Movie reviews with esKape

esKape with a K

OCTOBER SKY May 17, 2009


OCTOBER SKY

Sometimes one dream is enough to light up the whole sky.

 October_Sky_aff

Director:  Joe Johnston

Cast:

Jake Gyllenhall

Chris Cooper

Laura Dern

 

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnX6yU8PJHE

 

This is a story of Homer Hickam, who resides in Coalwood, a town setup because of a coal mine present there. Every boy in town has only one path designated for their future, coal mine. Homer’s father John Hickam also wants his both sons to join him in the coal mine after they graduate from the local high school. His elder brother Jim plays football and gets a 100% scholarship for a college, then it’s up to Homer to fulfil his father’s dream.

Until one night as the townspeople gather outside one starry October night, they see the Soviet satellite Sputnik race across the sky. Filled with inspiration Homer gets an idea to escape working in the coal mines all of his life. He will build rockets.

He befriends a math geek Quentin who knows a thing or two about rocket science. Along with his two friends Roy Lee and Odell they start making small rockets. On this path there are few people to help and the most important one is their science teacher Miss Riley, who also tells them about the local science fair. The winners of the local science fair go to nationals and if they win that they get full scholarships for college.

As soon as they start working, they start facing obstacles. First of all they have only elementary knowledge of rocket science and they have to learn most of it through hit and trial, which obviously leads to disasters like in one instance their rocket lands into the office of Homer’s father, who already objects his son’s hobby to the full.

The boys figure out ways to solve until they are one day arrested by the local police saying that one of their rockets caused a small fire nearby. The dreams of the boys are then shattered. Very soon a accident in coal mine leaves John Hickam hospitalized and Homer working in the coal mine. John soon joins back but Homer has still not forgotten his dream. Along with Quentin they figure out a equation which tells them that their rocket would not have started the fire and also they found out the shell of their rocket miles away from the place where the fire started.

Explaining this to their Principal they get back their admission into the school and start preparing for the local science fair, which they at last win. Now school can not afford to send all the four for the National Science Fair so Homer gets to go. His Rocket Project generates a lot of curiosity among the people visiting the fair, but just a day before when the judges had to arrive someone steals Homer’s rocket.

With no hope left he tells the story to his mom who then goes to demands his father to help his son by laying off the strike and having his workers build a new rocket in the workshop. He agrees and the next day Homer gets his Rocket in time to show to the judges and bagging the first prize at the national level and getting all four of them full scholarships to the top colleges.

FEW COMMENTS

Based on a true story.

Awesome background score and superb acting by Jake Gyllenhall.

Most inspirational film i have ever seen. If i had seen it a few years ago during my school days , I would have cracked IIT.

 lights, camera, action

eskapeartist

 

 

LEON : THE PROFESSIONAL May 14, 2009

Filed under: movies — eskapeartist @ 7:51 pm
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LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL

If you want a job done well hire a professional.

Director: Luc Besson

Cast: Jean Reno, Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman

leon

Leon is a professional hitman, whose best friend is a “plant”. He lives next door to Mathilda, a 12 yr old rebellious nature girl.  One day she comes back home from market and finds that her entire family is being assassinated by a corrupt police official. She calmly continues down the hallway past the open door of her family’s apartment, and receives sanctuary from a reluctant Leon.

Mathilda, who soon discovers that Leon is a hitman, begs him to become her caretaker, and to teach her his skills as a “cleaner”: she wants to avenge the murder of her four-year-old brother, the only member of her family that she actually loved. Leon hesitantly accepts her offer and the two begin working together, slowly building an emotional attachment between one another, with Leon becoming a friend and father figure.

As Mathilda increases her confidence and experience, she locates Stansfield, follows him to his office in the DEA building in an attempt to kill him, only to be ambushed by Stansfield in a bathroom. Leon, discovering her intentions after reading a note left for him by Mathilda, rushes to the building and rescues her, shooting two of Stansfield’s men in the process.

One day, as Mathilda returns home from grocery shopping, an Emergency Service Unit team, sent by Stansfield, takes her hostage and attempts to infiltrate Leon’s apartment. Leon ambushes with the ESU team after sending Mathilda through vent to safety.

If I tell you more it would be a BIG SPOILER. So watch this movie for an exceptional acting by Natalie Portman and Jean Reno and awesome action sequences.

Lights, camera, action

eskapeartist

 

EASTERN PROMISES May 10, 2009

Filed under: movies — eskapeartist @ 9:35 am
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EASTERN PROMISES

 

Every Sin Leaves A Mark

eastern-promises

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq_M8EOC4zA&feature=fvst

Director: David Cronenberg

Cast:

 

In London, Anna Khitrova saves child of a Russian tonnages pregnant girl, Tatiana who dies during childbirth. She finds her diary and a card of Trans-Siberian restaurant. The restaurant is run by Semyon, a boss in Russian mafia. With the help of his uncle who translates Tatiana’s diary from Russian. She founds out from the diary that Kirill son of the boss had forced Tatiana in to prostitution and that Semyon had also raped the girl.

Kirill’s driver is the Russian-born Nikolai Luzhin, who also serves as the family’s “undertaker”, dumping dead bodies in the River Thames. Nikolai’s star rises within the mafia community, due in part to Nikolai’s protection of Kirill, who had authorized a hit on a rival Chechen leader. The hit was not approved by Semyon and was ill-advised, with the Chechen’s brothers coming to England to seek vengeance. Semyon, afraid for his son’s safety, hatches a plan. Semyon arranges to give “Kirill” up to the Chechens, which involves making Nikolai a Lieutenant in the vory, the same rank as Kirill, so he gets the same distinctive tattoos (stars over the left and right side of his chest). A meeting is arranged at Finsbury steam baths, and the Chechens are told that the tattooed Nikolai is actually Kirill. The Chechens attack Nikolai with knives, but Nikolai is able to kill them both. Nikolai is seriously wounded and is admitted to the hospital where Anna works.

Anna asks Nikolai where her missing uncle Stepan is. Nikolai says he sent Stepan to a luxury hotel in Edinburgh to keep him safe after he read Tatiana’s diary. Anna discovers that Kirill has kidnapped the baby, to prevent her being evidence in a rape case against Semyon. Anna and Nikolai go to the Thames and find Kirill with the baby, still alive, struggling with his conscience. Nikolai talks Kirill into giving Anna the baby and allying with Nikolai against Semyon.

It is revealed near the end of the film that Nikolai is actually a member of the Russian Security Services (FSB) and a Scotland Yard informer on the Russian mafia in London as part of his undercover duties. Nikolai was able to read Tatiana’s diary before Semyon destroyed it, and develops a plan to have Semyon arrested and convicted for Tatiana’s rape, making Kirill the most powerful member of the London branch of the mob, but with Nikolai as the power behind the throne. The plan works, with Anna gaining custody of the baby and Nikolai eventually becoming the London mafia crime boss.

 lights, camera, action

eskapeartist

 

Coffee & Cigarettes May 5, 2009


COFFEE & CIGARETTES

jarmusch_shop_cigarettes_dvd_1 

Director: Jim Jarmusch

 Coffee & Cigarettes is a collection of 11 short films all having a common theme of discussion over a cup of coffee and cigarettes. The film has been shot in complete black and white. It is an odd, inscrutable film set where waiters spout theories about evil twins or do not appear at all, where food is never consumed and conversation is cryptic, circular, rich, and invariably dissatisfying.

Some of the episodes flat out don’t work at all, but most of them do. From one scene to the next, you never know what to expect, and that’s thrilling.

The best of director Jim Jarmusch I have to say, I have seen his many films and I can comfortably say he is the master of anthology films. The way he shows the small, meaningless, basic moments of life with his traditional Stationary Camera viewpoint is what movies were meant to be.

The eleven segments of this film are:

1. Strange to meet you

2. Twins

3. Somewhere in California

4. Those things’ll kill ya

5. Renee

6. No Problem

7. Cousins

8. Jack shows Meg his Tesla coil

9. Cousins?

10. Delirium

11. Champagne

 lights, camera, action

eskapeartist

 

Into The Wild May 2, 2009


            INTO THE WILD

                                      YOUR GREAT ADVENTURE ON ALASKA              

 

Director: Sean Penn

Writer:  Jon Krakauer (book)  

Trailer:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LAuzT_x8Ek

 into_the_wild_movie_poster

“Into the Wild “is a biography on the life of Christopher McCandless.

The film is set in the early ’90s, when Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch), who is just out of college, leaves the privileged life he has known to become a self-styled vagabond. He exits his existence, donating his savings ($24,292) to Oxfam, dropping out in the style of a ’60s hippie-tramp who’s trashed all ambition.

Here, though, there is no counterculture to second his voyage. He’s spiritually out on his own. Christopher isn’t rebelling against anything too remarkable. On the road, he gripes about the evils of ”society,” and he nurses family wounds.

The beauty of Into the Wild, which Penn has written and directed with magnificent precision and imaginative grace, is that what Christopher is running from is never as important as what he’s running to.

Into the Wild delivers his journey to your senses.

The people Christopher meets, and touches, along the way are as much a part of the trip as his crash course in wilderness survival. Catherine Keener and Brian Dierker as hippie wanderers, Hal Holbrook (in a luminous performance) as an old man cocooned in his loneliness — these are quietly distressed hangers-on of the sort you rarely see in movies. You can feel Penn, along with his hero, struggling to locate a hidden America.

lights, camera, action

eskapeartist

 

The Straight Story May 1, 2009


THE STRAIGHT STORY

 straight_story_ver1

Director: David Lynch

Cast:

Richard Farnsworth

Sissy Spacek

Harry Dean Stanton

 

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OnsVDKjhpc

 

Alvin Straight is a 73 year old man who lives in a small and quite town of Laurens, Iowa. He lives there with his daughter who is slow witted.

One day he receives a call from his brother’s family that his brother just survived a massive heart attack.

Alvin is not in talking terms with his brother for the past ten years, so he plans to put aside all the differences between him and his brother before it’s too late.

But their is only one problem, how does he get there? He cant drive a car due to his health problem, he does not like to travel in bus. So he figures out that he has to make this 300 mile trip on his LAWN MOVER.

He makes himself a makeshift trailer to keep all his things on the trip and starts the journey, but to his dismay his lawn mover dies just 10 miles outside the town. But determined to make this trip he goes to a dealer and buys a 1966 John Deere lawnmower with a top speed of 5 miles an hour.

By day he travels on the road and at nights he camps out in the fields off the road making a campfire for himself every night.

Along the way he meets many people. One is a pregnant hitchhiker who he inspires to go back to home. Then he encounters a cycle race and a lady who has just run over a deer on the highway.

As the landscape begins to undulate, Alvin’s trusty mower goes out of control and he speeds down a steep hill and it turns out to have fan-belt and transmission failure. Then he stays for couple of days with a kind couple until his mower gets fixed.

Alvin then crosses the Mississippi River into Wisconsin, slowly approaching his brother’s home.

After stopping in a bar in Mount Zion and drinking his first beer in years, Alvin makes the final stage of his journey down a dirt road to his brother’s shack where he is finally reunited with Lyle at last.

 

Few Comments:

Based on a true story.

So touching that you would be forced to mend your broken relationship.

 

Lights, camera, action

eskapeartist

 

Failan April 28, 2009

Filed under: movies — eskapeartist @ 7:52 pm
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Failan

 

Director: Hae-sung Song

Writer: Jiro Asada

Cast:

Min-sik Choi as Kang Jae

Cecilia Cheung as Failan

failanp2

Failan after losing her parents goes to Korea to meet her relatives, who have left for Canada long time back. With no hope of going back to her homeland China, she goes for an arranged marriage through an agency, so she can become citizen of Korea and start a new life here.

Kang Jae is an old gangster, who has only one aim in life: to buy a boat and go back to his village. Kang Jae marries Failan for money, and does not even care to meet Failan and just takes a look at her picture only.

Failan starts working in a village in a laundry shop helping the old lady who employed her, as well as learning korean.

She keeps on writing letters to her husband, whom she deeply loves and respects because he married her, but never has the courage to post them.

One day Kang Jae recieves a call from the police dept that her wife has died. This is not the only worry that he has to face, his boss has killed someone and wants Kang Jae to take the blame on himself, in exchange for money and boat.

As for Police record verification Kang Jae has to Go the village where Failan lived and attend her funeral. On the way he starts thinking about his wife, and slowly starts falling in love with her.

Finally after attending the funeral and getting in deep love with his dead wife, Kang Jae realizes all the mistakes he had made.
He goes back to his boss rejects his offer to go to jail and leaves for his village.

 

My comments:

Finest Korean movie i have ever seen.

Acting by Cecilia Cheung (failan) is good, but the showstopper is Min-sik Choi who puts so much real emotions in his part that even a man would cry after seeing this movie. I bet this.

Special accolades to director Hae-sung Song for fantastically converting the novel written by Jiro Asada.