Back in the day

Jan 1

Really like it when 31st December falls on a Tuesday. I’d like to die on a ’31st December, Tuesday’. Has a nice ring to it.

Jan 11

Read a chapter in Undercover Economist and went to see a Mahesh Babu movie.

Jan 19

The day was going to waste. Too much poker, I guess. I sought to rescue it by watching a movie, and White Reindeer was a perfect fit.

Feb 4

There was a lady in orange doing roundhouse kicks on the terrace of her villa against the backdrop of a setting sun. As the British say, she was fit.

Feb 13

Never did see the fit lady on her terrace again.

Feb 19

Been watching House of Cards for the past 4 days. Completed it today.

Feb 22

Soderbergh makes a daily list of things he’s seen/read in that day. Lovely, we have something in common.

Feb 24

Reading Bret Easton Ellis’ Rules of Attraction. God I was so hopeless in college and school.

Mar 10

I am like Schopenhauer. I believe pain is real and pleasure is illusory. That pleasure is ephemeral and pain sticks around.

Mar 21

This week has been one of feeling old. It has also been a week of Schopenhauer making me feel apathetic and listless. Aren’t those antonyms?

Apr 3

Ind play RSA in a WC semifinal tomorrow. My brain’s gonna get fried.

Apr 14

Great episode of Game of Thrones. Joffrey died, but a great way to send him off.

May 1

Picked up a nasty throat infection. Don’t feel so good. Watched The Double.

May 5

Prettiest sight on a cricket field. Shane Watson letting out a roar of triumph.

May 8

Saw the pilot of Fargo today. Very impressive.

May 9

Louie S04E02. Being funny is a great asset.

May 15

Went to see Million Dollar Arm. Jon Hamm is adept at pitching alright.

May 20

Louie falls for a 17 million dollar house, looks at it as a solution to all of his problems, his accountant says he only has 7000 dollars in his savings account. He ends up repainting his old house.

Jun 12

World Cup starts tonight.

Jun 15

Watched England v Italy at 0330 in the night (or is it morning?) Saw 3 matches on the whole and the team I was supporting lost on each occasion.

Got my hands on the OST of Enemy through a facebook page called Mr. Soundtracks. God bless.

Jun 19

Rewatched Promised Land yesterday and Frances Ha today. Undateable. Matt Damon and Greta Gerwig, totally relatable.

Jun 20

Matt Damon!

Jun 22

Watched Neighbors. Dope. Downloaded the soundtrack of the movie. Also dope.

Finished Less than Zero. I can definitely write like Bret Easton Ellis, when he’s not writing American Psycho.

Jun 25

Saw Under the Skin. Couldn’t grasp what it was trying to say. Saw Calvary later in the day.

Jun 27

I am pretty sure I was pretty disillusioned even as a kid.

Jul 2

USMNT went out on a high, giving it their all after going 2 goals behind in extra time. No horses left in the WC now, they’ve all bolted.

Jul 7

A dog gave me a scare today.

Jul 17

If I rode a bike, would I have been a different person?

Jul 18

Emma Stone is great but she’s in New York.

Sep 6

We won a final. Woohoo!

Sep 8

Finished Chuck Palahniuk’s Survivor. He gets it.

Sep 9

Finished This is where I leave you. Very funny book.

Sep 10

Rewatched Enemy. How did a lowly professor snag a babe like Melanie Laurent?

Sep 11

Watched Boyhood, all 165 mins of it. Changing families regularly keeps things fresh, I must say.

Sep 20

Saw Boardwalk Empire over lunch.

Sep 29

Finished The Martian. Fell in love with a character who’s probably going to be played by a Canadian.

Oct 8

Saw trailer 2 of Camp X-Ray.

Oct 9

Went to Hyderabad Biryani. Thought I’d have some mutton biryani but was oddly relieved to hear it wasn’t available. Chose to have chicken curry rice and salivated at the prospect. The owner said it turned out a bit too spicy today, why not have fish instead? I said I’m used to spicy, bring it on.

Woke up at 4 in the am with an upset tummy. Stayed up till 6 and finished the Chomsky book.

Oct 12

Had dinner at that Chinese place.

Oct 27

Boardwalk Empire came to an end. Seems Nolan’s going to be in Mumbai on Dec 28th. I’m going to act the fool and ask his fans if he’s made Fight Club.

Oct 31

Why is it that I can write while listening to The Black Keys? Any other music with lyrics, and I can’t even comprehend what I’m reading.

Reading the Guardian book on fiction writing. It says move the plot through dialogue.

Nov 1

Watched Fury and Gone Girl. The theatre wasn’t very good, the screen was too dim. In Gone Girl, Ben and Pike made their living as writers. Hmm.

Nov 25

Jake Gyllenhaal ftw!

Nov 26

College roommate came by to invite me to his wedding.

Dec 4

Only days I wake up early are to watch Hollywood pat itself on the back, and when I have an upset stomach.

Dec 17

AB scored his 20th test century today.

Dec 18

The Interview was pulled by Sony. I changed my profile pic to express support for the film.

Dec 21

I’m a vampire, I can’t enter if you don’t invite me in.

Dec 23

Went to see PK.

Dec 24

Other things vampires don’t do: check themselves out in mirrors, eat human food.

Finished watching What we do in the shadows.

Dec 25

Downed 3 movies today, 2 in IMAX and one at home. And I am not done yet.

(The credit for this post goes to David Sedaris, whether he likes it or not.)

Advertisements

Best Trailers of 2016; and by best, I mean favorite?

Have the trailers blurred into each other? Are you now tired of trailers? That’s funny, a best of list should make you want to see more.The list is a bloody failure. I’m sorry to have wasted your time. Please subscribe for more.

That Matt Damon trailer is here for only one reason: Matt Damon shooting off three arrows.

A Day in the Life of

Last night I took a break from watching La La Land and headed to Hacksaw Ridge instead. The turnout was spectacular. It was a full house on a weekday. That got us thinking. Friend wondered if it could have anything to do with faith. I liked that thought. I liked it so much I pursued it further. Could it be that they were running commercials for the movie exclusively and extensively on the Christian channels? I hadn’t come across much of a publicity push anywhere else that would explain the turnout. Could it be that a local celebrity preacher name-dropped the movie in one of his sermons? Or could it be that he handed out the tickets himself? Teach a man to fish and he won’t starve for the rest of his life. Direct your congregation to a Mel Gibson film and you don’t need to worry about your sheep going astray.

The movie itself was a mixed bag. The war scenes had me turning towards my friend at least twice with a “did you see that?” expression on my face. A Star Wars or a Marvel movie couldn’t make me do that. Shame on those for disneyfying violence. When you disneyfy violence, you sanitize and degrade it. There’s a way and a need to degrade violence, but that’s by exposing its brutality- not by making the victims faceless and the fights bloodless. Just because you make a lot of money doesn’t mean you’re right, Disney.

From one empire to another. We need to talk about the similarities between the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey and Pizzagate. Democrats like to make fun of Trump’s supporters for their gullibility and existence in a post-truth society. The way Democrats look at the Republicans must be the way Chomsky looks at them all. Chomsky views the stories published by NY times the way Hillary supporters look at the fake news stories planted by the alt-right on facebook. The more enlightened you are, the more is your ability to spot fake news apparently. Unfortunately, not many people have the free time or the inclination to reach a level of enlightenment where they begin to question the stories put out by outlets like NY Times. One such person with no time or inclination was the assassin of the Russian ambassador. Poor guy believed all the blame for the devastation in Aleppo could be laid squarely at the door of Russia. Did he know that Assad had offered a way to end the conflict even before it had become all encompassing? Did he know that US and its middle east allies wouldn’t come to the table unless Assad stepped down? Does he know how the American, or for that matter any other country’s, scales tip when the time comes to choose between geopolitical equations and saving human lives? Got to appreciate the cold hearted ruthlessness of the empires, even if they go around in cloaks boasting the values of freedom and democracy and human rights. If you only knew the number of autocratic regimes the US has propped up over the years. We need to support this murderous dictator because we need him in our fight against communism, we need him in our fight against terrorism, we need to depose this leader because he poses a threat to his own people… The problem with badmouthing and calling out the hypocrisy of the empire is people react to it in only one of two ways, and both of them amount to dismissal. Either they go:  We know all of this, tell us something we don’t know; or Okay (I don’t see how any of this concerns me).

tumblr_o16n2kblpx1ta3qyvo1_1280

At this point, I could go on and end up like that Charlie Day meme or rehabilitate my image by talking about Blade Runner and Ryan Gosling. The prospect of Roger Deakins and Dennis Villeneuve getting back together to frame Ryan Gosling should be enough to make you forget the crushing despair of having to spend your whole life being manipulated and misinformed- and thank Jesus Christ, it is. What is real and what is reel, when the real is a construct of lies and the reel at least tries its utmost to stay true to itself?

The Dark Knight Rises: Compendium

batman pit, tdkr pit

First, a couple of parodies to get you in the mood.

Next, opening lines from a review I liked:

“In order to fully appreciate The Dark Knight Rises, it might be a good idea to refresh your memory of Batman Begins, given that key plot points and characters from the 2005 film are referenced in Christopher Nolan’s final chapter in the Batman trilogy. Oh, and one more thing – it would also help if you had no memory of The Dark Knight, Nolan’s 2008 sequel”

Next, the customary spoiler-beware kerfuffle (which incidentally is also your word of the day).

Next, let’s get down to whatever it is that I have to say.

One delightful feeling you never tire of is seeing a familiar face pop up unexpectedly in an unfamiliar surrounding. Yes, I’m indeed referring to Petyr Baelish aka Littlefinger, and the opening scene of the movie.  I don’t know if it was intentional or if he came through the casting agency, but “having stars from popular TV shows making a cameo appearance” becoming a mainstream thing would be a welcome development. (Think Jon Hamm and A-Team, Bryan Cranston and whatever movie you spotted him in.)

Petyr Baelish TDKR

When the casting news of TDKR kept coming out, and when each member of Inception was being drafted in as if Nolan was a victim of an “inception-hit”, I was one worried soul.

a) I had (have) always harbored an irrational dislike towards Marion Cotillard.

b) Warrior hadn’t happened by then. “What’s all this fuss about Tom Hardy?”

c) “Although Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway would make any movie appear worth checking out, why does Nolan need so many fucking new characters for the final part of his trilogy?”

Cut to the present. JGL and Anne Hathaway are kickass additions (one to take the story forward and the other to bring it to a close.) Marion Cotillard playing a negative role worked very well with me for the same reason as mentioned in (a), and Hardy had already won me over a million times through the Warrior. Having said that, Bane’s accent does come off a bit funny/odd at times (in addition to being illegible.)

The pivotal point of the movie, both story-wise and tempo-wise, comes when Bane confines Batman to a pit. I quite enjoyed the inspiring chanting and the human spirit allusions, but the reason I mention this here is the trouble the casting agency must have gone through in picking a gender-neutral-looking child.

The conclusion was quite spectacular and also overwhelming due to the accompanying Hans Zimmer score but aren’t we seeing this sort of thing quite often nowadays? (The only reason Sherlock-2 wasn’t a complete clusterfuck was him sticking to the original and jumping off to his faux-death.)

Also, I happened to chance across a discussion where people were wondering how Batman could know which restaurant it was that Alfred was alluding to. WTF people! how choosy can you get! He can do all those remarkable things like jumping off a skyscraper and gliding his way into another skyscraper and then escape the other skyscraper with a hostage in tow while attaching himself to a plane moving at full speed, but you question this?! You’re saying you’re fine with him doing all that but you find it hard to believe when he finds the location of a restaurant in a town!!?

Lastly, a message to the Avengers fanboys.  Yes, that movie got a huge opening bellying all expectations but you should also know that $30mn of those receipts were solely due to the higher prices charged by 3D theatres. TDKR was well on course to beat Avengers going by the number of tickets sold, and thanks to the extraordinarily positive word of mouth, could well have gone on to beat the Avengers collections wise too if it were not for the dastardly events of Aurora. So, pray for the departed souls and STFU!

Departing on an acrimonious note doesn’t feel right. Let me bring up another plot element, that of the regime’s trucks and a group of oppressed revolutionary forces shadowing them in alleyways. Whole movies have been made around that theme. Was just a minor strand here. Also, when JGL kept going on about his orphan background to Bruce Wayne, didn’t you immediately realize he was destined to end up as something more than an ordinary cop?

Word of the movie: Excommunicate

//On a personal note, it’s funny how many of my posts are just ‘published’ drafts. The laxity that betrays isn’t funny at all, however.