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All reviews - Movies (31)

Kiki's Delivery Service review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:46 (A review of Kiki's Delivery Service)

Miyazaki continues to surprise with this coming-of-age tale of a young witch who leaves her home for her training according to the tradition and after taking refuge in a beautiful city she starts her own delivery service. As is with other Miyazaki films, this anime too isn't artificial in its emotions even when Kiki is equipped with the same old movie clichรฉs. Kiki is an interesting character: she is optimistic, energetic and smart but at the same time she covets, she is proud making her sound a little foolish at times. Miyazaki's portrayal of young girls has always been perfect in every sense (e.g. his other films like Totoro, Spirited Away). Thus our Kiki is the hero and the villain both at the same time. She is that kind of person whose true goal is not to face life but is to face herself and her pride. Honestly, we all have gone through this phase, haven't we? Thus the portrayal of the lead character itself is so strong the film engages the audience like a thriller film does. Secondly, the people around Kiki were captured equally powerfully. She befriends a boy of her age, Tombo (he kind of looks like Waldo from Where's Waldo), then a pregnant woman and her husband who runs a bakery.

If you watch Kiki then one will realize that Miyazaki has used a variety of characters in Kiki who actually are the real juice of the movie. The early 20th century city itself has a character of its own and adds to the sweetness of the film without making it โ€œtooโ€ sweet. The animation itself is another surprising element. Miyazaki has taken care of all the intricate details so powerfully that itโ€™s impossible for us not to notice them and the hidden meaning behind it. Over the years critics and fans have debated the age in which the story actually takes place. Miyazaki deduced later in an interview that the story takes place in a different universe where both the World Wars never took place!

Another surprising masterpiece from Miyazaki with lovely imagery, interesting characters, an engaging story and most important of all: a thought-provoking conclusion that we never probably get to see in any other animated films. Highly recommended for animation fans and non-fans alike.

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Alien review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:42 (A review of Alien)

I have seen a dozen alien movies including Alien vs. Predator. I even knew what the alien looks like so I wasn't having high expectations from this movie. But, It got me, boy! From beginning till the end, the movie was astounding. Unlike other movies which are made today (which show a lot of gore and are very action packed) Alien is the only alien movie that gives a creepy feeling of "We are not alone".

Unlike today's movies, they spent the first few minutes only to show us the entire the art-direction of the ship and how it works. Surprisingly enough, all the important scenes take place in these areas. Ridley Scott very cleverly creates the tension, slowly and slowly and a bit fast and a bit more fast and then a bang in the end! I still wonder how the hell they must have created those creatures and that too with extremely higher detail. The story to has a hard solid structures with pretty shocking twists. This movie is not like those non-sense action horror movies where you just watch people dying. Alien is way ahead of even today's film-making. It's a true benchmark like 2001 A space Odyssey. It's a highly recommended masterpiece.

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A good film that deserved more attention...

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:40 (A review of 50/50)

"Inspired by a true story, 50/50 is an original story about friendship, love, survival and finding humor in unlikely places. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen star as best friends whose lives are changed by a cancer diagnosis in this new comedy directed by Jonathan Levine from a script by Will Reiser. 50/50 is the story of a guy's transformative and, yes, sometimes funny journey to health - drawing its emotional core from Will Reiser's own experience with cancer and reminding us that friendship and love, no matter what bizarre turns they take, are the greatest healers."

Just watched this film. I gotta say that this is easily one of this year's best. Although Joseph Gordon-Levitt's wonderful performance was ignored by the major awards functions, I still think it to be an injustice from their part. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was great in 500 days of Summer, even more so in Inception but he just raised the bar. As for Seth Rogen, who is also one of the producers and a good friend of the director, was perfect. He plays the part of Adam's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) best friend in this film. At times I felt that Rogen's character was not captured correctly. He always talked about getting laid to Adam. Adam thought that he was using his cancer thing to get laid himself. But it was towards the end that I realized that he was just trying to make Adam happy no matter what. He himself was unhappy but he doesn't show that (That point is proven when Adam finds out that he has been reading a book on Cancer, probably suggested by Adam's therapist herself).

As the synopsis tells, friends are the greatest of the healers. Adam had Seth Rogen as his best friend but there is also Katherine, his therapist and a very subtle character. Adam didn't like interacting with her sometimes but eventually she also becomes one of his best friends (Or more than that I guess towards the End) The actress who played Adam's mother also requires applause. She truly convinced me of a worrying mother. The screenplay was brilliant and the film's filled with nice one-liners (Profanity included). This film's not suggested for kids though.

On the conclusion, the film was not only about curing cancer, friends or family, it was about curing yourself too. 50/50 is extremely simple and very direct. Still, it's quite... I don't know... different? And that's one of the reasons why this film is great. And yes, the films title may suggest you that it's based on chance (Because the people who got this cancer had 50% chances of survival, hence the name) but the writer is trying to convey us a beautiful message that when you have friends and family, your chances of survival is high but when you try to ignore them, it can get low. I loved this subtle message very much...

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:38 (A review of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)

Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.

Asa Butterfield's brilliant performance in Hugo was full of innocence and curiosity. But before Hugo, he had done another great film that probably only a few people know about. As the the synopsis reads, Asa plays the role of Bruno a son of some German officer. He befriends a Jewish boy in a concentration camp and thus begins an unforgettable film experience that almost moved me to tears. We see the entire Nazi world through the innocent eyes of Bruno. Even in the film, we are never revealed the true names of his parents as he used to call them "Mother" and "Father". Now that's film-making! The brutal things like killing Jews or incinerating them is shown in a subtle way. Bruno sees these things from over a distance but not close enough to understand it. He was always engrossed in reading fictional books on adventures. But he never, because of his young age, tried to understand completely the world he lived in. I was so moved by the innocence of the boy that I found myself in tears by the end of the film. It's so beautiful.

But then why rate it 4 instead of 5? Firstly, I was very disappointed by the use of heavy British accent in the film. Each and every character spoke English accent and that sort of took out the "warm" feeling out of the film. But Asa Butterfield's performance sort of balanced out all the wrongs. Secondly, I still believe this film could have been much more better. I don't know how to explain that but when you tend to make one mistake like the accent one I mentioned, you end up making a terrible mess.

This is the only complaint I have from this film. Overall, the film is great and I think you should watch only for Asa Butterfield's performance. David Thewlis plays the role of the father and Vera Farmiga plays the role of the mother. They were nice too. (If only you separate out the accent problem.) Thewlis' performance of a brutal German Officer was convincing and so was Farmiga's performance as the caring mother.

Recommended. Moving. But unfortunately not a classic. :(

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Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:36 (A review of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol)

Two time Oscar Winner Brad Bird known for animated films like The Incredibles, Up and Ratatouille takes a first hand experience in live action cinema. MI4 has all the action film cliches equipped with smart but crazy gadgets. First before watching it, everyone had made up their minds about watching the film just to pass the time. But it turned out to be so much fun and exciting that you forget all the craziness and silliness and enjoy the film! MI4 is just so much fun. The action sequences were totally controlled and perfectly timed (with impossible stunts of course but that's what the film is about isn't it?). In the film's most famous scene, Tom Cruise climbs the tallest building of the world in an attempt to breach the server room. The camera angles were quite impressive in that scene. The thrilling moments were marvelous. The highlight of this film is the story. It's quite simple and thank god they didn't make it too complicated.

Although the film is not groundbreaking or a milestone, it delivered everything with right proportions and ended it before it got too tedious. The best mission impossible film to come out. Brad Bird proved himself to be a worthy director and I will be looking forward to his future films... I hope the fifth installment comes out soon with Bird as the director...

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Misery review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:35 (A review of Misery)

James Caan is Paul Sheldon, a writer whose claim to fame was his Misery Novels. After finishing his last Novel on Misery, adding a ninth novel to the octal novel series, he's returning back to New York to meet up with his agent. But a heavy snow storm on the way causes an accident and he ends up almost freezing to death before he is rescued by Annie Wilkes, played by Kathy Bates, who also happens to be the number "one fan" of Paul Sheldon's Misery series. After nursing Paul for some days, she asks Paul whether she could read the unpublished Misery novel. Paul allows her to read it and things change after Annie founds out that the main character Misery dies... She suddenly turns psychic and orders Paul to re-write the novel or...

Well! Wow! This was a great thriller film with stellar performances from Caan and Bates. Bates seriously achieved in scaring me with her performance of a crazy Number One Fan. I wasn't surprised to learn later that she won an Oscar for Best Actress and is one the most memorable negative roles in Hollywood. Based on Stefan King's Novel of the same name, this truly was a great edge-of-the-seat-thrill-ride. I never knew Rob Reiner could direct so wonderfully, he just raises the bar after Princess Bride and Stand By Me. Although the story was good filled with cunning direction and a good screenplay, it's the acting that first catches your attention. I really loved how the film flowed and how everything looked so realistically natural as though it was actually happening in front of us. And I also loved how Caan played the role of the smart writer, also one of the best things about this film.

Please do watch this film... It will be great weekend-treat... Highly Recommended.

"I am your number one Fan..."-Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes.

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Lost in Translation review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:32 (A review of Lost in Translation)

Bob Harris (Bill Murphy) is an American actor who comes to Japan to appear in a Japanese Whiskey Commercial. During his free hours, I mean lots of free hours, he meets Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) whose husband is a professional photographer and always seems to be busy at his work. The duo develop a unique friendship which suddenly begins to sparkle into something else given the condition of their current relationship status' with their spouses.

After her debut in The Virgin Suicides, Sofia gained recognition for Lost in Translation. I have to say that the film tried to show us something different. Where the film fails at that, it succeeds in it's impressive style of story telling. The film firsts sounds like it's an art movie on living your life and "discovering" yourself. It's great though that Sofia doesn't give us any of that nonsense which most films do nowadays. Moreover, the film shows us how it would have been had it taken place in reality. It also in one way ridicules the Japanese culture, another point that I didn't like. But then Bill and Scarlett's performance brings this slow and boring film to life and makes it more energetic. The best part is how the boredom and friendship parts were handled, those are the highest points in the film.

Sofia shows her potential for creating great films and I would look forward to more of her films in the future and also the ones she directed after this one. This film is not recommended for everyone though, except for those who want to spend a fine summer afternoon silently while enjoying the beautiful landscapes of Tokyo...

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Nothing new but still a great joyful movie....

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:30 (A review of The Intouchables)

The Intouchables has broken all the box office records in France and Europe recently and is attracting a lot of audience. Being a fan of French cinema, I decided to be a part of this experience. The Intouchables, based on a true story, tells the tale of a handicap millionaire named Philippe played really brilliantly by Francois Cluzet who appoints Driss (Played by Omar Sy), a broke ex-con, to be his caretaker. Because both of them have somewhat same kind of nature, they develop a deep friendship.

I have to say first that the performances were very impressive. Each and every actor was natural in their roles. For example: Driss is supposed to very funny which he is, very much. Even the opening scene was great! Millionaire is shown as a tried old man who's bored of his own luxuries and he appoints Driss just because he sees himself in him: a young exuberant yet a wasted man. Secondly, the relation between the both, their friendship, is the whole point of the film. It was good I guess, I just thought that there were some aspects of it that I had already seen in other films , the same cliches that appear again. But just like I said, the performances were great. So the acting made their friendship more energetic and realistic. Thirdly, it was quite hilarious. One scene where both the leads exchange their taste in music was one of the best. Although there wasn't anything new in it, but their love for each other matters the most in this film. Lastly, the plot is quite simple, no twist or turns. It's a simple but great tale of friendship, in which both the characters learn something from one another and so do we...

Though The Intouchables doesn't show us anything new, it's entertaining and a new addition in the French cinema that I would love to discover and rediscover. Highly Recommended.

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It's a Wonderful Life review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:28 (A review of It's a Wonderful Life)

In 1945, the horrible World War had ended. It was this age when people had seen too much reality and they didn't care for entertainment that lived in fantasies or easy-going films. It's A Wonderful Life unfortunately suffered because of the same reason and it went unnoticed under the audiences' noses. But in 60's this films magic was revived making it an instant holiday classic.

It's A Wonderful Life is the story on the life of George Bailey (James Stewart). He has a perfect life but just one problem: nothing ever turned out he wanted to. George dreamed of exploring the world, going places. But his father's bank and the Notorious Mr. Potter, the antagonist whose after the bank and is the richest man of Bedford Falls, never gave him a chance. When George learns of Potter's interest of taking over the whole town, George tries hard preventing that situation. He spends half his life helping out his dear ones, even during the war. At one point, a terrible calamity befalls George that breaks him completely. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an angel named Clarence comes down to Earth to save George from committing suicide and makes George see his mistake in the epic half-hour conclusion.

Every American has seen this film at least once. It's a timeless classic with a beautiful message, so beautiful that it can inspire you. Some people think that this film is brilliant only in the last half-hour, that's the time when the angel comes to the rescue and shows George how wonderful his life actually was and is. That's not true though. The entire film is joyous, happy and wonderful but we don't see it because we lack the vision to see it. And it's Clarence who gives us this vision and proves the point. The film teaches us that one should not care what conditions he/she is in as long as he/she has people who care for him. George and the audience (That's us) don't see the point of everything that's happening in his life as it is a normal life that we all live: simple, honest and a sometimes a lot of struggle. When I watched it the second time, I got it and enjoyed it even more. Since then I have tried hard to appreciate all the small things that have come along my path, whether it's good or bad, because I know that I have friends and my parents who will always laugh with me and help me. I am not sentimental or gay or anything, it's just that It's A Wonderful Life is right...

About the performances, it were great. The film has great humor, a little spice, a little romance, a little serious stuff, a little of everything that life's made of. Frank Capra has timed everything perfectly and even Clarence the angel doesn't look silly as angels frequently are in reel life.

I will conclude saying that It's A Wonderful Life is a wonderful film, the one with a seriously thought-provoking message. Highly Recommended Classic...

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Citizen Kane review

Posted : 10 years, 10 months ago on 19 May 2012 02:27 (A review of Citizen Kane)

After the death of a controversial figure, Charles Kane, a reporter embarks on a research to find the meaning of Kane's last words ("Rosebud") that don't seem to relate to his life. Through the interviews and documents, the reporter get's inside the personal life of Kane right from childhood to his death.

Through the entire "Citizen Kane" experience, I felt sort of disconnected at some moments but one has to watch the entire movie to understand why this is one the most important movies of our time. Many critics believe that this film is probably the greatest film ever made and after reading about it a lot I decided to watch this film. Citizen Kane is a giant jigsaw puzzle and the audience is trying in vain to figure out what the hell does "Rosebud" mean? But when you know it, the entire "boring and long" experience of this movie turns out to the most unique one. I watched it the second time and then it became clear to me. This is when you realize something important: a universal lesson that everyone learns sometime in their life and in this case Kane learns it at the twilight of his life.

I know this sounds too spiritual but believe me the movie is brilliant. Even if you love action or energetic movies, please just once, at least once, watch this movie. Citizen Kane promises of what movies can be and is a fine art movie in every respect. This truly is a great fictional bio-pic of a man called Kane who lost everything even after getting everything. No wonder why critics believe this to be the best movie in the world... But My personal view? I don't compare films because each great film is marvelous in their own style. And Citizen Kane is exactly that.

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