Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

December 22, 2011

Masand’s Verdict: Mirrors doesn’t qualify as a horror film

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rajeev @ 6:40 am

  Cast: Kiefer Sutherland

Direction: Alexandre Aja

Horror films are meant to spook you, they’re meant to make you afraid of the dark, of staying the night alone in a strange new place. Mirrors starring Kiefer Sutherland as an ex-cop working as a security guard at a fire-ravaged department store, does not qualify as a horror film. Sure the movie’s premise revolves around this security guard discovering spirits in the mirrors that commit gruesome murders, but the film is not so much scary as it is just plain disgusting.

There’s a particularly revolting scene in Mirrors in which an expendable supporting character rips off her own jawbone, making an awful bloody mess in the bathtub. That’s the kind of cheap screams this movie goes for.

Remake of a South Korean horror film, Mirrors comes with an over-complicated back-story revolving around a possessed nun, and the movie’s packed with silly special-effects and bad acting from everyone involved. The sad thing is, you’re hardly ever scared, but you’re very easily exhausted by this 110 minute film which doesn’t even have three genuinely creepy moments that are likely to make your hair stand on edge when you think of the film a few days later.

I’m going with one out of five for Mirrors; the only time you open your mouth is not to scream out of fear, but to yawn out of sheer boredom.

Rating: 1 / 5 (Poor)

Write your own review here and win exciting prizes. Winning entry will be read by Rajeev Masand on his show on CNN-IBN next Friday. Do not forget to leave your contact details.

December 2, 2011

Masand’s Verdict: Safe to say no to Yes Man

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rajeev @ 7:15 am

  Cast: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel
Director: Peyton Reed

In the new Hollywood comedy Yes Man, Jim Carrey stars as a sad-sack bank-loan officer who still hasn’t recovered emotionally from his divorce three years ago.

He avoids his friends, stays locked up at home most days, and isn’t particularly nice to his boss either. A chance encounter with an old friend inspires him to attend a self-help seminar where a modern-day guru convinces him he’s got to say “yes” to every opportunity if he really wants to turn around his life.

To his surprise, the just-say-yes strategy yields welcome results. For example, when he grudgingly agrees to help a homeless fellow, he lands up meeting a free-spirited young lady (played by Zooey Deschanel) who he starts a romantic relationship with.

We also see what happens when he says no – it invariably invites disaster. Like the time he turns down the sexual advances of his toothless, elderly neighbour, only to go back and give in when he learns the painful way that there really is no way out of this “yes” commitment.

Constructed around a flimsy premise, the plot of Yes Man is really a limp one – in the end, it’s a one-line concept that’s been stretched too far.

You know exactly what’s going to happen and why, and that’s never much fun. In fact I was reminded of Jim Carrey’s Liar Liar while watching this film because both have a similar concept at their core.

That film, however, was a lot more entertaining because Jim Carrey was allowed to completely loosen up and go wild. He desperately wants to lie, but a lie won’t escape his lips, it was hysterical. In this film, he’s got to say yes and he wants to say yes anyway, so where’s the fun?

Having said that, I must confess I was still very impressed by Jim Carrey’s performance in the film because it’s not one of his typically comic ones, there’s an undercurrent of sadness that he brings here, which even makes the film deep at times.

On the whole it’s not an entirely unwatchable film, but not the kind you’re likely to count among Jim Carrey’s best either.

Two out of five for Yes Man. You won’t be punished if you decide to say no to this one!

Rating: 2 / 5 (Average)

Click here to write your own review and win exciting prizes. Winning entry will be read by Rajeev Masand on his show on CNN-IBN next Friday. Do not forget to leave your contact details.

December 1, 2011

I wish SRK luck for Paanchvi Paas…: Big B

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rajeev @ 11:55 pm

  After SRK, is the Big B planning to return to the small screen? CNN-IBN’s Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand finds out in this exclusive chat with Amitabh Bachchan.

Rajeev Masand: You have a commitment with Star TV to do something with television. What is the nature of the shows that you are discussing? I ask this specifically because after Kaun Banega Crorepati the game show format seems a little redundant now.

Amitabh Bachchan: This is exactly what I have been telling all the television channels who have approached me. There is a balance amount left over with Star TV and we are looking into how we can accommodate that. But yes, it is time to think of something new and normal.

I have spoken to several channel heads and they are battling with new ideas but if nothing comes up then I will go back to the tried and tested formula of game shows or question-and-answer shows.

Rajeev Masand: Shah Rukh Khan’s new show Kya Aap Paanchvi Paas Se Tez Hain is also a quiz show. It is perhaps filling in the void that KBC left. Have you had a chance to see it?

Amitabh Bachchan: I haven’t seen it. But I saw the master, the original. It was put up to me as one of the options that I would do. But it has gone to Shah Rukh now and I wish him all the best for it.

Rajeev Masand: Are you looking at other formats like acting on television?

Amitabh Bachchan: I don’t think so. But you never know, circumstances maybe such in life that you may finally end up acting on television.

Vishal-Shekhar revisit their biggest hits

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rajeev @ 11:54 pm

  Mumbai: They are without a doubt the most popular music composers working in Bollywood currently with a string of hits behind them — Jhankaar Beats, Salaam Namaste and Om Shanti Om which went on to become last year’s highest selling music album. Watch music directors Vishal and Shekhar revisit some of their biggest musical hits.

Shahid Kapoor reveals all about painful break-up

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rajeev @ 11:50 pm

  Mumbai: For the first time speaking directly about the pain he felt after his highly publicised break-up, Actor Shahid Kapoor explains exactly how difficult it was promoting his film at the time that his relationship was crumbling. CNN-IBN’s Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand spoke to the actor about the upside of success and the flip side of heartbreak in this exclusive interview.

Rajeev Masand: Your personal life and your break-up with your girlfriend was much in the spot- light around the time when Jab We Met was being released. So was it difficult for you to be fielding questions constantly about your personal life and the break-up at a time when you were already anxious about a new release?

Shahid Kapoor: Yes, it was a very trying period for me for almost a month, and it was very clearly a question for me of choosing between my personal feelings and my profession.

I had two choices, one was to come back and not talk at all, not go out in the press and not interact with the media— which would save me the pain of answering questions which I am uncomfortable about, or go out there and promote my film which was releasing in three weeks.

I chose to do the latter, because I think it was important for me as a hero to be there for my film and I had great faith in the film. So yes it was difficult and uncomfortable but I accepted that as a part of the way things work out here.

I am super picky about films: Kajol

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rajeev @ 11:48 pm

  Two years after Fanah, Kajol lights up the screen once more in U Me Aur Hum. Entertainment Editor, CNN-IBN Rajeev Masand caught up with the actress.

Rajeev Masand: Welcome to Now Showing let me start with the question that comes to you very often. Are you often asked why you work so less these days?

Kajol: As I said before and I would say it again, and again and again. I always was picky and I have gotten really superpicky now. I need something to validate my time away from my daughter. It has to be worth it.

Rajeev Masand: Do you miss the sets?

Kajol: Not really. I didn’t work for two years and I didn’t miss it at all.

Rajeev Masand: We are going to see you in U Me Aur Hum that your husband Ajay Devgan has directed. Did he talk to you about this project when he was developing it just as a project that he wanted to direct and that you come on board later, how did he put it into play?

Kajol: We were just talking about it and I thought that the script sounded really exciting. I asked him what the basic idea was and it was superb. And that was what really got the ball rolling. It just evolved after that.

Actually speaking the script that we heard and what we eventually made came out to be totally different.

Rajeev Masand: We are going to ask you questions that we ask actors on the show, what was the first film you ever saw?

Kajol: I do not remember the first film that I ever saw but we used to watch black and white TV. They televised Chayageet, on Saturday they showed a Hindi film and on Sunday they showed a Marathi film. Those were my earliest memories of movies.

Rajeev Masand: What film are you embarrassed to reveal that you love?

Kajol: I don’t get embarrassed much actually. I am quite bad but I loved Sholay. I know all the dialogues of the film. I really loved the film.

Rajeev Masand: What is your favourite snack while watching a movie?

Kajol: Popcorn that is salted with extra butter or cheese. All that put together and that is very fattening.

Rajeev Masand: What quality did the best directors share with you because you really worked with some very good directors?

Kajol: The best quality that you can ever ask from a director is clarity. As long as you know what the director is doing then you have a good director on hand.

Rajeev Masand: Who is your favourite actor or actress of all times?

Kajol: My actress of all times is Sreedevi, I love her and adore her. She is superb as an actress. I do not know if you do agree with me on this point but I think that she is like a chameleon. I have met her, I have seen her on screen and have watched all the films that she has done. Her fil Chaalbaaz is one of the most entertaining films. She is so much the character and not Sreedevi and I love that about her.

Rajeev Masand: What is your best quality as an actor?

Kajol: My best quality as an actor is that I have a very vivid imagination.

Rajeev Masand: What’s your greatest weakness as an actor?

Kajol: My greatest weakness as an actor is the fact that there are certain things that I believe about myself which I cannot overcome even for taking a risk on a movie or taking a risk in front of the camera.

If I don’t believe that it is looking good or that it is working for me then regardless of whether it is working for me or anybody else, it doesn’t work for me. I do not know whether it is a weakness or a super-critical mind but I consider that as a weakness really.

Rajeev Masand: What will they be writing about your work 50 years from now?

Kajol: I don’t want them to write about my work like that. I will already be 90 and will have one foot in the grave. That’s not me. That is such a long time to go, please.

Rajeev Masand: Best of luck and hoping that you will continuously surprise us with the work of your choices, thank you so much for talking to us.

Kajol: Thank you.

Konkona goes beyond art house films

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rajeev @ 11:45 pm

  Konkona Sen Sharma has dazzled everyone with her performance. But now she goes beyond the art house flicks and has signed two song-and-dance films.

Rajeev’s Recco: The Bicycle Thief

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rajeev @ 11:38 pm

  Mumbai: Claimed filmmaker and cinematographer Santosh Sivan jumped at the opportunity to talk about the film that changed his life. It is a landmark Italian film by one of the worlds most revered filmmakers. Sivan says what touched him was the simplicity of the story. The Bicycle Thief.

Skin show no big deal for John Abraham

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rajeev @ 11:33 pm

  John Abraham never had a problem in taking off his shirt, in Dostana however, he strips down his trunks. Unlike Bollywood heroines who grumble about being treated like sex objects, John says skin show no big deal for him.

Rajeev Masand interviewed the actor about his forthcoming movie Dostana and here is a gist of it —

Rajeev Masand: John you really been out of sight for a while, haven’t you? John is it really safe to say that all eyes are on your new release Dostana in which you and Abhishek Bachchan play this pretend gay couple. It sounds really like a cheeky fun kind of film but it will also be a bit tricky as we like our heroes pretty straight.

John Abraham: Well, it is pretty brave to do a film like Dostana but at the same time Director Tarun Mansukhani has treated the film pretty carefully. It is a non-offensive film, it is a film which shows us as heroes in the light in which we are suppose to be shown in and at the same time it has also got a funny twist which you saw in Kal Ho Na Ho for example. If I have to draw an analogy with another film it would be the Kanta Bahan‘s track of Kal Ho Na Ho and an extended form. This film is just meant to entertain your senses and have a good time.

Rajeev Masand: You have never shied away from being the beef cake but in this film you have really raised that haven’t you. There is the straight out of from James Bond film, the walking out in the beach in swim trunks and there is lots of bay body on display. Were you entirely comfortable?

John Abraham: Well, Karan was very clear. He said John you are always known for your body and the way you look. It is not about the six packs you have or how muscular you look but you are always known for that sensuous angle that you have and that is what I want to see walking out of the water so the brief was pretty much clear. He said people like you that way and I will present you in front of people in that way and I was pretty okay with it, absolutely comfortable with it.

Rajeev Masand: Apparently, you spent a lot of time in the film just in shots. Women at times have problem in being sex objects, do you have a problem in being a sex object?

John Abraham: I am very comfortable with my body from the first film. There are certain films you don’t want to show too much skin all the time because the film doesn’t demand that but in a film like Dostana where you are on the beach in Miami getting out of the water, I had to just wear my trunks so where everyone’s clothes use to come in hangers mine use to come in one hanger with four different trunks.

Rajeev Masand: Now we will see you in Aashayein, the film you did with Nagesh Kukunoor. .

John Abraham: Yes, it is a very special film.

Rajeev Masand: Tell me why it is a special film for you?

John Abraham: Rajeev, when you talked about being out of sight, I have actually been out of sight after my last release Goal after which I did Aashayein and I had to loose a lot of weight for Aashayein. I actually took a break of seven months after that and I did Dostana in Miami so I have effectively been out of the country and out of sight for nearly a year now. I have enjoyed that space because I needed some time now. Aashayein was a film I wanted to give my blood and sweat to. I don’t know if it is a landmark performance in my case but I have been honest in that film and it means a lot to me.

First day, first show: What’s showing now

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rajeev @ 11:30 pm

  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth film of the Harry Potter series releases. Also releasing is Naqaab, a Bollywood romantic thriller.

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