Monday, February 28, 2005


Warning: This is not likely to be a very fair review.

A take on the Hellblazer comics, the plot is not earth shattering; we've seen the devil or someone like him trying to take over the world before. Keanu moving between worlds, trying to save people - we've seen that before too, haven't we? That said, Constantine was thoroughly enjoyable a movie - for various reasons.

Reason #1: Mr. Reeves.
Keanu , ah well, he is such a treat to look at, so I really wouldn't care a damn about how convincing an actor he is. He is an action star, and a good one at that. But he is not quite the sour, wise-cracking John Constantine who is hoping to buy himself some space in Heaven. Like I said, he is good eye-candy, so I am not complaining.

Reason #2: An androgynous Gabriel, a really wicked Lucifer
Tilda Swinton as Gabriel is a scream - she should have had some more screen time. How tall is the lady, by the way? Peter Stormare as Lucifer is deliciously wicked. IMHO, the best appearance in the movie. I really liked the way these characters have been fleshed out. (BTW, more than half the people in the theatre had no clue who these two were. Alarming!)

Reason #3: Gavin Rossdale
I nearly fell out of my seat when I glimpsed Gavin Rossdale as Balthazar in a pin-striped suit. Yummilicious! Another one who should have got more screen time. Great eye-candy.

Reason #4: Execution
The execution is slick and the fast paced; the first exorcism is simply superb. The action scenes are well done, the insect-demon that attacks Constantine is great. But the second half gets a little tedious, and the special effects in hell are sadly unimaginative. Could have done with some better work on the demons. Loved the angel wings.

Verdict: Must watch. Unhook your brains and enjoy the ride.
(Warned you it wouldn't be fair!)

Friday, February 25, 2005


Sometimes the hype raises expectations to unmanageable levels. However, this was not the case when I went to see Black last night. I expected a clunky, weepy, saccharine sweet Bollywood movie and Black did not disappoint, atleast not in the first half. The second half is better, with Rani turning in her best performance to date. The Big B is getting very tiresome these days, the man needs to look at something different. For a movie about a deaf-blind girl, the movie is way too noisy. The background score swells at the appropriate moments, warning the viewers of the emotions to come before the actors get a chance to actually show it to them. However, Bhansali does deserve credit for touching on topics that are taboo in Indian cinema - the flowering of the girl into a woman and the consequences it has on the relationship between teacher and student have been handled quite well. Verdict - Worth a watch.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

On reptiles

A new species of crocodile has been found in Australia. Now, I'm sure that a sizeable number of the population would hardly find this bit of news interesting. I happen to like almost all species of reptiles - snakes, frogs, and crocs. I still remember my first encounter with the great salt water croc in a south Indian zoo when I was barely 10. My first reaction was - Awesome!!

Probably the greatest predator on earth, the croc has always evoked negative reactions in the general population. People think that crocs are mean, vicious, and sluggish. Why? Because they don't look like tigers or lions? And its not just crocs, all reptiles are discriminated against. In fact, the word "reptilian" is used to describe someone despicable or treacherous. People should take some time off, watch some National Geographic or read some books, learn about reptiles. Maybe then they'll be able to overcome prejudice and start respecting these magnificent creatures.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Most abused poem ever

Can you count on your fingers the number of times you have heard someone quote "Stopping by woods on a snowy evening"? Know where I saw it last? In the annual report of a software services company! "But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep". The next time I see something like this, I solemnly swear that I shall scream. The next most abused is yet another one by Frost - "The Road Not Taken". Seems that everyone out there is on the road less travelled. I suppose that means both roads are pretty well travelled by now. So will people please stop now?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Lost love

Nice article on Salon. Memories. Wonderful aren't they?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Finding Neverland

Finally managed to catch Finding Neverland this Monday. Johnny Depp stars as JM Barrie, the man who is inspired by four boys and their widowed mother to create one of the most loved children's epics- Peter Pan. Depp and Winslet are good, and the children are amazing. The movie gets off to a good start (loved the dancing-with-the bear scene), but quickly descends into being an almost typical Hollywood tear jerker. Neverland will probably give Depp the Oscar that has been due for quite some time now. With Pirates II and a probable Oscar under his belt, Depp has finally turned into what I suppose he never wanted to be - a mainstream Hollywood star. No complaints, so long as he keeps doing work like Ed Wood and Dead Man once in a while.

Coming of age in a dry place

A trip down memory lane yesterday threw up some interesting observations. The human mind is such an amazing place, twisting and turning things around so that you can survive, go on. Memories are sweetened with the passage of time to dim the pain of loss. Lessons learnt are kept intact, filed away for future use. Till one day, the switch is thrown and then you realize that your head has been a real good friend, trying to keep you from harm, protecting you from hurt till the time you can see things for what they really are. And then you try not to feel so stupid about how you could have made such dumb mistakes. But the only resolution to the past is to accept the mistake and remind yourself that to err is human.

Monday, February 14, 2005

On love

Valentine's Day. A day of brisk business for florists and greeting card manufacturers. Love is in the air, as is the stench of helium from a hundred red heart-shaped balloons at the office. I'm sure we all have, at some point of time or the other, stopped to wonder why we fall in love. Now, a new psychological theory called implicit egotism promises to change the way we think about love. It seems that we choose our lovers in exactly the same way we choose our dogs. Well, I keep thinking that I'll get myself a black Labrador retriever. I wonder what that is supposed to reveal about my preferences in men.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Fall from grace

The most common reaction to Carly Fiorina's exit from HP has been "It was long overdue". Once the most admired woman on top, Carly has had a long and not-too-graceful fall from the heady heights of near stardom. Personally, I wouldn't write her off yet.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind

Even Marilyn Manson on a Monday morning cannot shut out the sight of solemn, sad faces looking up at you in the morning train. Eyes old before time, whispers for voices, shoulders drooping with the weight of the morning, no sweet dreams to bring a smile to pursed lips. Childhood stained by the juices of life, begging to be set free.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The whole mad season has come around

I first heard Matchbox Twenty(20) way back at college, when the band promised to be a cut above the muck that was clogging up the music channels. "Yourself, or Someone like you" was fresh and true. However, it did not rule the air like "Smooth", which made a star out of Rob Thomas, and effectively marked the beginning of decline for the band. "Mad Season", which rode the Smooth wave, showed dangerous signs of conversion to full-blown bubblegum. "More than you think you are" tried to make up for lost ground with tracks like "Unwell", but the music was beyond repair. And now Rob Thomas is going solo. Another one bites the dust.