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Ep 6 – Talaash – Khandaan Podcast

Episode 6 of the Khandaan Podcast finds co-hosts Sujoy and Amrita missing Asim, who is off doing other things just as we’re handed an opportunity to discuss Talaash (2012), starring Asim’s fave (or so he says) Aamir Khan. However, to make up for the disappointment, we’re joined by our special guest star Beth from BethLovesBollywood!

Although we’d all seen this film upon its release, this was our first rewatch and there were a lot of things here to surprise us. None of us remembered Rajkumar Rao also starred in this film, Amrita was taken aback by how beautiful Rani Mukherjee looks (watch out for Sujoy listing a looong list of movies in which Rani looked amazing), and Beth agreed that Shahrukh Khan (who was also approached for the role played by Aamir) wouldn’t have worked nearly so well for very particular reasons. We disagreed a bit on Kareena Kapoor’s performance, discussed the male-female dynamics, and loved hard on the soundtrack. We also took a quick minute to appreciate director Reema Kagti’s work – of which you can see more in the Akshay Kumar starrer, Gold, to be released this year.

2012 was a really great year for Hindi cinema but rather hit-and-miss for the Khans with Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Dabangg 2, and Ek Tha Tiger joining Talaash at the cinema. Sujoy, Beth and Amrita all agree that Talaash was the clear frontrunner in that pack, and a movie for everyone, irrespective of their fan loyalties.

Note: The Khandaan podcast is an interactive experience! Please click below to vote for the next movie you think we should feature.

Our awesome theme song was created by mash up king Dj Shai Guy!

Follow him on Bombay Funkadelic Facebook page or twitter so you can attend his unforgettable Bollywood parties all around the UK as well as his awesome mash up mixes that are regularly featured on BBC Asia.

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

Ep 4- Deewana – Khandaan Podcast

Asim, Sujoy, and Amrita, co-hosts of the Khandaan podcast, wrap up their re-watch of the Khan-debuts with Deewana. This 1992 blockbuster is the movie we chose as Shahrukh Khan’s debut feature despite his earlier appearance as a supporting character in the artsy In Which Annie Gives It To Those Ones (1989) and his official debut as a lead in Hema Malini’s Dil Aashna Hai, which released later in 1992.

Shahrukh is an electrifying presence in this movie, waking up the audience from its Rishi Kapoor-induced stupor when he makes his appearance in the second half, riding a motorcycle through the streets of Bombay, singing “Koi na koi chahiye…” 1992 was a banner year for SRK – in the history of Hindi cinema, nobody has ever had a debut like him. Signed on to five films (Dil Aashna Hai, Deewana, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Chamatkar, and Idiot) on the strength of his popular TV presence, SRK cartwheeled on to the scene with a brash energy and a willingness to upend everything in sight, immediately rendering everything and everyone before him slightly dated and old-fashioned. This is particularly evident in his scenes with Rishi Kapoor where the two of them appear to be acting in two different movies.

Asim, Sujoy and Amrita agree that Deewana is quite the worst film out of the three Khan debuts. If the second half of the movie features SRK laying the foundations of his obsessed creep/lover persona, the first half of the movie is interminable and stars Rishi Kapoor as a schlubby pop star who gets faux-murdered for his inheritance after successfully wooing the leading lady who looks young enough to be his child. Said lead is Divya Bharati, whose remarkable career in Hindi cinema spanned roughly 18 months during which time she starred in 14 films – an unbroken record to this date. Her tragic death under suspicious circumstances a year after the release of this movie is perhaps one of the only reasons to re-watch this film unless you’re a SRK completist.

Deewana also has the weakest soundtrack of the three debuts but it scores highly on nostalgia. Sujoy was the only one with strong opinions – he’s a big fan of the Rishi Kapoor number, “Sochenge tumhe pyaar“.

Have a listen and let us know if you agree that when it comes to Bollywood, nothing matters but the Khandaan.

Note: The Khandaan podcast is an interactive experience! Please click below to vote for the movie you think we should feature in our first official episode.

Final Week to make a vote!

Deadline is 17th January!

Our awesome theme song was created by mash up king Dj Shai Guy!

Follow him on Bombay Funkadelic Facebook page or twitter so you can attend his unforgettable Bollywood parties all around the UK as well as his awesome mash up mixes that are regularly featured on BBC Asia.

You can listen/stream/download the episode below.

Or you can subscribe to our iTunes page and never miss a show

We would love it if you can rate or write us a small review on iTunes! Just click here.

 

Ep 217: Sherlock- The Final Problem and La La Land Review

The guys, joined by Sujoy aka @9e3k , get stuck into the season finale of the BBC’s Sherlock and there is much afoot!
Firstly a quick intro talking about Ben Affleck and his new film, Live by Night.  And then a battle between La La Land and all of Bollywood.

Sherlock, the final problem.  Upod travels down these roads:

– Are the writers taking the piss at the viewers’ expense?
– Why is Moriarty so prominent, after his death?
– Eurus…generally speaking, wtf?
– Concerns with believability

– A slight excursion sideways into Art Malik and his appearance in Mirzya, a recent Bollywood movie!

– And then the “The tasks of Sherlock”
– Horror themes throughout the episode
– The confusing, convoluted ending
– Where next for our intrepid detectives, Holmes & Watson

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

You can listen/download/stream the episode below.

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Ep 215: Sherlock – The Lying Detective Upodcast Review

The game is well and truly afoot!  As Sherlock dives further into series 4, so Upodcasting dives further into Sherlock.  Coming up in this latest episode, we continue our own investigations, talking through all of the key issues and talking points of episode 2 – The Lying Detective.  In many ways, this could be considered the sexy episode and Asim and Martin will reveal why.  The stage is well and truly set for a grandstand finish in episode 3 and we shall return next week to conclude matters!

You can listen/download/stream the episode below.

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Sherlock – The Six Thatchers Review Upodcast

Hot on the trail of the BBC’s series (no seasons please, we’re British) four opener, Upodcast takes a deep dive into the first episode.  Will Watson and Holmes get it on?  What the hell happened during the one-off Christmas special and how will Holmes talk his way out of murdering someone in cold blood?  Three small questions, among the many others that we’ve pondered since the last episode and they all get answered thankfully.  For this and more, plus our looking forward to the next two episodes, take a listen; we’ll see you again after episodes 2 and 3!

You can listen/download/stream the episode below.

 

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Beat Girl Review

Releasing this week is the movie adaptation of Beat Girl a novel by Jasmine Kallay, about young Heather Jennings (played by Louise Dylan known to some form BBC’s Jane Austin’s Emma) who after the passing of her mother has to move in with her father and step- brother who she really doesn’t know or have any stable relationship with. She wants to earn a scholarship to Juliard as she’s quite the piano prodigy but along the way stumbles into underground Dj’ing and is torn between what she thought she wanted and the new enticing world that has opened up to her.

Beat Girl is an British independent feature produced by beActive but what’s interesting is that it’s simultaneously being released as a book, game, web series and of course the movie itself. We always want to support new initiatives and release strategies even though the target audience of the movie is women between 18 -35.

 

Or at least that’s what’s intended; unfortunately the real audience is probably a bit younger.

Struggling with a small budget and a very young cast, Beat Girl has its heart in the right place and delivers a few earnest performances especially from Louise Dylan and Percell Ascot (playing her younger brother). That was the main story line that I connected with most and I appreciated how casually a multi race family issue was dealt with. Unfortunately that story line gets side tracked by a romantic plot with Craig Daniels (playing Toby, the DJ Yoda), which lacks any semblance of chemistry.

The overall story of Heather being stuck between being a classical pianist or a DJ is just half baked and never really makes the viewer believe she has the skill or drive to be either.

The direction, cinematography and music are at the level of a day time soap or a TV movie for young teens that lack any sense of irony, I just don’t know if those teens exist, as I doubt people like Heather or Craig do either.

 

Although it has it’s heart in the right place, and an innovative way of releasing a project but unfortunately Beat Girl just misses the beat.

 

@asimburney

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Usain Bolt: The Movie DVD Release

Yeah, he's that fast...again

“I told you all I was going to be No. 1 and I just did that”

We certainly can’t accuse the aptly named Jamaican sprinter of lacking confidence. And now that he’s defended successfully both of his Olympic golds in the 100m and 200m we can all pretty much agree that he is truly the “living legend” he proclaims himself to be.

In this extraordinary film, French producer and director Gael Leiblang paints us an intimate and boundless portrait of the life of athletic legend and cultural icon Usain Bolt.

Breaking BBC records (reaching 3 million viewers) when aired in mid July, the DVD features an extra 30 minutes of never before seen footage, delving deeper than ever fathomed into the rigorous training sessions and elusive private life of the long-legged Jamaican.

Granted exclusive and unprecedented access to the fastest man in the world, Leiblang explores Bolt’s childhood and chronicles him in a series of in-depth interviews, as he prepares to make history at this year’s Olympic games in London.

Filmed over a 12 month period, leading up to this year’s Games, Bolt is examined both at home with his family and friends and on the road competing across the world.

Static for once

This stunning documentary expertly exposes his boyish charm in his home environment, juxtaposed to his uncompromising focus and invincibility on the track, where he gallops past the other runners, like a God competing with mere mortals.

Usain Bolt sealed his position as the fastest man on earth and entered the history books when he successfully retained his 100m Olympic title. As over four billion peopled watched the 100m final at the London 2012 Olympic Games on the 5th Of August, the Jamaican sprinter took the gold medal convincingly.

From gruelling sessions on the practice track, to deejaying for fans in Italy and including his infamous false start at World Championships, this remarkable documentary takes us inside the life of the man who could become the greatest athlete the Olympics has ever seen.

USAIN BOLT: THE MOVIE, released by Revolver Entertainment is now out on DVD to buy and rent.

@martincawley

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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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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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Back To The Future Reunion!

Great Scots! Back to the Future is celebrating it’s 25th annniversary this year and being re-released in the UK cinemas in high-definition.

There is a video game in the pipeline and of course a Blu Ray with lot’s of juicy extra’s so the movie has been gaining a lot of momentum in quite a few media outlets. The Scream 2010 awards held by Spike TV had  a little reunion by putting both the stars on stage.  Check out the clips after the jump!

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