The Usual Suspects

Photo source: http://imdb.com

Photo source: http://imdb.com

Genre: Thriller| Year: 1995 | Duration: 106 mins | Director: Bryan Singer | Medium: DVD (Sony Home Video) | Trailer: HERE | My rating: 4.5*/5*

Favorite Dialogue: Verbal: Keaton always said, “I don’t believe in God, but I’m afraid of him.” Well, I believe in God…and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Söze.”

A group of five unlucky small time criminals, Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), a corrupt former police officer; Michael McManus (Stephen Baldwin), a short-tempered professional thief; Fred Fenster (Benicio del Toro); Todd Hockney (Kevin Pollak), a hijacker; and Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), a con artist with cerebral palsy, are brought to a police station for interrogation in regards to a mass murder on a ship by a semi-mythical Hungarian crime kingpin feared as ‘the devil himself’ and known by others as ‘Keyser Soze’. With the promise of $91 million and the opportunity to keep their lives, the enigmatic Keyser sends this group on a fool’s errand in San Pedro harbor to stop a competitor’s huge cocaine sale that would interfere with Keyser’s own drug operation, using Kobayashi. In the end, the director brilliantly reveals the identity of Keyser Soze.

This visually stunning thriller full of black comedy with intricate twists is my Movie of the Day.

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Phantoms

Photo Source: http://imdb.com

Photo Source: http://imdb.com

Genre: Horror | Year: 1998 | Duration: 96 mins | Director: Joe Chhappelle | Medium: VCD (Eagle Entertainment) | Trailer: HERE |  My rating: 2.5*/5*

Favorite Dialogue: “Stu Wargle: Hey, you want to see somethin’?”

This movie is based on a novel with the same name by Dean Koontz. Dr. Lisa (Rose McGowan) and Jenny (Joanna Going) arrive at Snowfield, Colorado, only to discover that nearly the entire town is mysteriously dead, without any telltale sign of struggle. While trying to get themselves to a secure location they come across the Sheriff Hammond (Ben Affleck) and his deputies Steve (Nicky Katt) and the lecherous Stu (Liev Schreiber), who too are trying to find clues to this mass murder, and soon lose Steve and Stu to some unseen perpetrator. They successfully contact the FBI who gets Prof. Flyte (Peter O’Toole) an expert on ancient epidemics, who’s throughout squirming uncomfortably in the role of a loony scholar-turned-tabloid writer. After losing a dozen of highly trained soldiers to this ‘Ancient Enemy’, the team of the two sisters, Hammond and Flyte discovers the enemy to be a highly evolved form of Petrolatum, similar to petroleum formed of complex hydrocarbons. They load up their guns with syringes filled with a genetic strain of oil-spills clearing serum to kill this enemy who has the ability to enter any living being and control them and their collective memories through, which this mass believes itself to be equivalent of god. In the end, they manage to end the petrolatum, but the director cleverly leave an opening hoping to make a sequel.

This badly directed, awfully acted, with low grade animation and so called horror flick is my Movie of the Day.

The One

Photo source: http://imdb.com

Photo source: http://imdb.com

Genre: Sci-fi | Year: 2001 | Duration: 87 mins | Director: James Wong | Medium: VCD (ASIA VISION) | Trailer: HERE | My rating: 3*/5*

Favorite Dialogue: “YuLaw: I am Yulaw! I am nobody’s bitch! You are mine.”

The movie is based on the idea of ‘multi-verses’ consisting of parallel universes where events are intertwined. A group of Universes that decoded this formed a special multi-verse police force to stop the abuse of ‘quantum wormholes’ for inter-dimensional travel travelling across the parallel universes. Gabriel YuLaw (Jet Li) who was once an officer with the Multi-verse Authority becomes rogue and discovered that his strength increases when he kills a version of himself from another Universe. He then goes about killing the 123 copies of himself that are known to exist and their life energies flow to him and his one remaining counterpart, Gabe (Li again), in the 124th Universe, making him believe that after he kills Gabe, he will become ‘The One’, become the god. This idea seems to be based on a flawed zen-like concept of the First law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy).  Gabe, a regular cop in a Universe similar to ours, is unable to explain his sudden increase in strength. Helped by two Multi-verse agents, Roedecker (Delroy Lindo) and Funsch (Jason Statham), Gabe stops Yulaw before Yulaw becomes “the one” and rule the Multiverse as a despotic god. The gadgets used for time travel looks cool (thought very much like a mobile phone), and I expected the multi-verse guns to have lasers instead of bullets, and certainly humorous to see Bush proposing universal health care in one of the Universes!

This science fiction with mindless fight scenes is my Movie of the Day.

Alexander

alexGenre: Action | Year: 2004 | Duration: 175 mins | Director: Oliver Stone | Medium: DVD (EAGLE Entertainment) | Trailer: HERE | My rating: 2.5*/5*

Favorite Dialogue: Alexander: “Conquer your fear, and I promise you, you will conquer death.”

The screenplay of this epic movie based on the life and times of ‘Alexander The Great’ king of Macedon, who conquered Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia, and part of Ancient India, is based on the book by the same name written by historian Robert Fox. The story of Alexander (Colin Farrell) is narrated by Ptolemy (Anthony Hopkins) throughout the movie while he’s getting his autobiography scribed 40 years after 323 BC from Egypt. The story moves from his childhood and his closeness to his mother Olympias (Angelina Jolie) and teachings of Aristotle to his youth and his love for his childhood friend Hephaestion (Jared Leto), who was charecterised more like a cock tease homosexual than his heroics throughout, to his conquests across Asia Minor defeating Darius, and later marrying a tribal girl, Roxana. Towards the end he gets poisoned by his own generals fed up by his eccentricities and lust for war.

However the movie failed to capture the greatness of Alexander, and nearly succeeded in making a mockery of it all. Unfortunately, this awfully directed cinematic disaster is my Movie of the day.

The Avengers

avengGenre: Sci-fi | Year: 2012 | Duration: 143 mins | Director: Joss Whedon | Medium: Theater (DT Cinemas, Saket) | Trailer: HERE | My rating: 4.5*/5*

Favorite Dialogue: “Steve Rogers (Capt. America): Stark, we need a plan of attack!

                               Tony Stark (Iron Man): I have a plan: attack!”

Nick Fury, director of SHIELD assembles a team of super heroes (Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow) to counter from subjugating Earth, and protecting Tesseract.  They all assemble on a freighter, which takes shape of a spaceship with stealth capabilities and make it their base of operations to launch counter strike against Loki and his army of Chitauris, an alien force from space. Loki brings his army for invasion of earth through a portal into space using Tesseract. The super heroes fight tooth and nail and defeat the highly mechanized (very much reminded me of the machines from Matrix) Chitauri fleet, with Iron Man nailing the Mother ship parked in space using a nuclear missile and setting its course through the open portal. In the end, Thor arrests Loki and surrenders him and the Tesseract to Asgard. Among all assembled super heroes, I wondered at the usefulness of Black Widow in the team other than glam factor. Guess they should have borrowed Cat Woman from DC who would have been better choice, adding both power and glam together.

This science fiction out of Marvel’s with impressive feat of cinematic engineering is my Movie of the Day

The Marine

marGenre: Action| Year: 2006 | Duration: 92 mins | Director: John Bonito | Medium: VCD (EROS Home Video) | Trailer: HERE | My rating: 3*/5*

Favorite Dialogue: Rome: Would somebody *please* shoot this guy?

WWE wrestler John Cena plays John Triton, an U.S. Marine who returns home honorably discharged after violating his commander’s order in a rescue mission in Iraq, only to have his wife, Kate (Kelly Carlson) kidnapped by a ruthless criminal, Rome (Robert Patrick). The rest of the movie is all about the chase through country roads and swamps on burning cars and running across, spewing and dodging bullets, hijacking monster truck and police boat, gasoline fires, ending up in a semper fi  style death to Rome and rescue of Kate under water.

This action packed mindless fun thriller is my Movie of the Day.

Thank You For Smoking

thank-you-for-smokingThank You For Smoking

by Christopher Buckley | 272 Pages | Genre: Fiction | Publisher: Allison & Busby | Year: 2003 | My Rating: 9/10

“That’s the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you’re never wrong.”
― Christopher Buckley, Thank You For Smoking

I started reading this book at a very interesting time, when I finally kicked the butt after 13 years of smoking cigarettes. I know the havoc it has played on my health in past several years, and I don’t need any scientific data to tell me that smoking is bad. I know that there’s people out there way smarter than I am, but a tobacco lobbyist is NOT one of those people! I shall no longer be yanked around by their stinking propaganda. It is my hope that others can also break free from tobacco’s hold. It’s hard. It’s worth it.

Nick Naylor, the main character, is a tobacco lobbyist and the chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, a tobacco industry lobbying firm that promotes the benefits of cigarettes. He spends most of his time making media appearances to spin whatever claims that any health professional makes about the harmful effects of tobacco. He often laments throughout the book that the media does not give him as much screen time as “health professionals”. Nick’s a player and women are attracted to him like moths toward flame. He’s part of the MOD Squad – the Merchants of Death. It includes him, representing the tobacco lobby, and then a lobbyist for alcohol and for the gun lobby. Because of his ability to easily be unethical and convincing he has become a target for anti-tobacco terrorists and is under investigation from the FBI. The main wheels of the story starts turning when Naylor is kidnapped and is almost killed because his kidnappers stick Nicotine patches all over his body, which he miraculously manages to survive the effects. His doctor says it’s because he is a smoker and his body was therefore not as overwhelmed by all the nicotine patches as a non-smoker’s body would have been. The result is that Naylor can no longer smoke cigarettes ever again because there is now too much nicotine in his system. I enjoyed Naylor’s voice because he is so cynical but also very self-aware. Sometimes he seems like he really believes in the things that he is spouting to defend the people who write his pay checks, but then in the next paragraph, he’ll use the same line that he uses for everything, which is “Where are the data proving this?”

This humorously toned, sharp and witty political satire set in Washington, DC is my Read of the Week.

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