Asim

The Architect

60 Years of Porsche in 50 seconds

We spoke about The Porsche Panamera in Episode 5 of Upodcast but I stumbled across this little video that Porsche released with the launch.

The title of the post is pretty self explanatory so I’ll let the clip do the talking, sit back and be amazed by the beauty of one of consistently best designed car brands ever.

 

Leave your thoughts on the comment section below!

Spaced, The US remake

There used to be a time where we could complain about American shows polluting the global airwaves with drivel. But then the Brits dropped Big Brother, Pop Idol and Insert Country that Has Talent and the TV landscape has never been the same. Read More

New Iron Man 2 Trailer

The New Trailer for Iron Man 2 looks insane. The character might not be my all time favorite superhero character (no one can touch the Dark Knight) but John Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. managed to deliver one of the best all round Marvel adaptations.

And the new trailer takes it to the next logical step. Click more for the full trailer and our thoughts! Read More

Oscars 2010…and the wieners are…

Altough the Upodcast team usually talks about under the radar news, being movie buffs we do get caught up with the yearly hysteria of the Academy Awards.

After the jump you can find the full list of winners and wieners from aunty Beeb

And don’t forget to catch our next Podcast( Episode 9) where we will be giving our acerbic take on this year’s show…with some very special guests.

Read More

Filmblog: Review MicMacs

Jean Pierre Jeunet’s long awaited follow up to A Long Engagement (his second and oscar nominated Audrey Tatou movie after Amelie) has finally arrived after a hiatus of 5 years. And for me it has been a long wait as I love his work ever since I saw City of Lost Children. You can clearly see all the hard work that goes into his movies so it’s understandable that it takes Jeunet a few years to build up his world but every frame of his movies is so well constructed, so rich and well-thought out that the effect of watching his movies lasts with you for a until you see something new of his hand.

Watching this movie I was forced to think of Wes Anderson and that other French creative Michel Gondry especially as they are all adept at creating a whimsical world that is probably translated frame by frame exactly how it was first conceived in their minds. But the best comparision I can make for Jeunet has to be Terry Gilliam. Not only do both of theses artists/directors (and not the otherway around) have an abundance of creativity which they manage to cram into to every free inch of the screen. They are at heart still clearly children although they are not scared to do show us the darker side within those fantasy.  Making me think of the fariytales you used to hear before Disney’ got his corporate hands on everything and soiled our collective chilhood memories with dancing bears and benevolent rabbits. the final similarity between the both of them is that they have been eyeing the (International) mainstream for a while without finding complete acceptance.

MicMacs (complete title Micmacs à tire-larigot) tells the story of good-natured but not the sharpest tool Bazil played by Danny Boon who looses his father and part of his cerebrum to 2 neighbouring Arms companies. Together with his rag tag bunch of down on their luck inventors, writers, contortionists all living in an underground scrap yard (surrounded by contraptions that Data from the Goonies invented before he moved to India to help out Dr.Jones) he decides to throw some gasoline flaming the fire between the companies 2 CEO’s who probably have a long standing feud (imagine the intro scene in Duplicity where Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti duke it out on an Airplane field being the backstory).

Micmacs is basically Jeunet’s take on “Yojimbo” or “Fistful of Dollars”, there is an escalation of a game of one-upmanship  but instead of swords and six shooters we have the scene in Amelie where Audrey Tatou takes revenge on her evil grocery shop owner Mr Collignon drawn out for the entirety of this movie. The cast is filled up with Jeunet’s regulars are extremely competent unfortunately Danny Boon doesn’t have the charm that Tatou had forcing the audience to get enchanted. He does his simpleton act very well even reminding me of Charlie Chaplin to certain degrees and special mention to his West Flemish accent fakery which is pretty spot on! There are lots of visual gags and MicMacs is shot in the trademark Jeunet style. Dark but beatiful.

I would really recommend catching this movie, it just released in the UK and other countries are sure to follow. It’s great to see a French movie that doesn’t revolve around characters having discussion around a dinner table and ending in people getting divorced. And anything that Jeunet puts his hand on becomes magical gold! (even if there is no Audrey Tatou or Marion Cotillard in this one)

Here’s the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYVGkjgNEU8

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Duelity: An Animated history of the world (both sides)

There are many theories about how our world started(one of which is that we are half-Cylon?). Here is an amazing prize winning animated short by graphic design artist Ryan Uhrich.

What he’s done is juxtapose two versions of how life started the Darwinian theory and the classic religious one but he’s switched the language on us.

The summary on the website is:

Duelity is a split-screen animation that tells both sides of the story of Earth’s origins in a dizzying and provocative journey through the history and language that marks human thought.

You can find more on Duelity by clicking here.

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College Humour: Lost writers need your help!

I’m fully on board of the Lost– train whilst it breezes by to it’s (probably unstatisfying) conclusion. I’m not used to watching a show  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.

 

Do NOT contact the UPODCAST team to redeem your prizes!

Related Articles:

  • I am also following this blog by a guy watching season 6 who has never seen Lost before.Click here
  • Check out Adam Quiqley‘s from /Film podcast about the ending of Lost by clicking here.

 

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Any takers for Tekken?

“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!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9ljRAl_yiI

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 JP ( Lcick here for more stills from the Tekken Movie)

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First look Disney’s first Bollywood: Zokkomon

The superhero bug has bitten the entire world and the Indian film industry is no different.
Except for the ridiculous Govinda- Kimi Katkar  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 Karachi video 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 movies  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 more  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!

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Filmblog: Review Armored

Armored (film)
Image via Wikipedia

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 pace has to be 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 VHS bootleg of The Matrix- Laurence Fishbird) is relegated to being a gun toting trigger happy fool whose entire role consists of 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 sounds 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’s  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.

Here’s the trailer.

Let us know what you thought of Armored on feedback@upodcasting.com

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Movies to look forward to in 2010

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), I have now been able to see snippets of the 3 movies that I am most looking forward to this year.

Here is a run down:

The Last Airbender

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…

Here is the full trailer

The Expendables

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.

The cast is for this movie is a once in a life time experience and we can keep bitching about Jean Claude Van Damme, Jackie Chan or Steven Seagal not being part… but where is the Michael Dudikoff fan club? Shouldn’t he be included too??

This is probably not the official trailer but it hits the sweet spot. The Expendables has a planned release date for August.

Inception

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 Bouree  followed by a Grand Jetee and that name 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!

Runners up:

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)

What movies are you looking forward to this year?

Let us know on feedback@upodcasting.com

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Filmblog: Review Brothers

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.

A bittersweet mix of trust, competition, love, jealousy and an unbreakable bond that you can only understand if you have one, and if you dont you realise that this is something you have been missing.
Looking at this Jim Sheridan directed family portrait of the effects of war and the attrocities inflicted on the soldiers and families stars Spiderman, the little girl from Leon and Donnie Darko, not a cast you would expect to deliver the kind of performances you see in this movie.
In a way you could say this reminds me of an alternate take on The Hurt Locker, If Jeremy Renner had stayed home and he had had a brother and Queen Amidala as his sweater wearing wife.
Tobey Mcquire’s character plays a Soldier caught and tortured during his mission to Iraq, his family thinking he is dead, reluctanlty decides to continue with life… But how do you deal with the reopening a closed chapter, how you deal with guilt and if anyone ever does return from War or have we lost these soldiers for ever as soon as they are captured.
The movie succeed for me as it avoids most of the melodrama that you might expects reading the synopsis and avoids most of the clichés associated with love traingles (which this movie really isn’t), the cast is amazing (special mention Bailee Madison playing the black sheep daugther in the final dinner scene, her tears are heartbreaking) and the direction is measured and restrained.
There are many subplots that aren’t explored to their fullest but that adds greatly to making these character feels real.

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 us know what you thought of Brothers on feedback@upodcasting.com

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Gold 4 Macs and the effects of the Global Economic Meltdown

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 except for the crazies on MTV’s Cribs.

Michael Jackson is no more, the James Cameron Avatar 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.

( I’m looking at you Barclays…)

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…

Enjoy!

Favorite Bollywood Movies of 2009

I’ve been meaning to write a little bit about Bollywood (I know some people hate the word as they feel it’s derivative of the term Hollywood and the colonial name of the City of Mumbai– I like using it as it just sounds better then the Mumbai Film Industry)  movies in more details then our occasional review of the genre but I worry about the cultural gap.

Like Westerns or Kung Fu movies, Bollywood speaks a different language and dances to a very different beat and it’s hard to criticize them with the same standards as we do maintream movies. Bollywood movies are supposed to entertain one of the largest audiences and make lots of money!

It’s a prestigious and long standing independent industry, which unfortunately doesn’t receive the respect it deserves. I have been force fed these mass-appealing entertainment juggernauts since birth but they have now become a part of my being. I can watch all the Korean, French or American movies I want. But nothing feeds the craving for all out paisa vasool (AKA your money’s worth) entertainment as Bollywood does! It’s like coming home to your parents and having your favorite dish prepared for you, served up with some mango pickles and lassi.

2009 wasn’t a great year for Indian Cinema although SlumDog Millionaire win at the Oscars did put the spotlight on the potential. But instead of being able to cash out on the limelight the country went into a producer’s strike that lasted and as with the Writers’ Guild Strike in 2008 in the US, it had long lasting impact on release schedules, marketing budgets, star salaries but most importantly the weekly hit of singing, dancing and dishum dishum that “Jo(-winder) Public” craved for.

Another trend that affected the industry, as it effected everything else in the world, was the Global Economic meltdown. Since the past few years corporate houses (e.g. Reliance group, BIG, UTV) saw investment possibilities in funding movies for a quick buck, the gamble paid off and actors and producers started charging enormous amounts.

Salaries were going through the roof, quality was nowhere to be found but when the US market crashed it, it deflated a lot of egos.

2010 already is proving a good year with some very exciting releases lining up, special mentions to Kites (redited by Brett Ratner), My Name is Khan (Distributed by Fox) and Veer(awesome Troy like epic).

So these are my favorite Bollywood flicks of 2009, some of these I have reviewed in more detail on my badly maintained personal blog but I would suggest, stop reading, go to Amazon and order these flicks!

Wanted:

Riding on the wave of 80’s nostalgia this movie revisits the classic Masala genre meaning you get everything in small doses, action, romance, singing and dancing.

All of this goodness is covered with balls out action and harebrained scenario. If you can identify with the character you are in for a thrill ride where you are the one shooting people in the face (in slow motion with Pecs gleaming in sweat). Girls are pretty, villain is evil and the Hero is awesome!

What more can a man ask for? Click here for the trailer.

Ps this is not the Angelina Jolie movie based on the comic from Mark Millar

Ajab Ghazab ki Prem Kahani

I got to admit I had very low expectation of this movie and it completely took me by surprise.

It’s a very funny (I hate to use the term whacky adventure as it makes me think of Scooby doo) romantic, it’s harmless and very well shot and it just flies by. The main cast is hilarious and both actors pitch in a performance that you really don’t expect seeing their past efforts. Ranbir Kapoor is destined to be the next big thing in Bollywood and this was the first proof how his appeal is able to draw crowds.

And I even liked Katrina Kaif for her performance for once. Oh and the songs were pretty catchy too!

3 Idiots

The Biggest Box Office in all foreign markets. 3 Idiots talks about so many different things which I am trying not to spoil as I want to have an in depth review with the guys. This was my favorite movie of the year, it had me laughing and it even made me shed a tear or 2.

But most of all it changed the way I think and how I will raise my children ( if one day I have them or  whenever they are able to track me down but bounty hunting ain’t what it used to be).

All iz well people… all iz well…

Kaminey

We’ve had a whole episode on this movie so you can always go back and revisit episode 1!

I got one word though

DHANTENAAAAAA

Love Aaj Kal

Together with Ajab Prem Prem ki Ghazab this were my 2 romantic movie pics of the year.

Love Aaj Kal is the story of how love has evolved from our parents generation to us.

I have to admit I haven’t revisited the movie since but if you want a great date movie for Valentine’s day, this is it!

Dev D/ Luck By Chance

The 2 movies that illustrate the changing face idea of Indian cinema.

Dev D is a modern take on the classic novel which was given the grand treatment a couple of years ago starring superstar SRK. Anurag Kashyap (the director of Black Friday,which was amazing but ran into problem with censors) had a very different take, he took Dev from the beautifully lit gondolas of Bengal to the gutters of LSD laced nightmares. A Bit over trainspotting, a lot of Leaving Las Vegas but all accompanied by an AWESOME soundtrack. My second favorite movie of the year and the one I have probably revisited the most. This is not a family movie!

Luck By Chance I reviewed extensively on my Things on my bheja. Although at the time I was not aware this would still be my favorite movie at the end of the year but it still stand outs for me.

All of this to say, if you haven’t ever watched a Bollywood movie, you can pick out one of these pics and be ahead of the curve or you can share Martin’s opinion on bollywood movies also in our episode1 and agree that most Bollywood is shit! But that’s probably coz y’all can’t dance 🙂

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Favorite Movies of 2009

A happy 2010 to everyone!

This period of the year when we are curled up on our couches under a cozy blanket and a cup of soup, we start to reminisce about the year gone by. How we wish we had been able to change certain things for the better and how we could have avoided some mistakes that in hindsight should have had predictable outcomes.

But it is also a period where we are forced to stay inside hiding from Mr.Freeze ( I’ m not talking about Arnie in his career defining performance) and read other people’s thoughts about what the best movies were for 2009.

So here are my picks.

Just a few caveats:

  1. I had to have seen this movies in 2009 ( hence I managed to sneak in Up in the Air and not A serious Man or The Lovely Bones)
  2. Clearly these are the picks I enjoyed the most and not perfect movies or critically acclaimed movies in any sense ( altough reading some of my favorite online critics at /Film I do see some comparisions)
  3. I did not rank , neither did i sort it

So in the immortal words of Lando Carlissian: here goes nothing:

Inglorious Basterds: Tarantino can do no wrong in my book, this was my favorite movie of the year. Hans Landa is a character that will stay with me till my dying day.

Avatar: I thought for a long time to put Star Trek on the list instead since it is a tighter story but Cameron’s achievement with Avatar are groundbreaking and Pandora is a world I want to keep revisiting.

The Brothers Bloom: A severly underrated movie that I would urge people to seek out. This has been stuck on repeat and the one movie I have tried to make all my friends watch

500 days of Summer: As they say in french, this is my “coup de coeur” the one movie that stuck closest to my heart this year. I’m adding the trailer because it says it all… this is not a love story.

 

District9: This gem came out of nowhere, with a considerably small budget and and unknown cast and director, thanks to the support of Peter Jackson, this was the breakout of the year.

Where the Wild things Are: Hauntingly beautiful

Moon: I think you can see from my list that I’m a pretty big sci-fi fan. But this small UK funded movie surprised me in so many ways. Sam Rockwell in a towering one man show.

Up: Everything is magic in this movie starting from the Cloud short at the beginning. Specialmetnion also to the first ten minutes silent movie that chronicles the couple life… haven’t cried as much since Bambi’s mom got shot by 50 Cent.

Up in the Air: Snuck in my top ten, it’s the kinda movie that sticks to you and like Where the Wild Things are has a hypnotic beauty to it.

Watchmen the Director’s Cut: I loved the comic and loved the movie. It might not be the movie we wanted but it was the movie we deserved.

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