Monday Morning Questions, First Week of June!

Happy June!  I am in my new apartment, everything is better!  Okay, my books and DVDs are still in boxes, but my clothes and dishes are put away.  And I am ready for questions!  So long as they don’t rely on me being able to reference something in a book or DVD.

As always, you can ask me anything, from the personal (“what DVD do you most want to get out of your boxes?”) to the specific factual if you are new to the films and have a question (“why are there so few DVDs of Indian films available now?”) to the general discussion question (“is it good or bad that there are more streaming and fewer DVD options?”).

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  If there is a question you want to answer, just wait for me to respond, and then you are welcome to leap in and join the discussion.

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75 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions, First Week of June!

    • If you search my archives, you should see a review of J & J somewhere. I don’t remember exactly how I referenced DDLJ, but there are certainly things to compare it to, if nothing else the idea of a couple meeting and romancing overseas.

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    • Yes, you seemed a little focused on what the movie was not rather than what it was, but it sounds like you enjoyed it.

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      • Yes, i enjoyed it. Finally a good DCEU movie. MOVIE that got feminism right. U like feminism or with some criteria. If it fulfils ur criteria of feminism then watch it.
        I know that there is next tp none chance that u or anyone else over here will watch it.
        But it is my duty to suggest it.

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  1. Also, wanted to share 2 upcomig movies
    Punjabi remake of Sairat
    English movie on son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Duleep singh, starring Punjabi legend Satinder Sartaj.

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  2. Please do delve into the issues with less DVD availability of Indian films. I know that streaming-first is starting to be an issue but I’ve been waiting for Freaky Ali forever! Also Baar Baar Dekho finally came out on DVD this week…weird. Also, Sonali Cable is one I don’t know if I’ll ever get on DVD. And OK Kanmani is also hard to find!

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    • I asked my local movie store guy about this recently, and he said it has to do with rights sales. Which blew my mind and made me start thinking about it in a whole different way.

      In America, thanks to the horizontal integration of our major media groups, the same company makes and releases the DVDs as made the film. The question is, “can we make enough of a profit to justify the investment in digitizing this film?” Usually the answer is “yes, why not?” The only cost is the actual manufacture, which is super cheap for DVDs (why they became so popular in the first place, movie studios could crank out thousands for the same cost as 100s of VHS tapes, and then wildly inflate the retail cost). So you might as well release a few hundred thousand copies of every single film you produce, and make a modest profit on DVD sales to go with your modest profit on box office tickets.

      In India, the only company that works this way is Yash Raj, and even they usually partner with someone like Sony for the release. Every other producer, they are looking to make money by selling the DVD rights, just like they sell the distribution rights. Which means the DVD company (Eros, Sony, Yash Raj, whoever) isn’t just looking at “sales – cost of manufacture = profit”, they are looking at “sales – (cost of manufacture + cost of purchasing rights) = profit”.

      So this loooooooooooong delay in DVD releases is about bargaining. The producer wants to sell the rights ASAP, especially for a bad film, in order to try to recoup their loss. So they offer up the rights, at as high as they can make it. The DVD distributors laugh in their faces, because this is a terrible movie that no one wants to see. So the producer lowers their asking price, the DVD distributors still aren’t interested, and back and forth and back and forth like trying to negotiate the price for a rickshaw ride. And then, finally, they find a middle ground, the rights are purchased, and the DVD can be on the shelves in like a week.

      Or else no one ever wants the rights. DVD companies have that option, to just say “nah, we aren’t interested, no matter how low you make it go we will never be able to make a profit and we don’t care about the overall profile and health of your production studio”. Whereas, in America, even if it is a terrible terrible movie that no one will want to buy, the studio still has an interest in getting it out there on the shelves and on Amazon just to support their company health.

      On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 8:11 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Great synopsis! I know we had a related exchange elsewhere on the site about how streaming is affecting release of DVDs, too. My initial complaint was that it used to be so great when Indian films would release to DVDs faster than American films. Now I see that trend slowing down (not completely, films like The Gazi Attack and Begum Jaan came out superfast…I think for the reason you stated above).

        I’m starting to have an existential crisis about my DVD collection because I know that they are not permanent and disc rot is a real thing, but I don’t want to move to digital because I like tangibles and hate migrating files and/or monitoring things in the cloud.

        But twice I have encountered disc rot/disc manufacturer’s defects and since I rewatch my Indian DVDs so much more than my non-Indian DVDs I’m finally starting to notice this more. I had to rebuy my copy of ADHM already!

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        • I’m having a similar crisis! Paheli and Om Shanti Om are the movies I have had to buy over and over again. Not from rot or over watching, but because I think there was a flaw in the manufacturing of them. Plus, so many films are only available for download, not streaming.

          My laptop currently is on its last legs, but maybe I should invest in an external hard drive just for downloading movies and be like those young people. Especially since even the streaming services tend to ebb and flow in what is available, but they let you download them for forever.

          On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 1:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I’m feeling somewhat devilish, so feel I should ask you something that does require you to reference your books or dvd’s. 🙂 But I can’t think of anything. So you’re safe. 🙂

    So I will instead ask you if you have adequate storage space for all your books and dvd’s, and how you estimated that before you moved.

    Let me ask something about Bahubali, too. Why do you think it has inspired so many people (not just you, and not just here) to write fan fiction about it? Has that happened to you with any other Indian film, even your beloved DDLJ? Does the fact that so many people want to write their own versions of the story, instead of what was shown in the films, mean that the films were unsatisfactory in some way, or that they were so satisfactory that viewers don’t want to come out of that world?

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    • I do not have adequate storage space, but I knew that before I moved. I had 6 bookshelves, 3 family heirlooms that are really nice and really well-made, and 3 cheap ugly things that I picked up at the Salvation Army. I decided to get rid of the cheap ones instead of paying the movers to move them, and then take my time trying to find nicer ones after I moved in.

      For Bahubali, I think it is because the world is so rich, it feels like there are so many stories in it, not just our main characters. DDLJ, for instance, had a very small world. There were Raj and Simran, whose story was completely finished by the end. And even the other characters, Farida’s character had resolution on her guilt as a mother and worry over her daughter’s future, Chutki is going to have more opportunities than her sister did, Amrish Puri has finally resolved his East-West and patriarchal issues, and everyone else in the film kind of didn’t feel like real people, they were just there to support our main characters.

      The only other film I can think of like Bahubali in terms of feeling so rich, is Dear Zindagi. Totally different kind of movie, but had that same feeling that every single person onscreen could be having their own story off to the side, that our main characters’ stories and conflicts and challenges would continue after the film was over, that this wasn’t just the beginning and the end of it all, but part of some vast whole.

      On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 8:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Here is thetrailer of Black prince starring Punjabi legend Satinder Sartaj showing story of last emperor of Sikh Empire

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    • It’s like 2 weeks that I’m trying to watch Sairat, and have seen like only 30 minutes, but I can say that girl in punjabi version is much prettier, and , what most important – have better voice that the Marathi girl. Man, with every word Marathi girl says I wonder why she hasn’t been dubbed. But I like the original boy much more than his punjabi version.

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      • I still haven’t even attempted Sairat. Although I did finally finish the two Malayalam DVDs from the library that I have already renewed twice last night.

        On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 3:00 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Which malayalam movies have you seen?
          I’m so curious about movies your sister bought in Chennai. Will you write about it soon?

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          • The Malayalam movies were random ones that suddenly showed up at my library, I don’t know why but they made a big purchase of Malayalam films recently. Both were okay, not totally mind blowing “you must watch!” kind of things.

            For the Chennai purchase, I should know by the end of this week! My sister wants to keep it a surprise and deliver in person, so I don’t know what she got either and I am super curious too.

            On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 4:05 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I would like to say that I dont have high hopes from this movie. I am sure that Sairat will be a better movie
        Regarding hero, I agree with u. Harish Verma wluld have been a better choice than Ninja. Last year, some other singers tried their hand in acting. Sippy Gill and Happy Raikoti are much liked singers but their acting ventures were a failure last year. Ninja isn’t even as much popular as they are

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      • That was surprising. I thought I wont find anyone who will be interested in it over here.
        But congrats on watching it
        Please read my review and comment if u like it.
        Hope u like the movie. And i dont feel stupid for writing a wrong review. Hahaha

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  5. Some more old songs



    I think that they are enough. I dont think that u will be watching anyone of them but worth sharing old gems

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    • Oh boy, I haven’t really looked past Tubelight! Let me cheat and check the “upcoming releases” list on Wikipedia.

      If we are talking really really excited, not just “I guess I will watch it” (that’s the category Raabta falls into), then it is really just Tubelight and Shahrukh’s next film in Hindi. And Judwaa 2 if we extend into September. Otherwise, Mom looks interesting, Reloaded (the Siddharth-Jacqueline action movie) looks fun, and I’m curious to see Sanjay’s return in Bhoomi.

      And in regional, I am excited for Nivin’s new movie (whenever it comes out).

      On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 10:04 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I use this wiki page, too, and it can be fluid but it’s good for the basics.

            I’m still waiting to see some of the other big films of this year and even last (like Bahubali 2 and others…I am obsessed with seeing Freaky Ali for some reason…Tin Cup with Nawazuddin Siddiqui?…I’m there!). But I’m most excited about these recent and upcoming films: Mere Pyari Bindu, Half-Girlfriend, A Death in the Gunj, Raabta, Chef, Mubarakan (I don’t normally like Bazmee’s films but Arjun and Anil could be very fun!), and The Ring.

            I really need to start following the new releases in Malayalam and other industries. I guess I kind of care about Super Singh, but it does look too much like Flying Jatt and that was not interesting to me at all. I want to see Dilijit Dosanjh build on his under-tapped dramatic skills.

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          • Oh, that reminds me I still haven’t answered your DVD question!

            On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 11:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Super singh. First ever Punjabi superhero movie.
      I wpuld have suggeated Saragarhi but since, u have not seen Hacksaw ridge I cant

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    • I also want to comment on ur Jatt and juliet review
      U said u didnt like comedy in it. But jatt and juliet is a comedy movie
      It succeeded due to comedy. There can be a reason that jokes that sounds funny in Punjabi wont look funny in other langauge. But jatt and juliet is a funny movie.
      I am.afraid that i wont like carry on jatta. It is more comedic. Dont watch it.

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    • Looks like south is up for a treat this time. Monsoons just entered India and summer holidays finished. The first one in the row in DJ movie from allu arjun. Looks like dhanush, ajit and two others are coming this month. But the most exciting presentation this time comes from Hollywood with number of movies on row.
      Real spice starts in aug-sept time. Mahesh’s Spider in clash with 2.0 in clash with vishwaroopam 2 and one other movie from Tamil.
      Swami Vivekananda movie from venkatesh is wrapped up. Jai lavakusha and lie are the two movies to look out for in Telugu after sep and if all goes well prabhaaas return with saaho in Dec.
      Meanwhile look out for movie nakshatram. I hear good things about it. And Vikram’s new movie is very close to release. Saw it’s trailer, it’s awesome.

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      • Is the Dhanush movie VIP 2? Because I still haven’t seen 1.

        Definitely interested in Spyder and 2.0, maybe not Vishwarapum because I’m not really big on Kamal Haasan. Very very interested in a movie on Swami Vivekananda, mostly because I am hoping for scenes in Chicago.

        On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 10:55 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yeah, Dhanush’s movie that’s coming out soon is VIP 2. And this one looks like an actual sequel (as in continuation of the story) since the original heroine is back.

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          • Well then I better get on watching VIP 1!

            On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 11:07 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Meanwhile Margaret, Rana is coming up with an exciting movie ‘Nene Arjun, ‘Nene Mantri’, about politician and his corrupt politics. The name translates exactly as “I am the king and I am the minister”, roughly translates into ” I am the president , and also the Senate”. Check it out. It is also july-aug release.

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          • I’m so glad Rana’s career is chugging along! Prabhas, of course, sacrificed the most for Bahubali, but Rana sacrificed as well (several years worth of career time that could have been in another movie, and all to play the second lead/villain). So it’s great to know that he has other films lined up and will be able to take advantage of the Bahubali bump.

            On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 2:59 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I doubt Saaho will come out this year; I heard they’re targeting either April/May of 2018.

        “Swami Vivekananda movie from venkatesh is wrapped up.” What’s this? I didn’t realize that Venkatesh started another movie after Guru.

        “Mahesh’s Spider in clash with 2.0” Didn’t 2.0 move to next year? Anyway, it was supposed to come out for Diwali, not Dussehra like Spyder.

        “Looks like dhanush, ajit and two others are coming this month.” Ajith’s next, Vivegam, is coming in August. I think Simbu’s next movie is coming this month though.

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        • Saaho director said it is aimed at Dec 2017 release. As typical shoot with no big sets to build, will finish shooting like all movies in 3 or 4 schedules 25-30 days each. Which means shooting will be finished in 100 days. That still gives saaho 3-4 months benefit for CGI. So probable Dec release. But insiders say financiers still haven’t decided casting and other things.

          Swami Vivekananda was announced long before guru. It kept getting delayed. I don’t know if they will release it or it will suffer same fate as Rudramadevi.

          I am a little shady in details since I am not Tamil but I do watch out trailers and stuff. So apologies for any wrong info.
          I am really interested in VIP2 as the first one was so good.
          2.0 is still in have for Diwali so Sept release. Another Jamal movie also almost finished filming it seems. Looks like kamal has two movies this year.

          I am actually curious for Raabta movie. I am surprised none is talking about it here.

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          • I think we talked about it a little back when the first trailer came out, but for some reason no one was super excited. I will probably see it in theaters on Friday and write a review, I’ll let you know if it turned out to be mind-blowing.

            But for now, the heroine, and the Magadheera-rehashed plot, and the pallid soundtrack, all just kind of make me interested, but not excited, you know?

            I do like Sushant, and the little glimpses of his performance in the trailer intrigue me, but the other elements just don’t seem that interesting.

            On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 2:45 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • The flashback scenes don’t look fancy, they look barbaric. That’s putting me odd too. Since this blog is mostly on Hindi movies, I was expecting more excitement. Especially after stellar performance like detective byomkesh bakshi.

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          • There just isn’t much to get excited about now in Hindi film, you know? Someone (maybe Niki?) said that the spring is traditionally a big time for Telugu releases. It isn’t so much for Hindi, Eid and then Independence Day, and then Diwale, and then Christmas, and then Republic Day, and then Valentine’s are the big ones.

            Mere Pyari Bindu was kind of interesting to see the promos for, but didn’t get much buzz and didn’t have any really big names attached, Half-Girlfriend was exciting until we all saw the trailers and got kind of turned off. And now Raabta feels the same, okay I guess, but not really new feeling.

            Tubelight, sure, although even that feels a bit like Bajrangi Bhaijaan redone. And we’ve yet to see anything besides a poster for Shahrukh’s next.

            Or, maybe I am just feeling all lazy and can’t really bring myself to get excited about anything right now! Or maybe Bahubali 2 exhausted all my excitement. One of those things.

            On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 3:03 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • If they’ll be ready for December 2017 why wouldn’t they just wait a while and release the movie for Sankranthi which is the most lucrative release period for Telugu films? It’s a movie with a huge budget, I’m sure they’ll take their time and make sure it’s top-notch quality wise.

            Also 2.0 is coming out on Republic Day 2018. Also Diwali is in October/November, not September. By the way, here’s Taran Adarsh’s tweet about it.

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    • I’m mainly looking forward to Allu Arjun’s DJ and Nani’s next, Ninnu Kori. Also I’d maybe want to see Jagga Jasoos if it actually comes out 🙂

      August and September are more exciting for me as I’m really looking forward to Naga Chaitanya’s next, Judwaa 2, and Spyder. I’m also interested in the Shahrukh-Imtiaz Ali movie and Sukumar’s next movie starring Ram Charan.

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      • It’s funny that July is so empty this year. Was there something there that got reschedule and everyone is trying to avoid it? Or do you think it is just because Tubelight comes at the beginning, and Shahrukh’s next comes at the end?

        On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 11:21 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • It’s probably because of Tubelight and Shahrukh’s next. But there are some big-ish movies in that gap, the only thing is that they don’t seem very interesting. Jagga Jasoos is pretty big, Tiger Shroff’s Munna Michael is coming out as well, and there is also Mubarakan with Anil and Arjun Kapoor.

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          • I am so pessimistic about Jagga Jasoos that I’m not even including it in the “big release” list. I am just assuming that it will be another massive embarrassing failure from Ranbir.

            The other 2 I am less pessimistic about, but it feels like they can’t be more than modest hits, you know? Toilet:Ek Prem Katha, I have the same feeling. It’s not going to break records or be shockingly original or anything else. It’s just going to be a nice reliable box office winner.

            On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 11:30 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • My feeling about Jagga Jasoos is that it’s going to be one of those critically acclaimed movies that the multiplex audience likes but nothing more. I don’t think it will do well financially though. It’s being made on a huge budget and I’m sure the interest has piled up over the four years of production.

            Yeah, I think Munna Michael and Mubarakan will be around the range of how Dishoom did last year. I agree with you about Toilet: Ek Prem Katha as well.

            By the way, Sidharth’s next movie with Jacqueline got renamed from Reload to A Gentleman. Have you seen this happen before? I mean a movie being randomly renamed after announcing a name already.

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          • Oh yeah, movies are constantly being renamed. R…Rajkumar was one. It was going to be Rambo Rajkumar, but then that was too close to the title of a Saif movie (which ended up being a flop) that was going out around the same time, so after going back and forth on options, they went with just “R….”.

            There’s all kinds of stories like that, where there is some bad association with the title, or it conflicts with something else, or something. Ram Gopal Verma ki Aag, for instance. It was going to be “Sholay”, but then Salim-Javed went to court about it (ending a decades long coolness between them) and it was changed first to “Ram Gopal Verma ki Sholay”, but then that was felt to be too close still, so it changed again to “Ram Gopal Verma ki Aag”.

            Same kind of thing happened with Ram-Leela, some religious group went to court to make it be a longer version of the title so it wouldn’t seem like it was a reference to a Ramleela. Billu Barber had to change to “Billu” because some barbers group sued them.

            And, of course, there are the random superstitious numerology changes to titles, which drive me insane because they are so hard to spell. Like, “Krazzy 4”. WHY????

            On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 12:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • But I thought R…Rajkumar’s name was changes due to some copyright problems with the name Rambo.

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          • I could believe that, I could believe that was a cover story and the real reason was because they didn’t want to conflict with Saif. I could also believe that there were two cover stories, and the real-real reason was that Prabhudeva’s astrologer told him to change it.

            On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 2:17 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Here’s a weird question…why do people in Indian movies always knock (or ring the door bell) at their own homes? Don’t they have keys? Watching Naam Shabana and it just happened and I realized I see this a lot.

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    • It seemed odd to me too, until I watched Chalte Chalte and there was one moment in the “sad” song where it all fell into place. Shahrukh arrives home, and is leaning on the doorbell, until the neighbor pops out to check, and then Shahrukh sort of smiles and pulls out his keys. Part of what was making him sad just then, and making his neighbor sympathetic, was that he had to use his keys, instead of just ringing the bell.

      The doorbell means you have someone at home to greet you, it’s because coming home is an occasion to be welcomed back into the family fold, not to just sneak in with your own keys. I suppose it could also be related back to the idea that the woman of the family greets you with the whole blessing ceremony when you return home, but it feels more like it is just a generally different concept of home, that it’s not just about getting in the door, but about being welcomed in.

      Oh, and also, Indian household safety standards are very different from American, so if there is someone home, they probably have a bar across the door that has to be released from the inside, not just with a key.

      On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 7:04 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Do you think Tiger Shroff will have a long career? I just watched the Munna Michael trailer and it might be the first movie with him I’m kind of interested in watching (mostly due to Nawazuddin Siddiqui and the admittedly strong dance scenes). I turned both Heropanti and Baaghi off about 20 minutes in and Flying Jatt I didn’t even attempt. I guess Tiger’s handsome but I don’t personally think so and his dancing and action abilities are top notch. There’s just something about the whole package and his weird hero worship of Hrithik that I can’t stand. And don’t get me started on the misguided Rambo remake.

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    • I don’t know about Tiger. Like you say, he’s handsome enough, and very good at dancing and action, but there isn’t really anything else there. It could be that he is just waiting for that one film where everything clicks into place, maybe he will keep plowing through all these and then take something a bit against type and end up jumping to another level. Or maybe this is just his level, in which case I see him lasting maybe another 5 years and then fading away. Zayed khan, Fareed Khan, Viviek Oboroi, that kind of career.

      But right now, only a few years and a few films in, I am trying to with hold judgement. I wrote Varun off after Student of the Year, and then he blew me away in Humpty Sharma.

      On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 8:44 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I’m trying to withhold judgment, too, but I am inclined to hope that he is a flash in the pan! Vivek Oberoi is a fascinating case for me. I’ve never been a fan, but he is somewhat talented and it’s kind of sad that his off screen scandals curtailed his career. His role in Bank Chor looks kind of fun and I might watch it just for that.

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    • He will ruin Rambo. Rambo was first Hollywood movie that I saw. It was first movie that made me cry. I just cant see my nostalgia being insulted like this. First movie that i got on DVD. First hollywood movie that me and my mother watched together.she was also angry at this choice. Rambo series is something that my friends and cousins watch with meTHere is popular punjabi song Rambo. Rambo is symbol of masculinity in my area not Raj. I will have to disconnect myself completely from Bollywood before this trailer comes.
      And that movie will be praised on this blog. That will be atrocious. It will be called more watchable than first blood.

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