Posts Tagged ‘film’

Tom Cruise Hangs From Burj

Monday, November 1st, 2010

And then there’s this: “Tom Cruise hangs from world’s tallest building“.

Tom Cruise risked his life performing stunts for “Mission: Impossible 4″ in Dubai over the weekend: the star, 48, dangled almost 2,717 feet in the air near the top of skyscraper Burj Kahlifa, the tallest building in the world.

It’ll be interesting to see this flick, directed, of course, by the guy who did The Incredibles and Iron Giant (yes, I’m serious).

M:I Arba’a

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Oh yeah: “‘Mission Impossible’ filming starts in Dubai soon“.

Reminds me of a statement I made four years ago (see James Bond in Dubai):

I bet you that at some point in the next two James Bond movies (#22 or #23) James Bond will visit to Dubai.

Now, maybe he won’t be cruising down Sheikh Zayed Road in some crazy-fancy car, or swinging from a crane onto one of the Emirates Towers, or ski racing the bad guys at Ski Dubai, but I could see him cruising around the Palm Jumeirah in some huge yacht. Maybe having a meeting (and drinks, if they have a bar?) at the Burj al-Arab hotel, too.

I know James Bond is a snobby south of France / Bahamas kind of guy, but Dubai is getting pretty big and pretty global.

Just a thought.

*If I’m wrong on this, maybe Dubai will feature in the next Mission: Impossible movie instead, which I hope they make with Brad Pitt instead of Tom “Crazypants” Cruise.

Bond #23 might be “suspended indefinitely” but damn was I right about Mission: Impossible 4.

Well, not the Brad Pitt part, but the Dubai part.

The Opposite of Idiots

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Back in July we went to the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville, and fell in love with the Bollywood film 3 Idiots (see Maine International Film Festival).

It’s the highest grossing Bollywood movie ever, and quite famous. I meant to write more about it at the time, but I was busy not having a job and not writing on this site. Sorry. When it comes to DVD in the States I’ll make a big push, I promise.

Anyway, I just saw that the 3 Idiots record was trounced at the box office this weekend: “‘Dabangg’ is unstoppable; leaves behind ‘3 Idiots’ over weekend“.


I know nothing about Bollywood, but these two movies sound like complete opposites. Compare:

Set in Laalgunj, Uttar Pradesh, Dabangg is a story of Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan), a totally fearless but corrupt police officer with unorthodox working methods. But even the most fearless at times face a tough fight with their innermost demons.

To the blurb for 3 Idiots:

Two friends embark on a quest for a lost buddy. On this journey, they encounter a long forgotten bet, a wedding they must crash, and a funeral that goes impossibly out of control.

Heck, even compare their posters:

Odd that they both use faint writing in the background. Other than that, they are completely different.

It’s fun to see Eid on the Dabangg poster. Odd that it’s blood-spattered, though …

Maine International Film Festival

Monday, July 19th, 2010

The 13th annual Maine International Film Festival ended yesterday, we managed to get up to Waterville on two different days to check out five films.

Apparently they play fast and loose with the whole “international” aspect of the festival; three of the films were produced in the United States. But they were flicks that would be tough to see in the real world, so it worked.

Here’s a list of what we saw, with the descriptions from the website. All were interesting, but I think 3 Idiots was our favorite. And with the genius of the iTunes Store we were able to download two of the songs from the soundtrack, something that would have been impossible only a few years ago.

The Silent Enemy (1930) USA
From the early sound era comes a striking film shot amongst the Native American tribes still living on the land in southern Quebec, near the Maine border, some 80 years ago, and presented at MIFF in an amazing 35mm print. A unique and now unrecreatable record of a lost way of life – even though itself a somewhat romanticized fiction – The Silent Enemy was seen as that even at the time of its release, as witness this review from the day in Time Magazine: “Every schoolboy knows that the Indian has not yet quite vanished from the forests of the continent that was his. But no schoolbook, museum or government bureau will ever preserve the vestigial red man as this picture does…. The cast was recruited from the Ojibwas of upper Ontario…The time is before Columbus. A famine year is upon the forest. Baluk, the tribe’s big-muscled hunter, reports to Chetoga, the old chief, that their people should go “many moccasins” north without delay to the crossing place of the caribou. Dagwan, the malicious medicine man, makes it a condition of the plan that if game is not found, Baluk must die. The north wind and great snows meet the Ojibwas on their march. The Great Canoe (Death) comes for Chetoga. “The land of the little sticks” (Hudson Bay barrens) is reached…”

3 Idiots (2009) India
There’s a reason why 3 Idiots has become the biggest Bollywood film ever. Actually there’s several. First, there’s a complex and charismatic lead performance by Aamir Khan (who MIFF audiences saw last year in a different Bollywood film, the intense psychological thriller Ghajini), now easily the biggest Bollywood star on the planet. There’s an intriguing and involving story: Two friends embark on a quest for a lost buddy. On this journey, they encounter a long forgotten bet, a wedding they must crash, and a funeral that goes impossibly out of control. And there’s a winning mix of the comic, the dramatic and yes, even a fine musical number or two. “A superstar for more than two decades, Aamir Khan has never been more popular than he is today, in his mid-forties. In writer-director Rajkumar Hirani’s tuneful, enjoyable college comedy, 3 Idiots, Khan plays “Rancho,” an engineering student so brilliant that he barely has to break a sweat to place first in his class. Rancho always has plenty of energy left over to wage a guerrilla war against the institution’s emphasis on rote memorization…. In the ingenious extended finale, Rancho serves as a deus ex machina guru/savior to the ordinary mortals he has befriended along the way. Hirani embraces melodramatic convention with open arms, but he is also a crafty entertainer who smoothly choreographs his overpopulated storyline” – David Chute, Village Voice.

Ahead of Time (2009) USA – AFI Project: 20/20
An inspiration not only for her ground-breaking career, but for her vitality and humor at 98 years old, Ruth Gruber has led a life almost impossible to believe. Born in Brooklyn in 1911, she became the youngest PhD in the world before going on to become an international foreign correspondent and photojournalist at the age of 24. With her love of adventure, fearlessness and powerful intellect, Ruth defied tradition in an extraordinary career that has spanned more than seven decades. The first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic in 1935, Ruth also traveled to Alaska as a member of the Roosevelt administration in 1942, escorted Holocaust refugees to America in 1944, covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946 and documented the Haganah ship Exodus in 1947. Her relationships with world leaders including Eleanor Roosevelt, President Harry Truman, and David Ben Gurion gave her unique access and insight into the modern history of the Jewish people. The film interweaves verite scenes with never-seen-before archival footage, and is an unforgettable portrait of an unforgettable woman.

Cell 211 (2009) Spain
Nominated for no less than 16 Goyas (Spanish Oscar equivalents), this tough as nails, absolutely riveting prison drama won eight, including Best Film of the Year this year. The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot—the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal – Cell 211 is a tension-filled drama with complex characters, a tight focus and real integrity. Its Goya winning lead acting performance by Luis Tosar is unforgettable.

Sita Sings the Blues (2008) USA
Not for nothing does this utterly wonderful and utterly unique film come trailing universal raves like Roger Ebert’s: “Astonishingly original. I am enchanted! I am swept away!” Or the Boston Globe’s: “An almost indescribable pleasure, delightful!” Sita Sings the Blues is flat out the most fun you’ll have in ages. Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920’s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as “the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.”