Friday, January 16, 2015

The Muppets

Movie: The Muppets
Genre: Musical, Comedy
Directed by: James Bobin
Produced by: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman
Story by: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Music by: Christophe Beck

Gary, as a young boy watches the Muppet Show, on TV with his puppet-y brother- Walter, and they like it very much. Walter grows, but actually doesn’t grow, and becomes a great fan of the muppets- especially, Kermit the frog. So, Gary, now a grown man, plans a trip to Los Angeles with his ladylove, Mary, and his puppet-y brother- Walter. They go to the old Muppet Theatre to look around. But to Walter’s disappointment, there are no muppets anymore. The place is empty, and there is a guide who shows them around. Walter enters Kermit's place and looks at everything awe-struck. He hides under the furniture when he finds a man and a few evil muppets discussing to buy the theatre and dig it for oil production, and that he will withdraw from the project only with ten million dollars. Walter is shocked. He reports this to Gary and Mary. They go to Kermit’s place so that Walter can talk to the frog muppet. Walter convinces Kermit to gather the old muppet troop and perform for one last time- The Muppet Show.

They gather all the old troop muppets- Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and the rest. They practice hard and get Veronica accept their show to be televised. They finally stage the show. First there are no audience. Then they start coming in. Walter fulfills his dream of being a part of the muppets as he performs his bit of the show. Money starts pouring in. Tex Richman tries to disrupt their show as much as possible, by cutting off power, to make sure that their funds don’t reach a million. But Mary, being a good mechanic, repairs all damage. The show proceeds. But Mr. Richman cuts off all the calls so that funds can’t be raised and the money stops with $9,999,999. And Richman declares that the muppets have failed and that he owns the place for himself.

Sad, the muppets go away. But outside the theatre, they see the streets filled with people crying out “muppets” and cameras clicking on their faces. Richman changes his mind and gives the Muppet Theatre back. Walter finally joins with the muppets. Mary and Gary are happy. All ends well.

The movie was very, very funny. But it was sort of nice. I don't really love it, but I don't dislike it either. It was height of comedy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tangled

Movie: Tangled
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Directed by: Nathan Greno, Bryon Howard
Produced by: Roy Conli, John Lasseter, Glen Keane
Based on: Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers (a Russian Fairytale)
Music by: Alan Menken


A drop of sunlight becomes a golden flower with healing abilities. An old witch uses this flower to stay young forever. But the Queen has fallen ill, and so, the soldiers take this flower to the Queen, and the Queen becomes healthy again. Soon the Queen gives birth to Rapunzel, the young princess, with long golden hair. The angry witch takes the baby girl to a lonely hidden tower and raises her there. The witch will stay young as long as Rapunzel’s golden hair stays.

Rapunzel grows with the witch believing her to be “mother”. Every year, she notices that on her birthday, lots of lanterns light up the sky, coming from the city. She dreams of going to the city and exploring places beyond the tower. But, the witch does not allow her, saying “mother knows best”.

One day, the witch leaves the tower promising to return in three days, when young Rapunzel meets a “WANTED” thief- Flynn Rider. He has come into the tower to hide from the soldiers of the kingdom from which he had stolen a crown. She hides the crown, after she beats Flynn Rider unconscious with a saucepan! After he regains consciousness, she makes a deal with him- he takes her to see the lanterns, and then she will give him back the crown. Flynn agrees. He takes her through the forest to the city. On their way, Rapunzel turns enemies to friends with her charm and innocence. But, the witch spots Rapunzel dancing in one place, and she is enraged. When royal soldiers find about the presence of Flynn Rider in the inn, they immediately try to capture him. But Rapunzel and Flynn, with the help of their friends from the inn, escape.

At this time, Rapunzel heals Flynn when he is hurt with her golden hair’s  healing power. Flynn admits to Rapunzel that his name is actually Eugene, and Rapunzel starts calling him Eugene. They successfully go to the city, but the witch follows them closely with two other men waiting to kill Flynn Rider. Rapunzel finally sees the sky lit up lanterns and gives Eugene the crown. But Eugene, realizing he didn't want to steal anymore, gives off the crown to the two men waiting to kill him. They send him off to the royal soldiers who take Flynn to the guillotine for the beheading. The witch takes Rapunzel back to the tower.

Flynn is saved by the royal horse- Maximus- which became his friend when he was with Rapunzel. It takes him to the tower so that he can save Rapunzel. Meanwhile, Rapunzel finds out that she is the lost princess for whom they were lighting the lanterns every year. She talks to the witch about it, but the witch ties Rapunzel with chains.

When Eugene comes to save her, the witch cuts him almost killing him. Rapunzel promises the witch that she would do as the witch says for the rest of her life if the witch let her heal Eugene. The witch lets her near Eugene. But as Rapunzel tries to heal, Eugene cuts off her hair with a knife, thus defeating the witch. The witch tumbles out of the tower and turns to dust.

Rapunzel cries when Eugene dies. Her tears cure Eugene, and he comes back alive. They go to the palace together. There is a happy reunion with the KIng and the Queen. The whole kingdom celebrates. And, finally, Eugene and Rapunzel marry to live happily ever after!

I love the movie. Maximus and Pascal (Rapunzel’s pet chameleon) are my favourite characters. I like the songs in the movie. All the characters are charming and nice. I loved the part when Rapunzel thinks she has to defend herself, and attacks the undefeatable, most “WANTED” thief Flynn Rider- with a saucepan!

It was fun to watch the movie.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Incredibles

Movie: The Incredibles
Genre: Animation, Action
Directed by: Brad Bird
Produced by: John Walker
Story by: Brad Bird
Music by: Michael Giacchino

Bob and Helen try to lead a civilian life, chucking their former identities- Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl- because of the government’s non-cooperation. They have three kids- Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack. Being the children of superheroes the kids also have super powers. Dash can run really really fast, and Violet can vanish and also create magnetic fields. But, the children are asked not to use their super powers, and lead a normal life.

Everything goes well until one day when Mr. Incredible gets an invitation to destroy a robot called Omnidroid. The man accepts the job immediately, waiting to use his superpowers. He lies to his wife and children about the mission, and goes on with it. But there, he gets into trouble.

Helen finds out when Mr. Incredible gets into a fix, and becomes Elastigirl to go and help him out. On her way, she finds that Dash and Violet have also accompanied her without her knowledge. They all go and try to help out Bob- with their superpowers.  

Syndrome, the villain, locks them up in the abandoned island, and goes to the city to prove himself to be the real hero. The Incredibles escape, go to the city in a rocket and save the day from evil Syndrome.

When Syndrome tries to capture the young baby Jack-Jack, they all look helplessly. But Jack-Jack proves himself to be the son of superheroes as he exhibits his fire and form changing power(even as an infant) to escape from Syndrome. Syndrome gets defeated. All ends happily, and the Incredibles settle for their normal life.

The family decides to become superheroes and save the city when trouble comes again!

I loved the infant Jack-Jack! He was so cute and lovely. The climax was awesome! I liked the movie very much. It simply has unforgettable characters!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Chicken Run

Movie: Chicken Run
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Directed by: Peter Lord and Nick Lord
Produced by: David Sproxton, Peter Lord and Nick Lord
Story by: Peter Lord, Nick Park
Music by: John Powell, Harry Gregson-Williams


Chickens from cruel Mrs. Tweedy’s farm, encouraged by Ginger, a leader-chicken, try to escape from the fenced farm through various methods. When Ginger tries to think of newer ideas, she meets a circus rooster named Rocky that lands on Tweedy’s farm in mid-flight. Thinking that Rocky knows to fly, Ginger retains him in the farm, protecting him from the circus people who come in search. She makes a deal with him- she will protect him from the circus people and he has to teach all the hens in the farm to fly, so that all of them can escape from Mrs. Tweedy.


Meanwhile, Mrs. Tweedy gets bored of making minor profits from the egg-farm business, and decides to start making chicken pies that will earn her more money. The hens in the farm come to know of this and they frantically practice flying. But it doesn’t work out. They find out that Rocky cannot fly,and that he was simply thrust into the air. Finally, Ginger gets an idea. All the chickens work hard- together- and create a huge aircraft. Fowler, a senior rooster pilots the craft and they all escape, leaving Mrs. Tweedy fuming and almost making a pie out of her! It all ends happily.


The movie was okay. I wouldn’t say I love it. But there were a lot of funny scenes and the climax was pretty good.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Frozen

Movie: Frozen
Genre: Animation
Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Produced by: Peter Del Vecho
Story By: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Shane Morris
Music by: Christophe Beck


Elsa, the princess of Arendelle, has special powers to control ice and snow. She hurts her younger sister Anna on the head, and their parents take her to the Troll king to rescue Anna. Anna is rescued but the King and Queen, worried about the damage Elsa can create, isolates Elsa from Anna. The two stay apart. But suddenly one day, the King and the Queen die in an accident. Anna, roams the halls of the palace all alone since Elsa wouldn’t come out of her room, afraid that she might hurt her sister.

Finally, after a few years, Elsa comes out of her room for her coronation. The gates of the palace are opened after a long time, and all the people gather for the ceremony. Elsa, tells herself to control her powers, so that the ceremony goes normally. Anna, is all excited since this is the first time she is going out in years, and also meeting her locked up sister-Elsa. The ceremony goes well.

But when Anna comes to Elsa, declaring she is going to marry Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, Elsa disagrees and loses control of herself. She brings eternal winter to Arendelle. Afraid of the consequences, she runs away to the northern mountains and builds an icy palace for herself where she could let her powers be free without hurting anybody. Anna, back in Arendelle, leaves the place under Hans’s charge, and goes in search of her sister.

Anna, with the help of an iceman named Kristoff, his reindeer called Sven and an alive snowman called Olaf, finds Elsa. She tries to bring her back to Arendelle. Elsa tries to send her sister off before she gets out of control and hurt her sister by mistake. But Anna doesn't go, and when Elsa goes out of control, she hurts Anna- this time on the chest. Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven go to the trolls but the Troll king declares that Anna can be saved only by true love.

Thinking true love exists back in Arendelle with Hans, Anna’s friends transport her to Arendelle palace. But there, Anna finds that Hans wanted to marry her only for the riches- not for true love. She thinks she can find true love back in Kristoff and tries to reach him. Kristoff comes back to Arendelle seeing a commotion, praying all the while for Anna’s life.

Meanwhile, Hans captures Elsa, and Elsa tries to run away, again. When Hans tries to kill Elsa, Anna gets on to his way. At that time, she turns into ice because of the hurt in her chest caused by Elsa. Hans hits the ice and falls back. Elsa, seeing her sister turn to ice, hugs her and cries. This is the true love that cures Anna. She turns back to normal. Elsa, also gains control of her powers and Arendelle becomes free from the eternal winter. Everybody is happy forever.

I loved Anna the best in the movie. She is so cheerful, funny and nice. She loves her friends and her sister so much! I also love Olaf- the snowman! He is so cute, and soft-hearted. I loved the parts when Olaf talks how he has always liked summer better than winter, and his sunny dreams.


Frozen is one the best animated movies I have seen. It is simply wonderful. I loved it.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

How To Train Your Dragon-2

Movie: How To Train Your Dragon-2
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Directed by: Dean DeBlois
Produced by: Bonnie Arnold
Based on: How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Music by: John Powell


Hiccup and Astrid along with their dragons Toothless and Stormfly bump into an ice-house while exploring. They meet a man named Eret who tries to capture them. They find out Eret to be working under a dangerous man named Drago Bludvist, who captures dragons and has them under his control. Hiccup and Astrid escape from the enemies and return to Berk, their town, to warn Stoick, Hiccup’s dad about the enemies. But when Stoick comes to know that their enemy is Drago Bludvist, he orders the gates of Berk to be closed.


Just when the gates are about to be closed Hiccup along with Toothless escapes into the open believing that he can convince Drago Bludvist not to capture dragons, and talk sense into him. While they travel about, they meet another rider on a bigger dragon who captures them and takes them to an unknown place. Hiccup finds the rider to be his long-lost mother whom he believed was dead long ago. She shows him a protected nest- a whole new world- in which hundreds of dragons thrive under the Alpha dragon Bewilderbeast.  Just then, Stoick follows Hiccup to the dragon nest, where he finds his wife alive. He is more than happy, and ready to do anything for her.


Meanwhile, Astrid and the other dragon riders kidnap Eret and go to Drago Bludvist.  Drago Bludvist is very angry with Eret for leading the riders to his place. Eret changes sides and starts supporting the riders. Drago captures them all, and learns about Berk and the dragons there. He goes to the dragon nest and produces his own Alpha dragon to challenge Bewilderbeast. Bewilderbeast is defeated in the battle. All the dragons surrender to Drago. In this battle, Stoick, Hiccup’s father is killed by Toothless(when Toothless is controlled by Drago’s Alpha). Drago takes Toothless- the night fury- for himself. He moves on to capture the dragons of Berk.


Hiccup the hero, goes with his friends to Berk on baby dragons, revives his best friend- Toothless- and defeats Drago Bludvist. Toothless, the dragon of the hero, defeats the Alpha. Berk is saved. Hiccup becomes the next Chieftain of Berk.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Longing Belonging: An Outsider At Home In Calcutta

Title: Longing Belonging: An Outsider At Home In Calcutta

Author: Bishwanth Ghosh

Bishwanth Ghosh was determined to write a book on Calcutta, because that way he would return to this city more often. And- Longing Belonging- is what he has produced!

It is a very nice book that gives us an insight on the city of Calcutta, its people- the Calcuttans, and the culture and tradition. It talks about every place in Calcutta, ranging from the Hooghly riverside, Park Street, Kalighat, Kumartuli to College Street and Sonagachhi! It gives us the history of that fabled city whose name changed from Kalikata to Calcutta to Kolkata. The book also explains the political background of the city- the rule by CPM for 35 years and then how Mamatadi had won with her Trinamool Congress.

Bishwanth Ghosh talks about the literature of that city- what Calcutta is truly famous for. He talks about the heated addas or discussions/debates that take place in Calcutta’s coffee houses where elderly scholars debate upon the works of other elderly scholars.

The book also portrays the city as an old and modern town where busses, SUVs, rickshaws and trams, all go in harmony. It is always chaotic, the book says, but there never is a collision. Bishwanth Ghosh talks about his tram ride in Calcutta.

When talking about films, the main movies seem to be Satyajit Ray’s. Here is an excerpt from the book that shows Satyajit Ray’s films are a must in Calcutta:
“yeah, yeah, you have to watch Ray, what are you saying? Being a Bengali, most things are thrust upon you even if you don’t want to do anything with it. Tagore and Ray are the two pillars holding Bengali culture together.”

Also, Ghosh goes on talking about the most famous sweet of Calcutta- Rossogolla(balls of cottage cheese boiled in sugar syrup). He shows us the the inventor of Rossogolla- Nobin Chandra Das. In his conversation with Mr. Dhiman Das, Nobin Chandra Das’s grandson’s grandson, the invention of this wonderful sweet is explained. Ghosh also clearly depicts the street delicacies of Calcutta.

Ghosh’s narration of the Calcuttans’ feelings for the Indian Cricket-how the Bengalis feel that Sourav Ganguly is the only fit enough captain India ever had, and how they exclaim when Indians win under Dhoni’s captaincy that “these boys have been groomed under Sourav, after all”- is enjoyable.

Longing Belonging is a very nice book. I liked it.