Now and Then.

Who the...?

Harendra Kapur.
Kyra Mathews.
Tejas Menon.


Friday, May 29, 2009

I have been living a different kind of life from last week onwards. I recently joined a radio station in Pune to do an internship, and it has overwhelmed me to say the least. Late nights, Page 3 type parties and a whole lot of experimentation with alcohol. But the main issue I have been facing is that after all these late nights, everyone still has to come back to work the next morning and continue as if nothing has happened. Now don't get me wrong I love my job, and it has been a complete revelation for me to understand how radio stations operate, but lets face it- its damn freaking hard to come to work and just work, when your hungover. I hope everyone doesn't think that I've become a thriving alcoholic, thats really not the case but rarely when I do indulge and I'll admit to it becoming a little more often than I initially thought it would be, its hard to get through the next morning.

I remember changing into my clothes, taking a shower and then catching a rick to work, all the while listening to music on my shuffle. As I kept changing song after song, it would keep going through KT Tunstall (nothing against her, I love her to death and beyond) Joss Stone, and John Mayer, who were all relatively mellow and subdued artists and with a bad headache I kept thinking "Man, where the f*ck is the heavy shit?!' I realized I didn't have much of what would and should be an integral part of any drinker's life: Hangover Remedial Music. (Note: how awesome is that its also Human Resources Management?)

That first morning was hard to get through. I needed the music to accesorize and accentuate. I needed to drown the headache is something loud. Now to each his own and HRM can be different for every individual, but for me I realized I had to go back to a band I had not listened to in a long time. They would proceed to become a part of my every morning since and are so damn awesome that its nothing less than a shame that they broke up.

"In with the early dawn / Moving right along / I couldn't buy an eye of sleep
And in the aching night / Under satellite / I was not recieved
With the stolen parts / A telephone in my heart / Someone get me a priest
To put my mind to bed / This ringing in my head
Is this a cure is or is this a disease?

Nail in my hand / From my creator
You gave me life now, Show me how to live!"

- Show Me How to Live, Audioslave

I swear for me personally, there has never been a band more fitting for my state of mind than Audioslave. The perfect combination of screaming screaching vocals by Chris Cornell mixed with the bass-heavy riffs of Tom Morello, to the endless pounding of drums crashing away. I grit my teeth and and bury myself in the sounds of pure hard rock. That's all.

And so the morning becomes bearable.

Deccan Won, Man U lost, Baichung Won(!) sweet it is...and wait for it...Watchmen released in Pune TODAY. Still gonna see it again.

21st Century Broken down...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ello All
Before I get into this I must confess I've never done a music album review before.
When I showed up at my Grandparents and discovered WiFi I couldn't resist the urge to download and review the two hottest albums of the year. First one being Eminem's Relapse (it's coming along...) and the second being Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown.
Now if you read and believe most of the reviews out there, you'd probably imagine this is the defining album of the decade.
Honestly, I don't know about that. Radiohead have had a couple of albums and so many other really awesome albums have popped up as well so it's very hard to say. What I will say though, is that this is definitely one of the best albums of the last FEW decades.
Now for those of you who are expecting a typically punk rock approach to the album you're going to be disappointed. Not only is this the highest production value of any Green Day work, it's also the furthest they've ever gone from their punk roots.
Now before we have a needless debate let me elucidate that when I say Punk I mean type of music, not type of attitude. The fact is, with the lyrics and melodies these three have busted out, the album is likely to have a greater impact politically than almost any other punk album.
The songs this time are anthemic. As in bust-a-gut-rock-the-shit-out-of-wembley, arena rock. It is hard, it is edgy, and in the case of 21 guns and Last night on Earth, very moving.
The title track is the closest the band'll get to a Bohemian Rhapsody in terms of form and while it is a bit too preachy for my taste there's no denying it's awesome. Along with it, Christian Inferno and Viva La Gloria are the kind of songs you'd kill to see live. But without any doubt, for me atleast, the intensity and energy of this album can be summed up in East Jesus Nowhere (Ironically, it's the first time I even noticed Dernt on the album...hint hint).
Lyrically, Billy Joe's at his 'fuck authority' best and despite slight hypocrisies the band have most certainly drawn a line in the sand in terms of where they stand on what.
The fun mockery of American Idiot is 5 years gone and with this album they've replaced it with a gritty, far more serious attitude not too different from U2. Let's just hope that like U2 this doesn't signal any decline.
It's preachy at times and that does grind a bit, but for the most part I have to admit this is easily one of the best albums I've ever heard. Not only does it have a purpose, some of the tracks are just fucking awesome.
East Jesus Nowhere
21 Guns
21st Century Breakdown
Overall: 9/10

Paper to Celluloid

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ive always been a reader first, a movie watcher second. Thus, watching a movie that has derived life from a book can sometimes be painful, often heart-wrenching. Many good books are massacred to make a good movie, descriptions and characters faded in the process of making the film a worthwhile one. On the other hand, many a character have been brought to life by celluloid in a way that paper never did justice to. The following is a list of the good and the ugly of paper becoming celluloid.

The Good:
1) The Godfather. The book was good, the movie was a classic. Marlon Brando gave life to Don Corleone in a way the book never fully did justice to. The book didn’t reek of power and vengeance the way the movie did. Brando was a true God.
2) Gone with the Wind. I had the good fortune of this being the first love story I ever read. As a result, all the men in my life are measured by Rhett Butler, i.e Clark Gable who spent years mastering the sneer that MADE him Rhett Butler. In Vivien Leigh, it was like Scarlett O’ Hara had stepped out of the pages of the book to act in the movie. The book was brilliant and the movie was a tribute to its brilliance. God help anyone who decides to remake it. There was only one Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in this lifetime, and Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh were them. There is something very grammatically wrong with the previous sentence.
3) The Harry Potter Series. Books were awesome, movies are good. No, seriously. The special effects in the movies are a tribute to J.K Rowling’s imagination. There are times when I wonder about the casting, but to each his own. To some people, Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter, to others he’s very…”I don’t know…” Overall however, I think Transfiguration, Quidditch, Hagrid, and everything to do with wands, more than make up for the films shortcomings.
4) Bridget Jones’ Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Bridget Jones is one of my favourite characters in literary fiction and Renee Zellweger. The otherwise svelte actress, made herself put on pounds of weight, perfected her accent and her walk to become the life, soul and chocolate and cigarette consuming Bridget Jones. She is Bridget Jones in all her voluptuous flesh.

The Ugly:
1) Little Women. Oh My Good Lord. I have the misfortune of having this movie on tape. It was a 12th birthday present and it was so bad I cried. The book is one of the most beautiful examples of literature on the planet and Louisa May Alcott must have turned in her grave at Winona freaking Ryder playing Jo March, the girl whose only real beauty was her hair. Jo March is not physically attractive in any way. She’s downright plain. She’s got a temper, a personality, a talent. Looks, she does not have. Why would a pretty woman be cast as Jo March, the principal character of the book? The book REVOLVES around Jo March. Did the makers of this movie never READ the book?
2) Chocolat. This book should never have been made into a movie. The mesmerizing magical descriptions of chocolate that Joanne Harris weaved so beautifully into words didn’t show up on screen. With the book, the story took you places, with the movie, it just stayed flat. Disappointing. Also, a waste of Johnny Depp’s awesomeness.
3) Pride & Prejudice. With Lizzie Bennet posing the same casting problems as Jo March (interesting, intelligent, but not in-your-face attractive), Keira Knightley was a very okay choice. Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy was also a very okay choice. But. Aha, if youre smart, you knew that was coming. Mr. Darcy and Lizzie Bennet are two of the greatest, most enigmatic characters in English Literature. Okay doesnt do them justice.
4) The Da Vinci Code. Awesome book. Very average movie. Yes, that’s it.

The Opposite Effect: Movies so beautiful, I have to read the books.

1) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
2) A Beautiful Mind
3) The Horse Whisperer
4) Forrest Gump
5) Horton hears a Who
6) Fast Times at Ridgemont High

The Zoozoos will save us all!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ello all
Around the time IPL2 began (Respect: Deccan and all it’s fans, include the intoxicated ones on this blog…) Vodafone launched a brand new ad campaign. The ads all consisted of these incoherent sterilized-humpty-dumpty characters. They’re cute, weird, laugh maniacally and tend to hurt each other. They are Zoozoos. It’s interesting to know that while they seem animated they’re in fact humans in spongy suits.
All I have to say, is well done Vodafone. O&M were told to come up with a consistent brand story and the results they’ve produced are absolutely amazing. Every single ad is short and bizarre and manages to explain yet another feature of Vodafone. Airtel, Aircel, Idea, and LOOP might as well walk away now, because I honestly think this could be the campaign of the last few years. The campaign is spread across the usual radio, TV, print mediums but the handling of the online campaign is genius.
Instead of randomly sending trite messages to Facebook users, the Zoozoos have their own page and subsequently over 250,000 fans. That’s two and half lakhs! Beyond that, not only are bloggers everywhere writing about them (is this irony?) people are making fan sites for the funny looking characters.
Thousands upon thousands of people are trying to see ‘which Zoozoo they are’ and even more are posting comments on the characters’ wall. Not just that, people are tagging each other in Zoozoo photographs and the buzz is nothing short of immense. Sure, there’s plenty of Anti Zoozoo groups but the amazing thing is, within a few weeks, they’re small characters living in a Vodafone colored world telling you Vodafone colored things and lakhs of people dig it.
To me this is incredible, because in this country for some absurd reason, we do not understand the idea of a Mascot.
Take Choco’s. Every kid’s ideal chocolate breakfast. It has no competition and as a result, it has NO ambition. A few years ago they got rid of the big cuddly bear and replaced him with the Coco Pops monkey. FOR NO APPARENT REASON! It’s ridiculous, and even if they felt they needed a change in image, why do they care so little about the monkey? Next time you’re eating Choco’s, count how many fingers there are on the monkey’s hands. I’ll help you, he has seven. That’s right seven. Three on one hand and four on the other! FOR NO APPARENT REASON! And this isn’t a Hrithik type love your deformity ploy, oh no, they just don’t seem to give a fuck. That is NOT even handed treatment. (Sorry…had to).
For years now sports events have had mascots which you’d get with a happy meal at Mcdonald’s, yet who can honestly tell me they cared about or even FOR any of these mascots? The Olympics had those weird attempts at bears. And sure enough, this year we have Shera the ‘friendly tiger’! He’s a generic, probably ill fed tiger who deserves to be no more than a side character in Tinkle Digest. Yet another event will pass and nobody will give a shit about the tiger who’s only character claim is that he’s ‘friendly.’
Where’s our Tony the Tiger or our Marlboro Man? It’s depressing to see how little the organizers care about their mascot, but for now I’m glad we have the Zoozoos. All I can hope for now, is that other firms and companies will see the impact of their success, and hopefully, say to themselves ‘Let’s have a mascot who’s more than paint and plastic’.

THIS. Is about American Idol.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ello All
Here in India, if it isn't sports, LIVE generally denotes a waiting period of at least 24 hours. As such, I JUST got around to watching the season finale of American Idol and I have to write about it.
First of all I'd just like to say that while I've always enjoyed the show and appreciated it, I've never really been a fan. This season I almost came close to sort of feeling like I could be a fan. To translate, while I may watch a recommended performance once in a way, if given the opportunity, I would never vote.
Clearly over 100 million people disagree, as last night was some sort of a world record. Let me just clarify, that last night was such an utter explosion of money and half baked teeny boppy ideas, I felt dirty just watching it.
First of all they've decided they'd make these joke awards things and you know ha ha chuckle chuckle they didn't do it the way other awards are done but bloody hell they could've done so much better! And then of course, Kara Dioguardi in yet another 'Omigod look at me I'm like SO crazy' attempt decides to semi flash everyone for about 2 and half seconds. I swear the moment was even more ridiculous than the time she yelled, whatought to be the show's official tagline- "THAT. IS. ARTISTRY!"
But anyway, it's hard to complain when they actually got Rod Stewart, Kiss and Brian May to do some absolutely amazing performances. I swear to God I practically creamed myself during Detroit Rock City. What a performance and no one deserved to sing that more than Adam. While I'm at it, I might as well give props to Kris for his kick ass performance with Keith Urban. Anyway the point of this post, is that one of my major issues with the show is that it tends to breed this very candy cane teeny boppy brand of cool which I have major issues accepting. Bo Bice, Fantasia, even David Cook to a degree have been the only real exceptions to the rule for me.
And this season of course did breed so very much more of that and with the introduction of Kara and Paula's post menopausal libidos, god knows it's been even worse than usual. I swear one of these days Paula's just going to dry hump someone's leg on stage. Did anyone else notice the line of drool down the sides of her mouth whenever Adam performed?
But there was this amazing moment, when Kris Allen had finished his victory performance and his wife came and hugged him and he just seemed to melt, where it was sort of like he just gave up any attempts of trying to react right andhe just folded into her. I was suddenly overcome with an incredible appreciation for what he and Adam did to the show.
Naturally, in terms of arrangements and performances they did alot to break the status quo but more than anything else they brought such an awesome humility with them. I always maintained it'd be between them (Mind you I was stunned to hear Adam didn't win) and even with Tejas and Kyra when we watched the show, we always commented on the fact that while they were both exceptional performers, more than anything else they were humble about it. I'm sure the idiots who blew all those millions on fireworks and all had hoped for a slightly more emphatic celebration from Kris, but for me, his response of 'Adam Adam Adam' gave a whole new integrity to the show.
Kudos to him and I sincerely hope he does well for himself. Props of course to Adam too, who I hope will not fizzle out and fade away like Bice did. And for the love of God, let's all hope their potential and promise does not yeild another 'My life would suck without you' 4 years down the line.

PS. Talk about perspective, I spent most of the day listening to Eminem's new album. Hard. Core. A review should come along soon.

Please let me do this.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I am buzzed out of my mind after having several shots of green apple smirnoff, and boy am I happy! I know this is completely unrelated to the purpose of this website but man I just want to pay tribute to who should have been the Aussie captain much before and instead of that fuckin Ricky Ponting.

Deccan Chargers are in the finals thanks to the greatest of all bloody captains: Adam Retitred from first class cricked-not played for an entire year-Fuckin' Gilchrist. 85 in 35 balls, nuff said, against all bloody odds. Delhi has beaten Hyderabad in every previous match. Chargers lost on 4 out 5 times we chased targets. Delhi was on the top of the table and we were fourth. Outclassed in every single way thanks to the most low-key, under-appreciated team of all time. And how fitting if IPL 2009 is won by the very team that was at the bottom of the barrel in 2008. Props to everyone else too.

Adam, you are the Man. You lead by example. I salute you, through shit colour uniform and through sexy blue. And this green apple shit is awesome.

We didn't have a Music Label?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It was time for this post.
I spent the bulk of my summer in Jaipur, and though I had a gazillion things I wanted to accomplish, in the end Harry, Kyra and I pretty much sat and watched TV for the most part, and really who can deny that pleasure? I watched a whole lot of Jay Leno, Diff’rent Strokes (Awesome, awesome show!), Yo Mamma, Friends, English Premier League and even had my dose of IPL (Deccan fan here). We also watched a lot of Vh1 and all the ‘latest’ songs that were. There was one song however that from the first time we heard it, caught on to us by storm. Note this song wasn’t very good, in fact it really wasn’t good, but the sheer hilarity of the song just hit us and now we love it so much I sure it’s one of those thing we’ll laugh about for a while.

“Now if she does it like this will you do it like that? Now if she touches like this, will you touch her right back? Now if she moves like this, will you move like that (come on) Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake It “

- Shake It by Metro Station

It’s just the genius of the marketing that has made this song so successful. Shamelessly targeted at all the teenyboppers out there, who pass through adolescence listening to a band that maybe taking themselves very seriously! But who am I in this, anyway? I’m just a lowly critic, albeit with a point to make. Now this song however bad and lame it is, will stay with me. I like this song I admit it, though wholly for different reasons.

Have you ever had that feeling?
You keep listening to a song over and over again, at a certain time or place in your life, and then it gets old and you reshuffle your playlist. Then years later you hear the song again, and you get that weird feeling that kind of reminds of you of that previous time. It shoves those feelings back into you, even years later because your mind conditioned itself to combine to unrelated things: The song and the emotion you felt at that point of time.
Anyway it’s nice.

Completely swinging around, I love Joss Stone. I love the way she sings, her voice, her presence, her music; everything. I heard her for the first time a month before the Desert Rhythm Festival 2007 where Mika was performing. She was too, so I decided to check her out. Well basically I was wowed, and enough to say that in the end I decided I wanted to see her more than Mika. I’ll also admit that it’s because of listening to one of her songs that sparked this post.
‘Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now’ by Joss Stone feat. Common.

The song in itself may be average, but god I love it, again for different reasons. The way she screams so melodic-ally right at the end, just gives me the good feeling that people give a shit about what their doing. Whether the world ends in 2012 or not, at least we gonna go out swinging and singing.

Anyway, right about now this post seems aimless, but sometimes music is like that. We need to float. And there are songs out there that speak directly to you even if the lyrics don’t fit. Also I felt I needed to do this, and I’m gonna be doing music for a while now. I hope you guys can relate.

More posts like this! Woo!

The Best Movie Taglines ever

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ello all
It's summer time, and that means it's big movie time, and that further means it's big marketting promos time, which then eventually, usually, means it's awesome movie taglines time!
It was the summer of 2005 when I was first properly enamored by the art of the tagline. I was walking home through Metroplex, a large-ish cinema in Dubai, when I passed a poster for Rob Zombie's Devil's Rejects.
Since then, I have to admit, I haven't seen too many good taglines but I figured it's worth listing out some of the best tag lines I've ever found. I thought I'd be able to do a regular linear type list but the fact is it's too damn hard to pick so I'll break it down.

Naturally, some actors develop the kind of image that just begs for a tagline. Seagal, Norris, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, all had one "statement of awesomeness" too many if you ask me, but some of the awesome ones are:
SILENT RAGE: Science created him, now Chuck Norris must destroy him...(An obvious play on Frankenstein's 'Science created him but couldn't destroy him)
SHADOW MAN: Either you're with him...or you're dead! Classic Seagal. Funny thing is it's probably true.
And finally,
TERMINATOR II: He's back. Utter. Freaking. Class.
Since the 80s hayday for heroes, very few action films have really pulled off the tagline. The most disappointing was of course The Matrix trilogy. One man who did manage to bring back some of the awesome though, was a certain Mr. Tarantino and I must say his taglines for Kill Bill are most kick ass...
KILL BILL VOL. 1: Here comes the bride.
KILL BILL VOL. 2: Revenge is a dish best served cold.

There's plenty out there but only so few will ever really matter. I mean honestly, when you're up against Jaws II's "And you thought it was safe to get back in the water" the usual response would be to lie down and not even try. Here's my top 3...
GODZILLA: Size Does Matter
THE FLY: Be afraid, be very afraid...
And finally, my absolute favorite:
ALIEN: In space no one can hear you scream

DAZED and CONFUSED: It was the last day of school in 1976, a night they’d never forget… if only they could remember. A tagline far better than the movie but whatever.
BONNIE andCLYDE: They’re young… they’re in love… and they kill people.
DIRTY DANCING: The dancing’s over. Now it gets dirty
THE GRADUATE: This is Benjamin. He's a little worried about his future.
BUTCH CASSIDY and the SUNDANCE KID: Not that it matters, but most of it is true.
And finally, trumpets and all bow down for
STAR WARS: A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…

For me, a tag line that talks to me is always awesome. It involves me and it feels like the producer's got his arm on my shoulder talking to me...
Kind of like the tagline for The Hoax which read 'Based on true events. Would we lie to you?'
Well according to the man it's based on they did, but I digress.
SHAUN of the DEAD: A romantic comedy...with zombies
JOHNNY ENGLISH: He knows no fear, he knows no danger, he knows nothing!
MONTY PYTHON and the HOLY GRAIL: Makes Ben Hur look like an epic
THIS IS SPINAL TAP: Does for rock and roll what "The Sound of Music" did for hills. ( Got to love those Brits)

I've got to say, Judd Apatow and his gang of miscreants can do NO wrong. When it comes to tag lines, they continue the theme with some freaking awesome innuendo.
My favorites are as follows:
TALADEGA NIGHTS: The story of a man who could only count to #1
WALK HARD: THE STORY of DEWEY COX: Life made him tough. Love made him strong. Music made him hard
And last of all, my absolute favorite tag line...
ANCHORMAN: His news is bigger than your news

If there's any good ones I've left out please feel free to let us know in the comments. Let's hope for some more good tag lines and til next time, just remember the immortal words of Speedman from Scorcher VI
"...who left the freezer open?"

Ello all

At some point in time we've all watched a movie and wondered why the little ones, the actors who don't make it to the posters, get left behind when in many cases they're extremely talented.
But I don't know, that really just is the way it is and as a result, sometimes very cool people get forgotten a lot sooner than they really should.
So this post, is about the 9 actors and actresses in English cinema who I really think deserve more blog space than they currently get.
Bear in mind these names are in no particular order of preference. Just memory...

1. Eric Christian Olsen
I last saw him as the 'threat-to-current-boyfriend-from-girl's-past' stereotype in License to Wed but fortunately or unfortunately, he's going to be remembered as the failed attempt at replacing Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumberer.
He's grown his hair since then and he's got solid Adam Pascal overtones happening for him now. He was also in The Last Kiss as one of Zach Braff's guy buddies and he wasn't half bad there either.
Too often the guys who play the stereotypes get written off but I don't know, there's a coolness to this guy which was possibly the only bearable thing about License to Wed.

2. Loren Dean
Ok, so first time I ever saw this guy was in this movie called Mumford, which didn't do terribly well but was still totally awesome. His performance wasn't incredible and compared to the performances of lead actors in even smaller films, you can totally see why he didn't exactly shoot to fame.
I mean you see what Will Smith did with Seven Pounds, or what Ellen Page did with Juno, and it's kind of hard NOT to expect from a lead actor, no matter how small the film's meant to be.
He's always seemed to me, to be the serious, not so charming Christian Slater, which admittedly, is not a lot of Christian Slater at all, but it's something. What?
It's just odd to me that a man who notched up parts in Gattaca, Apollo 13 AND Enemy of the State should just remain one of those faces you vaguely remember from something you saw somewhere at some point but aren't able to IMDB. And Mumford was awesome!

3. Julia Ormond

Alright, now here's something I really do not understand. Kind of like why Sam Rockwell will have to suffer Charlies Angels 2 on his resume.
Here's a woman, a very rare actress who actually has the 'gorgeous' thing going for her, a continental Julia Roberts if you will. She's perfect in Legends of the Fall, she's worth dumping Sean Connery on his ass in First Knight, yet for some bizarre reason, her next significant role is as the rarely shown daughter of the narrator's love in freaking Benjamin Button. I haven't seen Che yet so I can't comment, but it's a serious shame that she dropped out of sight and if anyone has any explanations I'd love to know.
Hollywood's loss better be someone's gain because there are far too many wannabe serious actresses with half the class this woman has.

4. Mathew Goode
Watchmen casting director: I think Matt Goode should play Adrian Veidt.
Zach Snyder: Oh. Sure. What's he acted in?
Watchmen Casting director: Oh. Um. Well. Yeah. About that. Um. Chasing Liberty and side role in Match Point.
Zach Snyder: BWAHAHAHAHA! Oh Shit! Sorry, Mr. Goode... I meant, that's...Oh God! I'm sorr...put down that lead pipe...!
While I'm sure that's not how things work out there, I'm sure that was the general response once everyone realised what was going on. But look what we got out of it. One of the most memorable "not-a-movie-villain" movie villains of all time.
I most certainly cannot wait to see what he does next and I certainly hope it isn't in some pubescent bullshit involving more flinching and eye rolling from the likes of Mandy Moore.

5. Rosemarie Dewitt
Rachel Getting Married didn't have alot wrong with it and the title character Rachel, to me atleast, deserved an oscar nomination just as much as Anne Hathaway.
She was impactful, deep, shallow, loud, soft, bitchy, beautiful and everything the role asked for. Maybe it's one of those roles that are just perfect for the actor so they can slip in and out seamlessly. Maybe it wasn't. All I know is, Ms. Dewitt put in an amazing performance and I would certainly hope to see her in more dramatic roles.

6. Bill Irwin
The Dad in Rachel Getting Married and Uncle Teddy in Across the Universe! I love this guy. I honestly felt he had the best performance in Rachel Getting Married. A truly awesome actor who seems to have done everything.
He's a theatre man who played Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street for 10 years! He then played a psychopathic serial killer on CSI (a natural transition) and he then shows up as the emotionally tormented daddy in Rachel Getting Married.
An amazing talent, and I would love to see him playing the quirky brother to William H Macy in something or the other. Definitely worthy of more screen time. Especially after you see stuff like freaking Fargo.
And also, cherry on the top, he was Tom Snout in Midsummer Night's dream. This guy has suddenly become one of my favorite actors.

6. Emily Blunt
Does she honestly deserve to be here? Yes!
I've seen her in Devil Wears Prada and Charlie Wilson's War and she's seriously awesome.
Between her, Sarah Paulson and Lizzy Caplan it's wholly apparent what Hollywood sees as 'cute'. Add to that we know she CAN act, I cannot understand why she doesn't get more roles.
She's most famous for her more 'English' stuff like Summer of Love and A Young Victoria, but I think it's fair to say her charm is wholly apparent to anyone who's seen her act. Let's just hope we get to see more.

7. Zak Orth
Remember Philip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly? Of course you do. First time I saw anyone play that part it was this guy in Down To You, a Freddie Prinze-Julia Stiles starrer. ( As it turns out, I saw it again and the movie's actually pretty awesome.)
I've always felt this guy's like a fat Ben Affleck and believe me, a lit extra skin makes Affleck far more likable. And if ever there was hope for young generally uni dimensional actors, I must say it would be in the shape of Affleck's continued movie career.
He was also in Loser, the Jason Biggs movie and since then he's done some TV stuff but that's about the extent of it. It's a shame really, he's a smart, funny actor who I hope we get to see again.

8. Jason London

Ah, yes the man who made me want to do this post in the first place. I first saw him in Out Cold and then in the popular for no apparent reason 'Dazed and Confused'. The movies weren't big deals but this guy really impressed me. He has a twin brother and both of them seem to have stuck to television stuff over the years.
He usually seems to be the 'head-firmly-on-shoulders-amidst-madness' guy and he's pretty damn good at it.
What's amazing though, is that in '96 he was one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People (Identical twin didn't make it though...!) and yet he's not starred in anything significant since then.

9. Justin Chatwin
Ok look inside your hearts and forgive me for this.
I first saw him in The Invisible. A shitty shitty movie which he got to star in. He was mediocre at most.
Now he's in Dragon Ball Evolution but something tells me that won't do much for him either.
So why the hell do I want to see him more? I do not know.
Maybe it's because he looks a lot like Arsenal Midfielder Tomas Rosicky.
No but seriously, he's a young actor who's definitely got something going for him in the looks and charm department. Perhaps a decent role and a dedication to avoid teeny boppy bullshit and we could see something more happen. I think he's got potential.
Anyway that's all for my list, there's shitloads of other actors who deserve screen time, so feel free to mention some in the comments. And Indians too, please.
There's a whole bunch who didn't make it to the list like George Newbern (Danny from Friends, now voice of Superman!), Adam Scott (Leo's flacky in Aviator) and Rahul Khanna, and I'm fully aware there'll be hundreds who fit the bill so by all means let us know some of your favorites.
And finally I'll leave you with a thought I've been having for a while now...
Does anyone else feel that Macaulay Culkin, Freddie Prinze Jr. and John Cusack are the same person at different ages?
Think about it...

Women can't do without their daily/weekly/monthly fix of fashion magazines, despite the fact that the skinny models and overpriced handbags plague them no end. This is common knowledge. Why do they buy? Because its like looking into another world, a world that eludes and fascinates them/ Publishers have taken advantage of this by churning out magazine one after the glossy other, to add to the obsessions of women. Two of the greatest fashion/couture magazines in the world today, have not only been around for decades, theyre a household name in many a woman's mind : Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.

Before I continue, let me elucidate. When I lived in Abu Dhabi, I couldnt afford either magazine, priced at over and above Dhs. 40-60. Thus, my criticism and compliments to the magazines lie in Vogue India, and Bazaar India, both priced at a fairly reasonable Rs 100.

Editorial Content: Bazaar India wins hands down. Bazaar India has done something that no other fashion magazine in India has done so far. Instead of inviting guest writers from the industry, they've made the editorial team the industry. Thus, every feature, every editorial, is written by someone who not only faces high fashion on a daily basis, but can also really understand the highs and lows of wearing couture. Vogue India, on the other hand, is severely lacking in terms of editorial content, focusing instead on expensive photo shoots of expensive products and clothing with short descriptions. How helpful. That aside, Vogue India seems hellbent on interviews/actresses/models from abroad. Case in point, I could just buy Vogue International if I wanted Michelle Obama on the cover, or if I wanted an interview of Katie Holmes.

Fashion Coverage: Grudgingly, this goes to Vogue, but a very small margin. Vogue takes pride in its fashion coverage; its glossy photos of truly bizarre fashion that no self-respecting working woman would ever wear. Or spend thousands of dollars/rupees on. Do I sound bitter? Yes, I am. Fashion coverage is good and all. What pinches is that very few readers can actually afford to buy the fashion you're covering.

Design and Art: I think the whole world knows of Vogue India's fiasco in terms of fashion shoots and art. Of all the possible creative ways to conduct a photo shoot, using beggars to accentuate the luxuriousness of Burberry is just cruel. Obviously, Vogue India didnt learn anything from the worldwide criticism: Their last edition has a feature of bikini-clad women prancing in front of burqa-clad women in the desert. Are you honestly saying there is no better way of portraying fashion? Bazaar, on the other hand, while playing it safe, doesnt break the boundaries of creativity. Their art is good, the look of the book is good, the design is good. But since when has good been good enough for the ruthless world of fashion?

Overall, in my opinion (note the my), Bazaar India wins hands down, in terms of "I would rather spend Rs100 a month on this magazine." While it doesnt dazzle me with its wowza, at least it doesnt make me angry like Vogue India does. I'd rather read a magazine strong in editorial content, than buy a magazine chock-full of Louis Vuitton and Burberry ads, which will just remind me that Im very very far from earning that kind of money.

On hindsight, however, I can think of better magazines/books to spend Rs100 or less on.
1) The Economist (the smartest magazine in the world)
2) Frontline
3) Outlook
4) Femina (yes, affordable fashion, and the magazine is only Rs30!)
5) Any Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie (yes, I know, I digress from the point of this blog, but such awesomeness I cannot ignore)

Note: Next on this debate: Why would women buy fashion magazines to feel not-so great about themselves, when they can buy an Agatha Christie, and think "Wowza! This was one scarily smart woman!" Yes, my next blog will most definately be a tribute to the great Mistress of Crime.

The All of us.

The All of us.