Given that this was a week when my wife and 2 yr old daughter were out of town, it turned out to be quite a crazy week of movie watching. Here goes my roundup of most of the movies that I ended up watching this week.
I managed to catch two wonderfully made ‘survival movies’ this week in theatres – Gravity and Captain Phillips. While Gravity [Link to review] dealt with how Dr Ryan Jones gets stranded in space due to a freak incident where satellite debris results in her shuttle being destroyed, Captain Phillips [Link to review]dealt with how a merchant navy captain survives his 36+ hour ordeal as a hostage of Somali pirates. Helmed by wonderful directors and anchored beautifully well by Sandra Bullock and the ever dependable Tom Hanks, these two movies easily make it to my list of awesome movies watched in 2013.
Another movie which I thoroughly enjoyed this week was World War Z [IMDB Link] directed by Marc Forster starring one of my all time favorites, Brad Pitt. Set in the vein of Contagion, the movie involves Brad Pitt playing an ex UN employee travelling all around the world to try and stop a zombie endemic which threatens to scourge the entire world. While I absolutely detest the zombie genre of movies, the fact that I enjoyed this movie so much stands testimony to the fact that it is a riveting movie with an awesome storyline.
Yet another absolutely wonderful movie that I had the pleasure of watching this week was the mildly disturbing British drama / psychological thriller Notes on a scandal [IMDB Link] While I have watched enough and more movies of Dame Judi Dench (apart from the James Bond ones in which she played M), this probably was the role in which I loved her the most. Cate Blanchett playing a wonderful support role to Judi Dench in this movie meant that this movie will remain in my mind for a really long time. I have loved both these wonderful actors in various movies over the years, and a movie with a completely unconventional and disturbing storyline like this ensures that their performance will stay with me for a while. I have to review this movie sometime soon.
From a historical perspective, I managed to watch Good Night and Good Luck [Link to review] which was based on true events which unfolded in the CBS Networks in the 1950s when TV journalist Ed Murrow and his team took Senator Joseph McCarthy on for his excesses in dealing with suspected Communists of the day. A wonderfully well made black and white movie in which the ensemble cast including George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr among others was really worth watching. It highlighted what the term McCarthyism meant and how many Americans lived in fear of being labeled Communists during this period.
In the same vein, I also absolutely enjoyed Ryan Gosling and George Clooney in The Ides of March [IMDB Link], where Gosling played the campaign manager of Clooney, a US Senator and hopeful Presidential candidate for the Republican Party. This was one movie which helped me understand the US political system and its campaigns in greater detail for sure.
One watershed disaster which I ended up watching this week was the hugely hyped Elysium [Link to review] starring Matt Damon and directed by Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame. I don’t know why exactly the director picked on so many themes to discuss in this movie which ended up in a moderately rushed confused sci-fi action movie. Another disappointing movie which I watched this week was the overly hyped The Lone Ranger [IMDB Link]. I don’t know if it was the expectations from Johnny Depp or the awesome trailer that built up my hopes, which ended up being dashed with this movie. It didn’t quite work for me at all, except probably for the last 10 odd minutes.
I managed to finally watch What Women Want [IMDB Link] fully despite the fact that I had seen the first part of the movie on at least four different occasions in the past. And boy, all the good vibes surrounding the movie were true and it turned out to be quite a nice rom-com to have caught during this week.
Also managed to watch for the third (or was it the fourth) time Kadha Thudarunnu [IMDB Link], a wonderfully heart-warming and simple Malayalam movie helmed by Sathyan Anthikad starring Jayaram and Mamata Mohandas. Some of the scenes in this movie, especially during the latter half never fail to choke me up and bring a tear to my eye.
Rounded off the week watching The Internship [Link to review] which for all practical purposes did seem like an elongated Google recruitment video. Having said that, this movie was a nice heartwarming watch. Nothing too serious about it.