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Jul 242014
 

I’ve never seen a spectacle so perverse, so utterly ridiculous as an Indian turning into a big-time robber (stealing millions both in India and overseas) merely to help sick orphans.

Get real, P-u-h-l-e-e-ze.

As anyone the least bit familiar with the subcontinent’s ethos and culture will attest, our people are ‘devils‘ utterly bereft of the milk of human kindness.

Inflicting their logorrhoea about fictitious charity programs in every media interview, Indian ‘devils’ get their daily ‘kick‘ from murdering homeless people by running their cars over them, beating girlfriends, killing and barbecuing endangered deer, assaulting photographers and only the great Allah knows what other crimes these Shaitans commit behind closed doors.

A young orphan – sick or healthy – is the last thing on the mind of an Indian devil.

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Devil’s New Tricks

It’s no secret that I loath rotten Indian films!

And by God, crappy Indian films are dime a dozen in Mera Bharat Mahaan.

So my first thought when I heard of Kick was – OMG, is it one of the dreadful Sajid remember Divya Bharati Nadiadwala junk or one of his stolen shits like Heyy Babyy?

I mean, what kind of a jackass calls an Indian film Kick. What’s the next Indian movie? Panty, Boxer, Keyboard, Monitor?

My second fear – Has Sallu bhai stopped taking his medication and starred in another southern junk clone?

After all, the Chutiya is no stranger to South Indian drivel having thrust insufferably bizarre kichdi like Wanted, Bodyguard, Ready etc on us.

Right up to the end of Kick, when, eureka, we ‘learn’ the hero is robbing crooked politicians, callous doctors and amoral businessmen not to amass money but to help sick orphan children get medical treatment, the hero acts like he’s got three screws missing in what passes for its head.

With not a single acting gene in his body, our hero is a robotic mass of muscle and bone. Even an attempt at a smile comes off awkward, more like a grimace.

Our tall, lissome heroine acts like an escapee from the local asylum, slapping her sister, pummeling the hero, smacking the comedian, kicking the hero and periodically making a face like Alia Bhatt on a quiz show.

Ah, did I tell you the hero looks older than the heroine’s father?

And the hero’s father looks like his younger brother. Incest anybody?

I swear on bhai the hero’s mother looked like his former girlfriend.

Utter Bosh

As with a lot of Indian movies these days, the tiresome parade starts off on foreign soil.

Our reluctant heroine, now living abroad, is cajoled into meeting the not-hero bridegroom just arrived from India.

Heroine and the not-hero meet for the first time on a train.

Now the not-hero has gone overseas for two reasons – To meet the NRI girl chosen for him by his family and to nab the Kick-hero who has taunted him into coming there. Not-hero is actually an Indian police officer smarting from being constantly on the losing side of Kick-hero’s devilish robberies. Continue reading »

Jul 212014
 

Kindle Unlimited Review - Not Worth It

Unlike Apple or Netflix, Amazon has never had class.

If you ask me, Amazon is merely a more efficient version of Walmart and the Post Office combined.

What I mean is that Amazon lets you get cheap stuff delivered to your house or office fast.

Kindle e-reader and Kindle tablet are both cheap plastic junk targeted at those who lack the class and the ingenuity to beg, borrow or steal an iPad.

And Amazon Prime Instant Video is mostly old stuff for people who thrive on leftovers.

Given my knowledge of Amazon’s lowbrow offerings, I did not expect the just announced Kindle Unlimited e-book subscription service to be anything remarkable.

Still given my passion for reading, I took a deko at Kindle Unlimited.

My Passion

Since reading is my refuge from the tedium and turbulence of daily life, I quickly signed up for the $9.99 per month Kindle Unlimited service.

Kindle Unlimited is kinda like an all-you-can Indian buffet in the U.S. (btw, only Chinese and Indian restaurants offer buffets in America).

Of course being a desi, I quickly took advantage of the free 30-day trial for Kindle Unlimited.

You can borrow  up to ten books at a time from the Kindle Unlimited catalog and read them on up to six devices or reading apps.

You have to sign up for the program. Since I already had an Amazon account it took just 10-seconds to sign up for Kindle Unlimited. And then to fire up the dormant Kindle app on my iMac and registered my account, it was another 10-seconds.

Most of the books I searched for were not available on Kindle Unlimited.

Finally, I settled on The Order of Things: Hierarchies, Structures, and Pecking Orders and a couple of other books.

Once I added a book via the browser on the Amazon web site, I could send it to both my Mac as well as the Kindle app on my old iPad 2. If the book doesn’t appear on your PC or tablet, hit refresh and you should see the e-book. It took less than a minute for them to appear on my computer and tablet. I did not test the service on my Kindle e-book reader but I have no doubt it’ll work on any device registered with Amazon.

But easy signup and fast delivery of e-books to the PC, tablet or other devices are only two aspects of Kindle Unlimited.

More important is the breadth of quality books available on the service.

Lacking Good Content

Amazon is making a big deal about the 600,000 titles available on Kindle Unlimited.

The service also includes a few thousand audiobooks.

But Kindle Unlimited’s glaring weakness is that a ton of good content is missing on the service.

Decades-old classics like Nabokov’s Lolita and Pnin are not available on Kindle Unlimited. It’s like Netflix not carrying movie classics like Casablanca, Star Wars, Citizen Kane or Forrest Gump. Continue reading »

Jul 112014
 

Caesar Loves Humans More than Apes. – Koba

I always think Apes better than Humans. I see now how much like them we are. – Caesar
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Not since the beast Salman Khan emerged out of the womb have things looked so bleak for the human race.

Simian flu and fighting have brought the human race to the brink, leaving pockets of survivors here and there in a powerless, effete state.

As the wise (chimp) Caesar says a decade later:

Humans destroyed each other.

Power – Elixir of Life

In San Francisco, a few hundred human survivors have closeted themselves in a derelict colony.

Fuel supplies are running very low!

Outlook is grim.

The dam! The dam!

Hydel power! Only hope for humans!

For electric lights and the many aspects of life that power enables.

But power inevitably flows through the barrel of a Gun, right?

What about Caesar?

Hunting deer, leaping from branch to branch and awaiting the birth of a new son.

That’s Caesar and his simian followers.

Seeking the strongest branch! Chimps do that literally and humans follow metaphorically! Continue reading »

Mar 282014
 

By Madmax673

Noah director and writer Darren Aronofsky is pretty clear about two things.

He doesn’t want all his audience to feel comfortable with his flick.

He is resolute to make you squirm.

Hey, he wants to make a statement too.

And for that, he has taken to the Bible, his own version.

Story

Following a few title fade-ins that most of us know, we are introduced with the branches of Adam and Eve – the descendants of Cain (Evil) and Noah, the descendant of Seth (Good).

Apparently God is fed up with Earth and decides to destroy it.

Unlike what Genesis says director Darren Aronofsky curses us oops presents us with VFX hints to Noah that the world is going to end in the form of a flood.

Now Noah has to create an Ark that will carry his family, animals, birds, snakes etc.

But Noah needs some form of support. That comes in the form known as “Watchers”.

Instructions are given and Noah starts building the Ark.

Complications arise when “Tubal Cain” and his group seek a place aboard and Noah denies them. Tubal Cain looks like a good guy. I guess this is where the director might have thought right out of the box.

While these so called complications are escalating along with the deadline for flood, Noah sons, Ham and Shem’s, (excluding Japheth), sexual urges are at stake.

Poor fellas need a partner for reproduction after destruction of Earth. So they keep running around. Shem has a girlfriend in the form of “Ila”. Unfortunately she is barren out of a wound early on in the story.

So how all these get fixed and Noah makes his Ark and ride forms the rest of the story.

Here is a list of what I noticed.

* The “Watchers” are easily one of the ugliest, least imaginative creatures I’ve seen for a while. The director looks clueless.

* There wasn’t a single moment where I rooted for Noah.

* Shem and Ham’s libido takes center stage for a fair bit of screen time and I found myself rooting for them instead. Unfortunately it’s a PG 13 movie.

* Even Noah’s wife, “Naameh” (Jennifer Connelly) is devastated about the fact that the flood is gonna mess up their sons’ sexual future.

* This whole Shem, Ham and Naameh sub-plot takes too much screen time. Continue reading »

Mar 012014
 

Put God First and Everything Else will Follow.
- Jesus in the movie Son of God

If you ask me, Jesus of Nazareth was either a blithering idiot, clueless about key concepts like balance of power, or had more than one screw loose.

Most likely, a combination of two loose screws and a feeble intellect ended up unwittingly creating the world’s greatest religion with a huge following among those with three screws loose (for the record, all religions are nonsense).

Now no review about a Jesus film can start without a brief introduction to the Son of God himself.

By scholarly accounts, Jesus of Nazareth was illiterate and a daily wage coolie (most likely a woodworker/ carpenter) in the nearby town of Sepphoris.

If Jesus were in present day America, the Whites would label him a Mexican and seek to deport him. ;)

It’s possible Jesus was also a bastard, born to Mary when she willingly spread her legs for a Roman soldier named Panthera or unwillingly had her legs parted (raped). Take your pick!

Historical evidence about Jesus is scant beyond the delusional Jew’s existence and crucifixion for leading a movement that the occupying Roman force led by Pontius Pilate likely considered a minor irritation.

Jesus was not someone unusual in those days. After all, with “apocalyptic fever in the air” (read Reza Aslan’s book Zealot), Jesus was only one among several whackos (Theudas, the Samaritan, the Egyptian, Hezekiah, Simon of Peraea etc) in that era who anointed themselves with bizarre titles like Messiah, Son of Man or Son of God and were ultimately beheaded or crucified for their zany antics.

Son of God – Junk

A tedious, tiresome, fawning, unimaginative movie utterly lacking in any drama, Son of God is a curse on all viewers except the most devout Jesus acolytes.

The pictures of Jerusalem and the Temple are amateurish graphics, the acting of Jesus (the Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado) and some of the minor cast pathetic, the writing hopeless and the overall effect one of a dilettante taking a shot at the movie business.

Christopher Spencer ‘directed’ this epic farce and along with three others butchered the screenplay. Continue reading »

Feb 232014
 

(Thanks to SI Blog reader rvasam who first alerted me to the lift)

Let’s get to the big question right away.

Is Bollywood film Highway a lift of the 1994 Hollywood movie The Chase?

The short answer – Yes, to a significant, unignorable, inexcusable, unpardonable degree.

There are far too many similarities between Highway and The Chase to be dismissed as mere coincidence.

Highway Robbery

Imtiaz Ali claims to have “written and directed” the Bollywood film Highway.

I will throw a sop to the Bollywood Cerberus and concede that Highway is directed by Imtiaz Ali.

But “written” by Imtiaz Ali?

Now, that’s a delusion so bizarre it can only be matched by yours truly claiming to be Alexander the Great!

Don’t make me laugh, kiddo.

Highway director Imtiaz Ali is a shameless thief and Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda are his two accomplices in crime.

In retrospect, I should have been more Argus-eyed with Imtiaz Ali.

Remember how the hit song Yeh Ishq Hai in his 2007 film Jab We Met was stolen from Anggun’s Etre Une Femme.

Imtiaz Ali is like a car thief who after purloining a two-decade-old jalopy paints it in a different color, changes the license plates, rolls back the odometer, sprays some car freshener and peddles it as new.

In short, Imtiaz Ali has stolen the plot of The Chase and Indianized it as Highway.

Also, keep in mind that Highway producer Sajid Nadiadwala is a big-time criminal who stole the plot of the French film Trois hommes et un couffin (Hollywood version: Three Men and a Baby) and regurgitated it as Heyy Babyy (Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan).

Highway – My Anguish

Rarely do I like a Bollywood movie.

Most Indian movies are unwatchable trash made by talentless scumbags for the viewing pleasure of degenerate philistines.

So when a SI blog reader mentioned last night that the new Bollywood movie Highway, one that I greatly loved, was lifted from the Hollywood film The Chase I found myself in deep anguish. Almost, in extremis!

Oh, not again, I told myself! :(

I wanted to find out if Highway was one more instance of Bollywood dickheads overcoming their poverty of imagination by stealthily stooping to deep-throat Hollywood.

And I decided the best way to determine if Highway is the nullius filius of The Chase was to see it for myself rather than rely on hearsay.

A short while ago, I completed watching The Chase and here’s my considered verdict.

Too Many Similarities – No Coincidence

Here are a whole bunch of damning similarities between Highway (2014) and the two-decade old Hollywood film The Chase (1994):

1. In both films, the basic backdrop, against which all other events happen, is the kidnapping of a young girl.

2. In both films, the kidnapping happens without intent, meaning that the crime is not planned.

3. In both films, the kidnapping happens as a result of another crime (in Highway while Mahabir is fleeing after attacking a gas-station and in The Chase when Jackson Hammond, a prison escapee, panics after the police question him about the car he’s stolen).

4. In both films, the kidnapping happens at a gas station.

5. In both films, the kidnapper is unaware he is snatching a girl from an extremely wealthy family.

6. In both films, the kidnapping is believed by outsiders to have been done for ransom though money is not the original intent. Continue reading »