Sunday, May 29, 2011

Not Your Typical Chick Flick

Written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, directed by Paul Feig, and produced by Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, and Clayton Townsend, Bridesmaids is the story of Annie (Wiig) who's best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and has asked her to be the maid of honor. Everything in Annie's life seems to be going wrong - whether it's her professional career or her personal life. On top of that, one of Lillian's bridesmaids, Helen (Rose Byrn) is trying to steal her best friend and trying to take over the role of maid of honor. Will Annie be able to get out of the rut that her life seems to be stuck in? Watch and find out.

The main character of Annie is quite relatable as I am sure there are women out there who have at some point felt that their life was stuck in a rut, whereas their friends' lives were moving forward. In the past, I have been disappointed with Wiig's acting performances but in this film, I was quite impressed with her performance as she portrayed Annie's character quite flawlessly.

I don't think this movie can be called the female version of The Hangover - it is a chick flick but it is different than most chick flicks as it is more mature, funny, and well-written. It was definitely better than Hangover 2! I highly recommend it for the female audience only as I don't think the male audience will enjoy it or be able to relate to it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Does the Summer Have in Store for You?

There are so many exciting movies coming out this summer! Here is a preview of the ones that are definitely on my Must-Watch List! Which of these will you be watching!?

Something Borrowed - May 6: Based on the book by Emily Griffin by the same name, this film tells the story of a girl about to lose the guy she loves to her best friend. Will she able to confess her true love to him? Or will she let her best friend ruin her chance at happiness?

I am very excited to see Ginnifer Goodwin in a lead role - loved her performance in He's Just Not That Into You! So all you girls out there, either plan a girls night out or drag your boyfriends along for a date night as this is a must see!

Bridesmaids - May 13: The plot of this movie revolves around the experiences of a single woman as her best friend's Maid of Honor. Realizing that her life is stuck in a rut, whereas her best friend is moving on her with her life, will she be able to survive till the wedding?

The word on the street is - this is the 'female' version of The Hangover. With two female leads from SNL, Maya Rudolf and Kristen Wiig, the expectations for this movie to be funny are quite high. I am a little skeptical though because I usually don't enjoy Kristen Wiig's movie performances...but maybe she will prove me wrong this time!

The Hangover Part II - May 26: The Hangover crew is back but this time, they are not in Vegas but in Thailand! Get ready for a roller coaster ride through their adventures after another drunken night.

I really hope this sequel will live up to its expectations and will not disappoint as most sequels do. Even if it does, watching the hot Bradley Cooper will still make it worthwhile unless its a complete disaster like All About Steve!

The Green Lantern - June 17: This film is based on a comic book about an ordinary guy, who finds a green ring, that grants him super powers.

I am not sure how this movie will be - Ryan Reynolds in a green suit.....not sure how I feel about that? But HE is reason enough for me to watch this summer flick! Do you need any other reason!?

Bad Teacher - June 24: I am curious to watch this movie just to see how the on-screen chemistry between Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz is. It will be interesting to see how well these exes worked together. As for the story, I think the trailer says it all!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II - July 15: I loved Part I of this movie and am very excited about Part II but at the same time, it is kind of sad that this epic movie series is ending. But since I have not read the books, I am curious to see how the story ends. I don't think any of the HP fans need convincing - I am sure shows will get sold out for this one and long lines will start forming at the first midnight showing with kids dressed in HP gear!

Captain America: The First Avenger - July 22: I am curious to watch this comic book film because it is set in an interesting time period of the Nazi's and Hitler and because of Chris Evans! Watch the trailer to find out the story if you are not familiar with the comic book.

Friends with Benefits - July 22: This film is on the same lines as No Strings Attached - let's hope it is much better than that disappointing flick! Will Justin Timberlake have good onscreen chemistry with Mila Kunis? Will the movie have a sappy ending like No Strings Attached? I guess we will just have to watch and find out!

Crazy Stupid Love - July 29: This film boasts quite the cast: Steve Carrell, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Kevin Bacon, and Marissa Tomei. The plot of this film revolves around two guys - a guy who's marriage is ending because his wife wants a divorce and a player, who befriends the soon-to-be divorced guy to help him regain his confidence, change his perspective on life, and develop the skills to attract the ladies. The player falls in love with a woman unexpectedly, whereas the soon-to-be divorced guy finds himself wanting to go back to his wife even though other women are expressing interest in him after his makeover. Will each of these men have happy endings?

The Change Up - August 5: This is the male version of Freaky Friday - remember the Lindsay Lohan movie about switching bodies with her Mom? It came out during the days she used to behave normally and was not a complete mess.

I just hope this new movie does not disappoint - as much as I like Jason Bateman, his last movie with a lead role, The Switch was quite unimpressive.

The Help - August 12: Based on the book by Kathryn Stockett with the same name, this film is based during the time period of the civil rights movement. The plot revolves around the movement started by a young writer to help black women, hired as 'the help' and racially discriminated by white women, get equal rights. I have not read the book but I am excited to see Emma Stone in action. I became a huge fan after her fantastic performance in Easy A!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

High Expectations Lead to Disappointment

Lately, I've been having an extreme bad luck with movies. Read on and find out why.

Written and directed by George Nolfi, The Adjustment Bureau stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt as the leading cast. Damon plays the role of David Norris, a young, rising politician running for the US Senate, who falls in love with a ballet dancer Elise, played by Emily Blunt. However, the "Adjustment Bureau," a team of people making sure that everyone acts according to the "plan" set for each of them, is insistent on keeping them apart because she is not part of the "plan" for him. Will David be able to overcome the obstacles presented by the Bureau or will he loose the love of his life forever? Watch and find out.

I think the concept of the movie was interesting because it deals with the idea that you can change your destiny or your fate through free will. However, the comparison of this movie to Inception is absolutely absurd because this is more of a romantic movie and doesn't even compare to Inception in any way. No doubt, I am a huge fan of romantic films but the ending was too good to be true, which made the whole movie experience extremely disappointing. I had really high expectations from this film because of Damon and the trailers looked promising but I was definitely let down. The performances by the leading and supporting cast were indeed note-worthy. Damon and Blunt had strong on-screen chemistry. However, I would still recommend that you not waste $11 on this flick; just wait and watch it on DVD.

Cedar Rapids starring Ed Helms, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver, and John C. Reilly is the story of a nerdy, naive, pushover insurance agent, who gets in touch with his wild side and learns to stand up for himself with the help of fellow insurance agents that he befriends at a conference he attends.

This movie may be relatable to some but my question is - what was the point of this film? And why would anybody enjoy watching ugly naked men on the screen - how is that funny!? The nudity in this film was absolutely unnecessary and didn't add value to the story at all. It had some funny moments but overall, it is not even worth watching on DVD. So skip this one completely - trust me, you won't be missing anything. The only good thing about this film was Anne Heche - she looks extremely beautiful and quite good for a 41-year-old! This flick once again proves my point - just because a movie is different doesn't mean it's good.

Among the streak of bad movies, how can we leave our Bollywood friends behind? Directed by Nikhil Advani, Patiala House starring Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, Rishi Kapoor, and Dimple Kapadia is the story of Gattu (Kumar), whose dream of playing for the England cricket team, is suppressed due to his dad's strong wishes. His dad is against him being part of the cricket team because of the racism he and the Sikh community faced by Britishers. At the age of 34, Gattu is presented with another chance to fulfill his dream but he is too scared to disappoint his father. Will Gattu be able to stand up to his dad or will his dream remain repressed? Watch and find out.

I appreciated the relatable spirit of the film because it highlights the fact that most Desi kids suppress their own dreams and lead their lives according to their parents wishes. Those enthused with the ongoing 2011 Cricket World Cup will like this movie because it is mostly focused on cricket. However, it did not meet my expectations because I feel it was centered too much around the sport. If you are a huge cricket fan, you can watch this on DVD; if not, you can skip this one too.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pleasantly Surprised

Based on the 1969 film, Cactus Flower, the new romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, Just Go With It is directed by Dennis Dugan, who also directed Big Daddy, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, You Don't Mess With the Zohan, and Grown Ups among others. The story revolves around Danny (Sandler), a plastic surgeon, who uses a fake wedding ring and pretends to be married to an abusive wife, to pick up girls. When he meets Palmer (Brooklyn Decker), who he believes he has a very strong connection with, he requests his assistant, Katherine (Aniston) and her two kids, to pretend to be his wife and kids so that Palmer can know for sure that he is getting divorced. Will the lies work on Palmer? Will Danny and Palmer end up together? Watch and find out.

Having been extremely disappointed with Sandler's 2010 flick, Grown Ups, and Aniston's 2010 flick, The Switch, I had really low expectations from Just Go With It but I was pleasantly surprised. The plot was interesting and the script was well-written and funny. Aniston and Sandler had great on-screen chemistry. For me the highlight of the movie were the young actors, Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck, who played Aniston's kids, as they delivered excellent performances. I highly recommend this movie for all chick flick lovers.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Instant Netflix Recommendations

Are you bored with nothing to do? Here are two movies that are available on Netflix Instant Queue that I highly recommend you watch to get over your boredom.

Shades of Ray is a cultural film written and directed by Jaffar Mahmood. The movie starring Zachary Levi revolves around a half-Pakistani, half-white man named Ray Rehman, who is struggling with his mixed identity. Just as he is waiting for his white girlfriend, Noelle, to respond to his marriage proposal, his Pakistani father introduces him to a half-Pakistani, half-white girl named Sana. Since Sana shares a similar cultural background, Ray is drawn to her and gets confused as to which is the right girl for her. Will Noelle accept Ray's proposal or will he end up with Sana? Watch and find out.

Beauty and the Briefcase is a romantic comedy directed by Gil Junger. This film starring Hilary Duff is based on the novel Diary of a Working Girl by Daniella Brodsky. The story revolves around Lane Daniels, a fashion journalist, who receives an undercover assignment from Cosmopolitan magazine to get a business related job and date "men in suits" in the quest to find her perfect guy and write an article about her experience. Will she be able to find the "magic man" who meets all the criteria on her "checklist" in the business world? Watch and find out.

Shades of Ray accurately demonstrates how South Asian parents raise their children in an American environment but then try to impose South Asian cultural traditions on them. The leading and supporting cast do a tremendous job in making this movie believable and relatable for all those who struggle with mixed identities. ABCD's or American Born Confused Desi's - the term coined for South Asian's born and raised in America but confused about whether they are white or brown will easily be able to relate to this well-written and well-directed film.

Beauty and the Briefcase is a bubbly, fun movie for chick flick lovers. Hilary Duff looks extremely beautiful and delivers an excellent performance in the film. All women will be able to relate to this film as whether they admit or not, all women are seeking for the perfect guy, who fits certain criteria. This movie proves that you will find love when you least expect it.

For those of you who don't have a Netflix subscription, Beauty on the Briefcase is also available at Blockbuster. Shades of Ray is also available on Amazon or iTunes. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And the Oscar goes to.....

Here are my predictions for the main categories of the 83rd Academy Awards:

Actor in a Leading Role: As much as I loved Jesse Eisenberg's performance in The Social Network, I don't think he stands a chance to win, neither does James Franco for 127 hours, or Javier Bardem for Biutiful. I think the main competition is between Colin Firth for The King's Speech and Jeff Bridges for True Grit. I believe Colin Firth will take home the Oscar.

Actor in a Supporting Role: Following his Golden Globe win, I think Christian Bale will take home the Oscar for The Fighter beating his main competitors: Jeremy Renner for The Town and Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech. Mark Rufalo's chances for winning for The Kids Are Alright are slim to none.  Who is John Hawkes? From Winter's Bone - when did that come out? Exactly, no chance this obscure film will win.

Actress in a Leading Role: No doubt, Natalie Portman has this Oscar in the bag for Black Swan. The other nominees are not even worth mentioning.

Actress in a Supporting Role: Now this is a tough one. I think Hailee Steinfeld will beat Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, and Helena Carter and win the Oscar for True Grit.  Jacki Weaver who? Animal Kingdom - what? when?

Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3 or How to Train Your Dragon? Another tough one, I say the latter.

Art Direction/ Cinematography/ Sound Editing/ Sound Mixing/ Visual Effects: I think Inception will bag all the technical awards. After all, it deserves to after getting zero wins at the Golden Globes.

Costume Design: Again, I think the main contenders are True Grit and The King's Speech. This is a tough one too since both are time period films. I would say True Grit will probably win.

Directing: Christopher Nolan (Inception) got snubbed - shocking! This is the another tough category. I think except for Black Swan, all nominated directors are equally deserving but I believe The King's Speech will win.

Film Editing: I think The Social Network will take home at least one Oscar and it will be this one. 

Best Picture: I think the main contenders are True Grit and The King's Speech even though I think The Social Network, Inception, and The Fighter are equally deserving. I believe The King's Speech will win the Oscar.

Adapted Screenplay: I would personally like to see The Social Network win but I think True Grit will bag this Oscar.

Original Screenplay: I personally think Inception should win but The King's Speech will most likely win this one.

See a complete list of the 2011 Oscar nominees at

Don't forget to watch the Oscars on February 27th to see whether any of mine or your own predictions come true!

So what was the point, Kiran Rao?

That is what you will be saying as you walk out of the theater after watching Dhobi Ghat (outdoor laundry in Mumbai), also known as Mumbai Diaries. This film marks the directorial debut of Kiran Rao, actor Aamir Khan's wife, and revolves around four characters whose lives are intertwined. Shai (Monica Dogra), a U.S. banker who is on a sabbatical in Mumbai, befriends a laundry boy and aspiring actor, Munna (Prateik Babbar), so he can show her around the poorer parts of Mumbai for a photography project. They have a mutual acquaintance, Arun (Khan), a depressed painter, who gets inspired by a bubbly newly wed housewife, Yasmin (Kriti Malhotra), whose video diaries he finds in the new apartment he moves into.

Since it was not a musical, this movie was quite different than typical Bollywood flicks, which I appreciated but just because a film is distinct does not mean it is good. Unfortunately, it was slow, dull, boring, and lifeless just like its characters. Additionally, this abruptly ending film was poorly edited as it switched from character to character without a smooth transition.

As much as I admire Khan's work, this was definitely not one of his best works - I don't think it is his fault though, I think it was his poorly developed character by Rao that did not give him much scope of demonstrating his usual riveting performance. So Khan fans, take my advice, don't waste your time and money watching this pointless movie. Thankfully, I only wasted $6!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ryan Reynolds At His Best!

Buried, the latest DVD release starring Ryan Reynolds, is the story about Paul Conroy, an American contractor working as a truck driver in Iraq, who has been kidnapped and buried alive in a coffin in the middle of the desert with nothing but a cell phone and a lighter. Will he able to get out of the coffin and survive? Watch and find out.

This movie reminded me of Danny Boyle's 127 hours starring James Franco but it is much darker and much better than 127 hours. Reynolds demonstrates his remarkable acting skills through this film - he proves that he is quite a diverse actor and can pull off not only romantic comedies but also thrillers. The only actor you see in the movie is him but yet you don't get tired of seeing him. The entire film was shot in a coffin but the story continues to progress through his phone calls with his family, his employer, his kidnapper, and the U.S. Government as he struggles to have someone help him get out of the coffin so he can survive and be reunited with his family. This brilliant film proves that you don't need elaborate sets and a lot of actors for a film to be good.  Directed by Rodrigo Cortes, this is a must-watch, gripping suspense thriller! Go watch it on DVD now!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Poorly Executed and Poorly Written

No Strings Attached is the new Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman flick, which explores the idea whether friends with benefits can remain as such or will one or both of them fall in love with each other? This film was slightly different from usual romantic comedies because in this case, the guy does the chasing rather than the girl; this time the girl (Emma played by Portman) is the commitment phobe and just wants to have casual, emotion free sex without committing to a serious relationship rather than the guy (Adam played by Kutcher), who wants more. So what happens in the end - does their casual sex relationship last or does the girl finally get over her commitment phobia? The real question to ask is - could this romantic comedy really be that different than usual romantic comedies? I guess you will just have to watch and find out.

The concept of this movie was interesting; I liked the premise and the twist from usual rom-com's but I was extremely disappointed with the execution of the film. I think it was poorly executed and the screen play was poorly written. Some of the supplemental stories and some of the supporting characters were completely unnecessary, irrelevant, and stupid. For example, I don't understand the need for Ludacris's character as Adam's friend or Guy Branum's character as Emma's gay roommate - they did not add any value to the movie. The most disappointing aspect of the movie was the lack of chemistry between Kutcher and Portman.

This film somewhat reminded me of Kutcher's A Lot Like Love; however, that movie was much better and he had much better on-screen chemistry with Amanda Peet. As much as I love Kutcher's boyishly handsome looks, his last films, Killers and Spread were also extremely disappointing. I hope that his streak of bad movies ends soon.

My advice for all chick flick lovers - don't waste $12 on No Strings Attached, just wait for the DVD to come out.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yay or Nay?

I recently watched two DVD releases: Going the Distance and The Other Guys. Read on and find out which movie I recommend for you to watch.

Directed by Nanette Burstein, Going the Distance is a romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. The main premise of this film is long distance relationships and how hard they can get.  Garrett (Long) works in the music industry and lives in New York. Erin (Barrymore) works as a summer intern at a newspaper in New York. When they both meet at a bar and hit it off, they decide to have a fling because Erin has to leave for California to finish her grad school in six weeks. Six weeks later, they decide to maintain a long distance relationship because they have fallen in love with each other. Will their relationship be able to survive the long distance? Will they ever overcome the long distance and be in the same state together again? Watch and find out.

Directed by Adam McKay, The Other Guys is an action comedy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Allen Gamble (Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg), two NYPD detectives who are disrespected by their fellow officers, face various obstacles in their attempt to solve a financial fraud case. Will they be successful in solving the case and earning the respect of their peers? Watch and find out.

Two thumbs up for Going the Distance because it was interesting and entertaining. Long and Barrymore had good onscreen chemistry. So for all the chick flick lovers out there, I recommend this movie - go check it out on DVD.

On the other hand, two thumbs down for The Other Guys as it was stupid and unnecessarily long due to a poorly written screenplay. So ladies and gents, I recommend that you save two hours of your life by not watching this film.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Realistic and Believable

Blue Valentine revolves about a married couple, whose relationship is shown over time, with the film shifting in between time periods when they first met and at the present time.

I went into the movie thinking I was not going to like it but I was pleasantly surprised. I think the movie was quite realistic - it shows that if you marry someone for the wrong reasons, you will eventually start to resent your spouse, causing your relationship to deteriorate. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams as the married couple gave outstanding performances, which made the characters seem quite believable. I highly recommend this film directed by Derek Cianfrance and written by Cianfrance, Joey Curtis, and Cami Delavigne.