Saturday 31 December 2011

What was 2011?

       2011 is ending. Great for me personally because it was possibly the worst year of my life and let's hope history doesn't repeat itself. However, this is mostly a film blog and we will focus on all things celluloid. Thus a few things that happened in 2011, film-wise:

1) The Social Network lost to The King's Speech and David "God-like" Fincher lost to bloody Tom Hooper in the Oscars. These Oscars were the first one I properly followed, unlike earlier when I would have seen a few films and performances. I am probably never going to forget it... too much devotion towards TSN.

2) My childhood, along with hundreds of thousands of others from "my generation", ended with the final installment of the Harry Potter film series hitting the theatres. A lot of tears were shed as we said goodbye to the Boy Wizard and his friends and Hogwarts.

3) Pirates of Caribbean 4 came out- honestly who remembers this? Me neither, and I actually liked the film...

4) Loads of superheroes- some were terrible and green, and the others were better than I expected, most notably the film with Fassy in the turtlenecks and the film in which Chris Evans is a scrawny kid from Brooklyn.

5) A few nice surprises like Midnight in Paris and Bridesmaids. Even Rise of the Planet of the Apes, with the ridiculous name, is one of the better reviewed films of the year.

6) Two absolutely stunning films about the cosmos and human life came out- The Tree of Life and Melancholia. One won the Palme D'Or, the other suffered due to the director's big mouth. Still, I'm pretty stoked about Kirsten Dunst winning the award for her brilliant performance.

7) This year will be looked back as the year when Ryan Gosling came on his own, hence it was the Year of the Gos. I for one, was always a fan, even before The Notebook, and it gave me a lot of joy. People were left gobsmacked at his photoshopped-esque beauty in Crazy, Stupid, Love; they felt the thrill of the Driver in Drive; and they were totally won over by his charm in The Ides of March. So much so that the crowning of Bradley Cooper as the Sexiest Man Alive for 2011 led to protests and petitions being signed (I signed one myself). In all of this though, the Gos has remained completely oblivious and awesome- breaking fights and making comedy videos and oh what a lustrous career ahead!

8) The biggest breakthroughs this year was ofcourse Jessica Chastain and Michael Fassbender. Seriously, how many people knew about Chastain existing before 2011? But she was in everything, and was lovely. Fassy fever hit me and many others this year, and this is only the start. Along with them, four other actors, who were quite brilliant this year, I am looking forward to see are Asa Butterfield, Elizabeth Olsen, Ezra Miller and Tom Hiddleston.

9) Quite a malnourished year when it comes to animated films. People really enjoyed Rango, though I was totally won over by The Adventures of Tintin. What this year did have was two very well received films about films,  Hugo and The Artist, which is always great.

10) This year was also when one of the greatest and most beautiful actresses ever, Elizabeth Taylor, died. She will be sorely missed.

(So those were the 10 things that pop into my head when I think 2011. For cutesy purposes I guess, I shall talk about an 11th thing, that isn't film-based so much, but meh- my list!)

11) I discovered the brilliance of Doctor Who (the Eleventh incarnation no less) and Sherlock, and went gaga over the genius that is Steven Moffat. Also since we're taking a personal route here, I finished Quentin Tarantino's filmography, started and finished watching all of P.T. Anderson's films, and started on auteurs like Pedro Almodóvar and David Lynch. Yaay :D

All in all, a pretty decent film year I think. Goodbye 2011, hello 2012!

Friday 30 December 2011

My Top 10 Films of 2011, Somewhat

      The end of 2011 is nigh, and all I can do is make a list. That too an incomplete one as nothing releases where I am. Anyways, let me present to you the list-

Note: There is no honourable mentions in this one as some of them may make it to the final top 20, which will be posted along with my favourite performances and scenes of the year.

Special Mention
Delhi Belly (Dir: Abhinay Deo)
The best Bollywood film I saw this year. I even considered to put it in the final list, but I felt it was not as good as the rest. Still it was bloody ballsy and very entertaining, and I hope it brings about a revolution in Indian cinema for the better.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (Dir: Steven Spielberg)
I really enjoyed this film, and I didn't even like the Tintin comics. Spielberg brings all the Indiana Jones-esque energy and splendour into the film. Also, Snowy!

Submarine (Dir: Richard Ayoade)
It's so cute and quirky and adorable- I wish I had made it. One of the simplest and funniest coming-of-age films I have seen, and ugh that Alex Turner soundtrack is just beautiful.

We Need to Talk About Kevin (Dir: Lynne Ramsay)
Bloody creepy film that just gets under your skin. What was really brilliant was how unnerving all the Kevins were. And Tilda Swinton gives a fantastic performance too.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (Dir: Sean Durkin)
A most unsettling, yet beautiful looking film. It is the debut of both Durkin and Elizabeth Olsen, who just blew me away with her extremely natural and superb acting.

The Tree of Life (Dir: Terrence Malick)
Easily one of the most visually stunning films I, or anyone else has ever seen. I am among the people who was mostly blown away by the core story of the American family growing up in the 50s, and not so much by the cosmic stuff. Still, the beauty in this is just staggering.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (Dir: David Yates)
Oh my childhood :'( I still have issues with it, but I cannot deny that it is a brilliant end to the beloved series. With the music and Professor McBadass and Neville and the emotional impact and Daniel Radcliffe's best performance in the series, it had to be in my list.

A Separation (Dir: Asghar Farhadi)
I saw this only a couple of days back. Didn't want to like it, but ended up loving it- true story. What an impactful drama, and so well made and acted.

Hugo (Dir: Martin Scorsese)
This film just killed me- there's no other way to put it. Yes there is the childlike wonder and the mystery of the automaton, but what it really is is a love-letter to cinema by one of the greatest living film makers. How can a young film-lover like me not be touched?

Drive (Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn)
Yes, it really is that good. Refn has made one helluva stylish film and also made Ryan Gosling a bona fide star. One cannot watch this enough times. Just put it on repeat and be mindblown.

Midnight in Paris (Dir: Woody Allen)
My favourite film maker returned with a bang and a nostalgic tale that will enchant everyone. I always believed that Paris is magical, but Woody's take on that makes it so much more. Funny, heartwarming, gobsmacking, unforgettable, brilliant- Midnight in Paris people!

And there you have it :D


1) Last Weekly Thoughts post of 2011, and as luck would have it, it's going to be a rather short one. The most important thing released all of this week has been the poster of the 84th Academy Awards. O.o Sparkly. I've seen 6 out of the 8 films on it; will see the others at some point. February 26 will be interesting. I hope they at least invite the Harry Potter cast- they did invite Robert Pattinson when Twilight became the "worldwide sensation" it is.

2) Speaking of Harry Potter- Daniel Radcliffe is going to host Saturday Night Live in January! Wooo hooo!! Good on him- I'm pretty excited as he is my favourite person in the world :D

3) I forgot to talk about the "award-worthy" films I saw last week. I saw Senna, which has unfortunately not qualified for the Best Documentary Oscar. It was pretty good, and I hope gets considered for Best Editing as that film is nothing without the editing. Which gets me to thinking, which films are being awarded for Editing? I think Hugo is somewhere there, along with Senna. I saw Contagion yesterday, and felt the editing was rather decent. I haven't seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yet, but Fincher flicks are right at the top with the editing. The other films that I saw this week are The Skin I Live In and A Separation, both of which are foreign language films. The former is not being considered or something, so that is a shame. It was creepy, but I liked it all the same. The latter is the front-runner in the Best Foreign Film category, which is freaking fantastic as I could not agree more. In all honesty, I did not want to like this film because I am weird like that, but my god- I think it is the closest thing to The Social Network I have seen all this year in terms of the perfection. Yes TSN was all hip and greedy, filled with the brilliant music and the one-liners, and A Separation is a drama of a world that many of us are not very familiar with, having themes like divorce, parenthood, class, morality, religion, but it is equally well-executed and flawless. It was very interesting- the world depicted in it is not all that foreign to me as it would be to some viewers, I guess, so I could understand it pretty well, but at the same time it also challenged some of the things I thought I knew. Excellent film.

4) I was going to write a major 2011 mini reviews post, but I think I'll cover some of the things in my unofficial top 10, so it will just be like repeating stuff. Don't you love my reasoning when it comes to actually working instead of being super-lazy? (I see a new year resolution here somewhere).

5) Some of my friends today were discussing the whole "world ending in 2012" thing, but all of us decided we cannot die before watching The Hobbit. Ah Martin *heart*! Also, Sherlock season 2 starts on 1st January, so yesssss!

6) Finally, the Year of the Gos is ending. Here's to Year of the Gos 2.0 with this video and this absolute gem of a photo-
Ah, my man.
Ah, my man.
Oops I did it again.

See you on the other side folks! Byeee :D

Friday 23 December 2011


A bit late, sorry. Here are the thoughts-

1) Let's start with trailers because it was THE BEST WEEK OF TRAILERS EVER!! I mean Wrath of the Titans people- Yaaaaayy!! No I'm kidding ofcourse, because that film is a joke. First up, we have the last part of Christopher Nolan's epic Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises. OMG it's awesome!! So I had been dying to get a glimpse of Catwoman because I am just the biggest fan of her portrayal by Michele Pfeiffer, and Anne Hathaway looks and sounds brilliant! Yes, it's a bit too much like Batman Returns, with the ball and all, but who cares? And I like Bane finally. People have issues with the voice, but I thought it was fine and like seriously, Nolan has toppled over cities in his films; he can handle voice issues pretty adeptly, I am sure. Then there is the trailer to Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey- OMFG it's awesomer!! Martin Freeman looks spot on fantastic as Bilbo Baggins, and it's great seeing old favourites like Gandalf, Galadriel, Gollum and the One Ring. I've missed Middle Earth, though it will take a whole year till we go there properly. These two are among my most anticipated films of next year. There were other trailers too- Bel Ami, which is Robert Pattinson's next. It looks okay-ish. I like onscreen playboys, so it will probably become a guilty pleasure. Lastly, there's the teaser to Ridley Scott's Prometheus. I've started watching the Alien films, and I do not think this film will be my cup of tea due to my wuss-nature. However, my Fassy fever knows no bounds and I'll probably still watch it.

2) Okay it's a bit late to have this outburst, but WHY THE FUCK WAS HARRY POTTER NOT NOMINATED FOR BEST ENSEMBLE IN SAG AWARDS?! There was Prof McBadass brilliance in this also :'( Stupid award voters and their low opinion of children movies. It is because they are all dead inside and their soul is as shriveled up as an ugly raisin.

3) Couple of days back I saw Juno and Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. Does anyone else miss Michael Cera? I dooo. I also want him to re-team with Edgar Wright. Can't there be more Scott Pilgrim films? I mean 2011 was a good year film-wise, but there was nothing like Scott Pilgrim, so that's a big fat fail.

4) Stevee Taylor of Cinematic Paradox got me on a Harry Potter high again, with her Harry Potter marathon. It'll be weird seeing all the films over the course of like a week. I cannot imagine it. I'm going to be doing a somewhat similar thing next year, when I see all the original Star Wars movies. I have a good feeling I'll hate them and not really understand them, but I look forward to be proven wrong (hopefully).

5) Are there other series like these that I need to watch? I'll be dabbling in Westerns also. And I have to see the 1939 films. Help all ye more knowledgeable folk!!

6) Finally- this is the best Christmas tree ever-
MERRY CHRISTMAS! Be good kids :D

Byeeee. Falalalala.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

My Favourite and Least Favourite LoTR Characters

        In celebration of the release of the first The Hobbit trailer this morning, this list seems only apt. Also I recently finished watching the extended versions of The Lord of the Rings films. So basically I'm on a Middle Earth-high, and currently want to marry Martin Freeman. I mean seriously, move over Andrew Garfield! This man is a book-lover's wet dream (yes I know he's probably already married but I refuse to check). I'm Mrs. Dent Watson Baggins Freeman from now! Yaayy!!

         Anyways, this list is based on the films and not the books, which I read in 7th grade and that also only the first one and half of the second. I do so love the films, and I like almost all the characters in it save a few. These are my least favourite and favourite characters from The Lord of the Rings movies.

My least favourite characters-

5) Grima Wormtongue (played by Brad Dourif)-
Grima is just creepy. He takes over poor Theoden's mind and rules his kingdom following Saruman's orders, and fancies the pretty Eowyn. He just reminds me of tentacles. Ew.

4) Saruman (played by Christopher Lee)-
I didn't like Saruman because I felt nothing for him. He was not the least bit scary in the film. He was just there. This much indifference, for a character as powerful as him, is never a good thing.

3) Denethor (played by John Noble)-
He was just so repulsive a character. A man driven mad by power, and clearly one of the worst fictional fathers of all time. He is just horrible.

2) Orcs (played by men who don't mind looking like that)-
I saw my first LoTR film, The Two Towers, when I was in fourth grade and I was genuinely terrified of them (though I got more freaked out by the Aragorn-Arwen kisses then :P). Orcs are just the grossest, scariest, most inhumane race ever.

1) Frodo Baggins (played by Elijah Wood)-
I'm sorry, but Frodo just annoys the hell out of me. He's such a whiny little bitch. Okay yes he has the One Ring around his neck blah blah blah, but it's not my fault that his irritating and stupid side is the one I am subjected to. I really would fast-forward all his scenes were it not for Sam and Gollum and the others.

And now my favourite characters-

Honourable mentions- Theoden, Gimli, Elrond, Éomer, Treebeard.

10) Galadriel (played by Cate Blanchett)-
I just love her. I am probably as taken aback as Gimli is with her, The narration, the crazy power thing in The Fellowship of the Ring, the peaceful look on her face always... I would follow her everywhere, definitely.

9) Faramir (played by David Wenham)-
I absolutely adore Faramir. He was so unloved and unrewarded, but he went past all that and became a great soldier, and certainly a fantastic man.

8) The One Ring/ Sauron-
I so want one (minus the Dark Lord influences). I love the simplicity of the look of the ring, and all the darkness it just brings with it. Every scene with the ring in it, is always dominated by it.

7) Gandalf (played by Sexgod Sir Ian McKellen)-
Isn't he just the best?! He's brave and kind and funny and quirky, and so so powerful. He would be just the most brilliant mentor.

6) Samwise Gamgee (played by Sean Astin)-
The bestest friend of them all. Though there are theories of homosexuality here (and I do agree with them till an extent), the basic fact is that Sam is the kind of friend that one can only pray for. He will never leave your side, and always help you and make you laugh and protect you. Frodo was sooo lucky Sam put up with his shit.

5) Aragorn (played by Viggo Mortensen)-
He is one of my most favourite literary kings ever. A true underdog in the world of men, with all of the power and responsibility and possible doom thrust upon him, who really rose to the occasion when required. A mighty warrior and a fine friend. Thank god Mortensen was finally cast for this... noone can open doors quite like he does *wink*.

4) Gollum (played by Andy Serkis)-
Serkis and Peter Jackson together brought a revolution in modern cinema with Gollum. He was just so amazingly made. I think Gollum is one of the most tragic characters in literature and film. I do feel sorry for all that he endured, and he really tries to be saved. 
I will even go as for to say that this is the best performance of the entire series of the films.

3) Merry and Pippin (played Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd respectively)-
I love Merry and Pippin! I think of all the characters, I am most like Pippin. I cannot think of them separately, though they each bring something different to the stories. Merry is the more sensible one, who unfortunately always gets left behind but shows great valour on the battlefield. Pippin is the honest fool, as Gandalf said, and does get into a lot of trouble, but only because of his curiosity. He has a pure heart and always helps in his own way.
Both of them together have some of the best lines in the films.

2) Éowyn (played by Miranda Otto)-
With the whole series revolving around the bravery and the hunger for power of men, this one woman steals the show for me. She is beautiful and humble and kind and so very brave. Éowyn is a role model. She needs independence even at the time of battle and distress and hates that her gender comes in the way. Still, she does prove herself more than worthy on the battlefield.
The scene when she kills the Witch-King, with the whole "I am no man" is a huge favourite of mine, one which always results in me screaming "GIRL POWER YESSSS!" She really is the best of the human race.

1) Legolas (played by Orlando Bloom)-
I could not help this. I really wanted to give the top spot to Sam for his undying friendship or Aragorn for his bravery or Gollum for his tragedy or Éowyn for all the girl power, or anyone for any "proper" emotional impact, but Legolas is just so freaking coooool!! I go crazy in all of his scenes. I cheer. I clap. I scream.
Still, he is a great elf and an incredible archer. He is there in all the battles and really plays pivotal roles. He is  one part of  the Man-Elf-Dwarf trio. Also, that elephant scene in The Return of the King is my favouritest, because again, it's so freaking coooool!!
I even once wanted to name my future child Legolas. You cannot question my devotion... I am gaga for this elf.

Hope you liked it. Cannot wait for The Hobbit!
- Mrs. Dent Watson Baggins Freeman.

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Two Years Old Now!

         It's been two years since I started this blog. I must admit the first year was completely random, and I was like a lost puppy since I hadn't read any film blogs and I really didn't know what to do. It was only towards the end of last year, when I accidentally, and thankfully, ventured into this film-blogging territory, with  the LAMB and all, that have been able to, somewhat, make something out of this blog.

           I had 7 lovely followers at Being Norma Jeane's first birthday, and now I have 45 more equally wonderful ones. It clearly goes to show that direction in blogging is required (I think there's a life-lesson in here somewhere...). I have become so much more knowledgeable now with regards to films though I still have a pretty long way to go. But my friends, the road seems like fun!

Some of the amazing bloggers who follow me, and who I follow-

Univarn at A Life at Equinox
Andy at Andy Buckle's Film Emporium
Castor and the team at Anomalous Material
Aziza at Aziza's Picks
Stevee at Cinematic Paradox
Anna at Defiant Success
Lesya at Eternity of Dream
Cherokee at Feminising Film
Jack at Jack L. film reviews
Ruth at ...let's be splendid about this...
Mette at Lime Reviews and Strawberry Confessions
Dylan and the team at Man I Love Films
Matt at Matt & the Art of Motion Pictures
Ryan at The Matinee
Larry at themoviesnob
M. Hufstader at The Smoking Pen
Everyone at The Large Association of Movie Blogs

And everyone who follows this wee blog of mine, THANK YOU SO VERY VERY MUCH!!

Thursday 15 December 2011

I'm sorry Globes...

but the Driver is not impressed-

 It would have been the perfect ending to the Year of the Gos, but alas both of Ryan Gosling's other performances from this year have gotten nominations and this beautiful silent visceral one, which is not only his best this year but probably of his entire career thus far, got snubbed.

Well atleast he'll look super faiiinnnneee in one of his sexy suits on Jan 15th, 2012. You lose some, you get some I suppose.


1) So first of all, I didn't write any posts this week because I have been down with, quite expectedly, what I call the Super Winter Lethargy which happens, you guessed it, every winter and basically consists of me not wanting to leave my cosy bed and doing anything that requires brains, which includes writing for this blog. This coincided with my college exams (I had four between the last Thoughts post and this one) and all that just got magnified. I am truly sorry. I can't promise next week to be any different, but that's mainly because I'll be travelling and meeting all my old school friends. YAAAAY! So excited :D

2) The big news this week has been the SAG nominations. Everyone is pretty pissed about things like snubs for Shame, Corey Stoll, Parks and Recreations etc. I don't really care yet. I do like how haphazardly, somewhat, the awards season is going, but personally, I'm not getting as blazed up about things like how I was last year. I have a feeling that The Social Network used up all the award-crazy flair in me, and now I might be beyond caring when it comes to these prizes. Odd. Also, I read somewhere about someone actually thinking that Daniel Radcliffe will get an Oscar nomination. I used to be like that 3 years ago. O children...

3) I'm skipping trailers this week, mostly. There was something about a musical starring Tom Cruise and Sacha Baron Cohen being something ridiculous. Oh and MIB3, of whose existence I was not aware of. I only saw the last one because I just cannot be deigned to watch the others, and it gave me No Country for Old Men flashbacks. And also how does Will Smith look so young? He's such a pageant mum; I wish he'd do more for his career.

4) There were two teaser posters this week- The Amazing Spiderman and Prometheus. I like the Spidey one, but it's trying to hard to look like a Nolan-esque Batman film. Speaking of, there was also the The Dark Knight Rises teaser poster last week. I think the rain is a bit excessive, but I do admire the awesome albeit insane idea of Batman dying. I like the Batman villains way more than the caped crusader, but then again, why must Bane be the one to do it? Sure he sounds horrific, but I don't really like someone as brawny as Bane to be the one to do the deed over someone as brilliant and brainy as the Joker. Personal preference of villains, people... About Prometheus, I dunno what it signifies as such. I really must watch the Alien movies. Also, pictures from The Great Gatsby have been released. I especially like this one because Leo, who was my first love à la Jack Dawson in Titanic, is looking like his handsome dreamy self again. I have no doubt that the film will look gorgeous, but I have doubts about Baz Luhrmann making it too much about the looks (don't forget the cursed 3D) and not enough about the beloved story. I still think someone like Sofia Coppola, would have a much more interesting take on it because she's so feminine. It would have been a different perspective, and would have looked brilliant too.

4) What Sofia Coppola is doing, according to TMZ (I'm not sure how reliable this is), is making a film on some group of thieves called the Burglar Bunch, who stole from Hollywood it seems. It sounds interesting, however novel when compared to her filmography. But she should do other kinds of projects. I am still hoping for her to make a horror film. Also, and I forgot to write about this earlier, a third part to the incredible Before Sunrise-Before Sunset films is apparently being made. I just hope it does justice to the other two. I will reserve judgements on that, unlike what I feel for the "modern" remake of American Psycho. WHY HOLLYWOOD WHY?! There are no videotapes around, no business cards around, no nothing like that around, hell noone like "Hip to be Square" Christian Bale around! I actually tried brainstorming for a present day equivalent for the business cards (videotape = Netfilx, except "I'm going to go check my Netflix" doesn't sound so impressive...) but the only thing people care about enough these days is like their IPhones and a new model comes out every year or so, and the whole reason why the business cards were so impactful were because they were so mundane and it was just outrageous to go psycho-murderer because of them. Not going to work Hollywood... go occupy something else.

5) Regarding awards and me: I saw Hugo this week. I loved it so freaking much! I think it has become my favourite film of this year, even though I do not think it is the best film of the year... this is going to create problems in my top 20 films list, whenever the hell I get to make it. Hugo was flawed, no doubt about it, but it was also very special. I am writing the review, promise. As far as its awards chances go, I think it'll get nominated for Best Picture, and maybe even Director, but it will win neither.

6) Finally, this mere mortals, THIS-

No words.


Thursday 8 December 2011


I forgot to be all It's December, YAAAYYY!! last week, so here it goes- It's December. YAAAYYY!!! :D
An extra exclamation mark and a smiley face for y'all. Anyways, my thoughts are as follows:

1) Daniel Radcliffe, who has been voted Entertainment Weekly's Entertainer of the Year, is in talks to play the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in the thriller Kill Your Darlings. It's apparently about poetry, gay stalkers and murder in 1940s New York and is around the time when young and impressionable (??) Mr. Ginsberg got into the beat scene. The whole story about Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Lucien Carr and David Kammerer is damn exciting. Captain America Chris Evans might play Kerouac and the fantastic Ben Whishaw is being considered for the role of Carr. Pretty good cast I must say. It seems Ginsberg was rather tall, and DanRad is a fellow hobbit like me. Also their voices are nothing alike, though distinctive in their own way. I find it funny that in counting down all the actors that have played the famous poet, no one is even thinking about Tom Sturridge who plays his literary counterpart Carlo Marx in the "upcoming" On The Road movie. I mean, well duh. I was just telling a friend of mine about how he has been cast opposite Dakota Fanning in the Effie Gray biopic as her second husband and the painter John Everett Millais, and her reply was "It will never get released." But thank the lord DanRad is a reliable star, who I hope can carry off this Ginsberg picture well. 

2) Do any of you follow Boardwalk Empire, because last week's episode was nuts! Jimmy Darmody has the MOST FUCKED UP FAMILY OF ALL TIME. This whole season, as compared to the first one, has been rather slow and annoying. I had thought that things had picked up, but no they just went super-weird. Nucky and Margaret were my favourite people in the first season, but they are just so needy in this one. Michael Shannon as Van Alden is still pretty good, and I love Jack Huston as Richard Harrow. There is barely any Chalky White and Arnold Rothstein, otherwise I like them too. Can't say the same for everyone else... Next week is finale, hopefully it's good.

3) My thought process has suddenly gone off-rail due to the presence of a rather large spider near my foot. I am not exactly scared, but you know, I can't help wonder what would happen if it bites me. I mean, haven't you always wondered whether you'll get superpowers when a spider bites you? Also how that's probably the most plausible way of getting superpowers among all the superheroes? 

4) Anyways, back on track, you know how I am always casting Guillermo Del Toro's Beauty and the Beast, in which Emma Watson is going to play Belle (I don't know if they'll keep that name but I am just going with it for now), in my head until the proper people do so? I just had another brilliant idea for who should play Beast- True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard!! I mean he already has such a commanding presence and he is a gorgeous man... it's perfect! If only someone would listen to me!

5) As I said it's December, and the 'top 10 films of 2011' have already started. Peter Travers of Rolling Stones and David Edlestein of NYMag have released theirs. What's really pissing me off is that there are 10+ films that have the chance of being in my top 10 that I haven't even seen yet! Grumblegrumblegrumble!! Moneyball, Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, Hugo, The Artist, Carnage, A Dangerous Method, Shame, A Separation, The Descendants, War Horse, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Coriolanus, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Young Adult- gaaaaaahhhhhh!! I hate this world -.-

6) My weekly "Oscar buzz" talk- I saw The Ides of March and We Need to Talk About Kevin this week, and rewatched The Tree of Life. I will hopefully review all of them. Anyways I don't think The Ides of March has any chances for anything except Best Actor for Ryan Gosling. He is easily the best part of the film, and I think the voters will go for the clear-cut idealistic-turned-disillusioned-with-politics campaign manager over his clearly superior, but less showy performance in Drive. I thought We Need to Talk About Kevin was all kinds of brilliance. It can get nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress for Tilda Swinton and maybe even Best Supporting Actor for Ezra Miller. The film in itself was very good, but I don't know how the AMPAS will roll this year. Swinton was fantastic though, as always, and after her snub last year for I Am Love, it must. This is an even better performance, so yes, I am team Tilda forever and always. Both her and Gosling were probably the biggest snubs of last year... Miller was very good too, and he's my number 2 choice for Best Supporting Actor right now along with Christopher Plummer for Beginners and Brad Pitt for The Tree of Life. Albert Brooks is still the best that I have seen. Speaking of Tree of Life, it really should get a Best picture nomination, and if Emmanuel Lubezki doesn't win the Oscar for cinematography, we should just fire the whole of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and put them on trial. There is no point in wanting the much-deserving Hunter McCracken to get some recognition, because he won't. Jessica Chastain is lovely, but her time will come. She's here to stay.

7) Trailers- um not much this week. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has another trailer. I have put it in my above anticipated list because of Stephen Daldry and Tom Hanks and Jonathan Safran Foer, otherwise this is one terrible trailer and Thomas Horn looks like a super-irritating kid. If he gets any recognition over people like Asa Butterfield and Hunter McCracken, I shall kill someone. This Means War also got another trailer this week. I do not understand the hate towards Chris Pine. I mean okay Tom Hardy is a big man who is playing Bane, but Pine is Captain Kirk and there will be a Star Trek 2 (Yessssss) soon, and he's not exactly dainty. What he is, is insanely hot. I am so seeing it, I do not care. The Five-Year Engagement is the next offering by Judd Apatow and crew. It has Jason Segel and Emily Blunt and looks rather sweet. I will watch this.

8) Finally (for a very long Weekly Thoughts post) I went through 30 pages of my Tumblr and found nothing except this. By the way, I only recently realised that Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch will be enemies for all practical purposes in The Hobbit... Sherlock just becomes more awesome day by day.

The spider is gone. Now I shall never know... Bye

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Evil is as Evil does

Video- Cinematic Villains

NYTimes did the classic silent movie types last year, and this year they are back with Touch of Evil, showing the 13 actors who have given some of the best performances of 2011 as famous cinematic villain types. I love this! Seeing that one of the biggest films this year has ended up being The Artist, maybe unintentionally this will start some sort of trend. And this would be very cool because I adore villains (MUHAHAHAHAHAHAAA). So as my limited film knowledge is failing me yet again (I haven't even seen Touch of Evil), like last year, I will just give my thoughts on the actors and their little skits-

* The ones who I don't know.

1) Brad Pitt- Henry Spencer in Eraserhead (he sort of looks like Gollum in the end) .
2) Rooney Mara-Alex Delarge in A Clockwork Orange (gorgeousity).
3) Gary Oldman- Fats in Magic (He disturbingly resembles one very famous Indian actor-director Raj Kapoor in this. Good).
4) Mia Wasikowska*- The Homewrecker (plain love... kind of reminds me of Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity.)
5) Ryan Gosling- The Invisible Man (ugh, he should totally play this...).
6) George Clooney- Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty (I'm sorry, but bahaha for the eyebrows).
7) Viola Davis- Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (scary idea where the bugs came from).
8) Kirsten Dunst- Carol in Repulsion (there's a reason why she sort of invented the manic pixie girl ideal... so much allure, and then just stuff of nightmares).
9) Michael Shannon- Gordon Gekko from Wall Street (the papers were too distracting and unnatural).
10) Jessica Chastain*- The Firestarter (and this is why the whole world wants her- superb).
11) Jean Dujardin*- It's apparently from Green Street Hooligans (very energetic... not that malevolent).
12) Adepero Oduye- Bonnie Parker from Bonnie and Clyde (how is this villainous? It's sad, and melodramatic like Jennifer Lawrence last year).
13) Glenn Close*- The Vamp (sort of in the style of Norma Desmond... her icy cold eyes that have made her so famous help her immensely).

My favourites- women rule with Mara, Wasikowska, Dunst, Davis, Chastain and Close all being absolutely spot on. In the men, it's the Year of the Goz, so how can he not be bloody brilliant? I sort of liked the minimalistic monochrome of last year's better, but with ones like Gosling's, Mara's, Wasikowska's and Chastain's, it sort of makes sense why they went for the spectacular sets and effects. 

Enjoy :D

Tuesday 6 December 2011

My Christmas Wish List

        Aziza at Aziza's Picks made her Christmas Wish List and asked for others to do the same. So here goes mine. My ultimate wish would be for me to time travel to this time last year and just take very different decisions, but meh. Let's get down to the holiday business.

Books (This comes with a resolution that I will actually read them and not just store them)-
1) Submarine by Joe Dunthorne
2) Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
3) Howl by Allen Ginsberg
4) 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
5) The vintage Lord of the Rings Collection
6) Model Land by Tyra Banks (it will be so craptastic that I absolutely must own it).

1) The complete Harry Potter collection
2) Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World in Blu-ray
3) White and Red by Krzysztof Kieślowski
4) Doctor Who Series 5 and 6
- This is a never-ending list... cannot think without brain fuzzing over in greed.

1) First of all I desperately want a record player.
2) The entire Beatles discography
3) Suck It and See by Arctic Monkeys (so much love)

Other things- 
1) Super 8 camera
2) A pair of earphones that cannot be broken by me and do not get tangled on their own accord
3) The Harry Potter Empire Magazine
4) Seeing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on Christmas, as I had planned. 
5) To be somewhere where it snows, having had lived in a monsoon region/desert all my life. 
6) Deathly Hallows 2 gets a BP nomination at the Oscars... I'm sorry but my childhood needs this.

All I want for Christmas is you, Matt Smith :D

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Saturday 3 December 2011

Mini Reviews- Albert Nobbs, Todo Sobre Mi Madre, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Run Lola Run

        The theme for these mini reviews is "Being a woman sucks but someone's gotta do it". Hellz yeah, because as the Pussycat Dolls so aptly said, I don't need a man to make it happen *snap snap*. I should shut up now and get on with the reviews.

Albert Nobbs (Dir: Rodrigo Garcia, 2011)

Basic Plot- Albert Nobbs has become a veteran in working in hotels, and now is thinking about branching out and buying himself a shop with all the money he has scrupulously saved over the years. He figures that if he takes a wife, it would help him run his shop better. He chooses the pretty maid Helen Dawes, and asks her to walk with him, which is the early 20th century term for asking out I guess. Only except that Helen is already involved with the handyman Joe Macken. Macken tells her to do so for a laugh and try and screw some money out of the reserved Nobbs, but Nobbs has ulterior motives too. He has the biggest secret of all, that he has been hiding under corsets and men's clothing for about thirty years now- that he in fact is a woman! In a male-dominated society, Albert figured out that being a man was her only option, but now that she wants to take a wife, how will all this turn out for her?

           The basic plot is incredible, or so I had believed. I loved the trailer, and I thought it would be a sweet British film with some great performances and a nice emotional story. I wouldn't say that I was completely wrong, except that Albert Nobbs ends up being too somber a movie for so joyful a plot. It was refreshing to see that cross-dressing was taken seriously in the film, and not just part of some farce, and it tackled some genuine issues about how difficult it is for a woman to survive in an essentially male society. People often condemn prostitution, but I feel it is a result for things like this. Nobbs took an alternative, but had to leave all her womanly qualities behind. There is a part when she gets asked her name, and she only keeps replying "Albert" because she has been this way for so long that she doesn't remember being anything else.That was a very touching scene, one of the many done brilliantly by Glenn Close who really drives the film. My problem with the film was that despite the little gags and humourous bits, and those are quite tiny bits, when you think that all will be set right, as it deserves to for a person like Nobbs who has endured so much all her life, the film just goes the other way. I didn't get the sense of closure or freedom or anything jubilant that I expected to get. I surely felt that way in the one scene when Close as Nobbs wears women's clothes after an entire lifetime it seems and runs on a beach, almost free as a bird released from the cage that the society and she put herself in, but then the end is extremely anti-climactic, and simply feels terrible. Close was great in the sad scenes as well as the comedic ones, or even the ones when she doesn't seem to be doing anything but that's just how meek a man Nobbs is. Mia Wasikowska as Helen was adorable, and I really think her future shines pretty brightly. She did bring in the effervescence that was needed against the reclusiveness of Nobbs. Aaron Johnson was also good as Joe, but his character felt very one-dimensional. Everyone else like Brendan Gleeson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers was there to only fill in the screenspace, though Gleeson did have his moments.

             Close had wanted to get this movie made ever since she played the character in 1982, and she really is the best part about the film. But a trailer and a poster that advertised some light-hearted humour and a feel-good movie, could not have been more misguiding. I went into this hoping to get a The King's Speech-esque (it was a good movie even though it didn't deserve that Oscar) sort of joy and fulfillment in the end, but returned empty-handed and sort of annoyed. If you must, then watch it just for Close.

Rating- 5.5/10

Todo Sobre Mi Madre (Dir: Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)

Basic Plot- Manuela's life is turned upside-down when her sole reason for living, her son Esteban is hit by a car and killed on his seventeenth birthday. Manuela, who never revealed to him the true identity of his father, goes to Barcelona to find the father and tell him everything. Over there she meets her old friend Agrado, who is a transsexual prostitute. While looking for a job, she happens to meet Rosa, a social worker who works with troubled prostitutes who want to leave their line of work. A transvestite prostitute named Lola, who is someone from Manuela's past, has run away from there and later she finds out that he has impregnated Rosa. She also starts to work for a stage actress Huma Rojo and her volatile junkie lover Nina. It was Huma's car that Esteban had run after that fatal day. With all these colourful and complex characters in place, the film unfolds as all their paths cross each other.

        This is considered by many as Almodóvar's magnum opus. It is only the second film that I have seen of the celebrated auteur, so I'm going to reserve judgments on that, but I did like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown a tad bit more, because it was so crazy awesome. Still, All About My Mother is a great film, no doubt, and I am loving the women-centricness of it all. I especially love how soap opera-ish it is at points, but then something totally unexpected and realistic happens, and you are just left amazed. Like that beginning with the organ donor story- I honestly thought that it will revolve around that and it would have something to do with the heart of Esteban and loving his mother blah blah, but this is exactly why I am the one sitting here in my over-sized clothes on a Saturday afternoon writing this and people like Almodóvar are the ones who are creating classics. I think it tackled many issues like trans-sexuality, transvestism and AIDS with the utmost ease. It wasn't a guilt trip as many of the films showcasing such issues sometimes feel like. There was melodrama and humour and just so many memorable characters. I loved Agrado, played by Antonia San Juan, and the scene when she entertains the crowd was fantastic. All the other actresses too- Cecilia Roth as Manuela, Marisa Peredes as Huma, a very young Penélope Cruz as Rosa were great. Manuela's pain for losing Esteban almost felt repetitive towards the end, but it was also a bit funny due to the fact that I am subjected to similar (and way worse) melodrama every night when it's my grandma's TV time. 

        Again, like Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the film was very vivid and colourful and everyone in it seemed so beautiful that I was quite impressed. And in all of this there are these stories, not simple but not unbelievable either, of different women and them coping with things like loss and death and faith. Also, characters such as Manuela and Agrado embodied the idea of perseverance when everything can be made to feel like shit, which is something I really liked. Onto the next Almodóvar, I say!

Rating- 10/10

Martha Marcy May Marlene (Dir: Sean Durkin, 2011)

Basic Plot- Martha has been living as part of an abusive cult in rural New York, where the women always answer the phone with the name Marlene. When she decides to leave, she calls her older sister Lucy in great distress and Lucy comes and picks her up and takes her to the luxurious Connecticut home where she lives with her career-driven and materialistic husband Max. Martha doesn't reveal to her the true nature of the atrocities that were committed in the farm where she lived for two years with the cult and about the charismatic and deadly leader Patrick who christens her Marcy May upon their first meeting. With flashbacks that are obvious at first but then melt into the present tense, just like how they do in Martha's mind, we see her life in the farm and her difficulties in settling into a normal life with Lucy and Max. She starts getting paranoid about the cult and Patrick finding her, and this starts to bother them as they cannot possibly imagine what she's been through.

        I thought this was incredible, and it showed how living in cults affect the members mentally and emotionally. John Hawkes as Patrick is almost exactly how I would imagine Charles Manson to be like and how he brainwashed his Family. He was really good, an almost extension from his equally weird role in last year's Winter's Bone for which he got an Oscar nomination. The gem of the film ofcourse is Elizabeth Olsen who plays the protagonist, essentially Martha, Marcy May  and Marlene. She's a proper find, and her performance was one that gave me chills. The film generally revolved around her and she was in almost every shot. Her fear, her confusion, and her lack of emotions at points and total breakdowns in others- it was all amazing. She has the real woman thing about her- not pretty but beautiful, and I think that was exactly what this role needed. Martha is a fragile person, who has grown up with insecurities due to the absence of parents, an unkind aunt and a sister who was mostly away. When she meets someone like Patrick, who makes her feel wanted and important, she is obviously swayed. But as he is such a malevolent character, it only scars her for life, so much so that she feels it is normal for her to go lie down next to Lucy and Max while they are having sex. It is a most affecting psychological thriller because it is a drama too. People have gone as far as to calling it a horror, but I wouldn't say so because perhaps I am not that empathetic, as that is how it must have been for Martha.

            The whole film has an almost undisturbed and serene quality. Everything looks natural and nothing ever has an urgency to it, but there is always that air of dread and discomfort present. Martha's paranoia and loss of sense of time and what part of her life she is living is all expertly accentuated with the beautiful scenic backgrounds and the mellow colours. The posters depict the ephemeral atmosphere of the film. It is a brilliant debut by the writer-director Sean Durkin, and it is easily one of the best films of this year.

Rating- 10/10

Run Lola Run (Dir: Tom Tykwer, 1998)

Basic Plot- So I'm going to somewhat skip this except to say that there is a girl called Lola who has to help her boyfriend Manni with retrieving 100,000 marks worth of smuggling money that he has accidentally lost to save his life, and she has only twenty minutes to do so. Believe me it's better this way.

            What an adrenaline rush! I had no idea about the film except that it had a red-haired girl running in it. Boy was I in for a ride?! It is loud and stylish and fast-paced and mental. Basically freaking awesome! Franka Potente as Lola has officially gone in my list as one of the sexiest and coolest female characters of all time. She is just so engaging. Yes the red hair is in your face, but so is she, and the softer parts are as impactful as her energised emphatic ones. She steals the show, but the film in itself is so much fun. It shows the power of choices, and those singular moments that can make or break you life, as I have always believed so. Another thing that is excellent is the music that plays almost throughout, and it just adds to the whole music-video feel of the film. It is a film which does rely quite a bit on the style with which it is made, and this is only because the film can only be properly experienced like that.

          I am finding it difficult to review this film because I absolutely do not want to give anything away to those who haven't seen it. For those who have, they will understand why I am doing so. This is a film that is to be sort of lived, with the twists and the music and the hair and the running. Writing about it is not that exciting. Honestly, and this is my final word, GO WATCH IT NOW!

Rating- 10/10

Thursday 1 December 2011


Happy 76th Birthday to Mr. Woody Allen :D May he continue to make brilliant movies for many more years. My thoughts for this week-

1) I just saw that Jesse Eisenberg is suing Lionsgate and Grindstone Entertainment for wrongfully publicising the film Camp Hell in which he had a cameo for less than five minutes as a film in which he has the main role. There are claims upto 3 million dollars. Now admit it, when you heard this, you cannot help picturing Jesse à la Mark Zuckerberg sitting in a courtroom and going "Did I adequately answer your condescending question?" OMG it's like fucking life imitating fucking art y'all! This is a pretty serious thing I suppose, but I found it incredibly hilarious. I also love it whenever the Winklevoss twins sue Zuckerberg, which is often. Those greedy relentless Winklevii are ze best! And gosh I miss The Social Network... hopefully if I am able to finish my macroeconomics portion today for my exam tomorrow, I might attempt to watch it and laugh a bit more this time.

2) Christian Bale has dropped out of the Darren Aronofsky Noah film because of scheduling conflicts with his two Terrence Malick projects. Aronfsky now has his eyes set on Fassy. Now, I think Fassy is a great actor, but I think it's too early in his career to do such a role. Also, I think the bit of eccentricity that Bale brings to his characters would have really complimented a role like Noah, and Fassy is more of the reserved, stylish type, so I can't see it with him as clearly as I can see it with Bale.

3) A picture of Daniel Day-Lewis with the Abraham Lincoln make-up for his upcoming epynomous film directed by Steven Spielberg has been released. I think the blog would love it. It's funny yet believable, but such is the power of Mr. Day-Lewis I suppose. Can't wait for this!

4) Trailers- Madonna's directorial debut W.E. has a trailer out. First of all, they shouldn't have named it that seeing that in this day and age of chatting and BBM lingo, the name translates as 'whatever' and almost makes me not want to see because of that. Also, the historical part looks interesting, but the modern aspect reminds me too much of this terrible film I once saw called Possession. I might just see it to see what Madonna can do with a camera. John Carter has a trailer. Taylor Kitsch is such a piece of stone and I do not get the plot. Bollywood time- The Dirty Picture starring Vidya Balan as the South-Indian sex-symbol Silk. I am dying to see this. It's releasing tomorrow, but I have my exams and I have to really goad my family into letting me watch this. I love the whole look, I love the idea of a mainstream Bollywood movie being so subversive, and I absolutely love Vidya Balan. She is one of those rare actresses that is really sexy and really classy at the same time. This also has Naseeruddin Shah so double score! I think if they can truly capture the right tone of what a film like this should be like, it will be one of the best Bollywood films of the year.

5) Award Madness- As I said last week, I will, for now, just talk about random "Oscar-worthy" things I see until I see all the competing films. I saw Martha Marcy May Marlene this week and it blew me away. I am writing about it for my next mini-reviews, but let me just say this, I am more impressed by Elizabeth Olsen than I was with Jennifer Lawrence last year. I didn't even like Winter's Bone. I had no feelings towards it whatsoever except for Lawrence's performance. But man, Olsen is a whole another thing. She is just amazing in it, and I wasn't even aware of her existence until like two weeks back. I honestly believed the surname was a coincidence, because she does not look or sound like the Olsen twins all that much. In fact, she looks a bit like Deborah Ann Woll according to me. Anyways, I am so campaigning for her, and frankly I am a bit saddened that Felicity Jones won over her in the Gotham Independent Film Awards. Also, I quite like MMMM on its own too. I thought it was intriguing and scary and well-acted and beautifully shot. So it may become a serious contender for the slightly more obscure movie spot in the Oscar BP list. Even though Beginners won alongside The Tree of Life as Best Feature in the Gotham awards, I don't think it will be able to keep up the steam. 

6) Taking a leaf out of what has become my most popular post ever, and also making amends for the grotesque mistake of forgetting to mention the New Year's Eve poster among the best, I present to you this-

 'From the Academy Award winning creators that brought you the classic films “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve” comes the newly anticipated romantic comedy “President’s Day”.
Starring all your favorite Commander in Chiefs just on the search for love with their fellow colleagues.'
And you know that the Hector Elizondo character will be the one to make it all happen *wink*.