The Pink Panther

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The Pink Panther which released this year is a reboot of the Pink Panther series (in the vein of Casino Royale and the Bond series). I haven’t seen the previous movies, this was my first PP movie. Steve Martin stars as Jacques Clouseau, the most incompetent policeman in France. The coach of the French soccer team is murdered and his Pink Panther diamond is stolen. The Chief Inspector wants to solve this case and get the honours. Before that he wants to put a bumbling inspector onto the case, let him fail and then reveal his success. He chooses Clouseau as the guinea pig for this case. Clouseau takes the case seriously, but goes around trying to solve the case stupidly. He is helped by his beautiful secretary Nicole (Emily Mortimer) and a detective (Jean Reno). In the end, he does solve the case (obviously!) and turns out to be not as stupid as he seems.

I can’t compare the movie to its predecessors, but it was a pretty decent comedy. I know the original series is full of innuendoes, this one has next to none and is very tame. Beyoncé stars in the movie as the coach’s love interest and one of the prime suspects. Steve Martin trying to speak English in an excessive French accent doesn’t seem natural. This is just a good watch.

My Cousin Vinny

Watched the comedy My Cousin Vinny on DVD. Directed by Jonathan Lynn, the movie stars Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei (in her Oscar winning role). The story starts off in Wazoo, a small Southern town of USA. Two NYC kids Billy and Stan who are driving through the town are mistakenly arrested for murder. Billy calls over his cousin Vinny to fight the case for him. Vinny who took 6 years to pass the bar exam and who has never actually faced the courtroom shows up in Wazoo with his girlfriend. What follows is some real hilarious courtroom and Southern small town humour as Vinny desperately tries to win the case and save Billy from the electric chair.

My Cousin Vinny is a real neat comedy. Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei (hawt!) are an excellent pair of wits and acting. The expressions of the strict judge (Fred Gwynne) and the tussle between him and Vinny are simply superb. This movie is fun!

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle

Saw the comedy Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. Harold Lee (John Cho), a Korean investment banker and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn), a wannabe med student are interested in only 2 things: smoking weed and babes. They head out one Friday night to have burgers at a White Castle and get drawn into all kinds of adventures. This is the first real US comedy I’ve seen with Asian lead characters. A large part of the humour comes from how Asians are stereotyped by Caucasians. The movie’s a real stress buster. Kal Penn is hilarious! A sequel named Harold & Kumar Go To Amsterdam is in the works. I’m definitely catching that one.

Bas Yun Hi

Saw this movie Bas Yun Hi on TV. The story is about a bunch of 5 yuppies and is set totally in Bangalore. Rohan is engaged and he believes in astrology. According to his horoscope his ideal life partner would have a name that starts with V. His friend Aditya (Purab Kohli) decides to play a prank on him by getting his friend Veda (Nandita Das) to meet him and fall in love. Rohan actually falls for it and soon he is smitten by Veda. She too forgets its a prank and is totally attracted to him. Meanwhile, Rohan discovers that the horoscope he had was not his but that of his brother. Things further complicate when Rohan’s fiancée returns from her travel.

The mood of this movie is totally offbeat and light. It actually feels like one of those cloudy afternoons in Bangalore. All the locales (Coffee Day outlets, parks, etc.) of the movie are in Bangalore and the city looks really good on screen! Nandita Das looks damn natural and has an easy role to play. What sucks in the movie is the pace. There really is not enough story in it to fill 2 hours, resulting in an extremely slow pace. The ending is quite predictable and disappointing. Had it been edited to ¾-1 hour, this would’ve been a decent made-for-TV movie.

Munich

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Saw Steven Spielberg’s most recent venture Munich. The movie is based on real incidents. The year is 1972 and the Olympics are being held in Munich, West Germany. A Palestinian militant organization named Black September takes the Israeli Olympic team hostage and in the end kills them all. To take revenge, Israel forms a secret 5 member team lead by Avner Kaufman (Eric Bana) to assassinate the key members of Black September who planned the hostage. The team goes all over Europe finding out the members and kills them one by one. The Israeli team also takes losses. By the end, every team member except Kaufman gets found out and killed. Kaufman survives and moves out to NYC to live with his wife and kid.

Steven Spielberg isn’t doing well going by his movies. His last movie War Of The Worlds was severely disappointing. Munich is just about watchable. Eric Bana has acted well. Some of the assassination plans are interesting to watch. The depiction of the 1970s is really good. But, the story doesn’t really rise up to keep the movie engaging.

An Inconvenient Truth

[ Trailer ]

“… we are entering a period of consequences.” — Winston Churchill

Months after its release in USA, An Inconvenient Truth opened recently in SG. I’d been eagerly waiting to watch it. This documentary on global warming stars Al Gore and is directed by Davis Guggenheim. It is mostly recorded from Al Gore’s presentation on the issue which he has been giving all around the world. This is interspersed with important moments from Al Gore’s life which caused him to take this cause of saving the planet.

The figures and graphs from the movie are really shocking and depressing. The movie is full of breathtaking scenes of nature from around the world. Al Gore comes across as an erudite and well spoken person, like a really good professor talking to his students. You might become his fan after the movie. (Americans chose Bush over this guy?!) His presentations are really slick (made with Keynote I presume) and so is the way the story is told. BTW you will surely notice that Al Gore is an Apple fan. He is always seen working on his Apple laptop.

The premise of the movie is that global warming is real and is happening right now. We’re already seeing its effects (Mumbai rains, Katrina, etc.) and the next decade is going to get only worse. Very worse. Worse enough to affect tens of millions of people in coastal areas. We have caused it and we can prevent it, if we act now. You can find out more at the movie’s website www.climatecrisis.net. Here in SG, the Campaign 4 An Inconvenient Truth is trying to interest people to watch this movie and take action. IMO this is a movie that needs to be seen by everyone.