Monday, February 26, 2007

Make that....

5 out of 5! Departed picked up Best Pic, and Scorcese won Best Director.

Martin Scorcese's first Oscar, ladies and gentlemen. How sheerly and truly deserving indeed. I mean, 5 time nominee for films like Raging Bull, Last Temptation of Christ and The Aviator .. and GoodFellas. 5 nominations over 27 years. Christ! Now there's a career.

Awesome moments:

  • Jack Black and Will Ferrell, that was awesome.
  • Beyonce Knowles solo of 'Listen' during the Dreamgirls medley. Magical!
  • The Leonardo DiCaprio/Al Gore sequence, where Leo keeps asking Gore to announce his candidacy, and then the music starts to play. Nicely done!

  • Clint Eastwood fumbling beyond defumblement.
  • Crazy drunk guy hanging on to Al Gore during award for An Inconvenient Truth

The ceremonies were lack-lustre though. DeGeneres was subtly humorous, quite similar to the tongue-in-cheek humor of Stewart last year, but nowhere close to the magic that Billy Crystal brought to the plate. Feel that American humor on the whole, has just ... fizzed out. But it was a ceremony of diversity. Italians. Spaniards. An out-of-the-closet lesbian MC. Another married lesbian winner wins for Best Original Song (Ethridge), and thanks her 'wife' during her speech. Best Actor wins for the portrayal of a Ugandan dictator. Best Actress wins for the portrayal of a British royal.

Regardless of dimness, the 79th was truly a melting pot of a ceremony.
Can I call 'em or can I call 'em?

Whitaker, Mirren and Hudson. Awright!

3 out of 3 predictions right, so far!! Woo Hoo!
My fortune cookie said...

In order to make the cart go, you must grease the wheels
"And the academy award goes to ...."

Having kept up my resolution of watching all the major Oscar contenders this year, my picks:

Actress: Helen Mirren, Jennifer Hudson for supporting (Although I personally think Meryll Streep's Prada was much more deserving)

Actor: Hands down, Forest "Idi Amin" Whittaker (what a performance!), no choice for supporting (I don't know why people consider Wahlberg a favorite, his performance was aight)

Picture/Director: Although my heart wants Scorcese to win both of these, I have a strong feeling he may share this duet with Dreamgirls. Ok, ok, don't go all 'double standards' on me, I know my post on The Departed wasn't exactly deep appraisal, but my subsequent 3 viewings of the movie, swayed my opinion. I remember every scene, every dialogue. The Departed, although it takes a while to circumvent the variance, eventually is an unforgettable experience, in true and inimitable Scorcese style.

And there you have it.
Melody AM

Am totally in love with the song, Remind Me by Royskopp. Am not usually an electronica fan, but this song is so subtle that its universal. First heard this on the Geico caveman commercial where the guy is on the moving walkway at the airport, and been hooked ever since. The simple yet catchy sound is something that musicians aspire for! Reminds me of the one-song-wonder, Everything but the Girl.

In other news, Oscar bash at the Mandarin Oriental in 'nhattan tonight. Go DeGeneres!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Simply Wow!

R Balki, the ad man, takes the wheel on this one. Illayaraja's music. Despite the title, this movie looks real 'sweet'.

Now hear this
If you can read this, note that I have conquered the methodology of e-mail blogging!
In simple words.
I rule

Monday, February 19, 2007

Visual Poetry

That's Eklavya, for you. One of the most intense and unconventional films to emerge out of the deep pockets of Bollywood. Films like this make you feel that there is room for diversity, hope for new boundaries to be crossed.

Eklavya is the harbinger of "coming of age" Indian cinema.

Unfortunately, its a movie, far too sonorous and deep in vertical simplicity, to be accepted by the 'masses'. Take for example, the audience at the theater where I watched the movie, predominantly techies and a few ABCD couples trying to get the dose of 'justification' Bollywood, reading subtitles in a realm where they laugh at the wrong moments and constantly cross-compare Hindi flicks to Hollywood. Depressing to say the least. If they really wanted a movie to laugh at, there's plenty of Govinda-Dhawan stock.

But Eklavya is far more meaningful than its first viewing represents. Its a film that battles with basic social morale and ethic foundations. Towards the backdrop of the gloomy world of royals, lost in abeyance in a now-democratic India - almost still reeling from the shock.

Picking such a backdrop for the movie, ensures an esoteric level of pseudo-mysticism to the movie. Almost like Anastasia or Zubeidaa - any movie to do with fallen royals always has a mystic and curious aura to it.

Vinod Chopra has begun to break conventions like no other. There are scenes that make you feel like you've never scene(sic) anything like this before. Especially out of Bollywood. The Amitabh-Sheirgill sequence where the lights go out - is handled almost Tarantino-like.

But if one has to truly enjoy and appreciate Eklavya - one should not expect any degree of traditional Bollywood. The movie is a ballad. A stage play on camera, if you will. Some may consider certain scenes to be slow and long-winding, but it is basically Vinod Chopra setting his stage. His story is simple. Doesn't have the usual thousand twists and turns. But it doesn't need them either. Because Eklavya's magic lies in its vertical simplicity.

If the trailers of Munnabhai Chale America and Talisman are anything to go by, this man is on a rampage to change the face of Bollywood. But its all good. How many weepies, shaadi-films, extra-marital films or family dramas can you actually watch. Oh, and don't miss the trailer of Cheeni Kum (Amitabh, Tabu - Balki, the ad guru, on the mantle and Illayaraja's music). Wow!

But even flawlessness has imperfection. Several downsides. Raima Sen is a pest. The ending leaves a lot to be desired.

The true hero of Eklavya? The camera. Sheer brilliance in terms of cinematography, lighting, sets and basic handling of the visuals. Especially the scene where a motion-less Amitabh holds a lifeless Boman Irani, to the backdrop of the sunset and desert, and shots of the fort with rolling clouds.

As Raja Sen puts it best, Eklavya is almost fluid.

Sheer visual poetry.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Exception to Tharoor

Did anyone catch Shashi Tharoor on the Colbert Report, last night? The man was dignified, but subdued. Although Colbert tried to sarcastically-lapel pin accusations to Tharoor's coat, Tharoor took it in stride.

One of his responses was world-class, when he was askedhe quoted Charles Talleyrand-Perigord as saying, "The only thing you can't do with a bayonet is sit on it!"
VOUD #3: Bonus Edition

Seatspooling (n.): The complex algorithm that goes through our heads, when we're trying to figure out where to sit on a crowded train/bus.

"Not next to the Chinese lady, she probably smells like General Tso's socks".

"Not next to the whale, don't wanna rely on the armrest for survival"

"Not next to the obnoxious phone guy, he'll probably be talking all through the ride about which tax software he uses"

"Not next to the sleepy, bespectacled dude. He looks like a snorer"

"Not next to the guy with the afro, with the I-Pod, who has his leg on the seat next to him, thinking that it creates a coat of invisibility on the seat, as if we can't spot an empty seat because his bony-ass leg is on it. At least its better than that pierced Shaniqua on her way back to the hood, with the long fake braids, who puts her K-mart wintercoat and Chinatown purse in her glorious attempt to invisibilize the seat next to her, while she chats it up with Laquisha on her pink studded Razr about her 4 children with different fathers. (and of course I know this, cuz by now, the whole freaking train knows this)"

"Not next to the nerdy Indian software engineer, cuz he's gonna go clackety-click on his laptop, as he talks annoyingly softly in an ununderstandable tongue-twisty language to his homebound wife, telling her which curries he wants to go with his rice by the time his patriarchal butt gets home".

So many options, so little time. That leaves one with the coal car or the driver's lap. The things one does to avoid paying for New York City Parking.
All Quiet on the Western Front

Sorry for the silence. Was busy dodging enemy fire.

Dudes! Performancing still requires me to download a little thingie onto Firefox, is it not? Can't download anything cuz of company firewall. Way around this? Either that, or am not getting this right, or am just plain menopausal.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering – these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love – these are what we stay alive for. - Robin Williams, Dead Poets Soceity

Note: Big Brother has officially denied access to Blogger at work. They may take my access! But they can't take ... my FREEDOM!

Not to worry, loyal fiefs! We shall prevail!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Vishal's *Online* Urban Dictionary
Just VOUD it!

Foodles (n., usually plural): Defined as serious of symbols (usually of Font, Wingdings) used to simulate cuss words. As in, I think Paresh is a #%$^&*@?<>

Foodles were first used by comic book and animated book writers back in the 1960s along with the invention of censorship. Little boys around the world spent countless non-productive hours trying to find the code hidden deep within the foodles, trying to decipher the exciting 'Holy Grail' that would supposedly project them into post-puberty.Unfortunately, there really was nothing to the foodles, although certain children were rather certain that they saw Jesus, while some claimed that if they stared at it cross-eyed, while levitating and maintaining a strict diet of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia for a month, you would see

(Couldn't read that? Hmmm, guess you would have to try to simulate said conditions, no?)

As censorship became more and more lax, writers started to get more and more ambitious and kept pushing their limits at every stage. Foodles were soon out of the market, as books and movies became more explicit with time. With the development of Adult Swim, Foodles were pretty much #*&$ed.

By the early 90s, Foodles were replaced by Asterfixes - their new-age cousins. Asterfixes were basically "*" symbols, which were strategically placed within cuss-words to obliterate them beyond comprehension. So basically, asterfixes would give the reader/viewer the complete visual experience of the expletive, while saving him/her the moral guilt of having sinned. Kinda like a modern-day church confession box, just without the leather and cardinal lube.

Asterfixes were usually used to fuzzy-up words which would be taken as offensive, like n**ga or G***ge B*sh.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Vishal's Urban Dictionary (VUD)
Have you checked out VUD today?

Prook (v.): Surreptitious glance-away, usually conducted when person next to you is typing in a e-mail password or ATM pin.

So .. what are you trying to prove? Like, hey man, I'm not going to check your mail or steal your money. I may, however, rat on you to the boss, steal your phone charger or get your wife to cheat on you though. After all, there are gracious limits to my niceness.

Prooking is rather common, and considered to be socially polite, in most cases.

Also see: De-prooking: Immediately returning to stare at screen once said subject has completed secret word-entry. De-prooking is done in most cases to highlight the prooking, and to validate the fact that you weren't just checking out some girl, or looking for a clock - you were indeed prooking, and respecting the privacy of your fellow human. De-prooking is usually done to enhance self-esteem, and to make one feel good about themselves - kind of like injecting a "I'm-a-good-person-I-think-about-others" dose, prior to proceeding with your selfish endeavors that make your life ever so meaningless.

Have a nice day.

Thank you for using VUD.

(Brought to you in part by Bud. *Glug*)

High on Information

On the IPod-supported, caffeine-injecting, semi-conscious commute to work, one visual made me do a double-take (you know the kind, rapid shaking of the head from side-to-side, along with rubbing of eyes and staring again, usually backed up with cartoon-like jingling noise) on the New Jersey Turnpike.

A Kaun-Banega-Crorepati hoarding with SRK towering over. Mind you, this is not JUST an Indian neighborhood. This is the NJ Turnpike. The primary connecting artery between New Jersey and New York City. It traffics over 1.1 million vehicles a day (over 350 million a year!).

That's prime visibility, people! Any more such epidemic growth, and SRK will have one hell of a Mardi Gras head.

In other news, you know what the world needs? One great, big jaadu-ki-jhappi ;-)

And note, as you can see below, I'm blank-posting these days. You know what they say about blank posts. If you stare very carefully at the blank post, you will be able to get a glimpse of Paris Hilton's ethico-moral values. Just a glimpse, mind you.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

This proves it...

Children are evil!!

Don't believe me?


(PS: Graciously borrowed from Crumpled Nothings. Thanks, Sach!)

Boy's screaming kills chickens?

BEIJING, Jan 24 (Reuters Life!) - Hundreds of chickens have been found dead in east China -- and a court has ruled that the cause of death was the screaming of a four-year-old boy who in turn had been scared by a barking dog, state media reported on Wednesday.

The bizarre sequence events began when the boy arrived at a village home in the eastern province of Jiangsu in the summer with his father who was delivering bottles of gas, the Nanjing Morning Post reported.

A villager was quoted as saying the little boy bent over the henhouse window, screaming for a long time, after being scared by the dog."One neighbor told police that he had heard the boy's crying that afternoon and another villager confirmed the boy screaming by the henhouse window," the newspaper said.

A court ruled the boy's screaming was "the only unexpected abnormal sound" and that 443 chickens trampled each other to death in fear.The boy's father was ordered to pay 1,800 yuan ($230) in compensation to the owner of the chickens.

End of story

"Why chickens? Why?

They could've been pigs.

Or pigeons, for chrissakes - those birds don't do crap, but crap.

*sniff* but chickens?

(Ominous Sound)

This won't be taken lightly, people

(*Cluck* *Cluck*)

Move over, Plunge...

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel is home to my new most-favorite hangout spot - MOBar. Although we met clients there for some afternoon tapas and wine, this place has a vibe. Its like a bass-inspired-breakbeat at the back of your head - you just know its groovy. Chic, classy and exclusive - what makes an NYC lounge, a true NYC lounge. And what truly delineates midtown from SoHo. The mojitos are murderously awesome, as are the martinis.
Reservations highly recommended, and please get seated in the lounge area - the bar isn't too much to write home about.
Online Existence...

.. is here. With Second Life.

This is cool.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wow... an Indian Lolita....

... without being overtly crassy?

Only RGV can carry that of.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Do you suffer from....

...Reptile Dysfunction! Has the lizard let you down?

Hahaha... Anti-Geico ads. Gotta love 'em.

Hit up the AdAge Marketing 50 Awards at the Hilton this afternoon! Quite a revelation - what an industry!
Microsoft Humor (r) 2007

Can you believe that this man can buy Africa with his checking account balance?