Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vietnamese Interlude: The Rebel

There is nothing I love more in a film than a scene-stealing so-charismatic-your-toes-curl actor. You know the kind of actor I’m talking about - a guy who draws your attention every time he comes on screen, who doesn’t have to utter a word to communicate with the audience, who can turn a small role into the most memorable part of film. Johnny Tri Nguyen is that kind of actor.

I first came across Johnny in 7aum Arivu, playing the telepathic Chinese villain out to destroy the upstanding hero played by Suriya. Now, I love a good villain anyways but Johnny had a bit of an extra sparkle to him - something about those drop dead good looks and phenomenal martial arts skills just spoke to me. I had to see more and to that end, I looked up his filmography and immediately purchased the one title easily available to me: The Rebel (2007, Vietnamese).

And do you know what? Despite the fact that The Rebel is not an Indian film, I’m going to review it here anyways because it is just that awesome.*

Wednesday Gossip!

Good morning!!!!

Last night I was finally able to watch Saheb Biwi aur Gangster on Netflix streaming. I highly recommend it if you've got Netflix - I'll try to post a review up sometime soon, since there was a lot of good stuff to talk about in that film. (Like how adorable is Deepal Shaw?!)

Anyways... news!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Gossip!

Are you in Seoul, South Korea? You can go and see some free Indian films at the CGV Apgujeong.

And are you prepared for another masterpiece from Taran Adarsh? He must have gotten the big bucks for his review of London Paris New York - 4.5 stars and so many fancy words...

Armed with an inventive and ingenious plot, LONDON PARIS NEW YORK owes its allegiance, to an extent, to the Hollywood movie [500] DAYS OF SUMMER than to the atypical Bollywood rom-com.

What does that even mean? This sentence makes no sense unless he means TYPICAL Bollywood rom-com. Did Taran accidentally select "antonym" instead of "synonym" in MS Word?

And then there is this... "[Ali Zafar] glows luminously all through the film."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Gossip!

Last night my sister and I watched that all-time classic Valley of the Dolls and do you know what? There were a couple of scenes that clearly had influenced Milan Luthria while making The Dirty Picture and that really amused me. I like the idea of him sitting around watching Neely O'Hara popping dolls and yelling at the world.

And... on to today's news round-up!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Aladin: Sujoy Ghosh's Magic Lamp

Aladin, Aladin kahan hai tera jinn...

- Kasim taunting Aladin in Sujoy Ghosh’s Aladin

The last few years have seen a flood of Hindi films from new filmmakers who take their cues from Hollywood genres rather than traditional Bollywood film styles, from romantic-comedies (Break Ke Baad) to melodrama literally taken from Hollywood scripts (We Are Family) to masala-free action films (Blue). And perhaps it’s understandable that a generation of filmmakers who had their formative years in the 1990s and early 2000s turned to Hollywood for inspiration. If the option was between stale fare like Subhash Ghai’s Trimurti or a VHS tape of The Usual Suspects, I guarantee most of us would choose Kevin Spacey, too. Unfortunately, these new filmmakers have had more misses than hits in trying to combine the Hollywood styles they love with the palate of the typical Hindi-film viewer. Not only do the long run-times feel tedious when combined with the tight-focus Hollywood genre film but the mandatory song sequences feel awkward and irrelevant placed in a “realistic” context. Yet both of those issues pale in comparison to the biggest hurdle filmmakers face when combining Hollywood with Bollywood - the role of The Hero.

Sunday Gossippppp!

Both Jodi Breakers and Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya have officially flopped. To quote Taran Adarsh: "I don't know what it is but no one really came into the theatres to see the films."

Let me speculate that a) people are tired of romances and b) neither of the films were mind-blowing.

As for me, I'm ready for some dishoom-dishoom. Whose brilliant idea was it to pack February with one soppy romance after another?! Sigh.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Gossip!

Well... it seems Jodi Breakers has gotten some terrible reviews. AND it also seems that the Ritesh-Genelia film has overtaken it at the box office.

Which one am I going to see tomorrow (if any)? I'm not sure yet. Maybe I'll give Johny Mera Naam on Home Talkies a go instead. Two poorly reviewed rom-coms or Ramya doing her best "Sheila Ki Jawaani"... decisions, decisions...

I know one thing I won't be watching is The Oscars. For all the talk that goes on in the Bollywood film press about how Bollywood awards should be more like The Oscars - Hollywood people are talking about how to make The Oscars more relevant. To include ideas like adding a "Best Comedy" category. Hmm... now, what was it the "just like Hollywood" Filmfare Awards got rid of... "Best Comedian"?

In all honesty, the films that The Oscars celebrate tend not to be films I'm interested in. I loved Midnight In Paris and I'd probably enjoy something like Moneyball or The Artist if I saw them but I don't feel any pressing need to go out of my way to see these films. And I think that's okay.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Gossip!

Okay, who is going to see Jodi Breakers this weekend!! I'm looking forward to it - it seems much more my type of film than Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. Possibly because I have zero sympathy for man-boys who throw temper tantrums at their daddies even when they are 30 years old.

And now onto gossip! Who said something stupid? Who is in trouble with the law? And whose story on who threw the first punch in a recent brawl is looking less and less truthful?!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday Gossip!

If anybody is in the UK, you might want to pick up the latest issue of Varoom, which features a article on the return of hand-painted Bollywood posters. Unfortunately, the article is not available online.

It's a beautiful spring day out here in Washington, DC so let the sunshine in while you read about what all the silly folk in Mumbai are up to!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Gossip - PUNCHGATE EDITION!

Forget Slapgate (no, really, forget it) because our good friend Browlift McGee is in hot water with the law for something a bit more serious... also, a tease of a teaser and a few more tidbits from around the Internet! Let's get reading!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Gosssssssip!!! Yes, I'm back!

Goo~ooood morning, good morning! I'm back from vacation refreshed and ready to start writing! I don't think I missed anything major while I was gone so let's just jump right into the soup.

Are you in Boston-Cambridge? Ritesh Sidhwani is going to be speaking at Harvard.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Programming....

Filmi Girl is back from visiting her grandparents!! Did you miss me?! Regular posts will restart again tomorrow!

I thought you guys would like to see The Birdcage, which my grandma decorated to act as a holiday centerpiece. (My dad took this REALLY early in the morning before we left to come home, which is why I look so sleepy.)

I feel so colorless in my traveling grey and denim next to it.

Here is my super-cool grandma in a picture I ganked from my auntie, whose art (and art blog) you can check out here.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Bonus!! Anti-Love Project

For those that may not know... I play the bass guitar. Earlier today, spurred on by lots of love-love talk, I was reminiscing about the old days (circa 2002-3) when I was in a punk band called THE ANTI-LOVE PROJECT.

Though the band is long defunct, I still keep in touch with the fabulous Jenn (songwriter and vocalist) and I thought I would upload the songs for your enjoyment!

Here is the People Fall Apart single in all it's glory!

1. "People Fall Apart" Link to audio

2. "We Can't Consent" Link to audio

3. "City Lover" Link to audio (One of my fave bass lines!)

4. "One Wish" Link to audio (IT MUST BE THE DRUGS!)

Happy Valentine's Day?

As most of you have probably figured out by now, I'm not the biggest fan of romance. I think it gets mistaken for "love" more often than not - especially in films, and extra especially in films that follow in the footsteps of candyfloss like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

And while I'm of the firm opinion that candyfloss should not be the staple of anybody's media diet, that's not to say that candyfloss can't be enjoyable from time to time...

(Also, for two great takes on love and Hindi films, check out So They Dance on filmi friendships and Get Filmy on why the new breed of rom-coms aren't very satisfying.)

Here are a few of my favorite candyfloss songs in honor of Valentine's Day!

Do share your favorites in the comments!!

Tuesday Gossip!

Just a reminder, folks, I'll be off tomorrow through MONDAY visiting my grandparents and daily gossip will be on hiatus during that time. I will probably pop in to post some reviews and other treats (because I love blogging!) so feel free to check back but daily news will be on hiatus.

And now... ON WITH THE SHOW!

Monday, February 13, 2012

London Paris New York... so much of pretty

Yes, yes... romantic comedies are not my thing but I have to admit that the styling for London Paris New York is really pretty. Certainly more appealing than the bland Ek Main aur Ekk Tu at any rate. At the very least, we should get some nice eye candy and a ZNMD-style vacation to some exotic cities.

Plus, come on, Ali Zafar >>>> Imran Khan. Ammirite, ladies (and gents?)


Monday Gossip!

Good morning, film fans!

Just a quick note - I will be going to visit my grandparents later this week and won't be regularly posting from WEDNESDAY the 15th through MONDAY the 20th. I may pop in to post a review or some pictures but gossip updates will be on hiatus for that time.

And now onto news!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hoo: Namitha Is In This!

Last year during the Diwali bonanza of film releases, I got into a bit of bicker with another non-Indian film blogger who insisted that 7aum Arivu was not “real” masala because in “real” masala, the romance track is always resolved. My understanding of masala filmmaking, on the other hand, is that the only hard-and-fast rule in masala filmmaking is that there are no rules in masala filmmaking. There are conventions that are generally followed, sure. Most masala films have a Hero and Heroine. Most masala films have a comedy track and a villain. And most masala films end with a climatic fight of some sort... but any and all of these rules can be broken. The beauty behind masala filmmaking is that, unlike a strict Robert McKee-style narrative structure, filmmakers can do whatever the hell they want.

This is all a roundabout way of getting to the 2010 Kannada language film Hoo, which I watched earlier this week. Hoo (which translates, I think, to “flowers”) is a funny little film. It can’t be called good by any definition but it was entertaining and surprisingly unpredictable... to a point that the fellow I mentioned above would be forced to categorize it as not masala. (And I dare him to tell that to Crazy Star.)

Sunday Gossip!

Sunday gossip!! The most important bit is... a longer version of Bebo's "mujra" has been released! Yay!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Gossip!

Today in gossip - I don't care about fabricated link-ups (you know who I'm talking about) and I don't care about the carbon copy reviews of Ek Main aur Ekk Tu!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Gossip Post!

Nothing I want to see at the theater this weekend... *sigh*

I guess I'll be diving into my pile of DVDs! What do you think? Classic Amitabh film? Something 1990s-tastic? Something from South?

Now for news....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Yaadein: Watch Out For The Croc

"My film is about the Indian home in 2001.” - Subhash Ghai before Yaadein released.

“Is this the Bollywood version of Flowers in the Attic?” - My sister, after reading the synopsis of Yaadein on the back of the DVD.

Although Kareena Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan are riding high in box office popularity right now, that wasn’t always the case. Back in 2001, the two newly debuted actors co-starred in a film that wasn’t just a typical underperformer, it was a disaster - the kind of film that remains a punch line more than ten years after it releases, the kind of film that kills careers. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about Subhash Ghai’s Yaadein... or as most people know it That Movie With the Crocodile.

Thursday Gossip!

First things first, if you haven't read Taran Adarsh's Ek Main aur Ekk Tu review prepare yourself...

Set in an urban landscape [Las Vegas, Mumbai], EK MAIN AUR EKK TU is essentially a two-seater vehicle that excuses itself from the banal and hackneyed prescription, but endorses the longstanding theme of opposites magnetize.

So... translating through Taran's thesaurus, we can say it's your typical romantic-comedy in which opposites magnetize attract.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday Gossip!

Today in gossip... STUFF! Ha ha ha!

Some catty stories, Lilette Dubey being adorable, and Ajith dancing around... for no reason than I needed some juice to get me going this morning.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Gossip!

Apparently it's feast or famine in the world of gossip - after some sparse days we've got a buttload of stories to go through. So buckle up and start reading!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Gossip

You'll forgive me if I ignore most of the tripe that made up the filmi news today - recycled rumors from ages ago and inane updates on couples both real and manufactured by the press.

Does anybody really care about Ritiesh and Genelia's honeymoon plans? I certainly don't and I'm even a fan of them both!

Anyways, the best of the rest under the cut.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Filmi Girl Talks to... Omi Vaidya! (Jodi Breakers Edition!)

For my previous interview with Omi, please click here.

As January turns to February, in stores and businesses all over America, bouquets of roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, and piles of pink greeting cards begin sprouting up like mushrooms after a heavy rain. Yes, it’s that time of year - Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate the trappings of romantic love. Though Valentine’s Day is not native to India, it seems the industry this year has decided to get into the ishq-mohabbat mood by releasing four romantic-comedies* of various stripes in February. This coming weekend will see Dharma’s antiseptic Ek Main aur Ekk Tu, the weekend after has the sweeping romance of Ek Deewana Tha, and on the last weekend in February comes the peppy Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya and one final film that’s not quite like the others - Jodi Breakers.

Just like you might guess from the title, Jodi Breakers is a romantic-comedy about two people who break up couples for a living, only to find themselves falling in love... with each other! The film stars the gorgeous Bipasha Basu and the extremely likable Madhavan as heroine and hero, respectively, with a supporting cast that includes Helen (!), Dipannita Sharma (Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl), and the always enjoyable Omi Vaidya.

Omi was kind enough to take some time from his visit home to California to speak with me about the film.

Sunday Gossip!

Not much happening in gossip today - I guess all the film writers are too busy picking apart Aishwarya Rai's diaper changing habits.... still, I pulled up some nice song trailers for you!

Also, I was really excited to get an e-mail from Kannadastore announcing that Super was coming soon... only to find out that it was on VCD. NOOOO! When am I getting my English subtitled DVD?! WHEN?!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday Gossip!

Today in gossip - Imran Khan is the only one out promoting Ek Main aur Ekk Tu, since Kareena Kapoor (obviously) has better things to do; starlets drop in and out of projects; Ameesha Patel would like us to know she exists; and good old Arnie didn't quite realize what he was getting into on this trip to India.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Gossip!

Are you in Singapore? Mika Singh is playing at University Cultural Centre Hall, NUS. 4 Feb, 7:30pm.

If you are in Trinidad, Ash King will be performing on March 10th

DC, Maryland, Virginia peoples - Salim-Sulaiman on March 2nd! I already got my ticket!! Should be a fun concert!

No new releases at my theater this week... maybe I'll watch another classic for you instead!! I should also have up an interview with Omi Vaidya talking about Jodi Breakers and my flops feature on that epic piece of cinema Yaadein aka Subhash Ghai's Watch Out For The Crocodile.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thursday Gossip!

The final word on Slapgate goes, as it should, to Salman Khan.

He said, "I am filming in Cuba. I am not using my phone here. I haven't called anyone and no one has called me. If you are printing this also say hello to my mom and dad." And the line went dead.


And onto the news!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday Gossip!

Are you in Abu Dhabi? Now you can listen to Radio Mirchi!

Also... our global nightmare has ended. Slapgate is over. Although Shahrukh Khan still refuses to admit that there was a slapgate. Maybe it's like Fight Club? The first rule of Slapgate is don't talk about Slapgate?

Here is what Shirish had to say: "It was a mutual thing and was not about saying sorry to each other."

Which is code for "the animosity this stirred up against me was not worth complaining about it in public and now I want it all to go away."

But, dayuuuuum, does this reveal an unpleasant side of Shahrukh... (is that what Vidya is referring to here I wonder?)

Also! Shahrukh and Ranbir in drag as "Silk" and "Chikni Chameli" is a more appropriate way to make fun of The Dirty Picture than Priyanka in a fat suit. Still not politically correct but at least it's not insulting to all women who weigh more than 5 pounds.

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