Before Sunrise

Tinsel town has seen many a great writer and director. But few can match the simple brilliance of Richard Linklater.

Linklater has proven time and again that no tale of man flying in a suit can beat the brilliance of life itself. Realistic and simply riveting one of the best films to offer and it sure does set the tone for the films to come. Exceptionally written and executed by the genius behind the camera Before Sunrise is a tale of “love” whose brilliance simple cannot be matched. A chance encounter between two people, the two of them spending time together ultimately falling in love. It’s scenario seen in Hollywood a “gazillion” times. But it has never happened in a nicer, sweeter and a gentler way than in Before Sunrise. There is no hidden agenda here. There will be no betrayals, melodrama, phony violence, or fancy choreography in sex scenes. It’s mostly conversation, as they wander the city of Vienna from mid-afternoon until the following dawn. Nobody hassles them. Before Sunrise is so much like real life – like a documentary with an invisible camera – which will get you remembering real conversations you’ve experienced with more or less the same words. The movie relies heavily on improvisation and the actors do a tremendous job at that. Ethan Hawke gives one of the most memorable performances of his career. You can easily relate with his character. But the real gem here is Julie Delpy. Her performance is honest and she’s an absolute delight to watch. Richard Linklater as always does his job perfectly. The cinematography by Lee Daniels is mesmerising. The camera captures Vienna perfectly making it seem like the third character of the film and all of it is edited beautifully by Sandra Adair.

I could go on and on, about how serenely beautiful the movie is, but to conclude, I’ll say. There’s not much on can say about before sunrise other than it’s a must watch for movies like this only come around once in a lifetime. One of the best romance movies made.

The Name’s Bond… James Bond.

The official trailer for the James Bond movie, Spectre, has been out for a long time. For those of you who haven’t seen it already, here it is!

Spectre: Trailer

This film truly has the potential to be one of the best blockbusters of the year. Why? you ask. Two words, Christoph Waltz. Although not much is revealed about him, but the voice, but after two superb villainous, sadistic roles in Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and Inglourious Basterds, he has truly proved his mettle as one of the best actors in a negative role!

Also, direction by Sam Mendes who gave the brilliant, Skyfall. An all star cast comprising of Daniel Craig, Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Andrew Scott is truly promising. But then this trailer is old already, so let’s delve a bit into history, shall we?

With its iconic score and explosive dialogues, there is absolutely no doubt that Ian Fleming’s super spy is one of the most iconic and memorable characters in movie history and without 007, its difficult to imagine where the spy movie genre would be!

So after some intense watching, Moviemphetamine proudly presents, “Our Top 10 Favorite Bond Movies, of All Time!”

The Spy Who Loved Me

Undoubtedly Roger Moore’s best portrayal of 007, The Spy Who Loved Me is nothing but amazing. Richard Kiel’s phenomenal performance as Jaws and the movie’s brisk pace and sensible writing ensure the film does not insult the viewer’s intelligence as in the case of the previous movies in the Moore era. And that musical score…

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GoldenEye

Before it all went downhill, Pierce Brosnan found his way into “hearts” with GoldenEye. A suave Brosnan along with Sean Bean’s menacing portrayal ensured this wouldn’t be a disappointment. Breathtaking stunts and well choreographed action. It’s a golden treat for your eyes.

2

The Living Daylights

Timothy Dalton may not be the most well known Bond but he is one of the best. The Living Daylights brings to life a darker, grittier Bond (closer to Ian Fleming’s depiction), far better than the cheesy Moore era. The movie itself is an intelligently mounted thriller, moving confidently ahead with intensity. 3

Dr. No

James Bonds first outing on the silver screen is also one of his best. A class act by Sean Connery, the perfect mad man and one of the most iconic bond girls, Dr No is nothing, if not a gem.

Thunderball

The underwater fight scene. We need not say more…

4

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

 A damaged Bond, the meticulously crafted story, the chase in the Swiss Alps and one of the most memorable endings, the film in undoubtedly one of the franchise’s greatest achievements.

From Russia With Love

 Carefully structured with a tense screenplay along with Connery’s cold and calculated performance From Russia With Love is one of the best of all of the spy’s outings. Throw in some beautifully composed action and the result is a winner.

5

Skyfall

“Let the Skyfallllll… When it crumblesss” Admit it, you here the name of the movie and begin singing the song in your head.

Directed by Sam Mendes, Daniel Craig’s third Bond outing is nothing short of a masterpiece. An aged Bond played brilliantly by Craig along with a sensitive and memorable performance by Judi Dench with perhaps the greatest Bond villain of our time, played so masterfully, by Javier Bardem. All of this plus the haunting score (and song we were just singing) and the breathtaking cinematography take the franchise to a new high.

6

Goldfinger

“Do you expect me to talk?” “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.” Enough said?

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*The Iconic Bond Score*

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time for Numero Uno!

Casino Royale

The greatness of the original cannot be matched. Adapted from the very first Bond novel, Casino Royale proves just that. A gritty and raw performance by Daniel Craig along with the sharp storytelling makes this one a winner. Tense and stunning, everything from the locales to Mads Mikkelsen’s stunning performance, every minute is nothing short of phenomenal. The film also features the best Bond girl ever. It is Eva Green’s magnificent performance as Vesper Lynd that helps the film achieve its true greatness.

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Movies That You Haven’t Seen (Maybe), But Should!

Now being from India, this list is going to have quite a few Bollywood Flicks that not many notice, but truly deserve to be seen. Also I plan on including a few other foreign language films (non-English) because those are the ones that aren’t noticed as much as they deserve to. So time to get down to the list!

  • Amores Perros:
    Directed by the man everyone’s talking about, (or at least everyonewas talking about) Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. His first feature film. A brilliant film, in Spanish, by the Mexican director. I’d initially thought it’d be more popular, but after many a discussions, this movie makes the cut!

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  • Ugly:
    Now this Bollywood film, by auteur Anurag Kashyap is one not many Indians know about either (even1 though it was screened at Cannes). What sets this film apart, is the brilliant story and the cinematography. It was surely among the best films of the year, in 2014, across all languages and genres!
    (Note: It packs more shock than many a horror film!)

  • The Song of Sparrows:
    1This film, is simply real. It makes you feel, think, why it was you fell in love with cinema in the first place? A gem from Iran, this beauty has been written and directed by one of the finest directors ever, Majid Majidi. Watch it, when you’re feeling happy, or sad, or simply disappointed.
    (Note: This was the first film I’ve seen twice in about a year! That’s how much I loved it!)

  • Magnolia:
    This film has an all star cast, consisting of Oscar Winners, Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and the person who truly deserved to win an Oscar for his brilliant performance in this particular film, Tom Cruise. So it’s a surprise not many don’t know about it! I too was surprised when a friend told me about it and wondered, how could such a gem stay hidden for so long! It truly is as beautiful, as the flower it shares its name with…..

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  • Eyes Wide Shut:
    From the film-making genius, Stanley Kubrick. Many know about his great films, such as 2001: A Space Odyssey or Full Metal Jacket or even on of the finest comedy-satire films of all time, Dr Stangelove! But it’s a shame this film, which is also his last and released very close to his death, isn’t as noticed as it should be. It also features the now split couple, of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in the lead role. Although it’s a bit “weird and creepy“, I find it to be… a masterpiece!

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  • The Apu Trilogy:
    This isn’t a single film, but a trilogy. Created by the one of the greatest film makers, across the ages, Satyajit Ray, this film is truly a bench mark of cinema, and deserves to be experienced. Produced on a truly shoestring budget (about US$ 30,000 in 2014) this Bengali masterpiece deserves to be experienced!
    (Note: Wes Anderson too has created a film as a tribute to the legend, Satyajit Ray, in a film I’ll be mentioning later)

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  • True Romance:
    I’m not sure if this film isn’t really noticed much, but I include it simply because I was surprised it existed (sounds cheezy, but it’s true). Now, I’ll simply give the particulars of the film and then I doubt I’ll need to tell much about why you should see it. Starring Brad Pitt, Patricia Arquette, Christian Slater. Written by QUENTIN TARANTINO! Music by Hans Zimmer.
    (Note: ‘Nuff Said!)

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  • Chungking Express:
    One of the finest to ever grace film! Chungking Express is a beauty of a film. Created, by Wong Kar-wai, (Quentin Tarantino called him the best to come outta China, it’s supposed to mean something ain’t it?) It’s a shame this director and this film, considered by many including me to be his finest, isn’t too well known!

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  • The Darjeeling Unlimited:
    This film, is the tribute to Satyajit Ray, that I was talking about. Created by Wes Anderson, a brilliant story, some brilliant acting and a bit of the classic Anderson “madness“!

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  • Following:
    I can already hear the Nolan fans beginning to boo this list. BUT! Many of the average movie audiences would have missed out on this brilliant film, by a genius! Shot in black and white, the first film by Nolan is considered by many, to be his best
    (Note: I think he’s a bit over-rated, with his only good films being, Following, Memento and Inception, but then these 3 are enough to put him on the pedestal of greatness!)

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The Song of Sparrows

The Song of Sparrows, a beautifully crafted film. It is an Iranian film, the original title being Âvâz-e gonjeshk-hâ. The true beauty of this film, lies in its simplicity. Which makes me think, what is the point of films? To tell us of tales of planets far, far away. People possessing abilities or object, that we possibly cannot posses. Why did we first fall in love with film when our parents showed us one? Was it so that we could say, “Hoo Haa! I’m Gonna Break That Glass Door”, or was it because we said, “He’s just like me!”? (Now I know there are many who’d hate me for saying what I just said, but that’s my view, of course I’d love to hear other views in the comments too 🙂 .)

This film was my first foray, into Iranian Cinema, on the recommendations of a friend, and after seeing this film, I believe I’m in for the long run.

Majid Majidi, is a great artist. He has truly put in his heart and soul into making this wonderful film. Brilliantly written, artistically directed, The Song of Sparrows, is a gem of a film. Something that sets this film apart, and also something that I’ll be looking for in the other films by Majidi that I see in the future, is that beautifully captured shots, the serene cinematography.

Moving on, to another building block in this beautiful monument, the acting. The film had an able supporting actor, in the form of Hamid Aghazi. The expressions on his face, the brilliantly delivered dialogues, who knows he might just emulate his on screen father as an actor, in the years to come. Reza Naji, the lead actor of the film, delivers an absolutely stunning performance. Everything, from the way he runs, the way he drives, is all in sync with the character and the film. I simply cannot wait, to see this artiste in another film, delivering another  great performance.

In conclusion, The Song of Sparrows, is a brilliant told tale (coming back to a point I’d made earlier) simply, of what makes us human.

Image Credits: IMDb

PS. I might have made mistakes in the names, please notify me about any through the comments 🙂

Will The Legacy Of Steve Jobs Be Done Justice?

The teaser trailer for “Steve Jobs” directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender in the titular role, is out. For those of you who haven’t already checked it out, here it is

Steve Jobs- Teaser Trailer

Now, I’ll be honest, but I do not understand why the earlier biopic, based on this great icon, was panned so much. I guess people don’t like Ashton Kutcher as much, considering I haven’t seen him much I will refrain from commenting on that, but that’s the only reason I see to hate it. Otherwise, it was a well made film.

Now this one, titled, “Steve Jobs” is surely going to be bigger and better. Acclaimed Academy Award Winning Director, Danny Boyle, with a cast consisting of Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels, we can expect this to be a block buster.

The teaser trailer surely lives up to these expectations, though not much except of Jobs’ look is given away. Although Fassbender doesn’t resemble Jobs much I doubt that actually matters, at least for me. I mean, look at Frank Abagnale Jr. or Jordan Belfort, they don’t exactly resemble Leonardo di Caprio, but the films “Catch Me If You Can” and “The Wolf of The Wall Street” turned out to be brilliant.

Another interesting point, to be noted, is that the screenplay, is by Aaron Sorkin who is a genius in this arena. He has previously given the screenplay for great films, such as Moneyball, A Few Good Men, and something in the teach-biopic arena too, with David Fincher’s The Social Network. This film shall be based on Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late genius and having read the book, it further cements my faith in this film. The book offers a great insight, into the life of Steve Jobs, and moved my mind, from revering him as a tech guru, to admiring his genius as a businessman.

All in all, I simply cannot wait for this film to release, and the teaser trailer just makes me drool.

The Permanent Job

One of my friends, Syed Shadan, is a short film maker. This particular one that he’s made, is something I found interesting and worth a share so… here’s a link

The Permanent Job

Now this film, is a take on the Hunger Games, Indian style. Instead of security, here the winner will get a permanent job. Before going any further, I’d recommend you see the film, if you haven’t already or otherwise be warned, spoilers are coming! So what I really liked, about this film, was that it took something that really stood out,  in the Hunger Games, that is, the shaky cam effect, and true to the film used it so much that your head begins to spin. But well, I wouldn’t count that against Shadan, he’s supposed to be making a film that’s a take on the Hunger Games after all. Also the two actors in the film, aren’t superb, but perform the “action sequences” well.

Pretty much the only noticeable thing, that I found wrong with the film, was that if the person had the phone, from which he could make a call, what was the whole point in running after the earphones…

Now, the director here says that he plans to make a second installment, and perhaps may even develop it into a series of 7-10 episodes, but there are some constraints, that prevent him from doing so. Well, whatever his decision, I would surely like a second installment at least in the series, which will for starters do something about the plot hole and then develop into something interesting.

Conedy

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, it’s easily among the best con movies I’ve ever seen and easily features among the best in comedy too!

Featuring an all-star cast, of Michael Caine, Steve Martin and Glenne Headly this movie lives up to the expectations I had with it. Being completely honest, I found absolutely nothing wrong, with this movie, though actually it is pretty hard for anything to go wrong with a film of this kind.

Well, with the crazy twist in the end and of course Michael Caine (seriously, he in there every time), I can forgive you for mistaking this to be a Christopher Nolan movie. But no, he wasn’t even making films at that time.

Frank Oz is the director of this laughter-fest. Although I haven’t seen or even heard much about his other works, except him voicing Master Yoda, from Star Wars, I’ll surely put know more about his works on my “to-do list” (if and when I make one 😛 ).

The brilliantly thought screenplay, of this film, is by Dale Launer, Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning (and no I haven’t heard of any of them earlier either) and is adapted from the Marlon Brando film, Bedtime Story.

The story is pretty straight, about two con-men with completely different ideologies. While one believes in conning anyone and everyone possible, in order to get a free meal, the other is a more “polished” thief, who cons only rich people to fund his lavish lifestyle. These to go head to head and place a bet, when a rich heiress comes into town.

The roles are wonderfully portrayed, by Michael Caine, it’s like it’s almost impossible for him to do a bad job. Steve Martin does a superb job, inviting fits of laughter at almost every action of his. Glenne Headley plays her role very convincingly.

All in all, it’s a brilliantly made film, that not many know about, but all should watch!