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Archive for the ‘Cinema’ Category

Rabbit – by Run Wrake

Here is what can best be described as a very odd and surreal morality tale. The animator is Run Wrake.

08:34 – May 01, 2007

And speaking of surreal and rabbits, how can we forget good ol’ David Lynch:

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Well, it has come … and gone.

Standing in line a mere 3 hours last friday nite, i was able to get my hands on the final installment of the Harry potter saga: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, at 2.40 AM, at Paris’ famous W.H.Smith.

So i decided to make it a Potter-ful night and so i went before hand to watch the newly released Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film.

MOVIE REVIEW: Harry potter and the Order of the Phoneix

What an absolute and utter disappointment. Easily, the worst of the five movies, and on almost every level.

Before starting my critique, i will acknowledge that it was a very difficult task to try and condense a 700-page book into a less than 3 hours long movie. However, having said that, let us not forget that the 4th move, Goblet of Fire, was also a massive book, which was satisfactorily translated onto the silver screen. So let me go through the problems:

  • The story is incredibly incoherent. And this is coming from a hardcore Potterphile, who knows the stories inside out. While it is acceptable to leave out many smaller details which add to the ambiance of the book but do not figure in the main storyline, one cannot do the same with important points. I can only imagine how confusing the movie must have been to one who has NOT read the books. There are jumps in plot, there is no character developement. There is no logic in the reason people do things.
  • Utterly anticlimactic. As i sat there, grinding my teeth through teh first half, i kept justifying the missing chunks of story, by saying that all is for a good reason: take away from the first half of the story, in order to allow a long and superclimactic final confrontation scene. In the book, the final confrontation is easily, the most climactic of the first six books (yes, even more so that i would say in the Half-blood Prince). The entire part with teh kids running around in the department of mysteries should be the perfect medium for any diretor looking for some inventive eye-candy. And yet … david yates, chose to skip over almost all of it, and go straight to the hall of prophcies. Such a shame. Can you imagine this part of the story, in the hands of, for example Alfonso Cuaron (the guy who did the 3rd movie), or better yet, someone like a Terry Gilliam, or Jean-Pierre Jeunet? Then as if that wasn’t bad enough, the utter climax, the duel between Dumbledore and Voldemort, is done away far too quickly, without any interesting visuals, and dishonesty towards the characters to some degree.
  • And while i’m on the department of mysteries sequence, WHAT THE HELL WAS UP WITH THE DEATH EATERS WOOSHING AROUND LIKE THAT? For goodness sake…..
  • Furthermore, Why did they have to change Sirius’s death? I can think of100 ways of doign it which would have been better than that. AND WHY THE HELL DID THE ARCHWAY NOT HAVE A VEIL!!!!!! OH FOR GOODNESS SAKE……
  • I really dislike some character depictions. First of all, i have Never liked Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore. The essence of Dumbledore is a childish spirit with the body and wisdom of an old man. He’s the greatest wizard of the age, one who knows it, who is confident of his abilities, and is afraid of no one, and is utterly compassionate. Most of this does not come through Gambon’s interpretation. Which is a shame, because they are the most attractive parts of the character’s personality. I miss Richard Harris’s Dumbledore.
  • We didn’t get to see nearly enough of Snape! Come on, here we have one of the best and most intriguing characters in the series (not the mention the most perfectly played, thanks to alan rickman), and i think he has only a few minutes of screentime.
  • I’m sorry, but i dont care what reviewers say, but i think If Daniel Radcliffe (the guy who plays harry potter) had an act-off with the inimitably bad Hayden Christensen (guy who played Anakin skywalker), i’m sure they would both lose.
  • I believe, the girl who played Luna Lovegood, is the first non-brit employed in the series. And it shows! And her lack of acting experiences shows too! She may have the proper appearance, but the acting was just not there. And what the heck was up with the not-so-subtle “romantic tension’ between her and harry. Come on david yates, you can be more subtle than that.

If only to be fair, i will point out some of the positive points as well.

  • The two main young ladies, who play Hermione and Ginny, are certainly growing up most beautifully. It’ll be a shame when by the final movie they’ll have to be 22 years olds playing 16 year old high schoolers, not that i will mind.
  • There were a lot of good visual, not necessarily in the context of the story, but in themselves. Some good visual jokes, such as the kitten plates in Umbridge’s office.
  • Dolores Umbridge. Imelda Staunton was … PERFECT. She was the lone shining light in the entire movie. She had the character down to a’t’. From those annoying littel coughs, to look and behaviour. She was perfect in everyway.
  • … hmm…i guess that’s it.

Did anyone who has not read the books actually understand what is going on now? i doubt it. Do they know the importance of the prophecy? no. Or of nevill longbottom? no.

Well, that’s it. I have not yet begun reading the book. i hope to begin soon, once i’ve finished the re-reading of the last two, just to get into the flow of things.

 

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It has become – at least for me – impossible to seperate Paris, Amelie Poulain, and Yann Tiersen‘s Music (even though he is originally from Bretagne). What the two latter part of that tripod give me is in inexplicable sense of happiness without reason, without argument. That is true in fact with much Tiersen’s Music. Here is one of my absolute favourite pieces – if not THE favourite – called “La Noyee” (the drowned person), which is an apt title, because it certainly is able unleash a dam of tears each and every single time, not because of sadness or happiness, but because … i dont know why!

Enjoy:

03:56 – April 01, 2007

[tags]yann, tiersen, amelie, poulain, paris, music, accordion[/tags]

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Battlestar Galactica will retire

Well, i guess the news is kind of sad, but it’s good in a sense as well. 

The awesome "Battlestar Galactica" Series, one of the hallmarks of the Sci-Fi network, will end after next year’s fourth season. According to yahoo news, the choice was that of the producers. 

This is good, in teh sense these are the same guys who conceived the idea of then entire show’s storyline, and thus they clearly have a specific ending in mind for the series.  Good for them.

What i wish to post very soon, is a long post on my theory on what we have learned by the end of the third season.  I think it’s a very good theory on what is going on, with the cylons and the twelve colonies and Earth. 

Promise, that will come soon!

[tags]battlestar galactica, galactica, sci-fi[/tags]

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So the famous Cannes film Festival has ended, and so the prizes were awareded. The Palme d’Or was given to the Romanian film "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," which depicts the horrors a student goes through to ensure her friend can have a secret abortion.  But …

The cinematic adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s "Persepolis" won the Prix de Jury at the Cannes film festival!!! Good for her.

Read about it here

[tags]france, cannes, film festival, satrapi, Persepolis, jury prize[/tags]

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A wonderful gem of comedy, Seth MacFarlane giving the graduation speech at Harvard in 2006. He does it as himself, as Peter Gryffin, Stewie Gryffin, and Quagmire. Enjoy:

06:24 – June 08, 2006

Now, Peter Gryffin:

04:30 – June 08, 2006

… Stewie Griffin…

07:28 – June 08, 2006

… Quagmire …

04:35 – June 08, 2006

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This is an example of why SCRUBS is the most brilliant american comedy show of all time:

00:28 – July 25, 2006

[tags]scrubs, the todd, zach braff, sarah chalke[/tags]

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This is INACCEPTABLE

I’m sorry, but this bit of news is simply unacceptable.  Something must be done. Damn greedy studios.

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has been told he will not be employed on The Hobbit, the next film adaptation of a JRR Tolkein novel.

New Line Cinema, with whom he has been in dispute about income from the first Rings film, was not using him, he said.

Jackson had refused to discuss a Hobbit film until the case was settled but New Line said it now wanted to move on as it had "limited time" to make the film.

The Rings trilogy generated nearly $3 billion (£1.6 billion) in cinemas.

[tags]the hobbit, tolkien, jkr, lotr, lord of the rings, peter jackson, new line[/tags]

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Da Vinci Brouhaha

So the windstorm surrounding this book and now movie continue, with denouncement and so forth coming, from teh vatican to Moldova. Since the opening of the movie, there have even been some book burnings. I dont know about you guys, but i think Dan Brown should be proud. There are several things i want to talk about regarding the book/movie. So first off

The Religious Reaction

I have one thing to ask from all those who are complaining about this book being blasphemy. Do you think this has anything in common with the Mohammad Cartoon debacle? Well i think it does. And i find it very hypocritic that many of those complaining this book, which is A WORK OF FICTION, is blasphemy; are those who were complaining that the mohammad cartoon’s should not be such a big deal, and it was and expression of one’s views, and to suppress it would be stifle freedom of expression.

Moreover, why do these fundamentalists beat their chests so hard over this. I mean, if you truly believe your religion, don’t you believe that Jesus will be judging dan brown in teh end? So just let him go to hell, if he chooses to.

Secondly i think that the main reason that the church is pissed off, is because someone else is trying to get into their bracket (i.e. make a whole of posthumous money off of Jesus). And they don’t like it.

The Critics Reaction

Now, i have actually read the book (it’s another one of those things that is Jai’s fault). The book was very entertaining, i’m not – anymore – ashamed to admit that. It was obviously well researched in terms of its facts, and well constructed as far as thriller books go.

I have not yet seen the movie, but I asure you that i will. However, the critics have been VERY down on the movie. I have a proposal as to why, I’m sure its a bit of a stretch, but who knows. I think the problem is that too many people have read the book and loved. The movie is a bit of a failure, for hte same that Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings was a bit of a failure for the die-hards of the work of JRR Tolkien (me included, although i only had major issues with the changes to the story in the Two Towers). This is the first time that popular mainstream book has evoked the kind of adoration that is usually reserved for cult books. And thus, so many people are familiar with the book and loved it that, naturally, they will never be really satisfied with the movie.

Moreover the book is rather long-winded and discussion based in parts, which is very hard to translate into a movie, especially if you want to truly stay honest to the book.

Having said all that, I am sure that i will go and see it at least once in the theatres.

Now, if you want to see a really good movie, go and see V for Vendetta. It is absolutely sublime.

[tags]da vinci code, dan brown[/tags]

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  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Books, Cinema
  • Movie Review: One Night

    Here is my review of Niki Karimi’s New movie, ONE NIGHT. You can also find it in this week’s Issue of English Shahrvand.

    One woman, One city, One night. Niki Karimi, already celebrated as a well-known actress of Iranian Cinema, has taken the next step in her artistic evolution and has produced her first film as a director, the much talked-about “One Night” (Persian title ‘Yek Shab’).

    The film, definitely praiseworthy, especially as a first effort, however, still lacks the maturity, poise and depth which Iranian filmmaking is known for in international Cinema circles. The film, a minimalist piece by most measures, is centred almost entirely on dialogue, and shot almost entirely outdoors. The fact that almost the whole of the movie takes place inside three separate cars is homage to Kiarostami’s controversial Ten, whose influence on One Night is by no means lost.

    The tale begins as Negar (played well by Hanie Tavassoli) comes home from her long day’s work as a secretary only to find that she has to leave and stay somewhere else for the night because her mother – who is never actually seen on the screen – is expecting someone over. The fact that the person is a man is made clear only implicitly, and serves as the opening to a meditative take on the relationship between man and woman.

    Not really having another option, Negar decides to wander the streets of Tehran for the night, imagining that perhaps, at best, it can be an experience. She repeatedly attempts to contact her boyfriend, but is unable to get a hold of him. It is while walking along the street that she takes her first car ride of the night.

    (more…)

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  • Filed under: Cinema
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