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World war Z---

Zombies---the new supplement to ghosts as the macabre danger to humanity in the movies.....

Or rather it's the new method to earn moolah---for both Hollywood and Bollywood.....

And unlike ghost movies the scope for zombie movies is vast....

Simple---just show zombies bite normal people to convert them into more zombies and you have the weapon to create mass panic---at least in the movies....

While ghost can terrorize only a house , zombies can terrorize larger areas....

The recent Bollywood movie ' Go Goa gone ' showed people taking a drug and becoming zombies on an island....

Somebody from Hollywood thought---why not show the whole world turn zombie by an epidemic of some viral infection ??

Let them bite each other like rabid dogs and spread zombiedom.....

Actually rabid dogs would be ashamed of the small number of humans they infect compared to the vast numbers that humans can infect when they really start biting.....

Whole gangs or rather mobs of nutcases ( actually they are undead---whatever that means ) roaming the streets and landscapes and indeed entire nations searching for people to bite.....

In fact religious leaders would be flummoxed as to why they didnt think of this idea to convert other people---just bite other people and they get converted to your religion

And from where does the energy to sustain such activity come from---since they dont seem to eat anything after becoming zombie ??
Sshh !! Dont ask uncomfortable questions if you wanna enjoy the movie.....

Leading your foray into this macabre enjoyment is superstar Brad Pitt of Angelina Jolie fame....

He and his family narrowly escape a zombie massacre , and very conveniently he is shown to be so important that the deputy secretary general of UN no less arranges for his and his family's rescue to an aircraft carrier.....

Once rescued it is made clear to him that only essential people have been rescued and he has to take part in the fight against zombies for his family to survive---otherwise its back into zombiedom for them.....

Yeah , he's no Dharmendra or Amitabh to become saviour of innocent people and only reluctantly agrees to help save the earth....

But once he does enter the fray he does so with aplomb and carries out his task rentlessly.....

But the zombies he is up against are rentless as well ( they have to be---to make the movie interesting ) ....

Any noise and they are attracted to it for biting people like a moth is attracted to a flame....

And they develop herd mentality and all of them get violent and agitated if one of them is killed and attack the person who has done the killing.....

And they pile up on each other in one spectacularly shot scene and climb the great wall that the nation of Israel has built to protect itself....

Superbly shot aerial photography shows dense masses of zombies stalking planet earth....

And you get to watch it in the full glory of modern 3D effects....

No place seems to be without these zombies---even the plane carrying Brad Pitt has one on it and the whole plane gets infected.....

However Brad discovers a way of avoiding zombie bites by observing their pattern of behavior....

And if the whole of humankind can be made to avoid zombie bites in the manner discovered by him then there's a way to survive....

But the secret to make humans avoid zombie bites lies on a path being blocked by the zombies themselves.....

Brad will have to walk through it to bring back hope to humanity.....

Walk through a horde of blood crazed zombies waiting to bite---how does Pitt accomplish that ??

Go and watch the movie for that....

Would be a nice outing....

Verdict---good .

rating---



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



\m/ Fade To Black \m/
Nice review

I havent seen this yet as I have seen mixed reviews, mostly bad ones so im waiting for the DVD

I wouldnt say 'Brad Pitt of Angelina Jolie fame' as he was a very successful actor before they were together.
__________________
~In the event of a Zombie Uprising, remember to sever the head or destroy the brain!~

~When im listening to Metallica, Nothing else matters~

N3wt's Movie Reviews New DVD Thread Top-100



The reluctant fundamentalist---

America in the nineteen nineties.....At the top of the world as it was still enjoying its victory in the cold war.....
.......An innocent time when it was a genuinely free society without the encumbrances of security checks everywhere.....
And above all at the peak of economic prosperity and confidence.....

New York in the nineteen nineties.....Heading towards becoming a real melting pot where people of diverse races and cultures lived with each other---christians and jews and muslims and hindus and sikhs and caucasians and blacks and hispanics and asians.....
And New York was....is the economic centerpiece of America.....

And towering over New York were the Twin towers---elegant as well as brute symbols of America's economic dominance over the world......

Men and women dreamt of working in or near the Twin towers of New York city---for working here meant that you had arrived.....

And then they came down at the start of the twenty first century---destroyed by the most astonishing and devastating terrorist attack on any urban center in the world.....

And lives changed after that.....America changed.....
America's perception of the religion of those who had brought down the Twin towers changed too.....

The hero of the this film ( played by Riz Ahmed ) belongs to that religion---yes he is muslim.....and a Pakistani to boot.....

Riz is is one of those whom Tom Wolfe so famously called ' Masters of the universe ' in his acclaimed novel ' Bonfire of the vanities '.......
Yeah , he has achieved his dream of working at a top position at the firm Underwood Samson in New York.....
And he has a white girlfriend.....
He thinks he's made it.....

......Until it all comes down---thats is , until the towers come down.....

And here he is---sitting in Lahore in Pakistan telling his life story to an American journalist who's come to give a patient hearing to his twisted tale......
The journalist has come to hear as well as record Riz's tale because he is now purported to be a fundamentalist.....
All this is happening under the shadow of the kidnapping of an American professor in Lahore---so times are grim.....

Its upto Changez Khan ( thats Riz's name in the movie and no , he's no mongol emperor ) to convince the American reporter that he may be a fundamentalist but he's a reluctant one---the reluctant fundamentalist.....

So what does the term ' reluctant fundamentalist ' mean ??
It means that he's been forced to become a fundamentalist by circumstances , by people's , by America's behavior towards him---especially after the 9/11 attacks.....

So does he manage to convince the American journalist that he is a fundamentalist of the reluctant variety ??

Go and watch the movie for that.....

The more important matter is----did he manage to convince the audience watching the movie that he is a reluctant fundamentalist ??

This I can answer only for myself.....

And the answer is that at least I wasn't fully convinced.....

Agreed , some of the humiliation Changez had to undergo as America became suspicious of muslims does not make nice viewing.....
He is repeatedly singled out for security checks and on one occasion is forced to strip naked in front of policemen.....
And he becomes a target for minor hate attacks....
Even his girlfriend betrays his trust.....

Agreed with all that.....agreed.....

But would the Pakistanis have behaved less paranoically had their country been attacked by outsiders in a brutal terrorist attack ?? Would their behavior towards the people of the attackers' religion been any different than the Americans' behavior ?? Would Changez behave in a different manner than Americans did with outsiders if his country was attacked by their people ??

And why does Changez have to become a fundamentalist ( however reluctant that fundamentalism may have been ) because America was was not good to him ??
Why does he have to grow a ' fundamentalist ' beard ?? Is it compulsory for people ill treated by America to grow a beard ??

OK , if he does not feel comfortable in America he can go back to Pakistan---but why cant he live a secular life there ?? What is the need for Changez to come close to religion even if America was not good to him ??
For example if an Indian or Chinese or Korean suffers racism in America , then that does not mean he comes close to his religion does he.....

In my opinion these Pakistanis use any excuse to turn to their favourite haunt---religion.....

Its to the credit of the character of Changez that he does not let his fundamentalism divert into terrorism---for his experience as an evaluator has given him enough brains to figure out the sinister aims of those who want to recruit him for terror and refuse them.....

The movie unfolds as a series of flashbacks as Changez tells the American journalist his story and becomes more gripping as it becomes interconnected with the fate of the kidnapped American professsor.....

And aquires the properties of a thriller as it becomes intense and Changez reveals that he knows who the American journalist really is.....

Mohsin Hamid's novel has been well adapted on the screen using several Indian actors like Shabana Azmi and Om Puri who play Changez' parents , and the atmosphere of and contrast between New York and Lahore has been well created .

I found the movie worth a watch....

Verdict---Good .




Zero dark thirty---

Osama Bin Laden---the man who dared to take on the might of the most powerful nation on planet earth in the most astonishing manner possible---in a way not even dreamed up by American fiction writers....

The moment he did so , he was a marked man.....

But the onus was on the USA to find him and kill him---it was a question of honour and justice and of prestige.....The world had to be reminded that you cant target the USA without terrible repurcussions on yourself....

But where to find him ?? Especially in a position where elements of the Pakistani establishment were in cahoots with him and protecting him....

Not surprisingly , it was a long and hard wait to get to him.....

And to get him a CIA agent called as Maya worked painstakingly for years in Pakistan collecting information bit by bit till she hit paydirt....

But until she hit paydirt , she had to go through plenty of disappointments and see many tragedies unfold---and she had to see this happening for many years....

Bombs exploded in places where she was eating ( like Marriott hotel ) , she lost her colleagues in terrorist attacks and she herself became a target for assassination bids as news leaked out that she was a CIA agent---but she was unwavering in her devotion to the task of getting Bin Laden....

During this time she rejected any idea of romance in personal life and became detached from her family.....
People who worked with her , including torturers who were beyond caring about human pain , also got tired of their brutal task and left for other more comfortable shores....

But in the end it was a triumph for Maya....so triumphant that a large part of the movie focuses on her and in essence she is the heroine of the movie....

Of course , in the end the raid to kill Bin Laden was carried out by other people , but it was her decisive pinpointing done after extensive research that made it possible....

The movie begins with torture scenes of suspected Al Qaeda members which may make one cringe....and they make even Maya flinch for a moment....

But this tough lady goes through seeing it all and survives grittily to stick to her task....

The movie has expletives being used continually by all Americans---and the word fcuk is most used.....even by Maya , who introduces herself as the motherfcuker who pinpointed the target to the commitee that has to approve the mission to kill Bin Laden.....

And she uses the word in a way that would warm the cockles of your heart if you are a true patriotic Indian ( like I fancy myself to be )---she calls Pakistan a fcuked up country in a way no Bollywood ( of pak appeasement fame ) movie has dared to call in recent times.....Bravo Hollywood !!

The raid which kills Laden is shown like a thriller with a touch of suspense.....and also with some comic relief as a US commando begins to call out ' Osama , Osama ' while searching for him in the house , as if Osama really was going to come out !!---Now did that really happen ??

Acting by the actress playing Maya is great , and the filming of the raid on Osama's house has been done with military precision.....

And in the end you conclude that the USA is made of manly men and courageous women who are kind to those who seek shelter and are unforgivingly vengeful to those who have done them harm---and I wish some of these qualities were embibed by my countrymen....
And I wished that we Indians could similarly rain death on those who seek our destruction....

And with that thought for you to ponder , I conclude....

Verdict---Good .

rating---



Man of steel IMAX 3D---

Superman---the prince of superheros....the one with the greatest powers of them all....

Young and handsome with a perfect built and appropriately caucasian white and American to boot ( why cant he be black or brown or nonamerican ?? Shh !! Dont ask silly questions !! ).....

But even he has to be reinvented for the 21st century.....

Gone is the underwear worn outside the body....and even the S on his chest has a new meaning---it's a symbol of hope now....

And the story of his birth and journey to the earth is more complicated now....

It's complicated by the fact that people from his original planet ( Krypton ) have come back almost from the dead to colonize the earth by wiping out the human race and replacing it with themselves....

....And the man of steel has to choose as to whose side to take---the earthlings who gave him shelter , or the ones to whose race he belongs....

Ultimately its the power of love which prevails--the love he got from his foster parents on earth....and the love he gets from his ladylove Lois Lane....

So he chooses to fight for his adopted planet for what is right....

But though on earth he is superman , his fellow Kryptonites and their leader General ZoD can fight him as equals....

So can he save the earth and it's civilization from extinction ?? Go and watch the movie for that....

The first part of the movie showing his growing up years is the better half of the movie , and is filled with sentimental moments....

His foster father ( played by Kevin Costner ) advices him to hide his powers and sacrifices his life but does now allow him to display his powers....

Yet situations do occur where he has to use and display his powers in order to save people....

And an intrepid reporter ( Lois Lane ) of Daily planet newspaper gets scent of his unearthly powers and gets on his track....

And what powers !!

Power to flit from one corner of the earth to another in a jiffy.....

Power to lift entire buildings as if he is lifting feathers....

Power to heal fatal wounds in seconds....

Power to fly with beautiful girls in his arms ( Aaahh !! Now why didn't I have that power ?? ).....

It seems the man of steel is set for a ride to superherodom....until his fellow Kryptonites come to conquer the earth in the second part of the movie....

It is this part which does not deliver the goods...

Mind you...its actionpacked all right , but the problem is that it is massively overactionpacked.....

The fighting....it seems less like fighting and more like carnage at times....

....And once the fighting starts , it's unstoppable....it veers to the point of utter destruction....

No breather is given either to superman or the villains or to the viewer.....

And in the end the excessive action tires you out....

Of course , I had the pleasure of watching the movie in the full glory of IMAX 3D....

And IMAX 3D is a different experience in itself....

While I had seen movies in IMAX form separately and 3D form separately , combining the two brings special effects to full flower....

Actually the superman movie series had died out with superman 4 , and the man who played it with awkward perfection in the past ( Christopher Reeve ) was no more....

While this attempt to revive the series is not perfect , it does have its moments....

And in Henry Cavill we have a real new superman---so Christopher Reeve can sleep peacefully in his grave....

Verdict---decent enough .

rating--



Now you see me---

Four magicians pull off a heist---and with what verve and panache and mind blowing speed.....!!

Yeah , they are the ' four horsemen ' selected by a mysterious person who prefers to remain behind the scenes to carry off three spectacular heists in the form of magic tricks in full view of the audience . They are carefully selected after close observation of their skills and include a card trick player , a mentalist , a conman and a an escape artist---the last being deliciously and sexily feminine.....

The film certainly begins well as the four magicians pull of a sensational robbery of a french bank in a magic show in Las Vegas by teleporting a man to the bank and helping him rob the money---money which is showered on the audience watching it . The special effects are dazzling and a visual treat .

But there's also a person ( played by Morgan Freeman ) who debunks these magicians and shows us just how the magic was not really magic.....

But who cares....There's the next trick to be pulled off.....
The movie moves at electric pace and breakneck speed and leaves you with very little time to wonder and ponder about whether it was really magic or not.....

But as the movie moves on to the next trick you realize that behind it is one man's personal agenda---and that agenda is nothing but revenge.....

Revenge for past wrongs , revenge for past sins committed against someone.....But the question is---whom ??

The second trick dazzles you again , but the vengeful motives of the person behind the whole thing become clear too....

But the police and a beautiful Interpol agent are after the four magicians , though they always manage to stay one step ahead of the cops , and Morgan Freeman the debunker is not far behind too....

The question again is---why all this elaborate deception , and by whom and for what purpose ??

Go and watch the movie for that....

Its in the third trick that the movie fails , for it is way too complicated to watch....and the car chases are something that we have seen in other movies as well....

In the end , the magician's tricks and special effects become too much to handle , and so does the superfast pace of the movie....

There's a twist to the tale in the end as the villain/hero reveals himself and his motives , but to me the bigger question was---why would the four magicians take such risks with the police for another person ?? Why would they go to so much trouble for a person they did not even know ??....and that question was left unanswered....

The movie begins spectacularly but loses its way towards the end....
Had it been the opposite , with the movie starting slowly but getting better towards the end , then it would have been a good one....
But then , not all fridays ( actually I saw the movie in sunday ) are lucky for the audience---are they ??

Verdict---Okay .

rating---



Hummingbird ( in Britain and India )/Redemption( in USA )/Crazy joe ( in France )---

This is what the site spiritanimal.info has to say about hummmingbirds---

'' The hummingbird spirit animal symbolizes the enjoyment of life and lightness of being. Those who have the hummingbird as a totem are invited to enjoy the sweetness of life, lift up negativity wherever it creeps in and express love more fully in their daily endeavors. This fascinating bird is capable of the most amazing feats despite its small size, such as traveling great distances or being able to fly backwards. By affinity with the hummingbird, those who have this bird as totem may be encouraged to develop their adaptability and resiliency while keeping a playful and optimistic outlook. ''

Maybe thats why Jason Statham hallucinates about Hummingbirds in the movie of the same name.....

......For he's got a chance to redeem his wasted life when he accidently breaks into the house of a well off man after being chased by goons after a fight and finds the credit card of the owner of the house . He also finds out that he has the chance of free use of the house for several months as the owner is out of town and country for months....

Those months by the way , are exactly the months that the hummingbird makes its temporary appearance until it migrates to other parts....

And just like the hummingbird , Jason sojourn in the house he's occupied is temporary---only until the owner of the house comes back.....
And also temporary therefore is his lease on respectable life.....

For he's a Afghanistan war veteran ( a trained commando no less....) who has been scarred by his experience in the war and come back to Britain to live on the mean streets of inner city of London snorting drugs....

But Jason wants to believe that he is good man.....
.....And has the urge to justify his self image as one....
So he begins to spread his newly found money around among the poverty struck folks that desperately need help.....

And the more specific target of his largesse is a unconventionally good looking nun who has taken a liking to him.....
.....For she has a story of injustice in her own life too , of having had to commit a crime at a tender age and being forced to live a life of a nun for repentance---a life she did not choose....

Jason shamelessly admits his attraction for the nun when confronted with the situation of being forced to confess it.....
.....And he wants her to wear an attractive red dress when coming to meet him.....
......And he dreams of making torrid love to her on satin sheets....

His own conscience nags him for using another man's credit card and he decides to not use it and tries to find work....

However the only work a man like him can get is in the underworld , and the netherworld again sucks him in....

But his life is turned upside down when he learns that a woman ( not the nun ) he has formerly loved has been killed....

.....And Jason is determined to catch the killer....

So does he succeed in bringing the killer to book ??

And does he get to live his dream of making love to a lovely nun ??

But most importantly , does he get to use his temporary good fortune to turn around his life and do some good deeds ??

.....For he has a daughter somewhere who has dreamt of seeing photos of her father in respectable clothes as a respectable man.....

....And he actually dreams getting such photos taken and wants to personally hand them over to his daughter.....

Above all , does he manage to come out of it all really believing that he is a decent and honourable man as he would like himself to be ??

And will the audience believe that inspite of his bad habits and bad company Jason is a nice guy in the end ??

Watch the movie for that....

For Jason Statham has put a rare display of real acting and tried his best to convince us of his intentions....

Yeah , instead of a slam bang action movie what we have is a nicely slow paced film that goes a low on the action and more on emotion as Jason and his beautiful nun stalk London's dark underbelly.....

......And that underbelly shot at night forms the backdrop of Jason and his nun's attempt at redemption....

.....An attempt at redemption that at the end brings a lump in your throat.....

You really wished things hadn't finished the way they did....

But then , thats real life....

Verdict---At least I liked it....

rating---



Django unchained---

I have seen very few of Quentin Tarantino's films.....

......But now that I have seen this , I am gonna see them all.....

......And write reviews---thats a promise.....

Suddenly I have become a fan....

While traditionally Hollywood has been squeamish on the subject of Black slavery , Tarantino takes the subject head on with the attitude of a raging bull in a China shop.....

......And like a raging bull , he creates havoc in the form of spectacular violence.....

And thats what he is creates in all his films---or so I heard.....

Thats why I am gonna watch them all.....

In this film the spectacular violence is not only in the shooting sprees of bullets and explosions of dynamite (of course , all that is there too ) but also in the mindblowing racism of some of the characters in the film and in the ugly scenes it creates......

......Scenes of dogs attacking a black man presumably with the intention of tearing him apart---thankfully the camera turns away at the last moment....

.....Scenes of black people being scourged by long whips till the marks appear on their backs and they writhe in agony.....

......Scenes of a black man pleading for his wife to be spared such a cruel fate till you are choked with emotion....

......Scenes of two black men forced to fight each other till one of them manages to break another's bones and then kill him.....

Now I know why slavery is known as the fate worse than death.....

And amidst all this mayhem one black man is freed by a white man from the chain gang that chains him.....

That black man's name is Django.....

Yeah , this time the Django is a black slave---but Django is now unchained.....

And not only is he unchained , he is unleashed onto us.....

For the German white man who frees him tells him a mythical story of a German princess who has been trapped by her father on top of a mountain with dragons guarding her , and about the hero who saves her because she is worth all that.....

And our hero wants to do the same for his wife who is held as a slave by a brutal slave plantation owner played with aplomb by Leonardo Di Caprio.....
For she is worth all that risk too.....

So Django and his German deliverer set off to that plantation in the fanatically slave holding state of Mississippi where a black man on a horse draws a lot of stares and also some real hostility......

But who is the German deliverer ?? He's a bounty hunter who kills wanted men for money---and Django gets plenty of training for the grim task ahead by killing evil men who have price on their heads......and the audience gets to see a lot of action western style---quick draws of guns by men riding fast horses ; so quick that the other man cant retaliate.....

Yeah , the good old days of Clint Eastwood are back big time.....

But the real danger lies after this phase---that of going to free the beautiful black slave from the clutches of her sinister owners.....

Its task akin to taking food from a lion's mouth.....

For the terrifying slave owners live in a land bristling with guns of all caliber......

So can the hero and his friend save the lovely black lady from the hell she is in....

Go and watch the movie for that.....

Watch the Tarantino style of movie making......

Watch as the tension builds over seemingly normal conversations with violent people on a dinner table with a sense of impending doom.....

......For you know that guns are going to boom any moment.....

And when they do , watch with a smile on your face.....for this is moviemaking at its very best.....

Acting by everyone is faultless , but the icing on the cake is the slave plantation owner's aide played by Samuel L Jackson---a black man who supports the slave system , and is indeed a part and parcel of it ; an embodiment of evil beyond comprehension and also within it---for his livelihood depends on supporting the slave system forced on people of his own race , and whose total dedication to his white master's needs is outrageously infuriating.....

Best dialogues are given to Django's German friend ( played superbly by Christoph Waltz ) who speaks super correct English , and springs some laughs for the audience even in a tense situation.....

Some comic scenes are really hilarious , like the scene in which the white hooded Ku Klux Klan members discover that the eyeholes in their white hoods are improperly made , leading to confusion during a raid....

But it is violence that is king.....

All flames erupting from barrels of guns and blood erupting from bodies of men and explosions rocking the place.....

This is no film for the chicken hearted , and indeed many African Americans have vowed not to see it---for the indignities heaped upon the black slave from Africa are truely heartrending.....

But if you do have a tough heart , it well worth the money spent.....

Verdict---outstanding .
rating---



Glad you enjoyed Django Unchained. Definitely one of the best movies of 2012, it's just awesome.
__________________
Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that's a straw, you see? You watching?. And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake... I... drink... your... milkshake!
-Daniel, There Will Be Blood



Lincoln---

The world in the mid 19th century---a world in the grip of colonialism and a world of slavery.....

.......And no one feels the crushing burden of slavery more than the black man of Africa---their alleged mental inferiority and lack of civilization in sub saharan Africa makes them a race looked down upon as subhumans fit only to serve others , their dark skin further deepens this racism , and their considerable physical strength makes them thought of as ideal beasts of burden.....

The slave markets of America and the barbaric middle east are awash with black slaves kidnapped by brutal slave traders from the coasts and interiors of Africa , sometimes aided by their own black brethren.....

While the Turkish sultan needs them in the castrated form as eunuchs to guard his harem , the American white man needs him as laborer on his cotton plantations....

Its the black man's hard labour that drives the economy of the southern part of the United States.....and without him to serve the needs of the whites of the southern United States as a slave the entire way of life of the southerners would collapse like a pack of cards.....

But can they stop the powerful winds of the civilized impulse of emancipation ??

.....For leading the charge of the anti slavery agitation is the President of the United States no less---and his name is Abraham Lincoln.....

Needless to say he is a great man leading a great nation.....

So can Hollywood produce a fittingly great film on him ?? Let's see....

The movie begins in the middle of the war that has been unleashed as the southern states declare their secession from the United States in view of the impending anti slavery decision that is going to be imposed on them by the northern states and Abraham Lincoln declares war on them calling them mere rebels.....

The United States is actually going to civil war for the freedom of people brought from the alien shores of the African continent !! If that is not the measure of the greatness of America then what is ?? For hundreds of thousands of young American men are dying for stopping something like slavery---something that is accepted as part of everyday life in the middle east during that time without batting an eyelid , something that exists as the tyranny of the upper castes on untouchables in the India of that period !!

But in order to foist this greatness upon America , it requires the tireless efforts of a great President.....

And indeed , the emancipation of slaves is the one big aim of his life , something that he stakes his entire political career on.....

He is determined to bring about the end of slavery by all means , by hook or crook.....

By crook ??

Yeah , this great man is ready to use all means whether fair or foul to get votes of congressmen---for those votes are needed for passing the 13th amendment to the US constitution which abolishes slavery . For him the goal is important , not the means to reach it.....and the goal , can anybody doubt its laudability ??

So congressmen are coaxed cajoled browbeaten to bring them to accept his point of view , and his hirelings pass money and promises of opportunities of earning money to recalcitrant congressmen.....all and everything for a good and just cause....

All this while a great war rages on killing people in the thousands....

But like all great men , Lincoln knows that the great questions of the day sometimes have to be settled by the force of arms , and he is not averse to shedding blood for his august goals....

And the blood that may be shed could be of his son , for his son insists on joining the armed forces to the chagrin of Abraham's wailing wife who fears losing another son for she has lost one already.....

Indeed , his wife seems to be ever complaining ever wailing for she simply cannot match his greatness....
But great or not , she is a loyal wife as they used to be in the 19th century---and Lincoln is a deeply attentive husband and father.....
....For he listens to his wife and fulfills his son's wishes only to allow him a posting well behind the war's frontlines.....

So does his nepotism distract from his greatness ??

Hardly....

For as you watch him talking to friends and foes alike convincing them of the need to end slavery you begin to have respect for the man....
......And the interesting stories he tells and the anecdotes he relates in his own inimitable manner give you an idea of his intellect and his sense of humour....

Or maybe it is the acting of Daniel Day Louis that makes accepting Lincoln with his small faults and all his greatness so easy.....

Aiding Lincoln in his quest is an extremist politician who has made it his life's mission to end slavery from the land....but he is too impatient , and Lincoln has to use all his powers of persuation to convince him of the need to be patient and not do anything rash....

They are all good men really , and their sheer enthusiasm makes your heart bat for their ambition....

But the real star of the show is the day the anti slavery amendment is put to vote.....
You can feel your heart pounding as the one by one the votes are counted.....

And when the results of the vote came out---there were tears in my eyes , just like they were there were in the eyes of those black people who had assembled to watch the vote with a mixture of hope and fear....

So were they tears of joy or sadness ?? Of victory or failure ??
To those who know their history well , the answer is well known....
But for those who dont , this is a fine chance to brush up your history ( my fave subject in school , by the way )

Its not an action packed movie , and the its not about the American civil war....
But what it lacks in action , it makes up with emotion as you see history in the making.....
And the emotion makes it well worth a watch.....
At least I thought so....

Verdict---good .

rating---



The host---

The earth has been invaded by aliens . The alien souls enter human bodies and take them over and in this way they have taken over most of the human beings on earth .

How to detect that a human body has been taken over by aliens ?? A strange glow comes into the eyes....

......And most former humans on earth have this glow in their eyes....
Only a few real humans are left . They are hiding in deep crevasses carrying out a guerilla war against the alien occupiers .

The aliens are searching for the remaining humans who are fighting for survival . One of the remaining humans gets caught and her body too is taken over by an alien soul . But her mind is too strong and resists this takeover of her body . She escapes from clutches of the human bodies having alien souls who have captured her and makes her way back to human settlement .

But she still has the strange glow in her eyes that marks her out as a human body taken over by an alien !!

So will the humans accept her as one of their own ??
And what will she achieve among humans when her own body is caught between the alien soul that has occupied her and the exceptionally strong human mind that resists this occupation ??

Watch the movie for that....

So is it another sci fi flick ?? Another one about humans and aliens fighting each other with superadvanced weapons ??

No , in fact it is a film about winning the fight using an old weapon called love and tenderness.....

About romance blossoming---and romance fulfilled---in a confrontation between races from different planets.....

For it is romance and the pining for lost love that makes the heroine's mind resist the alien soul's occupation of her body.....love for her lover and affection for her younger brother.....

And it is the search for that love that makes her run back among humans.....

As the aliens begin to track her down to her hiding hole bringing the whole human settlement at risk another battle is going on within her---her alien soul falls in love with a goodlooking boy much to the chagrin of her mind which loves her old lover !!

Behind all this pining for love I suspected the hand of a sensitive woman....
But the director of the film is a man....
As the credits rolled I found out what I suspected---the movie is based on a novel written by a woman.....

So will love conquer all and everything---just like a woman would like it to happen ??
I really wish that things were that way---that the slogans like ' make love not war ' were translated into reality.....that all soldiers dropped weapons and won hearts rather than wars....

Real life however is different.....
But for those who believe in the power of love there is this movie....

Verdict---Not a bad outing.....

rating---



The call---

America's obsession with crazed psychos continues---this time with ' The Call '......

Halle Berry ( looking attractive in a smart new hairstyle ) works in the police operations room as a officer who takes calls of victims and directs police squads to crime scenes .

.....And like any beautiful sensitive woman ( dont we all like our women that way....) has a propensity to get emotionally mixed up in the plight of the victims she gets calls from.....

But one day Halle loses her peace of mind when a female victim who is being stalked by a psycho and from whom she gets a call gets killed due to a silly mistake Halle has made during the call.....

Halle changes her job while still working for the police , until she is confronted with a similar situation again---that of a young girl being kidnapped by the same crazed man.....

Halle cant fail this time.....not again , especially when confronted with the same killer.....she's got to save the lovely girl she's promised she would save.....

So can she.....???

Watch the film for that.....

The film is an edge of the seat thriller that keeps you tense throughout.....

And where's tension there's interest---from the audience that is.....

If you get entertained by films which bring on the tension then certainly this film is for you.....

.....For as the chase to save the victim in the killer's clutches hots up , so does the body count increase.....

.....And needless to say , the body count is that of innocent people.....

......Innocents being smashed by spades and burnt alive after being doused by petrol---its all there.....

Yeah , nothing works like little bit of cruelty to bring in the viewers.....

Halle has that remarkable propensity that all actors in thrillers possess---that of going without untrammelled fear into dangerous places where others would be scared to tread.....

......And the killer has an obsession with beautiful women like her.....

All the better to give some thrills....

Thrills to bring relaxation of body and mind to your dull existence....

Not a bad outing I had , I would say.....

Verdict---nothing fantastic , but good enough.....

rating---



The collection---

From the makers of the SAW series comes this new movie.....

And when the makers are of the SAW series you know what to expect---a feast of delicious blood what else.....

So off I went to the cinema hall to engorge myself in a bloodfest.....

And the director didn't disappoint....

For its a movie that proves that as far as blood and gore and sheer imaginative violence is concerned , no one can match Hollywood---and especially the makers of the SAW series......

For who else can think of such devices for killing and maiming people in the worst way possible.....

All horrifying sharp instruments cutting up people , shredding their body parts and dropping on unsuspecting victims from above....

Devices that I can only imagine but cannot name.....

And those devices tearing off peoples' flesh , oozing out their blood and breaking their bones in an awesome crunching sound.....

Of course , there are other methods of pointless barbarism in the movie....like howling wolves attacking their prey , deadly poisonous spiders crawling on human bodies bringing them closer to death....

And those dead bodies are cut up to be exhibited like museum pieces in liquid filled glass cases.....

A special weapon is nails fixing people on the ground by splitting through their hands before the real torture begins....

And people are locked in boxes with small openings to see other victims torn into pieces so that they know what is going to happen to them---as they are next in line for some mindbending cruelty.....

All blood blood blood everywhere.....

And who is presiding over this mayhem ?? Its a mysterious masked man who kills people for no other reason than that of giving pleasure to bloodthirsty people who enjoy such things in the movies and making those bloodthirsty people shell out their money at multiplexes so that the producers rake in the moolah.....

And do I even have to spell out the fact that he shown to be a totally demented psychopath.....

And the story begins as he kills everyone in a nightclub and kidnaps a goodlooking girl.....

big mistake....

.......for the girl has protectors who are ready to spare no method to bring her back.....

And their search leads them to an abandoned hotel where the masked man has created his den of horror.....

But how come he creates such a monstrous place without being noticed by police and authorities ???

And from where does he get the resources and money and supplies to get such weapons and gasoline and machine guns and create such torture chambers ???

SSHH.....Dont ask uncomfortable questions that will spoil your enjoyment of the movie.....if you can enjoy it at all......

.....For its not a film for the fainthearted.....

So do the rescuers of the girl manage to rescue the girl and bring the terrible masked man to justice ??

Watch the movie for that....if you can that is....

Verdict---Okay.

rating---



Taken part 2

Constantinople in Turkey.....now Istanbul.....at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.....where the civilized west meets the barbaric east.....

And what happens when a man from the civilized west takes the danger of venturing into the barbaric east ?? He's TAKEN....or rather kidnapped by men taking revenge for the well deserved justice he meted out to one of them who was a rapist.....

The civilized man taking the risky venture is Liam Neeson.....and the barbarians who are out to seek bloody revenge are Albanian muslims.....

Yeah , its nice to see Islam in the movies....but hey , only in the movies.....all stories of mayhem and murder and loot and destruction and kalashnikovs and massacre.....

And when these savages come to know Liam has come to Istanbul with his exwife and daughter they jump at the opportunity like a dog to a bone.....

......And they plan to kill his wife by cutting her up piece by piece and sell his daughter to a whorehouse to be raped again and again by lust crazed men.....

Yeah , the men Liam is up against have no honour nor dignity nor respect for rights of women.....
All that they see is their ancient call for restoring their honour---by taking an eye for an eye.....

But what they dont know is that Liam is too formidable an enemy.....a man who has survived a hundred battles and has an incorrigible taste for winning this one....
And his daughter is not a wimp either....she's ready to help her dad in every situation.....

And thus---when two powerful teams meet for confrontation there is bound to be hell raising action.....
.....And hell raising action is what I love.....all bullets flying and grenades exploding and jaws getting crunched and cars getting smashed.....all in the shadow of the Aya Sophia mosque which was once Saint Sophia church the largest church in Christiandom.....and also all under the shadow of the flag of Turkey---a republic seemingly powerless to stop all the carnage.....

So whose gonna triumph in the end ?? The bloodthirsty barbarians or the civilized ones ?? The people who look at other people's daughters with an evil eye or people whose mundane dreams include their daughters passing a simple car driving test ??

Go and watch the movie for that....I wasn't disappointed by the experience....

Verdict---Good action .

rating---



Safe---

Calling all the aficionados of slam bang action......

The movie you dreamt of in your dreams is here.....

Yeah , your dreams are going to come true.....

The dreams you dreamt of seeing pile after pile of dead bodies , of blood being spilled all around , of jaws being smashed and bones being broken---are all gonna come real.....

And doing all the damage is Jason Statham---the half baldie hero of the twenty first century ; the successor to the half baldie hero of the twentieth century---Bruce Willis , who else.....

Yeah , I am remembering the days when Bruce Willis was half bald....
Now he is completely bald , but thats another matter.....he was only half bald in my younger days......

Its another matter that Jason cannot compete with Bruce as an actor , but he makes up in brawn for what he lacks in acting.....

Now back to the action.....

Bullets are fired like hail in a hailstorm , or rain in a downpour---take your pick.....

Bodies fly around like ninepins.....

Tables and chairs smashed around like anything.....

Blood spattered around makes neat and colourful configurations on the walls or carpets depending on what the dead body hits after being shot.....

Mean baddies roam around the city lusting for mayhem.....

And they all vie for the post of who is more cruel than the rest.....and man , the competition for that post is pretty tough....

And in the midst of all this is a little Chinese girl whose brain works faster than a computer.....

.....And she's memorised the very long combination number which can open a safe that contains a lot of money.....

Big trouble....

For now everyone's after her to get the number---the Chinese gang , the Russian gang and also the crooked police.....

But triumphing over them all is Jason Statham the one man army cum messiah of the little girl.....

Yeah , she's orphaned and he's lost his family---so they both need each other.....

Thats the story.....

But who cares about the story.....

For there's never a dull moment when Jason is around---as he always is....

And because he's always around , dull moments in the movie are as rare as ice in the deserts of the Sahara and as rare as cactus plants inside the artic circle.....

And towards the end , the lack of dullness is too much , the nonstop action is way too much and the breakneck speed of the movie is a little too much.....

But its still enough for some timepass.....

Verdict---nothing great , but you can call it watchable.....

rating---



Mirror Mirror

Its the story of snow white and the seven dwarfs---retold and remodelled for the modern era.....

.......Or so I assume.....

......Because I have totally forgotten the original fairy tale I liked during my school days , which my mother used to read out to me diligently in childhood .

And remodelling it for the modern era involves it being told to us by the villain herself---Snow white's step mother , who else.....

.....And the evil step mother is played by the ever green Julia Roberts.....

And so in never never land there is a king.....and he's a good king.....

And he has a beautiful daughter---with skin as white as snow and hair that is jet black.....in fact so white she is that she is called Snow white.....

Now wait a minute.....does this mean that whiter the skin more goodlooking the person is , in this politically correct era of ours---where black people are encouraged to be proud about their colour ??

Well , we have to remind ourselves that fairy tales were born in a different era and cant be changed for today---and any attempt to tweak a story too much will be a reason for failure if it deviates from the original too much....

But snow white's mother dies and the king marries Julia Roberts who sends him to the forest from where he does not return......

And Julia takes over the kingdom and misrules , keeping the people in dire poverty while she enjoys....

But the magic mirror she keeps does not hide the truth , and keeps warning her that there is a price to pay for her deeds---deeds which she does by making the mirror cast a spell on anyone she wants to ensnare.....

One day Snow white grows up to be eighteen and eager to see the world.....

......And when she goes out into the world she sees her people suffering.....

But never mind.....

When she goes out into the world she also meets the man of her dreams---a handsome prince of course.....

And she meets and befriends seven lovable dwarfs.....

And many hands make light work.....

In short when allies meet they can change the old and evil order.....

Doesn't matter that the evil step mother falls in love with the handsome prince too , and tries to marry him by casting another spell on him......

As the mirror warns her , its her last spell---and she has to pay the long accumulated price for her evil deeds.....

Time and tide are on Snow white's side....

That and youth and innocence and virginity and goodness of heart.....

In the fairy tales its always the fair and the good who win dont they.....

But before they win , we get to see a world of magic and dances in fairy tale ballrooms and handsome princes and lovely princesses and small adventures and demons and witches and potions and spells---all of which brings nostalgic memories of your childhood alive.....

.......A carefree childhood spent on your mother's lap listening to Grimm's fairy tales free from the worries of the world as only a child can be......

.....And all of it accentuated by modern special effects.....

Now why did the director have to ruin it all by ending the movie by making the actors dance a bollywood-like bhangra ??

Oh , he's an Indian and wanted to have some Indian touch to a Hollywood film......

Never mind again....

Its still a decent watch.....

rating---



In time---

Remember the old cliche ??--time is money.

Well , hollywood brings the old cliche to life , literally , in this film.

Its about a world where everyone is programmed to die at 25 , and anyone who wants to live longer than that must earn his time .

In short time replaces money .

A room in a luxury hotel costs you 2 months of your life , a ferrari costs even longer , and so on and so forth .

So who can afford to give two months of his life for just a stay in a hotel ??

The answer is that the rich do , for they have earn't more time than they could do with....

For if you are smart enough , or more correctly mean enough , you can earn plenty of time lasting for millions of years--in effect , making you immortal .

And time can be swapped from one person to other by touching each other's hands in the right position....

Which means stealing time from a person is easy.....

And to prevent precisely this kind of theft are the policemen in a new avtar.....they are called timekeepers , literally.....

And they are here to protect the rich--for the mass of common people have no access to large amounts of time , and have a notorious predilection for stealing others time....

Indeed , to protect the rich from thievery , there are special time zones separating rich people literally having plenty of time on their hands ( i mean literally ) from the poor who have none......the separation is done by heavy barriers......

The mass of poor people live in different time zones which are nothing but ghettos for the penniless--or rather the timeless.....

And in such a ghetto is born our hero ( Justin Timberlake ) , son of an idealist who gave up his life fighting against such a cruel and unjust system--and Justin is a son who would make his dead father proud , for he is destined to bring the whole edifice down.....

But before he brings it down , he gets to romance the oh-too-willing daughter of a finance magnate , and escape some hair raising situations , and fight some fights......

The movie is gripping enough in the first half , but meanders in the second half especially towards the end . But you can watch it for the novel idea of time replacing money .

Verdict--just about okay . I would give it 2 and a half stars .

rating---



Fire in Babylon---

Sport and politics have always been inseparable , for as sport grows in prestige it binds the emotions of the teeming millions and becomes a vehicle for expressing popular opinion . In fact sport is more easily understandable to the common man who is least bit interested in politics and binding sport with politics makes a political event of greater interest for him .

' Fire in Babylon '......So what is Babylon ?? I had to search the internet for it.....
And the word has different meanings including a biblical one , so I had to hit upon the right meaning to understand the title in the context of the subject of the movie . It means an oppressive system where a particular race is discriminated against .

' Fire in Babylon ' is not just a documentary on the success of West Indian cricket ; it explores the emotions and the reasons behind the pride felt by people from the Caribbean Islands because of the success of their cricket team in the cricket field . As one explains , it was for the first time that the black people had produced something that was the best in the world and was unbeatable for a long time . The west Indian team of the late 70s and eighties was not just the pride and joy of the black people , it was the manifestation of black power.....
And it was not just that , it was the black challenge to those who felt that blacks were not capable of anything , and it was a fitting rebuke to the unjust system that discriminated against black people---the intention was literally to set fire in Babylon....

Against such a towering and grand backdrop we enter the movie.....

The movie unfolds through the eyes and the voices of legends of West Indian cricket---giants such as Vivian Richards , Micheal Holding , Colin Croft and Andy Roberts....we are truely in august company.....

We hear form the horses' mouths how the West Indian team was a team of gentlemanly losers in the 60s ; a team which produced occasional flashes of brilliance and individual stars like Gary Sobers , but never managed to win consistently . They were called calypso cricketeers , a name based on the brand of music that flourishes in the Caribbean---frivolous people who could not be taken seriously .
And to some dedicated individuals , that fact hurt....
It seemed that the Black man was destined to lose ; his job was to make the white man conscious of his own superiority.....

Cut to 1975---West Indies tour of the Australia.....
The West Indian cricketeers are subjected to racial abuse and physical intimidation by the arrogant Aussies , with fast bowlers like Lilee and Thompson pouring fast balls and scorn in equal measure.....

And a gentle giant of a man , the West Indian captain Clive Loyd makes a decisive decision---He would make use of the immense physical strength of the African male to produce his own fast bowlers....and while Australian fast bowlers hunt in pairs , he would outclass them in their own game by producing a quartet of them ; four menacing lethal fast bowling machines that would rain fire on their opponents....fire in Babylon !!

Its not just reform in West Indian cricket but revolution !! A revolution that is set to move the tectonic plates of the world of cricket....
For a sporting superpower is born....

And as speed demons like Andy Roberts , Micheal Holding , Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall unleash their terror on world cricket the accusations begin to fly thick and fast---of having reduced cricket to war , though the west Indians feel that converting it to war is an elevation not a reduction

The movie is a feast for those who enjoy the perverse pleasures of seeing faces and bodies of batsmen reduced to bleeding jelly---for interspersed throughout are such shots from real matches.....

And defying all attempts to introduce new rules to curb their speed and lethality , the deadly foursome continue to rule the game ; first defeating India , then Pakistan , then Australia and then England---all in their home countries .

But for all their deeds there is no moolah.....
It is Kerry Packer the Australian billionaire who gives the devil his due by inviting the world's top cricketeers at what seem to be astronomical amounts of money at that time---changing the financial equations of the game....

And then there is the rebel tour to Apartheid struck South Africa---some black men are willing to barter their honour by playing cricket in the mecca of racism.....
Not so the superstar of cricket Vivian Richards , who refuses a million dollar check to play there , a fact appreciated by Nelson Mandela no less....

Amidst all this mayhem there is no mention of One day cricket even though the West Indies lorded over it by winning two world cups---thats because ( as a cricketeer explains ) it is test cricket which is a real TEST of the endurance of a man ; what sets apart the men from the boys . That why its called TEST cricket---other forms of cricket is for minnows .

And West Indian overlordship of test cricket lasts for 15 years---a source of immense satisfaction to dark denizens of the Caribbean isles who justly gloat that in no other sport has anyone dominated for so long.....

Amen to that....

Verdict on the movie---Good if you are a cricket aficionado .

rating---



Must be doin sumthin right
Just wanted to let you know I'm sitting here alone and I felt compelled to read a few of your reviews out loud to myself. The punctuation... in particular the ellipses... make this the most dramatic review thread ever.



Just wanted to let you know I'm sitting here alone and I felt compelled to read a few of your reviews out loud to myself. The punctuation... in particular the ellipses... make this the most dramatic review thread ever.
Yes....