Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Movie Review Green Zone

On March 20th, 2003 the United States of America went to war with Iraq, and a short time later the military began their search for weapons of mass destruction. Try as they might however, said weapons were never found and every site they inspected showed no signs of anything. I start my review of the movie Green Zone with these facts because they form the basis for the story. These are the only real facts in the story, and whatever plot twists and information we are given are purely fictional.

Throughout the movie we follow the story of army chief warrant officer Roy Miller, who is portrayed by three time Oscar nominee Matt Damon (Saving Private Ryan, Invictus). Roy is growing more and more suspicious of the intelligence given to the military on the locations of the weapons of mass destruction, and his suspicions grow deeper when he’s approached by a CIA agent (Brendon Gleason of 28 Days Later and Braveheart) who tells him that everything isn’t what it seems. As Roy starts hunting for the truth he’s paid a visit by a Pentagon Special Intelligence Agent (Greg Kinnear of Ghost Town, and As Good As It Gets) and finds himself caught in the middle between the CIA and the Pentagon. It’s not the best place to be, but it’s where Roy needs to be if he wants to find the truth.

I liked this movie. It had a decent pace, kept you intrigued from start to finish, and the action was heart pounding. I typically like Matt Damon’s acting, and this movie didn’t disappoint in that area either. I find he has a natural ability to hold your attention and help you suspend your disbelief. I’ve never been a huge fan of the extended use of hand held cameras that director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93) makes his movies with as I find it hard to follow the action at times due to the excessive shaking, but it wasn’t as annoying this time around. It actually added to the realness of the situation in Iraq. There were two things about Green Zone that I really enjoyed however. The first was the conflict between the CIA and the Pentagon. You’ve seen this sort of thing in movies before, but in this case it took the focus off the Iraq war, and put it on an internal conflict from the invading country. The second thing I really liked was the portrayal of the people of Iraq during the war. Now I don’t claim to know what it was like to be living there during that time, or what it even feels like now, but I’m betting this movie gives you a pretty realistic impression of what it would be like to be living in a country that is being invaded. You get a sense that you wouldn’t know who you could trust, or who would help you. If you do decide to go see Green Zone this weekend, please remember one thing. The basic situation may be real, but the rest of the story is pure fiction.

Movie Review Date Night

You can’t get two more talented comics to star in a movie than Tina Fey and Steve Carell. They exude humor and comic timing from their very pores. Knowing this the anticipation for the laugh-fest that was sure to be their new movie “Date Night” was high. What the film turned out to be is a good movie but not a great one. Or as someone in the audience put it, a delicious meal with some necessary mysterious ingredient left out.The movie concerns a New Jersey couple named Phil and Claire Foster (Carell and Fey). She sells real estate and he acts as a financial planner. They are a loving couple but a boring one. They have a date night once a week that involves going to a local restaurant and eating the same meal over and over. When two of their closest friends (Mark Ruffalo and Kristin Wiig) announce they are splitting up, it is a wake up call for the Fosters.

They decide to go into the city for their “date night” and to eat at one of the town’s most exclusive restaurants. When they find they can’t get a table they impulsively pretend to be a couple whose name is being called. While sitting at the table they are approached by two guys who escort them out of the restaurant and into an alley. There they threaten them if they do not give a “fast drive” back. When they try to argue that it is all a case of mistaken identity the thugs are not buying it.The rest of the movie is spent with the Fosters trying to stay alive and also to get the thugs off their backs. This means gun battles and car chases, as well as a visit to a strip club. Most of the scenes are funny but there are a few dry spots in between the action.

Fey is a little bit brittle in her portrayal of Claire while Carell is all soft and gooey as Phil. Both characterizations are fine but they do not blend with each other. We never see these two as a couple but rather as two funny individuals. If they had managed to become a believable couple the movie would have had more heart.The supporting cast in the film is solid with Mark Wahlberg being outstanding as a former client of Claire’s who tries to help them out. Also good are Mila Kunis and James Franco as the couple the Fosters impersonate. J. B. Smoove is standout hilarious as the cab driver the Fosters hijack.

The film is rated a surprising PG-13. It contains scenes of simulated sex, extensive profanity including multiple uses of the “F” word, and some violence. So parents be warned!
Tina Fey and Steve Carell are funny people in this movie about a hard day’s night for an ordinary couple. Still they are each operating within their own sphere and never cross over to unite as a team. It doesn’t ruin the movie but it does make it less than it should be.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Movie Review 'The Great Indian Butterfly'

Movie Review: The Great Indian Butterfly, Directed by: Sarthak Dasgupta, Starring: Aamir Bashir, Sandhya Mridul, Shibani Kashyap, Koel Puri, Barry John, Movie Review Rating: The Great Indian Butterfly

The Great Indian Butterfly is a movie about the exploration of happiness. Krish [Aamir Bashir] and Meera [Sandhya Mridul a young couple whose relationship is at the verge of breakage gives one more chance to it by packing up for Goa from Mumbai to search for a legendrygreat Indian butterfly whose rare appearance can fill the life with happiness joy and peace which have become the most craved things for the modern generations.

Meanwhile there journey the couple argues over some trivial issues, these arguements illustrate the day to day stress, over expectations and the lack of self-analyse in relationships which are the common traits of today’s life. Krish [Aamir Bashir] and Meera [Sandhya Mridul have played their characters honeslty ,Koel Purie has made a big impression in a small role and Barry John too has made justice with his character as ever.
The way Sarthak Dasgupta has presented the woes of modern relations on the big screen is indeed appreciable, his art of conveying his message, that two within the limits of two hours, is remarkable. [smartads]But themovie as it sounds will be able to attract a limited audience, as the viewers for English cinema, with a taste for art, are rare in this country of Masal Movies. Moreover the lack of movie awareness too would contribute to its little success on the celluloid. Overall the movie is a one big bowl of interesting meals for those who longs for entertainment with a fusion of infotainment!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tum Milo To Sahi Movie Review

Story:Tum Milo To Sahi is a tale of ordinary people at different stages of life, who discover that ‘their roots have intertwined so inseparably that they have become one tree and not two!’ The film revolves around ‘art and fortunate accident’ happens to three different couples at threedifferent stages of life – late teens, mid thirties and late fifties. The three couples either in the ‘breathlessness of being in love’ or missing ‘that excitement’. Wherever they may be to begin with, the journey of life makes them discover true love – that which is left over, when ‘being in love’ has burned away. Tum Milo To Sahi is a look at how that love makes the lives of these ordinary people, extra-ordinary!

Where have you been, Nana? And why don't we see more of you, Dimple? These are the two questions that primarily stare you in the face as you sit through Tum Milo Toh Sahi, a sweet little ode to the spirit of the quintessential Mumbaikar who manages to connect, communicate and build lasting bonds in the milling crowds. The two veteran actors create such a warm picture of humaneness, warmth and togetherness, it leaves you asking for more. And the fact that they are total opposites -- he's Subbu, the reclusive, angry, Tamilian and she's Delshad, the delightful, exuberant Parsi -- makes the bonding crackle and shine some more.

Ever since their first meeting which begins with a fight in a mall, the duo take you by the scruff of your collar and make you sit up and watch them as they chart out a friendship graph that weaves through unchartered territory. Like, Nana playing the violin in his dead mother's room, while Dimple watches or Dimple trying to convince him to open up his house, and himself too, to let in some fresh air. Eventually, Nana does play crusader and try and save her cafe from the land sharks, but it is the smaller nuances and the several unsaids between the adult couple which makes for compelling viewing.

The other actors too manage to create some firmly-etched cameos. There's Suneil Shetty and Vidya Malvade, the discord-ridden couple who are on the verge of a split. And there are the mass communication students, Rehan Khan and Anjana Sukhani, who may or may not transform their fuchha-senior relationship into something more. Bringing them all together is Dimple's corner house cafe, with its bun-muska, its caramel custard and its `We are the world-We are the children' spirit.

Director Kabir Sadanand picks up a simple story and tells it well. And as he does, he touches upon the new trend of the common-man-as-crusader which seems to have taken India by storm currently. More importantly, he captures the `melting pot' syndrome of our very own maximum city with a treacly tenor that does spread some sweetness in the harsh political reality. A bit of editing needed, however, for the film does tend to ramble a bit, specially in the song and dance sequences. Nevertheless, there's enough to hold your attention....Watch it for the veterans' winsome act, the spirit of Mumbai and for a tale told well.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Movie Review 'How to train your dragon'

Many movies aimed at children are abject failures. They pander to kids, pretending they're smarter than their parents, and insult adults, reducing them to simpering caricatures. Soaring and swooping, both visually and emotionally, How to Train Your Dragon avoids those traps, instead playing out as a grand, invigorating, all-ages adventure.

Adapted from a book by Carolyn Cressida Cowell *, the film takes significant liberties with its source material, but starts at the same place. Vikings landed on the North Atlantic island of Berk and made it their own. The older generation speaks with a thick Scottish brogue -- historically accurate, if delightfully disconcerting -- and preaches the old Viking ways. Young Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel at his most diffident) wants nothing more than to be a good Viking, just like his father Stoick (Gerard Butler, born to play a character with that name). Hiccup's resolve is tested by his adolescent clumsiness and a sneaking suspicion that he may never be half the man that he imagines his father to be.
Dragons besiege the island. Thus an annual coming-of-age ceremony involves a young lad or lady demonstrating their qualifications as a Viking by killing a fierce flying creature in battle. Hiccup is all too eager to begin training as a dragon-killer, hoping to prove his manliness, but his father is reluctant to put his soft, gentle son on the battle lines when he seems too gentle and awkward to survive.

Everything from the angle of the shot to the speed of the editing projects an end visual that feels like you’re either on Toothless’ back – sweeping in, out and thru small alleys on the cliff – or you get an outsider perspective of just how fast he’s flyng. It’s a combination of the wonder of flight in Avatar mixed with the speedy dogfights in Top Gun. I didn’t even have to experience the movie in 3D to feel it.

The rest of the picture is, for the most part, typical Dreamworks Animation storytelling with little surprises. The characters (voiced by the likes of America Ferrara, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, and Kristen Wiig) will be more fun for kids probably than their parents, but the grown-ups should be able to appreciate and enjoy the bulk of the film about the bond between Hiccup and Toothless. Dreamworks may not have yet steered clear of their habits fully, nor do they feel they probably need to, but I value baby steps in another direction when they attempt something against their own conventions; especially, if the steps are as exciting as those in How to Train Your Dragon.
The Upside: Incredible flying sequences, some interesting visual angles, and Toothless – the first character Dreamworks has produced that rivals the characters Pixar gets such an emotional response out of. The careful evolution to friendship between Toothless and Hiccup is also a big plus.

The Downside: The story is telegraphed, and most of the human characters are much less entertaining than the dragons who say nothing.