Tuesday, June 22, 2010

WAQT: The Race Against Time (2005)

Nirmal K. {3 Stars}
Yes it definitely worth watching once!! Got some foot-tapping tracks and nice choreography!!
Bijal P. {5 Stars}
Excellent, tear jerker, but what a great family story. Amitabh was brilliant as usual. Still thinking about the movie! Classic!
Samera J. {5 Stars}
This movies will stand the test of time, it is a classic. I cried every time I see it, the actors did a wonderful job!!!!

WAQT: The Race Against Time (2005)

No movie review provided by Blockbuster and the above are comments from Blockbuster members. We both gave it low marks as this film was nothing more than a long soap opera with endless maudlin dialogue. It could have been an interesting film if it was about 75 minutes in length and not so much crying even by the strong son that weeps at nearly every scene. We were like, you are a man, grow up!!!

Wiki treats it more like a comedy at Waqt: The Race Against Time. With nearly the last 20 minutes of crying then I could hardly call it a comedy unless you treat the characters as tragic worthless people. But this in fact is an important issue and how do families raise the next generation in a land of plenty. Not just for the rich but poor alike are getting obese and have an easy life filled with video games and TV.

Laxman was only mildly amusing and clearly no one I would have around as a "servant". I could only assume that at times he deliberately avoided work by being stupid. Thus, even though the father is trying to alter his son to become a man, he also has a problem correcting the behaviors of others including his staff. Thus, it would be hard to imagine that the father could have been as successful as they portrayed him to be. And the in-laws also were very rich. Pooja had a swimming pool in her bedroom. We thought about it and it sounds like a bad idea. They did beautifully contrast that with the "outhouse" the father offers them with not a stitch of furniture. Pooja plays the dutiful wife as willing to sacrifice greatly for her love for the son. She even refuses to either go back to her parents or move in to the father's house temporarily when pregnant. Pooja is the Mother India character in this film.

Matrubhoomi (2003)

Young Indian filmmaker Manish Jha writes and directs the French-Indian co-production Matrubhoomi (A Nation Without Women). In rural India of the near future, a small village has been reduced to a violent state of barbarianism. Because of the immoral tradition of female infanticide, the town is populated exclusively by brutish men. Nevertheless, wealthy Ramcharan (Sudhir Pandey) still tries to arrange a marriage for his eldest son Rakesh (Pankaj Jha). He manages to purchase the only woman around, Kalki (Tulip Joshi), who ends up serving all five of his sons. The violence only escalates from there. A Nation Without Women was shown at the 2003 Venice Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide
Matrubhoomi (2003)

Kalki not only has to serve the 5 sons but also serving the father which then in a twist of betrayal reveals her father to be simply a Pimp asking for more money as the number of men getting "servicing" increased. What they end up doing to her is clearly unimaginable and would have meant the death for most people as she was chained up and raped repeatedly.

I give this film high praise for dramatic script and originality. I would truly like to see more Indian films that delved into science fiction. Although this is meant to be in the near future as the villages just started getting cellular phones, it is still sci-fi in that the world has never experienced that degree of misogynistic. The opening scene is an ancient one of a female child that is drown in a tub of milk.

But honestly, although they are making a point about how many women are aborted or infanticide of females in India, it is very unlikely that such a scenario would come to fruition. It was even noted in the film that it was no longer the family of the women that paid dowry but the shortage of women caused the price of available women to skyrocket. Thus the economics would bring the pendulum closer to the natural selection process. There would be increased incentives for people to have women to fill the need for sex and marriage and to even have a son...

Watched any good Sci-Fi Indian films? Let me know.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

John Ford's fine direction distinguishes this highly fictionalized account of the early life of Abraham Lincoln. The film shows Lincoln (Henry Fonda) as he rises from a country boy born in a log cabin to a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois defending two young men unjustly accused of murder. The film, produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, received an Academy Award nomination for "Best Original Screenplay" for its screenwriter Lamar Trotti. Henry Fonda perhaps the most American of actors, is at his best playing Lincoln as the quintessential, compassionate American hero. ~ Linda Rasmussen, All Movie Guide

Theatrical Feature Running Time: 100 mins
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is the YouTube video: Lynch mob scene from Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford.

Strangely, or just good editing and shooting techniques, I missed who did the murder. So in essence it was just as unexpected as it was to the jury. Of course this meant that Lincoln was playing the part of Perry Mason where the guilty break under pressure of the witness stand, and in this case even out of the box.

Interesting but not sure the worth in political science classes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The World of Apu

Apu, a college graduate living alone in an attic apartment in Calcutta, spends his time working on a novel aspiring to become a writer. He marries his friend's sister, as a favor, but his wife soon dies during childbirth. Apu refuses to see his son and, overcome by grief, leaves Calcutta and wanders through the countryside, renouncing everything. His old friend looks for him and finds him working at a remote coal mine and implores him to return and take responsibility for his son. He goes back and finds himself drawn to his 5-year-old who is distrustful of him at first, but eventually, a bond is formed and, together, they set out for Calcutta.
Also Known As:
Apur Sansar
The Apu Trilogy
The Masterworks of Satyajit Ray

Production Status: Released
Genres: Drama and Sequel
Running Time: 1 hr. 46 min.
Release Date: October 4th, 1960 (limited)
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Sony Pictures Classics
Produced in: India
The World of Apu (1959) - Movie Details - Yahoo! Movies

The movie ends as they decide to adventure to Calcutta but the son is not aware of the man being his father. A very delightful film that shows the strong societal influences on the father to do the right thing. The wife also feels emotionally divided as the life they start to live in Calcutta was not what she wanted as her family came from the upper castes. She alone carries this burden not wanting to upset her husband. She shows her love to him but decides to move back to her parents home-presumably to have the child. They state the separation is to be just a couple of months but the next scene has Apu receiving news that the mother died in childbirth. He physically attacks the messenger in his anguish that carries over to his relationship with his son.

The World of Apu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Apu Trilogy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

DVD Cover:
"Rich and contemplative and a great, convincing affirmation." -Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

Named the Best Foreign Film of 1960, by the National Board of Review and winner of numerous festival prizes, The World of Apu is the crowning finish to Satyajit Ray's unforgettable Apu Trilogy.

Forced to abandon his education, Apu's prospects look bleak until fate intervenes in the form of an insane bridegroom. To save the abandoned bride from public disgrace, Apu marries her, beginning a new life as husband and father. Like the earlier films in the trilogy Pather Panchali and Aparajito, The World of APu is more than a mesmerizing look at Indian culture; it is a universal look at family love and personal sacrifice. "Rich and contemplative and a great, convincing affirmation." -Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

Although he was a father in the biological sense he was estranged from his son until the son was 5 years old and was not even present at birth.

Appu Raja????

The Americanization of Emily (1964)

The lively but somehow slightly distasteful The Americanization of Emily stars James Garner as a WWII naval officer who happens to be a craven coward. While his comrades sail off to their deaths, Garner makes himself scarce, generally hiding out in the London flat of his lothario navy buddy James Coburn. Garner falls in love with virtuous war widow Julie Andrews (the "Emily" of the title), but she can't abide his yellow streak. Meanwhile, crack-brained admiral Melvyn Douglas decides that he needs a hero--the first man to die on Omaha Beach during the D-Day Invasion. Coburn is at first elected for this sacrifice, but it is the quivering Garner who ends up hitting the beach. He survives to become a hero in spite of himself, winning Andrews in the process. Paddy Chayefsky's script, based on the novel by William Bradford Huie, attempts to extract humor out of the horrors of war by using broad, vulgar comedy instead of the light satirical touch that would seem to be called for. Americanization of Emily was Julie Andrews' second film; it should have led to a steady stream of adult-oriented roles, but the box-office clout of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music consigned her to "wholesome family entertainment". ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Theatrical Feature Running Time: 115 mins
The Americanization of Emily (1964)

Quite an excellent film. I enjoyed it immensely and one of James Garner's best performances. I disagree with it being vulgar-at least by today's standards. But was surprised by the nudity-although only the backs of young women it still has the two men in the room unashamedly looking at them in the nude from their angle. The only part that might be over the top for distasteful dialogue was when Garner's character explained his opinions of war to Andrews' mother with the three of them there.

I liked to see the character development and the back and forth of the romance. Garner's character changed very little but Andrews' showed quite a bit of change in opinion of wars.

While this was portrayed as anti-war and anti-American, it clearly does not meet either criteria from my perspective. First the director even admitted as such on the director's cut commentary. He said that it was not meant as anti-war but over glorification of war, and clearly most good war movies have been that way including most versions of "All Quiet on the Western Front". And even thought the Americans are brass and pompous they still have admirable qualities including generosity. One aspect that might be considered distasteful is the idea of sacrificing individual soldiers for an idea that has no real value. In this case it was to have a Navy soldier be the first to die. I am sure that many died before even hitting the beach as the Germans used mortars, long-range artillery and long barrel riffles that could easily hit and kill soldiers in the open air transports. In real wars many men died as soon as the door of the transport opened up.

This film does a good job in showing the inherent problems of direct authoritarian hierarchical structures when one man decides the fate of an individual or any group of men. If that man is unfit for command because of mental and emotional problems then his/her decisions could be against the welfare of his/her troops.

My wife was right that Garner's character could not die off. I know that most films during that time period could never have a hero die off, I just could not help but think that the anti-war elements would see him die as both the witnesses said he died in battle.