August 23, 2009

Coming Attractions: Lemonade

This one's for all the creative souls who used to work in the advertising realm, but anyone else who's lost his or her job might benefit from the trailer below. If that's you, then your wake–up call is in production and is called Lemonade.

© 2009 Please Feed the Animals.

It is said that today is the first day of the rest of your life, right?

August 21, 2009

Coming Attractions: Quick Gun Murugun

Your Projectionist isn't blaming this on Om Shanti Om director Farah Khan. No, he's taking this one to Shashank Ghosh, whose Quick Gun Murugun is on its way from Fox Star Studios.

Think this cowboy's got a chance at the worldwide Bollywood box office? Watch this herd of sneak peeks and decide:

All of the above courtesy Fox Star Studios/20th Century Fox Film Corporation.

Hope you haven't O.D.'ed on any of this yet. We're not talking the rebirth of El Topo here.

P.S.: Visit Passion for Cinema to read some of the director's thoughts. That, and to feast on the T–shirt he is wearing in the accompanying photo.

When will Fox put that shirt on sale? I'd love one.

Coming Attractions: Capitalism: A Love Story

He told you once, now he's telling you twice… Michael Moore's newest film has a title — Capitalism: A Love Story — and a new trailer to go with it:

Courtesy Starz–Overture Films/Paramount Vantage/Dog Eat Dog Films.

Amazing that this trailer appears on the same day I read this, which is all too clear to ignore:

The real war is not between the left and the right. It is between the average American and the ruling class. If we come together on this single issue, everything else will resolve itself. It's time we took back our government from those who would make us their slaves.

Who wrote this? Surprise, surprise…

August 18, 2009

Coming Attractions: Mother India, short–attention span cut

This is either a moment of bravery or needless messing with a piece of Bollywood history: The Guardian reports on a drastically–recut and rescored version of the 1957 Mehboob Khan film Mother India.

Stress the word "drastically."

The Khal Phool website gives the skivvy on the UK tour now in progress through Saturday 24 October. There are no plans right now to go beyond the British Isles with this project — a good thing since your Projectionist would prefer to first get acquainted with the original cut on DVD Video.

For what it's worth, here's a morsel of what the lads and lassies can expect:

And for what it's worth, here's DJ Tigerstyle in action:

©2009 Kala Phool, Ltd.

The Projectionist reserves further judgment for after viewing the 1957 original.

Coming Attractions: Dil Bole Hadippa!

Leave it to Yash Raj Films to offer something truly appealing this Fall.

This September, it's a romantic comedy about a young woman's breaking into the male–dominated sport of… cricket.

Yes, you read that right. Cricket.

Courtesy of Yash Chopra's studio is this four video preview of Dil Bole Hadippa!

©2009 Yash Raj Films (Private) Ltd.

Enjoy, everybody.

P.S.: For those ready to buy the soundtrack CD, YRF also tosses in a free CD with MP3s of songs from their back catalogue. It might seem unnecessary if you already own those albums, but take a look at how the MP3s were done: everything is properly tagged right down to the singers for each selection, and the corresponding album artwork is embedded in each file. It saves mobile music geeks like me the chore of scanning the artwork and manually editing the ID tags in each file. Anyone else in India making MP3 CDs: YRF's sampler shows how it should be done.

August 16, 2009

Is that the Big B in your lamp, Mr. Eros, or are you just glad we watched the teaser?

Your Projectionist is deeply concerned about the future of the people at Eros International (that's "eh–ROHS," folks). You see, they're now streaming the teaser for the forthcoming Aladin (one "d," not two here), being readied by the Boundscript studio.

It doesn't look promising, folks. Even if the Big B himself — the one and only Amitabh Bachchan — is there to pull in the faithful. (God Tussi Great Ho, anyone?) Maybe we'll be proven wrong this Fall, but with the way many recent fantasy flicks (not just the ones made in India, mind you) have stumbled on their way to the box office, I have a queasy feeling about this one.

I can't embed the teaser here, so you'll have to go over to either the Eros or Boundscript website to view it.

But it's depressing to think that Eros has learned nothing from their Drona fiasco. Especially when they greenlighted an Aladin sequel. Last year, to be exact.

Counting one's chickens before they even have a chance to consider the idea of hatching? Or just making a death wish?

Let's check back in October.

Boundscript is charting their progress with a blog, with which they promise "100% Wholesome Indian Films." For the sake of the careers of their staff, let's hope their intuitions are right this time.

Too bad you've been prawned, Joe™

The New York Times delivers the word: This week's Hollywood box office champ is Neill Blomkamp's District 9. Produced by Peter Jackson and his Wingnut Films company and distributed by Sony, it delivered a USD 37 million payday, paying off the film's USD 30 million dollar production cost. It's gravy from here on in.

That dropped the Paramount/Hasbro–made G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra™ to second place (USD 22.5 million for the week, USD 98.8 million cumulative). Ha ha ha. (Unless Viacom and Hasbro probably are drafting yet another waste of money and non–renewable resources sometime down the line. Oy if it's true.)

How did District 9 get on top? Top–level moviemaking is one possibility (reviews have been mainly positive, and I've only seen three unfavorable ones to date). Then there's Mr. Jackson's presence at the recent Comic–Con in San Diego, California — nothing less than an Event for fanboys and fangirls. You can also throw in Sony's marketing campaign (see some of it on the movie's website), which according to the Times, "echoed the paranoia of the movie’s story line. Billboards and bus ads, for instance, encouraged people to call a toll–free number to report nonhuman activity, resulting in thousands of calls."

I hardly ever both to go to Hollywood flicks these days. This one, though, could be the big exception. Only one way to find out.

Do they know who that man is? Do they?

Someone should send the U.S. Customs staff at New Jersey's Newark Liberty Airport original DVDs of Om Shanti Om and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. That way, the next time Bollywood idol Shah Rukh Khan comes through their portal, they won't subject him to another two–hour–plus detention as they reportedly did on Friday, August 14th — before a gig in Atlantic City (and Indian Independence Day activities in Chicago, Illinois the next day).

Not done, guys. Apparently his Muslim surname sent up erroneous red flags at Homeland Security. But let the gentleman explain:

It was absolutely uncalled for I think, me having just finished working there for more than a month… just a couple of weeks ago. They said I have a common name which is causing the delay… checked my bags… I felt angry and humiliated…

I am assuming this country is paranoid with a certain section of religion in the world. This has happened to me before. This is not the first time.

And it required the efforts of Indian Consulate people to get him freed.

BollywoodWorld also notes the immediate shock and anger expressed by the Bollywood creative community, including director Karan Johar, actress Priyanka Chopra (currently seen in the must–see Kaminey), Kabir Khan (the director of New York), and Kunal Kohli, who notes:

Even if they had done a Google search on their mobiles, they would have seen who he is. What were they checking for two hours on their super computers?

Let's hope that Fox Star's forthcoming release of My Name is Khan, directed by Karan Johar (and dealing with how 11 September 2001 affects one Indian Muslim) gets a wide enough release that it inspires some much needed change of heart at DHS.

The Bush regime is (burnt) toast, guys.

P.S.: Yash Raj Films' double–DVD set of New York, however flawed, should also be recommended viewing.

UPDATE 1 on 2009.08.16: The BBC and others have heard U.S. Customs officials defend their actions, claiming that SRK (as he is also known) was only held for an hour and six minutes. Customs spokesman Elmer Camacho claimed that it was only a routine procedure used for all foreigners entering the States. Meanwhile, Timothy Roehmer, who is the U.S. Ambassador to India, said the embassy would look into the matter.

In addition, the story got picked up for an almost quarter–page space in Newsday, while the New York Times and National Public Radio re–ran a version of the story circulated by the Associated Press.

UPDATE 2 on the same date: The New York Times and other media outlets now say that SRK is trying to put what happened behind him, saying that "it's a procedure that needs to be followed."

There's more on the story over at Screen, which suggests that the man is a bit world–weary these days.

No question director Kabir Khan is tired of the whole homeland security charade himself:

When I heard this news, I was so surprised… it has almost become a routine. If you have a Muslim name you are bound to be questioned. It happened with me thrice in the US. I was stopped by immigration officials for three to five hours– they don’t care whether you are a celebrity or whoever.

But when it comes to Shah Rukh, it doesn’t take more than 20 seconds to figure out who he is — any search engine will give more information on him than Hollywood stars Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, and despite that, if it took them two hours to figure out, then it's harassment.

No wonder he made New York.

The Yash Raj Films DVD set of that film will be in my hands shortly (I pre–ordered it via Amazon). It will have two discs, so I will be very interested by what extra features are on the second disc, or whether there will be a running commentary track for the feature itself. Besides wanting to know why the staff shot most of their film in Pennsylvania (?), I would like to know more about his experiences with our Department of Homeland [In–]Security, and how much they shaped his perspective of what I thought was my home country (I'm no longer so sure). We'll soon know in a few days.

August 13, 2009

It's nothing personal against Mumbai, mind you…

…it's just that UTV's newest movie Kaminey and Studio 18's comedy Life Partner are opening everywhere tomorrow, except in Mumbai, India, where the multiplexes will be shuttered for a while.

Blame this one on… the swine flu. Bollywood Hungama (via Screen) explains:

The swine flu scare has really caught on big time and now after Pune, the state government has also alerted Mumbaikars to stay away from crowded places. In fact, a directive has been issued ordering shutting down of schools, colleges and educational institutions for a week while even recreational centers like malls and multiplexes have been asked to be shut down for next three days.

So now UTV and Studio 18 and the affected theatres in Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai will have to sit tight until the Indian government gives them the green light to open for business again. That said, both studios will have their movies in the cinemas elsewhere in the world tomorrow. That includes select National Amusements multiplexes in the States, including the one in Farmingdale (Long Island), New York, the one closest to your Projectionist.

He is gunning {ahem} to see Kaminey, but is stoked to also be able to choose between Life Partner and the highly successful Love Aaj Kal — all playing in the same multiplex!

Now movie going just got more interesting.

Meanwhile BollywoodWorld reports that shooting is still going on for new movies, swine flu or no swine flu.

Hmm… let's check back on this one in a few days.

August 12, 2009

Because we're sick of the hooligans

Your Projectionist has felt nauseous in recent days — but only when he hears even a few seconds of Conservative/neo–con hooligans at health care reform town hall gatherings as captured by National Public Radio's microphones. (Or by anyone else's microphones, or cameras for that matter.)

So he has been heartened to learn of a new interfaith coalition declaring a period of "40 Days for Health Care Reform." From Faith in Public Life:

Starting today [10 August], a new national television ad featuring local evangelical, Catholic, and mainline pastors and people of faith — real folks testifying to the urgent need to repair our broken system — will begin airing on cable [TV]…

Here's the advert. Embed and share it however you can:

We've now got less than forty days left. Let's get moving, people.

August 9, 2009

Any more town hall disruptions by Republican/neo–Con plants…

…and your Projectionist will take this duo's advice:

©2009(SOCAN, we assume).

This one goes with a loving shout–out to Marie–Lynn Hammond, even though this isn't her preferred style of music.

BTW: There is musical life beyond Céline Dion. Just ask Marie–Lynn Hammond. She hosted CBC Radio's long–missed Musical Friends; she'll tell you.