Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bob Gale shares his experience on Secret Cinema Presents Back to the Future

Last week Bob Gale made a surprise visit at Secret Cinema's presentation of Back to the Future in London and he recently talked about his experience, which I have posted below. The event is still running until the end of August, so if you are a BTTF fan and if you can make it there, sounds like an amazing event worth attending.

After my three weeks of US trip, I was in London for couple of hours last week but it was only for my connecting flight back to India. I wish I could have attended this event, as it would have been a rare experience to be amongst such a large crowd of devoted BTTF fans in the fictional settings of Hill Valley.

Great Scott! Secret Cinema's presentation of BTTF is absolutely fantastic, and a must for any BTTF fan who can go! They've done an amazing job on every level. The cast, who play characters from the film and various townspeople, is outstanding. They are all in character the entire evening and do wonderful improvisations with the audience.  

If you walk into the Realty Office, a salesman will try to sell you a home in Lyon Estates. If you visit the Texaco Station, the uniformed staff will give you a dexterity test to see if you can join their team. Visit Peabody's ranch and the family will baptize you into their clan. Doc Brown conducts static electricity experiments with visitors to his house. The movie theater is actually running "Cattle Queen of Montana." Mayor Red Thomas is running for re-election and will try to solicit your vote. George McFly bicycles around town, asking if you've seen Biff. If you have a burger and fries at Lou's cafe, you'll see Goldie Wilson sweeping up, and Biff might come in to harass you.   

Not only do they re-enact scenes from the film, but they create additional vignettes as a result. For example, after Marty is hit by Sam Baines' car, the neighbors across the street call a neighborhood watch meeting out of concern for the strangers who have been appearing in town. I went 3 times and didn't see everything. There are live bands playing music from the 50s and 80s, and a radio station broadcasts period music and local news, live in real time. 

At 9 pm, after a town parade around the square, the movie begins, and it's enhanced with live actors mimicking the on screen action, culminating with lots of spectacle for the clock tower scene. The technical aspects are also excellent. It's an amazing rush to be surrounded by 3500 people who love the movie, who have dressed up for the 1950s to celebrate it, and who react with total enthusiasm throughout the event.  Giga-kudos to Fabien Riggall and everyone at Secret Cinema for one of the finest BTTF experiences in history!

-- Bob Gale

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

Loved every aspect of  Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie is visually beautiful and colorful, also it's a welcoming change in aesthetics that I hope continues the trend of movies going with bold colors.

Every character of the team is a badass and you end up wanting to see more of them as the movie draws to a close. There was no doubt that Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be hilarious and a fun action packed space adventure movie, but it had so much heart which surprised me the most. Rocket is awesome and he is a big highlight of the movie, but Peter Quill is my absolute favourite.

The movie features a fantastic soundtrack with songs you want to listen to again and again, accompanied by a good exciting score by Tyler Bates.

Though the movie ties into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's a great standalone film even for those who aren't familiar with any of the prior Marvel movies.

Thanks to my friend Shaneez, who ensured that we got to see it in a true IMAX 3D theatre (70 mm) at AMC Universal City Walk during my stay in LA. It was one of my best theatrical movie experiences ever.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a powerful and worthy sequel

One of the biggest strengths of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is its invoking sense of realism which results in an immersive experience.

The visuals effects by Weta Digital in the movie are so great and seamless that one would forget they are CGI apes and early on it pretty much gets taken for granted that they are inhabiting the world.

Leading the charge is Andy Serkis as Caesar. He has many moments of verbal dialogue and sign language (shown with subtitles), but even during scenes where he doesn't even speak a word he is able to display such range of emotions, it's a fine example of his staggering performance. His collaboration with the visual effects team along with the rest of the performance capture team is leaps ahead of the first film.

Michael Giacchino has given the movie an audacious musical score and I look foward to listening to the whole score when it gets released.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a much darker film than Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And it doesn't really have any lighthearted moments. The movie demands your attention and it's gripping till the end as the events unfold. 

Monday, June 30, 2014


Snowpiercer is gruesome and unpredictable where the stakes keep rising. Chris Evans gives a solid performance along with a great supporting cast.

The movie isn't necessarily cerebral, yet some of the moments and ideas in it are thought provoking. It's a refreshing science fiction film, jam packed with intense action.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Guest

The Guest premiered at Sundance early in 2014 and I've been really looking forward to it after reading all the positive buzz. The tone of the film being compared to John Carpenter's films and The Terminator got me quite excited. I haven't read anything more about the movie's plot beyond the basic premise.

It's directed by Adam Wingard who directed You're Next, he also directed segments of V/H/S and V/H/S/2.

I am hoping this movie turns out to be this year's Drive, while gaining wide attention and appeal.

Here is part of the review by Matt Goldberg from, posted in January 2014.

From 1974 to 1988, director John Carpenter was pretty much unstoppable. His films were scary, funny, strange, and thrilling.  Adam Wingard’s The Guest feels like a lost Carpenter film from the director’s golden age. The picture effortlessly moves between a nerve-wracking mystery to a gleefully dark comedy, and at its best it even mixes the two together. While Wingard carries the Carpenter-esque tone by making excellent use of Robby Baumgartner’s cinematography and Stephen Moore’s score, his greatest asset is Dan Stevens’ tremendous lead performance. And even when the picture starts to get away from Wingard, it never ceases to be an entertaining ride.

THE GUEST Acquired by Picturehouse for Fall Release. THE GUEST Stars Dan Stevens
This was posted by Adam Chitwood when the movie got picked up for distribution in March 2014.

The new film from You’re Next director Adam Wingard and screenwriter Simon Barrett will be coming to a theater near you this fall.  After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews, Picturehouse has picked up U.S. rights to The Guest for a fall release, marking the studio’s second feature film release after making their debut with last year’s Metallica Through the Never. The Guest stars Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as a soldier who befriends the family of a fallen comrade and becomes a threat to everyone around him when it turns out he may not be who he says he is.  I caught the pic at Sundance and it’s a great 80’s throwback that’s kind of like a cross between Halloween and The Terminator. Stevens is excellent in a dark role that is the polar opposite of his Downton Abbey character, and Wingard and Barrett have a ton of fun with the gleefully dark premise.

Steve Weintraub posted the following before posting his interview with the director.

One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was The Guest. Directed and written by the team behind You’re Next (Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, respectively), The Guest is fantastic and as Matt said in his review, it “feels like a lost John Carpenter film from the director’s golden age.  The picture effortlessly moves between a nerve-wracking mystery to a gleefully dark comedy, and at its best it even mixes the two together.” Trust me, it’s a film you should be excited to see and I’m sure it’ll be released sometime this year.  The Guest stars Dan Stevens (in an amazingly dark turn), Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick, Chase Williamson, and Brendan Meyer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Speed 20th Anniversary

Speed was released 20 years ago today on June 10, 1994. I remember seeing the movie about 3 or 4 times in the theatres, I was in the 8th grade and it was few months before I turned 13.

I couldn't get enough of the movie and the epic musical score stayed with me for weeks. I liked Keanu in the Bill and Ted movies, but I became a fan after Speed.

I loved the whole elevator rescue opening as much as the rest of the film, which pretty much led to my fascination with SWAT teams in general.

As someone who preferred his hair longer I even ended up cutting my hair way too short few weeks after watching this film :).

And I love the fact that Joss Whedon ended up being one of the key writers of the film, which I only briefly remember reading about years ago; but his recent interview really dwells on his contributions to the script.

Here are some good articles that offer a look back at the movie along with words from Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock and director Jan de Bont.

Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves and Jan de Bont look back at 'Speed' 20 years later

Still Traveling At 50 MPH 20 Years Later: Why 'Speed' Was The Pinnacle Of '90s Action Movies

Joss Whedon Was Left 'Pretty Devastated' After Losing 'Speed' Writing Credit


Friday, June 06, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow is great, so funny and for a movie that repeats itself it's still full of surprises & extremely entertaining.

I am heading out of town for few days and I can't wait to see it again when I return next week :).

Friday, May 23, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Bryan Singer could probably retire from making X-Men films, cause I don't know if he will be able to top his latest film. Not only is X-Men: Days of Future Past his best film, but it's at par with First Class as the best X-Men film to date.

It doesn't really try to fix the continuity so as to synch with the timelines of all the other films, but at this point it didn't really matter anymore. The movie is entertaining and doesn't have any dull moments, but at the same time it isn't an all out CGI action fest either.

Wolverine is obviously a central character to the story, yet his role didn't take precedence over other characters; in fact he comparatively has lesser big action scenes than the rest, while still binding the narrative with some great emotional resonance along with the rest of the cast..

I was glad to hear John Ottman's X2 theme playing during the opening credits. Lot of great mutant action sequences especially in the future, which are not only very cool but quite brutal as well. Yet, just like First Class what was lacking for me was the rest of the core X-Men team.

After X-Men: Apocalypse, they should definitely consider rebooting the franchise after about 5 years or so.

Friday, May 16, 2014


I enjoyed Godzilla. The movie isn't over the top monster action all the way through, as it has a more grounded and serious approach. There is mayhem and destruction early on but there is lot of tease and anticipation on the monster end, which makes it more effective when Godzilla comes into play.

The more human story elements of the movie might disappoint some viewers, but I think it works and is in line with the original Japanese film. Also really liked Alexandre Desplat's bombastic musical score.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weta District 9 Christopher Johnson and Son Prawns Statue

Got my District 9 Christopher Johnson statue today. I missed out on this unique piece when it went up for sale in 2011 and it's been one of my holy grails ever since.

I am now so happy to finally have this in my collection and even more relieved that it arrived in one piece, without any damages due to customs.

The statue is 1:6 scale and measures 14.2 inches in height along with the base. It's numbered #291 of 600.

Update (April 27):

I had also uploaded my District 9 statue image on Instagram two weeks ago. And now I am little ecstatic knowing that director Neill Blomkamp also "liked" the image yesterday :D