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Movies 2011: True Grit

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True Grit by the Coen brothers is what movie critics would call a Western movie.

True_Grit_Poster I didn’t know  such a genre existed until I read about this movie. If I think of it, perhaps the closest match of a ‘western movie’ that I have seen would be  There will be blood.

The story begins with Mattie’s father getting murdered and the killer escaping from the scene. What follows is an adventurous journey by Mattie to find the killer and punish him with the highest punishment of that time. In spite of many hurdles the girl just sticks to her goal .  Her true grit along and help from some very courageous but great hearted men help her achieve the goal.

The story  may sound bland but the screenplay and the dialogue along with  fine performances by the lead actors make for a nice watch. Jeff Bridges role as ‘Rooster Cogburn’ ,the one eyed US marshal is a strong contender for the Oscars this year. Many have predicted him to win it too.BTW, Jeff Bridges won the Oscar last year for his role in Crazy Heart .

The script of the movie is (predictably) western .So it may sound pretty fast if you are not used to it .

Most important observation : this is a very different kind of movie  compared to other movies by the directors movies (think of NCOM ) . Its perhaps their only movie to get a PG13 from MPAA !
IMO worth a one time watch .And definitely recommended if want to see some good screenplay .


Written by sujai

February 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm

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Movies 2010: Year end wrap up

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2010 is about to end in a week and this post is about some other movies that I watched this year and missed a mention in my blog. The reviews are ordered based on ‘likability’. The most liked movies are at first followed by the next one.

How to train your dragon (2010) : A feel good movie . The movie is about a young viking  who how_to_trainbefriends a dragon and solves an age old rivalry between  Vikings and dragons. A very simple story with a subtle message. I would rate it as one of my best movies of 2010. Thanks Raj for the reco!

Avatar (2009) : How could I miss James Cameroons magnum opus. Before Avatar, 3D (at least in India) was relegated to kids movies.  Kudos to him for bringing 3D back into mainstream.
AvatarThis movie was a visual treat .It would have been nice if I had the pause and rewind button of the IMAX 3D theatre.  Some wow moments just passed so fast !

Its really commendable the director could keep his focus of 12 long years and  still make a movie of this scale. One sore point was that the story line was not so good ..but the visual treat makes us forget about anything else.

Inception (2010) : I had a lot of expectation on Inception as it was from Chris Nolan who inceptiongave movies like TDK and The Prestige . The trailers gave a hint on what to expect .And yeah the movie did not disappoint. It was a nice movie to watch, but it is not in the same league as the earlier movies. One of the good ones of 2010 but not one of the  best movies of Chris Nolan.
Inglorious Basterds(2009):  There is a certain style to Quentin Tarantino’s movies and his characters. I still remember Samuel Jackson’s rhetoric just before he gets on a killing spree.
IngloriousSet on Nazi Germany,Tarantino brings in a different take on history. Loved this movie and the characters .Special thanks to  the director for keeping the blood quantity less:)

Sherlock Holmes (2009) : A 2010 adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.The plot/screen play is good.
SherlockHolmesThis is one of the ‘masala movies’ of 2010 .A one time watch if you like adventure kinds.
ps: There is a UK adaptation of Sherlock Holmes (season 2 is in the making) .It is a TV series
but much better than the movie.Highly recommended if you are into detective movies.

Shutter Island (2010) : This is yet another Martin Scorsese/Dicaprio movie after The Aviator .

ShutterIsland A psychological thriller set in the 1950’s . The movie should be watched in large screen ..and may be that’s why I couldn’t appreciate the movie much.


Special movies:

Could be called offbeat or classic movies. These may not cater to everyone’s expectations.

One flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975) : I have heard a lot about this movie . Its a mundane story about the inmates of a mental  asylum but what sets is apart is the performance by the OneFlewactors. JackNicolson’s acting is extraordinary. But this one is for movie buffs.  If you dont like serious/slow moving movies,  do not try this .

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008) : This movie is about the son of a high ranking Nazi official and his  friendship with another boy of his age but living in one of the Jewish concentration camps.

BoyInI like the script of the movie much. Also the portrayal of the boy and his experience dealing with  concentration camps etc is well done. A thought provoking movie with a strong message .


அங்காடித் தெரு (2010) (Market Street) : I had huge expectations on this movie after seeing the previous movie from the director . Angadi Theru is about the life of people working at a shopping mall their daily hardships, and all the little things in their life. It is a very realistic portrayal ..and that to some extent turned me off. Veyil was much better story wise and also in the fun quotient.

Written by sujai

December 28, 2010 at 12:01 am

Movies 2010 : Up in the Air

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I watched this movie after it got shortlisted as one of the probable entrees  for the best lead actor.

UpInTheAir I am not a great fan of George Clooney but he somehow manages to take up interesting characters on screen   . Sometime back it was Micheal Clayton and now it is ‘Up in the air’.

Ryan Bingham has a very unique job. He is a professional hired to layoff people. His job is to give the  pink slips to fired employees and provide them a some nice counseling so that employees could digest the hard fact and move head.

The job makes Ryan to be ‘Up in the air’ for most part of a year. Over the years he ends up a loner with no contact with family and friends. He goes around preaching about living without relationship.

Life goes fine until one day his own  work gets disrupted by ideas from a young grad from college. Natalie Keener proposes cutting travel costs by using ‘Video Conference’ to fire employees. But Ryan gives an on field demo of his work to explain why that’s not such a good idea. While Ryan succeeds in making his point he also learns that he can no longer preach is philosophy of being alone in life .

If you like drama genre of movies you could give it a try.  Like the past movie, this is also an adaptation of a novel by the same name .

The script is pretty good on this movie too.A random sample from the movie:

Natalie Keener: Hungry much?
Ryan Bingham: Our business expense allots forty dollars each for dinner. I plan on grabbing as many miles as I can.
Natalie Keener: Okay, you got to fill me in on the miles thing. What is that about? You’re talking about, like, frequent flyer miles?
Ryan Bingham: You really want to know?
Natalie Keener: I’m dying to know.
Ryan Bingham: I don’t spend a nickel, if I can help it, unless it somehow profits my mileage account.
Natalie Keener: So, what are you saving up for? Hawaii? South of France?
Ryan Bingham: It’s not like that. The miles are the goal.
Natalie Keener: That’s it? You’re saving just to save?
Ryan Bingham: Let’s just say that I have a number in mind and I haven’t hit it yet.
Natalie Keener: That’s a little abstract. What’s the target?
Ryan Bingham: I’d rather not…
Natalie Keener: Is it a secret target?
Ryan Bingham: It’s ten million miles.
Natalie Keener: Okay. Isn’t ten million just a number?
Ryan Bingham: Pi’s just a number.
Natalie Keener: Well, we all need a hobby. No, I- I- I don’t mean to belittle your collection. I get it. It sounds cool.
Ryan Bingham: I’d be the seventh person to do it. More people have walked on the moon.
Natalie Keener: Do they throw you a parade?
Ryan Bingham: You get lifetime executive status. You get to meet the chief pilot, Maynard Finch.
Natalie Keener: Wow.
Ryan Bingham: And they put your name on the side of a plane.
Natalie Keener: Men get such hardons from putting their names on things. You guys don’t grow up. It’s like you need to pee on everything.

Disclaimer: This was a draft that i created LOOOONG back but submitted today .

Written by sujai

December 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm

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Movies 2010: The Social Network

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I watched this movie on recommendation from a popular cine critic. And the movie did not  disappoint.

Based on the book ‘The Accidental Billionaires’, The Social Network is about Facebook at its very popular founder.

More than the technology or the history, ‘The Social Network’ is about  people and emotions.  And if you thought the movie will be an eulogy showering praise on FB and its founders then you will be surprised.

In the recent BusinessWeek edition the real life WinkleVoss brothers had mentioned that most scenes in the movie are exact replica of what actually happened .
The dialogues are very fast but each line has to be understood to enjoy the movie .The scenes with Sean Parker (played very well by Justin Timberlake) are really cool.

ps: If you are someone who searched for the FB masthead after watching the movie,then here it is !

Written by sujai

November 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm

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Movies 2010: The Hurt Locker

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The past one month has been a time for upping my movie ‘karma’ which has gone pretty low since 2008 . It was Oscar season and top of my list was several ‘Oscar probables’.

images The movie has been judged best movie of the year piping Avatar and Inglorious..  It was not surprising. After all, Slumdog won the Oscar last year leaving TDK behind.   But still I was curious to know how different this is from the umpteen war movies .

The movie is about Sergeant William James, who is part of a bomb detection squad, stationed in Iraq. Other members in the camp are ultra cautious when it comes to bombs.However, James is pretty cool and diffuses deadly bombs quite naturally , at times even without the huge bomb protection kit around him. The movies shows his various adventures ,the people he meet while on duty.

This movie had less blood compared to other war movies. Though the blood was less, some scenes were quite dramatic. After two thirds of the movie, there is a scene on diffusing a human bomb. That scene lingered in me for a while.

Overall not a bad movie if you are used to slow war movies. I liked the last scene most in the movie.  It is between the William and his kid when he returns home for a brief vacation.

Srgt William James (Jr): Boing, boing, boing.

Srgt William James: (Playing with his kid)

You love playing with that…
You love playing with all your stuffed animals…
You love your mommy, your daddy,your nature pajamas…

You love everything, don’t you? Yeah.

You know what, buddy?

Once you get older, some of the things that you love might not seem so special anymore.
Like your Jack in the Box.
Maybe you realize it’s just a piece of tin and a stuffed animal and then you forget the few
things you really love.

And by the time you get to my age maybe it’s only one or two things.

Written by sujai

April 11, 2010 at 10:27 pm

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Movies 2009: கற்றது தமிழ்

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I went to a popular DVD rental store recently looking for DVDs of Nip Tuck. While searching
the library I found a movie that was in my to-do list for a long time.

Tamil-MA-03 Katrathu Tamil (I Learnt Tamil) is a serious movie on the plight of some professions  in India today.

Being quite brilliant at school Prabhakar could have well chosen a professional degree to have
a ‘bright and secure’ future. But he chooses to do MA in Tamil literature ,thanks to his love and
respect for his Tamil mentor.  Reality strikes Prabhakar after graduation. Of the 30 from his class ,only 3 get into a job.  Prabhakar looses his teaching job after a minor tussle with the local police.

Distraught with life,and the harsh living conditions around him, his life goes wayward and Prabhakar turns a psychopath. He starts hating everyone around him and goes on a killing spree killing around 22 people in cold blood.

The director tries to portray the gripe that many have in their mind over the ‘professionals’. IT Pros and BPO executives. I liked the portrayal of a psychopath and how he gets his compulsive obsession to KILL .

Yuvan Shankar raja’s music has gelled well with the movie.

Watch the movie if you are a serious movie buff.

Written by sujai

March 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm

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Movies 2009: Little Miss Sunshine

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With no new movie to watch, I was searching for some old movies from a nearby library.
It was the  blurb on the CD cover that made me to rent this one.

LittleMissSunshine Everyone in the Hoover family are a disappointed lot with many things going wrong in their   lives.  At this time, Olive Hoover gets selected into the Little Miss Sunshine pageant by chance.
The movie shows the Hoover family going on an adventurous ride to participate in the  beauty contest.

Its a humorous take on the life of some American families and how the ‘just’ manage to live together. The characters in the movie are quite funny. I loved watching them. Watch this movie if you like satire/dark humor.

On side note, Kate Winslet is  on the cover of the Time Magazine for her various roles including the one in ‘The Reader’!  Waiting for the movie here in India.

Written by sujai

March 4, 2009 at 9:19 pm

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