Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rehna Tu promo from Delhi-6

An aboslutely great song. But really bad job of editing the trailer. This trailer and the theatrical trailer just seem like randomly put together visuals and music. This one is actually not as bad as the theatrical trailer!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nominations!! YAY!!! (and not so Yay!)

First things first, A R Rahman has, in one shot, become the indian with most Oscar nominations! :) 3 nominations! The amazing thing is that they reduced the number or nominations for 'Best Original Song' from 5 to 3 and ARR has 2 of those 3 nominations!! WOW!! 

On second thoughts, however, I don't think getting two nominations for Best Song is all that good. Certainly, I loved to see both the songs nominated, but when it comes down to the actual award it will lead to vote splitting to the advantage of WALL-E. :( The good thing is that the 2 song nominations means that, unless they change the event this year, ARR will perform two songs on awards night! I just hope he also gets the award. Having said that, I will still not be happy if he gets the song award but not the actual original score award. THAT is the bigger deal. No one really remembers the song award. 

In other good news, WALL-E is nominated for Original Screenplay and Original Score!! The academy, over last 4-5 years has been consistently acknowledging Pixar movies' great screenplays and musical scores. That is a good thing, but they should now grow up and start nominating them for Best picture award too. 

That, however, is still a dream. Considering that they couldn't even get themselves to nominate a superhero movie for the most prestigious awards, there is little chance that they will let an animated movie have those nominations. :( The Dark Knight was robbed. No best picture, no best director, no best adapted screenplay! They gave it almost every technical award nomination (along with the obvious Heath Ledger nomination). It will most likely also win in a lot of those categories, but that's no consolation. 

In other 'not so yay' news, Kate Winslet only got one nomination. They nominated her for The Reader and ignored Revolutionary Road! I thought she had a better chance of getting the award if Revolutionary Road had been nominated. I am not so sure about The Reader. She was great in both, and I'd still give it to her but I think Anne Hathaway might find it easier to pip Kate now. :( Also, this is probably very good news for Penelope Cruz and Mariso Tomei, because now that their main competition has been nominated in the leading category, their chances of getting the best supporting actress award are much better! (And yes, Taraji P. Henson got the nomination too... YAY!!)

Who will win on the big night? I think Benjamin Button has the most nominations, but it might actually become this year's Babel, winning very few award even though it got so many nominations. It might win in some of the technical awards (where The Dark Knight will give it tough competition) and it might spoil our party by getting the best original score award, but I can bet right now that it is not going to get Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor or Best Adapted Screenplay awards. Slumdog Millionaire will probably get the picture and/or director awards and it will almost certainly get the adapted screenplay award (and I won't be happy about any of those... maybe best director is OK, but definitely not picture and screenplay)

What I'll be hoping for this morning

Oscar nominations will be announced shortly, and there are some nominations that I'll really want to see. Some of these wishes are so sure to be granted that the only reason I'll even think about them tomorrow morning is if they fail to get nominated. These certainties include Sean Penn, Frank Langella, Kate Winslet, Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Penelope Cruz for the acting categories; Frost/Nixon for its screenplay; Slumdog Millionaire, The Dark Knight and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for their original scores, and WALL-E for best animated feature.

This does not mean that there aren't other certainties. Some of the other certainties are actually the ones that I don't agree with. e.g. Slumdog Millionaire for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay and some major awards for Benjamin Button. Then there are others that I don't feel either good or bad about e.g. The Wrestler which I still haven't been able to see, or some nominations for Milk, which is a fine movie, just not one of my most loved movies of the year.

So, that brings me to the nominations that will REALLY make me happy tomorrow, because they are not really done deals yet and I would LOVE them to happen. They are...

1) WALL-E for Best Original Screenplay (possible), Best Sound Design (very likely), Best Original Score (possible) and, dare I say it, Best Picture and Best Director (sigh! not likely at all! :( )

2) The Dark Knight for Best Picture (possible, maybe even likely), Best Director (likely), Best Adapted Screenplay (not likely), and most of the technical awards (very likely for all of them)

3) "O Sayya" or "Jai Ho" for Best Original Song (very likely for Jai Ho... not likely at all for O Sayya)

4) Kate Winslet getting both nominations (likely... I'll hate it if she misses out on either)

5) Leonardo DiCaprio (not likely)

6) Taraji P. Henson for Benjamin Button (possible)

Also, I'll hate it if Dev Patel pips someone for a nomination. He was OK. If they HAVE to show some Slumdog Millionaire love, they should nominate one of the kids!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Breaking the Connections

11 years ago A R Rahman came up with his first post-Roja non-film Album - Vande Mataram. It was a huge success and added to the Rahman legend that had been building up over last 4-5 years at that time. Since then he has gained more fans with each year and each new movie soundtrack. Who then would've thought that his next non-film album, coming after 11 years of Vande Mataram, would get a "release" only in name. Most people around who have been waiting for him to get some time to work on a non-film album don't even know about Connections, unless they stumbled across some vague newspaper ads about Nokia Connections. It is a real pity that someone somewhere had the brilliant idea of releasing an ARR album 'only on certain nokia mobile phones' as an advertisement for Nokia. Who cares about fans? They'll get their mp3s downloaded from some online sites anyway, right? EVEN if they would rather buy their own legal copy? 

Or, maybe they are secretly planning  to release the CD later due to 'huge demand by fans' and capture more markets. That is even more evil, specially because they have been saying at every given opportunity that this album will 'only' be available on mobiles. 

Anyway, I hope someone sees the sense and realizes that an album this wonderful deserves better distribution. A proper release with normal advertisement would've made this fly to the top of the charts rightaway. Just listen to these two songs...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Current Playlist

The current playlist is actually just Delhi-6 songs! :) But once I have listened to its songs 10-15 times, it will be appended to the playlist that I had been listening to before Delhi-6 released. So, some brief comments of all these albums/songs.

Delhi-6: I've only listened to the songs 2 times as of now. But the first impression is quite good. Unlike Yuvvraaj where my first reaction was: "hmm.. this is quite disappointing.. not worthy of rahman". That impression about Yuvvraaj changed finally and even though it is not nearly his best work last year, I found it nice overall.. or at least not disappointing. Delhi-6 sounds really good even right now. "Masakkali", "Delhi-6", "Dil Gira Dafatan", "Arziyaan", and "Rehna Tu" are already sounding quite good and none of the others seem "disappointing" in the manner that "Shano Shano" did. So, they'll probably grow pretty soon too! Overall, quite a good start to the year for ARR's fans!

Chandni Chowk To China: Heard the full album, but only the two S-E-L songs ended up being in the playlist. The title song is good fun to listen to once in a while, but the other song - Tere Naina - is amazing. SMH told me that it reminded her of "Theekuruvil" from "Kangalal Kaithu Sai", and I agree. It is probably the style of female singer which reminds one of Theekuruvil, and I absolutely LOVE that song. Shreya Ghoshal is the singer here and she does her usual good job. Really good song!

Ghajini: "Guzaarish" is good, but I've never found it all that great. I don't know what is it. Maybe I find the "tune" not all that great. "Behka" is great, I loved it from the first time I heard it. Then there are the two "item songs"- Lattoo and Aye Bachchoo. Both of them have some nice hummable parts but are passable really. Watching them on screen made me like them more (thats why they are back in the playlist now). The best song, edging Behka by a small margin, is "Kaise Mujhe Tum" and its instrumental version. It took me a long time to grow out of Benny Dayal's strained vocals in this song, but watching the movie in the theatre surely helped! Needless to say, Shreya Ghoshal's part of the song is on a different level altogether. Great song!

Luck By Chance: Pretty good album by the increasingly reliable Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. While "Yeh Zindagi Bhi", "Yeh Aaj Kya Ho Gaya" and "O Rahi Re" are top notch, even the other three are pretty listenable. Except, probably "Pyaar Ki Daastaan". It is a slow, melodious kind of song, but seems very very unoriginal to me. As in, it probably reminds me of a lot of SEL songs that sound too much like this one. The lyrics are consistently great throughout the album. Definitely a great start to the year by SEL. 

Aamir: A highly underrated album. I guess some people would definitely have heard "Ha Raham" which is great, but really the whole album is amazing. I don't think there is any point in pointing to different tracks here, this is quite a good album overall. Listen to it! I have just one problem. "Haara" sounds too much like the theme music of "Requiem for a Dream" to me. The song itself is pretty good and very different from that theme but the instrumental going on in the background seems almost exactly like that. At least it feels that way. :( In any case, the rest of the album is great. Amit Trivedi is another great addition to the list of composers doing a great job in hindi movie music, specially because he followed this up with...

Dev D: ok... this is one of the most eclectic albums you will ever have heard. Delhi-6 is quite eclectic too, but not even close to what Dev D is. Amit Trivedi and Anurag Kashyap have gone bonkers here. I am sure you'd have concluded that much after hearing "Emosanal Attyachaar" in trailers, but the whole album is weird, in a very good way.. The side effect of having so many genres is that everyone will find probably some songs that he/she won't like, which in my case means that I don't think Dev D is as good as Aamir, but it might grow later on. Of the top of my head I can think of "Paayaliya", "Nayan Tarse", "Duniya", "Saali Khushi" etc that I quite like. But I am sure there are some others that are definitely good. 

Slumdog Millionaire: Its a pity that all anyone gets to listen of this album is "Jai Ho". It is good but not nearly as good as some of the rest of the soundtrack is. So, if you have heard Jai Ho and think that the reason ARR is winning all these awards is just because people here in the US haven't heard 'indian' music before ina major movie, you'd be wrong. There are tracks in this album that are REALLY fun to listen to in your car, and mesh quite well in the movie too. Listen to "O Sayya", "Latika's Theme", "Paper Planes" and "Mausam & Escape" at least. 

I guess the number of songs and albums I have written about is probably a bit too much recommendation for one post! Still, if you have heard some of these albums and most of these songs, you'll know if your taste matches mine. In that case, go and find the ones that you haven't heard. I am sure a lot of people haven't heard Aamir, so if this post ends up popularizing at least  that one album by a little, it will make me very happy! :)

Update: Delhi-6 is now sounding REALLY good. One of ARR's better albums over last 4-5 years at least. and that is saying a LOT, right? Or maybe this will turn out the be just the euphoria phase that follows the initial apprehension. we'll see!

Delhi-6 Title song promo

didn't like it all that much in the promo. But after listening to the full song 2 times, I actually do like it quite a lot! here's the promo for you..

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Maula promo from Delhi - 6

Again, the visuals are quite nice here. Waheeda Rahman and Om Puri look quite charming. Do I detect some Hindu-Muslim funda here? Perhaps it might just be the song and not the whole movie. After all, Rang De Basanti had its share of anti-Hindu/Muslim fundamentalism moments. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ae Masakalli.. Ud Matakalli...

What in the world does that mean? Its a catchy tune though... And picturization isn't half bad either!

Delhi 6 song promo for you... 

Tintin and the zombie-comedy.

AICN confirms the rumour that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost - the guys who play the protagonists in "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" - have been cast to play the roles of Thomson and Thompson in the upcoming Spielberg-Jackson Tintin movies. 

I am sure anyone who has seen Hot Fuzz will find this an inspired bit of casting!

amtrak marketing

Just saw an impressive ad for amtrak at some site. It just said - The Cure for "We never TALK anymore" ..... Amtrak

:) quite a good idea for selling rail travel in US, where no one seems to use trains for long journeys.