Friday, August 30, 2013


So... yeah. The only films this weekend are Chennai Express (yeah, no way) and deadly bore-fest Satyagraha.

I guess I'll find something else to do. I hear Gippi is on iTunes now, which may be worth looking into!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday Post...

So... sorry about the rant yesterday. Somebody (aka me) didn't get much sleep the night before. Hopefully I'm a little less cranky today. Lack of sleep plus ridiculous fuss over what is by all accounts that I care about a really dumb film did not equal a happy Filmi Girl.

No word yet on new films this weekend at the theater but I probably won't go see the new Prakash Jha but if there is a new (or newish) Tamil film, I'll try to get out.

NOW! Let's put aside stupid rumors of Katbir marriage--like Rishi would ever okay this and hit the news!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday Post: Let's pay our check and get out of this Madras Cafe already...

It might be too early for me to be typing but let's talk Madras Cafe. There has been backlash to the film itself and backlash to the backlash with talk about "free speech" and how important it is to have political films. But I think both of these kinds of responses miss some important points, especially in regards to a film like Madras Cafe.

I'm going to preface this by saying that I haven't seen the film and I have no desire to because it looks like a big snoozefest--an impression confirmed by a friend who shares my taste in these things.

But here are few things circling around my sleep-crusted brain.

1. If you want to talk "free speech," the film was not banned by anybody. Blame the corporate theater chains for wanting to avoid controversy, if that's your angle. But then we know theater chains are motivated by profits--would they have bothered to not screen the film if it looked like people would really like it? Probably not. So, should theater chains be forced to screen films that will not earn them much and cause a huge controversy? You tell me what the answer is--a single government mandated "free speech" screen in every theater? Madras Cafe aside, there are plenty of controversial, unpopular films that I would have loved to have seen screened at a comfy multiplex.

My personal position on free speech is this: People should obviously be allowed to say WHATEVER they want to but it doesn't follow that we all have to listen. Free speech means the person making the pro-Nazi film also gets a seat at the table. Never forget that.

2. If you want to talk "political films," the question becomes thornier. What politics are you talking about? And is it fair that one side of an argument gets a huge bully pulpit to speak from without equal time to the other side? When it comes to things like depicting REAL historical events, filmmakers always simplify to compress complex narratives into a 2-3 hour story. The result can be entertaining but is generally ALWAYS terrible history. Again, I can't speak to Madras Cafe but I can and have ranted about films like Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty's bullshit history and politics before.

Look, I live and work in Washington, D.C. and I have seen A LOT of politics up close and personal and let me tell you that 99.9% of filmmakers have no clue how government really works. Their films are embarrassing to watch and become even more embarrassing when people take it as fact that this is how things happened.

Conspiracy theories, over-simplification of complex events, justification of atrocities, lionization of historical figures... really? We need all of this in our movie theaters? How about teaching more history in the classrooms instead?

I'm certainly not advocating only for so-called "brainless" films nor do I think that filmmakers can't have a point of view or talk about real world events but... BUT beware of historians and journalists and interest groups coming to pick apart your film if you want to claim the guise of "realism" or "historical". They get free speech, too, you know.

Of course, it's all moot if you make a snoozefest of a film and nobody goes to see it anyways.

The best political films, in my opinion, are ones like 3 Idiots. Films that talk to people about things that matter to them; films that people want to see. Because if the best argument for something like Madras Cafe is that it's "realistic" and "political," then I can't feel too passionate about some corporate chains deciding not to screen it. Who is this so-called history aimed at, anyways? Who is this conversation with? What was the point? To drag some dirty bit of business back into the public consciousness? Why? Because to my eye, it seems more like Blood Diamond--a film to make some comfortable middle-class types feel virtuous until the film ends, forgetting everything they'd just seen.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Post: BOSS. Everything else can wait.




Okay, I think I'm ready to face the rest of the Bollywood news.

I'd better watch the trailer one more time to make sure.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Karan Johar can really come through sometimes.

“I felt so silly even reacting, writing ‘I am disgusted’, ‘I am appalled’ because I feel it’s so helpless. These are just words, they are empty."

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday Post: It's realistic.

Good morning! Although, not good for everybody it seems... Action director Tinnu Verma has been arrested for attacking his stepbrother with a sword.

And team Madras Cafe seem baffled that their film is getting protested and has been pulled from theaters. While I fully support the free speech of filmmakers, the Madras Cafe team were either naive or just plain myopic not to have expected SOME sort of pushback in Tamil Nadu when they were making a film that depicted controversial events. If Vijay and Kamal Hasaan face trouble, who is John Abraham to get none? I'm not saying it's right but they should have expected it.

Anyways, cluelessness on display in this BBC article.

Mr Sircar agrees that the rebel leader in the film bears an uncanny resemblance to Tamil Tiger rebel group leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran, while the actor playing the former prime minister looks like Rajiv Gandhi. But he says that "such resemblances are coincidental".

Meanwhile Nargis is off in Dippy Model Land: "Playing a war correspondent was not easy, it needed a lot of research. It's a very realistic role."

"Realistic" is my new buzzword to identify films I have no interest in. If ANYBODY is describing a film as "realistic," I know I'll hate it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Post.

No time for a real post today--stayed up too late last night going out to see The Mortal Instruments! I had a fantastic time watching it. I'm not sure if anybody reading this is interested but I do have a few thoughts on the genre and on that film in particular. The critical lashing is not deserved and is another case of lazy critics not bothering to figure out the intent of a film before they see it.

On the Hindi side, Madras Cafe is getting lauded all over the place but I have a feeling this review from Trisha Gupta would probably echo my sentiments if I was going to bother to see the film. Or maybe I just approve of anybody who says this:

For that increasingly influential tribe of people who only like Hindi cinema when it’s either parodying itself or snottily looking down at the mainstream, this means Madras Cafe must be feted for the courage of its unusual political subject, non-heroic antics and attempted realism.


Let's all just watch Prabhudeva at the IIFAs last year and try to have a happy Friday! (Even if some of us are REALLY sleepy...)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Post: Q! Tasher Desh! Both much more interesting than that Madras Cafe mess.

Tamil films are number 1!!!

Yup, there were more Tamil films produced than in any other industry in India in 2012.

The figures by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) reveal that with 262 films, Tamil film industry has nudged out Bollywood from the number one position. Telugu film industry stood second with 256 films while Bollywood was relegated to the third slot with 221 films. Though Telugu had to be content with the second position, its record of 268 films in 2005 is still to be broken.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday Post: Hoping for that Blaaze-Hard Kaur collab to unite North and South...

Me and my brother at a party a few months ago! BIG LOVE TO ALL THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS OUT THERE!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Is there anything more fun than watching a film with a big crowd? I'll answer for you: NO. No, there isn't.

I have a weakness for these excited audience videos so I hope you don't mind if I share a few gems from the Thalaivaa celebrations!

^^ THIS is how you watch a movie.

Tuesday Post!! Happy Thalaivaa Day to you all!


Tomorrow is Raksha Bandhan (yes?) and Indian Express has a photo gallery of famous Bollywood siblings! I'll have to find a nice picture of my brother and sister and I to post tomorrow.

India Today reflects on the lack of brother-sister bond in films today.

"Comparatively, one sees less of the sister in contemporary cinema as the brother-sister bond is considered a box office liability at a time when commercialism has overruled social responsibility from current scripts," Ausaja told IANS.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Because the world (and Internet) could ALWAYS use more Hrithik-Deva...

Asim from uPodcast mentioned this particular "extra" from Lakhsya on Twitter this morning and I knew immediately that I would have to track it down.

The making of "Main Aisa Kyun Hoon" from Lakhsya featuring Prabhudeva and Hrithik Roshan! And while I found Lakhsya a fairly dull film overall, I kept this song close to my heart and still consider it one of my all time favorite picturizations. Big kudos to Farhan Akhtar to getting Prabhudeva to choreograph this for no other reason than: let's see what happens when you create Team Hrithik-Deva.

I know I just said this recently but it seems like a waste to spend millions of dollars on computer generated special effects when we could be spending our time watching Prabhudeva (or Hrithik) dancing.

Start about 10:15 into this video to see Prabhudeva dancing Hrithik's part. It's pretty fantastic.

Part 2 under the cut.

Monday Post! *Yawn* Been there, done that...

Good morning all! Apologies for the unintended break over the weekend. Somebody who is me had a three day weekend and got a little too carried away with relaxing.

I went to the county fair and saw some pigs and rabbits and goats and ate a lot of food on sticks.

And I got sunburnt for the first time this summer!

Unfortunately I did not manage to drag myself out to see Once Upon A Time--even with the lure of Akshay being a badass, I couldn't bring myself to pay $12 for a Milan Luthria film that also starred Imran Khan, you know? It is rather frustrating that the hype is being played up like SRK VS AKKI, as if audiences were voting for their favorite person in whole world, rather deciding on whether or not to shell out cash for a film--one of which is directed by the guy who makes movies almost everybody likes and the other by the guy who makes movies critics usually claim to like.

So, yeah, I voted with my pocket book and didn't go see anything. I stayed home with my kitties and enjoyed my weekend off.

I may be a film fan but I'm also a rational consumer. But I think it's part because I have to PAY for films, I think I have a different take on them than the paid critics.

Anyways... let's see what the news dredged up for us today!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Post: Don't mess with Hot Papa Khanna

Oh no they didn't! I know Bollywood Life didn't just imply that Govinda and Vinod Khanna need Suraj Pancholi's hero launch to boost their careers. I know what they meant to say was: Vinod Khanna and Govinda Graciously Accept Large Paychecks In Exchange For Appearing In Star Son Launch or Vinod Khanna and Govinda Do Suniel Shetty A Solid By Appearing In Film Launching His Daughter.

Related: Vinod Khanna is on twitter.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013



Let's just say that it looks like Anthony D'Souza has learned a few things since the disaster of Blue. (e.g. Cast guys like Danny Denzongpa and Mithun Chakraborthy in your film and not Zayed Khan.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday post... all hail Ameesha Patel!

If you're in Surrey, don't miss your chance to meet Prithviraj!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Ode to Joy: My A.B.C-Z Manifesto

I hope people enjoy reading these little interludes on Japanese pop--or interlude, rather--because I enjoy writing them!

The music scene in Japan is the most robust in the world. Music consumers still purchase physical CDs; musical acts still have ample opportunity to perform live (or “live”) on television; and with karaoke as one of the top leisure activities, pop music remains vital cultural currency. And as pop music is taken seriously in Japan, so is the idea of mass entertainment.* The divisive, desperate, futile pursuit of adolescent coolness and the cynicism which accompanies it are not the driving forces in mainstream Japanese pop culture. There is still room for beauty, for pleasure, for joy--three things missing from American mainstream culture or what’s left of mainstream culture.

Monday Post: Let the the Shahid countdown begin! Shahid-down? Is Phata Poster Nikla Hero out yet? What about now?

The only Chennai Express related link today--The Vigil Idiot's take on it. I cannot wait until this film is OUT of theaters and I never have to hear about it again. It's not that I'm offended by "mindless entertainers" but the hype over this film is ridiculous. And Shahrukh reveling in all the fuss and attention really turns my stomach. To quote a commenter from Beth's review:

The question I ask is : If this had been a lesser star than SRK (say Sunil Shetty or Tushar Kapoor), would the reviews have been quite as charitable?

I think we all know the answer to that. Although, now that you mention it, I would be curious to see a Tusshy version of Chennai Express that is based on bits from all his past hits. Actually! If Tusshy was a more self-aware star, this would make for a great short film to go up on youtube or something.

Here's a nice rundown of the troubles that Thalaivaa is facing. I understand things a lot better today than I did yesterday, though the ins and outs of Tamil Nadu politics are still confusing to me.

The film itself is a lot of fun--a solid, well-crafted entertainer with some stellar performances. I'm not the biggest Vijay fan ever but he's cast well here and plays the "straight man" to most of what's happening around him. Except when he dances, then he's the star! Santhanam is on point, though. His lines got so many laughs from the audience I was with. I'm almost tempted to go again just to see the film with my new understanding of the politics... and now that the confusion over Vijay/Vijay has been cleared up.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thalaivaa or Mumbai Express

Illai interval!! -- tiny boy in my screening of Thalaivaa, disappointed that he wouldn’t immediately find out what happened next in the film.

Instead of heading South on the Chennai Express, I was lucky enough to travel up to Mumbai with Thalaivaa! I say “lucky” because the film has been facing some heat in Tamil Nadu--including mysterious bomb threats against theaters--and the Government has held back the release in the film’s major market until August 15th 23rd. The reasons behind this delay are murky and I’ve been unable to find anything in English that explains it clearly, though it may have something to do with a suit filed against the film’s makers by a man claiming Vijay’s character is based on his father. However, I suspect the delay has more to do with the fact that Vijay’s character wields a bloody sword against corrupt politicos and businessmen out to screw the common people.

Still, it’s not my place to comment on Tamil Nadu’s politics but I sincerely hope that all the masala lovers out there get a chance to see Thalaivaa because it is a fantastic film!

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday...

Thank you, everybody, for your kind words! I was feeling very frustrated yesterday and I'm honestly really touched by the support. I do just write for fun, so the fact that people enjoy reading is wonderful. And please do continue to disagree with me and correct my mistakes--just do it politely is all I ask. There are plenty of other forums for name calling and bickering about SRK's box office versus Salman's and while I enjoy reading those discussions for lulz, I could do without having to moderate comments here. Especially since I can't access my blog during the day while I'm at work doing the things I actually get paid to do.

Now!! Let's switch tracks (pun!) and I'll try my best to ignore the 8 billion stories about how excited SRK is that his movie is became a blockbuster success by beating Ek Tha Tiger in some contest that nobody except soooooooper fans care about and get to the SRK story that really matters:


Yes, it's true. Click through and you can see the pictures of them looking less than thrilled at the starry Eid party that has taken over their home.

India TV News gives us the deets:

Both the kids were in no mood to celebrate. Aryan looked extremely dejected and glum while Suhana, who is otherwise up-to-date with her appearance, choose to repeat her eid dress. Obviously, Shah Rukh's princess was hardly interested in the party! She even didn’t bother to wear new clothes.

Wait, I have to grab one pic:

Look at this kid! He's so cute and 100% pure surly teenager. King Khan has his work cut out for him if he wants his son to think he's cool. Those crossed arms say, "Yeah, okay, you did a song with Yo Yo Honey Singh but not a cool one."

Here are my guesses for why the kids weren't excited to have a family holiday turned into a marketing opportunity for papa's latest film.

a) They are tired of hearing about how AbRam is Shahrukh's best production ever. I mean, what about his other kids? They don't disappear because there's a new baby. (Empathized Filmi Girl, herself an oldest child.)

b) They want to be playing video games and hanging out with their friends instead of posing for dumb photographers at some dumb party with their dad's dumb friends. ("Jeez, dad! Why do we have to spend Eid with movie stars!! Why can't I hang out with Anju from my class at school instead?! Her family is coming over and nobody is watching their weight there. Aunties will pet us and feed us sweets and nobody will take my picture or bitch that I'm wearing last year's outfit.")

c) Suhana read this article about her dad saying she should find a boyfriend like him and was grossed out.

d) They saw Chennai Express. *BOOM* Okay, that was a low blow but considering the amount of hype I've had to wade through over what even people who liked it are calling a "one time watch," I'll treat myself to one last dig.

Unless something massive happens--Rahul escapes from the film, terrorizes the populace with self-referential puns, and finally gets into a fist fight with Saif over smacking Bebo's butt--let's call it a day with Chennai Express.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Confessions of a Film Blogger Who is a Lady.

Dear Friends,

I've received some very hateful comments recently and because I would prefer not to receive hateful comments, please allow me to take a minute and explain a little about who I am and what I do.

If you haven't noticed already, there is absolutely no advertising on this blog--that means not only no ads but absolutely no paid content is posted. And, on top of that, I have never received payment of any sort for anything I've written for this blog or any other outlet. Ever.

Here is what I think everybody needs to understand: I have had offers of money and I've always turned them down. I'm not writing this blog to make money now and I'm certainly not writing to get popular and make money later. "Filmi Girl" is purely a labor of love; I have a regular job which treats me very well and I have no desire to leave it. I don't want to be an actress or a model or be on TV or spend my time writing 250 word synopses of press releases from D-list actresses. All I want to do with this blog is write about films and pop culture.

Odd as it may seem, I do enjoy getting up early and combing through the news; I enjoy catching new films and discussing them with folks. When I write my news posts, I'm not selecting stories based on any other criteria than what I find interesting or funny and what would make for a good discussion. When I write about a certain actor or actress or film that I dislike, it's not because I'm going out of my way to hate on them but that their press coverage is so overwhelming that I'll see the same quote or story cycled in dozens of press outlets.

Let me give you an example. If I read one article gushing about Priyanka Chopra at the Planes premiere with D-listers Ashlee Simpson and Dane Cook, it's easy to laugh at the PR in action and scroll past. But when I see 20 articles in a row, all either based on the gushing press release or talking about the "buzz" that's been manufactured by the very outlets cycling the gushing press release, the laughter turns to annoyance and I may post something sarcastic about it.

Frankly, I find it kind of insulting to be told to post more "positive" stuff. I've actually enjoyed quite a few films this year from Chashme Baddoor to Ranjhaana to Go Goa Gone and when given a good opportunity, I'm more than happy to go on and on about my love of Akshay Kumar.

What I'm going to say next could come out wrong so please understand that I say this with the greatest kindness and sincerity: I really do write only to put my opinions out there for discussion. I'm certainly not afraid of intellectual critique and over the years I've had plenty of interesting discussions with people who disagree with me on one point or another. (Hi, Moimeme!) I like a film that ends with a nice moral about how money is evil; other people like films that end in a celebration of romantic love. One is not objectively better than the other and if I say I dislike the latter, it's not a declaration of war against anybody who enjoys that kind of thing.

So, please don't waste your time hating me and my opinions, please just close the browser window and move on. They aren't going to affect box office returns and they aren't going to kill somebody's career. My opinions are just my opinions; some people enjoy discussing things with me and some people don't. That's okay. I don't expect everybody to like me or agree with me; there are plenty of people in real life who find me to be overly opinionated about things.

I happen to enjoy writing about sociology and meta-narrative subtext, semiotics, and the media. I love slapstick and loathe consumerist romantic-comedies. I will see any Akshay Kumar film in the theaters and liked Tees Maar Khan enough to go see it twice in one day. I dislike irony and humor that relies on camp readings of vintage Bollywood. I love hero introduction songs, good punch lines, socially aware morals, Mumaith Khan items, Amitabh Bachchan's 1970s films, and Santhanam's comedy. There are a lot of wonderful bloggers out there who write very positively about upcoming films and other wonderful bloggers who post pictures of actresses in pretty dresses and still more wonderful bloggers who love poking fun at Bollywood camp.

I was going to suggest The Daily Honey but she seems to have quit? But there is the very-PRO Shahrukh Khan Get Filmy and Miss Malini and High Heel Confidential as well as outlets like Bolly Spice. You may also like One Knight Stands for a humorous take on things.

Lastly--if you'll indulge me for just a few more lines--I would like to share something I've learned over the last few years of following the daily entertainment press: Box office numbers mean nothing. There is a wonderful book called Proofiness that explains how advertising agencies and public relations firms and politicians can manipulate numbers to say anything that they want. Ask yourself what it really says when the press outlets start following the horse race of collections. Will Film A beat the collections total of Film B? Will either film beat 3 Idiots?! Those collections totals are affected by a lot of different things--number of screens, ticket prices, which outlet is reporting, etc.--and a clever journalist can make even a Tusshar Kapoor flop sound like a Soooooooper Hit. (You know like, "Tusshy's new film beat Don's first day collection totals in multiplexes in Singapore! What your back, King Khan!")

Even the industry can't agree on what film earned what. Depending on who you ask, Singham is either a 100 Crore Club film or not. If they can't even decide on that years later, how are we supposed to trust the numbers trickling out from Taran Adarsh mere hours after a film opens?

Just some food for thought.

Friday, August 9, 2013


You know what day it is... Chennai Express chugs out of the station! I've been collecting reviews and counting train puns over at my Facebook page so if you're curious go ahead and click on over. The general consensus appears to be "it's okay" with a sliding scale for how tolerable you find SRK's hamming. Deepika has been almost universally praised though her accent left some reviewers cold. The Tamil aspect that seemed to offend people most was the fact that large sections of the movie are in Tamil and Hindi-speaking viewers couldn't understand what was being said. This shouldn't be a problem for viewers watching in places where everything is likely to be subtitled but it does seem an odd choice for Hindi-language audiences in India that probably aren't used to sitting through films in languages they don't understand.

My two favorite reviews so far are Raja Sen's and this one, which inspired an insightful comment from blog reader Stuart, which I'll repost here:

That review actually made me a little sad. As much I was never a fan, he WAS a a charismatic entertainer at his best, and films like Baazigar & CDI showed that he could even act. To see him reduced to an almost Michael Jackson like obsession with freezing time and milking past glories is pathetic, in the original sense of the word.

Deepanjana Pal gives her own reading of the film as something made for Shahrukh fans. It's an interesting piece and I like her take on Shahrukh even giving critics what they want--something to complain about.

He’s no Chulbul or Singham, which is precisely what Khan wants you to note. He’s Shah Rukh and, as Jaaved Jaffrey observed years ago about Maggi Hot n Sweet Tomato Chilli Sauce, he’s different.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chennai Express chugs into CONSPIRACY THEORY STATION! (That's just me then, huh?)

Forget Ch-Ch-Ch-Chennai Express and turn to Chennai itself. If the filmi media wasn't just copy-pasting press releases about how great Shahrukh is, they may be more on Thalaivaa facing some political troubles! And potentially not getting released because of rowdies threatening violence? (AND ARE THESE ROWDIES BEING PAID BY RED CHILIES!? How's that for a conspiracy theory!)

This article has bomb threats from a students group, which says:

The letter alleged that Vaendhar Movies, one of the producers of the film, had cheated students of Tamil Nadu and other states of money and was pumping it into the movie business. It warned against screening the film Thalaivaa as it too had been made with such money.


When contacted, the Mylapore police confirmed that cinema houses in the city had received threats and the matter was under investigation. But pointing out that there was no such group as the Oppressed Students Revolutionary Union , some police officers felt the letters could be a hoax.

Sure, a hoax or a devious marketing scheme by UTV-Disney. Don't mess with MICKEY MOUSE, brothers and sisters. Big Mick will stop at nothing to ensure maximum profits--whether it's extending copyright law in the USA to last as many hundreds of years as Zombie Walt Disney himself will live or exploiting child stars and then pretending you had no hand in their sudden fame when they turn to drugs and acting out.

It seems the film is releasing? But with police protection? We'll see, I guess.

I plan on going myself this weekend but probably won't be able to make it until Sunday, as I'll be off camping in the wilderness on Friday-Saturday. (And by "camping in the wilderness," I mean drinking beer at this.)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Wednesday Post is pulling into Metaphor Station!

Alright! Are we on board the metaphor express?! Let's see what the Shahrukh press team has splooged all over the Internet for us today!

Hungama has 7 reasons Chennai Express is going to break box office records.

Though we should have started off with this massive point, we decided to consider it further down the list, knowing that it's a given when evaluating any film. Chennai Express boasts of not one but three major names that include Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and of course director Rohit Shetty. With the three combined fan bases, the film is certain to see an unprecedented turn out of followers flocking screens.

Because fans are mindless and will turn out for anything, right?! Which is why Joker was such a big hit and Veer and Paheli.

Bollywood Life's numerologist predicts that critical reaction will be mixed but it should still take a good collection, so that's settled then.

The Mumbai Mirror runs down the Vishal-Shekhar vs Honey Singh-Shahrukh controversy:

When contacted, Honey sounded unfazed and opened up about the episode and also the film producer's request to keep mum about the same. "I am a man who believes in my work. I am popular and I was asked by SRK to compose a song for Chennai Express. I met him in his bungalow Mannat and I was told that his son Aryan is a big fan of mine," said the rapper. "The next thing I heard was that Vishal Shekhar were furious over my inclusion. Why should one artiste speak against another? I was told to not speak about this episode," said Honey.

So, basically, the inclusion of Honey Singh is another attempt at SRK trying to look cool for his kids. Because everybody knows there is NOTHING cooler as a teenager than having your dad pander to your every desire.

And things are still undecided at the multiplexes on how to handle upcoming Once Upon a Horribly Spelled 2.

My good friends at Firstpost, who always enjoy stirring the pot (of curd), have a refreshing post up by Sandip Roy titled SRK says no to Hollywood stereotypes: But ‘Madrasis’ are A-OK.

It’s pointless to get too worked up about stereotypes. They are stock-in-trade for movies, whether it’s Bollywood or Hollywood. Sometimes they are even funny. But it’s a little rich for our superstars to get holier-than-thou about Hollywood and stereotypes and for Shah Rukh Khan to wring his hands about the kind of roles Hollywood can offer a 47-year-old brown man without looking in the rear view mirror at his own career.

Okay, last is an uncomfortable ego-kissing fest between Shahrukh and an audience of fans which mostly reads like this:

Audience: Sir, you're so great that I can't stand it.

SRK: I'm very humble but go on.

Host: Oh, he's just being modest about his humility. Actually, Shahrukh-sir, isn't it true that you're SO HUMBLE that you don't even show up for awards ceremonies unless you get paid? Otherwise, how would you know you earned it?

In Pakistan, the hotly anticipated Main Hoon Shahid Afridi has been pushed back for fears of clashing with the Bollywood Behemoth.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Should I make a train pun or just ask a rhetorical question? OH SHIT THE QUESTION TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION!

This happens EVERY time there is a new Shahrukh Khan release so let me spell it out again:

I saw Om Shanti Om twice in the theaters.

At the time I really enjoyed it, although, at the time, I had yet to see a lot of the old, great classics.

I skipped Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi for reasons I can’t recall; it’s not impossible that I just didn’t have a ride to the theater. I did see Billu Barber and remember it being quite a pleasant little film but from that point forward I have deliberately skipped every single Shahrukh Khan film to come out.

Was it the unending Ra.One promotions? The holy posing in My Name Is Khan? The massive ego, unflatteringly revealed, in interview after interview? The desperate grasping at Hollywood?

Tuesday Post: Make it so.

Where was I on Sunday? WHY AT A STAR TREK CONVENTION WITH MY MUM! (Who is also a librarian btw.)

We met Hollywood's BRENT SPINER!

And got right up in there, too. The both of us. LOL!

I love meeting these Star Trek actors; there is such a great aura of old fashioned SHOW BUSINESS around them. Getting up on stage to do a Q&A with an audience of Star Trek fans is like a improv game and watching these men and women work a crowd using an act honed over 20+ years of Trek conventions is really something else! I highly recommend going to one of these conventions if you're at all a fan.

BUT speaking of old fashioned SHOW BUSINESS vs. "art," a topic quite close to my heart, supporter of mass entertainment that I am, I was listening to an NPR show on jazz and its future. I like jazz okay--mostly the older stuff and weirder stuff, Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra, Anita O'Day, etc--but this show really infuriated me because of the way they were talking about jazz like some sort of sacred object. It's not. It's an art form like any other and it's one that has become increasingly specialized and rarified, much like opera. Opera and jazz were both pop culture at one point but now they are the kind of music that people who say, "Oh, I like live music" in the way that they say, "Oh, I like foreign films." Because if one aspires to a certain intellectual cachet, one simply must like both "live music" (whatever that means) and "foreign films." And probably all those depressing, poorly serialized, Somebody Ring Steven Colbert's A White Guy Is Being Oppressed Bell television shows like Mad Men, too.

Yeah, whatever.

I'll just be over here with entertainment I actually like and is entertaining.

(AND PS while I'm on a roll, fuck JJ Abrams and his "I don't actually like Star Trek" Star Trek movie. Roddenberry would be rolling in his grave if he saw that sexist, racist, social content-free shit pile with the Star Trek logo on it.)

Monday, August 5, 2013



AH!!!! OMG! OMG! OMG! KRRISH 3 TRAILER LOOKS AMAZING! Everything else is irrelevant. HRITHIK ROSHAN IS BACK, BABY! And Kangana in that body suit? Yes, please.

Of course, now I'm hoping that the subplot of the film will feature Hrithik rescuing Kangs from her life of crime and the two of them teaming up to defeat EVIL VIVEK OBEROI but I'll just have to trust that Rakesh Roshan knows what's good for me. (AND WE ALL KNOW I TRUST RAKESH TO DELIVER THE GOODS.)

I just have to watch this again real quick.

(OMG THE MELODRAMA! THE ACTION! THE LACK OF PIGGY! Rakesh-sir, please never stop making movies.)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday Post: Inside baseball? We'll have to wait for Million Dollar Arm!

Good morning! Without a big release this weekend, it seems the ex-Passion for Cinema types have have turned inwards and started tearing themselves apart. They've accused Anand Gandhi and his Ship of Theseus were "inspired" by a student film. But I could not stop laughing at this Mid-Day write up: In Indian cinema, original ideas are not dime a dozen anymore. To paraphrase Tyler Durden in 'Fight Club', almost everything on the big screen seems to be a derivative of a derivative of a derivative. And that’s exactly what surprises us about a celebrated effort like Anand Gandhi’s 'Ship of Theseus'.

To start out complaining that Indian cinema has no original ideas by using a FIGHT CLUB quote is like a cliche of a cliche of a cliche of the kind of unselfaware person who thinks Hollywood is the goal.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Post: Thankfully not written by Aditya Chopra.

Katrina Kaif has written an open letter about her holiday photos being published.

"There is a breed of journalism that preys on celebrities in the worst possible manner crossing all lines of privacy and decency. Running these pictures shows support for this school of journalism.

I request that all media running these pictures please refrain from doing so. I have a wonderful relationship with the media and have been accessible to the media at all times. There is no reason for this furtive and invasive behavior."

Oh, Kat! I love you and empathize. She has tried hard to keep her private life private and not to trade on relationship make-ups and break-ups and link-ups for publicity but... the hungry maw of today's celebrity journalism doesn't care about privacy. Just page clicks.

I wish I didn't know as much about some of these stars as I do. There is something to be said for mystique, for just letting actors' talents (or lack there of) speak for them. Do we want proper film stars or do we want celebrity gossip fodder? I don't think we can have both.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Woke up late today but have some Cherry!

"Mumbai Ka Hero" from Zanjeer - an unfortunate and joyless collection of whorey goris and tropes ripped direct from American rap videos. Plus Cherry.

I can't help but feel that the original Inspector Vijay Khanna would not be caught dead doing any of this.

He was more the "keeps emotions bottled up and gaze from the window with an inscrutable expression at other people having fun" kind of guy.

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