Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blogging troubles!

This blogger is having blogging trouble since the past 3 weeks.

You know how there is an option to get follow-up comments when one posts a comment on other blogs? Well, for the past 3 weeks, I have been unable to get 90% of follow-up comments on comments I have posted!

Whats worse? I have been unable to get comment alerts on comments on my own posts! And the woes have not subsided! And it seems to be affecting only blogger! Wordpress alerts are fine! Its so frustrating I've even considered migrating the blog to wordpress!


Is any one else facing or has faced similar problems?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Michael Schumacher's Comeback 2009

There is no doubt that Michael's comeback to Formula 1 is the biggest event of the 2009 F1 season. No sooner than the announcement was made, the papers next day were abuzz with pictures and stories about the King of F1. Times of India even had the same title (the king is back or something to that effect) that I had used in my blog a day before. Oh well!


The difference between champions and others is the amount of commitment the former gives to the sport. Within a week of the announcement, Schumi lost 3 kilos of body weight. If you think 3 kilos do not make a difference, think again!
A) In a sport where the time is measured in one thousandth of a second, 3 kilos can make you faster than your competitor.
B) 3 kilos can give you an extra lap worth of fuel, allowing you to pit later than your competitor (and your teammate).
C) 3 kilos less weight can allow your car designers to balance the car better - it can give them the flexibility to re-distribute the weight of the car, allowing it to handle much better!


The last advantage comes with its own little challenge - As the (almost) bankrupt BMW Williams team disallowed Michael Schumacher to test the F-60 (the 2009 Ferrari F1 car) , the car designers will have to entirely rely on calculations and models to "gauge" the cars performance with the new weight distribution and with Schumi in the cockpit. The other part of the challenge is - Schumacher has not driven the F-60 even once! While the competition is close to being half way thru the season, Schumacher will drive the F-60 in Friday practice for the 1st time on a track that he has never driven before (the track was newly made after Schumi retired). While other drivers in F1 (Read Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso) crib and complaint about the lack of their car's performance openly, Michael has quietly adjusted to the circumstances and started testing in an old 2007 Ferrari with slick tires instead of grooved ones! That's a champion for you! Perhaps Alonso and Kimi can watch and learn as Schumi shows everyone that "A good craftsman never blames his tools!".


Not only that, Schumacher has already completed an entire day testing the car and training his injured neck muscles. That's a champion for you. At the age of 40, Schumacher will be more than twice the age of the youngest F1 competitor (19 yrs 4 months)! It takes sheer guts and Iron-like-will-power to make such a comeback.


Even before he retired in 2006, during the retirement, and post retirement - there were (are) no silly news about Schumacher in the media. The only news you get to see are about Schumi testing! No silly night-club games, no drinking binges, no playing the fool! No sir! Not Schumacher!


Perhaps that's why he could easily be amongst the fittest F1 drivers, even post retirement!


The comeback could not have been at a better time for Formula 1. A sport that runs on big money, such a comeback means, sold out tickets at the racing venues and big time TV eye-balls! I would not be surprised if there is at least a 30% increase in television viewership for the Valencia race on 23rd August 2009 as the F1 fans, Tifosi and Schumi fans are all eager to watch the king make a comeback! Honestly, for them (and for me), it does not matter if Schumacher performs or not. Just watching him get behind the wheel of the red car will be joy enough for the die-hard F1 fan! There are many F1 fans who stopped watching the sport after Schumi retired. More people did not follow the sport with as much gusto now than when he was racing - Schumi's comeback will bring these fans back to the sport - Then there will be others who will be watching just to be part of the buzz, while there will be those who will watch the race on Valencia, just to see him fail!


Whatever be the race viewer's category - the weekend of 21, 22, 23 August, Valencia Spain will see F1 fanatics have eyes only for one car and one driver. That car will be a red Ferrari and the driver will be Michael Schumacher! Period!

123456789 - useless timepass

On August 7 , 2009

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

At 12hr 34 minutes and 56 seconds on the 7th of August
this year, the time and date will be

12:34:56 07/08/09

This will perhaps never happen in your life again!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Movie review: Love Aaj Kal (2009)

First Day Last Show - Love Aaj Kal!

Sis was determined to watch this movie. I find Saif Ali Khan bearable and Deepika Padukone has grown on me since Bachna Ae Haseeno. She even reminds me of an old crush! So there was no point in arguing! Tickets were booked and we were off to watch the FDLS of Love Aaj Kal.


Directed by Imtiaz Ali and produced by Saif Ali Khan, I found Love Aaj Kal to be a
refreshing movie. The story moves along very nicely and holds the audience's interest for 95% of the movie. There is a part where the lead character is shown brooding in loneliness during which Indian audiences, especially those who had not travelled and stayed abroad, felt bored. The NRI audience will relate to this with ease. Barring this small glitch, everything else held the audience's attention.

Thankfully, with Saif's role infused with witty n funny lines, there was no need of a stupid comic relief in the movie! This single point has enhances the movie's bearable quotient by leaps and bounds! It also means you wont come out with a headache from this movie!

Acting - Saif and Deepika both are refreshing to watch! They have a superb chemistry on screen that
makes the audience relate to their characters with ease.

Rishi Kapoor's character does a lot of talking, yet doesn't pakao the audience.

Other notable characters are Raj Zutshi as Harleen's father. Rahul Khanna also plays a
character, but don't wanna ruin the movie by revealing his character.

Babe factor - What I like about Deepika's character is - she looks nice and commands attention without resorting to cheap tricks. You wont find unnecessary cleavage or skin just for titillation. She does wear skimpy clothes, but like a Zeenat, she wears them with elan and carried them confidently. One can watch her with family without squirming in the seat!

The other gal in the movie, Giselle Monteiro (Harleen) had a few lines, but she had enough screen time to do a memorable role (atleast till they watch the next movie). She plays her character with grace!

The direction by Imtiaz Ali is great. The editing is crisp (could be crisper, but no points cut for that). Music is by Pritam and it sounds contemporary. Songs are nicely paced and they gel well with the story. Not too many, nor too few. Its nice that the story progresses thru the songs and the characters don't have to go to a ocean or a desert to sing them! Makes the story more believable and does not distract the audience! The switch between the past and present story feels seamless and does not leave the audience confused at any time. Take a bow Imtiaz!

The visuals in the movie are not stunning, but they feel bright and open as a lot of the movie has been shot in foreign locales. It gives the movie a fresh feel. The shots in current and old India have been done nicely. Its important to note the move does not show any thing bad about India while successfully portraying an authentic image of the country.

There was a stupid controversy (perhaps a cheap publicity stunt) about the movie where much was written about how Kareena was not in the movie... Deepika was very good in the movie and the movie would not be as nice had Kareena been in it!

Similarities - There is a train station sequence that will remind you of DDLJ, but the similarity ends there with DDLJ.
I found traces of Aamir Khan's character from DCH in Saif, but then I am known to look too much into things :D

Quick comparisions - This movie is better than Singh is King and Luck! Saif plays a better Sardar than Akshay. Thankfully there is no turban sporting Snoop Dogg or any other imported singer in a ridiculous looking outfit!

Warning - The movie's a little mushy in some parts, but then the title is LOVE Aaj Kal!

Verdict - A refreshing love story that deals with practical situations in current times of globalization (perhaps this statement itself is too factual!). Go Watch It!

My rating - 3.75/5

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Movie Review: Luck (2009)

Quick n dirty review of Luck (2009).

Shruti Hassan, Sanjay Dutt - uninspiring

Danny, Mithun - Good in the roles given to them

Imran Khan - ok

Chitrashi Rawat - Super!

Story - A mish mash of plots taken from "Fear Factor" that is fried in a "SAW"-like tadka!

Thanks to FE's scathing review, I went with zero expectations from this movie. The result was - I was entertained as I left my brains at home!

The side-actress babe was hotter than Shruti Hassan. The latter looked young n naive n confused... but she had something in her eye... no it was not talent, just some eye-spot near the iris. The side actress babe was definitely hotter.

This movie ain't a "Musafir", but Sanju baba still delivers dialogues in the same manner. The only good part is - if u like that style, ur ok! If u don't, too bad for you, coz he wont stop till the end credits roll.

Most of the dialogues are downright pathetic! Don't know why there is a need to put pun in every other line in the movie?

The stunts are unrefined and feel unrealistic. Anyone can tell that. The actors do a free-fall from a chopper, yet their hair is unruffled! Come on yaar... Couldn't they just rent those 'almonard' fans you see at weddings and make the hair ruffle a bit? Just make sure u tie up Shruti first, else she may fly off!

The movie is worth a dekko for Chitrashi Rawat! The 2 by 2 gal is awesome! She lights up the screen with her presence and stylish dialogue delivery!

Sanjay Dutt and Imraan Khan need to work out at the Gym! Former for being flabby, latter for not yet having a 6-pack! The chocolate boy look is so yesterday! Muscles are in! Especially if u have to jump from planes onto a running train and fight Martial Artists trained in Sword fighting!

Danny was Danny! Guys like him and Mithunda cannot go wrong as long as they realise they have aged and pick appropriate roles. Mithunda pushed the envelope but he pulled it off somehow in the stunts! Perhaps it was the presence of other irritating characters on the screen? (Ravi Kishan)

I give the movie somewhere between 2 and 2.5 stars out of 5!

Michael makes a comeback! ... and an overdue award!


Its a done deal! The king of F1 is scheduled to make a comeback to replace an injured Filipe Massa. I cannot wait for Aug 23 to see the racing legend's comeback in the European GP!

A lot of Questions will be answered there.... A few on my mind are - Will he be the same Schumi after the break? How good will he be in the new car? Will he be fit @ 40? By how much margin will he beat Raikkonen? Suddenly August 23 is so far away when all these questions will be answered...

The circumstances are sad as Massa is badly injured, but I'm glad Ferrari roped in the king to fill the void! Anything to see the legend behind a Ferrari yet again!

Welcome back Michael Schumacher! You were missed!

----------x------------x-----------

The PROXIMITY award was given to me by Vee and Smita in Dec 2008. I did not pass it on to anyone because at that time, I did not know 8 people who didn't have this award! :D

Off I go to find 8 blogs worthy of this awards.

This award is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award. (Note added by Eye-in-sty-in: At their own time and convenience)


I pass it on to -
















The award has been given based on the comments left by these bloggers on my blog. If u want such awards, the trick is to visit my blog more often and also leave intelligent comments.
PS: Their writing ability n wit may also have played a little part in the selection.

For those who have not yet received this award, it does not make you less worthy by any means. So please dont go about slashing ur wrists yet! Your time will come soon :-)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Where the streets have no name...

I love the rains... when it rains, everything is so lush green and wet and fresh! The moisture laden air feels so pristine and refreshing. It recharges the soul and fills the emptiness with life!

The plan was to go on a road trip to Murud-Janjira from Bombay via Pune while sight seeing along the way. An idea to take the scenic route away from the highway took the car past a beautiful water-body called Mulshi Lake!

Asking for directions in India can be a lot of fun! These are some of the answers that were received -
"Tumhala Mulshi zayacha ka? Mag ithe kuthe aale?"
[You want to go to Mulshi Dam? Why did you come to this side of town?]
(Me (thinking): why not? Is this side of town so bad? why are you here then???!!)

"Mulshi dam? I know the way to Bushi dam!"
(Me (thinking): You %^&%&$% I know that way too!!!!)

"Go this way and you should be there in 5 mins."
Me: "Thank you"
"What?"
Me: "Thank you"
"ok..." (looks suspiciously as to why would I thank him - It is common for people to just drive away without being overly courteous. No one has time for that in India. Time is money!)

After asking 10 and a half more people (drove away when one person started scratching his beard upon hearing the words "Mulshi Dam" - I'm pretty sure he didn't miss me.)

The most common answer was "its only 5 mins away". Whether I was directed to a street full of traffic or onto an empty road, the next milestone was never more than 5-mins away! (no wonder google maps did not give me an ETA)!

The fun stopped when I met a guy who used to travel on the same route! He gave directions more precise and clear than even googlemaps or mapquest! As the route map was now known, the journey was smooth again.

From Pimpri -> Hinjewadi -> Pirangut -> Mulshi Dam -> Murud-Janjira

Thanks to the inspiring and entertaining directions and the lack of google maps, it was too late to reach Murud Janjira that day! The night halt at Mulshi Dam turned into the final destination as the beauty of Mulshi was enamouring!

Finally....



The place of lodging was a resort with about 15 rooms. Very cosy. Being the only guests at the resort, the treatment was royal. There was no cellphone coverage in the resort. Had to drive 8 KMs (about 5 miles) to get within cell range. As the winding road to get cell coverage made for a very good drive, I did not mind it :-) It took me back in time where one had to plan phone calls in advance and walk miles before any communiation was possible.

It was refreshing to see Mother Nature working her magic at the lake. The weather changed so soon and severely - the mountain on the other side of the lake would get engulfed in the clouds within seconds. The rain would cut visibility to nearly zero and the wind would lash out at the trees making a howling sound that would send chills up the spine. The lake created by the dam would have waves that would have one believe its a sea. At times, the water would be very calm. There were impromptu water-falls created in the hills by the rain that had clear sparkling water flowing from them. It was a slice of heaven.

On the way back, there were many people in cars and on motorbikes working their way up the ghats to have fun at Mulshi for the weekend. Many stopped on the winding roads to enjoy fresh roasted bhutta (corn) sprinkled with red-chilly, salt and lemon. It is a tasty delight to be enjoyed in the rains!

video

The journey back home was fast. In Pune, I saw MONAFOOD and remembered a blogger mentioning it in their post! :D

On a separate note, a blog pal Rip-Val-Wrinkle has given me an award for International Blogger's community. I have not yet accepted it, bcoz I don't know what is it about. If you have received/given this award and know what is it about, please do enlighten me! In the mean time, thank you Ripples! I am still trying to figure it out!

Considering the wet roads and the rains, it was surprising to see there was no accidents encountered on the streets! Its very surprising to see so many rules in the US and still there are so many accidents. And here in India, many times, people drive as per their whims n fancies and yet there are none!

OK, I did see one accident, but it was due to overloading and not bad driving.












Could it be the handiwork of the devil?? (are you happy the sketch is now complete :P)



PS: This is my 1st video blog. Your suggestions/comments/compliments are more than welcome.

PS2: An important point to mention - On the way to Mulshi dam from Pirangut, there is a restaurant that has internet access. Please resist the temptation to logon and DO NOT use it. I checked my emails from there and could not login to my mail account a day later. Its fishy!

PS3: I see many new people following my blog. Thank you for enduring following me and a warm welcome to my blog.

PS4: It is still in production and will be released by Sony soon!
video

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Journeys: Part deux

Day one had me reporting to office. As I was not familiar with the parking situation, I decided to take the bike. Now I'll be the first one to tell you that I don't particularly like 2 wheels! I know, the girls find it macho n sexy, but some things are just not meant to be. Period! Dad offered to drive me half way after which I would ride the rest of the distance and pick him up on the way back. Since he would be driving the traffic laden half, I mustered enough courage to take the 2 wheeled bike the rest of the way.

Now, for those who are not familiar with the Indian traffic conditions, should see this sped up video of a traffic intersection. The traffic situation in Bombay is about half as bad... couple this with the no-so-friendly-bike and my disdain of 2-wheelers, its not the best mix.

The drive started well and I was doing great. Then I had to brake and all hell broke loose.

As soon as I hit the brakes, the 2-wheeler engine turned off. I managed to turn it back on and was on my way again and I had to brake once more... this was not going well!

After stalling it 3 more times, I called dad who proudly exclaimed "the idling of the engine is set low to conserve fuel at traffic lights ***. Just give it some gas while braking and u should be fine."
Me: (thinking) Give it gas while braking? That would get me killed????

*** (we live in a city and traffic lights are a-plenty)

I parked the 2-wheeler in the nearest by-lane, proudly shamelessly hopped into a running double decker bus and was on my merry way :P City biking is not for me! At least not now! (for the curious cats, the 2-wheeler in question was a Honda Activa. Its a moped! not even geared.... I too know its pathetic!) :D

In my defense, I did take ride the cursed thing to visit an uncle after work and also picked up my dad on my way back.

And then it rained! Continuously for 24 hours! Sometimes heavy, sometimes a light drizzle..
.
perfect time to grab hot vadas with red-chilly-garlic-chutney! No sooner did I mouth
the words to my sis, mom interjected "I've already made them!" I kid you not, she can read minds!

Me: (while hogging on tasty hot vadas [an Indian delicacy savoured during the rains]) Mom, stop making all this oily food... you are making me fat. I had a 6-pack and its disappearing...
Mom: I don't like 6-packs. Shah Rukh (an Indian actor) got one and it made him look old. His cheeks are sunk in his face and his skin has become all flabby.
Me: (cannot argue with that logic!)


Monday, July 13, 2009

The Journeys

1) Trip to the airport
======================
Me (on phone): Hey, can you gimme a ride to the airport
Friend: Sure, at what time?
Me: ASAP. Flight leaves in 2 hours and 25 mins.
Friend: Thinking. Ok.
Me: Thanks (gives quick directions and hangs up)
Friend reaches after 20 mins.... Throws bags in the SUV.... off we go
Friend: You are cutting it fine... Are you sure u'll manage to catch the plane?
Me: I'll wing it, like I always do... Didn't I manage all the other stuff? In any case, the best laid plans get washed away, so its better to have a rough sketch and then add finesse to it as you go along. This allows us to take care of the last minute anamolies that might come into play...
Friend: True
Me: You can merge into the traffic now...
Friend: Your inability to plan will not have me driving your way. In any case you should have planned for THIS anamoly...
Me: Mumble mumble.... (translated... the other route was much shorter n direct)

Phone call...
Her: Are you in the airport longue?
Me: I'm on my way there...
Her: Are you walking?
Me: No I'm being driven
Her: Are you on a handicap cart? Why?
Me: I'm on my way to the airport
Her (launching into a lecture): YOu shd be there 3 hours in advance... you shd have done this... you should have done that.... blah blah
Me: Just like honking is not gonna make the traffic move faster, your verbal volley is not helping now. (gestures friend how to navigate around the traffic)
She: well, have a safe flight.
Me: Thanks! (guess she never heard of the "just in time" concept)

(20 minutes later and taking a route that took us twice the time and distance, we made it to the airport! In his defence, I did see a lot of different construction zones too!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrr!!)
All was good as we still had time to eat a meal in a sit-down restaurant after the bags were all checked in!

2) Boarding passes for flight legs 2 and 3
==========================================
Me: Hello
Ticketing lady: Hi, how are you.... (and other plesantaries)
Me: I see you are having a busy day
Her: Yes. Its okay though...
Me: You have a nice name Florence (thanks that lying is not necessary. Her name was lovely indeed)
Her: Thank you. What seats would you like
Me: Door seats on the aile
Her: Not available
Me: Just do your best and give me what you think is the best (she looked experienced)
Her: well, do you have a choice?
Me: Tail section is better. Its safer, right?... Wait a minute. Will I be flying Boeing or Airbus?
Her: All flights are Boeing.
Me: Goody... I'll take the center seats on the wing. Less movement there.
Her: hmmmm... ok. Let me see what I can do. (takes her time to issue me tickets)
Me: Just out of curiosity, how much did my check in bags weigh
Her: one was 50 Lbs, another was 49 and the 3rd was 47.5
Me: Wow! I am proud of myself
Her: (Smiles at my self praise)

Result of this interaction was... I had no one sitting next to me in both my legs of flight. The 1st leg to Frankfurt had me sitting in the center of the plane on the wing. The 2nd leg had me sitting as near to the exit door as possible. She knew I would be in a hurry to get off the plane as I was so close to home :-) Smart! Experience helps!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fly away...

When you get tired of living from a suitcase, just pack ur bags and put up a sign - "gone fishing"!

Try not to miss much and pray that there are no planes tumbling out of the sky for the next few days ;-)

Yes, this blogger will be hopping on a plane for a long long flight and expects to be away for a few days from the virtual world! This just made him think... why don't they have internet at Frankfurt airport?!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

8th July - What a day!

8th July will never be the same year on year....

Was out celebrating a friend's wife's b'day @ the martini bar while living out of a suitcase when it dawned on me... this is the 3rd person I know who celebrates their b'day on this day!

Waitress was a 10, btw! And my friend was not happy when I snubbed her... yeah, the same one whose wife's b'day we were celebrating! lolz! Such is the understanding between them that when the waitress didn't hover around our table (I was blamed for it, btw) the wife asked her hubby "how come she disappeared?" wonderful couple indeed with deep sense of understanding!

Come to blog world and find out there is a marriage that happened on the same date! And its my cuz's wedding anniversary! And a blog pal's son has passed away on the same date!

Wow! Such an intense and filled up day is 8th July! makes you feel that you are standing still on the side walk and life is zipping past you... (Maybe it was not just a coincidence that our table was on the patio with cars and ppl zipping past)... Kinda tell you - better go out there and do your thing before its too late, else you'll always be playing "catch up"

Although, I still maintain I was right in snubbing the waitress when she tried to take the camera from me for a pic! So what if she is a 10, she still has to ask if I need a group pic taken and not TELL that she can take the pic!

My friend's daughter thought she was a little ditsy. The daughter may be young, but she ain't naive... I agree with her :-)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

50th Post: Dedicated to MJ


7/7/09 - 11:54 pm

Jackson died at the age of 50! Coincidentally, my blog also turns 50 (posts) today. not the best way to remember this milestone, but its noteworthy indeed. I can only dedicate this post to the undisputed king of pop who was buried today!

You may be gone, but your time will always be remembered! Thank you for entertaining us and for being a part of our lives!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A splendid tale of an explorer's love for his dogs

The last post about a faithful dog generated lots of comments and interest. The post was even more popular than the one in which Nidarshana sports a moustache with elan! (58 comments vs 54 comments). The dog post put to rest some rumors in my blog world which were on the lines of "Spike and Nidarshana are pretty tight!" My response to these rumors is "We are just friends. There is nothing going on between her and me... although she still has the "it" factor, we are JUST friends". She is a happily married mother of a kid and a dog. And I.... well, I share my name with a popular dog name! So there.. the moustache sporting Ann Dee and I are just friends! But I digress... this post is not for quelling rumors... It is about being loyal and faithful. When a dog can be faithful to its master for 10 whole years (Mind you, thats 70 years in dog-years), its only fitting that we humans give a respond equally to our best friend's faithfulness and loyalty!

It is said that spending time in extreme climates like a desert and a cold barren wasteland OR experiencing near death situations will leave a lasting impression on a person ... people who have undergone such an experience prefer to stay secluded in the more civilized world. At the same time they develop an innate bonding with all the beings they interact with in the wilderness - human or animals - probably because these beings have provided him with social interaction when it was most needed.

Dogs have been an integral part of Human civilizations and were one of the earliest animals to be domesticated along with wolves, the earliest records pointing to 100,000 years back. There are numerous stories involving man and his best friend and the bond between them.
Eight Below


Set in Antarctic, the movie is one such splendid tale of an explorer’s love for his dogs in the wintry wilderness of the south pole.

A scientist visits a US base station on the South pole to collect Mercury meteorite fragments that will help researchers know more about the planet and such. The mission involves going south from the base camp and further away from civilization. The ice being too thin for an airplane to land, the trip must be made by dog-sled. Although reluctant to make the trip for safety reasons, the explorer - Jerry - has no choice when he is ordered by his boss to assist the scientist.

The duo take a sled pulled by eight dogs to collect the meteorite. En route, they face problems and hardships as the Antarctic weather can be very unforgiving. To make their matters worse, a storm is about to hit them. They need to cut the trip short. The scientist reasons with the explorer that he needs to find the meteorite as it means the world to him. being an explorer and a man driven by feelings and used to doing what he likes, the explorer understands the scientist. even though knowing the weather and the intensity of the storms, he agrees to take the risk in order to fulfill the scientist’s dream.

The mission is successful, the discovery is made - but the trip back is no joke and someone nearly dies! On reaching base, evacuation is ordered as the storm has increased its speed and intensity. They need to go to a safer location that is 3 hours away by plane. The evac plane is small and the dogs need to be left behind in the storm and will be retrieved in the second trip. At the larger base, things change. Weather reports show that the storm is the worst storm to hit the South Pole in 25 years!! They have to evacuate this larger base too. The Dogs are not a priority anymore...!

Jerry is disappointed and heartbroken. He cannot find peace within himself as he knows it was not right to leave the dogs behind. But the people in power have other thoughts as the rescue of Dogs is unimportant to them. The risk and the costs are not justified and Jerry’s requests of a rescue effort are denied.

Although the movie is very exciting and engrossing till this point, this is where the real story begins...

~Will the dogs survive the storm?
~Who nearly dies?
~Why does Jerry have such a bond with the dogs?
~Will they be able to brave the -50 degree weather !!!!?????
~Will the dogs have enough food to survive for months?
~Will they be hunted by other animals?
~Will the dogs be rescued before they die?
~Will man return the favour to his best friend who love and serve him with their life?

Directed by Frank Marshall, the movie has the Walt Disney label attached to it.

Paul Walker plays Jerry Shepard. having starred in movies like Fast and the Furious, I always found him to be lacking finesse. Its like he does such movies bcoz he likes the adventure more than acting. He is not disappointing, but he is not impressive either. In this movie, his monotonous dialog delivery actually does some justice to his character as it is expected to be dry and monotonous and humbled by his surroundings - nature can be very humbling - his character knows it and Paul conveys that well on screen by being hilmself.

Bruce Greenwood plays Davis McClaren. His character is foolhardy and slightly ego-centric. He has the brains, but like a scientist, he does not understand emotions too well and tries to find logic and reasoning in everything.

Moon Bloodgood plays Katie. Her character is a pilot. She looks very lovely and provides a subtle romantic angle to the movie that though present, is not overbearing to the main plot. She has done a lot of TV like CSI, Daybreak and recently, Journeyman.

Jason Biggs plays Charlie Cooper. He provides some comic relief in the movie and thus, his character is vital to the movie as it is vital to the base station. He keeps the viewer laughing.

Now for the true actors and the real stars of the movie and My Best Friends :-))

The Dogs !!

There were 3 breeds used for making this movie -
Siberian huskies - 1)Maya 2)Jack 3)Shorty 4)Max
A native breed known as the Greenland dog - 5)Truman 6)Dewey
Alaskan malamutes - 7)Shadow (gray) 8)Buck (red)

The numbers denote their order in pulling the sled.

All three breeds come under the category of "working dogs" - extremely task oriented, these dogs will literally work themselves to DEATH before quitting! They are also genetically adapted to frigid temperatures of the Antarctic. They share their gene pool with Wolves and also resemble them in looks, nature and size - the differentiator being the cunning nature of the wolf.

The dogs show enormous courage and belief in one another and feel betrayed when they are left alone. Their bark changes when they want to communicate different feelings. I have always wanted to own a dog! And watching this movie has brought me one step closer to having one as a pet. The only thing stopping me right now is that I am unsure I’ll be able to devote enough time for its care.

This movie has to be in your collection if you have kids! Watch it with them, answer their questions and it will be an excellent way to bond with your children while teaching them about life, nature, human and animal emotions - all this while sharing an adventure in the comfort of your living room!

rating for movie - 4/5
rating for dogs - 5/5

I want one as a pet .... sighhhhhh !!

Note: I found the title of the movie to be clever - set in Antarctic, the 8 dogs are left behind - hence Eight below ! How apt...!

!! Spike !!

Dedication - This one is dedicated to friendship!!

References -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_Husky
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland_dog
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaskan_Malamute
http://www.americanhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pa_film_set_eightbelow
http://imdb.com/title/tt0397313/

As my fans friends were clamouring for a post, I decided to migrate this post to my blog.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A different level of faithfulness!

How long would you wait if your loved one didn't come back one day?

Hachiko was brought to Tokyo in 1924 by his owner, a college professor named Hidesamuro Ueno. Each day, when Ueno left for work, Hachiko would stand by the door to watch him go. When the professor came home at 4 o’clock, Hachiko would go to the Shibuya Station to meet him.

Though this simple act alone shows a tremendous amount of loyalty, that’s not the end of it: The following year, Ueno died of a stroke while at the university. Hachiko didn’t realize that he was gone, and so the dog returned to the train station every single day to await his master. He became such a familiar presence there, in fact, that the station master set out food for the dog and gave him a bed in the station. Even so, Hachiko never shifted loyalties –every day at 4 o’clock, he hopefully waited by the tracks as the train pulled in, searching for his best friend’s face among the people getting off.

Hachiko’s love for his master impressed many people who passed through the station, including one of Ueno’s former students, who became fascinated by the Akita breed after seeing Hachiko. He discovered that there were only 30 Akitas living in Japan, and began to write articles about Hachiko and his remarkable breed, turning the world’s most loyal dog into a household name, and creating a resurgence in popularity for the Akita.

Hachiko died in 1935, after 10 long years of waiting for his master. But the dog would not be forgotten –a year before his death, Shibuya Station installed a bronze statue of the aging dog

, to honor its mascot. Though the statue was melted down during World War II, a new version was created in 1948 by the son of the original artist. Go to the station now, and you’ll be able to see the bronze statue of Hachiko – still waiting, as ever, for his master to come home.

Just a reason why I love dogs!

Note: The original can be found here...

And there is a link in Wikipedia too...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ann Dee's Challenge and Spike's response!

Yesterday, my new and sassy blog-friend Ann Dee had challenged me to find her identity on MS.

I was reluctant initially since I don't visit that site much these days, I asked the challenger for a prize. She was sweet enough to buy me a cool, crisp, foamy, cold and refreshing glass of beer... !!

(I thought the girl in the center was a dude! Guess I was distracted by the........

pearl necklace!!)

The spoils were agreed upon, but there was a slight problem.... we are both in a different geographic locations, so to keep things simple, I agreed to a virtual beer that I can display on my blog along with this caption -

"Ann Dee bows to thee and promises to never ever mess with the smart and cool dude, eye-in-sty-in, at least in this lifetime".

If I am not able to find her ID on MS, I'll buy her a virtual beer and she get to display it with the caption, "eye-in-sty-in bows to thee and promises never to mess with the sassy Ann Dee" - after all, the deal should work both ways, right?

But when I asked her for the prize, she told me that the link to her profile was already on her blogger profile. However, I DID NOT go there as I was already in my "challenge" mode!

But Ann Dee refused to trust Eye-in-sty-in... "I dont know you well enough" she said and went to hog on a tuna sandwich before she chickened out when I raised her wager! So I thought.... Hmmm..... a chicken hoggging on a tuna sandwich makes for quite a zooo!! I digress!

Since the hype was built up, I said to myself, "So what if she chickened out! To heck with the prize... I'll do it just for the joy of sleuthing!" :D

And off went the Spikemeister to trace down this damsel who goes by the name of Ann Dee!

A little sleuthing revealed that "Ann Dee" was a jazzed up version of ND! Searching for Ann Dee on MS was now a waste!

"What have you got yourself into this time, Spike!!" said Eye-in-sty-in. "How could you put my reputation at stake like this!".

"Chill out dude! How can I refuse a beer man! That too when its offered by a pretty and sassy woman! Besides, it was a challenge dude. What was I supposed to do? Back down?!"

"Oh pipe down!" retorted Eye-in-sty-in. He didn't sound happy at all. Spike now had to make sure the damsel's profile was found!

But then, poor Spike had no clues! No leads to follow... just ... Wait a minute! Didn't Ann Dee comment on Eye-in-sty-in's previous post about traffic signs? Lets look there!!

With a smug look on his face and armed with this new found info about her location, Off went Spike in the hunt of this saucy sassy damsel who goes by the name of ND!

He took his hand,
pulled up his pants!
He pulled out his wand,
and stuck the sand!
He cast a spell,
into the well!

"Google me this... Google me that! Show me a big blind bat"

Thwack!

"What the.... Why did you hit me, Eye-in-sty-in?"
"You were saying it all wrong!" said Eye-in-sty-in.
"What was I saying wrong?"
"The spell. You were saying it wrong! You We are looking for ND, not a big, blind bat".
This Eye-in-sty-in was such a know-it-all! thought Spike, muttering under his breath!
"I know that!" he said out loud and went back to casting the spell again...


"Google me this... Google me that! Show me a dandy Ann Dee"
We have found 500 profiles matching 'Ann Dee' ...... proclaimed MS!

Grrrrrrrr!! Spike should have known... Mouthshut search sucks!

Spike and Eye-in-sty-in look at each other in surprise.... and thats when it stuck them!
"Wait a minute" they said at the same time, looking at each other - as it finally dawned upon them!

"Google me this... Google me that! Show me a dandy ND"


Voilaaaaa!!



Scrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!


That's not Ann Dee! That's Eye-in-sty-in's friend B!!!

Beep-Beep! Go back go back!

(Note to self - Give wand for servicing after finding Ann Dee's profile and getting the beer trophy from her!.... maybe....)

Poof!

And, there we have it folks!


The oh so sassy,
and not so naughty!
The one with the almond eyes,
and the lovely smile!
She has no beard,
just a moustache!





What???????? Curse this wand!!! It is definitely going for a checkup!









Whaddaya say folks! Doesn't Nidarshana have a lovely pair of eyes!

O Sassy one, I'd like my beer chilled and inscribed please! That is, if you are still game :-)

However, if you sulk, lemme know and I will remove all traces of the moustache... Althought I must admit, you carry it with elan! ;-)

PS: No hard feelings, eh? :-))

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Freedom of traffic...!

A town in Germany removed all traffic rules and guess what! The number of accidents plummeted from one-a-week to zilch!

Reason? Not having to look at signs and signals, people are paying more attention to the road and to other things on it! Funny, isn't it!

The town now has two general laws in place - a speed limit of 30 MPH and yield to the right. And the Govt. saves 5,000 pounds a month in traffic sign repair bills.

I cannot imagine what will happen if this were done in Bombay or Bangalore... any guesses? :P

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Leeches!

It was a beautiful day - warm sunshine, clear skies, a light cool breeze blowing. Perfect outdoor weather and so we did just that. The field was crowded and after a brief wait, we eventually found a spot large enough for us to start playing. Being able to get out after so long got us so engrossed in our game that we lost the track of time and also the sky. It was the last point. One more catch and the scores will have a big enough difference for our team to win. Someone threw the ball at me and I just let it drop. There were cries from the rest of my team even before the ball had hit the ground because I was not focusing on the ball at all. In fact, I did not even see the ball drop because I had my back to it. I could feel the outrage being expressed by my team mates as they bore their hard stare into my back. But I had other things to worry about. I had seen something that the no one else had spotted. Not even the girls who were supposed to be on the lookout. This abrupt change in my demeanor stifled the cries of my team mates. What started out as a bellowing outrage ended in a whimper and I think some even tried to swallow the words into their stomach. No, I was not menacing nor was I a bad player. In fact I was the best catcher on the team. But everyone knew the drill, you cannot make any sound when they are around. It was one of the ways that they could detect our presence.

"We promise we will pay attention" they had said to all of us. As much as I was against the idea of letting them take over the watch from the guards the relentless pleas from my team mates sounded convincing. After all, there was not a cloud in the sky to be seen and we had a score to settle with the guards. They had beaten us by 1 point in the tie-breaker in the last game. I let the euphoria of the good weather get to me and against my better judgement, I let the girls take over the watch from the guards for the lousy game! I was so angry at myself. Of course they got engrossed in enjoying the weather and forgot to notice the clouds move in. Of course they did not detect the presence of the leeches that were now moving in by the dozens surrounding the huge field. I didn't even know how long had they been waiting in the dark forest at the edge of the field... waiting patiently for the clouds to move in.... watching their prey running and jumping about before they strike. More than the girls, I was angry at myself. Why did I give in and let the guards play? Why! I knew the girls did not have the skills to be lookouts. This is why we never allowed them to take that responsibility. How many people will pay the price for my decision! Oh well, now was not the time to ruminate.

The girls were smart enough to move into the center of the field. They were surrounded by 2 concentric circles the inner one formed by the civilian men and the outer one by the guards. The latter were now fully alert and had quickly fallen into their combat positions. I saw one of the guards move towards the edge of the field towards the pile of weapons. He was a newer recruit, Jack. Obviously. Any experienced soldier would never have made such a foolish move. The stack was too close to the forest and in spite of their massive size (some were more than 12 feet tall), the leeches moved with agility - Especially when they were hungry. Jack's intentions were noble and the weapons would have bettered our precarious position greatly, but alas, the move was suicidal. I knew it! I could not run and stop him from what he was doing. Heck, I could not even shout out a warning to him for that would instantly alert the leeches of our location. Their vision was weak, but their hearing was very sharp! It now came down to numbers. Survival of many - sacrifice of one. He was headed towards the pile of weapons, straight in the direction of the enemy. While the enemy had their attention focused on this sure shot prey, we had to make our escape. Jack's death should not be an utter waste.

I signalled the guards and we started moving slowly towards the vehicles. As much as we wanted to, we could not afford to make any sudden movements. They could still spot us. I counted Jack's steps as he moved closer and closer to the weapons. He was so focused on his task, He was not even aware of the giant leech hidden in the clump of trees behind the stack. I was intently watching Jack move and I was also watching the leech. I had to anticipate the enemy's movement precisely when Jack notices it and cries out in surprise. This will distract the rest of the leeches and we will have to make a break for the vehicles. Hopefully the other leeches will be distracted enough by the smell of blood and the the noise and coupled with the poor eyesight, they won't notice us. It was a long shot, but I had to take it. It was our only shot! The clouds were getting thicker and the sky darker, soon they will be able to roam free in the dark night. Escape would then be impossible then for the zombies will also be out at night!

It was now! The other leeches noticed it, I noticed it and so did a few of the other soldiers. The big leech moved towards Jack who now slowed down as his eyes grew big in horror as he noticed death, in the form of the big beast, move towards him. He slipped and slid, kicking up a cloud of dust as his feet scampered in a futile attempt to stop his advance in the enemy's direction as he tried to reverse his stride. The dry mud did not help. Even if it was asphalt, he still stood no chance. Not at that distance. The leech moved with speed in Jack's direction. I saw Jack's feet slow down as he was almost mesmerized by the sheer agility of the huge beast. The jaws opened and it swooped upon Jack who was now screaming his guts out. We were almost 115 meters away from the vehicles when Jack's screams died. I turned my head around slightly to witness the horror!

His torso lying on the ground. Jack had no head. In fact, Jack had no chest. The leech had bit him in half and the upper part of Jack's body was in the beast's mouth. Blood was dripping from the mouth of the leech that had devoured Jack and the other leeches were moving towards the lower half of Jack's torso. The smell of warm blood must be overwhelming for them. We shut the door of the vehicles and bolted off. We lived to see another day. Thank you Jack!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Spoiler post: Why T4 sucks!

Ok, here it is - the much awaited "T4 Spoiler post" by public demand!*
*(read public = CP)

Read a few reviews praising the movie on IMDB.
Fail to understand how anyone can give this lousy movie a rating of 10 - It can happen only if they have not seen ANY of the movies that T4 has been "inspired" from.
(the count presently stands at 13 movies!)
Fail to understand how a Terminator movie was beaten by "Night at the museum" and still had a 7.4 rating on IMDB.
Fail to understand why of all the reviews written on the movie, none have been scathing of the movie and are trying to play down the lousiness of the movie. The most honest review was one that said "Ben Stiller finishes off Terminator Salvation". Why? Because it presented box office collections for the long weekend.

T4 - 53.8 Million
Night at the museum starring Ben Stiller - 70 Million!


Numbers don't lie. You cannot mellow them down like reviews written by paid scribes!



Here are reasons why T4 sucked and a few suggestions to make it better!

1. The 1st hour of the movie is just building up the plot.

2. The 2nd hour tries to show all the cool action that you have watched in the trailers! By then you are too bored to find it cool, especially if the trailers are in HD!

3. The people in the movie appear well groomed - not helpless and desolate (as they should be in a post-nuclear world)

4. The machines are collecting people to take them to a facility and then kill them. Why? Are you going to harvest them for making nuclear batteries?

5. Just use the robotic arm for picking up the people to crush them! Its more efficient instead of transporting them to a shed and THEN killing them!

6. (7.) In fact, why use the arm at all? Why not just carpet bomb the world and kill everyone.

7. (8.) Whats the use of killing ALL the people? Or even capturing them? Were the machines just trying to find something to keep themselves busy? -

"Gee, we built so many extra nuclear batteries. We'll have to build some terminators to use them now."
"Gee, now there are extra Terminators, so lets kill some people even though they are not much of a resistance!" groovy! (FYI, that's what Bush did in Iraq. Its not the future, its the past!)

8. (6.) In the beginning of the movie, John Connor looks at a nuclear blast happen and survives without even getting a pimple on his ass.

9. (7.) You cannot kill a terminator by shooting it with a gun! Its stupid! The bullets will just bounce off!

10. (8.) Once the gun is empty, you cannot throw it at the Terminator and say "die!" - No, that will not kill it either, unless you are trying to kill it with your stupidity!

11. (9.) When you see a 30 foot "Transformer type" robot coming at you, you should know you cannot outrun it in a pickup truck!

12.(10.) The "predator" in the Arnold movie was a better killing machine than the Terminators!

13. (11.) The bat-man like bike dispatched from the robot's leg was not meant to be ridden by a human!

14 (12.) When there is a nuclear blast, you cannot communicate on radio!

15. (13.) You cannot blow up a nuclear battery plant and possibly escape in a helicopter! You will die!

16. (14.) The nuclear battery plant - the source of the terminator fuel - had minimal security! Even some banks these days have lasers to guard their facility!

17. (15.) If the terminators are heat proof, why not have a "heat-moat" around the plant that will kill humans, but allow the terminators to move in and out!

18. (16.) After killing all the humans, what will Skynet do? Grow potatoes? Or try to create a Issac Asimov inspired SIMS world by building fornicating robots!

19. (17.) The human-robot removes a computer chip from his brain and survives without a hitch! Did he run a test to check if the chip - embedded in his brain - was not vital for his survival? ha!

20. (18.) The same human-robot throws a chair at the display screen thru which Skynet communicated with him - even I know that not going to kill Skynet! Whats the point in that? Just run and save John without trying to reason with an AI computer that has almost succeeded in destroying the world!

21. (19.) If you are going to argue with Skynet, at least make sure you have some logic that would throw it into an endless recursive loop that will lock it up!

22. (20.) He could have installed Windows Vista on the computer - That would have caused it to crash every 30 minutes!

23. (21.) The patches required by Vista would cause Skynet to reboot twice every week. The humans can use that time to infiltrate and capture Skynet!

24. (22.) Putting charcoal over an airbrushed actor does not create an authentic desolate look! Try to get some make inspiration from Mad-Max if you have borrowed a few scenes from it!

25. (23.) The transformer type robot in point 9 raised the count of "Inspired movies" to 14!

26. (24.) Considering all the above points, this post should be called "your ticket money saving post!"

27. (25.) Add your own reason here!

28. A post-nuclear war world does not have a blue sky when nuclear explosions are still happening.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cheating...!

Why do people cheat? Isn't one person enough?

The 1st Affair:

A married man was having an affair with his secretary.

One day they went her place and made love all afternoon. Exhausted, they fell
asleep and woke up at 8 PM.

The man hurriedly dressed and told his lover to take his shoes outside and rub
them in the grass and dirt.

He put on his shoes and drove home.

"Where have you been?" his wife demanded.

"I can't lie to you," he replied, "I'm having an affair with my secretary. We had
sex all afternoon."

"You lying bastard!

You've been playing golf!"


And its not just limited to men! A recent study in found that Australian women are as equally interested in an orgy as men! That may not necessarily mean its cheating though...

The 2nd Affair:


A middle-aged couple had two beautiful daughters but always talked about having a
son.

They decided to try one last time for the son they always wanted.

The wife got pregnant and delivered a healthy baby boy.

The joyful father rushed to the nursery to see his new son.

He was horrified at the ugliest child he had ever seen.

He told his wife, "There's no way I can be the father of this baby. Look at the
two beautiful daughters I fathered! Have you been fooling around behind my back?"

The wife smiled sweetly and replied, "Not this time!"



If we know that one spouse can get boring, is ok to deliberately wander every so often? We don't eat the same food everyday because it is boring...


The 3rd Affair:

A woman was in bed with her lover when she heard her husband opening the front
door.

"Hurry," she said, "stand in the corner."

She rubbed baby oil all over him, then dusted him with talcum powder.

"Don't move until I tell you," she said. "Pretend you're a statue."

"What's this?" the husband inquired as he entered the room.

"Oh it's a statue." she replied. "The Smith's bought one and I liked it so much I
got one for us, too."

No more was said, not even when they went to bed.

Around 2 AM the husband got up, went to the kitchen and returned with a sandwich
and a beer.

"Here," he said to the statue, "have this. I stood like that for two days at the
Smith's and nobody offered me a damned thing."



Is vengeance the right answer?

The 4th Affair:

A man walked into a cafe, went to the bar and ordered a beer.

"Certainly, Sir, that'll be one cent."

"One Cent?" the man thought.

He glanced at the menu and asked, "How much for a nice juicy steak and a bottle
of wine?"

"A nickel," the barman replied.

"A nickel?" exclaimed the man. "Where's the guy who owns this place?"

The bartender replied, "Upstairs, with my wife."

The man asked, "What's he doing upstairs with your wife?"

The bartender replied,

"The same thing I'm doing to his business down here."



Or is homicidal vengeance the answer?

The 5th Affair:

Jake was dying. His wife sat at the bedside.

He looked up and said weakly, "I have something I must confess."

"There's no need to," his wife replied.

"No," he insisted, "I want to die in peace. I slept with your sister, your best
friend, her best friend, and your mother!"

"I know, I know," she replied. "Now just rest and let the poison work."


Why do some people cheat? Is it because they are hurt by others? Is it ok to cheat if you have been cheated on? or should one just curse their luck and move on...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

!~~~ Hell or heaven for comic fans? ~~~!

I love watching cartoons - I generally prefer the animated variety, but sometimes the ones in real life provide much more entertainment

When a movie on a superhero is made, the obvious audience would be the people who have read the storybook / comic book. But very few superhero movies do ’real’ justice to their fans. The most common ’sin’ committed - if I may use the word - is to chop off parts of the story - or to twist some facts to suit the director. If the story is intact, the animation isn’t surreal because it is ’too detailed’ for the big screen - all this is done in the name of ’appealing’ to the movie going audience.

This is such a downer because while making the movie, they forget one important thing - the target ’audience’ for superhero movies is people who like reading the comic books - it is people who like the attention to details. In ordinary words - they are ’nerds’ like me !

So how does Hellboy fare in my exacting standards? Read on people...... read on !

First things first - I have to confess that I have not read the ’Hellboy’ comic book, but I have read enough comic books to know comic books. And knowing comic books is vital to review a super hero movie because the ’nerd’ in me knows what to look out for in such a movie.

It is the final days
of World War II, the Germans and Russians combine modern science and ancient evil and build a machine to open a portal to the ’other’ world to bring forth the destruction of Earth. Ofcourse, if we have Russians and Germans colluding, the Americans can’t be far behind now, can they! The movie opens with a battalion of U.S. soldiers and a scientist/professor traveling together to thwart the evil plan of their enemies. Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, who is the American expert on magic and sorcery is at first mocked by the US military who think all this is just mumbo-jumbo. However as they reach the Island in Scotland that houses the device, the young professor is shocked to see Grigori Rasputin. His presence signifies something even more big than what he had anticipated.

Grigori Rasputin is a Russian mystic who plans awaken the Ogdru Jahad - The Seven monstrous Gods of Chaos. Helping him are his aides Ilsa von Haupstein and Karl Ruprecht Kroenen. Karl is a much touted killer in Hitler’s military! This man is seemingly invincible and many attempts to kill him, including shooting him in the head, have been futile. Just before operating the machine, Ilsa is made immortal with everlasting youth and beauty by Rasputin in exchange for eternal servitude.

When the machine starts, the Americans soldiers are awestuck by the spectacle that they witness. Not realising the gravity of the situation, they start whispering and they are found out. A fight erupts just when Rasputin starts to open the portal to the other world!
What will happen next?

Will the Americans be able to save the destruction of the Earth at the hands of the evil Rasputin? or will Rasputin succeed in his scheme and be able to awaken the Ogdru Jahad? Does Rasputin have any other vested plans? Who is Karl Ruprecht Kroenen? Is he really invincible? Who is Hellboy and how does he figure in this scheme of things? Watch this movie to know the answers....

What I loved about this movie is that Mexican director Guillermo del Toro has done complete justice to the Dark Horse Comic book - Hellboy: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola.

What I didn’t like about the movie?
I didn’t like the attempts of the central character at humor and wit ! He is like that guy who tries too much to get the girl of his dreams that his wheels are spinning in place - he generates a lot of smoke without any fire - those of you who have seen the movie will know what I’m talking about... the rest can remember these lines and try to recollect them when they do see the movie :-)

Clearly if every guy in hell has the wit and charm like the hero of our book/movie, I’d say the girls who like guys should start being good - they certainly don’t wanna go to hell, bcoz they’d be bored out of their wits! But then its hell - maybe that is God’s way of punishing them evil girls :D

Why am I recommending a movie whose central character lacks suave? Read the next para !!

The feel that one gets while enjoying the comic book like reading the dialogs in the voice bubbles, reading the narration written at the top to enhance the description of the scene, the various shadows cast by the animators to create suspense and fear, the elaborate attention to various minute details in the plot that the reader can see after reading the comic umpteen number of times, the rich feel of the vibrant colours in the book, various characters like a group of policemen - some big and burly while others a little old with a family background (the ones you feel sad when they are killed), the gruesome creatures that make you cringe and wonder - Can the superhero survive this fearsome invincible thing?

All of these aspects - that make a good comic book have been authentically recreated in the movie without any compromise. I felt like I am reading a comic book on the screen !! For this satiating experience to the nerd in me, I give the director and the animators 10/10 !
If you worship comics and want to see justice being done to your religion, don’t miss this movie !

An important point to note is that none of the actors are well-known celebs. For comic based movies, getting big names in quite unnecessary because besides the actors being covered in a veil of costumes and makeup, the story is the main hero. Almost all the actors in the movie have a biography of similar movies. Full points to Jeremy Zimmermann for casting aptly.

The Art direction in the movie is A+ as are the costumes. It is due to this that the authentic comic book feel has been successfully retained. Full points to Marco Bittner Rosser, Peter Francis and James Hambidge for the Art and to Wendy Partridge for the Costumes.

For a list of complete cast, please see
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0167190/combined

The movie won the 2004 Best Director - Feature Film - Imagen Award and the 2005 Saturn Award for
Best Make-Up. Both were well deserved, IMO.
For other nominations please visit
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0167190/awards

my verdict?

For the average movie audience it is a 3 star movie. For someone big on comic books, it is a 4 star movie. For someone who loved to see justice being done to comics in movies, it is a 5 star movie !!
You know who you are...

!! Spike !!

This review was first published here by me.