Movie Review: Dil Dhadakne Do

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Movie: Dil Dhadakne Do

Director: Zoya Akhtar

Release Date: June 5th 2015

Cast: Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Anil Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Shefali Shetty, Rahul Bose

Now here’s a fun-filled family comedy that you shouldn’t miss! The dysfunctional Mehra family invite their friends and relatives to join them on a cruise to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Their shenanigans throughout the 10-day journey to Turkey & Greece will keep you laughing and engaged the whole ride!

Positives: 

1. Priyanka Chopra was stunning! Everything from her outfits, hair-dos, to her sculpted body (check out her biceps!) and even her acting – top-notch. She has built this athletic body for her upcoming ABC TV Show “Quantico,” in which she stars as a FBI-trainee.

2. The comedy was mostly right on – not the typical cringe-worthy stuff you would expect in Bollywood. Ranveer was absolutely hilarious and very natural.

3. Anushka Sharma was the hottest she has ever been. She plays a dancer on the cruise and Ranveer’s lover. Anushka and Ranveer make a great on-screen couple – remember them in Band Baaja Baraat? Check out Anushka’s “swing dancing” in this film.

4. One of the songs, “Gallan Goodiyan” was shot in one take!! It’s fabulously choreographed and makes the audience feel like they are at the party!

Negatives:

1. There was no hit “item-song” which I think this movie was lacking, however the focus was not on the songs in general which may have been a positive.

2. The movie was 2.5 hours long…but to be honest it goes by pretty fast because you’re laughing through most of it.

3. Yes, Anil Kapoor is graying. Let’s not forget he is 58 years old! He suits his role very well in this film as a manipulative patriarchal figure.

Fun-Fact: This film is narrated by Pluto, the family dog, whose voice is played by Aamir Khan.

On the whole, Dil Dhadakne Do is a hit and a must-see Bollywood film for the entire family. You can’t go wrong with this stellar cast and talented director Zoya Akhtar!

Acting: 4/5
Story: 4/5
Costumes: 3/5
Choreography: 3/5
Sets/Filming Location: 4/5
Songs: 3/5
Eye Candy: 4/5
Length of Movie: 2/5
Overall: 3.5/5 or 7/10

Key:
* = flop, don’t even bother
** = time pass, you’ll live if you don’t see it
*** = worth a watch
**** = A hit, see it in the theater!
***** = Bollywood Blockbuster

Movie Review: PK

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Director: Rajkumar Hirani

Release Date: December 19th, 2014

Genre: Comedy Drama

Well, Bollywood, what a way to end 2014! PK, in my opinion, is one of the best films we have seen lately in Bollywood. As expected, Aamir Khan delivers an outstanding performance. Without giving much away, this movie is about “PK,” an alien who lands in the deserts of Rajasthan on a mission to learn about human life. Unfortunately, his remote gets stolen within the first few minutes of the movie. This remote is his only way to communicate with his planet to return home. He spends his entire time on Earth trying to find this remote, learning that he must pray to “God” to get it back.

The positives:

  1. Everything that may make you “cringe” about religion is openly discussed in this movie. PK’s child-like innocence sheds a light on the hypocrisies humans have created in order to practice their individual religious beliefs.

2. Anushka Sharma was fabulous in this movie: spunky, fun, and absolutely suited the part. Her short hair gave her a fresh, new look however I was not a huge fan of her lip-job…

anushka-unveils-new-poster-of-pk-12_th3. Supporting actor Sushant Singh Rajput (debut film: Kai Po Che!) was attention-grabbing for sure – but why was he wearing the same outfit the entire movie?? Check him out in the song, “Chaar Kadam.”

  1. Supporting actor Sanjay Dutt was entertaining as usual and perfect for his role. Fun fact: he was scheduled to go to jail on the last day of his shoot for this movie!

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  1. This comedy family-film will likely spur some philosophical discussions amongst moviegoers. It is interesting to hear the differences in perspectives on PK amongst grandparents, parents, siblings, teachers, friends and especially religious leaders.

The negatives:

1. The soundtrack is not the highlight of the film. Other than “Tharki Chokro” (which I love), it was clear that “song and dance” were not the focus of this film. “Love is a waste of time” was, a waste of time.

2. PK was a 2.5 hour long film, the average length for a Bollywood movie. I don’t mind 2.5 hours if there are glamorous song/dance sequences…however this was not the case. The movie did drag in the middle – but overall this did not outweigh the positives!

On the whole, PK is a must-see film for everybody at home. Don’t be late to the theater – the first scene is hilarious!

Acting: 5/5
Story: 5/5
Costumes: 3.5/5
Choreography: 3/5
Film Sets/Location: 3.5/5
Songs: 2.5/5
Eye Candy: 3.5/5
Length of Movie: 2.5/5
Overall: **** (4/5)

Key:
* = flop, don’t even bother
** = time pass, you’ll live if you don’t see it
*** = worth a watch
**** = A hit, see it in the theater!
***** = Bollywood Blockbuster

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Diwali Tunes in Bollywood!

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In honor of Diwali weekend.. here is your Top 10 List of Popular Diwali Songs in Bollywood…through the decades! If you notice, between the 1940’s and 1970’s, Bollywood loved celebrating this holiday and even included the actual word “Diwali” in the song titles.  As the years passed, however, there were fewer song/dance numbers dedicated to the celebration of the Indian New Year. Filmmakers instead focused energies into portraying other colorful Indian festivals such Holi and Navratri.  Nonetheless – let’s take a listen to the songs that remind us of the festival of lights, Diwali. Sal Mubarak!

Here is the youtube playlist link of the songs below – perfect for your Diwali party!

Song Movie Year Singers
Aai Diwali Rattan 1944 Zohrabai Ambalawali
Kaise Diwali Manaye  Paigham 1959 Mohammed Rafi

Mile Hai Chirago Ke Rangeen Diwali Hain 

Nazrana 1961 Mukesh
Deep Diwali Ke Juthe Jugnu 1973 Kishore Kumar
Tere Mere Pyar Ka Begunnah 1991 Kishore Kumar
Aayee Hai Diwali Suno Ji Gharwaali.  Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa 2001 Alka Yagnik
Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham 2001 Lata Mangeshkar
Pairon Mein Bandhan Hai Mohabbatein 2001 Shweta Pandit Sonali Bhatawdekar, Pritha Mazumdar, Udhbav,
Happy Diwali Home Delivery 2011 Vaishali, Surthi, Divya, Suraj, Sunidhi Chauhan
India Waale Happy New Year 2014 Vishal Dadlani, K.K., Shankar Mahadevan, Neeti Mohan

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Diwali Tunes in Bollywood!

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In honor of Diwali weekend.. here is your Top 10 List of Popular Diwali Songs in Bollywood…through the decades! If you notice, between the 1940’s and 1970’s, Bollywood loved celebrating this holiday and even included the actual word “Diwali” in the song titles.  As the years passed, however, there were fewer song/dance numbers dedicated to the celebration of the Indian New Year. Filmmakers instead focused energies into portraying other colorful Indian festivals such Holi and Navratri.  Nonetheless – let’s take a listen to the songs that remind us of the festival of lights, Diwali. Sal Mubarak!

Here is the youtube playlist link of the songs below – perfect for your Diwali party!

Song Movie Year Singers
Aai Diwali Rattan 1944 Zohrabai Ambalawali
Kaise Diwali Manaye  Paigham 1959 Mohammed Rafi

Mile Hai Chirago Ke Rangeen Diwali Hain 

Nazrana 1961 Mukesh
Deep Diwali Ke Juthe Jugnu 1973 Kishore Kumar
Tere Mere Pyar Ka Begunnah 1991 Kishore Kumar
Aayee Hai Diwali Suno Ji Gharwaali.  Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa 2001 Alka Yagnik
Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham 2001 Lata Mangeshkar
Pairon Mein Bandhan Hai Mohabbatein 2001 Shweta Pandit Sonali Bhatawdekar, Pritha Mazumdar, Udhbav,
Happy Diwali Home Delivery 2011 Vaishali, Surthi, Divya, Suraj, Sunidhi Chauhan
India Waale Happy New Year 2014 Vishal Dadlani, K.K., Shankar Mahadevan, Neeti Mohan

M_Id_448890_Kabhi_Khushi_Kabhie_Gham...

Diwali Tunes in Bollywood!

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M_Id_448890_Kabhi_Khushi_Kabhie_Gham...In honor of Diwali weekend.. here is your Top 10 List of Popular Diwali Songs in Bollywood…through the decades! If you notice, between the 1940’s and 1970’s, Bollywood loved celebrating this holiday and even included the actual word “Diwali” in the song titles.  As the years passed, however, there were fewer song/dance numbers dedicated to the celebration of the Indian New Year. Filmmakers instead focused energies into portraying other colorful Indian festivals such Holi and Navratri.  Nonetheless – let’s take a listen to the songs that remind us of the festival of lights, Diwali. Sal Mubarak!

Here is the youtube playlist link of the songs below – perfect for your Diwali party!

Song Movie Year Singers
Aai Diwali Rattan 1944 Zohrabai Ambalawali
Kaise Diwali Manaye  Paigham 1959 Mohammed Rafi

Mile Hai Chirago Ke Rangeen Diwali Hain 

Nazrana 1961 Mukesh
Deep Diwali Ke Juthe Jugnu 1973 Kishore Kumar
Tere Mere Pyar Ka Begunnah 1991 Kishore Kumar
Aayee Hai Diwali Suno Ji Gharwaali.  Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa 2001 Alka Yagnik
Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham 2001 Lata Mangeshkar
Pairon Mein Bandhan Hai Mohabbatein 2001 Shweta Pandit Sonali Bhatawdekar, Pritha Mazumdar, Udhbav,
Happy Diwali Home Delivery 2011 Vaishali, Surthi, Divya, Suraj, Sunidhi Chauhan
India Waale Happy New Year 2014 Vishal Dadlani, K.K., Shankar Mahadevan, Neeti Mohan

Movie Review: Mary Kom

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Release Date: September 5th, 2014

Director: Omang Kumar

Producer: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Genre: Drama

Sanjay Leela Bhansali has succeeded once again! This drama is based on the autobiography Unbreakable (2013) of the professional Indian Boxer, M.C. Mary Kom. It is undoubtedly a must-see film! I honestly believe this is Priyanka Chopra’s best work yet. Her acting genuinely portrays Mary Kom’s struggles, courageous endeavors, perseverance and dedication to both her personal and professional life. Mary Kom, however, could not have won five World Amateur Boxing Championships without her unbelievably supportive spouse, Onler Kom (Darshan Kumaar) and coach (Sunil Thapa). Watch the movie to find out how she balances being a mother of two while winning gold medals for her country!

The Positives:

1.The story is unique: Mary Kom is continuing to pursue her Boxing career today – whereas in many other biopics, the person being portrayed is deceased or retired from their career. The audience is better able to relate with the heroine while the real Mary Kom has certainly expanded her fan club!

  1. The acting – Priyanka Chopra gets a big thumbs up. She will definitely be winning some awards. The others including the coach (Nepalese actor, Sunil Thapa) and Onler (Darshan Kumar) were excellent supporting actors.
  1. The look – PChops did not take a break while working out for this film! Her makeup/body build was absolutely perfect and matches Mary Kom’s pretty well. Watch behind the scenes of her workout routines!
  1. Stereotypes broken – majority of Bollywood films still portray the woman as the home maker and the man as the bread winner – however this is a prime example of just the opposite. Mary Kom finds a man who is willing to put his wife’s dreams first and he opts to stay at home with the babies. How romantic!
  1. The songs – the soundtrack is fantastic! It’s the type you can hear over and over and not get bored. Patriotic, energizing, and peaceful. Did you know that Priyanka Chopra sang the “Chaoro Lori” herself?

The Negatives:

  1. “Behind every successful woman is herself” NOT true in this movie! The story is obviously about Mary Kom – but little attention is given to her support structure and loving husband, Onler! He is a true “hero” and portrays that fathers can make sacrifices too and be great in leading the parenting.
  2. The story is slow in the beginning – but develops Mary Kom’s character very quickly.

In theater or DVD, Mary Kom is more than worth a watch! I guarantee you will leave feeling nothing but proud, patriotic, and empowered at the end of this film.

Fun Fact: On October 1st, 2014, Mary Kom won her first Gold Medal at the Asian Games held at IncheonSouth Korea in the flyweight (51KG) summit clash. This was the first Gold medal for any Indian woman at Asian Games. Her future goals include winning the Gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil and setting up a Boxing Academy in Manipur/throughout Northeast India.

Fun Face #2: Mary Kom also has started a female-only fight club at Imphal to teach girls to defend themselves against sexual violence in India. Mary Kom wants Priyanka Chopra to become this program’s brand ambassador.

Rating Breakdown:

Acting: 4.5/5
Story: 3.5/5
Costumes: 3/5
Sets/Filming Location: 3.5/5
Songs: 4/5
Eye Candy: 3/5
Length of Movie: 3/5

Rated: PG
Overall: *** (3.5/5) or 7/10

Key:
* = flop, don’t even bother
** = time pass, you’ll live if you don’t see it
*** = worth a watch
**** = A hit!
***** = Bollywood Blockbuster

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Movie Review: Khoobsurat

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Release Date: September 19th, 2014   Length: 140 min

Director: Shashanka Ghosh

Producer: Walt Disney Pictures in association with Anil Kapoor Film Company

Based on the 1980 hit, “Khubsoorat” starring Rekha and Rakesh Roshan – this remake produced by Disney and Anil Kapoor Film Co. is a romcom starring the charming Sonam Kapoor, daughter of Anil Kapoor.

Dr. Mili Chakravarty (Sonam Kapoor) plays an uppity, colorful, high-energy physical therapist who is hired by an aristocratic family near Jaipur to rehabilitate the king (Aamir Raza Hussain), who has been wheelchair bound for ten years. His son, Prince Vikram Rathore (Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan) finds love interest in Dr. Mili…however a few obstacles stand in the way: 1. His mother (Ratna Pathak Shah), the authoritarian figure has strict rules and regulations placed on the Rathore family 2. the prince’s engagement to Kiara (Aditi Rao). 3. Vikram and Mili’s polar-opposite personalities. Watch the movie to find out how Dr. Mili wins over the Rathore family!

The Positives:

  1. It’s a comedy – just don’t forget to leave your brains at the door!
  2. Sonam Kapoor does a decent job given her ridiculous character role she has been given to portray. I prefer watching her in less ridiculous roles, though.
  3. Fawad Khan – beyond eye-candy. Can’t wait for him to be in more Bollywood films!
  4. The sets: this film is shot in Rajasthan at the most beautiful palaces!!
  5. Fawad Khan’s suits. He rocks much better attire than Sonam does.

Note: he only looks hot with facial hair…don’t believe me? Google image him.

The Negatives:

  1. Too many “cringe-worthy” scenes. Sonam Kapoor’s character was overdone.
  2. Sonam’s outfits – outrageous. She is a gorgeous MODEL…other than putting her in a few workout clothes here and there, her wardrobe was distracting and too outlandish. She never even wears the outfit in the “princess-like” movie poster!
  3. Songs – very disappointing. This movie had great potential for an awesome soundtrack – but yet, it did not meet my expectations.
  4. As a physical therapist myself, I wish they had shown more of the transition of the King’s rehabilitation progress throughout the movie (e.g., how she progressed him from being able to extend his knee to standing!)

Overall, it’s worth a watch if you’re a Sonam fan – of if you want to be a Fawad fan. Otherwise, don’t sweat it if you miss it.

* Fun Fact * Fawad Khan – Pakistani actor who played in a band, Entity Paradigm. Yes, he sings! Check out ‘Bolo Bolo’ they played at Coke Studio.

Fun Links:

What Royals Do 

Rating Breakdown:

Acting: 3.5/5
Story: 3/5
Costumes: 2/5
Sets/Filming Location: 4/5
Songs: 2/5
Eye Candy: 4/5
Length of Movie: 3/5

Rated: PG
Overall: *** (3/5) or 6/10

Key:
* = flop, don’t even bother
** = time pass, you’ll live if you don’t see it
*** = worth a watch
**** = A hit!
***** = Bollywood Blockbuster

Movie Review: Finding Fanny

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Note: There are no spoiler alerts in this review.

Genre: Comedy

Cast: Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia, with Ranveer Singh in cameo role.

Director: Homi Adajania

Production: Maddock Films/Fox Star Studios

Released: September 12th, 2014

This was an off-beat light-hearted comedy story about five oddballs who set out to Goa to find Stefanie Fernandes (Fanny). Throughout their journey, they discover love and friendship in one another. This movie is in English, no subtitles needed here. If you’re a Deepika Padukone or Naseeruddin Shah fan – this one is for you. If you want to gawk at Arjun Kapoor, go right ahead. Enjoy it while it lasts though, this movie runs just 105 minutes. It is a very simple film of low expectations with a slow, but soulful plot.

The positives:

  1. Deepika is in it.
  2. Not your typical hindi movie with song and dance numbers every five minutes.
  3. It’s a comedy, yet can be dark/satirical at times which is rare in Bollywood.
  4. All of Deepika’s outfits consist of a few simple, floral dresses which, no doubt, look stunning on her.
  5. It’s a “feel good” short-film that will leave you feeling light afterwards.

The negatives:

  1. The plot is slow, especially in the beginning – I’d say be patient and go with the flow.
  2. Although the title of the movie is catchy… Finding Fanny?
  3. I wish they had expanded on Arjun Kapoor’s role in this movie and made Ranveer Singh’s cameo longer…he was hilarious!

* Fun Fact * The film was initially offered to Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor, but they both rejected the offer.

On the whole, save the trip to the movie theater and see this movie on a lazy Sunday afternoon or a cozy night in.

Acting: 4/5
Story: 3/5
Costumes: 2.5/5
Sets/Filming Location: 4/5
Songs: 3/5
Eye Candy: 3/5
Length of Movie: 5/5

Rated: PG-13
Overall: *** (3/5) or 6.5/10

Key:
* = flop, don’t even bother
** = time pass, you’ll live if you don’t see it
*** = worth a watch
**** = A hit!
***** = Bollywood Blockbuster

 

 

Bollywood Movie Previews – Fall 2014

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Let’s be honest…the Bollywood film industry gave us a pretty boring summer 2014. There were very few decent films or blockbuster releases. Not to worry though…there are a handful of potential “hits” with big name actors coming out in the next few months. Here is a glimpse!

Film: Mary Kom
Genre: Drama
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Minakkshi Kalitaa
Director: Omung Kumar
Production: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Release date: September 5th, 2014

“Mary Kom”, is based on the true story about the Indian Boxer and Olympic Bronze medalist Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom. Priyanka Chopra plays Mary Kom in this much-awaited Sanjay Leela Bhansali production. The movie depicts Mary Kom’s struggles of life and her journey in pursuit of her passion: boxing. “Mary Kom” Trailer!

 

Film: Finding Fanny
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia, with Ranveer Singh in cameo role.
Director: Homi Adajania
Production: Maddock Films/Fox Star Studios
Release date: September 12th, 2014

Now this looks like an entertaining one – an off-beat light-hearted comedy story about five oddballs who set out to Goa to find Stefanie Fernandes (Fanny). Throughout their journey, they discover love and friendship in one another. This is an English short-film you don’t want to miss! The director, Homi Adajania, is well known for his films “Cocktail” and “Being Cyrus.” “Finding Fanny” Trailer

 

Film: Happy New Year (HNY)
Genre: Action-Comedy
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachan, Boman Irani, Vivaan Shah, Sonu Sood, Sarah-Jane Dias and Jackie Shroff. Possible cameo appearance: Prabhu Deva and Malaika Arora Khan
Director: Farah Khan
Producer: Gauri Khan Production: Red Chilles Entertainment Pvt.
Release date: October 23, 2014

Get ready for this “masala” film with a stellar cast, releasing Diwali 2014! Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone return as co-stars once again after their blockbusters “Chennai Express” and “Om Shanti Om”. Judging from the trailer, this seems to be a story about con-artists and bank robberies (quite the common theme). With Farah Khan as the director, we can expect some much-needed Bollywood ‘naach-gaana’ flare!
“Happy New Year” Trailer

Belated Movie Review: Queen

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Star Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Rajkummar Rao, Lisa Haydon

Director: Vikas Bahl

Note: There are no spoiler alerts in this review.

Yes, even for a die-hard Bollywood fan like myself, I admit I went too long without watching this movie. Even though it released a few months ago, if you STILL have not seen it – please don’t wait another day to watch this comedy-drama hit!

Bollywood finally gives us a meaningful and realistic film in which we all can relate to in someway or another. This is a story about how the small-town Punjabi girl, Rani (Kangana Ranaut), travels solo to Europe on her honeymoon after her fiancé calls it quits just a day before their wedding. Throughout this journey of self-discovery, you will meet several entertaining characters who uniquely shape Rani’s experiences abroad. A little less on the masala, but a bit more comedy, Queen is the perfect mix for a heart-warming flick.

The positives:

  1. The “London Thumakda” song is an all-time hit! Spend time actually listening to the Punjabi lyrics for a good laugh!
  2. Kangana’s acting is superb – she perfectly captures Rani’s personality
  3. No significant song and dance numbers to keep you distracted from the storyline
  4. Lisa Heydon, half-Australian, half-Indian actress – one word: hot.
  5. The storyline – very simple and to the point!

The negatives:

  1. I understand Rani is not supposed to have the best fashion sense – but WHY does she have to wear sweaters to night clubs??
  2. Borderline “overacting” may have been exhibited by some of the actors…but hey, it’s an Indian movie right?
  3. There was definitely some stereotyping of ethnic groups… Taka!
  4. Movie length could definitely have been shorter
  5. Flashbacks of Rani and Vijay, her fiancé, were odd and unnecessary. Instead, perhaps more character development of Vijay would have been helpful.

* Fun Fact * Queen was made for just under $2 million, it earned the equivalent of $8 million in its first two weeks. It released March 7th, sweeping the much-awaited Madhuri film, “Gulaab Gang” which released the same day. 

On the whole, Queen is a must-watch film that will bring happiness to the soul. Great watch with family, friends, girls-night, date-night.

Acting: 4/5
Story: 5/5
Costumes: 2.5/5
Sets/Filming Location: 5/5
Songs: 4.5/5
Eye Candy: 3.5/5
Length of Movie: 3/5

Overall: **** (4/5) or 8/10

Key:
* = flop, don’t even bother
** = time pass, you’ll live if you don’t see it
*** = worth a watch
**** = A hit!
***** = Bollywood Blockbuster