Infinity in the Palm of My Hand

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Land of the Dead

Lots of zombies, lots of gore and Dennis Hopper...whats not to like? Best scene - a woman's belly button gets filled with blood after a zombie tears her ring off. Delicious :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Halo 2 rocks...

Everyone knows it...just wanted to say it out loud.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Batman Begins

If you've been reading this blog, you know how much I've been looking forward to Batman Begins and how high my expectations from it have been. So, what did I think of it?

Batman Begins is a very enjoyable movie, worth a lot more than the admission price and a whole lot of good fun in general. Having said that, it does not possess the greatness that many Batman fans (including me) were hoping it would.

Christopher Nolan's Memento was a piece of brilliance, that little gem filled with so much simple genius, intelligent and haunting, but I never really thought Nolan would try to bring that into this movie, mostly because of box office considerations. And so I had pretty much convinced my brain to not look back at Memento while watching this, even though some out there will try and make comparisons. So this here is the last statement in this review which contains the word "Memento".

Back to Batman Begins. The action is great. One of my friends thought the action was blurred and lazily constructed and I can see why he thinks that way, but the "blurred" atmosphere that Nolan creates is why I found myself always in the midst of the action, adrenaline pumping, completely mesmerised. The close range camera work and great sound and music (a bit cliched at times, but still, perfect) made sure I was hooked as soon as Batman arrived on the scene. And once Nolan dives into the action, he doesn't let go. He builds up a steady pace and keeps it taut till the end. And he makes things a bit theatrical, which is something I loved. Very very enjoyable.

However, big disappointment with the initial part of the story. It seems a bit rushed, a trifle too fast-paced. I love that part of Batman, mostly because it gives the opportunity to see shades of grey in his character, which, of course, later on turn into white. But the attempt here at portraying those shades of grey seems somewhat half-hearted. Bruce Wayne's Ninja training has no emotional content, which is a very big let-down. A Ninja training anywhere, anytime is the best way to define the making of a hero which gives you serious scope for drama and great lines, but somehow it just didn't happen here. You get the impression that Nolan was in a hurry to get to the real action, which I guess might be because of box office considerations. But its still a disappointment.

I do like the look of Gotham here much more than the Metropolis vision that Tim Burton had, it is more ugly, more bloody and less detached but I was hoping that it would be scarier, much scarier. The ugliness of the city never really translated into fear. I never really felt like Gotham was a city in need of serious help, never felt like it needed a superhero, and a little more scare, a little more emotion in the look and feel of the city would have helped. But still, the dark, brooding atmosphere that Nolan creates by cutting down on the lights and the colour is alluring.

Christian Bale does a commendable job as Bruce Wayne (see the scene where he pretends to be drunk to drive his guests away) but he is not a very good Batman. And there's something wrong with the way he speaks, some combination of a lisp, a British accent and overly curved lips makes it a trifle irritating at times. Also, there is a problem with the mask...his face is either too rectangular or the mask just doesn't fit properly and it ends up looking a bit elongated. One little thing like that is enough to ruin the perfection needed in a superhero's look. And I hate imperfections in my superheroes' looks.

I think Liam Neeson was the perfect choice for Henri Ducard, cool, composed and authoritative. His role should have been a little more meaty, there was a lot of scope there since he is the finest of villains, calm, strong, intelligent and with complete belief in the "good" that he is doing, a very very capable and respectable enemy. Watch his expression at the end and you'll know why I think this Batman villain is such a great character. The other villains are poorly etched. It was sad to see Ken Watanabe in a role that could have been done by any Japanese C-Grade actor. Tom Wilkinson never really looks or feels like a mob boss. Cillian Murphy does an about adequate job, although I'm sure he would have been a lot more impressive if there was some real substance in his role. He is capable of some good stuff, especially with the expressiveness he has in his eyes, as was seen in 28 Days Later. Michael Caine is adequate, but doesn't do anything special. I did like Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, only his could have been a stronger character, even if just a little bit. Katie Holmes has too one-dimensional a role and her relationship with Bruce is never really explored (although I'm not sure if thats a bad thing). Morgan Freeman does a good job and his interactions with Bruce bring some nice, understated humour into the proceedings.

In the end, even though I'm disappointed Batman Begins is not as great as I thought it would be, I'm happy the series is out of the stupid campy "batsuit with nipples" hell it was in and is back in the realm of good cinema. I enjoyed the movie and I definitely recommend seeing it.

P.S.: When Katie Holmes asks Batman, "Who are you?", he does not say, "I am Batman." Thank you, Mr. Nolan, thank you very much.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Mindless violence :D

Enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

X&Y

Coldplay's new album is a disappointment, which is not to say that its a bad album. It makes for a nice listen and has the trademark accessible sound of Coldplay that made "A Rush of Blood to the Head" such a huge hit. But therein also lies the problem with it. While the awesome "A Rush of Blood to the Head" was an inspired effort where you could feel the pulse of the band under all their maginificent flourishes, X&Y seems like a "produced" effort. You listen to it, you like it, but it is just not very memorable. There are three really good tracks on the album - A Message, Talk and Speed of Sound - and they make the album worth buying. But the comparisons being made to U2 and DMB are ludicrous. Coldplay just haven't shown the variety or strength in their music that the other two have...and this, unfortunately, is not the album that would have made those comparisons valid.

Worth buying, yes. "A" effort, no.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Hmph!

A friend of mine thinks "Batman Begins" is not gonna be great. She has no taste, quite obviously.

Predictably so...

On yesterday's show, Ebert and Roeper gave Batman Begins two thumbs way up. Ebert called it the first Batman movie to get is "absolutely right".

Like I've been saying since the first trailer came out, this is going to be the best Batman movie ever, the best superhero movie ever and one of the best movies ever. This is gonna rock.

Ooooooh!

Haven't been this excited about a movie in a long long time.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

June 15, June 15...

Can't wait...