Rating: 2/4 (Average fare)
The star couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are the protagonists of Mr. And Mrs. Smith. They are both undercover assassins who are working for different agencies. But, each does not know about the other’s work and is keeping it a secret. They discover that soon and are assigned to kill each other off! This could have been a good comedy action flick, but has been ruined by a pointless plot and boring dialogues. Even the ooomph factor of the two stars does not save this movie.
Rating: 1/4 (It is so bad that it is funny!)
The Core is a pop sci-fi movie that takes itself so seriously and is so utterly bad, that it is kind of funny! It is time to save the world (yet again). This time a US military seismic device has somehow stopped the rotation of molten fluid in the earth’s core! Why cannot the USA keep their hands off our planet! Anyway, this has caused the electro-magnetic field around the Earth to disappear and thus opening up our planet to the harmful radiation from the Sun and outer space. It is upto a ragtag bunch of professors and scientists to build a vehicle to travel to the Earth’s core and set off nuclear bombs to restart the fluid motion!
What do you build your vehicle from, if you will be travelling in molten lava and extreme pressure at the earth’s core? The guy in the movie has created a metal called Unobtainium (ROTFL!) that will not melt and will get stronger as pressure increases. They will build a craft using that. Now, how do you drill through thousands of miles of crust? Okay so the same guy has invented a laser that will liquefy anything in its path. How convenient! (While he is at it, can he discover a cure for Cancer too?)
The team sets off in their train-like craft and spend an hour passing through the mantle. Then for some dramatic effect, they hit empty space inside the earth’s mantle and crash there! Wow man, this is fun! But wait, it gets weirder. They walk out of their craft in their suits onto some surface to fix and get their crashed craft going! Whoopee! Remember that this is close to the Earth’s molten core, with God-knows-how-many-millions of Pascals of pressure! I must be on drugs!
An hour later (not their time, I am talking about a freaking 1 hour of movie time) this team now hits the outer core and realizes that it is too light for the nuclear bombs they have. They decide to detonate several of the nuclear bombs at several places to create a ripple effect that will magnify on itself. Meanwhile, every 15 minutes or so, a crew member gets killed off for some reason or the other!
Now we are more than 2 hours into the movie. The two who are left are the female navigator and the clever professor. They save the world and make it back to the surface! And with that the total experience of a 1950s B-grade sci-fi movie is complete. I cannot understand how a movie like this could be made in 2003, built upon such unbelievable science! If not for the length of this movie, it would have made for a good comedy.
Rating: 3/4 (Good watch)
Released in 2000, Mission To Mars is yet another Hollywood sci-fi movie set in Mars. The year is 2020 and a human mission to Mars goes bad when a strange tornado kills all the astronauts except one. The rescue mission to save the one survivor gets into problems but still manages to land on the red planet. Can they survive the dangers of the planet? What is the big secret on this planet that is causing these strange occurrences?
The first hour of the movie is totally unimaginative, a letdown. But then, things start to get interesting. The red aura of Mars is all pervading and is shot excellently. I also loved the details in the depiction of the spacecraft. The climax about the origin of life on Earth and its connection to Mars is really sweet! You cannot help but feel that with a bit more spit and polish, this could have been a great movie. This is a good watch, especially if you have not seen any Mars movie yet.
Rating: 4/4 (A gem, must see!)
Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World is an action adventure on the sea based on the Aubrey-Maturin series of novels by Patrick O’Brian. It is set aboard the warship HMS Surprise captained by Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe). Set in 1805, during the time of the Napoleonic wars, Aubrey is on orders to fight and destroy French warships. Along with him in the ship is his close friend, ship doctor and naturalist Stephen Maturin. Surprise clashes with a much younger and stronger French ship and are beaten in two fights. But, in the last and third one, they pull a surprise and defeat the French.
This movie is absolutely fabulous to watch, a treat on the senses! Director Peter Weir has recreated life aboard a ship so naturally, like I have never seen before. Every single object, detail and activity is lucid and draws the eye. The acting is excellent to say the least. Russell Crowe as Aubrey and Paul Bettany (remember Nash’s imaginary friend in The Beautiful Mind?) as the ship doctor are superb. More than the battles, the movie delights when it depicts the day-to-day running of a ship. The strategies that Aubrey as a captain has to think of! How cool and composed he is as a captain! I was amazed by the amount of command and control needed to run a ship. Also, Maturin is a naturalist, a character whose journeys in this movie strongly resemble that of Charles Darwin on his epic HMS Beagle voyage. This movie is a gem in every sense! Go watch it.
Rating: 2/4 (Forgettable)
In National Treasure, Nicholas Cage is on the hunt for the treasure of the Knights Templar (remember The Da Vinci Code?). Presumably, since the movie is set in USA, this Biblical treasure was shipped over from Europe and has been hidden in America. Also, the map for this treasure is on the back of the United States Declaration of Independence document! Cage steals it so that his foe cannot steal it! And then he goes on a really long hunt across the country using the map.
Not much to say about this movie. Bland story, no great support from actors either. You get to see some American historical sites and explosions every now and then. Eminently forgettable.