Many Movie Reviews

July 29, 2006 at 9:42 PM (Movies)

I watched several movies in the past weeks, thought of sharing my opinions on them…

  • MirrorMask

    This is a movie that has great talent behind it — it is directed by artist Dave McKean, and written by celebrated novelist/comic-book writer Neil Gaiman, and McKean.  The story itself concerns a young girl, Helena (Stephanie Leonidas) who works in a circus, but wishes to live a normal life instead.  When her mother falls sick and is undergoing surgery, Helena magically finds herself transported to a dreamworld, which is at the same time creepy and wonderful.  Here, the White Queen is sick and a "darkness" is slowly engulfing the land of light   Helena must recover the magical "MirrorMask" to set things right.  With some well-realised CGI, this is a very imaginative movie, and seems like one of McKean’s artworks come to life.  Rating: 8/10

  • A Scanner Darkly

    Set in the near future, this movie adaptation of the novel by Philip K. Dick portrays a society where the use of drugs — especially one called Substance D — is rampant.  An individual called Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is suspected of being at the top of a big drug ring, and therefore he and his associates are under surveillance by a cop called Fred.  In this future, the police wear something called Scramble Suits — a body-fitting suit that constantly changes its appearance — in order to hide their identities.  The problem here is that Fred is actually Bob Arctor himself, the two personalities created by prolonged use of Substance D.  As the movie progresses, Fred/Bob loses his grip on reality.  A thoughtful science-fiction story, with an ending that I found quite sad.  Adapted and directed by Richard Linklater, and done in a "rotoscoped" style (actors were filmed and the footage was animated over), similar to his earlier film Waking Life.  Rating: 8/10

  • Strange Days

    The movie was released in 1995, so its setting of end-1999 is a "futuristic" one.  In this world it is possible, through a device employing SQUID technology, to record experiences, which can then be played back (and re-experienced) by others.  The technology is an underground one, Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) is an ex-cop who now specialises in selling these clips to cater to every customer’s taste.  When he receives a tape containing a murder recorded on it, it sets into motion events that have startling implications.  A tough science-fiction/mystery/thriller, with it’s gritty setting, violent images, flashy style and fast pace (the director is Kathryn Bigelow, who also made the "100-percent pure adrenaline" Point Break; and the writer is James Cameron), it is almost an assault on the viewer’s senses, and quite a unique movie-watching experience.  The SQUID device’s playback sequences are shown in unbroken first-person perspective, and the photography in these scenes are not only a remarkable technical achievement, but are also quite thrilling to watch.  Rating: 9/10

  • Transporter 2

    Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is in Miami, working as the official "driver" for the 6-year old son of a high-ranking US Government official.  When the boy is kidnapped, Frank must rescue him (using his driving and martial-arts skills) and foil the plot of the criminals.  I suppose the best way to enjoy this movie is to completely suspend any sense of disbelief, as it has some good-looking but ridiculously implausible action scenes.  Somewhere towards the last third of the movie, the plan of the criminals is revealed, and it’s quite nonsensical.  Anyway, director Louis Leterrier keeps things entertaining enough, and the character of Lola (Kate Nauta) (an assassin who seems to prefer walking around in her underwear, blowing away anything with two enhanced guns) certainly makes an impression!  Rating: 6/10

  • District 13 (Banlieue 13)

    It’s Paris in 2010, and the scenario is an Escape from New York-type one.  Areas of the city where crime is uncontrollable are walled-off and monitored by police stationed outside these "districts".  When an armoured car containing a nuclear weapon strays into the most hazardous district of them all — District 13 — the weapon is stolen by crime lord Taha and his henchmen.  Unfortuately, the bomb will explode in 24 hours, unless it is defused.  Cop Damien (Cyril Raffaelli) goes undercover into District 13, and with assistance from Leito (David Belle), a man who was born in District 13 and knows to navigate it, he hopes to defuse the bomb in the very short time that remains.  The film showcases some absolutely amazing stunts and action scenes.  Remember those scenes in Jackie Chan movies where he does things like slide through open car windows?  Well, this film is pretty much full to the brim with such action sequences (I hear 90% of the stunts were done without using CGI or wire-work, and actor David Belle is a co-founder of the sport called Parkour that is depicted largely in this film), and combined with a fast pace (the film itself is very short, at just 80 minutes running time), and good music (by Da. Octopusss), the movie is very entertaining.  This French action film is written by Luc Besson and Bibi Narcieri, and directed by Pierre Morel.  I watched the English dubbed version.  Rating: 8/10

Well, that’s it for the movies I watched recently — will be back with more reviews later!

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2 Comments

  1. Prashanth said,

    Karthik, this is one heckuva blog with terrific reviews. stumbled on it, but glad i did!

  2. nida said,

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