Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Vampire Diaries

These days (or particularly, nights), I'm completely immersed in 'The Vampire Diaries' novels by L. J. Smith. I'm also getting some of the undead creatures traits like sleeping late into the night. I also love the cool weather now, its so cloudy and rains most of the time. When the sun peeked out through the clouds today morning, I was feeling angry for the lack of cloud cover. And I'm falling in love with all the red colours around me (stupid me). As the 2nd season of 'The Vampire Diaries' is almost upon us, I thought I would give my view on one of my favourite shows and Vampires..! Read on to find out more.

The Vampire Diaries Hotties

If you would ask me what I wanted to be other than a normal, boring human, I would definitely blow your mind by saying 'VAMPIRE'. Yes, I absolutely love the blood drinking, animalistic, raw power imbibed vampire. You can think I'm crazy, but for as long as I can remember, I always wanted to have superpowers. Who wouldn't want to be the creature of the night? It is a combination of Superman and a dark angel! (Superman seems too fictious compared to the loads of vampire stories out there) Who wouldn't want to beat the crap out of wrong doers and rid the society of evil!! I would jump onto the bandwagon of vampire lovers any day. That means I want to be a vampire, rather than become their snack!!

Damon is hungry! Better run away as fast as your pudgy legs can carry!
See, this look of the vampire is what makes them a turn off for me. And these vampires cannot go out into the sunlight unless they have a special ring. Here, I would prefer Edward kind of vampires over Damon kind of vampires. 

Eternally damned?
This is based on L.J.Smith's novels, but takes its own creative liberties, thereby in essence changing the entire story and implementing its own version based on the characters. In 'The Vampire Diaries' TV show, there are three main protagonists: Elena Gilbert, Stefan Salvatore and Damon Salvatore. Stefan and Damon are brothers and in all outward appearances, they look like two very handsome guys who have their differences. They have a dark secret which has its origins in the latter half of the 19th century! They were born in the Aristocratic family and both loved Katharine, a beautiful vampire who loved both of them and wanted them to journey with her into immortality. Yes, she was very kinky and she loved to toy with both of their feelings. After her unfortunate death, the brothers blamed each other for her death and Damon swore he would make the rest of Stefan's immortal life a living hell..!

They look like real vampires! So hot!
Stefan upholds chivalry, honesty and justice; and he is weak by preying only on animal blood. Obviously Damon is Yin for his Yang; Damon doesn't have any respect for human life, he upholds debauchery and is the poster boy for strength, charm and wickedness. Oh yeah, everybody is hotter than the surface of the sun, there is so much eye candy that you have to wear sun glasses to protect yourself!!

I love Elena..! (Yeah babe, we know you are awesome)
In the fall of 2009, Stefan bumps into Elena, the resemblance to Katharine is very overpowering and he loves her, but not because she looks like Katherine, but because she was the exact opposite of Katharine in everything she did. He had known for a long time that Katharine never wanted either of the Salvatore brothers and was only toying around. Damon wants to destroy Mystic Falls, but ends up falling for Elena as well. Ultimately, the question is who will Elena choose? The ending of the first season hints at a bigger picture and that is mouth-watering (lol) for fans like me. 

Twilight + True Blood = The Vampire Diaries!
The Vampire Diaries starts off as another spin off wanting to make it big with the help of the Twilight craze, with its settings in a school and the obvious romance between the vegetarian Stefan and the vampire doting Elena, and Damon being the third wheel. But after a couple of episodes, you know things are starting to change with hints of True Blood's debauchery and sex thrown in. Of course, everything is PG-13, parents don't worry too much.! And this show has huge influences of another awesome and one of my personal top favourite show 'Supernatural'! The brother relationship and the preternatural connections are the obvious ones. But still, the show holds up quite good on its own.

The kinky and wicked Katharine looking so innocent and sweet!

Don't bother with their ages. Everybody love them for their hotness, doesn't really matter what their ages are. But still, the real ages are; Elena - 21, Stefan - 28, Damon - 32!! The kissing scenes between Damon and Elena make me uneasy, she looks so much younger than her age. But Damon has the most amazing one-liners and quick quips! I love everybody in the show :D

Join The Entangled Trio!!

Elena: Sexy, hot, cute, good-natured, innocent, writes a diary!

I love Stefan. Don't ruin our friendship Damon.
Its okay Stefan, I get it. We met, we talked, it was epic, but then the sun came up and reality set in.

Stefan: Chivalrous, perfect gentleman, mysterious, doesn't drink human blood, loves Elena!

I don't want to hunt humans. 
Damon, don't make history repeat itself.
I love Elena because she is the exact opposite of Katherine and she gives a damn about others, and not just herself.

Damon: Ultimate bad boy, selfish, dangerous, loves debauchery, has a soft spot for Elena!

What's up with this Bella chick? Edward is so whipped!! (while holding a Twilight novel) 
Stefan wants the whole human experience. He wants to live every episode of 'How I Met Your Mother'!!
The closest you'll ever get to humanity, Stefan, is when you rip open and feed on it!!

Dangerous Damon, Enchanting Elena, Soulful Stefan

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Alive! Help Me!

Like a solar flare in the emptiness of the dark space,
your eyes blazed through my soul,
the room is full, but all I see is the angel in you,
shattering the defences I had built around myself.
Your eyes hold unfathomable sadness,
which your smile betrays not
Thinking I have ever fell in love,
a stretch, it is
like the tsunami and a harmless wave
the difference is mind boggling.
Your tidal waves keep battering against my heart
like a battalion of soldiers fighting an infant child,
a wild horse overtakes me,
my thumping heart rides on a runaway train,
waking up as if free from death's demonly grasp.

Your face casts a soft glow,
invisible to normal perceptions,
smile, like a million diamonds, free for the taking,
hair, shining from the glow of the half submerged sun.
Hidden secrets, beneath the smartness
and humor, I want to unveil,
others look through you,
not sensing or seeing the angel within.

When you rest your hands on my arm,
a shiver from the depths of the abyss,
runs through my veins,
I blackout for what seems like an hour,
in front of all those assembled,
but is only a few seconds,
never before have I felt these emotions,
so raw, unbridled, uncontrolled and euphoric,
your soul sings to me.
Are you my soul mate or my personal hell on earth!
As unexpected, it was,
so was it threatening and tempting,
a deep turmoil brew, inside of me.

I sit beside you, shifting nervously
something inside stirring
like the bloodlust of an immortal,
hungry vampire to warm blood,
threatening to coil and spring.
Afraid to touch the smooth skin,
unable to leave you out of sight,
torn, eaten up from the inside.
As if waking up from an eternal slumber,
my heart is alive again!
will you understand me? Help me?

Like the earth revolving around the sun, I am,
the closer I get, greater is the chance of being burned,
but the farther I go, my soul will slip,
into the cold, empty darkness.
I can feel you most when I am alone,
can feel your spirit in the midst of crowds.
Are you being played out before me,
by someone who is laughing at my longing?

With intentions, innocent,
I will never force you, my angel
down the path which you dislike.
Promises may be showered over the
hopes of obtaining you,
but my word, I will only give,
to keep it or die trying to keep it.
Give me a chance, single,
to be your knight in shining armour.

I go to sleep and wake up, with you in my dreams,
one arm around your slender waist,
the other buried in your glorious hair,
your sensous lips, so intoxicating,
twinkling eyes beckon me forward.
Hoping to take away your sadness,
I pull you closer,
afraid to kiss you,
what if you pull away, revolted?
Rejection, even in the fantasy will destroy me,
I wake up screaming in my mind,
not wanting to finish the dream,
afraid of the nightmare it might hold,
deprived of sleep from the past few days,
I have to know you,
my angel, my love...

This is my first poem after almost 6 to 7 years. Never before have I felt compelled enough to write a poem about anybody till now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Independence Day

I know it was yesterday, but I wasn't free to write this, so bear with me. There were tons and tons of messages wishing me for Independence Day in my inbox (I am also not an exception, I simply forwarded some of those messages). I had also seen a very interesting program on TV where they interviewed our fellow youth about the importance of the day, whether they knew anything about some of the more famous freedom fighters, and the like. It irked me to no end, when except for a couple of students, none of them absolutely had any inkling to the great miseries our forefathers went through in rebuilding our nation. Even some of the middle aged men and elders didn't have much info about the struggle. All they were asking were - Name 5 freedom fighters. One girl went gaga and announced to the world Ajay Devgan, Aamir khan!! Wow, isn't that very interesting? I was fuming over some of the answers they gave; regarding our national flag, animals and many more which I will not prattle on about here.

The children only want sweets in ceremonies, the adults want holiday, the politicians only want their name to be announced to everyone when they hoist the flag, but why doesn't anybody want to hear about the legends who fell during the struggle?! During my schooldays, when they invited the freedom fighters to enlighten us about the old days, everyone began gossiping among themselves. Even my young cousins and nieces are not interested about it in the slightest. I feel angry, I think they are betraying the memories of our country, but I know the feeling will pass eventually.

The reason I tell this is, how many of us actually know anything about the blood and tears our forefathers (and mothers :) sacrificed so that their grand children and the likes could have a life which wasn't ruled by fear and oppression against the weak? I don't want you to think that I may know all about the freedom struggle; honestly I do not. I have only read text books and biographies of some freedom fighters when I was in school and the memory of those long nights with the good books are quite hazy now. My mom brought one book every month regarding our history and I used to devour through them as I am a major bibliophile. Also I had a great grandfather who actually took part in the freedom struggle and he used to tell all kinds of saddening stories regarding his younger days. Oh, how I am filled with pride over their great deeds even now.

The good people in our great nation called 'India' (what is wrong with the name 'Bharatha'? Never mind, I digress) go on protests and strikes in the name of freedom of expression and their birthrights. Do these people even know that the same constitution which has given them rights has also given them duties to protect ourselves and our fellow men against the inadequacies in our society? Not many care about anything other than their own well being.

While my mom was buying vegetables in the market (which is illegal) yesterday, I was left to ponder over the day to day life of these street traders whose only livelihood is selling their produce to keep their family afloat. Within a span of one hour, three different policemen came and demanded money from them. The poor blokes had to give into them as they really have no other choice. The people who are supposed to give protection are the harbingers of evil practices. If the authorities were really willing to change for the better, they would have built a space for them there; they tried by staging a protest a few years back! Now there's a sprawling apartment). At the basic level there's so much corruptness and oppression, then its no wonder we have still not achieved our true potential as a nation. Everybody think they are independent, but the truth is far from it.

By the looks of things to come, the Common Wealth Games may just bring a great shame to the country. I am hoping it will, so that we will improve the next time around. I have been rambling on about the things I feel very passionate about. I will end it now. Try to do small things which are righteous and virtuous, you will feel relieved and dignified even in old age and finally in death. Be proud to be an Indian.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Troy: Immortality Awaits - In This World Or The Next!

Title: Troy (R)
Year: 2004

"If they ever tell my story, let them say I walked with giants. Men rise & fall like the winter weeds, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector, taming the forces. Let them say - I Lived, In The Time Of Achilles"
 - Achilles

King Agamemnon (Brian Cox) of Mycenae wants to rule over the world. He has already conquered most of Greece, forming them into a fragile alliance and the only kingdom powerful enough to rival the Greek nation is the kingdom of Troy, with whom they have made a peace pact. Achilles (Brad Pitt), considered the greatest warrior ever born on the face of the planet fights for the Greek army. But his disdain for Agamemnon's rule threatens to break apart the fragile alliance. In Thessaly, Greece, Agememnon challenges the King of the land to fight the war in the old fashioned way, the best fighter of each side fighting one another and deciding the result. Of course, Agamemnon calls forth Achilles, whom he hates from the bottom of his heart. Achilles finishes the fight in one move and both the armies are confounded by his superior battle skills. He has many myths surrounding him; his mother being an eternal Goddess, his immortality even in the toughest and fiercest of battles, to name a few. His only aim in life is to immortalize and etch his name into the minds of men and history books for ages to come. When his bones will be dust , he wants to be remembered as being the greatest warrior in the the time of Achilles. Paris (Orlando Bloom) is smitten by Helen (Diane Kruger) who happens to be Agamemnon's brother's young wife. They both run away from Sparta along with his brother, Hector (Eric Bana), the Prince of Troy. Having got his reason for a war with Troy, Agamemnon gets his troops and marches his massive fleet across the great seas in hopes of bringing down Troy's unbreachable walls and defeating Troy to become the greatest Emperor.

The greatest of fights are always fought because of a woman, look at Mahabharatha and Ramayana from our Indian myths (cannot say its completely a myth, proof is being uncovered that it all happened). Brad Pitt has probably immortalized Achilles much more than the real Achilles had ever anticipated or hoped for. Brad Pitt is like an incarnate of Achilles' ferocity, love, beauty, strength, agility, prowess, his defiance, his supreme confidence. I was left in awe of this man's performance, he is such a good actor. And everybody in the film complement him with some wonderful, fine method performances. Achilles gives a short speech when approaching the beach of Troy, saying immortality awaits beyond the horizon. He takes the beach of Troy with only 50 men, defying Agamemnon's orders! I had read the story of Troy and knew how it ended, most would also guess given the ending involves a certain 'Trojan Horse'. Well, here is how the name 'trojan' stuck to a virus. Agamemnon is really a back-stabbing, lying, cheating bastard whom I hated from the bottom of my heart. In that respect, Brian Cox was awesome as Agamemnon.

Wolfgang Peterson has brought the story of Troy to life in this superb movie. Everything about this movie screams of a tale of epic proportions; love, betrayal, valour, justice, evil; and the movie is filled with testosterone filled six pack hunks to satisfy the viewer. Orlando Bloom plays the role of the scared younger brother of the heroic Hector to perfection. Other than Achilles, I loved Hector. He is like a Trojan (A man of Troy) version of our own Yudhishtira, the brave, kind and righteous king. I loved Bana's performance, I was hoping against hope he would win his fight against Achilles. The women in the movie, though having very less screen time, give amazing performances. The fight scenes are amazing even with the cgi effects, which you will rarely notice. The story is pretty authentic and the director has made a good effort to stay true to the story and make it entertaining. Give this movie a try if you haven't seen it yet and I promise you, you will be glad you saw it.

My rating: ****1/2 out of *****

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Piece Of Our History

Rare books, photographs and maps from the Raj have recently been showed to the world and it will go for auction soon in Bangalore. This is a glimpse of our past heritage, which could be of special interest especially to Bangaloreans. Enjoy folks:) India Rocks...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Memories From Another Life: First Love

 Since too many of my friends said this post looked like a movie review, I am stressing the fact that this is, in fact, a true story & not related to the Koreans pictured here in any way or to any movie... Godspeed Folks :) Enjoy.. Send in your comments

The young 12-year-old boy was getting impatient at his grandma. He was thinking about hopping off next door to see the girl and he didn't think he could pull it off with his grandma right there in the hall. After fidgeting around the house for 20 minutes, he finally got his chance and yelling out his routine lie about going to play cricket, he dashed off madly. Tiptoeing across the side of the road as if the very steps he were taking could be heard by his grandma in the kitchen, he made his way stealthily into the next door compound. He was quite pleased with himself, he thought of himself as a ninja as he had not been busted all these days. He made his way up the floors and knocked on the door. The most beautiful girl opened the door with a smile on her face. The boy's breath was knocked away instantly, like every other time he saw her. She had moved in next door with her dad and mom and within a year, this girl had become his closest, dearest, best friend and a close confidante. She was his age, a tom-boy and for a guy who didn't quite like girls of his age, this was a major surprise.

Picture for representation purpose only
The boy smiled inwardly, they had talked about everything on Earth left to talk, and yet found new things to do together every weekend! This afternoon however was going to quite different. They had bonded over their mutual love for movies, cartoons, video games and cricket! They had watched quite a few action, romantic and sappy movies together each weekend in the afternoons when neither of their parents would be around. The boy was starting to notice and love the way her eyes twinkled whenever she was hiding something naughty from him, the way her hair fell across her eyes, the constant brushing of her hair to the sides. This day however there was something different about her, she was wearing lipstick and it looked delicious over her lips. In all their meetings she had never wore make-up, much less the lipstick which adored her sweet lips now. They went into the living room where she had been watching another of the romantic movies and sat down on the floor beside the sofa facing each other surrounded by her Barbie dolls, chess board and some other games. The boy loved chess and she loved her Barbie babies and much as he would hate to admit it, he was getting rather attached to the dumb dolls.

After some idle chit-chat which included some poking and squeals of laughter erupting in the silent afternoon, their attention turned to the TV where there was a very passionate scene going on. She jerked her head in a cute way towards the TV and something overtook the boy. Their faces came so close that he could see the tiny pores through the light powder on her perfect angelic face. Then it happened, with his heart pumping at the speed of a thousand F1 cars, they kissed each other. The dolls, the chess board, everything lay discarded, strewn across the carpet covered floor. It was not at all what the boy was expecting; it was sloppy, their noses collided and she had slipped her tongue, which was very gross. It was nothing like the kisses in those sappy movies and yet for reasons unfathomable to him, he was excited. She sported a mocking smile and asked about the kiss. He blindly told the truth and when he wanted to hear her thoughts, she replied it was alright. The mocking smile was irritating. Did he miss something that she caught on to? Of course they wouldn't tell anybody about this, it was going to be their little secret. His parents would take him to some dumb ghost buster and crucify him for it and he didn't want to think what might happen to his girl.

Picture for representation purpose only
They might have been young, but they weren't that naive. They made a pact that they wouldn't kiss again, which was alright as long as he could hold her soft hands. After a couple of months, the unthinkable happened; her father had gotten transferred and she was leaving him. He wouldn't get to see her again for a long time, probably forever. The weeks that followed her departure was pure torture for the boy, he had been moping around so much it was starting to frighten his mom. He calmed her down reasoning that he had not read properly for the tests, which seemed like a good enough reason for her. She didn't know about the deep abyss of hopelessness which her son was plummeting through.

Flash Forward 5 Years

The boy is now a happy-go-lucky dude whose only problems in life was the looming mid-term, which he was sure he would flunk at the pace he was learning the lessons. He is at his grandma's place in the evening, simply because he likes it there. At that moment, with his eyes hovering over the TV without registering any of the drama unfolding on it, a man and his daughter come into the home. The boy immediately recognized the man, so the girl beside him had to be his daughter. He couldn't believe his eyes; where there was a skinny, cute, button nose girl a few years back, now stood a slender, sharp-nosed, hot, delectable young woman who could easily have been the object of lust for many men and envy of some girls. He was overjoyed at her presence after all these years and sharp sweet memories burst through his mind like fireworks. He had never thought he would see her again in his life. Being a shy and introverted guy now, he didn't engage in conversation with her about the years by-gone. The father had come to reacquaint himself with his uncle, and after the initial pleasantries which included handshakes all around, he could sense an air of arrogance around the girl. She wasn't the girl he had fallen in love with; she knew the effect she had on men and had apparently become haughty and vain. The boy didn't take part in the conversation much, he only stole quick glances at her. Even though his heart was beating madly, his brain told him this wasn't the girl for him. After an hour, the meeting between the adults now being concluded, it was time for the parting. She hopped on behind her father on the bike and turning back, gave a coy smile to the boy. He was left dazed, confused and wondering into the dreary dark night. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Box: Thinking Outside The Box!

Title: The Box (PG-13)
Year: 2009

One thing nobody can say about this movie is it is unoriginal. The story is very interesting, confusing and could well become an inspiration for other films. Nobody had ever thought about combining NSA, NASA and supernatural stuff like Richard Kelly does here. Of course if you know who Richard is, you wouldn't be surprised as he is the director of the amazing cult-classic 'Donnie Darko'. Like that movie, this is also a type of movie which you will either really like or hate. This is a slow movie which reveals itself in layers and you have to be patient and forgiving enough to enjoy it. Cameron Diaz seems to be making a conscious effort to do movies which give her enough chance to show her acting skills. After all those films which required nothing more than her charm and smile, she has done two good dramas; My Sister's Keeper and The Box. Those who like movies which take their sweet time to come around to the point will like this movie.

In the year 1976 in Virginia, a doorbell rings in the early morning when the Lewis' are asleep. By the time Norma Lewis (Cameron Diaz) gets up to meet the visitor, there is nobody except a package left on the front porch. Norma is a high school teacher, Arthur Lewis (James Marsden) is an optical specialist at NASA's Langley Research Center and they have one child, Walter (Sam Oz Stone). The family gather around the package during breakfast and open it. It contains a weird box with a red button, and to open the box they need a key. There is an accompanying letter saying that a certain 'Mr. Steward' (Frank Langella) will meet them that evening at 5:00 PM in their home to explain about the package. Dressed in an elegant suit and sounding like a perfect gentleman, the mysterious Arlington Steward arrives at the designated time. Of course the problem is he looks like a cousin to Harvey Dent (Two Face in 'The Dark Knight' whose one side of the face is completely burned away) and there are a few butterflies in the stomach by just seeing him. Steward hands over the key to the box and gives a bizarre explanation telling Norma that he will give them $1 million in cash if she or her husband push the button by 5:00 PM the next day.
Arlington Steward: Maybe Two Face's Cousin!

The weird thing is he tells her that a person who their family doesn't know will die if they push the button, and warns them against telling about this to anybody. He also gives a gift of $100 whether they push the button or not, as a show of good faith. Norma and Arthur are skeptical, believing the whole thing is a scam and after a few moments of moral dilemma Norma pushes the button. The next evening Steward delivers them a $1 million in cash, as promised. Now, they are afraid and try to give him the money back, but he assures them the deed is already done and he won't accept it back. Then there are people following Arthur and Norma's every move, these people have nosebleeds and do weird things. What exactly is going on and will the consequences be too high to pay for the Lewis'?

The setting of the movie is well done and authentic and the acting is good; Frank Langella (nominated for Oscar in 'Frost/Nixon') and Cameron Diaz, especially give good performances. Frank Langella is like the good devil; he gives you choices, hard choices among which you will have to choose and whatever you choose, you will bear a huge burden. Cameron Diaz doesn't smile much as her character needs to be afraid and emotional. James Marsden has a come a long way from his 27 Dresses, Enchanted and X-Men days, he is also pretty believable in his role. The eventual explanation of the nosebleeds and Steward's history and connection with the supernatural is excellent. There is no apparent weak link, except for the very weird special effects. Try 'The Box', you may like it.

My Rating: ***1/2 out of *****

Monday, August 2, 2010

Knight & Day: "I shot the pilot, who accidentally shot the second pilot! Its just one of those things!"

Knight And Day
Title: Knight And Day (PG-13)
Year: 2010

You cannot go into this type of movie without suspending your logic and belief about gravity and many other improbable things. But you know what? Cameron Diaz has one of the best grins and Tom Cruise is still a hunk and a charmer, they make us enjoy the movie, with all its stupid contrived plots and overwhelming action sequences. Me and my friends all loved the movie. I didn't know its genre and hadn't seen the trailers for the movie, but went to see it as I am a fan of both Cruise and Diaz. After the dramatic Valkyrie (which was in 2008, took a full 2 years for Tom to make another movie!), it was good to see Tom back in a mindless action movie. Diaz and Tom team up again after a long time. In 'Vanilla Sky' they didn't have enough screen time together. Director James Mangold knows that this isn't a movie which has to be taken seriously and has made the actors have fun with it. The cgi effects are quite well done (obviously) and the cinematography is excellent. Most of the locations are just so grand and beautiful. Not to forget, the excellent bull chase sequence in Spain which was awesome.

Carrying a bagful of metal junk to repair her father's old car, June Havens (Cameron Diaz) is on her way to her sister's wedding when she accidentally bumps into Roy Miller (Tom Cruise), a charming and handsome man. After repeatedly bumping into each other at the airport and finally finding out that they are on the same flight, they just flirt with each other. She finds out during the course of a rather entertaining flight that Roy is a rogue FBI agent, whose intentions is not exactly clear in the beginning. She is smack in the middle of all the chaos just because she happens to be a witness to something called the Zephyr, a perpetual energy source. June has to figure out who she can trust in this crazy situation; the FBI or Roy? During the course of the story, June and Roy travel all over the globe (Massachusetts, California, Austria, Jamaican Islands, Illinois, Spain among others) to keep the Zephyr away from the bad guys. The FBI and many others are after Roy and the Zephyr, but it turns out that Roy is being framed by his former partner who wants to sell the Zephyr to terrorists. Will June and Roy make it out of this mess in one piece?

There is also a sub-plot involving Roy Miller's parents. They think that their son is dead, but they don't know that Roy is keeping an eye on his parents for their safety. That was done just to give a background story on Roy's character. There are a couple of scenes which were definitely more suited for some other genre; Roy disappears from a room when the SWAT team is coming from all the exits of the room and a moment later we are shown him running across the roof top of the opposite building at full speed. That was a scene more suited for the supernatural genre. Well, he is more like Superman than an ordinary person here anyway, so I can forgive that.

Tom Cruise is definitely ageing gracefully; he has lost some of his famous boyish looks, but his acting still packs a punch. Cameron Diaz looks gorgeous and still has her comedic timing intact. There are a few scenes where she looks old and haggard at times, but it is understandable as she isn't exactly the new kid on the block. The movie has equal amounts of non-stop banter between Miller and June, romantic tension and an overdose of extremely well choreographed action sequences. Plot wise, Knight & Day doesn't offer anything new, nor do we expect it to be anything new. It is a tried and tested plot of an agent out to protect something, and in this case the thing happens to be a source of infinite energy which could solve the energy crisis around the world. Do we really care about this Zephyr? Not a chance, because it could have been anything and still we wouldn't care about it in the least bit. All we want to see is Tom and Diaz create their magic on screen. One scene I really loved is when there is a chase scene and Roy jumps off from a motorbike and lands on the FBI car and tells calmly to June that her dress is beautiful, while killing off all the agents! The ex-boyfriend scenes were also very funny. Tom Cruise still creates the magic and you have to watch this if you are a hardcore Cruise fan, the comedy and action provides wholesome entertainment.

My Rating: ***1/2 out of *****

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Inception: Is The Dream The Reality or Is The Reality A Dream?!!

Tile: Inception (PG-13)
Year: 2010

"Dreams feel real while we are in them. Its only when we wake up that we realize something was strange..."

I think I am in love with this movie. This is a very captivating movie which is slickly edited and directed. I don't want to hype this movie too much, but this movie is truly the best film in this year by far, and one of the best of this decade. Christopher Nolan is one of my favourite directors and Leonardo Di Caprio is also one of my favourite actors. I cannot believe that this incredible actor gets snubbed at the Oscars year after year even after doing so many amazing movies. Anyway, the idea for the creation of this movie is not exactly new. I have seen some movies which take place inside the subconscious mind, but Inception pushes the boundary to a whole new level. There are three levels; a dream, within a dream, within a dream which is a whole new concept and it was exciting. For every 5 minutes in the real world, it is an hour in the first level dream state, a week in the second level and some decades in the third level. The film scores some brownie points for the concept itself. My friends and me were captivated by the world of dreams. The great background score along with the taut screenplay was spectacular.

Cobb (Leonardo Di Caprio) is the best at what he does and the US government is wary of his skills for which it has made him an international fugitive. Cobb isn't your normal skilled thief, he is the best in the dangerous art of extraction, that is he delves deep into your subconscious mind while you are asleep and steals valuable secrets. This rare superior ability of Cobb has made him a coveted player in the immoral world of corporate espionage. During one of his normal extraction jobs, he cannot uncover the secret that a corporate leader, Saito (Ken Watanabe) is hiding. Saito offers him his life back in USA with his children if he does one last job for him; Inception. Planting an idea in the human mind is a far more dangerous job than extraction, but Cobb accepts and assembles a group of talented players to pull off this mission. Ariadne (Ellen Page) is the new comer and her job is to design the world in the dream, as the previous guy isn't exactly available and Cobb himself has took himself out from designing. Mal Cobb (Marion Cotillard) keeps ruining Cobb's perfect dream plans and there seems to be a dark secret which nobody know. Cobb could potentially destroy their lives if he cannot control his memories and dreams.

When Christoher Nolan announced that he would put Batman on the back burner and make this movie with Di Caprio, I was really disappointed because although I am a fan of Di Caprio, I loved the new Batman franchise under the direction of Nolan. It was darker, more intense and definitely more exciting, and I wanted the third part to be made soon. If you have seen the trailers for Inception, you know that it doesn't explain much about the plot. But it looked stunning and I went along for Nolan's ride, being a willing participant. I was blown away and most of you will be too if you would be willing to accept the plot. To write a dream is difficult in this era when most of the stories out there are just rehashed versions of the same story. Somebody should try to follow in Nolan's great footsteps, because we need more filmmakers like him who aren't afraid to blast away the boundaries and create their own benchmark. This movie will be remembered and hailed for generations to come.

Some movies make you think deeper even after you finish watching it and this is definitely one of them. Tom keeps on dreaming that one day he will be able to return to his home and live with his children in reality. But the boundary between dream and reality is blurring. Marion Cotillard's scenes were gripping and my heartbeat was racing when she was on the window sill. The English guy gave the light hearted moments in the movie which I liked. The movie takes us through a roller coaster ride, oscillating between dream and reality and sometimes I was left wondering whether the events were taking place in someone's dream or in reality. Christopher Nolan has displayed some excellent film-making techniques and come up with a story that is intelligent as well as exciting. The performances are great across the board and I am truly hoping that Leo Di Caprio gets an Oscar nod this time around (Two back to back amazing movies from him - Shutter Island and Inception, Oscar is way overdue for him). The supporting cast of Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Dileep Rao, Michael Caine were great. Di Caprio headed the group on his able shoulders and doesn't disappoint. Three cheers to the master director, Christopher Nolan.

My rating: *****/*****