Thursday, May 17, 2007

Spider-Man 3 - Not a complete waste of time

I've just returned home from watching the block buster hit, Spider Man 3 and thought I'd blog my thoughts while its still fresh on my mind. A word of caution for anyone who hasn't as yet watched the movie - don't read this if your like me in that you don't like to have any pretenses about the movie before you watch it. While I promise not to outline the plot, if there was any, chances are your going to have a pretense. This is also why I generally don't like to watch movie trailers, read reviews before watching the actual movie, though I won't necessarily shy away from them should I accidentally bump into one. On the other hand if your the type that researches before you spend time and money on a movie, then read on.

I had high hopes for Spider Man 3, so much that the second I learned of its existence in town, I immediately wanted to book tickets. So for the first time I tried booking an e-ticket using Dialog's much advertised, 444 service that was exclusive for postpaid customers. In the end that service turned out to be a complete waste of time and possibly money (I won't know till I get my next bill), but luckily I was able to manually get two tickets, after learning my e-ticket was never made. More on that later, in another post perhaps.

Anyway after watching it and coming out of the theater, all I could think about was why this was the worst Spider Man movie out of the three. I say this with disappointment, only because I really think they tried too hard to make a good movie, but ended up over doing it and really deviating too much from the previously established (as far as the movies go) Spider-Man spirit.

Essentially I felt like this was an attempt to combine characters and ideas from too many successful movies to create the ultimate movie. Unfortunately, as a result I felt it turned out to be a salad or cocktail that was just too crowded for the taste buds.

To begin with, I thought there were far too many super characters (the word hero isn't totally un-appropriate here either, as I will explain later), somewhat similar to what you'd expect from X-men. Then the sand man reminded me of the sand man from "The Mummy". The sand man also resembled "King Kong", when ever he grew to be a giant and especially when he was under attack. Similar to King Kong, it turns out, the sand man was also misunderstood. There was also a Terminator like, "I'll be back" thing going on where you think the villain is dead but he comes back. A bit of "Superman" is encompassed in the black alien substance that falls from space, similar to how Superman came to earth, and which has lots of power but also a lame weakness similar to Kryptonite. Coincidence? I think not! There were also some musical moments similar to "Mula Roughe" or "Chicago".

Despite all these rip offs, the movie was nevertheless quite enjoyable to watch, with hardly ever a yawning moment. Still one thing I could not stand to watch was the Titanic/Hindi movie like scenes of Spider man crying like a girl. Not once by twice! By the audience's giggle reaction, especially when the circumstances were emotionally depressing, hints to a fundamental flaw with the Spider-Man, if not any man's character we are stereo typically led to accept. Those scenes were just so lame and thankfully short. There was also a bit of soap and fantasy as you learn that none of the villains were true villains (some what hero like at times) and the hero, Spider man, acts like a villain at times. They all had a personal story to share, which didn't feel right.

Some of the - "Oh how convenient" or "Wow what a coincidence" moments just make this story feel really lame and unrealistic. I can't go into details here without ruining it so I won't. You'll see what I mean when you watch. Anyway its certainly not the Spider-Man we were led to accept - the ordinary, nerdy guy that made mistakes but understood that with great power comes great responsibility.

So while the movie is an enjoyment to watch due to the cool effects, a roller coaster like ever changing theme, my conclusion is that Spider-Man 3 killed Spider-Man as we knew him.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Honey, I sunk the ipod

It was the worse day of my (ipod's) life. It drowned a feet under water for god knows how long. What probably was 5 - 10 minutes must have felt like an eternity. As of now, my ipod is in a coma, waiting for me to wake her up.

It all began a little under 36 hrs ago, when it was raining hard. I came home yesterday a little earlier following a wedding and thus managed to avoid traffic and more importantly the heavy rain. After a little bit of relaxation listening to the rest of a podcast from my drive back home, I began to settle into reading a book, when my sister said she was about to go off to work.

She being a doctor, has to generally deal with a crazy time table. By this time it was raining hard and fast. So I offered to drop her off, which she accepted gladly and as usual took my ipod along to keep me company.

We didn't get too far before land was nowhere and water was everywhere! This was not my first time crossing a pool of water by car, so I wasn't as scared as I should have been.

All was fine until my feet started getting cold - I mean literally cold from the water that was now seeking in from beneath the car. I must say there was a little panic, especially after seeing a couple of dead vehicles stranded on our path. There was no turning back. We were surrounded by a queue of vehicles, in both directions.

The water level continued to rise until it was about a foot or more. Finally we made land but the water that had entered into the car, didn't seem to retreat back. Luckily there was an empty 1.5L bottle of 7up, which my sister started filling up with the flooded water and throwing out. Thats when she felt something under the water -- something which felt like, my ipod!

As she handed it over to me, my fingers touched the wheel and it came alive. I panicked and suddenly shut it off by pressing on the play button. I vaguely recall the locked icon coming on even though I hadn't locked the ipod at the time, as if she was going into cardiac arrest. Anyway I immediately locked it to prevent from accidentally being turned on. Once I got home, I dried it using tissues and kept it next to my lava lamp before falling asleep, myself. The ipod is still asleep.

After a bit of research online, to my surprise (shock), I've discovered that ipods are known to fall into toilets and still survive. So there is a ray of hope that my ipod will recover, despite it being under water for a longer period.

To be continued...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Screenshot of my new (shiny) desktop

I'll let the screenshot speak for itself.


But just in case your wondering this is Gentoo GNU/Linux running the beryl Window Manager (WM), on top of KDE desktop environment, with screenlets as widgets/gadgets, kiba-dock for an OSX like dock and kbfx with a dark theme as the next-gen kde menu.

That's it really!