Wednesday Watching (late in the day): Woops! Forgot! Anyway, What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to This Week?

Happy Wenesday! Sorry, totally forgot about this post. Christmas brain!

I’ll start!

Reading: There is a local news story near me which I find darkly hilarious. I am in a very liberal even radical area of the city, where there has been some police-public strife (and I myself have certainly not been the fondest of the police at all times). We had a police involved shooting last week after a car chase and the initial reports garnered the usual “BAD POLICE” comments. And then the full story came out, and the public opinion immediately shifted to “YAAAY POLICE! JUSTIFIED SHOOTING”. It was a domestic dispute which culminated in the Bad Guy KIDNAPPING HIS GIRLFRIEND’S PUPPY. He sent a photo to his girlfriend of him holding a gun on the dog (named Peanut) and threatening to kill Peanut if she did not give him money, she called the police, they set up a stake out, chased the Bad Guy, he shot at them, they shot back, he ended up in the hospital. No, Peanut has still not been found, the public fears the worse, especially since it has been quite cold out the last few nights. Anyway, if the riddle is “what is the one situation in which even the most radical liberal will side with the police?” the answer is “when they are trying to arrest a puppy kidnapper”.

Watching: A Knight Before Christmas! Guess what it is about! Guess guess!

Thinking: I have almost finish my sandwich of holiday chores. First and last step are both cleaning. Cleaning, decorating, presents, re-cleaning, host the holiday. All that’s left is a final scrub before my parents come to stay at my place on Christmas Eve.

Listening: I think this is the best Pump Me Up for Chores Christmas Carol:

Okay, question for you!!!! It’s John Abraham’s birthday tomorrow! Which John do you prefer, young or old?

John Abraham turns 45: We bet you haven't seen these rare photos of the  birthday boy | IndiaToday
Varun Says, 'John Abraham and I Will Make a Good Pair in Dostana 2' - NDTV  Movies

47 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching (late in the day): Woops! Forgot! Anyway, What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to This Week?

  1. Okay, both Johns made me uncomfortable for two very different reasons. Also, are creative directors just punning on the name now?

    Listening: Songs on loop. It was Positions, by Ariana Grande today morning and last night. Over the weekend it was “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, by Margaret Whiting, as I was working, cooking, and planning a Christmas menu and almost everything else.

    Reading: Only snatches of words. Some of Alain de Botton’s “On Status Anxiety.”

    Watching: Short comedy snippets, though I listen to those more than watch them, since I’m in another tab as the video plays.

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    • I love Margaret Whitings “Baby It’s Cold Outside”!!!! She just sings it more or less straight, none of the weird fancy stuff people use now. Booo!

      And yes, I was so happy when I found that young John photo. It’s just the essence of everything.

      On Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 6:02 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Imma no for both John. Sorry, John; I actually think you are quietly pretty smart and make good business decisions.

    Is this your first time seeing a Knight for Christmas? Also, have you seen the Happiest Season? It is supposed to be a Christmas family lesbian rom-com. I am trying to find the best time to watch it.

    I just finished watching Carnival Row. Have you or anyone at DCIB seen it?

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    • It is my first time seeing A Knight Before Christmas! And it was so good, that I am doing it as a friends watchalong on Friday.

      My friend watched the Happiest Season and said it really wasn’t as good as it could be. It couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a light happy rom-com, or a Serious Drama. And then I recommended “Imagine Me and You” to her because it commits to being a light happy rom-com 🙂

      I have not seen Carnival Row. What is it?

      On Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 7:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oooh! My husband just told me that his friend and “biology lab partner” in highschool produced The Happiest Season. So now, we have to watch it. Also, I’m glad I actually waited to watch it with my husband. I almost never do that. I’ll let you know what we think.

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          • The movie got better. I still don’t think Mackenzie Davis’s Harper should not have gotten a happy ending but understand that it is a Christmas movie. Kristin Stewart is amazing!

            I am glad this movie was made. And my husband and I paused and has lots of wonderful discussions throughout the movie. For the example, I think it shows the trauma of trying to living up to your parents unrealistic expectations. I also love that it was written and directed by a lesbian and has actual gay actors, who seemed like they had input into the movie. My recommendation would be that if you decide to watch the movie, watch the 3 minute making of movie first instead of the trailer. I think it sets up the expectations way better than the trailer.

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          • Okay, still not gonna watch the movie then! But maybe I will watch the making of video. Thanks for the report!

            On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 7:56 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I am so curious if your friend and others who watched it had the same issue with Mackenzie that I did. To me, she did too many things wrong that can’t be blamed on her parents. And I was happy that at least Kristin Stewart didn’t accept her apology right away. Dan Levy was amazing in it and might be one of the funniest people ever and probably had the most interesting and thought provoking dialogue about coming out. There is so much good stuff to discuss in the movie. But I also agree that I don’t think it’s your type of movie and it’s probably a good idea for you to skip it, especially if it’s not going to bring you joy.

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          • Yeah, I can just rewatch Schitt’s Creek instead, and get all the Dan Levy and touching coming out journeys I need.

            On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 9:43 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I am in the midst of Schitt’s Creek and I love that they don’t really focus on his coming out and delve directly into his love life. I found that amazingly refreshing!

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          • Schitt’s Creek gets better and better and better with each season, you will be stunned by how emotional and deep it is by the end!

            On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 9:51 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I’m working a lot so I can take my full Christmas break of almost two whole weeks. I can’t go back to the US this year, so will spend it reading and watching things, and the traditional Japanese way: cleaning.

    I want mature John’s face on young John’s body. I like his bearded look and he just looks better older, but I kind of like a softer body. He’s got that hunched-over look from overworking his shoulders.

    I was interested to see a movie with Mohanlal, and Grandmaster was on Netflix, and my Malayalee friend endorsed it ringingly as “ok, I guess” so I watched it. It is indeed OK. You can watch it, nothing bad will happen. It’s kind of long.

    I’ve been wanting to watch Jodhaa Akbar ever since reading the Salman Rushdie book about Akbar (The Moor’s Last Sigh?) but I never felt like committing to a movie that is three and a half hours long, and I always felt I should watch it in one go like I was in a theater. I have given up on watching it all at once, and it’s delightful. I come home after a hard day’s work and watch about half an hour of pretty pretty Aishwarya and pretty pretty Hrithik and the pretty pretty Mughal palace and feel very distant from my own life and it’s really relaxing. At this rate I’ll be finished sometime in the middle of next week.

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    • YES! Jodha Akbar!!!! And you really don’t need to watch it straight through. Watching in bits is fine. Especially because it gives you time to check your reference materials and figure out who all the historical people are.

      On Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 9:32 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I’m doing basically nothing because work is comically busy. After that I am planning to watch more Shashi (also Coolie no.1, uughhh). Is A Knight Before Christmas any good? I also have to plan a Christmas dinner and am failing.

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  5. As an old Glee fan I watched The Prom on Netflix. Not with a lot of attention, but that’s probably for the best. It’s not a very deep movie, but it’s fun enough, with decent songs. And the young lead is definitely a find, believable as kind of an everygirl, but with the sweetest, most sympathetic singing voice.

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    • My Mom wants to watch that, but my Dad and I are refusing. I may not tell her that you watched and liked it.

      On Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 1:54 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. I was thinking about June, and I realized why I didn’t love it- It’s Rajisha Vijayan fault. Her performance was flat and I just didn’t connect or cheer for her. That’s also why the first half was so boring for me. There were so many “school time nostalgia” movies lately: 96, Dia, Gantumoote, all with better heroines I could like and understand. June is the worst from the group.

    I also saw bengali movie Sweater. I’m not sure what I think about it. (spoilers)
    It’s about a submissive and shy girl named Tulu who has ben rejected by many families (So far, so good, I love this kind of stories). One day, a good, rich family come to see her. They don’t want any dowry, and will accept her as their daughter-in-law but on one condition – She must knit a sweater for the groom. The problem is that she can’t knit. Thank God she has an aunt in Darjeeling who teaches people knitting. Obviously at first Tulu struggles a lot, but with time she becomes passionate about knitting. She also makes new friends, cut ties with her toxic ex, and starts beliving in herself. In the end she shows her future in-laws the door.
    A story about a shy girl who learns to say no and live for herself – great. But all this knitting part was both odd and super predictable.

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    • Sweater-huh!!!! Yeah, the big picture concept sounds great, but knitting? Really? I may have to get my knitter sister to watch it and tell me if at least it is accurate.

      On Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 3:12 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Some of the knitting lessons included a violin player whose work was to inspire the knitters :/ Really this movie was an odd mix of good and bad.

        I haven’t answer the question. Young John because his movies are more entertaining. Madhoshi, Jism, Dhoom, all classics. Not like those patriotical stuff or Dishooms he makes now.

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  7. Yay! A Knight Before Christmas is such a nice movie. I love it! Had me smiling like an idiot through it all and I loved Vanessa Hudgens’ sweaters and the Knight is such a sweetheart. I love how logic is thrown out, and it’s just magic and just nice aesthetics in a cute romance. I LOVE IT!

    Watched a lot of movies: Yentl, White Christmas, and Whiplash

    Listening: A lot of Hiba Tawaji, a Lebanese singer with such wonderful vocals and she is gorgeous as well. Dive-like presence, but none of the attitude from what I’ve seen. She has a Christmas album as well (Eastern Orthodox) which has the familiar songs with a mix of Lebanese Arabic, French and English. I highly recommend watching the 2 one hour shows of hers where she sings Christmas songs. They are wonderful!! A free concert!

    The Arabic version of Jingle Bells is my favourite. Better than the original in my mind!

    And her singing in English is wonderful, though I prefer her French and Arabic songs overall.

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  8. I almost missed this post too. But let me tell you about my week.

    It started off great. I have been taking natural supplements for my anxiety, and they seem to be working for the most part. I finished the Ember in the Ashes book series that I’ve been talking about infrequently, but I finally finished the last book which came out a few weeks ago. It was an emotional roller coaster, and it was a happy ending, which I was not expecting, and I was more emotional about how the series was over than the events that transpired.

    And then Monday morning, my Internet went out. I was in the middle of an all day workshop, so it wasn’t completely urgent that I get back on, but it was confusing and stressful. I joined the workshop through Zoom on my phone, but by the time it was over, hours later, the Internet still wasn’t back. I had no TV either. We still had electricity and heat luckily, but now that I’m back teaching fully remote, still not having it by Tuesday morning was horrible. I turned on a mobile hotspot on my phone, but it eats up data and battery and wasn’t a strong signal at all. A bunch of students said I was lagging, and pages wouldn’t load, so while I could teach okay, I couldn’t get any other work done (most of my classes were taking a test on Tuesday so I just had to copy a link and send it through Zoom chat, which worked fine and then no one had to worry). My roommate got so fed up with her hotspot also being weak that she went to her parents to do work. So after my work day ended I did the same. During this time, we also found out that it was a town wide issue that they were “working on”. Internet providers over the phone tried to reconnect us multiple times to no avail. They scheduled an appointment for someone to come out and look at it today, which is Thursday. This was also not ideal for us because in NJ, we were forecasted to get a massive snow storm, almost a foot of snow, and we weren’t sure if it was even gonna be physically possible for someone to come and fix it. So I spent Tuesday night at my parents, and I’m still here, because of the good internet so I can do my job, and also because of the snow. We didn’t get as much as they said we would, but it’s a pretty solid coating. I’m staying one more night because I had plans to come here Friday anyway for the last night of Hanukkah. But it actually works out that I didn’t think to comment on this post until now, Thursday evening, because some guy came by to fix our internet. And it was fixed. But the problem was that one of the outlets died. It had nothing to do with the internet itself. Which, okay, is not the worst thing in the world, but the way I rolled my eyes so hard when my roommate texted me this.

    So that’s been my week. Stressful, but at least grateful I have other places to go. And most of my bedroom furniture is getting delivered on Christmas Eve, which is very exciting.

    Listening/watching has been another new Coolie music video. I’m still fully aware that this movie is going to be bad, but I am so emotionally invested in this movie promo and Varun and Sara’s jodi, it’s insane and extremely unexpected. The song itself is okay, but the video is great. Another instance of Sara being gorgeous, Varun being a fantastic dancer, and the serotonin I need to get through this week. Even if the movie is bad, I’ll probably still have a soft spot for it because, much like SOTY, it’s getting me through a rough time.

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    • Oh my goodness, how frustrating that all sounds!!!! Thank goodness for hotspots and for parents. Being without internet right now is the worst, because at least during “normal” times you can fill in by going to the library or your job, but now there is just nothing. I am glad you are tucked in at your parents for now and can return home with furniture and internet and everything good. And that the natural anxiety remedies are working!!!!

      Thanks to your lobbying and song posting, I might actually watch Coolie No. 1! Which I was never planning to do. But maybe it could be a kind of fun Christmas afternoon cool down activity? Watch it while my parents have their traditional naps?

      Or, OH! Christmas afternoon watchalong??? Or, Saturday after Christmas watchalong??? YES! We should totally do that! Right?

      On Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 4:37 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m really not lobbying for it, every time I talk about it I feel like I have to preface it with “I know this movie is going to be bad, my expectations are underground”. I just love Varun, we all know this, and all the music videos are SO HAPPY and fun that I forget that this movie is going to be a racist fatphobic pile of steaming hot garbage. And if it’s not I’ll be impressed.

        I may not celebrate Christmas, but my family does the traditional “Jewish Christmas” of movies and Chinese food so that’ll probably take up my afternoon since Wonder Woman 1984 will also be released then. I have plans to watch Coolie with my only other Bollywood/Varun obsessed friend, but it’s probably not going to be until after Christmas during the week, since we’re both on winter break by then.

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  9. I’d go for mature John, but agree with Miss Braganza it’s more about the face and eyes.

    Watching: Tiny Pretty Things. It’s pretty much exactly as promised in the trailer, beautiful dancing, good characters, a mysterious unsolved crime to keep suspense, deep thoughts about ballet as a framing device, and lots and lots of drama. Also sexier than I expected, which the young dancers seem to take to enthusiastically. We also watched the first episode of Queen Sono last night, I’m excited about that one, right up my alley. Gotta give it to the streaming services, after what felt like a long drought there are many good things to watch now. And I’m back to appreciating Netflix for going and raining money on film and TV industries around the world so we get all these goodies.

    Oh, also started watching What the Fish? for Dimple and then she’s not even in long stretches of the movie. I got to a scene last night with a guy tricking a girl into being scared of bad guys breaking into the house so she would let him sleep in the same room and I got grossed out and turned it off.

    Thinking: writing Christmas cards at night turns out to be slow and error prone, which means I have to do most of them this weekend. But will my family leave me in peace? And: I’m on my third Santa gift order for my youngest after two orders got canceled because they were out of stock. Will it get here on time? Santa better come through!

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    • Sounds like “What the Fish” is an easy miss. Thank you for taking the bullet for all of us, I will continue to not watch it. And save Tiny Pretty Things until I am in the right mood.

      Now I am all worried about your youngest and Santa!!!! This is super stressful! I’m gonna be thinking about it until next Friday.

      On Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 11:42 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. Dhanush will be part of “The Grey Man” , the Russo brothers new Netflix movie. I’m rarely excited for those western productions, but I’m very happy for Dhanush. Hope it will be a good role.

    I read this and now feel like watching Mrs Serial Killer:

    https://www.filmcompanion.in/fc-lists/sadak-2-love-aaj-kal-ram-gopal-varma-sara-ali-khan-alt-balaji-the-year-of-the-cringe-a-list-of-all-things-cringe-in-entertainment-2020/

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    • Oh wow, I do too!!! I was confused at first because I thought it was because FC recommended it and I can’t imagine a world in which Angie and FC feel the same way about a movie. But an insulting description of it as Most Camp of the Year? That makes total sense!!!

      On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 2:32 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. What are young John and boys wearing?!! Despite that, I’ll take him over older John.

    I watched the trio of Rock Hudson-Doris Day movies – Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers (I’m sure you’ve seen them?). I haven’t forayed much into old Hollywood and this was my first time seeing these stars and oh my gosh, how charming was Rock Hudson!!! I learnt of his life as a gay man and his tragic passing after watching Pillow Talk, and had so many thoughts. It must have been such fun playing the heterosexual romantic male ideal in the first two films. In reality, his life must not have been easy in those times. What stories he must have had to tell!

    Coming back to the movies, Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back kind of follow the same storyline of catfishing which is problematic and would not fly nowadays. I thoroughly enjoyed them but kept wishing he confessed before she realized on her own in both movies. Their chemistry and banter, his smile and her sassiness make up for it though. I loved Send Me No Flowers because they were a couple from the very beginning. If you have suggestions for other movies from that era, I’d like to hear them.

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    • YES! I have seen all three of those movies!!!! I find Pillow Talk the most disturbing, but Lover Come Back I enjoy. It crosses the line just a bit to surreality in a way that makes it feel like the whole film is making fun of gender roles and sexuality and how silly it all is. And of course, Send Me Now Flowers is just a BLAST. And the one that came closest to being remade in Hindi, I think it is one of the stories in Salaam-E-Ishq. They stole the best bits (like, the eulogy), so it wasn’t just a coincidence, someone must have actually seen the film.

      Lover Come Back is the one I most want to see remade in modern India because it is getting at a central tension. Our heroine comes from a privilaged background-ish, upper middle class at least, but she is female and had to make her way in the industry by following the rules and being perfect. Our hero is low class and had to get ahead through smarts and playing angles. They are mutually resentful of each other, and neither of them is really “wrong”. She is right to resent his place as a man playing into the boys club. And he is right to resent the way she can keep her hands clean and play her class and education and so on. I actually wrote a fanfic because it would be SO PERFECT for a modern Ranveer-Anushka remake!!!! Wouldn’t it? Ranveer as a low class boy who crawled his way up, Anushka as a foriegn educated woman who forced her way in against her gender? https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2019/06/23/silly-sunday-the-feminist-versus-the-underclass-remaking-a-doris-day-rock-hudson-classic-by-setting-it-in-the-bombay-film-industry/

      If you can find them, some other fun movies from the same era are If A Man Answers, That Funny Feeling, The Glass Bottom Boat, Man’s Favorite Sport, Bundle of Joy, The Tender Trap, The Mating Game, Susan Slept Here, and Ask Any Girl. That’s a variety of topics and stars and stuff, read the plot descriptions and see which leaps out at you!

      Oh, and also What’s Up Doc, which is a 1970s Barbra Striesand movie made as kind of an homage to those earlier films and with a similar feel to it.

      On Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 11:16 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

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