Star Wars– Forced to Awaken

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Image result for star wars the force awakens

Image result for star wars the force awakens

Star Wars-The Force Awakens in Gramps

That massive spaceship crossing the Cinemascope 70mm screen with stereo sound is what Grandpa remembers most of the Return of the Jedi. He is a dedicated Star Wars fan. Now decades later somewhere near Christmas in a small town in India he expresses to his grandchildren his predilection for science fiction movies.

The children are aghast. “You want to see the new Star Wars movie? That’s all that you want?”

That question triggers a flashback. The old man watches himself standing in queue for a movie ticket at the Rs 1.50 window.

“Rs 1.50?” they ask. His grandchildren are well traveled and know the value of a rupee in dollar terms. Aaroo exclaims “Rs 1.50 is just (he takes out his tiny calculator) .0230769 of a dollar! Gramps each ticket is now Rs. 200, just dish out your credit card.”

Grandpa’s teeth click together nervously in the tooth glass, his eyes get all wet and his lips tremble at the thought of such a dent in his credit card but he has to see Star Wars-The Force Awakens.

A grandchild shakes the old man out of his reverie. “Look Nana, it is already done; I booked the tickets on my iPad.” Grandpa looked in disbelief at the seating chart. He has been generously assigned a corner seat so he can run to and fro to the washrooms without disturbing anyone. Grandpa remembers standing in queue and having his shirt buttons pulled out of their sockets by a rowdy man clinging to him in the queue thirty years ago. The Force of the Internet has really awakened.

Watching the movie the old man is dismayed at the sight of Harrison Ford. He thinks, ‘my God he looks terrible; he looks 80 years old but got 25 million dollars for that.’ He is dismayed too by Kylo Ren a puny version of the gigantic Darth Vader. He can’t but help thinking that he is too womanly when the mask is taken off. Too soft and long haired and pasty skinned. Grandpa is glad that Chewbacca and the spaceship Millennium Falcon still look young as ever. Princess Leia has rather aged badly and is chunky in her Robin Hood outfit?

Most impressive are the two new stars in Daisy Ridley as Rey and John Boyega as Finn.

Grandpa goes to sleep unfortunately before the end of the movie and misses Luke Skywalker. He goes back home a bit disappointed. His own imagination of his Star War movies was better than the latest episode of the Force Awakens. This movie was but a young collage of the old movies. He was excited indeed at the appearance of C-3PO and R2D2.  He of course loved the new robot BB-8.

“Hype, Hype, Hype. People have just got rolled by this Star Wars Juggernaut.”

“Give me Jabba the Hut any day and Sir Alec Guinness and the heavy breathing Darth Vader.” Grandpa also is sure that George Lucas would have done a better job. He did not care much for the diet coke and caramel popcorn. He missed the fried hot dogs, samosas, sweet tea or coke of yore. He was also surprised that the hall was half empty. In his time halls were full and brimming with extra chairs. People he heard were flocking to the Hindi movie Bajirao Mastani.

‘Go and seek but ye shall not find in this one.’ Is Gramps final verdict.  Grudgingly though he feels like Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph felt that it was “a perfect blend of old and new, in keeping with the old-fashioned Star Wars aesthetic.”




Merry Xmas Earthlings!



Merry Christmas, my friends may this dawn herald a million days of happiness and sustainable, environmental friendly prosperity( I think  a million days will take care of the next three centuries). That should be enough till someone else takes over in the good tidings department.

Mooning–Bring me Back



That old innocence
That old innocence

That First Glow


I’ll have to pull myself

In within me

Dig out again

Through the caverns of my being.

I’ve got lost in commercial ad-like dreams

I’ll have to reset my innocence

My childhood, my teenage years as it were

Which I new I would lose

When I was young and turn cynical

and codgy

How will I find a pebble?

Lost fifty years ago?

How will I become eternally optimistic? Again

Like a child

What is the trick?

The Rum Diary–Movie Review

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The Rum Diary—My view

For a retired rum drinker(correction a retired from rum drinking) person this movie is a sight for sore eyes. The glorification and consumption of rum and other hallucinogens is of gigantic levels. The short quips and barbs which are, it seems, entirely a creation of the script writer (Bruce Robinson) are spoken by Johnny Depp. His dead pan rendering of them is funny and pleasing. Here are some samples-

‘I don’t know how to write like me.’

‘Why should the FBI get the communists high?’

‘The smell of truth. I smell Ink.’

These are lines that tickle the creative soap bubbles of writers in attendance like me.

The book was written by Hunter Stockton Thompson.

The setting of the novel and movie is Puerto Rico.

It is rare that a movie inspires me to look for the book that gave birth to the script. In this case it has become necessary because the scriptwriter and director has admitted that he has only taken perhaps one line of dialogue from the original book. The scriptwriter in this case is Bruce Robinson and he is also the director of the movie.

The novel’s manuscript lay unappreciated for nearly four decades before it was printed. Johnny Depp himself dug it out of the author’s stuff in his (the author’s) presence. The manuscript was bandied about for a long time before the shooting started in 2009 and finished in 2011. Johnny Depp insisted on having Bruce Robinson (The Killing Fields) as the Director of the movie. Bruce Robinson also wrote the screenplay.

Indeed I find the story of the author and Johnny Depp’s obsession with the script as interesting as the movie.

‘Absolutely nothing in moderation’

Here’s one quote from the author which should tickle you pink if you like your daily pint of rotgut—

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

The Rum Diary uses the real life adventures of Hunter S. Thompson when he worked as a Reporter in Puerto Rico in his youth. Indeed all his novels are an extreme mixture of autobiography and fiction. In the end even Thompson himself could not differentiate between his real persona and his fictional persona. He became a cult figure because of his drug promotions and his movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He is also the creator of Gonzo Journalism in which the reporter is the hero reporting the event or happening. He was a regular writer for Rolling Stone.

The casting of Michael Rispoli as Sala who is Paul Kemp’s (Johnny Depp) journalistic colleague in Puerto Rico is superb. Amber Heard as Chenault is a stunner. Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight-Harvey Dent) as Sanderson the real estate conman is convincing.

For me the movie was an introduction to Hunter S. Thompson whom I shall now seek in Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas.


Unthinkable–Movie Review-Time to Move to Another Planet

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Image result for unthinkable movie

Image result for unthinkable movie

Unthinkable – Movie Review

Just did Unthinkable. Unthinkable really sets you thinking. The movie was made in 2010 with a star cast of Samuel L  Jackson, Carrie Anne Moss and Michael Sheen as a very convincing villain.

Perhaps the story would have seemed a bit far fetched in 2010 but passing years have shown the turning of the screw by religious terrorists.

The first Atom Bomb dropped on Hiroshima led to a wave of fear which caused people to build atomic bomb shelters. These still exist but the fear dissipated.

Watching this movie my fear has returned I would definitely seek having shelters near my place of residence. The Swiss I hear have shelters for such nuclear fallout emergencies.

The movie is definitely watchable although it was panned for being too brutal and highly corny.

The crux of the movie is whether human rights of a terrorist who threatens a nation can be revoked by Presidential order imposing martial law.

Samuel L Jackson as the brutal interrogator and Carrie Anne Moss as Agent Brody who respects the law governing such matters are believable but the entire performance lacks the conviction that would floor us. I feel Michael Sheen did a respectable job as the white American turned religious terrorist.

I consider Samuel L Jackson as the John Wayne of African Americans. A John Wayne gone bad.

Nuclear bombs placed in three cities of the US seem more probable now. It can happen in any part of the world. There are many Do-it-yourself villains lurking in our cities as witnessed in Paris.

The story has a scary conclusion but it does set the mind thinking.

I think it is time for us to take a serious look at moving to another planet as envisaged by Jor L father of Kal L (Superman).