July 23, 2010

Inception : Nolan Does It Again

Woaah.......watta movie..... Another masterpiece from Christopher Nolan , who is churning out masterpieces one after the other, makes one really look upto him in awe. With nearly 100% track record in terms of creativity and box office response he is surely going to become the most sought after director of this decade.

Coming to the movie its a beautiful mindbender. A true successor to the "The Matrix" genre of movies ( for which I required 3 complete viewings to understand the concept:P). Story begins with Cobb(Dicaprio) , a high profile robber of dreams/thoughts, able to extract any details from a given persons head. But his latest assignment is a actually to implant a dream into a energy heir's head so that he liquidizes all his fathers multi-billion dollar industries. Now this is just the beginning. With the story developing superbly along the way and little twists and surprises enroute. The special effects are mindblowing not just with their quality but for the creativity and visualization of such sequences entirely unseen in cinema's before. My favourite is the gravity defying combat scene involving Gordon-Lewitt and some other goons.... simply beautiful :)

Even though I mentioned this to be a mindbender , it is one of those movies which you have complete hopes to understand atleast after a couple of viewings. Not like complete abstract movies like Mullohand Drive or Lost Highway where we cant make out where the head and the tail of the movie is. My rating is a  solid 5/5. A movie not to be missed.

In terms of his other movies this can be said to be his best work.
1. Inception
2. The Prestige
3. Memento
4. The Dark Knight
5. Batman Begins
6. Insomnia

If the multiplex guys had given some offer like buy one and get 50% off for the next show , there surely would have been takers including me. Surely this requires a second viewing to understand and appreciate it completely.

Waiting for the next Batman masterpiece from "Nolan the Great".

July 18, 2010

Confessions of a Compulsive Blogger

"Blogging about Blogging" - Thats precisely what i am doing here . Blogging has been my latest pastime which I am pretty much addicted to. For those interested to know the word "Blog" has been coined from the word "web-log" and not named after some kind of rubber one would expect it to be :P . Its has been nearly a year since I wrote my fist blog article "Monsoon Trip To Thirthahalli",  a travelogue which was pretty much straight forward with the flow of events being jotted down with some humor added in between so as not the bore the readers. After completing this felt a proud feeling not regularly felt before. Close to what a artist feels towards his creation. In terms of quality this blog can be termed as crude, but I was not complaining :).

I remember the times when I was refreshing the blog page every 5 mins to check whether anyone has left a new comment or not. If at all any were present was super excited. Although those days are far behind , but I guess no blogger can get enough of those :P. In order to promote my blog have been involved in all sorts of "cheap" publicity stunts, giving the blog url any place that I can think of, gmail status,mails, FB, orkut, buzz and not even spared my companies internal discussion forum :P. This has been the norm in the past , in the present and definitely in the future :).

Eventhough the major chunk of my blog articles are travelogues, I have always tried to add some articles which are quite different from a fixed flow travelogue, where I have a complete freedom to steer the article to any direction that I am willing to. These type of articles are a challenge to write. Suddenly in your sleep some topic pops up (actually this did happen :P ) and you start writing and building upon that article , handpicking each and every point to be added into it, building and tinkering with it until a satisfaction level is reached.

After I started to blog regularly I have felt an improvement in my written language, felt more comfortable in presenting a piece of literature (if it is called so :P) for the whole world to read. I even tried to make some bucks out of this, but sadly my Adsense application was rejected by Google saying inappropriate content, which I am still trying to figure out which part of the blog are they referring to ???!!!! :(

The most common comments I usually get is regarding the size of my blogs and elaborate content in it . Well size does matter in this case and considering the short attention span of a online readers one would expect the articles to be short and sweet. But this is something which I am reluctant to do, since I am always more interested in writing all the things that comes into my mind, because the primary reason I blog is for myself . It is more or less like a private diary which every one has access to. I remember that in my 9th Grade I had a personal diary which I used to fill daily. Even though after a couple of months I lost the patience of writing regularly into it, I still sometimes go through it and it feels really awesome to read your own words written nearly a decade back. Similarly would very much love these online written articles to be around when I am much older and can look back in life and remember those "moments" and hence the title "My Experiences" :).

July 6, 2010

Offbeat Movies I Love Part-I

It is usually the common case that when you want to watch some really good movies be it action,thriller, drama,romance (or even some guilty pleasure movies :P) and do a search in the Internet you would always end up with the same list of movies which you might have watched some "n" number of times. So I am compiling a list of movies which a majority of Indians would have never heard off (leaving off the film buffs :) ) and giving a brief review about what the movie is all about.List doesn't follow any particular order and contains movies from 1980's onwards(I might create another list for the classics) and contains no movies like matrix, terminators ET all even though these are one of my favorites :).

1. Pan's Labyrinth(Spanish)

A first look at this movie and you get the feeling that it is one of those "girly" movies, but you couldn't be more wrong. The film is about a young girls stark realities during the Spanish Civil War and the imaginary world she creates/encounters in order to escape from the former. This movie can be termed as "Fairy Tale For Adults", as it has too much gore and violence, and is no doubt created for them even though the lead protagonist is a child. Nominated for a Oscar in Foreign Language Category.

2. Der Undergang(German)

This is more of a biography of probably the most hated person in the history of mankind , Adolf Hitler. Seen through the eyes of his assistant Traudl Junge recalling the last few days of the hated nazi leader hiding in an underground bunker in Berlin when war ravages outside and both the Russians and the Allies closing on his neck. Amazing acting and amazing realism with instances of how he slowly he turned towards insanity.

3. Stalingrad(German)

The first time I got to witness the other side of the war, from a few German soldiers point of view. This films depicts the brutal War of Stalingrad during World War II where the Germans arrived confident that this war was just a formality and it turning into a nightmare for them with the rock solid resistance from the Russians.Brutal honest in the depiction with lot of gore and violence. A must watch for war movie fans.

4. The Usual Suspects(English)

A classic from Bryan Singer. This movie is slow paced and some people might get frustrated with it. Movie starts with a boat explosion leaving 27 dead and leaving a crippled man to explain and give some clue to the investigating officers. With lots of twists and turn, it surely requires a second viewing to observe all the little clues and fully appreciate them.

5. Kung Fu Hustle(Mandarin)

If I have to describe this movie in one word, it would be the word "crazy"!!!!!!. One of the best physical humor movies i have watched and hence watching using subtitles wouldn't make much of a difference. You will have to re-learn the laws of physics once again after watching this movie. The story of a common man and his struggle to become a member of a dreaded gang in the city and how in the end he turns against it. A must watch for physical humor fans.

6. The Prestige (English)

Between the 2 batman classics (The Dark Knight and Batman Begins) came this classic from Christopher Nolan. Starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, this movie explores how 2 magicians once close friends in the Victorian Era have become arch rivals and to what extent they are willing to go to be a better showman from the other. It explores the dark side of the human psych. One of my most favorite movies.

7. Cinderella Man(English)

Starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ron Howard, this true story of "Jim Braddock" a boxer in the Depression era. The story follows the beaten boxer and how he rises from extreme poverty and humiliation to become the best. The fact that this is a true story makes it a lot more believable and interesting. Amazing acting by Russell Crowe on par with his performance in Gladiator. The "Rocky" series seems like mediocre work after watching this.

8. Nuovo Cinema Paradiso(Italian)

A feel good movie following the life of a movie director describing his life beginning at a local cinema and his relation with his mentor and fatherly figure projectionist in the same place. Much of the movie is in flashback with the lead protagonist portrayed in different stages of his youth till the time he leaves the place for a better life in City only to return back nearly 3 decades later to attend his mentor's funeral. Winner of the Oscar for the Best Foreign film.

9. Thank You For Smoking(English)

This black comedy follows the life of Nick Naylor a lobbyist representing the tobacco industry. His primary job is to convince the public that smoking is not bad for your health, done using some amazing arguments from Nicks side. The concept of "Merchants of Death" is simply hilarious. A "see it to believe it" movie offering lots of laughs en route.

10. Black Friday (Hindi)

The first movie I saw from Anurag Kashyap and I have become a big fan of his, closely following all his work. Dark , Gritty and fast paced , this retells the story behind the 1993 Mumbai blasts , the events leading to this sad event and the later reaction of the investigating team in tracking down the suspects. A movie applauded both in India and abroad. A must watch for those who think that Indian Cinema is nothing more than a song and dance routine.

To be contd.......

Next Editions;
Offbeat Movies I Love Part II 
Offbeat Movies I Love Part III

July 3, 2010

Football Fever 2010

Its time again to religiously follow the football thanks to the world cup taking place in South Africa. Even though I am not a die-hard footie fan , world-cup is something I donot wish to miss, giving no thoughts to sleepless nights or even semester exams(circa 2006 :P) and this has been the case since 1994 in USA when the late night matches were broadcasted live in the humble Doordarshan channel, no Ten sports and ESPN back then :P.

The so called "beautiful game" is sometimes far away from it. With most of the players from all countries putting a performance worthy enough for an oscar nomination :P. All this talk of introducing technology into the game , but my personal opinion is to let the game as it is. Let there be some human touch. I know it is sometimes emotionally draining when ones country is caught on the wrong side. Guess this opinion of mine will be true until India plays , hopefully once in my lifetime :).

My all time favorites have been both Argentina and Germany (and pretty much anti- Brazil :P), but this world cup I am routing specially for Germany , having bowled over by their style of playing..... each player never going for personal glory but playing as a team..... simply beautiful how they convert goals :) and the way they thrashed respectable teams like England and Argentina proves their capability :P. They might have to overcome the Spanish Armada taking them one step closer and probably will meet Team Oranje in the ultimate showdown. Lets see how it goes.

Even though most of the group matches were a bit boring the action started with the knockout stage even boring sounding matches like Uruguay vs Ghana proving to be a cracker.

After this worldcup it will be back to oblivion till the next worldcup in Brazil. Till then "Go Deutschland, Go !!!!!! " :)
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