There’s something inherently cool about taking a structure conceived for an animated movie or TV show and building it for real.
Spot Cool Stuff regulars may remember our piece on the the real life Simpsons house constructed in Nevada. Building an accurate rendition of that was difficult enough—and it was a regular suburban dwelling. Imagine the challenge of building the house featured in the Pixar hit movie Up. That house was attached to balloons and was able to fly!
Spot Cool Stuff recently took a visit to places in Hawaii where the hit TV show LOST was filmed. That was our way of biding time until the day the show’s fifth season arrived on Blu-ray.
Happily, that day has come!
There is no doubt: The Blu-ray future is upon us. The humble DVD will soon go the way of the Betamax and VHS tape. Which means now is the time for you to buy a Blu-ray player.
If you own a high definition TV then a Blu-ray player is a must. Looking at a normal DVD on an HDTV is like listening to an audio CD through a 1930s gramophone speaker.
Even for those who don’t yet have an HDTV we maintain that a Blu-ray is a worthy investment—you’ll eventually be buying one anyway (read our review of the best inexpensive HDTV sets) and once you do you’ll have access to a host of interactive Blu-ray movie features. (What those features are exactly varies from movie to movie). Most of all, movies look considerably better with Blu-ray.
Spot Cool Stuff has run through all the mainstream consumer Blu-ray player options. Here, in our judgment, are the best:
What’s better than getting The Band Of Brothers, one of the greatest TV miniseries in history, on 1080p high definition Blu-ray with DTS surround sound?
Barak Obama’s election has fueled interest in a previous young president who came into office on a platform of change: John F Kennedy. For that there’s the recently released JFK Ultimate Collector’s Edition featuring Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie on DVD. Along with the epic three-hour long JFK flick, this collector’s edition includes an extra three hours of documentaries, deleted scenes from the movie, a 38-page hardcover photo book and reproductions of famous JFK letters.
Note: See our original Bollywood DVD review, Om Shanti Om, for an overview of this series of posts.
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Never Say Goodbye, 2006) is a movie of superlatives. It is the highest grossing Bollywood film of all time and among its most decorated with an astounding 11 Global Indian Film Awards and 8 Filmfare awards (the rough Indian equivalent of the American Oscars). It is also, arguably, one of Bollywood’s most artistically shot movies and most cerebral in its plot. The story, set in New York City, starts with a chance meeting of two strangers on a bench and a life changing car accident. From there a love square develops in which questions of fidelity, happiness and free will become paramount. As does the question of divorce, a topic that is rarely addressed in Bollywood and one which places Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna on another list of superlatives: one of India’s most controversial movies.
See a clip for the movie, below.
Note: Spot Cool Stuff is are not from India and doesn’t claim any special expertise of Bollywood. However, we are casual fans of Bollywood and have watched more than our share of its flicks. Over the last year we’ve noticed an uptick in westerners asking us suggestions of Indian movies they might want to check out. Hence our new category: Blockbuster Movies (For People New to Bollywood Movies). We are not claiming that these are the very best Bollywood movies. We do think a new fan might appreciate watching them. All of our choices will be relatively easy to obtain (at Blockbuster or through Amazon, for example) and offer subtitles. We’ve opened this post for comments so, please, feel free to suggest Bollywood movies of your own . . .
Om Shanti Om (2008) begins as the story of an aspiring Bollywood actor (played by Shahrukh Khan who, ironically, is one of Bollywood’s biggest stars). The film then morphs into a murder plot. Then morphs again into a revenge saga. It all takes 162 minutes, several slapstick gags, one reincarnation and several dance numbers to get through. The Bollywood-film-within-a-Bollywood-film is a double treat for you if you are new to the genre, providing a behind the scenes look at the movie culture in India. Many of Bollywood’s top stars make cameos of themselves throughout the film. Check out one of the dance numbers after the jump.
Cast Highlights: Shahrukh Khan (the main character) and Arjun Rampal (the villain) are Bollywood veterans. Deepika Padukone (the main love interest) is very much a rising star.
Plot Complexity: Medium
Amount of Sing And Dancing: Medium (for a Bollywood movie)
Best Line: “Oh, Fish”
Funny Moment (That Wasn’t Intended To Be): The whole My Heart Is Full Of The Pain Of Disco song.
What To Look For: Subtle digs at the movie culture in Hollywood.