Monday, June 18, 2007

Music Review - Sathampodadhey

Noway is this Yuvan's best so far... but one of his better efforts. I would start out with my favourite.

Pesukiren - Sung by a few girls called the Viva Girls. Maybe their big break... they might have been heard only in bars before. Their voices blend pretty well, I think there are two of them. What is more interesting about this song is the choice of instruments... one interlude with the trumpet... playful at times and whimsical sometimes... is definitely loopable.
The second interlude too has someone getting innovative on the guitar. This song is the pick of the lot... especially when the chorus kicks in... Adangamaleeeee. Will be my favourite for a few days.

Kadhal Periyadha?
Sudha Raghunathan asking whether lust is better or love is bigger (or must it be the other way around?)... Why does it read incongruous but sound better? This would sound really nice if you have a good sub woofer. The effects are amazing. Other than that, nothing great... the trumpet makes a re-appearance in the interlude and the beat remains the same.

This song somehow sounds like a remixes of one of those Ayyappa songs, a progressive beat, and Shankar Mahadevan jamming. How does he not laugh while singing such idiotic lyrics?

Entha Kudhirayil?
Prananaadha??? :-(.

Indha Kaadhal
Yuvan HAS to sing in each of his movies... right ? And he essentially sings the same song over and over again.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Movie Review - The Prestige

Whodunits. I grew up on Agatha Christie books. Do you know what is nice abotu those books? No... it is not just the intricate murder mysteries, but it is that AC was smart enough to respect your intelligence to embed a few clues, subtle, and then when the truth is revealed you could always go back and look up those clues. The 'clue' would then make total sense. Apart from Roger Ackroyd, there is no book of AC that I have read that does not have similar small clues that make sense to teh final result.

I will go back to Sixth Sense. That seemingly disconnected scene where Bruce WIllis goes and meets his wife on their anniversary holds such a lot of meaning to the final result. The wife leaves with a sigh, hardly having acknowledged the presence of Willis. Small hint, excellent lead... and it takes a sharp mind to understand it, and relate it.

The Prestige comes close, but is not quite there. This movie has similar leads to the final result. Not one, not two but quite a few since there are so many characters involved, and every one of those hints has an effect on the final revelation... called the "Prestige". The crib about this movie begins with the opening line. "Look closely or you might miss something".. or words to that effect. Teh crib is that you really do not have to look closely. Some of the revelations are so obvious that you have a higer chance of missing a ketchup stain on your paper resume. Some are not quite so obvious but yet, since you already know certain revelations, you put it together. In the end all the leads were guessable. Gives some people satisfaction. I was one among those satisfied.

The Prestige is one more genuinely good effort from Nolan. I have not been disappointed by any of his works so far. Bale as usual excels, being the really cold and calculating magician who is at war against Hugh Jackman, another magician. Jackman... does not have too much scope and is adequate. Michael Caine seems to be present in every role that requires an aged guy speaking in a British accent. He is the most sought after butler in Hollywood circles.

Comparing The Illusionist and The Prestige... ? I do not want to carp on it, but The Prestige is by far the better and more mature movie, because of the Agatha Christie explanation. The Prestige seemed better planned and more honest, while the Illusionist relied on keeping information from the viewer in order to effect the final surprise. The only cheat in this movie was the pseudo science, which if treated as just a black box... and not dissected too much, adds strength to the story.

I would recommend the Prestige over the Illusionist any day.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Movie Review - The Illusionist

I had previously ranted about the dearth of good whodunits in Hollywood. The biggest problem in Hollywood is that most of the times, the scriptwriter would get caught in a rut of cliches, and the 'uniqueness' in any story would be aimed at breaking those cliches. Most of the times it fails. It fails like in "The Perfect Stranger" because the plot in itself is too weak, and in "Primal" because it becomes too self involved and convolutes too much.

The Illusionist is somewhere in between. It does not try to go the beaten path of trying to break down every movie cliche. Nor does it try to pose like a really intelligent story, that is intended to give you a walloping surprise at the end. It is just a very well executed, well acted and well written movie.

Another way of looking at this movie. See, every generation has its own "Primal Fear" or "Sixth Sense". The generation that gets astounded by "Sixth Sense" might always think that "Primal Fear" is not such a great movie. "The Illusionist" has the capacity to become a cult whodunit, if you discount the fact that there are more cheats in this movie than either 6th Sense or Primal fear. You would certainly like this movie if you have watched neither of the two movies I had mentioned.

Edward Norton is such a powerful actor. He fits the role of the Illusionist pretty much like... I dont know.. like Arjun suited the role of the 'Gentleman'. Perfect casting. Paul Giamati as usual plays a person who tries to work things out. he is always trying to solve some problem or the other, be it Sideways.. where he tries to work himself out, or the Lady in the Water where he tries to work something out for the narph.

I have a feeling the Illusionist is one of the better movies I have watched this year. Had an engrossing story, and all the 'magic' in the movie is not really magic... The magic really only happens at the end of the movie.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Movie Review - Oceans 13

Oceans 13... I do not want to sound hackneyed on my own blog... but yes... this is one more big star extravaganza that fails to impress. After Spiderman and Pirates, one more self involved, pretentious and magnificent dud.

I have a feelign the failing point of this movie is that it is not smart... but it plods on, focussing on essentially stupid things, trying to scam you into believing that this is all really smart. It is like a obtuse student changing the colour of his ink to bright pink, in a vain atempt to impress the teacher.

Supposedly smart men, exchanging inside jokes, short conversations... got boring half way through Oceans 12. In the third you want to smack the obnoxious smile of Clooney's face. The purported camaraderie between men seems too tortured. Sodderburgh has been second guessing himself on the dialogues, and it seemed as though he would have thought to himself... ok you are expecting me to write this.. so I wont write this.

The heist?
The huge heist, as usual improbable, is explained only in the last few seconds of the movie. If revealing everything at the end, without giving us clues about it, is supposed to be smart film making, then please make each movie a 5 minute powerpoint presentation.

Electronic Gimmicks?
A computer that apparently tracks eyeball size, from a distance of 10 feet, and can measure heart rate (wireless heartbeat?) and sense increase in temperature and blood pressure. It is the central nervous system for security measures in a casino, but can apparently be shut down by blowing a few remote switchboards and sending in a 'magnetron' in the form of a... slim cell phone... Why not?

And hey guys, I can never understand the ability of a computer whiz... to hack into ANY computer in the immediete vicinity with just a laptop and a toothpick. This movie is almost like a cartoon when it shows the tech superiority of the rat pack.

Loaded dice that can apparently turn over to either one or six on the touch of a button, obviosuly undetected, and automatic blackjack card dealers that seem to throw out only blackjacks. Not to mention roulette balls that can settle on 13 everytime.

The non electronic 'gadgets' are even more messy.A tunnel digger... that has dug the chunnel is transported right from France to Las Vegas and is used to simulate an earthquake... imagine the logistics involved... A yapping dog sound making device, completely pointless. And so... after all that these guys have done, did they have to send hookers to the stuntman's cabin to steal his clothes? Come on !!! I am getting irritated even pointing out the logical erros in the movie.

The Oceans series??? Good in the first, OK in the second, Intolerable in the third. At the end of the movie you think, if albeit one of the best minds in Hollywood can only produce this, I do not think there is too much hope for Hollywood. Seriously speaking, the last movie that was even decently interesting was Memento. The rest have all been gimmicks.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Possibilities of 300 - part 2 ?

I recently read a report that mentioned that Snyder and Miller might actually work on a follow-up to 300. THe article also mentions they might actually recreate one more magnificent Greek war in CGI splendour. So I went ahead and compiled a list of possible Greek wars that could be the seed for next movie.

1. Ofcourse the Battle of Marathon. It would be a good idea, and the story is highly dramatic

2. A remake of the seige of Troy would be redundant

3. The Peloponnesian Wars... but do you not want to watch Greeks battling other Greeks?

4. The battle of Salamis, where 350 Greek ships battled 1000 Persian ships. The battle was won by the Greeks. Could be a nice movie. Xerxeus witnessed this battle and would be a great follow-up to 300

5. Ofcourse the Battle of Plataea, where Xersus was eventually defeated. More common characters and high on interest value

6. Battle of Amphipolis is a war between Sparta and Athens... Athens lost 600 and Spartans 8 guys. That would be a treat.

7. Euremedon, another sea battle, that inflicted ehavy casualities on the Persian forces.

I suppose Amphipolis, Marathon, followed by Salamis (my personal favourite) followed by Plataea would be the choice. I would personally like more greeks speaking in Scottish accents irrespective of what war is being depicted

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Movie review - Sivaji

Gentleman Part 5 =
Mudhalvan Part 4 =
Indian Part 3 =
Anniyan Part 2 =

/I am officially bored
//I am going to boycott this movie
///This will be my review for the movie

Movie Review - Shootout at Lokhandwala

1. Neha Dhupia looks like a horse. You be the judge.

/The horse NEigHs... and Neha... ?
//I was terribly bored.
///Whateva !!! I do what I want!
////Should it be 'Wali'?