Saturday, November 29, 2008

THE NANNY DIARIES

THE NANNY DIARIES
Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, Paul Giamatti, Donna Murphy, Nicholas Art, Alicia Keys, Chris Evans


"A comedy about life at the top, as seen from the bottom"


Star Movies




For someone who isn't into chick lit or chick lit turned into movies, I was surprisingly quite amused with this film.

The film is accompanied by a witty and sometimes funny narrative about the observations of the main character, Annie (Scarlett Johansson). She is a fresh-out-of-college Jersey girl who is uncertain of her future. Her mother is eager for her to join the corporate world but Annie is more interested in anthropology. She ends up accepting a job from Mrs. X to work as a nanny. Annie decides to approach the job like an anthropologist in the field, and she is alternately fascinated and appalled by her observations of the artificial lifestyle of the upper end of society. A life camouflaged with luxurious houses, designer brands yet devoid of any genuine emotional attachments.

The film is filled with Annie's adventures both as a nanny and as an observer of life in general. The cast is endearingly humane despite their character's stoic nature. Laura Linney is perfect as the Stepford wife like Mrs. X. Paul Giamatti delivers a perfectly smarmy performance as the philandering Mr. X. Scarlett Johannson as Annie was refreshing to watch and her narrative about the hypocrisy of Manhattan's upper-crust was spot on. The kid was bratty as expected and how WASPy to name your son, Grayer of all names. But I noticed that the love interest angle seemed a bit forced. As if it was imperative for Annie to meet some guy and fall in love with him. Never mind if he was portrayed by the attractive Chris Evans addressed in the movie as Harvard Hottie. Alicia Keys as Annie's best friend Lynette was a revelation, she essayed her role with an ethereal vibe.

Overall the film was amusingly entertaining and lighthearted with clever nuances about life on the upper end of the spectrum as narrated by a naive yet smart nanny!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Car Connection

Car Connection
Buying a car is a major investment. There are several factors to consider before you reach deep into your pockets for such a pricey purchase. The type of vehicle, its functionality, its mileage. The list is endless.

But at The Carconnection.com website they present a comprehensive list of the latest models of Suv available in the current auto market.

Luxurious vehicles like the 2010 Honda Insight, the 2010 range of Lexus to name a few are included in their extensive and impressive list. Their auto experts also test drove the vehicles and offer their first hand experience by reviewing them based on several criterion. A reliable ratings system is also enforced by taking into account the performance, the style, the comfort and quality as well as the features and the safety factor of each listed SUV.

A photo gallery showcases the different angles of the vehicles. There are also links which enumerate the various specifications of each SUV. You may also get a free price quote, check insurance rates, financing rates and local classifieds for each vehicle. They also provide a comments section where consumers can post their opinions.

It pays to be well informed after all these purchases are worthy investments.

THE GOOD GERMAN

THE GOOD GERMAN
George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Tobey Macguire


"If war is hell then what comes after?"




This whodunit film noir does remind me of those Humphrey Bogart movies. You have a suave, dashingly handsome hero in the personification of the delectable George Clooney. Not that I found/find Bogart really dashing, mind you but you get my drift. A mysterious love interest portrayed by the seductive Cate Blanchett. An assortment of shady villains among them a sleazy Tobey Maguire in a brief role. It is set in a place where an important historic event (in this case the Potsdam conference) is unfolding. The phasing of the entire movie can be a bit slow but there is enough loud music to highlight the dramatic parts and convey a sense of intrigue.

Except this Steven Soderbergh directed movie was shot in the 21st century where shaky hand held digital camera is the way to go. So to be thrown into a film where your eyes strain from the lack of color can be a bit overwhelming at first. Then eventually as the film progresses, you try to make sense of the intriguing plot. A plot laden with enough intrigue and mystery to merit several questions which start with the word "W" - "why", "who", "when" and most certainly "what"! So while you run a gamut of questions in your mind, you can't help but swoon over George Clooney. Even saying to yourself how delectably fine he looks in black and white celluloid as well as technicolored movies.

Then you go back to the movie's plot and wish there were more movies of this genre (whodunit thrillers) made! A big let up from the numerous explosive yet insignificant car chases scenes which simply appeal to the (male) audience. Or the yawn inducing romantic comedies with unbelievable love stories to titillate the (female) audience. Oh what the heck, better yet just rope in George Clooney and I'm sure I will be hooked, no matter what genre.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

RingTones

RingTones
Nowadays everyone has a cellular phone. It is handy. It comes in different shapes and sizes. It is really a necessity. But aside from having the latest features like camera and being able to access your emails, it is equally important to have a catchy ring tone.

World Ringtones is a one stop guide to the latest Ringtones available online to download. They provide links to several ringtones downloads for most major cellular service providers in the world. You can also download wallpapers and java games for your cell phone.

Monday, November 24, 2008

MATCH POINT

MATCH POINT
Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox


"Passion Temptation Obsession"


Star Movies



I've always been a fan of Woody Allen films. He has a way of presenting human relationships in its most vulnerable state through complex characters with varying degrees of personalities. They are also usually set in his native New York, a vibrant complex city inhabited by angst ridden people.

"Match Point" though is his first venture out of his comfort zone. This film is set in London and it focuses on the fanciful lifestyle of the British upper class. The story of how a wily tennis instructor (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) manages to entangle himself into this specific clique of society by marrying a girl of landed means. Thus he is able to elevate his status from a tennis instructor to working for his father in law's company. Everything is well set until he has an affair with Nola Rice (Scarlett Johannson) . A struggling American actress in London who seduces him into her snare. It is safe to say that demanding mistress eventually hounds philandering husband to leave his wife (Emily Mortimer) for her. Yet at the same time, it isn't as predictable as one expects from a movie about adultery because of a sudden twist towards the end. But then again, since when did Woody Allen movies have a predictable ending?

A good solid cast composed of mostly young British actors revves up the coherently developed plot line. It is further buoyed on by loud operatic arias for major dramatic effect. It was interesting to watch the evolution of Meyer's character as he dug his own grave, so to speak. Then with a stroke of good luck presented in a vital scene towards the end, he manages to exonerate himself brilliantly to carry on his cushy life.

I end by writing the quote which best describes this film or rather the main character in "Match Point":
"The man who said "I'd rather be lucky than good" saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It's scary to think so much is out of one's control. There are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win. Or maybe it doesn't, and you lose. "

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Online Resources

Online Resources
help me to

Help me to is a useful website that contains interesting articles about almost anything you ever needed to know about the Internet. For example, Help me to: create a web page insert content using Dreamweaver or help me to: use video and audio on Gmail. They offer valuable and very helpful tips contained in different categories on various topics like advertising, Google, blog services, SEO tips, hard wares, tutorials and gadgets among others.

From online buzz to technology news, the articles are presented in a user friendly, content rich website. Their easily navigable interface is presented in a neat, orderly manner. They also offer a chance for you to get all the info through your inbox by subscribing to their newsletter.

So whether you are a novice or an expert, you have come to the right place. Helpmeto.info is the one stop website to browse through for all your queries!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I DREAMED OF AFRICA

I DREAMED OF AFRICA
Kim Basinger, Vincent Perez, Liam Aiken, Eva Marie Saint, Daniel Craig, Garrett Strommen


"Sometimes the adventure of a lifetime becomes life itself"

Star Movies



More often than not, most movies about Africa have this ethereal vibe to them. Well I'm talking about films about white people happily settling down in Africa not those depressing movies about poverty, genocide and oppression.

Therefore "I dreamed of Africa" is no exception. It traces the story of Kuki Gallman, a divorced Italian socialite who upon her second marriage to a rugged adventurous guy named Paolo settles down in Kenya, Africa. She learns to adjust to the completely different lifestyle, new surroundings and her husband's never ending passion for the great outdoors. She has had to endure sandstorms, encounter wild animals and face fierce poachers trespassing on their property. Yet despite all these setbacks, she still manages to look as refreshing as ever in her cotton tunics, her wavy blond hair and her smooth skin. She hardly seems to break out in sweat, swat away pesky mosquitoes and faint from the harsh climate. Well perhaps it helps that she is portrayed by the gorgeous Kim Basinger, an actress who manages to look beautiful even without make up. Aside from the attractive Kim Basinger, do watch out for a pre Bond Daniel Craig in all his rugged, scruffy glory as one of the white settlers in Africa.

This poignant and touching human drama succeeds in making us sympathetic to the plight of a strong woman who chose to accept her fate in a strange land. A fate marred by several tragedies so her life wasn't simply a bed of roses. An interesting enough film filled with emotional moments (I actually cried a few times!) and dramatic encounters amidst a scenic cinematography of the vast African continent.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

THE KINGDOM

THE KINGDOM
Jaime Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Jeremy Piven, Chris Cooper, Ashraf Barhom, Ali Suliman


"Under fire. Under pressure. Out of Time."


HBO




This film potentially started out on the right tone. Its opening credits showed images tracing the history of the Saudi kingdom vis a vis its relations with the USA. Then a lapse in security causes an explosion at the compound housing Americans working in the kingdom. This incident sends ripples all the way to the State Department in Washington. The FBI, the lead agency that investigates criminal activities involving American subjects abroad is keen to dispatch an investigative team as soon as possible. But their trip isn't officially sanctioned by the US government nor the Saudi government. Somehow they still 'force' their way into the kingdom. Once there, they are placed under tight security and their every move is closely monitored by the Saudi authorities. They are given only 5 days to 'gather' evidence, inspect the bombing site and try to catch the 'bad guys'. Is that enough? Hardly so. Because what ensues during the rest of the film is a test on the FBI team's patience in dealing with the Saudi authorities, their limited time as well as the growing threat from extremists out to annihilate every American in the kingdom.

I noticed two glaring flaws in the way they presented the characters in this film. (1) No one in the team sent to investigate the housing complex bombing in Riyadh spoke Arabic (2) The only woman in the team didn't wear the appropriate abaya to cover up. Alright given that the mission was assembled in a hurry yet still these important concessions are not to be taken lightly especially since they are intruding on foreign land. A country steeped in traditional values that need to be respected in all aspects.

Other than that, the film is loaded with enough action scenes (gunfights, explosive car chases), some dramatic moments tinged with the portrayal of humane characters to guarantee a big plus in the entertainment factor. Just try to ignore the political ramifications this film implies on the failure of the US to effectively implement its brand of democracy in the Middle East.

Friday, November 7, 2008

QUANTUM OF SOLACE

QUANTUM OF SOLACE
Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Dame Judi Dench, Mathieu Amalric, Giancarlo Giannini, Jeffrey Wright.


Cinema 2, Shang Cineplex



Bond. James Bond is back with a vengeance!

This time in an intensity filled, action packed movie with a strange title, Quantum of Solace. A fitting continuation to the previous offer, "Casino Royale", it kicks off with an exciting high speed car chase through the narrow, winding streets of Italy.

His main motivation is to avenge the death of Vesper Lynd. The woman who doublecrossed him and paid dearly for it with her life. The woman, he fell utterly in love with, so much so that he tendered his letter of resignation from the British intelligence agency! In "Quantum of Solace", he puts up a tough exterior to show that he has moved on with his life yet we all know he is still deeply hurt by the deceit as well as the death of his lady love.

His quest to trace the organization who manipulated her leads him to the most exotic places on earth. From the narrow streets of Tuscany, the villas in Italy, the chaotic Haiti, the charming Austria to the vibrant South American cities. He is relentless in his pursuit as he figures in all types of races from boat, high speed cars to bikes. He is also constantly fending off attacks from his assailants that "M" berates him for killing everyone since they need them alive to be interrogated. Yet Bond is still ably guided by the indomitable "M" who has the latest technology at her disposal.

Yet you somehow get the impression that you aren't watching a Bond movie. There are no fancy gadgets, no worldwide threat, no political intrigues, no shaken not stirred martinis, no maniacal villain, no memorable one liners and he doesn't even get to bed the official Bond girl.

Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed this second installment of Daniel Craig as 007. I even prefer it to "Casino Royale" with its boring casino sessions. In "Quantum of Solace", he is more believable with just the right blend of ruggedness, maturity and wisdom mixed together for a modern day spy dealing with relevant current issues like environmentalism, covert conglomerates and corruption at the highest level.

My only misgivings are the dizzying action sequences. Since they were filmed using hand held cameras it gave me headaches. And I was disappointed with the lousy theme song. Alicia Keyes was shouting at the top of her lungs and the song itself is utterly forgettable. Anyways inspite and despite these distractions, I was one very satisfied Bond fan!
 

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