28 February 2014

Broad City

From the amazingly hilarious mind of Amy Poehler comes a brand new tv show that proves, just because you are funny doesn't mean you can make someone else funny.


Broad City follows the lives two twenty-something girls living in New York City and being regular 21st century girls.
They FaceTime each other all the time, smoke weed and are generally trying to ding their way in life. They want to grow up but continue doing childish thing while they are at it.
One of the girls is a aspiring gym trainer who's unrecognized talents are put to cleaning duty, and the other works for a company doing god-only-knows what and getting no money for it in return.
The show leaves a lot to be desired. The show is about young people in New York, as though it hasn't already been done to death. Seinfeld, Friends, Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother just to name a few.
There is a lot of potential for humor in the show, there definitely is. But the dialogue doesn't deliver. The actors seems like very nice girls. That is truly one the best thing that I can say about them. Their performance with a severe lack of substance feels like a cheese grater on my skin. It is quite disappointing to see this show after the hype that surrounded it, especially with regards to the fact that Amy Poehler is involved. I mean, she makes a show about parks funny! How could she go so wrong?
There are admittedly only a handful of episodes out but there seems to be no obvious plot line that the show would want to follow.
I was honestly quite sad after seeing this show.

The Good: More New York city!
The Bad: It's just SUCH a bad show

25 February 2014

Masters of Sex

"The problem with the world is that they don't know enough about sex." - William Masters


Based on the biographical novel about the pioneers Masters and Johnson, comes a tv show like none before, on the cusp of it's second series.
William Masters portrayed by Michael Sheen, was the man who was curious. Curious about sex and the many wonders surrounding it. We join him on his quest as he employs Ginny Johnson, Lizzy Caplan as his secretary who eventually becomes his research assistant and then research partner and then wife.
The mini-series follows the life of the two of them trying to educate the 1950's world about the physiological effects and causes of sex on humans. We see them in viewing their case studies, working together and coming together to eventually break the glass ceiling the world existed in mid 20th century.
The show is cleverly made, to say the least. Being an HBO Showtime series there has to be tons of nudity and explicit content present in the show, but it is done in a classy way.
The direction of the show is brilliantly done, and coupled with an excellent array of shots that tell the story in an art-sy way, make the show much more interesting. Not that it needs to be more interesting.
I had lost a lot of my faith in Michael Sheen post-Twilight, and no amount of re-watching Underworld could make me bring it back. And then Michael came swinging back with Masters of Sex. He does a brilliant portrayal of a man unbridled with a passion for curiosity of sex. Michael Sheen oozes a sense of regality that works excellently with the role he has chosen to play. He is also a producer of the show which makes me further appreciate his talent.
Lizzy Caplan has definitely come a long way from Mean Girls, and I do believe that she is playing herself in the show. With an air of elegance though.
The show captures your attention and keeps you trapped there for a good long while. There is a good host of supporting actors who supply quality acting.
The episodes run for an hour so there are moments that your mind will wander, just because it runs a bit dry every now and then, but it still enrapturing.

The Good: Interesting dialogue that you need to keep up with.
The Bad: It makes you feel bad for the women during the 50's

22 February 2014

The Book Thief

I read this book when I was 11 years old and I fell in all sorts of love with it. And now, almost 8 years later, I was ready to do that again with the movie. 


We join Leisel as she is travelling with her brother and mother to her new foster parents in Himmel Street. It is during that journey that Leisel's brother dies and has to be buried on the side of the tracks, leaving Leisel to live in Himmel Street alone. She meets Hans and Rosa, her foster parents who make her feel like a part of the family. She then meets the 'Boy with hair the color of lemons' Rudy who falls in love with her and since then becomes her best friend who also asks for a kiss at every single opportunity. In a sudden turn of events, Leisel and her family is required to take in a Jewish man, Max, the son of a friend of Hans who dies to save Hans's life. 
Leisel and Max form a relationship based on a shared interest in books and not feeling like they belong, despite their age difference. Enter Fuhrer and his war and their world is turned upside down. 
The Book Thief was an amazing movie that helped show the world a different side of the story, it wasn't about being closed off from the world, but it was about how despite being free, you weren't. 
There are very few adapted movies in the world that can do justice to the books, and this movie is only the second that I have come across. 
There exists a raw beauty in this movie that is reflected in the simplicity of the dialogue and the use of mere expressions to convey feelings and emotions. 
The acting in this movie is absolutely amazing, especially in regard to Captain Barbossa and his German accent. There is a scene with an air raid and Max reveling in the outside world which makes the above sentence stand true.
The music in this movie was superbly done, John Williams is my new favorite music man. There is a scene where Max hands Leisel a journal and the background music is beautiful in the moment. 
One of the most obvious stand out points in the movie for me was the attention to detail in the background. The posters, the clothes and the way people behaved with external stimuli. The use of these aspects made the movie so much realistic.
The narration by Death was absolutely fantastically done, with just the right amount and tone of voice. Please do us all a favour and watch this movie.

The Good: The movie made Rudy a much more charming character, especially the bit where he turns around and adorably asks Leisel, "Isn't it obvious I am running away?"
The Bad: Leisel is described as German brand of blonde and dangerous brown eyes. I see no brown eyes on Sophie. I realise that it is hard to find someone of exact specifications, but wearing contacts hurt no one. 

19 February 2014

Dallas Buyers Club

Are you ready for 118 mins of sheer brilliance?



Matthew McConaughey plays a strongly homophobic man whose life is turned upside down when he finds out that he has been tested positive for AIDS. He has so far lived a very typical life for a southern farmer in the 70’s. He meets Jennifer Garner, a doctor in the hospital who gives him a medicine, to avoid me spelling it wrong, lets call it Med A. He begins to use Med A only to realize that it does more harm to him than good. He is then informed about a new medicine Med B that works wonders. But plot twist, it isn’t sold in the US because it hasn’t got the approval just as yet. SO Matthew decides to travel to Mexico in order to get Med B, an illegal act that he performs in the guise of a priest. He comes back to America where he finds out that there are plenty more people who are looking for an alternative to Med A and are willing to pay a lot for it. And thus begins a cycle. He goes to Mexico, buys the drugs, come back and sells it. The group that he sells to becomes the Dallas Buyers Club. He then comes into contact with Jared Leto, playing a transgender woman who also has AIDS. She helps the spread of his empire. And while extremely set-in-his-own-ways Matthew can’t stand the idea of working with a transgender, he eventually comes to respect and even become friendly with Jared. The empire spreads rapidly and far, and several different Buyers Clubs are established in the entire country.  Eventually Matthew comes back into contact with Jennifer Garner who understand that Med B is the way forward and despite regulation issues begins to prescribe Med B to patients rather than Med A.
Eventually a lot of police and crime watch later, this biographical movie concludes with saying that the government allowed Med B to be legally sold in the US.
The story is a very strong one and when you watch it it’s impact is quite powerful on you.
The filming is beautifully down and there exists these wonderful seamless sequences especially while filming all the scenes in the desert.
Leaving that entire bit aside, the thing that takes the cake for me was the acting. The amazing talent of both Matthew and Jared shines through, including their extreme weight loss and in the case of Jared his transformation into a woman, which literally blew my mind. One other thing that made me fall head over heels in love with this movie was the clever and enigmatic use of a brilliant background score.  It wells up when it is required and slows down when not. It works really well with the scenes that are going on in the foreground.
Watch the movie because I have given you too many reasons that saying no will be embarrassing.

The Good: It is based on a true story. And frankly does justice to the story.

The Bad: It will make you cry. Tremendously. And for a long time.

The LEGO Movie

There aren’t enough synonyms of awesome for me to be able to describe how amazing this movie is.


We see Emmett, an incredibly normal guy. SO normal in fact, that nothing about him sets him apart from everyone else in the world. He works as a construction guy in the Lego world and lives by the instructions that are given to all members of society by the President Business a.k.a Evil Overlord.
He one day comes across a beautiful woman in Elizabeth Banks and follows her until he falls down Alice’s rabbit hole. There he sees a glowing ember, which he of course touches.
He is then recruited into the Piece of Resistance with Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman who is doing what he is best at, playing God. He meets a variety of different people and all of these who have dreams beyond fitting in and being a part of someone else’s society. They have gone underground in the hopes that one day The One will come and help them get their life back on track.
The LEGO movie is an adorable amalgamation of several cult movies and also uses some of their famous lines. For instance, Terminator’s famous, ‘Come with me if you want to live’ becomes, “Come with me if you want to not die”. Clever way to avoid legal issues, yes?
Also, the entire plot line is eerily Matrix in itself..
I was quite worried about the movie just because there exists a fear with such movies that they become too hyped up, that they become children’s movies and that they end up using all the funny bits in the trailer and nothing fresh is left for the movie.
Which is undeniably false for this wonderful movie. It is a little childish, but seeing as my mental age is about 7, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
There are constant jokes and quips throughout the movie and there is especially a lot of sketch comedy-ish feel to it.
Which makes sense since both Will Ferrell and Will Arnett are famous SNL ex-members.
You will constantly be tickled and fall in love with the relatable main character.
This movie while is a teeny-tiny bit of a rip off of Matrix but it sets in it our usual terms and shows a brilliant metaphor for how everyone in their daily lives are becoming a part of The System and participate in certain social norms just to be able to fit in with the crowd.
The animation is really well done, especially with the faces, which I understand is a difficult thing to do.
It does have a stop-motion feel to I, which makes sense seeing as they are LEGO’s which hurts my head after a while,. But to each their own.
Do watch the movie, otherwise you will have at least two hours of your life where you will smile less than you should,

The Good: Chris Pratt has an adorable voice. Who knew?
The Bad: You will want to play with LEGO’s again, and you will realize that as an adult you will be judged for that.

15 February 2014

Her

This movie guarantees that within the first 10 minutes, you will start to feel incredibly uncomfortable.


I have always loved Joaquin Phoenix. Having said that of course, I have only seen two other movies of his.
But he is a spectacular actor, even if his current ponytail calls that into question.
Her follows the life of a lonely almost-divorced man in the not so far future. He comes across the latest form of an operating system with an extremely advanced artificial intelligence, which is developed for you specifically. He ends up becoming friends with his OS, and then even develops not-so-platonic feelings for her. Weird, yes?
Granted, the voice of his OS is Scarlett Johansson and many a men would die for that opportunity, but still. IT'S A PIECE OF SOFTWARE! How do you love something like that?
Anywho, we see that Joaquin has a crazy haired neighbour Amy Adams whose husband of 8 years leaves her and she is crushed and turns to her OS for support and comfort as well. Joaquin and Amy bond over this shared insanity of theirs. Rooney Mara plays the ex-wife of Joaquin who finds out about his love for his OS and says that the mere fact that he is now in love with a piece of software means that her leaving him was a good decision. Idiot man.
Scarlett Johansson decides that she wants more in life than just being some technology and then goes so far as to tell him that has been interacting with other people and is in love with several other people. She and other OS's have now decided to ban together and go on a Rise of The Machines move and in that notion she must leave pretty eyed Joaquin alone with his weird haired neighbour to sit with and drink tea.
That's where the movie ends.
However, in real life that is the bit where you get up, dust off the popcorn crumbs and say, what in the WORLD?!
I get where the movie people are coming from, trying to show the dependence of humans on technology and all, but still dependence is one thing, falling in love and wanting to procreate is a whole other thing.
And the movie leads up to something that doesn't quite give in and ends just so very oddly.
There is a lot of red in the movie, is someone trying to get us to guess his favorite color?
The picturisation is wonderfully done and the way the future has been shown is quite interesting, because rather than seeming far fetched it seemed like a realistic thing.

The Good: Joaquin Phoenix is back!
The Bad: He chose to come back in a movie like this one.  

11 February 2014

Hasee Toh Phasse

This is the place where Indian cinema goes to die. 


I wanna say that there is a story in this movie, but in all honesty, there is hardly anything worth watching in this movie. 
We start with seeing a young and extremely clever girl and a young guy who is a clever trouble maker. Which has no relation to the rest of the movie since we see no troublemaking from the guy and little cleverness from the girl. 
Fast forward a couple of years and they happen to cross paths at the wedding of Parineeti Chopra's oldest sister, who is NEVER shown in the entire movie. The sister, I mean. She is running away and meets Sidharth Malhotra who is busy scamming on women. He helps her with her luggage and she leaves. Fascinating story so far. He goes back to the wedding where he sees a woman who he falls for. Seven years later and they have been engaged for ages and now are finally getting married. The entire family arrives, including Parineeti who is *surprise-surprise* the sister of woman Sidharth is engaged to. They bond over, well, nothing, they just bond. And then we find out that she used to be a drug addict who caused her father to have a heart attack and then ran away from home. She is also apparently super smart which is shown by her saying big words really fast. And she is also fond of eating toothpaste. They fall in love and the movie ends. 
There is little to no story in the movie as witnessed above and coupled with an extreme lack of acting ability means that the movie is a pain on the senses. 
Props to Parineeti because for a change she isn't portraying a loud mouth, confident girl. Instead, she is an expressionless word sayer. I think she is meant to be someone with Asperger's Syndrome. All I can say is that if I had Asperger's I would be offended by the portrayal.
There is an unbelievable lack of chemistry in the movie, and Sidharth ends up playing a very fatherly figure to Parineeti's 'I'm such a little girl, help!' act. 
This movie is an abomination in Bollywood, so please, do us all a favour and don't go watch the movie. The trailer and poster are really bad representations of the movie. At all. It says romantic comedy, it is lying. 

The Good: I think there were only two songs in the entire movie. 
The Bad: Karan Johar does a cameo. A sign that the movie really is bad.

9 February 2014

August: Osage County

I walked out of the movie hall unable to tell you what the story of the movie was.


The movie follows the life and times of an extremely dysfunctional family. Meryl Streep is a cancer patient who is eccentric to say the least. She drives her loving husband, who is called Beverly by the way, crazy who just ups and leaves one day. This means that the entire family must now travel down to Osage county to be with Meryl, who true to form is busy smoking and drinking and saying mean and hurtful things. Her oldest daughter, Julia Roberts, is busy dealing with her husband, Ewan Mcgregor who is busy cheating with a Twinkie, and her teenage daughter who is too busy being emo to care. Her middle daughter, the timid one, has stayed behind to live in Osage to look after her mother. She also is in love with her younger cousin shy and adorable Benedict Cumberbatch, her mother's sister's son and dreams of running away with him and living in New York. Her youngest daughter is a loud and abrasive woman who runs through men quickly and brings home Dermot Mulroney, who ends up making a move on the teenage girl only to be hit by a shovel.
See?
A weird movie.
The acting is incredibly good with a lot of emphasis on silences and looks. The direction must be pretty good, seeing as the story was super weird. The filmography was beautiful and seemed well thought out. That's a strange way to say it, but it just seemed well thought out.
There really wasn't much going on, story-wise. So if you go into it with a commercial mind set you won't be able to appreciate it.
There is literally no reason to watch the movie. Believe me.

The Good: Benedict Cumberbatch sings. And looks adorable while doing it.
The Bad: Bald Meryl Streep. Just picture it.