Cocktail: Friends With Limits
Not one of the biggest successes of 2012, but still one of the best films that year was Homi Adajania’s second movie Cocktail, the story of three friends in London and the eventual love triangle that results between them. In many ways, it was a classic romantic story, but one that focused on character drama instead of cool action moments. It was certainly in the shortlist of movies that I’d classify as the best movies of the year. Newcomer Diana Penty pretty much rocked it while veterans Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone also turned in some great moments.
It is always nice to get a film like this in Bollywood, which these days is far too obsessed with the big and flashy. Cocktail is nothing of the kind, not by far, and I just loved almost everything about it. I would love for these three actors to work together again, particularly Diana Penty, and Homi Adjania to return with a third movie too.
Trailer Thoughts: Guardians of the Galaxy
Yesterday, Marvel/Disney released a set of three photos from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy (check here), the first movie in the Marvel Cinematics Universe that will take place entirely in space and will feature the wider (science) fantastical world of Marvel comics. Its going to feature the team often dubbed as the Cosmic Avengers and has some interesting star power behind it in the form of Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana in two of the lead roles with WWE wrestler Dave Bautista in a third and the other two CGI-animated characters being voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.
We also got a 15-second teaser trailer at the same time, which was kind of nice, but far too brief. Personally, I don’t like teaser trailers. They are far too short to do anything really, even if I end up liking them. But then, but then just this morning, I saw a tweet by actress Karen Gillan in which she shared the FIRST FULL TRAILER of the movie! And I was hooked. Man, if the movie holds up to what this trailer is showing, this movie is going to be great.
Battleship: Boom, Boom, Boom
When the movie Battleship was announced, I had a hard time believing that it was true. Battleship is a tabletop game where two players never get to see each other’s playing field, and its all a matter of guesswork. There is far more to it of course, but I was left wondering how the gameplay would translate into a movie. I wondered if it could even be pulled off, and competently too. When I saw the movie, I found that particular aspect to be interesting. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so perhaps that made me more congenial to the approach used.
All the same though, Battleship is quite a decent movie. It was never going to win any awards, given that it just didn’t have all that much star power (or in a prominent role at that), but that was never my concern. I went in expecting a decent movie, and got it. Repeated viewings have only made it more palatable to me. Because sometimes you need a movie that is just about the big, loud action. And that’s what Battleship is. I’m totally fine with that.
The Hunger Games: Death and Glory
In recent years, there has been a big shift in Hollywood productions. Slowly but surely, we are getting more movies featuring female protagonists. Many people would point to the Twilight franchise as an abomination and what not, but can you really argue with the results? The industry is in a situation where even such “bad” films can still do their part to raise the point clearly and with distinction that female-led movies can do well at the box office. But the kicker is the quality of such a heroine of course, and that’s where the movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ first The Hunger Games novel comes in.
The Hunger Games followed the Twilight trend of adapting young adult novels featuring female protagonists for the big screen, a trend that hasn’t worked out for some other recent adaptations unfortunately. It features a very awesome female lead who kicks all kinds of ass and who is strong by her own merits, by her own doings. She isn’t defined by the people around her. She defines them. Of course, it also helped that the story itself was quite good. I’ve seen the movie a number of times since watching the theatrical release, and it has held up pretty well. The sequel, Catching Fire, released a few months ago, went a few steps further and was equally good at the least.
Agneepath: Fires of Revenge
Much as with Hollywood, Bollywood too has been a bit obssessed with remakes in recent years, although not quite to the same degree. The underlying difference is that the typical stories are far too ingrained in the psyche of Bollywood filmmakers for them to really branch out and do something different, like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag or Peepli Live or what have you. But, we are getting there, slowly and surely. Regardless, a remake can be quite fun if it is executed properly, such as Karan Malhotra’s remake of the Amitabh Bacchan-starrer cult classic Agneepath, which failed at the box office on release, but since has really found a way into people’s hearts.
Now with a brand-new cast, and all top-notch talent involved no less, Karan Malhotra shows what that original movie could have been like. For the remake is all-around awesome, and I certainly enjoyed it more than the original. Here’s the review.
Ladies vs Ricky Bahl: Art of Con
Ranveer Singh rocketed to fame with his 2011 debut Band Baaja Baarat, opposite co-star Anushka Sharma. A film about two friends who start a marriage planning company, it was a full-on desi movie with all the flavours and sights and sounds of Delhi. Ladies vs Ricky Bahl recreates some of that same magic, but with a bigger cast that includes newcomer Parineeti Chopra. As with the first Singh flick, I enjoyed this one too, and it has since stood up to several repeat viewings, which is pretty much Bollywood gold right there.
Ranveer and Anushka have done very few films to date in their respective careers and this is their second film together, but despite everything else, they pulled off a winner here. Great songs as usual, and a great script plus great acting made this a standout movie for me in 2011. And here’s the reasons why.
Mission Impossible 4: Cool Spy Returns
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is the first of the Mission Impossible movies that I’ve seen in full. I’ve seen the others since then, but that was definitely the first. Tom Cruise has always been quite a decent actor, although with the added perspective of years, I’ll say that he tends to play one particular character, in terms of his performance, across most of his films. Still, these movies are quite good, and definitely rewatchable. Plus, if a movie is set in Dubai, I’ll definitely watch it, for sure.
So, here’s a review of the movie.
Twilight (Breaking Dawn Part 1): The End Begins
I saw the first three Twilight films for the first time some time in the summer of 2011, having borrowed them from a cousin. I had no idea what they were about, other than the fact that the covers had Kristen Stewart on them, as well as Robert Pattinson, the dead guy from Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire. I saw them, and I thought they were decent enough. They could be boring at times, and even outright dreadful, but they were okay nonetheless.
I get why a lot of people hate on the books and the adapted movies, but its not really bothered me all that much. They came, I saw them, that’s it. That’s one of the reasons why I eventually saw the final two films as well. Plus I was interested to know how things would eventually fall out with the characters. I suppose that the best thing that can be said for the books, and the movies, is that they marked a sort of revival for vampire/werewolf fiction everywhere. That’s fine with me.
Anyways, here’s a review of the fourth film in the series, which I saw at the theater, thanks to my curiosity.
Conan the Barbarian: Bag of Disappointments
The old Conan movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger might not be the best movies ever made, but for me, they stand out as some really good cinema. Sure, they are cheesy and very typical, but they created a great niche in Hollywood, and helped cement the careers of one of my favourite actors of all time. They are classic movies with a great cult following, and I always enjoy them whenever I happen to watch them. I never get tired of them, essentially.
The same cannot be said of the remake from 2011 however. It held a lot of promise, but ultimately it proved to be a pretty big bag of disappointment, in many different ways.
Immortals: Born To Lose
Immortals. One movie that I’d really been looking forward to in the November of 2011. I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology, and I really wanted to see what this movie would be like, especially after the terrible dreariness of that-which-shall-not-be-named-but-shall-nonetheless, Clash of The Titans. I suppose I should have known better. I shouldn’t have put so much in Hollywood where stories like this are concerned.
But I did, and I paid for that… naivete. Immortals shall live on as one of the worst movies of this century. It took a brilliant concept, and then totally messed it up, on several different levels. It was at least as disappointing a movie as Clash of the Titans, if not more. Here’s my (reposted) review where I go into a bit more detail.
Rockstar: The Inner Pain
So this is the first ever review I did for a Bollywood movie. Coming home after watching Rockstar, I really wanted to do a review of it, to talk about it and present a different aspect of movies to the audience of Just Beyond Infinity (or 24FPS as it was known then). I certainly started a trend for myself with this review, although I’ve fallen off reviewing Bollywood films anymore.
Still, Rockstar remains one of the best films I’ve seen from Bollywood in the last five years, and I would really encourage you all to see it, should you get a chance.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Part of Marvel’s phase 1 timeline for its movies, Captain America: The First Avenger had a lot riding on it. It was the rebirth of Marvel’s greatest superhero and one of its core characters, unlike Iron Man or Thor who, while important, weren’t quite so high-profile, especially not before getting their own movies. The movie wasn’t quite the success commercially that it was expected to be, but it set the stage for the eventual The Avengers and it cemented Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, having previously played Johnny Storm in Fox’s Fantastic Four duology. I wasn’t all that big a fan of the movie, it felt too cliched, but it was decent fun.
With Captain America: The Winter Soldier due in just two months, anticipation is riding high, and I believe that this time the First Avenger will be a huge success on all levels. The trailers have certainly been quite awesome, and I suppose that’s the best that can be asked for right now.
Either way, here’s a review of the first movie.