Top 5 movies made on teachers

‘One good school master is worth a thousand priests’

We have all had memorable teachers – disciplinarians, angels, freaks, martinets or truly inspiring ones. Today being Teachers’ day, I have picked 5 of the most memorable ones that I  have seen. Note: All titles link to IMDb pages for more info.

Continue reading “Top 5 movies made on teachers”

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If I were to give away the Oscars this year….

Word Count: 470 | Estimated time to read entry: 5 min


 

Well now, that’s truly wishful thinking especially for a guy who can barely tell the difference between Cinematography and tomato ketchup and whose closest brush with movie stars was gaping at Madhuri Dixit in the first class section of the plane from his economy seats almost a decade ago.

But having seen 8 of the top 10 nominated feature films, 3 of the 3 animated films, nearly 170 of the top 250 IMDb films, widely acclaimed world movie great masters like Bergman, Kurosawa, Dutt, Panahi, Miyazaki, Majidi, Kitano, Yimou, Ki-Duk, Ray  etc and of late Indian National Award winning movies across Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam etc *AND* considering this is my own blog, I can safely claim some, if not enormous, authority to post the following 🙂

Since I am not steeped in the finer techniques of movie making, I have gone by just 2 things – novelty or unconventionality of the movie/actor/role/performance and the impact (tears, laughs, introspection etc) it had on me.

And since this is just a blog entry, I didn’t invest much on rolling out a red carpet or cared to invite backless beauties before declaring the awards – pardon my inhospitality. 🙂

So here they are:

1. Best Film: Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton. Doubtlessly the best film of 2010. The book is profusely insane and the movie managed to keep most of it in tact. I think that was commendable.

2. Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio for Inception. It was masterly. The theme of the movie was barely imaginable and in enacting it and bringing it alive (to whatever extent the audience finally got) DiCaprio did a fantastic job.

3. Best Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech. He was comic, ironic, satirical and touching in various stages of his role. I found it really good.

4. Best Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit. Good performance considering she was a first timer. Had it been any other guy than Jeff Bridges in that movie, she would be running for Best Actress and not Supporting. And had she had 2 more movies before this one, she would win too – I see no other reason why she didn’t win, especially considering the other nominees.

5. Best Animated Film: L’illusionniste by Sylvain Chomet. Again, very offbeat. It is a film on loneliness, on failure, on broken relationships, on the inability to impress – basically all those emotions of human life that no one wants to have or talk about. And therein lies its beauty, which again, no one wants to appreciate.

6. Best Director: Tim Burton for Alice in Wonderland. I have already explained why.

 

As for the rest of the categories I have either not seen enough movies (like for Best Actress for example) or don’t know what those terms are.

Yippdee-Yippdee- That’s all folks! What do you think?

 

 

Movie Review: Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Word Count: 812  |  Estimated time to read entry: 10 min

“There are only 2 kinds of people in this world, those who have played Prince of Persia and those who haven’t”.

Image source: IMDb

It won’t come as a surprise to people following my FB updates that I am a die-hard fan of the Prince, having played all 4 games and eagerly awaiting the next. While this could mean I’d be unfairly biased in my review, it also puts me in a position to assess the movie better wrt the game.

And since I have been watching as many good movies as I have been playing good games over the last 2 years, I have decided to split this review into 2 perspectives to avoid any last traces of bias and to keep the review relevant, depending on the kind of person you are – refer my quote above 😉

GAMER’S PERSPECTIVE:

If you are as ardent an admirer of the Prince as I am, you wouldn’t even be reading this review in the first place because you already know the movie is superb. It brings the legend alive! The setting is good, Jake Gyllenhaal looks astoundingly similar to the character we so admire. Many of the moves – the wall run, the ledge swing, the masterly wielding of the sword, avoiding the death traps are all neatly and realistically portrayed. The movie is exciting and fast-paced and the action sequences are fantastic. And with the Rewind of Time by pressing the gem on the Dagger of Time, the spirit of the game is kept alive.

But is the movie as good as the game? No! Despite the settings, there is a lot of Americanism in the movie which was hardly noticeable in the game. Other characters like Farah and Vizier are changed to Tamina and Nizam respectively and they are nothing great in the movie. Some of the fatal moves of the Prince like the Vault attack, Asha’s Fury, Breath of fate, Wall rebound and other environment based attacks are totally missing, which is a big let down. The puzzles and turnstile based sequences have also been excluded and the sand beasts, the concubines, Dahaka, Shadee, Golem and all other bosses are completely missing. A new breed of enemies, The Hassansins, has been created and they are good!

What is most unpardonable is that the soundtrack is a complete let down and it is no where close to Stuart Chatwood’s fantastic track ‘Time only knows’ for the game.

The Prince is not as gentle as he was in ‘Sands of Time’ neither is he the merciless, blood thirsty guy we knew in ‘Warrior Within’ – he is somewhere in between. The red sash seen in the poster is not seen in the movie at all.

All said, the movie is not as good as the game but it is thoroughly entertaining and as close to the game you can get. For a gamer who has played even 30 min into any PoP game, this is a must watch.

Rating: 8.5/10

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MOVIE BUFF’S PERSPECTIVE:

If you have never heard of Prince of Persia let alone played a min into the game, you will want to watch this movie for some really great action sequences. It is a thoroughly entertaining watch and really exciting. The story line is tight and gripping and requires no prior knowledge about the Prince or anything related to the game at all. For once, I found most of the accent understandable and Alfred Molina is hilarious in the movie.

Jake Gyllenhaal looks terrific and the gals might want to see the movie for him alone. Gemma Arterton has managed to keep most of her clothes on most of the times and still looks good, if that is any motivation for the guys 😉

But with a reputation like the all-time great ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ behind them, Walt Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer have failed to create as much an appeal in this movie. Though a mindless and inappropriate comparison, Captain Jack Sparrow seems a far greater hero than the Prince of Persia. It is not that Jake Gyllenhaal fell short, it is just that Johnny Depp is simply par excellence! I see no other reason why, with (most) other things being equal, there is such an enormous difference in the two movies. My honest opinion is that this movie would have been far more successful had it been an animation movie.

Therefore, don’t expect to be as entertained by this movie if you (like me) have seen and liked all three parts of POTC.

Overall, this is a movie you can watch once and forget. This, unlike POTC, isn’t the kind of movie you will store in your DVD collection and want to watch again and again on lazy Sunday afternoons.

Rating: 7.0/10

PS: IMDb rates this 6.8 and IMO this wont exceed 7 after 10,000 votes. Would be surprised if this crosses 7.2 but then there are always gamer fans like me!


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