We'll tackle any film foreign or otherwise, paying exclusive attention to Arthouse, Indie & Cult features. Selected up to the minute News will also be given prominence.

March 23, 2011

The Fighter

Director - David O. Russell

Genre - Biography/Drama

Directed by David O. Russell this is a movie about professional boxer Micky Ward who rose from nothing to become the toast of his small town Lowell. Feeling pulled down by his own family, in particular his manipulating mother and drug addict brother Dicky, not so young Micky has to choose fast in order to have a shot at glory. Playing Dicky, an almost unrecognizable Christian Bale completely hijacked the picture. With a script written in such a way that 'The Fighter' in the title refers as much to Dicky as it does Micky, Bale made sure he wasn't playing second fiddle by giving the performance of a lifetime. Dicky fights to redeem himself from the ashes of past failures and addiction. Micky fights to prove himself worthy. There are two stories running simultaneously here. We have never seen a film until this in which the supporting actor (Bale won an Oscar in this category) outshined the lead so thoroughly. It works however and Wahlberg being outpunched in the acting ring by Bale doesn't mar the outcome at all. In fact, it is curiously enriched because Dicky is the more interesting brother. The one we paid to see. Christian Bale's dedication to his craft is well known. Now it's unquestionable.

4.5 STARS!

All about The Fighter

March 17, 2011

127 Hours

Director - Danny Boyle

Genre - Adventure/Drama/Thriller

Danny Boyle is a director who likes to challenge himself with different genres and situations and we have tremendous respect for him based on that. Every one of his films have not been similarly threaded. James Franco is Aron Ralston in this picture based on a real, unfortunate incident involving Ralston. A mountain climber/free spirit, Ralston is the kind of happy go lucky daredevil you wish you were but were too afraid to be. Then one day, Ralston makes a wrong move and you wish you never, ever end up like him. On one of his adventures, Ralston is literally caught between a rock and a hard place. Stuck and with not nearly enough provisions to sustain his life, he has to summon all his strength and will to live. Battling with nature's a bitch and he is trapped in a place far from civilization. Boyle's direction of a movie consisting predominantly of only one man talking to himself is as invigorating as one with a cast of thousands. James Franco will go a long way in this business judging by his fearless acting here. A story which imparts on us the need to cherish being alive.


All about 127 Hours

March 9, 2011

Lakeview Terrace

Director - Neil LaBute

Genre - Crime/Drama/Thriller

Newlyweds Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington buy a new house next to a neighbor from hell acted by Samuel L. Jackson. The role of an over the hill cop with deep rooted resentment for most of the world is played with relish by Jackson. Frankly speaking, it is the only reason to watch this film. There aren't that many actors who can embody such a character so convincingly without going into over the top mode. If the role was given to Nic Cage or Travolta it would have been a run of the mill Hollywood vehicle. Jackson managed to stay afloat the material here, overshadowing everybody else in the process and certainly, this will be a character we'll remember him for in years to come.


All about Lakeview Terrace

March 2, 2011

Veronika Voss

Director - Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Genre - Drama

Shot sumptuously in black and white, this story of a movie actress who clings on to a hopeless longing to be as famous as she once was has some similarity with 'Sunset Boulevard'. Familiar theme and plot aside, we still enjoyed ourselves because of its lovely cinematography and the feeling that this was more grounded than 'Sunset Boulevard'. It wasn't as theatrical and satirical as Billy Wilder's picture. It was an invitation to witness the heartbreaking downfall of a once glowing and on top of the world star. We took the bite, stayed with her till the end and that was it. Like Veronika, we had accepted her fate. This is life, Fassbinder seemed to say. Leave the sugar-coating for fairy tales.


All about Veronika Voss