Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the First Valentine’s Week?

Happy Wednesday! And happy start of the 2 week Valentine’s celebration! Thank goodness for Valentine’s, and thank goodness February is a nice short month. And thank goodness I scheduled a random long weekend in the middle!

I’ll start!

Reading: This isn’t exactly reading, but I’m working on a new puzzle made of images of Nancy Drew book covers and it’s kind of making me want to read them! She has so many adventures and spends so much time sneaking around places and watching things.

Watching: I finally finished Star Trek: The Original Series! It’s very odd but fun. And now I get to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation and catch up with the rest of the world. Also, tonight for my Friends Movie Night I am going to make them all watch Shyam Singha Roy!

Thinking: It’s supposed to rain and snow for slightly over 24 hours. What shall I do to entertain myself and prevent cabin fever? The virtual movie night is a good start, I think I might also have to take my super bright light out of storage.

Listening: In honor of Anurag Basu’s birthday, and because it is a classic love song, “Bheege Hont Tere”

Now, question for you!!!! In Honor of Groundhog Day, who would you cast to play the Bill Murray role in an Indian remake?

I think Abhishek. Don’t you think Abhishek? And the funny and also deep kind of performance might be just the thing to get him back into comedy!

54 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the First Valentine’s Week?

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the First Valentine’s Week? » Filmybilla

  2. Pingback: Wednesday Watching Put up: What Are You Studying and Watching and Pondering and Listening to the First Valentine’s Week? » Filmybilla

  3. The puzzle sounds fascinating!

    Reading: More books on running businesses…but also one on keeping friends in adulthood!

    Watching: Trying to find time to watch The Gilded Age! Not a huge fan of Julian Fellowes, but let’s see. And a Thai drama.

    Thinking: …I need to not procrastinate on weekends.

    Listening: Old Indian film playlists and the River Flows in You. On a loop.

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    • The puzzle is fascinating! And it’s throwing me right back to childhood as I vaguely recognize the covers.

      Your reading is way more productive than my reading. I think the procrastination on on weekends is less of a problem than you think.

      On Wed, Feb 2, 2022 at 12:43 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Reading: Arundhati Roy, specifically ‘My Seditious Heart: collected non-fiction’. I love how she writes about things. I still need to read her fictional novels, but I’m taking a tour of her non-fiction first.

    Listening: Notre-Dame de Paris musical – 2002 Italian version. The musical is SUPER popular there and this year is its 20th anniversary since it started performing in Italy. Because of that, the albums have FINALLY been added to Spotify to stream. I think I might have screamed from joy!

    It seems to always be on tour in Italy, though going on pauses at some points. Someday I hope to see it live since the chances of catching it are greater than seeing the French version that is now currently in East Asia (they love it in Korea, China and Taiwan). The music is top-notch, the Italian cast is always my favourite and the belting and the epicness of the music is just amazing. Apologies for the links that will make this a very long comment.

    Just some of my favourites are linked below, some with translations. If interested do click to see what I’m rambling about:

    Il tempo delle catedrali (Gringoire): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_KoiJw8IpI

    I Clandestini (Clopin): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zmhS5Uw5JY

    Zingara (Esmeralda): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb7W7ZpBHxg

    Mi Distruggerai (Frollo): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWWxFVazgkw

    Bella (All 3 main men): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo3kzubpfm0

    Il Val d’Amore (Gringoire & Febo): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_ZZxIPcbG8

    La Campane (Quasimodo): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNWBZzNzm30

    Adding randomly the Flemish version of one of the songs. The lyrics are beautiful and Dennis ten Vergert might just be my favourite Gringoire. He really captures the character, he isn’t just performing the songs in a narrator way.

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        • And he was a better character actor than lead. But STILL! If SRK thought he should have had the lead, then he should have had the lead.

          On Wed, Feb 2, 2022 at 1:09 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • No worries! I love this musical to bits!! I love the Italian cast so much. I love selected singers from the original French cast, but for me the musical just really peaked when it came to Italy. The French version has changed a bit in terms of aesthetics (PG:d the fun brothel song), while the Italians have kept everything pretty much the same through the years. Which I appreciate.

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  5. I’m reading Laura, and watching Laura.

    I’ve been thinking watching it about the difference between how Vincent Price is menacing and Christopher Lee is menacing and it’s very difficult to pinpoint. You’d think Vincent Price is a brainy menace and Christopher Lee a physical one but it’s not as easy as that.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ah that’s easy, combo of queer menace and morbid genius. Such refinement and control he’d do something terrible quietly, perfectly, and without compunction. I think he portrays this so well with his stick straight posture and precise manner.

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    • It is good! It starts to get really not as good in later seasons, don’t be afraid to just stop watching at some point if you feel like the magic is gone.

      On Wed, Feb 2, 2022 at 4:06 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Margaret, you should totally watch ‘The Tinder Swindler’ on Netflix. Very much an interesting case I think you would like, with so many great twists and turns. The trailer of it made it seem horribly done, but it is actually a good true-crime documentary.

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  7. Not much time to watch movies so I’m plowing away with serieses. I have completed two episodes of Paava Kadhagail, which purports to show “the darker side of love.” They are not kidding about that. The first episode, about a trans person in rural India, is very well done and terribly sad. The second, about honor killings, gets stupid about half-way in when they make Kalki and Anjali make out for like five minutes for no good reason. And then it ends and there is the stupidest coda. Like, “Jackie Shroff suddenly decides not to kill Manisha Koirala and she takes him back and everyone chuckles softy and that’s the end of the feminist movie”- level bad.

    Also finished Aranyak, which is a really well-done mystery and has Parambrata in a police uniform! Also, Raveena Tandon slapping people left and right! She is really good in this; it’s not just a regulation “tough police officer, but make it a woman.” Also very clever and enjoyable twist on the cop’s child in danger trope. There were some cliffhangers, so I guess they’re planning on another season. One of the cliffhangers deals with the death of a major character, which is so dumb! We can just look at IMDB to see if they survive!

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    • Oh Lajja! I was just thinking about that for last week when we had to do a Jackie movie. But it seemed unfair to pick for his birthday.

      So glad Raveena is doing well. All former Akshay girlfriends should do well.

      On Wed, Feb 2, 2022 at 9:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Abhishek? Why not. But spontaneously I thought of Rajkumar…
    Watching: After having read Laura, I re-watched the German TV-movie (which I preferred to the US- film version … and even to the book. Laura ist played by Hildegard Knef and Waldo Lydecker by Adolf Wohlbrück.)
    Reading: Some kids-books (Die Schule der magischen Tiere = The magic Animal’s School), where – as one goes along – every student of a class in an absolutely regular school gets a magical animal as compagnion that only the class and its class teacher can see as a living animal (for everybody else the animals immobilise and are perceived as stuffed animals). The (female) class teacher’s uncle does journeys around the globe to look for magical animals who can speak with a human being out of a group of regular animals (like crocodiles, pinguins, cats, foxes, turtles, snakes flamingos, falcons a.s.o.). All the magical animals understand and can speack with each other but the human being only understands and can speak with the own magical animal. Interestingly, the uncle always finds the fitting animal that will be a big emotional and stimulating support for the respective child.
    Listening: to audio-books while doing work (currently Nora Roberts stand alone books).
    Thinking: What is Margaret doing with all the puzzles when they are done???

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    • Oooo, I could see Rajkumar! But that also gave me an even better idea, Pankaj Tripathi! This could be the perfect film to transition him to a leading hero role. Cynical, selfish, sarcastic, but with a core of something deeper.

      That kids book sounds amazing! EVA! Are you reading this comment? You should read this aloud to your Big Boy!

      I don’t know what to do with the puzzles! I already mounted some of them but now I am running out of wall space for them. And I am really running out of storage space for puzzle boxes. I think I am going to have to do a sort through and get rid of the ones I only sort of liked and just keep the ones I really loved.

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        • Currently I think my nephew’s favorite book is “Good Night Good Night Construction Site”. Which is exactly what it sounds like. You say goodnight to all the things at a construction site.

          On Thu, Feb 3, 2022 at 1:39 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. So I have a question for yall! I’m gonna list some Hindi movies that I still haven’t seen yet and I’m curious what the order would be from “you have to see this asap” to “this movie was overhyped, take your time”.

    – Ram-Leela
    – Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na
    – Chak De
    – Jodhaa Akbar
    – Devdas
    – Hindi Medium
    – Paheli
    – Aaja Nachle

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    • I’d put Chak De and Jodha-Akbar at the top. For similar reasons too. They are both really REALLY good movies with arguably career best hero performances. And they are both the forefathers of current MASSIVE dominating genres (the sports film and the historical). So watch them because they are the two best on this list, watch them to appreciate Hrithik/Shahrukh more, and watch them to go “wait, these movies are way better than the immitators we are seeing now”.

      After that, for me personally, I’d say Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na and Aaje Nachle are fun, Paheli is odd but okay, and you can skip the others. I hate Bhansali.

      On Thu, Feb 3, 2022 at 12:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The funny thing is that I have seen parts of both of them, I just never happened to finish either movie and it wasn’t that I didn’t finish because I wasn’t enjoying them either. And then for some reason I never got back and now it’s years later.

        Lol yeah, the only Bhansali movies I’ve seen are Bajirao Mastani and Khamoshi and I didn’t like either. His movies look so grand and pretty though!

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    • – Chak De
      – Paheli
      – Jodhaa Akbar
      – Devdas
      – Ram-Leela
      – Aaja Nachle
      – Hindi Medium

      I haven’t seen Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na so can’t say.

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        • I’m also not a fan of Bhansali but I think his movies are a must watch for the visuals and the music. I hated the plot of Ram-Leela, but Deepika and Ranveer looks like 10 million dollars, and the costumes and colours are so rich, I don’t regret watching it. The same with Devdas.
          Hindi Medium is last because yes, it has Irrfan, but it doesn’t have any spectacle and the plot is rather simple (and predicable from the trailer)

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      • So you think Paheli is definitely better than Bhansali’s movies? The plot always sounded so weird which I why i never tried it. I do love Rani so I’ll give it a shot.

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        • Definitely. The plot seems weird, but it’s because it’s like a fairy tale. The actors and all the rest are so good you don’t feel the “weirdness”. Also it’s about a good woman getting what she deserves: a nice man who loves her, listens to her and is good at bed. Who doesn’t like such stories? (the ending could be better, I agree, but it doesn’t ruin the movie)
          Meanwhile Bhansali movies are all like: We are so crazy in love we must die. And you end thinking: all this could be avoided if they used their head a little.
          also Devdas > Ram-Leela (but mostly because I absolutely love Devdas music)

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          • Gotcha, I’ll keep that in mind!

            Lol, you’re so right about the we’re so crazy in love, we must die part 🙂

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    • I got bored halfway through Jodhaa Akbar and never finished it, so make of that what you will. Aside from that, the ones I’ve seen:

      – Ram-Leela
      – Aaja Nachle
      – Ram-Leela

      I won’t touch the rest except maybe for Jaane Tu.

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    • Jodha Akbar, Chak De (agree with Margaret!)
      Jaane Tu, Hindi Medium, Paheli (quite good movies very different from each other)
      Aaja Nachle (good movie)
      Ram Leela, Devdas (haven’t seen Ram Leela and if you like Bhansali’s style they might be your favorites)

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      • So what I’m getting is to probably avoid Ram-Leela and Devdas unless I really feel like giving Bhansali another chance after I hated Bajirao Mastani.

        I am thinking of giving Paheli a shot though!

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        • I didn’t like Bajirao either and nothing on earth could make me watch Devdas, but I liked Ram Leela. The advantage of that one is it doesn’t have a love triangle or a guy being a drip and it’s very fast and colourful. Bajirao was a festival of beige and everyone’s hair sucked.

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    • Thank you! That was fascinating.

      My big take away is that everyone has confused Indian internet access with Indian money value all along. The only way the Indian market can afford a streaming service is if the prices are so low that they prevent profit. Which is the same issue Indian films had in the pre-multiplex era, if the budget gets too big, the cheap ticket prices the audience can afford will never be able to catch up. Now the regular audience just doesn’t watch movies while the top 0.5% provides the profits. That balances out because if everyone in the top 0.5% of Indian audience buys a movie ticket, it is pretty much the same as the much small percentage of people in other countries who regularly go to the movies. But if you are looking at only the top 0.5% in India for a streaming service, then suddenly this huge untapped streaming audience becomes smaller than, like, Switzerland. And no more likely to watch/spend money on streaming than a Swiss audience.

      The best money to make from Indian content is in the diaspora. Hilarious that the successful Netflix India execs were the NRIs. Because of course they were! The profitable audience for Netflix India content are the folks who don’t want to be living in India. They’ve been hitting the gritty grounded blah blah blah content. But Prime went after Made in Heaven and Family Man, big fun dramatic over the top things that anyone can enjoy living anywhere.

      But mostly I’m stuck on the idioticness of buying into the India Rising propaganda. It’s an impoverished country! Doesn’t matter how many people are there if they don’t have any MONEY. Look at the actual numbers of disposable income available to you before you start breaking into a new consumer market. Idiots.

      Oh, and I can’t help but notice the few movies listed as actually successful were the ones where NETFLIX PUT ON FREAKIN’ DUBBING AND SUBTITLES. It’s not that complicated, sheesh.

      On Thu, Feb 3, 2022 at 2:37 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Beside Family Man and Made in Heaven, Prime also has Bandish Bandits – a simple but well done series about classical singer and his family, filled with great music (made by Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy) , family dynamics and beautiful colours. This is what Netflix can’t understand. They produce one dark series after another and think that people will watch it because it has Radhika Apte or Nawazuddin Siddiqui. A Indian crew doesn’t make a Indian movie. It must have the right ingredients.

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  10. Gangubai Kathiawadi trailer is here! Such a different flavour for an SLB movie. It’s pretty, but it is also very gritty. No dance sequences shown (yet, though the soundtrack will be amazing no doubt). Alia, Ajay Devgn, Vijay Raaz and Jim Sarbh really do shine in this even a little.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I finished Akhanda and it was AWESOME. A must watch, so crazy, so over the top, but in the best way because you can see that the protagonist and the director believe in what they are doing, and they’re not ashamed of it.
    They spare no expense, the background score is great, and there are slow motions all the time. You know me, I’m more “two ex-lovers walk in the woods and talk about emotions” movies fan, but here I felt like whistling and applauding during every fight scene. And can we talk about the dialogues? Every time the protagonist(s) open their mouth a screenshot worthy line comes out. I hope this movie will be dubbed and relased in Hindi because it will earn a looot of money for single screens.

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    • Lol Angie if you liked Akhanda so much, then I guess I have to check it out 🙂
      My cousin is a big Balakrishna fan and he’s been telling me that I have to watch Akhanda even though he knows I don’t really like Balakrishna.

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      • I rarely watch mass movies because it’s not my genre, so when I watch one I enjoy it a lot because everything seems new to me – fights with villains bouncing like crazy balls, over the top dialogues, bad acting and even the violence. Akhanda has all those things multiplied by 10.

        I recommend Josh’s thread about the movie:

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  12. Margaret, have you seen Salman’s latest video? You have to!! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Salman has officially crossed into embarrassing uncle of family role who takes videos of every family gathering and shares it with the world. I was laughing my head off and also going ‘awww’! It has like five words but everyone makes an appearance – extended family, ex-girlfriends, colleagues! Enjoy!

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