Tag Archive | Entertainment

Kismat Konnection Review

I finally got the time to catch a movie after many days. Classes and job are taking away recreation and blogging time. Anyway, so here’s my review on Kismat Konnection.

# First the title. I strongly suspect UTV has made a jibe at Ekta Kapoor’s superstitious obnoxious obsession with the letter “K” or maybe they themselves believe in that. 🙂

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Kung Fu Panda

Hiiiyyyeeaaa !!

No thats not a new style of saying hello. Its a kung fu war cry 😀 Now for the review.

Problems :- Sadness, Depression, Stress, Monday Blues, Boredom, Grumpiness, Fight with wife/husband/gf/bf/mom/dad/sibling/friend/neighbour/boss/traffic cop/stranger on road/canteen guy/shopkeeper, Tension

Solution :- Watch Kung Fu Panda!!!!!!!

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Confessions of a TV addict – Part 1

I’d been addicted to television since I was four years old….actually since the day we bought TV. It is rumored by my elder sister that I used to watch anything Doordarshan ( the national and only channel in India at that time) dished out; like Krishi Darshan, a program for the benefit of farmers where experts solved their problems and suggested better agricultural practices. As I grew older, my attachment with TV grew. I used to be completely mesmerized with the moving pictures and the characters. It took my family (mostly my sister) a lot of coaxing, cajoling, emotional blackmailing, scolding, and bartering to get me to study and do vacation homework.

My first passion was animation and it still remains so. I simply love cartoons and animation movies.
In this post I want to share some of the happiest moments of my life when I used to get lost in the world or visual media by the courtesy of Youtube and the uploaders.

Starting with famous series Jungle Book, Baghira was my favorite character…strong and silent characters always appealed to me. Jungle Book was such a hit among children of my generation. The old cartoon series were much better than those being aired on Jetix or CN…all Japanese and violent.

Oh I almost forgot the first ever super hit animation series He-Man!!! It was awesome….”I have the power”

There was an afternoon show featuring characters which were vegetables. Their king was a brinjal called “Baingan Raja” (Brinjal King) Sadly no video is available of that show. Then there was one called “Molu”. As the name suggests the protagonist was a mole. Again no video available.

Then I was totally in love with Genie from the series “Arabian Nights” featuring Aladdin. It was pure humor mixed with adventure. It was an one hour show where half hour was of Aladdin and other half of Little Mermaid.

Then Disney cartoons at 10.30 am on Sundays won hearts of many young and old in India. I loved Ducktales. Talespin was a favourite of my Dad. And everyone liked the pirate character (I don’t remember the name) more than Baloo.

How can I forget “daanu” aka Denver the Last Dinosaur??? I couldn’t find the Hindi version of the opening song.

Then my second passion are fairy tales and fables, especially witty ones like Akbar Birbal, Vikram Betaal etc. Further, as I became wiser, I started liking some real human characters too like our superstar King Khan who was a tv soap actor then. I liked his serial Circus very much…more than Fauji. But I could find videos of Fauji only.

My Didi’s favorite series was Bharat Ek Khoj…..and I never felt any interest in it. Infact it was a very famous show but sadly I didnt like it. I guess it was too serious for me.

Doordarshan also telecasted short films and videos in public interest and to celebrate culture and heritage of India and to promote unity in diversity. Those videos are evergreen and remembered by all who are of the Doordarshan generation.

TO BE CONTINUED…..

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Though I have criticized, ranted, and grumbled about the 2nd movie of the previously trilogy & now “quadlogy” Indiana Jones series in my post earlier, I want to state for the record that the 1st and 3rd part were fine & enjoyable and had no such gross story lines.
Recently I saw the highly anticipated 4th movie in the series “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull“. First of all Indiana Jones movies are for those who like thrilling adventure stories, treasure hunts and don’t mind far-fetched fantasy/fables added to it like the Holy Grail or the Lost Ark. As I enjoy such movies I was looking forward to watching the 4th part. Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones has grown old but from what I’ve read he refused a stunt double and has done many action sequences himself. The movie is basically about the legendary city of El Dorado and Indy getting mixed up with KGB which is after the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls. The meticulously planned and shot action sequences as seen in previous parts is missing but Spielberg has to be applauded for the way the movie seems to be really shot in the 60-70’s. He has paid attention to costumes, cars, everything. Even the film print looks quaint. There is no dumb bimbo as the female lead character of the film. Cate Blanchett as Colonel Dr.Irina Spalko is the villain and I could hardly recognize her! And of course I liked her [mixture of power and evil in woman + the Russian accent..love that :D]

There is a young dude also who turns out to be Indy’s son [Spoiler :D] and infact its shown in the end as if he will be next Indiana Jones and there will be a 5th part.

I liked the concept that Knowledge is the biggest treasure and that we can never ever gain complete knowledge about everything; physical, spiritual, philosophical and abstract; mostly because we can’t handle it..we are just mere mortals. And sometimes we let go of our soulmates out of stupid reasons or fear or fights and just lose precious time which we could have spent together…As a character says “How much of human life is lost in waiting”. The movie is entertaining and definitely worth watching once in the theater.

The Chronicles Of Narnia – Prince Caspian

The Poster
I love fantasy and animation movies!! I have already mentioned it before but no harm in another affirmation. Though many people consider that kiddish but I like losing myself for sometime,taking a respite from the real world in the world of magic and fairy tales. I admire the imagination of the authors who write such books and the screenplay writers & the directors who bring the pages to life. I watched the movie “The Chronicles Of Narnia – Prince Caspian” today and proceeded to write a review.

The Pevensie Kids- Edmund,Peter,Susan and Lucy

Sadly, the movie doesn’t stand up to the reputation and expectations left by its 1st part “The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe“. Somehow it seemed to lack the magical lustre in it. The storyline seems to lose its pace. In fact it drags a little bit in between. But the visual effects especially the river coming to life are worth watching. And I like the British way of talking..crisp and clear not like the American drawl. Would have liked Tilda Swinton to have more role in the part-2. [In fact I had The White Witch as my profile snap before. What can I say…I liked the mixture of Power and Evil in a woman. 😀 :D] The soundtrack isn’t so great as it usually is in fantasy movies like Harry Potter or the 1st part. Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian) is cute looking. And I like the Centaurs very much [would like to ride one someday or in some life..hmmm]. The part where many Narnians have to be left behind to die is touching. The mouse warrior is cute and funny. Overall a family entertainer and to be enjoyed on the big screen.

Prince Caspian surrounded by the Pevensie kids

Reepicheep is one of the fiercest fighters in the realm

Aslan The Lion

Epic battle at Aslan’s How for control of Narnia

"Anti-Indian" Indiana Jones

I don’t think that every famous and admired story writer or director has only good/brilliant movies to their credit. I’m sure each one of them has one or more movies which they are ashamed of writing or directing. The ones who provoked me to write this post are still living in the illusion that its another wonderful and different creation of their remarkable skills. They advertise the “work of art” using sentences like “The movie which broke all the rules and changed the film industry”!!! Maybe they think that any art they dish up would be lapped up by the public without any criticism and from the hype about the movie I gather they have managed to pull it off. I’m talking about the crap called “Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom“. (Maybe I’m not the first one to write such a strong criticism against the movie as I have not yet researched into the reviews that movie had received and also I believe some sane people are still out there in the industry).
I think Mr.George Lucas (yeah the guy behind Star Wars) the story writer and Mr.Steven Spielberg (yeah yeah the Jurassic Park guy) the director, should hide this movie in question in their biographies and their later real works of art are a compensation to the torture they inflicted on the audience with this Indiana Jones sequel. After hearing so many people rave about the famous movie I decided to download and watch all three. I liked the first one “Indiana Jones and Raiders of Lost Ark“. Infact I think its the source of inspiration for most of the action sequences and damsel in distress scenes of Bollywood, Tollywood et al. It was an enjoyable movie with every imaginable twist in action sequence and drama. Then I started the 2nd sequel. It turned out the movie’s story is set in India and had our own Amrish Puri and Roshan Seth starring in it. (How did Amrish Puri agree to act such a role? Just for Hollywood fame?) I wont describe the plot and lengthen my post. An Indian village was shown where people spoke god knows which language and of course few spoke English!!!!!! The most disgusting scene of the movie and which made me scream out of indignation”Is THIS a Spielberg creation? What was he thinking? Shame Mr.Spielberg” was a dinner scene at the Pankot palace of Bhanpur. In this scene, 1st dish to be served was “snake surprise”. A huge boa was served and when its stomach was cut lots of little snakes crawled out and people aka Indians ate that. Then next on menu were beetles whose shells Indians cracked and slurped the insides with the heroine (Kate Capshaw) gaping at them and ready to puke. Are you too feeling gross? Wait, there’s more. Then the heroin asked for soup seeing such food and she was served soup with eyeballs in it. The dessert was a monkey’s head on a cup with head split and Indians eating its brain with spoon just like icecream. I’m ready to puke now!

Maybe if we really ate that stuff, George Bush wouldn’t have blamed us for price rise. Then maybe SPCA and PETA would have targeted us!!

More absurd and demeaning scenes of a cult of “Thugees” (whatever that means!) who were Kali worshipers were shown. (I think its the practice of sacrifice to Ma Kali that fascinates Western people and inspires them to cook up gory stories). People were made to drink human blood and were thus hypnotized to follow the cult leader, Amrish Puri. He was shown to punish by digging his fingers right into the offender’s bare chest and grab his heart out!!!! By the love of god, that was the height of preposterousness.
Well maybe I’m being too harsh. The mine chase sequence was definitely nicely wrote and shot. But that doesn’t make up for the image portrayed of Indians and their diet. No wonder Western people have strange ideas about India, Indians and their cultural and religious practices, India’s mysticism (e.g. snake charmer found in most cartoons where the snake stands up and is used as a rope to climb or an ascetic on bed of nails or flying carpet). A person like Lucas or Spielberg who are making sci-fi movies should have at least done little bit of research into India before showing such ridiculous and offensive stuff. Neither it can be enjoyed for the sake of fun nor can it be included under artistic license or cinematic license. Any true blue Indian will be enraged at such depiction. I was.

"Sanctity of Cricket"

The recent controversy on cheerleaders performing in India Premier League cricket matches inspired me to write this post. Cheerleaders, many imported from abroad, were hired to liven up India’s new $900 million domestic cricket league in which eight teams play a shortened version of the traditional game. The cheerleaders have been introduced into the IPL as part of moves to add glamour and entertainment to the game. The sight of many foreign women and Indians dancing in high boots and skimpy shorts sparked anger from both Hindu nationalists, who opposed their open sexuality, and some leftist parties who said it crudely copied Western culture.

One of the nation’s leaders Mr.BT even said “the sanctity of cricket has been lost as the promoters have turned the stadium into a dance bar and the cheer girls have been brought to seduce the crowd.”

For crying out loud, since when cricket rather any sport was a holy game?? Some games are “holey” but definitely not a single game is holy!!! Are we supposed to go to stadium like we go to a temple? Is watching cricket going to replace visits to temple? Are our cricketers replacing our Gods? First of all cricket is not an indigenous game…its an after effect of the British Raj in India. And Mr.BT of all the people should not create a hullabaloo. He is the father of the protest against celebration of Valentine’s Day in India because its Western culture. Second, what this thing of Marathis against dance bars? Its just a supply to the demand. Third what seduction are you talking about? Its an open stadium not some private strip club. Don’t you seduce potential voters by hollow words? Seduction is everywhere Mr.BT, in various forms of varying degree.


He also said “At a time when farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada region are committing suicide because they are burdened by debts, it is not clear what the people, who are pumping money to bring cheer girls, want to convey.”

Ohh is that so, Mr.BT? What do people try to convey when they pump enormous amounts of money in holding rallies and election campaigns for you? What about the time when your followers and henchmen destroy public properties and nowadays fellow Indians? All that comes from the taxpayers’ money,Sir. When so many politicians are “pumping” money outside to Swiss accounts and “pimping” India’s valuable resources, then what is the harm in pumping money in creating cheer and pimping cricket? What did you do when you were in power to stop these suicides? If all the followers and supporters were put to work, the annual flooding of Mumbai can be stopped by cleaning all waste.

Indian police say the organizers of the new tournament transforming world cricket could be fined if cheerleaders are deemed to be dressed indecently. Organizers could be fined for violating the norms of the entertainment licence they had secured for allowing performances in the stadium.

I do not say that the cheer leaders are not skimpily dressed. They do wear very short skirts and display midriffs. My point is that its not such a critical matter that it should have been discussed in the Parliament. When an important issue is to be discussed or a bill has to be voted upon, our MPs are absent or too busy breaking furniture of the House. But they consider this issue important enough to be discussed. Whereas each one of them secretly enjoys displays of flesh and I’m sure several of them have many skeletons in their cupboards. Are there no norms of the entertainment provided by movies? Because if the cheer leaders could be fined for indecent dressing then our heroines like “Marathi Manoos” Urmila Matondkar should be fined for films like Rangeela, …or Kareena Kapoor for Tashan…..Bipasha Basu, Udita Goswami…..the list is endless….

An actor-turned politician lashed out at organizers of IPL matches for bringing cheerleaders to the stadiums and making a “mockery” of cricket. He said it was “difficult to find cricket in these matches”. He appealed to the cricketing bosses to seriously ponder over the issue to save the glory of the great sport.

Dear Sir, if you would take your eyes off the cheerleaders you would find mostly cricket in 4-5 hrs duration. Aren’t sports like basketball or football where the cheerleaders originally perform glorious or great enough? Or because they have cheerleaders, these games are not serious enough?

A minister of Maharashtra has said “We live in India where womanhood is worshipped. How can anything obscene like this be allowed?

Oh my god!!! Well I suppose this worship can be understood from this information…..

Rape is a social disease in India. Hardly a day passes without a case of rape being reported in Indian newspapers and media. Women belonging to low castes, and tribal women are more at risk. What is sad about rape in India is the lack of seriousness with which the crime is often treated.Statistics from 2000 showed that on average a woman is raped every hour in India.

According to a recent report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) up to 50 million girls and women are missing from India’ s population as a result of systematic gender discrimination in India. In most countries in the world, there are approximately 105 female births for every 100 males. In India, there are less than 93 women for every 100 men in the population.

Diagnostic teams with ultrasound scanners which detect the sex of a child advertise with catchlines such as spend 600 rupees now and save 50,000 rupees later.

And dont even get me started on eve teasing. What worship are you talking about Mr.Minister? Celebrating Navratri or Durga Puja can’t be counted as worship of womanhood. How can you allow more obscene scenes and dialogues in Hindi movies which is seen by the Indian family more than cricket? Stop being a hypocrite.

“The manner in which semi-clad girls keep shaking their limbs is in bad taste,” said another leader of a hardline Hindu nationalist party.

What about the song “Dhak Dhak” or “Choli ke Pichhe” by another “Marathi Manoos” Madhuri Dixit? Infact what about every other song in Bollywood movies? These cheerleaders are shaking only their limbs,if you know what I mean. We should be thankful for that.

There have been reports in the Indian newspapers of cheerleaders complaining of sections of the crowd jeering at them and making lewd comments.

This news item is another example of the famous worship of womanhood. Why can’t Indian men show decency towards these professional cheerleaders and just watch and enjoy? Why do they assume that when a woman is dressing skimpily she is looking for trouble and naturally inviting comments and cat calls and find it justified to tease her? And this goes even for a girl wearing a very decent top and jeans.

At a time where there is acute shortage of water and inflation is hitting hard, our leaders are busy watching cheerleaders and then creating a unnecessary issue quoting the “Indian culture” as always and still continuing to watch sneakily. The fault mostly lies in cameramen on the field. They take close ups of these cheer leaders at various inappropriate angles and are crucial to sparking this controversy.

And is our hundreds of year old Indian culture so weak that few cheer leaders can destroy it? It definitely is not.

National Treasure Review

I saw the movie “National Treasure – Book of Secrets” today. Nice movie…I have always been fascinated with the idea and the thrill of a treasure hunt. As a child I used to have these detailed,colorful, and thrilling dreams of adventures like treasure hunt or catching some dacoit….I saw such dreams quite often but as I grew up, I stopped having those dreams and now sometimes in a blue moon, I see such a exciting dream.

Anyway, coming back to the movie….I was sad to see the old balding Nicholas Cage. He has been one of the actors I liked. Especially his eyes. He surely has some Scorpio effect. I was also sad to see what i suspect a slight double chin. Sigh!!! One cant fight the aging process..its the inevitable way of life cycle.
Overall I liked the movie.
Till now I’m enjoying a nice quiet Sunday.

Golden Compass Review

Long posts are really not my cup of tea…..I’ve decided to go for short and daily posts also….

I went to see The Golden Compass today…..Most people in my close peer circle are not into fantasy or animation movies…..infact except only one friend (who saw voluntarily), none have seen Harry Potter movies!!!To miss out on such a landmark in movie-making,is pure stupidity especially due to reasons like “Those are just kids’ movies”…… Anyway I’m a big fan of animation,fantasy,magic,fairytales…..anything that stimulates my imagination…might be the outcome of being a Gemini…. like Carl Sagan puts it “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere”

The movie was a bit slow and I was quite disappointed to find out its a “to be continued” movie….But the graphics and special effects were wonderful. Overall I’d a nice evening.