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Suddenly, it seems, it’s possible to have a conversation with your grandmother about what her favourite online games are.
Ten years ago such a dialogue would have been unthinkable, but now smartphones have spread into every section of society.
Affordable touchscreen technology, the spread of connectivity via Wi-Fi, and ingenious game designers are responsible for this state of affairs.
Prices are likely to come down as devices spread further into the market, and ported versions of console games and gaming websites are released for smartphones.
In some developing countries, the used mobile phone market is huge. As the first wave of smartphones enters these markets we’re likely to see a situation where, eventually, the majority of humanity owns – and plays games on – such a device.
So, what’s the world playing? Anyone who can predict what we’ll want to do with our smartphones in, say, 18 months time is likely to make a lot of money.
So let’s have a look at the best and most successful games available now.
One of the biggest markets in the world is online gambling. The ability to play poker, blackjack, roulette and slots on a smartphone is now limited only by connectivity and, sometimes, the legal situation in various countries.
In India, for example, Maharashtra is the only state that expressly forbids online gambling, and if you’re looking for a smartphone casino the choice is huge.
Some of the biggest casinos originate in the UK, where a well-regulated, legal online gambling industry contributes to billions of dollars that change hands every year globally.
Grand Theft Auto V was the console hit of 2013, and developers Rockstar Games have managed to keep smartphone gamers excited by releasing mobile versions of earlier games including GTA: San Andreas. GTA V had sold nearly 30 million copies six weeks after its release in September 2013.
If that figure doesn’t blow your mind, consider the case of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon”. It’s one of the biggest-selling records of all time, having been on the market for forty years.
In that time, industry figures suggest sales of 50 million. GTA isn’t for everyone, but smartphone gamers around the world love it.
Simpler games continue to keep people amused on the way to work, with well-designed puzzles like Candy Crush Saga played by millions. Angry Birds Star Wars seems uncannily designed to appeal to everyone on the planet, and has managed to fit that appeal into a four-word title!
Smartphone gaming is not going away – quite the opposite. Guessing how the market will look by the end of 2014 is a very interesting – and potentially rewarding – exercise. (Images courtesy of digitaltrends.com, thefuturescompany.com, telegraph.co.uk, imore.com, droid-life.com)
Sunny Leone has replaced Bollywood actor Salman Khan as the most searched term in India in 2013. The adult film actor who made her Bollywood debut with Jism 2 this year also became the most searched celebrity in India, as the Zeitgeist for 2013 released by Google.
Leone's Bollywood debut in Jism 2 wasn't spectacular, but she became a household name in India. However, conservative India hasn't forgotten her past as a porn star, and her fame meets with skepticism.
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With Ram Leela, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has gone the Ram Gopal Varma way – making his career-best movies at the beginning of his career, only to see the graph go southwards with every successive movie.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ramleela (renamed Goliyon Ki Rasleela, after a Delhi High Court objection) continues the declining graph of Bhansali’s movie-making adventures – the deterioration began with Sawariyaan (2007), and followed by Guzaarish (2010).
During this period, he managed to deliver some decent movies like My Friend Pinto (2011), Rowdy Rathore (2012) and Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi (2012), but none of these movies could claim the legacy of masterpieces that the 50-year old producer-director delivered during his sunrise years – Khamoshi: The Musical (1996), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), Devdas (2002) and Black (2005).
After a litigation successfully brought a stay order on the release of the movie, by objecting to the title “Ramleela”, the movie was released by renaming it Goliyon Ki Rasleela, and rightfully so, as the movie is less about Ramleela (the story of righteous god Ram), and more about the rainfall of bullets that drenched two communities in blood.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s landmark work Romeo and Juliet, Ram Leela begins with a strong story line and ends with climatic conclusion.
What it lacks however is good execution of the story.
Very few moments in the movie bring the audience to the edge of their seats; rarely do the couple make audience cringe for similar love-interest; hardly does the cinematic excellence of Bhansali shine through the scenes.
Instead, we witness vulgar display of passion and lust between the lead couple – reducing love to physical adventure, magnified by lewd dialogues and loud songs.
The colourful costumes, larger-than-life backdrops and eye-soothing photography, struggle to make up for the distraction caused by the blunt delivery.
The lead characters are convincingly enacted by Ranvir Singh and Deepika Padukone, and Richa Chadda is memorable in a supporting role. However, with the main ingredient of quenching love missing, the movie fails to move the audience.
Deepika Padukone, on the other hand, has put another feather in her cap with her portrayal of Leela, a passionate lover and dancer with a strong will, sense of humour and stubbornness to fault.
Ranvir Kapoor’s Ram is a complex character that’s against violence and blood-shed, but plays on the popular themes of men around him – selling porn movies. He is very lovable in the role, someone who loves Leela but doesn’t have enough courage to go against his family.
A surprise package is Richa Chadda who manages to leave an impression through a shorter role.
So what is Bhansali up to? With every movie, Bhansali has assumed a greater role for himself, beginning as the writer and director of Khamoshi, and gradually becoming producer, and then music director (Saawariya, Guzaarish and Ram Leela). Very few directors have assumed such varied roles successfully.
Looking at Ramleela, one realises how difficult it is to manage so many departments; the last producer-director to achieve this successfully was Raj Kapoor. Not just with one movie, but with many blockbusters. No wonder he is such a legend of Bollywood.
While Bhansali has proved his story-telling skills and sensibility beyond doubt, he is getting in the zone that many people suffer from in the later part of their careers, the most notable being Ram Gopal Varma in recent years.
The creative freedom is a double-edged sword. If done rightly, it can produce eccentric work. Taken a bit too far, and it can be a torturous journey for the audience.
Bhansali’s work, this time, has gone too far.
Looking to download latest Hindi movie songs, or Tamil songs? There are a few ways of doing it, and we will show you three websites that let you download Bollywood movie songs.
There are two popular websites visited for downloading Bollywood music.
This website is extremely popular for downloading Indian songs. Why? Because they offer quality content, as the website claims that they use very advanced technology for Hindi songs.
“We deploy a 3-Tier architecture for encoding our media files. We claim that the quality of our songs is at least 2-3 times better than any other website,” a page on the website says. For those in a hurry, Dhingana also offers various playlists like: Bollywood Toppers, Bing Bang Mornings, Hindi Latest Songs, Punjabi Latest Songs, Telugu Latest Songs, Hot Item numbers, Devotional Songs and so on.
The website allows music fans to Indian music online absolutely free. Dhingana has a large collection of Indian music including Bollywood Songs, Bollywood pop songs, Bollywood remixes, Hindi ghazals, Hindi bhajans, Marathi songs, Punjabi songs, and of course, the most popular Bhangra.
Dhingana.com even offers an iPhone application for listening to live Bollywood music. The Indian music streaming app gives you an interactive streaming and 24×7 non-stop radio channels from all major Indian music languages and genres, all on your iPhone.
Listeners do not need to install any applications like Real Player, Quick Time or Windows Media Player to play songs on Dhingana.
This is another very good site for listening to Hindi music. It contains a list of Top 10 Bollywood songs, latest movie releases, pop music, as well as a large collection of songs from old Bollywood movies.
The best part about this website is that it is bilingual – it is in English as well as Hindi. The website also offers devotional songs and remixes from Bollywood movies. While you are on the website, you can also check out latest Bollywood news, wallpapers of Bollywood actors and actresses, and movie reviews.
Alright, so you are playing antakshari (game of songs) and got stuck with a song where you couldn’t remember the lyrics. Jhunkar.com is the website to visit. It has a huge collection of lyrics of Bollywood songs from old movies. It even has synopsis of stories of popular Hindi movies. It’s a great resource to brush up your Bollywood trivia
India’s most popular comedian Kapil Sharma is reportedly dating Preeti Simoes.
Preeti heads the production of “Comedy Nights with Kapil”, a popular comedy show on Colors TV, which is produced by Kapil.
The show, which was launched only a couple of months ago, has already won the Best Comedy Show award at a recent television awards competition. Kapil was named Best Comedy Actor at the same awards ceremony.
Kapil and Preeti have been spotted together on many occasions. But conflicting reports also claim that Kapil is engaged to his “Hans Baliye” co-star Bavneet Chatrath, also known as Ginni.
The comedian has denied these reports, saying that his “only relationship is with my work.”
In an interview to an Indian newspaper, Kapil says, “I have struggled to reach where I am today and I can’t let these rumours affect me.
“I have realised that this is part and parcel of being a public figure. I am a private person and request the media to rather write about my work.”
He has also shown respect to the ladies named in the rumour. “I would not like to talk about the same any further as it also harms the dignity of the two girls involved.”
Intending to keep clear of further controversy, Kapil reportedly declined the offer to participate in the dance reality show “Nach Baliye 6” as the show would require his participation with his girlfriend.
Explaining his decision, Kapil says, “Yes, the makers of the show have approached me to join the show either as a host or as a participant.
“I am not interested in doing it as I don’t want any false publicity by going for the show as a participant with any fake partner.”
The 32-year old comedian from Amritsar rose to popularity after winning a comedy competition on TV, The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, with two popular characters: Samsher Singh and Lala Roshan Lal.
With Christian Bale retiring from the role of the Dark Knight, much speculation surrounded who would be the next Batman.
Everyone had their own fantasy preferences – many being wishful thinking of course – but eventually it was revealed who the next Batman would actually be.
The big revelation: it was Ben Affleck. The internet exploded in anger.
Many took to internet forums and social networks to express strong disapproval for the casting choice.
A petition on change.org managed to gain well over 50,000 signatures within a few days of the Affleck announcement, asking for him to be removed as Batman.
Reasons cited included his acting ability, past roles, personality and public perception. Some fans went as far to saying he would ruin the Batman legacy completely.
But, were the fans justified in their extreme disapproval or just doing what passionate fans generally do on the internet – acting without thinking and being selfishly overprotective of their favourite art? There is merit to both sides of the argument.
Fans perhaps have the right to be angry about Affleck’s appointment in regards to the actors’ portfolio. Ben Affleck has never been considered a critics darling in his acting roles – many harsh critics might even say he cannot act at all.
Like many Hollywood mainstays, he’s starred in more bad movies than good ones. He’s had success recently though in a directorial role with The Town (2010) and Argo (2012).
However, the real sticking point for Batman fans is his only superhero movie to date, Daredevil (2003), which was a flop with audiences. His lacklustre and comical performance in that film is precedent enough to justify that Affleck can never be Batman.
Another reason why so many are against Ben Affleck is because of his typecast role. Affleck is seen as a light-hearted, inoffensive, comic relief type character and not a serious actor by comparison to other action movie stars.
The role of Batman, in the eyes of fans at least, requires someone who is able to be strong, mature, threatening, dark and brooding – adjectives that haven’t been used to describe Affleck’s acting style.
However, Affleck may have matured and grown as an actor due to his time in the directorial hotseat, so these criticisms may no longer be valid by the time the new Batman film hits cinema screens in 2015.
Batman, in the past, hasn’t always been a character that’s portrayed as dark and moody.
Adam West, George Clooney and Val Kilmer have all delivered light-hearted Batman performances and it’s only recently, with Christopher Nolan as director, that Batman has been taken more seriously as a character.
These performances were never critically lauded, but they were certainly more carefree, and realised the subject matter wasn’t ultra-realistic. Batman’s new role in future films where there is a crossover with other DC Comic characters will likely break the concepts of Nolan’s Batman universe, so a change of style in the form of a new Batman isn’t that absurd.
Although fans pine for the return of Christian Bale, his Batman performance was never perfect. Bale played a very good Bruce Wayne, but once in the Dark Knight’s costume he wasn’t as assured.
A common criticism of Bale’s acting as Batman was his fake, gravelly voice. It was borderline laughable and broke a lot of the seriousness that Nolan expected us to believe of his Batman universe.
Angry fans also have a history of overreacting to change in their favourite media, and are often proven wrong by writers and directors. This could be a classic case of people thinking they know best, but not realising what they need until it’s given to them. Batman fans in the past were highly critical of the casting of Heath Ledger as The Joker, as strange as that might seem now.
Ledger went on to put in a show-stealing performance in The Dark Knight (2008), in what has come to be one of the most definitive portrayals of The Joker. Yet, just like with Affleck, fans used his acting portfolio to question the casting choice.
The critics that used romantic comedies such as 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) as a stick to beat Ledger with, were silenced by his iconic role as The Joker.
In this Batman outrage saga, the best thing fans can possibly do is to calm themselves and wait for the first Ben Affleck film to be released – perhaps get a T-shirt to pass the time.
If they’re right and he’s not good for the role, then they can be smug and justifiably call for him to be axed, but until then there’s not enough solid evidence to suggest Affleck cannot be Batman.
Be patient Batman fans and put away your pitchforks. The truth is that even the most dedicated fans are not always right. Dismissing Ben Affleck at such an early stage could be the biggest mistake you ever make.
Young vampire fans can now use a creepy app with 3D animation, stunning sound effects, and word-by-word narration in English, Portuguese and Spanish, for a great Halloween party.
Based on the award-winning animated short “Night of the Vampire” from Buba Films, the newest addition to the iTunes store: “Welcome to the Vampire’s Lair…If You Dare” from digital publisher LivoBooks is definitely worth checking.
Listed as number one on the “top five kid’s apps you don’t want to miss” by Mashable, and given an Editor’s Choice Award for Excellence in Design by Children’s Technology Review, the app is suitable for kids age 8-11 who love all things spooky and silly.
Included in the app is the full “Night of the Vampire” animated short. Enhancing the story are activities such as playing a tune with skeletons who jump out of caskets, feeding a man-eating plant, capturing scorpions before the clock runs out, make a heart beat in a jar in the Terror Laboratory and creating eerie photographs out of the user’s own image.
The app is available for download in the iTunes store for $2.99.
Ekta Kapoor has announced that she will be casting Sonakshi Sinha and Imran Khan together in Balaji’s next Bollywood.
At a recent private screening of Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara in Mumbai, senior Balaji officials were impressed with the Imran-Sonakshi on-screen chemistry who have come together the silver screen for the first time.
So much so that Ekta Kapoor spoke to her team members immediately about casting them together in a future Balaji film.
“Balaji is producing a large number of films with well-known directors and has decided to cast the duo in a romantic film,” says a source. “The team is floored by their romance in the film.”
Ekta Kapoor confirmed: “We were amazed at the sparkling chemistry between Imran and Sonakshi. They are the new romantic pair created and we would definitely like to repeat them in one of our future productions.”
Directed by Milan Luthria (Once Upon A Time in Mumbai, The Dirty Picture), the film also stars Akshay Kumar as well as Sonali Bendre, who makes her long-awaited return to the big screen.
With the word ‘shootout’ in the title of the movie, I expected violence. But I hadn’t bargained for the bloodbath that every scene is soaked in, in the latest Sanjay Gupta movie ‘Shootout At Wadala’. There was no respite from violence from the time I settled in till I left the movie hall.
Like the excessive bullets flying around, the violence is overbearing, almost becoming blunt and ineffective. I agree that a movie about gangsters and police will have inevitable bloodshed, but when the entire movie becomes a chase of action and reaction, it loses appeal.
Based on a true story, and a journalistic account (S Hussain Zaidi’s book ‘Dongri to Dubai’), Shootout is a story of a middle-class young man turning into a gangster. This premise, even as a true story, is cliche because of its repeated use in many movies in the 1980s (Ankush), and the 1990s (Satya). Almost every movie-goer knows the plot.
With that background, the entire journey remains predictable – a teenager with dreamy eyes and a beautiful girlfriend gets falsely implicated by a cop. The young fellow develops anger toward the law enforcement people, and finally meets an unfavorable end.
Since the plot is so well-visited, there was a need for the story-telling to be different. After all, that’s the beauty of movies as a medium. An ordinary story, when told interestingly by many different departments, can bring a fresh perspective – from photography to music, editing, screenplay, dialogues and performances.
The music is catchy and foot-thumping. Performances are memorable, especially of John Abraham who plays the lead. Anil Kapoor and Ronit Roy as cops, and Manoj Vajpayee and Sonu Sood as gangsters, uplift the otherwise monotonous narration.
The dialogues (Milan Milap Zaveri), while fresh and punchy, are overdone. In a few places, they are a bit loud – like a 1980s Bollywood movie where a revolver-wielding man makes the most of the opportunity to bring his frustration out with verbal abuse before pulling the trigger. Shootout should have been more realistic.
The abuse words and expletives, which try to make the movie realistic, are excessive and hence blunt and ineffective. Then there are dialogues that commoditise women (the restaurant scene). While the scene is realistic, do we have to repeat our prejudices on screen and stereotype them?
There are three item numbers in the movie – Sunny Leone (Laila), Sophie Chaudhry (Aala re aala) and Priyanka Chopra (Babli badmaash). The last two item numbers are redundant and could have been avoided.
While the movie-makers’ intent may have been to expose the illegal encounter killings used by Mumbai Police during the 1970s and 1980s, the movie seems more about the war among underworld gangs.
For masala-minded audience, Shootout offers enough ammunition in the form of bold dialogues, rule-bending protagonists, hot item numbers and chauvinistic scenes.
For the seekers of creative and emotional expression, this movie has very little to offer.
Cast: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Manoj Bajpayee
Director: Sanjay Gupta