Archive for Abzee

Oscar Predix for the year in film 2017

Posted in Refugee, the good with tags , , , , on December 30, 2017 by abzee

In under a week’s time, on the 5th day of the 2018 new year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will open its polls to their members for nominations across a range of categories for the year in film 2017. On the 12th of January, the polls will close… and almost a fortnight later on the 23rd of January, the nominees for the 90th Academy Awards will be announced. The actual Oscar ceremony takes place this time on the 4th of March, giving the nominees well over a month’s time to lobby for themselves.

The precursor season is all but over. Most of the critics’ bodies have made their preferences known, and now only the Golden Globes, BAFTA and Guilds remain to seal the races for the films in contention. This year has been unravelling of sorts for Hollywood, and international cinema. With Harvey Weinstein’s precipitous fall from grace, followed in quick succession by so many other players right up till Kevin Spacey… the social juggernaut that was the #MeToo movement… the Academy this time around will find itself not merely voting for their preferences, but their leanings. Coming so soon after the Academy having to combat the #OscarsSoWhite charge, and the controversial win handed to Casey Affleck last year, the 90th Oscars promise to be psychosocially charged. Here then are my predictions, the earliest in recent memory, for the 90th Academy Awards. These predictions have been arrived at by studying the overall trend of films in the precursor season, the support garnered from various critics’ bodies and a certain old-fashioned hunch. Even then, given the year that it has been, we might as well see a film like All The Money In The World make a late surge if only to laud it for replacing Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer barely weeks before release and successfully carrying out a reshoot and post-production to meet the original release deadline. That’s the kind of directorial feat which may find artistic respect and social resonance given the year that we have had. Nevertheless, here goes-

MV5BN2VhMGY3YWQtMGYwZC00ZmM5LTg2MzgtZGRlNWQ2MGE2MTNiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjM4OTI2MTU@._V1_Best Film
DUNKIRK Warner Bros. Pictures
GET OUT Universal Pictures
LADY BIRD A24 and Focus Features
THE POST 20th Century Fox and Universal Pcitures
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Fox Searchlight Pictures

If the Academy nominates 6 films, then the film that gets in will be
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME Sony Pictures Classics
If the Academy nominates 7 films, then
THE SHAPE OF WATER Fox Searchlight Pictures
If they go with 8 films,
THE FLORIDA PROJECT A24
If 9, then
DARKEST HOUR Focus Features
And with 10,
MUDBOUND Netflix

Potential Spoiler- THE BIG SICK
Dark Horse- PHANTOM THREAD
Long Shot- I, TONYA
Surreal Surprises- BLADE RUNNER 2049; ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD
Sneak Up- WONDER WOMAN Continue reading

the BOmbay report (2016): 15th Jan–21st Jan

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2016 by abzee

It is week 3 of a Box-Office experiment that attempts to understand Box-Office beyond the numbers, and hopes to arrive at the less tangible, but perhaps more genuine, indicator of how well-liked and well-received any film is/was.

We will be taking into account all the screens in the Mumbai region, inclusive of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan-Dombivali as well. The films will be assigned points based on an algorithm that takes into account parameters such as- a) how many screens did the film open on; b) the capacities of these screens; c) the occupancy in comparison to the capacity; d) daily sustenance/growth/drop in the occupancy; e) change in the number of screens in successive weeks; f) change in capacities; g) occupancy in relation to changed number of days and screens; h) occupancy in relation to newer and existing releases; and so on.

These points, the Audience Interest Index (AII), encapsulate buzz, desire to watch translating to actual occupancy and finally acceptability… and that most prestigious of all goals- trending.

 

Top Ten Films In Mumbai (15th January 2016 – 21st January 2016) 

A staggering 28 films released in Mumbai this week, of which those in the Marathi language numbered the most with 5 releases, while there were 4 releases each in English, Hindi and Tamil. Of the English releases, The Hateful Eight also released on IMAX screens. Wazir, which had released last week, also expanded to IMAX in its second week. Bhojpuri and Telugu had 3 releases a piece.

With 13 films ending their run, the total number of films playing at the cinemas this week was 44! If you count Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge which resumed screening at Maratha Mandir this week, that number is 45.

More films did not mean more viewers however. The overall AII for this week is 89.69 compared to last week’s 133.62, a drop of 32.87%. With lesser viewers and an incredible amount of new releases, Wazir still remained the number one choice, even if the number was low. In fact many films operated in the middle range this week, so much so that this week’s 15th ranked film has earned twice as many AII points than last week’s number 10 film.

Honourable mentions then to the Tamil film Rajini Murugan and the Telugu release Nannaku Prematho as both put up impressive AII numbers despite not making it to the top ten.

Rajini Murugan performed the best of all the Tamil releases with 105 AII points, while the Telugu language Nannaku Prematho did even better with 119 AII points. Continue reading

the BOmbay report (2016): 08th Jan-14th Jan

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2016 by abzee

Week 2 then, of a Box-Office experiment that attempts to understand Box-Office beyond just the numbers; and hopes to arrive at the less tangible, but perhaps more genuine, indicator of how well-liked and well-received any film is/was.

We are starting only with Mumbai for now. We will be taking into account all the screens in the Mumbai region; that is inclusive of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan-Dombivali even.

The films will be assigned points based on an algorithm that takes into account parameters such as- a) how many screens did the film open on; b) the capacities of these screens; c) the occupancy in comparison to the capacity; d) daily sustenance/growth/drop in the occupancy; e) change in the number of screens in successive weeks; f) change in capacities; g) occupancy in relation to changed number of days and screens; h) occupancy in relation to newer and existing releases; and so on.

These points, the Audience Interest Index (AII), hope to be an all-encompassing indicator  of buzz, desire to watch translating to actual occupancy and finally acceptability… and that most prestigious of all goals- trending. As this is a new experiment, we may get a true picture only as we go along.

 

Top Ten Films In Mumbai (08th January 2016 – 14th January 2016)

10) CHAURANGA (Hindi)

  • New Release
  • AII Points- 45

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the BOmbay report (2016): 01st Jan-07th Jan

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2016 by abzee

I’ve admittedly never been a Box Office kind of guy. While I’ve enjoyed the spirited Box Office debates and arguments looking from the outside in, rarely have I engaged with it as passionately as many members whom I admire and loathe do. Anyway, the idea for this weekly post (at least that’s the plan for now) came by way of a rather random exchange that I had with one of the esteemed members of this blog- Qalandar, an individual I am proud to have as a friend as well.

During his visit to my place during the Ganesh festival in September this past year; we were talking about Bahubali, and he casually remarked how he would like to see it on the big screen again. And I, just as casually, remarked that it was still playing at few cinemas, a long run at the cinemas which he was pleasantly surprised to learn of. That conversation stayed with me. Box Office figures tell you about opening days, first weekends, weekly nett and grosses and so on. But surely, the perception of a film and its acceptance cannot be arrived at only by how much it has made. Yes, the numbers matter… but there must be a meter to gauge a film’s continued ability to attract moviegoers and keep a steady flow coming in of those wanting to see it. In these times when new releases eat up all screen space, if a liked film from the previous weeks has come down to but a few screens, it will naturally have a ceiling on how much it can make with those amount of screens. But if it sustains those screens, and keeps churning out the numbers on the lower end consistently… surely that is a phenomenon in itself that cannot be ignored.

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Abzee on KATYAR KALJAT GHUSALI and going back to the movies

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2016 by abzee

I couldn’t have asked for a better cinematic experience to return to watching movies on the big screen again than the Marathi language Hindustani Classical Musical KATYAR KALJAT GHUSALI (A Dagger through the Heart). My last outing at the cinemas was the fifth installment of the M: I series on the 27th of August, 2015… before a freak motorcycle accident rendered me put at home, recovering slowly but steadily. To a cinephile such as me, more debilitating than the injury even was being robbed of the almost religious ritual of the weekly visits to the cinemas. Good, bad or plain ugly… there is a certain incompleteness without the movies. And TV just doesn’t match up. Anyways… after watching a dozen or so releases that I was looking forward to come and go, I finally got the green signal from my orthopedist to watch a movie at the cinema hall! My choices were Bajirao Mastani, Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Natsamrat. And then, while going through the listings, one saw that KATYAR KALJAT GHUSALI was still playing… well into its 9th week at a few select screens.

katyar-kaljat-ghusali-marathi-movie-poster

KATYAR KALJAT GHUSALI is an adaptation of the famous Marathi natya sangeet (musical theatre) of the same name. The play had a phenomenal run of more than 1,000 shows back in 1967, most thronging to the theatres to catch the live jugalbandi of Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki and Vasantrao Deshpande, both stalwarts of Hindustani Classical Music. One hears from those having experienced the play back in the day that such riveting and rapturous the experience was that the running time of 4 hours would never be felt.  But Marathi theatre is, and has always been, multi-faced.

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Abzee’s Oscar Predix for the year in film 2015

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2016 by abzee

With just a week to go before the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards are announced, and a day prior to the ballots being closed for the same… here then, in keeping with my annual tradition, are my predictions (in alphabetical order) for the Oscars 2016.

Best Picture
THE BIG SHORT
CAROL
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
SPOTLIGHT
THE REVENANT

bigshort1-590x308

I’ll probably regret not including THE MARTIAN in this list, but over the past few weeks THE BIG SHORT is gaining late season traction; and with its Academy friendly ensemble, I suspect it will sneak in at the expense of the one-man show from Mars. But how cool is it to have FURY ROAD in that lineup, and an almost sure lock at that.

If the Academy goes with 6 films in this category, then naturally the film that gets in will be
THE MARTIAN
If they nominate 7, then
INSIDE OUT
If 8,
BRIDGE OF SPIES
9,
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
And when 10,
ROOM

The gritty SICARIO has every chance of getting in as well, while BROOKLYN is a dark horse. CREED and EX MACHINA are long shots.

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Qalandar Reviews DEOOL (Marathi; 2011)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2011 by Qalandar

LINK

Excerpt: “Umesh Kulkarni’s Deool (“temple” in Marathi) … is, to put it simply, the finest Indian film set in the world of politics that I have ever seen. It is so, in the first instance, because “the world of politics” is nothing separate and apart from our world, and is not inhabited by caricatures and gangsters worlds removed from the “us” of the audience. Rather, Kulkarni’s film is acute – and acerbic – enough to appreciate the ways in which our reality (our poverty or prosperity; our venality; our religiosity; and our commerce) is already political.”

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The Pornography of Violence (Abzee’s Review of RAKHT CHARITRA – 1)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2010 by Qalandar


Dir- Ram Gopal Varma
Cast- Vivek Oberoi, Abhimanyu Singh, Shatrughan Sinha, Radhika Apte, Zarina Wahab, Ashwini Kalsekar, Kota Srinivasa Rao and others
Rating- **

‘Rakht astra, rakht shastra, rakht shatru, rakht charitra’ blare the lyrics in the background as multiple men and women get killed in Ram Gopal Varma’s first installment of Rakht Charitra. The lines, aided by typically loud and harsh background score that you’ve come to expect from RGV’s films, do more than just underline the blood-curdling bloody gore being played out on the screen. It points to a sad but natural culmination of a filmmaker who once pioneered the shift from sappy romances and profligate wedding videos in the name of cinema to raw stories told detachedly but with great technical aplomb. Rakht Charitra is RGV’s most violent film to date yes… but it is more problematically a window into his mind. And going by what’s on display, he needs to be checked into an asylum without more ado!
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Abzee Reviews WE ARE FAMILY

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , on September 4, 2010 by Qalandar

It’s all about loving your Stepmom!

We Are Family
Dir- Siddharth Malhotra

Cast- Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Diya Sonecha and Aanchal Munjal

Rating- **

Why would you go to the lengths of acquiring the official rights to remake a Hollywood film for Indian audiences in Hindi, and then set it on the foreign shores of Australia? The answer to this niggling question is also perhaps the reason why this Dharma Productions remake of Chris Columbus’ Stepmom never really feels adapted to suit Indian audiences or warrant an Indian setting even. Continue reading

Abzee Reviews THE EXPENDABLES

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by Qalandar


Blast from the past
Or
Blood, brawns and body-counts

The Expendables
Dir- Sylvester Stallone
Cast- Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Gisele Itie and Mickey Rourke

Rating- ***

Never before has a film been sold this honestly to its audience. The Expendables, true to its name, features a roster of once-beefy now-creepy macho men…action stars who ruled the marquee in the cinematic graveyard that was the 80s. Men whose very existence today is lampooned, and their films ridiculed as the worst examples of B-grade filmmaking. But thanks to Tarantino & Rodriguez’s Grindhouse films, and a renewed interest in the mindless joy of those silly actioners; The Expendables finds itself alongside The A-Team trying to recapture the pure guiltless wanton group violence and mayhem of The Dirty Dozen.
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Abzee’s Golden Globe Predictions

Posted in the good with tags on December 12, 2009 by Qalandar

  The Oscar precursor season has kick-started with the National Board of Review, Independent Spirit and DC Critics declaring their best of the year nominees across various categories.

 The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe Awards, considered to be the ultimate precursor to the Academy Awards, will release their nominees on Tuesday.

 As it has been my practice then, the following are my predictions for the Golden Globes across popular categories. These predictions are based on my assessment of the various films that I see, read about and their general traction during the precursor season.
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