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The most awaited TV series of 2018

Usual caveats apply, which is: a) the ranks of the anticipation are directly proportional to how I anticipate them, with a fair amount of bias, and b) The list is what I know of right now, but there could be some great shows debuting suddenly this year, which is always a good news in spite of no mentions here. So, without much further ado, more because we are already couple of months in 2018, here is the list of which all TV series to look out for this year.


40. Kiss Me First

Netflix, 6 episodes.
Leila is a lonely 17 year old girl addicted to a fictional online gaming site called Agora. While playing on the platform, Leila meets Tess, a cool and confident party girl who harbors a dark secret. In the real world, the two girls become friends, but after Tess disappears Leila decides to assume her friend’s identity and in doing so is quickly drawn into unraveling the mystery behind her disappearance.

39. Mosaic

HBO, HBO Nordic. 6 episodes.
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh.
Mosaic is a whodunit mystery thriller based on the murder of popular children’s book author and illustrator Olivia Lake that takes place in Park City, Utah. Originally released as an interactive app, Mosaic allows the viewer to experience different portions of the story from the perspective of different characters in a non-linear fashion, providing a complex and unique narrative form. Note that the ending has very polarised reaction among viewers.


38. The Alienist

TNT, Netflix. 7 episodes.
Starring: Daniel BrühlDakota FanningLuke Evans.
Using the emerging disciplines of psychology and early forensic investigation techniques, a band of social outsiders (a psychologist, a crime reporter, and a headstrong secretary) set out to find and apprehend one of New York City’s first serial killers during the late 19th century.


37. The Looming Tower

Hulu, 11 episodes.
Creators: Dan Futterman, Alex Gibney. Starring: Jeff Daniels, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard.
Tracing the rising threat of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, it takes a controversial look at how the rivalry between the CIA and FBI inadvertently might have set the stage for the tragedy of 9/11 and the war in Iraq.

36. The Umbrella Academy

Netflix, 10 episodes.
Starring: Ellen Page, Tom Hopper. Based on graphic novel from: Gerard Way.
After their dad dies, a dysfunctional and disbanded family of superheroes reluctantly gets back together to discover what happened to their (The Monocle, Spaceboy, Number Five, The Horror, and The White Violin) fallen father.

35. Seven Seconds

Netflix, 10 episodes.
Creator: Veena Sud.
Tensions run high between African American citizens and Caucasian cops in Jersey City when a teenage African American boy is critically injured by a cop.


34. Purity

Showtime, 20 episodes.
Directed by: Todd Field. Based on the novel by: Jonathan Franzen. Starring: Daniel Craig.
A young woman joins an activist group, and begins a global journey in search of her father.

33. Insatiable

Netflix, 13 episodes.
A disgraced, dissatisfied civil lawyer-turned-beauty pageant coach takes on a vengeful, bullied teenager as his client and has no idea what he’s about to unleash upon the world.

32. Informer

BBC, Amazon Prime. 6 episodes
Counter-terrorism thriller set in east London.

31. Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams 

Amazon Prime, 10 episodes.
Starring: Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cranston, Vera Farmiga.

A sci-fi anthology series with stand-alone episodes based on the works of Philip K. Dick. Only problem is that it doesn’t turn out to be an overdose of ‘black mirror’.


30. Lost in Space

Netflix, 10 episodes.
A remake of the 1960s sci-fi series. A family lost in outer spaces in 2040s, and while en route to their new home, they must forge new alliances and work together to survive in a dangerous alien environment, light-years from their original destination.


29. Breathe

Amazon Prime, 8 episodes.
Starring: MadhavanAmit Sadh.
Breathe is an Indian crime/drama/thriller that explores the lives of ordinary men faced with extraordinary circumstances, a brilliant but non-conventional officer of the Crime Branch, puts the pieces together of seemingly unconnected deaths that lead up to an unlikely suspect.


28. McMafia

BBC, AMC, Amazon Prime. 8 episodes.
Alex Godman, the English-raised son of Russian mafia exiles, has spent his life trying to escape the shadow of their past, building his own legitimate business and forging a life with his girlfriend, Rebecca. But when a murder unearths his family’s past, Alex is drawn into the criminal underworld where he must confront his values to protect those he loves.



27. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Story: John le Carre, adopted by Simon Beaufoy. Starring: Aidan Gillen. 
British spy, Alec Leamas, seeks vengeance on the East German Intelligence Service during the height of the Cold War.

26. Good Omens

BBC, Amazon Videos. 
Story: Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman. Starring: David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Mike Gatiss.
A tale of the bungling of Armageddon, featuring an angel, a demon, an 11-year-old Antichrist, and a doom-saying witch.

25. Dirty Money

Netflix, 6 episodes.
This documentary Series deals with various stories (Volkswagen, payday lenders, pharma companies & wall street, HSBC & Mexican drug cartels, maple syrups, and real estate booms & busts) about exposing the greed, corruption, and crime spreading through the global economy.


24. The Dark Tower

Post the disastrous movie adaptation, the series, based on Stephen King’s novel Wizard and Glass, will serve as a prequel to the film.

23. Homecoming

Amazon Prime.
Directed by: Sam Esmail. Starring: Julia Roberts, Bobby Cannavale.
This thriller/drama is a story of employees at a secret government agency who are eager to re-enter civilian life, while one woman employee trying to piece together the truth behind a secret government program.

22. Safe

Netflix, 8 episodes.
Created by: Harlan Coben. Starring: Amanda Abbington, Michael C. Hal.
After his daughter goes missing, a widower begins uncovering the dark secrets of the people closest to him.

21. Strange Angel

Creator: Mark Heyman.
In this sci-fi/drama, a rocket scientist in 1940s Los Angeles is secretly the disciple of occultist Aleister Crowley.

20. Here and Now

HBO, HBO Nordic. 10 episodes.
Starring: Tim RobbinsHolly Hunter. Creator: Alan Ball.
Comedy/drama: A multi-racial family made up of husband, wife, three adopted children from Somalia, Vietnam and Colombia and one biological child, find their bonds tested when one of the children begins seeing things which the rest cannot.


19. The Oath 

Crackle, 10 episodes.
Directed by: Jeff T. Thomas. Starring: Sean Pean.
This explores a world of gangs made up of those sworn to protect and shed light on corrupt and secret societies.


18. Krypton

SyFy, 5 episodes.
Creator: David S. Goyer.
Set two generations before the destruction of the legendary Man of Steel’s home planet, KRYPTON follows Superman’s grandfather – whose House of El was ostracized and shamed – as he fights to redeem his family’s honor and save his beloved world from chaos.


17. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

Amazon Prime, 8 episodes.
Written by: Carlton Cuse & Graham Roland (based on characters by: Tom Clancy). Starring: John Krasinski. Series music: Ramin Djawadi.
The series follows Ryan as he uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit with a new breed of terrorism that threatens destruction on a global scale.


16. Castle Rock

Hulu, 10 episodes.
Story: Stephen King. Executive producer: JJ Abrams. Starring: Sissy Spacek, Bill Skarsgård, Scott Glenn.
Based on the stories of Stephen King, the mystery/thriller/horror series will intertwine characters and themes from the fictional town of Castle Rock.


15. The Terror

AMC, 10 episodes.
Starring: Jared HarrisCiarán Hinds. Executive producer: Ridley Scott. Based on novel from: Dan Simmons.
In this horror-drama set in 1847, a crew of a Royal Naval expedition is sent to find the Arctic’s treacherous Northwest Passage but instead discovers a monstrous predator, a cunning and vicious Gothic horror that stalks the ships in a desperate game of survival.


14. Altered Carbon 

Netflix, 10 episodes.
Created by: Laeta Kalogridis.
A sci-fi/thriller set in a future, where consciousness is digitized and stored, a prisoner returns to life in a new body and must solve a mind-bending murder to win his freedom.


13. Deep State

Fox, 8 episodes.
Starring; Mark Strong. Created by: Matthew Parkhill.
What happens when a man who believes he has retired from MI6 is called back to do one more job to regain his life, only to discover that this job may mean he has no life to go back to.


12. Dogs of Berlin

Netflix, 10 episodes.
Netflix’s second German language series after Dark is a crime-drama-thriller. A politically sensitive murder forces two disparate detectives into a battle against their wills with the Berlin underworld and a confrontation with their own corruption, which is willing to destroy the cops at any cost.

11. The assassination of Gianni Versace 

2nd season of American Crime Story. FX, BBC. 10 episodes.
Starring: Edgar RamírezRicky Martin, Penélope Cruz.
The second season show will focus on the murder investigation of fashion designer Gianni Versace by the serial killer Andrew Cunanan in the 1990s and how the investigation into Versace’s death led to what is famously considered the largest failed FBI manhunt in history. 


10. Wild Wild Country

Netflix, 6 episodes.
Documentary series directed by: Chapman WayMaclain Way.

A true story of Osho’s Rajneeshpuram, when the world’s most controversial guru builds a utopian city deep in the Oregon desert, conflict with the locals escalates into a national scandal. What transpired at that 64,229-acre land purchased in 1981 for $5.75 million led to the closing of the city, arrest of Osho and his many followers, US government giving him life-threatening injections in jail, deported from US, travelled to many countries just to be denied entry, and finally landing in India.


9. Too Old To Die Young

Amazon Prime, 10 episodes.
Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn.
Crime/drama exploring the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles by following characters’ existential journeys from being killers to becoming samurais in the City of Angels.

8. Maniac

Netflix, 10 episodes.
Directed by: Cary Fukunaga. Starring: Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Justin Theroux.
A comedy adaptation of a 2014 Norwegian series about two patients in a mental institution who live somewhere between the real world and their wild fantasy worlds.

7. Babylon Berlin

Sky, Netflix (US, Aus). 2 Seasons, 16 episodes.
Created & directed by: Henk HandloegtenTom TykwerAchim von Borries. Written by: Volker Kutscher.
In this historical crime-drama, a Colognian commissioner moves to Berlin, the epicenter of political and social changes in the Golden Twenties, at the foundations of the still young Weimar Republic. What appears to be solving a simple criminal case of a porno ring run by the Berlin Mafia soon reveals itself to be a scandal that will forever change the lives of both him and his closest associates. This also happens to be the most expensive non-English drama or a German series ever made.


6. Counterpart

Starz, 10 episodes.
Starring: J.K. Simmons.
In this sci-fi/thriller, a UN employee discovers that the agency he works for is hiding a gateway to a parallel dimension.


5. Patrick Melrose

Showtime, 5 episodes miniseries.
Story: Edward St. Aubyn. Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch.
Based on the ‘Patrick Melrose’ novels, which are based on the author’s own life, growing up in a highly dysfunctional upper-class English family and the decadent aristocracy, dealing with the deaths of both parents, alcoholism, heroin addiction and recovery, and marriage and parenthood.


4. O Mecanismo

Netflix, 8 episodes.
Directed by: Josè Padilha.
Loosely inspired by true events, a scandal erupts in Brazil during an investigation of alleged government corruption via oil and construction companies.


3. Sharp Objects

HBO, 8 episodes.
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée. Story: Gillian Flynn. Starring: Amy Adams.
A mystery/thriller, where a reporter confronts the psychological demons from her past when she returns to her tiny hometown to cover the violent murders of two preteen girls.

2. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Netflix, 6 episodes miniseries.
Written & directed by: Coen Brothers.
An anthology western following six different storylines and set of characters.

1. Waco

Paramount Network, 6 episodes miniseries.
Starring: Michael ShannonTaylor Kitsch.
The story of infamous Waco siege, the compound of cult leader David Koresh’s Branch Davidian sect in Texas, in 1993.


20 Honourable Mentions

1. Drug Lords (Netflix, 6 episodes. Documentary series of drug cartels and kingpins from around the world. Trailer).
2. Picture Paris
 (Epix. Comedy-drama. Starring: Meg Ryan.).
3. Howard’s End (BBC, Starz. 4 episodes. Drama based on the novel from: E.M. Forster. Trailer).
4. Snowpiercer  (TNT. Action-adventure. Starring: Jennifer Connelly.). 
Final Space (TBS, 6 episodes. animated sci-fi comedy. Trailer).
6. On My Block (Netflix. Coming of age drama. Trailer).
7. The Last O.G. (TBS, 10 episodes. Comedy co-created by Jordan Peele. Trailer).
Miss Sherlock (Hulu, HBO Asia. Women Holmes & Watson inpresent day Japan. Trailer). 
9. Our Cartoon President (CBS, HBO Nordic. 10 episodes. Creators: Stephen Colbert and others. Animation-comedy. Trailer).
10. A.P. Bio (NBC, 7 episodes. Comedy set in a college. Trailer).
11. The Chi (Showtime, HBO Nordic, 10 episodes. Trailer).
12. Everything Sucks! (Netflix, 10 episodes. 90s nostalgic comedy. Trailer).
13. Britannia (Sky, Amazon Prime, HBO Nordic. 10 episodes. Action-fantasy-drama. Trailer).
14. Alexa & Katie (Netflix, 13 episodes. Comedy.).
15. Hue 1968 (FX, 8 episodes. Historical drama set in 1968 Vietnam.).
16. Black Lightning (Netflix, 13 episodes. DC comics. Trailer).
17. Impulse (YouTube Red, 8 episodes. Spin-off 2008 movie Jumper. Sci-fi action.).
18. Kidding (Showtime. Comedy).
19. Corporate (Comedy Central, 10 episodes.).
2o. Roseanne (Showtime, 8 episodes. Comedy reboot. Trailer). 

20 Most Awaited Returning Series

An obligatory list, however less interesting because the most important returning series has been postponed until next year, so is the second most (hopefully). Nevertheless, there is still some quality series coming back this year..

1. Mindhunter (Season 2, Netflix).
2. Westworld 
(Season 2, HBO, HBO Nordic).
3. The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 2, Hulu, HBO Nordic).
4. Narcos (Season 4, Netflix).
5. Luther (Season 5, BBC, Netflix. 4 episodes).
6. Mr. Robot (Season 4, USA Network, Amazon Prime, HBO Nordic.).
7. Taboo (Season 2, FX, HBO Nordic).
8. The Man in the High Castle (Season 3, Amazon Prime).
9. Better Call Saul (Season 4, AMC, Netflix. 10 episodes).
10. American Gods (Season 2, Starz, Amazon Prime. 8 episodes).
11. Bron (Season 4, SVT). 
12. Feud
 (Season 2, FX).
13. BoJack Horseman (Season 5, Netflix).
14. Sense8 (Season 3 – series finale, Netflix).
15. The Son (Season 2, AMC).
16. A Series of Unfortunate Events (Season 2, Netflix).
17. House of Cards (Season 6, Netflix).
18. Bosch (Season 4, Amazon Prime).
19. Legion (Season 2, FX).
20. Atlanta (Season 2, FX).

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The most anticipated movies of 2013

A new year begins and so do a fresh movie calender. 2012 was relatively excellent year for movies – a refreshing mainstream, well flourishing indies, stalwarts with excellence, superheroes extravaganza, some disappointments, and of course the mediocre. 2013 will also have a fair share of all of the above. Despite that, if you look at the calender, it’s most likely that 2013 will be remembered for the science-fiction genre. Science fictions will be all around the year, either as pure sci-fi or clubbed with all sorts of genres, such as, action, adventure, drama, horror, thriller, and art-house.

So, here is my list of the most anticipated movies of 2013. First, 50 movies from around the world, well, mostly from Hollywood. And then, 20 movies from India. The lists come up with usual disclaimer: Chances are that this list doesn’t feature a few movies you expected and the reason behind that could be one of these – a). I haven’t heard about that movie so far, b). I have no interest (animation) or have lost interest in that particular genre (pure horror), c). I have no interest or least expectations from that movie at all (such as sequels of Hangover, GI Joe, Fast and Furious. Still, the suggestions are welcome, kindly leave the comments for the further debate. The details (plot and people) of the movies are taken from IMDb, Wikipedia, and other websites.

50 Most Anticipated Movies in English Language

50. Last Vegas
The old men’s hangover. The four old men are – De Niro, Douglas, Freeman, and Kevin Kline

49. August: Osage County
The Company Man director John Wells directs a Pulitzer winning tale about a family overcoming certain differences when their alcoholic patriarch goes missing. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Ewan McGregor.

48. Untitled Terrence Malick Project
Musical drama of two intersecting love traingles. Now. drool over the star cast – Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Benecio Del Toro, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara.

47. The Place Beyond the Pines
Ryan Gosling is a stunt driver, motorcycle this time, once again and that welcomes interest and suspicion both.

46. Broken City
A crime drama involving Wahlberg and Russel Crowe.

45. The Rivals
John Madden directs Marion Cotillard and Nicole Kidman as two 19th century theatrical divas and real-life rivalry between them.

44. Gangster Squad
A crime-drama about a chronicle of the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s. Starring Sean Pean, Ryan Gosling, and Josh Brolin.

43. Now You See Me
The ensemble cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Michael Caine) and the plot – FBI agents track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.

42. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Hope to carry on with the excellence shown in first part.

41. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Peter Jackson is back with the second part in which Benedict Cumberbatch voices Smaug.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

40. Midnight’s Children
A movie adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s much celebrated novel. Deepa Mehta directs it with a wide ensemble cast of Shabana Azmi, Rajat Kapoor, Shahana Goswami, Ronit Roy, Siddharth, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, and many others.

39. Kick Ass-2
Kick-ass and hit-girl are back. Anyone loved the first part will most certainly be looking for the sequel.

38. Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father
A real life story of the mob boss John Gotti and his sons. Stars Al Pacino, John Travolta, and Ben Foster.

37. Much Ado About Nothing
Josh Whedon (Avengers) adopting Shakespeare! Very intriguing.

36. Starbuck
A sperm donor’s 142 children out of total of 533 files a class action lawsuit against him and try to meet him just after his lover reveals she’s pregnant. Should be a laugh riot.

35. Rush
Ron Howard directs the real-life rivalry of F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

34. Runner, Runner
Brad Furman directs Ben Affleck and Timberlake in a gambling thriller.

Saving Mr. Banks
Saving Mr. Banks

33. Saving Mr. Banks
Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.

32. Inside Llewyn Davis
The Coen brothers a drama where a singer-songwriter navigates New York’s folk music scene during the 1960s.

31. Trance
Danny Boyle’s crime/drama involving painting, auctioneer, mob, and hypnotherapist.

30. Anchorman: The Legend Continues
This should be a better laugh riot than the third installment of Hangover.

29. Thor: The Dark World
The Avengers initiative has made Thor more interesting and considering that all of these individual stories are in order to build up for The Avengers 2, this should be worth waiting for.

28. Only God Forgives
Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling are back together. This time in Bangkok where a policeman and a gangster fight their differences in boxing match.

27. Malavita
Luc Besson directs De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones in a crime/drama where a mafia clan is relocated under witness protection program and is trying to fit in there.

26. The ABCs of Death
IMDb says: A 26-chapter anthology that showcases death in all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty.

25. The Great Gatsby
Adaptation of a finest novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, DiCaprio as Mr Gatsby, gigantic stage, and an awesome looking trailer.

24. World War Z
A zombie movie on the hugest canavas ever for a zombie movie. Marc Forster directs Brad Pitt.

23. The Last Stand
Big guy Arnold Schwarzenegger gun-rotting on US-Mexico border with an interesting screenplay and an awesome director – Kim Ji Woon, known for ‘I Saw The Devil’.

22. Captain Phillips
A real life story of a ship captain where the ship is hijacked by the Somali pirates. Tom Hanks directed by Paul Greengrass.

21. Before Midnight
Richard Linklater makes Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy meet again.

Before Midnight
Before Midnight

20. The Monuments Men
George Clooney helms the director seat again, with a history thriller based on a real story from the WWII era. Stars Clooney himself along with Daniel Craig, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, and Jean Dujardin.

19. Man of Steel
First of this year’s superhero movies. Superman, that is. The trailer suggests it will show a very intriguing story, much more than a usual superhero movie, a bar set high for the superheroes by the Batman trilogy.

18. Silence
Martin Scorsese goes back to 17th century where, two priests go to a violently conservative Japan to spread Christianity.

17. The Counselor
Ridley Scott returns to thriller genre, which involves Fassbender, as a lawyer getting into drug trafficking. Remaining star cast: Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Penelop Cruz.

16. The Grandmasters
Celebrated Hongkong-based storyteller Kar Wai Wong directs the story of the martial-arts master Ip Man, the master of Bruce Lee.

15. Oblivion
Joseph Kosinski is back with a new science-fiction, starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman on post-apocalyptic earth. And, awesome teaser.

14. The Lone Ranger
A western, set in Native American land, unites Gore Verbinski and Johny Depp.

13. After Earth
M. Night Shyamalan directing someone else’s screenplay for the first time, in which, Will and Jaden Smith, as father and son, explore a planet that was evacuated by humans 1,000 years earlier, fighting for survival with monstrous creatures and dangerous landscape.

12. Prisoners
Incendies was one of the finest movies in 2010. Denis Villeneuve follows up with this crime/drama, which stars Jackman, Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, and Melissa Leo. The story revolves around a father who kidnaps the man he believes is responsible for the disappearance of his daughter and her best friend.

11. Star Trek Into Darkness
The rebooted sci-fi franchise with awesome Benedict Cumberbatch as a villain. Darker than the previous Star Trek movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch in the poster of Star Trek Into Darkness
Benedict Cumberbatch in the poster of Star Trek Into Darkness

10. The World’s End

A British sci-fi comedy, directed by Edgar Wright and featuring the super-awesome duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, along with Martin Freeman (Dr Watson), in which the friends have a reunion in a bar and become humankind’s only hope for survival.

9. A Good Day to Die Hard
Yippee ki yay mother Russia.

8. Iron Man 3
Robert Downey Jr. as and in Iron Man.

Zero Dark Thirty
Zero Dark Thirty

7. The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese continues his bonhomie with Leonardo Dicaprio and visits Wall Street where the stock broking collides with corruption and mob. Features Jean Dujardin too.

6. Zero Dark Thirty
Kathryn Bigelow directs one of the biggest man-hunt ever, which ends with the death of Osama Bin Laden.

5. Stoker
Chan-wook Park’s first movie in English is, as expected, a combination of thriller, mystery, horror, and drama. It’s worth noting that the story was on the black list of the best unproduced scripts (a 2010 list).

4. Gravity
The ace director Alfonso Cuarón directs Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in this sci-fi where astronauts attempt to return to earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in space.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

3. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
This MUST be on everyone’s list of the most anticipated movies of 2013. Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez are back with mostly the same cast.

2. Elysium
Can’t wait to see Neill Blomkamp’s next sci-fi feature starring Matt Damon as an ex-con fighting for human rights on the earth, which is about to burst with its population and extreme gap between rich and poor.

1. Pacific Rim
One of most awaited movies this year. Guillermo del Toro directs this science fiction where giant robots piloted by humans will fight with huge alien monsters. Those who have watched ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ know how beautiful the visuals and intriguing the narratives would be.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim


9 Notable mentions: 1. Safe Haven (Nicholas Spark’s novel, directed by Lasse Hallström), 2. R.I.P.D. (The team of Robert Schwentke, Jeff Bridges, and Ryan Reynolds), 3. The Wolverine. 4. Walking with Dinosaurs (Co-directed by a BBC documentarian, it’s a story of two brothers looking to follow in their father’s footsteps leads to a showdown with dinosaurs in the Arctic North), 5. Machete Kills (Robert Rodriguez’s action flick), 6. Struck by Lightning (a fun story where the protagonist narrates the story from the grave), 7. Jack the Giant Slayer (A fairy-tale adventure by Bryan Singer), 8. Paranoia (Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford, and Hemsworth in a thriller set in the corporate world), and 9. Side Effects (A crime drama by Steven Soderbergh which is possibly his last feature film)


During last two weeks, came across a few more movies, which I’m certainly going to watch in 2013. (Thanks to Mihir Fadnavis and others) One of them, which is now no 1 on my list is this –

Short for “The Pirate Bay Away from Keyboard”, it’s a documentary on The Pirate Bay, its founders, the birth and life of it, and behind the scenes.  Check the trailer on its official website. I’m probably going to buy it.

2. Snowpiercer
Yet another maverick director is coming up with a sci-fi this year. Bong Joon-ho, of Memories of Murder and Mother, sets the film in 2031, where the passengers in a train are the only survivors on now snow-covered Earth. The film stars Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, and Song Kang-ho.

3. Room 237
A subjective documentary that explores the numerous theories about the hidden meanings within Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining.  Five very different points of view are illuminated through voice over, film clips, animation and dramatic reenactments.

4. Upstream Color
A bizarre premise by Primer’s director Shane Carruth. The plot says – A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

5. Her
A sci-fi comedy where a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly-purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need. Directed by Spike Jonze, better known for Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are, and Adaptation, the movie stars Joaquin Pheonix, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Amy Adams.

6. The Nymphomaniac
Awesome Lars von Trier directs Shia LeBeouf and Willem Dafoe.

More here.

20 Movies from Bollywood (and non-Bollywood)



20. Prague
An indie praised much in the festival circuits.

19. Shootout at Wadala
Sanjay Gupta’s follow up to Lokhandwala, based on a true story.

18. Miss Lovely
Ashim Ahluwalia’s indie feature set in the lower depths of Bombay’s “C” grade film industry and the devastating story of two brothers. Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead.

17. Vishwaroop
Kamal Haasan’s action thriller. Expect the extravaganza.

16. Satyagraha
Prakash Jha disappointed heavily with his last, yet he continues with his own type of materials. Ajay Devgan joins the camp along with Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Vajpayee, and Arjun Rampal.

15. Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Young Ayan Mukerji with his friend Ranbir Kapoor, along with Deepika and Kalki

14. Bullet Raja
Tigmanshu Dhulia goes to UP hinterland yet again with Irrfan, Saif and Sonakshi

13. Inkaar
Sudhir Mishra and Chitrangada Singh in a tale of a mentor and a trainee in a corporate setting.

12. Michael
A psychological thriller starring Naseeruddin Shah

11. Shahid
Hansal Mehta directs the talented Raj Kumar Yadav in a true-life account of slain Human Rights lawyer Shahid Azmi.

Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola
Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola

10. Besharam
Abhinav Kashyap directs Ranbir Kapoor.

9. Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 2
Tigmanshu Dhulia is back with the sequel of his excellent 2011 movie.

8. Kai Po Che
Never mind Chetan Bhagat. The trailer looks real good.

7. Ek Thi Daayan
Vishal Bhardwaj and Ekta Kapoor collaborate to produce this film, starring Emraan Hashmi, Huma GoW Qureshi, Kalki, and Konkana

6. Ghanchakkar
Rajkumar Gupta’s romantic comedy with Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan

5. Lootera
Vikramaditya Motwane’s next is a romantic flick

4. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
A biopic on Milkha Singh (Farhan Akhtar) directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

3. David
Bejoy ‘Shaitan’ Nambiar directs 3 Davids in 3 different locations in 3 different eras. This action-thriller movie is in both Hindi and Tamil. In spite of Nambiar and the plot, if you need to re-think, check the trailer and Tamil version’s soundtrack.

2. Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola
Vishal Bhardwaj will start 2013 with this fun movie. Featuring Pankaj Kapoor, Haryana, Gulzar, Imran Khan, and lot of fun.

1. Special 26
Neeraj Pandey’s second flick involves a real life gang and their exploits in late 80s.

Special Chabbis
Special Chhabbis


Hope there are more excellent ones to come which we don’t know about yet. Enjoy 2013 with the movies!

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India in 2011 – The Top 20 Videos

Best of 2011

You may term 2011 as whichever kind of year you want to, but one thing we shall perhaps unanimously agree that it was an year of news. All kinds of news. News of things which happened, and also, on the other hand, few things which happened only for the sake of news. Paid and deliberately created news and also the organic news which surprisingly topped the chart. Some were pushed to us down our throats, some went viral because they were kept secrets. Some of the videos can be revered for the visuals, most for the audio and the genius in the voices. But, most of these were revelations, not with surprise but with sheer awe. Invaluable for showcasing the gigantic amount of genius with super entertainment values.

With this kind of list, I am not quite sure about the title this post has, a portion of which says ‘top 20’. We could rightfully use dozens of adjectives and their superlatives of these videos. In many cases, each of the videos can attract a separate superlative exclusively for itself. Excellent, WTF, genius, lame, stupid, idiotic, outrageous, entertaining, courageous, sad, anger, pathetic, hilarious, shameful, irritating, mindless, mindful(!), and so on. But, I took the simplest path available. Apologies if you decided otherwise.

So, forget all the lists of 2011 videos you came across by far and check this one out.


20. Kolaveri Di
This was the ‘most deliberate’ viral video ever, thus not a viral, and certainly broke all barriers of language and region. This video can be referenced as a marketing excellence in entertainment industry, nevertheless, this was totally lame and stupid. If you feel otherwise, fine, but I’ll still include this video in this list because it turned out to be too “irritating” in the end, even more than 10 Rakhi Saawants put together. Why? Because it became responsible for 100 of other versions of Kolaveri of all shapes and forms. Fuck, even in the Netherlands. And those videos were everywhere, each of them shared via social media by each of our friends.

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My 50 most anticipated movies of 2012

2011, just like all the other things, wasn’t a great year for movies. 2012, on the other hand, promises a much greater year for movies. Here is a list of ‘my’ 50 most anticipated movies of 2012. Chances are that this list doesn’t feature a few movies you expected and the reason behind that could be one of these – a). I haven’t heard about that movie so far, b). I have no interest or have lost interest in that particular genre, c). I have no interest in that movie at all. Still, the suggestions are welcome, kindly leave the comments for the further debate. The details (plot and people) of the movies are taken from IMDb, Wikipedia, and other websites.

So, here goes my list, with my takes, arranged in a bottom-up manner. Cheers!

The 50 most anticipated movies of 2012

50. Wettest County
Why: A crime-drama which stars Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, and Shia LaBeouf. The movie is set in the Depression-era where a bootlegging gang is threatened by authorities wanting a cut of their profits.

49. The End
Why: Abbas Kiarostami directs one of another most awaited movies for festival circuits which follows the story of “the unusual relationship between a student, who works as prostitute on the side to pay for her studies, and a brilliant, elderly academic who is one of her clients.”

48. Michael
Why: The plot – “A drama focused on five months in the life of pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement”. Intriguing, indeed! Hope the execution is not loud and in the face, and we are up for some real good cinema.

47. Total Recall
Why: Based on a Philip K. Dick’s short story (his stories have made many sci-fi movies before), this sci-fi/action movie talks about power struggle between two geographies And a normal guy (Farrell) begins to suspect that he’s a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on.

46. Anna Karenina
Why: Movie adaptation of the novel of Leo Tolstoy. This one stars Jude Law and Keira Knightley in lead roles and is directed by Joe Wright, who has much experience in adapting novels into movies, such as, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, etc.

45. Chaalis Chauraasi (4084)
Why: Watched the trailer recently on TV and it was as hilarious as one can get. One police van, four Cops, one night, one job, one hell of a ride. This stars Naseeuddin Shah, KK Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Ravi Kishen, Zakir Hussain, Rajesh Sharma, and Manoj Pahwa. Being a comedy/crime movie, I am expecting an incredibly fun-filled roller-coaster ride for two hours.

44. Moonrise Kingdom
Why: I find the combination of cast and plot interesting enough to watch this movie. Starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, and Bill Murray, it is a story of a pair of lovers who flee their town causing a local search party to fan out and find them.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Courtesy: IMDb)

43. Agent Vinod
Why: A usual Bollywood star-cast of Saif, Kareena, Gulsan Grover, etc; but the movie is an international action thriller, appearing like a desi Bond movie. This could well be worth watching because it is directed by a very talented Indian thriller-movies director, Sriram Raghavan.

42. Gangster Squad
Why: A crime-drama about a chronicle of the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s. Starring Sean Pean, Ryan Gosling, and Josh Brolin.

41. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Why: The plot – “An introvert freshman, while coping with first love, the suicide of his best friend and his own mental illness, is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.”

40. Midnight’s Children
Why: A movie adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s much celebrated novel. Deepa Mehta directs it with a wide ensemble cast of Shabana Azmi, Rajat Kapoor, Shahana Goswami, Ronit Roy, Siddharth, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, and many others.

39. Ted
Why: Mark Wahlberg is the guy whose teddy bear comes to life as the result of a childhood wish. Besides, the young director, Seth MacFarlane, has a fine record of writing and directing TV comedies.

38. Coriolanus
Why: Based on Shakespear’s play about rise & fall of power, deceit, vangeance, and tragedy – set in modern day. This is enough to pick this flick.

37. Red Lights
Why: The plot. The story is about a psychologist (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant who study paranormal activity and that leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic (Robert DeNiro?).

36. The Raven
Why: Purely due to the plot – A fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life (John Cusack in lead role), in which the poet pursues a serial killer whose murders mirror those in the writer’s stories.

35. Paan Singh Tomar
Why: Much awaited real-life chronicles of a runner-turned-bandit, lead role played by Irrfan Khan and directed by talented Tigmanshu Dhulia. Hopefully, this movie sees the light this year.

34. Savages
Why: Oliver Stone’s crime drama about 2 guys’ face off with the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend. Starring Salma Hayek, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro, and John Travolta. I genuinely believe we can forget his sequel of Wall Street before watching this one.

33. Amour
Why: A drama directed by Michael Haneke which is certainly going to feature, and receive awards too, at several film festivals. The plot revolves around a retired couple which deals with aftermath of the wife suffering from a debilitating stroke.

Haywire (Courtesy: IMDb)

32. The Amazing Spider-Man
Why: Not a fan of Spidy franchise, but loved the director Mark Webb’s first and only other movie he directed (500 Days of Summer). Plus, the trailers looks like it deals much with teenager Peter Parker and how he evolves into Spiderman. Plus Plus, Irrfan Khan as the villain and seriously speaking, IK is only Bollywood actor who I believe can get a decent, nice-length Hollywood role.

31. Haywire
Why: A Steven Soderbergh directed action-thriller, which stars Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, and Antonio Banderas. The plot is about a super soldier’s revenge after she is betrayed and set up during a mission, which very much seems like that of Salt (except the director and the cast ensemble).

30. Men in Black III
Why: Because The Men are back. Leaving K (Tommy Lee Jones), J (Will Smith) time travels to 60s where an alien with its sights on the younger K (Josh Brolin) has gone rouge.

29. Seven Psychopaths
Why: Collin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and Woody Harrelson form the cast of this comedy caper which is the second film of Martin McDonagh (In Bruges was the first). And this movie features a screenwriter, a dog, gangsters, and psychopaths!

28. Looper
Why: First, the plot – A sci-fi/action story in which a killer (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) finds out that his next target is his own future self (Bruce Willis). Second, the people at the helms – Rian Johnson (last movie – The Brothers Bloom) and the actors.

27. Life of Pi
Why: Yet another movie adaptation of a novel. This one is based on the awesome adventure-drama novel of Yann Martel and involves a kid and a lot of his animal companions. The story has a huge connection to India and fittingly it stars many Indian actors, Irrfan Khan and Tabu to name a few.

26. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Why: Well, the title itself sounds interesting. If not, then read the plot – “President Lincoln’s mother is killed by a supernatural creature, which fuels his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers.” Interesting yet?

25. Being Flynn
Why: I somehow liked the story very much. Based on a true story, it’s about a guy who often intersects with his brilliant but troubled father and then wrestles with the idea of reconnecting with him. The father (Robert DeNiro) has had an erratic lifestyle and a self-proclaimed poet (An excerpt from the trailer -“America has produced only three classic writers – Mark Twain, J D Salinger, and Me.”).

24. The Hunger Games
Why: A futuristic story based on a novel, which feels like a combination of unusual sports (Battle Royale) and reality tv (Truman Show). Coincidentally, the director’s (Gary Ross) two other movies were related to one of these two themes – Seabiscuit involved drama revolving around an unusual sport and Pleasantville involved something like surrealistic sitcom.

23. Cogan’s Trade
Why: Third movie written and directed by talented Andrew Dominik and his second with Brad Pitt (‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’ was the first). This one is a crime thriller where Brad Pitt is a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game.

The Dictator
The Dictator (Courtesy: IMDb)

22. The Great Gatsby
Why: Movie adaptation of one of the most famous novels. Though I am not a fan of Buz Luhrmann (except, I really enjoyed watching Moulin Rouge), this stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan (loved her in Drive) in the lead roles and well…features our very own Amitabh Bachchan (AB’s maiden Hollywood movie).

21. The Dictator
Why: Yet another super satire by Sasha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles (the ‘Borat’ team) about a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. Watch the trailer!

20. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Why: Peter Jackson is back with the hobbits and the dwarfs – where a hobbit, with thirteen dwarves, begins a journey which will take him into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers…and Gollum.

19. The Grandmasters (Yut doi jung si)
Why: Celebrated Hongkong-based storyteller Kar Wai Wong directs the story of the martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.

18. John Carter
Why: Watch the trailer. Mars, a man somehow placed there, among 12-foot tall barbarians and several other kinds of creatures, with a lot of fights in the unknown terrain – looks like a Star Wars movie, with toppings of Planet of Apes and Avatar.

17. Gravity
Why: Lone survivor, Sandra Bullock (also starring George Clooney), of a space-mission-gone-wrong desperately looking to return to Earth and her daughter. Sounds like a purist Sci-fi movie with a backdrop of human’s desires and longings for relationship. Proven record of the director, Alfonso Cuaron, in both kind of themes – Children of Men and Y Tu Mama Tambien. And those who have seen CoM know what kind of Sci-fi movies Cuaron makes.

16. Argo
Why: Ben Affleck is one of those few actor-turned-directors whose directed movies are more awaited than the ones they act in. This is only his third movie, after Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Argo is about a political crisis with a pacy screenplay – “As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA ‘exfiltration’ specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador. ”

15. Talaash
Why: Aamir Khan produces and stars in Rima Kagti’s crime thriller where Aamir plays a cop.

14. The Bourne Legacy
Why: 1. Bourne. 2. Tony Gilroy (the first movie he directed was Michael Clayton). 3. Edward Norton as a villain. Interestingly, Jeremy Renner is enacting the lead role.

13. Gangs of Wasseypur
Why: The film is about the coal mafia in Dhanbad, said to be inspired from the story of Bihar politician Surajbhan Singh, and has turned out to be a two-part marathon, each two hours and 40 minutes in length. Directed by Anurag Kashyap. Manoj Vajpayee is in the lead role. Everyone in India knows what these people are capable of and if you are aware of the real-life stories of the coal mafia in Dhanbad, this is surely one must-watch for 2012.

The Expendables 2
The Expendables 2 (Courtesy: IMDb)

12. Untitled Terrence Malick Project
Why: Terrence Malick and a plot involving intricacies of human relationship. Surely the eyes are upon this, especially when the director has released ‘the tree of life’ last year. The plot says – “A romantic drama centered on a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart.”

11. The Expendables 2
Why: This may not deserve a mention in a top-15 anticipation list, but this probably features on everyone’s watch-list. A perfect guilty pleasure starring – Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and others – all in one purely hell of an action movie.

And the drum-rolls for the Top 10.

10. Dark Shadows
Why: Tim Burton, with his regular team members, joins Johny Depp again in a Gothic movie involving perhaps one of the most weird set of characters ever. The tale centers on the life of playboy vampire Barnabas Collins (Depp) and his run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts.

9. Shanghai
Why: Arguably, one of the most talented Bollywood director of our times, Dibaakar Banerjee’s 4th movie is a political thriller. The movie is the official Hindi adaptation of a political thriller by Greek novelist Vassilis Vassilikos, who wrote about the real-life assassination of a dynamic politician.  As Dibakar said early this year – “Well this film is going to see him go right into the heat and dust of a hellish Indian small town and its deadly politics. No leather jackets, suave bars and foreign locales. Abhay was never seen like this before – in a negative, cold, almost vicious character. Imagine Abhay being the establishment instead of fighting it. He looks at you through his glasses, wearing his stiff shirt and you wonder what’s on his mind”. It also stars Emraan Hashmi (interesting casting!) and Kalki Koechin.

8. The Avengers
Why: Why? I mean, it features Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, HawkEye, Black Widow, and pirate-eye Nick Furry – it’s like a ‘comic book digest’ (a story involving multiple superheroes) we used to wait for months and buy/rent immediately in our childhood.

7. Cloud Atlas
Why: Wachowski brothers team up with Tom Tykwer to direct a sci-fi epic, a movie adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel. Can be termed as one of the most ambitious movie of the year which is about 6 stories set in a different time and place which become intricately related to each other. Expecting one of the best sci-fi sets of our times. On top of that, it stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant

6. Prometheus
Why: Ridley Scott and sci-fi genre. A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. Said to be a prequel of his ’79 movie ‘Aliens’ (a long time since then) it brings back the thrill, horror, and action in the other part of universe. Needless to say, this also involves a huge budget (see the trailer) and interesting star cast of Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, and Guy Pearce.

5. The Master
Why: PTA. Paul Thomas Anderson is certainly our generation’s Stanley Kubrick (only 5 feature films over a career spanning more than 2 decades – all masterpieces). Number 2, the plot, which says, as per IMDb – “A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as ‘the Master’ whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.” Philip Seymour Hoffman is the Master, Joaquin Phoenix is the right-hand man, and ‘Scientology’ is the religion in question. Beat that!

4. Lincoln
Why: Spielberg directing a biography of one of the most famous American President, Abraham Lincoln, role enacted by Daniel Day-Lewis (Yes!). Need say more?

(Courtesy: IMDb)

3. Skyfall
Why: A ‘lethal’ combination of 007 and Sam Mendes. Starring the blonde Bond, Javier Bardem, and Ralph Fiennes & the cameras at the helms of the legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins.

This is going to be EPIC and will, without any doubt, get the 007 on the top.

2. Django Unchained
Why: Tarantino, Tarantino, and Tarantino. Bonus is the plot with solid star cast – A slave-turned-bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx), with the help of his mentor (Christoph Waltz),  sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio as the villain!).

Also starring JGL, Samuel L Jackson, and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Django Unchained
Django Unchained (Courtesy:


1. The Dark Knight Rises
Why: Everybody knows everything about this movie and this probably stays on top of everyone’s most anticipated movie of 2012. This epic grand finale of Nolan’s Batman trilogy will, I reckon, stay on top again in the lists of the best movies compiled at the end of 2012, well, if the world doesn’t end in 2012.

The Dark Night Rises


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