Julie and Julia

2Film: Julie and Julia
Star Cast: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Linda Emond
Screenwriter: Nora Ephron
Writers: Nora Ephron, Julie Powell (book)
Composer: Alexandre Desplat
Editor: Richard Marks
Director: Nora Ephron
Producer: Nora Ephron, Laurence Mark, Amy Robinson, Eric Steel
Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 2 hrs 3 mins
Rating: 3/5

A complete entertainer that reverberates the cadence and mind-set of classic Hollywood films, Julie and Julia is an enjoyable throwback to all the old fantasies watched years back. Based on two different books, the story is all about two women trying to find out something that is worth their involvement and end up finding out that it is cooking that completes them, making them enjoy their living.

Directed by Nora Ephron, the movie skillfully blends two different stories narrated by two different books that are linked by same theme and subject. The first one is related to Julia’s child’s (Meryl Streep) My Life in France, a book written by a well-known cook, teacher and writer who has done her Masters in French Cooking and is also associated with The French Chef television show that drastically changed the American culinary landscape. The second book is written by Julie Powell, featured on her self quest in cooking all the 524 recipes of Child’s book made for “the servant less American cook”.

Both the stories are tales of sisters, so to say, who are doing everything for themselves, though both of them have successful, trustworthy and encouraging husbands (Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina). Also, it’s an exceptional Hollywood movie featuring men as supporting characters, instead of the women.

The comic-dramatic role of Julia Child was extremely well acted by Meryl Streep. The best part was that she was simple and easy going with her character. Amy Adams as Julie Powell has also given her best throughout the movie. Ephron’s unflustered writing and directing gets its smooth pace with Richard Marks’ soft editing, Ann Roth’s costumes and Mark Ricker’s production design. Also, Stephen Goldblatt has cinematographed Paris fantastically as a rosy glow of re-created fantasy and also making not much imposing Meryl Streep as tall as 6.2 feet.

Orphan

orphan-posterFilm: Orphan
Star Cast: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder, Jimmy Bennett
Story: Alex Mace
Screenwriter: David Leslie Johnson
Director:Jaume Collet-Serra
Producer: Joel Silver, Susan Downey, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Leonardo DiCaprio
Composer: John Ottman
Studio: Warner Bros.
Runtime: 2 hrs 3 mins
Genre: Horror
Rating: 3.5/5

Though not the first movie to narrate a small kid’s gone evil story, Orphan is one of the most thrilling and enjoyable movie perfectly directed by Jaume Collet-Sera and casted by Isabelle Fuhrman, Peter Sarsgaard and Vera Farmiga.

Story starts from the point John Coleman (Peter Sarsgaard) and Kate (Vera Farmiga) decide to adopt a young girl named Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) after a heartrending loss of their unborn third child. As soon as Esther enters the house, things start changing, thus driving off Kate’s mind with the thinking that there is something wrong with Esther and in concern for the safety of her family she lands up telling John to check up for Esther’s past. But, unfortunately things unwind too late until John’s death and Kate’s struggle to live.

The best part is that the movie has utilized a lot “stalker” scenes like things banging off from the corners or the crawls in slow motion down the corridor. A few unsetting moments include the nun getting the brunt of Esther’s wrath and the nightmarish opening of Kate’s hospital ordeal. Also, Esther’s bully at the playground is something that takes breath away.

Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard were really good and perfectly suited their role, while Isabelle Fuhrman was in a full form taking off the movie in her own quarters. Not so perfect, the movie somewhere gets a bit predictable but does not lead the audiences to boredom. Also, it has kept a smooth pace throughout.

Though shocking as a good thriller, still a few questions remain unanswered as to how come the orphanage wherein Esther stayed did not notice her violent streaks and how come she moved from one place to another without any doccumentation of her bad activities?

Not to say much, but if you a horror lover then you need to watch out for this one.

October end to host two film festivals in India

Brillante Mendoza
Brillante Mendoza

Film fanatics’ worldwide will be in for a sweet surprise when two film festivals will run across New Delhi and Mumbai at the end of October.

The 11th Osian’s Cinefan festival will run from October 24 – 30 in New Delhi and will highlight contemporary Indian, Asian and Arab cinema. This is also the eleventh year for the 11th Mumbai Film Festival to be held from October 29 – November 5 presenting a 360° panorama of world and Indian cinema.

11th Osian’s Cinefan Festival will open with the Romanian film “Hooked” starring Adrian Sitaru while the closing film will be “Waltz with Bashir” by Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman. The jury for the festival includes many acclaimed film personalities like Suresh Jindal; associate producer for “Gandhi.” Mani Kaul is the chosen festival director.

Hindi film industry is growing by leap and bounds and therefore Cinefan has decided to hold a special exhibition depicting the history of Indian cinema featuring posters and other memorabilia. The “Newstream Cinema” section will screen films of offbeat Indian film directors such as Vishal Bharadwaj whose recent release “Kaminey” has garnered rave reviews and critical acclaim.

The Mumbai Film Festival has been organized by Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) and will screen 200 films from 56 countries with the opening film being Matt Damon’s “The Informant.”

Veteran Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos’s “The Dust of Time” will be the closing film as he also will be honored with The Lifetime Achievement award.

Actor Shashi Kapoor will also be awarded the Lifetime Achievement award while Director-Producer Yash Chopra will be commemorated by the International Federation of Film Producers Association. A flashback will be presented of Actor Amitabh Bachchan 40 yearlong career.

The jury members for the Mumbai Film Festival include film personalities like Hollywood screenwriter/director Paul Schrader, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, Philippine filmmaker Brillante Mendoza, Indian filmmaker Shaji N. Karun and former director of the Locarno Film Festival Irene Bignardi.

Awards of US$ 100,000 will be given away to Debutant Directors in the category of International Competition for Directors.

Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal is the Chairman of MAMI with Yash Chopra, Reliance Big Entertainment Chairman Amit Khanna and Actress Jaya Bachchan on the trustee board.

MAMI festival to begin on October 29 in Mumbai

mami-finalThe 11th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) will begin on October 29 that will screen around 200 films from almost 56 countries.

The committee of MAMI, a not-for-profit trust founded by Indian film industry personalities comprising veteran people  viz- producer-cum-director Yash Chopra, Chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment –Amit Khanna, actor Shabana Azmi and actor-turned-director Amol Palekar unveiled the line-up for the said annual Mumbai Film Festival yesterday at Sun-n-Sand hotel in Mumbai.

The week-long festival will be inaugurated by the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni.

MAMI will have a five-member international jury where releases of 2009 like Navidad (Chile-France), Seven Minutes (Spain), Soul At Peace (Slovakia), The Blacks (Crotia), and Ricky (France) which competed at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year will be screened. Besides this, Bengali films Janala and Abohomaan by Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Rituparno Ghosh respectively and the Marathi film Rita directed by Amol Palekar will be screened.

The festival will pay tribute to Paul Schrader, who wrote Martin Scorcese-Robert De Niro films like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. It will also honor five outstanding film personalities like yesteryear’s bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor known for his performance in blockbusters like Deewar and Namak Halal along with Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos with the international lifetime achievement award.

Academy Award winning director Steven Soderbergh’s ‘The Informan’t, a dark political comedy based on journalist Kurt Eichenwald’s book of the same name, will open the MFF. While ‘the Dust of Time‘ by Greek filmmaker ‘Theo Angelopoulos’ will close the festival on November 5, said the organizers of the festival on Wednesday.

Best debutant film director would be given 150,000 US dollars whereas the prize for the best film is Rs.50, 00, 000.

The Oscars has a pair of new producers..

kodak_theatre450px

A new body consisting of Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman has been declared today that will produce the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony.

Producers of the 81st Academy Awards ceremony Laurence Mark and Bill Condon had  other commitments, so they chose not to return.

Mechanic known for his tremendous love and respect of film who has backed the likes of Titanic and Fight Club has produced Coraline and the New World; while Shankman, director of Hairspray and Bedtime Stories will be seen as a substitute to Laurence Mark and Bill Condon.

The pair will  now select a host first for which a large speculation has already begun.

The ceremony will take place on March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California.

Ranbir is now Rocket Singh

ranbir-kapoor
AP/Gurinder Osan

Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year, an upcoming movie in 2009 under big banner of Yash Raj films is a successful combination of the movie Chak de!India director ‘Shimit Amin’ and writer ‘Jaideep Sahney’.

After tasting success at his third venture ‘Wake up Sid’, bollywood’s current sensation and one of most promising new-comer Ranbir Kapoor is playing the lead role of a Sikh salesman in the said movie.

Be it playing a Casanova or falling in love with an elderly lady, Ranbir has a proven track record to portray each kinda role with utmost passion. Now this time he will be seen in a proper sardar look with a turban and beard.

Shazahn Padamsee 21, daughter of pop sensation Sharon Prabhakar and ad maker Alyque Padmsee who is making her debut in bollywood industry, will play the female lead role opposite Ranbir where the movie is scheduled for a release somewhere around December 2009.

The story of the film falls in a comedy genre that has Gauhar Khan and an item song by Bipasha Basu.

Shimit Amin earlier did few movies like Punk and Gingerbread Man in Hollywood but later shifted his focus to bollywood where he worked as an editor in ‘Bhoot’ and ‘Ab tak Chappan’. Success came knocking his door with his direction venture of 2007 Chak de!India under the banner of YRF that bombed at the BO and earned him overnight recognition.

On the other hand Jaideep Sahney,writer of the film is known for his work,dialogues and screenplay for bollywood hits like Chak de! India, Khosla ka Ghosla, Bunty aur Bubli and movies like Rab ne bana di jodi, Aaja Nachle, Bluffmaster and Salam Namaste.

Adam Shankman to direct “Rock of Ages”

Adam Shankman and Nikki Blonsky
Adam Shankman and Nikki Blonsk

Adam Shankman, director of the musical version of “Hairspray” is returning to his roots with a new rock-themed 80s musical love story “Rock of Ages.” Signed on to direct and choreograph the feature film, it will begin production next summer with a probable release by Warner Bros. in 2011.

The Broadway musical’s creator Chris D’Arienzo will write the movie variation. Carl Levin, Matt Weaver, Scott Prisand, Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Gibgot will hold the production reins with Janet Billig and Hillary Weaver being executive producers.

The film is set in the rock fancied 80’s with the story revolving around a couple meeting at the Sunset Strip club Rock of Ages and falling in love.

Blue

1Film: Blue
Star Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta, Zayed Khan, Rahul Dev and Katrina Kaif
Cinematographer: Laxman Uttekar
Under-water cinematographer: Pete Zuccarini
Action Director: James Bomalick
Music Director: A.R Rahman
Director: Anthony D’Souza
Producer: Dhilin Mehta
Banner: Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd.
Rating: 2.5/5

Bollywood’s first underwater adventure thriller, Blue is encouraged by the famous Hollywood movies, ‘Jaws’ and ‘The Deep’. The movie has been set in the Bahamas and Bangkok and is all about three friends hunting for a lost treasure undersea. Completed under the placard of Shri Ashtavinayak Cinevision, Blue boosts up a budget of more than 100 Crores thereby, being hyped as Bollywood’s first most expensive movie.

A mixture of Bollywood and Hollywood, Blue swanks off the best technicians across the world. The adventurous expedition sets off by Aarav Malhotra (Akshay Kumar) and his friend Sagar (Sanjay Dutt). These two along with Sagar’s brother Sam (Zayed Khan) and the former’s girlfriend Mona (Lara Dutta) make the audiences enter into a sensational and beautiful world under the water. The characters struggle with the sharks at the start and then stabbing off their own conscience are taken over by betrayal and greed and menace up to wipe out their own existence. Along with treasure hunting, the film moves around complex relationship shared amongst the characters of the movie whilst their hunt for the treasure.

Directed by Anthony D’Souza, Blue brings thrills, excitement and danger along with it. Casted by Sanjay Dutt, Zayed Khan and Akshay Kumar who were perfect with their roles along with Lara Dutta and Katrina Kaif who did not have any job except to look sensuous in the whole film. Yes, Katrina did give a surprise through her new look in the film. Sunil Shetty also was quite good in his small role.

Though the movies action is not breathtaking, the underwater scenes are truly beautiful. Blue lacks a strong story, despite of its strong budget and a sensational star cast. The music given by A.R. Rehman goes quite well with the pace of the movie. The special number performed by International pop-sensation, Kylie Minogue along with the star cast of the movie is something that you should watch out for!

All the Best: Fun Begins

Director: Rohit Shettyallthebest
Producer: Ajay Devgan
Starring: Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, Fardeen Khan, Bipasha Basu, Mugdha Godse, Johnny Lever, Asrani
Music: Pritam
Release: October 16, 2009
Country: India
Language: Hindi

‘All The Best – Fun Begins‘, a forthcoming Bollywood movie directed by Rohit Shetty of ‘Golmaal’ and ‘Golmaal Returns’ fame is going to explode laughter, this time with hot babes of b-town viz- Bipasha Basu and Mugdha Godse along with actors Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt, Fardeen Khan. The story of the movie is a situational comedy based on mistaken identities and goof ups.

Produced by actor-producer Ajay Devgan, the film falls in the same genre  with shetty’s earlier ventures where this multi-starrer laugh riot titled- ‘All The Best – Fun Begins’ releases on this Friday i.e. on the eve of diwali 2009.

Fardeen (Veer), a singer is in love with Mugdha (Vidya) who is always greedy of extracting extra pocket money from his London-based businessman step-brother Sanjay (Dharam) with the help of his friend Ajay (Prem), a concept car expert  married to Bipasha (Jhanvi).

The two friends land up in debts as they opt for a shortcut to get rich. Further they get into a bigger potage when Dharam pays an unexpected visit to their place and unavoidable situations arise when Jhanvi is mistaken to be Veer’s girlfriend. Now here starts the juggling to prolong the debt payment to a local don and to mollify Dharam that eventually turn out  in comic situations.

Distributed internationally by Yash Raj Films, ‘All The Best’ is releasing worldwide where the actor-producer Ajay has splurged close to Rs.40 crore  on it that is reported to have an expensive song shot for around Rs.6.5 crore.

Exclusive First Look – Toy Story 3

Directed by: Lee Unkrich
Screenwriter: Michael Arndt
Produced by: Darla K. Anderson
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, Ned Beatty, Michael Keaton, Jodi Benson, Blake Clark, Timothy Dalton, John Morris, Bonnie Hunt, Whoopi Goldberg
Studio: Pixar Animation Studios
Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s): June 18, 2010 (US, CAN)
June 24, 2010 (EU)
July 23, 2010 (AUS)

The lovable characters of Toy Story will be re-lived again on the big screen when it gets a worldwide opening June 18, 2010. Woody, Buzz and our other favorites toys will once again lit up the screen under the reins of Lee Unkrich; editor and co-director of previous sequels. Michael Arndt, the Oscar winning screenwriter of “Little Miss Sunshine,” will weave the fantasy story where toys are made alive by blending human emotions into them.
Tom Hanks and Tim Allen will respectively stick to their roles of voicing the characters of Woody and Buzz, but Blake Clark will this time dub Slinky after the death of Jim Varney in 2000.
Andy now an adult decides to stock away all his toys but reconsiders his decision about Woody. However, before being piled up in the storage they are accidentally thrown out of the house right in the hands of the garbage men. As Buzz Lightyear and his other friends land up in a day care centre, it’s a daily ordeal for them to survive the pre-school children. Woody decides to find his friends and relocate them to a new home.
The surprise package of this sequel is the introduction of a new character by Lee Unkrich voiced by “The Flight of the Conchords” star Kristen Schaal. However, its identity has been kept under wraps.