Win DVD’s of Interstellar

Interstellar MAMMad About Moviez (MAM) and Home Entertainment Services by Sony DADC bring to you Interstellar Contest, wherein you can a win DVD of the film. Here are the details of the contest.  All participants have to start off by liking the Facebook page of Sony DADC. You need to answer just 2 easy questions:-Continue reading “Win DVD’s of Interstellar”

Interstellar (2014) Movie Review: Love, Love Me Do, Maybe More.

The review contains SPOILERS

Language : English | Running Time : 169 Minutes | Director : Christopher Nolan

As usual, a Christopher Nolan film has generated enough polarizing views. How can it not? We are talking about a filmmaker whom a legion considers their God.  This set of audience has gone on to claim that “Interstellar” is a work of so many great things in it that it is not only comparable to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” but also better than it. There’s another set of audience who didn’t understand the vision or the packaging of Nolan’s tale that they’ve dismissed it as silly, with some people going s far as bringing their dusty old physics text books out to argue about the wormholes and space-time continuum. These are the people the film isn’t aimed for. Then there are people like me who were bowled over by Christopher Nolan’s ability to churn yet another blockbuster, a studio film packaged to convince us that there’s more meat than bones and fell in love with much of the richness in offer but also have to differ in placing both the filmmaker and the movie on a pedestal.
Continue reading “Interstellar (2014) Movie Review: Love, Love Me Do, Maybe More.”

Interstellar (2014) Movie Review: “Gracious.” “No, But Efficient.”

Interstellar_ALT_ArtowrkReportedly, Christopher Nolan walked up to composer Hans Zimmer and gave him a really short story about a father leaving his son for some unspecified reason. Hans Zimmer wrote something in a day, and that’s the music Nolan used for Interstellar, an epic about humanity looking for an extraterrestrial home because of the impending death of the earth and a dad being forced to leave his daughter by his sense of duty. I found this out after the end of the film, and the whole movie I was thinking that it was being made significantly more awesome by the music. There’s nothing better for a movie about space exploration as a lethal taskmaster as well as the frontier of human knowledge than a melancholy and poignant score as opposed to the deep bass thrums Zimmer usually puts in Nolan’s movies.Continue reading “Interstellar (2014) Movie Review: “Gracious.” “No, But Efficient.””

Interstellar: Trailer

Interstellar PosterAny film of Christopher Nolan is keenly awaited and so its no surprise that his forthcoming film Interstellar is probably one of the most keenly awaited Hollywood films in recent times. Written by the Nolan brothers, Christopher and Jonathan, Interstellar features a formidable star cast comprising of Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine etc. Interstellar is due for a Worldwide release on 7th November this year.Continue reading “Interstellar: Trailer”

The Golden Globe Award Winners List – 2013

The 70th Golden Globe Awards  has been Announced, Les Miserables won 3 awards, followed by Argo which received 2 awards.
Do check out the list of winners .
Jodie Foster, recipient of the Cecil B. Demille Award, during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Jodie Foster, recipient of the Cecil B. Demille Award, during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Best Director: Ben Affleck, Argo

Best Picture, Drama: Argo

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy:  Les Miserables

Best Actress, Drama: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Actor, Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Best Supporting Actor, Movie: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Best Actress, Musical or Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Best Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained

Best Foreign Language Film : Amour

Animated Film: Brave

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award: Jodie Foster

Original Score: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi

Original Song: Skyfall (music and lyrics by Adele and Paul Epworth), “Skyfall.”


The complete list of Golden Globe television winners:

Miniseries or Movie: Game Change

Actor, Drama: Damian Lewis, Homeland
Series, Drama: Homeland

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Julianne Moore, Game Change

Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Maggie Smith, Downtown Abbey

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys

Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Ed Harris, Game Change

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Don Cheadle, House of Lies

Actress, Drama: Claire Danes, Homeland

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Lena Dunham, Girls

Series, Musical or Comedy: Girls

The Dark Knight Rises Movie Review – The Trilogy Falls

The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) was something which I have been waiting to watch for the past one year.  I am a huge Nolan fan for a very simple reason that I do not think any Hollywood director arrests an audience all over the world including India and takes you to a completely different world visually and then explains everything simply in a meticulous fashion without you feeling confused as to what the hell is going on. He is often called over rated for explaining things too much, which most people said was the case in Inception. But it is due to this explaining, the movie appealed to even the common man and became such a huge hit in India.  He is best commercial director in Hollywood that there is.

Having said that, the expectation from TDKR was immense, but let me make one thing very clear at the start of the review that I did not have the The Dark Knight (TDK) hangover.  TDKR starts off superbly, the first 20 minutes is gripping, has a  good pace and is engaging. After that,  it just meanders through the first half consistently lacking in pace and having a high quotient of drama. I have not seen this much drama even in Nolan’s more emotional film like The PrestigeTDKR is over written and for the first time I felt that the words had overtaken visuals in a Nolan film. Whenever it seemed like the film is picking up the bol bachan ruined it. It lacked the edginess that TDK had and a pure atmospheric grip that Batman Begins provided. TDKR was more similar to Batman Begins than TDK, but not in a good way.

The relationships between the characters seem scattered and not enough to sink your teeth in to, because of which you cannot seem to make a connection or an emotional attachment with anyone throughout the film. Be it Batman & Catwoman, Batman & Blake, Batman & Miranda, Gordon & Blake, so on and so forth. The back story was sketchy and again verbose rather than visual. The characters were underdeveloped which was the biggest problem for me being a Chris Nolan film. It was shocking to see the characters being under developed. All your favourite characters of the first two parts  lacked proper footage on-screen which made it very frustrating. The likes of Fox (Morgan Freeman) and Gordon (Gary Oldman) had very little to do in terms of taking the story forward and were merely used as set pieces. More footage was given to likes of Anne Hathway (Catwoman)  and Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) Catwoman especially seemed undeveloped and really unwanted in terms of story. I still do not clearly know where she came from and why was she supporting Bane so much to let the city be destroyed. Lot of questions were left unanswered.

All this wouldn’t have mattered so much to me, if at least the power that we were supposed to feel when Bane and Batman came face to face for the first time was better executed and felt. There was a pure loss of rivalry, it seemed you can’t really feel strongly about their confrontation and even though the physique and stature of both the guys were huge you don’t really feel that mammothness. The only scene which arrests you is when Bane beats the hell out of Batman  in the underground sequence. Bane was my favourite character in the movie. The way Tom Hardy managed to emote through only his eyes and especially his voice was just A grade. The narration lacked a flow that we are so used in any of Nolan’s films. It doesn’t matter how confusing his films are,  the narration makes it easier to be on the right track and TDKR though not confusing derails us because of the  narration.

The action sequences are edge of the seat especially the Batman entry sequence and best of all the football stadium blowing sequence. The film looks amazing visually and creates the atmosphere that was needed. But, what it lacks is that you just can’t feel the tension that Gotham city is getting destroyed and there is no one to save it, you are just not rooting for Batman to come back and that basically breaks the backbone of the film. The screenplay seems too crowded and going on in different directions, which affects the overall premise of the movie. Like for example, the whole Harvey Dent angle didn’t have anything to do with the overall context of the film. All said and done kudos to the fact that Nolan has not missed an angle in TDKR he has pulled out all the stocks, bringing together all the elements of the previous two movies in to this one and the story comes out full circle making it a proper sequel.  The whole Ra’s Al Ghul’s (Liam Neeson) angle from the first one which led to form the crux of the story and the whole Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) angle from the TDK which kicks off the movie in an interesting fashion.

TDKR had a lot of good potential which went to waste because of sloppy narration, too many characters and an uneven pace. It doesn’t grip you for 2 hrs 45 minutes of its duration , making you  very uninterested on the events unfolding on-screen. So much so that when the final twist of the film * Spoiler Alert* about Miranda being a villain comes out, you are not really in a flow of the narration to be shocked. Every great story deserves a great ending, this one had great ending, the problem was the rest of the film lacked greatness.

How to Hate The Dark Knight Rises

A little note : Thanks to my experience of saying bad things about Nolan movies at PassionforCinema: any insults/trolling will be returned in equal measure and comments engaging with what is written will be answered in a civil tone and to the best of my abilities.

I’m not a fan of Christopher Nolan; I think the best description anyone has given of him is Jim Emerson saying ” I don’t think Nolan is a bad or thoroughly incompetent director, just a successfully pedestrian one.”  I found Memento and The Prestige completely pedestrian and in fact a bit worse because they act like they have psychological depth. I thought Inception was fun but utterly disposable  and I was not for a moment flabbergasted by its complexity.  And I think his batman trilogy, while actually ambitious in a good way, is very messy, unsubtle and inelegant (here is a comparative review of The Dark Knight and Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke); in terms of quality, both how good it is and in what ways it is that good, I would put it alongside critically reviled films like Superman Returns, The Last Airbender, Gamer etc. The best Batman movie I have watched is 1993’s The Mask of the Phantasm.

But The Dark Knight Rises (I will assiduously not refer to it as ‘TDKR,’ that being the name of one of the great Batman comics) surprised me some: it was, in terms of writing and directing (for example, the fact that the bat-plane was shaped like a wasp, while as inelegant as most of his other metaphors, actually not mentioned in the dialogue; but Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Robin-like behaviour is finally called out – baby steps), Nolan’s best movie yet, but it completely failed to deliver on his most consistent thematic storyline, that of Batman saving USA.

Anyway, this is not a real review; it’s just a little wodge on the film’s worst and best aspect, thematically. I don’t mention the quality of the direction (the Bane-Batman fight in the middle was the only one I found remarkable visually, very nicely dark and not at all dreary) and writing (I wanted to bang my head into my palm much less than during the first two) and acting (concisely, first time Bale and Caine did any work that’s not unremarkable, rather enjoyed Hathaway despite many of her ‘sassiest’ lines being false beats, and found everyone else – even the usually awesome JGL – too underdeveloped to really enjoy). Also, SPOILERS follow.

Look at Batman Begins; it sets up Gotham as a synechdoche for the USA (too literally, in fact: Ra’s at one point speaks of Gotham as the ruler of the modern world), then Batman saves it from prongs of danger 1 and 2, 1 being the greedy corporate guy (with a magical negro, though I guess this is a symbol for overcoming racism, also alluded to in the casual racism of the opening scenes) and 2 being the terrorists who believe the US of G is a decadent civilisation and want to destroy it.

The Dark Knight turned its attention to the insides of every man. Joker wanted to get out the hateful tendency of every person and how it’s in constant friction with what we call a ‘good’ civilisation. Yes, Hobbes etc. Again, TDK declares hope (as long as Batman’s around as a guiding hand, you know), despite showing Dent’s storyline as its utter negation. The lie in the end was potentially a nice irony for this reason, though the film refused to really dig its teeth into the meat here.

So, it was obvious that the third movie would involve societal inequity.

Weird part is, while the first two movies delivered a coherent plot in this thematic storyline, all it delivered in the other two thematic storylines (Bruce’s character arc and the nature of heroism) was – “Batman doesn’t kill” and “Batman’s not wearing hockey pads” excluded – vacuous bullshit (seriously, what good thing has Gotham done to “deserve” Batman anyway?” and why is it that for the sake of semantic mirroring, Gordon makes it sound like Dent is too good a hero for Gotham?).

The Dark Knight Rises turns the tables. It delivers a relatively strong plot for Bruce’s growth (one of the major reasons I was surprised with the whole Talia revelation was that the love triangle earlier was such a convincing way to make him choose between Batman and sensible ways to help society and the movie really impressed me on how it delivered on the conflict despite yanking the rug out from the triangle) and as for heroism, there’s a damn-near transcendent moment in the prison when all three themes come together to create something of an epiphany for Bruce about perseverance and in what way exactly Gotham needs him (I’ll watch it again just to be able to elaborate on when it happens and what exactly Bruce realises), when I really thought “wow, the Nolans really do understand what a superhero is,” so that the whole ‘broken spirit’ Bane encounter just felt like the final repercussion of a really strong, wrapped-up arc.

Okay, now for what was wrong here. So, it has been shoved into me since 2001 that Muslim terrorism is basically an extreme reaction against Western imperialism (I’m not yet sure how deeply to believe this, but it’s a good place to start any discussion), so I was really kicked at the inclusion of Catwoman – so Frank Miller-ish (he kind of imagined her as a black, poor woman with many of the same driving motivations as Batman) that many of the shots of her house are borrowed from Batman: Year One (dreadful choice, casting her white*, especially considering the “leaving roots and attendant preconceptions/prejudices behind” storyline that the Nolans gave her) – and JGL’s cop and his orphanage – terrorism rises from Gotham’s gutters because the battening down of organised crime via Dent Act is a type of rich-people imperialism that really doesn’t leave them with any job options, actually impoverishing them further (the real picture of the effect of organised crime is a lot more nuanced than this but this effect is one I’ve never really seen so explicitly in a movie before – and I think having just a touch of this particular effect was well-suited to what I thought the movie would be). I was even more kicked when he just started taking moments out of the real TDKR (Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s The Dark Knight Returns) after Batman comes back, assuming that he was racing ahead to a conclusion that I couldn’t predict, but would involve some heavy reversals of TDKR (in the comic, Batman gets himself an army of gibbering retards to fight a blacked-out city gone mad and there’s a panel where he’s on a rearing horse in front of the army – so effectively reversed in the shot of him on the motorcycle in front of the police army).

And then… nothing happened; it devolved into some ridiculously Holvudine shite about father issues and bombs (worst part is, I think that that Talia speech was supposed to somehow reflect on Bruce’s character arc, but I have no idea how). I mean, the whole economic issue is not even obliquely referred to after that army moment I just described – the status quo is returned and happy ending montage overclosing what has already been resolved (JGL was such an effective anti-Robin – in that his fight against crime is more sustainable while still with the same motivations – before that montage).

*The white-washing was all over. Over and above the near-lack of non-white American characters (there’s Fox and some army dude whom Bane talks to about what to do with the unblown bridge), there’s a whole host of white characters from the middle east and just imagine how powerful JGL’s storyline could have been if he was Latino, given something to do that jumped off from that line about how the orphans don’t really have any options apart from Bane and had a face-palm moment when Bruce’s will read out that wholly ridiculous ‘Wayne manor as orphanage’ bit.

The Dark Knight Rises Movie Review- Every great story demands a great ending

It is difficult to live up to the hype. And the hype and expectations are even bigger when it’s Christopher Nolan and his conclusion to the Batman trilogy. After years of waiting and months of buildup,  ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (TDKR) finally rises.  Eight years after the events of  ‘The Dark Knight’ Batman is nowhere to be found. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has hung up his cape. It takes the catastrophic threat posed by a mysterious mercenary named Bane (Tom Hardy) with a weird breathing apparatus  to draw Wayne out of his self-imposed exile. Everything is at stake and Batman depends upon the aid of Commissioner Gordon, a hotheaded rookie cop (Joseph Gordon Lewitt) and (just maybe) a cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). In this third and last installment of his trilogy, Nolan goes steps further from where he left The Dark Knight.

I read somewhere a piece which described TDKR as a superhero film without a superhero. I don’t agree. Being a superhero doesn’t mean he should have extraordinary powers. Nolan’s Batman has a power of understanding and feeling of human emotions and pain. And he shows that in TDKR when he rises to the occasion proving what Superheroes are made of.

I have been a Batman fan since my childhood. But I had never imagined him to be the way Nolan showed it to us. TDKR is a true cinematic experience to behold. The movie exceeded my expectations in terms of action and entertainment. At times, the bigger the movie, the expectations grow even bigger with a  few loose ends here and there. But here the colossal size of the film is a spectacle to behold and surprisingly you don’t get lost with all the explosions and extravagant action scenes. Nolan has made an intellectually challenging final film, where he sets out to reconcile the issues raised in the first two. It brings Wayne’s story to a suitably epic conclusion.

Remember the roof walking scene in Inception? Nolan takes that gravity defying scene to another level and introduces Bane which induces a sense of  horror and shows Gotham’s real reckoning. Bane is no Joker. However, he is no less. Joker was a psychopath killer. Bane is a mastermind. Bane might lack the Joker’s iconic quality, but Hardy still commands attention in the film groaning with attention-commanders and the Vader-ish wheeze in his voice. He is intelligent and horrifying. I think this is Tom Hardy’s best role so far. Imposing yourself on others when your face is covered with a half-mask containing a voice box and an analgesic device that eases your constant pain and with just your eyes and voice to do all the acting is difficult. Bane is our Shakespearean villain. He emotes through his voice, eyes and action. And delivers a performance worth remembering coupled with a physical dominance strong enough to send shivers down your spine.

Anne Hathaway aka Catwoman is the best thing in movie. She is Catwoman, but unlike any of the Catwomen we’ve seen before. This Catwoman is as close as it could get to the comic book. Nolan also does an impressive job of  weaving Catwoman’s story in the battle between Batman and Bane. The relationship between Catwoman/Selena Kyle and Batman/Bruce Wayne is by far the best and after the end you will agree with me if I say that this Catwoman deserves her own movie.

Christian Bale is more efficient and human than ever. Bale remains a strong moral presence and shows than superheroes can also fall. But they rise when required. Caine’s Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon are at their usual best. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is excellent as an honest young cop and I guess he’d be a significant figure were the franchise  to be renewed (bringing back a lost character which Bale doesn’t like). Marion Cotillard (a rich philanthropist) provides the twists and turns in the film, but she needed a strong presence which she lacked when pitted amongst the biggies.

All of Nolan’s movies have deep psychological themes and this takes those in another new direction. As in Inception he showed the level of abstraction and depth. An equal amount of the same is present in this film too. Batman Begins shows how hard Bruce Wayne had to work to become Batman.  In The Dark Knight, Batman says he has more of a right to be a vigilante than a couple of regular guys because, “I’m not wearing hockey pads!”  Now in The Dark Knight Rises, crime fighting is for everybody. Nolan wants to take the symbol of Batman as someone trying to strike fear into the hearts of criminals and change it into a symbol of hope. The Dark Knight Rises wants us to love the idea of Batman—fighting crime for the good of the city—and forget the specifics of Batman.

Nolan kept me hooked to the movie. Not a single boring moment in my opinion and coupled with Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack, it takes the movie to another level all together. I think the music score brings enough excitement in the film and the chant haunts you. And the movie gets better gadgets too this time. Catwoman gets to ride the Bat-pod whereas Batman goes a notch higher with The Bat which looks like a converted Tumbler which can fly.

Every great story DEMANDS a great ending. And Nolan gives you that. Nolan brings back some old faces too in the film to keep the excitement levels up. Dedicated fans of the comic books are unlikely to feel surprised by many story twists here, but that is no surprise in itself ,given the DC icon’s extensive history. Nolan’s heart is focused on Bruce Wayne which shows by the end where Nolan doesn’t send Batman in the dark. He leaves enough scope for anyone who wants to take the series forward.   Nolan’s conclusion of Batman is a grand spectacle. Might be long but then it requires that time to bond everything together without missing anything. Can Nolan take a U-Turn and  re-vamp the DC Comics sphere? I wish so. Because if Avengers was about superheroes than TDKR is about the Superhero of Superheroes. Mr. Nolan take a bow

Rating- You can’t rate Nolan for this.

Sudeep Shukla

The Dark Knight Rises – Anne Hathway Clips

Anne Hathway

Seline Kyle aka Catwoman is a new character in The Dark Knight Rises, the last chapter of Nolan’s Batman Trilogy. The Princess Diaries and Devil Wears Prada girl Anne Hathway has been chosen to play the role. Now, Seline Kyle is a vicious character unlike all the sweet and pretty roles that Anne Hathway has mostly played before. It remains to be seen whether the actor with a cute face is able to pack a punch or not. Here are the clips released from the film of scenes involving her giving us a fair idea of the character Seline Kyle:-

Clip 1

 

Clip 2