Movie reviews and FAQ

Movie Theater

I sometimes watch several movies a month, so I thought I should start a social service (hah!) by giving my personal reviews about them! 🙂 This page – Movie Reviews – is accessible from the navigation in the header. The movies listed here are the ones I have watched starting from January 2009. The ratings are based solely on my own opinion about them. The movies (including Indian ones) are linked to their IMDB page. Hope you enjoy some of them as much as I did! Coming soon, a sidebar for the same functionality and hopefully the reviews merged into my post RSS feed.

ALSO NEW! A (really informative) Frequently Asked Questions section!

Really overused movie dialogues

These dialogues always crack me up. They make me wanna throw stuff. 🙂

1. “Back off buddy.. this is real life. Not like in the movies
I have always wondered how they script lines like that in the movies. If the plot involves a movie star in any which way possible, one of the detectives/cops always, somehow, finds a way to use the above line. Isn’t the line a gigantic paradox? Just when you would think that may be this is one of those movies which are not like the others, the case is solved in the most dramatic way possible, with all the good things happening right in the nick of time.

2. “I am your father.Or mother/brother/lawn mower.
It’s either that dialogue or its realization by the hero/villain/rose bush. Come on… it’s not dramatic anymore! It used to be in the 70s. Ok, may be the 80s. It so happens that at least one of the persons involved in the dialogue ends up reforming himself in a split second. Dude, what if he is kidding with you? You’d be dead. But that never happens.
I last heard this line in the movie ‘Wanted’.  Spoiler alert in the previous sentence.

3. “I am going to make him an offer he can’t refuse”
Always followed by the camera showing the face of the listener in silence. Scene cut. It was famously used in Godfather. And that was really an offer they couldn’t refuse. Stop using it now. No, really. It’s not awe striking any more.

4. “Now… where were we?”
These golden words are spoken after a make-out scene was interrupted. Always. Cliched and abused. It’s not even corny any more.

5. “You have to go on without me!”
Our selfless hero is close to death and he realizes it. It could be because he is extremely tired, injured or miserably constipated (and he needs a longer-than-usual bathroom break). He realizes he is more of a liability for the team. Then there is his dear friend/girlfriend/lawn mower who has to waste valuable time by arguing with him. It’s funny how frequently this happens in war movies, and bombs never strike the friend/girlfriend/lawn mower in mid-sentence.

6. “We’ve got company.”
Usually the cops. Or the bad guys. Or the LMA lawyers (Lawn Mower Association) . Basically “company” is unwanted by people in the scene. I find it amazing how one guy radios to the other saying that they’ve got company, and the listener always understands. Always. ALWAYS.

7. “I’ll go and check in the basement”
Yeah, that guy is dead. In most cases, they never show what kills him though. All they show is that the camera rushes at his petrified face.

8. “Be careful…” “Ha ha! What could possibly go wrong?”
Everything. Usually followed by explosions not causing death, but generally comical situation (intended) that goes on to show that the experiment failed.

9. “No no no! Don’t give up on me!”
First, stop pounding his chest so hard. You are killing all of the little life that is remaining in that poor thing. Whoever told you THAT was CPR was high. This is followed by
(a). the person dying a tragic and heart wrenching death, but the death either enrages the speaker of the aforementioned lines, or it does not really matter in the plot, because it’s the end of the movie
(b). he/she could not take it anymore and tells the speaker to stop hammering on the chest, because he/she is alive. Even after 138 bullets ripped through his/her body.

10. “He/she’s in a better place”
Follows minutes after the previous one, it so happens that all that pounding on the chest killed him/her. And the dialogue is delivered to someone whose mental capacity is unable to accept death. Like a 15 year old.

Oscar Movies

Watched two Oscar nominated movies today – Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon. They were both so brilliant that I do not know which one I liked better.

But I must add that Frank Langella did a stellar performance as President Nixon. His presence dwarfed everyone else in the movie.

Also, it’s heartwarming that Rahman got his long overdue recognition in the international audience. Though a couple of his songs are simply fabulous in the movie, it’s not his best work.

On life

From the movie Garden State, there is this line Natalie Portman says to Zach Braff –
If you don’t laugh at yourself, life is going to seem a lot longer than you want it to.


Wall*E: Beyond the Ordinar*E

In the summer of 1994, there was a lunch. Me, John Lasseter, Pete Doctor, Joe Ranft, all sat down… Toy Story was almost complete… and we thought – Well, jeez, if we were gonna make another movie we gotta get started now! So at that lunch we knocked around a bunch of ideas that eventually became A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo… the last one we talked about that day was the story of a robot. Named Wall*E.

Andrew Stanton
Director of Finding Nemo

I have missed very few of animation movies on the big screen. And I have watched each of them at least three times. Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Toy Story, Cars, Monsters Inc. etc were works of staggering geniuses. Even the not so famous ones like Robots. And I am really really really looking forward to Wall*E.

Coming to a theater near me.
On June the 27th.

What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL*E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL*E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL*E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets into motion one of the most exciting and imaginative comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen. Joining WALL*E on his fantastic journey across a universe of never-before-imagined visions of the future, is a hilarious cast of characters including a pet cockroach, and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.

There are two major trailers to the movie as embedded here (courtesy YouTube).

Wall*E: Trailer 1

Wall*E: Trailer 2

The PR and advertising of this in the US is great – they have shown it in several places including the superbowl this year as well! Disney has also released this other promotional clip on Wall-E, as if it were available in a store (Buy-n-Large, heh).

Disney Promotional Video (Wall*E)

I know I am not going to be disappointed when I watch the movie. And I love the way it says “Wall*E’.

The beauty of argument

That’s the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you are never wrong.

One of my all time favorite movie has been and will remain “Thank you for smoking“. I had seen it way back in 2006 and that movie is a big load of many-things-to-learn.
Nick Naylor, a lobbyist for a big tobacco firm has a tough job fronting an organization that kills 1200 people a day. But that does not make him a bad person – it’s his job. To talk.
And in fact, this movie throws light on all those people who take the fall in place of others. While the world hates such people, there is something else in their lives which the mediocre brained do not see.
He fights for and teaches how to fight for one’s dignity. He brings perspective to several things in life that are blindly taken as to be wrong. Here is the trailer – you must watch the movie if you have not seen it. For those who admire strong satire and good quality comedy, you will not be disappointed.

Trailer: Thank you for smoking

Here’s my favorite scene from the movie – where Nick is describing the nuances of his job to his son. About how to be right, even if you are not necessarily right. All it takes to prove you are right, is to prove the other person is wrong. Even if it is on a different aspect. And you need to prove it to people watching, not to the person himself. Not the right thing to do, but unfortunately, that is how it works in the world.

Joey: So, what happens when you’re wrong?
Nick: Well, Joey, I’m never wrong.
Joey: But you can’t always be right.
Nick: Well, if it’s your job to be right, then you’re never wrong.
Joey: But what if you are wrong?
Nick: Okay, let’s say that you’re defending chocolate and I’m defending vanilla. Now, if I were to say to you, “Vanilla’s the best flavor ice cream”, you’d say …?
Joey: “No, chocolate is.”
Nick: Exactly. But you can’t win that argument. So, I’ll ask you: So you think chocolate is the end-all and be-all of ice cream, do you?
Joey: It’s the best ice cream; I wouldn’t order any other.
Nick: Oh. So it’s all chocolate for you, is it?
Joey: Yes, chocolate is all I need.
Nick: Well, I need more than chocolate. And for that matter, I need more than vanilla. I believe that we need freedom and choice when it comes to our ice cream, and that, Joey Naylor, that is the definition of liberty.
Joey: But that’s not what we’re talking about.
Nick: Ah, but that’s what I’m talking about.
Joey: But … you didn’t prove that vanilla’s the best.
Nick: I didn’t have to. I proved that you’re wrong, and if you’re wrong, I’m right.
Joey: But you still didn’t convince me.
Nick: Because I’m not after you. I’m after them. (points to a crowd of people)

Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk. Everyone has a talent.

Aside, I am trying to come up with a good voicemail message for my phone. I am not being very successful.

Movie Review: Beowulf

Spoiler alert: This movie will spoil your evening.

Angelina Jolie was the best part in the movie. But it had nothing to do with the movie.

This movie with 3D digital actors is about kings and heroes falling to the temptations of demon temptress based on the mythical plot of Beowulf. About monsters and dragons set upon those who do not keep their promises. About the wrath of a woman scorned. But apparently the plot did follow the actual story as Gaurav writes (read Beowulf: What the hell!!!!) .

Oh and yeah, no prizes for guessing that Angelina Jolie played the temptress. Anthony Hopkins plays King too, but his robe kept falling off. And all he kept announcing was “let’s drink and be merry”. He said something about a curse also…

The movie was hilarious too. Rolling on the floor laughing funny. But that was not the director’s intention. For a greater amount of time, the hero was in the nude. Yes, there was nudity. Was there male frontal nudity? Yes. But his… er… *masculinity* on several occasionally was hidden by someone else’s arm, helmet, sword, pole, smoke, fire, specter, dragon, a gold trumpet etc. For example, when Beowulf was being seduced by the temptress, his (raging) masculinity was masked by a long sword. (P)Unintended humor?

This movie was a giggle fest. The plus side? The animation was brilliant. And all the unintended humor.

YouTube Movie (1:52 min)

Rating: 5/10
Recommended? Only if you have nothing better to do. Or if you want to point and laugh at a movie probably intended to be serious.

Other movies reviewed in this blog

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