Catching up with some movies!

Right I need to catch up with all your blogs and my own ... the pic above, at Goa, is meant to be both an explanation and an excuse for the month-long absence. As for my vacation- summer heat, mangoes, jackfruit and pani puris, need I say more :) The heat did confuse my body into expanding, I'm hoping the brain freeze I endured in freakishly-cold north Minnesota over the weekend, will fool it into contracting to original specs ... soon.

Here's a round-up of movies I caught on the plane. Since, it wasnt the best of viewing conditions some of my perceptions might be colored by the environment, but I'm pretty certain I wont re-watch any of the following to change my mind.

A story of how Nelson Mandela united South Africa by means of the Rugby World Cup. With Morgan Freeman in scene-stealing mode as Nelson Mandela and a sincere Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, the team captain for SA, this was an enjoyable and uplifting movie.
Rating: 5/ 5

Up in the Air
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is the high-flying executive with a job involving him flying 300 days out of the year since he goes around the country firing people. Bingham loves his life since it enables him to live without baggage, read relationships, and without any responsibility and also give him ample opportunity for his obsession with collecting airline miles. Until a young MBA, Natalie Keener, in his company comes up with the idea of firing people online.

Suddenly grounded, Bingham flounders with the meaning of his life suddenly reconnecting with estranged siblings, educating Keener on the value of building relationships and consequently looking for a stable relationship for himself with Alex Goran (an awesome Vera Farmiga) a feminine version of himself. I have mixed feelings about this movie, I was entertained by a lot of the scenes but it was marketed as a romance which it isn't and the underlying thread of relevancy to the current US economic state didn't work with the rest of the plot. Rating: 3/ 5

The Men Who Stare At Goats
Through school and college, I had a friend who was a born cynic. After moments when everyone was happy/elated/victorious he would ask the question that stumped us each time - 'What is the point?'. I think this movie was meant to be a satirical look at war, but it's no Syriana.

Bob Wilton (Ewan MacGregor) is a small-time journalist. After his wife breaks up with him, an effort at proving himself lands him in war-time Iraq. Here he comes across Lyn Cassady (Clooney), and he remembers an interview with a man whom on first count he had dismissed as a flake, who first mentions a new unit of the army researching parapsychology. As Wilton hitches a ride with Cassady into Iraq and familiarizes himself with the New-Age, free-love thinking of the New Earth Army which believes war can be fought using non-violent methods like psychic and paranormal techniques, staring at goats etc he finds himself slowly undergoing an ideological conversion. If the movie is meant as a metaphor, it was too much for my tired brain to comprehend. Taken at face value ... what was the point ????
Rating: 3/ 5

It's Complicated
Jane (Meryl Streep) suffering from Empty Nest Syndrome and finally at a point in her professional and personal life when she thinks she's settling down, suddenly finds herself playing 'the other woman'. The problem is the man she's having an affair with is her ex-husband Jake. Predictable comedy and much confusion ensues when she also starts dating her recently-divorced, shy, architect, Adam.

So, why do the heroines of romantic comedy have to be so flurried, harried and cute? And didnt Streep play the same role for Mamma Mia. Oh well, it's worth a watch but dont expect too much. Steve Martin sleep-walking through the role and a hammy Alec Baldwin make up the boring love interest and juvenile, selfish ex-husband respectively. Rating: 2.5/ 5

The Proposal
Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is a Canadian immigrant with visa problems who is about to be deported and lose her job, so she forces her harassed assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her. A weekend of bonding with Paxton and his weird family occurs where the protagonists discover it's actually true love. Unfunny, unromantic, AVOID it. The rating is for the obligatory designer dud sightings (Loboutin, Prada and Hermes) which seem to indicate a successful , powerful professional woman in the movies .... and which I quite shallowly enjoyed.
Rating: 0.5/ 5


WhatsInAName said...

Me first! Aha! :)
So you surely caught up with lots. Good show. Don't really know which movies I will watch but will keep in mind.
As for expanding, after having seen you, I can never imagine you expanded ;) at most you will become size 1 from your current size 0 :p

bouncingbubble said...

cp:wow the pic looks great!didn't read the movie updates yet, but nice to hv u back here!

Smita said...

sooooo many movies??? hmmm

Of this I have seen The Proposal & liked it :D more because of the beautiful locales!!!

Good to have u back :)

Anonymous said...

funny...I was travelling around the same time, and have ended up with movie reviews.

I haven't seen any of the movies you reviewed except for The Proposal, which I also disliked.

Hope you had a good break :)

samir said...

Welcome back, sounds like you had a wonderful stay. How were the mangoes ?
I have seen Invictus & In The Air; and I agree with your views.
The rest are not all that exciting.

couchpapaya said...

WIAN - You flatterer!! :) I cannot sleep on flights so the only option is to watch the movies. Luckily I found many that interested me enough to watch!!

Bubbles - Thanks! Goa was awesome ... missing it already!

Smita - Thanks, lady! You are right, locations are beautiful. However, it wasnt actually Alaska but some place in Boston. Imagine living in that lake house, sigh! Terrible to clean though!!

couchpapaya said...

Nishita - I did, thank u! I hope your trip was fun, I just read the shopping in SFO bit on your blog so I think I know the answer already :)

Samir - Thanks, I did & the mangoes were bliss! It's been 7 years since I ate hapoos so you can imagine how I pigged out :)

Yword said...

wow thats a lot of reviews! seen up in the air and the proposal.liked up in the air for its lines mostly. proposal was like you said. was laughing at your take on the men who stare at goats - i can imagine you staring uncomprehendingly at the men who are starin at goats. lol...

couchpapaya said...

Yword - Exactly :) It does have it's funny moments & scenes, but I was expecting all of it to lead somewhere. The end left me with a big WTF ...

avdi said...

Well well, so thats where the papaya went. One should know that Papaya cant survive in the cold weather.

Hope you had a great time.

avdi said...

BTW, no shopping in Goa? No sarongs or things like that?

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