Monday, February 25, 2013

Director Shankar's expensive Plan B !

Director Shankar who is known for his extravagance leaves no stone unturned to capture the perfect imagery for his movies. Shankar has never been one who has been perturbed by size, location or budgets. For his latest film ‘I’, Shankar had scouted for some spectacular locations in China and also completed shooting some portions there in his first schedule.

But all was not roses for Shankar as he couldn’t gain access to some parts of China where he planned the shoot. Despite making numerous efforts his request was declined by the local authorities. But in typical Shankar style, he has apparently recreated those parts of China across 150 acres in Kodaikkanal to shoot those portions.

Looks like Shankar’s ‘Little China’ is quite the expensive Plan B !

Actress Shruti Haasan joins the heavyweight S S Rajamouli gang

Shruti Haasan has been roped in for the next mega project of director S S Rajamouli which already has the likes of Anushka, Rana and Prabhas. This project has been titled as Baahubali and features Rana and Prabhas as brothers with Anushka pairing up with the latter.

This movie will get into production from April onwards and is currently in the pre-production and location scouting phase. The lead cast is being trained in martial arts and horse riding for this movie which comes on the back of the Rajamouli blockbuster Eega. Keeravani will compose the tunes for this film as well. 

Oscars : Disappointment for India, joy for Ang Lee!

‘Life of Pi’, a movie adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel, which was shot extensively in and around Pondicherry with the help of a healthy Indian contingent as part of the crew has bagged 4 awards at the 85thAcademy Awards that took place earlier today.

Not surprisingly the film won for Best Visual Effects and also for Best Cinematography which was accepted by Claudio Miranda. But the most unexpected surprise was Ang Lee winning Best Director, and deservingly too, since Steven Spielberg was the front runner for that award for his film ‘Lincoln’.

While the film was nominated for a total of 11 categories, the most anticipated one of them for the Indian audiences was that of Best Original Song which would have fetched Bombay Jayashri an Oscar for lending her voice, but sadly that wasn’t to be as the award went to the title track of the James Bond film ‘Skyfall’. But the film’s music director Mychael Danna took home the award for Best Original Score.

In the end the director, who won the award for second time after Brokeback Mountain, was clearly overwhelmed with the announcement and in his acceptance speech he made it a point to thank his Indian crew and even managed to sneak in a ‘Namaste’.

Monday, February 18, 2013

After Mumbai, Morocco beckons Jiiva and Thulasi

The second schedule of Ravi K Chandran’s Yaan has been wrapped up. This was supposedly the longer of the two schedules. The director has also revealed that he has canned 65% of the film and that they are left with five songs, four action sequences and one more schedule of talkie portions.

The final schedule will happen at Morocco for 20 days, announced the cinematographer-turned-director.

The film stars Jiiva and Thulasi Nair in the lead roles and RS Infotainment is funding the flick. The technical crew also consists of, editor Sreekar Prasad, sound engineer Resul Pookutty, composer Harris Jayaraj and cinematographer Neha Parti. 

Siva Karthikeyan values his 20 minutes with Ajith

Not many know that actor Siva Karthikeyan actually made a blink-you-miss type cameo in Ajith’s 2008 release, Aegan. Siva recalled that he felt astonished seeing Ajith for the first time due to the sheer presence of the star and his glowing complexion.

Siva got a chance to act in this film thanks to his comedy show on TV, which was noticed by one of the associate directors who was working for Aegan. He had to wait for 4 to 5 days though, to get a chance to do a scene together with Ajith but was made to feel welcome despite his humble stature at that time. Ajith spent about 20 minutes with him before their shot, asking him about whether he was paid properly, his family life and also about his spending and saving habits.  
Due to changes in the script, Siva didn’t participate in Aegan beyond that particular day but he still deems it an unforgettable experience.

Official Confirmation: Prabhu Deva-Salman for Wanted 2

This time, Salman Khan prefers a fresh script and not a remake. As soon as the news about 'Wanted 2' flashed from the production house of Boney Kapoor, the instant question that rose in every mind was whether it would be again a remake as Salman Khan's recent films have been mostly of that sort including 'Kick' (a remake of Ravi Teja's Telugu movie).

However, the closest source of Sallu Bhai revealed that the actor is keenly looking out for a fresh script and agreed to sign this project only on this condition.

The film will be directed by Prabhu Deva, who has witnessed a couple of blockbusters (Wanted and Rowdy Rathore), which again are a remake of South projects.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

'I' beats 'Endhiran' in cost?

His current production with Shankar is "I" which has a cast of Vikram, Amy Jackson, Santhanam and Powerstar Srinivasan. Rumours had it that this movie had a budget of 80 to 90 crores, but now, sources close to the producer said that the actual budget of "I" is about 145 crores. If this is true, then this film surpasses "Endhiran" and will be the costliest film ever made in India. Vikram said that the film is based on a life of a male model and problems he faces.One of the costliest movies ever to be made in India was Rajnikanth and Aishwariya Rai Bachchan starrer "Endhiran" Producedby Sun Pictures. The another big producer Aascar Ravichandran who had known for his mega budget films is on a role now

6000 people fight for 'Bhoolagam'!!

Aascar Ravichandran, the producer of the Jeyam Ravi and Trisha starrer "Bhoolagam" has taken up a challenge to outdo his own feats of grandeur in older movies.
The team of "Bhoologam" is in Thiruvannamalai now for  10 day schedule of a fight sequence. This fight alone costs 4 crores and has 6000 people in it. The hero, the villain, 4000 college students, 1000 junior artists, 150 trained athletes and almost 500 sports persons from colleges. Blows your mind? Ours too. We are eager to watch the magnificent outcome of this literally mass fight scene.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rajinikanth to see Kamal's 'Vishwaroopam' Wednesday

They’ve always been the best of friends and the best of rivals. The two icons of Tamil cinema - Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth - have always stood by each other. It, therefore, comes as no surprise to know that the latter would be watching the former's controversial "Vishwaroopam" Wednesday.
Said Kamal: "I'm expressing my gratitude to all my colleagues in the Tamil film industry for standing by me. I've a screening at the 6 Degrees theatre in the Auro 3D format for all my friends this evening."
The screening of "Vishwaroopam", directed and produced by Kamal, was banned in Tamil Nadu after a group of Muslim Organisations protested against the film saying it will hurt the sentiments of the Muslims. But later, after several round of talks, the actor-filmmaker got permission to release the film after editing objectionable scenes. Now the espionage thriller is releasing in the state Thursday.
Before that there is the special screening and Rajinikanth, who stood by him during tough times, is among the special invitees.
Said a source close to Kamal: “Yes, Rajini sir is indeed watching 'Vishwaroopam' on Kamal sir’s request. Rajini Sir was one of the first actors in Tamil Nadu who spoke up in favour of Kamal sir’s film when all the protests broke out. He even offered to do a film free of cost to compensate for the losses suffered by Kamal sir because of the protests. Kamal sir has arranged a screening of 'Vishwaroopam' in the special Auro 3D for Rajni sir.”
A special screening of the film for the Bollywood fraternity is also being planned in Mumbai. It is expected to be attended by the Bachchans, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, the Roshans and Shatrughan Sinha’s family, among many others.
On Feb 9, Kamal leaves for Paris for the special French premiere on Feb 10 of "Vishwaroopam", which stars Kamal along with Pooja Kumar, Jaideep Ahlawat, Shekhar Kapur and Rahul Bose.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Actor Kamal announces "Moo"

With his "Vishwaroopam" issue settled down after facing various problems, Kamal is ready with his next which is to be titled 'Moo'. It has been reported that Kamal will be starting this project after completing his Vishwaroopam 2.
Quiz Kamal about this he said, "I will be registering the title soon. It denotes three. The Tamil language has this beauty about it - you can tell a word in one syllable, like nee, naan, thee. I'd like to title my next film, post Vishwaroopam 2, as Moo." We hear that Kamal will be playing three roles in the film and it also might be made in English because of the Ulaganayagan's interest in Hollywood. Not surprisingly  the famous Hollywood producer Barrie Osborne has shown an interest in working with Kamal. Barrie Osborne is well known for his series of "Lord Of The Rings". " I am inspired by Kamal Haasan. We are discussing a project together. I hope it comes true soon." says Barrie Osborne.
When asked about this, a source close to Kamal said. " There's no official confirmation about Moo yet. Kamal sir is planning to make Vishwaroopam 2 next and he had mentioned that even during the talks with the Muslim groups. He has already shot most of the film and will shoot the remaining portions soon. In fact, when Vishwaroopam ends, there's an indication that the sequel will take place in India."

February release schedule

As per early scheduling, February with 28 days may have a record 23 releases. Most of these are low budget unknown movies with either newcomers or little known faces.

Some have announced release dates, while others are waiting to be censored or trying to get a decent release date. There is such a huge rush in February mainly because everybody wants to release before examination season starts in March.
Here is the February list, taken from newspaper ads and trade talks. The dates mentioned need not be accurate, as some of them may get postponed or delayed.
Feb1 – 1.David 2. Kadal (Released)
Feb 7 – 3.Vishwaroopam
Feb 8 – 4.Chuda Chuda 5.Ninavodu Kalandhuvidu 6. Ariyadhavan-Puriyadhavan
Feb 14 – 7. Sillunnu Oru Sandhippu 8. Nesam Nasepeduthe 9. Vanayudham 10. Naangam Pirai -3D
Feb 15 – 11. Pardesi 12. Aadalam Boys Chinnadha Dance
Feb 22 – 13. Aadhibhagavan 14. KD Billa Killadi Ranga 15. Haridas 16. Pechiakka Marumagan 17.Thalakonam 18. Chandamama
Also trying for February Release – 19. Kiripulla 20. Andava Perumal 21. Kanpesum Varthakal 22.Arjunan Kathali 23. Sonna puriyathu

Films with item numbers to carry ‘A’ certificate!

All films with item songs will get an ‘Adult’ rating, as per a recent order of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). An ‘A’ certificate will hit filmmakers hard, as satellite television rates of the film will plunge.

A meeting of CBFC members in Mumbai was critical of what the censors had passed. The censor board came under tremendous pressure after the recent Delhi gang rape.
The CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur has said : “ We have decided to issue ‘A’ certificate to any film which has an item number” The CBFC felt some strict measures has to be taken before the public anger boils over.
Producers in south are already hit by the ban, as most pictures which have item numbers are now calling it “fun song” !! But CBFC chief Leela Samson is clear that in whatever name you call an item song, the producer will have to take an ‘A’ cut!
Meanwhile after Vishwaroopam controversy and subsequent ban in Tamil Nadu, the centre has appointed a judicial commission to review the Cinematography Act, which creates and empowers the national censor board.
An eight-member committee has been appointed by the centre headed by retired Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Mukul Mudgal, and includes Sharmila Tagore, who headed the censor board, and award-winning lyricist and parliamentarian Javed Akhtar.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Actor Kamal Haasan manages to beat Rajini

Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroop has managed a decent first weekend total in the Hindi markets by netting 7.75 crores. The opening day netted 1.89 crores, as earlier reported. Each subsequent day showed good growth when compared to the previous day and this total is the highest for the Hindi version of a South Indian film. Previously Rajini’s Robot managed a first weekend net of 7.25 – 7.5 crores.

Ahead of the release of the original Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu in the coming days, this news must come as sweet music to Kamal Haasan and his supporters.

Actress Neetu Chandra does an item number for Settai!

After sizzling in Kanni Theevu Ponna… in Mysskin’s Yuddham Sei, Neetu Chandra is all set to woo the audience with her moves in Laila Laila… in Settai. Yes, the actress will be seen performing a special number in the film, along with Arya, Santhanam and Premgi.
Confirming the news, director Kannan says, “We will be shooting for the song for three days from February 9 in the city. It’s a very peppy number and Na Muthukumar has written the lyrics for it. Videsh is now working towards erecting a lavish set of a Mumbai bar, replete with flashy bulbs. Kalyan master will be choreographing the song. We wanted someone who could look sensuous, and roped in Neetu Chandra for the song.”
Neetu is quite gung-ho about the number as well. “I love dancing, and as soon as I heard the tunes, I was sold on performing for this number,” she says. Settai is the Tamil remake of Delhi Belly.

Christian groups want a ban on Kadal !

Now a ban on Mani Ratnam’s Kadal? A Christian fringe group led by a priest has approached the Chennai city police commissioner demanding a ban on the film for it being “anti-Christian”!

The group Christhuva Jananayaga Katchi (CJK) found certain scenes in the film to be objectionable and depicts christians in bad light! The organisaton members have metChennai city police Commissioner and requested him to ban Kadal from screening.
The CJK are also demanding that seven scenes, the same number of scenes objected by Muslim communities in Vishwaroopam, be deleted from the film!

Actor Kamal Haasan's 'Vishwaroopam' to release in Tamil Nadu on Thursday

Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan's film Vishwaroopam will release in theatres in Tamil Nadu on Thursday, after the state government first banned the film and then brokered a compromise with leaders of groups who were offended by the portrayal of Muslims in the Rs. 95-crore film.

Ahead of the film's debut in his home state, Kamal Haasan agreed to edit out the audio for seven scenes and withdraw a petition in the Madras High Court challenging the government's ban.

In a statement today, the actor, who has also produced and directed 'Vishwaroopam', thanked his fans for their immovable support. "What brought me to an emotional pulp was the sight of many money orders, currency notes and bank cheques sent to me in envelopes," he said, referring to the donations made after he disclosed last week that the ban on his movie had placed him in borderline bankruptcy. He asked his admirers not to be offended by his decision to return their money. "In case politics and religion hound me again to take refuge," he said, he will call on them.
Since January 22, when the government banned his film two days before its scheduled release in 524 theatres, Kamal Haasan has defended his movie as "Muslim-friendly" and said that he has been used as "a political instrument." A judge of the Madras High Court who said that the ban should be lifted was over-ruled by two others the next day.

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa last week said the ban was necessary to maintain law and order, but offered that her government would help mediate negotiations between Muslim groups and the actor.  After six hours of talks on Saturday, Kamal Haasan agreed that the audio would be removed in seven contentious scence

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Actor Kamal & Muslim groups come to a settlement

Kamal Haasan talking to the press at around 8:00pm IST on Feb 2nd, said that the meeting with the Muslim groups has been successful in resolving Vishwaroopam's release problem. He added that he has accepted to remove few ‘objectionable’ audio segments from the movie.
Once these segments are removed, a certification will be obtained again from the Censor Board, which could probably be tomorrow (3rd February) and a release date will be announced as soon as possible. 

The actor also added that he will be withdrawing the writ petition from the High Court. He once again thanked the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Dr.J.Jayalalitha and the Tamil Nadu Government for playing a major role in resolving the problem. Kamal also thanked the media and his fans for their continued support. 

The Muslim groups have also re-iterated that they now have no personal animosity against Kamal and that they will withdraw the cases in regards to the issue immediately.
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