Feature: Summer 2009 Roundup, Part 2

The Summer in question here starts in may and ends by mid September with the beginning of fall which brought out releases like Surrogates and Inglourious Basterds. So this roundup does come almost a month late but this situation is due to the place I live in most movies including some big ones like Up and Star Trek come several months late. There are some others like District 9, Sam Raimi's Drag me to Hell, 500 Days of Summer, Cloudy with Chance of Meatballs, Bruno, Time Traveler's Wife etc I couldnt get to see at all. Maybe I soon will when they are out on DVD's. Sometimes I feel like moving away to greener(read where movies release the earliest) pastures. Also I have intentionally skipped talking about movie like Aliens in the Attic, I love you Beth Cooper etc which have been said to be ranging from uncomfortable, nauseating to vomit inducing. So here are the rest of the movies which I got to see and are worth talking about. For here in 'Too Much Cinema' good cinema is everything.

So continuing the serial reviews from the last post:

This is the best 'chick-flick' or romantic comedy if you wish of this year. It stars Ryan Reynolds who has a knack of picking simple small budgeted yet refreshing films and Sandra Bullock who I havent seen act so well in a long long time. Well I have never seen her act well before. This movie has the usual romantic plot and twists but it has refreshingly new and bold (read adult) stuff in the comedy department. Just like The Hangover you are entertained through out the movie with one liners and sketches. By doing so this movie ends up pleasing the views who are non chalant to the chic-flicks, which is quite a big thing for such films. It has paid off well too by landing the 10th spot in the highest grossers of the year so far.

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Feature: Summer 2009 Roundup, Part 1

Every year in May, the biggest of movies are released by Hollywood. These movies are fitted with the hottest of stars, tried and tested formulae like superheroes, end of the world scenarios and established franchises in spectacularly explosive circumstances made possible by the embarrassingly huge budgets allocated to them. Why this specific time of the year? It is the beginning of summer in the western world (upper parts of northern hemisphere) and the attendance rates in theatres skyrocket as a result of the holiday season. The kids are free, lets give them a movie and then create merchandise based on the same lines for them to play with. That is their philosophy and usually it works. Year after year such movies come out and they make oodles of money, for a good reason too. The movies are visual treats couple with good film making. But this year they didnt do so well and again for a really good reason. No! It is not the recession, it is the sorry state of films.

2009 has been the year of impending or post apocalyptic future. Terminator, Transformers, 9, GI Joe and Star Trek all were either dealing with saving the planet or dealing with whats left after the worst has happened. This theme business isnt unique for this year as I am pretty sure all of you remember the Superhero Summer last year with Iron Man, Hancock and Dark Knight. Indiana Jones and James Bond arent any less than your average superheroes either as they have been still kicking some good amount of evil ass even after decades of existence. 2007 was the year of threequels, with Spidy 3, Bourne Ultimatum, Shrek the Third and Pirates of Carribean's third part too. Also the forgettable Rush Hour 3. Far too many 3's I say!

Back to disappointing 2009, I not only see many movie marvels coming out this year(oscar types) I have also been through the most boo..(yawn)...oring of so called blockbuster movies. They did not create any cinematic road blocks with showstopping marvel and they definitely dint bust any chops. JAWS would turn in its grave or maybe come back for the 20th part and still do better like in the back to the future movies. So with so many movies to cover I better get started.

1. Terminator Salvation:

Talking about bores; I start with the biggest one of the season. I dont know why Christian Bale signed up for this and he is still doing the sequel when he can earn as much as he wants doing other projects. This movie was made with a budget close to 200 million $ and earned only 125 million $ in US and 320 million$ worldwide and that means it has been an epic flop inspite of the "terminator" and Bale brand name. Except for a couple of pretty cool explosions sequences and the performance of Sam Worthington the movie had nothing. I almost fell asleep. I always though John Connor was a dud not THE Dude who was going to be leader of human resistance and this movie sets out to prove that despite the pain they take to portray his alleged heroism. Worthington's character Marcus was the star of the movie not some brainless punk Connor.

2.Angels and Demons

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Review: Inglourious Basterds

Save James Cameron, who hasnt made a feature film in more than a decade, no director in the world creates as much anticipation as Tarantino does when he picks up a project. Inglourious Basterds was no different. The noise for this one has been around since the time he announced this movie even before he made Grindhouse. And it has lived up to its hype and people seemed to love it. I dont.

Tarantino has carved a niche for himself where he makes seemingly the most absurdest of stories into compelling tales with visual and aural splendour which lie perfectly on that thin line between genius and mockery of genius. Thats quite something. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the stuff he has made and I have seen. (Yet to watch Jackie Brown and Deathproof) My favourites among his work are the Kill Bill movies. And yes I had mentioned in the podcast episode before, though I really appreciate Pulp Fiction I dont consider it remotely even among the greatest movies ever made. Also I dont consider him among my favourite or even the best directors out there. Yes he is a brilliant auteur who has created his special place by giving the internet generation marvellous mashups of old and current popular cultures and arts from all over the world but where is the variety? His originality lies in the incredulity of his work but where is the novelty?

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