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Archive for September, 2007

Pathfinder- History defining pre-history!


This time 20th century fox leads us to a pre-historic forest,where we could see a blood and love story spun by the director-druid Marcus Nispel taking inspiration from Pathfinder 1987. This one comes in the tradition of Tarzan, Conan the Barbarian, Lord of the Rings, Apocalypto and 300. Pathfinder leads in technical aspects while apparently lagging behind in the story line. The producer trio{Marcus Nispel, Mike Medavoy and Arnold W. Messer} receives a pat on its back for finding the paths through history books and cold locations guided by their creativity{through various other movies as well!}.So undoubtedly this movie is worth a watch for the way in which its filmed and a few good scenes.

The plot starts in a rockhole, flows like a bloody river and merges into the sea of its predecessors. The movie opens up when a lady of the native Red Indian tribe of America{Michelle Thrush} picks up a Viking boy who had been left over by the Norsemen when they visited that place to plunder the natives. The boy grows up in the Red Indian tribe, named as Ghost{Karl Urban}. He is in love with Starfire{Moon Bloodgood},the daughter of another friendly community. The memories of his past constantly haunt him, producing the urge in him to find his path, in the past, present and future. Meanwhile, the Pathfinder{Russell Means},the leader of the clan, with a prophecy asks Ghost to find his path. Shortly a blood parching Viking band, which think that it is their duty to harmonize that place by performing-on the death melodies, arrive with a hound of hunting dogs and wipes off the village,when Ghost is away. With an indignant mind and heavy heart, he retaliates and escapes the Vikings to take refuge in the village of Starfire. Very soon he becomes cognizant of the fact that the foes have let him off to trace their road to the next village. So he asks the villagers to abandon their village and move to a safer place. Now with a Lion’s rage and a man’s intelligence sets out on his path to show his foes how sweet death is. There is no jackpot for the one who deduces the rest of the story,since it is as simple as prophesying the result of a replayed cricket match.

Every actor has played his part in tune with the orchestra. Moon Goodblood’s character paints the way in which women were treated in the pre-historic times. She goes well into the skin of the character Starfire and scores well. Although acted in a few characters like this, the possibilty of Karl Urban’s demeanor delivering a small package of dis- satisfaction in the minds of the audience is a bit high. But he had done his best to find his way as “Ghost”.The thin strand of romance between Ghost and Starfire makes this barbarian a bit modern.Also Ralf Moeller whacks his character ball off for a home run. Only with the characterisation the movie becomes a loaded gun.The story indirectly says, “After all,humans are animals which think that their sixth sense and civilization are everything that exist with or without realising that things are much bigger and intense than men think they are”.

There are lot of flaw-thorns in the path of “Pathfinder”. The major problem lies with the time management of the movie. In this movie Rising action consumes a lot of time sand than the other parts. This makes it a challenge for the audience to sit through the early stages of the movie. Also the dialogues are lackadaisical, irritating the listeners. Also certain scenes are packed extremely with elements of violence and goriness. This makes the movie unsuitable for kids{according to MPAA!}. The greyish green tone of the screencolor reminds us Lord of the Rings. Also many action scenes remind us the same.Would have far better if the director has taken into consideration, the time dragon and imitation werewolf.

When Speaking about the technicians who supply the movie with necessary raw material, Geoff Wallace, the art director becomes the true Pathfinder of this movie.The editor duo {Jay Friedkin and Glen Scantlebury} has done a good job though deceived by the “time charm”. Jonathan Elias’s music is the only train you get when you try hard to cross a few areas in the movie. This one could have been a great discovery if undertaken with certain changes,but evidently a good entertainer. So Pathfinder dictates “If you are powerless , use your foe’s power to make him powerless and finish him off”

– Spontic

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Satham Podathey- Pealing silence!

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This time Vasanth brings to screenlight a decent family diamond which thrills the looking eyes. To an extent this movie appears to be a sequel to his earlier blockbuster Aasai, where Prithviraj replaces Ajith. This movie could be classified among the Tamil movies like Vaali, Aval Varuvala and the age old super hit Moondru mudichu.Though the story is claimed to be inspired from a true incident we could smell the aroma of a few Hollywood movies like Hostel,Cube Zero and Rest Stop.Irrespective of the matter that this movie has a good amount of critical mass to blast out a gory bomb,Vasanth has presented us a pleasant thriller as per his name. So a dozen of cheers to SM Vasanth. If he had rolled the screenplay a bit faster, evidently this movie would have set the cash registers ringing at the box office.Hats off to Mithra films.

The plot resembles the structure of a prism since its woven around three main characters where we could see the ins and outs of the three, three dimensionally. The story flags off with the marriage of Banumathi{Padmapriya} and Rathinavel{Nithin Sathya} where the former enters the matrimonial orchard with a load of motherly dreams. Very soon she realises that his husband is incapable of impregnating her womb with a child.Though her parents and her brother{Ragav} insist her to go ahead with a divorce case,she withers off their ideas by stating that  she still loves her life partner since he is an open book. A couple of scenes later the couple adopt a child from an orphanage. From this point onwards the real skin of Rathinavel starts getting exposed. Due to his extreme possessiveness,Rathinavelu forces Banu to send the child back,which he dictates by role-playing an one-act drama. After this Rathinavelu doubts his wife and beats her black blue and torments her when she takes up a teaching job. Meanwhile Banu gets to know{ironically the audience know this much before!}through a Father{Nasser} that her husband had lost his manliness to produce a child due to his obsessive addiction to alcohol and presently he is a member of an Alcoholic addicts rehabilitation group. So the heifer is exposed as an Hyena. Now Padmapriya goes ahead with the divorce and jumps off that deadly matrimonial RV. But Rathinavel splits their parting scene with a word of vengeance.Although introduced previously with a “childish” song and peppy comicals Ravichandran{Prithviraj} comes to limelight as Banu’s brother’s colleague in a software firm,who,with a logical service mind accepts to woo and marry Banu.And he marries Banu after the usual Tamil cinematic unconventional wooing. Things start to shake when R1 meets R2. Rathinavel decides to ruin the happy life of his ex-wife and Ravichandran when Ravi gets posted tempororily in Kerala. As a first and vital part of his “go-damned” operation Rathinavel kidnaps and locks Banu in his house at Edapalli,Kerala and makes a setup which makes Banu’s family to proceed with her funeral thinking she had blown the light. Did Prithviraj resurrect Banu?Will Rathinavel get convicted? Will Banu become a mother which is the dream of her life? To know the answers watch “Satham Podathey” without making ado.

Among the characters Nithin Sathya rocks and rolls. As a contrast to the cliched Tamil cinema antagonists, who appear to be in a seperate grotesque world unknown to others, Nithin Sathya’s character hails from real human species,explaining every action and intention makes a good show and a part of his credit goes to Vasanth for choosing the right person for the right character.Following the villain,Padmapriya,the female lead and the protagonist makes a brilliant show. She creates empathy when longing for a child, creates sympathy when tortured by her husband and makes a strong impression in our heart when she suffers in the sound-proof room.So the character Banu will be accepted and appreciated by the women as well as men. An element of feminism could be found in this movie if we clinically dissect it further. Prithviraj comes and sniffs as usual as a merry-go-round man. Apart from the chief characters Ragav who plays the brother of Padmapriya, shines well as a software proffesional with a pen drive hung around his neck. Nasser, Suhasini and Premji play guests in the movie.

Vasanth’s expertise in making good films become apparent in many parts of the movie. The camera starts slowly swinging when Nithin Sathya lies onscreen, which is fresh and fantastic like a cup of tea straight from an estate.The way in which the movie kicks off and folds on brings a great applause to Vasanth.The visualisation of the songs are good enough to produce a mesmerizing effect. Especially the “Azhagu Kutty Chellam” and “Indha Kadhal” songs were well shot in perfect locations. On the other hand “Krishna Krishna” and “Entha kuthirayil” songs were picturised in a English pop style, which produce the same effect as the story. {Good to see a movie without crazy duets}

The problem with the story line is that it gives a feeling of watching a 5 day cricket match.{Slow but sensational} Would have been much better if Vasanth has speeded the screenplay which lumbers a bit. Also in the first half,the scenes involving Prithviraj are nice but a tard away from the story,like a subplot.The editor had done a goo job with the continuity of the scenes. In Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music Krishna Krishna,Azhagu kutty and Pesukiren scores well.Any how it is always good to see a soft and appealing movie in the twenty twenty season. So Satham Podathey says“Beware of Jealousy, a wine eyed monster”

-Spontic

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Ocean’s thirteen-Baroque larceny!

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Danny Ocean’s crew walks in this time earmarking another casino but with a different incitement altogether. The master gangleader behind this plot, director Steven Soderbergh hits the bulls eye for the third time supported by his same old financier Jerry Weintraub and sets the cash registers ringing at the box office. The writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien walks off bagging three golden eggs for blending art and smart to perfection. The cast goes unchanged from the previous movie save Catherine Zeta Jones and Julia Roberts .The reason which Danny gives for it is that “Things are not that fine”.This movie had a tough competition in its opening week and the credit go to Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek 3, Surf’s up and Knocked up. Despite these messy foxes,Ocean’s crew stole the box office.

The plot blooms when the members of Ocean’s crew congregate around the sick Reuben’s(Elliott Gould) bed. They realise that Reuben had been cozened by Willy Bank (Al Pacino),intimidating him to give up his shares in the latter’s new hotel and dictating his cardiac arrest. Followed by this we see Danny Ocean{George Clooney} visiting the rancourous Bank exhorting him to give back Reuben’s share but the vindictive Bank answers in negative,paving way to Ocean’s next mission of bankrupting his Casino. The Oceans also feel that any likelihoods of the Five diamond award going to Bank should be wiped out. So Danny and Rusty{Brad Pitt} begin with polluting Bank’s hotel rooms. The Artificial intelligence system used by Bank to overlook everything in the casino delivers a big thorn our players’ path. So they hire Roman Nagel (Eddie Izzard) for his connoisseurship in breaking security systems. He brings them out that its one of the most foolproof systems which thinks and reasons, it could only be stopped by a natural disaster or by a magnetron, that too for Tenscore seconds. When Danny and Rusty break their head to pool up money for buying a tunnel boring machine to create an earthquake like sensation, Linus{Matt Damon} jumps in and enlightens them that they could go to their old enemy Terry Benedict{Andy Garcia} for pecuniary support. As a loathing trio,Danny,Rusty and Linus agree to Terry Benedict’s terms when he demands for double the amount of his investment and the diamond necklaces which Willy Bank has purchased in advance to celebrate his achievement of the five diamond award. According to Danny’s master plan they are going to fiddle the cards, dice and the shuffling machine so that the casino loses. Now the tunnel boring accoutrement serves two purposes to the oceans. The first one is that it ‘ll stop the Artificial Intelligence System and secondly makes sure that the winners don’t stay there long to lose the money won,once again to the hotel. Dice start rolling and our stomachs too. A slow steady simple and stylistic plot. Get, set, go and lose your heart to this ritzy,spiffy robbers.

As usual George Clooney calls the shorts and paints his character like a playwright inside a play. Al Pacino blends his soul with the character of a rich businessman and shines well as an aghast businessman towards the end. Brad Pitt has only a little part to play in this movie since most of his previous burdens are shouldered by his senior accomplice George Clooney. Matt Damon performs his nitwit appearing but wit, grit character smooth to the essence. Apart from this all the other thieves steal their medals well.

Though the plot appears immune to holes,a keen observer could raise the million dollar question, why Willy Bank is not willing to go to the police and why the FBI couldn’t continue with their investigation. Above all why didn’t Bank turn back to see the received files immediately? Apart from these things the robbery is successful. Technically speaking Peter Andrew’s camera aids the director to snatch his cup, while Stephen Mirrione’s editing makes us to writhe in certain places. David Holmes‘s music is mesmerising as ever before. So this movie is a simple thread spun very complexly and compactly around two characters. If this is going to be the last of the Ocean series the director has delivered a perfect grand finale. So Ocean’s Eleven says “ If you ‘Plan’ wisely and im’plan’t successfuly,you are trans’plan’ted to the victory ‘plan’et.

-Spontic

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