Sunday, March 25, 2007

This is gonna be HUGE

I have many many things to blog about. From movie reviews to impressions to World Cups of shame and doom and Murders so very foul. And also timelines of complex television shows. Though the last may just be only the one T.V. show. Whatever.

Anyway, to begin at the beginning, I watched 2 uber-violent films in one fantastic day. I was going to call this post a History of Ultra-Violence but then laziness got in the way of blogging and now there is too much to post. The two films are 300 and Apocalypto. The former has done brilliantly at the box-office and also created a stir regarding its depiction of Persians in the film. Apart from the cinematic merits of the film, on which consensus is divided, this controversy has kept the movie in the news and also reignited the old debate about political correctness at the movies. My opinion is this: When did we start to expect every film to deliver a nuanced representation of every character? When did cinema become the custodian of historical accuracy? And why must all movies be required to humanise the Other?

Having said all that, let me express how gratifying it was to watch Leather! Also - fun movie. Liked the cinematography.

Apocalypto was a good action/thriller type. The latter half was particularly exciting because it was an extended chase sequence in the Amazon. Mel Gibson can direct, but when it come to trying to make larger points about the present human condition, he should really think again. Especially if he's going to discredit himself by coming out as a bigot.

The murder in question is that of Bob Woolmer, at the World Cup. Abhorrent performance by our lovely team of over-pampered idiots notwithstanding, this is a new low. I can only hope that his killers will be found and punished. Cricket should take stock - Pakistani cricket should take stock - of whether it wants to win if people are going to literally die for it.

So the timeline was going to be for, surprise, Battlestar Galactica, but I think I will only very quickly enumerate the possiblities. When the colonials find Earth, what are they going to find? It could be that the show is set in the past, and the fleet's arrival is how the planet got populated. Or, they could find the Earth in the present and be (badly) surprised at how backward the 13th tribe technology is. Of course they could also find Earth at any point in between, but that is the least intereting option, IMO. The other option is to find Earth in the future. It could be a post-apocalyptic Earth, with nothing left on it. Or a superior society. Or a post -apocalytic Earth that has also been attacked by Cylons. Mindfrak!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Long Time Coming

Its been a while, people. Not that any of you have missed me. But anyway, I shall regale with stories of my new-found Dolce Vita. Part of it is due to the joy of having a job where you are required to, you know, actually work. Its quite a radical concept. And to top it all, I'm required to think! Boo-yah!!! Give me a salary to match job-satisfaction and I'd have myself a trifecta!

Suffice to say I am enjoying work.

Anyway, after having posted the nominations of all the award shows under the sun, I have not commented on the Oscar Awards. Since that threatens my self-proclaimed status as an award-whore, I must set this oversight to rights, ASAP. Here, then is a list of the winners, complete with pithy comments. For nominations look here.

Picture - The Departed
Director - Martin Scorsese, The Departed
Actor - Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Actress - Helen Mirren, The Queen
Film editing - The Departed
Original song - I Need to Wake Up, An Inconvenient Truth
Original screenplay - Little Miss Sunshine
Original score - BabelDocumentary feature - An Inconvenient Truth
Documentary short subject - The Blood of Yingzhou District
Supporting actress - Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Foreign film - The Lives of Others
Visual effects - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Cinematography - Pan's Labyrinth
Costume design - Marie Antoinette
Adapted screenplay - The Departed
Animated film - Happy Feet
Supporting actor - Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine

These awards were notable in that there are very few truly contentious/controversial decisions. And the biggest story of the night? MARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!! He-who-finally-has-an-Oscar!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I must say, I love that the Academy chose a fabulously done "genre" film over such "important" movies as Babel and (the extremely mediocre) The Queen. For once, the Academy eschewed the message film and embraced good cinema, as cinema. I enjoyed The Departed like nothing else last year. Also, very happy for Alan Arkin upsetting Eddie Murphy for Best Supporting Actor. I mean, Norbit? Plus, how angry was Eddie at being snubbed? Imagine missing out on all the drama. I wish I could warm to Jennifer Hudson, really I do, but something about her strikes me as so fake and so, so manufactured. I would really have loved someone else- anyone else - to win instead of her. Especially with her post-Oscar comments on how Dreamgirls lost out because of bias. The biggest snub for me was the German film, The Lives of Others, winning over Pan's Labyrinth. Ah, Academy. When will you stop rewarding upper-mediocrity over the truly brilliant? I also liked Ellen as host, she was warm and funny. I especially loved the bit where she gave Marty the script and then later when she had Spielberg take a picture of Eastwood and herself. Oscar comedy gold. I loved the two minutes Seinfeld was on, however, so much so I hope he takes over next year. I liked drooling over Gael Garcia Bernal in a tux with a skinny tie as well. Oh, and Will Ferrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly were the funniest things about the whole night. The bald Jack Nicholson, on the other hand, was the scariest thing about the ceremony.

The Filmfare Awards were notable only for the fact that Shahrukh Khan, in his awesomeness, hosted them. Best Actor went to Hrithik Roshan for Dhoom 2, comparable to, say, Tom Cruise winning for Mission: Impossible. (This refers to a time when Tom Cruise was not synonymous with crazy-scientology-guy). Kajol won Best Actress for Fanaa, which was a bad, BAD film. And that is all I have to say about that.

Holi was incredible fun this year. I had a fantastic time with a couple of friends, and this was the most fun Holi has been for me since school. The festivities started on Friday at work, where the office interiors started looking like the exterior in the amount of colour spread over walls and floors. I ended up looking like a female version of the Incredible Hulk.

In television news, I'm so glad Koffee with Karan is back! I love the show with its wonderfully insidious host who makes the A-list say things they really shouldn't. A treat in these politically correct times. Veronica Mars is on hiatus until April after wrapping up another mini mystery arc in an extremely satisfying way for me. The Agatha Christie style parlour game mystery was a refreshing change from the Veronica-in-mortal-danger, which while more urgent are also frustrating, and now repetitive. Battlestar Galactica is going to cause me to have an apoplectic fit and/or palpitations with the amount of anticipation I have for the final few episodes. They have already exhausted me emotionally more times this season than anything else on TV ever has (with the exception of the BTVS episode The Body).

I have watched several films recently, including: The Queen which apart form its fantastic central performance and Michael Sheen as Tony Blair is really a made-for-TV type thing; The Last King of Scotland which was enjoyable enough but notable only for Forrest Whitaker's performance; Little Children, which was a truly well-made film; Little Miss Sunshine, ditto; A Good Year, um.... and Guru, also ummm.......