Friday, March 2, 2012

iMovies - 2

Prequel to this post:

Dial M for murder - Dial B for bloody brilliant!

I differ from all those who go frenzy over Psycho.This is better than that.. Closely following Rear Window, Rebecca, Vertigo and only then comes Psycho. Agree to disagree!

Dial M For Murder is a fine thriller that has Hitchcock all over it! The blonde, the wrong man and as always a standout scene that will stick with you for days. The one from this film is the scene where Grace Kelly is about to be strangled. The events leading up to this scene bring about a wonderful sense of dread and suspense. I do not want to reveal the plot or the story, but I assure with my soul this one will keep you guessing until the end. 

It is absolutely incredible when one reflects on the fact that Alfred Hitchcock made Dial M For Murder purely to fulfil his contractual obligations to Warner studios, and considered the film to be an effortless work that required little of him. He joked on several occasions that he could have "phoned-in" his direction (a clever little joke, as the film's most impressive suspense sequence involves Ray Milland "phoning-in" to his wife Grace Kelly in order to distract her while a murderer creeps up on her). The reason I say Hitchcock's casual attitude about the film is absolutely incredible is that it remains a very powerful and suspenseful film. 

How many lesser directors have expended every shred of energy on a film, only for it to be met with indifference or derision by the public and the critics? Yet here we have Hitchcock admitting that he has been neither meticulous nor ambitious in the making of his film, and has still produced something better than what most people could have done!! Such genius is at once arrogant and wonderful! 

As always with Hitchcock, his direction is impeccable, the camera rarely leaves Wendice's apartment but the film is never claustrophobic which is the case for many plays' adaptation. It breathes and moves freely and we almost forget that we are in the same room for close to two hours.

What more to say... Hitchcock is Hitchcock. I could go on an write such reviews for many of his movies in a blog post.. but to not bore you, I'm making it as sporadic as possible.

Jurassic Park - Humongous in every sense!

Spielberg has made us pay attention to archeology and the Ark Of The Covenant; he educated us on Great White Sharks;, a made us love an ugly little space alien and he even made Whoopi Goldberg look good. Wow, say what you will, the man has done some amazing things in the world of film. Here, he brings dinosaurs back to life and gives us another classic adventure story, unlike anything seen up to this time. 

My first epic movie on the big screen was Jurassic Park! So I always have a soft spot for it.

 I was only 7 years old and I had no idea what I was in for when I watched this movie. I should say Jurassic Park was love at first sight for me. And at times, love at first sight turns eternal... and it did! As a child I remember seeing this movie in "Mappillai Vinayagar" theatre in Madurai - one of the pioneer theaters in the city then, with my appa. It was the first theater in Madurai to feature DTS surround sound and the owners installed them just for this movie.  I was terrified but so enchanted by this world. So terrified that my hands were trembling causing me to shatter the bottle of pop which I bought during the break! I had sleepless nights .. because of terror, those days.. and now, because of ashtonishment!

Pinnacle example of what one can do with movies. For that matter, I would say this masterpiece is so under rated! Yes, I did say underrated. True, it is the fourth highest grossing movie ever and was a motion picture bible for every movie maker across the country, but it has never been regarded as artistically superior. Even its not in IMDB's top 250 list! 

Story and plot:

Eccentric millionaire John Hammond (Rrichard Attenburough) owns a small island of the cost of Costa Rica. What he has done there is genetically re-create dinosaurs. He has brought professionals in from the archaeological field to sign off, as well as his grand-children. But since Mr. Hammond has decided to include vicious (and hungry) creatures such as the T-Rex and the Velociraptors, one is correct in the assumption that of course things have to go wrong. And sure enough they do, ensuing a long theme park ride in which our heroes have to out-wit the beasts and stay alive.

Jurassic Park succeeds as one heck of a thrill ride film, full of dazzling visuals (truly some of the best ever, to this day), and spectacular sound effects. John Williams' writes an astounding score to go with the piece, one of his best and finest. Mr. Spielberg has the talent to keep us engrossed with high entertainment, and is smart enough to know his dinos will be even more frightening if they show up after the vege-eating guys first.


The dinos own the show, and the actors seem to understand this, but nonetheless they look like their having fun with their roles. Sam Neil's knowing archaeologist, Richard Attenburgh's friendly park owner, Martin Ferrero's sleazy lawyer, Laura Dern's strong female paleo-botanist, Bob Peck's semi-crazed park sheriff, and even the two kids are good. But the guy who's funniest, and seems to be having the biggest blast, is Jeff Goldblum's pessimistic chaos theory mathematician. As far as humans go, he owns every scene he's in, with a perfect sardonic attitude and timing.

I rank this one right up with the best of all-time among great adventure stories. Few people can forget how stunned they were when they saw the trembling water in a plastic cup with a distant foot steps of a T-Rex!! How enthralled they were to view these life-like dinosaurs for the first time on screen. And who can forget the Raptors in the last intense scene? This is truly memorable stuff. To this day, those scenes can still get your attention.

I can goon and on.. and why not? I have never seen a movie that combines action/adventure, intelligence,perfect cast, excellent storyline, great graphics, and perhaps one of the best soundtracks ever made (of course) in one movie

After you have seen this, you'll want to experience this over and over. I have seen this so many times,I could see it now.. and if you want me to sit along with you tomorrow, I would certainly do!

Steven Spielberg's Monster Movie Mayhem!

Memories of murder - Silent Killer!

Phew! That was too much wasn't it? About Jurassic park? Well, it deserves it! And now, Im moving to South Korean crime drama!

I don't want to point any fingers, or to suggest that a filmmaker like David Fincher would crib from another director, but if ZODIAC harks back to any other movie in the history of motion pictures, it's this one.

This film continues to haunt me. Where do I begin? Certainly with the masterful direction of Joon-ho Bong. Rarely have I come across a film, which is in so much masterful control and savage restrain in the hands of a writer- director. It reminded me of a glorious operatic piece, orchestrated to such heightened emotional involvement and aesthetic fulfillment.

It is delightfully non-Hollywood! The film functions and operates at many levels, with a larger backdrop in the national and provincial political realities of the mid-eighties South Korea. You will also encounter truly precise casting for all the characters in the film - I cannot help but laud the work of the casting director. The characters come to convincing life and such actor-character merger is indeed a rarity.

The film takes itself seriously and at the same time laughs at itself, and passingly also laughs at Hollywood and the USA. Mixing layers of humour with dead serious murderous matters is such a difficult thing to achieve, and Joon-ho Bong does it with a flourish which speaks of volumes of extra-ordinary talent. Internationally, master story-teller Joon-ho Bong should be more known in the film industry than the current "Joon-ho who?" puzzlement. There are so many over-rated Hollywood trash directors. Its a shame.

On a philosophical plane, in the 'Memories of Murder', the journey and the quest is distinctly more central and vital than the destination. 

The eyes are supposed to be the windows to our soul - and if I have committed a murder, my eyes will not lie.

You will have memories of the 'Memories of Murder' for a long long time. Go and view it to see what great cinema is all about!

The Usual Suspects - When Scorsese meets Tarantino

One of my thank-god-i-watched-it-finally movies.

To me frankly, this movie was boring for the first time. I could not watch it more than an hour! It was so random, so pointless and lose... but I something about this movie compelled me to give it another chance and now Im really grateful for that something!

1995's beautifully structured "The Usual Suspects" is really a very simple story. One of only two survivors of a ship explosion (Kevin Spacey) tells a story to the police detective (Chazz Palminteri) in charge of the case about how five career criminals - the "usual suspects" - met in a lineup and wound up working for the man whose very name strikes terror into the hearts of men - Keyser Soze.

As a result, two names were on everybody's lips for some years to come: Kevin Spacey and Keyser Soze.

With a crackerjack script by Christopher Quarrie, great direction by Bryan Singer and terrific performances, The Usual Suspects couldn't miss. And it doesn't. 

Its other stars are the handsome Gabriel Byrne as Keaton, a bad cop who at one point faked his death to avoid criminal charges; and Stephen Baldwin, Benicio del Toro, still a distance from stardom, Kevin Pollak, and Giancarlo Esposito as Kobayashi, Keyser Soze's persuasive assistant.

As a scared, not very bright gimpy man, Kevin Spacey is a knockout and well-deserving of his Oscar, his Golden Globe, his SAG Award, his New York Film Critics Award and all his other honors. The writer, Christopher McQuarrie, justly won the Oscar and several other awards. The film and director Singer probably deserved more awards than they received, but it doesn't matter. The Usual Suspects is a modern classic.

This is the greatest trick the devil ever played ...and then... he's gone.

---... iMovies - 3... will continure..

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