Posts Tagged ‘entertainment


Review: The Conjuring

conjuring-poster-doll-rocking chair-womanThe latest Hollywood horror film to hit India is quite generous with the scares. This movie review doesn’t contain spoilers.

conjuringI LOVE IT when film-makers start explaining horror movies. It shows that they know what they’ve made and why they’ve made it. How they’ve made it isn’t important to me, as long as it delivers the goods. Which is why The Conjuring might be worth a watch after all, despite the hype and hoo-haa. Of course you know the family low-on-cash that’s just moved into a new house. And what a setting it is – everybody living in the cursed city of Mumbai would shamelessly kill to have a home like that, in a place like that. We’ll talk no more of the family till the next paragraph, and instead focus on the demonologist couple. They’re there and they care about people, helping out unfortunate victims of possession. The ones to feel sorry of are the families of those whose body a ghost/spirit/entity has taken over. The demonic force usually wreaks havoc on the entire family and haunts the house and latches itself on to every single person, which means there is no escape, and in the cases that it doesn’t happen this way, the family still suffers.

IMG_7586.dngYou actually feel interested in The Conjuring because the demonology experts are so real. They’re not your standard exorcists who either do the job or die trying. They’re real people with their own lives and a family to protect and live for. The soon-to-be-tormented family has moved  in, and the disturbance begins soon enough. It’s not the people or the house that are haunted… it’s the entire land. Cursed by a Satanist who was caught sacrificing her infant and proclaimed her love to Satan before hanging herself from a tree. It’s eerie, this story. And soon enough, the not-so-well-to-do couple and their five daughters know that nothing is right and everything is wrong for them, and they leave themselves completely dependent on the demonologist duo’s expertise. What follows is a bit of fun: the duo forms a team (with two others) to record the goings-on in the house to present it as proof of a haunting in order to get a nod from the Vatican for exorcism, while the daughters in the family get thrown around by an invisible force. It’s based on a true story, the events of which happened in 1971, and this is far more paranormal activity than the third part of that franchise. This movie has an imaginary friend, too… but Rory isn’t dangerous like Toby.

the_conjuring_trailer_bannerAs expected, the Catholic church takes time to help those in need, and I must mention here that the children hadn’t been baptised and the family isn’t a bunch of church-goers either. So we have a possessed family that hasn’t taken Christianity all that seriously (they get bonus points for that) haunted by the ghost of a Satanic witch along with other spirits and demonic entities; the family’s sleep and peace wrecked by the creepy sounds and disturbing sights they are subjected to in their new home, and a bunch of believers trying to help them out of the mess. That sounds like a great story to me, considering Christians wouldn’t be able to help anybody at any point, mainly because they themselves are seeking divine blessings all the time, which means they are the ones in need of help. Sorry, I didn’t mean to go off again, although I would’ve said the same about people who follow any other religion or even acknowledge the existence of god or a higher power. Anyway, The Conjuring has a few scares which might excite some of you, but The Exorcist it isn’t. What it is, though, is a carefully crafted film that is quite generous with the scares, doesn’t seem nonsensical and keeps you hooked for most part.

RATING: 2.5/5


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Movie Review: ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur 2’ is a major disappointment

It was too good to be true. Anurag Kashyap has bitten off more than he can chew. Part One of his revenge saga is a superbly crafted film worth quite a few watches, and it deserves a hell of a follow-up that should explode in your face. Several new characters are introduced in Part Two, and each has his unique style that’s supposed to set him apart from the rest and earn him a place in your memory. Gangs of Wasseypur 2 is supposed to be a lot of things: a mind-blowing continuation of GoW 1; a movie powerful enough to stand on its own; the thunderous conclusion to a riveting tale of vengeance.

Gangs of Wassepur 2 is Anurag Kashyap losing the plot. Kashyap juggles with too many objects to impress, and all fall down. GoW 2 is a botched collage in which everyone has a bone to pick with someone. You don’t need to have a brass band performing at death ceremonies because that kind of contrast (it’s so… RGV) doesn’t impress you anymore. It’s a mockery of a very serious situation, and the same can be said about Gangs of Wasseypur 2. Even the wacky music and the attempts at humour start to feel excessive, and the less said about the tributes to the Hindi film industry, the better. Bollywood is seeping out of every pore of GoW 2. If you want to go filmy, take a break from the offbeat filmmaking and just go filmy – don’t use Bollywood to evoke laughter throughout the movie only because you’re secretly dying to be all that and are too embarrassed to do it openly.

Gangs of Wasseypur 2 is a bloody mess of a movie that doesn’t let itself be taken seriously.

RATING: 2.5/5

Movie Review: Gangs Of Wasseypur 1

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Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

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Christopher Nolan gives his fantastic trilogy an exhilarating end

It’s fitting, really, that a comic superhero this revered has movies made on him by a filmmaker whose vision penetrates deep into what seems impossible to think up. Christopher Nolan has taken a tired franchise (fuck you, Joel Schumacher) and recharged it for eternity. The Batman has been elevated to a place so high that it will make us laugh if anybody as much as talks about attempting to revive him in cinema after Chris Nolan’s trilogy.

The reluctant crusader with inner demons to fight must battle Bane, a monster of a man with a goal to terrorize and blow Gotham to smithereens.  Tom Hardy plays the bald beast in a mask Hannibal Lecter might like to try, and imposes with physical presence and an absurdly gruff voice. Here’s where you can forget about the Joker and understand that different villains can do things differently as long as they’re menacing enough.

The Dark Knight Rises has Bruce Wayne struggling to make his comeback as the Batman, a role Christian Bale is very familiar with. While we already know what he’s like as the billionaire with little to look forward to and the vigilante who hammers the hell out of bad guys while making sure he doesn’t kill them, it is Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway who have your attention. Caine, as the caring, witty and lovably shrewd Alfred, keeps the chuckles coming, dry as they are. Hathaway, not once called ‘Catwoman’ to her face, is slender and agile and looks irresistible in her suit.

What’s really going to stay with me is Joseph’s Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake – there’s no way you can’t love the last thing you learn about him.

Christopher Nolan succeeds once again in telling a superhero story the way it needs to be told. The Dark Knight Rises is a motivational and inspiring tale of a man as human as us you all, and teaches us that heroes are men of action; the ones who see something wrong and fix it with their hands. The Dark Knight Rises is a gratifying watch that will thrill the hell out of you, and this reviewer’s claps and whistles weren’t for the Batman as they were for Christopher Nolan as he ended his fantastic trilogy with an exhilarating ride. Now if only we could get one of those machines.

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Music Review: Six Feet Under – Undead

Chris Barnes gets the band almost back on track with simple and consistent pummeling

It’s been so long since Six Feet Under released a few songs worthy of my ears that this feels right. SFU, with their new lineup, take things back to how they were on the first three albums, and throw in a few riffs that could have been on Cannibal Corpse‘s early work. 18 Days, for example. The band sounds in control even as vocalist Chris Barnes starts barking midway as if to protect his weed from pesky stray dogs in the lane.

Barnes, revered for the phenomenal growling he did as the first vocalist of Cannibal Corpse, is now also known for his poor singing on and the silly lyrics he wrote for Six Feet Under‘s last many albums. He sounds just fine singing about his ‘victims’ and their state (missing, lifeless, raped, limbless and other such joyful conditions) and not so fine ranting against anti-drug laws and the criminalization of marijuana users (even if we consider Victim Of The Paranoid one of SFU‘s better songs). He sounds so comfortable singing about how he feels free to kill on Blood On My Hands that you believe the pothead has a fantasy of murdering and getting away with it.

Most of the songs on Undead are not even worth a second listen unless you’re a big fan of Six Feet Under. The album wants to go death n’ roll but doesn’t stop trying to be CC of the Barnes era. The guy must be stoned all the time if he can’t tell how bad his highs (we’re talking about his singing) are, and not even a three-year-old would be scared by the way he goes “Eeeee!”. SFU‘s early work showed an effort at songwriting: it was groovy and catchy as fuck, with Barnes vomiting golden lines like, “I pull your insides out through your lipless mouth.”

It’s weird that the new lineup hasn’t made all that much of a difference to Six Feet Under‘s output. Still, Undead is not as bad as you’d expect a new album from SFU to be, and would be likable if it wasn’t such a disjointed effort. Oh, maybe I shouldn’t use words like ‘disjointed’, for they might make Barnes rasp all the way to the studio for another bong hit.

RATING: 2.5/5

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