Tuesday, July 22, 2008

5 English Films

The Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D
Its a kids film and does the job perfectly as far as its target audience is concerned but doesn't offer much for adults. The 3D is nice initially. Its fun seeing things close-up and there are a few nice jolts throughout the film as a variety of creatures snap at us. But the fun does wear off pretty soon as we start look for excitement and thrills and the movie's sorely lacking in those. There are quite a few action setpieces but they are handled in a comic vein and so everything's rather tame and there's no real tension. Pretty much everything's rendered by computer graphics and so things are pretty to look at but not very realistic. So the film just feels like a non-interactive video game.

This is the Hollywood remake of the Thai horror film of the same name, which by the way, was remade in Tamil last year as Sivi. While I haven't seen the Thai original, which is supposed to be really scary, Sivi was actually scarier than this Shutter. The basic story's the same but the change in setting(its a modelling firm in Japan instead of the college in Sivi) results in the creepiness being diluted in many scenes while some of the more effective scenes(like the one in the darkroom) have been inexplicably removed altogether. The only good part is the ending, which is still effective even if not surprising. The film's another addition to the long line of weak and watered-down Asian horror films.

The Bank Job
A heist movie that focuses more on the aftermath of the heist. As the name indicates, its about a bank robbery(in London in the 60s) where a team robs the safety deposit boxes at a bank. While they are simply after the money and jewellery, the contents of some of the boxes make them the target of some rather unsavory people. The heist isn't very complicated to begin with and becomes even simpler once they start it. So the lack of the meticulous planning and detailed MO is a little disappointing. But most of the film's excitement comes after it. The screenplay is a bit complicated initially as we are shown multiple tracks but they tie in nicely towards the end.

Definitely, Maybe
The romantic comedy is definitely my least favorite genre among Hollywood movies but this one takes a route that's different for the genre. It starts off with a man telling his daughter about his past girlfriends and asking her tofigure out who her mom is. So we get three separate tracks and there's some suspense about who he does end up with.The tracks themselves aren't your usual tracks and feature interesting characters and intelligent conversations. Therevelation about the girl's mom does come as a surprise though the subsequent happenings feel a bit forced. The three actresses do well though the hero seems a little bland.

The Orphanage
Saw this a while ago but realized I never wrote about it. A Spanish horror film, that gets everything right that the Hollywood remakes, like Shutter, usually miss. It doesn't have much violence but is genuinely scary and creepy. It has some good 'Boo' moments made more effective since they're used sparingly. It has a terrific, heart-wrenching twist that leads to an unexpected, haunting climax that leaves a lump in your throat. A must-see for horror movie fans looking for more than cheap scares and gratuitous blood and gore.


At 11:14 PM, Blogger D.E.V said...

i've not seen any of these movies thought wanted to watch "journey to the middle of the earth". Havent seen and 3D movies except for an old tamil movie, "My dear Kuttichatan". Is there any other tamil 3D movies after that...i wonder why they have not come up with such movies anymore...

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Hawkeye said...

orphanage is gullermo del toro movie. he is one of the hottest directors around.

you should seee Pans Labyrinth. its incredible.

He is also the director of the HellBoy series.

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Hawkeye,
Del Toro is not the director of The Orphanage. Guess he is the exec producer.

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a Vijaykanth movie called Thaibhoomi (if I remember right) that was a 3D movie as well.

I am surprised that 'dark knight' hasn't found its way into your blog yet or did I miss it. I was blown away by the movie. Somehow managed to squeeze in 'Hancock' as well.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

skanda, yeah i thot of that one too. have some fond memories. enjoyed it so much :)

hawkeye, as ganesh said del toro only presented the movie. but yes, i was blown away by 'pan's labyrinth' and his name was the reason i picked up 'the orphanage' :)

inadeeptrance, 'thaibhoomi'? don't remember that one. haven't seen 'dark knight' yet. waiting to catch it this weekend :)

At 3:42 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Have seen two out of these five - Journey to.. and The bank job. I enjoyed both. The former perhaps because of watching a 3D movie after a long time (the only full length movie I've seen is My dear kuttichathan :)). The movie gave a virtual "Roller coaster" ride effect in parts, thanks to 3D. Skanda, the vijayakanth starrer is "Annai Bhoomi".
The bank job was a neatly made movie made spicier with the depiction of the typically english nuances of sweeping dirt under the carpet and the extents of royal influences :)
Will try Orphanage sometime ..

At 5:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was also a telugu dubbed 3D movie called Jai Vethalam


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