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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Golmaal !!

The Amol Palekar – Utpal Dutt Starrer and Hrishikesh Mukherjee directed 1979 movie 'Golmaal' is one of my all time favorites.

A couple of years ago in 2006, Rohit Shetty decides to name his comedy movie 'Golmaal' and I was apprehensive of the kind of comedy Rohit Shetty will come up with. Unexpectedly, the new Golmaal actually turned out to be a pretty decent comedy. It even had a surprise package in the form of a mute Tushaar Kapoor and a nicely paced comedy throughout the movie.  Watching Ajay Devgun in an out and out comedy role was interesting too.

Then comes Golmaal Returns (2008) and I was wondering if it will be like so many other sequels which fail to match up the expectations raised by the original and end up repeating stuff. Unexpectedly again, Rohit Shetty did not disappoint. Golmaal Returns was an equally good comedy doing what it was supposed to do; Entertain the crowds.

Now, I am seeing the promos of Golmaal 3 on TV and it promises to be bigger and better. Expectations are high and I am up for being entertained; Rohit Shetty style.

I have noticed a few key characteristics of Rohit Shetty Golmaal brand of movies. The movies are very very colourful. Take any song or scene and look at the clothes and the background setup. You are bound to find the screen filled with colors. Another interesting thing is the action. The movies are neither action oriented nor is there a need for blowing up things or explosions. But you will find them all in the Rohit Shetty Golmaal movies. If nothing else, he will begin to blow up cars and cause explosions in songs !! There is a sheer speed in the film. You don't get bored and there is something happening continuously from one scene to another.

Talking of colorful screens … Akshay-Aish starrer 'Action Replay' promises to be one hell of a colourful and stylish movie … in Eastman Color (as they say it in the promos / posters)

There is yet another interesting aspect of Rohit Shetty's Golmaal movie series …

Golmaal (2006) was a remake of Malayalam film Kakkakuyil

Shakuntala Bhatia, wife of director Rajendra Bhatia filed a complaint  accusing that Golmaal Returns (2008) had copied the story of her husband's film Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar (1973)

Golmaal-3 is reportedly inspired by Basu Chatterjee's 1978 film Khatta Meetha

Trivia: The Original Golmaal Movie was remade in Tamil as Thillu Mullu, with Superstar Rajnikanth reprising Amol Palekar's Role !!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sonakshi Sinha !!

I saw the Salman starrer Dabangg recently and had this inkling of familiarity every time Sonakshi was on screen. I knew it was not owing to the fact that she was Shatru's daughter but something else. Nor was it bcos i had seen her in all the promos on TV. It was something far back in history (my history of course)

There is a particular scene in which she appears in a black something which is studded with something glittering. Something similar worn by Deepika Padukone in Om Shanti Om (OSO). That visual made that familiarity feeling even stronger as if I had seen this before (almost in a Karz & OSO kind of way – raaz pichle janam ka J)

And then ... a few days ago while watching TV (more than watching, it was channel flipping); I came across a scene from an old movie and it hit me. YES. Sonakshi looks like this actress. And immediately another scene from memory flashed in front of my (internal) eyes. (Mind you, this is an extremely rare occurance since I do not have a photographic memory) … The scene of that actress in a black something with something shiny studded on it … and I realized why that shot of Dabangg seemed sooo familiar.

The actress to whom Sonakshi Sinha bears a strong resemblance is REENA ROY !!

Hope I am able to find pics to show u the black something wala comparision. To me, there are like 'lost at birth twins'.
Of course, you may think otherwise. 
 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Social Media Revolution

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Terminator 1 (1984 movie) finally

I will take a break from the movies and books post ... take a break from the past (few months content) and write something from the present timeline :)

When I first saw the Terminator movie more than 16-17 years ago; (Terminator 2: Judgment Day); It was an awesome mind blowing experience. It had absolutely amazing computer graphics and it was unlike any movie I had ever watched. It was a game changer of its time ... doing things ahead of its time.

Then came T3 (Terminator: Rise of the Machines, 2003) and it was a bit of a disappointment. There was a gap of almost 10 years between the two movies and I still had T2 imprinted in my memory. The expectations with the Terminator genre were very high and it disappointed. The technological advancements from T2 to T3 hardly significant.

The trilogy seemed to be over. But then T4 arrives as Terminator Salvation last year. A Terminator movie without Arnold was already unthinkable; add to that the movie not having the usual one-to-one between two cyborgs and it lost half its charm. Technologically speaking, T4 might have been a pretty good movie, but it simply did not resonate with me.

All in all, I felt nothing could match or superimpose on the effect created by T2.

And then … I saw Terminator. Yes, finally I saw the first and original Terminator movie from 1984 and realized that although it had the worst techno-effects amongst all T movies; it was obviously made a quarter of a century ago and whatever they did then was pretty much ground-breaking and mind blowing. I was actually impressed by the movie, its technological aspect and even the Arnold puppets/masks for shots where he is shown to have the metallic red-iris eye.

Winston had a team of seven artists who worked for six months to create a puppet of the Terminator. It was first molded in clay, then plaster then forced with steel ribbing. These pieces were then sanded, painted and then chrome-plated. Winston sculpted a reproduction of Schwarzenegger's face in several poses out of silicone, clay and plastersource: Wikipedia

While I was reading about the Terminator movie on Wikipedia, some faint memory reminded me that the trilogy of Terminator will be followed by another Trilogy. So after Terminator Salvation, we can expect T5 & T6 to come out in a couple of years.

The earlier movies had the challenge and charm of some technology to showcase that came from the future. The cyborgs coming back in time etc. The movies which are coming out now, actually are showing the post-Judgement day period when the technological advances are not that great. The cyborgs shown in T2 & T3 are not yet invented.

We are now in the past of the future that was shown in the earlier movies. (Did you get that; rad it again)
So should we expect technological wizardry that we saw in T2 & T3 or simply accept the fact that the movies now will be more ghastly and raw. The post Judgement Day era of nuclear holocaust

I would ask ... should they even make Terminator movies.

I always believe that certain movies create a genre of their own and they take on a personality which can best be described by themselves and not by existing standards. Example: James Bond movies, Terminator Trilogy, Matrix trilogy, Indiana Jones Trilogy … and so on. When a new team takes charge and try and play with this base character and personality of the movie or the characters, it can create a peculiar situation. You go to the movie theatre expecting something and what you see is something different. Something that you don't really identify with, since you are already tuned to some different frequency. The movie might actually be good; but it does not meet your expectation.

It happened to me for Terminator 4. It happened with me for Indiana Jones 4. It happened with me for the new James Bond Daniel Craig movies. And yes, it even happened when I saw the Sherlock Holmes movie this year. That disconnect prevents me from enjoying the movie.
 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Movies I saw in April ...

Tum Milo To Sahi

 

A very nice feel-good movie with several characters and their inter-linked lives. Watching Nana Patekar and Dimple Kapadia was a delight as was the subtle acting by opther characters in the movie. This was one of those feel good movie one might easily forget and not even think about again, but one which we surely enjoy while watching. Mind you, some people may actually find it boring too.

 

Paathshaala

 

Why O Why did I even go to see the movie. The promos seemed promising. Yet another movie with kids and the backdrop of school meant that it might be raising some pertinent questions about the education system. The movie started off fine and was proceeding fine until a song in which we see a lot of sub-plots and potential in the movie. The gal who has a crush on the handsome teacher, the guy who has a crush on this girl but afraid to talk to her, some kid who is shunned by others and some cute little kids including the Balika Vadhu girl and the Chini Kum girl; both having good potential to carry a sub-story. BUT, none of that happened.

 

After the song, everything seemed to fall apart and the whole story centred on our fat guy who is making life miserable for the kids by asking them to pay for anything and everything. A reality show crew enters the school scene and the story goes for a complete toss. The end also comes abruptly with seemingly no conclusion in sight.

 

Why was the movie made is still a question ! what message was being given out. I have already ruled out entertainment since that was clearly what I did not find in the movie.

 

Date Night

 

It was a fun movie. About how a husband and wife go out on a date and how one lie puts them in the wrong place and a wrong time with a mistaken identity which puts them in the cross fire of police and gangsters. The movie spanning one night was an interesting and fun thing to watch but an entirely forgettable one. Imagine, i went to see this movie with my fiancee :)

 

Bounty Hunter

 

An interesting movie. Nothing great or memorable but an entertainer nevertheless. Memorable for me would be the company I had when i went for the movie :)
 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Books I read in April ...

1. RHYTHM by Shraddha Majalkar

 

Well. This was, for a change, not a fiction novel. Rhythm is the name of the first module or level of an English Speaking Program developed by my best friend. This program is specifically aimed at vernacular medium students who know English but are not comfortable speaking. She has prepared extensive material for the program and as an experiment; we got the reference book for the first module printed using the Pothi.com service.

 

The joy of watching your name in print is stupendous. Holding a book that you have authored in your own hand is a joy one got to experience. I saw it in my friend's eyes and on her face as she unwrapped the book when she got the delivery.

 

Well, the story doesn't end there (of course). After going through the entire book herself; she handed the book to me … to Review it. So the first one-third of the month was dedicated to reviewing the book. Looking for typos, grammatical errors, sentence improvements etc etc. I did not touch any other book in that period.

 

2. Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella

 

So as soon as the book review was done, I picked up this one. This was an interesting one ... a very interesting story of a girl who manages to mess up things in her life with a twist of humor... and all is well in the end ... she blurts out deep hidden secrets of her life to a total stranger on an airplane during a turbulence (thinking she is gonna die .. sort of last minute confession)

 

The hitch is that the total stranger turns out to be someone up close at office. You gotta read it to enjoy it.

 

3. Temple by Matthew Reilly

 

I had to pick up  a Matthew Reilly. I guess I will read one every month till I exhaust all. This one turned out to be yet another gripping action thriller. It started off slow and i felt I was getting bored ... but then at some point it picked up speed and blazed around with wild action and adventure ... I will always remember this one for all the DEATH-DEFYING action sequences, moments and events ... Its almost like MR is writing a high octane hollywood action thriller script !! In Temple … MR takes you through 2 stories simultaneously, both running in different eras, with events in one story having an impact on the events in the other. A remarkable read.

 

THIS month has been a busy month ... my evenings were busy and i did a lot of within the city travelling on my Activa (2-wheeler) tiring me out by the end of day ....

 

Result ... reading was slow and sporadic ... I started Temple and another book but could not complete them ... they were still going on when the month ended … BUT … Temple was completed on 2nd May ......... did some marathon reading on 1st May and 2nd May :)

 

The other book is stuck on page 35 so it goes into May reading (dunno if I will be able to read it in May also ... its gonna be a busy month) …. Well … the fact is I wasn't able to to read that even in May since May proved to be an extremely busy month with not a single book read (finished).

 

If you are wondering what has been keeping me busy … Well, I got engaged in April and married in May !!
 
That should answer it in full !!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Movie I have seen in February ...

Yes ... You read it right. Its 'movie' and not 'movies'
 
Kartik Calling Kartik

 

This one was another surprise movie. One of those movies where you can't decide what to expect from the movie before you have seen it and you can't decide whether you liked it or not after you have seen it. The movie was slow. Excruciatingly slow at times. And that made it very boring at (those) times. But it had a very interesting and mind blowing climax. This unexpectedly good suspense climax made up for the bored times and you left the theatre almost in a state that was neither bored nor exhilarated.

 

The suspense when revealed comes as a shocker and you are momentarily exhilarated but you still can't shake off that utterly bored feeling you got before the climax arrived. You are left confused about your feeling for the movie and so when you leave the theatre, you are thinking about your feeling about the film rather than the film per se.

 

After a good start of 4 movies in the first month of the year, only one movie in the second seemed like a spoiler. Maybe there were not enough interesting options or time just went by. I don't remember now. Had I written this post 8 months back in Feb-March; I would have written more about it. But no worry, March score was 5 movies. I won't say the options suddenly improved because I saw movies like Road and Rokkk (Don't ask me why, I won't tell, I don't know) but thankfully the other 3 were better.

 

Well, so now that I have cleared my movie backlog from Jan and Feb, I will get on to the Books and Movies posts from April onwards.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Movies I have seen in January ...

Better late than never. 9 months late, but then ... it happens.
Heres the run down of movies I saw at the beginning of this year.
 
Avatar

 

Second Time J Yes, I began the year by watching this amazing movie for the second time. This was the last movie of 2009 for me, and also the first of 2010. It was a surreal wonderful experience. It was a treat for the eyes. Watching an entirely new and different world which glows and is closer to nature than our world which is now more or less a concrete jungle, was indeed a very eye-pleasing experience.

 

I was looking forward to its re-release with new scenes added but the reviews of the same discouraged me. They said it was just 10-12 minutes of new scenes and you could very well miss it. Well, I actually love that movie and might just try and catch it if it still around in some theatres in easy reach.

 

Raat Gayee Baat Gayee

 

This one was a disappointment. I have come to rather expect much from the Rajat Kapoor - Saurabh Shukla - Vinay Pathak - Ranvir Shorey movies. They have a very interesting plot and an entertainment value unlike the typical bollywood blockbuster. This one too had an interesting premise but the movie could have definitely been better, more fun. 

 

Harishchandrachi Factory (Marathi Movie)

 

This one was a surprisingly entertaining movie. Based on the life of Dadasaheb Phalke and his journey of making the first Indian feature film; I half expected an art film kind of treatment to this biographical true-story. BUT surprise, the movie was actually very much fun to watch. A well made movie and a befitting tribute to the Grand Old Man of Indian Cinema. 

 

Sherlock Holmes

 

The movie as a movie was good but somehow I was disappointed, simply because the character of Sherlock did not seem to fit. I have been a Sherlock Holmes fan all my life and have read almost all of his stories. The depiction of Sherlock, his character, his dressing, his flair in the Movie … did NOT quite give me the impression that this was the same Sherlock created by Arthur Canon Doyle. Even Watson did not fit the descriptions or sketches I have grown up with in the books and in my mind.

 

This singular thing prevented me from enjoying the movie completely. By any other name, the movie was a good one. But use of Sherlock's name and then dishing out a phoney is something I couldn't digest. Of course these are absolutely personal views and there might be folks who don't agree with me. Also, the Sherlock books are not sooo high on violent action drama as the movie was, with explosions and chase sequences and typical Hollywood action thrillers.

 

Leave out this character anomaly and the movie is an excellent watch with its right bit of combination of action, comedy and suspense.   

 

The year began with 4 movies in a month which seemed to be a good start J

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A Movie I saw in March … and forgot !

Yep, I have already blogged about the 4 movie I saw in March … Its Complicated, Atithi - Tum Kab Jaaoge ?, Road Movie & Alice in Wonderland. But that was not all. I completely forgot one movie that I saw.
Well, it's not my fault actually. It was a completely forgettable movie after all. I am placing on record that in that fateful month, beside the 4 mentioned above, I also, made the mistake of watching ROKKK … It was supposed to be some kind of a horror flick but it failed to do anything. I was neither scared, nor amused. I even missed the occasional laughs I would have when i had seen an episode of Zee Horror Show when i was a child.

No .. I am not writing anything more about this movie. Purely bcos there is nothing to write about it. I am just placing on record that I saw it … taking the tally to 5 Movies in March.

 

OH and By the way … I just realized that I have written only about the movies I saw in March and not about Jan and Feb. So before I tell you about my 5 4 3 2 1 score of Mar Apr May Jun Jul … I will first blog about the Jan & Feb movies.

So … Watch out … a barrage of posts on books and movies coming up next …
 

Friday, September 03, 2010

I am back ... again !

Well ... this becomes a 'Come back' post of sorts ...

It's been a long time since I blogged. The last I blogged was in April … 5 months ago.

The past 5 months have brought about changes in life.
Life changing changes I would say.

I got engaged in April and married in May.

A Rajasthan trip in June and a Honeymoon trip to in July.

And then a Job change in August with my office in Pune resulting in a city change

And finally … looking forward; September/October might just bring about a change in country too J ... Onsite project ...

Changes ! So many life changing changes

I now spend my weekdays in Pune in office & hotel and weekends in Mumbai at home. 4 nights in Pune and 3 nights in Mumbai is my weekly package .
My laptop refuses to connect to the hotel wifi in Pune and so I am completely off-line except for the 30-45 minutes window at noon when I am able to access gmail from office. (I am sooo thankful to my company for being considerate enough to make a policy to that effect J.
So the only time I get online is in these windows of time and over the weekends (when I am actually tired and don't feel like login into the internet – mail or FB or twitter or for that matter, anything).
Even my Arbit Choudhury comics work got neglected with me getting busy. Most of the times, I completed the comic strips just in time for the release and on a few occasions, it even got late. :(
In the past few months (starting April, when I got engaged); I simply got busy and hence could not spend time online … so no FB, no Twittter and no Blogging too. I have missed them all.
I recently logged into my Twitter account only to realize that I was logging in after about 125 days or so. That's a phenomenal time period on twitter I would say. 

Not that I haven't written in past few months. I did. If not anything else, I continued my recording of the books I read. The travel time in trains, the waiting time at airports, the long queues outside passport office for my wife's passport etc  ... all provided ample time to read. This year has by far been an Excellent year as far as reading fiction is concerned with me clocking an average of more than 3-4 books per month J One bad month had none while a particularly good month even had 6 books J

So now that I am back on the blogging circuit; my next few blog posts will be about the books I have read in past few months and also about the movies I saw. I am not sure I will write too much about the movies though. Might just put up the list. Might write a few lines about them. Dunno. I saw a lot of movies in theatre this year J highest being 5 in a month and the lowest being one in a month.
In fact I have seen practically 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 movies in 5 different months !! what a interesting coincidence !
Right now. Life is in a transient state. I am shuttling between Mumbai and Pune. I am waiting for a project to begin which will take me onsite to Middle East … can't be sure if it will be Dubai again or some neighboring Emirates or some other country all together like Saudi or Kuwait.
There is high probability of getting back to familiar grounds (Dubai); but then Life is always up to some tricks pulling a Joker out of its sleeve and laughing on us.

So that's what life looks like right now. Suspense in the air

:)