Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Movie Review of Valkyrie

Valkyrie - 6.5/10
Directed by Bryan Singer
Cast - Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh,Bill Nighy,Eddie Izzard,Tom Wilkinson

Plot Summary
Based on actual events, a plot to assassinate Hitler is unfurled during the height of WWII.

Review
I have always been a big fan of movies based on World War 2 and especially if it is about the Nazis.Furthermore,Tom Cruise(whom I wouldn't say is my favourite actor but an actor whose movies have a good entertainment value to it) is in it.Bryan Singer is the director.Singer whose only movie I can say was his best was The Usual Suspects.His other mediocre ones were of course X-men and X-men 2.The worst shit he has done is none other than Superman Returns.It is so fucking bad,that if Christopher Reeve was still alive,he would definitely shove a kryptonite so far up Singer's ass,even Lex Luthor would cringe and go..DDDDamn!
Now back to Valkyrie,Let me start with the biggest problem of this movie first.I have said it before and I will say it again.If a movie is based in a country,the best a director should do is make the actors speak in that country's language,or just do the accent.The very least the actors can do is speak the lines in English but with GERMAN accents not BRITISH or AMERICAN accents!!! It just sounds fucking ridiculous and I find it totally unacceptable.Sadly there are some scenes,where the accents be it British or American were so unbearable,you as the viewer will definitely feel irritated.I sure as hell did. I even nearly burst out in laughter when some of the actors did the Nazi salute.
Another movie which would have been better if not for the accents was Enemy At the Gates.Now if only Valkyrie followed what The Reader did.I would definitely enjoyed more and given a higher rating.

Casting for this movie is rather unusual.Cruise as Claus Von Stauffenberg was ok..nothing fantastic.But I just wanted to slap him when he did the Nazi salute and shouted "Heil Hitler!".Even Bill Nighy did not really act well and he has this weird walk which he does in Love Actually too and sometimes it seems like he is gonna break into a song from Wet Wet Wet.Eddie Izzard whom I was surprised to see in a serious role,did a commendable job. And Kenneth Branagh wasn't bad either but I really liked Tom Wilkinson's acting the best(apart from the accent of course).The worst of cos are the actors portraying,Goebbels,Himmler,Goering and Hitler.Hitler looks like Tim Roth as the fucking hunchback of Notre Dame and he has a fucking English accent!What the casting department should have done is get a German actor to portray Hitler at least.
The camera works was not really up to standard and the cinematography was just so so.Editing was pretty average and the direction was plain.The pace of the movie was good.and the suspense despite everyone knowing the outcome was indeed really good.Singer did a good job on this part at least.The script was ok as well.The set designs are really beautiful and the colour treatment is really good.
Worth watching on a weekday..definitely not on a weekend.but my advice is..if you really want to watch a good movie about Hitler's last days,I suggest you watch the movie Der Untergang(Downfall).

The Fuhrer will not be pleased if you watch this movie on a weekend.haha..I just felt like saying that.

Best Quote
Col. Claus von Stauffenberg: [after being informed Hitler is meeting Benito Mussolini for lunch] Will Mussolini be at the briefing? Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel: We should be so lucky. Then some ambitious young officer might do us a favor and shoot the Dago bastard!

Adolf Hitler: Do you recognize my voice? Major Otto Ernst Remer: Yes, my fuhrer.

Col. Claus von Stauffenberg: Long live sacred Germany!

Recommended movies done by the director
The Usual Suspects
X-Men
Apt Pupil

Movie Review of Slum Dog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire - 7/10
Directed by Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan(India)
Cast - Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Freida Pinto

Plot Summary
The story of the life of an impoverished Indian teen Jamal Malik, who becomes a contestant on the Hindi version of "Who Wants to be A Millionaire?", wins, and is then suspected of cheating.

Review
Danny Boyle is one of my top 10 directors.I will watch any movies he has done or will do.His style of storytelling is really breath taking and sure does keeps you stuck in your seat.My favourite Danny Boyle movies are of course Trainspotting and 28 days later.His worst however,is The Beach(Leo Dicaprio).Slumdog isn't what I would call a fucking awesome movie and I certainly wouldn't go apeshit over it either.Yes it has its moments of brilliance and yet it has some really fuckall shit scenes.I really did enjoyed the story and I do find the plot cute yet interesting.Based on the novel,Q and A by Vikas Swarup,Slumdog Millionaire is entertaining,heart warming and has a feel good factor.Yea sure the Indians aren't happy about this movie cause of the apparent derogatory title and Amitabh Bachan hates this movie and all the fucking indians are asking everyone to boycott Slumdog Millionaire.ITS A FUCKING MOVIE FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!! I think the Indians are anal about this because there is no goddamn fucking song and dance and the actors arent jumping around trees like monkies! They even hated the movie about Gandhi just because Ben Kingsley was the lead,despite it being a fantastic film.I say just watch the fucking movie and judge it for yourself.
Casting wise,I would say was ok..despite most of the actors are not popular or anything.The chemistry between Dev Patel's character and Freida Pinto's character pretty much fizzles out whenever they are onscreen.Probably the worst acting award will definitely go to the older Salim character acted by Madhur Mittal.And you also have the never seems to be aging Anil Kapoor as the host.He even manages to say "Fuck" also.which I found it pretty amusing.All the child actors are doing this for the first time and to be honest they did a good job.Apparently,Danny Boyle and the studios set up a trust fund for the kids and all that.
Direction for this movie is good,I wouldn't say its fucking excellent and all,its not one of Boyle's best but its still a good job nevertheless.The colouring for this movie isn't as great as his previous movie,Millions.The pacing for Slumdog is good also.I do like the cinematography and the script as well.

All in all,despite all the awards Slumdog has been winning,I didn't really feel for it.but I would still think its worth watching with yr loved ones during the weekend.Its a feel good movie after all.
Enjoy.

Best Quote
Jamal Malik: If it wasn't for Ram or Allah, we'd still have a mother.

Police Inspector: Doctors... Lawyers... never get past 60 thousand rupees. He's won 10 million. [pause] Police Inspector: What can a slumdog possibly know? Jamal Malik: [quietly] The answers.

Recommended movies by the director
28 days later
Trainspotting
Millions
Shallow Grave

Monday, February 2, 2009

Movie Review of The Reader

The Reader - 8/10
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Cast - Kate Winslet, David Kross,Ralph Fiennes

Plot Summary
Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Burk re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial.

Review
What a fantastic movie this is..Beautiful storytelling with really good,convincing acting.Kate Winslet is really good in this.Years ago if someone told me that Kate Winslet the fat cow from the shit movie Titanic,would be a fantastic actress,I wouldn't have believed it.And here she is.She has done quite a lot of good indie flicks since Titanic and I have nothing but awe and respect for her.She does indeed remind me of a young Meryl Streep.
The casting for this movie is good even when you have Winslet's acting overpowering the movie,the other actors,David Kross and Ralph Fiennes managed to hold out on their own.David Kross is a young German actor who had to learn English for this movie.As the story is based in Germany,all the actors are speaking English with German accents unlike the movie,Enemy at the Gates where you have British actors acting as Russians with British accents and American actors acting as Germans in American accents.Filming had to be halted for David Kross to turn 18 so that the love scenes can be shot.Ralph Fiennes who is really good in taking on depressed,tortured kind of roles does a good job in this as well.
Direction for this movie is really good.there is good flow despite the different time lines occurred.Daldry does a remarkable job in bring out an actor's prowess just like he did with his previous movie,The Hours.Luckily,The Reader is rated R21 so there was no shitty cuts.So its safe to say the editing department did a good job.I also like the camera works done for this film,as it manages to capture the emotions from the actors very well.

A definite worth to watch on a weekend.

Its gonna be a tough fight for the Best Actress Oscar between Kate Winslet(The Reader) and Meryl Streep(Doubt).I was initially rooting for Meryl Streep to win it but after watching Kate Winslet,I really hope she wins it.Go Kate!

Best Quotes
Hanna Schmitz: It doesn't matter what I think. It doesn't matter what I feel. The dead are still dead.

Young Ilana Mather: [Testifying in court] Each of the guards would choose a certain number of women. Hanna Schmitz chose differently.
Judge: In what way differently?
Young Ilana Mather: She had favourites. Girls, mostly young. We all remarked on it, she gave them food and places to sleep. In the evening, she asked them to join her. We all thought - well, you can imagine what we thought. Then we found out - she was making these women read aloud to her. They were reading to her. At first we thought this guard... this guard is more sensitive... she's more human... she's kinder. Often she chose the weak, the sick, she picked them out, she seemed to be protecting them almost. But then she dispatched them. Is that kinder?

Recommended movies by the director
The Hours
Billy Elliot

Movie Review of Doubt


Doubt - 6.5/10

Directed by John Patrick Shanley
Cast - Phillip Seymour Hoffman,Meryl Streep,Amy Adams,Viola Davis

Plot Summary
Set in 1964, Doubt centers on a nun who confronts a priest after suspecting him abusing a black student. He denies the charges, and much of the play's quick-fire dialogue tackles themes of religion, morality and authority.

Review
When I first watched Doubt's Trailer,I was very excited.I couldn't wait to watch 2 acting powerhouses going at each other.With Phillip Seymour Hoffman in one corner and Meryl Streep in the other.After watching the movie,to be honest I was alittle disappointed.Well it was the ending that kinda turned me off.I just felt shortchanged when Meryl Streep's character did a short outburst in the end.Instead of that,Streep's character should have remained in character as before.Besides that,I think Meryl Streep will win the Best Actress award(Oscars) for her role as a strict,no nonsense,terrifying Principal of a Catholic School,Sister Aloysius Beauvier.Streep was so convincing that you will definitely get reminiscances of yourself getting beatings from the discipline master when you were in school.(I did)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman was just fantastic as Father Brendan Flynn.He acted so well,he will get you convinced and make you feel for his character.Though I do not think he will win Best Actor for this year,I will certainly watch any movies,he acts in.
Amy Adams does a good job as Sister James who is innocently caught in a war between Father Flynn and Sister Beauvier.
Viola Davis who acts as Mrs Miller was exceptionally good..for 5 mins.Cause that's all her role was in the movie for.But for that 5 mins,she did a damn good job.
There is nothing fancy so its pretty much simple cinematography and editing.I didn't like the camera works,there are some shots which were rather shaky and there were some shots poorly done as it couldn't capture the emotions from the actors.The plot and script were fucking fantastic,especially the scenes of Hoffman and Streep.
As this movie is based on a play,you will get the feel that you are watching a play instead of a movie.An interesting thing about Doubt is the director,John Patrick Shanley only told Phillip Seymour Hoffman whether he was guilty or not.None of the other actors knew.
Worth watching on a weekend.

Best Quote
Father Brendan Flynn: You have no right to act on your own! You have taken vows, obedience being one! You answer to us! You have no right to step outside the church!
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: I will step outside the church if that's what needs to be done, till the door should shut behind me! I will do what needs to be done, though I'm damned to Hell! You should understand that, or you will mistake me.
Father Brendan Flynn: I can fight you.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier: You will lose.

Recommended movies by the director
Joe vs the volcano