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Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Few Good Movies

One of my friend asked if there are any movies that I would recommend him to watch, and hence this post...
  • Paycheck (2003)
  • Gloria (1980) - You can find John Cassavetes' stamps everywhere. Almost all scenes are filled with some kind of uneasiness or conflict - whether acute or mild. These kept me glued to the couch.
  • John Carter (2012)
  • The Fountainhead
  • Aeon Flux (2005)
  • King Kong - Peter Jackson's wonderful creation.
  • Shooter - Good pace all through.
  • The Birthday Girl - The script and screen play closely matched the footprint of a good Hollywood style movie.
  • Grosse Pointe Blank - The screen play exactly matched the definition of a good screen play (as taught at my film school).
  • Short Circuit - Somehow the director (John Badham) had succeeded in creating in us an emotional attachment with "Number 5".
  • Stakeout (1987) another one by John Badham; very well done. 
  • The Holcroft Covenant - Typical Ludum - came through quite okay.
  • The Bourne Series - The pace, action, editing and of course the story.
  • Matrix (all of them) - Wonderful concept; as a computer engineer I totally admire it and relate to an OS. Cool editing, FX, action.
  • Star Wars (the original one) - Some how it transported me to a magical era.
  • I, Robot
  • Clear and Present Danger
  • The Fugitive
  • Indiana Johnes - series
  • Unforgiven
  • For a few dollars more
  • A Fistfull of Dollars
  • Pale Rider
  • Dirty Harry - You must have guessed - yeah I like Clint Eastwood :)
  • Gentlemen's agreement
  • To Kill a Mocking Bird
  • The Good, the bad and the ugly
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) - My all time favourite novel - kudos to Alexandre Dumas. I guess, probably that's why I like this. Or probably the ending.
  • Cool Runnings - Hilarious. Nice screen play (again following the blue print of a perfect Hollywood movie).
  • 6th Sense - I simply loved it. Very nice screen play or was it the way it was presented...?
  • Where Eagles Dare
  • Guns of Navarone
  • Runaway Jury - Very nice; what a controversial subject for a movie - and what an ending.
  • Flash of Genius - Very nice screenplay for a movie - and again a good ending.
  • Ivanhoe (1952) - Neatly done. I liked the way Walter Scott had crafted Bois-Guilbert and how it came out on the screen. You know he is the bad one, but can feel bad for him on his love for Rebbecca!
  • High Heels and Low Lifes - the script adheres to the formula. Good.
  • Casino Royale (2006) - Good editing.
  • King Solomon's Mines (2004)
  • Hostage (2005) - Good script. Like the "love triangle" there is a"need/want triangle" in the story - wasn't expecting that.
  • Terminator Salvation (2009) - How do they get this look? There was this another movie that spoted similar dark look - Death Race (2008) - though didnt like Death Race the looks was good.
  • The Russia House (1990) - Very nice camera work.
  • Push (2009) - Taught; kept me watching till the end.
  • U.S. Marshals (1998) - Fast paced and good!
  • Metro (1997) - Prety good; nice script and good direction. Wonder why it didnt make money at the box office..!
  • The Driver (1978) - I liked the direction and editing.
  • Eragon - I liked the screen play a lot - it was very familiar to Star Wars - the original one. I was further astonished to learn that the author of the story Christopher Paolini was born in 1983!
  • Walking Tall (2004)
  • Dejavu - Nice script/story
  • The Scropion King
  • Robocop - liked the script
  • Home Alone2 - made me laugh like hell
  • The Musketeer (2001) - quite a good screenplay
  • The Karate Kid (2010)
  • Jack Reacher (2012) - need the bad guy's motive to be a bit more compelling. 
  • Happy accidents
  • Trams-Siberian 
  • Oblivion (2013)
  • Kick Ass (2010)
  • Two days in the valley - too many loose ends. But stil it was watchable. 
  • Probably not in the above set; but still some elements were good:
  • Klute (Not a strong story - but very good direction)
  • Blind Horizon (2003) - Nice direction and editing.
  • Hidalgo - Could feel myself rooting for Hidalgo! I wonder how they succeeded in making that horse limp on its right-front..? It was a pleasant surprise to find that Robert Dalva was the editor. He had come to my film school and spoken about Black Stallion(s), Jurassic Park III etc.
  • The Da Vinci Code - Why here? I really really liked it all through - but probably something - I dont know what... didnt quite make it.
  • Nadine - Reasonably good script. Probably the stakes should have been a bit higher.
  • Munich - Why here? Somehow... something... probably the script didn't quite make it.
  • Million Dollar Baby - Don't curse! I put it here because it is so sad. But for this, the movie is too good.
  • Live Free or Die Hard - Quite good overall - I need a bit more of a twist in the script. Another reason why this movie is here...is... ta..td... Go De Anza (Len Wiseman graduated from here)!!
  • Keeping Mum
  • The Illusionist - I liked it a lot. I feel like putting this in the top buckett; but it is here only because I would like to have the character of Crown Prince Leopold a bit more strong, more evil so as to justify being tricked.
  • Elektra (2002) - Good camera work and special effects.
  • CQ - I really thought that is was a movie released in 1969.
  • The Client (1994) - The was almost perfect - I would want some more conflict as to the ending; right from the start I was sure that the kid is gona make it throughout.
  • The Italian Job (2003) - Neat. Good start. Few blotches of less than perfect direction - for example Donald Sutherland merely says that he loves Mark Wahlberg but it is not shown in actions. This is one of the gotcha's my Screen writing proff used to talk about so often!
  • Romancing the Stone - To me this movie had a great script but was directed to be on the mild side - the director's choice on the look and feel and over-all impression dampened the movie's overall impact.
  • The Philadelphia Experiment (1984) - Quite taut.
  • Sahara (2005) - Very nice movie; I would have put in the top bucked but for the climax. Somehow if felt a bit dragging at climax - seemed like the script writer struggled to tie all loose ends and also to bring to an end with a bang. The stunts were too good.
  • Undercover Blues (1993) - very nice.
  • Shoot'em Up - Stylistic; I liked the characterization.
  • Phantom (1998) - Just took me back to my childhood days! Liked it a lot - nice 1930's feel.
  • Devil's Own - Good conflict.
  • A History of Violence (2005) - Neat story line.
  • Tooth Fairy (2010) - I could see the script adhere to all the beats. If you are an aspiring screenwriter then learn from this.
  • The Island
  • Green Lantern
  • Contraband (2011) - good twists; but hero gets a lot especially the adventure in Panama and the painting
  • Trouble with the curve (2012) 
  • The Adjustment Bureau (2011) - Philip Dick is cool! The visualizations are nice but somehow I felt that the ending lacked some punch.
  • A Matter of Life and Death (1946) - probably one of the earliest movies about after life and fighting your way back (which has been done so many times in Tamil). Loved the logic Michael Powell had nicely intertwined.
  • The Longest Yard (1974) - Very nice! Was not expecting this to be so good.
  • Jericho (2000) - Liked the twist/mystery. But movie was a bit dragging in the middle however this gave it a feel of late 60's movie.
  • The Tourist
Movies that I want to see
  • Experiment in Terror - I saw few clippings when some elements were taught at school. Seemed to have been crafted by a good director (Blake Edwards).
  • Primer (2004)
  • Stalker by Tarkovsky 
  • Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972)
  • Prisoners
  • Gravity
  • White house down
  • Elysium