Tag Archives: Tezz

Streaming Video News: December 2, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with a number of new additions to the streaming catalog. The most high-profile titles are the 2017 theatrical releases Jab Harry Met Sejal and Half Girlfriend (although the story in JHMS lets Anushka Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan down, and Half Girlfriend is regressively sexist). Two other notable new Bollywood flicks are the absurd Ajay Devgn thriller Tezz and the disastrous horror movie Hisss, the making of which was such an ordeal that they made a documentary about it. Also new are the Hindi movies Bhouri and Prague and the Punjabi films Eh Janam Tumhare Lekhe and Sardaar Ji. For everything else new on Netflix — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

I’m compelled to point out that the superb Korean TV series Boys Over Flowers — a common entry point into the addicting world of K-dramas — expires from Netflix on December 23. It’s absolutely worth the investment of time, but fair warning: the soundtrack will be stuck in your head forever.

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Streaming Video News: January 30, 2015

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with one change. The 2012 thriller Tezz departs the streaming service on February 6, 2015. There’s no need to prioritize watching this messy flick, about which I wrote: “The more of the plot that is revealed, the less necessary the film seems, especially when the events all stem from the inappropriate and dangerous response of a single man to an easily surmountable problem.”

Opening May 11: Dangerous Ishhq

The romantic thriller Dangerous Ishhq — starring Karisma Kapoor — is the only new Hindi movie opening in Chicago area theaters on May 11, 2012.

Dangerous Ishhq opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel — a British movie I reviewed last week — expands the number of theaters showing it on Friday as well, after earning $737,051 from just 27 theaters during its first week in the U.S.

Last weekend’s new Hindi release, Jannat 2, gets a second week at the South Barrington 30, while Vicky Donor gets a fourth week at the South Barrington 30 and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. Its U.S. earnings total $466,467, driven by good word of mouth. Compare that to Tezz, which leaves area theaters after two weeks, having earned just $218,622 despite showing in twice as many U.S. theaters as Vicky Donor.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Gabbar Singh (Telugu), Kalakalappu (Tamil), Masters (Malayalam), and Taur Mitran Di (Punjabi).

Though it’s only releasing theatrically in India on Friday, U.S. fans will be able to watch the new Hindi film The Forest on the subscription video-streaming service Mela the same day. The film about a married couple terrorized by a man-eating leopard is made by Oscar-nominated director Ashvin Kumar.

Opening May 4: Jannat 2

The Hindi thriller Jannat 2 opens in the Chicago area on May 4, 2012. Despite its title, the film is not a proper sequel to 2008’s Jannat. Emraan Hashmi stars in both movies but plays a different character in the new film. The title choice is confusing, but not unprecedented in Bollywood: Housefull 2 wasn’t a proper sequel to Housefull, either.

Jannat 2 opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It is rated R and has a runtime of 2 hrs. 13 min.

Friday also marks the American debut of The Avengers, which will command a lion’s share of screenspace at local multiplexes. Therefore, expect weekend showtimes to differ from weekday showtimes for Jannat 2 and other Hindi films playing in area theaters.

In spite of dismal opening weekend collections of $148,133 from 97 U.S. theaters, Tezz gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

By contrast, Vicky Donor earned $122,742 from just 50 theaters in its second week, bringing its total U.S. earnings to $357,743. Vicky Donor gets a third week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17.

Housefull 2 gets a fifth week at the South Barrington 30, with total U.S. earnings of $1,566,991.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Dhammu (Telugu) and Grandmaster (Malayalam).

One other movie of note opening on Friday is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The British film set in India opens in a handful of cities — including Chicago — on May 4, expanding to more U.S. theaters in coming weeks. Click here for a complete list of theaters carrying the film on Friday.

Movie Review: Tezz (2012)

1.5 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon

Watch Tezz without paying full attention, and it probably seems like an entertaining film. But the moment one starts trying to make sense of the plot, Tezz reveals itself as a total mess.

This is unfortunate, because Tezz has many elements of a good movie. Most of the action scenes are really well done. There are some solid performances by veteran actors, especially Boman Irani. But those elements need to be woven together by a solid plot and told in a cinematic way, and in Tezz they just aren’t.

In fact, the more of the plot that is revealed, the less necessary the film seems, especially when the events all stem from the inappropriate and dangerous response of a single man to an easily surmountable problem.

Tezz starts with a flashback to Aakash (Ajay Devgn) — an illegal immigrant — being deported from England to India and separated from his British-Indian wife, Nikita (Kangna Ranaut). In a scuffle with the police, Nikita is hit on the head. She lies on the ground as Aakash is dragged away.

Fast forward four years, and Aakash is back in the U.K. He and two accomplices — Aadil (Zayed Khan) and Megha (Sameera Reddy) — purchase explosives and plant a detonator on a passenger train bound from London to Glasgow. Aakash calls the rail company and demands 10 million Euros from rail director Sanjay (Boman Irani). Aakash explains that  a bomb on the train will detonate if the train’s speed drops below 60 mph.

Yep. Tezz is Speed on a train. (My suggestion for a snappier title: Speed 3: Off the Rails.)

Surely Aakash has a good reason to concoct this deadly plan, right? To avenge the death of his wife at the hands of the British immigration police perhaps? [Warning: spoilers ahead.]

Nope. Nikita is very much alive, and Aakash knows it. As he’s being dragged through the airport, she even tells him she’s pregnant.

For four years, Aakash lives apart from his wife and child, scheming to extort money and “get his life back.” Why didn’t he just ask her to move to India with him? He’s an engineer, so it’s not like he can’t get a good job in India or elsewhere. Even if his extortion scheme works, they won’t be able to live in the U.K.

So, without Aakash’s ill-conceived (if not completely nonsensical) overreaction, there is no movie. That’s probably reason enough to skip Tezz. But if you need more, there are other compelling reasons.

The film lacks transitions between scenes. Once scene ends abruptly and another starts immediately without any notion of how we got from point A to point B.

Anil Kapoor’s character — recently retired Inspector Khanna — suffers the most from this lack of transitions. He’s in the train control center; then he’s at a crime scene; then he’s in a government hearing, all without any regard for how he could possibly cover that much ground in such a short time.

Another problem is the bad CGI effects that animate the train. Devgn said recently that it’s not fair to compare Indian special effects to those made on a Hollywood budget, but most of the action scenes in Tezz are quite good. Money was budgeted for lavish car chases and an actual helicopter, but the filmmakers cheaped out on the speeding train: the one element that needed to look believable.

Need another reason to skip Tezz? How about a racist dance number?

Early in the movie, Aakash’s and Aadil’s escape from the police is interrupted by a dance number (without a transition between scenes, of course). The song “Laila” starts with Mallika Sherawat surrounded by dozens of dancers dressed as Dracula. The Indian dancers eventually change into blackface makeup and afro wigs.

The filmmakers* should be ashamed for including something so pointlessly racist in Tezz. Then again, director Priyadarshan made Khatta Meetha — the most deplorable and sexist film I’ve ever seen — so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

* – According to reports at The Times of India, Priyadarshan didn’t want the item number “Laila” included in the movie on the grounds that it didn’t fit the story (which is true). He was apparently overruled by producer Ratan Jain, though the song may have been removed from some prints lest audiences find it too sexy. I found no mention of concerns about racism in any of the reports.

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Opening April 27: Tezz

The Hindi action flick Tezz opens in the Chicago area on April 27, 2012. Tezz features Ajay Devgn and Anil Kapoor in a “ticking time bomb” thriller set on a train speeding from Glasgow to London.

Tezz opens on Friday at the Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a runtime of 2 hrs. 3 min. (Read my review of Tezz here.)

Despite modest earnings of $169,209 during its first weekend in the U.S., the clever comedy Vicky Donor gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17.

Housefull 2 carries over for a fourth week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30, having earned $1,503,059 in the U.S. so far.

Other Indian films showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Cobra (Malayalam), Mayamohini (Malayalam), Oru Kal Oru Kannadi (Tamil), and Dhammu (Telugu), which is also showing at the Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge.

This Friday also marks the streaming debut of recent Bollywood romance Chaar Din Ki Chandni and the Bengali film Flop-E on Mela. Chaar Din Ki Chandni spent a week in Chicago area theaters when it opened on March 9.