Hype for once justified

There are movies that excite you. But I don’t remember ever going to a movie because I was so excited to see a character particularly if a movie has a Christopher Nolan attached to it. Agreed, I fell for the hype and media frenzy about Heath Ledger. But this time I feel totally justified for falling to the hype. Joker was magnificent. His voice and sound for the character is like, I don’t know, brilliant, great, what not.

Then there is Nolan, making a sequel look better than its predecessor and making a movie that almost if not totally justified the media coverage and hype that it got prior to its release. He created totally a separate sub genre for super hero movies which I think no one else will get into. He is magnificent. There is also a certain thing to joker’s make up that has a chaos attached to it. As the move goes by the make up gets more and more disorderly reflecting his increasing lunacy and disorderly in Gotham city. (I saw make up kind of restored during the climax). A hell of a movie.

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High!

Humans have always been better at expressing ideas. Better than say, most contemporary animals. And some humans have toiled to express them so good that they turn out to be artists. Today sitting in the theater, I could sense three. Not sense. More like they pounded it together, put it on a spoon, heated it on a candle, dipped a cotton swab on it and filled up a syringe full of it and shot it to me intravenously. What a cinematic high! From Nolan, Ledger and the combined geniuses of Howard and Zimmer, The Dark Knight.

Blasphemy

Because I liked Erik Skjoldbjærg’s Insomnia better than Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia. Much better. Loved the original. Pondering this for some time, with Al Pacino on screen there are certain things I want him to do and some I don’t want him to. I dont think he’s capable of doubting himself like he does in this one. That assured exterior cannot be anything else inside. Some counter-casting like that happened with Robin Williams and Hillary Swank too. These are all very definite genre actors. I’m tempted to say the newer Insomnia is simply miscast but then what do I know! Just go watch them both.

The poor man’s Brad Pitt

21 grams

That’s what I like to call Benicio Del Toro. He has always reminded me of Brad Pitt; a less polished, more intense version of him. Intense, that would probably be the best way to describe him in a word. I’ve never seen Benicio disappoint. He’s been fantastic in all his roles – be it in The Usual Suspects, Traffic, or 21 grams. Wow, 21 grams. As a Christian who recently reformed his ways, Benicio was stellar in 21 grams, to say the least. In the scene after the freak accident, he brings such sorrow, remorse and shock to the moment, it’s unbelievable. In Traffic, Benicio plays a Mexican cop with a golden heart, and endears the audience to him without any sugary scenes, but just his sincere goodness.

I can’t forget Franky Four Fingers, can I? A testament to Benicio’s felicity, he’s awesome as the diamond thief with a gambling problem in Guy Ritchie’s hilarious Snatch. He’s done many brooding, complex roles that suit his persona, but it would be really cool to watch him in a romantic comedy or something. I’m sure he’d be every bit as good in Hugh Grant territory.

Benicio as Che in Guerrilla

Benicio plays the legendary Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara in Steven Soderbergh’s next two movies in succession, in Spanish – The Argentine and Guerrilla. I’m really looking forward to seeing him play Che, as it’s almost certain he’s going be brilliant. And it would be interesting to contrast him to Gael Garcia Bernal’s(who deserves a tribute post himself) Che in The Motorcycle Diaries. Keep going, Benicio.

Project Mayhem. What if…

Read in wikipedia that Russel Crowe and Matt Damon were in running for Tyler Durden and Narrator. Wonder how would it have been? Durden->Pitt->Narrator->Norton->Durden. Argument over. Btw check out this cool video, I have known this song for some time but never seen this video till today.

“He just drove off the roof!”

Bourne Tribute

The first bit of dialogue, just dialogue without an action sequence, is at an hour and ten minutes into the movie. I know cos I actually looked down at my watch and smiled.

2007 is the year of the action movie. After John McLane and Optimus Prime, I would like to introduce you to the King, Jason Charles Bourne. In The Bourne Ultimatum, we are witness to the perfectly made action movie. A good sequel is a marvel by itself, but a spectacular 3rd movie is nothing short of a miracle. And wait a minute; weren’t these adapted from a series of books? Goodness! Respect, as Ali G would say.

The plot is very simple. It’s pretty much what the tagline states: This Summer, Bourne Comes Home. That’s about it. I don’t need to delineate events, but just need to describe the experience. I remember someone term 300 as one big action sequence, and I agreed then. But today, sitting there in the cinema hall, with my heart pounding every one of those 111 minutes, 300 paled in comparison. Ultimatum is an action sequence, and you’re in it. It grabs you in the first scene, and throws you right in the middle of it all. Bourne is on the run, retracing his steps back to where it all started for him, and you are just a step behind him throughout. You feel the danger in every moment, and you feel the urgency to keep moving. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where its brilliance lies.

Everyone who had read the Bourne books would agree with me that Supremacy and Ultimatum did not match up to Identity’s class. It is very impressive that screenwriter Tony Gilroy chose to eliminate the core storyline of the books, that involved the rival assassin Carlos, and decided to spin a yarn of his own. He decided to tone down the story, and spunk up the screenplay, giving us the three roller coaster rides that take the screen chase to a new high.

I don’t want to end this review without mentioning Matt Damon. His dedication and great talent transform him into Bourne himself. An incredible performance. Don’t miss it.

Y tu mamá también

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© 2002 – IFC Films – All rights reserved

Brilliant.

Cinema that lives, that breathes, that feels. It makes you laugh along, travel along, changes moods with you, seduces you. It is a discovery, a discovery of Mexico, a discovery of Luisa, Julio and Tenoch. You and I, along with them, discover what a joy it is to be alive.

Alfonso Cuáron brings to the screen what no Hollywood director could or would. Real life.

Hungry for more Cuáron? Click here for a review of ‘Children of Men’.