been dramatized many times. But this 1967 version still remains the best to date. I will admit that this film was more powerful than any other thrillers I have ever seen. This film comes with the level of Hitchcock classics and Silence of the Lambs. It's not just chilling, but also incredibly realistic. Conard Hall's Black and White Cinematography gave a stunning look to the film. Brooks direction and a smart screenplay takes us directly inside the minds of the criminals who pulled the trigger. The fact is that we see the whole film through their eyes and although it seem weird that only these two killers are given the emotional weight, but that's not what it looks like. Brooks takes us to the dark side of Human Nature and this attempts takes us too deep.

In Cold Blood is lengthy, a little slow and they stretch the story a little bit, otherwise it would have received a perfect score from me. Nevertheless, this film always works in giving you chills and the story, though you might have heard it countless times, is given a more dark look. This is a good film if you want to have a thrilling weekend, but again this is just my personal opinion. Highly Recommended.

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Princess Mononoke review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 03:11 (A review of Princess Mononoke)

16 years in the making, Princess Mononoke is a landmark in the world of animation. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, one the creators of Studio Ghibli, Mononoke Hime is the story of a brave warrior, Ashitaka. He is attacked by a demon one day and unfortunately gets infected by a curse from the demon. Ashitaka is destined to die. But before that, he must find the truth behind the demon's attack. This leads him straight to an ancient forest where Gods rule the Earth, Beasts are large in size. Here Ashitaka witnesses the battle between nature and humans. While this happens, we watch spellbound!

The most interesting thing is that this movie has extensive character development. The details are very rich, the visuals stunning and the live-action scenes more than satisfying. That's not all. Joe Hisaishi's world famous score makes this movie more elegant. Watch Princess Mononoke and have a wonderful 2 hours of your life.. Highly Recommended...

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My Neighbor Totoro review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 03:04 (A review of My Neighbor Totoro)

If it wasn't for John Lasseter's (creator of Toy Story) love for Japanese anime, we would probably be in the dark still without the knowledge of the existence of Studio Ghibli, the next best animation studio after Disney Pixar. He helped in introducing to the world Ghibli's fantastic films. Hayao Miyazaki, Director and Screenwriter, contributed more handsomely to the studio's achievement and success. And My Neighbor Totoro is one of his greatest achievements, probably in the entire cinematic world. This was the first time I saw what they call "True Art" in any animated movie. The story is of two sisters, Mei and Satsuki, who with their father move to a new home. The two of them then happen to meet Totoro, a forest spirit who helps grow plants in the nearby forest.

What unfolds next is a gentle heartwarming film experience that surprising leaves us nostalgic. Although the film seems to concentrate on a very young audience, it was an experience like Toy Story. What I love about this film is the way it takes time and allows to get lost in Totoro's world. One scene I recall the most is the scene when the two girls and Totoro are waiting, just waiting, at a bus stop taking shelter in umbrellas from the rain. Miyazaki captured the calmness so perfectly that it made me think,"You don't get to see this even on Winnie the Pooh". That scene truly is one the greatest moments in all of cinema and is one of the reasons why I love his films so much. In this way, Miyazaki is extremely skilled at creating a lovely environment in his films, in this case the environment is more nature oriented. Joe Hisaishi's score too is great as always, he has scored almost all Miyazaki films.

Miyazaki is well-known for his signature style of feminism, environmentalism and aviation. He uses all of these in Totoro. After Mickey Mouse, Teddy Bear and Winnie the Pooh, you will always find Totoro as the most favorite children's character. The innocence of Totoro is delightful for kids but more surprising thing is that the adults found it more moving and more meaningful and as I said earlier, Nostalgic...

Totoro, when released in 1988, created a sensation in the animation world and Studio Ghibli gained recognition. It was only after Totoro that Miyazaki was going to receive the title of one of the greatest film-makers of our time that to this date has remained consistent.

(='๏ปฟ ;')
( ("")) Totoro....

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Ponyo review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 03:02 (A review of Ponyo)

In 2008, the animation world eagerly awaited for another film from the Oscar Winning Mastermind. Yes, the film is Ponyo. Although the general audiences found this film not one of his bests, but critics like Roger Ebert tagged it a true art film for all ages. Boy he was right! The film tells the story of a goldfish who wants to become a human. She befriends Sosuke, a boy of 5 and the one who names her Ponyo. The film is about this friendship and a love that sprouts between the two eventually.

Yeah I know, same old film cliche of love and friendship. But this is where you are wrong. Miyazaki is expert in capturing the emotions and the movements of the characters. When you see both the kids playing, they are not just playing, you seem to be there too witnessing their beautiful friendship. There are scenes of great details like the way Ponyo sits uncomfortably in the boy's house because she's not used to human life that turns a crazy story line in to a magical one. As 90% of the film takes place in the ocean, get ready for a magical ride with sea creatures so beautifully drawn that it feels like a painting coming to life... Miyazaki is so great. I still wonder to this day how he controls the characters and the environment so perfectly? It becomes so real that even his films made for 5-year-old's entertains adults equally. Ponyo is certainly a great addition to the world of animation that Miyazaki has created and this 19 year old just enjoys getting lost in this world.

While the world is awaiting Brave that comes out from the brilliant studio of Pixar in a few months, I am more interested in what this guy is going to do next. Even after being 70 years old, this little man still has a child inside him. Ponyo proves that point once again. Get ready to be dazzled by his incredible artistry seen in Ponyo and you won't regret it.

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Porco Rosso review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:55 (A review of Porco Rosso)

It's funny how renowned directors like Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg are extremely well-known for their works and still some of their finest, critically acclaimed works go unnoticed by audiences and the die-hard fans. In Scorsese's case, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore could be a perfect example and in case of Spielberg it's The Color Purple. And in case of Hayao Miyazaki's, it's Porco Rosso (Meaning "Crimson Pig" in Italian).

At the time of it's production, this film was going to be a short film for the Japanese Airline that tells the story of a middle-aged ace pilot from 1930's Fascist Italy who was cursed to become a pig. As it turns out, the film became a full-length feature. After seeing all 9 out of 10 Miyazaki films, this was my final one. What I felt during Porco Rosso was that Miyazaki tackles more bold issues, much bolder than his other films. Porco is not a children's character but one of those guys who drinks a lot, smokes a lot i.e. he represents perfectly an old dead beat pilot trying to find nothing but peace in his life. He is not a character you could learn something from, not a usual theme in Miyazaki's films. What is his role then? In the film it's chasing pirates, running away from the air-force, getting involved in ridiculous fights, etc. Miyazaki offers a different point though by saying that every middle-aged man is a pig and Porco Rosso in this film is simply resembling to that fact.

So this was about Porco Rosso (His real name is Marco Pagot). The other characters like Gina his love, the pirates, the American aviator who challenges Marco to a combat and there's Fio the cute girl who repairs Marco's plane were captured as usually marvelously by Miyazaki's lavish brushstrokes. The story takes place after World War 1 in the Adriatic sea. Thus Miyazaki was challenged to draw a totally different culture which he pulls off successfully. What more lovely about this film is that it stays completely true to history (The war, I mean) and uses this as one of the driving forces in the film. It's just wonderful as it is with all Miyazaki films. Though I have to say that this film is more confusing and subtle in it's way of storytelling. Because Miyazaki also tackles completely newer themes that are even different from other animated films in the world, both fans and non-fans are in for a treat.

My conclusion is that Miyazaki triumphs yet once again in his stellar career and has made the most "unique" animated film I have ever seen proving why I am a very huge fan of his. The Most underrated Studio Ghibli film yet Highly recommended.

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