Movies 2016

After watching around 26 movies last year, one every 2 weeks, this year I managed only 6. Maybe it is age, not feeling like being up from 10 PM for 2 hours. Also, maybe it was a lack of inspiring movies that kept me going. 2015 had both Ghibli and Ozu to keep me going. I finished all the Ghiblis, except the brand new ones, and am mostly done with all the accessible Ozus. The one I got to see was a HD version and was 4.1 GB in size.

Having said that, I did manage a fair bit of TV Series. Nothing too niche there either, the most common ones which would be on your list too.

Anyway, here goes:

Kannada Movies:

Two really awesome movies here:

1. Lucia(2013):

Yes, very late to the party. But what a fun movie this was. Two parallel tracks and a surprise ending. Unlike 95% of all people I don’t have the talent for spotting twists coming from a mile back, which makes watching such movies all the more enjoyable.

2. Aa DinagaLu(2007):

Once again, very late to the party. Based on a book, based on real events, by Agni Sridhar, who’s also a character in the movie, played by Atul Kulkarni, this has achieved somewhat cult status. A rowdy-gangster movie with hardly any violence, it still manages to keep you hooked on. An excellent cast with Girish Karnad, Ashish Vidyarthi, Atul Kulkarni is overshadowed by Sharath Lohitashwa. Illayaraaja’s BGM is a treat by itself. The songs have been a hit for a while. The setting of 1980s Bangalore is brilliantly done and makes one nostalgic. The dubbing of voices is a bit silly, some voice matching could’ve been done.

The rest:

3. In which Annie gives it those ones(1989):

Funny title. And long before Arundhati Roy wrote The God of Small Things, there was this movie, about a bunch of architecture students trying to get past their exams. Apparently, a cult movie among, well, architecture students. Written by Roy, who also stars in it, it is directed by her ex-husband who is now a naturalist. Also stars Roshan Seth, who played Nehru pretty much everywhere in the 80s. Also apparently boasts a fleeting appearance of a then struggling Shah Rukh Khan.

No trailers, you can watch the movie here:

4. The Visit(2015):

M. Night Shyamalan delivers a decent movie after dud after dud after dud. It isn’t Shayamalan at his very best, like in Unbreakable, but he’s back, somewhat. Two kids visiting their grandparents, one of them a wannabe filmmaker shooting everything she sees, and what you see is pretty much what she shoots. Nice and spooky with a few startlers thrown in. A good, vintage thriller.

5. Enough Said(2013):

Watched it for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who I felt I had seen somewhere. Turned out she was Elaine from Seinfeld. Oh well. Anyway, fun movie, about people going about middle age, dealing with their kids grown up and heading out to colleges, while trying to find love. Also features James Gandolfini (his second last film).

6. Early Summer (1951)

Whaddyaknow! I managed one Ozu movie. This was typical Ozu – Setsuko Hara and Chishu Ryu. Hara playing a woman who’s missed the marriage bus and Ryu her brother. The whole family worried, trying to fix things up, which doesn’t work out, but like in all Ozu movies, things work out in the end, or seem to, as he never gives easy answers – a daughter being married away is also a gaping hole left in her parents’ lives. Why else would you watch Ozu?

TV series:

Like I said, nothing major here. Only the most popular ones.

1. Game of Thrones

Can’t miss this, eh? Can’t wait to watch, what looks like, the final season.

2. Stranger Things

Missed a lot of the 80s references. I did not grow up in the US of A. I did catch a few, mainly cos I have been watching movies for a while now, and some are from that time. A fun series either way, credit to the writers for still having a solid plot and not just losing it in the references.

3. Black Mirror

A British series that comes up with metaphorical stories about the way we are living, and our digital lives, in the era of lack of surveillance. You need to do a good job of it, if you don’t want it to dissolve into eye-rolls. And Charlie Brooker does a fab job it. Don’t miss this if you haven’t seen this! Being an anthology, each episode is independent of the other, so no specific order is required.

4. BBC Planet Earth II

Mind was blown in the first series 10 years back. Mind continues to be blown in the 2nd series, and if possible, blown a bit more. Yes, some of the photography is just too good and they do cheat like with most animal documentaries. (Cheat: An eagle flying and a mouse running, are two independent sequences, when they unite in one frame, the mouse and eagle could be the same or different individuals from what you were “tracking”.) But hard to watch with a tight jaw.





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