Wednesday, November 22, 2006

So Many Movies...

So Little Time!

2 Tamil movies releasing this weekend here in the US. In the Bay Area, both are being screened at the Century Theatres, Beryessa location. Better theater than IMC 6 for sure but also a longer drive for me. Atleast its closer than the new Park theater in Fremont, where Varalaaru was screened.

Rendu starts tomorrow. Madhavan is supposed to have a double role in the film and has 2 heroines, Reema Sen and Anushka, for company. His last film Thambi apparently did well and this one, considering its credentials, has an even better chance to be a hit. The film is helmed by Sundar.C, who has had pretty good success when it comes to masala entertainers. He’s dabbled in a number of genres but masala films, with emphasis on comedy, have given him his biggest hits. Vadivelu has been a staple in his films for some time now. Vadivelu’s comedy track in Sundar’s movies like Winner and Giri have been among his better ones and played a big part in the movies’ success. Not surprisingly, he is acting in Rendu also.

The catchily-titled Sivappadhigaaram releases Friday. Vishal, with 3 hits in a row, is undoubtedly the fastest rising star today and will be looking at this film to solidify his position. Mamta Mohandas is the heroine and Raghuvaran, who we haven’t seen for a while, is in the film too. The film is directed by Karu. Pazhaniappan, the director of the wonderful Parthiban Kanavu. It will be interesting to see how he handles an action film this time around. Vidyasagar’s songs have received good praise though I’m not sure how big a hit the audio is.

Dhoom 2 also starts tomorrow in the US. The first Dhoom was a stylish, racy entertainer with a good cast, great music and nice stunts. Abishek and Uday Chopra are back and with Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai(as the baddies) and Bipasha Basu(as a cop) joining the cast, the stakes are definitely much higher in this sequel. The trailer looks great and points to an extravagant, fun film.

None of the Hollywood films releasing this weekend have my interest and I’m guessing that I’ll be watching only one of them(Déjà vu) even when the DVDs are out. But Casino Royale is still going strong and carries great reviews. The stunts are supposed to be less fancy and so more real and Daniel Craig has earned high marks for his portrayal of the superspy. Wouldn’t mind catching that on the big screen. 2 other movies I wanted to watch were The Departed and Borat since both got fantastic reviews. But since they are more than a couple of weeks old, the excitement has kinda died down and I’ll probably just wait for the DVDs.

Happy Thanksgiving and more importantly, happy long weekend!

30 Comments:

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Babs said...

Balaji,

Its gonna be an awesome Thanks Giving aiyee...

I highly reccomend The Prestige, wonderful movie and worth the theatre visit. I haven't seen such well narrated for a long time.

I too have high hope for the Bond which is releasing down under only week after (Damn even India beat us to it).

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger skanda said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8:58 PM, Blogger KayKay said...

In complete agreement with Babs. The Prestige is a twisty thriller of the kind that only Christopher Nolan(Memento) can deliver.And Casino Royale is the booster shot in the arms of an ailing franchise.
Have given my 2 cents worth on these 2 flicks which can be perused here:http://tomesflicks.blogspot.com

 
At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bond franchise is really picking up. It was at an all time low during the tacky-overload 70's with Roger Moore. Lost it's thread with Timothy Dalton. Relished with style in Pierce Brosnan.

But in true grit & no holds barred fashion Daniel Craig has brought some sense of a flawed ie natural take on the Bond. That's the Bond of today!

 
At 1:18 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Balaji, I'm a little surprised that you are sticking around in the Bay Area this weekend (or at least that you don't have any friends or relatives visiting!)... I would've thought you'd be off on a trip somewhere with family, considering Karthik is a little bigger now!..

But then how could you give up your chance to see Rendu, Sivappadhigaaram and Dhoom 2? :-) ;-)..

Have fun and I'll look forward to your reviews!

 
At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

useful preview, balaji.

 
At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sivapadhigaram's audio was not that great at all. In fact I thought it was crap coming from Vidyasagar.

--

I haven't had an inkling of desire to catch any English movies at the theater. I seriously think that THE DEPARTED satisfied me so much that I would hate to watch anything else. Hopefully something good comes along.

Anyways... Something's wrong with the New BOND man I thought. He bugs me. I didn't watch the movie cuz he bugs me =P.

---

You have a great Thanksgiving! YEY for long weekend! LOL


~Merino

 
At 7:52 PM, Blogger Bart said...

Sivappadhigaaram and or Bond for me this weekend.. Have fun in long hols Balaji.

 
At 2:18 AM, Blogger skanda said...

Check out "Dhoom 2" already..quite a passable..i was disspointed as there was lack of stunt with the thrills coming while Hirithik rob the stuffs only...the songs were pretty average...but the best is aiswary rai as she looks HOT!!!..just cant describe her looks and customes..oh man

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger RËÅGÂÑ™ said...

Balaji,

Sivapathikaaram is the movie you want to avoid at all cost. Really, the movie was a bore from the start right till the end. A wafer thin story that lacks any entertainment value. Now don't get me wrong that I'm into masala movies or whatsoever but this movie is utter crap. It comes close to Ji (Ajith's starrer) but then falls flat even compared to it. You really don't want to travel far to catch Sivapathikaaram.

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger skanda said...

"Rendu" is an okay film but the latter part of the film becomes a chore to watch...it is just plain mindless violence...just cant believe it is a Mahdevan film...i almost mistook it as a Vijay film...even vadivelu's comedy is only partly funny...

 
At 10:31 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

babs, heard good things about 'the prestige' from a few others too... waiting for the dvd :)

kaykay, excellent reviews. detailed and very well-written :)

anon, exactly what most reviews r saying about 'casino royale'. back to the basics :)

sandya, my brother is visiting. so the post was more a wishlist! am pretty certain i won't be seeing all the movies i've written about. 1 paathaa jaasthi :)

merino, surprising! the audio reviews i read said that it was good variety from vsagar...

bart, at this point it looks like only 'sivappadhigaaram' for me...

skanda, my wife saw 'rendu' with 2 others and they all hated it.

reagan, hope to watch it tomorrow since thats the only 1 for which show timings worked out. lemme see if my opinion differs from urs :)

 
At 3:29 AM, Blogger skanda said...

"Sivapathigaran" is a mixture of Ajith's "Ji" and Arjun's "Arasatchi"...there is nothing novel bout the film...i was already bored half way through the film...Ganja Karupan's comedy is funny but too bad he is only there in the first half...

 
At 3:29 AM, Blogger skanda said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:09 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

Almost every Tamil flick coming out these days ranges from mediocre to downright crappy. 2006 has been torrid.It looks like this will be a good time to stay away from them and catch up a bit on some Hollywood biggies coming up

 
At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji;just check out my 'Get paid to watch these movies' Here.

 
At 11:31 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Vijay,

Even Hollywood sucks big time these days, there are probably 4-5 good movies per year?

PS. I don't consider any JB movie, Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Matrix movies good (Whatever it is, it's Gapsa, be it Sean Connery or Vijayakanth doing it) .Probably the best ones in Hollywood can be counted in hand. Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe, Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, Ethen Hawke, Gene Hackman, Jack Nicholson and probably another 3-4(leaving DeNiro and Pacino both are too old for movies)can do any role some justice. Guys like Leonardo and Affleck have fallen in standard since their beginning and do so called Hollywood Masala movies, unless they are roped with Spielberg or some sensible director, for watching Hollywood Masala flicks I'd rather watch a decently paced Hindi or Tamil movie, does not make a huge difference.

Don't come to say that Tamil Industry is better :) (just coming to say that quality movies are a dearth in Hollywood too!). As a matter of fact I'm planning to watch Spanish/French and Chinese Films heard they are a lot better.

 
At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Srivatsan,
That way, Italian movies are really good, followed by French movies. You watch a couple of Italian movies and am sure, you wont come back to watching H/B/Tollywood masala...

And btw, has Nicholas Cage been deliberately missed from your list?

 
At 1:11 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Yes thats a big miss, sorry abt that. Nicholas Cage is really good. That reminds me of "Life is Beautiful", what a movie!!

 
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Balaji,
I happened to catch "Happy Feet" with the entire family on Saturday afternoon. A very nice family film. The control over, passion for and sense of, good music that Americans have never ceases to amaze me. This film is yet another testament to their love for good music and dance. A giant 'kudos' from me. Do check it out with Kavya and Karthik.. I think these two might enjoy it quite a bit, especially Kavya who probably understands and speaks English in volumes by now!

 
At 1:27 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

"Vijay,

Even Hollywood sucks big time these days, there are probably 4-5 good movies per year? "

well still better than zero, isnt it?
There are a lot of small films that come out too, that are not quite mainstream but are quite good.Indie stuff.

Back home, Hindi films have been doing better this year so far.


BTW, regarding Spiderman or Matrix or JB, I wouldnt brush them aside as nonsense. They do a pretty good job of doing what they set out to do. Dont forget that Matrix has influenced stunts in a whole lot of movies , especially ours, although it has much more to it than just stunts. Calling it as just gapsa or comparing it to Vijaykanth movies just betrays ignorance. They have a whole different genre called Sci Fi which we dont. Spidey 2(and the recent JB movie) received good reviews, so did the Matrix series and the other movies. A well made entertaining sci-fi thriller is always welcome. In contrast out here in Kollywood, all they want to do is make a formula masala and still end up messing it up.

Regarding other language films, there is of course lots of good stuff coming out, although Iam not sure if the output is diverse and prolific enough to sustain interest for long(on top of the language/cultural barrier that might mitigate impact)

"Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe, Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, Ethen Hawke, Gene Hackman, Jack Nicholson and probably another 3-4(leaving DeNiro and Pacino both are too old for movies)can do any role some justice."

I would add Edward Norton , Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Dustin Hoffman at the very least. There are several more. Plus they have a host of talented actresses who can carry off a film all by themselves and a lot of talented directors.

 
At 5:32 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

skanda, thot u were gonna c it only next week? but yeah, i felt the same way about the movie...

vijay, no arguments there. 2006's the worst yr for tamil movies in quite a while...

sandya, 'happy feet' is gonna be an parent/kids outing at kavya's school on wednesday. me or the wife will go. not sure about karthik though. don't think he can sit still for that long even if there r penguins on screen :) and the darkness and loud sounds may scare him too (as they did kavya for her 1st theater experience - 'the incredibles')

 
At 9:23 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

While I agree 2006 was a horrible year for Tamil Cinema, I don't necessarily agree that any crap made in Hollywood is good. SciFi might interest some but not a whole bunch of others. Even though nice, it will never happen and a gapsa is a gapsa, yes I agree we are filtered idiots in Tamil Cinema even to copy that. Edward Norton (Primal Fear) and Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man) agreed. Ralph Fiennes ellam tooo much :) Brits have a general mania to boast whatever they do, I don't feel he is better than Roberto Benigni (or) some other darn good Spanish actor. Anyway opinions differ I don't want to start a fight :-).

(Europe - UK) does better in film making than most of US and India. I'd like to remind that Hollywood had a lean patch recently during which directors and actors took a pay cut just to revive the industry, so craps are delivered everywhere. Leave Academy Awards, that just tells half of the story.

 
At 12:15 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Coming back to Fantasy movies, I expect movies of *Star Wars* and *Lord of The Rings* class. I see both quite often even if they are gapsa, for their making brilliance. Former is told to happen in different galaxy at the beginning itself, so somehow I don't have a problem believing it :-). LOTR is way back in timeline so thats also okay (It's possible in so called *Jurassic* Era). I hope you agree with me on the above movies :)

Matrix, I either don't understand it (or) the movie does not fit to be filmed in NY City or some big cosmo city amidst freeways :). I don't which one made me hate it!

 
At 3:32 AM, Blogger skanda said...

Balaji..it was suppose to come out these week but they had midnight shows...so went and saw it...seriously, i was already going to sleep already...

There seems to be something common among the two releases, "Rendu" and "sivapathigran", both are revenge base film, with the protogonist going on a spree kiling people, Have mass murder scenes,Boring scenes, and lousy songs

 
At 4:06 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Balaji,

Looking at the trend I have apprehensions about *Veyyil* or will it turn out as the only better release of 2006, as Thavamai .. did for 2005? :) Hope so.

 
At 9:19 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

"While I agree 2006 was a horrible year for Tamil Cinema, I don't necessarily agree that any crap made in Hollywood is good."

Did I say any crap made in Hollywood is good? Please read what Iam trying to say

"SciFi might interest some but not a whole bunch of others. Even though nice, it will never happen and a gapsa is a gapsa,"

Man, you have serious problems. Why do you bother about "others"? Bother about what YOU like. So what if its a gapsa? Thats why its called "fiction" or "fantasy". Do you expect all your movies to be completely taken from real life? Then all we can see is just bipics and documentaries. I'll take your own example-Lord of the Rings. Its pure "gapsa". So those were bad films? They are fictional entertainers, plain and simple. And a lot of thought, planning goes into making those films, to give them their unique look and even the acting is good for the most part. As for special effects and other technical details, well they always score.

And regarding Ralph Fiennes see movies like Sunshine., Quiz Show before you make up your mind. Britain has indeed produced some of the all-time great actors.

 
At 9:23 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

and example of another "gapsa" which had critics and viewers raving equally - Minority report. I hope you woudlnt dismuss such movies as "gapsa" and miss what the have to offer. 99.9% of Tamil movies are also "gapsa" :-). This inspite of the fact they are set in real life situations and not in a sci-fi or fantasyland setting. But I guess that doesnt prevent you from watching them

 
At 11:03 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Ralph Fiennes, still don't agree the only film I thought he was okay is *The Red Dragon*, that too nothing great because I read the Novel before watching the movie :) He's good but not great (atleast from half a dozen of his movies I watched, and stopped watching his movies after Maid in... which sucked). Anyway as suggested I'll watch Sunshine before making up mind completely.

As I said LOTR and Star Wars both are *not* movies of this age and galaxy respectively are plain fantasy and *not* Science Fiction ones. Who knows what is in store outside this galaxy?. Matrix is not appealing or natural to me(I doubt even AI would ever rise to such levels as to overthrow us that too in the universe you live!!)and do not want to fight about it. Did you see Gondor/Mordor sets of LOTR or spaceships of StarWars, they really look like they are out of this world (or) atleast close to my imagination of primitive world/galaxies else where.

 
At 11:18 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Vijay,

Adding to this I saw a review from Malini Mannath in Hindu about some movie (Captain's) *Matrix is a Sci-Fi movie so everything is possible I don't understand why such stunt sequences are used in Tamil*. One Captain fan wrote a reply saying that Captain entered *The Matrix* just for some time a la Split Personality, how is this for a reply :))} With due respect to The Matrix see even after giving ridiculous movies Captain's getting due respect :)

 

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