Saturday, November 26, 2011

THE IMMORTALS and MARGIN CALL - The movie reviews.

THE IMMORTALS. As promised, the sinner dragged himself to the nearest cineplex to watch The Immortals. In a previous posting, the sinner audaciously pre-review reviewed the movie (Click Here) and predicted that actual review would find The Immortals garnering a pitiful 3 out of 10. I am afraid that even that prediction turned out to be optimistic.
Oh, there is something about a super-Bow in the movie, but by that time I was bored.
So this is the important bit about the story - a King (Hyperion, played by Mickey Rourke) sees wife and children dying of a disease. They never actually spell out what disease, but because of that, Hyperion decides to start an all-out assault on the Greeks and their holy Mount Tartarus where he is knowledgeably informed that the Titans are imprisoned - The Titans are essentially the other gods who got clobbered by Zeus and family. So if the Titans are out, they would start another war in heaven and hopefully (thinks Hyperion), Zeus and family would all be killed. Theseus (who happens to be Zeus's bastard son, I think) gets caught up in all this, along with Phaedra the Virgin Oracle (played by Freida Pinto, from Slumdog Millionare).

This is about as naked as naked men are gonna get in this movie.
So if you are expecting another meat-feast, prepare to get disappointed.
The Virgin Oracle about to lose her qualification to be one.
Things happen so fast, there is very little time for character development, and really, I just ended up not caring at all about what happens to Theseus, Hyperion, Phaedra, Zeus or the Titans come to think of it. The script is really just barely this side of bearable, and surprisingly the set and CGI, to be absolutely honest- ain't so good as the scenes in 300. And really, Hyperion is just another pissed off guy, except that he is just really obsessed about getting his vengeance. Other than that, I think that Mickey Rourke (who was brilliant in The Wrestler) is just doing this movie for the money. Heche, who agreed to sit as co-reviewer had 2 important observations - 1. If you are looking for a large number of almost-naked men in loincloth doing manly things... well you would be disappointed. There is barely any sight of abdominal muscles or 'a cute butt'. Only Theseus was on hand to show off his ripped body. Yes, just one eye-candy for our discerning female audience. Not good enough. 2. Her second observation is the most interesting - if the Greeks were so concerned about the Oracles being virgin, why do they pick such hot-looking babes as their Oracles. Really, just choose the ugliest maidens in the village and surely, the chances of them losing their virginity would be smaller. All in all, The Immortals turns out to be an even greater disappointment than anticipated -  2 out of 10.

MARGIN CALL. From a movie lemon to a movie corvette. Where do I begin with a movie about Wall Street greed that is so full of talent and amazing acting of the highest calibre. You just gotta look at the cast - Kevin Spacey as Sam Rogers, Paul Bettany as Will Emerson, Jeremy Irons as John Tuld, Zachary Quinto as Peter Sullivan, Penn Badgley as Seth Bregman, Simon Baker as Jared Cohen, Mary McDonnell as Mary Rogers, Stanley Tucci as Eric Dale and Demi Moore as Sarah Robertson - for you to realise that this is a powerhouse acting resource for the director to pull in. So did the director, JC Chandor manage to bring out the best from his actors? He did. Awesomely.

There is a Greek phrase for this scenario -
The shiteus is gonna hit the faneus.
Margin Call is a story set over a 24 hours period in an anonymous Wall Street Investment firm. Over that 24 hours, people are sacked, huge previously unnoticed liabilities in derivatives and CDOs are going to bankrupt the firm (to know more watch Inside Job, the Cannes Festival winning feature documentary which brings to light the many sins of Wall Street), and the firm's decision to dispose of ALL their toxic assets into the market by lunch time next day - which would trigger (as the movie implies) one of the worst credit crunch default in the history of civilization. People are going to lose their jobs. Other firms, banks and mutual funds are going to sink, but at least this particular firm will managed to sneak out FIRST. In one of the final scene, Sam the crusty Risk Management departmental boss confronted John Tuld, the Boss of bosses in the firm about the appalling effect on Wall Street and the economy that would be triggered by their decision to dump their foul-smelling bonds into the market. And this was John's reply - "It's just money. Made up. Pieces of paper with pictures on it so we don't have to kill each other to get something to eat..."

An intelligent and entertaining movie. A must-watch for anyone who's at least a little bit concerned about the condition of this world and where consumerism and cheap (read false) credit will ultimately take mankind to. An amazing 8 out of 10 movie.

Have a beautiful day, sunshine. God bless.

Pax Taufiqa

Hate has no place in Islam.
Love will show the way.

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