Archive for May, 2013


a_haunted_house

Found footage horror movies have been done to death in recent years and it was only a while before someone went out and made a parody of it. ‘A Haunted House’ is exactly that and with less than impressive results. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are moments in the movie which are destined to make you laugh till your guts spill out but the number of such moments is too less and in-between. The effort is helmed by Marlon Wayans who has co-written the script as well acted in it. Given his prior experience with the Scary Movie franchise and the Dance Flick movies, perhaps one would expect a little better than what he has come up with but that’s my two-bit!

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500 days of summer

A done-to-death romantic comedy – that’s what “500 of days of Summer” is for you. Except that here it is the girl who decides to walk away since she doesn’t want anything that is even remotely serious or committed. Inspite of this so-called different and unique ending, the movie bleeds of pure, unadulterated, candy-floss romance. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, the movie is a hardly melodramatic rom-com that does kind of manage to make you feel sad as it progresses.

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Mama

Mama is an old-fashioned horror film that works well primarily because it rests on the basics – fear of the unknown, a plot that connects so well with the audiences and a couple of brilliant performances from the actors. The movie is about a dead woman “Mama” who connects with two kids through holes in the walls. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, the movie definitely ranks high in the list of good horror movies.  You have elements of supernatural horror coupled with empathy and thought-provoking emotions – a good combination for a horror movie.

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My Blueberry Nights

my-blueberry-nights

Screened first at the Cannes’ film festival in 2007, “My Blueberry Nights” was a movie which received the most lukewarm response from the audience. Neither did it enthrall the audience with its moviemaking genius nor did it manage to evoke irritation or annoyance. Well, that I would say is the worst thing to face for a movie at Cannes’. My Blueberry Nights is Wong Kar Wai’s first English language movie which for the lack of a better word, falls flat on his face. It is meant to be an American road movie interspersed with human emotions but unfortunately, it does neither. All it shows is some smoky bars, some nondescript restaurants, one scene on a freeway amidst other type casted scenes. Irrespective of as many flaws, the cinematography of the movie is nothing less than a treat to the eyes. The way America has been portrayed through the lens is picturesque, to say the least.

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the_devils_double

Based on Latif Yahia’s supposed true account of his time as Uday Hussein’s fidai, the movie, “The Devil’s Double” is a glaring look at the life of the one of the biggest dictatorial families in recent times. Borne in sepia and gilded tones, the movie though, is more of a gangster movie than a true-to-earth documentary highlighting the life and times of Uday Hussein when he decided to rein in Latif as his body-double. The movie is based on the book with the same title which Yahia wrote after escaping from the hell of Iraq. These are times when the Arabic world is trying to shake off the bad memories that were Saddam Hussein’s reign and the release of a movie which tries to shine a flash-light might be termed as insensitive or untimely. But the movie is much more than that and sometimes much less. The movie bears an uncanny resemblance to any GTA game with its sedans cruising the streets of Iraq with men in Ray-Bans hunting down women to have sex with. The men kill and the women dance in their parties. Life seems to be an endless war or an endless party and sometimes we lose focus on which is when.

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A movie within a movie

the-words

“The Words” is a clever and entertaining film right from the beginning and it does not let go till the end credits roll. But that should not deter us from the fact that it has myriad flaws which were obviously overlooked during filming. And I’m not talking taking a scalpel and microscope and cutting down into the insides of the movie, even a superficial examination of the movie begs us to overlook the faults.
The Words is the directorial debut of the duo Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal who are also co-writers of the screenplay of the movie.

It does not seem too far off that they have derived situational inspiration from the life of Ernest Hemingway who is constantly referred to in the film. In 1922, his wife loses a suitcase full of his manuscripts and for which he never completely forgave her. An incident of some similarity occurs in the movie as well, ok, who am I kidding? The writers apparently took liberty with incidents inspired from Hemingway’s life and never bothered to acknowledge it.

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