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Rehashed chills, yet refreshing!
The movie 'Devour' offers nothing new in terms of substance. Yet the reason it makes the rehashed chills seem refreshing is that the director David Winkler manages to energize the plot with a decent pace of a thriller and the above average effects. A key factor for somewhat liking the movie is also the presence of Jensen Ackles, he has great looks and acts fairly well too, he is certainly a newcomer to watch out for. The other members of the cast also fit into the small suburban campus milieu. Without giving away the plot, I would like to say that the movie manages to scare and at the same time it isn't just a series of mindless screams and gore. The music and the cinematography suit the mood perfectly. I also liked the jump-cuts and the editing finesse that brings an ill-at-ease kind of tension all through.
The Fog (2005)
The remake of the John Carpenter film is hardly satisfying. While the John Carpenter film was low on thrills, it sure had an interesting premise. The moody setting was pretty much intriguing and so were the characters. But this 2005 film has the thrills alright, thanks to the enhanced special effects and make-up, but it is low on substance. The characters are cardboard-like. The incredible premise seems too hackneyed. Further the effort to make this spooky film almost shows throughout the film. Tom Welling and Maggie Grace are both okayish, and they sure would have done well in a better film. It is a lesson to all that remakes are a strict no-no, unless they are made with the intent of making something better and more contemporary.
Umrao Jaan (1981)
Muzaffar Ali's Umrao Jaan
Muzaffar Ali's UMRAO JAAN was a classy, niche-audience oriented film. Rekha's performance, Khayyam's musical score and the authentic period details, thanks to the discerning filmmaker who is known for subtlety and class, make it a masterpiece. The true appreciation for the film is more than due at this very moment when the entire world is exposed to the crass and glossy remake of the film (or call it the adaptation of the same literary classic by Mirza Haadi Ruswa) by J. P. Dutta. Aishwarya Rai in the 2006 film pales in comparison to Rekha, who played the quintessential tawaaif in Muzaffar Ali's film with perfect poise and elan. Abhishek Bachchan is nothing compared to Farouque Shaikh, and the same can be said when one tries to draw parallels between Suniel Shetty and Raj Babbar, the counterparts in the new and the old films respectively.
Isi Ka Naam Zindagi (1992)
A comedy with a social message
Isi Ka Naam Zindagi can now be called a vintage Aamir Khan starrer. When the movie was first released, I remember, there weren't too many takers. The song 'Babam babam bam bhole', composed by Bappi Lahiri, was a moderate hit, and so was the title track sung by Anup Jalota. But the movie is indeed watchable because of the wry social comment that has been packaged intelligently as an over-the-top comedy. It is based on an acclaimed Bengali play by Manoj Mitra, which was first filmed in Bengali by Tapan Sinha as 'Banchharamer Bagan' (considered by many as a cult Bengali classic). Though the compulsions of mainstream Hindi cinema redeems the delicate flavor of the original work to some extent, yet Isi Ka Naam Zindagi deserves to be seen as a delectable comedy with a heart, and also for the fine performances of Aamir Khan, Farha Naaz and Pran.