Dhoom 2

The best of stunts, the best of costumes, the best of bodies, the best of locales, the best of bikes.....thats DHOOM 2 in its full glory for you.

A story ? Sadly thats one thing missing from this sequel that could have made this a trukly awesome movie. Sanjay Ghadvi (the director) takes some elements from the very successful Dhoom and then brings in some great bods like Bipahsa (That scene of her in a Bikini on a beach in Brazil is worth a lot of Hindi films ever made), Aishwarya and the women may just love Hrithik in a brilliant turnout as Aryan (the international, multi-disguised thief).

The action scenes are phenomenal for a Hindi movie. The costumes are real cool. Did I forget to mention Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan) and his sidekick Ali (Uday Chopra) ? Well... they are there too and do what they usually do.

The story is nothing but a series of heists put together with some betrayals thrown in.

Really find the scene hilarious, where Hrithik uses a remote controlled machine to move between the feet of a half dozen or so on high alert cops to steal a diamond ! And no one notices anything ! Awesome, all these little lapses ensured that it remains a Hindi movie !

The movie overall is worth a rear stall ticket on any evening just for all the brilliant locales in brazil, the starting sequence and a few chase sequences and of course Bips in Bikini and some of you may just remember the movie for Aishwarya, her costumes and her first on-screen lip lock with hrithik of course .

If I buy the DVD it will be for the action and for Bips !


Casino Royale

What makes a Bond movie?

Exotic Locales
Eccentric Villains
Beautiful women with great names
Witty one liners
Awesome gadgets
International plots, conspiracies
A Suave, Sophisticated, Charming Gentleman called Bond, James Bond

Now coming to Casino Royale
Exotic Locales…………………………………Yes
Eccentric Villains………………………………No
Beautiful women with great names…………….Not really
Witty one liners………………………………...Not too many
Awesome gadgets………………………………Hardly any
International plots, conspiracies………………..Kind of
A Suave, Sophisticated, Charming Gentleman called Bond, James Bond……NO.

But Casino Royale gives you realistic gritty action by a tough, muscled Bond (Daniel Craig). In spite of all the usual Bond elements missing, you have some of the best action scenes in recent times and the beginning of Bond, James Bond. Why Bond never falls in love, why does he drink his martini shaken and not stirred? These and a few other nuances of the very successful Bond are shown in this movie.

This movie is the making of Bond as 007.

James Bond is promoted to 007 by M (Judi Dench) and is on the trail of a group of terrorists financed by the ‘banker of terrorism, Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen). After a highly thrilling chase of an agile bomb maker, Bond is on the trail of Le Chiffere and is finally allowed to gamble against him at Casino Royale in Montenegro.

The buy in at an unbelievable $10 Million and a re-buy at $5 Million, financed by Her Majesty and a svelte lady named Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) to keep an eye on Her Majesty’s investment. If Bond looses, Her Majesty’s government would have directly financed terrorism, for Le Chiffre uses the winnings to disperse to his investors, the terrorist groups.

Is it a game of chance or is it about holding your nerve? A game of nerves, deceit and betrayal unfolds.

Felix Lieter (Jeffery Wright) of the CIA makes his appearance who in the later Bond stories becomes quite a friend of Bond. Mad Mikkelesen as Le Chiffre appears sad and doesn’t leave you with memories of him after you leave the theatre. You don’t remember Eva Green or any of the other women. What you do remember is the very human Bond who bleeds, is beaten and tortured but yet appears tough and determined with the force shining through his blue eyes.

Blond, blue eyed, muscular. Not your typical Bond. But Daniel Craig does well and Casino Royale may not be a great Bond movie but definitely is a good movie. If nothing else, the action is worth a watch.


The Departed

Oscar! Oscar! Oscar! Will the academy finally give poor Martin Scorsese an Oscar?
No, not because the movie is mind-blowing (it comes close to being so), but because this man at last count deserved at least 5 Best Director Oscars to date!

The Departed is a movie that stamps Scorsese’s authority as a director who can churn out the best of thrillers with even an ensemble of ‘individual’ actors. And if the movie has the ‘mob’ angle to it, believe me; no other director can even come close. Remember Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York?

The reviews for this movie have been good across publications so you go in expecting a lot and are not disappointed.
The movie is the story of the Boston State police and their endeavor to bring down a Irish Mobster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson, in a delicious turn in as the ice cold, cool criminal). The cops pull out a cadet who’s’ had a reputation and family connection to the streets and puts him in the mob to find a way to bring down Costello. Meet Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCarpio, who has proved after Gangs of New York that he can act especially in the hands of Scorsese). Costello is no easy hand either and has his man in the police force too. Meet Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon, who’s always put in good performances and does so again).

The fear at being caught out on both sides adds to some of the tension and especially when each is given the task of finding himself. Leo is assigned by Jack to find the ‘rat’ in the mob and asked by Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) to find the rat in the police force. Matt is asked by Ellerby (Alec Baldwin) to find the rat in the police force and is also asked by Jack to find the ‘rat’ in the mob. Vera Farmiga puts in a good turnout as the Police appointed Counselor who is counseling Costigan and is the girlfriend of Sullivan and has her part to pay in the events that unfold.

While each of them gets closer to finding the other, each is afraid of being found out and creates some edge of the seat moments. The events that unfold leads to an explosive and sudden climax. The violence is sudden and shocks you.

A word of warning though: The violence is sudden and gory. The language is loaded with expletives and so cool, that your kids may pick it up real quick, so don’t take your kids to watch!

Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg dialogues are loaded with the ‘f@*k’ words and delivered so coolly that you tend to believe they are not expletives. I understand the word ‘f@*k” has been used over 200 times in the movie catching up with Pulp Fiction which had it over 300 times.

You will come out with some of the dialogues imprinted in your mind and almost humming it like a song.

Really Memorable Dialogues

Mark Wahlberg: I can't wait to wipe that fucking smirk right off of your face.
Jack Nicholson: I’d rather you wipe my ass.

Mark Wahlberg to a technician who has botched up a camera placement and asks him who he is:

Dignam: Who am I? I'm the guy that does his fuckin' job! You must be the other guy!

Matt and Leo:

Colin Sullivan: Do you know what will happen if you shoot me?

Billy Costigan: Yeah, this bullet will go right through your fucking head!

Jack Nicholson:

Frank Costello: I got fuckin’ rats in my crew.

Frank Costello: I don't wanna be a product of my environment; I want my environment to be a product of me.

Billy Costigan’s assignment meeting:

Oliver Queenan: We deal in deception... do you know what I mean when I say that?
Billy Costigan: As a matter of fact, I do. I...

Dignam: No, you don't know. Because if someone like you knew what we did, that would make us cunts. Are you calling us cunts?

Alec Baldwin to matt Damon when Matt says he’s getting married:

Ellerby: Marriage is an important part of getting ahead. It lets people know you're not a homo. A married guy seems more stable. People see the ring; they think "at least somebody can stand the son of a bitch." Ladies see the ring, they know immediately that you must have some cash, and your cock must work.


Cold Mountain

Watched Cold Mountain on DVD and was left feeling quite a bit cold.

Directed by Anthony Minghella (The English Patient), Cold Mountain, received an incredible 7 nominations at the Oscars (I wonder why). It is the sweeping tale of love & determination in the hardship caused by war. The tale is set in Cold Mountain (CM), North Carolina and has the civil war as the backdrop. Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman) is the daughter of the new priest (Donald Sutherland, in a very brief role) in CM. Ada falls in love with Inman (Jude Law, looking cold as usual) who like all the other men runs of to join the confederate army. Ada dutifully waits for Inman to come back and writes him many a letter some of which do reach him on the frontline (Hurray for the postal service!) expressing her despair at their separation.

Inman, tired by the sights of war, and depressed by the senselessness of the killing trudges back to Cold Mountain. Chased by the Home Guards, labeled a deserter and meeting a helpful soul or two, Inman makes his way across the desolate snowy landscapes.

Meanwhile, Ada managing her farm after her father’s death is left fending off the wolves (men actually, who have the office of the home guards but behave like bandits) and is visited by the sparky Ruby (Renee Zellweger) who teaches her a thing too about handling life all by herself.

The movie tries to show the strength of the human spirit, powered by love and longing. It tries to show the triumph of determination over hardship.

Do Ada and Inman meet; does it end happily ever after? Well… watch the movie. Nicole and Rene do well. I don't find jude Law impressing enough or maybe it was the 'cold' that got to him. You may watch this movie if you really don’t have much to do or haven’t got tickets to the latest Martin Scorsese flick in town (The Departed)


Snake Eyes

Brian De Palma at the helm so one would expect a slick thrilling tale to be unfolded. Had seen this on Star Movies a long time ago and saw it again on DVD, more so because of Carla Gugino, who I think is such a wonderfully good looking actress.

Don’t get to see too much of her though. She was in ER I think and also in a couple of kid flicks with Antonio Banderas.

Well, coming back to the movie. The scenario is this- One crooked cop (Nicholas Cage), his best friend (Gary Sinise) in charge of security of a VIP-the Secretary of Defense, a missile deal about to happen, a boxing match. Then an assassination, 14000 witnesses, all locked up in the arena of the casino.

The cop has to find out who is responsible, for the one person who does know what has happened and why it happened is the pretty young lady (Carla Gugino).

I always think Nicholas Cage is Christopher Walken, who even when he acts appears to be overacting. Nicholas Cage tries to be the crooked cop in mannerism and attitude. But then, something is missing and you don’t really get thrilled watching this De Plama thriller. The concept of murder and betrayal in a closed space is nothing new and has been done umpteen times right from the Agatha Christie days. De Palma takes this to the largeness of a casino and tries to keep you on the edge of your seats. Quite doesn’t make the mark though. Not De Palma’s fault really. The Story by him and Koepp doesn’t really hold water with the missing ‘X’ factor (the factor which you cannot pinpoint but is that 'something' which is missing from a movie), which is the bane of a quite a few movies..

As the punch line of the movie says – seeing is deceiving (or- believe everything except your eyes). So is the movie. A let down. Seeing it is really deceiving.


James Bond

This November, Star Movies is bringing us all the bond movies, in chronological order ! (at 9 PM )

Bond movies may be good or may be bad, but I watch them because they are James Bond movies.

The fun is also in watching how cinema has progressed in terms of scripts, actors and more importantly - technology. The Bond movies are one such franchise which has moved with time. Those beautiful women, exotic locales, memorable villains, impossible gadgets all remain embedded in one's mind.

While Sean Connery may have been the original Bond, my favourite Bond remains Pierce Brosnan.

The latest bond movie based on the first Ian Fleming story - 'Casino Royale' is being promoted and the trailers have started playing. The movie will show how James Bond became agent 007. Starring Daniel Craig (who in my opinion is not very Bondish) the movie is expected to release in a couple of weeks.

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