My First Film Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Mixing wit and romance, “Slumdog Millionaire” proves to be a well-rounded story of survival, of overcoming obstacles in unfortunate circumstances to find a love that was once lost. Director Danny Boyle (“28 Days Later” and “Trainspotting”) and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (“The Full Monty”) come together and manage to create a film depicting the brutal experiences in the life of an orphaned child growing up in the slums of Mumbai while managing to keep the film lighthearted with its witty dialogue and humorous tone.

slumdog

Based on the novel by Vikas Swarup, this drama is based on Jamal Malik, played by Dev Patel (also in the 2007 British series “Skins”), a young boy from Mumbai. Jamal grew up in the slums, but he somehow manages to end up on India’s very own version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?—answering question after question correctly at that.

The film opens up with Jamal sitting in the “hot seat” with the show’s host making small talk, asking him where he is from and where he works. Upon discovering that Jamal is merely a chai wallah who serves tea at a call center, he pokes fun at the idea that this young man could possibly win the full lot of money—20 million rupee. Questions come and go, and the terrified Jamal has only used one “lifeline.” Suspicions of cheating are raised and, during the TV show’s overnight break, Jamal is tortured in interrogation to discover how he might know all the answers to the questions being given to him. The detective interrogating him cannot understand how Jamal could answer a question in reference to an American one hundred dollar bill but that he cannot correctly answer a question in reference to their own country without consulting the audience. Most of all, no one can understand what this “slumdog” wants with 20 million rupee, since it seems his motivation is not the money after all. The detective discovers this as well as he listens to Jamal’s story throughout the interrogation.

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Blue Is the Warmest, So Hot

And when I say “hot,” I’m not referring to the six-minute long sex scene. In fact, I don’t care to talk about that–though I assure you, it is very sexy and quite intense.

Blue is the Warmest Color-movie poster

I refuse to discuss the controversy behind this film. I won’t go over the drama between director Abdellatif Kechiche and one of the leading ladies, Lea Seydoux. Because the truth is, none of these things are what made the film such a success.

Thinking back on Blue Is the Warmest Color, the word “raw” comes to mind. I nearly forgot Adèle Exarchopoulos and Seydoux were acting. Kechiche uses close ups to draw you in to every moment and every emotion. He especially loves to focus on lead actress Exarchopoulos’ mouth, which could alone possibly win an award–with every bite she took and every sob she let out, her lips were the center of my attention.

The film, originally titled La vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 et 2, tells the story of Adèle, how she comes to meet Emma, and what happens thereafter they begin a romance. The story beautifully told and the scenes beautifully shot, if you can appreciate true art in film form, you must go watch this.

*There is a final screening at the Miami Beach Cinematheque tonight! Get your tickets here.

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Team “Carrie 1976,” All the Way!

“They’re all going to laugh at you.”KL_CarrieCov2012_600x600

It’s one of my favorite lines from the original Carrie from 1976. Our main character’s religiously obsessed mother insists her daughter will be ridiculed at her high school prom. Not only was that a foreshadowing of the events that followed in the film, it could also be applied to the reaction the new 2013 adaptation of the film, starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore, received from critics. This is my take on it.

I had previously written a post, “Carrie, 1976 & Now”, in which I mentioned what could be the positive of remaking an already well-made film. I never expected it to be better than the original, but I sure as hell didn’t expect it to fail so miserably.

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The Walking Dead Countdown: 1 Thing to Expect

Now that I’ve finished making my famous meatballs for our Walking Dead Premiere Party tomorrow, I bring to you the one thing we can definitely count on in this new season.

More Walkers!

The-Walking-Dead-Breaking-through-fence
That’s right. Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd has promised that the Walkers will be an even bigger threat in Season 4, according to ComicBookMovie.com.

You know what that means! More gore, bloody entrails, and decapitations.

But in reality, I’m sure there’s one main question on everyone’s mind: What ever happened with the Governor?

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The Walking Dead Countdown: Top 2 “Good Riddance” Picks

A little harsh, I know, but hear me out:

 Ed_Peletier

2) Ed

Wife beater, glutton, scumbag– Who could miss this pig? (Remember how Shane pummeled him? Man that was sexy.)  I almost forgot Ed was even around at some point, mainly because of how well Carol has managed without him, even with the loss of her poor little Sophia. Yes, this pick is just so obvious, I’ll admit I only mentioned him to fill the spot before I introduce my #1 in this category…

CharactersTWDS3-Andrea

1) Andrea

I could almost hear some of you gasp. While I’ve encountered some people who would agree with me, I know many liked Andrea. I mean, she was a force to be reckoned with, a determined woman, a go-getter. I could appreciate a character with all of those qualities. But this bitch was annoying! Let’s begin with the first moment I realized I couldn’t stand her: After Dale convinced her to flee the CDC with them, saving her life, she reacted so ungratefully. I mean, she was downright rude. I understand that she was distraught over losing her sister, but she let her rage out on the wrong person, a man who was not trying to control her (as she falsely accused) but rather just trying to get her to see how valuable her life really was. Then later, her hormones drew her to side with Shane in some of the most inopportune times, and we all know where else those hormones landed her–and for no reason because right when she could’ve really helped everyone by killing the Governor as he lie sleeping, she chickened out! The same woman who demanded she be included when going on dangerous missions later cowered at a crucial moment that would’ve ultimately saved many lives. I’ll admit–I softened up to her towards the end of Season 3. I saw that she meant well. I noticed she had begun to really “see” what was going on, and she was beginning to make better decisions. But then, she died.

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The Walking Dead Countdown: Top 3 Missed Characters

Need I say “SPOILER ALERT?”

3) Dale 534314-dale_horvath_03

He had a way with keeping things under control, don’t you think? He saved Andrea from herself, even though she was completely ungrateful. And he kept a close eye on Shane, knowing very well something was “off” about him. Poor Dale. What a way to go.


 

 

 


2) Merle

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Okay, so he was an enormous pain in the ass, what with his testosterone-heavy, aggressive and impulsive ways, but did it not melt your heart to see the love between him and Daryl? And he did show Michonne some mercy. He was scary at first, but we sure got to see his softer side before he turned.

 

 

 

 

 

1) Shane a_560x375

A true representation of “survival of the fittest,” until his death that is. It was obvious Shane would do whatever he had to do to survive–Otis learned that the hard way–and to protect the ones he loved, such as Lori and her (and his?) baby. Yes, after a while, it became really easy to hate him. He was out of control, and he would’ve probably turned into a major threat… Oh, but that body! How could you not miss that? And now that the Governor has proven to be such an evil villain, I can’t help but wonder if Shane would’ve proven to be more of an ally than an enemy to our group of survivors.

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The Walking Dead Countdown: 4 Most Lovable Walkers

The Walking Dead Season 4 premiers on AMC this Sunday, October 13th, at 9pm! And with four days until the big day, I took a moment to consider four of my favorite walkers thus far:

1) Sophia

sophia-choice-walking-deadPoor little Sophia. Who didn’t cry when she staggered from behind that barn door?

2) Bicycle Girl

The_Walking_Dead_Bicycle-_GirlShe’s been known as the first walker Rick encountered, desperately dragging her torso towards him, hoping for a bite.

3 & 4) Michonne’s Boys

6a00d8341c630a53ef01630309126b970d-600wiFor a long time I wondered who these boys might be. I read an excerpt of the graphic novels and discovered that Michonne’s boys are in fact her boyfriend, Mike, and his best friend, Terry. After they became infected, she locked them up, and when she discovered that the walkers would not attack each other, she hacked off their arms and jaws and kept them on leashes to aid in her escape.

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Let’s Talk About Masters of Sex

While most people in the late 1950s could barely bring themselves to talk about sex, this team was studying it!

MASTERS OF SEX (SEASON 1)Kinsey I had heard of, but I hadn’t learned about the contributions Masters & Johnsons made to the study of human sexual response. This series is based on their work. (Some details, however, are fictional.)

I tuned in last night at 10pm for the series premier on Showtime, and I look forward to tuning in again for Episode 2. While William Masters (played by Michael Sheen) comes off as an arrogant doctor with an ego bigger than his name, I anticipate that his character will be evolving in positive ways throughout the series–partly due to influence from his secretary and soon-to-be partner, Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), a sexually revolutionized character with whom I have already begun to fall in love.

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It’s a Disaster Is Really Not

Stumbled upon this indie work of art on Netflix, and I’m ever so glad I did.

It's a Disaster

The darkly humorous shot with which the movie opens immediately sets the tone for what you’re about to experience. Then, it introduces you to a cast of frustrating characters in an array of awkward moments and situations. In the background, the subtle sound of police and rescue vehicle sirens blare, and no one (maybe not even you at first) notices because they’re so engulfed in their “disastrous” lives. And yet, you find yourself loving these characters for the messes that they are.

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Brace Yourselves for Prisoners

Yesterday I caught the midnight showing of Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, and write to you today to urge you to go watch it tonight!

Prisoners(Think Mystic River.)

For two and a half hours you’ll be gripping tightly to your partner or, as I found myself doing, covering your mouth in disbelief as the story carries you through this gloomy Pennsylvania small town covered in snow, rain, and dead autumn leaves where two little girls have gone missing as of Thanksgiving afternoon.

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