Sunday, December 30, 2007

Best Movie I Saw in 2007

Well, there are many fantastic movies I saw this year. Its difficult to remember, but to name a few - City of Gods, Die Hard 4, No Smoking, The Sound of Music, Indiana Jones Trilogy etc.

But the best one I saw is Pan's Labyrinth or El Laberinto del Fauno ( 2006 ) . Its the most captivating, spell-binding movie you will get to see, after Lord of the Rings. Actually, it should be put in the leagues of LOTR. Guillermo Del Tero does a top-notch job in story-telling. This is a must-see for all the fantasy lovers. The enchanting background score does justice to the screenplay. The actors have done a wonderful performance, specially Ivana Baquero , who plays the main character - Ofelia , a little girl who believes in fables. Sergi Lopez plays the evil Captain Vidal, whom you fear and hate so much. Not all the effects in the movie are animated or CGI. The director has used puppetry, traditional prosthetics to give a realistic effect to the makeup and costume.

Btw, the movie is in Spanish language and has a running length of 120 minutes.It is rated R for graphical violence. ( Many parents in Mexico took their kids to theaters without knowing this ) .
Its too bad that movies like these are not taken up by any distributor in India. ( As they know the number of the crowd that will turn up ! )

If this is not compelling enough for you to watch it, then read this :

  • It won 3 Oscars for - Best Achievement in Art Direction, Cinematography and Makeup.
  • It was nominated for 3 other Oscars - Best Achievement in Original Score, Original Screenplay and Best Foreign Language Film .
  • It won the BAFTA award for - Best Foreign Language Film , Makeup, and Costume Design
  • It was nominated for the coveted Golden Palm award of Cannes Film Festival. After the show, it received 22 minutes of applause at the Cannes Film Festival !!!
This is the last blog from me this year. And my last recommendation for this year will be to grab a copy of this movie and watch it, in case you haven't.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mobile Phone Etiquettes

Mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives. I am sure everyone who is reading my blog has a cell phone with him. Following are some rules/commandments of using a cell phone :

1) Every call on your cell is important. Be it from your wife,children,parents, colleague, boss, shop-keeper, gym instructor, driver, plumber, pimp, pet, etc. This is the primary rule based on which other rules are formed.
2) You should never put your cell phone on silent mode, specially when you are requested at places like meetings, cinemas, temples, mosques, churches, etc.
3) Always, and always, pick up a call when you are driving. It should not matter that you are hurtling down the road at 100 miles per hour or driving down a busy street with vehicles behind you. Your sudden lapse in concentration and erratic driving does not matter to vehicles around you ( even though they give you a disgusting look ) .
4) Wear a blue tooth headset 24/7. This way its easier to pick up the phone while in the toilet.
5) Shout on the receiver - its good for your health. It compensates for all the harmful effects on your body of using a cell phone.
5) You should always use your cell phone to click photos at public places, even though the photos mean nothing to you. You may never know when that 1000 * 800 pixel photo might get picked as stock photography earning you big bucks.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Review of The Kite Runner ( the book , not the movie )

My friends gave me The Kite Runner as a birthday gift ( after checking my 'to-read' list on Goodreads :-) ) . As this book was shorter than Shantaram, I decided to go with it first.

The book was a refreshing change from the books I have been reading lately - Rich Dad Poor Dad , Cashflow Quadrant. The last book I read which made me forget my daily activities and stick to reading was Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, when it was released. And now, The Kite Runner.

In one word, this book is - touching. Emotional. Not to mention a bit depressing in between.Actually, it is a emotional ride set in the backdrop of Afghanistan and the political events in the region which altered lives of Afghanis who were living in as well as out of Afghanistan. You might have traveled the world in Dan Brown series, but this book takes you to never-seen-before Afghanistan, and you will love the picture painted by the author. Just makes me imagine what Afghanistan must have been back then in 1975.Khaled Hosseini is the first English author from Afghanistan and gives a true picture of the country, right from 1975 to the post-9/11 attacks.The book brings out the true nature of Afghanis , something which I have not seen or read before anywhere.

The book is about two boys in Afghanistan, enjoying their innocent childhood. Amir loves his father and wants to gain his attention.And Hassan, his friend, has always been loyal to him. Then tragedy strikes,and things fall apart. Afghanistan is raided by outsiders and people flee.But the past still haunts them. It always does.The choices we make always come back.There is a way to be good again.

There are many cliches in the book ;- the story and events become predictable ( just like in a Hindi movie ). But that is all accepted for the simplistic writing.Do read this book. Atleast before you watch the film version of it , which I guess is released in US this week. It is directed by Marc Foster - director of Finding Neverland - so eagerly waiting to watch it.