Sunday, November 21, 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife - Breathing in the third dimension

Raise your right hand and repeat after me. "Resident Evil is a movie made from a game. I know this is not a movie like Matrix. I will expect neither story nor logic for the next 97 minutes. I will purely enjoy the action and special effects which ever is thrown at me. ALICE."

Good. Now you are all set to enjoy the fourth installment of Resident Evil film which is based on Resident Evil games series. As I have not played the game series, I will not comment on how much it lives up to the game fans. Instead, as a viewer of all the previous movies and a fan of Part 1, I can assure you that Afterlife is really awesome. If the second and third parts had lowered your interest in Resident Evil, think again. They have done it right this time. The main reason I can say that is because of the 3D. As published in the trailers, they have used James Cameron's Fusion Camera System which he used in Avatar and the results are awesome. Though you might feel that they have overdone it to show everything in 3D, I actually liked it. Especially the rain which is shown so many times in the movie.
Coming to the story, it keeps you guessing all the time. Don't take it as suspense. It is the director's indecision on how to take his characters ahead.
While the ending of the previous film (Extinction) promised a war with army of cloned ALICEs, you are given little treatment of it. Instead, few other characters emerge and few new monsters show up to bite you. And whatever characters included in the movie both recurring and new have nothing more to do than shoot, kill and die. Ali Carter as Claire is good to watch fighting the Executioner. But I knew I cannot expect more as ALICE as the protagonist have to face the camera and say "I am gonna kill you" every 5 minutes. Sometimes, it even reminded me of Viay.
After a series of gun fights and monster kills in "Left 4 Dead" style and even a dog crossed with Alien, you feel very much satisfied with this movie. Only regret is that they could have made more Executioners. Loved the gigantic axe yielding monster very much. May be we will find more in the sequel (of course, it is a never ending franchise) as Afterlife ends with Jill leading an assault fleet in control of the Evil Umbrella Corporation.

Overall, a movie other than Avatar to have lived up (sometimes better) to the 3D experience.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lets put a smile on that face

It surprises me to think that less than a millimeter thickness is all that is different between sharp and the blunt edge of a knife. In general, knife or a dagger is a beautiful invention of human kind. It acts as the creator as well as the destroyer depending upon who yields it. Even as a kid, I always like to play with knifes. A swift cut on the carrot slicing it neatly into two is a favorite pass time of mine. That is why I was a good kid always ready to help my mom in the kitchen with cutting and dicing the vegetables. And that is why my skills in cooking ends with cutting the vegetables. I am glad my mom restricted my chores to cutting only vegetables and fruits, for if I was given the honor to cutting the meat pieces as a kid, a slasher movie named “INJEY hostel” would be made will be a small exaggeration only.
A lover of Kill Bill, but calm at heart I channeled my cutting skills to aesthetic purposes like vegetable and fruit carving. I started creating wedged tomatoes and guavas, onion rings and served watermelon as balls instead of slices. The art of road side cucumber sellers in making flower style cuts on a single cucumber dividing them into two and each looking as if it is a whole cucumber astonished me greatly. Even if you call it as just cheating, I call it artfully cheating. And for the petty money they make, I do not complain them.
While my largest passion and career choice (computers) called for cut, copy and paste, I did not enjoy it as much as cutting vegetables (NOTE: I meant cut,copy and paste only). After landing in US, my eyes dropped on cutting only one object and every October I felt very close to reaching it. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was not shared by others around me and I had to wait 3 years before getting the chance finally. And so this year, I finally bought my first pumpkin to carve. It was not without many hurdles and “NO” that I had to fight hard to get the small sized pumpkin. Chini’s argument was that it is a Christian festival. I went “huh?”. After heavy persuasive discussions and threatening that I will not eat pumpkin forever and finally after getting the support of Tommy boy’s girl (who was equally opposed by Tommy boy), I got the one that I was longing for a long time.
The day of carving did not come early though as the auspicious date and time to cut a pumpkin was not found in the calendar and we had to wait a week since getting the pumpkin. So it stood smiling for a week with sharp teeth and Rajini’s hair that I had drawn on it. And one good sunday, the time did come and with little help from youtube, we started to give new face for our orange friend. And it definitely was a wonderful experience right from cutting the scalp and scooping out of the juicy and sticky pulp inside. [Warning: Please do not imagine human head for a pumpkin. The things we are going to do will make you throw up.] When we could not clean the inside with the ice cream scoop which finally was broken by over-enthusiastic Tommy boy, we had to use the hands. This is where Chini did a wonderful job and cleaned all the long thin fibers sticking out of the inner wall. And Tom had cleaned it very much that it was as smooth as the inside of a skull.
With the pulp out, now it is time for serious carving. We did not have to sketch the eyes for our pumpkin as we had drawn it earlier. I pressed the knife edge over the left eye and pushed it slowly to keep the hole small. After three simple cuts, a triangular piece feel off from the face what was an eye before. More care was taken when removing the right eye as we did not want the pumpkin to end with squint eyes. This was more tough for tom, as they are carving the eyes for the first time. Coming down to the mouth which really is the toughest part of all as any mistake in that will make the pumpkin toothless. With multiple styles replaced we went for the regular 3 teeth on top and bottom and Chini took on the task as she considers teeth to be precious. Believe me when I say it for I try hard every day to find a way to escape from multi-time brushing of teeth daily. After long careful cuts and small adjustments on the left and right making the mouth wide more open than planned, the pumpkin was finally done.
We did wash it with water and polished its face with Crisco Vegetable oil. Imagining it now, it is like wiping the face with your own blood. I am feeling guilty for being so cruel. And finally to complete celebration, we lit up a candle inside and saw the bright light out of the open eyes and mouth and also the small nose we pierced in the end. And there it was. Our Pumpkin shining for the Halloween celebration boo-ing away the ghosts and burning more than we wanted as the candle fire ignited the oil lining on the inside of the pumpkin.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My mobile battery was down

“My mobile battery was down”. Was that a lie? No. But was it the answer to the question? May be not. But everyone assumed it. I did not attend the call not because my mobile battery was down, which seems correct. But there is always a land line. The truth is, I did not remember about the call. Coming to think of it, I did not remember because my mobile did not remind me with the alarm. And the reason for that is "My mobile battery was down". Looks like I was not lying at all.
“Are you alright?”, a colleague asked me. I obviously was not listening in the meeting. “I am alright. Just that I did not sleep well yesterday night.” I lied. The meeting went on as usual with few talking and none listening. The meeting appears to be a time for everyone to meet without any agenda. So people even talked about what the agenda should be. I never listened and I am not listening now. My mind was everywhere except the meeting. As my ears picked few buzz words like “deadlines”, “deep dive”, “out of the box”, my fingers were swiping the polished table. It was drawing short horizontal lines removing the thin layer of dust that has settled in. After few swipes, the coarse dust has come off and it was all smooth. My finger tip liked it better now. I kept on rubbing it for a while applying pressure more and more. Slowly the smoothness was gone and the finger tip no longer was going straight. The friction increased and the table could not keep it quiet. It started screaming with screeching noise. The more and more I moved my finger against the table, the more the sound increased. It was as if the table was in pain. Ironic, for it was me who was in pain. Still it kept screaming and the pitch went on higher and higher. And then in a sudden moment, I stopped. The room was in silence. The table stopped screaming. I looked around where everyone was staring at me. Wide blank eyes all focussed at my face wondering what has happened. They would not understand. None of them would. I moved back my chair and ran out of the conference room. I was sweating all over my face. My fingers would not be still. Emptiness was sticking on my hand and I did not like it one bit.
Running fast to the men's room, I was glad that nobody was inside. The mirror showed a very tired face. Tired and longing hard for something to happen. Turning on the tap, I washed my face trying to find some strength. The warm water took away some of the drowsy look on the face. But the heart still felt the unrest in my mind. I looked at the mirror which could have showed a better face if not for the water vapors settling on it hiding away the reflection. I touched the glass wiping the water slowly to get back the view of my face. The more I try to clean the mirror, the more I felt the heart pounding faster. The face was turning pale again even though I couldn't stop swiping on the mirror which was already clean. I keep swiping faster and faster until I heard the sound of someone entering the room. Not willing to get caught, I rushed out of the men's room after successfully evading a crash with a stout gentleman. I walked in panic towards my cubicle holding on the walls once in a while and trying hard not to get others' attraction. Nevertheless there were few who would turn with a suspicious look. An awkward smile was all I could give them and with the dizziness increasing more, I leaned against the wall, dragging myself toward the cubicle. With just few feet to go, I could feel my air ducts close making me suffocate in a wide open air conditioned room. My fingers screeching against the wall only said that the wall is not smooth enough. With few seconds left to pass out, I entered my cubicle and tried to scream for help. But as fate would play, my voice was gone and my little puff searching for air could not alert the chair-glued nerds from the next terminals. With nobody to help, I took my phone of which mobile battery was down from my pocket. With only few ticks away from losing consciousness, I plugged the charger pin to the mobile trying to wake it up. Few seconds and even another passed and I know I do not have another second left. My repeated press on the buttons were not worthy, as I passed out on my desk.
Time either a minute or an year is always a blink of an eye for those who are just waking up from the dark void. It was the familiar chime that woke me up. I was not sure how long I had passed out. Oxygen was rushing to my lungs and my brain could get the energy first to hear followed by a blurred sight of the mobile screen lightened up. With the vibrations of the chime sending more oxygen to the lungs, my brain finally got the scent of my small cubicle feeling it home. The fourth sense was already up as I eagerly reached for the mobile with my hand. I touched the screen that caused a tingling sensation that spread through my body rejunivating the muscles that were almost dead for so long. I followed the instruction "Slide to answer". "Hello" I said. I could talk and my voice was back. "What took you so long to answer the phone?" asked my wife on the line. "I don't know.... my mobile battery was down". I said. It was true. I should have never let the battery of my iphone get drained.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Birthday wishes of the year 2010

It has been a week since my birthday. And it was a good one too if we look forward for the years to come and not worry about the years gone by and apparently the number of candles I blew before cutting the cake. Chini had to keep them stand in a large bowl to avoid using fire extinguisher over the cake.
Anyway, the day went good. Few surprises, great food and treatment equal to a free man! Now I am waiting for another year even though I know I will have to blow off a bonfire next time. Coming to the point, the birthdays are always special and something you count on other than the presents are for everyone’s wishes.

Starting from your school days where you could wear casual dress while everyone comes in a uniform and walking to all class rooms and hear everyone sing “Happy Birthday” for you, birthdays are really special to celebrate. As you move up the years, you get more than wishes and include cake on your face and kick on your butt. I wonder why people do that. But everyone got it for their birthday and so you would want one too. Happy day of the year! Back to the birthday wishes now. How different we celebrate our birthday and wherever we are, there is always one thing that makes the day a real birthday. It is the simple two words “happy birthday”. With the world being so big and our dear ones spread apart so far, we are wished by so many means. Apart from the telephone that made them sound closer, e-cards and social networking sites made everyone just few clicks away. So my birthday this year too had lot of wishes sent through various forms.

With nothing better to do, I thought it would be fun (for me) to chart down the numbers and statistics.

There were a total of 70 wishes including all advance and belated wishes. And as if everyone is closer by technology than reality, most of the wishes are through internet with 26 from Facebook itself. This is really a surprise as until last year, Orkut was the most widely used networking site in India. I believe lots of us were bribed to move to Facebook by games like Farmville and Mafia wars. There were a total of 12 wishes through telephone and 8 by electronic email which includes a cute message from my one-year old niece. While these numbers are normal like every other year, the shocking numbers come from SMS messages – Just 2. The guy who was banned by Aircel for sending SMS messages over the limit during college days received just 2 messages for his birthday. Time truly changes as years pass by. This could also be because of being in US away from free messages in India. Other surprising counts are from instant messaging and e-cards with 3 and 1 respectively. There would not have been any e-card if not for my in-laws. Thanks to them. I did get 7 greeting cards made of wood pulp commonly known as paper though 6 of them came from my Chini and the other one surprisingly from the apartment office. Now to rank the various wishes, the first phone call was from my dad, sisters and mom; instant message from Tirupur; Facebook and Orkut from Chini’s friends Karthikeyan and Mathan respectively; email from Kumaran; SMS once again by dad and the person to wish directly and through greeting card and also the first one to wish on the birthday is none other than Chini. Thank you. And whats more! She is the only one who gave me gifts in this year. So you guys not to feel bad, I am still accepting presents. Gift cards and credit through online transfers accepted.

PS: I have to speak about those who forgot to wish me too. Hey loosu, where were you? You used to wish me every year. Perippa, you forgot it. I had to call you for the second year now. Balappa, you almost forgot and anyway you are the last one to wish me. I am glad for that. And for the rest, that is ok. There is always the next year.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

iPhone and my wife

There are two topics that have a lot to be talked and battled about, but I rarely discussed about them so far. They are nothing other than my iPhone and my wife mentioned in no specific order. Though the most precious of all, my wife and my iPhone (in the order written) have limited mentions in my blog. Well, there is a reason for that. iPhone as everyone knows is the single device that changed the entire face of the cell phone industry single handedly or rather with a single touch. Similarly, my wife as many might know already is the single person who changed my entire life without any need to touch. A single sight can do it all. The bed spread will be neat, shoes will slip into the rack and shirts will stay in the hanger. And all will happen with a single look. So you see, both of them have a lot in common. They changed my lives. Yet, I had little to say about them in my blog. How cruel am I? But as I mentioned before, I have my reasons. iPhone as the most popular device did not need my bragging and for my wife, let’s just say that I am handicapped in cooking and my food expense budget is very limited. If you are wondering how is it that I became bold enough to write about them now, I like to clarify that I still have not talked about them. At least not about the iPhone and also I proved that I can make onion chutney tonight.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

திருமணநாள் பரிசு

எத்தனை பொய்களடி ஆருயிரே!
எத்தனை பொய்களடி!
ஆசையை உரைத்தது மட்டும் உன் கணவன்.
அழகாய் தேர்ந்தெடுத்தது மாமி மற்றும் மாமன்.
வருவாய் என்று வரவேற்ற மாமியாரும் உடந்தை;
ஊட்டி வளர்த்த தாயாரும் அறிந்திருக்கலாம் ஒரு கை.
நட்சத்திரம் தூரம் இருந்த ஒன்றை
கண்விழி அருகில் கொண்டு வர உடன்பிறந்தவன்!
அண்ணன் ஒருவன் கொண்டு வந்தான்,
மற்றொருவன் கண்டு மகிழ்ந்தான்.
உறவினர்கள் கிழங்கை மறைத்தனர் என்றால்,
நண்பர்கள் பூசணியை மறைத்தார்கள் சோற்றில்.
ஒரு நாள் இரு நாள் இல்லையடி -
பல நாள் நடந்ததடி இந்த அரங்கேற்றம்.
பாதி ரகசியம் தெரிந்துவிட
மீதி மறைக்க மற்றொரு பொய்.
அது மட்டும் போதாது என்று
முற்றிலும் மறைக்க மேலும் ஒரு பொய்.
கதை, திரைக்கதை எழுதி இயக்கவும் செய்தால்,
உண்மை அறிந்தேன் உன்னைக் கண்டு!

இவ்வைரக்கல்லும் வெறும் கல்லாகிவிடும்
அதனை அணிந்தவுடன் வரும் உன் புன்னகையாலே!

Friday, June 4, 2010


காக்கைக்கும் தன்குஞ்சு
பொன்குஞ்சு என்பதனாலோ
காடுமாதிரி திரிகிற என்முடியை
கட்பண்ண மனமில்லை என் கண்மணிக்கு

Monday, March 29, 2010

Saddle up your dragons

One should know that when I say that I watched this movie very closely before writing this review, the words should be taken in the literal sense, as I was sitting in the 2nd row close to the IMAX screen of 70" long X 50" height. With no need to say, I had a truly 3D experience turning my head sideways to watch the dragon flying from left to right. Chini watching along with me for sometime, decided that it is better to get a higher and overall look at the movie and moved to the back seats. Probably a habit from her college days. Anyway, coming to the movie, it is a simple movie of telling everyone that dragons are friendly creatures good enough to be pets for your kids and can also be used to ride to for a quick snack from McDonalds drive-thru. Gosh! The dragons are extinct now. Or is it the dinosaurs that are truly extinct? Does that mean that the dragons are not extinct? I am talking dragonshit. Don’t I? What to do? I just came back from the movie that taught me how to train my dragon.
It is actually fun and great. The movie maintains a fast action style throughout the movie. And the 3D experience is better than all the 3D animated movies released so far. (Avatar is not included in this list). Watching the movie so close (literally), I felt I could walk among the Vikings and the dragons and it was realistic and exciting to watch the camera diving through the open landscape and mountains taking us on a thrilling spin. One difference we noticed in this movie is the blurring or Out-of-focus effect for the background when focusing on the characters in the front. Even though this is something that is seen only in the normal films and new to the animated movies, the effect doesn’t quite feel good as it takes away the field of depth in many scenes and raises the question of what is the blurring in a 3D movie. Nice idea but not preferred.
Here is the story in a fireball. Distinct from the rest, the hero has more brains than strength and is considered a failure by his own father who hunts dragons as both the occupation and life's only mission. Trying to prove his father wrong, Hero catches a dragon, but couldn’t kill it. Slowly understands that whatever they have known about dragons is wrong as they are mostly tamable. Finally he proves the true nature of dragons and changes the future of the people after killing the monster dragon (I did say "mostly" tamable. Didn't I?) by riding on his "Toothless" dragon along with his friends. Just to clarify a point, he names the dragon he caught as "Toothless" as it did not have any teeth at his first sight. The second sight did show teeth enough to rip off a human though.
The movie is interesting not only for its animation and dragons, but the dialogues are well.... blazingly funny. The protagonist dialogues remind me of Justin Long in "PC vs. Mac" ads. And you also have Gerald Butler to voice as the Viking leader and protagonist’s father. Imagine King Leonidas fighting the dragons! Good performance indeed. All in all, the movie has almost everything fitting in the right proportions. Only troubling part of the movie is that we have seen this story in all the animated movies like Antz, A Bugs Life, Bee movie, Chicken Little, Finding Nemo, Happy Feet and Ratatouille. Probably, the audience is still accepting for the same old formula of "The hero is distinct from others and will save the world". Whatever it is, this movie is going to be as successful as the previous movies with the same storyline. A definite must watch for everyone and includes even those who do not have dragon in their home.

Monday, January 4, 2010


My blog though does not have a wide audience has audience from wide spread age groups. Therefore, I could provide only part of the movie name even though the second word was misspelled in the movie title intentionally.
Though this movie was not in my high list of expectations when it got released, it got my attention when I noticed that it was directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is the guy who brought us the samurai sword wielding bride slashing hundreds before killing Bill with the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.
Finally getting a chance to see the movie on New year day, I should say that the year have started great in term of movies.
It is a great movie in Quentin's style. Long sequences, unexpected twists, sudden deaths, unique characters and a satisfying end. Even though Brad Pitt is credited as the hero, he has less role than the villain Christoph Waltz who captures the movie as the Jew Hunter with his amazing acting and his perfect dialogue deliveries. He surely deserves an Oscar and has already received many other awards for his role. Do not get me wrong. Brad Pitt too has done his job well. Actually very very entertaining with his accented speech demanding german scalps from his "<>". And all other characters like the German actress, the Nazi captain in the tavern or Wilhelm, a German Wehrmacht master sergeant celebrating the birth of his son have done a real good job throughout the movie. If these are not enough, the climax takes the glorious film "Inglourious" (Typo intentional).

Isn't the Uitvich, the Ryan guy from "The Office". Good acting!
#2 Quentin makes minor appearances in the movie like he did in his previous movies. Actually twice. Probably KS Ravikumar of the Hollywood. No offense meant to Quentin.
#3 I recently learnt that the Season 5 finale "Grave Danger" of CSI is directed by Quentin. No wonder that I became a fan of CSI by watching that single episode. (And stopped after watching some other episodes)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year 2010!

New sun rays of light ahead,
the world is brighter than before.
A day to dream higher;
An year to make them come real.
Shedding away the sorrows of the past,
Bringing along the happiness alone
and the lessons learnt so long -
To make this year count
as you wished for, dreamt for, prayed for.
Everything sweet, everything you need,
More than what you deserve and
All that you desire in this world.
May your prayers come true.
And the world rejoice in harmony, peace and you.
Happy New Year!!!!