Archive for June, 2010
Went from the usual average of 200-300 daily hits to 3,680 on June 19th and touched 2,258 on the 21st, thanks to Saurin’s review.
By Saurin Parikh (Review Catalogue)
Don’t you just love it when Hollywood makes everything a matter to national security? No? Me neither. “Edge Of Darkness” is that kind of a movie. The nation is under threat, and for the umpteenth time, there’s only one guy who can do something about it. Everything happens at a very micro level, but the consequences are of course at a macro level.
So we have Thomas Craven, a Boston detective, single parent. The movie begins brilliantly when his daughter gets shot in the initial moments. But then it slips into an obscure storyline that has no novelty about it. It also turns unexpectedly boring. There are a few moments when the movie grips you, but they appear sporadically. At other times, it moves too leisurely and is devoid of the kind of action one expects.
The essence of the story is the illegal manufacturing of nuclear weapons. Typically, a big corporation is involved, which thinks nothing of knocking off employees to keep their secrets intact. Even more typically, an employee does find out what is happening and sets out to right the wrongs, but gets killed. This sparks off the victim’s father to go look for the killer and in the process, he unearths a national-level conspiracy. The story is typical, but thankfully the climax redeems it a bit. However, a lot of questions are left unanswered and such loopholes never do a thriller any good.
Mel Gibson stars in the lead role, his character takes centre-stage, but no other character is allowed to build up enough to support his. Everyone’s too one-dimensioned to garner any interest.
Directed by Martin Campbell, “Edge Of Darkness” is an adaptation of a television series. The movie is just about decent.
By Saurin Parikh (Review Catalogue)
I shouldn’t really be reviewing The A-Team. In fact, I shouldn’t be reviewing Hollywood action movies at all. It’s not that I don’t like them; it’s just that I detest them. I don’t even call it Hollywood action, I call it Hollywood baloney. And you can’t really even blame me.
There was a time when action movies were fun just for the daredevilry. We got to see some awesome stunts, bone-crunching fist-fights and blood-shattering gunfights. The victory of good over evil was a given, how it came about was what made things interesting. There would be a bad guy who would seem invincible, but the hero would show immense valour to rise above everything and slay him. We dreamt of being such a hero, of being applauded for winning over a monstrous villain. These were the kind of action movies that we cherished, even watched again and again. Unfortunately, The A-Team isn’t that kind of an action movie.
With the influx of technology, filming mind-boggling stunts has become easy, a little too easy. The result is that these stunts indeed boggle you, and so much that they don’t even have one shred of believability in them. For me, that ruins everything. I just can’t enjoy a movie where the bunch of heroes walk unscathed amidst a downpour of bullets, or jump away from a bomb blast without even feeling the heat. To make things worse, the heroes in The A-Team also fly a tank, yes, an effing tank. And that for you is Hollywood baloney.
The story is, quite obviously, ludicrous. The A-Team is made up of four US Military Rangers, they carry out an unauthorized operation in Baghdad, get a prison sentence for it, escape prison to redeem themselves, and do the US government a major favour by retrieving plates that could counterfeit their currency. The biggest favour the director does is to the audience, when the movie finally ends.
We’re told that the four A-Team members are the finest operatives in the US military, and with that knowledge, we’re expected to believe that they can appear in any part of the world without anyone asking them for any kind of identification. They can also blow up places, shoot down people and do whatever the heck they want to cause havoc anywhere they please. Hey, they’re the A-Team after all.
I’m not going to dwell on the acting skills, or the lack of it. Each of the four characters is characterless, their only virtue being the ability to avoid being hit by a bullet. To make us believe that the leader of the A-Team, Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) is a brilliant planner, he’s been given a dialogue that he recites every now and then. It goes something like, “I love it when a plan comes together.” What it really means is, “I hope this one line, when repeated a gazillion times, will establish my character as a brilliant planner.” Well, it doesn’t. Purely for the record, the film also stars Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Quinton Jackson and Sharlto Copley.
The A-Team is based on a television series of the same name. The movie has been directed by Joe Camahan. As you might have guessed, the movie did nothing else but piss me off, but then I was the fool to expect anything else. If you’re a hardcore action movie fan and willing to accept the ridiculous, you might even enjoy it. As far as I’m concerned, The A-Team is an absurd mess.
Those sick of Triple Schezwan Rice and dry noodles can ask their Indo-Chinese rekdiwala for Chopper rice/noodles. Chopper is a filling dish of leftover Manchurian gravy mixed with rice or noodles, but it makes sense to go with noodles because noodles in Manchurian gravy sounds good, and Chopper Rice is just rice in Manchurian gravy without Manchurian balls. Right, dummies? Don’t forget to tell me later how your system liked the MSG attack.
Rolling Stone Metal Awards will be remembered as one of the most ‘happening’ shows of 2010 because 1) It was the first exclusively metal awards event in India. 2) It was a seriously fun gig.
My band Exhumation was there: Prashant blasting it onstage with Scribe, Rohit ‘P-Man’ Pereira (now known as “Mr Rakhi Sawant”) hosting, bothering, harassing the audience. I was adding to the glam quotient and Yash was just… there.
We missed Demonic Resurrection’s performance because we were busy tanking up elsewhere, and Undying Inc had just started playing when we walked in. It was the first time I saw Undying Inc, and they had crowd all charged up. The Blue Frog is too small a venue for a band like Undying Inc, but Shashank & Co. didn’t seem to mind and blew the place away.
Scribe, besides picking up the maximum number of awards, played a short-and-sweet set packed with energetic songs and really shook things up. One thing I have to mention here is that Scribe is only band that won those many awards, and they hadn’t even gone around asking people for votes. They also got Dancing Uncle up onstage and gave him the respect due, but the highlight of the evening was Vishwesh making a kid crowd surf! The audience, packed with metalheads, tossed the boy about as if he were a gift-wrapped mummy, and it looked like a makoda was being taken away by ants. Shantanu and I laughed so hard, it made our stomachs ache; it’s awesome of Rolling Stone to let the metal scene (metalheads + metal bands) feel even more special. Looking forward to it every year from now on.
Among 24-hour cockroach bars and shady places on AK Road, Andheri East, is a bar called Laxmi. Another decent bar on the same road is Maharaja, but Laxmi has a warmer vibe. There are many places with Laxmi in their name, Laxmi Palace, Laxmi Punjab, Laxmi Aero Punjab, something else called LP; some of these are places you can drink at all night long, the others are seriously shady places, so be careful what you’re walking into. This is what the restaurant & bar I’m talking about looks like.
What we usually drink here is McDowell’s Single Malt, a truly unique whisky. It has a strong oaky flavour that I can recognize even after drinking several pegs of any other whisky/whiskey. If you’re trying it for the first time, have it on the rocks or with water. Okay, back to Laxmi Restaurant & Bar.
The vegetarian starters at Laxmi are what we keep going back for. We discovered Paneer Cham Cham (minced veggies between layers of cheese in corn flour coating), a light and tasty snack. The Non-Veg Platter (assorted chicken kababs) and Prawns Tawa Fry are no match for the vegetarian starters.
This green dish is Vegetable Sagoti, a medium-spicy garlicky delight!
Check out the 24-hour bars around if you want to eat/drink/smoke after 1:30 a.m.