Monthly Archives: July 2008

The Dark Knight

What a film!

Comic book fun and unparalleled acting were never meant to be said in the same sentence. Yet its true in this case. It has the regular superhero action sequences and gizmos, but it goes way beyond just that.

One couldn’t imagine an Oscar winning performance coming out of a comic book adaptation, but it would be a crime to not give one to Heath Ledger for his incredible acting as the Joker. Strangely, its the villain who’s the star attraction of this superhero epic. The cast of Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Aaron Eckhart give a stellar performance, but Heath Ledger stands head and shoulders above the rest. There is nothing artificial about his acting in this film. He becomes the Joker himself. Actors are revered for playing real characters, but to play a comic book character with such realism, simply feels unrealistic.

I can go on and on about the rest of the cast and Nolan brothers’ fantastic direction and gripping storyline, but its best experienced in the cinema hall itself.

This is no longer just a movie. It has become a phenomenon. I had the great luck of watching it first day, first show as I booked the tickets online in advance. Friday morning, as I checked its IMDB page ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468569/ ) before leaving for the screening, I was surprised to see that it was already #3 in the top 250, with an incredible 9.7 rating! I dismissed it as initial hype, but now it has moved up to #1, beating even Godfather! And it has already gained such an immense fan following, that the rare critic who gives a negative review is getting mobbed by the fans online ( http://nymag.com/daily/movies/2008/07/why_youre_still_wrong_about_th.html )! Such is the passion generated by it. It has already beaten the record for the highest opening day sales, and should be expected to clear many more records in coming weeks.

Treating an addict

This post issued in public service:

To start with, I don’t go out often. And then, I cannot engage in hard physical activity due to a knee injury which happened a year ago. And considering the fact that I run my startup out of an apartment where I live as well, to avoid the 1 hour + (2 hours in peak traffic) journey from my actual home, I end up in front of a computer screen for over 90% of my waking time on most days. Work (writing code, communicating with associates/clients) , entertainment (movies and games) and socialising (IM/social networks), everything happens over a computer.

Not surprisingly, I started feeling symptoms of RSI in my right arm a few months back. I didn’t care much initially, but then the pain began to persist. Mornings would be painless, but as the day progressed, a mild pain would build up which would not go away.

So I finally decided to discuss it with a cousin, who has suffered with RSI as well, and has had to even undergo medical treatment for it. Thankfully, I’m still in an initial stage (or so I think!), so treatment through prevention is still an option. He recommended me to install Workrave ( www.workrave.org ).

Its a pretty nifty little tool, available for both windows and *nix ( I got mine through the official Ubuntu repository, so its as simple as sudo apt-get install workrave). Every 3 minutes it opens up a little window and asks me to rest my hands. And every 45 minutes, it starts displaying some timed exercise routines, following which it locks up my screen, forcing me to go away (Ofcourse, one can always cheat…but with bad consequences ). The timing, and some more options can be easily configured through a menu. Its quite likely you would’ve heard of it if you work in a large company, if not, start using it if you feel the symptoms…before it gets too late.

PS: I went through some real pain typing all this :P, so do consider this friendly advice!

In Bruges

Trust the British to make a movie about hit men where a gun fight would be the last thing on your mind while watching it.

‘In Bruges’ is set in the fairytale like town of Bruges in Belgium. The film starts when two hit men arrive at the town, ordered by their boss to lay down low for a while after a hit in England. And then the plot takes myriad twists and turns, totally gluing you in for two hours. Humour of all kinds is there in plenty, and so are moments of utter grief.

I think this should turn out to be the sleeping beauty of 2008, the ‘not to be missed’ movie that nobody gets to hear about.