Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Comedy crash landed

An ending you can predict at the very beginning of the comedy in spurts midway of the film. The film starts with introduction of the two main actors, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson and their rendezvous at various wedding. The wedding plan is revealed and laid down before us, and be it Jewish, Indian, Irish or Italian, the wedding plan remains the same and it works like anything. From great bimbos of bridesmaid to lonely wives, they are all floored upon one by one. The Comedy till this part is exciting but premeditative.

Then comes the Treasury Secretary congressman Cleary (Christopher Walken), and his his wife Kathleen (Jane Seymour), their daughter's wedding is sure to be the Washington, D. C. social event of the year. After infiltrating the lavish affair, John and Jeremy quickly set their sights on bridesmaids Claire (Rachel McAdams) and Gloria (Isla Fisher) Cleary.

Then the comedy is just relegated to a downright trend, Vince Vaughn goes thought the most outrageous profanities while Owen sets his act straight by trying to romance Claire. Their chemistry though didn't really work in the film, but that's what hold if it is at all called a romantic comedy. The second half is dragging and with hardly any laughs. The rest of the film becomes so predictable until the appearance of Will Farrell and he stretches it his own crazy ways and it almost becomes Funeral Crashers and ends in
The most predictable Hollywood romantic comedy which ends with a wedding. I don't even want to spell it out, because we have seen a million zillion times that way. And particularly that coming from a Bollywood movie buff, I had seen that coming in the first five minutes of the film.

If you had picked up the DVD, keep the fast forward button ready

My Rating: 4/10

Basic storyline: Divorce mediators John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) are business partners and life-long friends who like to indulge in a little seasonal sport - wedding crashing!

At the tail end of another successful season of toasting brides and grooms, Jeremy learns that the daughter of Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken) and his wife Kathleen (Jane Seymour) is getting married in what is sure to be the Washington, D. C. social event of the year. After infiltrating the lavish affair, John and Jeremy quickly set their sights on bridesmaids Claire (Rachel McAdams) and Gloria (Isla Fisher) Cleary.

With the lavish reception in full swing, Jeremy works his game plan to perfection in seducing Gloria, but John’s flirtatious banter with Claire is unexpectedly impeded by her pompous, Ivy League boyfriend Sack (Bradley Cooper). Having uncharacteristically fallen hard and fast for Claire, John convinces a resistant Jeremy to bend the crashing rules and accept an invitation to an extended weekend party at the Cleary family

Once at the palatial waterfront estate, John and Jeremy endure a multitude of comical mishaps at the hands of the hysterically dysfunctional members of the Cleary family, but also learn a few unexpected lessons about love and relationships.

Cast: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Christopher Walken, Jane
Seymour, Bradley Cooper
Director: David Dobkin
Producers: Peter Abrams, Robert L. Levy, Andrew Panay
Screenplay: Steve Faber & Bob Fisher
Cinematography: Julio Macat
Music: Rolfe Kent


Does the title intimidate you? Well, if you had the same background like me where being non-vegetarian is nothing to be apologetic about. Since, the time I have come to Dubai, I have me more pure vegetarian (not even lactogenarian) than my last 8 years in Delhi and 15 years in North Eastern Part of India.

I have seen and participated in slaughtering a cow and found it absolutely natural to find it cooked in my table. We as child would in fact wait Mom to make nth variety of dishes made out of Beef. Well, now i guess I am by hurting too many people's feelings. Let me tell you why I am rambling on unabashedly.

Fast Food Nation, another take by Richark Linklater to unknown territory, if you have watched any of the earlier films made by this master filmmaker; you will be simply amazed by his wide range of offerings from romance, to sci-fi animation, philosophical not to forget "school of rock".

The movie is based on Eric Schlosser's non-fiction exposé of the fast food industry, but it's less an adaptation than an illustration of Schlosser's ideas (Schlosser co-wrote the script with Linklater). Eschewing a documentary approach, Linklater dramatizes the issues in the book by playing up multiple narratives and sub-plots. We move from one character to another at uneven intervals, there are characters who appear just once, make their point and never return again.

The Hispanic characters of three, disillusioned school students working late nights at Mickey’s, and the fast food executive played by Greg Kinner. We follow their journey and all of them are connected together by the main theme of the film - meat packaging factory. The story of Mexican immigrants is very touching and infact if we consider the story of the school girl in context a larger political issue is also raised. Ultimately everyone in the film is contextualized as a victim by the capitalist culprit of America. Better Sales figure without any value to human life and lifeless cows hangs in the balance.

The film is marketed like a docu-drama and if definitely fits the bill and the pacing is remarkably slow than a fiction film and there is no attempt to dramatize the plot. The meat packaging factory is displayed upfront and ending scene of the kill floor is what can put off any meat eater for at least a week. I myself refrained from eating at least beef for more than a month. The imagery is so raw and the emotions displayed by the characters particularly the Mexican immigrants is unpretentious, if you make someone sit down halfway down the movie, they might just mistake this film to be a - documentary.

Well, the credit goes to the narrative and the way Linklater treated these issue or rather I should say issues, more than many.
My Rating: 7/10

Story Plot: The story touches on the lives of various individuals who interact with the fast food system at different stages of the chain. Don Henderson (Greg Kinnear) is the marketing expert at Mickey's fast food restaurant who has masterminded the "Big One" hamburger. When traces of fecal matter appear in burger meat, he travels to Cody, Colorado to investigate the meat packing plant where the Big Ones are processed. Conditions there are not good, as a group of illegal immigrants from Mexico learns. Sylvia (Catalina Sandino Moreno), Raul (Wilmer Valderrama), and Coco (Ana Claudia Talancon) arrive in Cody to work in the plant, but find circumstances to be less-than-ideal. Not only is it a dirty, gory business, but the effort is backbreaking and carelessness leads to life-threatening accidents. Meanwhile, in a local Mickey's joint, server Amber (Ashley Johnson) is having a crisis of conscience about whether to continue doing her job or quit and join a local group of eco-terrorists who want to strike a blow for the freedom of penned-up cattle.

Cast: Greg Kinnear, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Wilmer Valderrama, Ana Claudia Talancon, Ashley Johnson, Bobby Cannavale, Patricia Arquette, Luis Guzman, Ethan Hawke, Kris Kristofferson, Bruce Willis
Director: Richard Linklater
Screenplay: Eric Schlosser and Richard Linklater, based on the book by Schlosser
Cinematography: Lee Daniel
Music: Friends of Dean Martinez

Truth is not important

"Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off, but it's better if you do."Being earnest about truth can be very hurtful and you soon realise as the movie goes along. There are four characters in the film, and just then when you start thinking this film is all about love or lust, you are proved woefully wrong by the time the film culminates.

The story gets underway with Alice (Natalie Portman), a New York stripper, arriving in London and being slightly injured when she steps in front of a moving taxi. A stranger named Dan (Jude Law) comes to her aid, and she moves in with him.

The narrative moves fast forward and fast reverse and you have to listen to the conversation to understand where each of the characters stand and who is in love with whom but also need to understand who is sleeping with whom. For most part of the movie, you can expect lot of nudity and sex scenes, but there are none. The honesty with which the characters speak out and shocking and but honestly you don't get to hear such honesty in films and in real life.

Sometime later, Dan's book based on Alice is being prepared for publication, and when he gets his picture taken for the jacket, he meets the photographer Anna (Julia Roberts). He and Anna exchange a few kisses, but she declines to get involved with him because he is living with Alice.

Two self loving souls meet each other and you know instantly the denial can harbinger love than anything else. The fact that you get things too easily can be spoiler and you start treating it like shit is it success or love.

Later still, Dan is in an Internet chat room called "London Sex Anon," pretending to be Anna. He directs the person he is chatting with to a place where Anna had mentioned spending lots of time, and that's how she meets the dermatologist Larry (Clive Owen). Soon Anna and Larry becomes a couple, and from there, the movie takes off in directions I didn't see coming.

From that moment on, the film spirals into unknown territories and you ask yourself, is truth so important? It might bring up more pain then even talking about it. A great text on relationship and you might despise it at the outset, but it is definitely a thought provoking film and that's why it is not important if you really want to know the truth.

The stripper scene between Clive Owen and Natalie Portman is very interesting, and you constantly move yourself being a voyeur with all the various hidden cameras, you will feel you should not be listening or watching the proceedings, the film maker traps you inside and thrusts truth down you throat. Its bitter and painful, you soon realise.

My Rating: 9/10

Mike Nichols

Writers (WGA):
Patrick Marber
Natalie Portman ... Alice
Jude Law ... Dan
Julia Roberts ... Anna
Clive Owen ... Larry

More about Cyberspace!!

What is Cyber squatting?
Cybersquatting is the practice of registering a website that contains a trademark, and then holding it hostage from the legitimate trademark holder in the hopes of a payoff. Typo-squattering involves registering websites that contain misspelling of trademarks, such as Googel.com, with the hope that the trademark owner will also pay to own the misspell site.

Dominaing, which is technically legal, is still somewhat controversial. Domainers purchase non-trademarked domain names in the hopes of either reselling the name at a profit. Some websites have resold for millions of dollars. Other domainers “park” the domain in order to generate advertising revenue. A parked site usually reroutes users to a website that contains ads.

While a number of international laws and internal procedure discourage squatting, domaining is going to be an issue.

Domains – what are domains and how do we register them?
It is the name of Web Server name in the URL and email server name in an email address

How do you register for a domain?
Things having become easy for nowadays to get a free web space, when Google and others are giving you web space for free up to 1 GB and purchasing a unique domain name seems like a futile exercise, but we have to remember it comes along with a price.

Ideaminefield.com gives far more visibility that ideaminefield.blogspot.com
So, for obvious reasons getting a domain name for your unique web identity or commercial enterprise seems like a good investment. But how exactly do we get a unique domain and does your venture ends right there with a domain name, you have to further also purchase webspace, rates differ accordingly how many MBs to GBs you require to use.

On my next post, more on how to get your own domain name registered and the next step of buying web space for yourself.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Cher and Dennis Quaid, you have to think twice before you run over the pair again in your head, I remember seeing a similar without the suspense in another of a court room thriller star role played by Al Pacino.

But here some unnecessary politics is also thrown over, particular the seduction of the congress women by Dennis. But Cher holds on well to her role and the climax chase by the assassin is shot and edited and paced pretty well. I find the suspense engrossing only to an extent, but the not so hot pair of Cher and Dennis Quaid and not worked upon well and also besides the prime characters the other just hand in there without much of an influence to the script.

The film looks more aged than it actually is, and this film could have had more promise, but still it is an enjoyable thriller and the climax with anti-climax the high point of the film.

Your honor you stand indicted.

My Rating: 6/10

Suspect (1987)

Story Plot: One power-play day, a Supreme Court justice hands a woman an envelope, signs a couple of legal papers and calmly blows his brains out. That woman is later found drifting under Key Bridge with her throat cut. Carl, a homeless man (also a dead ringer for Rasputin and given to outbursts of violence) is arrested with the dead woman's purse. And public defender Kathleen Riley (Cher) gets the case. Quaid plays Eddie Sanger, who's lobbying for a crucial House vote on behalf of a milk association. And in a sequence that has no relationship to the story -- except to peek at Washington while it's power-brokering -- he seduces a congresswoman. After getting roped into jury duty for Cher's case, he decides to help her out with investigations of his own -- a legal violation that could jeopardize her whole defense.

Peter Yates
Eric Roth (writer)
Cher ... Kathleen Riley
Dennis Quaid ... Eddie Sanger
Liam Neeson ... Carl Wayne Anderson
John Mahoney ... Judge Matthew Bishop Helms


"There’s no more wondering about what it's going to be like"
There are Jane's lines, and by it she meant "life"

The closing dialogue between Jennifer Aniston and her new found hubby is the film’s greatest moment, it just explains what the director tries to explore in the whole movie, Jennifer says "You know, I have some issues in my life, we all do!!"

I murmured to myself "so true". It is indeed so true but never so true to some many
people who certainly have issues in life, but never accept it, and accepting it makes or
define their lives, and what it's going to be like.

Four women characters and all of them bonded together with friendship, everyone each one of them have issues and the film is all about it. Very few a times, we see a film from a women's perspective and this film is a great welcome change. It also addresses how intertwined our lives are with money and the usage of it. Buying expensive clothes to designer wears and donating large sum of money to charity, all the characters in the film are bonded by this thread and it plays a major role in the narrative.

Most of the scenes in the films are divided into conversations happening between husbands and wife in car or in bathroom or after sex in bed or before or the lack of sex. Besides money more or less, sex more or less its about hitting the middle ages and dealing with depression. You name it, every kind of 'problems' that can hit this segment of women is discussed in the film and dealt with. The character has so many imperfections that they look so believable.

I think we should watch more movies like this; at least it will make us more reasonable and accept our 'issues' in our lives.
The almost 'gay' or over the top metro sexual man is a great revelation in the film, and
throws up more light on the issue and it is an interesting way of looking at over the top metro sexual men. May be you can take a tip or two.

Great movie, great ending and superb acting.

Go Grab the DVD and see the world from a new standpoint.

My Rating: 7/10

Story Plot: Olivia (Jennifer Aniston), who used to teach at a fancy school in Santa Monica, "but quit when the kids started giving her quarters." The other friends are Jane
(Frances McDormand), who screams at people who try to cut in line ahead of her; Christine (Catherine Keener), who writes screenplays with her husband, and Franny (Joan Cusack), whose biggest concern is that her husband spends too much money on their child's shoes. Jane's husband is Aaron (Simon McBurney). "He's so gay," says Olivia.
Christine's husband is David (Jason Isaacs). They fight over what the characters should say in the screenplay they're writing, and then they simply fight: She tells him his breath stinks, and he tells her she's getting a lard butt. Not a demonstration of mutual support. Franny's husband is Matt (Greg Germann), whose problem, as far as this film is concerned, is that he has no problems.

Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener;
Photographed by Terry Stacey;
Edited by Robert Frazen;
Production designed by Amy Ancona;
Produced by Anthony Bregman

Olivia -- Jennifer Aniston
Christine -- Catherine Keener
Jane -- Frances McDormand
Franny -- Joan Cusack
Aaron -- Simon McBurney
David -- Jason Isaacs
Matt -- Greg Germann
Mike -- Scott Caan

Global Grain Scarcity: Fatima Husain

Limited means, Unlimited Wants
By: Fatima Husain

For all the vegetarians (and crop pests) out there, bad news is about to hit very hard.

There has been a constant drop in the yield of agricultural products, bringing a worldwide shortage of food grains. This means, that in a few years time, Mother Nature will be struggling to provide agricultural products to even 1/3rd of the global population.

The factors responsible for this global “food crunch” are the constant change in peoples’ diets, global warming (climate change) and the ‘hunt’ for bio-fuels.

According to Britain’s largest opposition party, the Conservative, more people in India and China were switching towards the consumption of meat, which meant that farmers were turning towards rearing livestock and abandoning producing food grains, in order to fulfill the surging demand.

The Conservative Party continued that at the same time, the growing demand for bio-fuels was adding pressure to global agricultural production, because it required more arable land.

According to a British report, the per capita consumption of meat in China has risen from 20kg in the ‘80s to 50kg today.

Global warming and the change in the earth’s climate worldwide are causing a hindrance in the production and yield of crops.
Water tables in countries all around the globe are falling, which means the world will face a water crises and therefore food shortage.

The growing demand for bio-fuels by save-the-environment zealots has lead to an increase in the demand of food grains, such as rice and wheat to replace fossil fuels, leading to a growing worldwide shortage of these edibles around the world.
This shortage is clearly showing in the grocery bills, with an ever-increasing price of cereals, chances being the circumstances might worsen.

On the other hand, it seems that India has found a solution to this threatening problem. Sorghum or jowar, as it is known in the country, is brought forward as a ‘smart crop’ that is capable of producing both food and fuel.

According to William Dar, Director-General of the Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), only a smart crop can help resolve the surging debate of global grains shortage.

The ICRISAT is looking forward to the Sorghum, a kind of grass used as India as fodder-plant and eaten in hilly and semi-arid areas.

The problem of food shortage, the factors leading to the crisis and the possible solutions – are still unsettled. But the fact remains; the world is on the verge of a grain shortage that will further destabilize the poor countries and increase the prices of food – the poor will become poorer and the rich, richer.
-References: आईएएनएस

( Fatima Hussain is a 2nd year media student with MAHE Manipal Dubai Campus, its great to start my blog with a guest columnist, she will be writing regularly in ideaminefield)

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