So, to cope with I’m-not-sure-what, I’ve been on a steady diet of caramel popcorn. Meaning, I have been haunting and making full use of PVR’s 100 bucks Wednesdays, or 160 bucks other days, and spending so much time (and money) ingesting celluloid that I have fine filmmaking leaking out of my ears.
If I may stretch that metaphor a little more, the following are my gleanings from my earbuds.
Since there has been fanboi jizz everywhere about John Carter, The Dark Knight Rises, Ice Age: Continental Drift (haha, gotcha!), I’ll start my rambling from October. Please note, this is standard box office fare, so hold on to your National Market DVDs, ye of Majid Majidi chest-tattoos.
This means I’ll have to skip the quite enjoyable Barfi!. Just stopping to note Ileana’s badly-concealed fake eyelashes. I suspect they were actually invented as forks to be used by war-serving soldiers, but the orders got mixed up. And her wig in her character’s twilight years was as offensive as her head-knocking imitation of the elderly. Actually, no, it wasn’t a wig, it was a whitener, Fevicol, turpentine, and talcum powder streaked tofun.
English Vinglish sent my barely-inner Francophile into a hormone tizzy. (I’m such an unbearable prat, I correct people who mistake macarons for macaroons.) I also loved the motichoor laddoos. And totally wanted to kick the my-wife-was-born-to-make-laddoos Adil Hussain in the nuts. My grouse as a nitpicking bitch was this: Sridevi’s character did not have to appear to be functionally challenged. She just didn’t know English. However, I am deeply in love with New York. I love the cellos in Gustakh Dil. And I will admit there were points in the film where I wanted to give Sridevi a gigantic hug, and follow up with a head-pop and an, “Uh-uh. Don’t let that jerk treatch you like that gurrl.”
Looper made me want to get my (ladies, I called dibs first) Joseph Gordon-Levitt a pair of glasses to cure him of his myopia. Bruce Willis does not squint that much. I have raved to everyone about the kickassness of this story. Full points for script that stuck firmly to the simplicity of the idea. Full points for slight-disturbia atypical of Sci-Fi movies. Full points to Willis playing one of the best assholes on the silver screen this year.
Minus points for Willis’ wifey (too lazy to consult IMDb) flipping the bird. There are few things more crass than featuring the bird, irrespective of how in or out of character it is. Future filmmakers, please remember, the bird is for characters that are incapable of wit and/or are preoccupied with something syphilis-infested in their mouths.
Also felt Emily Blunt’s sudden onset of wanting sexytime (and being indicated to audience as a tug at her dress’ hemline?!) was a laughable, blatant cop-out to explain history and context of her son. If you’re still reading this, it might not really sound like it, but I do recommend watching Looper.
Premium Rush is such awesome timepass. If there is a film this year that thankfully does not take itself seriously, it is this.
Villain cop that looks like a villain from the word go. Mandatory oh-so-fuc.. err.. unfortunate Chinese immigrants. Mandatory white guy superhero. Cyclists shouting lukewarm flirt things into Bluetooth dongles. Latino with no sense of dressing, sweating profusely into her electric blue tank. JGL’s character with a name like Wile E.. As in, Wile E. Coyote. Who is also a hotshot nerd who ditched a promising future as a suit, to, I quote, “get paid to ride. Without gears. Or brakes. Or insurance. Clearly I live in a Manhattan that has no application for reality. Like rent. Or food. Or savings. But hey, I am Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Watch me chicane the shit outta open cab doors and thank god for body doubles and Computer Graaaaaa-” THUD.
Argo is bloody brilliant. Ben Affleck apologizes three bajillion times over for his Daredevilry. Just go watch.
Ted. I was so looking forward to this film. A lot of its ka-pow was wasted on me, because Flash Gordon makes as much sense to me as foie gras. The script sort of galvanized my belief that the idea of a swearing, pot-smoking, who-gives-a-shit teddy is a fantastic idea for a comic strip. Like a truly messed up Calvin & Hobbes. Ted’s character was the exact opposite of what Family Guy’s Brian would have been as a teenage dog. Brian would’ve been a bespectacled social misfit, holed up in his room, listening to arcane Rock from Belarus, reading Freud. Ted, however, would’ve been, and continued to be, a smooth talking, sunglasses totting socialite, the center of the Pop scene, burning books, unhooking bras, mixed up with ‘shrooms and Norah Jones’ night clothes. Sadly, shallow character translated into shallow script. Strictly okay film.
Also, question, why does every film do Mila Kunis’ eye makeup like she came onto their set right after wrapping up at Black Swan?
Skyfall. What a dreary name for a beautiful piece of estate. Oops. That might be a spoiler.
Given most Bond films elaborately unveil the devious clue that is the title, “Skyfall” is an unforeseen delicious twist. A total gobsmack for Bond fans who’ve been weaned on conspiracy theories. Mr. Mendes has done a pretty decent job, giving an unusual, delicate theme to this chapter of Bond. For me, it was like a correction film, a setting of tone for the future film. Martini went cleverly unsaid. Sony’s gizmo product placement took precedence over Omega. Ben Whishaw as geek-guy Q came in to say some really lame things.
My attention flagged at points. Particularly when Daniel I Call Dibs Again Craig stands in a badass tux, at the prow of a boat floating amidst Chinese lanterns. And when he appears shirtless.
I think this has been the year of aging iconic heroes, TDKR setting the trend. Actually, the colours, mood, and feel of this film are all so TDK-trilogy. It does not help that bad-boy Javier Bardem gives a Heath Ledger Joker deja vu. 007 even cheekily throws in a “Storm’s coming”.
The Bond franchise has strictly been sexist about women, but this film’s a little more merciful to the ladies. Not saying they received exulted treatment, but surprisingly, the Bond girl of Skyfall was the one that’s always lurked in the shadows: M.
I did not really like Adele’s song, Skyfall. It felt like a mashup between Set Fire to the Rain and some other angsty I’ll fuckin’ cutchuu song. And I don’t think reproducing the tune every now and then really did much for the film. The title credits, as always, were beautiful. Skyfall is shot like a dream. When I grow up, I want to go on a Bond film recce.
Do watch. It’s a little hard to digest from the regular Bond fare. You actually might have to use your head and heart in this one.
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is the best 100 bucks I have spent all year. ‘Nuff said.
Cloud Atlas, from the makers of the two-day-long Matrix Trilogy, (and Tom Tykwer,) is a beautiful mind-job. I’m sorry, I am the sort of person who thinks Source Code was a pretty damn awesome piece of awesome.
But Cloud Atlas. Do you know how brilliant the sound design and editing of this film is? My mind was blown when they transitioned from the beating of horse hooves, into a train chugging on tracks. Have you seen the gorgeous typography of the title? I insist you have a closer look at it, once you are done watching the film. My point of drawing to disparate things is this: the details in this film just neatly and repeatedly hammer in the idea the film’s exploring. I think the Wachowskis are fascinated with the role of coincidence, and by the connectivity of our lives. Remember what they said about deja vu, and how they toyed with Karma in The Matrix?
Trying to articulate what I so love about Cloud Atlas gives me the feeling the title itself captures. Such an evocative image. That to get there, I would need to consult an atlas of clouds.
I would’ve really liked for the penultimate montage of the film to have gone untouched by our scissor-happy censor board. The monologue was brutally maimed. And just why has none of this material surfaced on YouTube yet? Where are all the Wachowski fanbois? Where are the badly designed HTML websites of frog-level-dissections of this film? Or is that generation busy posting pictures of their babies on Facebook?
What movie am I going to torture next? I’m not sure. Thinking of watching Top Cat to compensate for missing out on Moonrise Kingdom. Maybe PVR itself is giving me a hint. Whenever I open their site on Chrome, hoping to check out showtimes, the Google Translate prompt reads, “This page is in Indonesian”. And emphatically adds, “Are you SURE you want to translate?”