All Talk and No Action Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Starting 2012, I have decided to post a monthly round up on prominent movies watched during the month.While I'm interested in documenting the range of movies I watch, I hope you'll  find movies that interest you enough to give them a try.

Recently, I have been handed a collection of movies by a cinema lover whose taste is different from mine. Hence, watching movies has been a strange experience lately. I may not have given preference to some of these movies, and may have skipped others completely. But that's the good part of watching movies from a collection that's different from your own. You end up experimenting and watching newer directors and exploring more themes.

Another practice I've followed is to randomly pick movies and watch and not whet my expectation with reviews or rankings.

L.A. Confidential (Jan 4) :  A crime thriller set in the 1950s. 3 LAPD cops on the trail. An absolute must watch! Crisp writing and strong, believable characterisations. Given the ambitious scale of the project (since it is an adaptation from a book), I felt the movie assumed a life of its own and is standalone piece of art.

Let the right one in (Jan 10) : A Swedish, vampire love story. My first Swedish movie. My first vampire love story. My last vampire love story. I hate vampires, especially when they are in their pre-teens! Having said this, I loved the mood and the cinematography and feel the winter in Mumbai added to enhance my late night movie watching experience.

True Grit (Jan 13) : Decent performances and that's that. I couldn't understand the hype, except for that it's a 'Coen brothers' movie.

Winter's bone (Jan 13) : The plot is fairly basic and the movie is simple in style. Yet, this was one of the most engaging movies I have seen of late.  A spectacular performance by the lead actress, Jennifer Lawrence. Winter's bone is the actual True Grit.

The Fighter (Jan 14) : My only motivation to watch this one was Christian Bale. While he didn't disappoint, I didn't think much about the movie.

The constant gardener (Jan 28) : A political drama about the nexus of governments, large (and evil) corporations and the impact on third world countries. A fairly engaging watch, with some great shots of Africa. While I wasn't too impressed with the political theme, I enjoyed the parallel romantic theme, especially, because of its non linear treatment.

Other decent movies : The squid and the whale (poignant, funny, family drama with good performances. The more I see Jesse Eisenberg, the more I like him), Man on the train (French movie, a lovely theme and good performances. I enjoy movies which have two or at the most three characters, and are completely dialogue driven. It is a minimalist approach and can serve as a litmus test to see how good a writer one really is).

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