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Just For Laughs

June 15, 2008

Here’s one of the many reasons why SRK has such die-hard fans. This is a clip from a random episode of KBC. I could not stop laughing when I saw it.  Also, this contestant dude has to be the funniest and most nervous contestant ever. Check out the crying baby on the phone….and SRK’s priceless reactions to the whole mess! What a combo. They couldn’t dream this kind of comedy up for the movies.

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Frikkin’ Awesome Bollywood ‘08

May 24, 2008

Maaaaan, it has been a long time since my last post. But Bollywood season has been exceptionally slow - what with all the cricket mania sweeping the nation which is so powerful it shuts down an entire industry. Nonetheless. There were a few interesting things that happened while I was gone.

1. Saif Ali Khan topless in Race.

2. Not to be outdone, Kareena Kapoor bottomless in Tashan.

Together, they are the official Posh and Becks of Bollywood.

3. Aamir Khan calling Shah Rukh Khan a dog on his blog. (Hey, that rhymes). And he didn’t go to any awards shows even though he won Best Director for TZP at every show. Much to the chagrin of Sajid Khan who continues to insist that his Heyy Babyy was somehow frikkin’ awesome which, really, it wasn’t.

4. Shah Rukh Khan basking in the free publicity and picking up a basketful of awards for being so frikkin’ awesome in Chak De! India. And not retaliating. Yet.

5. Apparently Amitabh Bachchan also has a blog. And he’s also using it to insult people. Including SRK. Hey, that’s what blogs are for, right?

6. Sexxx and the City: Theee Muviee The Real Biggg Story (Oh wait, that’s Hollywood. And Himesh Reshammiya didn’t decide the title. Wouldn’t it be funny if Hollywood producers consulted astrologists to decide the appropriate lettering for their movie titles too?) Like 95% of the world’s female population, I am waiting with baited breath for May 30.

7. The first truly big Bollywood release this year post-Jodha Akbar, is the Bachchan trio in Sarkar Raj, which looks pretty frikkin’ awesome.

8. Shyamalan is back with The Happening which also looks pretty frikkin’ awesome and hopefully gives him a chance to redeem himself. Go UTV!

9.This guitar jamming piece from Atif Aslam, which I can’t stop watching for some reason, currently on tour in the US. The man is also frikkin’ awesome.

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SRK’s Kolkata Knight Riders

March 14, 2008

So after the cricket people were done deriding Shah Rukh for using the cricket platform to promote Om Shanti Om, SRK did what only SRK can - he bought his own cricket team. You gotta love that.

Here are two of the promos for the new team. The team’s philosophy is very SRK - if they defeat you and dance at your defeat, dance better. If they hit you with the ball, don’t hit back - eat the ball. Take a look at Shah Rukh’s career, and you’ll see that this is what he’s always done - and succeeded.

The team’s anthem is phenomenal. Not that there was anything wrong with cricket to begin with, but talk about putting the ‘Cool’ back in Cricket, SRK style.

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Holy Hotness

March 8, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen - Anurag Sinha.

The future of young Bollywood is bright and beautiful!

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Adi’s Baaack!!

February 2, 2008

Yes, it’s true. The notoriously reclusive bada beta of the Chopra parivaar is back in the director’s seat and he’s signed who else but King Khan in the lead for his next venture, entitled Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Can’t say I much like the title, but then I think I had a similar reaction to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, and we all know how that turned out. The nationwide search is on for a new leading lady who will be half Shah Rukh’s age and supposedly should have a very “Indian” face. So if you fit the bill, knock on Adi’s door (if you can find it).

Why a new face? The last time Adi cast “new” faces the film didn’t live up to expectations….I’d really rather not have him return at all if it’s going to be another Mohabbatein. I hope he’s more careful this time about who he chooses to launch as his lead so that she not only has the prescribed traditional Indian face but also knows how to act and has that unquantifiable ‘it’ factor. We wouldn’t want her to end up like Preeti, Kim and Shamita, would we?

Sigh, will there ever be another DDLJ? What IS it about this movie that still makes it so magical, 13 years later, still as fresh as it was when all of us first laid eyes on that unforgettable frame of Raj and Simran in the field of mustard flowers…. I get all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. It’s one of those films where all the elements, from the casting to the story to the timing all fell into some pre-destined dance of perfection. Any artist is lucky to create one such project in a lifetime. So here’s the million dollar question that is on the mind of every Bollywood fan and is surely the bane of Aditya Chopra’s existence - can he do it again?

Wait and watch.

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Star Screen Awards ‘08

January 29, 2008

The writer’s strike has put a definite damper on awards season this year, so much so that I’m actually more excited for the Superbowl (Go Pats!) than the Oscars. However, our filmi family over in Bollywood is happily celebrating their own success. And so the congratulating begins with the first awards show of the year, the Star Screen Awards.

Aamir was a no show of course. Well, we can’t blame him, can we? Bollywood award shows are really not about who wins. Because the awards really aren’t about merit. It’s more about how creatively and diplomatically they can disperse the awards to all the people who did a decent job that year, making sure to give at least one award to the most powerful person in the industry (this year, that would be SRK). No one really cares who wins because it’s all rigged anyway. Nonetheless, the spirit is one of celebration, the dance performances are always pretty spectacular, and the jokes are usually the best part.

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I thought I’d miss Karan Johar’s trademark wit but Sajid Khan hosted this year and he was spectacular. In fact, he was the only good thing about the show - barely anyone showed up! No Akshay, no Ranbir, no Deepika, no Sonam, no Govinda, no Anil, no Abhishek, Ash or Amitabh….no one at all, except Shah Rukh and his evergreen wife Gauri. And Rekha of course, who is ALWAYS there the way Jack Nicholson is always in the front row at the Oscars.

Sajid made fun of many of the films that didn’t so well last year, but his best one liners were about RGV Ki Aag (main dooba, main dooba) and Saawariya (India’s first 70 mm “blue” film, the entire film is blue). He also did a skit with the always awesome Shreyas Talpade as the Chak De Girls -the entire sequence had the audience in splits…and there’s no way to describe it. If you can find it, watch it just for these two - you won’t be sorry.

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Also, his towel parody of Ranbir from Saawariya was both funny and disturbing. Sajid’s lost a lot of weight but…not enough to go shirtless….I think it was the fact that he had actually shaved his chest that I found so…bizarre. Nonetheless, the “don’t drop the towel sequence” was hilarious.

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The winners….enh, how can you take it seriously when the Best Director award went to both Aamir Khan (who was also awarded the Best Debut Director award - what?) and the very deserving Shimit Amin. Whatevs. However, I was very happy that Anurag Basu won Best Screenplay for Metro. Shahid Kapur is pure lightning and his star is definitely on the rise. SRK’s already legendary energy is boundless as evidenced by his Dard-e-Disco performance. He also won Best Actor for Chak De. Big surprise there. Kareena predictably won Best Actress for Jab We Met.

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Anyway, it was a ho hum kind of night. As evidenced by this ho hum post. Maybe Filmfare will be better. I’m still holding out for Jon Stewart on Oscar night.

 

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Hair News

January 23, 2008

For anyone who might be interested (and apparently, there are some of you out there that are) in what Himesh Reshammiya looks like without his cap and with (you guessed it) hair - here it is!

Holy Crap, HR, is that a….weave? A wig? Hair plugs? Man, I don’t even know where to begin joking about this.

In other hair news, Aamir Khan is going bald for his new film, the Ghajini remake. Here’s a mock-up preview, courtesy indiafm.com -

What’s scarier? HR with hair or Aamir without? You decide.
Bollywood Fugly!! Please take note!
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The Best Rendition of ‘Rang Barse’. Ever. Anywhere.

January 13, 2008

Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma was and still is the best singing show on Indian television. Check out pint-sized firebrand (and CEO of his “just-launched” hair gel company Greem) Tanmay Chaturvedi singing ‘Rang Barse’ like nobody’s business. Unbelievable.

For all his off-stage and on-stage antics (if you’re not watching Li’l Champs, you need to tune in just for that), the kid always hits the right note.

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2007 - Fond Memories

January 5, 2008

This is by no means a comprehensive list - just stuff that I remember from last year to be of varying levels of interest.

The Abhishwarya Bonanza

Well, first there was Guru. Who could forget AB Jr.’s fantastic rendering of Dirubhai Ambani? And Ash had a chance to redeem herself after her cringe-inducing freak show in Dhoom:2 and proved that dammit, she CAN act - as long as she doesn’t have to don a mini-skirt. Then of course came the wedding blitz and we were Ash-n-Abhi’d to death. We’ve seen everything from post-shaadi trips to the temple to Ash’s first karva chauth…seriously?

The Comeback That Really Mattered

Okay - how many of us went through Salaam-E-Ishq basically waiting for the Govinda bits? That’s right - his was the comeback no one was expecting and it was all the more satisfying because we didn’t even realize we missed him! Doing only what Govinda can, he brought his own unique brand of lovable comedy back in one of the year’s biggest blockbusters - Partner.

VVC Congratulates Himself

More interesting than Eklavya the movie was the one man show called Vidhu Vinod Chopra who seemingly couldn’t stop congratulating himself on his own brilliance! Dude, let us decide. Eklavya was alright, not flawless - and the Munnabhai series belongs to Raj Kumar Hirani - not you.

The Stealthy Kumar

Check it out - Akshay Kumar had 4 releases this year and all 4 were blockbusters at the box office. So while we’ve been ruminating on the ever-fascinating hold King Khan has on the cash register and who, if anyone, can take over his throne…it’s not some new, young actor who’s the threat - it’s this veteran actor who’s been around even longer than SRK himself. Capitalizing on his comic talent, we already know he’s an action star, he’s kept himself current and trendy…could it be King Kumar before long?

The Comeback That Totally Didn’t Matter

For a while it was Shilpa here, Shilpa there, Shilpa, Shilpa everywhere. Talk about capitalizing on the whole racism controversy over in the UK…it was amusing to watch Ms. Shetty pretend like all this attention was going to get her career back on track. Unfortunately, no matter how much the Brits love her, seems like desi folk still…well, don’t.

The Remake To Unmake

Never, ever remake Sholay unless you know what the hell you’re doing.

The Invincible Khan

This was definitely SRK’s year - Chak De! saw him in a rare, understated and restrained performance that proves he CAN act, a little bit…and it was the only film from Yash Raj in 07 that did well. And then of course came Om Shanti Om. Love it or hate it, it ate up the box office. Love him or hate him, King Khan rules on.

A Star Is Born

Watch out for Deepika Padukone. It’s been a long while since there’s been a debut with this much dhamaka. Someone who can sweep on to the screen and be an instant star. There are a few promising actresses in the new breed - Amrita Rao, Ayesha Thakia, ummm…yeah, can’t think of anyone else. Konkona Sen Sharma is in a league of her own so I won’t even lump her in this group. But really, someone to take over the Ash-Preity-Rani triumvirate? Only Deepika can manage that.

The Sleeper Hit

Jab We Met was a breath of fresh air- and the first time I didn’t hate Kareena (with the one exception of Omkara) in a role. But the true heroes of this film were the refreshing dialog and Imtiaz Ali’s youthful, light touch on the direction. Shahid Kapur was good - he’s here for the long run and kind of reminds me of a young Aamir Khan. He has the same dedication and intensity and in a few years, I think he’ll be regarded as one of the industry’s best. And this guy is hands down the best dancer in Bollywood today. Yes, even better than Hrithik.

The Coolest Girl in B-Town

Is anyone cooler than Konkona these days? She’s so refreshingly unpretentious - it’s like her motto in life is “what’s the big deal?” She has the same likable quality that Kajol has and she is so unique in who she is…Whether it was Metro, Traffic Signal or the two YRF films she reluctantly took part in…she was mesmerizing. She’s that rare star who oozes character.

The Un-Bollywood Movement

A number of cool new films - from Life in a Metro to Johnny Gaddar, Bheja Fry to No Smoking, and Dus Kahaniyaan to The Last Lear - are creating a niche which in India is called “multiplex” cinema, but over in the States would be called “independent” cinema. Basically, it’s anti-establishment, anti- formula, gonna-do-my-own-thing, rebellious film-making. Some successful, some not so successful…but it’s refreshing to see the landscape of Indian filmmaking expanding.

Bhansali Bombs

Oh God. WTF was Saawariya? Seriously, I’ve never been so pissed off at a film or at a filmmaker. Not even RGV for Aag or Shyamalan for Lady in the Water. Ugh - the whole thing was so bloody pretentious. And needlessly expensive. It’s time for Bhansali to grow up.

The Comeback That Should’ve Mattered, But Didn’t

I’m still not sure what happened with Madhuri’s comeback. I enjoyed Aaja Nachle. I mean, it wasn’t wow or anything but it’s what we would call a “feel-good” film here in Hollywood. Nice. Enjoyable. I don’t know. Something isn’t working with the new Yash Raj formula…I’ll write a post on that as soon as I figure out what it is.

Perfectionism Pays

Finally, Aamir can politely flip the bird to everyone who whined about his perfectionist ways over the years….Taare Zameen Par is that rare film which is both entertaining and enlightening and the kind of movie desis desperately need to watch. I’ve heard people say this should go to the Oscars…uh - it’s not THAT good. It’s not without flaws but it is an awesome movie, an unconventional subject and along with Darsheel Safary’s performance (the best since Kunal Khemu in Zakhm), the true hero of this film was the director - Aamir Khan. We hail you, Mr. Khan.

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Karzzzz

December 9, 2007

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

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Yes, that’s Himesh Reshammiya. Yes, it’s Karzzzz spelled with four z’s y’all. And yes, I still can’t stop laughing.

Notice, it’s a poster announcing the commencement of shooting not the release. Yeesh!

The only redemption would be if Karzzzz is boring enough to put us all to sleep so film critics can relish making fun of all the extra z’s in the title. The ultimate redemption would be if the film flopped at the box office but judging by the “vengeance” of their marketing campaign, those mysterious HR fans will surely flock to theaters. Oh boy.