Posts tagged "Bollywood"

Bang Bang teaser brings the flyboard!


Just when you thought action scenes couldn’t get more ridiculous, India comes along to prove everyone wrong! Bang Bang looks amazing from this short teaser trailer, and our hero Hrithik Roshan rises out of the ocean on a flyboard to blow away villains. That’s just the beginning of the action, which includes a huge chase stunt sequence that features over 120 cars and was shot in Abu Dhabi. It’s said to be one of, if not the, biggest action sequences in a Bollywood film. Hrithik Roshan was injured during shooting one of the stunts and had to undergo emergency brain surgery due to a subdural hematoma.

Bang Bang is a remake of Knight and Day, the Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz film where he was a secret agent and she was a random person who got dragged into his affairs, hijinks then ensued. This looks a little more action packed, so I don’t know if Katrina Kaif (Dhoom: 3) will be totally innocent or also a secret agent of the caliber that’s firing guns while riding a motorcycle like in the trailer.

Director Siddharth Anand helmed Salaam Namaste and several other hits, largely romantic comedies or dramas. Bang Bang is scheduled for release October 2nd.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Categories: Movie News   Tags: , , ,

It’s Entertainment – Bollywood goes to the dogs!


Don’t you just hate it when you’ve proven that your long-lost father is a gazillionaire who just died and you are now entitled to inherit his entire estate, except for the small fact that he willed it all to his dog? That’s the premise of It’s Entertainment, as Akshay Kumar discovers his windfall is in the paws of another, a canine called Entertainment. Of course, Kumar isn’t going to take this lying down, and vows to murder the dog (and make it look like an accident) so he’ll get all the money. He didn’t count on the dog being smarter than him, and cue a bunch of Home Alone-style traps backfiring on our plucky hero.

Things go from weird to worse when some other relatives show up, actual criminals who want to kill Akshay Kumar and claim the money. The dog Entertainment saves Kumar, and the two then team up to try to take down the crooks. Of course, there are lots of goofy moments and musical productions along the way, including what I hope is a love song between a woman and the dog. It looks like it will be pretty ridiculous, with lots of slapstick humor and dog tricks and scenes swiped wholesale from Kung Fu Hustle. The tagline “Its ‘Bhow’mper… Its ‘Woof’tastic…” shows that puns are alive and well. I’m certainly going to check it out, where else will you have the movie’s hero screaming he’s going to drink the blood of a dog?

It’s Entertainment is the directorial debut of the writing duo known as Sajid-Farhad. Akshay Kumar stars alongside Tamannaah Bhatia, Mithun Chakraborty, Prakash Raj, Sonu Sood, and Johnny Lever. And also whoever the dog is played by. It’s Entertainment opens August 8th.

It's Entertainment

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 19, 2014 at 10:39 am

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Dhoom 3

Dhoom: 3

aka धूम 3 aka Blast 3
Dhoom 3
2013
Story by Aditya Chopra and Vijay Krishna Acharya
Screenplay by Vijay Krishna Acharya
Directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya

Dhoom 3
Dhoom 3 is a Bollywood thrill ride that hits all the notes needed for a satisfying big budget spectacle while keeping the flaws to a minimum. Because it is so big budget, you can expect the same types of goofy plot logic that the typical American big budget spectacle has. Dhoom 3 scored a semi-mainstream US release, which is really rare for a Hindu film. Going to see it in theaters and being the only non-Indian in the audience is one of those things you can’t pass up, especially if you don’t live near a theater that regularly shows Indian film.

The big budget razzmatazz has some of the typical Bollywood hurdles, and does some other things a bit weird. Things begin to drag in the second half during some of the character development scenes, especially Abhishek Bachchan looking awkward as Jai Dixit goes undercover.
Dhoom 3
The opening sequence is just plain weird. Jackie Shroff as Iqbal Haroon Khan, Sahir’s father, desperately putting on a show of The Great Indian Circus to convince the bankers led by Anderson to get a bit more time paying back the mortgage. It’s doesn’t work (because they’re bankers, and thus inhuman monsters!), but blowing your brains out in front of your child is pretty much the worst response.
Dhoom 3
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 4, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hate Story

Hate Story

Hate Story
2012
Written by Vikram Bhatt and Rohit Malhotra (dialogue)
Directed by Vivek Agnihotri

Hate Story

Folger’s Crystals, really?


India serves up an erotic thriller that manages to not be much of either. But don’t fret, Hate Story has plenty of bad acting and spite against women to make up for it! The best part of the anti-woman themes is how much of it just seems automatic, as if director Vivek Agnihotri had bad things happen on autopilot. Characters are simply stereotypes, traced from the numerous late night cable thrillers Hate Story liberally cribs from. The only interesting aspect is the class warfare angle, as those with money are presented as corrupt and moral-less monsters. So, you know, pretty accurate. It’s that film where I agree with half of what it is saying, and am opposed to the other half. Total complication! ::shakes fist::
Hate Story

We can’t both be skins during this basketball game!


There has been the increasing trend in US politics to divide everyone into two camps, liberal or conservative, blue or red, Democrat or Republican. It stems from the two major US political parties, and a lot of issues involving teams and groups that would take thousands of words to explain. But basically, dividing issues sometimes demands a black and white look at issues. Hate Story is complicated, and smears the black and white into an ugly shade of grey. Don’t expect housewives to eagerly embrace this shade, what with the terrible views on women. Just because something is good in one aspect, but bad in another, doesn’t mean we should immediately disavow it. But you need to look at which points will have the most impact, and make your decisions based on your priorities. The problems in Hate Story destroy what would have been a cool film about socialism taking down corrupt capitalists, and flies in the face of the “treat everyone equally” aspect by making the women the punching bags. That’s not the kind of the world I want to endorse, so it’s time to tell the message of Hate Story, that the woman was ruined because she had “sex” and is now “barren”, to go fuck itself.

Hate Story is a flashy mainstream film, and makes no bones about being more pretty images than actual depth. And if Hate Story is honest about anything, it’s honest in the areas that aren’t flashy. The lines the prostitute says to Kavyah about how Kavyah is educated, so she must have already had sex, tells more about views on sexuality in India than all the sensual dance and seduction sequences throughout the film. Despite the not very explicit (by US standards) scenes here, actress Paoli Dam previously caused a stir due to a very explicit sex scene in Chatrak (which was deleted from the Indian version of the film, but has been leaked online and proved rather popular). Dam herself has spoken about how her passion for cinema gives her the strength to do scenes most Indian actresses wouldn’t dare. Her bravery is the kind of thing that should be breaking down walls, walls built up by some of the themes in Hate Story.

Hate Story

This is Folger’s Crystals as well??


One thing Hate Story excels at is terrible actors. Beyond Gulshan Devaiya hamming it up every time he talks, some of the minor characters are just awful. A security guy named Major that Sid hires to bug Kavyah’s apartment says some of the dumbest things in the dumbest ways, my favorite being “Beautiful bitch, you’ll be finished!” Of course, the signature line of Hate Story is “I fuck the people who fuck with me!”, yelled by Sid several times in increasingly maniacal manners, and later repeated by Kavyah in increasingly taunting manners.
Hate Story

Hate Story: Sponsored by Mr. Bubble

Kavyah Krishnan (Paoli Dam) – Intrepid journalist turned capitalist turned play toy turned scorned and violated woman turned fountain of revenge.
Siddharth Dhanrajgir (Gulshan Devaiya) – Arrogant executive at Cementic, a company his father gave him, who uses his power to get even against people who “fucked” him. When Kavyah helps embarrass his company, he hatches a revenge plan that ends in destroying her life, but causing her to seek greater vengeance. Gulshan Devaiya shows good acting when playing the stuttering son being yelled at by his father, but turns into maniacal cheese when playing the villain.
Vicky (Nikhil Dwivedi) – Kavyah’s longtime friend and fellow journalist, who watches her rises and falls until the point where he has to give her a big lecture about how it’s just horrible that she’s sleeping with all these dudes when he secretly loves her yet has said nothing ever.

And SPOILERS below…

Hate Story

I’ll get you, Folger’s Crystals, if it’s the last thing I do!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 24, 2013 at 6:51 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Trip To Moon (Review)

Trip to Moon

aka Chand Par Chadayee

1967
Written by Dr. P. Balakrishnan and T.R. Sundaram
Directed by T.P. Sundaram

Trip to Moon
How you boys like my new goldfish bowl?

Trip to Moon is another Dara Singh adventure, as the famous wrestler has become far too manly and powerful to be confined to foes just upon Earth, he has to search the stars for new enemies. Luckily the Moon and Mars both contain a sizeable amount of wrestlers and monsters for him to battle with, and then there is the little matter of the love of a Princess and adverting war between the Moon and Mars. As we get an experience that’s obviously heavily influenced by serials like Flash Gordon, the audience comes along for the ride in one of the few instances of Indian science fiction film. It’s also a bonus entry into the MOSS (Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit) Conspiracy Big Muscle Tussle, because I am awesome like that.

Trip to Moon
Rise of the Moon of the Apes!

Trip to Moon has several mysteries surrounding it. Though it was released in 1967, one of the actors – S. Nazir who plays a kidnapped scientist in the beginning – died earlier. He’s even listed as deceased in the credits. Theories abound as to when Trip to Moon was actually filmed, with guesses ranging from 1963-1967 – though it is possible additional scenes were added later. So why did it take so long for Trip to Moon to hit Indian theaters, if that was the case? Was it more distribution problems similar to what drove producers to start making stunt films in the first place, or was there something else going on? Or are these rumors all untrue and just made up by people with websites? Perhaps if you know Dara Singh, you can ask him. Tell him TarsTarkas.NET sent you! Then he won’t punch you as hard for bothering him.

Trip to Moon
Only in India do you get crowd scenes with Devo and a herd of Phantoms from Krankor…

Much like his other films King Kong and Samson, although he’s given a character and backstory, Dara Singh is just Dara Singh. Much like how Arnold Schwarzenegger is Arnold in every movie, even if he is a robot or a believer in Free Mars. By now Dara is headlining films himself, no need for pretty boys to share the spotlight. He still has a comic relief guy, because you can’t escape their goofy grasps. Dara’s wrestling opponents are less billed than before, and though some make appearances, many are under layers of makeup or costumes playing various space monsters. There is a feeling in the air that Trip to Moon is using whatever costumes the studio had lying around for use, along with possibly monster costumes.

Trip to Moon
It’s lonely out in space on such a timeless flight

The opening credits are filled with what look like stock scifi paintings as the credits role. Despite the trappings, there are relatively few Indian science fiction films. Others known or suspected to be (besides mythologicals or super hero films) include Dara Singh’s other film Rocket Tarzan (1963), Wahan Ke Log (1967), Rocket Girl (1962), Flying Circus (1965 – though that just has a robot), Flying Man (1965), Miss Chaalbaaz (1961), Atom Bomb (1949, dir. Homi Wadia), Kalai Arasi (1963), and Aditya 369 (1991). Thank MBarnum of Pedro the Ape Bomb for some of these titles. The either missing of unavailable status of many of those films prevents a good overview of older Indian science fiction. The more modern films are better known – Koi Mil Gaya, Krrish, Love Story 2050, Da.One, Aa Dekhen Zara, Endhiran (a Kollywood joint) and Krrish 2. But those are entries for new dawns and new days.

Trip to Moon
I’ll be He-Man, and you’ll be Bee-rah, Princess of Honeypots!

Yes, this unsubtitled, badly encoded vcd just doesn’t want us to know what is going on. But here at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!

Captain Anand (Dara Singh) – Space Captain Anand is the greatest fighter on three worlds, what with his kicking butts on Earth, the Moon, and Mars. John Carter needs to watch out! I thought from the context that Anand’s father was among the scientists kidnapped by the Moon, but he never shows up so who knows. For more Dara Singh, don’t forget to check out King Kong, Samson, and the Dara Singh Infernal Brains podcast
Princess Shimoga (C. Ratna) – The stunning Princess of the Moon, who quickly takes a shine to Captain Anand and his seriousness. Her costume looks like a flight attendant’s costume, which is sort of weird in itself. I could find no information about actress Ratna aka C. Ratna.
Bhagu (Master Bhagwan) – Comic relief buddy of Dara Singh, who is like Wayne Knight meets Abbott and Costello. is Anand’s paternal cousin. I originally guessed his name was Foruk, and kind of wish it still was. Bhagu has a double who is the assistant of the King of Mars, Isabel
Balti (Rajrani) – The kidnapping Moon girl that takes a shine to Bhagu, because annoying dumpy guys are irresistible to fabulous moon babes. It’s a fact, Jack! Her name as Balti is a guess (a bad one), and the actress being Rajrani is also a guess (though more of process of elimination.)
Simi (Padma Khanna) – The other space girl who accompanies Balti on her trips to kidnap people and other tasks. She doesn’t get to marry on of the two main castmembers, for reasons that will become apparent as you watch. Padma Khanna (here billed simply as Padma) is a Hindi and Bhojpuri actress who was mostly active in the 60s-80s. She has recently directed her own Bhojpuri film and runs a dance studio and produces stage shows in New York/New Jersey.
Barahatu the King of Mars (Anwar Hussain) – The evil King of Mars Barahatu totally wants to marry the Princess of the Moon Shimoga, but he’s old and gross and evil, so she snubs him. So he just kidnaps her, risking a war to try to make her marry him. That just annoys her even more.
Robot (man in suit) – This robot shows up suddenly and starts fighting captain Anand, until another robot randomly walks in and then the robots fight.
Space Rhinoceros (men in suit) – Mars also features dangerous Space Rhinoceroses that will totally attack innocent wrestlers who are chasing after kidnapped princesses nearby.
Trip to Moon
Things went ugly quickly when a robot played 7 aces during Fizzbin

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 26, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

King Kong (1962 – Review)

King Kong


1962
Written by Vishwanath Panday, Pandit Mathur, Mastji, and Majrooh Sultanpuri (lyrics)
Directed by Babubhai Mistry


Not that King Kong, there are no giant apes in this movie, though there are guys who sort of look like giant apes when you squint, or at least fat blogs. Nope, this is 1962s Indian epic King Kong, starring the great Dara Singh in his first starring role. You remember Dara Singh from Samson right? The Infernal Brains Podcast about Dara Singh? Well, if not, you now have a bunch of extra listening and reading to do! For the rest of us, this is an entry in the MOSS (Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit) Conspiracy Big Muscle Tussle, featuring dudes and chicks with muscles doing muscular things in muscular ways. Said muscular ways usually means punching many things. Click on the MOSS Page to see many more entries, as long as your roid rage is low enough you won’t Hulk Smash all our webpages. As for King Kong, let’s just say that there is a giant monster in the beginning of the film, but it’s all downhill from there!

Dara Singh was born in 1928 in the Punjab village of Dharmuchak. He wrestled in local tournaments while growing up, but went to Singapore to seek employment as a laborer. He ended up learning East Asian wrestling techniques – in addition to the Indian (and surrounding regions) technique called Pehlwani – and returned to India. With his brother Randhawa, the two became professional wrestlers and soared through the ranks. By the 1970s, Dara and his brother were the highest paid wrestlers in India, earning 30-40 times the going rate for bouts. Dara was also the “world champion” in the local circuits.
King Kong 1962
Prior to his lead role here, Dara Singh had been relegated to stunt work in films like Sangdil (1952), Pehli Jhalak (First Sight) (1955), and Jagga Daku (1959). In King Kong and many of his later films, Dara helped do the fight choreography, as he thought the usual Indian choreography didn’t look real enough. As Dara Singh comes from a lower caste, there was often trouble finding leading women who would appear with him. Besides Kum Kum from this film, his usual partner was Mumtaz (seen here in Samson) Dara’s lower caste status helped instill him as a hero of the common man, though his films usually had him suddenly discover his noble roots (as this one does.) After his movie career slowed down, Dara Singh gained a new generation of fans when he appeared in the 1980s tv series Ramayana playing Hanuman.

The movie’s title King Kong is even taken from wrestling. Though a reference to the giant ape, King Kong became a wrestling title, one which Dara Singh soon claimed, winning it off of stocky Hungarian wrestler Emile Czaja – who often went billed as King Kong (including his appearance in this film!) Dara winning the King Kong title gave him enough fame that director Babubhai Mistri decided he would be bankable as a leading man. The added fact that it was cheaper for people to buy movie tickets than to pay for wrestling tickets was just gravy. Due to distribution politics/drama, low-budget stunt films like King Kong were usually exhibited in rural areas, often with the director or star in attendance presenting the film.

Director Babubhai Mistri did effects work at Wadia Movietone, and directed many mythologicals in the 1950s (mythologicals being a genre of Indian cinema that does stories from the religious texts.) by by the 60s was unable to direct big picture films, thus he turned to the B movie circuit and making Dara Singh a star.

Like most surviving Dara Singh films, King Kong is available on badly encoded unsubtitled vcd with the craptastic video quality you expect. And the vcd has commercials on it..in the middle of the film! Luckily, a few Dara films have started to migrate to DVD, so maybe, just maybe, we’ll get some of his awesome stunt films on DVD soon…

As this is the inaugural Dara Singh starring flick, they didn’t trust him to headline the picture by his lonesome, so they threw in another character, the handsome swashbuckler type Badal (played by Chandrashekhar) There is also a comic relief sidekick for Badal. Comic relief sidekicks were so in vogue at this time, the evil warrior character Evil Guy also has his own comic relief sidekick. As you have probably noticed by some of the names, I haven’t figured them all out yet.

Jingu (Dara Singh) – A local warrior who lives with his mom, who has nicknamed him King Kong. His father is the disposed king, and he has a missing brother.
Radhi (Kum Kum) – The Princess’s maid and Jengu’s love interest. She does almost all the singing. This is Kum Kum’s lone Dara Singh co-starrer that I know about, she starred in B films and used that to get starring roles in big budget pictures.
Badal (Chandrashekhar as Chandra Shekhar) – Badal is the local handsome guy who hangs out with a Goofy Guy and crushes on the princess. He’s also the secret lost brother of Jingu.
Princess Rajkumari (Parveen Choudhary) – The Princess who falls for Badal when he saves her from slavers.
King Kong (Emile Czaja as King Kong) – The prior King Kong who is tossed out of the roll when Jingu proves himself the better man. Seeks revenge for his failure.
King Hingoo (Uma Dutt) – The evil king who disposed the prior king and now does evil stuff which is totally evil. Of course, we don’t actually see him doing much evil stuff, he just has some jerks working for him. But the dialogue probably mentions evil things that we don’t see…
Smoke Monster (Men in suit!) – YES!! The Smoke Monster is awesome, we demand more Smoke Monster! Too bad he dies five minutes into the film and the rest is people running around not fighting monsters. BOOOO!!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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