Monday, 30 March 2009

Movies Seen Recently: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Flags of Our Fathers

2001: A Space Odyssey

A 1968 Stanley Kubrick film. I wish I could say I loved this movie, since it's supposed to be a landmark and all that, but I found it boring for the most part and had to fast forward bits of it just to get to the next sequence of equally boring music-laced panoramic shots.

Flags of Our Fathers

A 2006 Clint Eastwood film. Tends to drag towards the end after starting with a bang.


Saturday, 28 March 2009

End of Days

Yeah well, it feels that way. Two friends of mine are getting married in the next two months. That will bring the total damages to three married friends in five months. And two out of those three are responsible for 90% of all the hanging out I do in the city when I'm not on a trip. With one of them recently married, forcing me, in recent times, to spend more time with the other, and the other one due to fall into the nuptial abyss soon, I'll now be left with no one to be awesome with.

Not that they were any good at helping me score or anything. In fact, they were and are horrible wingmen. But I enjoy the company. It's a shame to go straight home on a Friday night after work without at least taking a shot at some form of nightlife. Tis a shame indeed.

This just makes me angry. What's happening? Why is everyone getting married? What's wrong with them? And what about me? What do I do? Well, two things really. I can hang out with other friends - friends I'd like to know better but with whom I've not had the chance to till now; and I can meet new people as well. I'm pretty sure about the former but not so sure about the latter.

Anyway, I hung out with TP and RV for a while last night. It was fun, until they decided to call it a night at 8.30! Am I the only guy in this city who still wants to have fun? It feels like that sometimes.

The night started out with me calling TP, who told me he was playing basketball that evening. so I called RV, who agreed that we meet at St. Peter's. So I go there but RV's running a bit late and I see TP instead, and I suddenly remember that that's where TP plays basketball. So I hide from him cos I don't want him to know that I know his friend RV. At least not yet.

I attend Mass for a while, and then exit the church to see TP leaving, and then see RV soon after. He tells me TP's been calling him as well, and drives me to Good luck, where me meet TP, who doesn't seem too surprised that we know each other. What a waste of a good surprise. We eat rolls at Dee Rolls. TP eats half of mine. What a moocher.

I tell them I'm planning to visit Ladakh in May/June and that I'm looking for travel partners and ask that they spread the word. And then they leave - at 8:30 - leaving me with no choice but to go home as well. Seriously, who goes home that early? I mean, this isn't some half dead city like Muscat. In fact, I've been out later that 8:30 in Muscat, and I was just a kid then.

I'm starting to feel like this guy - alone and hopeless:

(Totally lame 1999 movie that I saw in a theatre in Muscat 10 years ago but which I absolutely loved at the time because I was a kid and I hadn't seen a lot of action movies and didn't know any better. But I saw it with friends and had a blast and have no regrets doing it and that's what counts)

Friday, 27 March 2009

Book Read: Fantastic Voyage

Isaac Asimov's book version of the screenplay of the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage.

An interesting story that's been retold and spoofed many times. A team in a submersible are shrunk to microscopic size and sent into the body of a man to remove a blood clot. They face many dangers in route.

It was good to read the original story at last, the one that started and inspired them all, but the writing in this book clearly isn't that good. Michael Crichton would have done a far better job with a story like this.

Also, I had trouble identifying with the various characters. Firstly, their dialogue seems to be too contrived, cliched, and childish for people who are supposed to be authorities on various subjects or in charge of important situations.

Secondly, their personalities just don't seem to match their character profiles. Everyone, inspite of being on an incredible, first of its kind journey, just seems to take every opportunity to be purposefully flippant. And not in a good way that would indicate a compensation for nervousness, but in a cliched way that would indicate poor character design on the author's part.


Monday, 23 March 2009

Movies Seen: Gosford Park, Rear Window

Gosford Park (2001)

Directed by Robert Altman. A period drama that deals with a murder that takes place at an English country house during a shooting party weekend involving many guests. Well written, but not the most interesting movie I've seen.

Rear Window (1954)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. An injured man is stuck at home with little else to do but watch his neighbours. He suspects one of them of murder, and decides to investigate. 

Well written and interesting. Sharp witty dialogue between all the characters. The suspense in this movie doesn't come anywhere close to thrillers today like Disturbia, but the intelligent script more than makes up for that.


Friday, 20 March 2009

Books Read: The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

Just finished reading Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy (1940's - 1950's)

The books tell the story of the Foundation, a civilization set up to form a second galactic empire once the first one fades away. Reminiscent of Star Wars in bits, as they focus more on personal stories, politics, psychology and strategy rather than SciFi. Soft SciFi really.

The feeling I got while reading these three books was that these stories could be taking place anywhere at any time and not just in a futuristic setting, though this setting only seems to enable the author to tell the story better. There seems to be a clear focus on strong dialogue, with twists, surprises, suspense, double crosses, etc, while the whole technology/logistics angle seems to be downplayed.


Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Movies Seen: A History of Violence, The Counterfeiters

A dark sort-of-gangster movie about a man forced to face his violent past when it comes knocking on his door. Directed by David Cronenberg and written by Josh Olson. Based on the graphic novel. Recommended.

Based on the memoirs of Adolf Burger, that deal with Operation Bernhard, where the Nazis made prisoners print counterfeit currency during World War 2 to destabilise enemy economies. Directed and written by Stefan Ruzowitzky. Recommended.


Monday, 16 March 2009

College Reunion

Attended a college reunion on Sunday. Landed there at 10.00 A.M. No one there. The cafeteria. What have they done with it? It's brand new. Completely redone. Looks amazing. Couldn't believe it.

Spent time at the Chapel, then walked halfway to St. Andrews Church. TP picked me up on the way and made me buy a chocolate croissant for him - disgusting. He then parked near the college and found out that he could park inside when we had already walked half the distance, so he walked back to get his car. I raced him and won. Loser.

The reunion was for every batch since '83. I was born in '83. Saw a few oldies.
Met my friends again. Not seen them in a few months. Saw a few of my other batchmates as well, but not a lot. Saw many of my old professors.

Had a quiz, followed by housie. Ex student cum rapper performs for us. Snacks. Speeches. Vote of thanks. See you in November.

No plans for afterwards. I wanna hang but everyone's too lazy to do anything but go home. I've gotta get new friends. New awesome friends.

SD drops me at Malad. Shows me a new shortcut to get to the station. What a gem of a guy.


Saturday, 14 March 2009

Boring Friday

I realised that this Friday was really boring compared to last Friday. All I did this Friday was work late and go home.

Last Friday, on the other hand, was characterised by a friend and I going on an after work jaunt - he's written about it at his blog here.

Linking is so much easier than writing.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Movies Seen

Saturday -

Iron Man & The Incredible Hulk - Good movies, lots of cameos, look forward to the sequels.

Sunday -

L'Argent - Boring.

Tropic Thunder - Funny at parts.


Friday, 6 March 2009

The Farewell Tour

Met up with FP and friends one last time on Monday, the day before he left for Toronto.

We had decided to meet at KFC on Linking Rd at 8.00 P.M, after which FP could go shopping. So I turned up on time and met the other two group members there. FP kept us waiting for him for a while.

He did turn up eventually and in one piece, and did a bit of last minute shopping for stoles, while I shared the fugias I'd bought that afternoon, with the rest of the group.
Being in my bag for 5 hours, they weren't really warm, and fugias taste so much better when warm. On the plus side, my bag had begun to smell really nice.

We then walked, looking for a place to eat, and stopped at a Gelato place nearby, where I was reminded by my sense of taste once again how much I didn't really appreciate the finer nuances of Gelato ice-cream.

I mean, it's not bad or anything, but it's not that good either. The first time I ever tried Gelato ice cream was at Phoenix mills sometime in 2007. Didn't like it that time either. The only reason I tried it this time was because there was this hot girl there who seemed to be making some kind of grandiose plans with the staff and who seemed to be some kind of super expert on the flavours there, and who exhorted us more than once to try this and this and so on.

I finally tried the one she said was her favourite. What a waste of money. I only did it to find some common ground to start a conversation with her but couldn't get a word in after she resumed talking to the staff animatedly like she was planning an invasion or something.

We kept walking and looking for a place to eat and came across Stomach, but decided it was not the place we definitely wanted to stop at.
At least not just yet without looking at other options. The group had entrusted me with finding a place to eat and I knew if we kept walking we'd find something. We then stumbled upon Taava.

The food at Taava was good, but the lassi sucked, not that I was too concerned cos I wasn't the one who ordered it. Serves you right FP for having something to drink at Taava. If only you had bothered to read my past blog posts, you would have realised drinking at Taava is a strict no-no. This is what people get for ignoring my blog.

Still, we were more concerned with having an enjoyable time, cracking jokes non-stop than the quality of food. There did come a point of time during our conversation where I made everyone get serious and answer my Canada queries, like are all Canadians really afraid of the dark, do they end all their sentences in 'eh'? Do they all wear snowsuits and speak French? Their answers to all the above questions were in the affirmative, confirming what I had already suspected, that Canada is a barbarous uncivilized country.

We then walked to Janta, after a stop at Toto's, which FP didn't like as he wanted a place to sit. What a wuss.

Janta was good. Drank a bit. Talked. Discussed taking over the world. Or a bookshop. I'm not sure. Don't remember exactly. Savoured the company.

Later, went to the ATM to withdraw some cash that I owed someone. Noticed an argument happening inside between a couple of girls and a guy who seemed to have struck up a conversation with a female member of their group. I lost interest when I realised it wasn't a girl fight. But by then I had already primed by digicam for video recording. What a waste of battery life.

Went home soon after. It was midnight.

Sent a message to FP as soon as I reached home telling him I reached alright, not because I'm in the habit of updating my friends about my wehereabouts to comfort them, but because he asked me to and I said yes. He spoke to me the next day commenting on how long it must have taken me to reach Borivali. What a townie.


Thursday, 5 March 2009

Blogs - Amy and the Fifth Beatle

One of my favourite blogs seems to be defunct. Hope Arnold's O.K.


Monday, 2 March 2009

The Weak End

Movies seen on the weekend:

Michael Clayton
- 2007 film written and directed by Tony Gilroy. Subtle use of music. Excellent script. Strong multi-dimensional characters. Why doesn't Hollywood make more movies like these?

Hellboy 2
- Not as good as Hellboy 1.

The Dark Knight - Not sure. Need to watch this again to get through all the hype surrounding it so I can really appreciate it.

In other news, L.K Advani has condemned the Mangalore pub attacks. That was quick.