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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review: Morning Glory ~ Watch Morning Glory Online Free Streaming

Article first published as Movie Review: Morning Glory on Blogcritics.

Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Rachel McAdams make up the formidable star cast of the comic drama Morning Glory. The film is based on the challenges associated with running a successful morning show and also looks into the common bias that "serious" journalists hold against the supposedly meaningless content of the morning shows.

Morning Glory follows the efforts of a passionate morning TV-show producer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) as she tries her level best to prove to the world that she is good at her job. After getting fired from her job as a producer she ends up getting a job at half her previous salary as the producer of a morning show called "Daybreak" that had no following and seemingly no future. Before pulling the plug on the show the channel gives Becky a chance to raise the ratings and hence buy some more time for the show.

Becky is happy to be at the helms of a morning show again but she soon realizes that her job is a very tough one. The show is hosted by Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) who is extremely disappointed by the show's performance and has given up all hopes of getting back in the lime light. Becky decides to make some changes and that leads her to firing the male host of the show. She accidentally comes across her role model, the legendary news reporter Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) and tries to get him to host the show. Pomeroy turns out to be the most egotistical creature she has come across, perhaps second only to his co-host Colleen Peck.

The story ahead sees Becky working her backside off to make
Pomeroy and Peck co-exist on the show. Her personal life also becomes a little complicated when love knocks on her door in form of the handsome Adam Bennet (Patrick Wilson).

Harrison Ford has shown his class as an A grade actor and Diane Keaton has worked her charm without letting get the better of her. She really looks sexy even with wrinkles on her. The star however is Rachel McAdams and she has acted exceptionally well. She has taken the film to a whole new level with her sparkling charisma and panache. She makes you cry and she makes you laugh but never in the whole duration of the film does she let you take your eyes off her!

I rate Morning Glory a whooping 4/5 simply because a young lady has outshone stars like Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton making the film a treat to watch.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Movie Review: The Rite

All ardent fans of cinema, especially those who appreciate acting ahead of the use of technology, eagerly wait for Anthony Hopkins' films. He has definitely not disappointed his fans this time. Hopkins leads the cast in the latest Horror/Thriller The Rite based on the rituals of exorcism, and he has given an outstanding performance to say the least.

The Rite is a story of a young man, Michael (Colin O'Donoghue) whose father runs a funeral home. Michael is himself a seminary student but is not particularly fond of dressing up the dead and hence decides to give the priesthood a chance. He takes up a course, spending four years studying, but in the end he decides not to pursue priesthood; Michael does not actually believe in God.

The father at his school asks him to give God a chance and take an exorcism course in Rome. Reluctantly, Michael leaves for Rome thinking that he would find nothing that could budge his reasoning.

In Rome Michael finds it hard to come to terms with the idea of spirits, possessions and exorcism; his teacher refers him to an exorcist named Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins).

Lucas is an unorthodox practitioner and a very straight forward man. He shows Michael how he interacts and fights demons and spirits. Michael is persistent with his disbelief and thinks that Lucas's patients are psychological patients rather than possessed people.

What follows, eventually forces Michael to believe in the Devil and in God! Also what follows makes the audiences marvel at the acting supremacy of one of the finest actors ever to have graced the screen, Anthony Hopkins! One can only salute the awesomeness of this amazing actor.

I won't tell any more about the story because I don't want to spoil it for you but The Rite is definitely right up there with the best films of the year and Anthony Hopkins as Father Lucas is phenomenal. I rate is 4/5 and recommend it highly!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Movie Review: Love And Other Drugs(2010)

Article first published as Movie Review: Love And Other Drugs on Blogcritics.
Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is leading a mediocre life. He is a real hard worker but is always on a look out for shortcuts in life. He is a charming gentleman and believes in living it up. He works in an electronics store, but after awhile is fired. 
His best friend Bruce helps him find a job at a pharmaceutical company. His interpersonal skills helps him excel as a pharamceutical company representative. On a routine visit to a nearby clinic he meets Maggie (Hathaway) for the first time. After a few more accidental encounters, Jamie sees a chance for himself with Maggie. She is an alluring free-spirited girl who does not believe in relationships. On the other hand Jamie also is a carefree person whose ultimate goal always is to satisfy his sexual desires. They embrace each other like lock and key.
With the passage of time Jamie and Maggie who were leading a happy unconcerned life with each other, find themselves in a relationship. Things eventually go their way but then suddenly life takes a huge turn, and they find their love life in lots of trouble.
Love and other Drugs lies somewhere between comedy, romance and drama, but it is mainly a romance. In my view it is a good movie but the story is very patchy and lacks cohesiveness. It seems that somewhere in the middle of the movie, the writer lost the plot.
Hathaway and Cyllenhaal are the real attraction to this movie. There are some very explicit sex scenes with Anne Hathaway; she looks good, and looks prepared for her upcoming Cat-Woman role in Batman. Jake Gyllenhaal is cute as ever and his dorky, nerdy looks are amusing and great to watch. He has also acted reasonably well. 
Although the movie has one foot in the comedy genre and the other in the "soft-porn-of-the-year" genre, I still recommend Love and Other Drugs. It is will not only keep you hooked for two hours but will provide you ultimate entertainment. I rate it 3/5 and you should give it a try!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Movie Review: Good Will Hunting

Article first published as Movie Review: Good Will Hunting on Blogcritics.

Good Will Hunting rotates around the life of an extra-ordinary talented guy Will Hunting. He belongs to a working class neighbourhood in Boston. He is an introvert and his life revolves around low skilled jobs, hanging out with friends, fighting, and getting in trouble.

Will spends a lot of time at home, alone, interpreting books and storing information in his pictorial memory. His intelligence is brilliant and he can easily solve difficult mathematical problems that elude eminent math professors.
An orphan, Will grew up in a series of foster homes in which he was repeatedly beaten. As a result, Will has a classic attachment disorder. He cannot form trusting relationships with other adults. He cannot control his fury. He cannot integrate his intelligence into his relationships with others, in either communal or work environments. Will's only demonstrative attachments are to a group of three young men from his neighborhood who cannot by any means match his intellect.
Will works as a janitor at MIT (Massachussets Institutute of Technology) but people there are oblivious to the fact that he is a mathematical genius. One day, a mathematics professor at MIT, Gerald Lamdeau, posts a mathematical problem on the board outside the class and asks his students to solve that problem. He also tells them that it took him and his colleagues about two years to solve that question. The reward that he puts up for the solution is the recognition of the student in the MIT Tech Magazine. The next day the professor finds the question, solved on the board. In this way he discovers Will’s great talent.

Good Will Hunting shows that you don’t need universities or colleges to be a genius. If you are a genius, the world will find you and surely, will take you to the place you deserve. It is not your background but the skill and talent that matters in the end.

Good Will Hunting also traces the successful treatment of Will's attachment disorder providing an excellent basis for studying the origin and treatment of this psychological condition. Filled with wisdom and compassion, the movie shows the power of verbal therapy and gives an example of the life-varying insight that can be afforded by psychology. The film is also a catalyst for discussions about the role of dependence, independence and interdependence in human life and the importance of love and consistency in parenting.
The movie also shows the young male culture of brutality and reveals that the need to be tough, to never show vulnerability, susceptibility, weakness, hurt, or sadness leads to a dead end. The movie shows devotion and sincerity towards friends as being the essence of a happy life. It is also a reassuring message to victims who have been physically abused or harmed.

The cast is amazing, with Matt Damon and Robin Williams doing what they do best i.e sweeping audiences off their feet. The transformation of Will from being a traumatized young man to becoming a recognized genius and the role of a mentor in his fight against his demons are both expertly portrayed by these extremely gifted practitioners of acting. At times one can just say a single word and nothing else for their effort; Bravo!

I rate it 4/5 for the content and beautiful portrayal.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Movie Review: Chain Letter (2010)

Article first published as Movie Review: Chain Letter (2010) on Blogcritics.

The success of the Saw series, especially the resurrection of the franchise after Saw 3D, has caused many movie makers to follow in its footsteps. 2010 saw a very well made film called The Tortured and another social thriller called Chain Letter.

Chain Letter addresses the issue of man's over-dependence on technology in the most scariest of ways. It showcases how we have linked ourselves to IDs and numbers, making us traceable and vulnerable.
The film revolves around a group of IT students in am esteemed IT institute who receive a chain letter warning them that if they do not forward it the break of chain would result in the loss of a life. As they are killed one by one and in gruesome ways the viewer realizes how he himself is in reach of any random psychopath searching twitter or Facebook for his next victim! With the premise being close to reality and the events ahead being relevant to all of us the Chain Letter is a chilling experience to say the least.
Chain Letter is rushed in places and that is perhaps the only turn-off. Some of the killings are abrupt and the chain messaging is not tracked in appropriate detail. The historic references to cults and anti-tech groups are also muffled up and are not properly linked to the story. In the end, one really do not understand if it was a single serial killer or a systematic sect doing the killings. The cast comprising Nikki Reed and Keith David etc. has acted average and there is nothing too special to write home about in that regards.
All in all Chain Letter is a thought provoking effort but lacks the technical credentials of an utterly enjoyable movie. I rate it 3/5 mainly because of the content and not the treatment.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Movie Review: The Godfather Trilogy

I recently saw All Good Things and a scene therein reminded me of the all time blockbuster and the queen of all feature films, The Godfather Trilogy. I realized how after so many years since the first part's release, the film still remains a must see and one still marvels at the acting that was on display in every scene of the trilogy.

Since I saw The Godfather in one go i.e all three parts at once, I have always considered the trilogy as one big film and not as three different films. This way I have never ventured into the comparison of the three parts and that has made me admire the trilogy on the whole and as a masterpiece without worrying about any one of the parts being superior.

The Godfather Trilogy to me is Al Pacino's finest work and perhaps his role as Michael Carleone is the best character ever to have graced the screen. Al Pacino according to me has outdone Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro and has made the trilogy his own without anyone else even coming close to his greatness. To me the second-best performance in the film is Andy Garcia as Vincent Mancini.
The cartel, the power and the rise of Carleone's is a treat to watch but what underlines it all is the transformation of Al Pacino from a timid young man to a shrewed gangster and then to an aspirant white-collared businessman.
The Godfather Trilogy is the greatest film of all times and one must see it to believe the myth! I rate it 5/5 and that is because the I have no more to give.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Movie Review: Game (2010)

Article first published as Movie Review: Game (2010) on Blogcritics.

Bollywood's ambition of successfully making a murder thriller has very seldom matured into a watchable film. Unlike rom-coms like Band Baaja Baraat, thrillers don't fare too well with the audience. The main reason behind the incapability of Indian cinema as far as thrillers are concerned is the copied script/story that is often borrowed from a Hollywood flick. What happens is that film-makers borrow a story from Hollywood but do not have the budget or the technical expertise to carry the film forward. Another issue is the limited number of stars available to the film-makers and their reluctance in casting anyone who is not a popular star!

"Game" suffers with the later more than the former. As far as the script is concerned, the film has a very jumbled up story that is good in parts but unbelievably poor in others. It is very patchy with a feeling that many individual parts of the story were forcefully attached together to make a whole.
"Game" is a story about a man Kabir Malhotra (Anupam Kher) whose illegitimate daughter is killed in her early 20s. He collects evidence against the people who he blames for her death and calls them deceptively at his personal Island only to hand them over to international police. The people he invites are, OP Ramsay (Presidential Candidate of Thailand) (Boman Irani), Neil Menon (Drug Dealer) (Abhishek Bachchan), Tisha Khanna (The twin sister of his dead daughter) (Shahana Goswami) and Vikram Kapoor (A film actor) (Jimmy Shergil). After he has told them their contributions in the death of his daughter and that they will be handed to the police with the file that has evidence against them, Kabir Malhotra apparently commits suicide by shooting himself in the temple leaving all four of his guests as suspects for murder!

When Inspector Sia Agnihotri (Kangna Ranaut) comes to take the evidence and the four guests as requested by Kabir, she in turn finds Kabir dead and her intelligent investigation soon reveals that Kabir did not kill himself but was murdered.
"Game" is a search for Kabir Malhotra's murderer and what happens next is better seen than narrated, so I won't spoil it for you.
The cast has failed to impress, with Abhishek doing what he does best i.e playing a slick, stylish role and Jimmy Shergil doing what he does best i.e miserably failing to impress! The worst performance, however, was Kangna Ranaut's and that may be due to the inappropriate casting more than anything else. For a girl who is not comfortable speaking English, to be given a character that speaks more English than Hindi, is unfair and extremely senseless. All in all the acting was below par.

The film's overall impression is below average, with stale action sequences, poor dialogs (unlike Farhan Akthar) and mediocre acting (despite some heavy names). I give it a meager 2.5/5 and you can skip it if you have better things to do!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Flipped (2010) : Beautiful, Inspiring!

Movie: Flipped (2010)
Rating: 4.5/5

Very seldom does a film touch you so strongly that you are forced to write about it as soon as the screen time is over. Flipped is a film that remained on my shelf for a long time for the simple reason that many high profile films with great cast grabbed my attention ahead of it. I was however surprised and slightly embarrassed at my utter underestimation of the film.
Flipped is a story about Julie Baker and Bryce Loski, two kids in there early to mid teens living in the same neighborhood but not exactly best of friends. In fact they have a very one-sided relationship with Julie the admirer and Bryce the one utterly disinterested and irritated by her persistence towards making a relationship out of nothing. What doesn't help Julie's cause at all is Bryce's father's reaction and impression of Julie's family in general and her father in particular. This arrogance rubs off and Bryce, although unintentionally, breaks Julie's heart. The relationship between Julie and Bryce's Grandpa is the true peaking point of the film and with all this on show the story is an interesting one to follow. Talking more about it is going to be a major spoiler so I would implore you to see it yourself and enjoy.
Flipped is a comparison of naturalism with materialism and simplicity with shrewdness. It conveys strongly that simplicity is beautiful and goodness never goes unreturned. You are extremely satisfied emotionally after watching this one and that is the true essence of the film.
The cast has acted brilliantly with both Mandelline and Callan giving amazingly matured performances. One especially marvels at the solidity of the performances by the child duo. All in all a movie worth a watch for everyone looking to learn something from life.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Life As We Know It (2010) Review

Movie Title: Life As We Know It
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lucas
Rating: 4/5

Two single adults become caregivers to an orphaned girl when their mutual best friends die in an accident.

This movie shows us the reality of our lives in a funny way. Most of between or around us are afraid of taking responsibility and are always finding ways to avoid it. But the thing we always forget is that no matter what we do we cannot avoid the realities of live. This movie shows us the life of two people who are compelled to do something which was against their will and nature but after experiencing that particular responsibility they discover a new life a life of happiness and love. So from my perspective this is a great movie to watch which tells us that responsibility doesn’t always bring hardship in one`s life but it also helps him to explore some true happiness of life. That is why this movie has been given the title “Life As We Know It”.

I really enjoyed the movie, i was expecting more, but it wasn't bad after all. I'd say i found it funny & overwhelming, not a chance that I've wasted my time, definitely a very appropriate story and an ideal first-time parent concept.

The presence of the the social worker was perfect, It gave the story much warmer scenes, and funnier moments.