Saturday, September 16, 2017

Gabbar is back

A socio-conscious movie about 'If you take bribe, Gabbar will come!' Although, the name Gabbar is a slight twist in this remake of the Tamil 2002 original Ramanaa. Reminded me of movies like Shool, Nayak, etc. A good watch due to a relatively good storyline, direction, acting, etc. Hits hard to those who are corrupt in this world.
Rating: Good

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Nadiya Ke Paar

Felt nice watching an old movie, soon realized that this is the movie that the famous hit Hum Aapke Hain Kaun was based on! This original movie is refreshingly fresh, without any glamour and depicts romance in a typical country life. Even if one has seen HAHK, this movie is watchable!
Rating: Good

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Oh, God, why did I see this movie?!! If I knew it is a Karan Johar movie, I would have shied away from it, but a lazy Saturday in front of the TV and with wifey wanting to watch it, gave company and got a headache at the middle of the movie. Only saw at the very end, that it is a KJ movie :-( Too many 'satellite' relationships rotating around one main no-love-just-friend relationship - moving from London to Paris to Lucknow to Vienna to London. Wanted the movie to end but it kept going on and on...
Rating: Pathetic

Meri Pyaari Bindu

The movie seemed nice while browsing through TV channels. It seemed like a blend of The Girl Next Door and Runaway Bride. Nice interesting and innovative scenes, very picturesque and fresh with the romance going up and down, far and near, past and present - all intertwined. The ending seemed to kinda fall flat though. Characterization is good, Parineeti is super good in her role.
Rating: Average

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu

Good characterization, casting, acting and an interesting story that intertwines middle class families with the underground, thanks to Alzheimers! In the middle, it gets kind of yawny. Songs are not too catchy but nice locations. Definitely worth a watch.
Rating: Good

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sultan

Not sure why I watch such movies, but company for wifey I guess :-) Thin story line which is pretty much predictable for next 10-20 minutes in future at any point in time. At times, felt like watching Dangal as this too is a wrestling based movie except that this has some romance built in it with a hero and a heroine. Some typical Salman Khan's light hearted comedy. Ok-dokey, watchable only if there is pretty much nothing else to do.
Rating: Average

Monday, August 21, 2017

Kirik Party

Rave reviews led me to see this movie. Resembled Premam - but only very slightly. Dialog is super, humour is very raw and innocent, acting is fresh and not at all overdone. First half sails through with flying colors but the second half kinda slows down the momentum, and the humor reduces, so does the smiles. Songs and music are taken differently - those seem fresh too. Not standard nor typical. Watchable.
Rating: Good

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

True story of what happened in Libya - on the night of the assassination of US Ambassador. A commendable effort from few US Army contractors to save American lives - but hardly any recognition. On the contrary, recognition given to under-performers of US army. A movie to be seen to understood. Nice, gripping that takes us all through that dreaded night of 13 hours. Too much of gunfire - which is to be expected. Heart goes out to the 2 fatalities.
Rating: Good

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sachin: A Billion Dreams

A Sachin fan all my life, always wanted to watch this biographical movie as soon as it was announced. Much of the movie is from the autobiography which I had already read. So there were very few surprises in the movie that I wasn't already aware. Yet, it is a nice collection of 2 decades of Sachin's prowess. There were parts of the movie which I felt could have been better made - like giving some more time to the two Sharjah matches vs Australia in 1998, the one over against Abdul Qadir in 1989, how he got to open the innings vs New Zealand, etc and etc. Well, I guess I can keep going on and on - and director would have had to create 2 parts of the movie! This movie is for those Sachin fans who want to re-live those 2.5 wonderful decades in 2.5 hours...who wouldn't, huh?
Rating: Good

Monday, August 14, 2017

Guri

After a long time, watched a Dr Raj Kumar movie. A typical 1980 Dr Raj Kannada movie - some deaths, some fights, some miracles, some unwanted songs, some unwanted emotional drama, light humor and yet it doesn't bore. 
Rating: Average

Monday, August 7, 2017

Dombivali Fast

Inspiration to see this movie came after watching Mumbai Meri Jaan. (Director's first movie is DF). Inspiration fulfilled. Just as good a movie. Powerful concept of a highly-principled man stuck in a world filled with unprincipled population. The tension of the clash is palpable. An edge-of-the-seat all through the movie.
Rating: Must-see

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bride Wars

Another bridal romcom movie - but it is more comedy than romance. Nice 'revenge' tactics throughout the movie! Enjoyed watching it, with wifey who especially likes such movies. 
Rating: Good

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bodyguard

Total time pass, typical Bollywood romance movie. Salman Khan as a bodyguard is just like the binding of the book, rest of the pages are all predictable and same. Some small twist at the ending but totally unnecessary. Little bit of comedy but that didnt make me laugh. Action scenes were total bakwaas.
Rating: Average

Baahubali 2

Now that I knew what kind of movie Part 1 was, I had very less expectation. Although again had no intention to see, got to see this movie somehow. It didn't seem all that bad this time. The visual effects portrayed to showcase the strength of Baahubali seemed necessary - although the violence was just as much. Some of the scenes were gripping and excellently depicted. Once again, to sum up the movie in one word - Extravagant! If the movie is really a true story (I am not sure), then it is a pity that such a great person had little or no time to rule the kingdom. Some of the ideas depicted is really innovative - although at times extremely dubious. Extravagant time-pass.
Rating: Good

PS: After watching part 2, I wanted to see part 1 since I hadn't understood some scenes, some characters in 1. Now, it made a whole lot of sense. Part 1 is actually part 2 and vice versa. So much confusion! My views on 1 still remain same - much of the direction seemed dubious although the story is good. War tactics are nice too. 

Baahubali 1

Never felt like watching this movie, yet decided to see when it was aired on TV. Quite extravagant in all aspects. The climbing of the waterfalls seemed unrealistic at first - then understood that the whole persona of Baahubali was unrealistic indeed! Since it was on TV, got diverted for some time and didn't get to see the whole movie - but saw bits and pieces. Didn't understand a whole lot, but didn't miss it either since it didn't seem my kinda movie - with so much of visual effects completely camouflaging the reality as well as too much violence. 
Rating: Average

PS: Got to see this movie again later. See update in 2.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Rustom

Wow, this is like straight-out of an Alistair MacLean novel! When I was seeing this movie, I felt I was back in my teens reading one of Mr MacLean's novel once more! Better still was this, since it borders a true story. In fact, 80% of what is depicted seems to be true story. It has everything - extra-marital affair, murder, suspense, adventure, mystery and - best of all - court scenes with a fair share of arguments and counter-arguments.
Rating: Must-see

Udta Punjab

Resembled many of the movies that I had seen during my bachelor days in US - like Cidade de deus, Pineapple Express, Crash, etc. Just like those good ole movies, here too 3-4 lives get intertwined - and in this case, it is all in the name of drugs in Punjab. Pretty much an edge-of-seat thriller as well as depicting pretty much what's happening in that state.
Rating: Must-see

Mohenjadaro

Saw this movie in passing although saw the beginning and ending in entirety. Good movie in most aspects - setting of the pre-historic era, casting, costume and general acting. The storyline is ok-dokey. Romance could have been a side-thing but becomes the main-thing for some time in the movie. Anyways, good time pass.
Rating: Good

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Kahaani 2

A good storyline, well directed and acted. Not as good as the prequel, I felt, but that could be just me. It might indeed be just as good. Edge-of-seat thriller: yes. Some complicated twists and turns: yes. Last few minutes will make you see movie again? Hmm, not really.
Rating: Good

PS: After a really really long time, saw 2 movies on the same day!

Pyaar Ratan Dhan Payo

A lazy Sunday for a lazy movie. Total time-pass. Old wine in new bottle. Not edge-of-seat, totally back-of-seat with complete storyline visible to the naked eye within 30 minutes of start. Expensive and colorful settings though. Dialog is just ok-dokey.
Rating: Average

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Dangal

Wanted to watch this movie since the time it got released. But for some reason or the other, it never happened. Finally got to see the movie today. It was just as good as I had hoped. I couldn't understand much of the Haryani Hindi but could make out the gist. Powerful acting by all concerned. Great direction, story, screenplay, cinematography and acting to make the audience on the edge of the seat. Not as fantabulustic as Lagaan but still just as good.
Rating: Must-see

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

U-Turn

Watched a movie after almost 2 months. Was waiting for a long time to see this movie considering it is a Pavan Kumar movie. True to expectations, this one was a classic. A very simple concept of people taking short-cuts woven into a gripping movie. Nice characterization, casting, background score and acting. At times, felt like the movie was more of a lesson in moral science class which is actually good that a movie has some important information to convey. It borders Talaash but latter is one notch better. Overall, a well made movie that is worth a watch. No non-sense thriller.
Rating: Good

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Jason Bourne

The same pitch, the same thrill, the same background music and a similar theme. Loved it thoroughly, as much as I loved the previous three in the series. Non-stop action. Fantastic acting by Matt Damon and great direction too.
Rating: Must-see

War Dogs

A superb true story of behind-the-scenes war 'industry' and one man's successful business. Excellently narrated, beautifully directed, great casting and acting. Thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Not to mention jaw-dropping considering it is based on true events.
Rating: Must-see

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bowling for Columbine

Another Michael Moore documentary. This one is about guns and Gun policy in US. Somehow I liked Sicko better than this. Although this is just as good, with just as much punch. Looking at all this, one feels US is such a sick country! 
Rating: Good

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Continues in the same vein as the prequel. Dialog, like in the previous one, is just astonishing. Even thought-provoking. Dialog delivery is good too by the actors. Screenplay is wonderful. Refreshing. Movie as such is not comical but some unrelated scenes are. Casting and cinematography is good too.
Rating: Good

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Barbie in Princess Power

A weekend movie with the daughter - complete with magical powers, flying humans, some amount of kids humor, princesses and the royalty, villains, etc. Nice time-pass. Daughter loved it! But I must admit, good dialog that adults can relate to too.
Rating: Average

Neerja

Wow, what a movie, what a story. Truly touching. Superb acting by every single person - the passengers, the terrorists, the family members and Neerja herself. Awesome direction. Great casting and setting. Heart goes out to Neerja's family. Looks like she was born just for that day to save so many lives. The moving is a fitting tribute to her. Many thanks to the movie-makers, else heroes like her would go unnoticed.
Rating: Must-see

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sicko

Wow, what a movie! This is one hard-hitting soul-breaking documentary about how uncultured, uncivilized & unbelievably pathetic the world's greatest country aka US is! It is superlative in commentary, high in humor, heartrending, globe-trotting and punch in almost every dialog. Choice of words is amazing. The sad scenes are tear-jerking. Aaah, this one is just too good to miss. It is a must-watch for every single person. I have become a big fan of Michael Moore. And as part of this movie, he not only did extensive research on the prevailing issues, he made a movie about it and in the process he bettered the lives of many people. Wow!
Rating: Must-see

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Phir Hera Pheri

Just as good as the previous one. In fact, even more so. Lots of complications with antique guns, cocaine, chit funds, money, etc and yet fluidly intertwined. Super sense of humor. Great casting. Good direction. Absolute entertainer. 
Rating: Good

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Eloise at the Plaza

This one was not as great as the previous one that we saw but it was good enough. The same lushness of the Plaza, the same wonderful hotel personnel, Eloise's crazy mischiefs, little bit of innocent romance in the air, etc. Added to this was a Prince, a Ball and of course, New York!
Rating: Average

Lone Survivor

The movie was a shortened version of the book. Editing could have been better. There seemed to be too many unwanted scenes at the start of the movie. This led to shortening up the real story which is up on the Hindu Kush mountain when the Lone Survivor tries to well, survive. Nevertheless, it still has some tight scenes and very clearly brings to screen what we cannot picture while reading the book. A great story, and the fact that it is a true story, makes it even more jaw-dropping.
Rating: Good

Minions

A weekend movie with the daughter. It wasn't all that jovial as I expected. But it wasn't boring either. The movie was fluid enough with enough twists and turns but amount of comedy wasn't that much. Time-pass.
Rating: Average

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Wreck-It Ralph

Another weekend movie for & with the daughter. The movie, like so many of these kiddo animation movies is really superlative. This one combines a number of old-time video game consoles into a behind-the-scenes character-coming-alive into a thrilling, complicated games-intertwined story that shows how being a bad character in a game is not always bad. This is a movie that ranks alongside the Cars series, Lego Movie, Inside Out and similar. Totally enjoyed - daughter too.
Rating: Good

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Best of Men

A remarkable story of half paralyzed men who get back their lives due to Dr Ludwig Guttmann's strange yet absolutely correct methods of treating bedridden youths affected due to WWII. Excellent direction, narration, acting, casting and story that never bores for a single moment. It is hard to imagine the odds that this German doctor might have undergone to get the English gentlemen back on their feet when the whole world hated Germans at that time. Truly a miracle man at a miracle time. 
Rating: Must-see

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Eloise at Christmastime

My daughter is a big fan of Eloise story books. So, ordered this DVD thinking it is an animation movie but it was not. In fact, it was a very nice movie - full of energy of a 6-year-old, lush richness of the Plaza hotel and big-hearted-ness of everyone that makes a hotel great. Added to this, was a whiff of romance and suspense of a wedding. Nice movie to see with a 6-year-old daughter on a lazy Sunday, especially when the Sunday has an extra hour due to Daylight Savings Time end.
Rating: Good

Airlift

The fact that this was a movie based on a true story led me to see it. And it is worth it. Although Akshay Kumar's character could have been better portrayed (especially the initial scenes with his wife) and some better screenplay dialog, the story itself is tight enough to keep the audience occupied and guessing what will happen next - and fervently hoping for the best. Much of us in India never knew the plight of Indians in Kuwait when Saddam attacked and this is as good a documentary/movie that we could ever see. 
Rating: Good

Fail Safe

A passing conversation regarding upcoming election (Trump v Hillary) in the office led me to this movie, especially what would Trump do in such a case as depicted in this movie when a mechanical failure leads to US Air Force dropping bombs on Moscow. A thrilling movie with excellent dialog and beautiful debate on all aspects from different personnel in Government & Military. Rather unexpected and slightly disappointing ending though.
Rating: Good

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Touching the Void

Perhaps Aaron's novel got me introduced to this. I wanted to read the book before the movie, as usual, but the book was unavailable at the local lib. The movie is too good though. Superbly taken scenes, although at times it resembles a documentary. Doesn't bore one bit, and is almost a edge-of-seat-thriller. The story itself is mind-boggling. How Joe survived in the middle of Andes all alone when folks thought he was dead is a miraculous and unbelievable story. A definite must-see to believe it!

Zootopia

A good time-pass movie for a lazy weekend with daughter. Nice catch-line though: Try to make the world a better place, no matter what. Not too many scary scenes for the little one.  
Rating: Good

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Premam (Malayalam)

A nice rom-com movie. Some scenes are hysterically comical. Some scenes are total time pass. An extremely light-hearted movie that involves nothing but one person's love fluttering from one girl to other like how a butterfly flutters from one flower to another. School scenes, college scenes, all add flavor to the wholesome entertainer.
Rating: Good

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Into Thin Air

Ever since I read the book, I wanted to see the movie. Finally got a copy of the DVD and got to see the movie. It does good justice to the book - depicting only the salient aspects. Some of the dialog is verbatim from the book. Anyone who doesn't want to read through all pages of the book, can just see the movie. The setting & casting is all well-made. Mt Everest (& the trek up) looks all real in the movie. A short movie - half of which is the ascent and the other half is the descent (read tragedy). I feel for the folks who passed away in this expedition - esp Rob Hall. 
Rating: Good

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Big Short

I tried to read the book but it seemed too tough to understand, and very vague. The concepts of subprime mortgage, CDO and other wall street jargon never went into my head. So I started watching the movie with the same thought that I might not be able to understand it. But the movie was super awesome! It explained concepts very easily. The whole book has been made very cleverly into a thrilling, captivating story. And to think, it is all true story. Best part is, wherever (few scenes) it is not a true story, the narrative confesses it - humorously! The whole story revolves around the 2007 mortgage crash in US economy - and how four individuals made money out of it.
Rating: Must-see

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Death of a Salesman

I saw a colleague of mine reading a book of the same name, and I was compelled to know more about it. As it happened, my local library had this movie. Still, I was in two minds - whether to see or not, especially it was because it seemed so old. Finally made up mind and got the DVD. It started off ok. There seemed to be too much of conversation and without subtitles, I was just able to make out the gist of what was happening. Almost the first hour of the movie was just a simple conversation in a lower middle class house. Finally, the second half opened up the movie into things unbeknownst to the viewer. Dustin Hoffman's acting is superb. His character is very nicely woven and the amount of talking he has done is unbelievable - and with that flair of a salesman! As it happens, the story of the family unfolds based more on just conversation rather than actual events shown on screen!
Rating: Good

The Buddha: The story of Siddhartha

Its more of a documentary than a movie. A very neat, clean narrative of Gautam Buddha from his birth till his death. I felt it was rather slow at times and it could have been made shorter. But still, the commentary was very good and captivating. The choice of words used to describe the narrative is super awesome. Too many things in the movie to learn - and instill in life. So, worth the watch.
Rating: Good

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Mumbai Meri Jaan

Wow, what a movie! Superb acting, direction, screenplay - and the thought behind each and every scene is absolutely powerful. Paresh Rawal's role and acting is unmatched. The movie is based on the actual train bombings that took place in Mumbai on July 11th 2006 but the tale itself is a fiction of many lives who were affected by the bombings one way or the other. A high-impact movie with "punchful" dialog and scenes. Absolutely gripping with subtle, wry humor. 
Rating: Must-see

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Man Who Knew Infinity

The amazing true story of Ramanujan beautifully pictured. It is captivating from the beginning till the end. It is astonishing how Ramanujan came up with all those theorems and conjectures and what not. The story itself is so thrilling that the movie hardly needs any brilliance and yet the movie-making does not fall short. The acting, screenplay and direction are all as neat as it could be. 
Rating: Must-see

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Baby (2015 - Bollywood)

Movie almost has a Jason Bourne theme of 'Govt has Plausible Denial' on key personnel doing covert operations for the good of the country. It has similar edge-of-seat thrill during many parts of the movie. But, for me, it seemed longish and not too wow-ish like the Bourne series. Editing could have been better. Some of the operations seemed superfluous - and time consuming. The Nepal episode is well-taken. The Saudi episode drags on for a bit. At one point, I was like, ok get it done with...
Rating: Average

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Revenant

Multiple Oscar winner. And partly a true story. Hence saw the movie. But didn't like it as much. It was okay. Theme, as the title says, is all about revenge. So not much of a suspense, as ending is pretty much known. So, the movie is all about the how. Which is taken very well. The cinematography is superlative. Some parts of the movie is really gruesome - like how Leonardo sleeps inside a horse! Yeah, you read that right! Dialog is sparse. There are many minutes in the movie when there is just no talking - which is exactly how it needs to be, given the scene. Scenery is breath taking - Montana, Nebraska, Yellowstone - all uncharted in mid 1800s. And winter. Good pastime, if you are ok with the gruesomeness. Oh yeah, there is the fight with the grizzly too. That's a-stunning.
Rating: Average

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Timbuktu (Multilingual - Arabic, French, Bambara, etc.)

Well, it depicts the sad state of affairs in a jihadist place. No smoking, no playing, no music, etc. And there are instances of people going against, and consequences to such people. The movie then shows a simple family thrown into a drastic drama - ending is pretty evident. Seemed like an artistic movie, many scenes seemed superfluous. Yet, the movie won lot of awards - Best Foreign Film and many other bests - editing, director, sound, cinematograpy, screenplay, etc. Personally, it wasn't that great for me.
Rating: Average

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Wild Tales (Spanish)

One of the most weirdest movies I have ever seen. In fact, not even sure if it can be called as a movie, because it is just a collection of 6 short stories, which are, as the title depicts, indeed very wild. The imagination has truly run loose and all forms of norms are thrown out! It is lunacy at its best and yet at the same time, thrilling and comical in many aspects. The cinematography, narration, scenes, settings are all superb. Each tale is gripping and so close to normal layman life-story. 
Rating: Good

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Unstoppable

Had seen parts of this movie long time ago. But came across this movie again, and saw that it is loosely inspired by true events in 2001 in Ohio. So, got the DVD from local lib and saw the movie from the beginning. It is very gripping from Scene One and very well directed to keep the movie in a tight grip all through. Acting by all cast members is good and so is the dialog - some of which are even true. Nice to watch this kinda thriller movie after a long time. A decade ago, this was one of my fav genre & I used to watch a lot of such flicks!
Rating: Good

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Golmaal (2006), Golmaal Returns and Golmaal 3

Jovial, as long as you are in a light-hearted mood. No need to tax your brains a lot, or even use it at times! Some hilarious rib-tickling scenes good for a lazy weekend. All movies are in same vein and almost have same set of characters. Fun stuff! 
Rating: Good

Talvar

Wow, what a movie! Gripping and shocking. Three perspectives of the murder mystery shown in equal measure but the middle one seems the most plausible. However, once caught in the hands of justice and political system, there is no way to know where one ends up. Sad to know the state of affairs for Aarushi's parents on whom the movie is made. Superb acting, narration, direction, casting, screenplay, et al. 
Rating: Must-see

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Interstellar

A gripping futuristic movie about outer space journey in order to save the earth. At times, it gets overly complicated to understand. Time, space, gravity all get interlinked in multi-dimensional mode and things start getting all boinky. In Earth, time moves the way we know, but when people in blackholes start interacting with Earth beings - the timeshift becomes tough to understand. Fathers start becoming younger than their own children! So, I myself had some black holes in my mind while I was watching this movie!! But enjoyed it nevertheless and even replayed some scenes as soon as the movie ended, just like how I do usually with Must-see movies. Whoever thought and wrote this script is ultra-imaginative!! Matthew's (the hero) acting is outstanding.
Rating: Good

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Intouchables

Wow, what a movie! And a true story at that. What could have been easily a tear-jerker of a tale has been completely churned out as an out-and-out jovial (and at times, even funnily edge-of-seat) experience and equally narrated/directed so. Whoever can imagine the life of a quadriplegic can be led in such an exciting manner. Whoever can imagine a petty thief and con-man to be the best ever care-giver? The story and the movie - Simply brilliant. Now, waiting to read the book!
Language: French
Rating: Must-see

Monday, June 13, 2016

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

Either it was just me or it was the movie. It seemed the plot was too thick, too many twists, too many characters - and somewhere I lost track and just couldn't keep up with the tale. Also, it seemed dubious to me that a detective who rejected (and got hit) by a customer (during introduction phase) goes to such extents to solve the case on his behalf. Story seemed good with grandiose schemes but the movie itself is very dark - both figuratively and literally. Not the kind that I wanted at the time when I saw it...
Rating: Average

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Two Countries

A Malayalam movie after a long time. Thoroughly enjoyable. Awesome direction, humor, dialog, acting, setting, story-line, narration - and pretty much everything else that makes a movie. Some lies, some intertwining love triangles, some mistaken identities, some nice lungi-dances by Canadian men near Niagara Falls (!), typical Kerala scenery and typical Canadian life style - all bundled together to become a definite must-see. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Hera Pheri

I had seen bits and pieces of this movie before but never in entirety. Finally was able to see it this weekend. Nice, light-hearted comedy. Dialog is rib-tickling at times. Paresh Rawal - his acting and his character in the movie - is awesome. Nice time pass.
Rating: Good

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Light-hearted comedy. Extremely complicated happenings. A twist every 5 minutes. Some happenings too far-fetched for reality. But acting, costumes, direction, narration, dialog (especially since the era is a decade ago), cinematography are all superlative and extremely pleasing. The English language is at its best. Definitely worth a watch.
Rating: Good

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Death at a Funeral (2007 UK)

Totally hilarious. Remembered Priyadarshan Bollywood movies. There is a comical twist every 5 minutes up until the very last minute. Enjoyed thoroughly. Super casting, acting, story, etc. 
Rating: Must-see

Black Friday

Another Anurag Kashyap movie but this one was better. Though based on a book, it is excellently acted, directed and photographed. Could have been edited better, some chase scenes were avoidably long. Story itself is shocking. Fact that Tiger Memon is still not caught is jaw-dropping. I was not aware much of the 1993 Bombay blasts (I was a 13-year-old in Bangalore who was more interested in Hardy Boys than local news!) and this movie was an eye-opener. Although movie goes back and forth in time, it is still easy to comprehend & follow. Worth watching.
Rating: Good

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bombay Velvet

Movie is set in 1970s during Mumbai's turn of events. The filming, setting, costume, direction, acting all seemed good (considering the bygone era) but story kind of lost steam - especially when you see the hero blasting away his gun in the middle of a gazillion bullets without even getting a single shot. And then the inevitable ending, which is common to all heroes of the genre of Satya, Company, etc. I mean, all that for what - if there is no ingenius twist in the tale? The biggest shocker of the movie was when I saw the screen splashed with 'Interval' when I really thought we had reached the climax. To sit through rest of the movie was a pain.
Rating: Average

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Jungle Book (2016)

Much hyped, much popular, but seemed very amateurish to me with little or no punch. There are some scare-inducing scenes but for what, I have no idea. Went to a theatre to see this movie, Paavani's second. Ambience was good, but the movie caused a head-ache more than any feel-good. Felt if we had avoided it, we wouldn't have regretted.
Rating: Average

Monday, April 18, 2016

Wild

The movie does good justice to the book. So, if one is not interesting in reading the book, this movie suffices. Except for a few short stories here and there, much of the book is depicted in the movie - including the dialog verbatim. It is well made, with an emotional chord running always in the background. Good acting, good casting. I was hoping more of good scenery of PCT but not much is shown. Worth a watch.
Rating: Good

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mantralaya Mahatme

Felt like seeing a Dr Rajkumar movie since it had been a really long time. Came across this movie. Although knew most of the story, still felt like watching it. Role of Raghavendra Swami superbly enacted by Dr Raj...worth a watch once.
Rating: Average

Shakespeare in Love

An extremely witty and intelligent movie. It is purely fictional and yet so tightly woven into actual happenings of 15th Century that it almost seems real. There is Christopher Marlowe's mysterious death, there is Romeo and Juliet, there is Shakespeare, there is character Voila in Twelfth Night, and so many actual facts. Using all of these, a beautiful script is magically woven into this comically genius movie that is not only entertaining but is almost akin to Romeo & Juliet itself! The creation of that era, the setting, the language, the costume, the casting, the acting, everything...Absolutely brilliant!
Rating: Must-see

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Conviction

I had two minds prior to seeing this movie. It seemed like a dark, intense movie with not-so-good casting. But the cover page of the DVD was impelling. The movie turned out to be very good, in fact. The direction & narration seamlessly moved from 1980s to 1990s to 1960s, from MA to NY, from law-school to prison. It was as perfect as it could be. The story itself is a stunner, considering it is a true-story. It is such a pity that the victim spent 16 years of life behind bars just because of a egoistic cop. And such an inspiring act by victim's sister to dedicate her whole life to get her brother out - even at the expense of her own life as a wife and mother. 
Rating: Must-see

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Well. Good sequel. Story continues in the same vein with same casting for same characters. Slightly better than the prequel in terms of direction & story (Meaning - it didn't go from good to worse). Light humor. Madhavan's character portrayal seems to be like a "stupid idiot" a lot. He hardly talks. And once again, the name gives away the ending anyways. Worth only for total time-pass.
Rating: Average

Madras Cafe

The movie starts with Sri Lankan PM assassination. And mistakenly I thought the movie was about that assassination. By the time I realized it was actually about Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, half of the movie was already over. Somewhere then I realized perhaps it was a true story. But it really isn't. It is just a story made in and around the assassination. A good story and pretty tightly woven. Keeps audience on the edge although the ending is pretty much known already as General Knowledge...
Rating: Good

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Eat Pray Love

True story of Elizabeth Gilbert. Nice, catchy movie. Smooth-going, thought-provoking, scenic and relaxing as the story moves from New York to Italy (Eat) to India (Pray) and finally to Bali (Love). Definitely worth a watch. Book is better, of course.
Rating: Good

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Insomnia (Norwegian)

Well, maybe I had high expectations looking at the IMDB ratings. Whatever. Didn't seem to be a great movie. Murder mystery that rather easily gets solved. But then something happens which makes it a suspense thriller. Still, it is not an edge-of-the-seat. Seemed pretty ordinary stuff.
Rating: Average

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Love & Other Drugs

A movie on pharmaceutical and medical industry in the form of a romantic tale of a salesman. Some excellent dialog with punch liners on how the healthcare industry in US has crippled lives in the name of 'we make lives better' and boomed in business. The romantic twist in the movie makes the tale going although it takes off in tangents at various times - all very interesting scenes indeed. Extremely adult-ish movie.
Rating: Good

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Max Manus: Man of War

True story of Max Manus, a Norwegian underwater saboteur in World War II against Nazis. A gripping tale, excellently directed & acted. It seems as if Death just left Max alone - he escaped so many times luckily. And yet, everywhere, his close friends all died around him despite his intention of being near to Death every time, trying to sabotage the enemy behind the enemy lines - and almost every time successfully. Many thanks to the film crew to get this story out as a movie, otherwise I might have never known about this fantastic tale! It is amazing to know there were so many such minor groups against Nazis heroically winning, risking their own lives - which collectively led to the final result of World War II. 
Rating: Good

Monday, February 15, 2016

Ted 2

Continuation of Ted. Just as raunchy, just as loosely entertaining. Good for a lazy Sunday. No great laughs but not boring either. Good casting, though.
Rating: Good

Amour

A French movie about an old man and an old woman. It is a nice movie, in fact excellent acting. But it is definitely not an entertainer. It isn't meant to be anyways. It gets too depressing, even to see, at times. It is a sharp truth about man's old age and how sometimes it gets so unbearable. Just like how the old man feels in the movie towards his own wife, even my wife and I felt towards the movie after just half way through!
Rating: Average

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Force Majeure

Superior! Awesome location. Excellent cinematography. Tense acting. Beautiful background score. Simple yet powerful event/concept that spans not more than a minute and yet has an impact on an entire 5-day vacation. Beautifully directed, narrated & filmed. Thoroughly loved this French movie.
Rating: Must-see

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Desi Boyz

Total time pass for a lazy Sunday. An absolute no gain, no loss. Not too many good laughs, almost on the brink of bore but not really, some good dialog, bearable acting, catchy songs.
Rating: Average - a third one for the same weekend :(

Ajami

I saw the cover of this Arabic movie DVD as 'Almost as good as Cidade de Deus' and picked it from the library shelf. But I was not impressed. A heavily complicated, intricate web of events, and added to that, the director weaves the scenes back and forth in time and it gets hard to understand what scene actually occurs at what time. Plus, there are innumerous scenes which are absolutely unnecessary to the crux of the story. I saw the movie twice to understand and still there were some parts which remain mystery. Got a headache, not impressed. But the story is good and uses the same classic 'great-movie' technique of unconnected lives connecting at a certain point in time. If only the movie was directed and edited well with a good narration...
Rating: Average

PS: After a long, long time, did a back-to-back movie marathon.

127 Hours

Suggestion: Ditch the movie and stick to the book, which is far, far better. I expected a lot more from the Slumdog guy (Danny Boyle). Certain scenes are good - when the knife enters the skin, when the bone shatters, when they dive into the water, the Canyonlands, etc. Although there are some pages in the book which is better understood in the movie, at times it gets to a point when one almost feels 'When will it end?' The story itself is unbelievable - since it is a true story but the movie could have been done better. 
Rating: Average

Sunday, January 31, 2016

McFarland USA

Wow, what a true story! Just unbelievable. A very inspiring tale of an American coach who gets stuck with a job in McFarland (a city full of Spanish folks in California) and then creates state-winning cross-country running team out of a bunch of hard-working students. The movie gives good justice to the story - especially the last scene where the actual heroes are shown in person. The movie has the right ingredients - casting, direction, etc. Just loved it!
Rating: Must-see

Ted

A movie where 'Wish comes true' and a stuffed toy Teddy Bear comes alive! But that's pretty much the end for any child wanting to see! It then becomes a grown-up movie. Light humor all through. Pretty fun to watch.
Rating: Good

Sunday, January 24, 2016

American Sniper

I thoroughly enjoyed the autobiography and I was looking forward to see this movie. The movie is as good a replica of the book and pretty well-made, complete with the same real-life dialog as jotted down in the book. Good acting, good direction and pretty decent movie.

But what came as a shock to me was - when I read the book, it said 'Chris Kyle lives with his family in Texas'. So I was expecting the same ending. But in the movie, I was shocked to reality that Chris Kyle was killed in 2013, just a year after the book was published. I just could not get over the reality. I mean, the guy saved so many lives and was so lucky. He escaped Death by mere inches all his life in the war. It was as if Death itself was ensuring his safety for the greater good, and then all of a sudden, he gets killed in such a useless way. I just could not get over it. 

RIP Chris. What a man...what a life.

Rating: Good

Friday, January 22, 2016

Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela

Just like any other Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie, too much of pomposity, overacting, grandness, slowness and artwork rather than the story itself. Not much of my type. 
Rating: Average

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Dil Dhadakne Do

Wholesome entertainer. Some amazing scenes and fantastic dialog. Very picturesque locations - Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, etc. Excellent casting, acting, direction, cinematography, etc. Thoroughly enjoyed!
Rating: Good

The Beauty and the Beast

A weekend movie for the daughter, who wanted to know the story of Belle. Nice catchy lyrics in songs & good animation but otherwise a pretty average time pass story/movie. 
Rating: Average

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Martian

Although I knew the story to a certain extent, the movie was still gripping. Thanks to a great direction, acting, casting and narration, it was almost an edge-of-the-seat thriller. Consecutive space movies seen now. Visit to NASA in November has it's effects! Truly remarkable and unimaginable state of life for astronauts!
Rating: Good

Monday, January 4, 2016

Gravity

An easy-going yet edge-of-seat movie about a space mission that goes awry. When the movie was released, I was not that much interested. But after visiting NASA center in Florida recently, I am now open to watch space movies. I wonder though if such movies encourages folks to become astronauts! As a movie, it was fairly interested.
Rating: Good

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Total time-pass. Knew it before started seeing it, still checked it out. Loose acting (SRK is just as bad), loose direction but cinematography was good. Pretty average-ish movie all through. Never gets too good nor does it get too bad. Most of the crying scenes are totally laughable. Sorry, but that's how it was for my wife and me!
Rating: Average

Dumb and Dumber To

The movie continues in the same vein as the prequel. Same direction. Almost similar story of running behind a girl. Just as enjoyable, just as dumb and just as dumber. Some superb acting by Jim and Jeff, even though it has been 2 decades. They carry on as if there has been no break. Two decades ago, this kind of a movie was a 'Must-see' for me at that age. Now, not-so... but still loved it
Rating: Good

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Great Gatsby

A very different movie that is kind of enchanting and has lot of pomposity and prospect at the beginning but somewhat loses steam as the story unfolds. There is still, though, somewhat an air of mystery on 'what-happens-next' which makes it bearable. But at the end, it makes one feel 'Is that all?' Quite dramatic and very Bollywood-ish style. Watchable once when there is nothing else to do...
Rating: Average

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Agneepath (2012)

Waited a long time for the movie to end. Just too much violence. I guess I am not at that age when violence looks good on the screen. Either that, or the movie was just plain bad. Almost every scene depicted violence or negativity or some kind of negative scheming that makes your stomach turn. Even dialog is rubbish. It is so, because it is required so to match with the movie setting. And, in almost all movies like this (Company, Satya, etc.), pretty much everyone important dies. For me, it felt a pure waste of time. Wonder why I even watched it.
Rating: Average

Piku

A hilarious movie! Out-of-the-box and (at least, for me) a never-before concept for a movie! And yet, excellently directed, acted, casted, edited, written, etc.. A wholesome entertainer! Deepika's character portrayal could have been toned down but it doesn't matter. AB is just too good.
Rating: Good

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Book Thief

A beautiful, poignant movie about a young girl from Communist kin caught up in Hitler's world war era in the middle of Germany. The story is akin to Anne Frank but runs slightly on a tangent. The movie makes one thoughtful with complex emotions - thankful, because the war stopped; sad, because of what people endured. Some very good direction, casting, acting, cinematography almost makes this movie an edge-of-a-seat and gets the audience hooked till the very end. The best part of the movie was the background narration from Death. And punchline dialog. 
Rating: Good

Monday, December 14, 2015

Inside Out

After 5+ years, finally went to a movie in a theatre! Since our daughter was born in 2010, we had never been to a theatre. Never felt like going to a movie leaving our daughter behind, nor felt compelled to watch any movie in a theatre with her in tow. But now that she is 5, and almost takes in any 'villainous' roles in equanimity, we finally decided to go to a theatre. And we wanted to start off with an animation movie so that she gets used to the theatre atmosphere and yet is comfortable with the big screen. So, decided on Inside Out, since it seemed as good as it can get. Sure enough, it was an awesome movie - great concept, great direction, good animation. Totally joyous. And yet, looking at the movie, at times I felt sad that so many good memories are lost forever, even of my own daughter who is still just 5. Definitely a movie not to be missed!
Rating: Good

Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries)

A very realistic movie. Acting from everyone is excellent. The best scene is when the maid and her daughter are on camera. That's as natural as it can every get. A story in which there is a mix of rich and poor, richest and poorest. Mumbai is seen in all its true forms. The rat-killing profession is as worse as it can get. The Muslim woman's story on camera is touching. It starts out with such bubbling excitement and looking-forward-to-life. Since it is more like a diary, there is no real ending or real beginning for the movie. It is just a chapter of life in a number of lives - which can be as realistic as it can get.
Rating: Good

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Imitation Game

Wanted to read the novel before I saw the movie but the novel was over 700 pages with small font. So saw the movie directly since I couldn't wait! And what a movie! Superb story, awesome acting, good editing, great casting and excellent direction. Added to this, it's the true story of Alan Turing. What a man! Thank God, for sending this man to Earth in such a time as World War! Its as if God Himself was here to stop the war...
Rating: Must-see

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Birdman

It started off well enough. Seemed very gripping. But then, there were these scenes of the hero flying and it seemed unrealistic. Still, good enough movie to see once. The movie is taken as if it is one long and that's something novel.
Rating: Good

Monday, October 26, 2015

Neighbors

Pretty comically intense movie about neighbors trying to outdo one another. Extremely adult-ish movie in relation to typical American college grads partying excessively. Simple story yet very thick in keeping audience captivated till the end. Nice, catchy dialog too.
Rating: Good

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Entertainment

Total time-pass movie for a lazy weekend. So had very little expectations. But the dialog in the movie was truly amazing. Very innovative and comical with real humor. Had some real good laughs.
Rating: Good

Friday, October 23, 2015

Escape From Alcatraz

A simple movie about a powerful true story of Frank Morris' escape from Alcatraz prison half a decade ago. Minimal dialog, tight story line, yet edge-of-seat thriller. Feels good to see a movie based on same setting which I had once visited (Alcatraz). 
Rating: Good

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Mangal Pandey : The Rising

When I was watching The Story of India, I came to know about Mangal Pandey. Hence saw this movie, and it was an astonishing story. There were parts in the movie that could have been well-made (such as reducing the number of songs) but otherwise the legendary story or the folklore itself carries the movie on its back to make it a worthwhile watch. Aamir is superb, as always. I feel for William Gordon though I am not sure if he was a real person. And of course, I feel for Mangal Pandey himself, the real person and what he went through...
Rating: Good

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Unbroken

Based on the autobiography, the movie gives justice to the book in many aspects - at least, as much as possible, and finishes some 50-70 pages before the book actually ends. And some pretty good acting, casting (except Watanabe whose features seemed very girly) and cinematography. A good, compact watch for those who don't want to read through 400 odd pages. But again, the book gives a more holistic picture than the picture itself but there are scenes which the viewer can easily understand by just seeing than comprehend the description from the words by reading.
Rating: Good

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Home

First movie night organized in my daughter's school. Had total fun, under the stars, with popcorn and other snacks. Daughter too had a jolly time before the movie started, playing with her pals and on the park play structures. The movie itself was good, not superbish, but good enough to keep us in jovial spirits. Story theme seemed too far-fetched but that didn't matter much because of the pace of the movie. 
Rating: Good

The Story of India

An in-depth documentary on India, starting from the very first immigrants to the country thousands of years ago until freedom and Independent India. It is a marathon 6-part 6-hour documentary where the host Michael Wood takes us through this life of India with an ever-smiling face and churns up facts and places (such as the one where Akbar was enthroned, where Mahabharata was fought, where freedom fighters fought against British, Jallianwala Bagh, Taj Mahal, place where Gautam Buddha got enlightenment, etc.) at such quick pace that the audience is hooked all through. There is not a moment of ennui. It is almost a must-see for all Indians - to know our own roots. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Not sure why the title. Relatively easy-going movie. Not much humor or suspense or action or drama or anything to keep audience occupied. After 1 hour I thought the movie was over. 15 minutes later again I thought it was over. And it kept on happening until an hour later the movie finally ended! Editing could have been better, dialog too. Acting was good and so was casting and cinematography.
Rating: Average.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Interview

A nice captivating story with underlying comedy involving international countries and nuclear bombs and what-not! Total time-pass yet hilarious, at times.
Rating: Good

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Finding Nemo

A beautiful tale of 'dad' fish losing 'son' fish and how he does all it takes to 'find' him. Very touching yet comical, not to mention beautifully scripted & animated. Has a moral for the father as well as for the son.
Rating: Good

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sixteen Candles

A movie for the wifey. She likes this type - A typical American sixteen-year-old girl madly in love with a guy in her school who doesn't even know her and it's her birthday - and whatnot. Not much of comedy to call a rom-com but comes pretty close to it. Time-pass, watchable.
Rating: Average

Airplane!

Absolutely hilarious! Been a very long time since I saw such kind of a movie where the theme is only comedy and pays no respect to logic! Totally enjoyed!
Rating: Good

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Clueless

Time pass movie about teenagers. But surprisingly, a very "clean" and "moralistic" movie. Light romance, light humor and faintly interesting. 
Rating: Average

Monday, August 3, 2015

PK

Nice movie, nice story, nice direction, nice concept, etc. But something lacked to not make it a "Must-see". Maybe the alien concept - literally speaking, and perhaps casting. Otherwise, a classy movie, almost on similar lines as the director Rajkumar Hirani's other movies (Munna Bhai MBBS, etc.). Every scene, every dialog, seemed to be well thought out. Even the humor is rich. Anushka seemed out-of-sort (for casting in this movie, not her acting) at times, maybe because she looked taller than Aamir. Aamir was awesome, as usual.
Rating: Good

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Lion King

I was 14 when this movie hit the screens and I had heard rave comments about it. But being a teenager I wasn't so keen on an animated movie then. Now, after 21 years, for the sake of my daughter, I got this movie from library! It wasn't all that great as I thought it would be although at times the comic and the animation are excellent. The story itself is very thin and predictable. Far too much violence and scary stuff for Kindergarteners. My daughter didn't like it that much. 
Rating: Average

Samsara

Kaleidoscopic images & videos spanning across many different countries with no commentary nor any subtitles. Shows many strange, unknown, unseen videos which are at times cruel and at times beautiful and other times plain boring. A very professional work of videography. Good documentary to see with kids since it doesn't really disturb when they keep asking hundreds of questions! Looking at the mute video, my daughter told the video 'You just have to use your words.' :-) (That's something we parents keep saying to her when she is upset and having temper tantrums!)
Rating: Average

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Lego Movie

Wow, what a movie! Awesome story, great animation, superb humor and even parenting morals. The movie starts off with a bang and rides on a roller-coaster at break-neck speed until the very end. Added to this - we saw it under the stars on Walnut Creek Civic Park. Great ambience despite the chill. Totally, totally enjoyed from beginning till end - including Kurkure and Aloo Paratha! Reminded us of the movie we saw in Irvine Park.
Rating: Good

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Inequality for all

An excellent documentary on inequality of wages - where rich become richer and poor become poorer. Robert Reich gives the cause, effect and solution for this economic turmoil in America over the last century. Superb narration, witty and gripping. 
Rating: Good

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Little Mermaid

Another Saturday night movie for the daughter. This time it was her little mermaid Ariel. Very easy-going story and movie about teenage love and "kiss of true love" - but kind of too much for a 4 year old but anyways. Time-pass.
Rating: Average

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Way Back

Nowadays, I am reading the novel and then seeing the movie. This favors the book, I guess, unless the movie is really made well. Just so, since this movie only depicted 50% of what is actually in the book, I felt the book was much better than the movie. Even so, the movie at times runs very thin and doesn't quite capture the attention as much as the novel. Why don't film-makers just take the novel, I don't understand. 
Rating: Average

100 Days of Love

Maybe had high hopes for this movie especially after having seen another Malayalam movie Bangalore Days, or maybe the beginning sounded good. Either way, this movie is too light-weighted and is an absolute time-pass. Although set in Bangalore, it has pretty much no stuff in it but one can just linger till the end just to see it through just for of an occasional laughter here and there. Not even sure about the significance of the title.
Rating: Average

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tanu Weds Manu

Hoping it to be a rom com, we were severely disappointed. The movie has a very thin story line and it goes from good to worse. At the end, we were like 'Oh Please!' The name gives away the ending anyways.
Rating: Average

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Trailer seemed interesting and comical but the movie itself was pretty average. Stories of about a bunch of retirees which intertwine at a retiree home in India. Each of the tales seemed superfluous and one feels - is it all really needed? Nothing comical about it in the end, but good direction, acting and dialog nevertheless.
Rating: Average

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Up

It started good but lost its steam after some time. Good imagination but it just went out of bounds when an old man who cannot climb down the stairs on his own tries to hold on to his full house - literally. Total time pass movie for kids.
Rating: Average

Sunday, June 14, 2015

12 Years a Slave

So, I read books and see movies. And then I compare which was better. Sometimes the movies are better, sometimes the books. In this case, it was the book. The movie only made me understand parts of the book that I could not comprehend reading but other than that, it did not evoke any other emotions. I felt there were quite a bit of scenes that were quite unnecessary and could have been edited. Also, there seemed to be an escape scene which the author had written in great detail which was missing in the movie. Nevertheless, if you don't want to read a 200-page book and instead know the story in 2 hrs, go for it!
Rating: Good

Enchanted

This is a fun movie that can be welcomed on any weekend. Again, girly, princessy stuff that can make daughters go 'Awww' but it has a twist within 30 minutes of the movie when the animation turns to real human beings and mean adults right on Times Square. Kinda sci-fi jazzy stuff, only it is more for kids! The dramatic ending is very, very sloppy and totally unneeded and could have been edited after the proverbial 'True-love-kiss'.
Rating: Good

The Princess Diaries 2

The prequel was much better. This sequel seemed pretty awful, very boring and at times even ridiculous - all due to a very thin story line. Another weekend, girly movie but highly avoidable. Oh, by the way, if you are wondering why I am into so many girly movies - it is to give company to wifey and daughtery!
Rating: Average

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Princess Diaries

A lazy Sunday time-pass movie about a teenager who suddenly comes to know she is a Princess of a country. A predictable tale and ending.
Rating: Average

Sunday, May 31, 2015

This is the End

Truly pathetic. A doomsday picturized for real-life actors. Some comical dialog and scenes but overall quite yucky and heavily avoidable. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Namesake

A Bengali-English movie about Indian couples stay in America in 1980s and the radical shift in culture especially for the newlywed brides. Based on Jhumpa Lahiri novel which I later remembered having read. A good movie. Nothing great, nothing bad. 
Rating: Good

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mardaani

Another female-oriented power-punch movie but seemed far-fetched plot at times, especially when villain killed whosoever with ease but spared the cop until too late. Apart from that, story is captivating. It is shocking to know that even a road-side pani puri is dangerous for girls in India.
Rating: Good

Friday, April 24, 2015

Drushyam

Wow. Brilliant. Another movie seen on airplane en route to Abu Dhabi from SFO. Had heard about this Telugu movie a lot and it lived up to it's expectations. A simple story with a simple twist that can happen to any simple middle-class family. Well directed and well acted, its as good as any edge-of-the-seat thriller.
Rating: Must-see

Excuse my French

An Arabic movie seen on airplane while coming from SFO to Abu Dhabi. Seemed overly hyped but it was a let down. IMDB states genre as Comedy but I didn't find anything to laugh about. It portrayed a very dark side of life indeed.
Rating: Average

Friday, April 3, 2015

Mary Kom

Wow, what a movie! What a true story! Such unmatched skill, commitment and dedication - and to think I never knew about this person until I heard about this movie (like many other Indians, I am sure). Great acting by Priyanka, and such sad state of affairs to see growth of Boxing as a sport in India, with all its prejudices. But thoroughly enjoyed the movie, nevertheless.
Rating: Must-See

Sunday, March 29, 2015

22 Jump Street

Similar to 21 Jump Street. Nice, easy, light-hearted, little bit of action, a touch of romcom, etc. Good for a Lazy Sunday.
Rating: Good

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cha-Cha-Cha

A simple romantic Spanish comedy that gets complicated with lies and spies and devious plans. Quite interesting. 
Rating: Good

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Philomena

When I started seeing this movie, I was expecting it to showcase what is written in the book. But I was surprised to see the movie was totally different than the book.While the book concentrated entirely on the child, the movie concentrates more on searching the child and the author's interaction with the mother. Very touching at times, very beautifully taken. Excellent acting. But I wonder why some scenes are so opposite to what is in the book.
Rating: Good

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cars 2

Wow, what an excellent movie! Thoroughly enjoyed it. Had a smile on my face almost the entire movie! It has romance, edge-of-the-seat James-Bond-ish thrill, mystery, drama, sci-fi and loads of comedy. Superb animation with lots of colors and imagination. Awesome dialog too, making it a wholesome entertainer!
Rating: Must-see

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Bicycle Thief

A pretty average-ish movie. The story kind of never moves forward. The title gives away what's gonna happen in the movie anyway. And then pretty much nothing happens! Not sure why all the hype about this movie.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sleeping Beauty

The Sunday movie for the kiddo. Considering that this movie was made in 1959, it is quite an achievement in animation. Pretty straightforward story about a prince, princess and an evil witch. But nice humor in between. Although the daughter wished there was no evilness in the movie :-)
Rating: Average

The Boy With The Striped Pajamas

A holocaust movie although taken more from the German angle with a childish touch. Edge-of-the-seat at times but ends quite flatly. A nice, short story of the woebegone bygone era.
Rating: Good

Shaadi Ke Side Effects

Nice rom-com after a long time. Some very typical married life conversations, very typical post-child-birth life situations, etc. making it very comical and humorous indeed. Also, the basic characteristics & conversations of a typical male and female. Enjoyable.
Rating: Good

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Frozen

A movie for the 4-year-old daughter, but my wife and I enjoyed it more than her. There was too much 'scary/sad' stuff for her to enjoy, with snow monsters and Elsa's hands freezing everything around her and making her (Elsa) cry, etc. In fact, after the movie she went into a shell with no smiles and laughs and started saying 'I don't want Frozen any more'. But wifey and I enjoyed it anyways! Good catchy story.
Rating: Good

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Moneyball

Awesome true story of Billy Beane and how he churned out a bunch of low-key baseball players into a team that won 20 consecutive games, a record of its own. Very inspiring and touching. Brad Pitt is awesome in his role. Although story and movie is good, it kind of lacks a superior touch that could have made the audience go 'wow' as in the movie 42.
Rating: Good

Friday, January 2, 2015

Bangalore Days

Wow, what a fantastic movie! One of the rare Malayalam movies that I saw, and thankfully, this one had subtitles. This movie has sufficient quota of every movie element  - comedy, romance, tragedy, drama, suspense (not much of thrill though). It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me go 'Wow'. Excellent acting, excellent direction and good intertwining of life-stories of 3 cousins. Almost all characters in the movie have a personality of his or her own and is right in his or her actions, although it brings out different shades of emotions in the others around. Definitely, a must-see.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Earth (1947)

A good movie about India-Pakistan Partition and how friends of different religions become enemies due to Partition-related communal clashes and bloodshed. Simple yet poignant. A triangular romance in the background fueling the story as well. Good acting by one and all and good direction. Not great but good enough.
Rating: Good

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Kai Po Che!

Another 3-male-friends' movie (after Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dubara). This one is set in Ahmedabad and weaves through two real tragedies (Latur earthquake in 2011 and Sabarmathi Train burning in 2012) that change the course of friendship. In-between there is a nice captivating story of budding cricketer's rise to fame and a coach's all-encompassing love for the student. A nice story, good tight direction, good acting. 
Rating: Good

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Good Night, And Good Luck

True story of 1950s depicted in a 2005 movie in black and white! The "true story" itself is good (about how one TV journalist brought down a senator) but the movie runs thin and some times even gets yawning-ly bore! This could have been made into a good 30 minute documentary than a 93 minute movie.
Rating: Average

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sixteen

Amores Perros (Love's a Bitch) written all over it but a more Indian version of it where the a multitude of lives interconnect at a given point of time with each of them entangled in Love's different forms. While the intention is to convey a message to sixteen year-old Indians living in India (which is not very different compared to Western nations nowadays), it still has a broader message to the metropolitan India where things has changed so much from what it was before - not just with sixteen year-olds in India but even with their parents. Good direction, good story, good acting, good dialog. Very captivating from start to finish and doesn't bore one bit. Definitely worth a watch.
Rating: Good

Ankhon Dekhi

Well, the movie started well enough and promised a lot. But other than its artistic simplicity and showcasing a low-class almost-below-poverty typical family in a Delhi suburb, there was nothing much in the movie. It was not heading anywhere. And it did not seem to be heading anywhere either. In fact, at interval, I was almost sure the movie was over, only to be surprised that there was one more hour left. Much of the scenes seemed unnecessary. But direction, acting, casting - they were all good. So, other than the story, everything else is good. One wonders what the intent of the movie was - other than to show life in its natural form, and ageing. Its not boring and some scenes are even captivating but at the end of the movie, I was thinking why did I see it. I would still say: Watchable when nothing else is there to watch.
Rating: Good

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tangled

A nice animated movie for the kiddo. Enjoyed seeing the movie with daughter. A nice, captivating story. The Maximus horse character was awesome!
Rating: Good

Rush

Wow - unbelievable true story of the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt (F1 drivers) between 1970 and 1976, captured exceptionally well on the big screen. Each scene lingers on the viewer's mind after the picture ends. Excellent casting, acting, cinematography, dialog and direction. 
Rating: Must-see

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

OMG! Oh My God!

Nice, thought-provoking movie with powerful dialog that hits out at the fundamental core of theism. Paresh Rawal at his best but Mithun C and his co-priests are annoying.
Rating: Good

Monday, December 8, 2014

Queen

Fantastic movie! Absolutely fascinating. Great acting, great direction, great casting, simple-yet-powerful story. Wholesome entertainer. Kangana's dance sequences were hilarious and wholly enjoyable! 
Rating: Must-see

42

Wow, what a movie! Its even more bone-chilling because it is a true story. To think what Jackie Robinson has gone through is mind-boggling. What a champion! Same regards to Rickey Branch for being the messiah in going against racism. These characters deserve as much respect as Nelson Mandela! A gem of a movie too - excellent narration, direction, acting and absolutely top-of-the-chart stuff!!
Rating: Must-see

Sunday, November 30, 2014

2 States

Enjoyed reading the novel better than watching the movie. The hero was quite a depressing character. The heroine was better although she didn't look very much a Tamilian. The parents' casting was good though. The music was very refreshing and song sequences were good and dancey.
Rating: Average

21 Jump Street

A nice comedy movie, seeing after a long time. Enjoyed it quite a bit, although not as great as Hang-over series. Refreshing and entertaining.
Rating: Good

Caillou's Holiday Movie

Sunday movie time for the kiddo. Nice time-pass movie for adults but enjoyable for pre-schoolers.
Rating: Average

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kahaani

An excellent movie. Great direction, good narration, good acting and awesome story. The last few minutes will almost make you to see the movie again. Most of the plot and direction resembles The Bourne series. Kolkatta is depicted more than necessary but there is a tangential reference to the plot as well. The title is very apt. No loose ends or slack, boring sections in the movie but there are loop-holes, of course, which is expected in thriller movies such as these. Nevertheless, a must-see.