Mad about movies

Mad about movies

City Times takes to the multiplexes to find out what’s in store for movie buffs this week

By Davina Raisinghani

Published: Thu 31 Dec 2009, 9:52 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:23 PM

Paranormal Activity

If you’ve been on the lookout for a sans cliché, truly chilling horror movie, then writer-director Olen Peli’s Paranormal Activity will prove itself a complete treat. Featuring Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat, this independent movie finally opens in national cinemas today after doing the rounds at various film festivals.

Similar to the filming style of The Blair Witch Project (popularly known as ‘found footage’), Paranormal Activity follows couple Katie and Micah as they are haunted by a supernatural presence of mysterious origins.

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian reviews this film as a “hair-raising” and “suburban drama that skips genre cliches, to come up with a claustrophobic classic.” Though made on a reported budget of $15,000 the movie has earned nearly $100 million at the box office.


· Paranormal Activity has three alternate endings; one of which was shown originally at film festivals, the other is available on DVD prints and a different one for public viewing.

· Director Peli, who made his debut with this film, claims that it was his fear of ghosts that prompted him to channel it into making Paranormal Activity.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

From the creator of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and one of the original Python-troupe members himself – filmmaker Terry Gilliam - comes The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The fantasy extravaganza stars Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Heath Ledger, Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp.

The script of the film follows the immortal and thousand-year-old Doctor Parnassus (Plummer) and his mobile theatre, the Imaginarium as it offer audiences a chance to step through a magical mirror and into a world beyond reality.

However, Parnassus, whose mystical powers are the result of a deal with the Devil (Tom Waits), is now faced with the horror of paying his debt with his daughter.

Peter Bradshaw writes in his review of the The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus for The Guardian that through it “Heath Ledger gets an imaginative but anarchic farewell from Terry Gilliam.” The movie has received mixed to positive reviews.

It’s Complicated

Writer, director and producer Nancy Meyers brings together the cast of Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin for her romantic comedy It’s Complicated.

The plot of the film revolves around the super messy life of Jane (Streep), a successful pastry chef and bakery owner, as she makes her peace with her ex-husband (Baldwin) when they meet up at their son’s college graduation. Ensuing is an affair that puts her in the ‘other woman’s’ shoes. Meanwhile her architect friend (Martin) finds himself falling for her.

Kirk Honeycutt’s review of It’s Complicated in The Hollywood Reporter labels the flick as “another new and familiar old-fashioned romantic film from Nancy Meyers about mature adults and their oft-times immature sexual escapades.” The movie has played host to a mixed bag of reviews.


· Heath Ledger’s death one-third way through filming of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was the reason why his character’s transformation into Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp was written into the script.

· Director Gilliam initially considered computer-genrated imagery to salvage the film after Ledger’s untimely death.


· During early production the film was referred to as ‘The Untitled Nancy Meyers Project’. Only after the caste was on board did the film receive its name.

· Filming for It’s Complicated started in April this year and was completed in August. It opened in cinemas on December 25.

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