Shell out 250$ for a pic with SRK at an US hotel

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Be ready to fork out $250 to be seen in same pic with SRK at a US hotel
PS: Think we haven’t heard of Photoshop, guys?

When Indian movie stars shoot aboard, fans travel from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the homegrown actors.

The management of Hotel Fairmount in San Francisco, USA got a whiff of SRK’s superstardom when fans from literally all over the States started pouring in to catch a glimpse of the actor. They came up with a master plan to cash in on their guest Shah Rukh Khan’s star power. Continue reading

‘Transformers’ Sequel Scores Big Win

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LOS ANGELES — Horrid reviews couldn’t dent “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which demonstrated once again the power of sequels by selling an estimated $201.2 million in tickets at North American theaters over its first five days.

The huge No. 1 entrance to the marketplace was on par with last summer’s Batman sequel, “The Dark Knight,” which sold $203.8 million in tickets over the same period and now ranks as one of the biggest blockbusters in movie history with over $1 billion in global sales. Overseas “Transformers” sold $186 million in tickets in its first five days.

The summer movie season has already seen some significant hits, among them a “Star Trek” reboot and “Up,” but it took a true sequel to break the bank. (“Terminator Salvation” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” while technically sequels, were more efforts to take franchises in new and unfamiliar directions in hopes of resuscitating them.)

People complain about Hollywood’s tendency to be unadventurous with its big-money titles, but the moviegoing masses clearly get the most excited when they are not being surprised. In other words, the multiplex really rocks when movies are served up the McDonalds way: predictably and comfortably. Continue reading

Mad rush of tourists in Shimla, Manali

Mad rush of tourists in Shimla, Manali

There’s an endless flow of tourists to Shimla to escape the blazing heat in the plains and many turn back disappointed after finding all
hotels are 100% occupied. It takes cars almost six hours to reach Shimla from Chandigarh because of the number of vehicles on the national highway.

Those coming on bus are spending the nights at the bus stands on not finding a place to stay and taking a morning bus home.

U2’s “Spider-Man” Musical to Star Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cumming

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Evan Rachel Wood appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon yesterday and chatted about her upcoming role as Mary Jane Watson in Bono and the Edge’s Spider-Man musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. “It’s unlike any Spider-Man you’ve ever seen,” she said. “Bono and the Edge are doing the music. It was hysterical, I got to do the workshop, sit down with them playing guitars going over the music, and I was making jokes going, watch by the end of this, I’ll be telling them what to do. And by the end I was! I was like, Bono, I know you want to save the world and everything, but in this song you’re talking about poverty and world hunger and it’s Broadway, can we lighten this up a bit, can I just not sing this? And he was like, [in Irish accent] ‘You’re right, I know, we have to try, we have to try.’ ”

Today a press release confirmed Alan Cumming has also joined the production as Norman Osborn, better known as the Green Goblin. Both Wood and Cumming have previously worked with director Julie Taymor, who is known worldwide for her adaptation of Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway. Wood appeared in Beatles-inspired film Across the Universe, and Taymor directed two of Cumming’s film projects.

“The process of obtaining all the necessary state and city building permits, and landmark approvals to prepare the Hilton Theatre for a production the size and scope of Spider-Man has taken longer than anyone expected,” David Garfinkle and Martin McCallum noted on behalf of the production team, “but we now have everything that is required to bring this visually powerful show to Broadway next Spring.” Continue reading

Now, stars keep tabs on scribes

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MUMBAI: Time was when the media would keep its antenna up for minute details of a celebrity’s
life. But the tables seem to have turned. Many of the top stars and production houses now collect data to keep up-to-date on mediapersons.

For instance, Aamir Khan has a database of 220 media personalities across the world. It started as a publicity exercise for his film Ghajini, in which he played a man with short-term memory loss and needed reminders of people he closely interacted with through Polaroids. Now, the data his team collected is a part of Aamir Khan The Economic Timess’ records.

“Whenever the actor wishes to refresh his memory on a mediaperson’s birthday, basic character traits or other personal details, he can access it within seconds,” an insider said. Continue reading

Some quick reviews – Apocalypto, Red Rock West, Gran Torino!


Mel Gibson’s retro chase thriller set in Mayan times and exclusively in the Yucatec Mayan language used all actors of Mayan or Native American descent and not one is a well-known name or face. It tells the tale of Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood) who is captured by a rival tribe. Before capture he lowers his very pregnant wife and young son into a cave and promises to come back for them. Along with his fellow tribe members he is force-marched to a step pyramid at a big Maya city to be offered as sacrifice to the sun god. The Mayan civilization appears to be in ruins with pestilence, disease and failing crops. A timely solar eclipse saves his life but his captors are still out for blood and in a thrilling chase through the jungles that includes serpents, vertiginous waterfalls, fierce black jaguars, toad poisoned thorn darts, and the landing of Christopher Columbus, the opposition falls one by one and Jaguar Paw proves that in his jungle he is the ruler. The film creates a believable urban Mayan civilization that is cruel and decadent and in a surprisingly contemporary and somewhat judgmental twist makes a hero out of a man of the jungle, one who in the end turns his back to the impending wave of Spanish civilization and goes into the jungle with his family to make a new beginning. This is Mel sticking up for the poor native Americans and the indigenous people where ever they may be! But why was there pox and pestilence if Columbus had not even landed yet? Again, it is Hollywood’s liberal bias teling us that decadent civilizations MUST die! The chase is thrilling, fast paced and the film thoroughly engaging at all levels, even in some incredibly brutal moments. The camera following the dizzy speed of the racing tapir in the opening sequence, never really lets up or disappoints. I would talk of the acting of individual actors, but I know not one by name; so I will simply say that the entire cast does an excellent job of getting into the skin of their characters. This one is not for the faint-hearted, but it is well worth your time if you can stomach blood and gore. A surprisingly sophisticated effort from Mel Gibson.

Red Rock West is just the ticket to alleviate boredom! It has the usual double-cross, topped by a triple-cross, a heist, chase, shootouts, a femme fatale, a good criminal, a bad criminal and enough twists to keep the tale fast paced and interesting. Nicholas Cage is Michael Williams, an ex-marine, who is mistaken by JT Walsh (playing the bar woner Wayne Brown), to be the killer Lyle “from Dallas” whom he has hired to off his wife. Cage takes the money and then double that from the wife to off the husband, and then calmly proceeds to leave Red Rock. Except that Rd Rock will not let him leave! The real Lyle (Dennis Hopper) walks into town, turns out to be another ex-Marine and a kook at that. And before he knows it Cage, accompanied by the class-act wife (Lara Flynn Boyle), is on the run from various members of the Red Rock citizenry, their hired killers, and sundry cops. There is a lot of money that keeps changing hands and a wife who keeps changing loyalties. I have never been a fan of Cage, but as a dead-pan and emotionally dead man he does a good job in a tailor made role. Laura Flynn-Boyle makes a great femme-fatale with just the right mixture of class and crass. But the show is undoubtedly stolen by Dennis Hopper – hopped up on booze and just bad attitude, he is one badass criminal who is not to be messed with. This film engages without pretending to be anything more that that. A must watch for pure entertainment.

Not wanting to entertain at all but being ever so serious is Gran Torino. Clint Eastwood has aged like a fine wine – except that those mellow with age, while his face has taken on a craggy and worn look that allows him to easily play any man with rough edges and a “past”. In Gran Torino, Clint is Walt Kowalski, the Baghban father, ignored by his son and son’s family except when they want something.

Read more at PakhiPakhi

Daag starring Dilip Kumar, Nimmi and Usha Kiron

Daag starring Dilip Kumar, Nimmi and Usha Kiron (1952)

The hallmark of a true classic lies in its ability to transcend the barrier of time and fickle audience tastes. There is an element of timelessness in such movies, an ability to hold cinemagoers’ interest for the entire duration. The same timel ess appeal makes this black and white film,starring the power couple of Dilip Kumar and Nimmi, a treat to watch, more than half a century after its release.

The film showcases why Dilip Kumar is revered as the most consummate star to have graced the Indian screen, ever. His command over his skill is unparalleled, evident in his portrayal of Shankar, a good-hearted, angst-ridden village artisan, who makes toys for a meagre living, but is shunned for his love of the bottle. He exhibits complete mastery over his inimitable oeuvre of emotions — the drunkard with a fine comic timing, the intense interaction with his ailing mother, his effort to stave off social stigma of being perceived a troublemaker and his romance with the petite Nimmi. The man is superb in every scene.

Seeing him perform, one can discern why future generations of actors — including the Big B — have imbibed his style. His imprint and influence on their histrionics is perhaps the biggest tribute to the icon. The film won him the first Filmfare Best Actor Award. He went on to win seven more. Continue reading

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