Popcorn, anyone?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Good Luck Harm.....

Last evening, I caught the press show of an hitherto unknown film called "Good Luck".

I plan to change that--I wanna let EVERYBODY know about this film. I want the whole WORLD to chant this film's name foe eons and eons; I want this film's name to go down in the journals of every human being on the planet at this moment--I want our great-great-great grandchildrens' great-great-great grandchildren to grow up on this film's screenplay--who needs Cinderella when we've got Good Luck, eh?

Alright, if you've missed the heavily veiled sarcasm, here's the real lo-down on the film--it's B.A.D BAD. It's pathetic, it's horrible and it's disgusting, to say the least.

Sayali Bhagat, as a in-and-out-of-luck professional hams and hams till she sounds cheesy. She isn't even a great looker, forget her inability to play a diva. Aryemaan as the out-of-luck singer is made for television--I can tell you now, this very moment, that he will be the next big thing on the soap scene, if he decides to join now. He either overacts or mumbles his lines incoherently. He can't dance, he doesn't have a fabulous body, and, for some reason, he has this funny dopey look on his face in all of the scenes he doesn't have to mouth any dialogue in.

Of the supporting cast, only Ranvir Shorey (as a charming gigolo) manages to impress you yet again, though you can't help but wonder what on earth made him sign the film in the first place. Lucky Ali, as the music mogul, shows you he can act but cannot, for the life of him, choose his roles. Archana Puran Singh, as the forgetful tarot card reader, irritates in her now monotonous style of comedy. Sharat Saxena, as the supposedly funny cop, is as unfunny as you can imagine, constantly screaming out his lines. The rest of the cast are either so bad that I won't mention them or so good that it's sheer injustice to relate them to this movie.

Shoddy production values, corny dialogues, a overtly confused screenplay, inconsistent cinematography, tuneless songs and badly choreographed steps would be how I'd describe the technical aspects of the film.

As for the director, Aditya Datt (of Aashiq Banaya Aapne fame), I prefer not to mention him. For one, this film has neither the technical elan of ABA nor the sweet seduction of Tanushree Dutta (Sayali Bhagat shows some basic skin in that one song shot on the beach, but that's about it--and even in that it's Aryemaan who looks better), both of which reflect on the director and his "vision".

The highlight of the film, however, is most definitely the blatant brand advertising--a prominent advertising agency's vice president has been given some major screen time during the course of which he is even made to 'act' (read: he has to smile and look important). Truly the funniest product placement in recent times, topping even the preposterous one in Mission Istanbul.

Quick Take: Watch this film only if you personally some of the cast/crew (But think about it, even then).

Monday, August 4, 2008

What A Load Of (S)crap.....

Whenever I think of this, about what happened, I always come up with this one song. It's the title track of a show I'm rather sorry I used to watch: Taina. I think they used to show it on Cartoon Network or Pogo in India. Or maybe it was Nick. Doesn't really matter.

Here're the lyrics (the first two lines of the chorus, at least):

[You know I can't wait to see my name in lights
No one's gonna stop me you'll see...]

Hmmm, so here's the deal: my by-line got scrapped, ok? Yeah, I know it sounds kiddish, I know I'm gonna receive a lotta flak for this, but I don't care. I was excited, I was hopping on one leg, I was smirking at you lesser mortals, but now...now I'm part of the crowd. I don't got no by-line no more, man :-(

Anyway, that ain't the point.

No, no, wait, that is the point.

Whatever the point, actually, the point is that I have a point.

That's besides the point.

So is this :-D

Sorry, couldn't resist that one.

Now the problem is this: I've gone and blown my own trumpet far and wide--practically half the world now thinks I'm getting a by-line.

Oh, I work at Filmfare, by the way. I should've mentioned that before, I guess.

So yeah, now I don't get to read my name in lights...I mean print and that's pissing off.

Don't get this wrong--don't mistake my flippant (oh yeah, I've still got the vocab) tone for a well-healed heart. No, my friends, my readers (however few you are), my people, I am nursing more than a few bruised veins. I'm clutching the remnants of a few happy memories. The moment, that one golden moment, when I realized that my name would be printed where few mens' names've been printed.

But no! No, this is not Utopia, now, is it? No! This is reality. HARSH reality, if you will. MY reality!

Yep, no by-line for me...scrap it, he's just a kid. Cut it, tear it, rip it apart....in fact, why don't we just remove the goddamned page? Hahahaha! That'll teach him to get his hopes high! Mwahahahahaha!

Welcome to my world.....

Friday, August 1, 2008

Back To Black.....

Jack Black is back, baby! Woohoo!

One of my favourite actors of all time (sorry, random fact, I guess), Messr.Black voices the animated panda, Po. Bumbling, overweight and often clumsy, Po still dreams of become a Kung Fu warrior (like his idols, the Furious Five).

Po's father, however, has different plans for him; Mr.Ping (daddy goose), you see, owns a flourishing noodle restaurant which, he hopes, Po will take over some day. For that to happen, Mr.Ping instructs Po in the art of noodle-making but constantly refrains from letting Po know the "secret ingredient".

Kung Fu Grand Master Ogway, meanwhile, gets a premonition that the dreaded Kung Fu Warrior Tai Lung will escape prison and threaten the Valley of Peace once more. To counter this, he announces that he will soon choose the new Dragon Warrior, the one fighter who will stop Tai Lung once and for all.

I won't spoil the fun and tell you how this happened, but what happens is that Po inadvertently gets chosen as the Dragon Warrior (like you didn't already know/guess).

What follows is an intensely hilarious tale of a coming-of-age blundering panda. Yes, there are foes-turned-friends, there are caricature villains, there's the inevitable disapproving-but-proud father track, but it's all been presented in one of the best ways ever.

But the most amazing thing about Kung Fu Panda is its hidden message (which only becomes clear towards the climax of the film): belief.

I won't expand on that, go watch the movie, but lemme tell you this: it's the stuff legends are made out of. The message might be lost on kids and adults alike, specially since it's being depicted in an animated film, but I'll go so far as to say this is the second best moral-driven, comedic animation flick ever (the first being the Lion King, of course).

The animation rocks. It's been superbly done by DreamWorks who, of course, prove time and again why they're one up on Disney and Pixar. The expressions of all the characters are nearly life-like, specially in the close-ups, the one place where you'd most expect the life-likeliness to fail.

As the voice of Po, Jack Black is phenomenal. I can just about imagine him in the studio, coffee cup in hand, going crazy with Po. This film is his stage to prove to the world, again, just WHY he was born. He rocks. I'm sorry if I'm gushing but I can't help it. I am a maniacal Jack Black fan and extremely proud of it.

Angelina Jolie's inclusion in the cast was much hyped but, frankly, she doesn't live up to it. Don't get me wrong, as the voice of Tigress, she's awesome--but there's nothing of the Angelina Jolie stamp in her this time, no extra zing like there usually is. At the end of the film, I realized that this was a role any female could've done, which is weird since I walk out of most Angelina Jolie films either drooling/foaming at the mouth or talking so loudly about her that my friends usually stand a few hundred feet apart pretending not to know me.

Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu is just perfect. I seriously cannot imagine any other actor whose voice would've suited the character more. Maybe, just maybe, Marlon Brando in his Godfather days but, sadly, this film is a few decades too late for that.

Jackie Chan's role, too, was much talked about. But as Monkey, he's there for hardly a few scenes (where he's required to talk. Otherwise, he's there in the entire film, like an animated extra). He's simply wasted but I guess including him was the producers' way to lure the audience (specially after the success of The Forbidden Kingdom).

Lucy Liu as Viper rocks. Again, it's a role that any other lady could've done, but Lucy Lui's good, no doubt about it. I'll give credit where it's due. :-D

A very, very special mention to Randall Duk Kim, the man who voices the tortoise, Grand Master Ogway. He's TOO GOOD. He's hilarious and he's old and restrained and he's convincing and he's annoying all at the same time. Phew! Imagine one guy doing all of that in one sentence! That's Master Ogway/Duk Kim for you :-D

I go with a 5/5 for Kung Fu Panda (only for the third time in my history--after The Shawshank Redemption and, more recently, The Dark Knight). If you walk out of this film without a smile on your face, you're out of this world....and I don't mean that in a good way.