Archive for the 'Movies' Category

09
Oct
09

Slasher bash

I watched a 2009 remake of Friday the 13th the other night. Not great. (This post was created while watching the movie, minimised in one corner of the screen). I guess the movie would’ve fared much better had it been released.. maybe.. 10 years back. The thing with Thriller/Slasher movies is that the not-so-vast library of formulae has been totally depleted. I mean, most of them show the same thing over and over and over again, only difference being some more gory than the next.
I’ve watched my share of gory movies, the list being SAW, The hills have eyes, Texas Chainsaw massacre, Wrong turn, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm street, I know what you did last summer, Final Destination, Urban legend, Turistas etc etc.. and a couple of Japanese Hard-core-gore.. and in most of the movies, the first couple to have sex die the earliest, probably a couple of B-grade actors trying to gain fame by showing some more skin than others (But we know that that does not work anymore in Hollywood, maybe in Bollywood, but definitely not in Hollywood!)
In the original versions of these movies, there was just the killer slashing his way through the victims, but lately, with the “revised” movies, they try to show their “humane” side, like that was possible. The stress is on making the audience empathize with the killer, about how a tragic incident left him no choice but to kill people! Bullshit! Killers kill because they can (Not because when they were young, they saw someone close to them being murdered or something.), and thats what makes them scary, cos’ they massacre for the love of it. Thats why the ring was so great, the ghost just loved killing people.
Anyway, after the first murder, there’s always a misunderstanding between the group, parting ways and eventually one of the group would come across the killer and be killed! D-uh! Sometimes, its just plain frustrating to watch these movies because they are so damn predictable, with their false scares and stuff. No wonder they do so badly at the Box Office.
The movie always involves a couple of guys with hot chicks, never your normal-looking girl/boy-next-door people. And the hotter and hornier they are, the less time they survive. That’s a fact. If you don’t believe me, try watching them all, and don’t blame me for screwing up the suspense.
Maybe the reason these movies suck is because we’ve seen too many of them, that slash and gore is nothing new. I mean, watch Turistas, there’s a scene where a guy chops off another man’s fingers cos’ he was simply trying to defend himself. Then there’s the scene in SAW where the actor had to “SAW” off his legs to free himself from the cuffs. How in the world would anybody top that?
Then theres those Japanese flicks, gory to the core. If you’ve watched “Battle Royale”, you would know what i’m talking about. Its the story of a class of students stranded in an island with mini-bombs on their necks which were timed to go off in 3 days. If there were more than 1 survivor, the bomb would go off anyway after 3 days, so they’ve gotta start killing others, whether they like it or not. There were some who did, and some who didn’t, and some who didn’t want to, but did anyway. Great concept. Japanese child actors kicks ass, literally and metaphorically.

friday_the_13th_movie_posterI watched a 2009 remake of Friday the 13th the other night. Not great. (This post was created while watching the movie, minimised in one corner of the screen). I guess the movie would’ve fared much better had it been released.. maybe.. 10 years back. The thing with Thriller/Slasher movies is that the not-so-vast library of formulae has been totally depleted. I mean, most of them show the same thing over and over and over again, only difference being some more gory than the next.

I’ve watched my share of gory movies, SAW, The hills have eyes, Texas Chainsaw massacre, Wrong turn, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm street, I know what you did last summer, Final Destination, Urban legend, Turistas etc etc.. those by Wes Craven, Rob Zombie, Tarantino and a couple of Japanese Hard-core-gore.. and in most of the movies, the first couple to have sex die the earliest, probably a couple of B-grade actors trying to gain fame by showing some more skin than others (But we know that that does not work anymore in Hollywood, maybe in Bollywood, but definitely not in Hollywood!)

In the original versions of these movies, there was just the killer slashing his way through the victims, and we loved to hate them. ¬†But lately, with the “revised” movies, they try to show their “humane” side, like that was possible. The stress is on making the audience empathize with the killer, about how a tragic incident left him no choice but to kill people! Bullshit! Killers kill because they can, not because when they were born deformed/had an accident which made them deformed/due to the effects of radiation became cannibals/had serious father or mother issues/saw someone close to them being murdered etc etc.. and thats what makes them scary, cos’ they massacred for the love of it. Thats why the ring was so great, the ghost just loved killing people. Period.

Anyway, after the first murder, there’s always a misunderstanding between the group, parting ways and eventually one of the group would come across the killer and be killed! D-uh! Sometimes, its just plain frustrating to watch these movies because they are so damn predictable, with their false scares and stuff. No wonder they do so badly at the Box Office. And when if at all the actors would be interviewed, they would be like “Ohh.. I loved the script.. it was totally original.. blahblahcrap..”

The movie always involves a couple of guys with hot chicks, never your normal-looking girl/boy-next-door people. And the hotter and hornier they are, the less time they survive. That’s a fact. If you don’t believe me, try watching them all, and don’t blame me for screwing up the suspense. It always works.

battle_royaleMaybe the reason these movies suck is because we’ve seen too many of them, that slash and gore is nothing new. I mean, watch Turistas, there’s a scene where a guy chops off another man’s fingers cos’ he was simply trying to defend himself. Then there’s the scene in SAW where the actor had to “SAW” off his legs to free himself from the cuffs. How in the world would anybody top that? (In fact, the only way to top that is REAL LIFE stuff.. that’s probably why reality TV is so damn popular.)

Then theres those Japanese flicks, gory to the core. If you’ve watched “Battle Royale”, you would know what i’m talking about. Its the story of a class of students stranded in an island with mini-bombs on their necks which were timed to go off in 3 days. If there were more than 1 survivor, the bomb would go off anyway after 3 days, so they’ve gotta start killing others, whether they like it or not. There were some who did, and some who didn’t, and some who didn’t want to, but did anyway. Great concept. Japanese child actors kicks ass, literally and metaphorically.

Anyway, gore is sometimes refreshing. Its more like porn in the sense that they leave little for the imagination. It’s all there. And when you really want to watch something thats all extreme, real, bad-ass, blood-curling, hair-raising, heart-pounding, sweat-inducing, then turn on your news channel. ūüôā

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13
Aug
09

Rock on!

I recently watched “Rock on”. I know that its kinda late cos’ the movie released a year back or sumthin’, who cares. I got a good feedback from friends who listen to good music, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Great storyline, script and acting. I think the movie is under-rated, but then, what would one expect anyway from a crowd feeding off ITEM NUMBERS and PHOREN DANCERS.

rock-on_1bThe movie starts with the Glory days of a band called MAGIC (Aptly named cos’ Arjun Rampal’s character creates magic with his hands, while Farhan Akhtar does the same with his voice!? I know!!). Then, reality kicks in with present day, each member busy with their own life, with a certain bad experience that left them crippled and broke the band apart.

Arjun, the lead guitarist, now runs a small music shop and performs at small gatherings. He has a kid now and is struggling to run his family with his wife, who was once a groupie of the band. Purab is an associate of some sort, not sure what. Anyways, Luke Kenny, the keyboardist and bassist, now makes jingles for commercials, with ANU MALIK, which he hates. Hehe.. And Farhan finally finished his MBA and now stuck in the corporate world, married to his job.

The reunion sowed its seeds when Purab happened to meet Farhans wife, who btw had no idea of her husband’s past, through a business deal involving her friend. She invited him and asked to get the gang along for Farhan’s Suprise B’day Party. And the REAL story begins.

The flashbacks were well thought-out. The reason for the break up was very real, the album contract, the record deal, the selling out of the band, the disagreement, the fight, the last words.. etc etc… It kinda reflects on the reason most bands break up, cos’ they eventually have to make a lot of compromises owing the record companies’ want to make the maximum profit. I think this is as real as any Bollywood flick would get. I think that budding musicians, at least in India where promotions are few and too far off, should watch this movie and see beyond the story. Because it is the simple disagreements that break bands apart, unmet promises, unfulfilled dreams and dying hopes. To really make it big in a country like India, and still be able to make the kind of music they want to make, THAT is a successful rock band.

I love music of any genre, but rock is ultimate because it stands against something and that is what makes it unique. I know our Local bands have a lot of talent, creativity and melody, Hell, I wouldn’t mind paying for their music if MP3s weren’t so damn convenient. Had it been the 90’s, I would’ve totally paid 45/- for a cassette. I just wish that with current advances in the internet and technology, we could use that to our advantage to showcase that potential to the world. If the NUMA-NUMA guy can get millions of viewers, why can’t our Rock-bands?

29
Apr
09

Chandni chowk to China

I watched the movie a few days back, not for any reason but¬†just to watch it. I’ve read the reviews beforehand on the internet, heard from friends who blew away a few beers worth to watch it at a City Multiplex, I know how bad the movie was even before it started and expected the worst, but nothing could prepare me for what I had to endure. If there was a one-word description for the movie, SHIT would pretty much be it.

There were exactly 2 scenes which I find originally funny the whole¬† till-what-I-could-bring-myself-to-bear in the movie. One was where the hero found a Potato resembling the Hindu God Ganesha and what¬†transpired after. It was¬†funny¬†cos’ it was so close to reality. The other was in an airplane¬†when they were leaving for China, which would be funnier if watched than described. Both these events happened at the start of the movie, after which the rest of the movie went pretty much downhill, with no hope of a comeback/resurrection.

I am not going to write about the story of the movie, believe me, there was none. There was no logical, illogical or extremely supernatural explanation for anything that went on in the movie. The thing that pisses me off, is that they inserted cartoonish comedy scenes in the movie, then make them emote (Like that was possible) and create drama, so the movie is kinda like the transition between Cartoon Network and TNT (which used to cause much sadness back then.. sigh!), but neither here nor there.

The thing I noticed about Indian acting/actors in the movie kinda opened my eyes (With a bit of help from internet Forums on acting and Cinema), ¬†I’ve¬†read that anger and sorrow are the easiest emotions to portray for an actor, and Indian actors take that too seriously, cos’ those are the only two emotions they CAN potray. When they are angry, they scream in anger, when motivated, they scream with motivation, when scared, they scream in fear… and on the other hand, when they are sad, they cry in sorrow, when happy, they cry in happiness, when scared, they cry in fear.. No wonder Hindi movies are full of screaming, then crying, then more screaming, then more crying and it goes on till the hero kills the Villian. Each movie dwells on the same small collection of what directors call “Success formulae”, funny part is that some actually are Big Hits at the Indian BAX AFFIS.

Back to the movie, contrary to popular belief, Deepika could actually perform action stunts.¬†There was a scene when the hero reached China airport and there was an action sequence with her. She didn’t suck as much¬†as I had anticipated. Maybe it was the Action director, maybe it was the camera director, or maybe it simply was¬†the illusion that hot-bodied chicks create when they perform action stunts which make them look better than they actually are… Lara Croft, Resident Evil, Electra, etc etc… (You KNOW what I’m talking about.. unless you’re a female, of course.. hmm..) But seriously, unless they did find a really Indian-looking Chinese stuntwoman, I would like to believe that our Indian beauty performed her own stunts, and it was pretty impressive.

Sooo… at the end of my patience, I stopped the movie and started listening to music to cool my nerves.. which I think was about 15 mins after the intermission… and yes.. Intermission.. Aren’t movies (Mostly indian which still has the INTERMISSION thing) suppose to create a feeling of suspense and thrill just as the INTERMISSION sign appears on the screen?? That moment in this movie was as thrilling and suspenseful as¬†watching your nails grow.. on a moonless night.. under the sheets!

So my advice to the handful who pass through this way… who am I kidding?? I watch sad, pathetic Bollywood movies (Even though I hate them) when I could’ve watched others, and then rant about it on my blog! I guess I should be taking advice from youse guys.. Peace!