Superheroes

The Incredible Hulk is the only superhero to rock the ‘homeless guy’ outfit – shredded pants, no shirt, no shoes. When Bruce Banner transforms into the Hulk, he usually grows so exponentially muscular and large, that his shirt is literally ripped into shreds. And his pants become shorts with inadvertent fringes on the bottom.

This often leads me to wonder: how come his pants never burst at the seams? That’s like the fault-line for any pair of trousers, right? Unless the green dude has some really weird vital stats, of course. He does seem to have an unlimited wardrobe of black trousers. Does his tailor receive special instructions to use tear-proof fabric for the butt region?

And why does L’Oreal never approach Bruce Banner to endorse cosmetics for stretch marks? Any woman on the planet would give an arm and a leg for the Hulk’s secret to perfect, marks-free skin.

Superman – Now everyone’s familiar with the most famous superhero’s most famous routine: sneaking into an empty alley or phone booth, ripping off the suit, shirt and tie (and presumably, the pants too), and breaking out the costume that is an ode to the primary colors.

The most talked about complaint about his outfit – red underwear over blue tights – was not what bothered me the most. Nor did Clark Kent’s laughable disguise (OMG, spectacles!). It’s the five feet long cape. Where does Kal-El tuck his cape while he is masquerading as Clark Kent? Into his trousers, I suppose. That must really get in the way whenever the son of Krypton needs to go potty.

Speaking of nature’s calls, what would Spiderman do if he suddenly had to go in the middle of a rescue operation? It’s not like his uniform has a discernible fly to speak of, right? Obviously it takes too long to get out of the spandex, take care of business, get back into the costume and then resume the chase sequence. That can work only if the bad guys have one leg each and are trying to get away on unicycles in rush hour traffic. There can only be one explanation: Spiderman’s real superpower is to hold the urge for several hours at a time. Take that, Nature!

 

Iron Man: Don’t even get me started on how he looks, when trying to take off using the mini-booster rocket thingies in his palms. It’s like striking a pose that says “I’m a pretty, pretty girl”. Let’s just agree that his only commendable superpower is to get Robert Downey Jr. to play him and move on.

He-Man was my favorite superhero during childhood for several reasons. One, his show was on Sunday mornings, so there was hardly any excuse for me to miss an episode (unlike Spidey who decided to show up only on weekday afternoons). Two, this guy has an actual weapon, which allowed me to brandish a stick and yell “GRAYSKULL!” a few thousand times a day.

But once I got thinking, I decided He-Man has the most pathetic superpower of all: the utter stupidity of all the people around him, who can’t see through his Prince Adam disguise. Prince Adam has a giant, green tiger for a pet. He-Man rides a saddled, masked, green super-tiger. Prince Adam has a blonde, feminine haircut. So does He-Man. Prince Adam wears a pink shirt and lavender trousers. AHA, but He-Man doesn’t! Hence He-Man and Prince Adam are two completely different people. The collective IQ of the planet of Eternia must be their biggest embarrassment. How else do you explain being terrorized by a hooded skeleton with a permanent, stupid grin on his face?

Batman – Now I like Batman, so I can’t really find a lot of shortcomings in his personality. Perfects his own weaponry, fights with his bare fists, no superpowers that he was born with or got bitten by. But if he gets rid of the ridiculous eyeliner, the world would be a much better place.

Wonder Woman – Invisible plane and lasso of truth. What funny stuff were her creators smoking when they drew up her arsenal? And for all the powers she’s got, she can’t afford enough fabric for herself? At least the Hulk has an excuse for being skimpily dressed.

 

India goes 3D

Vikram Bhatt’s Haunted 3D is being touted as India’s first stereoscopic 3D horror flick. Why the long hiatus in Indian 3D after movies like Chota Chetan and Jajantaram Mamantaram? One needs to wait no more, going by this long line-up from the Indian entertainment industry that’s coming your way, right out of the screen.

What’s Up? 3DDirector: Priyadarshan – India’s first 3D comedy

Priyadarshan will be teaming up with Salman Khan to deliver the laughs once more. While he vehemently denies any coincidental plot similarities with Hollywood comedies new or old, he pointed out that Khan’s biceps and abs will be there for all to enjoy in three-dimensional glory.

Dilwale Dulhaniya ko Dubai Le JayengeDirector: Karan Johar – India’s first 3D romantic thriller, NRI love story starring Shah Rukh Khan

So far you’ve only seen two sides of King Khan – the romantic and the dark persona. This time you get to see the third dimension. Set against the backdrop of human trafficking and the rich vs poor divide among Indians living in the UAE, this film is already gathering rave reviews at world previews. And best of all, it’s been affectionately dubbed “3DLJ” by the industry pundits.

3D Chashmeyy Baddoorr – Director: Farah Khan – India’s first 3D comedy remake

This modern-day adaptation of the Delhi-based comedy starring Farooq Sheikh and Deepti Naval will have Akshay Kumar paired up with Katrina Kaif once again. As always, Farah Khan has an interesting twist: as you can see from the title, the movie is about 3D movies in present-day Bollywood.

Boo! – Director: Ram Gopal Verma – India’s first 3D horror-thriller-gangster flick

RGV too has stuck his fingers into the 3D pie. His latest project will employ an innovative storytelling technique. “The story will play out backwards in time as well as space”, the iconic filmmaker says. “If the audience isn’t smart enough to get it, don’t blame me”.

Sholaayy 3D – Director: Farhan Akhtar – India’s first 3D movie with Amitabh Bachchan in it

Big B is expected to play Thakur in this latest re-imagining of the hit movie. Farhan Akhtar comments, “I originally went to see Amitabh uncle and read him a totally unrelated script. But throughout the time we were talking, I noticed he wasn’t moving his arms at all. That’s when it hit me!”

Mughal-3D-Azam – Director: Ashutosh Gowariker – India’s first 3D period film

The big boss of period filmmakers takes up the grand daddy of period films. Deepika Padukone has signed on to reprise the role of Madhubala, while Big B will play Akbar the Great himself. Ranbir Kapoor was originally scheduled to play Salim, but he has since dropped out of the film citing scheduling conflicts.

Taare Nazar Aa Gaye – Director: Aamir Khan – India’s first 3D entry for the Oscars

Aamir Khan wields the megaphone again for this moving story about a 5-year old girl who has a rare eye disorder because of which she cannot perceive depth. “We all take 3D for granted in our real lives”, the acclaimed actor wrote on his blog. “In this movie, the plight of such helpless children will be shown so realistically that everyone can experience what they go through. While the rest of the movie will be in 3D, the protagonist’s POV (point-of-view; industry term) will be shown in 2D. Audience may face some difficulty at first, adjusting to the difference by constantly taking off their 3D glasses and putting them back on, but it’s only a fraction of the inconvenience that these innocent souls go through every single day of their lives”.

Papa 3D – Director: Subhash Ghai – India’s first family drama in 3D

Ghai’s poster boy Jackie Shroff will play the titular character in this movie. The director had once famously claimed that “Black and White” would be his last movie. “But I was only talking about 2D movies then”, he claimed at a recent press conference. “I don’t understand why the media always tries to twist my words out of context. Seriously, if you want me to stop making movies, just let me know and I’ll retire happily”.

Paanchaali – Director: Mani Ratnam – India’s first Mani Ratnam movie in 3D

The critically acclaimed director from South India has taken up the story of Draupadi as the central theme of his latest venture. Set against the dark underbelly of street poker in Mumbai, the movie has Aishwarya Rai in what we believe is the role of the princess from Mahabharat. R. Madhavan plays one of 5 young men who have a crush on her, a la Pandavas. Abhishek Bachchan will be playing the role of a modern-day Dushasana and Hrithik Roshan will play Krrish, a well-to-do illusionist. The film will be simultaneously shot in Hindi, Bhojpuri and all four south Indian languages.

Kanth 3D – Director: Shankar – World’s first 3D Rajinikanth movie

In an interesting turn of events, big studios such as AVM, Eros International and even Dreamworks have been scrambling to produce this movie which hasn’t even turned up a single page of script yet. With lavish visuals from the FX team behind Avatar, this is expected to be the world’s most expensive movie and will include footage shot on the International Space Station!

Thiruda 3D – Director: Shruti Hassan – Kamal Hassan’s first 3D movie

This cleverly titled movie has been in development for the last 15 years and is finally seeing the light of the day on Pongal. The first-time director Shruti Hassan talks about her famous dad’s role in a recent interview: “In a metaphorical sense, he will play the length, breadth and depth of the film”

Seema Simham Prachandasenaa Reddy – Director: Puri Jagannath – Tollywood’s first 3D movie

Balakrishna has kicked off his first 3D project amid great fanfare last year, just before he announced his active entry into state politics. According to inside sources, production was halted after a few demo reels were filmed in order to give Balayya some time to travel abroad for another round of liposuction. It’s 3D after all!

Ruthikaa DD 3D – Director: Shakeela – India’s first softcoremallu film in 3D

Get ready for some grown-ups only entertainment in all three dimensions in this inappropriately titled movie from God’s own godforsaken country. Famous actress Shakeela will be directing, producing and playing the lead in this film which has run into several tiffs with the censor board right from the start.

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The small screen too will be getting its big share of 3D entertainment starting this year. Several projects have been green-lit across the country by many national and regional channels to bring the new dimension directly into your living rooms.*

CID 3DSony Entertainment Television – India’s first 3D crime series

“Daya, darwaza 3D mein tod do!” ‘Nuff said.

Kkoii to Dekkhooo, Pleezzz!Star Plus – India’s first 3D soap opera

Ekta Kapoor’s mighty pen has promised another decade of ultra-realistic family dynamics in this multi-starrer serial, set to begin shooting next July.

MaamiSun Network – South India’s first 3D soap opera

Radhika Sarathkumar’s Radaan Mediaworks will soon bring former screen siren Rambha to the television. At last report, Rambha has grown considerably in size after settling into a comfortable married life  away from the spotlight, which makes her an ideal launchpad for the show. Radhika did not mean the launchpad comment literally, according to a spokesperson for the DMK party.

*At this point, the Supreme Court has not ruled yet regarding the telecast of live cricket matches in 3D. The ESPN vs Star Cricket legal battle is now entering its second year.

Spoilers

Me: No! NO!! NO!!! DON’T TOUCH THAT!!!

Wife: The radio?

Me: Yes

Wife: Why not?

Me: They’ll read the news!

Wife: ???

Me: They’ll reveal who won the AWARDS!!

Wife: Oh…

Me: I’m going to stay away from all news sources today. No radio, no paper, no browsing. Nothing!

Wife: What will you do all day in the office then?

Me: Very funny

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It has been 1 hour and 15 minutes since that conversation in the car. Feels like ages ago. Time is like a diarrheic fat guy who keeps you nervously pacing outside the only usable bathroom in the vicinity. The more badly you need to go, the longer he takes. You know the feeling.

And the wife was right. How am I supposed to get through the day if I don’t surf the net? Well, I can get some work done for a change, but what’s the fun in that? The trick is to maximize income while minimizing effort. The motto of my generation. Anyway, I digress.

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Afternoon. I’ve been good thus far. No news, no blogs, no twitter, no work. And no email from anyone either. I checked my Gmail for the twentieth time in as many minutes. What’s wrong with everyone? Why does no one write to me? Don’t I have friends anymore? To HELL with all of you! My shopping list for my next visit home just got a lot shorter.

Finally a scapegoat crosses my path on Gtalk.

Me: dude. wassup.

Raj: hey dude. how’s life?

Me: nothing new, boss. just sitting here in the office, trying to while the time away…

Raj: bored, huh?

Me: you have no idea

Raj: watched the Oscars? Jeff Bridges won Best Actor

Me: DUUUUUUDE!!!!! Stop! STOP! RIGHT NOW! STOP TYPING

Raj: …

Me: I didn’t catch the show last night, man. I’m trying to stay away from all the ‘spoiler’ news so I can go stream it tonight once I reach home

Raj: sorry, dude. didn’t know

Me: that’s ok. i should’ve started with a  warning

Raj: how come YOU didn’t watch it, dude? in the US too! even i watched it live, all the way from india

Me: i know, i know… i didn’t bother to get a tv, thinking my laptop will be good enough for everything. i forgot there was something called live television 😦

Raj: so you have absolutely no idea as to who won what, etc?

Me: no, man. and please don’t ruin it for me…

Raj: so guess which movie won the Oscar last night 😀 😀 😀

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Like I said, I have no friends.

Evening. At last. Picked up wife at her office. She proposes eating out. Says ‘too hungry to cook’. I manage to sell the idea of the nearest pizza place. Plan: order, grab a bite, quick exit. Walking in, looking up… HOLY CRAP, there’s a TV here! The next hour was painfully long. Wife has already caught up on all the news at her office. So I sit facing a window. That’s reflecting the idiot box. Aw, hell!

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Wife: I still can’t understand why Hurt Locker… (gasp!)

Me: !!!!

Wife: …

Me: MY ENTIRE DAY!!! Aaaaarrrggghhh!

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Home. Laptop. Oscars.com. Videos. Play.

Weird-looking chick: Welcome to the 2010 Oscars Red Carpet…. blah, blah, blah…

Funny-looking dude: For the first time in history, we are streaming the entire ceremony LIVE! Which means RIGHT NOW, you could be watching this on your computer or mobile phone!

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Palm. Forehead. Slap! Repeat.

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Spoiler Alert

Wife: I can’t watch this anymore. You have GOT to tell me what happens towards the end. PLEASE!!

Me: You see now why I never watch horror movies with her? Why don’t you just tell her what happens?

Bro: What about YOU? You don’t want any spoilers, right?

Me: Of course not. Let me turn away and then you can tell her

Bro: Okay. If I nod, it means they’ll make it. If I shake my head, it means they won’t. Alright?

Wife: Sounds good

Me: Wait, wait! Let me look away while you ruin the suspense for her

(2 seconds later)

Wife: REALLY??? Oh my GOD, NOOOOO!!!

RIP, MJ

I am not a fanatic. Far from it. Disclaimer ends here.

We happened to watch ‘This Is It’ recently and were impressed beyond all expectations.

Michael Jackson’s hit numbers over the years were quite catchy; you can’t argue with that. Unless you are one of those who don’t listen to music (which means you have to stop reading this right now and never, ever, EVER talk to normal people. Weirdo)

How many of us haven’t found ourselves humming Bad or Remember the Time at some point in our lives? Okay, let me not get carried away into writing an obituary here. I’ll skip ahead to what I wanted to say. Go watch the movie if you like (or LIKED) his hits. For two reasons:

1. Defying expectations, MJ could still belt out all his tunes exactly the way they sounded on our walkmans all those years ago. Different songs from different decades, different tones and vocal patterns – he matched them all to perfection. I was half-expecting to see him lip-syncing actually, but he clearly saw that coming and put those doubts to rest in the very first scene.

2. I am no dancer myself (ask anyone with eyes), but I know a good performance when I see one. MJ kept pace with the young, extremely talented back-up dancers who were particularly picked for this concert series. At his age. No mean feat.

And there was a third reason too, but it was my own. I wanted to see for myself what it feels like to sit in a hall full of fans watching the world’s most famous artist sing and dance, expecting an electric atmosphere of cheering and applause. If you too are interested, then do yourself a favor and go watch it anytime other than a Saturday morning, unless you too want to go “This is so NOT it”, like I did.