Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Entertainment in 2010

So here are the top movies of 2010 in no particular order other than the one in which I recall them:

How to train your dragon - For its interesting plot and great animation!

Inception - For its originality

Kick-Ass - For its awesomeness

Band Baaja Baraat - For its fresh look at the Indian Wedding Business

Ishqiya - For bringing Guy Ritchie like movie making to Hindi Cinema

Peepli Live - For its satire

Social Network - For its being well made.

The A-team - For its action with humour (Expedables sucked big time btw)

Machete - For its over the top action

Dabanng - For its over the top action and for getting the real Salman Khan back

LSD- For being scary and funny in parts

Megamind- For its funny script

Wild Target - For Bill Nighy

Avataar - For taking movie making to the next level

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More Movies

Leap Year

Romance about an Irish myth about a girl being able to propose to a boy during a leap year, so off goes the heroine to propose to the boy she loves, only to fall head over heels in love with a charming Irish inn keeper.

Average watch.

A Prophet

Brilliant French movie about life in the prison, that grows on you. An illiterate young guy, who also happens to be the protagonist is jailed and has a tough time, until he helps murder a rival. The most powerful gang in the jail begins to tolerate him, little knowing that he will turn out to be the smartest gangster the jail has seen. This movie follows the rise (or fall) of the protagonist, from a confused crook to a big time gangster.
Some brilliant cinematic moments. Fantastic movie!

The Wolfman

Great actors but disappointing movie. Benico del Toro and Anthony Hopkins star in this Victorian era thriller about a village haunted by a werewolf. There are a few thrills and chills, but overall makes for a tepid fare.
Give it a miss.


I am not a big fan of the sci-fi genre, but I watched this movie for one reason - Ben Foster and I was not disappointed. One of the actors whom I rate very high, thanks to "3:10 to Yuma", Ben Foster lives up to expectations.
Mankind has decided to send out a ship just as earth is about to be destroyes, and the ships crew wakes us from hibernation many years after Earth is destroyed. However they soon realise that most of the crew is missing and that the ship has been taken over by a race of mutant cannibalistic "humans" trying to hunt the remaining crew. A good fast paced action thriller with a twist at the end. I liked it quite a bit :)

An Education

Young school girl from a middle class, boring English family falls in love with a wealthy playboy and gets an education she wont forget. Well made. But nothing to write home about.

Many more movie to still be reviewed, I am lagging way behind :(

12 Angry men
Wild Target
Walk the line
Crank - High Voltage
Interview with a vampire
Perfume- Story of a murderer
Scent of a woman
Dear John
Social Network
The killer inside me
Cemetery Junction
Almost Famous

Friday, November 19, 2010

Naming the TV serials

Very rarely do I watch TV nowadays, except when there is a match on that I want to watch. Though I must confess that a very average series called "Lie to me" has caught my attention and I have watched a few episodes on TV last week (10pm Starworld , if you were wondering). Also the one episode of 'Modern family' seemed quite funny (11pm, Starworld, if your curiosity was piqued).

But what caught my attention was an advertisement I saw for a TV series on Sony, called
"TERA MUJHSE HAI...pehle ka nata koi" and the voice over says it in the same way, A loud and confident- "Tera mujhse hai" followed by 'pehle ka nata koi' in a meek voice as if she were ashamed to admit it.

The dearth of creativity when it comes to naming TV series strikes me. So much so that they have taken up old Hindi songs and that too ones that don't really fit!

I fear that soon they will have exhausted all the movie songs till the 80's and then move to songs from the more recent one's. So don't be taken aback if you see a serial named
"SEXY SEXY SEXY...mujhe log boley".

This leads me to wonder if there is an occupation that I have discovered here - "Chief namer of serials" or something along those lines.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Movies to tick off my list

I love lists. I keep a notebook at work and make lists of to-do items and when I am done I neatly highlight them with a...err highlighter.
The list of movies watched though has been long growing and here is my chance to catch up on the list...

Enough has been written about this movie and I loved it too. No, it did not have the same impact that 'The Matrix' had on me. But nevertheless it is a fantastic movie. Just complex enough for people to talk about it and but not so complex as to not being entertaining.
As far as Christopher Nolan movies go I would not rate it as his best work, I am hoping the best is yet to come :)

The man from earth

This movie is what science fiction should be :D Fantastic and mind blowing. I loved every bit of the movie including the ending. There are no special effects here, nor are there aliens, time travel or spacecrafts. There are a group of people talking in a room and that's it.
Take my word for it, this is a brilliant movie, I would rate it amongst the best in genre. Do not miss it.


This beauty of this movie is in the atmosphere it builds. Much like Nolan's previous work - Memento, this movie puts you in the head of the protagonist played by Al PAcino.

Two homicide detectives from the big city land up in a small town in Alaska to solve the murder of a teen. The sun never sets in the town and leaves Al pacino sleepless, nevertheless he almost does get hold of the murderer but ends up accidentally shooting his own partner during a stake out, but blames the killing on the murderer they were chasing.
The murder has witnessed the crime and now blackmails the detective who ridden with guilt can get no sleep whatsoever in a town where it doesn't get dark for months.

With a brilliant supporting cast of Hilary Swank and Robin Williams, this is a Chris Nolan master class.
It is, mind you, a remake of a norwegian movie, but that takes nothing away from the genius that is Chris Nolan.

Despicable Me

I had been waiting for ages for this one and when I did watch it, I was not disappointed at all. The 'hero' of the movie is a super villain Gru, whose life long dream is to steal the moon.
But for this he needs the super shrink ray that is guarded by his arch-rival and seems unobtainable until Gru realises that his rival has a weakness for cookies, sold by 3 little girls from the orphanage. Gru adopts the 3 girls in order to get to the ray gun, but realises there is more to life than just the moon.
The best part of the movie are the minions who help Gru with all his 'nefarious' activities, adding a lot of hilarity to the proceedings.
Immensely watchable.

Layer Cake

I am not a big fan of Daniel Craig as I think he is the sole reason for destroying the entire James Bond series.
But here he does a decentish job as a rich and suave cocaine dealer who gets into trouble on the eve of his retirement, as his boss gives him a couple of difficult assignments.
Given that this movie is from the same producers who gave us 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' and 'Snatch', one would rather expect what follows.
This movie does not disappoint and even the ending is a little unexpected.

Edge of Darkness

Edge of darkness, as the name suggests is a dark movie, with revenge being its main theme. Mel Gibson, plays a cop who sees his daughter killed on his doorstep. He thinks that one of his enemies accidentally shot his daughter when trying to kill him, but soon realises that this is not the case, as he uncovers a few things that he did not know about his daughter which made her some enemies in high-places.
Mel Gibson in true Mel Gibson style wants revenge and revenge he does get.

A fast paced movie, that pulls punches at every twist and turn. Mel Gibson excels in the role.
Reminded me of another brilliant revenge flick of his, called 'Payback', which has been one of my most favourite movies.
A good watch, but not a feel-good watch.
Harry Brown

Another revenge flick, but this time with a difference. Micheal Caine plays a tired, retired ex special forces man, who day in and day out sees the senseless violence meted out my young gangs in his neighbourhood, but turns a blind eye to it. After his wife dies, the only thing left for Micheal CAine is his friend with who he plays chess in the local pub.
However when the gang of youth ruthlessly murder the old man, Micheal Caine has had enough and now wants revenge.
Brilliant movie, especially when it makes you wait and wait for Micheal CAaine to get angry You just want him to get out and kick ass and that he does!
Be warned that this is again not a feel good movie, but a fantastic one!

Blue Powder

The only good thing about this movie is Jessica Biel and the amount of Jessica Biel on display. You see, she plays a stripper.
Even the awesome Jessica biel is reduced to nothingness in this senseless movie about 4 strangers. The story aimlessly tries to get a common thread between the strangers, but fails miserably
I hated it.

A history of violence

Viggo Mortensen is as impressive as always. He plays a simple family man running a cafe in a small peaceful town.
But his world is shattered when he becomes the local hero after killing two psychotic criminals trying to rob him. He soon gets into the limelight and gets noticed by some underworld elements who seem to know him from the past.
Awesome movie that starts slow, but soon breaks into a super duper action flick as we see a mild family guy turn into a menacing individual.
Liked it a lot.

The Vampire's assistant

Any movie that has Salma Hayek with a beard can be safely deemed as a weird movie and this one is no different.
The movie starts off promisingly, as a a couple of teenage boys, go visit a freak show in town, only for one of them to be turned into a vampire.
But there the coolness ends and the movie gets quite boring and drab. Don't really watch this one unless you want to Salma Hayek with facial hair. brrrrr

Leap Year
A Prophet
The Wolfman
An Education
12 Angry men
Wild Target
Walk the line
Crank - High Voltage
Interview with a vampire
Perfume- Story of a murderer

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday :)

There were plans of a road trip to Hogenekal today, but we canceled due to the rains last night. But that leaves me with a nice and lazy Saturday.

I have already achieved waking up at noon on Saturday and today I want to - discover some new Jack Johnson songs, watch "12 angry men", go to Blossoms and buy an Iain Banks book, figure out the song that is in my head for the past 2 days, but that I have been unable to find out so far :(

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Some movies pending a review...

Shutter Island
Brilliantly made movie! Though one can see the twist coming from a mile away. The cinematography and the direction make this movie a great watch. Oh and if you are lucky enough to not see the twist coming, then I suspect it will be a shocker!

The Escapist

I got this movie thinking of it as an out and out action movie, because I did not read the summary. It turned out to be a prison break drama/thriller. Nevertheless, I liked it quite a bit. The ending is a little unexpected and it adds the icing.
Very watchable.

Give em hell Malone

Now I picked this movie because again judging from the cover it seemed like a modern film noir and I looooove film noir (Watch 'brick' its brilliant). It turned out to be absolutely horrible. What were they thinking? Thomas Jane is an idiot.

Green Zone

I thought it was okay. I guess it may have to do with a bad quality print or it may just be that I do not like war/political "thrillers". It was a bore.
Now this is not too difficult to guess. Look at the poster that I flicked from some website and the unimaginativeness of it all -If such a word exists- should be evident.


Oh I like Korean movies, In that... a horror flick that came highly recommended was a must watch.
Boy is a pro photographer, one day when driving back from a party, boy and girl hit a girl and weird things begin to happen.
It will not disappoint you. A decent horror movie throughout with a super duper ending. Watch watch. But make sure you watch the original, not some crap Hollywood remake.


What-e-movie. It starts off almost like a teen movie. A young nerdy guy dresses up as a superhero and tries to kick butt, we think we know where this is going and suddenly the movie gets to be full of blood, gore and violence.
The characters are all caricatures but the violence is seriously gory. Fantastic movie!

Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Super psychedellic movie. Well known as Heath Ledger's last film.
Doctor Parnassus has a traveling road show, with a mirror that can lead into an imaginary world. The doctor however had struck a deal with the devil and the devil is here to reclaim his part of the deal, i.e the doc's young daughter.
Jude law and more importantly Johnny Depp fill in for Heath Ledger. I liked the movie but beware that it is a little weird.

Butterfly on a wheel aka Shattered

We are introduced to a happy family, Mother(Maria Bello), Father(Gerard Butler) and child. Things all go wrong when the parents are car-jacked and held hostage by a psychotic guy(Pierce Brosnan, in what seems like an uncharacteristic role), whose motives are not very clear.
The movie has its share of thrills and spills, but has too many twists and turns in the ending, to make it all seem very unbelievable. Abbas-Mastan may as well remake this movie.

The A-Team

Based on a TV series this out an out action movie is awesome! I loved all the characters (I am a huge fan of Liam Neeson) and there was a plot albeit a little convoluted. I have not followed the TV series too much, but if the movie is anything to go by, the TV series must've been awesome!
Must watch!

The Expendables

The Expendables pales in comparison to the awesomeness that is the A-team. Its like an ode to yesteryear action heroes. The Line-up has a tired looking Sylvester Stallone, a menacing Dolph Lundgren, The boring Jet li and Jason Statham. The only scene that had some element of awesomeness was the one featuring Jason Statham kicking ass on a basket ball court all 'Transporter' style.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis show their faces for 2 minutes and Mickey Rourke keeps painting and Tattooing Sly. (I think we see a little too much of Mr. Rourke nowadays after "The Wrestler").
The villains have Steve Austin and the movie has almost zero plot. Annoyed with this movie.

Other movies that will come up in the next review post:
The man from earth
Despicable Me
Layer Cake
Edge of Darkness
Harry Brown
Blue Powder
A history of violence

Monday, August 16, 2010

Road Crossing for dummies

So I have started driving a lot more regularly than I used to, and other than the auto's/two wheelers that try and squeeze into every nook and cranny available on the road, the other feature of Bangalore roads are the people crossing them.

I have managed to identify a few popular techniques of road crossing.

1. The Test match opening batsman

People who follow this technique of road crossing are super cautious and have a "great temperament".
Just like Sunny Gavaskar, who would wait for ages for a bad delivery off which he could score a single, these people will wait for almost ever, before they feel it is safe to scurry across the road.
They are especially irritating when you want to cross the road and they are "the lead" . They never make use of those promising gaps in traffic!

note: "The lead" - in road crossing jargon means to be the one closest to the approaching traffic. Though this person may change frequently, especially if you are standing in the middle of chickpet or K.R.market. The lead is responsible for crossing the road first, the rest just follow cue.

2. The "Kaho na pyar hai" dance step.

Now this a step that has been popular on Indian roads for ages . Much before Hrithik displayed it in the title song of the hit movie Kaho na pyar hai.

The step comprises of 2 movements: one step forward and one step backward, alternate this with flailing arms and you will have mastered this technique.
This is the best technique for people with commitment issues- step into the traffic and suddenly go back onto the pavement, repeat step till you finally want to commit to getting to the other side of the road.
If you are driving, you need to be able to ascertain when the person will come forward and when he/she will go back. You will be able to identify this technique only with experience of driving on Indian roads.

This step is demonstrated by Hrithik in this video watch closely from 1:21 to 1:25 of the video

3. The Matrix

This technique is fast gaining popularity thanks to the incessant flow of traffic. To master this technique - think Neo stopping bullets in the Matrix.

This is the simplest of techniques. Do not look left or right, put out your hand at the approaching traffic and walk across the road. The traffic will stop and give you way.
Note - you will have to have an expression of disdain and 'I don't give a damn' on your face. The traffic will NOT stop if you look like a cornered rabbit.

This can only be executed if you are super confident of the driving abilities of all the other Bangaloreans and have calculated the probabilities of brake failure on an average day.

As with all things 'Matrix', I cannot tell you more about what the technique is. You have to see it for yourself.

4. Flash

This technique is as old as the dinosaurs. Look left and right. If you notice the tiniest of gaps in the flow of traffic, put your head down and run at top speed across the road. Keep eyes closed till you think you have reached the other side.

5. Equated Installments

This just like the EMI concept, this is based on the divide and conquer principle. Don't wait for the traffic flow to dry out. Just cross the road a few feet at a time.
If its a 30 feet wide road, cross 10 feet first, thus making yourself an island as the traffic goes past you. Wait for the remaining traffic to slow down or take pity on you and then cross the remaining section.
This requires good agility as there arise a need to be able to duck out of the way of a speeding motorbike that is overtaking a slow moving bus from the wrong side and trying to occupy the same space of the road that you are standing on (or were standing on a fraction of a second before you ducked out of its way).

6. The parasites

Now this is the recommended technique for beginners and amateurs. Just stand on the pavement looking busy staring at the sky or at something across the road. Wait for an expert to arrive at the scene (This will be the person who will immediately take "the lead"). The expert will use one or more of the above mentioned techniques and you can just tag along.

See you on the other side of the road!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Of strange weekends...

So the past 3 weekends haven't been great - I had to work one Saturday thanks to the bandh. Spent the other weekend in Gurgaon. Was super ill and on top of it subjected to Akshay Kumar's "khatta meetha" the weekend before this.

That Saturday in particular was weird. We were returning from a nice evening of talking movies with friends at "Infinitea", and as we were hurtling down Bellary road, we saw a couple of guys lying on the middle of the road. The other vehicles were giving these guys a miss, but we decided to stop and see what was up.

As I got down from the car, I realised that I was the first one at an accident scene! There was blood all around and one guy did not seem to have made it. The other guy ,when I held is hand , stirred and opened his eyes, luckily 2 other guys came to help me and we managed to call the ambulance.
I was a little skeptical about the ambulance arriving quickly, so I ran to the nearby Baptist hospital to get an ambulance, meanwhile though the emergency ambulance we had called arrived.

By now loads of vehicles had stopped and the people in them were gawking at the accident and its victims, thus causing a jam and not letting the ambulance get to the accident! Some frantic shouting and hand waving ensued and we cleared the road for the Ambulance.

One thing that got me furious is the fact that people refuse to stop and help out victims of an accident, because they do not want to get involved and get into "trouble" with the cops. I have no clue how long those guys were lying there with vehicles passing by before we got to them!
The same people have a morbid fascination with accidents though. They have no qualms in stopping their vehicles and staring at an accident, at the cost of not letting an ambulance get through.

The one positive I saw in the entire incident was the prompt response of the ambulance. Please keep in mind that if you were to come upon such a situation, call the emergency number 108 immediately. They are very good!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Some spring cleaning

There is scurried activity at home, as Mummy and Amu go about preparing to host a dinner for some friends later today.
I, however have not been part of any scurried activity. I have spent most of the morning lazing around reading the Sunday morning newspaper at leisure, lying down staring at the ceiling and watching highlights of a cricket match on TV (I have no idea why sports channels show highlights of such inconsequential matches - NZ scored 163 and SA chase it down for the loss of 6 wkts in 43 overs).

This time though, nobody asked me to do any chores and this induced some guilt which led me to the long pending task of cleaning up the book shelf.

The return on investment of time spent is this -
1) I get to show that I have done some work
2) I get to pick out books to give my friend, who is collecting books for kids at her school in Kashmir

As I was lining up books by authors and height order I came across some really old Archie, Flintstones, 'Diamond Comics' comic books, along with the usual fare of Gokulam, Chandamama, Thak Thak and Champak's.
Lovely to see these after so many years.

I also came across the wonderfully written 'Original Script' of our away day play "Chronicles of the Dark Knightie" :P which was a joy to see and read through, though I still know it by heart.

Despite having loads of books, I only came up with a handful of books that I thought I could give away. So there goes the false notion I had, that I was one of those for whom letting go was super easy. Siiiigh.

However, if you can get your hands on any books that you think will be a good read for school kids, then get in touch with me now!

Till then I am going back to my lazing about *grin*.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Loads of movies

Well, I have close to 19 movies that I remember having watched... here they are

Alex is a pediatrician, who is on holiday with his wife, out having a leisurely swim in the lake, when his wife is murdered and he is knocked out cold. Alex is the prime suspect but has his name cleared. 8 years later, he gets an email from his murdered wife and from there begins a taut thriller, as Alex tries to uncover the mystery of his wife's disappearance, chased by a group of assassins and the cops, but with help from a Mafia type friend who is indebted to Alex for saving his son's life, Alex goes about finding his wife.
Good movie, the plot is a little over the top, but good in the thrills and car chases department. Oh did I mention it was a French film? You shall need subtitles.

Super film. To me this was like watching a modern film-noir. A child is missing, and a detective couple are hired by the child's aunt to trace her back. A couple of cop's lend a hand, but the couple must solve the crime themselves.
Like in most suspense thrillers, nothing is what it seems to be and there are loads of unexpected twists till the last minute.
It 's got Ben Affleck's little brother Casey Affleck (whiny accent annoys for a bit, but othewise he does a great job) and Michelle Monoghan (who looks like Liv Tyler) in the lead, with Morgan Freeman playing top cop.
Wonderful watch. But be aware it may leave a you a tad bit depressed. (wow ,I got to use one of my favourite phrases: "a tad bit").

Iron Man 1 was fantastic, Robert Downey Jr. made the role and the suit his own and was brilliant.
Iron Man 2 is also nice, though not as nice as the first one, for a couple of reasons:

1. The villain is not menacing at all. In all the confusion of what they want to do with Whiplash, they forgot to develop his character.Also, Mickey Rourke does not seem to have gotten out of his Wrestler Character, so half the time he walks about looking forlorn. The only saving grace is the Monaco Grand PRix scene, which was fantastic!

2. Iron man is a DJ and dancing. Well to me that was super un-cool. I know they wanted to show his as a troubled alcoholic, but errr there are more subtle ways of showing this than making him a DJ in his own party.

Other than that, it was all good. We got to see Thor's hammer as well (ahem, that sounds weird)

Confessions of a dangerous mind

You will know Sam Rockwell from Iron Man 2 where he plays Tony Stark's not so glamorous business rival.
Here he plays Chuck Barris, a game show host and creator, who is also an assassin on the CIA's payroll. The story is based on the memoirs of Chuck Barris, who claimed to be a CIA hitman in real life, though whether it was a fantasy he played out or whether it was true is debatable.
Its a great watch, especially, with Julia Roberts, playing a fellow CIA assassin. Super movie.

Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler), has his home broken into, his wife and child raped and murdered in front of his eyes by a psychotic thief and his aide. The aide gets death penalty, but the guy who commits the crime is let off after a few years in jail. Jaime Foxx plays the attorney who convinces Clyde that the best the law could do has been done.
But soon everyone associated with the case start dying horrible deaths. Clyde apparently works for a clandestine govt agency and now wants revenge. He tortures and kills the guy who murdered his family (which is gruesome but super awesome as well) and goes after everyone else associated with the case. Jaime Foxx must now try and save the innocent people who are being targeted by the erstwhile "Law abiding citizen".
The revenge bit is great, the manner in which he goes about killing is also good, but again the plot is a bit unbelievable.
Decentish watch.

Kevin Costner plays Lt. Cmdr. Tom Farrell and Gene Hackman plays the US Defence secretary, David Brice. Tom works for David Brice and both are in love with the same woman.
The lady in question is in love with the dashing commander whom she meets at a party, but is stuck being the mistress of the Defence Secretary. Brice does not know that the man who is wooing his mistress away from him is Tom Farell. In a fit of rage, he accidentally kills his mistress and tries to mislead everyone into a hunt for a mole in his department who he says was the mysterious boyfriend of the lady who was killed.

He hands the case to Tom Farell, who knows the truth (since he himself is the mysterious boyfriend) and must now get the Defence Secretary to pay for his crime.

Good thriller, with a super unexpected twist in the end.

Ryan Reynolds stars in this movie that deals with his character's daughter trying to identify how he met her mother and who her mother is. In a bedtime story he makes up the names of the 3 women he dated and was in love with, and lets the daughter guess who her mother is.
Average movie. No wow effect.

Horrible movie. Nagesh Kukunoor is an idiot.

I loved this movie! It pans out like a Hindi movie and is very well made and directed. Nit surprising for a Woody Allen movie.
The plot is pretty straigh-forward. The hero is a middle class, ex-professional tennis player who is ambitious but wants to earn it all on his own, without help from anyone. He takes up coaching and meets a rich young guy whom he soon befriends.
At a party at their country house he meets the guy's sister and who takes a liking to him, and they fall for each other. He also meets a beautiful lady(Scarlett Johansson) who he falls heads over heels in love with, but she turns out to be the rich dudes fiance.
Having married the rich girl and having landed a plush corporate job (thanks to his father-in-law), but still madly in love with Scarlett Johansson. Our hero is in a dilemma. And so it heads to an awesome last 30 minutes.

Watch it.

The rest are in a different post :D

A good weekend takes all of 5 days to come by

Thursday is the day I hate the most in a week, because I have already slogged out for 3 days and its still not Friday.
The weekends, to state the obvious, are a joy :) I haven't been out traveling a lot ,unlike the last few years when I was out every other weekend, but there is seemingly enough to do.

This weekend was super. Friday we discovered 'Couch' on M.G. Road. The match was a good watch (Brazil lost), but playing dumb charades in the crowded pub was even better :P

Saturday was time for getting our Karaoke set out to Apsara and Yogesh's place and belting out Hindi songs :D, followed by watching Germany thump Argentina, siiiigh. To round off the evening we watched 'The Others', one of the movies I rate quite high in the horror movie genre.

Sunday was supposed to be Tree Planting day, but just could not wake up to head out and plant saplings early. Nevertheless, Fava at UB city in the evening, The Oval bar at Mantri in the night and 'The A-team' with the boys to close out a good Sunday.

Okay! Till the next weekend then!

As I read this post I realise it would have been best if I had started with "Dear diary...". But well what the heck, a post is a post.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Lists of 10

Most over-rated !

I am going to ruffle a few feathers...

10. Harry Potter

9. Loots Bosman - South African Cricketer.

8. Golf

7. "Franny and Zooey" and "The Alchemist"

6. Indian authors who write in English (With the exception of Ray of 'Feluda' fame)

5. Chaats in Kolkata (though the sweets and the non-veggie stuff is superb!)

4. Micro-blogging

3. USA

2. Twilight - the movie/book series

1. Wayne Rooney

Most under-rated !
(I could only think of 5 :P )

10. Malgoa mangoes. As good as Hapus, if not better :)

9. Terry Pratchett - I know loads of people love his writing, but not enough.

8. Samurai Jack

7. Nikola Tesla

6. "Swades" - The movie

5. Mohit Chauhan - Especially his music with 'Silk Route'

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The review post

Its been a few long, tiring weeks at work, so much so that I am struggling to finish off the book I am reading. This also means that there have been fewer movies watched between my last review post and this.

The wife has asked me to blog about other things, but I cannot resist a few reviews.

Before we move on, I seem to have caused distress from some of my posts earlier. If you are one who has felt offended by what I have been writing, then I guess you will just have to live with it :)

Here come the movies

Where the wild things are

This is a movie about a lonely kid, who runs away from home and seemingly lands up on a fantasy island, where there are wild creatures whom he befriends and who make him their 'king'.
Each creature really is a person that the kid knows in real life and the creature takes their characteristic.
So what we have is a kid building a world from the figment of his imagination. Not a bad idea, its from a book after all. However the kid they have cast in the main role is psychotic. So I intensely disliked him, which meant that I did not think too highly of the movie either.
It could have been that I was drawing parallels with the brilliant Pan's Labyrinth(Which has a very similar plot).
Watchable, if you don't hate the kid, like I did. But please watch Pan's Labyrinth instead, its definitely a much better movie.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

A fantastic stop animation movie, with George Clooney as the thieving Mr. Fox who has mended his ways to lead a quiet family life, or has he ? :)
Brilliant soundtrack and some really fun characters, as Mr. Fox decides to raid the farms of 3 dangerous farmers, who in turn decide they want vengeance!
Please watch.

Half Past Dead

What do you get when you mix Steven Seagal with a movie with a tagline that goes 'The good, the bad and the deadly' ?
A crappy 'action' movie that generally makes no sense.
That's all I have to say about this movie. Don't judge me for watching this movie. It was coming on TV at the same time as I was looking at the TV screen.

Manhattan Murder Mystery

A superb Wooddy Allen movie, about a couple who seem to be undergoing a mid-life crisis, thanks to a routine life and boredom, just as they are drifting apart, they encounter what seems to be a murder of a neighbour and off they go to solve the mystery, this is set in Manhattan and hence the title.
Very well made movie and Diane Keaton and Woody Allen get together with their weirdly wonderful chemistry.

Date Night

Very similar to Manhattan Murder Mystery in terms of the plot. A couple leading a content but boring life, decide that they need to get some excitement back into their life by going out on date to a posh new restaurant in the city. Having taken somebody else's seating reservations, they get into trouble with the mob and bad cops, who mistake them to be a couple on the run, who have stolen some mobsters flash drive.
Steve Carell does a good job as usual in this mildly entertaining fare which is great Saturday afternoon/evening watch.


A man and his wife have an accident, the man loses his memory, but things do not seem to be what they are as he struggles to get back to his old life. A web of deception and deceit (I love this phrase) seem to cover his new life.
I must mention this movie for one scene which most of us would inadvertently have watched time and again.
Which is the accident. This clip of a car breaking through a wall on a dark winding road and crashing into the hillside with glass shattering, was used by most Hindi mystery/detective serials of the late 90's!


Brilliant fast paced action movie about an ex-spy rescuing his daughter who has been kidnapped in Europe by sex-slave traders.
Awesome action sequences and Liam Neeson make this movie a must watch!


Pathetic and Unwanted.

How to train your dragon

Easily the best animated movie in a long long time! Dragons are the most hated creatures in Berk, village of viking warriors, where the kids are trained to fight and kill dragons. Hiccup the main protagonist is a contradiction of sorts to his father who is the village leader. However Hiccup does manage to trap the most fearsome dragon of all 'Night Fury', but ends up befriending the dragon, to soon realise that these beasts are misunderstood by humans.
Wathing it in 3-D was a great experience in itself. Fantastic animation and pretty good story line makes this one of my favourite animation movie.
"This is Berk. It snows nine months out of the year, and hails the other three. What little food grows here is tough and tasteless. The people that grow here, even more so. The only upsides are the pets. While other places have ponies, or parrots... we have dragons. "
- Hiccup

The other man

Liam Neeson plays a quiet unassuming family man, who is tortured by a conversation he had with his wife before she left, where she tells him that if she fell in love with another man she would just go away. He soon discovers pictures of his wife's lover (Antonio Banderas) on her laptop and the rest of the movie is about finding out who the man is. Both Liam Neeson and Antonio Banderas have likeable characters and it is a decent movie with a nice little twist in the end :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The great Indian MRF blimp

Oh GOD! I had never ever seen a blimp in my life! That too one from MRF...oooh wow.
Ever since I managed to get through kindergarten, I have been tortured by these questions day in and day out - What is this MRF? What do they do? How many brand ambassadors do they have? What is this pace academy they have founded? Who will be the first one to get the blimp to India? Does MRF really stand for Madras Rubber Factory? Why is MRF so great?

Now, thanks to the IPL, all the questions I have ever had about MRF have been answered and many more have been pre-empted.
The commentators are like an endless ocean of knowledge when it comes to factoids about the blimp. They can tell you who owns MRF, how many times that person eats curd rice in a day, what brand of dhoti he wears etc etc

Other than the annoying bits where they show the ongoing match every now and then, the IPL and the MRF blimp is a joy to watch.

The charming Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, seems to love the MRF blimp so much that I suspect that once the IPL gets over, he is going to take the blimp home and introduce it to his parents. Danny Morrison also seems to suddenly get excited when they show the blimp, but then Danny Morrison has the ability to get excited even if they show Mukesh Ambani on screen, so one cannot read much into his display of emotions.

Anyway here is Siva taking his blimp for a walk on a pristine caribbean beach.

I leave you with the very eloquent -

What you gon' do with all that junk?
All that junk inside your trunk?
I'ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
Get you love drunk off my blimp
My blimp, my blimp, my blimp, my blimp, my blimp,
My blimp, my blimp, my blimp, my lovely little blimp (Check it out)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Ads people play...

Gone are those days when there would be brand new ad's on showcase only during the world cup. I still remember the Coca-cola ad during the 1996 World Cup, the kids playing cricket surrounded by red chillies left out to dry and by the Taj. That was one ad that got me craving to go play cricket.

There is almost no ad now that makes me want to buy anything.

Now with the IPL season there is a PL everywhere. There are cricket centric ads all around! HBO Premier League, Pix Premier League, the pathetic set of 'AX effect on the cricket field' ads, Oongli cricket, the irritating "Vidya Calling" ad with Sehwag and Gambhir which plays right in the middle of an over. So on and on.

The next set of ads are about summer and AC's and refrigerators. They basically tell us that the entire family is sitting around the product and living their lives around it or, if the ad has Ajay devgan and Kajol in it, then treating the product like their own family member, because oh its made their boring aimless lives so much better.Bah.

Even the zoozoo ads are an overkill. Not to mention Ranbir Kapoor in a sleeveless fake leather jacket taking on Sanjay Dutt - who looks as if he has been dressed in discarded motorcycle parts - for a bottle of Pepsi.

The number of different cell phone brands in the market have given rise to the a larger number of crappy ads. siiigh.

Gimme better ads!

p.s: Thanks to Rajiv for helping me find the link to the Coke ad

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Rain and nostalgia

The second most favourite topic of the season is the weather in Bangalore. So when I grab lunch and happen to sit at a table with someone I don't know too well, then invariably the conversation starts with the heat in the city.

The city was in for a pleasant surprise last week, when it rained some.

Any Banglorean knows that when the mercury rises above a certain level leading to discomfiture, then it rains, and cools the temperatures and tempers down. However, this has not been the case for quite some time now.

I was getting back home in an Auto and it began to drizzle without much warning.

With the smell of earth in first rains, came a wave of nostalgia. Of a city that Bangalore used to be. Of walking back from school after a game of cricket in the rain. Of watching the rain outside the window while studying for my 12th standard exams. Of drinking the strongest filter coffee ever, in a restaurant called Pushpavan right opposite Urvashi Theatre. Of being obssessed with Wodehouse and Conan Doyle. Of the inevitable candle lit dinners thanks to the power cut's.

As the cool breeze blew, into my face, I was transported for a while into Bangalore of the 1990's. Unfortunately the only thing constant from then and now is the power cut.

But one thing is certain, the rain does make everything a little nicer, especially memories :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Movie Shoovie

Well, the latest from the movie theatre is that I went to watch a night show last Sunday with a group of friends and had to get out within the first 5 minutes, because I fell super ill. It was not the movie, it was the err... "food" I had before the movie.

But anyway here are some movies that I did manage to watch -

The 40 year old virgin

I have long avoided/missed/ignored this one but finally decided to watch it. It was as one would expect it to be. Comic in some parts and boringly American in others. Watchable because Steve Carell does a good job :)

Up in the air

This one stars George Clooney and his backpack. Its about a guy who specialises in traveling to different parts of the country, laying off people on behalf of their employers and in getting laid with a random woman he meets.
His aim is to be able to live without any emotional baggage and to earn a million flying miles.

He achieves the latter but fails to do much about the former. Decent, but overrated.


Extremely slow paced and depressing movie about the advent of Christianity in Roman Egypt, and the seemingly correlated decline of freedom of speech/thought and the destruction of the great library of Alexandria.
This one is a biopic of Hypatia, one of the greatest female philosophers of all time, or so the movie leads us to believe.

Here is what wiki thinks of her. Rachel Weiz plays Hypatia and does a fabulous job!

Hypatia is a woman who is oblivious to all advances made at her by admiring men and the religious politics being played around her. Her only interest lies in deciphering ,why the planets move in such an odd manner, could it be that the Earth is after all not the centre around which everything revolves?

This is again a movie that is watchable, but only if you are in a certain frame of mind to take the death and destruction.

Space Jam

Staring Bugs Bunny, the rest of the Looney Tunes gang and a lost looking Magic Jordan. Okay as a kids movie. But I was not too impressed.

Shoot the piano player

Picked this one up because the cover looked good and the movie summary sounded interesting. But it turned out to be a highly overrated, weird black and white 1960's French movie.
Something about a Piano player in a small bar who has a troubled past, and gets into deeper trouble when his brother lands up at the bar chased by a couple of goons.

Supposedly a thriller, but it was quite weird for my liking.


So here is this not so nice guy, played by Dustin Hoffman who reluctantly saves 54 people, including an award winning telivision journalist (Geena Davis), from a plane crash. But the credit and a million dollars go to a homeless Vietnam war veteran, played by Andy Garcia thanks to a case of mistaken identity.

Now, the homeless guy is a gem of a person who believes about giving back to society, but is guilt ridden about having lied to get the money. Our hero is trying to save himself from going into jail and spend time with his son.

I quite liked this movie, it is a sweet well made movie with the message that there is a hero in everyone of us.

That's all folks!