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 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!