Friday, October 31, 2014

Kamal hai!

Happy Halloween, everybody! I haven't decided what I want to do… Dressing up is fun but as I was telling my co-worker yesterday, sometimes I feel like my professional office clothes are really just a costume I wear everyday.

I do love fun and parties and disguises…

The master of disguise himself: PRAN!

What a great film Karz is.

And just a word to the wise--please, white people, do not do cultural drag for Halloween. It's really not appropriate.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

『チェイス!』: the language of Dhoom is universal.

Dhoom 3 is heading to Japan as… CHASE! I kind of love it. It's always interesting to me to see how movies like this are marketed outside of the Bollywood "star" system, you know?

Anyhoo, I was tipped off to the fact that Aamir and Vicky were in Tokyo talking about the movie.

I don't have time this morning but if I see something interesting I'll try to translate it for you. 3 Idiots was actually something of a hit in Japan so Aamir is a little known there. I was actually just reading an interview with one of my fave bands--The Okamoto's--and they were asked what movie had made an impression on them recently and the bass player, Hama Okamoto, says… 3 Idiots! Amazing when worlds collide, huh.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I could be dreaming… new Belle and Sebastian song!

*whistle whistle* New Belle & Sebastian single!

I don't know how much I've talked about Belle & Sebastian here before but I've been a massive fan for almost 20 years now. It seems incredible that it's been that long. I'm on their e-mail list and got a reminder that they have new tour dates, including curating All Tomorrow's Parties in Iceland in July.

July 2-4 - ATP Iceland, Keflavik, Iceland (NOTE: 16 years after Belle and Sebastian curated the first All Tomorrow's Parties at Camber Sands)

16 years! Was it really 16 years ago I took the Magical Mystery Bus from Glasgow to Camber Sands? How much has changed since then… how young I was… 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jigarthanda: Cold heart, warm blood

Director Karthik Subbaraj is well aware of the double meaning of jigarthanda--ostensibly a sweet, milk-based drink from Madurai but read literally, in Hindi, it also means “cold heart”--and both meanings are important. Watching the film, with all its killing and backstabbing, the “cold heart” angle is obvious. And I spent a good couple of days thinking about who the real “cold hearted” one was in Jigarthanda. Was it the gangster? “Assault” Sethu, who kills without a second thought? Was it the filmmaker within the film? Karthik Subramani, who would exploit his own mother for a chance at success? Or was it us in the audience, watching and judging?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Paging Dr. Freud…

Thanks for the great response to my VIP review, everybody! I was really, really happy to get a tweet from Dhanush himself. My face flushed bright red while reading it.

I mean… DHANUSH! He's so talented and smart and what have I done that's so great? *pardon me while I swoon some more*

Friday, October 24, 2014

Velai Illa Pattadhaari: V.I.P.

Won't you look up at the skyline

At the mortar, block, and glass

And check out the reflections in my eyes

See they always used to be there

Even when this was all was grass

And I sang and danced about a high-rise

And you were laughing at my helmet hat

Laughing at my torch

Go ahead you can laugh all you want

But I got my philosophy.

--Ben Folds Five, “Philosophy”

To put it mildly, Vela Yilla Pattahari (aka VIP) was not the film I was expecting. Judging from the trailer and snippets of reviews I’d seen floating around touting what a box office hit it had been, I assumed VIP was a straightforward masala film. Actually, it’s not. ACTUALLY, it’s the angriest angry young man film I’ve seen in a long, long time. And the angry young man has some seriously legitimate grievances with society. VIP isn’t just a commercial entertainer--though it is entertaining--it’s an uppercut delivered squarely to the jaw of the pampered Wake Up Sids, a flying kick to the chest of the incompetent star son. And who better to deliver the killing blow than Dhanush.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Trailers and six packs… what a week!

Because we've been discussing it, please enjoy this very appropriate use of shirtlessness/sixpack from Dhanush in VIP:

I watched this last night thanks to a tip from a commenter about the streaming site and it was excellent. What's great about this fight scene and the shirtlessness is that it serves a purpose. Dhanush is no dehydrated show pony. As he fights, what we see is this buttoned up engineer stripping away first his jacket, then tie, then shirt as he reveals the inner core of strength. Dhanush's bare chest a visual representation of the inner strength of the character. And Dhanush's "six pack" is clearly functional, not airbrushed on at last minute.

It's a great movie and a great scene. I should have a review up for this one in the next day or two. Unless I get carried away and get myself a subscription and overdoes on Tamil films. (SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!)

Speaking of excited…

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Randomness… and GOVINDA!

You have no idea how much it pleases me that Govinda is so much more effective as an item than a million interchangeable model-actresses.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trailer Tuesday! Are you ready to rumble…?!

Some good discussion yesterday of six packs. The consensus: put your shirts back on.

But now it's Trailer Happy Tuesday!! GOOD MORNING!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Memory Lane Monday...

I feel like there was no Indian ensemble of Berklee when I attended the college but… who knows! My performance skills were never my strong suit. Music production major right here! Look kids, you could go to Berklee, study music, and then take up writing a film blog!

Great stuff, though.

The weekend in New York was fun, as always. But tiring. Well, at least it is when you sing five hours of Japanese karaoke. Alcohol does not impair my kanji-reading skills. That is something I discovered this weekend. The novelty of a tall, white woman singing old Japanese rock songs provides a lot of amusement. That is something else I discovered. Hey, I like The Alfee. So sue me. ♪星空の下のディスタンス。。。♪

I don't think I missed anything major. I still have zero interest in actually seeing Happy New Year (Happy ENDING on the other hand…) but I am rather morbidly interested in the discussion swirling around it. Shahrukh isn't going to go quietly.

I wonder what it says about our era that it's now the two "serious actor" Khans Aamir and Shahrukh flashing six packs everywhere while Salman didn't even take his shirt off in Kick, if I remember correctly…

I wish all of these guys would keep their clothes on, to be honest. The occasional six pack flash is alluring but seeing so much of it all the time turns everything into a Mens Health magazine cover or something. Enough. It's boring. Speaking of boring, I can't believe somebody wrote this with a straight face. Arjun Kapoor is such a boring actor. BORING! I'm so BORED of this obsession with "ordinary" and "authentic" and "realistic"? I'd rather see outrageous, amazing, and mind-blowing. I have enough average ordinary realism in my every day reality, thank you very much.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Click "like" if this got you high!

Happy almost weekend!! I'll be up in New York city for one last belated birthday blow out. Hey, you only turn 35 once. (Unless you're a certain one of my aunties but never mind!)

Here, please enjoy this tiny clip of this adorable half-Pakistani/half-Japanese kid with a beautiful voice named Masuda Ryo. (He's on the far right.)

I'm surprised nobody from the entertainment feeding frenzy press has dug him up for a listicle or something yet. A half-Pakistani kid on TV in Japan? That's pretty noteworthy, no?

And "Manali Trance" song and picturization are pretty darn good! Although, I have to kind of shake my head in amusement at the anything but subtextual drug references. I must be getting old. LOL!

"High on life" you mean?! LOL!!! Very edgy, Zee Music Intern who put this together. Very edgy.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Writer's block is the worst!

Sorry, friends. It's not that I forgot to post this morning but more like… I've been having trouble getting words out this week. I don't know. I suppose we all go through times like that, right? (Write?!)

Anyways, since I've had these open in a tab since this morning, I'll share now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Excuse me, girl… I need to brood in your general direction.

I was catching up on youtube and Arjun here caught my eye. This song and video are like somebody went through a checklist of what it takes to make a Jason Derulo-type "lite" R&B song. I wanted to look away but then just as I was ready to click back another cliche would bound into frame! Crazy town. The best part is I tried to find something about him on Hungama but couldn't find anything

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Holler, holler...

Ironically as the winter approaches I feel like the recent dark days are behind me. Hopefully this means I devote more time to things I actually enjoy thinking about--like films!

Last night I started watching this anime on Hulu called No.6 because somebody had recommend it to me as being good (and short!). It is good! It's a dystopia story about a city that seems too perfect and, of course, dark secrets are within. It made me wonder what is happening with Shekhar Kapur's Paani and then I started thinking about other dystopias. In way, I think all of those masala films that start in a village or neighborhood that is… wrong or "off" somehow, all those films have elements of dystopia. Between the world of 1984 and a film with a neighborhood run by a corrupt police chief fueled by drug money or something… well, at the bottom of it all, isn't the difference only a matter of the sci-fi elements? The conspiracy elements, the inability to trust anything authority says to you, how there is something rotten below the surface… these are the same. Yes/No?

That was just something I was thinking about last night.

Have a new Jiiva song! Man, I love this guy. I don't know why I find him so appealing but I do! I'm not usually a fan of the "average guy but better" type of hero but Jiiva is just so… likable. Harris Jayaraj, too! Fun stuff for a Tuesday morning!

And off topic but, damn, this song is catchy:

"Holler, holler…"

Friday, October 10, 2014

Go, go, go Govinda!

Raj & DK's Happy Ending trailer is here and… WOW! I am pumped! This looks fantastic!!

First of all, that role appears to have been written to play to Saif's strongest points as an actor--namely his ability to spit out rapid fire dialogues in a smarmy yet likable way. I also like that his character's age isn't overlooked. That's the thing with Saifu. I mean, I really do like him but I don't want to see him playing 20 at 40. I want to see him playing 40 at 40.

Second of all, GOVINDA! DUDES! Is 2014 the Year of Govinda or what??? Between this and Kill Dil, he's staging an epic comeback as a character actor. It's like when Rishi showed up in Hum Tum and we all forgave him for his bobbly sweater years.

Govinda really is such a talented performer. I'm so happy to see him back on the big screen in GOOD ROLES!

Ah… and the Ranvir Shorey. THE RANVIR SHOREY!

Fall of 2014 in movies looking better and better, friends.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Happy Budday… a few days late, Yash Raj, but thanks!!

Wheeee!!! I can't wait for Kill Dil!!! Ranveer is definitely my favorite hero from the newer bunch. And Ali Zafar is lovely and so is Parineeti!

Anyhoo, folks, I'll try to remember to respond to your comments this evening. Please forgive my lack of time this morning.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Sorry… I thought I was done with Bang Bang but I saw they'd uploaded this song and, well… HOW CUTE IS KATRINA! See, everybody (or at least "everybody") always complains about the lack of heroine-focused material but here's a delightful heroine-has-a-crush-on-the-hero number!

And I wanted all of Katrina's clothes. Especially that yellow number. She was so sensibly dressed through most of the movie to the point where there's one scene where she puts on a tank top to cover her swim suit as Hrithik is stripping off his shirt with the camera lingering.

I still don't understand how all the critics could dismiss her as "arm candy" when she was clearly the protagonist.

ANYWAYS. "UFF!" *dances* I've been enjoying this whole soundtrack all week!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Good morning, all! What will this week have in store for us?? Who can say?!

I think the next big release I'm looking forward to after Bang Bang is Shankar's I and then for Bollywood we have my big two--Kill Dil and PK. Happy New Year looks utterly mediocre, I'm sad to say. I know I've said this before but I cannot see the point of casting actually bad dancers as "bad" dancers in a dance movie. Where is the fun in that?

Anyways, hopefully I'll get to at least see Kill Dil and PK in the theater now that I found out that one of the local English multiplexes I can get to by public transportation just started playing Hindi films!! They probably won't get the non-blockblusters, like Raj & DK's upcoming Happy Ending, which I'm also really looking forward to, but, hey, I'll be content to see Govinda on the big screen.

Also this fall are Action Jackson and The Shaukeens, the promos for the latter I've missed while heaving my head buried in troubles on this end so let's take a look, shall we?! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Bang Bang Review: Rulake Gaya Sapna Mera...!

The dialogue that encapsulates Bang Bang happens towards the beginning of the film while Harleen Sahani (Katrina Kaif) is taking a shower. Harleen’s Dadi wanders into the bathroom and, with Harleen as a captive audience, starts talking to her about the dashing Indian thief who stole the kohinoor diamond right out of the Tower of London. “Ah,” she sighs. “A jewel thief. Dev Anand, Ashok Kumar. I’d love to meet a man like that…” Harleen just kind of rolls her eyes at her dadi’s nostalgia for the dashing romance of evergreen Dev Anand but, come on, ladies, deep inside, don’t we all feel the pull? The yearning for the dashing heroes of ages past? To be swept off our feet and into an adventure?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Bang Bang… initial thoughts on Katrina Kaif.

(And a short aside: the songs from Bang Bang work MUCH better in context of the film than in isolation on youtube.)

As always, I should have known better than to even glance at the titles of the Bang Bang reviews. I mean, a) who put this giant stick up the collective butt of film snobs in the first place and b) why do they insist on keeping it there? Here's the deal. I am having a ridiculously terrible week and went to see Bang Bang hoping to forget my troubles for a few hours. And guess what? I left the theater feeling refreshed and happy. What bigger measure of success can there be for a popcorn masala film like this one?

I do want to write a proper review because I feel like there is a lot of material to talk about but since Katrina is the one getting trashed (AGAIN), I just need to get a few things off my chest.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't drop it, Aamir!

Aamir takes his transistor off. *avert your eyes* LOL!

I have to admit… I've been enjoying Hrithik's silly Bang Bang challenges. And I'm even happier now that I found out there's a pretty good chance I'll get to see the film this weekend!! Wish me luck that everything works out!!

I've been listening to Kumail Nanjiani's The X-Files Files podcast and really enjoying it--especially this last episode with producer Steve Asbell. He just had some interesting things to say about making these big budget "popcorn" movies and how they can make a lot of money but they don't stick around, culturally, unless there is a distinct vision behind them. Of course a distinct vision doesn't mean something will succeed but the stuff that does hit MASS APPEAL is at the sweet spot between commercial and artistic. Like a Dabangg or a Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now that I'm typing it, it seems really trite but I was nodding along as they were discussing it. Oh, man. Well, we all know I'm firmly of the opinion that it's the human element that makes things stick around. Big special effects extravaganzas are great… once. Then everyone moves on. It's like the difference between Avatar and Titanic. Two equally dumb, equally vapid, equally massive hit movies but Titanic has stuck around because people connected with the human element and you NEVER hear anybody bring up Avatar anymore.

I'm hoping Bang Bang gives us a human connection--more Dhoom 2/Dhoom 3/Krrish 3 than Race or something, if you know what I mean.

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