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Greek Gods 101 April 7, 2010

Posted by Shujath in Articles, English, Movies, Reviews.
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It’s just three months into the year and we already have a couple of flicks based on Greek Gods. Are they the new successors to vampires and zombies? The box office performances of both have been encouraging but the films themselves haven’t found much appreciation to establish a genre.

The first one – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief has (justifiably) been labeled as Harry Potter’s poor cousin. The HP films have set such high standards for fantasy flicks featuring teenagers that it is tough to watch any film in the genre without comparing it to the former. The Lightning Thief is definitely a well made film with the right mix of action, humor and VFX yet not great enough to warrant sequels (they are definitely being planned for sure). I’ve always found the Greek pantheon of deities extremely confusing. But they are a staple part of pop culture – especially in film and literature, so a film like this was to me a perfect initiation into that world.

Watching Clash of the Titans earlier this week, I felt quite at home with the characters but the film itself turned out be a bland CGI extravaganza. Even earlier, the promos didn’t excite me – I was just drawn in due to the hype surrounding it. The local posters were embellished with the funny sounding “From the Hero of Avatar” tag-line which nevertheless seemed to have been successful in drawing huge crowds. I watched the 2-D version but I don’t think I missed much….since the 3D post-conversion process has drawn huge flak from prominent folks recently.

Between the two films, I’d easily pick Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief over Clash of the Titans. In any case, if you’ve seen the trailer of COTT you’ve pretty much seen the entire movie.

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Taken March 20, 2009

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.
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An ex-spy is trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter, who now lives with her mom and wealthy stepdad. The daughter goes off to France with a friend despite his reluctance to send her alone. Both girls are taken away in a bid to push them into prostitution. Now, it is upto to the father to use his skills and connections to get his daughter back.

Taken has a simple plot, a focused screenplay and a lot of action that does not fall under the stylish but unbelievable category. Bryan Mills is a more believable spy than Jason Bourne or James Bond and in a way, less exciting too. Unlike the Transporter action franchise, also commissioned by producer and co-writer Luc Besson, this film lacks humor but its pace and 91 minute length keeps you from noticing.

In contrast to my expectations, Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, Love Actually) actually looks quite good with a gun. The entire film depends on his portrayal of the spy and his success at the task lends credence to the film.

Taken is an unexpected success at the box office and isn’t a bad watch if you are looking for a simple, well-paced action film.