Archive for April 2014

Walk of Shame: Trailer

"A reporter's dream of becoming a news anchor is compromised after a one-night stand leaves her stranded in downtown L.A. without a phone, car, ID or money - and only 8 hours to make it to the most important job interview of her life." -IMDb

As a movie enthusiast, sometimes you just love some actors without caring about their insignificance to the film industry. Elizabeth Banks is one of those actor I love watching, I don't care about her filmography or her own performances which is not even worth talking. She is one of those early actresses, I had a crush on.

Elizabeth Banks is the sole reason why I am putting a trailer of a film which looks weak, unpromising and hopeless. Now if this turns out to be good enough, that's certainly a bonus.

-Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]
Saturday, 26 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

List of films partly or entirely shot in Vegas

There are many genres of cinema, Action, animation, crime, drama, fantasy, history, mystery, romance sci-fi and there is another genre; Las Vegas.Usually when a film is shot in Las Vegas, the city is like a character in that film. There is a  purpose they set films in Las Vegas. Here is a list of some of the films I have watched, which is shot entirely or partly in Las Vegas:

Ocean's Eleven [1960]
The Godfather Part II [1974]
Rain Man [1988]
Casino [1995]
Leaving Las Vegas [1995]
Fear and loathing in Las Vegas [1998]
Ocean's Eleven [2001]
Resident Evil: Extinction [2007]
Ocean's Thirteen [2007]
21 [2008]
What Happens in Vegas [2008]
2012 [2009]
The Hangover [2009]
Fright Night [2011]
The Hangover Part III [2013]
Last Vegas [2013]

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]

Friday, 25 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

Udaan [2010]: A great film by first time director Vikramaditya Motwane

Do you know, what is it, that Orson Welles, Satyajit Ray, Jim Sheridan, Kevin Costner, Quentin Tarantino, Brad Bird and Ben Affleck have in common? It is the fact that they all had a great debut as directors. Now I won’t talk about how they went ahead later in their careers in this post, but certainly they were all equally great first time directors, they were simply fantastic.

One of the recent addition to this list is Vikramaditya Motwane who made his first film Udaan in 2010. 

Udaan is a coming of age story of Rohan, played by Rajat Barmecha, also a debutant. Rohan is 16, an aspiring writer at heart, expelled from boarding school and returns to his father’s place in the city of Jamshedpur.

His father, who he hasn't met in the last 8 years, is not your regular dad, he is strict, he is authoritarian and he prefers being called “sir” over dad.  During these 8 years, when Rohan was in hostel, he fathered another son, to his 2nd marriage. Rohan’s half brother Arjun [Aayan Boradia] is merely 6 years old but is living a similar life as Rohan; dictated by their father, calling him Sir and in the process the two step brothers bond well without much of a conversation.

Rohan’s father, Bhairav Singh, played by Ronit Roy is an essentially heartless man. Ronit Roy’s portrayal as the father is pure evil. Initially, you will like to believe he is a little unconventionally strict father but as the movie progresses, you will be shocked at his ruthlessness at different points of time.

Surprisingly Rohan’s uncle [his dad's brother] supports him, he understands Rohan and wants him to pursue whatever his heart says. But that never helped him set things right in his life. Ronit Roy as Bhairav Singh has perhaps done the greatest performance of his life playing the monstrous father. Rajat Barmecha as Rohan was equally great doing every bit of his role to perfection, his fractured teenage made him stronger every new day.

Udaan is produced by the great Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who often shows traits of Tarantino and Scorsese in his own works and is known for directing films like Gulaal, Gangs of Wasseypur, Black Friday and DevD. Vikramaditya Motwane didn’t let down Anurag in his first film and later he made another good film Lootera in 2013 produced by Anurag Kashyap.

Udaan means flight or better say fly high. And certainly Udaan is a high flyer in the Indian film industry.
Udaan came in 2010 and if you haven’t watched it by now, you must watch it.
Highly recommended.

Movie Geek’s Rating: ★★★★

Cast: Rajat Barmecha, Ronit Roy, Aayan Boradia, Ram Kapoor

Directed by: Vikramaditya Motwane


Author: Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]

The Dark Knight Rises: final scene

If you have watched Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy, you already know the greatness of this scene. If you haven't, here is the background story you need to know.

Gotham City has been saved by Batman from Bane's terror, but there is still something that needs to be taken care of; the Nuclear Bomb. Now this nuclear bomb cannot be defused anymore and for that Batman has to sacrifice his life as he will haul the bomb over the bay with the help of "The Bat" [an aircraft developed by Lucius Fox which replaces the Bat Mobile.

Now this scene was after Batman sacrificed his life. One of the greatest final 5 minutes of a movie.

Author: Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

Shor in the City [2011]: a film that doesn't make money, it makes sense

Shor in the city is a 2011 Dark Comedy, directed by Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru. It is one of those better films we see every year that doesn't make money or popularity; recent example are Ship of Theseus, Aankhon Dekhi, Phans gaya re Obama and some more.

It tells three stories simultaneously, the first story has 3 immature conmen, Ramesh, Tilak  and Mandook,  played by Tusshar Kapoor, Nikhil Dwivedi and Pitobash, they survive by doing cheap thrills and crimes even they have not perfected well.

In another story, we see Abhay, played by Sendhil Ramamurthy, who has relocated to Mumbai recently and has started a new business. Abhay faces extortionists and complains to police about it, to which the corrupt police officials ask for security money.

The third plot is about Saavan Murthy, [Sundeep Kishan] trying to make a career in cricket quickly as his girlfriend’s parents wants their daughter to get married soon and can’t allow a jobless Saavan to marry her.

Although the plots are totally different and have no connection with each other, they are having a common thread, which is the transformation they make. In all the three stories, they indulge in illegitimate activities to set things right in their lives, but as the stories progress, they realize their mistakes and dares to do what is tough but right. 

Tilak leaves the path of crime and decides to settle. Abhay, dares to confront the goons and the corrupt police to end the extortions once and for all. Saavan, realizes that getting into cricket by bribing the selectors is not worth it and disowns the money he got his hands on in a robbery and decides to find a more stable career.

There are good performances by almost everyone and one who shines is certainly Tusshar Kapoor, he is generally disliked and trash but if you give him a good director and a good film, he will shine.

The film is set in Mumbai and tries to showcase the everyday life of the city for people of all class. The events of the stories happened during the 10 days of Ganesh Chaturthi and give the film a feel of the colourful, tantalizing and vibrant city Mumbai is. 

There is good music and no out of the place songs, they just went on with the plot. Shor in the city is an excellent film which both critics and the masses appreciated; our industry should make more such films. 

Movie Geek’s Rating: ★★★½

Cast: Tusshar Kapoor, Pitobash, Nikhil Dwivedi, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Sundeep Kishan

Directed by: Krishna DK, Raj Nidimoru


Author: Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]

Rejecting "Rainman [1989]"

Rain Man is a 1988 Drama by Barry Levinson, it stars Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise as lead actors playing brothers.

Tom Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt 
Dustin Hoffman plays Raymond Babbitt

Rain Man won 4 Oscars, 3 of which were Best Picture, Best Director for Barry Levinson and Best Actor for Dustin Hoffman.

There was many people who were supposed to be a part of this film but it was rejected time and again. Here goes a list of people rejecting a certain part in Rain Man.

Jack Nicholson turned down the role of Raymond Babbitt.

Rober De Niro turned down the role of Raymond Babbitt.

Dustin Hoffman turned down the role of Charlie Babbitt to play Raymond Babbitt.

Dustin Hoffman almost left Rain Man after shooting for a couple of weeks and asked the director Barry Levinson to cast Richard Dreyfuss as Hoffman was unsure of the film's potential and his own performance.

Barry Levinson turned down the offer to direct this film in 1987 and instead he directed Good Morning, Vietnam.

It was Steven Spielberg, who was supposed to direct Rain Man, he made some notes as well in preparation of starting the project,  he later had to withdraw from it as his friend George Lucas needed him to start working on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [1989].

Director Sydney Pollack was the 2nd person to direct Rainman, but he later ditched the film saying he wasn't keen on the idea of a road movie.

Dustin Hoffman originally wanted Bill Murray to play Charlie.

-Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]
Monday, 21 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

#Quote: Conversation between Will and Chuckie

The Movie is Good Will Hunting [1997]

Matt Damon is Will Hunting.
Ben Affleck is Chuckie Sullivan.

Will, A janitor at MIT has a gift for mathematics, he knows about his gift, but is failing to realize how important is it for him and for those who love him.

"Will: What do I wanna way outta here for? I'm gonna live here the rest of my fuckin' life. We'll be neighbors, have little kids, take 'em to Little League up at Foley Field.

Chuckie: Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way but, in 20 years if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house, watchin' the Patriots games, workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill ya. That's not a threat, that's a fact, I'll fuckin' kill ya.

Will: What the fuck you talkin' about?

Chuckie: You got somethin' none of us have...

Will: Oh, come on! What? Why is it always this? I mean, I fuckin' owe it to myself to do this or that. What if I don't want to?

Chuckie: No. No, no no no. Fuck you, you don't owe it to yourself man, you owe it to me. Cuz tomorrow I'm gonna wake up and I'll be 50, and I'll still be doin' this shit. And that's all right. That's fine. I mean, you're sittin' on a winnin' lottery ticket. And you're too much of a pussy to cash it in, and that's bullshit. 'Cause I'd do fuckin' anything to have what you got. So would any of these fuckin' guys. It'd be an insult to us if you're still here in 20 years. Hangin' around here is a fuckin' waste of your time."

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1998 for Good Will Hunting. Here is the one of the greatest Oscar Winning Moment, you can't afford to miss.

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]
Saturday, 19 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

Pirates of silicon valley [1999]: that's how you make a film on Steve Jobs

The day I saw the trailer of jOBS, I could sense that something is terribly wrong with it. Yes I am talking about that Ashton Kutcher movie that looked highly commercial and glamorous. The film came and as I expected, it was not appreciated by many including me.

Why did I sensed so? That's because I saw a better film on Steve Jobs and Bill Gates earlier and this was not even close to what I felt while watching Pirates of Silicon Valley.

It was only after Steve Jobs death, I did some YouTube research on him and in the process I found this gem. Pirates of Silicon Valley is a biographical drama about the constant rise and rivalry between Apple and Microsoft and before that the way jobs and Gates crossed paths.

The film starts with the famous 1984 Apple commercial made by Ridley Scott [JG Hertzler], then the film moves to 1997, where Steve Jobs [Noah Wyle] announces his return to Apple and the company’s deal with Bill Gates’ [Anthony Hall] Microsoft.

The movie then flashes back to 1971, the time when both Apple and Microsoft were not even ideas and introduces Steve Wozniak [co-founder of Apple, played by Joey Slotnick].Meanwhile at Harvard, we come across a couple of nerds and found that they are Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and some other Microsoft names we know now.

This is basically a film on Steve Jobs of which Bill gates was given a large part but at the end of the day, it remains a film on Jobs. I wish this film could be more balanced on portraying Gates, but what we witness is Bill Gates practicing his ruthless tricks to get Microsoft some quick success and actually succeeding in it.

It shows how jobs had a spiritual and artistic way to things with which he cannot compromise; perfectionism was such an obsession for jobs that time and again he had to go harsh on his employees. On the other hand, Bill Gates is more logical and negotiable and can be reasoned but showcased more as an opportunist.

Noah Wyle as Steve Jobs and Anthony Hall as Bill Gates are the two main leads and the two pillars of this film, both playing their part to perfection. I never saw a biography where the characters looked this much convincing for the real people they are portraying.

As far as I went reading about the credentials of this film, I learnt that many of the information we came to know from this film were accurate. The Garage where Jobs and Wozniak started Apple, Xerox not realizing the potential of their creation, the commercial made by Ridley Scott was all exactly as it were in real life.

Though there were a few misinformation as well like many events happened at different places and on different dates but it was all simplified in chronological order, Apple Lisa was never a successful product and Microsoft stealing from Apple, though quite true, was shown in a little emphasized way.

But Apart from the information you learn, I‘d suggest you to watch this movie for the performances by the actors. Noah Wyle plays Steve Jobs to perfection and even though Jobs himself disliked the movie; he liked Noah’s portrayal of him.

Jobs called Noah Wyle after watching Pirates of Silicon Valley.

He told Wyle that while he "hated the movie" and "hated the script," he thought that "you were good" and that "you do look like me."  Jobs then told Wyle: "Listen, we do this thing every year called the Macworld convention. It's in New York, at the Javits Center. There will be about 10,000 people there. And I think it would be hilarious if you came out on stage dressed as me and did the first five minutes of my keynote address. Are you interested?" Wyle agreed and later recalled that.
[Source: Wikipedia]

Movie Geek's Rating: ★★★★½

Cast: Noah Wyle, Anthony Hall, Joey Slotnick

Directed by: Martyn Burke


Author: Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]

Oldboy [2003]: Almost impossible to imitate

Cast: Min-sik Choi, Hye-jeong Kang, Ji-tae Yu

Directed by: Chan-wook Park

A drunken man [Oh Dae-Su] is arrested by the police. His friend bails him out and when this friend was making a telephone call, the man disappears only to wake up in a place that looked like a cheap hotel room. Little did he know that, he will be in that room for the next 15 years, day in, day out? 

Oldboy tells the story of that man.

Time and again, a little tune plays and the room is filled with some kind of gas so as to faint him. He wakes up and notices that the room has been cleaned, his clothes have been changed and his hair and beard has been trimmed. This same routine goes for 15 years.

He doesn’t know who imprisoned him and why. There is a TV in the room being the only source of new information for him. There is a desk with a pen and a journal, he writes, finishing journals one after another. Through TV, he finds out that his wife has been murdered and his fingerprints and blood were found at the place of the crime. Thus he has been framed for the murder of her wife. He also found out from TV only that his little daughter is adopted in Sweden.

TV taught him everything, the martial art, the tragedies of the world and the fact that the world is racing ahead at a great pace. And then one day he has been released; he became unconscious after that regular tune and the gas and wakes up in a Red box only to realize that he is not in that room anymore and that the city where he was taken from has become faster than ever.

His abductor left some cash in his court pocket and a cellphone, intentionally leaving him resourced so that he could survive and find; who did it and why? 

Now this is half the plot, the other half is even more complex, devastating and shows you the truest colors of revenge and vengeance.

Upon being free, he meets a young woman who he saw on the TV as Korea’s Chef of the year. This young woman is Mido. They talk and she comes to know of all he has gone through, she sympathizes with him, cares for him and falls in love with him.

When Oh Dae-su was abducted, for 15 years, he was only fed pot stickers, which is why its taste was imprinted on his memory. With the help of Mido, he visits every restaurant in the city and orders Pot Stickers so as to recognize the same taste, in order to find a trail to his abductor.

In an important scene, when Oh Dae-Su fights with more than 25 of his previous jailers with just a hammer in his hands. In this scene, more than a two dozen men are blocking his way to get him out of a building and because he is so occupied by revenge, he doesn’t even slow down after somebody injected a knife on his back.

In another brilliant scene, Oh went into a restaurant and asks “I want to eat something that is alive.” This shows his starvation is for life and not the food, considering the fact that he has not seen one living person in the last 15 years.

When the film started, Oh Dae-su was a good man who got drunk because he couldn't be with her little daughter on her birthday, and these 15 years made him a hardened vindictive man who reacts weirdly against emotional actions or any other act of kindness towards him.

Once Oh Dae-su finally confronts his abductor, there are some shocking revelations that unfold one after another. These revelations affect the viewers emotionally and mentally. They are shocking and deep. 

All the three performances were class apart, the prisoner Oh Dae-Su [Min-sik Choi], the chef Mido [Hye-jeong Kang] and the abductor Woo-jin Lee [Ji-tae Yu]. 

Oldboy is a harsh film that offers no sympathy, leaves you devastated for what you watched and at the end make you have pity on the characters. This is a film which will be respected even after 50 years from now. Director Chan-wook Park has made something even he will find difficult to imitate. 

This is why I hated the idea of its remake, but Spike Lee remade it and failed miserably. Some films should never be remade, tampered or even touched but only be respected for its existence.

Movie Geek’s Rating: ★★★★★


[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]

The New wave in the Hindi film industry [List]

I love cinema, irrespective of the language, color, genre or the decade. If it's a good film, I will watch it. I believe 1950s was the most significant period for Hindi films. Some of the most acclaimed films belong to that era; Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Awaara to name a few. 

Although I have a few favorite films from each decade after the 1950s, but on the whole I cannot say that they made too many [percentage wise] critically acclaimed films during the 70s, 80s and 90s with exceptions being Shyam Benegal, Basu Chatterjee, Govind Nihalani, Kundan Shah and some more.

However in the last 10 years, a lot has changed with Indian films, the viewers are open to accept new subjects and improvisations in films. They like anything good, meaning if you make a good film, they will not trash it. They may not make a lot of money, but they surely receive critical reception.There is a whole new wave of actors, actresses and filmmakers that are bringing great change to the otherwise cliched industry we have turned into.

Here is a list of some people who has brought a great change in the ways films are made in the new millennium: [this list is in Alphabetical Order]

Aamir Khan
Abhay Deol
Abhishek Chaubey
Anurag Kashyap
Bejoy Nambiar
Ashutosh Gowariker
Dibakar Banerjee
Farhan Akhtar
Homi Adazania
Imtiaz Ali
Irrfan Khan
Jimmy Shergill
Kalki Koechlin
Kay Kay Menon
Konkona Sen Sharma
Mahi Gill
Manoj Bajpai
Nagesh Kukunoor
Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Piyush Mishra
Rajat Kapoor
Reema Kagti
Sanjay Mishra
Saurabh Shukla
Shimit Amin
Sudhir Mishra
Tigmanshu Dhulia
Vishal Bhardwaj
Vidya Balan
Vikramaditya Motwane
Vinay Pathak
Zoya Akhtar

Let me know if I have missed any, it will help me build a better watchlist

-Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

Making favorites

I told you before how I was introduced to movies in my previous post titled Experiencing Cinema. Here is the 2nd part of that story.

So, I was only 5 when I developed an affinity for movies. With only Doordarshan and its other Channel "DD Metro" [do you remember that other channel] on TV, there wasn't too many opportunities to watch movies. 

Yes, occasionally we used to rent VHS [or VCR] and watch films like "Mohra" and sometimes English films like "Jurassic Park" but watching an English films was a rarity those days.

I belong to a small town and movies used to reach the movie theater here after a good 4-5 months of its release. However they have evolved with time and "first day first show" is a possibility for the fan-boys now. Some of them even installed the Dolby sound system. But since I haven't watched a film here in last 10 years so I can't comment on that. Anyways.

Sometimes when the theater owners could not win the rights of the latest film [I don't know how the cinema hall functions though], they used to show some old films that released a couple of years ago. 

So, in 1995, when I was 6 years old, one day they announced on the loud speaker on the back of a Tempo Rickshaw that from the coming Friday, a film called "Saajan" will play on 4 shows everyday [they really used to do such announcements, if you remember].

I still remember glimpses of the day when I virtually forced my dad to take me to the theater so that I could watch  'SAAJAN' and when I did, I was starstruck after seeing Salman. A few months later, they were playing ANDAZ APNA APNA and I asked some elder brother of mine to take me to the theater, this time to watch Andaz Apna Apna. I used to be patient with other films, but didn't missed any of Salman's film till I was 15 or 16.

I am not a Salman Khan fan anymore but yes I was, I certainly was and even now I can see him on those No Logic Entertainment films he does. At least he is honest with what he promises.

In the next part, I will share what happened during the late 90s and the early 2000s and about my drift to English films.

-Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

[List] The Greatest actors of all time

I wanted to make this list three years ago, but at the same time I realized that I haven't yet watched some significant movies and I wouldn't do proper justice with the list. My total number of films count was 850 then so I thought let's make it a thousand and then make the list. The next year when I reached the 1000 mark, I thought let's watch some more films and then make a comprehensive list. So, last night when I finished up watching my 1300th film, I thought, I am prepared for the list now.

Here are some criteria which this list follows:

1. This list contains mostly American [or English speaking] actors. [Foreign Actors will be listed separately in another list when I am ready for it]
2. There are no Indian actors included in this list. [I will make another list for them too]
3. I have only added actors, of whom I watched at least 12 performances. [this is really important for me, I need to learn about the actor with at least a dozen performances] 

Now, here goes the list: 

19. Johnny Depp: He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. He chose to play the soulful monster Edward Scissorhands [1990] over the pretty boy stardom he could achieve.

18. Orson Welles: Welles was way ahead of his time, a great actor and arguably one of the greatest filmmaker of all time. Touch of Evil [1958], The Trial [1962] and Citizen Kane [1941] are some of his many great films.

17. Russell Crowe: He is perhaps the greatest star from Newzealand in Hollywood. [correct me if I am wrong]. A gem of an actor. Immerses deep into the skin of the character, whether it is Gladiator [2000], A Beautiful Mind [2001] or American Gangster [2007]. 

16. Sean Connery: Still the most loved James Bond. But even if you choose to ignore bond, he is a great actor anyway. Apart from playing Bond, he is known for his role in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [1989], The Untouchables [1987] and The Rock [1996].

15. Charles Chaplin: Yes he was funny, but he was not like a clown. A true genius who used to make movies and act in it. Chaplin has not only given so much to the cinema but to the world. One of the first few people to attain huge stardom in Hollywood.

14. Michael Caine: For the fan-boys, his career has much more to highlight apart from his brilliant performance as Alfred in The Dark Knight Trilogy. Caine is one of two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to 2000s, the other one being Jack Nicholson. Now that tells a lot.

13. Denzel Washington: My first Washington film was Glory [1989] and the last one I watched was Flight [2012]. Now in between those, you will discover the accomplished actor Denzel Washington is.

12. Al Pacino: Just watch him closely in The Godfather Part I [1972] and Part II [1974] and notice how differently he carried himself doing the same role. His role as Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1993 after receiving seven previous Oscar nominations.

11. Anthony Hopkins: Hannibal Lecter is definitely his most significant character, but do not ignore his other works like The Elephant Man [1980], Nixon [1995] and The World's Fastest Indian [2005]. He is one of the most intense actors ever lived. His eyes does most of the work, he perfects it with the dialogues.

10. Dustin Hoffman: The Graduate [1967], Kramer vs. Kramer [1979], Tootsie [1982], Rainman [1988] and a lot more. Hoffman kept delivering great performance one after another. He has changed the way viewers expected heroes to be. 

9. Daniel Day-Lewis: He won a Academy Award for the Best Actor in 1990, 2008 and then in 2013. A record for most Best Actor Awards at the Oscars. A popular method actor who has weird [but productive] on-set tantrums to perfect his characters. I have actually watched all his films, even Gandhi [1982]. Did you notice him in Gandhi?

8. Marlon Brando: Again for the fan-boys, no The Godfather was not the only great film he did. The Fugitive Kind [1960], On The Waterfront [1954] and The Young Lions [1958] are some of his great films before The Godfather. 

7. Morgan Freeman: Ask him to be a driver or a prisoner or a detective or the President of the United States, may be Nelson Mandela or just ask him to be God and he will do it with his calm and composed personality and that authoritative voice. He is godly indeed.

6. Jack Nicholson: He is renowned for his often dark portrayals of neurotic characters. His twelve Oscar nominations make him the second most nominated actor of all time, behind only Meryl Streep, and tied with Katharine Hepburn.

5. Robert De Niro: From Mean Street [1973] to Casino [1995], Robert DeNiro has ruled and bullied most of his co-stars with his electrifying performances. That is a big reason Robert De Niro breaks in to be in the top 5 on my list.

4. Clint Eastwood: The Anti-hero of the 1960s, the man with no name from the Dollar Trilogy had a flair that even the young kids of 2014 find fascinating. But not only his acting, he later developed as one of the greatest directors as well.

3. Gene Hackman: He is best known for The French Connection [1971] and The Conversation [1974]. He mastered the character of Lex Luthor in Richard Donner's Superman [1978] and its sequel. His films during the 1990s were rather intriguing. Nevertheless he deserves to be at the 3rd spot on my list.

2. Henry Fonda: I won't say anything but paste something I found on the internet about Henry Fonda "For six decades, Fonda was so good people stopped appreciating his talent". May be I missed some bad Henry Fonda film, but still I watched too many of them and he never ceased to inspire me. Yes Fonda inspires you, 'impress' will sound disrespecting.

1. Tom Hanks: Now you don't need a reason to explain why Tom Hanks is at the top spot of a list called "The Greatest Actors of All Time." Whether it is falling in love with a mermaid in Splash [1984] or being a victim of AIDS in Philadelphia [1993] or being Captain Miller in Saving Private Ryan [1998] or the very recent Captain Phillips in Captain Phillips [2013], this man never lost his boyish charm. One may argue but from the point I see, Tom Hanks beats everyone else to be the greatest actor of all time.

Honorary Mention: 
Paul Newman 
Jack Lemmon
Gregory Peck
James Stewart 
Kevin Spacey 
Joaquin Phoenix
Sean Penn
Christian Bale
Philips Seymour Hoffman 

These are some other great actors which I haven't mentioned [but wanted to] in this list only because I haven't watched a lot of their films.

Note: This list contains actor who I have watched thoroughly year after year. I may have missed some of your favorites because I had a criteria to follow.

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]
PS: Since Movie Geek's Blog is trying to determine the greatest movie ever made as voted by its readers, will you please take a minute to vote for your favorite movie(s) on the right side bar of this blog?
Monday, 14 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

Born to Die: How many times have these stars died on screen?

Remember how Amitabh Bachchan used to die in most of his films; he died in Deewaar, Sholay, Muqaddar ka Sikander, Shakti and many others. Even Hrithik Roshan dies in a lot of his films. These great performances when comes in a dying role, makes an instant connect with the viewers.

After watching a hell lot of films from the west, I can say that death is equally important in Hollywood as well. Here is a list of popular Hollywood actors whose character died more often than others.

Totally Spoiler free.

John Hurt, who played the role of Mr. Ollivander, the guy who handed Harry Potter his first wand, saying "the wand chooses the Wizard", died 40 times in his career, he acted in 186 films and died in more than 20 percent of them.

Sean Benn, Ned Stark of Game of Thrones, has acted in 100 films and has died 24 times, that is beyond John Hurt if we compare the percentage.

Robert DeNiro died 17 times in the 96 films he has done. Gary Oldman and Johnny Depp have tied their scores with 12 each, only Depp has done this in only 64 films while Gary Oldman took 73 films to die the same number of times. 

Bruce Willis stands next to Depp with 11 deaths in 92 films and the one who is closing in on Willis is Leonardo DiCaprio. 

But even though everyone outnumbered Leo DiCaprio, he beats everyone in percentage. Leonardo DiCaprio died in  9 films out of only 35 films he did. That's more than 25 percent of his films. 

Poor guy, so many deaths and still no Oscar.

Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]

Note: Number of films include some television roles as well
Saturday, 12 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

Something the "Janta" [People] needs to watch

[This is not really a post about movies and entertainment, but needs your attention]

Here I am sharing a video which I came across some 15 mins ago and I am using this platform to make it visible to those who are concerned about the nation. My readers and fellow bloggers.

This is the sneak peek of a documentary produced by Anand Gandhi  and is created by Khusboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla. Anand is the one who directed "Ship of Theseus" last year. While Khusboo Co-Written Ship of Theseus and Vinay acted in it. Their previous works are critically acclaimed and has international recognition.

Khusboo and Vinay followed the development of Aam Aadmi Party more closely than you and I, they are neither Pro-AAP nor Anti-AAP, their work is just about the development of a revolution taking the shape of a political party without any sinister intention. All it needs is your attention, attention of the bloggers who are no less than a guiding force for the common people.

I had goosebumps while watching this and I feel inspired and more confident that this country will soon witness a new dawn [this is my opinion, yours can differ and I respect that], I request you to watch this 5 min long video without being a supporter or a critic of any political party. Just watch it and share your feelings with me. All I want is 5 minutes of your time. This documentary is titled Proposition for a Revolution.

If this video moved you, please share it, this is something that needs some exposure.
-Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]

Friday, 11 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

7 "Into the Wild" quotes I love

If you haven't seen Into the wild, you should. Buy it, download or borrow. But do watch it.

This is one of my most loved and respected films from the last decade. Sean Penn is awesome. I always respected him more as an actor and lesser as a filmmaker but that I guess was before I watched into the wild. 

Into the Wild is the biopic on Christopher McCandless. Read more about him HERE.

This is not a review, I will write a review some other time. Instead, I will share some of the most thoughtful quotes that makes this inspiring film even more inspirational. 

Here goes 7 gems from Christopher McCandless himself.

1. Christopher McCandless: Happiness only real when shared.

2. Christopher McCandless: I read somewhere how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong... but to feel strong.

3. Christopher McCandless: I'm going to paraphrase Thoreau here... rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness... give me truth.

4. Christopher McCandless: Some people feel like they don't deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.

5. Christopher McCandless: You don't need human relationships to be happy, God has placed it all around us.

6. Christopher McCandless: Mr. Franz, I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one.

7. Christopher McCandless: If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.

-Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]
Thursday, 10 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone [2001]

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Directed by: Chris Columbus

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone [also released as Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone worldwide except India, Srilanka, Pakistan and USA] was an absolutely brilliant adventure film. 

The book was a huge success and the people behind the film worked upon every little detail to make the film successful as well. Very often, we come across movies adapted from popular books and feel that the kind of atmosphere and setup you imagined while reading the book was very different than the kind of images you are given to watch. This is something which was perfected in the Sorcerer’s stone, we imagined a similar Dursley’s place and a similarly dark Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; the set decoration was so well crafted.

This is not a film which adults usually wave off; instead this was a fully fledged adventure film for people of all age group. JK Rowling’s book was muscular and vibrant and director Chris Columbus made sure that the movie version does not end up being a cute film about kids for the kids.

It can be very well compared to Star Wars and Indiana Jones, though I am not sure about the latter one. What Star wars must have been for someone born in the late 60s and early 70s, Harry Potter is something like that for those born in the late 80s and early 90s. The supernatural stuff like a three headed dog never looked out of the place and as a viewer I was glued to the screen while thrilled if the trio will be successful in their little endeavors.

Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint were only 11, 12 and 13 respectively at the time Sorcerer’s stone was released. Daniel as Harry Potter was almost like every one of us has imagined him to be. Hogwarts looked dark and comical, which is something I love about Harry Potter films, because computers could make it look real but the director chose to maintain the atmosphere JK Rowling created in her books.

Apart from the three prime characters, the castings for the adult’s role were done fantastically. Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Richard Harris and Robbie Coltrane as Professor Snape, Professor McGonagall, Headmaster Dumbledore and Hagrid respectively were the most appropriate choices to make for the persona of the characters Rowling created.

Here is an interesting part from Roger Ebert’s review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone, which he wrote 12 years ago, just after the film was released. Read more about Roger Ebert Here.

“Computers are used, exuberantly, to create a plausible look in the gravity-defying action scenes. Readers of the book will wonder how the movie visualizes the crucial game of Quidditch. The game, like so much else in the movie, is more or less as I visualized it, and I was reminded of Stephen King's theory that writers practice a form of telepathy, placing ideas and images in the heads of their readers. The reason some movies don't look like their books may be that some producers don't read them.”

Harry Potter is a classic which stays with you for life; you will make your kids watch it. It is that kind of film. Harry Potter can very well be put with E.T, Jurassic Park, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. It is the film you grew up with, how can you not love it?

"They say the first part is always the best part, they don't lie."

Note: I have not discussed the plot of the film but other details assuming all of you have already watched Harry Potter films.

Movie Geek's Rating: ★★★★

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]

officially a Geek now

Before you start looking for some official statement like "My dear friends, I have been chosen for the geekiest person alive award", let me clear that the word official was not to be taken seriously. So, let's move with the post.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked the number of films I have watched. So I answered him with an exact number. He was fascinated by the fact that I actually had a definite answer for his question. So he moved forward with another question expecting a rapid fire answer, he wanted to know the number of  films I have watched from the 90s, this time I didn't have a definite answer so I said, "don't know."

That night I thought of making a detailed chart of the films I have watched from every decade. How can I call myself a Movie Geek if I am all social and not indulging in preparing charts or other weird things like that. [Sorry for the forced humor :P]

So I opened the excel sheet where I add the names of the films I watch and distributed the films decade wise. As I was busy with work, completing this chart took a whole week but finally its ready.

Percentage of the films I have watched from different decades.

-Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

Some "Forrest Gump" Trivia

At the time when I revealed my theme for the AtoZ Challenge, I promised that I will come up with some interesting movie trivia, this is my first trivial post for the month of April.

Forrest Gump is one of the most popular films we know of. Even if someone is not really into movies, they have watched Forrest Gump. Tom Hanks played the role of Forrest Gump and won the Best Actor Award at the 1995 Oscars and the film won the Best Picture.

Here are some interesting trivia about Forrest Gump:

1. The girl in the school bus was Tom Hanks's daughter Elizabeth Hanks.

Elizabeth Hanks
2. John Travolta and Chevy Chase and Bill Murray turned down the role of Forrest Gump. Travolta did admit later that passing that role was a mistake.

3. It took only 66 days for the film to pass the $250 million mark at the box office.

4. Gary Sinise's character tells Tom Hanks's character that the day Forrest works on a shrimp boat is the day he'd be an astronaut and next year, Sinise and Tom Hanks appeared together as astronauts in Ron Howard's Apollo 13.

a still from "Apollo 13", Gary Sinise indeed became an astronaut
5. After the success of Forrest Gump, Author Winston Groom wrote a sequel novel, 'Gump & Co.' (1995), Forrest Gump happens to meet Tom Hanks in the novel.

6. In the 1988 movie Punchline, Sally Field plays the love interest for Tom Hanks's character; in Forrest Gump, 6 years later, she plays his character's mother.

7. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #76 Greatest Movie of All Time.

8. On the other hand,  The movie was named as one of "The 20 Most Overrated Movies Of All Time" by Premiere.

I hope you like trivia as I do. They are fascinating.

-Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]

Sources: Google, Wikipedia, IMDb

Monday, 7 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

Experiencing Cinema- Part I

My Blog's tagline used to be "The Movie blog for reviews, trailers, quotes and interesting stories." So, I write reviews, put some trailers, mention quotes too but what is missing is some interesting stories about the Movie Geek himself. Now is the time for my first story as a movie aficionado. 

Today, I will share my first experience with films and how it made me fall in love with the idea of movies, so this is how it all started. 

Many Years ago, on a summer afternoon, I, a 5 year old child was lying on the bed with a body temperature of 101 degree Fahrenheit. The TV was on, and the Mehmood Starring "KUNWARA BAAP" was showing. I was shivering with fever and was alone in the room, so without bothering to move forward and change the channel [there wasn't a remote controlled TV in my home in 1994], I just lied there and continued watching that film without much interest. 

In a few minutes, I started to bond with that crippled child [Mehmood's son in the film]or say started to relate with the child's character as I was sick too. After the film finished, I was so sad, I ran to my mother and started crying after witnessing the poor state of the father-son duo depicted in the film.

My mother explained patiently, that it is just a film and everything that they show is only fiction and I shouldn't be sad about it, but a sad child takes things to heart. Just thinking about that poor Mehmood character made me sad, but after a few weeks, when I watched him doing a comedy scene in some other film, I  understood the methodology of films and understood that portraying of characters may not be real and are mostly fiction. This was a fascinating revelation for me, I was so fascinated with the fact that a couple of actors can make common people sad and happy and can make them cry. I respected cinema, thereafter, everything they made. 

This is an important story and I don't wanna cut it short, so presenting it in parts, this was how I introduced myself to cinema or it was introduced to me. I will write a part 2 very soon to tell how my love story with films developed.

-Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]

Note: I forgot the film name but I remembered the plot so I had to Google to find the title.
Saturday, 5 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

Doodlebug [1997]: 3 minutes and you admit Nolan is a born genius

Before you read this review, Watch this short film which is only 3 minutes long.

Before Nolan made Memento, The Prestige, The batman films, Inception or any other mind blowing film, he made Doodlebug. Now calling Doodlebug as Nolan’s baby steps to film making may be a disrespect because this was in all senses a brilliant short film which shows no sign of the director being a first timer.

Long before he made us indulge in dreams within dreams within dreams or in the magic tricks by a couple of rival magicians, he started with Doodlebug. Doodlebug reflects the illusion with which Nolan makes his films. His mentality to make the audience use their brains at all times while watching his film is pretty much evident in this short film as well.

Christopher Nolan doesn't allow you to sit back and have fun with his films, you will have fun but you will have to figure out, this is how it is done while we are into a Nolan made film.
A man with his shoe in his hand is trying to hunt down a bug or something only to find later that he wasn't after the bug but a smaller version of himself, what comes later is even more disturbing. A greater version of the same man is hunting the man with a bigger shoe in his hand. So, there were 3 versions of him, one he is after and another who is after him.

What is brilliant is that he fascinates his audience in a short film of hardly 3 minutes. There might be no bug at all but the man’s phobia about bugs and his constant uneasiness that a bug might hurt him, so he is trying to hunt that disturbing thought and not the bug actually. This is why he kills it even after finding that it isn't a bug but his diminished version. He is so obsessed with it that he didn't even care to listen to the person on the phone. 

This was brilliantly shot in black and white and was incredibly creative which only a genius can think of. Nolan did prove his genius act again and again after every couple of years. Either it’s the non-linear story line of Memento, the ultimate revelation of the prestige, the brilliant batman films or his tampering with dreams in Inception. Nolan never failed to impress. He is a true genius.

Movie Geek Rating: ★★★★

Cast: Jeremy Theobald

Directed by: Christopher Nolan


Author: Amritt Rukhaiyaar

[This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge in April 2014. Let's celebrate blogging.]
Friday, 4 April 2014
Posted by Amrit Rukhaiyaar

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