Category Archives: Entertainment

Central Perk V/s Maclaren’s

 

I guess this the most debatable argument ever, to who takes the crown for the numero uno position in sitcoms. There was a time when I truly sensed potential in HIMYM to beat FRIENDS as my most favorite. The cord it struck with the audience and the unpredictable story line really made me think that FRIENDS has finally got a worthy opponent.

If we just forget the disastrous ending and the tiresome last 3 seasons I bet most of us would definitely be in a dilemma to pick one out of these two. Yet my choice would be FRIENDS. The peak of HIMYM humor couldn’t reach even the mediocre episodes of FRIENDS.(Blasphemy!!!!!!! FRIENDS doesn’t have a single mediocre episode. Except season 9 though) HIMYM definitely scores in terms of story line compared to  FRIENDS which maintained an ordinary though awesome day to day script. But HIMYM had the element of mystery, with which it held the audience.

We all knew Ted Mosby wasn’t gonna disclose the identity of The Mother until the very end. But what kept us glued, is the journey he had to go through; the women he dates & the way he expresses his  his love to them, along with awesome Barney Stinson and his legendary incidents, romance between lily & Marshall & on and off Schmosby – Swarkles swap. The show did this till season 6 with finesse, then it kinda felt like a drag. Quite contrary FRIENDS never went down hill, there was constant humor episode after episode without a single let down.

Consistency is what makes FRIENDS superior to HIMYM. Even now, I can watch every episode of it, and laugh my ass off, just like I did for the first time. The re runs are never boring, although we know every single dialogue, its worth watching again. The same can’t be said in the case for HIMYM, because it was great in bits and pieces and we had to tolerate a few filler episodes just to keep track & know what happens next.

Agree or not HIMYM does copy friends in a lot more ways than the fans of former might think. The whole plot of 2 friends being college buddies and then sharing an apartment followed by the setup of everyday hanging in a public place(bar instead of coffee shop), a playboy in the group, a couple in the group , an on and off couple in the group and several other eccentricities.

The race began since the pilot of each show. I loved Friends first episode, where we were introduced to all the characters in the best way they could. But somehow, I liked HIMYM pilot more, it was very refreshing and so compelling that most of us  finished first 3 seasons in a span of 4 days (Perks of being an engineer). I really had hole in my heart when friends was over(I finished watching in 2009). I really couldn’t find a replacement for it. Luckily the next year I was introduced to the Mosby gang and it did work as an alternative for a while.

For me HIMYM was clearing all the check-posts in the race that friends had posted. I say this because I considered it majorly for its plot. The humor was actually kinda bonus. The race was very interesting between the two till season 6 of HIMYM; then suddenly, in the chase, as it happens in most of ’em, a participant blew its tire or rather took a bad flip (season 7) which turned out to be a disaster. The indent was so catastrophic that even after repeated helpless efforts (season 8 & 9) and adjustment it couldn’t catch up to its contemporary.

HIMYM has definitely more romance in it , but nothing compares to Monica’s proposal to Chandler. We all knew it was coming, but it took me by surprise how well it was scripted. It had the perfect amount of feels and laughter. Monica & Chandler beats every other couple out of the roof, including Marshal-Lily who are extremely awesome together . HIMYM doesn’t lag behind here as well, the best proposal or asking out scene would be of Ted Mosby’s 2 minute date with Stella. It was splendidly directed with remarkably choreographed details. This is what the audiences expected throughout, unfortunately it couldn’t match this peak consistently ever again in the future seasons.

And how can we not talk about a special character that single handedly  made the show popular, none other than the legen-wait for it-dary !! Barney Stinson, His lines, acting, script were far more humorous and awesome compared collectively to the other leads. Too bad that they built up a character so cool and evolved him amazingly and then threw it down the cliff in the very last episode. Barney was awesome from the beginning and still continued to be until the end. We all accepted his transformation from a womanizer who maintains a playbook to an adorable lover who proposes Robin on her favorite spot in the city. All this, just in vain. Losing all it’s significance, when you see the the elderly grey-haired Mosby holding the Blue French Horn outside Robin’s window.

Chandler has the similar aura in friends as Barney in HIMYM. Though other characters aren’t that behind him. His sarcasm and social awkwardness, made each episode a rib tickling ride. Not just him, every character was so perfect and had their own hilarious quirks. Joey’s USP was his dumbness, Phoebe’s weirdness, Rachel’s sophistication, Ross’s geekiness, Monica’s obsession. And we fell in love with each one of them. Even the supporting actors had a critical impact, may be it be Gunther, The Ugly naked guy or Janice “OH MY GAWD !!!! ”

Also Friends had better celebrity guest stars than HIMYM. Shouldn’t matter much, but it does add another feather to Friends’ hat. My favorite Friends’ guest star would be Julia Roberts as Chandler’s schoolmate  and Christina Applegate as Rachel’s sister. Though HIMYM comparatively had less guest stars, my top choices would be Jennifer Lopez and Bryan Cranston ( You know why ) as Ted’s evil boss.

Alike HIMYM, Friends had a rough patch too. I for one was never a Rachel-Joey couple fan. It literally felt like incest to me. Season 9 was a serious let down as things started to heat up between Ross and joey because of Rachel. Also we see less of Chandler, because he leaves for Tulsa. But this lasted for a few episodes only, and they bounced back good with season 10, giving us the ending which we both deserved and needed as a closure as well.

It’s not just HIMYM, even The big bang theory has a few shades of Friends. Or maybe, they are all original; but friends has set such an impact that its fans try to find every other detail of it in other shows as a cope up mechanism.

My vote, with out breaking a sweat goes to the Central Perk gang. So share your views in the comments section and answer the poll .

Advertisements

“The Dark Knight”- Arguably the best movie ever made

Okay! So there’s an age old question of which is the best movie ever made in Hollywood ?  Everyone has a personal opinion, with their own reasons. Now, let me shed some light on my choice-The Dark Knight.

The biggest deception this movie pulled off is letting us  believe its a super hero flick. However, a film’s genre is defined by the widest spectrum of issues it covers, making TDK more than just a mind numbing action thriller. In my belief, the movie best falls under SOCIAL DRAMA. Yes ! no surprises here, because the movie depicts its protagonist as a ‘symbol’ and not just flesh and blood, who throws himself to stop people getting killed. He takes the fall for the crimes to avert people in losing hope from their WHITE KNIGHT-Harvey Dent.

2 facesIn a sense Nolan portrayed our society in the most apt way anybody ever could on the silver screen through Joker’s craziness. One perfect example for this can be found in another legendary tabloid universe – Breaking Bad. If you observe, Walter White’s life map can be effectively plotted using Jokers words of wisdom: “They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you – when the chips are down, these, ah, “civilized people”? They’ll eat each other.” Which is exactly how Gilligan depicted, Walter “the good guy” White’s descent to malevolent,  though awesome – Heisenberg. The way he tries to do everything rightful before the cancer; to killing innumerable people (including poor Gale Boetticher) to save his own ass.  As a matter of fact, Joker would be very proud of Heisenberg because he didn’t disappoint, he  did Introduce a little anarchy, upset the established order and everything became chaos.

If you are a movie buff, you’ll agree with me that there are very few movies that beat the dark knight in terms of worthy  dialogues. I presume The Pulp fiction and The Godfather may be the only ones within the vicinity of TDK’s greatness in that matter. I mean, even now after several re runs I get chills when Gordon explains his son why the police is hunting for batman. And practically everything that comes out of Joker’s mouth, in the movie is a cinematic gem.  The whole interrogation scene and Joker’s escape from the MCU by provoking a cop, is so riveting that it’s impossible to resist watching it again and again

Coming to Screenplay, this is where it gets tricky, to a laymen there seems nothing special, but following a little assertion that whatever Joker says is pure BS, we can predict the future in the movie, like when he makes Mike Engel say “But the bridge and tunnel crowd are sure in for a surprise.” They shouldn’t have taken the alternative transport- Ferries !! Followed by swapping hostage addresses of Rachel and Harvey, lying to Dent about being a guy without a plan and making several utter non sense stories about how he got his scars. Not just Joker, we see Bruce Wayne getting ready forehand for chaos too when he reassigns the R & D Government telecommunications project and doesn’t disclose his plans to Fox saying ” I am playing this one pretty close to the chest ” obviously because Fox would disagree to be a part of the whole charade Wayne does with the project by applying his sonar concept to every cell phone in the city to image all of Gotham.

There isn’t any aspect where TDK is not sublime, we all know Nolan comes up with insanely stunning  ideas, let it be Memento, Inception or The Prestige; where the plot doesn’t follow a rhythmic timeline, confusing the audiences with past and present, giving every watcher a cinematic orgasm during movie’s “climax”. Conversely, TDK follows a non oscillatory theme with ordered events, yet its equally compelling to its contemporaries. Some say, Inception is Nolan’s best work till date. I respectfully disagree. Inception had a magnificent plot with superb effects, layered concept and a genius red herring ending . But TDK has both heart and intellect, with superior story line as well as deeper characters it unanimously beats Inception in every facet of film making.

Every scene in TDK oozes Nolan’s Directional brilliance. For instance when Bruce Wayne isn’t jumping bridges in his bat-mobile, we see him driving a Lamborghini Murcielago which is Spanish for “Bat”. Figuratively, making his Lambo a bat-mobile in disguise! Also, when Batman sacrifices his image for the greater good and says to Gordon “…because sometimes, truth isn’t good enough…” We see Alfred burning Rachel’s letter. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone eh?

Congenially Heath Ledger’s take on the Joker is the major reason for the film’s success. Apparently, he locked himself for several months in a hotel room where he maintained a diary, role playing as a mass murderer, psychopathic clown, experimenting with voices which led to the iconic “Joker’s laugh”. Also, he was the brain behind the Joker’s sinister make up. The personal quirks he added to the movie such as the sardonic clap when Gordon is promoted as commissioner , the hysterical reaction to delayed boom of explosives, hanging his head out of the police car, or repeated wicked tongue flip; just act as chocolate sprinklers on an ice cream.

Needless to say, the background score blends perfectly  with the cinematography making it a complete package of full on Entertainment! It’s very common that a comic book adapted movie fails to impress most of its geek fans, but TDK hit a home run here as well. In fact the movie made more bat-fans than the comics or the cartoon ever could.

TDK is the TAJ MAHAL of all the movies. Its colossal, perfect , and built with extreme artistic details. The movie turned out to be billion dollar baby. But, it’s not about the money, it’s about sending a message. Such a shame that the Academy awards jury went full retard to not even consider it in best film’s nominations. It’s the first movie ever to be in the IMDB top 250 at #1 within just 2 days. Imagine that for a box office opening. And currently it stands at #4, only behind The Shawshank redemption, & The Godfather part I & II. To be candid, if it wasn’t the bat-fan in me, I would rate Godfather I over anything. But fortunately I am an ardent Bat-geek, and in no way could I give my #1 position to any other movie.

Batman took tabloid popularity with Adam West in the lead, which seemed cool, considering it was the 60’s then came the Tim Burton’s dualogy with Michael Keaton, again, it was cool, but nothing great apart from Jack Nicholson as Joker. Followed by two disaster movies which you wouldn’t watch even if you were given  thousands of Dollars. Even talking about them seems lame to me. So in a way Batman Begins revived Batman from an abyss. The movie acted as perfect base for The Dark Knight.

Picture  the trilogy, as sandwich, where Begins and Rises are the Bread crust and TDK is the stuffing, without it there’s no point in having the sandwich.  The other two movies act as perfect introduction and closure to the epic filling that TDK is. Though it would be unfair to just see these movies as entrance and getaway to The Dark Knight, because they are awesome independently. But the greatness of this movie does overshadows its prequel and sequel. Quite similar to the Star Wars the original trilogy, where Empire strikes back kicked ass more than the other two combined!

The dark knight trilogy in my view has to be the greatest, though The Lord of the rings gives it a run for its money; one does not simply beat The Dark Knight in turns of epicness!! It gave us the best Batman-Christian Bale who justified the role effortlessly. I say Bale is to Batman what RDJ is to Iron man. I am actually both curious and nervous about how Ben Afleck would pull off the presumed middle aged caped crusader.

Though few might mock bale, saying he did his bat-voice by gargling marbles, I personally found it pretty awesome. And lets not deny it! we all tried imitating his  tone at least one time. Yet, Bale received all the accolades he deserved from the audience & critics as well. But we all forget to mention how classic, Alfred Pennyworth was portrayed by Sir Micheal Caine. His finesse and warm sense of humor made us all, respect and love the character. Not to forget Commissioner Gordon- our own Sirius black with mustache. TDK had just the perfect blend of actors, script & Nolan’s magic  to come out as a perfect block buster recipe.

It would certainly take many years in Hollywood to replicate such phenomenon. If you could get high on movies, then The Dark Knight would definitely be Heisenberg’s blue stuff !!

So what do you guys think ? Is TDK the best ever ? if not, what would your choice be ?