What Should You Watch on TV?

Posted: October 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

[A] Drama

01. Mad Men (AMC)
02. Rubicon (AMC)
03. Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
04. Sons of Anarchy (FX)
05. Justified (FX)
06. The Walking Dead (AMC) [Bonus]

[B] Comedy

01. Modern Family (ABC)
02. Community (NBC)
03. Bored to Death (HBO)
04. The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (IFC)
05. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)
06. The Middle (ABC) [Bonus]

[C] Animated TV Shows

01. Archer (FX)
02. The Life and Times of Tim (HBO)
03. Clerks (ABC)
04. Samurai Jack (Cartoon Network)
05. Ben 10: Ultimate Alien (Cartoon Network)

[D] War

01. The Pacific (HBO)
02. Generation Kill (HBO)
03. Band of Brothers (HBO)
04. Strike Back (Sky1)

[E] Procedurals

01. House, MD (FOX)
02. Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC)
03. The Mentalist (CBS)
04. Blue Bloods (CBS)

[F] Action / Action-Comedy

01. The Good Guys (FOX)
02. Hawaii Five-0 (CBS)
03. Nikita (CW)
04. Chuck (NBC)
05. Terriers (FX)

Apart from these, Sherlock (2010), The Ricky Gervais Show, Louie and An Idiot Abroad are must-watch shows!

Will do a post on must watch British shows, mini-series/specials, Sci-Fi shows and all-time classics soon!

Dharmesh

PS – Kindly ignore the bad formatting and alignment as this is posted from my phone!

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

This is a place where you can discuss the Inception ending and other spoilers. It will be fun to see what everyone thought of the ending too. You may also post your thoughts on the film otherwise. Discussion can happen in the ‘Comments’ section.

If you’re posting comments here, assume that anyone in the conversation has seen the movie – if you haven’t seen the movie, I would recommend you don’t read the comments here until you have.

Take it away!

Director: Laurent Cantet

Cast: Francois Begaudeau, Wey Huang, Franck Keita and Esméralda Ouertani

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Class (Entre le murs) is a vibrant documentary style drama set in an inner city Parisian school. This remarkable film is a semi-autobiographical story of the novelist and lead actor Francois Begaudeau and his real life experiences as a teacher in a multi-racial school in Paris. The engrossing drama in the film comes from the unexpected results of interactions between a teacher and his pupils.

Francois Marin (Begaudeau) is a dedicated high school teacher who teaches French and grammar in a Paris high school. He tries his best to respect differences and challenges the students to do their best at the same time. We meet Sandra (Ouertani) who is a sharp-wit constantly pushing against authority. Wei (Huang) is the son of illegal Chinese immigrants whose mother could face possible deportation. Souleymane (Keita), an African student from Mali is a consistent disrupter who becomes the central focus of the film when it is debated whether or not he should be expelled from the school.

Begaudeau plays a version of himself realistically. The students in the classroom, who are not professional actors, are also very candidly portrayed with tremendous authenticity. All the characters are presented to the audience from real life, with all their shortcomings and good qualities. The Palme d’Or won by this film at Cannes is extremely well deserved as it has brought real life to the celluloid in an extremely engaging way.

The hand held camera work of the film adds a certain immediacy to the proceedings. By the end of the first half, you feel that you are in the midst of the chaotic classroom. The film becomes increasingly interesting when Marin discusses Plato’s ‘Republic’ with Sandra and the class. Also notable is a scene when a girl comes to him after the last bell rings for the year and says in all sincerity that she learned nothing at all in the year.

The Class is packed with social, ethical and psychological issues and is honest about racial tensions. What works best for the film is that it feels like a ‘slice-of-life.’ All in all, this is a strong, thought provoking and a very optimistic film. A must watch.

Director: P.J.Hogan

Cast: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Kyrsten Ritter

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

Rebecca Bloomwood (Fisher) is a clumsy girl who funds her designer wardrobe with her credit cards and dreams of writing for the ‘Alette’, a Vogue-like glamorous magazine. But the only job Becky can fake her way into is at a financial magazine called ‘Successful Saving’. So successful are her jargon-free columns that she lands a TV spot and the love of her charmingly rich, but hard working boss Luke Brandon (Dancy). Based on Sophie Kinsella’s best selling novels, Confessions of a Shopaholic is designed to appeal to people who simply were born to shop and enjoy spending money without considering those disastrous consequences.

Isla Fisher is luminescent. She is incapable of making a bad movie good but she makes it entertaining to watch anyway. Dancy does his level best in a thankless role. Ritter gives a decent performance as Rebecca’s roommate. The film’s supporting performances are mostly a mixed bag, partially owing to the cast and partially owing to not being given much to do.

This brainless chick flick reinforces the worst stereotypes. Trying to disguise itself as a cautionary tale on the perils of conspicuous consumption, it fixates so much on materialistic cravings that it ends up doing just the opposite. The problem is that filmmaker P.J. Hogan (My Best Friend’s Wedding) spends so much time glorifying everything Gucci and Prada that by the time the film gets down to moralizing it feels misguided and vacant. It has moments of fizz and fun as it seesaws to the inevitable happy ending, but it is no more than a laugh-free time waster.

Director: Harald Zwart

Cast: Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith and Taraji P. Henson

Rating: 3 out of 5

A remake of the 1984 classic of the same name, ‘The Karate Kid’ is faithful to the original film in terms of aesthetics. This film plays by the same basic rules as the 1984 original.  Despite a strikingly similar screenplay, it manages to feel distinct through its subtle updates in plot, protagonist, and setting. This is director Harald Zwart’s shot at redemption after making the excuse-for-a-movie ‘Pink Panther 2’ last year.

Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mom (Taraji P. Henson) travel to China, where she has been transferred by her car-maker employer. Dre isn’t happy to be trading Detroit for Beijing, but he soon falls for Meiying, a student at his school. This doesn’t sit well with the local band of bullies, all of them experts at the ancient martial art of Kung Fu. (Yes, that is when you question the title of the film.) Mr. Han – the handyman (Jackie Chan) reluctantly agrees to teach Dre how to fight, after almost accidentally signing him up to battle his enemies in an upcoming kung fu tournament.

Jaden Smith impresses here as the film’s star, handling the action and emotional scenes in a very effective way. His character arc from a rash rebel to a calm and composed martial artiste is handled very well. Chan for once has ‘acted’ in a film. He is still at his athletic best at the age of 56! Chan portrays a few emotions in the film which I didn’t know he was capable of doing. A pleasant change from his usual comic antics.

The cinematography of the film is beautiful. Every shot of China including the ones of the great wall, the Forbidden City and the mountain temple is picture perfect. Roger Pratt who has shot two Potter films and Troy has done a fabulous job of bringing the busy streets of Beijing to life in the film.

And although the film does get unnecessarily draggy at times, with quite a number of subplots that are slightly unevenly played out, the training scenes and final battle accomplishes its job in engaging the viewer. When I went for the film in the theatres, people clapped and cheered during the climax. I guess that is a huge compliment to the film.

To me, the original will always be special. Mr. Miyagi is a legend in my mind. But, this remake is very well made and engaging. It is one of the very few remakes that stand on its own feet. Watch it.

Director: Bahman Ghobadi

The first film to be made in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein, the devastating Turtles Can Fly is set in a Kurdish refugee camp on the Iraqi-Turkish border just before the US invasion in 2003. Director Bahman Ghobadi concentrates on a handful of orphaned children and their efforts to survive the appalling conditions. It is a powerful cry on behalf of children caught up in war and tyranny.

Ghobadi immerses the viewer in the nightmarish realities of daily existence in this makeshift community that’s located within a forbidding natural landscape. There’s no running water or electricity, the fear of gas attacks is palpable, and kids use their bare-hands to defuse land mines in the surrounding fields, which they then trade for machine guns at a market.

One of the central characters we meet is a young boy named Sorano, who goes by the nickname ‘Satellite’, being the only one at the camp who knows how to install TV-satellites. A leader of sorts amongst children, he helps everyone. One day a girl named Agrin arrives at the camp, together with her brother (who has lost both his arms to land-mines) and a little baby. During the first days, Sorano and the other children don’t  care about the newly arrived strange family. But after a while, Sorano wants to help them, especially after he is smitten by Agrin and finds out her brother foresees the future.

Using an entirely non-professional cast, Ghobadi doesn’t ignore the gestures of tenderness and humanity displayed by his brutalised characters. There is no overt political message in the film, yet the hundreds of parent-less children in the film, many with broken limbs from exploding land mines, tell a story of war that transcends politics. This is a powerful, disturbing, yet ultimately beautiful film that deserves everyone’s close attention.

Directors: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen

Cast: Bruce Dickinson, Janick Gers, Steve Harris, Nicko McBrian, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith

Iron Maiden has been one of the most successful and influential bands on the heavy metal scene over the years and are still going strong more than thirty years later.

Like all good ‘rockumentaries’, Flight 666 is one for both the band’s fans and music lovers in general. Directed by Sam Dunn and Scot McFayden (Global Metal), this film is an access-all-areas look at Iron Maiden during an ambitious world tour. Last year the band embarked on their largest tour yet labeled the ‘Somewhere Back In Time’. Equipped with their own customised plane called ‘Ed Force One’ which contained their entire stage show and tour equipment, full touring crew and piloted by Bruce Dickinson (lead singer), the band flew across the globe in forty-five days, playing in thirteen countries to over half a million fans in only the first leg of their tour.

The tour kicked off in Mumbai. And if you were at that concert and you watch this film, you are sure to get goosebumps! And with each venue they jump, the number of fans only gets bigger. Another interesting aspect this film captures is the craziness of Iron Maiden fans and the lengths they would go to just to make it to a show (wait till the band visit South America!). The film shows you just how inspirational and influential the band has been in so many people’s lives around the world. The most interesting part of the film comes when somewhere in South America you see an interview of a priest who has 162 Iron Maiden tattoos on his body and is known as ‘Father Iron Maiden’ within his flock!

The concert footage in this film is some of the best out there and the songs will keep your feet tapping over the entire length of the film. Up The Irons!