Movies Of The Week–15 April 2013

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Action/Thriller/Suspense Flick

All The President’s Men [1976]

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Finding dirt on the President of the United States can be a hard, dangerous and highly controversial thing to do. Based on true events, this movie traces what two men Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward—played by Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford respectively—find by way of inconsistencies in the events enabling President-elect Nixon (during the run-up to the 1972 elections) to take up office. When they dig deeper little did those two reporters for the Washington Post know that they’d end up blowing the lid on what History will later call the Watergate Scandal.

I found this flick a bit slow at times, where important real-life details are to be covered on screen, but it sure does turn into a fast-paced thriller of shocking proportions.

[Duration: 02 hrs. 18 mins.]

Chick Flick

Pitch Perfect [2012]

When Beca (Anna Kendrick) joins Barden University against her wishes when she really wants to kick start her career in music, she finds the going not all that bad. There’s a radio in the premises and a competitive Acapella group which she joins. Disappointment after loss follow and Beca feels she’s going nowhere until she finds a way to turn things around and create a singing sensation out of her friends and herself, winning the competition and gaining renewed confidence in her career choice.

I like this flick mainly because it’s got some awesome music and just as amazing performances I can’ forget even if I want to. In addition to that, I found it also had romance, sex appeal, humor and fun.

[Duration: 01 hr. 52 mins.]

Animation Flick

An American Tail [1986]

Don Bluth’s directorial magic where animation is concerned is nothing short of stellar. With an executive producer like Steven Spielberg on the set, there’s no end to the awesomeness, as this flick will prove. Tracing the trials, losses, joys and hopes of a little Russian mouse called Fievel Mousekewitz (Phillip Glasser) who escapes Russia with his family and heads to America at a time when the Statue of Liberty is only just being raised, there’s a lot of thrills to enjoy. Cats are the enemy in this flick filled with sublime music, memorable songs and a plot flow that is sure to make you want to see this movie over and over again.

Words can’t begin to touch upon the depth of emotion I found this flick covers so admirably, with multiple real-life connections almost all of us can totally relate to. I’ve seen it so many times to date I lost count.

[Duration: 01 hr. 17 mins.]

Comedy Flick

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels [1988]

Freddy Benson (Steve Martin) and Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) are con artists a class apart from each other. Their specialty: using their charms and anything else they can conjure up to part wealthy women from their money. What happens when the two of them end up sharing one territory on the French Mediterranean Coast, filled with rich women to trick? Better yet, what happens when one woman, Janet Colgate (Glenne Headly), becomes their mutual aim and who makes them challenge each other to a ‘who’s gonna con her first’? Will this woman be their undoing? Have they bitten off more than they can con?

This roll-on-the-floor comedy directed by Frank Oz is one of those flicks I saw time and again and never got bored. In fact, I always had a good laugh even after knowing how the movie is going to end. I can never get bored with this number.

[Duration: 01 hr. 50 mins.]

Fantasy Flick

Paul [2011]

It’s corny, it’s funny, it’s filled with amazing dialogues, and has a very fun-oriented plotline. What makes this a fantasy is the inclusion of an alien who comes to be called Paul (voice-talent by Seth Rogen). Throw in government conspiracies, two nerdy best buds Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost) and an amazing performance by Kristen Wiig playing Ruth Buggs and you have yourself a comic caper of other-worldly proportions. With important appearances by stars like Jane Lynch, Jeffrey Tambor, Sigourney Weaver and more, this is a movie that if it doesn’t make you believe in Life out there in the Universe, will at least leave you with a lot of amazing things to remember.

I found a plot-idea or two in this flick a bit clichéd, but when it comes to choosing an awesome movie to watch with family or friends or both, this is it. It’s brilliant and hilarious, both in the modern sense of the word and Paul is now one of my favorite fantasy-movie-characters.

[Duration: 01 hr. 49 mins.]

Horror Flick

Devil [2010]

With writing by none other than the immensely talented M. Night Shyamalan, this movie has a bunch of new faces playing characters stuck in an elevator. Not by mere coincidence, though. Something diabolic is going on because this group of seemingly total strangers shares some stuff in common, touching upon crimes committed and hurts rendered. Their punishment comes when least expected and by the devil who, fitting well into a certain Mexican belief in how the devil works, comes to collect his due of rotten souls.

With ace timing, amazing sound effects and an edge-of-your-seat roller coaster ride, mostly taking place inside one small elevator, with a detective at his wits end about what to make of all this, I still believe this flick is as horrifying in the genuine sense of the word than most other flashy scary movies out there.

[Duration: 01 hr.20 mins.]

Drama Flick

Million Dollar Baby [2004]

When Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) finds herself struggling to balance her life while also nurturing a passion for boxing in a world where it’s thought less of a woman wanting to be a boxer, she sticks to her dreams no matter what. Between being able to afford this and that she goes to take lessons from a retired coach, the best in his time. Things with Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) don’t start off so smooth because the retired coach refuses to teach a woman how to box like a professional, going against his own professional ethics. Two differing opinions meet on neutral ground and the show begins in earnest.

This movie, also starring Morgan Freeman as Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris, was an emotional feast for me, with plenty of heart-warming and shocking moments and blossoming bonds of friendship. Beautiful direction by Clint Eastwood himself with an stirring screenplay by Paul Haggis sees to this movie being one of the most inspirational ones I’ve ever seen, one from which I came out a changed man.

[Duration: 02 hrs. 08 mins.]

Classic Flick

The Guns Of Navarone [1961]

This number from the Golden Age of Hollywood stars the sublime acting talents of Gregory Peck (Mallory), Anthony Quinn (Andrea), David Niven (Miller) and others, taking you through a real-life event during the World Wars when Germany had taken over some of the Greek Islands including Navarone on which they constructed two very special guns, the most precise and one of the most powerful in those times. Threatening total destruction to naval forces at an incredible distance, the only way to gain control of the strategic island of is to take out the legendary guns of Navarone, something a motley group of soldier-spies, not exactly your first military choice, succeed in, facing all sorts of close shaves and dangers before succeeding in near-perfect timing with the help of the Greeks and granting British troops the chance to gain a foothold and go one up in the War.

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I must admit the movie starts a bit slow at first, but that’s only because of the intros and all that. It picks up pace a little after and it’s all thrills, action and breathlessness from there in this classic flick that’s won a well-deserved Oscar. I personally like calling it the ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ of 1961.

[Duration: 02 hrs. 36 mins.]

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