Hollywood Bowl #2: The Place Among the Pines, Cockneys vs Zombies, Warm Bodies

So once upon a time in Mumbai dobaara, no Hollywood film released on the weekend because Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara! released on the weekend. Apart from the innovative new spelling of the alphabet ‘a’, the film itself is *so* different that the ‘80s have apparently called Milan Luthria and demanded to have their decade back. If you too wish that you were born 70 years ago just so that you would’ve had better films to watch when growing up, here are some DVD recommendations from around the world to reinstate your faith in the movies:

DVD Roundup:

If you have seen Blue Valentine, then you’ve probably been desperately looking forward to seeing how director Derek Cianfrance will again make us feel feelings we didn’t know we could feel. While Cianfrance’s new film, The Place Among The Pines, about the twists of fate and the consequences when two lives accidentally collide, is not as good, it is still a great movie, and surprisingly, for a reason more than the presence of Ryan Godsling (err, not a typo): the presence of Bradley Cooper.

Yes, I did have mini brain convulsions when writing that sentence, but the fact remains that in a movie that stars both Gosling and Cooper, we are predisposed to consider Cooper too pretty to be a good actor, instead of Gosling. But the fact is, Academy-nominated Cooper (more convulsions happening) knows his sh*t, and this movie will make you believe it. Cooper steals the show in this uniquely structured crime thriller-drama that deals with themes of destiny, family and karma in powerful and thought-provoking ways you’d not have expected. Watch the film to also find out why Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) is one of the most exciting young actors today, and is most likely to get a lot of action in the days to come.

Speaking of action, but of the actual action kind, you really *do* need to watch this extremely cool British B-movie movie that’s probably the funniest take on zombies since Shaun of the Dead. Matthias Hoene’s Cockneys Vs Zombies is exactly as awesome as it sounds: a bunch of lowlife East-Enders, including some hilarious oldies from a retirement home, decide to not die at the hands of those wretched zombies who, in most movies, seem to have a deep-rooted love for eating British brains (considering everyone from Benedict Cumberbatch to Sir Ian McKellen, who can blame them!) The oddball heroes of the film are lead by Alan Ford, who you know as Brick Top from Snatch and Alan from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The man is 75 years old but woah, can he kick some ass!

And then there’s Warm Bodies, directed by one of my favourite contemporary young directors today. Jonathan Levine has made three movies before this, two of which are among the best films I’ve seen in the last decade: Ben Kingsley-starrer The Wackness and Joseph Gordon-Levitt starrer 50/50. Those films are reasons enough to never miss a Levine film again, but the quirky plot of Warm bodies – a zombie who falls in love with a human – should convince you further. Yes, a zombie romcom, and like the meme goes, still a better movie than Twilight!

Trailer Roundup:

‘Have you seen Don Jon yet?’ That’s probably the question that every movie buff will be asking every other movie buff six months from now, when Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut is out on, err, accessible platforms. Till then, the trailer of this modern day interpretation of Don Juan – about a Jersey Shore dude (Gordon-Levitt) who is addicted to porn and falls in love with a hottie (Scarlett Johanssan), should keep you interested. This was the most buzzed-about comedy at Sundance this year, so add it to your list of must-watch films.

Another film that really seems to be a hilarious must-watch is director Ask Hasselbach’s Danish superhero comedy, Antboy. Pelle is a 12-year-old who accidentally becomes a superhero, and then must rise up to the challenge of saving the world from the supervillian, The Flea. Has Kick-Ass’ Hit Girl met her match? Check the trailer out and comment below!

The trailer of ACOD (Adult Child of Divorce) is out and with a cast that includes Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Richard Jenkins, Jane Lynch and Catherine O’Hara, and it seems to be exactly that kind of indie movie that you’d watch or *not* watch, depending on which side of the scale your love tips for any film with a cast that includes Scott, Poehler and Lynch. It’s got good buzz, so check it out anyway.

Another vampire movie set in college is coming soon, and from the trailer, Vampire Academy seems to be the kind of movie that may wash away the sins of Twilight. The good news is that it’s directed by Mark Waters, the director of Mean Girls. The, umm, other news is that it’s produced by our Reliance Entertainment, which is the studio that’s brought to us Bodyguard and Dangerous Ishq in the past. So…

Another young adult fantasy novel adaptation, How I Live Now, about a girl (Saoirrse Ronan) trying to survive during World War III is out, and that’s all that will be said about it. And while the trailer of Blue Caprice, a psychological thriller about a sniper father-son duo, behind 2002’s Beltway sniper attacks, doesn’t look that good, the film’s got excellent buzz and is supposed to be a far more riveting movie than the trailers make it look.

The trailer of John Turtorro’s Woody Allenesque film starring John Turturro and Woody Allen, Fading Gigolo, is out too, but you already knew that, didn’t you?

Casting roundup:

Vin Diesel is more or less confirmed to join the cast of Marvel’s upcoming superhero movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, about an eclectic bunch of cosmic superheroes, which include a tree and a raccoon. Diesel will play the tree. If that doesn’t sound weird enough, here’s the weirdest (or the most interesting) cast that’s ever come together for a superhero film: Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek), Dave Bautista (WWE!), Benicio Del Toro, John C. Reilly (!), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), Lee Pace (The Hobbit), Karen Gillian (Dr Who) and Djimoun Honsou (Blood Diamond) co-star in this film. The raccoon hasn’t been cast yet *ahem*.

Diesel was earlier rumoured to be starring in the Avengers sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and I was more excited about that than I’m of him voicing a tree. Which superhero do you think Diesel would be more suited for? Leave your comments below!

Note: This column first appeared on Firstpost.com on August 21, 2013

Link: http://www.firstpost.com/bollywood/hollywood-bowl-zom-coms-a-tree-that-sounds-like-vin-diesel-and-more-1049395.html
Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

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