Tag Archives: Streaming Video

Streaming Video News: November 12, 2020

Bollywood fans have two brand new movies to choose from today — both starring Rajkummar Rao. On Netflix, Rao featuresΒ in the dark comedy Ludo as part of an ensemble that includes Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh, and Pankaj Tripathi. On Amazon Prime, Rao and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub play rival gym teachers in director Hansal Mehta’s comedy Chhalaang (also available in 4K UHD).

Today’s new releases cap off a busy holiday week on streaming that started with Laxmii‘s Hotstar premiere on Monday. Yesterday, Soorarai Pottru debuted on Prime in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Telugu (under the title Aakaasam Nee Haddhu Ra).

Lots of other Indian titles have been added to Amazon Prime in the last few days, so head over to my Prime list to see what’s new. And don’t forget to check my Netflix list to see what’s new and what titles are expiring soon. Have a wonderful Diwali!

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: November 9, 2020

A week of new releases to celebrate Diwali kicked off with today’s premiere of the Akshay Kumar horror comedy Laxmii on Hotstar. Thursday, November 12 sees the debut of the ensemble dark comedy Ludo on Netflix and the Tamil film Soorari Pottru on Amazon Prime. Finally, the social comedy Chhalaang premieres on Amazon Prime on Friday, November 13.

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the new release Gatham, which is available in Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu. There’s been a ton of upheaval on Prime in the last week, with hundreds of titles disappearing — some for several days — only for most of them to reappear on the service. The listings at my page are now up-to-date, but it did mean hours of ultimately pointless work for me. 😦 I wish Amazon handled its contract renewals and expirations as seamlessly as Netflix does.

Speaking of which, 21 Indian shows and movies are set to expire from Netflix on November 15. The full list is available on my Netflix page under the “Expiring Soon” section near the top of the page. Of the expiring films, these are the ones that I’ve reviewed:

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: October 30, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s release of the Original Hindi horror film Kaali Khuhi. Netflix also launched the trailer for the Telugu movie Miss India, which debuts on November 3.

The following titles expire from Netflix on November 1:

I also updated my list of Bollywood titles on Amazon Prime with lots of Indian and Pakistani titles added this week, including the premiere of the new Kannada film Bheemasena Nalamaharaja.

In other streaming video news, pressure from Karni Sena forced the producers of Laxmmi Bomb to change the title of their forthcoming film to Laxmii. The Akshay Kumar horror-comedy releases on Hotstar on November 9.

Movie Review: Khuda Haafiz (2020)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Khuda Haafiz (“May God Be Your Protector“) is the next step in action star Vidyut Jammwal’s shift away from characters who are ready-made killing machines and toward roles that require him to give a more complicated emotional performance. Sure, he still breaks arms and lands plenty of punches, but carnage isn’t the main goal.

Instead of playing a commando, a cop, or a villain, this time Jammwal plays Sameer Chaudhary — the world’s buffest software engineer. The film opens in March, 2008, with a battered Sameer begging the Indian ambassador to the fictitious Middle Eastern country of Noman (which I constantly misread as “Boman,” as in “Boman Irani”) for help finding his missing wife. The ambassador says, “I need every detail. Start from the beginning.” Boy, does Sameer comply.

Flashback to the beginnings of Sameer’s romance with his wife Nargis (Shivaleeka Oberoi), which started a year earlier in India. The two were set up by their parents and fell deeply in love. After a few blissful months, the global recession hit, shuttering Sameer’s small business and putting Nargis out of a job at her call center.

With no work on the horizon, the two apply for jobs in Noman through a broker named Nadeem (Vipin Sharma). The film establishes the grim local economic situation and why moving to a foreign country for temporary employment seems worth the risk. Nargis’s work permit and travel documents arrive first. Nadeem assures Sameer that his documents will arrive in a few days and encourages Nargis to fly to Noman with a group of other women.

The following day, Sameer gets a panicked call from Nargis that she’s been kidnapped. The job she’d applied for had been a ruse, with Nadeem serving as the front for an international sex trafficking ring. Armed with only Nadeem’s dubious information, Sameer flies to Noman to rescue his wife.

It’s refreshing to see Jammwal mix things up and play a character who does not have a set of skills suited to this exact situation. His programming background gives him insight into how to get some information from a cell phone carrier, but that’s really the only advantage he has. He doesn’t even speak the local language — which winds up not being an issue because all the important people in Noman conveniently speak Hindi.

Most important of the people Sameer meets is a cab driver named Usman (Annu Kapoor). He sees Sameer’s distress and feels obligated to help as a matter of faith. Usman helps Sameer connect enough of the dots that the two actually find Nargis. A subsequent sequence in which Sameer has to let go of Nargis’ hand in order to save her is beautifully filmed to make it look as though she’s swallowed up by a sea of goons. Kudos to cinematographer Jitan Harmeet Singh for that wonderful shot.

During Sameer’s attempted rescue attempt, Jammwal does an excellent job performing Sameer as a guy who is not a professional stuntman. Sameer hesitates before jumping from dangerous heights, only doing so when he has no choice. He fights like it’s a matter of self-preservation, not like a guy who knows from the start that he’ll win. Nevertheless, the action scenes are entertaining as always.

Jammwal’s acting isn’t exactly subtle. Though, to be fair, Sameer is frequently panicked or angry. And when Khuda Haafiz is sad, it’s really sad. Jammwal’s performance is appropriately restrained in the film’s love song montages. Oberoi is competent in the few scenes she’s in. Kapoor is quite good, as are Shiv Panditt and Aahana Kumra, who play a pair of Nomani security agents who help Sameer find Nargis.

Overall, Khuda Haafiz is well-executed and accessible to a wide audience. It appeals to Jammwal’s core action fanbase while expanding its reach to include viewers who may want more plot than butt-kicking.

Links

Streaming Video News: October 13, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the recent addition of the Netflix Original Hindi romantic comedy Ginny Weds Sunny. Other Hindi films added today include Dil, Disco Dancer, Fida, Phir Hera Pheri, and Hunterrr, which has good performances by Gulshan Devaiah and Radhika Apte.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with a bunch of Indian content added over the weekend, as well as today’s premiere of the English-language Desi horror film Evil Eye.

Amazon recently revealed its lineup of global premieres for the rest of 2020, and it features three notable Hindi titles. Director Hansal Mehta’s Chhalaang stars Rajkummar Rao and debuts on November 13; Bhumi Pednekar’s thriller Durgavati launches on December 11; and Varun Dhawan’s reboot of Coolie No. 1 premieres on Christmas. Here’s Amazon’s announced lineup of Indian titles for the next three months:

  • Halal Love Story (2020/Malayalam) β€” coming October 15 [trailer]
  • Putham Pudhu Kaalai (2020/Tamil) β€” coming October 16 [trailer]
  • Mirzapur, Season 2 (2020) β€” coming October 23 [trailer]
  • Bheema Sena Nalamaharaja (2020/Kannada) β€” coming October 29
  • Soorari Pottru (2020/Tamil) β€” coming October 30
  • Chhalaang (2020) β€” coming November 13
  • Manne Number 13 (2020/Kannada) β€” coming November 19
  • Middle Class Melodies (2020/Telugu) β€” coming November 20
  • Durgavati (2020) β€” coming December 11
  • Maara (2020/Tamil) β€” coming December 17
  • Coolie No. 1 (2020) β€” coming December 25

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: October 2, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with today’s premiere of the Netflix Original Hindi film Serious Men, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui. No Indian titles were added on the first of the month, but it looks like there could be a bunch coming October 12. And if you missed any of the 30+ Indian films added in September, you can view a full list in my monthly roundup for What’s on Netflix.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with dozens of Indian films and Pakistani dramas added in the last week, including the debut of the Telugu thriller Nishabdham, starring Madhavan and Anushka Shetty. It’s available in a couple of formats and under a few different titles, depending on the audio language. Here are all the ways to watch it:

The Hindi comedy Bahut Hua Sammaan starring Sanjay Mishra debuted on Hotstar today.

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: September 25, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the recent addition of the Hindi films Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns, and Santa Banta Pvt Ltd. Netflix just dropped the trailer for the romcom Ginny Weds Sunny, which debuts on October 9:

Here are all the Indian titles set to expire from Netflix on October 1:

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with dozens of Indian titles added in the last week. Critic Josh Hurtado is especially excited about the addition of a subtitled version of the “BANANAS” Telugu spy thriller Rudranetra.

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: September 16, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with an October 2 release date for the Netflix Original movie Serious Men, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

I also updated my Upcoming Bollywood Release Dates page (where I keep track of Hotstar news) with a newly announced November 9 release date for Akshay Kumar’s Laxxmi Bomb. The announcement follows a Bollywood Hungama report yesterday that Hotstar planned to hold the release of its three remaining “Multiplex” titles — Laxxmi Bomb, Bhuj, and The Big Bull — until after the conclusion of the Indian Premier League cricket season in early November. While it’s common practice for major movies to avoid releasing theatrically during cricket tournaments, I suspect the fact that all three movies are still finishing filming and post-production influenced the decision as well.

So what does that mean for streaming releases in the near term? Netflix seems content to debut one or two new films or series per month. Amazon Prime quietly launched a few new Indian series in recent weeks but hasn’t made any major movie announcements. I suspect Laxxmi Bomb‘s release date indicates that things will be relatively quiet until around Diwali in mid-November. Last month, Bollywood Hungama scooped a potential Diwali release for Varun Dhawan’s Coolie No. 1 on Amazon Prime, so we’ll see if that comes true.

On a related note, even if theaters in India reopen next month, don’t expect any major flicks to be first out of the gate (especially after the tepid response to Tenet). Kiara Advani-starrer Indoo Ki Jawani purportedly wants to be first in theaters.

Finally, I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with a bunch of older Hindi titles added in the last two days. Check ’em out:

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: September 10, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of the new Hindi sci-fi film Cargo. Other additions today include the Gujarati movie Dhh and a handful of Marathi titles:

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with today’s addition of two new Indian series: Comicstaan Semma Comedy Pa (Tamil) and Wakaalat From Home (Hindi).

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]

Streaming Video News: September 4, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with today’s addition of the brand new Telugu movie V (available in Kannada, Malayalam, and Tamil as well). The new Malayalam film C U Soon was added earlier this week. A Spanish-dubbed version of the Rajkummar Rao-Nargis Fakhri movie 5 Weddings is also now available on Prime.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of the South African Desi comedy sequel Kandasamys: The Wedding. Netflix just released the trailer for Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, which will be available for streaming on September 18:

Akshay Kumar’s Laxmmi Bomb was rumored to debut on Hotstar on September 9, but it’s undergoing re-shoots, so no release is imminent. Instead, Hotstar will launch a second season of its original series Hostages on September 9.

In other news, Yash Raj Films plans to launch its own streaming service. This could potentially lead to YRF titles being removed from Amazon Prime, which currently holds the streaming rights to the studio’s catalog. The news report is light on details, so we’ll have to wait and see how YRF justifies asking consumers to subscribe to yet another streaming service.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links. Thanks for helping to support this website!]