Monday, March 12, 2012

Top 5 TV shows you must watch before you die

Hello everyone :) ! Let me tell you, my personal list of Top 5 TV shows you must watch before you die.

Well, TV is funny. It has a thousand channels and ten thousand shows, yet when we sit in front of TV to watch something, all you get is some pathetic shows.
Why do you try out the list here? It doesn’t matter how you watch it: On your TV, laptop or even tablet. If you like TV, these are the shows that you simply can’t afford to miss in your lifetime.

1. L O S T

The beginning of television can be traced back to 1884. But it took 120 years finally to use this medium to the fullest... for LOST to begin in 2004.
What is L O S T all about?
It’s the story of survivors of a plane crash in a strange island.  That’s where it all begins.
It’s a mystery. It’s a thriller. It’s a drama.
Spanning 6 seasons, LOST told the biggest and the most intriguing story ever told in the history of television. LOST is a one big epic story with a beginning and an end.  Probably there wont be another show like LOST and so it will spoil you, because anything else you watch after this show, would be just not be “LOST” enough.

2. F.R.I.E.N.D.S

This show basically defined the 90s- A Sitcom about a couple of friends living in New York. Yup that’s pretty much it.(Ed- My best friend thinks friends should be on the top spot!) A complete LOL show that takes you on a ride filled with loads of laughter, fun, love and the best of all- friendship.  It hasn’t aged a bit even though it has been ten years now since its finale.  If you love to laugh, go watch it. It will make your life seem a way lot easier.

3. 24

Jack bauer. He is the man, he is the best action figure I have ever come across. What makes him so special? It is because he is a human. Unlike other heroes where they win all the time, every where, Jack bauer is a brave man yet he doesn’t always win and he has to make a lot of personal sacrifices to do what he is supposed to do. He is a CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) agent who has to stop viruses, bombs and assassination attempts in L.A The best part of 24 is that the story is told in real time and so no flashbacks or flashforwards. 24 episodes of a season potrays 24 hours of a day.

4. Arrested Development

Now this is not yous usual sitcom. It is crazy. It is weird. But its addictive! Its about one big crazy family where Michael bluth( the only sensible person) takes over his dads business and the countless problems he has to face. It is produced by Ron howard ( Director of A beautiful mind, Da vinci code) and it is the highest rated comedy in IMDB. Now that is something right?!

5. Sherlock

 The name is Holmes. Sherlock Holmes
This is the only show on this list which is still on air. Well Sherlock is a UK TV series telcasted in BBC which is basically the modern interpration of the most genius detective we have ever known.
Only 6 episodes till now, but each episode is for about 90 mins and hence its gives a feeling of watching a movie. Brilliantly written and technically way ahead of all other tv series.  This is the perfect homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and I will even say that it is even better than the Sherlock holmes movies directed by Guy Ritchie. With just two seasons, it has become a masterpiece.

Hope you liked my list. Well these are my personal views and I haven’t seen all the shows on TV. Im sure there are quite a few,  equally good shows  which I haven’t seen yet.  
So what is your list? Let me know!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Tower Heist - DVD review

A Crime comedy starring Ben stiller and Eddie Murphy and this movie was released without much artificial hype surrounding it. Not that I don’t like Ben stiller, but I was sceptical about watching him in a crime-comedy despite hearing some good reviews.  But after 104 minutes (exact runtime), I have to say, the movie is surprisingly good.

The plot is like a group of good hearted and hard working men is cheated by a billionaire’s Ponzi scheme, and so they set out to take revenge by stealing his hidden money. The best part about the movie is that it never tries too hard to impress. Credits go to the writers and director Brett Ratner.  Even though it’s a crime comedy, I would say it is more like a breezy feel good comedy involving a crime.
If you expect an ocean’s eleven or the Italian job, you will be disappointed. Because the heist part of the movie is pretty much ordinary and the whole movie is about how they plan the heist.  It is neither an intelligent movie nor a fast paced action/thriller. Ben stiller and Eddie Murphy have given some controlled and solid performances.  Supporting cast is also commendable. Despite falling into the crime genre, it is rated as PG-13, and I have to say excluding some few scenes, this movie can be rated as PG, which shows how subtle the humour is throughout the movie.  Yet another good thing about the movie is that they have avoided unnecessary subplots and romantic interests.
These days it is quite hard to find a movie which doesn’t try to over sell, especially if it’s a comedy.  With most of them carrying tag lines like – “Best comedy after Hangover”. But this one stands apart with an original script and some real witty one liners. The movie may not make you roll on the floor laughing nor will it give anything to have a serious conversation about, once the movie is over. However If you are looking forward to watch a light hearted well-paced comedy  on a Saturday night with a tub of popcorn in your hand, you won’t go wrong with this one.

Go for it and I would rate it 3.5/5.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ten most anticipated movies in 2012!

2011 was a disappointing year where only a handful of films managed to get into our favourite movies list. But what do we have in store for 2012? Well I can write about the history of movies and what went wrong in 2011 and stuff…
But Why bother? Lets cut to the chase!

1.       The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Adventure | Fantasy)
Director: Peter Jackson
Release date: 14 December, 2012

Whats the Buzz? : Prequel to The Lord of the Rings. This one statement is enough to make it the most anticipated movie of the year. However there is much more it.
I have written a long post about it here. Check it out

2.       The Dark Knight Rises (Action | Crime | Drama)

Director: Christopher Nolan
Release date: 20 July, 2012
Whats the Buzz? : Epic conclusion to the Batman Saga. 8 minutes teaser in IMAX already has captured all the hearts. New villain Bane is supposed to surpass the evilness of Joker.
So how will Christopher Nolan end the series?! Fingers crossed!

3.       The Avengers (Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi)

Director: Joss Whedon
Release date: 4 May, 2012
Whats the Buzz? : Okay now this is the perfect summer film! We know this movie is not gonna win any awards, but when you have Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America all in one action-fun film, you will just not get the tickets for the movie in first week.

4.       Skyfall (Action | Adventure | Thriller)

Director: Sam Mendes
Release date: 26 Oct, 2012
Whats the Buzz? : James Bond Returns. Again.
Trailer: Not Yet Released 

5.       Men in Black III (Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi)

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Release date: 25 May, 2012
Whats the Buzz? : The fun movie series is getting its third instalment.
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones returns once again to handle the aliens on earth. Now that should be perfect popcorn fun! Executive produced by none other than Steven Spielberg

6.       The Amazing Spider-Man (Action | Adventure | Thriller)

Director: Marc Webb
Release date: 3 July, 2012
Whats the Buzz? : Spiderman Reboot. Was it really necessary to have the whole spidey biting peter parker all over again? That too so soon?! Im not sure. But apparently the studios wanted a darker version of Spiderman and this is what they have made. Well trailer looks promising.

7.       Brave (Animation | Action | Adventure)

Director: Mark Andrews
Release date: 22 June, 2012
Whats the Buzz? : Disney-Pixar brings you yet another fantasy adventure film. I felt the trailer was a bit disappointing for a pixar film. But I felt the same for UP(2009) too and the movie was fantastic. Well when the masters of animation returns, they cant just go wrong. Can they?

8.       Lincoln (Biography | Drama | History)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Release date: December, 2012
Whats the Buzz? : A Spielberg movie about Abraham Lincoln. That says it all.
Trailer: Not Yet Released 

9.       Prometheus (Action | Horror | Sci-Fi)

Director: Ridley Scott
Release date: 8 June, 2012
Whats the Buzz? : Looks like a Prequel to Aliens and it is written by the writer of LOST. The plot is like In the late 21st Century, the crew of the Prometheus explore the advanced civilization of an extraterrestrial race as part of a mission to uncover the origins of humanity. If this sounds interesting , you should totally check out the trailer!

10.   Ice Age: Continental Drift (Animation | Adventure | Comedy)

Director: Steve Martino,Mike Thurmeier
Release date: 13 July, 2012
Whats the Buzz? : The fourth instalment in Popular Ice age series (the only successful animated series by 20th Century Fox). Well Ice Age is kinda cute isn it? Cant wait for the crazy Scrat running behind acorns!

So this year looks promising and if everything goes well, it’s a treat for movie fans!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One movie to change them all...

"Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for 
Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the 
Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of 
Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."
-          J.R.R.Tolkien

One Ring. It is all about that one ring!! J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic saga THE LORD OF THE RINGS

Even J.R.R wouldn’t have believed it, if someone had told him that his work, fifty years after its publication, will turn into the biggest and most admired cinema mankind has ever made. 

When Peter Jackson wanted to make it into a movie, everyone was sceptical about its success. But we all know what happened after the trilogy was released. It was released over 3 years, one movie on each Christmas. 

The three films put together were nominated for 30 Academy Awards, of which they won a whopping 17!  A record for any movie trilogy!!! On its own, The Return of the King tied the previous record of 11 academy awards and won in every category it was nominated in, an extremely rare feat!  The movie shares the record for winning the maximum number of academy awards, with Titanic and Ben Hur. The trilogy was a great financial success, with the films collectively being the sixth highest-grossing film series of all-time.

After 10 years, Peter Jackson now returns, to make the book- The Hobbit (prequel of The Lord of the Rings) into a movie. This time the book is going to be made into 2 films. The first part will be released on December 2012 and the next on December 2013. But there is something about The Hobbit that is going to be PHENOMENAL, even if you haven’t seen a single LOTR movie….

One movie to change them all...

The first BIG thing about The Hobbit is that, it is the first feature film to be shot  at the frame rate of 48 frames per second.
All our movies have been shot in 24 frames since the 1920s. We have lived for over 9 decades with 24 fps, because back then it was the most affordable frame rate available. Did you know that the human eye sees things at 60frames per second? That is the reason why, no matter what blu-ray you use, movie clips always have that blur in scenes, where there is some moving object on screen.

For the first time, a movie is being shot using a camera which supports 48fps,  the process requires both shooting and projecting at 48fps. These days, most of the new digital projectors are capable of projecting at 48 fps, with only the digital servers needing some firmware upgrades.
So how does a movie shot in 48frames per second look?

The movie you see will have hugely enhanced clarity and smoothness. The difference in clarity from a normal movie and The Hobbit will be the same as that of, a normal VCD and HD 1080 medium.

And what more? Once you get used to 48fps, you might even feel uncomfortable watching normal movies! The difference between 48fps and 60fps speeds is almost impossible to detect, but the increase in quality over 24 fps is collosal.

The Hobbit will be shot by a camera called The EPIC, which is a successor to RED's industry changing camera- Red One. It has 5K resolution, can shoot up to 120 frames per second and has a new HDRx™ mode for the highest dynamic range of any digital cinema camera ever made.

5k resolution?  The normal High definition video that you get to see is 1080 pixels. However this is 5000 pixels! You can see the difference in left side.

The Hobbit is probably the first feature film in the world to use The EPIC and at least 48 cameras are used for the 3-D production. The EPIC'S small size and relatively low weight, makes it perfect for 3-D – where two cameras have to be mounted on each 3D rig. In order to capture shots in 3D, here two cameras are used at the same time: One's the left eye, one's the right eye. One shoots through a mirror, the other one bounces off a mirror. So that the 2 pictures are perfectly overlaid. The shots from both the cameras are converged and are telecasted live on the computer, so you can actually see the movie in 3D, as and when it is shot.

So what does 48fps plus RED 3D mean?
It means for the first time you can watch a 3D movie without having that headache or the uneasiness that you generally get when you watch something in 3D. For the first time, you can watch 3D with the same ease of a normal movie! And it is not just that.. Watching a 48fps movie in 3D will basically make you feel that you are inside that world!!!

And there is another first to The Hobbit. 

For the first time ever, each and every scene of a movie has been handrawn in 3D, to analyse how it feels like before actually shooting it. So for the same, every scene is hand drawn twice. One picture is drawn in blue colour and the other in Red. Then both are mixed to see how that particular shot will look on a 3D screen. Yes. It took them months to just finish the drawings. There is a sample of a 3D drawing from The Hobbit on the right side.

There is a downside to using this Epic Camera: it tends to eat up  red colour. Hence if you shoot a normal human, the face might end up looking bit yellowish. To rectify this, each and every actor  has applied extra make up by adding more red tone to the skin (as u can see below), so that when they are ultimately shown on the big screen, they will look normal.

Even for the forests, they had to  make everything look ultra-bold, so that  when the picture comes on screen, it doesn’t look colour deprived.
So during the editing, they had to make sure in each and every shot, the colours are balanced, if not artificial colour was added.  Or in the other case, the colours were graded down to get the perfect visual with the barest hint of colour in the film.
The problem of using such advanced technology has another problem. Everything you shoot just has to be real. For example, even for the wigs that characters use, you just can’t use any wig, and you have to actually use human hair.

Hence for The hobbit, each and every wig on set is made using real human hair! Even the fabric of their clothes had to be changed to make it look real on screen.

But it is not just the technical advancements; this film has got much more to it. The Hobbit is going to be the biggest (literally) film ever made. It has the biggest logistical movement in cinematic history!
For shooting a scene at a different location, they have to  literally transport 700 members as crew! It is a movie which has to be shot in different locations which is spread in different countries. So to shoot the same, they have to fly along with 700 members each time not to mention the hundreds of equipment they have to transport.

On road, they always have 240 vehicles to transport the entire set from one place to another. Also they have to transport numerous animals in a coordinated move and it requires everyone to show up at the right place at the right time. Add in those little real-life necessities like food, shelter, and bathrooms. It is easy to imagine, anything could go wrong with such a huge film on making. But the man behind all this is Peter Jackson or actually Sir Peter Robert Jackson (because he was knighted by Governor-General of New Zealand in 2010)

So this December, you are going to witness the beginning of a new era  in cinema.
Enter the world of Middle earth. Mark the date.
14 December 2012- 


One movie to change them all...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Tale of 3 movies

Bollywood- Well isn’t the name itself copied (oh sorry, “inspired”) from Hollywood?

Ever since the 90s, Bollywood has remade a lot of movies from hollywood, kollywood, tollywood, malluwood,sandalwood and god knows from how many other woods ! Just in this year, top grossers of Bollywood- Bodygaurd and Singham are remakes of South Indian movies. And before that movies like- Ghajini, Garam masala, Hera Pheri, Wanted were all quite successful remakes. Then movies like Humraaz, Murder, Naqaab were all remade from Hollywood movies. Well it is definitely not a bad thing to remake, not at all! But copying someone else’s work and taking the credit for themselves?

As we saw in the list above, these are all remade/ copied from movies. But I’m going to talk about 3 movies which are copied from TV series and not really many are aware of them.First in the list is the movie NEWYORK 2009 directed by Kabir khan and written by Aditya Chopra.The movie was a hit and was praised for its ‘fresh’ story. But no one realised that it’s a blatant copy from the TV series LOST.

The story is about a taxi driver (Neil Nithin Mukesh) in New York who is arrested by the cops and they ask him to go undercover, because they suspect his college buddy (john Abraham) is a terrorist now. So Neil is forced by the FBI agent to catch up his old friend and track his activities. Then he realises John is actually a terrorist and he tries to stop him. But in the end, John’s bomb plan is stopped and he dies.

LOST is my all-time favourite TV series. It is escapist television at its best! New York is copied from the 21st episode of Season 1 of LOST.

 In the show, Sayid jarrah is captured by a CIA agent and she asks him to go undercover because Sayid’s friend when he was studying in Cairo University is a suspected terrorist now. The story is same as I described above for New York. Here also in the climax, Sayid reveals to his friend that he is an undercover , when his friend is about to bomb a building and he stops him. It ends up with his friend's death and mission is aborted. To clear the doubts, this episode was aired in 2005 and New York was released in 2009.

There is also a particular scene in New York which is copied not from a Tv series, but from the movie Crash. The scene is like two police officers stop a car and they molest a lady while her helpless male friend watches. That is a rip off from the 2004 movie CRASH.

Let’s move on to the second movie in the list which is I hate Luv stories. If you hate Love stories, this is the movie you should skip first. It is a cheesy love story written and directed by Punit Malhotra. So is the story of this movie also copied from a TV series? No... Why? Because the movie has got no story!
But most of the scenes from this movie (including the climax) are copied from the popular sitcom HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.

First one I would like to mention is HOT BADTAMEEZ scale mentioned in the movie which is purely copied from the HOT CRAZY scale of Barney Stinson.

Then you have so many small things in the movie like, a wingman; pickup lines which are all lifted from the TV show. Especially the “I’m watching you” sign portrayed by Barney is copied here.

They even lifted a joke totally from HIMYM.  Check out the conversation below.
Robin: My father was a cigar fanatic, it was the only way to get his attention.
Barney: Father issues. Hot.
Robin: I know... I was this close to being a huge slut.
Barney: Slut would have been better, but I'll settle for bro. Especially now that Ted's with Victoria and can't drink. Because he's pregnant. Cause he's the girl.
Robin: Oh, come on, Ted can't be pregnant. You need to have sex to get pregnant.
Barney: What up! Freeze frame high five!

The same joke is copied and that is self-explanatory in the image below:

At last there is the Climax scene in “I hate Luv stories”, where in Sonam kapoor is watching a romantic movie and in that movie, the hero is running across the streets to meet his girl and propose to her. At the same time, Imran khan in real is running down the roads to theatre to meet sonam and propose. So both the scenes are shown simultaneously. This concept is a rip off from HIMYM season 5 episode 23. It is the same thing what Ted does.

Moving on to the last movie in the list: Game (2011) written by Althea Delmas Kaushal and directed by Abhinay deo (yeah the guy who made Delhi belly). The movie is not really a total rip off, but the crux of the movie is. It is about a murder mystery. And that is exactly the same from the TV series MONK from the episode “Mr.Monk is underwater”.  

In the movie, Everyone believes  Mr.Malhotra  killed himself by shooting in the head, because everyone heard the gun shot when it happened and the door was locked from inside, so there is no way anyone could have entered. But what actually happened is his maid went and shot him first with a gun fitted with silencer and then she places a firecracker inside and lit it ans as she comes out , she locks the door from outside. When the firecracker bursts, everyone thinks that it is the gun shot sound and they break open the door and go inside to see him dead. At that time, the maid secretly slips the door key into the dead body's pocket. The scene is exactly the same in MONK except for the characters.

To read more about the monk episode you can visit :

To conclude, why are our writers so much depended on others works? Are they seriously out of ideas? I don’t understand, because if you take the case of MONK, it is a TV series where each episode has a unique murder and it is solved by the end of the episode and there are more than 100 episodes of it. So if they could think of 100 such stories, why can’t our writers think of one story properly?! Well let’s just hope at least in 2012 we get some really good and original movies in the country.

Thank you all for liking my first post J and I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Why Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocol is not the best of the series?

Let me start by saying this: “I Loved MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4 – Ghost Protocol” 

All I’m going to talk about is why it is not the best MI movie till now.We all know, Mission impossible 1 was a movie based on Mission Impossible TV series which was telecasted in the early 80s. But when they made into a movie, it had a very little to do with the TV series. Only the characters and theme music was borrowed (Yeah the famous MI music is from that TV series). The fans of the series didn't like the movie. But for the rest, it was the best thriller/action movie of the year.

When MI 1 came out, even though it got mixed reviews, the movie went on to become a rage hit. It was heavily criticized for having an overly complicated plot. But so what?! When I saw it as a kid, I didn't care about the plot because I was mesmerized by the way Ethan Hunt and his team carried their operation to recover the data from some computer.

After 4 years came MI2, a movie which was a disaster at all levels.  An attempt to show Ethan Hunt as some Casanova with his long hair and tons of scenes where he flexes his muscles, and adding to it he has a thief as his love interest!!!

Come on! A spy falling in love with a thief and every third scene has a slow motion with both looking at each other with some Spanish background score. It had none of the good parts from MI 1. Here, our Ethan hunt is not an intelligent guy. He is just another long haired guy who beats up the bad guys and saves his girlfriend and moves around on a flashy bike. Who wants to watch a lover boy Ethan Hunt saying "Oh God… you look beautiful" in a MI movie?!

After a long gap,came MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3
Directed by JJ ABRAMS – The Genius behind LOST, ALIAS FRINGE, PERSON OF INTEREST, SUPER 8 (Also wrote Joy Ride)

He re wrote the franchise.  He made the best MI movie of all time and possibly one of the best action/thriller movies in the last decade. Everything about it felt right!
The movie starts with Ethan Hunt tied up in a chair and the bad guys are asking him for “rabbit’s foot”. He replies he already gave it, but they keep asking him the same question and countdown to ten and fire a bullet in her brain while Ethan watches.

Scene Cut to black -famous Mission impossible theme music with titles


It was an edge of the seat thriller pumped up with so much adrenaline. 
It was written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci ( The guys who wrote transformers series and FRINGE- best sci-fi show on T.V right now ) along with JJ. It won’t be an overstatement to say the script was brilliant! It talked about a “Rabbit’s foot”. The bad guys want it and Ethan-who has it- is trying to stop them.

So what is rabbit’s foot?
All we will ever know that Rabbit’s foot is a form of “Anti god” and in wrong hands it can lead to world destruction. Basically rabbits foot is just something that is referred to move the plot forward and as an audience it doesn't really matter if we know what it is. The technique used here is similar to the suitcase in the movie PULP FICTION. In how many movies you think this technique is successfully used? Also we have always had one ghastly villain, that we all really wanted Ethan Hunt to beat him up. The VFX was brilliant (still it is) and the movie had so many twists and turns that made the price you paid for the ticket, very much worth it!

So after 5 years comes MI 4 directed by Brad bird- Another genius who made animated movies like The Incredibles and Ratatouille. He was basically PIXAR’s poster boy.

After watching MI 4 first hour, I have to admit, it was much better than what I expected! It surpassed the third part in its action scenes and this one had more intelligence applied to the movie. The scene where Hunt climbs up from 124th floor in Burj Dubai with bare hands is simply too exciting.  Added to that there is a sandstorm coming up and it all ends in a car chase in midst of the sandstorm which is the first I have seen in any movie.

My favourite scene is where TomCruise and Simon pegg join together to make a “projection impression” to fool a guard and steal the suitcase. You will know what I’m talking about, when you watch the movie. The first half had everything going perfect for it. Even the small role of Josh Holloway (though I wish he had more screen space!- He was awesome in LOST as sawyer and trust me guys, that guy can be the meanest villain on screen) was impressive.

But as it moved to second half, the movie becomes just another action movie with the usual stunts and chases. The scenes depicted in India are just a waste of resources, because the fact that it is happening in India, doesn’t really add any value to the movie! It is because all the scenes happen inside a building. Rather they could have shot the Indian cities or something like how TomCruise swifts through the Indian traffic using his brains. But all we get to see here is a BMW concept car, a funny Anil kapoor and a lot of cleavage in scenes!

Is that what you expect from a MI movie really??
So what went wrong? Brad birds fault? Hell NO! He did a fantastic job as a director. Then? It is with the writing. Third part was written by the usual JJ Abrams team, but here he only served as a producer. After the third part, I think I got spoilt. I expected so much from the team this time. But it is like the writers thought so much for the first half and after some time they were like “hell it is only for an hour! Let’s shoot some action scenes now and wrap this movie fast!”

Mission impossible is not a mindless bham bham bham action movie. At least it is not supposed to be.It is about how the agents of IMF use their brains and highly futuristic tech to carry a mission which is humanly impossible. It is not about a bad guy going in a SUV and TomCruise chasing him and just firing guns.

I hope in next part we get more of intelligent action scenes, just like in MI 3.

So Mr. JJ Abrams, please.. Next time write the movie with your usual team. Or you can team up with Jonathan Nolan ( Yeah Christopher Nolan's brother and Jonathan is the one who actually writes the scripts for all Chris movies), because already you are doing PERSON OF INTEREST TV series with Nolan. Well then that will be a darker version of Mission Impossible!