Cairo Time (2009)

Long time no posts. I haven’t had the time to go through my queue and continue blogging. Well, I have given up cable so I am hoping to give my blog a new look and make some changes. A lot of things have changed since I started blogging – social media in particular. Anyway, back to Cairo Time.

Cairo TimeA movie is about Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) who is supposed to be on a holiday with her husband, Mark (Tom McCamus) in Cairo, but is instead accompanied by Tariq (Alexander Siddiq), one of Mark’s acquaintances, who takes her around the city. She travels around to see the desert, the beautiful Nile as well as witnesses an Egyptian style wedding. She learns that Tariq was once in love with another woman, Yasmeen (Amina Annabi) and got his heart broken. What follows is an unexpected attraction between Juliette and Tariq.

Directed by Ruba Nadda (Sabah (2005), I think this movie is on Netflix Instant – another good watch), the movie is peaceful (I mean really peaceful, there is hardly any dialogue!), romantic and drama-less. A good movie to unwind with after a long days of hard work.

My favorite line: With very few lines to pick from, I cannot come up with any!

My Rating: 3/5

Credits: Google Images

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Take Me Home (2011)

This movie was one of the movies that I just clicked and watched one night from my Roku box. Doesn’t it make life so easy?

The movie is about an aspiring photographer who is stranded on the streets of New York with his cab when he isn’t able to find a job in photography. One day he is kicked out of his apartment and moves into his cab. Thom (Sam Jaeger), the unlicensed cabbie finally decides to make money by turning on his cab lights and hopes that he is able to make a living out of the same. Luckily, one day he meets Claire  (Amber Jaeger, yes they are married in reality) who is going through a personal crisis and asks him to drive until she tells him to stop. She is coping with her father’s sudden death and also believes that her husband (Brennan Elliot) is cheating. To Thom’s surprise, her final destination is Califonia and he is unable to decide if that is good or bad for him.

The rest of the movie is about both of them driving around the country and learning more about each other. They meet Thorn’s parents (played by Cristine Rose and Victor Garber – I was surprised to see them here!) on the way who think that he is a successful only to find out that he is a cabbie. Their final destination is Encinitas where her father’s funeral is to take place.

The movie is light and fun, though I would have expected to see a more scenic drive to California. It could be a little boring if you were looking to watch a fast paced comedy. Encinitas is just picturesque and as a person living in San Diego, I am always excited to see Southern California in a movie!

No great lines, just a decent watch.

My Rating: 3/5

Credits: Google Images

Seven Days in Utopia (2011)

I was looking at movies based on Sport and Seven Days in Utopia was one of Netflix’s suggestions. Not really a good one but nevertheless, I watched it.

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Luke Chislom (Lucas Black) was devastated after he made a disastrous debut at a golf open, and lands in Utopia. He meets an old man, who helps him repair his car. Luke finds out that Johnny (Robert Duvall) used to be a pro golfer himself. Johnny proposes that Luke stays in Utopia for 7 days and get his act together. Luke accepts the offer and Johnny makes him go through a series of activities in the beginning, none of which related to golf.

Lesson 1. Fly-fishing. When I saw that, I was like seriously? I’m not golfer myself, so I did not understand the connection. Another lesson included painting, where Luke channels his thoughts on how he would score and brings it out in a picture. As he goes through these lessons, he learns something new not about golf but about life. The ending had a twist which was quite surprising and that was the best part, I would say.

Overall, a so-so movie but is pleasing for the eyes. I don’t find golf an enticing sport and maybe that’s why I did not enjoy the movie. Golf lovers out there may enjoy this, but for me it was just another flick where famous guy enters small town and transforms himself into a completely new person.

My favorite line:

Confidence comes in being prepared.

My Rating: 2.5/5

Credits: Google Images

Please Give (2010)

I love Movies based in New York and this movie appealed to me when I saw it on Netflix. Although it’s not for instant watch, it’s available on DVD.

Please give is about a movie about this wealthy New York family who run a pretty unusual business. Alex (Olive Patt) and Kate (Catherine Keener) own a furniture business. They buy off furniture from families who have lost their loved ones and want to give away the furniture. Alex and Kate identify furniture that have huge potential and sell it off at a record cost! Pretty easy right? Kate is guilty about doing this and hence is looking for ways to give back. They also want to expand their own house but they have to deal with Andra (Ann Morgan Guilbert), a cranky 95 year old woman and her granddaughters, Mary (Amanda Peet) and Rebecca (Rebecca Hall).

I like the fact that the movie has a nice flow to it and it ends in a very unlikely way. The characters just move on with their lives. It’s similar to Friends with Money (2006), made by the same director (Nicole Holofcener). I liked where the movie was heading but I felt like they should have resolved their issues. A good one-time watch though.

My Rating: 3/5

My favorite lines:

Oh God it’s just so sad!
What?
The old lady, if you know what I mean. Does she ever even go outside?
What’s so fun outside?
Uh, the world.
Maybe she’s perfectly happy.

Credits: Google Images

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

I stumbled upon this art documentary: Exit Through the Gift Shop. Here’s what I think.

Exit through the gift shop

The film is about Theirry Guetta, an amateur LA artist, originally from France. He runs a small clothing store and is obsessed about filming everything he sees. On his visit to France, he was found by the street artists who wanted him to film their work and document it. Theirry had now found his focus and wasn’t going to let go. But he did nothing more than filming.

Banksy, a famous graffiti artist was someone whom Thierry hadn’t got the opportunity to film. He badly wanted to film him and one day he got a surprise phone call that would change his life. Banksy, was camera shy and wanted Thierry to document his work on his own terms. Little did he know that Thierry had no intention of editing his film rolls and creating a film. In the process Theirry learnt a lot about street art.

Soon, Thierry’s wife, Deborah Guetta, got bored of his expeditions and reminded him that he had a family back home in LA. But Theirry wasn’t going to stop there. He started his own street art and also made a short film with all his recordings. Bangsy saw the not-so-good film and suggested that he should focus on street art and stop filming. Theirry takes up his street art seriously and starts calling himself Mr. Brainwash. He decides to host an art show similar to Bangsy but on a much larger scale. Bangsy would soon regret helping Theirry with his suggestion.

The film also contains footage from other graffiti artists like Shepard Fairey and Invader. Banksy’s great direction to capture some stunning artwork is really admirable. I’m usually not good at sitting through a whole documentary, but I as fascinated by this one. It had my entire attention till the end!

Nominated for an Oscar and many more awards, this documentary is definitely worth a watch. Art lovers will definitely find this quite impressive!

My rating: 4/5 (an extra 0.5 for showing me how awesome street art could be!)

Credits: Google Images

Diminished Capacity (2008)

A review of another independent film- Diminished Capacity.

Diminished Capacity

The film is about a Chicago journalist, Cooper (Mathew Broderick) who suffers a loss of memory after a concussion. He goes to meet his ailing uncle Rollie (Alan Alda) on his mothers request. Uncle Rollie suffers from “diminished capacity” and holds on to a baseball card that he thinks is priceless. Cooper meets his old time girlfriend, Charlotte (Virginia Madsen) on his visit who is now separated from her husband and wants to make a move to Chicago to sell her paintings. Uncle Rollie decides that its time to sell his card and all of them travel to Chicago with that in mind.

The movie revolves around the baseball card as different people conspire to steal the card from Uncle Rollie once they find out how much it was worth.

I found the movie too slow paced and felt that it had a weak storyline. A few nice comic moments and some uncle-nephew bonding and that was it. Finally, show down at the end which really did not impress me much.

Overall, a light movie to watch and you can decide if it was too light weighted!

My rating: 2/5

Credits: Google Images

Arranged (2007)

Let’s start Arranged-2007one flick a day with a movie that I recently caught on Netflix.

Arranged is a warm hearted film based on the friendship of two teachers. Rochel (Zoe Lister Jones- you might recognize her from State of Play) , is an Orthodox Jewish woman and Nasira (Francis Benhamou), is a Muslim woman in Brooklyn. Although they come from different backgrounds, Nasira and Rachel are pressured into an arranged marriage by their parents. In the process, they both come across men who do not meet their idea of The One.  This common ground strengthens their friendship as they share their experiences about the men they are forced to meet.

In the past, in countries where arranged marriages used to be practiced, the match was chosen by the parents. If an individual was single, he/she would get his/her match through word of mouth or through agents. Now that has been replaced by matrimonial websites and the children are also given a right to accept or reject their match.

Directors Diane Crespo and Stefan C. Schaefer create this feel-good movie with excellent performances by the two female leads. With a combination of emotional and hilarious moments, the movie definitely brings a smile on my face. Stop surfing through the Netflix library and take some time out to watch this movie. Smile

My rating: 3.5/5

Credits: Google Images