Monday, October 19, 2009

Funny things on the road

Firstly, a TN registered Bus....

Nothing special about that, except that the license plate is in Kannada. I have never seen such a single Kannada letter East of Attibele (on Hosur Road towards Tamil Nadu), and yet we now have a Tamil Nadu registered bus with a license plate written in Kannada. Boggles the mind.

Now, something that's truly inventive, ingenious even. How about a propeller bike? (Sorry for the poor pic quality but it was from my car and my pathetic mobile).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blue - a cold review

It was late 2007 or maybe 2008, when a meeting probably took place in Bandra, Bombay. The meeting was on the movie blue. The team had money to burn, 120 crores of it and decided to burn it. This was probably a group of people who were floating in moolah and decided to make a movie about floating... In water, that is..

The result? Well, Blue is like a series of ad shots coupled with National Geographic. There's no doubt in my mind that the director is primarily an ad movie maker, because every since scene seems to be right out of an ad film. We get all the actors essentially modeling in various poses with cliched shots. In between the cliches are really beautiful underwater cinematography. You get to see plenty of coral, lots of different tiny fish, as well as several members of the Selachimorpha family.

So, should you see the movie? Here are reasons to see it

  1. You are a big fan of National Geographic, Discovery and Animal Planet. Instead of seeing it on the small screen, you want to see some good underwater documentary stuff in a movie theatre.
  2. You like looking at Lara Dutta in various skimpy Bikinis. Plus, the cameraman ensures that you get all the various angles and views to observe this animal up close and personal. (Hey' who doesn't?)

Why shouldn't you see the movie?

  1. You pay 200 bucks for a action thriller and instead get a long set of ads featuring swimwear and Natgeo. Apparently when scuba diving, men need a full wet suit, but women manage just fine with a tiny maroon colour 2 piece.
  2. You see the initial title, and start salivating at the names of Lara Dutta and Katrina Kaif. You know that its a movie in the water and expect plenty of struting by both esp. when KK is credited for a "Special Appearance". You get plenty of your money's worth with LD's double Ds but not even one shot of KK in a swimsuit. Considering that this movie is essentially about selling swimsuits to the Indian public, not seeing KK model in one, is a waste of time. I wonder if the Producers did not first approach Mallika Sherawat. Having large floatation devices would have been useful in this kind of movie.
  3. Stupid storyline and plot holes (even for a Bollywood movie) such as having a bunch of sport bikes race each other while shooting guns in a dirt road. Yes that right, if you are the kind who believes that Ducatis and Hayabusa's are to be driven flat out on a bumpy dirt road where tractors used to roam free, then this movie is for you. For the rest of us, we know that there are plenty of dirt bikes for that. This movie uses a dirt bike to jump into the water from a boat and chooses to use sport bikes as dirt bikes. Plus, we get a nice ad shot of the Hayabusa (all with the right lighting, angles, and a well positioned helment) at the end of the said fight sequence.
  4. Terrible fight sequences. Consider the following. If you are a good guy who has his back to a wall, the other side of which is a baddie, would you keep your back to wall and shoot 2 pistols not at the wall (made of wood) but at the windows that are away from the wall and perpendicular to the wall? No, you turn around and shoot at the wall, hoping to kill the baddie. Apparently, this doesn't occur to Sanjay Ak47 Dutt, who chooses to shoot to his left and right while keeping his back to the wall behind which the baddies are shooting back at him. 
  5. Now, consider you are a real bad assed villian or even a dimwitted henchmen. Would you use your machine gun like a drill to put a single hole through a thin wooden wall, when you know that your enemy is on the other side? No, you don't you shoot through the wall not a single place but everywhere with you machine gun. In this movie, the baddie is so dimwitted that he uses his machine to shoot at exactly one spot and thus create a nice and small keyhole. After that he decides to peep through this machine gun created keyhole while ignoring all the windows nearby to look in. This is when Sanjay dutt uses his pistol to shoot back while the same keyhole and thus ensure that the baddie wins a darwin.

In the end this movie is about bad choices that guys behind the camera make. Do you make a slick action movie or a documentary on sharks, fish and coral around Bahamas? This crew decided to make both but ended up with neither.

Do you want to make a funny movie or just be unintentionally funny? This is easy, be unintentionally funny. Eva and I were laughing throughout the second half thanks to useless dialogue.

Do want a proper villian or get confused whether your protagonist is a hero or a villian. This was the worst part of the movie. Make a proper villian yaar, not a stupid hero who betrays others close to him only for him to chill 2 seconds later and transfer 20% of all the treasure you find into a bank a/c of the guys you betray in the first place.

Sheesh... If I had 120 crores to spend on a movie like Blue, I would definitely include KK in a Bikini and shoot more of LD in a Bikini as well. That's the only thing that works in the movie. Rest of it sucks. From the uninterested "acting" of a pauchy Sanjay Dutt to a pathetic plot (even by Bollywood's low standards for good stories). 

On the whole, the concept is good, but the execution and direction is rubbish. 

I want my money back (and time, cause I missed the first half of the Brazilian GP. :-( )

post race blues

Well, that must have been quite a good GP. I missed half the race because of two reasons - 

  1. Stupid Times of India doesn't publish TV times
  2. I went to see Blue thinking that the race would start 1 hour later (1030 IST) instead of the actual 930. 

Congrats to Button and Brawn! Its amazing how this team didn't exist even last year and yet they come back and win. This must be one of the most romantic moments in all sport (No... Mr Gill, F1 is a sport and not just entertainment)..

Friday, October 16, 2009

An Inglourious Reveiw

Just got back from watching Inglourious Basterds and no, I will not explain the typos.

This movie has to be one of Tarantino's weirdest movies. I know all his movies are weird but this is unlike any other Tarantino movie. Sure, there is copious amounts of violence, absurdist themes, irrelevance to time and space, but this movie takes the cake. Would I watch it again? Sure, I would. Was I entertained? Sure, I was. But did I understand the movie? Not really.

I went to the movie expecting Kill Bill but what I got was cartoonish Pulp Fiction and mean this as a complement. Deux Machina is the name of the game. This happen because they have to. People appear and disappear as required. This movie does not give answers, but instead does homage to the B-movies of the 70s and 80s. Its almost like an old South Indian movie (pick any - Tamil, Kannada, Telugu or Malayalam.. It doesn't matter). Y'know where the hero is atleast twice the age of the heroine, has a huge pauch, can't dance, but still has a James Bondish role. Funnily, Inglourious Basterds does that as well in a broader scene. Its pure entertainment and yet would please the critics.

I did like? Let me put it this way. I didn't realize how quickly the time passed. The movie is great but as with every Tarantino movie completely different from what you have ever seen.

I'm not sure if Brad Pitt's was acting the way he did, or was it just bad. I didn't like the way he played his role, but Christoph Waltz was pure gold. His portayal of the Nazi Col Hans Landa was magical. I read somewhere that Tarantino thought that the role of Hans Landa was unplayable, but Christoph's rendering of it was just amazing.

Go watch it if you can. Don't expect answers. Don't expect logic but you will be entertained. Govinda-David Dhawan movies have no logic but are highly entertaining. So is this, in a dark humour kind of way.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Kimi's back to the future

There are some thoughts that Kimi will be back at McLaren from next season and how it would pan out. On the whole I think the whole Kimi + Ferrari deal never really seemed right. It may have be a bit of luck that he won the 2007 championship, but it was a bit of bad luck that made him miss out on the 2003 and 2005 championships. 

On the whole, I think he's a better driver in a car which has "stopped development". The 2003 challenge was on the B spec 2002 McLaren with the 2003 car failing to pass FIA safety tests amongst other things. 

If he moves back to McLaren, I buying a Finnish Flag!