Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gulliver's Travel: Lost from Start to Finish

Gulliver's travels is by far the worst Jack Black movie i have seen. It just did not have anything to offer at all. The Story obviously is known to the world. The Difference could have been made through the treatment and the script. The least we expect is that Jack Black touch which makes the movie from bad to atleast average and watchable. This fails on all counts. No Chemistry. No Funny moments. Mostly Boring. A Definite Not Go. Bad Start to the year i say.

Gulliver Travels is a story about Gulliver a normal mail man in a corporation who goes to Bermuda Triangle for an assignment he undertakes. He gets lost and meets 'Tiny' people there. Becomes their Hero. Then is thrown out. Then comes back to save his 'friends' and everybody lives happily ever after types. Add to that a couple of love storys, some jealousy the usual fairy tale type stuff and all. The work becomes all the more difficult if you already know 'what' is going to happen. Then you watch a movie to know 'how' it is going to happen. But that is where the movie fails miserably.

The most important ingredient in a funny movie is the 'fun' part. I mean even if the jokes are stale, it should atleast be fun to watch and the audience is not supposed to get bored to say the least. There is absolutely no excitement anywhere. There are absolutely no 'wow' moments. Nowhere in the movie you feel that you are watching a 'fantasy', everything just looks too usual. I think the movie is all about Jack Black and even he couldnt do anything given the pathetic nature of the script. There are just no funny lines.

I think the love story angle etc took away from the movie's essence as well. The graphics were all too lame as well. the 3D was the most stupid addition that one can think of. There was absolutely no requirement of 3D anywhere. The build ups to the fights was too much and the fights themselves were like 'what! its over?' types. They end before they even begin. The height of desperation comes towards the end where they even include an anti war song, which was like the nail in the coffin, which make you go WTF man.. Seriously WTF..

Overalll: An Absolute bummer. Not funny at all.

Feel-O-Meter: 2/10

PS: May be i missed the point altogether here. May be its supposed to be a Kids movie and they might really enjoy the not funny jokes and the JB antics. Didn't work for me. So if you have a kid at home whom you want to take a movie to. Can watch given the fact that there is nothing else in theaters for the kids right now.

The Tourist: Stay Home, this season

The first thought that comes to your mind when you are watching the movie is 'THIS movie got a golden globe nomination, that too in the best comedy or musical? I mean like seriously? The second thought: 'WTF! Angelina Jolie is also nominated as Best Actress, like seriously?' The Third: Johnny Depp is nominated too? and the final one: 'I think Golden Glones are fixed' That pretty much would sum up my feelings right now. The movie is just about below average for a one time watch if you are too desperate to watch a moviel, have free tickets and would definitely won't mind drooling over Depp/Jolie depending on your gender/preference. Apart from that on the 'movie' front. This one is nothing more than a 70s bollywood movie re-released in hollywood with a power packed cast.

To be honest, I wasn't too excited about the movie and had no plans of watching it. But i read in the papers today that it has received the above mentioned Golden Globe nominations and just wanted to have a look. And i absolutely regret my decision. The movie is nothing but sheer star power to draw audience to the theaters and thats all. Funny part is, that it is supposed to be a thriller and is nominated in the best comedy/musical category which proves that even the people who decided on the nominations were as confused as the audience as well as the film makers. Nobody seems to understand what the movie is all about. The movie also moves towards being a 'romantic comedy' towards the end too. The genre can definitely be classified as 'confused'. It appears that the movie was only supposed to generate buzz over the lead pairing with the supposedly hottest man and woman in hollywood and just survive a couple of weeks only on that buzz.

The plot revolves about a certain Alexander Pierce who has swindled more than $ 2 billion (yes, as ridiculous it sounds, it IS billion) from a gangster (who is after him) and since he also has not paid taxes on these earnings, the scotland yard is also after him. Nobody has seen him ever except Angelina Jolie, so the police and the ganster are after her also. Then there are twists and turns, plots and subplots but it seems nothing more than a 70s bollywood movie with absolutely no excitement or 'thrill' about it. The thrilling chase sequences are absolutely lame and there is no excitement about them. They match the pace of the movie too, which is dead slow. You start getting bored in the middle of the movie and just hope that it finishes already.

The chemistry between the lead pair is almost non existent. Angelina Jolie's 1000 times operated upon face (which btw looks nothing short of ugly) doesn't help the cause here as well. I think the role of 'M' in the current bond series would suit her more given the way she looks. Old that is. Johnny depps acts decent and is the only saving grace (to a certain extent only). He is the reason you don't get up and storm out of the cinema hall. You still wait till the end, which leaves you with nothing but an irritation. You are like WTF ! 'THIS' was the suspense. Oh Gosh, please shoot the writer will you.

Overll: A Below Average movie. Watchable only if you get free tickets. There is excitement at a few places but overall slow pace kills the impact.

Feel-O-Meter: 4/10

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tees Maar Khan: Bad Joke, Hasoon?

As you might have guessed by now that the title of the post is borrowed of one of the dialogues of the movie. TMK is one of those movies where in you hardly have any expectations anyways. What you are looking for, is pure mindless 'entertainment'. Now the definition of this 'entertainment' as per our dear farah khan (and loads of other directors) is obviously Slapstick, Trying too hard to be funny actors, Spoofy Screenplay, Goofiness, People Slapping each other, plain simple craziness all over etc etc. And exactly thats what the movie offers. The two most enjoyable things about the movie were (Obviously) Sheila Ki Jawani and the End credits. There are a few jokes here are there which are funny but overall a pretty ordinary school-college spoof type movie. Can watch once if you can tolerate the irritating slapstick with absolutely no logic.

OK, First lay the expectations right. I obviously did not expect the movie to be in the same league as the 'intelligent comedies'. Yes, Ms Khan Comedies can be intelligently done as well and only people falling over each other, actors making strange faces and hamming, Jokes cheap borrowed from twitter oneliners or (even wors) roadside PJs do not constitute Comedy but obviously you don't believe in that and I already know that you don't. So the expectations were right where they should be. Go in the hall, Watch sheila ki jawani, enjoy some really sad/irritating/pathetic and sometimes funny jokes. Ignore the stupidities, hamming, slapstick, absence of story/script/direction. Forget about your life's problems for 2 hours and just laugh. If you find the stupid jokes funny then at the joke, If you don't, then at the director treating the audience as 5 year olds. In any case, just lay back and enjoy. And the movie fairs pretty decent if your expectations are right.

The Performances are just over the top and given the fact that the script is just about gags, the actors couldn't really do anything anyways. Upar se you have Katrina Kaif and Akshay kumar, both of whom hardly qualify as 'actors'. So even the remotest possibility of a 'performance comedy' is thrown out of the window as well. Infact, i feel if you had ANYBODY apart from these two. Their roles could actually have been delivered in a much funnier way. But i guess you can't really ignore the two box office magnets. Akshaye Khanna was the pick of the lot according to me and he portrays his role perfectly well. He is not given 1/4th the bhaav that Akshay Kumar gets but he still is miles ahead of him as per far as 'performance' is concerned. Ali Asgar doesn't disappoint either.

Enough has already been said about Sheila Ki Jawani and the number just takes off to another level in a cinema hall. I mean, i think 30% of my ticket price was already vasooled after the song. One Word: Woww . The title track is pretty decentish but all the other songs are absolute trash as if Vishal Shekhar were only asked to compose one item number and the rest were done by Farah Khan's Triplets.

Not to say, that the movie doesn't have its funny moments. There are actually a couple of scenes, which no matter how stupid they seem, are able to tickle the funny bone, especially when Akshay Khanna is on screen. Two or Three dialogues were actually quite witty too.

Overall: The usual 'Star studded slapstick Trashh' but with some actually funny sequences here and there. Watchable if your expectations are in the right place and you are gonna laugh either at the scene or the director. Watch it for Sheila and the End Credits

Feel-O-Meter: 5/10 (2 for Sheila included)

PS: Yes, Most might thing why i rate it higher than a Dabangg. The problem with Dabangg was that I just did not find ANYTHING funny in that movie. In this case, there are a couple of sequences, where you actually burst out laughing.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Phas Gaye Re Obama: Get Kidnapped

Phas Gaye Re Obama is one of the very few 'good' comedies this year. It makes a point loud and clear that you are not required to be goofy/slapstick/stupid to tickle the funny bone. You don't have to resort to crazy antics to be funny and people can laugh off the script as well. Witty dialogues, Believable Performances, Topical Story, Crisp Narrative makes it one of the funniest movies this year. Must Watch.

PGRO is set in the post recession world wherein an (almost) bankrupt NRI comes to India to sell off his ancestral Haveli to save his mortgaged house in the US. First he cannot get a buyer for it because of recession in India and then he is kidnapped by the local gang since they think he is still the millionaire he used to be. The story about how he is passed on to the bigger and then even bigger fish in the kidnapping 'business' and how he comes out of the situation every time with an 'idea' and also pays back his mortgage through the 'ransom' money he himself was supposed to pay. Brilliant story, Crisp Narrative and Amazingly Well Written dialogues make it the best written comedy this year.

On the performance front, Although everybody has delivered a good performance, Manu Rishi and Sanjai Mishra were the best of the lot. Somehow i wish that there could have been somebody else apart from Rajat Kapoor playing the US return businessman because of the cunningness associated with his 'ideas'. Its hardly believable that a person like Rajat Kapoor can come up with such 'witchy' plans. But its to do with his image rather than his performance. Neha Dhupia seemed a misfit and appeared as if she is there just to draw crowds by increasing the glam quotient.

On the negative side, the movie becomes repetitive when the cycle of transfering the kidnappee from one gangster to the other is repeated. May be one of the transfers could have been avoided and Amol Gupte's unnecessary Piles problem seemed like a misfit and forced to create some moments which the movie was already full of. Could have avoided these two things. Cut the movie by 15 minutes in the middle and you have a cracker of a movie. Could have been in the same league as Khosla, Oye Lucky etc, but is pretty good even now nonetheless

Overall: A Must Watch for everybody looking for a topical and clean comidey. Satire at its best.

Feel-O-Meter: 8/10

Tron Legacy: Game On

Tron Legacy is one of those movies which start like an absolute cracker and then somehow get lost in the middle with some heavy duty 'filmy' stuff. Don't really bother about the storyline because the movie is more about the 'coolness factor' and special effects rather than why is this happening. Some of the action sequences are really neat though remind you of the star wars and the matrix at more occasions than one. The background score is killer and (yes i am saying it now) can be compared to hans zimmer's the dark knight. A Definite watch for adrenaline junkies and sci fi lovers especially if you are looking for 'cool' special effects and a killer background score leaving the story and logic aside.

Tron is about a computer games developer who gets sucked into an alternate reality world (created by him only) and never returns and how 'accidentally' his own son gets sucked into the virtual world, where he fights a battle to rescue his father and his (future) love interest (if a sequel comes out) from a 'program' (which looks like his father).

The movie is all about how cool the sci fi stories are. It takes its inspiration largely from Star Wars and the Matrix. Even the costumes look too similar to the epics. The Hero's father looks like obi van and the villain looks like darth vader. There are references of calling the virtual grid as the 'grid' (The matrix types) and then even the bad guys are nothing but 'programs' (Agent Smith types). But the movie definitely takes the concepts a couple of steps further by redefining 'cool'. The costumes, the cars, the bikes, the interiors are just killer and you go 'wow' at more than one occassion.

The word 'awesome' falls short of describing the first fight sequence. Small sticks transform into bikes by clicking a button and every turn you go 'wow'. Sadly post this sequence the movie goes into a boring description of what happened, why it happened, how it happened etc etc. And you almost feel like going out and grabbing some popcorn. The movie just doesn't go anywhere from there. You keep expecting it to surprise you even till the end but it doesn't.

If you have to take one thing out of the cinema hall that is the background score by Daft Punk. With all those techno sounds in the fight sequences and heavy opera style score while approaching a fight scene, it reminds you of Hans Zimmer's The Dark Knight score at more than a couple of places. I think the movie would have fallen flat on its face, had the sound track not been as good as it was. Makes the movie, A Definite watch from a 'Watch it on TV'

Overall: The movie is pretty good when it comes to the action sequences, the 'cool' factor and the background score and scores really bad on the story/script/direction front. A Definite watch if you are an adrenaline/sci fi junkie. Avoid if you are not.

Feel-O-Meter: 6.5/10

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Band, Baaja, Baraat: Not Aiwayein Aiwayein

BBB is one of those movies which provide you with a fresh feel of debutant director movies. Its a regular rom-com with the only difference being in the setting of the plot. To be honest i only watched this movie only because of the aiwayein aiwayein song and was not totally disappointed with the movie as well. Everything seemed okay and neither the movie brings the house down and nor does it totally irritates. Its one of the movies where you just can't seem to make up your mind. For the regular north campus grad, a Definite watch. If you are not a Delhite watch it to get the flavour. If you are a delhite, don't expect a lucky oye or khosla. Watchable.

Well, I never like movies like BBB since they fall into the usual 'not bad' category. I mean neither can you fall in love with the movie or the characters nor can you absolutely hate it. This is the kind of cinema which just comes and goes away and in six months you probably won't even remember the movie. The worst part is, there is typically nothing to mention about the movie while writing about it.

Movie revolves around two DU grads, where Anushka wants to start her own 'wedding planning' business and Ranveer just doesn't want to go back to his native village. They start the business together. Fall in love. Have a fight. Break Partnership. Come back together. Realize and Stay together. Typical Rom-Com? Kinda yes. But the overall 'Dilli' setting makes up for the lack of originality/new-ness.

The movie does have that typical 'debutant director feel' where you can feel that the guy is actually giving his heart and soul to make the movie. Especially the first fifteen of 'Dilli Darshan' was just so 'dilli-ish'. Especially the college sequences in 'Tarkeebein' was absolutely typical north campus. Maybe i have this DU/North Campus bias and its just the nostalgia speaking but to be honest, the first half an hour for me was the most enjoyable. But i think to keep the movie fast paced, he wraps up the 'fun part' way too quickly. And then the regular rom com ingredients of milna-bichadna-phir se milna takes over and spoils the fun. I would have prefered some more 'ladai-jhagda' between the lead pair.

As far as the performances go, I think Ranveer is going to be a stunner in the films to come. Although he couldn't do justice to the role of the Regular DU Jaat (but i am sure most who aren't from DU won't even realize it) you could still feel the potential. A better suited role (may be an action hero) and you will see what i mean. As far as this movie is concerned, he looked like 'Gareebon ka Vivek Oberoi'. I still don't know if i like Anushka sharma or hate. Coz be it Rab ne.., badmaash company or this movie. I mean she just doesn't do anything for me. she doesn't feel like a bad actor but she just doesn't evoke any emotions through her performance. Same is the case with this movie. I think the role was so well written, anybody else could have just ripped the screen but she just again manages the average performance types.

Must mention that Aiwayein Aiwayein is an absolute kick ass track and aadha paisa vasool is done by the song itself. Tarkeebein is a bonus and these two songs along with the addictive BBB signature tune makes up for the rest of the 'can be ignored' songs. Totally worth it.

I think the second half could have been much shorter and the movie had almost starting to bore me. The whole freshness was almost washed away in the second half. The anger, the fights just seemed too frivolous and forced. I think the problem was with the actors. Had there been anybody else apart from the lead pair, it could have become an above average, but in this case, just the regular average easily forgotten movie for me.

Overall: Neither too bad to skip, not too good to cancel all the plans and go for it. Go if you are free and especially if you have studied at north campus. The first half hour will provide you oa full paisa vasool. May even come back after first half and go have some chinese at momo's point

Feel-O-Meter: 5/10

PS: (In a remote possibility) if you read my reviews, you must be aware that i typically don't give these average 5 type ratings but i still can't decide if i liked this movie or hated it. So have to stick with a 5 :(

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Guzaarish: Don't expect 'Black' Magic

Guzaarish is one of those movies, which rests on the very idea of making people cry through suffering and it succeeds to a large extent as well. There are a couple of scenes which shake you down but those are not enough to hold your attention throughout. It was a great idea on paper and it had that bhansali touch of grand sets, dark cinematography, use of whites, greys and blacks all over the canvass (although Red is an addition this time around) 'Black' style, stars who can sell movies just by their names, some really good actors in cameos, but there is something lacking. May be it tries too hard to do a 'Black' but sadly doesn't match up in any sphere. The first half was pretty neat and grippy but suddenly the second half felt like a different movie altogether and the last 20 minutes were just so unbearable. Can Watch for some really 'scenes' which make you cry though don't expect some 'black' magic.

The plot as most would already be aware revolves around Euthanasia(Mercy Killing), wherein a quadriplegic ex-magician Ethan (Hrithik) files a petition in the courts to allow him to end his life. Either the story seemed confuse or i couldn't understand the plot because the script makes the characters jump from one end of a viewpoint to another with in sequences. Hrithik at first is a person who thinks life is a gift and actually has written books on the topic. He delivers lectures on positivity and runs a radio show on the same lines. And Suddenly in the second scene he decides to kill himself. Anyways, the story and the helplessness of the lead character is touching to say the least but sudden changes in ideologies don't add to the narrative's consistency.

Performance wise, Hrithik's acting is mind blowing in a couple of sequences and suddenly you go, 'Dude, he's the man' and suddenly in the next sequence he would start hamming so bad that KRK seems like an Oscar winner. Though i feel that given this year's other films, Hrithik could easily take home a couple of best actor awards. Aishwarya according to me was a perfect mis-cast since she just looked too plasticky and emotionless (i am not sure, if it was deliberate from her end or she just ended up being like that). You just couldn't feel her love for Ethan throughout the movie. The winner according to me was Aditya (Yeah, ex-channel v vj aditya) who seemed so comfortable with the character he was playing. His performance was just too smooth to ignore. Others do justice in their cameos so no problems there.

On the direction front, i think SLB is trying too hard to go the german, french, italian cinema way. It appears as if he made this movie not for the story or the script or the indian audience, but to show the 'world' that he is a technical genius. I think he overdoes a lot of things, from victorian era sets to strangely dressed actors, just for making it feel 'different' from regular bollywood stuff. Too much of everything is bad and this is a prime example of the same.

Music is HORRIBLE to say the least. It is just one of the worst scores i have heard in recent times and definitely a let down. I think SLB was too busy showcasing his genius that he forgot that movie making is a team effort in the end.

Although, i must mention that there are 3-4 sequences where you just cannot hold back your tears or can feel Ethan's agony in your own soul. Those scenes just rescue the movie from the trash it could have been. For me, especially the sequence where Ethan sings 'Its a wonderful world' after his mother's death just nails it completely. Show me sequences like those and i will watch the movie again only for those. Hrithik just takes the movie suddenly to a different level altogether and those are the high points of the movie.

Overall: A Brilliant Story lost in SLB Grandeur. A pretty grippy first half but seemed to lost its way completely in the second. Watchable for 3-4 damn neat sequences which make you 'almost' cry.

Feel-O-Meter: 5/10

PS: I felt so bad for monikangana dutta, She is such a big supermodel and here, she was given 1 dialogue, 1 kiss and (i think) at max 2 minutes of screen time. As if the director got so angry with her that he cut her whole part or something.