Month: April 2015

Gabbar Is Back Press Interview

I haven’t been bowled over by anything related to Gabbar yet (how terrible is that Chitriganda- Honey Singh Promotional song?) , apparently it is a remake of a South Indian movie (alarm bells ringing already) with the big difference that the movie now references the famous Sholay villain for reasons that elude me.

But it is always great to see Akshay do his thing on the big screen although I am not quite sure how the pairing with Shruti Hassan is landing on the Icky Meter. (He looks so good with Kareena, why not just cast her as the main lead?)

 

If you haven’t seen the trailer yet- here it is together with a Q&A they did with I assume the marketing team.

 

Q1  Tell us something about Gabbar is Back?

Gabbar Is Back is directed by Krish and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Viacom18 Motion Pictures. It’s the Hindi remake of Tamil film Ramana and based on the story of corruption. I am playing the character of ACP Gabbar, who turns leader for a vigilante group and is en-route to end corruption in the city. It’s releasing on 1st May 2015 and also stars Shruti Hassan and Prakash Jha.

Q2  Is it inspired by the character of Gabbar in the famous movie Sholay?

No. Gabbar is the hero in the film and a vigilante, who takes it in his own hands to put an end to crime and injustice. Both the characters are very different.

Q3  What motivates you to do a movie like Gabbar?

I did Gabbar is Back because of corruption. I am alarmed by the crime rates in India and even calculated the amount of money gathered due to scams, to add up to 12 trillion dollars. I compared the crime rates between India and other countries and the numbers in India are astonishing. Crime rates are low in countries such as the UAE due to strict law enforcement which isn’t the case in India. So you need a name like Gabbar, who may behave like a villain but his actions are of a hero.

Q4 You are famous as the King of Action in Bollywood. Are you going to take action sequences to the next level in this movie?

Gabbar is centered more around delivering a message, rather than action sequences. Most of the instances in the movie are inspired by real life events.

Q5   Are you doing any special song for Gabbar?

Yes, I am doing one special soulful song called “Teri Meri Kahani” with Kareena Kapoor Khan, which happens to be the first song to be launched for this film. The song will take viewers through the emotional journey of the couple making itself indispensable to the overall narrative of the film.

Q6  How’s your chemistry with Kareena Kapoor Khan?

Bebo has been an integral part of my career. We’ve done many movies together and one can only hope we have many more to come. She is everything one could ever ask in a Bollywood actress. She will always know how deeply I appreciate her effort and expertise. I’m sure viewers are going to love her in this song. She has brought a kindness to our film like no other. We love working with each other.We had a great time while shooting for the song.

Q7 How is your experience in working with co-star Shruti Hassan?

I am working with her for the first time. She is playing my love interest in this movie. She is a beautiful, professional and talented actress.

Q8 Baby was the highest box office grosser of 2015. Do you think “Gabbar is Back” will surpass the record?

I always give 100 percent to any film that I do, and pray that it will do well. God has been very kind to me, and I owe him everything and my loyal fans so much for their continuous support and love.

Q9 Tell us about your new film projects?

My upcoming films include Brothers, which sees me star alongside Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez. It’s the official remake of 2011 Hollywood movie Warrior and based on the story of two estranged brothers, whose entrance into the mixed martial arts tournament forces them to come to terms with their past and each other.

After this, I will have Singh is Bliing, a fantastic action comedy directed by Prabhu Deva and produced under my production company Grazing Goat Pictures. I am joined on screen by the very talented actresses Lara Dutta and Amy Jackson. We will shoot in Patiala, Punjab for this movie.

 

In Jan 2016 I have Airlift releasing which is is based on the invasion of Kuwait. I am playing the role of Ranjit Katiyal, anIndian-Arab billionaire who plans an ambitious evacuation mission to rescue 170,000 Indians in Kuwait during the Iraq invasion.

Q10  What kind of movies do you like to do?

I like to do films that are different and challenging, but which don’t preach any social message as such. I like exploring various film subjects, for example: OMG: Oh My God is about religion, ‘Baby’ is on terrorism, and ‘Gabbar Is Back‘ is on corruption. My films have a message, but with a commercial angle to it. With Gabbar is Back I got the opportunity to talk about corruption in a commercial manner.

Q11 Action and comedy films have been your forte so far. Do you have any unusual projects coming up?

I do films that I want to do, because they appeal to me in some way. I wouldn’t say that I only do action and/or comedy films, and if I do make these type of films, it is because I want to. I have worked in other genres, and really enjoyed it. I like to surprise my audience, so that they can never guess what to expect! Ultimately, I just love making films with people I admire and respect. A good film is about characters and feelings.

Q12 Do self-made actors like yourself have more motivation?

Yes, I think so! But this isn’t the case for everyone, each case is different. It is only natural to protect and work hard for something when you have been through hell to get it in the first place. I myself had no Godfather in the industry; I worked hard and wanted to constantly improve myself. My goal was to strive to be better, and so it was this drive that got me to where I am today. The only reason I am still here in this industry today is because of God’s grace, my parents blessings and my fans’ love.

Q13  Who do you admire in the industry? And why?

I admire everyone because it is hard to make it in the acting industry. Whether you are self-made or a star kid, the journey is still tough and not glamorous as it looks. Everyone in this industry deserves my admiration and that of the fans too. We all have the same vision and goal: to take Indian cinema to the next level. It is not a competition, it is a challenge and we’re all fighting for the same thing— our film industry, because without it, we’d all be nothing.

Q14 How do you protect your privacy when you encounter negative publicity? Does your discipline in martial arts help?

Yes, Martial Arts is a great source of strength, discipline and relaxation for me, in fact exercise is a great way for me to unwind and forget about my troubles. But the thing that really keeps me grounded is my family. I won’t be famous forever; I won’t be successful at work every day; and I won’t have fans who love me forever, but the one thing that I will have is my family, who will love me always, unconditionally.

 

Gabbar Is Back is scheduled for release internationally on 1st May 2015.

Far from the madding crowd

TEASER-1SHT_FFTMC_100723_fBased on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is the story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors:  Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching wilfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor.  This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love – as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.

Typical to Thomas Hardy, he’s created a female character with a dilemma – see Tess of the d’Urbervilles – only this time it is ever so slightly more complicated.  Ignoring the classic “love triangle” in Far from the Madding Crowd, we have effectively a “love square” with Bathsheba falling for no fewer than 3 men and getting herself in a right pickle.  Who will she choose and for why?  Whilst the constraints of the time – the etiquette, decorum & scandal if certain ways weren’t adhered to, this is in fact quite a modern tale for a story first written 200 odd years ago: how money can change everything and how peoples perception of others can change because of money and status.

Opening in the UK on May 1st, this is just about the only period / costume drama I’d actually like to see.  The beautiful trailer is below.  

Daredevil – suit close-ups

MARVEL'S DAREDEVILAs long as you’ve not been living under a rock recently, you’ll know Daredevil has started on Netflix. Or quite possibly you’ll know exactly that and also have watched all of the first series by now!

Whilst the show builds up a genuine pace and the body count rises inexorably, one thing we as viewers are deprived of, is a proper good look at the suit. But as we can see from these lovely close-ups, it’s quite a beauty.

 

This really is a gritty, grounded, authentic, suspenseful and edgy action drama featuring a great cast that includes:

  • Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock / Daredevil
  • Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk
  • Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple
  • Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page
  • Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson
Vondie Curtis Hall as Ben Ulrich
  • 
Scott Glenn as Stick
  • Ayelet Zurer as Vanessa Marianna
  • Bob Gunton and Leland Owlsey
  • Toby Leonard Moore as Wesley

MARVEL'S DAREDEVIL

For those needing bit of background, this is a great kick-off point:

Blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) fights against injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the Super Hero “Daredevil” in modern day Hell’s Kitchen, New York City.

Daredevil is one of the best known characters among the street level heroes and is in fact – fingers crossed we hit the same levels of production budget, script etc – the first of four epic live-action adventure series (A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, all leading up to the teaming of the main characters in Marvel’s The Defenders) that delves into the backstory of how Matt Murdock evolves into Daredevil.

Marvel’s first original series on Netflix has quite some serious pedigree behind the scenes: Executive Produced by series Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight (“Spartacus”, “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer“, “Angel” ) and Drew Goddard ( “Cabin in the Woods ,” “Lost,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, in addition to writing the first two episodes of Daredevil), along with Jeph Loeb ( “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Smallville,” “Heroes”), who also serves as Marvel’s Head of Television.

The longest ride, preview clip

The_Longest_Ride_posterComing to UK cinemas from 19th June, THE LONGEST RIDE centres on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected and life altering connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple. Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, THE LONGEST RIDE explores the challenges – and infinite rewards – of enduring love.

The film stars Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland) and Scott Eastwood (Fury) in the lead roles as Luke and Sophia. Robertson and Eastwood are joined by Jack Huston (American Hustle), Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones, The Hour) and Alan Alda (The Aviator, M*A*S*H*). Directed by George Tillman Jr. (Men of Honour), produced by Marty Bowen (Fault in Our Stars), Wyck Godfrey (Twilight series), Theresa Park (Best of Me), Nicholas Sparks (Safe Haven). The screenplay is written by Craig Bolotin (Light It Up).

Hollywood Boulevard was closed off on Monday evening (April 6)  as real life bull riders entertained the fans, and the stars of The Longest Ride walked the red carpet at the world famous Chinese Theatre. In attendance from the film were Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Oona Chaplin, Lolita Davidovich, Melissa Benoist, director George Tillman Jr., author Nicholas Sparks and producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey.

Adapted from Nicholas Sparks’ (The Notebook) best selling novel, THE LONGEST RIDE is released this summer on Friday 19th June.

Take a peak at this clip below!

Vidhu Vinod Chopra Interview- Broken Horses

Sometimes a man can be so talented that facing him for a short chat can be intimidating. Writer- Producer- Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra is one of those men. He’s been involved with ground breaking cinema for a few decades and today he sat down with us to talk about his English venture Broken Horses.

Our Review of Broken Horses can be found here.

Broken Horses cast features – Vincent D’Onofrio (The Judge, FULL METAL JACKET, MEN IN BLACK), Anton Yelchin (LIKE CRAZY, STAR TREK, ALPHA DOG) and Chris Marquette (ALPHA DOG, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR). The cast includes popular Spanish actress, Maria Valverde (Exodus), Thomas Jane, and Sean Patrick Flanery.

 

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From the Press Release:

The legendary film-maker, who has always set a new benchmark for the Indian film fraternity and has made some of the most memorable movies that India has cherished like the Munnabhai series, 3 Idiots, Mission Kashmir, Parinda, among several others, has once again decided to reinvent the wheel. He has stepped out of his comfort zone and with Broken Horses he becomes the first Indian filmmaker to make a Hollywood Production – it is the first Hollywood film produced, directed and written by an Indian!

Set in the shadows of the US-Mexico border gang wars, Broken Horses is an epic thriller about the bonds of brotherhood, the laws of loyalty, and the futility of violence. The film has been co-written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi (PK, 3 Idiots, Lage Raho Munnabhai, Mission Kashmir) and it based on an original story by Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

Broken Horses is in currently playing in selected theaters.

 

John Wick and Focus Review Upodcast

The latest Upod is a busy one and we are back in familiar territory to start with!  2015 is a pretty impressive year with its line-up of films, so with the newest James Bond trailer released, we had no choice but to SPECTRE-ulate about what we can ex-SPECTRE from Daniel Craig’s latest collaboration with Sam Mendes.  You can find more of our Bond musings here!
Another franchise movie showcasing its wares recently, but only a baby relatively speaking – with a lowly 5 outings to Bond’s 20 or so – Mission Impossible 5 looks like it should be an absolute winner.  We talk about what MI5 can bring to a now 20 year old series.  Just don’t ask Martin to re-watch MI2 or MI4…
Next up for review we talk about Netflix original, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and we focus on Focus, Will Smith and Margot Robbie’s new con-artist flick.  The con movie is another sub-genre we’ve previously visited as it happens and we’re certainly fans.
Last up and something that we know Ahmed likes, martial arts-revenge-assasination romp John Wick, starring Keanu Reeves and whole heap of others stars.
Stop by next time where we’ll be chatting all things Dare Devil and Fast and Furious among others…

Broken Horses: review

MV5BMTEyODkzODExMzReQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDU0NjM2NzQx._V1_SY317_CR12,0,214,317_AL_In cinemas today, Broken Horses is Vinod Chopra‘s debut Hollywood feature and makes him the first Indian filmmaker to write, produce and direct a Hollywood film  Set in the shadows of the US-Mexico border gang wars, Broken Horses is an epic thriller about the bonds of brotherhood, the laws of loyalty, and the futility of violence.

Having left town as a child after the death of his father, young music prodigy, Jacob “Jakey” Heckum (Anton Yelchin), returns to his desolate hometown after years only to discover that Buddy (Chris Marquette), the child-like elder brother he left behind, now works for a notorious drug gang. The gang’s ruthless boss Julius Hench (Vincent D’Onofrio) has twisted Buddy’s simple mind and manipulated him into a killer…a surrogate son who blindly does as he is told.  Jacob is unable to convince Buddy to leave his new fraternity. Drowned in guilt for having abandoned him, Jacob realises the only way to save Buddy is from the inside out.

After a somewhat brutal opening that caught me by surprise, the movie quickly settles down into the present day and we see really how different the brothers lives have become.  With this established, the rest of Broken Horses is really about the local gangster and how, despite how he has manipulated Buddy, he is in fact scared of him, knowing he is weaker without him onside and that he cannot allow him to leave the gang.  The three main characters are really well played and it is always a pleasure to see Vincent D’Onofrio in anything.  It could have been very tempting and easy to get all of them chewing-up the scenery and bringing far too much to the film so I enjoyed the restraint.  The only thing I’d pick at here is using a Spanish actress (Maria Valverde, playing Jakey’s finance) with an obviously Spanish accent, to play an Italian.

Broken HorsesAs the story unfolds, we get to see some familiar Western tropes such as the matches, the desolate churches in the middle of the desert and some stunning vistas.  It really is a beautifully shot movie and looks and feels like a mix of the kind of emotional stories I’ve watched from Indian cinema and a modern-day Western.  Presciently, it also incorporates the unfortunate situation Mexico finds itself in at the moment regarding corruption, drug and gang violence.  At a modest 100 minutes, strangely for me, I felt I could have done with more movie.  Not that I was confused or couldn’t follow the plot, but a bit more about Julius Hench wouldn’t have gone amiss – elaborating on his fear of fire, his dead family and his relationship with a corrupt Mexican arms dealer all would have added to an already sterling film.

As someone who doesn’t know much at all about films coming out of India, I was so glad to see my first Vinod Chopra movie.  And it has made me really want to see his first and Oscar nominated film (made for $400 apparently) and of course his most recent blockbuster, PK.  Broken Horses is a beautiful film that is visually superb.  Equally, it will be something that boyfriend and girlfriend can enjoy together…it’s got some violence, but not blood-spatter and not with a huge body-count.  Definitely recommended and by the looks of things, better than anything else that’s showing my local cinema this weekend.

Enjoy the trailer below, or better still, don’t watch the trailer…I think it’s better seen without knowing the trailer…