Rack up the TV time this summer with these DVDs.
During my childhood - as any kid would - I used to eagerly wait for the summer vacations. You knew there were two months of doing absolutely nothing but plonking yourself in front of the television and watching movies and playing video games, including the good ol’ Super Mario.
The thing with video games is that once you’ve mastered the game, the thrill of playing it subsides and the game becomes a bit boring. But with movies there is no such thing, and I used to end up watching two movies a day and sometimes even three, as I am sure many of you did. As far as movies were concerned, we were restricted to watching some good (read Sholay or Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro), some bad (any action movie with nonsensical titles, and there were many!) and some really terrible (Jaani Dushman) Hindi movies.
But times have changed now, and for the better, as one has easy access to cinema titles from all over the world, and there is a much wider movie base to choose from. And with most DVDs having additional features like interviews with the actors and the director, the making of the movie and so on, you could luck in on interesting insights. Here is my pick of some movie DVDs that you might want to watch this summer.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Having been disappointed by Woody Allen’s Match Point, I was a bit sceptical about watching his latest movie. But Vicky Cristina Barcelona is typical Woody Allen fare, with some great performances and a great soundtrack. The story follows Vicky and Cristina, played by Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson, spending a summer in Barcelona. The two meet a Spanish artist, Juan Antonio Gonzalo, played by Javier Bardem. Penelope Cruz plays the role of Bardem’s wife and does a good job. The movie has a lot of wry humour along with some dark moments, which are Allen’s trademarks. If you are looking for extras, unfortunately there are none available, which is a shame as it would be great to hear from Allen about the making of this movie.
Luck by Chance
Zoya Akhtar’s debut as a director drew mixed reactions from the audiences. Some went ga-ga over it while there were others who couldn’t stand the movie at all. Personally, I thought the movie was extremely well made and for her first movie, Akhtar does a great job. The real stars of the movie were old-timers Rishi Kapoor, who in the role of a quintessential Bollywood producer delivers an excellent performance, and Dimple Kapadia who, as the heroine Isha Sharvani’s mother, excels in her role. The special two-DVD set of the movie has the making of the movie as well as the songs in addition to a few deleted scenes. Watch it just for Rishi Kapoor’s performance.
I’m not too sure whether the DVD is easily available, but if you do manage to lay your hands on it, then do not miss it. Set in the 18th century, the movie is about a man and his quest for the perfect scent. The protagonist, played by Ben Whirshaw, who gives a fantastic performance, murders dozens of women to create the perfect scent. The movie has Dustin Hoffman in a brief but dazzling cameo as the master perfumer. Perfume is not a movie meant to be seen on an idle Sunday afternoon, as it is a dark film, focusing on an insane obsession.You might not enjoy it but won’t stop watching it, either in shock or awe!
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
If there is one DVD set which provides value for money, it is the J R R Tolkien trilogy. The 12-disc set has some mind-blowing features including several documentaries about various aspects of the filming, extended versions of all the three movies, deleted scenes, and fantastic insight into how the epic was made into the movie by the cast and crew members. But this is one DVD set which will require you to sit for over 40 hours in front of the TV to complete it. It’s actually made for only and only die-hard Tolkien fans. If you are one, then the 40 hours would be well spent!
It’s not a movie but a collection of short movies made by some so-called offbeat directors, including the likes of Anurag Kashyap, Rituparno Ghosh and Sudhir Mishra. Some of the short movies are very good, especially Kashyap’s “Pramod Bhai 23”, which is about a young boy who dreams about being friends with film stars and underworld gangsters. There are some great performances in the short stories by Dipak Dobriyal, Ranvir Shorey and Vinay Pathak. Even if you can’t find the DVD easily, try downloading it off the Net, as it would be totally worth the bandwidth and time.
There is something else you can try if you are really bored and want to have some fun watching movies. Do a trashy movie marathon. Get a few friends together, pick up some of the worst Hindi movies ever made and you will end up having a blast. Here are some movies which can be a part of your trashy movie marathon.
Avatar An all-time favourite of mine. Rajesh Khanna at his hamming best, and that is saying something, considering the kind of movies India’s first superstar did in his latter years. In fact, if there is one movie where everyone has acted terribly, then it has to be Avatar. Some of the sequences in the movie are so bad that they will have you rolling on the floor with laughter. Check out the scene where Rajesh Khanna gets out of his car to buy a pack of cigarettes!
The Burning Train
I am sure a channel like Zee Cinema has ensured that you get your dose of this movie from time to time. Still, when you get the VCD at Rs 40, it’s worth buying just for the fire suits donned by Jeetendra and Dharmendra. Also, the movie takes the cake for having one of the worst climax scenes in the whole history of Hindi cinema. Watch it for cheap thrills!
Another classic from the trash basket of Hindi cinema. One of the finest ensemble casts ever assembled — and director Raj Kumar Kohli dishes out this. A story of a mysterious character who murders every young bride in his vicinity. Actors like Sanjeev Kumar and Sunil Dutt in forgettable performances — I mean, what were they thinking!