Movies to look out for this week

Once Upon a Time in Mumbai [IMDB]

A tale of two gangsters from the eras of past and present, whose lives enter parallel paths as they struggle to survive within Bombay's criminal underworld

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Prachi Desai

Direction: Milan Luthria

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse [IMDB]

As a string of mysterious killings grips Seattle, Bella, whose high school graduation is fast approaching, is forced to choose between her love for vampire Edward and her friendship with werewolf Jacob

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson

Direction: David Slade

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Tere Bin Laden

If any of you sat through that colossal debacle called Khatta Meetha and swore off comedies (and Akshay Kumar in particular), this review is just to reassure you – that there is comedy beyond the Akshay Kumar/Golmaal brand of slapstick. Which wont make your ears or head hurt – and curse yourself for wasting so much of your time and money. Which will actually make you laugh – from within, genuinely. Presenting, Tere Bin Laden.

A bunch of unknown faces make up this witty little comedy - with a debutant director Abhishek Sharma behind the camera. The only known face is Sugandha Garg - the spunky girl from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. The lead actor is actually a pop star in Pakistan – I am sure that is going to raise some eye brows. You’d be more intrigued when I tell you the movie is actually set in Pakistan – though I doubt if they actually shot much there. There are a little too many explosions going on there nowadays for it to be conducive to movie making

Nevertheless, the story is about an America-worshipping young reporter Ali, whose biggest ambition in life is to emigrate to the US of A and become a reporter there. However, he finds himself blacklisted following some comic errors and now he is a reporter for a dilapidated pakistani tv channel run by a crazy boss. However, when he and his sidekick cameraman stumble upon a chicken farmer who looks remarkably like Osama Bin Laden, he thinks he has found the ticket of his dreams. However, he doesn’t have a clue what impact his subsequent actions might have.

As events go out of control, Ali tries desperately to put a lid on things – but as you can imagine, things exactly don’t go according to plan. The comedy of the movie is good and clean – with no reference to homosexuality, or shit or any of the other lame props used in most of our mainstream comedies. The jokes are well spread out and the pace of the movie picks up well after a slightly sluggish start. There is no romantic angle to distract – only over-the-top characters, each of one has his own peculiarity to make you laugh. The chaste Pakistani punjabi also works very well, especially when delivered in form of abuses

Tere Bin Laden works quite well as a funny movie – it has enough original moments which you would chuckle about, much after you leave the theatre. It is a recommended watch for everyone, especially given the dearth of good humorous movies at our box office. What stops this movie from being one of the all-time favourites is its too silly storyline. A slightly more intelligent script and a little more mature humour would probably have made it a masterpiece.

3 star
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There is a very fine, but definite line, dividing action movies like Salt or Mission Impossible into either fun movies - or dumb trash
Salt, unfortunately, crosses that line into dumb trash, while last month's The A-Team was a grin inducer. Salt has Angelina Jolie is in ass-kicking mode again after her 2008 flop Wanted. But if anything, her latest movie is worse than her previous action avatars in Mr & Mrs Smith or even Wanted. While Wanted was too much into the mystical assasins etc, atleast it was clear it wasnt based anywhere near reality and hence you didnt really care about factual or logical correctness. You only concentrated on the cool stunts and swerving bullets :)

Salt unfortunately, tried to make a realistic start with drab grey CIA headquarters, grey Washington mornings, a grizzled Russian defector - and even a Russian president called Medvedev ! But then it degenerates into a highly unrealistic story and some rather unbelievable description of security in the White House. The director has made a really pacy movie full of action & gunfights, but completely lost track of all logic. It should just have stuck to a unrealistic XXX kind of script - and focussed on enhancing Angelina Jolie's sex appeal, which frankly, is desperately missing in this movie. At just 100 min, the movie is so fast paced, that you do not get any time to notice Ms Angelina's appeal (or lack of it)

Salt may not be a complete waste though - the proponents of "dimaag closed" "timepass" movies have given it a thumbs up, so I assume for some people, it stayed well within the line of fun action movies. For me though, it was almost as if it was a Hollywood remake of Prince !

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Movies to look out for this week

Khatta Meetha [IMDB]

A struggling road contractor Sachin Tichkule, bumbles his way from one disaster to another, because he refuses to use bribes to get this way. Expect typical Priyadarshan tomfoolery

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Trishan Krishnan

Direction: Priyadarshan

Salt [IMDB]

As a CIA officer, Evelyn Salt swore an oath to duty, honor and country. Her loyalty will be tested when a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber

Direction: Phillip Noyce

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You might find the poster of the movie a bit misleading – because the poster and the trailer of the movie seem to suggest that it is college-teen story. And Udaan is anything but that. It is, however, a intensely heartfelt movie with a strong emotional connect – and with so much realism, that I cant shake the feeling it is, to a large extent, autobiographical. Even though it is populated with largely unknown faces, set in a bleak industrial city, yet this movie will linger in your minds for a long time after you exit the hall.

The plot of the movie is essentially a two liner. A 17 year old is kicked out of boarding school for playing truant and is forced back to an apathetic father – and to a 6 year old half brother he didn’t know existed. Stuck in a small town with no friends, forced to study engineering and work in his father’s iron and steel works, Udaan is a story of Rohan’s struggle with his loneliness and desperation. It is not pure entertainment, but it has got a lot of soul

The overbearing character in the movie is Bhairav Singh, played by Ronit Roy. A despotic father (with some probable army background, though its never suggested) – who does not listen to any opinion that doesn’t match his own and runs his life with army-like discipline. He even insists his sons call him Sir. He stands starkly in contrast with his younger brother, the affable Ram Kapoor. He is the only beacon of light in Rohan’s new world.

And amongst them, sitting quietly in a corner is his younger brother Arjun – who doesn’t speak much, yet wins your heart.

Everything from the background music to the photography is perfect for the movie – Amit Trivedi’s music melodious yet not distracting from the movie and the bleak shots of Jamshedpur accentuating the void that Rohan feels around him.

Udaan is a coming-of-age movie that you will identify with because of its honesty and sincerity. Newcomer Rajat Barmecha delivers one of the most subtle, yet effective roles in sometime – putting up a stoic face against the circumstances, yet showing us the vulnerable teenager within. The movie takes a slow pace, which in my opinion is essential for the viewers to share Rohan’s desperation – but some of my friends thought otherwise. That is probably the only slight flaw in this fabulous movie. Highly recommended

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Movies to look out for this week

Inception [IMDB]

In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a single idea within one's mind can be the most dangerous weapon or the most valuable asset.

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Direction: Christopher Nolan

Udaan [IMDB]

After boarding school, Rohan is closeted with an authoritarian father who makes him work at his steel factory and study engineering against his wishes. How he strives to forge his own life out of his given circumstances and pursue his own dreams is Udaan

Cast: Rajat Barmecha, Manjot Singh

Direction: Vikramaditya Motwane

Tere Bin Laden [IMDB]

Tere Bin Laden" is a tongue-in-cheek comedy about an ambitious young news reporter from Pakistan, who in his desperation to migrate to the US, produces a fake Bin Laden video and sells it as a scoop

Cast: Ali Zafar, Piyush Mishra

Direction: Abhishek Sharma

Lamhaa [IMDB]

Undercover agent Dutt, while investigating an attack on a prominent Kashmiri separatist leader Anupam Kher, opens a tin can of worms that is Kashmir today.

Cast: Bipasha Basu, Sanjay Dutt, Anupam Kher, Kunal Kapoor

Direction: Rahul Dholakia

Rahul Dholakia is the director of the critically acclaimed movie Parzania, which won the National Award in 2006

The Sorcerer's Apprentice [IMDB]

Master sorcerer Balthazar Blake recruits a seemingly everyday guy in his mission to defend New York City from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath

Cast: Nicholas Cage, Alfred Molina, Monica Belluci

Direction: Jon Turteltaub
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Movies to look out for this week

Milenge Milenge [IMDB]

Bollywood's take on the famous Hollywood romantic movie Serendipity. Boy and Girl meet and have a good time in Bangkok till they separate on some pretext, leaving it to fate to see if they meet again

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor
Direction: Satish Kaushik

Knight and Day [IMDB]

June Havens finds her everyday life tangled with that of a secret agent who has realized he isn't supposed to survive his latest mission. As their campaign to stay alive stretches across the globe, they soon learn that all they can count on is each other

Cast: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz
Direction: James Mangold

The Last Airbender [IMDB]

The story follows the adventures of Aang, a young successor to a long line of Avatars, who must put his childhood ways aside and stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the Water, Earth and Air nations

Cast: Noah Ringer, Dev Patel
Direction: M. Night Shyamalan

Red Alert : The War Within [IMDB]

Sunil Shetty plays a poor peasant Narsimha who is kidnapped by Naxals and who slowly becomes one, till his conscience suddenly wakes up

Cast: Sunil Shetty, Naseeruddin Shah, Sameera Reddy

Direction: Anant Mahadevan
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I Hate Luv Storys

Whether you like I Hate Luv Storys or not will depend a lot on your like/dislike of romantic comedies. The ones which Hollywood churns out so regularly. If you like them, then you wouldn’t mind I Hate Luv Storys – because some parts of the movie definitely are as clever as its Hollywood counterparts. But if you cant stand romantic comedies, you are so going to ‘hate’ this movie. Because looked at from a dispassionate logical angle, the movie is just dumb.

Really really dumb !

But as I said before, if you like your romantic comedies, then Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor will win you over – atleast in the first half of the movie. Playing the cynical cassanova and the cute-girl-in-pink respectively, both Sonam and Imran bring a really frothy youthful charm to the movie. They are effortless in their roles – and you cant help but like them - he is like a lovable rascal and she is this really beautiful girl that everyone cant help but love.

They are ably supported by the guy’s nerdy best friend from the Sprite ad – who comes up with an amazing graph to analyze girls with – made me wonder why no one in my engineering college came up with that one :) Gabbar Singh also steals a couple of scenes – though not in a way you’d think.

However, even the zesty performance of the two leads cant make up for the really weak second half – even by rom com standards. The movie begins to drag and you start to realize how terrible the soundtrack by Vishal Shekhar is (among other things). You know how things are going to end eventually – but debutant director Punit Malhotra takes a really slow torturous road towards it.

And if you were to take off the rose-tinted glasses earlier, you’d see how silly the script is. Why would a acclaimed romantic movie director employ someone so cynical like Jay as his assistant in the first place ? And which ibanker has so much time in the world ? Seriously !

Actually, this outburst is all because of the terrible second half of the movie. I love watching romantic movies – and I enjoyed the first half a lot. Overall, I had a good time watching the movie. For others, I am sure it would be a decent time pass. Just don’t take the movie too seriously ..

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Movies to look out for this week

Apologies for not posting this weekend. I was away on a much needed vacation

I Hate Luv Storys [IMDB]

Jay doesn't believe in love Stories, and Simran, is a girl who's in love with the idea of Love itself

Cast: Imran Khan, Sonam Kapoor

Direction: Punit Malhotra

The Losers [IMDB]

After being betrayed and left for dead, members of a CIA black ops team root out those who targeted them for assassination

Cast: Chris Evans, Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Direction: Sylvain White

The Descent : Part 2 [IMDB]

Distraught, confused, and half-wild with fear, Sarah Carter emerges alone from the Appalachian cave system where she encountered unspeakable terrors

Cast: Gavan O'Herlihy, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder

Direction: Jon Harris

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