Random Friday


Last Friday I had a guest – and a cough, which made it hard to talk. Besides, she likes Bollywood movies (although she’d watch forever Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and wouldn’t try any other), so I suggested we watch a movie after dinner to spare my throat. And it was Joker time! I saw the trailer in theaters back in 2012 and was glad to finally see this demented comedy about aliens and crazies.

I like Akki when he does comedies. Of course my suspension of disbelief was slightly challenged when I saw the FBI sending troops in India (I thought that was an internal bureau… ;p), but I attributed it to the crazy screenplay and absurd story, so it was okay… lots of fun and lots of nice songs.

Staying in that country but moving to books, The Missus of the above, Twinkle Khanna (a.k.a. Da Muse’s neighbors) wrote a book of stories. Fiction, a collection. I bought the paperback because it was cheaper than the Kindle version (ahem, traditional publishers…) and got to reading it during the week.

I must say that the dialogs felt a lot like a Bollywood movie, which makes me wonder if some other Westerner who isn’t as obsessed as I am would appreciate it. Anyhow, it’s a cute little book, and since I read it immediately after another Indian author, I could see a pattern in their storytelling.

The other book was a Kindle version (hello, indie authors!), and it was set in Ancient Egypt, not India, but still the storytelling felt similar. Of course it’s two completely different collections with completely different topics (and you can now pre-order volume 2) and what I loved about this one was the little historical notes at the end of each story – a very nice touch for an ignorant of Ancient History like myself. It gave depth and meaning to the story I had just read.

Now I hope to have one of the two ladies over at this very blog soon, I shall let you guess which one will grace us…

Last night, since I was done with Saif’s story and was bored with checking the proofreader’s job on the Star Minds stories, I decided I’d rather watch a movie… it had been sitting on my ToWatch shelve for a couple of months, so it was high time! It was Star Trek: Beyond – last movie with Anton Yelchin and tribute to Leonard Nimoy.

A nice addition to the reboot, I particularly liked the warrior Jaylah and hope she’ll be back in the next movies. For the rest, it was the five-year mission stretched to movie length with 21st century special effects and Dubai instead of cardboard sets! πŸ˜‰ I don’t mind the reboot, even though some things of the original will never be repeated…

Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Rest of the trip! When the workshop was over, I got back to reading the novel I had to drop in January. Fortunately I had reached the end of Book 1 by then, so starting Book 2 was okay. Except one night I was thankfully kicked out of the book by a mistake that wasn’t caught by the author(s) or the editor(s)…

This is Ocean: The Ocean Cycle Omnibus and since it’s a bestselling author, I don’t think I’ll ruin his reputation if I comment on this (besides Goodreaders seemt to be quite divided about it all, haha!). So at one point there is a discussion about ancient sea divinities by a so-called expert (the character) who totally mixes up Greek and Roman names.

Here’s the complete list thanks to Encyclopedia Mythica. In the book, Poseidon and Aphrodite are the Roman names and Neptune and Venus the Greek ones… Gee… I’m glad I overdosed with both Greek and Roman myths in childhood (one more reason to hate what they did in Troy, I know enough of the Iliad and Odissey to know they completely f…ed up – beside using a gorgeous 40-year-old instead of a 20-year-old. Achilles died young, as was often the case back then! Me and my friend were the only one laughing in the movie theater, though. Sigh.)!

So, unless it was meant to be a joke, here’s a good way of throwing your reader out of your story… I got back into it, but the second book is getting weirder and weirder. I will finish it, but it’s not on my recommended list! πŸ˜‰ I might even quit at some point, since I bought books during the trip and the TBR pile is now enhanced with more dead trees…

Then there were the movies. Not during the trips, not until I got to Long Island, when I saw John Wick: Chapter 2 with my friend. Glad it was still in theaters. And glad to see it NOT dubbed (and wondering what a mess they might have done for this country’s distribution – probably missed all the bilingual dialogs!). I guess for a chapter 2 it’s almost as good as chapter 1. Maybe even better. Still have to think about that. And of course, it opens the way to chapter 3…

Anyhow, both me and my friend were happy because we recognized most of the places where it was shot (New York and Rome). I’m glad Riccardo Scamarcio dared to be the bad guy, although my Italian friend who likes him might not think so. But then, my favorite Hrithik’s role is still Aryan, the villain of Dhoom 2, so…

On the way back I watched Gayal Once Again on the Alitalia flight, but I must admit it took me some time to figure out the story. They all looked the same to me! Nobody was good-looking enough for my tastes and there was only one song – had it been cut? since I could not sleep I also re-watched Something’s Gotta Give – only certain scenes since I had broken my headphones during the flight and didn’t want to ask for a third one (the first I was given was faulty). You can guess which ones (Julian Mercer is Keanu at his best looking, LOL! Pity he’s only a secondary character)…

I enjoyed visiting Boston, although it was a rainy and gloomy day, so I’ll have to go back eventually. My friends were all were kind and I hope to do it again in the future. Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Movies time. Caramel was on my to-watch list in 2007 when it came out, but eventually I decided to pass. Then I saw it at 3/5Β£ in London and saw it was from Nadine Labaki, so I bought it. Now, I personally don’t go to beauty salons or even wax myself (and certainly not with caramel, LOL!), but it was interesting to see the stories of those Lebanese women. I probably wouldn’t have liked it this much 10 years ago, but now it’s part of my World’s Movies collection.

I seem to favor female directors, although Nadine Labaki is the only one who also acts in her movies (at least in the two I’ve seen). I started in the 1990s with Mira Nair, then early 2000s with Nancy Meyers (whom I even saw at some screenwriting event and wanted to shake her hand for What Women Want, The Holiday and Something Gotta Give) and Gurinder Chadha (Bend it like Beckam, Bride and Prejudice), then 1970s daughters Zoya Akhtar (Luck by Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhadakne Do) and Nadine Labaki.

In March I have another Gurinder Chadha and another Mira Nair in the to-watch pile, along with other world’s movies (but I haven’t checked the directors of those). In the meantime I rewatched Where do we go now and I shall leave you with the neat song from this Lebanese-but-Bollywood-inspired movie. Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Weekend in London on the Chinese new year! Southall was disappointing (after 10am most shops were still closed, the “newsagent” that boasted magazines had none and even at the train station there were no magazines worth my time and the trip there, grrr), but I found some DVDs at FOPP (not to mention a wonderful security guy at the door who must have been half my age but still said “Enjoy, Miss” when I left – it’s been too long since someone called me “miss”, LOL!) and some magazines at a WHSmith for future reference.

London shopping

London shopping

I had lunch with a friend, then dropped that bag at the hotel and headed for the O2 to watch Kaabil – the reason why I went to London in the first place. Now if only they dubbed it in English, I’d ask Tori to watch it and tell me what she thinks! πŸ˜‰ But I doubt she’d go with Kelly reading the subtitles to her…

Barb's review

Barb’s review

It was wonderful seeing the O2 at night… so I’ll leave you with a slideshow of London by day (Chinatown) and by night! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

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Random Friday


Let’s call it movie Friday, although I’m going to include a couple of video clips. Like I may have mentioned, I spent New Year’s Eve watching memories of the 80s – of musicians who are no more. One had just died, George Michael, the other was long gone, Michael Jackson.

I just happened to find a couple of similarities between two of their songs that made me wonder how anyone was ever born in the 1980s, since men didn’t seem to want to take responsibility for babies! πŸ˜‰ Cases in point: Billie Jean and Everything She Wants… Listen to the songs and/or watch the videos at the links…

Then the new year started and we had another celebrity loss, Om Puri. So I spent a weekend watching East is East and West is West in memoriam. Not to mention the fact that I gave my offline beta-reader the Bollywood fever – we’ve been doing movie afternoon twice a month since November, we meet more often than the writers group, LOL!

The Bollywood movies that I showed my beta, started with Mohenjo Daro (which was a first for me too). She enjoyed Om Shanti Om and of the Dhoom franchise she preferred Dhoom 2… no, I swear I didn’t brainwash her! πŸ˜‰ I’m also lending her movies that are not strictly Bollywood (Kama Sutra a Tale of Love) or that she has missed, like Labyrinth. I will also pass her Oggi Sposi since it has English subtitles… πŸ˜‰

Between projects I also rewatched a few movies (not because the ToWatch pile went down but because I have sci-fi movies and historical movies to watch and I needed to stay in fantasy mood or present day) including: I don’t kiss (France 1991), Saturday Night Fever (USA 1977),Β  Chasing Amy (USA 1997), The Wedding Banquet (Ang Lee 1993), Touch of Pink (2004) and Muriel’s Wedding (Australia 1994).

I have a creative weekend coming… so hopefully Art Friday next week! Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Mmmmovie Friday! Watched Dilwale (which wasn’t on my wishlist, but the shopkeeper insisted on giving me) and obviously I didn’t miss the couple SRK-Kajol since I don’t particularly like her, but I had the nice surprice of an item song shot in the country of faeries…

I was like “Hey, that’s columnar basalt! Hey, a black beach! HEY, I KNOW THAT WATERFALL!!!”, yes, you even get a glimpse of the genie of the waterfall. So I’m posting a pic of the genie here and see if you can see it in the video below.

img_1985

seated genie watching the waterfall

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closeup of the profile

now find it in the video! Definitely Iceland! πŸ™‚

I also watched the DVD of a 25-year-old French movie that I can’t for the life of me remember if I saw it in French in some Roman cinema or only saw it dubbed. Anyway, now I have it in French, so that’s what I got. I don’t kiss is quite censored for a French movie! πŸ˜‰ But in the interview with the director, he explains why, so… all good! πŸ™‚

And since we’re in 80s revival/mourning, I also rewatched the whole Back to the Future trilogy. Now I really want my flying car. I feel cheated. Meh.

Have a great end of the year and see you next year! πŸ™‚

 

Random Friday


Movie Friday! I saw a cheap DVD of the Danish Girl and was intrigued enough by the blurb to buy it. The Italian blurb was slightly different than the IMDB one, but whatever! I enjoyed the story of the first transgender. I even cried a little, and s/he is quite beautiful and with a very sweet smile.

As for nude males – as discussed in the comments of this post – yeah, he showed his dick and also how to hide it to look female, and it was quite an interesting sight! πŸ˜‰ Like I said in the above, I’m not a fan of male full frontals, but in this case I wasn’t disturbed.

Might be adult themes, but I thought overall it was a very sweet love story although there’s no HEA. But I’d rather cry over a sad movie than in anger at DayJob. Crying over a movie or a book is catartic. Crying in anger and frustration is just exhausting. And I’m very close to that lately.

And then I watched Mohenjo Daro with a friend… by the way, it will also be at the Florence Film Festival this weekend. They used to show those movies also in Rome a week later, but this year apparently they prefer Milan… Can’t blame them! πŸ˜‰ (and anyway they invited Kabir Bedi and Ashutosh Gowariker, not Hrithik, so… ;p)

Let’s say that a TV screen was enough anyway. Not sure I’d have enjoyed it more on a big screen. It was okay. Later I thought I missed something, then, remembering the “censorship” of Bang Bang by Air India, I realized that maybe that much talked scene was actually something that I did see and it wasn’t as hot as described in the articles I read through my Google Alerts.

Either that, or the hot love scene was left on the cutting floor, haha! πŸ˜€ Not that I care to watch men romance much younger women on the big screen (do you hear me, SRK? Deepika could be your daughter!!)… πŸ˜‰ And no, it’s not because I’m not that young anymore, haha! πŸ˜€

Now my friend wants to see more Bollywood. I shall endeavor to pass her the Bollywood fever! πŸ˜€ Have a great weekend! πŸ˜‰

Random Friday


It’s not over yet and already I think that 2016 was one of the worst leap years of my life – for the world, more than myself. I have reached a sort of balance in spite of the changes around me, but for everybody else it’s been tough.

The downs started with celebrity deaths led by David Bowie and Alan Rickman back in January. Men and women who will be sorely missed. I could throw in an uncle of mine, while another is very close to departing, but I guess that I’ve reached an age where people I grew up with and always took for granted are leaving for a better place.

No wonder my hands (and waist) are covered by vitiligo like my grandfather when he came back from India! He was a prisoner in WW2 and he came back stressed and undernourished. I’m not undernourished (I actually have a high colesterol at this time, but guess what? That’s another consequence of stress) but I’m definitely under psychological stress.

Then we had the natural disasters – earthquakes in Italy and New Zealand – and the endless political discussions from Brexit to US presidential elections and now the upcoming referendum in Italy. I’m so sick of reading about politics on my Facebook newsfeed that I scroll so quickly that I may miss a good video, like the evolution of dance or this blind dancer and his angel.

The ups were the trip to India and Da Muses working so I have two movies to look forward to next year – Kaabil in January and John Wick 2 in February, so pretty close! And Mr Selfie even went live on Facebook and I caught it, by pure chance, but that’s one up for Facebook too! πŸ˜‰

Speaking of movies, I watched Zinda with Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham. The director is the same of Kaabil, and I can tell he’s experimenting. In Zinda (ten years ago) it wasΒ  the visuals – almost black&white – in Kaabil it will be sounds, apparently, since the progatonist is blind. Both seem to be revenge stories of the average Joe turned action hero (but I haven’t seen Kaabil, so I’m just assuming that the premise is similar).

At the time John Abraham seemed to play mostly the bad guy, glad he managed to graduate to hero status since! πŸ™‚ Sanjay Dutt – I’ve seen him in both roles (good/bad guy), a couple of times with Hrithik (Mission Kashmir and Agneepath), but it was the first action movie where he was the hero – negative, maybe, but still the hero. And no dance items, in case you were wondering.

So onward to the next DVD, the next month, the next year… have a great weekend!

Random Friday


Since between long flights and that neverending pile of DVDs to watch (to which I have just added 4 + a box set loaned by my sister with 2 movies I haven’t seen), I’ll make this movie Friday! πŸ˜‰ During Long Flight #1, since it was a red eye, I blissfully slept for most of it. I only watched a bit of Bang Bang from breakfast to landing or so (up to after the song Uff).

I resumed watching it on the way back during lunch, since I could be interrupted and everything, then I went exploring whatever else Air India offered and went back to it only a number of hours later to finish watching it. It was censored, by the way. I even rewinded to check – the kiss in Prague had been cut out of the movie. Meh.

Anyhow, I watched Kapoor & Sons – still don’t get that artificial aging that looks ugly whatever movie industry tries it, but I guess there aren’t that many 90-year-olds still alive and acting! πŸ˜‰ Yes, Rishi Kapoor was unrecognizable under the prosthetics, but still looked fake – and on a small screen on the plane, can’t imagine on a big screen.

It’s a nice movie, though, I shed some tears, so I’ll add it to the wishlist anyway. The two young men were quite promising, although they looked like younger versions of Arjun Rampal and Shahid Kapoor… Here’s to hoping that Sidhart Malotra shaves a little more often, like Shahid used to do! πŸ˜‰ And keep going, Fawad Khan, you can conquer Bollywood even if you’re Pakistani! πŸ˜‰

Then, since I couldn’t really get any sleep, but was too tired to concentrate on deep storytelling, I checked ABCD2, since it’s a dance movie and I love watching dance numbers (and that’s why Da Muse is where he is, he is the best Bollywood dancer, ha!). The choreography was great and I showed the last number to my nephew who is doing breakdance this year… I had to explain to him the story, but there isn’t much dialog, so maybe one day I’ll watch it with him! πŸ˜‰

Then I went home and before ordering the next batch on Amazon (was supposed to be just 1, but I watched some trailers on the next DVD… and I ordered 3!) I watched Bhagwaan Dada. Besides the very ruined film and the dubious honor of seeing Sridevi in her youth (I’m not ashamed to admit I discovered her with English Vinglish, so?), what can I say… the best actor was the kid! πŸ˜‰

The movie looked from the 50s or 60s, even though it’s from the 80s, and the transitions were quite choppy, so I didn’t love it, but I kinda liked it. Like watching Darr and other 20th century Bollywood. They definitely got better in the new millennium!

And the kid grew up to become the Greek God we all know and love… πŸ˜‰ Although he was definitely an ugly duckling back then, but he already loved to dance. Now looking forward to his next movie, Kaabil. I might do a weekend in London in January – alone, so I’ll make sure to go to a cinema on time, and if I’m early I’ll just stick around until it starts, not like I did last August with Mohenjo Daro! πŸ˜€

About Kaabil, I got myself an Italian movie because as you can see the posters are quite similar… so I’ve watched this one too! πŸ˜‰ It went ahead of the queue because I start from the shortest and of course it’s much shorter than Bajirao Mastani…

italia-indiaSoooo, it’s nice. Another Italian superhero (well, he’s strong and can’t be killed by bullets and eals faster than Wolverine, but whatever). And shot in Rome, although the dialects alternated between Roman and Napoletano (which I don’t understand very well – I understand better English than the dialect of Naples, haha!). So, loner who turns vigilante to avenge the crazy woman who fell for him…

Yes, I know, all the stories have already been written, it’s the execution that counts! πŸ˜‰ I’ll have to wait at least until January to tell you the similarities – if any, besides the posters! πŸ˜€ And that’s all for today… have a great weekend!

 

Happiness is…


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or any other Bollywood movie, really! πŸ˜‰ (says the gal who just skipped the latest release she went to England specifically for, LOL! But she came back with a couple of SRK movies on DVD instead…)

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