Random Friday

The heat is already frying my brain, so I don’t have much to say. I go out in the morning, come back for lunch time and just write.

So I’m just going to post this short comic about me and Da Muse and his stupid hats.

To see the original that prompted this, go to his Facebook page (or Twitter, or Instagram, or whatever… I’m only on Facebook, so…). Still have no idea if and when you’ll be able to read Da Strip! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and I watched ABCD, and recognized teacher Vishnu from ABCD2. Great choreographies, story okay. I haven’t seen the Hollywood equivalents such as Step Up, so I can’t compare…

Prepping for the weekend, lots of publishing stuff to do! Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚


Random Friday

Muse Randomness. Last weekend’s brainstorming:2016sevenRADOwipSmallThis week’s vignette – almost a Happiness is, right?35 hug_resize

And it’s because…

I booked the flights and the hotel, so London, I’m coming! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I might have time for a trip to Hastings – the battlefield, not the city as well… in less than two months, whoot! ๐Ÿ˜€

Have a great weekend!

Random Friday

Final batch of Bollywood movies, so you won’t hear anything else for a few months, LOL! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The list is still huge, but I don’t plan on buying anything until I go to London in August, so… I might review movies from other places for a change! ๐Ÿ˜€

Houseful 1 and Housefull 2 are both comedies, Bollywood-style. With a group of people, misunderstandings, some slapstick, and lots of songs. Both soundtracks are great. If you just want to have fun, try them.

Cocktail is a little more melodramatic – got a little tear out of me at the end. The two heroines are both wonderful (and beautiful), but Saif Ali Khan is not my type! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But Deepika is always very good…

Dil Bole Hadippa!… well, not really my kinda movie (dunno shit about cricket and don’t like sports movies in general), but Rani Mukerji is deliriously funny in the double part of Veer and Veera (not to mention that my first Bollywood movie was KANK, so I’m very fond of Rani and Preity Zinta for that reason, LOL). And I don’t care if Shahid Kapoor is not a megastar, he’s cute, and I like watching him! ๐Ÿ˜‰

BTW, avoid this last movie, unless you speak Hindi. The subtitles are either non-existent or unreadable… another production done with Google Translator, probably! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It even has Italian subtitles, but I don’t dare checking them (after seeing the mess they did on Umrao Jaan with Aishwarya Rai thatย I tried to show toย Cristina – who, by the way, had a taste of Krrish3, with instant traslation by yours truly, and really enjoyed it! :D).

Not bothered to go to IMDB to get the links, sorry. This will go live in less than an hour and I’m at DayJob, so… And I’ll spare you my rant on Bollywood beaus… Have a wonderful weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Random Friday

While waiting for my two DVDs, I thought I’d get on with that DVD pile that’s been sitting on my table since November. I’m kinda tired of not watching movies, so I’m doing a movie week marathon, or better, I’ll start watching movies after dinner every other day again. I also bought some Italian DVDs last Sunday, but since they don’t have English subtitles, I probably won’t “review” them.

Now, to the Bollywood pile! ๐Ÿ˜‰ WAQT… meh. Too many songs even for me. If I say “enough is enough”, there were probably one too many! BUT if you like melodrama or dramedy, check it out. Also if you like Priyanka, Akshay or Big B, of course. And if you’re a man – I was the wrong target for this movie, LOL! Now, if some female director shot the mother/daughter version… hear me Zoya Akhtar or Gauri Sindhe? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then Zoya’s twin Fahran’s version of Don with King Khan. Highly recommended for lovers of action and heist movies – Bollywood style, of course. You never know who’s really who in this movie, and they need flashbacks to show you what actually happened. Nice. Some weird-looking transitions, but they weren’t too bad for an action movie! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Don 2 is a sequel, and not better than the first (like Dhoom 2 compared to the first – ahem, no, I’m not biased, it’s just that Aryan is too good looking, LOL), in spite of the special appearance. I don’t know why they decided to bring back a negative hero. The original Don with Big B. has no sequels. Anyhow, still action/heist, if that’s your favorite genre… But even the songs were less catchy! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I tried to watch Ishkq in Paris, but it was a pirated DVD and there were no English subtitles, so I used the FF button a lot. Preity is always very pretty and Isabelle Adjani is perfect as her mother, but I don’t think I’ll end up buying a copy with subtitles (maybe I’ll learn Hindi first – NOT! ๐Ÿ˜‰ If I can find a cheap version with subtitles, I’ll get it, since there’s Paris… but it’s probably not my cup of tea!). So that’s all for this week… more next time!

My order is half here. I got one yesterday but want to watch it during the weekend. The second is on its way, we’ll see if it arrives today or I have to go to the post office tomorrow to claim it, LOL! Have a wonderful weekend!

Random Friday

Written in bits and pieces as soon as I have something to say. Halla Bol: can’t tell if it’s a good movie or not, because the so-called English subtitles were either very bad and ridden with typos or non-existent and un-synchronized to the dialog. So I have not a very clear idea of what they were saying at any time. I guess this movie wasn’t meant to be seen outside of India… Like others I’ve stumbled upon (I already mentioned missing or badly written English subtitles, didn’t I). Alas my Hindi is still non-existent, so maybe one day I’ll watch it again. Maybe.

Same DVD had also Welcome. Slapstick comedy, one of those where people don’t brake and keep going with their car after losing the wheel (an action scene in a supposed rom-com) and other silly visual tricks. Except there were probably lots of funny thinks said, but I could only guess them because – yes, once again, the English subtitles were clunky or non existent. I got the idea of what it’s about more than the prefious one, but I probably missed half the spoken jokes.

I guess Bollywood doesn’t care about actually exporting its movies, or they’d do a better job with English subtitles – they might be good for Hindustani readers, but not for everybody else in the world. Either this or those are “minor” productions not meant to go abroad. I mean, Jodhaa Akbar had perfect subtitles (even signed) and the first movies I saw on British Airways (KANK, Dostana) also had good subtitles…

Oh, gosh, just discovered how Dostana is called in Italian (IMDB gives me the Italian title when available only because I’m in Italy, I hate it, but I don’t know how to get rid of it. And I tried to watch Dostana on the Italian TV one Saturday night, but switched it off after 20 minutes – hated the dubbing): “Appointment (as in “date”, but I kept the word similar to the Italian one) for… 3″ – now, if they really wanted to keep the 3-thingy, is should have been “Apartment for… 3″, because that’s what the movie is about! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I hate dubbing and I also hate re-titling of foreign movies in this country. More often than not they make no sense at all. They don’t do this with books that much, luckily…

Anyway. back to subtitles: the award for Worst English Subtitles goes to the first DVD. I thought it was because it was one of those “2 movies on one disk”, but then I tried a “3 movies on 1 disk” and Krrish (which I already own as single movie on DVD) had the same subtitles than my copy! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I might steal that one as my copy of Krrish is a little faulty and blocks itself at the beginning – but then, I mentioned that the first half of the movie isn’t as good as the second, so who cares! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Looking forward to the sequel… Come on, Hrithik, get done with it!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Along with it there was Anthony Kaun Hai? which also had decent subtitles and is also a very decent story with Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi (seen in Kabul Express next to John Abraham). Sanjay Dutt is always overpowering and very good as a hitman although not as scary as he was in Agneepath. Songs were so-and-so for my tastes, but it’s a good story, so you should check it.

Also on that DVD was Gangster with Emraan Hashmi (seen in The Dirty Picture). But I’ll watch it during the weekend, as I started writing, therefore I’d rather not stop until I’m done with draft 0, LOL!I also want to rewatch a couple of movies and buy Magic Mike ASAP for inspiration on the body switch, so stay tuned… Have a wonderful weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

Random Friday

Last weekend I decompressed with another pencil drawing and it’s Arjun Rampal. You can see him in my DeviantART gallery. This is Hritik’s week, though (I have 4 movies to watch…) so here are the 2 I’ve watched so far (Not every night – gotta read and write too, you know? ;)).

Mission Kashmir went on my list because on some DVD I saw this song.

I didn’t really read the pitch (well, I probably did when I put it on the list, but that was months ago, so I didn’t remember much of what the story is about – that’s how I like it), but when the movie started and I saw Sanjay Dutt and then saw him kill Hritik’s father I went “Uhm… Agneepath!” Not that I had seen the latest, but I know it’s about a guy trying to avenge his father’s death.

Anyway, this is more about religious struggles in Kashmir – again, Muslim vs Hindu – much like Dil Se with a less tragic end. And it has Preity Zinta as love interest instead of Priyanka Chopra (but that’s very Koi Mil Gaya, LOL! Especially the wet puppy look “please forgive me”!). Also, being set in Kashmir, the clothes are slightly different (you can tell from the above video, right?) – no sari, but I think they look wonderful anyway. I loved the soundtrack as well! Here’s to peace in Kashmir (my mom and sis went through it last June on their way to Ladakh, it’s still war zone – quit killing in the name of God!).

Only negative thing – the Hinglish subtitles. I really need to go and get some Hindi lessons and avoid those darn things altogether. Here’s what I can say at the moment (and I’m “making this up” after listening to so many movies): namaste, mere Hindustani doste! Jayne kyu I’m doing this – crazy kya re! Or kuch kuch hota hai so I must keep trying – and that’s my song-lyrics Hindi for you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope I’m not destroying your language! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then I watched Agneepath (I put them in order of length, from the shortest to the longest). Haven’t seen the original with Big B and heard mixed reviews about this remake, but I picked it because I loved the dance videos. So, great soundtrack. The story… well, there’s a negative hero and a bad guy, so if that’s your thing… lots of guns and blood as well, so be warned. I liked it, but I didn’t fall in love with it – the stubble probably got in the way along with too many muscles (less gym and more dance, Hritik, please! ;)). And if Mr Wonder Man stopped dodging bullets to get killed by blades it would make a lot more sense as well! ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Talk about unreaslitic injuries in movies, sigh.

Finally, I managed to slip a short read in the busy week (I’m also beta-reading, so no time for new long fiction – and I keep adding titles to my Smashwords library, sigh) – fellow Chicon panelist Thomas has one short story out in English (he’s Dutch and his novels aren’t translated yet…) and you can find it here. The boy who casts no shadow is a wonderful story, so give it a try. Then we can all write to Thomas and ask him to have more things translated, LOL!

Random Friday

Total randomness today. Wednesday was a hot and damp morning at 8am already and when I got on the bus to work, my legs started itching – darn tiger mosquitoes that had spared me all summer had had a feast on my legs while I waited for the bus! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ When I got to the office I threw cold water on both my legs and the itching eased a little. I have learned by now not to touch those mosquito bites or they become biiiiig red patches – still yesterday morning I could count them as they started itching again:ย 8 on the right leg,ย 2 on the left leg (some of each were brand new…ARGH!). Sigh. Will have to ignore them, but that’s another reason to hate the summer! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Before leaving for my vacation (I’ll be flying to NY tomorrow) I watched KANK again after a few years. That was my first Bollywood love, but busy discovering new titles, I hadn’t watched it in a while. But I remembered it being set in NY, so I decided it was worth another look. So, the rediscovery of KANK: oooh, at least 2 songs from other Karan Johar movies I hadn’t noticed when I first saw it (until I bought those movies, that is, LOL)! Oooh, Arjun Rampal – how could I NOT notice hottie him? OK, maybe I noticed him, but the appearance was too short to look up his name! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And John Abraham and Kajol as guests!ย  I’m not saying it was a different movie, but it was kinda fun rediscovering it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now, I know I said I’d put the artworks on DeviantART from now on, but as this latest Caran d’Ache took me 4 hours (the longest in ages), I thought I’d parade it here. I usually do these in a couple of hours, depending on the size. But in this case I spent over one hour on the shirt and it took me way longer than usual to do the rest as well – because of those two details that never come out right because I never really learned to draw them: ears and teeth. Meh.

Anyway, I thought I’d reach the 100 “deviations” before my b-day, so I added a few more drawings. I put the illustrations I did for BoI – Air (most of which ended up in the book trailer) and tried to find recent works that fit the bill. I mean, some of those portraits are 30 years old, some took me way more than 4 hours (this was my record, 13 hours in 1985), and I put them there only in the hope of selling the art book. But I’d rather upload more recent works (new millennium).

Now I might add a few more when I get back, but I thought it was a little early to start showing off my science fantasy characters. I was thinking of using a cover artist, but maybe the project is going another way, so those drawings might be needed as covers – useless to show them off too early, know what I mean? So I added portraits just to reach that nice number 100. More illustrations to come before the end of the year! ๐Ÿ™‚

One last bit – a post on piracy. OK, this refers to video games, but it applies to books and e-books as well. That’s why I don’t think piracy is a big problem. Whoever pirates everything would never pay for it and like Justin says, whoever does this is a thief, not a pirate.ย  Same for those who download free e-books, they’re not readers, they’re downloaders, hence the uselessness of too many free titles. They won’t bring you readers and attract the wrong kind of people…

I’m off for a couple of weeks, so replies to comments will be discontinued… don’t forget to check back on Sunday when I have a guest and a giveaway (I’ll try to moderate the comments while I’m away) and I hope next Friday to be able to do a post live from Chicon7! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

Bollywood movies for your Christmas escape

Here’s some suggestions for your Holiday Season. First, know I rarely follow directors and that I choose movies either based on the pitch (i.e. I think the story might interest me, or it’s a beloved genre) or on who is in it (I won’t list my favorite actors here, although you know who #1 is). But I’ve watched all of Karan Johar‘s movies, either directed or produced by him, and loved them all. Otherwise my Bollywood DVDteque is made of Shah Rukh Khan or Hritik Roshan‘s movies.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… has all three of them, Karan Johar as writer-director, SRK &HR as brothers in this family drama. If you want love stories (with or without happy ending, if you want the spoiler write to me privately) I recommend KANK, KKHH or Kites – one forbidden relationship, one friendship-love and one mixed love-story (Indian/Mexican) – the first 2 also have a greatย  soundtrack.

Period movies – highly recommended Jodhaa Akbar about the first India-born Mogul emperor who married a Rajput princess, and the very dramatic Devdas.

If you want to laugh, Dostana is for you. Or the road-movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (a.k.a. The Trip… to Spain!).

A story of revenge by spreading love: Mohabbatein – but be prepared, it’s 3 and a half hours long. More drama with My name is Khan, or how SRK can be as good as Dustin Hoffman and Sean Penn at playing autistic characters.

If you want some action-adventure, Dhoom 1&2 are my favorite also for the great great songs. #1 is Point Break meets Lethal Weapon, #2 is Ocean’s Twelve meets Lethal Weapon – with songs and dances, but also lots of stunts with motorcycles or cars or whatever.

And before you ask, no, that’s not my whole list. That’s only the recommended titles, the ones I’d watch over and over again if I had the time – considering most are around 3 hours (Dostana only 2 because it’s a comedy). What I like the most about Bollywood it’s the colors.

And then the dances and the music, and men crying and dancing and not worrying about their manhood (In&Out comes to mind ๐Ÿ˜‰ No, I don’t think that if a man likes dancing or cries he’s gay. I actually think he’s the real deal. Pity can’t find him in western culture.).

And I love sari and Indian women and dances as well (I’d rather marry in a sari than in a white dress, sorry Lalita-of-Bride-and-Prejudice! ;-)). And they can do action, and probably sci-fi (haven’t watched Ra.One yet and wasn’t impressed by the other 2 I have bought, so I won’t mention them).

And good old fashioned melodrama and that wonderful slow-motion that seems completely gone from Hollywood movies. Sigh. And if the musical interruptions bother you, you probably don’t watch musicals either. But if you do watch musicals, please give a try to a Bollywood movie! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, happy viewing and let me know if you enjoyed them as much as I did! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Holiday Season!

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