This past week has been fabulous to me in terms of movie-watching. I got to see three fantastic films and no, none of them involved sparkling vampires against shirtless werewolves. It reminded me that although films come to my shores late during this period, the final quarter of the year always provides plenty of good movies. All three films are excellent and deserve their stand-alone reviews, but since I am
lazy and busy, a combined post will have to suffice. As each credit rolled, I got that satisfying feeling of "this is why I love movies (especially at the cinema)". Definitely films that I'll be watching again plenty of times in the future (I might watch the first two below again in the VERY near future).
# Life Of Pi 
Directed By: Ang Lee
Written By: David Magee, Yan Martel
Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu, Ayush Tandon, Rafe Spall
The Story: Pi Patel (played by Irrfan Khan) tells the story to a writer (played by Rafe Spall) about his younger-self (played by Suraj Sharma) that survived a horrific storm and cast out at sea with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
The Verdict: Eat-your-heart-out Avatar , this easily is the most visually mesmerizing film to date. The CGI animals look 100% authentic and everything just looks stunningly beautiful. Stories about people in isolation are always entertaining and Pi's adventure of being surrounded by nothing but sea along with Richard Parker is extremely captivating. Eat-your-heart-out (multiple by 5) Waterworld .
p/s: It seems that Irrfan Khan has been made Hollywood's go-to-guy for Indian roles. It's almost like he's in everything!
Rating: 9 out of 10
# Wreck-It Ralph 
Directed By: Rich Moore
Written By: Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee, Rich Moore, Jim Reardon
Voiced By: John C. Riley, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk
The Story: Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Riley) is the bad-guy character in an arcade game which is named after the good guy character, Fix-It Felix Jr. (voiced by Jack McBrayer). Ralph is unhappy and stressed about his mundane life and being under-appreciated. He hijacks a different arcade game, Hero's Duty in an attempt to win a medal and change his life. A series of events leads him to a kart-racing game called Sugar Rush where he meets Venellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman).
The Verdict: Even in a year where animated films has been very entertaining, Wreck-It Ralph emerges high above the rest. I always have my ego to maintain when watching movies and never let my friends see my eyes get misty, but man, it was hard holding them back on this one. Dare I say it, other than The Iron Giant , this is the only non-Pixar animation with a high Pixar feel to it. Heck its even far better than the actual Pixar film released the year, Brave , and I fully enjoyed that too. The ending had a couple of twists that made the story even more dazzling and is one of the many differences to other animations such as The Rise Of The Guardians .
p/s: (1) Hey, I actually played some of the games before, like Tapper via 5" floppy-disk (my younger brother was amazed to hear games were played using that.. he' s never even seen a FD that size). (2) The animated short shown before the film, Paperman  is super-cute and definitely worth coming early to check out.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
# The Perks Of Being A Wallflower 
Directed By: Stephen Chobosky
Written By: Stephen Chobosky
Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman, Nina Dobrev
The Story: A coming-of-age film that focuses on Charlie (played by Logan Lerman) who is an introvert and is been taken under the wing of two seniors, Patrick (played by Ezra Miller) and Sam (played by Emma Watson).
The Verdict: My teenage years in high school was nothing like that of Charlie's, yet the film still managed to be emotionally resonating to me in very high dosages. In lots of ways it left me with the same emotional feeling I had when I first watched Almost Famous . And in my books, that is very high praise.
Rating: 8 out of 10