Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri on the Set of 'Rockstar'

Ranbir Kapoor has completely changed looks for his new movie, Rockstar. He was dressed like a hippie on the set of the flick in Prague, he was spotted looking equally scruffy in Mumbai and now the actor is going for the nerdy look as he hangs out with his co-star Nargis Fakhri on the set in Delhi.

Rockstar is directed by Imtiaz Ali, who also did Love Aaj Kal and Jab We Met, and produced by Eros international and Shri Ashtavinayak Cine Vision - and the music is composed by none other than A.R.Rahman. Ranbir has been taking guitar lessons for his role so fans have something new to look forward to!

Cast and crew started shooting Rockstar in May and Ranbir's co-star is half Czech- half Pakistani model Nargis Fakhri from New York. Piyush Mishra and Shammi Kapoor are also set to appear in the movie. We hope the chemistry between Ranbir and Nargis will be all we expect and more - judging by the pic from the set, the two are getting along just fine!

Ranbir is currently working on the movie and has been seen wearing a pair of blue jeans and a plaid shirt. The actor's character is named Jordan and he is reportedly inspired by a real rockstar, Jim Morrison. The buzz is that the film tells the story of a small town boy who becomes - wait for it - a rockstar!

Do you think Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri make a good couple in Rockstar?

Yuvan And Mani Rathnam For A Period Flick?

If reports are to be believed, Mani Ratnam may soon wield the megaphone for a period flick. Sources say that the talented director has already set the ball rolling for this venture and it may go on floors quite soon.

The next big question regarding this project is – who will score the music? AR Rahman and Mani Ratnam are the best combination who have produced some excellent chatrt busters together. But with the Oscar winning musician busy in the international sphere it seems doubtful if he would join Mani’s camp for this period film.

With Yuvan Shankar Raja expressing his long-pending desire to score music for a period film, will Mani sign him up?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

AR Rahman`s calendar for a cause

Second time in a row AR Rahman has launched a calendar in collaboration with World Light.

It is for a noble cause to support the education for less privileged children. The calendar has portrait pictures of singers like Chinmayi and Benny Dayal.

The highlight is that out of 10 musicians featured in the calendar eight of them got their break through Rahman.

Rahman says: "At the foundation we know that there is no better investment than that in the education of children."

Rahman's foundation is providing free music education to 30 students from corporation schools in Chennai.

The calendar pictures have been photographed by Selvakumar.

Ram in Gautam Menon direction

Young hero Ram who earned huge youth fan following with his blockbusters like 'Devadasu' and 'Ready', got lucky this time. Successful director Gautam Menon is all set to direct Ram in a Telugu film. Being produced by Ashok Vallabhaneni on Manadesham Movie banner, Ram is likely to star with Samanta in this film. A R Rahman will compose music for it.

Gautam Menon himself revealed this to the media on Monday."I just spoke to Ram and he agreed to do the film. It will be a wholesome family entertainer with young star cast" Menon said.

2010: Rajnikant's 'Robot' pips Bollywood blockbusters

The year 2010 in Tamil cinema belongs to Rajnikant whose robot avatar in 'Endhiran' enjoyed a great run at the box office amid fan frenzy and celebrations. Film icon Kamal Haasan rounded off the year with his 'Manmadhan Ambu'.

The Tamil film industry also witnessed almost every other member of DMK's first family headed by M Karunanidhi make the 'Kollywood' splash, either in production or acting.

The year also saw actress Khushboo, who overcame a legal battle concerning her remarks on pre-marital sex, joining DMK.

The Shankar directed 'Endhiran' (Robot), three years in the making, was a box-office hit easily piping the Bollywood blockbusters of the year.

The trilingual film, starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Rajnikant's love, received good opening as producer Kalanidhi Maran of the Sun TV Group ensured it went global.

The superstar of Tamil cinema, Rajnikant, enjoyed professional success with his movie going on to become a blockbuster. On the personal front, his younger daughter, Soundarya, got married to Chennai-based businessman Ashwin.

The actor stayed away from any political controversy unlike in the past when his comments on inter-state issues such as the Hogenakkal row had threatened his films' releases in Karnataka, his home state.

Kamal Haasan rounded off the year with 'Manmadhan Ambu' which saw actress Trisha paired opposite him. Trisha had earned accolades for her role as Jessy in 'Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya'.

Haasan courted controversy when some Hindu outfits reportedly expressed opposition to certain verses in a song penned by him in Manmadhan Ambu. The actor gave in to pressure and removed the verses for the film produced by Karunanidhi's grandson Udhayanidhi Stalin.

The producers of both these high-profile ventures chose to go overseas for their music launch. Endhiran's audio launch was by itself a gala event with the producers choosing Malaysia for the event while Kamal and crew went to Singapore.

The Sri Lankan Tamils issue had its repercussions on Indian film industry's unity when some leading star including brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan and family stayed away from the IIFA event in Colombo even as Salman Khan chose to attend.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Look who ruled Facebook this year

What was your favourite topic for Facebook statuses this year? For most Indians, it was the Commonwealth Games, followed by the football World Cup.

The online social network has announced the top status messages across the world in 2010, and while HMU, or “Hit me up” emerged the most commonly used phrase in status updates across the globe, it was the Commonwealth Games that topped the list of status trends in India.

The football World Cup was the second most talked about among Indian users, while the site’s IM service ‘Chit Chat’ came third and ‘cancer’, fourth. These were followed by the films Endhiran and Raajneeti in the fifth and sixth spot, and CWG supremo Suresh Kalmadi stood seventh for all the news he made. Chennai Super Kings took the eighth spot, followed by Endhiran star, Rajinikanth in the ninth position and the songTere Liye from the movie Prince, in the tenth.

“The results reflect the highs and lows of world events that started a global conversation, new uses of language online and the sharing of popular culture,” said a statement issued by the website.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Rajinikanth's 'Robot' becomes part of IIM-A curriculum

It might sound as one of the hundreds of jokes doing rounds on south Indian superstar Rajinikanth, but his latest blockbuster Endhiran orRobot has made it to the curriculum of the country's best management school, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

The sci-fi movie, made originally in Tamil, would be included as a part of an elective course called "Contemporary film industry" in IIM-A.

Robot would be part of the syllabus as a case study to analyse the business of cinema and its success story.

Another Tamil film starring Rajinikanth -- Muthu -- would also be added to the syllabus.

Indeed, nothing seems impossible for Rajinikanth!

Shekhar Kapur’s next is ‘English Mountaineer’

Shekhar Kapur
Shekhar Kapur
What is filmmaker Shekhar Kapur up to? While his Bollywood project 'Paani' is still floating around, the man is currently working on a script for an English film titled 'English Mountaineer'.

The movie, apparently, is based on mountaineer George Mallory, who was found dead a little way away from the peak of Mount Everest.

Life has its way of letting many things remain unanswered, and so the question is: Did George Mallory die on his way up to the peak or on his way down? If George did pass away on his way down from the peak, it would've been he and not Sir Edmund Hillary as the first man to climb Mount Everest.

Shekhar's epic drama 'Elizabeth' was commendable, and this storyline, too, proves that Kapur is out to achieve some mean feat!

AR Rahman 'worth a year-long wait'

AR Rahman
Producers of Ada… A Way of Life delayed the release of the film for a year because they wanted AR Rahman to work on it, Ayaan Ahmad has revealed.

The actor said the film was kept on hold while Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman was busy.

"Our film was stalled once it got to the background score stage. We wanted AR Rahman to do the background score. This was around that time Slumdog Millionaire hit the screens. The Oscars happened, and then he got busy with work in LA," said Ahmed.

While the composer recommended other musicians for the job, the makers of the film said he was the only man for the job and claim it was worth the wait.

Ada… A Way of Life will be released on December 24.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

‘Its finally time to shoot Paani

Noted filmmaker Shekhar Kapur breaks the ice around his most-awaited futuristic film, Paani , which he intends to start shooting early next year, says Divya Kaushik

From voicing and giving his poetic works a public image to starting with his most-awaited and ambitious project based in India, this eclectic director surely has a lot on his mind right now. Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur back home and will be here till the time he starts his project, Paani, that has been in news for long now but hasn’t yet seen the light of the day.

“People have been talking about it but unfortunately, the project hasn’t taken off. I might begin shooting by February end or the first week of March. That’s the deadline I’ve set for myself,” says the director, taking a deep breath. And no, he hasn’t decided the locations so far nor is he ready to spill the beans on the star cast of the movie. However, rumour is that he has finalised Hrithik Roshan for the lead. “I can’t tell anything related with the cast of the movie but would like to correct some people who think Paani will be a science thriller. I would rather call it a futuristic movie that narrates the tale of the world without water. It deals with a serious subject and will put the picture of the future so any location can be ideal. It can be Mumbai, Bengaluru or any other place. There is also a love story weaved in it,” he smiles suspiciously.

After Paani, Kapur is planning to do a series of movies based on climate change. “I intend bringing renowned directors from across the world to work on this series. I won’t mind if these are of 10-15 minutes duration,” he adds.

The noted director, nominated for Oscars and who created ripples in Hollywood with his film Elizabeth: The Golden Age, was in the Capital after a long time and like most of the times, he surprised his fans. He narrated a few of his poems, the first time he was doing so while designer Manish Arora showcased his collection on the theme, Circus of Life. “I’ve been writing poetry since long but never got them published. I never thought it necessary. But I narrated a poem for this show where Manish and I worked together,” he says. It was the first time the director has collaborated with a fashion designer but denies on being a fashion-conscious person himself. Manish, who worked with Kapur, says, “I don’t believe it. When I first met him, I saw him wearing a shoe brand that no one knows in India. It is picked up by a select few fashionable men in West. I was surprised to find out that besides me there is another Indian who sports this brand.”

Says Kapur, “I don’t know anything about fashion but I believe in designs. It is something that constantly leads people towards change. I always wanted to do something with design so I and Manish decided to come together to do ‘something’ with design.” To which Arora adds, “But that ‘something’ we can’t reveal now though we’re even sure of the name.”

Even with so many things on his platter, the director says that another Hollywood project is in the making simultaneously. “I’m exploring the life of English explorer and mountain climber, George Marllory. Nobody knows where did he go or how he died? I just loved the subject and will make a film on it soon,” says Kapur, known for his love for sci-fi movies.

He had once said that he would love to make a sequel to Spiderman but there’s some time for that. “I said that may be I will be coming up with a Spiderman 6 or 7. I think it’ll take time. Let Spiderman 4 come first,” says the director who believes there lies a vast difference in the process of filmmaking and in the subjects in Hollywood and Bollywood.

“Both are wide faces. Whereas Hollywood picks up more vast subjects, Bollywood sticks to a few,” he says. Kapur was seen on small screen some time back with India’s Got Talent. The director says he’ll make a comeback only if something really creative comes his way. “The definition of creative is different for me and something that I feel would change some people’s lives and can move me, would make me return to TV,” he clarifies.

Kapur has always been open in speaking out his mind on spirituality and we might soon get to hear the director is working on a film based on it. “Why not? Spirituality to me is an expression that defines your relationship with your senses and entire universe. I would love to present my version of spirituality to people,” he sums up.

Movie review: “127 Hours” - Royal Purple - Lifestyle

In 2003, rock climber Aron Ralston decided to take a trip to Blue John Canyon without telling anybody where he was going. While traversing the rugged terrain, he fell into a small, narrow canyon, at which point a small boulder became dislodged and pinned his forearm against the wall. After numerous futile efforts, he believed he was going to die. He spent the next five days sipping what little water he had left before finally amputating his arm off with a dull knife from part of a cheap multi-tool. He then had to rappel down a 65-foot wall, at which point a family saw him, gave him food, water, and called in rescue.

There is a question that has to be asked: how can this scenario be turned into a film? Well, it has been done, and the result is one of the best movies on 2010. Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) has brought to us one of the best portraits of survival out there, using his trademark kinetic directing style, and James Franco (Spider-Man) has given us his best performance to date, showing that he can go against the best of the best in the acting world. 127 Hours is destined to go down as one of the most harrowing tales ever brought to the silver screen, and everybody should experience it.

Boyle's directing style helps turn what could've been a very boring movie into a very exciting, yet excruciating, tale. The only reason I say that it could have been boring is for the fact that if an inexperienced director took the helm, what would they show? Ralston sitting at the bottom of a canyon, trapped? Boyle makes the pitfall engaging. He keeps it interesting. Boyle even has a way of making us feel some of Ralston's pain with visual and audio cues, which are very apparent and very effective. Franco definitely helps with that, showing off the numerous emotions needed to capture Ralston's situation perfectly. He goes from a happy-go-lucky mountaineer to a delirious man who has accepted his inevitable death. His performance is perfect, and I really won't be surprised if he wins for Best Actor this year.

There is one part of the movie, though, that doesn't exactly fit in with the rest of the movie. At one point, towards the end, Boyle decides to turn Ralston's experience into a talk show of sorts, complete with a laugh track in tow. It also shows a complete shift in Ralston's personality, showing him as an exuberant talk show personality interviewing himself, who is also in higher spirits than he previously was. It's not that big of a deal, in fact, I think it helps the movie pick up steam once more, right before the amputation.

And yes, you do get to see the amputation. And yes, it's very gruesome. But it was the anticipation of the scene more so than the actual scene itself that make me cringe. Every time it looked like he was going to go through with it but didn't, yikes. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

127 Hours is one of the best movies I have seen this year. Thanks to the phenomenal performance by James Franco, Danny Boyle's fantastic direction, and a very engaging story, I cannot recommend this movie enough. Please, I implore you, try and find a theater that is playing this movie.

Fox Searchlight dares you to see "127 Hours"

James Franco plays rock climber Aron Ralston in "127 Hours."
Published on Dec 16, 2010 11:00AM 0 Comments

In marketing "127 Hours," Fox Searchlight initially tried to downplay stories of audience members fainting when they saw climber Aron Ralston (played by James Franco) cutting off his pinned right arm in Utah's Bluejohn Canyon.

Now, Fox Searchlight is making a virtue out of the shock factor.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the distributor is launching a website, with the logo "I Kept My Eyes Open for 127 Hours," and will be distributing pins at 200 theaters playing the film this weekend.

The L.A. Times notes that the box-office for "127 Hours" (which was filmed in Utah) has been solid, but not that spectacular, earning $8.5 million in six weeks in its rollout release.

VTV Hindi is on, says Gautham Menon

The Kollywood grapevine is abuzz that Gautham Vasudev Menon's Hindi remake of his VTV has been shelved.

Remember the Vinnayithaandi Varuvaayain Tamil was a hit and featured Silambarasan and Trisha and had good music by AR Rahman.

As per the rumours making the rounds Prateik Babbar who was to do the film has walked out of the project and Amy Jackson has no clue about emoting the way required in Indian films.

When contacted Gautham told "The film has not been shelved. We are taking a break as Prateik Babbar is busy with the promotions of his Aamir Khan produced Kiran Rao directed Dhobhi Ghat, which is releasing in January. Amy Jackson was in India for a month during which she attended special Hindi coaching classes and will come back once we firm up the shooting dates."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rahman in Oscar race too

A couple of days after bagging a Golden Globe nomination, A R Rahman is once again in Oscar race with his song 'If I Rise' from 127 Hours. The number has made it to the Academy shortlist for the Original Song category.

A total of 41 tunes, including the number that Rahman wrote for Danny Boyle's film, will be judged for Oscar considerations by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Clips featuring the songs will be viewed by the members of the music branch, who will vote to determine the final nominees on 6 January, Academy's official website said unveiling the list on Thursday.

The nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards will be unveiled January 25 while the award ceremony will take place on 27 February at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

Prateik Babbar starrer project cancelled

Buzz is that the Hindi remake of Gautam Menon’s hit Tamil movie ‘Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya’ has been called off, owing to several reasons.

According to sources, the lead actor Prateik Babbar opted out of the project and things had been difficult to find an actor to replace him.

Besides, it is heard that things were not going smooth when British model Amy Jackson was roped on for the leading lady. The foreign actress was finding it hard to learn Indian mannerisms and emotions.

Thus one thing lead to another and finally the project was cancelled.

Directed by Gautam Menon ‘Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya’, the original movie had Trisha and Silambarasan in lead and the music was done by A. R. Rahman. The film had been one of the highest grossing movies in Tamil and the music had been top in chartbuster.


Gautham Menon’s Latest Favorite Heroine

Samantha did a small role in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya, which impressed its director Gautham Menon so much that he cast her as the female lead in its Telugu version Ye Maye Chesave opposite Naga Chaitanya.

She seems to have turned into Gautham’s favorite actress as he had roped her in for a bilingual. This film, which has not been named yet, will be made in Tamil and Telugu. Samantha is happy with the offer and is raring to prove her mettle as an actress in Kollywood. The shooting of this film is slated to begin next year, sources say.


Is Suriya The Replacement Mr. Idiot?

Vijay’s walkout from Shankar’s ‘3 Idiots’ has turned spotlights on Suriya. The hums heard on the airs convey that Shankar’s other option could be Suriya as the actor strikes more commonalities with Aamir Khan. The duo share certain attributes that started with the remake of ‘Ghajini’. Suriya openly confessed that his looks of ‘Sanjay Ramaswamy’ were inspired from Aamir Khan’s role in ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. Of late, Mr. Perfectionist expressed that Suriya was his inspiration to perform well in the Hindi remake of ‘Ghajini’.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rahman in Oscar race for 127 Hours

After bagging a Golden Globe nomination, music maestro A R Rahman is once again in Oscar race with his song If I Rise from 127 Hours making it to the Academy shortlist for the Original Song category.

A total of 41 tunes, including the number that Rahman wrote for Danny Boyle's film, will be judged for Oscar considerations by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Clips featuring the songs will be viewed by the members of the music branch, who will vote to determine the final nominees on January 6, Academy's official website said unveiling the list today.

RahmanIt is a happy coincident for Rahman, who had a similar golden run in the award circuits in 2009. The 44-year-old singer-composer won his first Golden Globe in 2009 in the Best Original Score category for Boyle'sSlumdog Millionaire, which also went on to fetch him two Oscar statuettes later.

The musician's song for Couples Retreat had also made it to the shortlist last year but failed to fetch a nomination for him.

Rahman has already received rave reviews for his music in 127 Hours, starring James Franco as real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston, who cut off his arm to escape from beneath a boulder after being trapped for more than five days.

If I Rise is a collaboration between Rahman and American popstar Dido.

Musical Burlesque with its three songs is leading the shortlist while two tunes each from Black Tulip,Country Strong and Despicable Me are in the race.

To be selected for the nominations, a song must score an 8.25 rating or higher and Academy members are known to be choosy when it comes to rounding up the nomination list, which could feature as few as two songs or none.

If only one song receives a 8.25 score, that song and the song with next highest score will be selected as nominees. A maximum of five nominees will be chosen.

This year's shortlist includes Randy Newman for his contribution to the Disney-Pixar toon Toy Story 3song We Belong Together, You Haven't Seen the Last of Me and Bound to You from Burlesque; I See the Light, Coming Home from Country Strong and There's a Place for Us from Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

The nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards will be unveiled January 25 while the award ceremony will take place on February 27 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shankar - Indian Of The Year

Accolades and honors never seem to stop for director Shankar ever since Endhiran’s release. The film is a runaway success and people cannot stop raving about it. Still running to packed houses, Endhiran/Robot has earned the producers much more than they have invested as we hear that it has broken all box office records thus far.

The latest honor that is being bestowed on this director is the Indian of the Year Award from CNN-IBN. Shankar will be in Delhi to receive this award on December 22nd 2010.

Rahman at Golden Globe nominations again

A R Rahman is in the race to win his second Golden Globe after being nominated in the Best Original Score category for his music in the Danny Boyle directed film ‘127 Hours’ on Tuesday.

Remember the Mozart of Madras won global acclaim with the same Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. So expectations are high that Rahman would bring home the Golden Globe this time too.

Rahman’s music in the film, starring James Franco as real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston, had received good reviews for its “haunting tracks” and “wonderful crescendos.” The soundtrack includes ‘If I Rise’, collaboration between Rahman and American pop star Dido.

The nominations to the coveted award were announced in Los Angeles on Tuesday and Rahman’s competition includes Alexandre Desplat who was nominated for ‘The King’s Speech’, Danny Elfman who was nominated for ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross who were jointly nominated for ‘The Social Network’ and Hans Zimmer who won a nod for his score in ‘Inception’.

‘127 Hours’ is a biopic about Aron Ralston, who was trapped in a canyon in Utah for five days by a boulder that fell on his right arm and he freed himself by amputating the limb.