Movies to look out for this week

Prince of Persia : The Sands of Time [IMDB]

Based on the video game, which follows an adventurous prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world.

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton
Direction: Mike Newell

Daybreakers [IMDB]

In the year 2019, a plague has transformed most every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Harriet Minto-Day
Direction: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig Read More!

Shrek Forever After

After a somewhat lacklustre Shrek 2 & 3, the makers finally figured out what worked for Shrek. It was the story of Part 1 – where the ogre grudgingly tolerates an idiotic non-stop-blabbering donkey and falls in love with Fiona without meaning to. They decide to give us the same story – with a slight twist. In an animated take on mid-life crisis, a now-married and father-of-three Shrek makes a deal with wicked Rumpelstiltskin to get a single day of his carefree bachelor days back – when ogres are still scary and people run pell-mell when they see one.

However the villain, as in countless fairy tales, tricks Shrek and he has only one day to break the spell. And so begins his journey where he comes across Donkey as well as Puss-in-boots – Donkey talkative as ever and Puss-in-boots slightly different – in a hilarious way

The jokes however, dont fly so thick and fast. There are some heavy senti scenes in it – but then Donkey or Puss come up with a howler and all is well in the world.

Shrek Forever After adds the attraction of 3D to the movie and I think it made the movie a little better. Maybe it was the 3D glasses at PVR which made the difference – they are bigger and sturdier – like they were powered by a battery of some kind. Whatever they were, they sure made the characters ‘pop’ out – and made the 3D impact appreciable. But on the downside, they were quite heavy – and I suspect, caused a slight headache by the end of the day.
(I am sure these glasses would have made How to Train Your Dragon more enjoyable)

So Shrek 4 is like a remix of the original Shrek – if you are a fan of the franchise, you will probably watch it. For others, I am not sure it’s a must watch. It’s a teeny bit more senti than your average animated movie, but Donkey and Puss’ jokes are funnier too. But then, there is nothing new in the movie – every character (except Rumpelstiltskin), you have seen before. So it also gets a middling rating.

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As star vehicles go, Kites is up there with the best – Papa Roshan’s gift to beta Hrithik is this smashing entry into Hollywood - a beautifully photographed love story that tries its best to pose as an epic romance. However, the catchword is ‘tries’ – because beautiful lead actors or superb cinematography cannot salvage a non-existent script. Rakesh Roshan even signed up X-Men 3 director Brett Rattner to make a shorter, sharper version for the international markets – with a running time of 90 minutes instead of the 130 minutes of the Indian version. However I doubt if Rattner’s editing skills can fix Kites’ fatal drawback – an excruciatingly slow and overtly simplistic screenplay.

Which is quite a pity because barring the listless story, Kites is almost unrecognizable as a Bollywood product. Shot extensively in the US (and with some Hollywood technicians, no doubt), Kites feels and looks like a classy Hollywood movie. Especially since there are very few hindi dialogues in the movie – its mainly English and Mexican. Hrithik looks fabulous as usual – and the dancing at the beginning of the movie is breathtaking - though some of his emotional scenes in the climax felt a little wanting. Overall, its a perfect vehicle for him to showcase his toned body, fighting skills & dancing.

But the surprise package of the movie is Barbara Mori. Not only does she look great in bikinis, but she has a glorious smile which brightens the screen. AND, she can act as well. Acting-wise, the movie has everything well covered – except for the guy who plays Tony – he seemed a bit over the top. Kangana Ranaut repeats her psychotic persona from Gangster etc – but she really has just a 2 min appearance.

There is a lot going on for Kites – gorgeous lead pair, decent acting, beautiful locations, fabulous production values, not-too-bad music – everything, except for a good script. What is essentially a two-line story has been stretched into a movie of more than 2 hours – the story moving at a languid pace and nothing seems to happen most of the time. And some scenes keep happening too many times – like the numerous chases and narrow escapes these two have.

The other slight failing of the movie is the lack of a chemistry between Hrithik and Barbara. While they both perform well individually, barring a bathroom scene between the two, they do not evoke the same feeling that other famous romantic movies do – they fail to make you care for their characters. That, combined with the insipid screenplay makes Kites a very middling offering.

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Movies to look out for this week

Kites [IMDB]

In the harsh terrain of the Mexican desert, a mortally wounded man is left for dead in the heat of the desert sun. He stumbles back into civilization, looking for his lost love

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori

Direction: Anurag Basu

Shrek Forever After [IMDB]

A bored and domesticated Shrek pacts with deal-maker Rumpelstiltskin to get back to feeling like a real ogre again, but when he's duped and sent to a twisted version of Far Far Away

Cast: Mike Myers (voice), Eddie Murphy (voice),

Direction: Mike Mitchell Read More!

Movies to look out for this week

Bumm Bumm Bole [IMDB]

Pinu (Darsheel) loses his sisters shoes so he decides to make up for it by winning her a new pair in the inter-school marathon where one of the prizes is a new pair of shoes.

Cast: Darsheel Safary, Ziyah Vastani

Direction: Priyadarshan

Remake of a famous Iranian movie "Children of Heaven" by Majid Majidi

The Back-up Plan [IMDB]

A romantic comedy centered on a woman who conceives twins through artificial insemination, only to meet the man of her dreams on the very same day

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O'Loughlin

Direction: Alan Poul

Admissions Open [IMDB]

A few misfits, unable to fit in our current rigorious academic climate, start a movement to revolutionize the education system

Cast: Anupam Kher, Ashish Vidyarthi, Ankur Khanna

Direction: K.D. Satyam

Remember Me [IMDB]

A romantic drama centered on two new lovers: Tyler, whose parents have split in the wake of his brother's suicide, and Ally, who lives each day to the fullest since witnessing her mother's murder

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin
Direction: Allen Coulter

Do Dilon Ke Khel Mein [IMDB]

Two childhood friends want to turn their yaari into rishtedaari by getting their children married to each other. But children have other plans and get their parents fighting with each other. Any guesses what happens next ?

Cast: Rajesh Khanna, Annu Kapoor, Nausheen Ali Sardar
Direction: Akash Pandey

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Badmaash Company

I rather liked Badmaash Company – it’s a good timepass movie - and it sure makes Anushka Sharma look good. True, it has been panned by most of the regular reviewers. But I didn’t find anything really amiss in the movie – except for the lack of a surprising twist/turn. The entire story seems like a smooth, whipped-up-in-a-mixer version of several movies in the past. The movie is polished to look at, but all the elements of the story you have seen somewhere else before. But you continue to watch it because the performance of its four lead characters has a distinct appeal due to their rawness. Vir Das and Meiyang Chang, in their first movie appearances, do ok while Shahid Kapoor looks 10 years younger.
(PS – Actually Vir Das has done a blink-and-miss appearances in couple of movies before. But this is first full length role)

The plot is your typical four friends who take up crime as a way of life to get rich. These guys don’t join the underworld, but smuggle things into the country using their brains and audacity (the movie is set in the 1990s when import duties on everything was atleast 100%). Then with success, come some predictable twists and turns – before it ends on a big happy note.

Debutant director Parmeet Sethi has played things safe by going with known formulas. There is Anushka to spice things up on the screen with her bikini act, but there is not much else to surprise. The songs of the movie are definitely below-par – something not normally seen on Yash Raj movies. And there is just one serious laugh-out-loud moment in the beginning of the movie. To be fair, this wasn’t supposed to be a laugh riot – it was made like a teenybopper con movie about 4 friends, and that’s what it is.

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Iron Man 2

There have been – if I am not mistaken – 10 superhero movie series in the 21st century so far. Some of them are reinterpretations of last century works, while some (like Spiderman and the Hulk) are completely new franchises. Lets see how that has gone so far
Superman (Returns) – boring
Batman – awesome
Spiderman – pansy
Hulk – errr .. the green guy (no, not Shrek)
Daredevil – huh ?
Hellboy – who again ?

Then there are the team based superhero movies –
X-Men - really cool and kickass
Fantastic Four – lame x 4
Watchmen – *still scratching my head on that one*

And the final one is of course – Iron Man. Now before I give a one-word answer, I have to put a disclaimer - the first Iron Man movie was really not that good – it wasnt any better than, say, the Hulk or Daredevil. But Iron Man 2 – the one word for it is ‘fun’. Batman is all dark and brooding – and has got the awesomeness of Christopher Nolan behind him. X-men works mainly coz of the kick-ass Wolverine. Iron Man is all about the narcissistic and satirical Tony Stark.

Robert Downey Jr plays Tony Stark/Iron Man – the only superhero who doesn’t hide behind an alter-ego identity. He, infact, is basking in the adulation that he is getting. Being a multi billionaire – he throws lavish parties, goes around with ravishing girls and takes part in sportscar races. Ofcourse, when needed, he dons his red and gold armor to fight the baddies. And he also finds time to mercilessly mock US senators & defence contractors trying to get their hands on the Iron Man suit.

Reminiscent of the uber-delightful banter between Holmes and Watson in this year’s brilliant Sherlock Holmes – Robert Downey Jr takes on a eccentric, playful and whimsical character which easily makes Iron Man 2 the most fun superhero movie so far. The other USP of the movie is the smoldering Scarlet Johansson. You’d expect a fully clothed Scarlet Johansson is no fun at all – but believe me, a Scarlet Johansson in a catsuit kicking baddies’ asses is just as turning on :) !!

True, none of the other characters apart from Tony Stark get enough screen time – Gwyneth Paltrow is a teeny-weeny bit irritating - and Samuel Jackson comes and plays a random Morpheus like character which is totally inscrutable (till you come back home and google to find out that he comes in part 1 too, after the end credits, to deliver a single-line dialogue). But still, Iron Man 2 is a great entertainer and a good superhero movie. Perfect watch for the weekend

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Movies to look out for this week

Iron Man 2 [IMDB]

Billionaire Tony Stark must contend with deadly issues involving the government, his own friends, as well as new enemies due to his superhero alter ego Iron Man

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow
Direction: Jon Favreau

Badmaash Company [IMDB]

Four young friends get together in 90's middle class Mumbai to start a company, which turns out to be an instant hit due to their unorthodox methods

Cast: Parmeet Sethi, Anushka Sharma, Vir Das

Direction: Parmeet Sethi

It's a Wonderful Afterlife [IMDB]

A comedy centered on an Indian mother who takes her obsession with marriage into the world of serial murder

Cast: Sendhil Ramamurthy, Shabana Azmi, Goldy Notay

Direction: Gurinder Chadha

The Last Song [IMDB]

A drama centered on a rebellious girl who is sent to a Southern beach town for the summer to stay with her father. Through their mutual love of music, the estranged duo learn to reconnect

Cast: Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear
Direction: Julie Anne Robinson

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