Posts Tagged ‘movies’

500 Days of Summer

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

OK disclaimer 1 – this is not a review, merely thoughts on the film. Disclaimer 2 – I generally tend to like movies more often than I hate them. I’m not really a very critical movie critic. My general rule of thumb is, if a movie makes me think or makes me feel something, be it anger, fear, euphoria, happiness, sadness, love, etc. (there’s always too many adjectives to really be adequate to describe emotions of course) then it’s a good movie. However if I feel boredom & disgust (thank you Michael Bay and Transformers 2) then it’s probably not a good movie.

Having said that, I’m not generally a huge fan of rom-coms. I mean I’m a guy, right? So I’m fairly typical in that sense. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely a romantic (as well as a cynic) but I just don’t like the formulaic nature of rom-coms. In fact this film is the third rom-com in history I can say that I like, the other two being Garden State & Love Actually. So I guess that’s more of a big thing.

Anyway the film sort of takes after Garden State (and even a touch of Amelie somehow) in some respects. I mean it has the whole, quirky loner who doesn’t fit in falling for the girl that seems special/different, etc. There’s also the mass of pop culture references, mostly to cool indie bands/things (ie. The Smiths, Carla Bruni playing in the car, The Graduate, etc.) and other random cultural references too (De Botton, Dorian Gray, ‘bananafish‘ which is a reference to a reasonably obscure JD Salinger short story which I happen to love).

Those cultural references are part of the reason why this film appeals to me (even though I know this is probably straight out of ‘Stuff White People Like‘ but what can ya do). But I have to say the coolest thing about the film is the screenplay. I’m not going to pretend that I’m a good movie critic, I have no idea how well executed it was by Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Zooey Deschanel, but the screenplay itself was really awesome. The dialogue and the lines of thought, the whole concept of the romantic loner who reads Salinger & De Botton and listens to indie music, well yeah I could kinda relate. I could also relate to the views on love, fate & coincidence, etc. Did I mention the film was well shot by the way? Did I mention the literary references? Ok seriously how can I not love a film in which the main character reads De Botton and refers to Salinger short stories.

Oh yeah and much like Garden State, sountrack = awesome, including the likes of Regina Spektor (who I still am not sure how I feel about, but her music’s great), The Smiths, Carla Bruni, Doves, etc. But yeah enough rambling from me. I’ll be listening to the songs for a while and musing about life.

For some added interest my facebook status about the film generated some amateur reviewing, so for your reading pleasure:


Personally, other than a few very clever scenes (expectation vs reality – classic), I felt it didn’t live up to the hype. I love Gordon-Levitt, but Zooey Deschanel was more memorable in all her10 minutes in Almost Famous.

I dunno. That movie was just okay, for me. Not another Garden State, or anything.


aahh..I agree with shez to an extent, it had its moments and i loved the non-linear depiction of events..awesome soundtrack, and definitely a refreshing change from those romcoms with Katherine Heigl/Kate Hudson in them..:) ooo I can’t wait to watch Mao’s Last Dancer..


i’d rate: 3.5/5
it lacked character development on Zooey’s part- she was too much of an object, not enough of a person. If I was meant to hate her, I didn’t enough. Loved the sketched scene.
Thought it was a cross between Prime and Eternal Sunshine (etc). Thought the trailer was misleading. Waiting for Dorian Gray.

So there you have it folks, disagreements aplenty but I don’t care much for hype or whatevs. I loved the film.


Is Bombay the new Tokyo?

January 17, 2009 4 comments

It feels like with all of this Slumdog Millionaire business dominating the papers and my google reader (perhaps this is more a reflection on the sort of feeds I subscribe to) that the film, its cast, its Golden Globe statues and everything to do with it are everywhere right now. There are also billboards, posters, etc (phew it’s not just me). Seems like a marketer’s wet dream really and why not? The film is obviously very different to the usual Hollywood fare. For starters, it’s made by a Scot, Danny Boyle, and although Danny (from Trainspotting, Shaun of the Dead fame), is certainly not an unknown in Hollywood/movie circles, he is no Spielberg. Neither are the film’s leads Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, Brad and Angelina… neither is AR Rahman John Williams (though arguably he could and should be).

And along with all of this reporting going on about Slumdog, the inevitable reporting about Bombay follows. We’ve been hearing all this talk about how Mumbai is Maximum City and how it’s so amazing and wonderful (y’all know I don’t disagree). The question I want to ask now is… is Bombay the new Tokyo? I remember back in the day (well I don’t really remember but I’m pretty sure this is how it sorta went down) when Orientalist Westerners developed a keen interest in Asia, Tokyo was the hip and happening place to go to, discover and revel in the exoticism of it all (like zomg wow check it out manz they are so different and they eat with sticks!) so now that Slumdog is everywhere and an entire generation of moviegoers is going to prepare to dive headlong into the slums of Bombay in search of love and excitement (I’m seeing slum package tours organised by Intrepid, God)… perhaps Bombay will be the new Tokyo. I do love Bombay but if they make a film starring Bill Murray going to Bombay and getting freaked out by chaiwallas and rickshaws I may have to vomit.

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