Friday, March 24, 2006

Some Classics

Past few days, I’ve seen some excellent movies …

BLACK & WHITE
1. Dr Strangelove
2. One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest
3. The Raging Bull
4. Seven Samurai
5. Some Like It Hot
6. Citizen Kane
7. 12 Angry Men
8. To Kill A Mocking Bird

Technicolor:
9. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
10. The Clockwork Orange


[1] Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Black & White - 1964

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Peter Setllers, George C Scott, Sterling Hayden
Brilliant movie!!!!
One of the best satires I’ve ever seen …
Kubrick turned a nuclear holocaust into a black comedy

[2] One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Black & White – 1975

Director: Milos Forman
Cast: Jack Nicholson [as McMurphy] , Louise Fletcher [The nurse]…
also featuring very young looking Danny DeVito, with a curious name “Martini”

Jack Nicholson brilliantly plays Randall Patrick McMurphy, an ex-con, who fakes being mentally insane, to enter the institution and avoid time in jail. McMurphy got the lobtomy at the very end..The movie is hilarious, tragic, chilling, disturbing and very poignant.

Based on a novel by Ken Kesey “ Cuckoo’s Nest” which he wrote in 1962;
from his experiences working at a veterans hospital. The movie version of the of the novel swept the 1974 Academy Awards … [ best actor, best actress, best director, and best picture, Best [adapted] screenplay ]

Along with "It Happened one night" and "Silence of the Lambs" this movie received the main 5 Oscars: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Director, Best Picture and Best Screenplay

[3] Raging Bull
Black & White - 1980

Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci
Based on life of Jake la Motta – true story

A biographical film about the middleweight champ, Jake LaMotta.
Jake La Motta was consultant for the film.

Robert de Niro, won the Best Actor Academy Award.
He actually learned to box for the film, and did all the boxing scenes himself without using a stunt double. He gained 60 pounds to play LaMotta, which was an all-time record at the time (later beaten by Vincent D'Onofrio, who gained 70 pounds for Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket").

Scorsese and De Niro's partnership over the years has resulted in some of the best movies of all time: "Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver," "The King of Comedy," "Goodfellas", "Casino” & “The Raging Bull”.

[4] Seven Samurai
Black & White - 1954

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Excellent movie but too long ...

[5] The Clockwork Orange [1971]
Directed by Stanley Kubrick - A very disturbing movie ...
but extremely absorbing and thought provoking!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

On the road again

I love road trips …
But they have never been as interesting as some of the movies I’ve seen ...

# 1. TRANSAMERICA [2005]
Just before *his* [!!!!!] sex-change operation Bree [Felicity Huffman] visits his son Toby [Kevin Zegers]. They take a return road-trip which changes their lives forever!!!
A beautiful movie … & … Felicity Huffman deserved the Oscars!!!
Director: Duncan Tucker

# 2. SIDEWAYS: [2004] Two friends set off on a road trip as the tagline says:
“In search of wine. In search of women. In search of themselves.”
Two middle aged men Miles [Paul Giamati] and Jack [Thomas Hayden Church] set off on a wine-tasting tour through North California , just a week before Jacks wedding.Their characters and life unfold through a series of incidences that they encounter on the way! A sideways detour may or may not affect their later lives as they meet two interesting characters: Sandra Oh and Virginia Madsen.
Director: Alexander Payne

# 3. HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE:
Two friends Harold [Korean guy] and Kumar [Indian] want to grab some munchies from “White Castle”. On their road-trip they encounter amusing characters: cop, rock-star, hitchhikers …. A very funny movie!!!!
Director: Danny Leiner [of “Arrested Development” fame ]

# 4. ROADTRIP:
Long distance relationship and goof-up with a sex-tape compels a grad-student to take a road-trip with his three friends. A hilarious movie. Tom Green with a small role steals the show. Somehow this movie reminds of two equally funny movies: "American Pie" and "There’s something about Mary".
Director: Todd Phillips

# 5. ABOUT SCHMIDT:
Warren Schmidt [Jack Nicholson] a retired insurance salesman, whose wife died, takes a road-trip to stop his daughter’s wedding … A good movie. A very fallible character and his everyday life experiences …
Director: Alexander Payne

SOME OTHER:
- Thelma & Louise – saw long back and don’t remember much ...
- Road to Perdition

Not Seen Yet:
- The Motorcycle Diaries
- Elizabeth town
I’m sure there would be many more ...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Trilogies

Many movies have sequels ...
But here I’m talking of only those movies with have a *minimum* of two sequels ...

# Interestingly most of the “action” heroes have movie-trilogies to their credit ...
Tom Cruise [Mission Impossible]; Bruce Willis [Die Hard]; Arnold Schwarzenegger [The Terminator]; Keanu Reeves [The Matrix]; Mel Gibson [Lethal Weapon]; and Harrison Ford [Indiana Jones] ....

# Some of the best directors have made sci-fi /fantasy trilogies …
George Lucas [Starwars]; Steven Spielberg [Jurrasic Park, Indiana Jones]; Robert Zemeckis [Back to Future]; Peter Jackson [LOTR]

* I haven’t seen all the movies listed here ...

1. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt [action-thriller]
Strangely enough the sequels have different directors… First is directed by Brain De Palme, second by John Woo & third, yet to be released by J.J Abrams …
Sequels: [i] Mission Impossible – 1996; [ii] – 2000, [iii] – 2006

2. THE MATRIX: Keanu Reeves as Neo [Sci-fi - Action - thriller]
A futuristic story: of struggle between “artificial intelligence” & humans
Director: Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski
Sequels: [i] The Matrix: 1992, [ii] Reloaded- 2003; [iii] Revolution – 2003

3. THE TERMINATOR: Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator [ Sci-fi /action / thriller]
A human-looking, cyborg is sent from the future to the past
Director: James Cameron
Sequels: [I] The Terminator- 1984; [ii] Judgment day- 1991; [iii] Rise of the Machine- 2003

4. DIE HARD: Bruce Willis as John McClane [action-adventure-thriller]
New York cops and hostages
Sequels: [1] Die hard – 1988; [ii] Die harder -1990; [iii] Die hard with a vengeance – 1995

5. LETHAL WEAPON: Mel Gibson as Sergeant Martin with another LA cop Danny Glover as Sergeant Roger [ Action/ Comedy/ Crime thriller]
Director: Richard Donner
Sequels: Lethal Weapon- [I] 1987; [II] – 1989; [III] – 1992 & [IV] – 1998

6. BACK TO FUTURE: Michael J Fox as Marty and Christopher Lloyd as Dr. Brown
A sci-fi time travel movie – action-adventure-comedy
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Sequels: [1] Back to Future - 1985; [ii] - 1989; [iii] - 1990

7. INDIANA JONES: Harrison Ford as Indian Jones [action-adventure-thriller]
Director: Steven Spielberg
Sequels: [i] Raiders of the Lost Ark – 1981; [ii] The Last Crusade – 1989; The Temple of Doom [1984

8. JURRASIC PARK: A Steven Spielberg mega project – sci-fi-action-adventure
“An Adventure 65 Million Years In The Making”
[i] Jurrasic Park – 1993; [ii] The Lost World – 1997; [iii] The Extinction – 2001

9. LORD OF THE RING: A Peter Jackson mega project.
Sequels: [i] The Fellowship of the Ring – 2001
[ii] The Two Towers – 2002
[iii] The Return of the King - 2003

10. STARWARS: A George Lucas mega project – with Harrison Ford [Han Solo]; Mark Hamill [ Luke Skywalker]; Hyden Christensen [Anakin Skywalker]; Ewan McGregor [Obi-Wan Kenobi]; Frank Oz [Yoda]; Natlie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee ….
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …. “
[i] Starwars: 1977
[ii] Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back – 1980
[iii] Episode VI – Return of Jedi -1983
[iv] Episode II – Attack of the Clones -2002
[v] Episode III – Revenge of the Sith – 2005

FEW MORE ...
1. Godfather trilogy – Gangster movie with one of Hollywood’s best directors Francis Ford Coppol and three scting powerhouses: Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro & Al Pacino…

2. Dollar Trilogy: Western-action … directed by Sergio Leone with Clint Eastwood.
Sequels:
[i] A Fistful of Dollars – 1964;
[ii] For a few dollars more - 1965
[iii]The Good, The Bad & the Ugly - 1966

COMEDIES:
Home Alone
American Pie
Carry On Series
Police Academy
Beverly Hills Cops

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Oscars - 2006 ... My Choice

Best Motion Picture: Crash
Best Director: Ang Lee for "Brokeback Mountain"
Best Actor: Philip Seymore Hoffman for “Capote”
Best Actress: Felicity Hoffman for “Transamerica”
Best Supporting Actor: George Clooney for “Syriana”

Though I will be very happy if “Capote” wins the Best Film award,
and totally thrilled if “Good Night and Good Luck” wins it !!!

Few of my related posts ...
[1] Good Night & Good Luck ...
[2] Capote...
[3] Munich & Syriana ...
[4] Crash & Constant Gardener ...
[5] Transamerica, Mrs Henderson Presents & others...
Though I've seen "Brokeback Mountain"; but never wrote a review on it ...

For 2006- Oscar Nominee List; check out this IMDb site: Oscar Nomination - 2006...

  Posted by Picasa

ADDENDUM : [ March 6, 2006 ]
So I was almost correct ...
Except for ...
Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon for “Walk The Line”

To add to the list ...
Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz for “The Constant Gardener”
Best Original Screenplay: Crash
Best Adapted Screenplay: Brokeback Mountain
Best Editing: Crash

  Posted by Picasa
Best Cinematography: Memoirs of a Geisha
Best Art Direction: Memoirs of a Geisha
Best Costume Design: Memoirs of a Geisha
Visual Effects: King Kong
Sound Editing: King Kong
Sound Mixing: King Kong
Documentary Feature: March of the Penguins
Original Song: "It's hard out here for a pimp" [Hustle & Flow]
Original Score: Brokeback Mountain

...... And George Clooney's was the most handsome face on the red carpet!!!

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Too much color on the red carpet ... Kiera Knightly - wine; Sandra Bullock - navy-blue; Charlize Theron - forest-green [with a *giant* bow, that looked ridiculous]; Jennifer Lopez - light green; Jada Pinkett Smith - bright blue; Salma Hayek - slate blue ...
Some in Basic Black: Felicity Huffman; Jennifer Aniston, Rachel Weisz ....
Monochromes: Nichole Kidman, Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon ...

More: Academy Awards ...
IMDb site: Oscars ...

Some New

[1] TRANSAMERICA:
Director: Duncan Tucker
Cast: felicity Huffman , Kevin Zegers ...
I went to the movie, NOT expecting much; but was up for a surprise ... A Very Nice Movie!!! It turned out to be a beautiful experience. The movie makes an honest attempt to humanize the social life of transgender - who still face immense difficulties in being accepted in the mainstream culture. I applaud at the extremely sensitive handling of less talked about issue of sexuality! The protagonist [Felicity Huffman] is an ordinary person, with no heroism and got nothing to boast about; but faces scorn dealing with his (!!!!) gender – a man trapped in a woman’s body!
Felicity Huffman – Bravo!!! Deserves the Best Actress Oscars!!!
The acting of his son is also very commendable.

[2] Mrs HENDERSON PRESENTS:
Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: Dame Judi dench, Bob Hoskins ...
Nice, delightful movie. Its loosely based on the life of Laura Henderson, a rich widow who brought a decrepit London theater “The Windmill” and revved it up as a round-the-clock vaudeville showing nude women. A theater that never closed even during the war [WW-II] periods; even when there was bombing in the city.

[3] THE MATADOR:
Director: Richard Shepard
Cast: Pierce Brosnan ...
It’s a comedy, crime-thriller and drama … with Pierce Brosnan in the lead role.
Brosnan sheds the Bond-guy image! Well he is still a hit-man; but no more appointed by “The majesty - the Queen” and his “license to kill” is gone and along with it goes his suave sophistication.
An okay kind of a movie – neither great, nor was boring, just alright!
However I feel that Pierce Brosnan has been in similar kind of roles … of a person who commits crimes just for the thrill …
- Thomas Crown Affair – he steals from his own art museum, just for fun
- After the Sunset – Again is a diamond thief; just for the kick
(Not touching upon the topic of his Bond-guy roles)

[4] WEATHERMAN:
Director: Gore Verbinski
Lead actors: Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine ...
Nicolas Cage - as the Chicago weatherman! [Another Chicago based movie!!!]
Again an ordinary movie! Nothing to rave about.. The movie draws-upon the unpredictability of life from vacillating weather and the very-many factors that can sway either [weather / life] in unforeseeable directions.
Though I liked Nicolas Cage in another movie, “Lord of War” and last year’s hit; “National Treasure” and some of his earlier movies, Adaptation, Face-off, Gone in Sixty Seconds, City of Angles ... but this one didn’t impress me much!
Michael Caine makes the movie slightly pleasant ...