Top 5 Thursday - Come take me away, please!

Our first Top 5 Thursday on twitter was dedicated to those men/women that you would have a free pass with if they ever managed to cross your path. You know, those ones that get you so hot and bothered that you search out their pictures online, watch their movies and tv shows insistently and overall drive your husband/boyfriend/significant other crazy with your obsession. I've kept a list in my head probably since puberty set in, and it has changed as I've become more mature (in age only!) and have discovered new *ahem* talent, but one thing stays consistent and that's that I definitely have a "type" of man I find irresistible. See if you can figure it out by the end.

Without further ado, the 5 men who succeed in taking my breath away....

#5 Javier Bardem

I just recently saw Vicky Christina Barcelona and was instantly smitten with Javier's charisma and presence in the film. Definitely the film presented him in a very sexy way (who wouldn't want to be swept up in a hot steamy weekend with a handsome stranger in Spain!?). That being said, I might have to avoid No Country For Old Men, as I'm sure it will totally ruin the fantasy! If there's one thing Javier can do it's make me curious about Spanish cinema, so if anyone out there knows of some good titles, let me know!

#4 Ewan McGregor

What can I say about the man who's been on my list the longest? He's insanely gorgeous, with those blue/green eyes, that Scottish accent, and I do know what's under that kilt! To me, he's the definition of a true actor, one that follows his heart rather than a paycheque, and has been successful in theatre as well as film, even shooting his own documentaries. His filmography consists of everything from commercial blockbusters to arthouse film to indie productions. He's an actor that refuses to be typecast, and actually turned down an offer to play James Bond in Casino Royale for that very reason (aak! I would have LOVED that!). Some of my favorites are Little Voice, Brassed Off, Moulin Rouge, Trainspotting and of course Star Wars. Plus I love that he's one of the few actors that is not afraid to take on alternative roles. I'm really looking forward to seeing him and Jim Carrey in I Love You, Phillip Morris.

#3 Arshad Warsi

I've always been a fan of Arshad's, but sometimes there's one movie that makes you just sit straight up and take notice of someone in "that" way, and that's what happened to me. Ishqiya was definitely a turning point in his career, and I think we'll really start to see what he's capable of in the near future. I think Arshad's got that type of sex appeal that appeals to the bad girl in us. He's potently masculine, can really act like nobody's business, is funny as hell and is a trained dancer. What more could you ask for?

I hate to be redundant, and I know I've posted this song before, but I just absolutely adore it to pieces so here it is again!

#2 Gerard Butler

Okay, so I could also have a thing for the Scots, I admit it, and he may be extremely cocky, so I've heard, but that doesn't take away from how amazing I think he is. Gerry comes across, to me, as a real laid back kind of guy, one that's not afraid to throw back a pint and get down on the dance floor. He first wowed me with his mysterious dark take on the Phantom (I was even impressed with his singing), then, even though I never actually watched 300 (tried to, but for some reason just couldn't get through it), the effort he put towards his body did not go unnoticed! His movies are hit and miss with me but he is one of those actors that I will watch even if it's not a genre I particularly enjoy, and I could listen to that accent as it crookedly flows out of that lovely mouth for hours!

Check out this hilarious Japanese interview I found! Complete with a language lesson. So funny!

#1 Shah Rukh Khan

I don't know what to say about Shah Rukh that I haven't said a thousand times already. He is THE perfect package to me. Smart, sexy as all hell, completely talented, a good husband and a great father. I would go across the universe and back for him and his films are always go to's if I need cheering up, need to dance, need to get "in the mood". ha ha. Seriously, I don't see any man ever bumping him from my #1 spot. I am truly a gone soul.

Here's a clip from the London premiere of Raavan

So those are my dream men. Did you figure out the common links? Let me know who you'd drop everything for.

I Hate My Alarm Clock

This morning I was visiting a friend who works at Taco Bell. She had a friend who was coming to stay with her. His name was Rahul Khanna. He was very handsome, easy to talk to. We were getting along fabulously, and there was an instant connection. You know the kind where, when you're hanging out on the couch watching a Bollywood flick, you just kind of snuggle together, maybe hold hands. Not too intimate, but just enough to forget there's anyone else in the room.

I had just finished doing a load of laundry that didn't seem to wash properly in the washing machine (must remember not to put too much in those things!), when Rahul came and grabbed my hand, and much like the film Bollywood/Hollywood (which, incidentally, I had just just recently seen), he led me through my house until we found a room free of other inhabitants. Before I knew what was happening, he grabbed me, lifted me up into his arms and carried me to the bedroom.

"I don't know when it happened," he started to say, "but all those little things that you do have driven me crazy. I've fallen in love with you."

"I love you too," I tell him before we embrace in a passionate kiss and....


Everything I Know About Cricket I Learned From Lagaan

When The Bollywood Fan asked me if I wanted to do a guest post as part of his epic annual Lagaan week, of course I said yes. It is, after all, one of my favorite Aamir Khan films, virtually housing everything that is good and beautiful about Hindi cinema into it's lengthy but lovely film reels. I struggled for a while with what I was going to write, but then it became so glaringly obvious, every thing I think I know about cricket I learned from Lagaan.

What is cricket anyway?

You'd think that cricket would be played as a game of fun or sport, for entertainment or perhaps exercise, but na, it is actually a bartering tool, in this case between the British and the residents of the villages of Champaner. Accept the wager and the entire province doesn't pay taxes for three years. However, lose and it's triple lagaan. An enticing option for sure, if you can play, and I say why not. I think that waging bets on such important aspects of one's livelihood should indeed be common practise. "I'm sorry gov't, I can't afford to pay my taxes this year, but how do you feel about hockey" (I am Canadian after all).

Learning the game

Your best bet to successfully learning how to actually play cricket properly is to get yourself an "insider" - someone who has an in depth knowledge of the rules and is willing to go behind their family's backs or their country's rule to help the opposing team.

Yes, don't ask don't tell policy. Very smart Memsahib! And no one shall ever suspect anything either.

So now what? Language barrier? No problem when you have a translator and a parasol. In fact, the aspects of the game are quite simple.

Batting, bowling and fielding are too hard to understand? What are you going to do when she starts telling you about pitches, wickets, creases, overs, etc etc. Strap on your thinking caps, boys, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Practise Practise Practise

Okay, so knowing how the game is played and actually playing it are two different things. Follow these simple steps and you will be successfully playing in no time:

#1 - Learn how to catch

Why just throw a ball back and forth to each other when you can chase chickens? I think someone should enlighten the MLB to this technique, what say?

#2 - Learn how to bat
Rule No. 1 when batting - own the bat; become one with the wood and envision a hit!
Rule No. 2 when the above does not happen, best not to come up with excuses. Slipped out, my foot!

Rule No. 3 focus, keep your eye on the prize and try again!

Now, it's not always necessary to whack the ball so far that the temple bells ring, but if it was me playing, I'd want all the help from the God's that I could get, and if they could give me a 6, then so be it!

#3 - Learn how to throw

Now, not everyone is blessed with a good throwing arm, but if Charlie Sheen can do it in Major League, surely there are several good men out there that have it in them too. Use life to motivate you - even if the end result is a chicken war. (I'm starting to think these chickens are the 12th player in this game!)

Then again, some people are naturally gifted!

#4 - Learn how to run

It seems easy enough to run, but it's imperative that you have speed when playing cricket. It could make the difference between a single and a double run, and when you're playing for the livelihood of an entire province those feet better be given 'er. Practising on stairs, however, probably not the easiest way to improve your speed. Maybe we should get the hens out again.

You're only as good as your theme song

Oh, it's true. A team is nothing if they don't have a good theme song to back them up. Something that the crowd can sing as they cheer for their favorites to take home the cup! Plus nothing puts the spirit back into a group of men as they hear their song being chanted back to them! CHALE CHALO Champaner farm team! Plus you know when you have a song that an "I love you Bhuvan" poster isn't far behind.

What to wear to a cricket match

So you're going to see a cricket match in the middle of the dusty and dry Champaner, what do you wear? Well, if you're British you dress up in Sunday's finest of course. After all, you are the elite, especially amongst the masses of common native residents and must stand out, especially if it means wearing your very best frills. "Winston, pass me my finest hat so I can show the people we are trying to crush just how civilized I can look, will you?"


How to celebrate a win

So, you've just beaten the odds and came out of a seemingly impossible situation as the victors! What do you do now? I encourage you to invite the spectating masses to crowd the field thus increasing your chances for numerous amounts of high fives and butt slaps.

Of course, your journey probably wasn't done just on your own, so, if you have a loved one that has supported your cricket playing dreams, now is the time to show them your appreciation. Keep the pda's pg rated though, after all, you never know who could be watching.

And what would a celebration be without a little comraderic singing and dancing in the rain? You've learned a lot about yourself and of your fellow teammates, so let them know that you appreciate the journey that you've taken together!

How to celebrate a loss

You know that sometimes you just can't win them all, and, unfortunately there will always be one winning team and one losing team when it comes to gambling on sports. If you find yourself on the losing end, feel free to release your frustrations on whatever furniture finds itself in your way. After all, when the stakes are so high that you need to cover the other team's loss and you end up being transferred, you have to get rid of those frustrations somehow.

A word to the wise, however, maybe gambling isn't your game and you should have just stuck to the ball and bat afterall.

So there you have it, the ins and outs of cricket according to the gang from Lagaan. I have since happily taken my newly found knowledge and applied it to even more cricket watching, so not only did this film help me learn of a fascinating sport, but has since instilled a newly formed love with the IPL! Now can someone please lend the KKR some chickens to catch!?

Mini Reviews: Think of them like little chocolate bars

It seems like lately time just has been getting away from me. Before I blink, a month has gone by. What the heck happened to Spring? Before I know it, school will be out, then back in again and it will be winter. Someone tell Father Time to slow it down a bit please! Anyway, I don't really like doing these condensed mini reviews - I feel like I miss so much, so I'm choosing to think of them as those little bite size chocolate bars you get at Halloween. Small, but still delicious! With that being said, here's a few thoughts on what I've seen lately.

Abhishek Bachchan is the suavest of conmen, but his games end up losing him the love of his life (Priyanka Chopra). What's a guy to do, especially when a newly acquainted doctor (Bowman Irani) tells him he's only a short time to live? What other than take an up and coming grifter (Ritesh Deshmukh), teach him everything he knows and go after the "big one" - one final con, if you will. Maybe while he's teaching how to successfully rip people off, he will earn back the love and trust of the woman he pines for?

Rohan Sippy delivers a fun and stylish film with a nice blend of action, suspense, comedy and drama. The dialogues are first rate, with Nana Patekar hitting home runs every time he opens his mouth. I especially enjoyed him during the film's climax and subsequent resolve at the end of the film. Himmam Dhamjia's cinematography is great, making Mumbai look gorgeous (please can I just go now?), and the music is completely catchy.

The perfect popcorn film.

I arrived at my sister's for our usual Monday movie night late and, with a handful of films, picked the one with the shortest running time. Written and directed by Aparna Sen, the film stars house fav Konkona Sen Sharma as Meenakshi Iyer, a young traditional Tamil Iyer Brahmin mother, on route to Calcutta. She finds a helping hand in Raja Chowdhury (Rahul Bose)and in return, when Hindu extremists board their bus looking for Muslims, she lends him her last name pretending that they are married. The exchange bonds the two throughout the film in some very personal and intimate moments.

In a few words, this film is about humanity, kindness and love. It shows us how love conquers hatred, it shows us that humanity and love know no religion, caste or colour and it is one outstanding picture. The acting was superb, the direction equally so and the film itself is beautiful - especially the scene when the Raja shows Meenakshi how to take a picture. Really beautiful stuff.

Don't ask me how I go from something like Mr & Mrs Iyer to Pyaar Impossible, but I everyone already knows my guilty secret - you know the one - so I felt obligated almost to watch this (and yes, I actually did buy it! I know, I know!)

So, because I'm already hanging my head in shame, I guess I'll just keep on going and say that I actually found this film to be quite sweet. Uday Chopra plays the geeky, but uber intelligent Abhay, whose groundbreaking computer software has been stolen by the handsome Sidhu (Dino Morea). In an effort to find his balls and reclaim what is rightfully his, Abhay follows Sidhu to Singapore and discovers the love of his life, Alisha (Priyanka Chopra), is a public relations rep for the same company who has purchased his stolen software. He mistakenly gets hired by Alisha to be the new nanny for her rambunctious daughter. Will Abhay get back the software? Will he win Alisha's heart? Will he ever get a decent haircut? I dare you to watch and find out.

I hated this dress!

I have to say that I thought Uday was really funny in this. The scene where he's serving Alisha's guests was quite physically hilarious and probably one of the best moments in the film. Priyanka did a decent job as well, though anyone could have really played her role given the depth of the story. There were a couple of things I found quite ridiculous about the film, however. One was how demanding Alisha was. Do people just expect their nannies to be at their every beck and call for their own personal use? Also, oh my God, if my child acted like hers does in this film, they'd be strapped down permanently. What a horrid child! Story aside, the music in the film was also very much below par. I think there was 5 songs or so, each of them had the same recurring Pyaar Impossible theme running through them. One song - 5 variations I suppose. Come on Yash Raj, you can do better than that.

Overall a light, very light, serving of filmi frothiness and a decent attempt by Uday for his first film.

The first time I saw the preview for this I knew I wanted to see it. Even though Deeps hasn't impressed me since Om Shanti Om, I love Farhan Aktar.

Farhan plays Karthik, a bit of a loser at work and at life. His boss walks all over him. Shonali, the girl he adores, doesn't even know he exists. In fact he and Abhay from PI could be the same person (tee hee). One day he receives a phone call from someone who says that he is Karthik and that, if he listens to his advice and follows exactly what he says, making sure not to tell anyone his secret, his life will turn around. Well, if you can't trust yourself, who can you trust? Karthik immediately takes his phone caller's advice, and low and behold, his life starts to change for the better. Things go smoothly along for him until he confides his secret and then the mindgames begin.

I thought that writer and director Vijay Lalwani did a good job of keeping the suspense high in the film, and it kept me guessing until the very end. Farhan is especially good at these subdued roles and amazingly enough, I enjoyed Deepika in it. Another plus for the film is the fantastic music! I love each and every song (with the exception of maybe the opening song).

So that's it for now. I did get a chance to also watch an early Shah Rukh film, but I want to do it justice, so watch for a review of Chaahat coming soon.

Get Your Feet Moving

Isn't it funny when you get the chance to go away for the weekend to do something for a whole weekend that you used to love and when you get there you just end up thinking what a boring time you're having? That was me this weekend. I used to love scrapbooking, could sit in my craft room for hours and hours creating wonderful pages of my boys for scrapbooks that I would eventually pass on to them whether they wanted them or not.

I had 52 hours away from the family, with a room full of good friends, including my best friend who I always get a little too silly with, and this is what I ended up doing:

- played on facebook
- stared for hours at a scrapbook layout website trying to get inspired
- lurked on twitter
- ate way too much food (who serves dessert at every meal anymore? I need to work out twice as hard this week now. Thanks a lot bed & breakfast owners!)
- relaxed in the hot tub (a highlight for sure!)
- enjoyed a few drinkypoos (though not enough to get really silly)
- attempted to start writing my post for Lagaan week
- eventually did get about 6 or 7 pages done. This is a new record low for me
- listened to season 3 of the Curry Smugglers

So, while it wasn't a very productive weekend, it did lead up to this post which actually does have a point. While I was listening to the season opening episode of Paresh and Sachin's baby, I came aross this song that made me want to get out of my chair immediately and dance till I couldn't dance any more.

The song is On The Dancefloor by a group called The Bilz & Kashif.

I need to explore these guys a little further, but holy man, what a song! What do you think? Here's a few others I came across on youtube...

So, while being home now means being back to reality, which always includes an endless amount of dirty diapers and yelling at my youngest to "GET DOWN", at least I can still tear up the dancefloor!

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Okay, so this has absolutely nothing to do with Bollywood at all (or Monty Python for that matter), but my sister sent this link to me for this comedy group Flight of the Conchords tonight and I had to post it. I found it so funny, especially the first video Business Time. Wonder if House favorites the Curry Smugglers could do a remix with this one! ;)

And a parody on what I am assuming is Fergie's My Humps...

I'm not sure what it says about me that I thought this was funny as hell, but then again I have a soft spot for musical comedy, being a fan of Canadian comedy favs Arrogant Worms and Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie.

That is all.

Yes Boss

It seems forever ago since I received my very first batch of dvd's in the mail, but I remember the excitement levels were extremely high. They were all Shah Rukh Khan films, of course, and one of the first I attempted to watch was Yes Boss. I say attempted because I don't think my sister and I got past the first half hour. But we were both newbies, not yet schooled in the art of Hindi comedy, and Shah Rukh in a clown costume was just a little beyond our comprehension.

That was then.

This is now.

I finally got around to putting what some consider to be Shah and Juhi's funniest movie back on the dvd player, and when it was finished (after I rewatched some of the songs, that is), I thought why did I wait so long? Yes Boss is kind of like a chocolate ice cream cone, full of rich decadent goodness, with tiny sprinkles of happiness on top. It's a film that is bahut sweet and when you're all done you feel totally satisfied!

Directed by Aziz Mirza, Yes Boss is the story of Rahul (Shah Rukh), the ambitious assistant to manipulative, married yet womanising businessman Siddharth (Aditya Pancholi). Rahul's loyalty to his boss is unlimited, and he does everything for him, Siddharth's own personal enabler. In return, Rahul's boss promises to help him become an independent businessman in the corporate world. Our story really begins when Siddharth decides to dig his claws into the innocent and lovely young model Seema (Juhi), with whom Rahul develops feelings for almost immediately. When ensues is an incredibly funny series of events that includes silly costumes, heartwarming moments and even a bit of dishoom dishoom!

Gosh, I love Shah and Juhi together! They are the 90's couple for me, and in this film (just like the others I've seen them in), they play off of each other making every moment filmi perfection! I think there's some debate between Shah fans as to which are better - his early work or the films he's making now. I find it a hard decision to make, a toss up if you will, because each have their own merits. I will say, however, that I love this type of role. His Rahul reminds me of Sunil in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na, a simple, sensitive, generous, happy and struggling middle-class guy. He is completely convincing and gets to play pretty much every range of emotions as he struggles with his feelings, with his ambitions, with his jack ass of a boss. And he looks adorable through it all (make sure to catch the bathtub scene about half way through!)

Juhi, as always, is the epitome of innocence. Beautiful and vulnerable, she is just completely enchanting as Seema, an aspiring model. She comes across as a very simple and gentle young woman who has great values and who, like Rahul, has dreams of finding success. Personally, I think of Juhi as Bollywood's sweetheart, and she gets to show off all of the emotions that qualify her as such. The growth of her character is believable, and as expected, she is fantastic in the comic sequences.

Other cast members are good. Aditya Pancholi manages to be as hateful as his character requires. Kashmira Shah is pretty good in a small role and she is so gorgeous that many would wonder how her husband even thinks of cheating on her. Reema Lagoo and Johnny Lever do their usual stuff.

One more aspect that significantly contributes to the film is undoubtedly Jatin-Lalit's soundtrack. Every song stands out. Ek Din Aap is very melodious and soothing; Choodi Baji Hai Kahi is joyful and is beautifully shot among some breathtaking landscapes. Also Shah as a sad clown breaks my heart every single time. Chand Taare is lovely and Suniye To and Jaata Hai Tu Kaha are very catchy, the later is an extremely fun song to watch, very colorful and energetic. Main Koi Aisa Geet is my favorite of the film though and is brilliantly pictured on Shah and Juhi as he tries to entertain her and finally succeeds. Plus I love Juhi's yellow dress!

So do I think that Yes Boss is more humorous than what I considered to be Shah's funniest film, Duplicate? I don't think so, but it is probably the sweetest feel good movie I've seen of his. They don't make films like this anymore. Brilliantly done!