Star Wars– Forced to Awaken

Image result for star wars the force awakens

Image result for star wars the force awakens

Image result for star wars the force awakens

Star Wars-The Force Awakens in Gramps

That massive spaceship crossing the Cinemascope 70mm screen with stereo sound is what Grandpa remembers most of the Return of the Jedi. He is a dedicated Star Wars fan. Now decades later somewhere near Christmas in a small town in India he expresses to his grandchildren his predilection for science fiction movies.

The children are aghast. “You want to see the new Star Wars movie? That’s all that you want?”

That question triggers a flashback. The old man watches himself standing in queue for a movie ticket at the Rs 1.50 window.

“Rs 1.50?” they ask. His grandchildren are well traveled and know the value of a rupee in dollar terms. Aaroo exclaims “Rs 1.50 is just (he takes out his tiny calculator) .0230769 of a dollar! Gramps each ticket is now Rs. 200, just dish out your credit card.”

Grandpa’s teeth click together nervously in the tooth glass, his eyes get all wet and his lips tremble at the thought of such a dent in his credit card but he has to see Star Wars-The Force Awakens.

A grandchild shakes the old man out of his reverie. “Look Nana, it is already done; I booked the tickets on my iPad.” Grandpa looked in disbelief at the seating chart. He has been generously assigned a corner seat so he can run to and fro to the washrooms without disturbing anyone. Grandpa remembers standing in queue and having his shirt buttons pulled out of their sockets by a rowdy man clinging to him in the queue thirty years ago. The Force of the Internet has really awakened.

Watching the movie the old man is dismayed at the sight of Harrison Ford. He thinks, ‘my God he looks terrible; he looks 80 years old but got 25 million dollars for that.’ He is dismayed too by Kylo Ren a puny version of the gigantic Darth Vader. He can’t but help thinking that he is too womanly when the mask is taken off. Too soft and long haired and pasty skinned. Grandpa is glad that Chewbacca and the spaceship Millennium Falcon still look young as ever. Princess Leia has rather aged badly and is chunky in her Robin Hood outfit?

Most impressive are the two new stars in Daisy Ridley as Rey and John Boyega as Finn.

Grandpa goes to sleep unfortunately before the end of the movie and misses Luke Skywalker. He goes back home a bit disappointed. His own imagination of his Star War movies was better than the latest episode of the Force Awakens. This movie was but a young collage of the old movies. He was excited indeed at the appearance of C-3PO and R2D2.  He of course loved the new robot BB-8.

“Hype, Hype, Hype. People have just got rolled by this Star Wars Juggernaut.”

“Give me Jabba the Hut any day and Sir Alec Guinness and the heavy breathing Darth Vader.” Grandpa also is sure that George Lucas would have done a better job. He did not care much for the diet coke and caramel popcorn. He missed the fried hot dogs, samosas, sweet tea or coke of yore. He was also surprised that the hall was half empty. In his time halls were full and brimming with extra chairs. People he heard were flocking to the Hindi movie Bajirao Mastani.

‘Go and seek but ye shall not find in this one.’ Is Gramps final verdict.  Grudgingly though he feels like Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph felt that it was “a perfect blend of old and new, in keeping with the old-fashioned Star Wars aesthetic.”

 

 

 

The Rum Diary–Movie Review

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The Rum Diary—My view

For a retired rum drinker(correction a retired from rum drinking) person this movie is a sight for sore eyes. The glorification and consumption of rum and other hallucinogens is of gigantic levels. The short quips and barbs which are, it seems, entirely a creation of the script writer (Bruce Robinson) are spoken by Johnny Depp. His dead pan rendering of them is funny and pleasing. Here are some samples-

‘I don’t know how to write like me.’

‘Why should the FBI get the communists high?’

‘The smell of truth. I smell Ink.’

These are lines that tickle the creative soap bubbles of writers in attendance like me.

The book was written by Hunter Stockton Thompson.

The setting of the novel and movie is Puerto Rico.

It is rare that a movie inspires me to look for the book that gave birth to the script. In this case it has become necessary because the scriptwriter and director has admitted that he has only taken perhaps one line of dialogue from the original book. The scriptwriter in this case is Bruce Robinson and he is also the director of the movie.

The novel’s manuscript lay unappreciated for nearly four decades before it was printed. Johnny Depp himself dug it out of the author’s stuff in his (the author’s) presence. The manuscript was bandied about for a long time before the shooting started in 2009 and finished in 2011. Johnny Depp insisted on having Bruce Robinson (The Killing Fields) as the Director of the movie. Bruce Robinson also wrote the screenplay.

Indeed I find the story of the author and Johnny Depp’s obsession with the script as interesting as the movie.

‘Absolutely nothing in moderation’

Here’s one quote from the author which should tickle you pink if you like your daily pint of rotgut—

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

The Rum Diary uses the real life adventures of Hunter S. Thompson when he worked as a Reporter in Puerto Rico in his youth. Indeed all his novels are an extreme mixture of autobiography and fiction. In the end even Thompson himself could not differentiate between his real persona and his fictional persona. He became a cult figure because of his drug promotions and his movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He is also the creator of Gonzo Journalism in which the reporter is the hero reporting the event or happening. He was a regular writer for Rolling Stone.

The casting of Michael Rispoli as Sala who is Paul Kemp’s (Johnny Depp) journalistic colleague in Puerto Rico is superb. Amber Heard as Chenault is a stunner. Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight-Harvey Dent) as Sanderson the real estate conman is convincing.

For me the movie was an introduction to Hunter S. Thompson whom I shall now seek in Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas.

 

Unthinkable–Movie Review-Time to Move to Another Planet

Image result for unthinkable movie

Image result for unthinkable movie

Image result for unthinkable movie

Unthinkable – Movie Review

Just did Unthinkable. Unthinkable really sets you thinking. The movie was made in 2010 with a star cast of Samuel L  Jackson, Carrie Anne Moss and Michael Sheen as a very convincing villain.

Perhaps the story would have seemed a bit far fetched in 2010 but passing years have shown the turning of the screw by religious terrorists.

The first Atom Bomb dropped on Hiroshima led to a wave of fear which caused people to build atomic bomb shelters. These still exist but the fear dissipated.

Watching this movie my fear has returned I would definitely seek having shelters near my place of residence. The Swiss I hear have shelters for such nuclear fallout emergencies.

The movie is definitely watchable although it was panned for being too brutal and highly corny.

The crux of the movie is whether human rights of a terrorist who threatens a nation can be revoked by Presidential order imposing martial law.

Samuel L Jackson as the brutal interrogator and Carrie Anne Moss as Agent Brody who respects the law governing such matters are believable but the entire performance lacks the conviction that would floor us. I feel Michael Sheen did a respectable job as the white American turned religious terrorist.

I consider Samuel L Jackson as the John Wayne of African Americans. A John Wayne gone bad.

Nuclear bombs placed in three cities of the US seem more probable now. It can happen in any part of the world. There are many Do-it-yourself villains lurking in our cities as witnessed in Paris.

The story has a scary conclusion but it does set the mind thinking.

I think it is time for us to take a serious look at moving to another planet as envisaged by Jor L father of Kal L (Superman).

 

Mad Max Fury Road—My take- A Western with souped up cars.

Mad Max Fury Road—My take- A Western with souped up cars.

Warning: This movie is definitely going to inspire some nutcases into binge killings in a car chase.

Mad Max is a genre in itself with Australian director George Miller. I checked on the entire cast of Mad Max Fury Road and it seems to be a largely Australian thing.

I have seen other reviews of the movie and one think I thought of has already been said about this being a modern gasoline version of Stagecoach. It is a great chase on cars with the half dead or half alive whereas in the past it would have been horses and Red Indians (Now called Native Americans.)

Watching my favorite Charlize Theron transformed from a butterfly as in The Devil’s Advocate to a moth in Mad Max Fury Road is a delight. Only she could have done this role justice with such feminismo machismo.

I loved the five runaway brides. It was enlightening to know that their creation and presentation also had the hand of Eve Ensler, she of The Vagina Monologues. The five wives are enchanting and are played by Rosie Huntington Whiteley (The Splendid Angharad); . Abby Lee (The Dag);Zoe Kravitz yes Lenny’s daughter (Toast the Knowing); Courtney Eaton (Cheedo the Fragile) and Riley Keough( Capable).

Besides the superb Charlize and Tom Hardy there is Nux played by Nicholas Hoult.

One warning it is a very noisy movie and you will come out with a spinning head. Superb desert scenes and action stunts. A must watch for learning how we might progress after the Apocalypse as rabid dogs of war.

Mad Max has this to say — ‘Hope is a mistake.’ Perhaps a hot seller car sticker could be made with this well, er, Maxim??

PK–MOVIE REVIEW


PK—Movie Review
KUDOS TO AAMIR KHAN= TOM HANKS OF BOLLYWOOD
I enter cinema halls to watch Hindi movies with a lot of trepidation. Am I in for 150 minutes or more of boredom? Will I be inundated with screeching and wailing songs and corny dialogue?
PK the movie swallowed me and took me on an enjoyable amusement park ride. It is an alien’s search for God on Earth. The alien does not meet God anywhere; neither in temples, churches or Gurudwaras.
Aamir Khan whom I consider the Tom Hanks of Bollywood or Indian Cinema takes the role by the scruff of the neck and carries it with élan to the end of the movie. Both these stars excel in their excellent protean abilities of merging into their character seamlessly.
Four stars to the movie; one star less because of some over-colorful and irrelevant digressions from the main theme.
Hindi movies ride to glory on the back of popular songs. This movie has at least 2 such super-hit songs. Oh, to be a lyricist of Hindi movie songs. They are sung on the streets of urban and rural India.
Story—Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi.
Direction—Rajkumar Hirani.
Music for songs—Shantanu Moitra; Ajay-Atul; Ankit Tiwari
Background music – Sanjay Wandrekar and Atul Raninga.
Lyrics—Swanand Kirkire, Amitabh Varma and Manoh Muntashir
The heroine is played amiably, amicably and admirably by Anushka Sharma. The story is also narrated by her.
Sanjay Dutt as usual is superb in his cameo role.
The theme of the movie reminds me of the Bible quote:-
“Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool; what house will ye build me?—Acts 7:49 KJV

Happy Ending –Movie Review–Saif Sex?

‘Happy Ending’ is a fun movie. Saif as the Casanova who never falls in love does a great job. I loved his caricature of his muse/conscience that appears as a duplicate of (I feel) music director Pritam. I found Saif as the doppelganger superb. I don’t laugh easily but every time Yogi appeared it was as if someone was tickling my underarms.
Sex and live-in relationships are a new bone discovered by movie makers in India. Many movies have smelled, bit and chewed this bone with some good results. This movie explores one aspect of this huge subject in a very pleasant manner. This live-in thing could not have been thought of a decade ago. It is burgeoning now strangely to say because of the Information Technology and Communications success in cyber cities like Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Also it was always there hidden in the metropolitan cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. It is a side effect of being open to western influences. In India it has led to a pleasant churning of western mores and then representing them after a twirl in a softy ice cream form. That’s what India does over time; it converts its historical invaders, rapists and imperialists and turns them into Indus clones, apparatchiks and fans.
Everyone has acted superbly in this romedy (romantic comedy) genre. Kalki Koechlin is as usual her superb self. The Telugu superstar Ileana D’Cruz plays her part well as a successful writer. Saif too is a writer in the movie. Ranvir Shorey has filled out to a large size(as they say) and plays the drunkard husband amiably. Pretty Zeinta is refreshing in her new avatar.
The surprising thing about the movie is that it is shot entirely in Los Angeles and other American locales. This is a first for me. I have seen other movies with the scenes jumping in songs from Japan, Egypt, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, London etc. etc. but an entire movie in an American city I feel is a first.
The hall was empty, it was a Monday. The caramel popcorns and strong coffee were ideal. Perhaps that is what gave me the feeling of having come out fresh out of a spa session.
Loved the movie. Oh yes, a special mention for Govinda. He is three good.

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSg7PuZ37FI1YgpL6V3ClkBSuuF5TtspCVx6F4BC6bg-TEEoEC9tg

Vengeance is Mine–Says the reviewer of Bang Bang Hindi movie

TIME WASTED

BANG BANG

Vengeance is my mine—sayeth the reviewer of “Bang Bang” movie

I received two movie tickets for a DT cinema on purchasing some stuff in a mall. I had a choice between ‘Sex Tape’ and ‘Bang Bang.’ Alas I did the wrong Eenie meenie and selected ‘Bang Bang.’

It is sad to see in this movie how Hrithik Roshan has fallen in love with himself or rather his superbly chiseled body. No wonder his real love left him. I can imagine him working out in some posh corner of a secluded five star gym asking his trainer to give him an extra new muscle near the butt and another ripple near his nipple.

Perhaps he has forgotten that all the good actors the world has seen did not depend on their musculature to do their job. No one asked thespians of old to tear up their clothes so that the general public could see their six packs and biceps. It is sickening this fetish with the body at the expense of the intellect.

What a puerile story. It should be made mandatory in the future to reveal the story of the movie for the loving public before they enter the lock up of the cinema hall. What a sickening character in the grandmother of Katrina in the movie. Someone from the advertising world seems to have invaded the silver screen.

The movie is more of a travel video with an emphasis on Prague and London. Shots of Greece and Thailand are added as haldi and salt in a dal.

Hindi movies survive on good songs and dancing. There is one good song in which Hrithik insists upon pursuing his Unbalanced Kite act. I remember when I was younger I flew kites in the open fields of a big school behind our house. Some of these kites were unbalanced.  I had to pull on the string and recall the kite back to earth. It came back like a wild eel slithering and moving left and right reluctant to come down but unable to fly. I would judiciously tie a tiny piece of cloth on the left or right bamboo frame of the kite to correct the Jhupp as it was called. After that the kite flew beautifully. Sometimes in high winds we had to tie a cloth tail to the kite to make it stable.

Someone needs to change Hrithik’s dancing style and correct his Jhupp. It has become boring. That swaying motion as if he is trying to duck rotten eggs and tomatoes. When will this guy grow up?

Katrina on the other hand is beautiful despite all the bungling of the costume designer. She is a victim of the director and the story writer. She should be given a reward for surviving the molestations of this movie’s crew. The story is so implausible that it really makes you yawn. Yawn—Bank of Simla, Really, please someone could have thought for five more seconds more and come up with a better name. Whoever lives on 32 Rajpura Road in Dehradun should sue the film makers for changing the winter weather of Dehradun to that of Iceland.

Danny Denzongpa shines through the bad dialogue. The other cast I am sure is still licking its wounds.

If you like good movies please do not even go near a cinema hall screening this movie. I wonder when my nightmares caused by the tortures of this movie will cease.

Rating—minus three stars because I wasted three hours of my life in which I could have seen a better movie. Knight and Day could not have been this bad. They say Bang Bang is a clone of Knight and Day. Bad news always arrives in duplicate.e9280ad8282954329b361b3ee38698e5

North by North-West—Cary Grant—Alfred Hitchcock

"Continental" style suits of 1959: C...

“Continental” style suits of 1959: Cary Grant in North by Northwest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cary Grant as Roger O. Thornhill in "Nort...
Cary Grant as Roger O. Thornhill in “North by Northwest” (1959) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

North by North-WestCary GrantAlfred Hitchcock

This is an evergreen Hitchcock movie and really famous for the crop- duster– plane- chasing- Cary Grant- scene. Cary Grant standing alone on a highway in his grey suit near a sign saying Indiana 41 in a vast panorama of uncultivated fields except one patch of tall corn stalks. As Hitchcock explains the audience expects Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) to be attacked by unknown people here. He (Hitchcock)wanted something out of the ordinary; something which would not fall into the category of cliché. A cliché for this scene according to him being a dark night, the hero standing under a lamp –post, footage of a black cat walking across the screen and then a long black car and rat-tat-tat the attempted gunning down of the hero.

No he did not want to do that. His scene is panoramic with wide open spaces. Where would the attack come from? A black car does approach on the highway but does not stop and just whizzes past Cary Grant. So where does the attack come from. The air-the crop -duster plane. The scene was prominently used on posters. This is I feel the primary reason for the movie’s fame.

Watch and decide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEpT9QC3CNU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J_2IjcNK4g

There is no cacophonous crescendo music. Just real time sound. That makes it all the more exciting. There is the banter between Cary Grant and the stranger. This movie gave birth to the genre of thriller movies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g458w2X9uHc

Movies Reviews-Releasing 28 June 2013, Friday–Redemption, The Heat & White House Down

Review of 3 Movies being released in the US and the rest of the world:–

1 Redemption—http://meditationguru.over-blog.com/article-redemption-movie-june-28-friday-2013-118752587.html

2 The Heat– http://meditationguru.over-blog.com/article-the-heat-movie–sandra-bullock-and-melissa-mccarthy-118729355.html

3 White House Down— http://meditationguru.over-blog.com/article-white-house-down-june-28-friday-2013-release-118735110.html

If you love action go for number 1, if you love comedy a la Sandra Bullock go for number 2 and if you love extreme action disaster movies go for number 3

Love Child of Hindi Movies

The movie dvd cover poster for Hindi movie: Aw...
The movie dvd cover poster for Hindi movie: Awaara (1951) / 呢個就喺印度電影流浪者嘅海報版面 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a child of the movies. My father has bequeathed this love to me. Of course all Indians are movie-buffs but my Dad has somehow managed to instil a love in me for movies like Boot Polish, Awaara, Half-Ticket, Chalti ka Naam Gaadi and Jaal (Dev Anand.)

My morals are movie morals. My Dad suffered many losses early in his life because he followed the honest innocence of Hindi Movie heroes of the fifties and sixties. He trusted everyone. He learned the difficult way that the silent suffering hero who does not speak much will never win in real life. In the movies the heroine goes for the Awaara or Shri 420 but in real life girls go for the man with the gift of the gab and the latest model Audi. The silent type and the party wallflower is the loser.

Can you believe that in the north there are some people who have not seen Sholay?  I would say you have to have seen Angoor, Pyaasa, Sabib Bibi aur Ghulam, Junglee(Shammi Kapoor) and Waqt to know your movie roots. We have an iconic silent type in Manoj Kumar and Dharmender—Poorab aur Paschim and Anupama (Dharmender and Sharmila Tagore). Dharmender of course morphed into the jovial (and well dressed in Blackmail) Punjabi hero who will always get the girl and has all the funny punch lines-remember in Sholay-(mausi say kaun shaadi karega saalo?)

Of course my dad still is a big Amitabh Bachhan; I am too by default but the Daddy-O of Bollywood has oversold himself in television ads—I still can’t figure out his biscuit line—‘badiya hair aur behtar bhi’—somehow it makes me laugh every time at the additional behtar. Behtar than what?

I would put Jaagte Raho right up there in classic black and white Hindi movies with Raj Kapoor searching for a drink of water throughout the night and inadvertently revealing the nefarious activities in a Mumbai building. His simpleton version of a Sardarjee and the two songs ‘Zindagi Khaab hai’ and ‘ teh ki main koi jhooth boliya –Aawon oohoon, aawon oohoon.’ I love the lines, ‘Dekhe pandit gyani thyani daya dharam dey bunde, raam naam japdey tey khaande gau shaala dey chande—tey ki mai jhooth boliya?’