Rating My Life

Icon

Rating my life one post at a time….

Its movie time again !!

What happens when you stuff a failed motivation speaker, his wife, the nation’s number one Proust scholar, an elderly potty-mouthed heroin addict, a teen who’s mute by choice, and a bespectacled little pageant hopeful into a mini VW bus for a three day road trip? You get this hilarious but moving satire about a dysfunctional family obsessed with winning. Had a chance of watching this brilliant movie called LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE.

      Credit must go to the ensemble cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, and Abigail Breslin and the delightfully funny script by Michael Arndt, which first-time directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris handled perfectly.
It’s true that the family road trip comedy isn’t exactly a new genre; nor are quirky indie movies about dysfunctional families all that hard to come by. But somehow LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE manages to combine the two into something fresh, engaging, and often hysterically funny — with a dash of “aw shucks” poignancy to boot.

The Hoover family decides to make the trip from Albuquerque to Southern California after starry-eyed daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) unexpectedly scores a spot in the regional Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. The whole clan — sunny Olive; anxious mom Sheryl (Toni Collette); aspiring motivational speaker dad Richard (Greg Kinnear); feisty, drug-using Grandpa (Alan Arkin); cynical teen Dwyane (Paul Dano); and gay, suicidal Proust scholar Uncle Frank (Steve Carell) — piles into their old yellow Volkswagen bus (which has become the movie’s signature image) and hits the road.

Naturally, that road is full of all kinds of obstacles — including car trouble, lots of bickering, and even an unexpected death. But in the process of working together to help Olive make it to the pageant, the Hoovers come to understand each other anew … or at least appreciate the fact that no one else could possibly understand them except each other.

Again, it’s nothing radically new in terms of storytelling or character development. But the film succeeds thanks to its excellent cast (husband-and-wife directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris lucked out, casting Carell just before he hit it really big with The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and funny, tight script. There aren’t any wasted moments in this movie; even the smallest action — Frank buying the dirty magazines, for example — turns out to matter down the line.

The big beauty pageant finish was pretty funny — which is pretty much how the Hoovers seem to approach life in general, so it all works out in the end.

Advertisements

Filed under: Uncategorized

Prepare for Glory !!

THE STORY

300 is based on the true story of the Battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas and 300 Spartans fought against Xerxes and his million man Persian army. Leonidas believed in freedom and would never allow his land or his people to become slaves to Xerxes. Although they faced insurmountable odds, Leonidas believed that his small group of soldiers could take down whatever came their way. Back home, Theron, a member of the Spartan Counsel, was trying to bring Leonidas down so he could gain riches and power. Leonidas’s wife, Queen Gorgo, tried desperately to get the Counsel to send more troops to help Leonidas. On the battlefront, Leonidas and his men braved the onslaught as much as they could and in doing so, earned their place in history.

THE REVIEW

The first and most obvious thing about 300 is the look of the movie. From the script notes I read this – “[Director Zach] Snyder had the idea of manipulating the color balance to create a process that was ultimately nicknamed “the crush.” “Zack developed a recipe where you’d crush the black content of the image and enhance the color saturation to change the contrast ratio of the film. Every image in this film went through a post-image processing. The crush is what gives this film its distinct look and feel.” I’m not sure I can really explain what all that means, except it made the movie look extremely cool. Considering the film was also based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller (who was also the creator of Sin City) it’s no surprise that the filmmakers decided to make the film look like it was ripped from the pages of the comic book. Nothing looked like it could be real, but that made the movie feel more intense. It was like watching Gladiator on acid. Every action was enhanced and every movement measured to perfection.

The one thing about movies like this, where the visuals are so different and exciting, is that many filmmakers believe that the look of the movie will be enough to carry the movie, and so they forget about the story. Thankfully, the team of writers at 300 gave us a story that held my interest throughout. I don’t go in expecting to see a history lesson, but I do go in expecting to be entertained. The movie started off a little slow, but that was likely due to the high level of anticipation I had. I really wanted to see some action right from the start. Instead, we’re shown what life was like for the King and his people. But as the movie went along, it really picked up speed and by the time the 45 minute mark rolled along, it really kicked into high gear.

The other aspect of films that gets left behind when making such a visually compelling movie, is the acting. Again, I think most filmmakers believe that people will be so overwhelmed by how the movie looks, they’ll forget everything else. In this case, the actors helped carry the film. And it was the lead, Gerard Butler, who gave the performance of his life. In the trailers you can hear the fury of his voice, but in the film you can see the power of his performance. Even though there are others who might be taller, others who might have more muscles, there is no doubt who the leader is. He carries himself with grace and extreme power so that you can understand why his men would follow him into a battle where they would all likely die. If you put a lesser actor into such an important role, the movie might still look good, but overall it would have never been as entertaining. Butler had to walk a fine line between being an overpowering King leading his troops into battle, and a husband and father who was fighting for his family’s future.

And then there were the fight scenes. The movie is certainly violent, with heads and limbs being chopped off, people throwing spears at each other, and lots and lots of dead people. But in keeping with the graphic novel aspect of the film, the blood that appears was obviously computer generated, which looked cool but also kept the realism down. I’m not 100% sure I agree with that choice, and at times it was a little distracting. However the enormity of the battle sequences more than made up for that. Hundreds upon hundreds of warriors died in a number of ways, and it was all accentuated by pulse pounding music and visual effects that put this in the early lead in next year’s Oscar race. In fact, were this movie released late in the year, I have no doubt it would be an Oscar contender in many different categories. As it is, it will likely have to settle for making a lot of money and becoming the fanboy choice for the year. I’m already looking forward to seeing it again.

THE BOTTOM LINE

So overall, I really enjoyed 300. With all the anticipation, I felt it started slowly, but once it got into gear, it blew me and the audience out of the water. Definitely a must-see film on the big screen.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Life when Tyler Durden is around !!

If you Wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person ?

How many times have you guys asked that question to yourself ? When you are at office you are different person, when you meet ur parents you are different person, when you father’s friends come home for dinner you are a different person !! .

I got an oppurtunity to watch this movie called FIGHT CLUB. I know it released long back but i could not watch it for a long time. This movie is what i call Inspirational. Not that you end up getting into a fight after you see this movie. But end up questioning yourself whether your present life is complete. If it is not, Tyler Durden says never mind because he says ” I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let…..lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may “.

The movie is all about two guys….err infact one person with two different personality. The one he is and the other he wants to be. Tyler is the guy he wants to be and Narrator is the guy he is. I would say there is a Tyler Durden in everyone of us. You mite say that this is crazy for this Tyler would have apporpriately answered “People do it everyday, they talk to themselves….they see themselves as they’d like to be, they don’t have the courage you have, to jst run with it”.

How many times have you guys felt like beating someone . How many times have you felt that you could afford yourself a blow on ur face or stomach. Well Tyler helps you make these things possible. As i said before Tyler is not a bad inspiration. Jst because he asks Narrator to fight does not mean you have to get urself some bruises. The message here is “Be who you are…just because all the horses are drinking from the pond does not mean you have to drink the water too…drink when you are thirsty”.

Its not a movie where you will find great romance. Its not a movie where you will find action. Its a movie where you will find dialogues which will make you think. For instance there is a sequence where Tyler says ” We are the middle children of history. No purpose or place. We have no great war. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war…..our Great Depression is our lives.”

This is the movie all about. Make you realise that your job, you credit cards, your nokia cellphones does not make you complete. Be who you are and dont give a damn for anything and anyone.

I know probably some of you guys mite argue that the world is not going to accept when you end up being like Tyler. Well i would say “We’re consumers. We are by-products of lifestyle obsession. Murder, Crime, Poverty, these things dont concern us What concerns are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on our underwear……”

I would give Fight Club 10/10 . Its worth watching it and its more worth thinking about it after watching it.

Let me finish in the words of Tyler ” You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you. He never wanted you. In all probability, he hates you. Remember this is not the worst thing that can happen……”

CREDITS

TYLER DURDEN : Brad Pitt
THE NARRATOR : Edward Norton

You can find more information about Fight Club from
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/

\m/
Vinod

Filed under: Uncategorized

Finally !!!

My First Blog

It took me well over half an hour and two cups of coffee before i could even start typing here. I simply could not come up with a name for my blog.

Anyways, this is my first blog(ask me the meaning of it, i still dont know :-P). I have read like millions of blogs and i have commented on few of them, but until now i never thought of creating one for myself. Could be because i was too lazy to click some buttons and fill some forms .

I am trying to get this Blogging business a very good start and i have been writing and deleting stuff over and over again. So i can say that i jst realised i m really bad at writing. I am not disappointed about it. I am happy that i have already started learning for blogging.

I jst read this somewhere and i thought it would be a good para to start with. So here it goes

.

.

.

.

Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Then you will be free.

Filed under: Uncategorized