Saturday, December 31, 2011

Movies #35 & #36 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Happy 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Day #37 & #38

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1 & 2)

This is a befitting finale to arguably the best (and most successful) movie franchise of all time - eight movies in total.

Part 1
This was a perfect prelude to a finale that has been anticipated since the first movie came out (2001). The build up was grand and epic, making it the finale much more enticing.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best Movies of 2011

Besides hauling a ton of crappy movies this year, Hollywood released some really fantastic movies like Super 8, The Descendants, Contagion, X-Men: First Class, The Muppets, Winnie the Pooh, The Help, Fast Five, Source Code, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Jane Eyre, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2, 50/50, Rio, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Melancholia, Rango, The Ides of March and Hanna.

Here are the 10 best of 2011 (in Pictures):

       10.  Bridesmaids

Movie #34 - Carnage

Day #36


The performances by Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet and John C. Reilly were outstanding! Based on the play "God of Carnage" by Yasmina Reza, this Polanski directed feature star revolves around two sets of parents who try to resolve a simple situation But soon everything goes berserk. This is a dark comedy whose actors were clinical and a riveting direction to accompany it.

A lovely movie!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day #35 - Midnight in Paris

Movie #33

Midnight in Paris

The highest praises should go to writer/director Woody Allen, the supporting cast (Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard, Carla Bruni and Adrien Brody) --- and Paris!

I loved the fact that Woody Allen didn't waste any screen time explaining how Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) travels back in time, but instead concentrated on the story and its characters; invariably telling us to enjoy the movie for its content. The structure of the movie is poetic, and the manner through which humor was quite amusing.

And finally, Paris --- You have to fall in love with it at the end of the day; such an enjoyable movie.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Movie#32 - Hugo

Day #34


The biggest surprise of this masterpiece is its director, Martin 'freaking' Scorsese! The king of gangster movies!

Hugo is the best movie of 2011, with an amazing director who did a REALLY brilliant job, a children's story that "metamorphs" into a movie about -- Movies, and the acting is (following its french theme) incroyable -- with brilliant references from everyone down to Sacha Baron Cohen's Inspector Gustav's dog! And a majestic mise en scene.

This is one emotional--brilliant piece of art.

Richard Corliss (of Time) -- "Scorsese's love poem, rendered gorgeously in 3-D, restores both the reputation of an early pioneer and the glory of movie history — the birth of a popular art form given new life through a master's application of the coolest new techniques". Now that's how you end a review about an awesome cinematic experience.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day #33 - Scarface

Movie #31


Al Pacino's Tony Montana is one of the most influential characters to ever grace the movies; and Oliver Stone's writing is legendary with its graphic language and memorable lines. This one stylish, foul-languaged, super-violent, drug-fueled gangster Epic.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Movie #30 - The Godfather

Day 32

The Godfather (Part 1)

The is the best movie ever made!

This epic movie gets everything right, from powerful performances (from Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall etc) - brilliant script - redolent set design - wonderful direction - the theme! 
All this from a movie that resonates around a Family/Loyalty/Mafia theme. And for a gangster movie, it sets itself apart by telling the story from an Insider's perspective of the Mafia without scenes depicting the nature of their businesses -- Gambling, prostitution and other forms of racketeering.

A great movie!

NB - Don Vito Corleone: "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse" - this is one of the most memorable line ever!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day #31 - Precious

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!

Movie #29


After seeing this movie, all I could say (while shaking my head) was "Damn!" - The Good type.

The story was just too damn sad, But ... alas! hope; and before I could even bask in it, it was yanked away from me again, but at the very end you get to experience a new kind of triumph that kinds ; now that's how touch people (while keeping it real).

But the acting was -- once again-- Damn! (also the good kind), everyone was Amazing!!!!!!!

Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day #30 - Inglourious Basterds

Movie #28

Inglourious Basterds

What a thrilling ride!

Here WWII is revamped Tarantino style; with lots of gores, operatic moments, Christoph Waltz and nazi scalps; into a revenge story. Tarantino brought his A-game, with a dominating Mise en scène and a fantastic cast of characters; Waltz's Col. Hans (The Jew Hunter), Brad Pitt's Lt. Aldo Raine, Eli Roth's Sgt. Donowitz (The Bear Jew), Mélanie Laurent's Emmanuelle Mimieux and Diane Kruger's Bridget von Hammersmark.

And Martin Wuttke's impression as Adolf Hitler was hilarious.

This is one thoroughly entertaining movie.

NB - The carving of swastikas into the foreheads was epic!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin

Day #29, Movie #27

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

This is one of the best movies of 2011 -- simply because of the following:

  1. The material which is based on a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Hergé which are really cool - think Raiders of the Lost Ark with pirates.
  2. The men behind the movie; Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson.
  3. The motion-capture technology was beautifully crafted

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day #28 - Zombieland

Movie #26


This was one fun experience for a movie for a movie about zombies! (Besides Shawn of the Dead, that is)

This movie perfectly blended humor with the horrors of ,well zombieland, without deviating from the stories -- which is all about surviving zombies. And what a cast! Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin were all fantastic.

This is not just another comical zombie flick but a damn fine movie!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Movie #25 - Pulp Fiction

Day #27
Pulp Fiction

This is (still) Quentin Tarantino's best work ever!

From an incredible smart and lovely screenplay-to-pleasurable thrilling performances-to-a director's cool approach to the art of movie making; a masterpiece. With Samuel L. Jackson delivering a one-in-a-lifetime act in Jules Winnfield (whose lines were literarily seductive) and his on-screen relationship with John Travolta's Vincent Vega was a thing of beauty. Other notable actors who delivered are Tim Roth, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames and Christopher Walken.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day #26 - Fight Club

Movie #24

Fight Club

This is a tough-guy movie that holds absolutely nothing back; this is one hard-edged movie with dark humors and intense violence.
With brilliant performances from Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, with a refined set design and amazing direction by David Fincher; Fight Club delivers one of the most pulsating action movies ever made.

Fight Club is one intense and violent roller-coaster.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Worst Movies of 2011

This year the world needed saving a lot! And Hollywood's portrayal of this was awful -- really  terrible; way too many comic movies. This list would not include limited releases, as my focus is on wide releases. Here are the hours I would never-ever get back.

        10.  Sucker Punch

Mindless Action from start to finish, sprinkled all-over with hot chicks kicking butt.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Movie #23 - Star Trek

Day #24

Star Trek

I am not a trekkie, therefor as a new-comer I was blown away by this 2009 reboot (one the best movies that year).

The story was the strongest part, making it enjoyable for non-trekkies like myself, as the introduction of the crew from Kirk to Scotty was brilliantly infused into the story, which was then fused with amazing special effects (Space Jump anyone?).

Movie #22 - Winter's Bone

Day #23

Winter's Bone

Jennifer Lawrence's (Mystique in X-Men: First Class) performance is outstanding in this thrilling piece revolving around rural poverty and Crystal Meth in the Ozarks. With a stellar cast and a riveting story; Winter's Bone explores power (in the Ozarks - a mountainous region cutting across central United States), self-sufficiency, distant family ties and the power and speed of gossip perfectly blended in this goth thriller.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day #22 - The Untouchables

I spent the entirety of yesterday watching my new favorite show - Boardwalk Empire, and totally forgot to pick a movie for the day, but I don't regret it one bit; as it inspired today's (Day #22) movie.

Movie #21

The Untouchables

This is one of the all-time great gangster flicks, which had great costumes, great sets, great cars, great guns, great locations, as it captured the Prohibition-era Chicago beautifully. An exhilarating, moving, vulgar, violent, funny experience, a cops vs. gangsters epic.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day #20 - Marley & Me

Movie #20

Marley & Me

First thing you've got to know is that I'm a dog-lover, so loving this movie comes natural to me; besides this, there are other really interesting facts about Marley & Me such as:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Die Hard, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark & The Pianist

I was unable to publish any posts over the weekend because of internet problems and the much over-hyped 'El-Classico' (which turned out to be a colossal waste of time; But, it didn't stop me from watching these wonderful set of movies!

Day #17
Movies #17, #18 & #19 

Die Hard

First, the title - which is epic! (c'mon how much tougher can a movie title get?)

Then, we move on to the idea, which is as simple as a movie can get (police vs. thieves) but add the action and Bam! You've got a  classic!

While Bruce Willis was awesome in his performance, but Alan Rickman (in his film debut) gave us the swashbuckling Hans Gruber (a terrorist who knows his suit!) - a true villain to counter Willis' John McClane.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day #16 - Million Dollar Baby

Mo Cuishle!!!!!

Movie #16

Million Dollar Baby is a classical masterpiece, which includes superb performances from Clint Eastwood (who also is the director), Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank; while Paul Haggis wrote the screenplay.

Being the winner of four Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Actor in a supporting role); two Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Million Dollar Baby is not a movie but a fine piece of art!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

City of God ... #15

Day #15, Movie #15

aka Cidade de Deus, this is the most exciting foreign movie I've ever seen!

Based on a true story, City of  God keeps it real throughout; from the environment to the story down to the characters (who made the movie spectacular), a breathtaking movie experience.

The opening scene for me is epic, a bunch of thugs chasing a runaway chicken with guns ... now that's wicked comedy!

Finally after research (a little) I found out that this 2002 Brazilian crime drama won fifty-five awards in total (a BAFTA for Best editing and zero Oscars after receiving five nominations ... which is disappointing).

FYI - There is no better description than watching the movie. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Movie #14 - The Incredibles

Day #14

Now, there are four kind of comic movies (which I would be explaining at a time hopefully); but I would illustrate with the movies.

  1. The Dark Knight
  2. Iron Man (just the first one)
  3. X-Men: First Class, Spiderman ...
  4. Green Lantern, Jonah Hex, Cowboys & Aliens

The Incredibles just falls short of being in the category of the first (The Dark Knight), so it would have to make do with the second (Iron Man), although I would rather rate/categorize it as 1b.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

PREVIEWS - December Movies (Limited)

Here are the movies that are coming out this month with limited releases.


Coriolanus, the hero of Rome, is manipulated and out-maneuvered by politicians and even his own mother, Volumnia, resulting in his banishment. He subsequently offers himself to his sworn enemy,Tullus Aufidius, and together they march on Rome with the intent to destroy the city.

From an adaptation of Shakespeare's tragic play, directed by Ralph Fiennes (his directorial debut) and starring Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox and Jessica Chastain.

Opens: December 2, 2011 Runtime: 2 hr. 02 min. Genre: Drama, Adaptation Rated: R

Monday, December 5, 2011

PREVIEWS - December Movies

This is a period where studios release ahead of the Oscars and it's no surprise that nearly all holiday-themed movies came and went with November. These are the last movies to be released in 2011, so Enjoy!

New Year's Eve

Following the surprise hit, Valentine's Day, Director Garry Marshall has once again brought together an ensemble cast as a group of New Yorkers in intertwining stories over the course of New Year's Eve.

The only holiday themed movie coming out this year boast of a cast that includes Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfieffer, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Josh Duhamel, Katherine Heigl et al.

Opens: December 9, 2011 Runtime: n/a Genre: Romance, Comedy Rated: PG - 13

Day #13 - Road to Perdition

In the last movie to feature the legendary Paul Newman is Movie #13

Winner of Academy Award for Best Cinematography (which after researching, is a really big deal in movie making), this movie explores three father-son relationships in a fairly dynamic way. Then, add in the Al-Capone Chicago era setting and you get Road to Perdition.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Blood Diamond

Day #11, Movie #11

Ok, I've got to admit this, while Blood Diamond does not have the greatest story, there are two things that captivated me while I saw it.

  1. The Idea - The idea to make a movie about such a sensitive issue , other than terrorism, that the rest of the world seems to ignore is amazing. Seriously diamonds! Not oil nor gold, and bringing in child soldiers is brilliant! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day #10, Movie #10?

Here's the sequel to Movie #8 - The Bourne Supremacy.

Following where the first movie ended, Matt Damon (as Jason Bourne) once again brings his A-game, with tougher action scenes and a really amazing car chase in Moscow. Like the first, The Bourne Supremacy opens in India, goes through Europe and finally descends in the US, so the trip this time around's much more intense as it reveals much more into the conspiracy surrounding Jason Bourne.

Fantastic story, cool action scenes and thrilling spy techniques all lead to a really awesome movie!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Movie #9 - Warrior

Day #9

This is the first of several fighting sports dramas that will grace this list, and this 2011 mixed martial arts drama was a thrilling experience.

Warrior has been said to hold too many clichés, but this is first and foremost a family drama blended with mixed martial arts that sucks you in wholly. 

Tom Hardy's performance was incredibly sincere, emotional and brutal (giving us a preview of what to expect as Bane in the coming Batman movie), while Joel Edgerton's role was balancing and convincing. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day #8 - The Bourne Identity

The first of the best spy franchise in cinema history, The Bourne Identity which is based on Robert Ludlum's epic novel (also named The Bourne Identity), is a brilliant movie.

The story is invigorating, the action scenes are really awesome (not the over-the-top unrealistic action we see in today's movies - The Expendables) and finally location! location!! location!!! The movie felt like a really good trip across Europe!

Watership Down

Day #7, Movie #7 - Watership Down

"All the world will be your enemy
Prince with a thousand enemies
and when they catch you, they will kill you...

But first they must catch you."

I never truly understood these words, when I first saw Watership Down (... well because I was a kid), till last night when I saw the movie again for the first time in little over 18 years; and all I can say is I miss graphic animations like this.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day #6, Casino Royale

On a sunday evening, sometime mid - 2005 (I think) watching CNN with the family and the announcement came up showing the new Bond, as Craig, Daniel Craig coming out of the water in nothing but a speedo showing off his burly figure; at first we were all shocked then my mom (least expected person to comment) said he was an odd looking bond! And like many other millions of viewers out there, we all thought something was definitely wrong with the bond franchise. My main concern was, how could this muscular and rugged (but handsome) guy be another Pierce Brosnan. Then this came 17, November 2006 and this came out.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day #5, Movie #5?

Cold Mountain
I definitely choose this movie for so many reasons (wonderful story, great cast, brilliant director, epic score/soundtrack), but the most astonishing for me would be the fact that the writer and director, the late Anthony Minghella and the lead actor Jude Law are English, and the lead actress is Australian. And these group brought about a movie that was centered upon the American Civil War, including Renée Zellweger's performance was awesome (FYI - she won an Oscar for the role). 

I definitely choose this 2003 hit for its "great" factor.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day #4 - The Hangover

Yeah that's right ... Movie #4 is The Hangover, this 2009 hit is one of the most hilarious movies ever made.
From it's out-right craziness to the cast (especially Ken Jeong), this movie is really great. Enjoy!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day #3, Movie #3

War of the Worlds

Steven Spielberg check! Tom Cruise check! Awesome but brutal aliens check! Oh! and Dakota Fanning, who is a brilliant actress too check! now tell me why this movie won't be brilliant.


Man on Fire - Movie #2

Day #2, Movie #2

Man on Fire

The story was simple and straight forward, also Denzel's and Dakota's on screen relationship is quite beautiful.
But, the movie sold me when Creasy (Denzel) took on the bad guys was cool. I selected this movie for its coolness in Denzel's swagger period!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Aj/Cinephile Project - Julie & Julia

What is The Aj/Cinephile Project? (Click Here)

Day #1 : Movie #1

Julie & Julia

Meryl Streep, once again, proved why she's such an amazing actress with her performance as Julia Child. Also, the way Nora Ephron (Writer/Director) presented both stories is amazing, connecting the distant past (1950's) and the not-so-distant past (early 2000s) was brilliant! Also, much praise goes to the supporting actors ranging from Stanley Tucci to Mary Lynn Rajskub. And finally, Amy Adams' on screen chemistry with Chris Messina (Eric Powell, Julie Powell's Husband) was blissful.

Released August 7, 2009 grossed $129,540,499 worldwide and won Meryl Streep a Golden Globe.

NB - The boeuf bourguignon Amy Adams cook looked really good!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Worst Movies of the Summer

Besides the fact that a huge chunk of the movies that opened this summer were either remakes, prequels, sequels or comic-adaptations; some movies just stood out as EXCEPTIONALLY awful! Here are 5 of the worst:

  • Your Highness
First I can't understand how a studio can pick up such a ridiculous idea/script and then spend $50 million, on what I considered to be a complete waste of time for everyone involved in the movie - except Danny McBride.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who is Conan?

Profile - Jason Momoa

This is a look at the guy playing a role made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian. Also known for playing Ronon Dex on Stargate Atlantis (2004 - 2009) and recently as the Dothraki King, "Khal Drogo" in the Emmy-nominated HBO series "Game of Thrones" (2011).

Born Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 1st, 1971; he moved to Hawaii where he landed a lead role in the action drama series"Baywatch Hawaii" (1989 - 2001).

Friday, August 12, 2011

4 Things you’ll learn from Rise of the Planet of the Apes

First the real star of the movie Andy Serkis, who acts as Caesar (the ape), should be honoured with a honorary Oscar for his contribution to film history; because playing King Kong and Gollum (the way he did) ain’t easy as it looked. And then with Caesar, he delivered a truly magnificent ape.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

10 Box Office Hits of the Summer

Summer may not be over; BUT here are the box office hits so far:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2


Friday, July 22, 2011

Opening Today

1. Captain America: The First Avenger 
Steve Rogers volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America. As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes and Peggy Carter to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull.

Directed by Joe Johnston; “The First Avenger” stars Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Derek Luke & Stanley Tucci.

Opens: July 22, 2011 Runtime: 2 hr. 04 min. Genre: Action, Adventure Rated: PG - 13

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Harry Potter sets first day record

After opening for 24 hours, distributor Warner Bros. reports that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" summoned up $92.1 million domestically (US).
That's nearly $20 million more than the previous record-holder, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," which took in $72.7 million in its first day two years ago.
In a single day, "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" took in more money than four of the previous seven "Harry Potter" films did over their entire opening weekends.
The finale of the "Harry Potter" saga also set a record for midnight screenings with $43.5 million. That topped "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," which pulled in about $30 million in its first midnight shows last year.
Box-office tracker projected Saturday that "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" also could break the opening-weekend record of $158.4 million domestically held by "The Dark Knight."
Soure: Yahoo! Movies.                                                                                                        

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Opening this Week

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 
In the epic finale of the most successful movie franchise, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. After destroying one Horcrux and discovering the significance of the three Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron and Hermione continue to seek the other Horcruxes in an attempt to destroy Lord Voldemort.

However, now that Voldemort has obtained the Elder Wand, he aims to complete his final stage to ultimate power and launches an attack on Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and threatens to take over the Wizarding and Muggle worlds. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort. It all ends here.

Directed by David Yates; and starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes...

Opens: July 15, 2011 Runtime: 2 hr. 10 min. Genre: Adventure, Fantasy Rated: PG - 13

Monday, March 7, 2011


1. The Adjustment Bureau
On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas - a woman like none he's ever known. But just as he realizes he's falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself - the men of The Adjustment Bureau - who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he must either let her go and accept a predetermined path... or risk everything to defy Fate and be with her.

Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, “The Adjustment Bureau” is directed by George Nolfi and it stars Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie and John Slattery.

Opens: March 4, 2011 Runtime: 1 hr. 39 min. Genre: Romance, Thriller Rated: PG - 13

Monday, February 28, 2011

Complete list of Winners from the 83rd Academy Awards

Best Picture

· “The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards

Best Picture

· “Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers

· “The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers

· “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers

· “The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers

· “The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers

· “127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers

· “The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers

· “Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer

· “True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers

· “Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers


· “Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky

· “The Fighter” David O. Russell

· “The King's Speech” Tom Hooper

· “The Social Network” David Fincher

· “True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen