Archive for the 'Films' Category

Films I have to watch

  1. Children of Men (2006)
    Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, the mastermind behind superbly-directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and starring Clive Owen, this movie recounts our world in 2027.  A world in which humans can no longer procreate.  But then there’s a pregnant woman somewhere and she has to be transported to scientists save the future of humankind.

  2. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
    The name of this movie has always intrigued me.  It seemed nice.  And I watched the trailer – and liked it too – but I didn’t make the connection until a couple of days ago.  It’s a comedy, written by newbie Michael Arndt, about a family’s car trip in their VW bus to get their younger daughter to the finals of the beauty pageant.

    Plus it stars hilarious Steve Carell, who leads in famous TV show, The Office.  This movie is set to shine in the Oscars.

  3. Babel (2006)
    Golden Globe Award-winning film, Babel stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett amongst others and is directed by Mexican Alejandro González Iñárritu.  The movie basically follows the torments of different families and morphs all the story lines in the end.

    It’s definitely not one of those “light” movies.  Rated R.

  4. Happy Feet (2006)
    Cute, cute, cute animation.

What do you think? Any recommendations?

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My hols part 1

[Listening to: She Is, How to Save a Life, The Fray]

I’ve been tagged once more but in a pledge to prevent this blog from becoming full of those tags, I decided to write a real blog post – something I haven’t done for quite some time – first.  I haven’t even been blogging all that much during these past two weeks.  Well, let’s start from the beginning.

The very first Friday of 2007, the whole family headed to the beach-house in Pereybere, for the second time in a week.  The beach-house is “pied dans l’eau” and belongs to my granddad’s sister, who is kind of my grandmother as well, right? So, we arrived in Pereybere at about 5p.m and it was cool just thinking that we would be staying there for 24 hours! Indeed, we were staying the night over.  The last time I did this, I was like 10 or something, about 8 years ago, that is.

Uncle M, dad’s cousin actually lives in the beach-house full-time.  As usual, his PC was switched on and he was busy playing Thief 3.  Uncle M is gaming fan but not a geek.  However he is a comics geek! He’s got about 200 comic books carefully shelved and locked in his bedroom.  And I’m really proud that I am one of the few people to whom he lends the books.  According to mum, you form part of Uncle M’s inner circle if he’s lent you some of his comic books.  That time, he lent me a sci-fi comic book called Apocalypse Mania, which I enjoyed.  The series (or ‘cycle’ as they call it) is made up of five books but he bought the five-in-one collection and the thing is really big! Then he lent me a trilogie called Sir Arthus Benton.  I totally like this one.  It blends facts from The Second World War with fictional spy stories.  And the story concludes with a bang! Yep, I totally totally like this series.

[Listening to: Heaven Forbid, How to Save a Life, The Fray]

At about half past seven, we went out for dinner.  Both dad and Uncle M drove their respective cars.  Mum and I went in Uncle M’s car, a Saab “decapotable.”  (Hope it’s properly written.  And what’s the English word?) It was the very first time that I got into a “decapotable” and it was awesome.  However the drive did open my eyes to how stupid keeping long hair is.

We arrived at the restaurant in Cap Malheureux in about ten minutes.  Well, the resto is more like a snack actually – a snack which serves restaurant food, if you know what I mean.  It’s small and the walls are painted only here and there.  The owner, and the waiter, wears a short and a T-shirt.  This gives you an idea.  But it’s a cool and cosy place to be.  The resto only serves seafood and given that Uncle M has been a regular customer for like seven years, we got a real treat.  As appetiser, prawns in a wonderful sauce was served with bread.  Then for the main course, we all had a plate of three huge “crevettes.” tiger prawns.  I had some troubles to get the flesh out from the hard part (vocabulary!!) shell at first but, hey, all in all, it was an excellent dinner.

Back to the beach-house, we ate chocolate cake as dessert and all sat down to watch War of the Worlds.  My dad, who is a fan of good movies like 7 years in Tibet, Notting Hill and other Japaness/Chiness movies like Seven Samurai or Postmen in the Mountains, wasn’t impressed and left after the aliens made their apparitions.  To be frank, I don’t think anyone was too impressed by the movie but we were all together and it was the company of us all that mattered ultimately.  However, H.G. Wells must have been a genius to think about bacteria during his time.  And I’m sure that the novel is much better than the movie which is only a series of hollow events that happens to Tom Cruise and nothing more.

We all went to sleep.  Well, technically, they all went to sleep because I only slept an hour after being in bed: there were mosquitoes and it was hot.

But I loved the week-end.  The following day was cool too.  I almost finished Apocalypse Mania on that day.

[Listening to: Flowers in the Window (For Nora), The Invisible Band, Travis]

John Pilger

Buy this.  More later.

UPDATE: John Pilger is most probably one of the most gifted, hardworking  and most importantly one of the most trustworthy investigative journalists of this era.  I have read some of his articles on the Atomic bombs released in Japan and it is just extraordinary how he manages to get the truth out of everything.

One of the latest projects of John Pilger has been a documentary on the expulsion of the Chagos inhabitants from their island by the USA.  Although I have yet to watch it (MBC under the previous government did not buy/rent/whatever the documentary), I have read his article on the matter in one of his books.  It’s really hard to read all those stuff because you get to know how cruel people can be.

But the truth is more important than anything else and buying this DVD will not only help John Pilger in his future investigations but also help the world to see a little more clearly.

Mr. Pilger, I am a fan.

UPDATE 2: 32 journalists died in Iraq this year, making 2006 the most deadly year for press in any one country ever monitored by press advocacy group Committee to Protect Journalists.

In most cases, such as the killing of Atwar Bahjat, one of the best-known television reporters in the Arab world, insurgents specifically targeted journalists to be murdered, CPJ found in a new analysis. Worldwide, CPJ found 55 journalists were killed in direct connection to their work in 2006, and it is investigating another 27 deaths to determine whether they were work-related. Detailed accounts of each case are posted on CPJ’s Web site. The figures reflect increases from 2005, when 47 journalists were killed in direct relation to their work, while 17 others died in circumstances in which the link to their profession was not clear. CPJ, founded in 1981, compiles and analyzes journalist deaths each year.

Afghanistan and the Philippines, with three deaths apiece, were the next most dangerous datelines in 2006. Russia, Mexico, Pakistan, and Colombia each saw two journalists killed. All are traditionally dangerous countries for the press, CPJ research shows.

via boingboing

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Snatch the movie

I just watched Snatch.  And my god, it was an absolute stunner! I loved it from beginning to end and I even laughed out loud, which doesn’t happen too many times.  Brad Pitt is tremendous (as usual) and Vini Jones, the former Wimbledon football player (never looked like one to me), is very good too.  Actually they’re all pretty good!

And the script! Man, the script.  I’m leaving it all raw by the way.

Bullet Tooth Tony: You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.

Avi: Tony.
Bullet Tooth Tony: What?
Avi: Look in the dog.
Bullet Tooth Tony: What do you mean, “Look in the dog”?
Avi: I mean open him up.
Bullet Tooth Tony: That’s a bit strong! It’s not a fucking tin of baked beans! What do you mean “open him up”?

Brick Top: In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary… come again?

Vinny: Why are we stopped here? What’s wrong with that spot?
Tyrone: It’s too tight.
Vinny: Too tight? You could land a jumbo fucking jet in that.

[Tyrone just backed into Franky Four Fingers’ van]
Tyrone: I didn’t see it there.
Vinny: It’s a four ton truck, Tyrone. Its not as though its a bag of fucking peanuts, is it?
Tyrone: It was at a funny angle.
[All three turn and look back at the truck]
Vinny: It’s behind you Tyrone. Whenever you reverse, things come at you from behind.

Turkish: What’s happening with them sausages, Charlie?
Sausage Charlie: Five minutes, Turkish.
Turkish: It was two minutes five minutes ago.

Policeman: So, what you doin here?
Turkish: I’m taking the dog for a walk. What’s the problem?
Policeman: What’s in the car?
Turkish: Seats and a steering wheel.

[Doug sees four Jewish kids smoking]

Doug the Head: What are you doing?
Jewish Boy: [spits] It’s a free country isn’t it?
Doug the Head: Well it isn’t a free shop is it? So fuck off.

And the best of them all:

Avi: Eighty-six carats.
Rosebud: Where?
Avi: London.
Rosebud: London?
Avi: London.
Avi’s Colleague: London?
Avi: Yes, London. You know: fish, chips, cup ‘o tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary fucking Poppins… LONDON.

Buy this DVD.

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Rang De Basanti

I always thought

There were two kinds of people in this world:

Men who go to their deaths screaming

And men who go to their deaths in silence.

Then I met the third kind

The one, who laughs on his way to heaven.

He laughs because he knows that he's already achieved what he's been put on this Earth to perform. He laughs because because he thinks there is a cause worth dying for.

Salaam Namaste or the ideal youngsters’ dream?

Update: A mildly edited version of this film review has been published at The h2g2 Post. 

I’m not a big fan of the mainstream Indian movies or Bollywood movies, if you prefer. Never was. The problem with these films is that most of them appear to be divided in two very distinct parts. The first part is the good one. Usually the guy meets the girl and they fall in love. There is the relationship more than anything. The second part is the one full with problems. There’s particularly loads of crying about stupid things. I suppose that’s an ingredient for film success in India.
Salaam Namaste

Salaam Namaste, which mostly is a pair of greetings in Hindi, Arabic and Urdu, is a film, released earlier this year, that I’ve always wanted to watch because of the actress. Preity Zinta, my favourite actress, is just superbe in this film, to put it mildly. I remember the first time I saw her in the Salaam Namaste poster. Phew. She isn’t the sexy girl, you know, she’s amazingly cute however. And that’s what I like. I never put much emphasis on the body shapes like other sex-addicts out there. I appreciate the real beauty, the enchanting smile and the lustrous hair.

Another reason – very irrelevant when compared to the first one – I wanted to watch this film was because I sincerely thought that it would break away from the other mainstream Indian films. I was partly right. Salaam Namaste is much more adventurous than other mainstream Indian films but unfortunately the film’s second half is no match with the marvellous first hour or so.

Preity plays Ambar (not Hambar, it’s “Ambar? without an “H? but starting with an “A? – watch the film) a RJ (radio jockey – I think that’s what the abbreviation means) and has her own show on “Salaam Namaste? radio show. The actor, Saif Ali Khan, plays a chef named Nick.

The film begins with Nick being late to a radio interview with dear Ambar. He doesn’t show up because of his inability to wake up early. Ambar is furious that Nick doesn’t even bother to apologise and takes her frustration out on the restaurant Nick works at.

The two protagonists are at war but they haven’t even seen each other. They finally meet at one of Ambar’s friends wedding – being celebrated on the seashore. They flirt and fall in love. When it’s time to go, Nick has a brainstorm: why not ask Ambar to move with him in an appartment? Afterall, she’s studying (to become a surgeon), and she’s single. After some frustrating times for Nick while he tries to convince Ambar that’s it is the best idea (of course, they will have separate rooms), they eventually move in, in the ideal appartment. Special mention goes to their lanlord, who’s just like the Crocodile Dundee guy.

That’s it, they live the ideal new lovers’ life. The boy likes the girl. The girl likes the boy. They move in together, with no parents around, and live under the same roof. The relationship quickly evolves and then there was that scene: the scene where Ambar actually kisses Nick on the lips. It may not appear as a big deal but believe me, for the mainstream Indian film, it definitely is a big deal. The ironic thing about mainstream Indian cinema, is that many are now featuring near-naked women dancing under the rain but none of them ever have the courage to show a simple kiss on the lips. Well this one does and it was just great. Got me a little bit jealous but nevermind that…

And then there comes the inevitable second part where Ambar is pregnant. She wants the child (children?) but Nick doesn’t. They split but live in the same appartment nonetheless, each claiming that they both equally paid the one-year rent. One the less bad side, there isn’t much crying.

In the end, of course…

Overall Salaam Namaste is a very entertaining film. I won’t watch it again just for the moment only because I have the bonus DVD, packed with behind-the-scene captures, cast interviews and even cut scenes!

To summurise it, Salaam Namaste is my personal best mainstream Indian film of the moment dealing with relationships. And I recommend it to all of you people who are dreaming about that ideal close relationship.

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What’s up in my life?

1. Best friends: I love you people.
2. My own company: sky media
3. Science is so very cool
4. 6 month sabbatical.




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