Month: April 2010

Survi on SIMHA (Telugu) (2010)

  Father hits villain and villain goes into coma and it’s the turn of son to get back villain to a normal and kill him. Sounds cliché, but when you have a tight screenplay with Balayya getting power punch dialogues, roaming around with “Rajamouli Kathi” , dancing, double meaning dialogues with Namitha then it is a feast for mass audience. Director Boyapati Seenu takes up a time tested subject and plays to the gallery. First half deals with the sole aim of establishing heroism and adding songs (Balayya and Namitha). Story is wafer thin and sounds very rotten like Acid Case, Drugs but the way director elevates heroism through these scenes is commendable. The basic advantage of the movie is the way all central characters except Senior Balayya are established in the first half which indirectly create curiosity towards flash back episode. Second half starts with a bang with Narasimha and Balayya gets to deliver some punch dialogues which we have been missing since Lakshmi Narasimha. He is best in business in terms of dialogue delivery and his diction, modulation is outstanding. Highlights: 1. Photography – Reminds of Senthil photography in some action scenes 2. Direction – extracted nice performances from all actors esp. Balayya 3. Editing – the way 2 scenes are correlated in first half is nice 4. Fights – One word. Highlight For all of those...

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Sherlock Holmes

Director Guy Ritchie has an old detective story to thank for being the vehicle that finally showed him some box office success.  Sherlock Holmes, starring the versatile actor Robert Downey, Jr., came out swinging and is another impressive character for Downey to add to his expansive resume. The recent retelling of the famous detective focused on Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson (Jude Law), as they try to solve the mysterious reemergence of presumed dead criminal, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong).  Hanged after performing black magic on citizens of the town, Blackwood is determined to take control of the world with his powers. Holmes is also faced with the appearance of Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), a self-professed criminal, with whom he has a lengthy past.  Adler has more than one reason for reappearing in Holmes’ life and she may end up causing more harm than even she realizes. Downey is a once in a lifetime kind of actor.  He has the ability to play any role thrown at him and with exquisite grace.  His turn as Holmes gave him the opportunity to play an iconic literary character.  He is charismatic, sarcastic and utterly enjoyable to watch in this role.  Downey and Law have a remarkable chemistry onscreen as well.  They played off each other and made it appear effortless.  Law is an intriguing actor, himself.  He definitely held his own against the...

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It’s Complicated

No one tells adult stories quite like director Nancy Meyers does.  She takes real people in grown up relationships and gives them life.  It’s Complicated is another gem from Meyers and stars Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. Jane and Jake (Streep, Baldwin) have been divorced for 10 years when fate (or hormones) throws them back together at their son’s college graduation.  Following a non-stop evening of food, dancing and drinks, the former exes reconnect emotionally and physically.  Once back in reality, Jane and Jake still feel the need to be around one another.  Jake, who cheated on Jane with his now-wife, feels happy and alive when he’s with his ex.  Jake believes that a second go-around with Jane may not be that crazy of a thought.  Jane enjoys feeling vibrant again; she is finding it exciting to step outside of her comfort zone as well.  The past problems with Jake are not far from her mind though and she is hesitant about going any further with him. Complicating matters are their three adult children, who are on the verge of finding out what their parents have been up to.  In addition, Jane is starting to fall for Adam (Martin), the architect who’s working on the renovation of her home.  After Adam experiences a  too close for comfort encounter with Jake, he begins to reconsider his new-found relationship with...

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‘Pontypool’ really surprised me. I had heard the premise before watching it, but I was still amazed by the originality and slanted take on the zombie-genre. The film takes place in a small Canadian town called Pontypool, where Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) works as a radio DJ with his two producers Sydney Briar (Lisa Houle) and Laurel-Ann Drummond (Georgina Reilly). During the course of his radio show, Mazzy starts receiving reports from their roaming reporter of acts of violence being perpetrated by zombie-like rioters, all chanting random sentences. As the radio show continues, Mazzy learns of an infection spreading throughout the town, but it isn’t the regular zombie outbreak of people biting each other etc., the infection is in the words people are speaking and the names they call each other. This leaves Mazzy and his staff with the choice between warning the outside world, but risking infection, or do they stop speaking and live? The premise alone allows ‘Pontypool’ to have the unique element of hardly showing anything happening, and yet still being incredibly threatening. The entire film is shot in one location; the basement of a church in the middle of Pontypool, and this only adds to the tension. The film gets increasingly claustrophobic as the infection slowly makes itself known and more reports are called in from their ‘Eye in the Sky’. The calls describing the...

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Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

I recently had the good fortune of being invited along for a special presentation from Disney in the Odeon section of The Printworks in Manchester, UK.  Whilst there, my colleagues and I were given previews of their upcoming films such as Nick Cage vehicle “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, the first in a proposed trilogy “Tron: Legacy” and the video-game adaptation “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”. The first looked quite entertaining, which is a big thing for a Nick Cage-hater like me to say. The second looked fantastic, and the broad outlook that Disney had for this franchise was just staggering, if slightly overwhelming. The third on the list actually looked well-presented, enjoyable and fun to watch. And I wasn’t wrong in my assumptions. The overall film was quite a spectacle. Prince centres on the rags-to-riches Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), an orphaned ‘street-rat’ who becomes adopted by a kind King and is treated as if his own son. Some years later, Dastan and his brothers lead a siege against a local Holy City due to the reports of them harbouring some weapon of mass destruction (veiled metaphor for something maybe?). In the rush to protect their sacred relic, a mystical dagger, it falls into Dastan’s hands, as does the fate of the world. The dagger can control time by rewinding the past for a minute to right wrongs. But...

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