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The Escapist [2008]

The Escapist Poster
IMDB

We have all seen many top notch prison escape dramas as well as some where you break in. You would think by now that this genre would have been exhausted by now but ‘The Escapist’ tells us otherwise.

Frank Perry is an institutionalized convict twelve years into a life sentence without parole. When his estranged daughter falls ill, he is determined to make peace with her before it’s too late. He develops an ingenious escape plan, and recruits a dysfunctional band of escapists — misfits with a mutual dislike for one other but united by their desire to escape their hell hole of an existence.

This may not be the most interesting movie on your ‘must watch’ list but i ask you to give it a chance. For most part this is just a mediocre movie and i frankly got bored between the escape plot and the flashbacks but the twist at the end was what woke me up! I would never have expected that!

Rating 8.5/10

Quote:
Rizza:
You know the one thing you’ve got going for you, Frank? You’re too old to die young.

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Son of Rambow [2007]

Son of Rambow Poster
IMDB

Another movie about Childhood, Friendship and the English summer. Two schoolboys set out to make out a movie inspired by Rambo:First Blood as a entry to the BBC’s Young Filmmaker’s contest. Set in the 1980’s, they surely dont have the budget but armed with a videocamera and the british locale and armed with imagination, they film a movie. There is more than meets the eye in this movie. There are plenty of Insights you only need to think a bit more.

Am sure that most of us would have wanted to make a movie like our favourite ones or atleast starred in one. maybe you should have a look at this movie because these boys did follow through with their dream. Childhood is when everything seemed possible.

Rating: 8.5/10

Quote:

Will: O.K.!
[Will swings from a rope and drops into the water]
Lee Carter: [filming him] Yeah! Keep swimming to the other side!
Will: [floundering in the water] I can’t swim!
Lee Carter: …What d’you mean you can’t swim?
Lee Carter: [watches Will sink beneath the water] … Oh, shit!
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Hamlet 2 [2008]

Hamlet 2 Poster
IMDB

There’s still hope. There are still people out there who are capable of wiritng Zany scripts. Hamlet 2 is such an example. Its a comedy where a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama teacher who is losing his job tries to ‘inspire’ his class at West Mesa High School. His life’s a joke. The movie is a look into his absurdness as he writes a play, Hamlet 2; a sequel to Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. The Play, Hamlet 2, being controversial brings more madness to his life.

Why you should watch it? This is a movie you watch while relaxing. It has sense of absurdity that will make you laugh. The play itself with its controversial themes and songs like ‘Raped in the Face’ and ‘Rock me Sexy Jesus’ makes you wanna shift uncomfortably in your seat.

When this movie starts you wont see credits or a title song. What you do see are adverts and a clip from Xena Warrior Princess. Steve Coogan’s lead role as a bad actor is nicely done. You know how tough it is for an actor to potray a bad actor? My other favourite character in this is Amy Poehler’s Cricket Feldstein.

Rating 8.5/10

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Harishchandrachi Factory [2009]

Harischandrachi Factory Poster

IMDB

This movie is easily one of the most under rated movies of the past year. being a Marathi movie this was never released into the mainstream. I was curious about this movie. Further more my knowledge of Marathi is limited. The fact i understand it is because its very similar to my Mother tongue, Konkani. So there is was without any chance of being able to watch it until fate decided to intervene it for me with English Subtitles.

On my plane ride back from Singapore to New Delhi , I got to watch this masterpiece based on the life of Dadasaheb Phalke, the Godfather of Cinema in India. Mainstream movies in India are largely made to cater to the multiplex going money splurging crowd, thus they end up being big budget, idiotic and a collosal waste of time. Harishchandrachi Factory was one of those rare good movies that emerge in India. For one thing, it was genuinely funny! Name any other movie let alone a biopic thats funny. Rare right? Yes i did watch it with English subtitles and it didnt reduce the fun for me. The characters were casted well, the sets decent enough to remind us of the 19th century.

It basically tells you the story of one man who against all odds decided to start making movies after he watched a screening. Painstakingly he invested time and money into this hobby to make it a reality. His friends and relatives thought he had gone insane and pitied his wife but she stood by him in his endeavours.

The Movie follows the life of Dadasaheb on his journey to create the first Indian Movie(B&W and full feature length), Raja Harishchandra. It also gives you an insight of the person he was, the time in which he lived, the mentality of the society. I totally enjoyed it! Brilliant acting!

If there is one Indian Movie that i would recommend to you it would be this one! Although getting your hands on this could be difficult.

Rating 9.5/10

Trivia: India’s official submission for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar consideration for the 82nd Oscars.

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Despicable Me [2010]

Despicable Me Poster

IMDB

This was my first 3D movie. 2009 saw the advent of the 3D genre and ever since then Hollywood has regularly churned out movies every month in 2010. Despicable me is an Animated film about a “has been” villain Gru and his ultimate plan to regain his former glory i.e., to steal the moon. You are also introduced to his minions, those cute yellow beings who remind you of Oompha Loompha’s.

Minions

Steve Carrell’s voice over for Gru is perfect and typical. The Script has enough of good gags and jokes to keep you laughing.
All in all it is a fun movie..not necesarrily a good 3D movie but its got what all good 3D movies need, A Heart. Love does make the world go round!

Quote:

Dr. Nefario: Here’s the new weapon you ordered.
[Shoots minion with the fart gun]
Gru: No, no, no. I said DART gun.
Dr. Nefario: Oh yes. Cause I was wondering… under what circumstances would we use this?
Gru: Ok…

P.S. I watched this at Inox Cinemas at Mantri Mall, Bangalore. I loved the Movie Experience on those couch chairs! Worth the Rs. 200 ticket.

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American History X [1998]

American History X Poster
IMDB

Its one of those movies that makes you think, its one of those movies where you hope everyhting ends alright, its one of those movies that not easily forgotten. It shows you a peek into Modern Racist America. Edward Norton essays the role of a skinhead, Derek Vinyard, who gets sent to prison for murdering  in cold blood couple of thieves who were stealing his car. In prison Derek is confronted by reality and changes his world view. While on the outside his brother follows the same path he took. Out on Parole, Derek should convince Danny [ Edward Furlong ] that the path aint the right one.

We come to know the “why” behind why people still people believe in race and religious supremacy. It shows you a face of reality that you wont get to see in most movies.

Rating: 9.5/10

@piesauce recommended me to watch Crash for another look at Racist America.

Quote:

Danny Vinyard: So I guess this is where I tell you what I learned – my conclusion, right? Well, my conclusion is: Hate is baggage. Life’s too short to be pissed off all the time. It’s just not worth it. Derek says it’s always good to end a paper with a quote. He says someone else has already said it best. So if you can’t top it, steal from them and go out strong. So I picked a guy I thought you’d like. ‘We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.’

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Movie Releases: September 2010

Among the many movie releasing in a month i ll be gauging the appeal of the upcoming wide releases and also rate the ones that i would like to watch. Will try to keep this a monthly article!

So here’s September 2010:

1. The American [Sept 1] starring George Clooney. The American Poster

Academy Award winner George Clooney stars in the title role of this suspense thriller, filmed on location in Italy. Alone among assassins, Jack (Clooney) is a master craftsman. When a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, he vows to his contact Larry (Bruce Altman) that his next assignment will be his last. Jack reports to the Italian countryside, where he holes up in a small town and relishes being away from death for a spell. The assignment, as specified by a Belgian woman, Mathilde (Thekla Reuten of “In Bruges”), is in the offing as a weapon is constructed. Surprising himself, Jack seeks out the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto (Italian stage and screen veteran Paolo Bonacelli) and pursues romance with local woman Clara (Italian leading lady Violante Placido). But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate.

2. Going the Distance [Sept 3] starring Justin Long and Drew Barrymore.Going The Distance

Erin and Garrett are good together–even when they’re apart. When aspiring journalist Erin (Drew Barrymore) moves to San Francisco to finish her last   year of school, boyfriend Garrett (Justin Long), an assistant music scout, stays in Manhattan to pursue his ambitions and wait on that promotion he’s been promised. With a webcam connection and frequent flier miles, the two gamely navigate the pitfalls and miscommunications of their bi-coastal romance, dodging bad advice from friends and some predatory singles who won’t take “taken” for an answer. But when it seems their wait is almost over, Erin scores her dream job in California just as Garrett’s career heats up in New York. The big breaks they’ve been hoping for could break them up for good…unless their love can truly go the distance.

3. Machete [Sept 3] Starring Danny Trejo. Machete Poster

He looked like just another day laborer from the streets, and the perfect fall guy for a crooked political assassination. But he turned out to be Machete (Danny Trejo), a legendary ex-federale with a deadly attitude and the skills to match. A spin off of Robert’s Grindhouse’.

4. Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D [Sept 10] starring Milla Jovovich. Sequel Resident Evil 4 Poster

The Latest Installment in the Game turned Movie franchise. In a world ravaged by a virus infection, turning its victims into the Undead, ALICE (Milla Jovovich), continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend. A new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead leads them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive the city is overrun by thousands of Undead and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap.

5. Easy A [Sept 17] Easy A Poster

After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne’s in “The Scarlet Letter,” which she is currently studying in school – until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.

6. The Town [Sept 17] starring and directed by Ben Affleck. The Town Poster

Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) is an unrepentant criminal, the de facto leader of a group of ruthless bank robbers who pride themselves in stealing what they want and getting out clean. With no real attachments, Doug never has to fear losing anyone close to him. But that all changed on the gang’s latest job, when they briefly took a hostage–bank manager, Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). Though they let her go unharmed, Claire is nervously aware that the robbers know her name…and where she lives. But she lets her guard down when she meets an unassuming and rather charming man named Doug…not realizing that he is the same man who only days earlier had terrorized her. The instant attraction between them gradually turns into a passionate romance that threatens to take them both down a dangerous, and potentially deadly, path.

7. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole [Sept 24] Animated 3D Legends of the Guardians Poster

Acclaimed filmmaker Zack Snyder makes his animation debut with the fantasy family adventure “Guardians of Ga’Hoole,” based on the beloved books by Kathryn Lasky. The film follows Soren, a young owl enthralled by his father’s epic stories of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, a mythic band of winged warriors who had fought a great battle to save all of owlkind from the evil Pure Ones. While Soren dreams of someday joining his heroes, his older brother, Kludd, scoffs at the notion, and yearns to hunt, fly and steal his father’s favor from his younger sibling. But Kludd’s jealousy has terrible consequences–causing both owlets to fall from their treetop home and right into the talons of the Pure Ones. Now it is up to Soren to make a daring escape with the help of other brave young owls. Together they soar across the sea and through the mist to find the Great Tree, home of the legendary Guardians of Ga’Hoole–Soren’s only hope of defeating the Pure Ones and saving the owl kingdoms.

8. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps [Sept 24] starring Michael Douglas and Shia LeBeouf Sequel
Wall Street 2 Poster

Following a long prison term, master manipulator Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) keeps his true motives hidden when he forges an alliance with his daughter’s fiance (Shia LaBeouf). Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf star in Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street 2.” Douglas is back in his Oscar®-winning role as Gordon Gekko, whose iconic “Greed is good” mantra and daring corporate raids made him a rock star of financial titans. Emerging from a lengthy prison stint, Gekko finds himself on the outside of a world he once dominated. He now has to play catch-up and redefine himself in a different era. He has to become relevant again. But a young, idealistic investment banker (LaBeouf) learns the hard way that Gekko is still a master manipulator – and if there’s one place where you can redefine yourself, one place where your relevance is a deal away, it’s Wall Street.

9. You Again [Sept 24] You Again Poster

No matter how old you are, you never get over high school. Successful PR pro Marni (Kristen Bell) heads home for her older brother’s (Jimmy Wolk) wedding and discovers that he’s marrying her high school arch nemesis (Odette Yustman), who’s conveniently forgotten all the rotten things she did so many years ago. Then the bride’s jet-setting aunt (Sigourney Weaver) bursts in and Marni’s not-sojet-setting mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) comes face to face with her own high school rival. The claws come out and old wounds are opened in this crazy comedy about what happens when you’re reunited with the one person you’d like to forget.

So there we are, 9 big movies releasing this September but we should always remember that the good movies need no always come from big producers.

My Take: The American is something i would be ideally looking forward to being a Clooney fan and i feel this movie will find success similar to Up in the Air. Next Up is ben Affleck’s The Town, A robbery romance is definitely an interesting genre. As for the Sequels, I want to watch Wall Street before the Sequel and i believe it will be the Hit Movie this month, The Resident Evil Sequel from the looks of the trailers will be a good addition to the 3D genre. Machete promises good Insane Fun, meant for fans of Robert Rodriguez movies. The others dont interest me much with only Easy A being something i hope to watch.

So which movie are you waiting for and please let me know if any small movie missing from this list deserves a mention.