BOX OFFICE UNRAVELED!

Loads of newsprint and loads of Newsreels were devoted to the predictions of which film will win over the Box Office since both biggies Om Shanti Om (OSO) and Saawariya released on the same date. One movie had a beautiful debutante and the King of Bollywood (sorry purist, for using this term) and many other stars in favour of it while the other had two debutantes and a powerhouse director with a flair for grandeur matched by very few across the globe !

But then, what is the Box Office ? What do they mean when everybody from the Economic Times to the News Channels say OSO beat Sawaariya by Z millions etc etc ? As you can probably understand the Box Office is nothing but the Box at the front of a theatre which has the words ‘TICKETS’ written on it. Now, ‘trade analysts’ declare a movie a hit only if its Box office takings are at the top of the charts. But does that mean the producers made their money. Not really, in Bollywood and in the last few years especially, producers tend to recover their money through sale of distribution rights, music rights and merchandising rights alone. The Box Office takings affect the distributor and the theatre owner (sometimes it is a 50-50 sharing).

There are various websites which offer rankings of Box Office takings of Hollywood flicks such as BoxOffice Mojo and ShowBiz Data. There are many other sites too but none really that give you a credible listing of Indian Movies and their Box Office takings ! Now, the Economic Times Intelligence Group has started a section devoted to this in association with a few multiplexes and distribution. You can view it on their website.

Of course, we are not endorsing or authenticating any of these services but just sharing the info for the curious movie-goer in you.

Now, the economically oriented ones among you may question, the movie rates were not the same 10 years ago (sigh ! I remember the days when the front row seats used to cost Rs.7.50 in Bangalore and now everything is in the range of Rs200) so how can you track the all-time grosser. Well, the answer is that most credible and industry oriented box office tracking service take into account inflation and have formulas to normalize the earnings so as to give a fair ranking ! Now, you have everything from opening day box office record to opening week box office records to all box office grossers !
Well, then happy Box Office Tracking !
Did you know? Sholay, considered one of the biggest hits in Indian Film history was a Box Office dud in its first few days and the actors even suggested pulling back the film and re-releasing it ! The word of mouth that it then generated went on to make it a hit ! According to the IMDB the all time highest grosser (without inflation adjustment) in USA is the Titanic with over $600 millions. And the lowest grossing know movie in cinema history is Zyzzyx Road (2006)which believe it or not made 30 Dollars at the box office from an estimated 6 viewers. The movie starring Tom Siezemore, Katherine Heigl and Leo Grill was made for USD 2 Millions and was closed in 6 days of release ! Sivaji, the boss (a movie in tamil starring Rajanikant) allegedly recovered all it investment and more even before the release through sale of distribution rights alone !

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Madhuri's coming back...next week !

Well...it's no news but the Aaja Nachle is eagerly awaited. I am sure countless other Madhuri fans like me are just watiing to watch the Diva on screen again. Rajeev masand of CNN IBN spoke to her and you can catch more about it on IBN Live

Here's a short clip of the interview.

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Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal !

After the success of Chak De, one would have lot of expectations from another sports movie to hit the screens and fair enough, one couldn't help but compare the two.

Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal is the tale of an Asian team - Southall United Football Club which will lose its home ground if it cannot cough up 3 million pounds and the only way to make 3 million pounds is to win the local league championships. There begins the tale of Shaan (Arshad Warsi) the team captain and a bunch of rag tag players. Shaan ropes in a former Southall player Tony (Boman Irani) as the coach who also has a tale in the past. Then there is Rumana (Bipasha) who is Shaan's sister and a doctor and of course gets to be the team physio too. There is a parallel track of Sunny Bhasin (John Abraham) who is not chosen on racial grounds in a club of choice and compelled by his lost but now found sense of identity comes on board the Southall team.

The movie had the intentions of building pride in the Asian community abroad probably. Now, does the movie succeed ? if you ask me, the answer's a big NO. The movie while well intended, is patchy in screenplay and lacks soul & depth, both counts on which a Chak De India scored extremely high. Arshad Warsi is highly wasted in this film and so is Bipasha. Bipasha has a ridiculous role to play and that role could have been played by any other actress and would have made no difference. John Araham with his new looks tries to look like a footballer and unfortunately none of the cast really give you the impression of being such. While the rest of the team could be that way since they are not professional footballers and be intentionally unfit, Sunny (John) is tremendously bulky to be a forward position strike footballer !

The movie is just too long and with a flurry of kicks, tackles and goals, you soon lose count and track of which match is being won or lost. While the theme of the movie is building pride against racism there are plenty of references to 'Goras' and such other racial remarks ! The dialogue seems very contrived and the movie could have done with far better direction. The team anthem of Halla Bol, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal while hummable for short while fails in becoming a sporty anthem that a nation can adopt (again reminiscing of Chak De !) Of course, the movie has been in the gossip columns for all the wrong reasons from the John-Bipasha relationship to the Arshad-John tussle and many other tussles excpet for the football tackles !

The bits that are good are a few scenes between Arshad Warsi and John Abraham and the sequence between Boman Irani and John Abraham in the rain and a few other scenes. What possibly saves this movie to some extent is Arshad, Boman and John, in spite of everything else.

If you give this movie a miss, you wont miss much really ! The catchline of the movie goes -Heroes will rise, after the movie a tired audience does rise...to leave !

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Jab We Met


Good movie. Gets to you immediately with the enthusiasm, humour and the spontaneity.

Hopeless and heart broken business tycoon Aditya decides to give it all up and meets the full of life Geet and takes a U turn and gets right back at life. After nine months he meets her again in particularly same circumstances, only this time it is Geet who is at the receiving end. What goes around truly comes around and how!

Besides this, there are good many things to watch out for in Jab We Met.

Naiveté and over confidence mixed together into a deadly but humorous concoction, Kareena Kapoor does for the first time impress you. In so many years of her acting career, I must say, she has passed in her 1st board exams.

Shahid Kapur is a good actor. At the end of it, you feel he has done plenty of justice to the character that he has taken up as a tycoon’s son. I would have expected a tycoon’s son to carry himself off like the way Shahid Kapur did in the movie.

The dialogues, the humour, true to life feeling and the transition from a full of life, happy go lucky to a lifeless soul and vice versa is a great thing to watch. It’s about life’s vicissitudes, how we deal with them and a fact that we all change with the changing circumstances around us, and an old wise tale repeated "to those who have gone ashtray, someone will come and show you the way"

The movie is watchable, and also some more things to watch out for:

Kareena kapoor has finally shed her parallel pants – kurta routine to a much ‘true to life’ clothing
Shahid Kapur finally looks old enough to be Kareena Kapur’s boyfriend
Models cant act, proved one more time by the guy who acts as Kareena Kapoor’s boyfriend, they must learn to not think of how they look
(He is hilarious and memorable "wo idiots mujhe jabarjasti ganne ke khet lejana chahate hai", Un-for-get-table!)
This is Kareena Kapur only good performance so far, by my standards i.e (and I have high standards, FYI)
Do watch it for an entertaining, feel good evening.

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Also watched Jab we met

As part of my Diwali Dhamka !

Another gem of a movie in recent times. Will tell you more about it soon !

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DIWALI DHAMAKA !

Nope, am not offering anything for sale ! Just giving you a gist of how a lot of my Diwali holidays were spent. Other than doing what I had to do, I got time to catch up on lots of movies (including a rewatch of Chak De India and many other movies) and a TV show !

First of all I will speak of the TV show which I watched all 3 seasons of ! Yup, all pretty much continuously.


Entourage, HBO's TV series. HBO does come with some beauties. As the name says the series is all about the entourage of a star or celebrity ! in this case there is Vincent Chase(Adrian Grenier) a hot newly discovered star with his entourage made up of E or Eric (Kevin Connoly) who's also his manager, Johhny Drama (Kevin Dillion) who's also his half brother, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), the very verbose Ari Gould (Jeremy Piven) and Shaun (Debi Mazar) who handles his PR. All in all The Entourage is made of an interesting set of individuals who keep you grinning from ear to ear. Mark Wahlberg is the Executive producer of this series.

The series takes you into the inside working of the business in Hollywood, the star trappings, the deals, the movers and shakers. You have a host of actual stars playing themselves throughout the series and thats what makes this series interesting and a step above other 'inside-story' kind of series or movies.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this TV series because-Its cool, its got nice background scores, its funny and its got great performances. My favorite characters are E, Drama and Ari ! Watch this series and you will know why !


NOW FOR THE DIWALI BIGGIE !


OM SHANTI OM


This movie has been much talked about in India prior to its release. Primarily due to the fact that this movie had the king- Shahrukh Khan and the hot debutante Deepika, releasing on the same day as the Sony promoted Saawariya, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and also starring two debutantes.

I haven't watched Saawariya and nor do I plan to !

I watched Om Shanti Om along with a houseful multiplex theater and I wasn't disappointed at all. I absolutely enjoyed the movie. yes, it could have been a tad shorter and the screenplay swifter in the 2nd half, but then I had a great time.

The story begins in the 70s with Om Prakash Makhija (Sharukh Khan) a junior artiste who is in love with the star Shantipriya (Deepika Padukone) and who dreams of becoming a star. He has his loyal friend Pappu (Shreyas Talpade) who is content being a junior artiste. there is the famous producer Mukesh mehra (Arjun Rampal) A chance encounter allows Om to begin a friendship with Shantipriya. Do things change ? Does Shantipriya know of Om's desire. Well, this story does not have a happy ending. The first half is hilarious and you really are amused by the whole 70s settings and the entertaining cliches (including a young Sooraj Bharjatiya, wearing a 'friend' cap,copying lines etc).

The 2nd half of the movie is set in the modern day and you have Om Kapoor (Shahrukh Khan), a starchild and a star and yes, you guessed right, a reincarnation of the old Om Prakash Makhija who now has to take revenge (just Like Karma, the famous reincarnation drama in hindi cinema). In fact, the movie begins with a tribute to Karma. There are multiple references to movies of the 70s as well. The modern day sequences are again entertaining and the Filmfare Awards sequence is absolutely hilarious with real life stars acting in it. Shahrukh Khan has the courage to laugh at himself with display of his repetitive roles and cinema (a thing of the past I surely believe). The Akshay Kumar sequence is hilarious to the core and he is absolutely entertaining, the short while that he is on screen. The tale of reincarnation and revenge has a twist too, although not entirely unpredictable ! Shahrukh Khan is absolutely brilliant and all his mannerisms only add to the role he plays ! There is the now famous song with about 30 stars in it and that song is a treat to watch not only for the stars but for the choreography which is so well done ! All the main characters put in good performances. Deepika is so unbelievably good lookinga and does extremely well !

Farah Khan does a good job of story and direction after Main Hoon Na and sticks to the pattern of establishing a base peppered with comedy in the first half with the serious action and climax in the 2nd half. Some intelligent and awesome product placement really spruces up the presentation of this movie ! All those marketers and media buyers can surely learn a thing or two !

Basically paisa vasool ! After Chak De India, Shahrukh is among my favorite Indian film stars. This movie does one thing and does it well-Entertains ! A must watch for anyone who watches Hindi movies. Yes, if it was a tad shorter, the movie would have been a few notches higher.

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Resident Evil: Extinction

Game Over?

I've never been a big fan of the Resident Evil series. This is the first one I've seen. I did not think of it as a WOW movie. But the key differentiator from other zombie flicks is the fact RE is shot in daylight! Yeah...there are very few scenes where you have to strain your eyes.
The movie revolves around the T-Virus - a deadly virus that turns people into flesh eating zombies (like we did not know...). Alice (Milla Jovovich) is bio organic weapon who goes out and beats the crap out of the zombies. She reminds me of Lara Croft -- the way she dresses, moves, and kills. Oh, I forgot, Tomb Raider is also a game.
On the whole it's not that great of a movie. Even for die hard game fans, there have been better game to movie flicks.
I would give it a 2/5.
IMDB link

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