Valentine’s Double Feature: Krrish (2006) & Little Dragon Maiden (1983)

Nothing does better than a foreign film double feature, right? Haha. Its the reality over here however, with a Bollywood superhero/romance film Krrish and a Shaw Brothers film, Little Dragon Maiden, I’m hoping that these two Netflix alphabet selections will grab some of your attention. I had no choice because the choices were really limited for these two letters plus let’s be honest that a Bollywood viewing has been overdue.

Let’s check it out!

Krrish (2006)


Director: Rakesh Roshan
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Rekha, Sharat Saxena, Manini M. Mishra, Naseeruddin Shah

Krishna is forced by circumstances to use his superpowers and become a masked superhero, Krrish, before getting drawn towards his lost legacy. – IMDB

Being the very clueless person that I am, I totally didn’t realize that Koi Mil Gaaya is actually the movie before Krrish which this movie refers to quite a bit but still stays self-contained so not watching the previous one didn’t affect my understanding of this at all. With that said, this one is a Bollywood superhero movie which starts off pretty heavy on the romance and Bollywood bits with the second act being more Krishna (Hrithik Roshan) discovering his way to be helpful but keep his identity hidden as a superhero/vigilante. The third act is being a lot more action-packed with more fight scenes.

Starring the very handsome Hrithik Roshan (who I first saw in Dhoom 2) and the beautiful pre-Hollywood Priyanka Chopra, its really quite fun to see them together although the romance bits are pretty much really cheesy (as you would expect in a Bollywood film). At the same time, the story is pretty innocent especially because Roshan’s character Krishna has lived most of his life away from people and big cities so when he goes to Singapore to follow the love of his life, he’s a bit like fish out of pond sort of deal which always brings in some laughter but then he is always incredibly smart because he has special abilities. While the romance parts took up most of the first act and a part of the second act, it still felt not as effective as the center of the film being about Krishna finding the way to become Krrish, a masked superhero who ends up saving the day when a fire breaks out at the circus and then leading him to discover his own background especially his father’s past against the evil man of a big corporation who dreams about building a machine to see the future and become God. This part all links to the first film mentioned above because that story is told there.

All in all, as great as Priyanka Chopra and Hrithik Roshan is in Krrish, the romance didn’t grab me a whole lot and the songs weren’t really my taste either. However, while the romance here didn’t quite work, the superhero aspect did. Sure, there was some unrealistic CG effects going on here but then this movie is in the 2000s so its easy to overlook it. I’d be interested to eventually catch up with the first film and the movie after this one, oddly titled Krrish 3 (which made me think that there was a Krrish 2 until I did further research).

Little Dragon Maiden (1983)

little dragon maiden

Director: Shan Hua
Cast: Leslie Cheung, Jing-Jing Yung, Kuan Tai Chen, Leanne Lau, Ni Tien

Little Dragon Maiden mixes the old with the new to create pure golden magic as kung-fu fighting veterans Chen Kuan-Tai and Lo Lieh join relative newcomer Leslie Cheung in a far-out swordplay love story that rocks. – IMDB

Guilty as charged that I haven’t really seen any Shaw Brothers films. If I have, it was when I was really young that I don’t even remember it. However, big fan of Leslie Cheung here and Little Dragon Maiden is a story that almost everyone who knows the Chinese culture has heard of and know at least the basic love story involved. Even though, I haven’t seen a whole lot of movie interpretations of it before, this might be the first one that I finished, its a familiar story.

Somehow pairing this with Krrish works because most of the story is about Yang Guo played by Leslie Cheung who starts off as an orphan and ends up being taken in by who he learns is his father’s killer who doesn’t want to teach him martial arts and when asked, gets sent to join a martial arts sect who bullies him because of his father and he ends up seeking refuge in the Ancient Tomb sect which is where the Little Dragon Maiden is. Because of a promise she made, she ends up taking him in despite the sect’s rules. The obvious happens where they do fall in love. I can get that this story would be touching but due to the length and how its executed, its more outstanding in its martial arts and personality development in Yang Guo rather than the love story which involved some misunderstandings and some bad stuff that happens to the Little Dragon Maiden.

With that said, the fight scenes here and the martial arts bits and such are really fun to watch. Similar to how I liked the creatures in Labyrinth, Little Dragon Maiden has the magical Condor who is a key element in the actual book that its based on which ends up making a late appearance but the design as silly as it looks because it just didn’t age well, there is this fantastic charm to it. You can see it in the poster above.

That’s it for this Valentine’s double feature for the K & L selection!
Have you seen these two foreign films? If so, thoughts?

Double Feature: Knight and Day (2010) & Bang Bang (2014)

Welcome to another double feature!

This time we have a deliberate pair-up. Knight and Day was released in 2010 and is a through and through Hollywood production with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. According to Rotten Tomatoes (and a few people that I mentioned to), it isn’t really that well received. Which makes it weird that it was turned into a Bollywood film in 2014 called Bang Bang! starring familiar faces like Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif, both of which I’ve seen movies of before. You’d think that I saw Knight and Day first but I actually saw Bang Bang first and then decided to give the original a shot to see how they compare.

Knight and Day (2010)

Knight and Day

Director: James Mangold

Cast: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Jordi Molla, Viola Davis, Paul Dano

A young woman gets mixed up with a disgraced spy who is trying to clear his name. – IMDB

Knight and Day is pretty much and action comedy with hints of romance. Its a fun ride with some awkward moments. You can never fault Tom Cruise for not delivering on action but how can we be satiated when we have the last two Mission:Impossible, right? With that said, there seems to be forced dialogue and some things that don’t always flow well along with characters that try to be deep but never quite hit the potential. It might simply be the fact that Tom Cruise has always been a cool dude so when he is doing the passive thing or saying some sarcastic or some misplaced encouragement or whatnot to Cameron Diaz’s character June, there is the rare moment that it works but mostly, it doesn’t seem to fit the character too well or maybe its because its Tom Cruise and it doesn’t fit him. Always a danger of this happening when using huge stars.

Knight and Day also has some familiar faces like a cameo by Gal Gadot. Viola Davis is the Director who is the head of the good side, aka managing the spy and her mission is to catch Roy who has gone rogue. Then you have Paul Dano who is the nerd kid who invented a powerful something that everyone is after. Possibly, the most fun is in the final act particularly after a truth serum is used. Cameron Diaz has always been a hit and miss. For example, I didn’t like Bad Teacher but I love The Holiday.

Overall, I honestly don’t have much to say about Knight and Day. Its good for a watch and it was fun and entertaining but something didn’t feel right and the more I think about it, it might just be awkward dialogue and my not seeing Tom Cruise as this character.

Or it could be that I saw the remake first…

Bang Bang (2014)

bang bang

Director: Siddharth Anand

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Pavan Malhotra, Danny Denzongpa, Javed Jaffrey, Jimmy Shergill, Vikram Gokhale

A young bank receptionist gets mixed up with Rajveer Nanda, a man who has a mysterious background. – IMDB

Some of you know that with Netflix having more foreign films, I have opened up my world slightly and slowly to Bollywood films. They do take up a ton of time but its usually a decent experience so far. I am a fan of Hrithik Roshan since Dhoom 2 (review HERE). The man is like the whole package and some and in Bang Bang, he proves that he can also be almost like Tom Cruise. Knight and Day being a Bollywood remake is the perfect fit. The corny dialogue and the serious and fun but over the top action: it works here so well. The key here is that Bang Bang keeps a tone that is very light-hearted. To be honest, the Bollywood singing and dancing parts are used quite sparsely in comparison to other films so it makes it possibly even an easily entry point for those that feel less inclined because of these usually odd transitions. I always find Bollywood musical segments appealing to watch. This one is absolutely no exception especially because both Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan got the moves.

Bang Bang only changes the story a little as in its stealing a diamond Kohinoor and that its a more personal affair than the original. At the same time, Bang Bang also remakes some of the scenes almost exactly the same. In fact, some of the dialogue is also incredibly similar. If you went into Bang Bang having already seen Knight and Day, a good at least 70% of this will look familiar. Bang Bang definitely does lack originality on that front. There is no denying it, especially in many scenes like the beach scenes where only the escape is different or how the attack was constructed. Same applies for the final scene that I loved so much in the original.

However, what Bang Bang makes up for is the charm that it has with Hrithik Roshan playing Rajveer and Katrina Kaif playing Harleen. Somehow, the music and dance and their personalities truly shine and match with this story. Its a much better fit for these characters. There is some cheesy moments but it also comes with the expectations and Bollywood films that I’ve seen tend to be structured in this way tonally. It just blends very well together with what this type of story tried to achieve. Of course, Indian cinema has changed now and there are horror films and other more dramatic entries and especially more action which is void of the whole Bollywood musical thing.

With that said, I like Bang Bang more than Knight and Day. I like Knight and Day for its finale whereas Bang Bang was much more of an overall experience.

Have you seen Knight and Day and/or Bang Bang?
Also, if you did see it, I made a little banner for this double feature. What do you think about it?

Dhoom (2004) & Dhoom 2 (2006)

Seeing as Dhoom 3 has really taken on quick with a lot of reviews coming, I intend to pull myself in to the farther away theatre to catch it (after the deep freeze temperature leaves Montreal).  Plus, I recently found that Netflix has Dhoom and Dhoom 2 but will expire (or may have expired once this goes up).  So why not give it a viewing, right? So here’s the review of my night of Dhoom 🙂

DHOOM (2004)

dhoom poster

Director: Sanjay Gadhvi

Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, John Abraham, Esha Deol, Rimi Sen

Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan) is newly transferred to Mumbai Police and takes over the case of various heists that have occurred in Mumbai involving a gang of motorcyclists that steal and then leave without being seen.  Employing the help of a talented motorcyclist and mechanic Ali (Uday Chopra), they try to track down the group of thieves and stop them before they complete their next heist.

dhoom ali jai

How to describe Dhoom? Hmm…You know what this reminds me of: a buddy cop action comedy flick mixed with a bit of the later Fast and Furious concept but with motorcycles.  Seeing as I went into this completely blind, like I didn’t know the story much and I didn’t know any of the actors as I’m still new to the Bollywood world, this one definitely started in weird for a good half of it.  I wasn’t really sure if I liked Jai as the serious cop, who started with this very not so serious beginning sequence and for the most part, I wanted to punch Ali because it was really annoying. BUT, after exactly a half (one hour into the movie), it took a quick turn and actually ended in a pretty good way.   The second half after everyone was introduced and settled, the bad guy was in place and we’ve had a lot of random singing and dancing, the action came in and it turned rather gripping and fun to watch.  What pushed it forward was the chemistry between Jai Dixit and the head of the leader, Kabir (played by John Abraham).  Trust me, I’m not spoiling anything because the audience sees both sides pretty clearly but it still manages to keep it pretty intriguing to watch 🙂

Definitely a good start to the series.  I can see why a second one would be made 🙂

DHOOM: 2 (2006)

dhoom 2 poster

Director: Sanjay Gadhvi

Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Bipasha Basu

Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan) is now partners with Ali (Uday Chopra) as they work together to solve crimes.  However, when Jai’s old college friend Sonali (Bipasha Basu) asking for help in finding and arresting an international heist mastermind who calls himself by Mr. A (Hrithik Roshan). No one has ever seen his face and he never leaves any clues, however, with the help of Jai’s intelligence and another thief, Sunehri (Aishwarya Rai), they are able to track him and follow him to Rio de Janeiro where Mr. A is expected to complete his next heist.

dhoom 2 aryan

Apparently, IMDB and RT disagree with me but I found that Dhoom 2 is better than the first one.  I’ll tell you why.  For one, we start off with a very much  more intense beginning sequence.  Second, our villain is awesome, smart, witty and oh so very hot.  Eye candy helps, ok? Next, the chemistry between Jai and Ali is better where I don’t want to punch Ali as much anymore and he actually does have some funny moments.  But not only that, Jai and Mr. A’s chemistry playing the cat and mouse is fabulous as well and finally, the love story in this is just awesome.  It adds a little something extra to the mix and makes Mr. A turn a little more human.  Plus, the action sequences in this one are way better than the previous one.  You still have a few fighting little bits that don’t quite make sense in my mind but I can ignore it because this movie is like Fast and Furious, it aims to entertain the audience and it does a really good job at it.

And I guarantee you after watching Dhoom series for a total of over 4 hours means this song is stuck in my head.

I kind of like it 🙂 Along with a whole bunch of pretty high energy songs and some pretty cool dance moves. I guess this is the extra point of why I like it also.

Seeing as you don’t really need to watch the first to watch the second and still pretty much understand, I’d definitely recommend the second one more than the first.  But, its like I said, they both have their redeeming traits that I’d still recommend both.  It was fun and I really can’t wait for Dhoom 3. I already have a girls night set with my best friend to go see it, even if it means a somewhat later showing on a week night, but so far, Dhoom series hasn’t disappointed me and the next one has Aamir Khan and I love the man.  I’m excited 🙂

Have you seen the Dhoom movies? How about the 3rd one? What did you think about it?