Thursday, April 20, 2006

So Sayeth, Wanda The Fish

Big Fish, directed by Tim Burton is one of the movies I kept missing regularly everytime it's shown on TV, along with Donnie Darko and Requiem for a Dream. I finally caught it yesterday on HBO, at a very odd hour of 1:00 AM. The movie was not something I expected, throwing me a bit off-guard ; and definitely not the sterotypical Burton. A fantasy of events woven in flashbacks to a skeptical son, it definitely has fantastic visuals. What is confusing is the fact whether the father is actually telling the truth or not ; because the stories he narrates are bizarre and impossible, in the world we live in ; but yet, there's some element of truth in it, as the son discovers that all characters from the story are not made-up manequins, but they actually exist ; albeit different from the way narrated. People gain immortality, through the stories told about them, sometimes by them, that live after they're long gone. A fine cast of Danny DeVito, Ewan McGregor, Jessica Lange and Albert Finney makes the film a memorable experience. Something that stays on your mind for quite sometime....

Friday, April 14, 2006

Visions Of Paradise

Oblivion seems to have quite created a rage in the gaming industry. An RPG that's raised quite a few eyebrows regarding its success and made gamers and critics alike, all over the world, cry in joy and heap accolades on it certainly doesn't happen quite so often in this world ; this geeky world of pumped up gaming rigs, artistic case mods, liquid cooling, high-end graphics cards, dual-core processors, ergonomic gaming keyboards and mice for the hunched-up gamer drooling over 21'' LCD screens, pumpin' metal into every friggin' marine, or blowing to smithereens every alien scum that dares to show its ugly face, or precariously managing a dwindling economy while warding off another enemy attack on the base, or getting lost in eerie caves and foggy tunnels trying to find a red fire-breathing dragon that's guarding an ancient treasure. If memory serves me right, the last such phenomenon is the now oh-so-popular World Of Warcraft. It might very well be the product that single-handedly boosted this industry the last year, and is still going strong. In fact, after recent reports of addicted gamers,virtual threats and ransoms, and viruses unleashed onto the virtual world killing virtual characters, it's gotten a bit frightening, to say the least. But these are the artificial worlds, entire universes created by games that we tend to lose ourselves in, staying up late trying to ward off that evil spell casted by a level 30 mage. Oblivion does this and more, it seems. I had'nt heard of this game, quite surprisingly (probably because I was not frequenting Gamespot or Gamespy or Kotaku or Pixel Kill or countless other sites out there), until a friend asked me if I'd read the review. I said no, but made a mental note to read it later. Needless to say, I was swept, swept hard by the current, swaying left and right before steadying myself and realising it's never, not even in my wildest dreams gonna run on my system. Still running a paltry processor with a single core and a borrowed withered-by-age graphics card, I solemnly retired to my usual gawking-over-every-new-game-while-
cursing-my-inability-and-staunch-stubborness-to-upgrade routine. I mentally ticked this one off too. Oblivion. Like the lone survivor of a ship-wreck who's lost the complete meaning of time and ticks off every day against the wall with a sharpened twig, I etched the name deep into my heart. One more game to play. My list is all the while getting longer, with each passing month, starting off from Painkiller:Battle out of Hell to Doom III, F.E.A.R, Quake IV, Call Of Duty 2, GTA:San Andreas, Serious Sam 2, LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth 2, Black And White 2, ad infinitum. What's one more to the list, eh? *Sigh*. Getting restless - but just a tad bit at having missed out on all the fun of my first love with computers. And with the release of Apple's Intel-based Mac systems and the beta Boot-Camp that dual-boots with Windows, I have all the more reason to vigorously scratch my head and ponder ; weighing in the positives and negatives of either upgrading my system now(which has complications I don't want to delve in right now), or wait for a sufficiently stable Intel Dual-Core Mac with a reliable Boot-Camp at an affordable price (yeah right!), or just give up on all this and settle for one of my two latest crushes, a DSLR or an electric guitar. Oh, the travails of free will :)

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Musical Harp

Pandora is a music lover's paradise. An eternity of fresh and eclectic music from authors all around the world, with a penchant for discovery and excitement like I've never experienced before. And I mean this from the humming C Major of my musical veins. Powered by the Music Genome Project and flashing a simple flash-based interface, it grips you right from the moment you step through the humming doors. The concept is ridiculously intuitive, even for a childish Steve Vai ("The Audience is listening"). I'm a long-time self proclaimed addict of Pandora. It made me discover some amazing artists. At the time I started using this service, I was more into a new-age, trance kind of music. I was listening to a lot of Enya, Chicane, Vangelis and Dido then. So, having set up my station to imitate music of this vague genre, I discovered some fabulous artists in Imogen Heap(Frou Frou), Bent, Pentatonik and Adrian Belew. After that, I had some recordings played to the tunes of 80's pop and Country. A few artists like The Decemberists, David Gray and Ph 7 captured my attention. Music, as an art form, uplifts the soul, brings on a sense of detachment from an inconsequentiality and propels the innate desire to be self-satisfied. A feeling of completeness, a full circle - Is that not what Life is all about? The Creation always outlives the creator. The creator is nothing more than an entity, a body form constrained by the physics of the universe. But not the creation. It is limitless. Not bounded by any laws or rules. It touches the heart, in a way nothing else can. That's all that matters in the end, I guess. A feeling of holding hands with Nature. An embrace with the skies. A tryst with the sea.
Every breath we take,
Every move we make,
Every bond we break,
Every step we take.........

If you haven't checked out Pandora, please do. Did I mention it's free?