#FridayFlicks: Movies about Environment

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So, it’s Earth Day and we have nothing else to do than to preach a quote on Facebook or twitter. Even worse, we just get a list of movies related to environment and pretend as if we have always been pro-environmentalist. Hehehe.

But to be honest, we really do care about the environment. This is where home is and this is where family are. Caring about protecting is the first step towards implementing environment friendly activities in our life but, we do need a push here and there sometimes, a motivation for us to start protecting our environment and save Mother Earth.

Without further ado, check out this list of movies that raise issues about environment and the effects of environmental degradation. Maybe this year, we really will take the next step to start protecting the environment.

1. The True Cost (2015)

The most powerful documentary that has come of late is The True Cost. It gives a detail of how the fashion trends is making an impact on the rest of the world. The west may have created the designs but it’s the east that makes it – but at what cost? This documentary does not only explore the exploitation of poor population but it makes some strong statements about the piling landfills, ultimately making huge impact on the environment!

2. Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)

One of my friends has an electric scooter and she keeps on telling me I should get one too but I always tell her, what am I supposed to do when the battery runs out? What if I don’t have a backup? There are times when we get worried if she will even reach home in time. It makes me wonder, how come we have a electronic maid robot we can’t even trust to drive an electric car? Well, this documentary film gives quite some insights on what must have or definitely had happened?

3. The 11th Hour (2007)

The 11th Hour is a documentary that explores about the relationship between humans and nature, and one of the major negative effect – Global Warming. How can we try to reverse the effect? By taking the first step – being socially responsible. And if I say Leonardo DiCaprio created, produced, co-wrote and narrated this documentary; I am sure many of you will definitely make this your next “Movies to Watch” list. The influence Leo has is a major advantage to bring a larger audience towards environmental issues.

4. Interstellar (2014)

At the end of the day, what is the most important thing? – FOOD! But imagine a future when agriculture, when farming is getting increasingly difficult. The earth is less habitable every passing moment, human lives are at stake and there is no choice but to look for another home planet. This movie is another in a long list of movies which warns us of the earth’s desolate in the future and the only option available for human survival is to live in another planet.

5. Wall-E (2008)

Who can even forget Wall-E and his pursuit of Eva? A love story between two human-made robots in a world where people are not even living anymore. Excessive garbage pile up resulted in the evacuation of humans to space in a starliner. If consumerism and our negligence continues, our own fate is not far from the portrayal in the movie but the worst part is we may not have anywhere else to go too. What then?

6. The Cove (2009)

The Cove is a documentary film aimed at the dolphin hunting practices in Japan. It analyses and questions the unethical and harmful practices of dolphin hunting as well as make awareness about the health hazard of mercury poisoning from dolphin meat. Though this documentary may be targeted at Dolphin Hunting in Japan, it is not far from the harsh reality of the meat industry worldwide.

7. The Lorax (2012)

The Lorax is a take on deforestation and the effects of deforestation. Since our school days, we have been taught about causes and effects of deforestation but we also know that wood can be carved into beautiful things. The greedy tendency that we have, we tend to look at the bright side than the right side. Nevertheless, watching The Lorax is a good watch for young children to start realizing the importance of forests.

8. Erin Brockovich (2000)

Erin Brockovich is a biographical story of a woman’s fight against a huge energy corporation who has polluted the water supply of a residential area. Its effects is cancerous and dangerous. This inspirational story of how an individual protested and challenged the big corporations is a must watch.

9. Happy Feet (2006)

We can’t stop gushing over the cuteness of the baby penguins, especially when one of the penguin starts rapping on his first day at penguin school but it’s not so cute anymore when humans’ over-fishing affects the penguins’ fishing season. The movie has subtly raised issues of the effects of environmental imbalance.

10. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

A list on Earth Day could not be complete without The Day After Tomorrow. As school kids, every science teacher referred to this movie and every time we were taken to the conference hall to watch a movie, this movie would turn up. Never mind the countless times we had to watch it on TV too. Nevertheless, it has created quite on impression on our generation – global warming is a reality and we are slowly succumbing to the effects.

Have Fun! Start protecting the environment!

Cover Picture: iNicKeoN

Jasina Gurung

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#FridayFlicks – Loot

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“Kathmandu sahara, herda lagcha rahara. Sala, giddai gidda ko sahara…” – Haku Kaley (Saugat Malla)

Loot is probably one of the best Nepali movies I have ever seen. Directed and written by Nischal Basnet, this movie tells a story about a man with a ‘master plan’. Haku Kaley is just a normal citizen like us who doesn’t want to spend his life in poverty. “Haat thapera yahan kei kaam chaina, dhutnu parcha dhutnu!” narrates Haku Kaley at the beginning of the movie. He plans to rob a bank and he needs four guys, who are ready to do anything for the sake of money, to help him do this. His search leads him to Deven Khatri (Prateek Raj Neupane), a drug dealer, Naresh (Karma Shakya), a gambler & bouncer, Gopal (Dayahang Rai) and Jagat (Sushil Raj Pandey) who are both unemployed.

Haku recruits these fellow men and discusses his master plan to rob a bank. However, just a few days before the robbery, Naresh tells Khatri about his plan to betray the rest of the crew and split the amount in half between themselves.
Spoiler Alert!
But Haku Kaley has his own master “masterplan”.

Loot has to be one of the most revolutionary movies in the history of Nepalese film industry. With an extremely unpredictable and an engaging story line I would give this movie a 5 star rating. The acting of the characters in the movie is brilliant and breathtaking and who will even forget the item song of the movie “Udhreko Choli”?!

It’s been years but you can still hear the song booming through speakers in parties. This movie is worth a watch and if you guys haven’t watched it yet then it’s time you get hold of the movie now!
Have a loot weekend everyone! 😉

Rubik Joshi, Intern

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#FridayFlicks – Eat! Sleep! Series! Repeat!

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TV Series are a fundamental part of teenagers’ lives these days and with Netflix extending its services to Nepal, a membership could probably be the most productive investment for the young and binge-watching generation. Productive? Yea but maybe not quite useful! Hehe.

This week, I am thinking of updating my list of ‘Must and Have to Watch TV Shows’. There are many new upcoming releases and this summer is going to be FUN! So, get ready to hit the couch because March is shaping up to be a jam-packed month for watching can’t miss TV shows.

Well, it’s time I have regular appointments with my laptop and Wi-Fi now. Just scroll down for 5 new series you’ll want to keep on your radar!

1) Flaked (March 11, 2016)

Flaked

In Netflix’s eight-episode California-set comedy, Will Arnett takes on the role of a self-declared guru named Chip. As he struggles to stay sober, Chip tells one lie after another and his deception starts to affect his relationships. So when he falls for the same woman as his best friend, it’s only a matter of time before his web of half-truths is forced to unravel. (Netflix)

2) Crowded (March 20, 2016)

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Martin and Mike Gum suddenly have a full house. These empty-nesters, played by Carrie Preston and Patrick Warburton (respectively) play a couple who’s ready to re-embrace a childless home now that their adult daughters have flown the coop. But the peace and quiet doesn’t last for long. Before they can fully settle into their newfound freedom, the pair’s daughters (played by Miranda Cosgrove and Mia Serafino) move back home—and so do Mike’s parents. (NBC)

3) Heartbeat (March 23, 2016)

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Watch out Grey’s Anatomy – there’s a new medical soap opera hitting primetime. Inspired by the real life of heart-transplant surgeon, Dr. Kathy Magliato, Heartbeat follows the day-to-day events of fictional character, Dr. Alex Panttiere (played by Melissa George). As one of the few women working in a largely male-dominated profession, she’s a force to be reckoned with—both in her personal life and in the operating room. (NBC)

4) The Catch (March 24, 2016)

The Catch

 

Mireille Enos stars as Alice Vaughan, one of L.A.’s top private investigators, who knows how to take down an enemy. The series will follow the story of a female forensics accountant whose career specialty is exposing fraud for a living. After her fiance abandons her – taking a significant amount of her fortune with him in the process – Alice has just one thing on her agenda: payback. (ABC)

5) Rush Hour (March 31, 2016)

A new take on the hit movie, Rush Hour, the show brings the same buddy-cop goodness as the original, plus new twists. Jon Foo plays the straight-laced Detective Lee, a martial arts master from Hong Kong who relocates to Los Angeles while investigating the fate of his presumed-dead sister. When Lee joins the LAPD and is forced to partner with the rule-breaking Detective Carter (Justin Hires), the pair clashes—but they make a shockingly good team. (CBS)

Exciting huh? Well, you’re welcome! 😉

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12 Angry Men [1957]

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-Sandeep Roka

 12 Angry Men Poster

            Love story? Yes! Rom-com? Of course! Drama? umm….. Okay. The hesitation, when you ask a person if you want to watch a drama movie, comes from almost every teenager now days. On top of that, if it’s a 20th century classic, they will just ignore it. What’s the worth of b/w movies when the technology has taken over the movie culture? When high definition colors dance on your TV screen and make every person look dreamy? I’ll tell you what its worth, it is just priceless. This movie falls under the same priceless category. 12 Angry Men is a 1957 classic courtroom drama movie.

The movie has a kind of sheer simplicity. Apart from the initial setup and brief epilogue, the whole movie is based inside a room of New York City court. As the name suggests, there are 12 characters in the movie. Twelve jurors of the courthouse with slightly different level of temper. The movie starts with an eighteen year old boy standing on trial for apparently stabbing his own father to death although there is no proof to prove he is guilty and it all comes to the jury to decide whether the boy is guilty of murder or not. All of the jurors give a verdict that the boy is guilty with an exception of one juror, who gives the only “not guilty” vote in a preliminary tally. The judge then retires the whole jury to a private courtroom to discuss about it and make a sole and same verdict.

(Henry Fonda), the only juror who believes that the little boy could never do such an unethical job, then tries to convince other jurors why and how the boy could not have been guilty of his father’s murder. His views might not have been sure shot evidence to point that the boy is not guilty but his hypothesis of how that night could have gone makes a handful of jurors think. The whole movie is based on how (Henry Fonda) changes the verdict of jury into “not guilty” with his critical thinking and excellent perception and the love towards a slum kid who could have been hanged for a crime he had never committed. In the end, that small boy walks free and thanks to the only person who begged to differ and trusted in his instincts.

The Jury
The Jury

Overall, 12 Angry Men is the gripping, penetrating, and engrossing examination of a diverse group of twelve jurors (all male, mostly middle-aged, white, and generally of middle-class status) who are uncomfortably brought together to deliberate after hearing the ‘facts’ in a seemingly open-and-shut murder trial case. The cinematography is just brilliant. Cinematographer takes a banal real-world location and makes it completely dynamic. The camera movements are so subtle that no person will ever complain on how and where the shot should have been taken.

In 2007, 12 Angry Men was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. I, personally, will always recommend this classy movie to every film fanatic out there. This movie teaches you that there is not always a certain and same way to view about something. Change your perspective and try to look into things in some different ways too, then you can answer some of your pending questions. Try and trust your instincts. Maybe they are the ones showing you the right path rather than this profane world.

 

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Why you should start watching The Terminator Franchise… At least the first 2

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-Biplav Shrestha

 

One of the first movies that I remember watching as a kid was Terminator 2: Judgment Day. My dad had rented a VHS tape from the local store and I had no idea what the film was about. Even from the starting few minutes into the movie, I knew that I was in store for something truly epic. By the time the movie was over, I was left drained of my senses. 15+ years later, I still believe that I had not just watched one of the greatest sci-fi, action movies of all time but also one of the best movies of all time.

So here are my opinions as to why you should start watching the Terminator Franchise, though I admit that I hated Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and have yet to watch Terminator: Genisys.

  1. The Plot

A cyborg is sent back in time to kill a woman would eventually give birth to the future leader of the human resistance against the machines who had grown self-conscious and decided to eradicate all of humankind. The resistance sends back a human soldier themselves expecting to even the odds of keeping their hope of winning alive. Will the soldier manage to keep the woman safe or will the indestructible cyborg succeed in eradicating all of human kind?

 

  1. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the role that he was born to play as the indestructible cyborg, programmed for one purpose – Kill Sarah Connor at all cost. Arnold utilizes his menacing physique to cast himself as the ultimate assassin. The 6 times Mr. Olympia manages to make the audience believe that the Terminator is an unstoppable badass that people should be scared of.

 

  1. The Action

To say that the action scenes in these movies are mind-blowing would be an understatement. This movie pulls back no punches in portraying one heart stopping action scene after another. Some scenes that stand out are the bike chase scene in Terminator 2 where John Connor is getting chased by the T-1000, The Factory scene in Terminator 1 where a skinless Terminator comes to kill Sarah Connor and the Skynet scene in Terminator 4: Salvation where John Connor has to save a bunch of people from getting slaughtered.

 

  1. The vfx/ practical effects

The first Terminator movie came out in 1984. In the time when cheap practical effects were the norm of the trade, James Cameron and his team single-handed-ly revolutionized the film industry with amazing visual and practical effects that still hold their own today. It’s truly awe inspiring to see the behind the scenes videos of the making of the movies. What they managed to accomplish with the resources that they had at the time is nothing short of magic.

 

  1. The rest of the cast

Aside from Arnold, the rest of the cast is just as interesting and enigmatic.  Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn in Terminator 1 and Edward Furlong and Robert Patrick in Terminator 2 deliver some of the best acting of their career. The level of devotion to their roles really shows onscreen. Linda Hamilton’s transformation from a sweet and helpless waitress in Terminator 1 to a badass military-esq protector in Terminator 2 is something you’ll have to see to believe. Biehn is believable as Kyle Reese, a soldier sent from the future. Furlong plays a believable young John Conner in T2.

 

  1. Time travel

The theory of time travel is something that people have always had a hard time understanding. Actions have consequences and the butterfly effect plays out regardless of anything. These movies manage to explain these theories in a simplistic yet elaborate way. Not since the first Back to the Future movie has a movie been made that is fun and relatable.

 

  1. The crossovers/ fan theories/ fan base

The last point is focused on the fan base. With the franchise being such a cult classic, there have been countless fan stories and crossovers with other cult classic and box office franchises. Some of the crossovers are the ones where the Terminator and Robocop cross paths. Another worthy mention is where Alien and Terminator stories take place in the same cinematic universe, etc. There have also been countless arcade and cartridge video games where the Terminator faces off against a whole host of noticeable adversaries.

 

These are my reasons why I think you should start watching the Terminator franchise (if you haven’t already). I’m sure I have missed out a few vital points but I’m sure that it is excusable. So, what are you waiting for? There’s a storm that’s coming and its name is The Terminator.

 

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Samsara : A Cycle of Existence

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SAMSARA_uk

 

Ever planned on exploring the world? How about the human culture or maybe nature itself?  If these thoughts have ever crossed your mind then “Samsara” is sure to blow you away. Directed by Ron Fricke, this movie-cum-documentary brings us the links to humanity and the nature. To describe this review in one word, I would pick, Mesmerized. From the director’s previous movie “Baraka” in 1992, “Samsara” continues from where Fricke’s stopped his exploration.  Truth be spoken, Fricke’s had never stopped after “Baraka”, he was just taking the word “Exploration” to a whole new level through “Samsara”. The connection between nature, human beauty, and culture is what you can experience in a magnified form in this movie.

Sand-mandala-still-from-SAMSARA

 

5 years of filming, and I repeat, 5 YEARS to be exact is the time it took to explore, shoot and complete the movie. Amazing right? Maybe this will amaze you even more: 25 countries and five continents. These are the places and things that we have ever imagined. The movie starts off with beautiful Tibet and shows the detailed visual of the traditional way of Thanka making. The background beats and the visual itself catches your attention from the start. As the word states, “Samsara: A restless cycle of creation and destruction that symbolizes the un-enlightened earthly existence.” The film features some of the world’s impossible sights. There is no storyline here, the film is based on a theme i.e. the cycle of life, both living and non-living. Images from a hot air balloon shows temples of Burma and bright molten lava from the slopes of a Hawaiian volcano are a part of this visually stunning film. It even takes us into the modern world with scenes of industrial creation somewhere inside a Chinese factory and a junked car wrecker in California. Right now, this may sound normal and certainly not interesting. But when you get to see the detailed version of these places in the film which continues gradually, it is a jaw dropper. Why? Have anyone of us ever known about the insights on mannequin production? Let me be clear, to be precise sex mannequin production is what we see in this Chinese factory. And tons of steel getting smashed in California with that blu-ray picture presentation (which is there from the start to the finish).

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Like the critics have stated, the movie “ranges from splendid to soul crushing…” The film also shows conspiracies behind the industrialized animal slaughter. A scene from a poultry farm pictures a bizarre vehicle sucking up live chickens!!! It was like vacuuming, and again later on there is an automated kill line slitting poultry throats. But wait, this does not stop here. The film takes us to a plastic surgeon’s office where that doctor marks an obese man’s excessive sized stomach, so let us not go on to what happens next.

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Alright some good stuff now, “Samsara’s” most challenging scene could be the filming of a remote sulfur mine in the Indonesian island of Java. We actually see, miners climb up to the top of a steaming volcano and pull out that sacred mineral from the earth.

There is no way that explaining the whole movie in a review is possible for Samsara. The film is like watching dozens of National Geographic documentaries at once. The background music and the sound effects are just amazing and trust me it will get you high. Personally this film was just gorgeous on its own way, and one of the most effective ways of showing 3-dimensional image on the screen to the audience.

This is a must watch film, highly recommended guys.

-Rupagya Manandhar

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Friday Flicks #7 Classics: Stand By Me (1986)

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Why don’t they make movies like these anymore?

stand-by-me-1986-poster

Sure there are a lot of coming-of-age movies that are worth watching. But what makes Stand by Me worthy of being alongside movies like Dead Poets Society is simple, because it shows kids as who they really are. No sugar coating with veils of happy endings or promises of a better future but rather, unsure of what’s to come in life and instead just living in the moment. Stand by Me is a story about four friends that go in search of a dead body of a boy who dies after getting hit by a train. The movie revolves around the four friends as they make their journey, telling stories, spending a night in the woods and fighting off bullies. But what’s really interesting is how the movie has put in such amount of detail to each of the four main characters and yet works with such a simple plotline.

Gordie Lachance, who narrates the story as a grown man struggles to find his place in the family after his older brother, whom he idolized dies in a car crash. Chris Chambers is labeled as a thief and the society doesn’t expect much of him. Teddy Duchamp’s father is prone to violent outrage and had once burnt his ear near a stove. And Vern Tessio is just kind of a slow kid. The innocence of childhood meets the desperation to grow up. We see them swearing and smoking but also play fighting and debating whether Superman is better than Mighty Mouse. But it’s these little things that add charm to the boys’ characters. I mean to be honest, by the time you’re twelve, you’ve already gotten used to all the swear words and the struggles of puberty. Everything is left so raw, something you rarely see these days.

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And even though the movie is PG-13, I think its something every grown-up can relate to as a kid. Stand by Me is a very simple movie with the simplest of dialogues and yet has a way to tug at your heart.

I mean, we can do with a lot more movies like Stand by Me, here’s why: we have twelve year old kids that swear. They go in search of a dead body they actually find the dead body. It has beautiful scenery and a quiet town that makes you wish you were born in the simpler days. It’s based on a Stephen King novel who is also known for other classics like The Shashank Redemption and the Green Mile. And best of all, there’s a blueberry pie eating contest with a lot of purple vomit involved.

-Anutara Shakya

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Friday Flicks #6: Avengers Assemble!

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Marvel’s Avengers Age of Ultron:  Oh  yes !  Well it was surely worth the wait. The movie is action packed filled with witty moments, emotional turns and a tad bit of romance along with few flashbacks. So, if you haven’t watched the movie yet. SPOILER ALERT!! I would be mentioning few of the groundbreaking moments of the movie. Now that we have settled out continue reading at your own sake.

After assembling a team in “Avengers (2012)” to fight the big bad Loki and avenging the earth the team go their own way. But the Earth’s Mightiest heroes are back with a bang! Within the first five minutes of the movie you find yourself on the doorsteps of the Baron Von Strucker and it makes perfect sense because Director Coulson had mentioned about HYDRA performing secret experiments in the lands of Sokovia in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Joss Whedon has taken the bar even higher by mixing up with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in the mix. We find Tony Stark creating Ultron after getting hands on Loki’s Scepter with the help of Dr. Bruce Banner as he wants to save the world before any other extra-terrestrial hits the land. But things go south and Ultron turns against them, wanting to rebuild the world with new potentials.

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The pace of the movie never slows down as we watch Scarlet Witch messing up the A-team with her psychic powers, a badass fight between Hulk and Iron Man in Hulk Buster armor, Dr. Banner and Natasha’s complicated relationship and a side of Hawkeye we all had been waiting to see. If that wasn’t enough, we also get introduced to another character “Vision” and many other cameos which were substantially missing during the first “Avengers” movie.

Even though the entire movie revolves around the same old formula of defeating the menace who is trying to destroy the world. The movie has those witty punches and feels lively. Few names are dropped here and there, teasing us with the characters that will soon be joining the MCU in the next phase. It’s a reformed sequel and it definitely hits at the center of the Marvel Universe.

The Marvel studio is really promising, introducing us to a diverse genre of superhero movies. Whether it’s a funny, wacky space adventure with “Guardians of the Galaxy” or super intense and power packed story with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. They never fail to deliver.

In conclusion, Avengers Age of Ultron is the most concentrated movie filled with jolt of action sequence with powerful emotions joining the gaps in between. A 3D experience of the movie is worth every penny as the special effects in the movie are phenomenal.

So what’s next you say? Well, for me, I am just eagerly waiting for Ant-Man to hit theatres next month.

– Shirshak Dongol, A Comic Book Enthusiast and Designer at Sasto Deal

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#FridayFlicks 5: Odd Loves.

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What is love? Science has been trying to define it, and art has been trying to portray it for years, yet it is still shrouded in subjectivity, and Hollywood hasn’t been shy discussing its many unconventional perception. In doing so, they have produced gems which can last with you for a lifetime.

1. Leon, The Professional: Who would have thought that a movie about a professional hitman who saves a little girl from getting murdered alongside her entire family and then help her extract revenge on to the murderers, would be just so enjoyable to watch with such intense violence and sugar-sweet tenderness! Debated as director Luc Besson’s best work of all time, the movie has all the makings of a timeless classic with amazing performances by Natalie Portman, Jen Reno, and Gary Oldman.

2. Let Me In: Rarely does a Hollywood adaptation of a foreign movie surpass the quality of the original. Let Me In, an adaptation of the Swedish film Let the Right One In, is a movie that takes place in a cold and desolate 1980s where a lonely boy, Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) befriends a vampire girl, Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz). The plot, surrounded by dread, suspense, and horror, is devilishly  complimented by the haunting performances of  McPhee, Moretz, and Richard Jenkins.

3. It’s Kind of a Funny Story: What happens when a young teen checks himself into a psychiatric ward after having suicidal thoughts? The movie centers on the concepts of depression, romance, and acceptance, and delves into more spiritual and intellectual themes than a simple coming of age story that almost everyone can relate to.

4. Drive: In a tale where the hunters become the hunted, Drive manages to captivate the audience right from the very first opening scene, where an unnamed male character, played by Ryan Gosling, must maneuver through the dangers of life, and of love.

5. Lars And The Real Girl: Ryan Gosling plays Lars, a quirky man that falls in love with a life-size doll named Bianca. The object of affection of the protagonist’s love is plastic, but the story is endearing, amusing, and humorous.

6. Wall-E: If there is any movie that portrays that love needs no language, can happen in space, and in a complete apocalyptic world, this is it.

7. Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind: Joel (Jim Carrey) tries to erase memories every single moment of his relationship with and Clementine (Kate Winslet). But we find out that it’s a movie where you fall in love while falling out of love.

8 – 10. “Before” Trilogy: It starts as a usual boy-meets-girl storyline but evolves into a deeper operation of love, marriage, and family . Each of the three movies is distinct with natural dialogues and circumstances thanks to wise writing by director Richard Linklater, and actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke.

 – Biplav Shrestha

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#FridayFlicks – Revisiting “Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer”

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perfume_xlg

This argument started way back, and still continues to this day when a movie gets rave reviews or bad ratings, and they all echo the same question throughout and over again – Are movie adaptations better than books?

If you were to ask me a few years ago, I would have strictly said “No”, but I feel like I have grown a bit wiser, or maybe the studios are doing a better job, but movies are certainly giving equal justice to their book counterparts. Say for example, last year’s The Fault in Our Stars.

But when I watch movies like Eragon (2006), The Great Gatsby (2013), and The Three Musketeers (2011), I shudder. I don’t think I have yet recovered from Musketeers debacle. My childhood hero story ruined to utter nonsense.

But Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is one movie that I believe has far surpassed the book to substantial heights. This movie tops my “Best Movie Adaptation” list and I doubt any other movie will be taking its spot anytime soon.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer focuses on Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an 18th Century Frenchman born without body scent, and as the story evolves, we see a man desperately in pursuit of the perfect scent, which incidentally is found within beautiful virgin girls. The story of the murderer also simultaneously runs with the story of the man with an obsessive olfactory passion.

Death follows Jean-Baptiste everywhere, but he seems to be oblivious of it because he is on the verge of creating the most perfect perfume. A scent so beautiful, it exudes the happiest memories in humans, paralyzing them into peaceful dreams and passionate moments. A perfume so powerful, Jean-Baptiste used it to be pardoned for all the murders he did; wearing a drop of this perfume is enough to bring anyone to their knees. He has now created the most powerful perfume and used it to his advantage, but now what? So, he goes back to where he was born and spills the perfume all over himself. Consumed by love and lust, the stray people who smell him regards Jean-Baptiste as an angel and then start eating him to have a piece of him.

The story lays the foundation, progresses into childhood, maturity, experience, and then near nirvana. As opposed to the book, the movie has not embarrassed us by showing the extent of human weakness and physical desires. The book may have taken a bit too much leverage into exaggerating the power of a smell, and I am glad that the movie has toned that down just enough to make us wonder about the virtues of a scent.

The greatest asset the movie has is Ben Whishaw, the actor who played Jean-Baptiste. Jean Baptiste is not a murderer because he desired money, powerful position, or sexual submission. He is a murderer because he simply wanted to own a beautiful scent to compensate for his lack of one. He doesn’t know about morals and he doesn’t realize the need to justify his acts. To kill and still exude innocence, this is what makes the Ben Whishaw’s portrayal of Jean-Baptiste hauntingly beautiful just like the music, Gloomy Sunday.

Hauntingly beautiful!

 – Jasina Gurung

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