Friday, June 30, 2006

Superman Returns (2006) - English Movie Review

I am not going to rank this movie, write the story or any of the conventional methods I have followed for other movies because this one is special - It is SUPERMAN!

The hero of all heroes, the man of steel, with a heart of gold, good looking and a great Krypton being, men want to be him and women would love to have him...In other words a fantasy icon of all realized through the media called cinema.

We went to the theater almost an hour before the show and we still got to sit at the second row only. It was sad but we were still excited that it was IMAX with 20 minutes of the movie in 3D! yay! And one thing is for sure that many of us will return to watch the movie in a decent seat next time. But inspite of the neck craning and moving head from corner to corner of the screen the movie was worth it. I still wonder if the 3D effects would have been better had we been slightly higher up.

It is kiddish, very similar to a Rajni or Vijaykanth movie...Hero protects all, is there at the nick of the moment, hears everyone's cry for help, loves his girlfriend immensely and better still CAN FLY...What more do you want other than to see a handsome hunk in blue and red fly over the skyline of Metropolis and into the universe...When he zooms close to you all you can think of is how handsome Brandon Routh really is...Clean shaven, blue eyes, perfect skin, tight clothes...Oops now I am making him sound gay (not that there is anything wrong with it) and that was not my intention...

The heroine, Lois Lane, of course was okay...But surely the two did have some good chemistry in the movie. I loved James Marsden in Notebook and only liked him better in this movie. In fact Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar go to White Castle) also makes appearance as one of Lux Luthor (Kevin Spacey's) sidekicks who has no dialogues...And need I say anything about Mr. Spacey's acting talents...

The movie is a fantastic watch...For a few moments it transports you to another world...And makes you really hope that there is Superman waiting outside the theater...It was very touching when a little kid sitting behind us screamed "Yay, Superman!" when he appeared on the screen...It made us realize that we were also clapping and cheering just like the kid but trying to act slightly matured!!! If this was a Desi theater then I would have made my friends whistle (because I don't know how to) and scream! I loved the movie...

Everyone did make comparisons of Brandon to Chris Reeve...It was omnipresent and to an extent spooky but only difference is that Brandon I assume has real muscles and no padding. But both of them aroused the same excitement among the viewers. Watch Superman and feel like a kid all over again!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Paarijatham (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Prithviraj, Saranya, Seetha, Prakash Rai, Roja, Sarath Babu
Director: Bagyaraj
Music: Tharan

One Line Review: Worth watching it!

Fresh 80's touch. That does sound contradictory, but for a film industry which does has forgotten the beautiful language of film making this movie is fresh and yes it has the feel of the movies that were made in the 80's and early 90's. The cast could have been Suhasini and Mohan for all you cared...

Again a very simple story. Seetha moves to a big house across from the small house where Sarath Babu and his daughter Saranya lived. Saranya becomes Seetha's housekeeper while she waits for her husband and son to join her. During the brief period Seetha starts to like Saranya a lot and slowly develops the idea of marrying her son to Saranya.

Saranya narrates a story she was writing to get published to Seetha. It the story about how two people fall in love in the process of an arranged marriage but are unable to unite to the end...Seetha imagines this story in her mind with he images of Prithiviraj (Seetha's and Prakash Rai's son) and Saranya as the bride and groom of the story. Thus Seetha is now convinced that she was going to have Saranya marry her son and also tells her family about her decision. Although she does not give name or photo to her husband or son.

Seetha ofcourse dies in an unfortunate accident and her family is trying to locate the girl she had chosen for her son. A lot of people mislead them leading both father and son not to trust anyone. Finally Prakash Rai decides to marry his son to a friend's daughter and lie that she was the chosen girl...

Enter Bagyaraj...Confusion mounts and the rest of the movie discusses about the effort Bagyaraj puts into unite Saranya and Prithviraj.

The story is a simple but beautiful. The director should have cut short the last 30 minutes of the movie. It was crisp for three quarters of the movie...But still it was a welcome change from the violence and gore of the present day hits like Pattiyal and Pudupettai.

Saranya has performed really well for a debut. She is very natural and does not do any extra annoying histrionics. Her father has chosen a nice story for introducing his daughter...Albeit she might have to shed some baby fat. Prithviraj was handsome as a villain in the movie Kana Kanden...Clean shaven and well dressed. Somehow in this movie he comes across as being very sloppy with an unshaven face and bad dressing. He also does a little overaction in the part where he is a character in Saranya's story. Age and time have taken a toll on Bagyaraj...He looks old and his voice is all the more irritating. I guess he should stick to writing and directing henceforth.

On the whole the movie is worth watching with the whole family including grandparents. A healthy entertainer and is very fresh! So do watch it if you do not mind watching a slightly slow paced movie with loads of romance, emotions and sentiments!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Style (2006) - Telugu Movie Review

Ranking: 2/5

Cast: Raghava Lawrence, Prabhu Deva, Charmee, Raja, Kamilini Mukherjee
Director: Raghava Lawrence
Music: Mani Sharma

The story is simple...Prabhu Deva is a dancer who wins a very big competition. He gives strong competition to the brother of a big villain. The villain initiates an accident and Prabhu looses his legs. Prabhu has a sister, Kamilini who takes care of him.

In the meantime Lawrence is a dancer who works in a dance school as cleaner with his friends. He is very skilled but cannot afford formal dance education. His icon is Prabhu Deva and models his dancing in the same style.

Charmee and Raja are students in the same school where Lawrence works. This is really a useless and side story. Charmee and Raja are in love with each other but do not tell it out explicitly...So Charmee uses Lawrence as a bait to make Raja jealous. The ploy works and Raja proposes to Charmee. But poor Lawrence unaware of Charmee's plot falls in love with her and is heartbroken.

In the meantime using Kamilini's idea Prabhu trains Lawrence to fight against the villain's brother in the dance competition. Lawrence trains hard and also gets people to sponsor him. Seeing him dance makes his competitor unsure of himself so he complains to his villain brother again who promptly kidnaps them.

The dance competition is on its way but these dancers are in the custody of the villain...So yes...Our very own Nagarjuna comes in to help them out. How? I don't know...These bloodied dancers make their appearance at the very last minute and make it to the finals. They win the competition and of course Chiru comes to give away their awards and talks highly about them...Yup that is the story...

Wonder why our directors cannot get more creative than this? The acting is okay, story is boring, dance moves are repetitive, I really do not know why people invest and waste time and money on such crappy stories.

It is okay to watch if you have nothing better to do and it is certainly good for watching it with family.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Jerry (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 2/5

Cast: Ramesh, Mumtaj, Meera Vasudevan, Shruthi, Balaji, Crazy Mohan
Director: S.P. Kandhan
Music: Ramesh Vinayagam

Some stories are best forgotten as you walk away from the from watching it and this certainly falls into that category. I will write what I barely remember but you do not have to read the review to avoid the movie. Don't waste time watching crappy movies like these.

Ramesh is a college student. He is a very determined person and will win any challenge he takes by hook or crook. So he challenges his friends that he will make three girls fall in love with him and his friends can choose the girls.

The first girl is Meera who is a cop. She is sad and upset that no one wants to marry her as she is a cop. Ramesh does a lot of romantic crap and makes her fall in love with him. Unless Ramesh was a PhD. Student the chances of Meera and him being the same age are slim...and the whole plot is not only corny but extremely cheesy.

Second girl is Mumtaz playing the role of a very popular actress. The whole plot is very annoying and Ramesh's looks very cheap in his acting skills...He has the most vulgar facial expressions and can irritate the crap out of you.

Third girl is Shruthi a goody-two-shoes from his college. She hates Ramesh and Ramesh follows her around to make her fall in love with him during which time he notices that Shruthi is the sweetest person he has met. So he proposes to her inside Foodworld locked in during the night. She is all angry and irritated with him until he burns a big candle over the cake and expresses his love for her. Immediately her demeanor changes and they are in love.

So the finale is with three of them coming to the wedding to marry the same guy...and Ramesh with his friends trying to confuse everyone of them...and towards the end some crappy justification and the stupid movie comes to an end.

Crazy Mohan repeats his usual annoying and redundant dialogues that we have heard before. There is nothing fresh about the story either. It defies logic from start to finish. Very bad casting, acting, music, directing, screenplay. Basically crappy movie. AVOID. I can pick out each and every stupid instance in the movie and dissect it but I want to spare time for you and me...So please do not see such movie and encourage such directors and actors.

Ramesh should be banned from acting in movies...Not only is he ugly but he looks vulgar and makes offensive facial expressions! Golly I must be really frustrated!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Wedding Crashers (2005) - English Movie Review

Ranking: 3/5

Cast: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fischer, Christopher Walkin
Director: David Dobkin

Funny romantic movie. I am going to try and keep the review real short...Two well-to-do dudes crash weddings every year during the wedding season to pick up girls to sleep with. They change names, identities, and profession and have alibi's pre-prepared.

Yes, one of them (Owen) falls in love with Rachel and now wants to marry her. But the usual cliche about her being already engaged makes its presence and now Owen tries hard to pursue her in spite of it. He also makes Vince get through a lot of trouble because of his love for Rachel. Vince who would have slept with Rachel's sister is now being hounded by her because she is turns out to be a sex-maniac.

And of course Rachel's fiance is a bad guy and Owen tries to convince her that she deserves better. But the fiance exposes Owen's and Vince's real deal and they get kicked out of Rachel's summer house where they were her father's (the secretary of State) guests. Rachel gives up on Owen but Vince continues his affair with her sister. Owen is dejected and resorts to drinking and stops talking to his best friend Vince...and of course like all corny cheesy romantic movies this one also ends in a happy note. I particularly did not like the ending.

Watch it with friends, it is funny through most of the movie. Vince is hilarious and so is Owen in parts but the romantic parts of the story give you a sense of deja vu. Worth watching for fun and time pass...

Kokki (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

One line review: Do not waste your time.

Cast: Karan, Sanjana, Seema, Kota Sreenivasa Rao
Director: Prabhu Solomon
Music: Dheena

This dude kokki (Karan) comes to Chennai to get his visa to go and work abroad as a barber. He works temporarily with his uncle Subburaj (Malaysia Vasudevan). Subburaj also does shaving for the local gunda/don- Upili (Kota) and sends Kokki as a replacement when he falls sick.

The gunda is a very superstitious fellow and wants to open his eyes seeing the idol of his god placed outside his window every morning. This unfortunate morning when Kokki comes to shave him he stands between the idol and the gunda. The gunda is infuriated at first and then later looking at things happening to his advantage that day he wants Kokki to become his lucky charm.

Kokki is very stubborn and wants to proceed with his plans of going abroad and takes the bus to return to his village before flying out. But the rowdies do not let him do that and chase him during which he gets into the clutches of the cops who book him in under some false section. The gunda tears Kokki's passport and also gets him beaten up. Kokki manages to escape from the cops after beating them and hides in the ladies hostel in Raji's (Sanjana) room.

Raji decides to help Kokki out who spends a whole day with Raji without any inhibition and eventually they do fall in love. The climax of the story is how Kokki escapes from the clutches of Upili and what happens to all the bad guys.

Also there is a sub plot where the gunda has a sidekick who tells hims what to do and when to do based on astrology and he also has a sad past. The movie has two parallel stories that somehow never connect till the end. One of Kokki and one of this astrologer.

Pathetic movie...What could have been good script is killed by bad direction. The hero is so ugly, fat, and really cannot act for nuts. He is a villager, he has been to jail before, he is poor, etc. cannot make a person act mute. Did Karan think that he was acting the role of Vikram in Pithamagan? Or was he trying to win a national award for his acting? Sad. The story is okay, but all the lead characters are worse than miserable. Good story bad execution.

I must insist here...For being an actor, you need to look your role. But you can look and act your role by looking fit too. You do not need a twenty pound pot belly and a forty pound ass. That is not adding character to the role but simply disgusting. I wish Karan would restrict himself to doing small brother roles or uncle roles henceforth. As for the actress, please get ready to either becoming a sister or to leave.

What are these directors thinking? Seriously. Do not waste time on this film if you have better things to do. Not only is it boring but it is also sad.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Achuvinthe Amma (2005) - Malyalam Movie Review

Ranking: 4.5/5

Cast: Meera Jasmine, Urvashi, Sunil
Director: Sathyan Anthikad
Music: Ilayaraja

I have to tell you that I do not watch many Malayalam movies more because I do not find company to watch them with and they are not easily accesible to me...But this time a friend of mine and I decided to let the rest of the gang hang out and we saw this movie and I do not regret it one bit. It is a great movie with a simple story, amazing direction, acting, screenplay, music, etc. It seemed perfect and directors from other languages should learn from Malayalam movies what quality really is! But unfortunately at least for Tamil and Telugu movies movies of such genre will only run in B grade theaters and will not be considered a commercial movie. I wish both the taste of people as well as of the directors will change for the better.

The story: Achu aka Ashwathi (Meera) is Vanaja's (Urvashi) daughter and they both live together with the absence of a male in their life. Achu is a civil engineer and she gets employed in a very good firm close to her house. Vanaja has sustained her family of two working hard as an LIC agent. Achu does not want to question her mom about her father trying not to bother her mother. They are very happy and carry on more like friends than mom and daughter.

Fate makes Achu and Vanaja meet Emanuel John aka Ejo (Sunil), an advocate also running on odd jobs trying to make some money on the side. Vanaja warns Achu about falling in love with Ejo which inevitably happens. Vanaja is very unhappy to hear about this but on Achu's persistence goes with Ejo to meet his parents. Where Ejo introduces them to five tombstones in a grave yard. Ejo explains that his whole family commited mass suicide leaving him to be the only survivor.

Vanaja is very sad but on returning back home tells Ejo that she is not happy about Achu and Ejo marrying. She had always hoped that Achu might marry into a big family but since Ejo was alone she was afraid of who would take care of Achu should something happen to Ejo. Ejo understands this and walks out of Achu's life.

Achu is very unhappy with Vanaja's question and asks her mother who her father is and why she was imposing her whims on her when she has been so understanding of her feelings. Vanaja refuses to explain her stance further and Achu leaves the house and tries to survive staying with friends for a few days. Ejo is very stern at obeying the wishes of Vanaja and refuses to be anything more than a friend to Achu and constantly tries to convince her to go home. Angry, optionless, and homeless now, Achu tries to commit suicide which she survives and she is admitted in a hospital. Ejo brings Vanaja over to visit Achu and Achu refuses to talk to her. On her way out she explains her story to Ejo and leaves...amazing the movie.

Like I said at the very beginning of this post...This is a great movie and a must watch. Viewable with family and friends and very enjoyable story.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Iruvar (1999) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 3/5

Cast: Mohan Lal, Prakash Rai, Revathi, Aishwarya Rai, Gouthami, Tabu
Director: Mani Rathnam
Music: A.R. Rehman

One line Review: It is a very average movie and can be very boring and dragging at many instances.

Mohanlal comes from this little village in border city between Kerala and Tamilnadu to Chennai to make it in movies. He gets to play all sorts for small roles and waits patiently for a big break. In the meantime gets married to Ash-1. They are happily married and he gets to play the main protagonist in a movie. But the movie comes to a halt half-way through and Ash-1 also dies. Mohanlal is heart broken.

Mohanlal and Prakash Rai, the dialogue writer for the movie become very good friends. Prakash introduces Mohan to politics headed by Nazar. Mohan and Nazar also become good friends. By now somehow Mohan has gotten another chance in a movie and he is a star. People of T. Nadu stupidly start following Mohanlal and he becomes very popular. The party to which both Mohan and Prakash are affiliated use Mohan's popularity to pull themselves up.

In the meantime Prakash gets married to Revathy to whom he narrates heavy poetry in Tamil. To Revathy they make no sense...So he goes and does the same to Tabu who reciprocates and then he takes her in as a keep. Mohan also marries Gouthami, an actress who is distressed by her uncle who wants to rape her. Then under Gouthami's advice hires Ash-2 to act as a heroine in a movie. Obviously, Mohan starts sleeping with her because she is hot and tries to imitate Ash-1.

So now both Mohan and Prakash have their eyes set on becoming the party leader as Nazar is resigning. But eventually the party is split, one being led by Prakash and the other by Mohan who are now not in talking terms with each other. Prakash wins and leads T.Nadu trying to make it a dream state (does nothing but recites more annoying poetry) then Mohan wins the next elections leaving Prakash very upset...

Eventually the two friends (that's why the movie is called Iruvar) meet at a common friend's wedding and they smile at each other before Mohan grabs his heart in pain...

Yup, the story is supposedly imitating the lives of M. Karunanidhi (Prakash), M.G.R (Mohan), Janaki (Gouthami), Jayalalitha (Ash-2), M.Karunanidhi's first wife (Revathy), M. Karunanidhi's second wife ( Tabu), and M.G.R.'s first wife (Ash-1). The story is slow paced, the camera makes many 360 degree turns and you wonder why the cameraman is trying to give the audience a head grinding experience and the movie is very very very slow...

It is okay to watch if you have nothing better to do...But the movie is full of falsified details trying to make everyone look good in public eyes, we really do not know how much of it is true also, for all I care neither M.Karunanidhi nor M.G.R has done anything great for T.Nadu's sake, so why make them look like almost perfect people? I do not understand unless the idea of the director was to suck up to all politicians...

Can and may be ignored...But if you did watch it, let me know what you think...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Madhu (2006) - Tamil Movie Review

Ranking: 1.5/5

Cast: Ramesh, Priyamani, Jhanvi
Director: Tennarasu
Music: Illayaraja

One line review: Crappy movie, don't watch.

So this dude Madhu (Ramesh) comes from somewhere (god only knows where) to Ooty to do something (again god only knows what). He does not explain anything about his existence. All we know is that he has a father to whom he speaks about two lines every other day over the phone.

Anyway that said, he is introduced in the movie pointing a gun to the head of a prostitute and saying, "for prostitutes like you, there is only three days off every month, but I am giving you an extra day off and that with no loss of pay." To which the prostitute says, "I like your character." And then Madhu turns around and tells ussomthing like, "I look like a villain, but I am not, you will understand when you watch the movie,"....sadly nothing is revealed about why Madhu is a lunatic throughout the movie. The director must have thought that the above concept was kick-ass...did not know how and where to use it, and used it randomly in this movie.
So anyway, he meets this random girl Esther (Jhanvi) on the streets trying to play a prank on dude and Madhu. Madhu gets and kisses Esther in public...lip to lip. So you think that something is going to happen between these two, right? Instead in the next few scenes he sees Mercy (Priyamani), who is a godfearing girl and starts following her randomly. He later notices that she is kind, sweet, and nice. Then he enters her hostel and tells her, "I love you and you must like me," with the worst English accent ever. This is nothing but harrassment to the girl who is obviously upset by this 9you w*ould be too if you were in her position), but Madhu does not understand why Mercy doesn't love him...

So he goes chasing her aound the town and finally follows her to her village and even converts to Christianity to get into her and her father's good books. The girl clearly explains to him that her only aim in life is to become a nun as promised by her father to her dying mother. But still Madhu is persistent and tries to convince her that becoming a nun is stupid when you are in love. Does he not get the message that she is not in love with him and only he is in love (if you could call that) with her?

So anyhow, harrassment continues till both of them jump over a cliff due to Madhu's stupidity and die. Really, only a guy high on dope or plain stupid can make a movie so stupid. Many times when I watch a movie I feel that the director had a good concept but somehow failed in execution and feel bad for him...but in this case, I should say that the movie is irritating and stupid, the actor Ramesh looks and acts pathetically, the only saving grace is the beautiful face of Priyamani which again fails miserably as an actor. Ashish Vidhyarthi with his miserable and annoying dubbing voice is very irritating, this is a case of misused talent . There is no comedy, Vivek is nothing but annoying.

On the whole, I am even frustrated living through the excruciating experience writing the review and I am going to stop right here recommending everyone to avoid this movie at all cost...

Ratings by outbrain