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2001: A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Artifical Intelligence, in my opinion, is a classic movie. A visual masterpiece from Steven Spielberg, this movie is set in the near future, in which the manufacturing of robots occurs; but these aren’t any type of robots, but advanced, realistic, life-like robots (named mechas), which have been programmed to be as human as possible. However, although many types were manufactured, they still lacked some of the main elements that truly make a human, human, with one in particular – emotion. However, a further advanced prototype robot was created, called David (Haley Joel Osment) – a robot, created in the image of a young child, which has the ability to have emotions, in particular, the emotion of love towards his mother, Monica (Frances O’Connor), who adopted him as a substitute for her child who is in cryostasis due to having an incurable disease.

Problems begin to arise within the family, as a cure had been created for the child in stasis, meaning that he is able to return back home, and as a result, both David, and his now step-brother, Martin, feel obliged to compete for their mother’s love. Through this, Martin tricks David into doing several things which would make him appear unsafe to have as a ‘son’, and so Monica decides to return David back to the factory at which he was created, to be destroyed. However, a permanent imprint from Monica was put into David as she decided to permanently keep him, and being destroyed would be the only way to remove this imprinting. But David shows such genuine emotion towards her, even calling her mommy, to the extent that she cannot bear to have him destroyed, and so she drives him out to the woods and leaves him there. All the while, David, producing child-like emotions, becomes scared and worried, wondering why he has been abandoned by his mother, before wandering further into the woods.

David remembers a book his mother once read him before bed, the story of Pinocchio, and how the Blue Fairy granted wooden Pinocchio the wish of becoming a real boy. David, wanting nothing but the unconditional love of his mother, goes in search of the Blue Fairy, along the way, meeting countless different types of mechas, who have human appearances. He realises they are all discarded robots, and are being captured for recycling. Luckily, with the help of a few friendly and caring robots, including a robot programmed to please women – Gigolo Joe (Jude Law) manage to help. Joe decides to tag along with David, leading him to Rouge City, where Joe is convinced he will find the Blue Fairy.

The movie continues through a visually stunning, emotion-provoking futuristic journey, before David finds the Blue Fairy, only to be told it isn’t real by Professor Allen Hobby (William Hurt) – the man in charge of the company, Cybertronics, who created young David. David, in an attempt to escape from pursuers, travels underwater in an Amphibicopter, to an underwater city, which is in fact Coney Island. He becomes stuck in some rubble, but in the distance, sees a statue of a Blue Fairy. Two thousand years pass, and David is still there, staring at the fairy, before he is suddenly found and taken out of the water by an Alien species. This species has the ability to bring people back, but they need a DNA sample. David reveals he has a strand of hair from Monica, which he cut off her head (one of the things Martin made him to do try to get him into trouble).

His mother is brought back, and as David wished, he has been granted the wish by the mysterious yet graceful species, to become a real boy. However, the downside is that such resurrected people, as his mother, can only be brought back for a day. David finally lives a life in the day of a human, with his mother Monica, having the best day he has ever witnessed, laying with his mother at the end of the night, as she “falls asleep”…

This movie is perhaps one of the most realistically advanced movies I have ever seen. Throughout the movie, you can tell how much effort has been put into it, not only through the amazing special effects that have been used, providing brilliant visuals, but through the simple, yet brilliant storyline, adapted from the story of Pinocchio, ironically, being brought to life, in this beautifully crafted movie. There isn’t a lot of dialogue in this movie in comparison to most other movies, but such an amount is not required. The majority of this movie is heavily carried forward through its beautiful visuals, emotions, and its storyline, which even provokes emotions in the audience, as do the mysteriously eerie, yet brilliant futuristic representations.

However, the acting in this movie, especially on Osment’s part, is brilliant. How he manages to appear as an actual robot who has emotions, and being able to present these emotions in such a clear and strong manner, is spectacular. Throughout the whole movie, you actually feel as if he is a robot, determined to become a human. Ironic, that he has determination, something a human would have.

The main thing about this movie, though, is its representations of emotions, upon which it focuses on massively. It not only addresses the philosophy of emotions, connecting it to a sentient being, but also delves into these emotions, opening them up, and immersing you into them, through the movie and great acting.  Throughout the whole movie, it provokes your emotions, making you feel the suitable emotions that are being focused on in each given scene of the movie. It reflects our emotions as humans, through a being that isn’t actually human, in such a way that it makes you think about emotions, and what is actually is to be human. The idea of a robot feeling emotions digs even deeper into other topics of debate, including those of God and religion, and the value of life, and not just human life.

This is one of the most defining movies I have seen. One which definitely keeps you feeling a range of emotions throughout the movie, and thinking afterwards. A fantastic production, with a great cast, allowing a range of emotions to be provoked throughout – something a great movie should be able to do.

By Manpreet Singh


Kevin Costner As A Bad Guy In Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’?

Actor and director Kevin Costner while visitin...

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Kevin Costner is apparently in talks to star in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, according to numerous sources. He is currently in talks with Tarantino himself, to possibly play the role of Ace Woody, whose main activity consists of training slaves to fight one another in Gladiator-style brawls. An evil role indeed, it will be interesting to say the least, to see how he portrays this character, should he get the role.

Although many may agree that Costner appears to have headed downhill recently, it would seem that he is making a strong comeback, having recently secured roles in numerous upcoming movies, including Zak Snyder‘s Superman reboot, Man of Steel, starring as Jonathan Kent. Costner will be joining an impressive all-star cast: Jamie Foxx as Django the slave who has been freed, in search of his ex-owner, Leonardo DiCaprio, who still has his wife in captivity, along with Samuel L. Jackson, who decides to help Django get his wife back. Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Water for Elephants) will also be starring, as a German bounty hunter. Only the best from talented Tarantino .

Django Unchained is currently due to be released on Christmas day of 2012, although the UK release may be of a later date.

By Manpreet Singh


Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Ethan Hunt

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Mission:Impossible is back, and the fourth installment sees Tom Cruise back as Ethan Hunt, finding himself having to face the seemingly impossible once again, rising up to the challenge this time,  before he is framed for the bombing of the Kremlin, a huge world landmark. Co-starring in this sequel is Simon Pegg, so it seems there will at least be an enjoyable humourous aspect to the movie. However, those of you doubting the upcoming Impossible movie – give the trailer a watch first.

Directed by Brad Bird who, although is very much associated with Pixar movies, definitely shows that he can do more than write a children’s movie. And combined with the genius of J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Lost, Fringe) this movie is definitely set to be a good one. With all the amazing action-packed sequences you could expect from a Mission:Impossible movie, check the trailer out:

It seems that the Mission:Impossible franchise will be living on a lot longer than many of us expected. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, is set to hit cinema screens in the UK on 26th December.

By Manpreet Singh


Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ Gets Release Date

Director Quentin Tarantino at the premiere of ...

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The latest movie classic in the works by blood-loving director, Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained“, is reportedly set to hit cinema screens on December 25, 2012, by film studio, The Weinstein Company.  The movie, with a Spaghetti Western-style story, focuses on an American slave, Django, who has been freed and joins forces with a German bounty hunter, in the hope to save his wife from a plantation owner, Calvin Candie.

The latest news has it that Leonardo DiCaprio, is in talks to be playing Candie. I think it would be very interesting to have DiCaprio playing the bad guy, considering he tends to play the role of the protagonist in most movies he is in. Samuel L. Jackson, is also rumoured to be having a role in the movie, along with Christoph Waltz, who may be playing the German bounty hunter. However, no one has been cast as Django yet.

Quentin Tarantino, director of a range of classics, including Inglorious Basterds, Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction, and renowned writer, is definitely one of my favourite directors, and has built a reputation as a legend in the movie industry, being considered to be in the same category as such directors as Spielberg and Scorsese. Personally, I look forward to this movie, and with a brilliant cast, I have high hopes for Django Unchained.

Keep tuned for more movie news and rumours.

By Manpreet Singh


1995: Toy Story

Toy Story

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The Monumental Movie for 1995 is the classic, CGI comedy, Toy Story. The original, which began the brilliant trilogy, stars the voices of acting legend Tom Hanks as Woody, and Tim Allen as the voice of Buzz Lightyear – the two voices combined with the two characters we all know and love. This movie brings to life the imagination of every kid. It starts with a boy named Andy, who, like any other kid, loves his toys, ranging from toy cowboys to dinosaurs, playing with them everyday. However, when Andy isn’t around, his toys come to life. His favourite toy, Woody thinks he has life good, enjoying his life with Andy and his other toy friends; until a new toy arrives for Andy’s birthday…Buzz Lightyear. Everyone knows the classic line, “To infinity, and Beyond!!”.

Buzz Lightyear, fails to believe that he is a toy, and believes that he is a real life space cadet, and he soon takes over the role of Andy’s favourite toy. Woody, is now determined to get rid of Buzz, but during the process they both end up getting lost, and need to find their way back to Andy’s house before he realises that they have been missing. But unfortunately for them, they are in the worst place possible for a toy… Sid’s house. Sid Phillips, is a ruthless child, whose main hobby involves brutally murdering toys.

After having to survive in Sid’s house, through some although disastrous for them, hilarious for the audience, experiences, Buzz and Woody manage to begin forming a friendship, before realising they have to escape Sid’s house before they too, are killed. Fortunately, they manage to do this, whilst in the process, mentally scarring Sid for life… In the end, Buzz and Woody manage to make it back to safety, through a risky and daring escape, and in the nick of time, managing to land safely next to Andy in the car, which his mum is driving to their new home.

For many people, including myself, Toy Story was a huge part of their childhood. This movie brings to life the imagination of every kid; at one point or another, we all hoped that our toys would come to life, and this movie made it possible. With a load of humour, which people of all ages will enjoy, whether you’re 6, or 60, this movie delivers brilliantly. Even when watching it as an adult, it brings back that happy feeling of being a child, back when nothing mattered.

The CGI for its time was brilliant, and still is for today, being one of the first movies of its kind. A definite classic movie from Pixar, this is one that audiences will never get bored of, re-living their childhood every time they watch it. This movie even has a great theme song, which is also used in the latest and final installment of this trilogy, Toy Story 3, which, as soon as I hear, instantly reminds me of this film, bringing back childhood memories. I’m pretty sure everyone has seen this movie, but if you haven’t, it’s never too late to watch Toy Story…

By Manpreet Singh


1994: Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump

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Forrest Gump, released in 1994, is the heart-warming story of young man, Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), chronicling his life and, although not the brightest man you’ll ever meet, how he has somehow managed to unintentionally be apart of many huge historical events, including such encounters with John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, and having partaken in the Vietnam War. Although he has a very low IQ level, to such an extent that it largely affects his life, this movie depicts his life, showing it to be one of the interesting lives ever lived…

The movie starts with Forrest at a young age, and how his mother struggles to sign him up to a school due to his low levels of intelligence. At the same time, we learn of a condition he has with his legs, meaning he has to use metal braces to be able to walk, with this, along with his low intelligence, causing him to be bullied often. However, over some time, with the help of his best friend, and love of his life, Jenny Curran (Robin Wright), his confidence, and legs, soon become powerful enough for him to progress in life, with this movie featuring one of the most well-known scenes in the movie, and in movie history, showing Forrest beginning to run faster than anyone has ever seen, as his braces fall off, with Jenny shouting probably the most well-known phrase in movie history, which is repeated countlessly as the movie progresses, “Run, Forrest, Run!” – I mean, even people who haven’t even seen this movie use this quote on a day-to-day basis. I use it all the time.

The movie develops further, showing how Forrest’s life progresses, and how he becomes famous world-wide through various historical events, whilst at the same time how his life develops, with personal events such as the death of his mother (Sally Field), or ‘momma’, as he refers to her as. Even though he is such a simple man, he experiences more in life than most of us would even think to experience, living the most fulfilled life possible. The movie ends, with him leaving the bus stop, where he had been sitting for the duration of most of the movie, telling the story of his life to random people. He goes to visit his old friend, Jenny, who has some life-changing news for him. Events then continue on a positive note, before his now wife, Jenny, sadly passes away, leaving him to raise his recently discovered son, Forrest Gump Jr.

Forrest Gump, is one of the most empowering and heart-warming movies I have ever seen. Filled with a simple, yet great and twist-filled storyline, drama, emotion, humour, and scenes that will bring many to tears of happiness, as well as sadness, this movie has everything. This movie takes the most seemingly unimportant of people, and depicts how their life can become one of the most important in history, changing others’ lives for the better, whilst living a full and fantastic life. This movie is what every movie should be…inspiring. This is also one of the ‘pick me up’ movies, that make you feel good, so if you haven’t seen this, most definitely watch it when you’re feeling down. Or if you have seen it, just watch it again when you’re feeling down, and by the end of it, you’ll feel happy again.

By Manpreet Singh


1990: Home Alone

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In 1990, the first, and best, Home Alone movie was released. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is an eight year-old child, who, whilst his family are getting ready to leave home for a vacation, accidentally gets left behind. Now, this may seem like an awful thing to happen, but Kevin looks at the positive side of the situation…he has the house completely to himself, everything and anything goes (no getting drunk though, he’s only eight). At first, Kevin appears to be having the time of his life, doing what he wants, eating what he wants, when he wants, with his only problem being his fear of his basement. However, two dim-witted local crooks, Harry & Marv (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) soon learn that Kevin is all alone in his home, and so they attempt a burglary.

However, Kevin stumbles upon their plan of robbery which is to take place on Christmas eve, and, although distraught at first, like any child would be, soon comes to grips with the situation, and realises he must defend his house. From here on out, the movie is full of brilliant booby traps and classic comedy scenes, as the two crooks constantly attempt to successfully rob the house, whilst getting rid of Kevin at the same time. Ultimately, they catch Kevin, but he manages to escape with the help of an unexpected friend, and the crooks are caught by the police.

This movie is a classic, and I’m sure everyone who has seen it will agree. Many of you will remember watching this movie as a child, and then years later watching it again, and still loving it. It’s one of those classic movies that gives you a warm, childhood feeling every time it’s watched, and one you’ll never become bored of. The comedy scenes are classics, ones you’ll remember, filled with entertaining and genius scenes in which Kevin repels the thieves through clever and cunning booby traps; he’s the kind of kid you wish you were as a child.

Home Alone is a movie enjoyable for any type of person; whether you’re young, old, or as manly a man as me, Home Alone brings out the child in everyone. A movie which will never be forgotten, with a sequel which is also actually a good watch (although Home Alone 3 and 4 on the other hand…). If you haven’t seen Home Alone, no matter who you are, what age you are, or any other meaningless factors, watch it.

By Manpreet Singh