Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stuff to do, movies instead...

This weekend I was supposed to finish something quite important. So important that i've been thinking about it for more than a week.

So obviously I haven't done it.

(It was filing income tax returns for those who're obsessed with knowing all details. Jeez people, a little privacy please? )

Instead I spent my post-tennis part of Sunday getting duped at a restaurant and watching two brilliant movies that an ex-colleague had given me some time back.

Oh and also, last evening while reading some Calvin & Hobbes, I suddenly thought, what I thought, was a very original question. What would Calvin grow up to be? Unfortunately this is not a very original question and numerous theories are floating around - most of them pointing to 'Jack' (Edward Norton's character in Fight Club). In case you're interested you can read more such theories by:

a. umm..googling...duh

But what I really want to write about is this movie I saw with no expectations and which gripped me. It's a very unassuming movie called 'The Visitor' ( or if you're reading this from office, here

No big stars, this is a movie based on a grieving professor's life and how it changes when he meets a young couple who turn out to be illegal immigrants. The poignancy of the movie is amazing and the way music has been blended into the theme is truly brilliant. The lead actor, playing Walter the professor, has acted brilliantly and as is usually the case with performances I like, his transition from a man who's just given up to the one discovering passion to one loving and losing and feeling the helpless frustration of battling a crazy system is just amazing to watch.

After this I also watched The Bucket List. Yeah, yeah I hadn't seen it till now. It's a fairly good movie but, umm, a bit preachy. I think a bucket list need not have grand things as shown in the movie. These are, in my opinion, the good to have done things but not the things that mean everything in the end. But as usual when you put two stalwarts in Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, you get some brilliant acting and very powerfully delivered dialogues that really move you (while the dialogues are being said. Not too much later). Seeing Jack (from Will and Grace, the sitcom) in a serious role was also quite interesting.

About the duped at a restaurant part - have you ever had watery lasagne?

My point exactly.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

'Height' of cheapness

I do weird things sometimes.

Ok, the back drop. I am seriously short of wearable clothes for office and outside. So I decided it was high time I went out and got some clothes that would make me presentable (and also so that the new hot chick in office also starts looking at me instead of turning and running away stifling a laugh like she does now). PS and I went to all the stores and after muching mulling over and discount calculations decided on a few clothes to buy.

This was on Thursday. Just as I was reluctantly handing out my credit card to the shop assistant PS and I saw that there was a strange discount scheme running in the shop. I gleefully snatched back my credit card which was just on the verge of being swiped and rushed to check out the details.

"The taller the woman you're with, the more the discount"

This sounded good.

The scheme was that if you're with a girl you get a discount equivalent to her height. PS and I looked at each other. This was doable.

PS: hmm what about xyz. How tall do you think she is?

SB: Around rs.1200 off...I mean 5'2" type

PS: We need someone taller. Wait there is this tall girl in office. I haven't ever actually spoken to her. But I could talk her into helping out here by tomorrow.

SB: How tall are we talking here?

PS: lets just say more than Rs 2000

SB: Yay!! We'll come back again tomorrow. And the savings can fund the domestic groceries. Dude, our cook had tears in his eyes yesterday - we have nothing to cook at home .... {more domestic chatter}

So smiling effusively I was sitting in office in my old 'friday' shirt (yes, that hot chick STILL stifled a laugh and ran away. But I smiled, after this evening you won't be running away lady. We're talking new threads to dazzle you. And yes, the cost saving's there too)

(phone rings - it's PS)

SB: What's up Rs 2000, i mean, PS?

PS: You do realize how cheap you are?

SB: Yup, so what's your point?

PS: Ok, nothing just wanted to make sure you know. But Houston, we have a problem?


PS: I scoured the entire office today, all floors. Even checked under the table in the little guard's shed. The tall one is not there. She hasn't come in today

SB: WHAT? How could she do this? Doesn't she have any respect for all the work that depends on her everyday? How could she be so irresponsible? So many people depending on her and this is what she goes and does? How could she, how could she?

PS: Ho gaya? (done?)

SB: Haan (yes)

PS: I asked around, I think she fell ill.

SB: Couldn't she fall ill tomorrow


SB: ok, ok. Now what do we do

PS: Well I can ask this 5'2" girl.

SB: Pfftt a Rs. 1200 saving? How could you even say that PS. I have standards. Nothing below Rs 1600 will do. hello..hello

PS: (disconnected)

SB: (Frantically calls back) On second thoughts..


SB: cmon, seriously. hello ..hello


Damn, what should I do now.

So eventually I sat in office till quite late. Asked this tall colleague of mine to help out. She had a late call and I waited for her, then asked her to come way out of her way to the shop. Got the discount.

Cheapness rules!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Half Dud Prince

What in Merlin's beard was that? All the excitement and expectation and THIS is what we get at the end of it all?

It's almost like picking up an ear wax flavour bean from a giant pile of Bertie Bott's every flavour beans. or a vomit flavour bean. Or the Dependal like ice cream my Mom bought me when I was staring and staring at a street urchin eating it on our trip to Ooty (1995 I think).

Some facts -
Fact 1: I love the Harry Potter series - the books, not the movies. I've liked the movies but they just can't match the magical world that our imagination creates when reading the books.

Fact 2: The director had a tough job right from the beginning. The half-blood prince is not the most exciting of the Harry Potter series. It serves as the second part of a bridge leading up to the grand finale of Deathly Hallows. So some benefit of doubt is in order for the director. Plus it is always a difficult job to translate some thing magical (and not just in terms of the contents of the beek) to film.

But I still went into this movie with a lot of expectations - afterall I'd been sneakily checking out the movie reviews after the premier of the movie when I should ideally have been working and all of them spoke very highly of the movie. It was supposed to be the best HP movie till date with the characters really coming into their own and getting comfortable with their roles (from a review I read- the Telegraph, I think).


I thought the only actors that seemed comfortable had fledgling roles- Severus Snape, and Draco Malfoy. Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione just don't have any chemistry between them. The camaraderie scenes seem so fake and the laughter and romance is forced. Ron provides a bit of comic relief but Harry, especially after drinking Felix Felicis, goes into an overacting spree that is only overtaken by the evil Peter Parker dance in Spiderman 3 for it's stupidity and out-of-place-ness.

Snape is always awesome. His brand of subtle menacing evil is wonderful. But really, for a book that revolves around Snape's character and the book Harry finds, he hardly has any screen time! Snape being the Defence against Dark Arts teacher is not a minor thing that can be just mentioned in passing. Atleast a couple of scenes where Harry suffers at the hands of Snape in the DADA classes would have really hit the spot.

This movie was quite a let down and suddenly raises a very important question. When the movie(s) for Deathly Hallows comes out, should I really go to watch it? Every single movie has been a disappointment till now and after watching each of these movies I see myself going back to the books and rereading (yes, I finished Deathly Hallows again today)

What will I read if the last movie is bad as well??