Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Didn’t know that…

December 13, 2007

Seth Rogen was a writer for Da Ali G Show, and an Emmy-nominated one, at that.

Nice!

In my next life, I want to be a movie writer like Seth Rogen.

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Cool, Available and Addictive

September 4, 2007

I haven’t been reading the Wall Street Journal. Just watching this movie, in which the character B.R. utters this line:

We don’t sell tic-tacs for Christ’s sake, we sell cigarettes – and they’re cool, and available, and addictive. The job is almost done for us.

So folks listen to B.R. – the secret behind a successful product or idea – make it cool, available and addictive.

UPDATE: Found this interesting article on applying the cigarette effect to blogs, by Umesh.

Save the due date

August 10, 2007

Some acts are tough to follow. Ask Andre Agassi’s son (in around 15 years), Farhan Akthar after he made Dil Chahta Hai, Kiefer Sutherland after he completed Season 1 of 24, and so on. The weight of expectation is immense and it takes an awful lot to muster a half-decent showing in the next attempt.

Which leads me to believe that the team behind 40 Year Old Virgin needs special mention for coming up with Knocked Up. In spite of the absence of a real plot; and the abundance of crass comedy, drugs, alcohol, sex, questionable dot-com ventures and slackers with ‘vision’, there is still so much charm in the way the characters go about dealing with ‘expecting the unexpected’. The laid-back hippie setting of Los Angeles helps the mood of the film no doubt, but its the performances and the super-witty one-liners which stand out.

I remember watching FYOV (that’s right – I acronymized it) a couple of years back and guffawing to glory. Expect pretty much the same with this second act.

Precleanclean

August 4, 2007

precleanclean (v.) to precleanclean – To clean your house just the right amount before the maid comes in, so as to avoid snide remarks from the maid about the dust.

Typically, this is required when the maid has a Kill-Billesque attitude towards dust.

Dust (after painting maid into a corner): You didn’t think it would be that easy did you?

Maid: You know, for a moment there..yeah! I kinda did.

Dust (smirking): Silly Rabbit

Dust (moments later, after having half its head slashed off): Gulp. That is a real Hattori Hanzo broom.

Jumping the shark

July 28, 2007

Of the many TV series that I have followed ever since coming here, a trend I have noticed is for shows to jump the shark. It is in a sense, very similar to death – inevitable, tragic (in most cases) and it does leave a void in your life. Various shows are forced to jump the shark at varying speeds – opinions will differ on this, but Friends started its decline from season 7 (which sort of coincides with Matthew Perry’s decline as an actor), Scrubs from Season 5, House from Season 3, 24 from Season 3, The Office (US version) from Season 3 etc. etc.

The only exception to the rule seems to be Seinfeld (of which I have seen relatively little of), which retired at its peak after 10 years. And of course, Family Guy, which as years go by just seems to get random-er and crazier, but still manages to avoid Jaws. I seriously believe that the Family Guy writers huddle together every week, come up with random ideas and celebrities they hate (or love, come to think of it), stitch them together and form a barely-recognizable-from-where-it-started-with-many-flashbacks plot – all fueled by healthy doses of coke or pot.

Which leads me to think of how hard it must be for writers to come up with fresh material episode in and episode out; actors to maintain chemistry and spontaneity in their performances; producers not to succumb to ridiculous product placements and directors not to throw in the towel by bringing in guest stars.

I wonder if blogs have a jump-the-shark threshold as well…

Postscript: You may have noticed I have conveniently avoided talking about the TV show Family Guy is supposedly inspired from. I have nothing against it per-se, it’s just that compared to Peter Griffin and his family, the S’s look like they need to get a life.

And out of a weird loyalty towards Family Guy, I have vowed not to watch the movie spin-off as well…

UPDATE: I am tempted to see it however, for Spiderpig.

Smile to your face

July 26, 2007

There are certain things which bring a smile to my face. Things which I am not involved in, things which don’t really affect me, but I can’t help but chuckle. Like..

  • the Iraqis (Sunnis, Shias and Kurds) playing out of their skins to reach the Asian Cup finals (which will be against Saudi Arabia no less)…
  • Apple selling 270,000 iPhones in 2 days, and projecting to sell a million within this year. Something which the iPod took 2 years to do…
  • an XBox 360 turning into a Decepticon in Transformers…

*chuckle*

UPDATE:

One more:

Transformers – The Sequel

July 21, 2007

This is the effect of watching An Inconvenient Truth and Transformers on the same day. Scene from a possible sequel to Transformers (to be filmed in 2010):

Optimus: Autobots! I have sighted a Decepticon on my radar. Bumblebee, give me exact co-ordinates.

Bumblebee (adjusting his vocal cords): Optimus, decepticon Greenpeace is 10 miles north of Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.

Optimus (worried): Uh-oh. You know what that means. Did you know we just emitted a bucket-load of carbon dioxide when we destroyed that last decepticon? Thank the Cube that was in sunny California.

Bumblebee (pissed): Optimus, enough already. I’ve had it with this environmental crap. Do you want to save this planet or not?

Optimus (more pissed): Yeah – and have the Chinese government and Al Gore behind me for not following emission laws. There’s only one thing left to do. (admires his own gravitas) We have to send our hybrid Autobot on this mission. Priustron…it is in your hands.

Priustron (worried): Oh but Shanghai is so hot this time of the year. I have to carry my moisturizer, my face pack, and do you have any idea of the kinda stuff they put in Kung-pao chicken? No sir – I need to take some bean-sprouts and spring onions with me. How long do you think this mission will be? Dear oh dear I’m so not prepared..I..

Optimus (pissed, mutters under breath): Grr..they don’t make them like they used to..

A Scanner Named Google

February 22, 2006

A Scanner DarklyThe coolest movie trailer I’ve seen since Sin City. Must find the book too – it looks and sounds eerily like something from a product roadmap of Messrs Page and Brin. But of course they would do no evil…or would they?

P.S. Where’s an HD trailer when you need one?

Powerful Moments

February 17, 2006

Life is all about tipping points – small incidents which can avalanche into something much bigger (sometimes positive, sometimes negative). Like this scene from one of my all-time favourite films, Udayanaanu Thaaram (translates to Udayan is the star), where Mohanlal (after an ugly drinking-binge and at his vulnerable best), wallows in self-pity to his friend and confidante Mukesh (for once not playing a buffoon):

I’ve lost everything – my career, my wife…everything.

To which Mukesh replies (this sounds more effective in Malayalam hehe),

If you puke on the side of a footpath, will you get everything back?

The rest, as you will see for yourself in the movie, is history.

Rang De Basanti!

January 29, 2006

In 2001, three guys defined what it is to be cool in Bollywood, sparking offRDB legions of wannabes with soul beards (myself included), in a landmark film. Five years later, five guys (and a gal) have redefined cool in a movie, which I think will inspire youngsters to engage in something less superficial than the controlled growth of facial hair. If I go overboard with superlatives in this post…please excuse, but I was just blown away.

Everything from the casting to the music to the photography is top-class. I had my reservations on whether Aamir Khan could pull of playing a college-going youth, but boy, was I wrong. Several subtle undercurrents, such as Hindu and Muslim extremism, shady arms deals, etc. add spice to the main theme – the apathy demonstrated by the new face of India.

I could go on, but that would just spoil the fun you are guaranteed to have…

P.S. To the Johars and Chopras – you can make a beautiful film in India too, without going to Australia, Switzerland or England. Not convinced? Watch Rang De Basanti.