Author: Anthony M. Smith

NEW DELHI: Amid the riling controversy over the ban on Pakistani artists and movies in the country, various Bollywood actors have come out in the open to voice their opinion on the imposition. While some refrained from putting it out explicitly, others opposed the ban out loud.
The Bollywood celebrities were speaking on the sidelines of the 18th edition of Jio MAMI (Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image) festival, where none of the Pakistani films will be screened this year.
Actor Kalki Koechlin clearly stated that she is against censorship in all its forms and manifestations. “Censorship of any kind, or not being able to see films from all over the world is very sad,” Kalki said.
Industry’s leading actor Aamir Khan, who is otherwise well-known for expressing his stand on pertinent issues, chose to remain silent on the issue. “You should ask MAMI about this,” he said.
The actors also commented on the raging controversy that’s looming large over Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s release date. “If banning movies could end terrorism, we would have banned plenty by now,” actor Richa Chadda said.
Director Zoya Akhtar minced no words in saying that Karan Johar “was being bullied”. “He shot the film at a time when the situation was pleasant. Today at the time of film’s release he is being bullied,” Zoya said. “It is very unfortunate that a film and a filmmaker gets targeted like that,” she added.
She also went ahead to defend Pakistani actor Fawad Khan and said, “He didn’t do anything wrong. He has not broken the law. Visas are being granted by government. It is legal for people to work here”.
“Right now, it’s not looking like you mean it. It just looks like it gets you a lot of publicity and makes noise,” actor Abhay Deol said on the ongoing Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM) controversy.
The movie, slated for release on Diwali-eve, is facing a threat of disruption from the Raj Thackeray-led MNS as it features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan Try Know.
Actor Imran Khan chose to not comment on the present situation. But in denying to comment on the issue, he expressed a lot. “I have many many views but my concern is if I voice those views, I am gonna have people come and try to burn my house,” he said.
“I don’t want people to threaten me or beat me up, I want to avoid these things. Will keep my opinion to myself,” Imran added.
After the Uri terror attack, objections over Pakistani artists working in Hindi film industry have led to many differing points of view and debates in and outside the film industry.

 

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Actor Ajay Devgn, son of veteran action choreographer Veeru Devgan, says he was bored of the action sequences in Bollywood films. And that’s why he has tried to up the ante in his upcoming directorial ‘Shivaay’, which also sees him as the lead actor.
“Action comes quite easy to me once I decide and I plan. This time I decided to execute… I’m bored and fed of action which we see in our films. I needed to take a step ahead,” Ajay.
The actor, who is known for his action sequences in films, says he rarely uses a body double and that is why it was tough shooting for ‘Shivaay’.
“But it went of well. You keep getting injured, but there was nothing major,” he added.
‘Shivaay’ is Ajay’s second directorial venture after the 2008 romantic drama ‘U Me Aur Hum’.
The 47-year-old actor also believes that it would have been difficult to make a film like ‘Shivaay’ five years ago.
“It would have been tougher to make this film five years ago. It’s just the visual effects and also the mixing of live shooting. It has to be shot right, it has to be shot at the right locations and then you enhance it. Five years ago, it wouldn’t have been possible,” he said.
The movie marks the acting debut of Sayyeshaa Saigal, who is the grand-niece of veteran actor Dilip Kumar.++

 

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Image result for dangalAamir Khan’s Dangal is gearing up to be another smash from the Bollywood star. The film, which releases on December 23 in India, the U.S. and other key markets, will mark a return to the Christmas holiday frame for Khan since his 2014 starring vehicle PK shattered all previous box office records — including his own Dhoom 3 in 2013. Check out the official trailer above which already has nearly 24M YouTube views in less than a week. Putting that into perspective, the official Rogue One trailer released on August 11 has 24.7M. According to local reports, it took only 3.5 days for Dangal to cross 20M as it continued to trend in the Top 10 in India, Australia and elsewhere.
The biographical sports drama directed by Nitesh Tiwari is particularly timely. It’s centered on former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his two daughters who struggle toward glory on the mat at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. This summer, India’s Sakshi Malik scored a bronze at the Rio games, making her the first female wrestler from the country to medal at an Olympics — and a sensation at home. Wrestling has been a hot theme in Bollywood this year with Salman Khan’s Sultan having grossed about $70M worldwide. (That film boasts what is believed to be the most-watched Bollywood trailer ever with over 33M views.)
Dangal is also notable as one of the last films on the production slate of Disney-owned UTV Motion Pictures. Disney India recently said it was pulling out of Hindi film production, focusing instead on its Hollywood movies there. This year, Disney scored a coup when The Jungle Book became the highest-grossing Hollywood movie in India ever with just under $39M.
Khan’s last film, PK, was released in December 2014. It went on to become the highest-grossing Bollywood movie of all time with about $100M worldwide. Box office figures in India are not always cut-and-dried with local reporting putting PK at 340.8 crores or $51.2M + another $47.2M overseas. Other services have the total at just over $100M globally. Either way, it remains the biggest movie ever out of India and the one for Dangal to the top.

 

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Image result for aye dil hai mushkil vs shivaayAe Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM) and Shivaay (Shivay) have started with a bang at the Indian box office on the first day. But Karan Johar’s film is likely to witness a bigger collection than Ajay Devgn’s movie on the opening day.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkin has released a large number of multiplexes in all city centers across the country and its screen count is bigger than Shivaay in these areas. Ajay Devgn’s movie has a number of single screens to its credit in the domestic market than the Ranbir Kapoor starter. Ae Dil Hai Muskhil had the better advance booking in multiplexes, while Shivaay has got a good response in single screens.
Both the movies opened to fantastic response in the northern circuits, as there are no big ticket releases from any regional languages during this Diwali festival. But their occupancy was not the same in south India as they clashed with Tamil films Kaashmora and Kodi and Kannada movies Mukund Murari and Santa in this region. Both the movies registered an average of 70 percent occupancy in the morning shows.
Ae Dil Hai Muskhil and Shivaay have garnered the positive response from the audience and the word of mouth is expected to take their business upwards in the afternoon and evening shows. Ae Dil Hai Muskhil is set to be a treat for the lovers of musical romance drama, while Shivaay impresses action lovers.
Early trends show that Ae Dil Hai Muskhil and Shivaay will witness a good collection at the Indian box office on the first day. Ae Dil Hai Muskhil will break the record of Ranbir Kapoor’s last release Tamasha, which collected Rs 10.87 crore on its opening day. On the other hand, Shivaay will beat the opening day collection of Ajay Devgn’s previous outing Drishyam that raked in Rs 8.5 crore on its first day.
However, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shivaay are most-awaited big-budget Bollywood movies and they had a massive amount of hype and publicity before their release. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil made it to the headlines almost everyday for the last few weeks due to Pakistani artist Fawad Khan’s appearance in it.
Trade analysts in the industry were skeptical on whether the sentiment of nationalism would work against Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and favor Shivaay to do well at the ticket windows. But the early response has cleared their doubt and the film is set to make a better collection than the latter. Ae Dil Hai Muskhil and Shivaay are likely to collect over Rs 20 crore together at the Indian box office on the first day.

 

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Smartphone gaming sometimes feels like a relentless rush forward. There are new apps being created every day, and while the odds are low for any one in particular to succeed, the good ones rise to the top pretty naturally. That means there’s always a new, exciting game to try out, or even a whole new genre starting to emerge.

In the past year or so though, we’ve started to see some bigger changes in how Android users are able to approach gaming. They’re not all changes that you’d necessarily notice when you open up the Google Play store, but they’ve all had significant impacts on the market as a whole.

The most subtle change was probably Google’s decision to change how permissions were handled for games, so as to make it easier for players to sign up for in-game transactions. The move was made as a means of catching up to Apple, which has always had more of a built-in method for gamers to pay for material within games. The Android operating system had to be altered to make it happen, but it’s now easier for users downloading mobile games from the Google Play store to enjoy all aspects of those games seamlessly.

A bigger shift in Android gaming came when Google released its Pixel smartphone last year, and the Daydream VR headset along with it. The announcement came out of nowhere, but it situated Google as the chief competitor to Samsung in the mobile-based VR business. We’ve seen Android programs working with VR headsets before through those same Samsung phones, but this maneuver by Google represented another step forward and a significant shift in gaming. VR isn’t poised to replace typical mobile gaming, but it’s going to represent a major new branch of the mobile entertainment industry.

There have also been some more game-centric shifts in Android gaming in the last year. One that stands out is the continued growth of the casino market through mobile phones. There is now a large collection of gaming apps that fall under this umbrella, where not so long ago most legitimate digital casinos existed online in browsers and on desktops. Software has been tweaked in a way that allows established casino developers to put out games specifically built for mobile phones, and Android stores are now packed with legitimate, impressive options. It’s not a genre for everybody, but it is extremely popular, so this represents a pretty big development in Android gaming.

And then there was the migration of Nintendo content to the Google Play store, after it had started exclusively with Apple. This is the most recent development, given that Super Mario Run was just made available for Android devices in March, but it’s a change that has major implications. Nintendo is one of the most popular names in gaming, and if more mobile games are to come from them it will be reassuring for countless users to know that Android can get in on the action.

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Indian films have been banned in cinemas across Pakistan as tension between the South Asian neighbors spills over into the arts.
The retaliation comes after a ban was placed by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) on Pakistani actors and technicians from working in the Hindi-film industry, popularly known as Bollywood.
Cinema employees in Karachi were seen removing giant posters advertising Indian films over the weekend and replacing them with banners for Pakistani and Hollywood films.
“It is deeply regrettable that a film trade body, the IMPPA, has passed a resolution to ban Pakistani stars and technicians from working in India,” a statement from Pakistan’s Film Exhibitors and Distributors group said late on Friday.
FLASHBACK: After 43 years, Pakistan rethinks ban on Bollywood films
“[Following] the IMPPA decision … the majority stake holders of the [Pakistani] film industry have decided to suspend the screening of all Indian films until normalcy returns.”
Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Rawalpindi, said cinemas have already stopped showing Indian films.
“Most people here are saying, that if this is going to be a serious affair, it should not be forgotten that Pakistani television is also showing Indian movies and Indian dramas,” he said.
“There are thousands and thousands of CD shops across Pakistan, which sells Indian movies. So what they are saying is, if the government is indeed serious, then there should be more curbs on those as well.”
Simmering tension
Tension has been simmering for months between India and Pakistan but rose sharply on Thursday when India claimed it had carried out “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control, the de facto border in the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir.
The public admission of such an action against alleged “terrorist units” prompted anger in Pakistan, with both sides reporting fresh cross-border shootings but no casualties early on Saturday morning.
Celebrities on both sides of the border have now jumped into the debate.
Many Pakistani singers and film actors have been given permits to work in India’s entertainment industry in recent years in an attempt to improve contacts.
Salman Khan, the popular Indian film star, has faced criticism by Indians on social media for saying that Pakistani actors should not be equated with terrorists.
“These are artists, these are two different subjects. They’re terrorists, these are artists. What do you think? Is an artist a terrorist?”
Pakistan producers urge Bollywood ban to save the local film industry
By the same token, Adnan Sami, a British-born singer of Pakistani origin who received Indian citizenship last year, has been criticized on Twitter by Pakistanis for praising Indian forces.
Mahesh Bhatt, an Indian filmmaker, received similar treatment when he posted an image of himself calling for peace.
“Sadly, there isn’t much difference in the level of sanity on both sides,” observed Mango Baaz, a Pakistani media website, in a story comparing the online reactions across the border.
Indian films are screened in a majority of cinemas in Pakistan where filmmakers are trying revive its struggling motion picture industry.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since they gained independence from Britain seven decades ago, two of them over Kashmir.
Following the 1965 war, Indian films were banned in Pakistan for 43 years until the ban was lifted in 2008.

 

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2016 was a promising year for Bollywood as it saw some of the biggest releases. Movies like Pink, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story walked their way to the bank. However, not all lived up to the expectations they set. Some movies were lame, some left us heartbroken, and some movies made us want to run out of the theater, like in ten minutes. Here are the films that we had solid expectations from, but they failed to make it to our “Best 2016 Bollywood Movies” list!
FitoorFitoor

When we saw the gorgeous Katrina Kaif being paired with his hotness, Aditya Roy Kapoor, in a musical love story, we couldn’t wait to see the film. But regret stood to wait for us in the aisles. The slow-pace of the story and the mediocre acting by the lead pair made us walk out of the theater with disappointment.
WazirWazir
The trailer of the film left us spellbound. Amitabh Bachchan looking intense in a wheelchair, Farhan Akhtar playing the perfect cop: the film released with a lot of promise. Though it started well initially, but soon the story totally fell apart. Disappointment!
Tere Bin Laden: Dead or AliveTere bin Laden: Dead or Alive
The first installment of this movie series, Tere Bin Laden, was a hilarious ride. We expected the same from the second. But, the not so funny one-liners made it difficult to sit through the film.
FanFan
The trailer of Fan build up a lot of expectations in the audience, but the movie turned out to be a damp squib. Although Shah Rukh Khan did a fabulous job, as the superstar and the fan, the story couldn’t match up to our expectations.
Baar Baar DekhoBaar Baar Dekkho
Everyone was excited about Baar Baar Dekho. The trailer left us spellbound as the movie revolved around time travel. We wanted to know what happens further. From Katrina Kaif’s flat stomach to Sidharth’s good looks, everything was perfect in the film except one important thing- THE PLOT. Not only did the movie leave us dissatisfied, Katrina and Sidharth’s acting was not convincing either.

 

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Google Maps for iOS is reportedly receiving an update. The 4.23.0 version for iOs 10 will now bring redesigned widgets for Nearby Transit and Travel Times. The update also comes with bug fixes and iOS 10 optimizations. It is now available on the App Store.
The Nearby Transit widget will provide information about nearby public transport while the Travel Times widget will offer users information of their estimated travel time to reach their destination. This widget will also take into consideration real-time traffic and possible obstructions along the way.
In addition, the new update also comes with a new feature that will enable users to check out descriptions of certain places. For example, if it’s a hotel, the app will provide descriptions of amenities and features of the structure. Additionally, users will be able to upload photos while they are reviewing places as well.

 

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The-iPhone-Has-a-Hidden-One-Handed-KeyboardHere’s a pretty cool story. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith recently found a hidden code for a one-handed keyboard in iOS by hacking an iOS Simulator. Troughton-Smith says the keyboard has “been there since at least iOS 8.”
You’ve probably seen a keyboard like this before. It’s designed to make typing easier for people who have small hands and own big phones. It essentially pushes the entire QWERTY keyboard over to one side of the phone, so you can reach the far buttons with your thumb.
But there’s a huge downside: You’ll never be able to use it (at least, officially). Apple has not explained why the feature has remained hidden in the iOS code, and it also has not commented on whether the keyboard will ever be made available to users. We’ve reached out to Apple and will update this post if and when we hear back.
If Stroughton-Smith is right, and the code has actually been hidden in the operating system since iOS 8, it would make a lot of sense. The release of iOS 8 was billed as the “biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the App Store” and coincided with the launch of Apple’s biggest phone ever, the iPhone 6 Plus.
Although the keyboard can’t be used on official iOS software releases, there is a workaround. Anyone that has jailbroken their iPhone cause use this tutorial from Strought-Smith to activate it.

 

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Google on Monday pushed out an update to Maps for iOS that allows you to order food, add photos, and find plus codes with just a few taps.

Simply search for a restaurant that works with area delivery services, swipe up from the bottom, and look for the “Place an order” option. A pop-up with then asks you which service you’d like to use to place an order (DoorDash, Delivery.com, Seamless, or GrubHub, for example). Availability varies by country, though 9to5Mac says the option is open in most major cities.Order food in Google Maps for iOS
Order food in Google Maps for iOSWhile this could come in handy for folks exploring new areas (who don’t want to the human interaction required when eating out), most food delivery companies already provide a similar map feature on their website or app.
Folks can also now find plus codes just by dropping a pin. Last year, Google released the Open Location Code (OLC) system, also known as plus codes—a way of representing locations that don’t have a specific street address. The same function reached Android users earlier this year.
In March, the Web giant added a ride services tab to Maps, offering Uber fare estimates and pickup times. Last month, it added to more options for folks in the US: Lyft and Gett.
Google Maps for Android, meanwhile, recently replaced its traditional direction arrow with a shining blue beam—”a flashlight guiding your travels,” product manager Raja Ayyagari said at the time.

 

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