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Do Bollywood films suck?

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xianjiro
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Do Bollywood films suck?

#81

Post by xianjiro » May 4th, 2018, 8:25 am

xianjiro on May 4 2018, 02:11:08 AM wrote:
joachimt on May 3 2018, 12:42:27 PM wrote:
xianjiro on May 3 2018, 03:38:02 AM wrote:my goal is to 'update' the list, though I'm guessing I'll just replace it on a regular interval rather than trying to compare and move titles. I'm guessing this list changes daily?
What do you mean by this? Replace the whole list like delete the old one and add it again? No need to do that. The easiest way to do is update the list using the tab "by IMDb Movie Url(s)". There you just remove all the urls and paste the list of urls for the update. Just a few clicks and all the changes in the list (places up and down, new) will be recorded automatically.
cool! thanks! :thumbsup:

With only the one tiny list up to now, I haven't really done much with lists so didn't really know how/what was possible (thus why I procrastinated) - think I'll do an update now as you suggest just to see how it takes, plus the sooner I develop a process, the sooner I'll get it honed down to make it as easy as possible.
done - and super easy - might even shoot for biweekly updates (not sure if anything actually changed or not)

btw, are you back from vacation? I wanted to wait until you'd settled back in before sharing the Commandment Keeper thing I have (we talked about it elsewhere) with you

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#82

Post by Onderhond » May 4th, 2018, 8:40 am

Mysterious Dude on May 3 2018, 09:12:45 AM wrote:It's hard to find the good ones using IMDB because so many of them have a rating of 8.0 or higher, but that doesn't seem to be connected to the actual quality in the films.
Yeah, that's not just Indian movies, it goes for American/Western (classics) too.

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#83

Post by matthewscott8 » May 4th, 2018, 10:14 am

When people talk about the cinema of the UK, they don't talk about Sex Lives of the Potato Men; with India, people are usually happy with throwaway comments about its worst films then they're done. It's a shame.

It doesn't help at all that great Indian films aren't shown much in repertory programmes, and haven't been presented in great dvd/blu-ray editions. For example as far as the Criterion Collection is concerned, Indian Cinema is Satyajit Ray and Merchant Ivory. What happened to Ritwik Ghatak, Uday Shankar, Bimal Roy, Yash Chopra, Mrinal Sen and Raj Kapoor?

Big sigh

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#84

Post by joachimt » December 17th, 2019, 6:28 pm

I watched Agneepath today. I really tried to go in open minded, not thinking I'm going to watch the next Bollywood turd. But I was so disappointed...... again. The whole script is a mess. The weird thing is, that it goes over so many things very very quickly without any chance of a builtup, so the viewer is never able to go along with the characters to feel anything they are feeling. But even though it steps over many things so fast, it still manages to last for almost 3 hours. So you think that's probably because of the songs, right? Well no, there aren't even that many songs in this one. The songs that are there are totally unfitted in the situation or the whole song and clip don't match the feel of the surrounding scenes. The most awful one was the disco song. How does it manage to reach almost 3 hours? First of all because it is repetitive. Secondly, at other times conversations are drawn out way too long. People are often saying the same thing over and over again in slightly different words. Lastly, the story never seem to end. The story itself is an outrage as well. The whole character-change of the courageous boy with a ideological father into a hoodlum is just too unrealistic. Oh right, he isn't a hoodlum. Sure, of course he is. Why this man is worshiped by so many is totally unclear and makes the movie come off as giving completely the wrong message, idealizing a hero who is actually a crook. So we end up with crook fighting crook with some corrupt policemen on the side. Don't get me started about all the goofs I spotted (and I'm not even good at spotting goofs). For example, the whole thing spans 25 years, but how is it possible that some people clearly aged 25 years and others look exactly the same? What about the moment when someone shouts "there he is!" and we see the silhouette of the hero running towards us with the setting sun behind him. It gives a beautiful view of a black silhouette against an orange background. But all the other shots of that scene are clearly in broad daylight. Come on! They are not even trying to make it look right.

IMDb-rating: 7.7
Probable rating from me according to Criticker: 8.0
My actual rating: 3
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#85

Post by flavo5000 » December 29th, 2019, 4:50 pm

dirty_score wrote:
January 23rd, 2018, 7:57 pm
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. finally fell from the IMDb's Top 250! :banana:


Now, with a little help from the hindu gods, if we could take out A Wednesday (#202) I could finally go for plat for the very first time!
Man, Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. was just not good. Like Patch Adams + gangsters + multiple pointless tonally inconsistent dance numbers.

A Wednesday on other hand is actually a decent thriller with no songs. I'd say it is actually worth a watch as compared to many Bollywood movies.

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#86

Post by flavo5000 » December 29th, 2019, 4:58 pm

Oh boy... I've never understood the over-inflated ratings for Bollywood movies. And I 100% agree with PeacefulAnarchy. The Bollywood movies on the IMDB Top 250 should not be compared to MCU-style blockbusters (now movies like the Dhoom series on the other hand are definitely more comparable to Hollywood summer blockbusters). Movies like Rang De Basaanti and Lagaan are intended to be serious, dramatic Oscar-contender style films, and the fact that they are so overly melodramatic, hammy and bloated with poor editing is why they receive so much flack.
Imagine for a moment if The Shawshank Redemption was 3.5 hours long and periodically broke out into song seemingly out of nowhere? There is no way in hell it would be even close to the Top 250 (it would honestly probably end up as some kind of cult film oddity).
Having said all of that, I am always trying to find good Bollywood movies. I haven't seen Gangs of Wasseypur (although I want to) but I have seen another of Anurag Kashyap's films No Smoking and did find that one to be one of the more interesting Bollywood movies I've seen. I've also seen many of the classic ones like Sholay and Mother India which were fine but could've used editing (Sholay in particular could've been amazing had it cut the unnecessary songs and toned down the slapstick).

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#87

Post by Onderhond » December 29th, 2019, 5:31 pm

flavo5000 wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 4:58 pm
and the fact that they are so overly melodramatic, hammy and bloated with poor editing is why they receive so much flack.
I don't think so.
flavo5000 wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 4:58 pm
Imagine for a moment if The Shawshank Redemption was 3.5 hours long and periodically broke out into song seemingly out of nowhere? There is no way in hell it would be even close to the Top 250 (it would honestly probably end up as some kind of cult film oddity).
The singing on the other hand is why I think they get so much flack. I mean, Shawshank is "melodramatic, hammy and bloated with poor editing" and it's the best film ever according to IMDb. :shrug:

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#88

Post by flavo5000 » December 29th, 2019, 10:04 pm

Onderhond wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 5:31 pm
flavo5000 wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 4:58 pm
and the fact that they are so overly melodramatic, hammy and bloated with poor editing is why they receive so much flack.
I don't think so.
flavo5000 wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 4:58 pm
Imagine for a moment if The Shawshank Redemption was 3.5 hours long and periodically broke out into song seemingly out of nowhere? There is no way in hell it would be even close to the Top 250 (it would honestly probably end up as some kind of cult film oddity).
The singing on the other hand is why I think they get so much flack. I mean, Shawshank is "melodramatic, hammy and bloated with poor editing" and it's the best film ever according to IMDb. :shrug:
Eh, on the scale of hammy and melodramatic, I'd put Shawshank at about a 7/10 and something like Like Stars on Earth at a solid 10/10. Every other shot of Amir Khan in that movie, his face is streaked with tears as he looks at the camera. Is Shawshank a little on the bloated side? Yea, but it's in large part due to the source material which is stays fairly faithful to. Darabont is still a solid director that knows how to put together a movie for maximum effect. Many Bollywood movies I've seen seem to lack basic fundamental understandings of how to shoot, edit or write a film, resulting in wild shifts in tone, jarring cuts and hackneyed rip offs of actual Hollywood in an attempt to mimic what they don't understand.

Take Ragini MMS for example, a pretty well known Bollywood horror movie from 2011 that got a bunch of sequels. Not only is the script a total mess and despite being just over 90 minutes is still manages to shoehorn a couple of out of place musical numbers in there, it is at times a blatant rip off of both Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch Project. It even almost recreates exact scenes from those movies just with new characters, kinda how that Great White movie from 1980 was a blatant rip off of Jaws, mimicking several scenes almost exactly.

Of course, poor rip offs of better movies is something Hollywood does too, so I don't wanna feel like I'm just picking on India.

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#89

Post by Onderhond » December 29th, 2019, 11:19 pm

flavo5000 wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 10:04 pm
Is Shawshank a little on the bloated side? Yea, but it's in large part due to the source material which is stays fairly faithful to.
Huh? You mean Stephen King's short story?

I get that Bollywood films are a bit crap to the Western eye, I'm definitely not a fan myself, but compared to many of Hollywood's crap, I don't see that much of a difference. The lack to be true to one genre and the musical bits are the biggest differences in my opinion, but those are mostly cultural. The IMDb list is full of junk, I don't think the Bollywood films stand out all that much.

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#90

Post by flavo5000 » December 29th, 2019, 11:29 pm

Onderhond wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 11:19 pm
flavo5000 wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 10:04 pm
Is Shawshank a little on the bloated side? Yea, but it's in large part due to the source material which is stays fairly faithful to.
Huh? You mean Stephen King's short story?

I get that Bollywood films are a bit crap to the Western eye, I'm definitely not a fan myself, but compared to many of Hollywood's crap, I don't see that much of a difference. The lack to be true to one genre and the musical bits are the biggest differences in my opinion, but those are mostly cultural. The IMDb list is full of junk, I don't think the Bollywood films stand out all that much.
It's a novella, not a short story at nearly 100 pages. The audiobook version is over 3 hours long. The movie is by and large pretty faithful to the novella although still cuts out some. And FYI, I'm not like a gigantic Shawshank fan either. I'm just saying, I feel like it's at least marginally better than some of what is stated as the greatest Bollywood films ever made. Also we've been picking on Shawshank (and really I think Forrest Gump is more deserving of being picked on as a ham-fisted, ludicrously plotted movie) but the reality is the Top 250 is still full of excellent Hollywood films too that are far better than any Bollywood movie I've seen including but not limited to: The Godfather films, 12 Angry Men, Pulp Fiction, The Good The Bad & The Ugly and Empire Strikes Back. And that's just in the top 20.

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#91

Post by Onderhond » December 29th, 2019, 11:35 pm

I have many of these films in the same range as most Bollywood films to be honest, none of them I would consider close to being decent. Hollywood films are generally speaking a bit more skilled in the technical department, they're also very dull, bland and uninspired. Tepid and slavish storytelling, something most Bollywood films don't have.

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#92

Post by flavo5000 » December 30th, 2019, 12:34 am

Onderhond wrote:
December 29th, 2019, 11:35 pm
I have many of these films in the same range as most Bollywood films to be honest, none of them I would consider close to being decent. Hollywood films are generally speaking a bit more skilled in the technical department, they're also very dull, bland and uninspired. Tepid and slavish storytelling, something most Bollywood films don't have.
I must have seen different Bollywood movies than you then. Aside from No Smoking, just about every Bollywood movie I've seen is highly predictable and incredibly uninspired, the only unpredictable element being the random musical numbers.

But I mean, at the end of the day, Bollywood movies are ridiculously popular so I guess somebody must like them. Just like how somebody must like Applebees and Nickelback despite no one I know claiming to like them.

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#93

Post by xianjiro » December 30th, 2019, 2:40 am

my understanding is the current 'unpredictableness' of the musical/dance numbers is a function of Indian film finance - pop music is an important source of funds used to make films and like other forms of product placement requires visibility. While in the west, we might be content with that soon-to-be hit tune coming from a character's stereo or iPod, the Indian model is to feature it with a dance number - either full blown production number or just the romantic leads romping across the landscape while singing the tune. Of course not translating the words for songs (in some, not all, films) can help fuel the disconnect, but I've also seen where the music is closely intertwined with the story. Like most things, there is a great degree of variation, but that said, Bollywood loves a wedding and you can almost smell the setup for the big wedding production number.

I too am always amazed at the high ratings - but it's clear that it's easier to give something one likes a high rating. I saw something recently, can't remember what but one of those big male stars (Amir Khan?) played an antihero and the comments on the film were of the "most favourite film ever" type. I was amazed and appalled and didn't feel that a star playing against type qualified a film either as great or by itself outweighed all the other faults in the production, but many comments weren't with me on that.

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#94

Post by Onderhond » December 30th, 2019, 12:00 pm

flavo5000 wrote:
December 30th, 2019, 12:34 am
Aside from No Smoking, just about every Bollywood movie I've seen is highly predictable and incredibly uninspired, the only unpredictable element being the random musical numbers.
They're all quite thick and sentimental, but the crazy trip through every genre imaginable that is embedded in just about every Bollywood film is quite unpredictable imo.
flavo5000 wrote:
December 30th, 2019, 12:34 am
Just like how somebody must like Applebees and Nickelback despite no one I know claiming to like them.
People from India like them. I've (accidently) ventured into India's film fandom a little bit and they are pretty crazy about film too, only our worlds don't seem to really mix (how many people from India on this board?), even though the internet is global. Not too surprising, since we gave them their own IMDb, so we wouldn't be running into them all the time <_<

I'm really not here to defend Bollywood films mind, I dislike most of them too. Just not any less/more than I dislike Hollywood cinema, or many of the established classics for that matter. I think the only thing that really bothers me is their length. I can handle bad films, but 180-210 minutes/film is a lot to take, even when they put every possible genre in there.

Another problem with Bollywood is that eclipses a lot of other films coming out of India. I've seen some pretty decent Indian films these past couple of years, but they get no attention outside of India because everyone here seems to hate Bollywood.

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#95

Post by joachimt » December 30th, 2019, 12:27 pm

Onderhond wrote:
December 30th, 2019, 12:00 pm
(how many people from India on this board?)
Two that I know of:
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#96

Post by xianjiro » December 30th, 2019, 7:24 pm

Onderhond wrote:
December 30th, 2019, 12:00 pm

how many people from India on this board?

Another problem with Bollywood is that eclipses a lot of other films coming out of India. I've seen some pretty decent Indian films these past couple of years, but they get no attention outside of India because everyone here seems to hate Bollywood.
there are a couple but for some reason :think: they keep quiet about it - also have seen many posts by (mostly one Indian iCMer) who is anything but a Bollywood fanboy

Of course what we call Bollywood eclipses other films ... just like those huge Hollywood blockbusters eclipse everything else produced if one isn't tuned into the right channels. One of the reasons I stopped watching TV news was the amount of time that a certain network was giving over to pushing its product as "newsworthy". Sorry, what color socks Actor X wore to the set of Spidermania today hardly qualifies as news even on the entertainment-only news programs. And a teaser about his love interest's new beau on the 6 o'clock news? Gimme a break!

Expensive garbage seems to require even bigger hype, often meant to counter the bad reviews this or that crapfest might be getting. They know how many tickets they have to sell.

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#97

Post by xianjiro » January 7th, 2020, 1:18 am

Just watched October which breaks the usual Bollywood mold mostly by having no production numbers or even love songs per se and by staying under two hours. It's currently #219 (falling two spots in the last week) on IMDb Top Rated Indian Movies. There is a wedding (in the background) that doesn't involve any of the characters and it seems pretty clear we're still meant to hit has emotions as possible though I thought it was better at poignant than funny.

Mostly I draw attention to it because it's different from what we commonly expect from a Bollywood film, I periodically stumble across such examples but haven't really thought to mention them before. But given that I try to see 2-3 'hits' from the Bollywood list a month, stumbling across them is a bit of a disappointment since clearly the list still leans heavily towards the musicals. I'm guessing I see no more than 2 'sedate' recent films through this list, but they are there.

It seems that there are those working in Mumbai who want to produce a more Western-style product: it's pretty obvious that the filmmakers have taken at least as many cues from Euro-American productions while still producing something that will be watched by the local audience. I don't know if this was some sort of Bolly-indie production or if studios are allowing some non-formula films through.

There are at least two other films from the list in my stack - will be interesting to see how they come in on Bollywoodness.

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#98

Post by xianjiro » January 7th, 2020, 1:45 am

Something I forgot to mention about October and other more recent Bollywood films: there seems to be a decided push to make them look more modern, but this is in addition to the format and style that I mentioned above. For example, in October, if the characters where speaking only English (or French or Swedish), the hospital scenes would have been virtually indistinguishable from a North American, British, Australian (or French or Swedish) hospital unless one is really familiar with the machinery. Yes, I'm sure there are serious differences if one knows what to look for, but it's more a sense that "We're not a third world hospital with witch doctors or magic." No, this is very much 21st Century medicine. And besides some local touches (women's dress for example) the hotel looks very much like it's western sister properties. Of course, one might think given that is usually the goal of a chain establishment, but someone made a decision to feature an American chain instead of an Indian one (though granted such could be a function of who was willing to partner and provide the type of access needed for the film, etc). But if one subscribes to the director is in control of everything that appears in the frame school of thought ... it's hard to brush off such a huge decision as mere coincidence.

Not saying that Bollywood is trying to shrug off its Indian-ness - far from it - but it does seem to want to show that they are just as modern as other nations. But again, this is just a sense I've been getting from more recent productions and I'm no where near devouring a trickle of what Bollywood produces.

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#99

Post by Fergenaprido » January 7th, 2020, 4:59 pm

I just watched Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) since it was showing on Mubi and is on 3 three lists. Reading some of the comments ahead of time, it seems this was one of the earlier films fitting the "Bollywood" formula.

It's a ridiculous bloated disaster with amateur editing, too many characters, hilariously bad action (and some bad acting), and a meandering plot.

It was also a lot of fun. Kind of the so-bad-its-good type of fun. It's almost 3 hours long, and my internet kept buffering, so it took about 5 hours to watch and I'm exhausted from it.

It has it's moments, it's cool to see a young Amitabh Bachchan, and I can definitely see why it's beloved by many people. You know how the film is going to end after the first 20 minutes, and then you just sit back and watch all of the random plot twists, sit through some mostly-not-terrible songs, suspend disbelief... and enjoy the ride. I did like the way the opening credits are done (about 20 minutes in) where they introduce the three title characters, and the final song is catchy and fight scene is silly fun.

Another one of those films that I would call "important, but not necessarily good".

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#100

Post by Lakigigar » January 7th, 2020, 6:09 pm

I've never seen a Bollywood or Indian movie, and i'm not interested in it.

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#101

Post by Cinepolis » January 30th, 2020, 12:04 am

"Main Hoon Na" is a solid movie.

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#102

Post by Lammetje » May 21st, 2020, 6:06 pm

xianjiro wrote:
December 21st, 2016, 12:21 pm
don't fall over each other rushing to see this one!Show
I watched this movie today and really liked it. :) I just might have a soft spot for Aamir. :$
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#103

Post by Lammetje » May 24th, 2020, 10:16 am

Maybe a couple of GIFs can convince y'all to watch this movie.
SpoilerShow
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More memorable quotesShow
PeacefulAnarchy wrote:Active topics is the devil. Please use the forums and subforums as intended and peruse all the topics nicely sorted by topic, not just the currently popular ones displayed in a jumbled mess.
maxwelldeux wrote:If you asked me to kill my wife and pets OR watch Minions, I'd check the runtime and inquire about sobriety requirements before providing an answer.
flaiky wrote::o :satstunned: :guns: :down: :facepalm: :yucky: :mw_confused: :pinch: :ph43r: :ermm: :sweat: :folded: tehe :cowbow: :think: :finger: :rip:
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#104

Post by RBG » May 24th, 2020, 10:38 am

Cinepolis wrote:
January 30th, 2020, 12:04 am
"Main Hoon Na" is a solid movie.
hooray. main hoon na is hilarious. i enjoy srk, he's a solid actor who doesn't mind sending up his own image. currently watching FAN (2016) which goes to a really dark place.

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he plays a dual role as his own obsessed fan and is actually scary! they used motion capture, he appears as himself and like 30 years ago

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also no songs in this one. might be why it bombed in india but it's becoming something of a cult film

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