Fellow Movie Lovers
Your feedback, observations and criticisms have been valid and welcomed!
Some have asked for a repeat of my Five Star rating system:
Five Stars: the movie has to be flawless.
Four Stars: almost perfect.
Three Stars: good but not great.
Two Stars: go if you have absolutely nothing else to do.
One Star: the movie should not have been made.
No Stars: why was the movie made?
Yes, I intentionally changed A Serious Man to The Serious Man. Mazeltov to those who caught it!
Again yes, my Blog is very subjective; but isn’t all criticism?
Please keep the comments coming!
Now for a sample of England, Bollywood and Hollywood!
THE DAMNED UNITED
I was twenty-five when I discovered that all men did not spring forth from the womb as bonafide sports fanatics: their first conscious thought in the shape of a “ball”!
My father failed in reigning over six vociferous women and the birth of my brother fell into the category of the Second Coming; fortunately his DNA housed the sport gene and the bonding was complete!
Sport movies have always fascinated me and this is no exception. Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) brilliantly portrays Brian Clough the doomed manager of England’s 1970’s Leeds United Football Club; it is uncanny how he has inhabited the persona of the real Clough, a performance of sheer genius. He is supported by Timothy Spall playing Clough’s very moral assistant Peter Taylor; an equally strong performance.
More than the game itself this film captures the primal essence of the power of sports: it is, like Andy Warhol’s silk screens the greatest tool in eliminating elitism; when rooting for a team your gender, education, profession, wealth or lack thereof are secondary to the euphoria or devastation of your team’s win or loss! We clap or cry together!
Whether The Damned United will rank in the halls of iconic sport films (Brian’s Song, The Natural, Hoop Dreams, Field of Dreams, The Longest Yard) only time and the fervent wish of this critic hopes that it does.
Bollywood for a westerner is an acquired taste. I took my first bite five years ago and have been gobbling them voraciously (thanks to Netflix) ever since.
The typical Bollywood film can, at times, take up a major portion of your day; not unusual to have to devote over three hours (with an interval) to the banquet. The plots are simple, the actors are a “feast for the eyes” and the endings, happy and satiating.
There are names synonymous with Bollywood; Bachchan , Khan, Kapoor, one talented dynasty breeding another.
In Blue (short by India standards, 2 hours; obviously adjusting to the westerners’ short attention span) we have a sunken treasure hunt story; a few plot twists, starring Sanjay Dutt, who unlike Roman Polanski, did the crime and served the time, and is back in hunky glory on the wide screen. But the major stars are the breath taking under water scenes filmed in the Bahamas.
There’s romance, dance and intrigue but only gets Two Stars from me!
Would recommend the following that are highly substantive and diverge from the typical Bollywood fare:
Maine Pyar Kiya
Dil Chahta Hai
Maine Prem Ki Diwani Hoon
Mr. & Mrs. Iyer
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
This is a wonderful fantasy based on the book by Maurice Sendak and exquisitely directed by Spike Jonze. Starring the deliciously enchanting Max Records as Max; the imaginative and misunderstood boy who creates a world where he is crowned King!
My children loved this book along with Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree; the lessons and messages for both young and old are unlimited and ageless.
This is a movie for everyone; we have all gone where the wild things are and have returned changed and enriched!