Saturday, April 7, 2018

Sanjog

Saw a 1980s movie (that too Jeetendra's) after a long time. A pretty simple love story that gets complicated due to too much love-attachment with a small boy who also has done very nice acting. Asrani & Smita Irani adds humor at the right moments. Worth a watch. 
Rating: Good

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Golmaal Again

Part 4 in the series. As long as you are aware of the series & genre, this is enjoyable. Still, the plot is made very interesting although it needn't've been! Its pretty simple for an 'atma' to do whatever it needs - without needing the help of 5 people! So, enjoy the movie for the dialog, the scenery, the location/setting and some unwanted songs!
Rating: Good

Idolle Ramayana

After having watched couple of Prakash Rai movies, I always wanted to watch this one. But alas, this one was far too slow-moving and annoying at times. While the story itself is not too bad (I wouldn't go so far as to say 'good'), it would have been better if the length of the movie was cut short to maybe 1.5 hours. Too many unnecessary scenes that could and should have been edited and even avoided. The background score is too loud at times. The first five minutes when the credits come itself started the 'sound-irritation'. Watch it with own risk.
Rating: Average

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Holiday

An interesting rom-com tale about two broken hearted female strangers exchanging their houses across the continent to be away from their ex-s. What happens next is predictable for the Europe story - and hence it kinda gets boring. The American story is interesting though but finally winds its way through another predictable ending. Acting is not all that great but the tale is barely interesting enough to vouch for a watch once.
Rating: Average

Finding Dory

After having enjoyed Finding Nemo, I always wanted to watch the sequel. And it is just as good as ever. The movie intertwines with Finding Nemo tale - how Dory was where she was and what she was doing and what she eventually does. In this case, it is about the 'daughter' fish trying to find her 'parents' fish. Very touching yet comical, not to mention beautifully scripted & animated - holds true for this sequel too.
Rating: Good

Going the Distance

A very common problem faced by the Americans depicted very well in this tale as a rom com but the movie itself is not all that great. It gets boring midway, the casting doesn't seem that good too. The humour is very gross at times and totally avoidable. And so is the movie.
Rating: Average

Friday, March 23, 2018

Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana

A quirky turn of events from what starts off as a plain vanilla love story. The title is extremely misleading to what actually happens in the movie - because the bride runs away! The tale is very interesting and the main protagonists have acted their roles very well. The direction is good but there are some scenes which could have been kept clean and tidy. The ending becomes predictable and the story/director had to make something dramatic to make it interesting till the end. So, ending is not all that exciting but it is ok. But, the movie nevertheless is definitely worth a watch especially the middle portion.
Rating: Good

Monday, March 12, 2018

Mera Naam Joker

Saw the movie in passing. Some nice dialogs and great songs. Editing could have been much better. Story is pretty much downhill all the way and not much of an entertainer. Avoidable.
Rating: Average

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Tumhari Sulu

A very nice middle-class family story. Pretty much everything is taken very well in terms of film-making: The setting, the family chores, the work tension, the bosses, the children's peer pressure in school, relatives' strangling, songs, etc. Movie goes wave-like from all-joy to all-sadness to joyfulness again. Excellent acting by everyone - from taxi driver to sisters to students to managers. Of course Vidya Balan is the fulcrum and she tops it as usual! Hats off to the director for the wholesome entertainer.
Rating: Good

Qarib Qarib Singlle

Well, I am not sure if it was the movie or the ambience with which I saw it but it didn't impress me much. There were too many disturbances - cable TV cutting off and on, the voice wasn't coming out well, there were guests, etc. which kinda made the movie watching experience a complete turn-off. The story too didn't make much of an impact, at least the part that I understood - unless I misunderstood! Heroine seemed a newbie but excellent in acting. Locations were great. Watch it at your own risk!
Rating: Average

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Kwatle Satisa

A quirky title led my wife and me to watch this movie. It started very simply enough but within minutes it turned interesting, and then to humorous to almost like an edge-of-seat-thriller! Very neat and clean acting, good direction with nice set of casting and idyllic middle class setting. The fact that it is a true story jolted me - how can such a thing even happen!
Rating: Good

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The November Man

Watched a Pierce Brosnan movie in a Bond-like thriller after a long time. Not all that great since there seemed too many missing links but a good time-pass anyways. Editing seemed poor since there were many scenes that were not really needed. But Brosnan is as good as ever despite his age.
Rating: Average

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Shubh Mangala Saavdhaan

A unique storyline which makes this movie definitely worth a watch - like Piku. Rib-tickling humor peppers up the narration all through the tale because the underlying theme is such. The actors have done a good job - portraying middle class family in a middle class setting. The direction is good and so is the casting. 
Rating: Good

Friday, February 2, 2018

College Kumar

A nice family drama movie. The first half is predictable but the second half is an eye-opener since it takes a 180 degree U-turn! Performances are average by all actors but full credit to story and screenplay. Casting is ok. Watchable once.
Rating: Good

Friday, January 26, 2018

Madhwacharya

Story depicted on the life and works of Madhwacharya. Today being Madhwa Navami, it seemed the right day to see this movie to know more about him. The movie wasn't all that great but the life of the great saint is a wonder indeed. Considering the time at which the movie was made (1980s), it is still astounding to see some scenes such as how a flower blooms right from seed to fulfillment, how men walk on the snow barefooted in the Himalayas, some astounding Sanskrit dialog delivery for long durations, etc. Watchable once to know the great saint - and how he single-handedly fought the Advaitha philosophy.
Rating: Average

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Lucy

Wow, what a movie! This one was mind-blowing in terms of the philosophical angle that it portrayed. The movie very closely relates to many spiritual leaders thoughts and sayings that I have heard - about how time is the only unit of measure, about how the very source of creation is within each human being (which is what Lord Krishna told Arjuna and showed the Vishwaroopa Darshan), how we can become conscious of every single thing on earth - like feeling blood flowing in our veins, the roots of a tree, rotation of the Earth, etc. Scarlett Johansson is superb in her role. Good story (although too much of violence than what was necessary), excellent direction, awesome screenplay and intelligent dialog (especially Morgan Freeman's script). Saw the movie twice within a span of 3 days. Definitely a must-watch.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Simran

Puh-lease. This movie makes American cops look like nincompoops. Storyline goes from nice to nicer to oho to what, really? to worse and then it is downhill all the way. The only saving grace was Kangana - she is as good as she was in Queen. Otherwise - this one scores poor in story, narration, mindless chase-climax and even the title which has little or no inkling to the character.
Rating: Average

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Trolls

After a long time, a movie seen with the daughter. Enjoyed just as much. These animation movies are all classic - touching the right inspiration points in their musicals. This one is a lot musical especially because the trolls are characterized as too much into singing! Great animation, nice little story, just a touch of romance here and there - and great songs. Just perfect for kids and parents.
Rating: Good

Monday, December 25, 2017

Mubarakan

Saw a Wodehousian plot after a long time. Nice story with enough romantic & family complexities. Story revolves mostly in London and a few shots in Punjab. Fresh cast, dazzling wedding scenes, good Punjabi dancing songs. The look-alike-twins are not used - thankfully - to confuse the already-complicated storyline. Good watch on TV for a weekend.
Rating: Good

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Me Before You

An interesting story about the care taker falling in love with the paralyzed patient. The ending makes the heart sore though. Set in beautiful countryside of UK, the movie graces through picture postcard scenery and the main protagonists' conversations about life in general. Good acting and direction and dialog. A romantic drama filled with crests and troughs of emotions. Good watch on a lazy day.
Rating: Good 

Ek Tha Tiger

Saw this movie in passing. Salman and Katrina make a great screen presence. It kinda resembled the Jason Bourne-ish but the romance was completely Bollywoody. Songs are nice, so are location settings. Watchable.
Rating: Good

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Upendra

After having watched Uppi 2, I always wanted to see Upendra. This movie, though, was not as captivating as the sequel. True, it has some great insights, truths and dialog that only the actor-director Upendra can think of and deliver but some of the scenes are so gory, gut-wrenching, blood-oozing and face-contorting that it is better left unseen. Surely there could have been a much simpler way of conveying the message. Ah yes, the film has an interesting message too for which alone the movie is bearable.
Rating: Average

The Adventures of Tintin

Having read the book as a teenager, it was a great fun to see the movie after more than 2 decades. And enjoyed just as much! The animation is super cool - almost real but not really. The fight scenes and the chase scenes are exceptionally carried out. It is a real treat to watch Morocco especially. The story, as Tintin's stories are always famous for, has continuous twists and turns. It was a great introduction of Tintin to my daughter! 
Rating: Good

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Three Musketeers

An adventure movie comparable to the likes of The Mask of Zorro and Indiana Jones. From the very first scene till the very last, there is action. No scene is wasted. Hence, I guess excellent editing and direction. Portrayal of all characters is sublime. Wonderful entertainer in all aspects.
Rating: Good

Hindi Medium

I somehow get to like most of Irrfan Khan's movies - or rather he gets the best scripts! This one is quirky too, just like Piku. The portrayal of the lives of the rich and the poor is heart-rending and makes this almost a must-see. But I felt it just stopped short of it. Nevertheless, a great watch - and good screenplay.
Rating: Good

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Half Girlfriend

Slow-moving, long-faced acting by the hero and overall quite a drag of a movie. Got very boring in the midst of some unwanted romantic feelings and ups and downs. After an hour, was checking how long for 'The End'. Same feeling after second hour! Hardly anything in the movie to watch - story, acting, songs, cinematography. Totally avoidable without any regrets.
Rating: Pathetic

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Malaya Maarutha

My second time. The last time I saw this was maybe 3 decades ago but I still remembered it very well. The first 2 hours is very nicely set. With complete Carnatic classical music as main theme, the story is well laid. But the last one hour becomes a big bore and torture. Too many songs and same songs get repeated. Vishnuvardhan has done good acting.
Rating: Average

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Ondu Motteya Kathe

Excited that it is a Pawan Kumar movie, I had high expectations. But the moment I saw that it is only produced by PK but not directed by him, my excitement level came down. Nevertheless, the movie seemed interesting at first - about bald bachelors trying hard to find brides. The initial half hour was humorous to a slight extent but then the movie became very slow in progress. Hardly anything seemed to be happening. It got boring midway and then I was just waiting for the movie to end. Nothing great in the movie to write about - acting is just fine, dialog is nice to hear since it is Mangalore Kannada and the frustration of the bride and groom is depicted well.
Rating: Average

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wild Child

Saw this movie as a by-product of random changing of channels on the TV. Quite amusing at first - especially the American vs Brit feud amongst the teen girls and their accents. Some nice scenes especially rural UK, some expected ups and downs, and a pretty normal-ish ending. Yet, nice and simple watch. No complaints. Time-pass.
Rating: Good

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Mom

Tangentially bordering Nirbhaya 2012 case, Mom in this case veers off in the direction of revenge instead of waiting for Law to take up action. It is gruesome in the beginning of the narration but evens out later. Excellent acting by Sridevi and all her family members. Tight storyline but at times I felt it was quite far-fetched. Worth a watch.
Rating: Good

Uppi 2

Without seeing the prequel Upendra, I embarked upon seeing this movie since it was being aired on TV. I am a big fan of Upendra's unique style of direction and thought-process since I saw his movies Om & Ssssshhh...!. This movie started off super-duper with Naanu Vs Neenu (selfishness vs selflessness). Apparently it continues where the prequel left off. Screenplay and dialog is awesome, direction is good too. The first hour of the movie is really worth a watch as it is more like a self-help book giving valuable advice. But story gets too confusing and it gets harder and harder to follow as the movie ends. After reading the wiki, I finally got to know some of it but I feel it could have been made easier to understand the message that was being conveyed! 
Rating: Good

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sully

A very simple movie about the happenings of Jan 15th 2009 and the after-effects it had on the pilot Sully due to NTSB investigation on whether the landing on the Hudson river was actually needed or not. Tom Hanks has done a neat controlled acting. Another great direction by Clint Eastwood. Worth the watch for whatever happened in those 24 minutes in NY.
Rating: Good 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Bangaara s/o Bangaarada Manushya

Very nicely conceptualized with reel-life actors being real-life persona. Dr Raj's role - even after his death - is honored as best as it could ever be as Bangaarada Manushya! But the first hour of the movie is pretty much pathetic, just like Rajakumaara (another movie that had tangential reference to Dr Raj's movie and role). The first hour is forgettable, avoidable and very less significance. The next two-thirds of the movie takes turn towards interesting concept of farmers committing suicide and Government's apathy towards them - which is good. But many scenes in the movie could have been edited as it seemed irrelevant and unwanted, especially the improbable fight scenes. Even the slight twist in the ending was rather dramatically unwanted. Anyways - a great movie for Dr Raj fans, me being one of them!
Rating: Average

Guest Iin London

A romcom that is tangentially similar to Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge. The 'unwanted guest' even in this movie is Paresh Rawal. He is exemplary in his role. Dialog is catchy. Actors are fresh. Storyline moves from comedy to seriousness pretty late - almost two thirds of the movie is humorous. So, definitely worth a watch.
Rating: Good

Monday, October 30, 2017

When in Rome

A nice rom com for the Sunday! Its kinda fanciful yet the romance and the comedy is in nice dosage to not make it a bore. Plus, there is Rome and Spanish accent! The dialog and screenplay is good, acting is fresh, NY and Central Park refreshes memories! Worth one watch.
Rating: Good

MS Dhoni - The Untold Story

While the Sachin one was a documentary, this one is made like a movie - and it is very well done. Dhoni's story is very much like a Bollywood story indeed. The interesting bits, of course, is about how he met his girlfriend, his wife, about his parents and his early childhood and how he got into cricket. The romantic scenes could have been edited though and unnecessarily elongated the already long saga. Or, could have been replaced by his famous hits - like the 183* that he hit against. Anyways, coming back to the movie - Sushanth has portrayed the role very well. The actresses are eye-catching and giggly most of the time. The movie doesn't look like a true story and yet it is - hence it is very inspiring. Enjoyed the biopic completely, while musing sadly about the sad events that has occurred in his life; and also how he could have served the Indian cricket about 3-4 years earlier than when he actually started. For once, instead of saying 'What a movie', I will say 'What a man!' :-)
Rating: Good   

Monday, October 23, 2017

What to expect when you are expecting

A romcom. Good enough dose of romance and comedy. Not too much, but just enough to pass off as a good watch. Nothing more, nothing less. As the title says - it is all about the arrival of the new one in the family; multiple couples' stories portrayed one after the other - and their tales doesn't get intertwined, nor are they all related at any one point of time like in 11:14. They all just live tangentially. It is like an anthology of different couples' tales. 
Rating: Average

Friday, October 20, 2017

Rajakumaara

This one is just perfect for Dr Rajkumar's role. This is exactly the kind of movie that script-writers used to write for Dr Raj - a parents'-loving, elders'-loving, people-loving role. Since Dr Raj is not there, who better than his own son?! The first half of the movie turned me off, though. It is hardly worth a watch but the remaining 2 hours more than makes up for it. The story goes topsy-turvy and thats when the creamy side of the movie starts. Excellent dialog, good humor, good casting & acting (especially of the elderly) makes this one watchable and even enjoyable, to an extent. The fight scenes were completely avoidable but I guess they are included to bring in the masses and the youth. A good watch.
Rating: Good

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya

Run-of-the-mill. Engaged girl meets boy, falls in love and rest is history. Some light twists here, some 30 degree turns there just to fill up the 2.5 hrs. Nothing great to write about. Slight humor. 
Rating: Average

Bajrangi Bhaijaan

This one happened to be my first-time-ever third-movie-of-the-day! And boy, am I glad, this movie turned out to be the way it was. 

A simple yet powerful storyline about connecting a separated dumb daughter to her mother across the ever-turbulent Indo-Pak border. Salman's role portrayal is excellent. The kid's acting is superb albeit being dumb. Kashmir is taken breathtakingly beautiful. The oodles of love that flows across India and Pakistan is wonderful. The whole movie is filled with 'feel-good' factors. Even though the storyline can be predicted, it still is almost an edge-of-the-seat with enough twists and turns. A must-watch.
Rating: Must-see

I Don't Know How She Does It

This has 'uber' written from minute 1. A classy style of film-making. Sarah Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan are my favs anyways - and their casting adds charm. Casting, story, narration, acting, direction, screenplay, cinematography, dialog - everything tops the chart. Wholesome entertainer.
Rating: Good

Bridget Jones's Diary

Avoided this movie for a very long time since I thought - for some reason - it was an over-hyped romcom. Gotto see it today and my intuition turned true. Pretty averagish triangle love story. Not much of comedy nor much of romance. Not much significance to the diary either. Time pass.
Rating: Average

Monday, October 16, 2017

Singh is Bliing

Wholesome entertainer only if you keep your brains away - just like the kinng movie! Just see to enjoy! Total time pass movie. Watchable only for Amy Jackson, Punjabi colorful scenes and some light humor especially with the translator. How an absolute goof-up-guy suddenly starts fighting a dozen people single-handedly is something that the brain should not think! Editing not so great - the scenes with the translator sleepwalking could have been avoided - not much laughter. Anyways.
Rating: Good

Toilet - Ek Prem Katha

A true-events-inspired movie that is made very nicely on the delicate topic of open defecation rampant widely in rural India more due to falsely followed ritual of not having a loo in the house due to 'impurity concepts'. Dialog, setting, acting, directing, casting, story - all has come out very well in this dry-humor albeit a serious-topic movie. Definitely worth a watch.
Rating: Must-see 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Jab Harry Met Sejal

Pathetic written all over it from start to finish. I rate very few movies as Pathetic and unfortunately this one is very much so. Maybe I didn't like the characterization of the cast in the story, or maybe it was the too-thin finding-needle-in-haystack plot. Either ways, this one was too difficult to digest with songs coming suddenly of nowhere, cries, potential fight scenes with no fight - seemed like director wanted to make it comical at times but I am not sure. Anyways, avoidable at all costs. Ending is known anyways - even before you start watching the movie!
Rating: Pathetic

Great Grand Masti

Just like the prequel, only one thing is talked-, portrayed-, sung- and danced-about in the movie. Amazing double-meaning-ed humor in pretty much most scenes that maybe doesn't make you ROFL but still tickles. Worth a watch with no expectations.
Rating: Average

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Dilwale (SRK)

A movie for 'Company to wifey'! Nothing much to write about. Just another Bollywood masala movie with enough romance, songs, humor, dance, action - and add SRK and Kajol to make it extra special. Total time-pass.
Rating: Average

Monday, October 2, 2017

Tubelight

A relatively nice movie set in 1960s Sino-Indian war period. Granted, this is based on Little Boy American movie, yet I felt it was a nicely made movie that doesn't bore much and kinda instills more of Gandhian principles. Also the setting is nice - a small mountain-top town that overlooks the Himalayas. Also the stuff about having firm faith and belief was kinda inspirational. Not too bad a watch, I must say.
Rating: Good

Kung Fu Yoga

Watched Jackie Chan movie after a really long time and it was typical. Some interesting plots, some great fights, some humour but overall an average movie. Nevertheless, it was nice to see - especially because there were some scenes from India in it & some interesting points on Yoga. The scene of the lion having a car-sickness was hilarious!! And the scene of the hyenas was edgy...
Rating: Average

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Jagga Jasoos

Another Anurag Basu movie. Had too many likeness to Barfi - like Ranbir's unique character/role, music by Pritam, Western India setting, etc. The movie started out good but tapered out in the end. A totally different style of narration - much like The Sound of music but not really sure if that helped it or marred it. Without it, maybe it could have been a better movie. Reminded me of Indiana Jones movies with high-octane adventure. Editing seemed very poor in the end, with too many things happening too rapidly, as if narrator had a time limit within which the movie had to end. Some of the adventures are far too filmy and too-good-to-be-true-ish. 
Rating: Average

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Friends with Benefits

An English romcom after a longish time. This one was relatively good. Good dialog & screenplay, some really great scenes & thoughts, great casting and acting - and anyways, totally enjoyed it - although the story had an expected wave of highs and lows and the finale.
Rating: Good

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry met Lloyd

Pretty much the similar type of goof balls. Didn't get as much laugh as the original one - maybe because it was not as good or I have become older.
Rating: Average

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