Category Archives: Movies

The Expendables 2

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I remember that in 2010 I went to watch “The Expendables” with high hopes (being an epic Sylvester Stallone fan) and came back just satisfied. The story was predictable, the action sequences were too over the top and mostly unrealistic. But it was an all-out action movie which did not bore. It was a one-time watch.
After 2 years, Stallone is back with a sequel. The story is even more predictable and the action sequences are entirely unbelievable. The good guys easily miss a hailstorm of bullets, while the bad guys die one-guy for one-bullet. They easily use high-tension power cables as zip lines (The pylons be damned), people turn up at the most un-expected places suddenly without warning and disappear without any explanation and it is decided that the best way to enter a mine is by crashing flying/driving an airplane through a mine-shaft. It is clear that instead of a story being written first and then scenes shot accordingly, they just shot the scenes as they pleased and hoped that the audience will forgive the massive gaffes and unexplainable events.
I being an audience easily forgive them. I spent most of the late 90s and early 2000s watching action movies. Sylvester Stallone has always being an idol and my most favourite actor. I have seen each Rocky movie at least 30 times. I have seen the entire series (at that time 1-5) overnight at one go. Similarly, I have seen the Terminator series (at that time 1 and 2) many many times, not to forget the Die Hard series. Those were also the days when Van Damme ruled the martial arts scene in Hollywood. They showed Bloodsport on Star TV every month and I watched it in its entirety every time.
There were mostly 2 types of action star fans back then. The ones who supported Sylvester Stallone and the ones who supported Arnold Schwarzenegger. I used to frequent Sylvester Stallone fan chat rooms back then and witnessed (and participated) in many arguments as to who will win if Sylvester and Arnold ever came face to face and who can kick the others ass more. The rivalry was legendary, even portrayed in some movies (Arnold becomes President of the USA in the dystopian future of The Demolition man and Sylvester’s character has a hard time believing it). Most arguments used to end with the same conclusion -“They are never going to do a movie together, so there’s no point arguing”. That has been the childhood dream of every Action movie fan of my generation – to watch Sylvester and Arnold together in a movie.
This movie not only fulfils that fantasy, but far exceeds that. Never would I have thought I would watch a movie with my favourite actors of all time – Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis and Van Damme together. Don’t be mistaken, they don’t have cameos in the movie. They all have substantial roles with the last action scene bringing them all together.
Look at the screenshot below
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Aah! Bliss!
Is that scene not perfect? What else can be more pleasing to the action lover’s eye, than watching Arnold, Sylvester and Bruce walking in unison and mowing down bad guys with their machine guns? Pure cinematic bliss.
So what if Sylvester takes down a helicopter flown by the bad guys with a moped (results in an explosion of epic proportions), but their own plane crashes and digs its way miles into a mine without so much as a fire?
So what if the movie actually has a sniper which fires 6 rounds in under 2 seconds?
So what if Chuck Norris destroys 20 people and 1 tank with just a gun? (Actually this one is not hard to believe at all)
So what if Sylvester Stallone easily defeats Van Damme in hand-to-hand combat?
We don’t care. Just look at the screenshot above. We don’t want anything else. We are glad Arnold’s political career has been shamefully destroyed and he can make movies now.
Surely, this movie will not win any awards (or even be nominated) for story, direction or acting. This movie was not meant to be appreciated by critics, be appreciated as a piece of art or win any awards. This movie was just made to please action movie lovers like me and those belonging to a generation before mine, which it does.

Prometheus

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I have not done a plot summary of the movie.
I have always been a science fiction fan and the alien series has always been one close to my heart, combining my favorite aspects of scifi – Space, future, and extra terrestrial existence. While Alien and Aliens are two of the best movies of all time, the sequels were comparatively disappointing (even though accepted by fans of the series). Similarly, although the spinoffs (Alien vs Predator and Alien vs Predator: Requiem) were set in the same universe as the Alien series, they were of a completely different genre (action compared to space horror). All in all, I have waited around 10 years for a true sequel to the Alien series to come out.
Prometheus is not a sequel, but a prequel (more on that later). I had read a bad review before going for the movie, after watching the movie, I was totally blown away. No, this movie is definitely not like Alien. Alien was released in 1979, almost 33 years ago. Expecting something along the same lines would not only have been unfair, but the movie would been stale and died the same way as Alien Part 3 and 4.
Prometheus is based in the same universe as Alien but approximately a few decades before Alien is (the exact year for Alien is not revealed). Although the incidents of Prometheus directly lead to where Alien started off, Prometheus is a very different kind of movie. Alien was a claustrophobic horror movie with a lot of suspense (you couldn’t even see the Alien except for the last part of the movie), whereas Prometheus is faster paced, overpowers you with lot more information and deals with a wider range of questions in general than the incidents shown in the movie. Some scenes would really get you on the edge of your seat and are worth watching.
All the actors acted very well, especially Michael Fassbender who plays Android David.
For science fiction fans, this is a must watch movie. For fans of the Alien series, you must watch it twice, to take in all the information presented in the film. As for me, I was left thinking for hours after the movie and still have not been able to recover from my trance.
Folks who are not much into science fiction can watch it for over the top visuals and action scenes, although it would be an insult to the real character of the movie.
************************Spolier Alert************************
Do not read on if you have not watched the movie, but are planning to
People who say this is not a prequel to Alien must be bull-shitting. Ridley Scott claims its not a prequel, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it indeed was. It is not a prequel as the Star Wars Episodes 1 to 3 were,  as in it does not contain any common character, but it is obviously set in the same universe, contains common elements and the incidents of Prometheus directly lead to where Alien started off. These are the reasons why Prometheus is definitely a prequel to Alien
  1. The planet/moon is obviously the same (LV-426). The space ship the protagonists crash in Prometheus is obviously the same as Ripley discovers in Alien. The planet/moon seems to have seasons as in Prometheus there’s day followed by night whereas in Alien and Aliens, its perpetual night time.
  2. The company which sponsors the mission in Prometheus is Weyland Corporation, which seems to have merged with Yutani and become Weyland-Yutani Corporation after the incidents of Prometheus, which is the company which sponsors the missions after Alien. The motto “Creating new worlds” is the same as well.
  3. It seems to be a common practice in all company missions to have an Android on board.
  4. All crew members in prometheus as well as Alien (and later on in Aliens) are in stasis when the movie starts; wake up when they are about to reach their destinations, have breakfast followed by a briefing
  5. Earth is hardly shown (if at all) in any of these movies.
These are the questions (that arose in Alien) answered by Prometheus
  1. The origins of the derelict spacecraft found on LV-426
  2. Who the crew of the derelict spacecraft were and how they were killed
  3. How the Aliens became biped and how they evolved
These are the new questions posed by Prometheus
  1. Why did the engineers create humans as an inferior version of themselves?
  2. Did they also create every other creature on earth? If not, how come humans share similar DNA with them?
  3. Why did they want to wipe off human civilization from earth?
  4. Was LV-426 the home planet for the engineers? If no, why were they here?
  5. Did they engineer the Aliens themselves or did they trap them for use as weapons?
  6. Who created the engineers?
There definitely would be a sequel to Prometheus, however there are two routes it can take
One: Follow the voyage of Dr. Shaw and David as they set out to find the origins of the engineers. This would lead the series away from the Aliens and would be more in line with the Rama Series.
Two: The alien is left in the Prometheus escape pod at the end of the movie which is programmed to automatically head back to earth. However, it is unlikely that the writers would follow this angle.
After watching this movie, I would surely watch the now-sequels to maintain continuity. Also, the painful wait for a sequel begins.
I applaud directors like Ridley Scott. They didn’t have to make
prequels/sequels years afterwards; they have enough to swim in for years. They do it to do justice to the movies, to the fans and for that we thank them profusely.

Movie Releases I am looking forward to this year

Below is a list of movie releases, I am looking forward to, this year.
Hollywood
  1. The Dictator (May) – Wiki/IMDb
  2. Men in Black III (May) – Wiki/IMDb
  3. American Reunion (May) – Wiki/IMDb
  4. Prometheus  (June) – Wiki/IMDb
  5. The Dark Knight Rises (July) – Wiki/IMDb
  6. The Amazing Spiderman (July) – Wiki/IMDb
  7. The Expendables 2 (August) – Wiki/IMDb
  8. Resident Evil: Retribution (September) – Wiki/IMDb
  9. Skyfall  (October) – Wiki/IMDb
  10. Django Unchained (December) – Wiki/IMDb
  11. The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey (December) – Wiki/IMDb
  12. Iron Sky (India Release date unknown) – Wiki/IMDb
This seems to be the year of Sequels as 9 of the 12 movies above are either sequels, or part of a universe already set by previous movies.
Bollywood
  1. Talaash (November) – Wiki/IMDb
  2. Kismat Luv Paisa Dilli (Release date unknown) – Wiki/IMDb

Hugo

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I would start by saying that you would probably never watch this movie in the theaters.
This is because the theater owners don’t want people to see this movie. It was released last year and just hit theaters in Delhi this weekend. Even then, it was showcased in only 5 theaters across the city with all the shows at inconvenient times, late at night. Some other cities like Kolkata won’t even release this movie (though I feel it would have found a better audience there).
Why? Because such movies don’t work well in India, specially in places like Delhi where people feel that their money is wasted without over-the-top action sequences, sex scenes or at least song-and-dance routines.
Hugo is a movie which has none of the above. What it is, is a beautiful movie, a happy feel-good,  steampunk-like movie with no villains. The cinematography is amazing and has an almost motion-capture feel to it. Maybe this is why it was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 5.
Now, I am not going to write a plot summary here because this movie deserves audiences to go watch it themselves.
Asa Butterfield as Hugo Cabret gives one of the best performances by a child actor I have ever seen.  Ben Kingsley as Georges Méliès does an excellent job as always. Chloë Grace Moretz as Isabelle, Ray Winstone as Claude Cabret, Jude Law as Hugo’s father and Christopher Lee as Monsieur Labisse have notable performances as well. 

The best and most surprising performance however is by Sacha Baron Cohen as a slightly crippled Inspector Gustave. As per me, anyone who can play completely different characters like Borat, Bruno as well as Inspector Gustave in one lifetime would immediately be awarded an Oscar, without any nominations required. 

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My only complaint? The movie was in 3D.
I agree that 3D introduces a level of realism in movies un-attainable by 2D, but it should not be at the expense of Resolution/Definition or clarity.
Maybe movie theater equipment in India is still out-dated to show good 3D because I find all 3D movies darker and hazier than their 2D counterparts. I might never know, until I watch a 3D movie in one of the more advanced countries. Still, the 3D in this movie was much better than 3D in other movies and I came out without any headaches.
All said, this is a beautiful movie which must be cherished and appreciated and deserves to be watched in Theaters or in HD 1080p at least at home. People who download DVD rips for this movie will have their souls rot in hell forever.

Wild Hogs (No more)

3 years ago my Friend Ayan wrote a blog post about this movie, how 4 guys forget who they really were and head out into the open roads forgetting  wordly concerns.
But I would not write what it is about, as Ayan has already done a better job.
This is about how the movie moved me. I remember in college days we used to just start up our bikes, head over to far off places with no worries about when to return, how late it was getting and how to wake up on time the next day.
I remember many trips to Ramtek, Boar Dam and other places far away from the city. Most of the times, we didn’t even have an idea of where we were going. I remember many journeys on the Wardha Road, going hundred kilometers at a time, only turning back when the money in our pockets and the fuel in the tanks got low. Also, we travelled on the Koradi road heading up the hills many times just to get away from the city.
Still remember when heading back, there’s a point where you are still some way up the hills and you can get a good view of the Industrial Area, chimneys bellowing smoke in the backdrop of an amazing sunset.
No, in those days I didn’t have to worry about SLAs, attendance was the biggest joke, exams were a mere inconvenience and oil stains on my jeans were a part of life. Money was something Dad provided and I had no idea where it came from.
In Nagpur, wearing the helmet was forbidden, cars were a novelty and the long awesome flyovers were always free of 4 wheelers and you could test the max-speed of the bike whenever you wanted.
Of course, all that has changed now. My current life would be understandable from the fact that my bike is 5 years old, has 50,000 kms on it, 40,000 of it from the first 3 years.
Now I know if I take my bike out, I would be stopped at least twice on the way from here to CP and looted dry by the police; who due to some reason seem to have a personal enmity towards bike riders. Cars  have the right to have dark windows, screech tires into oblivion and ride over pedestrians. No one heard of a biker killing anyone on the road, still they are the ones who must suffer. Wild Hogs, no more. Domestic Swine most likely.
I feel like the guys in the movie feel. Only difference being they were in their late 40s and I am in my mid 20s.
I need a month off, a full tank of gas and the road spread out in front of me.

LSD: Love, Sex aur Dhokha

Explicit. 


That’s the word that comes into your mind when you think about the movie. And explicit not in a bad way but in a bold, “there should be more indian movies like this” way. Dibakar Bannerjee has dared to venture where Indian directors seldom dare to. The movie has everything from sex scenes (blurred, but  clear nonetheless) to explicit abuses to a be-heading scene. When you see this movie, you think this is reality, because when people talk in real life, they talk the way shown in the movie, not the way they show in the other movies. When someone is going to kill someone, they don’t call them kutte(dog), they use much choicier language. Also bold was the choice to have a song named Tum nangi achhi lagti ho (You look good nude); tum kali si kachhi lagti ho (You look as un-ripe as a blossoming flower)

The movie follows 3 stories and one gets to know the characters well. Like his previous movies,
Bannerjee shows a few good facts about delhi (people start fighting over petty matters), everyone showing off how many people they know, how much money they have etc and how ruthless they can be.



If you are going to see the movie with any expectations about how a movie should be, either drop those expectations or don’t go; just don’t sit there complaining about what type of movie this is (for you Sonal). This is not your typical movie; in fact it is not even a proper movie. But it will affect you nonetheless. You won’t get bored anytime in the movie. You will either be laughing, be afraid or be horrified; but not bored.

Nice movies..

I’m blogging after a long time today. Today was a nice day. I saw two very good hindi movies. The first one was Gulaal which I saw at PVR. The movie is funny, shocking, meaningful and realistic, all at the same time. It kind of reminded me of Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi which is another one of my favorite hindi movies. The character are very well defined and each one stands out on it’s own. Leaving the hall, you can’t help but feel a little sad on how things turned out.

The other movie was Ek Chaalis ki last local. This is like one of those fast paced hollywood movies. You don’t feel bored for a moment as one event unfolds after another, full of surprises. The whole movie is 150 minutes and the events in the movie are spread over almost a similar time. Actually, I’d already seen this movie twice in the theaters but can never get bored of it.

Deshdrohi.. (The one who betrays his own country)

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This is a goofy trailer of a movie doing the rounds on Tv these days. The name of the movie is “Deshdrohi”. It’s based on the atrocities committed by Raj Thakrey’s goons against “North Indians” namely biharis. The guy is shown to be threatened by a police inspector on the phone and called a bhikhari(beggar). To which he replies “Hey Inspector.. Mera naam rajkumar singh yadav hai.. aur yadav sirf raaja hota hai.. bhikhari kabhi nahi banta..” (Hey inspector, my name is rajkumar singh yadav. and a yadav is always a king, never becomes a beggar). He is also shown to be beaten by marathi manoos after which he starts fighting for his rights and kills manoos either by punching them in the groin or the face by the dozen. He even shoots policemen armed with sticks without remorse. Meanwhile he also finds the time to romance a girl, sing love songs with her but finally meets with an obviously very painful end alone in the dark streets.

I wonder who agreed to produce this movie and why. Maybe they thought it would be a big hit in Bihar and the bihari rickshaw wallas kicked out from maharashtra can compensate for what was done to them by watching this.

The actor Kamaal R Khan looks like an asshole and every serious dialogue he throws at his enemies with passion just causes us to laugh at him. His hairstyle is a throwback to the 50s and the emotions and expressions essayed by him are really over the top. If you are a tormented bihari kicked out from the state of maharashtra, then seriously go and watch this movie.

One of the worst movies of all time – Hari Puttar

All the honest pleas of the makers of this movie that it has no resemblence to the Harry Potter series is very true. Only because the whole script has been stolen from the Home Alone series. Not only the script, all the scenes are almost exactly the same. Only, this movie is much much worse and the budget must have been horrendously low. The actors and actresses are horrible and the cross-eyed kid cannot compare to Macaulay Culkin. This movie ruined my entire weekend mood so much that I had to roam about on the streets for about an hour after the movie at night before I could be normal again. But this movie is not totally copied from the Home Alone series. It even has some scenes stolen from Kung Fu Hustle. I can even go as far as to say that it was worse than Home Alone 4 which was a shit movie indeed. The only thing good about this movie was that it got over in 90 minutes, including the interval. I cannot write more about it, I feel sick