The Film Guide The Film Guide | English Movie Reviews Hollywood | : January 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Who is Clark Rockefeller? Review

Article first published as Who is Clarke Rockefeller? Review on Technorati.

Movie: Who is Clarke Rockefeller?
Cast: Eric McCormack, Sherry Stringfield
Rating: 3/5

Based on a true story, Who is Clarke Rockefeller? follows the longest running con in FBI history. Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, the man that people knew as "Clark Rockefeller" brilliantly impersonated numerous people, ranging from a talk show host to a Pentagon Advisor before ultimately claiming to be the heir to the famous Rockefeller family.
The film is a story of the woman who married Christian Karl, thinking that he was the famous Clarke Rockefeller and bore a daughter from him during the 12 years that the couple stayed in the bond. The extent of conman-ship of which Christian was capable is evident from the fact that his wife didn't know his social security number, had never met his family and had never questioned his overly private life for twelve years. On top of this she earned while he enjoyed a royal lifestyle! The film follows the events that led Christian Karl/Clarke Rockefeller to kidnap his own daughter and then to the day he was caught.
While nothing exceptionally award-worthy, the cast has acted to the script. McCormack as Clarke was a disappointment as a slightly bigger and better actor could have taken the amazing storyline to a new level.
Who is Clark Rockefeller? is a different kind of film and hence deserves a watch. The fact that the story is true makes it more interesting. Truth is stranger than fiction more times than not!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Buried (2010) Review

Article first published as Review: Buried (2010) on Technorati.

Movie: Buried (2010)
Cast: Ryan Reynolds
Rating: 4/5
A man trapped in a coffin underneath the sand somewhere in Iraq is what Buried is about. Its novelty lies in the fact that it only shows a man inside a coffin and nothing else. The man is played by Ryan Reynolds who has acted extremely well in the solo performance. The rest of the characters are voices on a cell phone.
The movie deals with the emotions and memories that go through a person's mind when death is only a matter of time. The film shows the true nature of life in that it is unpredictable and can end instantly. It points out the importance of things we take for granted like light, water and air.
Ryan Reynolds has portrayed misery, hope, courage and patience and the lack of it in one performance he can be really proud of. While the thought of seeing a rough man in a coffin for two hours can make many run away from investing time in it (a half dressed woman in the same predicament would raise some interest), Buried is really gripping. The treatment of the film is very original and the pun at how we are becoming more "organized" and less "sensitive" by the minute is well executed.
The dialogue, the key in such a movie, is very well-written and delivered and makes the audience associate with the pain and hope of the sole character.
I'll leave the end to dawn upon you in the way it is supposed to and will not discuss it. I feel the film has substance and class and recommend it strongly!

The King's Speech Review

Article first published as Review: The King's Speech (2010) on Technorati.

Movie: The King's Speech
Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Rating: 4.5/5
Awards: Colin Firth (Best Actor, Golden Globes)

Colin Firth simply mesmerizes the audience with his supreme acting in the historical saga The King's Speech. The film revolves around changes in expectations from a king brought about by the invention of a radio. It is a story of a prince who is loyal to his father, George V, and his elder brother, the king's successor.
Prince Albert, played by Colin Firth, has a speech impediment causing him to stammer. In an age where radio has just been invented, royalty has an extended duty of communicating with the people, a task impossible for Albert.
He meets a therapist named Lionel played by Geoffrey Rush and is unsure of his ability to help. With the king's demise and his elder brother's refusal to take the throne under astonishing circumstances, Albert becomes the king!
The King's Speech is about the speech of a king in a time of war. It is about a stammerer's most important words that could mean the difference between the rise and fall of an empire. It is about a therapist who had no credentials but was confident that a man who couldn't talk could be a king and could deliver a reassuring speech to a country terrified by Hitler.
The acting is amazing. Colin Firth is outstanding and gives a great portrayal of a man who exerts control over everyone and everything in England barring his own tongue. Geoffrey Rush is outstanding with Lionel the actor/therapist who is adamant about making "Berty" (Prince Albert) a king who could deliver a speech.
All in all, anything more would be a spoiler as the film is a must-see and can only be enjoyed if interpreted by an individual in his own perspective. To me it is a masterpiece and deserves glory at the Oscars!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Tortured (2010) - A Review

Article first published as Review: The Tortured (2010) on Technorati.

Movie: The Tortured (2010)
Cast: Erika Christensen, Jesse Metcalfe, Bill Lippincott
Rating: 4/5

From the makers of the famous SAW series comes a nerve wrecking, gut wrenching thriller that takes vengeance and pain to the next level. When one almost thought that pain and gore could go no further than what John Cramer or the Jigsaw did to people, The Tortured comes with a situation that can make people go just a step further and be just a step more painful and disgusting!
Twisted Pictures has more recently gone towards amalgamating social issues with pain, gore and vengeance, a formula that gave a new life to the sinking SAW franchise. With Saw 6 a success, they have come up with another film that revolves around a couple coping up with their child's abduction and murder. They blame each other and finally decide that the only one worthy of blame and punishment was the kidnapper and murderer. They steal him from the prison and hold him in the basement of an old house to torture him to death, a death so painful that it would satisfy their souls!
The rest is a gore-filled emotional journey that is not for the weak hearted. It worked for me though, because I am a fan of such films but for others it might be a little too much.
All in all, The Tortured is a good film with a strong story and a great message. The end is a masterpiece and takes the film to a whole new level! Do watch it, but don't eat too much before you do it!

Easy A - A Review

Article first published as Review: Easy A (2010) on Technorati.

Movie: Easy A
Cast: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley
Rating: 3.5/5

What promised to be only another teen comedy, turned out to be a soulful, thought provoking film in case of Easy A.

The film is a well written account of a high school girl who is a nobody in school until she speaks a lie about losing her virginity. Emma Stone has acted amazingly in the role of Olive and takes the film to a greater level single-handedly.The rest of the cast does its job well to support Emma in her enchantment.
The film addresses issues like peer pressure, judgement and double standards along with a pun at the hypocritically religious community. It is an account of a good natured teen who is taken advantage of by everyone from a bulky fat loser to an unfaithful student counselor.
Easy A is not your everyday teenage comedy with mindless humor. It is a satire aimed at showing us what we have stooped down to as a society. It has something to learn for people of all ages and genders.
Apart from all the serious stuff the girls in the film are hot. Emma's raunchy avatar is sizzling and Amanda Bynes also looks good.
Easy A is a film that everyone should watch and learn from. A strong recommendation from my side to all the movie lovers!

All Good Things (2010) - A Review

Article first published as Review: All Good Things (2010) on Technorati.

Movie: All Good Things (2010)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella
Rating: 4/5
Director Andrew Jarecki's amazing portrayal of a true story that follows the most notorious unsolved murder mystery in the history of Newyork. It is a love story of a sick individual named David Marks who is haunted by his inner demon and the supposed suicide of his mother. He finds refuge in a pretty girl named Katie and marries her. David's dark side tries to overcome him at various instances in the film and he finally gives in to it.
The movie is about a sick man's love for his wife pitted against his rage and inability to control himself. The film is exceptionally well-written and directed and Kirsten Dunst has given a classy performance showing that she can act and is not just a girl next door.
The cast overall has acted to the script with Gosling and Langella sharing the screen in some intense situations. The chemistry between Dunst and Gosling as Mr. and Mrs. Marks is awesome and although Dunst lacks some assets she really sizzles in some very well made romantic scenes.
All Good Things forces a critic to only utter good things about it. The best way to appreciate this well made film is to watch it and admire the acting! Two thumbs up!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nude Nuns with Big Guns Cast and Film Review (2010)

Article first published as DVD Review: Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010) on Technorati.

Movie: Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010)
Cast: Tawny Amber Young, Devanny Pinn 
Rating: 3/5

If you love to see naked women handling huge guns and shooting the hell out of bad-ass men then this flick is a must watch for you.
Director/Writer Joseph Guzman has put forth an amazing mix of sex and action that takes the audience through a roller coaster. Amongst all the teen flicks and rom-coms comes a movie that shows how uninhibited vengeance can be. The movie shows an extreme disrespect for the finer gender by the "bad guys" and an extreme reply by a nun to counter it. It shows the hypocrisy of the supposedly good and the benevolence of the perceived murderer.

The nudity is on the higher side but has a purpose in the film. It is not one of those brain-dead soft core films that have no story. Nude Nuns with Big Guns has a story to tell and tells it with a zing!
The nude nuns with big guns cast has acted well and embraced the roles given to them. Tawny Amber is amazing with or without clothes. She pulls the film over the bar as far as acting is concerned.
With all its gore and action Nude Nuns with Big Guns is a must see for action fans.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rotkappchen: The Blood of Red Riding Hood Review

Movie: Rotkappchen: The Blood of Red Riding Hood Review
Actors:  Nicole Leigh VuonoChris O'BrockiSavannah Costello
Rating: 3/5

The blood of red riding hood is a modern day sexy depiction of the fairy tale "Little Red Riding Hood". It is an amazingly portrayed movie with red being the only color in an otherwise black and white backdrop. The film centers around the main character Rose who is a foreigner from Germany. Rose is from a conservative background and is almost 18 providing a recipe for ultimate frustration. The story is artistically presented. The fact that most women in the story are bi-sexual gives it an extra zing!

The cast is composed of good actors and hot bodies. It is not one of those movies where sexy teenagers are presented without serious acting skills. The acting is good and solid. 

Harry Sparks writing and direction is great and innovative. The symbolism in the film is interesting and the camera work especially in passionate scenes is inspiring. All in all it is a film worth watching especially is you are sick of the normal Hollywood teen flicks that offer nothing more than under nourished nakedness. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Fighter 2010 Cast and Hollywood Movie Review

Movie: The Fighter
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams
Rating: 4.5/5

Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale starrer The Fighter is a tale of a fight in the ring and outside it. It is a story of a boxer Micky Ward played by Wahlberg amd his brother Dickie Eklund who trained him. The movie deals with human emotions like fear, frustration, anxiety, jealousy, possessiveness and the will of a man to overcome all of it. It is a journey of a boy turning into a man emerging out of the shadow of his elder brother who enjoyed the status of a local legend. It is the struggle of a son who doesn't have the courage to get out of the over-possessive embrace of his mother.
Amy Adams sizzles in the movie with a strong role as Micky's lover and her love scenes with Wahlberg are a treat to watch.

The Fighter is a reminder to all men that family and love is the remedy to all problems that one faces. The Fighter inside us has to stand up for himself keeping in mind that family is a strength, not a weakness.
All in all, the movie is a fine example of acting skills and great story. The actors have really embraced the characters and especially Christian Bale is a master act. Mark Wahlberg has at last found a role that does his talent justice and he has responded big time.

I wish the movie all the best at the Golden Globes and the Oscars! It is a must watch! 

The Fighter Latest Film Ratings


My Name Is Khan - A Review

The Karan Jauhar / Shahrukh Khan production " My name is khan" is a film that has defined a new kind of cinema in the sub-continent. In a film industry plagued by remakes of hollywood films like Teen Patti (21), Stranger ( Man on fire), Gajini ( momento), Qayamat ( The rock) and amongst an audience that loves to see the lavish love story themes comes a film that speaks the truth and nothing but.

The greatest thing notable in this film is the pride that the protagonist holds in the ownership of his religion inspite of the taboo that surrounds it. The incapability of "Khan" to feel subtle emotions renders him the strength to say what he sees without any inhibition.

Shahrukh Khan seems to have found a lost connection with his religion and it exudes from every expression that he gives in the film. He seems as proud to be a muslim as "Khan" does.

The film also gives an underlying feeling that however secular India maybe the prejudice that muslims have faced after 9/11 has also been transmitted in the muslim society in India. The frustration in the dialogue " My name is khan and I am not a terrorist" seem mutual to the character and the performer.

Hats of to the legend Shahrukh Khan on giving his best performance and on rendering a service to the cause of Islam. This is true Jihad, where an image of Islam is presented its values are upheld.

May Allah bless Khan and may he be saved from the evil of "terrorists" like the Shiv Sena.

The Blind Side - Refreshing!

In the time of Sci-Fi, thrillers and technologically superb cinema, The Blind Side Starring Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron gives us a simple, true story from our backyard and yet does not fail to amaze and astound the audiences. The film is based on a true story. It is a story of one colored boy, adopted by a white woman and how this change, changes his life forever and for the better. Quinton plays Michael Oher, and boy does he make an impression. He simply makes you cry with his silence and also has the ability to lighten up the screen with a huge, lovely smile. The support cast is also well casted and have acted wonderfully well, with Tim McGraw playing the all loving hubby to perfection.
The movie as a story is amazing and has great flow, but to put the cherry on top Sandra Bullock pulls out an Oscar winning performance no one would have expected of her ever! She is amazing, with nothing over the top and nothing exceptional. The fact that she plays such a simple, loving, caring and benevolent person with such an amazing ease and at not a single point making it unbelievable is amazing. The feeling she gives when at a couple of instances in the movie she is on the verge of crying, gives one the goosebumps!

 I would like to recommend The Blind Side to everyone, especially those who have lost faith in the good of this world and the importance of family.

Art of the Devil 2 - Review

I am a big fan of sick horror flicks and gory thrillers. With Hannibal Lector as my favorite on-screen character (played to perfection by his highness Anthony Hopkins) and the likes of Saw and Hostel a constant feature of my collection, I have had my fare share of SCARE! But believe you me, the film I'm gonna review for you today is SICK!
Its called "The Art of the Devil 2". It is the second edition of the Thai trilogy and it is one not recommended for the weak of heart or stomach. The film is based on Black Magic and how it stays with the ones who initiate it. It is scary, creepy and has a great flowing storyline. It grips the audience and compels them to see it in one go. The detail to GORE is amazing and gives you a walkthrough on basic human anatomy :P
The cast is young, sexy and fresh. They have acted well and have complemented the theme to perfection. The movie could potentially have more sizzle as far as skin show is concerned, the only major skin show that we get in the movie is unfortunate with the skin not intact on the body!!

All in all it is a film you could put dares on to watch in the dark alone! It is horrific and at times gut wrenching. Give it a watch and judge for yourself, because I dont want to be a spoiler!

Guzaarish - A Review

Movie: Guzaarish
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Nafisa Ali
Rating: 4.5 (5.0)

Bravo! They cheer as Ethan Mascarenhas lifts up in the air and stuns the audience. Bravo! The heart goes when it feels the sheer magic that Sanjay Leela Bhansali has put on film for our viewing pleasure. The subject of this awesome piece of art is a very difficult one, "Euthanasia" or mercy killing. To take a side and vote for or against the issue is very hard but irrespective of the stance one thing is for sure Hrithik Roshan has given life to the pain and suffering of Ethan Mascarenhas in a way that deserves a standing ovation with a sprinkle of some well deserved, heartfelt tears.

The story describes how a Merlin who made a fortune by doing the unthinkable and achieving the impossible copes with life valiantly for 14 years in a vegetated state. The man who could make people believe that he had powers beyond their reckoning is reduced to a piece of flesh that is unable to do even the most mundane operations like scratching the nose or raising a finger. The magnitude of Ethan's pain is heightened by the flawless past that he had lived. All that he had achieved haunted and taunted him for14 years until the day he decided that the only dignified end to his life was mercy killing, a practice prohibited by the Indian Penal Court.

Ethan's caretaker Sofia played marvelously by the ever stunning Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is not convinced about Ethan's request for death. Sofia's care and love and the amazing chemistry between her and Ethan is the highlight of the film. She is actually in love with him.Sofia finally realizes with the help of Ethan's friends and mother that Ethan's demand for an end to his misery was more about self-respect and dignity and she vows to stand by him eventually in the capacity of not only his nurse but by the end of the movie, his better half.

What takes this film beyond being good and towards being a masterpiece is the wit and humor that punctuates the otherwise tragic state of events. It is a serious film but it is sexy, flirtatious, humorous and incredibly intelligent.
Two thumbs up to Bhansali for making the best film that audiences would have seen for a very long time. He is a genius and this time around he has got partners who are equally amazing in Hrithik and Aishwarya.

Band Baaja Baraat - A Review

No matter which part of the world you’re in, a Desi wedding is always filled with glitz and glamour. Band Baaja Baraat is all about the colors of a subcontinental marriage. With Anushka Sharma and newbie Ranveer Singh as lead actors, you can be sure you are going to have freshness filling the screens!

Shruti Kakkar (Anushka Sharma) is your typical Delhi no nonsense girl who is dead keen on becoming India’s best wedding planner. In fact, she has her business set out for her and intends to pursue "Shaadi Mubarak" as soon as her exams are finished. Bittoo Sharma (Ranveer Singh). Ambitionless, Bittoo finds himself running out of reasons to head home to his father’s farm and thus, after a small wedding-crasher encounter with Shruti convinces her to let him join in on the wedding planning business. What happens next is your everyday love story. To give away more than that would ruin the experience; so go buy a ticket!

Band Baaja Baraat gives you the festive feeling. It is incredibly entertaining. You are sucked into a world of incredible weddings and witness the innate planning it takes to be a wedding planner. As a director, Maneesh Sharma does well to bring the theme of weddings and even the aura of Delhi to the forefront. Of course, you can pretty much guess post the interval where the film is headed and so it comes as no surprise leading up to the climax but even then, it manages to entertain. What helps the film is the great music by Salim-Sulaiman. Each and every song is fabulous to listen and a treat to watch simply because they look and seem so natural.

Should you watch Band Baaja Baraat? For sure! Don’t expect groundbreaking cinema here, you won’t get it. But you do walk out feeling happy and refreshed.

No Problem (2010) - Bollywood

Movie: No Problem
Genre: Comedy
Director: Anees Bazmi
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Khanna, Paresh Rawal, Sushmita Sen, Shakti Kapoor, Sunil Shetty
Rating: 4/5

If one thought that Golmaal 3 was the epitome of laughter and could not be surpassed then No Problem has proven him wrong. The film is a laughter bomb. The roars in the cinema are deafening and the tears that run down one's cheeks as a result of uncontrollable giggles are a testament to the movie's comic greatness.
Given the cast of the film the expectations were sky high. Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Paresh Rawal, Akshay Khanna, Sunil Shetty and Sushmita Sen provide a heavy star cast. When one steps into the theater he is already expecting an entertainment bonanza, but No Problem takes the fun factor to a all new level. To be released so close to a Golmaal 3 and yet be so funny is an achievement in its own right.
The story is tried and tested in films like Aik aur Aik Gyaara where a couple of crooks get into a bigger mess than they can handle. The punches however are amazingly crafted and make the audience cramp in the tummy. The situational comedy is extremely well put and the use of words is exceptional. The dialogs are spontaneous and generic and give the film a repeat value in that you can watch it over and over again and still laugh each time - much like the Govinda starrers of the past.
As for the cast, my favorites were Sushmita Sen, Paresh Rawal and Anil Kapoor. Sushmita's character is very well conceived and even better portrayed. Paresh as usual amazes with his comic timing and body language. I agree with Salman Khan though that Sanjay's role is perhaps the best after Munna Bhai and he has done great justice to it. Then there is Anil Kapoor who lightens up the screen in every shot with extreme energy and fervor. No one can believe that this same guy has a daughter in her mid twenties. Akshay Khanna has again given an honest performance and complements the stalwarts. Kangana Ranaut looked cheap and out of place but perhaps that was what the role demanded and Nitu Chandra was hot and sexy! All in all a job well done. I would not say much about the cast because I don't intend to be a spoiler - so go get a ticket!

The music however, was ordinary to say the least and so apart from "Shakira to wi zyada" no song has any potential. Even "shakira" has just one catchy punchline and nothing more. So I wont say much about the music because I really wanna give no problem a 10/10!

No Problem has the quality of being a legendary film. The movie has the potential to be remembered as one of the funniest indian movies of all time!