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Posts tagged “movies” 25

Bad Genius · 2017 · IMDb · A-

Slow start but gets pretty exciting towards the end. I couldn’t wait for Lynn to rid herself of her parasitic friends (especially the cloying Grace, played to perfection by Eisaya Hosuwan.) Cheating on standardized tests is big business in India and China. The Atlantic has a relatively recent article on the phenomenon.

The usual commentary on class and meritocracy. Lots of love for Boston University.

The Irishman · 2019 · IMDb · A

The last 15 minutes are the best depiction of old age, loneliness, and isolation I’ve ever seen committed to film. Two masters at their very best.

I love all the memes about its length but (a) the pacing was brilliant and (b) I am someone who grew up watching 200-minute family-values extravaganzas and can take it. Still:

Need to read up more on the de-aging process they used in the film.

Midsommar · 2019 · IMDb · B+

Moody and plenty gruesome. Got tired of the commune’s many ‘rituals’. Florence Pugh is 💯, as is the creepy-ass soundtrack. Learned about senicide. First half is a bit of a slow burn like “Hereditary”.

Game Over · 2019 · IMDb · B+

Entertaining, very nicely done, two-hour long desi “Black Mirror” episode1. Taapsee Pannu was 💯. You will want to hug Vinodhini Vaidynathan’s character. Saw with Deepu and we wondered what makes Tamil directors so good at this genre.

  1. “Presented” by Anurag Kashyap. Not sure what that means. 

Article 15 · 2019 · IMDb · A-

A wafer-thin afterthought of a plot undergirds an important and harrowing commentary on the history, pervasiveness, and evil of the caste system in India.

Excellent cinematography and performances by Ayushmann Khurrana, Kumud Mishra as Jatav, and Sushil Pandey as Nihal Singh.

Anurag Kashyap on The Struggle

Kashyap on his journey to become one of India’s most important filmmakers.

The cover picture is clickbait. No “shocking” revelations. Just a good story about pursuing one’s chosen vocation with grit and perseverance (with a bit of luck along the way.)

On “Josh Talks”, who look like a TED clone and are “on a mission to raise the aspirations of Young India.”

I fight Crime. And I Read.

In Ramayya Vasthavayya, Avinash is a mononymous “Central Crime Branch” officer who, according to the barcode on his IDENTITY CARD, loves new-agey mind meld books. Or so I gather. Couldn’t decipher the other barcode but submit that it might reveal his preference for reasonably priced cutlery sets at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Baghban · 2003 · IMDb · F

Jaspreet Singh on the awful abandonment fantasy beloved by desi parents (starts around 1:10. Here’s the entire shitshow.)

Yakeen maan-na, Baghban dekhne se pehle mujhe idea bhi nahin aaya tha ki maa-baap ko nikaala bhi jaa sakta hai.

Manmarziyaan · 2018 · IMDb · B+

Watched with Paaji. Third Anurag Kashyap and Amit Trivedi film. Superb. Maybe a little too drawn out at times (gotta fit in all 14 tracks of that sweet Trivedi score) and was dismayingly Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam-predictable towards the end.

Gray Waala Shade” (with the accompanying opening scenes) is a magnificent song12.

  1. Yes, yes, “Daryaa” too. 

  2. Kashyap saw Poonam and Priyanka Shah on this viral Bharatnatyam video before asking them to be part of the movie. 

Hellboy (2019) · 2019 · IMDb · D

Why?

This travesty should make it very clear that Guillermo del Toro loves and paints his monsters better than anyone else in the business.

Romeo Akbar Walter · 2019 · IMDb · C

Completely predictable plot and twists, ridiculous ending, cookiecutter songs (features the laziest, dullest, ‘You composed it the day before it was due didn’t you?’ qawwali I’ve ever heard.)

Fantastic cinematography. Sikander Kher is great. Got a lot of digital errands done whilst watching it, so there’s that.

The Titanic and Climate Change

Stumbled upon this nearly three-hour, real-time, annotated simulation of the Titanic sinking. Late night1.

Which led me to James Cameron’s 2012 documentary Titanic: The Final Word, in which he assembles a group of engineers and historians to fix the simulation in the 1997 movie, which leads to this ‘final’ version.

Cameron, in the documentary:

Part of the Titanic parable is of arrogance, of hubris, of the sense that we’re too big to fail. Well where have we heard that one before? There was this big machine, this human system that was pushing forward with so much momentum, that it couldn’t turn, it couldn’t stop in time to avert a disaster. And that’s what we have right now. Within that human system onboard that ship, if you want to make it a microcosm for the world, you have different classes, you know, you’ve got first class, second class, and third class. Well in our world right now you’ve got developed nations and undeveloped nations. You’ve got the starving millions who are going to be the ones most affected by the next iceberg that we hit, which is going to be Climate Change.

We can see that iceberg ahead of us right now, but we can’t turn we can’t turn because of the momentum of the system. Political momentum, business momentum. There are too many people making money out of the system the way the system works right now, and those people, you know, frankly have their hands on the levers of power and aren’t ready to let them go. Until they do, we’re not going to be able to turn to miss that iceberg and we’re gonna hit it. When we hit it, the rich are still gonna be able to get their access to food, to arable land, to water, and so on. It’s going to be the poor, it’s going to be the steerage, that are gonna be impacted. It was the same with Titanic and I think that’s why this story will always fascinate people. Because it’s a perfect little encapsulation of the world and all social spectra. But until our lives are really put at risk, the moment of truth, we don’t know what we would do.

  1. Speaking of… found this amazing model of the ship

Us · 2019 · IMDb · A

Excellent stuff again from Jordan Peele. Thought the first half was about slavery and lost identity. Wisecrack has a great video on the movie’s various interpretations.

Stop Motion Laundry

Absolutely amazing stop motion by Daniel Cloud Campos & Co.

Here’s the making of. They did it over 17 days. I wonder when they got any sleep. At one point he says “we got 2 seconds after 4 hours.” ~3 minutes of video = 360 hours, or 15 days 😬

And it reminds me of the Oldboy fight scene!

Holmes & Watson · 2018 · IMDb · F

An awful, unnecessary, ghastly shitshow.

A Vigilante · 2018 · IMDb · B+

The first two-thirds are brilliant. As for Olivia Wilde and her riveting performance:

[. . .] it’s still good to see a cunning and capable actress rise above her usual projects, such as stupid fodder like Tron or Cowboys and Aliens, or labels like “Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2010.”

After Enough and five Death Wish movies, the revenge genre is not without its recurring clichés, many of which get defrosted and microwaved again in A Vigilante. The point, if there is one, is that “heinous criminal felonies are acceptable if they are justified by a woman driven beyond the limits of reason.” As one battered wife says, “Every graveyard is full of people who didn’t make it.” The same is true of old movies gathering dust in Hollywood film vaults.

– Rex Reed, Olivia Wilde Goes Full Charles Bronson in the Brutal Revenge Thriller ‘A Vigilante’

Destroyer · 2018 · IMDb · B+

A bit tedious. Nicole Kidman is 💯

Gurgaon · 2016 · IMDb · B+

Captured the city’s many contrasts quite well. Felt like I was watching Mirzapur again. The excellent Pankaj Tripathi plays the same wealthy, powerful, morally bankrupt, declining patriarch as in the show. Pretty much the same deal if they’d cast a mannequin instead of Akshay Oberoi.

Raman Raghav 2.0 · 2016 · IMDb · A

Everything I expected from an Anurag Kashyap movie. Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal were 💯 The real Raman Raghav story is quite crazy.

Simmba · 2018 · IMDb · C-

Remake of the Telugu Temper. Saviour Porn. Read this article on “procedures established by law” and mind-boggling backlogs in the Indian Legal System.

Tumbbad · 2018 · IMDb · B+

Not much of a story but loved the cinematography and pre-Independence setting. Easily the best Indian horror movie I’ve seen after Manichithrathazhu.

Aquaman · 2019 · IMDb · C+

Fell asleep about three times trying to finish this visual overload. Ended up taking a walk right after this exchange

“You expect me to call you Your Highness?”

“No, I expect you to call me… Ocean Master.”

The Wailing · 2016 · IMDb · A

Saw with LD. Long, slow, visceral, beautiful, gory. Kept me guessing. Excellent stuff.

There’s a pervasive hush and sense of stillness that lingers over the region of Gokseong, and scenes of brazen, crazed madness are often preceded by shots of tranquil mountain vistas whose lush, thickly forested landscapes increasingly feel smothering and secretive. This is a film as beautiful as it is gory, as painstakingly scenic as it is committed to stark visual interplays between darkness and light.

All the while, the story of Gokseong unfolds in fits and starts, each puzzle piece more confusing than the last. Are the residents of the town being systematically poisoned with a drug that causes them to become frenzied, savage killers? Are they being cursed? Or is it both, and for what reason? Na’s writing layers tension upon tension, particularly through the escalating paranoia that each of the townspeople comes to feel for any and all outsiders.

However, answers are much harder to find in this film than accusations. Horror fans wanting a plot whose ending dovetails nicely with all the elements that preceded it may wind up feeling frustrated, though many more may be drawn into the heart of its darkness: the conviction that terror has come to this town and there is no escape to be had.

– Aja Romano, The Wailing is the most unsettling Korean horror film in years, but it offers more chills than answers

Padaiyappa · 1999 · IMDb · B

Rajnikanth was 49 when this “mega-hit” was released.

But Why the Dog?

Does The Dog Die? is a publicly curated database of sensitive, “emotional spoilers” for books, movies, TV, and many more categories. Unconsenting Media is a similar database of “sexual violence in broadcasting”.