Oct 4 2010

Wall Street 2

A visitor to this blog recently told me that I should try and have more positive comments on my blog.

Last week I watched Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  Since I do not want to come out all negative, I shall say nothing about this movie


Sep 10 2010

Some say … :The Stig Revealed

Ben Collins.  Who the hell is that?  Well, you may as well ask who is Clark Kent or Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne.  In the real world, Ben Collins was the closest any human being got to having a secret identity.  Rumors swirled and speculation was rife and last week, Ben Collins was outed as the man in the white suit.

Ben Collins is …. drumroll … The Stig.

The Stig

The Stig unmasked

If you are not a fan of Top Gear, then this news means absolutely nothing to you.  But to people like me who live vicariously through Jeremy Clarkson and those other two presenters as they play around in expensive cars, on TV, this is a scoop.

For years we have watched Top Gear and enjoyed watching the ‘Tamed Racing Driver’ zip across the track with enviable skill.  The white racing suit clad driver hid his face behind a white helmet, and some accounts have the BBC going to great lengths to keep his identity a secret: he had his meals alone, arrived on set very early and left very late and wore a balaclava to work.  His contract stipulated that if his identity was ever revealed, accidentally or not, he would lose his job.

Well, it seems Ben Collins felt the need to change his wardrobe and eat in public so he decided to out himself by publishing his autobiography, The Man In The White Suit.  The BBC tried its best to stop him but failed, and so Ben Collins has been fired.  He’s not complaining much, word has it that several channels have offered him his own motor show.

Clarkson is reportedly furious and is considering dropping the whole Stig gimmick from the show altogether.  I hope they don’t, I rather like the mute who has two knee joints and is afraid of ducks.


Aug 31 2010

And the Winners are …

Ha! I may not have four arms and for legs but I’m not so bad at this clairvoyance business.  In a previous post, I picked out the actors and actresses who would winners at this years Emmy Awards based on the shows that I watch.

When the winners were announced, All my picks, apart from two (Best Drama Series and Best Actress in a Drama) took home the golden statuette.  I was particularly happy when Jim Parsons won for Best Actor in a Comedy.

Jim Parsons

Geeks rule!!

So you see people, I watch award worthy shows … pay attention to me. ;-)


Aug 15 2010

SALT

WARNING: Contains spoilers

Finally!  I finally got to watch SALT, the most anticipated movie of the year so far.  I watched the trailer close to 3 months ago and since then, with the exception of Inception, I’ve had to sit through a lot of the crap that movie houses were dishing out.  SALT finally came to town and I ran, literally, to the theater to watch it.

SALT is an action movie and Angelina Jolie spends a fair amount of time running, then jumping from one truck to another before she bounces from a wall to kick some serious butt.  The entire plot of the movie, however, is revealed in the trailer, in a relatively placid scene where Orlov the Russian defector informs Salt, that she is a Russian spy.

What follows is the inevitable sequence of foot and car chases, point blank gun shots that never hit Salt and her use of improvised weapons (I want to learn how to mix my cooking oil and shoe polish to make a weapon.  Is there a manual for this?) to aid her escape.

embedded by Embedded Video

The plot is rather predictable.  Every time there is an off-screen gunshot in a movie, I know that the shot was not taken and the director is making a stab at misdirection.  So I knew that Salt did not kill the Russian president.  Since she did not kill him, it meant that she was the ‘good guy’ and someone else had to be the villain.  The villain had to be someone we would least suspect and the only candidate was Liev Schreiber’s Ted Winter.  Low marks for the script.

The script may have been underwhelming but the acting was not.  SALT was originally written with a male lead in mind and Tom Cruise was offered the role.  He rejected the role saying that the character was too similar to Mission Impossible’s Ethan Hunt.  So the role was rewritten for a female lead and Angelina Jolie was cast.  It was a turn of events that I believe worked in the movie’s favour.  You could see Angelina throw her body behind every punch and muster every muscle fibre for every jump; because being a woman, the physicality of the actions demanded it for the movie to be credible.  Some reviewers have said that the action sequences are not believable but I say that we watch movies to be ‘deceived’; if i wanted to see a woman walking I’d look out my window.

SALT could very well be the start of a female spy movie franchise a la Bond/Bourne.  I think it would do well especially with Angelina starring and with an ending that is practically begging for a sequel, I believe we shall be hearing this line very soon: My name’s Salt, Evelyn Salt.


Aug 13 2010

Surrogates

The story, on paper, sounds interesting enough: a futuristic world where people live vicariously through robot surrogates.  This presents the inevitable moral dilemma: is it right for robots to take over our lives entirely as we remain in the safety of our homes.  I therefore watched this movie hoping for some deep moral arguments and a protagonist plagued by the resultant conflict.  I was disappointed.

The producers worked really hard to make the world in the movie seem artificial, as you would expect of a world inhabited by robots.  So everyone is too pretty, too clean and you will not see an overweight man anywhere.  If you do, he is more than likely human.  They even went as far as casting actors who have these pure qualities in real life: Boris Kodjoe and Rosamund pike always look like they go crazy with the airbrush in the morning before they leave their houses.

Surrogates

A rugged Bruce Willis and a silky skinned Boris Kodjoe in 'Surrogates'

As a result, instead of the movie acquiring an otherworldly quality, it just feels cheap; like a nylon shirt.  The lines sound like they came from a bad documentary and the action scenes start and end too quickly.  Bruce Willis’ Tom Grier is painful to watch, mostly because Bruce Willis looks like he doesn’t want to be in the movie.

Surrogates is a comic-book adaptation and in my opinion, the comic book guys should sue.

Interesting tidbit: this is the second movie after I, Robot where James Cromwell plays the inventor of a technology that is supposed to help humanity, but is eventually rejected by the same humans it is supposed to help.