My one line Yuva review

That guy who plays the student character called Vishnu looks a lot like my good friend Anshul, who makes movies as well. Freaky.

(ok thats two lines.and now three. and four. oh shit, five...)

Weird Facts about things that choose to surround my life:

-Times Of India thinks the GRE and GMAT are 'prestigious' examinations. I wonder if they'll give anand a Bharat Ratna, then?
-There's a confectionary shop near puneet23's house that says in big bold letters: FRIENDS Bakers and Freakers. I get the Bakers part, really I do. But I think its not a good advert of their products if they say they freak as well.
-Also near the same place is a Dry Cleaner's shop. The business establishment is called "Albino Dry Cleaners". They clean Human Beings as well? To a nice and shiny white? Remember that time when I told you people are stupid? I rest my case.
-India is obsessed with marriage. Yup, all of it. And maybe its just me, but go see Yuva. While Mani Ratnam was completely at home writing the movie, once he got to directing it, he seemed a bit uncomfortable during the parts where the character played by Esha Deol decides to move in with a guy called Mikey. He(Mani) wasn't too sure about what to do with it. He seemed to have written that part in because he thought that would make him understand the young, not the least because he thought it was ok. Now, don't go flamin me, I think it IS me. But the fact remains that India as a society, is fucking obsessed with marriage. It is measure of success(Hamaara bachaa settle ho gaya), it is one of the choicest of abuses(terey baap ke shaadi hai kya?), it is used to chide children(yeh kya ganda kamra hai? dahej phaila rakha hai?) and it is used as a form of jest(tere bache jiyen tera khoon piyen). This of course from a North Indian standpoint because thats who I am thats where I've spent a substantial part of my life. How can I say then, that the whole country is afflicted with this malady? I have friends and they told me. Don't go denying it or you WILL get married. Thats not going to be pretty.
-Oldies sitting in a chartered bus (in a minute) in Delhi will not be polite to you, in fact they'll be quite rude if they can help it, and make you feel very unwelcome UNLESS you have breasts. In which case they'll be helpful, kind, and protect your breasts with their magical force field of lecherous stares.. Gotta love em.
-Unlicensed Luxury buses charging 50% extra fare and plying from big residential locations to major office complexes in Delhi are called "Chartered" buses. They're called that despite nobody actually chartering them. Heh.
-rajasen is now Page 3 glitterati. HT city, 25th may. Nuff said. :)

Ze Fairy Tale
I don't particularly like prologues. Especially the ones that seem like they are trying to grab your attention, but really are an obscure passage meant to confuse you into reading more so that it makes sense. I'll see if the tale needs a prologue at all after the story is complete. Which means my prologue is scrapped, and into the bin. Oh, and I'm writing the book on paper and pencil. This is to fool myself into thinking it is a bigger deal than I make of it. :) I'm still leaving a blank space with the protagonist's name, can't think of one that could be suitably vulnerable yet strong. It will come to me though. It usually does.

Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone is a book that proves that a good writing style or rich prose is not necessary to tell an effective story. My bias towards Indian authors writing about Indian things not withstanding, I enjoyed the book for all its purported mediocrity. Not a book that can be recommended easily, but it does tell a story that can give you a few chuckles. Good for hyuks. Although I must warn you the narrative suffers from Iamcooltooitis. That is a fairly common malady that affects new writers writing semi autobiographical stories wherein the protaganist, however bound by self loathing and lack of confidence gets to do cool things that the author thinks should have happened to him, or at least his main character out of empathy for a fellow geek. Not that it is a bad thing, but that is one of the things that lends the book a certain naivete... which can be charming or stupid, depending on which side of the jaded book reader fence you are on. On the other hand, Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is so funny, and so utterly devoid of the unecessarily patronizing sweetness, trademark of children's fiction, that it WILL endear itself to you. Do give it a shot if its light reading you're into these days.
Finding the hardcover edition of Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently omnibus, in mint condition and for 150 INR can do things to your sanity. So please take whatever I say with a pinch of salt.

You owe it to your numbed brain to watch Lost in Translation. Twice. And do everyone else a favor and shoot yourself if you find Murray anything short of brilliant. I found Lost In Translation this sort of Anti Megatokyo movie. While I am sure Piro would have loved it, its this movie that doesn't seem to exist in the same universe as Megatokyo, much less the same Tokyo. Nevertheless, my resolve to visit that country is strengthened even more. But I digress. LiT has a certain mellow happiness to it, despite being sardonic and even sad at times. I am a screenplay geek, and LiT is in my book of most well written screenplays ever. Another thing, why is it that each time I watch Memento, I come to a different conclusion about Leonard's life?

posted by sam | 5/25/2004 01:11:00 AM


Oddly Enough

JUST finished Corridor. India's first graphic novel they call it. I've read better Graphic Novels than this, but seriously, the story and the dialogue is fun. If it was not for the fact that I paid 230 Rupees for it, I would have imagined that the story was told to me by a close friend over a lazy Sunday afternoon coffee(Oh, allright, chai). Its like something we would start discussing, and then make imaginary scenarios about it, a little exaggerated of course, ending up just foling around. I like that. Its just that I don't pay my frinds 230 Rupees to talk to me. I liked the book, though. Crunchy.

(this is for everyone, but especially ) :D

I've been playing a lot of games lately too. Though a MIND BLOWING title is yet to release this year. Some fairly good ones keep me entertained. But first, a hark back at last year...

...when Beyond Good and Evil released. Michel Ancel, the crazy french man who created the Rayman series, has become the Dr. Frankenstein of gaming. BG&E is a unique whole of many gaimng parts. Kinda like a certain Tarantino movie. It has the light hearted charm of the sci fi RPG Anachronox, sometimes you gotta stealth around like the Thief games, and many a times it pays homage to the exploratory nature of Zelda, and it has a gaming soul and a cinematic edge which entirely its own. Might seem funny to you, but this game CHARMED me.

Near Cry, actually
I remembered BG&E while playing this years first game in the BIG SHOOTER BLOWOUT OF 2004-5, Far Cry. Far Cry is highly unoriginal. Crytek borrows most of its ideas from either the original Half-Life, Alien vs. Predator, Soldier of Fortune 2, Unreal Tournament, BF1942, and what we've seen of Half-Life 2 and Doom 3. The story in Far Cry is as hackneyed and trite as they get in action / Sci-Fi shooters. You are this special ops guy that just happens to wash ashore this island where, surprise surprise, mad scientists are conducting experiments on humans and animals. (*cough* Doom *cough*) Just like in the original Half-Life, Far Cry constantly changes from claustrophobic, gloomy, experimental labs (that look awfully like the ones in Doom 3) to spacious outdoor settings that sort of give you that sense of being glad you're back in the open again.
BUT the damn game is huge fun. They have borrowed and borrowed, but the biggest difference between movies and games is that, while a B grade, generic action movie would fail to elicit any response (other than disgust) from you, a game as campy as Far Cry can still give you thrills FIRST HAND, and by extension be fun. The greatest advantage that this game has; beside the awesome sounds, physics and visuals; is the superb level design and the incredible attention to detail in each of the scenes.

Popcorn Today, Pandora Tomorrow!
Splinter Cell:Pandora Tomorrow is well worth your time if you liked the previous outing of Sam Fisher. BUT, be warned: the game, is exactly the same as it was a year ago. The gameplay, the weapons, even the levels, have not much changed since you last met Fisher. The well worth your time part is because of an ALTOGETHER different game called Splinter Cell:Pandora Tomorrow Multiplayer. The multiplayer part is so cool, and so different, you'd want to buy the game for that. You see the whole Spies versus the Mercs thing plays out like a more sedate, stealthy version of Counter Strike. In short, I love it. :) The single player, on the other hand is totally mediocre, and nothing more.

Tips on how not to be a fucktard
As can be discerned from previous posts, I've been playing quite a bit of UT2K4 multiplayer lately. And playing online with strangers unleasges upon you a horde of retards such has never been seen in human history. Heres how not to be one of them:
-There are vehicles(if you've been playing BF1942, and playing it well, ignore this), and some of them can hold upto 3 people. So if you are the driver, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, know how to drive! Please. (Actual in game communication: Wut button is fly up?/) Space Bar, sir. Would you like fried team mates with that?
- Use voice communication. Dont just get stuck typing in leet while the rest of your team is dying. (Again, actual in game: 3v3rybody is d34d? lol!!11 rofl, that not how u ply!)
- The best thing they've done with the weapons is brought back the sniper rifle. Don't make them regret that by EVERYBODY insisting on using the sniper ALL THE TIME. Nobody gets any work done, the opposite team kicks your ass, and you lose badly. Th3_Sn1p3r, you can not save the day.


E3 this year has brought about a lot of games to be excited about, but I really can't say not having played them, and you can read second hand previews on your own. The one that I did play was the Guild Wars open Beta. It was a combination of old school questing and Diablo 2 style Hack and Slash gameplay, and looked and played marvelously. The quest system is easy,a dn the level system promises to be easy and balanced. The interface is uncluttered, and the game plays smoothly, with richly detaled and glowy monsters frolicking about on my screen's real estate all nice like. Best thing is, it is an MMO that does not require you to pay a monthly fee, and the streaming content makes sure eevn slower connections can play, if they're patient. Basically what it means is, when it is out, YOU can play an MMO, right here in India. Coolio.

A Public Service Announcement
I am going to write a fairy tale. NOT a fantasy novella, a fairy tale. I write horribly, my grasp of story telling technique is laughable, and I am too much of a sum total of my cultural references to produce anything highly original for a discerning audience. But I am going to do that anyways beacuse I intend to, one day, write a book I believe will be important to people, as people. I am going to start small by writing this fairy tale, probably even try converting into a graphic format for the web, and see how many brickbats I get. You are going to read it, and most likely, do evil things to it. I'd like that. Why am I telling this to you? So that I have some people I am answerable to, in case I end this attempt like most of my half finished projects. I'll make sure you get not complete trash, and you make sure I stick to it, deal?
I think I am going to go to sleep now. Oh, and in case you DID read this much, excuse the bad spelling and the non sequiturs.

posted by sam | 5/15/2004 01:55:00 PM



You have, in all probability, by now see the trailer for and heard of, a movie called Casshern. We are, after all the children of internet. Whats that you say? You haven't? Here you go. What is this? It is inexplicable, beautiful and it is Japanese. It is the fundamental of nature that forces these things to go together.

Casshern is a movie based on the popular anime Casshern (or Casshan) :Robot Hunter. The plot being thus: Casshern is a human mind in a fused robot body, fighting to save the world from the evil robot king and his army. BK-1 or Black King is the original evil robot who was created by Casshern's father as some sort of pollution control experiment. Casshern, poor guy, now has to fight all these buggere, ad get all crazy on their asses, with help from his childhood friend Luna.
This version, as people who have seen it tell me, is faithful in this aspect to the storyline, but takes a lot of liberties from the visual style. It NEVERTHELESS remains faithful to its Manga/Anime origins. (It even has speed lines, man, SPEED LINES!!). Kazuaki Kiriya directs and photographs it, and from what you see in the trailer, he does a darn good job of it. The visuals are arresting and very surreal, and you expect nothing less from the genius photographer that is Kiriya. I can't wait to get my hands on it, though my only chances of seeing it are if it gets dubbed in English, released in the US, and the DVD finds it way here.
Anybody done seen this here movie? Lemme know how it is, please?

posted by sam | 5/06/2004 11:39:00 AM

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