Tag Archives: Hollywood

The 2015 Big Summer Movie Preview #Hollywood #Bollywood

So arguably the most anticipated movie of 2015, the awesome Avengers: Age of Ultron, has already released and we’ve only just hit May. But summer’s only just begun which means we’ve only just got started. Here are the most exciting movies lined up for the rest of the summer and what makes them exciting (to me!):

MAY 8
Piku
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan, Deepika Padukone
Directed by: Shoojit Sircar

Because Shoojit Sircar is back and Irrfan-Deepika could be the quirkiest romantic pairing this year.

Maggie
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin
Directed by: Henry Hobson

Because this looks like the film that could do for Arnold Schwarzenegger what Joe couldn’t do for Nicholas Cage – give him a gritty, badass comeback.

Hot Pursuit
Starring:
Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara
Directed by: Anne Fletcher

Because Reese Witherspoon is back to doing comedy and this could be this year’s Heat.

MAY 15
Bombay Velvet
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar
Directed by: Anurag Kashyap

Because with that cast and the music by Amit Trivedi and with Kashyap at its helm, this is easily my most anticipated film of the year now.

Mad Max: Fury Road
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult
Directed by: George Miller

Because it’s got the most massive, mindblowing, earth-shattering, trailer this year and in most years in general.

Pitch Perfect 2
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow and more

Because after a fresh, inventive and super fun original, the coolest group of chickas are back, pitches!

MAY 22
Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Starring: Kangana Ranaut, Kangana Ranaut, R Madhavan

Because one Kangana is awesome and two Kanganas is THE BEST THING EVER.

Tomorrowland
Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie

Because George Clooney stars in a film written by the writer of Lost in a film by the director of The Incredibles, which also stars Hugh Laurie, btw.


MAY 29

San Andreas
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario

Because who doesn’t want to see The Rock saving the world!

Aloha
Starring: Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray
Directed by: Cameron Crowe

Because THE Cameron Crowe is back with a romcom starring Emma Stone; this could probably be my favourite film of the year.


JUNE 5

ENTOURAGE!!
Starring: Ari Gold, Vinnie Chase, ‘E’, Turtle and Johnny Drama (oh yeah)
Directed by: Doug Ellin

BECAUSE THE BOYS ARE BACK AND I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE, LOOK SO MANY EXCLAMATIONS!!!!

Dil Dhadakne Do
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar, Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah
Directed by: Zoya Akhtar

Because with a star cast that awesome and a trailer that fun, and a director so brilliant, this could be the Bollywood film of the year.

Spy
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Nargis Fakhri
Directed by: Paul Feig

Because Melissa McCarthy is a spy and Jason Statham is a doofus and the film is by the director of The Heat and it also stars Nargis Fakhri!


JUNE 12
Jurassic World
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jake Johnson
Directed by: Colin Trevorrow

Because the dinos are back, this time with Chris Pratt!!!!! (Also this movie is directed by a guy who’s first film I *really* dug, Safety Not Guaranteed)

Hamari Adhuri Kahaani
Starring: 
Vidya Balan, Emraan Hashmi
Directed by: 
Mohit Suri

Because Vidya Balan is the only reason you need, although I’m really not sure about the rest of the cast and crew.

#Notraileryet

JUNE 19
ABCD 2 (3D)
Starring: Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor, Prabhu Deva
Directed by: Remo D’Souza

Because the trailer in 3D looks actually looks like quite a blast.

Inside Out
Starring: Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader
Directed by: Pete Docter

Because what a great cast and what a great plot!

Paper Towns
Starring: Natt Wolfe, Cara Delevingne
Directed by: Jake Schreier

Because
this film is written by the writers of of (500) Days of Summer, The Fault in Our Stars and The Spectacular Now (Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber), so if you love romcoms, this one’s NOT to be missed.


JUNE 26
Ted 2
Starring: 
Mark Wahlberg, Seth McFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson
Directed by: 
Seth McFarlane

Because the foul-mouthed teddy bear is going to be dirtier, raunchier and even more of an asshole this time… if only the censors allow his debauchery.

Big Game
Starring: 
Samuel L Jackson, Onni Tommila
Directed by: 
Jalmari Helander

Because it’s an action thriller featuring Samuel ‘Mothaf**a’  Jackson as The President of the USA… oh hell yeah!


JULY 1

Magic Mike XXL
Starring: Channing Tatum, Amber Heard, Elizabeth Banks, Matt Bomer
Directed by: Channing Tatum

Because this one’s for the ladies.

Terminator Genisys
Starring: 
Emilia Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney (WHY?)
Directed by: 
Alan Taylor

Because Emilia ‘Khaleesi’ Clarke gives you hope, otherwise this really looks like a piece of shit.


JULY 3
Hero 
Starring: Athiya Shetty, Sooraj Pancholi, Govinda
Directed by: Nikhil Advani

Because this has been the most talked reboot starring two star kids, since Saawariya.

#NoTrailerYet

JULY 10
Minions
Starring: 
Jon Hamm, Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton
Directed by: 
Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

Because MINIONS.


JULY 16

Bajrangi Bhaijaan
Starring: Salman Khan, Kareena  Kapoor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Directed by: 
Kabir Khan

Because Kabir Khan is the only director who can make a Salman Khan movie cool.

#NoTrailerYet

JULY 17
Ant-Man
Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, Corey Stoll
Directed by: 
Peyton Reed

Because Paul Rudd is a superhero in the second Marvel movie of the year, and he better live up to it because I’m really not happy about Edgar Wright not directing this.

Pan
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Cara Delevingne, Garett Hedlund, Amanda Seyfried
Directed by: 
Joe Wright

Because this could either be fantastic or the best unintentional comedy of the year.

Mr Holmes
Starring: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney 
Directed by: 
Bill Condon

Because Magneto as an aging Sherlock Holmes and that’s just a sick logline.

JULY 24
Trainwreck
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, John Cena, Brie Larson
Directed by: 
Judd Apatow

Because it’s the coming together of two comedy gods with Amy Schumer writing and acting and Judd Apatow directing.

Pixels
Starring: Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan
Directed by: 
Chris Columbus

Because I never thought I’d look forward to an Adam Sandler film but this is directed by THE Chris Columbus (of Home Alone!), *really* looks like fun and it also stars Peter ‘Tyrion’ Dinklage and that can never hurt, right?

JULY  31
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames
Directed by: 
Christopher McQuarrie

Because let’s just be honest, the only reason Tom Cruise is still relevant is because he almost kills himself while doing the stunts in Mission Impossible, and everyone’s just curious to see how he managed to live.

Southpaw
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whittaker, Rita Ora
Directed by: 
Antoine Fuqua

Because Jake Gyllenhaal deserves an Oscar and the buzz is that this film could get one for him (although the trailer’s not promising)

Bangistan
Starring: Ritesh Deshmukh, Pulkit Samrat, Jacqueline Fernandez
Directed by: 
Karan Anshuman

Because the poster, name and cast is super fun and if it could match the spirit of a Four Lions, this could be a load of fun!

#NoTrailerYet

Drishyam
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Shriya Saran, Tabu, Rajat Kapoor
Directed by: 
Nishikant Kamat

Because Nishikant Kamat, otherwise really not excited to find out what Ajay Devgn will bring to *another* South remake.

#NoTrailerYet

AUGUST 7
Fantastic Four
Starring: Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Jamie Bell
Directed by: 
Josh Trank

Because it’s got the freshest cast for a superhero movie after Guardians of the Galaxy, and because the director’s done Chronicle, the most twisted take on the superhero genre yet.

Goosebumps
Starring: Jack Black, Kumail Nanjiani, Karan Soni
Directed by: 
Rob Letterman

Because this really sounds like the fun, irreverent film that brings Jack Black back on the map.


AUGUST 14

The Man from UNCLE
Starring: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Hugh Grant
Directed by: Guy Ritche

Because Guy Ritchie, that cast, and have you even seen how much fun the trailer looks??

Brothers
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Siddharth Malhotra, Jackie Shroff
Directed by: 
Karan Malhotra

Because the original movie that this is a reboot of, Warriors, is an incredible film so fingers crossed, although hard to trust anything with Akshay Kumar attached.

#NoTrailerYet

Masterminds
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Zach Galifianakis
Directed by: 
Jared Hess

Because Kristen Wiig and that cast in a bank heist comedy sounds like the funniest film of the year already.

Straight Outta Compton
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Keith Stanfield, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Corey Hawkins
Directed by: 
F Gary Gray

Because it’s the origin story of legendary hip hop group NWA and check out the trailer and tell me you don’t get the feels.

AUGUST 21
All is Well
Starring: JAbhishek Bachchan, Asin, Rishi Kapoor, Supriya Pathak
Directed by: 
Umesh Shukla

Because Umesh Shukla’s OMG was very well done and it would be interesting to see Abhishek Bachchan finally getting a good director to work with.

#NoTrailerYet


AUGUST 28

Phantom
Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif
Directed by: 
Kabir Khan

Because Kabir Khan again, with another movie, with another Khan, could either be a double treat or… hmm, let’s just hope it’s that.

#NoTrailerYet

Hitman: Agent 47
Starring: Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto, Ciaran Hinds
Directed by: 
Aleksander Bach

Because Homeland’s Rupert Friend gets an action thriller of his own and that sounds terribly exciting to me.

Which movie are you most excited about? Do leave your favourites in the comments below 🙂
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THE BEST OF 2014 INDIE FILMS – OVER 50+ RECOMMENDATIONS!

We are well into the new year but the year doesn’t officially start for me until I’m done with making lists about the last one. Like most years, I watched over a 100 indies (108 to be exact) in 2014, so here’s a comprehensive list of the indies I loved and liked and the ones that I really didn’t (I have omitted in the list the ones that are neither good nor bad – just unmemorable to even be talked about).

A+
I have to say, after putting together my favourite indies of the year in this list, one thing struck me – EVERY film in the list is not only refreshingly original but also crazily innovative. From Birdman, which was shot like a continuous one-take, to Locke, which was completely shot in a car featuring a single actor, to Snowpiercer, which was shot in a moving bullet train, to Boyhood, which was shot over 12 years! This has been a fantastic year of cinematic originality and I think it’s an year that will stand out in this decade as one of the best years for film in a long, long time.

Ankhon Dekhi (comedy drama) – Because simplicity is underrated.
Birdman (comedy drama) – Because Michael Keaton’s comeback!!
Boyhood (drama) – Because RICHARD LINKLATER!!!!!!!!!!
Coherence (scifi) – Because how can a scifi indie made in no money be SO brilliant?
Comet (scifi romcom) – Because after ages a romantic film made me *feel* (also, scifi romcom!).
Filmistaan – Because the purity of friendship hasn’t been depicted so well in so long.
Frank (dramedy) – Because this is the most affecting dramedy I’ve seen in a long time and it stars Michael Fassbender in a giant head.
Locke (thriller) – Because 90 minutes of Tom Hardy in a car makes for a must watch!
Nightcrawler (thriller) – Because Jake Gyllenhaal is the f–king shit and this commentary on the state of media today has been robbed off awards glory (also Riz Ahmed!).
Pride (comedy drama) – Because the story of unlikely friendship between the LGBTs and the miners in 80s Brit is inspiring and heartwarming – and because *no one* does emotions like the Brits do (apart from Raju Hirani)!
Snowpierecer (thriller) – Because ‘a post apocalyptic thriller set on a train where the rich and poor are segregated’ is an AWESOME PLOT.
Sulemani Keeda (slacker comedy) – Because INDIAN SLACKER COMEDY WHAT MORE DO I NEED TO SAY?
The Fault in Our Stars (romance) – Because Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustader are my heroes and they can do no wrong.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson) – Because Wes Anderson.
Whiplash (drama) – BECAUSE THIS IS THE  BEST FILM I HAVE SEEN IN AGES.

A
A Most Wanted Man (spy thriller) – Because Philip Seymour Hoffman in a John Le Carre thriller is something we should have seen more of.
Bethlehem (war thriller) – Because its a gut wrenching take on the Israel-Palestine issue.
Blue Ruin (thriller) – Because this came out of the blue and thrilled the hell out of everyone!
Calvary (drama comedy) – Because there’s something about the collaboration between Brendan Gleeson and the McDonagh brothers that just makes sense.
Dear White People (dramedy) – Because it is the smartest take on the white – and black – culture, and a biting satire the likes of which we just don’t see often enough.
Enemy (scifi thriller) – Because a scifi thriller is another genre Jake Gyllenhaal NAILS.
Fading Gigolo (dramedy) – Because John Turturro has it in him to make a Woody Allen film.
Filth (Brit crime comedy drama) – Because James McAvoy on acid is even better than James McAvoy without it.
It’s a Disaster (comedy) – Because this is This is The End for adults.
Joe (drama) – Because this is Nicholas Cage’s redemption and you don’t even know it!
John Wick (action) – Because few things are cooler than seeing Keanu Reeves kick some ass.
Obvious Child (comedy) – Because Jenny Slate is da woman.
Ping Pong Summer (coming of age) – Because a coming of age comedy set in the ’80s featuring ping pong is rad.
Sunshine on Leith (comedy musical) – Because a Brit music comedy is the best genre of film you haven’t seen enough of.
The Inbetweeners 2 (comedy) – Because The Inbetweeners are f–king hilarious.
The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (documentary) – Because the story of Aaron Swartz is a story that must be seen.
The Guest (thriller) – Because Dan Stevens is SO great beyond Downton Abbey and this is indie thriller DONE RIGHT!
The Pretty Ones (romcom) – Because Zoe Kazan and Jake Johnson have enough charisma to make the romcom genre feel refreshing.
The Square (documentary) – Because this documentary on the Egypt revolution was shot *during* the revolution.
Tusk (horror comedy) – Because this is the most bizarre, creepy and f–ed up film you’d watch in a while with a helluva brave performance by the awesome Justin Long)

B+
A Birder’s Guide to Everything (coming of age) – Because if a coming of age film stars Ben Kingsley in any role, you are home before the movie begins.
A Walk Among The Tombstones (thriller) – Because Liam Neeson kicking ass in a different decade is just as cool as him kicking it in this one.
Adult World (coming of age dramedy) – Because even with the cast of John Cusack and Emma Roberts, the movie surprisingly made me chuckle quite a bit.
Begin Again (musical romcom) – Because Keira Knightley singing is what you need when you’re alone.
Blood Ties (crime drama) – Because this was a super well done throwback to the crime dramas of the ’70s with a stellar cast (and reminded me of Deewar in some ways)
Cold in July (crime thriller) – Because a throwback to pulpy 80s crime thrillers is never a bad thing, esp when it stars Dexter.
Felony (cop drama) – Because this Australian films gives a decent ethical twist to the age old cop drama movie.
Horns (Fantasy horror) – Because Daniel Radcliffe being Satan against his wishes makes for a *very* interesting movie.
Love is Strange (dramedy) – Because John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are easily the most heartwarming couple on screen in 2014.
Maps to the Stars (drama) – Bizarre f–ked up drama from David Cronenberg about the bizarre f–ked up world of Hollywood starring an A cast.
Predestination (scifi thriller) – Because ‘time-travel indie sci starring Ethan Hawke’ is the best one-line intro of the year.
Rosewater – Because even with its uneven screenplay, the Jon Stewart directed film works because of the tenacity of the great Gael Garnia Bercel.
Rover (thriller) – Because Australia makes some badass gritty films and with a cast feat.  Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson and Scoot McNairy, how much more badass do you need?
The Hundred Foot Journey – Because Om Puri and Meryl Streep facing off in a movie about food is just too tasty a plot.
The Giant Mechanical Man – Because is there anything Chris Messina can’t pull off?!
The One I Love (sci fi romcom) – Because another sci-fi romcom (whaaat!) that stars Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass!
The Purge: Anarchy (thriller) – Because this was the guilty pleasure of the year.
The Raid 2: Berendal (action) – Because the beauty of the brutal action was lost in the chaos of the been there done that story.
The Skeletal Twins (dramedy) – Because Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig make for the best suicidal brother-sister casting ever (but can dramedies have ANYTHING new to whine about than ‘life’?)
The Two Faces of January (thriller) – Because Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac star in this 50s’ thriller throwback and no one knows about this!?!
Wish I Was Here (dramedy) – Because Zach Braff directing his second dramedy makes for the most promising indie ever (but wish it had as much heart as it did quirk)

B
About Alex (dramedy) – Because it’s got such a brilliant cast that all the cliches that it put forth can ultimately be overlooked.
After the Dark (thriller) – Because even with a spectacular lack of plot, the premise of ethical dilemmas in a post apocalyptic world is quite interesting.
Bad Words (comedy) – Because after a hilarious first half, the movie spiraled down in the second else Jason Bateman would’ve been one of the indie debut directors of the year.
Chef (road trip comedy) – Because even though it was the most overrated indie of the year, it still had a fantastic cast that pulled off some fun moments.
Finding Fanny (road trip comedy)- Because even with its forced quirkiness, Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapur and Dimple Kapadia are a riot to watch.
Hello Ladies: The Movie (comedy)- Because it was a nice little bow on a sometimes-awkward TV series about loneliness in big cities.
Life After Beth (zombie romcom) – Because zombie romcom starring Aubrey Plaza as a zombie is SUCH a fun premise (if only the movie was *that* much fun)
Men, Women and Children (drama) – Because the internet is worse than flesh-eating zombieland and that’s fun to watch (but tell me something new yaar #TMSNY).
Rob The Mob (crime Drama) – Because even with its B-movie looks, it is not a bad take on the mob world.
Paolo Alto (drama) – Because high school in genereal is worse than flesh-eating zombieland and that’s fun to watch (but #TMSNY)
Premature (comedy) – Because groundhog day meets American Pie is not a bad idea at all.
Some Velvet Morning (drama) – Because Stanley Tucci is brilliant to watch even in a two-actor movie remake of a play.
The Drop (crime drama) – Because with a cast of Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Noomi Rapace, we deserved more than a tired crime drama.
What If (romcom) – Because Zoe Kazan is charming and awesome and Daniel Radcliffe is not Harry Potter (but Adam Driver should have been lead! Also #TMSNY)

C & below
A Long Way Down – Because this is the worst executed Nick Hornby adaptation in the long time, even with SUCH a fab cast at its helm.
Homefront – Because Jason Statham saving himself/family/someone is older than the Bible now, so #TMSNY.
Someone Marry Barry – Because it flushes the comedic talents of a great cast down the drain with its abominable writing.
The Bachelor Weekend – Because Andrew Scott as a romantic one-sided lover on a bachelor trip is not a film you want to see.
This is Where I Leave You – TELL ME SOMETHING NEW YAAR (What a waste of a spectacular cast).
Two Night Stand – Because the dialogues are so painfully cliched that Miles Teller and Analeigh Tipton (AND JESSICA SZOHR) should file a suit for wasting their time.
Veronica Mars – Because all that kickstarter money should’ve gone into writing at least an average plot.

P.S. Here are the indies I’m yet to see (and I’m looking forward to catching up on) and I’ll keep updating this list as and when I see them:
’71, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, A Most Violent Year, Appropriate Behaviour, Are You Here, Before I Go To Sleep, Bird People, Camp X Ray, Cold Comes the Night, Cuban Fury, Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead, Force Majeure, Get On Up, God’s Pocket, Goodbye To All That, Growing up and Other Lies, Hector and the Search for Happiness, Hellion, Ida, I Origins, In Your Eyes, Infinitely Polar Bear, Inherent Vice, Kill Me Three Times, Laggies, Leviathan, Life of Crime, Life Itself, Listen Up Phillip, Love,Rosie, Magic in the Moonlight, Merry Christmas, Mommy, Night Moves, No Good Deed, Northern Soul, Omar, Only Lovers Left Alive, Plastic, Road to Paloma, Song One, Selma, St Vincent, Starred Up, Stretch, Take Care, That Burning Feeling, The Babadook, The Big Ask, The Captive, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, The Double, The Grant Seduction, The Homesman, The Humbling, The Immigrant, The Longest Week, The Mule, The November Man, The Riot Club, The Signal, To Be Takei, Top Five, Trip to Italy, The Voices, They Came Together, Third Person, Tracks, Ugly, Under the Skin, Vinyl, White Bird in a Blizzard, We Are The Best, Wetlands, What We Do In The Shadows, Wild, X/Y, Young Ones.


ICYMI: Here are my TV recommendations – 50+ TV shows to watch from 2014 (out f 119): https://tanejamainhoon.com/2015/01/26/bestof2014tv/

What are your favourite movies of the year? Agree/disagree with  this list? Any movies I missed out on? Do leave your favourites in the comments below 🙂

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The Best of Best Of Lists 2014 – TV

(Read The Best of Best of Lists 2014 – Movies here: http://goo.gl/a3W4zf)

‘Tis the season of Best Of Lists! And now that there are *SO* many out there, it’s quite difficult to get a real idea of TV that has truly stood out in the year – since the lists of every individual critic varies just that much. So I’ve drawn up the best of lists of some of the best TV critics out there.

Unlike ‘The Best of Best of Lists 2014Movies version (read here), there seems to be more unanimity in the TV lists. Film critics have generally not agreed upon the best films of the year, saving a very few; while TV critics have pretty similar lists over all, barring a few personal choices.

But here are some of the things that stood out after going through the lists:
The TV show on almost *all* lists: The Americans (My interview with Annet Mahendru from The Americans here: http://goo.gl/drIeeF)
The TV shows that’s *nearly* on all lists: Orange is the New Black & Transparent
The only network TV shows on most lists: The Good Wife and Hannibal
The only news comedy show on most lists: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The most buzzed about shows on least number of lists: True Detective & The Leftovers
The least buzzed about shows on a lot of lists: Rectify & Review
The new TV comedies on most lists: Broad City & You’re The Worst (My interview with Desmin Borges from You’re The Worst is herehttp://goo.gl/SmCV8u)
The only long-runnings show on most lists: Mad Men & Louie


Here are the lists, that will be updated as more lists come up (The name of the critic links to his/her Twitter page):

The Daily Beast’s ’14 Best TV Shows of 2014′ – By Kevin Fallon http://goo.gl/mCNOGH
(1 to 14) The Good Wife, Transparent, Veep, Fargo, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,  Orange is the New Black, Hannibal, Broad City, The Comeback, Mad Men, Louie, You’re The Worst, Getting On, True Detective

Hitflix’s ‘Top 10 TV Shows of 2014’ – By Alan Sepinwall: http://goo.gl/wGL8gJ
(1 to 10) The Leftovers, The Americans, Transparent, Review, Fargo, Orange is the New Black, Rectify, Hannibal, Mad Men, True Detective

The Huffington Post’s ‘Top 10 TV Shows of 2014’ – By Maureen Ryanhttp://goo.gl/JElHlh
(no order) The Americans, Enlisted, Happy Valley, Jane the Virgin, Orange is the New Black, Penny Dreadful, Rectify, Review, Transparent, You’re The Worst

The New York Times’ ‘Best TV Shows of 2014’ – By Mike Hale: http://goo.gl/0gyrmy
(no order) The Americans, Broen, Fargo, Happy Valley, Homeland, The Knick, Louie, Masters of Sex, Mozart in the Jungle, The Walking Dead

Screencrush’s ‘Top 10 TV shows of 2014’- By Ryan McGeehttp://goo.gl/ewrRXg
(1 to 3, then no order) You’re The Worst, Review, Enlisted, The Americans, The Good Wife, Jane the Virgin, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Orange is the New Black, Penny Dreadful, Rectify

Slate’s ‘Top 10 TV Shows of 2014’ – By Willa Paskinhttp://goo.gl/DbASQU
(1 to 10) Broad City, True Detective, Transparent, Srugim, The Good Wife, You’re The Worst, High Maintenance, Orange is the New Black, The Americans, Louie

Thompson on Hollywood!’s ‘Top 10 TV Series of 2014’ – By Matt Brennanhttp://goo.gl/MhePZL
(1 to 10) Mad Men, Transparent, The Knick, Broad City, The Americans, Please Like Me, Masters of Sex, Orange is the New Black, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Gotham

TIME’s ‘Top 10 TV Shows’ – By James Poniewozikhttp://goo.gl/TiW4a2
(1 to 10) Transparent, The Americans, The Good Wife, Orange is the New Black, Fargo, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Broad City, Louie, High Maintenance, Silicon Valley

Vulture’s ’10 Best TV Shows of 2014′ – By Matt Zoller Seitzhttp://goo.gl/ZkIhSp
(1 to 10) Hannibal, Olive Kitteridge, Private Violence, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Missing, The Americans, Mad Men, True Detective, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, The Roosevelts
So, obviously, after I made this list, I realised there are other such lists out there too. So I’ve kept this list exclusive to critics whose reviews I read and love. You can read other compilations with even more lists here:
Metacritic Compilation: http://www.metacritic.com/feature/tv-critics-pick-10-best-tv-shows-of-2014
Also, here’s a great article by Anne Thompson on ‘How to Make a Ten Best List in Five Easy Steps‘: http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/how-to-make-a-ten-best-list-in-five-easy-steps-20141210

 

What are your favourite TV shows of the year? Do leave your favourites in the comments below 🙂
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The Best of Best Of Lists 2014 – Movies

(Read The Best of Best of Lists 2014 – TV here: http://goo.gl/fbDQ1f)

‘Tis the season of Best Of Lists! And now that there are *SO* many out there, it’s quite difficult to get a real idea of films that have truly stood out in the year – since the lists of every individual critic varies just that much. So I’ve drawn up the best of lists of some of the best film critics out there.

Unlike ‘The Best of Best of Lists 2014 – TV version (read here), there seems to be very little unanimity in the movie lists. Film critics have generally not agreed upon the best films of the year, saving a very few; while TV critics have pretty similar lists over all, barring a few personal choices.

So here are some of the things that stood out after going through all the lists:

The only film on *everybody’s* lists: Boyhood (Read my interview with director Richard Linklater here: http://goo.gl/ErdfnS)
The only other films on *almost* everybody’s lists: The Grand Budapest Hotel & Selma
The documentary film surprisingly on a lot of lists: Citizenfour
The highly buzzed films surprisingly on very few lists: Foxcatcher,  Gone Girl & Interstellar
The worst reviewed film (among these) surprisingly on some lists: Lucy
The foreign film on most lists: Ida (Poland)
The British film on most lists: Mr. Turner
The only animated film on the lists: The LEGO Movie
The only straight-to-DVD film on the lists: Snowpiercer


Here are the lists, that will be updated as more lists come up (The name of the critic links to his/her Twitter page):

Hitflix’s ‘Top 10 of 2014’ – By Drew McWeenyhttp://goo.gl/Ro2waf
(1 to 10) Inherent Vice, Boyhood, Wild Tales, Selma, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Force Mejeure, The Tribe, Nightcrawler, Snowpiercer, The Raid 2

Indiewire’s ‘Best Films of 2014’
 – By Eric Kohnhttp://goo.gl/TOh0Rz
(1 to 10) Boyhood, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Mankamana, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Leviathan, Ida, Starred Up, Only Lovers Left Alive, The Double, Inherent Vice

Little White Lies’ ’25 Best Films of 2014′ – By David Ehlrich: http://goo.gl/NXs5kf
(1 to 10) The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inherent Vice, Under the Skin, Nymphomaniac, Gone Girl, Only Lovers Left Alive, The Double, God Help The Girl, Force Majeure, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, Boyhood, Goodbye to Language, Ida, Paolo Alto, The Babadook, Mommy, Why Don’t You Play in Hell, Starred Up, Godzilla, Listen Up Philip, Love is Strange, Selma, Timbuktu, We Are The Best!, Lucy

Rolling Stones’ ’10 Best Movies of 2014′ – By Peter Travershttp://goo.gl/ahbG5b
(1 to 10) Boyhood, Birdman, Foxcatcher, Selma, Gone Girl, Whiplash, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Unbroken, Under The Skin, Interstellar

The Guardian’s ’10 Best Films of 2014′
 – By Peter Bradshawhttp://goo.gl/5lHFPR
(1 to 10) Under The Skin, Boyhood, Inherent Vice, Whiplash, Leviathan, Two Days One Night, Nightcrawler, Ida, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The LEGO Movie

The New York Times’ ‘Top 10 Movies of 2014’ – By A. O. Scotthttp://goo.gl/NyLZxl
(1 to 10) Boyhood, Ida, Citizenfour, Leviathan, Selma, Love is Strange, We Are The Best!, Birdman & Listen Up, Philip & Mr. Turner, Dear White People, The Babadook

The New Yorker’s ‘Best Movies of 2014’ – By Richard Brodyhttp://goo.gl/kWMnzV
(1 to 30) The Grand Budapest Hotel, Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, Goodbye to Language, The Last of the Unjust, The Immigrant, American Sniper, Listen Up Philip, Actress, Memphis, Butter on the Latch, Evolution of a Criminal, Gone Girl, Happy Christmas, It Felt Like Love, Jimmy P, Life of Riley, Magic in the Moonlight, Soft in the Head, Story of my Death, Stranger by the Lake, Jealousy, Jersey Boys, Life Itself, Manakamana, Marvin Seth and Stanley, The Missing Picture, Selma, Tip Top, The Unknown Known, What Now? Remind  Me, One Day Pina Asked…

TIME Magazine’s ‘Top 10 Best Movies’ – By Richard Corliss: http://goo.gl/egfzcX
(1 to 10) The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, The LEGO Movie, Lucy, Goodbye to Language,  Jodorowsky’s Dune, Nightcrawler, Citizenfour,  Wild Tales, Birdman

Thompson on Hollywood’s ‘Top Ten Films of 2014’ – By Anne Thompsonhttp://goo.gl/ygGhJB
(1 to 10) Birdman, Boyhood, Mr. Turner, Nymphomaniac Volumes 1 & 2, Only Lovers Left Alive, Ida, Selma, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wild Tales, Beyond the Lights

Vanity Fair’s ’10 Best Movies of 2014′ – By Richard Lawsonhttp://goo.gl/Buc3Wd
(1 to 10) Love is Strange, Mommy, Force Majeure, Citizenfour, Boyhood, Selma, Snowpiercer, Mr. Turner, Pride, X Men: Days of Future Past

Vulture’s ’11 Best Movies of 2014′ – By David Edelstein: http://goo.gl/7E87WI
(1 to 10) Boyhood, Selma, The Babadook, Whiplash, Tales of the Grim Sleeper, Only Lovers Left Alive, Citizenfour, Mr. Turner, Two Days One Night, The Immigrant, The Overnighters

Also,
Edgar Wright’s ‘Top 10 Movies of 2014: http://goo.gl/PQkT4i
(no order) Birdman, Boyhood, Edge of Tomorrow, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Interstellar, The LEGO Movie, Nightcrawler, Snowpiercer, Under the Skin, Whiplash
So, obviously, after I made this list, I realised there are other such lists out there too. So I’ve kept this list exclusive to critics whose reviews I read and love. You can read other compilations with even more lists here:
Indiewire Compilation: http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/critics-top-10-films-2014
Metacritic Compilation: www.metacritic.com/feature/film-critic-top-10-lists-best-movies-of-2014
Also, here’s a great article by Anne Thompson on ‘How to Make a Ten Best List in Five Easy Steps‘: http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/how-to-make-a-ten-best-list-in-five-easy-steps-20141210

 

What are your favourite films of the year? Do leave your favourites in the comments below 🙂
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© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

Dark. Twisted. Funny. Fucked Up. Gone Girl. #Review #GoneGirl

As I sat watching Gone Girl and the movie unravelled one of its incredible plot twists, I could sense a feeling of dread settle into couples throughout the theatre. I was transfixed at what was happening on screen – and how staggering it was – yet, I was distinctly aware that a quiet unease was creeping its way into the psyche of every couple, married or otherwise, as the theatre slowly fell into an uncomfortable silence. Perhaps this was the paranoia that the movie had projected unto me manifesting itself into a dark, perverse fantasy about the lives of others, or perhaps, Gone Girl is, in fact, the kind of movie that will make every couple momentarily reassess all that is right, and certainly all that is wrong with their relationship.

To say that Gone Girl is a thriller about a the hunt for the missing wife of a seemingly sociopathic man (or look at it as a thriller from the angle that you’ll see when you watch the film) will be a gross misjudgement of what director David Fincher and screenwriter Gillian Flynn have attempted to do with the movie, and will be a much too simplistic – and inaccurate – reduction of what is undoubtedly one of the most twisted and murky deliberations of marriage on the big screen.

That marriage is not easy is a fact that has been explored through several prisms in many a great films of our times, and of that before, from Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? to Blue Valentine. But just how f**ked up marriage, or for that matter, relationships can be, has arguably yet to be dissected in a manner in which Fincher and Flynn together do through the movie.

Gone Girl takes any and all expectations a viewer may have aligned himself with when going into the movie, and then smashes them to pieces, much like it does to every thought we may have had about the institution of marriage, or about what it means to be in a committed relationship. What the movie may do to couples watching it together is entirely dependent on just how seriously they take the movie or for that matter, just how mature or happy they are, because at its best, Gone Girl is a movie that can save a troubled marriage; and at its worst, it is the most horrid and unpleasant date movie of all time.

On the other hand, and in a most brilliant contradiction to the theme of the film, Gone Girl is also a first rate black comedy and satire. I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions through the film, because its meditation on the bizarreness, incredulity, ridiculousness, stupidity, ethical and moral ambiguity, and the complete and utter disregard for professionalism that has become the media, is top class and should necessarily be seen and taken with a very big salt of pinch by everyone who works in the profession themselves.

David Fincher has used the plot of the movie to deliver a scathing diatribe on what has come to be called the ‘media circus’, where (no spoilers, don’t worry) people are put on trial and verdicts are passed without evidence, facts or even logic, where the convenient outcome is passed on the news as the right outcome, and where the consequence could be immense and tragic and yet no individual person has to take the fall – and which is why this unfortunate trend continues to grow, unabated.

Cinematically speaking, there’s nothing I can tell you that you wouldn’t know already: Fincher’s direction is outstanding, the music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is fantastic, Flynn’s screenplay is far too superior for being her first, and most other things including editing (Kirk Baxter), cinematography (Jeff Cronenweth) and the cast are near-perfect. But if there are two elements that stand tall among equals, they are the acting performances by leads Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

It’s funny how Matthew McConaughey’s McConaissance is spoken about with much ferocity all over the internet when Ben Affleck underwent a McConaissance, or Benaissance, if you may, much before he did. This is an actor whose performance does not rely on histrionics or dramatics but on subtlety – and Affleck betrays the confidence of an actor who could be, at this stage of his career, unbeatable at his game. This is a performance worthy of many rewards, and oh man, I can’t wait to see Affleck as Batman now. He’s going to fucking kill it! Since I can’t say much about Pike because of spoilers, let me say this: The greatest actress you didn’t know of so far has arrived, and how. Her performance is the stuff of legend (and I believe it would’ve been amplified if the film were to be shown without cuts).

Since I don’t need to convince you any more to go watch the movie, let me say this: I don’t think it was a perfect movie because the end didn’t go down well with me (I will write why after everyone’s seen it). And I still think Fincher’s best films are The Social Network and Fight Club. But if you are a fan of movies, and particularly of movie experiences, Gone Girl is as unique an experience as you’d get at the movies. Do not miss it.

P.S.: If you liked the film, you are going to love these alternate posters of Gone Girl: http://goo.gl/qe98H3


If you liked/disliked the piece, do leave a comment below 🙂
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Fall TV 2014: What To Watch and When #TheUltimateViewingGuide

Fall TV premiere season is here, which means everything is going to be alright again! Here’s a handy Viewing Guide to what to watch and when. These are US premiere dates, and I’ll soon be putting up the respective India premiere dates, and on which channel they air. I’ll also soon be sampling all the new shows and making a post on them, so you know whether you should watch it or not.

Notes:
(1) Click on the names of the shows to go to their IMDB page.  
(2) If I’ve done an interview of someone from the show, I have provided the link next to it. Click on the link to read the interview.
(3) If I’ve recently done/have a confirmed interview that I’ll be doing soon, I’ve written it along with the name of the show. It’ll come soon, I promise :).
(4) The shows in bold are the ones I recommend. If they are new shows, then those are the shows I’m eagerly waiting to watch.
(5) If a show is not in bold, it either means I haven’t seen it or I don’t like it. 
(6) If you want to see some of the best shows that have already aired this year, here’s the complete recommendation list: http://goo.gl/GJxnzG

SUNDAY
The Good Wife [My interview with Archie Panjabi/Kalinda Sharma]
Boardwalk Empire 
[Coming Soon: My interview with Anatol Yousef/Meyer Lansky]
Manhattan
The Walking Dead
Homeland [Coming Soon: My interview with Rupert Friend/Peter Quinn and Nazanin Boniadi/Fara Sherazi]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 
Brooklyn Nine Nine
Madam Secretary
The Simpsons
Family Guy
Mulaney (New)

Revenge
Resurrection
Once Upon A Time
 [My interview with Robert Carylyle/Rumplestilskin]
CSI
Bob’s Burgers
The Affair (New, Oct 19)

The Newsroom (Nov 9)  [Coming Soon: My interview with Thomas Sadoski/Don Keefer]
The Comeback (Nov 9)
Getting On (Nov 9)

MONDAY
Gotham
The Big Bang Theory [Coming Soon: My interview with Mayim Bialik/Amy Fowler; My interview with Kunal Nayyar/Raj Koothrapalli]
Sleepy Hollow [Coming Soon: My interview with John Cho]
Castle 
[My interview with Stana Katic/Kate Beckette]
The Blacklist
Mom
Forever (New)
Scorpion (New)
Jane The Virgin (New, Oct 13)
The Originals (Oct 6) [Coming Soon: My interview with Danielle Campbell/Davina Claire]
American Dad (Oct 20)
2 Broke Girls (Oct 27)
State of Affairs (New, Nov 17)
Ascension (New, Nov 24)

TUESDAY
Sons of Anarchy
Agents of SHIELD
New Girl [My interview with Hannah Simone ]
The Mindy Project
About a Boy
The Flash (New)
Marry Me (New)
Selfie (New) [Coming Soon: My interview with John Cho]
Awkward
Faking It
Person of Interest
Supernatural
Happyland (New)
Manhattan Love Story (New)

WEDNESDAY

Modern Family
South Park
Key and Peele
Red Band Society (New)
Blackish (New)
Arrow (Oct 8) [Coming Soon: My interview with Paul Blackthorne/Det. Quentin Lance]
Kingdom (New, Oct 8)
Nashville
The Middle
The Goldbergs
Mysteries of Laura (New)
Stalker (New)
Criminal Minds (Oct 1)
The 100 (Oct 22)
Web Therapy (Oct 22)

THURSDAY
Scandal [Coming Soon: My interview with Joshua Malina/David Rosen]
How To Get Away with Murder (New)
A to  Z (New, Oct 2)
Gracepoint (New, Oct 2)
American Horror Story 
Bones
Grey’s Anatomy
Parenthood
Reign
Vampire Diaries 
Bad Judge (New)
Two and a Half Men (Oct 30)
The Millers (Oct 30)
White Collar (Nov 6)
Covert Affairs (Nov 6)
The McCarthys (New, Oct 30)

FRIDAY
The Knick
Z-Nation
Blue Bloods
Hawaii Five-O
Last Man Standing
Cristela (New)
Grimm (Oct 24)
Constantine (New, Oct 24)
Marco Polo (New, Dec 12)

Saturday:
Outlander
Survivor’s Remorse
(New)
The Missing (New, Nov 15)

Here’s a list of my favourite TV shows that are already over this year: The Americans, You’re The Worst, Fargo, True Detective, Vice, Bates Motel, Suits, Orphan Black, Veep, Silicon Valley, Rectify, Happy Valley, The Leftovers, The Honourable Woman, Deadbeat, Broadcity, Penny Dreadful, The Assets, The Divide, The Red Road, Murder in the First, Turn, Power, Sequestered, Halt and Catch Fire, The Musketeers, Vikings, Utopia, Hannibal, The Killing, Banshee, Da Vinci’s Demons.  Read about them here: http://goo.gl/GJxnzG]

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Small Goes Big: Superheroes on TV! #SundayGuardian #Column #TV

Weekly column by Nikhil Taneja (@tanejamainhoon) for The Sunday Guardian. Original article: http://goo.gl/2MSlmS

You may have heard that DC Comics and Marvel have locked down a total of 30 release dates over the next six years, right up to 2020, for the their upcoming planned comic book hero adaptations on the big screen, which include Avengers movies, Justice League movies, Guardians of the Galaxy movies and Fantastic Four movies. Add the X Men movies and the Spiderman movies to this roster, and you have around 40 superhero movies to look forward to (or escape from) in the coming years.

And if you thought that you could avoid this assault by altogether barring movie theatres from your lives, guess what? There are over 15 TV adaptations of comic books in the offing, and three of the biggest ones launch this fall season, starting from September. Wait… did I make all of this sound like this was bad news? Because, OH MY GOD, this is FREAKING AWESOME!

There are already two major superhero shows currently on TV, DC Comics’ Arrow and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, both of which return for their next seasons in October. But things are going to get *massive* this year with three mega shows (and a fourth in January) that will considerably expand the DC and Marvel shared universes on TV and possibly be the BEST THING EVER.

  1. Gotham (DC Comics): Gotham is the prequel to Batman and will feature the origin stories (of the origin story) of heroes and villains of the town where s**t’s been going down since ages now. The show will follow a young detective James Gordon, as he tries to solve the twin murders of 10 year old Bruce Wayne’s parents Thomas and Martha Wayne, and encounters villains like the Penguin, the Riddler, Catwoman and Poison Ivy, just as they started to go batshit crazy. Epicness is guaranteed.
  2. The Flash (DC Comics): A young Flash will rise and discover his superhuman speed and strength this fall in Central City, not far away from Starling City, where the green-masked Arrow has been fighting crime for two seasons now. The buzz around The Flash is tremendous, thanks to a leaked pilot that went viral over the internet. We may or may not have seen that leaked pilot depending on who’s reading, but we can definitely confirm that it’s AWESOME.
  3. Constantine (DC Comics): While Constantine may not be the hottest comic book property because of the sins committed by its 2005 big screen adaptation, the upcoming TV series is developed by The Dark Knight trilogy writer David S. Goyer, stars a British actor in the lead and falls in the action horror genre, which is a TV favourite these days (The Walking Dead, Sleepy Hollow, etc), so there are full chances that the show may break out into a huge hit.

While DC consolidates its foothold in TV, Marvel will be trying the same come January, with the premiere of Agent Carter, starring Hayley Atwell, who’ll be reprising her role as Peggy Carter from 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger and the badass Marvel one-shot short film, which is available on YouTube and is a *must* watch.

And if you think Marvel’s been slow to the party, wait for Daredevil in 2015, which will premiere on Netflix, and be the first in a series of four superhero TV shows, that will lead up to a superhero team-up miniseries, The Defenders, which will be much like The Avengers, but on the small screen. And at the moment, we’ve only discussed DC and Marvel – there are many more shows from many other comic books coming too.  The small screen is never going to be small again!

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Note: An edited version of this article first appeared in The Sunday Guardian in the September 13, 2014 issue.
Link: http://www.sunday-guardian.com/masala-art/superheroes-take-over-the-small-screen

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