Posts Tagged ‘2009


Beer Review: Fuller’s Vintage Ale 2009

This 500 ml bottle of Fuller’s Vintage Ale is brewed in limited batches and guess who found it in aamchi Mumbai? We picked up two of these classy beauties and were blown away more by the alcohol strength than the taste. The taste is good, of course – the syrupy tartness is instantly overpowered by the obvious 8.5% hatred this beer throws at you. Too fucking strong, two of these might make you pass out on the floor. We love that our bottles are numbered. Best before 2012 they say, but we’re having them in fucking ’11, and they taste really good, and they also say ‘Limited Edition’, scoring major points with the elitist choot in me. This 2009 creamy shit is quite complex, but I’m too drunk to recognize any flavour other than the caramel malt and I have a fucking cold, so excuse me. T2 says he likes this better than the Chimays he’s had, but he’s just drunk. I’d take any Chimay over this; hell, I’d take Fuller’s premium ale any day over this.

RATING: 3.5/5




Red Snapper At Curlie’s


Cashing In Spellbound


Music Review: Evisceration Plague (2009)

Shame on me for writing about Cannibal Corpse’s latest offering almost a year after its release. The gods of death metal stay true to their style on their eleventh killer batch of songs, Evisceration Plague, groovy enough to make you headbang at any time of the day no matter where you are, and brutal enough to make you feel proud as ever to love death metal. Say anything to devalue what Cannibal Corpse bring to the surgery table and I will call you an idiot; to expect anything but pure death metal of the highest quality from Cannibal Corpse is asking to be disqualified from speaking about death metal. The formula remains unchanged (of course!), and murderous as ever, the band flaunts excellent musicianship and its consistent growth through the years on Evisceration Plague. Those whose heads have already been severed by the world’s best death metal band can sit back and enjoy the gore. Never will you hear acoustic rubbish or clean singing or anything wimpy of the sort, and Cannibal Corpse know exactly how to keep things interesting. May the corpse continue decomposing.



Movie Review: A Serious Man

By Devdutt Nawalkar

Directed by the Coen Brothers

Starring Michael Stuhlbarg, Sari Lennick, Fred Melamed, Richard Kind

A Serious Man is the best Coen Brothers’ movie I’ve seen, and damned near being the best movie of 2009. It has been nominated at the Oscars for Best Picture, an honour I suspect it will end up losing to Avatar. Frankly, the Oscars don’t matter nor do the old coots that decide who wins. A Serious Man goes above and beyond generic platitudes, and deserves to be seen by all viewers appreciative of great cinema.

Larry Gopnik is a docile, and Jewish, high school Physics teacher, on the verge of receiving tenure, yet beaten and resigned to the routine of life for the most part. His relationship with his wife Judith is on the rocks; in fact, she’s begun seeing their widower neighbour, and is contemplating divorce. Not helping Larry’s state of mind are two bickering, adolescent kids, a cohabiting elder brother who spends his days doing obscure math and draining cystic discharge, and anonymous, defamatory letters being sent to the tenureship commitee to upset Larry’s chances of getting the nod.

The Coens have probably filmed the movie, as is their wont, in a Twin Cities (Minnesota) suburb. The film is steeped in Jewish rituals and folklore. Larry’s son, Daniel, is about to undergo his bar mitzwah, and spends most of his time reciting the Torah. The Gopniks are picturised as being part of a stereotypical, closeknit Jewish community; the doctors are Jewish, the lawyers are Jewish, even the buses at Daniel’s Hebrew school have Jewish characters inscribed on them. The Coens treat the hallowed Jewish traditions with requisite respect but don’t hesitate to make fun of the inherent arrogance and self-righteousness prevalent in the ‘Children of God’ doctrine.  There is a condescension apparent in the way the Jewish characters treat their gentile neighbours, a snide superiority complex in the way one Jewess claims that they have the benefit of thousands of years of history and collective experience on their side.

All isn’t Jew-baiting, however. The Coens also present the more latently bigoted side to 1960’s America. The Gopniks’ neighbour is a good ol’ deer-hunting redneck who’s probably anti-semitic and openly xenophobic towards the South Korean father of one of Larry’s pupils. The 60s was a heady time in the States from a socio-cultural context, and the Coens succeed in capturing some of the essence that must have permeated it. Traces of the sexual revolution are found in the straightforward, and almost heartless, manner in which Larry’s wife makes her case for a separation. Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Don’t You Want Somebody To Love‘ is the score to the movie, bringing along with it the haze of pot that infused the era; in fact, a venerable rabbi’s choice words of wisdom to Daniel after he receives his bar mitzwah are: “When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies”, quoted straight from the famous song.

The movie is being paraded as a black comedy. While it certainly is comic, and has its fair share of Coen-patented twists n’ turns, at its heart lies a meditation on the condition of life, and questions about whether we have any say in it. Larry muses philosophical as everything around him  starts unraveling, being at a complete loss to explain why he, a good, dutiful man, has been chosen for God’s ire. Why do things happen the way they do? Is there a greater order preordained from above, or is everything just grand, swirling chaos taking us along for the ride? Larry, as a man of reason, wants to know the ‘whys’, but as a senior rabbi tells him, it’s often the ‘hows’ that give life its true flavour.

The acting is uniformly good. Michael Stuhlbarg brings great nuance to a character that is eternally confused, meek, and generally unexpectant of liberal fortune. He has no misgivings to be occupying his obscure station in life, his only wish is for order and sense to prevail. While Larry’s predicaments make it impossible to not laugh at him, there is also a certain melancholy associated with witnessing the the way fate wreaks havoc with what is, essentially, a good, humble man.

A Serious Man is a wonderfully-crafted movie, staying staunchly within the Coen Brothers’ oeuvre while managing to be more personal, intricate, and thought-provoking than virtually anything else in their catalogue. Absolutely one of the best movies from 2009, and a delight to behold.

Rating: 4.5/5


The World Keeps Turning

Mar 19, 2009

Didn’t care about the Filmfare Awards till Manoj Bajpai was nominated for his performance in SatyaMumbai ka king Bhiku Mhatre ‘lost’ the Best Supporting Actor trophy to Salman Khan’s cameo in some dumb tearjerker. Now I don’t care about the Filmfare circus all over again.

Just when I thought Bollywood couldn’t get any more ridiculous, along comes the news that Amitabh Bachchan’s son will be addressing the Wharton Economic India Forum. This expressionless dude is always in the news for either breaking some dumb record no one with half a brain should even care about or saying sweet things about his wife (to the media). Now he will spout piles of pretentious bullshit to a dumb audience which will be paralysed star-struck. Has Pa blogged about it yet? I guess he has.

Something ultra-cool in Gulaal – the word ‘nihilism’ is written on the blackboard. Anurag Kashyap sure knows how to keep everyone in the audience hooked. Liked Gulaal better than Dev. D but I wish there weren’t so many people smoking joints. It gets boring after awhile, even for people who like a spliff every now and then.

Is there anyone else who’s plain sick of reading about Jade Goody? Did we care enough about her life to care about her death? That she became a celebrity by being on reality shows can be overlooked, but hogging the limelight while dying and ensuring she continues to get attention even a few days after her death is pushing it too far. While it may seem fitting that she gives her death to reality tv since it gave birth to her celeb status, I’m mighty bored. Hey man, people die all the time, and unless you’re being munched on by a Saltwater crocodile or are dying of a drug overdose, don’t be in the bloody news. Oh well, at least no one’s talking about the highly overrated Slumdog Millionaire anymore.

Coming soon… My Stomach Keeps Churning

DISCLAIMER: These wonderful views are entirely my own.

[From my Buzz18 blog “Lashkar-E-Shaitan”]

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