Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

The Perpendicular Universe The Cunning T-Rex by Scottshak

I remember, if not clear as a crystal, Jurassic Park to be my ‘first’ Hollywood movie. The movie we saw on a black and white TV in our school set the benchmark for monsters in my life. Two hours of awestruck moments that I lived watching these beasts traverse a little screen literally defined my love for dinosaurs. Then there were school visits to dino-themed parks that left an everlasting impression. If it were not for that disciplined lad in me who would follow the swarm, I could have lived more, stood there staring at our crazy ancestors roar, growl and move. But we were short on time, and our teachers squeezed us from every tunnel to take us to the roar of the jaded bus instead.

Sometimes I wish to go back in time, and spend a whole day there, in that dino landscape, with my my mouth wide open in awe. That inquisitive head of mine was ready for it all. That sense of amazement that saw every minute detail, from teeth to horns to eyes to structures to scars. That fleeting moment of less than an hour, I wish, I wish to relive every day.

Four years later crawled “The Lost World”. Its imprints still fresh, probably from watching the movie too many times to forget. As we left the theatre, we were impregnated with images in our heads. We kept swiveling around, little kids as we were, to watch our 6 for a T-Rex to pop up or a raptor tail to dance in the grass. The Jurassic Park 3 ushered in the Pteranodon fear for the first time. All these movies defined my childhood – the stories we shared as kids with each other, the “did-you-see-thats” and “do-you-remembers” that played a second fiddle to jackhammer that fear into us; a profound and eternal love to see them breathe through a screen literally pulled them closer.

After 14 years of punishing patience, the project Jurassic breathed again. And I am glad it did. I don’t wish to forget them. Them beasts that traversed ground that we tread over now. We walk over their graves unwavered and unbothered like they never happened. That they are mere bones for archaeologists to explore. We trample over them, their sad fate like a boss, as if we made our own existence happen, and brought us to life.

Jurassic recreates them. A theory that we might not possibly achieve, but can only imagine on a big screen. If we can bring them to life, it is through a media that is capable of resuscitating the dead. We should all be thankful to people who work so hard to bring us close to our true relatives, the beasts that knew nothing about life, just like we don’t.

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True love isn’t lost. It is just misconstrued.

It’s when Ted sees the mother for the first time, that words bereave him. His heart stops and he keeps staring. It is just one of those moments when somebody beautiful falls on your eyes and time stops. You are rendered speechless and you forget living for a while. The reason it wasn’t stretched was probably because creators ran short of time, also because it was just a moment and like any other such gazillion moments, we always let it pass by, without actually doing anything about it. So did Ted.

The Farewell:

I always thought I was as strong as a mountain. But then I encountered goodbyes.

I just feel like a hug isn’t enough.

Ted replies, “E.T. goodbye?” Although everybody knew Ted was going to leave them, nobody had given it a serious thought. When reality hit them and Ted humored his way through farewells, Lily was the most emotional one. It struck Barney too. He knew what he would miss the most about Ted – high fives. And the ‘high infinity’ was born.

The Absence:

We know this moment. We have lived it all our lives. The absence of someone dear. As Marshall explained to Lily how everything seemed different without Ted, and how he could feel his absence, Ted sits down with a beer at MacLaren’s with a smile on his face only to break it to them that he had found someone.

The Divorce:

What would have really bummed us out? If Barney would have ended up being any less legendary. Yes. We find him up at his game. To believe Robin and Barney ending up with a happily ever after would have been a stretch. The creators made sure of that, by ending their short lived legendary run with a quick amicable divorce. Reality sucks. Nothing pans out the way we want it to be. It was a hint and we knew right there, we were in for a twist.

Big moments:

“This right here, this is why we can’t fall out of each other’s lives.”

Lily is broken because nothing would remain the same. Even though Robin makes a vague promise to hang in for the big moments, it is hard for her to abide. A blast from the past when she finds Ted wearing his old hanging chad costume:

How do you do this, Ted? How do you sit out here all night on the roof in the cold and still have faith your pumpkin’s gonna show up?

It is shattering for her to see Ted, the guy who she was supposed to end up with, doing great with another woman. Watching the tainted possibility, the ‘it-could-have-been-me’, gives her a hard time. She knew she had thrown it away, the chance she had for a happy ending with Ted, and yet there is nothing she could really do about. She chooses to stay away from their lives. It is shattering to see a sad Lily, who looks adorably cute in her white whale costume, when she is hit with the disheartening truth:

It’s just never gonna be how it was. It can’t be.

Judge Fudge:

Really great to see how things finally pan out for Marshall. Great to see ‘Judge Fudge’ in action. Eventually we find Marshall ending up with an even more awesome title ‘Fudge Supreme’.

Legendary:

Barney wraps up his life with a ‘please-let-me-be-me’ and scores himself a verdict. That is how we always saw Barney. It wouldn’t have been legendary had Barney really walked the distance. Besides three years was a really long time for him. He makes himself clear with:

If it wasn’t gonna happen with Robin then it’s just not gonna happen with anyone.

Barney finally has his epiphany, with his accidental daughter, the only girl to whom he says, while intending it:

You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours, forever.

The Mother:

We finally discover mother’s actual name which was subtly wrapped up under the umbrella story. All those moments where Ted had missed her finally breathe alive and they connect instantly. Her blanks are filled by Ted’s story to which she says:

Funny how sometimes you just find things.

All those memories of her have been wrapped up perfectly in heartwarming photographs. She was just so perfect for Ted.

You see, kids, right from the moment I met your mom, I knew I have to love this woman as much as I can, for long as I can, and I can never stop loving her, not even for a second.

The Disease:

It is exactly at this moment we realize that those kids hearing the story are in a motherless world. That the mother had died of some disease and that Ted has been living without her for six years.

Even then, in what can only be called the worst of times, all I could do was look at her and thank God, thank every god there is, or ever was, or will be, and the whole universe, and anyone else I can possibly thank that I saw that beautiful girl on that train platform, and that I had the guts to stand up, walk over to her, tap her on the shoulder, open my mouth and speak.

Robin, the one:

Whilst most of us are sniveling over the fact why it didn’t end then and there, the creators decided to trickle down the climax into the story. We all know Ted has been telling us a quite intricate story ever since 2005. His kids point out the apparent – “Mom’s hardly in the story.” Why would Ted take the trouble to tell such a detailed tale unless he had a point to make? His kids see through it and throw the obvious at his face. Ted was looking for an approval – his children’s take on his decision to go after Robin.

Admit it! It has always been Robin right from the start. We all have secretly wished it to be Robin. The moment Ted stole that French blue horn for her. The moment he looked at her and said, “I love you” for the first time. The moment he missed that interview just because she needed him. The heights he went just to give her that locket. It is hard to find a lover like Ted. Even Robin had realized that, but only at the verge of her wedding.

Robin’s happily ever after signs off in style once again with that old French blue horn we had seen in the pilot. The background fades with a happy ending and an apt song – “Heaven” by The Walkmen that goes:

Remember remember….all we fight for.

Now that the story has found its conclusion, we are going to miss it forever. There are a lot of things that I am going to miss about the show. One of the greatest bits about it was that it never lost its amazing sense of humor. Ted’s love stories were always drenched with the right amount of love and fun. It was always great to see Barney building make-believe stories to score and then later icing it with, “True Story!” Marshall had always been an honest and loyal lover. His way of telling a story would just light you up. Lily was the backbone of the gang and the sane one. Robin was the best thing that had happened to the group, more importantly to Barney and to Ted.

Even though the story was pulled out of context, and there were dispensable bits of exaggeration engulfed, I felt it was one of the finest runs that TV had ever encountered. Like any other death of an era, a TV show, or a movie, HIMYM, you too have imprinted memories in our head. Now we feel your absence. You shall be missed. You shall be missed badly.

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So I came across an excellent movie the other day. Can’t believe I had missed it for so long. The concept just blew me away.

The flick titled ‘Another Earth’ directed by Mike Cahill saw one of the most creative artist-cum-writers Brit Marling in its lead. She plays a girl with a terrible past, trying really hard for forgiveness, except her repentance is incessantly screwing things up. Okay so, I would try to avoid spoilers for the sake of movie-buffs.

The event that happens at the very beginning of the flick is so sad and tragic, that it is impossible for her to get it out of her system. She keeps thinking about it every single day. The pain is so depressing, and quite apparent on her countenance, it instantly makes you empathize with her. It is as if she has lost her purpose in the mundane. She is so bent on undoing what has occurred that she is willing to do anything. The irony lies in the fact that there is an opportunity right there, staring down at her from a distance, in the form of another Earth.

The beautiful planet which resembles Earth in every aspect is forever there in the movie, making people wonder a lot of ifs and whats. People in the movie call it Earth 2. It piques the interest of Brit owing to those possibilities and what-ifs she has been beating herself about. It could be another dimension. It could be another possibility of her life’s events.

So, basically there are two stories running simultaneously. Both interrelated because of the tragic event that compels Brit to behold Earth 2 as a chance to absolve herself. She plays her character so subtly that it makes you read all those thoughts that are running through her head at every moment, throughout the flick.

There are some brilliant quotes in the movie that make you ponder.

Within our lifetimes, we’ve marveled as biologists have managed to look at ever smaller and smaller things. And astronomers have looked further and further into the dark night sky, back in time and out in space. But maybe the most mysterious of all is neither the small nor the large: it’s us, up close. Could we even recognize ourselves, and if we did, would we know ourselves? What would we say to ourselves? What would we learn from ourselves? What would we really like to see if we could stand outside ourselves and look at us?

The moment when everyone finds out the planet is an exact mirror image of our Earth fills your head with bazillion questions. (So long spoilers!) What would probably blow your mind is the fact that there is an exact ‘you’ who was born, where you were born, who has lived, where you have lived and who might be wondering the exact same questions on finding out about you. Nobody knows the answers to what lies yonder. Yet everybody is curious for answers because everyone is living stories they would want to live differently.

Just when you are about to feel Brit’s penitence is falling into place, the movie ends at a surreal juncture. The climax makes you wonder. You would end up with so many questions and probably with solutions too.

The most important thing is that the flick makes you brood over the quintessential question:  What if you come across yourself one day? What would you say to yourself? Won’t you just go running down on yourself and hug yourself first, and say ‘you love you’? (Just throwing it out there…go easy on yourself!)

ImageTom Hanks can make you cry without being in a movie too.

I remember the first time I cried watching a Tom Hanks flick, precisely because I wept for about half an hour. Cast Away definitely brought out tears in me. I remember pouring out like a girl when I felt my glass was exuberant with emotions. There was this sad part during the final moments in the flick, where I empathize with him. I embody him during those final moments, when I get to see my wife after so many years. All that torment and torture on that island! Hope kept me going. Hoping to get back home to her, kept me breathing. She was the reason I kept hanging on. Her memories had strengthened my will of survival. I had to go back for her. And when I finally return, I find her married to some other guy. That shattered me just as it did Tom, in the flick.

The same sinking feeling I probably would have got, had I read the unabridged version of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by Alexandre Dumas first. When Dantes makes his escape from the Chateau d’if with the help of Faria, getting back to Mercedes was the only thing he ever wished for, apart from his revenge. However, when he gets back to find out that she had married her cousin Fernand, it breaks his heart. As a child, I wasn’t given the original version of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ to read. It was the happier version of the book Dumas wrote, where he gets back to the fidelius Mercedes who waited all those years for him to come back.

We were children back then. Our books were supposed to have happy endings. Our heads could take only fairy tales. Our movies would always end up with smiles and happily ever-afters. Albeit I read the original at a later stage, it didn’t feel the same. I was extremely disappointed by how things turned out in the real world.

I recently watched ‘Extremely loud and Incredibly close’. That justifies the very first line of this blog. I was blown away by the intensity of the misery the family had to face. 9/11 was one of the most tragic events in the history of mankind. The adverse aftermath on a child, whose father was his hero, also a victim of 9/11, was captured and narrated beautifully. It is so touching that I cried throughout the movie. The evanescent presence or rather the prolonged yet moving absence of Tom Hanks was so shattering that it would break me into tears every now and then. Moments when Sandra Bullock would try her level best to speak to her son while the recalcitrant and tenacious lad would retort bluntly was indeed disheartening. There was this time when both Sandra and Thomas really connect and share what they miss the most about Tom. It was subtly written with extreme warmth. Also the time when Thomas Horn breaks, after narrating his biggest secret which he carried with him forever depicts how frustration, angst and misery really look like. Excellent acting by Thomas Horn as well. He runs to his house and destroys everything he ever created. He cries like a boy who has lost everything. So unfortunate and yet so powerful. It really makes your heart heavy.

There is something about Tom Hanks that really connects to you. If he is a father, he becomes very gentle and caring and maybe the best dad in the entire world. If he plays a lover, he becomes adorable and lovable instantly. He just knows how to do it right.

I think you must watch this flick if you are really sad. It would help you in your downpour and add up to your flood.

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Cage is everywhere. Just name a place on this planet and he has already visited it. He is unknowingly creeping towards ‘been-there-done-that‘ world. Why, you ask? Oh, you didn’t. I am imagining things now.

Yeah, I know you are aware of how he has been picking his flicks recently. Yes, he has a bowl filled with chits from fans…er…directors, willing to make a feature film with him. He picks them randomly. He has never been fond of reading his scripts, the precise reason, why I think I can get away with this article. His status – always available. His memory fading – the word ‘No’ has vanished now. Yep I checked it. He can’t say ‘No’ to anyone. Right time for you to rope him in.

The reason I am making such bizarre assertions is, of course, because I think something is not right. He was fine two years ago, wasn’t he?

As a Cage fan, I still can’t help watching his movies, and must I say, I am amazed – how they don’t stop coming! He’s been doing some 4-5 movies on an average every year. Surprised as hell was I when I found out, his next year is already booked with 6-7 movie releases.

I remember reading a column on Nicolas when I was quite young, on how he became an actor and what adversities he encountered in doing so. It was the time when ‘City of Angels‘ hit the cinemas. I was amazed on how talented an actor he was, after watching that flick. I was intrigued by the article and soon he became one of my favorite actors. His role in ‘Face/Off‘ too made us all rejoice beyond limit. I still think ‘Lord of War‘ is one of the finest flicks I have ever seen to date. I have seen him in 21 movies, which is not that big a number considering the amount of movies he has done hitherto.

Some of the greatest works of his life popped up this decade and we are extremely grateful for that. But looking at his past year’s fiasco, I am surprised, how he has been killing himself with tons of work. Well, of course he has been following that regime ever since he was born. But he was young then, remember? Now, he is too old to be doing 4-5 movies. I found HIMYM making fun of him with the quote ‘as busy as Nicolas Cage’ the other day. I was going through the dictionary once, and found the verb form of ‘to cage’ insinuating ‘to act like Nicolas in the movie Ghost Rider‘. Weird.

Don’t you cage off now!

I am a big Cage fan. I will always be. I just wish him to come up with good stuff like ‘The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans‘, ‘Matchstick Men‘ or ‘Lord of War‘ for that to matter.

Well of course he would bounce back in no time, I am sure. All he needs to do is relax a little. Take it easy man! How does 1 sound as a number?