Dubby’s dvdiscussion: Unusual DVDs of 2008


These are not necessarily so-called good movies. They are the ones Rajan who selected them as my colleague and I were particularly fond of. They include some Big Budget ones.

1. How To Lose Friends And Alienate People

Based on Toby Young’s 2001 memoir of the same name, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is perhaps this year’s most refreshing comic surprise, especially since we had no expectations that a book like this could ever be made into a successful movie, much less a romantic comedy.

Starring: Simon Pegg, Jeff Bridges, Megan Fox, Kirsten Dunst.

2. Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading directed by the brilliant Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan is a black comedy, a social satire and a coming together of brilliant stars. We will try to give you some indication of the plot line but please be warned. Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand.

3. Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Hellboy II: The Golden Army goes into the fantasy world that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas love but Guillermo Del Toro the Oscar, winner for Pan’s Labyrinth who directed Hellboy I and now Hellboy II, does so with impeccable flair.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army, arrives with stunningly beautiful set pieces, alien creatures that would make George Lucas catch his breath.

Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Luke Goss, Anna Walton, Jeffrey Tambor, John Hurt.

4. Mamma Mia

Do see Mamma Mia because it’s a hoot and a musical based on the songs of ABBA. In fact everything in the movie is based on something else with the story coming from an old 1969 Gina Lollobrigida movie Buona Sera, Mrs Campbell and the choreography straight out of Bollywood and the scenery comes from the beautiful Greek island where Mamma Mia was filmed.

Starring: Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgård, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Dominic Cooper.

5. Wanted

Wanted should be at the top of your list for big budget thrill rides. For those who’ve been following McAvoy’s career to date, Wanted will surely come as a surprise. In adapting Mark Millar’s comic series, Timour offers buckets of blood and a smidgen of depth, but fans of The Matrix and Mr and Mrs Smith will want to give this one a look.

Starring: James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Common.

6. The Bank Job

Two singular facts about The Bank Job which stars Jason Statham that would please movie goers is that without employing the hi-jinks of contemporary cinematography which owes itself to MTV and commercials.

Starring: Jason Statham, Saffron Burrows, Richard Lintern, Stephen Campbell Moore, Daniel Mays.

7. The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight grossed more money than any other superhero movie and indeed did so well that it came second to Titanic as an all time money spinner. Perhaps one of the reasons is that besides an incredibly great cast and fantastic move story-telling The Dark Knight asks us to dwell upon its title.

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy.

8. Quantum of Solace

Bond is Bond, and if you put The Transporter movies and The Bourne movies together, you’d get the Quantum of Solace. Tons of chases and the shortest running time of any 007 flick, you won’t be bored but it’s more Bourne than Bond this time. Shedding many of those trappings that make a James Bond movie, well, a James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace is really the first sequel ever in the long-running series.

Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Gemma Arterton.