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HAPPY NEW YEAR (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Director/choreographer Farah Khan (“Om Shanti Om”) serves her revenge Masala style, hot and spicy; “Happy New Year” is a Bollywood romp reminiscent of “Ocean’s Eleven”, “Italian Job” and a plagiarized version of Hollywood’s 1987 “Happy New Year”, starring Peter Falk and Charles Durning; Shah Rukh Khan is at his “abs”olute best as “Charlie”, seeking revenge for the false imprisonment of ... Read More »

RUMINATIONS OF THE CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AT THE MIDPOINT

A strange phenomena occurs while watching three to four films a day; similarities, idiosyncrasies, poetic ploys, resonate as they would not under normal viewing circumstances: smoking informs approximately 80% of the films, regardless of the country they represent; cell phones, despite the direness of living conditions, are a major tool of contemporary filmmakers (“Timbuktu”);  child stars are a prime, compelling ... Read More »

BANG BANG! HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES

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Bollywood’s anemic and hardly recognizable imitation of Hollywood’s  2010 “Knight and Day” starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz;  India’s eleven-fingered, handsome,  heartthrob Hrithik Roshan (with an abdomen so defined it defies pulsation; questioning the veracity of such tautened ripples, resembling robotic, digital action toys), is “Jai” the daredevil protagonist, capable of phenomenal wizardry; stealing the Koh-i-noor Diamond from the Tower ... Read More »

HAIDER (HAMLET) HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES

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William Shakespeare (1564-1616) did his most prolific writing between the years 1589-1613; he was the quintessential Bard, has never come close to being duplicated; his works, themes, resonate today as they did hundreds of years ago; no one captures the foils, fantasies, baseness or heroics of the human condition as did this timeless genius. Director Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Haider” is a ... Read More »

MARY KOM HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES

  The sport of boxing has never appealed to me: cauliflower ears, brain damage, even death, resulting from the brutality of the game; but I rarely miss a boxing flick; they resonate with profound pathos, the quintessential joy when the underdog champions; possibly because of the agony, the ecstasy of victory is even sweeter. Some of the greats: “The Champ”, ... Read More »

Singham Returns (Unfortunately)

Flagrantly, bombastically  cacophonous; every scene, word is punctuated  by a soundtrack guaranteed to render the hearing-impaired profoundly silent; others, achingly in need of Midas Mufflers. Wagnerian in scope and sound, Ajay Devgan is Herculean as “Inspector Bajirao Singham”; questing total annihilation of every bureaucratic malfeasance plaguing India since its 1947’s independence. “Singham Returns” is well-intentioned, action-infused, glamorously-filmed but far too ... Read More »

Lauren Bacall

On September 16th, Lauren Bacall would have been ninety years old; almost a century of viability, lusting and loving life, protected, enhanced by her inimitable intelligence and wit she was unequivocally the captain of her soul; archetypical woman of substance who did it her way; thrust into the lionizing limelight at nineteen (“To Have and Have Not”) she perpetually reiterated ... Read More »

Robin Williams 1951-2014

“The brighter the light the darker the shadow”. No one defines this prescient observation more than Robin Williams; he lit up film and television with his raucous, insightful humor, impeccable timing, fluent, gifted improvisation; lurking behind this amicable, ingratiating facade was always the omnipresent albatross of depression; a disease as insidious as the most crippling cancer; voraciously devouring one’s spirit ... Read More »

KICK (HINDI:ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Another formulaic Bollywood extravaganza, starring ageing heartthrob Salman Khan, who indubitably is starting to scarily resemble a Jeff Koons inflatable sculpture; he’s “Devi/Devil”  a  buffed boy, with idiot savant skills but crippled with a huge affliction of ADD, leaping from one escapade to another, searching for a thrill, “kick” to perpetually inject Masala into his life; karma intervenes in the ... Read More »

HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA (HUMPTY SHARMA’S BRIDE) HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES

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A lighter, gauzier version of 1995’s “Diwale Dulhania le Jayenge” starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Why the title, so informed by irrevocable breakage, is a mystery; “Humpty” is an indestructible entity when it comes to his choice of a “bride”. Here is delightful romantic comedy blessed by two of Bollywood’s youthful, dynamic film forces. Alia Bhatt is formidable as ... Read More »

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