Tag Archives: Streaming Video

Streaming Video News: December 12, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with a bunch of recent additions. Since the massive catalog purge at the end of last month, Prime has added more than 60 titles, including the new original series Vella Raja, available in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu in both standard and Ultra-HD. Jimmy Shergill’s 2018 theatrical release Phamous is among the recently added Bollywood movies, which also include a bunch of older titles. Here are some that I’ve reviewed:

For the full list of recent additions to the catalog, head to my Prime page and check out the “Newly Added” section at the top. (All of the Amazon links include my affiliate tag, meaning I get a portion of the proceeds from any items purchased through those links.)

In Netflix news, the new Andy Serkis movie Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle debuted last week, but the Hindi audio option isn’t available in the United States — even though it features an awesome voice cast that includes Madhuri Dixit, Kareena Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, and Jackie Shroff. But we do have German, Italian, French, and Spanish audio options, so there’s that. Head over to my Netflix page to explore other recent additions to the catalog, including a new Vir Das comedy special.

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Streaming Video News: December 1, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the addition of the October release Loveyatri, starring Salman Khan’s brother-in-law. The streaming service added a number of older Telugu titles as well.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of some new kids cartoons, the Punjabi flick Faraar, the Tamil film Power Paandi, and a few shows from the cable channel Discovery Jeet. One of those shows is Man vs Wild with Sunny Leone, which — as far as I can tell — is just the regular Bear Grylls show dubbed into Hindi with Sunny occasionally interjecting from a fake jungle set. I’d be more interested if Sunny was out in the woods with Bear eating worms and stuff.

For everything else new on Netflix and Prime — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

Streaming Video News: November 30, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with two Hindi films released this year: Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s biographical drama Manto and director Leena Yadav’s Rajma Chawal, which skipped theaters to launch worldwide on Netflix.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the exciting streaming debut of the 2018 horror film Tumbbad. In addition to the original Hindi audio, Tamil and Telugu audio options are available for Tumbbad. A bunch of older Tamil and Telugu films were also added in recent days.

After the great Prime Purge, I found another 30 or so Indian titles that were expunged in addition to the 285 I had advanced warning about. I’ll revisit the list of expired titles in the coming days to make sure they weren’t re-added to the service, but I’m confident most of them are gone for good. Many of the older films that disappeared — such as 1963’s Parasmani — are still available on Eros Now, which you can subscribe to through Amazon Channels.

For everything else new on Netflix and Amazon Prime — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

Streaming Video News: November 25, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with some HUGE news: the streaming service loses 25% of its Indian catalog in the next few days. 285 movies will expire between now and November 29. Most of the films on the way out are older Bengali, Tamil, and Hindi titles, including the whole NFDC catalog. Sadly, the purge wipes out Prime’s entire selection of Bhojpuri, Oriya, and Sanskrit movies.

One caveat is that Amazon’s expiration dates aren’t always as hard-and-fast as Netflix‘s expiration dates. It could be that Amazon’s dates simply indicate the end of existing contracts, with new contracts set to kick in the following day. But if any of the films below are in your Watchlist, better watch ’em while you can.

Update: It looks like this purge is really happening after all. I’m in the process of pulling the expired titles out of my main Prime list. The good news is that a lot of the older Hindi titles are still available on Eros Now (which you can try for free for 7 days through Amazon channels).

Here’s the full list of everything set to expire from Amazon Prime, organized first by date and then alphabetically:

 

Streaming Video News: November 19, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime over the weekend with some notable new additions, chief of which is the Amazon Original series Mirzapur, starring Pankaj Tripathi and Ali Fazal. Jackky Bhagnani’s 2018 theatrical release Mitron is now available for streaming, as are several other films from this year, including the Marathi flick Boyz 2 and the Tamil movies Ammu Kolai Vazhakku, Pariyerum Perumal, and Variyavan.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with some 2018 releases: Aalorukkam (Malayalam), Halkaa (2018), Odu Raja Odu (Tamil), and Savita Damodar Paranjpe (Marathi).

 

 

Streaming Video News: November 5, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of the 2018 Marathi movie Bucket List, starring Madhuri Dixit as a heart transplant recipient who tries to complete her young donor’s bucket list. For everything else new on Netflix, check Instant Watcher.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime over the weekend with two new additions from 2018: the Tamil film Imaikkaa Nodigal and the Telugu version of NOTA (Amazon’s own page incorrectly lists the audio as Tamil). Some older Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali movies were added as well. Amazon Prime Video India announced that Jackky Bhagnani’s September Hindi release Mitron is coming to the service on November 10, so please be excited.

Streaming Video News: November 2, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with 35 Indian movies that were just added to the streaming catalog. Three Tamil films, two Malayalam movies, and the 2018 Punjabi drama Asees are now available, along with a trove of Hindi films released theatrically from 2006-2015. Most of the titles are new to Netflix. Here are links those I’ve previously reviewed:

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with three Kannada films that released theatrically this year: Katheyondu Shuruvagide, Sankashta Kara Ganapathi, and Uddishya. For everything else new on Netflix and Prime — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

TV Review: Ghoul (2018)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Watch Ghoul on Netflix

Ghoul pulls no punches in its depiction of the dangers of state-sanctioned religious intolerance. The show’s monsters are scary, but not as terrifying as the vision of the future presented by writer-director Patrick Graham.

The miniseries comprises three episodes, each with a runtime between 40-45 minutes (excluding closing credits). In all, Ghoul is about as long as a feature film. I appreciated the built-in breaks, which occur at logical points in the plot. This is a perfect kind of storytelling format for a streaming video platform, and I won’t be surprised to see it become more common as filmmakers adapt to changing audience viewing habits.

Graham keeps the scares to a minimum in the first episode: “Out of the Smokeless Fire,” establishing a world where every day is a nightmare for those on the wrong side of new societal divisions. A fascist Indian government cracks down on homegrown terrorism by outlawing certain religious texts and practices, burning books and whisking away citizens believed to harbor anti-nationalist sentiments for “re-education.” The only people targeted in crackdowns are Muslims, although the show doesn’t specifically identify the government as Hindu nationalist.

Naive patriotism inspires Nida Rahim (Radhika Apte) to enlist in the military, despite being the daughter of an Islamic scholar (played by S.M. Zaheer). She’s convinced that the government’s harsh tactics truly are about national security and not religious oppression, as her father believes — so much so that she turns in her own father for re-education. Soon after, she’s posted at a secret government prison to aid the interrogation of notorious terrorist Ali Saeed (Mahesh Balraj), who is captured in the show’s opening, half-dead and surrounded by the corpses of his followers. But why would the military assign Nida, a junior interrogator, to such a high-profile case?

The last two episodes draw from any number of horror films in which the characters are trapped in a remote location with a monster, their terror turning them against one another when their survival depends on them working together. Few of the soldiers and prisoners get any meaningful character development other than Colonel Sunil Dacunha (Manav Kaul), whose idea it was to bring Nida in, and Lieutenant Laxmi Das (Ratnabali Bhattacharjee), Dacunha’s skeptical second-in-command.

Although the relative anonymity of the other soldiers signals their expendability, it also highlight’s the shows message that any agent of a fascist government is liable for its crimes. Not every soldier in Dacunha’s prison personally tortured prisoners, but all of them knew about it and did nothing to stop it. The jail’s cremation room is a stark visualization of the parallels to Nazism present throughout Graham’s screenplay.

When Ghoul‘s namesake creature finally appears, the story becomes quite scary, playing on the fears of those within the prison. Several of the soldiers, including Dacunha, are haunted by the way engaging in torture has warped their sense of morality — not enough to stop torturing people, unfortunately — allowing the monster to play on their guilt. The scares in Ghoul are more psychological than surprise driven, and there’s a considerable amount of blood.

Nida is plagued by her own guilt, and she has no allies in her new surroundings. Apte is compelling in the lead role, showing both Nida’s grit and vulnerability. Bravely, the series doesn’t downplay her commitment to the totalitarian government. She’s willing to follow orders until the moment she’s absolutely convinced that she’s been duped. Nor does Ghoul try to make Dacunha more sympathetic than he should be. Kaul depicts Dacunha as conflicted, but unquestionably a bad person. Ghoul knows which way its moral compass points, and it’s not afraid to show it.

Links

Streaming Video News: October 30, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime because Akshay Kumar’s 2018 Independence Day release Gold is now available for streaming. It would’ve been more interesting with less Akshay. Prime also added a bunch of older Tamil and Telugu releases in the last few days, as well as my new obsession: the first season of Raja Aur Rancho, a 1996 Hindi TV show about a detective and his monkey sidekick. I’m three episodes in, and the show has already ripped off Mr. Big’s power ballad “To Be With You” for incidental music, and Raja just taught Rancho how to shoot a gun. I’m in heaven.

Prime Video India announced some 2018 releases poised to join the streaming service in the near future, and I’m hopeful that we’ll get them in the United States, too (but I can’t guarantee it). I’m keeping an eye out for the Kannada films Sankashta Kara Ganapathi and Katheyondu Shuruvagide on November 1, the Tamil thrillers Imaikkaa Nodigal on November 3 and NOTA on November 4, and the Amazon original series Mirzapur on November 16.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of the 2018 Telugu film W/O Ram. The overly broad 2011 higher education drama Aarakshan expires on November 1.

Eros Now recently released Smoke, an original series starring Kalki Koechlin, Jim Sarbh, Mandira Bedi, and Gulshan Devaiah, among a host of other Bollywood regulars. All eleven episodes are available when you subscribe to Eros Now directly, but I can’t seem to find it on Eros Now’s Amazon channel. If you’re considering the Amazon option, it might be worth trying it for free for seven days first.

Opening October 25 and 26: Baazaar and 5 Weddings

Chicago area Bollywood fans get two new films to choose from the weekend beginning October 26, 2018. Saif Ali Khan’s Wall Street-esque thriller Baazaar gets a head start, opening in local theaters on October 25.

Baazaar opens Thursday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 20 min.

On Friday, the English-language, American-produced romantic comedy 5 Weddings — starring Rajkummar Rao and Nargis Fakhri — opens at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago. It has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 30 min.

After a great opening weekend, Badhaai Ho carries over at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and Cantera 17 and expands to the AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. Andhadhun carries over at MovieMax and the South Barrington 24, which also holds onto Namaste England a second week.

Other Indian movies showing in Chicago area theaters this weekend: