True Grit and Green Hornet

January 26, 2011 2 comments

True Grit

Storyline: A 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) sets out to capture her father’s killer, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). She hires a tough U.S. marshal Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn (Jeff Bridges). Against his wishes, Mattie insists on accompanying Cogburn on the dangerous manhunt as she does not trust him with her money and his work to her. Before their journey can start, a Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) also ventures in the town looking for Chaney for crimes committed int he state of Texas. He is after Chaney to claim a bounty set on his head by the State. Together they trek into the Indian Nations in search of Chaney.

Anyone who has read a well written cowboy story will appreciate how well this movie “tells” the tale. The details that are shown in various scenes, the authentic setting of the time the movie wants to portray, the gun fights and the dangers associated with them, the speech (accent) of the actors is all commendable! Directed by the Coen Brothers, True Grit is a wonderful western movie that truly deserves the accolades bestowed upon it. My rating – 8.5/10.

Watch out how the 14 year old ‘woman’ outfoxes a cunning man who is trying to cheat her of some horses. The exchange and the way she leaves him dumbfounded is hilarious.

Green Hornet

Seth Rogen cannot act in movies. There, the worst thing about this movie is out there now. His timing is just bad and timing is everything in comedy. If it had Jack Black instead of Seth, this would have been an awesome movie bcoz Jack Black has great comic timing. To me, Seth is like a bad version of Black, like a misfiring engine all throughout the movie. Seth needs a comic-tuneup (if there is such a thing).

The movie deserves its 6.6 rating on IMDB because of Seth Rogen. Apart from him, the script feels a bit lame at times. Its sad that it cost $90,000,000 to make this movie. The money could have been utilised in a much better way elsewhere. And then they try to rip off the audience by releasing a 3D version of the movie and charge $16 for the ticket. WHY? This is not a 3-D movie like Avatar or like that dragon movie (how to train your dragon). First it was Tron that inserted a few 3D scenes in the movie and charged extra money for a half baked 3D IMAX experience and now it was Green Hornet. But not again. This time I did not go for the 3D version but stuck to the 2D non-IMAX version.

Dont get all turned off. The movie does have its good moments as does Seth Rogen.

Seth Rogen  …  Britt Reid / The Green Hornet  – Heir to a newspaper empire
Jay Chou  …  Kato – The hornet’s sidekick
Cameron Diaz  …  Lenore Case  – Britt Reid’s secretary
Tom Wilkinson  …  James Reid  – hornet’s dad who dies
Christoph Waltz  …  Chudnofsky  – A mafia boss with mid-life crisis
David Harbour  …  Scanlon  – A politician with his own personal agenda

Directed by Michel Gondry, The Green Hornet is an adaptation of a radio show based on the same name. It was also a TV series where this goofy hero and his savvy side-kick go about town fighting crime. The Hornet keeps getting into trouble and his side kick bails him out. The way these two bond together is really weak as is the way they have a misunderstanding about them. It would not be right to call this a super hero movie, coz this is just an action movie with 2 guys with gadgets and costumes who fight crime as if they are super heroes.

Now, if one looks at the movie in this light, it is a good movie. The villain too is goofy and is going thru his own identity + mid-life crisis where people around him act like they are not scared of him and tell him that he is history. Then there is Cameron Diaz as the secretary and the Hornet hires her in a jiffy coz she is “hot”. This is the same guy who is dating models and has topless 20-somethings in his pool 24/7. Why Britt/Hornet hires a 36 year old wrinkly eyed Cameron with “barely there” T&A is as mysterious as his bonding with Kato.

Go for this movie after you have had a few beers and have nothing better to do. After watching this one, I felt that I should have watched Black Swan instead. My rating – 6/10.

!! Spike !!

108 FASTER THAN 911

August 1, 2010 3 comments

Study Says India’s Emergency Service Has Outpaced The US Version With Its Expansion Model And Innovation

Parth Shastri &
Kumar Manish |
TNN

Ahmedabad: Ten years ago, when it came to emergency  healthcare services, India was nowhere on the world map. However, the scenario changed rapidly once three magic figures 108 entered the scene. It soon became a household name in several states of India, including Gujarat.

A research published under the title ‘Innovation’s Holy Grail’ in a recent issue of Harvard Business Review delineates how 108 is an exemplary effort. Carried out by  management gurus CK Prahalad and RA Mashelkar, the study shows how 108 emergency service is an innovation that synthesizes research and technology.

According to the study, GVK Emergency Medical Research Institute (EMRI)-led 108 emergency service is fast emerging as a leading organization in emergency health sector worldwide owing to its cost-effective method and public- private partnership model. This has lent it an impeccable base where it is reaching out to 366 million persons in Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Chennai, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Assam, making it the world’s largest emergency management entity in just few years. The paper states that 108 services has outpaced the US’ 911 service with  its huge expansion model and innovation. ‘EMRI spent only 50 cents per person treated to build the infrastructure in India, compared to $100 in the US. The expense per ambulance visit is less than $15, visa- vis $600 to $800 in the US,’ states the paper.

‘As the only emergency responder in the world with a research institute, EMRI is at the forefront of identifying ways to improve knowledge and practices. It archives all calls and analyses data to compile regional public health profiles. For the first time in India, data on the timing and nature of medical emergencies is available,’ states the study.

Babu Thomas, head of HRD of Gujarat GVK EMRI, told TOI that Gujarat has a share in the success story. “With an emergency management centre opening in Kathwada this month, Gujarat has become one of the states with exemplary speed, scale and cost-effective measures. The state also contributes to continuous research that we undertake to study the patterns of emergency and most vulnerable groups,” he said.

The Gujarat model was also presented by Subodh Satyawadi, COO of Gujarat chapter in US last month in front of representatives of World Bank, United Nations Population Fund, United States Agency for International Development.

“This same 108 service, the way it has developed in Gujarat, if it had happened in some other country, our people would have written books about it.” – Hon’ CM, Shri Narendra Modi, Gujarat, India

Black or White?

July 8, 2010 4 comments

A fellow blogger wrote an angry post on skin colour and the prejudices that come from it….. This is in reply to a comment on that post that was rather longish I decided to make it a post.

Well, I know you may be talking from a personal experience, the anger was present in the post…. the ‘white skin’ obsession is not completely gone yet… about 3-4 years ago, fair & lovely ads came under fire for same reasons, and yet today they are being shown once again… Does it help to know the prejudice is present abroad as well?

Just last weekend, a dark skinned “south Indian”*** guy was making fun of a black guy in US. The black dude brought some chicken to grill on the beach and was offering it to passers by… so this southie guy comments, “Is he selling the chicken?” and the others start snickering…. Ironic thing was… half of the guys poking fun of the black dude were as dark as he was!And because he was black, they assumed he was poor and he would do something cheap…

Today I saw the same black dude driving a BMW 725i, while the south indian guy was last seen riding a bicycle… you decide who is rich and who is poor.. both monetarily and in spirit… I read about a study done where kids in school didnt care about being black or white, it was found the kids learned about racism @ home from their parents!

In my previous project, the only people to invite me to their homes and into their personal lives were Black! The whites were polite, yet they only asked stuff so they can gossip about it behind my back …. forgetting that I have my own circle of friends who pass me the office grapevine as easily as they can get it. (PS: Not all white people are prejudiced and there are always 2 sides to a coin and 2 sides to any story. This post is not intended to demean anyone or to put any race down or to glorify a particular race – it is based on my personal observation over a period of time from personal experience in a foreign land.)

When it comes to breaking prejudices, Michael Jackson is my hero! The dude was black and to show that skin color doesnot make or break great talent, he changed his skin to white. Not only that, he even went thru numerous plastic surgeries to make himself look like a woman, thus transcending not only race, but also gender… He got a lot of falk for it, but his music was loved no matter what his skin colour was or what he looked like.

If one reads the book Freakonomics, there are so many examples of personal prejudices and how they play a part in everyday life. These prejudices not only stem from races, but also from names and they way people dress. I wonder if this prejudices will ever change soon enough.

iphone sucks

June 26, 2010 5 comments
A friend came up with these defects in the iPhone….
…pre-order disaster…
…pixel constellations…
…shattered screens (they have stopped replacements for this now!!)…
…swapped volume buttons…
…frequent call drops due to the AT&T network…
…frequent call drops due to possible manufacturing defects…
…yellow tinted screens…(missed thar one)
…needs MAC OS X 10.5.8 or later to sync (even tho itunes runs on virtually everything on apple)….
This is very Microsoft-like… and it deserves a song

and a response

btw, Nokia N900 costs less than iphone. Has a slot for a memory cards, can play Flash (yes, the one from Adobe!)  and doesnt drop calls either… costs less than the iphone and you dont have to wait for getting one either.

PS: Steve Jobs thinks the display on iphone is the best… he has to be in 1984, thats the only explanation why he has not heard of the term AMOLED …. Droid has it, iphone doesnt …. surprise…..😀

Categories: iphone Tags:

Things to do in Vegas

June 16, 2010 13 comments

If there is one place on earth where there is something for everyone, It is Las Vegas… As surprising as it may sound, there is more to Vegas than just gambling, women and booze. Of course, these are the 3 things that are synonymous with Vegas, but apart from these, Vegas does offer more.

Casinos: Not just for gambling, nearly all casinos in Vegas have a theme to them. From the inside, the slots machines in all casinos are the same. But the interiors that lead to the machines are very different in all the good ones. http://vegasclick.com/vegas/casinos.html gives a comprehensive list of all the casinos in Vegas. All except one of them double up as a hotel+casino combination. The best ones (read as the ones I covered) are… Venetian – Venetian by far has the best, the most elegant Casino on the strip. It has an artificial blue sky that emits light just like the real thing and after you get tired shopping all the best brands in the world, you can relax by taking a romantic ride in a Gondola, just like the water streets of Venice. Bellagio – This hotel has the dancing fountains that are synchronised to the sounds of music. The show is played every 30 minutes and every 15 minutes during evenings. It is a must see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP0K6H2QK7A

Caesar’s Palace – This is the hotel featured in the movie Hangover, Casino Royale, Circus Circus, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Luxor (has a pyramid shaped hotel with a beacon that shines like a diamond at the tip of the pyramid), Mandalay Bay – Has a nice disco called Rum Jungle, MGM Grand has Ka – performed by Cirque Du Soleil, Crazy Horse Paris – has topless dancing done classy where the lights act as the models clothes. Mirage, New York New York – recreates the Manhattan skyline in Vegas + has a roller coaster that whizzes you by the skyline. O’Sheas – has a leprechaun theme to the casino. Paris – has the Eiffel tower and an elevator to take you to the top. Planet Hollywood, Treasure Island – has Carols Mencia, Bill Cosby, Mystere by Cirque du Soleil, the Sirens of TI a pirate show, Khotan – the city of jade – a hotel that has hand crafted Jade and Ivory antiques. Wynn – has the Ferrari Museum… enough said!🙂 Sahara – has a desert theme and a roller coaster called SPEED that loops 360 degrees and also goes underground – awesome. But if its rides you seek, you have to do the Stratosphere! This has a bar at the 107th floor of the hotel, an Air bar at 108th to top the lounge on 107th, But these pale when compared with the main attraction – The rides!

Insanity
At 900 Feet, it’s the highest rotating coaster in the World. Once riders ate seated, the arm extends 64 Ft suspending the riders 900 feet above the ground. Not only that, the arm then rotates and angles the riders at 45 degrees so they can have an uninterrupted view of the ground that’s so far away🙂 A video will do more justice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqB6GYoCNo0

X-Scream – This one could not be more aptly named. It’s like a giant see-saw atop a tall 900 Ft tower with one end on the tower (where you board) and the other end outside the edge of the tower. The operator dangles you outside the edge of the tower and then drops you a little below just when you think you will be going back… Fun stuff… I sat in the 1st row😀

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSOKHvc9Obw&feature=related

Big Shot – This one shoots you up in the air to give you a bird’s eye view of Vegas… This is how it feels…. Its supposed to be the most insane, but is didn’t do much for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXiOgBlUR70

The Ferrari museum at the Wynn is a must see if you are a car enthusiast. You can get yourself photographed at the car showroom sitting in a Ferrari. The museum also has mementos that you can buy that include Formula 1 engine parts. I saw a piston from an engine that suffered a meltdown being sold for US$600+. Being afraid my maid will throw it out thinking its scrap, I resisted the temptation to buy it. There are also to-scale die-cast models of the F1 and other Ferrari cars for those interested in such things.

The most interesting thing I did there was a trip to the Gun Store. This has a….

Guns at the gun store
Guns at the gun store

….plethora of guns that one can choose from and shoot them at the shooting range. It’s a must have experience if you have not fired a gun before. I enjoyed it so much I fired a revolver after doing a handgun, an AK-47, a semi automatic machine gun (SMG) and a shot-gun. Each had its own delight to the gun firing experience. The revolver was ‘handy’, the AK was like butter….. max devastation with min effort. The shotgun was down n dirty with a nasty kick – total badass with enough power to rip off your shoulder if not held properly when shooting. The semi was kinda useless… Does the same job as an AK but wa at least twice as heavy… perhaps it had better long-range accuracy, but seemed useless in the range.

Margaritaville – For those who get thirsty every 30 minutes, you have to try out Margaritaville’s 15″ drinks. Its a huge glass of crushed ice and your favorite tipple that will last you a looooong time and will keep you in high spirits. Hit the location at night and you will have amazing live music and will make friends instantly at this party. We had  a reggae band that was playing such a nice foot tapping music, it got us into party mood in no time, even at 2 am in the night.

Well, this was my list – what would you like to do in Vegas?

Vegas.com/attractions will give you a comprehensive list of things to do in Vegas….

SMS thru email in India

June 15, 2010 2 comments
Andhra Pradesh AirTel: <phonenumber>@airtelap.com
Andhra Pradesh Idea Cellular: <phonenumber>@ideacellular.net
Andhra Pradesh Hutch: <phonenumber>@south.hutch.co.in
Chennai Skycell/Airtel: <phonenumber>@airtelchennai.com
Chennai RPG Cellular: <phonenumber>@rpgmail.net
Chennai Hutch: <phonenumber>@south.hutch.co.in
Delhi Airtel: : <phonenumber>@airtelmail.com
Delhi Hutch: : <phonenumber>@delhi.hutch.co.in
Gujarat Airtel: <phonenumber>@airtelmail.com
Gujarat Idea Cellular: <phonenumber>@ideacellular.net
Gujarat Celforce/Fascel: <phonenumber>@celforce.com
Goa Airtel: : <phonenumber>@airtelmail.com
Goa BPL Mobile: <phonenumber>@bplmobile.com
Goa Idea Cellular: <phonenumber>@ideacellular.net
Haryana Airtel: <phonenumber>@airtelmail.com
Haryana Escotel: <phonenumber>@escotelmobile.com
Himachal Pradesh Airtel: <phonenumber>@airtelmail.com
Karnataka Hutch: <phonenumber>@south.hutch.co.in
Karnataka Airtel: <phonenumber>@airtelkk.com
Kerala Airtel: : <phonenumber>@airtelkerala.com
Kerala Escotel: <phonenumber>@escotelmobile.com
Kerala BPL Mobile: <phonenumber>@bplmobile.com
Kolkata Airtel: <phonenumber> @airtelkol.com
Madhya Pradesh Airtel: <phonenumber>@airtelmail.com
Maharashtra Airtel: <phonenumber>@airtelmail.com
Maharashtra BPL Mobile: <phonenumber>@bplmobile.com
Maharashtra Idea Cellular: <phonenumber>@ideacellular.net
Mumbai Airtel: <phonenumber>@airtelmail.com
Mumbai BPL Mobile: <phonenumber>@bplmobile.com
Punjab Airtel: : <phonenumber>@airtelmail.com
Pondicherry BPL Mobile: <phonenumber> @bplmobile.com
Tamil Nadu Airtel: <phonenumber>@airtelmail.com
Tamil Nadu BPL Mobile: <phonenumber>@bplmobile.com
Tamil Nadu Aircel: <phonenumber>@airsms.com
UP (West) Escotel: <phonenumber>@escotelmobile.com

SMS through E-Mail: Cingular, Nextel, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, Virgin Mobile

June 15, 2010 2 comments

I had been searching for this info for some time, it can be very handy if you want to send email to mobile devices.

Here are email addresses to send text messages or SMSes via email for the top 6 carriers in US.

Sprint: <phonenumber>@messaging.sprintpcs.com

Verizon: <phonenumber>@vtext.com

T-Mobile: <phonenumber>@tmomail.net

Virgin Mobile: <phonenumber>@vmobl.com

Cingular: <phonenumber>@cingularme.com

Nextel: <phonenumber>@messaging.nextel.com