Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Neither Black nor White

Movie is about a very hot subject. I am sorry Subhash Ghai could not make it very convincing the professor is too decent, his wife is too loud to the point of being un natural the professor believes a stranger blindly. When his wife is killed no body comes to know about it, a ‘midnight funeral’ is conducted. How did he manage all this is never clarified. Mind you they are living in a pretty congested area of Chandni Chowk. Next day he makes sure to reach red fort which seems quite bizarre. He tries to save the terrorist even when police had given a proof of his being so because. The professor is too gullible to think that the boy is reformed.

Enter Vanilla

For a long time the only kind of cinema we in India produced was the independent kind. Generally these films were poor on quality and content and their (mostly) smalltime producers were a much maligned bunch. Notorious for being bad pay masters and their “sab chalta hai” attitude they probably deserved all the scorn they got. Now with the corporates coming in that has begun to change. Cheques by the buckets are being pumped into the business. Initially a lot of these faceless outfits, they are bursting at the seams with shirt and tie wearing MBA’s, found it tough going. But now the tide is turning. They have invested in buying upstream and downstream business making it impossible for the filmies to side step and avoid them.
All of this, it is being argued, is good for the business. I am not sure that is entirely true. The biggest loser is PASSION. Films are as much about passion as they are about business. For all his faults the small indie producer could not be faulted for lack of passion. He would put his own money, often by mortgaging his entire life, into the films he produced. Passion was a big reason why he was a part of this business. Unfortunately the corporates only have a passion for the balance sheet. While I will agree that in general terms there will be better films- with more money comes better equipment, better techniques and resources that will lift the finish levels of most films. But with it also comes the vanilla effect. Most films from the corporates already look and feel the same. Recent offerings from Yashraj are a case in point. Up ahead I see this vanilla effect effecting films for a long time. We will be lucky if we get more than a couple of really good films a year. If you like quirky films with great stories- you are probably not going to find them.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why, why, why…

Why do they keep messing with Dr. Seuss? First there was the atrocious Grinch movie (everyone must watch the fabulous old animated version if they can get it); then the even worse, Cat in the Hat. For me personally though this 3rd one is the most annoying, because I’ve never cared for Grinch as a character, and my kids never got into the Cat series for me to care either way if their childish imaginations were being ruined by Hollywood.

But Horton?? In my house Horton is the God of small things. After reading Horton Hears A Who (aloud with actions, when I’m half asleep with tiredness) for the 3 millionth time, I may get sick of him, but I shall never, never, never imagine him with the mannerisms of Jim Carrey (blasphemy), doing a slick Hollywoodish number. If there’s one thing that defines Horton the elephant, it’s his earnestness and insistence on sticking to his own un-cool path, no matter what everybody thinks of him, and if there’s one thing Jim Carrey is, its overbearingly smart alecky in playing to the gallery. As far as I’m concerned the twain should never have met.

BTW, I haven’t seen the movie (nor will I ever if I can help it), so I’m just reacting to info about the movie that has filtered over to me. Apparently a rodent has been added as a sidekick to Horton, no doubt to air the leftover wisecracks that even Jim Carrey felt were too cheesy. The sidekick is called Morton…says it all, I think.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

(w)hat (i)'m (w)atching - Prison Break - 1st season

I've seen a few episodes of this hit show on DVD with half an eye on the proceedings and the other half on my daughter, but then this is the kind of show I can watch only with half an eye (and about a quarter of the mind)...it looks really well made though.
This kind of tv show or movie always makes me wonder why people who sneer at chick flicks (you know who you are), don't show the same superior attitude to "typical" action stories - cops, prisons, NY street language, quick, jarring cuts, hip hop soundtrack. On the other hand I could be totally wrong, and this is a great show which I will only appreciate if i pay attention.

Blood Diamond (2006)

A must watch for every one who knows "Diamond" and would like to know "Diamonds from the Conflict-Zones".

IMDB info here
Official movie website here
Trailer(s) here

Can you guess by whom the Background Music/Score is by?

Here it goes!!

Finally...I blog.