Archive for Horrible

Chandamama Kathalu

CK

I’ve wasted two and half hours watching this dumb film. Not worth spending more time analysing it. In one line, it’s a badly scripted film with mediocre direction and pathetic screenplay. Only grace are decent acting and music.

Is it worth your time and money??: I don’t think so!! I’d actually ask you to stay away !

Worth mention: Nothing.

Acting: 6/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 4/10
Technical Aspects: 5/10

Verdict: 4.5/10

McDonald’s.. I’m (no longer) Lovin’ It

Place: McDonald’s
Location: S D Road
Cuisine: Fast Food
Meal: Dinner (with cousins)

First off, let me make it very clear that I love McDonald’s, or at least used to until my visit to the store on S D Road. Wanting to have some fries and ice-cream, we decided to drop in at McD on a Sunday evening. I ordered for a medium McAloo Tikki meal, asking for Coke Float instead of the Coke, Peri-Peri mix, a McFlurry ice-cream and a portion of the Crispy Veggie Poppers. The bill came up to Rs. 195/-, and I paid using my credit card.

While I was waiting for my order to arrive, I started to calculate why the bill turned up to Rs.195/-. I checked the bill, and was charged as follows.

IMG_20131028_000349

In a nutshell, I was charged Rs. 102/- for the medium McAloo Tikki meal, Rs. 13/- for the Peri Peri mix, Rs. 25/- for the Poppers, and Rs. 22/- for the McSwirl, which comes upto a total of Rs. 162/-. I was surprised to see that I was charged Rs. 33/- as taxes. I don’t remember McD ever charging taxes on their food, for they were always inclusive, but having stayed away from India for a while, I thought it must be some new regulation, and was actually fine with it.

Then I look up at the display menus behind the counter, and see their new double burgers. This is what I saw.

DSC_0003

If you observe closely, you will find the price for the Double McAloo Tikki medium meal as Rs. 100/-. I was startled by this. Being charged Rs.102/- for a single burger when the double burger was priced at Rs. 100/-, I immediately asked the guy at the counter about the same, and he informed me that the 102/- was including the taxes, which wasn’t the case. When I demanded for a better answer, he called upon a bunch of guys, all of them arguing that Rs. 102/- was the right price. I wasn’t planning to budge and therefore stood my ground.

They took my bill in, discussed a bit, and a while later, a new guy calling himself the manager (though he didn’t look like one) walks up to me and says that they have a new menu and the prices haven’t been updated yet on the display menu. When I asked how that was possible, he didn’t have an answer. I demanded to know the price of the McAloo Tikki meal. They actually didn’t know the price, and were punching it into the machine to tell me how much it costs. This time around, they came up with an even better number of Rs. 126/-. I was shocked to see this attitude from one of the best service restaurants in the world.

The manager, Sai Kiran, asked me to take a seat and enjoy my meal while he sorted things out and got back to me. My cousins and myself walked up to the first floor to sit and eat. Ten minutes later, he walks up and says that there has been some error, and wanted my phone number and email so that they could get back to me later. When I demanded an answer right then, he went back again and came back after another ten minutes. He said that the menu which was displayed was the lunch menu, and therefore had different prices. The display menu didn’t mention anything about lunch, and so I asked him for better explanation. He requested that I come down with him which I did.

While he was trying to argue with me and convince me that what was billed was the right price, I asked him to give me prices of the items in the meal individually. The McAloo Tikki cost Rs. 25/- (which was on the display), medium fries and Coke costed Rs. 42/- and Rs. 51/- (prices they had quoted) respectively. This total comes up to Rs. 118/-. A McChicken meal, with a burger priced at Rs. 75/- costs Rs. 122/- (can be seen in the left corner of the picture) instead of Rs. 168/-, a discount of Rs. 46/-. The Masala Grill Veg., which costs Rs. 39/- had a meal priced at Rs. 92/-, a discount of Rs. 40/-.The McAloo Tikki had a discount of Rs. 16/-. When I asked how this was logically possible, neither of the guys trying to argue with me had an answer.

While all of this was happening, they showed me the display again and again and tried to argue that the Rs. 100/- displayed for the Double McAloo Tikki was the lunch menu, rolled it over to show a new dinner menu, where in there was no McAloo Tikki meal. Both the menus, before and after the roll, looked exactly the same, and none of them had any mention of Lunch menu on it. This argument went on for a while, where in the bunch of guys including the manager would agree on the mistake that there was no mention of lunch on either of them, but had no answer. They said the marketing guys were responsible for the prices and display menus.

Another customer who overheard my argument joined in and pointed out on how the prices for the same item were different before and after the roll over; The Double McVeggie meal was priced at Rs. 139/- (as seen in the picture) on one side, and at Rs. 131/- on the other (I wanted to click a picture, but the manager didn’t let me). The manager told the customer that the rollover was the lunch menu, satisfied him and sent him away. Something I realized however was that the menu which showed Rs. 139/- was the claimed lunch menu, with the Rs. 100/- Double McAloo Tikki (picture), while the other menu, the supposed dinner menu had the Double McVeggie priced at Rs. 131/-. So the dinner was actually cheaper than the lunch. In either case, there was an error. When I asked the manager about the same, he was clueless. When I asked him for the printed menu with prices, he refused to show it to me. The fact that the same item had two prices on their menu came as a real shocker.

Having just completed my Global MBA, and having done more than a couple of cases on the efficiency and high service standards of McDonald’s, I was absolutely stunned at what I was discovering. It looked like they had no fixed price for any item, and were charging whatever they seemed right, and we as customers were paying it without questioning. If it were just a one-off where in I was charged wrong and was refunded, I would have shut up and left. However, it doesn’t seem like a one-off thing but something they do very often. Being given the bill after the cash has been paid, on most occasions, we have no clue on how much we are being charged for each item, and taking this as an advantage, McD seems to be, for lack of a better word, looting its customers.

Having been a fan of McD for as long as I can remember, I nevertheless hope that this was an honest mistake and they rectify it. In the case that it isn’t, McDonald’s will no longer be the place I’d be visiting for a long time. If you plan to, I’d suggest that you double-check your bill, for you never know how much the original prices of the items are.

As of now though, I’m no longer lovin’ it!

Update: I got a call this morning from the manager Sai Kiran. He apparently spoke to the head office about the prices and this is what he had to say – “Normal McAloo Tikki meal is Rs. 102/- and the Double McAloo Tikki meal is Rs. 105/-“. A difference of 3 bucks for an extra patty. When I asked him how the display said Rs. 100/-, he said the prices were printed wrong on the menu 🙂

Verdict: N/A

P.S.: I was told I would be getting a refund for they agreed there was an error, but was never offered one.

Greeku Veerudu

Greeku-Veerudu

Acting: 6.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 2/10
Technical Aspects: 3/10
Is it worth your time and money??:
I am clueless on where to begin, for the movie was that bad. It’s a story we’ve seen in many a films – a rich spoiled playboy (read Nagarjuna uncle) comes to India from New York (shot using green screen and graphics) to understand the importance of family and love. Now one can argue – how bad that could that be?? According to me, this one defines bad. The script is the same old-fashioned one which probably worked 10 years ago, with K. Vishwanath playing the same old grandfather role, saying no to love marriage initially, but later realizing his mistake, the aunties and their loser husbands, one bad guy with a loser son, and uncountable number of side characters. Dasarth has lost it, understandable, but what seemed more strange is why would others (read producer and actors) make a film with the same old formula, that too with an older Nagarjuna.

Talking about Nag, I did like his looks to an extent in the ads, but he looks really old in the film. The only place he looked good was in “Greekuveeruda” song, where in he has a different get up. On acting front, he is the saving grace of the film. Nayanathara looked glamorous, thank god for that. Brahmanandam has the routine bakra character, while the rest of the cast are put in just for the heck of it.

On technical and production front, the film is a disaster. Music is mediocre, but the background score is painful. Thaman needs to learn how to score for such bad movies. Editing by Marthand Venkatesh is sloppy, just like the screenplay. But what surprises me the most is the cinematography (Ani Bandari). Most of the film had graphics using static background – New York, airport scenes, outdoor scenes in India, climax shot in a village — all graphics. And the graphics were so bad that I felt like I was watching a second grade movie. I’m glad that they shot few scenes at least in real locations.

Overall, it’s a boring and dull film you’ve seen many a times – only thing different is an older hero. They claim it’s a family entertainer; forget entertainer, but in a way it shows how better off your family is compared to the dumbass one in the movie. Unless you are a diehard Nag fan, stay away please!!

Verdict: 3.5/10

PS: Am glad Naga Chaitanya didn’t do the film. I (and almost everyone who watched the film) would have been dead by now if it were him as Greeku Veerudu!!

A Good Day To Die Hard

A Good Day To Die Hard

Acting: 5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 3/10
Technical Aspects: 5/10

Is it worth your time and money??: No!! If you’ve watched and enjoyed Die Hard movies, then a bigger NO!! This movie is a disgrace to the franchise, it’s that bad. It looks like Hollywood is now taking inspiration from Bollywood and making films which make no absolute sense. There is absolutely no story, and all the action scenes are stitched together to make a movie. And these action sequences too make no sense. Direction by John Moore is mediocre while the screenplay by Skip Woods is pathetic (It’s the worst I’ve seen in a Hollywood movie till date). Bruce Willis looks old, but still does a commendable job, while Jai Courtney struggles to act. The cinematography is alright, but the action sequences are so fast that you can’t make any sense out of them, thanks to some bad editing. The graphics could have been better, and the entire film looked grainy on a regular screen (I wonder how they plan to release it on Imax with such quality). Overall, it a bad film, so stay away from it!!

Verdict: 4/10

Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Acting: 5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 3/10
Technical Aspects: 6/10
Is it worth your time and money??: Unless you are a die-hard SRK fan, skip this one for it’s a 3 hour-long boring film. The romance is pathetic, and the love story is even worse. The concept was good, but the handling and the twists were terrible. On acting front, SRK did fine, and Anushka was pretty good, but Katrina sucked big time. Even Yash Chopra couldn’t make her act (Zoya did much better in ZNMD). Direction seemed out of sorts, and it really didn’t feel like a Yash Chopra film. The screenplay wasn’t up to the mark as well. Music by A. R. Rahman, except for one song, is of second grade quality. Cinematography is fine, but editing could have been much better. Production values by Yash Raj weren’t up to the mark as well, for the graphics were horrendous. My recommendation, don’t watch Jab Tak Hai Jaan jab tak hai jaan!!

Verdict: 4/10

Bol Bachchan

I had no intentions of watching this film, but was forced to do so as there was nothing better running in theaters. After two and half hours, I walked out with a bad headache.

Director Rohit Shetty’s Bol Bachchan, like his earlier films, is a run of the mill, senseless comedy. Even for such a senseless dumb film, the first half is pretty decent. But the second half is such a drag, that even the dumb comedy turns out to be repetitive and boring. For the  tagline don’t talk, just watch, add don’t think. Ajay Devgan is pretty decent in the lead role while Abhishek Bachchan proves it that he is suitable only for such kinda roles. I wonder why they even do such kinda films. The rest of the cast is either too loud or doesn’t even have a proper role.

Music by Himesh Reshmiya and Ajay-Atul is decent, while the cinematography by Dudley is pretty good. Editing by Steven Bernard could have been way better. Most of the scenes in the second half could have made the cut.

Overall, an utter waste of time. If you really want to watch a comedy film, grab a copy of the  original Golmaal instead of wasting your time on this crap.

Acting: 5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 3/10
Technical Aspects: 6/10
Is it worth your time and money??: No. Unless you happen to like such boring comedies, or have time and money to space, skip this one please.

Verdict: 4.5/10

Gangs of Wasseypur

Gangs of Wasseypur starts off with a bunch of guys raiding a house tearing into pieces in the year 2004. It then flashbacks to 1941, and then, 3 hours later, ends in 1990, with a “To be continued”. By this time, my head was hurting like crazy, and half the theater had walked out. Now take an intelligent guess on how good the film was.

Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur absolutely had no story. Except for people from 1940’s looking still the same even in 1980’s, a lot of swear words, vulgar dialogues, and infidelity, there is nothing the film has to offer. The screenplay is very haphazard, and so bloody slow. I just can’t describe how disappointed I was. The acting, music, cinematography, thankfully, were good, and helped me survive!

There’s no point writing more. If you happen to like the movie, be my guest and finish the review for me 😛

Acting: 7.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 3/10
Technical Aspects: 6/10
Is it worth your time and money??: NO!! No matter what other reviews say, people started walking out of the theater post interval. Unless you like such dark, vulgar films with no story, stay away.

Verdict: 4.5/10

Singh’s Restaurant

Place: Singh’s Restaurant
Location: Opp. Gandhi Statue, M.G. Road, Secunderabad
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Dinner (with bro)

While roaming about in Secunderabad, we came across this place right in the center of M.G circle. Wanting to try out something new, me and my brother dropped in, hoping to taste some yummy Punjabi food. The restaurant is on the first floor of an old building located right next to the General Bazaar lane. Being a Saturday night, the place was almost packed. Through the entire restaurant was air-conditioned, we sat in a separate enclosure, which was relatively empty and much more cooler. The place was more or less a dhaba. Ambiance was decent but the seating was a wee bit uncomfortable.

Looking at the menu, all the items seemed expensive than any of the other dhaba’s around. Playing safe, we ordered a Malai Kofta and Kaju Paneer along with Tandoori Roti. We also ordered a Jeera Rice.

The food was served in good time, but the quantity served was disheartening. We were still hoping for them to taste good, but were again disappointed. The Kofta in the Malai Kofta was very hard, and close to burnt, while the gravy was under-cooked. We could taste the raw tomato in the dish. The Kaju Paneer was more or less the bhaji of Pav Bhaji with raw kaju and paneer added. For 14 bucks a piece, the Roti was unbelievably small, and was done in about four bites.

The Jeera Rice was little better. Though the rice was broken, it at least had some flavor and tasted like it should have.

Overall, for a place which calls itself Singh’s, there is nothing Punjabi about it. As if the bad food wasn’t enough, even the service was horrendous. After a totally unpleasant meal, the bill turned out to be a whopping 420 bucks. Atrocious!! This was the most expensive yet sad dhaba experience ever. Stay away from this place!!

Food: 4/10
Service: 5/10
Ambiance: 5/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 420/-

Verdict: 3/10

All Seasons

Place: All Seasons
Location: 2nd Floor, SBR Gateway, Opposite Motorola, Hitech City
Cuisine: Buffet
Meal: Lunch (with couple of friends)

Wanting to try out the new place next to her office, my friend invited me and another friend for lunch at All Seasons. She called and reserved a table for 3, so though it was packed when we walked in, we didn’t have to wait. The restaurant was brightly lit and had the buffet spread on one side. We were given a table in one corner of the place, which looked cozy and comfy, but was very uncomfortable once we sat down. There were fluffy cushions placed against a wall, which felt awkward. Also, the table was too small, so when I pulled it closer, it was inconvenient for my friend on the other side.

The soup and starters were not served on the table, so we helped ourselves. There was one veg and one non-veg soup, a couple of veg and non-veg starters.

The Veg Manchow soup was alright. It was thick and had a decent flavor. Of the starters, the Crispy Vegetables were good, but the Corn Tikkis were horrible. They were dripping oil and were very hard. My friend neither liked the non-veg soup nor the starters. The Chicken was apparently very hard. So more or less, the soup and starters were a disappointment. But the best part of the meal was yet to come.

For the main course, they had Gobi Masala and Mixed Vegetable and two non-veg curries, Veg Noodles with Vegetables in Hot Garlic sauce, Veg Biryani and Mutton Biryani. They also had Dal and White Rice.

It was a real surprise that there was no Paneer curry on the spread. In fact, there was no Paneer dish on the entire buffet. Wonder what the chef was thinking. When it came to the veg curries, both were horrendous. The Mixed Vegetable was at least edible, but the Gobi was horrible. It had huge chunks of raw Gobi, and the masala had a strong cinnamon flavor. I was told that the non-veg curries weren’t anything better. The Naan and the bread were served on the buffet as well, in a casserole which was empty on most occasions. I luckily got the last piece of Butter Naan, which was alright.

Thankfully, the Noodles and the Hot Garlic sauce were decent. Nothing great, but much better compared to the other food around. The Biryani again was pathetic. It was dried up rice with a few vegetables seasoned with tons of oil. Inedible!!

After a disastrous meal, we were hoping the deserts to fill our tummies. Luckily, except for the Gulab Jamoon which was very hard, the rest were good. The Kurbani Ka Meetha was fresh, Gajar Ka Halwa decent, and the fourth desert, which I believe was some kind of souffle, was the best of the lot. There were fresh-cut Watermelon pieces as well.

The best part of the entire buffet was the regular Strawberry Ice-cream (which I normally don’t like). After surviving their buffet, this seemed like heaven. Thank god that it was out of the box, for otherwise they probably would have ruined it as well.

Overall, an awful meal. To add to the terrible food, the service was atrocious. The salad plate on the buffet was empty so I asked the waiter for some onion. He said something which wasn’t audible. I asked him again and he did the same, this time more like a mumble. Wanting to hear what he had to say, I went next to him and asked again, and he irritably said go get it from the buffet. I was like LMAO!! The table wasn’t cleared after we were done with the plates either. We had a Snapdeal coupon and mentioned this right at the start of the meal. In spite of this, this is how our bill was presented.

Wow!! To beat this, there was a large group sitting at the next table, who ordered from the a-la-carte menu. Almost 20 minutes after they place the order, the waiter came and informed them that their kitchen is closed, and they are not serving a-la-carte. They were then asked to go for the buffet. One of them asked if she could at least get a Curd Rice, and he informed her that they would charge her for the buffet even for the Curd Rice. It was hilarious to see all this happen.

Though the purpose of the meal wasn’t met, thanks to all these moments, we ended up having a good time. We royally cursed our friend for making us a part of this disastrous meal. Unless you wanna take revenge on someone you don’t like, stay away from this place!!

Food: 4/10
Service: 2/10
Ambiance: 6/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 299/- + Taxes

Verdict: 4/10

Department

I was so not interested in watching this movie, but here I was for I wanted to see how bad it could be. Plus, I had this review to write. Two and half hours of comedy and torture, together! RGV has gone nuts!!

Honestly, Department shouldn’t have been such a bad film. The script, written by Nilesh Girkar, is pretty decent, and if handled properly, it could have made a pretty good movie. But Ram Gopal Varma just does the opposite and brings to screen a lazy dull boring film. He doesn’t manage to extract the best out of any of his cast. The screenplay is tediously slow, and at times starts to test your patience. RGV has this knack of picturizing a scene in slow motion while making it effective, but in this movie, all such scenes seemed totally out-of-place. The slow motion climax fight and the overused stunt camera work are just a couple of examples of where the film went wrong. On the whole, RGV disappoints!!

On the acting front, no one shines. Rana can’t act for nuts. One wonders how he made it into Bollywood when he can’t even survive in Tollywood. To be fair to him, he tries to act, but he needs to realize that its something physically impossible for him to do. His voice is the only saving grace. Sanjay Dutt looks like a stone and has a straight face throughout the film. It was as if he was reading lines of the script with no expressions. Amitabh Bachchan over does his part and was totally wasted. I don’t think an actor of his caliber should even do such kinda roles. Anjana Sukhani is pretty good, while Lakshmi Manchu is alright. Vijay Raaz was too loud, Abimanyu Singh looked dumb. The best act probably was by Madhu Shalini, for she atleast tried her best to create the oomph factor.

On technical front, it’s a disaster. Music by Bappi Lahiri, Dharam-Sandeep and Vikram Magi is mediocre. It was the most pathetic and horrendous background score I’ve heard for any movie in my life so far. I don’t have words to describe how bad it was. Cinematography by FXS team (Ravichandran Thevar, Siddhartha More, Zaryan Patel, Sapan Narula and Harshraj Shroff), shot using small cameras was good initially, but every shot of the movie being shot at odd angles made it lose the effect. Editing by Vinay Abhijit was again mediocre.

Overall, a disappointing film. Ram Gopal Varma has definitely got the talent, no doubt about that. But he seems to ditch it and tries to make some dumb-ass films at times. Department just happens to be one of those films. Can the real RGV please stand up??

Acting: 5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 4/10
Technical Aspects: 5/10
Is it worth your time and money??: I so wanna say yes for I want you to go through what I went through. But I’ll be nice and request you to stay away from Department. RGV has gone bonkers, and so will you if you do go watch it. Stay away!!

Verdict: 4.5/10

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