Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Movie Review of Milk

Milk - 7/10
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Cast - Sean Penn,James Franco,Diego Luna,Josh Brolin

Plot Summary
The story of California's first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor who was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by San Francisco Supervisor Dan White.

Ever since I am Sam,I never liked Sean Penn.He over exaggerated his acting as a retard(Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder was right!) and the guy is just too serious.He was good in Mystic Rivers and he is a fuckall director(FUCK! Into The Wild).So when I was checking out this movie called Milk and found out that Sean Penn was the lead in the movie,I decided to give it a miss even without finding out who the director day when a couple of friends of mine told me to check out the movie Milk because to them it was fantastic.For a moment,I thought they were Sean Penn fans or something.But when they told me Milk is directed by Gus Van Sant and that is when i knew it will be a mistake if i still gave this movie a miss.Gus Van Sant is just one of those directors,you just have to watch.There are great ones like Goodwill Hunting and Elephant and there were shit like Last days and To die for.Still...for his unique style of direction,you have to watch his films.
So I went to watch Milk on a weekend without doing any research about the character or the story,and hoping this would be a good one from Gus Van Sant while still hating Sean Penn.I was pleasantly surprised that this movie wasn't a total fuck up,it had a lot of great moments and a few fucked up ones.
I'll start with the fucked up ones first.The most obvious being is the colouring for this movie.the treatment was not done nicely.There are some shots which are supposed to be in the 70's timeline hence the colouring has to be little faded but unfortunately I found it to be way too grainy therefore from one scene to the next despite the timeline,there is no smooth continuity.
Editing also wasn't done properly but i figured that's because there are different types of shots and cinematography used.
Here are the positive points from Milk.Gus Van Sant's direction was fantastic.The unique thing he did was putting together actual archive footages into this film.The camera works were good,you can see lots of great angles of the actors doing their thing.
Script was great.There are loads of funny and inspirational quotes.Acting is just simply brilliant.Despite how much I hate Sean Penn,he did a very good job as the main lead,Harvey Milk.He even managed to look like him,getting prosthetic nose and teeth,contact lens.He even redesigned his hairline to make him look like the real Harvey Milk(make up done by Stephan Dupuis).The supporting cast also did a great job.James Franco as Harvey Milk's lover and close friend has very good chemistry with Sean Penn.They really do look like they are in love and all.Diego Luna who is a very underrated actor(He was great in Y Tu Mama Tambien) acted as Milk's possessive lover was also good.

All in all,I recommend everyone to watch Milk,even though if you are a homophobic heterosexual,watch it for the fantastic acting.

Best Quote
Harvey Milk: My name is Harvey Milk and I'm here to recruit you!
State Senator John Briggs: It's time to root them out. Tom Ammiano: And how are you going to determine who's a homosexual? State Senator John Briggs: My bill outlines procedures for identifying homosexuals. Tom Ammiano: How? Will you be sucking them off?

Harvey Milk: If it were true that children emulate their teachers, we'd have a lot more nuns running around.

Recommended movies by the directorGoodwill Hunting
My own Private Idaho

Movie Review of Ghost Town

Ghost Town - 4.5/10
Directed by David Koepp
Cast - Ricky Gervais,Greg Kinnear,Tea Leoni

Plot Summary
Bertram Pincus, is a man whose people skills leave much to be desired. When Pincus dies unexpectedly, but is miraculously revived after seven minutes, he wakes up to discover that he now has the annoying ability to see ghosts.

After watching the trailer and reading the synopsis,I thought to myself this could very much be a remake of Ghost minus the romance and all that shit.Sadly after watching this movie,even Ghost was funnier.
Ricky Gervais was extremely funny in his own series,The Office and Extras.His choice of movie roles however,are just plain bad.
Half the time,all you could hear him is mumbling.He shouldn't be doing a main role,I feel Gervais is much better in supporting roles.Greg Kinnear on the other hand wasn't so bad.Tea Leoni seemed alittle confused at times.
Script for this movie was good.There were quite abit of funny lines but just the deliverance wasn't there.Editing for this movie was pretty ok.Cinematography could have been alittle better and the camera works were simply ok.There were a few loopholes in the plot.And the story telling wasn't really smoothly told.Good beginning,draggy middle and a really rushed end.

Dont bother...wait for the DVD even if you are a fan of Ricky Gervais.

Best Quotes
Hospital Nurse: [after Bertram's colonoscopy] Come back soon. Bertram Pincus: What a terrible thing to say in a hospital.

Bertram Pincus: All work and no play makes Jack- a vital member of society.

Recommended movies by the director
Secret Window (Johnny Depp)
Stir of Echoes (Kevin Bacon)

Movie Review of The Punisher Warzone

Punisher Warzone - 5/10
Directed by Lexi Alexander
Cast - Ray Stevenson, Dominic West,Doug Hutchinson,Julie Benz

Plot Summary
After hunting down and killing hundreds of violent criminals, Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, faces his most deadly foe yet: Jigsaw.

The Punisher has and will always be my favourite comic character.I have been reading his comics for a long time now.So far there has been 2 different Punisher movies.The first was Dolph Lundgren.The first movie was good,Lundgren did a good Frank Castle(Punisher) but halfway through, the movie lost the plot and it became stupid.The 2nd movie was Thomas Jane as Frank Castle and Travolta as the bad guy.This was a fucking stupid movie from the get go.I forced myself to finish the movie sadly.I knew it when you have an actor with a girly name like Thomas JANE to act as The Punisher,you are just asking for it.It was at this point of time i thought to myself that Marvel Studios will probably never make a proper Punisher movie.So when I started hearing news about making another Punisher movie,I was of course excited.After reading the synopsis and watching the trailer,I was convinced that Ray Stevenson(Titus from the TV series Rome) would make a more convincing Frank Castle.And to be honest,he does it pretty well.Frank in the comics has always been a no remorse,kill everyone don't bother asking questions kinda guy and Stevenson does it pretty well for the movie.
Dominic West(Mcnulty from the TV series The Wire) on the other hand did a rather lame version of the Jigsaw.The transition from Billy Russoti to Jigsaw was too rushed and not believable.Julie Benz(Rita from the TV series Dexter) was god awful.
Don't really bother about cinematography and camera works because it's pretty much done as a B grade movie.Lexi Alexander kinda lost the plot when she was directing this movie.Everything seemed rushed.Editing was shit the only good thing about this movie are the kill have a lot of bodies,blood and bullets all over the fuck place and a few fantastic kill scenes which would make u go"what the fuck?!!!" and then you will laugh about it...(I did).
Apart from that,I wish that Marvel Studios would make yet another Punisher movie but perhaps with better villains and a better director of course and just keep the violence.ha ha.

Watch this movie only if you are a fan of the Punisher if not just watch it on a weekday.

Best Quotes
Frank Castle: Sometimes I would like to get my hands on God.

Billy Russoti: Billy's dead. Call Me Jigsaw. [Followed by an awkward silence]

Billy Russoti: [talking to Grace] Would you like to pray to an imaginary friend too?

Recommended movies by the director
Green Street Hooligans

Movie Review of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 7/10
Directed by David Fincher
Cast - Brad Pitt,Cate Blanchett,Julia Ormond

Plot Summary
Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

There were numerous directors and actors attached to this movie since 1994 till it was finally decided that David Fincher and Brad Pitt did this movie.David Fincher has always been one of my favourite directors,I will watch no matter who is acting in or what is the story about.As you can see there is a long list of recommended movies from him.
Now after reading the synopsis of this movie,I found the story rather strange and unusual and immediately thought that Tim Burton will be directing this movie.So when I found out that it was David Fincher who is directing this,I was sketical.Because for strange,quirky stories like Benjamin Button,you definitely need a strange,quirky director like Tim Burton.Now don't get me wrong,Fincher did a good job on Benjamin Button but he doesn't have the touch for movies like this unlike Tim Burton.
Fincher's direction as usual was top notch.The editing too was good.Cinematography was decent as well.Camera works were normal.Make up on the other hand wasn't consistent.Sometimes the make up would looks great on the actors and sometimes just plain and fake also.Apparently there was some CGI done also.
Acting was pretty good especially the supporting cast.I have always enjoyed watching Brad Pitt's movies and I will continue to do so.Cate Blanchett are one of those actresses who just reminds me of Meryl Streep.Strong willed and can really act according to character.Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett have very good chemistry together.They were fantastic in Babel but unfortunately for this movie,there were few scenes,they appeared rather distant.
But overall,it is a good movie to watch..heartwarming and touching.There are a few Forest Gump like moments as well.

A feel good movie to watch.Worth watching on a weekend.

Best Quote
Benjamin Button: My name is Benjamin Button, and I was born under unusual circumstances. While everyone else was agin', I was gettin' younger... all alone.

Daisy: Would you still love me if I were old and saggy? Benjamin Button: Would you still love ME if I were young and had acne? Or if I end up wetting the bed?

Recommended movies by the director
Fight Club
Panic Room

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Movie Review of Frost/Nixon

Frost/Nixon - JZ: 8/10 Subash: TBC
Directed by Ron Howard
Cast - Frank Langella, Michael Sheen

Plot Summary
Electrifying all in one -inclusive interview battle between Richard Nixon, the disgraced president with a legacy to save, and David Frost a jet-setting television personality with a name to make. Confronting questions of Nixon's time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency.

This film is based on a historic event and taken from a play by the British sscreenwriter and dramatist Peter Morgon. It's subject is the series of televised Frost/Nixon interviews that former US President Richard Nixon granted David Frost in 1977. I would say this interview is like to 2 chess players, 1 trying to drive the opponent completely into a corner to submission while the other trying to trap the opponent into a checkmate.

The direction of the film is slighty above average in my opinion. Managed to give a brief introductory description of what happen to President Nixon and how the story slowly developed from Frost and then to Nixon. The main portion and focus on the show is the interview. The camera work is average I guess.

It seems that Nixon's role is the main focus point and hence the acting opportunity for the rest of the cast is minimal. Frank and Michael are the 2 main people to pay attention to as they managed to get into their characters and played them out really well.

Frank Langella reprising his role as Nixon from a play which Peter Morgon produced. Frank did a excellent job from his mannerisms to his expressions. Frank has won awards for his performance as Nixon in Morgon's play and is currenlty nominated for the 66th Golden Globe awards for his performance in this film.

Michael Sheen who is also reprising his role from the play also has also won a award in it. He did a good job in this film

Worth to watch this on a weekend.

Best Quotes
David Frost:Are you really saying the President can do something illegal?
Richard Nixon:I'm saying that when the President does it, that means it's *not* illegal!
David Frost: ...I'm sorry?

Recommend movies by director
A beautiful Mind
Apollo 13
Far and Away
Cinderalla man

Friday, January 2, 2009

Movie Review of Australia

Australia - 7/10
Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Cast - Nicole Kidman,Hugh Jackman,David Wenham,Brandon Walters

Plot Summary
Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.

I have not exactly been a fan of Baz Luhrmann's works.I guess its because I am not a fan of musicals and Moulin Rouge! irritated the shit out of me.It also took me a long while to catch Romeo + Juliet because back then,Leo Dicaprio was still a cunt.So when Australia came out,I wasn't really excited about it cause I thought it's gonna be a musical.But after reading a few articles about the movie,I became curious.
With a budget of about 150 million bucks,Baz did the movie,the old fashioned way.Old school,film noir,epic,romance(think of Casablanca).The movie took about 9 months to finish and still had some reshoots in mid 2008.About 1500 wild horses were used for this movie as well.
Initially the late Heath Ledger was supposed to be the male lead in this movie but he backed out to do the Dark Knight(which was a good choice).Russell Crowe took over and he wanted more money out of this,so the studios told him to fuck off and they got Hugh Jackman instead.Now Hugh Jackman has never been a favourite actor of mine in fact the fella cant act for nuts.The only movie I was impressed by his acting was Christopher Nolan's The Prestige.Surprisingly,he was pretty ok in this one.Nicole Kidman on the other hand I felt over exaggerated her acting but then again over exaggerated acting could be required for doing a film like this.It was also a pleasant surprise to see Bryan Brown(of Cocktail fame) who did a decent job as King Carney.The scene stealer is of course the aboriginal kid,Brandon Walters.The boy has the most soulful eyes ever.He was a natural in acting,and it doesn't seem like this is his first time acting.Now I do not know much about the Aboriginal culture but they have a wonderful way of talking in english.And Brandon Walters does it beautifully.He was a very lovable character and the story revolves around him.The worst actor was David Wenham(Faramir of Lord of the Rings),despite him being an Australian,he has a horrible accent and sometimes becomes confused in his character.
Cinematography was beautiful.There are lots of scenes where the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful.Camera works was excellent as well,lots of crane shots in it.You can see clearly a lot of money was invested for this.Direction was pretty good.Costume and make up were not so good.There is one scene where u can clearly see the girl who is not Aborigine but has very bad make up on her to make the audience think she is.Silly mistakes like that for a high budget movie is unacceptable.CGI was downright horrible.After making right with so many things,the least you could do was have some decent CGI.Editing could have done abit more as the movie was just too damn long! Almost 3 fucking hours! There are quite a few unnecessary scenes which could have been edited out.

Despite that,I would still recommend the movie for a good bit of escapism and of course Brandon Walters.Worth watching on a weekend.

Best Quotes
Drover: Welcome to Australia!
Nullah: Mrs. Boss! We gotta get those fat cheeky bulls into that big bloody metal ship!

Recommended movies by the director
Romeo + Juliet
Moulin Rouge!