Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Adventures of Steven Spielberg : TINTIN (2011).

From the greatest story tellers of our time, Director Steven Spielberg & Producer Peter Jackson, the title flashed by on the big screen during the trailer of Tintin. My eyes took a 32x zoom pretty much like our Jim Carey in The Mask. It looked like the animation version of Pirates of the Caribbean when I saw ships flying over other ships amidst thunderstorms, in the beginning of the trailer. The face of Tintin and his white puppy, Snowy takes us back to our childhood days, remembering the comic books.

Being satisfied of having enough leftovers of the delicious Spicy brisket beef with potatoes from my lunch at the Chinese restaurant, Tintin was a mouth watering dessert. Got into the theatre, skipping the 2$ games as we didn’t want to miss any of those 3D trailers. After the commercials came the spectacular trailer of War Horse, yet another Steven Spielberg movie, making me wonder, if he has got more than 24 hours a day. The screen widened as the curtains pulled over, with the stars of Paramount pictures flying around in 3D followed by the lady of Columbia pictures holding the torchlight, setting stage for the adventures of a lifetime.

The movie is a thrilling adventure mixed with clever, witty chase sequences and an intelligent fast paced story line, making us craving for more after the end credits. The fresh animations, graphics and the special effects used in The Adventures of Tintin is a sure visual treat, especially in Digital 3D, making The Polar Express look like a steam engine. It wakes up the adventurous child in us with a freedom to run like a freed rabbit.

The plot revolves around our ever in trouble newspaper reporter Tintin as he buys a classic model ship without knowing the mysterious secret associated with it. The pick pocketing, fighting and chasing sequences delivers the fun and feel of a Jackie Chan movie. The company of a boozy captain from a cargo ship, whose character resembles with Jack Sparrow, adds much more chaos and fun to Tintin’s adventure. Steven Spielberg has done a wonderful job in directing his first animation movie. Peter Jackson made the movie seem so real, as his company WETA Digital used computer animations such as the motion capture effects, where the actions of actors are digitally transferred to a computer. The scenes where a mirage in the desert transforms the sands into a rough sea with pirate ships tossing in the waves, the clash with two giant cranes using the control keys, the burning ship with people fighting all along swinging over another ship, the motorcycle chase along the sides of a broken dam with a heavy rush of water, the plane ride through the middle of dark clouds and the alcoholic refueling etc. are more than enough to keep us at the edge of our seats.

The movie combines the plot of two adventures from the respective books, Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure into one single adventure. The screenwriters are exceptionally good as they have transformed the electrifying comic stories of Tintin into a flawless and smooth movie. This one has undoubtedly got into the list of my all time favorites and I would give this a 5/5. It doesn’t matter whether you are or you are not a Tintin fan, this movie will be close to both the kids and adults who have that spark for adventure. 

The movie leaves room for the possibility of an even more spectacular sequel, as Tintin's unquenchable thirst for adventure takes him to grab his next mission. A sequel to this one, with Spielberg on the production side and Jackson on the director’s chair has already been announced.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A R Rahman & The Jurassic Park.

The year was 1997, I was having the life of a seventh grader by then. Patriotism in those days for me was pretty much confined within the daily chore of reciting national anthem at school. Other than that, well may be the movie ‘‘Roja’’, telecasted on every Independence Day on DD National refreshed the sense of being an Indian.  It was like a fresh installation of national pride when Bharat Bala productions came out with the album ''vande mataram'' featuring my all time favorite music director A R Rahman. For me it was much more than that.

The sequel to Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park was released days before the August of 1997 in my favorite screen at Kochi, Sridhar. Since it was one of the most awaited movies of the year, everyone in my family have been making plans to go to the movies to have the Jurassic experience yet again. I guess, it was during the Onam holidays, as most of our family was present in our Tharavadu at Vaduthala as part of the usual holiday reunion. Surprisingly, a sudden decision was made during one of those afternoons to set off to Sridhar at the city of Kochi, for a 6:30pm show of The Lost World. Movies in theaters were something I have always been crazy for since my childhood and it still gives me goose bumps when the Universal Pictures or 20th Century Fox is screened with Digital sounds in the big screen. Almost everyone in our family, mostly the guy gang including uncles and cousins set off to Sridhar, needless to say me & my cousins were overly excited. I still remember listening to the big sounds of dinosaur walks while we were waiting in the queue to grab tickets for the show outside the theatre. I always loved seeing the writing ‘‘DTS & Dolby Surround system’’ on top of the doors to the theatre hall. It was possibly a family first for us with such a big group fully occupying almost a complete row of the First class seats. As soon as grabbing our seats, two of us from the group set outside the theatre to buy some 2 Kg’s of apple as nothing was bought as snacks. We hurried back to the hall amidst the crowds still packing the queues, to witness something surprisingly extraordinary on the screen.

The man in blue jeans with a glowing heavenly white shirt was singing the most powerful national outcry ‘vande mataram’. Yes, the man was A R Rahman and he was crying his heart out with such powerful melodious and catchy tune that the whole of us were having a fresh feeling for our country like never before. That was one of the best theatre experiences I have ever had till today. If it wasn’t for A R Rahman, I would not have felt any different for the 50th year of Indian Independence.  Though I was a diehard fan of A R Rahman ever since ''Roja'', it took me a few years to possess the audio cassette of ''vande mataram''. Just reading the words of A R Rahman written over its cassette cover is enough to ignite a new sense of being an inspired human being with strong feelings for my country. The album is indeed a timeless collection of musical magic covering the energetic ‘‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’’, the natural & peaceful Revival (vande mataram), the fresh & innocent ‘‘Gurus of Peace’’, ‘‘Tauba Tauba’’, ‘‘Missing’’ (vande mataram), ‘‘Only You’’ & the Tamil version ‘‘Thai Mannai Vanakkam’’.

‘‘All perfect praises belong to the Almighty alone. I dedicate this album to the future generations of India. I wish that this album inspires them to grow up with the wealth of Human values and ethics that this country is made of.’’ – A R Rahman.