Hello!! If you love movies then you have landed at the right place where you will get reviews for whatever flicks that I watch when I am bored. Caution: Most of my reviews tend to be biased!! :) .

The Expendables (2010)

Let me admit, the first time that I heard of this movie, I had butterflies in my stomach. The mere thought of having all those big stars together was awe-inspiring! When the first rushes for the movie had come out, I was actually a bit disappointed as it didn’t seem at all like the movie that I had thought of. But still with hopes of not getting disappointed, I finally decided to give “The Expendables” a shot and boy, did it throw me some surprise!!
As the movie begins, we are straight away thrown into the middle of action as Stallone leads his band of boys (men!!) into some serious ass-kicking!! They are mercenaries and the plot involves CIA hiring them for a dictatorship overthrow plan in the fictional island of Vilena. Aided by a pretty Giselle ItiĆ©, our band of heroes is up against the bad guys-Eric Roberts, Steve Austin and David Zayas. There are a couple of love stories and a traitor thrown in as sub-plots but essentially the “Good vs Bad” wafer-thinness is all that is in the name of plot. It might be the reason the critics are panning it, but it allows for the stars to take center stage and some awesome action to unfold. The movie is also filled with ample humor and one-liners along with some heavy talk from the mercenary-turned-tattoo artist (Mickey Rourke). Everyone gets a chance to be the butt of the joke and with subjects ranging from Jet Li’s height to Statham’s baldness to Stallone’s Rambo adventures, there is no chance of those wise cracks running dry!!
Expectations are bound to run sky high when you have the biggest line up of action stars. In actuality “The Expendables” is more of Stallone-Statham show with others (Ludgren, Coutre, Terry) thrown in for seasoning. The-Expendables-Movie-Stallone-And-StathamWhile this might seem be a bit of let-down for the fans, it works for the movie big time. After all, putting all of those big names into the thick of the action would have been a tough task for even Sly. And Stallone-Statham chemistry is wonderful as it brings out the best of both.
There of course is the big scene that everyone has awaited for so long, when the big three- Arnie, Stallone and Willis, share the same screen space. Without giving much away, the cameo though short but with little inside-jokes and wisecracks, is fulfilling in its own way. But the real strength of the movie lies in delivering where it matters- its action. It’s been a long time since I have spoken “Wow!” multiple times in an action movie without the source of that exclamation being a nifty camera trick, CGI or some crazy wire action. But out here, what you have is loads of raw, pure, men-against-men action that oozes with testosterone!! In fact, during the climax, there is a time when big explosions and gun fights take over which is very good but leaves me yearning for the amazing fist fights happening before that!!
In an era when CGI (read “Avatar”) leads the way by delegating actors to the background of action and action movies are essentially all about shaking cameras (read the “Bourne” series), “The Expendables” is a much needed breath of fresh air! It not only brings back the charm of 80s action but also has the star cast that justifies the mayhem that it unfolds on screen. Let me warn you, some of the action is brutal with bodies being blown apart, heads being decapitated in full detail. But with such a big body count, there has got to be blood! But if you are someone with a genuine love for action movies, leave your girlfriend home and rush to the nearest theatre for one of the best (if not the best!) action movies seen for a long time! There are talks of a sequel too, there goes my butterflies again!
RATING: ***1/2 (out of 5)

Inception (2010)

Couple of years back I had watched a movie called “Memento” that was so convoluted and mind-numbing that I had to watch it twice to really enjoy the finer intricacies that it possessed. Back then, I also watched a movie called “The Matrix” that was such a big visual treat that I hardly paid attention to the story the first time around. And very recently I happened to see something called “Inception” that not only provided the same level of visual treat as the latter but was also as respectful of the viewer’s intelligence as the former. To summarize it, “Inception” is a movie buff’s dream (totally unintentional pun!!)come true!!
To try summarizing the movie’s plot would be a gross injustice to ten year’s worth of effort that Nolan put into this, so I would just describe a global overview of the scheme of things. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an “extractor” who steals ideas from a person’s mind by sharing their dreams. During one such job, he meets Saito (Ken Watanbe), who wants him to do something similar but much more difficult- plant a fresh idea in someone’s mind or an “inception” without making the other person realize that the idea is not his own. If you want to pull off a big one like that, you need the best and therein lies one of the biggest strengths of the movie- its amazing ensemble cast. 1920x1200_12_zeroGravity
Cobb’s team is formed of “The Point Man”(Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who happened to be my favorite character just for remaining so wonderfully unfazed in the midst of all the action. “The Architect” (Ellen Page), who designs the dream world; being new to all this herself allows the character to also serve as an able audience’s guide to the world. “The Forger”, ably played by Tom Hardy, meanwhile is nice comic relief at times with his deadpan sense of humor. Along with them we also have “The Chemist” (Dileep Rao), and Cobb’s dead wife or “The Shade” who slowly reveals pages of Cobb’s dark past, every time she appears. The fact that the entire movie is happening at different levels of the dream, allows for each of these characters to flourish in their unique importance.
Much has been written about the confusing nature of the plot with multiple level of story-telling but to me, it wasn’t very difficult to follow. Maybe having been forewarned by my peers that the script would be hard to comprehend, I was perhaps watching every scene too intricately! Direction by Nolan is exquisite to say the least, neither as abstract in its uniqueness as “Memento” nor too self-absorbed in its twists like “The Prestige”. The entire cast led by DiCaprio, shine in perfection and there is a delightful little cameo by Nolan favorite Michael Caine to make things more interesting.
InceptionWhile the script, direction and the acting are top-notch, it’s the technical aspects of the movie that towers it heads and shoulders above any other movie released before. The scenes of dreams collapsing, Paris folding onto itself, the gravity-defying fight sequences in the hallway are just some examples that will get adrenaline pumping into your veins. The surprising thing is that in essence, each of these sequences are rather simple in concept but you never get the impression due to their grandeur. The icing on the cake is the pulsating soundtrack by Hans Zimmer that hammers home the effect of each and every frame.
If the Academy does not give Nolan an Oscar nod (if not the actual award), then I would quit watching them! All in all, “Inception” is one of those rare films of 2010 that you would want to watch again and again If not for anything, maybe just to have a clearer understanding of the final frame of the movie that Nolan uses to tease the viewer with!! Winking smile
RATING: ****1/2 (out of 5)
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