Movies You Watched This Month – March 2015

3DaysoftheCondor Three Days of the Condor (3 Days of the Condor)
Robert Redford stars as a CIA worker who returns from lunch to find his co-workers dead. In the next 72 hours, everyone he trusts tries to kill him.

Its a 1975 spy thriller involving the CIA. It can be called a precursor to movies like The Bourne Identity. It started off quite well and was very engrossing or interesting for a while but it kind of lost its plot during the later half of the movie. Robert Redford’s character becoming paranoid and suspicious of everyone after suddenly finding all his co workers killed was very good. The cat and mouse games between Redford’s character and the agent who wants to kill him part was good. Redford’s character sleeping with Faye Dunaway’s character whom he holds hostage felt unnecessary and contrived.

It may have been a great political thriller for its time but the later half of it did not really make any sense. Everything kind of worked out way too conveniently in the end. The movie has a plot of the CIA agents planning a war in the middle east for oil which may have looked very far fetched back then but which kind of became a reality decades later.

Robert Redford was excellent. Faye Dunaway looked pretty and was good as Redford’s hostage. Cliff Robertson was ok. Max von Sydow was very good as Joubert the assassin. The rest of the cast was ok.

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FoolsRushInFools Rush In
An uptight New Yorker impregnates a blithe-spirited stranger by chance, leading to rushed wedding plans and a culture clash between their families.

Had watched this movie long time back in 2000 or so. Its a decent romantic movie that kind of drags in the second half. There are a few funny scenes but nothing hilarious. There is some clash of class/culture/religion with Salma Hayek’s character being a Mexican-American Catholic and Mathew’s Character being a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP). There is some manufactured confrontation between Mathew’s and Salma’s characters to just prolong the movie. The movie is somewhat Bollywoodish in its treatment.

I think Dil To Pagal Hai borrowed the idea of “signs” from this movie. Salma Hayek’s character believes in “signs”. There is a scene involving a “sign” in the climax with Mathew Perry’s character which was quite good.

Matthew Perry was good but he pretty much replays his Chandler character from Friends. Salma Hayek looked pretty and was good as Isabel. Mathew Perry’s real life father John Bennett Perry plays his father in the movie too. He was very good in a couple of scenes. The rest of the cast is good too.

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82 Comments
  1. cr7 5 years ago

    Trash- Liked it .There are implausibilities but I would like to overlook them .It never bored,first paced and engaging for most parts .The three kids are the real star .Their acting was very natural .Loved their conversations .The guy who played policeman was good too.

    10 Things I hate about you – Had seen the movie in bits & parts earlier . Re-watched it and found it entertaining.

    Super 8 – Watchable sci-fi . In fact pretty good considering It has bunch of kids as main lead .

    Mr Peabody and Sherman – -Animated movies used to be much better .Its okay but with this concept a better movie would be possible .

  2. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Brain Games Season 1 Episode 1
    Brain Games is a reality television series that discusses and explores the components of the human brain. The show uses experts in cognitive science, neuroscience and psychology. The show is interactive, encouraging viewers to participate in experiments, or “brain games”, that emphasize the main points presented in each episode. The series debuted on the National Geographic Channel Channel in 2011. Neil Patrick Harris was the narrator in the first season. This interactive series uses games, illusions and experiments to illustrate how our brains manufacture our reality and often play tricks on us.

    Was recommended this show by a colleague after there was a discussion on that “colored dress”. Liked it specially the basketball and the fake hand stuff.

    • cr7 5 years ago

      But what color did you see ? 😛

      • Author
        sputnik 5 years ago

        Aha 🙂

        I saw some picture where they had the both colored pictures side by side. So I did not pay much attention to that debate.

        A colleague was making fun of another colleague who is into photography that he takes so many pictures but none of his pictures have gone viral and now some colored dress picture has just gone viral. So another colleague mentioned this show about how brain perceives different colors. This episode that I posted deals with how people perceive different colors.

    • Author
      sputnik 5 years ago

      Hrithik Roshan is trending on twitter because he woke up too late to tweet about the “colored dress”.

  3. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Jackie Brown
    When an aging flight attendant’s caught smuggling cash and forced to help with an investigation, she hatches a clever plan to make off with the dough.

    Its a Quentin Tarantino movie but this is unlike his usual movies in many ways. For starters it is based on the novel Rum Punch. It doesn’t have his trademark non linear screenplay. It does not have much of the usual smart ass dialogues though Samuel Jackson plays a bad ass character in this too just like in Pulp Fiction. It is not as flashy as his movies usually are and it is very understated.

    The movie is decent overall but its very slow paced at 2 hr 34 min and it does bore in the middle. I think the movie should have been 90 min long or 2 hrs at max.

    Pam Grier who used to star in Blaxploitation movies in the 70s had a comeback role in this. She was good as the aging flight attendant. Samuel L. Jackson was good as usual in a bad ass character. His role is somewhat similar to his role in Pulp Fiction. Robert Forster was good as the bail bondsman Max and he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Bridget Fonda looked pretty and was good specially in the scene where she is messing with De Niro in the parking lot. Michael Keaton was good as the ATF agent. Don’t know why Robert De Niro agreed for that role. He was good but it did not have much for him to do except in a couple of scenes. Chris Tucker is in just one scene.

  4. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Mission: Impossible
    The leader of a crack espionage team whose perilous operation has gone awry discovers a mole has penetrated the CIA — and he’s the No. 1 suspect.

    Re watched the movie after a long time. The movie is still engrossing after all these years and is still the best of the MI series. It has a very complex plot and the iconic vault scene is one of the best scenes ever. The Internet scenes and disk scenes looked a bit dated now.

    Tom Cruise was very good as Ethan Hunt. Jon Voight was very good too. Emmanuelle Béart looked pretty. Jean Reno, Ving Rhames and Vanessa Redgrave were good too.

  5. cr7 5 years ago

    We bought a zoo – Liked it . Feel good movie . Cliched but fairly entertaining .Liked the comedy scenes a lot .Specially between matt and his brother . Father-son scenes were good too .Matt damon was excellent. He had different roles to play and he has done all of them flawlessly .

  6. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Infernal Affairs (Wu jian dao)
    A veteran cop goes undercover to expose a detective who leaks information to the criminal underworld, but the mole doesn’t know who’s tracking him.

    Wanted to watch this since a very long time. Finally watched it. Excellent movie. Its just 1hr 41m long and its very fast paced. A few of the scenes are typical Korean movie stuff like the cops being angry with a cop or the sentimental scenes after someone’s death.

    Had watched The Departed in theater when it released and liked it back then but don’t remember much. Now I want to re watch The Departed.

    Andy Lau was good as the detective. Tony Leung Chiu Wai who was In the Mood for Love was good as the undercover cop. The rest of the cast was good too.

    • hithere 5 years ago

      Have been wanting to watch this.

      Saw NH10 – Bakwaas. there are some good scenes but too many coincidences and conveniences.

      The Hunt – Good acting and engrossing drama.

      • Author
        sputnik 5 years ago

        @hithere,

        Infernal Affairs is on Netflix Instant.

        “Saw NH10 – Bakwaas. there are some good scenes but too many coincidences and conveniences.”

        Ha ha. You are probably the first person who has said its Bakwaas. I saw only a few who said its not that good or that it is somewhat unconvincing and stretched.

        I recently tried to watch Mardaani and stopped after a few minutes. Rani had so much make up on. There was a scene where she reads out the sections while thrashing the guy and she was acting like Lady Singham.

        ————–

        My comment on The Hunt.

        “Movie was good and I liked it but I think it could have been much more. While they did show how he was ostracized by everyone they did not even show him being in prison or his case hearing. I know the movie is supposed to be set in a small community where everyone knows everyone but the grocery shopping scenes seemed a bit too much. The movie basically makes the point that one can never get rid of the stigma in cases like this. The movie will frustrate, make you angry and so on.

        The movie is the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards this year and has made it to shortlist of 9 movies. I think it has a good chance of at least being nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

        Mads Mikkelsen was excellent as the innocent man who is accused of pedophilia. Annika Wedderkopp was good as the little girl Klara.”

        http://tanqeed.com/movies-you-watched-this-month-january-2014/comment-page-1/#comment-134547

        • hithere 5 years ago

          on NH10 : It is just that I have seen better C grade slasher/Road movies.

          Some decent movies watched in last 2-3 weeks: Felony, Evelyn – melodramatic with some courtroom drama.

  7. Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

    Good recommendations in this thread – and seems like these are movies I will like.

    Saw Rang-e-Khoda (Color of paradise) by Majid Majidi. Liked it but felt bit manipulative. Still an excellant watch. First time saw the other side of Iran – beautiful landscape. Great cinematography. The boy reminded me of Dilip Kumar.

    Saw Baran again – great watch.

    Saw “Prakash Baba Amte” – a marathi film on the great personality. Liked it.

    • Author
      sputnik 5 years ago

      I think you will definitely like The Hunt.

      Thanks for the recco for Color of paradise. Will check it out if its available here. Loved both Baran and Children of Heaven. Been wanting to check out the rest of his movies like Songs of Sparrows but they are not available here on Netflix.

      Good prints of Iranian movies or regional movies with subtitles are hard to get here.

      Have you seen the Marathi movie Samaantar and if you have how is it?

      • Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

        @Sputnik Havent watched Samaantar.

  8. shan 5 years ago

    Birdman : Interesting concept executed well in parts. Excellent acting by most of the cast. The concept is great and the best direction academy award is totally deserved although I don’t agree on best film. Could have been trimmed by 30 mins. Some of the dialogues are fabulous.

  9. shan 5 years ago

    Badlapur : Well-directed, well-enacted movie with some fabulous moments. Varun is good, different from his usual roles. Most of the supporting cast from Vinay Pathak to Divya Dutta to Radhika Apte to the inspector have done well, but the show belongs to Nawaz who is just fabulous. He elevates the movie to a different level altogether. The movie could be trimmed by 20 mins and the climax is a little underwhelming. Sriram Raghavan had come up with a good movie, which may not be as good as Johnny Gaddaar and Ek Hasina Thi but is still a well made one nevertheless.

  10. cr7 5 years ago

    Interstellar- One of the best Science fictions ever.

  11. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Evelyn
    Based on true events, this drama follows the story a man whose wife has left him and whose three children are taken from him and placed in orphanages.

    Agree with @hithere that its “melodramatic with some courtroom drama”. The movie had a good story but the treatment was very melodramatic. It was almost like a TV serial.

    It is based on a true story but there are some changes made. The real Desmond Doyle had 6 children instead of 3 in the movie. The true story can be read here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Doyle

    Here is the interview of the real Evelyn.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-195330/Evelyn–words.html

    Pierce Brosnan was good as the loving father who is separated from his children. Julianna Margulies was ok. Aidan Quinn who used to be very good looking looked bloated in this one. The actor who played the grand father was good. The girl who played Evelyn was good. The bad nun was hate inducing as she should be. Some of the other actors were very irritating.

  12. zacked 5 years ago

    El Cuerpo : Must watch.. has anyone seen it? If not.. watch it and thank me later.. one of the best thrillers i have seen..

    • Author
      sputnik 5 years ago

      Thanks for the recco zacked. Never heard of it before. Will try to get hold of the movie.

    • Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

      Zacked, terrific terrific movie!! Thanks for making my day. On your recco I saw it.

      Last 20 mins one thinks its now over – and this is the twist , but twist keeps changing 🙂 . Unique twist. Great watch.

    • Author
      sputnik 5 years ago

      Thanks Zacked for the recco for El Cuerpo (The Body).

      Loved it. Awesome thriller. It kept toying with the mind with all the different clues and twists. I think the whole atmosphere of it being set in the morgue with some small horror angle thrown in also added to the movie.

      Spoiler Alert
      Initially when they hinted that the cop had a tragic back story I thought why the heck do they need to have a back story for the cop investigating the case. But it all made sense in the end. I suspected that the cop is involved and the wife is framing him but I did not think in this way.

      • FS 5 years ago

        “Initially when they hinted that the cop had a tragic back story I thought why the heck do they need to have a back story for the cop investigating the case”
        —–This exactly played the spoiler for me and i guessed it in the beginning itself what would be the climax. I knew that he certainly is the one who is behind the intimidation of the suspect.

  13. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    White Bird in a Blizzard
    When 17-year-old Kat Conners’s mom, Eve, vanishes, the teen relishes her new found freedom — until the reality of her loss sets in.

    Its part thriller and part drama. Some of it is very weird and almost creepy with Eva Green’s character. All the characters are flawed in some ways. Liked the whole metaphor with the dream scenes filled with snow.

    The movie is watchable. There is a twist ending which is supposedly different from the ending in the novel. Can understand why they put in that twist ending because the novel ending was very predictable but it seemed too contrived.

    Shailene Woodley was good as Kat and she has some nude scenes too for those who are interested. Eva Green was good as the almost insane mother. Angela Bassett was ok as the psychiatrist. Thomas Jane was ok as the detective. Christopher Meloni was good as the father.

  14. FS 5 years ago

    House of Cards Season 3 – Fantastic, almost on par with Season 2 though the last episode of S3 was little underwhelming. It should have ended in a high note. Performances are really great. It’s Getting better and better each season. Highly Recommended!!!

    Dum Laga Ke Haisa – Very sweet movie and simple in its treatment although climax is bit cliched yet likable.

    The Client – Korean thriller that is very interesting from the beginning till almost the end as this type of ending has been shown many times before. It is handled quite differently compared to similar genre of films. You will like it even though you might guess the ending in the beginning itself.

    The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies – Enough is Enough, common lets put an end to this series.

    The Maze Runner – Very good movie, old concept but treatment is very good and so was the performance.

    The Loft – Good thriller and very different. You have to pay attention to the details or else you will end up getting confused.

    Exodus, Gods & Kings – I think old movie “the ten commandments” is much better than this.

  15. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Finally watched Queen.

    Liked the movie but I think people over praised it. It had a good message but I think it dragged a lot. I don’t think it deserved the Best Film and Best Director awards.

    There are lots of similarities with English Vinglish. Both have a female lead who is good at sweets/cooking who goes abroad to a foreign country where she is out of place with language and streets. In both movies the female lead befriends foreigners and gradually gains confidence. In both the male lead is a MCP who puts her down.

    Kangana was very good as Rani. And as @cr7 said “From the vulnerability to confidence , she has nailed it”. Liked her look too.

    Liked Lisa Haydon and her bindaas character a lot too. Felt like her character was cut short too soon. Rajkumar Yadav was good in a role that’s suppose to make you hate him. Liked the actors who played Kangana’s family and it was nice to see such progressive characters. The actors who played her roommates were good too.

    P.S. Watched the movie on Set Max and they strangely blurred a bra in one scene but they did not blur a dildo in another scene 🙂

    • Author
      sputnik 5 years ago

      Queen and Kangana win National Awards

      62nd National Film Awards: Complete list of winners

      Best Hindi Film: Queen

      Best Assamese Film: Othello

      Best Bengali Film: Nirbashito

      Best Kannada Film: Harivu

      Best Konkani Film: Nachom – IA Kumpasar

      Best Malayalam Film: Ain

      Best Marathi Film: Killa

      Best Odiya Film: Aadim Vichar

      Best Punjabi Film: Punjab 1984

      Best Tamil Film: Kuttram Kadithal

      Best Telugu Film: Chandamama Kathalu

      Best Rabha Film: Orong

      Best Haryanvi Film: Pagdi The Honour

      Best Music Direction:

      a) Songs – Haider (Hindi)

      b) Background Score – Nineteen Eighty Three (Malayalam)

      Best Choreography: Bismil for Haider

      Special Mention Ain (Malayalam)

      Nachom – IA Kumpasar (Konkani)

      Killa (Marathi)

      Bhootnath Returns (Hindi)

      Best Educational Film: Komal & Behind the Glass Wall

      Best Exploration/Adventure: Film Life Force – India’s Western Ghats

      Best Investigative Film: Phum Shang

      Best Animation Film: Sound of Joy

      Best Short Fiction Film: Mitraa

      Best Film Critic: Tanul Thakur

      Best Writing on Cinema : Silent Cinema: (1895-1930)- Pasupuleti

      Purnachandra Rao

      Best Writing on Cinema : G. Dhananjayan for Pride of Tamil Cinema

      (Special Mention)

      Best Costume Designer: Dolly Ahluwalia for Haider

      Best Female Playback Singer Uttara Unnikrishanan for song Azhagu in Saivam (Tamil)

      Best Male Playback Singer Sukhwinder Singh for song Bismil from Haider

      Best Actress Kangana Ranaut for Queen

      Best Supporting Actress: Baljinder Kaur for Pagdi The Honour (Haryanavi)

      Best Supporting Actor: Bobby Simhaa for Jigarthanda (Tamil)

      Best Actor: Vijay for Nanu Avanalla Avalu (Kannada)

      Best Direction: Srijit Mukherji for Chotushkone (Bengali)

      Best Film On Environment Conservation/ Preservation: Ottaal (Malayalam)

      Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment: Mary Kom

      Indira Gandhi Award For Best Debut Film Of A Director: Asha Jaoar Majhe

      (Bengali)

      Best Feature Film: Court (Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati & English)

      Link

      • cr7 5 years ago

        Well deserved . Have seen the Bengali movie Chatuskone which won best director award .And agree with it winning the award .

      • Author
        sputnik 4 years ago

        Official Trailer of Killa, Winner of The National Award for Best Marathi Feature Film 2015 and Crystal Bear Award at Berlinale 2014

  16. cr7 5 years ago

    Watched El Cuepro . Excellent thriller . Thanks zacked for the reco .

    • jj 5 years ago

      It was quite intriguing and engaging but the climax was big let off for me.
      Spoilers ahead – If revenge and murder was the objective it could have done far more easily. Eva did not had to sleep with the culprit. Moreover if Alex didnt fall in love with Carla the whole plan would not have worked, may be they had a Plan B.

      • Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

        SPOLERS AHEAD:

        jj, I agree with you that there are more ways to take revenge, but this was more cold blooded one and it made him do the crime again. This is the first time I saw a detective is framing a criminal directly. Have seen movies where detective is the real criminal but not like this.

        The cold blooded / smooth way in which he frames the criminal is awesome.

  17. FS 5 years ago

    Saw two very good Korean Movies;

    My Way – 2011 – It is inspired from true events that took place during the world war II and two leads have shown some great performances. There are some excellent war scenes and some very emotional scenes attached to the dreams about running in Olympics. Highly Recommended!!!

    May 18 – 2007“The story of events leading up to the 1980 Gwangju massacre in South Korea when thousands of students and protesters were killed by armed troops during an anti-government demonstration”. Again it is a tearjerker and i wished the climax could have ended on a high note but it was rather depressing as well as little let down in the direction, still very good watch. Recommended!!!

    El Cuerpo aka The Body – Thanks to @zacked, it was a brilliant thriller. Some how I guessed exactly how the climax would turn out and the twist yet enjoyed a lot. very different and if you see it in a totally different aspect you will manage to grasp the clues it leaves earlier on. Highly Recommended!!!

    Dekh Tamasha Dekh – Decent movie but could have been well made.

  18. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Get Shorty
    Miami loan shark Chili travels to Los Angeles for a collection and ends up juggling a rival shylock and a movie star as he breaks into Hollywood.

    Its a entertaining gangster comedy set against the movie making business. The movie is a plot and dialogue heavy. So one has to pay attention. Its somewhat like a Guy Ritchie movie with the different gangsters and them being after money but Guy Ritchie movies came after this. Some of the movie referencing dialogues or scenes are a bit corny.

    John Travolta was very good as Chili Palmer and he is the star of the movie. Gene Hackman was good in a supporting role. Rene Russo was ok. Danny DeVito was good in some scenes. Dennis Farina was excellent as the bad guy. Delroy Lindo and James Gandolfini were good too.

  19. FS 5 years ago

    Constant Gardner – Don’t know what to make out of it. It was definitely engaging, no doubt about that but even though the movie was on fast track, it seemed very slow specially when it was about lead actor. Anyway liked it very much.

  20. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    The November Man
    An ex-CIA agent emerges from retirement to protect an important witness, but he soon discovers that old friends can make the most dangerous enemies.

    Its the usual CIA spy thriller and its watchable. The back story of Olga’s character reminded me of the movie The Whistleblower. There is lot of action (gun shots) and the plot has quite a few twists. There is some silly stuff too. The Russian assassin character was initially given a lot of buildup but her role wasn’t that good.

    Pierce Brosnan was very good as the old ex CIA agent. Luke Bracey was very good as his ex colleague and present opponent. Olga Kurylenko looked gorgeous. She looked like a younger version of Catherine Zeta Jones. Caterina Scorsone was bad and looked miscast. Bill Smitrovich and Will Patton were ok. Did not like Amila Terzimehic at all.

  21. jj 5 years ago

    Gone Girl – Excellent movie, well acted and beautifully directed. The only thing I found missing was a connect with lead pair on why their marriage failed.
    Ugly – Best Anurag Kashyap movie for me, beautifully placed. But the ending was way too convenient. Spoliers – Just at the end where police get the lead on kidnapper duo, or the stench of the girl’s body appears right at the end. May be the director dint care because the whole point was to show different people reacted to the kidnapping.

    • Author
      sputnik 5 years ago

      Agree on Gone Girl. I thought the movie did show why their marriage failed as Amy explains how she was dissatisfied with her life after marriage.

      Anyway here is my Gone Girl review.

      http://tanqeed.com/movies-you-watched-this-month-december-2014/

      Liked Ugly too. Agree on the ending being way too convenient. Yeah the director did succeed in showing how different people reacted to the kidnapping and how they were all Ugly.

      Here is my comment on Ugly.

      http://tanqeed.com/movies-you-watched-this-month-december-2014/comment-page-1/#comment-149020

      • jj 5 years ago

        On second thoughts agree on Gone Girl, they did show some reasons but was not quite convincing the way a fairy tale marriage broke. May be because the audience dont know who to trust, both have cooked up stories.
        I wanted to write a more detailed view, but patience runs out.

        • Author
          sputnik 5 years ago

          “May be because the audience dont know who to trust, both have cooked up stories.”

          Agree. We have a unreliable narrator in Amy and so we don’t know if what she initially says about their meeting and marriage is actually true either. She mentions about starting her diary with a fairy tale marriage and then showing how he hit her and did not want kids and so on. We find out from Ben’s character that he wanted kids but she didn’t. We find out Ben is cheating on her too. So both characters are messed up in different ways.

  22. jj 5 years ago

    Rewatched Parinda. The movie is still admirable for the craft, camera work and editing. But the screen play and dialogues look very dated and there are too many loop holes.

    • Author
      sputnik 5 years ago

      Had rewatched Parinda a couple of few years back. Don’t remember the loopholes but the part of Jackie, Anil and Anupam being three kids who just grew up was very filmy and dated.

  23. jj 5 years ago

    Lootera – Gem of a movie. Slow, poetic and beautiful. Excellent frames, sweet music and well acted and perfectly directed. Having read The Last Leaf I was very sceptical of the climax but was well directed. The only jarring part was Divya Dutta’s character. Why she agrees not to disclose about Ranveer Singh’s character I am still clueless. Movie could have done without that character.

  24. hithere 5 years ago

    Saw HBO documentary “Going Clear” which is an expose on Scientology. Didn’t know much about Scientology except that Tom Cruise and John Travolta were Scientologists. After watching it, you will realize even well educated rational people could be brain washed.

    • Author
      sputnik 5 years ago

      Don’t have HBO but will check it out if its available on Netflix later or may be elsewhere.

      “After watching it, you will realize even well educated rational people could be brain washed.”

      That’s nothing new. When it comes to religion even well educated rational people can be brain washed.

    • Author
      sputnik 5 years ago

      Have not seen the documentary yet but Neil deGrasse Tyson makes some very valid points that people pick on Scientology a bit too much.

      ————–

      I’m curious what your take on Scientology is, because the intergalactic story of Xenu does encroach on your territory a bit.

      So, you have people who are certain that a man in a robe transforms a cracker into the literal body of Jesus saying that what goes on in Scientology is crazy? Let’s realize this: What matters is not who says who’s crazy, what matters is we live in a free country. You can believe whatever you want, otherwise it’s not a free country—it’s something else. If we start controlling what people think and why they think it, we have case studies where that became the norm. I don’t care what the tenets are of Scientology. They don’t distract me. I don’t judge them, and I don’t criticize them.

      Now, where the rubber hits the road is, since we are a free country where belief systems are constitutionally protected—provided they don’t infringe on the rights of others—then how do you have governance over “all” when you have belief systems for the “some”? It seems to me that the way you govern people is you base governance on things that are objectively true; that are true regardless of your belief system, or no matter what the tenets are of your holy documents. And then they should base it on objective truths that apply to everyone. So the issue comes about not that there are religious people in the world that have one view over another, it’s if you have one view or another based on faith and you want to legislate that in a way that affects everyone. That’s no longer a free democracy. That’s a country where the few who have a belief system that’s not based in objective reality want to control the behavior of everyone else.

      The documentary essentially argues that Scientology shouldn’t be granted tax-exempt status as a religion.

      But why aren’t they a religion? What is it that makes them a religion and others are religions? If you attend a Seder, there’s an empty chair sitting right there and the door is unlocked because Elijah might walk in. OK. These are educated people who do this. Now, some will say it’s ritual, some will say it could literally happen. But religions, if you analyze them, who is to say that one religion is rational and another isn’t? It looks like the older those thoughts have been around, the likelier it is to be declared a religion. If you’ve been around 1,000 years you’re a religion, and if you’ve been around 100 years, you’re a cult. That’s how people want to divide the kingdom. Religions have edited themselves over the years to fit the times, so I’m not going to sit here and say Scientology is an illegitimate religion and other religions are legitimate religions. They’re all based on belief systems. Look at Mormonism! There are ideas that are as space-exotic within Mormonism as there are within Scientology, and it’s more accepted because it’s a little older than Scientology is, so are we just more accepting of something that’s older?

      The line I’m drawing is that there are religions and belief systems, and objective truths. And if we’re going to govern a country, we need to base that governance on objective truths—not your personal belief system.

      Link

  25. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    The Last Samurai
    An American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare soon learns to respect the samurai that he has been ordered to destroy.

    Don’t know how I missed this movie or why I did not watch this movie earlier. Excellent movie about how the Samurai’s lived by the code of honor. Its beautifully shot and it shows the respect that warriors have for each other. The only part I did not like was the ending which I think dragged a bit and it was a bit filmy the way the emperor suddenly decides to take a decision on his own.

    The movie is somewhat based on the French General Jules Brunet’s life.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jules_Brunet

    Thanks to @fearlesssoul for his recco. Agree with almost every word that he said is his post here.

    List of My Favorite Inspirational Movies of All Time – Part II

    Tom Cruise was excellent as Captain Algren who has nightmares about his involvement in killing Native Americans and who comes to love the Samurai way of life. Ken Watanabe was excellent as the Samurai lord Katsumato. Timothy Spall was ok. Billy Connolly has a small cameo. Tony Goldwyn was good as the bad superior of Algren. Hiroyuki Sanada was very good as one of the Samurais. Masato Harada was good as Omura. Koyuki was very pretty and her relationship with Algren is very beautifully and subtly handled.

    Recommended

    • FS 5 years ago

      Glad you liked it. When I opened this comment of yours, the background appeared White in mobile and it looked much better than the current background. Also it appeared as a mobile version of the site.

      • FS 5 years ago

        Where is April thread?

      • Author
        sputnik 5 years ago

        Glad you like the mobile theme. I am most probably going to change the current desktop theme to the same one as the mobile one soon.

        I did not create a April thread as I was busy changing the hosting during the first three days of the month. I thought of starting a new thread with a post about The Last Samurai but you had already mini reviewed the movie so well in your post. I did not have much to add.

  26. jj 5 years ago

    Buried – An American truck driver finds himself buried alive in a coffin in Iraq. Amazing that the director was able to hold audience attention for 90 minutes with a single character trapped in a wooden box. Climax was apt too.
    Only bit I dint like was the 2 long shots which gave away the claustrophobic effect.

    • Author
      sputnik 5 years ago

      Yeah it was “Amazing that the director was able to hold audience attention for 90 minutes with a single character trapped in a wooden box.”

      Here was my comment on the movie.

      “The whole movie has only one actor Ryan Reynolds on screen and it is completely shot in the coffin. All we hear are voices of people he talks to by making or receiving phone calls.

      Liked the movie. It was very interesting and engrossing. It is a indictment of US and American culture. Ryan Reynolds was excellent as the man trapped in the coffin. Direction was very good.”

      http://tanqeed.com/movies-you-watched-this-month-february-2013/comment-page-1/#comment-117687

  27. jj 5 years ago

    Thanks for the recco on The Last Samurai. It was a good movie.
    But why is that an injured soldier is always treated by a young beautiful woman.
    Performances were mostly good, esp Ken Watanabe, the guy who played Omura. But I was blown away by the performance of the child who played son of the soldier who was killed by Algren, esp in a crying scene the restraint the child shown was amazing.

    • Author
      sputnik 5 years ago

      “But why is that an injured soldier is always treated by a young beautiful woman.”

      ha ha

      Because they want to add a romantic track 🙂

      • jj 5 years ago

        Exactly. Whenever the hero is injured he is always treated by a woman or an old man who has a beautiful daughter. Its such an age old cliche. Some times this lady is not even the main love interest and just to have some light moments.
        In The Last Samurai I dont think there was any need for a love angle, it did not add anything to the movie other than running time. Moreover a total stranger living in a woman’s house that too just widowed, was not convincing.

  28. jj 5 years ago

    The new layout is very good. Well done Sputnik.

  29. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Basic
    Hardy and Osborne investigate the disappearance of a legendary Army Ranger drill sergeant and the deaths of four of his soldiers.

    Had watched this some seven or eight years ago but did not remember anything. So revisited the movie.

    Its a interesting thriller which is very engrossing right until the end. It keeps you thinking and there are quite a few interesting twists. But the final scene or twist was bad and screwed up the entire movie.

    John Travolta was good as the DEA agent investigating the case. Connie Nielsen looked pretty and was very good as the co investigator. Samuel L. Jackson was excellent as the drill seargent. Tim Daly, Giovanni Ribisi, Brian Van Holt and Taye Diggs were good as the soldiers.

  30. jj 5 years ago

    Eklavya The Royal Guard – Repeat watch and liked it this time too. The setting, the poetic camera work. Climax was underwhelming.
    Have been gearing in for VVC’s Broken Horses watching Khamosh, Parinda and Eklavya. But the reviews are negative think will end up skipping it.

  31. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Dirty Wars
    A 2014 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature, this film explores America’s controversial covert operations around the globe.

    The documentary tries to present the other side of the War on Terror – the innocent people who get killed as a result of it. It started off quite well with the journalist Jeremy Scahill investigating the US military and government cover-up of the deaths of five civilians, including two pregnant women killed by the Joint Special Operations Command in Afghanistan.

    But the documentary lost focus and in the end it was very unsatisfying and almost pointless. While Jeremy Scahill is brave enough to do investigative stories from war zones the documentary focuses on him a bit too much. Also some of the claims he makes in the documentary like having never heard of JSOC before come off as exaggeration or lies.

  32. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    The Hustler
    Paul Newman scores as pool shark “Fast Eddie” Felson, who tours the country hustling games — even challenging reigning champion Minnesota Fats.

    Wanted to watch this movie since a very long time but kept putting it off because it is a Black & White movie. Finally watched it. The movie is considered to be a classic. It was nominated for 9 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing Adapted Screenplay. It won 2 Oscars for Best Cinematography Black and White and Best Art Direction Black and White.

    Very good movie. Liked it but its long and a bit slow paced. Its also a old school movie meaning that there is a lot of ambiguity may be because of the censor rules back then. So its implicit that Sarah is a prostitute and there are some dialogues or scenes which don’t tell what exactly happened. The movie is also somewhat dark and very broody.

    The pool scenes were excellent. I think anyone who likes playing pool will like the movie or at least the pool scenes.

    Paul Newman was excellent as Fast Eddie and deserved his Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He is supposed to have never even picked up a cue before working on this movie but he is very good in scenes where he is actually seen playing. In close up shots where there are no faces its supposed to be Willie Mosconi the World Champion.

    Piper Laurie was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress. She was good in some scenes but her acting was very old style – somewhat over dramatic. Jackie Gleason was excellent as Minnesota Fats and deserved his Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. George C. Scott was excellent as Bert and deserved his Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

  33. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Natural Born Killers: Director’s Cut
    Mickey and Mallory Knox hit the road on an interstate killing spree that triggers a manhunt and garners amazing ratings for a tabloid TV star.

    Had liked this movie a lot when I watched it back in 2000 but did not like it this time. Its a satire and it is an indictment of American culture and the sensationalist news media. It had potential but I think Oliver Stone messed it up. He overdid the weird visuals stuff. Most people will hate this movie. Mallory’s flashback is shot like a TV sitcom with the laughter track.

    The story is by Quentin Tarantino but he had a fallout with the director Oliver Stone as Stone changed his story a lot.

    Woody Harrelson was very good as Mickey and Juliette Lewis was very good as Mallory. Robert Downey Jr. was good as the TV journalist. Tommy Lee Jones overacted a lot. Rodney Dangerfield was good as the sexually abusive father. Tom Sizemore was good as the cop.

  34. FS 5 years ago

    Man On Wire 2008 – Documentary with real videos and real voices. Film might have failed to justify in entertainment purpose but that will be compensated with the sheer magic of his will to walk between the towers. Just Outstanding 4/5

    Black Book 2006 – Excellent Movie 4/5

    The Wicker Man 1973 – Weird Movie but Fantastic one 4/5

    Two Men in Town – Pointless, slow like a snail

    Taken 3 – Limited Entertainment, limited fun and unlimited cliched galore

    The Gambler – Pointless but entertaining

    Doli ki Dolly – Entertaining

    Game of thrones Season 5 – Awesome Start, can’t wait for fifth episode.

    • FS 5 years ago

      Side Effects – Could have been much much better but nevertheless, worth a watch.

      • FS 5 years ago

        Hunter – Good movie, likeable but nothing special.

      • Author
        sputnik 5 years ago

        Here was my comment on the movie Side Effects.

        I was expecting the movie to be like The Constant Gardener about malpractice of pharmaceutical companies but it turned out to be a murder thriller. There are a few unexpected twists in the movie but they are ridiculous or implausible. The final twist was completely unnecessary and spoiled the movie. The murder and mental hospital twists reminded me of another movie Passion that I saw recently. Link

        http://tanqeed.com/movies-you-watched-this-month-september-2014/comment-page-1/#comment-142732

        ————–

        Why is your filmygyani website not working? I am seeing lot of broken links from here.

        • FS 5 years ago

          Hahaha, they asked me to renew it & since I am hardly writing any reviews or posts, i didn’t budge. So they blocked the site i guess or may be it is not accessible.

          Traffic 2000 – Brilliant movie, not so intense yet gritty & few twists adds up to an excellent script. Liked it very much

          • Author
            sputnik 5 years ago

            hmm so you had used wordpress to create it and you had your own hosting account? You should have gone for free wordpress or blogspot site instead.

            Let me know if you are going to get your site back up or move it to a free wordpress or blogspot site instead. Otherwise I will have to remove all the links from posts as they are showing up as broken links from here.

  35. jj 5 years ago

    50/50 – Decent watch about youngster is diagnosed with cancer. Both Gordon Levitt and Seth Rogen were good. The initial scenes when Adam Lerner learns of his cancer was very good. Dint like Anna Hendrick’s character.

    • cr7 5 years ago

      Liked this movie a lot . The soundtrack was excellent .

  36. Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

    Detective Byomkesh Bakshy – Was skeptical abt this before watching as I did not like the contemporary feel and music in the trailers. But man, what a movie. Its kickass. Loved it very much. All aspects are great – storytelling, setup of Kolkatta in 40s, pacing of the film. And liked the music also.

    • Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

      The Byomkesh Bakshi TV serial was too much narrative style and missing out the real action and drama. In the film also there is a narrative by Bakshy at the end – but they have kept the drama and suspense/thriller quotient very high and not given everything to narration by Bakshy. Loved the action scenes also.

  37. Anjanpur685Miles 5 years ago

    This is what Zoya Akhtar said abt Byomkesh Bakshy

    “It’s an experience. It’s very beautiful. The cinematography is excellent. The production design is gorgeous. It is very stylistic. Dibakar is a craftsman,” she added.

    Well, I think the film is not too stylish a-la a sriram raghvan film. Its style is subtle in first half but in later half and in action scenes its stylistic. It not stylish in a way of increasing its pace by short cuts and too many camera angles. I agree when Zoya says Dibankar is a craftsman. Out of the directors of current lot – all who are great – I think Dibankar and VB are great craftsmen. Sojit Sircar and Sriram Raghvan are more stylish kind , and Anurag Kashyap is more abt the characters and their emotions than a craftsman.

  38. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    The Village
    When a young man tries to venture beyond his sequestered hamlet, his actions set off a chain of chilling incidents that alter the community forever.

    Did not like it at all. I already knew the basic plot and ending but I expected it to be a nice horror thriller but the screenplay was very bad. Why the hell would you tell that it is all a farce in the climax with 40 minutes left into the movie and then again show a “creature”? Why would the father let his blind daughter go fetch the medicines when he can do it himself. The scared blind girl is there only to give cheap horror thrills.

    Bryce Dallas Howard (Ron Howard’s daughter) looked pretty but like I said before her blindness is there only for cheap thrills. And her blindness was very convenient because she could see the creature fine. I don’t know why poor Joaquin Phoenix even agreed to do this useless role. Adrien Brody was bad as the mentally retarded character. William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver and Judy Greer were ok.

  39. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Noah
    This ambitious adaptation of the story of Noah depicts the visions that led him to voice dire prophesies of apocalypse and to build an ark to survive.

    Stopped watching after an hour. This is a movie which both the religious as well as the atheists will hate. The religious will hate it because it is not faithful to Noah’s story from their religious books and the atheists will hate it because it tries to pass off a mythological story as real or science fiction.

    Some of the vfx was good but some of it like the rock angels was bad.

  40. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Ulee’s Gold
    A beekeeper keeps his family afloat despite numerous misfortunes: a wife who’s passed away, a son in prison and a daughter-in-law who’s left town.

    Good family movie. Liked it. It is slow paced though. Its about a ordinary hard working guy who is trying to take care of his family. The beekeeper scenes were good.

    Peter Fonda was very good and he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor. Patricia Richardson was ok. She was acting the same way she used to act on the TV series Home Improvement. Christine Dunford was good as the drugged daughter in law who abandoned her family. Did not recognize the 15 year old Jessica Biel at first. She looked different. Vanessa Zima was good as the younger grand daughter. Steve Flynn, Dewey Weber were ok.

  41. Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Finding Forrester
    After recognizing a high school basketball star’s exceptional writing talent, award-winning author William Forrester decides to mentor the youngster.

    Very good movie. Re watched it (I think) after quite a few years. I had watched it first back in 2000 or so. Its directed by Gus Vant Sant who directed Good Will Hunting. So if you liked that one you will most probably like this one. Its very leisurely paced though.

    Sean Connery was excellent as the reclusive writer. Rob Brown was excellent as the basketball player with a great writing talent. F. Murray Abraham was good as the Professor. His role is somewhat similar to his role in Amadeus. Anna Paquin looked pretty and was good. Busta Rhymes was good as Jamal’s brother.

    Highly Recommended

  42. cr7 5 years ago

    nh10 – simple story but very good direction .got a bit stupid towards the end but climax was very good. anushka was fantastic .

  43. FS 5 years ago

    Rosemary Baby – Liked it very much specially the ending 😛

    50 Shades of Grey – It’s a decent XX movie with Songs elevating some scenes specially the erotic scenes and most of the songs are chartbuster. As movie, complete pointless with abrupt ending.

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