Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Round Up!

Just popping in to wish everyone a happy and healthy 2015!

This was a year full of ups and downs--in life and in cinema. I was without a car for some few months so I couldn't get to the cinema and for another few months I was too busy to go to the cinema. But I also found tentkotta.com and all the lovely streaming Tamil films there and I discovered that Hulu had put some wonderful older Hindi films up. Was there a more enjoyable cinema moment for me in 2014 than watching Maine Pyar Kiya? The lowlight… suffering through the Lunchbox. Dear lord, that film was awful.

Some of the films I enjoyed this year were:


Monday, December 22, 2014

PK: All iz well.





I remember when the first Rajkumar Hirani x Aamir Khan production, 3 Idiots, came out and I really remember how much I hated the promotions. The trailers were cloying and obnoxious; Aamir’s, er, “youthful” look bothered me; and the music--especially “Zoobi Doobi”--made me want to puncture my eardrums with an ice pick. Yet when I finally saw the film, it blew me away. I absolutely loved it. (Although the music--especially “Zoobi Doobi”--still makes me cringe.)

Well, in America we have a saying. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” By which I mean, this time I was smart enough not to trust the promotions and just went with my gut instinct. My gut said, “Go see PK, Filmi Girl. GO!” And my gut was right. The trailers may be cloying and obnoxious but PK itself is a wonderful film.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Cannot wait. RETURN OF MADDY!

Good morning, friends!! It's almost Christmas time and after an INTENSE month a week that just kicked my butt to hell and back, my work is finally ramping down for the year so I can take some time and enjoy the holidays. I have a feeling posting will be sporadic until January but I'm going to try and get a few more reviews out before 2015 hits. I mean… PK is here this weekend! Yay! I'm going to try and get that and I still have hopes for seeing Lingaa before it leaves theaters. There's also a few films on tentkotta.com that I have my eye on so… let's do this! RELAXATION TIME!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday…

While I have been feeling under the weather, I've been catching up on some of Marc Maron's WTF podcasts. I have mixed feelings about this guy but his interviews can be very interesting--sometimes for what they don't mention as much as what they do. Yesterday I listened to Marc's interview with Mike Myers and the words "Love" and "Guru" never crossed their lips, they just talked about Myers's successes. And I thought… how unfortunate. Not that I want to revel in his failure but it seems Myers doesn't like or doesn't want to talk about his failures. And if we never look back at our failures, how can we learn? Not that everything an artist does has to be commercially successful but I would have liked to hear what Myers thought about the failure of The Love Guru, if he was happy with it despite the commercial failure… or if he was unhappy with it… or if he understood why audiences hated it… these type of things are interesting to me. This line of thinking is more interesting than looking at hit movies. I think.

Maybe that's why I'm fascinated by these giant flop films. Does anybody else still care about Ra.One? The Love Guru?

Myers seems like a really humorless, really intense guy. It's so odd that this over-thinking straight arrow is the man responsible for the lighthearted, air-headed Wayne and Austin Powers. Or maybe it's not odd at all… hmm…

It would be great if there was a podcast like this for Indian pop culture. I don't know who could do it, though. Somebody with access and a "don't give a fuck" attitude. But I suspect talking to Myers would TOTALLY be like talking to SRK. Do. Not. Mention. The. Failures.

One of the classics… They talk a little about this moment but because Myers pulled it directly from his own life, I don't know if he gets why this is so funny to a broad audience.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I didn't get out to see Lingaa but I did see Mundasupatti!

Good morning, friends! I think I mentioned on twitter that I have a sinus infection and was feeling too dizzy to drive last weekend. I'm still feeling under the weather but I'm hoping by next weekend I'll be well enough to make it to the theater for Lingaa. In my haze, I was able to watch the delightful Mundasupatti via tentkotta.com. It was the perfect film for me this weekend--not too loud, not too sad, not too violent, not too sexy, not too much. Just an understated, light, early 1980s-set comedy with some wonderful performances and excellent music.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday.

Oh, man, have I tried to make this my theme this week… it's a slog, friends. It's a slog. But this film holds such a charm for me, even now. Which is why I am TOTALLY giving the benefit of the doubt to PK. Aamir and Hirani have earned that much at least. No matter how hideous the promotions look.

Anyhoo, whether or not I end up having to work Saturday--I have my ticket booked for Lingaa on Sunday morning! ALL IZ WELL!

Also, I read this on Firstpost. Has it really been SIX YEARS since Slumdog? Yeesh. We gettin old, yo. We gettin old.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

And another thing...

OH MY GOD! Showtimes already up for Thursday for Lingaa!!!!!! Alas, I cannot make any of them but I will see this film!! I'll be haunting the ticket booking page… RAJINI!!!!!! *explodes*

But, damn, guys, I really hope Action Jackson bad buzz doesn't kill Manasvi Mamgai's future. SHE IS SO BOSS!

I mean, come on. Right?? And she really sparkled on screen. You know I am really tough on former Miss India types and former model types so believe me when I say she has real screen presence.

I feel like I had something else to say but I forget now… Ah, well. It will come to me.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Another Monday gone...

I am so tired, y'all. Forgive another week or so of braindead posting until the Christmas break when I'll have a chance to catch my breath a bit. AND NEXT WEEKEND IS LINGAA!!!!!!(!!!!!!) I can only assume it's coming to DC Cinemas… next weekend, thank god, I should have a car to get out there. That is my reward!

And now some trailers!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Action Jackson: Three ladies, Two Ajays, and one boss director.

Action! Jackson! AJ! I had a blast at this film! Totally, totally fun. I will agree with some of the negative reviews to this extent--if you don’t like Prabhudeva’s Southern-soaked style of direction and don’t find Ajay Devgn’s macho masala avatar appealing to some extent, then Action Jackson is most definitely not the film for you. That said, the film is nowhere near as brain-dead or misogynist as the critics would have you believe. In fact, by the time the film reached the interval point, I was convinced Prabhudeva had made the film partly as a response to criticism that his female characters were lackluster. Specifically, I couldn’t help but compare how lively and proactive Sonakshi was in Action Jackson to the passive, scared-young-thing role she appears to play in Tevar, the soggy trailer for which ran before the film. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


Friday, December 5, 2014

TGIF!!!!!!

Action Jackson reviews are TERRIBLE but who expected anything different?

"145 Minutes of Nothing"

"Only for Die-Hard Prabhudeva/Ajay fans"

"Ajay Doesn't Need to Stoop This Low"

It's just really frustrating as a viewer looking for guidance because when EVERY non-class movie gets these reviews, how can we know if it's actually bad or just not a class film? Sigh.

Well, since I do consider myself a "die-hard Prabhudeva fan" I'm sure I'll find it mildly entertaining, at least.

I mean, come on, how could I not be a die-hard Prabhudeva fan? LOOK AT HIM! He's totally boss.

And two mildly entertaining articles I enjoyed for the punchlines--Akshay also confused by why Baby is titled Baby and Absolutely NOBODY wants to act opposite Kunal Kohli

The Kunal Kohli one is worth it for this gem:

At the time, Kunal wasn’t ready to divulge that he was starring in the film himself, and revealed only that he’d cast “a prominent Bollywood name who’s making his acting debut”.

HA!!!!!!! To quote Bugs Bunny: What a maroon.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Baby. OH YEAH!

So… this looks epic. I am officially VERY EXCITED to see this. I love when Akshay really throws himself into a role. I mean, I enjoy watching him coast and have a good time but when he REALLY gets into it… I love it. Of course, we know he has a mixed (to be kind) history with choosing non-traditional fare with some real stinkers. I mean, did anybody know their ass from their elbow in 8 x 10 Tasveer? Akshay reminded me of a baffled Keanu Reeves just like, "Uh… well, the script says this… So, I guess it's the case?" Khakee, though. That was on point.

Man, oh man, were there ever some long boring stretches in Special 26 but there was enough good there (especially in the casting) that I have high hopes for Baby.

Oh, and I've been enjoying Gawker's recaps of the Sony Pictures leaks. They show just how braindead Hollywood really is at its core. This one has the powerpoint presentations that feature some truly hideous marketing slides about how teens think Smurfs are "cool" and lists the themes of Grown Ups 2 as "friendship, loyalty, humor, fun, adventure" totally leaving out "Adam Sandler's buddies need a paycheck," "farts," and "fat guy jokes". ZING!

And the (possibly) good news for me… Action Jackson is playing! I have to admit I kind of lost my steam for writing a proper Happy Ending review after some twitter discussion. I don't know… the Debbie Downer mentality gets to me sometimes, even I try not to let it. I mean, I genuinely enjoyed the film! And it's totally worth a rental/stream on Netflix when it's available. I wanted to talk about the way it sort of flipped the Bachna Ae Haseeno/Devika Bhagat script formula. I really hated that the end of Bachna Ae Haseeno had Deepika's character suddenly decide she believed in "true wuv" in a COMPLETE character 180 but at the end of Happy Ending, though there was a similar set-up, Ileana's character remains herself. She keeps her convictions and, at the end, she never commits to anything or anybody. She just says… I'll give him a chance.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Busy, busy Filmi Girl…

Good morning!! I think I'm just an hour short of catching the premiere of the Baby trailer. Instead please have these videos: 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What's in store for the rest of the year?!

Rainy, rainy day here in Washington, DC.

I was trying to plan out the rest of my month to see what films were coming (IS IT TIME FOR VIKRAM'S I YET?!) and the ones I'm excited about are:


Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy December!

You guys, I ate SO MUCH FOOD this weekend. I feel like I'm going to pop like a Thanksgiving turkey. There's a reason Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year and that is it. LOL! I spent the majority of the past few days doing things with my family so unfortunately (for you) I have nothing really to discuss in terms of films I've watched. I did go see the new Hunger Games movie and, wow, is it ever better than the book. All the Hunger Games movies are much better than the books but this one was MUCH, MUCH better. I think it's because the movies take you out of the first-person Katniss narration to show you everything else that's going on in the world. And in this last movie, the screenwriters wisely cut out about 90% of the moping and 99% of Gale's lecturing. I swear, there were sections of the third book that were just pages and pages of Gale lecturing Katniss about how she was supposed to be feeling or acting and in those sections I wanted to reach into the book and punch him directly on his big, fat mouth.

Anyhoo.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yudi, Yogi, and Happy Ending… (I promise a real review soon!)

How odd that Happy Ending should follow my rediscovery of my obsession with doubles and double roles in Bollywood. In Happy Ending, the main character is a writer, Yudi (Saif Ali Khan, on the left), who is basically "writing" the movie as we're watching it… if that makes sense. Yudi doesn't just narrate the film but scene notes also appear at the appropriate times. (i.e. something like "Scene 90: Race to the Airport" during the inevitable scene where the hero races to the airport to catch up with the heroine and stop her from leaving.) Sure, it's a cute conceit and if that was all there was to it, we might as well just be watching another Imran Khan-starrer. What really makes the writer-writing-the-film concept work is the addition of the character of "Yogi" (also Saif Ali Khan, on the right).

Yudi "writes" Yogi into his story as his own (and a certain portion of the audience's) alter ego. Yogi is the personification of the type of fanboy who sits around in his superhero T-shirts debating what "tropes" are in which films and basically not seeing the forest for the nitpicking "that contradicts this origin story" trees. Yudi turns to Yogi with his actual life problems and Yogi delivers "wisdom" gleaned from snarky reviews from the Onion AV Club. I was really amused at his inclusion in the film, especially as the alter-ego of the slick, cool Yudi--each trapped in his own version of suspended adolescence and seeing the world through a specific filter.

As the stand-in for the audience, Yogi has one really great zing at the expense of "Yudi" but really at the expense of Saif, saying what we're ALL thinking when Yudi goes off on how he is still young and has time to figure things out… and Yogi just looks at him and kind of shakes his head like, "Naw, dawg." And so Yudi has to qualify with "young at heart." Yogi still doesn't quite buy it--and neither do we--but it's hilarious and a nice meta-commentary on the critique Saif and the other 40+ heroes get from the Yogi-types in the audience for playing "young… at heart."

I'm not sure if I'm the only one who saw it like this since the reviews I read all seemed to think Yogi was Yudi's twin brother… something that never occurred to me until I came home and read the reviews.

One other thing on Yogi… I found it very interesting that basically EVERYBODY agreed that Govinda and his antics were way more entertaining than the rom-com elements because Govinda and the "jimmy jimmy jimmy jimmy HERO ENTRY" is exactly what the Yogi types who found Happy Ending so dull have been trying to get erase from Bollywood for the last 15 years. I don't know. Maybe I'm just Raj & DK-biased but I read Govinda's turn as kind of a fuck you to the people who had been trying to erase his particular talents from the screen. Turns out WE FUCKING LOVE GOVINDA AND WANT HIM BACK! Oh, Govinda…

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ahhhh! Monday came too soon!

The mixed to negative response to Happy Ending has been interesting. The critics I expected to love it, really didn't. On either end. Anupama Chopra thought it didn't have enough rom-com "sparkle" and Mihir Fadnavis thought it had too much rom-com. The thing is, I understand both perspectives even if I don't necessarily agree with them. Happy Ending suffers from what we can call Tashan-itis. Just like Tashan was pastiche of and a commentary on Bollywood masala, Happy Ending is both pastiche of and meta-commentary on the rom-com genre but, just like Tashan, the mixture (apparently) didn't quite gel for most of the audience.

I enjoyed it quite a bit. I have some theories I'm working out that the film is essentially Hum Tum Plus Ten Years so if you can wait another day or so for my review…

I will say that if you are wavering on whether or not to see it:

a) GOVINDA

b) RANVIR SHOREY

c) PREITY ZINTA

And this song is, to quote a great hero: "Kickass."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Fri-- Happy ENDING!

Sooooo sorry, guys!! This week has been crazy at work and I didn't have time to post anything yesterday… or today, really.

But if all goes well, I should be able to see Happy Ending this weekend! YAY! Lucky me! It's nice that Raj & DK are finally getting accepted into the cool "in" crowd. I remember seeing 99 in the theaters WAY back when and just being so impressed. That was back during the strike, I think. Funny to think of now.

Anyhoooo… I think I mentioned I've been going through old posts but I was reminded of when I was obsessed with doubles and doppelgängers. I wish I had time to re-watch Kaho Na… Pyaar Hai.

What a truly odd and wonderful film. And such a good launch vehicle for Hrithik. You know, I think Hrithik is one of the slipperiest heroes in Bollywood to get a hold of. He started off so young and cocky and sexual but his recent "big" films have him humble and self-sacrificing and just so earnest. Agneepath, Krrish 3… Or playing second fiddle to Katrina Kaif in Bang Bang. We've grown up together, Hrithik. ♥

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Favorite musical moments?

I got asked on twitter what some of my favorite "musical moments" in movies were… it's a tough question and a different one from favorite song picturizations, in my opinion. I can love a song picturization having never seen the film it's attached to--Jacqueline Fernandez in Jadoo Ki Jhappi springs to mind--but a "musical moment" is deep in the film itself.

But off the top of my head…


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The world waits… for Tuesday!

Ugh… I think I'm fighting off my yearly sinus infection. Ew. Ew. Ew. Anyways, folks, some good stuff in the wings!

Lingaa song trailer!! I can't wait for this!! I will NEVER forget going to see Enthiran and then how obsessed I was with it afterwards. I think I wrote like three or four long posts on that film. I wonder if I have time to re-watch some Rajini movies before seeing Lingaa...

Also, the only two words I needed to hear were "Bala presents…" and I'm sold. BALA!

AND, this really made me laugh:

I'm excited about Akshay, too, but trending below Charles Manson (!!!!!!!!!) isn't something I'd want to brag about.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Perfume at the Hammerstein Ballroom. World Tour 3rd. New York City. November 15, 2014.

「三人あわせて、Perfumeです!」(from left to right: Nocchi, Kashiyuka, and Ah~chan!)

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of seeing Japanese pop group Perfume. The group is insanely popular in Japan and are currently on their third world tour, which is the first world tour to include a stop in America. Perfume are a pop group consisting of three members: Nishiwaki Ayaka (“A~chan,” the defacto leader), Omoto Ayano (“Nocchi”), and Kashino Yuka (“Kashiyuka”). Perfume’s music--written by electropop maestro Nakata Yasutaka--is insanely catchy but the group’s hook is really their intricate three-part choreography. The three women weave in and out of each other’s space like gear wheels, a single mistake, a moment’s hesitation could end in a hard smack to the face or a high heel caught in a member’s skirt.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Post!!



So… Yagavarayinum Naa Kaakka looks interesting! God, I love the sound of Tamil. I wish somebody around here offered classes or lessons but nobody teaches it!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday! Kapooooooors!

Is it weird that I found the song I was looking for by checking Rishi's sweater? I couldn't remember the song title or film but I KNEW THE SWEATER! GOD DAMN IT I KNEW THAT SWEATER! I KNEW IT!

I wonder what happened to all of Rishi's sweaters. I've long wished Bollywood had a costume museum of some sort. That would be epic.

I went digging on youtube because I caught this stupid story about Neetu cropping Katrina Kaif out of a photo and it just… made me sad. I kind of wish these kinds of dumb stories were kept to half-truths in the pages of Stardust where they belong but I suppose the genie is long out of the bottle when it comes to social media and gossip websites.

Neetu-aunty, any interest in setting up that costume museum instead of instagramming?

And the bad news is… Happy New Year is STILL taking up the Indian movie slot at my local multiplex so no Kill Dil for me this weekend. Ah, well. I was going to a concert in New York on Saturday anyways so it would have been ギリギリ timing on Friday night to make it to the theater.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How many more days to Kill Dil???

How much do I love these three?

I am really, really forward to Kill Dil!

In the process of going through my old reviews, there definitely comes a point where I begin just DEFENDING THINGS I ENJOY really hardcore. It's kind of funny reading those without the critical context that surrounds them. My review of Khiladi 786 is like that. This feeling that I was dishoom-ing myself out of a warehouse full of scolding critics like I was Amitabh in Deewar. THIS STUFF DOESN'T SUCK! *dishoom* SHUT UP WITH YOUR "SO ILLOGICAL" CRITIQUES! *dishoom*

It does really bother me that the films I love--or even films that I find pleasurable--are routinely (and possibly deliberately) misunderstood by the very people who are supposed to be "experts" on this stuff. Ah, well. I'm going to make an effort to be less defensive in the future! If I like it, then I like it. It's not like anybody actually cares what Anupama Chopra and Rajeev Masand have to say anyways, isn't it? Heh.

To that end, I should fulfill the promise I made and was reminded of while re-reading my Student of the Year review and buy the DVD of Student of the Year. Come on, Karan! Make us another one like this!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tevar: Arjun still hasn't gotten rid of that constipated look.

I don't hate it but I've been burned by Arjun's lack of acting/hero-ing abilities in so many other films that I'm reluctant to give him yet another shot. And this seems like one of those films where the heroine is sidelined in order to boost the profile of the hero. All in all, not really feeling it… but I don't hate it.

Totally unrelated… remember this?

"What? The party's over?"

LOVE STORY 2050 FOREVER!!!!! When will we get a film this gloriously stupid again? WHEN?!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday, Monday… the weekend goes so fast!

Oh, Saifu! I love you… from far away. But I really hope that Humshakals was not you "being true to yourself" and more the "imbalance" part. *cough*


Friday, November 7, 2014

Happy… WEEKEND!!

Jeez, this week really dragged.

Maybe I'm just too pumped for NEXT WEEKEND when I'll be seeing Perfume in concert in New York!

I'm still going to try and make Kill Dil on that Friday evening--if it's playing at the closer theater.

In other news, I was watching a few behind-the-scenes from PK and is it me or is this movie like… PEAK HIRANI. You can't get MORE HIRANI than PK. I thought 3 Idiots was a lot of Hirani but… I don't know. I'm sure I'll still love it despite myself. LOL!

And the other movie besides Kill Dil I'm anxious for is… Happy Ending!

YES! Sleazy Saifu, just like he's best at! Always trust Raj & DK. Always trust.

And a big shout out to my Uncle for this awesome article about his work as a teacher!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Another Punjabi song?! IN BOLLYWOOD?!

I tease, I tease. So… Prabhudeva got Ajay to dance about as well as Salman in Wanted. Yes/yes?

LOL! I am going to enjoy me some Action Jackson like nobody's business.

Plus Kill Dil in just one week!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hirai Ken doing it right.

(alternate link) I was really wary when I heard the concept for this video from Japanese pop singer Hirai Ken but I actually think it's really cute!! I know the "cultural appropriation" tag and "exoticism" tag get thrown around a lot and there are some truly horrendous examples out there--Natalie Portman as a "Bollywood Princess" and whatever that crap from Smash was--but Hirai Ken manages to pull off a fun, Indian-themed PV without being all gross about it.

Apparently Hirai Ken says that people think he looks Indian which is where the idea for the video came from. He does have kind of an Arjun Rampal, John Abraham vibe about him, huh? Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Madras: Tales from the Hood.

Choosing the right hero is the most important decision that will get made for a film. The tone of a role, the tone of a film changes depending on the hero. I would never claim to be an expert on Karthi’s screen presence but from what little I’ve seen of him--Saguni and Alex Pandian--Karthi’s speciality is playing the affable straight man who responds with a smile and twinkle in his eye when crazy stuff happens around him. As a hero, he’s a very likable light weight. I mean that in the best sense possible. Not every hero can be as charming and delightful to watch as Karthi and it’s no crime to specialize in being “affable” rather than “angry” or “serious.” But “affable” is not exactly the first quality one might choose for a hero in a non-filmi, revenge-driven masala film.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Upcoming… upcoming…!

Yes.

I will be at the theater for this, come hell or high water. Seeing Enthiran in the theater was one of the BEST film watching experiences I've ever had. Superstar fans bring it!

Ditto for this.

I had kind of a busy weekend so while I did watch Madras, I haven't had time to finish my review yet. Hopefully I'll have that up for you in the next day or two. Quite an enjoyable film, I must say.

I also have to give a shout out for the delightful DØD SNØ 2:

My dad and I watched this and laughed our asses off. Nazi zombies vs. Commie zombies. What more do you need? Oh, Norway… I miss you.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Kamal hai!

Happy Halloween, everybody! I haven't decided what I want to do… Dressing up is fun but as I was telling my co-worker yesterday, sometimes I feel like my professional office clothes are really just a costume I wear everyday.

I do love fun and parties and disguises…

The master of disguise himself: PRAN!

What a great film Karz is.

And just a word to the wise--please, white people, do not do cultural drag for Halloween. It's really not appropriate.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

『チェイス!』: the language of Dhoom is universal.

Dhoom 3 is heading to Japan as… CHASE! I kind of love it. It's always interesting to me to see how movies like this are marketed outside of the Bollywood "star" system, you know?

Anyhoo, I was tipped off to the fact that Aamir and Vicky were in Tokyo talking about the movie.


I don't have time this morning but if I see something interesting I'll try to translate it for you. 3 Idiots was actually something of a hit in Japan so Aamir is a little known there. I was actually just reading an interview with one of my fave bands--The Okamoto's--and they were asked what movie had made an impression on them recently and the bass player, Hama Okamoto, says… 3 Idiots! Amazing when worlds collide, huh.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I could be dreaming… new Belle and Sebastian song!

*whistle whistle* New Belle & Sebastian single!

I don't know how much I've talked about Belle & Sebastian here before but I've been a massive fan for almost 20 years now. It seems incredible that it's been that long. I'm on their e-mail list and got a reminder that they have new tour dates, including curating All Tomorrow's Parties in Iceland in July.

July 2-4 - ATP Iceland, Keflavik, Iceland (NOTE: 16 years after Belle and Sebastian curated the first All Tomorrow's Parties at Camber Sands)

16 years! Was it really 16 years ago I took the Magical Mystery Bus from Glasgow to Camber Sands? How much has changed since then… how young I was… 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jigarthanda: Cold heart, warm blood

Director Karthik Subbaraj is well aware of the double meaning of jigarthanda--ostensibly a sweet, milk-based drink from Madurai but read literally, in Hindi, it also means “cold heart”--and both meanings are important. Watching the film, with all its killing and backstabbing, the “cold heart” angle is obvious. And I spent a good couple of days thinking about who the real “cold hearted” one was in Jigarthanda. Was it the gangster? “Assault” Sethu, who kills without a second thought? Was it the filmmaker within the film? Karthik Subramani, who would exploit his own mother for a chance at success? Or was it us in the audience, watching and judging?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Paging Dr. Freud…

Thanks for the great response to my VIP review, everybody! I was really, really happy to get a tweet from Dhanush himself. My face flushed bright red while reading it.


I mean… DHANUSH! He's so talented and smart and what have I done that's so great? *pardon me while I swoon some more*


Friday, October 24, 2014

Velai Illa Pattadhaari: V.I.P.

Won't you look up at the skyline

At the mortar, block, and glass

And check out the reflections in my eyes

See they always used to be there

Even when this was all was grass

And I sang and danced about a high-rise

And you were laughing at my helmet hat

Laughing at my torch

Go ahead you can laugh all you want

But I got my philosophy.


--Ben Folds Five, “Philosophy”

To put it mildly, Vela Yilla Pattahari (aka VIP) was not the film I was expecting. Judging from the trailer and snippets of reviews I’d seen floating around touting what a box office hit it had been, I assumed VIP was a straightforward masala film. Actually, it’s not. ACTUALLY, it’s the angriest angry young man film I’ve seen in a long, long time. And the angry young man has some seriously legitimate grievances with society. VIP isn’t just a commercial entertainer--though it is entertaining--it’s an uppercut delivered squarely to the jaw of the pampered Wake Up Sids, a flying kick to the chest of the incompetent star son. And who better to deliver the killing blow than Dhanush.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Trailers and six packs… what a week!

Because we've been discussing it, please enjoy this very appropriate use of shirtlessness/sixpack from Dhanush in VIP:

I watched this last night thanks to a tip from a commenter about the streaming site Tentkotta.com and it was excellent. What's great about this fight scene and the shirtlessness is that it serves a purpose. Dhanush is no dehydrated show pony. As he fights, what we see is this buttoned up engineer stripping away first his jacket, then tie, then shirt as he reveals the inner core of strength. Dhanush's bare chest a visual representation of the inner strength of the character. And Dhanush's "six pack" is clearly functional, not airbrushed on at last minute.

It's a great movie and a great scene. I should have a review up for this one in the next day or two. Unless I get carried away and get myself a Tentkotta.com subscription and overdoes on Tamil films. (SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!)

Speaking of excited…


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Randomness… and GOVINDA!

You have no idea how much it pleases me that Govinda is so much more effective as an item than a million interchangeable model-actresses.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trailer Tuesday! Are you ready to rumble…?!

Some good discussion yesterday of six packs. The consensus: put your shirts back on.

But now it's Trailer Happy Tuesday!! GOOD MORNING!!!!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Memory Lane Monday...

I feel like there was no Indian ensemble of Berklee when I attended the college but… who knows! My performance skills were never my strong suit. Music production major right here! Look kids, you could go to Berklee, study music, and then take up writing a film blog!

Great stuff, though.

The weekend in New York was fun, as always. But tiring. Well, at least it is when you sing five hours of Japanese karaoke. Alcohol does not impair my kanji-reading skills. That is something I discovered this weekend. The novelty of a tall, white woman singing old Japanese rock songs provides a lot of amusement. That is something else I discovered. Hey, I like The Alfee. So sue me. ♪星空の下のディスタンス。。。♪

I don't think I missed anything major. I still have zero interest in actually seeing Happy New Year (Happy ENDING on the other hand…) but I am rather morbidly interested in the discussion swirling around it. Shahrukh isn't going to go quietly.


I wonder what it says about our era that it's now the two "serious actor" Khans Aamir and Shahrukh flashing six packs everywhere while Salman didn't even take his shirt off in Kick, if I remember correctly…

I wish all of these guys would keep their clothes on, to be honest. The occasional six pack flash is alluring but seeing so much of it all the time turns everything into a Mens Health magazine cover or something. Enough. It's boring. Speaking of boring, I can't believe somebody wrote this with a straight face. Arjun Kapoor is such a boring actor. BORING! I'm so BORED of this obsession with "ordinary" and "authentic" and "realistic"? I'd rather see outrageous, amazing, and mind-blowing. I have enough average ordinary realism in my every day reality, thank you very much.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Click "like" if this got you high!

Happy almost weekend!! I'll be up in New York city for one last belated birthday blow out. Hey, you only turn 35 once. (Unless you're a certain one of my aunties but never mind!)

Here, please enjoy this tiny clip of this adorable half-Pakistani/half-Japanese kid with a beautiful voice named Masuda Ryo. (He's on the far right.)

I'm surprised nobody from the entertainment feeding frenzy press has dug him up for a listicle or something yet. A half-Pakistani kid on TV in Japan? That's pretty noteworthy, no?

And "Manali Trance" song and picturization are pretty darn good! Although, I have to kind of shake my head in amusement at the anything but subtextual drug references. I must be getting old. LOL!


"High on life" you mean?! LOL!!! Very edgy, Zee Music Intern who put this together. Very edgy.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Writer's block is the worst!

Sorry, friends. It's not that I forgot to post this morning but more like… I've been having trouble getting words out this week. I don't know. I suppose we all go through times like that, right? (Write?!)

Anyways, since I've had these open in a tab since this morning, I'll share now!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Excuse me, girl… I need to brood in your general direction.

I was catching up on youtube and Arjun here caught my eye. This song and video are like somebody went through a checklist of what it takes to make a Jason Derulo-type "lite" R&B song. I wanted to look away but then just as I was ready to click back another cliche would bound into frame! Crazy town. The best part is I tried to find something about him on Hungama but couldn't find anything


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Holler, holler...

Ironically as the winter approaches I feel like the recent dark days are behind me. Hopefully this means I devote more time to things I actually enjoy thinking about--like films!

Last night I started watching this anime on Hulu called No.6 because somebody had recommend it to me as being good (and short!). It is good! It's a dystopia story about a city that seems too perfect and, of course, dark secrets are within. It made me wonder what is happening with Shekhar Kapur's Paani and then I started thinking about other dystopias. In way, I think all of those masala films that start in a village or neighborhood that is… wrong or "off" somehow, all those films have elements of dystopia. Between the world of 1984 and a film with a neighborhood run by a corrupt police chief fueled by drug money or something… well, at the bottom of it all, isn't the difference only a matter of the sci-fi elements? The conspiracy elements, the inability to trust anything authority says to you, how there is something rotten below the surface… these are the same. Yes/No?

That was just something I was thinking about last night.

Have a new Jiiva song! Man, I love this guy. I don't know why I find him so appealing but I do! I'm not usually a fan of the "average guy but better" type of hero but Jiiva is just so… likable. Harris Jayaraj, too! Fun stuff for a Tuesday morning!

And off topic but, damn, this song is catchy:

"Holler, holler…"

Friday, October 10, 2014

Go, go, go Govinda!

Raj & DK's Happy Ending trailer is here and… WOW! I am pumped! This looks fantastic!!

First of all, that role appears to have been written to play to Saif's strongest points as an actor--namely his ability to spit out rapid fire dialogues in a smarmy yet likable way. I also like that his character's age isn't overlooked. That's the thing with Saifu. I mean, I really do like him but I don't want to see him playing 20 at 40. I want to see him playing 40 at 40.

Second of all, GOVINDA! DUDES! Is 2014 the Year of Govinda or what??? Between this and Kill Dil, he's staging an epic comeback as a character actor. It's like when Rishi showed up in Hum Tum and we all forgave him for his bobbly sweater years.

Govinda really is such a talented performer. I'm so happy to see him back on the big screen in GOOD ROLES!

Ah… and the Ranvir Shorey. THE RANVIR SHOREY!

Fall of 2014 in movies looking better and better, friends.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Happy Budday… a few days late, Yash Raj, but thanks!!

Wheeee!!! I can't wait for Kill Dil!!! Ranveer is definitely my favorite hero from the newer bunch. And Ali Zafar is lovely and so is Parineeti!

Anyhoo, folks, I'll try to remember to respond to your comments this evening. Please forgive my lack of time this morning.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Uff!

Sorry… I thought I was done with Bang Bang but I saw they'd uploaded this song and, well… HOW CUTE IS KATRINA! See, everybody (or at least "everybody") always complains about the lack of heroine-focused material but here's a delightful heroine-has-a-crush-on-the-hero number!

And I wanted all of Katrina's clothes. Especially that yellow number. She was so sensibly dressed through most of the movie to the point where there's one scene where she puts on a tank top to cover her swim suit as Hrithik is stripping off his shirt with the camera lingering.

I still don't understand how all the critics could dismiss her as "arm candy" when she was clearly the protagonist.

ANYWAYS. "UFF!" *dances* I've been enjoying this whole soundtrack all week!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Alcoholicccccc…

Good morning, all! What will this week have in store for us?? Who can say?!

I think the next big release I'm looking forward to after Bang Bang is Shankar's I and then for Bollywood we have my big two--Kill Dil and PK. Happy New Year looks utterly mediocre, I'm sad to say. I know I've said this before but I cannot see the point of casting actually bad dancers as "bad" dancers in a dance movie. Where is the fun in that?

Anyways, hopefully I'll get to at least see Kill Dil and PK in the theater now that I found out that one of the local English multiplexes I can get to by public transportation just started playing Hindi films!! They probably won't get the non-blockblusters, like Raj & DK's upcoming Happy Ending, which I'm also really looking forward to, but, hey, I'll be content to see Govinda on the big screen.

Also this fall are Action Jackson and The Shaukeens, the promos for the latter I've missed while heaving my head buried in troubles on this end so let's take a look, shall we?! 


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Bang Bang Review: Rulake Gaya Sapna Mera...!

The dialogue that encapsulates Bang Bang happens towards the beginning of the film while Harleen Sahani (Katrina Kaif) is taking a shower. Harleen’s Dadi wanders into the bathroom and, with Harleen as a captive audience, starts talking to her about the dashing Indian thief who stole the kohinoor diamond right out of the Tower of London. “Ah,” she sighs. “A jewel thief. Dev Anand, Ashok Kumar. I’d love to meet a man like that…” Harleen just kind of rolls her eyes at her dadi’s nostalgia for the dashing romance of evergreen Dev Anand but, come on, ladies, deep inside, don’t we all feel the pull? The yearning for the dashing heroes of ages past? To be swept off our feet and into an adventure?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Bang Bang… initial thoughts on Katrina Kaif.

(And a short aside: the songs from Bang Bang work MUCH better in context of the film than in isolation on youtube.)

As always, I should have known better than to even glance at the titles of the Bang Bang reviews. I mean, a) who put this giant stick up the collective butt of film snobs in the first place and b) why do they insist on keeping it there? Here's the deal. I am having a ridiculously terrible week and went to see Bang Bang hoping to forget my troubles for a few hours. And guess what? I left the theater feeling refreshed and happy. What bigger measure of success can there be for a popcorn masala film like this one?

I do want to write a proper review because I feel like there is a lot of material to talk about but since Katrina is the one getting trashed (AGAIN), I just need to get a few things off my chest.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't drop it, Aamir!

Aamir takes his transistor off. *avert your eyes* LOL!

I have to admit… I've been enjoying Hrithik's silly Bang Bang challenges. And I'm even happier now that I found out there's a pretty good chance I'll get to see the film this weekend!! Wish me luck that everything works out!!

I've been listening to Kumail Nanjiani's The X-Files Files podcast and really enjoying it--especially this last episode with producer Steve Asbell. He just had some interesting things to say about making these big budget "popcorn" movies and how they can make a lot of money but they don't stick around, culturally, unless there is a distinct vision behind them. Of course a distinct vision doesn't mean something will succeed but the stuff that does hit MASS APPEAL is at the sweet spot between commercial and artistic. Like a Dabangg or a Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now that I'm typing it, it seems really trite but I was nodding along as they were discussing it. Oh, man. Well, we all know I'm firmly of the opinion that it's the human element that makes things stick around. Big special effects extravaganzas are great… once. Then everyone moves on. It's like the difference between Avatar and Titanic. Two equally dumb, equally vapid, equally massive hit movies but Titanic has stuck around because people connected with the human element and you NEVER hear anybody bring up Avatar anymore.

I'm hoping Bang Bang gives us a human connection--more Dhoom 2/Dhoom 3/Krrish 3 than Race or something, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Montage! A sports training MONTAGE!

Ungli trailer…

Man, I don't know. I love Kangana and all but this got a big yawn from me. Maybe it's just because I tried watching D-Day last weekend and got SO BORED with it. Heist movies are great and all but it feels like we've been swamped with them and none of them are actually SAYING much of anything.

Of course, as Asim always points out, this could just be the fault of the trailer so I may keep an eye on this one but… another heist movie in and of itself doesn't really get my interest.

There has to be some other hook, whether it be sizzling chemistry or meta-commentary or something. Style is fine and all but how many training montages and/or slow-motion walking can an audience take?

Speaking of how much crap an audience can take, D-Day started so promisingly but I just tuned out the moment the action switched to Irrfan Khan doing his wide-eyed "serious ACtor" schtick. Sometimes I feel like he just copy-pasted his Salaam Bombay performance into a career...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday, Monday… can't trust that day...

Why does Monday come around so quickly?!

I had a really nice weekend, celebrated my birthday a little early…

A DC United game on Saturday and then apple picking on Sunday!


And a present from my kitty--herself! LOL!


Some apples!


A birdsnest!

And, wow, DC United are doing great this season! Soccer is so much fun to watch. Bend it Like Beckham is still my favorite soccer movie. For all her other faults, Gurinder Chadha has made at least one epic film. Even if all the white people over here call it "Bollywood." *face palm*

Bollywood… well, there's always… no, never mind. I was going to post "Billo Rani" but I forgot how obscene Sana Khan's tongue was. EW!! All I remembered from the song was Bips eyes…

Friday, September 26, 2014

Kill, kill, kill my dil already, Ranveer!

HAPPY FRIDAY! Only one week until Bang Bang, right!?!?!! I really hope I can figure out a way to the theater next weekend because… MUST. SEE!

Yesterday I had a chance to catch up with the Finding Fanny episode of uPodcast and, dang, Asim really made a lot of the points I always make about those kinds of films. I kept wanting to butt in with a comment but then Asim would make it for me! LOL!

I hate seeing films like Finding Fanny or The Lunchbox getting touted as "alternative" cinema or as groundbreaking somehow when, really, those films are a lot like Miramax films, in that they are a) corporate and b) inherently conservative cinema, in that they are generally confirming the social values or ideas already held by the people watching.

I was thinking back on a few of the "alternative" films I've seen in the past couple of years and the ones that really stood out are Pawan Kumar's Lucia, Karthik Subburaj's Pizza, Rajat Kapoor's Ankhon Dekhi, and Prashant Bhargava's Patang. Not that Miramax-ish films can't be good but the fact that they aren't massy doesn't automatically mean they are "quality." Know what I'm sayin'?

And I can add that I'm so tired of that faux-rustic/dance floor mashup feel of "Shake your bhootiya." Sachin-Jigar really brought their C-game to this. Yeesh. It sounds like a leftover track from like mid-late 2000s Minissha Lamba film or something.

Anyhoo, I really enjoyed the discussion and it got me jazzed up for the coming fall season of films.

Because, you guys:

I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE IMMEDIATELY!!!! GO GO GO GOVINDA!!!!!! Seriously, I think Yash Raj reached into my brain and pulled this out. Because I don't care how Yash Raj-y it gets, each of these three on their own can hold the screen like a boss--put together… I think my brain my explode from awesomeness.

Not to overhype or anything. *cough*

ETA: OMG RANVEER'S HR TRIBUTE!!!!!! He dances to "Main Aisa Kyun Hoon" and when he doesn't get enough attention, rips his mask off, and it's EPIC!! EPIC!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Well, Ali Baba had those 40 thieves...

A big thanks for ksana for reminding me that Alibaba aur 40 chor existed. Ah, Hema Malini, living proof that talent is not hereditary.

I'm always so torn over Ali Baba, though. Not in that film, specifically, which I haven't seen, but in general. You see, I adore fairy tales but as much as I love the 'exotic' story of "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves" itself, it frustrates me to no end how the West just accepts it as an "Arabic"--or sometimes "Indian"--story and representative of all culture "over there," a vast region stretching from the eastern border of Israel all the way up to China, full of brown people, sand, hammer pants, turbans, despots, beheadings, etc.

Exotic is all well and good but not if we conflate it with reality. I see this all the time in the various Internet circles I travel in--and on both sides. America is an exotic place to many people. I'm always charmed to see a Japanese pop star really into the Rolling Stones or an Indian hero who digs American speed metal or something… but then I'm sad that America's global cultural export machine only sends the WORST IMAGES of us out into the world. People are surprised when they come here and the streets aren't paved with luxury brands and drugs, black people don't murder them, white women aren't prancing around in bikinis and flinging themselves at every man who passes by. That we have a lot of poverty, hunger, willful ignorance, brutal daily violence, religion, kindness, openness, acceptance, and people of all shades and all shapes and sizes.

Also, this American can make a mean apple pie.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I overturned a giant mug of coffee earlier and never made another pot so if what I'm saying makes no sense just ignore and enjoy Hema and Zeenat!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Happy Wednesday, Comrades!

In the middle of everything, a book I'd ordered from the library finally came in: Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that Lost the Cultural Cold War by Kristin Roth-Ey. I haven't really had a chance to dig in but--like my grandfather taught me--I have investigated in the index and saw a few Bollywood films listed! The author appears to dig into the Soviet love for Bollywood films so if I come across anything of interest, I'll be sure to report back to you.

I know I've mentioned it before but I have a real fondness for Soviet-era films. It's part of the same pull I have towards vintage Bollywood films. Part of it is the moral values unconcerned with the judeo-christian-capitalism I find so loathsome, part of it is how they operate completely outside the 'realist' standard for film that took over Hollywood, and part of it is… just plain fun.

From one of my favorites, Brilliantovaya Ruka. Ah, I miss the sound of Russian.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Random, random Tuesday.

Good morning! Another random post from me today. My brain is still remolding itself back into shape after the intense couple of work-weeks I had. Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I wanted to be in my point yesterday if dingax1983's comment was any indication. It's not that pop artists don't have fans anymore or buy merchandise but there is a more tangible relationship to the art itself when you have something physical to tie it to. I forget half the songs I bought on iTunes but I remember each and every DVD or CD I've purchased in the last year. The nice packaging and "extras" included in a DVD or CD can help give a piece of art more "weight" than just streaming it on youtube. You just remember it better. That's why I think the move to spotify everything is such a shitty idea. Music as background noise. Movies as background noise. For a nominal fee that goes to the company and not the artist. You get what you pay for.

Anyways. In other news, I was highly amused by a) Rajeev Masand's latest drivel about how AB Jr. has been going around pontificating and b) reviews of Sonam's latest drivel that are like, "Well she's annoying as fuck but OMG FAWAD KHAN IS SO HOTTTTTT!"

Also:

THE RETURN OF KANGANA!!!!! ♥

That's literally the only thing I care about for this film.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Random thought Monday.

I wish I could work up some outrage on Deepika's behalf but I'm burnt out, friends. Besides, she's doing a fine job speaking for herself. After getting hounded for years about link-ups and boyfriends it feels like the "cleavage show" was the straw that broke the camel's back. But I don't know what else she could do beside writing an open letter. She can't afford to ban the media if she wants a career…



Have the trailer for Karthi's Madras!

I'm really looking forward to this fall's slate of films and hopefully I'll have my transportation situation worked out so I can actually go see a few in the theater! This year has been full of change for me but one thing has stayed the same--I LOVE ENTERTAINMENT! ♥

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Can I Kill Dil? Now? Can I do it now? Are you really going to make me wait for Chi Chi?!

I've been thinking about Odadune's comment from the other day, how you need both directors AND actors to take physical comedy and other entertainments seriously or else they won't work. I think that's one of the reasons I found Entertainment so charming, despite its flaws and low production values. Sajid-Farhad are never looking down on the audience. And say what you will about Rohit Shetty, but I get the same vibe from his films.

There's a trick in mass filmmaking to balancing what the audience wants/expects to see with what the directors and writers and heroes/heroines want to do. When it works, you've got Sholay or Mr. India and when it doesn't… well, hello, passion-project flops like Joker, and hello, crass lowest common denominator schlock like Humshakals.

Which brings me to Kill Dil. The trailer looks sharp and nicely unironic and I love the casting but… it is a Shaad Ali film. I'll be very curious to see what--if any--lessons he learned from the failure of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, a film I remember as being overly smug in its meta-narrative tone and, worse, just plain boring.

If Kill Dil aims for a Bunty aur Babli level of meta-madness with a big dose of heart, plus a dash of the "modern" masala throwback style, I'll have nothing to complain about.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I.

There's only ONE story today:

OH YES! THIS LOOKS EPIC!!!!

I have no idea what the story is about and I don't want to know until I see it. (SO DON'T SPOIL ME!)

Suddenly I feel in the mood for a Shankar-thon. Or at least an Enthiran-Anniyan-a-thon.

Two words: Rampwalk. Remo. #Neverforget

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's all about Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment...

Good morning, friends! Another week is upon us and I have to apologize for not having anything written for you. Last week really kicked my butt and my brain was so tired I couldn't concentrate on any sort of plot-driven film this weekend. And, no, that's not a cue for "But you watch masala! What plot?!" One of the only things I did watch last weekend was the special bonus disc of A.B.C-Z talking that came with my 『From ABC to Z』album. These guys just take their jobs as entertainers so seriously! Working through injuries and tough situations with smiles on their faces. [And a big shout out to Tiff, who snagged me some swag from A.B.C-Z's 代々木コンサート today! Apparently Tsuka-chan did 23 handsprings in a row. In a dress. And wig. That is SRS BNS entertaining. 塚ちゃん、よくできました!]

It's kind of like Akshay Kumar just going all out to show the audience a good time. I find that dedication to so-called brainless entertainment, whether it's pop music or comedy or action films, far more compelling than actors or creators who only do introspective works or works we're supposed to take seriously. To work that hard to provide us with momentary pleasure… some small relief from the drudgery of our daily lives… it's really very moving. And it's why I will always respect the art of men like Akshay and, yes, my boys, A.B.C-Z.

A.B.C-Z, Summer Concert 2014 “Legend,” おめでとう! DVDを待っています!

Here's their newest song, "Finally Over," if you're curious:


FinallyOver by trunk405

I think it's going to be the final "dance battle" number for their super-hero drama Magical Boy Cherry's (魔法☆男子チェリーズ)--which is an epic drama in and of itself. It airs at like 2am and episodes are 20 minutes and shot on a micro budget but it's one of the best things I've seen all year. Maybe I'll try to write a thing on it when it's over. I was seriously impressed.

Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment.


Friday, September 12, 2014

I...Can't Wait.

Vikram.

Shankar.

Me.

At the theater.

It's a date.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday drive-by… vroom!

Good morning, friends!! I'm sorry I don't have much for you this week. It's been kind of hectic at work and I've been getting home late. Ah~ Bollywood doesn't pay the bills, unfortunately. At least not for those of us who aren't related to producers. Oh, yes! The one thing that caught my attention this morning was a ridiculous and hilarious "news" story in which… well… according to the Hungama News Network:

Just yesterday, we reported that Irrfan Khan decided to make an exit from Vashu Bhagnani's film Welcome To Karachi at the last moment, despite the fact that the film was launched with much fanfare recently. And now it seems that Jackky Bhagnani has come to rescue for his father's production.

HAAAAA!!!!! I don't even know what my favorite part of this is. Jackky "coming to rescue" his father's production like he's doing Vashu the favor. The fact that nobody questions Irrfan "serious ACTor" getting replaced by Jackky. There's so much gold here.

After you enjoy that, please enjoy Jackky Bhagnani acting like a clueless, spoiled rich kid while wearing a variety of lime green tank tops and then acting like a clueless, spoiled rich kid whilst wandering amidst the "normal folk" like some sort magnanimous douchebag. "Oh, what's this you're doing? Selling juice?! How nice for you."

Seriously. I hope he is replacing Irrfan in a film because it must infuriate Irrfan that he can be "replaced" by this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Growl… Tiger Wednesday! Or is it?!

Some INTENSE Hrthik action in this promo. Anupama looks like she's going to faint from closeness. Not that I blame her. I've only met Hrithik once--when he was in New York promoting Kites--but I have to say that this intensity is 100% real and 100% overwhelming in person. The man is… Hrithik Roshan.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday… sometimes I wonder why I bother.

Oops, sorry, friends. I'm running a bit late this morning. I wanted to catch up with last week's Music Station and then got distracted with other things. I didn't have much to say anyways, since I can't make it through more than 15 seconds of that Shahid making out with Shradda song picturization from Haider without dying of secondhand embarrassment. I miss the days of no kissing… or at least the days of "don't put kissing EVERYWHERE." There's one Emraan Hashmi and that's all we need, thanks.

Anyhoo!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Happy Monday!!!

Is there anything nicer than a kitty passed out on my lap and a piping hot cup of coffee?! Why, yes, there is! I'm talking about Varun Dhawan in Main Tera Hero, which I watched over the weekend!

*whistle whistle*

And now I totally understand everybody who thought Ileana was underwhelming in the film. She just looks really listless and her face is all pinched and wan… as if she spent the entire filming getting over a nasty bout of food poisoning or something. I mean, seriously, the only appropriate reaction to Varun comes from the heroine's best friend at just before the one minute mark:


I tried writing a review but got stuck on what--if anything--I wanted to say beyond *whistle whistle* I'll try to think about it some more today and see what pops in my head. I will also add that I was totally blown away by Arijit Singh's vocals! I don't think I've heard him before. I went to iTunes to see what else he'd done and it was a bunch of soundtracks from movies I've avoided so… yeah. I'm impressed! He's got a bit of that Atif Aslam tone but more "emotive" in an acty way somehow.

For any body interested, you can rent this one from youtube and it's totally worth paying for. Now if I can find Humpty Sharma, that's the Varun trilogy complete and I'll have to wait for Badlapur (?) which is a film I'd have zero interest in otherwise… well, maybe not. Wikipedia says Radhika Apte! But Yami is soooo mediocre. Ugh.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dance! Dance! Dance!

So, I was feeling under the weather yesterday and unable to concentrate on anything with a plot which can mean only one thing… CONCERT DVDs! Have I mentioned how much I love concert DVDs? Most of the fun of a concert with none of the inconveniences (i.e. back starting to hurt from standing; coked up assholes causing trouble; dude-bros hitting on you while you're trying to dance; etc.) And you get close-ups!

Rock concert DVDs are good but idol DVDs are the best because of the dancing and stagecraft on display. ESPECIALLY if they care enough to hire a killer backing band.

Justin Timberlake "Live from London" (2003) is an old favorite of mine for those reasons. He still had a taste for that *NSYNC razzle-dazzle back in 2003. (The *NSYNC concert DVDs are also excellent.)


Thursday, September 4, 2014

A very Thursday good morning to you!

So… Priyanka Chopra in and as Mary Kom, huh? I'll just drop Deepanjana Pal's review here for you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I'm back! What'd I miss?!

Good morning, friends! It's been quite the weekend with art, art, and more art! Very inspiring, I have to say. Sometimes it's just really nice to get out of your own head and into somebody else's for a little while. It was also interesting to have to contexualize myself and my interests for people who don't really know me… helpful, too, actually. Like looking at yourself from outside.

Anyways, I didn't have much time to Internet while I was gone and two super-needy cats to deal with this morning so I'll leave regular updates until tomorrow and just drop some pictures off for you today!





The reason for my visit was my family's art show, which will actually be up until this coming Saturday if you are in the area.

You can also check out Gene Baer Art, Jackie Baer Art, and Paintress Gretchen (who took some GREAT photos up of the party--as well as the cool one above--if you want to see more art!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday Post may be your last for the week...

First a small announcement. I'll be traveling from Thursday until next Wednesday so no daily updates! I will try to post my Aurangzeb write-up at some point and maybe some pictures since the reason for my travel is my family art show! If you're in the area, feel free to stop by and check out some art!

Secondly, this past weekend I met up with Asim from uPodcast in New York. When conversation turned to films, it sounded suspiciously just like an episode of uPodcast and got me thinking about things. Like how the only guys able to bring out the families anymore are the Three Khans (and to a lesser extent Ajay and Akshay and Hrithik) because with them you know what you'll be getting and what you'll be getting is a good time. Besides the fact that the Three Khans are wonderful, I think this also has to do with the fact that they're holdovers from the previous era. It's brand recognition that cuts across a lot of different ages and classes. EVERYbody knows Aamir, Salman, and Shahrukh. How many who aren't industry watchers or Internet gossip column readers know these new guys (and gals)?


Monday, August 25, 2014

Alia Bhatt: Genius of the Year

I wasn't sure about this based on the title but I ended up really enjoying it! I do like Alia and I think a lot of the flack she got for being "dumb" was unfair so it's nice to see her take those jokes and defang them. Oh, Alia! She's definitely my favorite from the new batch of heroines.

And it's rather sweet of Karan to let himself be the butt of the joke here… although his "hole" comment… I had to cover my ears!!

(And how sad for Arjun Kapoor that he can't even convincingly play "himself." He really is a mediocre actor.)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Songs! Let's pump up Friday with some picturizations!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!! Man, is it me or was this an epically long week? Thanks for all the great conversation, though! I've been pecking away at a piece on Aurangzeb and something about our discussion this week got me thinking in another direction about it. Hopefully I can finish it for ya at some point soon.

Once again, I won't get a chance to see any of the new films this weekend but I'll try to get up a review of something.

Now! There are some song picturizations we have to discuss!!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hi there, Haider.

First of all. I like but it feels ripped directly (and far less vibrantly) from Ravanaan. Or am I projecting things?

Secondly, Wow! What a great response yesterday, guys! I didn't know other people shared my experience with drifting from Bollywood to Korean (and other Asian) entertainment.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Well, Manipur doesn't want your movies anyway.

Today I want to link you to an absolutely ripping piece by Deepanjana Pal in Firstpost. She's one of the few online, filmi writers who has really hammered the production of Priyanka Chopra Starring in and as Mary Kom for their tone deafness on the role ethnicity places in the Mary Kom story.

Perhaps it's expecting too much of Bollywood, which is ultimately a commercial film industry and not obliged to promote national integration, but a film like Mary Kom could have gone a long way to indicate to both Northeast Indian as well as mainland Indian audiences that differences need to respected and accepted; embraced even.

Instead, Kom is being paraded around the country as part of the film's publicity campaign, possibly because the publicity team is well aware that whether or not the film releases in Manipur, Mary Kom needs the stamp of legitimacy from the real person. It's not just because the film is Kom's life. The decision to cast Chopra as Kom suggests the distorted view that Manipur needs to conform to a mainland vision of what makes an Indian, even after winning the country an Olympic medal.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Ride with that hip-hop faker… Vishal Dadlani!

This is an interesting conversation! Vishal talks a lot about Pentagram. If you haven't seen the Global Metal section on India yet, I'd recommend that, too! I'm not a huge metal fan but I can appreciate it.

I am a MASSIVE rock music fan. And obsessed with stories of bands and rock history. I still think Rock On is one of the best movies about being in a band that I've seen. There's something really specific about the bonds of being in a band that's hard to capture in fiction, somehow. Like the inverse of Inside Llewyn Davis. (Which was also excellent.)

The daily gossip hasn't revealed that much, although I have a feeling we're going to be bogged down with Happy New Year "tidbits" until it releases.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Random Weekend Roundup

This weekend I was in full relaxation mode and watched two very different but equally enjoyable movie adaptations of books I hadn't read. The first was Guardians of the Galaxy, which has been getting a lot of buzz around the ol' media-centric parts of the English language Internets. Although I have absolutely no interest in the regressive American style of comic books aimed at preteen boys and their preteen boy minded adult counterparts--i.e. Marvel/DC comics--I do enjoy the work of James Gunn, who directed the film, and since this was a property that hadn't been beaten into my skull ala Batman with a thousand reboots, I thought I may as well give it a try.

Friday, August 15, 2014

It's still entertainment!

This morning I was still thinking about Entertainment and how pleasant the romance subplot was. The "Tera Naam Doon" picturization just captures so much of Akshay and Tamannah's easy-breezy chemistry. And there's something so refreshing about it. I was trying to place my finger on exactly what--it's not just that they're comfortable with each other but the characters are just very comfortable and content in their relationship. Romantic love isn't the main focus of their lives, though they clearly love each other. There was just so little… drama around the romance. I really enjoyed it.

(I think my favorite part of the song is where he bites her ear. It feels so much more intimate and sexy than piles of "lip locks" or simulated sex scenes from "bolder" and "realistic" films. To me, at least. And you can watch it with your mum in the room.)

Entertainment was just so… laid back and charming! The more I think about it, the happier I get. If Sajid-Farhad do Housefull 3, it will be a REAL treat. The Dhoom 3 of the Housefull series, I bet you.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Entertainment: It's Entertainment.

Warning: I go a little more into the plot than I usually do but I certainly don't give away all the gags or ruin any major points. I'm trying something new with putting more plot in. So if you have any feedback, I'm happy to hear it. I'm not sure why this took me so long to write, except that I'm rusty.

Also, P.S. Happy New Year is REALLY not to my taste. It's about as far from the opposite of my taste as you can get--Sonu Sood, excepting--so I probably will try to avoid it and discussion of it. I'm just not a fan of SRK as he is today.


Entertainment, like Kick, was directed by first time directors with long histories of doing something else in Bollywood. Sajid Nadiawala (Kick) is a producer; Sajid-Farhad are the writers behind recent comedy blockbusters Golmaal 3 and Housefull 2. And much like Kick has the stamp of a cost-conscious producer all over it, Entertainment is very much a film by a couple of writers. Though Entertainment is in the mold of Golmaal 3 and Housefull 2--fourth-wall breaking filmi humor, zany plotting, ridiculous characters, groan-worthy puns, and just a dash of honest-to-goodness masala dil--Sajid-Farhad put their own artistic stamp on the material. They do not attempt any of the massive, complex comedy-action set-pieces that Rohit Shetty (Golmaal 3, etc.) delivers so well and their slapstick’n’boobs-per-minute ratio is much, much lower than Sajid Khan’s (Housefull 2, etc.).

Not the worst thing I've seen this week.

I promise, PROMISE, that reviews are forthcoming. I guess my brain is taking longer to kick into gear than I had hoped. Still, one doesn't require much brain power to appreciate this:

From "a sources" aka some marketing materials probably sent around to every two-bit media outlet:

A source says, "The brief for Ranveer's look was to create a fantastical, magical wanderer who would literally come in and toss things up. Being a Chinese food brand, some Oriental detailing needed to be worked into the outfit, but also the sense of adventure, madness, exuberance, fun - basically everything that Ranveer is. They created a Shaolin chef meets steampunk meets The Mad Hatter meets the Wild West look. The whole look was done in distressed leather with hints of dusty gold. The highpoint was the hat that they made for Ranveer. The basic hat came from an old hat-making company in London. This hard-leather top hat we embellished with eccentric accessories from Chor Bazaar - things like a pair of original World War II motorbike glasses, a compass, collapsible telescope, postcards of old kings and celebrated army officers, medals of victory, clock faces, pins and feathers.

He wore this outfit with a pair of winged gold boots, a nod to Hermes - the Greek God of messages and good news. This was topped off by a pair of round yellow-glass sunglasses and a rakish red scarf."

I'm sorry to disappoint anybody expecting me to be outraged because I actually kind of enjoyed the blend of unapologetic orientalism and crass marketing on display. I mean, is there a better man for it than Ranveer Singh with an oddly Javed Jaffrey circa 1985 hair-style?! And he's taking his duties to make "Ranveer Ching" charming and attractive so seriously, how can I be mad? I grew up listening to the Strawberry Shortcake soundtrack, what do you want from me? If companies want to give me songs and dancing in exchange for listening to sales pitch, I'm okay with that. Now how about a spin-off short marketing film where "Ranveer Ching" has to fight off some spaghetti monster or something, hmmm?

Oh, and speaking of outrage, I did appreciate this response to somebody seeking to ban PK because of the poster.

Dismissing the plea, the apex court told the petitioner, "If you don't like then don't watch the film but don't bring religious facets in it", adding that, "these are matters of art and entertainment and let them remain so."

Haaaa! I hope we start to see this attitude more often. Don't like; don't watch. It's my philosophy for my blog--don't like me; don't read.

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl