Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

It all ended….

…. July 15th, 2011. The Harry Potter saga, that is. (Hitchy, if you clicked on this post, run away as fast as possible)

We managed to get a couple of hours baby free, and rushed over to the theater to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – II on Friday. Loved it. To a die-hard Potter fan like me, it is useless to to talk about reviews. I am just going to summarize my thoughts about this movie and about Potter in general(yes, I never let go of an opportunity to talk Potter):

  • I loved the fact that the last book was split into two parts. Even with this increased length, a lot of things felt rushed. I wanted the film to show the relationship between Albus and Aberforth Dumbledore, and Ariana’s story. I also wanted it to show how Tom Riddle never really understood love, hence he never really understood what made Potter the boy who lived.
  • Snape could have gotten a few more scenes. Even in the books Snape gets the short end of the stick from JK. His character never got the redemption it deserved when alive.
  • I also wanted more meat for Lupin, but he was unceremoniously killed. I wanted his character fleshed out a little more, considering he was James’ best friend. This is why I liked the Prisoner of Azkaban a lot. The little interactions between Harry and Lupin are worth watching over and over again.
  • While the station scene between Dumbledore and Harry felt rushed, I was thrilled to see that the ‘Evil baby-like creature’ was shown on-screen. Reading the book I was extremely curious how the creature would look ‘in flesh and blood’.
  • One scene in the movie that was not in the book – Harry stepping out of the crowd of students in the Great Hall and confronting Snape. Brilliant! One scene that I feel should have been in the movie, Centaurs joining the battle. Also, they should have shown Percy coming back to the family.
  • Are you as surprised as I am about how handsome the kid that plays Neville Longbottom has turned out? Of every other kid actor in the movies, this kid is the most good looking. The same goes for the girl that plays Luna Lovegood. Cute as a button.
  • Ralph Fiennes is the best villain ever, as Voldemort. I cannot imagine anyone else be as bad-ass as Ralph. His voice and mannerisms are perfect Voldemort.
  • Is anyone as sad as I am about the series being over? Although the way the movie and books end, with the next generation going to Hogwarts 19 years later, I have a lot of hope about a new series of adventures. Maybe JK can write Wizard adventure short stories, not necessarily about Harry Potter? I am just not willing to let go of the amazing world she created. Such a waste.
  • Maybe Warner Bros can release a DVD with deleted scenes from all 8 movies. I am sure fanatics like me will lap it up.
  • Pottermore comes alive July 31st. Who else is excited about it?
  • Finally, I hope BabyN finds joy in a fantasy world like his mum and dad did.

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Not midweek masala, just movies

There are movies and then there are movies. There are movies you watch because they are praised to heaven by your peers, like Inception, and then there are movies that you watch just because you want to watch them, like 3 Idiots, or Aisha, because they have been building anticipation in you. There are also movies you watch because they are the only ones playing and you want to get out and watch SOMETHING. Like Knight and Day or De Dana Dan. Finally there are movies you don’t even think of watching, never watch, and wonder who watches them. Like Kidnap, or Luck!

Too much watching/not watching going on in that last paragraph, but the point of that paragraph was to illustrate the different kinds of movies around. It is the third category that I want to specifically talk about. A lot of movies in that category, ones you watch because there is nothing better to do, have caused me multiple headaches(literally) and a select few have surprised me by how good they were. But irrespective of how badly we have been burned by such crap, we keep going back, to watch them.

The very first move in that headache category I happened to watch is called Insaniyat, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Prada and a host of other actors. The only thing I remember about this one is the song “Sathi tera pyaar puja hain” and a whole lot of crying from my mom! The only reason we went to watch this was because my dad is a BIG Amitabh fan and he wanted us to watch a Bachchan movie, as a family! Not a movie to watch, as a family or separately. Oh there was a dog in this movie, or maybe not, it does not matter. I remember having a HUGE headache after that! This was in 1994. A few months after this, my friends and I wanted to watch some movie in a theater, ALL BY OURSELVES. We carefully worded our requests to respective parents, convinced them that it will be safe enough and were over the moon when the parents said yes. So off we went, 6 girls, to the nearest theater(imaginatively called Yadgiri theater) and bought tickets for this awesome movie starring Madhuri Dixit and SRK. We were all BIG Mads fans. Little did we know that this movie would scare us out of our wits. Imagine Madhuri tearing the skin off a man’s arms with her mouth! Yeah!

These two experiences burnt me bad, so I stayed away from on-the-fly movies for about 3 years. When disaster struck in 1997 in the form of Dil ke Jharokhe me. Why disaster you ask? Imagine Vikas Bhalla as the hero, and a story that has snakes etc playing an important part. VB’s pakoda face and the snakes and a song called ‘Dil ke jharokhe me aaja, chanda sa muhda dikha ja’ are the only things I remember. And I also remember the bad headache, and my friends refusing to speak to me for a good hour. I was the one who had convinced them to buy tickets in black! I had to redeem myself by buying tickets for the whole lot of them for Dil tho pagal hain, soon after! Paise bhi gaye aur reputation bhi.

This should have warned me off such movies, but NO! In 2000, fresh off the josh of being independent and being a college student, our motley group of 6 decided to watch a movie. Any movie. That turned out to be Dil pe mat le yaar. Such a PAIN! The husband still remembers this movie for the SPLITTING headache it brought him. Enough said!

Finally, swearing off such bad movie decisions, we stayed away, until last year, when my cousin and her husband were over, and they wanted to watch ANY MOVIE. By now you much have known how this is going to go. We paid a hefty amount(Indian movie tickets are much more expensive than Hollywood movies) and ended up watching De dana dan! And De Dana Dan it gave us, headaches! Although I admit it did elicit a few laughs, but those were not worth the pain!

So now I swear to NEVER watch movies just because I want to watch them. I have never ever had good experiences with such last-minute movie decisions.

What are some of the worst movies you guys have watched in a theater?

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This and that.

I have been gone so long that coming back and writing a post was tough. I was in that state of “not posting for a few days more will not be the end of the world!” but then there is so much going on around us these days, that I really wanted to write. The easiest way to come back to blogging is bullet points. Bullet points are like the stand up comedy of blog posts. They are short, sweet, mostly funny, and evoke much interest in people who are averse to reading long posts. Also, bullet points are easy to compose, just like that joke you make up on the fly. Try as you might, you will not remember that joke again, as you won’t that one interesting point you wanted to make!

And so here I am, trying to compose a bullet point post, but all points evade me today. There have been so many changes in WordPress since I last blogged. Every post now comes associated with a like button, there is not unlike though! Like Facebook. A lot of times I want to unlike someone’s wall post, but I am forced to like it. Maybe the philosophy behind that is why say something when all you have to say is bad. Might as well keep your mouth shut. That is a very good philosophy which protects us from quite a few uncomfortable confrontations in life. Oh well!

The reason I am unable to write is that weekdays have become really hectic, with work and swimming classes and cooking cleaning etc. Weekends are no better, but the work has been replaced by play. Like my last post said, we are getting out a whole lot more than we are used to, and that is taking time away from my dear blog. So much so that I feel guilty opening my dashboard these days. So today, finally, I gave up all pretense of being too busy to check my dashboard and decided that I have to blog.

So much has happened and so much more that I am looking forward to these days. Rahul Mahajan, for one, showed his true colors again, and poor Dimpy had to scoot for dear life! A lot of people said “I told you so”, a lot of others admired her for her courage to walk out, still others blamed her for sticking to the loser for 5 minutes of fame! I was confused. Why, in the first place, would you go ahead and marry a man who has already been accused of domestic violence, and then bear all the crap he throws at you? In this respect I really admire Rakhi Sawant. Sure she also loves her 15 minutes of fame, but at least she did not get into a materialistic relationship with a loser, like Dimpy did. You have to have the sense to say no to what does not appeal to you. Or did Mahajan really appeal to Dimpy? Maybe it was the case of women falling for the bad boys? Maybe. But I cannot understand such women either, so I am still left confused.

August 6th is almost here. What is so special about 6th you say? Well, you have been living under a rock, I say. Because 6th is when Aisha hits the screens. Aisha, that Bollywood remake of Emma. Emma is my most favorite of Austen’s female characters, after Elizabeth, of course. So I will be queuing in front of our lone Indian theater to watch it this weekend. Not everyone likes Emma though. Austen had once said “I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like.” and that seems true. Emma is everything Elizabeth is not. Rich, spoiled, self-indulgent and sometimes haughty. I was reading Emma the other day, and found myself blushing and smiling at all the attention George Knightly bestows on her, and realized that I really haven’t grown out of that romantic novel phase yet. That lead me to start reading Pride and Prejudice again! P&P is an amazing novel, the kind that keeps you interested no matter how many times you read it. I know I have said it once already, but Harry Potter are the only other books that come even close to P&P. Enough about P&P though. So I am waiting to catch Aisha this weekend. From promos, pictures and songs, it looks like it is pretty close to the book, and Abhay Deol looks like Knightley is supposed to look, smart, savvy and balanced. And Sonam looks every bit the spoiled, rich, bratty Emma. All I can hope for is that it lives up to the promise, and not sink to the bottom(and take me along) like that abominable remake, Bride and Prejudice did!

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Warning – there might be unintentional spoilers in this post, so if you haven’t watched Inception and don’t want your fun spoiled, now is the time to close your browser. Also, these are my views, and are not intended to hurt the feelings of those of you who think otherwise about the movie. The husband himself is a big fan :-)

While the whole world and their grandmother are going gaga over Inception, I feel underwhelmed. Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds and the blog world have been inundated by how wonderful the movie is and how amazing that we could create this whole new world in our dreams, where we can practically construct what we want, the way we want it, and not include people we don’t want included. Am I crazy then, to not feel the same love for Inception? Sure, I liked the movie, everyone acts well, the story is gripping and the end vague enough to warrant a discussion. But all this talk about this being the best movie ever? No sir!

First of all, I really don’t care about a dream world, let alone one where you need a totem to remind you that it is only a dream world. When you are so excited and sold on the idea of a dream world, pray why do you need a spinning piece of metal to tell you it is indeed your dream world, and that your real world is nowhere close to the dream world?

Second issue I have with inception is the way one person’s dream can interweave with another person’s. And people in your imagination can really screw up things for you in your inception. See how Leonardo di Caprio’s wife keeps popping in his dreams everywhere and interferes with his ‘mission’? If it is indeed my dream world, I should be able to keep all those mental demons away and lead a perfect life, no?

Third, dream in a dream in a dream? So much so that if you are not able to come back from one dream into another in time, you live in a kind of limbo where you have no idea if it is a dream or reality? Sorry, cannot take such risks with my life. I love things the way they are.

Fourth, the dreamer really cannot be the creator, because if the dreamer and the creator are one and the same, it violates some fundamental laws of dreams, blah blah! So let me get this straight, you will sleep and dream, to get into the imaginary world of someone else? No thanks!

So give me the imaginary world of Harry Potter any day and please take your dreams with you!

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and again.

There are some movies that hold your interest in spite of having watched them over and over again. Every time you watch them you discover new things, new situations, new nuances you had missed during the previous viewing. My list of such movies mainly consists of classics, but there are a few modern ones that also make the cut.

1. 12 angry men – Ahh 12 sweaty men in a tiny room with a task at hand. Men who overcome their prejudices and egos to arrive at a decision. Every time I watch this movie I find something new in every character.

2. To kill a mockingbird – Atticus Finch is Gregory Peck and Gregory Peck is Atticus Finch. The movie is 100% true to the book, and does not leave any details out. It is the simplicity of the story and the remarkable way in which the actors fir the charactors that makes this movie so popular with people. It is a pity Harper Lee stopped writing.

3. Harry Potter series – We have the whole movie series at home, and I still watch them when they are aired on the television. last night they were showing Sorcerer’s Stone on ABC Family and I couldn’t have been happier. I love the way most of the important actors have been retained movie after movie, giving them a chance to grow, literally and figuratively. My favorites are Harry, Ron, Ginny, Lupin(although his character has not been explored as much as I would have liked) Snape and the old Dumbledore!

4. The Devil Wears Prada – This one, I confess, is my vice. Most people might not think it worth watching this one more than once, but for me, it is like eating that second samosa just because it is in the plate. The way Miranda Priestly(a super bitchy Meryl Streep) scans Andrea(Ann Hathaway) from toe to the top of her head, and makes Andrea feel like crap is THE SCENE of the movie. But my favorite character has to be Stanley Tucci as Nigel. The dialog that has me in splits is:

This… ‘stuff’? Oh… ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.

5. Dil Chahta hain – There is no way I would get bored watching DCH. Every single scene elicits laughs from me. I even mouth the lines along and laugh! I don’t really have any favorite scenes, most involving Sameer and his girlfriend Priya are hilarious, as are those with Akash in the party!

6. Anaganaga Oka Roju – This is a telugu movie directed by Ram Gopal Verma in his pre-factory-crap days. The best dialogues are – “Idi pen anukunnava, kadu gan”, and “Idi gun anukunnava, kadu pennu”! Most of the people were smalltime actors at the time. Urmila Matondkar, Chakravathi, Brahmanandam, Raghuvaran and Kota Srinivasa Rao. If you can understand telugu this is a super movie to spend fun a weekend on.

8. Golmaal – All the lines in this movie are legendary. Amol Pakelar either must be like Ramprasad in real life, or must have had a tough time shaking the act off! Utpal Dutt lived and breathed Bawani Shankar. There was no way Golmaal could have been a  success without these two, oh and Deena Pathak too! basu Chaterjee must have been a genius of giant proportions, how else would you explain a 1979 movie still having us in splits!

9. Pride and Prejudice BBC series – Again a classic. It is pretty long(5 hours) but is loyal to the book. None of the important situations are missed, nor is the amazing dialogue. Small things, like the way Darcy looks at Lizzy when she is dancing with Wickham, and the way Mr. Collins hams about Lady Catherine de Bourgh are not to be missed. I love the interactions between Lizzy and her papa. Truly a must watch and one worth watching again and again!

So, go on, tell me, which movies keep you going? Which ones do you keep going back to when you want wholesome entertainment?

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Midweek Masala

  • Shammi Kapoor is going to be back on screen soon. Imtiaz Ali convinced Kapoor to work in his upcoming movie Rockstar which also stars Ranbir Kapoor! Kapoor says Imtiaz told him he would take full responsibility of Kapoor’s health on the sets. Bless you Imtiaz!
  • Are you among the people who are fed up with celeb tweets flooding your page? Picture this. AB baby says he completed 10 years in the industry, Priyanka, Mugdha and Neil talk about rains lashing Mumbai, Big B as usual brags about some new movie and some hotshot he is working with, Ram Gopal Verma and Madhur Bhandarkar spout some profound wisdom, and Karan Johar is in perpetual sell-I-Hate-Love-Storys mode. Take your pick!
  • Kirron Kher was recently heard complaining about how most serious movies are male-oriented. She says she wants to work with really serious film makers like Vishal Bharadwaj, Imtiaz Ali but, “The problem is they are only being made with centering men in focus”, she says. We hear you Kirron. If only these filmmakers did too.
  • Did you know that Genelia has been crowned the Ambassador of the Year by CNBC AWAAZ Consumer Awards? Did you know there was an award like that? Well, is it any wonder that she was awarded that considering she is indiscriminately appearing in ads for products from a pen to luxury cars! But what I fail to understand is how she usurped the ad king of India, Navratan Tel top salesman apna Big B?
  • All it takes is to have a popular dad! At least in Bollywood. Turns out, despite his horrendous performance as Raavan AB baby has been offered a BIG movie by Raj Kumar Santoshi and has signed it for Rs. 7 crore! Some people have it all, popular dad, sundar biwi, big directors, bhadhiya hain!
  • AB reminds me to ask you all if you think AB baby is ever going to grow up and if Big B is ever going to stop fighting the baby’s battles? Also, when will the Bachchan family get over their self-importance?

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So did you guys watch Raavan yet? While we were still debating as to whether we should watch Raavan or Raavanan or Villain(the Telugu version), out come a slew of reviews from rediff.

One review calls itself the rediff review, and gives Raavanan 3 stars and the hindi version 2 stars. Beloved Raja Sen totally trashes the movie and gives it 2 stars, asking his readers to basically skip all versions, and another rediff reviewer Aseem Chabra writes a rave review, giving it 4 stars. Hain? So one person found it totally not worth his time, and another found it totally amazing. Now what are we poor souls, who actually rely on reviews to decide whether  burn their hard earned money on movies are to do?

Looking at the few scenes that are shown on the television, I want to watch it for AB and Vikram, but want to skip it because Aishwarya’s so-called acting(her making weird faces at the camera) scares the hell out of me! And I secretly pray(I know it is really bad to do so) that Raavan is not the big hit AB and family hope it will be, simply because I don’t want to see their pompous selves strut around come awards time, and don’t want to see them get cosy on stage! Yeah, I am mean like that!

By the way, do any of you believe that reviewers are paid by big production houses to write good stuff about their movies? One person I know never to believe about a movie is Raja Sen. Remember his reviews of MNIK and 3 Idiots? His gist of MNIK was that it was SRK’s gift to humanity and he trashed 3 Idiots. But most people I have spoken to loved 3 Idiots, and we all know exactly how many people liked MNIK. Also, do note that he gave Tashan 3 stars. Now the question is, do we really think Raavan is worse than Tashan? I leave it to you to figure that out. For now, out household is still confused about which version to watch. Suggestions?

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