tristar-evp

I’ve very much wanted to see Chiranjeevi’s 1993 film Mutha Mestri after I saw the fabulous video of “We Are Flowers” song. According to a research done by Cinema Chaat, the song is included only in the EVP version and the DVD by Moser Baer doesn’t have it. The EVP DVD has been somewhat difficult to track down but some time ago I noticed that it is included in EVP’s 12 DVD Tri Star Superhits Pack that Bhavani DVD sells for $47.99. The box has twelve oldish Telugu movies by “Tri Star” which means the three big stars of Telugu cinema: Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh, and Nagarjuna.

The product’s description page at Bhavani doesn’t have very detailed information about the pack so I thought that I could make a simple list and take a few photographs of the contents of the pack in case that someone is considering whether to buy it or not.

The pack includes the EVP versions of the following DVDs:

  1. Chiranjeevi: Mutha Mestri (1993, 158 min) – English subtitles
  2. Chiranjeevi: Alluda Majaka (1995, 166 min) – English subtitles
  3. Chiranjeevi: Big Boss (1995, 153 min) – English subtitles
  4. Chiranjeevi: Mogudu Kaavaali (1980, 125 min)
  5. Nagarjuna: Allari Alludu (1993, 165 min)
  6. Venkatesh: Sankranthi (2005, 160 min)
  7. Nagarjuna: Rakshana (1993, 150 min)
  8. Nagarjuna: Shiva (1989, 145 min)
  9. Venkatesh: Nirnayam (1991, 164 min) – English subtitles
  10. Chiranjeevi: Kothala Rayudu (1979, 127 min)
  11. Venkatesh: Shatruvu (1990, 140 min)
  12. Venkatesh: Intlo Illalu Vantintlo Priyuralu (1996, 153 min)

Four of the 12 DVDs, including Mutha Mestri, come with English subtitles. Unfortunately the songs in Mutha Mestri aren’t subtitled but it’s of course more important to have subtitles in the actual dialogue. (I haven’t checked the song subs of the other movies.) I knew that not all of them would come with subtitles but it’s a pity that Shiva isn’t subbed, as Shiva DVD by Shalimar has the subs. Four of 12 isn’t a very good subtitle ratio but I think it was worth it for Mutha Mestri. The pack also includes Alluda Majaka which is YouTube-famous for a miraculous tractor fight and horse-sliding under a truck.


The case that contains the 12 DVDs is about the size of two regular DVD cases. It would solve all my storing space problems if all movies were packed like this.


The inside and the outside of the case.


The inside of the case with and without the discs. I hadn’t seen a DVD case mechanism like this before.


The diversity of different print styles on the discs is interesting…

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baba-srirag-pyramid

Today’s random product review is a Pyramid DVD that contains two Superstar Rajinikanth’s Tamil movies, Baba (2002) and Sri Ragavendra (1985) (also spelled at least as Sri Ragaventhrar and probably also as some other combinations of similar letters). I have no prior experience about the quality of these cheaper 2-in-1 DVDs compared to the usual 1-in-1 DVD releases but I would guess that the quality of a movie in 2-in-1 DVD isn’t as good. Let’s do some comparison!

I have also Baba DVD by Ayngaran and Sri Ragavendra DVD by Bayshore. The most natural way to compare these is to take screenshots of the same frame in each version and check which of them looks better.

baba-srirag

Sri Ragavendra

I actually bought the 2-in-1 DVD because I hadn’t found Sri Ragavendra with English subtitles and it clearly says “WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES” right there in the cover. Surprise surprise, this version of Sri Ragavendra doesn’t have English subtitles. Yes, it also says “BABA WITH SUBTITLE”, but it doesn’t say “SRI RAGAVENDRA WITHOUT SUBTITLE”, so basically this can be considered cheating. It’s actually quite surprising that this movie doesn’t seem to have a subtitled release. Sri Ragavendra is known as the 100th film of Superstar Rajinikanth. (I’m not sure how that is counted as it is number 107 on my list. Maybe they don’t count the remakes of his earlier movies?) Even though it was a flop at the box office, only the fact that it’s his 100th film would be enough to get people to watch it. Maybe there just aren’t enough non-Tamil speaking Rajinikanth fans or something? Now that it doesn’t have subtitles, I too won’t probably watch it before I’ve seen most of the subtitled Rajinikanth films.

Here are the screenshots. The first one is from the Pyramid version and the second one from the Bayshore version. (Click to see them in full size!) The picture from the Bayshore version is slightly more detailed. The only thing that is worse in Bayshore DVD is that it has Bayshore’s logo on the top-right corner and an almost transparent but still visible watermark on the left side while there are none in the Pyramid version. But I would probably still watch the movie from the Bayshore version.

srirag-pyramid-2in1 srirag-bayshore

Baba

Both versions of Baba have subtitles. The first thing I noticed was that Ayngaran’s version of the film is 180 minutes long while Pyramid’s version is only 174 minutes. I didn’t check if there are any missing scenes in the Pyramid version or does it just play the film faster.

Ayngaran DVD is clearly the winner of the picture quality comparison. Most notably, there are more recognizable details and the orange colour is much brighter in the screenshot from the Ayngaran’s version (the second one). Looks like Pyramid’s version is horizontally stretched and then the picture is slightly cropped. Pyramid also has a big but fortunately mostly transparent watermark at the top-right corner. If I’m going to re-watch the film some day, I will definitely watch it from the Ayngaran DVD.

baba-pyramid-2in1 baba-ayngaran

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The availability of South Indian movie-related merchandise has been almost nonexistent at least online (I’m not sure what the situation is in India). One of my bad habits is that I’m quite a materialist and like to have items that are somehow connected to things like movies or stories that are important to me. Even posters of the southern films seem to be very rare.

Availability of t-shirts hasn’t been much better than of posters. The super-epic Kochadaiiyaan t-shirt was never available. The website of the Japanese official Eega/Makkhi t-shirt wasn’t very foreigner-friendly. And on top of that, while not really an official movie merchandise, the famous pink panda shirt (known from at least Magadheera and Orange) appears to be sold out!

However, now the most awaited movie of 2015, Baahubali, has took the first step to the right direction to fix the problem. Their official shirts and hoodies are sold by an online store called Whoz High and they can be bought at baahubali-whozhigh.com.

baahubali-tee1baahubali-tee2

The collection includes t-shirts as well as some other types of shirts and hoodies. I would like to have also a Baahubali t-shirt but I chose to order only hoodies because I didn’t like the designs of the big horse and the lion that much, and hoodies were [at the time of the order] the only type of clothing that came with Prabhas’ epic logo from the movie’s teaser pictures.

I have no idea about the average price level of Indian clothes but INR 799 didn’t feel too expensive for a hoodie so I ordered one in both colors, “Bombay Black” and “Kasol Blue”. Unfortunately the shipping cost to Finland almost doubled the price but I didn’t let that stop me as this was so unique opportunity. The ordering system at the website doesn’t support international orders at the moment but their website gives instructions how to order by email.

baahubali-hoodies The color difference can be seen only in very bright lighting conditions.

baahubali-hoodie_blackbaahubali-hoodie_blue

I really wanted the blue one because I already have too many black clothes. Unfortunately, in reality the blue hoodie is much darker than in the pictures, so at first I thought I got two black hoodies. The color difference can be only seen in very bright lighting conditions (like in the flashlight of a camera) – in normal lighting they were almost identical. It’s nothing serious, but it would be nice to have more difference in the colors if there are only two colors available. However, I have been very happy with the black one and I’ve used it regularly. I hope it won’t be completely worn out when Baahubali comes into theaters!

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I recently purchased the “premium pack” edition of A. R. Rahman’s awesomely epic Kochadaiiyaan soundtrack album from Amazon. Their description of the product is only the following:

Fully Boxed and Sealed Original Tamil Audio CD Premium PACK Contains the Following. 1 Audio CD OF KOCHADAIIYAAN 2. MP3 Hits of A.R.Rahman. 3. Kochadiyaan T- SHIRT

They do not tell anything about the shirt or what are “Hits of A.R. Rahman,” so I decided to find out as it wasn’t too much more expensive than the T-shirtless edition of the soundtrack. Previously I had seen pictures only of this shirt which would have been nice, but unfortunately this was a simpler one. As the official product descriptions are quite poor, I photographed the contents of the package for the case that someone else is wondering which edition would be the most appropriate to buy.


Everything was in a box that got little crumpled in the mail.


The CDs are packed in a case that is the same size than most of the South Indian DVD cases.


The soundtrack and “Hits of A.R. Rahman” are on separate CDs.


The shirt is just a common white T-shirt with black text “Superstar Rajinikanth / Kochadaiiyaan / The Legend.” No wonder it wasn’t very expensive. The shirt’s size is M so it is a little too small for me, but as the graphics are so simple, it might be easy enough to print the same text on a larger white shirt.


There is also a Tamil advertisement of Thor 2 and some other Hollywood movies.


“Hits of A.R. Rahman” includes the following 30 songs. I hadn’t heard about any of them before. They seem to be from Tamil films of 2000s and 2010s but nothing from Sivaji or Enthiran.

  1. Innum Konjam Naeram
  2. Moongil Thottam
  3. Naetru Aval Irundhal
  4. Nenjukkule
  5. Unnaal Unnaal
  6. Yenga Pona Raasa
  7. Oliyaaga Vandhaai
  8. Nenjae Yezhu
  9. Hosanna
  10. Adiye
  11. Omana Penne
  12. Usure pogudhey
  13. Parakka Seivaai
  14. Mannipaaya
  15. Marudaani
  16. Aaruyirae
  17. Nenjam Ellam
  18. Sonnalum
  19. Sandai Kozhi
  20. Nanare
  21. Hey Goodbye Nanba
  22. Veera
  23. Mayya Mayya
  24. Yaakkai Thiri
  25. Taxi Taxi
  26. Kannukkul Kannai
  27. Ambikapathy
  28. Sonapareeya
  29. Elay Keechan
  30. Kadal Raasa Naan
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