Friday, November 30, 2007

Google going to bid in 700 MHz auction

No more speculations...no more doubts...after releasing news about their GPhone, Google has announced today that they will be bidding in the 700 Mhz auction!

"We believe it's important to put our money where our principles are," said Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google. "Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today's wireless world. No matter which bidder ultimately prevails, the real winners of this auction are American consumers who likely will see more choices than ever before in how they access the Internet."

This is great news. First internet, next various apps for mobiles, then a phone, and now into wireless industry. They are getting ready to take on the world. Google feels that there should be at least one mobile network where the operator does not restrict - or attempt to restrict - customers' choices of hardware or Internet services - so called 'open access'.

Will they win the auction? I don't know, but I hope so. They are ready to pay $4.6 Billion cash. And now if they win it, the whole wireless industry scene in the US is going to change. Already after just this announcement we see Verizon opening up their network to any compatible device. Imagine what would happen when they get the spectrum...However the question remains if they'll build and roll out their own network or partner with another company which is already into building a network.

Here's the official news from Google Press center

Thursday, November 29, 2007

MTV decides: All South Park episodes Free Online

MTV Networks now plans to make every clip from every episode of the hit animated comedy "South Park" available for free online next year as part of a strategy to reach consumers everywhere.

"Offering versions of TV shows online has not hurt television ratings, and may have actually helped. One does not diminish the other by any stretch of the imagination. That is kind of our hat trick," MTV Networks Chairman and Chief Executive Judy McGrath said at the Reuters Media Summit in New York on Wednesday.

Whats interesting here is Viacom is the same company which claimed in their multi-billion dollar suit of Youtube that online video hurts their shows. So pretty much to me it looks like they learnt a lesson from Youtube that online video increases popularity of shows, and then decided to sue Google, made them remove videos, and then now have decided to post it themselves online. What cheap legal tactics.

Also as far as I know all South Park episodes, all seasons have been available for free legal download since the show started in websites such as http://www.southparkzone.com/, http://www.allsp.com/, http://www.allaboutsp.com/, http://www.spisodes.com/, http://www.southparkstuff.com/, http://www.southparkx.com/

...so whats new these people are doing here ?? Instead you know what they should do - just play Music videos, and cut all the crap celebrity reality shows, games they play these days...I miss old MTV :(

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Exit Hybrid view, Enter Terrain View in Google Maps

For the past few months I've been checking Google Maps almost everyday to see if they laid out the Street View feature for the entire Orange County. Right now only few areas have Street View like Long Beach, Anaheim and freeways.

Surprisingly today I found that Google has silently added another feature to its Maps. They've has replaced the Hybrid view option with Terrain View option. I didn't utilize Hybrid view so much anyways.

However good news is that they've included Hybid view in Satellite view which I think is a smart move.

The only problem I'm seeing in Terrain view is that I can't zoom in a lot as compared to other views. So for now it just seems to be an alternative to Map view, which pretty much shows everything as in Terrain view, except for 3D buildings and mountains.

Still waiting for Street view updates........

Monday, November 26, 2007

Whatever happens...happens for a reason

Have you ever come across an incident in your life where you felt...

Oh my God...What a coincidence !!

or something like..

this is what I call perfect timing..I'm glad I was at the place at the right time

Many of us stop thinking beyond that point...but i try hard to brood over those kind of incidents...whether it really was just a "coincidence" or was it "meant to happen". There's a thin line between these two statements but following either one of them puts you in totally two different categories. So if you don't analyze...good for you...life is cool..If you analyze, you waste more time and effort and break your head like me who ended up writing this post. So here's a small incident which happened this thanksgiving weekend where me, my better half, my Kabob mein haddi bro-in-law and our two friends planned a trip to Alcatraz.

We had bought 5 tickets for Alcatraz Cruise for the 10:30 am slot on Saturday. And in the last minute there was a small problem and my bro-in-law couldn't make it. He had to go bring his girlfriend from another place to San Francisco and hence had to skip this. Priority wise that was obviously more important. So we dropped him at Central station and came to Alcatraz @ 10 am. Now came the real problem. We somehow had to sell this $25 ticket. But who would go alone to Alcatraz ?? There were many couples going, but there were absolutely none going alone. We tried asking the people at the booth whether they can sell it and give us the money, but unfortunately the answer was NO. So naturally we had to do the famous "dus ka thees, dus ka thees" in front of the ticket counter, which surprisingly they were cool with.

It was 10:15 am and the ticket counter said "All tickets sold for today", which was very good news for us as the probability of us selling the tickets increased. So we saw many couples coming and going back disappointed. We tried selling tickets to them, but in vain as they wanted more. Our friends said they would drop out so that we can sell 3 tickets, but I was sure that there gotta be a better way. And then there was a final call for boarding and all our hopes went down when we had to ditch the ticket and go in. We almost let it go when right at that time I saw this pretty lady standing in front of the Cruise, watching the ticket counter lady yelling "All tickets have been sold for today..come back tomorrow".

We didn't know if she needed ticket or not, but looking at her we somehow knew that she was disappointed for not able to get to Alcatraz island today. So my wife at once went to her and asked if she needs one, and you must have seen the happiness in her face right at that moment. It brightened up so much that I had to wear my glares immediately :). No seriously..she became so happy that she was ready to pay any amount to get the ticket. But we being very nice people, just wanted the actual price. And finally we were able to sell our single ticket. You know what she said when she got it ? She said " there's someone always there looking out for us. " I know we've heard this many a times from many sources, but at that moment, for me it meant something. I completely agreed to her.

Now going back to my thoughts, should we consider this as a mere coincidence ? or a perfect timing ? All the while I was wondering what if my brother in law hadn't gone to get his girlfriend ? We would all have happily gone to Alcatraz, but what would have happened to this lady who wouldn't have got a ticket ? What if we weren't standing at that place right at that time ? What if we had gone inside and not cared for selling the tickets ? So in a way it was good the way it ended. Everyone got what they wanted.

Whatever happened didn't happen according to our plan, but it all still looked like a perfect plan. How can that happen ? Whose plan is that ? These questions really bug me. I have a hard time always to accept certain things which don't have proof...or I believe in "A Posteriori" rather than "A Priori" judgement. But situations like these make me believe that there's someone beyond us, beyond this world who controls us, who has a plan laid out for us and we are mere chess coins being moved here and there to get the game moving. Now thats good right. I feel good in believing in something. However I'm also a huge fan of the more believable Darwin and his famous theory. Very contradicting statements right ?

So thats why at the end of the day I feel its better not to dig too much into these incidents, rather just accept that Whatever happens...happens for a reason....and leave it there.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Finally BCCI wakes up..

I just read this news in Indiafm website about BCCI not taking SRK’s appearance for cricket matches in ‘the right sense’. SRK is obviously upset on this comment, but I don't see anything wrong on BCCI's part. Instead I feel they are finally waking up.
This is what they had to say -

" The senior Cricket board officials commented that stars are using cricket matches to promote films. Ratnakar Shetty mentioned that use of the platform of cricket for promoting films by celebrities is "slightly debatable" in the wake of SRK's latest film, Om Shanti Om as it came up for discussion during a chat with TV commentator, Rameez Raja at the recent Jaipur ODI cricket match between India and Pakistan. "

However SRK added that he went to watch the match as a sports lover and that he does not have to depend on other's platforms to push his films. It is because his children are fans of Sachin, Dhoni, and Sourav. Meanwhile BCCI Vice President, Rajiv Shukla said that the Board has no objection to SRK or any other celebrity coming to watch the matches.

We've been seeing Khan off late appearing in matches involving the Indian team. He was there to cheer the team in the final of the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa and then again at the Twenty20 match against Australia in Mumbai, where Deepika Padukone ( coincidence ??? ), his co-star in his recent movie Om Shanti Om, was also present. He was also seen wearing a T-shirt which read "Om Shanti Om". He was then seen at the last ODI against Pakistan in Jaipur and talked about his new movie ( obviously) in the commentary box. He wanted to see the Kanpur ODI as well, but the local authorities vetoed the move saying it would be difficult for them to arrange for security and control the crowd.

I read in many other websites that The Star is being considered a lucky mascot for the Indian cricket team. When did that happen ? After India winning Twenty20 ? What happened to the match at Jaipur where India didn't do the victory dance as our 'Men in Blue' lost to the 'Men In Green', Pakistan, by 31 runs ?

I had earlier written an article on this issue in my blog, and did mention that movies shouldn't get into sports.

Click here for my article on this - Cricket and Movies stars

I don't want to see Shahrukh in a sports column of any paper. C'mon.. We go to stadium to watch Cricket, not stars. Its our country playing. I don't wanna hear about OSO in a cricket match. If its about SRK trying to publicize his movie why not do it in an AIDS event, or may be in a no drinking, no smoking event ? Or for that matter in a Ranji Trophy which nobody watches. At least that part of cricket gets publicized.

SRK is a big big star in India. He has the capacity to pull crowds to anyplace he wants. Then why not involve people in places they generally ignore. At least he would do some good to the country instead of doing good to himself.

On the contrary, its also possible that this whole thing is a publicity stunt by Ratnakar Shetty himself. Now then thats a whole different issue. Anything is possible in this publicity and media crazy world.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tamil song video with Incredibly Funny Subtitles

OMG..this was hilarious..I literally fell down laughing after watching this video on youtube. I actually remember seeing this movie when I was in college and kind of know the actual lyrics.

But watching the same song with subtitles that say what the person thinks the song sounds like in english...lmao stuff

some insane subtitles in the song go like this....

Have you been high today
I see the nuns are gay
I told a high school girl
I love you inside me..

hahaha...check it out if you haven't laughed out loud in a while...

and yeah a small word of caution...this video has a lot of double meaning subtitles..so children...u better stay away from it else you'll get your ass whooped by your papa or momma..

Monday, November 19, 2007

Taare Zameen Par - Music Review


This is his first directorial debut and second movie from his production house. And he doesn't take the 'beaten to dust' path of making masala movie or a feel good entertainer, but rather he chooses a delicate subject, an area not explored so much in Bollywood, a story on the life of a dyslexic child whose world is filled with wonders that no one else seems to appreciate. Aamir Khan presents us "Taare Zameen Par" along with Amole Gupte who is also credited as the creative director and writer of the film.

We've seen quite a few movies on children off late. But most of them cater mainly to the younger generation. With this movie, I'm sure Aamir Khan would touch the hearts of both children and adults alike and would change the way adults look at children. Being a sensitive and touching subject, there can be only 2 names coming to mind as Music Directors who can do full justice to the theme - AR Rahman and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. I believe Aamir approached AR Rahman to score the music, but eventually it was handed over to SEL due to reasons unknown ( Source : Wikipedia ). And SEL amaze us by giving an album which would remain a special one in their musical career. Before I started listening to the album I didn't what kind of songs to expect. I knew it would be about children, but how can a full album comprising 8 songs be only on children was the question on my mind. And thats where SEL, Prasoon Joshi ( Aamir's current favorite lyricist ), Amole Gupte and Aamir Khan completely surprise us by talking about almost everything pertaining to the Child's World in these 8 songs.

Taare Zameen Par - All about Children and their behavior
With a lilting sweet tune starts the title track. And what follows is a blend of beautiful poetry, Shankar's heart-warming rendition and SEL's impeccable music. If you think the Mukhda is great, then wait till the Antara portion starts. SEL take this song to a totally new level infusing sitar and tabla with piano and vocals making it a spellbinding song. Prasoon joshi mesmerizes with his poetic charm and similies throughout the song. While listening to it one can feel "khona jaaye hum saare zameen par".

Yeh toh hai sardi mein Dhoop ki kirane
Uthre jo aangan ko sunehara sa karne
Maan ke andhero ko roshan sa karde
Thiturti hatheli ki rangat badal de
Kho na jayee yeh
Taare Zameen par

Kholo Kholo - Encouragement for children
Next song starts of in an Enigma like fashion and in few seconds switches gears to a casual Guitar-led intro by Raman Mahadevan. Once again the star of this song is Prasoon with this simple yet heart-felt lyrics. Infact the lyrics not only encourage children, I felt they were pretty inspiring for me too. A song which can be listened whenever anyone is down, or at the end of a tired day. I would place it besides another amazing song belonging to similar forte "Roobaroo" from Rang De Basanti.
Kyun is kadar hairaan tu
mausam ka hai mehmaan tu
duniya sajee tere liye
khud ko zara pehchaan tu

Bum Bum Bole - Spread your wings and dream on Children
A track tailor made for children. Its got everything that kids love, fun, masti, Aamir's babble in the start, playful tune, and once again Prasoon's beautiful lyrics which entertains as well as enlightens. Sung very effectively by Shaan, this song would appeal more to kids in a large way than to adults. But hey, don't we all wanna be like kids sometimes and have some fun and masti time. So...
Khul Ke Sochein Aao
Pankh Zara Phailaao
Rang Naye Bikhrao
Chalo Chalo Chalo Chalo
Naye Khwaab Bun Le...

Jame Raho - Daily Life of children
For everyone who loved Johnny Gaddar's title track by the trio, here's another one following similar style, musically. I would call this a cool hep rock song for children. Lyrically it depicts the daily routine of kids starting with alarm clock ticking in the morning to their hardships throughout the day. This song is completely filled with very interestingly rhyming one liners. If we all thought Prasoon was at his chill-out best in "Masti ki paatshaala" with his funny lyrics " naata yei sannata hai, dekho lamboo shor hai, har dil mei bud bud kartha H2SO4 hai ",then he excels further in this one by imaginatively rekindling our childhood nightmares like heavy bags, tonics, tensions, exams, homeworks..and so on. Thank god I 'm done with my schooling :).
Ye Omlet Par Hi Jeete Hain
Ye Tonic Saare Peete Hain
Waqt Pe Sote Waqt Pe Khate
Taan Ke Seena Badhte Jate

Maa - A child's eternal companion
This is a song which is very close to my heart and I'm sure it'd be the same for many. A brilliant composition by SEL sung soulfully yet again by Shankar Mahadevan. The trio manage to beautifully intertwine music with poetry to produce a sentimental track which sends shivers through you when listening to it. The song talks about the fears and insecurities of child which he wants to share with his mother. A very touching song accompanied by simple beats arrangement and acoustic guitar giving lyrics more importance. Its a song which makes you think, smile, shed a tear or two, nostalgic.
Ghar Laut Ke Bhi Aa Naa Paoon Maa
Bhej Na Itna Door Mujkko Tu
Yaad Bhi Tujhko Aa Naa Paoon Maa
Kya Itna Bura Hoon Main Maa
Kya Itna Bura Meri Maa

Bheja Kum - The torture for a child...homeworks and tests
A situational background number, its a song or rather teacher's yelling and screaming on the poor performance of a child, most probably the main character, in his homeworks and exams. It packs in almost all of the scoldings which everyone might have got in their school days and SEL put together right set of sounds to create the desire effect. Damn, I can't forget the days when my parents were called to school because of my bad behavior. The song starts of in a similar fashion to Lucky Ali's song "Tu Kaun Hai" from Bhopal Express. Interestingly the song has 10 singers to its credit, all of them related to the movie in some way or the other.
Kya Hai Problem?
Kyun Tera Bheja Kum?
Kyun Maths Mein Ho Anda?
Kyun Roz Khate Danda?

Mera Jahan - Child's innocent universe
As the beautiful album comes to an end, Amole Gupte presents us in his own words his experience of working with children for 7 years in the penultimate song "Mera Jahan" guest composed by Shailender Bharve. Given just one song, Shailender makes sure that he delivers the best and gives us yet another soulful song in this album. The song starts of with Gleehive, the kids chorus group, reciting Amole Gupte's lyrics, later on followed by Adnan Sami's impressive rendition and Auriel Cordo along with Ananya Wadkar pitching in for chorus.
A Little Sweet, A Little Sour
A Little Close Not Too Far
All I Need, All I Need
All I Need Is To Be Free

The album ends with a beautiful Piano piece "Ishaan's theme". I know many might disagree with me on this but I feel Piano is the only instrument which can capture every aspect of human's emotions. This musical theme is a clear example of my statement. What starts of as a soothing melody later on gets to lower octaves becoming more complex and ruffled and finally ends with the same melody as the one in the start, depicting a full circle of life with happy and disturbing times.

When other actors and production houses are going and knocking almost every possible door in the name of publicity, Aamir chose to silently release this music in the residence of Shammi Kapoor. This is also the first movie in Bollywood which got a worldwide online release of its teaser trailer. I think he believes in Simplicity rather than Publicity by letting the content do the talking rather than himself. This is a great project with a lot of research behind it and looks like Aamir has poured his heart and soul into it. And Shankar Ehsaan Loy along with Prasoon Joshi have delivered a powerful and soul stirring album which surely would find a place in everyone's heart. SEL have so far had another consistent year with all of their albums turning out to be chartbusters. And what a way to sign off year 2007 with TZP. They are turning out to be another AR Rahman for the industry.

If in 2006 the most creative and brilliant music album was "Rang De Basanti" starring Aamir, in 2007 its got to be "Taare Zameen Par" once again with Aamir playing the main lead. I wish the music, the movie and the team behind it good luck and hope it achieves what it set forth for.

Every Child is Special....and so is this album..

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My OSO movie review on Rediff website

This is incredible...a news which has made my day.

My review on Om Shanti Om movie got to the front page on movies section of Rediff website today ...woohoo

http://ia.rediff.com/movies/2007/nov/15rroso.htm

They've done a good job in adding pictures, links, italics to few words and finally breaking down the whole review neatly into paragraphs. I'm very surprised and extremely happy. Also I'm glad that many readers shared the same opinion as mine, which is encouraging. The only small...very small thing which they missed was to put the blog name like indiafm website does. But thats ok...This being the first time I can't ask for more...

Gotto tell my papa and mummy and everyone in my family :).

Thank you very much Rediff for making this happen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Assasin's Creed released today

I was waiting for this one to come out for a long time. Infact I managed to push myself to complete Halo3 just in time. Assasin's Creed has hit the stands today. I know there are many gamers who absolutely love Prince of Persia. Assasin's Creed is by the same people who made that game. Reading all the reviews, it looks like they've done an amazing job with graphics and gameplay. Wait no more...go get your copy from best buy or circuit city right away..and yeah before that you can check out its new trailer which features the song "God knows your Lonely Souls"



Here's a small synopsis of the game -

Assassin's Creed is a video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. The game takes place during the Third Crusade, in the year 1191. The player assumes the role of Altaïr (الطائر, Arabic, "The Flying One"), a member of the Hashshashin sect (the original "assassins"), whose objective is to slay the nine historical figures who are propagating the Crusades. As the player finds and kills these targets, their conspiracy is unveiled. The player will be able to travel through three cities: Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus.


has given it a 9.0/10.0 rating.



has given it 5/5 rating.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Om Shanti Om......Dard-e-Mujhko

Like many I watched Om Shanti Om last weekend. I'd have to say that Shahrukh and Farah did an incredible job with the publicity of the movie. I could see it in the long line to the ticketing counter and another very long line to get inside the theater. This might not be something new for Indian Theaters, but believe me, for LA Naz8, its astounding. Also they were practically everywhere, be it TV, internet, newspapers or radio. And they wouldn't have found a better time to release the movie than Diwali. So good job guyz. Ok now coming to the movie, I wouldn't tell the story as its already out in many websites. Infact its an easy one to guess from the theme, but Farah Khan surprises in 2nd half, not in a good way though. There are a bunch of spoilers ahead so read at your own cost.

The things I loved about the movie :

1) Well undoubtedly, King Khan himself. This was the kind of character I was waiting to see for a long time from him. The funnier side of Shahrukh which we saw in Duplicate, Badshaah and Main Hoon Naa. 1st half he was phenomenal. And believe me, its not easy to get a 6 pack guyz..I'm struggling here to get rid of my 1 pack itself. He's given himself to this movie.
2) The picturisation of the 2nd song "Dhoom Tana" wherein we got to see Rajesh Khanna, Jeetender romancing with Deepika (thanks to graphics), and then the magical fairy tale'ish 3rd song "Main Agar Kahoon".
3) Deepika ...who was hot, beautiful, elegant and taller than SRK ;). She brought in freshness on screen.
4) Farah's brilliance in several parts of 1st half of the movie. The way the movie beings, with Rishi Kapoor's OSO song, the Aag scene where SRK shouts "Bhaago", the incredibly hilarious episode with Manoj Kumar, South Indian Om Swaminathan to name a few.
5) The awesome sets and costumes which take you through the nostalgic 70s.
6) The intelligent Filmfare award best movies which included "Main Bhi Hoona Na", "Phir Bhi Dil hai NRI", "Dhoom 5" and "Return to Khiladi".
7) The handicapped role of SRK in a shooting tickled almost everyone's funny bone.
8) The creative end credits.
9) Finally the entire spoof of 70s film industry, like the shooting, dances, acting, almost everything related to 70s was amazingly executed.

And now coming to the part which many are going to hate...the negative points of the movie according to me. And believe me, there were many who felt the same as I did after the movie ended.

1) Lack of chemistry between SRK and Deepika. There was absolutely no love angle between their characters. 1st half atleast SRK was in love, but 2nd half was a disaster in this department.
2) The abrupt realization of Om about his past. I mean c'mon, all of a sudden you see fire and you remember the dialogues of your past, that too when you were drunk saying those????
3) The big time flawed charaterization of Sandy a.k.a Deepika's punar janam. Her indifferent behavior even after realising she has the face of the famous star Shanti Priya. Don't we expect excitement knowing that we have the face of an all time star ??? Here instead we see her chewing on chiclets all the time.
4) The songs. I have to admit that songs were not gripping on screen. Jag soona didnt have any impact at all. The last song "Dastaan" was boring. Except for Dard-e-disco, Deewangee to a certain extent and Main Agar kahoon, rest fell flat. There was no song which I could hum going back home.
5) Farah Khan's sloppy screenplay in the 2nd half. One time she puts in comical twist when you expect seriousness and the next moment you think the scene is gonna be funny and it turns out to be really serious. So in the end there were many parts in 2nd half where audience neither laughed for funny scenes, nor cried for sad scenes.
6) Badly etched Kiron Kher's character. There was some maturity shown in Shreyas character, but I didn't find any in Kiron Kher's character in 2nd half. It was meant to be funny, but she trying to be funny trying to practice her lines, that wasn't really needed.
7) Ajab Si song was shortened, and played in background.
8) In Farah's movies we can't expect villains to be really scary. Same goes here. In fact Arjun Rampal was good in the movie, not as a villain, but as an actor. Even he didn't have any scope in the 2nd half, where in his role was like a man going to the graveyard to dig his own grave.
9) Although my favorite song before watching the movie was Deewangee, I thought it was a bit way too stretched in the movie. It was almost like a 25 minute song which went on and on in a loop.
10) And finally the complete 2nd half itself was a big letdown to a great build up given till the intermission. There were many scenes which could have been really powerful and hard-hitting, but rather they turn out to be damp squibs. There is nobody else to blame other than Farah for whom Overconfidence took over Creativity.

It looked like Farah spent a lot of time paying tribute to the long gone 70s era, which is commendable. But she should have concentrated a bit more on the plot. If she really wanted to make a spoof of Karz or for that matter a bunch of 70s - 80s movies, she should have done it completely, which would have made it a wholesome entertainer like Austin Powers movies which from start to finish are spoofs of Bond movies. Having said this however, there is no doubt that this movie is gonna make loads of money which is good for many people in this industry. But the sad part is that this movie had everything to make millions of people happy and smiling, but in return it has left many unsatisfied. I expected Farah Khan to prove to many that her first movie wasn't a fluke, and that she's capable in giving a total paisa vasool masala entertainer. She tried it with OSO, but I feel she's taken everyone for a ride. In these times when new directors are coming up with novel scripts, innovative ideas giving fresh direction to Bollywood, changing the viewers' perception of Indian movies, Farah Khan has dished out a tried and tested formula film which apparently has put the audience mindset back to where they were couple of years ago.

If you are a SRK fan, you'll love the movie. If you are an Aamir fan, you'll love to thrash the movie big time. If you love Bollywood movies as they were before, you'll enjoy this movie and won't mind the minus points. And if you belong to the group who believe and support the changing phase of Bollywood, you'll be disappointed.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jodhaa Akbar's First Theatrical Trailer

Finally we get to see JA's First Theatrical trailer. After seeing it I have to tell you that it does make a whole lot of difference watching something taken from a cam and original high quality version. The trailer did look very grand. Many things were happening. Some scenes reminded me of "Troy" movie. One thing which really stood out in this original trailer was the grand background music by AR Rahman. Loved the songs Azeem o shaan and Marhaba. I don't know if they both are part of same songs or different ones. The duel between Hrithik and Sonu might be a fight to watch out for, if Ashutosh executed as good as Achilles and Hector's duel in Troy. I hope to catch this promo on big screen today, as I'm gonna check out Om Shanti Om.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

AR Rahman and Vijay Suntv interview - ATM movie

video

Great interview by ARR as usual. He seemed to be very relaxed, in a very jovial mood and humble as usual. Same is with Vijay as well, he was very calm and polite. Few confusions are cleared with this interview - ARR did do the BGM of this movie. Infact contrary to the rumors which always spread, saying any movie's release is delayed because of ARR's re-recording, we first time come to know that ARR always requests a movie before 2 months of release, to do background music. And he did that for this movie also. The truth was the movie's shooting was not completed. So the news created by Behindwoods about Sabesh & Murali covering for ARR is FALSE.

Also ARR did do the remix song "Ponmagal Vandhal". But whats surprising to me is how couldn't ARR fans find his stamp in this song? Why did this become a confusion in the first place?

When asked whether he'll do more tamil projects, he mentioned that meeting expectations have become hard. he stressed the importance of doing important projects. So that when all eyes are on them, his hardwork is noticed. I thought thats very true and its a very good decision considering many bad projects which he took up earlier.

One of the super funny moments in the interview was when Vijay said he was so impressed by the BGM that he called AR Rahman RR Rahman (Re-Recording Rahman)...at once Rahman was like.."appo paatu nalla illaya" ..hehe...Vijay was completely caught off guard..

He also showed respect for legends like MSV and Ilayaraja by saying that even a tea boy can learn music from them.

And finally we get to hear one more golden line from our man - "We have to believe in supernatural...at the same time work hard."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

No Smoking - a Psychological Thriller

Before I start writing this post, lemme tell you that this is one Brilliant f*@#ing hell of a movie. For everyone who wanna watch it, here are few important things to keep in mind -

  • Its not a very easy movie to be thought of, to be made, and finally to be interpreted.
  • You can't take your family and kids to watch this movie.
  • You can't take your loved ones to this movie to have nice time escaping the hectic schedule and constant vigilance of parents.
  • Its not a movie which belongs to any Bollywood Genre of movies released so far.
  • Its not candy floss entertainment
  • There's neither Uday Chopra nor Arshad Warsi to do comedy sequences.
  • Its not a movie which will make you quit smoking after you watch it
  • Its not a movie that will either entertain or educate
  • Its not a movie for old fags like Khalid Mohammed.
  • Its not a movie for front benchers who ill treat their wives and then later drool over item numbers.
  • Its not for masses, neither it is for the so called Multiplex classes.
  • It does not have Himesh Reshammiya crooning Noooooooooooooooo in his usual nasal tone
  • And finally...Its not a movie for everyone.
So having said all this, one obvious question would be...who is this movie made for and why is it brilliant ???

Its for all who loved classic movies like Eternal Sunshine of Spotless mind, Fight Club, Memento, Vanilla Sky, Constantine, David Lynch movies and last but not the least..the Brilliant Matrix.

Its for all who like to analyze about a movie long after it has ended, to decipher meanings out of various incidents that took place.

Its for everyone who loves movies which let you interpret the movie in your own way thereby giving you more freedom to run wild with your imagination.

Its for everyone who cannot believe in their wildest dreams that movies such as Partner, No Entry, Dhoom2 are superhits.

Coming to Matrix, I know many of you love that movie, mostly for its amazing original trend setting special effects, in some ways for cool looking Keane Reeves, sexy glasses and jackets, and some mindblowing action sequences. For me that was the case when I first watched it. I had lot of "Wow" moments in the movie. But I had lot of questions when the movie ended which made me watch it again and again. And that led me to further discovery of the movie's hidden message, "The Revolution against Corruption prevailing in today's World".

And that was the exact feeling I had after the movie No Smoking ended. Many who watched with me felt let down. The reactions ranged from " Arey kya bakwaas movie banaya re", " Whats wrong with Anurag", "What the fuck was this movie about ??". But that was the best part. The "What ??" led to discussions, which further led to understanding more and more about the plot. When we thought some scenes weren't clear, we tried watching it again. And this time it made more clear sense. Only after watching it the second time did I understand that most of the movie takes place in K's mind (K = John Abraham's name in the movie or might possibly be Kashyap, the director himself).

No Smoking is a brave film with a dark hidden message which is engulfed in another open message that Smoking is Injurious to health. Throughout the movie we don’t know what's real and what's imaginary. It is for us to figure out or to interpret. Anurag leaves the film open ended and ambiguous, which gives people something to think about. And that’s what a good film does. Now let me jump straight to the story. Actually not so straight as I would be meandering between my interpretations and the actual sequences of the movie.

No Smoking is a movie about K, an over confident, arrogant 30 yr old man who has his own principles, who doesn't like others telling him what to do, and finally a big time chain smoker. Smoking is a symbolic representation of his arrogance and resistance to the world around him. He constantly wavers from real world to imaginative world whenever he takes time out having a smoke in his bath tub. He fears one day he'd be in a position where getting a smoke is going to be close to impossible, which is what his wife ( Ayesha ) and his friend (Ranvir) try to achieve out of him. To change him for good, to make him a part of the conformist society, headed by the demi god Baba Bengali (Paresh Rawal). K's wife decides to leave him for his smoking behavior which forces K to seek cure from Baba Bengali. From here the movie takes a dreamy absurd route where K enters the hidden world a.k.a. rehab center run by Baba Bengali, signs a contract and surrenders himself to the system, eventually by quitting smoking. For the most part of the movie, which takes place in K's mind, he's revolting against the therapy, the "Society", but slowly he gets transformed and the society pulls him towards them. In the end, which is shown beautifully, we get to see his dirty soul ( Smoking habit ) being trapped and evaporated, thereby implying he's quit smoking, or rather become part of the conformist society. K finally wakes up from his bed, to see his wife is still besides him, walks towards the mirror to see his changed and cleaned self. In short, the movie has nothing to do with smoking or how one quits smoking, rather its about how a person loses his freedom, wishes, desires and gets converted to a body who complies with the world's rules does what everyone is doing.

Every scene of the movie is a visual delight. The texture of the film belongs to the noir genre along with other visual formats including slapstick comedy from the 1930s and characters speaking their mind like in comic strips. The dreamy and nightmarish underworld he created leaves one spellbound. Several times throughout the course of the film the distinction between the real and the imaginary blurs; it may confuse in the beginning, but by the end the discerning can always put the bits together and get what the director wants to say. No Smoking is the visualization of an idea - a formidable challenge for any director and Anurag Kashyap has pulled it off like a brilliant masterstroke. The background music by Vishal Bharadwaj also compliments the movie pretty well, the song "Ash tray" is still lingering in my mind...dhuan lipat tha hai dhuaan....For more on the music, check out my Music Review.

Box office might speak a different story altogether, but that shouldn't change Anurag's way of making movies, or so I hope. In my opinion, these kind of movies should be made more often. It should be enacted by big stars and not every time by Rahul Bose or Konkona Sen. Look at Hollywood, where we get to see big stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise act in non commercial projects thereby making many people to watch it. We've had enough of this huge sets, high budget meaningless love stories filled with 2 hrs of songs and fights and 30 mins of story. The failure of this movie is actually a failure of our Indian Cinema which has confined itself to mediocre, spoon-feeding of wafer thin plots, predictable outcomes, over the top histrionics for a long time and is finding it hard to come out of its own web. Just when they realized they've run out of stories, they've now started to recreate 80s and 70s movies, as a mere excuse to the lack of their creativity and imagination.

I think in the future if these kind of movies get worldwide online release along with theater release, then may be they would probably make more money. I know many might hesitate to watch this movie in a big screen, but nobody would mind paying $5 to watch it online. And imagine even if 70,000 people watch it online, the producers would recover their cost. That would encourage more producers to allow directors like Anurag, Sriram Raghavan and many others to make many such movies.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dus Kahaniyaan Music Review



Whenever there is a Sanjay Gupta's movie round the corner, I'm thrilled for just one reason. And thats the Lounge album. He's the only Director who's so much passionate about Lounge music that he releases a 2 cd version everytime his movie releases, one being Lounge Cd, while the other being Club cd. With Dus Kahaniyaan he surpasses his feat by releasing 3 cd album, adding a Poems cd by Gulzar along with his usual. Kaante and Zinda are one of my favorite albums till date. Will Dus Kahaniyaan get in the favorite list. Lets find out...

The album kicks off with the title song "Dus". Not one of the best title songs, but not a bad one either. The Cirque De Soleilish start is excellent. But then the song meanders into a usual techno song. However being the title song, it'll get more publicity. When one says Dus, I'll easily remember "Dus bahane karke le gaya dil" than this one.

"Jaaniye" has a retro touch to it, something like Aap jaisa koi from Qurbani. But not as great or memorable as that song. A passable song. This is supposed to be a lounge cd, but so far these two songs don't fit in that category.

Now we get to the best song of this album, "Aaja Soniye". Gourov Dasgupta excels big time in this song. Right from the start he sets the mood right. The saxophone mellows the mood even more. Sudhanshu Pandey sounds very dreamy. Newcomer Shweta Vijay voice is very enigmatic..a perfect lounge song. I feel like I am standing in the beach and surrounded by no one and the sun has just set. Its just a flowing song.." lambi lambi bailon se " line is mesmerizing. The 2nd interlude is made interesting with addition of hindi folk tune.

These days any Hindi album is incomplete without a punjabi-influenced song. And so is this one, with Mika coming back after a very successful "Mauja Mauja" from Jab we met. While he rocked the dance floor with that one, here in "Nach le Soniye" he's very ordinary. This song just fails to register. And can anyone explain why is this in a Lounge album ?

Now we get to the second best song of this album, "O Mahiya". Shweta Vijay's digitized voice makes the song grooooovy. KK does a neat job as always. The beats and the arrangement are perfectly handled here and would be an awesome song for the dance floor.

"Mushkil kushaa" by Kshitij Tare is what "Maula" by Vinod Rathod in Zinda was, however not as effective in rendering emotions as the former. This was kinda old fashioned. Kshitij's voice sounds very fresh and he whole heartedly sings the mediocre song. Why did Bappa lahiri compose a track in the first place.

Next song is "Vichodeya Ne" by Shaqat Ali Khan. Well..what can I say about this song..Nothing !! as I didnt understand any word of it. It sounded like "Yaar Mangiyasi" from Kaante at places. Must be a background song. I'll let it go to background then. With "Kaala Peela" Shaqat elevates himself both as a singer and a composer. The song is enticing with a smooth beats and heart warming rendering by Shaqat himself. Once again didnt understand a word other than Kaala peela thola kya..ram raheem, mola...but still listened fully..I guess its the power of music. My third favorite song from this album.

"Bin Tum" has Anand Raj Anand taking over music director's chair. Considering the amount of love songs which have released lately like in Saawariya, Om shanti om, Jab we met, this one pales. This is a very good love song with nice lyrics but belongs to late 90s or early 2000's. The same is the story with "Bhula Diya". Can u believe Anand Raj Anand has scored for 62 movies so far. I expected songs like "Kaante", "Sandhya" which was once my favorite soundtrack for a while, and "Musafir". But the 2 songs turn out to be pretty mediocre. Indiafm says this sad track is entertaining. Well if its entertaining then its failed to be sad, which means its failed the purpose,didn't it?

The Poems CD by Gulzar is top notch. Every actor gets to recite one poem. I especially loved Anupam Kher's recital of "Bauchaar". All the poems carry some lilting background music with them. When you listen to most of them you feel like you are in an island or something. You can start with the first poem and get totally lost in the magical words and music until you realize that the CD is already over. All in all a great CD.

With the festive season coming, Dus Kahaniyaan might not find that many takers at the onset, but once things settle down people might take notice of this album. Its packed with way too many songs with remixes in Club CD. But sadly only 3 - 4 songs stand out, "Aaja Soniye", "O Mahiya", "Kaala Peela" and probably "Jaaniye". Others are not that much attention grabbers. But the Poems CD makes this entire 3 CD collection a special one by giving it variety.