Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dabangg 2: First Week Nett Collections

By Anant Mathur (December 29, 2012)
Dabangg 2 marks the return of Salman Khan and Chulbul Pandey. Needless to say, the films has started off with a bang collecting Rs. 21.10 crores on Opening Day (Dec 21) and breaking all records for a non-holiday opening. On Saturday, Day 2, it collected Rs. 19.06 crores. And on Sunday the total for Day 3 was Rs. 25.00 crores, bringing the weekend total to Rs. 65.16 crores nett, a new record for a normal 3 day weekend and beating the previous 3 day weekend record set by Salman's own Ek Tha Tiger. During the next 4 days Dabangg 2 added another Rs. 41.62 crores (Mon 12 cr, Tue 15.5 cr, Wed 8.12 cr, Thu 6 cr) to its weekend total becoming the 5th Salman Khan starrer to join the Rs. 100 crores nett collection club. 

In total Dabangg 2 has collected Rs. 106.78 crores nett in the first week (a normal seven day week and not a extended week as films are accustomed to these days) and set a new record for a normal 7 day week.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dabangg 2 Shatters Opening Day Record!

By Anant Mathur (December 22, 2012)
Good new the world didn't end yesterday. But there is some earth shattering news... Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha starrer Dabangg 2 released yesterday and the opening day collections are earth shattering to say the least. Dabangg 2 opened on a non-holiday weekend and has shattered the record by collecting Rs. 21.10 crores on its first day of release. Rowdy Rathore held the record for non-holiday opening at Rs. 15.10 crores, Dabangg 2 has managed to surpass it by an incredible Rs. 6 crores. Earlier in the year Salman Khan starrer Ek Tha Tiger had the biggest holiday opening in history at Rs. 32.93 crores.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The End of the World??

By Anant Mathur (December 16, 2012)

As you may have heard according to the Mayan calendar life on earth as we know it is supposed to end on 12.21.12 (December 21, 2012) - Hey, that's just next week. If you speak to people who believe in prophecies and world ending events - they're are convinced that the world will end next week. But speak to any scientist and people who are in the know and they will tell you nothing will happen. 

I am convinced that it will be exactly like the Y2K threat when nothing happened. I just feel sorry for the people who spent thousands of dollars buying things to protect themselves including survival shelters.

All you need to know is, in case of an apocalypse, the governments of the world probably have plans in place. If it were to ever happen I hope the government is going to save those who can help rebuild like scientists, doctors, architects, farmers, teachers, manual laborers and soldiers, etc. - we won't need to save politicians, actors, lawyers and entertainers or people from the service industry or anyone with a desk job.

Chances are the world won't end next week and I'll have to figure out a way to pay-off the Ferrari I bought knowing full well that I can't afford it - but if the world is ending I want to class-it-up and enjoy life as much as possible before I go. I'm fairly certain that, like me, most people will be with their family and closest friends on this day. And if you're really bored you can go and watch Dabanng 2 which releases on 12.21.12.

What I'm hoping for from the Mayan prediction is that there is sort of a cleansing of our mind, so that all evil is out of everyone's thinking and the world is a better place come December 22, 2012. And we'll live in a society where we don't have to worry about crime and everyone helps their fellow man/woman is kindness is the new religion. It's probably wishfull thinking but who knows that December 22 holds, chances are nothing will happen but if it does, wouldn't it be nice if things could improve instead of ending...

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER: The above post is meant for entertainment purposes only; readers shouldn't take it seriously or interpret it as advice.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tip # 41: Greed

By Anant Mathur (December 05, 2012)

Most young writers forget that the whole process of writing should be a learning experience. If you only write about what you know and your characters have the same characteristics and behavior patterns as yourself, you won't be able to write more than two screenplays in your life.

As a writer each character you create should be as different from you and as different from each other as apples are from zucchini. When you write a character you must know everything about him/her - where they were born, family history, illnesses in the family, scars, personality, education, etc. etc. Even if it's not part of the story you're writing, it is very important to know exactly where your character is coming from so they can relate better to each other and in case you write a sequel you have something to fall back on. As an example you can watch Back To The Future to see how characters were created with enough backstory so when it came time to do sequels (which there were no plans of making) they had no difficulty writing parts 2 and 3. If the writers didn't create solid characters with a rich background it would've been very difficult to write the sequels let alone tell a solid story.

In the relaunch of the Star Trek movie franchise, there is a large part of the plot which is based on the Kobayashi Maru test - for those of you who are unfamiliar with this test - it was actually first mentioned in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in the original film series. The new Star Trek would've been a totally different film if there were no mention of Kobayashi Maru in the original series. The writers of the new film did their research and due to the efforts of the backstory put together by the writers of the previous series they were able to tell their own story and paid homage to the old one.

What I really notice with today's generation of writers, especially in Bollywood, is that they get very greedy with a joke. They're so busy trying to come up with the perfect punchline that they don't realize that they've revealed a part of the story during the joke which shouldn't be revealed 'till later on. I know it's the season of comedies in Bollywood, but one must remember that you can hit the punchline without revealing your story, the problem is no one seems to care and this is why a film fails to find an audience. The same is true for mysteries, writers are so greedy about adding twist after twist that the audience figures out the story in the first 10 minutes and the rest of the film is just dull and boring. The best mysteries are the ones which take you on a ride and have one twist at the end - no one likes to be on a journey with a thousand stops. A good example is the film Saw, while watching it you have no clue where it is headed, and then at the end... BOOM! There is a wicked twist which makes you say "that was incredible".

It's not difficult to write a story, but it is very difficult to write a great story, primarily because of the greed that most writers today suffer from. If a writer can put aside the idea of writing a hilarious comedy and just writer a story with funny situations and interesting characters he will find that he has, in fact, created a hilarious comedy. But when you set out to write a hilarious comedy you're so preoccupied with the perfect punchline that you forget about where the story is headed and end up with a horrible story. A great story can only go in a limited number of directions but when it gets pulled into unfathomable situations that's when you lose your audience. Your audience will forget and forgive a bad joke in a great story but they will never forgive or forget a bad story even if it had great punchlines...

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

JTHJ and SOS Second Week Collections!

By Anant Mathur (November 27, 2012)

It's official! Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardaar are both box office flops despite releasing on an extended 6 day Diwali weekend. As usual, it was the big budgets which did both these films in. Jab Tak Hai Jaan had a budget of 50 Crores and managed 92 Crores nett after 2 weeks - giving its distributors approx. 45 crores. Meanwhile, Son of Sardaar with a budget of 80 crores has earned approx. 80 Crores nett and managed a share of 39 Crores for its distributors and will likely generate huge losses for them. It is unlikely that either of these films will cross the 100 crores mark or earn enough revenue to be profitable in the coming weeks. JTHJ may recover some of its losses from satellite and music rights, but there's no hope of recovery for Son of Sardaar... it'll be sending out an SOS.

I have said it many times in previous posts, but I must repeat again... Bollywood cannot release two big budget films in the same week, they cut in on each other's business and if the reviews and word of mouth are not favourable both films suffer. If only JTHJ had released on the Diwali weekend it would have released on many of the screen which were taken by SOS, and with only one choice on Diwali weekend JTHJ would have taken a larger audience and earned more than what it did and perhaps even shattered records. But the coveted Diwali weekend - which is rarely ever profitable to distributors - does not deserve the attention it receives at least not 'till they stop releasing multiple films. For Diwali weekend to be profitable, Bollywood filmmakers need to be smarter (a long stretch I know) and release one film that day. But, as Forrest Gump says "stupid is as stupid does" and you have to be really stupid not to look at historical data which shows whenever 2 or more big budget films are released on Diwali weekend, they both suffer.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Six Day Diwali Weekend...

By Anant Mathur (November 19, 2012) 

After a long time a Yash Raj Film was released on the DIWALI WEEKEND. The one time of the year where records are expected to shatter more than any other, but it seems that expectations fall short when it's a Shahrukh Khan film releasing on the Diwali Weekend. The biggest weekend these days turns out to be anytime a Salman Khan or Aamir Khan film is releasing. Considering that Jab Tak Hai Jaan had a budget of 50 crores, it's disappointing that it has only managed to collect 73.68 crores in it's extended 6 day weekend, especially since it's Yash Copra's last film and last years Diwali release Ra.One (also a SRK film) managed to collect 80.97 crores in just 5 days.

The other Diwali release of 2012, Son of Sardaar managed to collect 57.94 crores in it's first 6 days. With a budget of 80 crores it's highly doubtful that the makers will earn any profit from its theatrical run. 

After the first weekend, a big release usually runs out of steam, although by some miracle JTHJ might cross the 100 crores in nett collections mark, it's looking very doubtful that either of these films will reach that goal. 

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

This Diwali...Mixed Reviews!

By Anant Mathur (November 15, 2012)

Hello movie fans... As you know, this Diwali week, 2 Bollywood movies were released and will enjoy an extended 6 day weekend as both were released on November 13th. Of course the films I'm talking about are the much awaited Yash Chopra swan song Jab Tak Hai Jaan and the Ajay Devgn produced comedy Son of Sardaar. The starcast for Jab Tak Hai Jaan includes Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma while Son of Sardaar stars Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt and Juhi Chawala.

The house was not full for either film on opening day due largely to the fact that people were too busy with Diwali puja and festivities. Overall, in most places occupancy was only 70-80% for JTHJ and about 60-65% for SOS. Although SOS received bad reviews and negative feedback from critics and cinemagoers, JTHJ is another story, literally (LOL), it's garnering mixed reviews and mixed feedback - people either love it or hate it. 

As expected, collections did pickup on day 2 - approximately 50% for JTHJ and an incredible 70% for SOS. The two days collection for both films are 32 Crores [12.5 Cr. (day 1) + 19.5 Cr. (day 2)] for JTHJ and 23 Crores [8.5 Cr. (day 1) + 14.5 Cr. (day 2)] for SOS.

It's difficult to predict where the films will end up on the highest grossing list, but it does look like JTHJ has the possibility of joining the 100 crores club and SOS will certainly come close to it. The extended weekend will help both films and by the end of the first weekend we should get a clearer picture of where the films stand.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Top 10 of Bond...

By Anant Mathur (November 7, 2012)

No doubt by now you've heard that Skyfall - the 23rd Bond film - is releasing this week. To celebrate this milestone, here are a few of my favourite Bond things...

10. The Living Daylights
09. Moonraker
08. Goldfinger
07. From Russia With Love
06. Tomorrow Never Dies
05. Licence To Kill
04. Casino Royale
03. You Only Live Twice
02. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
01. Dr. No

10. Elliot Carver (Tomorrow Never Dies)
09. Renard/Viktor Zokas (The World Is Not Enough)
08. Dominic Greene (Quantum of Solace)
07. Franz Sanchez (Licence To Kill)
06. Francisco Scaramanga (Man with the Golden Gun)
05. Hugo Drax (Moonraker)
04. Dr. Julius No (Dr. No)
03. Emilio Largo (Thunderball)
02. Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
01. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia with Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever and For Your Eyes Only)

10. Sunbeam Alpine (Dr. No)
09. Aston Martin DB5 (Goldeneye)
08. Aston Martin V8 Volante (Licence To Kill)
07. Lotus Esprit Turbo (For Your Eyes Only)
06. Aston Martin Vanquish (Die Another Day)
05. Aston Martin DBS (Casino Royale)
04. BMW Z3 (Goldeneye)
03. Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger, Thunderball)
02. BMW Z8 (The World Is Not Enough)
01. Lotus Esprit (The Spy Who Loved Me) 

10. Fake Fingerprint (Diamonds Are Forever)
09. The 'Felix Lighter' (Live and Let Die)
08. Seiko Quartz watch (The Spy Who Loved Me)
07. TV Watch (Octopussy)
06. Ballpoint Pen (Goldeneye)
05. Microchip implant (Casino Royale)
04. MI6 Profile Touchscreen (Quantum of Solace)
03. Walther PPK/S 9mm short (Skyfall)
02. Signature Camera Gun (Licence To Kill)
01. Walther PPK 7.65mm (Dr. No) 

10. Mr. Osato (You Only Live Twice)
09. Miranda Frost (Die Another Day)
08. May Day (A View To A Kill)
07. Vargas (Thunderball)
06. Irma Bunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
05. Oddjob (Goldfinger)
04. Helga Brandt (You Only Live Twice)
03. Rosa Klebb (From Russia with Love)
02. Nick Nack (Man with the Golden Gun)
01. Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker)

10. Xenia Onatopp
09. Holly Goodhead
08. Anya Amasova
07. Plenty O'Toole
06. Pam Bouvier
05. Pussy Galore
04. Sylvia Trench
03. Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo
02. Honey Rider
01. Vesper Lynd

50 Years of Bond, James Bond...

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

50 Years of Bond, James Bond...

By Anant Mathur (November 4, 2012)

This year marks the 50th year of the James Bond-007 film series. The 23rd film in the series, Skyfall, releases this Friday. To better prepare you for Skyfall here are a few secrets and facts you need to know:

-Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel Casino Royale was published in 1953.

-The film that kicked of the James Bond-007 series of films was the Sean Connery starer Dr. No, it was directed by Terence Young who also directed two other Bond films - From Russia With Love and Thunderball.

-Sean Connery left the series after You Only Live Twice (Bond #5). 

-In 1969, George Lazenby took over with Bond #6 - but he decided to leave the series after just 1 film - On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Connery was asked to come back for Diamonds Are Forever because Roger Moore was not available due to his commitment to his TV series The Saint

-Roger Moore finally took over from Live and Let Die (Bond #8) and did seven Bond films in total before Timothy Dalton took over for 2 films, followed by Pierce Brosnan (4 films) and Daniel Craig who has done 3 films and signed on to do at least 2 more (at the time of this post).

-Sean Connery was 32 when the first James Bond film Dr. No was Released. Roger Moore is 3 years older than Sean Connery. Moore was 45 when he took over from Connery who was 42 at the time. 

-Roger Moore Played Bond for 12 years - the longest of any actor. He was also the oldest actor to play Bond when he retired from the series at the age of 58.

-George Lazenby was the youngest actor to play James Bond. He was 30 years old when On Her Majesty's Secret Service was released in 1969. Lazenby was also the only actor still in his 20s when shooting of the film began.

-Several editors of the Bond film series also directed a few of the later films. Peter R. Hunt who was the editor for the first 5 Bond films got to direct Bond #6 (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) before he left the series. John Glen was editor of OHMSS and also edited 2 Others before directing Roger Moore in 3 films and Timothy Dalton in both his appearances as Bond. 

-John Glen has directed the most number of Bond films with 5 credits as director.

-James Bond's weapon of choice is the Walther PPK.

-'M' is the head of the Foreign Intelligence wing of Her Majesty's Secret Service.

-Q Branch, The Armorer Division of HMSS, has long been a position of pride for its head, who goes by the codename of Q.

-James Bond was once married to Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo.

-SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) is a fictional global terrorist organization featured in the James Bond series.

-Quantum is a fictional criminal organization, featured as the antagonists in the James Bond films Casino Royale, and its sequel, Quantum of Solace. Quantum filled in for SMERSH from the Casino Royale novel, and subsequently became a sort of successor or revision to both SMERSH from the early novels and SPECTRE from the early years of the film series.

-Ernst Stavro Blofeld is a supervillain from the James Bond series. Blofeld is head of the global criminal organisation SPECTRE and is commonly referred to as Number 1, an official numerical position given to members of SPECTRE. Blofeld appears or is heard in 6 films.

-Miss Moneypenny, is secretary to M. Although she has a small part in the films, it is always highlighted by the underscored romantic tension between her and James Bond.

-Felix Leiter is an operative for the CIA and Bond's friend. After losing a leg and his hand to a shark attack, Leiter joined the Pinkerton Detective Agency.

-Sylvia Trench was the first "Bond Girl", she was played by Eunice Gayson and appeared in the first two Bond films. 

-Maud Adams is the only actress to appear three times in the Bond film series. She played Andrea Anders in The Man with the Golden Gun
, then she was Octavia Charlotte Smythe in the film Octopussy and had a cameo as an extra in Roger Moore's last Bond film, A View to a Kill.

Sylvia Trench, Honey Rider, Tatiana Romanova, Pussy Galore, Jill Masterton, Domino Vitali, Kissy Suzuki, Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, Tiffany Case, Plenty O'Toole, Solitaire, Mary Goodnight, Andrea Anders, Anya Amasova, Holly Goodhead, Melina Havelock, Octopussy, Stacey Sutton, Kara Milovy, Pam Bouvier, Lupe Lamora, Natalya Simonova, Xenia Onatopp, Paris Carver, Wai Lin, Christmas Jones, Elektra King, Jinx, Solange Dimitrios, Vesper Lynd, Camille Montes, Strawberry Fields and Sévérine.

To truly understand the character of James Bond in film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a crucial film in the series, and thus, should not be watched until the first 5 films have been seen and no other Bond film in the series should be watched until OHMSS has been seen. It has many secrets and revelations that help you understand the transformation of Bond from Connery to Lazeby to Moore and the rest.

Top 10 of Bond...

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mass vs. Class

By Anant Mathur (October 28, 2012)

Many times films are released and put into a mass or class category by reviewers, producers, distributors and/or trade analysts. So, what is the difference between a class and mass film and why does it matter?

Well, for starters a mass film is basically a film that appeals to everyone from the lower classes, to children, to women. Lower classes, children and women tend to be more impressionable than the upper more educated class of people. Therefore, mass films tend to be less intellectual and more comedic in their senses and approach. Take for example films like Dabangg, Housefull and Sholay, these are clearly - leave your brain at home and come be entertained for two hours - type mass entertainers. Usually, mass films have catchy dialogue and memorable songs which the audience can recite repeatedly.

A class film on the other hand tends to deal with a specific type of topic for a relatively smaller audience, sometimes even a niche audience, as compared to a mass film. At times the subject of these films may only appeal to women or to the highly educated and more influential upper class. Mass films may also be made by a smaller production house than a class film which usually has a mega budget and reaches a much larger audience.

So, why does it matter if a film is a class film or a mass film? Well, it may not matter to the audience but it does make a huge difference to the distributor and producer. You see, when a class film is released it's on a much bigger scale than a class film. 

Because the audience is many folds larger the distributor needs to know exactly how many screens to release the film on in order to recover their cost as quickly as possible. It makes a huge difference to the distributor if he's releasing the film on 200 screens or 2500 screens. If a distributor is releasing a film on 2500 screens his advertising has to be much more aggressive than for a film releasing on 200 screens, this also increases his advertising budget. These costs are the primary reason why films are divided into these segments.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Yash Chopra - Jab Tak Thi Jaan...

By Anant Mathur (October 22, 2012)  

It is unfortunate for film fans that Yash Chopra, the king of romance, will not be around to witness the spectacular release of his final directorial venture Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Sadly, Mr. Chopra passed away yesterday, due to dengue, just weeks before the release of his final film.

It was less than a month ago that he celebrated his 80th birthday and announced his retirement from film direction. In his 53 year career, Yash Chopra has given us many memorable films most of which were huge box office successes. He directed 22 films in all including box office smashers like Dhool Ka Phool, Waqt, Deewaar, Veer-Zaara, Silsila, Dil To Pagal Hai, Darr, Kabhi Kabhie, Chandni and Kaala Patthar.

Shortly after finding success as a director, Yash Chopra started his own production house Yash Raj Films (YRF), and began producing some of the most loved Bollywood films. Most of us grew up watching YRF films and only have to look in our own lives to see their influence. 

By the early 1990s, there were many Indians residing in cities outside of India, known as NRIs, the children of these Indians had been growing up without any cultural influence or family values. It wasn't until the mid 1990s when films like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Yash Chopra's Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge woke this generation of Indians to embrace their culture and values through their stories. Shortly after Dil To Pagal Hai was released it brought a Bollywood dance craze to cities where NRIs resided - Shiamak Davar's name was synonymous with every NRI household - so much so that soon his Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts (SDIPA) dance schools started to open in these cities across the world. 

Today, you can't go into a city where NRIs reside without noticing how involved these indians are in their community, culture and activities related to Bollywood, such was the influence of this man we knew as Yash Chopra.

It was due largely to his faith that the next generation of Indian directors, writers and actors got their big breaks starting with his son Aditya Chopra and the would-be blockbuster Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. He continued to mentor young talent like Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Karan Johar, Shiamak Davar, Nikhil Advani, Sanjay Gadhvi, Shaad Ali, Siddharth Anand, Kunal Kohli, Kabir Khan, Maneesh Sharma and Farah Khan, who in turn gave a chance to many of the current crop of directors and producers in Bollywood, but it was "Yash Uncle" who started them along the path of their success. I'm positive the current generation will agree with me when I say that he was a man who not only gave them a chance but taught them how to survive in the big bad world that is Bollywood.

Yash Chopra was the last surviving filmmaker of his generation, with his passing we also lose ties to the forefathers who began what is know worldwide as Bollywood. His loss will forever be felt by those who make films and those who love to watch them...

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"I Can Sue..."

By Anant Mathur (October 13, 2012)  

Since I don't have too much time to write this week, I'm going to keep this post short.

"I Can Sue..." is a line of dialogue spoken by the late great actress Jean Hagen in arguably the best movie musical to come out of Hollywood... Singin' In The Rain

Of course, in the film she says the line because she is unhappy with some publicity, but imagine if we could sue a movie producer or studio for making a bad film. People sue for all sorts of ridiculous reasons these days from spilling a hot cup of coffee on themselves, to suing a casino for making them gamble, to suing a dry cleaner for $67 million because he lost a pair of pants.

So the next time we watch a movie that wasted our time we should be able to sue a producer or studio to at least get our money back? Doesn't that make sense, why throw good money after bad when no one is willing to make good films in Bollywood. I mean watching films is not cheap, especially for a common man living in India. A family may have to spend more than Rs. 1,000 in order to watch a film and that doesn't include the price of pop corn or soft drinks. If a producer really believed in how good his film is, he would volunteer to give their money back if patrons don't enjoy the movie. But that would be in a perfect world.

It may sound like a good idea but the reason no one will ever succeed in suing for a bad film is because it's a service. It's very easy to sue for a faulty product but very difficult to sue for a faulty service. Imagine if we could though...

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Politically Incorrect!

By Anant Mathur (October 04, 2012)

You know all the political correctness that's been going on for the last few decades is really starting to ruin the enjoyment of life. I have nothing against the ideologies and beliefs of others, I say "live and let live", but at some point all this political correctness has to stop. You can't say anything these day (even as a joke) without fear of being sued, arrested or punched out or laughed at and ridiculed (as done so to celebrities and athletes in social media). Whatever happened to Freedom of Speech?

We can't go around changing everything just so every last person on the planet agrees with it - that's how dictatorships start. Everyone needs to stop being a clone of each other and be their own person and doing that involves a lot of political incorrectness. How come "vertically challenged" is acceptable and calling some one "short" is not, you're still being labelled - "vertically challenged" sounds much worst to me than "short"? You can call someone a "Heavy set man or woman" but you can't call them fat? "Heavy set" sound humongous - how can that be acceptable and a 3 letter word is not. Labels have always been around and always will be, you can either take them seriously or be mentally strong and know who you're as a person and not worry about what others think. What's the point of having a dictionary if we can no longer say half the words that are in it?

There's a film from 1963 called Shock Corridor in which they say the "N" word countless number of times. Now today, no one would dare say that word out loud (unless it was an African American gang member) but in many old films the word exists, does this mean we need to delete scenes from all the old movies so that no one is offended. How can we do that, it's a part of history, deleting unfortunate situations from history is not the solution. Instead it would give a false sense of being. What will we tell future generations when we speak about our history, are we going to tell them what happened but keep all the details out? Are we not going to tell them about how the Jewish people were tormented by the Nazi and sent to concentration camps with a number on their arms, do we keep those details out, so they never know about the camps or numbers?

About a year and a half ago, the 1985 Dire Straits hit Money For Nothing was banned from Canadian Radio. The decision was reached after one listener complained to St. John's radio station CHOZ-FM due to the song's use of the word "faggot," finding it to be discriminatory to gays. Seriously, one guy had a problem with it and they banned it for the whole country, I'm so glad we live a democratic society. Of course, the decision was reversed several months later after being reviewed by the Canadian Broadcast Standards, but the point is why was some idiot able to get it banned in the first place. What's next they're going to ask Sir Paul McCartney to change the lyrics of Hey Jude to Hey Dude?

If gay people want rights, including, the right to get married there's nothing wrong with that, but instead of changing Christianity start your own religion and get the politicians to support it. When Sikhism was established in India they had their own religious beliefs and their own Sikh Gurus, their own wedding rituals, they didn't change the Hindu religion or Gurus and Gods to be a part of their beliefs. The Sikhs who do believe in the Hindu religion don't argue that Rama, Krishna or Shiva, etc. are Sikhs, so why are African Americans so adamant on changing Jesus into a black person - start your own religion and have a black god - oh wait they already have that in Africa, duh! African Americans are loosing their culture and religion by conforming to the religion and beliefs of the white man. They have to stop trying to be white and accept their own traditions, values, literature & gods - it all exists.

And of course, political correctness has made its way into the entertainment medium too - in the upcoming Superman film "MAN OF STEEL" the Daily Planet's editor, Perry White, who has been a white male since the comics first started is going to be played by an African American actor - "Hello!", even his name is White? I have no issues with an African American being the editor of the Daily Planet but why does he have to be called Perry White why can't they create a new character. Same thing happened in the Cinderella storyline on the Once Upon a time TV series - the fairy godmother is suddenly black. Why can't they have African American stories for African Americans - why do they have to change the stories that have been a part of history. The upcoming TV show Elementary is about Sherlock Holmes except there's a twist, the part of his assistant (Dr. Watson) is being played by a woman and not just a woman but an actress of Chinese descent - I'd love to hear their explanation for why she's named Dr. Watson if she's of Chinese descent - I'm certain Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is spinning in his grave. Would it not have made more sense to kill off Watson and make her Holmes' new assistant, especially since the story now takes place in New York City. Here's a thought... Dr. Watson is murdered and Holmes ends up in New York while trying to figure out who killed him. Here's hoping this show is a big flop and gets cancelled after 3 episodes and we never have to hear of it again.

In the new Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, Marvel decided to change with the times and have an African American as Spider-Man, but instead of making Peter Parker a black person, they killed him off and came up with a new African American character (Miles Morales) who is now Spider-Man. That's how it should be. You shouldn't be able to mess with character origins, Bruce Wayne cannot be African American, but there could be an African American Batman as long as his alter ego is someone else and not Bruce Wayne. You don't hear the French, the Indians or the Russians saying that Bruce Wayne is French, Hindu or Russian. Let him be white and enjoy the story. Thankfully when they do Indianise a white character he does become an Indian character, like in the short lived Spider-Man: India comic, Peter Parker became a dhoti wearing villager named Pavitr Prabhakar.

Like it or not the white man had the foresight to envision the infrastructure we have in most of the free world today. The industrial revolution, the internet superhighway, cars, aircrafts, television, radio, submarines, ships, coca cola, Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc. - were all dreamed up by white men and along the way they've been able to keep their culture and religion going strong whether it's through books, television, singers, dancers, comedians, radio or comic books, etc.

Indians, African Americans, Chinese, etc., we are brilliant yes, but we haven't done anything that has inspired others to copy us. Instead of mimicking them we should learn from them and apply the same to our own culture before it's too contaminated by the west and lost forever. You don't see the white man migrating to India or China and telling them to change their characters in books or films (I don't think at any time Devdas has been a white male) or Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. have been played by white actors.

Even when a white actor has played an African American character they've done so with black make-up on their face, they haven't changed the character to a white person. So, why then when we as minorities reach North America or Europe do we expect the white man to change his culture and beliefs to reflect our ethnicity. We are privileged that we have the opportunity to better ourselves and provide for future generation in the west, but let us not get ridiculous. The only way to stay Indian, African American, or Chinese is to practice our beliefs and traditions copying the west or changing characters in their stories to reflect our minorities isn't going to help any culture.

I guess it will be difficult to change the minds of billions of people to not be so consumed by the west or to be politically incorrect especially with politicians on the political correctness band wagon (because it helps them win elections when they support the African American, Indian, Hispanic, Chinese or the gay communities), but hopefully here's a start.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER: The above post is meant for entertainment purposes only; readers shouldn't take it seriously or interpret it as advice.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Top Ten Movie Themes

By Anant Mathur (September 26, 2012)
Music is the soul of any film when you hear a great musical score it lifts the film to another level and lingers in your memory long after you leave the cinema hall. Over the years there have been many wonderful themes to come out of films, below is a list of my 10 favourite movie themes:

10. Gone With The Wind (Tara's Theme) 
To this day Gone With The Wind is the most watched film on the Big Screen based on the number of tickets sold.

9. How The West Was Won
How The West Was Won was such a big film that it required 3 amazing Directors to make it.

8. Doctor Zhivago (Lara's Theme)
Based on a Russian novel, Doctor Zhivago was a massive hit when it was first released.

7. Terminator 2
My favourite effects movie T2 is still untouchable when it come to VFX and it was all done without CGI - the good old days.

6. Star Wars
George Lucas is a genius, he started the Star Wars saga with episode 4 and decades later he made episodes 1-3 as prequels.

5. Jaws
When Jaws was first released people were afraid of going into the water thanks mostly to its suspenseful theme.

4. James Bond
The theme from James Bond is as memorable as its popular phrases.

3. Indiana Jones
Although George Lucas didn't direct any of them, he was the brains behind the 4 Indiana Jones films. 

2. Love Story
This is one of my favourite romantic films, although most of the film uses orchestral compositions for the score, there are times in Love Story where you only hear a piano - no other instruments are used by composer Francis Lai the effect is fantastic.

1. Superman
The theme of Superman is so powerful it makes you believe that a man can fly. 

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.