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Idi i smotri

A disturbing anti-war film
Come and See is as riveting as any great anti war film. Overuse of close ups and strange acting in the films first half turned me off a bit. The film does grip you once the massacre begins. The war scenes are very realistic and disturbing. The beautiful Russian village where the massacre takes place lends a romantic and dream like air to the film. There were parts of the film which reminded me of Fellini's Amarcord. Like when German soldiers put down a bed with an old granny on it in a windy field and she sort of smiles wistfully. The relationship between the protagonist and a young woman was quite touching. Some of the visuals are as epic as Apocalypse Now or some Kurosawa films.


Anjaam Pathiraa

A respectable effort
Anjaam Pathira wasn't half bad. It was very gripping until the last 20 minutes. Despite some bad casting, a feminist character that adds nothing to the movie and a ridiculous ending, the film was gripping throughout. No Malayalam movie in the last one year has held my attention like Anjaam Pathira did.

The film was really intriguing until the last thirty minutes. There are some nice twists. The police procedural elements were very imaginative and really got me involved in the movie. Writer-director Midhun Manuel Thomas has done a good job here.

The audience clapped at both the interval and ending time.

Driving Licence

There was a good script inside there somewhere
Driving License did have some interesting stuff in it. There is quite a bit of insight into how a film is actually made. Shooting, dubbing etc. But apart from this, it was a typical mass entertainer. The writer had some interesting ideas. But I guess he was forced to convert it into a mass entertainer. Prithvi was tolerable in this. Suraaj marches on.


Another Double Barrell
This was my most awaited movie of the Christmas season. I was hoping that it is not another Double Barrell.

Unfortunately, it is another Double Barrel meets Parava meets Angamaly Diaries. The film does not work at all. Imagine a heist movie where the heist itself isn't important but the story of a place and it's characters are. But the place and characters are nothing great. The dialogs are awful.

But I'm certain about one thing. Shane Nigam is a huge future legend. What a talent. He really lights up the screen when he's on. Does a great job in action scenes. Reminds me of a young Mohanlal.

Prathi Poovankozhi

An entertaining feminist thriller
Watch this movie. It is thrilling. It is gripping. The over the top background score helps. Roshan Andrews does a decent job as the villain. He is also the film's director. Manju Warrier - well, is she ever bad? Unni R writes a riveting tale with some interesting twists. It is just around two hours long. Does not overstay its welcome. I had a good time.

The Irishman

A love triangle
The film is an ode to male homosocial desire. There is some deep Gene Jenet stuff in here. Men going into bed together (an ode to Touchez Pas Au Grisbi). Men bonding over car repair. Men fighting and then making up - the scene where Hoffa begs Sheeran to not leave him. I think deep in his heart, Buffalino was jealous of the closeness between Sheeran and Hoffa. Thats why he told Sheeran to paint the house. The evil that men do.


Gangster movie pretensions ruined a touching gay love story
Well, it was a pretty mediocre dark underbelly movie. The second half which takes place in Lakshadweep was quite good. But the film shifts back to Mumbai towards the end. The majority of the film takes place in Mumbai and those parts really suck. I don't know what Geethu Mohandas was thinking. She did have a pretty good LGBT story that took place in Lakshadweep and should have stuck with that. The phony violent underbelly of Kamatipura with actors playing their cliched ideas of prostitutes and gangsters was unbearable.

Compared to this film, the locations in Anurag Kashyap movies look like European cities.

Nivin Pauly sucked as a gangster but was quite decent as a humble self flagellating Muslim fisherman who falls in love with another man in a conservative Muslim community in Lakshadweep. The film is about how masculinity is imposed upon men and how it drives them crazy. Lakshadweep does look very nice on the big screen.


Anna Ben is a big star
A sincere performance by Anna Ben. In a mediocre survival thriller. This film has outdone all the recent releases at the box office. The credit goes to the charming Anna Ben. She carries the weakly scripted and routinely directed film on her shoulders. I recommend it to fans of Anna Ben. I do not recommend it to fans of cinema, despite the novel plot.


Fine performance by Lolita Davidovich
Blaze is set in a redneck Louisiana milieu of strippers and larger than life politicians. I watched this mainly for Lolita Davidovich. She plays a stripper who falls in love with a rambunctious progressive politician played by Paul Newman. The film deserved a better director than Ron Shelton who gives the material a routine treatment. Shorn of too many directorial flourishes, it is left to Lolita and Newman to shore up the film and they do a pretty good job. Lolita looks gorgeous in this. One of the prettiest and most adorable redneck women ever.

Point Blank

Good crap
Its crap. but some of the crap is good. one way to look at this is it involves a great actor systematically and deliberately ruining his once promising career. but then, this is better than some BEN AFFLECK heist movie crap. the film has a stellar cast - MICKEY ROURKE, DANNY TREJO, FREDRICK FORREST, KEVIN GAGE (vaingro in HEAT). the first 30 minutes is prety good b movie action and dialogs. but the film falls apart after a couple of needless molestation scenes. TREJO is awesome though. he really steals the show with a great dying dialog. watch this movie if you like dialogs like:

"there are cobwebs over my nutsack"

"the last time i ever used this thing was in kuwait"

"how about i do a blowjob with your brains over the wall?

the background score is very good. reminded me of GUNS N ROSES.



My running commentary while I watched the movie
Watched an hour of it. I never thought I would say this about a movie. But this is damn slow. I don't know what the hell is going on.

I'll try to finish it tomorrow.

well, its about a working class writer. the girl is reasonably cute. so i might complete it.

stuck at 63 minutes. i think its some korean feminist movie. i havent really figured out whats going on.

this film is like going to a bar with three koreans and they proceed to get drunk and talk in their own language while ignoring me completely. i eagerly read the subtitles. then the girl takes her clothes off and the two guys have sex with her. i just sit there and watch.

the girl gets naked and the other guy confesses to greenhouse and barn burning.

early in the film, the director shows us how boring sex really is.

what about the imaginary cat?what the hell?

the film is based on a MURAKAMI short story. one book boarder once described his work as horse manure.

ordered a chicken roast from puttu kada while watching this movie. didnt miss anyting.

the main character who is an aspiring writer loves WILLIAM FAULKNER. i liked a couple of his novels.

the rich guy who forms one end of the love triangle is bored with his guests.

feet fetish at 2:13:30. beautiful feet. better than any feet in ONCE.

well, there is a mystery towards the end. its quite cleverly resolved. though i didnt like the ending. overall, i liked the shots of rural south korea. the acting was very good. but i do not like overtly meditative films like this one. films that take itself too seriously. i might have enjoyed it better if i watched it in a theater. but frankly, its very tough to keep watching this. there is almost no narrative punctuation. just 2.5 hours of mostly dullness and beautiful visuals.


A ridiculous film
An atheist accompanies an alcoholic ward on a journey to Sabari Mala. He witnesses a stampede and experiences another tragedy at this famous Hindu place of worship. He comes back a changed man with a little more understanding about the ways of the believers.

What a ridiculous premise for a film made in 21st century India.

Alcoholism and atheism are the least of India's problems. It is extreme religiosity as a result of organized religion that is destroying this country. How many alcoholics in India declare openly that they are alcoholics? In Kerala, they tried to introduce alcohol prohibition in 2014. Also, who are the prominent Indian atheists like Hitchens or Sam Harris? There are none. In fact, some of them like Kalburgi were murdered over the last few years.

But the religious folk, led by the Hindu fundamentalists march on in 21st century India. Yet, this film suggests the atheist must understand the point of view of the believer.

How about believers try to understand the point of view of alcoholics and atheists?

The Zoya Factor

The cricket match scenes looked so fake. Almost as if the matches were fixed.

Sonam Kapoor was way too sweet. She is pretty but does get annoying after a while.

Dulqer did not have much to do.

The whole thing was like a Disney movie.

Why was it even made? I do not understand it.

Porinju Mariam Jose

Not as good as Joshi's classics
Joju George is a bit of a star now. Chemban was always a popular actor. Nyla Usha was unremarkable despite having a strong female role. The film is basically old wine in a new bottle. The same old lovable village goons fighting with the village bigwigs in the backdrop of church festivals. Parts of it were interesting. But it was mostly over the top and unremarkable. I did not enjoy it.


The worst Sreenivasan film is better than this crap
A mediocre attempt at recreating the sort of film that Sreenivasan used to write and act in, back in the 90s. The worst Sreenivasan film would be better than this dull, unfunny and uninspired piece of crap.

The first half is filled with repetitive scenes that underscore the main character's innocence and meiocrity. But none of them are really funny or cleverly written. There are no real jokes. No interesting characters. No interesting scenes. Aparna Das looked nice though.

Sreenivasan himself once said that he would read the scripts of other writers and tell them "Ningalude thamaashakal vaayichaal chiri varilla" (your jokes do not make me laugh). Thamaasha is one such script. There is nothing funny or touching about this film. The final drama involving the Facebook post and its resolution was also quite uninspired. In fact, my review is also uninspired. So do not waste your time. Watch Paavam Paavam Rajakumaran instead of this crap.


Mallu hillibillies .... not a masterpiece
Jallikattu is a film about Mallu rednecks - people who live in the hilly regions. But too much style and shouting over character development ruins the film to an extent. It is nowhere as good as Agamaly Diaries.

Worth a watch for the crowd scenes. But zero character development and strange background score ruins it a little. A bit of a miss for Lijo. And the final oooh message ..... We might wear clothes and all but we are just animals at the end of the day. Lijo is someone who loves the masculine men and the fight for territory. Here he tried to show it's dark side and sort of fell flat.

The supporting cast is full of unremarkable nobodies unlike in Angamay Diaries where every bit player made an impression.

A subplot involving an alcoholic Christian patriarch organizing a function and being scared of not getting enough meat was entertaining.

So many lost opportunities in Malayalam cinema to capture the lives of the people who live in the hilly regions. Either the director gets carried away with style like in the case of Jallikattu or is some boring blowhard.

I wonder whether the final scene is an allegory for overpopulation.

Dragged Across Concrete

A dud
This film is a dud. 160 minutes of mostly boredom. It's no French Connection. Not even a Traffic. It does have that one scene where they talk about how being accused of racism is like being called communist a few decades ago. The main protagonist is actually a black guy. Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn play square cops. Women are used as objects of sex. I'm not sure if you can call it an exploitation movie. It is not thrilling. It is not gritty. It's just boring mostly.



The worst Sreenivasan film is better than this crap
A mediocre attempt at recreating the sort of film that Sreenivasan used to write and act in, back in the 90s. The worst Sreenivasan film would be better than this dull, unfunny and uninspired piece of crap.

The first half is filled with repetitive scenes that underscore the main character's bungling attempts at seducing various women. But none of them are really funny or cleverly written. There are no real jokes. No interesting characters. No interesting scenes.

Sreenivasan himself once said that he would read the scripts of other writers and tell them "Ningalude thamaashakal vaayichaal chiri varilla" (your jokes do not make me laugh). Thamaasha is one such script. There is nothing funny or touching about this film. The final drama involving the Facebook post and its resolution was also quite uninspired. In fact, my review is also uninspired. So do not waste your time. Watch Paavam Paavam Rajakumaran instead of this crap.

Kabir Singh

A film that appeal's to every man's base instincts .....
Frankly, Kabir Singh is every man's sexual fantasy. They have really whitened and sexed up KIARA ADVANI even though she is fully clothed most of the time. I guess films that appeal to base instincts (like KABIR SINGH) will always be more successful than films that appeal to humanitarian values (like GULLY BOY). Despite some entertaining bits, Kabir Singh is mostly an average unremarkable film . The college life shown in the film is how it works in India in real life. The alpha males mark out territories between each other and even divide the females. the film is very very accurate in its depiction of college life. The college I studied in was worse than this. Kiara Aadvani - she is a real peach. Though her role wasn't that well written. Shahid's performance was impressive. Frankly, i would have liked a well made version of this. But the unimaginative editing and the tuneless heavy metal score does not help. Two of my wife's friends are doctors. They told my wife that young male doctors are usually this obnoxious. So the film is damn realistic. India is a merciless country as shown in this film. The good people at Buzzfeed India can cry as loudly as they want, it does not change reality.


Jason and the Argonauts

A great mix of genres
Men on a mission fantasy movie. nautical action adventure. mythological costume drama. JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS is all of these rolled into one. the film first caught my attention when i heard the bombastic background score which BERNARD HERMANN had composed for it. it is a great entertainer. the special effects by RAY HARRYHAUSEN are pretty jaw dropping. the scenes on the ship are beautiful. the giant bronze statue that comes to life and fights the men on the ship. the giant human who rises out of the ocean. the hydra that might have inspired the large serpent in CONAN THE BARBARIAN. the warrior skeletons. the film packs in with the special effects and thrills. IT is quite sexy too. i'm sure women would enjoy looking at all the bare chested scantily clad men. there are quite a few sexy dancing females thrown in as well. im no expert on greek mythology. but i liked this one. the film could have used more character development for the other argonauts who accompany jason on his quest for the golden fleece.



A grand production
A grand old school production with a huge star cast, directed by NICHOLAS ROEG. the film begins like ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA or POINT BLACK - grand eye catching spectacular visuals, moving back and forth in time with scenes of extreme violence and sex. GENE HACKMAN plays a gold prospector in the arctics. after discovering a trove of gold, he retires to a remote island where he drinks alcohol everyday with his wife. but the world will not leave him in peace. his daughter (THERESA RUSSELL) is in love with a romantic idealistic guy (RUTGER HAUVER). HACKMAN suspects they are out to get his money. then two businessmen (JOE PESCI! and MICKEY ROURKE) are trying to move in on the island and build a casino. they think of HACKMAN as a dinosaur who should be destroyed so that a new rich can emerge.

despite the grand visuals, sets and the huge star cast, the film was tough to get through. the scenes lack power. maybe the actors took the bored rich vibe too seriously and dulled things down. the dialogs are pretty trite. the film falls apart completely when it turns into a courtroom drama. i think some of the themes of ROEG's WALKABOUT can be found in EUREKA as well. the story of the feuding white people in this film is juxtaposed with scenes of african rituals and orgies. the wannabe rich people take part in an interracial orgy with the native africans on the island (a scene praised by DANNY BOYLE). but they runaway midway in fear. just like the two kids in WALKABOUT who sneer at the aboriginal boy. the dialogs underscore the man versus nature theme.

JOE PESCI was pretty cool as a ruthless businessman. MICKEY ROURKE was rather strange in a subdued role. he hardly has any dialogs and RUTGET HAUER is allowed to steal the show. THERESA RUSSEL shows off her beautiful body. i am not always a fan of GENE HACKMAN. his performance in this film did not really move me at all.



A great haunting and erotic drama
Haunting, disturbing and somewhat thrilling and erotic drama set in hungary during world war 2. a man and a woman pretend to be husband and wife to escape authorities during world war 2. they have connections to the hungarian resistance. they fall madly in love with each other. i really liked the way the film looked with those grayish ugly rotting city landscapes. the lead pair had some great chemistry. i realized that i had watched another SZABO film called LOVEFILM atleast 20 years ago after i checked his filmography. great background score too.


The Public Eye

A rare Joe Pesci film
A film that is not from the golden age or silver age of american cinema. but i felt like i should post about it here. it is definitely a modern noir aimed at classic movie fans. JOE PESCI got a $15 million solo hero movie (the film would have cost $27 million if it were made today) after the success of GOODFELLAS. PESCI plays a crime scene photographer BERNSIE who takes his job very seriously. he considers what he does to be an art form and takes unimaginable risks to photograph shootouts and crime scenes. he is hired by a beautiful club owner (BARBARA HERSHEY) to snoop on the mafia who seems to be intent on ousting her from the club. BERNSIE is secretly very lonely (there is a scene early in a club when a prostitute humiliates him after she sees him take the photograph of a couple) and is in love with HERSHEY.

it is one of those films which you want to like very badly. but it never really rises above a certain level. the scenes lack tension. too many supporting characters but none of them make an impact. the grave background score which is used in black and white scenes when BERNSIE watches people going about their jobs in NEW YORK is not very memorable. roger ebert liked it a lot. i guess it could be compared to THE CONVERSATION. both films feature characters who are immersed in their weird and somewhat unethical jobs but are pulled out of loneliness because of the outside world creeping into their lives or because they are driven by some sense of morality.

the great JOE PESCI has acted in so few films. so i had to watch it. i watched a really bad print. so that might have hampered my enjoyment. it was a big flop. but i guess PESCI made enough out of this movie to retire early and play golf.


The Long, Hot Summer

Raw American power
Love these american films about big families and raw american power. usually set in small towns. about family rivalries, town politics set in the backdrop of beautiful landscapes. CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION, WILD RIVER are other examples. these films seem to be elegiac. this film has a huge star cast with PAUL NEWMAN, LEE REMICK and ORSON WELLES. MARTIN RITT brought the best of out of NEWMAN with HUD and this one. NEWMAN plays a tough as nails "barn burning" character who arrives at the mansion of a wealthy missisippi family and impresses the patriarch (WELLES) with his wily ways. this turns his daughter and son against the newcomer. this is a really long drama (almost two hours long). the happy sugary ending was quite unexpected though.


Sweet Hostage

The ultimate male fantasy
The ultimate male fantasy. kidnap a beautiful girl, joust with her for a while and then she falls in love with you. MARTIN SHEEN plays a romantic young man who escapes from a mental asylum and kidnaps country cow girl LINDA BLAIR on the way. they shack up in a cabin in the woods. the girl who has problems with her bickering parents begins to fall for her poetry reciting kidnapper. it is a nice breezy romantic comedy that could have been a lot more. maybe SHEEN (who is a terrific actor) wasnt the best actor to play the role. but LINDA BLAIR is simply adorable in her cowboy dress. the film clearly emphasizes its love for the wild and the romantic, beginning with BLAIR's encounter with a rattlesnake early in the film. the cabin in the woods and locales tickle your fantasies. i am curious about the book, the movie is based on. SHEEN acted in two other movies which involved dangerous encounters with teenage girls - BADLANDS and THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE.


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