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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince July 27, 2009

Posted by Shujath in English, Movies, Reviews.
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I loved the first three films and the last two weren’t bad either but the latest installment is the only film which actually piqued my interest in the series. The previous films pretty much had stand alone plots and a little familiarity with the main characters and a few major incidents was all that you needed to follow. The Half Blood Prince is the only film in the franchise which explicitly sets the scene for an interesting finale.

Each film in the series has been getting darker and this one is no exception. The good thing is that this one is also a lot funnier than the previous two films. There is ample screen time given to characters other than Harry – who definitely make the proceedings a lot more enjoyable. As has been the tradition for every flick, the new major cast member to join this time is Jim Broadbent as Professor Horace Slughorn who plays a significant role in this enterprise as the one who taught Tom Riddle the recipe to make himself immortal – a secret which Harry has to uncover.

The first 10 minutes or so was in IMAX 3D which I thought was very impressive mainly because this was the first time I saw a live action feature in this format. It is far more effective here than for an animation or even a motion capture feature. David Yates (Order of the Phoenix) successfully delivers another deserving winner in the franchise – which undoubtedly will be considered among the best in the series. It’s great that he will also be helming the final two films based on the last book. Along with Star Trek, for me the Half Blood Prince was the most satisfying summer blockbuster till now. Do catch the IMAX version (3D or otherwise) if possible.


Terminator Salvation May 30, 2009

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.
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The wait has been long but the payoff isn’t exactly what I hoped for.

Unlike the previous films where John Connor is being chased by robots, this time he is doing the chasing. His mission is to save Kyle Reese (his would be or had been dad) while also trying to destroy Skynet. Somewhere in all this, a new character called Marcus Wright also plays an important role.

Despite all the similarities in structure (almost felt like a remake of its predecessor) and flaws, I still enjoyed Terminator 3 because it still played like a Terminator film. The tension, the excitement, characters that you wanted to care for and a little bit of humor – the elements were all there.

But Terminator Salvation is a different film (written by T3 scribes John Brancato and Michael Ferris). It moves away from the formula and tries to tell a different story, though the goal is to still save a human being from the machines. While the tale is fine, the film does not engage us on an emotional level. You don’t really feel connected to the characters or root for them. You sit there and wait to figure out what its all about and thats it.

The visual effects are quite remarkable and that is the real USP of this film but the action, though exciting, isn’t comparable to previous films because you don’t really care much for the protagonists and therefore, there is no real tension.

Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) is fine but doesn’t impress. Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) is the only actor in the film who seems human enough to relate to (as is the little girl). Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club) and Bryce Dallace Howard (The Village) are wasted. Sam Worthington gets the biggest and most interesting part in the film.

Director McG (Charlie’s Angels) succeeds in creating some great visuals but this film lacks soul. If you love the series for the action and visual effects, you might like this a bit. But if you were expecting more from this one, you will be disappointed.