Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Gossip!

A big congratulations to Gagan Narang for his bronze medal in shooting!

And thank you to everybody for indulging my ramblings about my favorite bar. ♥ I do highly recommend you check out the episode of Bar Rescue if you enjoy reality TV at all.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Real Life Interlude: Piratz Tavern in Silver Spring, MD

I don’t usually talk about myself and my offline life here but I had to throw out a plug for my favorite place on Earth – Piratz Tavern in Silver Spring.

[This is what it's like at Piratz Tavern.]

It was during one of the worst times of my life that my brother suggested we check out a new bar that opened in downtown. That bar was called Piratz Tavern and now – four or so years later – approximately half the pictures of me on Facebook were taken there.

Monday Gossip Post!

While everybody else fawns over Sania, meet Badminton's Saina Nehwal! Good luck, Saina!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Woman Positive Woman on Women's Issues in Film

[Will Kareena escape Heroine unscathed?]

One of the comments I got on my post on the launch of the Heroine trailer wondered how I could think Madhur Bhandarkar was a misogynist when he had a history of making women-centered films. It’s a fair question. A lot of fuss is made in certain corners about how there are no heroine-centered films, so shouldn’t a heroine-centered film automatically count as woman-positive? In the case of Madhur Bhandarkar, the answer is an unequivocal no.

Sunday Gossip!

Good morning!! How is your Olympic fever? I bet Londoners are tired of it already...

A couple Olympic stories for you today: a brief history of Pakistan's 10 medals and a full report on who that lady in blue and red was who walked in with India in the opening ceremonies.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Gossip!

Your feel-good Olympic story today is Geeta Phogat, India's first female wrestler to qualify for the Olympics!!

The 23-year-old Olympian notes that people's attitudes began to change two years ago after she won a gold medal in the 55 kilogram (121 pound) women's free-style wrestling division at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. "Now my grandmother, who used to want sons, says that she does not really want boys anymore. She says I'm the lion of the family."

Good luck, Geeta! We'll be cheering for you!

And onto news!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Gossip!

Who has Olympic fever?! India! The WSJ looks at India at the Olympics.

Not all of India’s contributions to the Games are cheerful, however. “Bhopal – A Silent Picture” is an ongoing exhibition at the offices of Amnesty International that aims to draw attention to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

Well, then. Way to be a buzz kill, Amnesty International... with your concerns about "human rights" and "the dignity of human life." You're ruining the party! Real life cannot intrude on phallic mascots, Amitabh Bachchan, and puff pieces about how much Michael Phelps needs to eat everyday!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Heroine Trailer!

Okay, here is the deal:

1) I loathe Madhur Bhandarkar. I think he's a lazy filmmaker. I think he is a huge misogynist and that his "feminist" posturing is vomit inducing. Let us not forget that this guy has rape charges pending AND that he is responsible for giving us Neil Nitin Mukesh masturbating forever on film.

2) As much as I hate the Bandar Car, I adore Bebo and will happily watch her smoke cigarettes and delivery filmi dialogues for 2 and a half hours.

This is what I'm hoping happened with Heroine - that Bhandarkar had some quality control on the script and the final cut imposed on him by Siddharth Roy Kapur and by Team Bebo. After two massive bombs with Jail and Misogynist Fun Times With Ajay Devgn Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji they would be insane to let him have the final say on anything.

Best case scenario is that we end up with another Dirty Picture - not a great film but an entertaining one that proves a heroine can generate big box office.

Worse case scenario is that Bhandarkar delivers the third dud in his trilogy.

I'm hopeful that Bebo can pull it off. Make no mistake - the story is trite and the direction will be pedestrian. If this film is a hit, it will be thanks to Siddharth Roy Kapur and Bebo.

WEDNESDAY gossip post!

For those reading this soon after I post - UTV is doing a live stream of the Heroine trailer launch. Could be boring - could be fun...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday Gossip!

Is anybody else getting excited for the Olympics?! I generally don't follow sports but I love the fuss and hype (and the gymnastics!)

But let's move onto news!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Banjaara Song Promo!!

Thanks to Moimeme for pointing me here. Yash Raj really needs to stop releasing things while I'm sleeping...

Also, Yash Raj needs to start putting these videos up on iTunes so we can carry Katrina and Salman around in our pockets!!!

Monday Gossip! GOOD MORNING!

Good morning! I hope everybody is ready to start another week... I know I am because we are one week closer to Ek Tha Tiger!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Gossip!

Slow news day today... I think everybody is still recovering from the last few days of Rajesh Khanna coverage.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday news plus bonus rant on the Batman Shootings!

I'm sure everybody has heard about the horrible event that took place in Aurora, Colorado where a gunman shot up a crowd of people at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. It's a really sad story but I've been frustrated with the response.

Nobody is talking about what really matters. The shooter was clearly mentally ill and, due to America's notoriously poor safety net for the mentally ill, he was allowed to sink further and further into psychosis until he snapped. And because of our nation's lax gun laws, he had no problem arming his psychosis with some powerful weapons.

THAT is the story of Aurora, Colorado. It's the same story of the Gabby Giffords shooting and the same story of the Virginia Tech shooting. We all expressed outrage and shock after those, too, but did nothing but posture.

What troubles me even more about this current murder is the very real potential for corporate interests to use this as an opportunity to install "Security Theater" at cineplexes and malls across the country. Already, we've seen that New York City put police at screenings of Batman - a fact that really infuriated me. While real, unglamourous crime goes on in poor parts of the city and real, complicated crime happens on Wall Street, New York's tax payer dollars are... providing security theater so Warner Brothers doesn't lose money?

It's outrageous and disgusting.

You guys know me and you know that I take my pop culture a little too seriously but there comes a time when the real and unreal need to decouple and this incident is one of them. This incident had NOTHING to do with Batman and everything to do with America's rotting core.


Bollywood news below the cut!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday! TGIF!

I think this weekend... Bol Bachchan, maybe? I'm really looking forward to re-watching the next title in the 100 Crore Club. That's right... DABANGG! Everybody do the belt dance!

And now news!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

100 Crore Club Member Badge No. 2: 3 Idiots

Draw a crazy picture,

Write a nutty poem,

Sing a mumble-gumble song,

Whistle through your comb.

Do a loony-goony dance

‘Cross the kitchen floor,

Put something silly in the world

That ain’t been there before.

-Shel Silverstein, “Put Something In,” A Light in the Attic, 1981

3 Idiots (2009)

[For the introduction to the 100 Crore Club click here and part one is located here.]

I had successfully managed to avoid 3 Idiots until this past Friday. It was all for your sake, dear readers, that I swallowed my extremely negative reaction to Aamir Khan’s 40-going-on-18 act and ponied up $3.99 to watch the film on Amazon Video. To my complete surprise, I ended up enjoying the film quite a bit. 3 Idiots is based on a novel I only got five pages into before throwing it down in disgust; it has a terrible soundtrack; the film is sentimental, crass, preachy, full of actors too old for their roles, and overly long. Yet, despite all of this, I ended up coming away completely charmed by the titular idiots and their message. I finally understood why 3 Idiots was the second member of the 100 Crore Club.



Also, can we talk about Sonakshi doing that Ajay Devgn-style motorcycle wheelie AND THEN WINKING?

The film is credited as being written and directed by Ashwani Dhir who seems to be part of Brand Devgn. He worked on Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? and U Me aur Hum and (possibly) Halla Bol. I have a feeling Son of Sardaar is going to tilt more towards cheeky meta-masala than straight masala because of that but did I mention SONAKSHI ON A MOTORCYCLE? Oh, I did. Did I mention JUHI FUCKING CHAWLA? And Sanjay Dutt doing his Filmi Girl approved villain thing?


Sorry, Kat. If it comes down to Son of Sardaar and the Untitled Yash Uncle Directed Time Machine To The 1990s Film... I'm going sending up an S.O.S. (for Son. Of. Sardaar.)

Thursday Gossip!

Good morning, everybody! Lucky for me - all the films I needed to see but didn't are still playing at the theater this weekend! So, my choices are Billa 2, Bol Bachchan, and Cocktail! I think it will be either B2 or BB for me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday Gossip - the best of the rest.

Somehow, it just didn't feel right to combine snark with all those heartfelt tributes...

So here is everything else that is happening today:

RIP Rajesh Khanna News Post (1 of 2 today)

What a sad, sad day... Rajesh Khanna has passed away. He had become a punch line in recent years - the drunk, dirty old man - but we can never forget his golden heyday. The tributes are just pouring in from all corners.

Rajesh Khanna was every mother's son, every sister's brother and every girl's handsome boyfriend. He may have been cliched in his romantic roles, but he lit up the screen. "Pushpa, I hate tears," he said in Amar Prem and the audience swooned.

The gossip writers analysed his every move and wrote about his heroines, but he was not someone you could taint or criticise - he was so lovable.

He really was a beloved superstar and the pictures of a young, smiling Rajesh gazing out from almost every news outlet this morning just show how quickly those fond memories will erase the punchline.

It didn't seem right to combine this with the other stories today so more coverage of Rajesh under the cut... and then the other stories in the next post.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday Gossip!

Good morning!!! Let's get to our news!

Monday, July 16, 2012

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

Good morning, friends! Another week, another pile of news stories... somehow the media keeps on churning. Hopefully there will be a few things to catch your interest...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Gossip Post!

I had to go and leave a comment on Andrew O'Hehir's Trishna review. It had just been bugging the crap out of me that he was swanning around saying that the film was a "rebuke" to Bollywood when clearly he has never seen a Bollywood film. EVERY theme in Trishna has been done and done better by Bollywood directors.

Besides, what kind of film that is going to say ANYthing about Bollywood and has a touristy view of Rajasthan doesn't get Ila Arun to perform?! It's like neither Michael Winterbottom nor Andrew O'Hehir has seen Lamhe... oh, wait. I'll bet you a billion dollars they haven't.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday Gossip!

Good morning! So... I watched 3 Idiots last night in preparation for the next piece on the 100 (200?) Crore Club. And, surprisingly enough, I actually liked it! This should be a fun one to write up.

Okay! Time for news!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Gossip - plus bonus review roundup

Friday, friday, friday! This has been one long week, my friends.

Not that much in news today so let's start with review overviews!

Trishna: Rated "A" for "Avoid, yaar."

I should start this review by saying that I’ve never been particularly impressed by Freida Pinto’s acting but considering that the film was adapted from Tess of the d’Ubervilles (I love 19th century British literature) and directed by Michael Winterbottom (I have fond memories of Tristam Shandy and 24 Party People) it didn’t seem impossible that I might like Trishna. Unfortunately, it was pretty clear about ten minutes into the film that Winterbottom was going to be showing us India as if it was National Geographic Channel travel documentary but, just to show you how open-minded I was being, until all the non-consensual sex, I was ready to sign off on Trishna as a film that I might find tedious but Western people who love “exotic India” would probably enjoy. Maybe it’s my own fault for not having read the book but as Freida Pinto blankly stares past the camera as she’s about to get raped for what feels like the billionth time, my stomach churned, and I couldn’t help but think, “Why didn’t anybody warn me about this?”

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday News... and RIP to Dara Singh

The sad news for today... Dara Singh has passed away. I'll always remember him fondly as Bebo's grandfather in Jab We Met. My thoughts and prayers to his family.

Salman Khan paid tribute to him before the launch of the first song of Ek Tha Tiger.

"He (Dara Singh) was the most amazing person to work with. I know his children really well. As a person, he was the most incredible. It is a huge loss to us and god bless his soul," Salman said.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Joker! Maatran! Two new trailers!!

Sometimes I get home from work (where youtube is blocked) and I have an AMAZING SURPRISE WAITING FOR ME!

Okay... I AM READY FOR JOKER RIGHT NOW! And, bonus, it features two actors I love from afar (Sonakshi and Akshay) and two who generously let me interview them (Alexx O'Nell and Pitobash)!

Between Ek Tha Tiger, Joker, Talaash... and DHOOM FUCKING 3 DIRECTED BY VICKY "TASHAN" ACHARYA we could say there are some movies I want to see coming up. *cough*

And... Surya plays conjoined twins in Maatran, directed by KV Anand who also did Ko, which I fucking loved. And it's Surya. Playing conjoined twins.

There are days I want to give Bollywood a tight slap and days when the Indian film industries give me so much joy. Today is the latter.

In conclusion, God bless you, Shirish Kunder. (No, seriously. I saw Tees Maar Khan in the theater twice... ON THE DAY IT CAME OUT. For real. I really did that.)

Wednesday Gossip Post!

Surprisingly not all that much happening today if you are uninterested in the media-created dramz of the Laila Khan murder, rehashing the "black money" sting, or the seemingly endless Cocktail promotions but I tried my best!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday Gossip!

Happy Birthday (yesterday) to Sanjeev Kumar. You are very much missed, Sanjeev-sir.

Monday, July 9, 2012

100 Crore Club Member Badge No. 1: Ghajini

This making of notes, however, is by no means the making of mere memorandum - a custom which has its disadvantages, beyond doubt "Ce que je mets sur papier," says Bernadine de St. Pierre, "je remets de ma memoire et par consequence je l'oublie;" - and, in fact, if you wish to forget anything upon the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered. - Edgar Allen Poe, Marginalia, 1844

Ghajini (2008)

[You can read my original review from 2008 and a second look in 2010.

And the introduction to the 100 Crore Club is located here.]

When I was in college, one of my friends lived in an apartment where they had a television that - because of lack of money for cable service and an unfortunate mishap with a VCR - could only play the Michael J. Fox time travel film Back to the Future. If they wanted to watch television while eating lunch, the option was… Back to the Future. If they wanted something on in the background during a drinking party… Back to the Future. Hit play to pick it up where another roommate left off and rewind to the beginning when it’s finished. “After you watch it enough times,” my friend explained, “you get really into the characters. Like, who is Doc Brown, really?”

Monday News Post!

Dara Singh is not doing well. His son gives an update on his condition. Stay strong, Dara-sir. Your fans are praying for you and your family.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Eega: Man Vs. Fly

Only having time for one film this weekend, I chose Eega over Bol Bachchan because Bol Bachchan seems like the kind of film that you don’t really need to see in the cinema. I assumed that Eega, being a film by SS “Magadheera” Rajamouli, would probably have much more to offer me spread large across a giant screen. I think I made the right choice, though I do still hope to catch Bol Bachchan at some point in the future.

That said, I have two caveats to this review - the first is that I saw this without subtitles, not that I had any trouble following the action but if there were any clever dialogues I wouldn’t have caught them. Thankfully, I’ve seen enough Tamil films by now to be able to pick out keywords in context. The second caveat is that, yes, I saw the Tamil dubbed version titled Naan Ee. The reason I mention it is the print I saw seems to have cut out comedy track almost completely. It left a big hole in the film, not only because I think Santhanam is hilarious but because the lack of a comedy subplot meant that there was no break from the game of cat and mouse, er... fly and mouse that takes up most of the film.

Sunday Gossip post!

Sad news first - Dara Singh is in critical condition in hospital. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday News Post!

So~ I was supposed to go see Bol Bachchan last night but instead I fell asleep! Oops! I must have been tired.

Family fun outing today but I should be able to get to the theater on Sunday. I'm really looking forward to this one. Rohit Shetty never disappoints (me).

Friday, July 6, 2012

Because you should still be watching Coke Studio...

I'm catching up on past episodes and this is a gem! "Taaray" by Bilal Khan. Enjoy!

Friday Gossip Post!

Happy Friday!!! Not much happening in news that isn't the insensitive media orgy over a dead starlet so...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday News Post

While I enjoyed my day off, it's hard to back to work today... yesterday felt like the weekend but really it was Wednesday. Sigh. Now today is my second "Monday" of the week.

At least we're getting TWO films I want to see this weekend! Bol Bachchan and what I think is the Tamil dub of Eega! I'm not sure on subtitles but I guess I will find out...

And onto NEWS!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mugamoodi... Jiiva back yo!

Hat tip to OG for pointing this out to me! Jiiva playing a superhero.

Since it's being produced by UTV, there is a good chance we'll get it here in the USA! As much as I'm bored to tears by American superhero films, I really enjoyed Kanthaswamy and the Krrish films, so I'm totally willing to give Mr. Mask a chance.

Happy Fourth of July News Post!

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY to any Americans out there! It's your birthday... it's your birthday... we gonna party like it's your birthday!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Eega Promo!

Here's a funny little Eega promo! I don't understand a word of Telugu but, regardless, I am going to see this movie subtitles or no!


Good morning, friends! Everybody still buzzing about Barfi? I have to say, I'm underwhelmed. It's not just PC's overdone act but "Barfi" himself looks like a manic pixie dream boy and the whole things just seems way too... self-consciously Amelie-style twee.

I'm much more excited about the absolutely ROCKING Billa 2 trailer. Both are posted at the end...

Monday, July 2, 2012

The 100 Crore Club: An Introduction

100 Crore Club: Introduction

Subtitle: Why the Three Khans (and Their Cohort) are Still the Only Hero Game in Town

“I keep telling some of the younger kids, I wouldn't name them, that they should also attempt the kind of cinema we're doing. This cinema, which comprises out-and-out entertainers, has mostly got 1 or 1.5 stars from critics. But, it's the audience that likes these movies. You have to show your art and talent to them.” - Ajay Devgn in the Times of India, 6/29/12.

In the old days, before multiplexes and satellite television and pirated VCDs, success was measured in weeks, not crores. Twenty-five weeks for a Silver Jubilee; fifty weeks for a Gold Jubilee; 100 weeks for a Diamond Jubilee. Film fans returned week after week to watch their favorite heroes dishoom bad guys and romance their favorite heroines. Those days have long gone. As the competition for India’s entertainment rupees grows tighter, the amount of time and attention and money that the public has to spend on repeat viewings of film has decreased significantly - which means that we needed a new benchmark for popular success. Enter the new number of popular success for a film in Bollywood: 100 crore, earned at the Indian box office, after the entertainment tax.*

Monday Gossip!

Good morning, friends! We have had a crazy weekend here after the storm that knocked out power on Friday. Traffic lights are still down, some roads are all flooded out, and Internet access has been wonky. Even if there had been a new release this weekend, I wouldn't have been able to see it anyways!

Hopefully things will be back to normal soon enough...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Gossip post!

Good morning!!! I've got an odd collection of things today...
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