LIFF Closing Night: Bombay Talkies

Bombay-Talkies-posterStarring: Rani Mukherji, Randeep Hooda, Saqib Saleem, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Ranvir Shorey, Katrina Kaif, Vineet Kumar Singh, Amitabh Bachchan

Directed by: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Indian Cinema, producer Ashi Dua brought together four exciting directors of Bollywood, giving each a chance to tell a story in 25-30 minutes. Given that the four stories are essentially four separate short films, I will review them individually as well.

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(Kind of) Review: Now You See Me

now-you-see-me-posterStarring: Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Dave Franco

Directed by: Louis Leterrier

This isn’t really a review, since I went to see the film after it had already been in cinemas a while, it is more of a comment on what I’ve heard or read of other people’s opinions of it. So it is full of spoilers. Don’t read if you’ve not seen the film already.

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LIFF Review: Josh – Against The Grain

JoshPoster_900Starring: Aamina Sheikh, Nyla Jafri, Khalid Malik, Mohib Mirza, Parveen Akber, Adnan Shah, Kaiser Khan Nizamani, Khalid Ahmed

Directed by: Iram Parveen Bilal

This year, the London Indian Film Festival screened it’s first Pakistani film, Josh – Against the Grain, by Iram Parveen Bilal. The Pakistani film industry doesn’t produce many films, most go unnoticed, and the few that I have seen, I tend not to like very much, so with Josh, I was pleasantly surprised, and almost relieved to find it’s actually very good.  Continue reading

New Trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The new trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiered at Comic-Con at the weekend, and it’s now online.

The second installment in The Hunger Games trilogy seeings victors of the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta on their victory tour, as well as the annoucement of the next Hunger Games, which being the 75th, will be extra special.

The follow up to last year’s The Hunger Games brings back Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, as well as Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz and Willow Shields all reprising their respective roles. It also introduces many new characters, new additions to the cast including Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Alan Ritchson and Jeffrey Wright.


I am incredibly excited for Catching Fire. It releases November 22nd 2013.

LIFF Review: 72 Miles – Ek Pravas

995909_403868323052069_1358850914_nStarring: Smita Tambe, Chinmay Sant, Chinmay Kambli, Sharvani Solaskar, Isha Mane

Directed by: Rajeev Patil

Akshay Kumar’s first Marathi production, 72 Miles – Ek Pravas, is based on a true story of Ashok Vhatkar, about a 13 year old boy, who is sent off to boarding school by his parents, but dislikes it so much he runs away. The film tells his story as he travels all the way back home to Kolhapur by foot. Along the way, he meets a woman and her four children, who he travels most of the way with.

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Review: Planes

PH4BnI8ap8kN76_1_mStarring: Dane Cook, Teri Hatcher, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Priyanka Chopra, Cedric the Entertainer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Carlos Alazraqui, John Cleese

Directed by: Klay Hall

The first shot of Disney’s latest animated feature, is almost disclaimer-like, in telling you you’re in the ‘world of Cars’. Indeed the film is set in the same world as Pixar’s 2006 and 2011 Cars films, but this isn’t a Pixar film, and so having the expectations of one from Planes is probably unfair.

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A Very Short Review: The Heat

melissa-mccarthy-airbrush-photoshop-the-heat-posterStarring: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans, Demian Bichir, Dan Bakkedahl, Taram Killan, Michael Rapaport, Tom Wilson, Michael McDonald

Directed by: Paul Feig

The new film by Paul Feig, the director of Bridesmaids, brings him back together with Melissa McCarthy, who is currently one of the funniest female comedians in Hollywood. She plays Sharon Mullins, a Boston cop, working with an FBI agent, Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock), on a case involving a drug lord killing off competitors. Bullock plays the Yale educated, slightly arrogant, rule abiding type agent, contrasting with McCarthy’s well-meaning, but not so well behaved officer, with an incredibly politically incorrect sense of humour.

The characters are pretty much what you expect from the two actresses, and they work pretty well together. It’s essentially a buddy movie, like The Other Guys, but in a good way. There’s not much to say about The Heat, really, all you need to know to decide whether to see it or not, is if it’s funny. And it is very funny. If you liked Bridesmaids, or any other Melissa McCarthy film, you’ll probably enjoy this just as much. It’s worth your time and money.

The Heat is out on July 31st.

Bollywood Review: Lootera

Lootera-PosterStarring: Sonakshi Sinha, Ranveer Singh, Vikrant Massey, Barun Chanda, Divya Dutta, Arif Zakaria, Adil Hussain

Directed by: Vikramaditya Motwane

The automatic comparison to make to Vikramaditya Motwane’s second film Lootera seems to be his first, the brilliant coming of age drama Udaan, but I’m not sure I agree that it’s fair. Apart from his obvious skill and talent for visual storytelling, the films aren’t similar enough to warrant the comparison. Lootera is as moving and beautifully made as Udaan was, but it’s part of a different genre, set in a different time, and made on a bigger scale.

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The 4th London Indian Film Festival – Preview

liff_press_logo (1)Europe’s largest platform for Indian cinema returns to London next week, as the London Indian Film Festival opens its fourth edition on 18th July 2013. The festival will be bigger than ever this year, with films in many different languages, featuring their first Urdu film, and screening will take place across the city, as well as touring Bradford and Glasgow as well.

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