Sunday, August 30, 2009

BURN AFTER READING

Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich, Richard Jenkins


"Intelligence is only their job"




Trust the Coen brothers to come up with a full length film about a bunch of idiots. Basically, the story stems from a disk that is discovered by two gym employees Chad (Brad Pitt) and Linda (Frances McDormand) who believe it contains top secret intelligence data. They try to blackmail Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich) the owner for money. But little do they know that it is merely his inconsequential memoirs. A side plot involves a paranoid spook Harry (George Clooney) having an affair with Katie Cox (Tilda Swinton), Osbourne's wife.

This well edited film is a sequences of situational comedies abound with hilarious moments. Often times, you find yourself laughing out loud at just how ridiculous everyone and everything is in the movie. A bunch of idiots who think highly of themselves getting into silly situations yet you can't help but think they truly deserve their moronic fates.

The cast is peppered with good actors. Frances McDormand and John Malkovich's characters drew the most laughs from me. Her portrayal of Linda, the gym employee obsessed with cosmetic surgery was really funny in a pathetic and silly kind of way. While Malkovich as Osbourne Cox was a blast, especially when he starts flaring up in anger and starts swearing like crazy. Brad Pitt in a nonsensical comedic role was ridiculously hilarious. I like how he is willing to shed his 'matinee idol' status to portray a stupidly lame gym employee named Chad. For that matter, George Clooney another lead actor had great comedic timing in this film.

A typical Coen brothers masterpiece that never fails to entertain even the most cynic or especially the most cynic among us. It was fun to watch!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

THE TIME TRAVELERS' WIFE

Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Arliss Howard, Ron Livingstone


Cinema 3, Shang Cineplex



There are movies based on novels which you can watch without reading the book and still understand the main storyline. Well, sad to say this film isn't one of them. Even though the book was quite popular on the best sellers list, I wasn't particularly interested in the time travel premise so I didn't buy it. Now I wish I did.

Having said that it doesn't mean I didn't appreciate this uniquely intriguing love story. Once you get past the mind boggling premise of Henry's constant time travels (for instance how can there be two Henrys in the same time period? How come an older Alba gets to play with her younger self?), you simply take it for what it is - a beautiful yet complex romance between two people who were destined for each other. In that sense, the film spoke to the hopeless romantic in me.

I admit the main draw for me was Eric Bana. He has always been this good actor who can churn out solidly believable performances in his movies. Here as Henry he is sturdy and non threatening even though he has to live with such a strange disorder. Rachel McAdams played Claire as a very sympathetic character. You could feel her frustrations as the very patient wife yet at the same time you could also sense her profound love for Henry. When she tried several times to conceive well that's when my tear ducts just flowed. It was such a sensitive and highly poignant moment for me.

I like the fact that the film didn't use some scientific and technical method to portray Henry's disappearing act. Or else it would have been like some superhero flick. Instead they chose to focus on the love aspect and in that sense the film works for me. Ultimately, The Time Traveler's Wife is about living life to the fullest without any regrets. Claire made it totally clear towards the ending when she uttered "I won't change one second of our life, together".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

MILK

Sean Penn, James Franco, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsh, Diego Luna


"His life changed history. His courage changed lives."



Sean Penn shines in his role as Harvey Milk in this biopic about the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in the US. The film traces the last few years in the life of Harvey Milk. His personal upheavals as well as his struggles in championing the gay rights movement. The film is set in the tumultuous 70s in San Francisco, the city where the gay rights movement was born.

The film uses flashbacks as it shows important snippets of his short life. Footage of actual TV interviews of personalities who made headlines during those volatile times are also featured. The end credits show pictures of the real persons with a short description about their current life.

Sean Penn is ably supported by a good cast of actors who all convincingly portray real people. James Brolin as fellow supervisor Dan White, Milk's main nemesis in the political arena. Emile Hirsch as Cleve Jones, an impassioned fighter for gay rights. Diego Luna as Jack Lira, the troubled partner. But I was impressed by James Franco's brilliant performance as Scott Smith. The loyal lover of Milk who stood by him through thick and thin. A faithful supporter till the end.

A well developed film about an inspirational character who usually begins his fiery speeches with "Hello, I'm Harvey Milk and I am here to recruit you" and his passionate battle to champion gay rights.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Movies Planet



Movies Planet is a movie-related social network. It is the perfect venue for its users to watch movies online. It is also the place to follow the full episodes of your favorite TV shows and read detailed biographies of actors and actresses.

Their interactive website is filled with informative sub sections. You have the popular movies and shows which are categorized according to their genre. Upcoming films like Just Wrong 2009 are also featured. Each film has its own dedicated page filled with interesting tidbits. They present the movie details, the movie plot, the cast and crew and its trailer. The movie meter displays the ratings and the number of users who recently watched the film online. You can also add your comments regarding the film. I am looking forward to seeing Julie & Julia, the biopic of Julia Child starring Meryl Streep.

Their extensive search lets you choose from their wide database of movies and current full length episodes of several TV shows based on your preference as well as recommendations from other members. Their user friendly interactive website is easily navigable and easy to use.

The Movies Planet poll lets you participate in interesting surveys. A featured Movies Planet members section highlights users profiles, the films they watched and their film ratings.

It allows its members to customize their profile, rate films, create personal "watched movies" list. You can also contact other movie fans and read about their favorite movies. You can exchange private notes, participate in polls, forums and chat with other members in their instant messaging facility. In fact interaction between members is highly recommended in this vibrant community of film lovers.

So join now ... registration is free!

Friday, August 7, 2009

THE PROPOSAL

Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White,
Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson


"Here comes the bride ..."


Cinema 5, SM Megamall





When book editor Margaret (Sandra Bullock) faces deportation to her native Canada, she suddenly declares that she’s actually engaged to her unsuspecting assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds). The tormented but faithful Andrew agrees to participate in the charade, but he has set a few conditions. The unlikely couple heads to scenic Alaska to meet his family for the weekend. With an impromptu wedding in the works and an immigration official on their tails, Margaret and Andrew reluctantly vow to stick to the plan despite certain consequences.

This romantic comedy works because its two main stars have good chemistry and perfect comedic rapport with each other. Despite the visible age difference, they look good together as a couple. Next to Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock has I believe captured the top spot in the romantic comedy leading lady roles. She is in her true elements when she portrays heroines who are partly impish, partly adorable all in the same breath. She is funny, talented and can definitely hold her own fort in the rom com genre. I also like how Ryan Reynolds has progressed from irritatingly annoying immature roles to dashing leading men with hearts of gold. Plus he's got a killer body to boot - that is an extra bonus. Hehe

The plot had its funny har har moments as well as some dragging scenes (those with the totally not funny Ramone!) but it all unfolds in stunningly panoramic Alaska that you can't help but admire the amazing scenery. A tad bit predictable despite their efforts to throw in a 'crisis' towards the end, it nonetheless was fun to watch. Bullock and Reynolds are ably supported by a talented cast (Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson) who do their share in spreading the cheerful nature of the film. Most notably Betty White who as Andrew's grandmother was a hoot to watch and generated most of the laughs from the audience.

A nice light and breezy romantic comedy with a talented pool of actors set in a breathtaking environment. Plus you get to see a great shot of a naked (but not in a vulgar way) Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock too for that matter - whatever suits your fancy!
 

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