Girl with Dragon Tattoo – First Trailer – Kickass Background Score

Here’s a kickass trailer from this years ‘feel-bad’ Christmas release. First of the Millenium Trilogy –  ‘Girl with Dragon Tattoo’ starring Rooney Mara as the one and only Lisbeth Salander. If you haven’t read the 3 books by late swedish author Stieg Larsson then go and read them now.

My reviews of all 3 books are on this blog, find them.

First of the movie ‘Girl with Dragon Tattoo’ is directed by David Fincher, of Social Network, and  releases on 21st December 2011. The movie also stars Bond star Daniel Craig as the journalist Mikael Blomqvist and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander looks perfect.

The trailer is cut wonderfully giving you the entire movie in split second shots and it is set to the Trent Reznor and Karen O’s cover of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song. Oh what a background score !!! 

I just cant get it out of my head.

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Easy A – Smart and Adorable

How does a typical American college/ high school movie work? ? There is this cool looking school/ college with lots of young people strutting around in minimal to decent clothings doing basically nothing. Listening to music, running around, playing ballgames, ogling at girls etc. They do everything but attempt to study. In comes a stranger, a loner to begin with who is ridiculed for being a geek or somewhat different in his/her fashion and style. He befriends some nice people and then tries to be more popular by finding supposedly even better people. Gets involved with hot partner of opposite sex, changes himself/ herself , almost overnight changes happen to his/her life. There are parties and lots of booze and sex and everything you associate with young crowd. Almost forgets his old pals and then by the end realization dawns, he/she re-aligns to his/ her old style, finds the forgotten path and goes back to older friends and also ends up with hot looking girl or guy respectively and thats how we end a college  movie. A typical date movie as they call it.

Easy A , starring Emma Stone follows more or less the same path except that its witty and Olive played superbly by Emma Stone isn’t half as dumb as most leads in college movies. She is a simple girl who in an attempt to grab attention lies about losing virginity and then the news spreads faster than a wildfire and everybody in high school assumes she is a slut and then she continues her act to remain popular and also to help others. She does wrong things, tells more lies, tarnishes her own reputation and fakes sexual encounters only for the greater good of other people in return for some lousy gift coupons.  She knows she is doing it all wrong and wants to correct it all but she has to carry her act of portraying herself as school slut without actually doing sex just as to protect his friends and teachers reputations and families.

Of course everything gets corrected by the end and it ends the same way as most college movies. The difference here being the script which keeps you hooked in telling the story in a novel way and the best part about the movie is its lead actress Emma Stone,  who gives a breakthrough performance in the movie and literally shoulders the entire movie. She looks good and acts even better. The supporting cast of Stanely Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Amanda Bynes,  Thomas Haden Church and Lisa Kudrow  is nice too but Emma Stone announces her arrival on big stage with this film. She is the star to watch out for.

This film directed by Will Gluck is worth a quick DVD watch and I would recommend it when you dont need anything heavy to watch and just some light hearted fun.

My Ratings: 7/10 –  Smart and Adorable movies with witty dialogues and fantastic acting by Emma Stone

Tintin Trailer – Blistering Barnacles

Here’s the first teaser trailer of the most awaited Christmas 2011 release, ‘ The Adventures of Tintin – Secret of the Unicorn’ in 3d directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg. The Live action – animated adventure made with motion capture technology stars Jamie Bell as the reporter Tintin and Daniel Craig as evil Red Reckham.

The trailer looks fantastic and everything looks exactly like we know from the comic books including Tintin’s face. The animation does give a slightly different and edgier look though.

Cant wait for the film to release.

Rio – For the Kids…

Animated movies have been revolutionized since Pixar and 3d and advancement in technology. Rio is the latest animated movie coming out of Fox studios. It is the movie from the creators of Ice Age and its sequels and is directed by the same director Carlos Saldhana. Carlos who hails from Brazil has not left any stone unturned in showcasing his native land, its people and its culture.

Rio is actually about a rare species of Blue Macaws. Blu ( voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) is a clever blue macaw domesticated in Minnesota and has lived all his life with humans, has never seen a jungle other than books  and loves his cage. But Blu is the last of the male of its species with last of the female Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathway) in Rio,  Brazil. The story is about Blue visiting Jewel in Rio amongst the beautiful surroundings of the city Rio. The pair of Macaws meet, fight, run away, get captured by bird theives and rescued by their wonderful friends and helped by many other friendly animals and birds. The story shows every aspect of Rio’s culture, its samba dances, bike ride through its narrow bylanes, its sunny beaches, its trams and mountain peaks and adventurous people paragliding around the Jesus Christ the Redeemer Statue, some rogue guys, bird-thieves, beautiful rain forest wildlife and in the end the extravaganza of the Carnival. The movie is set to superbly crafted rhythms and is as colorful as any movie can be. The aerial sequences and dances are worth the ticket price and the overall animation is top-notch. Rio is surely a magical place and made me feel like visiting it more after watching the movie.

The movie is an enjoyable ride for the kids of all ages and although the emotional quotient is not on par with many Pixar films but it is never dull or boring at any point either. The characters are all lovable. Some of the jokes are suitable for grown up audience although none being adult in nature. Get some kids along when you watch this. It is best watched in a large movie hall full of squeaking and screaming children.

My Ratings –  7/10 for the movie and 8/10 for colorful animation and superb voice overs by the leads.

Cashback – Time Freezing

Cashback is a little British film released few years ago. It was originally a short film nominate for the Oscars, which it didnt win. The film was expanded later to make a full fledged romantic comedy by the director Sean Ellis retaining the same caste and literally adding backstories, flashbacks, character stories to enhance the plot.

The film is about a budding artist Ben Willis who undergoes a painful breakup with his girlfriend and just cannot stop thinking about her. He keeps thinking about it and just loses sleep at night. He simply cannot sleep and then decided to use the extra night hours by working at a supermarket. There he encounters various characters and meets Sharon. He realizes how time means different things to different people.  How everybody just plays the time and does their own thing to pass time. How his colleagues fool around the supermarket and boss does inane things and Sharon doesn’t look at the time so that it passes faster. He begins to admire Sharon but his mind still cannot concentrate on his work and just meanders along. In this he develops the ability to freeze time or he imagines to freeze time where he can then just walk around people who have paused, especially beautiful women, admire them, strip them and paint them.  He begins to start enjoying his time-freezing act and then he begins to like Sharon more and more and begins to ‘not remember’ his ex and then finally when they kiss, a bit awkwardly, he finally connects more with her and then  he sleeps for the first time in weeks. There is of course that misunderstanding and getting back the lost love, like a standard rom-com. By the end the two leads are shown to be together having frozen time and enjoying the romance.

In between the film has lot of side-stories about various colleagues of Ben and his past and his earlier crushes and his slightly mental boss and his casanova friend. But mostly its about Ben. His voice over throughout the film makes it special and interesting. His ability to freeze time is a dream of every person I guess. As we say ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and the director shows this superbly when he introduces Sharon as just an ordinary girl whom you wouldnt give a second look and then slowly she beings to appear more and more beautiful and glamorous in the film as Ben falls for her and begins to like her. The movie is entirely from Ben’s eyes and what he sees and feels. Its about how he deals with lost love and finding love.

The film is a light romantic comedy and although it involves time freezing, it isn’t a science fiction. But the film is a different kind of romantic comedy then what we see dished out regularly from the Hollywood. The film has lots of nudity and foul language but it is advised to watch the unrated film to truly understand that the nudity shown in the movie is not for the sake of erotica but is shown as an artist’s viewpoint on his subjects. Only an artist can admire true beauty of a woman. The film is technically brilliant too and is beautifully shot, especially the scenes in which time and characters freeze and Ben moves around. The movie is a visual delight and also the soothing voice over gives it a warm feeling.

The actors are not well known but Sean Biggerstaff does a wonderful job as Ben Willis and Emilia Fox as Sharon is quite adapt too. Michelle Ryan as Suzie is shrill and doesn’t have much role but to shout and create confusion. Other supporting actors are nice and believable too.

My Ratings – 8/10 –  Watch it for the beautiful and different take on romantic comedy genre. The director is one to watch out for.

Love and Other Drugs – Hard Sell

Love and Other Drugs is a recent movie starring Jake Gyllenhall and Anne Hathway directed by Edward Zwick. It is a movie which starts of a romantic comedy and becomes a serious romantic drama by the end with themes as varied as Phamaceutical Marketing, Parkinson’s disease and the mismatched but free-spirited couple who cant help falling in love.

Jake Gyllenhall plays a marketing guy who can sell anything to anyone, especially if that anyone is a woman. He is a natural charmer, smooth talking casanaova who doesn’t hesitate to bed his customer and undercut his opponent to sell. He is a Medical Representative for Pfizer trying to sell anti-depressant drugs to the Doctors and trying them to prescribe his drug over the rival’s more successful one. He meets Anne Hathway suffering from early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease,  a free spirited woman who is perhaps the first one not to fall for him. As it happens the two gets attracted towards each other and have endless rounds of sex and fun but are wary of commitment or their own reasons.

The film starts of with a fast pace and shows the cut-throat pharmaceutical market of prescription drugs in America and how doctors and medical representative gang up for their mutual benefits. The film changes tracks into a romantic drama and concentrates on the sex-affair between the leads and onset of Parkinson’s disease in Anne Hathaway’s character Maggie Murdoch.  Jake Gyllenhall’s Jamie Randall tries his best to get a cure for the incurable disease and helplessly falls in love with her but Maggie does not want anyone’s support in her life. The launch of sex-drug Viagra propels Jamie as one of the leading and most popular medical rep translating into a promotion to Chicago. But he realizes how much he desires Maggie, Jamie lets go that and in the end the couple is seen to be living together.

The film is strictly okay for a one time watch and promised lot more in the first half but settles into an ordinary romantic drama by the end. Anne Hathaway acts powerfully and is completely uninhibited. Jake Gyllenhaal perfectly suits as the charming, smooth talking casanova sales representative. The movie is quite well shot but feels slightly longer and dragging by the end. The movie has some real strong and bold sex scenes and situations and its safe to assume that this movie would never release formally in Indian theaters.

My Ratings – 6.5/ 10 –  Watch it for sizzling chemistry between the leads and a nice inside view of the murky pharmaceutical market of America

Why Oscars were big fail ?

Oscars are an annual party to reward the best of the Hollywood cinema. It is a glitzy affair featuring biggest of stars and Hollywood big shots walking down the red carpet. The nominations itself are much hyped about a month back and then the actual award ceremony is one of the biggest event ever and highly covered by television networks.

This year the Academy decided to take a chance by giving the prestigious job of hosting to two young stars James Franco and Anne Hathaway. Both big stars in their own way as Oscars wanted to attract the ‘younger demographic’ as they say. But the efforts of James Franco and Anne Hathaway fell largely flat, their jokes were simply amateurish, the drama was like a school play and they were generally off-key. They were so unbearable at times that moment Billy Crystal or Oprah Winfrey came on stage people were hoping that they would take over the hosting. The line ‘Sajid Khan would have done a better job’ says it all.

The ceremony itself felt long and boring with nothing exciting happening for long period of time. Most of the awards were a no-contest and were almost decided long back. There were hardly any surprises there too and whatever surprises were there, they were more like a shock. The Box office successes are very rarely rewarded by the Oscars and mostly the drams and tragedies win the bigger prizes and this year the case remained the same. ‘Inception’ , people’s favorite and box office conquerer was largely ignored in bigger categories and it was awarded the technical awards mostly to compensate for that. Most people expected ‘The Social Network’ to win one of the bigger award that of best film or best actor or best director but it didn’t win any of those. Toy story 3 was suppose to win the best animated film award even before the nominations were announced.

Thus there were hardly anything worth looking forward to. There were no controversies either, with the trouble brewing in the Arab world we expected lot more Political statements as well from the nominated big-wigs and winners but there were hardly any interesting speeches. There was no wardrobe-malfunction either  🙂

All in all it was a dull and boring award ceremony. Hopefully next year we’ll have better hosts and more deserving films would win.

Atlas Shrugged – Trailer

Here’s a Movie I never knew was being made and its about to be released on 15th April 2011. The movie is based on Ayn Rand bestseller ‘Atlas Shrugged’. This movie is the first part of the 2 part series.

Based on Ayn Rand’s epic 1957 novel, ATLAS SHRUGGED PART ONE plots the collapse of American society after “men of the mind” (thinkers, industrialists, scientists, artists and other innovators) go “on strike” and vanish. Taylor Schilling plays the powerful character of Dagny Taggart, a railroad heiress. The first part is about discovering ‘Who is John Galt?’

Here is the trailer.

The Company Men – Gloom and Hope

The Company Men is a Hollywood  film about men living the great American dream in a recessionary world. It is a recession drama about corporate downsizing which affects lives of people who not only lose their jobs but their homes, marriages and the respect of their children and a self dignity.

The films has Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones,  Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner in a saga about corporate downsizing directed by John Wells. The movie begins by showing lifestyles of high salaried individuals living their ‘american dream’ life with large villas and suburban homes and flashy cars and expensive suits. The downsizing hits them like a big shock and their lives change almost overnight and slowly and slowly it deteriorates and affects their personal life, family, kids and everybody around them. The movie shows how each man copes with the embarrassment of not being able to support their families. The shame of sitting jobless for weeks and months and inability to come to terms with their future.

Ben Affleck’s life goes topsy-turvy when he is loses job and realizes he cannot afford his lavish lifestyle, plush house, golf membership, porsche and cannot support childeren as well. He searchs frantically for job everywhere and with everyone but is unable to find anything suitable. His brother in law Kevin Costner offers him a blue collar job of a carpenter along with him at a measly pay which he initially refuses but is later forced to join just to keep his life running.  Tommy Lee Jones who had been reduced from no. 2 man in the company to a jobless man by downsizing is less affected as he already has his millions by then but Chris Cooper’s character cannot fathom the failure and inability to support his college going kids and alcoholic wife and commits suicide. How these people deal with joblessness is the core of the “The Company Men.” The movie for most times shows doom and gloom but also ends up showing the rays of hope in the end.

The movie is very well shot and directed and acting by the leads is top-notch. The movie has a slowish pace and you can almost compare this movie with last years ‘ Up in the Air’ which had a similar theme of downsizing in corporate world during recessionary times and had a similar pace. Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones stand out. Kevin Costner has a smallish role and I wonder why he did the not so significant part.?

Overall the movie is worth a watch and its 100 minute length doesn’t make it a long watch either.

My Ratings :  8/10 –  Its not a perfect film but still a great watch to understand the struggles of men who have been fired.

127 Hours – What a Legend !!

127 Hours by Danny Boyle starring James Franco is an experience you should not miss it at any cost.

The above line could summarize my entire review of the film 127 Hours. But the movie is lot more than one thinks. The movie is based on true events of mountaineer Aaron Ralston who in 2003 on a bike cum mountaineering trip in Utah’s canyons gets trapped inside a crevice. His right hand gets tuck under a rock which refuses to move an inch and he remains trapped like that without any help, with little water and food to survive for 127 hours that is about 5 days and more. He ultimately emerges out of the place by amputating his right hand and climbing his way back up before being rescued by some other adventurers.  It is one hell of a story of a fighting survivor, who fights against all odds and never gives up.

Just thinking about being stuck in a canyon for days without food and water and with your hand stuck under a rock gives us shivers. Imagine living it and actually coming out of it after cutting our own hand and surviving the entire episode. The scenario is what nightmares are made of. Aaron Ralston did all that and more. He continued his ‘never-say-die’ attitude in life, continued mountaineering and even went to the same canyon once again just to pay tribute to his lost hand.

The scene in which he amputates his hand is not for the faint hearted and you as an audience actually cringe at that sight. The director makes you feel everything what James Franco as Aaron goes through. The state of his mind, the hallucinations, the erotic dreams, the body behavior. Everything is captured in a perfect way. The movie does remind one of the fantastic ‘Castaway’ featuring Tom Hanks stranded on an island for years and surviving it. This movie is similar in the theme to that where the lead never gives up the hope of survival and fights through pain to survive the ordeal.

James Franco as Aaron Ralston is just brilliant and you just cant imagine anyone else in his place. He lives the role and deserves every accolade he gets. Danny Boyle’s direction is nice and he captures the vast expanse of Utah canyons and top angle shots beautifully to make one feel the loneliness of the character and his amazing will to fight. The detailing is quite brilliant. The story is simple and is aided by decent and energetic background score by A R Rehman, although I did find the score bit jarring at times and breaking suddenly at other times.

Overall its a movie one should not miss just to see the triumph of a hero. Aaron Ralston is a true hero, he is a legend !!

My Ratings-  8.5/10 –  Unmissable Movie for the sheer energy of James Franco and a never say die attitude of Aaron Ralston