Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie poster

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent, Shia LaBeouf
Music by John Williams
Distributed by Paramount Pictures

I’m a big Steven Spielberg fan, and surprisingly this was my first Harrison Ford film, and so that makes it obvious that I had not seen any of the previous Indiana Jones films in the franchisee. Expectations in a Steven Spielberg films are not expectations, its more of a certainty that its going to be a great time, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was no different. Its a great movie with a good plot, some great acting and fantastic locales with equally good visual effects.

Now the day I saw the first trailer of the movie I was in for a shock. That famous Indiana Jones tune which I have heard a lot of times belonged to this movie! I was really surprised and guessed that it was something pretty big, and a few references in Wikipedia confirmed it that it was pretty big indeed, so I was waiting for the movie. It released a week late here in India on 30th May 2008.

The plot of the movie “pits an older Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) against agents of the Soviet Union, led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), in the search for a crystal skull.” as wikipedia mentions it. It may be about a crystal skull but the movie is all about Indiana Jones aka Harrison Ford. Hats off to this guy really, he pulls off a fantastic job by playing Indiana Jones again after such a long time, and he was really awesome in his action scenes considering that he is 65 years old, which doesn’t affect him at all! He delivers a superb film and he is the cream of the movie. Other than him Cate Blanchett did a wonderful job in her role. Her accent was very good and seemed natural, and throughout the movie she was good. Shia LaBeouf, pronounced as “SHY-uh luh-BUFF”, plays the role of Mutt Williams, Indiana Jones’s son. Shia LaBeouf impressed me in Transformers as well, and here he does an even better job. He is a good actor and does the action scenes well and also manages to do some comedy. Rest of them were ok. Karen Allen who plays the role of Marion Ravenwood, also did a great job in the movie.

The background music is very good. John Williams always manages to give a great score. And similarly like every Spielberg film, this one too had great locations and sets and some great visual effects by Industrial light & Magic. The movie never looses grip and always keeps you into it. It spreads some good humor in many parts of the movie.

All in all its a pretty good summer entertainer. Indiana Jones fans should love it.

Rating: 9/10

Iron Man Review

Iron Man movie poster

Directed by Jon Favreau
Produced by Avi Arad, Kevin Feige
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Distributed by United States: Paramount Pictures

I am a big comic fan. I love superheros. But still I didn’t know much about Iron Man. Although I didn’t know anything about X-Men either before I saw X-Men 2. Anyways, I came to know about Iron Man movie sometime back when the trailers started arriving and they looked pretty good, and the reviews after the release were very good, so I decided to watch it. And after watching it today I’m pretty much more into comic book superheros more than ever, but Batman still is and will forever be my favorite superhero.

Iron Man is about Tony Stark, a rich industrialist and genius engineer, who runs the company Stark Industries specializing in weapons for US military. After one such weapon demonstration Tony Stark is captured by some terrorist group and forced to develop the same weapon for them, a missile. But instead he secretly makes this strong armor and escapes from there. And then the bad guy lays his hands on one such armor and develops a highly developed version to wreak havoc, and Tony Stark becomes Iron Man to stop him.

So thats about the story, now about the acting. Robert Downey Jr. did a fantastic job for a 43 year old, which he doesn’t look that old in the movie. He’s a very good actor and did a really good job with the role. The action scenes he performed where very good. Gwyneth Paltrow plays the role of Virginia “Pepper” Potts, assistant of Tony Stark. And even she did a good job in the movie. Special effects are very good, nothing is overdone. The gadgetry and technology shown amazes you and doesn’t look unnatural. Action scenes are well done with perfect amount of effects used. The whole Iron Man suit thing is pretty good, the suit looks very cool. Background music is also good.

So overall its a very nice movie and you should really watch it. The movie entertains you with the tech gadgetry, the good storyline and action packed scenes and also some humor. So its a very good summer entertainer.

Rating: 9/10

Missing for 2 months

My last post was on 14th February, and today is 14th April. 2 months since I last posted something on my blog, so in case people are wondering where I was, well I was just a bit lazy maybe, and I didn’t find/think much to write about. But just to fill that void, here is the first post in two months. So what did I do all this time? Well pretty much the same old stuff, office, gaming, music, movies, sleep. I’ll start with the movies I saw, so I’ll start off with Race

Race Review
Race was a good movie, I liked the cinematography, the performances of the main starts, and for its music. The plot had too many twists in it, and for once you did feel like what was going on. That said, its a good watch, and worth the penny. The car race in the end of the movie was pretty good. Saif Ali Khan was very good, and Akshaye Khanna was even better. His performance was very impressive. The same can’t be said about the girls though, I felt Bipasha was somewhat off in the film. Didn’t impress me much, neither did Katrina Kaif, infact she rarely does impress me. Sameera Reddy’s role was small, and she was only used for being the center of the jokes from Anil Kapoor, who himself was pretty much ok in the movie. Music was the strength of the movie, and some of the tracks are really very good. Overall a good and entertaining movie with lot of style and substance.
Rating: 7.5/10

Sunday Review
Then I saw Sunday, a little late, it was a ok movie, not great, but the suspense factor with some comic scenes saves the movie. Ajay Devgan gives an ok performance, Ayesha Takia, was good. The plot was main strength of the movie. Arshad Warsi and Irfan also did a good job in their comical roles. Vrajesh Hirjee was also a nice character in the movie. The starting scene of his was pretty awesome. Anjana Sukhani looks very pretty. Music wise, other than the title track not much was there in the movie. So overall its an ok watch.
Rating: 7/10

Shaurya Review
I went to this movie, with no clue whatsoever about the movie. Which is quite rare for me, as I usually have something in mind as to what to expect from a movie, but this was a different case. The movie was good but had some flaws in it, but not that big to make it a disaster. Acting was the main strength here, and Rahul Bose, Kay Kay Menon, Javed Jaffrey and Minissha Lamba all did a good job. Minissha Lamba looks very good, and acts very well too. Kay Kay Menon gives a solid performance, especially in the end. Rahul Bose was ok, Javed Jaffrey was in a different role, much different from the comic roles we have seen him in recently, and was quite fine. Music wise not many songs in the movie, but one song was very good. The guy who played the role of Javed was very good, his expressions were very good and impressive. Overall its a nice movie and delivers the message it wants to give. Flaws wise, the movie could have been better on some occasions, especially the build up to the whole story.
Rating: 7.5/10

Juno Review
Juno is a comedy about a 16 year-old who gets pregnant. Ellen Page plays the role of Juno, with Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman also starring. Its a very fine made movie, and Ellen Page gives a great performance. Its a great performance for a 21 year-old, and she was nearly flawless in the movie. Michael Cera wasn’t much in the movie, but was pretty ok. The direction was pretty good, and I liked the simplicity of things. Overall its a very good movie with Ellen Page taking the center stage and delivering a great performance. A good watch.
Rating: 8/10

So thats all about the movies, now for some music. Well not much to write about in here, but recently I’ve been listening to 2 albums quite a lot: Jannat and Tashan.

Jannat Music Review
Pritam makes another musical hit for Bhatts. After some great music in movies like Gangster, Woh Lamhe and Awarapan for Bhatts Pritam gives another album with great music. The first track, “Zara Sa” is a lovely track with the main tune capturing the mind of the listeners. Its superbly done, and KK always sings such songs beautifully. Then the song “Judai” was another good song in the album. Sung, written and composed by Kamran Ahmed, its a nice song, well sung by Ahmed. ‘Door Naa’ is a somewhat slow paced track, but its pretty good. Lots of areas where the song really grab your attention. The other songs were good as well, but the ones I mentioned were my picks from the album.
Rating: 8/10

I have done music review of Tashan separately. Please click here to read it.
Apart from these two albums, I got some Elvis Presley albums which I’ll listen to. I’m also listening to some old tracks as well for a change.

After music, its time about some gaming. Well pretty much the usual gaming, FIFA 08, Need for Speed: Most Wanted. But I played a new game, Aliens versus Predator 2 and its expansion pack Aliens versus Predator 2: Primal Hunt. I like the AvP franchisee so this game was surely I wanted to play. It lets you play as the Alien, as the predator or as a marine soldier. I completed the Predator levels in the game and its expansion pack. I started the Alien campaign as well and completed some half of it. Its a pretty good FPS and AvP fans will love it. Its kinda old, released in 2001, so the graphics look like of old games, but it still is very good to look.

Now about some sports. I haven’t played much football over the last few weeks, but Manchester United has been putting up some good performances, and so was Ferrari. Manchester United entered the semifinal of the UEFA Champions League and is also comfortably on top of the Barclays Premier League to retain their title this season as well. Ferrari got a 1-2 in Bahrain as Massa took the win after some forgettable first two races.

So that was my update about the last 2 months. Hopefully there won’t be another gap between the next post.

Om Shanti Om Review

Om Shanti Om poster

Om Shanti Om
Directed by Farah Khan
Produced by Gauri Khan
Written by Topper Alam, Abbas Tyrewala
Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Shreyas Talpade, Arjun Rampal
Music by Vishal-Shekhar
Cinematography V. Manikandan
Editing by Shirish Kunder
Distributed by Red Chillies Entertainment, Eros Labs

I have not seen a movie recently being promoted at this level and so much being spent into publicity. Shah Rukh Khan himself has been at the forefront in this mega Diwali launch “Om Shanti Om”. Farah Khan and SRK have really done well in publicizing the movie and it has paid off very well. The movie is a hit…and its breaking the box office records.

Ok let me just summarize what the movie is…no not the story…but what the movie is…for what I feel its like a tribute to Hindi cinema, a tribute to SRK, its his film, its all about him in the movie, and yes Deepika Padukone does manage to grab attention but it still is a SRK film. But still its a great film mind you, SRK sells doesn’t he? So does this movie. Its a hit and has been breaking records all over the box offices, so it doesn’t come as a surprise. Because its a home production for SRK, Gauri Khan has produced the movie, publicity at this level was quite obvious, be it the “6-pack”, be it the debut of Deepika Padukone, be it the second movie of Farah Khan, or be it anything. It all paid off…and all the money spent has been well recovered.

So lets begin with the story, its about Om (SRK) working as a junior artist in the 70s and he is in love with the superstar Shanti (Deepika) and eventually meets her and then he dies saving her, he is then reincarnated and he gives justice to Deepika. I can’t shorten the story more than this, as its already known, the story, and if you don’t, then go and watch this, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Its an entertaining movie, worth the money, and another great effort from Farah Khan. It does have some Farah Khan trademarks which reminded me of Main Hoon Na many times. Farah has definitely improved a lot, what I like most about her work is the level of attention she pays to small things. Her way to putting things into place is really good, the effects used in the movie during the shooting sequences with 70s scenes and the OSO scenes were blended very well, sets were great, it really takes you back to those 70s and the movie takes you back to the way movies were made in those days. Its a really good tribute to the Hindi cinema. It does have some similarity to Karz to some extent, but I don’t feel that it was anything like a copy. Its a different movie and both are good.

Acting wise SRK was great as always, this is easily among his best performances of late, very energetic and young. Deepika Padukone, gosh, she is beautiful, and she is here to stay, not just because of her looks but for her acting too. She is really impressive in the movie. She couldn’t have imagined for a better launch to her career than starring in a SRK movie directed by Farah Khan. Its a great launch and she should build on this by working on some more good films. Shreyas Talpade plays the role of SRK’s good friend, and he was pretty effective and good. Kiron Kher is becoming the Rakhi of today’s cinema. I mean she is the best woman to play the mom role these days. She was in Main Hoon Na too, and here too she is just as effective as she was in Main Hoon Na. Arjun Rampal plays the bad guy role and he did a fair enough job.

Overall its a great movie, good music, great presentation, and its entertaining. Farah…a job well done. SRK once again rules the box office and shows us why he is the King of Bollywood. Deepika’s debut is impressive. So in view of all this its definitely a must watch.

Rating 8.5/10

Read the music review of Om Shanti Om

Shrek the Third Review

Shrek The Third Poster

Directed by Chris Miller, Raman Hui (co-director)
Produced by Jeffrey Katzenberg, Aron Warner
Starring Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle, Justin Timberlake
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams
Distributed by DreamWorks

The wait was finally ogre (over) as Shrek the Third was released here. I enjoyed watching the earlier two movies so I was waiting to watch this as well. Although I saw it late, but better late than never.

The movie continues at Far Far Away, with Shrek and Fiona now the acting King and Queen of Far Far Away. Shrek ofcourse doesn’t enjoy the royal things and misses his swamp. So he must find Arthur, his nephew to be the new king as King Harold has died. Meanwhile Prince Charming gathers all the villains to fight the good guys at Far Far Away. Shrek also comes to know that he going to become a father soon, and he is shocked and surprised but eventually starts to be happy about it. The villains have taken over the kingdom, and Shrek must now fail Charming’s plans. So Shrek does that with the help of Donkey, Puss, and Fiona and her friends.

The movie was similar to the earlier ones. Shrek was still at his ogre-ist best, Donkey was still annoying and Puss was still charming. All the characters were quite good. The movie had lots of funny moments and was well liked by the viewers in the theater. Although the movie was not really a mind blowing experience, but animated movies are meant for some funny moments, humor and having a nice and light time.  The movie was quite short, 92 minutes in all.

DreamWorks have already announced their plans to continue the series with Shrek 4 & 5 to be made as well. Lets see what Shrek and gang gets into this time. Till then, have a happily ever after.

Rating 7.5/10

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End Review

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 promotional poster

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer
Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Geoffrey Rush, Jack Davenport, Chow Yun-Fat, Tom Hollander and Naomie Harris.
Distributed by Walt Disney Company, Buena Vista Pictures

Ahoy matey! Me has been waiting for this movie for long time coming, and finally me watches it and I’m glad to say it was good. Pirates of the Caribbean is among my favorite movies, I really loved the prequels, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, and I was waiting for the final installment ever since it was known that “At World’s End” will follow the Dead Man’s Chest, and like I mentioned in my Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End Preview, the way Dead Man’s Chest had ended, it left a lot of questions unanswered, so this really made this movie a must watch.

Continue reading “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End Review”

Spider-Man 3 Review

Spider-Man 3 international poster

Spider-Man 3
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Produced by: Avi Arad, Stan Lee, Laura Ziskin, Grant Curtis
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace
Distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment

A superhero movie isn’t just about superpowers and supervillians, it’s about the things which make one a hero and other the villain. The qualities of a good man and a bad man are what make you a hero and a villain. And that’s what this movie is all about. Its not just the superheroes suffer from, we do suffer from it as well. And that’s what the movie is all about. It tells you that it’s not easy to live a dual life, where one has to strike the perfect balance between responsibilities and ambitions. Ok enough of good talks, movie review this is so let’s talk about it.

Spider-Man’s story continues where it left off in the second part. Peter Parker is happy in his life, his studies, his job, and his relationship with Mary Jane Watson. He eventually decides to marry her, and that’s when things start to change. Relationship between Peter and Mary is not going at its best, and Peter still has to fight with Harry for Harry’s father’s death. Then there is this strange black “thing” from outer space which gets onto a changed Spidey. Peter finds himself in a different personality; he is much darker in nature. And then the black “thing” gives him a black suit. He has 4 villains to fight with. One is his old friend in new shape. The New Goblin, then Flint Marko / The Sandman, who eventually turns out to be the real killer of Ben Parker, and then a new photographer on the block , Eddie Brock, Jr. who is after Pete’s job, and who then eventually turns into that black thing Venom, and then finally, Peter himself has to fight the darkness within. He tries to come out of the feeling of revenge, power, jealousy, and other such feelings. So he gets out of it, and teaches the bad guys a lesson.

So that’s what the story was all about. Direction wise, it’s a perfect job from Sam Raimi. Acting wise everyone does a great job. Background score is great. Effects, now this has something which we haven’t seen often, if at all we have seen. The action scenes are very well choreographed and shot and animated. The effects do not take the charm out of the picture, and serves the purpose. The storyline is well carried, although the movie tries to slip during the break, but then it’s necessary to show the lighter moments of the story. The climax keeps you on your seats and makes up for the slip.

All in all it’s a great movie for summer. Should and will do well in theaters. And with the fourth movie being discussed, Spider-Man fans will be happy.

Rating 8.5/10

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End Preview

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 promotional poster

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer
Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Geoffrey Rush, Jack Davenport, Chow Yun-Fat, Tom Hollander and Naomie Harris.
Distributed by Walt Disney Company, Buena Vista Pictures

The Mega Movie Month – May, third big movie to be released in this month, third part of the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

In the end of Dead Man’s Chest, Will, Elizabeth, and company were with Tia Dalma, who offered them the chance to rescue Captain Jack Sparrow. She says they will need a captain, “who knows those waters,” prompting the reappearance of Captain Barbossa, who was believed to be dead. The last movie then left some questions unanswered:
First: How the hell did Barbossa reappear?
Second: How the hell could Jack be swallowed by a giant squid? Errr….that ugly Kraken.
There might be some more questions in your mind, but never mind, the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is here to answer all those questions.

The trailers have been airing for quite sometime now, and it projects an exciting end (hopefully) to the tussle between Lord Beckett & the pirates, lots of them, from around the world, who have joined forces, and meet in Singapore. They then rescue Jack Sparrow, and then begin the battle against Lord Beckett, who now posses the heart of Davy Jones, and hence control over Jones and the Flying Dutchman.

So the movie promises an action packed time, with lots of wit and humor from Captain Jack Sparrow, romance between Will & Elizabeth, and the strange alliance between Sparrow and Barbossa. Wonder how did they join hands! So Ahoy Matey! Thou Shalt see this one, as thy movie shalt nay be missed (You should see this movie, its not to be missed)
The third trailer of the movie came out today. Click here to view it.
Official Site

Casino Royale Review

Casino Royale Poster

Cast
Daniel Craig as James Bond
Eva Green as Vesper Lynd
Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre
Judi Dench as M
Caterina Murino as Solange

Plot

Daniel Craig gets his 00 status, and is now tracking Le Chiffre, a banker who specializes in taking care of the terrorists’s accounts. Bond then enters Casino Royale to play a game of Poker with Le Chiffre, who in turn was playing to win back the money he lost in a bet over a jetliner sabotage at the airport. So a lot of things happen during these days over at Casino Royale. Bond wins finally, but then the truth baffles him, and he gets even with the baddies.

Review
Honestly, this is the first Bond movie which I thoroughly enjoyed watching. It indeed takes Bond “back to his roots”. The plot of the movie is nice, good pace, very well presented. Action scenes are very well shot, the chase sequence in the beginning will really take your breath away. The background music is very nice. And that Bond theme still feels nice to listen to. Lovely locations as well. The best part of the movie was that nothing was overdid, unlike the previous few Bond movies which had too much of gadgetry and visual effects. This has a new feel, which is timed well as a new sixth Bond has come up. And what can be a Bond movie without a Bond girl & an Aston Martin. Eva Green did a good performance. Looks awesome in that dress which Bond gives her. Caterina Murino too looked great in her small role. As for the Aston, there were two of them, Aston Martin DBS & a Aston Martin DB5. Both were lovely.
Overall a great movie to watch. The next Bond film will certainly have to live up to the new standards.
Until then, “The name’s Bond. James Bond”.

Rating
I give it 8.5 out of 10

Don – The Chase Begins Again Review

Don – The Chase Begins Again

Don Poster

Directed by Farhan Akhtar
Produced by Ritesh Sidhwani
Written by Javed Akhtar,Salim Khan
Starring Shahrukh Khan,Priyanka Chopra,Arjun Rampal,Kareena Kapoor,Isha Koppikar,Boman Irani,Om Puri,Sushma Reddy
Music by Shankar Mahadevan,Ehsaan Noorani,Loy Mendonsa

Now I don’t quite remember the 1978’s Don starring Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman, Pran, as I had seen the movie long ago. So I don’t Continue reading “Don – The Chase Begins Again Review”