Monday, August 31, 2009

America's Best Dance Crew Season 4 goes "Bollywood"

First of all, I want to say that I'm a faithful watcher of ABDC (America's Best Dance Crew) and even blogged about it before. I've been watching the show since the first show aired, so I'm not a newbie who only watchd last night's show because the challenge was "Bollywood."

Now, I don't usually blog about my thoughts on ABDC but have tweeted about it and discussed it with my friends who watch the show. However, I am going to make an exception this time because it has "Bollywood."

I keep putting Bollywood in quotation because I don't think last night's challenge was "Bollywood." Like bana_nnie tweeted to me, the challenge was more of India's ethnic dancing.

When I first heard about a Bollywood challenge, I was thinking the challenge would incorporate Bollywood's best dance choreographed songs. Especially from Shahid Kapur, Hrithik Roshan, or Aishwarya Rai's dancing. I thought the dance crews would imitate their dancing and make it their own.

Instead the challenge was using India's ethnic classical/tradtional dance moves. Not that I'm complaining. I'm just saying, don't mislead us, making everyone think that those dances are all about Bollywood, cause it really isn't.

Okay, my last rant before I talk about the "Bollywood" challenge. I am so sick and tired of people thinking that Slumdog Millionaire is a Bollywood movie. It is NOT a Bollywood movie. I will repeat it again. Slumdog Millionaire is NOT a Bollywood movie! Just because the movie has an Indian star cast and filmed in India, it still doesn't make it a Bollywood movie. I freaking love the movie but the dancing at the end is cringe-worthy and not even worth mentioning in the same category as Bollywood dancing. Bollywood is the film industry so MTV should at least used songs and choreography from Bollywood movies!

ABDC is created by Randy Jackson
Hosted by Mario Lopez
Backstage Co-host by Layla Kayleigh
Judges - JC Chasez, Lil Mama, & Shane Sparks

JC is very detailed-oriented about the critiques. I like that. I don't care what anyone says about him being in a formal boy band. The guy gives fair criticism. Unlike Lil Mama, but she has toned down a lot since Season 2 (I absolutely hated her in that season, mainly against the Boogie Bots, one of my faves) but she still sucks. Even though Shane has the most experience on choreography out of the three judges, he does not know how to give advice or praise. He overuse the following two phrases - "you killed it" & "you smashed it"

Continuing on with the review....all images taken from MTV

Oh yeah, SPOILERS ahead. Read at your own risk.

"Bollywood" challenge with help from Nakul Dev Mahajan

09/01/2009 - Had to re-edit this post to include that the songs were Bollywood remixes. I'm okay with that. Yes, the challenge was "Bollywood." However, it was mainly using "Bollywood" flavor with the crews' styles. It's not a total copy of a "Bollywood" move. Throughout ABDC history, it's mainly about creativity. So with the challenge, the crews would just have to create something new and use it with what they already know, not changing who they really are.

First saved crew from ABDC is MASSIVE MONKEES!

Massive Monkees is definitely one of the audience's favorites. Being the only all male crew and having a mostly Asian dance crew, they maintain the b-boy flavor in their dancing. The previous winners of ABDC were all guys and had mostly Asians on their crew - Jabbawockeez, Super Cr3w - with the exception of Quest Crew (all Asians). Honestly, I was a little worried about Massive Monkees because I wanted to see them dance more instead of them doing tricks. Really did not want to see another Super Cr3w.

Bollywood challenge for Massive Monkees - Bhangra

Song: "Bang" - Rye Rye Ft. M.I.A. (Bollywood remix)

I thought this was perfect for them! Having the the energetic, fun Bhangra dancing and their B-boy together would be fun to watch. They came out with lots of energy and used their athetic techniques and added with the Desi flavor. Overall, I thought it was exciting. Definitely safe for next week! I think they will be one of the top two crews.

Second saved crew from ABDC is VOGUE EVOLUTION!

I'm not a huge fan of Vogue Evolution, but I did like their Beyonce challenge. For some reason, this season is all about diversity. I don't give a *bleep* about diversity. I just want good. I want to be excited everytime I watch a challenge. Is that why they rejected Fr3sh? Another all-Asian crew? Vogue Evolution is the first gay dance crew with a transgender. I pointed this out because Shane has contradicted himself when Fanny Pak performed. He called one of the guys out for being "too feminine." Regardless of what I think, Vogue Evolution must have a big fan base because they were safe this time around.

Bollywood challenge for Vogue Evolution - Rajasthani

Song: "Calabria 2008" - Enur (Bollywood remix)

Gotta give them major props for having the gear down. They look great, but could they pull it off? Overall, they were good. However, I felt they were doing the same type of dance movements. Plus they didn't incoroprate that much "Bollywood" in their dancing. They came out with attitude but was a bit sloppy. I thought they could do better and felt they let their personal business get in the way.

Third saved crew from ABDC is RHYTHM CITY!

Rhythm City has been my favorite from the beginning. Yes, I know, they were not that great in the Beyonce challenge (but a lot of crews were not that great either) but they are stepping it up again. I was sad that they were on the bottom two last week. In addition, I was quite disappointed that they didn't make it first on this time because their challenge from last week was awesome! Show some East Coast some love, will you?

Bollywood challenge for Rhythm City - Bharatanatyum

Song: "Jai Ho" - A.R. Rahman & Pussycat Dolls

Honestly, I was a bit worried for Rhythm City. They are my fave crew and had to incorporate one of the hardest, maybe the hardest, classical/traditional Indian dance, Bharatanatyum. But I was wrong! They managed to keep the Bronx style and then show some Desi love! I absolutely looooved it. When they were taking their shoes off, I was like, what is going on? Then they bowed down, went into position, and started the Bharatanatyum movement. Their finale pose was awesome and took it to another level. I will be very upset if they are not in the top two.

Final saved crew - AFROBORIKE

Not a fan of Afroborike. I don't mind a crew being sexy but they are the sloppiest crew ever. Sure, they are bringing their Latin flavor in hip hop. Honestly, I don't see much of that except a lot of skimpy outfits and the guys tossing them around. I'm not saying that their dancing is easy. All I'm saying is that what they are doing is something you will see at Salsa clubs. Sure, it's their style. I get that. But they are boring. Did I mention they are sloppy? Yes, they really are. If the girls weren't showing off their bodies in every single show, then Shane wouldn't keep saying that they are the sexiest girls ever on ABDC. Oh, another thing. Please stop saying where you come from. I'm all for Pride for where you are from. But you are dancing in America now. Represent "here." At least Shane called them out on that.

Bollywood challenge for Afroborike - Kathak

Song: "Dance Bailalo" - Kat De Luna (Bollywood remix)

Okay, Kathak is the other classical/traditional dancing but from North India and takes lots of training. Even though I ripped on them, I was a bit afraid for Afroborike. I didn't see why Beat Ya Feet Kings didn't get this challenge because they are all about foot work. Well, for the Beyonce challenge, I thought they had the easier song to do so it all worked out? Besides the hoochie (non) traditional outfits the girls had on, they even went all out and got hair extentions to have that look. Dancing wise? Blah. I can see them in the bottom two next week. However, I know the Latino community is voting for them like crazy. They are the only Latino crew to make it to ABDC this far. I remember last season when the first crew GOP got eliminated (they were Latino), there was an uproar. But sometimes that don't matter, Lil Mama is still a judge.


Don't kill me people. I don't like We Are Heroes that much. Just because they are an all-female dance crew doesn't mean I have to like them. I'm all for woman power. Comparing We Are Heroes to Beat Freaks is unfair. Beat Freaks is really good and it's too bad they didn't win (but it's okay because I liked Quest Crew more) I just don't think We Are Heroes are that diverse. However, I didn't think they were that bad to be in the bottom two. I was quite shocked.

Bollywood challenge for We Are Heroes - Giddha

Song: "Arab Money" - Busta Rhymes & Ron Brownz (Bollywood remix)

When I first heard about Giddha, I was like, what's that? I had no idea. Later I learned from Twitter fans (thanks so much) that it is the female version of Bhangra. Cool! It makes sense to have We Are Heroes do this style because they are an all-female dance crew, just like Massive Monkees, being an all-male dance crew, to dance to Bhangra. I have to shut my mouth now because I was so impressed with We Are Heroes. They were so good. Their outfits were cute, it looked like a hip hop Desi outfit, lol. Dancing with energy, they were having so much fun. The judges even commented on them being sexy for the first time. They better not be bottom two next week.

Beat Ya Feet Kings, why are you still here? You should have left and Fre3h stayed. But what is done is done. It is what it is. Again, I like that they are showing something "new" but it doesn't capture my attention. I rather have Southern Movement stay this long cause I actually liked them.

Bollywood challenge for Beat Ya Feet Kings - Garba
Song: "So Fine" - Sean Paul (Bollywood remix)

To be fair, I felt bad that Beat Ya Feet Kings got Garba. I wonder if Beat Ya Feet Kings and Afroborike were to switch challenges, would it be a lot different? Beat Ya Feet Kings do a lot of footwork, which Kathak would be better incorporated with them. Just like Afroborike, they have partner dancing, which Garba is known for, they could have done a better job with the challenge. But as people say, life isn't fair, you just gotta give it your best, that's all. Guess they gave it their best (even though I thought it could have been better) because they came out strong with lots of attitude, which showed too much on their faces and performance. It also had to do with Shane talking about them last week about them watching too much YouTube, which explains the yellow shirts worn by the guys having "Download This" on it. I felt they took it way too personal. My problem with this is their whining attitudes. The judges are softer this season because during Season 2, they were bashing the Boogie Bots and yet, Boogie Bots was still humble through it all.

In the end, We Are Heroes are saved. Thank goodness. They were much better anyways. I would have been really upset if they went home.

It would have been interesting to see Afroborike and Beat Ya Feet Kings on the bottom two to see which crew the judges would have saved.

What I found interesting is all the guys did not dress up in Desi wear. Some may argue that the guys in Vogue Evolution did. But they are gay, that's a fact.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu - Gautham Menon does it again!

After Kakkha Kakkha and Vaaranam Aayiram, I wanted to see Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. Thanks to Sita-ji who commented about Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. Having Kamal, Jyothika, Kamalinee, and Prakash in one film? That'll be awesome!

Guatham Menon is really talented too.

Like Kakkha Kakkha, Guatham works on another type of police story.

Raghavan (Kamal Haasan) is a hardworking cop. One of his former cop and friend, Arokiyaraj (Prakash Raj) ask him to help him find his daughter, Rani's murderer. Sadly, Rani's body is found but no suspects yet. In the meantime, Arokiyaraj and his wife re-locates to New York City, where Rani wanted to go live. Nine months later, Raghavan learns that Arokiyaraj and his wife are brutally murdered. Raghavan heads out to New York City to investigate. While reminiscing about the recent killings, Raghavan remembers his late wife Kayalvizhi's (Kamalinee Mukerjee) terrifying death. When settling in New York City, he learns there is some connection with their deaths and Rani's, along with several more deaths. There is a serial killer on the loose.

A bit surprise to see Kamal Hassan credited as Dr. Kamal Haasan (with two a's)

Raghavan is one hell-of-a-cop. One of the best.

Kamal Hassan is one really good, underrated actor. The first film I've ever seen of his was Ek Duje Ke Liye and became a fan. I have to admit that I didn't get to watch many of his films because during that time -- South Indian films were not very accessible for me. Plus I was younger and didn't know much about it either. He has a long filmography and hope to see more of his films.

Arokiyaraj and his wife. Losing a child is very hard, especially if it's your only child.

Prakash Raj only had a short role, but very significant. I swear, I see him in almost every Southie film now! He's awesome!

Rani, Arokiyaraj's daughter. I think she is so cute. I have no idea who the actress is. Anyone knows?

Kayalvizhi, wife of Raghavan.

Kamalinee is one of my all-time favorite South Indian actresses. I've loved her in every film I've seen so far - Anand, Godavari, & Happy Days. I do have Gamyam & Classmates but haven't watched it yet. Can't wait!

Aradhana and Raghavan meet in New York City. He saves her and she re-thinks about her life.

Jyothika is very natural. I absolutely love her. In some scenes, she had too much makeup on, which I dislike because she has natural beauty.

The two pyschopath killers. I wish that the movie wouldn't reveal the killers until much later and make it more of a thriller.

Amudhan is one of the killers. Daniel Balaji does an awesome job. He is so good that he scares me.

Ilamaran is the other killer. Saleem Baig is the more passive villian, meaning he wasn't as ruthless as Amudhan and had more of a heart. In some scenes, he reminded me of Dino Morea.

I really like the soundtrack. Got me wanting to get up and dance.

Song #1 - "Karka Karka"
Life of Raghavan

Song #2 - "Paartha Mudhal Naale"
Memories of Raghavan's wife, Kayalvizhi

Song #3 - "Vennilave Velli Velli Nivale"
Raghavan & Aradhana hang out

Song #4 - "Neruppac Sikki Mukki Neruppae"
Villians hang out with girls
(the two main girls being famous item girl, Mumaith Khan & her sister, Zabyn Khan)

Watch Below

Song #5 - "Uyirilae Enathu Uyirilac"
Raghavan & Aradhana in love

I am soooo mesmerized by the banyan tree. First time I've ever seen one was in Miami. Just looking at how different and exotic the trees looked, I forgot that the tree originally is from India. According to Wikipedia, the banyan tree aka Indian Fig Tree is the National tree of India.

Funny that I wasn't able to find a picture of the dvd for Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. Only found the Telugu-dubbed version. It's called Raghavan.

Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu, the Tamil version, or Raghavan, the Telugu-dubbed version is definitely worth watching. Although I felt the film could have been shorten a bit, not disappointed at all.