The Matrices

From 2004:

Note from now: I’d be interested in watching the last two movies again at some point to see if I still think the same.

Name: The Matrices
Directed and Written By: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Type: Science Fiction, Action
Year: 1999-2003
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving.

Hmmm… what can I say?
This movie has become an icon for ages to come. “Witty” one-liners, never before seen action and computer graphics, wowing people off their seats.
That was the first movie.
Almost nobody got it until they saw it for the 4th time. That’s because people stopped paying attention to the story line and looked for the action more, because the story line is rather clear. Humans connected to massive computer which gives them an illusion of reality.

The first movie was good, but let’s not forget it has it’s share of cheese. Like the scene where Trinity (Carrie-Anne) kisses Neo (Keanu) in real life, and he wakes up from death in The Matrix. Cheese.

First movie gets an 8.5/10.

I held my judgement for Reloaded, I said to myself, “it’s the first part of a two part movie, so let’s not judge it yet”.
Then I saw Revolutions. I was disappointed. I think I hated the movie. It was horrible. The only part that was worth watching was when Neo is trapped in the train station, when we finally get to see some brown people. Other than that, Hugo Weaving who plays Agent Smith did a real good job in the two movies until it came to the last scene, which was royally screwed up by the Brothers.

The last two movies get a combined 3/10.

Possible Spoilers

Why is Trinity’s “residual self-image” so ugly?

When Neo fights Agent Smith in the second movie, and eventually flies away, why doesn’t Agent Smith fly after him? Seeing as he can fly freely in Revolutions.

Why haven’t the oh so smart machines figured out a way to get over the clouds and harness that solar energy?
Or why haven’t they machines made a mega fan that blows away these clouds? Surely that would be easier than destroying Zion every so often.

Why does Neo see Agent Smith with sunglasses when he goes blind?

Why does Neo say “There’s too many” while destroying the sentinals? When is “too many” too many for our The “I can can see when I’m blind” One.

Why didn’t the Oracle see her shell change coming?

Why can Sati (the Indian girl) control the Sun in the end of the movie? Is the martix going haywire? Why can’t Seraph control the trees in that case?

Why don’t the machines just use a powerful bomb to destroy zion? why do they have to only use bullets?

I can go on forever.

Overall series: 6.5/10

slumdog millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

So one day I was cruising IMDB and saw “Slumdog Millionaire” under Mahesh Manjrekar’s name. Then I noticed that Irfan Khan and Anil Kapoor were in the movie too. People, this is not some castaway cast. These people are fairly accomplished actors/directors. So seeing them together in a non-Bollywood movie was very intriguing.

Then a whiles later I saw the trailer. The part that caught me most in the trailer was when Anil Kapoor was dancing on the Millionaire set. So I wanted to see the movie.

I can kinda see why people like it so much, but not really. I may talk about specific incidents in the movie, so don’t read on if you don’t like spoilers.

Let me start off with the good. I loved the start of the movie (minus the shit scene, I didn’t ‘love’ the shit scene, but it got the reaction it was looking for), the camera angles and editing on the chase scene were fantastic! And I generally liked how Boyle filmed Mumbai. I really liked the child actors in the first part of the movie, and I realize now that this was aided by the fact that they spoke in Hindi. Their responses to some of the things were great. Conductor as he throws out the kids: “Baap ki train samjha kya?”, kid responds: “To phir tere baap ki train hai kya rey?”. Or something like that.

The ‘beggar master’ bit reminded me of A Fine Balance.

The filming style of the childhood days was reminiscent of City of God. But let us not fool ourselves, these are two very different films.

The storytelling wasn’t very clear. Initially I thought that Jamal’s older brother was just a friend or some such, this is so odd considering he keep saying “I’m the bigger brother” for the rest of the movie.

I would have preferred it if the entire movie were in Hindi. The British style accents did bother me, maybe they picked them up from the tourists at the Taj Mahal. Hah. Or maybe they shouldn’t have used Hindi at all, and gone totally in English. When you use both, you ought to maintain a realistic sense when one or the other would be used. So while it makes good sense to use English in the call-centre and the game show, it doesn’t make sense to use it in the police station while you’re dumping the head of the kid into a bucket of water. If I was doing that, I’d use Hindi.

I find it odd that Mashesh Manjrekar never ages. He’s seen in a car in the chasing scene. Then Salim goes to find him after killing the ‘beggar-master’ and then he’s seen again when all the kids are grown up. He never ages.

Also, if I killed the leader of a competing gang, when I join your gang, I want to be one of the top dawgs.

I find the whole Jamal and Salim relationship to be out of whack. He kicked him out of the hotel room and then recognized his voice years later when he call him from a call-centre? Ummm… no.

And then instead of calling up your brother (who’s kidnapped the girl you love) you give his phone number to the Millionaire people. Because, you know, that whole kidnapping thing won’t matter when you’re on live television.

Can you really tell a producer of your show that you fed the contestant a question and get away that easy, “it’s my show after all”. Actually no, it’s not your show, you’re an employee.

I wouldn’t have answered the last question, I’d take the money. But that’s okay.

So why would you wait at the train station sitting all sad like after you’ve won loads of money and you made up with Latika over live television? He could have bought a cell phone, and then called her, because he knows she has his brother’s phone. And it’s the only number our Slumdog Millionaire knows (except that he remembers everything else like lochs and the like, but doesn’t know any other phone numbers given that he works in a call-centre).

Why did Salim make a bed of money in the bathroom and die in it? He could have run away with Latika, got on a plane to another city/country and be done with the thing. Not like the goons can’t find Jamal and Latika later on.

I was disappointed by how short the dancing moment with Anil Kapoor was, but I enjoyed the dance at the end.

But in general, the characters, I didn’t feel were developed enough for me to care about them, specially Latika. Was also disappointed at the characters of Anil Kapoor, Irfan Khan and Manjrekar.



Ghajini (2008)

I was actually interested to see how an Indianized version of Memento would turn out.

The start of Ghajini was totally disappointing. Everything from the camera angles, to the exaggerated fighting to the overacting. I stopped watching at about the 17 minute mark after the film turned into a 3 minute expose of Aamir Khan’s body. I can’t stand movies that treat the audience as stupid, this movie seemed to be one of them.

Another thing that annoys me is when people don’t credit “inspiration”. You just have to come out and say, “inspired by Christopher Nolan’s Memento”. Please, please, please treat the audience as if they have intelligence. Thank you.

If someone did see the movie, and if it somehow magically turns out to be good, please let me know.

donnie darko

From 2003:

Name: Donnie Darko
Directed By: Richard Kelly
Written By: Richard Kelly
Type: Drama, Science Fiction
Year: 2001
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, James Duval

I won’t even begin explaining anything about this movie.
Jake Gyllenhaal was brilliant. The story makes you think.
One of the best of 2001.

When you’re done watching this movie your mind will say “whao”, out loud.
And if it doesn’t, then I’ll give you your money back or you are stupid.

Rating: 8.5/10
If you liked Jake’s acting, pick up “October Sky”

ek chalis ki last local

Ek Chalis Ki Last Local (2007)

I saw this when I was in Mumbai last year. This movie goes along the vein of the Pulp Fiction/Snatch type films but it’s not a rip off, it’s inspired by those films. I liked it.

The characters were off the top and the situations absurd; making for one crazy movie.

I don’t get people, what’s with all the Abhay Deol hating? He did fine in this movie, and so did Neha Dhupia. Good on them for choosing to do the movie.


no country for old men

No Country For Old Men (2008)

I liked this movie, I liked the performances. Brolin and Bardem were great. It wasn’t the best thing since toasted subs, but it was good.

The scene at the gas station store was just plain creepy/freaky, much like Chigurh himself. I don’t need all my movies to have some form of redemption, I’m okay with a movie telling a story from point A to point B.

I didn’t mind the slowness or the lack of music (see Gerry). And what’s with all this talk about the ending? The ending was fine.

  • The coin don’t have no say. It’s just you.

  • Point bein’, even in the contest between man and steer the issue is not certain.



Hunger (2008)

The first thing in the film that stands out is the use of sound. There is no music, none that I noticed. Every sound bit seemed to have been heightened. Shoe steps, doors closing, and everything else. It reminded me of Gerry.

I didn’t know much about the IRA or Bobby Sands before watching this film, and I can’t say I know much now. I’ll have to read up a bit on that.

Visceral, that is how I could described most of the scenes in the movie. That is how I’d describe most of the movie. There is very little dialogue and the pace is very slow (again, reminding me of Gerry), but the imagery is very powerful in most instances.

The conversation scene between Sands and the priest was very well placed, clocking in at about 18 minutes in a single take. It did take me a while to adjust to the accent and certain words I missed out completely.

I don’t know much about the story, so I can’t comment on that. The film has its flaws but is very well made.


whale rider

From 2003:

Name: Whale Rider
Directed By: Niki Caro
Written By: Witi Ihimaera (novel), Niki Caro (screenplay)
Type: Drama
Year: 2002
Starring: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton

Set in New Zealand, Whale Rider is about Paikea Apirana (Castle-Hughes) who has to overcome certain aspects of the Maori culture. She also strives to gain the respect and recognition of her grandfather Koro (Rawiri Paratene).

Yaser dragged me along to watch this movie, and I’m glad I went. The overall theme might be cliche but the movie itself was anything but; a very real movie with great performances. Keisha Castle-Hughes’ performance has to be one of the best child performances ever; she does a great job to capture the complexities of Paikea’s character. Definitely worthy of an Oscar. I wonder how she will adapt to the characters in her future movies.

Don’t miss this movie. If you are the emotional type then bring along your handkerchief or tissue papers because you’ll shed a couple of tears. Yaser alone cried enough to fill up a medium Sprite glass (please don’t try and confirm this with Yaser). I didn’t shed a tear however, but an emotional movie nonetheless and a very emotional performance by the cast.


iron man

I shouldn’t be alive, unless it was for a reason.

While I understand the type of resourcefulness one engages in when time is short and life is at stake I found it slightly difficult to accept that even the great Tony Starks could make that suit in a cave in Afghanistan. But I kinda did anyway, just so I could watch the rest of the movie.

Movie had one-liner situations that made me laugh out loud and other funny machine-human interactions. I also liked the ending. But overall it was highly predictable, sometimes that can be good, not so in this case.

I’m not much taken by special effects, and why was Terrence Howard in this movie?