Orchids are called ‘sahei’ in our language and this was a pleasant surprise to wake up to in the morning…
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson, Jermain Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg
Writer: Etan Cohen
It’s been a while and yes, the Men in Black are back. Honestly, I was apprehensive about another installment in this franchise. I never really saw it as a franchise to begin with and then to hear that someone else would play a younger version of Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones)? I was a little worried. But considering and comparing MiB3 to MiB2, MiB3 is miles and miles better! The second movie never really lived up to the original and fell really short. I watched it and ‘liked’ it because I am a MiB fan. I thought with the lukewarm response to the second movie that it would have stopped there. But I can understand why a 3rd movie was made – the MiB concept, the story, characters etc. are all so unique and ingenious that you wouldn’t want such a great story to end with the mediocre 2nd movie, would you?
I have to say, I loved this movie. I watched it mainly because there really wasn’t anything good around to watch but am so grateful I did. It drastically improves and manages to almost erase the fact that there was a second movie. Josh Brolin is incredible! To be able to capture Tommy Lee Jones’s mannerisms, speech, demeanour and that deadpan look. You really felt that you were watching a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones, not Agent K. I crack up every time I see the scene with Agent O (Emma Thompson) giving her speech at the beginning of the movie. To see such a reputed ‘serious’ actress manage to pull off an ‘alien’ language like that, as absurd as it is, she does it oh so well.
I enjoyed the 1969 setting immensely mainly due to the way they brought in famous personalities from that era i.e. Andy Warhol, Apollo moon mission etc. The scene at Andy Warhol’s, The Factory is another ingenious depiction and hats off to Bill Hader who played Andy Warhol. I also enjoyed the introduction of Griffin, the multi-dimensional being, whose character conception is brilliant – a being who exists here, now, there, then and ‘everywhere’, he exists in every time, space and in every imagined outcome of every possible choice taken that in turn affect events that could, have or will occur. Phew!!!!!!!!!!! That’s my summary of Griffin.
The colour is vibrant both in the 2012 and 1969 setting, the special effects are as always incredible and Boris the Animal is a great addition to the cast of MiB villains. I like that he’s ruthless yet funny enough that he hates being called ‘the Animal’ and keeps saying, “It’s just Boris!” Also, he’s nasty looking indeed but that really helps. I chuckled with the introduction of Glamouria – a planet and its people whose only asset is that they’re beautiful and ‘glamorous’ making them most of Earth’s top models etc. Loved the 1969 version of the neuralyzer….kekekeke…so old school along with the younger Agent K’s battery pack. They all make for classic moments.
The story line and it’s progression were incredibly well-worked, it moves along smoothly and you don’t get any sense of there being ‘gaps’ or anything ‘lacking’. I am not completely sure of the set up at Cape Canaveral, if there was or is indeed those little contraptions that are attached to a cable running from the lift-off tower to the beach that allow workers to make a quick getaway? Hmmm…
Sidenote – the humour is there. Will Smith’s Agent J, doesn’t try to do the ‘rebellious younger cop’ quips that his character did in the first MiB. A good 15 years have passed and it shows in his sensibilities and in how the movie tries to tackle humour. Tommy Lee Jones is still ‘refreshingly’ deadpan but that’s where we find his character at his funniest – check out his eulogy at the beginning.
I wish I could type more but I don’t want to give away the whole movie. The ending was beautifully done and tied everything in together so well. So the verdict? Watch it! If you’re not a MiB fan, it’s still a great entertainer and if you are an MiB fan, this so totally outshines the 2nd movie and is a worthy sequel to the first. It manages to recapture that ‘magic’ we all saw in the first movie.
Cast: Colin Farell, Jessicial Biel, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy
Director: Len Wiseman
For those of you who have already seen this film, you might disagree with my slightly higher rating of 6/10 for this movie. My justifying point for this rating is – Kate Beckinsale. Did you see those moves?!!! Omg, those were some very slick fighting moves and my flatmate and I agree, that her one line of dialogue that will stay with us for eternity…”You haven’t even begun to see me try to kill you”…mwhahahah. It has become a classic as witnessed in the results that pop up in Google search.
All in all, as cheesy as the 1990 version was with Arnold Swarchzenegger, I still prefer the older version to the new version. It is quite unbelievable to hear me say this but…gulp…the character had more ‘character’ when Arnold played it. Of course, the special effects score much higher in the 2012 version than the 1990 version but for story line and characters, Arnold’s version wins hands down. I know the ‘little dude who lived inside the bigger dude’ in the older version was creepy and just plain weird but the funny thing was, since it was happening on Mars and people had been exposed to some toxic gas and suffered mutations….strangely enough, that particularly exaggerated mutation worked. Sharon Stone was bad-ass and her character got a nice revamp with Kate Beckinsale playing her role but something of the malicious contempt in Sharon Stone’s portrayal was missing in Kate’s version. This was made up for instead by Kate playing Lori as a tenacious zealot. Hmmm…not sure which one people would prefer.
As for Colin Farell, sigh, I love him and we all know he can act but perhaps the script honestly left him with very little to work with. The character’s development and progression of the story and plot felt like it was lacking something. The angst, the torment of his character wasn’t really there though he did try. In the 1990 version, towards the end of the film, Quaid is tied down and a video is played, showing Arnold’s character as Hauser talking to Quaid about how this was all Hauser’s idea to infiltrate the resistance on Mars. This scene was missing in the 2012 version and though it was alluded to in the dialogue of Cranston’s, I would have liked to have seen Farell’s reaction to seeing an actual video of himself as Hauser telling him that this was all HIS idea. That would have been something.
Jessical Biel…hmmm, Melina in the Arnold version worked in the red light district of Mars and well Biel seems to have been updated to fit the 21st century’s political correct notion of a what a ‘tough’ woman is, so here in the 2012 version she plays the Lieutenant to Bill Nighy’s resistance group. It was pretty 2-D for me. I think some of the movies I’ve enjoyed watching Jessical Biel in were The Illusionist and possibly The A-team. Sadly, Total Recall is not one of them. Again, the script seemed to limit her and some of her lines didn’t really have the same intensity or emotion as Kate Beckinsale’s. I’m trying to imagine if perhaps the actresses had switched roles, would that have been better? I can see Kate playing a very believable tough Lieutenant because she’s already played a similar role in Underworld and Jessical Biel might have suited playing the single-minded officer since she has already done a similar role for The A-team. Hmmmm…what do you think?
In searching for a movie poster image to place in this post, I came across this blog with the title, “International ‘Total Recall’ Poster is the Contender for the Worst Poster of 2012″. Made me laugh, so thought you might like to check it out by Carol Pinchefsky: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolpinchefsky/2012/07/12/international-total-recall-poster-is-contender-for-the-worst-poster-of-2012/
So all in all, watch this movie if you’ve been having a real dry spell in movies. It’s entertaining and I will give credit where it’s due – the scene where Colin Farell’s character is being made to question his reality by his ‘friend’ Harry (Bokeem Woodbine) who tries to convince him that he is in fact still at Rekall (the place where they feed you fake memories which feel as good as real – live out your fantasy kind of deal). That scene was done well and I thoroughly enjoyed the dramatics, lighting and the way it was shot. It felt more fleshed out than the original so that scene gets a ‘thumbs up’ from me.
If you have the time, try taking this poll please! It’ll be interesting to see the results.
I’m writing this after just hearing a huge as chili bomb go off on someone’s stairwell, opposite our ground floor home. The house shook, I could feel the sound waves of the blast reverberating inside my chest. Just an hour or so back, my flatmate and I went out and asked the ‘kids’ in the neighbourhood to stop lighting all their chili bombs, 100 meter crackers etc etc right outside this lane where all the ground floor home owners have had clocks falling off walls, window panes shaking and more chest-cavity shaking than they’d care to have this Diwali.
Now for some clarifications, the ‘kids’ in question are not juveniles like I expected but young men, some older than ‘young’, dressed in nice formal collared shirts, trousers and shiny shoes. Despite telling them, they’ve coolly ignored all requests, from everyone to shift their fun to the TWO parks available at either end of this lane of houses. They’re lighting their crackers right next to people’s parked bikes a little oblivious to the possible dangers of exploding fuel tanks and when told so their only response is ‘it won’t do that and if it does, it does’. Ahem, are you telling me you’ll foot the bill for a charred bike? Or a few charred homes? Ahem, I doubt that. More shocking is the fact that these very same bunch of boys let a small kid, must be around 5 to 6, hold a lit fuse for a cracker in HIS hands and no one perhaps thought, ‘Gee, this might be unsafe for a kid to do’.
As my flatmate and I sat down inside her room, bass-blaring music going on in the background in an effort to drown out all the explosions, she said something about Indian festivals which I just feel has sadly gotten truer with every passing year – that Indian festivals these days have become more sadistic. I thought for a second and yah, it’s true. I mean, Holi is also a day where people have free license to touch you and smear you with colours. When done amongst friends and people you trust, there’s nothing harmful about it but sometimes, I’ve heard from others too how it’s a little disconcerting to see the glint in people’s eyes when they’re about to ‘touch’ you. Or throw water balloons at you. Or throw buckets of water at you from higher floors up. I think more than anything, I just don’t like that glint in the eyes.
After taking the dogs out for a walk…
We’ve been patiently waiting for the cracker bursters to disperse so we can take our two dogs for their night walk. Just when exiting our place, one kid lit a cherry bomb because they saw us taking the dogs out. It gives him and the others some weird sadistic joy and satisfaction. Fine. Coming back, the same pudgy kid, who thinks a little highly of himself, decides to pick a argument with my friend saying ‘You must be happy we’re going’ and she said, ‘Of course, it’s past midnight’ and etc etc. Threats were issued with my friend saying the cops can be called and the kid replying, call them, your house will be the first house I’ll burst my crackers in. Ahem. Like I said, may the shock waves from the crackers render him impotent. Amen.
I noticed a few things about the Indian mentality that just makes me wonder if we’ll ever really be able to call ourselves a ‘developed’ nation in the sense of how we treat each other. The kid in question didn’t even take my friends proverbial insult of ‘saale’ to heart because it came out of the mouth of a ‘girl’. Worse for us still, it came out of a ‘North East girls’ mouth. Am not saying North East people aren’t biased or prejudiced, they definitely are. Ever heard of tribalism? There you go. But let’s put things into perspective before you decide to bring moral behaviour based on ethnicity into the picture. Sure, North East people party, drink, live-in, play music, possibly get into fights but I’ve seen Punjabi’s and Jats do the same. So how is it we become lesser than human beings for doing the exact same things that so-called ‘Indian’ people are doing? Plus, we come to these cities, pay atrocious amounts of rent, get constantly picked on for the way we behave, eat, dress etc, so if we turn into mini-alcoholics and have friends over to chill, I think it would have to be the public’s fault for putting us under so much stress due to constant over-monitoring. I am by no means a victim. Hell no, I love being in Delhi, it’s almost like a second home. But there’s no denying that there’s some form of discrimination if someone who doesn’t feel like a victim observes certain things too.
So back to Diwali: when my friend complained, some old lady was hurling insults saying if we want to burst, we’ll burst crackers as much as we want, the whole year round they play loud music and party and suddenly we can’t burst crackers. Ahem. First point – burst as many crackers as you want, just don’t do it right in front of people’s homes that their wall clocks fall off and window panes shake and as for partying the whole year round, I think it can be scientifically established that that’s humanly impossible. Then the lady went on saying the whole world is celebrating today, you can’t stop people bursting crackers. Ahem. Point two – I didn’t’ know the whole world suddenly became Hindu, so might have been fair to say people in Delhi are celebrating. Sidenote: Others are bursting their crackers in the park.
There’s is a wonderful absence of ‘feeling for the other’ or empathy in the general public. There is more an ‘every man for himself’ attitude here which translates to, ‘If I want to to do it, then I’ll do what I want’. The streets are a mess, I don’t even want to think about how many more maimed dogs there will be tomorrow (they like to tie crackers to their tails). Seems there’s actually a law that bans the bursting of crackers and no noise after 12 am…it’s 1:09 am and crackers still going strong and noise level pretty much up there too. Am sure that same pudgy, now impotent, kid came to plant one cracker close to our place because there was a loud bang not too long back. Also I’ve noticed, people really have a problem when you’re kind to animals. When you’re not there, they chase them away and I don’t get it. If the animal is not bothering you and you’re not feeding it out of your own pocket, then why do you even care if it sits there in some dark gulley?
I do not want to live anywhere else, the cost of living here is still dirt cheap compared to outside. Plus, I find India far more interesting and confusing. But this country makes me worry so much. It’s so insulated and culturally communal (after 60 plus years of independence I still hardly see mainland people eating some good ol’ North East food, just like I don’t see North East people willing to eat roti, try paneer or stop fainting if there’s no meat in their daily consumption). I know all this is coming out from annoyance and anger over what a stupid now ‘impotent’ kid said but it’s really alarming when you see such things happen – are sons so above reproach that they can do anything they want and even elderly ‘aunties’ are powerless to scold them? If you’re more concerned about the great anti-corruption wave and rapidly developing the economy than the ‘phenomenon’ stated previously, then I truly worry for us all. The cities and the posher colonies in South Delhi or in Mumbai etc are really the worst indicators to go by as to how we’re developing as a society. And right now, I’m just worried, worried, worried because there, there’s discrimination of a whole new kind – discrimination based on status. Brhhhh, that worries me too. All this plus, when such acts are accompanied by the loud shouting of ‘Happy Diwali’…anyone else worried?
You get people who walk around angry and frustrated with everyone and everything in the world…then you get the psychos who are angry and frustrated with themselves….pause….usually the two types are meshed into one very messy mess. So why this title for this post? Well, it’s not anything specific, there’s just a whole bunch of things am frustrated about of which many comes down to little ol’ me.
I’m frustrated that I have no money – my scholarship is stuck somewhere in the digital world of bank servers and routers. I’m frustrated that I can’t seem to get this damn thesis done on time, that I keep missing deadlines too many times. I’m frustrated when I see animals because I know there’s not a thing I can do for them – sick ones, dying ones, hungry ones, sad ones, broken ones. I’m frustrated thinking about what’s going to happen to my two pets when I take them home – will they be treated well by those that are taking them in? will they adjust? will their lives be filled with happiness and contentment or not? I’m frustrated thinking about what will happen to this neighbourhood dog who sleeps on our front verandah – will she think we’ve ‘abandoned’ her when we go home for Christmas holidays? will people stop feeding her because they think she’s ‘our’ dog now? I’m frustrated with gossipy aunties especially the one who lives across!!! I’m frustrated wondering about when will my money come so I can take ‘pinky’ the severe mange-infected-dog-who-is-lively-and-going-strong-but-whose-ears-might-fall-off to the vet! I’m frustrated whenever I see a poor person, a beggar, a destitute, a broken man/woman/child – can’t I do anything for them? will I end up like them? I’m frustrated at myself for getting frustrated about all these things! Phew…..inhale.
Basically this post is an ode to frustration…hmmm (note to self: change the title of the post). It’s all part of life, I get it. But the nervousness is sending what-not chemicals to my brain, heart and stomach (acid kills) and that can’t be good.
I’m frustrated I can’t talk to my dad anymore, at least not till it’s my time to reach the ‘pearly gates’. I miss him and having him to talk to. You know how sometimes after a death, memories of the one who has gone become a little romanticized and polished over? I wonder if I’m doing that when I think or talk about my father. I find myself talking about him a lot more than usual and always as if he’s still around. My attempts at normalization. Then I get a little mad…it’s selfish really, but I get mad at people who still have their dad’s. I want to run at them, grab them by the shoulders and shake the living daylights out of them, shouting ‘You’re so lucky to still have your dad! Cherish him! Cherish him! Don’t be an ass!’ But if that person gives me the stink eye and tells me they have a messed up ‘relationship’ with their father because well, he was a jerk; then I will gingerly step away and say, ‘Sorry, wrong person.” Gulp.
I’m frustrated with people who behave as if they can control when and how they die which is why they act like jerks and idiots – like they have all the time in the world to stay hung up over things that are better left dead, buried and finished. I’m frustrated to no ends with people who have only the victim mentality emblazoned on their foreheads – apparently that gives them the right to walk around criticizing others and feeling sorry for themselves. Another phew. My father could have sat around feeling sorry for himself for all his life and believe me, he had every good reason to do so and more. But he CHOSE not to and decided that that’s not how he wants to live his life. So he got up, got going and never looked back. So what the hell am I doing complaining here? Lol.
Anyway folks, guess a blog is a pretty good thing to have around. Sometimes you get the answers you’re looking for unexpectedly. Thanks Pa.
Life seems to be getting more complicated and worrisome with time. A little longer and sometimes I feel I’ll have to stop doing all those ‘silly’ things that you do when you’re supposedly ‘young, care-free and fearless’. I’m not really getting any younger and I’m definitely getting older but I object to the myth that being ‘young, care-free and fearless’ is applicable to the…well, young.
In fact, I think when you’re in you’re prime you get caught up trying to do EVERYTHING before you get ‘old’. I wonder how many belonging to the category ‘young’ do ‘silly’ things like rickshaw rides at night around campus, auto rides at night around campus with their pets (ahem…so not me), ‘chai’ get-together’s (and yes it does count even when you only have two people) and so on and so forth. And please do not misconstrue what I am saying. I am not promoting carelessness and irresponsibility. I’m just saying sometimes you really don’t need to spend any money, or visit any place fancy to have a good time. When you really think about it, I feel that in the future as we look back at years past it’ll be those ordinary moments spent doing pretty simple things that will make us happy.
My flatmate and I decided to head to the park to try lighting up a lantern she got at the Indiblogger meet. I will be very honest, when she unwrapped it, we were like ‘whuaaaat…’ followed by blank looks 0_o Took us a while but upon reading the instructions we started getting excited. So, well past midnight, with our two dogs in tow, we headed to the neighbourhood park. Mind you, it was not an easy journey as our younger dog, Hector, has recently found himself a ‘girlfriend’ (an exotic kohl-eyed beauty) who is rather ‘bold’ i.e. sits on our front verandah and cavorts with Hector’s older brother, Alchia Bura aka Maximus the Handsome-us. But we managed. You would think that two girls who have passed their B.A. would be able to understand the instructions. In our defense, it wasn’t worded clearly. Ahem. That didn’t deter us. We lit the ‘fuel’ and! Nothing…..
We sat in the park for around what seemed like a lot longer than we had anticipated, staring at this white ‘balloon’ that just sat there. I kept worrying it would catch on fire, my flatmate kept worrying about that and the dogs making noise. But despite that we both found the ‘lantern’ very pweetty to look at. So we sat on the bench and did just that, looked at it. We figured it must work on the same principles as a hot air balloon so waited for the hot air to collect and rise.
Imagine our yelps of joy when the lantern, ahem, levitated. My mind was a blank and that was the only word that popped into my head. But we didn’t have to wait much longer as suddenly the lantern developed a ‘life’ of it’s on and began moving along the park wall followed by ‘lift-off’! Straight up and away….into a tree 0_o
Even stuck in the tree, both of us had stupidly happy looks on our faces for a few seconds longer till I panicked thinking the tree might catch on fire. My friend was still happily looking at it. She very wisely asked how in the world I would reach that high and then very foolishly suggested I climbed the tree. I say this was foolish because she seemed to have a) not noticed that this particular tree, though very tall, was not very thick and b) forgotten that though strong, I am not exactly ‘light’. Finally, I very wisely responded that all I needed was a stick and then foolishly said perhaps a stool. But seriously, what are the chances that a stool would magically appear out of nowhere. Seriously enough, there was actually a stool hung up on the iron railings of the park wall and foolishly enough, I took it and saw that you would need one more stool and one more person my height to reach the lantern 0_o
We realized around the same time that we actually had a long stick at home, used for cleaning cobwebs and I rushed back to our flat to get it. But by the time I got back, the fuel had been spent and the lantern had dropped back to the ground. I was so disappointed. We even toyed with the idea of relighting whatever was left but there really was no fuel left. So, with a great sense of accomplishment, we took our two dogs and our floating lantern back to the flat. Secretly happy that we had been dumb enough to let it float up into the tree. We have plans of finding more fuel so we can see it possibly float up into another tree ^__^
In conclusion, many years from now when I’ll sit back and reflect on the days when I was young – those days way back when we went from cable to digital, petrol to CNG, regular to touchscreen phones etc. – I’ll remember how one very late night, two happy fools and their dogs went to a park to light a lantern and watch it get stuck in a tree. Recalling it all, most likely, I’ll smile to myself, have a chuckle, hopefully be able to call that same friend over and with pets in tow, go light an easier lantern >__<
With the public pushing that the state be declared ‘drought hit’ and the government unwilling, out of nowhere comes the RAIN, making it’s dramatic entrance :p
These pictures were taken just about half an hour later of steady, heavy rain…a mixture of heavy rain, poor drainage and rubbish clogging the storm drains and voila! you get flooded compound…
That was yesterday and after what felt like an eternity, the rain stopped and finally began to recede and by 8pm we could see the ground again. However, later around 11pm it started to rain again but thankfully much lighter thus giving time for the water drain out. Today around 3:30pm, the rain started up and we’re sitting watching the water levels yet again…Whenever this happens, the only thought that keeps coming up in my mind is ‘PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING’!!!