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Monthly Archives: July 2016

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    Dishoom
    Director: Rohit Dhawan
    Cast: John Abraham, Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez
    This comic caper directed by Rohit Dhawan tells the story of an Indian batsman who is kidnapped 36 hours before a match with Pakistan. The movie stars Abraham as Kabir Shergill and Varun Dhawan as Junaid Ansari.
    Did you know: This will be Rohit Dhawan’s first movie with his brother Varun.

    Ghostbusters
    Director: Paul Feig
    Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon
    The third movie in the Ghostbusters series starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, the film tells the story of four women who start a ghost-catching business in New York City.
    Did you know: Almost none of the scenes in the movie were finally filmed as scripted.

    Bad Moms
    Director: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
    Cast: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell
    An over-committed and exhausted Amy Mitchell joins forces with two other over-stressed moms on a quest to liberate themselves  from a stifling life and go on a binge of long-overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence.
    Did you know: YouTube star Lilly Singh (iisuperwomanii) has a cameo in the movie.

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      Arif Ali’s new film promises the most thrilling five minutes of your life.

      IT IS the season of firsts for Arif Ali and singer Sunidhi Chauhan as the latter is set to debut as an actor in Arif’s first short Playing Priya. Arif (41) who last donned the director’s hat for Lekar Hum Deewana Dil (2014) that didn’t charm the audiences, is excited about his new project and the trailer sure looks promising with an eerie sound track. “Feature film takes a long time and is a serious commitment, but a short can even happen overnight. So, when the idea came to me of this film, I decided to act on it quickly and bounced it off Sunidhi who got equally excited,” begins Arif, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali’s younger brother.
      Playing Priya revolves around Chauhan’s character who is enjoying some ‘me time’ in an empty house when something unexpected happens. Talking about why Chauhan was right for the role, Ali says, “When I came up with this idea, the first person who came to my mind was her. Sunidhi and I have a penchant for dark movies — we connect really well on that. She wanted to give acting a shot and I wanted to make a short story. It was win-win.”
      The director who always discusses his work with Imtiaz says his big brother’s opinion is valuable. A Hitchcock fan, Arif would also like to make comedy and character complex movies. Also working on a romantic feature film with a twist, he says,“With the ever growing number of smartphone users and the evolution of taste and consumption patterns, the future seems to be quite bright. However, I feel that one has to be quite smart and focussed on and about what they are making because there are or will be so many options for the viewers that they won’t tolerate anything even slightly under par. The new found spotlight on‘content’ in this medium is the game-changer.”
      The movie releases today on youtube.com/humaramovie

      Saloni Sinha

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        As NFDC selects six scripts for the Screenwriters’ Lab, their mentors tell us about the nature of the craft.

        The country has a pool of young talent when it comes to cinematic skills, like screenwriting and directing. The National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) is tapping into that resource with their 10th edition of the Film Bazaar Screenwriters’ Lab. After scanning several entries from across India from February to July they have identified six promising projects. Including regional picks, the lineup includes Heart and Soul (Tamil); Spirogyra and The Ward (both Malayalam); The Gift (Bengali); Unresolved (Punjabi); and Time To Go (Hindi). These selected projects will be pitched to national and international producers at the Film Bazaar 2016 to be held between November 20 and 24 2016.
        Three’s company
        To support and prepare these scripts for the Bazaar, the three mentors who will guide the selected writers in one-on-one sessions in August and November are Urmi Juvekar (of Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye and I AM fame), head of the Screenwriters’ Lab; Antoine Le Bos, French screenwriter and script-consultant and artistic director of Le Groupe Ouest (theEuropean centre for film creation in Brittany); and Romain Compingt, teacher at Conservatoire Européen d’écriture Audiovisuelle. While Juvekar has been a part of NFDC since 2011, this will be Le Bos’ and Compingt’s first collaboration with the organisation.

        Tale spin
        The structure of a story is the most significant for France-based Le Bos (51). “Building the story architecture is the most painful phase of the job when you plan to shoot a feature film. It can often last more than two years of intense work and research,” he shares
        A fan of Satyajit Ray and Mira Nair and impressed by Ritesh Batra’s Lunchbox, Le Bos explains the obstacles that are affecting the stories and the short films today. “Short films are the victims of two trends: a progressive lack of proper story and an oversimplified vision of what a story should be, under the influence of Hollywood archetypes,” he says, adding that the Indian film industry has the potential to become a leader in international cinema. “The key to it seems to be the ability of the new generation to focus on script-development, and dedicate to it the appropriate amount of time and effort,” he signs off.

        Details: filmbazaarindia.com

        — Saloni Sinha

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        Channel the sporting spirit through these upcoming biopics and dramas.

        Bleed For This (boxing) Still - The Bleeder
        Whiplash star Miles Teller will be seen alongside Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) in this biopic on former American boxing champion, Vinny Pazienza. Ben Younger — the man behind the 2000 Vin Diesel-Ben Affleck crime drama, Boiler Room  — has directed this movie, with Martin Scorcese as one of the producers. Slated for a November release, the film’s trailer (released late last month) already has viewers raving about Teller’s transformation into a heavyweight. It remains to be seen if it fares better than last year’s Sylvester Stallone-starrer Creed, the last boxing movie to come out of Hollywood.

        Sachin: A BILLION DREAMS (cricket) Poster - Sachin
        Olympics or not, if it’s Sachin Tendulkar in question, he must join the list. Ever since the cricketer tweeted the poster of this James Erskine-movie, many theories have surfaced as to what this film is all about. What we know so far is that it stars the Master Blaster himself and his brother Arjun and will focus on the finer details about the former’s personal and professional life. With music by A R Rahman, fans are eagerly waiting for the crew to announce the release date. Till then be content with the trailer, which has been viewed over five million times so far.

        Budhia Singh: born to run (running) Still - Budhia SIngh
        Do you know that a four-year-old boy from Orissa made headlines a decade ago when he ran from Bhubaneshwar to Puri over a distance of more than 60 kilometres in just over seven hours? Now 14, Budhia Singh will see his story unfold in theatres when the Soumendra Padhi-directed biopic releases next month. The titular character will be essayed by young actor, Mayur Patole, who beat over 1,000 people in auditions. Veteran actor Manoj Bajpayee, who learnt Oriya for the role, will play his coach. The movie has already won the National Film Award for Best Children’s Film.

        The Bleeder (boxing) 
        Go back in time with The Bleeder, a biopic on heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner. Wepner is famous for challenging Muhammad Ali and consequently getting beaten by the legend in a heavyweight title fight in 1975. The former will be portrayed by Liev Schreiber (Spotlight), while Pooch Hall will play Ali. Schreiber will be accompanied by his real-life wife Naomi Watts, who plays Linda (Wepner’s third wife). Directed by Philippe Falardeau, the movie’s title is inspired by Wepner’s boxing nickname, The Bayonne Bleeder.

        MS Dhoni: The Untold Story (cricket) Still - MS Dhoni
        Although cricket may not be an Olympic sport, it’s hard to ignore this movie, where Sushant Singh Rajput plays India’s most successful cricket captain. It sounds promising already with Neeraj Pandey as the director, who has made hits like A Wednesday, Special 26, Baby, and others. Currently working on Rustom and Baby’s sequel, Pandey has a task on his hands to convince the cricketing diaspora of his choice of lead actor. But going by the trailer, he seems to have got it right. Rajput does look Dhoni-sque. Can he maintain the swagger till the end? You will have to wait till September to find out.

        DAngal (wrestling) Poster - Dangal1
        India’s wrestling contingent may have been hit by Narsingh Yadav’s dope test failure, but that may not affect the chances of Dangal. Latest reports suggest that Aamir Khan has sought a change in the marketing strategy of the promotions to lean it more towards to the cause of women empowerment. Has it got anything to do with the backlash over Anushka Sharma’s role in Sultan? Your guess is as good as ours. However if you really need some fitness inspiration then this is it. Aamir Khan hasn’t looked this good ever since Ghajini, and credit has to be given to Rahul Bhatt, his trainer for the movie. Directed by Nitesh Tiwari, it stars Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra, who play Khan’s medal-winning daughters.

        My favourite sports
        movies are Cinderella Man, Karate Kid, Rocky and Ip Man. These films have well-trained actors, often no stunt double, and are remembered
        ­— Dhilip Subbarayan, stunt choreographer

        Hands of Stone (boxing) Still - Hands of Stone
        Raging Bull-star Roberto De Niro plays boxing trainer Ray Arcel in Jonathan Jackubowicz’s biopic.
        It centres on the life of Roberto Duran, a Panamanian who was famous for his deadly punches during his boxing heydays. He will be portrayed by Edgar Ramirez, who moved to Panama and interacted with Duran and his family to understand his role better. Musician Usher Raymond IV (also known as Usher) trained for two years to look the part of Sugar Ray Leonard, Duran’s legendary nemesis whom the singer portrays in the movie. Going by the trailer, we say both Ramirez and Usher have done a good job in prepping their looks for the ring.

        — Karan Pillai






         

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          Madaari

          Director: Nishikant Kamat
          Cast: Irrfan Khan, Vishesh Bansal, Jimmy Shergill
          Since the film showed the nerve to release alongside Kabali  last week, our expectations were high. And also because it features Khan in the lead role. The ‘ideal voter’ runs pillar to post to seek help, and even reaches out to the home minister. When everyone turns a blind eye to his misery, he kidnaps the minister’s son to take revenge. The film has its heart in right place but the execution is patchy and lets down Khan’s talent.

          — Team Indulge

          Star Trek: Beyond
          Director: Justin Lin
          Cast: John Cho, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana
          The Star Trek franchise is back with its thirteenth instalment with Star Trek: Beyond. When the USS Enterprise is hit with a surprise attack, they crash in a mysterious land. Unsure of their surroundings, they must battle a vicious enemy, the most dangerous to date. While the plot does have its fair share of problems and loopholes, it sure makes for an engaging watch.

          — Team Indulge

          Kabali

          Director: Pa Ranjith
          Cast: Rajinikanth, Radhika Apte
          It centres on a don who returns from a prison sentence and takes on the mafia who had oppressed Tamils and disturbed his family life. The superstar is not showcased to advantage here. More than awe and admiration,one feels sympathy for the don who looks like he would rather hang up his boots than go for a fight! The screenplay loses steam post interval, has a bad climax, the narration is slow and ponderous. The attempt to infuse realism Madras-style and blend it with the Rajini-factor, works neither here nor there. The teaser promised much more than what the film has delivered!

          — Malini Mannath

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            Learn about the power of light and sound at The Dune, courtesy the country’s first Chopra Healing  Centre.

            CLOSE your eyes and pay attention to your Third Eye, your Anga Chakra,” intones Deepak Chopra, healer emeritus and author of more than 85 books that have established him as a New Age guru in California where he has the Chopra Healing Centre.
            The symbol of the third eye opening petal-like between two eyes, with rays of energy rising from them, invites the visitor into the first Deepak Chopra Healing Centre in the country that he has come to inaugurate on July 26. All around us at The Dune Ecovillage, a little away from the last stretch of the East Coast Road as it enters Pondy, the air vibrates with the low hum of nature in all its multitudinous complexity.
            Chopra, speaking in a low gravelly voice, has already primed us to why he is here. “South India has always been a source of traditional knowledge. It’s been the home of Ayurveda for a very early time. My wife has been coming here and of course I have been to Kerala many times to study their methods of treatment, where they treat the individual first, rather than the disease. What could be better than a place like this? ”
            As he looks around the trees and flowering bushes and plants at the verdant tropical garden at Dune, the ground beneath our feet is crawling with velvety red and black designer beetles, millipedes hunting for food and birds hunting for worms. It’s a marvellous beach-fronted estate that has been nurtured over almost two decades by the owner, Dimitri Klein, and his team. The floor outside the palmyra palm-thatched roof of the healing center is a blaze of patterned colours from a rangoli. The virtual reality therapies that Chopra has talked about as the latest methods of diagnosing and treating the many ailments afflicting us today are right there on the doorstep at Dune.

            The raga effect
            He has talked about using light and sound techniques during his introduction, or body imaging that can track the shifting changes occurring in the brain. It makes one ask (in a lighter vein), whether Bollywood-style films are not using light and sound to increase the happiness quotient of their audiences. Without missing a beat, Chopra replies,“Yes, but when I say ‘music’ I am talking about the more sophisticated level of ragas. Different ragas have evolved over time to create their own interior resonances.” It brings to mind a quote from one of his books, The Deeper Wound. “A principle of physics states — when an electron vibrates, the universe shakes. Let us then, you and I, be those electrons that vibrate at the level of consciousness to bring peace, harmony, joy and love to the world.”

            Eastern promise
            In his guru role, though to give him credit, he only refers to himself as a teacher, who is also a healer, Chopra has tried to integrate the wisdom of the East to the scientific and technological advances of the West in a way that opens fresh vistas into the human mind. Amongst some of his bolder theories, Chopra compares the cells of the human body to the ways that atoms are envisaged as operating according to the laws of quantum mechanics. He allows that physicist Fritjof Capra might have advocated some of these ideas in the mid-60s, while others like Russian mystic Gurdjieff, the Theosophists led by Madame Blavatsky, or Shri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s vision of the evolutionary destiny of human beings, all point in the same direction. He himself acknowledges the influences of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Jiddu Krishnamurti. After 30 years of research, Chopra believes that it is possible to create that leap from one level of being, or consciousness, or the imprint of DNA on the genetic program of the individual to another level.
            “I am a communicator,” he explains. “ I am a writer. I do research. What energises me is the profound knowledge that is there in the Vedic tradition, the soul consciousness that is part of the human potential waiting to be released.’’
            The Chopra Healing Centre is at Dune Ecovillage and Spa, 70, ECR, Pudhukuppam. Packages start from Rs 10,000. Details: 9364455440

            What I am
            I am not my body; my body is recycled earth. I am not my breath; my breath is recycled air. I am not my emotion; my emotions
            are recycled energy. I am not my thoughts; my thoughts are recycled  information. (The Deeper Wound by
            Deepak Chopra)

            Powered by belief
            Dimitri Klein, co-owner of The Dune, tells us how he got in touch with Deepak Chopra through his Indian partner, Poonacha Machaiah, who is handling all the software development in Bangalore for the Chopra group. ‘‘We offered to open a centre in India for them, which they were thinking of doing anyway because he (Chopra) wants to give back to India,” adds Klein. Sharing his vision for the centre, which will be to treat patients through Ayurveda and alternative systems of medicine, he confirms, “It’s a medical spa. We will treat people with arthritis, blood pressure problems and other chronic diseases.”

            — Geeta Doctor

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            What the Hero Splendor iSmart 110 is up against.

            Honda Dream Yuga
            The Dream Yuga is an updated, swankier version of the Dream Neo with a 110cc engine making 8.25bhp. Besides looking stylish with those catchy body graphics, it also boasts the legendary Honda refinement. But it falls short in terms of features – it’s all about pure functionality. Rs 54,542 (ex-showroom, Chennai).
            Details: honda2wheelersindia.com

            Mahindra Centuro NXT
            The Centuro NXT may offer lesser power and torque than the iSmart 110, but its USP is the abundance of car-like features, like a digital dashboard, an engine immobiliser, ‘find-me’ and ‘follow me home’ headlamps and a flip-open key fob. The Centuro is not only macho but also elegant, thanks to those twin golden ribs under the fuel tank. Rs 52,040 (ex-showroom, Chennai
            Details: mahindratwowheelers.com)

            Suzuki Hayate
            Salman Khan’s endorsement may or may not be relevant to the Hayate’s sales. But the 9.3Nm of torque and 8.5bhp of power from its 113cc engine and the light 107kg kerbweight make this bike quick for its class. The neat, flowing lines make the strong performer modestly stylish too; definitely worth a test ride.
            Rs 52,235 (ex-showroom, Chennai).
            Details: suzukimotorcycle.co.in

            TVS Star City+
            Star City+ comes with oodles of style including alloy wheels and robust construction. The engine dishes out figures standard for this segment and promises great fuel efficiency too. Added features include an econometer which tracks fuel efficient riding. It’s also the cheapest in this list! Rs 48,450 (ex-showroom, Chennai) Details: tvsstarcityplus.com

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            Nissan’s all-new crossover blazes through Brazil in a historic Olympic torch relay.

            In the months leading up to the Olympics, the torch relay witnessed athletes like Jean Padilha, the table tennis player, who will participate in the 2016 Rio Paralympics join in as a torchbearer and move forward on a wheelchair. As Padilha keeps the flame hoisted, behind him, you can spot the sharp, V-shaped strips of light sneering at you. The light belongs to the LED headlamps of the  Kicks, the newest sub-4 metre SUV from Nissan. The crossover features in the Japanese carmaker’s 40-vehicle strong fleet accompanying the torchbearers along the country-wide route in Brazil. Now on its return journey after touching the southern most point of Brazil, the torch relay will end at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro on August 5. Over the course of the journey, the convoy has travelled through diverse landscapes of the South American country–from the dense rainforests of the Amazon, to the  tropical wetlands of the Pantanal.
            Flaming kicks
            Nissan deems this historical journey a fitting showcase for the Nissan Kicks. Characterised by the blacked-out pillars and V-shaped grille, the beefy looking wheel-arches and the dumbbell-shaped air dams, the crossover commands a butch, powerful stance. Judging by the variety of terrain covered during the torch relay, the production car is expected to be one that’s both ‘stylish and versatile,’ as promised by the carmakers. Besides the 40 cars in the relay fleet, Nissan will be exclusively providing 4,200 cars to serve as support vehicles during the Rio Olympics.

            Details: nissan-global.com

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            The new Hero Splendor iSmart 110 is sophisticated, packed with features and completely built in-house.

            Earlier this year came Hero MotoCorp’s Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT)–an ultra-modern R&D facility that every other motorcycle manufacturer is secretly jealous of. The first effects of the facility and the talented group of engineers and designers that work there are now bearing fruit. The Hero Splendor iSmart 110 is the first totally in-house motorcycle to come out of CIT and it’s just a prelude of things to come. Here’s why this new Splendor is such a big deal.

            Design
            While it is an all-new homegrown motorcycle from Hero MotoCorp, it is still instantly recognisable as a Splendor iSmart with its sleek curves and creases while keeping the overall stance similar to its 90cc sibling. There are also bright red coil springs for the rear suspension, a neat and edgy headlamp, smart alloy wheels and a chunky exhaust can.

            Features
            There is a whole lot of useful equipment on the Splendor iSmart 110 catering to the environment it will be most used in. The digital-cum-analog instrumentation is futuristic and includes a side-stand warning lamp. The bike also has a neat automatic headlight system for when you’re suddenly entering dark spaces.

            Engineering
            This is a brand new product all the way from the chassis and engine to the suspension. The chassis itself has more optimised torsional rigidity and along with the suspension, is capable
            of not just being a flickable machine in city traffic, but also
            an able tool on rougher terrain.

            Powertrain
            Hero MotoCorp’s new carburetted, 110cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine doing duty in the iSmart is more upright than before and is just as refined, if not more. There’s a meaty mid-range too that makes in-city use all the more effortless with its 9bhp and 9Nm output.

            —Muntaser Mirkar @BullSpeech

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              Community, Comedy Central,
              Today, 10.30 pm
              Catch this sitcom revolving around the capers of a study group at a Community college in the fictional Greendale. From a suspended lawyer Jeff Winger in search of a degree to devout Christian and a single mother Shirley Bennett, the series shows the idiosyncrasies of a community college with teachers joining in the fun. Don’t miss John Oliver’s small but vital role as the British professor, Ian Duncan.

              Brooklyn Nine Nine,
              Comedy Central, Tuesday, 9.30 pm
              This police comedy revolves around the fictional 99th Precinct of the New York City Police Department in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and follows the hilarious adventures of a team of detectives headed by newly appointed Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher). This motley crew of detectives is what you need after a long work day.

              Vice Principals, Star World Premiere HD, Tuesday, 10.30 pm
              The all-new comedy series revolves around the power struggle between two vice principals in North Jackson High — Neal Gamby and Lee Russell. In the upcoming episode, see how Gamby tries to impress Amanda, the new English teacher and how Russell tries to take that away.

              CAR & BIKE

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              Reasons why some Yamaha YZF-R3 owners may have to take their bikes back to the workshop Launched in India back in September 2015, the Yamaha...

              SPECIALS

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              The legendary Martin Scorsese opens up about his latest film, future projects and more in an exclusive interaction with Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo It was the...

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