Pixar’s next production, wall-e, seems exciting. Wall-E is a story of a robot. Written and Directed by Andrew Stanton, the director of Finding Nemo, Wall-E’s trailer is just so nice that it reminds me of Spielberg’s ET. Finding Nemo is my most favorite among Pixar’s flicks.

Pixar owns this site, Buy n Large, a fake site about a robot manufacturing company, possibly the one that creates Wall-E robot.

Summer of 2008 has an interesting line-up of movies at hollywood and Wall-E should be one among the toppers.

Films, Faith and Friendship

Now that Google Video’s Pay-to-Play store is closed, I was searching the Charlie Rose interview and found this gem. Though, I watched this interview before on Pan’s Labryinth DVD, thought it would be a great pointer for film buffs.

Charlie Rose interviews three mexican directors who are shaping hollywood with their films. Alphonso Cuaron (director of Y tu mamá también and Children of Men), the fantasy whiz Guillermo del Toro (director of Hell Boy and Pan’s Labryinth) and Alejandro González Iñárritu (director of Amores Perros(inspiration for Mani’s Aayitha Ezhuthu) and Babel) are three friends, who are also incidentally film makers.

This interview talks about their faith on each other and also how their appreciation and criticism on other’s work, elevates all three of them. While my personal favorite is Alphonso Cuaron, I also enjoy del Toro’s work. Alejandro was simply astounding in Babel which I think it one of best movies of last year. Cuaron’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is the most stylish Potter movie in that series.

With tons of humor and some sneak peaks into their film-making process, this is a great interview. I wish it was longer.

Thank you for smoking – Merchants of Death

Thank You For Smoking

Thank You For Smoking takes a funny look at the lives of spin doctors, the truth they almost filter, the corporations that rest on their shoulders and the people the tackle on their everyday lives. It’s certainly not great flick that one should raise up and give a Two thumbs way way up !! but it certainly provides enough thought and laughter on a Tuesday evening.

The spin doctors or the lobbyists as they are lovingly called, manage to be a firewall between the government and the corporations. In this process they also get burnt by the public angst. These guys talk their way through even the toughest of trials and save the corporations billions of dollars every year. Now if you couldn’t make any sense of the previous statements, watch Thank You For Smoking. If you do, watch Thank You For Smoking.

Nick Naylor[Aaron Eckhart], the charming gentleman with a broad smile, is a lobbyist for tobacco. In short, he proves to be middleman between the cigarette companies and the public / government. His life is like standing on a landmine, from tackling the anti-smoking debates on a television show to arguing for pro-smoking in jury courts without giving the slightest of a doubt that he is for against anti-smoking. He dines with the Merchants of Death [MOD], a group of lobbyists who are in a league of their own. MOD consists of a lady lobbyist for alcohol, Nick Naylor for cigarettes and another gentleman for firearms. Not just that but he has a kid son who manages to dramatically change the way Nick thinks himself in general. Nick is ready to accept people calling him by names from Profiteer to a Pimp to blood sucker. Gracious performance by Aaron who carries the entire movie on him.

Nick’s bed talk on lobbying tips & tricks to Heather [Katie Holmes], an aspiring journalist of The Washington Probe, starts the fun. The aftermath forms the rest of this 90 minute movie. TYFS moves along with funny dialogues and some interesting situations along way that lead to an expected climax.

As expected, not a single person smokes in the film except for the Captain[Robert Duvall] who holds a cigar on his hospital bed. The titles roll with the cast names printed on vintage cigarette boxes reminding us of the 70’s. Other than that and the funny arguments [some of which are ture] there is not much on pro-smoking advices. In fact its all black humor, starting from the 15 year old guy on the morning show who was traced of lung cancer to the Marlboro model who accepts bribe to reduce his old-age cigarette bashings.

The writing is razor sharp with some funny quotes sprinkled all along. Made me think, when Nick Naylor tells his son, “You are never wrong, when you argue right”. Jason Reitman as the writer and director of this movie, based on the book by Christopher Buckley, does a great job in making the best out of the screenplay. From the very idea of Space Smoking to the message, Smoking is Cool !! which Hollywood sends to the world, Jason makes enough satire on the industry he comes from and that’s exciting.

If you are bored with sitcoms and reality shows on cable, this film is a great escapade.

Spielberg's Munich, A Prayer for Peace

The recent interview of Steven Spielberg[via Ajay] with Time’s Richard Schickel, is an interesting look into Spielberg’s mind as a director. Not only Spielberg talks from his heart, he also effectively conveys his steadfast approach towards doing the film he wants to and how he escapes without succumbing to the pressures of success.

When I don’t have a movie, I don’t take a job just for the sake of working. I just sit it out until I find something I’m passionate about. If I find something light, I’ll make it. Like Terminal. It wasn’t a film that I’ll be remembered for, but it’s a film I’ll remember for the rest of my life, a sweet short story that gave me a chance to work with Tom Hanks–and people think I’m crazy for saying this–giving what I think was his best performance. Some people have said, “Why did you make that little movie when you could have been doing something important?” And I said, “Well, at the time it was important.” And if I find something dark and historical–like this Doris Kearns Goodwin book [Team of Rivals, about Abraham Lincoln] I’m working on now–I’ll do that. It’s just how things work out. It’s all about timing.

Richard also writes in-depth about Spielberg’s yet-to-be released, Munich, a film on the killing of Israeli atheletes during 1972 Olympics.

Meanwhile, 2 people from Redmond are named as the Persons of the Year 2005. Bill Gates & Melinda Gates are the duo. Also named as Person of the Year is U2’s Bono.

Big fish. Small Fish.


Even with a string of not-so-big movies and a long tail of media ventures failing, I was hoping that Spielberg’s Dreamworks SKG would never go away. But the ancient theory of big fish eating small fish happened to spill over Spielberg’s dreams too. And Paramount bought Dreamworks for $1.6 billion.

By no way one could write a tribute for the eaten-up production house of Spielberg, Dreamworks. I’ve been thinking atleast for 2 years that Mani Ratnam’s Madras Talkies should be cloning what Spielberg and his partners at Dreamworks are doing to Hollywood. So what where they doing ?

The new studio was portrayed as heralding a tectonic shift in the way the industry operates. The perception was fed by the principals themselves, with Katzenberg telling reporters at the launch news conference, “I look at the three of us and think this has got to be the Dream Team.”

It’s hard to think that we may not see the boy throw the fishing rod from the moon. It was a symbol of good cinema. There is always another hope left.

Spielberg's Munich – Trailer

Speilberg's Munich

After the tripods attacking mother earth, Steven Spielberg is all set with his next offering for Christmas. This time it’s an historical thriller based on dramatization of a real story. I only wish Mani Ratnam could bounce back as fast as Spielberg, after a movie.

Munich, starring ‘Troy’ fame Eric Bana, is named after the 1972 Olympics at Munich, which forms the crux of the story. As the Munich site explains, it is a gripping suspense thriller set in the aftermath of the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The whole movie production and the news about the movie were kept under covers , until the official trailer was released, few days back.

Don’t miss to watch the trailer. The trailer sets high expectations for the movie especially John William’s background score stands out. Can’t actually wait to see the movie. For now all eyes and ears set to Dec 23rd.

Girlfriend's Dad !!

Its about Ben Stiller and his girlfriend’s dad Robert De Niro in Meet the parents. I found the movie to have enough silly laughs. Thinking about it, I felt so sorry for Ben Stiller to have been caught by his GF’s dad who is a nerd and a detective. Ben Stiller has a wonderful timing for humor and I hope he gets some better roles than these to prove his mettle.

Ben Stiller – Oh, dear god, thank you, you are such a good god to us. A kind and gentle and accommodating god, and we thank you oh sweet, sweet lord of hosts for the smorgasbord you have so aptly laid at our table this day, and each day, by day, day by day, by day oh dear lord three things we pray to love thee more dearly, to see thee more clearly, to follow thee more nearly, day, by day, by day. Amen.

I think I forgot to mention the crux of the post. In Bold, In Italics and Underlined – Girl friends’ dads are the toughest to handle !!

P.S – Due to heavy pressure, here is an additional statement. They are the nicest of people.