Thursday, December 31, 2009

Vettaikkaran - Movie Review

I just happened to see the movie Vettaikkaran few days back. It was an ultimate torture to see the movie for the entire duration. The story and incidents are blatantly lifted from some previous masala movies of Vijay and others. There is nothing new in the film whatsoever.

Vijay has a police officer as his idol similar to Vikram having a Dada as idol in Bheema. Vijay keeps failing in 12th standard like Dhanush in Padikkathavan. Likewise, each and every scene of the movie is lifted from previous movies of Vijay and others. There are some similarities with Thiruppachi as well. Vijay tries to clean up the society without wearing khakee uniform.  There are few love scenes with Anushka in between Vijay's action scenes. Even romantic scenes are handled badly.

Vijay does the routine stuff. The usual charm is slightly missing. Anushka is very bad and looks like an aunt to Vijay. Even Vijay's son dances with him for a song. Other actors in the movie are just average. The music is very ordinary though 2 songs are hummable. The story, screenplay and direction are very poor and there is no trace of originality.

It is high time Vijay does a movie with some novelty. Movies like Vettaikkaran are just waste of time for the viewers. This movie may become hit commercially but joins the league of Vijay movies like ATM, Villu, Kuruvi in terms of content.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Yokohama Conquered

I went to Yokohama, Japan last week to attend SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 along with my advisor and a couple of dual degree students. As expected, the conference was amazing though I could not attend most of the sessions because of my own comitments there. I gave an oral sketch presentation and we had 2 posters as well. I am seen with my posters in the picture. Some of the moments I encountered during the trip are presented in this blog post.

Air India service


We took Air India flight from Mumbai via Delhi to Narita as it had the lowest fare. The inflight entertainment was good as it had lot of decent movies, both new and old. However, most of the joysticks were not in good shape. Some of my co-passengers had problems getting non-vegetarian food. I got good vegetarian food in the flight. Even vodka was served in the flight. Couple of DD guys who came with me had a blast with vodka.


The cabin crew comprised mostly of uncles and aunts in the late 30s and 40s as expected. Getting serviced by them was quite a task. Even when I pressed the button in joystick asking for the cabin crew, they did not turn up any time. Moreover, they used to switch off my request lamp from the back. I later learned that they were taking rest at the back and I decided not to disturb them again. I went myself to the pantry to even drink water. This attitude is common in any government firm I suppose.

Yokohama

Yokohama is the second largest city of Japan and is very close to Tokyo (~30 min by bus). Yokohama is a major port city. We landed in Narita airport and took a bus to Yokohama which is 1.5 hrs trip. SIGGRAPH Asia was held in Pacifico Yokohama located at the tip of the city facing Pacific ocean. The hotel was well equipped to hold a mega event like SIGGRAPH Asia. We stayed at Grandsun Yokohama which was 30 minutes walk from Pacifico Yokohama.

Yokohama had abundant eating places and there was even an Indian restaurant by the name "Mohan's". Food was very expensive everywhere. I entered only one Japanese restaurant on the last day to taste some veg noodles. Articles were quite expensive. We entered a 100 yen shop where all articles have a fixed price of 100 yens and picked up few goods. I got a lot of chocolates in that shop and brought them for my IIT friends.

The city was very busy and very well maintained. The temperature was around 3 degree Celsius during my trip.


MTR to the rescue

As a vegetarian, I knew that I would have some trouble with the food there. I had picked up some MTR ready to eat packs and some Britannia Nutrichoice biscuits with me. Out of various flavors of MTR packs, I only liked the pongal and the kesari bath. Others like sambhar rice, pulao, dal tadka were very spicy and I left them at my hotel room in Yokohama. I managed to get some bananas and oranges. Breakfast was good in the hotel where I lived. I got some breads, buns, butter, jam and milk. Rest of the day I consumed the MTR stuff, fruits and biscuits. Bottomline is that I returned to India without any major food problem. :)


The trip was good but I did not enjoy it as much as I would have liked.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

3 Idiots - Movie Review

I watched 3 Idiots with my friends yesterday at Huma.

3 Idiots is a spectacular movie addressing the key issue of following one's dream. The story of the movie is based on the novel "Five Point Someone" by Chetan Bhagat. I did not like the novel very much as it was quite vulgar at times. Thankfully, Raju Hirani has just borrowed incidents from the novel and has rewritten the entire script with ample fun and suspense. I am not going to tell anything about the story or any scene in the movie as it would become a spoiler.

Aamir Khan is excellent in his great role with great support from Madhavan and Sharman Joshi. Kareena and Boman Irani also deliver great performances. Above all, Omi is the man to watch out for - he is extremely funny. The script is amazing which keeps one engaged for the entire 3 hours. Music, cinematography and direction are top class.

I loved the movie very much as it addresses some of the key issues in the top technology colleges in the country. 3 Idiots is a must watch for everyone as such movies which entertain along with subtle message are rare these days.  I am going to watch this movie again in a couple of days.

Aal Izz Well!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 - The Pulse of Innovation

SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 organized by Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is scheduled to be held on 16-19 December at Yokohama, Japan. It is the largest graphics event in the world along with SIGGRAPH. It feels great to have contributed substantially for this conference. I will write more about SIGGRAPH Asia after 20th December.

Meanwhile, you may visit my homepage for more details on my works towards this mega event.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Men's Tennis 2009 Review

Tennis season for the year 2009 are complete with only a few Davis cup matches remaining. In this article, I shall review how the year was for the top players.

Federer should be happiest of all looking back at the year. He regained No 1 ranking, reached all grand slam finals, won 2 grand slams, completed career slam, and also became a father of twins. He could not have asked for anything more. He himself would not have thought that he could have got all this in 2009 when he became emotional after the Australian open final against Nadal. Though not in top form, he would probably stay at the top of the rankings in 2010 as well.

Nadal
started 2009 very well by winning the Australian open. Everyone thought that he would be No 1 throughout 2009. However, Soderling had other plans. No one expected Soderling to defeat Nadal at the Roland Garros that too in the fourth round. It was a shock for Nadal as well worsened by his knee injury. Nadal lost his No1 ranking, missed Wimbledon and got beaten by Del Potro in US open. He is not the same Nadal who ran and returned every ball which came on his side. Unless he changes his game a bit to not stretch himself too much, he will struggle to be in top 3 in 2010.

Del Potro had a great year. He was on the verge of spoiling Federer in Roland Garros and ended up upsetting him in US open final. In fact, he defeated both Nadal and Federer and promptly crowned US open champion. He is slowly getting the consistency which was missing from him in 2008. This tall man is the one to watch out for in 2010. He has it in him to upset Nadal and Federer on his day.

Happenings in 2009 proved that Murray has all the ingredients in him to become the next Tim Henman. He is a great player, make no mistake. However, he ends up losing to arbitrary players at unexpected matches. He is very inconsistent at the grandslams which is evident as he did not even reach a single grand slam final in 2009. He has to undergo a lot of hardships in 2010 to prove that he is indeed capable of a grand slam title.

Same can be said about Djokovic. Though he played well towards the end of the year to reach No 3 rank, his performance in the grand slams were poor by his standards. Tough times ahead for him in 2010. He is capable of giving headaches to Nadal and Federer in some matches.

I have to really feel for the performance of Roddick in the epic Wimbledon final. He played far better than Federer but ended up losing. He has to improve a lot to compete with others at the top. For that to happen he has to overcome his fitness hurdles because of age.

Davydenko finally won his first match against Federer in the 13th attempt. He is in form and is a great fighter. He is also a player to watch out for in 2010.

Soderling is an amazing player who knocked out Nadal from his empire, Roland Garros. He is improving with every tournament and he should be an exciting player to watch in 2010.

In my opinion, 2010 would be the year which could bring a momentum shift in world tennis. It is going to be a year filled with lot of very close matches. Whoever comes out as victor, would rule the tennis for the next few years. My heart tells me that Federer is going to be that person. My mind says that it is going to be someone else. An interesting year of tennis ahead of us with these players gunning down each other. Australian open 2010 promises to be a cracking tournament.