Slightly tired and recovering after a “few” beers from last night I realise the Friday rant is overdue…So following from Asim’s blog about Lost; the show now gets my own treatment.
What started out in the first two seasons as something quite novel and intriguing rapidly went downhill pretty much as soon as (in the UK at at least) it started to be shown on Sky TV rather than Channel 4. This switch and my inability to keep following the show revealed to me that you know what…it ain’t actually that good. Certainly not good enough to get me to a) get a Sky subscription or b) even spend time downloading it or c) definitely not buying the DVDs.
The main reason I, ahem, lost patience was nothing to do with the polar bears, the hatch, the timer or even the existence of the others. These are all good things. It was knowing that after 2-3 seasons, it was never going to get better for the remaining 4 or so seasons. Not a snowball in hell’s chance of maintaining decent writing, plot, intrigue and or mystery.
And this is a common bug for me – why do execs believe shows can run and run (see Rant passim Two and half men)? The notion that you can spin out a show like Lost with engaging ideas for that long is just plain wrong and I knew this as soon as I heard it was 7 seasons: inevitably, the show would have to more crap as more episodes came out and the plot became thinner and thinner. Inexorably the plot turned slowly and surely into a sci-fi show, which given the promise shown early doors is frankly a cop out worthy of the Dallas writers getting away with Bobby Ewing walking out of the shower. It was all just a dream…yeah right.
Hey all and welcome to one more episode with the gang! Tonight we will be battling it out with The Thomas Crown Affair, so pretty much who prevails between Pierce 007 Brosnan versus Steve McQueen, who will win!!!!
Here are both trailers to check out!
Now it’s time for our underwhelming trinity, so here’s a rundown of our weekly crazy internet findings!
Asim will be talking not about one topic, but THREE! First let’s go to Germany, where guys find it hard to break up their relationship so they resort to a professional to do it for them guilt free, stress free!! Breaking up is hard to do, so pay someone else! Go or no go, please let us know what you think?!
I’m fully on board of the Lost– train whilst it breezes by to it’s (probably unstatisfying)Â conclusion. I’m not used to watching a showÂ episode as I just can’t muster up the patience. So I usually just wait for the whole season to end and watch it in one go.
But Lost is that one exception.
Since I am up to speed with season 6, I am also rewatching from season 3 just after season 2 which for me was where most people fell off.
Whilst watching season 3 I have learnt to live with the idea that there is now way Lost will answer all of our questions.
But whatever happens, it’s going to be a interesting ride.
I came across this pretty funny clip from the guys at College Humour.
“It could all be so simple but you’d rather make it hard…” Lauryn hill sang it in Xfactor and it is clear that all of the makers of video to movie game adaptations didn’t hear her song.
The martial arts tournament movie is a genre every dude has grown up with but a love that started for many of us with Enter the Dragon has unfortunately degenerated into heartbreak caused by movies like D.O.A.
The Japanese website of the forthcoming Tekken movie have released some pictures and it pretty much looks horrible and tacky! The only ray of hope I see is the stunt team attached to it which is headed by Cyrill Rafaelli-who if you don’t know is a very competent martial artist from France. Most notably he took on the role of the cop in both Banlieue 13 movies(Check out my write up on behind the scenes stuntmen on my badly maintained personal blog)
The Tekken anime wasn’t bad (or at least as good as the Street fighter one) so there might be a base for a good half way decent story and I must admit it is kinda cool seeing some of the characters that have made us spend hours button bashing the worrying part is that unfortunately there’s hasn’t been one decent video game to movie adaptations yet in the history of movies (with Silent Hill getting close and Double Dragon being the worst maybe?).
Are waiting what the Gyllenhaal-Bruckheimer will drop on us this summer with Prince of Persia.
But if there is a game genre that might work then it might be the martial arts tournament genre?
Its easy guys, go watch Best of the Best, Bloodsport and Ip man and get it done.
This looks horrible but I will probably end up watching it on a late night with the homies!
Any of you excited for a live action Tekken movie?
Let us know by dropping us a mail or below in the comment section!
Via Warner Bros JPÂ ( Lcick here for more stills from the Tekken Movie)
The superhero bug has bitten the entire world and the Indian film industry is no different.
Except for the ridiculous Govinda- Kimi KatkarÂ Indian Superman scene on YouTube, the first real superhero that I can remember was Amitabh Bachan in the awesome Shahenshah. I remember there was a 3 week waiting period in our Karachivideo rental store.
But I’ll let that memory back in the campy 80’s where it belongs.
We had the Hritik Roshan starrer Krrish which really wetted our appetite for a proper Bollywood superhero.(Good effort but doesn’t have originality or repeat value unless you actually think you can be Krrish when you grew up)
Shahrukh Khan, the supreme superstar of Bollywood (aka King Khan) is taking a swing on the genre with Ra.one a cutting edge mix up hi-tech and skin tight Lycra insanity. My worry is that Bollywood is making the first type of superhero moviesÂ as we saw back in the 70’s -80’s with a supreme good guy as a heroe with no human flaws whilst the audience has now grown up, moved on and prefers a moreÂ darker approach( more real?) eg The Dark Knight, The Watchmen and the forthcoming Kick Ass.
But in the meantime Disney have released the first images and trailer to Zokkomon, their foray into live action Bollywood production.
Their previous animated release was Roadside Romeo which to me it felt like an incoherent mish mash of deja-vu sequences with strained voice work of super couple said ali khan and Kareena kapoor. It was clear that the actors were not yet comfortable with the animated medium.
But now we have Zokkomon starring the revelation of Taare Zameen Par(masterpiece by Amir Khan about a child coming to terms with dyslexia- a strong recommendation from my end).
The costume design kinda reminds me of Red Mist in the kickass posters but to me that’s a minor detail and still I’m excited!
Red Mist-Kick Ass (I’m not crazy that i see a similarity right?)
let us know what you thought of the trailer in our comments section!
Well well, it’s been quite some week, batting illness and the effects of an insane partying weekend in Sweden. However, here I am for another little shout from my soapbox. And in some ways, last weekend shapes the nature of the blog / rant this week.
AmericanTV (see Friday rants passim) is currently held to be in somewhat of a golden age and generally speaking I have to agree, despite my protestations to the contrary. There is in my mind no doubting the sheer quality of a number of shows, from The Sopranos to The Wire, from Scrubs to Six Feet Under. But rather than focus on shows that I find to be merely crap and then tell you all that American TV ain’t all that good, I thought I’d draw your attention to something Anglo-Swedish – just to show that Europe still has a trick or two up its sleeve.
You may or may not have heard of Wallander, a Swedish detective show featuring Kurt Wallander as the lead role. Now, if you haven’t seen this programme, I’ll be honest; it’s a little bleak and a little dark, but then reality is little bit bleak and a little bit dark, so we shouldn’t complain greatly. First shown on UK screens in 2009, it accompanied the BBC remake of the same show. Fair enough you might say: a good cop show deserves a mention. But what is more interesting is not that the source material is good, but that the BBC has remade it for Brits in quite an interesting way. Rather than simply transplanting the show lock, stock into England and rather predictably London; the production – starring Kenneth Brannagh as Wallander – leaves the show in Sweden, with a host of good quality, jobbing British actors and a smattering of Swedish acting talent too.
The joy of this comes not only from it seeming more like the original, but at the same time in doing so (leaving the show set in Sweden) lends a far greater sense of originality (somewhat oddly). The remake by the Beeb succeeds where, alas, other remakes (UK version of CSI anyone?) fail in that the photography and feel of the original are maintained and we are allowed to see the lead character in situation as intended. BBC 4, you have once again done us proud.
Today the gang and I will be reviewing one of Germany’s best! The Counterfeitersor should I call it Die Falscher, which is a true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the Nazis in 1936.
A line spoken many times in this movie by Indian Superstar Shahrukh Khan, playing a good hearted Muslim man suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome, resonated with me in a very strong way. It’s a feeling that I have tried to utter many times but this movie manages to do so very simply.
I have been racking my brains on how to approach this review.
I could talk about it from a Muslim point of view, living in a country that is not my own and the struggles many of my similarly skin-toned brothers and sisters have to battle. Unfortunately Iâ€™m not that good of a Muslim so my arguments could be completely invalid and I donâ€™t want to proclaim to be a victim when my own parents went through a lot worse in their days. I’m sureÂ Chris Rock has enough clips on Youtube to illustrate my point.
I could approach it from the angle of a Bollywood aficionada that can finally recommend a movie that is in general release thanks to Fox (apparently even the evil empire can do good sometimesâ€¦) and that the general audience can watch as maybe their first Masala experience (which Slum dog Millionaire wasnâ€™t although it had brown hewed people in it dancing)
I could write as a critic of Hindi Cinema tearing down any inconsistency I was able to pick up on, be it the slowing of pace post-intermission, the horrible broad strokes that every non-Indian character is painted with or the lack of a riveting climax.
But whenever in doubt, I take a scattershot approach, try everything at once and fail horribly in the public eye. Yes, that is how I (Jelly-)rollz.
The route I choose to take is the one this movie tries to takeâ€¦ the human route, taking away all other details to bring things back to a core message, one that our protagonist is taught by his mother played wonderfully by yesteryear ( I do hate that word) actress Zareena Wahab.
There are good people in the world that do good deeds, and evil people that do evil ones. There is no further difference, be it religion, race, creed or culture.
I loved My Name is Khan for its message and intentions. Itâ€™s so good hearted it can be forgiven for its overt sentimentality, dramatic music and dialogue cueâ€™s. This story of Rizwan Khan who has trouble connecting with the subtleties of day to day life (some may argue that this movie has trouble with cinematic subtleties but you did sign up to watch an Indian movie). Although he suffers from Aspergers he is a very bright and ingenious thinker, comparisons with Rain Man donâ€™t hold up as he isnâ€™t playing an idiot savant (plus his brother never kissed Mia Farrow). Forrest Gump would be a more apt comparison but only for the second half of the movie.
He takes his simple message to San Francisco moving in with his brother and Sister in Law. Where he meets and falls in love with Hairstylist/Single mother Mandira (played by the always delightful Kajol). The repercussions of 9/11 create a rift in their love story causing him to undertake the mission of going on a road trip to meet the president of the United States to tell him that one simple messageâ€¦ My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist. On his road his good heartedness affects a wave of people along the way leaving the audience a blubbering mess.
Shahrukh Khan is always entertaining; his charm (as recently seen on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross) carries this picture to an emotional but underwhelming conclusion. It’s the little moment of charm that make you fall in love with Rizwan Khan and you end up completely buying into his quest. You feel for his character, the frustration he feels of not being to express his emotions and the love he feels for Mandira.
Overall the performances are great by most Indian actors. I could watch Kajol read the news and I would be glued to my screen, both Jimmy Shergill (playing the role of Rizwanâ€™s frustrated younger brother, this would be a character you would have in any other movie but Jimmy carries it off because he is that damn good) and Sonia Jehan (almost makes me want to see Taj Mahal, her first big screen appearanceâ€¦ almost) are great in their small roles and I would have loved to see more of their struggles. Mostly the focus lies on Shahrukh character and his wonderfully understated approach on a subject matter that might not be appealing from the get go.
Cinematography by Ravi Chandran is beautiful, costumes, art direction and music are of vey high quality but I wonâ€™t be putting this album on repeat, itâ€™s just not that kind of album.(special mention to Sajda by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, hear me rave about him in episode 5 of UPODCAST)
The few points that work less for me are:
All performances by non Indian actors, or they ran out of budget and got actors that arenâ€™t of a much higher caliber than an average porn actor or Karan Johar was unable to direct them in the proper manner.
Listening to Kjoâ€™s interviews it does seem he is hands on with most actors except Shahrukh Khan( as Khan doesnâ€™t want to listen to Karan) so I think the failure does lie with his character design. Another example of this is Kajolâ€™s motivation in the second half of sending Rizwan off on his quest, which seems too abrupt and contradictory to me even if the tragedy she goes through is very real.
The stand out scenes for me where the entire romantic track between Rizwan and Mandira from their meeting until the interval point. There chemistry is still the strongest romantic pairing in current Indian cinema.Â The segments of Rizwan growing up in India and the confrontation he has with some of the more violent Muslims in the US mosque are riveting.
Itâ€™s great to see a moderate voice take on some of the people that are usually the more vocal (and maybe â€œinsaneâ€) part of the Muslim community. And the words he says are onspoken by many of us have had but have not been shown this way on screen.
What works less is the CGI both in the Georgia flood scenes as in the key moment Mandira and Rizwan fall in love. It made me think of a discussion going on about Titanic and how after AVATAR James Cameron claimed he would do the entire movie in CGI.Even the sunset on that famous kiss scene between Leo and Kate would be CGI. I think if he was able to do so we would have lost out a lot of the power and exactly this power is what’s missing in the scene where Mandira decides to marry Rizwan and bring him into her and her teenage son’s life.
The ending doesn’t work for me because of the casting. The portrait of the president is very jarring. And altough the president of the US is never named specifically, the movie just looses steam.
But I would urge you to seek out this movie as since it’s been distibuted by Fox it does have a wide release and it’ s an unbelievably fresh approach to issues that really do affect all of is.
The message of hope it carries, needs to be heard, needs to be listened to…
My Name is Burney, and I freakin’ loved this movie!
To anyone who has listened to our show, you must have figured out that it takes a lot for a movie not to be liked by me.( I gave Kevin Costner‘s Postman a pass in our Bonus episode- Marty still hasn’t forgiven me)
I just love movies! The more ridiculous the premise, the more I like them. To me a movie needs to be entertaining and the paceÂ has to beÂ be justified by the narrative. Or it has to be something I have never felt or seen before. And if all else fails, I just want a corny B movie that I can switch my brain off to!
Armored is a dissapointment as it fails on all these points. This movie stars a huge cast Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Jean Reno, Skeet Ulrich and Heroes’ Milo Ventimiglia. It’s directed by Nimrod Antal, who if you dont remember him by his name alone is also the guy who will be directing the new ‘Predators’ movie produced by Robert Rodriguez( Click here for more info). The story is of a security transport crew that decides to rob their own delivery of 42$ M in cash. Altough Matt Dillon keeps pointing out to his compradres that this is indeed that mythical FULL proof plan all small time crooks dream of, things do not go as planned.
Man, I feel bad for the cast. Any one of these guys could have guaranteed at least a decent opening if we were in a dfifferent era, some of these guys were even hot properties for a while. Laurence Fishburn (or as he is known on my Pakistani VHSÂ bootleg of The Matrix- Laurence Fishbird) is relegated to being a gun toting trigger happy fool whose entire role consists ofÂ pretty much making grunt noises like the torture scene in the aforementioned sci fi classic. (a cross between a dying camel’s last breath and the noise you make when you haven’t cut your Fugu fish according to instructions).
Matt Dillon acts very creepy but is unable to convey any real threat, he soundsÂ like one college boys in the Bro Rape Video. Skeet Ulrich and Milo are relegated to side roles (sacrifical lamb and dying vistim- I won’t spoil who is who but you can totally get why Milo played Stallone’sÂ son in Rocky Balboa, they both do a great droopy face), they are probably reminiscing of their Scream and Heroes heydays.
The only thing that does work is Nimrod Antal, I think he has a great eye for bare bones actions and I am looking forward to Predators. Too bad the whole movie is locked in the armored truck of it’s own B-grade design.( see what I did there?)
It’s completely understandable this movie came and went without anyone notcing. Not enough action to make you forget the plotholes and too many plot holes to make you appreciate the star cast. But a great showreel for the Director.
OK folks, roll up roll up! Time to tide you over with a Bonus episode! Join the Upodcast team go mainstream and worship at the altar of one Kevin Costner… Postman style.
The gang discusses the demise of Kevin Costner’s career and our top Post Apolcalyptic and/or Dystopian Future Movies. And why The Postman deserves it’s place in Pajiba‘s list of most cheesy movie moments!
You can also find the trailer here, although a trailer for this 3 hour film can’t do it justice 😉
ANother Friday, another chance for AmericanTV to get it in the neck from me…
This time and with due consideration that this is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel I have chosen two and a half men.
Tag line = Two adults. One kid. No grown-ups. Yeah, we’re rolling on the floor with laughter already. The description then goes on…
A hedonistic jingle writer‘s free-wheeling life comes to an abrupt halt when his brother and 10-year-old nephew move into his beach-front house.
…no. No it doesn’t. It’s always difficult to sustain a show based on a kids/adults relationship theme and this is why films like Home Alone or 3 men and a baby or Look Who’s Talking are short-lived successes, but ultimately fail to charm as time passes. In the end, we’re adults, not kids.
I know the whole “plot” doesn’t involve the adult / child interaction; but to return to my point above, there’s no real problem wth this type of thing, but why oh why does this show get 7+ seasons and pay its stars so much ($500k per episode)? Again, further proof that for every Scrubs, Dexter or 6 feet under; there is of course a TV exec willing to wantonly ignore the notion of good quality TV entertainment.
More in next week’s rant, where I may veer away from cursing US tv and start with other non-tv matters!
With the release of the Last Airbender trailer during the Superbowl (The SuperBowl has something to do with American Football a game no non-american can ever understand, but the also have cool movie trailers and Janet Jackson Nip Slip so wholesome family entertainment for young and old),Â I have now been able to see snippets of the 3 movies that I am most looking forward to this year.
I still want to call this movie Avatar but I guess M.Night had to change the name to The Last Airbender after James Cameron achieving cinematic history. I’m probably one of the last Shyamalan apologists left after The Happening and Lady in the Water but I still look forward to his movies. He’s always had an amazing eye for visuals and drama and he is so very talented. And now since he’s adapting one of my favorite animated saga’s (Close second to Knights of the Zodiac and Dragonball) I am waving my little Shyamalan Flag.
I hope he get’s to make all 3 chapters of the movie like the animated show but he will have to battle the onslaught of geek hate and prove the detractors of his last few flicks. Plus he made Unbreakable which is one of the best superhero movies ever made…
Early reviews are appearing on the interweb and it seems that this is going to be a triple whammy for Stallone after Rocky Balboa and Rambo. It’s the perfect timing for these kind of re-imagined 80’s action thriller and Sly is able to tap into those feelings of nostalgia of 20-30 year old who grew up with that RamboII poster where he’s holding a Rocket Launcher. Personally the more control Stallone has the more be it directing or writing, the more I seem to enjoy his movies.
This is probably not the official trailer but it hits the sweet spot. The Expendables has a planned release date for August.
I have no clue what this movie is about or what this trailer means but I just need one name to go from a Pas de BoureeÂ followed by a Grand Jetee and that nameÂ is Christopher Nolan. To me he is one of the most exciting director since Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson. He’s had a perfect record (ok, maybe Insomnia I liked a little bit less but Pacino made up for it by being Pacino and Robin Williams was very creepy but not One Hour Photo creepy which is the perfect level of creepiness).
I’m not a fan of Leo but with Nolan behind the camera, I know I dont need to worry. and the trailer is freaking amazing!
The A Team
Iron Man 2
There are a few more movies coming out that excite me but the trailer of those are not out yet. ( eg Black Swan, Looper, Tron Legacy)
Well, another week passes and another thing bugs me. And I do understand I’m a little slow here, but Goddamnit I was upset when I found out that Reaper was only deemed worthy of 2 seasons.
This from the country that gave us Friends for God only knows how many seasons too many! And however many versions of CSI..?
What’s not to like about a show where the lead has to capture souls for the devil after his parents sold their son’s soul to the Devil? Played brilliantly by Ray Wise; possibly better know for being Leland Palmer in Twin Peaks. Throw in some alcohol and drug references, demons, angels and other whackery and this is surely a winner worth more airtime.
A story in my book is effective if it makes you feel something that you have no first hand experience with.
Indiana Jones puts you in peril and makes you feel the advernture of being a hero (and a life long urge to wear dirty shirts and learning how to use a whip), Annie Hall puzzles you with the heartbreak of a relationship that was never supposed to have “a happily ever after” and you reflect on your failed attempts at finding love.
To me Brothers succeeds in it’s way it makes me feel how it must be to have a brother.
This movie was on the best of list 2009 for many film critics most notably Adam Kempenaar from Filmspotting.
I caught up with it only know because I think the failure of this movie ultimately is the inability to market it properly.
It’s not what you think but what it is is gripping and makes you revisit this world and characters many times.
Check it out as this movie will pass under most people’s radar and currently only has a 58% Rotten Tomatoes score.
I would urge you to trust in the ability of Jim Sheridan to tell a gripping story and a chance for the cast to rise above their image.
Here’s the trailer that in my mind doesnt give the movie it’s right due.
Let’s Agree 2009 kinda sucked!
Since last year, the economy is in shambles which has effected the day to day lives of pretty much for everyone exceptÂ for the craziesÂ on MTV’s Cribs.
Michael Jackson is no more, the James CameronAvatar hype has almost died down (with the exception of weekly Box Office updates and if the movies has beaten Titanic or Gone with the Wind) most of the banks have caught their second breath and are running ads on TV like nothing happened in 2009.
But the one thing that has annoyed me the most except Banks trying to be our friends again is the worrying trend of:
People wanting my Gold…
I’m just glad I don’t watch day time TV as you would be bombarded by horrible, cheap looking ads to the point where you start feeling guilty and want to buy gold so you can give it to these companies!
I came across this little mock up video on Geekologie.
Nice tie in to the Ipad launch…