Aishwarya Rai beats Beyonce

January 22, 2009

Eva Mendes has been voted the most desirable woman in the world. India’s Aishwarya Rai Bachchan beat the US pop star Beyonce in the most desirable women’s poll. The poll, which was conducted by the top men’s portal AskMen.com, has Ash in the 48th position whereas Beyonce made it to the 50th position, incidentally the last slot.
Aishwarya Rai

The voters were to select their ideal partner online based on the intelligence, ambition and charisma. Others to have made it to the top 50 list are Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Heidi Klum and Jessica Alba.

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Slumdog Millionaire bags ten nominations for Oscars at a ceremony held at Los Angeles, USA.

Director of the movie Danny Boyle has been nominated in the Best Director category. Screenplay writer Simon Beaufoy has been nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. The movie itself – Slumdog Millionaire
A R Rahman has been nominated in the Best Motion Picture category.

Music director, A.R.Rahman has been nominated for two catergories – Best Original Score & Best Original Song. Two of the songs – ‘Jai ho!’ & ‘O saya’ have been nominated under Best Original Song category.

Big B film stalled

January 21, 2009

The Amitabh Bachchan starrer fantatasy flick, Aladdin, has been shelved says sources close to the film unit. When probed into the reason behind this it has been found that its producers Eros International have been suffering from severing financial crunch and hence have decided to hold the film for the time being. Eros International recently pulled out of the mega budget project Endhiran, which has Rajnikanth and Aishwarya Rai in the lead roles.

Aladdin is inspired by the Arabian Nights in which the Big B signed up to play the genie while Sanjay Dutt was to have essayed the Ring Master’s role. Riteish Deshmukh was signed up to star in the title role. Aladdin, which was slated to be released during mid 2009, is directed by Sujoy Ghosh.

It has been a year that has begun on a brisk note for Vijay fans. ‘Villu’ starring Vijay has witnessed a grand opening across various screens it has been released this Pongal. Though it has been witnessing average reviews, the fact that the screen presence of Vijay has been drawing crowds to theatres is quite commendable.

It is followed by Dhanush’s ‘Padikathavan’, presented by Sun Pictures while Raj TV’s maiden production venture ‘Kadhalna Summa Illai’ too is managing decent crowds. However at various multiplexes in Chennai, there is a mad rush for Akshay Kumar – Deepika Padukone starrer Bollywood movie ‘Chandni Chowk’ to ‘China Gate’, which hit the screens on Friday.

Vijay starrer  Villu , produced by Ayngaran International, was released last Monday, a couple of days before Pongal. Interestingly, the movie has created a record of sorts with advance booking for the movie at seven screens in Chennai is already full for the next one week. The movie starring Vijay and Nayantara, is directed by Prabhudeva, while music by Devi Sri Prasad is topping the charts.

Director Suraj’s Padikkathavan starring Dhanush and Tamanna is an out and out Dhanush film. Remarkable publicity by Sun Pictures is the USP of the movie. The movie has been getting good response, while ‘Kadhalna Summa Illai’, a remake of Telugu remakes ‘Ghamyam’, featuring Ravikrishna, Kamalinee Mukherjee and newcomer Sharvanand in the lead roles, too is in the fray.

Chandi Chowk to China is an all-out action entertainer. Akshay Kumar plays a martial arts expert in it. Laced with humor, the movie released in six screens in Chennai has witnessed full houses.

Movies including Silambarasan’s Silambattam , ‘A AA E EE’, Duet Movies’ Abhiyum Naanum and ‘Dindigul Sarathy’ are also running at several screens. On 23 January, it is expected that the much-awaited ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, a movie that has won several awards including best music composer for A R Rahman is expected to storm Indian theatres.

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Ranvir Shorey,Mithun Chakraborty

Direction: Nikhil Advani

Music: Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy, Kailash Kher, Bappi Lahiri, Bohemia

Production: Rohan Sippy

Chandni Chowk to China is Nikhil Advani’s third directorial venture after the unforgettable Kal ho na ho and the forgettable Salaam – e- ishq, it was a great surprise that the director who didn’t add much of a action sequence in both the movies is coming up with an action comedy with the reigning superstar of Bollywood Akshay kumar. With silly but yet comical trailers and over the top marketing, a decent start is a sure-shot but will it sustain in the long run? Will this Kung fu fairy tale impress the desi junta? With so many questions we enter the theatre and after two and half hours we come out humming “Chandni chowk to china” with a smile on our face.
Put your hands together for the duo Nikhil Advani and Akshay kumar for bringing us the very first kung fu movie which can very well be said to be a cocktail of Kung fu Hustle and Kung fu Panda.

The story is about a stupid, no good, unlucky young man from Chandni chowk – Sidhu (Akshay) who is mistaken to be the rebirth of a famous Chinese warrior Liu Shang. And is taken to China for freeing a village from the clutches of a heartless mobster Hojo. Now Sidhu has to beat all odds, learn Kung fu and with the help of Inspector Chiang Kohung try to defeat Hojo. Will he be successful? Now that’s not a tough question to answer but how he does is where all the fun lies.

A number of melodramatic scenes leads us to one simple question, are the writers Sridhar Raghavan & Rajat Arora that genius or just that stupid. I am afraid the way the background music is scored for those scenes it is the latter one. The few emotional sequence at first gives a spoof kind of a feel which works for the movie but after that it gets too confusing. If only most of those sequences are taken more like a spoof it would have been just brilliant. But the fun part does overshadow these scenes which makes the movie a fun ride

Nikhil Advani proves that he has what it takes to become an action movie director. Many scenes are shot beautifully and the director has been successful in bringing out very good performance by almost all the stars. Cinematography by Himanshu Malik is plain mediocre, It’s a big let down for such a big production. The songs which were decent in the music system sounded much better on the screen especially “Chandni Chowk to China” and “Tere naina”. The action sequence are the highlight of the movie and Dee Dee ku who has choreographed for many Jet li movies does not disappoint. Some of the actions are sure to be a treat for the Indian audience who would have never seen such stunts before. Yes it does go beyond logic but that is what is expected from such a movie, don’t miss the Cosmic kick scene.

Akshay kumar again proves why he is called the Superstar of Bollywood. His comic flair is just getting better from movie to movie and even his rendition of some simple dialogues evoke laughter to many. Deepika Padukone was decent but has excelled in the action sequence. Mithun Chakraborthy as Akshay kumar’s Dada is passable in a small role. Roger Yuan as Chaing is very good and his action sequences are breathtaking. Gorden Liu is good as Hojo. But the pick of the lot is Ranvir Shorey as Chopstick who was just brilliant in the first half and the latter part of the second half. Ranvir is unable to impress in emotional scenes but who cares if he is so brilliant as a comic artist.

Overall the movie was a confused cocktail but still an enjoyable confused cocktail at that. If only the spoofs were done properly and the emotional sequences been curtailed this would have impressed even more. Yet the movie would find its audience and will surely rake in some decent figures and will join in the successful film list in the enviable repertoire of Akshay ‘Super’Kumar.

Verdict – An enjoyable ride with bumps

Amitabh Bachchan has slammed the much acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire for depicting India as a “Third World dirty underbelly developing nation” Amitabh Bachchan has penned his thoughts in his blog as: “It’s just that the SM (Slumdog Millionaire) idea authored by an Indian and conceived and cinematically put together by a Westerner, gets creative Globe recognition. The other would perhaps not.”

Reacting strongly to these remarks, the film’s lead actor Irrfan Khan had said that India’s poverty cannot be disregarded. It may be recalled that Slumdog Millionaire has won several prestigious awards including the Golden Globe Award for Best Director, Best Screenplay Writer and Best Music Composer.

With her debut venture in Hindi, Ghajini, lapping up the profits as expected, Asin has every reason to consider rooting herself in Bollywood. The lady is currently working on yet another prestigious project – London Dreams. The film, which stars Ajay Devgan and Salman Khan, is directed by Vipul Shah.

The team, according to sources, has established a strong rapport, especially the lead actors and the director. While shooting in London recently, Ajay decided to play on the South Indian beauty and sent an intimidating African man to her caravan when she was alone. But the smart Asin was not perturbed by him and instead coolly replied: “Thank you for your entertainment. Please leave now.” Ajay had reportedly told her that she was too clever for his pranks and will have to consider something more intelligent.