Saturday 30 June 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man. NOT.

          If you ever see my face at the beginning of a movie in a cinema hall, I have a huge smile because I am genuinely excited for what I am about to see. I was like that when The Amazing Spider-Man started, but by the time it was over, I literally sprinted out of the hall. What changed you may ask? Well the movie kind of sucked pretty bad...


            The Amazing Spider-Man tries to look into the origins of how Peter Parker came to be. Abandoned by his parents as a little boy, Peter grows up under the watchful and caring eyes of his Uncle Ben and Aunt May. But when he accidentally finds some clues to why his parents disappeared, they lead him to the amputee scientist Dr. Curt Connors. While trying to figure all of this out, he gets bitten by a radioactive spider from Connors lab and gets special abilities. In between finding out who he is and what he can do with his new powers, Peter also has his long-time crush Gwen Stacy, and her police captain father, to worry about. And when something drastic happens to Connors that endangers the lives of everyone, he has to save the day.

              So first of all, let me make it very clear- this whole different origin story is, in the words of Dr. Sheldon Cooper, poppycock. It sure starts off that way, but all that gets brushed aside once Peter gets his spidey powers and then we are basically watching a second-hand copy of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man. One thing that The Amazing Spider-Man succeeded in doing for me was to truly appreciate the Sam Raimi trilogy, because this whole reboot was the most unnecessary thing to come out since the Conan the Barbarian remake (I haven't actually seen it or the original, but I cannot imagine people thinking otherwise). 

             The story does begin in a more secretive, mysterious way. Until the part Peter gets his powers, it is quite an entertaining and different film. One of the more ingenious sequences in the movie is Peter coming to terms with his powers. It is funny and also sort of surreal and cool. From there on though, it just goes downhill. Plot-lines get introduced and abandoned just as quickly, like what really happened to Peter's parents or the elusive Norman Osborn with his illness. There is no build-up of any kind and things just seem to happen. Of course the whole story is exactly like what we saw in Spider-Man. The dialogue is okay-ish. There are a few humorous lines and comebacks, but none which reach the sort of iconic level that big budget superhero action movies are expected to have. No "spidey senses" tingled and even this film's version of "with great power comes great responsibility" was too long to remember.

               Obviously the story suffers because nearly all of us have seen the Sam Raimi version from only ten years ago. It is a bit of a double whammy because I hated feeling like I was watching a copy, but then it wasn't even copied properly, which infuriated me even more. Like when Peter takes Gwen swinging around the city, they don't focus on them, or what comes after. Or when Connors is shown having his evil sub-conscious talk loudly to him, which was exactly what happened with Osborn in Spider-Man, but it isn't as eerie.

                 Another huge misstep for me was the way the film was made. Marc Webb, the director, has only made one feature film before this, and that was the romcom (500) Days of Summer. Apart from maybe his surname, I don't know what qualified him to make this film. There are like textbook action stuff that this film completely overlooks. For instance, when Connors has transformed into Lizard for the first time, there isn't that big revelatory moment that is so obvious when it comes to a character like this. The film jumps around and never focuses where it needs to focus. It completely fails to find the balance between action, romance and humour. Thinking back right now, I don't understand how it was two hours and fifteen minutes long since nothing was given enough time, but then again, sitting in the audience at the time, the film seemed to go on and on for me.  Most of the effects were really gimicky, especially the POV shots. Even the lizards looked fake, which was weird. The big crisis that happens at the end of such movies never really felt like one because hardly anyone seems to be affected. Even the "cool" sequences were "lame" because the film did not know how to set them up properly and what to do with them after. Cars were left dangling on bridges and schools were attacked out of nowhere and cranes were aligned and whatnot. I honestly feel that Michael Bay could have done a better job, because say what you want about him, the man knows how to construct an action scene.

           The biggest drawback is what this film did with its cast. First of all, Andrew Garfield is too good-looking to be Peter Parker. I do really love his love for the character and he does a more than decent job of playing him, but I just could not believe for a second that this wasn't a guy everyone was in love with. When he's Peter Parker, he's absolutely cool and adorable at the same time and when he's Spider-man, well, the costume um, compliments him perfectly :P I would actually count this as a plus in the sense that if not for anything, girls can watch this film to gush over his perfect looks. But then you take things into perspective, and a guy like that can never be an unpopular geek. Tobey Maguire is normal-looking, so this was very believable when he payed the part. Garfield on the other hand, is gorgeous and fine. Hell even the bully Flash looked like he was in love with him!

             And then we come to Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy- oh cruel wasted potential! My biggest problem with the Sam Raimi films was the over-emphasis on the v.v.v. annoying Mary Jane Watson. This film barely notices Gwen Stacy. Which is a shame because every second she is in the shot, the screen lights up. Her character, unfortunately, isn't allowed to flesh out at all. There is a scene with Gwen and her dad talking in their hallway about cocoa, and it is the quintessential Emma Stone humour that can make any film that much more entertaining, and that is all there is of it! I mean it is even worse that they give us this little taste of what could have been and then take it away, rather than just nothing all the way. This whole film is actually full of little tasters such as these, and nothing more! Gahhh.

             The chemistry between Garfield and Stone was superb. They are so cute together that you almost want to forgive the entire movie because it led these two perfect specimens to each other. But again, I hated the way their love story is handled because I could not digest that their two characters would end up caring about each other so much over so little time. Also their first kiss is so Bollywood, I audibly groaned with disgust when it happened.

              The villain, Dr. Connors aka Lizard, is played by Welsh actor Rhys Ifans. I did not like this villain at all. First of all, he did not feel as dangerous as the others. Secondly, I hate lizards and the whole concept gives me the creeps. Thirdly, he looks terrible. I love Ifans, but his transformation from honest scientist and pioneer to a gutter-loving ego-maniacal reptile-thing-person was not that impressive and kind of random. The action scenes between him and Spider-man are not remotely enthralling or something that takes your breath away. Then again, nothing in this film does that, but Ifans with his timing was bound to be more interesting. He just didn't invoke the kind of fear and awe that a supervillain should; just a weird need to want to bathe yourself because all of it is so icky.

              My absolutely favourite thing about The Amazing Spider-Man was Dennis Leary as Captain Stacy. He was snappy and funny and sincere. He stole the scene every time he was there because he was just such a fantastic character, and Leary played him with so much wit and honesty. He was a no-nonsense man in a stupid nonsense movie. Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, Sally Field as Aunt May and Irrfan Khan as Rajit Ratha/ that-shady-Indian-businessman-dude were all okay.

               Other things were also disappointing. There were things from the trailers that were missing. I had expected at least the soundtrack to be good, seeing how (500) Days has an excellent tracklist, but apart from a very Footloose-esque sequence of Peter skateboarding and and discovering his powers, there was zilch. As my friend pointed out, even Twilight has an adequate soundtrack. One huge plus to the movie however, was the anticipated Stan Lee cameo that may just be his best one ever.

             After mouthing-off about this film the entire day, I feel that I might have been too harsh about it. But honestly, just thinking about it right now is making me angry. No, I did not expect The Amazing Spider-Man to be "amazing" or well, The Avengers, but I thought it will be okay enough to let it pass by. Instead I got a headache watching this totally unnecessary reboot of what I now know to be a very good set of movies. It is evident that there will be a sequel because helloo?, Hollywood is cuckoo, and also since there was some extra scene at the end of the credits that I missed because I had to get out of the hall to let all the steam escape from my ears. I just hope that the studios learn from their mistakes and get a proper director who can exploit the immeasurable talents of Garfield and Stone and get an actual supervillain.

            Watch it if you must. You may like it and then tell me all about it. Or you may hate it and I'll get to tell you "I told you so". Eitherways, The Amazing Spider-Man was a terrible movie that even my fake-husband Andrew Garfield and my fake-bff Emma Stone could not save for me. Now that is depressing.

Friday 29 June 2012


1) First of all- Congrats to everyone who won at Lammy this year, and all those who were nominated too. You guys are awesome :D

2) Mia Wasikowska, Zoe Aggeliki and Jena Malone are being considered for the part of Johanna MAson in the Catching Fire movie. The first two are very young in my opinion, since Johanna looks 30 in the book. Malone is an interesting choice and I can definitely see her doing something with a role like this. Obviously the biggest casting choice we are all waiting for is Finnick Odair's (one Armie Hammer please).

3) After listening to the Matineecast this week, I have decided to go on an Animation Month Marathon. I have made a list of 40 films. The films are Disney, anime, Pixar and some other films that I haven't seen yet and want to watch. This is sort of the perfect timing because August is when I turn into an adult/ a pumpkin/ 20, and I just need to embrace the inner child right now. I had originally planned to only watch cartoon films all of this month as an experiment, but I need a bit of variety and I'm already hungry for something non-Disney-like, so I'll watch random live-action stuff here and there. I really hope I can finish this in time :/

4) The world's fascination and disgust at Fifty Shades of Grey continues to grow, and I find it really hilarious now. There was this whole article on the newspaper about this here, and I really loved the way it ended- "...And what is shameful about Fifty Shades of Grey isn't the submissive sex, it's the Cinderella story.... It didn't take much for an erotic e-book to catch fire. A glimpse of stocking can still be shocking when it's used to bind a woman's wrist; it's irresistable when a handsom billionaire is tying the knot." 
It's kind of cheeky I think :P I love how people are making up dream casts for the film here, seeing that it will NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER release in India. Also Gilbert Gottfried reading it is the most hilarious thing ever!

5) Trailers- Yeah I haven't really been that enthused about watching trailers this week. Robot and Frank looks kind of sweet. I quite like the cast, especially Susan Srandon and Frank Langella. Total Recall which again looks cool, but mehh. The American Sherlock Holmes series Elementary has a trailer out. I am sorry but Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are looking at this and probably thinking "poor sods", although I do like the idea of a female Dr. Watson, and the actual possibility of all that sexual tension being realeased in a foreseeable way.

6) Finally, this is actually cool-
With all this talk about Prometheus and Alien, we look at who was underneath the monstrous black mask in Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi horror classic. Bolanji Badejo, a 7ft tall Nigerian design student picked up from a bar in West London to fill the title role. He worked on the film for 4 months. Spending every day wrapped in a suffocating custom fitted rubber suit, working to exude a presence of pure evil.
Despite his incredible contribution to the film’s success Badejo never received any publicity for his involvement. Ultimately, it would be his only film role.

Bye :)

Wednesday 27 June 2012

"I'll have what she's having."

Also, this:

"I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out.
I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich.
I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts.
I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes.
And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night.
And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve.
I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody,
You want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

         I regularly talk about my love for romcoms, and how they can actually be intelligent and funny and realistic, while still maintaining their almost fairytale-like idea. I mean I saw Sleeping Beauty yesterday and well, pretty much hated it. I actually had to google the message of the story, and that apparently was "dreaming of and believing in your true love". So this got me thinking about the whole concept of "true love" and how this inane story had to be woven around it to make people understand the importance of it. It seemed almost ridiculous because ever since we are born, we are told of this because it's such an obvious thing that everyone believes will happen to all of us! But maybe, just maybe, it isn't so... And when it does happen to someone, it is actually as magical as these fables of fairies and witches and kisses.

          Romantic comedies, at their core, cherish this idea. Having just watched When Harry Met Sally, it is full of random scenes of couples sitting together and talking about how they met and how they've been married for so many many years. These people, they found this fairytale ending to their life, and it is believable, and it is something we can adore and aspire for.

          Also the humour. The best example is the video given above. I like laughing and feeling happy during a movie. I even watched this film after one of the saddest days of my life, when my grandfather had passed away and I just needed to be cheered up. No it did not help me overcome my grief, but for a few of those moments, I needed to be swept away in a world without mourning and death and something like "baby fish-mouth" seemed to do the trick.

          Nora Ephron (1941-2012) wrote When Harry Met Sally. She had written and directed many other features, but this was always the one closest to my heart. It is as perfect a romantic comedy as they come. The characters are funny and sad and sweet, and someone you can (theoretically and hopefully) meet walking down a street. The dialogue is brilliant, like the little excerpt above. And it embraces the fairytale ending in a very real world of relationships. Nora Ephron was able to capture all that in this incredible script, due to which we have such an iconic and happy film. It is often so much more attractive to write something cynical or depressing, or fall into the trap of the film actually being silly instead of happy. This film is neither.

           Ephron, like the character of Sally with her specific food instructions, knew how the elements of a story work together to make it a lovely and unforgettable experience. When Harry Met Sally is but an example of her talent. While I haven't seen her dramatic stuff, her romances and comedies always brought a big smile to my face.

          It is sad when someone like that passes along, and we can't help but go over their life's work and be impressed and inspired by it.

You will be sorely missed.

Monday 25 June 2012


          Disney Pixar's Brave marked a new era for Pixar movies by being the first one with a female protagonist. But this isn't the first time that a Pixar movie has had fascinating, and frankly brilliant female characters. I saw this list done by someone else and I just needed to do one with my choices.

Honourable mentions: Princess Atta from A Bug's Life, Roz from Monsters Inc., Helen/Elastigirl from The Incredibles and Sally from Cars.

10) Elinor from Brave
This is perhaps the biggest surprise in the list, but I loved Queen Elinor so much. She is strong and kind and loving and a great mother. My favourite scene of hers was when she just walks down a huge room full of brawling Scots and everyone just stops fighting. She is one no-nonsense lady.

9) Jessie from Toy Story 2 and 3
Jessie is a perfect example how Pixar manages to marry joy and sorrow perfectly in their movies and their characters. She is spirited and funny, but in Toy Story 2, we see her backstory and see where she comes from. She is a great addition in the toy gang. Also her scenes with Buzz are just adorable.

8) Ellie from Up
Okay so she's only in like the first 10 minutes of the movie, but we feel her presence throughout. I think Ellie is like the idea of a perfect soulmate. Her relationship with Carl is just beautiful, and her "great adventure" as revealed towards the end of the film is heartbreaking and lovely.

7) Colette from Ratatouille
Chef Colette is a total badass! A woman trying to make her way in the world of men, and she will not stop at nothing. Though she seems scary at first, we see that she is a really nice person and just wants to be appreciated. She is a sensible and smart modern woman.

6) Violet from The Incredibles
I connected with her the most in this film. Shy at first, Violet comes on her own during the course of the film and becomes a super duper young woman by the end of it. I think she's a great role model for young girls.

5) Eve from Wall-E
Wall-E's robotic and cool love interest is actually really cute. Her anger, her power, her love, her concern for Wall-E, everything! She's the great love in the epic life story of Wall-E, and we can't help but love her too.

4) Edna Mode from The Incredibles
Oh she is so friggin' awesome!! "No capes!" She is the Miranda Priestly of the animated world and I want to be her so bad.

3) Boo from Monsters Inc.
Dawwww. I love Boo. I love that big furry monsters are scared of her at first and then love her towards the end. I love the way she laughs. I love love love the way she says "Mike Wazowski!!!!" Pixar has a fantastic record of children in its movies, and Boo is maybe the greatest, and certainly the cutest, of them all.

2) Merida from Brave
That marvelous, gorgeous, odes-inducing hair aside, Merida is a totally incredible character. Free-spirited and feisty, she just wants to live normally and be the person she is, and not what others want her to be. Still she makes mistakes and learns from them. A truly excellent role models for girls, and for film makers because this is exactly how a female protagonist should be like.

1) Dori from Finding Nemo
She is perhaps one of the greatest characters ever, animated or not, brought to life by the superb voice work of Ellen DeGeneres. Not only is she hilarious with her short-term memory ailment (I swear I have regular bouts of that), she is an amazing friend and companion. I mean Finding Nemo is sort of like a road movie underwater, and Marty the clownfish could not have found anyone better to share his journey and search with. She's friendly and helpful and does not have one bad bone in her body, and that is completely believable because she's such a clueless riot too :)

Hope you enjoyed this. GO PIXAR!!

Sunday 24 June 2012

"I'm a delusion angel. I'm a fantasy parade."

I absolutely adore this scene. Before Sunrise is a fairy tale-like movie because of the very very very high improbability of something like this happening to someone. Recently I read somewhere that "man can believe the impossible but never the improbable". Still the sweetness and the chemistry and just everything between the leads entices us to wish and wish and wish for something like this to happen.

Of all the modern fairy tale elements in the film, the most ethereally romance-y is when this street poet, with his raggedy clothes and cigarettes, sitting at the side of the Danube, offers to write a poem for our protagonists Jesse and Celine around a word they give him, the word being "milkshake". He comes up with this totally beautiful poem which, like many other instances in the movie, fits in with the situation of our young lovers perfectly. 

I have always had a thing for him. From the very first time I saw Before Sunrise. He's so otherworldly and amazing and pathetic, but in a complete romantic sense. It's like he isn't real. He only appears to lovers when they need him, though they don't know it, and maybe the lines in the title of this post are what describes him. He's like a god of love, asking the obvious question to two such people- "Don't you know me? Don't you know me by now?"

I guess I am, paraphrasing something that Jesse says in the movie, just projecting my own romantic ideals on a bum and possible alcoholic, but such is the power of a movie like this. Gah it's so flawless...

"If you had a chance to change your fate, would you?"

         One of my dream wacky jobs is to wait tables at the cafeterias of Pixar since I'm not actually smart enough to "work" work there, but I'll get to be around pure geniuses and I'm also pretty convinced that I'll get to wear Pixar character costumes as part of my job. So from this one can deduce the following- 1) that I am, in fact, a crazy person, 2) that film and television has romanticized waitresses wayy too much, and finally and most importantly 3) that I love Pixar to death.

         I have watched all the Pixar movies except Cars 2, because I don't want to ruin my perfect idea of Pixar. Okay I did fall asleep while watching Cars, but still. The other ten films have been amazing. Yes, some more than others, but all are brilliant and heartfelt in their own ways. So ever since the first news about their new film, Brave, was released, I have been going nuts with excitement. I finally saw it yesterday, first day first show, and have been pleasantly rewarded.

           Brave is about a free-spirited and tomboy-ish Scottish princess, Merida, who wants desperately to change her destiny of being a well-mannered and lady-like queen, like her mother Elinor. When suitors from the various clans come for her hand in marriage, Merida defies all the traditions and takes drastic steps to so that she can change the mind of her mother, but something goes terribly wrong and it's up to Merida to save her family, and the day.

           Now this synopsis is based on all the trailers so far. In the movie, the relationship between Merida and Elinor plays a huge role, but I don't want to ruin anything. Pixar has its own brand of the unexpected and new. While the whole tomboy rebellious princess thing isn't very novel, the way the movie handles it was. I truly feel that in terms of heart, Pixar movies are second to none, and Brave taps into this wonderfully complex and dynamic and beautiful bond between a mother and daughter and circles everything around it. Like when everyone kept comparing this to a Dreamworks animated feature, the film nerd in me wanted to clarify that the core difference between it and a Pixar feature is that the former is about great, magical adventures and the latter is about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, and Brave will be no different. I was wrong. Brave is an adventure story- yes; it is about something relatively common like the relationship between a mother and her child- yes, but then that isn't something ordinary. It is among the most incredible things in the world! The fact that it takes something as extraordinary as that, and then makes the film about it, and not just rebelling and fighting and kilts and magic- that is why it wins for me. True it isn't as original as Ratatouille or Finding Nemo, or as impactful as Toy Story 3, but heart is heart, and Brave has loads of it. And I loved it for it.

            Speaking of love, Merida is the red-haired queen of my heart. I have been going crazy about her ever since the first concept art pictures were released. Her hair is a work of art. I recently wrote about the critical eye versus eye candy, and god, I love this film for her hair alone! But then again, she is super awesome even without it. I have written about my Disney-loving best friend many times on this blog, and she had a whole argument with me about how Merida isn't a Disney princess. My best friend is right- Merida is not one because she doesn't sing and doesn't have a prince, but who cares?! She is perfect the way she is. She is exquisite and feisty and funny and caring and independent. Right from the beginning her curiosity and joy entices us to fall in love with her, and as we see her grow up and be rebellious and make mistakes, but then change too, we are very much with her till the end. And beyond. Princes Merida is already a legend, being the first female protagonist in a Pixar film ever. Also as luck would have it, this is the year of Katniss Everdeen as well, and between the two of them, we have the beginnings of a new era of female heroes. Kelly Macdonald did a fantastic job of voicing Merida.

          I loved everyone else too. Emma Thompson voiced Queen Elinor, and she was at the other end of the spectrum of strong women. I mean yes she isn't adept with bows and arrows, but she is one respected and fierce lady. Billy Connoly was King Fergus and he was very funny, especially when he mimics Merida. Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane and Craig Ferguson (!) voiced the various clan leaders, who were hilarious. Julie Walters voiced the Witch. My absolute favourites were Merida's three younger brothers Harris, Hubert and Hamish, who were just adorable.

          The story was by Brenda Chapman, who was also the co-director, along with Mark Andrews. She's the first woman director in Pixar's history so far, and she did an splendid job. The film looked absolutely gorgeous. The Scottish backdrop was rich with colour and details, everything brought more to life by Merida's hair (I'm sorry- I can't stop gushing about it!). The music was superb- very Celtic and appropriate. It just added so much to the feel of a film like this. The film was also really humorous, thanks to the mostly brilliant gags of the genius triplets.

          If I had to talk about any flaws, it would be the decision of showing the totally stunning La Luna before the movie, because that just drips with pure Pixar magic! I mean I was in tears before Brave even started. Brave is definitely less brilliant, but with a fiery-haired and fiery-hearted heroine for the ages and an excellent emotional story, it is definitely a return to form for Pixar and a really lovely experience.

          Go watch it :D

Thursday 21 June 2012


1) So I read Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Freed. Uhm. How will these ever be films? It's so explicit! Good lord. Just see Ellen reading it. My reactions are more or less the same. It's also like that of grandmothers, as informed by a friend. The best part of reading these books were how much I got to whine to my friends about it. I just don't see how the 500 sex scenes will be part of the movie. I mean yes, the biggest thing the books had going for them was that in my head Christian Grey is Ryan Gosling, but still. So repetitious. Erotic fanfiction is not for me. Not one bit. Although, I find it interesting that Angelina Jolie wants to make them. That will be new.

2) Speaking of- this picture of Angelina Jolie as the titular character in Maleficient is to die for! I will be watching or rewatching (I don't remember if I've seen it or not) the Disney Sleeping Beauty soon, just to get a taste of Maleficient. I mean Angelina Jolie has always been kind of unrealistically gorgeous, and with, quoting Sherlock, "I could cut myself slapping those" cheekbones, and horns and weird eyes- SPECTACULAR!!

3) The Lammys are being given out! Congratulations to Stevee for winning Best Rating System, Sati. for runners up in Best Blog Design, Anna for runners up in Best Classic Blog, Sam for Best Running Feature and runners up in Best Blogathon and Ryan for Best Podcast, and everyone else who won! I especially named these because I voted for them and it's nice when your vote counts but really, a huge congratulations to every nominee and winner :D

4) Trailers and teasers- Farewell, My Queen which stars Diane Kruger as Marie Antoinette and also has Léa Seydoux. It is a badly made trailer, but I like the concept and it looks beautiful. Before we forget, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 has a teaser out! Woo Hoo!! It's finally ending y'all :D Man, why is Lee Pace in this? Another teaser is that of Monsters Inc. prequel Monster University. Originally I felt that this was unnecessary, but the teaser is pretty funny and it will be interesting to get a animated film about frat boys (sorta), no? The king of teasers is of course Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master. It looks amazing. I love Hoffman's whole look, and Phoenix is still shocking me in these teasers alone. This is how one makes teasers. The Dark Knight Rises's fourth trailer, just in case we weren't dying to see it already. Finally, Joe Wright's Anna Karenina which just looks magnificent. I can't get over how gorgeous it looks. I am not even concentrating on how terrible Aaron Johnson looks in it.

5) Finally, this-
My work here is done.

Good bye.

Monday 18 June 2012

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Nikhat- 100 FILM FACTS ABOUT ME

         I never thought I'll be able to do this when I first saw Stevee Taylor's amazing list. But little by little, inspired other such lists by TylerLesyaSatiasrap virtuosoAlex and finally Ruth, I have made my list. It's a bit rambly, but I guess one expects that from me now. I had hoped that these little facts and anecdotes about me would have been revealed to the world at large when I get famous and was invited onto a lot of talk shows, but meh, I like talking about me on my blog. Here are 100 film facts about me.

1) Even though my original introduction to films has been through Bollywood, I realise now that I don't usually watch Bollywood films with the same care and attention to detail like how I watch other films. I would like to change that.
2) Not just Bollywood, but my knowledge of Indian films in general is pretty deplorable. Despite being from Calcutta, I have never seen a Satyajit Ray film in my life. But that's because I am adamant that I will watch them on a big screen only, and not on my laptop.
3) My favourite actor in fact is Shah Rukh Khan, though he is a bigger star (often called the King of Bollywood) than an actor. But when he acts, he is pretty amazing.
4) My Hollywood equivalent of SRK is Johnny Depp of course, but in his case, it is all about the acting. I am sure of this now because it was only very recently that I noticed how good-looking he is.
5) To put that into perspective, you must know that I have watched, and will probably continue to watch, a lot of crappy movies because I find someone attractive in it.
6) I mean, Pearly Harbour used to be one of my most favourite movies when I was younger, because I was so in love with Josh Hartnett and his looks (mini-me was an idiot).
7) My first Depp film was Edward Scissorhands, though I didn't know who he was back then. I loved him still.
8) My first Depp film in which I knew who he was was Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. I actually screamed when Barbossa stabbed him. I was never the same.
9) I didn't know who Brad Pitt was until Troy. After that, for quite a while, he was "that blonde man... in a metal skirt".
10) Adrien Brody in The Pianist is my favourite male performance of all time.

11) Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns is my favourite female performance of all time.
12) I once got into shit with my parents for watching The Pianist the day before an English exam. In the exam, they asked us to review a film. I reviewed The Pianist.
13) I have explained Politics using Mean Girls, natural selection using Happy Feet, Economics using Confession of a Shopaholic and given an impromptu lecture on the environment using Avatar.
14) I like Avatar more than I like The Hurt Locker, but nothing beats Inglourious Basterds for me in that year (2009).
15) I like mainstream, indie and foreign movies equally. They just have to be good.
16) Having said that, I do not like westerns as a genre. I get v. bored.
17) It's not that I don't like long movies, but I am a pretty impatient and easily-distracted person, and if a film  is long, it has to keep me interested every friggin' second.
18) A brilliant example would be The Seven Samurai.
19) I don't like watching two similar movies one after another. Therefore my double/triple/occasionally quadruple and even quintuple features are always a mixed bag.
20) The first thing I did when I turned 16 was watch Pulp Fiction, for the first time.

21) The first thing I said when I turned 17 was, "Now I'll never get to be Juno."
22) I saw Avatar in IMAX on my 18th birthday because my parents had not watched it. They loved it.
23) I can't decide which is the funniest film that I have seen, but the funniest quote ever is "No fighting in the War Room!" Tears of laughter everytime.
24) The sexiest film that I have seen is Sex, Lies and Videotape *fans herself*.
25) When I was little, I used to think that Indiana Jones was some sort of a political movie. This is even before I knew Indiana was a place, and based my theory on the "India" part of the name.
26) The earliest, almost full-formed memory of me watching a film in a theatre is when I saw Titanic, when I was about 5. I say almost because I may have over-glorified it in my mind as I remember huge crowds and red curtains etc. But then again, it was massive here so my memory of it might not be that far off from the truth.
27) Even though now I think that Leo Di Caprio was at his Adonis-best in Romeo + Juliet, his Jack Dawson in Titanic was my first love and will always remain so.
28) Titanic too was responsible for my starting v.v.v. early obsession with redheads.
29) If I could look like any character in any film, I would look like Emily Blunt in The Devil Wears Prada.
30) No screw that- I want to look like EVERYONE in The Devil Wears Prada, and own their wardrobes too! That's all.

31) I can get really excited after watching films, but I guess I was the most motivated after I saw Dead Poets Society for the first time. Tried to start one in my school. Failed miserably :/
32) I also tried and almost succeeded in starting a Film Club in my school. Originally, I was going to inaugurate it with Land Gold Women, which was made by an ex-alumni and for which she had won the National Award, but when that didn't work out, I was going to show Pan's Labyrinth because I felt it had something for everyone.
33) I have come to accept that I have quite an analytical mind, due to which films that abandon basic form and structure and concepts frustrate me. Like Certified Copy.
34) Also weird stuff like Mulholland Drive and The Naked Lunch, though I like them a little better now.
35) Also because of this, I really like clever movies and especially movies where all the clues and  twists and whatnot get tied up in a nice little bow at the end. That is why I really enjoy films made by Christopher Nolan.
36) One of my worse cinema experiences was when I went to see The Dark Knight. The hall was shit and I couldn't hear a word being said and then my father kept mocking it. Gahhh!
37) One of my best cinema experiences was when I saw The Social Network. Okay story time- the day it released, I woke up with a swollen eye for whatever reason. I went to school wearing my giant bug-eyed sunglasses and got permission to come home early, after which I went to watch it with my little brother. Apart from us there were a bunch of annoying kids in the row behind us and a couple. I saw the whole film with a crazy grin plastered across my face, except in the 0.03% scene of course, and when it ended I noticed that my brother and I were the only people in the hall. Apparently the kids were caught filming and were banished from the place and a lot of other shit went down, and I knew nothing of it even though they were JUST BEHIND us. Ah, cinematic bliss :D
38) The day the 83rd Academy Awards took place was also the day the most important examinations of my school career started and I am not exaggerating when I say that I prayed for The Social Network as much as I had prayed for marks...
39) ... And I consider Brian the brain from The Breakfast Club to be my alter ego, so you can imagine.
40) As much as I hate the Oscars for TSN and ignoring Harry Potter, I will always watch them and will always want one.

41) The Harry Potter films were hugely responsible for making me the film fanatic I am today, and if I do ever win any award, I will always thank them.
42) Also, I find it really sad that Brian the brain is the only member of The Breakfast Club who doesn't get anyone. The only flaw in that film for me.
43) As much as I love Audrey Hepburn, I think my favourite classic actress is Bette Davis. Quoting All About Eve, "What a body. What a voice."
44) Still, Vivien Leigh's performance in A Streetcar Named Desire just blows my mind.
45) My favourite character and performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is Honey, played by Sandy Dennis.
46) For a very long time I refused to believe that Pierce Brosnan's name was Pierce Brosnan. He was James Bond, of course.
47) I love villains and anti-heroes. My favourite villains are Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter and my favourite anti-heroes are Alex DeLarge and Travis Bickle.
48) When I get scared in a movie, and it doesn't need to be a horror movie, I hit the pause button a lot and then try to calm myself down.
49) In this respect, No Country for Old Men is the scariest film that I have ever seen. Bloody Anton Chigurh- why couldn't he just die!
50) I paused a lot in Funny Games (2007) too, but then giggled uncontrollably every time Michael Pitt broke the fourth wall and spoke to um... me. It was a bit sickening.

51) My favourite movie kiss is between Amélie and Nino in Amélie, followed closely by Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in Notorious.
52) I am not much of a scores person, but I can live on "Yumeji's Theme" from In the Mood for Love, "Married Life" from Up, "Hours" from The Hours, "Medieval Waters" from In Bruges, "Comptine d'un autre été" from Amélie and "A Familiar Taste" from The Social Network.
53) I am, however, a soundtrack person and my favourite soundtracks are from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Marie Antoinette.
54) I absolutely love the part The Strokes start playing in Marie Antoinette.
55) Across the Universe officially started my Beatlemania, and I do think some of the songs from it are better than the original versions. Like "I Want to Hold Your Hand".
56) Speaking of, my favourite scene in The Boat that Rocked is not one from the movie, but a cut-out scene instead in which Philip Seymour Hoffman pays homage to the Fab Four- "The glories of our age, the bringers of joy, for our and future generations. Because there will always be poverty and pain and war and injustice in this world but there will, thank the lord, also always be The Beatles."
57) My formal introduction to "Sounds of Silence" was not in The Graduate but in Watchmen.
58) I don't need depressing movies to get depressed. I have gotten really sad after watching (500) Days of Summer, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and most recently, This Means War.
59) I do tend to rewatch happy movies a lot more than sad ones, because movies do affect me quite a bit.
60) Which is why Michael Cera is one of my most favourite leading men as his films make me very happy.

61) The oddest film, I feel, that affected me personally was In Bruges, not because I kill priests and children and midgets, but because at the time I was at a place that was a fairytale come true for everyone but me,
62) The first film that I cried in was Stuart Little, when Snowbell tells Stuart that the Littles never loved him.
63) The film that I have cried the most in was Never Let Me Go. I would watch it again, but I live with people now and they will get scared if they see me in such a state.
64) I still cry everytime I watch Titanic, even though I have seen it more than 30 times. Oddly, I never cried the first time. Now, I need one year gaps between two viewings.
65) Basically, I cry a lot in movies.
66) The worst film I have cried in was The Notebook. I didn't even want to cry. It was Nicholas Sparks's evil plan to wrench the tears out of me because he needs to live on people's misplaced pity. Gahh.
67) The only thing that was good about The Notebook was Ryan Gosling's flawless jawline *sigh*.
68) The first time I saw Ryan Gosling was in Murder by Numbers and I have been attracted to him ever since he tries to sexually harass Sandra Bullock in it. And yes, I do know that I have a problem.
69) Since I don't do sports and cannot fathom the need for them, I can never truly like sports movies. My favourite Hollywood sports movie is actually Wimbledon because despite having been explained the rules of tennis a million times, I still don't get them and as a result I always get excited for the ending,
70) My favourite sports movie ever is Lagaan. And I fucking hate cricket!

71) My favourite trailers of all time are Blue Valentine, The Social Network, Black Swan, Inglourious Basterds and the teaser for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
72) It pains me that Bill Murray did not win the Oscar for his brilliantly subtle performance in Lost in Translation.
73) My favourite film maker of all time is Woody Allen because his films really speak to me.
74) I have a quote that I made up to show their impact on me: what came first- Woody Allen or the neuroses? I think it is rather clever.
75) I have noticed that when I really like a filmmaker's work, I end up fancying the filmmaker. Example- Quentin Tarantino, Edgar Wright, Sofia Coppola, Roman Polanski, Wes Anderson, and of course my ultimate dreamboat, David Fincher. Hell, I would fancy Woody if I were 15-20 years older.
76) The first time I saw Fight Club, it was because it was coming on the tv and I was bored. I connected to it when the Narrator says "This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time" because I was going through like a paranoid phase at the time. When the Jack vs Jack scene happened, I knew I was in for something extraordinary.
77) Btw, the Jack vs Jack scene is one of my most favourite scenes ever. I still don't know how the hell did they do it.
78) For me Fight Club will always be, first and foremost, a romance between the Narrator and Marla.
79) My favourite part of Fight Club is not any scene or performance, but the fact that there is a single frame of pornography spliced in towards the end of the film and it is too fast for all these censor boards to cut out. David Fincher IS Tyler Durden.
80) The closest I have come to meeting a celebrity is when a B-list Bollywood actress was eating ice cream across me, years ago, when I had gone to watch Stepmom at a theatre. I was still too flabbergasted! I'll probably melt if/when I meet Depp and Gosling.

81) After watching Madonna's "Girl Gone Wild" video, I am determined that if I do ever make films, I will make one in which I will shamelessly objectify men.
82) Unlike most Indians I know, I really like the remake of Devdas because it is so extravagant and beautiful. Except for one scene: when Devdas, played by SRK, sees the grown-up Parrow, played by Aishwarya Rai, for the first time and she is in full make-up and sleeping under the moonlight in this courtyard or something- NO ONE DOES THAT! EVER!! Makes my blood boil, that part.
83) The two times that I have seen Fargo, I went around saying "yeah" like Frances McDormand's character for weeks after that.
84) After I saw The Princess Bride, I said "My name is Inigo Montaya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." to nearly everyone I met. And I was in my teens.
85) The film quote that my life follows most closely, through no fault or will of my own, is one from Fight Club- "Losing all hope was freedom."
86) The film quote I use the most of course is "Boo you whore" from Mean Girls. Like I can never say or write or type "Boo" without following it with "you whore". However discreetly.
87) When I was younger, I could recite all of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I can still say most of it, but not that well.
88) I saw Godfather 2 and Scarface one after the other and I still get muddled up about certain elements between the two.
89) With the exception of Harry Potter of course, the films I would like to live in the most are Marie Antoinette and Rushmore. Go Jason Schwartzman!
90) If I could choose any actor at any point in their career to be with, I would choose Harrison Ford in the late 70s, early 80s. FUCK YEAH!

91) I really really really love Ewan McGregor.
92) Chicago is one of my most favourite musicals because I love the music and also the fact that in it, the good get punished and the wicked put on a show.
93) The true villain of Wizard of Oz was Glinda. I really hate her.
94) I love it whenever Calcutta gets mentioned in movies. They always have such weird and well, foreign ideas about it.
95) My favourite literary hero is Mr. Darcy. Sadly no adaptation that I have seen of Pride and Prejudice has done him proper justice. In fact the closest thing to him was when Colin Firth played Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones's Diary.
96) My favourite song in a movie is "A Waltz for a Night" in Before Sunset.
97) I will kill to see a Gilmore Girls movie. Please make it happen.
98) I love it when people ask me for recommendations or whether or not a film is good. I usually recommend films according to what I know of their taste. And Scott Pilgrim vs The World.
99) No matter what I do with my life, it will definitely have something to do with films. It can be writing or directing or owning a small independent cinema or being employed in a DVD store or working in the cafeterias of Pixar or dressing up as a character in an amusement park or whatever. This is it for me.
100) If I had to die watching a film, I would die watching Casablanca.

Okay on that happily morbid note, I end this. Hope you enjoyed it :)

Friday 15 June 2012


I swear it was Tuesday yesterday. What the hell?!

1) Paramount is celebrating its 100 Years and it put together a gargantuan group of film royalty (plus Beiber), 116 to be exact, in an unbelievable photo. And if you think that maybe some of them look Photoshopped (I did :/ ), I assure you they weren't. God what a place to be!

2) I love big casts, and Steve McQueen's next, Twelve Years a Slave is going to have just that. Headlining of course is Michael Fassbender. Then there will be Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Taram Killam, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Alfre Woodard, Adepero Odeyu etc. This film is going to be nuts! And by that, I do mean amazing. Gah Fassy and Cumberbatch in one movie-  music to my ears, literally.

3) Other major casting news is that Jean Dujardin maybe joining Leo Di Caprio in Martin Scorsese's next, The Wolf of Wall Street. As excited as I am about this, all I can think of are the Leo and Oscar jokes (which should be a genre of jokes on their own). Poor Leo. This will be his year though.

4) Also there is a lot of talk about the Fifty Shades of Grey movie adaptation. Bret Easton Ellis is writing it and wants Ryan Gosling to star as Christian Grey and David Cronenberg to direct it. Just typing out that sentence is making my ovaries explode and if this film does happen, I will spontaneously combust while watching it! But it will be worth it. This Christian Grey role is like the Lisbeth Salander casting all over again. Everyone's jumping at the opportunity. Ian Somerhalder and Alexander Skarsgård have spoken about their interest in playing the titular character. I would watch it for them too, but gah if Gosling stars, and with all this talk about maybe getting Rooney Mara to star as the female protagonist, Anastasia Steele- I will explode or implode or something!

5) Another casting choice that has everyone talking is of Finnick Odair in Catching Fire. Why are people even considering Taylor Kitsch? He is made out of a block of stone. I cannot decide who is a worse actor, he or Taylor Lautner? And I don't really like Garrett Hedlund as a choice either- he just isn't charismatic enough. I honestly pictured Armie Hammer while reading the book and I really hope he gets the part. Also I like how the studios have asked Philip Seymour Hoffman to play Plutarch Heavensbee. Dream big people!

6) I saw Prometheus! I missed the first 8 minutes, but I read about it in Wikipedia. It was a gorgeous looking film, and what was wonderful was that however spectacular everything was, it looked believable. Also Fassy as David was amazing! The story jumped around a bit in the middle, which is what I didn't like. Also THE Noomi Rapace scene- I saw that with my hands covering my glasses, in paralyzing fear. One thing that helped me get my thoughts set about this movie was The Matineecast.

7) Stevee's started a meme! Here are a 100/50 Film Facts about SatiLesya and Tyler. Love Lesya's #100.

8) Oh btw, has everyone seen my amazing banner?! Who got the Fight Club joke in it?

9) Trailers- Django Unchained's International Trailer. I'm not even going to talk about it, lest I burst into tears because of how awesome it is. I need clothes which are the same colour as Django's blue suit. Resident Evil Retribution has a terrible trailer out. Seriously it needs to get over. Also how many times can Milla Jovovovich wake up and still not realise that zombies have taken over this world? Magic Mike's butt galore red band trailer. I don't think I need to write anything more about that. Life of Pi's footage from its site. Oh god it looks brilliant!

10) Finally, I miss Tyrion already-


Wednesday 13 June 2012

Fairy Tale Fight Club- Mirror Mirror VS Snow White and the Huntsman

            I guess there must have been a million of these posts already, but I still want to do one. With Hollywood's sudden love for fairy tales and making them all current and cool, the first half of 2012 saw two Snow Whites battling it out in two very very different movies. But which one is better?

Rupert Sanders's Snow White and the Huntsman (SWATH) is a dark take on the fairy tale where the Evil Queen Ravenna has taken over the kingdom and let it fall to the ruins, while keeping the true heir of its throne, Snow White, imprisoned. However, Snow escapes into the Dark Forest and Ravenna has to take the help of a huntsman, Eric, to capture her as she needs her heart to stay immortal and unchanged forever. But captivated by Snow's beauty and strength, Eric decides to help Snow fight Ravenna and regain her throne.

Tarsem Singh's Mirror Mirror (MM) is a happy Disney-loving film about Snow White. The Queen wants to marry the Prince to keep her income flowing, but is threatened by the beauty of her step-daughter Snow and orders her to be killed in the forest. However, the killer isn't able to do so and tells her to run away, which is when she meets a band of seven dwarves. The rest, as we say, is fairy tale history.

I saw both of them only a couple of days apart. Because of the afore-mentioned Hollywood fairy tale craze, I did have a lot of preconceived notions before seeing the films, which worked both for and against these two films. 

This post is a bit spoilerific, so you have been warned.

The Snow Whites
I have always believed that Snow White is the stupidest princess/fairy tale heroine of all time, with the exception Goldilocks, maybe. I mean her entire story revolves around how white she is. Also she has the most idiotic name ever. It is commendable to both these movies that they try to make her more than just a half-a-dimension character. 

Lily Collins in MM was sweet, but she is incredibly dull and occasionally irritating. They do try the whole "princess saving the prince" thing, and her one fight with the Prince is a lot of fun. But as the Queen says, "her skin has never seen the sun, so of course it's good" and so she has to do nothing there, really. She was one of the weakest links of the movie because she was just so blah.

Kristen Stewart in SWATH however has the fulfilling-destiny storyline going for her. One of the smartest things about this film is that they make "fairest of them all" about her heart and her purity and not her looks since anyone with eyes will know that KStew is not more beautiful than Charlize Theron. The film revolves around  her Snow White in such a way that it benefits her role a great deal. But then it sort of fails to achieve the whole underdog-destiny aspect of it because she suddenly becomes this warrior out of nowhere. I had thought throughout most of the film that she would have some sort of naturalist powers or something that will help her defeat the Evil Queen, but that never happens. She never gets a chance to stem out properly, but still KStew does a decent job. Also her Snow does avoid a major cliche at the end, for which she has to applauded. She definitely is the better Snow White.

The Prince and the Huntsman
'Cuz the Prince in SWATH isn't really a prince at all (sorry Sam Claflin!). I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked these two characters.

Chris Hemsworth as Eric, the Hunstman, is Snow's companion and guide in SWATH. He is the person who is used to show Snow's greatness and purity as he discovers it along with us. I really liked Hemsworth as the Huntsman, perhaps even more than his Thor. He gives a lot of heart, humour and well, brawn to such a character which makes him very likeable and human.

However, Armie Hammer as Prince Alcott in MM steals the show completely. He is easily the best part of this film. Already the most inspired casting choice here (yes, even more than Theron as the Evil Queen), Hammer's Alcott shines in every scene he is in. He is such a bimbo, but an honourable and lovable one, which I think all the quintessential Prince Charming-types are. He is uproariously funny, which comes as a bit of a shock because I did not really expect it out of him. It is a delight to watch him be such a fun character, and one cannot help but smile (and swoon) whenever he is in the shot. He wins this round by a landslide.

The Evil Queens
These two were my sole reasons for watching the film. Like Alvy Singer, I tend to fall for the Wicked Queen.

I thought Julia Roberts as the Queen was really humorous. I have read reviews in which people talk about not being able to believe Roberts as someone who is evil because of her persona so far, but that is exactly what makes it all the more funny for me. She is the pretty woman trying to stay pretty or the queen in front of a (shirtless) prince, asking him to love her using a puppy love potion! Genius! I love the moments her iconic smile seeped through or when she's excited about getting married for the fifth time. She wasn't "evil" evil, but she was exactly what I would imagine a a real Wicked Queen to be like.

Now Charlize Theron's Queen Ravenna had pretty much been on the forefront ever since the first teaser came out. She had this wonderful narration in it about how seeing people in pain used to break her heart before and now it gives her pleasure, along with the total glamdoll bitch look that made this a completely scrumptious role. This is also what is the biggest flaw of the movie for me, because we only ever get teasers to such a character and never the whole story. Theron is amazing in her relatively brief role, and there is this sense of tragedy around her that is so captivating and intriguing. But we are never told why she is the way she is. I really wish the film was about her, not because I hate KStew or any of the other popular rants, but because I was genuinely invested in this seriously complex person that is not used or shown properly at all. I mean making a film about the Evil Queen- how is that for a darker tone?

I give them equal points.

The Dwarves
Real Dwarves vs Fake Ones

I nearly jumped out of my seat during SWATH when I saw that Ian McShane, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan and Nick Frost (!!) as the part of the band of dwarves. I had no idea at all that they were there in this film. They had some moments, but this film introduces them as an arbitrary measure because they are such an integral part of the original tale. I barely remember them, which is big thing seeing the talent involved. They were there, that is it.

In MM, the dwarves have their true role, as friends and sort-of protectors of Snow White. Famous dwarf actors like Jordan Prentice, Danny Woodburn and Martin Klebba are part of the band. They are quite funny, and very likeable. The humour did tend to go a bit slapstick with them, which completely missed the mark most of the time, but these seven dwarves are very much an important part of the film. I really liked that. So they win.

The Look
Now along with the story, what really sets these two films apart from each other is their very singular looks.

Tarsem Singh has made a name for his vibrant and gorgeous films, and MM is no different. I loved the colours in this film- the rich tones of golds and yellows and reds. The castle was beautiful inside and out. As said in the narration at the beginning of the film, this is a fantastical place where everybody sang and danced all the time, which isn't a realistic thing. So the look had to show that, and it does. Nothing like this exists in the real world, and Tarsem captures this fairy tale quality in the visuals perfectly.

Now what SWATH does is borrow heavily from other films in terms of visuals. The Miyazaki elements were obvious as hell, and the whole film had a LOTR quality about it, finishing with a stereotypical battle scene at the end. So while none of the matter is original on its own, the fact that it is in a Snow White movie is what makes it original. It was a stunning looking film. The only thing I can nitpick about is the excessive overhead wide shots- that started to get old very quickly.

This too is an equal point for both of them.

The Costumes
Now this was the true battle of masters- the late Eiko Ishioka vs Colleen Atwood.

Colleen Atwood is arguably the most famous costume designer around. Her cool, dark and majestic designs are reknowned, and she does a splendid job in SWATH too. Ravenna's clothes are to die for- from the mirror dress to porcupine dress, all of it is just too awesome. However, I felt that her character was the only one who was focused on in this aspect, and everyone else falls short for me.

Eiko Ishioka passed away earlier this year, making MM her last collaboration with Tarsem Singh, as she has worked in all his films. I loved the clothes in this film. I mean they were extravagant as hell, but they were just big and gorgeous and kooky and colourful and fun! It was so gleeful and I felt that the costumes complimented the story very well. Like when Alcott's squire is dressed up like a "pink profiterole" it looks both funny and gives us a sense of the Queen's slightly mean brand of humour. Also I loved Snow's dress at the end that follows the footsteps of the Disney Snow White's attire so closely and yet manages to be unique. Ishioka wins this point for MM.

The Effects
Since there is bound to be some magic.

MM is an individually ravishing looking film, but when it comes to the special effects, it fails miserably. The big use of effects is when the Queen uses her mirror to kill Snow White with giant voodoo doll puppets or whatever the hell they were. On paper I guess it is a novel idea, but on screen, it just did not translate. It looked like something out of a Scooby Doo episode and not even from the main plot, but something that "those meddling kids" solve at the beginning which no one really talks about. Also the dreaded Beast is super lame.

SWATH has really nice effects in this aspect. From Ravenna's phantom armies that break into little pieces when you strike them, to the magical creatures in the Dark Forest- everything looks topnotch and believable. I really enjoyed the effects in this film, which like the costumes in MM, enhance SWATH and its story. SWATH wins this point.

 For me, the third act of both these films are sort of their downfall. I felt that MM dragged on for too long, and that SWATH got over too soon and it felt like important scenes had been skipped. The story of the latter would have been so much more powerful if that unnecessarily necessary battle sequence would have been stretched out. The final confrontation between Ravenna and Snow is really stupidly executed except for a few moments when they can finally speak their minds. The former could have ended sooner, and would have again benefited from a less dragged-out ending, where though all the loose ends do get tied up, but then no one cared about them anyways.

Also for SWATH, the trailers were a huge reason why the film was a bit of a letdown. This makes me think about whether or not it's a good thing to make awesome trailers for relatively average films. Many of the elements from the trailers did not even make it into the movie. Here MM triumphed because it had one measly little trailer, but the film was quite enjoyable.

Conceptually however, I really liked the whole "beauty is your weapon" aspect of SWATH. MM did not really sway from the true roots of the fairy tale, but SWATH does try to do things differently. I do admire their boldness in this aspect, but again it is kind of sad that they are not able to go satisfactorily through with the idea.

Then music-wise, I actually noticed bits of score here and there in SWATH, which I liked. I can't say the same about MM. Also I love the Florence and the Machine song for SWATH- "Breath of Life". MM however chose to do a Bollywood-ified version of "I Believe in Love", sung by Collins at the end, which was for me, the weirdest part of the film. I mean I get it Tarsem- you are Indian and proud. I am too. That doesn't mean you need to put a random Bollywood number in a freaking Snow White movie! Such a dumb ending!!

I must also tell you that MM gets half a point because the Sean Bean character in it doesn't die. I know it's a weird criteria to give points for, but this is just how I roll. The poor man always dies!!

Final Decision

SWATH was a terrible cinematic experience for me because of the level of idiocy among the people sitting around me in the theatre. Still, I was invested enough in the movie to be able to almost block them out. But now, thinking back on it, I think it is not a very memorable film at all. The one thing that could have made it truly memorable was Theron's Ravenna but the filmmakers overlooked that because of, and this is what I believe, the name of the film that required them to focus on the eponymous characters. Ravenna could have been a tragic and even more magnificent villain for the ages, but sadly, it did not happen. There is apparently a sequel in the making- maybe it will be about Ravenna *fingers crossed*.

Contrarily, in retrospect, I find myself liking MM more and more. Yes there were stupid elements in it, especially the Bollywood-esque song, and the Snow White was kind of terrible, but it was really entertaining. It looked dazzling, and it was pretty funny thanks to Armie Hammer, Julia Roberts and the dwarves. It was fluff, but the good kind.

So in the end I find myself, most unexpectedly, leaning towards Mirror Mirror for the Snow White movie I liked better.

Now I wait for Maleficient.