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Jun 232008

2008 has so far turned out to be an annus horribilis for fans of Tamil and Hindi movies.

If you are sick of crappy movies like Dasavatharam, Sarkar Raj, Tashan, Bhoothnath, Kuruvi and Azhagiya Tamil Magan coming out of the Augean pits of Bollywood and Kollywood we don’t blame ya. So are we. Sick to the stomach.

The blundering buffoons of Bollywood like Ram Gopal Varma and Abhishek Bachchan and the know-nothing knuckleheads of Kollywood like Kamal Haasan and Vijay have heaped rubbish on the heads of fans this year even as they extort hefty sums in ticket prices.

But despair not, film buffs.

If the Bollywood buffoons and the Kollywood knuckleheads can’t deliver, there’s plenty of fine foreign films out there, if only we are willing to expand our sights.

Here are a few nice foreign movies that the Bollywood buffoons and the Kollywood knuckleheads Continue reading »

Jun 172008

Hollywood director Steven Spielberg’s and his fellow principals at Dreamworks SKG are close to a deal with Anil Ambani’s Reliance ADA Group that will provide them with $500 million-$600 million to create a new movie venture, according to Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

Although a new comer to the entertainment business, Reliance ADA Group has quickly built up a significant presence in Bollywood (India’s Mumbai-based film industry and a factory for mostly crappy Hindi movies) through its various ventures like Adlabs Films, Reliance Big Entertainment, BigFlicks, Big Motion Pictures and Big Animation.

Reliance ADA Group Chairman Anil Ambani’s wife Tina Munim is a former Bollywood actress.

Here’s an excerpt from the WSJ’s Front Page story:

Mumbai-based Reliance ADA Group would provide Mr. Spielberg and company with $500 million to $600 million in equity, moving them one step closer to ending one of Hollywood’s most contentious and closely watched battles [between Spielberg et al and the Paramount bosses]. In Reliance, the DreamWorks team also would have an unusual and ambitious partner in the film business: an Indian firm with interests in telecommunications, financial services and entertainment that wants to build a media empire by financing Hollywood pictures.

The deal amounts to a marriage of some of the biggest names in the Hollywood and Indian business worlds, with Reliance getting a large stake in the new company. DreamWorks, which makes live-action films that have included last year’s “Blades of Glory” and “Dreamgirls” in 2006, would likely seek another $500 million or so in debt financing elsewhere to give its new venture enough money to make a slate of about six films a year. The company would then choose a studio to distribute the films, which is still an open question. General Electric Co.’s Universal Pictures, where Mr. Spielberg began his career, is thought to be the director’s preference to release his future works, but News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox also is thought to be a serious contender. (News Corp. is the owner of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal.)

Boy, we sincerely hope that Steven Spielberg et al Continue reading »

Jun 172008

The bigger our Indian movie stars, the greater the bullshit that falls from their lips on occasion.

The latest to earn the title of BS King is none other than our Ulaganayagan (Universal Hero) Kamal Haasan, whose embarrassingly bad Dasavatharam is now running on movie screens in several continents.

Some of Kamal’s recent comical statements suggest that while he may not have done a great job with the story of Dasavatharam, he’s indeed suitable for writing dialogs for Vadivelu and Vivek (two popular Tamil comedians).

According to NDTV, here’s what Kamal had to say at the launch of the audio for the film Kodaikanal:

The day when Hollywood would yearn for awards from India rather than (us) running behind the Oscars is not far off going by the improving quality of our films.

What is Kamal smoking? 

If Indian films are improving, it must indeed be a closely guarded secret Continue reading »

Jun 162008

Sarkar Raj has crashed at the U.S. box office in its second week.

This trashy Bollywood movie’s second weekend gross was down by 73.8%. (Please click here for Sarkar Raj opening weekend gross collection data.)

Featuring the three Bachchans, Sarkar Raj is a piece of trash from Ram Gopal Varma, the director who last year brought us one of the ugliest films ever made in the history of motion pictures – Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag.

Starring Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek Bachchan and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, Sarkar Raj has all the ingredients of a disaster – pathetic performances by Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, so-so performance by Amitabh Bachchan, mediocre story, cliched dialogs, pedestrian photography and music, and bizarre chants (Govinda, Govinda).

In the overall ranking at the U.S. box office, Sarkar Raj slipped to Continue reading »

Jun 072008

Click here for Sarkar Raj U.S. Box Office Report

You have to give veteran Bollywood director Ram Gopal Varma credit for consistency.

After all, how many other Bollywood directors can you count on to unfailingly deliver one mediocre movie after another.

In his latest work Sarkar Raj, the dependably stupid Ram Gopal Varma once again delivers the goods – yet another boring dud.

Sarkar Raj featuring Bollywood’s first family (Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan) is a mediocre sequel to Ram Gopal Varma’s unimpressive Godfather-inspired 2005 gangster flick Sarkar.

Even after two decades in the film industry and 20 films under his belt, Sarkar Raj director Ram Gopal Varma is all at sea in the Bollywood ocean, rowing his way without the tiniest paddle of talent.

For a movie featuring a gangster theme and its inherent violence, Sarkar Raj is not a chilling movie but a boring movie.

A good gangster movie needs plenty of blood and gore, a strong, gripping story and intense performances by the dramatis personae (Think Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Viggo Mortensen or Denzel Washington).

Written by some deservedly-unknown fella called Prashant Pandey, Sarkar Raj completely fails in the story department.

Made worse by cliched dialogs (e.g. All My Life, I did what I thought was right; I lived life on my terms; I was never afraid of anyone), the effete story just does not Continue reading »

Jun 042008

Several Indian movie stars, singers and directors have fancy names that are often so different from their real names.

Why that should be so is not hard to fathom.

As a matter of fact, it’s so simple in the Indian milieu.

Indians with names like Gunasekhar Pandiarajan, Rajendra Prasad Purkoyastha, Badrinath Chattopadhyay, Sitalakshmi Ammal or Ritabadoornath Patel yearn for the ‘appeal’ of a Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Rekha or Sridevi to banish the monotony of their dreary existences.

Jatin Khanna – A Superstar?

Would Jatin Khanna have achieved super-stardom with that name?


Only with the name Rajesh Khanna did Jatin reach the stratospheric heights of success and super-stardom.

Would a big-bosomed Tamil girl have turned into a fantasy for young Indian boys bearing the name Bhanurekha Ganesan?


She needed to be Rekha to reach that high.

Here’s a brief list of Indian movie stars with their assumed names:

Movie Name - Real Name

Aamir Khan – Aamir Hussain Khan

Aditya Pancholi/Panscholi – Nirmal Pancholi/Panscholi

Asrani – Govardhan Asrani

Ajay Devgan – Vishal Devgan

Ajit – Hamid Ali Khan

Akshay Kumar – Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia

Ashok Kumar – Kumudlal Kunjilal Ganguly

Bhavana – Karthika Menon

Bobby Deol – Vijay Singh Deol

Chiranjeevi – Konidela Siva Shankara Vara Prasad

Dev Anand – DharamDev Pishorimal Änand

Dharmendra – Dharam Singh Deol

Dilip Kumar – Yusuf Khan

Gemini Ganesan – Ramasamy Ganesan

Guru Dutt – Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone

Jagdeep – Syed Jawaher Ali Jaffry

Jayant - Zakaria Khan (father of Amjad and Imtiaz Khan)

Jamuna – Jamuna Ramanarao

Jayalalitha – Jayaram Jayalalitha

Jaya Pradha – Lalita Rani

Jeetendra – Ravi Kapoor

Johnny Lever – Janardhana Rao

Johnny Walker – Badruddin Jamaluddin Kazi

Kiccha Sudeep – Abhinaya Chakravarthy

Kumar Gaurav – Manoj Tulli

Mallika Sherawat – Reema Lamba Continue reading »