Saturday, June 20, 2009


The much-acclaimed film in its attempt to provide 'drama' turns around some incidents and the characters, especially, Frost. And if you have watched the real interviews, then...something seems amiss.

Sheen does a great job at times in impersonating Frost and Langella is pretty effective in bringing Nixon, but if you love the underplay more than over-drama then...this one doesn't impress as much as it's supposed to!

Writer: Peter Morgan
Director: Ron Howard

Rating ***

[Max ****]

[Watched in mid-May @ Hampden courtesy NetFlix]


Passion shines. The filming became the movie became the life. A stunning insight into the making of Apocalypse Now.

The master filmmaker of Godfather went berserk, budget shot up like mad, actors went crazy and the shoot never got over! Coppola had no idea what he was doing. He met the President of Phillipines, took help of their army and was at their mercy, not to mention the literal hurricanes that knocked off the sets.

The film that was set to bury the filmmaker and yet...he came out. Watch Coppola lost on what to do. Watch what filmmaking is all about :-)

Writers: Fax Bahr & George Hickenlooper
Directors: Fax Bahr & George Hickenlooper

Rating ****

[Max ****]

[Viewed on 20th May @ Hampden on NetFlix dvd]

Viewed: FROST / NIXON (Documentary)

The facade of Nixon eventually shows as he flights from and arrives to the critical moments when he has to face the question of doing something 'wrong'.

It is interesting to see how he 'rights'  the 'wrong' by being the President of USA. And yet there are moments when he is caught perhaps in his guilt or in his desire to ask for forgiveness.

However no matter how David Frost tries to penetrate a direct apology is till missing. Frost does comes across as a serious contender taking taking on Nixon. As a film unless one is aware of the dynamics, it will not be found too gripping.

Perhaps more interesting than the Nixon interview are the thoughts and views of David Frost on this whole affair.

Director: Jorn Winther

Rating ***

[Max ****]

[Viewed on 29th April on Netflix DVD @ Hampden]


No doubt a stunning performance. Marion Cotillard won the Oscar for portraying a character that is based on the life of 'Edith Paif', who rose from the streets and became France's most celebrated singer during her times but lived a very fractured life.

Rating ***1/2

[Max Rating ****]

[Viewed on 10th May, 2009 @ Hampden courtesy NetFlix]


A great insight into the habitual act of Penguins dealing with perhaps the toughest place to live on earth - Antartica.

The documentary made under monstrous conditions takes us into the lives of these special creatures.

It is amazing to watch how the male and female go to pains to give birth and bring new life into the world, showing once again that affection and caring is just not the domain of humans.

In fact it is inspiring to watch the stead-fastness, the commitment, the effort of these animals to go about doing their 'jobs'.

Writers: Luc Jacquet & Michel Fressler
Director: Luc Jacquet

Rating ***1/2

[Max ****]

[Viewed at Hampden on 10th May, 2009 courtesy NetFlix]


Ozu delves into the affairs of a middle class by highlighting the struggles of a family amidst social customs and beliefs.

He depicts the life of a single father who wants his two daughters to settle down - one who is married and has come to live with him with her young kid; the other, younger daughter in love with a man who isn't too committed to her.

Famous for his low-camera shots, the black-&-white film gets inside these characters and effectively builds tension over a long period of time which works at seemingly slow-pace.

Writers: Kogo Noda & Yasujiro Ozu
Director: Yasujiro Ozu

Rating ***1/2

[Max ****]

[Viewed at Hampden on 4th May courtest NetFlix]


'Without Name' depicts the underworld of Mexico, and it's a messy, disturbing one considering how teenagers and young adults run the show. Based on reality that exists it highlights the deadly gang wars where the boys try to be men and die even before they become men.

This is a story of a young boy of one of the gangs who goes on a run as he ends up killing his boss when he saves a girl from him. Knowing that with not much to live, he decides to help the girl complete her journey - go to the other side of the world for a better life - to America.

It's a stark, dirty world out there and in the world of drugs & death, young kids get caught up and lose their lives.

Writer: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Rating ***

[Max ****]

[Viewed on 1st May, 7.15 pm show on a cloudy day with showers at Esquire Theater, 6th Avenue, Denver; dinner at 5 pm at BeayJoy's Pizza at Colorado Ave]


A 'real' animation film makes you forget that you are watching 'non-living' characters. You go along with their journey as captivated as any of a living one. Persepolis does the same.

A story of a woman trying to find her identity and meaning in life. Based on the backdrop of Iranian revolution this is a story of a girl who is an expatriate in France, covering many years, a film that ought to be watched.

Based on the comic book by Marjane Satrapi
Writers: Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud
Directors: Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud

Rating ***1/2

Max [****]

[Viewed on 28th April on Netflix DVD @ Hampden]


Majid Majidi is a film-maker with a heart. Each film he makes is rooted deeply into humanity. He uses the medium to tell us stories about individuals who work within certain boundaries, who are caught up in an imperfect world, but...whatever domain they belong to, they come out shining in love and affection.

In Song of Sparrows, Majidi takes us on a journey of a man struggling to make a living. Existing within the constraints of society, trying his best to provide for his family, he lives an ordinary life. But under the sacrifices that man can make, with the innocence of children at display, Majidi scores another poignant film.

Writers: Majid Majidi & Mehran Kashani
Director: Majid Majidi

Rating ****

[Max ****]

[Viewed at Starz Theatres, Tivoli on 26th April]


Mike Leigh walks a 'lighter' territory by telling a story of a carefree, happy-go-lucky lady; he follows her life and looks at life closely unfolding against the nature of this effervescent lady with a heart.

Leigh, famous for his 'serious' films, does delve into that domain, but...with a character who is full of life, almost crazy, however showing the humanity in as moving manner as ever.

Writer: Mike Leigh
Director: Mike Leigh

Rating ***1/2

Max {****}

[Viewed on 24th April at Hampden, NetFlix]


If you love Dylan's music and his persona, you should love this film.

Non-linear depiction. Different actors play Dylan through his various phases including Christian Bale and Heath Ledger, but the 'Dylan of the Movie' is undoubtedly Cate Blanchett.

Not your usual fare, not a typical story-telling; it's quite a nice treat, especially...if you love Dylan's music :-)

Writers: Todd Haynes & Oren Moverman
Director: Todd Haynes

Rating ***1/2

[Max ****]

[Viewed on 19th-20th April at Hampden from NetFlix DVD]