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

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Story of Fuck 2010 Review

Movie: The Story of Fuck (2010)
Cast: Finlay Robertson, Joe Absolom and Norma Atallah
Rating: 2.5/5
A fun film I stumbled upon going through a list of films online was The Story of Fuck. When I put the DVD on, I was looking for a lusty, mindless comedy that just talked about pussy and booty and presented women as a commodity and nothing else. The movie, however, was much more than that.
It is a comedy that revolves around a music promoter who is having a rough time of it and nothing seems to be going right for him. His rival in the music company is a pain in his ass and he desperately wants to get back at him.
Lewis (Finlay Roberston) gets his chance when he sees a group of losers who think of themselves as rock 'n rollers. When his new intern builds a hoax hype for a band called "Fuck" and his rival Gilbert signs that band for millions, Lewis just has to make the losers he found to agree to be members of Fuck and when they fuck up, Gilbert is fucked.
The cast has acted well with some funny dialogue. It certainly is by no means a bore, and one does enjoy it. The downside is that the film lacks depth and the script is patchy. All in all, it is a different film, but nothing too exotic.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let Me In 2010 Review

Article first published as Review: Let Me In ( 2010) on Technorati.

Movie: Let Me In (2010) on DVD/Blu-Ray
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz and Richard Jenkins
Rating: 4/5

One of the best remakes I have ever seen is the vampire tale presented in Let Me In. A remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In (2008)Let Me In tells the story of a vampire girl who is twelve years old and has the innocence of a child.

She, however, can only survive on fresh blood and turns into a horrible monster as she smells or sees blood near by. This is a story of a vampire who befriends a human boy and discovers a streak of humanity in her savageness.
It is a story of a lone boy who finds humans to be more savage than a vampire in their way of discrimination and abuse. This is a love story of two twelve-year-olds with extremely contrasting natures, yet strikingly similar loneliness.
Abby (Chloe Moritz) is a vampire who has been twelve for hundreds of years. She moves into a new neighborhood in the house next to Owen (Kodi Smit), a troubled and bullied naive boy who is pushed around by his fellows at the school. They hesitantly become friends and a story that has many beautiful contrasts — coldness vs. warmth, chaos vs. peace, guilt vs. innocence, darkness vs. delicacy, and despair vs. hope — follows. To say more about the film would give away a lot, and so I am all hush hush!
Chloe and Kodi have acted brilliantly and are perhaps the best child artists in Hollywood. I honestly believe that Let Me In is one of the greatest American remakes of all time.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Patiala House (2011) Review

Movie: Patiala House
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Hard Kaur
Rating: 3.5/5

Cricket Junoon is running wild the world over. India and Pakistan are two countries that eat, drink and breathe cricket and with the Cricket World Cup 2011 being hosted by India, for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh the heat is on as far as cricket craze is concerned.
Amongst the excitement of the mega event of cricket comes a film that celebrates cricket and glorifies its charm and peoples' love for it. It is a film that shows the importance of family, the passion for cricket and a man's endeavor to live his life-long dream.
Parghat Singh Kahlon aka Gattu (Akshay Kumar) belongs to a cricket crazy Sikh family, the Patiala House, who had moved to England years ago. His father Gurtej Kahlon (Rishi Kapoor) is a cricket fanatic but also harbors great hatred for Englishmen following his elder brother's murder decades ago on the basis of racism. When Gattu gets selected for the English line-up in his teens his father stops him from playing saying that he would die if his son plays for the Goras (English). Gattu buries his dream in obedience of his father setting an example for the others to follow. No one in Patiala House could dare to even dream against Gurtej Kahlon and if they even spoke up they were asked to follow Gattu's footsteps. Gattu was hated by all and no one saw his frustration and sacrifice.
When the English team faces a lack of a genuine fast bowler for the upcoming T-20 Championships, they consider Gattu on the recommendation of one of the selectors Mr. Bedi. Gattu at 34 is still quick and accurate and forced by the members of Patiala House he accepts a place in the English team. Will Gattu play for England? Will he be successful? Will the family be able to hide Gattu's selection and the fact that he is playing for England fron Gurtej Kahlon? Will Gurtej accept his son as England's fast bowler? Will the Patiala House be free to dream and fulfill their dreams? You have to watch the movie to get answers for these questions. I would recommend all cricket fans to go see it.
Akshay Kumar has acted well and Rishi Kapoor has given a memorable performance as well. Anushka Sharma is charming and refreshing. Her great talent and awesome body makes for a delightful view. She surely is the next big thing in Bollywood.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Resident (2011) Review

Article first published as Review: The Resident (2011) on Technorati.

Movie: The Resident (2011)
Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hilary Swank and Christopher Lee
Rating: 3.5/5
Many horror flicks come an go and leave no mark on your memory. The Resident is an exception in this regard. It is an unconventional scary film in the sense that unlike Paranormal Activity 2  it does not rely on any supernatural phenomenon to create creepiness and horror.
Although many films are based on human disorders and psychotic anomalies, The Resident is still unique in its treatment of the subject where intimacy, love, sex and obsession are all given equal weight-age.
It is a wonderfully presented film about how you can never be sure of who is monitoring your daily routine at what time with what intentions. It also addresses the fact that many sweet gestures can be interpreted in undesirable ways by seemingly sane people causing them to react insanely and dangerously.
Dr. Juliet Dermer (Hilary Swank) moves to a new apartment and after some days feels that she is not alone in the place. She frequently misses the wakeup alarm and feels that some external influence is causing her to oversleep. She finally finds out that her landlord Max(Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has harbored a passionate and raging obsession for her.
The best feature of the film is its presentation of sexual desires, lust and want. The cinematic presentation of Swank's curves and features is sensual to say the least. The translation of both Juliet's and Max's frustrations is immaculate, where Juliet is shown masturbating in the tub and max is shown perving on her naked body through a peeping hole.
Although I don't consider Hillary Swank (who has also co-produced the film) as a particularly attractive woman I must admit that she has looked impressive without clothes. Her full figured body gives a good explanation of Max's perversion and attraction. She has acted very well as the heart-broken, frustrated doctor who really wants to get it on with her landlord but is confused and finally returns back to her ex.
Not giving much away about the film, I must say that it is quite scary simply because it shows how a seemingly sweet person can have a dark side to him that could be triggered by a misguided gesture.

The Next Three Days (2010) Review

Article first published as Review: The Next Three Days (2010) on Technorati.

Movie: The Next Three Days (2010)
Cast: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks and Liam Neeson
Rating: 3/5

The Next Three Days is a thriller following the efforts of a husband to break his wife free from a prison. Lara Brennan is arrested for murdering her boss whom she had an argument with. She was seen leaving the scene of the crime and her fingerprints were on the murder weapon. Her husband, John would spend the next few years trying to get her released but there's no evidence that negates the evidence against her. And when the strain of being separated from her family especially her son gets to her, John decides to break her out. So he does a lot of research to find a way.
Russell Crowe plays John Brennan, a professor who has a steady life with his wife Lara (Elizabeth Banks) and kid until his wife gets arrested and sentenced for murder that she has not committed. He tries to get her out but the evidence is just too concrete and he finally decides to break her out of prison. John is inspired and guided by an escapist who had broken prison multiple time played by Liam Neeson who has nothing much to do in this cameo.
Crowe gives an honest performance as usual with convincing anxiety and strong presence. He fits the role with his everyday persona, a bulky presence and an unassuming personality.
The movie has little to write home about in terms of novelty and is shallow apart from Crowe's acting. The monotony of the script and the lack of supporting cast and characters makes it a dull and unexciting film to watch. With films like Inception and The Fighter  you can easily pass it by, but if you have nothing better to do, Russell Crowe is worth a watch any day of the week.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Tourist (2010) Review

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

Movie: The Tourist
Cast: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie
Rating: 2.5/5

I was shocked at seeing The Tourist featured in the Golden Globes 2010. In my opinion it was one of the most disappointing movies of the year especially considering the hype that was created for it. The movie was stale, clich├ęd and lacked the suspense, thrill and wit required to pull it off.
The Tourist centers around wanted criminal Alexander Pearce. He is wanted for stealing 744 million pounds from a gangster. His case is assigned to Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) who falls in love with him and hence deceives the agency she works for.
Elise now follows Alexander's orders to solve their predicament and evade Scotland Yard. She is asked to choose a random man on a train and lead the police to think he was Pearce. Here enters Frank Tupelo (Johnny Depp), a math teacher from USA. He is chased by the police and the mafia who think he is Pearce following his lunch with Elise in the train. What follows is a love story which sees Elise fall deeply in love for Frank while harboring a strong and passionate affinity for Pearce. The rest is better seen than told so I will keep it to myself!
What bothers me the most about the film is Johnny Depp's character Frank Tupelo. We know that Depp is in preparation for the next Pirates of the Caribbean and unfortunately you can tell that from the shape and mannerisms of Frank Tupelo. It seems that Depp is too pre-occupied with Jack Sparrow as Frank's hair, facial expressions and even his wayward gait reminds you of Jack Sparrow through out the film. Even though it lacks substance, the film was big enough for Johnny Depp to have crafted the character in a better way.
The positive of the film is Angelina Jolie. She has looked her prettiest and sexiest best. Her proper body language and great makeup, especially the red lipstick is very refreshing. She has acted very well and tried to lift the film on her own. Her body charms and enchants the audience and makes you wanna keep looking at her. It is however not enough to make the film a must see.
All in all, the film is overrated and could be passed if you have a better film in possession like The King's Speech or Black Swan. Gone are the days when putting in heavy weights would mean that they would lift the film themselves, a great script is now necessary for a gripping flick.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

13 (2010) Review

Article first published as Review: 13 (2010) on Technorati.

Movie: 13 (2010)
Cast: Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke and Emmanuelle Chirique
Rating: 4/5

I was amazed to see that Jason Statham/Mickey Rourke starrer 13 had only 7 external reviews on IMDB. The film to me is right up there with The Fighter and The Kings Speech in terms of production and acting. It is after a long, long time that a film has touched me so intensely and made me ponder over how precious life is. It made me realize that no amount of money can ever match the value of life.
A young man assumes the identity of a dead man in his greed and need for money and gets involved in an underground business where men bet on others' lives in a game of Russian roulette. He encounters fellow players, their handlers and the rich betters and discovers the importance of life in the process.
The film is beautifully presented with life being the main subject of the story. Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke have given great performances in roles that arguably seemed a little thin for stars like them. The fact however is that their presence in the film is just about as much as the script requires and that is the genius of casting in this film.
For shock value and grip the film is a 10/10. It keeps you interested for the whole trip and the end is also well conceived. Punctuated with brilliance, the film gives you the jitters with thrilling scenes and strong used of sound and dialog.
I urge all film lovers to see this one. It is a different film with a deep message and deserves all the accolades it can get!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Spit On Your Grave (2010) Review

Article first published as Review: I Spit On Your Grave (2010) on Technorati.

Movie: I Spit On Your Grave (2010)
Cast: Sarah Butler, Jeff Branson, Andrew Howard
Rating: 3/5

I love a film where a nude woman doesn't necessarily give you a boner. I Spit on Your Grave is one such movie. As sexy and well developed as Sarah Butler is, she really doesn't make your eyes ogle and lock onto her stark naked body.

The film is an eye-opener to all who think that narrow-mindedness and brutality are only associated with a specific group or nation. It shows that even in a country like the USA there are people and communities that consider a progressive woman as an open target and term her a "city whore".
It is the story of Jennifer Hills, a writer who goes to a secluded small town in the woods and occupies a cabin there. She is in search of a story and hence chooses the quiet of the far away town. Her presence in the town creates a ripple in the narrow-minded natives of the area. She encounters a group of renegade, filthy men at the gas station and that makes her a topic of discussion amongst them. She innocently gives one of them a peck and that, combined with her short dresses, gives her a "whorish" repute in the view of the group. They finally make a plan to pay her back for all the "attraction" that she had gathered. She is assaulted by the gang, and when she runs to escape them, she finds the sheriff. The sheriff is also in for the fun and hence mauls, ridicules and gang rapes the innocent writer.

Jennifer Hills is one of the best characters to have emerged recently and her transformation from a naive rape victim to a furious avenger has been brilliantly performed by Sarah Butler. The gore in the film is authentic and gut wrenching but you don't for a second feel sympathy for the recipients of pain. Some scenes are especially brilliantly choreographed and are artistically brutal.
Intelligent horror like Buried has always inspired me and I really enjoyed I Spit on Your Grave and would strongly recommend everyone to have a watch. It has something for everyone: nudity, gore and tragedy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sanctum (2011) Review

Article first published as Review: Sanctum (2011) on Technorati.

Movie: Sanctum (2011)
Cast: Rhys Wakefield, Allison Cratchley and Christopher Baker
Rating: 3/5

Deep within the strangling vegetation of a South Pacific island, a massive hole stands out like a missing section of the world. At the bottom of the hole, the mostly underwater Esa-ala cave system begins, and a group of explorers is determined to lay their eyes on sights that no human being has ever seen before. After months of exploration, the caves remain a labyrinthine mystery and the elusive outlet to the ocean remains hidden, suggesting that the caves are far more massive than anyone originally suspected.
For the most part, the cast is decent, but all the characters are thin, and if it weren’t for the deliberate repetition, odds are you wouldn’t know a single character’s name until late in the movie at best. Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge!, Rake) takes the bulk of the screen time as Frank McGuire, a gruff cave diver who has nearly preternatural instincts when it comes to exploring underwater caves. It is his passion in life, and as a result, his son Josh, played by Rhys Wakefield (Broken Hill, The Black Balloon) is estranged from the old man.
Sanctum is a movie built entirely around the use of 3D combined with the specific cinematography used to show off the cave diving that takes center stage in the film. As a result, the film is beautiful at times, bordering on stunning, and the 3D really does make it worth the price of admission. The weak plot, mediocre acting and paper-thin characterizations will likely make it a quickly forgotten movie, but the visuals almost make it worth seeing in the theaters.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

9 Songs (2004) Review

Article first published as Review: 9 Songs (2010) on Technorati.

Movie: 9 Songs (Blu-Ray) (2010)
Cast: Kieran O'Brien, Margo Stilley and Huw Bunford
Rating: 3.5/5

Love stories come and go but the aura created by the one of a kind 9 Songs is unmatched. The 2004 film is now back on Blu-Ray. The blatantly sensual and provocative film presents a story of love making influenced by 9 Songs from different concerts that a couple attends. It is a movie that shows the power of music and its ability to enhance or subside pain and to impart sorrow and joy.
Matt, a young glaciologist, soars across the vast, silent, icebound immensities of the South Pole as he recalls his love affair with Lisa. They met in a concert in London and end up in the bed making steamy love. In the several months that follow they embark on a sexually passionate journey that is guided by 9 songs from 9 concerts they attend.
With genuine sex scenes presented in the most artistic ways possible 9 Songs is a unique love story that shows the difference between pornography and love-making on film. The authentic oral scenes and intercourse makes it unsuitable for all audiences but still to call it porn would be a disgrace. It is always mentioned in various film directories as a drama or a love story rather than porn and that is a completely just judgement on the film.

Margo Stilley looks erotic and lustful yet deeply in love. Her body is an instrument for the musician to make magic with. She has depicted Lisa's pain and joy with masterful acting. With sex being the main subject of the film she has made every scene look extremely enchanting and is the real hard on in the film.
Films like 9 Songs and Nude Nuns with Big Guns (although of different genres) prove that purposeful nudity and real sex in a well made Hollywood feature can be an added asset if portrayed with seriousness and class rather than purposeless exposure.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Inception (2010) Review

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

Movie: Inception (2010)Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page
Rating: 4/5

Leonardo DiCaprio adds a feather to his cap with another amazing movie, Inception. With Blood Diamond, Catch me if You CanShutter Island and Titanic on his resume, one could hardly believe that Leonardo DiCaprio would again feature in a film that would be a hall-of-famer. He did it with Inception, a complex but entertaining film that explores the very depth of a human mind and its extremities.
Leo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb an exceptionally skilled thief. In a world where it is possible to go deep into a human mind, Cobb specializes in stealing ideas and information from peoples' mind. This rare ability makes him both a professional in demand and a wanted criminal. He gets an offer to get his life back by doing one more job. This time however he has to achieve the near-impossible task of planting an idea rather than stealing one through a process called inception. The story is a layered saga of effort and preparations made to accomplish this task. With an expert team and incredible talents, Cobb seems on course until an unbeatable adversary decides to pop in and sabotage the plan. The rest is for the audiences to savor, so go on watch it!
Christopher Nolan has outdone himself and for a person who has Memento to his credit, this is a big statement. He has come up with a complicated, layered presentation that begs the audience's attention. In a world plagued by remakes and cheap action flicks and polluted with mindless comedies, here is a film that can give you a headache with the attention it demands. You can easily miss something if you do not follow meticulously, and in spite of that you are bound to see it again for full comprehension.
Inception is a must watch and although the Oscar nominations have not done it justice, it is arguably the best film of the year!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Black Swan (2010) Review

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

Movie: Black Swan (2010)
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel
Rating: 4/5
One of the best films of 2010 was Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman. The film is a beautifully captured story of a dancer's passion and obsession for her trait. It is a saga based on the pain of a perfectionist. Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) is a dancer and a classical one at that. Her moves are so crisp and perfect that they left no margin for spontaneity and expression. She is so proper that she lacks the fire that comes from being erratic. She is desperate to be the best, but that desperation caused her to lack the fervor of a stage charmer. Black Swan is her story from being proper to becoming possessed and finally being consumed!
Nina is aspiring to perform in the famous musical Swan Lake. She is perfect for the role of Odette, the white swan princess, but too uptight for the erotically evil Black Swan. She is chosen by Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) due to her perfection as White Swan, but soon Leroy finds her too proper for the sexy Black Swan role. With Lily (Mila Kunis) being appropriate for Black Swan, Nina is under constant pressure and Vincent's unusual tactics of intimacy and sexual fondling to make her find her inner vixen baffles her in the worst way.
The cast has performed amazingly with Portman giving an award-winning performance and Kunis at her sexual best. Cassel has grasped the role beautifully and gives a gripping performance. All in all, the cast has done a marvelous job and has taken the film from being good to great.
The movie is a psychological thriller based on a dramatic situation and is a treat to watch. Not giving the story away, I would strongly recommend everyone to watch the movie.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Paranormal Activity 2 :Review

Article first published as Review: Paranormal Activity 2 on Technorati.

Movie: Paranormal Activity 2
Cast: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat and Molly Ephraim
Rating: 3/5
The much-awaited second edition of the horror sensation Paranormal Activity is a well-made film, for starters. What the film lacks is that, being a sequel, it has lost the advantage that Paranormal Activity had, in that people were fooled into believing that it was a true story!
The movie has all the ingredients of a conventional horror flick. The special effects, the spooky environment, the big bungalow, the Spanish witchdoctor of a maid and a little baby.
Children are the cutest and the scariest of creatures. Be it in The Omen or Chucky, the thought of an innocent creature being a deadly demon has haunted many. The difference in Paranormal Activity 2 is that the child here is at the receiving end! The scenes where the paranormal entity interacts with the child are especially disturbing as one feel sympathy for the little one and anger towards the parents who are intent on leaving the child alone in a room knowing that the house is haunted!
The movie is a prequel of the original and the events start a couple of months before Micah's death in the first film. The rest is for you to watch, as I hate to be the spoiler! In fact, my reviews are short because I believe in encouraging the reader to see the film rather than telling him the story.

The cast has acted well with Molly spicing up the screen. The rest have given good performances, considering all they had to do was react to the special effects. I especially liked the dog, though, since it was the only one concerned for the child.

The film had quite a margin for spicy scenes and sexy punctuations, but it does not dwell in that territory. It would have been awesome if it had made use of the generous assets of the female cast!
Nothing special but it is a scary one especially when seen in a dark room. Certainly worth a watch, but no compulsions.