Kites (2010) – Movie Review

Kites Poster

Written by: Anurag Basu, Robin Bhatt, Akarsh Khurana, and Rakesh Roshan
Directed by: Anurag Basu
Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Bárbara Mori

Kites is one of the most awaited releases of the year, generating tremendous buzz with huge hype surrounding it. It marks the return of Hrithik Roshan on the big screen after a gap of two years and ropes in Bárbara Mori (a Mexican actress) as the lead. Produced by his father’s company Filmkarft, this is one of the most expensive films coming out from the Hindi film industry. The movie (as per reports) was designed to introduce Hrithik Roshan to the western world, and it has a complete English version which is being released as well. It’s directed by Anurag Basu, who has already proved his mettle in Bollywood as one of the new age directors to reckon with. Now, the all-important question: does it deliver as a movie AND in showcasing Hrithik? On the movie front yes, it does partly, and the showcasing…Totally!

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By | 2017-09-24T22:51:32+00:00 May 29th, 2010|Movie Reviews|2 Comments

Badmaash Company (2010) – Movie Review

Badmaash Company poster

Written & Directed by: Parmeet Sethi
Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Meiyang Chang, Vir Das, Jameel Khan

Badmaash Company is directed by Parmeet Sethi, a well known character artist in the Hindi and Punjabi film industry. This is his debut as a director. It is produced by Yash Raj films, which is one of the biggest production houses in India, with Shahid Kapoor and Anushka Sharma playing the lead roles. Going by the title and the trailer, one expects a good film about con men. However, the movie ends up being just an average entertainer.

The story is set in 1994, and is about three fresh out of college friends: Karan (Kapoor), the leader of the pack who we are told is a topper in both academics and athletics; Zing (Chang), an alcoholic; and Chandu (Das), a womanizer, the latter two being just average students. All of them, in order to make a quick buck, help Ansari (Jameel Khan) in smuggling fashionable clothes in from Bangkok. During their first trip to Bangkok, they meet Bulbul (Sharma) who wants to be a model, but who also wants to make a quick buck and works with/helps Ansari in smuggling goods into India. Ansari runs a store which sells smuggled goods from Bangkok and other places around the world. During their trip, Bulbul and the three friends hit it off big time, and become thick friends.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:51:45+00:00 May 20th, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

Loins of Punjab Presents (2007) – Movie Review

Loins of Punjab Presents

Written by: Manish Achraya & Anuvab Pal
Directed by: Manish Achraya
Starring: Shabana Azmi, Ajay Naidu, Ayesha Dharker, Michael Raimondi, Seema Rhamani

Released by: IndiePix Films
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: Yes

My Advice: Good performances, but not as funny as one would like.

Loins of Punjab Presents was released in 2007, directed and co-written by first-time director Manish Achraya, and is now out on DVD. This is a movie targeting the “multiplex audience.” (The term is used for a movie that appeals to a niche audience group and expects to recover its cost through a long run at the multiplex with limited shows. Basically it is not a mass movie, which releases in single screens and has huge number of shows in the multiplex thanks mainly to the actors involved, or due to the latest trend (such as the director involved with the project)). The movie is supposed to be a laugh riot, a parody on the reality show American Idol (which has its own version across countries, including Indian Idol in India). Does it deliver? Well, the movie is provocative and is slightly racist–the racism factor is used to get in few laughs, but overall the movie is strictly okay, thanks to good performances and few good moments which are really far and few in-between.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:52:05+00:00 May 18th, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

Iron Man 2 (2010) – Movie Review

Iron Man 2 poster

Written by: Justin Theroux, based on the character created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Don Heck and Larry Lieber
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson

Tony Stark (Downey) is the king of the world. Since we left the man in the suit, Stark single-handedly brought our world to peace. Although one superhero could never be enough to stop war all over the world, the movie suggests a situation similar to the fear of nuclear weapons: nobody is making a move because they’re afraid Iron Man will intervene, at the same time they are trying to develop their own warsuits.

The tides turn for the eccentric billionaire with the rock star image, when he is being attacked by Ivan Vanko (Rourke) during a car race in Monaco. Stark was able to shrug off the government’s attempts to get the suit into their hands before the incident, but after the attack, even his friend Rhodey (Cheadle) turns against him. And things just proceed from there.

You only need to know one thing about this movie: before the flick started, I was not in a good mood, mostly because the people behind were loud and annoying. When the movie was over, I had a big smile on my face. If you want to know why, keep on reading.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:52:17+00:00 May 9th, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

Boom (2003) – Movie Review

Boom movie poster

Written & Directed by: Kaizad Gustad
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Gulshan Grover, Javed Jaffery, Padma Lakshmi, Katrina Kaif

Boom is written and directed by Kaizad Gustad. This movie came in after the director’s highly acclaimed and successful (in relative terms compared to other cross-over/independent films in India) Bombay Boys. The movie boasts of an ensemble cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shorff, Zeeenat Aman (in a sort of comeback to the silver screen, it was her second movie in fourteen years) and the three gorgeous models Katrina Kaif (this was her launchpad), Madhu Sapre and Padma Lakshmi. Again, with Kaizad one hopes we get to see something different from normal commercial pot-boiler stuff and here he attempts to make a dark comedy about the mafia. In doing so, he delivers as a director but falters as a writer.

The story revolves around three models Anu, Reena and Sheela (Sapre, Kaif, and Lakshmi) staying together in Mumbai. During a ramp show, Anu gets involved in a catfight with another model, who happens to be a part of a mafia gang smuggling diamonds. During their catfight, the other model–who is supposed to smuggle thirty antique diamonds–loses them on the stage, resulting in a stampede and the diamonds going missing. The other model “dissapears” and the mafia get to Anu and her two friends for payback. The gang is operated by Bade Miyan (Bachchan) from Dubai with his distant cousin Medium (Grover) and his keep (mistress) Alice (Zeenat Aman) along with their Indian counterparts, Chotte (Jackie Shroff) and his sidekick, Boom Shankar (Javed Jaffery), who along with smuggling diamonds also run a human trafficking chain.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:53:38+00:00 March 22nd, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

The Midnight Meat Train (2008) – Movie Review

Midnight Meat Train

Written by: Jeff Buhler, based on the short story by Clive Barker
Directed by: Ryuhei Kitamura
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Roger Bart, Brooke Shields and Vinnie Jones

My Advice: See it

Clive Barker, genius that he is, hasn’t had the best of luck with film adaptations of his work. Sure Hellraiser was spectacular, and Candyman was pretty damned scary, though not completely faithful… Other than those, few adaptations do his text justice. So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw The Midnight Meat Train, especially given its publicity (or lack there of…more on that in a bit). It’s based on the short story of the same name. It was originally published in 1984 with Books of Blood, Volume 1, and can now be found in the Berkley Trade published Books of Blood Omnibus, Volume 1, which collects the first 3 volumes.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:54:02+00:00 March 15th, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

My Name is Khan (2010) – Movie Review

My Name is Khan poster

Written by: Shibani Bathija with dialogue by Shibani Bathija & Niranjan Iyengar
Directed by: Karan Johar
Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Jimmy Shergill, Sonya Jehan, Yuvaan Makaar

Widge’s Note: I think everybody knows that I have a fondness for Bollywood films because there’s just nothing else like them. Apart from some exceptions, sadly, I can’t keep up with the output of the Indian movie industry like I would like, so I’ve called in some reinforcements. So please welcome our new Bollywood movie reviewer, Adarsh. Hailing from India and currently working here stateside, he’s going to check in from time to time with some Indian movie picks. Which I’m excited as hell about. Take it away, Adarsh…

This is Karan Johar’s fourth movie as a director–his previous three have been blockbusters all starring Shah Rukh Khan and two of them have had Kajol as lead actress. As a result, the expectations of this movie are sky high, particularly as these three are working together after a gap of nearly a decade. The subject of My Name is Khan is definitely the most different, realistic and risky they have undertaken as a team. Realistic and different mainly because their films before have all been typical Bollywood “larger than life” romantic movies. Risky because the audience for a movie with this theme is usually limited, but with Khan’s star power (capable of pulling in the initial audiences, which could grow if the material is Good) it’s a gamble that should pay off. I could as well call this Bollywood’s answer to Forrest Gump!

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By | 2017-09-24T22:54:07+00:00 March 12th, 2010|Movie Reviews|4 Comments

Kinky Boots (2005) – Movie Review

kinkyboots

Written by: Geoff Deane and Tim Firth
Directed by: Julian Jarrold
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sarah-Jane Potts, Nick Frost

My Advice: See it… see it NOW.

The basic story of Kinky Boots is familiar enough: underdog faces trouble and certain ruin and launches crazy plan in the hopes of making a remarkable, feel-good comeback. What is truly interesting, however, is that not only is this based upon the true story of a British shoe company, but that it is the story of some rather, well, kinky boots.

It all begins when Charlie Price (Edgerton) inherits his father’s traditional, staid shoe company and is quite unprepared for the inevitable financial setbacks this entails. Faced with laying off his entire staff and closing the doors, Charlie sets aside the objections of the World’s Most Irritating Fiancée and sets out to find a niche market. When Charlie has a chance encounter with cross-dressing singer Lola (playing with outstanding skill by Chiwetel Ejiofor, OBE, last seen displaying his creepy, gentle ruthlessness in Serenity), Charlie sees his niche: male transvestites who need sexy shoes that will support their weight. What follows is part comedy, part romance, part drama, and all splendor as we watch the Price shoe company’s very British staff get used to making stiletto healed boots with riding crops instead of men’s oxfords.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:54:15+00:00 February 25th, 2010|Movie Reviews|3 Comments

Legion (2010) – Movie Review

Legion poster

Written by: Peter Schink & Scott Stewart
Directed by: Scott Stewart
Starring: Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Dennis Quaid, Charles S. Dutton, Tyrese Gibson, Adrianne Palicki

My Advice: Wait for the DVD, if you see it at all.

Short Version: Not bad, but you can simulate the experience by watching, In This Order: the opening 20 minutes of Terminator, all of The Prophecy (1995, not 1979), any several random portions of The Omen, the Commandments scene fromThe Ten Commandments, and all of Terminator 2.

Long Version: The whole “Angelic-Host-Exterminating-Humanity-And-Humanity-Has-To-Save-Itself” Thing would have worked, wonderfully, if they had focused on that. And the whole “What-Makes-Humans-Unique-Even-Unto-Causing-Heretofore-ABSOLUTELY-LOYAL-Archangels-To-Rebel-Is-Their-Ability-To-Persevere-And-Show-The-Best-Of-Themselves” Thing, would have worked, wonderfully, if they had focused on that. Hell, those two things would have worked well, together, if those were the only two plot points.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:54:54+00:00 January 28th, 2010|Movie Reviews|0 Comments

The Princess and The Frog (2009) – Movie Review

The Princess and the Frog poster

Written by: Ron Clements, Rob Edwards & John Musker, based on a story by Clements, Greg Erb, Musker and Jason Oremland (with story supervision by Don Hall), all of this based (kinda) on The Frog Princess by E. D. Baker
Directed by: Ron Clements & John Musker
Starring: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Michael-Leon Wooley, Jennifer Cody, Jim Cummings, Peter Bartlett, Jenifer Lewis, Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, John Goodman

My Advice: Matinee.

Tiana is a young lady who has a purpose. It’s the 20s in New Orleans and ever since she was a little girl she and her father dreamed of opening a restaurant. Her father gone, Tiana soldiers on alone, working tons and hardly sleeping, socking away whatever money she can in order to get an establishment of her own. Into town strolls Prince Naveen, a bit of fun-loving and flat broke royalty, who falls for the tricks of the evil voodoo magician, Doctor Facilier (David). The Doc changes Naveen into a frog and the only thing that can break the spell is the kiss of a princess. Mistaking Tiana for a princess, Naveen talks her into kissing him, but it only makes things go from bad to worse, turning Tiana into a frog as well. And thus, hijinks ensue.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:55:50+00:00 January 3rd, 2010|Movie Reviews|1 Comment