Sunday, January 31, 2010

Love is Blind

So what if you are different or special? You can still fall in love and someone can fall in love with you. That's what Adam, a sweet romantic comedy about a guy who has Asperger's syndrome, shows. The movie does a great job of portraying the difficulties someone with Asperger's syndrome has to face such as social awkwardness and not being able to understand what others are thinking. 

Even though I wish the ending was different, I really enjoyed this movie. I think Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne had great on-screen chemistry. Both of them did an excellent job especially Hugh Dancy as the main character. Kudos to Max Mayer for making such a good film. I highly recommend it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Don't Hope For a Miracle. Make One.

Have you ever felt completely helpless and hopeless? That's how John Crowley felt when his two kids were diagnosed with Pompe disease, a life threatening neuromuscular disorder, and doctors told him there was no cure for it. Thus began his journey to find a cure for this disease with the help of an eccentric but brilliant scientist. This is the story of Brendan Fraser's latest movie, Extraordinary Measures, in which he plays the role of John Crowley. The movie also stars Harrison Ford as the eccentric scientist, Dr. Robert Stonehill, and Keri Russell as Aileen, the wife of John Crowley.

After the two disappointments of 2010: Leap Year and The Lovely Bones, it was refreshing to watch a movie that did not drag and was not missing anything (like The Lovely Bones didn't show how the main character was murdered). Extraordinary Measures was to the point and perfectly timed. Inspired by the book, The Cure by Geeta Anand, which is based on the true story of the Crowley family, the film was inspiring and hopeful. It showed that if you are determined, you can achieve anything in life. Nothing is impossible because miracles do happen! Not only parents but anyone who has ever felt helpless and hopeless in life will be able to relate to this movie.

Kudos to Robert Nelson Jacobs for writing an excellent screenplay. Two thumps up for Brendan Fraser, Keri Russell, and Harrison Ford for their remarkable acting. Meredith Droeger deserves a special mention because she definitely stole the show in the role of Megan Crowley, the "fighter" daughter who was diagnosed with Pompe disease. And last but not the least, to Tom Vaughan, the director - thank you for translating the heartwarming story of the Crowley family onto the big screen.

If you haven't figured it out already, yes this movie is definitely worth spending $11 on! So go watch it in the theaters!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Who Says Movies Only Provide Entertainment?

They also create awareness. The Pregnancy Pact, a Lifetime movie inspired by a true story, proves that. The film is the story about a town in Massachusetts, where a few teenage girls that go to the same high school form a pact to get pregnant at the same time so they can raise their kids together. I highly recommend this movie for all teenage girls and their parents because teenage pregnancy is a very common and serious issue. The film gives the message that we need to create more awareness about this issue. We need to make teenagers realize how huge of a responsibility it is to raise a child and how difficult it becomes when you are only a teenager and are still in high school. We need to teach them about abstinence and preventative methods both at home and in high school so that the percentage of teenage pregnancies can be reduced. And if you are pregnant, please do NOT smoke or drink like the teenage girls in the movie. Smoking and drinking during pregnancy can cause complications and birth defects in the baby.

I'm sure this movie will repeat on Lifetime a few times, so if you get a chance, I highly recommend that you watch it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bad Acting + Weak Script = Box Office Disaster

Dulha Mil Gaya (Found a Groom) is the story of relationships as obvious from its slogan: "Say Yes to a Relationship." This is a movie about two couples: Donsai (Fardeen Khan) and Samarpreet (Ishita Sharma) & Shimmer (Sushmita Sen) and Pawan (Shahrukh Khan). Donsai doesn't want to get married because he is afraid of commitment due to his parents failed relationship. But he marries Samarpreet so he can inherit his father's wealth. However, he leaves the oblivious girl behind to go back to his life of partying and flirting. Will Samarpreet ever get reunited with her husband? Shimmer, on the other hand, cares more about her professional career than her boyfriend, Pawan, who loves her dearly. Will Shimmer ever fully commit to Pawan?

I think the idea of the story to show a compare and contrast of two different relationships was good. The movie showed that guys are superficial and don't notice a girl until she looks like a super model. This part of the story was unoriginal and has been told many times before. The other aspect of the story was that there are also girls out there who are afraid of commitment and don't always appreciate a guy who loves them. However, the story was poorly scripted and the bad performances did not help. Fardeen Khan did not do a good job, looked awful in the movie, and needs to lose weight. Shahrukh Khan was his usual self - sometimes I feel like he has the same style of acting in most of his movies. Therefore, I really liked Rab Ne Bana De Jodi because after a long time, it felt like Shahrukh Khan did something different. Sushmita Sen most definitely overacted in the movie. Ishita Sharma did no wonders either.

The songs were average. Overall, this was an average film. If you don't watch it, believe me you won't be missing much.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Now That was a Good Movie!

After a long wait, I finally watched Post Grad.  When I saw the trailers, I knew I was going to like this movie because Alexis Bledel is a good actress (loved her in Gilmore Girls and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and the story seemed interesting. And my instincts about this movie were right!

Post Grad is the story of a recent college graduate, Ryden Malby, and her life after graduation. Things don't go accordingly to her plan and she has to move back to her parents' house while she struggles to find a job. All those who have struggled to find a job after graduating from college will be able to relate to this story. The movie proves that things don't always go accordingly to plan because sometimes life can throw you a curveball. But if you are determined and persistent, things will eventually work out for you, even if it is not what you had originally planned or how you had expected how your life would turn out to be.

Those people are very lucky who find someone they love, who loves them back. Post Grad also shows that if you are one of those lucky people, take a leap of faith and don't let the person you love slip away. Because jobs may come and go and life may seem tough sometimes but if you are with someone you love, the journey will seem much easier and bearable.

I really liked this movie because the story was relatable. If you like chick flicks and have not yet watched this one, I highly recommend it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Surprisingly good!

Who would've thought that I would actually like Hannah Montana: The Movie? Wow! I am just as surprised as you are. I thought the Disney show: Hannah Montana was awful. Judging from prior Disney movies based on shows, I was not expecting this movie to be as good as it turned out to be. When I saw the trailer, the story seemed interesting and that is why I decided to give it a shot. Ofcourse I waited for it come on DVD and was pleasantly surprised that it was actually good. The songs were also good especially Hoedown Throwdown/ Zig Zag. I have to admit I think Miley Cyrus is a much better actress than she is a singer. She maybe a good performer but I don't think she is a good singer because her voice is nasal and hoarse. 

I liked Hannah Montana: The Movie because the story was sweet and romantic. I think it was a funny, feel-good movie. The movie depicted that Miley Stewart has changed her name and look to Hannah Montana to pursue her dream of becoming a singer so she can continue to lead a normal life as Miley. However, in order to pursue her career, sometimes she ends up disappointing her friends and family. Since she seems to be losing her real identity, the real Miley because of Hannah Montana, her father tricks her and takes her to their hometown, Tennessee so she can be reminded of her roots. How she finds love and her true identity again in her hometown forms the main plot of the movie. 

I was upset that she was cast in The Last Song based on my favorite author, Nicholas Sparks' latest novel but now I am thinking she might not be so bad in that movie either. Keeping my fingers crossed till April 2nd! 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is Your Profession Exciting Enough to be on TV?

I would like to switch gears to another favorite topic of mine: TV shows!

So ABC has a new show - The Deep End. Can you guess what's it about? Let me give you three options: detectives, doctors, or lawyers? Yes, it's about lawyers. Don't get me wrong, the show does seem to have potential. And I will probably watch it because unlike doctor shows, I am not sick of lawyer shows yet! Speaking of lawyer shows, other good ones are Drop Dead Diva and Raising the Bar.

Anyways, coming back to the point - how come majority of the shows on TV are about detectives, doctors, or lawyers? Are these the only professionals with a life exciting enough to be on TV? One show that was finally different - Trust Me about advertisers, why was it cancelled? Just because it was different?

Would you ever watch a show about accountants? I think we need a show about accountants that would break the myth that they are boring because the image we have of them with thick glasses and a pocket calculator is nothing but a stereotype. Yes, there is The Office but it's not dedicated solely to accountants. But hats off to The Office for NOT being about crime, law, or medicine! For those of you who have never watched it, the title of The Office gives it all away - it's about life in the office. Even though it's about people who work at a paper company, it is relatable to anybody who works in an office.

Now a food for thought about professionals on reality TV. How come there are reality shows about entrepreneurs, fashion designers, hair stylists, cooks, dancers, and singers but none about writers or journalists?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

I wish I hadn't. Yet another one to add to the Disappointing Movies of 2009 list. I am glad I decided not to waste $11 on it.

Did You Hear About the Morgans? is a story of a married couple, who are separated and are going through a rough patch. They get the opportunity to mend things when they are secluded to a far away location under a witness relocation program when they witness a murder. So will the Morgans' marriage survive? Will they patch things up? That is the main crux of the story.

So why was the movie disappointing? Because there was absolutely no chemistry between Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker. Sandra Bullock has much chemistry with Grant. I didn't like SJP's look, bangs do NOT suit her. The story was weak and poorly scripted. It tried to be funny but failed miserably. The acting was not too impressive either. I only liked the comparison of city residents to residents of a small town. What do you think the message of the movie is? Is it giving the message that infidelity is ok? Or is it giving the message that love is strong enough to survive anything?

Infidelity must be on the minds of everyone in Hollywood because this is now the third movie I have seen that released at the end of 2009 that dealt with the topic, the first two being Up in the Air and It's Complicated. Are these movies encouraging infidelity?

If you haven't watched Did You Hear About Morgans? yet, take my advice - don't even bother. If you do want to watch it, wait for the DVD to come out.

What is going on? None of the movies I have seen so far that released in 2010 have been impressive either! Will the streak of bad movies end soon?  I certainly hope so.

Next up according to my calendar is Extraordinary Measures. Yes, in addition to appointments, I mark movie release dates on my calendar (only for the ones I intend to watch). What can I say? I am that crazy about movies!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mixed Feelings

The Lovely Bones, based on a novel by Alice Sebold, is the story of a teenage girl who is murdered. After her death, she watches over her family from what is referred to as the place "in between" heaven and earth to see how they are coping with her death as she does so herself.

I have not read the novel myself but I have heard that the movie was different from the book and apparently left out some important parts from the novel. Those of you who have read the novel - do you agree? Some readers maybe upset by this but I don't think people should blame the director, Peter Jackson, because each person interprets a novel differently. Perhaps the parts that some of the readers thought were important didn't seem relevant to the director. You can only fit so much in a two and half hour movie. I must say the movie was too long and dragged a bit.

I think Stanley Tucci was quite convincing as George Harvey, the creepy old man who murders young girls. I also liked his work in Devil Wears Prada and Julie and Julia. Saoirse Ronan also did an excellent job as Susie Salmon. Others were good too but I think Tucci and Ronan were the highlights of the movie.

I think the film was edited well. I liked how they interchanged the scenes between what was happening to her and what was happening with her family especially in the scene where she is in the underground room Harvey builds and her family is having dinner. I also liked the ending. At first, I was surprised by it but I think that was the moral of the story that people who do bad things in the world eventually have to pay the price for it. God is not unjust and punishes those who sin. Was the book ending the same?

I didn't understand how a mother could leave her two ALIVE children behind. I think Susie was in between heaven and earth after she died because she was waiting to be at peace with her death after her family would avenge her murder. But how did she move on just after kissing the boy she loved? How did her father move on? How come the police didn't do their job? Why didn't they show how she was murdered?

On the whole, I think the movie was a heart warming story and perhaps those who have ever lost someone they love can relate. However, I have mixed feelings about it. I think it was not great but good. However, I think you can wait to watch it on DVD. If you can't wait that long, I would recommend watching a matinee show or a $6 show in a Multiplex cinema on a Tuesday because it's not good enough to spend $11 on.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mostly Well Deserved Golden Globes

I am extremely happy that Avatar won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama and James Cameron won the award for Best Director. He truly deserved to win!

Some people may be surprised but I am thrilled that The Hangover won the award for Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical. That movie was hilarious! When I went to watch it, the entire theater was laughing at almost every scene of the movie. I always felt like awards such as the Oscars and Golden Globes mostly were given to movies that were not mainstream. Therefore, I am glad that finally commercial movies are being recognized and appreciated not only by the audiences but also by such award shows.

The only Golden Globe that I think was not well deserved was the Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy award that Robert Downing Jr. won for Sherlock Holmes. That movie was NOT funny! And as much as I appreciated his performance in Iron Man, I am sorry to say but he was terrible in Sherlock Holmes, especially his British accent. That movie on the whole was terrible and truly did not deserve to win any awards. Surely, Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a much better job in 500 Days of Summer, which was actually much more entertaining than Sherlock Holmes.

Low Expectations, Less Disappointment

The first Indian movie I saw this year: Chance Pe Dance - the story of a struggling actor, who aspires to make it big in Bollywood. Like every struggling artist, he has to go through various obstacles to make his dream come true from being backstabbed by friends, rejected from various auditions, false promises, losing his apartment to losing his day job. So does he finally become a big star? Watch and find out. If you watch mainstream Indian films regularly, I am sure you can guess the ending of the movie.

Even though the movie got bad reviews, why did I watch it? One reason: Shahid Kapoor. Need I say more! Shahid is not only an extremely talented dancer (which I know for sure because I was quite impressed by his performance in an Indian concert I saw a few years back) but also a great actor.  He has proven his acting skills through movies such as VivahJab We Met, and Kaminey, all of which were a huge success at the box office.

I am not saying Chance Pe Dance was great but it was not bad either. It was a mediocre film, which was what I expected when I saw the trailer. Shahid Kapoor did a good job and exhibited his dancing skills well in the movie. However, Genelia D'Souza really needs to brush up her acting skills, I think she still needs to mature as an actor. I wish the part about the kids and their dancing competition had been expanded on a little more, that part was very poorly presented in the movie. Unfortunately, the music was not very impressive. The only song I liked was Pump It Up.

But on the whole, the movie met my expectations and therefore, I liked it. If you are a Shahid Kapoor fan like me, I am sure you are dying to watch this movie so I would say go for it! Otherwise, you can wait to watch it on DVD.

My Life is Ruined

That should have been the name of the movie, My Life in Ruins because I ruined an hour and half of my life by watching this movie. Thank God I didn't waste $11 on it and watched it on DVD! Those of you who watched in the theaters, sorry you wasted your time and money. So those who were planning to watch it on DVD, Don't! If it's on your Netflix or Blockbuster queue, remove it NOW!

My Life in Ruins was a story about an uptight tourist guide in Greece, who is miserable because she doesn't like her job and is single and lonely. So how do you think this story would progress? She has to find a solution to both her problems. How she does that is the main crux of the story.

One word to describe this movie: BORING! How can a movie be classified as a romantic comedy if it's not funny? This should have been more appropriately classified as a documentary about Greece because that's what it seemed like. It reflected the culture and historical sites of Greece and that's the only thing it did well.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Elements of a Successful Movie

In addition to English movies, I also love watching Indian movies. The last Indian movie I saw back in December was called 3 Idiots. It comes to me as no surprise that it was indeed one of the best Indian films I have ever seen. You ask why? Because it starred one of the greatest actors in Bollywood: Aamir Khan, whose movies are always so different and unique. In 3 Idiots, Aamir played the role of a college student. Inspite of being 44 years old, he was quite believable as a college student because he completely transformed himself for the role through his haircut, attire, and his excellent acting skills.

3 Idiots was a story of three college students studying engineering and their journey during and after college. It was an extremely funny movie with a moral: follow the career path that you are passionate about. It mocked education systems that encourage ratafication rather than real learning and put excessive pressure on students to get good grades.  It had yet another message: don't aim for success, aim for excellence and success will follow. 

The best way to tell a story with a moral: make it funny, relatable, and believable. How to make a movie a box office success - cast a popular actor in the leading role and have an interesting screenplay. 3 Idiots had all these elements. No wonder everybody who has seen raves about it! Every status update on Facebook about the movie only has praise for it or has the dialogue from the movie that people will continue to quote for a long time: "All is Well."

Therefore, it is not surprising that the movie won five Star Screen Awards: Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor in a Comic Role, and Best Actor in a Negative Role. I think it was an injustice that the movie did not win the Best Actor award. No doubt the story and direction were good but Aamir Khan brought the crowds to the theaters. He was the main character in the movie and the main reason behind the success of the film! Don't worry Aamir, your fans love you and love the movie because of you! I hope you keep entertaining us like this for years to come.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My First Blog

Since I love to write, a few of my friends suggested that I should start blogging.  So I started thinking about it but couldn't decide what I should a blog about.  Just yesterday, a friend suggested that I should blog about movies. And I thought to myself - why didn't I think of that! After all, it is my favorite topic as I am an avid moviegoer. I go to the movies almost every weekend. I guess you can say that I am following a family tradition - when I was a child, I remember that my dad would take me to the movie store and we would watch movies every Friday night. So I guess that's how I became so fond of movies. Why do I love movies so much? Because movies allow me to forget about the daily stresses of life for a few hours, enter into a new world, and take a journey with the characters. But man, the ticket prices have gone up! So I have made a new year's resolution - instead of Friday night, Tuesday night will be my new movie night! Centreville and Reston Multiplex Cinemas have $6 Tuesdays so I am going to try to refrain myself and stop paying $11 for a movie ticket. Let's hope I can keep this resolution!

So speaking of movies, I must say that I was extremely disappointed with most of the movies that came out in December 2009. I was very excited about all the movies to be released that month but there was only one movie that I really liked. Can you guess which one? Avatar ofcourse!  When I first saw the trailer for Avatar, I thought to myself - how can a movie that has blue people be any good?  But I decided to give it a chance because of all the hype.  My first instinct about that movie was most definitely wrong. Avatar was the most amazing and visually stunning movie I have ever seen! Kudos to James Cameron for such a vivid imagination. Just like when I read Breaking Dawn, my favorite in the Twilight series, I was awed by Stephenie Meyer's imagination, I was amazed by JC's creativity in Avatar.  The story was so fresh and innovative, it was nothing like I had ever seen before. It truly reflected the selfishness of the human race. It transported the viewers into a completely different world, the non-materialistic and free of stress world of the Na'avi. I didn't even realize that the movie was so long and wanted to watch even more after it ended. I even wanted to become a Na'avi even if it meant becoming blue and growing a tail!

Other movies that I watched in December including Up in the Air, It's Complicated, and Sherlock Holmes were disappointing and did not fully meet my expectations.  When I saw these movies, I did not come out of the theaters saying, "Man, I loved this movie and I would love to watch it again!" That's how I reacted when I saw The Proposal and The Ugly Truth, two of my favorite romantic comedies that released in 2009.

Indeed George Clooney and the leading ladies acted very well and though it was realistic and relatable, Up in the Air was not a feel-good movie. I prefer happy endings because the main reason I watch movies is so I can forget how stressful life can be sometimes and come out of the theater, smiling and happy, not depressed. Up in the Air showed that when we make certain choices in life, we have to live with the consequences even though we may later change our mind and want something else because we don't live in a perfect world.  

It's Complicated was indeed funny. Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin were great in the movie but again, I did not agree with the movie ending. I wish that she had made a different choice.

Sherlock Holmes was the second worst movie I have ever seen, Bruno being the first.  Just like in the case of Bruno, sitting through this two hour movie felt like torture. The movie was poorly scripted and was too long. The story dragged and could've easily been told in less than two hours. It was sometimes hard to understand Robert Downing Jr.'s British accent and the movie was just too boring!

And now for the first movie I saw in the theaters in 2010 - Leap Year, yet another disappointment! I didn't think the movie would be that good because except for Amy Adams, none of the cast members are well-known. However, the trailer grew on me and my expectations about the movie became higher. But the movie was slow and hence, my first instinct about this movie was absolutely right! The story had potential but it was poorly scripted. I was just glad that I only spent $6 on the movie and did not waste $11 on it.

So I guess I am just disappointed with the start this year has taken in terms of movies.  Next on my list are The Lovely Bones, Extraordinary Measures, and When in Rome, all releasing this month.  I have a feeling for sure that When in Rome will not be that good. But I still want to watch it because it is a romantic comedy, my favorite genre.  I have high hopes for The Lovely Bones and Extraordinary Measures, let's hope both of them can live up to my expectations.

The movie that I am most excited about is Valentine's Day, which is releasing in February of course! It has an ensemble cast consisting of some of the most good-looking and well-known actors and actresses in Hollywood. So this movie better be good! I hope it doesn't disappoint like the last movie I saw with an ensemble cast: New York, I Love You.

Other movies that I am looking forward to this year include Alice in Wonderland, releasing on March 5,  Sex and the City 2, releasing on May 28, and Eclipse (the third in the Twilight series), releasing on June 30.