Men in Black 3

mibGenre: Sci-fi| Year: 2012 | Duration: 103 mins | Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Medium: Theater (DT Cinemas, Saket) | Trailer: HERE | My rating: 4*/5*

Favorite Dialogue: Agent K: Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to”

MIB3 is the sequel to the 2002 film MIB2 starring Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K, and Will Smith as Agent J. Even though its not the best of the three MIBs, its still much better than its predecessor, MIB2, though the gap of ten years between them was equivalent to getting ‘neuralyzed’ had it not been for numerous movie channels on the telly showing repeats of the movies in last ten years. The movie revolves around the escape of a violent alien fugitive, Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement), who lost his arm in a tangle with Agent K back in 1969. When Boris arrives back on Earth after escaping from special prison on the moon, after 40 years, the Boglodite time travels to 1969 to kill-off K prior to their fateful standoff. When Agent J shows-up at MIB headquarters (with a temporal fracture and a craving for chocolate milk, as discovered by Agent O) and discovers that his partner actually died decades before they ever met, he follows Boris’ trail back to the 1969, a day in advance of the standoff in an effort to not only save K and implement a protective earth cover ArcNet, but prevent a full-on Boglodite invasion that the Men in Black had, in the prior version of reality, managed to thwart.

The Agents meet the alien Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg), an Arcadian who possesses the ArcNet and is able to see multi-dimensionally in to all possible futures, gives them the ArcNet and instructs them to place it onto the Apollo 11 lunar rocket launch occurring in less than six hours. Boris then snatches Griffin, but the agents, on monocycles (another cool feature of the movie), give chase and recover Griffin. In the end, J & K (Young agent K is played by Josh Brolin) manages to kill both the younger and older versions of Boris, and deploys ArcNet.

This comic sci-fi with funny looking aliens is my Movie of the Day

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Arzee The Dwarf

arzee_the_dwarfArzee The Dwarf

by Chandrahas Choudhury | 184 Pages | Genre: Fiction| Publisher: HarperCollins India| Year: 2009 | My Rating: 8/10

“I am myself in my thoughts too much,
I seek recourse to myself too soon,
My days don’t stand up without a crutch,
I sing my own song out of tune.
I stand before the mirror too long,
Stare big at the eyes that return my gaze,
My shadow seems to me more strong
Than my shrunken heart, that lonely place.
My worries hang about me like clouds,
And my creditors they come calling,
My being is riven by spooks and doubts,
The walls of my house are falling.
In mine own alleys I traipse and turn,
Dreamlike I float through nights and days,
I watch the hours slowly burn,
And do not leave on time my trace.
I myself speak and myself hear,
And myself act and myself see,
My own self extends far and near,
And so I cannot myself be.”

– Chandrahas Choudhury, Arzee The Dwarf

In his debut novel, Chandrahas Choudhury has skillfully captured the nuances of intimate life and dreams of Arzee, who’s a midget, working at an old cinema hall in Mumbai as a deputy projectionist. Even though all the thirteen chapters revolve around him and he’s the protagonist of this novel, Choudhury has not projected him as a larger-than-life hero, which makes his world as interesting as that of a common man, yet one cannot stop feeling sympathy for that man whose all troubles stem from him being a midget or a dwarf. So much so that the characters around him forget his last name Gandhi, and instead address him as ‘Arzee the dwarf’. The beauty of this books lies in its prolific prose and colloquial dialogues portraying time and space, old world charm portrayed through the dying Noor cinema and modern day problems of love, money, and self-image, the memorable characters that even ‘The Babur’ the projection machine, which is Indian mutation of its German name Bauer seems to breath life. The novel ends without a definite ending as if Choudhury was overcautious to continue, leaving the readers to decipher it themselves about the new turns Arzee’s life is to take.

This novel full of pathos and pragmatism is my Read of the Week.

No Country for Old Men

countryGenre: Thriller/Crime | Year: 2007 | Duration: 122 mins | Director: Ethan & Joen Coen| Medium: VCD (BIG Home Video) | Trailer: HERE | My rating:5*/5*

Fav Dialogue: “Nervous Accountant: Are you going to shoot me?
Anton: That depends. Do you see me?”

This movie is a pitch-perfect thriller that delivers the intended fear and suspense, and at the same time the directorial brilliance thrashes the conventions of the genre. No doubt it won four Oscars, including best film & best director! The film starts with Llewelyn (Josh Brolin) hunting in West Texas when he comes across a drug deal gone bad, a wounded mexican, dead dogs and men, and 2 million dollars in a black satchel bag. He’s throughout chased by Anton (Javier Bardem), a psychopath hitman hired to recover the money, who uses a captive bolt pistol as his choicest weaponry for killing. Sherrif Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is investigating the case of a string of murders by Anton, who plans to retire from active service as he feels over & outmatched. Anton kills Llewelyn, and visits Llewelyn’s wife for a pledge that he had.

This film, which is a faithful adaptation of McCarthy’s novel, and is full of pessimism, nihilism and nervous dark humor, is my “Movie of the Day.”

Loot

Loot1LOOT and other Stories

by Nadine Gordimer | 237 Pages | Genre: Short Stories| Publisher: bloomsbury | Year: 2004 | Rating: 9/10

Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer explores tragedy and opportunity through the lives of a town’s survivors of an earthquake through the story ‘Loot’, which has the most lyrical narrative among the rest. Loot explores the greed and avarice of people when the ocean bed is bare with treasures, and people are ready to go to extremes to possess others memories. In the end the story takes on a political undertone setting the mood for the entire collection of stories.

My most favorite story in the collection is ‘The Generation Gap’, a sexual allegory of romance and responsibilities, youth and age. It has four grown-up children srambling the lives after their father end the relationship of 42 years and leaves their mother for another woman their age. What follows is an upheaval of the dynamics of their old life; familiar roles and definitions are changed, relationship lines are redrawn. I liked its almost-detached reportage quality of narration, an outsider’s view of a very personal matter, and  that the story never declines into melodrama despite its very nature.

The other stories that I truly enjoyed are ‘Karma’ and ‘Look-Alikes’. This uncomfortably beautiful and wittingly startling book is ‘My Read of the Week’.

The Photographer

9781596433755The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders

by Emmanuel Guibert, Frederic Lemercier and Didier Lefevre
267 Pages | Genre: Graphic Novel | Publisher: First Second | Year: 2009 | Rating: 8.5/10

In 1986, French photojournalist Didier Lefèvre documented the efforts of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in Afghanistan, which was torn apart by a war with USSR. This graphic novel is a record of his arduous journey along with the Doctors across Afghanistan and presents a powerful story of a mission dedicated to mending the wounds of war. I like the presentation style of using real B/W photographs and comic book illustrations & dialogues by Emmanuel Guibert based on the notes taken during the journey.

This incredibly brilliant graphic novel is my “Read of the Week”.

Almost Famous

famousGenre: Drama| Year: 2000 | Duration: 122 mins | Director: Cameron Crowe| Medium: DVD (BIG Home Video) | Trailer: HERE | My rating: 4*/5*

Fav Dialogue: “William Miller: I love you. And I’m about to boldly go where… many men have gone before”

This movie views the rock scene in in 70s through a nostalgic lens, yet not a hitting expose` or a tell-all story of the music era. The story is inspred by Cameron’s own experiences as a teeage music journalist, is about a 15 years old boy, willim Miller (Michael Angarano, and later Patrick Fugit) in 1973 going on a road trip with an upcoming rock & roll band, Stillwater.  For William, the trip with the band is about exploring his sexuality and learning how to live outside of his mother’s protective umbrella. In the process, he loses his virginity, rejects the drug scene, forms a few lasting friendships, and saves a life. He falls for a band groupie, Penny Lane (Kate Husdon) who already has a ‘thing’ going with one of the lead singers of Stillwater, Russell. The film’s ecstatic atmosphere is only briefly interrupted by the sense of longing that is associated with first love and the pain that accompanies the inevitable separation between a child and a parent.

Almost famous with its sheer exuberance is my ‘Movie of the Day’.

The Ninth Gate

ninthGenre: Thriller/Occult| Year: 1999 | Duration: 133 mins | Director: Roman Polanski| Medium: VCD (Eagle Home Video) | Trailer: HERE | My rating:4*/5*

 Fav Dialogue: “Liana : Don’t fuck with me!
Corso: I thought I already did.”

Perennial provocateur Roman Polanski directed this occult movie based on a part of the book El Club Dumas, and in the process made a very clever story. I loved the part of all the books and book fanatics in this film. The film is about this demonical book, The Nine Gates to the Kingdom of Shadows, chased by Dean Corso(Johnny Depp), an unscruplous & infamous dealer of rare books, to find the authenticity of the book owned by his client Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) and compare it with two other copies that exists with two other book fanatcis & collectors. The book seems to have been written in collaboration of the Devil himself with instructions on how to invoke satan and enter his realm.

Most of the characters in the film seems to be seduced by the evil, are on an unending search for the devil (which never appears throughout the movie, which is good direction and story telling). Balkan’s quest ended in death for him and Corso crossing the ninth gate, having witnessed the entire process during his detective work for the book, and helped by the succubus girl (Emmanuel Seigner) against all perils (and remains a mystery till the end in the movie). The movie is full of riddles being unfolded, and the last riddle is for the viewers to solve concerning the ninth ritual, which was forged in the book. The succubus girl have sex with Corso amidst the backdrop of flames, thus completing the ninth ritual, and corso returning to the castle to cross over.

Being a bibliophile, I truly enjoyed The Ninth Gate as my ‘Movie of the Day’.

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