Movies I Like

I’m no film critic, but here are films I like.

2001 : A Space Odyssey
It conveys the emptiness of space, and the way it can swallow a single spacecraft. Kubrick manages to convey the vasteness of space through the slowly moving scenes as well as the ardour of space travel.

12 Monkeys
I loved 12 Monkeys because of its exploration of the working of the human mind under stress, and just how far it can be pushed. You also get to see the point of view of someone who is telling the truth and is the only person who knows it to be true. The moving back and forth between several times appropriately mimics the turmoil James Cole (Willis) is going through. Perhaps the end is also a statement on how humans hurt themselves when police officers shoot Cole at the very moment he is going to prevent the plague (read global warming, wars) Brad Pitt’s performance is amazing too.

A Clockwork Orange

A Scanner Darkly
The use of the interpolated-rotoscoping technique gave the film a disorienting feel, as if the viewer himself was under the influence of Substance D. Together with the acting and the scenes it conveyed the effect of a slowly decaying world adequately. The film might seem to drag a bit in parts, but since the story is about drugs and decay, I felt that that was okay.

American Graffiti
First off, being from India I don’t know a lot about the American psyche, especially that of the 50s. I found this film to be an interesting potrait, especially in how there seemed to be a veil between the characters and reality. They seemed concerned with fun, girls and cars, and actual life seemed just to be something far away in the distance.

Thought-provoking take on a first contact while avoiding tropes.

Bar Bahaar (In Between)
Three Palestinian-Israeli women examine their lives in Tel Aviv. A commendable Arab-Israeli collaboration, the film is a thoughtful take on navigating tradition and modernity in Tel Aviv.

This movie is so ludicrously good, I had to pause every 10 minutes to allow Bean’s facial expressions to sink in.

Blade Runner
Amazing! The juxtaposition of technology and decay, of how replicants are more human than humans themselves, of Deckard’s struggle as he wonders if he himself is a replicant…an intense and truly memorable, thought provoking film. It imagines a future not wholly cyberpunk, yet not a perfect world. The scenes are done well, from the majesty of the Tyrell Corporation headquarters to the grime of city streets. Throughout the film, you are living the emotions of the replicants as they face inevitable death, with a more than human resolve. This movie also has my favourite scene of all time, when Roy Batty rescues and tells a shocked Deckart “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain… Time to die.”

Buckaroo Banzai
This film is hilariously ridiculous. Leave your brains behind and prepare to be delighted. Laughter promised.

Chaos Theory
The “Life’s Lessons” theme apart, this is one of the most hilarious movies I’ve seen.

Citizen Kane
I’ve never seen a movie so full of emptiness.

City of God (Cidade de Deus)
If there’s a movie which unabashedly gives us the cycle of violence, how violence breeds more violence, this is it. No judgements are made, and the movie feels true to the heart.

Where corporatocracy and technology meet, and people become pawns.

I loved the approach in this film, beginning with so many starting points, and showing us the effect of race, as the characters navigate a world that seems incomprehensible at times, and are forced to confront their racial biases. Initially, the movie is a little disorienting but everything comes together in the second half in one big “crash” as people are force to look inside, as the director shows that everyone’s little world is affected by other people in more ways than one can imagine, and that people are different in different circumstances, sometimes the circumstance make them act the way they do and thats just the way it is.

Dersu Uzala
My kind of foreign language film! Quiet, solemn, deep, an unpretentious celebration of life as it is. Happiness, sadness, pathos, the passage of life, a meeting of people, how “man is nothing in the face of nature”.

District 9
The manner in which science fiction is used to get us to empathise with aliens and draw parallels with apartheid is interesting. There are some good themes such as how the behaviour of MNU warns of the danger of using private contractors, and of how the possibility of profit can dehumanize us.

Donnie Darko
A fun movie, maybe because of all the random stuff in it, like “Cellar Door”, the weird bunny costume and whatnot. Rather like “Little Miss Sunshine” in that both have dysfunctional families with someone who is special. I find it difficult to pinpoint what exactly I liked, but I liked it ;p

An understated SF movie, which effectively questions if what we see around us is for real, or what is real. Its uses the medium of a virtual reality game where the line between reality and virtual reality blurs and then disappears! The last line is great, when a terrified man asks “Hey tell me the truth… are we still in the game? ?

Because it so plainly exposes the view that I completely agree with – that science can take us down a path, but only the humanities can ensure it is the right path.

Delivers a message unconventionally, and does it even better as a result, that message that if you want to amount to something you’ll have to break out of your comfort zone and do it the hard way.

Freedom Writers
A truly moving movie, I found it interesting because I saw a part of America I never otherwise saw in American movies. It wasn’t the usual white suburbia one sees, but the other darker side of American cities?

Eminently watchable. The characters in the movie are rather reminiscent of the balls in a pinball game, getting out of one moment of madness only to be hit right back into another.

Godfather Trilogy
Needs no description, the third one wasn’t that bad either.

Good Will Hunting
A really touching film, about bringing a gifted, but reticent student out of his shell so that he looks upoun the world with more forgiving eyes. Casts Robin Williams in a role thats unconventional for him, but he carries it off very well. If you are interested in psychology, you must watch this.

How to Train Your Dragon
I loved this movie. Heart warming, endearing, coming-of-age story with cute dragons. What’s not to like? Perfect animation too.

Well I was bound to like this movie since I’m a scifi buff! =P Based on the Asimov story about what happens when you mess with the 3 Laws of Robotics.

Directed by Satyajit Ray, famous for his ‘Apu’ Trilogy, this filim reminded me most of Citizen Kane. A feeling of emptiness mixed with grandeur pervedad this film too. Cinematography, Indian classical music, body language, and symbolism fill in for sparse dialogue in this film, which takes its time. The score is beautiful and the three classical performances are lovely.

What a great movie. Offbeat, quirky, comic and wonderful – this is about normal people just getting through life. We need more movies like this.

La Charme Discreet de la Bourgeoisie (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie)

Lethal Weapon Quadrilogy
Danny Glover and Mel Gibson’s chemistry is unbeatable, and I loved the mixture of humour and action. The movie brings the police cops alive as normal people fighting their inner demons while putting up a all-is-normal face. The four movies are knitted together very well, so they can actually be watched as one continuous movie.

Lord of War

LOTR 2 & 3
The movies did justice to the book and conveyed the sense of the epic, the great, the majestic and was made on a large enough scale, considering LOTR is epic fantasy. Haven’t seen one as yet.

Music and Lyrics
An unpretentious, fun movie which you can sit back and enjoy. Recommended.

Napoleon Dynamite
A watchable film, but turns out to be worth it when you get to the end.

Office Space
Good fun! How can a movie make the mundane interesting? This is your answer.

Pather Panchali by Satyajit Ray
A truly touching piece of work, gratifying to see that film in the India can move beyond generic Bollywood plots to something real and striking. This movie is the first of the Apu Trilogy and was made in 1955. It is on the surface a simple movie about life in rural Bengal in the first half of the 20th century. There are several beautiful moments and excellent acting throughout the film. The relationship between Apu and his sister is simply beautiful. The film has many happy and sad moments, reflecting life. Down to Earth yet deeply moving, this is a must watch. If you like it, don’t miss the rest of the Apu Trilogy!!

Paths of Glory
A good antiwar film, but as can be expected of antiwar films. The last scene is really good though.

Peepli Live
One of the better Bollywood movies out there, a must watch if you want to understand the divide that rose between urban and rural India in the 90s and 00s and the gulf that lies between the lives of people in cities and in villages.

Pulp Fiction
Many engaging devices used, such as scenes going back and forth, the mysterious glowing object in the briefcase, and John Travolta lurching from one incident to another, ofcourse with a fair share of bad ass attitude. There are some nice lines in the film. I liked it but I don’t love it like everyone else.

Rang de Basanti
If you are Indian, and are at times dismayed with the red-tapism, corruption and beauracracy, this film will resonate deeply.

A good animated movie. The animation didn’t cut corners, and the movie had enough of those quirks which make animated movies what they are, like Luiguini serving on skates, rats tying up a rat inspector! Fun movie.

Rush Hour 1
Hilarious ofcourse! With Chris Tucker’s arrogant swagger, eye-bulging comedy and Jackie Chan’s crazy fight scenes.

Rush Hour 2
Continues with the panache of its predecessor and delivers its share of laughs.

Saving Private Ryan
Everything that is said about soldiers and war can be said about this movie.

Shutter Island
I can’t say much because it would give stuff away. So I’ll stick with saying it’s a great watch, excellent and so on :p

The Artist
Touching. The Human Condition. The 20s feel only makes it more endearing.

The Bucket List
An honest and emotional look at how it feels to be looking back at life when terminally ill.

The Mating Habits of Earthbound Humans
This move is hilarious with its takes on human relationships from a ridiculous alien perspective. Random humour at its best!

The Seventh Seal
I can’t describe this film, you have to watch it. Though you’d have to be a film major to get all the nuances and whatnot. Great film, not least because I agreed with the philosophy espoused.

The Usual Suspects
This movie has a quiet grace about it, and gets you close and personal with the characters so you really feel for them. Plus it does a great job of keeping the suspense going. The characters themselves are well fleshed out, and pique your interest, imo thats what makes the movie what it is.

The Motorcycle Diaries
A well produced account of the loss of innocence of Che Guevara and his friend, as they journey through Latin America, with some beautiful scenic shots.

The Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai)

Titan A.E.
A fun comic caper through the galaxy…

Turtles Can Fly
Possibly the most moving film I have ever seen, and easily the best performance from child actors. A movie focused on children in the aftermath of the American invasion of Iraq and the terrible toll the loss of innocence takes on them.

I loved the humour in this film, all the actors played their part extremely well, and Brad Pitt’s accent was a highlight. A fast, fun action flick.

Up in the Air
I think I just liked the way the film reflected on relationships and on how modern life affects the relationships we have with the people around us. It touched on technology and relationships especially (firing people over the internet & frequent travelling driving families apart). Thoughtful on the whole.

When Harry met Sally
Movies I didn’t like/liked less than most people do

Bicentennial Man
It started off well, but then imo deviated from its SF theme into a soppy, heartwarming love story.

Somehow this movie didn’t appeal to me that much, maybe because there were so many “Hollywood” moments in it, like the girl picking and giving him the flower, then him finding the girl all those years later and giving her the flower back, how history was twisted to produce a more interesting plot and stuff. I loved the score though, and the Scottish landscape was beautiful.

Kill Bill 1
A total gore-fest that put me off in places, the bad-ass attitude came off as pretentious in parts. I’m still searching for the point of this film, is it something more than just visceral violence?

Yup this movie has great reviews, but if there was a message, it was in the violence and plot, both of which honestly grossed me out. Yeah sure the acting, score and cinematography were good, but I need some more coherence in the film. The movie seems to make a half-hearted attempt at a plot, and falls somewhere between surrealism and an actual plot.

Films to be watched.

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