Movie Review : Rajneeti (Politics)

When one of the oldest action stories in the world, the Mahabharata ( a Sanskrit epic is mashed together with some inspired Michael Corleone like scenes from the Godfather) the result is another hearland drama from Prakash Jha. With an ensemble cast from Nasseerudin Shah, to Nana Patekar, Manoj Bajpai, Ajay Devgan with some inspired acting from Arjun Rampal, Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor- this one is worth a dekko at a theatre near you. With twists and turns, almost very little music, and action galore along with dramatic scenes subtly mixed in a chutney flavor- Rajneeti shows Politics at its worst and Bollywood movie making  at it’s best.

and yes Katrina Kaif does look like Sonia Gandhi, but the story is clearly influenced from Karna and Duryodhana from the Mahabharata, and if you are a movie buff you would snicker at the Godfather scenes (like the breaking of the jaw at the hospital, the dead horse er body in the bed etc). This one is the latest hit here in India.

Review- Iron Man2

Tony Stark is back! and he is cooler, with a hotter sidekick (Scarlett J),better villain (Mickey Rourke), cooler robots, and plus the same old winning sequel formula. Kind of like Matrix 2 had all the multiple Agent Smiths we get some multiple drone attacks versus Iron Man (or Men- as D Cheadle becomes the second Iron Man, stealing his suit – but whats an Iron Man suit between friends). Watch it- summer is here and can Hollywood Comic Book masala movies be far behind. I especially like the charming way Downey Jr and Rourke can fill the screen- thus proving better actors make even comic books more fun.

Review: Clash of the Titans

This is a good old fashioned action movie disguised as a Greek drama with special effects. I saw the movie in 2D

and it seemed all right. Sam Worthington was awesome as the blood and guts Greek hero, and the cast was nice as well.

The struggles of Perseus, against mighty crabs, assasins, Hades (played by Ralph Fiennes) and titans like Medusa and Kraken all contribute to make a magnificent story . Not since Troy has a classic story like this gained so much attention.

I am not sure if watching in 3D is going to be more entertaining, but the movie was quite nice in action  and sword fights.

Recommended especially for a day when you need a movie break!

The Blind Side – Movie Review

Q Whats a movie review doing on a data mining blog? A Because blogs are read by people who ALSO like movies.

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday- I didnt get much Turkey and spent more time reading Tukey, and the only offer I got on Black Friday in Knoxville, East Tennessee was to take a discount for a tanning studio at Kingston Pike, near my house. So you can imagine my trepidition when I decided to go for a movie on Saturday- hoping for better luck.

There are amusing things in Blind Side, especially if you are a brown guy wearing a bright orange U Tenn T Shirt as I was doing. The beautiful game of the movie, as in all sports movie is however overshadowed by Sandro Bullock’s performance as a rich white woman who takes a black teenager under her wing. Despite the innuendo in a Memphis, Tennessee- which is quite realistic. And horrifying for a non American like me to watch. It kind of reminded me when I was the only guy cheering in Austin Texas at the end of the movie “W” -2008.

For non Tennessee football fans, watch as how the game unites all- as how a common God and morality finds rescue for a kid among horrors. And how number 74 discovers his destiny as the guy who protects the quarter back.

This could be the Hollywood version of SlumDog Millionaire of 2009. Nicely crafted. and yet an intelligent movie. For people who don’t like Twilight 🙂 If you have ever felt unsafe while traveling in a poor black neighbourhood watch this movie. If you live in a black poor neighbourhood- then watch it with your homies.

if you ever watched a game of football and marveled at the magnificent heart break of college football. Watch the movie.

As someone said- Football is like the Mafia in the Godfather movie.

Sooner or later you will get whacked.

The Age of the Unthinkable- Book Review

The Age of the Unthinkable is a thought provoking book written by Joshua Cooper Ramos and published by Little, Brown. Anyone who has been surprised by change or the speed of change in recent months in matters economic, political or technology should have a look in at least once of this beautiful, with remarkable case studies  painstaking culled and gathered from all parts of the world and cultures.

The book has an easy to read style, with real life incidents with which we can associate with. It look at creative innovation as a process which is analogous to sand particles piling on to one another, and sudden change being the point at which the sand pile has a flattening avalanche. It learns from examples of how highly centralized systems in Communism collapsed while highly autonomous organizations like Hezbollah flourished as they kept learning and adapting in the face of a bigger enemy. or how creative designers at Nintendo changed the paradigm of video games to invent the Wii Fit to help make video games that help people stay fit, which was un-thought of earlier using inexpensive video chips. And how a little known company in Brazil cut costs by empowering bottoms up cost cutting than top down cost thinking.

The book talks of things like mashup and the speed at which change is unleashed at us. Lastly it offers us lessons in which leaders may help embrace change and thus help themselves or they are changed inevitably by external forces.

Change being a process as sure as death and taxes- it compares and contrast people who change willingly internally to people who are changed externally. An entertaining and informative book- I recommend it (see Amazon link to the right margin) for anyone and everyone who have had a ” Oh, we are  idiots” moment as they were surprised by rising taxes for bailouts, powerful armies that failed to keep them safe or big cash rich corporations that failed to keep them employed.

For the technology or scientifically trained people, this book would be an eye opener.


Review – HanCock(y)

When Will Smith releases a movie, we all sit up and notice. Apart from the Wild Wild West, the fresh prince of Hollywood has been havings hits after enjoyable hits . Hes got a bit of Denzel looks (and a smaller bit of  the acting), some of Chris Tucker motor mouth (but not too much) and some Wesley Snipes action appeal. He is the perfect leading man as of Today – with no conroversies too. And this time he comes back with an unconventional script ( I ,Robot, -I am Legend…) on a super hero who drinks too much, fumbles his timing,hits on women (!) and generally acts like a ….(Dont call him that !!!) but you need to see the movie at this point.

Charlize Theron is great as the sceptical wife of the Public Relations executive who tries to clean up the man.The move is both a spoof on action heroes and an action hero movie at the same time.Memorable scenes include a drunk and flying John Hancock (well Superman never drank !!) chasing bad guys, a super villian (!) and prison scenes. Enough said.The movie strikes you for the realistic special effects (yes it looks like he is actually flying not swinging by a rope )…and great lovely Will Smith cocky humour.

Watch the movie– its gonna be a cool cool summer and the action heroes are coming back. Bring Em On.