[Copied from my original writeup @ FreeHyderabad Forums]
*ing: Nicolas Cage, Jessica Alba & Julianne Moore
Next is a movie about a magician called Chris (Cage) who can see the future! Well, not really the future of everyone, but he can see what is going to happen to/with/around him – 2 minutes before it really does happen! Call it ESP or Premonition or whatever, he sees a bit “ahead”. And that’s why hez in hiding…hiding from people who will experiment on him, hiding from being called a freak and what not! Till one day, he ‘sees’ wayy into the future…he sees a gal walking into a diner at a particular time and waits in that diner for each and everyday. Meanwhile, FBI learn of a Soviet Nuclear Bomb being stolen and smuggled into US and for some godforsaken reason, think that nabbing Cage and asking him to ‘see’ where it is gonna be detonated and then attempt to stop it within 2 minutes is a good idea! Agent Callie (Moore) chases him like there is no tomorrow but owing to his ‘foresight’, he escapes each time. He then meets Liz (Biel) the gal of his ‘visions’ and drives away with her to the Canyons…and observes that whenever he’s with her, he can see wayy into the future!!!
Whereas the premise of the movie is good, the execution is bad! There is a lot of mumbo-jumbo stuff and the whole Nuclear Missile thingy looks like pure bunkum! Even unbelievable is the romance between Cage & Biel and Moore’s adamancy in having Cage ‘look’ and warn them rather than taking some preventive action! She even ties him upto a chair n front of a TV and asks him to ‘see’ the news of the explosion and tell it to FBI so that they can stop it!!!Climax is both interesting and dull at the same time…as you think its gonna end in one way, it does so in a totally opposite fashion, thus leaving one choking on their Mirinda (I did that!). Not quite a surprise, coming as it does from the director of Die Another Day – the one with the invisible car and all – Lee Tamahori.
All the three lead actors look jaded and uninterested in the proceedings…Cage has never looked older (he is Old, after all!) and Biel has one towel-scene that raises some eyebrows and a few whistles. Directed by the same guy who did Die Another Day, the seemingly racy thriller loses steam midway and even doesn’t even have a ‘real’ climax fight! Based on some short story, the translation onto screen just doesn’t work. Only reason it was released here is that PVR is its Indian distributors! If u happen to come across this movie in a Multiplex, head over to the NEXT one! I mean the one playing in the next theatre….
Am at moi hometown of Berhampur, Orissa and the festive mood is just starting to wane down a wee bit. Dussehra’s behind us now and Diwali is still a fortnight away. The festive look and feel of the town and its marketplaces is still in place though. I haven’t yet traversed through the marketplace myself but a view from afar suggests that the mood is still upbeat. Diwali shopping picks up pace only towards the actual day of lights so the best is yet to come. I for one do regret that this year too I’ll be away from home on the occasion of Diwali! I’d been away in Hyderabad for the past three years and though the festivities there too are aplenty, it sure misses the small-town hullabaloo and masti!!! The full-moon day after Dussehra is celebrated in Orissa as Kumara Purnima and on that day, people worship Goddess Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth and all-night playing sessions of Chess or Cards are held. Though it is not strictly gambling, the occasional bet and banter do come into the picture here I have occasionally played the cards on this day and more often than not, I have returned a loser! This time though, lady luck was on my side and though not a hefty margin, I did rake up a few noteworthy wins
Sadly, my hometown visit is coming to an end and I will be getting back to the daily grind of work pretty soon! But not with a sulking and defeatist attitude, but with a reinvigorated and rejuvenated freshness. After all, memories such as these will only bring out the inherent happiness to the fore. Rather than lamenting about it-would-have-been-better-if-it-were-a-few-days-more, I’d see it as am-fortunate-enough-to-have-that-little-sojourn!!!
P.S: Shouldn’t I mention that this was posted from my HP dv6426 using my slow n’ faithful dial-up connection??
I was planning to go down to my hometown for a small occasion (and also for kumara purnima ) and had booked the tickets some time ago – in September to be precise. But they were in waiting list and given the holiday rush and the travel season thats prevalant now, anyone would think that those would never get confirmed! But I had a sliver of hope, not the least coz ’twas W/L 1
The day of the journey is today and the train’s scheduled departure is at 1600 HRS IST. And now it is 1300 HRS IST. Till a few minutes back, my ticket was still not confirmed and I had half-made-up my mind that I’d have to cancel the ticket and postpone my visit…but a last-minute check revealed that the reservation was confirmed!!! And I am left with a little over two hours to get packing and all ready!!!
*rushes out in mad haste*
Aaja Nachle marks the keenly-anticipated return of the Queen Bee, the Dancing Diva, the original Numero Uno (well, after Sridevi i.e.) Madhuri Dixit onto the silver screen after a hiatus of five years (AFAIR, her last appearance was in Hum Tumhaare Hain Sanam). Its another claim-to-fame is that it is from the Yash Raj banner. Their releases this year haven’t had music of the chart-topping kind; whilst Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and Chak De had the odd memorable track, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag had more of a mellifluous music than of the hit kind!
Aaja Nachle’s music is by Salim – Sulaiman, who were responsible for many a good background score for movies such as Bhoot and Dhoom. The album kicks -off in style with the dance number Aaja Nachle whose promos are on-air nowadays and in which Madhuri absolutely looks good in a blue n’ black ensemble. Sung by Sunidhi Chauhan in her inimitable robust style, this song is the soul of the album and also has a reprise version – a fast-paced one which gets the listener into foot-tapping mood early-on. One gets to hear Madhuri’s sweet voice as she recites some lines of Sohniye Mil Jaa which seems like a quintessential melaa song. I dunno why but the song reminds me very much of the Pagdi Sambhaal Jatta song from Bhagat Singh (Ajay Devgan’s)…maybe because of Sukhwinder Singh’s vocals! Sunidhi Chauhan gets all recital-ly in Koi Patthar se na Maare which is essentially sung by Shreya Ghoshal with support from Sonu Nigam. This one seems to be a stage-performance song…of maybe a tragic love story. It has some heavy vocals, drum and sitar rhythms in the background that kinda lulls off the listener into stupor. Romance takes over in the next two tracks of Ishq Hua and Is Pal. Both are sung by Shreya and Sonu; the former is a light-hearted duet and when I close my eyes, I can picturize it on Konkana Sen and Kunal Kapoor. The latter has some classical humming accompanied by light tabla beats and is slightly less-interesting than Ishq Hua.
An out n’ out English track is rare in Bollywood music (Dhoom’s Tata Young track comes to mind immediately) and one is pleasantly surprised as Dance With Me rolls on. Sonia Saigal is the singer which has a club/disco feel to it. I can’t remember and croon back any of the lyrics apart from the main lines!!! It gives way to a folk-sounding and spunky Show Me Your Jalwa. This song is also being shown in the newest promos on-air and has Mads in a rickshaw, roaming around town crooning this one. Richa Sharma’s voice doesn’t exactly suit Madhuri but Kailash Kher’s vocals more than make up for it. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sings the soft n slow O Re Piya which has a touch of sadness to it. Light flute and harmonium rhythms add an even morose feel to it. Most probably a background song which shows separation and longing.
Overall, a nice compilation of songs which though not of the chartbuster kind has a soft n melodious feeling to it. Given the relatively new names behind this album, its only fair to say that they’ve done a good job. The title track of Aaja Nachle, the romantic Ishq Hua, the folksy Show Me Your Jalwa and stirring O Re Piya are the pick of the lot.
P.S: ITWOFS has an interesting tidbit about the music piece in the title track.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen clinched the 2007 Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship in an enthralling race at the Interlagos. Going into the last race of the season trailing by seven points to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and by 3 points to two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, Kimi needed to win the race with Alonso finishing no higher than third and Hamilton finishing no higher than sixth. And one couldn’t have scripted a better finale, as Kimi won the race with Alonso coming third and Hamilton finishing seventh. This meant that the Finn had 110 points compared to Hamilton’s and Alonso’s 109 – thus winning the title by a single point!!!
There was palpable excitement surrounding this race, most of which had started off right after Hamilton’s gravel-stop-incident at Shanghai. Hamilton still was in the lead and after Saturday’s Qualifying, he had both his title rivals behind him on the grid. He just had to maintain his position and finish ahead of his teammate Alonso while ensuring that Kimi didn’t win. But it all went awry at the start itself! Pole-sitter Massa’s deft maneouvres coupled with Kimi and Alonso’s aggressive starts caused Hamilton to slip back into 4th place at the start of race and as they went into turn two, he tried re-passing Alonso in vain and slid wide, and rejoined in 8th position. The two Ferraris of Massa and Raikkonen were leading the race with Alonso in pursuit. Things went from bad to worse for Hamilton as his McLaren suddenly lost gear-shifting and he appeared to nearly come to a standstill. The car managed to pickup the gears again but by that time he was down in 18th place and the chances of the title went poof! in smoke. The situation suddenly looked rosy for Alonso – with Kimi in 2nd place and himself in 3rd, the Spaniard would become Champion!!!But Ferrari – and of course Kimi – had it all panned out nicely and by the time the second pitstops arrived, Kimi drove some fast in and out laps and emerged ahead of his teammate and now, it was Kimi who was going to become champion! Hamilton did manage to carve his way past some of the slower-running cars but eventually had to settle for 7th place. But, as he himself said, he still has a long career ahead of him and there would be no dearth of championship crowns for him.
The rest of the runners were kinda lost in the wake of the championship battle but there were a few notable incidents and results. Nico Rosberg scored his best finish of the season in 4th place, ahead of the BMW duo of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld. Sakon Yamamoto and Kazuki Nakajima had ugly incidents – with the former running into the back of Giancarlo Fisichella’s Renault (though it was Fisichella’s fault) and the latter cannoning his car into the mechanics at his pitstop! Mark Webber couldn’t convert his promising start into a meaningful victory and retired from the race after just fourteen laps. Neither of the Hondas nor the Renaults finish the race, the former due to engine failures and the latter due to accidents.
Thus, the curtain falls on one of the memorable seasons of Formula One. I have a vague memory of the 2003 season which was decided by 2 points but this one had much more action – both on and off the field – more aggressive maneouvres and more adrenalin-inducing, fist-pumping moments. None more so exciting as the Brazilian Grand Prix! I was all alone while I was watching the race so there was no yelling and jumping about, but I sure did lotsa fist-pumping and clapping – for Kimi Raikkonen of course
Race Reports: Formula1.com | BBC Sport |
First thing I heard when I announced to friends that Felipe Massa had grabbed Pole Position for the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix was that “Why does he have to butt into the three-way title race?”!!! Itz his home race maan…and he has to prove his fans and countrymen that he was no also-ran this season. Just that his challenge petered off at the wrong time!
The Telecast of the Qualifying was on ESPN and I was glued to Star Sports and hence missed it, but reports suggested that Massa drove a quick lap to take pole position and even though Hamilton was quicker across the first two sectors, he settled for P2 rather than go all-out for pole. Kimi Raikkonen was impeded sort-of by Hamilton at the start of his flying lap and hence could manage only third fastest. Fernando Alonso suffered from an ill-advised setup change and came round only fourth fastest. Red Bull’s Mark Webber was a surprise 5th ahead of the BMW’s of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica. Jarno Trulli, David Coulthard and Nico Rosberg round off the top 10.
For the Sunday Race, Hamilton is in the best position to pace his race and even if Raikkonen gets past him, I don’t thing Hamilton’s gonna let Alonso overtake him and would be quite content to let the Ferraris finish ahead with himself in 3rd place. It would be interesting if Alonso and Hamilton have a pitched battle for 3rd position and err… umm…contrive to take each other out
Qualifying Reports: ESPNStar | Grandprix.com | Formula1.com
The 2007 Formula One season will culminate in about 36 hours from now on and curtains will fall on one of the most fantastic and memorable seasons in recent times. With one last race to go, the drivers’ championship is still undecided; unlike previous seasons where Schumacher and Alonso have wrapped things up with a few races to spare. The three-way title showdown between McLaren teammates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso & Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen, will be decided in Sunday’s Brazlian Grand Prix and each and every racing fan is waiting for it with eager anticipation. Whilst odds favor Hamilton, form favors Kimi…and Alonso has a bit of both. Predicting the race winner is probably easier than predicting the championship winner!!! May the best man win!!!
The Festive season’s upon us! The months of September-October-November are very festiv-y and well-lit-up; what with Ganesh Puja, Dussehra and Diwali all falling during these months. Arguably the best time of the year – festival spirit-wise. We’ve got a well-deserved holiday today (even though Vijaya Dasami is only on Sunday) that extends the weekend to a 3-day affair
Dussehra’s quite an important festival in the Indian calendar and is celebrated slightly differently in different parts of the country. Not surprising, coz there exist two separate err…umm.. mythological happenings that are part of this festival lore. Whilst for some people Dussehra marks Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana, for others, it stands for Goddess Durga’s annihilation of the monster Mahishasura. In any case, itz a victory of Good over Evil and is cause enough for celebration. Mysore, Himachal’s Kullu Valley, New Delhi & West Bengal are the places where the festival buzz is more predominant and they consist of ornate elephant processions, rath yatras, Ramlilas and Durga Puja respectively. Dussehra in my hometown of Berhampur in Orissa is also a colorful affair – the whole town is decked up with Durga Puja Pandalswith elaborate lighting, decorations, buntings and scaffolding. The shopping season also gather momentum and gains absolute peak towards Diwali time. I remember we would roam around the town from one pandal to another and enjoy the atmosphere and the gaiety all around. The festival would culminate on the 11th day when all the town’s Durga Idols would gather at one place and the best-decorated one would be awarded a prize. That would go on till late into the night before all the idols make their way towards the sea for immersion. The colorful and exciting puja season simmers down thereon until Diwali when it crackles up again. But thatz for another day!!! Happy Dussehra everyone….
P.S: I almost forgot mentioning Kumar Purnima! Itz the day dedicated to taash parties and our entire family gets together for an all-night-cards-marathon