Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Amazing Apple iPhone

Wow!! I watched the demo video of Apple's new release yesterday, The "iPhone". And I am floored! Using the wowsome Indian word, I must say I am completely Fidaa over it. (You can see a video I've embedded below this write up)

Apple never ceases to amaze me! The people at Apple are so so advanced in their concepts and designs - whether it was their macintosh computer or the macintosh operating system and whether it is their iMac or their iPod.

The rest of the computer companies complacently think they themselves are advanced but with this release, Apple tells the world again that Apple is miles ahead!

So..with iPhone you can forget about dailing numbers, or holding a stylo to carefully click on the numbers with it. You can simply tap, push, drag your fingers on the large touchscreen. To call people, merge calls, listen to music, send and receive pictures, check you e-mail, browse the internet, by minimum exertion of energy even with your fingertip, and the maximum benefit of options in terms of value.

The Price??? 499 Dollars in the USA! (Less than BD 200!!)
But I don't know how soon it will be available here in Bahrain.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shrek the Third - Delightful or Dull?

Just came home after watching the movie, 'Shrek the Third' along with my kids and my friend's kid, at the Seef Megaplex.

I had earlier enjoyed watching 'Shrek' and 'Shrek 2' - well, you'd be watching these type of movies too, if you have kids in the age-groups as those of mine - but somehow I feel that this part is not as good as the first and second.

It was delightful in a way, with all the fairy tale characters together - from Cinderella to Gingerbread Man, from Pinocchio to Rumpelstiltskin. But somehow, I felt the focus shifted away a bit from the antics of the Donkey or Puss in Boots - who I think are the life-blood of the Shrek series. And Shrek and Princess Fiona too get less screen-time. Well, even though my favourite character from this edition is Merlin the wizard, [despite his brief the way he is dressed briefly too!], the overall impact of the movie wasn't as high as I anticipated.

But then, its also possible because the media raises our expectations, with all that marketing imagery. But seeing the repetition of scenes and locales, again and again, can slowly bore you in sequels. See how you feel your interest waning as you watch The Matrix and then The Matrix Reloaded and then the Matrix Revolutions? Or Jaws series or Scream series. Even Superman and The Lord of the Rings and the Pirates of the Caribbean can make you lose that wonderful first love for the first film.

I know there will be some who'd say, this is rubbish. And even point a case that the Lord of the Rings' third part actually won 11 Oscars. But I still feel that winning academy awards gives no evidence or proof that the enjoyment is same, or more than, when watching the first one that preceded the sequels.

So, here's my Law. Joel's Law of Movie Sequels. "In movie sequels, all things being constant - such as characters, dialogues and music - the degree of excitement one perceives watching a sequel is inversely proportional to the number of the sequel!"

Hee hee. My own postulate. A Royalty-free quote. But please give my reference, every time you use it.

Uh ho..... . I must run away now. I'll continue this later.

So, watch this space.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A slip that is showing!

This is one amazing girl I found on youtube. Simply amazing! I am sure she'll go far, and make waves. More than what she had already made by her talent.

She writes her own scripts, gets her folks to help her shoot herself. She can play music, sing, talk, act, direct, shoot, edit, dub and do a host of other things and is a delight to watch.

Click below and listen to her song '7.7.7'. About youtube gathering on 07.07.07

For those who are wondering why she called her VLog (Video blog) as "Happy Slip", listen to its hillarious origin and her story in her own words, below.

Here's her one song I loved about her Big Mac. Not the one you get at Mc Donald's. But the one you use to type out your e-mails. She sings it to the tune of James Blunt's song, You are beautiful.

Have fun listening to her. I have seen many of her videos. Though not all. But apparently she is becoming a great star. Making up her own soap operas on her you-tube channel which people are subscribing to from Manila to Malibu.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rajnikanth's Razzle-Dazzle

No Indian movie was ever released with as much fanfare - and watched with as much frenzy - as this one, in Bahrain. (check this news)

Two friends excitedly called me on Friday asking if I wish to watch Shivaji, the new Rajnikanth movie with them. They said, in particular, that I must consider it a special honour. Because they bought the tickets at a much higher price than that from the ticket counter - in black, as it is termed - and with great difficulty.

Three other friends asked if I had the tickets to the movie. Or at least tell us, they said, if you know some way of getting them. When I said No, they stiffly, chided me. Their argument? Not making an attempt to buy tickets for this movie that's making waves the world over, is tantamount to insanity.

Most interestingly however, none of them is a Tamil-speaking person! And the movie is in Tamil!

I pointed that out, and expressed my doubts about their viewing comprehension. But they said that language simply doesn't matter as long as they can feast their eyes on the stylish antics of the icon, the legend, and the reigning czar of Tamil cinema, the south Indian superstar, Rajnikanth.

Apart from his acting in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam movies for which he is renowned for, Rajnikanth had also done some Bollywood blockbusters in Hindi such as 'Andhaa Kanoon' and 'Chaalbaaz'. They had brought him good fame. But he chose and stuck to the south Indian cinema, particularly Tamil, where he is now a demigod.

Not many people know that his mother tongue is actually Marathi, but he didn't do any Marathi film. Named as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, when born, he grew up to do all sorts of odd jobs before starting his career in the film industry including that of a bus-conductor in Bangalore.

But from a bus conductor to a stage-player, to a cinema villain, to an anti-hero, to a super hero, he's certainly taken the road less travelled. And travelled quiet far. Now, raking millions of dollars from around the globe, and having a fan-following that almost treats him like god.

I remember my journey into the interior of Tamil Nadu, ten years ago, when in my earlier job as a marketing guy, I had to visit places like Chennai, Erode, Trichy, Coimbatore, Madurai and Pondicherry. I was surprised to see Rajnikanth's face peering at me from various angles from various places. In his trade-mark sunglasses, and with his thick crop of dense dark hair, his face was ubiquitous. It was everywhere. On the glass panes of hair cutting saloons, on the back sides of the passing trucks, on the rear glasses of taxis and auto-rickshaws, on the side-walls of supermarkets and on the sides of the city-buses. Everywhere.

It was because the then hero-hungry masses were agreeably sated by the arrival of this man on the silver screen, who played their hero - yes, their hero - in scores of films. This angry young man's irreverent fights against exploiting employers, his courageous conniving against manipulating zamindars, and his witty scathing dialogues uttered to hit their heart, have all spawned a new generation who swore allegiance to the new style icon.

Joyous whistles, claps and hoots rise up from the front-benches to reverberate in theatres every time he employs a style unique only to him. He can kick the villain's goons, rising high up into the air, defying all Newtonian laws of gravity. He can smash things with an incredible swish-swashing of arms and legs. He can suddenly twist his neck to throw his ruffled hair, back into place, to quick swooshing music. He can, like in fits and starts, stylishly place his sunglasses on his nose twisting his hands and wrists at unbelievable angles. He can hit his one elbow with the other hand, ejecting from fingers, a live cigarette, which makes a couple of summersaults in the air before his mouth deftly catches it, by the right end. Yes. Endearing feats for fantasy-yearning fans.

Recently, his Telugu movie, 'Peddarayudu' (remake of Tamil hit 'Nattammai') had broken several records. His 'Muthu' and its songs became a rage in Japan and, 'Padayappa' also ran to packed houses in the UK and USA. Now his latest release, 'Shivaji', is running to packed houses, across the globe, wherever it is released.

The cinemas are packed and the shows are booked. But is it caused by genuine anticipation for a star-movie, or is it just a marketing stunt and media-generated frenzy? Maybe yes. Maybe No. But what is sure is that Rajnikanth is obviously still cruising on the crest, drawing multitudes to his movies. And for a star-size that is larger-than-life, reviews just don't matter. Hit Happens.