Monday, December 31, 2012

My Top Favourite Movies of 2012

I managed to watch only about 24 movies of 2012 and I saw 18 of them in the theatres. Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained are yet to be released in India and I've yet to watch Dredd.

The Avengers remains my #1 favourite movie of the year. It was entertaining and the most fun I had at the theatres in 2012. And even after watching it four times at the theatres, for me the movie still holds up.

1. The Avengers
2. Looper
3. Moonrise Kingdom
4. Argo
5. Life of Pi

Honorable Mention (in release date order): The Raid: Redemption, The Cabin in the Woods, End of Watch, Cloud Atlas, Skyfall, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bob Gale offers comparison photos of Mattel Hoverboard and his screen used Hoverboards

Bob Gale recently expressed his concerns on how the Mattel Hoverboard didn't meet his expectations. You can read more about it in his open letter to fans here.

I like most BTTF fans was very pleased to see that Bob Gale addressed those quality issues directly and though he didn't have to, he offered an apology to fans who had pre-ordered the hoverboard based on his endorsement of the product from few months ago. There are few creators especially in the movie industry who even after so many years will go to such lengths to remain thoughtful about their fans. We're really grateful to have Bob Gale on our side.

After reading his letter I directed him to this Mattel Hoverboard thread to show how fans are appreciating his response in the letter. He was glad to see that his comments were taken positively by fans and he mentioned that he never takes his fans for granted. I also mentioned how many fans including RPF (Replica Prop Forum) members offered to help Mattel with all the necessary accurate details (including member Roland who has been offering his accurate hoverboard designs free of cost), none of which were considered by Mattel.

Few members on the RPF were hoping Bob Gale would provide comparison shots between the Mattel Hoverboard and his screen used Hoverboards. He noticed those requests and has now provided the comparison photos along with the following description.

About these photos, and the hoverboards

The accompanying photos show my two boards flanking the Mattel replica.

As far as I'm concerned, the basic design and colors of Mattel's board are just fine. 

Bear in mind the following: for the movie we had several different versions of the hero board, based on how it was to be used or seen in the film. Every version was a little different, both in color and material.  Neither of my boards have the real lenticular finish that's seen in some of the movie shots. 

One of mine (at left in the 3-shot) is the actual one used in the burning of the almanac scene. It's made of foam and has a wire stand on the bottom so that it could be filmed from above and appear to be hovering. That's why the middle part on the bottom is bigger than the one that Marty takes from the little girl: to accommodate the stand.  It was never meant to be seen in any other way. The round rear pad with the velcro strap was lost. 

My other board is made of solid wood. It's a stunt board, and was used by the 2nd unit. I have no way of knowing if it was hung from wires or sat on a piece of pipe. This board has no “magnets” on the bottom or any detail; it too was only to be seen from the top, and only in very wide angle shots. 

In the images, you can see how different the green color on the top is between the boards. Remember too that my boards are over 23 years old, and no doubt, the color has changed a bit over the years. Furthermore, in the movie, the colors would look different under different lighting conditions, and was again altered by the normal color correction we did in the film.  This is why no one should be troubled by Mattel's colors.  

I hope that satisfies your curiosity!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My thoughts on Looper and why I traveled eight hours to another city to watch it

Looper got released across theatres in India on Friday October 12, 2012. But judging by the way they treated the Dredd screening at Big Cinemas, I knew I couldn't risk watching it in the city of Mangalore.

Dredd's own production company Reliance Entertainment and their Big Cinemas in Mangalore didn't care for the film

I've been putting off to write this rant since the day Dredd got released worldwide including in India on September 21, 2012. I had planned to write a letter to Big Cinemas, but then realized it would be a futile effort.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012 offers Protection Service against damaged goods

The parcel forwarding company Shopandship now offers Protection Service against damaged goods for international shipments.

Got a email today with the above image. This is the best news I've heard related to international shipping so far. I mentioned the site before in one my previous posts. Well they're now offering Protection Service in case of damaged goods and their carrier is Aramex.

And the best part is that they cover upto $2500 USD !! Wow..even FedEx doesn't offer that. FedEx covers max $100 USD. If anybody wants coverage above $2500, they need to contact Shopandship directly.

If the item is below $100, it's covered for free by Aramex. One of my Looper posters was shipped via and it arrived in a damaged condition last month. I sent them an email regarding the damage and two days ago I received a cheque for Rs. 1073, which covered the cost of the poster that was damaged.

Cost of coverage is $1 for every additional $100. That is so reasonable. So if somebody orders a collectible statue costing $400, they pay $3 extra for insurance. If it's damaged they can claim that $400 amount, which is why the carrier is bound to be extra careful while shipping such fragile items anymore.

Maybe now collectors in India (who are way too rich) can even order life-size statues like Terminator Endoskeletons and not worry about damage :D.

You can know more about this service by reading their FAQ page.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Hot Wheels Elite - 1:43 BTTF DeLorean Time Machine Photos

Hot Wheels Elite have released photos of their new Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine which will be part of their Cult Classic Collection of model cars.

Scale: 1:43
Collection: Cult Classic Collection
Limited Edition: no more than 10,000 pieces

To be released in December 2012 and you can pre-order them at the Store.

As per the Hot Wheels Elite website these are Deco Master Pictures and Not Final Images.

(Click on images to enlarge)

One of the most common inaccuracies in the previous BTTF DeLorean models was the side wiring, which should not go above the tires. And the three cylinder capacitors should be red in color and not grey.

These two details used to bug me all the time. I wrote to Sunstar and DST early on, they acknowledged their mistake but didn't bother to fix them. Sunstar did fix the red color but not the wiring for their final BTTF 3 Railroad DeLorean model. Hot Wheels thankfully got those details right.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Trailer for Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It aired on Saturday morning in US with two episodes.

Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Theme Song. Nothing beats the original TMNT theme, still I am digging this new theme song as well.

The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series was really good, of course it isn't gritty like the Mirage comics or the first movie, but as most who grew up watching the 80s cartoon will surely come to enjoy it and TMNT fans should give this new show a try.

The tone of the series is primarily directed towards kids just like the old show, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it and laughed out loud number of times. The animation and virtual camera movements really works great especially during the fight sequences and helps to showcase the agility of the Turtles. Also I liked some of the little extra animation effects when they show some of the facial emotions including some pop out effects to infuse expression and humour through visuals.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Videos | Watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Online
Both episodes (Rise of the Turtles Part I & II) are now available for US streaming on the Nick website.

Pics of the toyline. The Playmates Nickelodeon TMNT figures are 4" and the new Playmates classic TMNT figures are 6". There are also larger figures with sound.

Turtle Van.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My two attempts to get a Looper UK quad teaser poster shipped to India

These are my two attempts to get a Looper UK quad teaser poster shipped to India and I am pretty much running in a loop now.

The first time I used (a mail/parcel forwarding service), I had the UK poster seller ship it to my UK shipping address and then Shopandship's courier service Aramex forwarded it to India and delivered it to my city in Mangalore.

I received it on August 31. Instead of opening the tube from the sides to check the contents, the poster tube was chopped in the middle like a cake by the Indian customs. Aramex sealed it with a tape during transit, but the poster was already ruined and creased up. I am currently communicating with to compensate for the poster. Though I doubt I will ever get this poster for 10 pounds anywhere else. It's not even available on eBay anymore. I managed to buy the poster the second time for 12 pounds.

The second time I decided to risk it big time and had another UK seller ship the poster directly to my Indian shipping address, which meant once it reaches India it would get delivered by the Indian postal service. I received this poster today on September 17. The Indian customs this time didn't merely open it but also folded the whole poster tube like a tissue paper.

(Edit: Updated this post to include shot of the poster tube in its original full folded condition)

So yeah the Indian customs guys are a bunch of irresponsible sadistic jerks.

Perhaps my Loop is working against me and making sure I don't ever get to own a proper version of this gorgeous Looper poster, after all it's the only poster featuring the Time Machine.

Though I won't be framing these two damaged posters, I just have to find solace imagining that the damage to the posters gives them a little character and a distressed look fitting into the aesthetics of the film.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Total Recall (2012)

Total Recall has lot of great visuals including many real sets making their whole world believable. It's non stop action yet I wasn't really engrossed by it. Sometimes the much needed excitement was somehow lacking for me and knowing the gist of the story based on the original film had nothing to do with it.

Even the flying cars sequence which I was most looking forward to, started out great but lost steam eventually. Kate Beckinsale's early fight in the movie is probably the highlight of the movie for me.

Len Wiseman who directed this also directed the first two Underworld films, which I felt were also barely memorable. And my expectations were already pretty low for this movie, so I don't really consider that I was totally disappointed by it.

The streets of the Colony in this movie had a Blade Runner vibe, while some other parts in the movie reminded me of Minority Report. All that only made me realize that no matter how impressive the production design was, the movie still kinda felt hollow and forgettable to me. And neither Collin Farell nor Jessica Biel were the problem as they along with Kate Beckinsale played their roles quite well.

Also as I was watching the movie I kept thinking that there would be other capable directors who would deliver sci-fi masterpieces with such production values. Like Duncan Jones, who could have done his love letter film to Blade Runner which was titled "Mute".

I just hope the remake of Paul Verhoeven's other classic sci-fi film doesn't share the same fate.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mars Attacks 50th Anniversary

'Mars Attacks' again, 50 years later is an article from USA Today which looks back at the Mars Attacks franchise and its future plans.

Perhaps I had forgotten about it, but it wasn't until early 2012 I realized that Mars Attacks was based on the trading cards from 1962 and that they were re-issued in the 80s and 90s even before the movie came out in 1996. So far really been digging the cool artwork from artist Wallace Wood, which has also led me to tracking the Weird Science comic book volumes that also featured his sci-fi works. Hoping to buy those later this year.

Sample of old cards.

I enjoyed watching Independence Day at the theatre in 1996 and was looking forward to Mars Attacks later that same year. Of course I was surprised as it was not what I was expecting, but eventually I did enjoy its tone and humour.

Looking forward to the various Mars Attacks merchandise being released this year in celebration of its 50th anniversary, including the commemorative book from Abrams Books.

From wiki:
"In 2012, in celebration of the franchise's 50th anniversary, Topps has partnered with a variety of companies on a merchandising campaign to include comic books (via IDW Publishing), bobble heads and vinyl dolls (Funko), action figures and plush (Mezco Toyz), costumes (Incogneato), statues and busts (Quarantine Studio), electronics skins (Gelaskins) and a hardcover commemorative book (Abrams Books). Topps will also be issuing a special 50th Anniversary card set.

It has been announced via the official Mars Attacks Facebook page that the IDW comic books will launch an all-new Mars Attack universe, with plans to expand into other mediums."

I now mainly want the Heritage 80 card base set which includes the original 55 cards. But looks like they are not selling factory sets at the moment and the box set which contains 24 packs is the only way to get them, with 6 cards in each pack. So there are no guarantees of acquiring the complete set with the box, but they told me every pack contains 4 classic cards and 1 each of the new universe and deleted scenes. So apparently with 24 packs it's most likely that one will get a full set. Box is priced $50 at the Topps website, but going on ebay for less. Some are even selling their own completed 80 cards set for $30 and less.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Review

Every movie reboot has the burden of being compared to its predecessor and it's hard not to do so especially when its previous movies are relatively fresh in the minds of the audience. For some fans Amazing Spider-Man needs to not only stack-up to the Sam Raimi films but also to the Spider-Man comics.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


In comparison to Pixar's previous films Brave isn't groundbreaking in terms of unique story, but it's still a really good fun film. Gorgeous animation and oh that lovely orange hair. And gotta applaud Pixar's decision to keep the second act under wraps during marketing, took me quite by surprise (I had only seen one trailer, don't know about the rest). Very rarely we get to experience that with big movies these days.

I was totally engrossed in the film and forgot to spot the Pizza Planet Truck easter egg. Also found out now that there was a post-credits scene which I missed, though it wasn't anything big.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Yesterday I watched the movie Contact again after a very long time. And since it's been awhile, the movie especially many parts before the third act appeared all fresh to my memory. There are some great little character moments of Ellie played by Jodie Foster and Ellie as a kid played by a younger Jena Malone (who I recognized only yesterday as I was watching the movie).

I've always been fascinated with space since I was a kid and now even though mankind's current prospects of deep space travel aren't looking bright, my enthusiasm for space continues to grow stronger. So watching Ellie talk about space with such devotion and the moments where she roots for things in the name of science, they were all so endearing to watch and had me in tears couple of times.

It's sad that Carl Sagan who along with his wife Ann Druyan was actively involved in the development of the film but never got to see the completed film.

After the Back to the Future movies and Forrest Gump, Contact is my favourite Robert Zemeckis film. I am glad Zemeckis is back to doing live-action films and I hope someday he will consider doing another sci-fi film.

And it's quite a coincidence that Jodie Foster's new sci-fi film Elysium from director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) had a private audience screening yesterday, which I read about earlier today.

I found this beautiful poster for Contact but since I haven't seen it listed in other places online I am guessing it's probably a fan-made poster, also cause there are no movie studio credits listed on the poster. Would have still loved to have it in a poster size.


Saturday, June 09, 2012

Review for Prometheus

When Ridley Scott chose to go with a new mythology and story for Prometheus (based on writer Damon Lidelof's suggestions), it would have been much better if they had gone all the way and completely distanced their movie from Alien. No matter how good of a script they would have weaved, Prometheus could still never match up to Ridley Scott's original Alien. And for sometime during pre-production the movie supposedly didn't have anything to do with Alien. But the Alien brand is too big to ignore, so things from Alien ended up being shoehorned into Prometheus.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Aamir Khan talks about marriage in India (probably after spying on me)

In the article linked below actor Aamir Khan talks about marriage in India. It's like he heard me rambling and complaining with my friends about the marriage system in India and then jotted down my thoughts.

I would say this needs more attention than corruption in India. Maybe if people thought more about the person rather than just the day of the marriage and families, more people would be happy, heck maybe there would be even less corruption :P.

Of course I am a minority in this way of thinking here in India. Judging by some of the comments* under that article, people are implying that this is a western ideology. As if to imply something that is being followed in the west is by default a bad thing, we Indians are after all the supreme in the so called department of "culture".

*Hit Ctrl F on that page and search for the word "western" to find those comments.

Men In Black 3

I love the first MIB film and seen it numerous times, second film had its moments but was barely memorable for me. Men In Black 3 is great fun where the story keeps getting interesting and good amount of focus is given to the characters, along with all the cool action and many laugh out moments.

I liked Men In Black 3 but some speculate if it's as good as the first one and I would say no. The first one really has that charm of discovering all things in the MIB universe for the first time, like J the audience is also experiencing all these cool surprises at the same time. But this movie had its own mystery elements that I enjoyed, including the time travel bits and theories.

Gotta say the alien makeup and creature effects were also a real treat to watch. Loved some of the new weapons and gadgets, my only complain would be some of them didn't get enough screen time. I wanted to see more of that Shotgun.

Friday, April 27, 2012

My thoughts on The Avengers movie

The second half of  The Avengers is filled with such fantastic action, it indeed has more action than all Marvel movies combined. Joss Whedon crafted the team conflict so well and balanced it out with such brilliant humour.

And though some characters managed to steal the show, Whedon and writer Zak Penn showed the importance of every character and gave them their moment to shine on multiple occasions. As a comic fan there were times while watching Avengers I couldn't believe I am getting to see these comic characters come to life all together like that.

And one of the best things about opening day is the enthusiastic crowd, who cheered right from the title sequence and during every character's intro scene.

There is a moment in the film where Alan Silvestri's awesome main Assemble theme music kicks in during that surround shot of the Avengers, I had almost tears of joy during that brief moment. Also the audience really cheered at that scene (among many others).

And the 3D for The Avengers was really impressive, also maybe it was cause of the proper bright light conditions. It is one of the best live action 3D experience I had.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Back to the Future remake talk was a joke. Quotes taken out of context." reported earlier today about the possibility of a Back to the future remake by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (creators of the Harold & Kumar movies and directors of American Reunion).

Jon Hurwitz confirmed on Twitter that their quotes were taken out of context for that article and it was intended as a joke.

Here are few of his tweets addressing the remake talks.

Contrary to some Internet rumors, @McSchlossberg & I are not trying to remake Back to the Future. Quote taken out of context. That is all.

@JimothyDullton I'd kill us too. We were joking about it in the context of hating the idea of the Karate Kid remake. Would never go there.

@GeekTyrant @JoeyPaur We do NOT want to remake Back to the Future. Joked about it. I'd want to punch anyone in the throat who remade it.

Still seeing stories popping up claiming Hayden & I want to remake Back to the Future. Think I'd prefer to be accused of murder. #sacrilege

@JeffYorkes It's totally bumming me out. We were joking around about it in an interview and its been taken out of context. So lame.

@slashfilm LIke your article, but the truth is, we were joking around and it was taken out of context. Nobody respects BTTF more than us.

Hurwitz then responded to this Slashfilm article with additional quotes through Twitter.

"It all started with us talking about how as diehard Karate Kid fans, we were furious when KK was being remade. Then it got into a conversation about the business of remakes. And we talked about how KK proved that nerds like us make up such a small portion of the public and people embraced KK. Then we talked about how for business reasons all classics will one day be remade. We speculate BTTF will one day be remade, because its so fucking awesome the world needs those stories. But if it were to be remade, we hope its WAAAAAY in the future. We were totally joking when saying we wanted it. Joking about remaking BTTF is like when Larry David jokes about Hodgkin’s or Trey & Matt joke about AIDS. One of the few truly taboo topics."

Friday, March 09, 2012

My 30 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012

My 30 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 in release date order.

Director Rian Johnson's (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) sci-fi film Looper is my #1 anticipated film of 2012, really looking forward to the trailer and the movie release in September.

Click on the release date to view the trailers.

1. John Carter 

March 9
2. The Raid: Redemption

March 23

3. Iron Sky

 April 4
4. Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope

April 6

5. The Cabin in the Woods 

April 13

6. Lockout 

April 13

7. Sound of My Voice 

April 27

8. Marvel's The Avengers 

May 4

9. Battleship

May 18

10. Men in Black 3 

May 25

11. Moonrise Kingdom 

May 25

12. Prometheus 

June 8

13. Brave 

June 22

14. G.I. Joe: Retaliation 

June 29

15. The Amazing Spider-Man 

July 3

16. The Dark Knight Rises 

July 20

17. The Bourne Legacy

August 3

18. Total Recall 

 August 3

19. Premium Rush 

 August 24

20. Argo 

September 14
21. Dredd 

 September 21

22. Looper 

September 28 
23. Skyfall

November 9

24. 47 Ronin 

 November 21

25. Gravity 
November 21

26. Rise of the Guardians

 November 21

27. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 

 December 14

28. World War Z 
December 21

29. Django Unchained 

December 25

30. The Great Gatsby 

December 25