Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A scoop of latin american pudding.

been away too long.. had enough of perpetual hollywood dramas.. lets dwell in to something a little more hot , a little more deep and ofcourse much more serious movies...
lately i been collecting non-hollywood movies like mad. here goes the list...
1. yt tu mama tambein
2. bad education
3. the motorcycle diaries.
4. the cronicas
5. ammores perros.
6. the secret ballot.
7. the shower
8. beijing bicycles
9. a very long engagement.
10. the barbarian invasions
11. run lola run

Thursday, August 17, 2006

PRECEDENTS .... OSCARS..

ChinaTown(1974).
cast : JackNicholson(JakeGittes), FayeDunaway
director - RomanPolanski.
A timelessGem, a masterful western. a road full of treacheries and cold deciets, and in the
middle of all what do we have?, an easyrider who is goin south . Oh yes my boy we have Mr.JackNicholson
standing tall ahead in the highway, ahem not exactly standing tall, infact we find poor Jack to be totally at sea
among these cold decietful sharks. well finally he says; put a sock in it boys its time i cleaned the webs.
well the rest ,you got to be there to watch it. first time i watched it i felt it was mediocre, all ado about nothing.
well if you are in the mood to watch a timepass mystery this certainly is not the one, you need to give more than
that to enjoy this classic. jack as always is near to perfect in this golden drama. roman polanski has hit it again after
rosemary's baby . certainly a collectors edition. An academy award winnig script - Robert Towne.
certainly an 8 pointer 8/10.

Out of Africa(1985).
cast : RobertRedford, MerylStreep.
director : SydneyPollack.

winner of best picture, best director. one of the epic onscreen romances. an aging robert redford, and a passionate
explorer streep, together they have produced magic on the screen. the fascinating true story of Karen Blixen a strong
willed woman almost abandoned by her husbands picks up a life in Kenya running a coffe plantation. here enters the
mysterious hunter. and follows a masterfully crafted saga of love and loss. and a equally magnificient score(best original score )
to back all this up a wild virgin soil of africa. another all timer scores easily 7.5/10.

Gentleman's Agreement(1947).
cast : GregoryPeck, Dorothymaguire
director - Elia Kazan.
anti-semitism. a nail right in the head of racial prejudice, i am sure this one must have created quite a maelstorm.
a story almost impossible to be empathized in the present times, gregory peck in a quest to quench the thirst for
self transcendence takes a dip in the reality of the aparthied. a writer by profession, he poses himself as a Jew.
well it was folded , now they are unfolding and unfolding , the horrors they never stop coming. devastated by the
horrifying experience and risking everything at stake Peck faces the moment of truth. A frame of reference
of despicable realities and nuances of human indignity. this acclaimed adaptation of Laura Hobson's best seller
scored big time in oscars, 7/10.

RoseMary's baby(1968)
cast : MiaFarrow, John Cassavetes, RuthGordon.
director - Roman polanski.

An adaptation of IraLevin's best seller, this is a classic horror.
young NewYork Couple moves in to a new apartment, an overzealous neighbour
( which won an oscar for RuthGordon) and a spurious crowd around them.
And the story starts unfolding when rosemary's is expecting her first child.
all the small small things which seemed trivial, slowly starts making sense towars the end
But by then its too late. now its neck or nothing .. Well the fim is certainly much more majestically
intense and gloomy than the dilapidated script i have given. ( a bad attempt at humour).
MiaFarrow as RoseMary has come out with an excellent performance. coming forth as just another
pretty cosy chik, she grows in to a near moribund person lurking between the creepy but dilgent demons.

A man for all seasons(1966).
cast : PaulScofield, Robertshaw, Orsonwelles.
director - FredZimmerman.
well this one is certainly for all seasons.
and he, PaulScofield was certainly the man for the moment.
plot - medieval England, KingHenry VIII s marriage to Anne Boleyn has taken the country by storm.
Only one dares to opine his mind vociferously against the king , Sir Thomas More ;at the stake of his preciuos head.
Well i will have to warn you , this one is a feast for the ears,

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

when love is in the air.

There are times when the screen silence speaks a million words than what you could convey through rhetorics. I have always felt the most romantic scenes were not the one with the most romatic quotes. There are times you feel everything has been said in just one look. Ofcourse you can see the most celebrated famous romatic quotes starting from Casablanca to the more recent Titanic. I had come across some wonderful scenes in movies which are relatively not known as the romantic genre. Most of them doesnt have much dialogues. But they always had a great touching background score which provided the divine touch to the purity of emotions floating on the screen. Let me rollout some of them here.
we are rolling - ready in 3, 2, 1 ...

CruelIntentions(1999).
cast : ryanPhillipe, reese witherspoon, Sarah michelle Gellar, selma blair.

the modern Dangerous Liasons(one f the great films of early 90's) , in a nutshell its just another teenage movie. but when you get attached to the movie, this one stands out from any other teenage non-sense. all young actors ,have put up a nearly perfect performance. especially Ryan Phillipe. he was quite convincing as Sebastain, the immoral womanizer, who finally falls for his own trap. Once he metamorphises to the passionate lover the movie takes a dramatic turn.

One scene which is etched in my mind is the one when he meets her in the subway(after she leaves him).
He is standing at the top of the elevator waiting for her. In the background we have (i am ready - counting crows. an exceptional piece of soothing music). They just keep looking at each others, till she is beside him. I felt Ryan was looking magnificent in that blue shirt.
we can feel the craving in his eyes, the passion and the guilt everything in that look.
may be because they are real life couple or wat, they had amazing chemistry.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Alfred James Pacino

Panic in the needle park(1971)
review - pending

The godfather (1972)
cast
The masterpiece of all times - coppola at his best , pacino - the prodigy and brando in one of his avatars. you pick up something new every time you watch the movie. Again i am putting myself in a spot by picking this one for review. Me being an AlPacino nut, i might end up writing only about MichealCorleone but then i will be commiting a sin by not mentioning Tomhagen, Sonny and a whole bunch of precious unforgettable precious in this gem of a movie. when i watched it for the first time i honestly felt that Coppola has done injustice to the book. But then whenever i bumped into this on TV or DVD i realized, what infact Coppola has done was to take the movie to another level and thus he has liberated the movie from being passed off as another gripping tale of murder and mafia. innumerable memorable scenes . NoSurprise the first one which comes in to mind is none other than the negotation with Sollozo in the restaurant. i would be doing injustice to Al if i comment on how he fared in that 30 sec long shot before shooting Sollozo. Another one is when he is hit by the thunderbolt. Well i think Its time i moved on to other movies otherwise i would never stop. The background score by NinoRota is gripping and haunting. and the way movie ends with the score is just classic. well we will talk about this one later. rating 9.5/10

ScareCrow(1973)
Cast - GeneHackman , AlPacino. director - Jerry Schatzberg.

review - in a nutshell a mediocre film, strictly only for Al fans, otherwise you are not gonna gain anything from this. Max and Lionel two lonely drifters bump in to each other on a deserted highway. This is the opening sequence, somehow i felt Gene was always a misfit for the role of Max, the tough but considerate companion. Al was the only lively thing in the movie, though his character doesnt have much depth, still he gave it a decent effort. It gets a little too melodramatic towards the end, but dont worry i dont imagine anybodies heart breaking over that. get it only if you are a fantaic Al viewer. bottom line just an average time pass - 5/10

Serpico(1973)
Cast - FrankSerpico (Al)
director - SidneyLumet. pacino fresh from the









The godfather-II (1974)
review - pending

DogDayAfterNoon(1975)
cast - Alpacino(Sonny) ,JohnCazale(Sal).
director - SidneyLumet
An oscar winning script , based on a true story from the streets of Brooklyn in 1972. you can check out the story in wikipedia.org. another brilliant performance from AlPacino. A complex character which adds mayhem to an already complexed plot. A two men bank robbery, the high point of thier day :- they get everybody on gunpoint and gets the keys to the locker, from then its all down hill. Al is too good from the start to the end as the passionate Sonni, giving him excellent company is JohnCazale(Sal) ( remember the second brother in godfather a low profile charatcer who was wasting his life in casinos) as a pathetic follower to whatever Sonni says. A mix of hilarious and tragic reel moments makes the movie a real pleasure to watch. The scene when Sonni shouts at the cops saying attica attica is something which will lasts in our memory for quite sometime. Somehow SidneyLumet has manipulated the use of natural light to intensify the charge of each scenes, it has a bright dramatic start , a mix of ups and downs in momentum, drags gloomily towards the end and then abruptly he finishes it all. a must watch for an alpacino fan. a total new face of AlPacino after Serpico, and ScareCrow. this easily scores a 7.5/10 in my list.

AndJusticeforAll(1978)
cast :- ArthurKirkLand(Al), Jdg. FrancisRayford(jackWarden) Jdg HenryFleming(JohnForsythe).
director - NormanJewison.

Judge Rayford: Mr. Kirkland, you are out of order! Arthur Kirkland: [takes a moment to gather himself] The one thing that bothered me, the one thing that stayed in my mind and I couldn't get rid of it, that haunted me was WHY. Why would she lie? What was her motive for lying? If my client is innocent, She's Lying. Why? Was it blackmail? No. Was it jealousy? No. Yesterday, I found out why. She doesn't have a motive. You know why? Because she's not lying. And ladies and gentlemen of the Jury, the prosecution is NOT gonna get that man today, No! Because I'M GONNA GET HIM! My client, the Honorable Henry T. Fleming, SHOULD GO RIGHT TO FUCKING JAIL! The sonofabitch is GUILTY!

Al at his best, you can watch this movie any number of times you want. i guarantee. its a pity he had to satisfy himself with an oscar nomination for this movie. Movie is smart, down right funny, a little too idealistic i would say. But what the hell, this one is a gem. there are some exceptional scenes that you will remember for life. when he confronts Arnie, after hearing of his clients suicide - he tells Arnie, you know they are just people , just people. poor Al we will all sympathise with him. He tries his best but still the system itself will pull him down some how, we find ourself getting angry, empathizing and suffocating trying to esacpe the vicious cycle of the judiciary or the way they they run it.Oh yes, its all melodramatised but like they say real depiction is far from interesting. This movie has always been overshadowed by pacino's other highly charged up dramas like dogdayAfternoon and Serpico. but you will , no you should find this on any top AlPacino list. Highly recommended - 8/10.

ScarFace(1983)

cast - TonyMontana(Al), MannyRibera(StevenBauer) Elvira(michele Pfeiffer) director - BrianDePalma.

I am antonioMontana , political prisoner from kooba , and i want my f**king human rights, just like your president JimmyCarter says.
attittude, attitude and more attitude. Though it was written off as another bloody mafia contraption at its time, this ones rates high in any viewers topper list.One thing you are gonna notice is the witty dialogues, like the one when he is trying to hit on Pfeiffer. The one with frank after an attempt on his life, the opening interrogation, and one of the best say goodnite to the bad guy monologue in restuarant, and ofcourse the last one: you wanna play rough say hi to my little friend here. too much blood i would agree, but i would say we can show a little latitude for BrianDePalma cos he has come up with a certainly entertaining film and more importantly offered Al a great platform to bring his latent charactersitics. Pfieffer and Pacino had a great chemistry which was quite evident in their later film of the 90's Frankie and Johnny. There are times i felt that was Al was shouting a little too much, speaking a little too more, but redundancy is not a sic when it comes to drama. all in all a watchable film and higly recommnded collectors edition - 7.5/10

SeaOfLove(1989)
cast:Al(

Frankie and Johnny(1991) .
cast : Al(Johnny), Michelle Pfeiffer(Frankie).
A feel good film which is obliged to Al and Pfeiffer's chemistry together for whatever fame it got.
It feels good to see Al romancing, flirting around. like i said great chemistry.
Al keeps on saying pardon my Frenc maa'm . whcih is decently funny i would say. But the proposal scene was too mcuh man. He says - i cant believe i proposed to a woman who says " you are barking up the wrong tree" when i proposed her. - now listen to what she says , my life has come in to such a pass that i had nobody left but some guy who says pardon my french all the time. well romance is certainly there in the air, i would say. ahem. But all in all
i promise you , this wont be boring , i want to emphasize this Pfeiffer is an astonishingly talented woman, same goes with the looks. The pair looked much warmer and cosier than they did in scarface(1983).



Glenngarry Glennross(1992)

Scent of a woman(1992)

Carlitos way(1993)

TwoBits(1995)

Heat(1995)

CityHall(1996)

Donniebrasco(1997)

The devbils Advocate(1997)

The Insider(1999)

AnygivenSunday(1999)

Insomnia(2002)



The recruit(2003).

Sunday, August 06, 2006



THE OSCARS.. and the ones they missed.

lets see what the best pictures from oscars has offered , are they really the best pictures... well thats quite a contentious one , so lets leave it to the argumentarians...
lets see what they have offered us so far. ( randomly from my personal collections).
1. All quite on the western front.(1929)
review:- PENDING- the dvd has been staring at me for months now,
still hasnt watched the movie yet. oops ASAP.

2. CitizenKane(1941).

review:- oh boy this is a big one. i dont know whether i am in a position to comment on this all time list topper. but like they say you goth tho do wath you got tho do. okkie this wont be music to a lot of Kane fanatics, i felt the movie was mediocre by any standards. OrsonWelles OrsonWelles and more OrsonWelles .... well that was a little too much Mr.Welles, cos i felt whole movie was made to prove a point to somebody, not to the audience that much i am sure. movie revolves round MrKane who does stuff the way he feels like and ofcourse he is the biggest personality of the decade. simple and clean isnt'it. Only it didnt look that simple and clean in the reel. You can see Kane in pain, Kane in ecstasy, Kane in whatnots man, well it just didnt register with me why all this mundane stuff should make this movie so great. There is no particlular story to tell. One easy way is .. long long time ago there was this man called MrKane, and .. blah blah.. and then he screwed up bigtime and died leaving a mystery, the unfolding of which tells us the story of MrKane and the lesser privilged mortals around him.
well this one would have been a classic of the times, but i am sorry to say i just couldnt find the legendary experience which i was looking for in this most talked about movie of the century.
rating 6.5/10

3. On the WaterFront (1954)

well i am jumping decades to this marlon brando biggie.
There is something gripping about this film. you feel it through out,but cant make out,
may be its brando with his tormented soul or more precisely an amputated spirit who
is in search of his dharma n karma and finally he achieves his relief and in turn frees
a community of scared to shit souls from the valley of fear. god knows how many amitabh movies were inspired by this. Ghulam - aamirKhan starrer was a direct remake.
setting, the one we have seen 100 times. hero is baddies righthand's younger brother,
who is guilty by association in heroines brothers murder; unknowingly ofcourse.
now he is in a turmoil once he falls in love for our lady eva saint. to be or not to be, and then..
but movie is much more intense than the wafer thin story line. there are some memorable scenes like the famous " i could have been a contender" in the car with brando and his brother.
directot EliaKazan has come out with a good film, obviously counted as one of his best.
This one certainly is a collectors piece. i would rate this 7.5/10.

4. ButchCassidy and the SunDanceKid(1969).


1969. one hell of an year wasnt'it. same goes with the movies, probably one of those years which churned out quite a number of quality films like the rightstuff, midnightcowboy(oscar winner).
the first of robert redford + paul newman biggies ( the sting in 1973 ). i just love paul newman in this. ofcourse sundance was meant to be the serious dude. but man butch was goddamn awesome. the scene when they decide to jump in to the falls, like the ending, the chemistry was just pure magic. the cinematography - good enough to watch any day, even after four decades movie still has its magical charm. a pure entertrainer to the core. Though there are times we wonder movie is taking a slump in pace, then it dramatically picks you up like in a torra torra.
Though the end is arguably predicatble it was well knit. And there are other things this movie is remembered for; raindrops keep falling - the song which i would say was made popular in the indian society by hutchisson telecom , where you see paul newman romancing in a cycle. honestly speaking i felt it was kind of cute. GeorgeRoyHill has done a commendous work with his chair behind the camera. though it doesnt make any sense to compare butch cassidy with his Sting(1973) , As an entertainer this scores major time in many levels. rating more on making
a laymans money worth than on a critial cynosure this movie scores a rating of 8/10 than others. here comes the riders.. hoof hoof.. who are these people..................

5. The GodFather(1972).
i was just wondering which one from the 70's should i go for. well my mind whispered shyam i think your foot is so deep in your mouth it might take a whole mob to pull it out and lay me in peace for good. Ofcourse there is only one movie of the 70's that you can think of when it comes to oscars. The masterpiece of all times - coppola at his best , pacino - the prodigy and brando in one of his avatars. you pick up something new every time you watch the movie. Again i am putting myself in a spot by picking this one for review. Me being an AlPacino nut, i might end up writing only about MichealCorleone but then i will be commiting a sin by not mentioning Tomhagen, Sonny and a whole bunch of precious unforgettable precious in this gem of a movie. when i watched it for the first time i honestly felt that Coppola has done injustice to the book. But then whenever i bumped into this on TV or DVD i realized, what infact Coppola has done was to take the movie to another level and thus he has liberated the movie from being passed off as another gripping tale of murder and mafia. innumerable memorable scenes . NoSurprise the first one which comes in to mind is none other than the negotation with Sollozo in the restaurant. i would be doing injustice to Al if i comment on how he fared in that 30 sec long shot before shooting Sollozo. Another one is when he is hit by the thunderbolt. Its time i moved on i would never stop. The background score by NinoRota is gripping and haunting. and the way movie ends with the score is just classic. well we will talk about this one later. rating 9.5/10

6. The Shining(1980)
here comes johnny.......
And finally we see Mr.Nicholson easily one of the best actors from the 70's entering the stage in hand with Stanley Kubrick. celebrated as one of the most scariest movies of the times(rated even above psycho) Shining has a class touch to it most of the times, On a personalfront i would say i have felt scarier in a lot other occasions. But the movie will remain in your memories just for Mr.Jack. his best performances till date is One flew over the cookoos nest(1975). As Good as it gets(1999). welll it couldnt get any better than this one. I am warning you Kubrick is gonna scare you with the sounds and not with the visuals, he creates such strong and gripping visuals that once we are totally engrossed in them , then he plays his trump card. One which struck me as peculiar was the one when the kid goes cycling through the creepy corridors, when he gets on and off the carpets , boy that really gave me the creeps. And the maze is another wonderful ploy used for the same. Though you can see Mr.Hitchcock sneeking in btw the shots but still all hands to Kubrick for coming up with a memorable film. The last time i saw kubrick was when he came up with clockWorkOrange. boy what do you call that kind of stuff??? .
This one certainly is a topper. 8/10.

7. The BraveHeart (1995)

I know this must have raised quite a lot of eye brows, well who cares dude you just cannot ignore this one. this is one of my alltime favourites. MelGibson every where behind and infront of camera. till date his best work. the performance which denied tomHanks (Appolo 13)fetching the oscar for the third time in a row. Me being a bigger TomHanks fan i was disappointed that he didnt make it the third time. well all those bitterments went off in smoke once i saw BraveHeart, Mr Hanks i am sorry to say you are no where in the picture honey. It was just Mel and nobody else stood a chance. the man who sacrificed his life for the country, the one who picked up the sword in the name of love. Its poetry that you see in those scenes, And lots of crude medieval warfare. The last scene still leaves a wound as fresh as the first time. Pure entertainment. nothing has beaten BraveHeart in its genre of movies, the closest which came was Gladiator, but it lacked the compassion. This exceptionaly good movie will find its name in any topper list. 9/10.

8. AmericanBeauty(1999).



I guess I could be really pissed off about what happened to me...but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst...and then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry .........You will someday..................

finally recognition for KevinSpacey. Director SamMendes has come out with such a low profile film which literally laughed at other contraptions(read nominations) and walked away with the oscars. The movie goes so deep in to us, we start running alongsides Mr.LesterBurman in his morning joggs.(of Course i am not gay). a kaleidoscope in to american family values, a brutally honest dissection of relationships in the modern days. A must watch. rating 8.5/10.














a hollywood panorama of the late 90's

yippie....
me a big movie maniac...
just thought i will put my views(reviews) in the air.

hmm 90's hollywood what all comes in to mind first.

my quickpicks goes like this.

brave heart.

forrest gump

american beauty

seven

shawshank redemption.

as good as it gets.

dances with the wolves.