About A Boy (4/5) — The movie is based on a novel of the same name. Hugh Grant is living off his dad’s earnings dating single moms. A precocious boy intrudes into his life bringing with him interesting experiences and events. This is a neat comedy drama.
Children of Men (5/5) — Set in 2027 UK, the movie is a sci-fi drama. The world is in chaos, humanity is dying, it’s been decades since women lost fertility. UK is throwing out its immigrants who want to stay back in this last place on Earth which has some peace. Amidst this a man who has to escort a pregnant immigrant woman out of UK. The story, the characters, the references to other works, everything is brilliant. There are some long camera sequences which will make you applaud. Simply not be missed.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was quite a bit of heavy treading but was highly satisfying. The work is actually 3 books in one: (1) a book on philosophy in general and Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality in particular (2) an autobiography of the author’s past (life) (3) a pleasant motorcycle journey across America.
The book is a non-fictional account of the author’s journey on a bike with his son. Passages of the bike travel are very interesting to read and are filled with details about the people they meet, the places they visit and intimate details about maintaining a motorbike. Interspersed among these passages is the author’s introduction to philosophy. At first it is general, but later as he starts to speak about Phaedrus and his journey through science/philosophy and his discovery of Quality. Slowly you realize Phaedrus is not another character, but it was the author himself in his past.
The book is a good read. I do not think I could have survived the philosophy in this book had not it been mashed up with analogies to bikes, places and travel. Though I got the gist of Quality, I never got around to understanding its importance.
Zodiac (3/5) – A movie based on real events about the serial killer in California who sent messages with zodiac signs. The movie has some delectable performances by Jake Gyllenhall and Mark Ruffalo (quite simply owns his role!). But, the movie is too long, the story lacks any punch and hence is disappointing.
Life, the Universe and Everything (2/5) – Book 3 in the H2G2 series. Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect and Zaphod are on the quest to find the ultimate question. Don’t get your hopes up after seeing the title, the book is very disappointing. The fun never rises above mediocre. Cricket fans might want to note that a lot of the story involves their game and the climax does happen at Lord’s. This book is not worth reading, can be skipped.
Prime (4/5) – Uma Thurman is 37, Bryan is 23, sparks fly. Problem? Bryan’s mom (Meryl Streep) is Uma’s therapist who gets to hear all the details of the relationship during her sessions. This is an excellent romantic comedy. The chemistry between Uma and Streep is great. The director stays away from clichéd jokes and makes the story sensitive and mature.
Rear Window (4/5) – Probably the best Hitchcock thriller I’ve seen. Things I loved – the setting of the story in a urban neighbourhood backyard, the protagonist (James Stewart) to whom the others are like actors on a stage, beautiful Grace Kelly (gotta watch her in this!) and the final climax which is an excellent example of breaking the fourth wall.