Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Apocalypse Now

I have been hearing a lot of Dire predictions of Doomsday scenarious in recent times. And just thought I'd like to share a few scary thoughts for you to chew on.....
1) The Large Hadron Collider - The brainchild of CERN - the European paricle physics reseach institute's newest particle accelerator - what used to be in the good old days (when I was in high school studying physics) called a Cyclotron, is a behemoth of unimaginable proportions and when it is switched on in a couple of weeks - a lot of people have said that it will result in a Singularity/Event Horizon - in simpler terms - a blackhole - something which can swallow our planet and end our civilization. Though this may sound far fetched - if you know (personally) any particle physicist and ask them what do they hope to see when two interesting sub-atomic particles collide - The answer is "Something interesting" but meaning "No Idea". Yes, these people crash two things together and see what the leftover pieces are made of. And you shouldn't (atleast they wont) be surprised if we end up with a blackhole in Switzerland. Now if you dont call that irresponsible... I don't know what is.
2) A.I. - Aw shucks I hear you crib- Not The old Terminator Movie/Skynet artificial intelligence thing again. But please stop and think a minute. The only thing stopping us from developing Artificial Intelligence right now is not the software- its the Hardware -which is failing to measure up - Moore's Law, Anyone? Come to think of it- with all its inherent hardware deficiences and glitches - we already have a highly diversified, planet-wide, distributed network with Quasi-(self) awareness available to us - Called the Internet. We are just a step away folks....
3)Robots - Again something from Sci-fi stories, you think- but stop a minute to think about your latest handheld mobile communicator with so much computing spare power, impressive isn't it? and Mobile phones only took off in the last 10 years. Think what Nokia could do or God Forbid, Apple could do in say another 20/30 years if Robots really took off as a best selling consumer technology?
4) Finally - The Loser Climate Change - Seriously I don't think climate change is going to pose much of a challenge to humanity as Al Gore thinks - we have/will have most of the technology we require (in the near future) to beat climate change easily and restore our planet to equilibrium- regardless of the pessimists.
Anything else I left out? please feel free to comment....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Kuselan - The Review

This can be the shortest review I have ever written - if I could just plagiarize myself from my previous post on the Dark Knight- when I went to see waht I thought was a Batman Movie and couldn't find Batman in it. Similarly, I went to watch Kuselan under the mistaken view that it was a Rajni movie - but it was not. Its a low-brow comedy movie, of obvious malayalam origins, filled with a group of has-been comedians chanting Rajni's name every now and then - just to amke you think it was a Super Star Film. But Fool Me - They did not.

I rest my Case, Ladies & Gentleman.


Yesterday - I popped into Satyam Theatre, Chennai - for a look at the new Batman movie - hoping that I might enjoy myself for a couple of hours on a good old tale of kick-ass and good triumphing over evil. What followed , was an anti-climax.

First of all, let me state on record that this is a fan's review- not a snot nosed, hard-ass critic's review. I have been a long term fan of the Batman franchise- paying out good (hard-arned) money at the movie halls for a dekko, everytime the studio's put out a new instalment. The one, I enjoyed most was the very first one - starring Micheal Keaton as The One. It was a very impressionistic movie on a youngster brought up on a diet of comic-readings. Micheal Keaton and Tim Burton, the director re-defined super-hero movies for me. Batman was as I had always imagined him to be - strong and silent and going about his work without too many angst-filled flash-back moments. There was a job to be done - and he went out and got it done- and can the motivation psycho-babbles. And Micheal Keaton had "the Presence" - that all important quality you require in a Super-hero.

So, to come back to "the Dark Knight" which I viewed with a lot of anticipation and not quite a little trepidation- first impressions are "OK" but great? Hold on a second. The movie's good in parts but somehow the whole doesn't gel together. For one thing - for a batman movie, you get to see the batman a lot less than the other characters on screen - which is quite a turn-off to an average fan. Believe me, I did like Heath Ledger's interpretation of a over-the top joker in the promos and stills - but in the actual movie it was more like it was Heath Ledgers interpretation of Osama Bin Laden. I mean for all his supposed villianous activities the joker is supposed to be a fun character. This joker was definitely not. And neither was the whole Harvey Dent duty/romance/revenge angle -which literally made me go sleepy (after all I was watching a noon-show on an empty stomach). After "Batman Begins" I felt Christian Bale doesnt have the charisma to be a batman and now he doesn't even have screen time. I mean, whats a Batman Movie without Batman in it?

To conclude, in the immortal words of the Riddler (Jim Carrey) when you compare the Dark Knight to the Original Batman - Your entrance was Good, But his was Better- the diffference- Showmanship. So next time - cut all the superflous crap and give us a good ole super hero movie.