Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘special effects

Progerian character from Balki’s film to make it to animation films and comics

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOBMAY TIMES; December 28, 2009)

R Balki’s beloved progerian character Auro from his film Paa will continue to live on as part of a series of animation films and comic books likely to be called ‘The Adventures Of Auro’.
Confirming the news, Balki said, “Auro has acquired the aura of a national icon. Kids, grownups, everyone loves the old child. And the pressure to take Auro beyond the film is immense. Animation films and comicbooks are on the cards. Auro does have immense animation possibilities. It’s time to explore those possibilities.” The filmmaker, who rejected a sequel to Paa, is happy to see Auro go into the realm of animation. For him, cinema is about the emotional interaction among characters. Although he comes from the ad world, computer graphics and special effects do not constitute a motion picture experience for Balki. “That’s where I think Paa has scored with audiences,” he said, explaining Auro’s global appeal.

Meanwhile, the Progeria Research Foundation in the US has suggested a series of tie-ups with Balki and the film’s producers AB Corp Ltd. Audrey Gordon, president and executive director of the foundation, wrote to Balki telling him how the film made an emotional connection with kids suffering from progeria around the world and suggested tie-ups that the filmmaker is happy to implement.
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It was always felt that Hollywood films’ release in India won’t harm the prospects of Bollywood films. But the success of Titanic, King Kong, Spiderman series and more recently the blockbuster collections of 2012 has finally made everyone realize that Hollywood is a force to reckon with in India too. And that’s why all Hindi films scheduled to release on 18 Dec ‘ran away’ to avoid colliding with the release of the biggest film on earth, Avatar. With so much euphoria and curiosity surrounding the film, Avatar was expected to give a fascinating experience. Thankfully, it does! The film is not only a visual treat but is stunningly well made. A must watch for all those who love cinema!

The story of the movie: The year is 2154. A human corporation is assembled in a distant moon, Pandora, in order to colonize it and extract a precious mineral called unobtainium. Pandora is inhabited by strange looking people called Na’vi. The Na’vi are 9 feet in height, their skin is blue and they have tails too. Their way of life is primarily primitive but they reside in perfect harmony with the environment around them. The human researchers on Pandora, under Dr Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) manage to get the Na’vi DNA which enables any human to control and engineer Na’vi bodies of themselves which they called Avatars. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic ex-Marine is dispatched to Pandora and given opportunity to take over his dead twin brother’s place who was an integral part of the Avatar program. He also gets a chance to go through the program and live in the form of Na’vi Avatar. Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) promises Jake that his legs will be fixed if he manages to get information on Na’vi culture and win their trust which in turn will help the military unit. Soon, Jake’s avatar manages to become a member of the Na’vi clan and also falls for a female Na’vi Neyitri (Zoe Saldana), the daughter of the Na’vi chief. Gradually, Jake begins to love Na’vi lifestyle and starts considering as its own. But when the humans start attacking Na’vi to eliminate them, Jake gets in a dilemma as to whether he should be a part of his fellow humans and support their extreme colonization policies or help the Na’vi fight the humans.

Avatar is a masterpiece-no doubt in that! The film not only boasts of some mind-blowing special and visual effects, it has a nice story and execution too which is what makes the film immensely likeable. Moreover, the film is 160 mins long but the best part is that you won’t get bored even for a single moment. There are so many exciting things happening throughout the film that it’ll be difficult even to blink!

James Cameron uses a perfect way of storytelling. He first wonderfully acquainted us with the Na’vis, their way of life, their culture, lifestyle etc and made us fall in love with all these aspects so that our blood boils when the humans barbarously begin harming them later in the film. You rejoice when Na’vi counterattack and you get lump in your throat whenever Na’vi moan and cry helplessly. Thus, Avatar is more of an emotional flick at several points but it is this that will work big time across the world.

Another plus-point is the wonderful depiction of Pandora. It is just like Earth but in several ways, poles apart from our planet. The giant trees, the legendary floating mountains and the animals-the flying banshee and toruk, the strong direhorse, the ferocious thenator and hammerhead, the ugly viperwolf and the blue apes are an interesting watch.

Sam Worthington puts in a worthy performance. He was most impressive as the Na’vi. Zoe Saldana impresses the most with her exciting expressions throughout the film. Of course, it was the CGI that finally made them look wonderful and Na’vi-like. Other Na-vi characters which leave a mark are C C H Pounder (as the queen) and Laz Alonso (Tsu’Tey).

Sigouney Weaver pulled off the ‘I-care-a-damn’ attitude very well. Michelle Rodriguez looked amazing and comes with a brilliant performance. She looks cool navigating the airplane wearing aviator glasses! Stephen Lang perfectly essays the antagonist. The other antagonist Giovanni Ribisi (as Parker Selfridge) also leaves a mark. Others also do a great job.

James Horner’s music was haunting. Mauro Fiore’s cinematography was top-notch and it was nice to see new techniques adopted by the lensman for capturing scenes. Also, the modified 3D Fusion Camera system developed by Cameron and Vince Pace succeeded in providing a visual treat.

The film is nothing without the special effects, CGI and all other kinds of technological advances used in the film. It was undoubtedly a technological feat and also a paisa vasool experience for the viewers! Kudos to each and everyone who contributed in this department!

Finally, James Cameron, the writer and director of the film needs to be lauded for his outstanding work which was no easy task at all. Firstly, it requires vision to think of such a set-up. And it requires patience and meticulous task in executing the film. Cameron succeeds in each and every aspect of making Avatar. Also, he shrewdly and indirectly reminded us of US’ policies towards Iraq. The dialogue “If people are sitting on the $hit we want, you make them your enemies!” sums it up! And finally, what makes Avatar stand out from the rest of SFX films is that in the battle of alien v/s humans, here it is the aliens who finally triumph over the humans!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       Jake’s Avatar running from the beasts
2.       Jake and Neyitri meet for the first time
3.       Neyitri teaches Jake the Na’vi culture
4.       Jake gets his own banshee
5.       The human’s first round of attack on Na’vis
6.       Jake, Doc and other escape from detention
7.       The final 35 minutes

On the whole, Avatar is without a shred of doubt an outstanding flick in all respects. It boasts of some of the best special effects but at the same time, it has soul too. It has universal appeal and that’s why will succeed everywhere in the world. All movie freaks and even those who are not should not be missing Avatar at any cost. The 3D version will of course give you never before sensed experience but this film will be enjoyed in 2D too. JUST GO FOR IT!!

My rating-***** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Avatar-182387-1.html

Shirish Kunder’s Joker, which was to star Shah Rukh Khan, will now be made with John Abraham in the lead

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 19, 2009)


Recently, Shirish Kunder announced the three films that he and his wife Farah Khan were working on. Tees Mar Khan with Akshay Kumar and Alien Sahib with John Abraham are two .Joker is the third one that the couple will make. The script of the film was written with Shah Rukh Khan in mind.

But since he refused to do the film, Shirish has now offered the role to his new good friend John Abraham, who also stars in Alien Sahib.

A source close to Shirish said, “Joker is very close to Shirish. He spoke to John about it a few days ago. John loved the role and has given his consent to do the film. The film requires immense pre-production work, which is in process now.” The film will have lots of special effects and will be a visual delight.

There will be two leading ladies opposite John in Joker. “One of them will play a positive role, while the other will be a grey character. And both of them fall for John. So, it is a love triangle,” our source added.

Shah Rukh was also to produce the film but things didn’t work out. The film will now be produced by Shirish and Farah’s banner, Three’s Company.

 

BLESSED: Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan holds court on his birthday

 

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 4, 2009)

 

 

The thousand-strong crowd outside his sea-facing bungalow literally melted in the scorching November sun, their eyes hungry for just a glimpse of the man who rules Bollywood. The mayhem on November 2, Shah Rukh Khan’s birthday, had to be witnessed to be believed. The Bollywood Badshah may have had little to say at the box office in 2009, but his popularity is super intact. Excerpts from a conversation with the star who turned 44 on Monday…
Your looks belie your age!
Physically, I feel 25-26. But I have no problems in accepting that I’m 44. In fact, if I look good, then the media writes that I’ve done plastic surgery. Honestly, if I sleep well, then I look good. Last night I slept well.
This has been a year of mixed fortunes…
I enjoyed Season II with my cricket team. I was a bit disappointed when we didn’t fare well, but I know we’ll bounce back. I didn’t have film releases with the exception of Billu which was special for me. I got a honorary doctorate from the University of Bedfordshire, won a couple of other honours. My Name is Khan will come in February 2010. I had my shoulder surgery that kept me out of action now I’m on the road to recovery. I spent quality time with my kids. I’m finishing my book 20 Years Of A Decade. It was an unfortunate physical year but a good emotional one.
Are there any specific thoughts on growing older?
Yes, I have been constantly thinking about what I can give back to people, to society. Allah has been kind to me, He has given me so much. I have just six to seven good friends in the industry. But the media is my friend. You are the ones who remind me of my birthday at least four-five days in advance. You have given me so much love, so has my audience. Now I want to do something in return. I want to bring a smile to the faces of youngsters. I don’t want to start an NGO, but I do wish to do something for the cause of the girl child… The feeling of wanting to give is stronger now than it has been. I think of life as work. I want to introspect as to which direction I should take my life in. I want to do something to save the environment. Honestly, I haven’t done my bit yet but I will start now.
What’s next as far as films go?
RA1. It is something I’m kicked about. It’s a film that children are going to love. It will have action, special effects and a super hero.
Did you receive any special gifts?
Yeah, Karan Johar gave me a lap top bag and a pair of very expensive shoes. My children are making something for me that will come over the weekend. Parmeshwar Godrej sent me a gift. She does that each year. One of my fans has bought me a piece of land on the moon, one has bought me land in Scotland. I’m accepting gifts till this weekend, so all of you who wish to give me something can do so till Sunday.

LONDON DREAMS OR ALADIN?

The following two Fridays are going to see the release of four big films two in each week. While Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and Jail are releasing on Nov 6, London Dreams and Aladin are hitting the screens tomorrow, i.e. Oct 30.

ldLondon Dreams (LD) was originally to be directed by Raj Kumar Santoshi and he had planned the impossible-casting Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan together! Santoshi even managed to do a joint narration with Aamir and SRK. Both seemed genuinely interested while the narration was going on. But later, due to some unknown reason, both of them stopped responding to Santoshi’s calls and the project was put on the backburner. At that time, the film was titled Rashque (jealousy).

LD is now Vipul Shah’s venture and in place of SRK, he has casted Ajay Devgn and Aamir Khan is replaced by Salman Khan. Although the current version has created curiosity amongst moviegoers, I really really wished the film was made with the original cast. Just imagine, SRK and Aamir Khan together would have rocked completely. Even if the film was bad, just seeing them together would have been a paisa vasool experience!

LD has impressed overall everyone ever since its first promo was out. The song and the musical theme of the film have made it a must watch for everyone. Also, director Vipul Shah’s track record has been fantastic. All his past films (Aankhen, Waqt, Namastey London, Singh Is Kinng) were big time hits. Asin, who is very choosy when it comes to signing films, is also a part of this bid budget project. The film is expected to get a good opening and become a hit.

aladinSince LD will be the first choice for majority, the 2nd release tomorrow, Aladin, may suffer. Frankly speaking, Aladin seems more impressive than LD to me as somehow I have never been interested in films about music bands (I wasn’t even excited for ‘Rock On!!’ before it released). Coming back to Aladin, it has the finest special effects ever seen in any Bollywood movie so far. The film’s star cast is amazing and it may turn out to be a fantasy joyride. On the flipside, the film isn’t well promoted. Also, there are chances that the film may highly disappoint. In the past, there have been countless big budget films which were pathetic and Aladin may also turn out to be the same. Also, the co-producers of the film are Eros who had come up with a similar kind of film last year which became the disaster of the season. That film was DRONA! What if Aladin is also on the same lines? So I’ll prefer to wait for the response and then decide whether or not to go for it!

Which film will be your first choice? Do let me know!
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BLUE’s SEQUEL IN THE OFFING?

There is no certainty yet as to whether Blue has managed to recover its 80-90 crs (or maybe more) cost and yet, its producers are planning its sequel! According to the reports, Katrina will have a longer role in the sequel. Director Anthony D’Souza has announced that John Abraham will be a part of the sequel without even consulting him, thus, pissing off John! Anthony also says that this time the adventures will take place in the sky too!

I was just wondering-what will they name the sequel to Blue? How about ‘BLUE TWO-TH’?!!

HP

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was hugely awaited since the predecessor, Order of the Phoenix, hit the screens exactly two long years back. Like all other Potter films, The Half Blood Prince lives upto its expectations! Along with thrill and drama, it has a lovely dash of humour and teenaged romance which makes it an all-round entertainer.

The story of the movie: Strengthened by the return of Lord Voldermort, the Death Eaters wreck havoc in London and Hogwarts is no safer too. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is about to begin his sixth year and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) needs his help to in order to prepare for the fast approaching final battle. They visit an ex-potions teacher Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) and persuade him to join Hogwarts. Slughorn agrees, although reluctantly and Harry gets a chance to meet his buddies, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermonie (Emma Watson). At this point of time, Harry realizes his feelings for Ron’s sister, Ginny (Bonnie Wright). In Hogwarts, during Slughorn’s class, Harry comes across an old copy, belonging to ‘Half Blood-Prince’. The footnotes and ideas written in the copy help Harry to excel in Potions, leading him to win a vial of the luck potion. On the other hand, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) is suspected of becoming a Death Eater. Harry and Dumbledore are trying their best to find what exactly happened when Tom Riddle aka Voldermort ask Slughorn about rare magic. To find out what happens later, watch the film!

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I have read only the first part of Harry Potter but have seen all the six parts of the film. I found the cinematic adaptation of all the parts very interesting. But many, unlike me, who have read the book, have always been disappointed with the Potter films due to several changes made in the narrative. Same happens with The Half Blood Prince too. So, those who have read the book get ready to be a bit disappointed but nevertheless, the film will be enjoyed!

The film is darker than the rest of the Potter films and manages to fully engross the viewers from the first frame right till the end. The beginning scene, where Death Eaters wreck havoc in London and harm the Millennium Bridge was electrifying! Also, the funny moments in the film are far more enriched than its predecessors. The wonderful direction and a gripping screenplay turn this film into a terrific ride!

The climax didn’t have much fight and conflicts as other Potter films but it was interesting enough. The tragedy that occurs towards the end was well executed. However, the fight between Potter and Prof Snape could had been a bit long…it would have surely taken the film to a high!

As for the performances, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are as usual perfect in their respective roles. In every Potter film, they have immensely impressed and The Half Blood Prince is no exception! Keep up the great work, guys!

Michael Gambon shines in the role of Dumbledore. It is indeed sad that we would no longer get to see him in The Deathly Hallows. Tom Felton has an important role in the film and was in terrific form. Same can be said for Alan Rickman who plays Prof Snape. Helena Bonhom Carter as Bellatrix performed as per her character’s demand. Jessie Cave as Lavander was hilarious. Robbie Cultrane as Hagrid was as usual.

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And finally, Jim Broadbent, the newest entrant in Potter films, gives an outstanding performance. He was extremely likeable and extremely impresses. Watch out for him!

Bruno Delbonnel’s cinematography was brilliant. The lesman wonderfully shows his capability in the first scene. Editing was slick. Like all Hollywood fantasy films, the special effects of The Half Blood Prince was out of the world to say the least! The use of light sepia in some films to suit the dark mood takes the film to great heights!

This is the first time that screenwriter Steve Kloves and director David Yates have come together and both succeed in coming up with a fine product. There are not much action packed scenes in this part but still it manages to keep the viewers on the edge of the seat at several points, notably during the climax.

Some of the best scenes of the film:

  1. Death Eaters wrecking havoc in London
  2. Harry meeting Slughorn for the first time
  3. Harry, Ron and Hermonie at the joke shop
  4. The scene inside the Hogwarts Express
  5. Harry winning the luck potion
  6. Dumbeldore and Slughorn’s flashback involving Tom Riddle
  7. The Quidditch match
  8. Harry spying on Snape and Draco
  9. Dark forces attacking Burrow

10. Ron in a ‘love’ mood (funny and well treated scene!)

11. Harry and Malfoy’s dispute in the bathroom

12. Harry and Slughorn at Hagrid’s place

13. The last 15 minutes

On the whole, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a great entertainer with some wonderful performances and execution. Although a little disappointing as compared to the book and lacks action scenes, it manages to keep one on the edge of the seat. It is a treat for Potter fans and all adolescent movie buffs!

(The newspapers and quite a few websites are filled with news as to how The Half Blood Prince took a phenomenal opening in India. This news is far from true. Hardly any shows are running house full and tickets were easily available, as on Saturday July 18!)

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com

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