The Joker is Dead

Heath Ledger, the fellow who played The Joker in the latest Batman film has been found dead. Jesus that’s so sad, man. The inevitable facing-off-with-Batman jokes aside, it’s weird that people can die of an overdose of pills that were prescribed to them. I mean, is the normal dosage so close to the dangerous dose that it’s easy to kill yourself by taking too much? This explains that article I read a couple of days ago in some national medical journal about hundreds of thousands of people being admitted to hospital in the US because of incidents related to their being treated for something else in the first place. There was a reference to Israeli studies that showed that mortality rates dropped at a hospital during a doctor’s strike or something like that. Madness.

Ledger as The Joker

तारे जमीन पर

I saw Taare Zameen Par(तारे जमीन पर) today with the rest of my family. My mom’d booked the tickets and I didn’t want to go to be honest, but you know how it is — spend time with the family, that sort of thing. Man am I glad I went along because this has to be the best Hindi film I’ve seen. It was a film, not one of those entertainment shows that have all those silly song and dance routines involving people teleporting to fields of flowers and crap like that.

The Movie:

The acting was so natural, especially the little kid‘s, it was almost like watching little bits of life. Now that I think of it, every single thing about how the actors played their roles was natural and real, and you wouldn’t have noticed it all then. The soundtrack was beautiful, it fitted in perfectly with the atmosphere and kept the tension going through the intense bits and stuff like that. I’ve been told the cinematography in Indian films is really good, but this was some neat stuff and combined with the music it was super. It all came together really well.

Aamir Khan:

I’ve got to give it to the guy. I hated Mangal Pandey: The Rising, and I thought Rang De Basanti was contrived, but the job he’s done this time is wonderful. He chose a nice film to do and didn’t try hogging the limelight or anything letting Darsheel Safary do his thing. It’s also very cool that he chose to make a film on dyslexia and children who are a bit different, talking about how things we take for granted are hard for them. Frankly, I find these films far more interesting than the standard Indian stuff.

Continue reading

The Statement

The Statement - Title ScreenAnother movie about people who escaped trial for their actions on the sides of the Nazis, you say. Well…almost, but worth a watch anyway. This one is about Pierre Brossard, a French Nazi Collaborator charged with ordering the execution of 7 jews who escapes from a jail with the help of the people in charge then. The Church shelters and assists Brossard for the next few decades and then suddenly one day there’s a guy out to kill him. The movie follows Brossard as he calls on everyone he knows in the churches he trusts in the hope that they’ll shelter him. It isn’t long before the Church washes its hands off him and he’s left to fend for himself though. That doesn’t stop him from being very holy, and he prays and crosses himself all the time, and when he can find a priest he asks for absolution.

The guy has one hell of an instinct for people with guns, it’s uncanny the way he always seems to notice when there’s a hitman after him (which is all of the time). The investigators are a judge and a colonel, funny pair. The colonel is strangely calm for almost the whole play, it’s like he’s been injected with some calm drug and the judge is just the opposite. It’s a nice movie, worth a watch.

Kontroll – A surreal subterranean story

It’s weird, it really is. The whole movie is set underground, in the stations and tunnels of the Budapest subway, with the lead characters being the ticket collectors. It’s a story about ticket collectors, really. The people in the movie are kind of weird, they treat the ticket examiners like scum, and just push them away on their way out of the station. Sometimes they fight the ticket collectors and win, and sometimes they make fun of them and run away, and other times they just ignore the poor fellows. It looks like a sad life, what a job!

There’s drunks, suits, pimps, mischievous travellers – oh, and there’s also women in pinkish bear costumes who does acts of kindness. The main characters are Bulczú’s team, and each member of that team has some idiosyncrasy or the other. The funniest of the whole lot is the incredibly dense Tibi. The first half of the movie is mostly descriptive, but the real action starts after a while and then the movie starts to center around Bulczú and what he does underground (he lives there, never going up).

It’s hilarious and disturbing, this movie, and the ending is rather … confusing. But if you put your mind to it you can probably think up a plausible explanation. Very nice. Very neat.

Some screencaps:
1. Cut-throat competition? Check.
2. The inevitable crowd

Review: Inside Man

Very few movies are really interesting these days, and watching rehashed action/thriller flicks is not a nice way to spend a quiet night. Fortunately, Inside Man is clever enough to warrant categorising as entertainment.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Inside Man, screencap
The movie’s about a bank robber’s (Clive Owen as Dalton Russell) heist which doesn’t seem to go exactly as planned and leads to him having to take hostages. The robber leads the detective (Denzel Washington – Keith Frazier) around seemingly in circles, while keeping up his demands for a plane and a clean getaway. The robbing gang are dressed in the same clothes and masks that they force on each of the hostages, complicating the situation even more. At this point is where the real fun begins.

The movie is a nice tight thriller and it has lots of little touches and street philosophy which keep it going even when the camera’s not on the criminal inside the bank. There’s lots of humour, and that keeps the characters real. It’s full of “oh, so that’s how they’re going to do it” moments at various parts which quickly progresses to a “wow, that’s clever” routine.

The two main characters are nicely set up to confront each other and the movie is really not over until nearly at the end. Each of them is intelligent and has a certain sense of honour (which they both deny), good enough to make this a nearly equally pitched battle, into which you throw in the negotiation vs. force factions and the corruption in higher administration and you have a good solid show.

There’s not much blood, gore and explosions here for the action movie fan, but just wanting to know how things turn out kept me glued to it. A clever little movie with some gems of moments in there, but you don’t want to be watching this with your little brother unless you want to have to explain what x swearword is or what y part of the body is.

Anyway, a nice little quote that’s just plain hilarious:
(Frazier walks into a restaurant )
Guy who works there: Can I take your hat, sir?
Frazier: No, get your own.