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Ep 224: LIFF 2017 Preview – What To Watch?

The London Indian Film Festival (LIFF), regarded as Europe’s largest Indian film festival returns for its 8th edition to London and Birmingham and we are joined by Josh Hurtado from Screen Anarchy to help us navigate through broad choice of movies.

On this episode, we pick out the movies that excite us or intrigue us.

For the entire program, dates and tickets head over to www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk

 

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

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Rahat Ali Khan at the O2 Concert Review

Dressed in a golden embroidered jacket, sitting center stage on a bar stool and accompanied by a simple back up band, the heir of Pakistan’s qawwali legacy, Rahat Ali Khan performed before a sold out crowd at the London O2 arena for a special concert marking the celebration of Pakistan’s independence. The entire day was filled with cultural events, food buskers and Bollywood dance lessons just outside the concert venue where a diverse crowd of South Asian fans (and quit a few celebrities) enthusiastically took to their seats.

The concert commenced with what Rahat dubbed his “Love Songs”. But in the tradition of qawwali the “Love” can’t be distinguished between the love for a person or the love for God. There were many instances during the almost 3-hour concert, where devotion and emotion were indistinguishable for the performer as well as for the audience.From the first notes onward, the concert was an unending high consisting of goose bumps, musical elation, uncontrollable smiles and utter joy.The O2 - Rahat-145

Between the sets, Rahat had a surprisingly jovial back and forth with his audience, his respect for them and his art shining through every eloquently worded syllable, illustrating the fact that the singer’s poetic nature is not confined to his songs but also how he treats the people around him.

Although his recent popularity is partly due to his numerous Hindi movie soundtrack collaborations, his unmistakable talent and skill honed through decades of training is always accompanied by the clarity of Rahat’s voice and the Sufi tradition that power his songs.

The crowd erupts in roars as soon as they recognize the initial notes of hits like “Aas Paas hai Khuda” (Anjaani Anjaana) or the mere mention of Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit, on who the song as “O Re Piya” (Aaja Nachle) was picturized. Both songs transcending the forgettable movies that they were in, becoming crowd favorites (as well as a personal favorites) and making us realize that whichever country we hail from, we share an on going obsession with Madhuri Dixit.

Closing the love block with the word “I have too many love songs” and the ever present smile, the musical maestro immediately kicks off his “Punjabi section” of the concert, or as Rahat told the crowd, the language in which you can call anyone, anything and they won’t mind it.

After a few more crowd pleasers like “Samjhawan” (Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhanya), Surili Ankhyon Wale (Veer), we head into the qawalli portion of the concert, which was essentially the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan tribute section, Rahat’s mentor and legendary uncle.

During the intermission  all the performers even changed in more traditional qawalli gear like purple kurta’s and elegant sherwaani’s taking their place in the classic formation behind tabla’s and harmoniums.

The Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan songs have decades old connect with the audience and it is the closest the London Arena got to the rapture and hypnotism of a true qawalli performance in the streets of Lahore or Delhi.

The lazy argument critics always make about Rahat is that he can’t be compared to Nusrat’s talent. (Try it out, go to any Indian restaurant, and start a conversation about Rahat Ali Khan when a song comes on the radio and you will hear “Nusrat wali bhaat nahi hai usme“)

To Rahat’s own admission, he understood early in his career and made the conscious decision to not only focus on classical qawalli but foray into more popular tunes, usually adapted and re-performed for the larger audience whereas his uncle had the popularity hoisted upon him, and he never really felt comfortable in this new modern medium of “music videos”. It is a decision to be applauded as it shows reverence for what has been but a determination to reach people through today’s medium.

But it is also in these songs that the comparison between the Rahat Ali Khan being in the shadow of his uncle becomes clear.  If you have heard the original recordings of Nusrat you realize how incomparable his talent and command of qawalli truly was. And although Rahat comes close, like listening to a great cover band, there is a silent agreement between audience and performer that this is the closest we are able to get to the original, and for most of us, that is already better than any other musical performance we have attended in our life times.

After the qawalli high, we return to some more Bollywood songs of recent years and somewhere, suddenly they seem much simpler and almost child like to the previous compositions. The energy drops a little but the audience is very happy to see their personal favorites ticked of the list and performed live.

Rahat’s commitment and sincerity never fails though, as he croons his personal favorite “Ae Khuda” from Rocky Handsome, a song I have gone back and revisited after the concert and have truly started appreciating for how it stands out compared to more the paint by number hits like Bodyguard’s “Teri Meri” or “Tere Mast Mast do Nain” from Dabangg.

The concert closes with Jiya Dhalak, his big introduction to the Bollywood audience and Mast Qalander, his uncle’s greatest hit.

Rahat Ali Khan sang for us with only a small intermission for 3 hours straight with power, sincerity, keeping in mind what the audience asked from him but giving them much more than they needed. He gave them the memory of an unforgettable experience with a true musical master of the likes that appears only once in a lifetime.

Win a DVD of the Stunning Sci- Fi Identicals!

For chance to win a copye of the DVD of Identicals: Like our Facebook page/ Follow us on Twitter and drop us a mail with subject line: “I want to win!” on Upodcasting@gmail.com

UK entries only and competition deadline is 22 august!

Here’s the trailer and synopsis:


The film follows an organization Brand New-U which identifies networks of IDENTICALS – people who walk like you, talk like you, but are walking through different, better lives. Slater (Lachlan Nieboer) seems to have the perfect life, the perfect job and the perfect girlfriend. But when Slater’s girlfriend is abducted by Brand New-U, he is forced to become an Identical. As he moves through a series of parallel lives, he becomes more and more obsessed with finding his girlfriend, but what he must find in the end is himself.

IDENTICALS is available on Digital/VoD 15th August and DVD 22nd August

7th Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival and BFI Reveal 2016 Programme

Europe’s Largest South Asian Film Event, the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, now into year seven, returns to London, from 14 – 24 July, today announces the first raft of its programming with key festival partners BFI.

The full line up of the festival, which will be announced in June promises a schedule of some of the most prestigious and audacious new independent films from South Asia, and if the BFI Southbank schedule is anything to go by, this year, the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival will certainly live up to its reputation of showcasing the most cutting edge films from across the Indian subcontinent.

The meticulously curated sessions with BFI Southbank include some spectacular talks by top talent including South Indian and Bollywood superstar Kamal Haasan, who gives a rare Screen Talk, and Director Shekhar Kapur, most famous for his multiple top tier award winning “Elizabeth” films, starring Cate Blanchett, as well as films that cover the linguistic nuances and cultural diversity of the Indian subcontinent.

A special “Women with a Movie Camera” debate supported by Sun Mark Ltd, will bring together some of South Asia’s greatest female filmmakers, including double Oscar®-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and Leena Yadav, whose critically acclaimed film “Parched” stole the show at TIFF. Audiences will have the opportunity to listen to trailblazers in their field, and also see their work first hand, with special screenings of their films at the BFI Southbank.

Never a festival to shy away from controversy, Indian sexual diversity is highlighted in the empowering transgender movie “I Am Not He… She”, about a teenage boy who comes to Bangalore with dreams of becoming a woman. Continuing to build on its reputation as the ‘punk-rock’ of Indian film festivals, the UK cinematic premiere of the irreverent Sundance hit, the Netflix original ‘In-Betweeners’ style, coming of age comedy “Brahman Naman” screens.

Commenting on the BFI Southbank sessions, director of the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, Cary Rajinder Sawhney states:

“We’re delighted that the festival gets such a great platform at the BFI Southbank, giving the broadest of audiences an opportunity to see world class Indian independent cinema and hear rare talks by top Indian stars and filmmakers in the UK’s cathedral of cinema. This is just a taster of what we have lined up in our seventh year, and we guarantee to not only show you entertaining films, but make you think and maybe even shock you”.


BFI Southbank Events & Screenings

FRI 15 JUL 20:30Brahman Naman (Directed by Qaushiq Mukherjee, 2016) / Onstage: Talent from the film

SAT 16 JUL, 18:20 – SPECIAL EVENT: Shekhar Kapur: A Life With Elizabeth / Onstage: Director Shekhar Kapur

SAT 16 JUL, 20:30 – SCREENING + Q&A: I Am Not He… She (BS Lingadevaru, 2015) / Onstage: Director BS Lingadevaru

SUN 17 JUL, 14:00 – SPECIAL EVENT: Kamal Haasan Screen Talk / Onstage: Actor Kamal Haasan

SUN 17 JUL, 15:00Women With A Movie Camera: A Life Less Ordinary: South Asian Filmmakers’ Debate / Onstage: a selection of female filmmakers

SUN 17 JUL, 17:30Arshinagar (Mirrorville) (Directed by Aparna Sen, 2015)

TUE 19 JUL 20:30Ramsingh Charlie (Directed by Nitin Kakkar, 2015)

 

– For more information on the festival please visit:

www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan – The Greatest Hits Live at the O2

We’ve been having quite a few amazing acts lately at the O2 AR Rahman, Atif Aslam but we got very excited to hear that Pakistan’s most famous Qawwali singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan, the nephew of the late, world-renowned singer Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, will perform his greatest hits live for the first time at The O2 on Sunday 14 August 2016.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday 22 April and are available at AXS.com or by calling 0844 856 0202 or from www.theo2.co.uk.www.theo2.co.uk.

The performance will coincide with Pakistan and India’s independence weekend celebrations and will be Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan’s only London show this year. Discussing his forthcoming show Ustad Rahat Fateh Khan said; ”I’m very excited to be performing at The O2, London, for the second time, following my sold out tour in 2013.

“Coming to the UK is always a thrill for me and my performance is timed to fit the Independence Day celebrations for both Pakistan and India. I have a fantastic team of musicians joining me and will be performing my greatest film hits and new material, as well as my esteemed Uncle, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s popular Qawwali numbers, to rock the arena.”

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was chosen at birth by his uncle Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for tutoring in the traditions of qawwali music, a form of Sufi devotional popular in South Asia. Six weeks after his uncle’s death in 1997, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan took his position as leader of the group and has since become one of the most talked about Pakistani artists in the world.

Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has performed on a variety of recordings, and his songs and vocals have featured in numerous hit Hollywood and Bollywood films including Bodyguard, My Name is Khan, Dabangg, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Drishyam, the Hollywood film Apocalypto and many more.

The maestro has released over 50 albums with over 100 hits in Bollywood and has been presented with numerous awards including Star Screen Awards for Best Male Playback 2010 and the IIFA award for best male vocalist 2011. He has also been a judge on top TV shows in India such a Chhote Ustad and Junoon, Kuch Kar Dikhaane Ka. He was the headline performer at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2014 and recently performed at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in March 2016.

In 2014, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan released his latest album ‘Back 2 Love’ which sold millions of copies worldwide.

The ticket will also include access to a variety of free live events and activities including Bollywood dance workshops, DJs, specially selected street food stalls and more.

Kapoor & Sons Trailer Thoughts: Dysfunction is the new black!

The trailer for Kapoor & Sons just dropped and here are some free flowing thoughts whilst watching it:

  • Hey, at least Bollywood now accredits the internet when they steal a joke (looking at you Shahrukh)
  • Is this a Badshaah song? I don’t think i like Badshaah too much..
  • Glad someone switched Siddhart Malhotra’s setting from “brooding” to “happy”
  • Fawad Khan should grow his beard back…this chikna look isn’t working
  • The joys of watching fighting parents, Dil Dhadakne Do really started something in Bollywood…so deep….
  • Did Rathna Pathak just come back from a clown rave?
  • I know the make up in Kapoor & Sons is going to get lauded, but Rishi Kapoor looks like a burn victim
  • Are those the same eyes as the White Walker’s in Game of thrones?
  • ALIA BHATT in a DHARMA PRODUCTION??? WHHHHAAAT?
  • So is this Saajan mixed with Dil Dhadakne Do then?
  • Masturbation dance moves are always a laugh!
  • Do you even lift bro?
  • Spin the bottle always leads to tension and brooding…well it did back in the 70’s…
  • Isn’t there a Spin the Bottle app now? If not then must invent…
  • Sid is still not a good screamer unfortunately
  • Alia got some good cry face!
  • “Since 1921” makes it sounds like the movie has a weird tie up with Heinz’ Ketchup

Kapoor & Sons is in Theatres 18th March, 2016!

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Prem Ratan Dhan Payo London Press Conference

Last week Fox arranged a video conference with Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor in London for the release of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Here are some excerpts of the Q&A session with the UK press.

 

Q/ WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT PRDP?

 Salman: I like the film’s nice, sweet, cute, ticklish moments. I like the film overall and how this really nice, happy, sweet film turns into this really emotional, beautiful, romantic love story which involves the family, brothers, sisters.

I think PRDP is Sooraj’s best work to date. What I see in the character of Prem is what every guy should be like with a girl, which is very difficult as you need to have a lot of patience to be “Prem” in real life. Prem is so endearing that every girl would want to marry someone like Prem. He’s somebody like … he’s actually Sooraj Barjatya! Trust me, Prem is Sooraj. In fact Sooraj likes to see that side in me but the problem is that I only don’t see that side in me in my real life. So Sooraj puts that on film.

Sonam

Q/ YOU HAVE WORKED WITH SOORAJ B. THREE TIMES BEFORE – HOW WAS THE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH HIM THIS TIME?

Salman: Yes, it is. I just wish I could do another 4 or 5 films with Sooraj! I’m here in this industry only because of Sooraj Barjatya. A 19 year-old boy took a stand when he was directing his first movie, at a point in time when Rajshri Productions weren’t doing that well, to take on an actor who had already done a film that’s releasing before his film.

Sooraj had seen Biwi Ho To Aisi, and we all knew that I sucked in the movie, but despite that he took me on because he thought I was good in the screen test for the film. He went by his instincts and the gut feel of his sister Chanda and cousin Charu.

Sonam: you see Salman was always gorgeous looking…it’s because they had a crush on him!

Salman: well, they thought they saw something in me to suggest I would make it. I still don’t see what, how… I don’t even question it…let it go!

Sonam & Salman 4

 

Q/ THE MUSIC IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TRACKS FROM THE MOVIE?

Salman:  Mine is the title track – Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, and I like Jalte Diye, Jab Tum Chaho, Prem Leela and Aaj Unse Milna Hai

Sonam: Jalte Diye and Prem Leela are my favourite songs from the movie. I also like Aaj Unse Milna Hai as well – it’s a very beautiful, romantic song.

Q/ ANY FUNNY STORIES FROM THE FILMING? 

Salman:  We were working! It wasn’t supposed to be fun. You cannot make such a beautiful film whilst having fun; you need to be focused.

 Sonam:  It was a happy time – I think that’s the best way to describe it, we were very happy and content.

 

Q/ WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT FILMING? WHAT’S THE BEST SCENE?

Salman: I think every single day was beautiful. Actually walking to the set was a really beautiful feeling. The set were so lovely that we didn’t mind shooting long hours. Sooraj actually is very particular about shooting long hours – he doesn’t like to shoot that many hours, even if the scene was not complete he used to say, let’s leave it now and we’ll continue tomorrow, even if we were like no let’s do it now.  You see, it’s a very large-scale film; in every frame there were like hundreds of people, there was a regal theme, which also made it a very expensive film. Each day costs the production 45, 50 lakhs so when Sooraj said let’s pack up and continue the scene tomorrow, it seriously took a lot of courage.

 Q/ YOU HAVE ALWAYS HAD A VISION FOR THE TYPE OF ROLES YOU WANT TO PLAY. IS PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO THE BIGGEST PAYOFF OF THAT SORT OF CONVICTION?

 Sonam: Yes, I think that’s what it is. I think you are absolutely right. After I did Mausam, I gave my heart and soul to that and after it didn’t do very well, I didn’t sign a movie for a year and a half. Then I decided to sign Raanjhanaa – everyone around me said I was stupid but I decided to stick to my conviction. But I stuck to my guns. You’re absolutely right that this is the payoff for being patient and handling my life with dignity.

Q/ WHAT YOU ARE DOING ON YOUR INSTAGRAM PAGE IS A GREAT WAY OF MARKETING PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO. WAS THAT YOUR IDEA OR WAS IT SOMETHING YOU DISCUSSED WITH THE MARKETING TEAM? 

Sonam: Okay, I’m going to tell you a secret, when I spoke with the marketing team at Fox, they mentioned that people were finding the title Prem Ratan Dhan Payo a bit of a mouthful. They told me we needed to come up with a really fun and genius way to talk about the film a lot. So, there was this really cute guy who did this dubsmash on Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and I thought let’s put this up on instagram and maybe people would be excited about doing dubsmash. I thought it would be cool so I put it up and people really liked it a lot. And then a friend from New York told me to call a competition and to get the 5 best dubsmashes on Instagram – I did just that. There were lots and lots of people who did the dubsmash. It was easy to do and people loved doing the dubsmash as it has a great rhythm. Salman did one too, but he didn’t do it for long.

My aunt Sridevi also did one with Shilpa Shetty.  She loves me so much! I remember when I was just becoming an actress, she sat down with me and showed me how to do make-up really patiently for like hours and hours really patiently. I think she was extremely kind to have promoted me and the film. I’ve known Shilpa for a very long time and they had done the dubsmash at my home whilst I was away on promotions for the film. Once they did it they put it up on Instagram and I got a message from Shilpa saying to go on Instagram to see what we’ve done!Sonam & Salman 3

Q/ HOW DIFFERENT IS THIS PREM COMPARED TO ALL THE OTHER PREMs THAT YOU HAVE PLAYED? 

Salman: Prem is my favorite character too. I think this Prem is lovelier; he’s a grown man but a very childlike. Sooraj has written this character. He has always been a mature man and romance has also grown in his life ten folds. He was always a mature filmmaker starting his career at the age of 19. He wrote Hum Apke Hain Kaun at the age of just 22 and made the film when he was 24, and there is no man as mature as Sooraj Bharjatya.

The way he has written this character, he basically wants men and boys to be like Prem; he wants to change the way they are and to change this for women in the world. He wants men to be funny and charming but to also be respectful to women.

Q.YOU HAVE A GREAT SENSE OF STYLE. HOW SIMILAR ARE YOU FROM YOUR CHARACTERS IN REAL LIFE. 

Sonam: I don’t think I’m similar to any of the characters that I played, I mean I’m definitely not a princess.

 Salman: Yes she is a princess because her father spoilt her.

Sonam:  I’m not spoilt! (she laughs). No, answering your question…I don’t know, I hope I’m inspired to be someone with that much conviction and I try and do whenever I can to be like that. Perhaps there’s a little bit of me in every character.

Salman: I think she’s got it in Prem Ratan Dhan Paya … I remember when Sooraj was showing me pictures of a lot of leading actresses and each and every picture that Sooraj showed me of Sonam were absolutely stunning. He showed me all the picture when she was at her worst test, and she looked like the way she looks now, so that is one quality that he saw in her, and he said this is the lady for my film. This is something that I want.


Q/ SONAM, HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE GOING TO WORK WITH SALMAN? WHAT IS IT YOU MOST LIKE ABOUT EACH OTHER PROFESSIONALLY AND EACH OTHER’S PERSONALITY? 

Sonam: I was very nervous, like really nervous. It’s not easy working with someone who you’ve been a huge fan of. Also it’s not easy because before Salman, I had never worked with a big star like him before. It’s usually been contemporaries. I was nervous but he really made me feel comfortable.

The best thing about him professionally is that he is the most hardworking actor that I worked with, he pushes himself and he is extremely talented. He’s also very modest. Also, professionally it’s easier to work with someone who doesn’t judge you in anyway. I remember when I was messing up he’d come and tell me really nicely, he has a lot of patience.

Salman: That is true, when you need to get some good work out of a bad actor you need to be patient JJ

Q/ WE HEAR THAT YOU ARE PLAYING A DOUBLE ROLE IN THE FILM?  

Salman: Yes I am playing the roles of Vijay Singh and Prem – but if I open up too much about the characters I will spoil the suspense. But what I can say is that both the characters are phenomenal.

PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO releases this Diwali on 12 November 2015

AR Rahman Greatest Hits at the O2 Review

NickyKelvin-0112For India’s Independence Day AR Rahman, held a concert at the O2 Arena to a sold out crowd, accompanied by an orchestra of musicians, singers, table players and qawwalli’s.

The concert was dubbed as « The Greatest Hits of AR Rahman » and whilst driving to the venue, it made me ponder: how can one compound Rahman’s oeuvre into a single sitting?

His musical portfolio is ginormous! In the 23 years of his career, he’s composed over 100 soundtracks for the various regions of Indian cinema, as well as performed stage shows, private albums and dabbled in Hollywood, (If winning an Bafta, a golden Globe,2 Grammies and 2 Academy Award can be called dabbling) whilst never compromising on the quality of his music. (Take that Dr Dre!)

And all this whilst jumping from one genre to the other and mastering pretty much all of them. (I’m a hip hop head and his mastery of rap has been weak since Patti Rap)

When Rahman debuted on the Bollywood scene in the 90’s, Hindi audiences had heard murmurings of some of his offerings down South with Roja and Kadalan (Hum Se Hai Muqabla) dominating video charts.

The music scene was much more fractured and isolated in the 90’s and there wasn’t ever a need to importing talent from another region. If movie producer or music director liked a tune, they just copy pasted wholesale and had the son resung by another local singer and no question was asked. This even happened to some of AR Rahman’s early songs, there were at least 4 Hindi versions of Muqabla floating on the airwaves at the same time.

But Rahman’s talent was such that his unique voice could not be denied. His music has always felt very personal, making the audience feel a sense of misplaced ownership. But sitting in a jam packed arena, I understood, I wasn’t the only one that felt this ownership over « my» AR Rahman. AR, like any musician, understands that his music is not his anymore once it is released to the airwaves but belongs to a collective that needs to be fed.

He tried to deliver on the expectations his audience has with him, he managed to partly on the promise despite some production mistakes.

Javed Ali started things off with a very soulful rendition of Delhi 6’s Arziyan, which seemed to be a prayer to kick off the concert as well as salutation to the audience.

Arziyan was followed up with a selection of classic hits like Chinna Chinna Aasai /Choti si Aasha (Roja), which was in 2 different languages sung by the wonderful and ever present Jonita Ghandi, the seemingly demure Shashaa Kiran Tirupati and the vastly under-used vocal powerhouse that is Neeti Mohan.

NickyKelvin-0181

Tu Hi Re was the sole pick from the Bombay soundtrack (I was hoping for so many more like Satrangi Re of Jiya Jale but alas) by Haricharan who managed to command the song in 2 different languages versions – whilst doing a pretty good Hariharan impression. Then came Dil Se’s title track sung by AR himself as he duelled Natalie Klouda, his wonderful violinist on the piano, which was an amazing spectacle.

The next half hour block was mostly from AR Rahman’s South Indian and private albums, which unfortunately for most of the Hindi audience in attendance felt like watching other people have lots of fun whilst they had a glazed expression over their eyes. Some audience members even started grumbling quite vocally and this might have been the only dip in the otherwise amazing set.

Some of the production choices were very odd, the first half ended abruptly and there was confusion if there was going to be an interval or not, the audience was left to their own devices, which is never a great choice with a South Asian audience. This happened again at the end of the show, there was a definite lack of cues and the band just disappeared without an encore.

The confusing interval ended up lasting only a couple of minutes, the curtain suddenly went up and AR and Jaaved Ali had donned their qawalli hats and tablas for the double whammy of the hypnotizing Kun Faya Kun (Rockstar) and soulful Khwaja Mere Khwaja (Jodha Akbar). Unfortunately some the magic of the Sufi segment was broken by the part of the audience hurriedly running back to their seats with still very wet hands from their bathroom visits.

  Kun Faya Kun Kun (Rockstar): The Qawalli interlude at #ARRahmanAtTheO2   A video posted by asimburney (@asimburney) on

Khwaja Mere Khwaja (Jodha Akbar): Qawalli interlude #ARRahmanAtTheO2 @TheO2 #TheO2

A video posted by asimburney (@asimburney) on

Always being a trailblazer, AR wanted to showcase a movement based instrument but technology failed the crew twice, forcing AR to climb back behind his piano and nervously entertain the audience with impromptu tunes. When they managed to get the tech to work, you realized it was supposed to be background vocalist IsshrathQuadhre time into the limelight but unfortunately for her and the audience the moment had passed.

From then on there was a clear course correction and the hits and performances were non stop, Neeti Mohan brought energy with her RE RE segment (Rangeela Re and Jiya Re) but overall she felt a bit underused compared to Jonita who pretty much dominated the pre-interval as well as jiggy-ing in group songs and some Hindi too. Jonita is a wonderful stage presence and very versatile, definitely one to look out for. Same for Karthik who was an absolute crowd favourite amongst the South Indian and clearly a born showman but only made a fleeting appearance and didn’t sing any Hindi songs. NickyKelvin-8667

During the different sets, AR Rahman would change get ups, some with hilarious combinations like a sparkly hat paired with a biker jacket or in the case of the bluesy Jaane Tu Ya Jaane na, he wore sunglasses like he was Ray Charles from Chennai, luckily the music always delivered and the powerful voice and jazz scatting of background vocalist Annette Philip’s really stepped up to the plate.

The show provided every member of AR Rahman’s band to shine too. The ones that really stuck out were Naveen Kumar’s flute during the Roja interlude, Mohini Dey’s bass (a 19 year old prodigy part of AR Rahman’s band NAFS who is also rumoured to be collaborating with Quincy Jones), Ranjit Barot’s drum and Keba Jeremiah Arul’s guitar solo’s during a very rocky rendition of Nadaan Parindey.

Ultimately the show couldn’t possibly have delivered on every song that a demanding fan might want of AR Rahman’s as we are a spoiled bunch now and even if combining sets from all languages didn’t always works as well as one would hope. What the show does give you is an evening with an artist of the likes only comes around once in a century, and as an audience member, that seems like the highest privilege.

Photo Credit: Nicky Kelvin

For more badly shot videos you can head over to my Instagram here

 

 

 

 

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl featurette: ‘This is Where We Explain The Story’

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL is a uniquely funny and moving story about Greg, a high school senior who avoids deep human relationships as a way to safely navigate the social mine field that is teenage life. In fact he describes his best friend Earl, with whom he makes short-film parodies of classic movies, as being ‘more like a co-worker’. But when Greg’s mum insists he spends time with Rachel – a girl in his class who has just been diagnosed with cancer- Greg discovers just how powerful and important true friendship can be.

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl Poster

Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Cast: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, R.J. Cyler with Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal and Connie Britton

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl releases into UK cinemas 4 September 2015.

 

Screen Talk: Mani Ratnam – London Indian Film Festival 2015, BFI Southbank

Mani Ratnam is pretty much how I expected him to be – unpretentious, likeable and a man who doesn’t waste words. When he does speak, there was much to inspire and after the hour and bit talk, I am sure I was not the only who felt charged up to go out and make a film of my own.

With an audience that included Ratnam’s wife Suhasini (an accomplished actress in MalayalamTamilTelugu and Kannada language films) and ace cinematographer Rajiv Menon (who was sat next to me with his wife and Suhasini next to her), the talk was guided by Peter Webber (director of Girl With A Pearl Earring and all set to make his next venture in India) and held at the BFI Southbank which was the perfect place to host this afternoon event as part of the London Indian Film Festival 2015.

When asked about how he became a filmmaker, Ratnam described himself as a “disillusioned management consultant” who was passionate about cinema and wanted to see if he could make a career out of filmmaking. When Webber asked him if anyone had influenced his work, Ratnam mentioned Akira Kurosawa as a favourite but admitted he was generally inspired by anything he had read or seen (as indeed all creatives are).

There was also some good natured ribbing about songs in Indian cinema with Webber saying he admired Ratnam and Indian filmmakers for directing songs in their films. Ratnam explained how directing a song was a “liberating process” and was like making a mini film, with a story arc, choreography and sensibility all of its own. “Songs let you travel emotions in an abstract fashion” said Ratnam before joking that he felt sorry for Western cinema that does not have songs as part of its narrative.

Ratnam also spoke about his working relationship with A R Rehman who has scored the music for many of Ratnam’s films. Naming Bombay as his favourite Rehman soundtrack, Ratnam noted that Rehman was a very special composer who had a unique ability to find his own level in his music as well as achieving what had been asked of him when composing music and that the experience of working with him was a great one.

I was not surprised but interested by Ratnam’s revelation that he doesn’t really understand Hindi in the way he does Tamil. Ratnam went on to explain how he wrote in Tamil, then worked with a Hindi writer to translate the dialogue and then trusted his actors to enact their character properly as Ratnam felt he is unable to control nuances of word in Hindi as well as he would want to and for this reason preferred to work in Tamil.

Webber then took questions from the audience which ranged from what Ratnam does to make a set come alive (“have a good team and work with people better than you”), his inspiration for the strong female roles in his films (all based on the women he has met and his admiration for their amazing strength in character), his favourite director (“Guru Dutt”) and how he offered his first film to his wife but she refused it (“so I married her!” which delighted the audience). All too soon, time was up and Ratnam was presented the London Indian Film Festival icon of cinema award, the first ever recipient of the award to mark the conclusion of the talk.

My favourite anecdote came near the start, where Ratnam talked about how he saw his approach to film as “reinventing what is written on paper”. A simple sentiment that could easily be lost in the process of filmmaking, it struck me that this was exactly what Ratnam has done in each of his films and perhaps is instrumental in making him one of Indian cinema’s greatest filmmakers and a very worthy candidate for a truly fascinating screen talk.

Bhushan Kumar is a Hindi film and fashion obsessed being living and working in London.

Follow Bhushan on Twitter: @bogeyno2

Blog: http://bogeyno2.wordpress.com/

Katti Batti Images and Promos

I really hope for Imran Khan’s career that things turn around a little. We’ve always liked the guy, and have even spoken to him quite a few time snow but his last few movies really haven’t worked at the box office and attaching the faith of your comeback to anunreliable director like Nikhil Advani is a bit troublesome.

But the ace in the sleeve is of course Kangana Ranaut, a lady who seems to do no wrong (or if she does, we as an audience just keep moving like nothing happened).

Katti Batti seems to be a straight forward rom com and our friend @bollybrit pointed out that it does have some shades of 500 days of summer.

Here are some promos and images:

Katti Batti 1 Katti Batti 2 Katti Batti 3 Katti Batti 4 Katti Batti Poster

 

Synopsis:

Katti Batti is a modern day romance that traces young architect Madhav Kabra’s (Imran Khan) love for the free-spirited Payal (Kangana Ranaut). They make for a perfect couple until a sudden turn of events creates an unanswered distance between them. What follows is a series a events that tests the fate of their relationship.

Katti Batti starring Imran Khan and Kangana Ranaut, directed by Nikhil Advani, the film releases on September 18.

Raees Teaser and posters!

After the Fan Teaser which was released last week, we now have the first look and teaser trailer of Raees. Shahrukh Khan’s collaboration with Rahul Dholakia whose not worked with any big canvas movies until now.Although the next movie SRK will be releasing is Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale, but like any Rohit Shetty starrer, it’s pretty much money in the bank, both Fan and Raees seem to be riskier propositions. (even if you wonder if having a movie star SRK is ever a risky proposition box office wise anymore)

I do wonder how great of an idea it is to release a trailer of an blackmarket alchohol selling muslim gangster on the most holiest days for Muslims especially when the portrayal of that community is so very skewed already.

But at least SRK makes a Shalwar Kameez and uncle glasses look good!

 

Raees Poster2 Raees Poster

Raees Teaser | Shah Rukh Khan I Nawazuddin Siddiqui I Mahira Khan

Release: EID 2016

Directed by: Rahul Dholakia
Produced by: Ritesh Sidhwani, Gauri Khan and Farhan Akhtar
Written by: Rahul Dholakia, Harit Mehta, Ashish Vashi and Niraj Shukla
Director Of Photography: K.U. Mohanan
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Music: Ram Sampath

Umrika Review: Opening Night LIFF 2015

The yearly London Indian Film Festival started with the usual festivities and since we don’t take half measures here at Upodcast. We decided to give you 2 different perspectives by our good buddies Bhushan Kumar (@bogeyno2) and Sujoy Singa (@9e3k) on how the screening of Umrika went down.

Umrika

Bhushan:

Directed by: Prashant Nair

Starring:, Suraj Sharma, Tony Revolori, Smita Tambe, Adil Hussain, Pramod Pathak, Rajesh Tailang, Amit Sial, Sauraseni Maitra, Prateik Babbar.

In the Q+A following the screening of Umrika at the London Indian Film Festival (LIFF), director Prashant Nair explained how he wanted Umrika to reflect the character of rural India – as Nair rightly pointed out, when it comes to depicting village life on the silver screen, poverty and hardship are often the facets we see presented in Indian cinema by both mainstream and independent films. So Umrika is definitely unique in consciously trying to explore a rather sombre tale with a touch of lightness and humour.

Set in the 80’s, Ramakant (Sharma) idolises his older brother Udai (Babbar) who has left the village and is living in America (or ‘Umrica’ as it is often pronounced in the sub-continent). At first, Udai does not make contact with his family and the village but when he does start sending letters, Rama is fascinated by the ‘exotic’ American culture that his brother is living in. But as time goes on, it emerges that the postman of the village has been forging the letters to pacify Udai and Rama’s anxious mother. As Rama takes over the letter writing duty, he decides to track down his brother and find out the truth for his own peace of mind.

Umrika touches on so many issues at the same time that it could easily collapse under the weight of its own ambition but Nair multitasks with efficiency, managing the different strands of the story with care and clarity. Whether it is a timeless issue (sibling rivalry) or topical (immigration), Umrika is a film about both these things and a lot more all at once. The emotional core of the film is Udai and Rama’s mother who may not have much screen time but looms large in every frame, driving the story forward and representing a strange paradigm – even though she cannot bear to live without Udai, she seems content to send him miles away to a foreign land by himself and live vicariously through his letters, not realising the effect her behaviour has on Rama.

Performance wise, Sharma shines as Rama, depicting the character’s journey of self-discovery with a confidence and poise that carries the film well. Hussein is suitably menacing as the smuggler whilst Pathak and Tailang play their supporting roles of the father and postman respectively with conviction. The two biggest surprises for me were Revolori, an American actor who plays Rama’s best friend Lalu – whether it was his body language or expressions or dialogue delivery, I had no idea it was an American was playing a rural Indian village boy. The other standout is Tambe as the mother who effortlessly manages to show a gamut of emotions from grief to joy and whose actions and expressions remain in the mind long after the film ends.

Umrika is exactly the kind of film a festival like LIFF should be championing and deserves a thump on the back for bringing such great cinema to the world stage. Thematically, Umrika reminded me of another film festival hit done good, The Lunchbox which also had universal themes and forged an instant and intelligent connection to its audience. Having said that, Umrika marks out Nair as a director to look out for and the film is certainly worth watching a few times to enjoy all the nuances and quirks weaved into the story. Highly recommended.

 

Sujoy:

Director Prashant Nair’s “Umrika” seems to borrow from the many Bollywood movies of the 80’s – of lost brothers, of rural family values, of naive ambitions, the stark darkness of city life, and the yearning for loved ones. Rama (Suraj Sharma) is a young man who lives under the shadow of the elder son of the family, Udai (Prateik Babbar). Udai has gone off to Umrika for work, in search of a more prosperous life. It is Udai’s letters that tell the tale of a land so exotic and mystical. After a period, when the letters stop coming, Rama’s mother becomes depressed, and distances herself from her family. The letters pick up again, but when Rama discovers the secret behind these letters, he has to leave his family behind to unravel the mystery behind the American dream. Revealing anything more than this basic description would mean to delve into spoiler territory. But in my humble opinion, Umrika is not about the build up, or the culmination of its protagonist. It is perhaps about the many journeys that its array of characters take.
It does seem like a very conscious choice on the part of the director to choose name-dropping familiar historical names and events and references to songs and sights of that era. And it did help in making one believe in the world that surrounds these characters.  From Amitabh Bachchan’s infamous accident on the sets of Coolie to national events such as the  Emergency, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assasination, and even the Challenger space shuttle crash, Umrika weaves these historic events seamlessly into the story, hinting at the era and its eccentricities. These were simpler times, and also times when the only image of America are ones that are coloured in shades of brightness and prosperity.
It is however interesting to see how American culture and lifestyle, which is so much taken for granted, is presented from the eyes of a complete outsider – a young villager from India, who has only read about it from newspaper cuttings. What irks me a little however, is that how our protagonist Rama, in an era of no Google or Wikipedia, and with limited education, has been able to dig out so much information about America – from food, to festivals, to even the Cold War.
The cinematography by Petra Koner is absolutely on the money. The bright hues of Jitvapur’s scorching summer have been presented in stark contrast to the decayed blue indoors of the city. Because in the city, the Sun of hope never seems to rise. There’s despair in every move, with everyone filled with greed and deceit. Koner’s camera narrates a tale of its own.
The acting talent here is in top form – Be it Suraj Sharma, who gets to show off his acting chops a bit more after Life of Pi, and does not disappoint at all. He does look like MTV VJ Rannvijay Singh, which made me wonder what if Rannvijay would have played Udai’s role, instead of the mostly forgettable Prateik Babbar. Rama’s friend Lalu, played by Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel) is an unconventional casting choice. And yet, it works. Even though the dubbing can seem a bit jarring at times, Revolori’s relentless loyalty to his chidhood mate is reminiscent of the many onscreen Bollywood bromances.
And like most loved Bollywood movies, this one also has a Maa. And thank God for that. Because, it is the Maa who provides the emotional hook to the story. Smita Tambe has one of the most expressive eyes that you will see onscreen all year (perhaps, second to Ramya Krishnan in Baahubali). Her love for her son, anguish, and sorrow makes up for all the pacing flaws and almost left me gasping for a breath.
With Umrika, Nair attempts to bring in a lot of elements and promises under one roof – the horror tales of illegal immigration, the struggle of life in the rat race of the city, and yet, a beacon of hope that shines bright to keep things moving on. Umrika shines.
Rating: 3 Hot dogs out of 5.

 

Bhushan Kumar is a Hindi film and fashion obsessed being living and working in London.

Follow Bhushan on Twitter: @bogeyno2

Blog: http://bogeyno2.wordpress.com/

Check out more of Sujoy’s work at OneKnighStand and Bollypop!

Follow Sujoy on Twitter: @9e3k

Pan Official Poster

Peter Pan’s isn’t one of those characters that is near and dear to our hearts although we did enjoy Hook when it came out (BANGERANG) but it seems to be a real gold mine for film makers to keep going back to.

Pan, the upcoming live-action family adventure set for release on 16 October 2015 directed by Joe Wright (Atonement) starring Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried, Cara Delevingne and newcomer Levi Miller seems to be a pre-quel of sorts.

From the Synopsis:


Offering a new take on the origin of the classic characters created by J.M. Barrie, the action adventure follows the story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny—to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.

Pan First Poster

PAN is released in UK cinemas 16 October 2015.

Discover more at warnerbros.co.uk/Pan, or find PanOfficialUK on Facebook and Twitter. #PanMovie

Brooklyn Trailer: So very Irish!

Brooklyn, is the critically acclaimed, heart-breaking, movie starring Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time), Emory Cohen (The Place Beyond The Pines), Jim Broadbent (Iris), Julie Walters (Billy Elliot) and directed by John Crowley (Intermission) and is released in cinemas this November. 

Set in the early 1950s, BROOKLYN is the story of a young woman, Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) who moves from small town Ireland to Brooklyn, NY where, unlike home, she has the opportunity for work and for a future – and love, in the shape of Italian-American Tony (Emory Cohen).  When a family tragedy brings her back to Ireland, she finds herself absorbed into her old community, but now with eligible Jim (Domhnall Gleeson) courting her.  As she repeatedly postpones her return to America, Eilis finds herself confronting a terrible dilemma – a heart-breaking choice between two men and two countries.
BROOK_QUAD
Synopsis 

Set in the early 1950s, BROOKLYN is the story of a young woman, Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) who moves from small town Ireland to Brooklyn, NY where, unlike home, she has the opportunity for work and for a future – and love, in the shape of Italian-American Tony (Emory Cohen).  When a family tragedy brings her back to Ireland, she finds herself absorbed into her old community, but now with eligible Jim (Domhnall Gleeson) courting her.  As she repeatedly postpones her return to America, Eilis finds herself confronting a terrible dilemma – a heart-breaking choice between two men and two countries.

The film stars Saoirse Ronan (‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and Oscar® nominee for ‘Atonement’), Domhnall Gleeson (‘About Time’, ‘Anna Karenina’), Emory Cohen (‘The Place Beyond The Pines’), Jim Broadbent (Oscar® winner for ‘Iris’) and Julie Walters (Oscar® nominee for ‘Billy Elliot’ and ‘Educating Rita’).

 

Star Wars Comic Con Sizzle Reel

Every year  Comic Con bring’s tons of goodies and even though Marvel didn’t make an appearance, Disney managed to rock the house with a very interesting sneak peak at the next Star Wars movie.

Fans at San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H were treated to a special look behind the scenes of Star Wars:The Force Awakens by director J.J. Abrams, producer and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and writer Lawrence Kasdan. The filmmakers were joined on stage by cast members Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford to the surprise and delight of fans.

At the end of the Hall H presentation, the entire Hall H audience of more than 6,000 fans were all invited to continue the celebration and join cast and filmmakers at a surprise Star Wars Fan Concert. The San Diego Symphony performed the classic Star Wars music from John Williams at the Embarcadero Marina Park South.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS IS IN UK CINEMAS FROM DECEMBER 18TH, 2015

Sultan’s teaser doesn’t reveal much….

A very short teaser released for Sultan, Salman Khan’s 2nd collaboration with YRF after the massive success of Ek Tha Tiger. Although we’re no fans of such short teasers or motion posters but we’re always willing to make an exception for Sallu Bhai.

What is interesting is how Sultan’s been announced to release at a date that was already booked for Raees starring YRF (former) blue eyed man-boy SRK. YRF has moved away from the grand romantic movies that made SRK the star he is today so it’s quite surprising they would pull such a move. Although YRF is known for being quite aggressive with when it comes to locking in cinema screens as they did when Jab Tak Hai Jaan released and completely destroyed any chances of Ajay Devgn’s Son of Sardaar working.

Both films are still in the near future so things might change but at the moment, we seem to be heading for a clash.

Produced by Aditya Chopra and written-directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the film will commence shooting in November and will release in Eid 2016.

 

Kung Fu Panda 3 Trailer and Images

We were pleasantly surprised with the 2nd Kung Fu Panda, it might not be on the level of a How To Train Your Dragon that we anxiously anticipate but whenever we sit down to watch it, it’s always a fun ride.

Most of the actors are back with a few new surprises. Check out the trailer and some promo images.

 

 

 

In 2016, one of the most successful animated franchises in the world returns with its biggest comedy adventure yet, KUNG FU PANDA 3. When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters.  But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible—learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!

Kung Fu Panda 3 is set to land in UK cinemas March 2016.

Kung Fu Panda 3features the voice talents of Jack Black as Po, Bryan Cranston as Po’s long-lost panda Father Li plus Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu and more.

New Poster Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Everything related to the lastest Mission: Impossible looks so awesome, the new poster that just released has a slight retro feel and makes pretty much everyone in the movie look cool.

The movie definetly looks like a big summer box office winner, hopefully unlike Edge Of Tomorrow which was praised by critics but underperformed at the box office.

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION reunites star Tom Cruise with Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames, and adds to the cast Rebecca Ferguson and Alec Baldwin.

Synopsis
With the IMF disbanded, and Ethan (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, the team now faces off against a network of highly skilled special agents, the Syndicate. These highly trained operatives are hellbent on creating a new world order through an escalating series of terrorist attacks. Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who may or may not be a member of this rogue nation, as the group faces their most impossible mission yet.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION is released in cinemas 30 July 2015.

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation Poster

London Indian Film Festival (16 – 23 July 2015)

Rama (Suraj Sharma) & Lalu (Tony Revolori) UrmikaThe Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival kicks off with Sundance winner Umrika with hard-hitting cricket documentary Death of a Gentleman to close the festival.

Prashant Nair’s Umrika, winner of the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, starring Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi) and Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), will be the opening night gala of The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival (July 16-23). The festival is now in its 6th edition and firmly established as Europe’s largest showcase for South Asian cinema. Nair’s debut film Delhi in a Day was a great success at the festival’s 2012 edition. Prashant Nair, writer/director of Umrika, said:

“I’m so excited to hear that Umrika will open the London Indian Film Festival this year. We’ve heard such great things about the audiences at LIFF and can’t wait to share our film with them. We’re hoping the film’s nostalgic portrayal of 1980s India, its themes and the many cross-cultural references will resonate with LIFF’s audiences.”

The festival is pleased to announce that the Bagri Foundation, a charity whose aims include the advancement of literacy, education and the arts, with an emphasis on those of India, and the appreciation and understanding of Asian cultures, is on board as the Title Sponsor. Alka Bagri of the Bagri Foundation said:

“Cinema has a vital role to play in exploring lives, sharing emotions, investigating social issues, and expanding horizons. Given the explanatory power of this medium, we are absolutely delighted to be supporting the London Indian Film Festival as title sponsors. The Bagri Foundation is committed to promoting rich cultural endeavours, fostering dialogues and providing platforms for creativity to blossom. In line with this, the Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival offers a fantastic opportunity for art lovers to embark on an exciting journey and to immerse themselves in South Asian culture.”

This year, the dynamic festival is also expanding to UK’s second largest city Birmingham with a selection of highlight screenings at Midlands Arts Centre and Cineworld Broad Street.

Sachin fans at Chennai 110320 Photo by Philip BrownThe festival will close with hard-hitting cricket documentary Death of a Gentleman, featuring Ravi Shastri, Kevin Pietersen, Lalit Modi, N Srinivasan and Giles Clarke. Director Sam Collins said:

“Death of a Gentleman has been four years in the making, and we are hugely excited to be chosen as the closing film at the 2015 LIFF. This is a very human story about passion, money and power, and we hope to make a persuasive case to cricket fans and non cricket fans alike that the greatest game in the world needs to change its ways.”

Other programme highlights include: a rare Screen Talk by one of India’s most acclaimed mainstream filmmakers Tamilian giant Mani Ratnam, Berlinale winner Dhanak, Venice winner Court, Toronto doc. Monsoon and also Bengali art-house hit Labour of Love. UK premieres continue with Slumdog-like The Crows Egg and 31st October starring Soha Ali Khan. Nepalese Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala attends to support a charity event for the Nepal Earthquake Appeal. Actress Konkona Sen Sharma will present her films Saari Raat and Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File, with the latter’s director Ananth Mahadevan also in attendance.

The festival includes the coveted Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition & Award, supported by the Bagri Foundation.

Major Partner Sun Mark Ltd returns with its Pure Heaven brand. Other returning partners include Grange Hotels, British Film Institute, Asian Single Solution and Technicolor. Cinema venues include Cineworld Cinemas, BFI Southbank, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Picturehouse Central and Midlands Arts Centre.

The full programme will be announced 18th June.

LIFF’s Executive & Programming Director Cary Rajinder Sawhney said:

“It is wonderful that the festival is expanding so rapidly in stature and reach, proving there is an un-tapped market for Indian independent cinema with UK audiences.”

For more information on the festival please visit: www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk

Join us on social media: www.facebook.com/LondonIndianFilmFestival & www.twitter.com/LoveLIFF

 

UMRIKA | UK PREMIERE
Hindi with English subtitles | 98 min | India 2015 | Dir. Prashant Nair | with: Suraj Sharma, Tony Revolori, Adil Hussain, Smita Tambe, Prateik Babbar.
This year’s Sundance Audience Award winner is an uplifting, rights of passage tale about two brothers from a small village who have dreams of making it big in Umrika (America). Udai (Pratiek Babbar) is the eldest and adored by his hard-working mum. He leaves their hamlet on a bullock cart to pursue his dream after he says he has received an invitation to work in the US.

Torn between pride and grief his mum waves him off. Months go by but there is no word from Udai, family pride turns to concern. Younger son Rama (Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi), shares the family’s increasing grief and then suddenly letters start to arrive. His parents cheer up again as amazing pictures of the USA fill their lives. All seems well until Rama discovers that the kindly local postman has forged the letters. Rama runs away from home to discover his brother’s true fate.
Q&A with Dir. Prashant Nair and other special guests.
OPENING NIGHT | 16 JULY | 18:00 | CINEWORLD HAYMARKET

DEATH OF A GENTLEMAN | CLOSING NIGHT | LONDON PREMIERE
English | 90 min | Australia, UK | Dir. Sam Collins | with: Kevin Pietersen, Ravi Shastri, N. Srinivasan, Lalit Modi, Giles Clarke.

A hard-hitting documentary of interest to cricket and non-cricket fans alike. Cricketing journalists Jarrod Kimber and Sam Collins set off on a journey to report on the current state of health of Test cricket and to investigate the impact of 20:20 cricket on the five-day game. They end up in something more sinister than they could ever have imagined. During their thrilling three-year journey they criss-cross the globe from London to Australia, from India to Dubai and back again, during which they meet players, the game’s administrators, fans and controversial cricket financiers, resulting in a film that is about much more than cricket. This is a film about passion, about money, about power and it’s a film about standing up for what you care about before it is too late.

Q&A with Dir. Sam Collins and other special guests.
The Bagri Foundation supports documentary films as a powerful medium to raise social awareness.
CLOSING NIGHT | 23 JULY | 18:00 | BFI SOUTHBANK

AR Rahman announces UK concert dates at the O2

The double Grammy and double Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe winner, AR Rahman returns to The O2 after five years, with a one off greatest hits show on Saturday 15 August 2015. AR Rahman will be joined by very special guests including; Srinivas, Karthik, Shweta Mohan, Neeti Mohan, Javed Ali, and many more.

Tickets and limited VIP Packages go on general sale at 9am on Friday 12 June and are available at AXS.com or by calling 08448 24 48 24. Tickets are also available via www.chillitickets.comwww.seetickets.com and www.biggreencoach.co.uk

Discussing his forthcoming UK show of the year AR Rahman said; “The UK always brings back fond memories of working on landmark projects in my career and it’s good to be back again after five years.”

The announcement follows a hugely successful intimate American tour and saw AR Rahman, performs in multiple concert halls. Throughout the US, the tour received standing ovations and critical acclaim.

Working in India’s various film industries, international cinema and theatre with the hit show Bombay Dreams, produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rahman, has sold more than 100 million records of his film scores and soundtracks worldwide, and sold over 200 million albums. He is one of the world’s all-time top selling recording artists, with consistent chart-toppers across multiple continents.

In 2009 TIME magazine listed him as one of the world’s most influential people and cited his first album, Roja among the ”10 Best Soundtracks” of all time. Best known for his score and songs in Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman has worked on more than 100 films, among them the Oscar nominated Lagaan, Bombay, Dil Se, Rang De Basanti, Rockstar, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Raanjhanaa, O Kadhal Kanmani, Enthiran (Robot), Fox film’s 127 Hours by Danny Boyle, Disney’s Million Dollar Arm and The Hundred-Foot Journey.

He is working on a composition for the film Pelé, a biopic on the Brazilian football legend, as well as the score for Disney’s Mohenjo Daro. His album Vande Mataram, released for India’s 50th anniversary of its independence in 1997 remains a firm favourite with patriotic Indians both at home and abroad.

Tickets On-sale: Fri, 12 Jun 201509:00 BST: http://www.axs.com/uk/events/279464/a-r-rahman-the-greatest-hits-live-tickets?skin=arrahman

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation: New Character Posters

The 5th instalment of the Mission Impossible franchise’s release is just around the corner and personally I couldn’t be more psyched. It might be an unpopular opinion but the movies haven’t had a misstep at least in my book (yes I am including the John Woo one). That plane scene that closed the first trailer was insane, although it is hard to top the Burj Khalifa scene from the 4th.

Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Ferguson

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin

Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

With the IMF disbanded, and Ethan (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, the team now faces off against a network of highly skilled special agents, the Syndicate. These highly trained operatives are hellbent on creating a new world order through an escalating series of terrorist attacks. Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who may or may not be a member of this rogue nation, as the group faces their most impossible mission yet.

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION reunites star Tom Cruise with Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames, and adds to the cast Rebecca Ferguson and Alec Baldwin.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION is released in cinemas 30 July 2015.

 

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!

Happy New Year / Slam Tour Report + New Charlie Promo

Farah Khan is suddenly a little tearful – “I’ve realised the journey is coming to an end“.

HNY1

Watching the star studded line up at the European press conference for the upcoming Happy New Year in a Central London hotel on a crisp Sunday morning, the camaraderie and strong bond between the cast was clearly evident. And if that is in the final product, then we really do have an amazing film to look forward to. Sonu Sood claimed it was “the biggest film ever made in India” and how it had been a “life changing experience working with Farah“. For Deepika Padukone, working with Shah Rukh in a lead role for the third time came very easily to her – not only did she know his processes but also revealed how she never questions anything that Shah Rukh tells her to do.

HMY3

Indeed, there was plenty of SRK mania evident at the conference and being in the same room with him, it was not hard to see why. Shy and unassuming, his poise and modesty came across with sincerity, gently encouraging to the Nepali journalist who had recently learnt Hindi when she asked a question and he seemed genuinely embarrassed when a French journalist offered him a book about him written in French as a gift. It was also touching to see how he made sure all his cast members got a chance to speak.

Things took quite an interesting turn when a press member suggested that the SLAM tour had allowed HNY to make all its money back before release and the rest was a money making exercise. The journalist also asked SRK what he had felt he had yet to achieve, cheekily adding on a request for SRK to reply in Hindi rather than English. SRK certainly gave a fitting reply in Hindi – explaining how a film could not guarantee it would do well at the box office and this was more a project of passion. As for his achievements, he said he wanted to give back to the audiences. It was interesting to see the superstar put on the spot and emerge with his dignity intact whilst shutting down the journalist.

Indeed, the SLAM tour has proved a blessing for HNY – as SRK explained: “We used the coincidence of the live concerts and film release as promo strategy” – certainly a savvy business idea which has been well received by the fans and by the rest of the cast too; apparently, we have not heard the last of the SLAM tour which may return once more in a different form in the future.

HNY2

All too soon, it was time to wrap up – it seemed the cast had more fun than anyone else, encouraging and teasing one another but with the feeling that the gathered audience were also in on the joke. How the film is received on release remains to be seen but it was Farah Khan who had the last word – explaining “HNY is a festival film – it is releasing on Diwali!” – let the festivities commence!

Happy New Year releases on 23rd October 2014

Here is a new poster and promo introducing the character of Charlie, played by SRK:


 

 

HNY_Poster Hindi

 

Bhushan Kumar is a film obsessed amateur fashionista who lives in London.

You can read more from him at www.bogeyno2.wordpress.com 

Or follow him on Twitter: @bogeyno2

 

Haider Press Conference

It might have been a rainy Tuesday morning after a bank holiday weekend but nothing was going to dampen spirits at the swanky London hotel where visionary director Vishal Bhardwaj and the dynamic Shahid Kapoor were in attendance to talk about their much anticipated next release Haider.

After showing those in attendance a sneak peek of the film (sorry, no spoilers here!), it was time to speak to Vishal and Shahid and find out what went into making one of Shakespeare’s most well-known and difficult plays into a Hindi film for a commercial audience.

Haider Press Conference

Excerpts below:

Why did you choose to adapt Hamlet for Hindi cinema?

Vishal Bhardwaj: Shakespeare has been my favourite because his dramas are so “juicy” – they have this conflict that is so universal that you can find those conflicts in any society because they are basic human conflicts.

So is Haider a faithful adaptation of Hamlet or a complete rewrite of the premise?

Vishal Bhardwaj: I always try to remain true to the spirit of the play rather than the text itself – that is what I also did in Omkara and I have also taken those liberties in Maqbool. In Haider, my ghost comes late, [whereas] in Hamlet, the play starts with the ghost so I have taken these kind of structural liberties but all those milestones which Hamlet is known for are there. But of course, it is a rewrite for me and I see it as completely my own work. It is very difficult to take Shakespeare’s burden off your head, especially when you are making a trilogy.

Shahid, the role of Haider is one of the most complex to play…Haider2

Shahid Kapoor: Especially when you are given contact lenses to wear and you are told you can only act with your eyes!

…so what were some of the challenges you faced in enacting this role?

Shahid Kapoor: One is usually used to doing movies which are largely single layered – it is very rare that you come across situations as an actor that are complex and I guess that’s where performance can actually come from. I just try to understand the character, his background, his mental state and just try and be honest with how that character would be feeling in that situation and I’ve pretty much played the whole role like that, I never tried to think of is this too many expressions, is this loud or is this not loud, I think those things are largely governed by the director.

This is your second film with Vishal – what is your working relationship like two films on?

Shahid Kapoor: I have a fantastic relationship with Vishal Sir – I think we had a really good relationship when we did Kaminey but now I think it has grown a lot, especially after this film, I felt very dependent on him, pretty much through the film, I would be very unconfident if I couldn’t see what his expression was after I had finished a shot, I felt the need for him and so, I depended a lot on him and if he seemed happy, I would feel like pretty much achieved what I needed to and we’re good.

 

It sounds like Vishal is quite the taskmaster!

Shahid Kapoor: He is very encouraging on set though and I’ve always felt that, a lot of people might feel because of the content that you view, that you must be feeling maybe he is really difficult, he pushes actors and does stuff but actually he provides you with a really good set of actors, really interesting new background and fresh content in terms of script, and all he does is encourage you on set. Actually, he has never been angry or upset with an actor – I’ve never seen him do that, which, you know, I guess is an amazing, amazing quality.

Haider3

Vishal, why did you choose to set the film in Kashmir?

Vishal Bhardwaj: I sincerely think that Bollywood has not been very sensitive towards Kashmir as [Kashmir] is the biggest human tragedy of modern Indian history. I had been reading about it a lot, I had been thinking about it a lot, that why have we not seen Kashmir from inside, why do we always have to go from outside. My eyes opened about what this region has gone through, this conflict and is still going through – that’s where I thought it would make the best backdrop for my film.

Haider completes a trilogy of Shakespeare’s tragedies that you have adapted for Hindi cinema (Omkara and Maqbool being the other two). What is next on the anvil?

Vishal Bhardwaj: Truly I want to make three comedies – a lot of serious stuff has happened for me so now I really want to get into comedies – there are so many. We [Shahid and Vishal] were talking about Comedy Of Errors

And Shahid, what will you take away from the experience of Haider?

Shahid Kapoor: What has lingered on is this feeling of why didn’t I do more films like this after Kaminey – that’s the one feeling I felt the most whilst shooting Haider. It was very enriching experience as an actor and when you do films like this, it reminds you of why you wanted to become an actor actually and then a lot of other things take over and I guess that holds true for any profession – we all get into something because at a certain age, there are certain things that attract you to a particular profession and then when you do it, there are rare opportunities where the things that you did it for are the things that you actually do it for. I really felt I should have done more films like this after Kaminey and I’m very clear that I want to do one such film every year for my journey as an actor.

Haider is set for a worldwide release on 2nd October 2014.

 

Bhushan Kumar is a film obsessed amateur fashionista who lives in London.

You can read more from him at www.bogeyno2.wordpress.com or follow him on Twitter: @bogeyno2

Kick Cast Interviews

A Copy/Paste job of some PR Media interviews we received from the Kick Cast (Sajid Nadiadwala, Nargis Fakhri, Chetan Bhagat, Mithun)

Usual Questions and quite bland answers but in a weird way, i’m having a very sanitized feeling about Kick in general. Maybe I don’t want to get my hopes up but the marketing of the movie has just made me feel a bit iffy about it.

Sajid Nadiadwala (Director)

Q: Kick marks your directorial debut, what made you step into your director shoes?

A: I think it was fate really; it happened so fast! It’s funny how things turn out in life. I was in a meeting with Salman, narrating the script to him, when all of a sudden he said, ‘Why don’t you direct it!’ I didn’t even have time to consider the offer, before I had even nodded he was jumping and hugging me and shouted across the room ‘Grandson is turning director.’  Before I even had time to share the news he had already written in his planner that a new director was coming. It’s been a wonderful experience and I felt right at home doing it.

Q:   Did your experience as a producer help you in your debut?Sajid Nadiadwala - Kick

A:  Absolutely! As a producer I have worked with extremely talented directors and have gained knowledge and experience from working side by side with them. One becomes seasoned after so many films.

Q: What was your most memorable day on the set of Kick?

A: My first day on the set, definitely. I was calm and ready to don my director’s hat. I felt completely at ease on set and was lucky to have a very professional foreign crew. I decided to start with an action scene, as I feel most comfortable with it. Everything went down smoothly, and as we were wrapping up I thought to myself I am a director now!

Q: What makes Kick unique?

A: I had a clear and unique vision for Kick and thanks to my amazing team it has come together far beyond my expectations. The script is great, the high-octane stunts are gripping and the locations where we shot are stunning. Salman and I were set on creating something new. It’s very different to his earlier films.
Q: We’ve heard you spent more than 72 hours at a stretch buried in the editing room

A: I can’t help it I’m a perfectionist. When you are dedicated to make a project succeed you forget everything else around you, including the time!

Q: Has Salman been a help to you on this adventure?

A: Absolutely. It was great fun discussing our ideas, brainstorming and working out the scenes together. He’s been very helpful and completely supportive of my vision. All in all, it has been a great experience.

Q: How do you feel about the release of Kick?

A: I am very excited. It has been a wonderful ride and now we have to enjoy the result of all our hard work. The trailer received five million views in 59 hours, so I expect great things for this film.

 

 

 Chetan Bhagat (Screenwriter)

Q:  Did you enjoy writing the screenplay for ‘Kick’? Does it mean that you are becoming more and more involved in the film-making process?

A: I did enjoy it. It was fun, plus Salman Khan was in it, so it was an honour too. But it doesn’t mean that I will become a screen writer. Occasionally, I might get into all this again, but I am more than happy with just being an author. I am comfortable with my books, giving motivational talks and writing columns. Those are the areas I want to dedicate my time to.

Q: When you’re writing a book do you automatically think of how it would pan into a film?

A: No, not really. I can’t think of it that way. Writing books was, is and will be my passion; it doesn’t really matter if it will be made into a movie or not. Moreover, if my book is good, then the filmmakers would approach me anyway. I wouldn’t have to do anything extra to get my books made into a movie.

Q:  What inspired you to start writing?

A:To be honest, I just wanted to do something different. I always liked writing and I thought it could be a great hobby. The only thing I did not know is that there would be so many people who would like my writing.

Q:  When is your next book coming out? What is it about?

A: It will be coming out in October this year (2014). I don’t want to spoil the book for you, so I won’t say a lot about the plot, except that it is a rural Indian love story. It is slightly different from the other books I’ve written so far, but I hope that my readers will enjoy it.

Q: Why did you agree to write the screen-play for ‘Kick’?

A: I’ve known Salman from the time of Hello, the movie version of my novel One Night At The Call Centre. But I never had a chance to work with him. So this was a perfect opportunity. Also, when I saw the original version of Kick, I loved it, but I felt like there is potential to take the content deeper. Sajid [Director] is debuting with Kick too and he has a huge vision for it – hopefully I will be able to make it come true.

Q:  What is ‘Kick’ about?

A: Kick is about a guy who lives life only for his kicks, a powerful concept and a perfect recipe for a Salman-Nadiadwala blockbuster.

 

Nargis Fakhri (Actress) Q&A

Q:  Were you excited to work with Salman Khan?

A: I was nervous! He’s such a big Bollywood star, I was afraid I’d mess something up. When I went to the set and met him, all my fears faded away. Salman is a very positive person and his sense of humour is amazing! I had such a great time working with him and the whole team.

Q:  You had some problems with your knee whilst shooting the song ‘Yaar Na Mile’. Did it affect your performance in any way?

A: Yes, I suffered from a ruptured knee and it was extremely painful, but I pulled myself together because I know that opportunities like this don’t appear very often. I have no idea how, but I managed to complete it in just four days.

Q:  It’s your second item number. Do you think there will be more?Nargis Fakhri & Salman Khan - Kick

A: I really enjoy dancing, but I don’t want to be seen as just an item dancer. Acting is my passion and I want to do some good meaty roles. I am currently talking to different directors, but nothing has been finalised just yet.

Q:  You will be making your Hollywood debut quite soon. What do you prefer Bollywood or Hollywood?

A: I think it has to be Bollywood. I am feeling more comfortable in Bollywood because I have spent more time here and I do have a much better understanding about it. Besides dancing and music is my passion, this is why I prefer to spend more time here [Bollywood].

 Q: Tell us a bit more about your dance number?

A: It is a very urban, edgy yet sexy dance number. There was a lot to learn. At first I thought I might miss some steps, but everything went brilliantly well. Salman has a great energy and I think that is what made me so comfortable around him.

 

Mithun Chakraborthy (Actor) Q&A

 Q:  You are known for being very particular about the roles you accept, what was so special about Kick that made you sign?

 A:  After 375 films, I would say I’m fortunate to be able to consider carefully which roles I take on. I don’t accept a role for the sake of it, there has to be something special about the character that draws me to the film.  When I read the Kick script I thought my character was hilarious, so I said yes. I thought it was a great project to be a part of.

Q: Your success as an actor and disco dancer has made you an icon of Hindi cinema, did you ever think you would make it this far?

A:  When I started out I was hopeful and determined, and took my career one step at a time. When you are an actor there is no point in predicting your success, I always say that luck plays a very big role in an actor’s life. It’s not easy being discovered, you have to be at the right place, at the right time.

Q: As Bollywood’s disco king, how important is dance in your daily life?

A:  Dance has and will always be a part of me. Whenever I’m sad the dance floor is my escape. I get positive energy through dancing. I am so lucky to be able to make my hobby an important part of my career and I don’t hesitate to accept projects that allow me to dance.

‘KICK’

Releasing worldwide through UTV Motion Pictures on 25th July 2014

Santosh Sivan MasterClass BFI LIFF 2014

London Indian Film Festival brought with it the golden opportunity to spend an evening with ace Indian cinematographer/director – Santosh Sivan. As a fan of his work, this was something not to be missed, and I went in with high expectations. Held at the BFI Southbank, the Santosh Sivan Masterclass was being conducted by BBC Radio Presenter Nihal.

It started off as a QnA session on Sivan’s early inspirations that drew him towards the visual medium. Sivan’s stories clearly depict his childlike enthusiasm at nature’s offerings. And unsurprisingly enough, that enthusiasm is still alive, and is quite obvious in the way he narrated his stories, and also from the fondness that is conveyed. Most of his quirky experiences have somehow translated into his cinema.

Later on, we moved to the milestones of his career. To name a few, Mani Ratnam’s Roja, Iruvar, Thalapathi, and Dil Se, and his own directed features – Asoka, Terrorist, and Before the Rains. Sivan’s passion for storytelling, whether in feature film format, or documentaries was also one of the discussions in this masterclass.

His latest work – Ceylon, was met with a few controversies, and was pulled from the cinemas. Hopefully, we should get to see Ceylon in the near future. Here are 15 quotes from his masterclass.

On his early inspiration: My grandma always use to narrate me stories in a very cinematic way. The moon rose, then the night lit. So that has been my visual inspiration.

On why he chose cinematography: I used to love taking black and white pictures. If I wasn’t a cinematographer, I would be a farmer. Because I’d be very close to nature.

On how he deals with child actors: You don’t try to change child actors, but adapt yourself to them. Otherwise  you’d be changing the reason why you took them in the first place.

On Chhaiya Chhaiya: Sharukh Khan was the fastest thing on that train.

On his favourite scene: The complexity and lighting of the scene in Iruvar when Mohanlal wave shis hand and there is a crowd cheering loudly, that reminds me of the hard work we put in to achieve that. So that scene is special to me.

On actors and their insecurities: I often tell actors to act as if the camera is their best friend. And put as less makeup as possible.

On whether it is possible to be a director without being a cinematographer:
I disagree with that. Because it is not good too much of everything. A director can have a visual sense, and an idea of his end product, without knowing cinematography.

On his favourite international film: Bicycle Thief is one of my favourite films. Because it is a very little, and very real film.

On perceiving beauty visually: I wake up in the morning at 5 am, and see the world in monochrome. Then the first rays of sunlight appear, and you see the world in soft light. Then the bright light starts to appear. It is like the universe is putting on a show for you.

On how he handles his sensory overload when he sees beauty all around you: Smoke some cigarettes and a drink.

On Asoka: Even now I feel very proud of that film. It was inspired by my school teacher, who wanted to be a theatrical actor. And he used to teach us of Asoka.

On his collaboration with Mani Ratnam: He is an old friend, and a creative ally. We do have differences on set, and even fights. But at the end of the day, we just want to make the best film we can.

On why he chooses to make documentaries: It is like telling a real tale of how it was set in time somewhere. That excites me.

On his most embarrassing work : I don’t have any such list of work that I should be ashamed of. In the same way, I do not have a favourite project. I cannot sit on my past achievements. My best is always coming next.

On the controversy surrounding his next feature Ceylon: It got pulled because I did not want any tension around the election period. I am releasing it again, after getting an approval from those who objected to it without even seeing the film. I will be showing it to them.

For more info head on over to http://www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk/

@9e3k

OneKnightStands Bollypop | 9E3K | @9E3K

Daawat-e-Ishq Title Song and Trailer

Yash Raj has just released the first song promo from Daawat E Ishq starring Parineeti Chopra and Aaditya Roy Kapur, releasing in theaters september 5th.

Here is the synopsis of the movie from the YRF website and to be honest I have read it several times and I still can’t make head nor tails of what the story is about:

Meet Hyderabad ki tez Gulrez (Parineeti Chopra) and Lucknowka aashiq Tariq (Aditya Roy Kapur) in a love story from Yash Raj Films’ kitchen, where Love gets Spicy, Love gets Sweet, Love gets Bitter!

A shoe-sales girl, disillusioned with love because of her encounters with dowry-seeking men and a cook, who can charm anybody with the aroma and flavours of his biryani and kebabs, come face to face in the clash of diametrically opposite but equally spicy cultures of Hyderabad and Lucknow.

In her quest to find her Mr. Universe, she comes up against “Big Boss Hyderi Kebab” and in the process of arriving at a “tuning-setting”, Gullu and Taru rewrite traditional recipes of love, crush old-fashioned world-views and make their own masaledaar albeli pichchar… a deliciously romantic Daawat-e-Ishq!

YRF continue it’s streak where the city is the 3rd character yo! so  there seems to be a lot of Lucknow and Hyderabad flavors. (somewhere I blame Vicky Donor for this trend but it might have started earlier, I just hated Vicky Donor).  I’ve had trouble telling  their movies apart for the last decade or so, for my money this looks the same as Dil Bode Hadippa but with interchangeable actors or backdrops (Now he’s a cook, now she’s a crook!).

This must be the way YRF conceives their properties now:  Put in random ideas in a cookie box, pull 3-4 cards out, put them on a white board, lock some writing interns in until Habib Faisal is happy to sign off on the result and Adi Chopra approves the budget. Pour over standard YRF Art design and marketing, top it of with a shitty poster.

It almost makes me miss the mountains of Switzerland!

Since I was unaware that Aashiqui 2 was an actual movie and not just a super addictive music album, I still haven’t gotten round to watching it. So I was quite unaware that Afro Dork from London Dreams and Guzaarish has grown into a full on hearthrob. Ironic, when the character he played was an abusive alcholic in that movie, maybe some of people feel they can “save” him. I think there is a psychological term for that which I’m too lazy to google.

Parineeti Chopra is the main reason I would want to catch this on Netflix. She has been consistency the light of any project she has been in, and honestly I feel she deserves top billing now. There is a bit of criticism that she plays the same role over and over again but she’s quite a young actress still finding her feet and excelling whilst doing so. And might I say those are some very fancy hair extensions she has on.

Here is the full trailer again if you missed it, gives you a chance to see more Parineeti.


DEI_Poster3

Daawat-e-Ishq celebrates its worldwide release on 5th September 2014

@asimburney

HERCULES – NEW ‘ARMED FOR BATTLE’ FEATURETTE : The Rock throws a horse!

I’m trying to rack my brain when I was last excited for a Brett Ratner movie, it might have been Kites, how young and innocent were we back in those days? But Hercules has me totally psyched, The Rock can do no wrong and he has been preppring this movie and pushing it on Social Media for what seems ages.

Here they are both talking about some of the weapon and action choices:

 

1401801723-HerculesIntlTeaserOnline

 

Synopsis:
Paramount and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ film HERCULES, starring Dwayne Johnson, bows on July 25. Based on Radical Comics’ ‘Hercules,’ this ensemble-action film, featuring an international cast, is a revisionist take on the classic myth set in a grounded world where the supernatural does not exist. HERCULES also stars Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan and John Hurt.

HERCULES muscles into cinemas in the UK and Ireland on JULY 25th 2014

Farhan Akhtar LIFF Screen Talk at the BFI

That Farhan Akhtar is a multi-talented being is beyond doubt – just look to his amazing body…of work as an actor, director, writer, singer, lyricist, producer and general Mr Congeniality of Hindi cinema. But damn it, he is rather likeable too – at least I felt I wanted to hang out with him a bit more after a screen talk at the BFI Southbank. As part of the London Indian Film Festival 2014, (which is fast going from strength to strength and now a major event on the South Asian cultural calendar in London) and hosted by editor of Sight + Sound, Nick James, the evening quickly felt like spending time with a friend of a friend who you want to be friends with.

In front of a packed audience which also included filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra (whose presence was the surprise of the evening; when Farhan named the Munnabhai series as having a great social impact on society, the audience were alerted to Chopra’s presence and broke into spontaneous applause), his wife Anupama Chopra, who is perhaps the most sanguine film reviewer in India today, Bollywood casting powerhouse Mukesh Chabbra  and director of recent superhit Queen, Vikas Bahl, Farhan charmed with tales of how he started as an assistant director to avoid being thrown out of home and how he would cut class at college to watch films.

Photo Credit: London Indian Film Festival 2014
But there was also lots of unexpected fun – Farhan managed to make Nick James lose his calm composure and corpse into uncontrollable laughter a few times as well as delighting the audience with an impromptu snake dance (an interest he shares with Shah Rukh Khan) as well as singing the title song from Rock On! It was also interesting to hear Farhan talk about Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (including being unable to look at a tomato for a good six months post the Ik Junoon song filmed at the Tomatina festival in Spain). One did miss the inclusion of Lakshya which was a significant film in his career but with time of the essence, there was lots to get through.

When finally it was time for the audience Q&A, there was lots of enthusiasm and whilst a request for a hug from a determined fan was not quite appropriate, only the stoniest heart would have denied a two year old girl a hug and kiss from her favourite actor (though Farhan didn’t take a selfie with a fan who had come from New Zealand which felt unfair, especially as her question regarding how he worked with Zoya was one that seemed to pique his interest). All too soon, it was time to wrap the session up but not before a clip showing Farhan in his career defining role as Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. What added to this was how Farhan shared how he embraced the grueling process to achieve that amazing athletic look.

As I left the Southbank feeling inspired and pleased, fans had thronged all the possible exits hoping to get a photo with Farhan as he made his way to the after party. Inspiring that kind of affection and keeping it is not easy but then this is the very talented Mr Akhtar we are talking about here – and there is no doubt that as he forges ahead with anything he chooses to do, it will be with a degree of class, dedication and a disarming and endearing sense of humour.

Bhushan Kumar is a Hindi film and fashion obsessed being living and working in London.

Follow Bhushan on Twitter: @bogeyno2

Blog: http://bogeyno2.wordpress.com/

London Indian Film Festival 2014 starts with Dhol Dhamaka!

It was the opening night of London Indian Film Festival 2014. Now in its 5th year, the festival has become a major platform to showcase the best of what the Indian indie cinema scene has to offer. Running from the 10th to the 17th of July this year, this year’s programme not only features entries from India, but also other countries of South Asia viz. Pakistan and Bangladesh.

It being the opening night at London’s Cineworld Haymarket, the venue was star studded to the brim with familiar celebrities walking the short but shiny red carpet. The celeb list is long, but I have to mention two big names.
Firstly, Gillian Anderson, promoting and supporting her movie – SOLD, which opened the festival this evening.
And secondly, veteran Indian actress Kamini Kaushal.
Gillian looks exactly like she does in The Fall / Hannibal. I know, that’s an obvious statement. But she does. I was lucky enough to be seated just a few rows behind her. Unfortunately selfies weren’t even a remote possibility because she was surrounded by black suit wearing, bald and stout guards. Quite the stereotype for a Hollywood biggie, but there you go. I wonder what kind of guards J-Law has.


Kamini Kaushal on the other hand, was seated not so far from us. She looks like she hasn’t aged a single day from the last time I saw her in a movie – perhaps in a Dadijee role in Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega.

The opening night movie of the festival was Academy Award winner, director Jeffrey Brown’s SOLD – based on a real stories, is about a girl called Lakshmi who falls prey to a child-trafficking gang, and is smuggled into Kolkata. It is expected that with a subject matter like this, the movie is going to be a hard watch. It did make me feel very uncomfortable in a few portions. And it made me wonder whether this was a good choice as the opening movie for the festival. Previous years have seen such movies such as Gangs of Wasseypur and Monsoon Shootout as the one’s opening LIFF. Having said that, it is a compelling movie which tells it tale with little dashes of humour, and yet doesn’t shy away from punching you in the gut with its harsh imagery. More on the movie will be discussed on the Upodcast review.
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And as the lights came up after the end credits, the hall errupted with a loud applause for the makers of this movie. There was a Q&A session held after the movie. And to say the least, it was the most awkward public situations I have ever witnessed. Not because of the topic of child trafficking being discussed. But because of the level of stupidity and banality of the questions that were being thrown at Jeffrey Brown and Gillian Anderson. The usual keywords of “vision”, “preparation”, “feel” were thrown around. Let’s just say, the Q&A pretty much drowned any impact the movie had.

And as we walked out of the auditorium, a good friend of mine introduced me to ace cinematographer and director – Santosh Sivan. And yes, I have been making plenty of noises about that on social networks. And on my way out, I did catch a glimpse of Amy Jackson looking very yellow (because she was wearing a yellow dress), and (if you remember) popstar Raageshwari (of Duniya fame), looking very white (because she was very pale, and wearing white and shimmery). There was some noise about an afterparty being held, but in the words of the great Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

That wraps up opening day of London Indian Film Festival for me. I am looking forward to a feast of good cinema, and you should be looking forward to a barrage of coverage of LIFF from us.

The London Indian Film Festival has screenings all over London until the 17th of July.

For more info head on over to http://www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk/

@9e3k

OneKnightStands Bollypop | 9E3K | @9E3K

Samar Shaikh Director of Bobby Jasoos’ Press Interview

Bobby Jasoos is directed by Samar Shaikh, whose impressive cache of work includes being the assistant director on the worldwide hit franchise Dhoom. The film is co-produced by Bollywood actress Dia Mirza and Sahil Sangha under their production banner Born Free Entertainment and Reliance Entertainment and releasing on the 11th of July.

Here is Samar Shaikh interacting with the Press:

Q:  What was it like working with Vidya Balan?

A:It was my first time working with her, so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I absolutely enjoyed the experience. Vidya is an extremely talented actress. We got on really well and the atmosphere was great. She is a very creative actress, who knows how to bring any character to life on the screen.

 

Q:  How would you describe the movie?

A:Bobby Jasoos is a gripping film that sets a new benchmark for the thriller genre in Indian cinema and examines in a clever, witty and fresh way the dynamics of the gender struggle between women and men. The film centres around the main female character ‘Bobby’, played by Vidya [Balan],who wants to become the number one detective in the old city area of Hyderabad. The movie combines comedy with a classic thriller story, full of intriguing twists. The cast are superb, and I am very proud of the outcome of this film

 

Q:  What attracted you to ‘Bobby Jasoos’?

A:I thought it was a fantastic story to bring to life. Also, the story deals with myriad issues beneath the surface. It tackles such issues as a strong woman operating in a traditionally man’s profession. The film tries to balance hard-hitting issues with the more usual romance, comedy and suspense. I feel it is a story that hasn’t really been told before in Indian cinema.

 

Q:  Your favourite scene from ‘Bobby Jasoos’?

A:I don’t think I could pick out just one scene. Every single bit was so entertaining and I believe its part of having to work with a wonderful team.

 

Q:  What will audiences enjoy most about ‘Bobby Jasoos’?

A:I think the most enjoyable thing is that one can actually relate to the story very easily – it is not just a detective story, it’s really also a human story about a girl from a small village in Hyderabad with big dreams and aspirations. It shows that you can actually reach your goal no matter where you come from or who you are.

 

Q:  Do you think ‘Bobby Jasoos’ is destined for success?

A:I think it has a great story line and a superb cast, but it is up to the audience to decide whether it is going to be successful.  Sometimes it is not about box office figures – I really believe in this story and I did put my heart and soul into it. If people will be able to see and appreciate it – I will be very grateful.

Karan Johar Press Interview Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania

Karan Johar, brought in fresh faces for his latest rom-com (I think we can all be grateful he took a break from the Imran Khan – Kareena Kapoor combo).

Here is some of the press release:

Bollywood heartthrob Varun Dhawan (Student Of The Year, Main Tera Hero) plays hopeless romantic ‘Humpty Sharma’, an eternally optimistic young man, who is amiably searching for his ‘Dulhania’ (bride). Enter strong-willed, no nonsense Delhi girl ‘Kavya Pratap Singh’ (Alia Bhatt, Student Of The Year, Highway, 2 States). What ensues is a sweet and amusing story, as the ever simple loser in love ‘Humpty’ deploys every means at his disposal to convince ‘Kavya’ that he is her soul mate.

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania stars Bollywood’s new-kid-on-the-block Varun Dhawan, who made his successful debut with the breakthrough Dharma Productions film Student Of The Year along.Famed for playing the sentimentalist and also renowned for doing his own stunts, Varun is set yet again to show why he is one of Indian cinema’s rising stars in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. With charisma and acting talent in abundance, the young actor has already won awards, including the Star Gold and Lions Gold awards, and has been nominated for several ‘newcomer’ accolades.

Bollywood sweetheart, Alia Bhatt, who also made her big-screen debut in the Karan Johar production Student of the Year and received widespread critical acclaim for her role in Highway and 2 States, convincingly plays the main female protagonist, sealing her position as one of Bollywood’s most sought after leading ladies.

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is directed by debutant director Shashank Khaitan and is produced by award-winning film-maker Karan Johar.

Here is our favorite Koffee host answering some questions from the “press”.

Q:  Is ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ in any way related to the super hit ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’?

A:Our film (‘Humpty Sharma..) is an ode to ‘DDLJ’. One will see glimpses of ‘DDLJ’ but the love story is different from ‘DDLJ’. We have made this film with honesty, integrity (and) with an intention to entertain people.

Q: As a person you seem to be very happy & make a lot of people laugh, but most of your movies make people cry. Why is that?

A: I love crying and to me, cinema crying is very cathartic. I remember when I watched The Namesake with Mr Bachchan. All my pent-up emotions of losing my dad came out, even though, thematically, it had nothing to do with losing a parent. But something triggered an emotion and I just remember weeping. The second time I cried was while watching Taare Zameen Par as I was in boarding school for four days, that too, in the same one shown in the film. I remember my parents leaving me behind there. Seeing the film, I think Niagara Falls had begun and I wept and wept and I called Aamir after the show. The first film I cried was in Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se. I was eight years old and was bawling at the end of it. My mother kept explaining to me how that was not real, but that didn’t stop me from crying.

 

Q: What attracted you to ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’?Karan Johar

A:I really liked the script and I found it very funny. I also loved the fact that the classic ‘boy-meets-girl’ tale has been made into a unique and quirky youth drama for the modern generation.

 

Q: Alia Bhatt is often being compared to Kareena Kapoor. What is your opinion on the two Bollywood divas?

A:There is only one Kareena Kapoor – I am not only a huge fan of her work but I value her as a friend too. Kareena and Alia are two different people. Kareena has been in the Bollywood industry for a long time now; she has created a tremendous niche for herself and set a bar so high that it’s unfair to compare her with Alia. Alia is charming in her own way and I am sure she will make her own space. You just have to give her some time.

 

Q: You have launched quite a few newcomers to Bollywood – do you think it is much easier being launched rather that doing everything on your own?

A: It is definitely difficult for them. Even though they are very young they have seen pretty much everything now – they have seen success, failure, insecurity and anxiety up, close and personal. They have seen too much that can eat into them. The basic perception is that it is easy, but it is really not. They have a point to prove… there are so many expectations from them. I think film fraternity and star kids have it tougher.

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, releases on 11th July 2014

Bobby Jasoos Press Interview Ali Fazal

Ali Fazal has been grinding in Bollywood since quite a few years now. Most probably most people noticed him in 3 Idiiots as the engineer who committed suicide. But now he’s  looking forward to his biggest release yet paired opposite Vidya Balan in Bobby Jasoos.

He did some Q&A interaction with the press and here it is:

Q: What attracted you to ‘Bobby Jasoos’?

A:It’s a beautiful script. I thought it was a great concept and I loved the story. I was also trying to break the mould. Even though I’m just starting out I think it’s important to push myself and take up as many challenges that come my way. Bobby Jasoos offered me the opportunity to play a character that’s an integral part of the story. Also playing the lead role with Vidya and having Dia as a producer was also a major factor in my decision. I think signing this film has been one of my best decisions in my career so far.

 

Q:  How did you get into acting?

A:  When I was in boarding school I loved taking part in cultural activities like dance and theatre. But I did it for fun I never thought It could turn into something more. I was still a student when I got my first acting offer and having that experience made me realise if I worked hard I could actually turn my hobby into a career.

 

Q: Did you find the romantic element of the film challenging?

A:I was looking forward to playing a romantic role. Vidya is a fantastic actor and it was very comfortable and easy working with her. Even though she is a senior actress I wasn’t scared of romancing her, it was both fun and challenging. There was no awkwardness in the sense that she is a married woman, probably thanks to the workshops we did together before we started shooting. Hopefully our chemistry translates on screen.

 

Q: What’s unique about this film and why should we watch it?

A: The entire concept of this film is unique. I read many Indian detective stories and I can’t recollect  any story where the detective is a woman. I think it’s such an original angle. As well as being colourful and entertaining it has a really human story behind it. It’s a ‘hatke’ love story.

 

Q: What did you find most challenging about this role?

A: Sharing the screen with a powerhouse like Vidya Balan is challenging and very satisfying. My first worry was, can I do justice to it? But actually when you are presented with a challenge you know you have to give your best. It was great fun working with Vidya, we felt really comfortable on set. In terms of specific challenges we worked quite hard to get the Hyderabadi dialect and body language right, but we did some intense workshops which helped a lot.

 

Q: The songs are an important element of the film. How did you enjoy shooting these scenes?

A:It was an amazing experience. All of the songs are beautiful. They’ve got a classic touch that takes you back to the Bollywood of the 80’s.The film is packed with great numbers. They are a key element of the film’s romance.

 

Q: What can we expect from the film?

A: A powerful story and a colourful and entertaining film, full of music, jasoosi and excitement.

Bobby Jasoos releases on 4th July 2014 by Reliance Entertainment.

Jersey Boys Infographic

To celebrate last week’s release of Clint Eastwood’s JERSEY BOYS, Warner Bros. Pictures is pleased to make available an exclusive JERSEY BOYS infographic. JERSEY BOYS stars Christopher Walken, John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza and is in cinemas now.

Jersey Boys infographic

From director Clint Eastwood comes the big-screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys.”

The film tells the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons.  The story of their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the songs that influenced a generation, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Dawn,” “Rag Doll,” “Bye Bye Baby,” “Who Loves You,” and many more.

These classic hits are now being embraced by a new generation of fans through the stage musical, which has been running on Broadway for more than eight years and has also enjoyed successful tours around the globe.

Starring in the film, John Lloyd Young reprises his Tony Award-winning portrayal of the legendary lead singer of The Four Seasons, Frankie Valli.  Erich Bergen stars as Bob Gaudio, who wrote or co-wrote all of the group’s biggest hits.  Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza star respectively as Nick Massi and Tommy DeVito, two original members of The Four Seasons.  Oscar® winner Christopher Walken (“The Deer Hunter”) stars as mobster Gyp DeCarlo.

Oscar® winner Eastwood (“Million Dollar Baby,” “Unforgiven”) directed “Jersey Boys” from a screenplay and musical book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, song music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe.  The film is produced by Eastwood, Graham King and Robert Lorenz, with Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tim Moore, Tim Headington, Brett Ratner, James Packer and Steven Mnuchin serving as executive producers.

The behind-the-scenes creative team was led by Academy Award®-nominated director of photography Tom Stern (“Changeling”); Academy Award®-nominated production designer James J. Murakami, (“Changeling”); Oscar®-winning editor Joel Cox (“Unforgiven”) and editor Gary D. Roach; and costume designer Deborah Hopper.

Mardaani Trailer Breakdown: Rani is a bad ass!

Mardaani has been under the radar for a while now but I had assumed wrongly that it was going to be a female version of a Southploitation movie along the lines of a Rowdy Rathore but with Rani Mukherjee instead of any cash hungry male actor. Which didn’t really excite me as they tried doing that with Gulaab Gang to a certain extent and failed miserably.

The first look poster released back in May was pretty terrrible (as with most YRF releases)  and made me think they had roped in Ram Gopal Varma to direct a female Sarkar.

But boy, does this first trailer prove me wrong on all accounts (a feeling i love when a movie manages to do so)

Mardaani’s trailer is a tough watch which makes me wonder if the audience will be clamoring to watch a movie about such a horific subject as Child Trafficking but when making a movie like this, that might be besides the point especially as YRF has been doing a lot of brand diversification with collaborating with more Indie film directors.

Pradeep Sarkar had previously made Laga Chunariya Me Daag which dealt with prostitution and also starred Rani but that movie failed and was part of the old YRF glossy cinema where as Mardaani seems much grittier.

I love seeing Rani be a bad ass again after No One Killed Jessica and they again manage to put in a few scenes of Rani cussing out men, and then even elbowing their faces in which is all kinds of awesome. It’s really good to see a female actor do some push ups and quite realistic action instead of the kung fu wire crap they pulled off in Gulaab Gang, Dus and Chandni Chowk To China.

We love Rani here at Upodcast (As you can hear us gush when speaking to her for Talaash) and hope the movie is hardhitting but made sensitively enough, maybe softening up the next trailer might help in not scaring away some of audience members as some of the shots of girls being stripped are truly gruesome to watch.

Release Date: 22 August 2014
Starring: Rani Mukerji
Directed by: Pradeep Sarkar
Produced by: Aditya Chopra

LIFF 2014 Top Picks The Upodcast team

One of the best UK Indian Film Festivals is upon us again from the 10th to 17th of July.

And since there are a ton of films on offer we roped in some old friends and new to help cover some of the exciting movies showcased.

Here are some of the ones we are really looking forward to and hope to watch/review for you.

Sujoy – @9e3k

SOLD

Opening a film festival has its own pros and cons. Doing the honours this year is SOLD. Directed by Jeffrey Brown, it stars Gillian Anderson amongst other known names from the Indian film industry. The synopsis leads us to believe that it is going to be a powerful movie with a heart-breaking story. It remains to be seen if it can deliver on its promise.L014_NUN_PR

HEMALKASA

Closing the festival is Samruddhi Porey’s Hemalkasa. Starring Marathi cinema’s finest – Nana Patekar, Sonali Kulkarni, Mohan Agashe – the cast itself should be reason enough to lure the audience into the cinema. Revolving around the story of rural development in Maharashtra, I hope Hemalkasa is able to pull the heartstrings of its audience.

Hank And Asha – As the title suggests, Hank And Asha is about the two of them. Judging by its recent Slamdance Audience Award could well be the indie romance movie that you should check out this year.

Barefoot to Goa – Director Praveen Morchhale’s festival darling finally finds its way to LIFF. Set between Mumbai and Goa, the story is a very conventional one that speaks of the bond between grandchildren and grandparents. It is quite inexplicable why this is one of the highlights of LIFF for me. Soon, I’ll let you know why.

Barefoot to Goa – Film Trailer with english Subtitle. from Praveen Morchhale on Vimeo.

Sulemaani Keeda

Everything about this movie screams PRETENTIOUS. When you throw in keywords such as suburban Mumbai underbelly, Tarkovsky, Bollywood – it just comes with a baggage of its own. That is also one of the key reasons why I look forward to this movie. And I wish to be completely corrected on my assumption.

Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya – The characters of Goopi and Bagha is not unknown to anyone who has grown up on Satyajit Ray’s cinema. The story of this mischievious duo, previously immortalised by the fantastic Tapen Chatterjee and Robi Ghosh, is now being adapted into a Hindi animated feature. I have great expectations from this version of the magical world of Goopi and Baagha’s adventure.

Sulemani Keeda_01

Ulidavaru Kandante

This movie’s promotional image has men with painted tigers on their face. And the synopsis speaks of the film’s homages to Sin City, Pulp Fiction, Agneepath, Rashomon. Two words – Must Watch, or could be one word – Oversell.

 

Qissa

Festival favourite Irrfan Khan stars in this period piece set during the Partition period. And Tilottama Shome stars too. The story could be a cross between Dil Bole Hadippa and Boys Don’t Cry. And I could be horribly wrong.

Apur Panchali: Not just Ray references, but a whole movie about the actor who acted as protagonist Apu in Pather Panchali. This stars Parambrata Chatterjee, and is directed by Kaushik Ganguly (Arekti Premer Golpo, Shabdo). Sounds like nectar for Ray lovers.

Qissa_01

 

Bhushan- @Bogeyno2

Qissa
Irfan Khan in anything is worth watching (Paan Singh Tomar,The Lunchbox) and Qissa should be no exception. With a flair for making even the most unpleasant of characters seem human (Saat Khoon Maaf anyone?) Khan looks certain to bring another dimension to Umber Singh in a complex role. Much like Khamosh Paani, films on partition tend to make for challenging yet compelling viewing and Qissa looks set to deliver the same.

QISSA – The Tale of a lonely Ghost – Trailer from Heimatfilm on Vimeo.

Million Dollar Arm
As Bollywood and Hollywood look for that elusive pan market breakout film, Million Dollar Arm strikes one as a film that will appeal to a universal audience without trying too hard (a key feature of all the films featured in the London Indian Film Festival). With an interesting cast headed by Jon Hamm and based on a true story, Million Dollar Arm on paper has all the trademarks of a sleeper hit in the making.

 

Asim- @asimburney 

Sold

I am expecting heartbreak from the opening movie of this year’s LIFF produced by Emma Thompson and starring Gillian Anderson, the movie is about “A girl risks everything for freedom after being trafficked from her mountain village in Nepal to a brothel in India.” Director Jeffrey Brown hasn’t directed many feature length movies and is mostly known for his work as a writer and TV director but the names attached and the sincerity to make a movie that has something important to say can not be denied. I will be bringing a box of tissues with me but do hope that we wont be starting the festival by exiting the theater bummed out.

But since there is a live Q&A with actress Gillian Anderson attending maybe I can sneak in some questions about Hannibal season 3 or what profound influence she had on a generation of men growing up and tuning into the X files every week.

Qissa:

Another female issue based film about “Umber Singh, a rural Sikh, dispossessed from his homeland by the Partition. He obsessively focuses on the ‘ideal’ of having a son and heir, but as his fourth daughter is born he hides the child’s true identity, she becomes the son of his dreams, but at a terrible cost.”

Irrfan Khan introduced last year’s Monsoon Shootout and seems to be a name that goes hand in hand with Indian Indie movies, always a thoughtful actor that brings quite a bit to the movies he chooses. A lot of times you don’t know the movies showing in festivals so you end up veering towards the names that are familiar to you even though they might not be the ones you would line up to watch on a regular Friday night.

Hank and Asha

A lighthearted breath of air after those first 2 issue based movies, Hank And Asha seems delightful. I saw the trailer for for the first time when it showed at TIFF last year and I knew I wanted to watch it but didn’t know how to. I’m really glad that this little modern day “You’ve Got Mail” is showing at LIFF. Here is the trailer that made me take notice.

Million Dollar Arm: 

Probably this years “biggest” movie with Disney producing, AR Rahman composing and Jon Hamm starring in this based on real life story, which feels like MoneyBall meets City Of Joy. The movie will be releasing in UK theaters august 29th so it’s quite cool to be able to catch this one before general audiences.

Anima State: 

The only Pakistani movie at the LIFF this year and it looks like quite a kinetic experience: A man with a bandage mask across his face goes on a shooting spree across a Pakistani city, gunning down random people. He soon realises that his actions have no consequences and nobody appears to be interested in his murderous deeds, and so he decides to go on live television with a view to committing suicide on air. And that’s when there is a huge twist in the plot.

Sounds a bit like The Man without a Past meets Network mixed in with a little bit of Falling Down. I missed last year’s Josh at the LIFF which got great reviews, and there seems to be a renaissance in Pakistani cinema which again being in the UK we don’t always get a chance to be a part of.

Anima State from Anima State on Vimeo.

 

These are some of our picks, for the full schedule and more trailers you can hear over to: http://www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk/programme.htm

Let us know if you have seen any of the movies above or if you are looking forward to them in the comment sections below!

New Tammy Trailer: Melissa McCarthy fights a deer

The new UK trailer for Melissa McCarthy’s Tammy just hit the site and it looks pretty hilarious! Not only has McCarthy been an MVP as a supporting actor but now she is branching out and becoming the main reason audiences are flocking to her movies.

Not only was she recently declared one of the most bankable actors of the past years but she also seems like a pretty cool cat, according to this Washington Post article about her starting her own clothes line.

In Tammy she plays the titular character who after losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, a woman (Melissa McCarthy) hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother (Susan Sarandon).

Starring Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, Allison Janney, Kathy Bates, Toni Collette and directed by Ben Falcone, TAMMY is released in UK cinemas on 4th July 2014.

 

LIFF 2014: Europe’s Largest South Asian Film Event is Back!

Emma Thompson’s Sold, Million Dollar Arm & Bollywood Stars at London INDIAN Film Festival

Executive produced by actor Emma Thompson, Sold will be the red carpet European Premiere opening night film of the Fifth annual London INDIAN Film Festival (July 10-17). This film is a powerful, survival against the odds tale about a young Nepali girl who is trafficked to Kolkata, India. Gillian Anderson stars with a great Indian and Nepali ensemble cast including Seema Biswas (Bandit Queen). Central highlights of the festival will be the UK Premiere of the true story Million Dollar Arm, from The Walt Disney Company, starring Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi). Bollywood’s hottest actor Farhan Akhtar and South Indian cinematography supremo Santosh Sivan will be giving rare screen talks at the BFI Southbank. Closing the festival will be the World Premiere of Hemalkasa, an homage to the revolutionary human rights leader Prakash Baba Amte, starring Bollywood hero Nana Patekar. Many other special guests are expected to a packed week of UK first screenings.

Now Europe’s largest platform for Indian cinema, the London Indian Film Festival returns to the Capital, in association with Pure Heaven, the British Film Institute, and official Hotel Partner Grange Hotels, celebrating the exploding movement of Indian Independent cinema and bringing to UK audiences a rare selection of cutting-edge films from some of the Indian subcontinent’s hottest independent talents. Going way beyond Bollywood, the festival presents a kaleidoscope of new films that challenge, shock, generate debate and present a more realistic view of India and the subcontinent today, in all its diversity. The festival will stretch citywide, opening in the West End at the historic Cineworld Haymarket, and continuing at BFI Southbank, Cineworld cinemas Wembley, Wood Green, Wandsworth and O2 in Royal Greenwich and ICA near the Pall Mall, so there is a screening near you.

The first weekend of this high-impact festival launches with Sold, on 10th July which explores the controversial theme of child trafficking; one school girl’s battle against the odds and the dangerous journey to liberate her from the Kolkata mafia; expect a glamorous line up of celebs to follow X Files and The Fall actress Gillian Anderson down the red carpet.

On 12th July Rotterdam Film Festival headliner Qissa: Tale of a Lonely Ghost, has its UK Premiere, Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi) plays a rural Punjabi father hell bent on having a son and heir, no matter what the consequences. Apur Panchali, based on a true-life story, is an emotionally charged homage to Satyajit Ray’s impoverished child character Apu and the real-life person who played one of the most famous child roles in world cinema. It screens on 13th July. By contrast Slamdance audience winner Hank and Asha explores a new generation of trans-global online romance, at ICA and Cineworlds across London. The festival’s Central Gala is the inspirational true story Million Dollar Arm that follows the uplifting journey of two Indian boys whose lives are transformed by a national TV contest and against the odds end up going to the US to train to become major sports stars.

As well as films in the Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam languages, and UK/Pakistani film Anima State, in Urdu, the festival previews its first Bangladesh based film Shongram (Struggle) directed by Munsur Ali. In terms of special talks, India’s most celebrated cinematographer and acclaimed director Santosh Sivan gives a unique Masterclass at BFI Southbank, 11th July. The multi-talented singer, actor and director Farhan Akhtar rocks into town on 15th July and offers an insight on his high-octane career so far, including his iconic recent role as muscle rippling athletics hero Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Expect lots of female fans! Bollywood icon Nana Patekar stars in the festival’s uplifting closing World Premiere of Hemalkasa. Directed by Samruddhi Porey it’s guaranteed to make you cry and smile at the same time.

London Indian Film Festival also includes industry events at BAFTA, exploring UK and Indian subcontinent co-productions. The winner of the annual Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition will be announced at the end of the festival, with short-listed contenders battling it out at the ICA on 15th July. We are delighted to announce that our Major Sponsors this year will include Queen’s Award for Enterprise International Trade winner Sunmark Ltd, producers of Pure Heaven brand and founding sponsor Grange Hotels. The festival is also grant funded for by the BFI Film Festival Fund.

Emma Thompson comments: “It is wonderful to have our film premiered at London Indian Film Festival, to raise awareness of child-trafficking, which is an issue close to my heart and is shockingly on the increase world-wide. We hope that this film will make people think and highlight the support for key charities such as The Helen Bamber Foundation and others working in this difficult area in India, Nepal and elsewhere”.

Says Farhan Akhtar: “At its heart, Cinema is about sharing ones culture with the world. Be it on screen or in representation of ones work. I look forward to sharing my experiences, memories and motivations.”

Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Festival Director comments: “We are delighted that the festival is now firmly established on the London and international scene after five amazing years. If you want to find out more about South Asian cinema, come to London and soak yourself in a week of magnificent, world class cinema”

For more information and how to book tickets head over to:

www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk

Join their on social media:

www.facebook.com/LondonIndianFilmFestival | www.twitter.com/LoveLIFF

 

 

Sold Will open the 2014 London Indian FilmFestival

We look forward to the London Indian Film Festival and this year they seem to be bringing in the big (although maybe slighlty downbeat) guns for this year’s premiere.

Sold will have its red carpet European Premiere at the opening of the Fifth annual London INDIAN Film Festival (10 – 17 July). Based on the bestselling novel Sold by Patricia McCormick, the film is a powerful drama based on real life events, and tells of a young Nepali girl’s struggle for survival after being sold into prostitution in Kolkata, and an American photographer (Gillian Anderson), who, against the odds, attempts to rescue her and other young women. The X Files and The Fall star Gillian Anderson is expected to participate in a Q&A in London at the film’s opening night amongst other talent.

Director Jeffrey D. Brown, Executive Producer Emma Thompson and Producer Jane Charles have worked tirelessly to bring this film to the screen researching every aspect of the story in depth with charities which deal directly with child trafficking in India including: Apne Aap, New Light, Sanlaap, Prajwala and in Nepal: Maiti Nepal, Shakti Samhua and Childreach International. Emma Thompson, president of the The Helen Bamber Foundation, works with survivors in London which is why she is informed on this issue and cares deeply about it.

The film is a collaboration between US and Indian production teams and includes supporting cast David Arquette (Conception) and Indian actors Seema Biswas (Bandit Queen), Parambrata Chatterjee (Apur Panchali), Tillotama Shome (Monsoon Wedding) and Susmita Mukherjee (Dostana). Debutante Niyar Saikia plays the central role of Lakshmi, the young girl from Nepal.

Now Europe’s largest platform for Asian cinema, the London Indian Film Festival returns to the Capital, celebrating Independent cinema and bringing to UK audiences a rare selection of cutting-edge films from some of India’s hottest independent talents. Going way beyond Bollywood, the festival presents a kaleidoscope of new films that challenge, shock, generate debate and present a more realistic view of India and the subcontinent today, in all its diversity.

The festival will open in the West End at the historic Cineworld Haymarket, and continue at BFI Southbank, ICA and Cineworld Cinemas around London. The festival is grant funded by the BFI Film Festival Fund.

About the screening, Executive Producer Emma Thompson comments: “It is wonderful to have our film premiered at London Indian Film Festival, to raise awareness of child-trafficking, which is an issue close to my heart and is shockingly on the increase world-wide. We hope that this film will make people think and highlight the support for key charities such as The Helen Bamber Foundation and others working in this difficult area in India, Nepal and elsewhere”

About the film, Actor Gillian Anderson states: “Working on this sensitively told film and with young women who have themselves experienced the un-believable trauma of abduction and trafficking has opened my eyes to the horrors these young people face on a daily basis as well as the often life threatening danger those working at the charities put themselves in to free these innocent victims from modern day slavery”

Gillian Anderson has been on a roll with some amazing performances in the past few years like The Fall and Hanibal, and being a huge fan and spending a large chunk of my adolescence watching her as Scully in X-Files, I am quite excited to see Sold, even though the subject is such an important one, I do wonder if it might be a depressing start to such a colorful festival.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see what the rest of the programme looks like, every year they manage to show some great movies, we so have faith in the team led by Cary Raj Sawhney.

 

 

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Singh Is Bling: New Posters for Akshay and Prabhu Deva’s latest team up

Akshay Kumar doesn’t make it easy to root for him as a fan, not only repeating the same genre repeatedly but now he seems to be revisiting characters too. Singh Is King was a massive success although I did not care for it much ( the non stop repeats on Asian channels do not help) and now Akshay follows it up with Singh is Bling which looks equally propesterous.

Working again with hit machine Prabhu Deva after Rowdy Rathore, Sing is Bling according to the press release is: “Going to be an outright entertainer and Akshay’s character in the film will leave an everlasting impression on the viewers. There couldn’t have been a better title for the film and we are extremely excited that Prabhudheva will be directing Grazing Goat Pictures’ next Hindi feature film.”

I think personally I disagree with at least 10 statements contained in the snippet above.

But I still like Akshay a lot and end up watching and getting annoyed by him in equal measures (see also our Holiday Trailer Breakdown)

Here are the posters:

‘Singh is Bling’ directed by actor, director and dance choreographer, Prabhudheva and produced under Akshay Kumar and his partner Ashvini Yardi’s production banner, Grazing Goat Pictures. The film is set to release on 31st July 2015.

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How To Train Your Dragon 2: 5 Minute Preview!

Probably my favorite animated movie of the past years is How To Train Your Dragon, the world and character building the filmmakers showed was so touching, funny and heartpounding, there wasn’t a shadow of a doubt in my mind that they could pull it off again in the sequel.

When I am over the moon about a movie, I usually stop watching any trailers after the first teaser (which was AMAZING) now the Dreamworks team has released a 5 min preview, which we’re posting here, but I have no clue what it’s about as I for one want to revist Hiccup and Toothless unspoiled.

But for those who can’t wait, here is a whole 5 min preview!

 

 

The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy brings us back to the fantastical world of Hiccup and Toothless five years after the two have successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snoutlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island’s new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 hits cinemas nationwide 4th July 2014

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Jersey Boys Trailer

Clint Eastwood would not be the first name you would think of adapting the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys” to the big screen. But as soon as you watch the trailer, you get an immediate sense of his no nonsense style of movie making as well as the color scheme.

The breaking the fourth wall segments might be a bit reminscent of Goodfellas but that might just be the era and some of the styling.

Here is the trailer and the plot synopsis:

The film tells the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons.  The story of their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the songs that influenced a generation, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Dawn,” “Rag Doll,” “Bye Bye Baby,” “Who Loves You,” and many more.

These classic hits are now being embraced by a new generation of fans through the stage musical, which has been running on Broadway for more than eight years and has also enjoyed successful tours around the globe.

Starring in the film, John Lloyd Young reprises his Tony Award-winning portrayal of the legendary lead singer of The Four Seasons, Frankie Valli.  Erich Bergen stars as Bob Gaudio, who wrote or co-wrote all of the group’s biggest hits.  Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza star respectively as Nick Massi and Tommy DeVito, two original members of The Four Seasons.  Oscar® winner Christopher Walken (“The Deer Hunter”) stars as mobster Gyp DeCarlo.

 

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The Other Woman: An Unlikely Trio featurette

Bringing together a very promising cast of Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (aka the King Slayer) and actor- writer- director Nic Cassavetes, The Other Woman might just be one of those movies that rises above the formulaic studio comedy by just having awesomely likeable people on screen.

 

The Other Woman is in UK Theaters, the 23rd of April.

 

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Tammy Teaser: Melissa McCarthy is having a bad day!

Here is the first teaser and poster for Melissa McCarthy’s next “Tammy” directed by Ben Falcone, who is also her husband (he  played the Air Marshall in Bridesmaids), and co-starring  Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, Allison Janney, Kathy Bates, Toni Collette.

We don’t get to see much of the plot in the teaser so here is a brief synopsis “After losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, a woman (Melissa McCarthy) hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother (Susan Sarandon).”

 

 

I haven’t been able to keep up to date with all her releases after BridesMaids but I do find Melissa McCarthy hilarious on the big screen (Mike and Molly was less my cup of tea).

The teaser also has a bit of Sarah Barker who was excellent in Go On, another more than decent Matthew Perry TV show cancelled too soon (guys can’t seem to catch a break).

So quite looking forward to Tammy!

TAMMY is released in UK cinemas on July 4th 2014

@asimburney

 

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Holiday Trailer Breakdown: Ek Tha Soldier

The trailers of Akshay Kumar movies have started to follow a distinct pattern since he made Rowdy Rathore and it seems not much has changed for the trailer of Holiday- A Soldier is Never Of Duty.

First the trailer will sneak up on me like Beverly Hills Ninja, as none of his movies are something I particularly look forward to or have any expectation of leaving an indelible impression as soon as the movie has ended and my behind leaves the chair it was sat in, so I usually don’t follow the production news.

Then there is a sudden burst of excitement as I truly enjoy watching Akshay on screen, even though he rarely makes movies I fully enjoy. But I like the guy, his work ethic and earnestness making the kind of cinema he does, as he truly does believe in it and gives his 120% (which is the equivalent of 260% when calculated on the Salman Khan motivational scale of movie making)

Within the first seconds of the trailer I start thinking “Hey, this actually looks fun”, to “Look at Akshay singing and dancing and kicking ass” to very quickly turning into “Oh god this is going to suck as much as most of his movies” (usually the point Sonakshi Sinha walks on screen)

Holiday – A Soldier is Never off Duty is the Hindi remake of AR Murgadoss’s Thuppakki, which from what I read on FilmiGirl’s blog is a troublesome (although quite succesful) jarring mix of part love story and part Muslim bashing terrorism espionage thriller.

As I have said many times, I don’t know much about South Indian cinema, I do know that A.R. Murugadoss is one of the filmmakers that is able to draw massive crowds and makes visually interesting films, with high production values. A lot of his movies have been remade for Hindi audience (Jai Ho, most recently) and he has done so himself, teaming up with Amir Khan on the massively successful Ghajini.

Ghajini is one of those movies that is safely, better in most areas compared to the original and the key reason for that is Amir Khan and the attention to detail he brought ironing out the issues of the original, adapting the screenplay to his own personality as well as Hindi Film audience.

Unfortunately, I have no faith in Akshay Kumar doing any of the things mentioned above and indeed after seeing the Holiday’s trailer, I went back to watch the original Thuppakki trailer and most of it looks like a shot for shot remake with added gloss and the name of producer Vipul Shah as if that is some kind of brand endorsement (Dude, we haven’t forgotten London Dreams and Action Replay)

The other problem I have is the lack of Vidyut Jammwal in the Hindi version. Surprising when Vipul Shah already has an equation with Jammwal after producing Commando. A movie that was quite a success compared to the amount of money and faith they put into that movie.

Now they have some generic bad guy who we are supposed to believe is a foil for Akshay’s awesomeness, I think not!

Another thing about original Thupakki is that the female lead is completely unessential to the plot, so in a way they couldn’t have asked for a better actress than Sonakshi Sinha, a lady is who is continously squandering her photogenic looks, on-screen presence and cinematic charisma on disposable roles. I don’t understand why she keeps choosing to play second fiddle to older heroes in these 100 cr starrers, she doesn’t need the money, and how fun can making these movies really be?

I know a lot of people will already have made up their mind about Holiday, it being a South Indian remake, or starring the Akshay – Sonakshi combo. But all my problems aside (and I do have tons of problems as you can plainly see) I am looking forward to Akshay working with some new people and I think the A.R. Murugadoss style of cinema might actually suit him more than what Prabhu Deva brings.

 

Some More Randon Ranty thoughts:

As a personal pet peeve, I have a huge respect for the sport of Boxing and it grates me when the likes of Bobby Deol (Apne) or Sonakshi Sinha think that just by donning on a pair of gloves you can look like a boxer.

Come on people, do a few push ups at least!

Unless you are Juhi Chawla punching out Shahrukh Khan, as Hai Alla Juhi Jee, you can do no wrong.

On another note, aren’t movie trailer supposed to bring to forefront the best sides of the actor?

Why they would add lines where Akshay is speaking in English is beyond me (“Sooside Attack” “Aim Vaiting”)?

What’s up with the ridiculous tagline ” A Soldier is never off duty” of course he is off duty..when he is off duty!

Also what’s up with the questionable hairstyles Akshay? He’s been sporting wavey coiffes for a couple of movies and it’s starting to look a bit ridiculous!

Holiday- A Soldier is never off duty has a June 6 2014 release

 

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300: Rise of An Empire Behind The Scenes Featurette

Quite a few interesting tid bits about the forthcoming sequel of 300, firstly that it isn’t really a sequel but a movie about concurrent events. This time we follow the Athenian navy as they battle the onslaught of Persian God/King Xerxes.

Some might get a direct- to -dvd feel for this movie especially with none of the main cast returning but I think the visuals and the world building does show some promise. And of course Eva Green is in here being a bad ass which always tickles our fancy.

 

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield—on the sea—as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.

“300: Rise of an Empire” pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present, a Cruel and Unusual Films/Mark Canton/Gianni Nunnari Production, “300: Rise of an Empire.”  The action adventure stars Sullivan Stapleton (“Gangster Squad”) as Themistokles and Eva Green (“Dark Shadows,” “Casino Royale”) as Artemisia.  Lena Headey reprises her starring role from “300” as the Spartan Queen, Gorgo; Hans Matheson (“Clash of the Titans”) stars as Aeskylos; David Wenham returns as Dilios, and Rodrigo Santoro stars again as the Persian King, Xerxes.

The film is directed by Noam Murro, from a screenplay by Zack Snyder & Kurt Johnstad, based on the graphic novel Xerxes, by Frank Miller.  It is produced by Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Bernie Goldmann.  Thomas Tull, Frank Miller, Stephen Jones and Jon Jashni serve as executive producers.

300: Rise of An Empire hits screen in 3D and 2D in select theatres and IMAX beginning March 7, 2014

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Rio 2 Footage Screening and Q&A

It’s a Thursday night in London, there’s the cold, the wind, the rain, and the tube strikes to tackle if you’re going to get anywhere. But if you can brave the elements and the train unions, in a London Hotel Screening room somewhere in Soho, a glimmer of the spring ahead is on show.  I’m talking about Writer/Director, Carlos Saldanha’s footage screening of Rio 2.

 

Now, two confessions; one – I haven’t seen the original Rio as yet -it’s a film that passed me by. Like many CGI carton films, I always seem to forget how much fun they can be until someone picks me up and plonks me down into a cinema seat to watch one. I nearly always leave the better for it and then very quickly forget all over again how much I enjoy them until the next time I’m forced to watch one – it’s sort of like a much less interesting version of Groundhog Day.

 

Two – this was not a screening of the full movie – it’s still two weeks away from completion. This was an appetizer, showing off the story, the set pieces and the characters old and new. So here is the low-down on what you can expect from Rio 2:

 

A Bigger World

Having conquered Rio de Janero’s hustle and bustle in the first movie (thank you IMDB), Rio 2 moves our main characters away from the bright lights and big noise of the city and plunges Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) into the Amazon rainforest in search of more Blue Macaws like themselves. This of course, leads to more trouble for our lovable, domesticized Blu, having thought he and Jewel were the last of their kind, he now discovers there are more in the wild and once again he is the outsider.

 

 

New Characters

Having lived happily ever after at the end of the first movie, Rio 2 picks up with Blu as the family man… or family Macaw. He and Jewel now have the kids to think about – all three of them, and these aren’t the cutesy kind. Think – tying your babysitter to fireworks on NYE and you’ll be closer to the mark.

 

The new flock of Macaws are lead by the buzz-cut wearing, Eduardo, voiced by the always-gruffer-than-his-last-movie, Andy Garcia. He doesn’t trust human or their domesticized pets. He’s also Jewel’s father. Will Blu match up to his expectations as a son-in-law? Not with a fanny-pack in tow he won’t.

 

If that didn’t make life tough enough, he also has to compete with Macaw-stud and fantastic-at-everything Roberto, (Bruno Mars), who’s introduction as a singing Casanova had everyone in the audience laughing out loud.

Old enemies

Villain of the original Rio, Nigel the Cockatoo (Jermaine Clement) is back. The now-lame-winged bird is joined by Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth), the love-struck poisonous frog and Charlie the anteater. Together they follow Blu and family into the jungle to wreak revenge – although somewhere along the way get caught up in a Talent Competition.

 

Set Pieces

Rio 2 begins with a massive New Year’s Eve Party on Rio beach, setting the tone for a film filled with colour, music and ambitions to convey the real heart of Brazil. This continues with a macaw-style football match in the middle of the second act; they may be birds, but they still love the beautiful game. The most entertaining footage however was left to last; a ‘Jungle’s Got Talent’ sequence where all the competitors get to show off their unique skills… Just before being eaten up by the other competitors – that’s the jungle for you. This sequence culminates in Nigel’s finest as-yet-seen moment. A performance of I Will Survive, with added Jermaine Clement Free-Styling.

 

And that was it. For now. It certainly left me wanting to catch up on the original before Rio 2 is released in the spring. With some great looking animation, an exceptional cast and a fair few belly laughs in just the small amount of footage we saw, Rio 2, so far, is a movie worth looking forward to. Roll on spring time.

 

 

Featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann, Jamie Foxx and Andy Garcia, Rio 2 flies into cinemas April 4, 2014.

 -

Paul Mcghie is an Award-Winning Screenwriter, Director, London Lift-Off Film Festival Judge and git. You can check out his feature project here. His work is on Vimeo or you can follow him on twitter @DirPaulMcGhie

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HighWay Posters and Behind the Scenes tidbits

Every movie directing by Imtiaz Ali is something to look forward to, he seems to be able to craft characters that stay with you for a long time after leaving the theater. Especially when he teams up with composer AR Rahman and lyricist Irshad Kamil, they create a sensitivity tornado that can break the shell of even the biggest cynics.

They are planning to travel to the UK next week for some promos and special screenings so hopefully we should have some more news for you then, hopefully even an early review.

Until then, the PR team send us some behind the scene shots of Alia Bhatt and some posters.

Highway, presented by UTV Motion Pictures and Sajid Nadiadwala, releases worldwide on 21st February 2014 and on 20th February 2014 in UAE.

With Alia, on the road to reality

With Alia, on the road to reality with matted hair, second hand clothes and not one ‘It’ bag in sight. Alia Bhatt’s transformation from minted school snob Shanaya Singhania to abducted teenager Veera Tripathi of Highway took two months, hundreds of miles and no shampoo. And the man who took the grease paint off the Student of the Year debutant is Aid Narula.

The fashion designer and film stylist, who birthed trends like collared kurtas in Bunty Aur Babli and frayed Nehru caps in Rockstar, started his recce in the weekly flea markets of Raja Garden in Delhi and the journey continued through the haats of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. And when pressed for some authenticity, he simply borrowed from the residents of tiny hamlets like Kalpa and Reckong Peo, where the film was shot. Alia, who inhabited the utopia of short dresses and big labels in her first film, was more than happy with strangers’ hand-me-downs. Veera starts her journey in a T-shirt and track pants; the urbane staples soon give way to oversized ‘borrowed from the boys’ garments and as the terrified teenager finally comes into her own and the motley crew move onto the hills, traditional skirts and turbans follow.

“Imtiaz (director Imtiaz Ali) was very clear that the extension of her wardrobe has to be an organic process. And all additions began with the question, ‘Where will Veera get this from?   ‘We even eschewed fitting shoes for the same reason. And every piece is explained, for example the turban she sports in the promotional images was crafted from a blue sweater she wears earlier and then re- purposes as headgear in a scene,” says Aid who travelled through Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir with the cast and crew. This austere approach meant that no backstage manipulations were allowed. After all where will Veera get safety pins or make-up from? And the barebones aesthetic was applied to the film’s leading man Randeep Hooda, who plays truck driver Mahabir Bhatti, as well as some of the 200 extras used in the film. “We used a lot of locals as extras and asked them to bring along their daily wardrobe. And instead of the usual prettying up, we went the opposite direction. So we picked out the most worn out pieces for them to wear,” says Aid. At least the wardrobe budget was never a problem? “We had an unlimited budget of creativity and emotions,” quips the designer.

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New Gravity Poster for Imax

I feel I haven’t professed my love enough for Gravity probably because when I got around to actually watching it, it was already in the last days of it’s theatrical run, and it seemed that I wouldn’t have anything else to add to the all round acclaim the movie has received.

Now that it’s been nomimated for a ton of academy awards and has a new run in Imax theatres, the producers have come up with a new poster  which looks pretty cool, it does have a bit of a nod to Kubricks 2001: A Space Odyssey but then again so does the movie.

Since opening in October 2013, the film has become the highest-grossing IMAX release of 2013, both domestically and globally. It’s also the 3rd most popular IMAX DMR® film of all time worldwide.

Defintley worth another rewatch in Imax, if you can get your hands on some tickets!

 

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A New York Winter’s Tale: 2 new trailers

Right in time for V-day we have a dreamy, magical love story to defy our yearly cynism. Come on people, it’s once a year, get over it!

A New York Winter’s Tale (quite the horrible title) hits cinemas February 21st. starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly.

I must admit being a sucker for these kind of movies and the trailer does look interesting even with Russel Crowe’s outrageous accent, which makes it seem like he didn’t let go of Les Miserables.

Have a look and let us know what you think!

Set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century, “A New York Winter’s Tale” is a story of miracles, crossed destinies, and the age-old battle between good and evil. The film stars Colin Farrell (“Total Recall”), Jessica Brown Findlay (TV’s “Downton Abbey”), and Oscar® winners Jennifer Connelly (“A Beautiful Mind”), William Hurt (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”), Eva Marie Saint (“On the Waterfront”) and Russell Crowe (“Gladiator”).  “Winter’s Tale” also introduces young newcomers Ripley Sobo and Mckayla Twiggs (both from Broadway’s “Once”).

The film marks the directorial debut of Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (“A Beautiful Mind”), who also wrote the screenplay, based on the acclaimed novel by Mark Helprin. Goldsman is also producing the film with Marc Platt (“Drive”), Michael Tadross (“Sherlock Holmes”) and Tony Allard (Showtime’s “The Baby Dance”).  The executive producers are Kerry Foster and Bruce Berman.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes five-time Oscar®-nominated director of photography Caleb Deschanel (“The Passion of the Christ,” “The Patriot”), production designer Naomi Shohan (“Constantine,” “I Am Legend”), costume designer Michael Kaplan (“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “Star Trek”) and editors Wayne Wahrman (“I Am Legend”) and Oscar® nominee Tim Squyres (“Life of Pi,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).  The music is composed by Oscar® winner Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King,” “Inception,” “Man of Steel”).

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Non Stop Trailer: Liam Neesons is one scary Air Marshal

Teaming up again with director Jaume Collet Serra (after Unknown, and with an equally forgettable title Non Stop) Liam Neeson is burned out Air Marshall, in another mid budget, high octane action movie.

Sometimes I wonder if the surprising success of Taken has been a gift or a curse for Liam Neeson, although none of the subsequent movies can be classified as bad (except Taken 2 I hear), none have been able to capture the same lightning in a bottle, however many threatening interogation scenes Neeson has.

They did team him up with some exceptional female actors like Julianne Moore and Lupita Nyong’o but none of the writers involved seem to have anything exceptional on their resume (one of the guy even wrote an episode of Diners, Diners and Dives!!!), which doenst bode too well even though I quite liked Unknown.

Non-Stop is released in UK cinemas on February 28th

From Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) comes a new action thriller starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery. Bill Marks (Neeson) is a burned-out veteran of the Air Marshals service. He views the assignment not as a life-saving duty, but as a desk job in the sky. However, today’s flight will be no routine trip. Shortly into the transatlantic journey from New York to London, he receives a series of mysterious text messages ordering him to have the government transfer $150 million into a secret account, or a passenger will die every 20 minutes.

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Divergent Trailer and Infographic

There seem to be so many adaptations of Young Adult novels lately that it’s become increasingly hard to keep track of them. Although studios are hoping for another Hunger Games some end up just being Ender’s Games.

Shaileen Woodley is also a name that has been popping up quite a bit lately, but I only remember her from her wonderful performance in The Descendants which we reviewed on an earlier Upodcast episode, which you can find here.

If like me you are quite lost on what Divergent is going to be about, the trailer gives a pretty good idea.

They did manage to put a pretty good cast together of young  actors like Theo James, Miles Teller but I am most excited to see Kate Winslet play what looks like a villanous role, I’m sure she’ll enjoy sinking her teeth into that.

Director Neil Burger is probably best known for Bradley Cooper’s Limitless but I liked his work on The Illusionist too (a movie that got overshadowed by The Prestige which released the same year).

DIVERGENT will see a UK release on April 4 2014.

Here is an Infographic explaining the 5 factions of Divergent as well as the New Quad Poster:

“In this most recent look at the highly anticipated dystopian action-adventure based on the series of novels by Veronica Roth, we learn more about the society within which Tris (Woodley) and Four (James) live and the dangers and choices they have to face… “

 

 

 

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Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Poster

The first trailer for the sequel to the prequel releases next week but we received this beautifully creepy looking posters. A lot of the people that made the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes a critical and box office succes unfortunately aren’t returning. Ruper Wyatt hands over the directorial reigns to Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield) and pretty much all of the cast has been replaced too.

The movie stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smith-McPhee, Enrique Murciano, Kirk Acevedo.

 

Synopsis:

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.  They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

We were huge fans of the first one (Love the Franco, respect The Pinto) so quite looking forward to this July 2014 release.

Watch this space for the trailer next week!

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Noah Trailer: It’s about to get Biblical!

It truly has been a long wait for Darren Aronofsky to follow up his critically acclaimed Black Swan, but now that the trailer for Noah starring Russel Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins and Logan Lerman is out, we can clearly see where all the hard work has gone into.

Darren Arronofsky wrote the screenplay together with Ari Handel his collaborator for Black Swan and The Fountain.

the story is pretty clear although there are a lot of elements in the trailer that give the scope of the world they have created:

Here is the trailer and the teaser poster:

Noah, a man chosen by God for a great task before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world.

 

NOAH is set for UK release on 28 March 2014.

 

 

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Robocop Trailer and Poster

We know all the cool kids have been complaining high and low about big bad Hollywood remaking Paul Verhoeven classic Robocop but as usual Upodcast has a different point of view and is kinda excited!

Here is the new trailer and a new poster.

There are some key elements that are different from the original, we are especially missing the crucifixion scene and other Christ allegories.

But still it’s great to see Michael Keaton back on screen.

 In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Their drones are winning American wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) is a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilizes their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before.

RoboCop, stars Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish and Samuel L Jackson. Directed by José Padilha, RoboCop is released on February 7th 2014.

 

 

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Man Of Steel: Behind the Scenes clips Zod and Flying as Superman

With the release of MAN OF STEEL available on BLU-RAY 3D™, BLU-RAY™ 3D STEELBOOK, BLU-RAY™, DVD and DIGITAL DOWNLOAD from 2nd December 2013, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, we have been receiving quite a few of the clips of the extras you can catch when you gift this Blu Ray to your favorite Podcast hosts for Christmas!

 

The “Man of Steel” Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray 3D™ Steelbook and Blu-ray™ contain the following special features:

·      Strong Characters, Legendary Roles – Explore the legendary characters of the Superman mythology and how they have evolved in this new iteration of the Superman story.
·      All-Out-Action – Go inside the intense training regimen that sculpted Henry Cavill into the Man of Steel and Michael Shannon and Antje Traue into his Kyptonian nemeses.  Includes interviews with cast and crew.
·      Krypton Decoded – Dylan Sprayberry (Clark Kent, age 13) gives the lowdown on all the amazing Krypton tech, weapons and spaceships featured in “Man of Steel.”
·      Exclusive to UltraViolet – Journey of Discovery: Creating “Man of Steel” – This immersive feature-length experience allows you to watch the movie with director Zack Snyder and stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane and others as they share the incredible journey to re-imagine Superman.

“Man of Steel” DVD contains the following special features:

·      Krypton Decoded

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Sonakshi Sinha and Jimmy Shergill Media Interview

Here is a media interview done with Sonakshi Sinha and Jimmy Shergill, Jimmy (and Vidyut Jammwal) being the main reason I would want to watch this movie, its a shame that “the media” didnt bother to find any decent questions for him.

If you haven’s seen it yet, here is a trailer for Bullet Raja:

Enjoy!

 

Sonakshi Sinha Q&A:
 Q: This is your first time working with Saif Ali Khan, were you excited for this opportunity?
A: I think we make a very fresh pairing, I have wanted to work with Saif for a while now and was very excited to get the chance in Bullett Raja. Saif is a great actor and is so committed to his roles, I am very happy with how we look together on screen and I would love the opportunity to work with him again.
Q: Your role in the film is of a struggling Bengali actress, what did you think of your characters look in the film?
A: This is the second time I am playing a Bengali girl. But my character in Lootera was drastically different; I was playing a girl from the ’50s, who is a Zamindar’s daughter. In Bullett Raja, I am playing a contemporary Bengali girl. I loved my look for this role; it has a very traditional feel and there was a certain grace to it. Once I was in the costume, everyone was shocked to see how Bengali I looked. I wish the sequence we shot in that costume was a little longer, because I did not want to get out of it.
Q: After having so much success so early in your career with your films, do you feel under pressure with every new release?
A: There’s no pressure actually. I really like what I do and if I think of it as pressure it would really bog me down. I feel I’m in the right place at the right time because there are a lot of films right now where, for me as an actor, there’s something I can give to them. So I truly believe I’m in the right place at the right time.
Q: Do you feel overshadowed by your co-stars? Does less visibility bother you?
A: Never. I do my work to the best of my capacity. I don’t pick a role looking at its length. I take up a film because I would like to see it. People notice me, appreciate my work and dancing skills, so where’s the question of being overshadowed? No one has any complaints.

Q: How would you describe this phase of your life?
A: I’ve come in at the right time and I’m getting films with great roles. It’s fabulous.

Q: No one has ever heard of any stories of you fighting over a role or anything of that sort. Does that mean you’re serious competition here?
A: I’ve never had to fight for a role. Call it my ego or my self-respect, but I won’t pick up the phone and call a producer and fight or ask for a role. That’s not me. I’ve always got the best and my work speaks for itself.

Q: But you’re always the Indian girl. Don’t you want to break that image?
A: People see me like that. I may play an Indian girl, but each role is different. If I’m offered a film where I need to play an urban character, I will. But these roles work for me. I’m not stuck in a rut and neither do I feel the need to break the norm. When a female star plays western roles only, no one asks her these questions. At 25, I can proudly say that I’m successful.

Jimmy Shergill Q&A
 Q: What’s the relationship between you and Saif in Bullett Raja?
A: In this film we are best friends and we go out and do what gangster buddies do… casually shoot people.
 Q: What do you think about Saif off camera?
A: Saif and I were shooting together every single day and it was great as we got time to bond. Saif has a great sense of humour and he makes you laugh. I had a memorable time and I look forward to our second schedule which begins in January. I respect Saif as a friend and fellow actor. He’s a great guy and he’s one of the most genuine persons in the film industry.

Bullett Raja will be released in cinemas from 29th November 2013.

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Anchorman 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES Trailer

Time to spray on the Sex Panther and head on over to the pants store! The Channel 4 newsteam is back, this time placing Ron Burgundy and his crew in the 80’s is a perfect gold mine for comedy. I do wonder if there will be as many memorable lines as the 2004 cult classic.and it’s crazy that it took them this long to get a sequel going, but the more trailer I am see, the more I’m looking forward to these actors play off each other again.

There defintely seems to be more Brick Tamland as Steve Carell became a major star in his own right after the first one, and Paul Rudd is still the most beautiful man in the world.

 


“With the 70’s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Also back for more are Ron’s co- anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fontana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) – All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy…while taking the nation’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.”

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is in cinemas 20th December

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Krrish 3 Hritik Roshan Media Interview

By now most people have heard of this little underground movie called Krrish 3, although none of us have figured out how to write the title without googling it or why it isn’t just simply called Krrish 2. The marketing of the movie has been horrendous until now. The hairstyles, the music or even casting Vivek Oberoi as the main character, as such dumb moves that they must really be confident in the ability of father- son, aka director- actor, Rakesh and Hritik Roshan to sell us a desi superhero.

Krrish 2 never aged well with it’s Matrix hangover and none of the new trailers have excited anyone really. Maybe the kids that liked the first one are already old enough to call bullshit on this stake looking sequel.

 


In any case the cast are doing the UK media circuit round and we’re hoping to ask them some questions. Let’s see if that works out. Until then here is a generic media interview with main actor Hritik Roshan.


1.  You are undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in Bollywood obviously doesn’t come easy, where does your determination and passion stem from?
My family has been my biggest inspiration – they are my true role models and they continue to be. My parents through to my grandparents have seen and experienced all shades of life, the good, the bad, and always faced any situation God presented to them fearlessly together. We share a unified bond which I also instill in my own little family with my wife children.

2.  2013 sees the third instalment of Krrish, a franchise that you are renowned for, what can the audience expect?
I think the audiences are going to be in for a treat with Krrish – if you loved the first two films, you will adore this edition. Krrish is our home production and it was like coming home. I did miss Krrish’s character.

3.   What are your thoughts on Superhero movies created in Bollywood?
The Indian cinema industry is among the best in the world and has created movies of par excellence for years. Being our home production, Krrish 3 will master the superhero genre in Indian cinema and internationally. That is the vision with Krrish 3, to present a superhero entity that will appeal to all audiences globally, in the same zest and fervor that they appreciate other superhero films like Superman and Batman. I am very sure that regardless of the language Krrish 3 is shot in, the performance, narrative and overall content will help extend the film’s appreciate to audiences over and beyond the Indian market and global South Asian Diaspora. We have already seen this happening with the phenomenal appreciation we received for the film’s trailer which set a benchmark, garnering more views than that of Hollywood film trailers like Thor and Avengers. We are very excited to see the audiences’ response.

4.   People like Hrithik as a dancer, the dance seems to be missing in his movies these days, is it intentional?
Not at all! However clichéd this sounds, I guess the scripts I’ve currently been working on just haven’t demanded any breakthrough dance sequences. But never say never though! Krrish 3 does feature some notable iconic moves which will become synonymous of Krrish 3.

5.   Filmmakers from Bollywood have tried to make superhero movies before and they haven’t been as successful, what are you doing that is so different?
I feel the Krrish franchise has worked as we have listened to the audience, not just in India but globally. We always aim to deliver a film to them that we hope will appeal to their tastes and aspirations. I never like to operate with an insular mind-set. To produce a superhero film, one key factor to remember is that the focus should be on creating a connectivity between the narrative, the characters and the audience as the story of the superhero him the person. There is a hero in everyone. The focus should not be to make a superhero film that boasts style through special fx and never before seen technology but no substance. A balance needs to be met.

Also Krrish is really not about me. To make a film like this you need a team. An actor is nothing, he is a tool, he is the paint, but you need the painter to make it work. Our team is so strong on Krrish 3 and this is the key to our success. You cannot simply rely on the fame and popularity of an actor to make a film such as this.

6.  With the huge amount of excitement generated from the trailer for Krrish 3 expectations are very high, how do you deal with that?
I am very ecstatic and truly humbled by the views the trailer has generated. For me I am glad that the expectations are high as when audience have high expectations it only pushes you to stretch yourself to do more for them. I enjoy a challenge and I think that Krrish 3 presented us with a lot of difficulties, but you only get out what you put into a film and I am very happy with the finished product.

7. Krrish 3 will be the third time that you have played the superhero, do you feel that you have many similarities to Krrish in real life?
A superhero is about values, not about the costume or the powers. A superhero is someone who never gives up and is in service to others. I think I have the right attitude to be a superhero, to try and come through for those that depend on me.

8.  Some of the special effects that we saw in the trailer are truly breath-taking, how much time was devoted to making these sequences?
My father wanted to do all of the special effects in India, it is common in Indian cinema to outsource the special effects for a film to other countries, but my father and I believe that we have the talent in India and that we just need to give them the support and time they need to make a polished and believable finished product. The sequences that you have seen in the trailer are the result of this and I think they look fantastic.

 

9.  We hear that Krrish 3 has several market firsts. Please elaborate.
Yes! We have initiated key brand extensions for Krrish 3 which is really going to help create a greater connect with audiences. From animation, merchandise, digital and comics, we have a full breadth of products to deliver to audiences. We launched Kid Krrish recently, a series of 4 animated features being aired on Cartoon Network. Kid Krrish is the story of Krrish in his childhood who sets out on an adventure with his set of friends. Kid Krrish along with adventure and action also imparts life lessons of friendship and loyalty. It is the first Indian film / character to be adapted in an animated form. It is also the largest television deal in the animation space. On the merchandise front, we have Krrish live Action which will have unique merchandise ranging from Krrish Masks, wrist bands to first of its kind Consumer Electronics like Walkie Talkies, Music accessories and RC toys (Flying Krrish). The way we have structured the deal is market first in India and will be a more sustainable merchandising programme with a more longer term mind-set. We also have an extensive digital activation plan which will help our fan base be closer to the film and Krrish himself, more than ever before. I am also extremely excited about our forthcoming comic book series, Krrish: Menace of the Monkey Men, which will be released as a comic book magazine available in stores later this year.
10.  We hear that Krrish 3’s filming schedule was pretty testing. Could you elaborate please?
Krrish 3, is one the most difficult films of my career. I play various characters. If I wanted victory again, I’ll have to go through the battle again. The finest steel must go through the hottest fire was my modular during the shoot. It Was Difficult Playing Many Roles In Krrish 3. The script has been such that it challenged each and every character and department from the production to the creative.

11.  What else would you do if you weren’t a Bollywood actor?
I cannot imagine doing anything else than being a profession that allows me to develop and expand my creativity. I know it sounds clichéd but I love what I do and I do what I love! It really is in my DNA and whatever my parents, grandparents, uncles achieved in this industry is an intrinsic part of my make-up. I have had the opportunity to live multiple lives in one lifetime and through the power of cinema did my small bit to touch a chord with the world and form an indescribable bond.

12.  Being the superstar that you are, how difficult is it finding the right balance between your personal life and filming?
It can be extremely difficult being away from family when I’m at work, but I do try and see my family as much as I can as they mean a lot to me. I guess it’s crucial to prioritize time accordingly. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend with your family, it’s never really enough. But coming from a family where filmmaking runs through our veins, we do understand the pressures associated with work thus the understanding between us as family and for our work always helps us to strike that important balance.

13.  Your body is obviously very important to you, as millions of women have probably noticed. Do you have any tips for our readers trying to fight off the Christmas weight?
I work out a lot and have a strict diet and exercise regime that I follow religiously. Being fit isn’t just about being physically strong but also mentally. My fitness workout is a major release for me, in a way it’s my way of chilling out!

14. You have millions of fans the world over, whom are you the biggest fan of and why?
It’s going to be difficult to pinpoint a particular place. All the fans around the world have been so supportive and loving; I just can’t thank all my fans for the ongoing support.

15.  Being at the top of the industry, how do you keep yourself so friendly and approachable?
I have always believed in being a good human first and foremost. My parents have brought me up with great morals and values; life is too short to create negative surroundings and feelings. Like they say ‘treat others how you’d like to be treated’. Furthermore, the persona I have has only been created by my adoring fans – I am here in this industry and now presenting Krrish 3 only because of them.

16.  What else can audiences look forward to seeing from you?
2013 was a busy year with Krrish 3 and the filming of Bang Bang with Katrina. 2014 is another year packed with lots of exciting projects including some other ventures outside of the film industry.
‘Krrish 3’ releases on 1st November 2013.

@asimburney

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Bad GrandPa “Cinnamon” Clip

It’s always hilarious to see kids act and say inappropirate things. The Jackass team behind Bad Grandpa are very aware of that and I assume quite a bit of their forthcoming release is centered around that premise.

Here is the clip, a new poster and a synopsis.

 

 

86 year-old Irving Zisman is on a journey across America with the most unlikely companion, his 8 year-old Grandson Billy in “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”. This October, the signature Jackass character Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) and Billy (Jackson Nicholl) will take movie audiences along for the most insane hidden camera road trip ever captured on camera.

Along the way Irving will introduce the young and impressionable Billy to people, places and situations that give new meaning to the term childrearing. The duo will encounter male strippers, disgruntled child beauty pageant contestants (and their equally disgruntled mothers), funeral home mourners, biker bar patrons and a whole lot of unsuspecting citizens.

Real people in unreal situations, making for one really messed up comedy.

 

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa crashes in to UK cinemas on Wednesday 23rd October

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Akshay Kumar Boss Media Interview

There is always a slight reluctance on my part to post these PR- Media interviews with actors. On the one hand it keeps feeding the PR bullshit machinery which none of us really want, but having done enough interviews I also realize that most of the actors are so coached anyway that it’s hard to get any honest moments from them anyway.

So here is a media interview done with Khiladi Akshay Kumar for his forthcoming Boss, which I am honestly looking forward to.

(also I am loving the Party All Night Track)

     Q: How would you define your character in BOSS? And what made you sign this movie?

           A: ‘BOSS’ is a very colourful Haryanvi character and that’s exactly what appealed to me.

He is a larger-than-life figure from Haryana with his own distinct style and attitude.

That forms the Masti [fun] part in the film. But there are some things he will neither

forgive nor forget, highlighted in reference to a particular situation involving the most

dearest people in his life. You don’t mess with BOSS and that message is very clear.

When Ashwin (Varde) and Tony (D’Souza) came to me with the film’s concept, I loved

it. BOSS is about fun, high octane action sequences and stunts and a good sprinkling

of romance (not for me though!).

 

       Q: How is BOSS different from other action movies?

A: It’s different in many ways. The main reason is that we are offering the audience a different type of action movie that has a unique panache and style. Every action sequence is designed differently. BOSS is an intense film with a strong action backdrop, needed to drive a powerful story forward.

      Q: You shot some major parts for BOSS in Delhi and Bangkok. How was it returning to these places that played such an important role in your life’s journey?

A: I grew up in Delhi and worked as a chef and learnt Martial Arts in Bangkok, so both places mean a lot to me. It was emotional returning to Chandni Chowk in Delhi especially though as we were barely 200 meters away from my old house. Due to the excitement around the film I was unable to go and visit my old house during the day, but managed to drive past in the early morning recollecting my happy childhood memories.

When I was shooting in Thailand, where I studied Martial Arts on the streets of Bangkok, I was also accompanied by my family. I took my son (Aarav) and niece to the kitchen I used to work, eat, sleep and train at in Bangkok when I was 17. Just seeing the small room where I used to rest my head after a tiring day of street fighting for extra money brought back so many memories. I had to fight back the tears in front of my son when I stood in the doorway of the kitchen I once worked so hard in, wondering how different my life is now. One day I was frying noodles, the next I was frying my brains over learning lines for my first film. Never say it isn’t possible. I’m proof that there is nothing more powerful than fate itself, even when the world thinks you’re just a plain boy wiping tables and cleaning dishes.

      Q: It took a little while before the industry and the audiences started taking you seriously as a star. How would you describe your journey?

A: My journey has been both difficult and fantastic at the same time but I guess that’s part of life. It may have taken time for people to accept that I was more than just a struggling actor. I was also very determined to succeed and you can never achieve success without working towards it and adopting a diligent, positive and honest approach to this. I was Akshay Kumar, born with nothing but good parents and God’s hand on my shoulder!

      Q: You worked with Ronit Roy way back in Sainik. How was your experience and how far has he changed now in BOSS? 

A: When Ronit and I worked in Sainik, we were both very young. There was a lot of affection and respect for each other even then. Working with him again in BOSS after so many years was a wonderful experience. He is a fantastic actor and BOSS will showcase him in a different way. He has worked very hard on his role in BOSS and the audience will be nicely surprised by his performance.

      Q: You are perhaps the first actor to ever play a Haryanvi character. What are your thoughts on this, was it a fun role to play?

A: Every character comes with its own identity. I was excited about playing a Haryanvi character in BOSS because that’s something I haven’t done before. And I always like to re-invent myself and present to fans a side of my persona they may not have experienced before. The character fitted so well with the story. It was a great experience.

      Q: How was the experience of doing action scenes at 47° Celsius? Is BOSS your best action film according to you?

A: I would say it was my toughest shooting experience when we shot in 47 degrees. But full marks to the entire unit for bearing it and giving the best results. I would like to believe that in every film, I try to give my best shot. As far as action is concerned, I like to set new records every time. BOSS features a variety of high octane action sequences – the best part is that some of the scenes were very new to me and I haven’t performed these in any other films before.

Q: Which is your favourite song from BOSS?

A: Please don’t ask me to pick out just one favourite track because I simply love them all. I genuinely believe that the BOSS soundtrack is a complete package. Each song has been shot in a unique way. But yes, the Pitaah song is somehow closer to my heart because it’s about a father-son relationship. Har Kisi Ko’ is another classic treat for everyone who grew up in the eighties.

BOSS, releases on 16th October 2013.

 @asimburney

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Girl Most Likely Trailer and Poster

You’d expect that after the massive success of Bridesmaids, we would be seeing a lot more of Kristen Wiig on screen, unfortunately that’s not been the case.

Even Girl Most Likely which was previously called Imogene and premiered last year at Toronto International Film Festival is only getting a release date now.

From the press release:

Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Darren Criss and Matt Dillon headline in Girl Most Likely, a hilarious comedy about Imogene, once a promising young New York playwright whose promise has fizzled, thanks to a crisis of confidence. Heavily in denial about being dumped by her high society boyfriend, Imogene uses her skill for drama to stage an elaborate meltdown as an appeal for his sympathy. But her attempt backfires when she’s put into the custody of Zelda, her estranged gambling addict mother (Annette Bening), and must return home with her to the Jersey shore. Desperate to get back to her Manhattan circle of so-called friends, Imogene must finally deal with her family, including her unique brother (Christopher Fitzgerald), Zelda’s new boyfriend The Bousche (Matt Dillon), plus a cute young lodger (Darren Criss),who together help Imogene find her place in the world.

 

GIRL MOST LIKELY is released in UK cinemas on September 27th

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The Counsellor Character Posters and Clips

Quite looking forward to The Counsellor, beside an amazing cast of Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt. It’s a return for Sir Ridley Scott to a smaller story based thriller written by Cormac McCarthy, so im sure we can expect some gut churning surprises.

 

Synopsis – The film tells the story of a lawyer (Fassbender), who finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.
Here are some new Character Posters and a new clip.

 

The Counsellor, coming to cinemas across the UK November 15th.

@asimburney

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Besharam Media Interview and New Song Promo

We’ve been having a hard time understanding what Besharam is all about. From the throwback promo to having Abhijeet sing Dil Ka Jo Haal Hail, it seems the team has been stuck in some sort of time warp where the 90’s never ended.

 

Here is the new Song Promo:

The entire Cast inluding Ranbir Kapoor and new comer Pallavi Shadra as well as Mom and Pop Kapoor and direct Abhinav Kashyap did a Media Q&A in India, and here is hoping to shed some light on what this movie is all about. Be warned though the interview is so generic that your eyeballs might fall asleep whilst reading it.

Ranbir Kapoor Q&A

What prompted you to sign Besharam?
It was several things that made me sign for Besharam. I am a big fan of director Abhinav Kashyap’s work. Abhinav knows how to tell a simple yet very interesting story. This film has it all; it has romance, action and comedy. It tells a simple yet effective story. I was also drawn to my character. It is a very different type of character to play and it allowed me to express myself in a new and creative way.

Were there any particularly special moments whilst making the film?
The entire film was a blast to work on. My character ‘Babli’ has very few hang-ups and inhibitions, he more or less does as he wants and so this was fun to portray. Also, I had fun working with my co-stars and my parents.

What was it like working with your parents for the first time?
It was fantastic working with my parents. I am a great admirer of my father and I’m in awe of my mother. They are both such professionals and great actors. They never once dictated to me during the shooting of this film, in fact I gave them suggestions on how I thought their characters should be portrayed. We had a lot of fun working together and it helped me to overcome a lot of inhibitions.

Do you feel pressure to have the same success as your famous parents?
Overall, I don’t feel that it has been a hindrance to come from a famous family. I have been exposed to cinema from a very young age and I absolutely love watching my family’s films. I wouldn’t say I have pressure on me to succeed, but it has been a bit of a struggle at times because of who my parents are. There is a ‘celebrity kid’ label attached to me that I have had to overcome to prove myself as an actor and as an individual.

Tell us about your character in Besharam?
I play a character called ‘Babli’, who is an orphan and petty car thief. He is a guy with no inhibitions; he lives life by his own rules. Babli is a very flamboyant and loud character, but underneath it all he is a good hearted kid. His main priority is to get money to help the children in the orphanage. It was an amazing experience to play this type of role, as I could take the character to new depths and have fun with it too.

Did the film allow you to let loose and have some ‘Besharam’ moments?
Of course! There are certain things that I could get away with that I wouldn’t normally be able to. My character is really shameless and so he does some pretty weird and gross things. One example that comes to mind is that in the film my character is obsessed with playing with his chest hair all the time, this isn’t something that I’d normally do in real life!

The film has a powerful message about doing good for others. Do you support many charitable causes?
I strongly believe that charity comes from within you. You can be charitable wherever you travel to; charity comes from the heart and soul; it is found in the little things we do every day to help someone and make their life a little better. I do support some charities, but I still feel that there is much more I can do and so I intend to support more charities in the future.

In Besharam your character loves football. Are you a football fan?
I’m a big football fan! I have always loved football from childhood and used to play when I was in college. I am the Indian brand ambassador for Barcelona Football Club and I’ve been lucky enough to see them at different stadiums. In the film I insisted on my character playing football whenever possible! If I wasn’t an actor I would have been a football coach I think.

Bollywood recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary. How do you think the industry has developed?
I think it is a very proud moment for the Indian film industry to celebrate such a milestone. I feel honoured to be a part of the Indian film industry. My family has been in the industry for 80 out of the 100 years and this is a wonderful achievement. I think Bollywood is now attracting global audiences in a more engaging way. There is a healthy blend between the typical ‘Masala’ film and mainstream elements. An example I would give is the film Barfi, which was India’s official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars.

Is there a set format for a successful Bollywood film?
There is no set format. People just want good entertainment. A Bollywood film entertains you; it is three hours of music, drama, romance, action and comedy.

Who are your role models within the Indian Film Industry?
There are so many people I admire. I look up to Amitabh Bachchan. I also think Shah Rukh Khan is a good ambassador for the industry.

Do you see yourself making the transition to mainstream/Hollywood cinema?
At the moment I am very happy doing what I’m doing. I think the Indian film industry is booming and is a great thing to be a part of. I truly enjoy my work and the roles I’ve played so far. A good film is often one that takes elements from its own culture and tradition rather than trying to just incorporate a mainstream/Western format. For example in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee took inspiration from his own culture and created a fantastic film.

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        Rishi Kapoor Q&A

Did you enjoy acting together as a family?
Yes very much so. We are all very busy people and do not always get time to spend together due to our separate professional schedules, so it was great to be able to spend time together on set and to work together.

How did you end up being cast for your role?
It was actually Ranbir who suggested to Abhinav that I play the role. After confirming his own commitment to the film Ranbir was discussing who could play a middle aged cop with Abhinav and he suggested me as I have rarely done it before.

The film’s trailer has received excellent comments, why do you think this is?
The trailer really captures the spirit of the film and manages to tease audiences with short clips showing the diversity of the action and comedy.

How much influence do you have over Ranbir’s choice of films?
He is an actor who has taken a less travelled route. He is choosing different films and doing films that are not the staple diet of film heroes. For that I give him credit. The choice of his films are totally his, all creative decisions are his, I have no contribution to that at all. People feel I chose his films, but it’s not so. I am just his father, not his manager.
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   Neetu Singh Q&A

How did it feel to act with your husband and son in a movie?
I was overwhelmed when I heard we were going as a family to act in Besharam. My acting scenes came naturally from the start, as it was easy to act and be myself in front of them.

Can you tell us some details about the film’s narrative?
Of course. Babli (Ranbir Kapoor) is a street smart car mechanic living in a Delhi orphanage. He is charming and lives life to the fullest. He also steals cars to support his orphanage. He has no sense of right or wrong until he unwittingly hurts the love of his life, Tara (Pallavi Sharda). Babli realises that there is no right way of doing the wrong thing. Babli sets out to fix all the wrongs in his life and he continues to be shameless about it.

Your son, Ranbir Kapoor plays a very different role to his previous films, why do you think he was interested in playing Babli in Besharam?
I think Ranbir has done a fantastic job in his previous films and has managed to win many awards for his portrayal of a traditional Bollywood hero. However, I think he was keen to stretch himself as an actor, to explore new territory and to challenge himself rather than become too comfortable. His role as Babli is a very diverse role and requires a portrayal of many different emotions on screen, I think this appealed to Ranbir as he is always keen to try something new.

Is there a scene in the film that is particularly close to your heart?
I think the performance of the title track was a lot of fun for the cast and crew and is definitely a highlight for me. Ranbir suggested that we include the director and choreographer in the sequence, and even choreographed the sequence himself. It was a lot of fun to see Abhinav Kashyap get involved in the film in front of camera for a change. I think everyone got the chance to be a little Besharam that day.

What role do you play in Besharam?
Myself and Rishi play bumbling cops on the trail of Babli, trying to deal with his shameless acts.

**************

Abhinav Kashyap Q&A

Talking about the film’s songs, why did you pick Ranbir Kapoor to take the lead in singing?
When the concept was formulated, there were no second thoughts about Ranbir singing this song as it is almost in verse form and no other sound would have worked.

What are your Box Office predictions?
Of course I do hope the film enters the new ‘Crore club’…but this isn’t my sole motivation.

As a director could you have changed a few things in Besharam’s production?
No, this film turned out exactly as I would have wanted it too. I’ve written over 14 drafts of scripts before finalising the last piece and undergoing production

If you don’t mind me asking, why so many drafts?
I’ve worked exceptionally hard on this film. But it isn’t like I had a hardbound script. I wrote 14 drafts because every time I gave the script to a friend, to my star cast, or even to my brother Anurag, they all made suggestions towards it. All of them asked questions. I incorporated all those changes in my final draft. I believe that if a script has to deliver then it has to answer the various questions that people who hear the script ask. A good script has to flow smoothly. And since I have followed that philosophy, I’m confident that Besharam will deliver.

Is it true you will feature in your own movie?
Yes, but only as a cameo appearance, as it was Ranbir’s idea to have both me and choreographer Remo D’souza to groove on the title track with him. Not only did the young actor suggest this idea to me, he also choreographed the dance routine. We had an amazing time shooting for the song. Ranbir told me he thought that featuring me and Remo would just enhance the fun quotient of the song. And I totally agreed with him.

*********************

Pallavi Sharda Q&A

Before the TV industry, what were you doing?
I was a famous Indian dance instructor in Australia then I changed paths when I came to India.

What was your experience of working with director Abhinav Kashyap?
It was great working with Abhinav; he’s put his foot down to choose me for this role and so I wanted to do my best to impress him while we were on set.

What was the hardest element to shoot for this film?
The hardest element during the shoot of the film for me was the dancing parts of the film, as we did so many takes until Abhinav was happy with what we had. Also, I had to really get in close contact with Ranbir during our dance scene and it was really hard to keep those same emotions throughout that many takes.

Why should audiences see this film?
Audiences will want to see Ranbir’s new side, as an on-screen Besharam!

—-

zzzzzzzzz zzzzzzz

God that was boring…The Besharam team is coming to the UK to promote the movie so we hope to be able to ask some sensible questions. I wonder if the jounalists asking these questions have any sense of sharam….

Besharam releases in theaters  worldwide on 2nd October 2013.

@asimburney

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Kochadaiiyaan Teaser looks choppy!

When we met the Kochadaiiyaan team for a press conference back in April 2012 producer Murali mentioned: “Kochadaiiyaan is going to be a very different animation film with Indian and international technicians. Even better than Tin- Tin. And first of the kind to use photorealistic technology., making it more realistic”

Since then we haven’t heard too much about Kochadaiiyaan and today the first teaser has dropped and is frankly quite dissapointing.

Animation has never been of too high a standard, because most of the times it is still seen by Indian audiences as something meant for children and not adults. And even though there have been collaborations with even with Disney, it has never been an attractive proposition on the box office.

But what no one can’t, Rajni- can (t)! or that’s what we hoped for.

 

 

According to Producer Mural the movie is “a fantasy film with an indian subject, which has been carefully done to attract international audience”. Director Soundaryha (Rajnikanth’s daughter) added that Photorealistic Animation was used because: “It immortalises my father and everything is really created. He plays a warriorin the movie. And we wanted him to do something that we as a fans would want to see. Everyone wants the sound and vision to be spectacular”

We know this is just the first shots we are seeing but they are quite dissapointing shots, the realism spoken about still needs quite a bit of work and what we see doesn’t look much better than a video game (an old and cheap video game for that matter).

Deepika Padukone, who we don’t see in the teaser, is paired opposite Rajnikanth, which i hope looks less creepy than it sounds and one place where having the movie animated migh pay off.

Here is the press release which next to the actual teaser looks like someone talking about an entirely different movie:

Film aficionados across the world are gearing up for the futuristic fantasy event of the year with the release of the eagerly awaited film Kochadaiiyaan – The Legend worldwide in cinemas this December 2013.

Poised as the grand finale film of the year, Kochadaiiyaan will rival and transcend the CG capabilities utilised in such Hollywood masterpieces as Avatar, Tin Tin and Beowulf. The avant-garde film features the unique visual mastery of Photorealistic Performance Capture technology, a first within the realm of Indian film-making.

Kochadaiiyaan is an epic dramatisation of good versus evil starring South Indian megastar Rajinikanth who is cast as the archetypal superhero in a dual role. Also starring in the grand production are Indian A-listers Deepika Padukone, Jackie Shroff and South India’s leading stars R. Sarathkumar, Nazzer, Aadhi, Shobana and Rukmini.

Providing the musical score is maestro and Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman, whose list of credits includes a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and two Academy Awards for his outstanding musical compilation for the multi-Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire. The story, screenplay and dialogues have been penned by K S Ravikumar and the lyrics by National Award Winning lyricist Vairamuthu.

Kochadaiiyaan stemmed from the grand vision of the director Soundarya Rajnikanth Ashwin, a talented and forward thinking filmmaker who is well versed with various trend setting film techniques. She says: “My ambition has always been to immortalise my father and bring the legendary Rajinikanth that audiences around the world adore in an ‘avatar’ he hasn’t ever been seen in nor experienced.

During the making of Kochadaiiyaan, I began to realise that through the medium of this film, we had to embrace a much broader aim which had the potential to be a game-changer for Indian cinema on a global level.

I have been passionately involved in film animation techniques and production for the last six years and for Kochadaiiyaan we wanted to do something unique and to create a new cinematic experience for India. To achieve this we decided to use Photorealistic Performance Capture technology which allowed us to have unlimited creativity on all grounds from building lavish sets, directing expansive fight sequences and creating elaborate costumes. Through the film, we will be able to transport audiences back to historic India and provide them with a much broader sensory experience.

Kochadaiiyaan has created not only firsts in Asia but also on a world level through the use of the technology. What we achieved with the support of our technical partners in the UK, USA, India and China, has made this project a truly international venture and we are sure that Kochadaiiyaan will set the path for Indian cinema’s next 100 year journey.”

The British funded project by reputed producers Mediaone Global Entertainment Limited and the AIM listed company Eros International has been shot exclusively at Pinewood Studios in the UK with a team of world-class technical experts including the London based Centroid Studios, a state of the art facility for Full Body Motion Capture, which have worked on various famous Hollywood productions including the recent Brad Pitt starrer World War Z, Pirates of the Caribbean, Ironman 2 and Harry Potter, and Counter Punch Studios from Los Angeles, who have been behind successes such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua. They worked in collaboration with Faceware Technologies, who have worked with The Mummy 3 and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for the Facial Capturing technology. A team of technical experts from South India and China have worked on the animation and the overall completion of the project.

India’s first Photorealistic Performance Capture film Kochadaiiyaan – The Legend is not only set to transcend boundaries creating a market first in the realm of world cinema but will cement Indian Cinema’s place indefinitely within the global film fraternity.

Kochadaiiyaan – The Legend releases worldwide this December 2013.

 

 

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Rush: out this Friday

Rush: it's not the one about undercover Narcs

In cinemas this Friday is the new film from Ron Howard and normally, I’d not be arsed to be honest.  HOWEVER…Rush is a re-creation of the merciless 1970s rivalry between two Formula 1 drivers: James Hunt and Niki Lauda.  And having seen the trailer many times now, in the cinema I’m well and truly hooked.

The epic action-drama stars Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers) as the charismatic Englishman James Hunt and Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) as the disciplined Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda, whose clashes on the Grand Prix racetrack epitomized the contrast between these two extraordinary characters, a distinction reflected in their private lives.  Co-starring Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy) and Alexandra Maria Lara (The Reader), Rush is also produced Eric Fellner who worked on the brilliant Senna so there is racing pedigree behind the scenes.

Set against the sexy and glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing (the 1970s) , Rush portrays the exhilarating true story of two of the greatest rivals the world has ever witnessed—handsome English playboy Hunt and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Lauda. Taking us into their personal lives on and off the track, Rush follows the two drivers as they push themselves to the breaking point of physical and psychological endurance, where there is no shortcut to victory and no margin for error. If you make one mistake, you die.

Quite brilliantly, the two leads actually look like the characters they’re playing which will only add to the atmosphere I’m sure.  My only reservation is that the colours in the trailer seem to be off in some way, but hopefully this either won’t be the case for the full monty or it just won’t matter.  That’s my Friday evening sorted then.  Excellent trailer below.

 

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Transformers 4 has a name and Teaser poster

Drum rolls please…The title has been revealed as Transformers: Age Of Extinctions. Adding Mark Wahlberg to the cast and rumours of Dinobots, this is probably going to be another massive smash hit and after the success of Pain & Gain, director Michael Bay has redeemed himself in certain critic’s eyes.

Here is the poster:

“TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION” stars Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz, Sophia Myles, TJ Miller, Han Geng and Chinese actress Li Bingbing in the fourth installment in the hit series of movies based on the best-selling Hasbro toyline. Paramount Pictures will release the film on June 27th, 2014.

Shooting in multiple locations in the U.S. and China throughout the summer, the film is directed by Michael Bay and re-unites the filmmaking team from the hit franchise, including producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Don Murphy & Tom DeSanto and Ian Bryce; and executive producers Steven Spielberg, Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. “TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION” is written by Ehren Kruger, based on Hasbro’s Transformers™ Action Figures.

@asimburney

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Sky Share

Sky Social

Got Sky, love Facebook and want to keep your mates up to speed on the latest and greatest that you’re watching? Sky Share is probably the thing for you in that case.

Well, I say that, but you don’t need a subscription to get the Facebook App even. I guess you’d just be spying on your mates’ TV if you didn’t. Sky Share features shows from Sky Atlantic, Sky 1 and Sky Living and also offers a record function if you have Sky+, so if you forget to record something, before you leave the house, then you can just use this App.

Aside from sharing your own shows and seeing what your mates watch, you can also see what’s trending, the most recorded shows and the most shared.

For a demo, click here  or here for the App.

Martin

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First Trailer India’s 24 Looks Dhin-a Din Da!

Never been a huge fan of Indian Television, which are formulaic, melodramatic family dramas that keep going on and on! But there was always potential in the vast audience and talent available and it seems that legendary actor Anil Kapoor has finally tapped into it with the adaptation of “24”, produced by him which also marks his debut on the small screen.

Following the format but not the story line of the massively successful TV show, which ran for 9 seasons and ended every episode with a cliffhanger, we will see Anil Kapoor playing Jai Singh Rathod together with Anupam Kher, Tisca Chopra, Shabana Azmi and Rahul Khanna.

The show was a run away success in the wake of 9/11 and it’s tough, non negotiating brand of counter terrorism appealed to a global audience, but the concept got stale after a couple of seasons so it’s going to be interesting to see what director Abhinay Deo (who we interviewed when he was in town for promoting his debut Delhi Belly) and writing team of Rensil D’Silva and Milap Zaveri do with the format and if they’ll be able to breath live to serialized story telling in India.

Already the production values and cinematography looks like a vast improvement from what we usually see on South Asian Channels.

Here is the first trailer and poster. We’re just happy to see more of Anil Kapoor on screen, time to dust off that Lakhan costume we still have hidden in our wardrobe somewhere.

 

 

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Man Of Steel DVD and Blu Ray will release in time to save Xmas

If per chance you are looking to send your favorite movie and Podcast host some well deserved Xmas gifts, then the Man Of Steel Blu Ray is probably a sure shot.

Available to pre-order from August 23rd in the UK, the disc contains over 4 hours of special features. Although streaming your movies has become a lot more popular over here as in the US, there still aren’t any streaming services that offer director commentaries or any other of the behind the scene goodies.

We loved the Zach Snyder reboot and we waxed lyrically about it on our Man Of Steel Upodcast with special guests Paresh from the CurrySmuggler (Check out their awesome season finale DJ showdown by going here) and Sujoy aka @93ek.

Here are some pack shots and some more info on the contents of the discs:

The Blu-ray includes nearly 4 hours of special features

All disc versions feature UltraViolet™

The fate of mankind is in the hands of one man when “Man of Steel”™ arrives onto Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray 3D Steelbook, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download on 2nd December from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. In “Man of Steel,” Clark Kent is forced to confront his extraterrestrial past and embrace his hidden powers when Earth is threatened with destruction.

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures comes “Man of Steel,” starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Kal-El under the direction of Zack Snyder.

The film also stars four-time Oscar® nominee Amy Adams (“The Master,” 2012), Oscar® nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road,” 2008), Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner (“Dances with Wolves,” 1990), Oscar® nominee Diane Lane (“Unfaithful,” 2002), Oscar® nominee Laurence Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do with It,” 1993), Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, and Academy Award® winner Russell Crowe (“Gladiator,” 1992).

“Man of Steel” is produced by Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder. The screenplay was written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer & Nolan, based upon Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster and published by DC Entertainment. Thomas Tull, Lloyd Phillips and Jon Peters served as executive producers.

The Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray 3D Steelbook, Blu-ray and DVD will include UltraViolet which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the standard definition theatrical version of the film to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.

SYNOPSIS

A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth.  As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do.  But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

The “Man of Steel” Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray 3D™ Steelbook and Blu-ray™ contain the following special features:

·      Strong Characters, Legendary Roles – Explore the legendary characters of the Superman mythology and how they have evolved in this new iteration of the Superman story.
·      All-Out-Action – Go inside the intense training regimen that sculpted Henry Cavill into the Man of Steel and Michael Shannon and Antje Traue into his Kyptonian nemeses.  Includes interviews with cast and crew.
·      Krypton Decoded – Dylan Sprayberry (Clark Kent, age 13) gives the lowdown on all the amazing Krypton tech, weapons and spaceships featured in “Man of Steel.”
·      Exclusive to UltraViolet – Journey of Discovery: Creating “Man of Steel” – This immersive feature-length experience allows you to watch the movie with director Zack Snyder and stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane and others as they share the incredible journey to re-imagine Superman.

“Man of Steel” DVD contains the following special features:

·      Krypton Decoded

MAN OF STEEL™

AVAILABLE ON
BLU-RAY 3D™, BLU-RAY™ 3D STEELBOOK, BLU-RAY™, DVD AND DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
FROM 2ND DECEMBER

PRE-ORDER IN THE UK FROM 23rd AUGUST

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Insidious: Chapter 2 Trailer

James Wan has a developed quite a knack for scaring the bejusus out of audiences with genre that have been done to death. Fresh off the success of The Conjuring )which is still playing very successfully in theaters now and also stars Patrick Wilson) we already get to see the trailer of his next offering Insidious: Chapter 2 which is his follow up to the 2010 hit, teaming up with writer Leigh Whannell who had also worked on Saw.

It should be a criminal offense not to watch everything Rose Byrne is in but even more so James Wan knows his classic horrors and has a tight grip on scares making this a very effective trailer.

The nightmare continues…

The famed horror team of director James Wan (Saw and The Conjuring) and writer Leigh Whannell (Saw), creators of the original Insidious in 2011 are back with Insidious Chapter 2, a terrifying sequel to the acclaimed horror film.

With Josh (PATRICK WILSON) and Renai (ROSE BYRNE) coming to terms with the death of parapsychologist Elise (LIN SHAYE), the Lambert family move into grandmother Lorraine’s home (BARBARA HERSHEY) while the police investigate the bizarre incident.However all is not well as Josh and Renai continue to experience the demonic forces that are set on turning their lives to chaos.

With Josh’s increasingly odd behaviour following his return from The Further, Renai and Lorraine are  forced to seek help from Elise’s paranormal investigators to protect their family and uncover the truth to why this dangerous spirit world still haunts them, they soon learns the shocking reality……Josh didn’t come back alone.

The renowned horror duo join forces again with producer JASON BLUM (Paranormal Activity) to take you on another mind-bending and chilling journey into the world of the unknown.

Insidious: Chapter 2 releases to UK cinemas on 13th September 2013.

@asimburney

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How I live Now Trailer

Following the trend of adapting Young Adult novels, here is the trailer for Kevin Mcdonald’s How I Live Now starring Saoirse Ronan which starts out like a coming of age story set in idyllic English country side which turns into something quite different midway.

Saoirse is definitely a very talented young lady. The novel How I Live Now written by Meg Rosoff and ended up winning quite a few awards, and of course Kevin Mcdonald won an best Documentary academy award back in 2000 but most people probably remember him for The Last King Of Scotland.

 

Here is the trailer and Synopsis:

American teenager Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) has attitude to burn. Her mother died giving birth to her, her dad has sent her away for the summer to live with her aunt and cousins in the English countryside. Defiant and unhappy, city girl Daisy refuses at first to warm to her bucolic new surroundings or the three cousins she’s meeting for the first time: 17-year-old Edmond (George MacKay), 14-year-old Isaac (Tom Holland) and 8-year-old Piper (Harley Bird).

But although it looks to be crumbling around them, her cousins’ farm, Brackendale, is an enchanted place. With their mum (Anna Chancellor) engrossed in her role as a peace negotiator, they have the run of this romantic bohemian idyll to themselves along with their friend Joe (Danny McEvoy), two dogs and a goat. Slowly, Daisy begins to thaw. Plus, there’s something about her quiet, watchful older cousin that not only intrigues Daisy, but stirs something deep inside. Before she knows it, she’s falling madly in love with Edmond, and he with her…

Their perfect summer is blown apart by the sudden outbreak of a 21st century world war, leaving them isolated and forced to fend for themselves. When they are violently separated Daisy must embark on a terrifying journey in order to be reunited with the boy she loves. Edmond is never far from Daisy’s mind but as her journey to find him becomes more desperate, the idea of what she may or may not find consumes her consciousness and haunts her soul.

How I Live Now is the big-screen adaptation of the award-winning young-adult novel by Meg Rosoff, directed by acclaimed, Academy-Award winning director Kevin Macdonald (One Day In September, Marley, The Last King of Scotland) and starring Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, The Lovely Bones, Hanna) as Daisy. The film also stars George MacKay (The Boys Are Back, Hunky Dory) as Edmond, Tom Holland (The Impossible) as Isaac, Harley Bird (‘Peppa Pig’) as Piper, Danny McEvoy as Joe and Anna Chancellor as Aunt Penn.

Macdonald directed from a screenplay by Jeremy Brock (The Eagle, The Last King Of Scotland), Penelope Skinner (‘Fresh Meat’) and Tony Grisoni (Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, ‘Red Riding Trilogy’). The film is produced by Charles Steel and Alasdair Flind of Cowboy Films, and John Battsek and Andrew Ruhemann of Passion Pictures, and was co-developed by Film4 and the UK Film Council and co-financed by Film4 and BFI Film Fund. Protagonist Pictures is selling How I Live Now internationally. Entertainment One, will distribute the film in the UK.

The creative team included Director of Photography Franz Lustig, Production Designer Jacqueline Abrahams, Costume Designer Jane Petrie and Editor Jinx Godfrey. The music was composed by Jon Hopkins.

How I Live Now is released in UK cinemas on 4th October 2013

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The Evil Dead: coming to your home from August 12th

Think happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

Released this Monday, August 12th, the DVD and Blu-Ray of Evil Dead, one of my movies of the year so far.  A fitting remake for the 21st century, this has some things the original lacks: consistently good acting across all the cast, special effects and budget.  That’s not to slag the original which is an all time favourite of mine, but I do feel it was ripe for updating.  A little synopsis and the trailer are below so you know a bit about what’s coming if you haven’t seen either this or the first.  Happily I can also say that the sequel has been agreed, so there will be more gore to come!

Is it me, or is it raining blood?

A remote cabin in the woods (reminds you of another movie you may have seen last year?) becomes a blood-soaked chamber of horrors when a group of 20-something friends unwittingly awakens an ancient demon in Evil Dead, the brilliant reworking of Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult-hit horror film The Evil Dead. Starring Jane Levy (Suburgatory), Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood), Lou Taylor Pucci (Carriers), Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield) and Elizabeth Blackmore (Legend of the Seeker), Evil Dead is a bone-chilling film that combines all the raw excitement and gleeful gore of the acclaimed original with a series of shocking new twists.

For fans, there are some special releases:

·         A 2-disc collector’s edition available at Sainsbury’s on DVD and Blu-ray http://bit.ly/122Ofgo
·         The limited edition steel-book only available online at Zavvi http://bit.ly/17mya7z

Madras Cafe New Images and Video’s

Whatever we’ve seen of Madras Cafe until now has been quite intriguing, it might be because John Abraham makes a savvier producer than leading man and because casting Nargis Fakri as a foreign war correspondent might actually work.

We received some new images and plot synopsis, which explains a bit as the movie itself was shrouded in mystery.

 

The political action thriller is set against the backdrop of the tumultuous and controversial Sri Lankan civil war of the 1990s. The film stars John Abraham as an Indian Army Intelligence Agent sent to Sri Lanka to break a resolute rebel group.  Once there, he meets a charismatic female journalist, played by Nargis Fakhri who is determined to uncover the truth about the civil war. Together the pair uncover a deeper, sinister conspiracy by a faceless enemy.

Madras Café releases nationwide on 23rd August 2013.

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A Ronin Story- The Wolverine Featurette

A short featurette about Hugh Jackman’s 6th* reprisal of The Wolverine character gives us a peak into the story and some new images that weren’t in the trailer.

It really looks like they went back to what audiences like about the character to make this movie and I never thought i would be so psyched to see this.

 

Synopsis:
Based on the celebrated comic book arc, this epic action-adventure takes Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the most iconic character of the X-Men universe, to modern day Japan. Out of his depth in an unknown world he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before.

*Cameo’s included

Thw Wolverine is out in theaters 25th July 2013.

 @asimburney

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Monsoon Shootout, Bombay Talkies to bookend Fourth London INDIAN Film Festival

What an amazing line up that LIFF has in stall for London Audiences! Some of these movies you won’t be getting a chance to see in the UK anywhere else.

The London Indian Film Festival will be running from the 18th to the 25th of July this year.

Here is the full press release:

Amit Kumar’s trigger happy Monsoon Shootout will be the red carpet UK Premiere opening night film of the Fourth annual London INDIAN Film Festival (July 18-25), Together with O2. This film is a version of Sliding Doors meets a hyper-real cop thriller, which will have you on the edge of your seats. Closing the festival will be a special UK premiere of favourite Bombay Talkies with four magical stories by acclaimed directors Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Anurag Kashyap exploring 100 years of Indian cinema, studded with top independent and Bollywood stars. Both films had a triumphant reception at the recent Cannes Film Festival and special guests are expected to both screenings.

Now Europe’s largest platform for Indian cinema, the London Indian Film Festival returns to the Capital, celebrating the exploding movement of Indian Independent cinema and bringing to UK audiences a rare selection of cutting-edge films from some of India’s hottest independent talents. Going way beyond Bollywood, the festival presents a kaleidoscope of new films that challenge, shock, generate debate and present a more realistic view of India and the subcontinent today, in all its diversity. For the first time, the festival is going on tour to Bradford and Glasgow.

The festival will stretch citywide, opening in the West End at the historic Cineworld Haymarket, and continuing at BFI Southbank, Cineworld cinemas, Shaftesbury Avenue, Wood Green, Wandsworth, Staples Corner, and the O2 in Royal Greenwich, the Peckamplex and ICA near the Pall Mall, so there is a screening near you, traversing iconic sights and sounds of the city of London like a Monopoly game board.

The centrepiece ‘In conversation’ on Saturday 20th July at the BFI Southbank, will be with Actor Irrfan Khan, one of the very few Indians to straddle Hollywood, British and Indian cinema, talking to  award winning director of Senna, Asif Kapadia. Khan’s memorable film roles include BAFTA winner, The Warrior and Oscar winners, Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi and Hollywood biggies like The Amazing Spider-Man, The Darjeeling Limited and The Namesake, and Bollywood hits Life In A Metro, Mumbai Meri Jaan, New York and Paan Singh Tomar.

As well as films in the Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi languages, and our first Pakistani film Josh, in Urdu, we will be having a rare ‘Life in Pictures’ Masterclass, by the great South Indian Director Adoor Gopalakrishnan, on 19th July at BFI Southbank.

London Indian Film Festival also has films and events for a wide range of audiences and includes industry events at BAFTA, exploring UK and Indian subcontinent co-productions. The winner of the annual Satyajit Ray short film competition will be announced at the end of the festival at The Nehru Centre in Mayfair.

We are delighted to announce that our Major sponsors this year will include O2 International Sim, and the festival is also grant funded for the first time, by the BFI Film Festival Fund.

Cary Rajinder Sawhney, Festival Director comments, “We are delighted that the festival is growing from strength to strength. If you want to find out more about South Asian cinema come and soak yourself in a week of magnificent films in London, or catch the festival tour in Bradford and Glasgow.”


For more information on the festival please visit: www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk

Join us on social media: www.facebook.com/LondonIndianFilmFestival & www.twitter.com/LoveLIFF

London Indian Film Festival is supported by partners including: O2 International Sim, BFI, Satyajit Ray Foundation, Cineworld, Grange Hotels, Zee TV, BBC London and BBC Asian Network.

@asimburney

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The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones Trailer and Character Posters

The Twilight Saga has created such a bad taste in the mouths of  non twihard audiences that any property even closely resembling it sends knee jerk reactions, sometimes unfairly.

Of course movies studios are working the opposite way where they are frantically looking for the next hot people being vampires/ werewolfs/ zombies franchise to cash in on.

The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones seems to be given us exactly that, mixed in with a bit of Blade and Underworld.

Clary Fray (Lily Collins) thought she was an ordinary teenager living in Brooklyn until one night in a downtown nightclub she encounters the mysterious, charismatic Jace.  Upon witnessing Jace hunt down and kill a demon in the crowded club, Clary begins to wonder if she is that ordinary after all. Especially as she appears to be the only one who can see him…

Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower) is a Shadowhunter. Part of a secret cadre of half-angel warriors, he is tasked with protecting humanity in an ancient battle against demonic forces. This battle has been fought secretly in our midst for centuries, but the stakes have just been raised.

When Clary’s mother is viciously attacked and taken from their home, she discovers her connections to Jace run deeper than she could ever have imagined and beneath surface of the city exists another world…one she unknowingly belongs to. As both Clary and best friend Simon (Robert Sheehan) are drawn into this dark and dangerous world, Clary realises Jace is both the key to uncovering her past and protecting her future.

Based on Cassandra Clare’s bestselling novel, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is directed by Harold Zwart and also stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Lena Headey.
Release date for The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones is AUGUST 21 2013.

 

 

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Shuddh Desi Romance Digital Poster

Director of the run away hit Band Baaja Baraat,  Maneesh Sharma is back, this time teaming up Sushant Singh Rajput (Kai Po Che) with Parineeti Chopra (Ladies vs Ricky Bahl and Ishaqzaade) and newcomer Vaani Kapoor.

Yash Raj have released a digital poster and a very rustic looking one.

Although he got rave reviews for Kai Po Che, Sushant Singh just has a bit too much of Vivek Oberoi’s doucheyness for me to fully like him. Parineeti is awesome though and I can’t wait to see what she will be up to when her 3 deal contract with YRF is over.

I think like their predecessors Ranveer Singh and Anushkha the bigger and interesting works comes after the contract is done.

We don’t get to see much of what the movie will be about but here is some info in any case from the YRF website:

 

From the director of Band Baaja Baaraat and the writer of Chak De! India, comes a fresh and very real love story about the hair-raising minefield between love, attraction and commitment — SHUDDH DESI ROMANCE — finally, a romantic comedy that tells it like it is.

Starring in this classy, candid look at the affairs of the heart in today’s desi heartland are the endearing Rishi Kapoor, exceptionally talented Sushant Singh Rajput, and the versatile Parineeti Chopra, along with debutant Vaani Kapoor.

SHUDDH DESI ROMANCE is directed by Maneesh Sharma, written by Jaideep Sahni, and produced by Aditya Chopra.

ADDITIONAL CREDITS:
MUSIC: Sachin-Jigar
LYRICS: Jaideep Sahni
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Manu Anand
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Aashish Singh
EDITOR: Namrata Rao
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: T.P. Abid
COSTUME DESIGNERS: Varsha-Shilpa
SOUND: Pritam Das
CHOREOGRAPHER: Brinda
LINE PRODUCER: Yogendra Mogre
CASTING DIRECTOR: Shanoo Sharma

The film releases worldwide on 13th September 2013.

 @asimburney

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300: Rise of an empire

The rise of an empire

The stylistically-gory trailer for 300: Rise of an empire has just been released and Upod has also been given some cracking new posters for it.   Sequel to the hugely successful 300, these posters re-capture the original’s aesthetic and make me wish March 2014 was just around the corner.  One of very few trailers to genuinely make me want to see the movie, if you loved the first one, then check out the trailer below.  In fact even if you didn’t, you should have a look, it really has got me itching to see it already.

The Red Sea

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield—on the sea—as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. “300: Rise of an Empire” pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemesia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

The film is directed by Noam Murro, from a screenplay by Zack Snyder & Kurt Johnstad, based on the graphic novel Xerxes, by Frank Miller.

 

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New Wolverine International Trailer

The new Wolverine trailer just went love and its looking pretty damn amazing.

Showing quite a bit of the action set pieces and revealing pretty much all the plot.

But we’re sold!

Synopsis:
Based on the celebrated comic book arc, this epic action-adventure takes Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the most iconic character of the X-Men universe, to modern day Japan. Out of his depth in an unknown world he faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before.

20130612-213210.jpg

The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman and directed by James Mangold, opens in cinemas on July 25th 2013.

We’re The Millers Trailer and Poster

Jason Sudeikus and Jennifer Aniston were the best part in the mediocre Horrible Bosses, this time they are back directed by Rawson Marhsall Thurber, director of Dodgeball, which is one of my favorite comedies of recent years and the trailer looks pretty hilarious.

I don’t know who buys Jennifer Aniston as a stripper but as suburban mom who is helping out small time pot dealer, Jason Sudeikus, trying to haul a huge amount of weed for Ed Helms, she definitely convinces in a pair of khaki mommy pants.

Surrounded by a great cast consisting of Nick Offerman (Ron F*cking Swanson), Emma Roberts and Will Poulter who was great in Son Of Rambow.

This looks much better than a regular studio churned comedies of which we see so many lately. Let’s see if it manages to reach Dodgeball levels of epicness.


“David is a small-time pot dealer whose clientele includes chefs and soccer moms, but no kids—after all, he has his scruples.  So what could go wrong?  Plenty.  Having been jumped by a trio of gutter punks who steal his stash and his cash, they leave him in major debt to a drug lord. In order to wipe the slate clean, David must now become a big-time drug smuggler by bringing Brad’s latest shipment in from Mexico.  Twisting the arms of his neighbours including a cynical stripper, a wannabe customer and a tatted-and-pierced streetwise teen, he devises a fool proof plan.  One fake wife, two pretend kids and a huge, shiny campervan later, the “Millers” are on a roadtrip that is sure to end with a bang.”

 

UK Release date:  23rd August 2013
@asimburney

Danny Boyle revisits Trainspotting

After 17 years, the cast and crew of the brilliant British film ‘Trainspotting’ (1996) came together for a very special reunion screening in London.

The first in a series of Classic Cinema Reunions, the Trainspotting event was curated by the London Film School in support of their exciting and ambitious capital campaign. On stage at the Ciné Lumière in South Kensington after the film were director Danny Boyle, actor Robert Carlyle, producer Andrew Macdonald and David Aukin, the Channel 4 executive who commissioned this lively, inventive adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel in the first place. Also in the room on this special night were the film’s editor, costume designer, director of photography and production designer. The audience was also treated to an appearance by phone from Ewan McGregor, who played the lead character Renton in the 1996 film.

Following the event, Danny Boyle spoke exclusively to HiBROW about his experience in making the film, and how it would be different were it made in 2013.

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

 

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Behind the Candelabra Trailer

Steven Soderbergh’s been claiming that he will soon be retiring from film making, so it’s quite interesting to see the project that he wants to finish. One of which is the Behind the Candelabra based on the life of Vegas showstopper Liberace and his relationship with partner Scott Thorson.

I’ve never really connect with Soderbergh’s work but he does always bring interesting people together on his projects and it has been a while since we saw Michael Douglas on screen after his health concerns. Based on the book by Scott Thorson who had a passionate 6 year relationship with Liberace, the movie is written by Richard LaGravenese (The Horse Whisperer, PS I Love, The Fisher King).

Here is the trailer and Synopsis:

Before Elvis, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was LIBERACE – infamous pianist, outrageous entertainer and flamboyant star of stage and television. A name synonymous with showmanship and extravagance, he lit up every stage he performed on, as bright as his candelabras and with a unique flair that gained him millions of devoted fans across the globe.

In the summer of 1977, handsome young stranger Scott Thorson walked into Liberace’s dressing room and, despite their age difference and seemingly different worlds, the two embarked on a secretive five-year love affair. To the outside world Scott was an employee, at most a friend, but behind closed doors his life with Liberace was an intense rollercoaster of hedonistic fun, flamboyance and excess.

Starring Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, BEHIND THE CANDELABRA tells the fascinating true story of their glamorous life together and their tempestuous relationship — from the glitz and glamour of the early days in Las Vegas to their very bitter and public break-up.

BEHIND THE CANDELABRA is released in cinemas on June 7th

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Fukrey’s New Title Track

Here is a song from Excel’s forthcoming “Young Indian men bonding over shenanigans and learning life lessons along the way”- movie Fukrey.

Frankly after Dil Chahta Hai, 3 Idiots, Delhi Belly, Kai Po Che, I’m done with this story trope and nothing I have seen until now from Fukrey is showing us anything we haven’t seen yet.

I do have faith in Excel as a banner so they might spring some surprise, but I’m not hedging my bets on it.

 

 

From the Press Release:

Your college days are said to be the best of your life – fun, frivolous and filled with friendship. But this is far from true in the new “rogue-trip” film ‘Fukrey’.
Fukrey is a twisted coming-of-age drama and deliciously hilarious tale of four young, hapless ‘nobodies’ [‘Fukreys’], running after their individual desires, brought together by one dream. Their lives are turned upside down when they chase that elusive ‘get rich quick’ scheme. The film combines the crazy antics and madcap mishaps of four loser college friends, as their paths cross with an array of colourful characters, from a tough-talking Punjabi female don to a Jugaad Baaz college watchman. Mayhem ensues with predictably hilarious and unexpected results.
Fukrey stars a bevy of talented stars in the Bollywood arena – Richa Chadda [‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’]; Ali Fazal [3 Idiots, The Other End Of The Line] Manjot Singh [‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’, ‘Udaan’], Pulkit Samrat [‘Bittoo Boss’] and Varun Sharma, amongst others.
The film is directed by Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, [‘Teen Thay Bhai’], who also shares screenplay adaptation and writing credits with Vipul Vig. The vibrant and eclectic soundtrack is by composer, musician and producer Ram Sampath, noted for his musical scores on such films as: Delhi Belly, Talaash and Khakee.
The acclaimed producer duo Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani lend their sizable producer talents to the film under their production banner Excel Entertainment. The company was founded in 1999 with a vision to make contemporary Indian cinema. With modest beginnings nine years ago, today Excel is considered iconic in changing the sensibilities of Indian viewers, and for pushing the boundaries of ‘reel’ entertainment across the world. Some of Excel Entertainment’s cult classic projects include: Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya [the official entry for the Rio International Film Festival], Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Don 1 and 2 [screened at the Berlin Film Festival].

Fukrey releases nationwide on 14th June 2013.

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Man Of Steel Banner Posters

We received these beautiful Banner posters for Man Of Steel and I just had to share them.

Not much to say much else as I’m going officially not going to watch any promo material anymore until the movie comes out to remain spoiler free.

But these were just too awesome not to share.

 

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures comes “Man of Steel,” starring Henry Cavill (“Immortals,” TV’s “The Tudors”) in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, under the direction of Zack Snyder (“300,” “Watchmen”).

A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth.  As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do.  But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

The film also stars four-time Oscar® nominee Amy Adams (“The Master”) as Daily Planet journalist Lois Lane, and Oscar® nominee Laurence Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do with It”) as her editor-in-chief, Perry White.  Starring as Clark Kent’s adoptive parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, are Oscar® nominee Diane Lane (“Unfaithful”) and Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner (“Dances with Wolves”).

Squaring off against the superhero are two other surviving Kryptonians, the villainous General Zod, played by Oscar® nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road”), and Faora, Zod’s evil partner, played by Antje Traue (upcoming “The Seventh Son”).  Also from Superman’s native Krypton are Lara Lor-Van, Superman’s mother, played by Ayelet Zurer (“Angels and Demons”), and Superman’s father, Jor-El, portrayed by Academy Award® winner Russell Crowe (“Gladiator”).

MAN OF STEEL will fly into cinemas on June 14, 2013

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The Wolverine Cinemacon trailer

We’ve got a new trailer from The Wolverine that Premiered at Cinemacon, some great news shots in there of the action and even the Silver Samurai.

It’s starting to look good people!


 

 

 

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, this epic action-adventure takes Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the most iconic character of the X-Men universe, to modern day Japan. Out of his depth in an unknown world he will face a host of unexpected and deadly opponents in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality, emerging more powerful than we have ever seen him before.

THE WOLVERINE opens in cinemas across the UK on 25th July 2013.

@asimburney

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300: Rise of An Empire Exclusive Stills and Poster

When 300 came out it pretty much blew people away partly because of the way it was shot. The technology was nothing new and we had seen it before in movies like Sin City and Sky Captain but the fluidity of action and bare chested action made the movie stand out although I’m not sure it really holds up.

Frank Miller’s work has always been very divisive and now seems to be of an entirely different era, so I missed out on his graphic novel Xerxes, which is a prequel to the events in 300 and is the basis for this adaptation starring Sullivan Stapleton (“Animal Kingdom”), Eva Green (“Casino Royale”), Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”), Callan Mulvey (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Jack O’Connell (“Skins”),  Rodrigo Santoro (“Love Actually”) and directed by Noam Murro.

Here is the Synopsis:

This new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield—on the sea—as Greek general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war.  “300: Rise of an Empire” pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemesia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

 

no release date yet

 

@asimburney

 

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Man Of Steel Trailer is ZOMG!

Already my most anticipated movie of the year, this trailer has just left me speechless. Showing us much more of the action, visuals and leading man Cavill (literally).

Since the release is just around the corner, it’s fun to see that the movie is more than just a depressing look at ole Supes. We get to see more of Michael Shannon’s Zod, Amy Adam’s Lois Lane and Russel Crow’s Jor-EL.

Zach Snyder has always had a great eye for visuals but this trailer has really blown me away!

You probably dont need a synopsis but hey ho!

A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth.  As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do.  But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

The film also stars four-time Oscar® nominee Amy Adams (“The Master”) as Daily Planet journalist Lois Lane, and Oscar® nominee Laurence Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do with It”) as her editor-in-chief, Perry White.  Starring as Clark Kent’s adoptive parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, are Oscar® nominee Diane Lane (“Unfaithful”) and Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner (“Dances with Wolves”).

Squaring off against the superhero are two other surviving Kryptonians, the villainous General Zod, played by Oscar® nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road”), and Faora, Zod’s evil partner, played by Antje Traue (upcoming “The Seventh Son”).  Also from Superman’s native Krypton are Lara Lor-Van, Superman’s mother, played by Ayelet Zurer (“Angels and Demons”), and Superman’s father, Jor-El, portrayed by Academy Award® winner Russell Crowe (“Gladiator”).

MAN OF STEEL will fly into cinemas on June 14, 2013.

@asimburney

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4th Rendez-vous with French cinema

Style & sophistication

Never let it be said Upod lacks flair, sophistication or an eye for the unusual. Starting today, April 4th, Rendez-Vous with French Cinema is back in London for its 4th edition, with fantastic films and a host of famous actors and directors descending on Curzon Soho and Ciné Lumière for four days packed with treats and discoveries.

From the eye-popping Populaire, a sparkling film with a vintage feel, to the quiet charm of the impeccably crafted Renoir, not to mention the warm and winning Cycling with Molière starring Fabrice Luchini and Lambert Wilson, Rendez-Vous with French Cinema will give you a panorama of the latest and hottest films from France.

Get ready to meet your favourite actors: French hearthrob Romain Duris for a Q&A after Populaire, and the intriguing and exquisite Oscar-nominee Kristin Scott Thomas during her exclusive on-stage interview.

This festival is also an ideal opportunity to get behind the scenes of the newest films, with directors Gilles Bourdos, Régis Roinsard, Philippe Le Guay coming in after the screenings of their respective films to answer all of your questions. You can also discover France’s rising stars, from the enchanting Déborah François who won the César award for Most Promising Actress to Christa Theret, who plays with a shining mix of fragility, melancholy and charisma.
The festival is fast approaching… don’t miss your Rendez-Vous with French Cinema!

 

Hummingbird Trailer – Statham and the power of a Combover

Maybe it’s the legacy of the Transporter movies or the realm of B-grade actioners they roam in but Jason Statham movies just dont get the respect they deserve. Apart from some serious action set pieces, he really seeks out exciting film makers to work with, trying to do something different in every movie, even though there is a point where he will drive a call and kick ass whilst wearing a suit. But hey, if it can work for Bond, why not for the Statham.

This time he teams up with Steven Knight, making his debut as a director after writing Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things as like those 2 movies, Hummingbird seems to have it’s feet planted in London’s seedy underbelly.

 

Here is the new Trailer for Hummingbird.

Starring Jason Statham (Parker, Safe, Killer Elite, The Expendables, Crank, Bank Job, Transporter), with BAFTA award winner Vicky McClure, Agata Buzek and Benedict Wong (Prometheus), Hummingbird marks the directorial debut of Oscar® nominated screenwriter Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Dirty Pretty Things), from his own original screenplay.

 

Living homeless after going on the run from a military court-martial, Joey Jones (Statham) is a damaged ex-special forces soldier trapped in London’s criminal underworld. But when opportunity enables him to assume another man’s identity, he is transformed into an avenging angel.

 

A brutal, and yet surprisingly tender, thriller, Hummingbird is released in cinemas on 17th May 2013 from Lionsgate UK.

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Commando First Poster + New Videos

Seems like the producers of Commando are finally seeing what everyone already saw in Force. Vidyut Jamwal is awesome!

I feel we should have a weekly post just praising the guy, and with the release just a couple of weeks away, Vipul Shah and team are finally throwing their support behind the movie with some marketing material that defintely looks like it has been prepared after the first trailer went viral.

We now have a ton of new song promos, behind the scenes footage of the action, and even a new poster!

 

 


I still think it’s a shame that the stunts seem to be the same every time and rehashes of Tony Jaa with different settings, and I have no faith in the abilities of former model Pooja Chopra.

It’s all about our man Vidyut!

Ps We spoke to him just before Force on a podcast, so check if out if you havent yet by cliking here! (Upodcast talks to Vidyut Jamwal)

Commando releases 12th of April

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The Wolverine- New Images

Being a huge fan of the X-men comics as well as Hugh Jackman as an actor, his 2009 solo outing X-Men Origins: Wolverine was such a disspointing movie that I quite watching anything with Jackman in it (except for Real Steel but I choose to forget that).

Having learned their lesson and Jackman showing some real affection for the character, they have roped in James Mangold for the sequel as well as set in fan favorite Japan- based adventrues of Logan.

Releasing this summer, we have some exclusive images and it already looks better than anything we saw before, although the CGI claws still look a bit iffy!

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, The Wolverine finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed.

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee and Tao Okamoto

@asimburney

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Hunger Games Catching Fire: new artwork and posters

 Upodcasting are pleased to present five stunning new character banners for the upcoming release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The posters feature Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and the symbol of revolution herself, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence).

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.

 

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE is released in the UK on 22 November 2013 by Lionsgate.

The Hangover 3 Teaser Trailer

The beard versus the Chinaman

The latest instalment of booze-fulled mayhem and its after-effects is here!  Directed by Todd Phillips and starring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong & John Goodman, The Hangover III is released May 24th.

This time, there’s no wedding and no bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? When the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.

Check out the trailer below!

 

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The Croods: Meet the Characters of Dreamworks PreHistoric Adventure

Dreamworks and Pixar have been competing animation studios from the start and lately Dreamworks has really been stepping up their game and have totally landed on my good boosk since the wonderful How To Train Your Dragon (and even MegaMind had it’s moments) I still find the celebrity voice work distraction but The Croods they have enlisted the talents of Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone whose charm even seems to translates through animated pixels.

Supposed to be in stop motion and produced by Aardman Animations, director Chris Sanders took over and rewrote The Croods after the success of How To Train Your Dragon.

I have to be honest and admit I couldn’t figure out that the voice of the dad was Nicolas Cage as he hasnt been this subdued in any of his live action movies in years. It still is an element of Dreamwork movies that distracts me but this could defintely be a fun time for the kids at least!

 

The Croods is a prehistoric comedy adventure that follows the world’s first family as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always shielded them from danger is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures — and their outlook is changed forever.

 

 

In cinemas March 22nd 2013

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The Last Stand: Arnie’s Awesome Illustrated Poster

Arnie is coming back on screen this Friday on our screens and he is teaming up with Kim Jee Woom, the amazing Korean director of The Good, The Bad and The Weird, I Saw The Devil and A BitterSweet Life (unofficially remade in India as Awaarapan). Although not to many Asian directors have been able to transport their abilities succesfully to the Hollywood (Park Chan Wook from Old Boy’s release Stoker is JUST around the corner too), and reviews that have been filtering through our US collegeues arent a full out endorsement (Check out our friend Danny Bowes‘ review “ARNOLD, AND THE STATE OF OWNAGE” over at his blog). I’m sure just the nostalgia factor of seeing Arnold back on screen and some old school action will be pretty cool!

And come on people LUIZ GUZMAN is in it too!

Here is a pretty bad ass New poster and some new clips.

Action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his much-anticipated return to the big screen in Korean action-suspense director Kim Jee-Woon’s hard-hitting US directorial debut, THE LAST STAND.

 

After leaving his LAPD narcotics post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with remorse and regret, Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) moved out of Los Angeles and settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction. But that peaceful existence is shattered when Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the western hemisphere, makes a deadly yet spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy.

 

With the help of a fierce band of lawless mercenaries led by the icy Burrell (Peter Stormare), Cortez begins racing towards the US-Mexico border at 250 mph in a specially-outfitted Corvette ZR1 with a hostage in tow. Cortez’ path: straight through Sommerton Junction, where the whole of the U.S. law enforcement, including Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) will have their final opportunity to intercept him before the violent fugitive slips across the border forever.

 

At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately rallies his team and takes the matter into his own hands, setting the stage for a classic showdown.

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in THE LAST STAND. Directed by Kim Jee-woon and written by Andrew Knauer and Jeffrey Nachmanoff, THE LAST STAND also stars Forest Whitaker, Eduardo Noriega, Rodrigo Santoro, Johnny Knoxville, Jaimie Alexander, Luis Guzmán, Peter Stormare, Zach Gilford and Genesis Rodriguez. The film is produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura (the TRANSFORMERS series, RED, GI JOE, SALT).

 

THE LAST STAND is released in the UK on Thursday January 24, 2013

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I Give it A Year New Clips and Poster

Only last night we were having a discussion about Damages the court room drama which just finished it’s final season in the US and after the promise of the first season, it couldnt really live up to it’s potential. As with any claim I make, I usually get challenged and proven wrong but the one take away was that everyone loves Rose Byrne and can watch her do anything.

Especially since she has been tapping into her comedic skills since Get Him To the Greek (she stole that movie) and the much more straight role in the hilarious Bridesmaids.

Although I Give it A Year has all the trappings of a paint by numbers Rom Com, the cast and the people involved sure are making me excited to watch it!

Here are some new clips and press summary from the movie:

I Give It A Year is the hilarious new comedy from Working Title Films, the producers of Love Actually and Bridget Jones’s Diary, and the writer of Borat.

Starting where other romantic comedies finish, I GIVE IT A YEAR lifts the veil on the realities of the first year of marriage, and stars Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids), Rafe Spall (One Day), Anna Faris (The Dictator) and Simon Baker (The Mentalist).

Since they met at a party, ambitious high-flyer Nat (Byrne) and struggling novelist Josh (Spall) have been deliriously happy despite their differences. Josh is a thinker, Nat’s a doer..but the spark between them is undeniable.

Their wedding is a dream come true, but family, friends and even the minister who marries them aren’t convinced that they can last. Josh’s ex-girlfriend, Chloe (Faris), and Nat’s handsome American client Guy (Baker), could offer attractive alternatives.

With their first anniversary approaching, neither wants to be the first to give up, but will they make it?

I Give it a Year is released in cinemas on 8th February 2013.

@asimburney

 

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The Great Gatsby: New Trailer + Character Posters (Trailer Contains Amitabh Bachchan!)

Not only is Leonardo Dicaprio teaming up with Baz Luhrman after Romeo + Juliet, but also with long time friend Toby Maguire. It seems that Baz Luhrman is bringing a lot of his trademark elements to this adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald classic novel.

The film is shot in 3d and adding to that the visual energy which Baz is known for in all his movies and the amazing cast supported by Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) and Joel Edgerton as Daisy and Tom Buchanan; Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke as Myrtle and George Wilson; and newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker.

And finally we get a good look at Amitabh Bachchan and his awesomeness playing Meyer Wolfsheim. ( Kinda pissed off that he didn’t get his own character poster but we probably shouldnt get our hopes up about the length of the role)

Mouling Rouge had quite a few Bollywood elements in it so Baz probably knows the hindi cinema a bit at least.

 

 

Here is the amazing trailer and a plot synopsis:
“The Great Gatsby” follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz, bootleg kings, and sky-rocketing stocks.  Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy, and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan.  It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits.  As Nick bears witness, within and without of the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.”

The Great Gatsby will be released May 17th 2013

@asimburney

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Mel Gibson’s summer vacation with pizzas

It's all about the pizza, Mel

Lights, camera, action! Or in Upod’s case: pizza, ice cream, movie! The venue? Martin’s flat, London. The food? Domino’s meat-based pizzas and Ben and Jerry’s Vermonster and Cookie Dough ice cream. The occasion? A Upod get together and a chance to watch Mel Gibson‘s shot at redemption ‘How I spent my summer vacation’ (better known as Get The Gringo) using the new Domino’s Pizza Box Office service. So, a suitably quick pizza delivery achieved and on to the movie.

As new users of the streaming service, thankfully it streamed really well (just go to the site and enter the code you’re given upon payment) with no buffering at the beginning. We settled in for the evening and although it’s not Mel’s finest hour, it’s entertaining stuff nevertheless. And given the last movie I watched on the big screen was the somewhat notorious and nauseous Irreversible last week, then a little bit of Mel shooting things and going a bit nuts is just what the doctor ordered. On reflection maybe another choice would have been better and it’s not like there’s a limited choice either – Warrior, Hunger Games, 50/50, Cabin in the Woods were all there from latest releases. As for classics, there’s certainly Scream and ahem, Dirty Dancing.

That said, this is not without some hitches. The streaming space is now massively competitive, with two large players seemingly dominating and upstarts from telecoms providers and even supermarkets trying to win audiences. On the one hand, Pizza Box Office is subscription free and you don’t need to have paid TV to order movies on demand. But on the other hand, the service will only stream to a gadget, be it a laptop/desktop, tablet or phone, so you’ll need something like AirPlay to get it onto your box. Or presumably a Smart-TV, but the take-up of these devices is open to debate. I happen to have PS3, so I could have probably made the movie stream directly, but the UI is so risible when browsing the web that I wouldn’t even think of attempting.

Fresh movies to your doorstep

Domino’s have perhaps launched something really quite logical here – as pizza and a movie is such a common combo, then why not have them both delivered to you at once?  You’ll get latest films in line with the DVD release and ahead of other streaming services and no DVD to return to the shop to boot.  So, if you’re feeling peckish and want to tuck into movie at the same time, then this could be for you.  You can sign-up here.

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Låna pengar

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Curry Smugglers Chill 6 is Finally Upon us!

Chill6Logo*Before you start reading, I would suggest you scroll down and start listening to the embedded episode of the Curry Smugglers below, even more so if you have never heard the show before. Done? Let’s go.

 

The Curry Smugglers started out as a South Asian based music podcast 7 seasons ago and over the years have become so much more, from a weekly dose of the most amazing music to a global community of like-eared people to a genuine music movement.

Their shows are always a mix of discovery of new music, rediscovery of old classics sometimes under a new avatar, some recent hits remixed, and some musical left hooks that you would never see coming. All of it laced with humor (Smuggler Paresh manages to squeeze a “That’s what she said” in pretty much every episode) but always respecting their audience, and even cherishing it.

 

Not all tracks in a show might necessarily work for you but you respect the thought and effort behind every episode that these guys put in. Personally I’m not a fan of Bhangra or dance music in any way but I keep coming back to every show multiple times for all the other elements it offers.

The remarkable thing about the show is on the one hand that after 7 seasons the smugglers still push the boundaries on every level. They push themselves to bring the freshest remixes, unheard tracks, songs you loved but have forgotten and tracks you think you didn’t like but after hearing PSV (Smugglers Paresh/Sachin/ Vishal) break down why they have included a certain song, you just hear something different and re-evaluate your initial feelings and more than ever end up appreciating the music.

But on the other hand they have always try to push their audience by giving them not what they want but what they need. As in NBC’s underrated TV Show Community the main character Jeff -played by Joel Mchale says about fan favorite Abed: “When you ask Abed to pass the salt, Abed passes you soup, because soup is better, Abed is better” and so are the Curry Smugglers, they just are better.

Not only are the Curry Smuggler one of the best online music shows but it is a platform for new artists, a venue for discovery (Chill 6 contains another few of both those) but an ever growing community of aurally likeminded people, music bring people together but end up becoming life long friends.  I can’t tell you how many times I try to think of how I met a certain person that I now speak to every day on twitter or G-chat and it ends up tracing back to our love of the Curry Smugglers. And which other podcast can boast of such achievements?

Between every season there is a transitional episode called Chill, which for me is the highlight and the one I look most forward to every year. And after an exceptionally long wait, the 6th episode is upon us and boy was it worth the wait!

As with every episode you get songs that are still innovative and fresh within the usual Smuggler formula. Unlike their regular shows, the Chill episode do have the humorous banter between the hosts but the tracks themselves are as the title says “chilled” think Buddha Bar with a few twists. A lot of times you just end up completely absorbed and zoned out by the songs and when a piece of music that completely connects with you ends, you just want to push repeat as you want that meditative state of mind back. Perfect for nocturnal drives, long haul flights or even just sitting in your lounge turning the lights down low and listening…

The Chill episodes are interlaced with hosts Paresh and Vishal who bring out their smoother, jazzier voices, more baritone and smoky than their regular shows, as if they are in the Smuggler cave wearing black turtle necks and berets.

Unfortunately Sachin, the clear female favorite (no offense to the other guys) is missing in action for this episode but the painstaking attention to detail that Vishal and Paresh bring to the show does it’s best to compensate for his absence.

 

From the very first notes of AR Rahman’s Dil Se soundtrack “Thaiya Thaiya” hits your ear drums, the B-side of a song so widely popular and well known that it’s used in Car ads, Spike Lee Movies all the way to the opening Ceremony of the commonwealth games, and you know you are in for an amazing ride.

I don’t want to spoil the entire track list by talking about it but I do want to talk about some stand out moments for me, there are some genuine surprises in the show that leave listeners first scratching their head but very quickly nodding in agreement.  And I know the Smugglers are probably smirking from one side to the other putting tracks by Coldplay and Hemant Kumar in the mix, just to mess with their audience.

The stand out tracks on this episode for me were the Phoenix “Lambi Judaai” remix from one of my all time favorite movie 1983 movie Hero, Paresh explains really well why he felt this track needed to be featured and his reason are the exact same reasons why I would have never heard of this song if he hadn’t.

The 2nd track that I adored was actually the closer of the episode the female voice remix of “Paane Da Rang”, the break out track from Vicky Donor, the underground Bollywood movie of 2012, a movie and soundtrack that people have been raving about but I didn’t care for at all until The Smugglers brought it back for me and shone a different spotlight on it.

But that’s just what the smugglers do with every season, with every episode. Mix their vast knowledge, hard work and precision production values spiked with a passion, a sense of discovery and humor (the Smugglers go Meta with their TWSS joke).

Another moment that’s just perfect in the show is the transition from Coldplay to Shankar Tucker to Coke Studio’s Tere Bin, it just shows what kind of abilities these guys have to just mix tracks flawlessly together without breaking the flow of going from a Western to fusion to a pretty classically Indian song.

And I know that all of the audience listening to the show can’t wait and hope they keep doing what they do, season after season.

Chill 6 might be the perfect closer to season 7 or a warm up for Season 8. Whatever it’ is it’s the perfect starter for whatever these awesome dudes will cook up next!

 @AsimBurney

Check out more from the Curry Smugglers on their website, SoundCloud Page or harass them for season 8 on Twitter!

Or Check out Paresh’s appearances on Upodcast on the Jiro Dreams Of Sushi Episode or The Art of the Item Number Episode which were both extremely fun!

 

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Oz The Great and Powerful: New Full Trailer and Movie Stills

We posted quite a few posters a couple of days ago and now we get the full trailer and a few still from the movie, set to be Disney first big release of 2013.

I love most of the cast involved just as long as the titular character doesn’t “Franco” it up. Whatever we’ve seen looks beautfil and colorful and I just hope that it stays clearly away from the Burton-esque esthetic of recent Disney releases.

Let us know what you think!

Oz The Great and Powerful Releases 13th of December

@asimburney

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The Hobbit: Amazing New Stills

There really isn’t much to say about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, if you loved the previous LOTR trilogy by Peter Jackson and have seen the trailers, you are pretty much completely on board and probably have the date of 13 december marked in your calendar.

Although the original book itself is much shorter, Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro have put their geek brains together and padded the story out for 3 movies.

Some cynics might see it as a cash grab but you can’t deny the passion and love that Jackson has for this world.

 

Here are some exclusive new images from the movie.

 

Honestly, I can’t wait to visit this world again.

@asimburney

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Oz The Great and Powerful New Posters

Although I wasn’t blown away from the first teaser of Oz The Great and Powerful, rewatching the trailer and seeing some of the image and artwork has gotten me more and more excited as time goes by. Maybe it’s the fact that Disney choose to have the movie helmed by Sam Raimi and not their go-to guy Tim Burton, who to me has become quite the boring filmmaker, accompanied by a great cast and quite a bit of imagination setting this inspired prequel takes us back to the land of OZ.

 

Here are some new posters and the teaser trailer. Just love the design and artwork!

 

Monkey/Finley Poster: Oz The Great and Powerful

Oz the Great and Powerful - Poster 1

 

 

Synopsis:

Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.

When small-time magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) pulls one flimflam too many, he finds himself hurled into the fantastical Land of Oz where he must somehow transform himself into the great and powerful Wizard—and just maybe into a better man as well.

UK Release Date: March, 2013

@asimburney

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Life Of Pi: Exclusive Video Diary Suraj Sharma

Every shot we have seen from Life of Pi has just been excruciatingly beautiful, and although we haven’t read Yann Martel’s book the movie is based on yet, it has been recommended to us at least a gajillion time (no joke). Shot in eye popping 3D, Ang Lee is certainly an interesting cinematic voice even more so as he loves genre hopping.

And even though it’s only a cameo, I would love to see Tabu on screen again after such a big gap.

Here is video diary of Suraj Sharma who plays the titular role of Pi in the movie, nice kid!

and here is an excerpt from the press release:

Follow young Suraj Sharma, the debut star of the breath-taking film Life of Pi, in an up-close, behind the scenes exclusive on his experiences and challenges behind the spotlight.

New to the scene of acting, Suraj bagged himself the lead role in the highly anticipated film. He says: “I never knew I would be here on this scale.” See how he handles his first premier and red carpet stating “It’s like a walk in the Park” in this special video diary.

Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) directs LIFE OF PI, based upon Yann Martel’s beloved book, which went on to become one of the biggest publishing events of the past decade. An epic adventure of magical realism, LIFE OF PI follows the story of a young man’s incredible survival at sea against almost impossible odds. A remarkable breakthrough in the use of 3D technology, PI will take audiences on an emotionally captivating journey that will inspire, touch and transport them to a place of discovery they will be unable to forget. LIFE OF PI releases on 20th December 2012 from Twentieth Century Fox in 3D and 2D.

@asimburney

 

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Top Ten Movies of Upodcast – An Alternative to the Sight and Sound Poll

Last week there The British Film Institute released it’s Sight And Sound Poll, a survey they do every decade with over 800 Film critics, distributors and academics. The big news this year was that Citizen Kane was knocked out the number one position by Vertigo.

There hasn’t been much change in the names and the most recent film on the poll is 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, so our friend and previous Upodcast guest Adam Lowes (Check out his appearance on our Podcast by clicking here) conducted an alternative Film Bloggers Top Ten over at HeyUGuys and asked us to put in our two cinematic cents, which we were more than eager to do.

As always our choices are vastly different but pretty much in line with the guys you know so well yapping about movies on Upodcast.

Of course these aren’t definitive lists,they aren’t in any order of preference and I should add a disclaimer that these aren’t the best movies but maybe our favorite movies but does that really matter?

They are vastly different from the Sight and Sound Poll and some of our picks did make it in the HeyUGuys list.

We also asked our good friend FilmiGirl to send us her list as she is pretty much part of the Upodcast Family.

Here we go!

Asim‘s List:

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Godfather Part 2
  • Sholay
  • Goodfellas
  • 12 Angry Men
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Inception
  • There Will Be Blood
  • Once Upon a Time in the West
  • Andaz Apna Apna

Martin‘s List:

  • Layer Cake
  • Secrets And Lies
  • Heat (1995)
  • Rear Window
  • Requiem For A Dream
  • Old Boy
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  • Double Indemnity
  • Hudsucker Proxy
  • La Haine

Ahmed‘s List:

  • Bad Boys  
  • The Dark Knight
  • Drive
  • Demolition Man
  • GodFather 2
  • Stargate
  • BackTto The Future
  • Se7en
  • Time Crimes
  • Leon The Professiona

FilmiGirl‘s List:

  • A Hard Day’s Night
  • American Movie
  • Linda LInda Linda
  • Pithamagan
  • A (Kannada film by Upendra)
  • Dil Se
  • Sholay
  •  F for Fake
  • All About Eve
  • Crying Game

 

Here is the Sight And Sound List, click here for the complete list.

SIGHT AND SOUND’S TOP 10

1. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)

2. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)

3. Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)

4. La Regle du Jeu (Renoir, 1939)

5. Sunrise: a Song for Two Humans (Murnau, 1927)

6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)

7. The Searchers (Ford, 1956)

8. Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)

9. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1927)

10. 8½ (Fellini, 1963)

And here is the Alternative Film Bloggers Poll from HeyUGuys, click here for the complete list.

TOP TEN

1. Jaws
2. Back to the Future
3. = The Dark Knight
3. = Blade Runner
5. = 2001 A Space Odyssey
5. = There Will Be Blood
5. = Psycho
5. = Citizen Kane
9. Pulp Fiction
10. = The Thing
10. = Alien

I’ve added everyone’s twitter handle if you want to chuck stones at us, of course if you are a more chilled out person, you can always use the comment section below!

@asimburney

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Nima Nourizadeh

Nima plans the next party

It’s been a long long time, although not in a galaxy far far away sadly. Returning to Upod with some content, I thought I’d kick-off with an intro to director Nima Nourizadeh. A London born British-Iranian, he is probably most commonly known for his debut movie feature, Project X, Nima has been directing ads and music vids since 2005, picking up numerous awards and much acclaim along the way. Rather than talk about Project X, I’ll be using Upod to showcase some of his outstanding music videos and ads in the coming weeks.

Of course the movie biz is no stranger to invaders from ad land crashing the industry (step forward Ridley Scott, Tarsem Singh and many others of course), but where the “older generation” have produced some notable ads, lack of opportunity (for obvious reasons) in the music video space has arguably denied us another form through which we can experience their vision.

Thankfully there is no shortage of material from Nima Nourizadeh and whilst I haven’t (yet) seen Project X, I have watched nearly all his commercial and music video work. Telling the story of an epic high school / college party, his first feature film showcases people having an awesome time and this is reflected brilliantly in his ads for Adidas, including “house party” below.

Starting all things music vid with his clip for Hot Chip‘s 2005 single, Over and Over, here we see the band having a great time, whilst the use of green screen technology and CGI is brilliantly subverted. This was the one that put Nima on the map back in 2005, enjoy! There will be more to follow in the coming weeks.

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SuperMan vs Hulk Fan Created video

A comic book nerd’s wet dream and an endless debate when chilling out with fellow geeks,  what would happen when 2 of the most beloved and powerful characters in Comic book History collided?

Michael Habajan has created a few short CGI animated video’s having both Superman and Hulk duke it out in a dessert. Although this is a 3 part series and only parts 1 and 2 are out, it’s definitely something to keep an eye out. Looking at the improvement between the first and 2nd video, we can only await the next video with baited breath

 

Check out both videos embedded below!


Via SlashFilm

Check out Michael’s work on his Youtube Channel

 

@asimburney

The “Community” Board Game!

Our favorite TV comedy is still on hiatus although there has been confirmation that the show is definitely coming back! In the meantime you can revisit the iconic episodes in this cut out board game. You can get a bigger version from the US Direct website, I would suggest cutting out annie’s figurine and doing some ungodly things to it.

Enjoy! It’s making our Brain cry!

 

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Cinema 2011: The year in Cinema

Dutch Video Artist Kees van Dijkhuizen makes a wrap up video for the past few years ( check out his previous work by clicking here).  A lot of times us film fans become a bit cynical around this time of year. I know I do, so always good to have a look back at all the awesomeness that was the year 2011.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays to all our readers!

Check out Kees’ Tumblr for more of his work

Lego The Movie

Don't leave us in pieces after the movie

Some interesting news greeted my inbox today and I’m not at all sure of where I stand on this one. In fact, even thinking of standing on Lego brings back painful childhood memories – especially when you step right on the corner of a little square block in bare feet.

So, back to the movie…the studio behind Lego The Movie* is Warner Bros. and a release date has been set for 2014. Notably, the movie is expected to be an animation / live action hybrid. Quite what this will really entail is anyone’s guess, but if anyone can show me a good and/or successful film in this format, since Who Framed Roger Rabbit? way back when, then I’d love to know.

Does this make me a sceptic? Yes, of course it does; but that’s only because I have the best of interests at heart. I loved and still love, Lego the toy and I think the Lego computer games are brilliant. I just want a decent movie out of this project; enough that I won’t feel like a total and utter victim for paying to see this when you can imagine the field day that marketing execs in both companies will have in the run up to the release. If Lego already make good toys (and computer games) associated with other movies – Star Wars, Batman, Hippy Puffer etc – then their own merch for their own film ought to be so good that a kid’s brain melts just by seeing the ads on TV.

With the apparent 3 year wait for a green light now over, casting for the human roles is expected to commence in January 2012. Aussie company Animal Logic (Happy Feet) has been lined-up to produce the effects and further details about the story and plot are expected to be released at some point next week. It is thought that production will also begin next week. If you’re not sure what Lego is (really, is there anyone?) then check out this clip…it’s also a really introduction to Eddie Izzard.

*As named by ME as no name announced just yet

 

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Avengers Trailer!

I won’t waste too much words as I’m sure most of you will skip and jump to the trailer anyway. A movie we have been waiting for probably since the first Iron Man came out and we had that awesome Samuel L Jackson Cameo. The trailer has just debuted online and clealy Robert Downey Jr has the best lines from the rest of the gang, I think I he pwned Cap and Hulk.

The movie releases next year but here is the first proper trailer! (4th of May in the UK)

 

Are you excited as we are?

The Avengers is directed by Josh Whedon and stars

Chris Hemsworth
Scarlett Johansson
Chris Evans
Jeremy Renner
Robert Downey Jr.
Cobie Smulders
Tom Hiddleston
Samuel L. Jackson
Gwyneth Paltrow
Mark Ruffalo
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All the influences in the Matrix- Everything is a Remix

We’ve featured the work of video artists Kirby Ferguson’s and editor Rob G Wilson before in the post for Episode 31 (remakes, adaptations and straight lifts in Bollywood)  where he dissected all the influences of Quentin Tarantino in Kill Bill.

This time they are back with another video showing us where all the juice from the first Matrix movie comes from the still respected chapter from the much maligned Wachowski’s Sci Fi Trilogy.

Everything is a remix is an ongoing project and tha artist use crowdsourcing to get these videos made, which makes them even more awesome.

The influences from the Matrix were always clear to anyone who was aware of martial arts movies and japanese Anime but seeing a shot by shot comparision is still amazing.

 

Everything Is A Remix: THE MATRIX from robgwilson.com on Vimeo.

 

Let us know what you thought of the video in the comment section below and here is a list of all the films:

FILMS:
0:27 – Fist of Legend (1994)
0:38 – Tai-Chi Master (Twin Dragons) (1993)
0:44 – Fist of Legend (1994)
0:48 – Tai-Chi Master (Twin Dragons) (1993)
0:53 – Drunken Master (1978)
1:02 – Fist of Legend (1994)
1:09 – The Killer (1989)
1:19 – Fist of Legend (1994)
1:21 – Iron Monkey (1993)
1:31 – Once Upon A Time In China (1991)
1:36 – Fist of Legend (1994)
1:41 – Tai-Chi Master (Twin Dragons) (1993)
1:45 – Philip K. Dick Speech (youtube.com/​watch?v=jXeVgEs4sOo&feature=related) (1977)
2:18 – Strange Days (1995)
2:24 – Akira (1988)
2:30 – Total Recall (1990)
3:24 – Alice In Wonderland (1951)
3:42 – The Killer (1989)
3:53 – A Better Tomorrow (1986)
4:05 – Ghost In The Shell (1995)
4:32 – Akira (1998)
4:39 – Koyannisqatsi (1982)
4:49 – Dr. Who: The Deadly Assassin (1976)
5:10 – Ghost In The Shell (1995)

 

you can find more on by going to their awesome blog

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The Empire Strikes Back as a Silent Movie

I know you’re supposed to hate George Lucas for raping our collective childhood by making the Ewoks blink and other such nonsense but unfortunately I can’t do that. I still love the Star Wars trilogy and maybe don’t even hate the prequels as much as everyone else did. You are very much welcome  revoke my geek membership.

Since it’s a slow news day I thought I would post this clip of one of the most epic scenes in film history, as a silent movie.

It still works amazingly well and doesn’t it want to revisit the trilogy?

You can see a lot of George Lucas’ influences a lot clearer when watching it in black and white.

Source: OpenCulture

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Clint (Harry) rocks it in our first ever COW

Moooo, this COW is great

Not much to say other than I think this is a fine way to get our COW (clip of the week) series up and running.

Remember kids, the next time you’re in a hostage situation, just keep pouring that sugar and someone will get the message.

 Dirty Harry in one of his many fine moments…go ahead, make my day

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In praise of Pulp

Most underrated Brit band of the '90s?

It’s been fully 33 years since the UK band Pulp formed and 33 years since I’ve been around.  A coincidence?  I think not.  Perhaps the most misunderstood of the successful Britpop bands in the ’90s, it’s not to say they weren’t popular…just that perhaps they didn’t quite fit the zeitgeist.  Whilst Blur and Oasis battled it out, Pulp were there of course, producing a string of hit singles and albums, just not capturing the record-buying public’s imagination in the same way.  Arguably Suede and oddly bands like Menswear (who? yes, them) found the sudden burst of fame more readily than Pulp, in spite of number 1 album chart entries and critical acclaim.  The 3 albums from their commercial high-point stand the test of time more than 15 years later: His n Hers, Different Class and the darker This is Hardcore.

So as Pulp near the end of their reunion tour this year, after numerous festival appearances and gigs, I will look back fondly on the band that dared to be different.  Not just for the wonderful music (truly, thanks for the memories guys) but also for subverting the annointed one at the Brit awards in 1996.  MJ in full jesus impersonation flow was obviously too much to resist for Jarvis Cocker, frontman of Pulp.  I’ll leave you with footage of the farce and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  For the record, Jarvis was charged with some kind of assault against the jesus juice peddling prince of pop, only to have comedian (and as it happens, qualified lawyer) Bob Mortimer represent him and have all charges subsequently dropped.


Martin

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Stop Motion Street Figther: The most BadAss thing you will see today

Not much to say about this video except that it’s pretty amazing and you should totally check it out if you are a fan the arcade game Street Fighter. Some of the moves might seem from the Alpha Edition which isn’t my favorite but it always amazes me how much time people have to make these stop animations!

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Coming soon: The Hour, BBC2

 

BBC2's The Hour

New to the BBC this summer is a 6 part drama, The Hour, written by Abi Morgan. Set in 1956 on a British topical news programme (think Panorama in a prior incarnation perhaps) at the time of  the Suez crisis, The Hour, according to Ben Stephenson (Controller BBC Drama commissioning) aims “to [re-establish] BBC2’s reputation as the home of distinctive, intelligent and ambitious drama”. The BBC press release says that a competitive and sharp-witted love triangle (ouch, I don’t want to be in one of those) will be the lens through which viewers will see the defining events of the decade unfolding. The backdrop to this is a mysterious murder and a controversial and dangerous journalistic investigation.

 

With a suitably strong cast, including Dominic West, Ben Wishaw, Romola Garai and supported by Tim Pigott-Smith, Juliet Stevenson and Julian Rhind-Tutt among many others, the ingredients for a cracking 6-parter are firmly in place.

My only concern is that it will be unfairly labelled the BBC’s Madmen. Whilst I can understand the superficial comparison – set in the 1950s, looks and feels as authentic and stylish (from the trailer at least, see below) – I think this will prove to be unfair. Certainly Abi Morgan has only given viewers 6 episodes and of course the show will not span the decades and detail quite the social changes that take place over the course of Madmen. If anything, the trailer makes me think more of the opening credits to the outrageous cartoon Archer.

The Hour starts on July 19th at 9pm on BBC2.

 

 

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Melissa McCarthy(Bridesmaids) And Joel McHale (Community) Train For The Emmys!

The Emmy nominations are about to be announced this thursday and to create some viral buzz here is a hilarious video of last year’s Emmy host, Joel Mchale, loved by Upodcast for his role in one of our favorite shows Community and Melissa Mcarthy, who almost stole the show from Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids, “training” for this years awards show which I assume Melissa will be presenting after her succes in Bridesmaids.

Tune in for Episode 30 of our Podcast (Posting this week but if you subscribe to Upodcast in iTunes there is no chance you’ll miss it!) to hear our review of Bridesmaids but Melissa does keep surpising us with her abilitiy throwing herself headfirst into any comedic possibilites especially as we only knew her as Sookie from Gilmore Girls before this. (Yes we confortable enough in our masculinity to admit to having seen episodes of Gilmore Girls)

Since we all love trainging montages (with freeze frame ending and all), and both of these performers are wonderful, we thought we coudl post this clip even if have no interest in the Emmy’s whatsoever.(Unless Community wins, then YAY!)

Check out the clip below!

 

Let us know what your thoughts and if you are tuning into the Emmy’s this year in the comment section .

 

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The Shadow Line: released on DVD

Thrilly chiller

With the current glut of American TV shows that continue to dominate the comedy / drama landscape, both in the US and here in the UK, it is sometimes easy to forget that there are high quality alternatives out there.  As Upodcasting has mentioned, nay fawned over, in the past, the possible highlight of this last year was the BBC re-working / re-boot of Sherlock Holmes, with Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch. One of the few occasions when I genuinely decried the shorter TV seasons that we enjoy in the UK.  New to the BBC this spring, was The Shadow Line.  Not something that could ever spill over into multiple seasons like for example The Sopranos or as “light” as Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow Line is a self-contained one-off series, albeit with more than three episodes.

The Shadow Line written by Hugo Blick, tells the story of a murdered drug-lord investigated by from the side of the criminal underworld and the police.  The show caught my attention initially due to Christopher Ecclestone’s presence.  Here he plays Joseph Bede, a reluctant drug-lord-cum-straight businessman, forced into the drug dealing driving seat following the death of his previous “employer” Harvey Wratten.  With a lot of angst we see Bede plan his strategy of one big deal and then exit, in order to pay for the care for his wife who is suffering from Alzheimer’s.  Second in the list of notable performances goes to Chiwetel Ejiofor, as DI Jonah Gabriel.  Rather than simply give the audience a cliched “copper with questionable morals” the writers create a character who is “copper with a bullet in his head and amnesia”.  I found this twist hugely interesting and gave a lot of freedom to question the character’s motivations and potentially his morals. 

The highlight in terms of charcaters for me however, is Gatehouse, peerlessly played by Stephen Rae.  I shan’t reveal too much about Gatehouse for fear of spoiling things, but there is more than sufficient menace and threat to sustain you over the 7 episodes.  Also watch out for a superb scene in the clock shop, where he and Glickman come face to face; top notch stuff from Rae and Anthony Sher

If you enjoy police dramas but want a break from the tried and tested proceedural formula, you can do far far worse than give this a look.  There is a high quality feel throughout, coming from the strong writing and acting.  I felt the atmosphere, created by washed-out colours and bleak, empty spaces (be they urban or otherwise) was very effective: although following a trend from the Swedish Wallander shows (both UK and Swedish versions) it complemented both the writing and storyline. 

The show seemed to divide both critics and viewers when broadcast.  The watching public started at 3m viewers becoming 2m after 1 episode and then to a hardcore of 1.3m thereafter.  And critically there seemed to be much division, derision and worship in equal measure.  Some hailing the fact the Beeb had wanted to show something as complex, stylish and occasionally baffling; and some who wanted to bash the script, the “extended metaphors” and the attempt to break from the usual in-house, comfy feel of BBC drama.  Frankly I’m pleased it was made and glad I loyally watched each episode, even if the ending pissed me off slightly.  That still doesn’t detract from seeing a fine performance from an ensemble cast and having to actually think about a plot for 7 weeks.  It may be that the British public have lost their taste for adventurous, thought provoking TV drama and perhaps I am in that 1.3 million minority; but I’m better off for being so and so should you be too.

Out this week via BBC/2entertain for £15 and I would personally give this 3 1/2 stars as opposed to the 3 stars that a freebie daily newspaper in London gave it.

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New Thundercats Trailer and 10 minute footage!

Cartoon Network’s reboot of the 80’s animated Show
Thundercats is ready to air on TV in the next few months. And a new trailer and
some footage of how the show looks like have just been released on YouTube.
Check out both clips after the jump! Read More

Augmented Reality Cinema: Apps for Movie Fans

Finally we’re starting to get apps on the iPhone that are useful and not just about chucking fat birds to kill pigs ( altough pigs are filthy animals) or ninja’s slicing melons. Here is an app that will get any movie fan salivating. What it looks like is you point your phone at any area in a city and it shows you which movie scenes were shot there.

Pretty awesome if you live or are visiting a city, probably not as useful if you don’t.

Although still in concept stage, the prospect still looks exciting.

There’s only a slight bit more information on the website.

via Slashfilm

Let us know if you think this a useful app in the comment section below!

 

 

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Fight Club Alternative Posters

Maybe not the most recent movie but defintely one that influenced a generation of men to shave their heads, waiting to be shot up into space like a bunch of Space Monkeys. The Shortlist has put together some of the most interesting designed posters for this David Fincher, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton flick by some very creative designers. Here are some of our favorites. His name is Robert Paulson, his name is Robert Paulson.

Source: The Shortlist

Hop over to the Shortlist for some more posters and also the names of the artists!

Let us know which one is your favorite in the comment section below!

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Thor: How It Should Have Ended

The God of Thunder made quite an impact on the International Box Office and we all liked it on Upodcast (We might have raved a bit more about Fast 5) and listen to Episode  25 with FilmiGirl and Danny Bowes.

 The Guys from “How it should Have Ended” (a hilarious Youtube channel I can strongly recommend subscribing to) have given their take on this Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman Marvel superhero movie. And listening to some of our comments about Portman during our podcast, I’m not sure we would have done anything different.

Check out the video here and watch out for some cameo’s and a running joke at the end of the clip in the diner.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DTgNkkX2eU&list=SL’]

Let us know what you thought of the clip in the comment section below!

You can check out some more hilarious video’s on the HISHE youtube channel

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The Wire characters what happened next: Marlo Stanfield

Here at Upodcasting we more than loved The Wire. We adored The Wire…knelt down at its altar and prayed for more of the goodstuff. Not that we were alone in this of course. And now, as times have changed and we realise that maybe only Idris Elba will be a true star off the back of the show, we can have fun following the fellow performers as they go about the humdrum existence of a mere jobbing actor. It is to my great surprise however to see that Jamie Hector has decided to leave the acting fraternity and become a footballer…most likely for Manchester United, current England Premier League champions.

Ashley Young and Marlo Stanfield – never in the same room together. 

  

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Green Lantern for Newbies

 

One of the major reasons it can be daunting for casual comic book fans to get back into comics or start reading a new character is just the ton of back story and continuity you have to be aware of. Honestly that´s one for the reasons I havent´t gotten back into the Flash even though I hear Geoff Jons has done some great work with the character.

Since there are more and more superhero movies releasing, viewers could end up with the same problem. Some know Superman, some know Batman, but not everyone might know the ins and outs of Green Lantern. So in anticipation of the upcoming movie release Warner Bros. has released a video  for Newbies. Giving us the low down of the characters, the superpowers and what makes the Lantern corp so special.

For fans there are quite a few shots from the movie nothing you havent already seen in the trailer but always interesting to see how they adapted a lof of the sometimes hard to grasp concept.

For the ladies (and some fellas) I guess there is quite a bit of Ryan Reynolds so still worth a watch. And better to be prepared when the nerdier part of the couple starts geeking out after dragginf you to the movies as the release of this much anticipated movie is just around the corner.

Via Moviefone

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Adverts that really p*ss me off; part 327

Although this has been running for a while and I thought nothing of it, something has changed recently to make me wholeheartedly despise the advert that I will outline below.

Maybe it’s the fact it’s been repeated a lot recently, but something nauseates when it comes to the Renault Megane adverts currently being screened in the UK. Seeking not to promote a car, but merely to make and reinforce pointless and spurious comparisons between a colder, less sunny town in the north of England and a supposedly happier town in the south of France, this advert is pure evil.

Firstly, let’s talk about the stereotypes. French men have to have 2 days worth of stubble (at least), must not be able to learn any proper English or master the wholly simple English accent. Furthermore, in order to look stylish, they must also wear a cravat. A cravat? No, not a cravat in the sense of “oh, that’s what the French call a tie”. No. Something that only quite old people (or eccentric) or both, wear. Think of David Niven and you’ll probably know what a cravat is.

I’ll not dwell on the English stereotypes, but a more contrived sample of people you could not even conjure up. Wonky teeth, over-weight, classical “Northern” i.e. Lancashire, accent and lacking the oh so sophisticated Gallic flair.

So, some people from Gisburn haven’t left England? I bet some people from fucking Menton haven’t left France either; backward looking, ignorant peasants. I’ll also bet however that everyone in Gisburn can rely on an indoor toilet.

So whilst I’ve dished out a few stereotypes of my own there (merely to make a point you understand), what really annoys me is that there can only be a couple of explanations for such an ad. Firstly, it’s serious in which case it wants to undo more than a century of entente cordiale; which would be bad. Or perhaps secondly, it is meant to be funny, a parody or ironic in some clumsy way. In which case it has failed.

And amongst all of this, there is not one thing I find funny.

Renault ought to be boycotted by any living Englishman AND Frenchman for such obvious cliches and hackneyed comparisons. Likewise the ad agency Publicis (another great Anglo-French coming together?) for having the barefaced cheek to produce such twaddle.

In any case, the newer Megane looks like a Ford Focus (a much better car) and the ad for its predecessor was far superior, due to it actually having a sense of humour and for it advertising quite an interesting looking car.

Oh well, c’est la vie…enjoy the far superior ad with much posterior

History of Rap

Who doesn’t love Hip Hop (except racists)? French BeatBox artist Eklips takes us through the journey from classics as Afrikaa Bombaata, all the way to the recent Kanye West Album. It truly is amazing to see how things have changed ( altough maybe not always for the best). One of the best Beatbox Vids we’ve seen in a long time. Check it out after the jump! Read More

Taiwanese CGI news team takes on Ricky Gervais!

Ricky Gervais has created quite a kerfuffle with his recent stint hosting the 2010 Golden Globes. Since his appearance, the media have been going gaga about alleged fights, rumors and other highlights which uphold the journalistic esteem that most media outlets seem to be maintaining.

But news isn’t news unless there is a Taiwanese CGI version of it! Here is the Ricky Gervais appearance digitized and insane! Read More

Rich Hall’s Dirty South, or, How Hollywood just doesn’t get the South

 

Repeated from July 2010, Rich Hall‘s The Dirty South, shows the comedian turning his attention to Hollywood‘s portrayal of the south.  And to be more accurate, how it has misunderstood, misrepresented and mis-sold the southern states.  Using interviews, archive footage and movie clips, Rich states a brilliant case that will make you think twice when you also fall back on generalisation and cliche when describing or poking fun at the south.

Aside from Hall’s general presentational style (best described as flat or deadpan and also ascerbic) which I enjoy, clips from Deliverance, In the Heat of the Night and To Kill a Mockingbird are brilliantly used to re-enforce his point.

Whilst the easy path to take is one that mocks the south and southerners, at least for those of us who’ve never been there, don’t live there…Rich Hall’s documentary shows us a friendly, vibrant and most definitely mis-understood south that we should not be quite so quick to parody and take the piss out of.  At the very least, the programme explains why we may have such simplistic views of this part of the US and his revelation about Burt Reyolds is absolutely outstanding.  Catch it on BBC iPlayer while you can.

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Suit up, Superheroes!

2011 surely seems to be the year of superhero movies with both DC and Marvel firing both barrels. Here is a rundown of First looks of some of the characters that we will be seeing across the big screens! Check out the pictures after the jump! Read More

3D rant

For this, you DO need crappy glasses

No, you don’t need crappy plastic glasses to read this one. I was sat in the pub during the week, watching football in 3D and thinking to myself “this is quite shit”.  OK, shit may be a bit harsh, but it just didn’t do anything for me.  Maybe a little bit of extra depth, but the most notable thing was the Sky Sports logo coming out of the screen. So what’s all the fuss? I ask myself.  Firstly with football and perhaps sport in general, it isn’t filmed in such a way that the ball will come flying towards you as it screams into the goal, or that a tackle is shown heading right for you.  When watching sport, you need a complete picture and that means wider camera angles, further away from the action.  And of course this lessens the impact of 3D viewing.   I wouldn’t say that the experience is a total washout, but just nowhere near what is promised.

3D does have some advantages

However, this did all get me thinking about 3D in general – on TV, at the cinema – and where we’re going with it.  Already there are what I’ll refer to as divisions.  Firstly, we have films such as Avatar and JackAss 3D.  Filmed in 3D and deliberately so, so as to take advantage of the medium these look great and have been designed to maximise the viewing experience.  However, what we also have is films that are adapted 3D; such as Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland.  Whilst I don’t have a problem with this, it seems to me a bit of a cop out and it would also appear that studios and theatre owners have a battle on their hands.  Not that the battle is due to “real” 3d or otherwise, but could we be witnessing more of these conflicts as more and more releases contain 3D?  Quite posibly yes, is my theory.

But as the march towards total 3D continues apace, could there be an even bigger hurdle to overcome for total and utter 3 dimensional domination?  According to this report 12% of Britain is 3D blind, meaning that whatever 3D is dished-up, be it at home or on the big screen, a lot of people will genuinely not care  - far more than I don’t care because I see it as an unnecessary gimmick.  These people won’t be buying the TVs or the DVDs and they sure as hell won’t go to watch the films.  But then, is 3D really anything serious?  Is it the make or break between a good film and a bad film?  I think not.  Whilst Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time, it didn’t win a “proper” Oscar, it just looked great.  Nothing wrong with that of course, but this reviewer has had enough of what is essentially an old technology being stuffed down his throat in all 3 glorious dimensions.

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Upod gets serious: Metropolis, restored edition

As far as Upod is concerned, anything is game: who else would bring you reviews of Black Sheep, Let The Right One in, Lord of War and 500 days of summer?

I recently had the opportunity, courtesy of the British Film Institute (BFI) to watch the most up-to-date and restored version of Fritz Lang‘s masterpiece, Metropolis on the big screen.  So in a departure from the usual Upod frivolities I made my way to London’s Southbank and settled down to some serious cinema history.

There has been much written about this film over the years and to be honest there is very little that I can add to what already exists.  What I can however say is that I was simply stunned by a silent film that is 83 years old.

Produced when German cinema was at the height of its influence it is also the most expensive silent film ever made, costing around 5 million Reichsmark at the time.  Let us not forget however that this is essentially a sci-fi film and one with such vision and fine execution that modern audiences will have no problem marvelling at the special effects.  Whilst we are nearly all so accustomed to a faster pace of film (Anton Corbijn‘s The American being a notable exception in recent times) with quick cuts and sharp editing, it is testament to Fritz Lang’s skill as a film-maker that for 150 minutes I never felt bored or wanted to look at my watch.  Indeed, I was so taken by the story, acting, set designs and musical score that I could have happily sat there for another hour.

 As this version is the latest and greatest, restored from reels found in Argentina, I will conclude by wholeheartedly recommending this on Blu-Ray.  If you have had any doubts at all about tucking into black and white silent cinema, this really is a treat to behold and worth every penny and minute.

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More bad santa?

We move from Finland to the Netherlands for our next dose of anti-Santa.  Whilst your reviewer can’t claim to have seen either Rare Exports or Sint he does feel in the mood to publicise movies that don’t quite take the usual Christmas turn of events, Home Alone, It’s a Wonderful Life etc.

Added to this, I do like the country and the people of the Netherlands and as Upodcasting hasn’t yet reviewed a Dutch film I thought I could at least seasonally set the scene for Dutch review in 2010. 

In any case…any film that depicts St. Nicholas as a murderous bishop who kidnaps and murders children when there is a full moon can’t be that bad and deserves a mention.


Sint English subbed trailer
Uploaded by blankytwo. – Classic TV and last night’s shows, online.

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Review Tees Maar Khan

Farah Khan’s comic caper has a lot riding on it. It’s Farah breaking out on her own, free from collaborations that were safe bets from within a comfort zone. In some way it’s a comeback for Akshay Kumar whose had a horrible year of releases. And it’s also Katrina Kaif strongest claim for the top Bollywood heroine slot. (if she doesn’t already own it?)

A lot of question surround this movie but you forget about all of that within minutes when Tees Maar Khan theme song kicks in.

I’ll try my best not to spoil too much of the movie as I was fortunate enough to catch an early preview in London; but honestly speaking I could only spoil some of the comedic beats,not much of the plot.

It’s a pretty straight forward masala caper and most of the set up is in the trailers.

Tees Maar Khan urf Tabrez Mirza Khan ,the biggest con artist in the world, is hired to rob a train carrying an immense treasure for a set of conjoint twin “villains”. He also is a shameless plugger of his own name. There was maybe one too many reference to the title of the movie to my taste but all that is not important for what we get is easily one of the funniest and most entertaining entertainers of the year.

It’s what Housefulll wishes it was, what Action Replayy could never accomplish and what Golmaal lies in bed at night crying it could be one day.

First, I would suggest that if you have a chance, go and watch this movie on the big screen. Partly because it’s the kind of movie that is elevated with a participating audience and partly because it needs the big canvas so you can soak up all the gorgeousness in every shot.

I have a pretty good media set up at home but in no way could I understand the awesomeness of Sheila Ki Jawaani until I saw it today.

There were many discussions the previous weeks about which was the best item number of the year: Munni Badnaam Hui from Dabangg or Sheila Ki Jawaani.I am still not sure I have an answer for that question but what I can tell you is that there were moments in Sheila ki Jawaani that Katrina Kaif took the entire audience’s breath away.

It is EPIC and if I could, I would rewind it and watch it again. You might not be able to do that in a cinema (unless you’re Raja Babu) but what you do get in the theatre experience is the full force of Vishal- Shekar‘s “saaand” blaring through the speakers and every minute detail of Katrina’ s performance elevating the song to a whole new level.

In my opinion Katrina delivers the strongest female comedic performance since Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met. She is hilarious in every scene as Anya Khan the wannabe Starlet/Item girl and I really hope people stop asking her to prove herself over and over again. I think she has been doing that in her recent roles and this is probably one of her bests.

When reviewing our best Bollywood soundtracks of 2010 (click here) we thought that the Tees Maar Khan OST was maybe not the greatest (I am still not convinced of the Sonu Nigam’s Chipmunk voices) but it could only be fully judged when seeing it picturized. And lo and behold I was humming the songs exiting the theatre and want to get my hands on the soundtrack as soon as I can.

Although Salman Khan’s cameo in Wallah Re Wallah is featured in the promos, it still manages to send a bolt of excitement through your spine.

The first half of the movie just breezes by and the second half has a bit of a slower start but manages to put in a lot more heart in the movie.

So now on to the Khiladi. See I’ve always been fond of Akshay Kumar (especially his work ethic and just plain sincerity) but somewhere his lovable loud mouthed buffoon shtick and those indistinguishable Priyadarshan comedies just turned me away from him.

A movie that I unashamedly loved back in the day was “Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi” ,probably not the most discerning of choices, I admit but Akshay was amazing in it. That’s the kind of Akshay we get here. he is again ahead of the world, a real hero character kids would want to emulate (those fluorescent Jersey Shore Shirts can be omitted) . Someone who is witty, funny and confident. I don’t know if he ad-libs some of his lines in that throw away manner but it makes me crack up everytime and actually believe in Akshay as a leading man again.

Unfortunately for my non-hindi speakers the subtitles were not able to catch every joke thrown in but there are so many if you miss one you’ll surely catch the next one.

There are even “Inception- like” levels of joke-within-a-joke which film geeks can play filmi-bingo with. I would suggest inventing a drinking game around it, someone catches a reference and everyone drinks. Even I jumped with joy seeing Anil Kapoor’s most iconic dance and the whole Master India sequence. (Boney for reals, can we get that Mr.India sequel already??)

But you can also just enjoy the movie just as a fun masala caper with great dances and and performances from the lead as well as the supporting cast (woohoo Avtaar Gill!!) and we even get the final sequence where the whole team apears.

Akshay Khanna is hilarious as the oscar obsessed Bollywood superstar, some will claim it’s inspired by Amir or Shahrukh but I don’t see it really or at least nothing to create news stories about but I’m sure that won’ stop people.

There are certain moment that I did feel the ghost of Shahrukh Khan, who was rumoured as the main lead, loom over Tees Maar Khan. In some of Akshay’s hero poses, comedic repartés and even some of the choreography, you can can almost imagine what Shahrukh would have done with it. Even a few of the sets and décors were eerily similar to Om Shanti Om. But although fun to speculate that’s just context with no real importance to the film.

All in all I think this movie is a great move for Farah, Shrish Kunder and her production company in developing her Manmohan desai style even further. I am truly looking forward to her next paisa vasool flick but until then: go watch Tees Maar Khan on the big screen NOW!

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Review: Rare Exports – A Christmas Tale

When I heard the words “Evil Santa movie” I was sold. The trailer was smart, brooding and promised a very dark film twisting the usual conventions of the annual bearded gift giver. So does this Finnish flick -that’s receiving some excellent reviews- live up to the promise? Check out our full review after the jump! Read More

6 year old Tanner Edwards dances & gets a surprised!

Ok okay, at this point I will come clean, the only reason I am using this kid’s talent and adorableness is to push down the monstrosity that Asim posted about Friends! 🙂 I guess he found one of my buttons and instead of pressing it he slammed on it! 🙂

In any case please check out this kid he is AWESOME and extremely talented, he is simply mind blowing!

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College Humor!!

So, I have been a huge fan of college humor for a bit of time now, ever since I saw my first Youtube clip which is acted by one of my favorite comedians Donald Glover and of course you can catch him on the best comedy show for the past two years Community!

In any case this clip caught my attention well it’s more like it spoke for the simple reason that it shares my hate for Facebook! Anything or anyone who hates that platform is automatically my very good friend! 🙂

Check out the clip and leave some comments!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyU4FeVdUa4

This one is going out to Asim and all the gamers out there!

I came across this and thought its one hell of an awesome idea on behalf of Sony, so pretty much Sony announced that it is preparing to launch an official PlayStation application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app will be free!!

For the full article please follow the link:

http://www.macrumors.com/2010/12/16/sony-announces-playstation-app-for-iphone-and-ipod-touch/

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Jamel Debbouze and Stromae – Alors On Danse!

Hey, check it out, in this clip Jamel Debbouze shows how to create a tube Stromae while helping him composing the song “Alors On Danse” .

A funny video where one discovers Stromae plus of course Jamel is being him self as usual. 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEhoQOf_WPA