Sunday, July 26, 2009
Here's the deal. With movies like Dhoom, the standard for action has been set very, very high! A few parachute jumps, and some stupid fighting on top of a train doesn't excite anyone any more!
Musa Bhai is bored of the standard ways of making money in the criminal world. Drugs, smuggling, betting on cricket, aah so boring. Musa is into the world of betting on the lives of people. His crony Tamang scouts around for lucky people in search of money and glory, and then transports them to South Africa for a macabre game of life and death. From shooting at each other, to jumping off helicopters, who will survive and who will get eliminated tonight? Survive till the end, and you win your 20 crores. Needless to say, our hero saves his love, and his friends, and we all live happily ever after. Why? Because he is lucky. His heart is on the right side.
Imran, I predicted that you had it in you to be the future King Khan :( That seems like pure blasphemy right now! Kidnap could have passed as as aberration. But what's the excuse now?
Sanjay Dutt has played the bhai at least a few dozen times, but wasn't there more he could do other than walk around with his cronies, and mouth some absolutely corny poetry?
Shruti Hassan has to live up to her dad's legacy. She doesn't really cut it - but then, other than wearing a sexy bikini (which does make her look very hot!), and fending off some lusty moves, she doesn't have much to do anyway! Hopefully, she'll find a director who can give her some acting to do. And maybe she can take some tips from Soha. By the way, she's a Sonali look-alike - and for Sonali fans, it's going to be very uncanny watching her!
Chitrashi Rawat has started getting on my nerves with her I-am-too-sweet-while-being-a-tapori look. Mithun plays yet another very forgettable role. Danny was the best of the lot and added whatever life to the script.
Trust me, it's not worth your time.
Set in the backdrop of 9/11, the movie attempts to look at the deeper question of whether terrorists are created by the very system that's trying to eliminate them. Neil Nitin Mukesh is in the US for a stint at NYU, when he meets and falls in love with the beautiful Katrina. Alas, Katrina is already head over heels for John. 9/11 happens - and while the world watches the carnage in horror, Neil watches his love crying on the John's shoulders. His dreams crushed, Neil walks away.
Cut to present day NY. The FBI is hot on the trail of a terror plot, and John is their primary suspect. Neil is arrested on charges of aiding terror, and then given a deal - help us nail John, and we will let you go. Neil turns up in the home of his old friends, his mission to spy and find out what is going on. Is his friend really a terrorist?
Katrina looks absolutely ravishing, and some of the songs will linger for a long time in your heart and on your lips. Some good action, an interesting story. But overall, Neil and John lacked punch, and the dialogues could do with some polish.
And as far as the message goes, I am perplexed by the question Neil asks of the FBI at the end - yeh sab karke humne kya paaya? I mean, we did end up preventing a major terror attack for the price of one good-guy-turned-terrorist (aren't they all good when they are born?) and his unfortunate, but knowing accomplsh in crime. Wasn't the lives of those hundreds in the FBI office worth doing this for?
Not for kids, but a worthy movie.
Avoid at all costs.
Really. Watch Doordarshan instead.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Greeting cards, of course. And the usual stamps and old coins. The coins got a mjor boost when we sifted through the soil to make a lawn at home... and out came dozens of really old coins! The stamp collection, every kid's favourite, was fun too, until my dad went ahead and bought me a huge collection from a collector in Mapuca... from then on, I lost interest - I had just so many, collecting more didnt matter any more :)
I also have an amazing collection of match boxes - literally hundreds of them. While all my childhood in Goa I knew only Chavi and Ship, one trip to South India exposed me to the hundreds of brands available there, and that's where the craze began. I had all sorts, including giant ones, rub-any wheres, plastic cases, wax matches and so on...
And then I had the unique collection of "beach sands", collected from different beaches in Goa, and some from rest of India. It's amazing how the sand varies from beach to beach... the texture, the color, the grains... and one day, it was attacked by a gang of cockroaches and in exasperation, I threw it all away :(
Then comes the photographs - cuttings from magazines and newspapers of cricketers, tennis players and footballers. Old and new, black and white and colored. I used to go simply crazy looking at all the sports magazines with those glossy cricket pics...
And oh, I have this big bunch of phone booth receipts from every call I made to Madhavi when I was at IIT Mumbai, and then the 3-4 months in Pune before our marriage.
Now, it's books. Hundreds of them. And blue shot glasses - one from each city I have been to in the US and Europe. And refrigerator magnets. I do keep all the bills for telephone, electricity, cell phone, credit cards and so on... for the past ten years and more... and I don't really need to keep them, so I guess it's more of a hobby than anything else!
And my diary... a daily record of my life since 1987 :) Yes, every single day. Would make amazing material for my biography after I am dead...
I'd love to collect cars, and holiday homes, and some stuff like that now... all I need is a little more money :)
Your daughter's friends call you uncle (actually, it happens a lot earlier... when ANYONE calls you uncle!)
When you say "I can STILL play cricket pretty well"
And when the next day, every part of your body aches as if you've been run over by a road roller
When you start worrying about whether you have hair, and not whether it's styled properly!
When you'd do with hair of ANY color, as long as it is there!
When everything you eat needs to be sugar free, oil free, and fun free
When you end up wanting to say "no longer a kid" instead of "growing older"
When your memories are history lessons for some of the other people you know!
When you tell others to wear a helmet and drive slowly
When you think, I need to rest
When you realise your favourite movies are shown during the "classics" slot on TV
When Teen Diva and Splitsvilla seem stupid and kiddish
When you don't remember the other 10 things you had in mind when you started writing a blog post!
Rains in Goa were so awesome... the coconut trees swaying, the calm before the storm, the noise of the monsoon thunders, the hammering of the rain drops on the tile roofs, the scurrying for cover, the flooded streets, the torrents of gushing water... the earthworms, the greenery every where...
Pune is a good place, and we get good fish too! But the rains in Goa is one thing that tugs at the heart and makes me want to go back to Goa... wonder how long I will be able to stay away...
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Cricket victories were hard to come by when I was a child... we always lost to Pakistan, we always lost the big games, we always lost the series. But then the tide turned with the advent of Dada and his young guns. I gave up collecting these headlines after some time, but here are some of the best - including the thrashing Sachin gave to the Aussies in Sharjah and India's test victory in Pakistan.
Dada's departure from the team, and his unbelievable come back. Some more of these are in my office desk... and they never fail to inspire!
Anthrax, US missiles in Afghanistan, security blanket in India, missing nuclear scientist in Pakistan... this was the backdrop against which Sanam was born on 25th OCt 2001!
The Kargil war kicks off in earnest with the air force joining the campaign...
These special issues bring back very poignant memories, as well as a swell of pride and patriotism. Some beautiful pictures too....
The T20 World Cup... a tournament into which we went as complete newcomers, and ended up coming home with the trophy! Beating Pakistan in the finals made it that much more worthwhile!
Back to 1998, and India's nuclear tests... the last major event in the world while I was still a bachelor :) I married barely a week later!
Shocking news of the Tsunami - the depth of the disaster didn't strike us for many days, until more and more videos and pictures started pouring in from around South Asia
And here's something very interesting... a big hip hip hurray when the sensex crossed 6K... people made "wild" predictions of 10K and 20K, and a few years later, those wild predictions came true! For the sake of posterity, it may be noted that after touching 20k levels, the sensex today is at around 14K, in the midst of the economic downturn!
This is what I see when I lie down on the couch watching TV... a beautiful green backdrop, trees that were planted when we moved in, but have now risen well above our second floor. Add the chirping of all the different birds that habitate the society, the cats in my lap, and the lack of traffic noise, and we're very close to feeling like we are in Goa!
Now, if only, we had some more rain...
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
It is tough times, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.
Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town.
He enters the only hotel, lays a 100 dollar bill on the reception counter, and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.
The hotel proprietor takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the butcher.
The Butcher takes the 100 dollar bill, and runs to pay his debt to the pig raiser.
The pig raiser takes the 100 dollar bill, and runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel.
The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that he rented.
The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 dollar bill back on the counter so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.
At that moment, the rich tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes his 100 dollar bill, after saying that he did not like any of the rooms, and leaves town.
No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt, and looks to the future with a lot of optimism.
Friday, July 03, 2009
And one day, he gets lost, and is parcelled off to faraway New York. And then begins his journey back to Hollywood, in the company of his enemy-turned-friend, Mittens the Cat, and his big fan, Rhino the Hamster.
The journey is a revelation to him. First the disappointment of finding out he's not a super dog after all - none of his powers are working any more. His super bark is just like any other. He bleeds. He gets hungry. But then, Mittens teaches him to be a real dog. The simple pleasures - sitting by the rug, putting his tongue out, chasing other dogs, fetching the ball... You know why we hate dogs, she asks him. Because we want to be dogs, we have dog-complexes, she says :)
Check out the scene where the two cats try to irritate him. Or when Mittens teaches him to beg, and then tries to beg herself and gets greeted with a flying pan. Or Mitten's introduction with the Godfather music in the background. Just beautiful :)
If you love cats and dogs, you will LOVE this movie. If you have kids, or if you have ever been one, go for it... you will want to see it over and over again!
An amazing animation movie, I believe it's also available in 3D...
Kim Bassinger is a mother of 2, ill-treated and beaten her husband. It's Christmas night, and she's out of gift wrapping paper for her presents. She goes to the mall, where she runs into a bunch of hooligans. When the mall security guard intervenes to disperse them, he's shot dead. She screeches away, crashes and is trapped.
Will she be able to save herself from her lusty predators?
Not recommended, unless you have nothing else to do. Just one of those nothing-in-it movies...
And the machines are planning the final move...
Will the resistance be able to thwart the final blow?
No Arnold, but trust me, this movie has some of the special special FX action seen in recent times... the opening sequence is great, and the bikes coming out of the mega-robot's knee is a WOW moment..
Fiat Punto, Honda Jazz and Maruti Ritz - wierd looking cars, and some very boring ads
And the ugly - undoutedly, the baby, the mom, and the umbilical cord (yucks!) in the Bullet ad.. come on guys, don't make me puke before every movie in the theatres!
Hangover is the story of a bunch of friends who sneak away to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, and wake up in their hotel suite in the morning to the company of a hen, a tiger, and a baby, and with one of their friends missing. How did they end up here? No one can remember - courtesy the date drug they've consumed last night. Where's their friend? Who does the tiger belong to, and how did it end up in their suite?
Will they get over and get back in time for their friend's marriage?
An adult comedy, but definitely one of the best!