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!"



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


There's only ONE story today:


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.




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.


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!)

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