22 05 2013


Dr Strangelove is one of the most prominent and acclaimed Cold war themed movie ever made. It’s about a Nuclear Catastrophe which is initiated by a human error. To add to the damage, same error is reinforced by a machine known as CRM 114 which is originally placed to retard any human interference.And there is another machine in the film called “The Doomsday Machine”,scary as the name sounds,the machine is designed to “scare” humans from ever using a nuclear bomb.If a Nuclear Bomb is used anywhere in the world,the Doomsday machine would trigger the explosion of a nuclear bomb so powerful that it would wipe out the entire life off the earth. A rough example of an oxymoronic idea.

In WarGames, scenario is a bit different. During a surprise drill of a soviet nuclear attack, many military officials do not turn a particular key  to launch a nuclear missile(retaliatory strike), out of fear. This prompts the administration of NORAD to take the “humans out of the loop”. Thus comes WOPR,the supercomputer into the loop. WOPR runs on an artificial intelligence program which runs millions of Conflict scenarios to learn from its mistakes and thus find the best possible outcome to advise the humans. It’s all about winning the nuclear war.

War Operation Plan Response

Matthew Broderick plays David Lightman,an extremely talented but wayward high-school kid who moonlights as a hacker. When he scores a fail grade in biology, he hacks into the school computer and changes his grade to keep him out of the summer school.His girlfriend Jennifer (Ally Sheedy) also benefits from the same endeavor.Being a hacker,we wont see him typing mind numbing codes to hack into a computer,all he do is dial his phone and tada! he gets into school’s computer system.(Its way back in 1983, Remember those dial-up modems?). Thus our academically under achieving kid shows his true talents through the hidden and mysterious world of computers. During one of these adventures he accidentally encounters WOPR. WOPR starts talking to David and he gets intrigued. The Computer invites David to play a game with it.The game they play is called “Global Thermonuclear War”. David picks Soviet Union and thus computer is left with option of U.S as its piece. They start playing and Suddenly the the Big screen in NORAD lights up saying that Soviet has launched Nuclear Missiles.Then what follows is the thrilling part of the movie.

I want to play a game

“I want to play a game”

 The above said thrilling part is really not that thrilling considering that many such man vs machine-turned-villain movies has come since 1983. So passed time has faded the thrill and scare, the movie had in 1983. I said “scare” because I read some accounts of people not buying computers for a long time after seeing this movie way back in 1980s. During that time owning a computer was not really a necessity but just a luxury. And WOPR really gave them a good scare to turn down the ideas to buy this “wonder machine” back then.

Movie starts off brilliantly-underground steel reinforced bunkers,Missiles,launch codes,national emergency etc  but soon the grip loosens when the teenager makes his entry.There is the usual romance and immature mischiefs thrown in and those parts are really poorly written. Plot doesn’t  require David to have a girl friend.Ally Sheedy’s character roams around with our lead as if she is just placed to fill the screen space and yeah, maybe for that lip lock. Only saving grace in terms of character development is David Lightman and to some extent, Dr. John McKittrick.  (Dr. John McKittrick is the scientist who runs and maintains WOPR). Matthew Broderick as David Lightman has done a good job.David is portrayed as  genuinely frightened at what he did and he carries that grave and serious tone perfectly. But rest of cast’s acting is downright mediocre,the worst one is John Wood as Dr. Stephen Falken.

Broderick and Sheedy

Broderick and Sheedy

Martin Brest is a director who has directed some notable films which has want on to become blockbusters. Beverly Hills cop, Midnight run and Scent of a woman are some of his most successful films. He was supposed to direct WarGames but was fired during production due to some altercation with the producers. He was then replaced by John Badham who is noted for directing films like Stake out and Bird on a wire. Even though I am familiar with all these movies,I’ve been benighted about both these directors.After some quick research I found about a little more about Martin Brest. He has an interesting career graft,after directing blockbusters like Midnight run and Beverly Hills Cop,he went on to direct Scent of a woman which garnered rave reviews and got the lead actor Al Pacino his first Best Actor award from the Academy(after 4 previous nominations). the director himself was nominated for the best Director award. Then he hit rock bottom of his career after Gigli (2003) , it was rated as one of the worst movies ever made and turned out to be a bomb at the box office. He is never heard of since then. Not even a single movie. There is a reason why I am taking in detail about Martin Brest.

WarGames NORAD

WarGames NORAD

Martin Brest had a major role in envisioning NORAD control room before he handed over the reigns to John Badham. And that prop is so intricate with details that it was the most expensive set ever built till that time. And it stood out as one of the best things about the movie. And Brest’s version of WarGames was totally different from what Badham crafted. Brest’s version was more darker(According to Badham), something which the plot demands but Badham tried to make it look like an easy-movie with some wacky one liners and unwanted scenes. It’s like Badham wanted it to be somewhere in between a comedy and thriller,but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. What if Martin Brest had completed what he started?.I always have this inclination towards cinematic experiences which explores the dark side. Maybe that’s why I consider the What if scenario! 😀



1. WarGames contain the first ever cinematic reference of the term Firewall.

2.In the film, WOPR runs many war scenario simulations to determine the best possible way to win the nuclear war against the Soviet. Interestingly India-Pakistan war is shown as one of the scenarios through which US can possibly start a skirmish with The Soviet Russia.

WarGames India Pakistan

WarGames India Pakistan


27 12 2012

This poster is in complete contrast to the feel movie gives us. So don’t get fooled by the neon effects!

Looper is one among in my list of highly anticipated movies of 2012. Others are Life of Pi and Django Unchained. I saw Life of Pi but I am yet to write a review because of various reasons. Django Unchained wont release in India till late march! :/ So Looper will do the honours of ending my exodus.

Looper was added to the Movies-I-want-to-see-before-“apocalypse” list only 5 or 6 months ago when I was surfing through the Wikipedia pages!

By 2044, the United States has suffered economic collapse, causing severe social decay and growth in organized crime. In addition, a strange mutation has occurred in 10% of the population, giving them limited telekinetic powers. In 2074 Time travel is invented, but is immediately outlawed. In addition, tracking technology has rendered it nearly impossible to dispose of bodies secretly, so when crime bosses want to eliminate a target they send them back to the past to be killed by “loopers”: hired guns paid in silver to kill whoever is sent to them. When crime bosses want to end a looper’s contract, they send the looper’s future self back to be killed by his past self, called “closing the loop”, where they are given gold instead of silver pay to retire for thirty years before being sent back in time to be killed. (Excerpts from wikipedia)

This is all I have read and I was instantly in the “loop”. Later I heard about Looper being called this decade’s Matrix. Obviously anticipation arose further. Did I like the movie? That depends on how I see the movie.If I saw it as a science fiction movie,I would say the movie is mediocre. On the other hand if I saw it as a character-driven sci-fi drama, I would say the movie is pretty good.First lets see whats wrong with the Sci-Fi element of the movie.

Looper is a laid back sci-fi movie, it is lazy in telling its audience the physics and paradoxes surrounding time travel.Time-Travel is one of the most over-utilized element in science fiction. Cinemas around the globe have seen it right from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court(1921) to and recently in Men in Black 3. People who seriously thought about these movies would know that a script writer can never simply write a Time-Travel centered movie without adding a solid scientific core to the script. Because the time-travel theme offers us with a lot of intricacies,complexities and all those brain numbing paradoxes. Without answering these problems sci-fi films lay flat leaving audience exasperated. Looper’s script writer tries to avoid this by using characters to say dialogues like, “Don’t think about time travel too much,it will fry your brain like eggs” and “I don’t want to talk about time travel shit”. So this is kind of an escapism that the makers thought will make it more like a philosophical film. But the film doesn’t say much about all that either. When you see this movie in the strict sci-fi mentality the movie lags by paces when compared to what other movies has to offer in the similar genre. I am saying all this because the movie is listed as a science fiction film in both IMDB and Wikipedia.

One does not simply Time Travel

One does not simply Time Travel

Even though I didn’t like the sci-fi treatment given to the film,i liked moral dilemmas the characters face through out the film. Movie’s tagline is “Fight your Future,Face your past”. Joseph Gordon-Levitt,the younger Joe(protagonist) has to confront his older self,Bruce Willis from the future. In physical terms,both are the same person but the age and experiences has made the older Joe a very different person, that they now(“now” differs from old joe to present joe. 😀 ) have different goals. The most memorable scene from Looper is the diner scene where Future Joe and Present Joe have a very interesting and witty conversation about their priorities in life. The scene portrays visually and emotionally contrast personalities whose views and aspirations are different because of emotional and physical maturity one attains with age. Its more like those internal conversations we have with our mind about what we should’ve done in the past and what we should have not.


Looper-Diner Scene

Since that diner scene was so exceptional, Its disappointing that the scenarist didn’t bother to expand that Present Joe-Future Joe confrontation further. And Bruce Willis’s character was a bit under-developed.(I might be saying this because I just finished watching the Die Hard 5 trailer and also because of the fact that I am a big fan of Bruce Willis,so you can ignore this :D). So as usual Bruce Willis carries the character with ease,no surprises there. Joseph Gordon-Levitt excels with his superb imitation/embodiment of Bruce Willis and his mannerisms.His portrayal of moral confusion his character endures towards the climax of the film is exceptional.Emily Blunt as Self-Reliant mom shines despite being overshadowed by the two heavy weight male protagonists! Pierce Gagnon as the Future-Villain-to-be kid was awesome! I am pretty sure that if the children in his school has ever seen the movie,he will find it difficult to get some friends or maybe even loose some!(atleast for the next 2-3 years 😀 ) That is the kind of evil-ness he spread whenever he shows those Rainmaker traits! Paul Dano as Present Joe’s companion looks confident and it’s quite difficult to believe he is the same guy that portrayed that lanky nerdy school boy in Girl Next Door.




The make-up artist Kazuhiro Tsuji needs special mention for his great job with prosthetic, converting the long head of  Joseph Gordon-Levitt into the round head similar to Bruce willis! Talking about the Direction,Rian Johnson has done a great job creating a dystopian society which fears its present as well as future! Surprisingly he doesn’t create any insane futuristic  machines which is considered a requisite in most science fiction films. Maybe he thought,his film’s plot doesn’t require any! It may be true,but still for a movie to have that science fiction feel,I think there must be some futuristic tech for the audience to eye candy!

So overall I thought the movie was somewhere between mediocre and pretty good.Mediocre because of under-utilized and under played sci-fi theme and pretty good because of the character driven plot! But still something tells me that in a distant future I will eat up my words and say that this movie is a classic! Want to know why? Even I don’t know,it’s just a gut feeling! Only time will tell. But let me tell one thing,as of now I don’t think Looper is this decade’s answer to matrix.Maybe it will be,but lets just not jump into any conclusions.Let the decade pan out.

Rating –redstar_matte_tan_transpredstar_matte_tan_transpredstar_matte_tan_transp  [3/5]

Inglourious Basterds [2009] – Hall of Fame

27 07 2011

Tarantino movies are always about criminal acts gone wrong. In most of his movies,his characters always seem to plot some really ingenious plan,which topple like dominos when some minor flaw gets exposed and this failure of plans and the subsequent commotion is what drives Tarantino’s plot forward. Inglourious Basterds also follows the same technique so does Pulp fiction and Reservoir dogs. But neither Pulp Fiction nor Reservoir dogs has impressed me and consider both overrated. In short I never really was a fan of Tarantino works,But this movie is definitely an eye opener!

The Basement Bar Scene

The Movie opens with a Jewish girl,Shosanna who escapes from the slaughter of her family by the SS Colonel Hans Landa,who is better known by his nick name, The Jew Hunter. A few years later, in German-occupied Paris, Shosanna  has the opportunity to burn down the Film theater where the Nazi propaganda film’s première is held. The real catch of the situation is that the première is attended by the Nazi élite which includes the Führer .  Shosanna’s avenge plot is only one of the three threads that are crisscrossed  in this movie.  While the girl fine tunes her plan to perfection, Lt. Aldo Raine [Brad Pitt],puts together a special Jewish-American force who are trained trained solely for one business and that is the Nah-tzee  killing business. The all-Jewish killing squad includes Donny Donowitz (Eli Roth), aka “the Bear Jew”, who beats Nazis to pulp with his baseball bat, Hugo Stiglitz (Til Schweiger), a former soldier in the German army, who holds an impressive record in killing German officers, and other six American Jews who are in this “booming business”. The third thread in the plot includes Winston Churchill conspiring to join the The Basterds in their mission by sending a commando who in his civilian life works as a movie critic with his specialty being German cinema!With a German actress-turned-Allied-spy (Diane Kruger) on their side, the British devises this “ingenious” Operation Kino, which is aimed at wiping out the SS high command. And when this plan is set into motion,the acts gets wrong completely and rest you can watch it in the screen.

Melanie Laurent - Shosanna

The ensemble cast which mainly consisting of American and German actors are one of the main highlights of the movie. And the highlight among the highlights is the Austrian born Christoph Waltz.The extent of success of this actor can be known from writer’s own words,as Tarantino has once said he feared that he wrote a part that was unplayable! Col. Hans Landa‘s[Christoph Waltz as the The Jew Hunter] character throws in a lot of “coin toss” scenes [No country for old men] which generates a lot of tension thanks to Brilliant portrayal by Waltz and superb writing from the maker himself. Every time Hans Landa enters the screen,the scene gets electrified and makes the audience uneasy. Mélanie Laurent does justice to her character by limiting herself into what her character demands,In short she doesn’t over do it. But in turn, both Brad Pitt and Eli Roth over do it,only because the larger than life characters demand it !Diane Kruger may have done the best role in her career with Bridget von Hammersmark.

The Coin toss scene in Inglourious Basterds

The movie is completely over the top when it comes to the plot,visualisation and the characters,actually no surprise there considering its a Tarantino film.The plot really is blown up,far from what history books says but still the movie is pure fun at its best!It seems that Quentin Tarantino made this movie to celebrate the phenomenon of cinema.Cinema acts like a silent but expressive character through out the movie.Brad Pitt’s mannerism closely resemble to the legendary Marlon Brando. We see Hitler laughing like he was nuts[Should I really use the word “like”?] when he sees Allied soldiers being killed by a German soldier and how Hitler sees cinema as an important medium. We also see how Nazis viewed cinema seriously and usage of it to spread Nazi ideologies and antisemitism. The character Lt. Archie Hicox, played by Michael Fassbender is actually a movie critic with exceptional knowledge in Nazi Cinema whose knowledge plays a crucial role in Operation Kin’s success. Then there is Bridget von Hammersmark,a German Actress who doubles up as a british spy,the femme fatale in this movie.There seems to a lot of other cinema references in this movie but it would be punitive to load up the entire page with it.But i would like to add one more and the best comes last.I still don’t know if Tarantino meant to do this but still…Perrier LaPadite,the French dairy farmer played by Denis Menochet has a striking resemblance to Stanley Kubrick!  But interestingly Hans Landa is the one who does the Kubrick stare.

Brad Pitt-Marlon Brando;Kubrick-Menochet

When Inglourious Basterds moves towards its end credits, a character says something like “I think this just might be my masterpiece”. As soon as I heard it,I suspected that Tarantino placed that dialogue with an ulterior motive.And when i checked Wikipedia,my suspicions were laid to rest when I learnt that he consider this movie or screenplay to be precise,to be the greatest work he has ever done.As a viewer I have to agree that this is his best work till date.For me it even qualifies to be termed as a modern-day classic!

P.S-The movie’s title is a tricky one.Every time I type the movie’s name,the spelling and grammar thing on my blog platform corrects me!Even though Tarantino refuses to explain why he made this “supposed” typo,the rumor going around the internet is that it was used to distinguish itself from the Italian war movie “Inglorious Bastards”.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 [2011]

18 07 2011


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2



Harry Potter is still in the hunt to find the remaining 3 horcruxes to defeat/kill his archnemesis once and for all. The movie starts right off from where it ended in the Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part -1. He needs to find and destroy the horcruxes which contain parts of Voldemort’s soul. Harry,Ron and Hermione break into Gringotts bank’s underground vault and back to Hogwarts itself to destroy the remaining horcruxes.


Harry Potter Poster


The series has come a long way since the first installment of this epic series. Harry is no longer the innocent and charming boy- next- door we saw in Harry Potter and The Philosophers stone. He has grown into an adult with the responsibility of saving the wizarding world  weighing down on his shoulders! And Daniel Radcliffe has been at his best in this film when taken a look at all the earlier films in the series.  Rupert Grint and Emma Watson has shorter screen space in the movie and Alan Rickman may have even toppled the duo when it comes to the importance of supporting cast due to the fact that Severus Snape is a pivotal character in the finale . Alan Rickman surprised the audience with his truly marvelous depiction of Snape’s previously unknown emotional side just with some short words and a tear drop. There are some truly delightful character moments from Neville Longbottom and Professor Mcgonagall which not only brings some relief to the tension in the plot but also moves the audience into applause.Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort is epitome of evil!






Alan Rickman Snape


Harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2 can surely be called as intense battle movie.David Yates take on Gringotts “bank job” surpasses any Harry Potter fan’s imagination. The overall dark and murky treatment of the visuals of the film is consistent Yate’s earlier potter works.Unlike part 1 , the script work in this movie is more pacy and the momentum picks up by each and every scene.*Spoiler Alert*. The scene in which Harry meets his dead dear ones before his walk towards impending death is unarguably[for me] the greatest scene in the entire harry potter series. And the director requires special appreciation in portraying the scene like every HP fan would have wanted*Spoiler Alert*. The special effects and the set direction team requires a mention as the intense battle scenes in the grand castle of Hogwarts was truly jaw-dropping. The battle scenes are filled with some really sick special effects which quite efficiently utilizes every single thing digital “magic” has to offer.

David Yates, since his first harry potter flick[Order of Phoenix] has had a history of  deviating from his source material and through this movie, he takes it to a whole new level. The movie has a completely different climax except that the final outcome of the climax stands true to the book’s one. The kings cross station scene was not up to  the mark, as it was not quite engaging as it was in the book.But nevertheless the final harry potter[possibly] film satisfies even the HP illiterate because the fight between good and evil transcends languages and boundaries.

The end,the bittersweet moment was truly rewarding for every Potter fan! David yates has created a visual extravaganza which easily becomes a fitting finale to the whole harry potter phenomenon!

Rating-  [/5]




The Great Dictator[1940]-Hall of Fame

4 06 2011

The great dictator begins with an interesting note,”Any resemblance between Hynkel the dictator and the Jewish barber is purely co-incidental’. Well considering the fact that Chaplin’s evergreen Tramp character sports a mustache which highly resembles Hitler’s and that they were both born with in a week in the same year,everything between Chaplin and Hitler seems coincidental. Like that there seems to be a lot of physical similarities between the both except for their outlook.

In 1940 when the film was released, America did not consider Hitler as a potential danger and their government followed a policy of non-intervention at first when it came to matters dealing with Europe. Not even American Jews viewed Hitler as an archetype of evil. And there lies Charlie Chaplin’s great vision in projecting Hitler as we now know.

Hitler vs Chaplin

The Great Dictator is Chaplin’s first talkie, leaving behind his stardom of the bygone silent era. Chaplin plays the dual roles of commiserate ,nameless jewish barber and Adenoid Hynkel,a despotic dictator who rose to power in Tomainia while the former was recovering from an injury induced amnesia after World War I.The antagonist in this movie is most definitely Hynkel[read Hitler] but we never feel any sort of revulsion towards the dictator,mostly because we don’t have time to be disgusted with him.Charlie chaplin plays his role as if he was born to caricature hitler and he is so effective that he imitates hitler’s way of speaking[with saliva all bursting out while he is at a speech!] with utmost precision and yet makes us laugh for its apparent buffoonish overtones.There are plenty of side cast in this movie who play important roles and add humor to the excellent script of Chaplin but the one who stands out among them all is unarguably Chaplin himself.

Chaplin has used music in this movie to an undefinable level,incorporating into his physical comedy with great dynamism.Two particularly noteworthy scenes are “The shaving” scene and the ‘Globe-ballet” scene.Both these scenes are blended with classic musicals with such a perfection only Chaplin could manage.The director-actor equation seems to be in perfect equilibrium for chaplin becuase the way he amalgamated the tragic realities of holocaust and comical side of nazi authoritarianism is really a work of genius.With all that has been said, there is no denying the fact that there are some moments in the film where tongue in cheek dialogues and physical buffoonery can be tiring.

Hynkel With Globe

Chaplin shows the lives of Jewish people with great respect and doesn’t force anything on the viewers.For Chaplin The Great Dictator was a really personal movie and this is clearly evident from the barber’s emotional speech about humanity at the end of the film.Throughout the film barber sports an artificial voice for his dialogues but for the final speech, it seems the voice is coming directly from the Chaplin’s heart.

More than 70 years since the movie’s release, Chaplin through his satire on totalitarianism and its evils is still able to move,inspire and tickle the funny bones of audience at the same time.And that definitely qualifies this movie for a place in The Great Movies list of Movie Junkyard.


1.Some of the real life characters and names of geographical locations caricatured by Chaplin.

::Hitler-Dictator  of Germany – Hynkel – Dictator of Tomainia

::Mussolini-Dictator of Italy   – Napaloni – Dictator of Bacteria

2.During Hynkel’s speech, there are several recognizable German words used. Most popular are “Wienerschnitzel” (a Viennese style breaded veal cutlet), and “Sauerkraut” (a kind of sour preserved cabbage). Others are “Leberwurst” and “Blitzkrieg”. Though some other utterances vaguely resemble words in German, the speech is actually gibberish. Several times in the film, Hynkel utters “cheese und cracken!” in the context of an obscenity.

3.When this film was released, Adolf Hitler banned it in Germany and in all countries occupied by the Nazis. Curiosity eventually got the best of him and he had a print brought in through Portugal. He screened it not once but twice. Unfortunately, history did not record his reaction to the film. When told of this, Charles Chaplin said, “I’d give anything to know what he thought of it.”

4.Charles Chaplin blinks fewer than ten times during the entire final speech, which lasts over five minutes.


To Kill a Mockingbird [1962]-Hall of Fame

3 06 2011

When I first saw American Film Institutes list of Greatest movie heroes of the 20th century,i was really disappointed to not see the The blonde’s name on the list.I have always thought Clint Eastwood’s portrayal of Blondie was the ideal example of being a hero and that was the time when I associated masculinity with heroism.But times have changed and I don’t blame AFI who voted Atticus Finch as greatest movie hero ever.

To kill a mocking bird which was released in 1962 is a perfect example of how the charm of the source material can transform the movie into a classic.The movie is based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer winning novel of the same name.The story by Lee is so intricately carved that it brings out the depression era of America quite soulfully through the eyes of  6 year old  Scout played by Mary Badham.The movie begins with her Voice Over Narration “Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932, when I first knew it.”This fact is quite effectively established by the slow yet involving pace of the movie.Scout’s father, Atticus Finch is a lawyer and a bona fide one at that.The role played by Gregory Peck is a widower with 2 kids,Jem and Scout.

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch

The most part of the movie deals with Scot and Jems adventures with Dill who is spending his summer with aunt Stephanie.They go spy on Maycomb’s supposed boogey man Boo who is said to be chained to his bed.There are lots of scenes in this movie which makes the audience nostalgic about their childhood.Mean while as a parallel yet linked storyline Atticus Finch is defending a black man who is alleged to have raped a white woman.This part of the movie brings out the social structure of America that was prevalent in early part of the 20th century where black  people were subjugated more intensely.The scenes in which Scout and Jem are taught by their father about different perspectives through which one has to look at people’s characters before assessing them are quite heartening.There is a dialogue in the movie which I found really interesting where Finch asks Scout whether she knows what a “compromise ” means to which Scot answers rather innocently “bending the law?”.

Jem and Scout

Jem and Scout

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch is marvelous.He plays his role with such perfection that his role is said to be an inspirational factor for many who take up law as their profession.Mary Badham as Scout and Philip Alford as Jem were a delight to watch as their performance brings  out the sinlessness of childhood.But almost all other characters in the movie look like mere caricatures[except may be Dill played John Megna] thanks to mediocre direction.

Even though Mulligan was able to reflect the warmth in the movie,it has too many structural flaws both in the script and its execution.Mulligan maybe doubted for his sincerity when he visualizes a novel which puts forward the prejudices against a colored man in the society.For example black men shown as relative and the friends of the accused are always shown in the background with little dialogue whatsoever.Their casting makes us feel that they were just being used by the director to fill  the screen space.Even though a lot of screen time is dedicated to unnecessary white characters, the wife of Tom Robinson[accused] is given not even a single complete dialogue.The execution of climax by the director seemed forced and half-baked.

This movie would have been sure shot nominee for my all time best movie for its story,characters and the lead cast.But sadly Robert Mulligan’s direction is no great shake.But still when my rational side of a movie buff says the movie is good, my heart says it is great.And since for a movie, soul is the only thing that ever matters and hence I am adding this movie to Movie Junkyard’s Great Movies list.

P.S-When you see the film take a close look at “Boo” Radley,well he is none other than Robert Duvall who is known for his dialogue “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”Lieutenant Colonel William “Bill” Kilgore in the movie “Apocalypse Now“]


30 11 2010

In 1983, Sam “Ace” Rothstein (De Niro) exits a restaurant and gets into his car, which explodes when he turns it on. Sam then narrates the story, and flashes back to the beginning.BOOM!Yes,the movie starts with a bang and this isn’t the only bang involved especially because of the violence involved in the film!Thanks to Nicky Santoro[Joe Pesci],the ultimate badass in town who happens to be a childhood friend of Sam Rothstein now runs an A-list casino named Tangiers in Vegas.

Some mob bosses wanted Sam to be the casino boss so they could “skim” off the money that is flowing in through the casino.Sam does his job well and money starts flowing across the Las Vegas desert towards the gangsters.All was well until the hot-headed Nicholas “Nicky” Santoro makes an appearance at the “sin city”.I havent seen any other director of Scorsese’s class stereotyping his own characters in a movie.The only time I have seen Joe Pesci[as of now] is in Scorsese movies[with an exception of a comedy film],and every time he is the same bad ass gangster in all Scorsese movies and he helps in getting the movie into “most uses of the word fuck in the movies” list.

Sam Rothstein’s trouble starts when Nicky Santoro begins an organised gangster roll in the city.Whenever nicky gets in to trouble Rothstein’s name is also dragged into the news due to his long time association with Nicky.In the mean time Sam falls for a call girl,Ginger and makes her to marry him by showering her with expensive  jewelery,clothes and all other stuffs of the luxury kind.Finally Sam and ginger easily became the “happily married” couple in Vegas.But the happy times soon comes to an end when Sam realised that his wife still maintains contact with her Pimp boyfriend back in town.All hell breaks loose in their marriage life.The role Ginger McKenna played by Sharon Stone fetched her the Academy Award.And she deserves it because every time she is on-screen she defines the word “bitch”.The funny thing is Ace knows that Ginger is a bitch and he even admit it through his narration,but he just cant shut his world to Ginger because he is madly in love with her.So madly in love that he  buys millions worth of jewelry just for her and puts millions of dollars in cash in a bank under her name.Through out his narration,he says that he is doing all this because he trust his wife as though he has a doubt in his mind.De Niro effectively evokes sympathy for Sam, and Pesci and Stone does their best to evoke hatred!

Casino is full of Voice over narration of its lead characters.Just after the opening sequence the narrations start explaining how the mobsters skimmed money off the casino.The information is in very fine tuned detail that I found it very hard to comprehend how the system worked.Maybe that’s the point,Scorsese just wanted us to understand that gangsters looted money from the casino.Maybe he just wanted the audience to get the feel of how fast system works  and how complicated it is.Scorcese brings a lot of energy into the movie through the rich and well contained dialogues in the pacy screenplay.The 3 Hour running time just felt like a whiz as the movie was entertainment at its best.Robert De Niro once again proved that he belongs to the list of class actors.Joe Pesci still remains god to the real life gangster.No one is better than Pesci when it comes to Bad Ass gangster!

Casino,for me is one of the best works by Scorcese,it is on par with Taxi Driver and The Aviator.The movie has such ferocity and momentum which makes it one of the best American Crime movie made till date.To pay tribute towards the number of “fuck” and its derivatives used in the movie I must say that this a Fuckin great movie!

P.S-Many critics say that “Casino”  is the final chapter of his Gangster movies.But i don’t think so,”Gangs Of new York” is a gangster movie based in  19th century.Gangsters are always gangsters,Knives and guns are the only difference!


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

19 11 2010

This is not the typical harry potter movie you expect.There is no quidditch,no hogwarts,no nothing.It has this darker tone which may not appeal to many younger audience who haven’t read the last book”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.But still this one is best movie that has come out of the movie series.


Movie begins as Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their strenuous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort’s immortality and destruction–the Horcruxes. On their own, without the guidance of their professors or the protection of  Professor Dumbledore, the three must now rely on one another more than ever to meet their goal.


Yes,there is no hogwarts in the plot still we have many adrenaline filled duels,humour,romance and above all  fantastic magic to quench every muggle’s thirst for entertainment.From the time David Yates have taken over the harry potter franchise,there has been a change about how the mood is recreated from the source material.All other directors before him chose either substance of the source material or created a style.But none of them were able to capture the exact tone of the book.He has been improving this style of approach for the movies ever since the order of the phoenix.And the style reaches the peak at this movie.

The movie paces forward with a strange mix of fear,adventure,humour and romance.Fear comes from the fact that Voldemort now controls the ministry of magic and forces it to persecute the “muggle-borns” and “half bloods” with the help of his ever serving “Death Eaters”[Non HP fans,google].Adventure come from the part that Harry and his friends must escape from death eaters “deadly” clutches.And the best part is romance,a love triangle[as perceived by Ron Weasly] gives the audience quite a good laugh when the tension gets a bit tightening.

There are some really great sequences in the movie which can be counted among the best in the franchise.The “breaking into ministry of magic using poly juice potion” requires a special mention.Seems like director has misused the ability of Wizard’s ability of apparition rather unrealistically.Whenever harry and his friends apparate they end up in some scenical background which makes the audience feels like the world is about to be doomed or something[maybe that is because voldemort is gaining power].Thus cinematographer Eduardo Serra requires some appraise for wielding the camera to a near perfection and for helping Yates to recreate the tone of the film.

As i said earlier the movie might not appeal to the younger audience who havent read the book.There are 2 reasons

1.There are many said and unsaid references to previous characters and plot details.To appreciate the movie completely it is absolutely necessary that one must have read all the books in the series.[seeing all the movies alone is not enough]

2.Harry,Hermione and Ron has grown emotionally and sexually.


For non HP fans it is completely unsafe to watch the film[check the reason no:1 above].But it is a must see for HP fans because it is the elder wand of all HP films.


P.S-This movie is the reason Twilight sucks!

The Social Network

8 11 2010

The Social Network by David Fincher is  compelling drama about the events related to the founding of the social networking site “Facebook”.Jesse Eisenberg of the  “Zombie Land” plays the Mark Zuckerberg[founder of Facebook] and Justin Timberlake plays the role of Sean Parker[Founder Of Napster].

The script of the film needs some appreciation as the dialogues and real events[presumed to be real] are both witty and racy.The script packs in so much dialogue that it is impossible to keep track of  what a character has said, throughout the film.But the best thing is that it doesn’t confuse the audience in any way.The story is told in a very interesting narrative which are mixed of Zuckerberg’s trial and the real life events that lead to the trial.


David Fincher fans,don’t miss this one!

rating –   [4/5]

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

7 11 2010

The Twilight “saga” continues and thankfully is much better than the monstrously bad The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.The movie continues on the lopsided love triangle including a human,a werewolf and the vampire.{sigh}


It will be better if you see my earlier review of New Moon to know this edition’s plot.Because nothing has changed much.The romantic dilemma of Bella Swan[Kristen Stewart] continues.She is having a real bad time  choosing her mate for a life[real bad when she has to choose b/w a werewolf[Taylor Lautner] and a blood sucking vampire[Robert Pattinson]!].When Bella’s emotional tantrums are running haywire in Forks,Victoria is assembling a team of newborns in Seattle to avenge her mate’s death.As i said earlier there is nothing much in the plot to set it apart from the earlier film.


This movie has not been a torture like its previous installment has been.It could’ve done a lot better if it cut short its horrendously long running time[nearly 2 hours].The most of the movie takes place when the love triangle trio has conversations between them discussing their love lives.The dialogues are mostly amateurish and boring.The scenes where Jacob tries to butter up Bella into marrying look cheesy to say the least. Acting hasn’t improved much.Edward still does a bad job of acting like a puppy with blood-red eyes.There is scene where Bella and Edward are in a bed with some heavy emotional undercurrents in the dialogues,Bella tries hard to get the movie an R rating but “eligible bachelor” vampire urges her to keep up the PG-13 relationship.{How lame for a 109 year old Vampire}.The director and the scriptwriter has tried their best to rake in the pleasure hormone[dopamine] in hormone driven teenage mind.There are some forced kiss scenes which are deplorable.

A rare scene where Jacob doesn't show his six-pack!

I liked a scene in the movie which has a tinge of self parody.Edward mocks at Jacob with a dialogue”doesn’t he own a shirt”.Movie makes a terrible mistake by not explaining much about what happened in the earlier installment.For those people who havent seen the earlier installments may find it hard to make any sense .{Twilight Series can never match up to Harry Potter}.Even then Screenplay is better and direction is better but still acting is lame.


Twilight fans can safely watch the film.But others stay away if you have any other better movie options.

Rating-  [2/5]

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