Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Repair scratched CDs With A Microwave!!!

Finally we have a way we can remove scratches from CDs. All we need is a latest technology microwave and some other household items. Gosh, why didn't I know it before...I've heard that it worked for many..some even suggested to soak it chocolate milk before putting it in the microwave because the cocoa and lactoids softens the inner part of the disc and also prevent the sticker from being melted off.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jodhaa Akbar Official Website Online now

As expected the site looks grand with green painting background and golden letters. And then there is the short intro music by ARR which involves drums and horn instruments. However I expected to see the good quality trailer, which unfortunately isn't going to release until November 9th. And surprisingly Ashutosh has put this note in the website where he requests us to refrain from watching the trailers going rounds in various websites as they are pirated. Good move. For now I guess movie theaters are the only place to watch the trailers.

Its interesting to see that Aamir Khan released his "Taare Zameen Par" Trailer first in the internet and then to theaters, while Ashutosh chose to do the opposite. But as this movie would release only on January 25th, 2008, which is a long way ahead, I think its good to keep the excitement building up slowly.

June Pona - Saxophone version

"June Pona July Katre" from Unnale Unnale is one song which has a very high repeat value. Everytime I play it in ipod I get absorbed. Many things work in its favor, the saxophone in the start, the groovy beats, catchy tune...its got a cool feel to it. I wanted to do an instrumental version of it for quite sometime. And after trying different instruments on my keyboard, I picked Saxophone as the main voice. Enough of my technical mumbo-jumbo...Enjoy the video

...and forgot to add..if there are any improvements needed, or you want any of your favorite song in instrumental version, lemme know.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A scene from Halo 3

"Kanna...Panneenge dhaan Koottama Varum, Singam....Single ah dhaan Varum"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Happy Birthday iPod

This day, 23rd October, Apple celebrates the 6th birthday of its brainchild the "iPod". Its unbelievable how things have changed in these 6 years after its introduction. In fact I still very clearly remember. August 2001 was the time I came to US to do my masters, and I proudly carried my Sony CD player wherever I went. For many it was cool, but for me it was the purity and clarity in music which I loved. And come October I saw this news of Steve Jobs announcing a new music player which can store up to a 1000 songs and not only that, it can also fit in one's pocket. The only downside was the huge price of about $450 with tax. I mean c'mon ...that was the freakin money i made from my off campus job in a month...oops i hope i didn't say that out loud...aah well ..who cares now.

And ofcourse the other thing was I had all this cd collection which I couldn't let go off. I still have them, all scratched :(..but remain as memories. But that time I never ever in my wildest dreams though that iPod would dominate the market so much in the future. In fact so were many of them who were very skeptical after its first launch. If you remember, it had a very slow start in the very beginning. But then the rest is what you all know ...history. Now, there's no place where I don't take my iPod with me. Gym, shopping, long drives, office, and ofcourse my home where its always with me.

Take a look at the video from the Special Event, where iPod was officially brought to the world :

The best part about the whole event was that nobody applauded..Nobody had a minutest clue of whats happening. Everyone were like " Whattttt ?? Another music must be kiddin me...who's gonna pay so much for that thing ? " Everyone except one...Steve Jobs. For me I always feel he's way ahead of his time. His foresight is unbelievable. And I'm pretty sure he knows what people are gonna like 6 yrs from now. If I had a time machine of some sort I really feel I would have gone back to that event, stood up, clapped and said..."Hey you guyz know in the future...this thing would come in many forms, one of which can even be clipped to your clothes :)".

Happy Birthday iPod.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Azhagiya Tamizh Magan - Music Review

Days have gone by, things have changed, I've grown up from being a kid going to school, then to college, finally to actually start working and earning. Many things changed except for one. My anticipation and excitement for AR Rahman's new music albums. The only difference I would think is that when in Chennai, I used to call up the music store guy every now and then to check on the album status, and now I refresh TFMpage to see if the album is released in Malaysia or not and wait for the reviews. And there's not even a single time I've been ever disappointed in any of his albums. Its come to a point when I can confidently say that if I like a song in the first hearing, it's a hit and if I don't like it, its a Super hit. For a Vijay starrer, knowing his striking personality on screen and his mass appeal, I expected somewhere in the lines of hit quality music which people can hum quite instantly. And once again, I wasn't disappointed, infact I was pleasantly surprised to hear some above hit quality songs.

"Ellaapugazhum" is gotta be one of the best intro songs in the recent times for any actor. I think its even more powerful than "Balleilaka", and the credit for that equally goes to the grand Orchestration and highly energetic singing by ARR and inspiring lyrics by Vaali. Many things work in this song, the rocking guitar, the strings, the claps in the start, the high pitched Rahman's voice...everything except the beats which however sound familiar. Infact the 1st interlude follows similar pattern as "Katril" song's 2nd interlude from Varalaaru movie. Nevertheless this is an upbeat song light up the entire theater. I can imagine Vijay's delighted fans getting completely absorbed and singing in chorus when the song goes "thala dalapathi dalapathi nee dhaan nee dhaan...anbu thalaiva..vetri namake..azhagiya tamizh magan nee dhaane".

"Ponmagal Vandha" - I guess its become a customary thing to have a remix of an old song in Vijay's movies. I remember Rahman once mentioning about how he hates to remix an old song. I don't know if he was forced to do one in this movie or was it done by someone else. Nevertheless its an awesome remix which still preserves the olden golden beauty, giving it a cool trendy sound. The minimal usage of instruments along with a nice rhythms makes this song very beautiful and pleasant to hear. Special mention needs to be made about the cool rap by Ember rap (surprisingly not by Blaaze). "You're my diamond girl...You're smilin smilin girl"...loved it..Aslam sounds so much like one of those olden days singers. I saw many comparing this song with "Thottal Poo Malarum" and saying this is much better. Honestly speaking, I wouldn't compare both as this is a remix song while the other was a retune. Both are wonderful songs in their own ways.

"Nee Marlyn Monroe" - This song is sure to set the screen on fire with hot Namitha and stylish Vijay dancing in exotic locales. Rahman introduces two new singers in this song, Ujaini and Benny Dayal. Both of them do full justice to this cool and peppy song. Its been a while since Rahman has given this kind of peppy tune, the last I remember being "Hey hey enna aachi unakku". Thanks to its awful picturisation, that song has been completely erased from everyone's mind...except a few, which includes me. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Punjabi folk tune as the first interlude for such a hep song. Only Rahman can come up with such a mixing. Na Muthukumar's lyrics are very youthful. However what did he mean by the line "Pengal cricket...angal wicket...or Pengal mixie, angal chutney" ..hmmmm...anyways go boomshaka boom boomshaka with this song.

"Valayapatti" - AR Rahman is in top form in this song. This is a very catchy and a lively number. One can notice a lot of experimentation going on in this song. There's a classical jugalbandhi in between which is amazing. I love the charanams of this song. Once again lyrics by Muthukumar is interesting and pretty funny..he uses Harmonium and Hormone as rhyming words :). Naresh yet again gets a catchy line after "avalkenne anbasamudura iyer hotel alva maadiri". We know of classic rock genres...i think this belongs to Classical Rock genres :)..Rahman should have had lot of fun composing this song.

"Kelaamal Kaiyile" - This was the song i was waiting to hear after listening to samples. And boy what a beauty this song is. Its a haunting and mesmerizing melody with nice mellowed techno beats creating a dreamy atmosphere. The classical touch to the song elevates it to a new horizon. Many would say it reminds them of "Aagaya Vennilave" or "oru deivam thanda poove". I think it was meant to be that way as the lyrics say "Kettu rasitha paadal ondrai meendum indru nyabagam thoonde". If you listen carefully you'll hear a sound very similar to the droplets sound in "Thenmerku Paruvaikaatru" from Karuthamma, especially at the amazing second interlude. I see another new singer here...Saindhavi. My friend Sridhar feels this is an OK song right now. I've challenged him that he's gonna change his mind in less than 2 days.

"Maduraikki pogadhadi" - The final song of the album where we find Rahman back to his good old Kizhakku cheemayile days. Love the start of the song "Karpoora Kannigai vaarai". Excellent Tamil folk song with once again very catchy charanams. Nothing special in the tune, as it gives sort of heard before feeling, but the arrangements and thavil sound give freshness to the song. Its easily a classy mass song :).

AR Rahman..take a've struck Gold yet again. He's proved it with Sivaji, and he's proved it yet again with ATM that he's undoubtedly the Mighty Emperor when it comes to delivering music which can satisfy both masses and classes equally. This album is a conglomeration of 6 songs belonging to 6 different genres, all of which seem to be potential chart busters. Its also undoubtedly the most consistent and entertaining album for a Vijay's movie ever. Rahman rocks big time.

In short, ATM = ATtagaasaM

Saturday, October 20, 2007

AR Rahman's Azhagiya Tamizh Magan sample songs

Its celebration time in Chennai and probably the whole of Tamil Nadu...Azhagiya Tamizh Magan's (ATM) music samples have been released on the web and everyone are going completely bonkers over it...Actually the samples are really rocking. My favorites so far are Ellampugazhum (superb intro song) and Kettu Rasitha paadal (mesmerizing tune)..But i'm sure after the album releases every song will be in my favorites list..

Samplese ivalavu soopera irundhaa...full songs eppadi day seems to be very long now...can't wait...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pencil + Animation = Pencilmation

Found this cool site with many creative cartoons developed by this guy called Ross Bollinger.This one's my personal favorite. I thought it was a very interesting concept where he draws something with his pencil and that comes to life and he plays around with it...very very creative...If you like it which I'm sure you will, check out his website for more Toons -

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Life Size Transformer @ West Hollywood

They've put an actual full-size Bumblebee robot prop from the movie Transformer in West Hollywood Gateway, in the shopping center located at the corner of La Brea and Santa Monica Boulevard. It looks big enough to distract the always easily distracted LA drivers. In fact its conveniently located in front of Target and Best Buy where after taking pictures, you can go buy your own copy of the new DVD or HD-DVD. Nice Marketing Strategy ...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Taare Zameen Par - a touching teaser trailer

I might have watched this trailer more than 50 times now...and i might continue to do so till the next one comes out. I'm completely moved by this touching trailer.

Its first part shows all the playful children, their expressions, their innocence, fun and then all of sudden this child(Darsheel Safary) with sadness in his expression and a feeling that he is different from others. For a moment I forgot that its Aamir's movie and was totally absorbed in the tear-filled eyes of the child. The best part comes in the end frame where we see Darsheel gazing at a board and behind him the actor, director and producer himself. I have to admit that every time I watch this trailer, my eyes water. I read in a website that this kid is retarded in the movie, which is completely wrong. He suffers from Dyslexia, specific learning disability that manifests primarily as a difficulty with written language, particularly with reading and spelling.

With a heart touching music by SEL in the background, this is one of the finest trailers I've seen in recent times. Hats off to Aamir for taking up movies which many would not even dare to consider.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Desi Dance parties - you are better off skipping them

Date n Time : Oct 13th, 2007, 10:00 pm.
Event : Ticket to Bollywood, a Desi party nite
Location : Tantra Restaurant n Bar, LA

There were two options to choose from this Saturday. Either Garba nite or Desi dance nite. Knowing that desi dance parties are a rarity here and some more Garba nites are gonna be there this month, we went for Ticket to Bollywood. Name sounded pretty funky and the poster was very attractive. The tag line read " Your Ticket to the ultimate mix of Bollywood and Bhangra beats ever ". Very impressive right ?? Well, we were very excited. The nite was supposed to start at 10:00 pm, but being in Sunset Blvd, which is about one and a half hr drive from my place, we left @ 8:00 pm.

At first I thought Tantra would be like another club here called Sutra Lounge, which is a more cozy club with a great dance floor, and nice ambiance. But when I reached the place I found that it was more of a restaurant wherein they were moving the tables to make way for the dance floor...hmmm..My first disappointment. Read on for more blunders committed by the so called Loose Control Productions, the organizers of this nite.

So it was 10:00 pm and we were already there. But where are the people ?? I saw few Americans, but not so many Desis...ohhh could I forget that Desis always come late for everything. And so the dance party started, and as there were more Americans than Indians, the DJ decided to play some American pop songs. As usual all desis were sitting on the couches surrounding the so called dance floor and just Americans were dancing. There were two TVs on the walls which were ironically playing Jaanemann sad song which had Salman Khan crying ...pathetic !! So we decided that this aint good, and went to have the next attraction of the nite...hookahs !! Now this was the best part of the whole nite. We tried the Exotic Apple flavor and it was amazing...the setting was arabic style and we were lucky to go there early and get a good place...Nirvana Attained ! We loved it so much that we stayed there for about 2 hrs...and that being jus 12 bucks, it was time and money well spent. Now we enter the dance floor again.

And hey!! we thought it was good to take the break as now the dance floor was pretty decently occupied. And also there was nice desi music playing. However as this was not a regular club, the acoustics were horrible and the songs were way too loud. Following were all the noteworthy incidents which made this desi nite a bummer :
1) The DJs sucked big time...there were two of them of whom one didn't know how to mix songs..from fast song like Mast Kalander from Hey Baby, he abruptly jumped to Salaam E Ishq title track. Now why would you play a slow romantic song right after a thumping bhangra song ?? ask DJ Karan.
2) There were breaks many a times. A song is playing and suddenly music stops. What the fcuk !!! Highly unprofessional. We later came to know that the cd was stuck..hehee...i guess that was their tag line..ultimate mix...hehehe...a mix which also has moments of silence.
3) Some desis were dancing in a way which cannot be can only be experienced. This one guy was so hyper that he was dancing like a robot / Kusthi fighter / Karate Champ / WWE wrestler. Anything but dance, and he was repeating the same moves for about 3 hrs. His wife was so embarrassed that she started dancing with other folks..hehe...and he was jumping and dancing so much that eventually he succeeded in creating a big circle for only himself to dance.
4) The Bar didn't have my favorite and popular drink..Jaeger Bomb...I was so damn pissed off...
5) Many Americans left in between as they were thoroughly disappointed. I wonder if they'd ever go to any Indian dance parties anymore.
6) In between people were going to the DJ and asking their favorite song and he was abruptly stopping a song and playing that...a total mess.
7) In between, the DJ was requesting everyone to make some noise, and in return everyone were booing him. In fact few were shouting " You Suck big time dope ". I was one of them :).
8) As we all know that best things come at the end, here it was the opposite. The worst thing came at the end when DJ Esque started playing Ek Do Theen from Tezaab...oh my god...what a blunder...everyone were laughing in the floor and didn't know what to do.
9) The music was so boring that many people left even before 3:00am, and so the DJ was forced to stop playing the music by 2:00 am. A total flop show by Loose control productions or rather Loosu pasange.

So there you go. I tried to cover as many disastrous moments as possible. I don't think I missed any. But thing is for sure, I wouldn't be going for another desi dance party, and I would advice everyone reading this post to be very cautious when deciding to head for one. See if its a proper club, and if not you would be better off staying away from it. Play nice music at home and dance to it. You'll have more fun . Desi dance parties are highly unprofessional and they might turn out to be nightmares. If you really wanna enjoy clubbing experience, go for some nice proper well known nightclubs. Like there's one called V2O in Long Beach. Great crowd, music and an upscale atmosphere. Two big dance floors and lot of room to walk around. They have amazing decor: comfy couches, modern furniture. And there would be enough people to make it fun, but not too crowded. And above all, very professional which would allow you to dance non stop for 4 - 5 hrs. If you live in LA or the OC it is definitely worth the drive to check V2o out rather than looking out for these over hyped desi nites.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

PFCOne : The Online Film Festival for One Minute Movies

This is a great news for all the wanna-be filmmakers.

From December 1st to December 5th of 2007, PFC ( Passion for Cinema ) will have its first Online film festival for One Minute Movies called " PFCOne ". The whole purpose is to encourage the film maker in each one of you. You can use your cell/mobile phone, your digital camera, your camcorder, rent a movie camera, a video camera… anything that can capture a motion picture to shoot a one minute film that is based on an original story…You may send in your entries between September 10 to November 15, 2007. Any submissions after November 15th, 2007 will unfortunately not be accepted.

It will be viewed by an esteemed panel of jury, who will select a winner and a few runner ups and award them with some awesome awards that most of us can only dream of, which include like internships under directors like Anurag Kashyap, Sudhir Mishra and many more...

Also there is NO ENTRY FEE for the festival.

For more details check out this website...

I'm on for this...have to get my handy-cam ready...start thinking of some cool ideas...oh shoot now i cannot concentrate on my work...thats ok...the submissions of movie deadline is November 15th...after that I can get back to my usual work routine :)...

Thanks PFC for this excellent initiative and Good luck to you all...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jodhaa Akbar - the Final look

And UTV releases the complete poster of Jodhaa Akbar, right in the time when its first trailor is coming out..Ash looks amazingly stunning, also a bit more matured compared to her earlier movies, while Hrithik looks very determined and poised. Somehow this picture reminds me of the king and queen in playing cards :) ...i mean the way they are looking...can't wait for the trailor now, I heard the sets are very Grand and background score is larger than life...Just few more days and we'll experience it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

"No Smoking" - Music Review

“No Smoking” ..Pretty unusual name for an Indian name right …then imagine if Anurag Kashyap had gone ahead with the first choice, “Cigarette Smoking is injurious to health”..People would have seen the poster and thought it’s an ad by John Abraham. Thankfully thats not the case.

There’s actually a big story behind this unconventional movie, as to how Anurag had to struggle to get a producer for this movie. You can read his complete struggle in his website Anurag Kashyap's diary. It’s really disheartening to see that our producers are only up for making loads of money and not really making meaningful cinemas. This is the reason why we get mediocre movies which still become hit, thanks to some item numbers which satisfy the front benchers. Take a look at few responses he got when he approached some big time producers with this story (names concealed for obvious reasons) :

” Go back to the planet you came from”
“Try and get a movie release first, get a star, make a movie, ”
“you are talented, why are you wasting yourself over such absurd films”
“tell me something more intelligent”
“too bizarre”

His belief was “dus baar deewal mein sar maaro…deewal kabhi tho tootegi”. And so he kept on trying till he found Vishal Bharadwaj, who agreed to produce the film as soon as Anurag read the story to him. Naturally Vishal also took on the role as music director and delivered songs which go well with the mood and the setting of the movie. Now lets digg into the songs..

"Jab bhi Ciggaret" is a super cool song for me. A smooth jazz with apt rendition by Adnan Sami. You can’t help but notice Gulzar saab’s brilliant touches here and there or may be everywhere.

Lambe dhaage dhuen ke
Saans silne lage hain
Pyaas udhti hui lagi
Honth chhilne lage hain

Shaam hone lagi hai
Laal hone lagi hai

Genius…One has to get high to appreciate the mood and lyrics of the song..hey don’t take it seriously haan :)..Gulzaar depicts the state of mind of a smoker sooooo clearly, that it makes me wonder if he ever was in that situation before ;). I guess its just talent.

The jazz version reappears as a trance version in the end sung by Sunidhi Chauhan..Just like in Jab we met remixes, this song is a complete transformation from the original and feels like a different song. The saxophone loop is replaced by a guitar loop here. This song sure does have a haunting feel to it. A good song, a different song belonging to one of the unattempted genres of music in hindi, I would place it besides the title track of Johnny Gaddar.

"Phoonk De" has Rekha Bharadwaj singing it in a very familiar style which we’ve heard in Omkara. Quite easily I can imagine Bipasha when hearing this song and I believe she is doing an item song in this. The tone of this song is once again dark, gloomy and mesmerizing, with nice electronic beats usage on a bhangra base. The word ‘phoonk de’ is pretty addictive. Again brilliant lyrics by Gulzar..

Aas paas kuch nahi jee udaas hai zara
Dard sabz hai abhi mujhko raas hai jara

Hayaat phoonk de
Hawaas phoonk de

Saans se sila hua libaas phoonk de

Actually the entire song has amazing lyrics describing a man totally drowned in smoking…Gulzar you are a genius. Sukhwinder’s version of the same song comes again in the end, with different musical setup, a bit more pacy..mostly like a background song.

After 2 dark songs, “Kash Laga” comes in as a “smoke-free, fresh air zone” type of song. When I was listening I could make out Sukhwinder’s voice, but couldn’t make out Daler’s voice, even when I knew it was him singing. Amazing variation in voice. Vishal’s voice however sounds like a school kid singing amidst music teachers :). Gulzar is once again at his best in the lyrics department.

Ye jahaan faani hai
Bulbula hai paani hai
Bulbulon mein rukna kya
Paaniyon pe behta jaa

It’s a joyful song, like a celebration. I like it for the lyrics and rendition, not so much for the music.

Vishal once again tries to create an eerie effect with the next song "Ash Tray"…I feel I’m surrounded by smoke listening to it…dhuan dhuan…somehow when he says yeh ash tray it feels awkward and forced in the song…Just being the nature of the song, one can totally concentrate on the lyrics and find the sparkling poetry of Gulzar

Na haath daalo
Ki waqt se chheele hue lamhon ki raakh Garam hai
Waqt se chheleey hue lamhon ki raat narm hai

Wah wah …It’s sung very sorrowfully by Deva Sen Gupta, which means he’s done full justice to the song.

Kudos to the team – Anurag, Vishal and Gulzar, in coming up with a daring album and a bold movie. They are making films which they believe in, and we know that there aren’t that many in this industry. Its not appropriate to compare this album with any of the other soundtracks released this year. Not even with Johnny Gaddar, as that was a more upbeat, retro feel music. You have to be alone or in a calm place to enjoy this music, especially the lyrics. This has its own charm, uniqueness, sadness and for such an experimental subject, it’s an incredible soundtrack. I wish Anurag all the best for “No Smoking” and hope he continues making meaningful movies, no matter what happens.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Movie Stars and Cricket..whats up with that ??

Lately we've been seeing ample coverage of movie stars in cricket matches. Whats up with that ?? Do they really love cricket so much ? Or is it for some other reason unknown to us? Some hardcore fans would be excited to see their stars in stadium. Of course they have a reason to be. I mean how often do stars come out in public, and how often fans get to see them in person.

Tamil star Vikram stays very close to my house in Chennai. Whenever my brother sees him going to gym, he becomes so overjoyed that for one whole day he keeps talking about him. Now imagine every person in stadium getting a glimpse of their favorite star. Why just in stadium ? Imagine everyone watching TV getting a glimpse of their star. How about some more...Imagine every paper, every website, including my own blogpost, writing about them...hmmm I see something common in all these...and it sounds to me like a huge.... "Publicity". how sure am I on I just being harsh here. They might really love cricket so much that they want to watch it with people. The question is Do they really do ?? I wanna talk about 3 incidents for now, else this post would be never ending.

Shahrukh Khan in SouthAfrica for Twenty20 worldcup :
This act certainly caught everyone's attention. Not only Indians, but even South-African's or for that matter every other country where SRK is famous. Can he get better publicity than this ? I don't think so..but why does he need this publicity at this hour....ohhhhhh his new movie is going to release next month, Om Shanti Om. Fair enough. SRK is known to appear in as many channels and papers as possible, before his movie releases, which also happens to be his home production.

Ram Charan Teja with Chiranjeevi at Ind-Aus match in Hyderabad :

Chiranjeevi ( Annayya for all, meaning big brother ) is the most admired person in Andhra. I don't know if there can be anyone like him in the future. He's like what Rajini is for Tamil Nadu, or Amitabh is for Hindi movies. Recently his son, Ram Charan Teja, was launched in his first ever movie Chirutha. I heard it was a pretty good first movie for him. But whats the norm after launching a new comer in industry ? More public appearances to garner fan following. And its quite natural to expect the respected father to make all his fans support his son. Thats what Amitabh did for Abhishek. And what better place to get attention...well ofcourse you guessed it right...Cricket match. Having said that, I adore Chiranjeevi and wish all the best for Teja's success.

Athidi Poster in Ind-Aus match again in Hyderabad :
Now whats this Mahesh Babu starrer, Athidi movie poster doing in cricket match ?? Ok I come to understand that its the most awaited telugu movie, but whats it got to do with cricket match? If you click on the picture you'll see how much space this cutout has occupied. What bothers me is that there are hundreds of cricket fans standing outside the stadium, unable to get tickets as they are all sold out, and this huge cutout is taking up 5-6 rows of seating space.

At the end of the day, If I look back at these events, I feel its a win-win situation for everyone. The celebrities get what they want, the stadium owners get their pockets full and the crowd and media get what they want. So who's complaining ?? I guess just a very few section of junta like me who follow the rule " Seeing is not Believing ". I see Jack Nicholson in every Lakers match. He sometimes travels to where all the team goes to play. Media doesnt cover him and he doesnt do it for any other reason other than the "Love" for the game. If all of our celebrities who appear in matches do it for the Love of the game, its good. My only request is please don't utilize cricket matches for selfish reasons. Its not entertainment industry for god's sake. Our country is playing with another country. Don't spoil the game's spirit.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Microsoft and Bungie part ways

After successfully making more than $300 million in worldwide sales with "Halo 3", Microsoft Corp said today that Bungie, the crown jewel of its video game unit behind the hit "Halo" franchise, will become a separate company, opening the possibility that it could make titles for Microsoft rivals.

Read more here

Personally this news doesn't make that big of a difference to me, as I have XBox 360 and I already play Halo games. But I think this is a great welcome news for PS3 or Nintendo folks.

Whats confusing is that Microsoft said it will retain a stake in the new company, to be called Bungie LLC, and also there's news that Bungie will now be able to create games for platforms other than the Xbox 360 and not have to report to Microsoft. Why would Microsoft allow Bungie to make games created for Xbox 360 be also made for PS3, their competitor ??

However I think we would be seeing a lot more PC games in the near future from Bungie, LLC...may be even a Halo PC or a mac game.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Incredible Hulk (2008) - Sneak Preview

If you were one of the many who waited with bated breath to watch the big green guy for the first ever time on big screen in the movie "The Hulk (2003)".....

If you were one of the many who still waited even after the movie started, for about an hour to see the big green guy appear on big screen.....

If you were one of the many who thought the movie was a little boring and didnt have as much action sequences as you expected.....

In short, if you were a little bit disappointed with Ang Lee's version of "The Hulk", then you are in for an Incredible Wild ride in the next year's "The Incredible Hulk" which is slated to release next year.

Yesterday a 5-13-07 draft of The Incredible Hulk written by none other than Edward Norton, was posted on IESB site . And everybody is already raving about it. They say this movie is gonna attract both fans and non-fans alike. Its also gonna have a lot of action and humor, something which the first film lacked.

Also there’s no waiting around ‘til 40 minutes in to have the big green guy make an appearance, this time around he appears in the opening sequence and it’s harsh! Cooooooooooool.

Now for some spoilers. For a detailed draft, refer to the IESB link. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Hulk appears in the first sequence in the film. No waiting around for the green monster’s appearance.
  • Fast forward 5 years, Bruce Banner is hiding out in Brazil in search for exotic flowers that he believes will help destroy the gamma radiation in his blood.
  • While working at a bottle factory, Bruce is cut and a drop of his blood falls into one of the bottles. A woman in Minnesota drinks the juice and almost dies. The gamma is detected in her blood and this alerts the military.
  • Bruce escapes to the States, meets up with Betty Ross, and they both leave for New York City to find Dr. Sterns, who has developed an “anti-dote” for Bruce. But they are caught by General Ross and the military.
  • A soldier named Blonsky who was crushed by Hulk, takes a super gamma serum developed from Bruce’s Blood and transforms into Abomination and he begins to destroy the city.
  • The only one who can stop him is Bruce…Ross agrees. Monster on Monster action ensues!
Looks like the movie's gonna rock...I guess thats why Edward Norton agreed to do this one.

The film is directed by Louis Leterrier and stars Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt, and is scheduled to smash into theaters on June 13,2008.

Monday, October 1, 2007

"Jab we met" - Music Review

Amidst highly anticipated albums like Saawariya and Om Shanti Om, I somehow missed out "Jab we met". There wasn't any hype surrounding this movie. I know Pritam comes up with good music now and then. But as it released on the same day with Saawariya, I had to let go of this one. At first when I saw the trailer I didn't care much about the album. But then after seen raving reviews in many sites, I thought I'll give it a try. And what a pleasant surprise !! Right from the first song I was instantly hooked on. Thanks to the variety in the soundtrack, I didn't even for once skip any song before it finished. A dark horse in the competition, this could might as well turn out to be the most enjoyable soundtracks of the year.

The album starts with a bang with the song "Mauja Mauja". Typical of what we expect from a Pritam soundtrack. Catchy tune and rhythmic beats, very energetic and perfect for dance floors. Mika gets his second hit number this year. I'm sure we'll be hearing this song over and over again in almost all channels in days to come.

There's also a remix version at the end, but I prefer the original over it.

The next song is what makes this album a special one. The serene "Tum Se hi" has a starting female loop a-a-a-a-a...very infectious and goes on like a loop before the actual song starts off. The song has got a nice rhythm to it. Mohit Chauhan's voice is very refreshing. He should sing more often. The flute interlude is very very soothing. A perfect song for a long drive away from traffic and on the mountains. Pritam excels in this song.

The beautiful melodious "Tum Se hi" transforms quite easily into a mellow, chill type techno number in its remix version which appears later.

Next comes another catchy song "Yeh Ishq" which sounds almost like an arabic song with hindi lyrics in it. Its a kind of song which was attempted by AR Rahman way back in early 90s. Shreya Ghosal seems like a misfit here. Alisha Chinoi would have done complete justice to it. The orchestration is very enjoyable. Pritam must have had a lot of fun composing it. However I believe its a rehash of Pritam’s “Mahiya” song from the film “Awaarapan”. I haven't heard that one and don't intend to either, so no comments.

The remix version is racy with thumping rave beats and feels like a different song altogether. Generally remixes seem to be more like fillers. But here its a different story. Another rocking number tailor-made for clubs.

Sonu Nigam takes over the mike this time with an upbeat "Nagada Nagada". For me Bhangra songs are like Hip-Hop/Rap songs. There's only so much variation you can do to make it sound different from others. Thats why we get the heard before feeling when listening to Nagada song. Nevertheless, it keeps the pace going. Not a song which I'll be listening often. Skippppp

Wow...Sarangi...what an instrument...absolute Bliss. And what a surprise... Pritam roping in Ustad Sultan Khan ? I can't believe the techno-ish, club-bish, arab-ish, pakistan-ish copy-ish songs composer uses a Classical instrument such as sarangi to one of his songs. I have to applaud Pritam here for this beautiful song "Aao Milo Chalo". Shaan is getting a lot of songs these days, and why not when he's doing a neat job. The fusion piece in the 2nd interlude and again in the end with Ustad Sultan Khan's vocals and guitar music in the background is what elevates this song to a different level. Its hard to choose between this song and Tum Se hi. I think both of them equally stand out.

Remember timeless melodies like "Ghar se nikalte hi, kuch door chalte hi" and "Hosh walon ko khabar kya". Songs which we can listen anytime, be it day or night, at home or driving. Songs which make you happy from within, and which make you concentrate more on the lyrics. Sandesh Shandaliya, the guest composer, comes up with a song belonging to the similar forte. "Aaoge Jab Tum" is a very melodious and soulful song, backed with subtle instruments. Once again vocals department excels with Ustad Rashid Khan rendering effortlessly.

The album ends with "Tum Se hi - Instrumental". This piece is like a breath of fresh air. One can't help but notice similarities to Titanic song and Braveheart theme, mainly due to the flute. Its like a grand finale to an exciting musical, where a symphony setting is created with Opera singers singing in chorus. For a second I thought I'm listening to a James Horner or Vangelis or Hans Zimmer composition for a Hollywood movie. A very haunting musical piece with a mystical feel to it which makes it a powerful listening experience.

Recently Pritam gave an interview where he mentioned that he's going to put a full stop to this plagiarism abuse, and start working on some serious original stuff. If this album "Jab We met" was composed anytime after that interview, then he kind of delivered what he promised. This album is diverse, has some soulful melodies, awesome dance numbers, beautiful lyrics, and great vocals. All in all a music both for masses as well as classes. And with Kareena shaking her 'you know what' with her 'you know who' on the screen, I'm sure crowd would go bonkers. A must have in your collection.