Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Pretty good animated sequel of the continuing saga of creatures from the Ice Age, starring the voices of Ray Ramono, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, Sean William Scott and John Lequizamo. This time the elephant (Ray Ramono) partner is pregnant with his child and he goes overboard to make sure everything is done safely for the baby to arrive. In the meanwhile they fall in a pit and land in an alternate world where Dinosaurs rule. Good animation and some good jokes. Fun to watch and highly Recommended for every one.

On the lighter side-Movies-Inglourious Basterds (2009)

A remake of the same name of the seventies movie regarding a group of Jewish American soldiers on a mission to kill the Nazis in Germany. Brad Pitts stars as the leader of the group. Gory at times but the main issue is the length of the movie (over two and a half hours) and quite talkative at times with not enough action to hold your interest. Brad Pitt's accent is a struggle to understand but very nicely done. Recommended with reservations.

On the lighter side-Movies-Insidious (2011)

Weird horror movie starring Patrick Wilson as a teacher whose one son goes inexplicably into a comatose situation and finds out the hard way that he is in a world called " the Further". Don’t ask me how or why he goes there because it does not make sense. Although the chills are there (like Paranormal Activity stuff) but not great of a movie. It was made for USD 1.5 Million but made USD 92 Million worldwide surprising the movie industry. Expect a sequel to it by the way it ended (like all the horror movies do). Recommended but only for horror fans, all others stay away.

On the lighter side-Movies-Scream 4

All the three main characters return to the horror series which is now getting too tired to watch. David Arquette as the Sheriff, Courtney Cox as his reporter wife and Neve Campbell as the survivor of the previous massacres all came back to this sequel (as if sorry to say they did not have any other movie deal). Not that great, but lots of killings and not even that is innovative or new. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Green Hornet (2011)

Good movie regarding a Playboy who inherits a newspaper after his father passes away and in trying to relieve his boredom invents a character called Green Hornet to fight crime. Seth Rogen is the Green Hornet along with his sidekick/partner (Asian pop star Jay Chou) who does all the work and Cameron Diaz is Seth Rogen secretary whose research inadvertently helps Green Hornet. Very fun movie and entertaining. Recommended

Monday, November 28, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-There will be blood (2008)

Daniel day-Lewis stars as an early 20th century prospect who hits pay dirt with his oil wells but his greed lead him to isolation and utter self destruction. Pretty good movie but a long one with good performance by Mr. Lewis. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-District 13 (French)

District 13 is a hype French Martial arts/Action/gunplay movie which was hugely successful in France and elsewhere. It is a story set in the near future in Paris, France where the worst of the district have been walled in and no authority is present. A neutron bomb is stolen and a highly skilled martial arts security official is sent in to diffuse it who is aided in his endeavor by a guy who is skilled in French Martial Arts called Parkour (which is a combination of dodging urban obstacles to escape from difficult situation, sort of like that). It is a very neatly, fast paced and highly enjoyable film. Highly Recommended especially for action fans.

On the lighter side-Movies-Unknown (2011)

Stars Liam Nesson as a Scientists who comes to Berlin to attend a conference with his wife and have an accident making him amneciac to things he did before his accident and tries to piece together his life before he gets killed in the process. He is assisted in his endeavor by an illegal immigrant girl (Played by Diane Kruger). Also stars Frank Langella and Aidan Quinn. Very exciting movie right until the end where they bring back the same old assassin who has forgotten his past plot like in the Matt Damon movies Born ultimatum and others. Was not very happy with the disappointing plot twist. Otherwise the movie is good but predictable. Recommended with reservations.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-New Moon (2010)

The continuing saga of the girl who falls in love with a vampire. But this time around her vampire lover have left the town to avoid getting her hurt and she starts to fall in love with another local who happens to be werewolf whose clan has an uneasy truce with the vampires. The continuation of great scenery makes it an attractive movie to watch along with romantic pains and pleasures that accompany when you are totally in love and can't be with your lover in one way or the other. Highly Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Twilight (2008)

Surprising well made romantic/horror/action movie about a girl (Kristen Stewart) who moves in with the father in Washington State small time and quickly get smitten with love with a guy (Robert Pattinson) who is revealed to be a vampire. Very good scenery and good intense romance between the two makes it a highly enjoyable movie. No wonder it made tons of money for the film makers. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Alice in Wonderland

Mia Washowska stars as Alice who one day falls in a cave and goes into a magical wonderland where animals speak and plants are alive. There she meets different characters and fight a dragon. If you have read the story or have seen the earlier versions, you will get a treat in this one with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the mean Queen of one kingdom against her nicer sister of another kingdom (played by Anne Hathaway). Very entertaining and highly recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Hangover

The Hangover is a comedy movie which stars Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham and a cameo by Mike Tyson. It is about how four guys go to Las Vegas to have a bachelor party and ends up losing their Bridegroom to be in the process. They wake up from a hangover and have no recollection of what happened to them overnight, making them trying to find out what happened to them and their friend bit by bit. Quite funny at times, but still I can’t understand how come it made tons of money in the process. Not for all tastes but still recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Despicable Me

Despicable is an animated movie with Steve Carrel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnet and Miranda Cosgrove voices. It is about a girl who is trying to be the greatest villain the world has ever known but redeems himself when he takes under his care three orphans initially trying to get his hands on a shrink machine. Funny and good story makes it highly enjoyable and thus highly recommended for all.

On the lighter side-Movies-Megamind

Megamind is a computer generated animated movie starring Will Ferrell as a super villain who after vanquishing the super hero creates another super hero in order to relieve his boredom and win his girl. With Brad Pitt and Tina Fey. A good but not great animated movie but enough to satisfy the little ones and family alike. Recommended for all.

On the lighter side-Movies-Tucker and Dale Vs Evil

Now here is a movie that I will highly recommend. It is a horror comedy, more like a comedy with a bloody twist. Two so called hill billies go to their newly purchased cabin in the mountains and encounter college kids who mistakenly think they are killers and try to kill them but end of killing themselves in various stupid ways. It is a parody of all the horror movies where you think that it is the fault of the killer but you end up getting happy that the dumb folks are getting killed for their stupidness. Highly recommended but bloody.

On the lighter side-Movies-Gulliver’s Travels (2010)

Jack Black stars as a dead end mail guy in a small company who has a secret crush on his coworker. Who by vows by going on a boat alone in a supposedly suspicious part of the Bermuda triangle and gets zapped into a place called Lilliput where all the people are one tenth or more of his size. This is another take on a popular story about Gulliver's travel to the land of the tiny people and not half bad but it is too predictable and is essentially a Jack Black vehicle. Few laughs here and there but not that much to sustain your interest. Recommended with reservation.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Secret life of bees

Stars Dakota Fanning as young girl who runs away from home when she cannot take the abuse of her father and takes shelter in the sprawling home of a bee keeper Queen Latifah who teaches her about the ways to take care of the honey bees. It is based in the south about the time when the First civil rights act was signed into legislation, so you should be expecting some kind of racism. Overall a good movie but pretty emotional and a tear jerker. Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies- Green Zone

Matt Damon stars as an U.S. Army Soldier who is on the hunt for the supposed WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and discovers a conspiracy of fabricating and justifying the war in Iraq. Lots of Intrigue with minimal action to come with it. But it shows the dilemma of the U.S. soldiers of going into a country with good intentions and getting disillusioned when they don’t find what they were supposed to. With Greg Kinnear as the person who makes sure that Matt Damon does not get to the truth. Only so so. Not recommended

The pressures of competition

As the world's population increase, the competition arena is getting tougher and tougher. It all boils down to who get the jobs and this starts from the day a baby is born. There is competition to get the best baby clothes, best doctors, best hospitals and list goes on and on and since there can only limited amount of every stuff available, the competition becomes very fierce and here whoever has the most money wins. In the education field, we seek out the best schools with the best teachers and for that we pay a lot of money.

Our students are constantly under pressure to compete harder and harder so that they can get admitted to a dwindling number of seats in the elite educational institutions of the country. And when they are competing against their friends for good grades, it is now not guaranteed that they will get the best jobs. Since the world has now changed and everybody it seems have embraced free market capitalism, the number of jobs being outsourced has increased leaving us with a smaller number of jobs with a higher number of candidates.Sometimes these pressures to compete take a psychological tool on our young generation. This pressure to compete will not stop even if we have an even pool of jobs for even pool of candidates because not every company can be world class or top tier and the pressure will be on the best companies to hire the best candidates and again the competition game will start and we are back to square one. It is not only in jobs on individual basis but among countries on the basis of exports, sports, militaries and any thing you can think off. I am sorry to say but the world will always have competition no matter what system it adopts.

The need for enhanced cyber security

The hackers have been very busy lately attacking any corporation or government website at will and then proudly announcing to the world that they are the culprit. They don’t think it as a crime but as a matter of badge of honor and also they think that they are fighting the so called "capitalist" systems that exploit people everywhere.

But in addition to blaming the hackers, one think is for sure that they hackers despite fighting on behalf of the littleguys (most of you and me basically) have also done favor to the corporations and governments and exposed their vulnerability to their computer system. But despite this, the alleged victims keep on doing the same thing over and over again and exposing themselves to breach of security every now and then.I can understand that small businesses do not have the resources to pour into security of their computers but what about the big businesses? They should know that since being big, they are accessed by more people and hence trusted by them so the corporations should be having a fool proof security of their IT systems. But they have been careless enough not to pay attention to this aspect of their security. It is time that they are one step ahead of the hackers in enhancing their cyber security and use more longer and hard to detect passwords and constantly changing them every week to make sure they are not been targeted.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Warrior's Way

Korean Super star Jang Dong Gun stars as a ninja assassin whose final task is to eliminate a baby but he does not and escapes to the old west in the U.S. and hides among circus people which include Kate Bosworth and Geoffrey Rush. There he tries to hide his identity but is forced to fight again against his former Master who arrives with his own army of ninjas to eliminate him and also have to face an army of ruthless cowboys who have been terrorizing the circus town for quite some time. Good ninja sequences as the movie try to blend the east and west way of killing. Depending on your taste, it can or cannot be recommended. For me I would not recommend it.

On the lighter side-Movies-Red

Very enjoyable Bruce Willis movie regarding a retired Special Forces person who becomes mysteriously targeted for death and seeks out the person (s) behind it. In his endeavor, he calls back his team comprising of Helen Miren, John Malkovick andMorgan Freeman. Based on a comic book, a highly enjoyable comedy/action movie which never lets its entertainment guard down. By the way Red stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous. Also stars Ernest Borgnine. Highly Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies- The Bounty Hunter

Gerard Butler stars as an ex-cop now a bounty hunter, who is tasked with bringing his bail jumping ex-wife (Jennifer Anniston) to jail and collect 5 grand. An action comedy film and still don’t understand how it can make so much money. I guess the cinema going people have too few choices to see what is on the silver screen. Not a great movie, although the acting is good and so is the chemistry between the main characters. Recommended if you are a fan of Jennifer Anniston, otherwise you can watch better done comedy movies.

On the lighter side- Movies-The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney Pictures teamed up to make this Nicholas cage movie regarding a Sorcerer's training his reluctant apprentice (with magic and sorcery) to battle his nemesis Alfred Molina in present day New York. Good special effects and an overall good enjoyable movie but nothing special overall. Recommended for fun time, otherwise you can do better.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-My bloody valentine 3D (2009)

Another in the long line of needless remakes and that also in forced 3D version. Not a good movie to watch even when it came out in the early eighties and the same can be said of this one but with the added novelty of being hit at your eyes if you have a 3D television, otherwise watching it in 2D can have the same effect. Not very bloody either. Not Recommended to anyone.

On the lighter side- Movies- The Losers

An A-team clone based on a comic book of the same name regarding a team of elite soldiers who are betrayed by their commanders and go on the lam to find out who is really behind the betrayal. Lots of action and fights but it does not hide the fact that it is essentially a rehash of A-Team down to the leader of the team who is a colonel. Not Recommended for anybody.

On the lighter side- Movies-Halloween( 2007)

Updated Rob Zombie version of the John Carpenter's Horror Classic with more violence and sexual situations than before. It also shows more of the reasons behind the character of Michael Myers. Overall not a bad movie comparing to the remake being made now a days with more original story inserted. Watch it in the unrated version. Recommended for the fans, otherwise stay clear.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

On the lighter side-Movies-Saw V

I won't even bother to attempt to explain this movie if you have not seen one of its installments (there are up till now seven of them-the last one in 3D). Why don’t I want to that, just because it is all blood and gore? I recently had the chance to see the Number III and Number IV in the unrated version and boy it was a bloody mess. It really showed you what the director had intended to show if he was allowed to do it. The way the bodies of victims get tortured is sometimes unbearable to watch. It is not that the blood gets animated and you feel that your senses have become numb. It really makes you feel squeamish after a while. I have seen so many extremely bloody and violent movies but this takes the cake (until I see the next level of violence and brutality on the screen). Recommended if you can stomach the violence in the unrated one. Otherwise be forewarned not for the squeamish and hence not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Machete

Very violent action movie starring Danny trejo an Ex-Mexican Federale (Mexican Federal Police) who is framed by the Drug lord (played by Steven Seagal) and who flees to the U.S. only to face off with Jeff fahey (the agent of Steven Seagal). Robert Di Nero stars as the anti-immigrant senator and Cheech Marin as the gun totting priest. With Lindsay Lohan as Jeff Fahey's daughter. Some nudity but Highly recommended movie for action fans.

On the lighter side-Movies-Prince of Persia: The sands of time

Jack Gyllenhaall stars as the Prince of Persia a fantastic sword swashbuckling rendering of the video game of the same name, fighting off his nemesis in order to protect the Sands of time put in the dagger protected by the Princess of Alamut. His nemesis turns out to be his Uncle played by Ben Kingsley. It is a very fast paced and very exciting adventure movie where most of the stunts of Jack was done by him purportedly and directed by the action director Jerry Bruckheimer. Watch it you won't know where the time flies. Highly recommended with great action scenes. Too bad it was not made in 3D since most of the action looks like it is in 3D.

On the lighter side-Movies- Cirque du freak: the Vampires assistant

Horror/Comedy movie regarding a boy who accidently becomes a Vampire's assistant when a Freak circus comes to town. With John C. Reilly as the Vampire and Salma Hayek as his bearded girlfriend. Lots of Freak characters in the movie and it does hold your interest but not enough to be truly interesting. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-Shutter Island

Highly Stylized and atmosphere Martin Scorsese Movie regarding two Federal Marshalls (including Leonardo Di Caprio) going an island in the early fifties off the coast of Boston, Massachusetts to investigate the disappearance of a mental patient from mental institution and gets messed up in their heads (and mine too). The good doctor (played by Ben Kingsley) is out to show that the Leonardo is messed up in the head and does not distinguish between reality and fantasy and as the movie progresses and takes a bizarre turn and the rest is you have to see it to believe it. Fine acting by all especially Leonardo. A must see for Scorsese and Leonardo Fans and others too. Highly Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Marie Antoinette

Kirsten Dunst (of the First Spider Man Fame) stars as the teenager of Austria who gets married into the last French king and have a ball of time before she is executed by the French Revolutionaries. She was only 14 years when she got wed into the French Aristocracy and then got bored to death doing nothing. I was appalled by what I saw as the do nothing French Aristocracy wasted their nation's wealth while the poor person got hungry. Watching operas, eating, drinking, going to parties, strolling in their vast estate, hunting and generally doing nothing made me think that how disconnected the king of France was at that time. It was right for the people to stage a revolt, when the King does not care about their subjects. You really have to see this movie to believe what I am saying and feeling really disgusted at the wasteful of the money and lives of the French Royalty of that day. Highly recommended for the sheer absurdity.

On the lighter side-Movies-Kick-Ass

Very enjoyable supposedly teen movie regarding a nerdy guy who wears a costume and tries to become a super hero of sorts only to have his butt kicked quite often. Once in the field of superheroes, he encounters real life Father and Daughter crime fighting duo and takes on the bad guys with them. Very brutal in some parts especially when the girl (supposedly 11 or 12 years old) start killing the bad guys in ultra violent fashion and speaks foul and dirty language. With Nicholas cage as the father of the girl. Highly recommended if you can sit through some of the brutal and bloody scenes.

On the lighter side-Movies-The other guys

A truly fantastic Comedy Movie Starring Mark Walhberg and Will ferrel as two pencil pushers in the New York Police Department who gets chance to play true detective cops when two other macho cops commit suicide during a robbery. Over the top acting by Mark Walhberg and Will Ferrel with a surprising boss in the shape of Michael Keaton (seeing after a long time). With Eva Mendes as the hot girlfriend of Will Ferrel- the Police accountant. Very funny and action oriented movie. Definitely worth watching. Highly enjoyable and highly and Must Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-3.10 to Yuma (2007)

This is the updated version of the late fifties classic staring Russel Crowe as the bad guy and Christian bale as the rancher escorting him to the 3.10 Train to Yuma. Christian Bale is a struggling rancher who is going to town to settle some issues with his ranch debt and in comes Russel Crowe who has killed and ambused a wagon full of money with his companions. In town, Russel Crowe gets caught by the Sheriff of the town and he asks people to escort the prisoner to the 3.10 Train to Yuma. Christian bale jumps at the the chance of earning USD 200.00 and decides to accompany Russel Crowe to the station. His gang is not far behind and lots of shoot out occurs in the process. But not to give away the ending, this is a good Western to see just because of the cool acting by Russel Crowe. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Wolf Man (2010)

Updated version of the early 1940s classic with different second half. You have got to watch it in the Unrated version since it is more bloodier than the theatrical one. The transformation of Benicio Del Toro into a werewolf won an Oscar Award. With Anthony Hopkins as the father of the tormented Del Toro. The atmosphere British scenery sets the mood for this movie. Although due to the unrated version of this movie, it is sometimes hard to watch the bloody mess that the Wolf Man creates but that is also the best way to watch the director's version of this movie. Bloody fun, although it was a bomb at the box office, but still watch it for sheer bloody enjoyment. Recommended.

On the lighter side-Movies-Brooklyn’s finest

Very gritty and depressing movie regarding New York City's Brooklyn Borough Cops dealing with corruption, temptation of money, drug dealers, prostitution and the like. Although the acting is good by all the top actors (including Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Wesley Snipes), the general mood of the movie is very depressing and shows the true happenings that can tempt a man of law. Watch it for somewhat true picture of police life and temptations but be forewarned it is really depressing and sometimes hard to watch.

On the lighter side-Movies- Splice (French-Canadian)

Adrien brody stars as a scientist whose experiment into forbidden science creates a man/beast creature which turns initially is a benign one but becomes aggressive once it matures and eventually kills people. A weird movie to be sure. Not for all tastes but for a curiosity factor you can take a look. A little bit of Science fiction but not a horror movie of any sort. Go check it out. Not for my taste and as such Not Recommended. But for all you science fiction fans, another curious treat for you.