Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Two Line Reviews - #448

Movie: Lincoln (2012)

Plot: The movie is a record of Lincoln's resolve in getting the Bill on 13th amendment related to the abolition of Slavery passed in the cabinet.

What Works?
  • Steven Spielberg shall spit and I might end up liking watching it! This one's no spit by the way. The film narrates a historically significant event in American Politics and gives the attention to detail the event deserves.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln amazes one with his realistic portrayal and voice modulation! Bad that he hasn't done as many films as one would feel someone of his calibre should have done. He showcases Lincoln stubbornness and persuasive skills quite effortlessly.
  • In a cameo is Tommy Lee Jones and his portion is typically enjoyable Spielberg stuff!
  • The core technical team of Spielberg never changes and this film is one more reason as to why the longevity of the combination makes sense.
  • The voting scene at the cabinet is that one scene anyone would love watching.
What Doesn't?
  • More than Lincoln, the focus is on the Amendment and a lot of minute details are difficult to understand for anyone ignorant(like me) of the politics surrounding it.
  • Same is the case with the details shown on his wife and sons; It sends a message but it seems irrelevant.
A neat and carefully researched and executed record of a historical event!

Two Line Reviews - #447

Movie: The Impossible (2012)

Plot: A story on how a family struggled before surviving and reuniting after a devastating Tsunami struck the Thailand resort they were enjoying their Christmas weekend in!

What Works?
  • The film is based on a true story. And has been made keeping that in mind which is why it possesses the ability to touch one's senses!
  • Appreciations to the Spanish technical crew to have come up with a realistic filming of an event most of us were familiar with. The film, looks-wise, convinces us of the Tsunami's wrath.
  • Performance-wise, the elder son who helps his Mom recover shines and close on his heels are Naomi Watts and Mcgregor.
  • The scenes that stand out are these: The one where the boy helps a Swedish father reunite with his son and the one in which he he displays sheer joy after seeing a kid his Mom saved getting into his relative's hands!
  • The final reunion of brothers makes you feel gleeful, for, something similar must have happened in the true story as well!
Yet another celebration of Human Spirit and Survival Instincts!

Two Line Reviews - #446

Movie: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Plot: Baggins-the Hobbit, to his own surprise, is pulled into an expedition by dwarves who seek to get back a home from a mountain rumoured to house a deadly dragon! The Hobbit doesn't know where and how his service will be of in this unexpected journey of his.

What Works?
  • Peter Jackson is back - This time trying to revisit a Hobbit from the past and in trying to recreate the LoTR Magic, he succeeds partially!
  • The characters, as always, are funny, likeable and adventurously notorious and Gandalf is as majestic as ever!
  • The New Zealand locations once again come to the fore and the Graphics and music are decorative to the marvel you get to see on screen!
  • The episode of Golem and the connection with LoTR was surprising and was a connection I liked.
What Doesn't?
Comparisons with LoTR series are bound to happen and in that way, the film is a lot less impactful: Understandably, as the missions are contrasting in nature and this one is part of one single book and not three!

A pleasant journey indeed!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Two Line Reviews - #445

Movie: The Thing (1982)

Plot: In an American camp in Antarctica, a dog that escapes the assault of a Swedish camp gets its shelter. The dog is found to have been a reproduced form of an alien. When the campers understand the alien can transform itself into any form, the mutual trust they share breaks and each one suspects the other to have become a victim! Does sanity prevail in the end?

What Works?
  • The film has two wonderful layers; The superficial Sci-fi one which explains how life threatening the situation is for those involved has been written ordinarily but captured brilliantly with nice mutated replicants of real-life forms; They surely offer the thrills!
  • The core of it centers around how delicate yet important trust is and how things fall out once trust quits the scene and John Carpenter brings this intensity out of his characters very well!
  • Kurt Russell is at the centre of the action and performs admirably as the leader of the pack.
  • The music and neat camerawork complement the work on screen.
Marvelous Sci-fi thriller, A must-watch!

Two Line Reviews - #444

Movie: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

Plot: A consultant advising a wealthy Arab on an unusual goal of bringing fly-fishing to waters of the arid Arab desert seeks the help of a go-to expert on fishes. After failed attempts at showing them how futile the exercise could be, the expert too joins the leap of faith the Arab undertakes and the trio nearly pull it off!

What Works?
  • The positivity the film reflects makes this a very good watch! In not making it shout out lies the smartness of the maker, Lasse Hallström.
  • Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt share some nice chemistry on-screen and liven up the proceedings in the first half!
  • The scenes in Yemen show succinctly the facts on the special ability of mankind to come out trumps against odds and ho members of the same kind can play spoilsport to such ambitions.
  • The parallel track of Ewan is nice. However, the same cannot be said of that of Blunt.
  • The usage of showing message conversations to run a track was quite refreshing and may well be seen a lot in films in future.
  • Art work, for the efforts captured in the last hour and the climax, deserves a note of praise.
Refreshing tale on the 'Faith-effort' double!

Two Line Reviews - #443

Movie: Arsenic and the Old Lace (1943)

Plot: A man discovers that his aunts are compulsive murderers and when he discovers, murder madness runs in the family, he shudders and his impending marriage is about to collapse! If you thought this concept couldn't be presented humourously, better think again! This film does it and how!

What Works?
  • A day spent watching a Capra film, is a day well-spent! The sheer confidence of Frank Capra in weaving a weird murder story in the comedy genre and delivering it the way he wishes to makes one love the maker's abilities!
  • Cary Grant performs wonderfully in the role of a troubled nephew and his spontaneous and nonsensical one-liners and reactions definitely bring more than a few laughs in us!
  • The sisters are ridiculously brilliant and the comedy of errors the criminal brother and his doctor friend (who again marvels in his role) bring about add to the riot; So does the President-wannabe!
  • Dialogues are aptly written, contribute majorly to the fun and is a big plus.
A classic comic caper, Typical Capra style!

Two Line Reviews - #442

Movie: Shogun Assassin (Chinese, 1980)

Plot: A kid narrates his father's amazing skills which helped him save their lives from the Shogun whose sons his father had killed seeking retribution for the loss of his wife! On his way out, he shows what it takes to kill the most feared of slave-lords!

What Works?
  • This one is not for the weak-hearted, for, blood oozes from bodies like water does from shower nozzles! But for others, that's something that makes this click!
  • A westerner making this Eastern film was quite a surprise as it never showed!
  • Revenge stories always need a powerful presentation and this one, with a young child narrating stuff, delivers the message eloquently.
  • The martial art fights are stunners and the Casio Keyboard background score induces nostalgia!
This is one 'Killer' of a revenge story!

Two Line Reviews - #441

Movie: The Inglorious Bastards (1978)

Plot: A few about-to-be-imprisoned American soldiers work their way through the German attack to reach the Swiss border in an escape effort during WWII. Their contrasting, risk-friendly styles put them into trouble and pull them out of it time and again! Do they survive at the end?

What Works?
  • This is a film to be watched to have some fun of the pulsating kind!
  • A masterfully crafted daringly made humour tale in settings absolutely uncut for and that makes this effort of Enzo Castellari special.
  • Each in the mix of the American soldiers delight us in their own ways; The styles of the Afro-American & the cool Leader, the daredevil bike stunts of the Mousch-man and the romantic attempts of the other guy stand out!
  • Stunts are entertaining and these are accompanied by stylish music oft seen in the willd West-films.
  • For a film of its type, the nice production value was surprising!
Didn't inspire Tarantino for no reason!

Two Line Reviews - #440

Movie: Vozvrashchenie (or) The Return (Russian, 2003)

Plot: Two kids living under the tutelage of their mother are surprised by the visit of their never-before-seen father. In a journey spanning a few days over fishing and riding, thir emotions come out in contrasting styles and merge towards the end!

What Works?
  • Firstly, the characters who have played the roles deserve all the accolades; Amazing performances by all three prime characters and the younger kid walks away as the best! Outstanding show by him!
  • The strange plot aided by a suspenseful narration is refreshing to the senses and appreciations to the film's director Andrey Zvyagintsev and its writers.
  • The cinematography is of top notch quality and a nice lesson for aspirants for the colours used perfectly suit the mood!

Psychic Suspense delivered in an unperturbed fashion!