Requiem For A Dream : A Descend Into The Hell

                             In Requiem for a Dream (2000), director Darren Aronofsky taps into several obsessions of American culture, chiefly the idea of happiness, which is frequently confused with entertainment. It is one of the most forceful anti-drug narratives ever to be committed to celluloid. To call this movie a cautionary tale would be to apply a label that is too moderate -- Requiem for a Dream presents the darkest take imaginable on a story of hopes and dreams shattered by drug addiction. There's no preaching or sermonizing here, just an almost-clinical depiction of lives laid to waste. This is not a film for the weak of mind or soul. 
                                     The constant message that something external to ourselves will solve everything is a rhythm of modern life. Adapted from Hubert Selby Jr.’s 1978 book of the same title and co-scripted by Aronofsky and Selby, Requiem for a Dream offers an unpleasant glimpse of how awry the whole system can go.
    'Requiem'' interweaves the stories of four drug addicts -- Harry(Jared Leto); his mother, Sara (Ellen Burstyn); his girlfriend, Marion (Jennifer Connelly); and his buddy, Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) -- the drug they all are hooked on is the American Dream, with its promises of big cash paydays and fame and eventually happiness.

                        We're introduced to Sara as she cowers in a locked room while her son 'steals' her beloved television to fuel his drug habit. Once he's flush from a once-in-a-lifetime score, he buys her a fabulous new television, but is alarmed to learn his mom's become an amphetamine junkie courtesy of a local 'diet' doctor. Her game show dreams will not be complete unless she can fit into a special red dress worn on a family occasion twenty years ago.
                      Of course, Harry also neglects his own advice and dips into his own stash, losing his fortune and forcing to Marion  date her former therapist, so she can get some money to keep Harry's drug business going. This is just the beginning of all three's far worse fates. 

         Burstyn is fabulous as the meek, naive housewife who loves her only son. Her harrowing decent into madness is jolting, like you were watching a kindly elderly relative enter hell. She won a Oscar for her role. Leto retains sympathy by letting the true love he feels for his mother shine through. Jennifer Connelly's  performance gives the movie weight, since her fall is the most precipitous.  She is wonderful as a artist, who loses every shred of human dignity by sticking on with Harry. Wayans is also good, as Ty, who also reflects on the love of a single mother.
                         Director Aronofsky draws astonishing performances from his actors. He intensifies the feeling with the use of split screens. Instead of falling back on the cliches of drug-addicts, he races through their buzzes because he wants to show how quickly the time passes when they're high. And it explains why their lives are so empty when they're not consuming, which drug movies haven't made so clear before. The movie was granted the MPAA's NC-17  for its uncompromising portrayal of the depths to which some people will sink to get their fix. No images "prettied up". Undaunted by the MPAA's hypocritical and senseless stance, Aronofsky appealed the rating, rightfully claiming that cutting any portion of the film would dilute, if not outright destroy, its message. The appeal was denied , but it released eventually as unrated. 
                         Requiem for a Dream‘s fantastic score by Clint Mansell works on its own as a requiem but coupled with the images, it becomes integral to the agonizing effects of the film. It has a piercing feeling of doom.

                         Amusement parks, money, and television all promise immediate satisfaction , an instant change from the boring ordinary to the fabulous extraordinary. More than anything, they promise happiness. Not only a stark meditation on drug-taking, Requiem for a Dream is a meditation on various forms of consumption. Advertising promises products that not only simplify but better one’s life, a return to infantile security and comfort.

                           Don't be fooled by the passively poetic title; this film demands much from the viewer and the rewards are bitter. Requiem for a Dream is not sadness, but a heavier, emptier sense of loss--one that's even harder to shake. If you hate watching this movie second time , there lies it's success.


Requiem For A Dream - Imdb

Masters of Cinema : Tim Burton

                                   Tim Burton, who rocketed out of nowhere in the mid-1980s with a series of surreal blockbusters --  "Beetlejuice" and "Batman Returns" -- has long been an enigma to Hollywood. The creator of bizarre, visually enchanting pictures engrossed in far-fetched adolescent fantasies, comic-strip imagery and the macabre sensibility of campy horror classics has often shrunk from the spotlight. 
                                                        In his trademark black clothes and unkempt hair, he seems to have stepped from the frames of one of his own productions. But he's often projected a guilelessness about his work and career at odds with his clever flair for commercial success. Most people would never think of Tim Burton getting older because from his magnificent movies you might say that he has the imagination of a young child. 
  • Born in 25 August 1958 in Burbank, California, Burton is, quite literally, a child of Hollywood— a child who was considered by those around him, and by himself, a misfit who spent his days watching on movies of horror and science fiction. His father was a parks department employee and the proprietor of a gift store.
  • When he was in the ninth grade, his artistic talent was recognized by a local garbage company when he won a prize for an anti-litter poster he designed. The company placed this poster on all of their garbage trucks for a year. After graduation from high school, he attended California Institute of the Arts. Like so many others who graduated from that school, Burton's first job was as an animator for Disney.
  • During his brief stint with Disney, Burton made a six-minute animated short , Vincent. The film portrayed the dual life of a tortured, but seemingly normal suburban child; it won a number of awards and was released commercially in 1982. His next venture , 29 minute live-action film Frankenweenie(1984), was deemed such an unsuitable Disney product that it not receive a properly release until 1992. Nonetheless , this short-grim fairy tale landed Burton his first directing assignment on the superlatively silly Pee-Wee's Big Adventure(1985).
  • The 1989 Batman was one of Tim Burtons as well as the 1990 Edward Scissorhands which most people have seen at least once in their lives. Batman Returns follows in 1992 which is his next big success in movie. A nightmare before Christmas was one movie which was completely different totally animated and had ghouls and ghosts as the main character. Taking a Christmas tale and turning it into a nightmare was a very creative spin to which children still watch the story on Christmas eve.  Burton was no longer a cult curiosity but a Hollywood superstar.
  • Trade Mark : Often does the beginning credits sequence with the camera going through something or following something. His films often have a Gothic feel to them, often including Christmas and/or Halloween scenes. Many of his films feature townspeople who misunderstand and/or distrust the lead character. Often shows scarecrows in his movies. Black clothing. His Heroes are often neurotic,somewhat cowardly and Bizarre yet also intelligent and highly Moral.
  • He has an interest in clowns, and his films will often include them or make reference to them. Is a "Bollywood" fan. Nearly everywhere he goes, he carries a pocket-size sketchbook and a small watercolor kit. 
  • Was voted the 49th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly, being the youngest director on this list of 50. Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997. Ranked #6 on Top 25 Most Intriguing People.
  • He has a phobia of chimpanzees. He says, "You don't know whether chimps are going to kill you or kiss you. They're very open on some levels and much more evil in a certain way."
Tim Burton Quotes :

"I've always been misrepresented. You know, I could dress in a clown costume and laugh with the happy people but they'd still say I'm a dark personality."

"If you've ever had that feeling of loneliness, of being an outsider, it never quite leaves you. You can be happy or successful or whatever, but that thing still stays within you."

"All these kinds of stories, whether it be The Wizard of Oz (1939) or Alice in Wonderland (2010), are an internal journey. I think that's a fairly universal concept. These characters represent things inside the human psyche. I think that's what every child does. You try to work out problems as you go along. Same thing as an adult. Some people get therapy, some people get to make movies."

"Success is the real reason people try to copy things in Hollywood. Someday someone will do a beautiful cell- animation film that connects with people and then someone will say, `We have to go and do that again.' The number-one priority should be that the story and the medium are compatible."

                                             Tim Burton has been the creator of many marvelous films in the last few decades and his award winning movies are testimony to the great work that he has been doing for the film industry as well as Hollywood.  Admittedly Burton has taken some risks, but we must look back upon what he was trying to accomplish. Burton uses the strange actions of the characters to show the internal childishness of the outcast character. In spite of the charges thrown in his direction, Burton has managed to keep a continuity in his body of work, and is unquestionably an astounding and original visual artist. 

                                            Some directors have a recognizable and distinctive style and/or thematic content and turn themselves into auteur. Burton is one such filmmaker, a director who has earned the status of auteur, although he is not viewed in the same category as, say, Martin Scorsese. Like James Cameron, he works within genres that are not readily accepted as “art,” but by now Burton’s work is so uniquely recognizable that critics are hard put to classify his work. Love him or loath him, Burton is a director who has made an impact—both in the industry and on the cinema-goers.

Cinema Paradiso - Love Letter To The Movies

                               There are films as lovely, but none lovelier than "Cinema Paradiso," a folkloric salute to the medium itself, flickering with yesterday's innocence. This appealing and charming valentine to movies captures and conveys the enchantments, escapes, and enslavements of those who are mesmerized by films. I’d heard this movie mentioned as a ‘love letter to movie fans’ for several years before I actually sat down to watch it for myself. Cinema Paradiso is, at its core, a simple romance movie. But a wondrous and adoringly personal romance it is. 

     Young Salvatore is growing up in a boring little Sicilian village, and the boy quickly finds himself the most wonderful escape plan a little kid can have: the movies. Rascally old Alberto is the devoted projectionist and lifelong movie lover. Despite the well-meaning protestations of Salvatore’s mother, Alberto fans the flames of the kid’s cine-mania.

As Sal grows up his attentions turn to more…feminine pursuits, though he’s now known as the village’s new projectionist. (How Alberto loses his position is one of the film’s more bittersweet subplots.) The story is told through extended flashback, and we learn that Salvatore will one day become a world-renowned filmmaker. To mention  anything else would rob you of some of the film’s richest moments; suffice to say that
Cinema Paradiso is laden with wonderful moments and ideas.

           Writer and director Giuseppe Tornatore hits high stride in the presentation of Salvatore's tormenting first love affair and his return to the town as a middle-ager. The movie is born from  director Giuseppe Tornatore's childhood memories. Tornatore, was inspired by loss, the realization that communal movie-going had become a thing of the past. Philippe Noiret as the projectionist gives an emotionally affecting performance as this gentle man who passes on his wisdom to a young boy.  Powered by Ennio Morricone's bittersweet score, the film is an enchanting elicitation of youthful passion. 

                   A handful of films have come close  but none can touch the majesty of the sublimely satisfying "Cinema Paradiso". How can anyone view that incredible montage of screen kisses (edited out and joined together from Alfredo's years of censoring these passionate scenes for proper Catholic consumption) without having the same kind of tears well up that the adult Salvatore does? Manipulative perhaps, and nostalgic, but that's no problem with Tornatore's well-crafted tribute to the power of the cinema and a special friendship. Cinema Paradiso abounds with delights and has an emotional flow that elicits only good feelings.  

                         Most movie lovers are certain to rate this as one of the most memorable films they've seen; it's easy to see ourselves in young Toto and recall what it is about film that we love so much.  After watching it, you may feel that I have not done full justice to this movie.

Memorable Quotes :

"Alfredo: I don’t want to hear you talk anymore, I want to hear people talk about you."

"Alfredo: Now that I’m blind, I see better."

"Alfredo: Living here day by day, you think it’s the center of the world. You believe nothing will ever change. Then you leave: a year, two years. When you come back, everything’s changed. The thread’s broken. What you came to find isn’t there. What was yours is gone. You have to go away for a long time... many years... before you can come back and find your people. The land where you were born. But now, no. It’s not possible. Right now you’re blinder than I am.

Salvatore: Who said that? Gary Cooper? James Stewart? Henry Fonda? Eh?

Alfredo: No, Toto. Nobody said it. This time it’s all me. Life isn’t like in the movies. Life... is much harder."

Trailer : 

Cinema Paradiso - Imdb                  

Oscar Injustices

                               Winning a Oscar, is considered to be a great honor for every Hollywood actors and Film-makers. It's also followed keenly by many movie-fanatics throughout the world. Every time , when Oscar nominations are announced, there will be excitement as well as disappointment. Many great actors or directors are robbed or denied Oscars by the voters. There are also many artists, who have done nothing good after their awards or some artists are one-movie wonders.

Here are some cases of great Oscar Injustices , in it's 83 year old history. Let me start with a example from current year, 2011.

The Adventures of Tintin for Best Animation : Animators have always used live performance as a basis for their work; the only difference being that it's usually the animators doing the acting, not name stars. And in a year where movies like Puss In Boots can nab a nomination, it’s crazy that an exceptionally well-made, entirely delightful movie like Tintin can’t beat Kung Fu Panda 2 into the top five.

Charlie Chaplin :  A great shock. Chaplin made a great number of comedy classics from 1920's, but he has never won a Oscar, except a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' , a few months before his death.

Al Pacino : One of the legendary actor, Pacino did classics like Godfather 1, 2, Serpico, Dogday Afternoon in a span of five years as a young actor. He was nominated for all these movies, but never won. He had to wait until 1992 for 'Scent of Woman' to score his first Oscar. He totally has eight Oscar nominations to his name.

Alfred Hitchcock : The master of suspense, who directed many classic thrillers, was only nominated 5 times as 'Best Director' and never won, even one.

Stanley Kubrick : One of the master of cinema, Kubrick had variety of movies from various genres like, science fiction , horror, war, history, thriller, comedy. He directed only 13 movies in his 43 year directing career , making every movie with excellent skill and hardwork. He won one oscar, but it's for special effects for the movie, '2001:A Space Odyssey.' He had never won for 'Best Director.'

Leonardo Di Caprio : He always does Oscar-worthy roles. That might be little exaggerated but Leo is known for taking on the difficult roles. He rarely gets nominated and never won any.

Tom Cruise : Maybe Mission Impossible, Top Gun, weren’t exactly Oscar quality, but the list of Cruise’s quality movies are endless. He is a Director’s favorite and one of the top grossing actors of all time. He has had three Oscar nominations, and no wins. Tom Cruise is always recognized as box-office star, but he is great quality actor, who deserves a Oscar.

Johnny Depp : It's bit of a Shocker. Nominated for three Oscars for Pirates of the Caribbean, Sweeney Todd, and Finding Neverland but obviously hasn't won. Bit, if he keeps making movies like The Tourist, and Rum Diary then he's in trouble.
These are just few injustices. There are many other great artists like Cary Grant, Gary Oldman, Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Liam Neeson, Akira Kurosawa, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan.

Wasted Oscars :

Nicolas Cage : Cage won his Academy Award for playing a suicidal alcoholic who decides to drink himself to death in the movie Leaving Las Vegas. Since then, he had been in a great number of poor movies and box-office flops. His recent movie, Drive Angry earned only $5.1 million on its opening weekend. Also, he is rarely doing any critically acclaimed movies.
Roberto Benigni : Benigni received his Best Actor Oscar for portraying Guido Orefice, an Italian-Jewish man placed in a concentration camp during World War II in 'Life Is Beautiful.' Without the shadow of a doubt, Benigni did a phenomenal job in this film. That being said, he managed to follow up with nothing. His future films bombed in the United States, and he failed to garner another Academy Award nomination in the States. 
Adrien Brody : Brody won his Oscar for his portrayal of a distraught musician, trying to survive the devastation and destruction of his Warsaw ghetto during World War II in 'The Pianist.' Brody has taken a drastic fall from grace in the acting world since his Academy Award win. 
                                                         Oscars could be considered as a great one, when compared to the award systems in India, where it is held for various sponsors and advertisers. Any award is a great boost to a artist, young or old. But Oscars or any other awards , shouldn't be considered the benchmark for great acting or great movie. There is a lot of contribution to cinema, from a consistent actor than a actor, who has just given, very few wonderful performance in his whole career.
A list of Great actors, Directors, who had never won an Oscar:

Legendary Actors - Morgan Freeman

                                       Morgan Freeman is a dignified and wry, humble yet confident journeyman actor who suddenly found himself at overnight success at 50, an age when many actors are forced into retirement.  Morgan has done roles ranging from a Convict(Shawshank Redemption) to detective(Se7en) to president(Deep Impact) to God(Bruce Almighty). He plays the worldly wise mentor kind of roles. He has that kind of calm assurance, a Father like personality to whom we can look up to. It is not just his persona, it's also his deep bass voice, that is totally out of the world. When you listen to him narrating The Shawshank Redemption , you can feel its not an ordinary voice. His aversion to celebrity is as powerful as his passion for acting, so few are aware that his off-screen life has been as dramatic and colourful as his on-screen exploits.

  • Born in June 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, USA , and Grown up in the depression era, Freeman never experienced racism until he moved to Chicago. Freeman had a difficult childhood moving from place to place. Back in Mississippi he stumbled on what would become his life’s passion when a teacher encouraged Morgan to channel is show-off energy into performing. Arrived in Los Angeles in 1959 and his first job was as a clerk typist.
  • After a brief stint as a fighter pilot, Freeman headed for Hollywood, only to be knocked back. He moved to New York where he spent years working his way up the theatrical ladder. Along the way, Freeman was out of work, battled alcohol abuse and the break-up of his marriage and nearly left acting. Morgan's first big acting role was in the children's television series "The Electric Company" and talked to kids about the importance of reading. 
  • He really stood out, scoring an Oscar nomination as a merciless hoodlum in Street Smart (1987) and, then, he dazzled audiences and pulled a second Oscar nomination as the patient and dignified chauffeur assisting moody pensioner  in the delightful Driving Miss Daisy (1989). The same year, Freeman teamed up with  Matthew Broderick and fiery Denzel Washington in the epic Civil War drama Glory (1989) about freed slaves being recruited to form the first all-African American fighting brigade.
  • He continued to rise, in the 1990s upto now with strong roles , which made him the most respected actor in the modern cinema.
  • Trade Mark : Frequently plays characters with calm demeanor. [Narration] Often provides narration for his films, as either himself or the character he is playing. Rich, yet mellow voice.
  • Ranked #31 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. Three films of his are on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time. They are: Driving Miss Daisy (1989) at #77, Glory (1989) at #31 and The Shawshank Redemption (1994) at #23.
  • Received "Hollywood Outstanding Achievement in Acting" Award on 7 August 2000. Most of the characters he has played aren't written specifically for an African-American actor. Was honored with the American Film Institute's 39th Lifetime Achievement Award on June 9, 2011. Received the 2012 Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes award ceremony in January 2012
  •  Recently earned a Private Pilot license.  
Morgan's Charity Work : 
  • Freeman also sits on the Board of Directors for Earth Biofuels, a company whose mission is to promote the use of clean-burning fuels in America.
  • Showing his affection for animals, Freeman has given support to the Mississippi Animal Rescue League, and he donated funds to help create a new research area at the Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine, subsequently named the Morgan Freeman Equine Reproduction Research Unit.
  • Freeman founded the Grenada Relief Fund, now known as Plan!t Now, to help victims of natural disasters, and his diverse philanthropic profile is further rounded out by his patronage of Artists for a New South Africa, and the Campaign for Female Education.
  • Freeman hosted an online disaster relief auction to benefit the American Red Cross. 
Morgan Freeman Quotes : 

 "I find it difficult to watch myself...I find it boring."

"I'm not a campaigner or a crusader for ending racism, or anything for that matter. I believe you should live your life according to your own tenets. If there are people you don't like, avoid them. But not liking people based on generalities is stupid."

"That was a strange production. There were moments of extreme tension on the set. Between the producers and actors, between the director and actors, between everybody. Just this personality stuff between different groups. Very strange. Let's stop talking about that one. - on working on The Shawshank Redemption (1994)."

"I don't know about anyone else, but my kids didn't have me. I was busy trying to be somebody."

                                                 If u feel down or have no hope, just have a look at Morgan's life for inspiration. At the age of 40, he was named  Broadway's Best Newcomer!! At 50, he was nominated for an academy award. At 52, he earned his first leading actor role.  At 67 he won his first Oscar. At 72 he played Nelson Mandela, a role Mandela had said that when a movie was made about his life , he should be played by Morgan Freeman. At 75, he had won the Life Time Achievement Award in 2012 Golden Globes.

                                                 In a documentary about Freeman , he tells the interviewer, I think you don’t have life if you don’t have a dream. If you have something to aim for, put it before you. Put it on the medicine cabinet or the refrigerator door, so that every time you go to the refrigerator, you are reminded This is what I want.You’re gonna get it, guaranteed."

Morgan Freeman - Wikipedia 

The Artist - Celebration of Cinema

                              3-D, Imax, Motion-capture , whatever. The modern movie medium always transfers itself to compete with digital effects and 3-D extravaganzas. At this time , "The Artist" gleefully inventive, gloriously entertaining black-and-white silent movie, proves that less is more. Although the technology was simpler, the experience was magical. In the face of the noisy, neurotic things that movies have become in 2011, “The Artist’’ asserts timeless truths:  the wit and invention of a cinema that doesn’t need to talk, and the awareness that times and technologies change - and that beautiful things can get left behind in the rush to the future. Many of the technical aspects of the silent period are expertly re-created -- 22 frames per second , 1:33 aspect ratio , with a rich and superior piano music.

    The Artist spans a five year period, beginning in 1927 and concluding in 1932. It is the late 1927. George Valentin (Dujardin) is a silent-movie legend whose stardom rubs off on a budding starlet named Peppy Miller (Bejo) after a chance encounter at a premiere. At first he finds Peppy’s fame-by-association cute, but the arrival of sound makes Valentin's fortunes fall as Peppy's rise. As the Depression and self-financed silent failures deplete his fortunes, George's trajectory takes him from his mansion to pawnshops and gin mills. The rest is predictable, but it is funny, comfortable, and oddly fresh.

          The acting is superb in the way it recalls performances of 80 years ago. The magnetic performance of Jean Dujardin as Valentin dominates the film. Time and technology diminish his swagger and self-confidence. Yet, he does not begrudge or blame others for his misfortune. Dujardin makes us care for his role of Valentin. He worked with director Hazanavicius previously in twp spy movie spoofs, OSS 117. Bejo as Peppy is , not just a Valentin’s love interest but acts as his peer. The chemistry is palpable, and Bejo radiates beauty, grace and intelligence. Director Michael Hazanavicius has a control over the medium that is hypnotic. He works every simple, elegant image with dazzling craftsmanship. Even when the visuals are melodramatic or aggressively stylized, they're apt for the storytelling methods of the late silents. Once you step into this time capsule, you're simply swept along.

                      There is also one cinematic element that makes The Artist work, it's Ludovic Bource's score. In a movie with no dialogue and (almost) no sound effects, the music is asked to carry a much heavier load than in a normal motion picture. Bource's music is excellent, underlining emotions - playful at times and sad at others. 

                                There are those that sneer at The Artist’s simplicities, its unfortunate inability to be a real long-lost classic. That's not the attempt here. The point of The Artist is to reconnect with the human spirit, see what our ancestors saw in a single close-up and find emotions in the human face that no amount of CGI can render. The Artist contains many elements that will keep unadventurous viewers away - demands reading of the dialogue, and is in black-and-white. It may not be for loud entertainment seekers, but it’s not just for movie buffs; it’s for anyone who ever sat with delight in front of a movie screen. And let’s face it, that’s all of us. 

                           The Artist celebrates the history of cinema. There's even the chance you find yourself sick of hearing how good the movie is before seeing it. But really, don't pass up the opportunity to be dazzled and won over.

Trailer : 

The Artist have won 3 Golden Globes  and nominated for 10 Oscars.

The Artist - Imdb

The Descendants - Trouble In The Paradise

                            "The grief of parting and the agony of separation are the way of the world." says a proverb. The movie Descendants takes on the challenging subject of loss which can be seen as the dominant experience of our times. In the course of our lives, we have to give up and let go of much that we have loved. This involves large doses of pain but also can be the source of incredible growth and gain. It's an emotionally rich film that blends serious drama with many comic moments. The movie has George Clooney, who gives the finest, truest and most emotionally raw performance of his career.

      Based on the 2007 novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, THE DESCENDANTS tells of a real estate lawyer(in Hawaii, Matt King (Clooney), facing a crossroads in an otherwise comfortable, detached life. His wife lies in a coma after a freak boating accident, just as he prepares to sign off on the family’s substantial spread of unspoiled land for rich development. Don't worry Descendants isn't a when is she going to wake up? kind of movie. It's more like If she dies, what are we gonna do? kind of movie.
                  We refers to Matt and his two daughters. Matt's level-headed 17-year-old daughter, Alex (Shailene Woodley), then drops another bombshell: Mum was having an affair before the accident. Suddenly, the “back-up parent, the understudy” dad has to wake up and ask awkward, tough questions – not to mention become a hands-on parent for the first time.
          George Clooney , often hailed as one of the sexiest men alive, sheds the movie star image in a transformation to a guy in his 50s with graying hair and declining shoulders. He's no ladykiller. He's a father and husband who has failed in both roles and is trying to find his way. This ranks among Clooney's best performances because it's not flashy. He gives a pitch-perfect performance as a man awakened, for the first time in years, by the immensity of his loss. He has already won a golden globe and now nominated for Oscars too.
            Alexander Payne, who is the director and writer for the movie , takes a remarkable approach, by letting things play out leisurely. He captures the complexity of emotional reactions that grief stirs. The facts of what we see in front of us -- privileged family, tragic accident, multimillion dollar real-estate deal looming -- would suggest something far removed from real life for most of us. Payne's triumph is making it relatable to everyone. Payne has also picked up a stellar cast , who greatly assists Clooney. The supporting cast has a rebellious teenager, Alexandra, her nutty boy-friend Sid, and a irritating grand-dad. 

                                There aren’t any huge surprises about where “The Descendants” is going. So how much you like it will largely be a question of whether you enjoy getting there at Payne’s leisurely pace.The pace of the movie , only helps to deepen the film's intimate power. The incorporation of humor into the narrative allows viewers to experience sadness without drowning in it.   
                               To sum up, The Descendants is a grown-up, perceptive, funny film about family and responsibility, subjects rarely covered in movies except in cliched manner. If u want a movie for entertainment this isn't the one. But, if u want a movie to really connect with? then Descendants is damn perfect. 

Trailer : 

The trailer is a bit mis-leading , which plays up the film's slapstick elements.

The Matrix - The Movie of Our Generation

                             There are only two types of movie-viewers in our generation, one who liked 'Matrix' and the one who didn't. "I can only show you the door, you are the one who has to walk in", says Morpheus in Matrix.  So, the movie demands certain pre-requisites. One of them is a mind that is open to possibilities, to creativity. Just the way some Indian movies demand a mind open to impossibilities. The movie is  kinetic, atmospheric, visually stunning, and mind-bending.It is also a philosophy. Each time you see it, you discover something new. You understand some things better, you start thinking about more complex possibilities. 

    Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is leading a double life. To most people, he's a hard-working computer programmer who holds down a nine-to-five job for a major software corporation. But, in the privacy of his home, he's a hacker named Neo who is "guilty of virtually every computer crime [there's] a law for." Neo is dissatisfied with his existence, and, while he's looking for a meaning to it, he is contacted by a mysterious computer presence known as Morpheus. "Wake up Neo," a printout on his monitor screen reads. "The Matrix has you. Follow the white rabbit." And so begins an amazing odyssey for both Neo and the audience. 

         Keanu Reeves is not generally regarded as a strong actor, but, given the right part - one that doesn't demand much subtlety or emoting - he can be effective. His role as Neo fits the criteria. For more subtle performances, the Wachowski's rely on the rest of the cast: the always excellent Laurence Fishburne, Joe Pantalino, Carrie-Anne Moss , and a perfect and menacing Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith. The Wachowski brothers(Andy and Lana) intellectually engages you, stunning you on more than one occasion, while still managing to press the right buttons of entertainment value and outstanding special effects. 

                                      The movie-makers imagination is so sublime that unwittingly they seem to have put the movie out of the reach of many people’s comprehension levels. This film renders a perceptive towards the creation of Artificial Intelligence(AI). Many has the question 'What Is The Matrix.' 
                                    'Matrix' is  the approach to the, surreal and the intrigue of the internet world that has always primed us to explore. I am writing in a dream-like world of the internet, controlled by micro chip intelligence, but dictated by me! 

                                   The Matrix is everywhere, it's all around us , here before my eyes, there on your computer screen , you can see it out at your workplace, on the road. You can feel it when you talk ,when you are thinking ,or while you are sleeping. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. And the Saying from the movie is perfect, "Unfortunately, No one can be told what the matrix is, you have to see it for yourself."

                                If you like Matrix, then you should definitely see other under-rated movies like Dark City  and Existenz.

Memorable Quotes :  

"If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ’real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."

"I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it."

"I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure."  

The Matrix - Imdb 

Masters Of Cinema: Francis Ford Coppola

                               Francis Ford Coppola , the man behind the master-piece Godfather is one of the seminal filmmakers of the generation that changed the way movies are made. Five of the films he's worked on are listed among the American Film Institute's top 100 films ever made. He is a man who's spent his life seeking to realize his own artistic vision even as he acknowledges the force that truly drives Hollywood--box office receipts. 
                              Coppola is on every film critic's list of Hollywood's greatest directors. But he is renowned nearly as much for his mistakes as for his masterpieces, for his boastings as for his brilliance, for the money he has lost as for the fortunes he has made. In an era when playing it safe seems to be the creed of the Hollywood/Wall Street complex, Coppola is a driven, unpredictable renegade who has repeatedly gambled everything in an effort to bring his ideas to life, regardless of the cost.
  • He was born in 1939 in Detroit, USA, but he grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from, and did graduate work at UCLA in filmmaking. Coppola began his career directing low-budget films and working on screenplays for other directors.
  • He co-authored the script for Patton, winning the Academy Award in 1970. His directorial fame escalated with the release of The Godfather in 1972. The film revolutionized movie-making in the gangster genre, earning praise from critics and public alike. It went on to win three Academy Awards, including his second, for Best Adapted Screenplay, and was instrumental in cementing his position as a prominent American film director.
  • Caught polio when he was a child. During his quarantine, he practiced puppetry.
  • Was voted the 21st Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. Won five Oscars in four years - one in 1971 for Patton (1970), one in 1973 for The Godfather (1972), and three in 1975 for The Godfather: Part II (1974). Directed 12 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances.
  • Was in the early stages of developing a script for a fourth Godfather film with Mario Puzo which was to tell the story of the early lives of Sonny, Fredo and Michael. After Puzo's death in July of 1999, Coppola abandoned the project, stating that he couldn't do it without his friend.
  • Apocalypse Now, a grandiose work of flawed genius which nearly destroyed the lives and careers of all involved. Beginning with the heart attack of star Martin Sheen, the film suffered catastrophe after catastrophe, quickly going over budget and over schedule; as Coppola himself later noted, "little by little we went crazy." Begun in 1976, Apocalypse Now was not completed until three years and 30 million dollars later, where it premiered at Cannes as the winner of the Palm d'Or. It was subsequently released to wildly mixed reviews, despite garnering a pair of Oscars. 
  • Whatever its artistic merits, Apocalypse Now marked the beginning of a long downward spiral, as Coppola's brand of filmmaking grew more and more out of control.
  • However, 1992's lavish adaptation Bram Stoker's Dracula was a hit, restoring much of Coppola's box-office lustre. His next directorial effort was The Rainmaker, based on the courtroom drama by novelist John Grisham. The 1998 film drew a number of positive reviews, further helping to restore the director to good standing.
  • Coppola mostly maintains the role of producer for many years, now. He emerged from directorial retirement for the drama Youth Without Youth. Critics were disappointed with the film and it's a box-office failure too.
Coppola's Quotes :

"What the studios want now is "risk-free" films but with any sort of art you have to take risks. Not taking risks in art is like not having sex and then expecting there to be children."

"If the movie works, nobody notices the mistakes... If the movie doesn't work, the only thing people notice are mistakes." 

"The easiest way to make sure a movie is successful is to make a traditional movie very well. If you make a slightly unusual movie or [don't] exactly follow the rules as everyone sees them, then you get in trouble or, like with Apocalypse, wait 20 years to hear that was really good." 

"I heard about the success of The Godfather from my wife, who called me while I was writing Gatsby. I wasn't even there. Masterpiece, ha! I was not even confident it would be a mild success." 

"Anything you build on a large scale or with intense passion invites chaos."

                                          Francis Ford Coppola spearheaded a renaissance in American filmmaking, heralding a golden age in 1970's, ranging from films like Godfather to Apocalypse Now. One of his era's most impassioned talents, Coppola was also one of its most erratic; in both his career and his personal life, he experienced euphoric triumph and shattering tragedy, pushing the limits of the cinematic form with a daring and fervor which became the hallmarks of not only his greatest successes but also his most notorious failures. Since this spectacular failure in the early 1980s, Coppola has never quite delivered a masterpiece, offering only fleeting glimpses of his idiosyncratic talent.But, there is still a unshakable feeling that a return to form , must surely be imminent. 

Little Miss Sunshine - Fun In A Dysfunctional Family

                             American dysfunctional family! Is there anything more comically inspiring than a hard, hilarious look at the reality behind this cliché? "Little Miss Sunshine" shows us a world in which there's a form, a procedure, a job title, a diet, a step-by-step program, a career path, a prize, a retirement community, to sort, categorize and process every human emotion or desire. Nothing exists that cannot be compartmentalized or turned into a self-improvement mantra about "winners and losers."The movie comes closer to the truth about the way people really live--on the edge of fantasy-driven desperation. 

    Grandpa (Alan Arkin) does heroin. Dad (Greg Kinnear) hopes to become a motivational guru with a dreary nine-step program that asks people to banish their inner losers. Chubby little Olive (Abigail Breslin) is determined to become a prepubescent beauty queen, the Little Miss Sunshine of the title. That goal is not particularly advanced by her brother (Paul Dano) or her uncle (Steve Carell), a Proust scholar coming off a suicide attempt. Mom (Toni Collette) is loving but too distracted to cook.  
               The whole Hoover family bunch piles into a Volkswagen bus so that Olive can take her shot at the Miss Sunshine crown. The vehicle is a perfect symbol of the family's filmsy grip on reality. The hoover family then , handles every situation in the road-trip , as a comedy , with  a touch of darkness.

                 You just won't see a better acted, and better cast, movie than "Little Miss Sunshine." These actors grasp how unspoken reactions can be funnier than dialogue or punchlines. Alan Arkin,the veteran actor,  who steals every scene he's in. He rightfully won a supporting actor Oscar for this role. Steve Carell gives a surprising performance. He gains laughs , but not by doing anything outrageous or extreme. Abigail Bresnan as Olive is very talented , understands her part , and avoids the terminal cuteness that comes with the young actors. Paul Dano does a fine job as a self-imposed dumb teenager.
                            Only a good directors  like Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris could give us a feel-good movie with plenty of laughs and an upbeat ending out of a story that includes drug addiction, a suicide attempt, a death, and Nietzsche. The climactic segment, which ventures into near-horror movie territory with its depiction of seven-year old "beauty queens," is enough to make any sane viewer uncomfortable. Olive’s ‘talent’ spot proves so wildly inappropriate as to be the ultimate damning statement on these pedophile parades. The movie condemns this abusive culture with a mixture of satire and pity.

                               Little Miss Sunshine got a little bit for everyone, an easily identifiable premise that makes anyone who thought their family was the nuttiest feel a little closer to normal. It is a film for all those people who have tried and failed. The characters are life’s losers and they provide mirror images of so many of us. There is no great happy ending or profound message in Little Miss Sunshine except to suggest that success is relative, nobody is alone in feeling disappointment and family is important after all – even if they do drive us crazy. It is about losing, failing and the dignity in doing so once you accept that maybe the conventional definitions of success are as hollow and ugly as a child beauty pageant.

            Little Miss Sunshine is a heart-felt, thought provoking satirical comedy.