Thursday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Thinking and Watching the Day After a Holiday?

Happy 5th!  I’m right now driving from the vacation house to work directly, which means I have to bring Dog Hazel to work with me.  But it’s okay, because all my coworkers are in love with her and my boss is out of town.  This is Wednesday Watching a day late, because yesterday was a holiday.

I’ll start!

Reading: It’s super hot and oppressive, so I’m going with comic books.  Massive Fox Trot anthology, perfect hot weather reading.

Thinking: Is it time to try socializing Dog Hazel?  The rescue people said she absolutely could not be with other dogs, too scared.  But now she is all healthy and beautiful and loved, maybe she will be less spooked?


(This is her when another dog enters the yard next door and I’m right there to tell her it’s okay.  I don’t know, she looks kind of cautiously possibly open to making friends)

Watching: Incredibles 2 with my Dad!  We’ve been trying to schedule this since Father’s Day, and the hot weather on the 4th gave us a strong encouragement to spend 2 hours in a movie theater.


Question for you:

What did you do for the 4th?

I did almost nothing.  I drove up to our vacation house in a tiny town after work on Tuesday.  The town did their big blow out for the 4th (parade with every fire engine for every volunteer fire department in the county, always makes me nervous about what will happen if there is a fire) over the weekend but on the actual day there was no parade or fire works or anything.  So it was just a kind of pleasant day off in the middle of the week.  I spent it sitting on the porch reading, watching a movie with my Dad, and jumping in and out of the lake because it was toooooooooooo hot.

34 thoughts on “Thursday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Thinking and Watching the Day After a Holiday?

  1. The 4th is my hubby’s birthday and he spent the day ferrying his older brother from a hospital to a brain injury rehabilitation unit. It was hard work. So we went out for a birthday lunch today. I haven’t seen a lot of Indian cinema over the last couple of months. Nothing in the cinema since Hichki 😢. Spent much of May watching 6 seasons of Suits on Netflix. Did some rewatches, again on Netflix, Aiyyaa and Piku 🙂. Managed to get a cheap subscription to ALTBalaji after Aamir Khan mentioned Test Case – a good series, Fauji for grown-ups – and am now watching Dev DD – a feisty girl.
    On Amazon Prime – Bombay Summer – a low-key, slice of life movie with the wonderful Tannishtha Chatterjee; The Road to Ladakh – a short movie with Irrfan Khan. The series Inside Edge – hmmm, started to watch but when Vivek Oberoi handcuffs Richa Chadha to a balcony railing and says menacingly ‘I possess you’ I thought nup and found something else to watch.

    So am now waiting for Sacred Games and season 7 of Suits.


    • That doesn’t sound like a fun birthday at all! I’m glad you had a second celebration today.

      Piku and Aiyyaa are both great rewatches, there are so many little things to notice that you may not have seen on the first go round.

      And I will be super interested in your take on Sacred Games! It sounds like you have been watching a lot of these limited series type things and can give us a good idea how it relates to the rest of them.

      On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 8:24 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • And I’ve watched other things on Netflix – 2nd season of Israeli series Fauda, 4th season of Line of Duty, am pacing myself through Israeli series Hostages and French series The Forest. For light relief after all the crime/spy drama I’ll watch an episode of Nailed It or Queer Eye…

        Have seen first ep of Sacred Games – it is gripping – but will pace myself…


        • I don’t think I will have your self control, I expect I will start Sacred Games and then just keep watching until I finish.

          On Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 8:33 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. My family and I did very traditional 4th things: cleaned the front yard, grilled and then watched fireworks from the hillside above our house. Our neighborhood goes insane for the 4th so there was a lot to see. Then I finished watching Dil Dhadkne Do. I really enjoyed it! I didn’t love it (the voiceover was dumb) but it was solidly entertaining. Anil was fantastic in it. He has aged so well and if you just knew his younger persona you’d never have predicted it. Priyanka is indeed good in it as everyone has said though her public persona is still off-putting as hell.


    • I am positive that the Akhtar’s asked Aamir to do the voice over as like a clever little thing, and then of course Aamir got really into it and insisted on rewrites and it turned into this massive film long thing. oh Aamir.

      But so glad you appreciated Anil! And I assume you also noticed Shefali Shah? The actress who played Anil’s wife? She’s just been quietly around for decades, and she is brilliant. Oh, and Rahul Bose! Artier actor who sometimes does mainstream stuff, also always interesting. Rahul Bose’s mother, Zarina Wahab, is another one like that. Really it is a wonderful movie for combining these off-beat art actors with mainstream and upping everyone’s game.

      Here’s my review (in case you want it and don’t want to dig through the archives):

      On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 10:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Shefali was great! She has wonderfully expressive eyes and also good comedic timing. She and Anil played off each other really well, he was the big movie star but she held the spotlight in her own way in every scene they had together.

        Rahul Bose did a great job of sympathizing with his unlikeable character, esp. at the end when he’s resigned to Priyanka leaving him.

        Farhan Akhtar didn’t have enough to do though I just look at his Wiki page and HOLY CRAP, he directed Dil Chahta Hai??? And wrote/produced/directed the Don movies?? And so much more. I’m still so new to all this, I knew nothing about him and he turns out to be this insane talent.


        • Oh, you don’t know my Farhan vendetta. Actually, I should give you a run down on that whole family.

          In the 1970s, Javed Akhtar was a brilliant screenwriter, part of the Salim-Javed team with Salim Khan (Salman’s father). Javed fell in love with Honey Irani, a young former child actor turned comic actress. Honey Irani had two sisters, Daisy (former major star as a child) and another one I can’t remember the name of. The not-Daisy sister was married to a struggling producer.

          By the late 80s, Javed was a serious alcoholic and Honey left him, taking her two kids Farhan and Zoya with her. She ended up writing scripts too, mostly for Yash Raj, to help support herself and her kids. At the same time, the not-Daisy sister’s marriage also fell apart and she ended up moving in with Honey too, bringing along her two kids, Farah and Sajid Khan.

          Javed got clean and remarried Shabana Azmi, brilliant beautiful respected art actress. He and Honey are still close, and Shabana became a wonderfully supportive second mother to her stepkids. Farhan grew up in this film world and sort of struggled to find himself, married young to an older woman, and eventually wrote and directed Dil Chahta Hai and was heralded as the rightful heir to his father, another one of the most brilliant writers Hindi film would ever produce. Oh, and he also started his own production company, Excel Entertainment, to produce DCH. His next movie, Lakshya, was a flop. And then he made Don, re-working his father’s 1970s classic script and was back on top. But, he had decided he wanted to be an actor (boooo!) and a rockstar (BOOOOOOO!!!!) and so he debuted in his first starring role as an actor in the movie Rock On which he also produced.

          Meanwhile, Zoya, his sister, had been quietly working away with her partner Reema Kagti on their own scripts and films. She made Luck By Chance (brilliant) and Honeymoon Travels Pvt Lmtd (weird but brilliant) and then won a FilmFare award for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (okay movie). All of them produced by Farhan. Farhan also produced Reema’s movie Talaash. He has given more and more of the day to day running of Excel over to his business partner while he plays around with acting and his rockband , and he is certainly not writing scripts. He keeps giving these little tantalizing interviews promising that Don 3 will be happening, someday, once he gets around to it. And then he goes back on his “world tour” with his rock band. And thus, every time he appears in a news article, I must add on (FARHAN!!!! WRITE DON 3!!!!!) after his name. Just in case it helps motivate him.

          Oh, and he also divorced his wife and (possibly) started an affair with a younger actress. Which seems to fit with the whole “I’m going to take my band on tour” decision at age 40-something.

          Meanwhile, his cousins Farah and Sajid grew up to be Farah Khan, director of Main Hoon Na, Om Shanti Om, Happy New Year. And Sajid Khan, director of the Housefull series. So, completely trashy stupid fun from one set of siblings, and the other set makes all these highbrow fancy things. Families are strange.

          On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 10:43 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

          • My pleasure! If Farhan ever finishes Don 3, maybe I will reward him with a Hindi Film 101 post of his very own.

            On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 2:37 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. I really liked Incredibles 2! There was a part where dad Incredible is taking care of baby Jack Jack that made me laugh harder than I’ve laughed at a movie in a long time.

    Went to a friend’s house for the 4th, had unexpectedly deep life conversations with her and her parents, and saw half of the NYC fireworks over the new building that annoyingly got built between her deck and her Manhattan skyline view since last year.

    Reading: trying to pick cback up City of Mirrors, the last book in Justin Cronin’s Passage trilogy, and read the last half. It’s set in post-apolcalyptic America and I put it down in fall 2016 as the whole setting started feeling a little too real and hadn’t been able to finish even though I really like the story and writing and I think the ending will be satisfying.

    Watching: got my husband to watch Kahaani with me this week. He’s mostly been sitting out my Indian film binge so that was kind of a big thing. Knew I would like it but I was delighted he did too. I hadn’t seen Vidya Balan before, so now I have her movies to go watch.

    Thinking: After your comment on another thread about Aamir not sleeping before one of his movies releases, I went looking for that interview and found this one:

    Intrigued by both of the ideas he talks about here: 1) that the star doesn’t make the movie, the movie makes the star – people respond to the star in a particular role and story, not for himself, so it’s the story and the role that are the most important factors, above the stardom of the actor. This seems like a very Aamir way of thinking and explains why he takes such care in picking scripts and crafting his films. 2) We should measure the power of a star by his flops rather than his successes, because the flops are the true measure of how far a movie can go if all it has is the star and not all the other things that make films appealing and allow them to succeed by word of mouth and hold on to audience over time. Economically, this seems like a sound argument for how to set your budget – lower than the floor set by your star’s worst performing movie :).


    • I liked The Incredibles 2 too! I was glad they didn’t just make it impossible for Mr. Incredible to handle things, he worked hard and tried and was able to manage. And it’s a cute movie with some nice ideas about protesting unjust laws.

      Kahaani is a great intro movie, no songs and no romance, but totally emotional and absorbing. For Vidya, I can’t even think what to recommend because everything she does is good! Tumhari Sulu is her most recent one, I haven’t had any luck finding it streaming, but if you can dig it up, it’s a wonderful happy movie.

      Thanks so much for watching the interview and bringing up those ideas! They are fascinating. Aamir’s idea of measuring by flop rather than hit is similar to how I do it, it’s what you can see in Race 3 for sure, and Fan, those movies had nothing to sell them but the star names and they did extremely well. Aamir knows of what he speaks, he has had some astonishingly big flops in his career, another reason for him to be so cautious about scripts, if he is aware that by flop measurements, he doesn’t actually have that much power, people will only watch his movies if they are high quality.

      I prefer to measure by opening day/opening weekend. But it’s the same idea, people will come opening night because of the star name. Otherwise they will wait for word of mouth to find out how the film is doing, opening night is pure star power. Often opening night tickets for a star film, combined with the satellite sales (again just on star name) is enough to cover the budget. With Yash Raj films in particular that is the case. So clearly at least the savvy producers are watching those numbers when they plan budgets.

      On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 1:08 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • If Aamir’s power to draw audience numbers as a star is less than others’, his massive successes would seem to speak to the value of picking great scripts and the careful craftsmanship he puts into his films. Is that something that can be replicated by other people, or is it a special Aamir talent?


        • Aamir is in a unique position, I think, because he had that star power to start with. So he could afford (both financially and in terms of power risks) to take the big big chances and get the big big pay offs. Lagaan was a massive risk, he funded it himself and managed to get it noticed based on his name alone. Despite a big flop right before and after, he still had some star power in the bank from his other hits. I don’t know if there is another actor with that combination of past power and current good script sense, It’s what the other 2 Khans really should be doing before their power trickles away, but as of right now both Salman and Shahrukh can manage to open a film based on their name so they haven’t started being so incredibly calculating as to making sure the film is that mega-hit kind of quality.

          I don’t know, now you’ve got me thinking! That’s kind of what Ranveer is doing with his career, very few movies but all of a certain top quality. They aren’t guaranteed major hits, but they will all serve to make him look good in some way. It’s what Ranbir is completely failing to do, his flops are big and show that he just does not have the star power he should, and he isn’t being cautious about scripts to avoid that.

          On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 4:02 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • Excellent point! He has lost the opening day on his name alone pull in the Indian market, but he reacted by finding it in other markets.

            On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 6:32 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  4. Watching: Vera and Rebus on Acorn TV. Family went to see Incredibles 2 on the 3rd. I was worried about the “Mr. Mom” aspects of the movie but they handled it well, I thought. We laughed and some of the chase/fight scenes were surprisingly suspenseful. I’d heard a bunch of chatter on Twitter about the short before the movie, Bao, so I was super curious about that. It was wonderful, though scary right before the ending.

    Spent my morning of the 4th finally watching JHMS with a dear friend. She totally gets SRK’s hotness, but isn’t so into the movies per se, so I wasn’t sure how she’d like it. Yay, she loved it, and it was super fun to sort of experience the movie for the first time again through her eyes.

    I didn’t realize that Farhan and Zoya and Farah and Sajid are maternal cousins. WHAT??? I’m curious how much time they actually lived under one roof, and at what ages. So interesting. Also–who is the young actress Farhan was/is rumored to be with? I missed that rumor!


    • I hadn’t heard anything about Bao and it was super disturbing! And powerful. But disturbing! I was a little worried at first that The Incredibles would be a standard “Dad realizes how impossible it is to do Mom’s job” kind of plot. But it veered from that into explicitly saying “I’m not the substitute parent! I’m the parent!” He doesn’t turn into the Mom, but he is still a co-parent, just doing things the way he does them. And they also didn’t shy away from his discomfort with her going back to work, which felt real to the character. I think Shahrukh dubbed the Hindi version last time, not sure if he did this time, but I hope so because it would be an interesting combination of star image and role, to have him play the active father parent to 3 children of varied ages.

      I love watching movies with friends for the first time! I think of it as being an emotions Vampire, I get to suck up everything they are feeling and feel it for the first time.

      I’m not clear on how long Farhan and Farah lived together, but it’s definitely mentioned in interviews by all of them. Not like “we lived together”, but like “we lost all our money and my aunt took us in” and then you realize that same aunt means they lived with their cousins. They make such very different films, and live such different lives, it almost never comes up that they are related. Like, I don’t think it fits with Farhan’s cool global rockstar image to have this cousin who makes Housefull 3, and vice versa for Sajid’s friendly low brow family comedy image. So it’s not a button any of them hit very hard. Plus, the Akhtar kids seem to identify much more strongly with their father and stepmother now than with the maternal side of the family. Not sure why, and none of our business, sometimes divorce just ends up that way. I’ve definitely known multiple people who just assumed Shabana was their biological mother because she seems so close to them. But it’s also not lied about or a big secret, they exchange birthday wishes and call each other cousin and all that. And I am guessing Farhan was named for Farah, they are born 9 years apart to the day (January 9th).

      Oh, and Farhan was originally rumored to be having an affair with Aditi Rai Hydari, and then it switched to Shraddha Kapoor. WHY?????? Why always Shraddha!?!?!?!

      On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 1:20 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

        • no, she’s just incredibly bland. And a very bad actress who mysteriously keeps getting choice roles and ruining films. She seems sweet and young and nice enough, and a hard worker, we all want good things for her, we just want her to stop acting. I wrote a fanfic where she realizes her true dream of being an accountant and it was one of my most popular fanfics ever. Her father is an actor/producer, so she is one of the “good girls” that no one will be misbehaving with. So her and Farhan isn’t “young maneater seductress”, but more just the same as every other intelligent mature interesting middle-aged guy who divorces his wife and ends up dating some sweet young thing and you think “really? Her? Does she have anything besides being young and sweet and adoring?” Who’s an American celebrity that went through this? I know there is one and all I can think of is Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, but Katie was actually secretly cooler than him.

          On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 6:34 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  5. I finally saw Dilwale. I don’t know if its because I expected it to be terrible (or because of my love for SRK), but I sort of liked the movie :D. I think what went against the movie was having SRK n Kajol, the romance in the first half was so bad, its like the writers have never been in a relationship! And it didn’t feel like SRK n Kajol were young in that segment, the looked the same except for his facial hair. If they had someone like Karisma, it would’ve worked better – cos you don’t see Raj and Simran in them.
    Oh, and what is with Rohith Shetty and bright colors, I actually had to reduce the brightness on my laptop at one point. The colors – especially Kajol’s outfits were distracting!


    • I agree that SRK-Kajol was the problem. Because they wanted to force a magical young love romance storyline for them that just didn’t work. But I think they still could have saved it if they had thrown out the flashback and just built on the present day chemistry between them.

      Anyway, I am glad you enjoyed it! I enjoyed it to, it’s a fun silly bright movie with decent songs, what’s not to like? Interesting about the coloring, Red Chillies has kind of started specializing in coloring lately, I wonder if they went a little over the top with this film in order to get used to the technology?

      On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 2:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Ya the flashback just went on and on, and Kajol was slightly annoying in that part, the comedy in the present-day was funny. And yes, the colors were over saturated – I thought it was because of Rohith Shetty cos even Golmal looked a bit like this, but Red Chillies over doing the coloring makes sense.
        I was reading up your blog about Dilwale, and you’re saying SRK-Kajol were in the movie first and then a script happened – then nothing to say except they had this coming!


        • Yeah, I am sure the SRKajol casting announcement came long before anything about the actual plot of the film. Not good! They could have written anything at all for them, and there are so many better options, starting with just having them play their own ages straight through.

          On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 3:01 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  6. Hazel made it to the circulating banner photos. Yay!

    Also, Sonali Bendre announced that she has some kind of aggressive cancer and is getting treatment in NYC. I learned about it because Madhuri sent her a “thoughts are with you, you are amazing” tweet. 😥


    • Yeah, I learned about it because Karan sent her one as well. Poor Sonali. She hasn’t acted in ages, but everyone still seems to really like her. And her husband is Abhishek Bachchan’s best friend.

      You can cheer yourself up by reading the newest Dog Hazel post!

      On Thu, Jul 5, 2018 at 4:23 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thinking: I do believe I have reached saturation point with these “unplugged” versions of classic Hindi movie songs. A couple of weeks ago I ran into a version of “Agar Tum Mil Jao,” which I really liked and listened to a few more times in a few more versions. The original is by Shreya Ghoshal, so that’s fine but comes with a video of Emraan Hashmi trying to chew some poor woman’s face off. So that got into my Youtube algorithm and now when I am randomly listening to Youtube at work it keeps bringing up all of these other hipster versions of songs I love. Some of these are OK, but really, do we need a new version of Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjhe? I don’t think so.

    (Not) reading: I beyond excited about Sacred Games, and wondering if I should read the book to prep. I think I’ve just about decided not to. The book won’t have Saif and Nawaz and Radhike so why spoil the series? Plus, it seems to be a bit of a potboiler. Have you read it?

    Watching, kind of: This week was a jumbo variety pack of inconveniences: working late, typhoon, dental work. So, I barely was able to watch anything. But our conversation last week about tropes we can do without led me to start a rewatch of the movie that consciously tries to reverse them: Love Aaj Kaal. Starts with a non-cute meeting, they slide casually into a relationship, they casually break up. And then the story begins. Plus, Saif. I haven’t seen him in anything since Happy Ending which is another reason I’m looking forward to Sacred Games. (Happy Ending, come to think of it, is also about upending tropes, but in a parodying, post-modern kind of way).


    • I am only interested in Vidya Vox and Penn Masala, I have no need for any other unplugged versions. Luckily, Penn Masala and Vidya Vox have very long playlists, so they keep me busy.

      I got Sacred Games from the library a week ago and have consciously carried it around with me and starred at it for the past week. But I have yet to so much as open the front cover. It’s scarily long, like 900 words long.

      I really need to watch Happy Ending, I love A Gentleman sooooooooooooooooooooo much and it is their only other movie, presumably I would love it too. And I love Ileana D’Cruz now, so there’s another bonus.


      • Have you looked at Coke Studio? They are professional musicians with serious chops and they do interesting things with contemporary stuff like Jugni. Which, come to think of it, is probably not contemporary–they’re doing it like it is in Cocktail, but it’s maybe not original to the movie.

        Oh, you must watch Happy Ending! Very light but fun. Kalki speaks in an American accent (but also in Hindi). Govinda is hilarious. Preity is good. And it really is a funny take on Hindi movie tropes. Drawbacks: Saif once again plays an irritating douche who gets better through the hate/love of a good woman. But it’s self aware.


        • I just got a notification that Sacred Games is available now (yaaaaaay) and that promises a Saif who is totally different from our familiar spoiled westernized man-boy. So maybe I watch that interspersed with Happy Endings, for variety.


  8. Oh, sorry, meant to say something about the Hazel socialization issue: my sister has managed to acclimate a series of cats to each other by gradually increasing contact. So, first you rub a sock or something on the cat and let the other cat smell it. Then you show the cat to the other cat from a distance. Then briefly in the same room,etc., until they are friends or at least tolerate each other. Would something like that work with Hazel? I mean, you’d need to borrow another dog I guess.


    • Maybe. Dog Hazel has some scary scars and was taken from her first owners by the authorities when she was less than 1, which makes me think her fear of other dogs might be a little bit based in bad experiences of the past. So I don’t know if normal socialization would work. But I do know other dogs I could try that with, that is, my friend’s dogs. They live in whole other houses, I could try getting her used to the scent and then see if she could handle face to face, and just take her home if she couldn’t


  9. I had a friend visiting from out of town and after doing a museum and lunch in town I introduced her to Fawad Khan: we watched ADHM first and she liked Ranbir Kapoor a lot (and kept wondering why he wasn’t shirtless more). Then we watched Khoobsurat and I realized in watching it with someone else that the dialogue at times is pretty awful and nonsensical, but it still won her over with just the presence of sexy Fawad Khan. We also watched the new Netflix rom-com Set It Up for the romance trifecta.

    Did I mention yet that I watched October? I’m definitely not a big Varun fan, but he didn’t bother me at all in this film. I thought it was too quiet and introspective a film to find a big audience but it definitely was nice viewing for a chill weekend afternoon.

    And I also watched Fukrey Returns, but didn’t pay super close attention to the plot so I missed some of the jokes, too. I liked the beginning a lot when she comes out of prison and brings them all back together…I like Richa Chadda being the tough guy in this series. It’s a great role. Otherwise the film was even sillier, and unfortunately stupider, than the first one (which was one of the few Indian comedies that have worked for me).


    • I’ve had the same feeling with Khoobsurat. It’s really not a strong movie in some ways. The dialogue is off, and the ending is way too abrupt, almost feels like the plot ends just as it is getting started. But on the other hand, Sonam and Fawad and Kirron and Ratna Pathak are all wonderful. And the romance is delightful, perfect rom-com opposites attract vibe. I somehow have a vibe of either money running out, or outside consultant coming in and making slashing cuts.

      On Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 9:55 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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