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Monday, April 5, 2010

SHUTTER ISLAND

The new thriller directed by legendary director Martin Scorsese is getting quite mixed reviews by critics. Thus i decided to watch it for myself to see what the fuss is all about.
The movie is a psychological thriller with top notch direction, special effects and superb acting by the whole cast. Fans of Scorsese's previous work would appreciate the direction of the movie as the "highly stylized violence" is present throughout the movie, along with intense suspense and drama. Most of the people who are giving negative comments about the movie are complaning about it not being scary or horror, well it wasn't supposed to be scary, it's a thriller not a horror movie there is a big difference, and I believe critics should know the difference.
The movie follows the story of two U.S Marshalls, who are sent to a remote island to investigate the escape of a murdress. The island hosts a mental institution for the criminally insane, where Leonardo dicaprio's character,(U.S Marshall Ted) detects many conspiracies and secrets during his investigation. Thus begins an exciting game where the viewer is taken through a psychological maze, where the Leonardo's character is trying very hard to blow the lid off this conspiracy and at the same time trying to fight his inner demons. Also he is looking for his wife's murderer who is supposed to be in that mental asylum.
All this mental assylum backdrop reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound" released in 1945, another great psycological thriller. Although the two movies have totally different plots.
After that the movie keeps throwing twists at the viewer and keeps the viewer at the edge of his seat. Finally the movie ends with a big juicy twist in the plot leaving the viewer astonished, to think about it for next couple of hours. Thus I personally recommend the movie to anyone who likes good thriller moives, not the cheesy thrillers that we normally get to see these days.

By: Mussab Bin Aamir

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Shawshank Redemption.

Shawshank Redemption is a movie based on the novel by Stephen King. The story is very dramatic and is based in a prison. The movie is very well directed and reaches the heart of the audience with its amazing dialogues and scenes.
The film is narrated by Red (Morgan Freeman), an aging Black man who spent most of his life in Shawshank, a new England prison where he was sent after being convicted of murder. Things were rough at first, but Red gradually became 'institutionalized', i.e. the inside became more real to him than the outside world. He gained a reputation as the man who can get you anything, whether it's booze, cigarettes or reefer you're looking for. And then one day arrives a new prisoner who will change his life, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a young and successful banker who was (wrongfully?) convicted of the murder of his wife and lover. Quiet and reserved, Andy becomes the target of the Sodomites, but he has the strength of character to stand up to them. The movie is about how Dufresne refuses to give up even in these horrendous circumstances. He puts his former life talents to use by doing the taxes of the guars, who in return don't treat him too abusively, and he eventually even becomes the warden's personal accountant. Andy also keeps his mind busy by sculpting and polishing rocks, taking care of the prison library and even helping illiterate inmates like Tommy (Gil Bellows) get their high school diploma.

The Shawshank Redemption is definitively not your usual, exploitative prison movie. There are some rough, unsettling moments, and we learn that the warden and his guards can be as crooked as the cons, but the movie is really about the human spirit. It uses the hard, disheartening world of prison to show that even in such an environment, life can bloom. Writer-director Frank Darabont (as hard as it is to believe, this is his debut) balances perfectly this odd contrast of horror and beauty, sin and grace. He crafts some moments of such ironic poetry that it made me cry. Cause more than anything, the film is about hope. About how no matter how bad your situation is, you must stay hopeful and keep dreaming. Or as Andy puts it, "Get busy living or get busy dying." Darabont did an amazing job putting Stephen King's powerful tale on film. The cinematography, the music, the storytelling, it's all perfect. The picture lasts some 140 minutes, but it's always riveting filmmaking. That also has to do with the great cast, led by impeccable performances by Freeman and Robbins. Their friendship through their life sentences is central to the story, so it was important that there would be palpable chemistry between them. They're both tremendously talented actors, and they're able to make us forget about themselves and fully bring these characters to life. You take any moment in the film and it feels just right, that's how good they are. This truly is one of best movies I have ever seen. Not only is it intelligent, moving and fascinating, it also quietly leads to one of the most satisfying payoffs in movie history, and that ending still works for me even though I've seen the film many times. "The Shawshank Redemption" will instantly become a favorite of anyone who watches it.

By: Raza Ali

WAG THE DOG

Back when they used to make records out of vinyl, there was a thing called a "45," or a single. For maybe a buck, you could buy one song that you heard on the radio and liked, without having to buy the whole album. On the other side of the 45, there was another song, often a throwaway or something that wouldn't sell on its own, called the B-side. Moviemaking has now adopted this policy.
You would think that Wag the Dog would be the Oscar worthy. It's getting all the acclaim, the Oscar nominations, and it will probably be remembered longer than Sphere, but Hollywood doesn't think that way. They spent more money on Sphere, and, by God, it had better do more business.
Anyway, Wag the Dog is a wonderful, very entertaining, and almost unbelievably timely movie. Robert De Niro plays a kind of super-spin doctor who is hired to get the president out of a sexual scandal two weeks before the election; he comes up with a war on Albania. He hires Dustin Hoffman, a movie producer to take care of the TV work, the songs, the graphics, and the war itself. Anne Heche plays De Niro's nervous assistant.
The fact is, even if it hadn't run into scandals and phony wars, Wag the Dog is still a tremendously smart and funny movie. I doubt it will age as well as Network, but it is close to that realm of brilliance. It has a scrappy low-budget feel, as if this were a team of anarchic students looking to raise hell, rather than some of the finest professionals in the business.
I'm all for it. Normally, all we would have is garbage like Sphere. Now, we have a very good movie as a result of the bad movie. I say to Hollywood, let the filmmakers do the low-budget good movies in exchange for the big budget bad ones. We have a choice as to which ones we will pay to see.

By:Taha Sajid

DUCK SOUP (1933)

The film duck soup is Marx Brothers comedy movie written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. It starred Marx Brothers and also featured Margaret Dumont. The wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) insists that Rufus T. Firefly be appointed leader of the small, bankrupt country of Fredonia before she will continue to provide much-needed financial assistance. According to my observation of the film, the movie is excellent blend of timeless comedy with perfect acting. This movie comprised of good big looking sets with some nice costume designs. The main source of humor in the film is Groucho Marx as Rufus T. Firefly. He never failed with his rapid insults. Sometimes his jokes didn’t even relate directly to the situation at hand, but they were always funny. There are many memorable moments in the film, but my favorite sequence is the mirror scene in which Groucho, Harp and Chico, dressed in the same costume are seen on either side of the looking glass following the other person's movements. The songs about Firefly's administration and Fredonia going to war were highly entertaining. You may think that since it's an older film and that it's black and white, that it wouldn't be very funny, but that is not true. It is just as funny as many of the current comedy films today. Duck Soup is a movie for all looking for a good humor. All the different scenes and situation of the movie makes an all-star comedic reputation. In my opinion, this is a well made comedy film.

By: Hammad Ameer

Requiem for a Dream

The story begins in summer. Sara Goldfarb, an elderly widow living alone in her Brighton Beach apartment, spends most of her time watching television. After a phone call announces that she will be invited to be a participant on a game show, she becomes passionate with matching her appearance to a photograph from Harry's (son) graduation. In order to fit into her old red dress she begins taking a treatment of prescription weight-loss pills not knowing what they really were throughout the day. On the other hand her son Harry is a heroin addict. Together with his friend, Tyrone, and his girlfriend, Marion who are also heroin addicts start taking more dozes of the heroine. Their main aim is to open a fashion store for Marion's designs.
Now in the middle Tyrone is caught in the of a drug gang murder and Harry uses the majority of the money they have earned to bail him out of prison Growing more desperate, Marion tells Harry she doesn't know what she is going to do to get the money from her heroine and ends up having sex with him in exchange for the money, causing a confuse relationship. Sara's visits the TV studio and she is put in a mental institution, where she undergoes painful therapy. Harry and Tyrone travel to Florida, where they believe they can start over, but Harry's weakening condition forces them to visit a hospital in South Carolina, where they are arrested. Marion meets with a pimp, who makes her have more sex with him for drugs, each character is falling into a fetal position. In Sara's dream, however, she wins the grand prize that the game show offers and meets Harry there. In her fantasy, Harry is a successful businessman, engaged to Marion. Mother and son hug and say how much they love one another through the cheers of the crowd. Like this the movie ends but drugs really affect lives of many people.

By: Hammad Ameer

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 action mystery movie this movie was directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Robert Downey and Jude Law portray Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, respectively. Holmes investigates a series of murders. The story begins with a conflict on top of Tower Bridge, still under construction.

In 1891, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson chase to prevent the ritual murder of a girl by Lord Blackwood, who has killed five other people similarly. They are able to stop the murder just in time. Three months later, Blackwood is sentenced to death and requests to see Holmes, who visits him in prison. He warns Holmes of three more approaching deaths that will cause great changes to the world. Three days later, Blackwood's tomb is destroyed. Reordan is found dead inside Blackwood's coffin. The leaders, Sir Thomas (James Fox) and Home Secretary Lord Coward (Hans Matheson), ask Holmes to stop Blackwood. Sir Thomas and another senior member of the group are later killed through apparently magical means by Blackwood.
When Holmes learns he is wanted by the police he goes undercover and studies Blackwood's rituals, concluding the next target is British Parliament. Then Sherlock and Dr. John Watson sneak into the sewers beneath Parliament and discover a machine, based on Reordan's experiments, designed to release cyanide into the Parliament chambers. Blackwood and Coward realize their plan has failed. Blackwood manages to get away while Coward is captured.
Holmes gets Adler on top of the incomplete Tower. Holmes tricks him into becoming entangled in the ropes and chains, hanging over while Holmes recounts the technical trickery behind all of Blackwood's supposed magic. A loose beam falls off the bridge supports, causing Blackwood to fall and die by hanging from the chains.

By:Hammad Ameer

Green Street Hooligans

Length: 109 min

Distributor: Odd Lot Entertainment

Date of Release: 2005-09-09


Starring: Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam, Claire Forlani, Marc Warren, Leo Gregory, Henry Goodman, Geoff Bell, Rafe Spall, Kieran Bew, Ross McCall, Francis Pope, Christopher Hehir

Directed by Lexi Alexander

Produced by Deborah Del Prete, Gigi Pritzker

Written by Lexi Alexander, Dougie Brimson


‘Stand Your Ground’ is the message that is conveyed in the movie.

GSH starts off with a fight scene and then moves on to a show the expulsion of a Harvard student who is caught in a fictitious drug scandal. The scenes move on showing Buckman (Eijah Wood) fling overseas to his sister in England.

From here onwards Matt Buckman is taken to a football match with his sister’s in-laws, Pete Dunham (Charlie Hunnam) and this is where Matt is hooked to football and the supporting gang, better known as a firm, Green Street Elites (GSE).

However, no true American would enjoy watching British lads beat up a Harvard yank after a match of what Westerners call “soccer”. GSH, directed by Lexi Alexander, not only brings audiences into the world of competitive UK football, but also poses important arguments over the value of brotherhood and the lengths at which one would go to remain a part of it.

GSH is not only Matt Buckman’s story, but the story of a female director Alexander. She grew up in Germany with a brother who was an active member of a firm. The stories she lived and the tales he told make for the inspiration in this film.

Knowing that the movie is crafted from autobiographic material, makes the characters’ relationships in the film even more real and touching. There is a working balance between the graphic frame-by-frame fight scenes and the dialogue development between the actors onscreen.

This film is about football fanatics that go over the limits, brotherhood and Standing on your ground. I would like all the football fans to watch the movie.



By:

Taha Sajid