It's all about Perception

Archive for March, 2011

Journey towards the centre of the Labyrinth

Aloha,

I always consider myself singled out. I like some movies that none of my friends like. But I found out today that the inverse is not entirely true. My friends have always offered me opinions about some great movies that I should be seeing. But I have never had enough time to see them(This is a lame excuse by the way but thats the way it is)

Today, I thought I would try defying the nature and mix my real world with the surreal one.(I am talking about me taking a friends suggestion in case you are wondering what I am attempting to say). And guess what, the most happiest thing was the movie that I saw portrays the same exact thing, reality + fantasy in a realistic+fantastic way.

Here we are to review an epic of a movie, in my opinion, Pan’s Labyrinth.

This movie gives us the perfect blend between the fantasy and the real worlds and the amazing thing is, there are no great special effects involved. There are no pleasing animated characters, no big secret at the end, no miracle and especially, no hi-fi cast to take the movie forward.
Yet, this would be the best movie that I have seen in quite some time now. A movie that makes you realize how great it would be when a simple story can be carved out of a usual fairy tale like a marvelous statue from plain stone.

The story pans through the life of a young girl, who idolizes her fairy tales, the brief time that she spends in her step-father’s house in the post-war Spain. Her mother is pregnant and her father is a brutal captain who kills rebels on sight.

The story moves with the girl finding an old pile of stones, a labyrinth near her house. She is led to believe that she is the princess of a fantasy kingdom and the centre of the labyrinth is the gateway to the kingdom. This information is shown to be provided by the pan/fawn who lives in the labyrinth, the gate-keeper.

The girl has to complete three grue-some tasks to prove herself worthy to enter the gate.

As she struggles through her tasks, she also finds out some gruesome truths of her existence. She is surrounded by a suffering pregnant mother, a rebel-supporting house-maid and a brutal stop-at-nothing step-father.

Things go bad in the second half of the movie. The pan denies her entry to the portal as the girl disobeys a direct order. The rebels move closer, the maid’s identity is revealed, and worse, her mother dies in childbirth.
Pan taking pity on the girl promises her that if she could bring her brother to the portal, she might be able to enter.

The girl tries to enter to steal her brother from her father’s chambers. At the same time, the house is breached by the rebels and there is chaos everywhere. She carries the baby and while her step-father pursues with the gun, she hurtles through the house into the labyrinth, only to find out that she has to kill her brother to enter the labyrinth. Because the portal opens only when an innocent’s blood is shed.

In the centre of the labyrinth, her father is behind the girl with the gun, the pan is waiting for the girl to fulfill her deed, the rebel aka maid enters into the labyrinth with her men in pursuit of the captain and guns and bombs fire everywhere around. In this full-charge atmosphere, the best thing for me would be to leave you to speculate about the ending. If you do not want to, go see the movie and you won’t be disappointed although you might be with me, now. But all for good.
Go, enjoy this movie if you haven’t yet seen this and thank me. If you have seen this movie then its my turn to thank you for reading.

Arrivederci!

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Am I gonna sing? Why do I think of this question?

Aloha,

Weeks and weeks it has been and I can assure you I am not gonna sing. So welcome to read-on (Possibly not but now that you are here, go-ahead anyway).

We are here to re-view the all-time the same, casual comedy, another New York life story of this year following movies like The Devil wears Prada, 27 Dresses and The Proposal, the all too new but nothing new – “Morning Glory”.

The movie has nothing new except perhaps the beautiful gorgeous, no suitable word to describe, Rachel McAdams.

You have got to give it to the Paramount. As the name suggests, its a paramount stellar starcast.
You would simply not get enough of them.

Harrison Ford, cynical grandpa, once again, comes back with a boom.
He is what one would call gritty and groovy. Simply makes you like him in any role he plays.
The one thing that he has not achieved as yet would be the nod from the Academy but when his fame and pay is in the superlative I am not sure if he would worry. But if he does, its his problem and not ours.
So lets try not to donate tissues and move on.

Diane Keaton, another grumbling old in the movie, who moves through the movie with Sarcasm and moves the movie with her charm. Kudos!

Jeff Goldblum, good comeback! He looks decent and plays neat.

I couldn’t help but wonder but quite recently all the directors seem to be adding a male glamor element in their movies, in this movie, the handsome, Patrick Wilson. His role in the heroine-centric movie is not as a hero but to add this and that to the movie. He is cast as the person whom the heroine needs to sleep with every now and then. As I say earlier, glamor quotient.

Best thing about the movie, the setup in New York, like many-o-many movies before but never failing to attract.

But the real question is, What have they tried to achieve with all this perfection?

I hate to this this but the best answer to the above question would be, “Not Enough” to make you think about the movie, after the movie. Shame.

This movie talks about a self-confident (but not good enough in expressing it) person, Rachel Mcadams of course, who when thrown out of her job gets to even a better one and tries to perfect it, in fact barely trying to retain it.

She is an executive producer in a television channel and the movie begins with she being thrown out of her job from her New Jersey’s TV Channel. How else would you drive a woman with a drive to New York?

So life is kinda worse for her, so worse that she gets a better job in New York, only to find out that she has to manage with the miserable female host of the show, Diane Keaton.

And if she wasn’t enough, Rachel is thrown into a situation to hire a newsman, Harrison Ford, to not to do news but to be a co-host to the grumbly Diane. Well, Ford proves to be more tough and Rachel is clueless to make the show a success. As if there wasn’t enough misery in Rachel’s life already, Jeff Goldblum is on her tail and he is relentless.

When finally the show itself is gonna be cancelled in a month’s time, Rachel gets her wind back to make the show a hit in USA and how she does it makes rest of the screen time.

If its any consolation the movie doesn’t over do things and also talks about personal ethics that is “One Family’s must mean more than work”. But when all is said and done, the viewer might feel something for his/her family but definitely nothing for the movie, for all that they have tried.

I would love to write more but thats all there is to it.

If you are looking for a casual getaway on a boring saturday afternoon, this might be your catch. Its not boring even if its usual at times and the actors kinda makeup for the otherwise bad ending for the director and the screenplay. Better play better next time folks! People are not going to be numb/dumb forever you know.

So, Show’s over people. Go read something useful. But if you are looking for some junk to wile your useful time away, then you always know where to look. HERE.

Arrivederci…


Tron Legacy – Indeed it is…

Aloha,

Greeting Programs!!

Welcome to another episode of virtual transportation into another world called the Grid, only this time you will see more of blue and red lights than anything else. If its any consolation, you will be accompanied by the Fatherly, Jeff Bridges, the Handsome, Garett Hedlund and the absolutely gorgeous, Olivia Wilde.

Yes, we are talking about, Tron Legacy, if you haven’t figured.

The movie is appropriately named, Tron Legacy. The original movie, Tron, is legacy now comparing to this three dimensional version. But I, for one, would agree with any decent movie watcher and say, Tron was a much better movie than its sequel.

It had what would you called originality which is simply lacking here. Anyway, we are not here to review Tron but to review its sequel. So forgetting my feelings for Tron, I continue to our present subject.

On a good-start note, I am going to begin this review by saying that, I felt relieved that even in the Cyber World where man feeds current for a living, you still find …. (if you had expected me to say Love, go shoot yourself) … Hot Girls. :P. Later later…

Garett, a heir of the major corporation, Encom, is a whiz-kid brought-en up without his father. What became of him, you will find later. If you do not, then the movie has no point. Anyway, after this young boy (not so young now) has gone on for about twenty years without his father, or simply put, after he has become a hero, he is ready to take upon the evil ones.
He happens to find himself his father’s secret lab, (oh! every super-hero should have one), tries to experiment and gets himself into the world of computer programs, namely the Grid. He is initially engaged to play games and he being the User doesn’t know to change the game, Pity! And when he is about to lose, you would find yourself mouthing, “Of Course”, the hot heroine is out to save him.

He is taken to his father, Jeff Bridges and bla bla bla..
Afterward he wants to pursue evil and destroy it to take his father out of the system. So he sets out without the Heroine this time and gets caught within the loops of the master program, Clu, who is an younger animated CG version of cool looking Jeff Bridges again.

Fights ensue and the father Jeff comes to rescue and they escape out of Clu’s hands. The movie drones on to show some father son chats but none worthy. Later the action begins as they learn that Clu has built a program army to meet the external world and destroy it. They fight Clu and in an attempt to save Garett, Jeff integrates himself with Clu destroying them both. Hero and Heroine safely sent back to real life.
End of story.

Section: Later:
Continuing on where we left off…. Hot girls…
Olivia Wilde is super cool in her role as Quorra, talking you through the movie with her charms.
Her costume and her hair-do is more fitting and is supposed to be tough but she looks idyllic.

Garett Hedlund is great and does not look like a new face (even though a nice one) to the industry. You have got more time to grow up, man.

Jeff Bridges as always is self contained and convincing both as the good and also as the bad, only bad looks awesome and good looks old and weary, as always.

Bruce Boxleitner is brought in, in a sort of a guest role when he is the co-hero in the first one, bad for you, Grandpa. You are in your Oscars age but still not much luck.

I, for one, felt that the movie should have been directed a little more better. Later, I heard that this was Joseph Kosinski’s debut film. I agree that he is decent. Good ground-kicking start. But he needs to grow to shed more light into the emotions in addition to his current great charisma in showing action.

What should have been emotional scenes between the son and father, even if surrounded by digital imagery, fade into lifelessness. I guess I expected more from the Director and from Jeff Bridges. (You deceived me, Jeff). Maybe Jeff didn’t want to play some sort of softy here but some simple but powerful expressions would have done the trick but please don’t hope to see anything.

Except if you can forget and forgive these misles, the movie is cool. A teenager would definitely enjoy this movie, but I have to agree, I have overgrown out of it.

The visual effects are fantastic and the sound-mixing is a no-word-can-describe-you-better kind of a thing.
Its good that it got nominated to the Oscars. Even if it didn’t win, its greatly commendable.

If you are an action-flick-fan which has a good background to it and if you are happy with the lights that blue and red colors create then go see this. You will have fun to the core, except for maybe some boring moments which are supposed to be great emotional breaks in the movie, but that’s okay, you will have a heart forgive these for the special effects. Your money will be well-spent, I guarantee you.

If you are happy with the movie’s outcome, then you can consider yourself sane, as the reviewer (that’s me)
seems to be a little distant from sane. So, before becoming not sane, (kinda looks a loop, or probably i am going loopy) I am going to log myself off of the system for the time being. Stop reading this now and go enjoy the movie.

Arrivederci!


Fair Game – or Should I be calling it a Great Game?

Aloha,

One more movie review today! God, I must be a movie maniac. Most of my blogs seem to revolve around movies. My head is like the Inception’s never toppling Top in a dream now, constant, in thinking and writing about movies, no offense Nolan.

A late disclaimer if I may, if you are reading this review, which is about the movie, Fair Game, without watching Inception(which is a wonderful movie by the way) and not knowing Nolan (who conceived Inception), well, you can go hang yourself.
But do read this through before you do so as you might be the occasional, accidental reader who has stumbled across this piece of so-called writing, unfortunately. If you still seem to go on, I would assume you really are crazy or I would want to admire your courage or patience whichever takes precedence.

Continuing on to some useful content, to fulfill the purpose of this blog to say the least, Fair Game.

Naomi Watts is the chic lady (who by her look proves that she is some sort of a covert operative, even before you had guessed she was CIA) is shown to travel across the world, intimidate the intimidating and get her covert work done (which by the way is so non-covert to the movie watcher but you get the general idea).

Sean Penn is the husband who plays a retired but very eloquent ambassador who seem to have 5 year old kids. (Oh Sean! Is your character trying to prove you wasted your young life achieving something that it took you so long to have kids. I haven’t the faintest idea).

Forgetting all this surrounding aspects nagging as they may, as the movie progresses, Naomi no doubt gets promoted and when the time came, Naomi has to choose someone to goto Niger to gather intelligence about Iraq buying nuclear weapons. This is where the eloquent husband Sean comes into play, as he is the formal ambassador with Connections in Niger, the man for the job.
But to Sean’s surprise Niger doesn’t offer him anything near to interesting and he comes home with nothing. Naomi goes back with this analysis to her office and is politely ignored while the president – Bush is shown telling the media that Iraq is preparing for a some sort of a nuclear war.

Mollified and unable to sit tight, Sean writes a sensitive (on the government side of course) newspaper article about the non-existence of a nuclear deal between Niger and Iraq. Heatened, Naomi is chucked out of the CIA and whats worse, her identity, which she had safe-guarded for so long, that she is an Agent, is revealed.

Naomi is dis-heartened while Sean conducts a kind of an anti-government rally against the white house.
The movie has some pretty sensational scenes of Sean doing interviews and making speeches and emotionally getting involved with his role with a great charisma.

The whole second half of the movie talks about how Naomi transforms from a skeptical person, worrying about her family, to a bring-it-on person. Naomi has done well, the transformation is real and doesn’t seem abrupt or overmade. At one point, you would find your mind thinking, Naomi, Come on, go for it. Then and only then does Naomi move.

And when she comes back with full force and joins Sean, the heat is ON.
My and many others favorite dialogue in the movie would and should be, the one that Naomi says to Sean,
“I don’t care what they say about me, about us, but, they do not get to take my marriage”.
Naomi’s delivery is simple and adequate and the movie becomes memorable just because of the way in which the movie ends, the way in which Naomi fades and the real person, Valerie Plame, comes into the shot.
Oh! Sorry if you are not aware, this is a real time story made into an awesome movie.

IMDB gave the movie a 7, I would give it more. Not ten, no but definitely deserving much more than a 7.
Fair Game is a Fair movie. Add it to your list of good movies. Enjoy!

Arrivederci!


I was indeed, Tangled!

Aloha,
It’s movie time.

Another Rapunzel movie, Whew! I thought to myself, “Would these guys give her a break for once, seriously?” With the beginning of the Shrek series there have been many, so many, Rapunzel (or Fiona or whatever she is called) type movies almost every year.
Whooff!, I considered myself mad for loving animation and going to see this movie and I thought to myself, as long as mad people like me are around, these old-story-remake losers are always gonna make money.
When the movie ended however…. (Not now! The blog’s just begun, lets not break the heat! Lets Zoooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh)

So, as if you do not know this already, we are here to review one of Walt Disney’s yet another animated feature marking a romantic start for the year 2011, “Tangled”.

The movie starts with a witty narration (Oh! Saved gracefully from the Once upon a time thing beginning) by the character, Flynn Ryder, given life by the exotic voice of Zachary Levi.

Now, as usual, a grandeur (animated, of course) high palace is shown right in the centre of the city, but near the banks of a beautiful river. I don’t know how they can bring these two things, the city centre and the river, together always or how I fall for this every time but I can tell you one thing, I have never lost taste for this (even if you have).

The King and the Queen (dummies, intended to cry until the end of the movie, mostly with sorrow but for once in the end with happiness, but still crying), have a beautiful, golden-haired, baby-girl daughter (if she isn’t pretty she is not the princess). The daughter is born with a gift from the God’s own magic flower and hence the magic golden hair. (I wish I had a bunch but not worthy would be my guess)

Now, sorry for voicing my skepticism here but if God does magic, he is hailed as a great soul, but if a mortal woman does it, she is a wicked witch (Except for maybe Hermione Granger, of course, if you know who she is). But seriously, Why the partiality people? Think!

So, now that it’s out in the open, let’s move on…..

As expected, the evil old woman who knows the flower’s secret climbs atop the high palace (do not ask me how, you have got to show some belief here), steals the baby, becomes young and takes her across to the high tower, near a beautiful waterfall, conveniently surrounded by mountains so that this tower is never visible to others.

Now the King, deprived of her daughter, lights candles (Wow! What a great way of finding her) and lets it out in the sky every year on her birthday. The people of the kingdom, the loyal ones of course, consider the King’s word as the God’s word and light candles and float them away on their behalf.

Of course, these candles make the scene look wonderful; bring a longing feeling to the girl, Rapunzel, (voiced by Mandy Moore who does justice to her role for real this time) atop the high tower, every time she sees them from her high view point. Why can’t she be raised in a cellar underground? You never know.
Rapunzel wants to see the origin of these candles. That might of course ruin the old or not-so-old-now lady’s plans. So Rapunzel is grounded.

The story takes a sudden, not-so-sudden twist when the thieving hero, Flynn en-route his escape from the palatial HORSE (an interesting supporting character by the way, so interesting that they might nominate this role to the Oscars this year for the Best Performance in a Supporting Role category), seeks asylum in the tower in which the heroine lives, mother not there when this happens of course.

The heroine, believe me when I say this, has miles and miles of flowing golden hair, pertaining to the fact that the hair will lose its power when cut. The hero initially seeks to help her out in an aim to retrieve his stolen satchel which is now stolen and hidden by Rapunzel. The great thief who hasn’t fallen for all the weapons of the palatial guards’ falls for the heroine’s greatest weapon of all times, not the “charm” if you are expecting that word here, but a frying pan. Teeechchchchckaaa.

Rapunzel, with her ugly but cute, chameleon friend, sweeps all the way to palace with her hair, sweeps us off merrily with her songs and of course sweeps Flynn by his feet with love during her adventures or mis-adventures, aptly put, on her way to the palace.
Now wait a second! Why is she going with Flynn to the palace? To see the floating lights of course if you haven’t caught up to the wind already!

The scene in which Rapunzel and Flynn sit in a boat in the river by the palace and watch thousands of candles rise into the sky, love is in the air, its so romantic that you would want to kiss the gorgeous girl sitting next to you in the theater, without considering the after-effects (which will possibly include getting beaten by the whole theatre crowd making the romantic movie into an action flick, but, never mind, its all imagination, turns out my neighbor was a nerdy looking guy, my friend, saving me the trouble of getting beaten). But in spite of all this bull**** I am talking about above, the scene is well shot and it’s perfect. Bravo to the art direction and the animators for this one.

The happy ending ends with a hearty positive climax, the death of the cruel old lady (oh! Now she looks old) and several other anti-elements, except perhaps the hero, who as usual is lucky, he went for the satchel, now he has the whole kingdom, if he can excuse the walking bio-hazard, Rapunzel.

The only sad thing, or not-so-sad for some like me, is, in an attempt to defeat the old lady, Rapunzel’s hair is cut. And she looks cool, for once, with her boy-cut.

And Flynn and Rapunzel with a much shorter hair, lived ________ ever after….
(You can fill the blank up above with whatever you like).

After all that sarcastic talk, the movie was absolutely endearing and if you are a child at heart (like me :P), this movie is right for you. It’s great for kids provided that they are still kids at heart.
Enjoy another good movie and come home happy.

Arrivederci!