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The MAD & The BAD: Today’s Dose of Entertainment

After yesterday’s Post, one thing must be clear and that is that Monday’s genre of picks is decided. Crime movies for The MAD & Speculative Fiction (ok, Science Fiction) for The BAD. All picks will be updated at the dedicated page. Let us go ahead with today’s picks, shall we?

Today’s MAD Recommendation

MOVIE: BIG FISH

IMDb link: Big FIsh (2003) – IMDb

IMDb General Rating: 8.1/10

My IMDb Rating: 10/10

Genre: Fantasy, Comedy

Big Fish: A Movie as Big as Life Itself!

Plot:

Big Fish tells the story of Edward Bloom (Albert Finney). Edward is the epitome of the charismatic southern gentleman. He is charming, friendly, and the best teller of tall tales on the planet. In fact, it is through these tall tales that the story of Edward’s life unfolds. As he lies in bed, dying of cancer, he takes his son, and us, on a journey through the many experiences in his life. Whether they are real or imagined is up to you to decide.

Edward’s son William (Billy Crudup) grew up loving his father’s stories, but has grown to feel like Edward has never really given him the truth. The fanciful tales have become nothing more than lies, and as Edward nears the end of his life, William just wants to know his father for who he is and without all of the whimsical underpinnings. And as he sets off to discover his father’s true story, what will he find out…


Reviews:


Big Fish turns into a wide-eyed Southern Gothic picaresque in which each lunatic twist of a development is more enchanting than the last,”  — Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly

“It’s like Forrest Gump without the bogus theme-park politics.”

Big Fish is a clever, smart fantasy that targets the child inside every adult,” Berardinelli said, “without insulting the intelligence of either.” — James Berardinelli

“As you’ve seen as you scrolled down to read this review, I have given Tim Burton’s new film the highest rating of any film I have reviewed on this site to date. And, there’s only one reason for that…

…I’m in love.

I am absolutely in love with Tim Burton’s Big Fish. I love the restrained, but vintage “Tim Burton look” of the film. I love the way Steve Buscemi just seems to own any part he plays. I love Albert Finney. And to top it all off, I love, love, love Ewan McGregor in this film. He emits charisma like no other young actor working today, and by the time it’s over you’ll feel like you want to know him forever. He becomes the kind of character you want to have over for dinner and just listen to for hours and hours.” — Richard Dennis


Why You should Watch it:

  1. It is funny, it is touching, it is absurd, it is serious,  it is philosophical, it explores the question of “absolute truth” – It delivers on enough levels for you to enjoy no matter what mood you are in.
  2. Big Fish is the kind of film that will mean different things to different people, but will be appreciated by almost all.
  3. “Big Fish” is a big movie. It will keep you talking and thinking about it long after you leave the theater!

Why I loved it:

  1. For the sheer comic genius of it.
  2. For the beautiful Big Fish soundtrack that converted me into an eternal fan of Buddy Holly.
  3. For being one of the few movies that keeps its promise of being awesome right till the very last scene.
  4. For showing me Ewan McGregor can act and is not just a light saber wielding dummy.
  5. IF I could give more than 10 on 10, this is one of the movies that would get it. LOVED IT!

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Today’s BAD Recommendation

BOOK: CLOUD ATLAS by DAVID MITCHELL

GoodReads link: Cloud Atlas

GoodReads General Rating: 4.20/5

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

Genre: Multi-genre, Novel

 

Cloud Atlas – Another “Big” pick for you!

Plot:

Cloud Atlas is made up of half-a-dozen disparate but artfully interwoven narratives that propel the reader forwards through time and genre, from the distant nineteenth to the not-so-far-off twenty-second century, from giddy picaresque to cool thriller to chilling sci-fi.

Cloud Atlas tells six different narratives, told in parts and out of order at times, constructing a novel with their intersections and coincidences. Each story is at first partially told. It begins with an American notary’s journals during a South Seas voyage, This follows with a story in 1931 of an English cad working as an amanuensis for a blind, syphilitic composer. It jumps to reporter in the 1970s investigating a cover up at a nuclear reactor, then a futuristic fast food robot struggling to achieve sentience, and finally a Hawaiian ruminating on a post-apocalyptic life. Then the unfinished stories are completed in backwards order. David Mitchell’s novel explores the intersection of history and humanity as they echo through time.

David Mitchell’s new novel, “Cloud Atlas,” is a remarkable achievement, a frightening, beautiful, funny, wildly inventive, elaborately conceived tour de force. It places us not in one intensely imagined world but six: six different time periods, milieus, vocabularies and literary styles. Each of these tales more than earns its keep. Collectively, they constitute a work of art. There’s a motorcycle stuntman quality to Mitchell.


Reviews:


“It is a devious writer indeed who writes in such a way that the critic who finds himself unresponsive to the writer’s vision feels like a philistine. So let it be said that Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”  — New York Times


“To write a novel that resembles no other is a task that few writers ever feel prepared to essay. David Mitchell has written such a novel — or almost has. It its need to render every kind of human experience, ”Cloud Atlas” finds itself staring into the reflective waters of Joyce’s ”Ulysses.””– Tom Bissel


“David Mitchell’s new novel, “Cloud Atlas,” is a remarkable achievement, a frightening, beautiful, funny, wildly inventive, elaborately conceived tour de force. It places us not in one intensely imagined world but six: six different time periods, milieus, vocabularies and literary styles. Each of these tales more than earns its keep. Collectively, they constitute a work of art. There’s a motorcycle stuntman quality to Mitchell.” — SFGate.com

Was shortlisted for Booker Prize, Hugo and Nebula Awards


Why You should Read it:

  1. The six stories. Each of them are worthy of standing by themselves and are written in different style, theme, encompasses a different genre and is an experiment in literature. But they are brilliant little gems nevertheless.
  2. Reading Cloud Atlas is like doing a jigsaw puzzle: bits and pieces, fragments, clues coming together to create a surprising whole when completed. The trick is to scrutinize each puzzle piece and yet not lose track of the big picture.

Why I loved it:

  1. The intriguing Matryoshka doll structure of the book and the fact that it tells an honest straight story and doesn’t get lost in being too clever
  2. The hidden homages to Melville, Huxley etc that made me feel very clever and literary whenever I detected them.
  3. Robert Frobisher reminded me too much of myself, not sure if that is good or bad…
  4. One good story in a novel is very difficult to achieve… Six really good stories? That is something.
  5. I just love clever stuff like this. Forgive me.

Should you read Cloud Atlas? If you appreciate literary fiction, then this is a novel you should read at least once. Maybe more. It will challenge you, intimidate you, frustrate you, and dare you to think about the important questions it raises. It may not, however, grab you and pull you along with its storylines. That doesn’t necessarily detract from its importance or its brilliance. David Mitchell may be more intelligent than the rest of us, and he has some interesting and important ideas he wants to explore with his readers. Read Cloud Atlas.


That is it for today folks! See you tomorrow! Hope you enjoy the picks!


PS. For readers from inside campus, a small bonus package is provided! The movie and the book can be lent from me personally from my username at DC++, please understand that I am only lending you the copy and you are advised to delete the copy of the movie/book after usage. The details will be updated along with the posts.

Disclaimer: This blog does not support the propagation of pirated material in any way and the books and movies are to be lent on a personal basis only. [ Just in case 🙂 ]

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4 Comments

Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Books, Movie Discussions, Movies

 

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The Mad & The Bad: Your Daily Dose of Entertainment

The MAD Project

The Movie-A-Day Project

 

Enjoy with MAD

 

A New Movie Recommendation will be updated here every day. Every day will be allotted a genre after the first week of MAD is completed.

The archives will be updated in the MAD page accessible from the “Movies ” menu above.

The recommendation will be followed by a small overview, a micro review from me on why I think you should watch it and excerpts from reviews in popular review sites.

Today’s MAD Recommendation

MOVIE: GET SHORTY

IMDb link: Get Shorty (1995) – IMDb

IMDb General Rating: 6.9/10

My IMDb Rating: 7/10

Genre: Crime, Comedy

Plot:

Chili Palmer is a loan shark working out of Miami, but he really doesn’t like it. He hates having to work with scum, especially Ray “Bones” Barboni, a local wiseguy who has been feuding with Chili for 12 years over a leather coat. Truth be told, Chili would much rather be making movies.

So when a dry-cleaner named Leo who owes Chili a few thousand dollars fakes his own death, rips-off his insurance company and heads for L.A., Chili sees a golden opportunity.
Partnering with Harry Zimm, a small-time producer most famous for his “Slime Creatures” series, and Karen Allen, a former scream-queen who desperately wants to produce, Chili plans to make a major motion picture starring two-time Academy Award-winner Michael Weir.

But there’s a few little problems with getting “Mr. Lovejoy” into production: Ray Bones has come to town, looking for Chili and the few grand that Leo owes him. Harry Zimm owes money to a group of drug-dealers led by Bo Cattlett, a criminal who is as ruthless as he is stupid. A gang of Colombian smugglers are sniffing around looking for their money, which is currently in an airport locker under D.E.A. surveillance, and, perhaps worst of all, Michael Weir is more interested in making a movie about Chili Palmer than he is in a Harry Zimm picture…

 

Reviews:


“Practically perfect in its unpretentious way, MGM’s Get Shorty is the kind of smart, witty, polished entertainment that restores one’s faith in the studio system.” — Film.com

“Hailed by many critics as one of the best films of 1995, this finely tuned black comedy sparked a renewed interest in movies based on books by prolific crime novelist Elmore Leonard, whose trademark combination of tight plotting and sharp humor is perfectly captured here.” — rottentomatoes


Why You should Watch it:

  1. First of all, look at the cast – John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito.
  2. Then of course Elmore Leonard, need I say more?

Why I loved it:

  1. For it’s intriguing and sarcastic take on how movies are made.
  2. For the Awesome Climax!
  3. For the comic timing of Travolta
  4. Mostly because I loved the book!
Warning: If you prefer books to movies, you should try the book first!

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The BAD Project

The Book-A-Day Project

 

A New Book Recommendation will be updated here every day. A short overview, a personal explanation and excerpts from popular reviews of the book will be included.

 

Which one to Pick???

Today’s BAD Recommendation

BOOK: STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

GoodReads link: Stranger in a Strange Land

GoodReads General Rating: 3.75/15

My GoodReads Rating: 5/5

Genre: Science Fiction, Novel


Stranger in a Strange Land

 

Plot:

Stranger in a Strange Land is the epic saga of an earthling, Valentine Michael Smith, born and educated on Mars, who arrives on our planet with psi powers – telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, telekinesis, teleportation, pyrolysis, and the ability to take control of the minds of others – and complete innocence regarding the mores of man.

After his tutelage under a surrogate-father figure, Valentine begins his transformation into a messiah figure. His introduction into Earth society, together with his exceptional abilities, lead Valentine to become many things to many people: freak, scam artist, media commodity, searcher, free-love pioneer, neon evangelist, and martyr.

Heinlein won his third Hugo award for this novel, sometimes called Heinlein’s earthly “divine comedy.

 

Reviews:


“The first half of this novel is so amazing to me… The story of Valentine Michael Smith’s re-introduction to Earth life is such a great view of humans from the outside, that I can see why this book affected a generation. It poetically shows us our strengths, and our flaws. …oh that first half…”  — Deven Science

“A brilliant mind-bender.”–Kurt Vonnegut.


Why You should Watch it:

  1. Have you ever heard the word “Grok” and wondered what it is? Like many influential works of literature, Stranger made a contribution to the English language: specifically, the word “grok
  2. The Characters – Jubal and Smith are probably the two most powerful characters you will come across in science fiction literature.
  3. To understand Iron Maiden
  4. I think you get it – The book is too influential to not be read!

Why I loved it:

  1. “Although the narrative of Stranger in a Strange Land operates on many different levels, one obvious interpretation of Mike’s story would be as a postmodern retelling of the Jesus story. Before the novel even begins, we see that the title of Part One is “His Maculate Conception,” a satirical reference to the mythology of Christ’s immaculate conception.”
  2. The philosophy of it. it captivated me. How Heinlein managed to show us humanity seen from a stranger’s eyes…
  3. Also, I couldn’t stop using “I Grok You” to everybody for days 🙂
  4. The Book’s take on sexuality… Hmm, I don’t think I will elaborate on that now.

 

That is it for today folks! See you tomorrow! Hope you enjoy the picks!


PS. For readers from inside campus, a small bonus package is provided! The movie and the book can be lent from me personally from my username at DC++, please understand that I am only lending you the copy and you are advised to delete the copy of the movie/book after usage. The details will be updated along with the posts.

Disclaimer: This blog does not support the propagation of pirated material in any way and the books and movies are to be lent on a personal basis only. [Just in case :)]

Follow Me on Twitter

 
11 Comments

Posted by on February 13, 2011 in Book Reviews, Books, Movie Discussions, Movie Reviews, Movies

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
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