Friday, November 20, 2009

KURBAAN is bloody smart -- Rediff review

KURBAAN, the new fick starring Bollywood style diva Kareena Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi and Saif Ali Khan is finally here. Here's the 'Kurbaan' movie review for Indian movie buffs.


Bollywood movie KURBAAN review by

Rediff says, "To the new breed of slick, sharp Hindi-film directors, please welcome debutant Rensil D'Silva, who till the other day was best known as the guy who wrote Rang De Basanti"

For once here's a film that does not feel long despite the two hours and 40 minutes.

And if that's not enough to get you interested, here's the clincher. Kurbaan is bloody smart. In its taut screenplay, stylish photography and good performances by the cast, it keeps you engaged, does not insult your intelligence and avoids getting preachy.

And that's saying a lot for a film by a debutant director.

Kurbaan deals with a very loaded subject -- terror, Islam, America and the rest of the world. Something that a bunch of filmmakers have attempted in recent times, and there's more to come. But this one is executed like a classy Hollywood thriller, with some great moments of suspense, high drama, blood, gore and skin. And not to mention a delicious background score (Salim-Saulaiman) -- the icing on the cake.

Go watch Kurbaan, explore it, find your own points to agree, disagree, endorse, enjoy, debate and be angry about.

Either way, you definitely cannot walk out without the film leaving an impression on you. And a strong one at that >> [ Read complete review @ Rediff ]

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Actor Vikram Turns Producer

Chiyaan Vikram is the latest to join the bandwagon of stars turning producers in Kollywood. However, the actor will not be starring in his film or directing it.



Vikram said, “I have floated my own banner and our first untitled venture will be directed by Sasikumar. The film will feature newcomers. The technical team will comprise cinematographer Kathiir and music director James Vasanthan, who have worked with Sasikumar before.”

Vikram says that he has been nurturing the idea of turning producer for a long time. “After watching Subramaniapuram, I wanted to do a film with Sasi. The trouble is that in south cinema, after you become successful at the box office, market realities dictate your choice of films and it becomes difficult to experiment. Now, as a producer, I can fulfill my urge to do things in a different way. Sasi is the right choice as he is the best director with innovative ideas in Tamil cinema in recent times. I read the script. It is fantastic and is set in Chennai and I’m sure it would turn out to be a signature Sasikumar film.”

On whether he will do a cameo in the film, Vikram says, “I would love to make an Alfred Hitchcock type appearance, but it will be Sasi’s call.”

What will happen to the actor who takes pride in sporting a different look for each of his films? Replies Vikram, “In Anniyan, the character I did had three different looks in the film and I was able to carry it off. I’m an actor who believes in looking different in every film of mine. Did you know that from Mani sir’s sets, I straight away joined Selva’s film in Ladakh? When you see the films, you will realise that I have two different looks in both of them.” >> [ Read full interview here ]

Google launches social search function

Google is testing a new social search function to make it easier for people find their friends' blogs and twitter feeds.


The only catch is that users of the service need to have an open profile with Google that includes personal contact data >> [ Read more ]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bebo (Kareena) speaks on her backless shot in KURBAAN

Bollywood's most stylish and promising actress Kareena Kapoor will be next seen in two ambitious projects 'Kurbaan' opposite beau Saif Ali Khan and '3 Idiots' opposite good friend Aamir Khan.

Bollywood Style Diva Kareena in KURBAAN

Kareena's characters for both movies have built up huge expectations among her fans. Saif Ali Khan is excited about his upcoming movie Kurbaan and says it was a great to work with actress Kareena Kapoor.

Kareena Kapoor says there is nothing “vulgar” about her backless shot being used for the publicity posters of forthcoming release “Kurbaan”, an intense thriller about terrorism. In fact, she says, it subtly reveals a lot about the story.

“This shot of me in a backless posture and Saif with a wound on his chest tell so much about the film’s theme,” says Kareena.

“There is love, passion and violence -- all combined in here and what better way than to show it through a single still? You too would agree that there is nothing sleazy or vulgar about it. Knowing the sensibilities of Karan Johar (producer) and Rensil D’Silva (director), that’s the least one could have expected,” she added.

After “Jab We Met”, Kareena was seen in “Main Aurr Mrs Khanna”, “Kambakkth Ishq”, “Tashan” and “Golmaal Returns”. And except “Golmaal Returns”, none of the films did well at the box office.

Kareena said that after Geet in “Jab We Met”, her character of Avantika in “Kurbaan” will make people sit up and take notice. >> [ Read more about KURBAAN ]

Blackberry to make developers' job easier

Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has announced new software tools to make it easier to develop applications and graphical user interfaces for its mobile handsets.

The announcement was welcomed by more than 600 software experts at the Blackberry Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Jim Balsillie, RIM's co-CEO, said the firm had been working on the new tools for more than a year. Delegates at the Blackberry Developer Conference suggested some of the announcements were "about time", a view Balsillie acknowledged, saying, "We heard you."

The new tools affect both Java and Web development environments. They include support for Open GL ES, Support, a Java GUI builder and a theme studio to help developers build slick new front pages for Blackberrys.

Jim Balsillie also announced that RIM would in future sell such interfaces and widgets on its App World online store, giving developers a chance to earn money from their creativity. >> [ More details ]

Obama seeking stronger ties on Asia trip

USA president Obama
[ image: USA president Obama ]
Barack Obama is the first U.S. president to have lived in Asia as a child, and that unique perspective will help shape his nine-day trip to the region starting Thursday, U.S. officials say.

Throughout the trip to Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea, Obama will emphasize the importance of Asian nations as vital U.S. partners on major issues such as economic growth, nuclear non-proliferation, the war in Afghanistan and climate change, three officials said in a briefing this week.

The itinerary includes formal talks with Asian leaders as a group and individually, a bilateral meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and the first participation by a U.S. president in a summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic alliance.

In addition, Obama's itinerary reflects his personal ties to Asia with a bilateral meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, where Obama lived from 1967 to 1971. >> [ Read more at source ]

Mohanlal to be one of Priyanka's 7 husbands

Priyanka will have seven husbands, and southie heavyweighted Kerala superstar Mohanlal is one amongst the seven! Can you believe this?


Malayalam star Mohanlal is amongst one of Priyanka's 7 husbands

A source from Vishal’s office admitted that the Bollywood filmmaker had cast the Malayalam actor in such a role. And, to do so, Vishal had to spend two days in Kerala chasing Mohanlal whose fan following there is legion.
[ img: Lal with Bhumika in mallu film ]

The noted Bollywood director and music director Vishal Bhardwaj of path breaking films like Omkara, Kaminey flew down to Kochi last week to meet “his favourite actor” Mohanlal! Vishal met Mohanlal over lunch at Avenue Regency in Kochi where the shooting of Rosshan Andrews Ivide Swargam Aanu was taking place.

Sources close to the Lal ettan confirmed that he loved the story and in all probability will do the film which will start rolling some time in March next year, if he is able to juggle his Malayalam commitments.

Although it's like Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra playing the lead roles, Mohanlal is expected to be having a pivotal role. Mohanlal was seen in Bollywood in Ram Gopal Varma’s Company and Aag, and now this four-time national award winner is back to bollywood again with another challenging role >> [ Read more cinema stuff ]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Minors kidnapped by a transgender rescued in Mumbai

A city police team from Chennai, following a tip from an NGO, on Monday nabbed a transgender in Mumbai and rescued three persons, including two minors, who were allegedly kidnapped city police. The police team, which has left the Maharashtra capital by train, is scheduled to arrive here on Wednesday morning. "We will question the victims and then decide how to proceed the case," a senior police officer said.

According to the police, Baskar, 13, and Manohar, 17, (names changed) and Prabha (20) of Royapuram and Kasimedu, who were staying with Madhumitha, a transgender, in Kaladipet near Tiruvottiyur, suddenly disappeared from the house on Sunday last. Madhumitha's friend Sailajah, a Mumbai-based transgender who came to the former's house a few days ago, was also missing. >> [ More details ]

Indian Rupee almost steady!

The Indian rupee was largely steady on Wednesday as the dollar's drop against major currencies was partly offset by mixed cues from regional stock markets.

At 9:15 a.m. (0345 GMT), the partially convertible rupee INR=IN was at 46.52/53 per dollar, little changed from its Tuesday's close of 46.50/51.

"The dollar is slightly weaker but not much, equity markets would be the factor to watch out for today," a dealer with a private bank said, predicting a range of 46.45 to 46.70, for the day >> [ More details ]

The most awaited Amitabh-Abhishek starrer PAA

PAA is a forthcoming Hindi Movie directed by Balki starring Amitabh Bachchan , Abhishek Bachchan, Vidya Balan. PAA is a 'rare' story about a father-son, son-father relationship.


Hindi movie PAA: a quick look

I just hope that I keep getting ideas where I can fit him," said R. Balakrishnan, director of his forthcoming film PAA, relasing Dec 4.
[ image: Abishek carrying Big B for PAA ]

Synopsis :

Auro (Amitabh Bachchan) is an intelligent, witty 13 yr old boy with an extremely rare genetic defect that causes accelerated ageing. He suffers from a progeria like syndrome. Mentally he is 13, very normal, but physically he looks 5 times older. In spite of his condition, Auro is a very happy boy. He lives with his mother Vidya (Vidya Balan), who is a gynaecologist. Amol Arte (Abhishek Bachchan), is young, progressive and a full of ideals, politician. He is out to prove to the world that 'politics' is not a bad word. He is a man with a mission. Auro is Amol's son.

Abhishek gets emotional talking about his bond with his father and says this was one way he could relive memories. Only this time, he was the father. "And he (Amitabh) is a very naughty child!" he adds.

Interestingly, Abhishek adds that he is trying to figure a way to keep the equation between him and his father the same in real life as well!


Abhishek Carries Big B Piggyback

For a sequence in Paa Abhishek needed to carry his father piggyback and trot across a vast field, to the director Balki’s surprise and relief Abhishek simply breezed through the difficult scene. “Abhishek did it in one take. He carried his father effortlessly across the vast field. We shot the sequence near Cambridge in England at a place called Bury St Edmunds.” >> [ Read more movie news in this blog ]

Cute mallu actress Gopika Pregnant?

Kerala born tamil-telugu-malayali film actress Gopika has started acting again and then the news started making rounds that she is pregnant.


Kerala homely star Gopika pregnant?

Gopika tied the knot with Dr Ajilesh and had left the celluloid world to get settled in Ireland. However she has made a comeback through P Sukumar directed Malayalam movie Swantham Lekhakan opposite Dileep.

South Indian actress Gopika was seen during July 2009 with convex shape (indicating "baby bump" or pregnancy) which led to rumour mills start "confirming" that she is pregnant. When asked for confirmation at that time, Gopika laughingly revealed that it was a get up for her forthcoming Malayalam flick Swantham Lekhakan (Swa Le),in which she plays a pregnant woman.

Coincidentally, other reports indicate that the actress and her husband are really planning to become parents. In a recent interview during Kerala Piravi, Gopika had stated that the couple plan to start a family soon. Gopika also reportedly told her dad Anto Francis the happy news that he will be a grandfather soon. Confirmation is awaited.

But now, the real bump seems to be appearing, as Gopika was spotted with a huge belly recently even after the finishing of the shooting for the film.

Though nothing has been confirmed from the actress’s end as of now, the probability of Gopika being pregnant is almost certain! [ See more Celebrity Wedding Pics Here ]

Bollywood entrant Trisha to essay Shobana's role in 'Khatta Meetha'

South Indian popular Kollywood-Tollywood queen Trisha has finished the first schedule of Priyadarshan’s Akshay Kumar starrer 'Khatta Meetha' which is produced by the hero himself.


Bollywood newcomer Trisha's role in Khatta Meeta

Mohanlal- Shobhana starrer sentimental social comedy caper in Malayalam Vellanakalude Nadu (1990), now to be remade in hindi. It's none other than Priyadarshan’s new Akshay Kumar film 'Khatta Meeta' which is introducing Trisha Krishnan to bollywood audience.

While Akshay Kumar will play Mohanlal’s role, Trisha will essay Shobana’s character. Priyadarshan, it is believed, has added some real life incidents to the original script and made a few changes to suit the present day audience. The film's storyline has been altered to accommodate newspaper headlines.

Trisha will now play the role done by Shobhana in the original as played by Shobhana as an upright Panchayat Co-operative officer in charge of road building in a village.

“Bollywood films are special. Every actor wants do one. Of course, I’m happy to make my debut in a film like Khatta Meetha directed by Priyan Sir. I want to a strike a balance and do both bollywood and south films,” says Trisha.

The Khatta Meeta team is currently camping in Baramati in rural Maharashtra for the film shooting >> [ Read more cinema stuff ]

Shilpa gets ready for the grand wedding

Now that she is engaged and the wedding date has been finalised, Shilpa Shetty is gearing up for her sangeet ceremony in Khandala.

Shilpa will do all the requisite jhatkas-matkas while dancing to some of her most popular Bollywood songs with fiancé Raj Kundra at their sangeet.

Preparations are on in full swing and choreographer Ganesh Hegde will see to it that everybody's dance moves are perfect at the sangeet on November 21, a day before the wedding. The couple's family members and close friends will also be performing.

Giving us all the details, Ganesh says, “The sangeet is not a professional thing for me. I am related to Shilpa. We are keeping this as personal as possible and haven't involved any professional dancers. We're planning something cute where all the family members pay tribute to each other. Raj's younger brother is extremely enthusiastic about it. Raj's family members will be coming down from London.” [ See more details ]

Monday, November 9, 2009

Himalayan ice not melting due to climate change

The environment ministry on Monday published a discussion paper stating that there was no conclusive evidence to prove that the Himalayan glaciers are melting due to climate change.

[ Image: Himalayas ]

The report, released by Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh, however, made it clear that the views expressed by the author, Dr V K Raina, retired deputy director-general of the Geological Survey of India, are not that of the Union government and that it is meant to "stimulate discussion".

While releasing the report, Ramesh said that the discussion paper presents evidence that most glaciers are in the process of retreat while some Himalayan glaciers, such as the Siachen glacier, are actually advancing and some others are retreating at a rate lower than before, such as the Gangotri glacier.

The minister clarified that there was no doubt that the `health' of the glaciers was very poor and the situation was reaching alarming proportions but warned that there was little evidence to connect it to climate change or black carbon.

Dr Raina said, "None of our glaciers under monitoring are recording abnormal retreat."

He did qualify saying that there was not enough data to present any conclusive evidence to show linkages at the moment with long term data existing only for 20-30 glaciers and there was only one automated weather station in the entire Himalayas to record climatic data. [ Read complete article ]

Kareena in confusion with Saif and Aamir

Bebo(Kareena Kapoor) is facing problem promoting her two most ambitious flicks simultaneously. Read further to know what's going on with her exactly.


Bollywood Style Diva Kareena in dilemma

Bollywood's most stylish and promising actress Kareena Kapoor will be next seen in two ambitious projects Kurbaan opposite beau Saif Ali Khan and 3 Idiots opposite good friend Aamir Khan.

Kareena's characters for both movies have built up huge expectations among her fans. Both the films are creating a lot of buzz in the market themselves. And, now Kareena's biggest worry(or confusion) is that how she should manage the promotion of both these films.

Though the film '3 idiots' is primarily the story of three male characters, there would be sufficient focus on the Aamir-Kareena love track as well. Kareena's rain song with Aamir in '3 Idiots' is being much talked about, whereas her chemistry with Saif in 'Kurbaan' is 'intriguing'.

Saif Ali Khan is excited about his upcoming movie Kurbaan and says it was a great to work with actress Kareena Kapoor. As already well-known, Aamir Khan excels at innovative promotion for his films and this time the star has taken the internet route to pitch his forthcoming film "3 Idiots" - where the film's star cast will video chat with fans on the web.

Kareena has not been able to decide her priorities regarding two movies. Let's see what she's going to decide shortly. [ Read more cinema related articles ]

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The 'Chennai Express' Asin Thottumkal

Excerpts from a recent interview of Asin, to The Hindu. Check out what she has to say here.



A subtle play of emotions. An underplayed characterisation. A perfect foil for the egos of two singers. A balanced performance without interfering with the powerful portrayals of Ajay Devgn and Salman Khan. With just the right momentum of a ‘Chennai Express’ to chug non-stop through a journey to fulfil London Dreams. That’s Asin - natural, spontaneous and expressive.

Does she miss Chennai and Kollywood? “Frankly, I would be open to offers from any industry, as long as the role is good. I have done most roles in the South, and don’t want to repeat them. If something really interesting comes up, I will not say no to a Tamil film. But, right now, things seem to be happening for me in Bollywood, and I feel I should give it a shot,” says Asin. She is not a girl in a hurry, and some of the top directors in the Hindi film industry are in talks with Asin.

For Asin, none of the current crop of heroines is a threat. “I don’t consider any of them competition. I don’t rate myself against their performance. Most of them have been in the industry for quite some time and done many films. I am two films old in Bollywood, and have a long way to go to even be on equal terms with any of them. My aim is to just do what has to be done and hope the movie will do well, and I will move on to the next,” concludes Asin on a confident note. [ Read full interview here ]

Kamal Haasan -- King of remakes

Tamil superstar Kamal Hassan who recently celebrated his 50th year in the film industry, turned 55 yesterday(07-Nov-2009).


KAMAL HAASAN -- The King of remakes

Kamal Haasan made his film debut as a 6-year-old child artiste, in the film Kalathur Kannamma, which was released on August 12, 1959, directed by A. Bhimsingh.
[ Image: Kamal kissing his daughter Shruti ]

Kamal Haasan first received a regional Filmfare Award for acting for his role in the Malayalam film Kanyakumari(1974).

Known for his penchant for taking up challenging roles, Kamal, as he is fondly called, is reputed to be a "perfectionist" and a tech-savvy professional who has never hesitated to experiment in his ventures.

In an era where people, in an attempt to recreate magic, tend to completely miss the point made by the films they try to remake, one man gets the soul right more often than not. His screenwriting career has had several bouts of both legal and illegal plagiarisms but one thing common about everything he remakes is the intelligence factor. He has an uncanny knack of always coming up with smart adaptations of already tried and tested stories.

“There is nothing wrong in remaking a good idea. In fact Kamban's Tamil Ramayanam itself was nothing but a very intelligent remake of the original Ramayana” - Kamal Haasan.

Here is a look back at the various movies Kamal has remade/copied and the various ideas he's intelligently adapted. >> [ Read complete article @ ]

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kanden Kadhalai (tamil) -- Rediff review

It's close to tight-rope walking when you're bringing a cult classic into Tamil, and the effort shows in Sun Pictures' and Moserbaer's Kanden Kadhalai, the painstakingly re-made Jab We Met, directed by Jeyamkondaan-fame R Kannan - Says, read more as follows.


Kanden Kadhalai: Review by

Naturally, expectations are sky-high and the director's done his best to match Imtiaz Ali's dazzling efforts.

You'd think, Tamannaah might be the incredibly odd one out in a Theni family but once you get past her North Indian looks, the girl actually manages to impress you with her acting. She's bright, bubbly, and despite some fits and starts, is pretty convincing as someone who always thinks positive, in the direst of situations. Chinmayi's voice suits her admirably. As for the emotional scenes, when she breaks down in Ooty; she genuinely packs a punch.

In contrast, it's Bharath who doesn't quite deliver with his usual panache. For a guy who's pulled of a few daring roles, he flounders except when he's the stoic, stern-faced MD. You suspect that this might be because of Pattukkottai Prabhakar's dialogues, which are all right when it comes to sentimental or even emotional scenes but fall short at bringing youthfulness and pep. And there's a faint North Indian flavour that takes a bit getting used to.

Barring Santhanam who delivers with his usual style, the rest of the cast doesn't have much to do.

In comparison with Jab We Met, you might find the magic slightly wanting. On its own, though, Kanden Kadhalai has its unique moments. And for that, it's certainly worth a watch. >> [ Read complete review @ ]

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