Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hello, IIFA!

No, alas, I'm not actually in Tampa. For some reason, nobody wanted to pony up for my expenses. (Was it something I said?)

But that doesn't mean I don't want to celebrate!

To help the poor American journalists tasked to cover the event, I decided to give you all a sneak peak of the ebook I'm working on! I'm re-editing my BOLLYWOOD FOR BEGINNERS series and am going to have it all in a nice, compact file for Kindle or iPad or whatever! Then when somebody is all like, "What is Bollywood, anyways?" You can point them to it!

So, enjoy! Let me know what you think:


And American journalists! Please. Don't make assumptions. If you don't know something, LEAVE IT OUT. Nobody will think less of you for not having an opinion on Shatrughan "Shotgun" Sinha's work. (Although, for my money, everybody needs to see him camping it up in Shaan. Also, everybody needs to read his ridiculous advice column in Filmfare.) And if you're feeling ambitious, feel free to e-mail me or any other blogger with questions. We're all happy to answer! If I seem unfriendly (which I'm not but I get that) try Beth over here or Asim over here. Mmmkay?


Let's enjoy the vicarious gossip and pap photos and hope there's some scandal to top RANBIR PARTIED TOO HARDY 2013. (Ah, those were the days.)

The Tampa Bay paper may be the one to follow for immediate updates but I'll keep an eye out:

Do The Rex… Ranveer Style!

I've been looking forward to this for WEEKS now, so I just had to post it.

Ranveer struts his stuff for Durex condoms in an ad that is hands down my favorite track of the year. Everything is glorious! The costumes, the ridiculous rapping, the sheer charisma on display…

And I think Ranveer deserves some credit for endorsing a product like condoms, which are one of those things "polite" people never mention. Making something like condoms that are GOOD FOR HEALTH but have been tagged as "filthy" seem cool and desirable, well, if he's doing that AND making a paycheck, more power to the Singh!

I know I've come down hard in the past on unnecessary "bold scenes" in films and I still maintain that ninety-nine times out of one hundred, films are better off with a sexy song in place of a simulated sex scene… you know, something like "Do the Rex." Sex exists; we should be able to talk about it; but make no mistake: two actors fake humping on each other is no more a "realistic" depiction of real human person sex than Ranveer dancing, and the dancing is SO much more enjoyable to watch.

Here are some articles article on premium condom pricing that shed a little light onto why Durex might be making this ad. And apparently there is a dedicated online condom store for India!

That is interesting, though, about the premium condom pricing… I'm kind of with Team Capitalism on this one. Set the price limit on the basic utility types but let the manufacturers make the fancier models with the higher price points, too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Congratulations Rani!

Popping up for a minute to say congratulations to Rani and Aditya on their wedding! It ends years of speculation and rumor and--for that--we can all be thankful.

Rani apparently released a statement to the press:

“I would like to share the happiest day of my life with all my fans all over the world whose love and blessings have been part of my journey all these years. I know that all my well-wishers who have waited for this day will be really happy for me. It was a beautiful wedding in the Italian countryside with just a few of our close family and friends with us,” she said in her statement.

Now, if only this meant Aditya would retire…

Ah, well…

We can dream…

(Special bonus link to a review of sorts of the new Waheeda Rehman book in which she gets hassled by the author for not spilling the beans about her alleged affair with Guru Dutt and she sound suspiciously like me complaining about how films these days substitute "bold scenes" and kissing for love songs.

The actress also laments that today’s “dances are more like pt drills” and that contemporary film songs “sound the same”. Waheeda says: “In our times songs were used to express love. But now the couple meet and are hugging and kissing soon enough — where’s the time or opportunity for them to a sing a love song?”)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Post: Hello, Good-bye!

Hello and good morning!

Before I get into Bollywood news, I have a small announcement. I've had something very sudden come up and while I deal with it, I won't have time to keep up with my daily posts. Hopefully, I'll be able to get back to it sooner rather than later but for the time being, I'll just be posting sporadically--reviews and whatnot.

Thanks for understanding!!

And here we go!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday: Party with the Kunal Khemu?

It's not strictly Bollywood related but I'll start you off with this interview with Himanshu Suri because I thought it was interesting.

Being in India just meant I was thinking about race less and I didn’t need to talk about Indian identity. I could talk about myself in a really honest way whereas in New York [that's] something that I’m constantly thinking about. So it took me out of that kind of zone and brought me somewhere I could just make honest art instead of Das Racist where I kind of hid behind humor, and my solo material where I hid behind being this Indian guy from New York.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday Post: Is it Wednesday already? Huh.

Ughhhh… what a way to wake up. With Arjun Kapoor on a publicity bender about how much kissing there is in Two States. "I'm like the next Emraan Hashmi." WHO CARES?! Am I missing something because it really feels like the only people who care so DESPERATELY about kissing seem to be media flacks and Bollywood types who want to "catch up to the West" on this point. I don't understand why kissing is this big selling point, especially in the age of cell phone pornography. I'm fine without actors kissing and fake-sexing in any industry because 99% of the time it's not necessary to tell the story. I mean, if you need to have actors making out to have the audience understand that they like each other, maybe you should re-think your script or hire better actors.

And what is this mess?

Kapoor agrees, saying: "If today we can't speak about a live-in relationship with a kiss in Bollywood, then I think we are degrading our audience's sensibilities."

Look, Arjun, I really just don't want to see you making out with anybody. THAT would be degrading my sensibilities. I can only think of a handful of on-screen kisses I've found worthwhile: Aishwarya and Hrithik in Dhoom 2; the end of The Cutting Edge; um… that movie Snakes and Earrings; The Crying Game; was there a kiss in Pankh? I should re-watch that.

Kissing should be used sparingly and to make a point. There are a lot of things that happen in live-in relationships, are you going to show us all of that, too? First tell me who stunk up the bathroom and then put down your video games and do the fucking dishes, I'm not your maid or your mom. I have a job, too, you know. Ugh! I'm going out. No, girls night. NO, Chintu's son won't be there.

Who are all these people dying to see REAL EVERYDAY LIFE depicted JUST LIKE REAL LIFE on screen? Don't you get enough of that at home? Meh.

Anyways, ARJUN KAPOOR: WATCH OUT EMRAAN HASHMI was the headline of like at least a billionarticles today.

Meanwhile poor Alia Bhatt has felt compelled to explain that she was just joking around and not actually proposing to Chintu's son.

"When I say 'I want to marry Ranbir Kapoor', it's not like I literally want to marry him. It's just like a fan girl who wants to take a boy home to meet her parents," she added.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday: The Perfect Fit

Okay, so I began the day with a delightful publicity e-mail from Jackky Bhagnani's PR team, forwarded to me from a source who shall remain unnamed for their own protection. Apparently the "self-made" Jackky is the hottest shit in town and leading artists (though nobody specific) have been praising him on twitter.

I needed a good laugh!

My collection of star sons is growing by the day; these guys are just too entertaining. Between Chintu's son and the Bombay Velvet drama and Adhyayan Suman's movie that his daddy directed and in which he played the role of his own dead brother… I'll come back to Heartless in a minute but speaking of star sons, my verdict is still out on Tiger Shroff. I kind of like the kid, even if his dialogue delivery in the trailer was horrible, as were his facial expressions.

Here's an interview with Tiger:

What is keeping you so busy?

I don’t take even a day off. Even when I am not shooting, I go for my martial arts training to SAI (Sports Authority of India) in Kandivli. Also, I attend Paresh Shirodkar sir’s dance classes in Badlapur.

There's a hard working kid! Keep it up and you'll keep FG on your side! Maybe I'm just partial to dancers/martial artists-cum-actors, since I like a very physical style of acting.

But back to Heartless, I have a growing list of notorious flops I really want to see and that is one of them. As is Shortcut Romeo. I should try to find some of these online and reboot my Flops Series. I never did write up Lafangey Parindey, did I? I quite enjoyed it, actually.

Anyways, I'm assuming both Heropanti and The Xpose are going to be on my list, too, since both look pretty epic. Especially The Xpose.

I MEAN COME ON, RIGHT?! This looks like a hugely entertaining mess.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Post: Hi, Mo!!! How's Bombay?!

We bid a sad farewell to cinematographer VK Murthy today.

Murthy, who shot India's first cinemascope movie 'Kagaz Ke Phool', is best remembered for his stunning camera work for all films of legendary Guru Dutt. His picturisation of the song 'Chaudavin ka Chand' is still considered one of the best cinematographic works that Hindi cinema has seen and his work in classics like 'Kagaz Ke Phool' and 'Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam' won him Filmfare Awards.

I had all these grand plans for this morning--i.e. I wanted to start a list of the films you HAVE to have seen to be considered a film buff to counteract that one going around FB that has Pixar crap but no Sholay--but instead I had to entertain a cranky cat and then I got distracted by watching youtube videos of A Band Of Boys. (Nain Katari. #NeverForget)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Heropanti: What am I watching right now?!

It came too late for my post this morning so here you go!

I've watched this THREE times already and I can't decide what I think about it. Tiger is oddly compelling… in that he has an odd face and it's compelling to watch the way he doesn't move it at all. Did somebody tell him not to "overact"? Did he get botox? What is your secret, Tiger?! But the movie itself looks like a good old fashioned masala romp, which I'm always down with. So, I don't know. I could end up liking Tiger or I could end up hating him.

The heroine is Pooja Chopra level annoying and she grates after 3 minutes. So, hopefully Heropanti will be more action than romance. Tiger's sweet moves seem to be the selling point anyways.

(But he ain't no Vidyut.)

Friday Post: BRAINLESS AND LAME! (Shut up!)

Here's the wonderful thing about doing this blog… every once in a while I get really surprised in my news searches. Like finding out that Todd Freaking Rundgren is apparently covering "Jaan Pehechaan Ho" on his latest tour. I mean, what? Okay!

What am I even listening to right now?

This is my fave Rundgren jam, though. It reminds me of lazy, late summer days just kicking around.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thursday: Nargis needs to just GTFO of Bollywood.


Seriously! As much as I rag on star sons, at least they want to be here. How can a 30-something lady sound so much like a spoiled brat?! It's like every word out of Nargis's mouth makes me want to stab myself in the brain because she's so delusional and entitled.

So, you don't like doing these interviews?

Yeah, because I keep repeating myself and it's so boring I feel like I'm getting brain damaged.

They keep asking you about your work, role etc, etc


Oh, heaven forbid interviewers ask her about her work and her role in the film she's supposed to be promoting. You know, that thing called "doing her job."

I hope Main Tera Hero is the LAST we ever hear from this one. The next Nargis story had better be that she's married Uday Chopra and settling in Los Angeles.

Forget it, I loved Highway but I just can't forgive Imtiaz Ali for foisting Nargis on us. I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR THIS, IMTIAZ!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wednesday: Where's the party tonight? On the dance floor with Akshat!

LOOK WHO IT IS!!!! Little Akshat Singh in a Japanese curry commercial! And the netizen comments are surprisingly complimentary (and marvel at his English ability on the Ellen show) and I was impressed with the fact that the commercial is pretty dead-on Bollywood-ish for a non-Indian product. Go Akshat! 頑張れ! スターになろう!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday: APRIL FOOL me once, shame on you...

Ah… April 1st.

Also, known as the day you can't trust a single to appear in the Bollywood news media.

I mean, remember that time Karan Johar was in love with a lady?

So, we need to take anything that seems slightly unbelievable with a grain of salt today. I tried to avoid any obvious bait but lord knows I'm not perfect. And it's really early here so please forgive me if I fall for anything.

I mean, a Partner sequel could be plausible… although now that I'm typing this, really, what's the difference between April 1st and every other day in Bollywood Media! Ha! *Zing*

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