Napoleon Dynamite: Wimps Rule

Napoleon Dynamite, the protagonist in the film of the same name, shows how wimps the end.

The movie revolves around the lives of three wimps - Napoleon (Jon Heder), his brother (Aaron Ruell), and his best friend (Efren Ramirez). Napoleon, a student of Preston high, spends all his time either being pushed around or drawing imaginary creatures such as ligers and unicorns. And as you could've guessed, he has no friends. Soon, Napoleon meets Pedro and they become best friends. The movie then goes into a number of sub plots like Pedro running for the school president, his uncle Rico trying to better their lives, Napoleon experimenting with a time machine, and Kip Dynamite finding his true love in an Internet chat room: La Fawnduh.

All the actors have delivered; and each actor compliments the other. The direction, editing, sound, may not be outstanding, but at the same time is flawless.

Overall, Napoleon Dynamite combines Ligers, tether ball, Internet romance, and a high school presidential race to create a movie that keeps you smiling throughout and ROTFL at times.

I give it a 3.5/5…"What do you think?"



Die Hard 4.0: Sequel or Version?

Die Hard 4.0 is a must watch for anyone who:

  1. has seen any of the previous Die Hards
  2. is a Bruce Willis fan is an action movie fan
  3. is a hacker or a n00b
  4. is an Apple fan

Die Hard 4.0 combines multiple genres in one movie...very well. You have action, love, and a bits and bytes of subtle comedy.

In the latest version (I call it version because of four dot O and not just four) of Die Hard, you can see Bruce Willis revisit his most celebrated role as John McLane. The story starts with McLane called in to bring Matt Farrel (Justin Long aka the Mac Guy...pretty ironic because Macs don't have that many hackers) into custody. As the story unfolds, Thomas Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant), a disgruntled employee of the cyber security organization, wants to bring America to its knees by holding a fire sale. Fire sale: (n) is when a hacker, or a team of hackers, bring down vital networks of a country (government, infrastructure, and economy). And yeah, McLane stops the whole operation. I agree the plot is not too thick...but the action definitely is. I felt some of the sequences were "highly influenced" by other action flicks -- hanging from a plane (True Lies) and McLane mowing down cars with his truck (Heat). Shooting through the shoulder was highly original.

On the whole, the movie is pretty darn good of the right length. I don't know if I could take an extra 30 minutes of watching McLane take down a chopper with his car. The Mac Guy has acted pretty well - from ads to Herbie to Die Hard to Drew Barrymore.

After watching the movie, I realized a lot of action heroes are making (good) comebacks. We had Rocky Balboa, T3, and now Die hard 4.0. Go ahead and watch it...I give it 4/5.



Coming Next: Flags of our fathers

Watched Flags of our Fathers.

Another beauty from the Clint Eastwood stable. Trying to lay my hands on the related film Letters from Iwo Jima

Will write about Flags of our Fathers next.


2007 Emmys are out !

Yippe, The Sopranos gets it once more.
for more visit imdb

2007 Emmys Winners (The 59th Emmys)

Outstanding Comedy Series
WINNER : "30 Rock" (2006)

Outstanding Drama Series
WINNER: "The Sopranos" (1999)

Outstanding Made for Television Movie
WINNER: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007) (TV)

Outstanding Miniseries
WINNER: Broken Trail (2006) (TV)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
WINNER: Ricky Gervais for "Extras" (2005)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
WINNER: James Spader for "Boston Legal" (2004)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
WINNER: Robert Duvall for Broken Trail (2006) (TV)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
WINNER:America Ferrera for "Ugly Betty" (2006)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
WINNER: Sally Field for "Brothers & Sisters" (2006)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
WINNER:Helen Mirren for Prime Suspect: The Final Act (2006) (TV)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
WINNER: Jeremy Piven for "Entourage" (2004)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
WINNER: Terry O'Quinn for "Lost" (2004)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
WINNER: Thomas Haden Church for Broken Trail (2006) (TV)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
WINNER: Jaime Pressly for "My Name Is Earl" (2005)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
WINNER: Katherine Heigl for "Grey's Anatomy" (2005)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
WINNER: Judy Davis for "The Starter Wife" (2007) (mini)

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
WINNER: "The Daily Show" (1996)

Outstanding Reality Competition Program
WINNER: "The Amazing Race" (2001)

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special
WINNER: Tony Bennett: An American Classic (2006) (TV)



Directed by one of my favourite Indian directors, Darling is a movie that could have been far better than what it turns out to be. Ram Gopal Varma puts together a simple and pretty tight storyline.

Starring fardeen Khan as Aditya, Isha Koppikar as his wife, Esha Deol as Geetika, his office colleague and extra-marital affair, Zakir Hussain as the office colleague and friend, the movie Darling is a tale of passion, passion that kills. The tag line aptly puts it as a killer love story. I am not aware of the box office returns on this movie but what I liked about it was that the story is nothing new, of a young married man bored with the normality and conservativeness of a wedding looks to the young girl in office for some excitement and accidentally kills her. The dead girl appears as a ghost and torments the man to what we would expect, a horrific ending.

Well..if the story is nothing new than what did I like about the movie ? The answer would be its simplicity and extremely tight narrative. The movie focuses on the main characters and Ramu builds an atmosphere of fear and creates an eerie scene every moment.

Ramu gives the entire movie a kind of cold half-tone look with some excellent music scores from Himesh Reshammiya, Pritam Chakraborty, Prasana Shekhar. He makes no bones about the fact that in this movie ghosts are real and are not caricatures with frightening looks and shoddy make-up but normal humans who have passed from the realm of life into the realm of death. That's what makes this movie a little interesting, the way the ghost is treated and used. The appearance of the ghost herself is not frightening but the pressure that her appearances put on Aditya (Fardeen) and the frustration that he shows is quite a refreshing way from the commonly seen ghost with supernatural powers who appears startling you (like even in Ramu's previous ghost caper Bhoot). The ghost is so believable, almost like a real life stalker and this aspect is what raises this movie over the other run-of-the-mill ghost flicks.

What has worked for Ramu is that he has kept this tale simple and has used the half-tone, some good performances from Fardeen and Esha and kept the ghostly aspect very believable and powerful. While this movie is not among Ramu's best nor is it the best of horror movies, its definitely worth a watch. And all this without trying to be overly biased in favour of one my favourite directors in Indian Cinema.


World Cinema Marathon

I got to watch a couple of foreign movies recently, thanks a to a gem of a library called Habitat in Bangalore. After watching Amores Perros, I thought I should check out lesser known (to me at least!) movies as they give a refreshing change from the oft seen faces of Hollywood and Bollywood.


Written & directed by Sebastian Coredo, released in 2004, starring John Leguizamo (as star journalist Manolo Bonilla) the movie attempts to look at the thin line between news making and finding the truth.

As the tag line of the movie says: If it's on TV, it must be the truth, the movie focuses on the tale of journalist Bonillo who is on the track of a child serial-killer called the 'Monster of Babahoyo' and comes across a man who is in jail due to the accidental killing of a little boy on the day of the funeral of the little boy's twin who was one of the victims of the monster of Babahoyo. The man has a story to tell about the Monster. In return the journalist has to air a news piece on the very popular show 'La verdad' (the truth) which will drive sympathy and have him released. The movie focuses on the lengths to which Bonillo will go to break the Monster story and at the terrible cost that it will take. How does the man know so much about the Monster ? what secrets does he hide ? How far will he reveal the truth to get his freedom?
The movie is simple, has some good actors and comes close to being a good thriller but looses out ultimately due to the slightly casual treatment.


Tesis (or Thesis ) is a thriller about a film student Angela (Anna Torrent)doing her thesis on violent images in cinema, who comes across a tape of a snuff film (film of people being killed) and then finds clues in the film leading her to believe that the killing is very much connected to her campus and may even involve students or faculty from her college campus. Helping her a weird student Chema (Fele Martinez) with a large collection of violent porn and a not so clear past. Then there is the seductive Bosco (Eduardo Noriega) who happens to own a camera which is the same model as the one used to make the sunff film. Now you get your usual suspect everybody and who's the killer kind of story. Directed by Alejandro Amnebar (The Others) the movie has something in it and is a great effort for the low budget production that it had. The performances are commendable with Anna Torent throwing in a very mature performance. This movie is worth a watch


Imagine if your luck could be traded like cards, imagine if all your good luck could be taken away by the touch of a human hand. The movie is a story of people who are interconnected by their luck and at times by being unlucky. A deadly game of high stakes commences with Tomas (Leonardo Sbaraglia) a thief who is the only unlikely survivor of a plane crash, catching the eye of Federico (Eusebio Poncela) who once upon a time was the 'Luck manager' of the luckiest Jew Sam's (Max Von Sydow) casino and is out for revenge for his powers being taken away. Then there is the bullfighter (Allejandro) who is a contestant for the highest stake of them all and a cop Sara (Monic Lopez) on the trail of Tomas and drawn into the game of luck. Where will it all lead to ? Whose luck will run out ? Will Sam remain the luckiest of them all or will Federico get his revenge ? The movie unfolds leading you to get these answers.

Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the movie somehow fails to hold you but there is this one sequence of the contestants running blindfolded through a dense wooded forest which is really breathtaking !

Entre las piernas (Between your legs)

Directed by Manuel Gómez Pereira, this movie is an erotic thriller that touches on the issue of sex addiction and interweaves a story of adultery and murder.

The erotic sequence at the beginning of the movie is backed by some excellent background score and really succeeds in bringing forth raw animal passion to the screen which very few film-makers are able to bring to the screen. The movie is about Javier (Javier Bardem) a producer and Miranda (Victoria Abril) radio chat person, who is married to the cop Felix (Carmelo Gomez). Javier and Miranda meet at a sex addiction counselling session and there starts a dalliance which takes them to having a escapade in a parking lot on an anonymous car, which is later found to have a dead body in its trunk. The cop investigating the murder is Felix who soon zeroes in on Javier. Will Felix find the killer and find out about his wife's affair ? Who is the mysterious woman Javier meets and who is the young man persistently sending scripts to Javier for his production company.
In spite of it's very garish title the movie actually turns out to be decent enough thriller and though not entirely unpredictable has some good performances from Victoria Abril and Carmelo Gomez which lends some credibility to this slightly above average erotic thriller. It is like a downsized version of Basic Instinct without all the glamour.


Coming on 21 Sep to India

The Bourne Ultimatum

The Bourne Ultimatum - Trailer

In the new chapter of this espionage series, Bourne will hunt down his past in order to find a future.


Eagerly Awaited

Starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott, the movie about drug kingpin-turned informant Frank Lucas

Watch the trailer below and you will know why I am eagerly awaiting this movie

American Gangster - Trailer

Posted Jun 11, 2007

Based on the life of drug-kingpin-turned-informant, Frank Lucas, who grew up in segregated North Carolina where he watched as his cousin was shot by the Klan for looking at a white girl. He eventually made his way to Harlem where he became a heroin kingpin by traveling to Asia's Golden Triangle to make connections, shipping heroin back to the US in the coffins of soldiers killed in Vietnam.


24 Hours to the Emmys

2007 Emmy Nominations

Will it be Kiefer for 24 again ? Will it be The Sopranos again ? The 59th Emmy Awards is about 24 hours away. The award ceremony will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Kiefer Sutherland
Outstanding Comedy Series
"Entourage" (2004)
"The Office" (2005)
"30 Rock" (2006)
"Two and a Half Men" (2003)
"Ugly Betty" (2006)
Outstanding Drama Series
"Boston Legal" (2004)
"Grey's Anatomy" (2005)
"Heroes" (2006/II)
"House M.D." (2004)
"The Sopranos" (1999)
Outstanding Made for Television Movie
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007) (TV)
9/11: The Twin Towers (2006)
Longford (2006) (TV)
The Ron Clark Story (2006) (TV)
Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy (2006) (TV)
Outstanding Miniseries
Broken Trail (2006) (TV)
Prime Suspect: The Final Act (2006) (TV)
"The Starter Wife" (2007) (mini)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock" (2006)
Steve Carell for "The Office" (2005)
Ricky Gervais for "Extras" (2005)
Tony Shalhoub for "Monk" (2002)
Charlie Sheen for "Two and a Half Men" (2003)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
James Gandolfini for "The Sopranos" (1999)
Hugh Laurie for "House M.D." (2004)
Denis Leary for "Rescue Me" (2004)
James Spader for "Boston Legal" (2004)
Kiefer Sutherland for "24" (2001)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Jim Broadbent for Longford (2006) (TV)
Robert Duvall for Broken Trail (2006) (TV)
William H. Macy for "Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King" (2006) (mini)
Matthew Perry for The Ron Clark Story (2006) (TV)
Tom Selleck for Jesse Stone: Sea Change (2007) (TV)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
America Ferrera for "Ugly Betty" (2006)
Tina Fey for "30 Rock" (2006)
Felicity Huffman for "Desperate Housewives" (2004)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (2006)
Mary-Louise Parker for "Weeds" (2005)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Patricia Arquette for "Medium" (2005)
Minnie Driver for "The Riches" (2007)
Edie Falco for "The Sopranos" (1999)
Sally Field for "Brothers & Sisters" (2006)
Mariska Hargitay for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999)
Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer" (2005)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Queen Latifah for Life Support (2007)
Debra Messing for "The Starter Wife" (2007) (mini)
Helen Mirren for Prime Suspect: The Final Act (2006) (TV)
Mary-Louise Parker for The Robber Bride (2007) (TV)
Gena Rowlands for What If God Were the Sun? (2007) (TV)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Jon Cryer for "Two and a Half Men" (2003)
Kevin Dillon for "Entourage" (2004)
Neil Patrick Harris for "How I Met Your Mother" (2005)
Jeremy Piven for "Entourage" (2004)
Rainn Wilson for "The Office" (2005)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Michael Emerson for "Lost" (2004)
Michael Imperioli for "The Sopranos" (1999)
T.R. Knight for "Grey's Anatomy" (2005)
Masi Oka for "Heroes" (2006/II)
Terry O'Quinn for "Lost" (2004)
William Shatner for "Boston Legal" (2004)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Edward Asner for The Christmas Card (2006) (TV)
Thomas Haden Church for Broken Trail (2006) (TV)
Joe Mantegna for "The Starter Wife" (2007) (mini)
Aidan Quinn for Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007) (TV)
August Schellenberg for Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007) (TV)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Conchata Ferrell for "Two and a Half Men" (2003)
Jenna Fischer for "The Office" (2005)
Elizabeth Perkins for "Weeds" (2005)
Jaime Pressly for "My Name Is Earl" (2005)
Holland Taylor for "Two and a Half Men" (2003)
Vanessa Williams for "Ugly Betty" (2006)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Lorraine Bracco for "The Sopranos" (1999)
Rachel Griffiths for "Brothers & Sisters" (2006)
Katherine Heigl for "Grey's Anatomy" (2005)
Sandra Oh for "Grey's Anatomy" (2005)
Aida Turturro for "The Sopranos" (1999)
Chandra Wilson for "Grey's Anatomy" (2005)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Toni Collette for Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006) (TV)
Judy Davis for "The Starter Wife" (2007) (mini)
Samantha Morton for Longford (2006) (TV)
Anna Paquin for Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007) (TV)
Greta Scacchi for Broken Trail (2006) (TV)
Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
"The Colbert Report" (2005)
"The Daily Show" (1996)
"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993)
"Late Show with David Letterman" (1993)
"Real Time with Bill Maher" (2003)
Outstanding Reality Competition Program
"The Amazing Race" (2001)
"American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" (2002)
"Dancing with the Stars" (2005/I)
"Project Runway" (2005)
"Top Chef" (2006)
Outstanding Reality Program (Previously Announced)
"Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List" (2005)
Other Nominees:
"Antiques Roadshow" (1997)
"The Dog Whisperer" (2004)
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (2003)
"Penn & Teller: Bullshit!" (2003)
Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special
Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner (2006) (TV)
"Great Performances: A Tribute to James Taylor" (2006)
Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (2006) (TV)
Lewis Black: Red, White and Screwed (2006) (TV)
Tony Bennett: An American Classic (2006) (TV)
Wanda Sykes: Sick and Tired (2006) (TV)
Outstanding Animated Program (Previously Announced)
"South Park" (1997)
Other Nominees:
"Avatar: The Last Airbender" (2005)
"Robot Chicken" (2005)
"The Simpsons" (1989)
"SpongeBob SquarePants" (1999)


Chak De India

Sometime winning is everything.

As the baseline of the movie says, winning is really everything and this movie is a winner. Written by Jaideep Sahni, produced by Aditya Chopra, directed by Shimit Amin, starring Shahrukh Khan and a bunch of endearing young women, I watched this movie twice before writing this. I watched it twice because I wanted to. The movie is awesome in all means !

The tale of a disgraced player taking on an underdog team to redeem himself and make a point is no new storyline (in Indian cinema it could be) but what holds this movie together is its sense of purpose. The movie is made to tell a tale and that's what it does. Shimit Amin has a talent for tight storytelling which was evident in his Ab Tak Chappan. Jaideep Sahni's writing goes absolutely in sync with Shimit Amin's style, Salim Suleiman's score is memorable and adds soul to an already tight narrative and of course the production values are taken care of by Yash Raj films. Let's not forget this movie does for Hockey, what a Lagaan could not do for Indian cricket (yup...that's' because the cricket team's not doing too great is it, while the hockey team in reaching the top spot once again)
The latest is that this movie is being included in some management school curriculum and I can see why. The movie is a lesson for any kind of team oriented existence be it in sports or even in corporate life. After Lagaan, this is one movie which again instills the feeling of passion, purpose, conviction and teaming in spite of surmounting challenges, opposition, politics and everything else put together. Being in the corporate world myself I couldn't help but relate to the situations in the movie, from the conviction to the politics, the support to the dissent, the oldies in the team resenting change to the newbies being unsure, there's everything you want in this movie. You want a situation you will find it, you want a learning you will get it. Its to teaming and winning what The Godfather is to life, answering every question you can ask.
The movie takes you a on a roller coaster ride, which is impeccably predictable, knowingly understated but fall in love with this piece of cinematic brilliance. You know what's happening, you know what's going to happen but yet you wait with bated breath to watch it unfold.

The girls playing the team of girls are outstanding and Shahrukh Khan is absolutely controlled and a superstar beyond measure for being the star and yet allowing the team to star in this sporty movie. I have always been a fan of Shahrukh Khan the superstar but after this movie, I do believe that he can act, act within the confines of a character.
The girls led by the experienced but authority-resistant Bindiya Naik (Shilpa Shukla), the quite Gunjan, perky Aliyah Bose(Anaitha Nair ),matured Vidya Sharma (Vidya Malavade), strong and hot-tempered Balbir, Mary Ralte, the very cute and endearing Komal Chautala (Chitrashi Rawat), the attractive Preeti Sabharwal (Sagarika Ghagte) and many others who can put some established actresses to shame come together as the Indian Women's hockey team and rule the screen for over 2.5 hours along with their coach Kabir Khan (Shahrukh).

The story commences with India losing a final to Pakistan in the men's world cup due to the captain Kabir Khan missing a penalty and then facing the ire of the media and the public. With allegations of being a Pakistan supporter Kabir Khan leaves his locality and goes into obscurity, for 7 years. A bunch of bureaucratic never-been-on-the-field administrators of the hockey association are sitting over the coach's job for the Indian Women's Hockey team and Kabir Khan takes up the job.

It gets interesting from here on with coach Kabir trying to build a team first, rather than teach hockey. There are unforgettable characters in the team, take the tiny dynamo Komal Chautala for example. From Haryana, this little cutie absolutely holds your attention with her rapid fire dialogue delivery. I can go on and on about the cast because they are brilliant. The team faces many a hurdle right from their practice sessions to getting their chance in the world-championships in Australia but eventually get there. And, what unfolds there is a combination of brilliant photography, tight scriptwriting, some excellent technical support & great production of the hockey scenes. What you get are scenes of absolute natural action, yet nail-biting suspense.

The scenes between the girls when they first register for the training camp, the scene when they first go to their dormitories, the first training session, the hockey match with the men's team and all the championship hockey matches are awesome.

While I do not want to give away the climax, although I did mention it is all predictable, let me just say that having watched this movie twice I still did not lose out on the thrill because the characters and the story overpowers the action. You want to hear those dialogues again, you want to see Kabir Khan's passion again, you want to admire the young expressions again and you will want to watch this movie again and again....

Shimit Amin is definitely a director to watch out for. Shahrukh Khan is King. This gang of girls rule !

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