Thursday, 26 January, 2012

Movie Review: Agneepath

Ok, firstly, I am no big fan of Amitabh's 1990 version of Agneepath, and so went to watch the movie with no expectations. But still, I walked out of the theater with a head ache. Karan Malhotra and Karan Johar, what the hell was that?? I mean, I really wonder what these guys were thinking when they started to make the movie. With this script, and the obvious comparisons to the 1990's film, they should have known that it was an absolute disaster in the making!

Except for Sanjay Dutt, and maybe Katrina Kaif, the film stands no ground. It is a three-hour long, slow, boring movie (did I mention long??). Sanju baba is really good, but he aint Dark Knight's Joker to save the movie. Hrithik tried really really hard to live up to Amithabh's character, but failed miserably. How can he, when he does not appear on the screen until exactly 45 minutes have passed by? And Priyanka, our irritating slum dwelling heroine makes sure that she wears designer sarees with backless blouses all the time, her pallu covering less than half of her bosom, is horrendous. The best part of the movie though is in the climax, when our Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, twice stabbed by the intimidating, bald, scary Kancha Cheena, lives long enough to avenge his father's death. I can't believe that I live in a generation where such kinda dumb and dull movies are still made.

I suggest you stay away from this movie at all costs. Instead, go buy a DVD of Amitabh's version, which though not a classic, is way way better than this version. I expect Mithunda  to entertain you much more than Chikni Chameli!!

In one sentence, it's not Agneepath, but agni pariksha for us!!
Verdict: 3/10

For a detailed review, please visit sasikanth.me/agneepath

Saturday, 21 January, 2012

Moving!!

Hello!!

I've got myself a new domain sasikanth.me, wherein I shall be posting my further reviews. Hope to see you on my new site..

Thanks :)

Tuesday, 17 January, 2012

Restaurant Review: Papa Johns

Place: Papa Johns
Location: Road No. 12, Opp. Nissan showroom,  Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Pizza
Meal: Lunch (with a couple of friends)

After enjoying a movie, we decided to go hog at Papa Johns. I loved their pizza's while in the US, their garlic sauce is yumm!! So here we were at their Road No. 12 outlet at about 3:00 PM on Saturday afternoon. One table was occupied, and rest of the place was empty. We sat in a corner and took a while to decide on our order.

We ordered a Meal for Two (half and half of  Small Garden Special and Veg. Barbecue pizza, a portion of Cheese Sticks, and 2 x Pepsi), Tandoori Chicken for One, Original Breadsticks and a bottle of water. We sat there for about 30 minutes thereafter, but nothing, not even the water or Pepsi's were served. When after that long we asked the waiter to get us the water at least, he serves the Cheese Sticks. After about 10 minutes, the Pepsi's were served, but still no water. Then he brings us the Pizza for Two, which was supposed to be a half and half, but it turns out to only Garden Special. We ask for a replacement and he takes the pizza back in. Then came the water, along with Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks, not the Original Breadsticks we ordered. At this point I totally lost it. I asked if the Manager was in the store, and was answered in positive. Five minutes later, another waiter comes and informs us that the Manager is not in the store. 

We walked out!! 

Ten minutes after we sat at our table, the place was empty. We were the only customers in the store and it took the waiter more than 30 minutes to get a bottle of water. And then he messes up our order big time. We would have continued with our meal if the Manager (who was told to be in store) attended to us, but he was amiss. 

I had great expectations from this place. Their pizza's are good, no doubt about that. But if the service is this pathetic, I would never return to this store. Surprisingly, these were the same guys who delivered a pizza on time when I ordered one on New Year's eve. But such horrid service is not going to gain them customers in the restaurant. 

Food: NA
Ambiance: 7/10
Service: 0/10

Dumbo's Rating: 3/10


PS: We did taste the Cheese Sticks. They were good but not great.

Sunday, 15 January, 2012

Restaurant Review: Roti Shhoti

Place: Roti Shotti
Location: Opp. ICICI Bank, Prenderghast Road, Secunderabad
Cuisine: North-Indian, Chinese
Meal: Dinner (with Mom and Dad)

I've been wanting to try out a new (good) restaurant for a really long time. Googled a bit and found this vegetarian restaurant with good reviews. So decided to give it a try. I didn't know the exact location, so called in to ask for directions. The guy was very cheerful and helped me pinpoint the restaurant. So here we were, at around 9:00 PM on Friday evening. It was bigger than I expected. We walked in, and the place was abuzz. They have a party hall, and the crowd in there was very loud. We were promptly seated at a table for four. The ambiance was alright. I believe its a house redone into a restaurant. 

The reviews mentioned this place to be light on pockets, but the menu had another story to tell. It was expensive, but not exorbitant. I read good things about their "Potato and Spinach Honey Chilli" and "Anjeer Panner Kabab", so decided to order them. The "Anjeer Panner Kabab", which was their specialty, was unavailable, so instead ordered "Tiranga Panner Tikka". We were suggested to order "Manchow Soup", so decided to give it a try.


It took less than 10 minutes for the soup to be served, and it was good. It was a bit spicy, and had a nice flavor to it. The fried noodles were giving it a nice taste. Then came the "Potato and Spinach Honey Chilli". I've never ordered anything potato for a starter before, and was hoping this would be good. And it was. It was spicy, but the honey flavor made it taste delicious. The aloo was boiled to perfection. Named "Potato and Spinach..", there was barely any spinach in the dish though. It was served along with tangy schezwan sauce which was yumm. Dad loved it. The quantity was so good and we were struggling to finish it.


In about 15 more minutes, the tikka was served. The presentation was very good, and the panner looked fresh. But we were kinda disappointed with the taste. There was no proper flavor to the dish, and it was as if we were eating raw panner. The stuffing was very very less, and had no taste to it. I don't need to go to a restaurant and spend 160 bucks to eat charred panner, do I??


For the main course, we ordered "Khazane E Lazzat" (their version of Malai Kofta, stuffed with nuts), Warqi Paratha, Mughalai Naan (Naan stuffed with nuts and coconut) and a Masala Kulcha. Again the Mughalai Naan was unavailable (something I was looking forward to taste), so we were suggested "Mirchi Pyaaz ki Roti".


The kofta's gravy was delicious, but the koftas were bad. They were very hard, and I barely found any nuts stuffed into them. The gravy was very thick, and had a keseri flavor to it. It was mildly sweet. The Masala Kulcha was really good; soft, properly stuffed, and oozing out butter. The Warqi Paratha was ok, nothing great. I was expecting the mirchi roti to be spicy, but it wasn't. It was actually really good. 

Overall, except for the soup and the honey potato, rest of the food was nothing great. I went in with high expectations and was partly disappointed. For the price, the quantity of the food served was good, but items from the menu being unavailable didn't help the case. Also, the place was a little too loud, which was kinda annoying. I'd mostly prefer Santoshi to this place for its easy on the pockets. It is definitely not the best vegetarian restaurant in town as other reviews suggest, but wasn't bad either.

Food: 7/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 777/-

Dumbo's Rating: 7.5/10

Friday, 13 January, 2012

Movie Review: Businessman (Edit)

Mahesh and Puri!! Their last film broke Telugu movie records, and you expect this one to be a bigger and better movie. But due to my recent experiences, I went to watch without any expectations, and at the end of the film I walked out quite satisfied. The movie makes no sense, has no story or nothing, but thanks to the brilliant acting by Mahesh, and pretty good dialogues by Puri, Businessman is a decent watch.

Filming for the first time without his favorite actors Ali or Brahmanandam, Puri Jagannadh makes Businessman without a comedy track. Thanks to the slick screenplay, you never notice the lack of comedy though. There are highs and lows, but overall, it works. Might not be as big a hit as Pokiri, and might not run in multiplexes, but is sure to run houseful in B and C centers.

Watch it only for Mahesh and Puri. If you like neither of them, still go watch it!

(Actually, after second watch, I have a feeling it will break Pokiri's records very easily)

Dumbo's Rating: 7.5/10 + 0.5 for Mahesh!!

For a detailed review, read on...

Plot
The movie kicks off with the police commissioner (Nassar) declaring Mumbai to be a Mafia-free zone. Surya (Mahesh Babu) lands in the city with the intentions of becoming a don, and in his own words, to make Mumbai  beep. He takes the local goons, and the local minister Lalu (Sayaji Shinde) under his control. He makes the commissioner's daughter Chitra (Kajal Aggarwal) fall in love with him, and later falls for her himself. The rest of the film (not story) is about Surya's real intentions and how he turns mafia into a business.


Actors Performance

Mahes Babu is terrific as Surya. He looks uber cool and dashing. He has his way with the dialogues, and thanks to Puri, he mouths some terrific stuff. His expressions, intensity and antics are really good, and I loved his acting in the climax episode. He does create some humor (only humor in the film) as well. But I really feel that he needs to try something different from these kinds flicks. He's one of the better actors in the industry today, and I believe that he has more potential than this.

Kajal looks great, but when it comes to acting, she sucks. But trust me, she's way better than rest of the Telugu heroines. Nassar is really good in the role of the commissioner. Other than him, no one has any major role. Prakash Raj, Subbaraju, Sayaji Shinde are all alright. Dharmavarapu tries to create some laughter, and is ok. The girl who played Kajal's friend (Ayesha) was really really annoying the first time around, but you kinda get used to her.

Story-Screenplay-Direction
Puri Jagannadh thanked Ramgopal Varma at the start of the film for helping him come up with the idea of Businessman. For a second there, I thought I was gonna walk out with a headache. But thankfully, Puri just uses RGV's style of movie making. There is honestly no story to the movie, but he has a concept, and he uses it for two and half hours. Thanks to the amazingly scripted dialogues, the concept, or rather the film works. Since there is no story, the screenplay needed to be effective, and Puri makes sure that its crisp. Every scene is effectively planned, and very well shot. There was not a single boring moment in the film. The climax was a little too weak and predictive though. Direction is pretty decent. He makes Mahesh look really really good.

Other Departments
Music by Taman is good. He's copied tunes from various films, yes, but they still work. After a really long time, I loved the theme music of a Telugu film. 'Bhag Saale' is impressive. The re-recording and sound effects are very good. Cinematography by Shyam K. Naidu is alright. The close up shots were canned well.  Editing by S. R. Shekhar is perfect.  Choreography by Dinesh is mediocre, and could have been way better. Production values by R.R. Movie Makers are good.

My only problem with the movie was the censoring. I mean, since when did cleavages or bikini shots get blurred in a movie?? Forget cleavages, even the thigh of the item girl was blurred. Same thing with the dialogues. When the movie is given 'A' rating, I don't see a point for the censor board in being so harsh. Not that I want to see stuff or hear shitty dialogues, but hope that it doesn't become a trend.

Saturday, 7 January, 2012

Restaurant Review: Thai Express

Place: Thai Express
Location: Above Qmart, Road No. 3, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Thai (and Chinese)
Meal: Dinner (with mom and dad)

After a really long time, here I was trying out a new restaurant. Wanted to try Thai Express, which was right next to my house for a really long time. Called in advance and made a reservation for three, but when I walked in, the place was pretty empty. It had good ambiance, and the decors were pretty decent. We were promptly seated at a table for 6.

Though the place was empty, it took a while for the waiter to attend to us. We ordered the Tom Kha soup and Golden Money Rolls for starters. I wanted to have Basil fried rice really bad, for I loved the one they served at Thai restaurants in the US. They had Basil curry served with white Rice, but no Basil Fried Rice. So instead went for their special (recommended) Tom Yum Fried Rice, along with Veg Drunken Fire Noodles. I wanted to order another vegetable dish, and when I asked the waiter, he suggested Phat Thai Vegetables with gravy.


It kinda took forever for the soup to be served, and further long for the rolls. The soup looked yummy, but it wasn't as good as it looked. It was very thin, and was made of watery coconut milk. The vegetables, were a little raw as well. Flavor was alright, but overall, disappointment. 


The rolls, thankfully were awesome. Crispy, perfectly baked, and the stuffing was spicy and tasty. The sweet chilli sauce (mix of duck sauce and chilli sauce) was yummy. 


After a long long long wait, rest of the food was served. The food was presented very well, and I really was hoping that it would be as good as the rolls if not the soup. The Drunken Fire Noodles with Vegetables was excellent, and was the best of the lot. It was spicy, and perfect. There was a slight lemon touch, which made it taste delicious. I wish he'd given more of the crushed peanuts. 


The Phat Thai Vegetables was served with white rice. Though the curry tasted alright, the rice was of bad quality, and a little over cooked. For a recommended dish, I honestly expected something better than this.


The worst of the lot though was the Thai Express Special Tom Yum Fried Rice! It was fiery spicy, and had no flavor to it. I asked the guy to modify it by adding a little salt, but that made no difference. He infact made it more spicy. Again, the quality of the rice was bad. Pathetic!!

Overall, a big disappointment. Except for the Golden Money Rolls and Drunken Fire Noodles, the rest of the food was bad, if not pathetic. The quantity of the Noodles and the curry was good, but the amount of rice was really less. For such exorbitant prices, I'd expect better quantity. Added to that was the horrible service. I had to keep asking the waiter to fill my water glass every time it got empty. The best part was when I asked him to fill my glass, he did, but didn't bother to fill either dad's nor mom's glasses which were both empty as well!!

I am definitely not going back to this place for a really really long time. Visit at your own risk, but if you do, do try their rolls and noodles.

Food: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Service:4/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 1080/-

Dumbo's Rating: 5/10