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Awesome English Movies

Modern Times

Director: Charlie Chaplin (1936, English, 87 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (100%), IMDB (8.6), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: YouTube, Hulu.

Similar movies: city life, comedy, silent.

Summary: When I was a little kid, I thoroughly enjoyed Charlie Chaplin movies. His peculiar gait and his comical gestures were so funny! Twenty years later, when I saw Charlie Chaplin movies again, I was wowed. For the first time, the deeper meaning of these movies became clear to me.

Modern Times is a poignant critique of mechanization and modernity. The highlight of the movie is a long Factory Scene (YouTube). Charlie Chaplin shows how factory workers become depersonalized. They start behaving mechanically. Some go insane. The most memorable portion of this scene is Charlie Chaplin sliding through huge mechanical gears: Scene with Gears (YouTube). Another memorable scene is The Feeding Machine (YouTube) in which a contraption feed factory workers efficiently is being tested.

 

The Good Earth

Director: Sidney Franklin (1937, English, 138 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (92%), IMDB (7.8), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: family.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

High Noon

Director: Fred Zinnemann (1952, English, 85 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (96%), IMDB (8.2), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: suspense, western.

Summary: Simple plot. Great acting. A psychological thriller that slowly builds up. The clock is ticking. Miller and his gang are arriving in a town at noon. They seek revenge. Cain is a proud sheriff who retired and got married only a few hours ago. When Cain learns of Miller's impending arrival, he decides to defend the town. At any cost. He starts seeking help from friends and townsfolk but nobody seems to have courage. What happens finally?

 

12 Angry Men

Director: Sidney Lumet (1957, English, 96 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (100%), IMDB (8.9), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: intense, suspense.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Director: John Ford (1962, English, 123 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (93%), IMDB (8.1), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: western.

Summary: Yet to write. The review by Roger Ebert is very insightful for the historical aspects of the movie.

 

Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Director: Stanley Kubrick (1964, English, 95 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (100%), IMDB (8.5), Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: comedy.

Summary: A lovely British comedy. What is the point of having missiles sufficient to blow the whole earth many times over?

 

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

Director: Stanley Kramer (1967, English, 108 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (65%), IMDB (7.7), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: Amazon Prime.

Similar movies: family, joyful, romance.

Summary: A brilliant movie. The story revolves around a rich white liberal San Francisco couple. Their 23-year old daughter comes home from a trip to Hawaii along with a 37-year old black man who lost his wife and son in an accident many years ago. The man is a famous doctor with a long list of accomplishments. His dad is a retired mailman. The love birds announce that they are getting married within a few days. In 1967, such a marriage was a criminal offence in many states in USA. The couple spend the afternoon and the evening with the girl's parents. Later, they are joined by the boy's parents and a reverand.

The movie showcases how various people in the situation react: the girl, his mother, his father, their maid, the boy, his mother and his father. I chuckled many times. The plot, the characters and the dialogues are entertaining. For the first several minutes, the movie felt like a play but I quickly got used to it.

The Indian connection is that a lot of modern marriages are between couples from different family backgrounds. Some have different native languages. In a few cases, even the religion is different. The movie shows how parents react to an announcement by their children that they have fallen in love with somebody that their parents may never have imagined. The relationships between the mothers and their kids, the relationships between the dads and their kids and with each other - these are brought out well.

 

Once Upon A Time In The West

Director: Sergio Leone (1968, English, 175 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (98%), IMDB (8.7), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: NetFlix.

Similar movies: suspense, western.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Director: George Roy Hill (1969, English, 110 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (89%), IMDB (8.2), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: NetFlix.

Similar movies: crime, true story, western.

Summary: What's friendship? A good caricature is in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The main characters are two outlaws who make joint decisions on all matters, big and small, so smoothly! They do have differences of opinion but they quickly align themselves and don't look back. I found that quite amazing.

 

The French Connection

Director: William Friedkin (1971, English, 104 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.8), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: suspense.

 

The Conversation

Director: Francis Ford Coppola (1974, English, 113 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (98%), IMDB (8.0), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: NetFlix.

Similar movies: loneliness, suspense.

Summary: A pretty good suspense movie. Harry Caul is a middle-aged surveillance expert records a conversation between a couple. Based on his recording, he feels that the couple is about to be harmed. His conscience tugs at him. In his private and professional life, Harry Caul is a solitary man who operates alone and does not share hsi secrets with anybody. The movie is interesting for its twists and turns. Gene Hackman is the surveillance expert. His acting is awesome.

 

Taxi Driver

Director: Martin Scorcese (1976, English, 113 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (98%), IMDB (8.4), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: city life, loneliness.

Summary: Good reviews: Stanley Allen explains the significance of the ending shots. Roger Ebert explains the overall movie very well.

 

The Outlaw Josey Wales

Director: Clint Eastwood (1976, English, 135 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (94%), IMDB (7.9), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: western.

Summary: Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) is a stoic man of few words who lets his pistols do the talking. He is aggrieved because his home was burnt down and his family was killed by soldiers of the Union during the American Civil War. To seek revenge, he joins a band of outlaws who continue guerrilla style warfare against the Union. A price is placed on his head. Soon, soldiers of the Union (the victorious party in the Civil War) and bounty hunters are chasing him. So Josey Wales moves from town to town, riding his horse. In between such towns, there are vast plains inhabited by Native Indians who don't welcome white men because their lands have been taken away by the Union.

As the movie progresses, a small community builds around Josey Wales: a native Indian chief, an Indian girl, and a mother and a daughter from the North. Eventually, they settle down near the Comanche Indians. But the Comanches, whose lands have already been taken away by the Union, don't want such a settlement.

The high point of the movie is a powerful scene between Josey Wales and a Comanche chief called Ten Bears. In this scene, the two warriors strike a peace accord. Most of the movie is about fighting and killing. But this one scene changed the complexion of the whole movie for me. It has great dialogues, especially by Ten Bears. On YouTube.

This movie is classic Eastwood: in faceoffs with bad guys, Eastwood has the superhuman ability to fire four to six shots in quick succession before any bad guy gets a chance to even pull the trigger. But I like this movie for its storyline: Josey Wales changes from an outlaw who simply seeks revenge to a protector of people around him.

 

Gandhi

Director: Richard Attenborough (1982, English, 191 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (89%), IMDB (8.1), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: NetFlix.

Similar movies: biopic, true story.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

A Room With A View

Director: James Ivory & Ismail Merchant (1985, English, 117 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (100%), IMDB (7.5), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: NetFlix, Hulu.

Similar movies: comedy, romance.

Summary: A Room With A View is a love story with a positive ending, based on a novel by E M Forster. It won some Oscars too.

The main characters of the movie are super rich people who dress up in fancy clothes every day. The time period is Victorian England, when physical or public display of affection was against the norms. Tracing Social Values in E M Forster's 'A Room With A View' analyzes how the story showcases a shift in social values from Victorian to Edwardian at the dawn of the twentieth century in England.

The story revolves around a girl named Lucy. On a vacation, she meets a passionate adonis named George, who instinctively smooches her when he senses that there is mutual attraction between the two. They meet only a few times, but always surrounded by others. A few months later, Lucy decides to marry Cecil, a socially suitable suitor whom she is not really attracted to. It's a case of choosing between what the heart says and what social norms dictate. What happens in the end?

A Room With a View is the most popular movie by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory who worked together for over 40 years. The movie is slowwww but builds up as it progresses. Initially, it felt like a play and the degree of formalism was funny but nauseating. But then I got used to it, even enjoying it. The only person who seemed 'normal' was Lucy's brother, a carefree soul. On the whole, 'A Room With A View' is a watchable movie, a light hearted romantic story with a positive ending.

 

Awakenings

Director: Penny Marshall (1990, English, 121 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (87%), IMDB (7.7), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: illness, true story.

Summary: Awakenings is a touching, true story in the life of Dr Oliver Sacks. A good movie to help us understand the limitations of cutting edge medical treatments. In 1969, Dr Sacks tried a drug called L Dopa on patients suffering from catatonia, a state of stupor whereby a patient is frozen in time performing some action; the patient is alive but asleep. Some of his patients woke up after 25 years. Their joy is captured quite well in the movie. The movie is based on the book Awakenings (464 pages, 1999) by Dr Sacks.

Nominated for three Oscars, didn't win any. Great performances by Robert DeNiro (the patient) and Robin Williams (the doctor). A good review by Roger Ebert: here An article that explains that the movie is remarkably close to the actual story: here.

Who is Dr Oliver Sacks? He is a famous neurologist who has written books like The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat (1985), Musicophilia (2007) and Migraine (1970).

 

Barton Fink

Director: Coen Brothers (1991, English, 116 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (91%), IMDB (7.7), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: crime, quirky, suspense.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

My Cousin Vinny

Director: Jonathan Lynn (1992, English, 120 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.5), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: comedy, crime.

Summary: One of my favorite comedies! Superb acting by Marisa Tomei and Joe Pesci. Great dialogues! Marisa Tomei won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

My favorite scenes from the movie: Deer HunterBiological ClockExpert WitnessThe Defense is Wrong!.

Some other scenes: How do your clients plead?The Wrong IdeaTwo YutesMagic GritsExpert Witness: Thicker Glasses.

 

What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

Director: Lasse Hallström (1993, English, 118 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (89%), IMDB (7.7), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: NetFlix.

Similar movies: family, illness.

Summary: An awesome movie showcasing a dysfunctional family in a small town. What holds the family together is love. The main character, Gilbert, assumes a lot of responsibility. He has a morbidly obese mom who never ventures out of home, a mentally challenged younger brother and two sisters in the family. He is commited to taking care of everybody in his family, especially his younger brother Arnie, and his mom.

Acting by Johnny Depp (as Gilbert Grape), Leonardo DiCaprio (as Arnie Grape) and Darlene Cates (as mom) is awesome.

 

The Shawshank Redemption

Director: Frank Darabont (1994, English, 142 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (90%), IMDB (9.3), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: crime, suspense.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

Forrest Gump

Director: Robert Zemeckis (1994, English, 142 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (71%), IMDB (8.8), Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: NetFlix.

Similar movies: quirky.

Summary: The story telling technique in Forrest Gump is unique. The movie traces major political events in USA by interleaving them in the personal life story of Forrest Gump, a man with low IQ but immense focus and endurance. The sense of humor in the movie resonated with me.

Two memorable dialogues: (1) On his first day to school, young Forrest meets a little girl. They become best friends. "Jenny and I were together, like peas and carrots." :) (2) Forrest's mum teaches him, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get."

 

Pulp Fiction

Director: Quentin Tarantino (1994, English, 154 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (94%), IMDB (9.0), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Watch online: NetFlix.

Similar movies: intense.

Summary: Pulp Fiction won an Oscar for Best Screenplay. Dialogues are really really good. Violence in the movie was distasteful for me. But as Roger Ebert points out, it's not in excess of regular movies (Hindi or English).

The nuanced and passionate discussions in eloquent English between Travolta and Jackson reminded me of two friends at Google whom I've known for many years. My favorite dialogues:

"Would you give a guy a foot massage?", followed by a pause.. which sealed the first argument in the movie.

"It's unfortunate what we find pleasing to the touch and pleasing to the eye are seldom the same." (in the beautiful love making sequence with dialogues centered around pot bellies).

Mia: Don't you hate that?

Vincent: What?

Mia: Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?

Vincent: I don't know. That's a good question.

Mia: That's when you know you've found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.

.. and the closing long dialogue by Jackson where he decides to quit crime.

Other memorable dialoguesDetailed analysis by Roger Ebert who points out the spiritual elements in the movie.

 

Fargo

Director: Coen Brothers (1996, English, 98 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (94%), IMDB (8.2), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: Amazon Prime.

Similar movies: crime, suspense.

Summary: A well made crime thriller. A man asks two hoodlums to kidnap his own wife to extort money from his father-in-law. Available on Amazon Instant.

 

Good Will Hunting

Director: Gus Van Sant (1997, English, 126 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (97%), IMDB (8.3), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: intense.

Summary: A movie showing the relationship between a skilled, compassionate therapist and a math prodigy with a difficult childhood. Many insightful scenes.

 

Seven Years in Tibet

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud (1997, English, 136 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (61%), IMDB (6.9), Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: biopic, true story.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

Being John Malkovich

Director: Spike Jonze (1999, English, 112 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (93%), IMDB (7.8), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: quirky.

Summary: A quirky movie with an imaginative plot and plenty of humor. It was nominated for three Oscars including Best Screenplay. What's the key idea? By entering a tunnel, it is possible to enter the mind and body of John Malkovich for 15 minutes. At one point, Malkovich himself is able to enter his own mind and body - that scene is amazing! In the hands of an Eastern director like Miyazaki, a movie based on this idea would have been much more satisfying. But the effort by Spike Jonze is not bad. It was quite enjoyable. I laughed heartily in the first half hour in which "Floor 7 1/2" is revealed, where everybody has to walk bent.

 

The Sixth Sense

Director: M N Shyamalan (1999, English, 107 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (85%), IMDB (8.2), Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: suspense.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

Islam — Empire of Faith

Director: Robert A Gardner (2000, English, 160 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (82%), IMDB (7.6), Amazon.

Watch online: YouTube, YouTube, YouTube, YouTube.

Similar movies: documentary.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

The Station Agent

Director: Tom McCarthy (2003, English, 90 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (95%), IMDB (7.7), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: loneliness.

Summary: A slow paced movie that blossoms as it progresses.

 

Touching the Void

Director: Kevin Macdonald (2003, English, 106 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (93%), IMDB (8.0), Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: Hulu, Amazon Prime.

Similar movies: adventure, intense, true story.

Summary: An inspiring movie that showcases the strength of human spirit in tackling adversity. The movie is based on a true story that was captured in a book by the same name: Touching the Void by Joe Simpson. In 1985, he and his companion Simon Yates successfully climbed the Siula Grande in Peruvian Andes, becoming the first team to do so. On their way back, Simpson breaks his right leg and the pair gets separated. With great courage and determination, Simpson finds his way to base camp despite a broken leg.

North Face (2008, German) is an equally great movie on climbing but it's depressing because the expedition failed and everybody dies in the end. In contrast, Touching the Void is inspirational. The expedition is successful and everybody makes it, injured but alive.

 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Director: Michel Gondry (2004, English, 108 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (93%), IMDB (8.4), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: quirky, romance, separation.

Summary: An intriguing movie that explores selective erasure of memories. Storyline: To ease his pain, a heartbroken guy decides to undergo an operation to permanently erase all memories of his beloved. While the operation is in progress, he starts having second thoughts. He realizes that many moments being erased were really pleasant and he doesn't want to lose them.

A memorable quote from the movie:

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd"

The above lines are from a poem 'From Eloise to Abelard' by Alexander Pope. Explained very well here. Cut n paste from the article:

The first line states that an innocent pure woman is a happy one.

The second line is reinforcing the first, stating that the woman's happiness is due to forgetting about the world's woes, and being forgotten by the world. In other words, she neither worries about the world, nor does the world worry about her. She has forgotten, and has been forgotten.

The third line is again referencing forgetfulness, stating that a mind unclouded or spotted by memory is in eternal brightness, or sunshine.

The fourth line states that her every prayer has been accepted (her prayer is for forgetfulness), and that she's given up all claims on any wishes she might have, save to forget.

In short, she is happy only because she has prayed for and received the gift of forgetting everything she's been concerned about. There is an old adage that ignorance is bliss, and such is the case for this woman.

Incidentally, the words may come from the movie, but they are originally from a poem by Alexander Pope titled Eloisa to Abelard."

 

Peaceful Warrior

Director: Victor Salva (2006, English, 120 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (25%), IMDB (7.2), Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: .

Summary: Yet to write.

 

Kung Fu Panda

Director: Mark Osborne and John Stevenson (2008, English, 90 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (87%), IMDB (7.6), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: anime, joyful.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

There Will Be Blood

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson (2007, English, 158 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (91%), IMDB (8.1), Amazon.

Similar movies: loneliness, western.

Summary: A slow, intense movie: character study of an oil baron. Not a positive movie. Not a movie that I could connect with. But it is artistic, well made. Acting is superb.

 

No Country For Old Men

Director: Coen Brothers (2007, English, 122 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (94%), IMDB (8.1), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: crime, suspense.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

Sita Sings the Blues

Director: Nina Paley (2008, English, 82 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (100%), IMDB (7.6), Amazon.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, separation.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

The Secret of Kells

Director: Tomm Moore & Nora Twomey (2009, English, 75 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.7), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: adventure, anime.

Summary: The Secret of Kells is a French-Belgian-Irish animation fantasy based on Celtic mythology. The movie is a wonderful work of art. It exudes a feeling of playfulness and serenity. The animation style is unique, and the music is awesome! So the movie may be watched purely for experiencing the creativity that went into the audio-visuals.

 

Hachi, A Dog's Tale

Director: Lasse Hallström (2009, English, 93 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (62%), IMDB (8.2), Amazon.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: death, family, true story.

Summary: Simple story. Touching. Based on a true story from Japan about a dog and his master. The main character in the movie is a dog named Hachi who is discovered by Richard Gere on a train station. The movie showcases the strong bond that exists between Hachi and Richard Gere.

Hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon.

 

Winnebago Man

Director: Ben Steinbauer (2009, English, 85 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (90%), IMDB (7.2), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: comedy, old age, true story.

Summary: Winnebago Man is an entertaining, heartwarming documentary about the "angriest man in the world".

 

Temple Grandin

Director: Mick Jackson (2010, English, 107 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (100%), IMDB (8.3), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: biopic, illness, true story.

Summary: A touching and inspiring true life story of an autistic woman named Temple Grandin who overcame a series of challenges to become a Professor in Colorado State University. Temple had an aptitude for science. She did a Ph.D. in Animal Husbandry, designing cattle ranch systems for humane treatment of animals which also improved profitability. By the time I'd finished watching the movie, I had been moved to tears a few times. I also felt humbled and inspired. Acting is superb.

1. The movie shows three aspects of Temple's autism really well: how her mind is different from others, the challenges she faces in social interactions and techniques she uses to soothe herself when she's stressed. She invented the 'hug machine' or 'squeeze box' at age eighteen, which is now popular among autistic kids who do not like to be touched by people. Many scenes show how Temple processes visual and audio input: as a series of inter-connected pictures, whose details remain in her mind forever. These abilities enable her understand how animals process information, helping her design cattle ranch equipment and processes.

2. The movie does not make Temple look more human-like than she really is. Sci-fi and anime movies imbue everybody from animals, plants, vehicles, bots and aliens with human like feelings and sensitivity. Temple Grandin remains Temple Grandin throughout the movie. She is unable to connect emotionally to people. That is how she always has been.

3. The movie shows Temple's doggedness in pursuing projects in the real world. She will not take 'no' for an answer, despite her social awkwardness. A memorable quote from the movie, which Temple uses many times to overcome hurdles: “Think of something as a door, a door that is going to open up onto a whole new world for you. And all you need to do is decide to go through it.” Temple applies this mantra multiple times. The movie is worth watching for these scenes alone!

Temple also gave a TED talk: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds.

 

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Director: Joe Cross (2010, English, 97 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (67%), IMDB (7.7), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Watch online: Hulu.

Similar movies: documentary, food, illness.

Summary: The documentary narrates the personal story of an Australian businessman named Joe Cross. Joe has been plagued by an autoimmune disorder for over nine years. He comes in touch with Dr Joel Fuhrman who encourages him to do a juice fast for 60 days. Dr Fuhrman is a prominent advocate of Plant Based Diets. He has also written Fasting and Eating for Health, a book on fasting.

Joe Cross comes to USA. For 60 days, he drives from coast to coast in a Mercedes Convertible. He buys a juice machine and consumes only juice for 60 days. Every day, he makes videos of himself and others that he meets at restaurants and on streets. He asks people questions like "Do you believe that you eat healthy?", "What changes would you like to make?" and "Why do you not make changes?" The responses to these questions are insightful.

By the thirtieth day, Joe meets a truck driver who has exactly the same diagnosis as him! A brief meeting with the truck driver is not sufficient to convince him to try his juice diet.

After 60 days, Joe is back in Australia, running business as usual. He looks much fitter and happier. He is cured.

After a couple of months, Joe receives a call from the truck driver who now seeks his help. Out of compassion, Joe makes time for him, revisits USA to help the driver get started with his juice fast. Both juice fasts in the movie were done with medical supervision.

The journey of the truck driver is also very interesting. Day after day, his weight drops and his happiness level increases. Soon, he becomes an inspiration to many of his community members.

What is great about the movie is that nobody is acting! Everybody is authentic, with honest answers. I found the movie very uplifting. It showcases the journey of two individuals with tremendous discipline in transforming their diet and lifestyle.

Joe Cross opened a website for others to try juice fasting: Rebooting with Joe.

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead played an important role in my life. Soon after the movie, I did a 10-day juice fast. My experiences are narrated here: Juice Fasting for Calmness and Clarity.

 

Forks Over Knives

Director: Lee Fulkerson (2011, English, 90 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (59%), IMDB (7.7), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: NetFlix, YouTube.

Similar movies: documentary, food.

Summary: Yet to write.

 

Silver Linings Playbook

Director: David O Russell (2012, English, 122 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (92%), IMDB (7.8), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: comedy, illness, romance.

Summary: A fast paced, wild, romantic comedy from 2012 with eight Oscar nominations. The theme of the movie is quite serious but it's presented with so much humor! The two key protagonists are suffering from psychological problems caused by loss of their respective partners, one to death, the other to divorce. Fate brings them together and a delicate romance develops between them. Superb dialogues, many of which are insightful.

 

Cave Digger

Director: Jeffrey Karoff (2013, English, 39 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.2), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: biopic, documentary, true story.

Summary: Ra Paulette is a sculptor who has been digging massive, ornately carved, sandstone caves in New Mexico, USA, for over 25 years. He calls them "wilderness shrines", massive in scale, poetic in design. He uses only hand tools like shovels, pick axes and scrapers.

A documentary film maker followed Ra for 3 years as he dug and made the Oscar nominated Cave Digger (39 mins, 2013) — available here. Ra's philosophy is heartwarming (see excerpts from the documentary below).

Interviewer: "Would you say that you are obsessed?"
Ra: "Would you call a child being obsessed with play? You wouldn't use that word - obsessed. You know, when you're doing something that you love and are drawn to it, you wanna do it all the time!"
Ra: "I see this as an environmental project. I'm trying to open up people's feelings."
Ra: "It has a lot to do with the juxtaposition of opposites: the sense of being underground with the light streaming in; the intimacy of being in a cave, yet the columns end up very large, sometimes thirty to forty feet high."
Ra: "Most of the wonder I feel is in the actual making of the cave. Once they are made, I move on (with a chuckle) if I want fresh wonder"
Interviewer: "Does it ever get lonely out here? Doing all this work?"
Ra: "I'm never lonely"
Interviewer: "If there is one simple thing that you wanted people to take away from being in one of your caves, what would it be?"
Ra: "At least, a moment ... or a length of time in which they had a deeper feeling and a deeper understanding of themselves and life."

 

Serving Life

Director: Lisa Cohen (2013, English, 85 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.0), Amazon.

Watch online: Hulu.

Similar movies: death, documentary, illness, intense, old age.

Summary: A beautiful documentary, emotional and insightful. Prisoners in a maximum security prison in USA volunteer to become hospice workers. They take care of other prisoners who are dying. Everybody is authentic. Nobody is acting. Highly recommended. Amazon reviews are helpful in understanding what feelings the movie evokes. The title of the movie has double meaning: the prisoners are "serving life".

 

42

Director: Brian Helgeland (2013, English, 128 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (78%), IMDB (7.6), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: biopic, true story.

Summary: The movie "42" is the true life story of Jackie Robinson, the first black player in major league baseball in USA. Overall, the movie is okay. I felt that the storyline had sudden jumps, it felt disconnected. Still, I love the movie for its strong message of non-violence.

An inspiring scene from the movie "42" that gave me goosebumps is here. Harrison Ford talks passionately about non-violence. It's 1947 and he's about to sign up Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player in major league in USA. Harrison Ford's dialogue:

"People aren't gonna like this. They're gonna do anything to get you to react. Echo a curse with a curse and they'll hear only yours. Follow a blow with a blow and they'll say, 'The negro lost his temper'. Your enemy will be out in force and you cannot meet him on his own low ground. We win with hitting, running, fielding -- only that! We win if the world is convinced of two things: that you are a fine gentleman and a great baseball player!"

 

Nebraska

Director: Alexander Payne (2013, English, 114 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (91%), IMDB (7.8), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: family, old age.

Summary: A comical, heartwarming B&W movie about an old man who starts believing that he won a million dollars in a lottery and wants to travel 900 miles to collect his money. If nobody will take him, he will go on foot. His son agrees to drive him. They go via a town where his dad grew up, meeting old friends and family.

 

Before I Disappear

Director: Shawn Christensen (2014, English, 93 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.2), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: family, suspense.

Summary: "Before I Disappear" stars a depressed and suicidal drug addict who is called by his sister to take care of his 10-year old niece for a day. The two of them have never met before. The drug addict is a loser looking for redemption by doing one good thing in his life. The niece is precocious; she excels in every subject at school. The movie is about how they establish a bond with each other.

 

Hector and the Search for Happiness

Director: Peter Chelsom (2014, English, 114 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.0), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: joyful.

Summary: The main protagonist, Hector, travels to several places to try out different ideas for happiness. Most ideas that he explores can be found in self help or positive psychology books. Still, the movie is watchable; it reminds us of these techniques that makes us happy.

 

Maidentrip

Director: Jillian Schlesinger (2014, English, 82 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (82%), IMDB (7.6), Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: adventure, childhood, true story.

Summary: A delightful movie! The story of Laura Decker, a 15-year old girl who sailed around the world in a sailboat by herself. Almost all scenes were shot by her using her camcorder. So it feels like a documentary. The movie shows how Laura changes over the course of two years and the challenges she faced. Wikipedia has an article: List of youth solo sailing circumnavigations.

 

Head Over Heels

Director: Timothy Reckart (2012, English, 11 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.4), Wikipedia.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: I really liked this one! Very creative, with a beautiful storyline. An old, grumpy couple; they don't get along with each other; but they have mutual love and affection. What happens? :)

 

The Longest Daycare

Director: David Silverman (2012, English, 5 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.2), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: Starring Maggie Simpson. Sharp criticism of Ayn Rand. Emphasizes emotional IQ over regular IQ, empathy over I.

 

La Luna (The Moon)

Director: Enrico Casarosa (2011, English, 7 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (85%), IMDB (8.0), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: Summary: The grandfather-father-son are responsible for carrying on a tradition unique to their family. Within that framework, is there room for creativity? Yes. And it's best developed in young age, before cultural programming sets in. The boy takes a risk and succeeds in finding a new way of doing what the family has done traditionally. This does not demean the father and the grandfather. They are accepting and they all love each other.

 

Up (Marriage Sequence)

Director: Pete Docter & Bob Peterson (2009, English, 4 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (98%), IMDB (8.3), Wikipedia.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: A cute n warm sequence showing marriage.

Watch till 4:29 in this clip: here.

 

The Piano

Director: Aidan Gibbons (2007, English, 2 mins)

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: Set to excellent music by Yann Tiersen.

 

The Scarecrow

Director: Chipotle (2013, English, 3 mins)

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: This ad by Chipotle struck a chord with me.

 

Blik

Director: Bastiaan Schravendeel (2010, English, 8 mins)

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime, short, silent.

Summary: Polder Animation - Blik.

 

Kung Fury

Director: David Sandberg (2015, English, 31 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (8.1), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: anime.

Summary: An action packed, video-game like hilarious short movie. Only 30 minutes long. Part animation, part real. Some scenes were gross. But overall, the movie is likely to be enjoyable if you like thrillers, martial arts, action movies and most importantly, "PJ" style sense of humor. A great review: 10 Reasons 'Kung Fury' was the Most Awesome Project in Cannes.

 

Hello, My Name Is Doris

Director: Michael Showalter (2016, English, 95 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (6.7), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Similar movies: comedy, loneliness, romance.

Summary: My Name is Doris is a comic, half-serious movie about old age, loneliness, romance, letting go and moving on. The movie revolves around a 69-year old woman named Doris whose mom just passed away. She lived with her mom almost all of her life, taking care of her. Doris has a habit of hoarding, just like her mom. After her mom's death, she has to come to terms with her loneliness and establish a new life. Most of the movie revolves around her attempts to woo a much younger colleague that she has a crush on.

The movie is relatively fast paced and engaging. The story keeps ticking, scene after scene. Acting by Doris (played by Sally Field) is awesome! On the whole, an enjoyable movie.

 

2 Nov 2013
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