Welcome Mayur

Dear Blog Readers,

Please welcome Mayur who has taken an interest and contributed to this blog. he has already given three very nice reviews and we are sure he will have many more to come in the days to come.

It always helps to have a multitude of views and if any of you are interested, do write in to me !


Y tu mama tambien

Awesome piece of what I would call dry comedy & intense drama. Dry comedy to me is when the comedy is underlying and not directly visible (very cliche sounding, I know!). Nope, its not a new release. It's just that I got hold of the DVD just now.

Y tu mama tambien by Alfonso Cuaron starring Gael Garcia (Amores Perros) as Julio, Diego Luna as Tenoch Iturbide, Maribel Verdu as Luisa is a tale of the complex interactions of three or more purposes.

Julio and Tenoch are two teenagers with the usual hormonal upsurge who are left with a summer without their girlfriends who are off to Italy for their vacation. They meet Luisa at Tenoch's sister's wedding and finding her attractive and trying their hand to see what the outcome will be they feed her a story of a road trip being planned to a secret and exclusive beach called Heaven's Mouth. They appear to have the intention of having a dalliance with her if possible. Luisa has her own reason for wanting to escape, that of the infidelities of her husband.

The three of them set off on a road trip that will change all their lives forever. It is hilarious to watch the attempts of the teenagers trying to impress the older women and gain her favour. It is even more hilarious to watch the very plausible jealousy between the two, the anger when confessions are made and secrets let out of the bag. What happens on the road trip is a journey of discovery, loss of innocence if one could say so, understanding of relationships and realization of the fragility of life.

Sensitively and intelligently handled this movie stands heads and shoulders above all the other teenagers-awakening-into-adulthood kind of movies made anywhere for it is honest in its storytelling, precise in its treatment and superior in its performances ! Definitely a must watch for all young adults and adult-teenagers !


Johnny Gaddar: The New age Hero is launched

Had no expectations from this movie but wanted to watch it because the previews were interesting as they mentioned a heist and I am a big time sucker for gangster or heist movies !

I was amazed. I wasn't too thrilled with Sriram raghvan's directorial debut - Ek hasina Thi (Yes, the one where Saif Ali Khan plays the villain and Urmila is the protagonist), although I was entertained by it, but with his second movie Johnny Gaddar which is also the launch pad for Neil Nitin Mukesh is absolutely wonderful and refreshing.

For possibly the first time we have an Indian film maker paying tributes not just by word at the beginning or end of the movie but by cleverly placed instances in the movie itself and I am not talking product placement here folks. Tribute to James Hardley Chase, the Amitabh Movies of the 70s, the movie style of the 70s and of course the Dev Anand movie Johnny Mera Naam from which this movie also derives its name really point out to the fact that this Ram Gopal Varma protege is an intelligent, knowledgable and dedicated film-maker.

The movie is a tale about a gang of 5 people Vikram (Neil Nitin Mukesh), Seshadri (Dharmendra), Shardul (Zakir Hussain), Prakash (Vinay pathak) and Shiva (Daya Shetty) collect 2.5 crores to buy something from an Inspector (Govind Namdeo) who confiscates something during an interrogation and is worth 5 crores. Now, this money has to reach Bangalore. And yes, it gets stolen. Well, you know who's stolen the money. So the movie is not a whosdunit but is a movie about whathappensnext. There's a parallel track interwoven of the illicit affair between Vikram and Shardul's wife Mini (Rimi Sen) which really is interwoven

Right from the starting when the credits roll in the 70s style with the 250 colour RGB look and clips from the film appearing in-between, I was thrilled and remembered all those movies I watched on TV as a kid, and I knew this movie is different. Different it is and worth a watch, worth a watch for the great casting, great performances, great styling, great tributes and a great debut from Neil Mukesh.

Is this a great movie ? Well...honestly, No. No because the story is a tad too long and the twists a little too many, but still definitely worth a watch. We need to encourage such movie makers and movies. hats off to Neil Mukesh for choosing such an unconventional debut ! Thanks to Sriram Raghavan from bringing back a bit of my childhood !


The Bourne Ultimatum

Intelligence meets action !

Third in the Bourne series, the sequels only seem to get better. After Bourne Identity (2002) and Bourne Supremacy (2004), comes the absolutely roaring Bourne Ultimatum. Helmed by Paul Greengrass (who also directed Bourne Supremacy) this movie is a perfect example of a brilliant action movie which is why I started off by saying-Intelligence meets action.

Couple of reasons for that actually. The movie for those unfamiliar with the first two parts or unfamiliar with the books written by Robert Ludlum, is about Jason Bourne an intelligence operative and one of the best assassins ever, who's trying to piece together his past, having to face not only his enemies but also his former employer, in trying to put together the puzzle that is his past. And, there's a lot of beautiful action.

In this part Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is out for revenge, as promised since his girlfriend was killed in India. There is Operation Brackbear which is nothing but Operation Treadstone rejuvenated and run by CIA Deputy Director Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) and then there's Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) who's after the truth and on Jason's side. There are a host of other colourful and well cast characters forming Directors, Psychologists, Assassins who are a part of the plot which I won't go into because this tale is to be watched and not told.

Matt Damon puts in a sterling performance as the assassin trying to piece together his past and the action scenes are absolutely breathtaking, almost like a well choreographed poem in motion. There's this chase in the train station which is pure bliss to watch. You have to watch it to believe it and I wonder at the efforts of the screenplay writer and the director to just put that one sequence together. It's one piece of heart thumping cinema.

For those of us who have read the books, these movies are like a very welcome and quick refresher to the story obviously because the movies are faithful to the basic storyline but are adapted to suit the cinema form of storytelling, thereby eliminating a host of details and characters, but then I am not complaining. I will take these movies any day over having to read through the books again !

You come away from this movie wanting to go home and watch the first two parts all over again and then wanting to watch this part again. That's what I did. And I am waiting for the DVD of this part coming out and you can be sure I will add it to my collection !


Blades of Glory: Comedy on Thin Ice

Blades of Glory is all about male figure skaters. No, it's not as lame as it sounds. Read on... I had put off watching this movie for quite a while. On my flight to HK, this was available and I watched it. Though the movie is only about 90 minutes, I had to watch it in two parts -- the first half on my flight to Hong Kong and the second half on my way back. The movie is rather funny and my wife kept wondering why I was laughing so much.

The movie revolves around two world class ice skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrel) aka as the Lone Wolf and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder of Napoleon Dynamite fame). It's hard, even for the judges, to decide who amongst them is better. At one tournament, the two get into a fight and are banned from competing in the men's singles group. This is too much of a shock and they are reduced to nothing. Chazz, the more masculine of the two, is entertaining kids and Jimmy tries his hand at menial skating related jobs.

Jimmy learns of a loophole in the ban and contacts his coach to find a partner. This search leads him to Chazz! The two of them, after ironing out their differences, become friends and go on to compete in the world series. Their coach also insists that they should master the infamous Iron Lotus to win the tourney. The Waldenbergs, the current favorites, try various ways to bring the male-male pair down.
All the actors have performed really well and you can spot quite a few real-life skaters in the movie.

Watch it! Don't miss the Iron Lotus ;)

I give it a 3.5/5.


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