Monday, July 23, 2007

Bollywood Redux !

I've got to hand it to Rakesh Roshan - these movies keep getting better and better. As I mentioned before, Krrish (the follow up to Koi Mil Gaya) is a big-budget action adventure romance. This mega-production has pieces from:

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • House of Flying Daggers
  • Tomorrow Never Dies
  • The Forbin Project
  • Dr. No
  • Batman
  • Superman 3
  • On The Town
  • The Devil's Advocate
  • Titan AE
What we have here is a superb mix of James Bond, Batman, and Superman with (of course) a love story and a really evil, evil villain. The best thing about these movies is that they accomplish holding the audience's attention without having to resort to blood, gore, sex scenes or full-frontal (or full-backal) nudity - you actually enjoy the movie for itself. Okay, sometimes the musical production numbers can get a little overdone, but they produce the same feeling of awe and amazement as the old 1930's extravaganzas with the rotating stages, lighted stairs and hundreds of dancers hoofing away to a Big Band beat. It's just fun!

Do yourself a favor - watch the two of these over a long weekend - you won't be disappointed!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Hurray for Bollywood!

I've always enjoyed watching foreign films and reading subtitles has never been a hassle for me (although I really prefer the yellow ones to the white). I've seen French, German, Danish, Japanese, Spanish (a lot of Almodovar) and Portuguese. Never Hindi. Until this weekend.

I had read on a couple of boards how great Rakesh Roshan was as a director, so I took out two of his movies - Koi Mil Gaya and Krrish - both starring his son Hrithik Roshan.

These movies put to shame the most lavish Hollywood movies of the Golden Age - these are spectaculars in the true sense of the word. We have action, adventure, drama, romance, danger, singing, dancing and whatnot which - like the Energizer Bunny - keeps going and going and going. The only gripe I have is I believe that the female singing is dubbed - every Bollywood actress cannot sound like Yma Sumac and have that screechy, unearthly, near-ultrasonic voice that can puncture eardrums and cause horses to shift uneasily in their stalls.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then these Roshan epics are indeed a homage to no less than 11 (count'em - 11!) Hollywood movies. Not to give the plot away, but in Koi Mil Gaya, you can easily identify pieces from:

  • Charly
  • Forrest Gump
  • Singin' in the Rain
  • Saturday Night Fever
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • House of Flying Daggers
  • Flubber
  • Top Gun
  • E.T.
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • The Sound of Music
The surprising thing is - it's amazingly enjoyable! And there is definitely no dearth of extremely handsome actors and glamorous actresses in these movies. What's also endearing is the fact that all of them are distinctive in their own right - again, far more reminiscent of the "stars" of Hollywood's Golden Age in their heyday (just think James Mason, Barbara Stanwyk, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Richard Widmark, Dana Andrews and William Holden) than the the current spate of bleached, botoxed and homogenous actors/actresses we have today. Below are pictures of the two stars of Koi Mil Gaya - Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta:

The next movie to watch is Krrish - another Roshan/Roshan production. This is supposedly the Hindi equivalent of Batman/Superman/James Bond combined. I can't wait!!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Geek Break III - Wonders of the Electronic Age

Okay, it's summer, my Spartiate and LOTR items are being worked on and it's a slow news month.

I saw a guy wearing this on a t-shirt as I was walking through Penn Station today:

There's no place

Get it?