Thursday, May 27, 2010

#T5T or Top Five Thursday- Movie Quotes

OK so, yes, I am trying to create a meme. Why not? One Thursday my twitter friends and I fell into a conversation about our "list". You know? The list of 5 celebs that you have a free pass with if you ever get the opportunity (made famous on Friends). We had a blast! So, I thought lists are fun to make. It's fun to think about your favorite things. Why not have a topic each week, pick our top 5 and discuss for fun? So, that's what we've been doing. We've covered guilty pleasures, Bollywood item numbers, hottie bad boys and girls from movies, etc.

So this week the topic is Top 5 movie dialogues or quotes. I am a quote whore! I just love a verbal moment in a movie so I give you my Top 5 and then some miscellaneous moments that I also love. Hope you enjoy!

#T5T Number 5: From the end of Anne of Green Gables when she and Gilbert finally get together.

Anne: I went looking for my ideals outside of myself and discovered it's not what the world holds for you, it's what you bring to it. The dreams dearest to my heart are right here.

Gilbert: Well I hope you keep on dreaming. It'll be 3 years before I finish medical school and even then there won't be any diamond sunbursts or marble halls.

Anne: I don't want sunbursts or marble halls. I just want you.

This scene starts at 9:42 of video.

If you've never seen Anne of Green Gables, you're totally missing out on a fabulous movie and the books too are wonderful. I think every girl in the world should read the Anne books. Anne and Gilbert are an iconic couple and this scene where they finally get together is the perfect end to the film.

#T5T Number 4 Ewan McGregor as Curt Wild at the end of Velvet Goldmine.

We set out to change the world...just ended up changing ourselves.
- What's wrong with that?
...Nothing...if you don't look at the world.

Sadly, I could not find a clip of this scene so I have a video clip of character Curt Wild performing during the movie. To be safe: VIDEO IS NSFW! (Ewan and Curt are so very hot!)

This quote always gets me. First, I LOVE the character Curt Wild mostly because Ewan McGregor is amazing in the role but also because he's that archetype of the vulnerable bad boy who has been wounded. Who can resist that? This quote though, I think fits my cynical side and in the context of the film is just brilliant.

#T5T Number 3 Holden to Alyssa in Chasing Amy. Fell in love with Ben Affleck during this scene. A rain scene by the way.

Holden McNeil: I love you. And not, not in a friendly way, although I think we're great friends. And not in a misplaced affection, puppy-dog way,
although I'm sure that's what you'll call it. I love you. Very, very simple, very truly. You are the epitome of everything I have ever looked for in
another human being. And I know that you think of me as just a friend, and crossing that line is the furthest thing from an option you would ever consider.
But I had to say it. I just, I can't take this anymore. I can't stand next to you without wanting to hold you. I can't, I can't look into your eyes without
feeling that, that longing you only read about in trashy romance novels. I can't talk to you without wanting to express my love for everything you are. And
I know this will probably queer our friendship - no pun intended - but I had to say it, because I've never felt this way before, and I don't care. I like
who I am because of it. And if bringing this to light means we can't hang out anymore, then that hurts me. But God, I just, I couldn't allow another day to
go by without just getting it out there, regardless of the outcome, which by the look on your face is to be the inevitable shoot-down. And, you know, I'll
accept that. But I know...I know that some part of you is hesitating for a moment, and if there is a moment of hesitation, then that means you feel
something too. All I ask, please, is that you just, you just not dismiss that - and try to dwell in it for just ten seconds. Alyssa, there isn't another
soul on this fucking planet who has ever made me half the person I am when I'm with you, and I would risk this friendship for the chance to take it to the
next plateau. Because it is there between you and me. You can't deny that. Even if, you know, even if we never talk again after tonight, please know that
I'm forever changed because of who you are and what you've meant to me, which - while I do appreciate it - I'd never need a painting of birds bought at a diner to remind me of.

Who hasn't been there? In love with a friend (gay or not) and terrified of saying something but too tortured to maintain the status quo. You just know from the writing here that Kevin Smith has been there too.

#T5T Number 2 Almost Famous: Lester Bang's famous "uncool" dialogue.

Lester Bangs: That's because we're uncool. And while women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is about that very same problem. Good-looking people don't have any spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we're smarter.
William Miller: I can really see that now.
Lester Bangs: Yeah, great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love... and let's face it,
you got a big head start.
William Miller: I'm glad you were home.
Lester Bangs: I'm always home. I'm uncool.
William Miller: Me too!
Lester Bangs: The only true currency in this bankrupt world if what we share with someone else when we're uncool

For all of us who've ever felt uncool. It's true what he says, always trying to be cool is the enemy of sincerity.

#T5T Number 1 is from Rocky Balboa, the last Rocky film. Rocky talks to his son who feels overshadowed by his father's legacy and disenchanted with his life.

Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world and you did but somewhere along the line you changed. You stopped bein' you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you're no good and when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame. Like a big shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are
it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done.

Now if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that.

This scene really hit home for me at the time and still does. We all need to remember this when anyone tries to make us feel inferior or when life beats us up a bit. I think Sylvester Stallone is great in this scene.

Honorable Mention Goes to the Following:

"Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"
- Auntie Mame starring Rosalind Russell

"It can't rain all the time."
- The Crow starring Brandon Lee

"So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life."
- Office Space starring Ron Livingston

"Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."
- A Few Good Men (just one of many quotes from that movie. Possible the best dialogue movie ever)

"Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!
- Braveheart

"That night, I thanked God for seeing me through that day of days and prayed I would make it through D plus 1. I also promised that if some way I could get home again, I would find a nice peaceful town and spend the rest of my life in peace."
- Band of Brothers

Finally, I know this is supposed to be movie quotes but a post on quotes could never be complete for me without quotes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of the smartest shows to ever grace the television.

Willow warns Riley about dating Buffy:
"And remember, if you hurt her, I will beat you to death with a shovel. A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend. Have fun."

Giles referring to Angel and Buffy in Season 1
"A vampire in love with a slayer. It's rather a maudlin sort of way."

Spike...ah, Spike :-)
"If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock"

Spike in Season 3 telling Buffy and Angel how it is.
"You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other until it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood -- blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it"

"Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping, waiting, and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir. Open it's jaws, and howl. It speaks to us, guides us. Passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love, the clarity of hatred, and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we can live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we'd be truly dead."

Spike to Buffy in Season 7 after her friends and family have kicked her out.
"You listen to me. [Kneels in front of her] I've been alive a bit longer than you, and dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldn't imagine, and done things I prefer you didn't. I don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood, which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain. So I make a lot of mistakes, a lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years, and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of: you. [Buffy looks away; he reaches toward her face] Hey, look at me. I'm not asking you for anything. When I say, "I love you," it's not because I want you or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy."

Giles losing at Dungeons and Dragons
"I used to be a highly respected watcher, and now I'm a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily."

Xander bemoaning his fate
"Damn it! You know what? I'm sick of this crap. I'm sick of being the guy who eats insects, and gets the funny syphilis. As of this moment, it's over. I'm finished being everybody's butt-monkey"

Buffy reflecting on the life of a pumpkin at Halloween
"I was just thinking about the life of a pumpkin. Grow up in the sun, happily entwined with others, and then someone comes along, cuts you open, and rips your guts out"

Willow's take on relationships after Oz breaks her heart
"Okay, say that I help. And you start a conversation. It goes great. You like Buffy, she likes you. You spend time together, feelings grow deeper, and one day, without even realizing it, you find you're in love. Time stops, and it feels like the whole world is made for you two, and you two alone. Until the day one of you leaves, and rips the still-beating heart from the other, who's now a broken, hollow, mockery of the human condition"

Spike to Buffy after she is resurrected
I do remember what I said. The promise. To protect her. If I'd done that ... even if I didn't make it, you wouldn't've had to jump. I want you to know I did save you. Not when it counted, of course. But after that. Every night after that. I'd see it all again, do something different. Faster or more clever, you know? Dozens of times, lots of different ways ...Every night I save you.

OK, I'll leave it there for now. I could spend ages listing quotes I love. How about you guys? What are your favorite movie quotes (or Buffy quotes)? Please share them in the comments section. I'm always looking for more for my collection. Also, if you're on Twitter, why don't you join us next week? The topic for Thursday, June 3rd is Top 5 fictional characters you'd like to punch in the face. Use the #T5T hashtag in your post and use it also to read what other participants have to say.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kites, or I Don't Know What the Message is but it was Damned Entertaining

I have been waiting for this movie since I first became a Hindi film devotee a bit more than a year ago. I happened upon my first Hindi film Jodhaa Akbar when it was available for instant viewing via Netflix and I needed to test out my new Tivo wifi adapter. Hrithik Roshan immediately mesmerized me with his breathtaking beauty, screen charisma and talent.

Hrithik was my first love in Bollywood. Immediately after watching Jodhaa Akbar I googled him (what did we stalkers do before google?) and started finding out everything I could about him and watched and purchased ALL of his movies in quick succession. I quickly exhausted all of his films and so my focus shifted to waiting for Kites which was already in the works (until SRK entered my life and stole my heart... but that's another story for another day. I still love Hrithik and he is 2nd in my affections hence my continued anticipation for this film.) So today, after the release date being pushed back time and time again, I finally got to see Kites.

Normally, the kind of hype and anticipation that preceded Kites would result in me being disappointed by the final product but it turned out to be everything I expected it to be, a feast for the eyes, a real entertainer and just great fun at the movies. Anyone who expected it to be more than're misguided at best and kinda dumb at worst.

From my perspective, as someone who saw a decade's worth of Hrithik's work all at once, I definitely think he made a huge leap in his confidence and comfort in his own skin and as an actor with Jodhaa Akbar, Dhoom 2 and Luck By Chance. One thing I was anticipating in Kites was seeing whether or not he had taken that further. I think the answer is that he demonstrates less potent sex appeal and mesmerizing charisma in Kites than he did in JA and Dhoom 2 but in exchange he seems to have grown as a dramatic actor. It's almost as if the compelling gazes and sexy expressions which he perfected in Dhoom 2 were put on the backburner for Kites while he mastered a more subtle style for his dramatic scenes. Now he just has to put it all together in the same film, the subtle dramatic performace with sizzling sex appeal, to really blow people away. This is not to say that there are no "Gah!" moments in Kites where he'll make you drool because there are...just not as many as in JA or Dhoom 2 (a moment on the boat comes immediately to mind and pretty much anything at the beginning of the film when his backstory is being established. Add learning to turn into a toothpick at will to life'll understand once you see the movie).

All of that being said, Hrithik gives a great performance...I just can't wait to see how he continues to evolve as an actor because I know he can be even better than he is in Kites. I guarantee you, from an American gori's perspective, if he were in a Hollywood film tomorrow, he would be an instant phenomenon in America just like he was in India after his debut. I'm not sure that "Kites the Remix", however, is the platform that will do that. The main reason being, the acting of the supporting actor who plays Tony is totally cringeworthy, enough so that it casts a serious pall over the entire film that may cause American audiences to have trouble taking the whole film seriously. Other than that, there were only two scenes that really didn't work for me and only two scenes that I noticed being lifted from or reminiscent of other films SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT>>>>>>>>>>
There is a scene between J and Natasha/Linda that takes place the night before her wedding to Tony in which they are discussing their motivation for why they are with Tony and his sister and discussing cutting their ties to each other. It didn't work for me. It was the one scene where I felt Hrithik's acting was less than convincing. The line delivery was just off for me. Others may find it charming...I just didn't.

The other scene that threw my mental brakes was one of the car chases. They have an extended scene of J and Natasha/Linda driving down an empty desert highway then the police come out of nowhere and start chasing them which is fine, it looks as though the police were laying in wait for them. That I can accept. What bugged me was how all of the sudden approximately 10 other cars suddenly appear on this previously empty highway in the middle of nowhere just so the police cars have something to smash into. It was poorly executed. The other chases, however, were great! I love a good car chase and so, apparently does Anurag Basu. The chases were fantastic and the stunts and action sequences were very well done and not at all cheesy.

The scenes that were lifted from or reminiscent of other films (this is a Rakesh Roshan production after all) were a scene where J sees Natasha/Linda through as fish tank a la Baz Luhrman's William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and a scene where Tony's father punishes a cheater in his casino which reminded me of Reservoir Dogs.

OK, so enough with the negative. On with the gushing!

Kites is a beautifully shot film. There are some scenes that are simply stunning visually. Two that I especially enjoyed were one where J is looking at his new car and the flashing lights of the casino sign are reflected on the car surface. It's just a great visual, very cool. The other is a scene of J and Natasha/Linda in the desert framed by rock arches...very pretty. I also appreciate the color coordination of the couples' outfits when they are on the boat. If you ever wonder in a Hindi film who is going to end up together, look at who is wearing the same color and you'll have your answer. I like that. It's certainly better than airbrushed T-shirts from the mall.

My two favorite scenes in the film are two quiet, tender scenes between J and Natasha/Linda. The first is when they make shadow puppets together. It's so sweet you can't help but smile and feel all gooshy inside. The other is a stand out scene for Hrithik where he tells Natasha/Linda about why the rain makes him sad. Really well written and exceptional acting from Hrithik.

The other scene that I loved was Hrithik's big dance number. He never fails to top himself. He is without a doubt the BEST dancer in Bollywood! The man must be made of rubber! Knowing a bit about how Hrithik prepares for roles, I can't even begin to imagine how many hours of practice he put into getting the dance right. He works incredibly hard yes, but he also has enormous amounts of natural talent. The scene is mesmerizing. I think I watched the whole thing with my jaw on the floor. The high splits alone will blow your mind.

As far as the music is concerned, I really enjoyed all of it and thought it was different than the usual Hindi film fare, it absolutely works both in the context of the film and as stand alone songs...that is except for Kites in the Sky. It pains me to criticize Hrithik's first attempt at a movie song but this song just does not work! I think Hrithik is a decent singer...probably better than this song indicates. It's just a bad, bad song (Rajeshji did a bad, bad thing). The lyrics are beyond cheesy and the arrangement is awful. Upon hearing it before the release of the movie I know some kept an open mind thinking, "Oh, it just needs to be heard in the context of the film" Nope! In fact, it may have been slightly less cringeworthy if used in a different scene, a quieter scene. As it is, the context in which it is played just adds to the reasons why the song doesn't work at all. I hope Hrithik sings again...just a much better song.

Barbara Mori is gorgeous and sexy but sweet at the same time. You can't help but fall in love with her just like J does. She's a fresh, talented actress and is especially touching during the climax of the film. She will break your heart in the scene where she saves J's life. I am curious to see what she does next.

Hrithik's performance I already touched upon but I will say a bit more (mostly because there are few things I like more than rhapsodizing about Hrithik and SRK). In the beginning when they are showing us J's life in Vegas, Hrithik couldn't be hotter! God, he's sexy! But I digress. He does a great job playing a convincing...well, player. He then transitions beautifully to devoted man in love. He is totally believable as both. He is also really funny in a few scenes. I would love to see Hrithik in a *smart* comedy. He has some great comic timing and expressions. His most affecting scenes were the quiet scenes between he and Barbara. He's fantastic at sweet and sincere. He has also really gotten good at the big drama scenes. He held back the lip and nostril quivering (well, there's a little bit of that but not too much) puppy dog-eyed histrionics. He was subtle and believable. His physical performance complimented the scene rather than detracting from it by being too over the top.

As for the much speculated about on-screen chemistry between Hrithik and is powerful, no doubt. I would, however, not call it sizzling or hot or anything with a sexual connotation. There are a couple of steamy moments to be sure and they are certainly very beautiful together but I found the chemistry to be more emotional than physical. When they look into each other's eyes, you really believe that they love each other not just that they want to jump each other. Oh and for those of you who care, there's not just one kiss in the movie...there are at least 4 if my count is right. ;-)

The supporting cast, with the exception of Tony (Nicholas Brown) and the train station agent, are quite good. I especially liked Kangana in her limited role and Anand Tiwari as J's friend Robin.

So what is the message of Kites? I don't know. Does it need one? At the beginning, there is a scene with two kites in the sky with a narration that likens them to two lovers but we are cautioned that the kites don't have control of their actions or fates, those who hold the strings do. So, who then controls the fates of our lovers if not they themselves? The rich and powerful Tony and his father? Fate? There's no clear answer to that especially since J and Natasha/Linda individually have chosen paths that are less than noble so they can't really blame anyone but themselves for the people they find themselves beholden to. Then they continue to make poor decisions that lead them to their ultimate fate. So the story seems to actually contradict the "theme" of the kites. Anyway, like I said, does this movie need a message? Nope. It just entertains and does so thoroughly. I'm recommending it to everyone just with a parenthetical disclaimer about "Tony's" acting.