Friday, November 28, 2003

thanksgiving: turkeys of movies

Google came up with another interesting logo

thanksgiving 2003 logo from Google.
I caught Will Smith, Gene Hackman and a bunch of uncredited people (Jason Robards, Tom Sizemore) doing their bit for another Jerry Bruckheimer/Don Simpson high concept action thriller called Enemy of the State. Cool font on the titles (with serifs on the E, O, Y, C, S, and no horizontal on the A). A slick product (expectedly), laced with enough terminology to make your head spin. And don't get me started on all the fake social security numbers in the film. I've always wondered what the formula for SSNs in the movies was ... (see also: Marnie) after all the telephone numbers are directory lookups (except Bruce Almighty). The prescient ominous note is Senator Thomas Reynolds' (Jon Voight) birthdate -- September 11, 1940. Brr! And there's Hackman's inclusion of the word "Allah" as a word that could raise the alarm. The end credits include a line "The CNN journalist is a fictitious character". Based on what I think of CNN, that line holds a whole different meaning for me. Cool movie though, very entertaining.

Wouldn't it be appropriate to celebrate the Day of The Turkey with some movie turkeys? A movie geek's poetic justice, as it were. Try Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost. Dumb describes it mildly. A premise of potential is wasted in a film that was made "with the blessings of shri shatrughan sinha, smt poonam sinha", offers "sincere thanks to mr amitabh bachchan (for the opening voiceover) and mrs jaya bachchan", is dedicated to "pahlaj and neeta nihalani", features the obnoxious Chunkey Pandey, includes cleavage-that-passes-off-for-acting called Lara Dutta, has Abhishek Bachchan veering dangerously close to cloning his father's performances and never really bettering them, has meaningless S&D interludes backed by pathetic songs that offer a red carpet to the FF button, features a lot of people from the cast of Lagaan, includes a BPL TV (that even showcases a BPL ad at one point), has clips from Aankhen (a.Nganaa me.n baabaa), Raja Hindustani, Kaala Sona, Jaani Dushman(YEAH! see also: experiences: phases I, II and III), Jaanbaaz (pyaar do pyaar lo), Ramayan, Mahabharat, and a movie with Hemant Birje dressed up as Superman carrying Kimi Katkar around (not sure if it was Dharam-paaji's Superman). The film had a potential to be a postmodern western (the only things that even retained my interest as it turned out were Dayashankar Pandey's fantasy excursions paying homage to Feroz Khan in Kaala Sona). Especially notable as rotten-tomato prizewinners are the rather pointless starry introductions afforded to the characters of Dutta (a random dance that serves as an assets advertisement) and Bachchan (something better fitting a horror film). The needlessly violent climax fails as a poor attempt to do a Sam Peckinpah, and even contains a straight lift from Mirch Masala (minus the sociological impact of the source!). Strictly avoidable.

Chaar Maharathi is the stuff that made Zee Cinema appealing. The print was bad on this Mithun starrer, which also featured Om Shivpuri (also credited for the story idea) as John, Amjad Khan as "Professor" Shakti Singh (supposedly a criminologist!), Kadar Khan as "Ustad" Suleiman, the ever irritating Tina Munim as Phool (yep, you read that right!), the heinous Asha Parekh, Bharat Bhushan, Chandrashekhar and Raza Murad in a pre-credit cameo as Mithun's ill-fated father. Characters interestingly change names in the movie: Bharat Bhushan character goes from being Ramesh to Rajesh; and Mithun's childhood name seems to change from Rohit to Raja/Rajinder. Some nice pieces of dialogue though: aurat aur zamiin apane a.ndar sab kuchh chhupaa detii hai.n; and the following destined for Mithuniana:

(ustad bhiku): seTh, mujhase paise maa.Ngane waale kaa mai.n sab kuchh jalaa detaa huu.N
(mithun): sab kuchh to bahut duur kii baat hai. pahale apanii ##cigarette## jalaa ke to bataa

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