Posted in Movies - General

Tintin

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I had read a few incomplete reviews of the movie much before Dec 21, the date on which Tintin entered the shores of USA. Dec 21 was a delayed entry. But then, the fact that the likes of Tintin & Asterix are relatively unknown here in the US (& yet one of the most popular strips in the rest of the world) pressed for a strong case of a delayed release, I guess. Since we were out of town on Dec 21, I had to wait till we got back to watch the movie.

So Instead of writing a detailed review, let me just interview myself.

Me: So are you a Tintin fan?

Myself: Well. I am definitely a fan of the comic series. No doubt. Who wouldn’t be if you grew up in an environment that was filled with people who knew this series?  They were brilliantly made stories. Adventure ones. Adventure ones involving a little boy. And they have characters that make you laugh and feel envious. So yes, the whole Tintin series was always exotic to me for all of the above reasons. Although I didn’t get to read this till I was 17. In some ways, it probably was a good age to start reading this series. In some ways, I regret not starting to read this say when I was 12.

Me: Who is your favorite character?

Myself: Haddock. Sorry. Capt. Haddock.

Me: What did you like in the movie the most?

Myself: Animation. It was beyond anything I had ever experienced.

Me: What about the characters? Did Spielberg do a good job of creating a narration that brought out the main characters well?

Myself: Yes & No. Given that it is a 90 minute movie, for a Tintin comic nut like me, the characterization in the movie was no way close to all those years of imagination one gets to build from the books. Yet, I have to say that Tintin, Snowy and Haddock who get the maximum screen time were all portrayed with the right amount of depth. Wish Prof. Calculus had found a part to play in the story as well..:)

Me: Will the movie work in the USA?

Myself: I was surprised when I walked into the theater yesterday because the hall was full. But can’t say how long this will last. Don’t think the business that this movie generates from the US would be enough for them to justify this franchise, if at all they are thinking of one. Having said that, we already know that the movie has generated enough profits from the rest of the world that it should already be paving way for a franchise (hopefully).

Me: How was the 3-D part?

Myself: I am not really a fan of 3-D movies. Guess it is being overdone these days. For this movie, I would have preferred a 2-D version. But the 3-D didn’t bother me. My 7 yr. old son loved it. Both the movie (even though he hasn’t read the books yet) and the 3-D part.

Me: Final comments…?

Myself: Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles *⎈⎈⎌⌗⎃⎌⎌**@!!!”

Posted in Humor - General, Music - General

In a blissful state of ‘Kolaveri’

By now, you could very well apply to get ostracized from India or from the Indian community (if you live outside India), if you have not heard of this term – “Kolaveri”.

Of course, if you are from Tamil Nadu, you definitely know the crass usage of this phrase. Although the phrase on its own has a rather gory connotation to it, if my growing up in Tamil Nadu is a good meter, then I would say that the phrase is as innocuous as the phrase “Damn” or “Bullshit”. So let me get that out of the way for all you purists.

Now, why is there a small minority of cocooned purists trying to rage against this viral phenomenon? I am not sure why. But it is easy to guess who they would be..Here are the 5 categories of people who I think will hate or in milder terms “dislike” a song like “Kolaveri Di”.

1) The “Ilayaraja-is-God-and-because-Rahman-has-won-Oscars-except-him-every-other-music-director-is-equal-to-Ilayaraja’s-Sandals’-dust” types

These are folks who were infatuated by Ilayaraja’s music of 70s and 80s. They just couldn’t / can’t and wouldn’t accept the fact that there can be other music directors who can even compose music to begin with. Took AR Rahman almost 15 years to get their nod (ok – you can compose but still you are a speck when compared to Ilayaraja).

2) The “Carnatic-music-is-the ultimate-form-of-music-and-every-other-genre-is-not-music-at-all” types

Needless to say, these folks can never accept anything else. It is not that, they have Carnatic music mastery either. They are the half-baked Carnatic music types who promptly bring out their hands and start tapping on their thighs to gesture an “Adi thalam” even when the song being played is a mildly complicated “Misra Rupam” or something.

3) The “I-am-too-posh-for-these-local-slangs-and-broken-english-pronounced-in-Tamil-accent-and-local-looking-people-in-general” types

Funnily, these people can’t write one page of English prose without grammatical and syntactical errors. And yet, they prefer speaking in English which only they and their family member can appreciate. They think anyone who is local should be “cheap”. They consider anything that is local (including culture & language) can be cheap too. Nothing can please them. They shake their heads in displeasure when they see or hear someone use a swear word in Tamil but would happily drool over a redneck American throwing an F word 5 times in a sentence.

4) The “Lyrics-should-be-poetic-doesn’t-matter-what-kind-of-song-it-is-else-it-isn’t-worth-a-listen” types

No need to expand the above.They listen to the words first before they judge a song. Again it is not that they have poetic sensibilities to analyze a good poem (forget about writing one)..

5) The “Humor-is-limited-in-my-life-and-I-am-very-discrete-when-it-comes-to-it-as-I-can’t-see-humor-especially-when-so-many-other-people-see-humor-in-it” types

They just can’t see humor. Period. They have template humor. Yes, humor (or jokes) of only certain kind can bring a smile in their faces. Forget about “Kolaveri Di” bringing anything in their faces except tears.

If you don’t belong to any of the above 5 categories and yet dislike this song – I know who you are. (I won’t reveal your identity here because categorizing you would sound offensive).

Anyways, no offense to all those who don’t like this song. After all, appreciating art is individualistic. Yet, when I saw a trend online to rage against what is now a worldwide phenomenon made me write this post.

On a related note, here is a collection of all the most popular versions of Kolaveri that have come out. I am sure there are dozens more that I haven’t seen yet.

The Original:

The Female version:

The Nigam version:

The Gujarati version:

The Marathi version:

The R&B version(my favorite of all the adapted versions):

[This is my favorite because it has truly been enhanced and there is some originality in the new version]

The Punjabi version:

Posted in Miscellaneous

Dear “Constitution misinterpreter”..

Dear American Gun proponent aka “Constitution misinterpreter”,

Here is a suggestion..

Get more guns into the market. Hundreds. Thousands. No. May be Millions. At the rate of 5:1 (five for every human being living in the country).

Get rid off all the pretentious licensing restrictions that do nothing more than provide an opportunity for some minor delays in the acquisition of the guns.

Make it easy for everyone to buy guns. Like burgers and candies. All they need is money to buy guns. You can even sell them online and deliver them home. They are already being sold cheap. Make them cheaper. Throw some ammunitions in free.

And finally make the statement that you normally do – “Guns don’t kill people. Only people do”. Nobody has ever questioned whenever you make  a bold statement like that. Some day in future, there won’t be anyone alive to question you!

Oh, by the way, in case you didn’t know, 2 people were shot dead by a gunman at VA Tech (again) today…