Jan 122014

I am not positive I found Her as engaging as most reviewers did.

But in terms of its story I’m positive Her (written and directed by Spike Jonze) is a lot different from many a Hollywood film I’ve seen.

While I found Her story novel and its lead actor Joaquin Phoenix’ acting solid, the depressing part of the movie was the failure to execute well on a novel theme.

Different – For Sure

Hey, of how many ‘deep’ relationships can you say that the heroine (Samantha) never shows up?

Now before you answer the question, I want to ask you a few more – What does “show up” really mean in a romance?

Does Samantha have to appear in person or is ‘her’ voice good enough?

Is sending a surrogate for a good fuck with ‘her’ lover proof of Samantha’s strong commitment to the relationship?

My questions leave no doubt that the appeal and novelty of Her lies in the original story.

The setting is Los Angeles, some time in the indeterminate near future.

A man (Joaquin Phoenix) going through the last stages of a divorce falls in love with his new operating system.

Ha ha ha, I bet you putzheads want to know if it’s Windows, Mac OS, Ubuntu Linux, RedHat Linux or SuSE Linux, right?

No, none of the above. It’s OS 1, the first artificial intelligence OS, one with a ‘consciousness’ and an ability to ‘evolve.’

By merely listening to you, OS 1 can tell if you’re having a bad day.

All ye priapic jesters will be glad to know that OS 1 does a remarkable job of simulating sex. 😉 Continue reading »

Jan 062014

99 Classic Movies for People in A Hurry - Review by SearchIndia.comOne stumbles upon the oddest books at the library.

Earlier today, I scooted over to the local bibliothèque to return the Se7en DVD when I happened upon 99 Classic Movies for People in a Hurry ($9.95).

People in a Hurry?

Ha ha ha!

Now if you show me someone not in a hurry in our present times, I’ll gladly show you my crown jewels.

Since I’m loath to ever leave a library empty-handed, I picked up  99 Classic Movies for People in a Hurry.

The book presents succinct summaries of the great movies.

Each movie’s description takes just four little boxes (three, if you exclude the title box).

I have no complaints with the selection of movies in the list since the legendary ones like Casablanca, Yojimbo, Citizen Kane, The Third Man, Some Like It Hot, Delicatessen, Terminator, Sunset Boulevard, Star Wars, The Shawshank Redemption,  etc are all to be found.

But I was not too happy with the quality of many of the descriptions for the movies.

Many seemed to have been written in a hurry! 😉

I will admit though that writing such short summaries of great movies is a daunting task.

99 Classic Movies - Casablanca

No, not a single Indian movie figures in the 99-classics list.

Now don’t tell me you’re surprised not to find Chennai Express or Rowdy Rathore in the company of Star Wars and Gone With the Wind!

99 Classic Movies - Forest Gump

Be it Bollywood, Kollywood or Tollywood, India is the trash capital of the world where movies are concerned!

Bottom line, I’d say 99 Classic Movies for People in a Hurry is kinda interesting but kinda unsatisfying.

Not worth the $10.

Dec 302013

As part of Apple’s 12-Days of Gifts promotion (December 26-January 6), Martin Scorsese’s remarkable film Hugo is available for free download today.

Of course, I quickly headed to iTunes and downloaded the movie a couple of hours back. Need you even ask. 😉

Hugo is a fine movie and I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did.

Hugo was warmly received by critics (94% on RT) and won five Academy Awards including for Best Cinematography.

The free download of Hugo is valid in the U.S. and you must have an iTunes account (other geographies may have different freebies).

Hugo Related Stories:
Hugo Review on SearchIndia.com Blog
Dec 162013

JulianBilly raped and killed a 16-year-old girl.

Crystal (mother of Julian & Billy responds in a nonchalant tone) – I’m sure he had his reasons.

Only God Forgives (2013)

Hands are chopped off, throats slashed deep, eyes gouged out, people disemboweled, eardrums destroyed with knives, and palms nailed to chair-arms with knives, all as the victims scream, howl and yelp in indescribable agony.

If none of that prove interesting or gory enough to hold your interest, for backup there’s shooting into a crowd of diners,  people being battered to death or pummeled senseless, sizzling oil thrown into people’s faces and minor girls raped and battered to death.

If even that doesn’t shake you up, there’s the peerless scene of the incestuous mother comparing cock sizes of her two grown-up sons.

Billy, she tells Julian, was ‘enormous.’ 😉

And all you putzheads thought, size doesn’t matter!

Violence – Thai Style

A visually engaging film dripping in violence, Only God Forgives is one of the better English films that came my way in 2013.

If nothing else, the violence or the menacing, looming threat of violence in Only God Forgives ought to keep you glued to the screen!

Directed by Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, Only God Forgives is an original.

Not one of those focus-group driven Hollywood drivel churned out by studio suits in Los Angeles with an unflinching eye on the box office. Continue reading »

Dec 142013

By Madmax 673

The only forehand knowledge I had about Hobbit is that it’s a Tolkien fiction and I used to play a game called “Hobbit Rampage” which had a lovely BG music throughout the adventure.

I had butterflies flashing inside as I was going to watch this flick because of the number of characters involved in the original fiction which I have not read before since fantasy has never been my cup of tea.

Starts at Bree — on the border of Shires. An Old man called Gandalf pushes Thorin to become the emperor of a place. For that to happen, he needs to obtain a rare blue stone called the Arkenstone.

The problem however is that the Arkenstone is in a mysterious CGI mountain with a special CGI keyhole that has a bad ass CGI dragon as its watch guard.

To accomplish this, a stealthy burglar, a hobbit named Bilbo (Martin Freeman), is hired along with his company.

How our hobbit overcomes all hurdles and confronts the dragon forms the “crux” of the story.

Did our hobbit get the Arkenstone? Does Thorin become king of Erebor?

That’s for you all to watch on the big screen.

Bad Part

– Statutory warning: This ain’t no date movie. There are some Xtreme close ups of the Orcs that look unbelievably ugly. It may take weeks for your spouses to get sexually aroused.

– A romantic bit in the middle made me lose track of the Bilbo Baggins’ adventure.

– For about close to half hour in the middle, Bilbo went missing making me wonder if the story had shifted to the love track between beautiful elf Tauriel and another imprisoned dwarf, Kily, which is a colossal let down.

– There was no trace of how Kily is doing after getting critically wounded. Continue reading »

Dec 112013

In a long life spent mostly poring over words, few ideas have stuck a chord with me like political philosopher Hannah Arendt’s famous concept of Banality of Evil.

Countless articles and several books have been written on Hannah Arendt and her concept of Banality of Evil.

In 2012, an eponymous biographical movie Hannah Arendt, directed by Margarethe von Trotta, debuted to an enthusiastic reception from the critics (86% rating by Rotten Tomatoes)!

What is Banality of Evil?

Arendt came up with Banality of Evil in the early 1960s while reporting on the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem for my favorite magazine New Yorker.

In its essence, Banality of Evil means that great evils in the context of a state’s action are committed by normal, ordinary people.

For great evil to exist, the evil doers do not have to be (but can be) demonic, terrifying monsters with twisted minds like Narendra Modi, Ivan the Terrible, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, or Richard III. Continue reading »