Movies: Heat

March 31, 2005 at 3:04 AM (General)

All the packages I sent from Manipal arrived safely here today and I setup the computer I was using in Manipal again.  There are now two computers at home and I am thinking of networking them.

I read more than a thousand Calvin & Hobbes strips today.  I got a collection of these strips in PDF format (one file per year starting from 1985) from one of my friends at TAPMI.  Read the 1985, 86, 87 and most of 88 strips today.  Many of these I have read before, but they are awesome as always.

Finally finished watching Heat.  I watched the second CD this afternoon, and the third CD just got over.  The movie is about two men who are extremely good at what they do — Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) is a professional criminal, and Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) is a cop.  Hanna only lives for who he’s going after, and therefore his personal life is a mess.  McCauley’s policy is "never to get close to anything that he can’t leave behind in thirty seconds when the heat’s around the corner", however things change when he meets Eady (Amy Brenneman).  The movie explores these two characters and their personal lives, carries on with a thrilling bank robbery sequence, and then leads to Hanna’s pursuit of McCauley.

Aside from the fact that it has an awesome cast (including also, Val Kilmer, Natalie Portman, etc.), what made Heat a standout movie for me was writer/director Michael Mann’s superb characterisations (an extraordinary scene is the one where De Niro and Pacino’s characters meet over coffee).  He goes into much detail on everything in the movie and though it’s almost three hours long it was always interesting to watch.  I also liked Elliot Goldenthal’s music score, which was subtle and effective (bank robbery sequence is an example).  Heat I would say is a must-watch movie.

Another very positive review of Sin City at Arrow in the Head.  Looking forward to this!

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Cold and Dark Script, The Hellbound Heart, Heat

March 30, 2005 at 12:50 PM (General)

I read the script for Cold and Dark yesterday.  This is a British horror/crime movie made by Sheer Films.  I don’t know whether I will ever get to see the actual film, so I read the screenplay, which can be downloaded on the site (along with the trailer and lots of other stuff — now this is what a film website should be like).

The script is by Joanne Reay (also producer of the movie), and the movie is directed by Andrew Goth.  It is about a vice detective, John Dark (Luke Goss) who has a great amount of respect for his mentor, DCI Mortimer Shade (Kevin Howarth) (who as he says, taught him what being a good copper was all about).  Dark and Shade are troubled when bad guys get away by exploiting legal loopholes, but there’s nothing really they can do.  However, when certain high-profile criminals start ending up dead, Dark realises that Shade has changed into something not entirely human.  He has been taken over by a parasite called the Grail, that feeds off the blood of humans.  An interesting story.  The trailer has Linkin Park’s "Numb" on the soundtrack.

I also read the Clive Barker book The Hellbound Heart yesterday evening.  Barker himself wrote and directed Hellraiser, the film adaptation of this story.  If you have seen the movie, the story here is quite similar — a young woman, Julia, discovers that her lover Frank has returned from the dead, and is existing in a skinless, semi-human state in one of the rooms in her house.  Frank has spent quite some time in the realm of the Cenobites, who specialise in sensory experiences that this world simply cannot hope to offer.  The gateway to their dimension can be opened by solving the Lemarchand Configuration, a puzzlebox.  Like the film, this is not just a horror story but is a lot deeper and very fascinating.

Finally, I watched the first CD of Heat yesterday and it seems like an excellent film.  It’s a pretty long film though, and I have two more CDs to watch, before giving comments.

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Movies: The Transporter

March 29, 2005 at 12:56 PM (General)

I watched The Transporter last night on CD.  The premise is interesting, Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is an ex-military man who now works as a transporter — he delivers sensitive packages for clients in his black BMW (apparently a one-of-a-kind model made for the movie).  He plays his game by three rules — one, no changes in the deal; two, no names; and three, never open the package.  As it happens, one of the packages he is hired to transport actually contains a young Chinese woman named Lai (Shu Qi).  Martin opens the package thereby violating his own rules — and soon the people who hired him want him and Lai dead.

The movie is an entertaining action thriller, and has plenty of stylish action and martial arts sequences, and some well-filmed car chases.  It is written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and is directed by HK action director Corey Yuen.  The film credits Louis Leterrier as "Artistic Director" as well (first time I am seeing something like this in a movie).  The music score is by Stanley Clarke, and it is the second score I am hearing from him after the excellent Passenger 57 music.  It gives the movie a light-hearted and fast-paced tone and it was an unconventional kind of score.

Apparently there is a The Transporter 2 in the works, and it is set in America, as opposed to the first film which has some very nice French locations (the car chase that opens the film is set in Nice).

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Back Home!

March 28, 2005 at 12:30 PM (General)

My parents and Varun arrived in Manipal at around 4:30 PM on 25th March.  They met many of my friends in the hostel on that day.  Later on that night I finished my packing, and the next morning, I signed out of the hostel and sent some of my stuff through XPS.  Collected my grade sheet for the Second Year as well.  Then got ready for the Convocation ceremony.

The 19th Annual Convocation of the T.A. Pai Management Institute got over on 26th evening, and I was awarded the Post Graduate Diploma in Management.  The function itself went off very well and everything got completed on time.  Congratulations to Guruprasad Jambunathan for receiving several of the academic prizes for outstanding performance, and to Rajesh for receiving the AgrEvo Student of the Year Award.  The Convocation Address was delivered by Mr. Vikram Mehta, Chairman of Shell India.

Update 2005 was also released at the Convocation ceremony, and it has come out really well.  Returning editor Prof. R.C. Natarajan and the student editors put in a lot of work on it.  The cover of this issue is by myself, and this is my second Update cover.

I was very happy that my parents and Varun could be present there.  We met several faculty members, friends, and their family members after the convocation, and Varun took plenty of photos.  I will be posting relevant ones at various places as time and Internet speed permit.  Later on that night, I went to KMC Greens for one last gathering of the T-Flankies, a group I was part of, for the major portion of two years.

The next morning (27th) I left Manipal with my family.  We left by cab to Mangalore airport, reached Bangalore airport by around 1:30 PM.  The flight to Hyderabad left at around 4:30 PM, and I was back home by 7 PM yesterday.  I think I finished reading all the comics that I bought recently.

Kamal had sent an email to our T-Flankies group about the consolidated rank list that was announced back at TAPMI.  My consolidated rank for the two years is 16.

Later in the evening yesterday, I unpacked my CDs, and Varun and myself watched Constantine.  Slept early (midnight) in the night as I was tired.  Visited Rob Zombie’s Blog just now.

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Comics Gold Mine!

March 25, 2005 at 11:36 AM (General)

I walked into this place called "Decks and Cards" (or something like that) yesterday — it is a small shop opposite TAPMI on the main road — because I was looking for one particular Gotham comics Super Special issue (Spider-Man/Venom).  That was not available, however, I did walk away with 11 single issues plus one super special (Batman Super Special 06), at a total cost of Rs. 140, a very good deal indeed!  These comics are old, but most are in very good condition.  This guy is selling them at half-price, so those interested might want to check it out.  Apparently he buys these issues from students in Manipal.  They do not know what they are giving away, seriously!

Read the first review for Sin City at JoBlo.com yesterday.  This looks like an awesome movie and I cannot wait to see it.

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Last days at Manipal

March 25, 2005 at 11:17 AM (General)

Varun and my parents are right now in the Bangalore airport, waiting for the flight to Mangalore, which has been delayed by a couple of hours.  They’ll reach Manipal therefore at around 4 PM I think.

We have a rehearsal for our convocation proceedings today at 3:45 PM.  There’s apparently another one tomorrow morning at 10 AM, although I think it is not really practical due to lack of time.  The actual convocation will start tomorrow afternoon.  I would leave Manipal with Varun and my parents on 27th morning, and if all goes well, we would reach Hyderabad the same evening.

I have sent whatever luggage I can from here to Hyderabad through XPS courier.  Yesterday I finished my CD writing, clearing dues, etc.  Now only final packing is to be done, and I also have to dismantle my computer.

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TAPMI Class of 2003-05 Wallpaper

March 24, 2005 at 12:16 PM (General)

Dear All,

We hope you enjoyed flipping through this year’s issue of Interface.

We have attached the wallpaper made out of the Interface poster by our Chief Interface Caricaturist — Karthik.

We once again thank all the people who have been a part of making Interface as we see it today.

Regards,
The Corporate Communication Group
Taking TAPMI Places….


I sent CCG the wallpaper before leaving for Kodaikanal, and I was busy at the time with packing and other things.  That’s why I am posting the wallpaper only now.

Here is a scaled down version of the image.  Click it to open the 1024×768 JPEG wallpaper in a new window.  It’s about 300 KB in size.

TAPMI Class of 2003-05 Wallpaper [click to open full size image]

Some fun facts about the poster:

  • The size of the poster is approximately 22 inches wide by 17 inches high.
  • The number of caricatures on the poster is 131.
  • There were nine artists in total who worked on the caricatures.  I did almost a fourth of the caricatures, numbering 32.
  • It took around 10 hours to assemble the poster.
  • The image sent to the printers was around 8400×6400 pixels in size.
  • The Photoshop file with all the layers is larger than 100 MB in size.

I have to figure out some way of putting up a larger version of the poster itself over here.  I will probably make a JPG version of a 2000-pixel or so wide image.

The Kodaikanal CD (photos and videos from three cameras — Abdul’s, Anirudh’s and Rupak’s) is a little more than 500 MB in size.  I’ll post a couple of pictures from these too, later.

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Back from Kodaikanal

March 24, 2005 at 9:15 AM (General)

I am now back in Manipal after the Kodaikanal trip of our T-Flankies.  I’ve just been catching up with what has been going on in the past few days.

  • CCG emailed the official TAPMI Class of 2003-05 Wallpaper I sent them.
  • I got an email from Alexander Repko, informing me that a couple of my Doom levels were recently used for demo contests at Doom Power.  Thanks Alexander, and thanks to the organisers of the contests and the players!  Perhaps I will pay a visit to the Systems Lab today and download all this stuff.  I thought I’d settled all the downloading and CD writing business earlier, but apparently it’s not over just yet!
  • According to JoBlo.com, The Ring Two is a bad movie.
  • Director Paul Greengrass offered an insightful interview on his upcoming Watchmen adaptation.  I am very eager to read the book.  Judging by the interview, I guess the movie adaptation is in good hands.
  • Some interesting new levels in the latest edition of the Doomworld /newstuff Chronicles are also to be downloaded.  I suppose that Systems Lab trip is inevitable.

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Skulltag v0.96b

March 19, 2005 at 11:25 AM (General)

I am downloading the freshly released Skulltag v0.96b.  The bots are back!

Going to go to KC for breakfast now.  By that time the download will be done.  Then I have to pack stuff for our trip to Kodaikanal (that won’t take long though), and then send one more package of stuff (books, papers, etc.) home.

I made three personalised wallpapers out of my Interface caricatures last night.  Mailed them to the three people concerned — Krish, Shanbhag and Abdul.  They liked them a lot.

On Kamal’s and Rama’s recommendation I watched Deewar (1975) last night.  I liked it.

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Hard-Boiled (DVD) and Interface Caricatures CD (Planned)

March 18, 2005 at 3:44 AM (General)

I just finished watching a DVD version of Hard-Boiled.  Abdul had rented a DVD with four Chow Yun-Fat films, and it was on this DVD that this film was present.  Now when he told me about this DVD, I was very excited because I thought it contained four of Chow’s Hong Kong movies, but when I found out what the films were, my excitement lowered.  There was Bulletproof Monk, a movie that was amusing but nothing too great.  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is not exactly my type of movie, I just didn’t like it as much as everyone seems to.  At least The Replacement Killers is a pretty decent action movie (imitation John Woo?), and as Chow’s US debut it is certainly an important movie, but that doesn’t mean it’s up to the standards of some of the star’s HK films.  Now the fourth film made everything worthwhile — this is an actual John Woo-directed HK film — it’s the amazing police thriller Hard-Boiled!

I first watched this movie in May 2002 on a videotape, but it was a totally different experience watching it on DVD.  This was in Cantonese with English subtitles, and was actually the complete film (as opposed to a randomly cut 107 minute version)!  I actually transferred the VOB files from Abdul’s laptop (where the image was very much squished) to my hard disk to watch it (and this was achieved by writing spanned RAR files on 2 CDs + 65 MB).

Tomorrow I am planning to put together a CD with all the content related to the caricatures I did for the Interface poster.  This includes the raw scans, the cut out individual caricatures, the Photoshop files for the poster, a JPG version, a wallpaper, a short video that Rupak recorded while I was drawing, and anything else that I can think of while actually compiling the CD.  I’m sure this is going to take some time, but if I can I am also going to include notes on the caricatures that I did.

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