The blog was delayed by a day because I was traveling.
Gomorrah (Italy, 2008) [IMDB: 7.0, Rotten Tomatoes: 91%]
This Italian film on the mafia had real life gangsters play roles with ease. After all, they could relate easily to the screenplay which was raw in its power and held back no punches. The film tells the story of crime as a way of life in some of the families in Italy, notorious for clan wars. The movie has been hailed as one of the best to come out on the theme and won over the critics when it was released. Two thumbs up.
Elite Squad (Brazil, 2007) [ IMDB: 8.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 87%]
Set in the second half of the 1990s, the film looks at the efforts to cleanse Rio De Janeiro of crime before the visit of the Pope to the city of Christ, the Redeemer. Though not very impressive in its execution, the film has too many logical loopholes but is very ambitious for a foreign language film. It has its moments though and fans of the thriller-action genre will find the film quite entertaining. Hence, it is recommended to only that sub category of viewers.
Movies I Saw This Week
Queen (India, 2014) [ IMDB:9.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 95%]
By far the best mainstream Hindi film to have come out in 2014, ‘Queen’ is a Kangana Ranaut show all the way. She is practically present in every shot of the movie as the naive Rani who is ditched by her fiance on the eve of the wedding. (Spoilers ahead) She decides to get over the situation by going on the honeymoon she was supposed to have. It is through this journey that she discovers the world and in the process, herself. What could have become a cliched attempt finds its way through nice twists and some memorable performances from the supporting cast. Still, they all pale in comparison to the pitch perfect performance by the leading lady who comes up with the right expressions and carries the film on her shoulders. I would like to raise a toast to an entertaining film that is a small diversion from the cliche that Bollywood has become.
Adult World (2013) [ IMDB: 6.2, Rotten Tomatoes; 50%]
Mostly inept and highly predictable, this film is again on the coming off age theme. A young girl whose graduation is not good enough to make her employable and who has notions of rebellion at the family life she is forced to live, takes up a job in an adult store. She also meets her literary idol (played unconvincingly by the otherwise reliable John Cusack) and tries to force her way into his life. The film meanders along and by the half way stage the viewer would be hard pressed to maintain interest.
Homefront (2013) [ IMDB: 6.6, Rotten Tomatoes: 63%]
Toughie living the life in exile is the theme of this average flick. As with numerous other movies that have dealt with the theme, the smooth on the exterior guy is forced to reveal his fangs when his family is challenged by external forces. Nothing much to write about happens as the film takes a predictable turn. I must say that the shots of the Louisiana landscape were quite beautiful to watch.
Documentary Pick of the Week
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2004) [ IMDB: 7.4, Rotten Tomatoes: 87%]
Roman Polanski revealed like never before. Two thumbs up.
The : D Retrospective
Mona Lisa Smile (2003) [ IMDB: 6.3, Rotten Tomatoes: 61%]
When Julia Roberts prods you on to rebel against the society, even the most conservative women are made to take notice and act on it. Julia Roberts is an arts professor in this feel good movie set in the 1950s. A very feel good movie.
A Walk on the Moon (1999) [ IMDB: 6.6, Rotten Tomatoes: 7.2]
A bored middle aged housewife leads an affair with a journeyman, throwing all caution away. The times are very exciting; with man landing on the moon. The same lady also has a teenage daughter to whom she wants to be a guide. In this cautionary tale, it is Diane Lane who leads the show. Beautifully shot without the in your face cinematography, the film has some exciting tracks to add to the general feel of the movie. Though the film is not very well known, it is one of the above average flicks that need your attention.
The Good Girl (2002) [ IMDB: 6.5, Rotten Tomatoes: 81%]
Jennifer Aniston has an affair but the problem is that no one expects her to have one. She has a loving husband and a normal life but she decides to add some excitement to the proceedings. Watch it for her because she can also play serious characters.
Eagerly Waiting for:‘Transcendence’ because of Johnny Depp
Did you know: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was the first film to ever show a toilet flush.