Decades Blogathon – L.A. Confidential (1997) — three rows back

Welcome to Day 4 of the Decades Blogathon – ‘7’ edition – hosted by myself and my blogging brother Tom from Thomas J. For those who don’t know, the blogathon focuses on movies that were released in the seventh year of the decade. Tom and I are running a different entry each day (we’ll also […]

via Decades Blogathon – L.A. Confidential (1997) — three rows back

The Shining Review

A book and its movie adaptation should be treated as two different entities when they are talked about. This is a principle I have always adhered to when I have reviewed any book adaptation on this blog. This may be due to the fact that in the case of every book adaptation I have reviewed here, I watched the movie first and book later. In the case of The Shining, the case was different.

And to be honest, the workings of these two are so divergent that it is impossible to treat the movie with the same mindset as one might treat the book. First of all, Kubrick is a visual suzerian, so he treats the subject matter with that mindset. The images in The Shining and perplexing, especially the layout of The Overlook hotel. There are windows and doors where there should not be, carpet designs so abstract and asymmetrical in terms of their color scheme that seem to have a convulsing effect on the subconscious. It feels like the unfulfilled dream of Alfred Hitchcock, who envisioned to trick the subconscious with images and sound to create horror.

The camera seems more menacing than Jack throughout the movie. The steadicam gives an eerie feel to the shots, of a silent intruder who is always behind the heels of these characters tiptoeing his presence into their minds. However, this entire effect is atrophied by the background score which got on my nerves with its untimely explosions. Instead of creating a feeling of distress which I believe was its objective, it atrophies the entire feeling of dread. The most brilliant scenes are Jack and Grady’s conversation and Jack’s encounter with the girl in the tub, devoid of any noise. Silence, as I have repeatedly said without any avail, is the most scariest tool in the arsenal of any film-maker who aspires to make a horror film.

The reason why I found the movie less effective than the book seems to be Kubrick’s mindset that the true evil is Jack. He explores him as a non compos mentis from the first scene itself, a man who is hostile and distant to his family. This seems to take the very essence out of what was the actual horror of Stephen King’s work, which was to paint Jack as a tormented and pitiful soul who loves his family and how The Overlook and its ghosts eventually wear all humanity out of him. In the novel, the effect is distressing because we actually care about Jack as an individual and actually do feel contrite when he gradually goes down the spiral.

Kubrick’s movie however raises serious questions on the reliability on the mental state of its characters, which in turn, raises questions on the presence of any real supernatural entity in the hotel. The book by Stephen King gave us characters which seemed to consider the Overlook as a redemption to their diabolical lives and induced a feeling of claustrophobia and cabin-fever with its slow-pacing which made me feel as if I was shut in by the ghosts the Overlook seemed to house, creating a feeling of utter distress and eventual terror. On the other hand, Kubrick’s movie grows on to you and then lets go and oscillates with these feelings throughout, in the end creating an impersonal work which is at times chilling, but rest of the times, making an effort to be.

RATING :- 5 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.

Sing Street Review

All the real-critics, I mean the ones that actually have the privilege of going to paid screenings and review every movie that hits the theatres wait for a movie that blows them away throughout the year. This movie is found seldom, after sitting through an inconceivable amount of shite. But, it’s that feeling one has after watch a truly great movie, that incommunicable mix of emotions that keeps them going. I, on the other hand, watch only classics on my computer, which you might think is better because I can afford the luxury of steering clear from all the bad movies (and the reason why there are so many positive reviews on my blog). However, I differ on this issue. As my day is filled with watching only classics, that feeling of blown away becomes more limited to me for I am impressed by almost all the movies. That is why Sing Street is special to me. I don’t often get to use this phrase, and to be honest, due to much fault of mine for I am pretty miserly in that respect, I can truly say, I was blown away after watching Sing Street.

Conor Lawlor is a teenager struck in the middle of poverty-stricken Ireland and the new age of music videos. He has a crush on an aspiring model, and wants to get her number. He puts the pretence that it is contact her for a music video of the band he is a part of. Works very well for him, to be honest. However, he now realises there is one daunting task before him, to put a band.

Many a times I have felt art is in a state of oneness, for when two or more of them converge, it only helps in enhancing the experience. When music meets cinema, it is pure magic and who better to capture that magic effortlessly than the Quentin Tarantino of the musical genre, John Carney. Carney weaved magic with his movies, Once and Begin Again which are very dear to me, and as is their music. The problem with most musicals is that the music itself is abominable. All who have watched Carney’s movies will admit that regardless of whether they liked the movie or not (which they did), they will end up buying the soundtrack. Sing Street has beautiful songs, which I am pretty sure I will be humming to for the years to come.

Teenage innocence and music beautifully coalesce to form an act veering towards redemption in Sing Street. Carney creates winsome characters here, and we genuinely care about their lives and aspirations. Sing Street is at its heart, an underdog story but considering the aggregate amount of those stories Hollywood has churned out to market on our feelings, it is a bonzer of a feeling to have a genuine one. The characters here seem to be genuinely passionate about their dreams, and why not, it is their only shot at redemption. There is a maximally beautiful sequence where Cosmo and Raphina are travelling on a ferry and a boat to England passes by them, with people waving at them. It adds nothing to the narrative, but is the fleeting images of the dreams and ambitions of the characters floating by them, so close yet so distant. It is visual poetry.

Sing Street is an orgasm to the ears. Rarely do you get a soundtrack which paints the entire plot of the movie and roars with the ardour of its characters. That is what Sing Street is about, and I guess what will make it so relatable to each individual who watches it, it is about a bunch of characters who just want to be heard.

RATING : 9.5 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

Photo Rights : Google Images, Wikipedia

Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.

Gone Girl Review (Spoiler Alert!)

 

I have watched Gone Girl twice now. Once as a thriller and once as a drama. Needless to say, it passed both the tests with flying colors. Gone Girl is not a movie for the faint-hearted, which should be palpable from the movies Fincher has given us the privilege of watching in the past (Se7en, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Zodiac). It is as much as a character study with the disintegration of a marriage as the stimulus and a complex criminal case.

Rosamund Pike is brilliant (or should I say amazing) in this movie, playing her character with a flair which I think can only be emulated by Carrie Ann-Moss. Ben Affleck is stupendous as Nick and so is Carrie Coon as his sister, Margo.

This movie is fabulous and here’s why :-

1.Representation of media :-

One of the main focus of the plot is on how media molds incorrect public opinions. The reason why it becomes impossible for Nick to get justice is because of the media’s shameful eagerness to ostracize and sham any individual for ratings. Many have criticized this movie as anti-feminist, however this very thought shows how correct this movie is. No one is talking about Nick getting wronged. It is a brilliant take on how on the surge of the noble feminist movement (which I wholly support), the media so as to cash in on anything of relevance, has begun masquerading as staunch feminists. I think it would have been okay even if within those fake masks they were hiding misandrist tendencies, but these assholes are in it just for the money and this finds an unabashed portrayal in Gone Girl.

2. Structure of the plot :-

David Fincher smacks us right on the face with his unreliable narrative. This is true film-making genius because the narrative remains the same, however the reliability of the narrator changes throughout the movie. The plot isn’t at all black-and-white, it’s all grey. All the characters are at fault here, yet in the end, Fincher makes us you still sympathize with one. THAT’S DIRECTING !

3.Rosamund Pike :-

Brilliant. Just wanted to say that again

4.Screenplay :-

Gone Girl is exactly the kind of script I would want on my table if I was a director. There are enough twists and turns to engage the audience for its run-time, and more than that, the intrigue stems off from the deceit and dual-nature of the characters, just like Game Of Thrones. It has some really funny one-liners, but what I found the most impressive is the fact that the writer exerted her control. Most of thrillers nowadays pick up on one fascinating thread and bind it with various unnecessary ones. In Gone Girl, the plot is compact, fast-paced and intelligent. The end of the movie is absolutely perfect, as if holding a mirror to realities of male-shaming by mislead misandrists and the frailties of modern marriages. And if you argue that this movie is anti-feminist, I have a pretty good case for Room being anti-meninist.

Gone Girl is a stupendous movie, which has enough twist and turns to engage you through the course of its run time and enough character revelations to engage you for your lifetime.

RATING :- 9. 3 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

Photo Rights : Google Images, Wikipedia

Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do The Right Thing Review

Dear friend Roger,

Since it is my summer vacations, I have been going over many titles that you have recommended as ‘great’. And almost all of them are, such as Hoop Dreams, Casablanca, Goodfellas and many and I profusely thank you for them. However, this letter is in regard to the Spike Lee movie titled ‘Do The Right Thing’ about which mine and your opinion seem to diverge.

As you might remember, it takes place on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn where Salvatore “Sal” Fragione owns a pizza shop which has a Wall Of Fame with photos of Italian-American legends. A neighborhood local Bugging Out finds it racist because there is not single African-American up there. And eventually, on the hottest day in Brooklyn, violence breaks out.

Spike Lee meticulously traces the various events unfolding the day and molds characters with distinctive personalities. The whole movie is structured like a Stephen King novel, where 3/4th of the plot is just a build up to the explosion set to unfold in the 1/4th of it.

However, this work looks disoriented to me. There are too many characters Lee is playing with at once. He intends to bring racism and bigotry at the center, but all he ends up doing is creating a work which seems to uphold violence, by illustrating an aftermath scene which shows that nothing of grave consequence ever transpires of it.

In its way, Do The Right Thing reminds me of Fight Club, where the eventual hate builds up to such an extent that it erupts eventually in volcanic proportions. I admire such movies, because they incite strong feelings from the viewer. He either loves it very much or hates very much. There is no middle ground.

But I, unfortunately, seem to belong to the latter group. The characters seem to be telling a different story, and the film-maker a different one. It is a plethora of emotions culminating into a final mess, and as much I admire the craft, the less I care about its message.

However, I agree with your views that Danny Aiello should have won the Oscar. For me, he was the only bright spark in this otherwise doomed experiment. He stands out in every scene he is featured and the raw emotions that materialize on his face are the only ones that seem to be worthy of any empathy.

Do The Right Thing is a noble experiment gone very wrong and although Lee’s intentions were pure, I have to admit, I would have smashed that radio of Radio Raheem myself if I had the chance. That song gets on the nerves and that is the absolute truth, Ruth.

Yours faithfully,

Anand Nair.

             Rating : 4.2 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

Photo Rights : Google Images, Wikipedia

Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodfellas Review

The characters in Goodfellas and The Godfather are poles apart. While the Mafia in The Godfather emanate nobility, honour and justice, the Mafia in Goodfellas are devoid of even a tinge of morality. Watching Goodfellas reminded me more of Se7en than anything else where the city was always dark and it was always raining. Here however, the characters themselves fill the void of darkness. They are the living scum on Earth.

There is a story in Skyfall about rats. So, if a lot of rats are locked in a cage, the eventually start eating each other till the point only two are left. However, these two rats now only eat rats. Scorsese elaborately creates a terrifying cage and inhibits them with his rats, the gangsters and eventually gets them in a spree of killing each other.

Scorsese as many of you may know is a staunch devout Catholic and many of his movies have examined the devil within us. He has often made a point to study how devil works his way through us and that is where Karen Hill comes in, the most important character in the movie I say. James Allen once said ‘Circumstances do not change a person. It only reveals him to himself‘. The focus he gives on her is a masterstroke and nothing less. In a movie where every one is a scum, there is dire need to know why they are the scum and Scorsese explains it through Karen, an innocent beautiful girl who gets turned on when a blood soaked loaded revolver is handed to her.

There is a scene between Henry (Ray Liotta) and Tommy (Joe Pesci) which elevates from laughter to pure horror. It terrified me. And that’s where I understood. This is what the wiseguys must feel like every second of their life. Always looking over their shoulders when they get out of their houses, talking in public phones because the private lines may be tapped, God ! Imagine living every second of your life in fear. I imagined at the end of Goodfellas, I would end up despising the wiseguys. But all I could do, was feel pity for them. They were just a scared lot of nobodys. I only felt sympathy for them.

RATING :- 9.4 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

Photo Rights : Google Images, Wikipedia

Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.

My Life With Harry Potter

In 2009, at the age of eight, I went to watch the fifth offering of the Harry Potter saga, completely ignorant of the fact that there were four prequels which I had never viewed. Fifteen minutes into the movie, I feel like I am writing my school’s yearly exams – I cannot understand a thing. So, I decided to make avail of the sound-functioning air conditioning facilities of the cinema hall. I remember waking up at the climax of the movie where the trio are walking towards the railway station and taking quite a fancy towards Emma Watson, who was the most beautiful girl I had ever laid my eyes on (she still is)

In 2012, a year after the saga had wrapped up, I bought the DVD of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone from the vendor, honestly because all the other DVDs were of action movies which I despise. And I envy that day when that 11-year old boy was warped into a magical world with no limits. I envy his introduction to Chocolate Frogs, 9 3/4th platform at King’s Cross station, unfriendly goblins and of villains drinking unicorn blood. The next seven days, I finished watching the next three movies. Few months later, I watched the last four as well. There began a magical experience, a passage in my life which would be cherished and considered monumental in my existence like none other. My love for the movies eventually transcended into my love for the books, the pages of which I devoured so rapidly, that I am still not-so-fondly reminded of that period by my parents flashing that year’s report cards of mine. I developed a sort-of-encyclopedic knowledge of the saga, with my books being filled with character sketches and theories associated with the Harry Potter universe. My love grew unfathomably intense than expected, with me getting to numerous fights with my colleagues who sometimes teased my beloved characters.

Years passed. It was 2014. A period of extreme loneliness. As Robert De Niro’s character Travis Bickle says in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver ‘A day becomes indistinguishable from the others’. I was 13. People were falling in love around me. Hearts were getting broken around me. Boys were discussing their approaches to get their crushes. Puberty was kicking in for all. And…. I was just kind of there. And every day felt like an arduous task to get through. Everything was just going downhill. But destiny has its own ways.

It again interwove a chapter for my story which I thought was a thing of my past, the chapter of Harry Potter. Once again somehow, I ended up again delving through the pages of those books again. I was once again watching the movies again. And there I found solace. I felt back at home. I felt something. A feeling that I was among my friends again, that I was part of a group. A bond so strong that forget the Dark Lord, the five elements wouldn’t dare break it. I began loving life again because I wasn’t living in this banal world. There I was, the fourth in the group, with Harry, Ron and Hermione, facing threats way beyond our ages to face. But with every threat, our friendship was getting stronger and stronger. And inhibiting that fantasy world, I learned to live in the real world.

It is now 2016. I am 15. And while was watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part I, I find myself sobbing in the scene where Harry and Hermione dance to ‘O Children’. This scene is where it hits me that all the reminiscences of childhood of the trio has vaporized. They are now mature adults. And my thoughts catapulted back to that train cabin where they first met. And their entire journey from there flashes before my eyes in a second, just like the climax of American Beauty, where Kevin Spacey’s character Lester Bingham experiences his entire life in a split second. And I cry. What glorious years they have been !

Harry Potter saved my life. I carry a picture of the trio always and whenever trouble befalls or loneliness creeps on me, I talk to them. They reply. I hear that reply in my heart. You will definitely think, I am probably an eccentric guy whose has considered his inner conscience as the trio to make himself feel better. I respectfully disagree. I know that it is them. For they do live in my heart. And Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger will forever inhibit that place in my heart. Always