Friday, January 11, 2019

History Down Under

Those who religiously follow the sport of cricket would be aware that India made history recently when it won the Test Series against Australia in Australia. This is the first time in 70 years that India has won a series in Australia.

They won the series conclusively with a margin of 2-1 in a series of 4 games with 1 game being drawn. This marks the ascendancy of India as a cricketing superpower. Gone are the days where the team was mocked as paper tigers who could win only at home. Now with wins in England, South Africa and now Australia it can be safely said that the team are now global tigers.

This win is important for the team with the ODI World Cup on the anvil in England in the May of 2019.

Kudos to team India...

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year - 2019

This is a customary Happy New YEAR 2019 post!! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

Welcome to 2019, I wish you all the very best for your hopes, aspirations, and your goals for the new year. Everyone of us has plans, goals and ambitions for the new year and I am no different.

My goal for the new year is to lose weight and to be fitter by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Now I don't know how successful I will be in my goal, but I believe that I will give it my best shot.

As they say customarily, ring out the old and ring in the new. So bye 2018, you were good to me and I had a great time last year, it was perfect in the sense that there were ups πŸ‘and downs πŸ‘Ž in the year, more ups than downs and that's what made it worthwhile.

Welcome 2019!!! ✌✌ I hope you will be as good as 2018 if not better. I wish all of you a great 2019 one which is better than your 2018!!

If you are looking for some inspiration then I will leave you with the thought, get out of your comfort zone, that will help challenge you to greater heights, but as always take care to help and comfort your fellow humans.

Cheers,
Gopal

Sunday, December 30, 2018

KGF: Chapter 1 - A gritty saga

K.G.F: Chapter 1 (2018) is a new benchmark in Kannada cinema. It is one of the first movies from Sandalwood to break the pan-India regional barrier and run to full houses and acclaim all over India.
I call this the Baahubali effect. SS Rajamouli broke the mindset that you need to know the language to enjoy a movie. With Baahubali getting global acceptance, people woke up to the fact that there are good stories being told in non-Hindi cinema as well and they are well worth the price of the admission ticket.
The audience these days is very discerning, while you have the odd Salman Khan flick with no substance all style winning at the box office, the audience wants good quality content for the price they shell out to watch a movie
KGF is a throwback to the days of Zanzeer, Kaalicharan, Agneepath, and Sholay. The movie has a good script and the casting, especially for the protagonist and the antagonist, is well done. The editing could have been a bit crisper, Indian movies still have to get out of the romance and song mindset.
Other than that, the action and the pace of the story is good. There is a tendency to jump in the storyline, moving from past, to present, to future which is a bit jarring and spoils the surprise in the film which is trying to build some tense moments for the hero,
But overall the cinematography and the visual stylization of the movie is pitch perfect, even though I am non-Kannadiga, I watched this movie in the theaters and enjoyed every bit of it.
IMHO the director has enough material to split the movie into 3 parts, rather than the chapter 1 & 2 that is proposed, but Indian movies are not yet acclimatized to trilogies yet, it is hard to hold the audience interest for the time taken to produce and direct 3 parts.


Andhadhun - A Riveting Thriller


Andhadhun Poster
Director Sriram Raghavan nails the movie. The story, narration, editing, music, casting, and execution is pitch perfect. The movie shows that it is possible to make enjoyable, riveting cinema without hyped up action scenes, item songs, and frivolous romance.
Andhadhun is watching a masterclass on how suspense thrillers work. A movie does not need a big star to work, all it needs is a good solid script, and actors who believe in it.
Ayushmann Khurana is spot on as the blind man who gets caught in a situation which is as unanticipated as it was. Tabu shows us what Bollywood is missing out on with a power-packed performance.
The music and songs in the movie are spot on and are essential to convey the voice of the movie. To say anything more would spoil for the movie for those who haven't seen it.
My only suggestion: Watch the movie.

2019 - Movie Watchlist

2019 is heavily anticipated with a lot of books and movies coming out.
English Movies:
  1. Captain Marvel (2019) - This will set the context what you can expect from Captain Marvel in Avengers Endgame
  2. Avengers: Endgame (2019) - The conclusion to the cinematic universe spawned off Marvel. Whatever comes after this will be a new era.
  3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) - Toothless the King, the Alpha finds his Kingdom, this will conclude the HTTYD series
  4. Glass (2019) - M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero trilogy concludes with Glass.
  5. Shazam! (2019) - It will be useful to see if DC can retain the mojo from Aquaman
  6. John Wick: Chapter 3 (2019) - John Wick is now on the run after being ex-communicated from the Continental and the High Table putting out an open contract on him
  7. Aladdin (2019) - This Guy Ritchie directed live action reboot of Aladdin looks promising
  8. Dark Phoenix (2019) - The turn from light to darkness for Jean Gray will be worth watching in this X-Men franchise
  9. Men in Black: International (2019) - Thor and Valkyrie are teaming up to go after aliens, this will be a fun caper
  10. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) - Marvel has spoiled some of the mystery around Avengers Endgame by declaring the upcoming line up by Tom Holland thrills as always
  11. The Lion King (2019) - Disney is set to rock the box office again with the live action remake of The Lion King
  12. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) - Quentin Tarantino & Leonardo Di Caprio make this a no brainer for viewing
  13. Angel Has Fallen (2019) - Gerald Butler returns as Mike Banning in this series where this time he’s under the gun for turning on the President
  14. Spies in Disguise (2019) - Will Smith and Tom Holland lend their voices to this animation flick
  15. Kingsman 3 (2019) - The 3rd part of the franchise
  16. Untitled Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sequel (2019) - Much anticipated based on the response to the reboot of the classic Jumanji
  17. Masters of the Universe (2019) - Pure nostalgia
  18. Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) - The conclusion to the Kylo Ren, Rey saga
Now coming to Indian movie industry, I hope you don’t mind if I don’t split by language but put them all in a single list:
  1. Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019) - the promos look dashing
  2. Petta (2019) - Anything with Thalaiva is a automatic watch
  3. Viswasam (2019) - Ajith in Viswasam would hopefully be better that vivegam
  4. Super 30 (2019) - A biopic on the Super30 mathematician Anand Kumar
  5. Thackeray (2019) - Bal Thackeray was always controversial, it remains to be seen how much is the film fact based and how much fiction
  6. Vinaya Vidheya Rama (2019) - There is a lot of anticipation around this one
  7. NGK (2019) - Suriya plays a political activist. There is a lot of hype surrounding this one
  8. Enai Noki Paayum Thota - This Gautam Menon film starring Dhanush and Rana Dagubatti is stuck in financial limbo. Hope this makes it in 2019
  9. Dhruva Natchathiram - Another Gautam Menon film stuck in financial limbo. The trailers and the clip released so far look and sound quite slick. Chiyaan looks amazing, hope this makes it into theaters in 2019 as well
  10. Kadaram Kondan (2019) - Another one starring Chiyaan, hopefully the movie is as promising as its motion trailer
  11. Asuran (2019) - Vettri Maran and Dhanush is always a great combo
  12. Kolaiyuthir Kaalam (2019) - Nayanthara has gone from strength to strength this year (2018) with Immaikal Nadodigal and Kolammavu Kokila. This will be another one to watch.
  13. Saaho (2019) - First Prabhas release post Baahubali, there is high expectation around this
  14. NTR: Kathanayakudu (2019) - Biopic based off famous actor and ex-CM of Andhra Pradesh - NTR
  15. Yatra (2019) - Starring Mohanlal this is another political biopic focused on the foot journey made by YSR Reddy
  16. Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019) - The movie is already in news with the trailer gathering good reviews. Backed by a strong cast there is a lot of expectations from this one
  17. Maharshi (2019) - Mahesh Babu’s next release, there will be a lot of anticipation around this one since Bharat Ane Nenu was a colossal hit
  18. Untitled RRR movie (2019) - SS Rajamouli, NTR Jr, Ram Charan and Prakash Raj - that's enough said already about this movie
  19. Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy (2019) - Megastar Chiranjeevi and the eternal star Amitabh Bacchan, this should be a must see in the list of any movie lover
  20. Suryanvansh (2019) - Starring Akshay Kumar as ATF chief Veer Suryavanshi directed by Rohit Shetty, this will continue the Rohit Shetty police series juggernaut in the veins of Singham, Singham2, Simmba
I will add to this list if there any other movie that will catch my fancy this year