Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mission "AFAD" - May 2011

A new peak of this mission has been reached: 26 films, May being the second most prolific month of 2011. There aren't even short films or TV shows on the list!
On the other hand, there are no loads of Indian films on the list either. No, I cannot explain that - I honestly don't know what happened. Maybe Baghban, Hum Aapke Hain Koun! and Koyla were just too stressful, so that I didn't get the taste for Bollywood this month...

Here's what I've seen.

Vingt-sept films...

And PS: From this month on, I'll make a post concerning the "Song of the Month" each month. "Movie of the Month" is too obvious to explain - you can read all about it in this feature.

3 Idiots - Director's Commentary (2009) Rajkumar Hirani
India, Hindi - Second view
This was the first director's commentary of a film I had ever seen, and it was so much better than I had expected. My brain is now filled with knowledge and information about "3 Idiots", so if I ever watch the film with other people, I'm sure I'll talk all the time. Rajkumar Hirani seems to be a very nice man, and it was great how he explained why he shot this or that scene, and why he shot it the way he did, which scenes were improvised, in which scenes the actors were actually drunk (yes, they were...), how they found the locations and on and on... I think I like the film even more now, than I did before (just read my old review and had a little laugh).

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1955) Alfred Hitchcock
USA, English - First view
I believe there is a point in your life, when you realize, that you haven't seen any Hitchcock films yet (at least in the life of a film fan/ buff/ student). I reached that point the last time I went to my local library to look for some DVDs I could rent.
"The Man Who Knew Too Much" is a perfect film to start with. It is interesting enough, well-made and also interesting from a technical angle. The scene at the end, when Doris Day sings "Que Sera Sera" is especially great, and I heard that it's one of film history's most famous scenes. Also, Doris Day had never been outside of America before making that film, so while they were shooting in Morocco, she fed all the animals that lived outside the hotel (I read that on the DVD-paper-thing).

Die Spätzünder (2010) [TV-film] Alfred Murnberger
Germany, German - First view
You caught me. I'm the kind of person who watches the "Film of the Day", recommended by the TV-paper. Hey, better than watching crap, isn't it? And I don't always watch the Film of the Day. I also watch independent, unknown films sometimes... The problem is just, they're always in the middle of the night, nowhere near 8 pm...
So, "Die Spätzünder" (= The late bloomers), is a cute little German tv production... It is not new whatsoever, the story is foreseeable and known, but nevertheless, it is entertaining and sympathetic. Old people winning a band contest with the help of revolutionary male nurse? Yeah!

Good Will Hunting (1997) Gus Van Sant
USA, English - First view
A good thing is, when the Film of the Day is as great as this one. And if it's one you always wanted to see, but never did. Robin Williams is one of my favorite actors, Matt Damon isn't. Both were fantastic in this film, though Williams has the love-him-bonus.
There are also some great quotes in this film, that I cannot remember right now... I love the "It's not your fault"-scene, for example. I also love, how much I can relate to Will, the main character, and how much I can't, in some aspects. "Good Will Hunting" is indeed a classic must-see.

The Man (2005) Les Mayfield
USA, English - First view
I'm sure this wasn't a Film of the Day, but there was a very important reason for me to watch it: "I love Samuel Jackson". Me? I don't. But my Danish guest father does (sweet, no?). So we watched this film.
It is fun, classic scheme film with some funny situations and... well, funny situations. Fast food.

Princesas (2005) Fernando León de Aranoa
Spain, Spanish - First view
Another thing I love: zapping through the pay-TV-channels of my Danish guest family in the afternoon, stumbling upon some ok-sounding film, starting to watch it - and finding out how incredibly fantastic it is! That the soundtrack is sung by one of my favorite-rather-unknown artists, Manu Chao, is just the cherry on top (and that the film is in Spanish, a language I'm learning and loving, is... the cream on top).
I never knew much about the life of prostitutes, not to speak of young and intelligent prostitutes, neither did/ do I know much about Spanish people (though I've been on that Canary Islands sometimes...), so I feel like I learned a lot from this film.
Luckily, it's not only a film you can learn from, but also a good film in all other aspects. Recommended.

Crocodile Dundee 2 (1988) John Cornell
USA/ Australia, English - First view
I should've listened to you, Jack, and not seen more than part one. Part two is bland, uninteresting, Mc-Donalds mainstream junk-food, and I would've been more happy, had I not seen it.
So don't watch it, especially if you liked part one.

Devdas (2002) Sanjay Leela Bhansali
India, Hindi - Second view
Sometimes, you forget the bad sides of a film when time goes by. But sometimes, you may forget how good the good sides of a film were, until you watch it again. That's what happened to me and "Devdas". I totally forgot how great the film is - really, really super-duper-vavavoom great! (You may hit me for using the word "totally" all he time -  I've seen "Clueless" way too often).

Koyla (1997) Rakesh Roshan
India, Hindi - First view
I think my Mini-review says enough about this film.

Hum Aapke Hain Koun! (1993) Sooraj R. Barjatya
India, Hindi - First view
This film is rated 7.3 /10 on IMDB!!! Are you freaking kidding me?! I rated it 4, but only because of Madhuri, otherwise it's not worth more than a 3. I can understand why people loved it back then, after all those exaggerating 80s action flicks, but why exaggerate the soft-family-friendly issue by producing a 3,5 hours (!) long wedding video?! That's not better at all!

Duel (1971) Steven Spielberg
USA, English - First view
Steven Spielberg's first full feature film is much better than some of his more famous productions (I'm looking at you, Indiana). It's what "Transformers" should've been like - cut the budget, put in some entertainment (oh, and cut Megan Fox, or give her a burger).
"Duel" is road movie, thriller and totally 70s - how could I not love it? But it also made me think about the plot and all those symbols that are used - why does the truck want to kill David, for example (biggest question of the film)? Is the driver God - maybe because David needs to be punished for not protecting his wife? That's my guess so far. But I have some other theories as well.

Water for Elephants (2011) Francis Lawrence
USA, English/ Polish - First view (cinema)
When I first heard about the film and saw the trailer and poster, I felt like I had to watch it. Robert Pattinson - I said enough. Then I heard it wasn't good, and I remembered that Robert Pattinson was officially a bland-actor-teeny-crush, and felt I couldn't watch it while calling myself a film buff.
But when my mother asked me to watch it with her, and even wanted to pay my ticket, I couldn't resist. Luckily. Otherwise, I would have missed a really good film. Not a fantastic film, or a very unusual, new film, but a very good film. Christoph Waltz is, among other things, one of the highlights.
And by the way, I just heard that Robert Pattinson is officially on top of the waiting list for becoming a  "good actor".

Amadeus (1984) Milos Forman
USA, English/ Italian/ Latin/ German - First view
The first film we watched in school this month - music class, of course. It was a bit hard to concentrate in class, but nevertheless, I found the film quite interesting. I never knew that Mozart was so weird, and also rather unsympathetic, that was good to know (no, I don't believe everything I watch or hear).
The music was also great, but I hadn't expected anything else.

Winter's Bone (2010) Debra Granik
USA, English - First view
To make a long story short: A good friend had recommended this film to me a long time ago, even before the Academy Awards, but I never watched it. So when she reminded me once more, I told her I was going to watch it instantly, and I did. Some people had found it great, others boring. I found it great.
And that's the story of Mette and Winter's Bone, and they lived happily ever after (except that Mette never visited Missouri in her whole life, because she had the impression people there weren't very nice).

About Schmidt (2002) Alexander Payne
USA, English - First view
Guess what? This was the Film of the Day, according to my Grandmother's TV paper. And guess what even more? It was just as fantastic as they promised. Or maybe even more.
Oh, I loved it. I love it. I want to watch it once more.

Baghban (2003) Ravi Chopra
India, Hindi - First view
Somehow I always end up only writing one single actual, classic review per month. This time, I reviewed "Baghban".

Atash (Thirst) (2004) Tawfik Abu Wael
Israel/ Palaestina, Arabic - First view
My plans of learning Arabic were spoiled, when I watched this film. I am now able to write and read... half of the Arabian alphabet. Which is all right, and I might learn the whole alphabet, because it's what they use in Urdu. But the language? It just sounds so... unmelodic. So harsh and... I don't know. I just don't want to learn it anymore. I don't feel like practicing my languages at all, at the moment. But... well, there are reasons for that.
Back to the film: It won some awards at Cannes and other festivals, bla, bla - listen to me: It is boring. The actors are good, the soundtrack is good, but the story and the screenplay and everything else is boring to death.

The Graduate (1967) Mike Nichols
USA, English - First view
Oh dear, don't get my started on this film. I could write novels about how great I find it, and how much I love the soundtrack. Honestly, I've been listening to "The Sound of Silence" from Simon & Garfunkel ever since we watched the film in English class. It's been a long time since I've been so obsessive about a song...
And the film... maybe I was exaggerating before. Maybe it's so good, that I can hardly find words to describe what I want to describe. It is definitely one of my favorite films already.
If you haven't seen it yet, do it now. (And watch "American Pie" after that - me and my friends from school were freaking out when we heard the Mrs. Robinson song at the end, because we hadn't seen "The Graduate" when we had watched "American Pie" the first time).

The Hangover (2009) Todd Philips
USA, English
I just watched "Hangover II" last wednesday, but that was already the first of June, so you won't hear a word about it until next month.
It was a good idea to freshen up the memory of part one - simply legen... wait for... dary!

Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na (2008) Abbas Tyrewala
India, Hindi - First view
Exactly as good as I had expected, though different. And I didn't like the end, I think the film should've ended when Jai and Aditi are lying down on the airport, or something like that. It seemed a little bit fake, that scene at the end, and I hated Aditi's wig... ahm, hair...
But otherwise, I'm happy I watched this. This month wasn't that good for me and Bollywood, and JTYJN was definitely one of the brighter sides of our relationship...
Aw, I want to see it again. Now!

Die Relativitätstheorie der Liebe (2011) Otto Alexander Jahrreiss
(= The love relativity theory)
Germany, German - First view (cinema)
All main characters are played by only two actors, and there are various plots, all somehow related to the subject "love". My mother was dying to see it, so she asked me to (once more this month) watch it with her, at the cinema. We both loved it - the perfect screwball comedy, with some wonderful actors and the genuine German humour (ha! you haven't heard of it before, have you?).

Dil Hai Tumhaara (2002) Kundan Shah
India, Hindi - First view
Let me defend myself first: Preity Zinta was, and still is, one of my favorite actresses, maybe even my favorite actress. So there was reason for me to sit through this. It wasn't even as bad as I'd thought. I mean, I wouldn't rank it in my list of the worst Indian films I've ever seen. There were good actors (some of them, at least), and... yeah, that's all. Fun!

Do Dooni Chaar (2010) Habib Faisal
India, Hindi - First view
Let me defend myself once more: I liked "Dil Hai Tumhaara" better than "Do Dooni Chaar", watching both of them on the same day. Sorry, but with the first one, at least, I got just what I'd expected. But for the latter, my expectations were really high, and they were not fulfilled. I was even seduced to press FFW, but I don't think I did... The film was just so boring... Wasn't it?
--- I know, I'm the only person on this planet thinking it was boring...

Ghajini (2008) A. R. Murugadoss
India, Hindi - First view
"Ghajini" is the story of me falling in love with Asin, going crazy about Aamir Khan for the 1001st time and being a little disappointed by Jiah Khan.
After the more or less disappointing past Indian films I had watched, "Ghajini" felt like my personal surprise hit of this decade. I was never ever bored - and that is impressing (at least when you've seen the films I've seen in May). Loving it.

Sister Act 2 (1993) Bill Duke
USA, English - First view
Me and some girl friends had a DVD night on the 31st and it was the first time in my life that I was awake for 24 hours, but that's a long story... However, I split the films we watched in two, and will rate two of them for this month, and the remaining three for next month (we also watched some comedy stuff, but I won't write about that, I'd bore you).
I barely remember "Sister Act", but the second film is fun. Not more, not less - pure fun. Singing, dancing... High School Musical in the 90s, and with some nuns.

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2009) Gurinder Chadha
UK, English
I read somewhere, that this film should win the price for the worst film title in the world, but also for being one of the best teen-chick-flicks. I agree with both. I don't know, how many times I've seen this film, and this has not been the last time...
Oh, and let's not forget about Aaron Johnson (haaaaaah mmmhhhh....)... the reason why we keep watching this film over and over again (let's face it)...
Gurinder Chadha, I love you.


June's Edition might be published before end of the month already, because I'm going to Greenland on the 21st... And I don't expect myself to watch many films over there (nor taking my MacBook with me).

Thank you for reading,
Mette M. K.


  1. All you had to say was Manu Chao. I'm going to have to find that film immediately.

  2. 3 Idiots - Director's Commentary (2009) Rajkumar Hirani - must be a very interesting watch. I really like Hirani's movies, and I also really like him off-screen. Seems to be a very clever man. His movies show that.

    Devdas (2002) - There are not enough words to express how I feel about this movie. Most beautiful movie ever for me!

    Koyla (1997) - Terrible, violent... Ugh, awful. But well, I'm a die-hard fan of both Madhuri and Shahrukh so I still watched it.

    Hum Aapke Hain Koun! (1993) - In an objective way, yeah, HAHK is a movie FULL of flaws, not an exciting storyline. The main twist comes after 2h30 of screening, and there are so many songs. But I still love it because it's a movie full of spirit, and joy. I love, no, ADORE weddings, and when I watch it, it's like being in the perfect wedding, with naach aur ghana, so I just love it.

    Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na (2008) - Watched it two days ago. Well, not as good as some people made it out to be, IMO. But it was a fun and nice time-pass. Imran was such a cutie!

    Dil Hai Tumhaara (2002) - I really liked Dil Hai Tumhaara. It's cheesy as hell, but well I just liked it. And I like the fact that contrary to appearances, it was really more female-oriented. Rekha and Preity ruled that movie!

    Do Dooni Chaar (2010) - I need to watch that one.

    Ghajini (2008) - I think it was an average movie. Not really extraordinary. Asin saved the day, she was just a sunshine in it. I LOVED her in it. I want to watch Ready mostly for her.

  3. Aaww, I love Matt Damon. I used to always think he was underrated and didn't understand why Ben Affleck was noticed more (at that time)

    About HAHK, I was once told that I wasn't Indian so I wouldn't understand why it worked. Well, I never said I didn't like it, I just didn't love it....

    JTYJN - Prateik was the scene stealer, love him :D

    DHT - it is cheesy, I like some parts, especially the songs but not a huge fan

    Ghajini - I've seen the Tamil version first. Surya rocks. But Aamir is good too. I like what Aamir changed in his version. I did a comparison between the two...and Memento

  4. @ Bonjour Tristesse: Yippie, me not alone :)

    @ Siham: Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that DHT was ruled by the females :). You can watch DDC, but don't expect too much.

    @ Nicki: Well, now you mentioned Ben Affleck: Matt Damon is so much better. Ben Affleck is just so... normal, so already-seen-before.
    I need to watch more of Prateik, this was my first film with him. And I also need to watch the tamil version of Ghajini.

  5. Haha, I did tell you Crocodile Dundee 2 was worse than the first...

    Amadeus is one of my favourites, it's practically a masterpiece in my opinion.
    I liked About Schimdt as well, maybe not as much as you did, but it was good.

    And Princesas sounds interesting, I do like Manu Chao, although it's been a while since I've listened to there music.

  6. @ Jack L: I know, I know... Why didn't I listen to you? I can be so stubborn sometimes!
    I thought about watching Amadeus another time, without all that noise from class... Loved the scene where they cut from the mother-in-law scolding to that opera...
    About Schmidt is no masterpiece, but... somewhere in between. Which I like.
    My father loves Manu Chao, he always listened to his music when I was younger, so now I do too. You should really watch Princesas.

  7. 3 Idiots - saw it twice an enjoyed it more seoncd time around, becuase I was actually watching it with somebody else and I was cracing up at her laughing! But overally it was a fine film, though IMO it´s a bit overrated.

    Devdas - oh my love......

    Koyla - oh my guilty pleasure....

    HAHK - there is almost everything WRONG about the film. And for some reason it works PERFECTLY. There is something, some kind of magic, a soul perhaps? Plus I´ve seen it about 10 times already and think it has tremendous repeat value.

  8. @ Gaja Gamini: Many films are best when you watch them with friends... Hehe, a lot of fans here in Germany love Koyla.

  9. You sure saw a lot of movies recently!

    I found Winters Bone a bit overrated, so I guess we disagree on that title.

    You should definitely stay away from crocodile dundee 3, that was even worse than number 2, ha ha.

    When I first saw About schmidt , I thought it was one of those just-watch-once , turned into a favourite, I love voice-over and stories with letter writing. Can totally follow you want to rewatch.

    Talking of DUEL. On another blog,I read in a review that Hitchcock's THE BIRDS is similar. "about senseless, incomprehensible violence, about something innocent turning on the protagonist and seeking his destruction without any apparent reason."

    By the way, congrats with the new banner design

  10. @ moviesandsongs365: You're right... Sometimes you watch more, sometimes less...
    I wasn't intending on watching Croco 3 :)...
    Duel is a really good film - I might watch that The Birds...
    Thank you, I hope you like the design... I think it's more simple and classy than the last ones.

  11. First I had the same feelings you had towards Hahk but now i love it, the songs are to die for and I guess its place and the cultural movement it started in India like the craze for Madhuri's Purple sari, and prospective In laws pestering the groom for money, all these things made me see the movie in a new light and yes I know it does get a bit heavy towards the end especially with the death but the songs and whole wedding tape aspect all make it loveable
    Read Daddy's Girl analysis, its beautiful

    As for dil hai tumhara , it had way too many songs which made the whole movie look padded out with songs due to lack of a strong screenplay

  12. @ bollywooddeewana: Maybe my feelings for HAHK will change later on, I don't know. But right now, I don't feel like watching it again.
    You made a point about Dil Hai Tumhaara...


Let the discussion begin!