18 December 2009

Avatar Review

Much ink, or rather, internet ink, has been spilled over the new language and other finer details of the Avatar movie. Hence, I shall restrict this review to detailing out my observations about the movie.

1. The first question that came to my movie as I continued watching it was: Where is the power supply ? Towards the end of the movie, when the avatar creating cabin is kept inside an isolated part of the forest, where does the power supply come from ? Cinematic license, eh James Cameron ?

2. Much of Avatar seems to be heavily inspired from Matrix. The way they switch bodies and stuff. That makes one wonder about James Cameron's claim of incubating this movie for a long time. Pre-release publicity James Cameron ??

3. The claim made at the start of the movie is that the 10 ft tall creature is created using a combination of human DNA and the DNA of the natives. Now, the question that arises in my mind is this: when the 10ft tall creatures get into the forest and mix with the natives, how or what do they use to transfer the images back ? In one scene they show Sam Worthington recording his observations manually. In another scene, they show the images that he saw while he was in the 10ft creature avatar. Puzzling isn't it ? Not exactly.

Now, Avatar in Sanskrit means descent from heaven to earth, or loosely, changing forms. The Hindu Philosophy has known about this for ages and the Hindu mythology is full of stories where the activities in one avatar is recollected by another. If we use that notion of Avatar, point 3 can be easily explained.

Much of the movie, like Matrix before, tilts strongly towards Hindu philosophy.

While the last scene may look silly, childish and predictable to many, if you understand what Avatar exactly means, it fits in perfectly in the whole scheme of things.

Watch it especially for the brilliant special effects. James Cameron, as usual, has spent enough time in building up the story and characters. While one does get a feeling that he has rushed through the ending, there is no other way in which he could have ended the movie.

None of the actors seem to have had any major screen time to say that they have performed outstandingly. However, Sigrouney weaver does seem to have made sure that she is noticed amongst all the other star cast.

Shyam

PS: Now, why do I get a feeling that this movie would topple out Vijay's Vettaikaran, given that Avatar is having a tamil dubbed release ??

PPS: 2012, released in four Indian languages (English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu), grossed more here in India, than in United States.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:55 AM 1 comments

16 December 2009

Google Nexus One

As I read this article about Nexus one, I could not help but thinking about the myopic nature of the author's observations.

He concentrates only on United States and its carriers, and in doing so, he falters miserably. He has obviously forgotten about two, or rather three bellwethers, India, China and Brazil.

All that Google needs to do is to source out the phone from Taiwan, make it available online in India and China for a reasonable 200-300 USD. The volumes that this phone will sell will definitely make up for the price point reduction that Google needs to do.

A half decent Android device, if obtained through legal means, would cost around 500 USD in India. If Google were to price its Nexus one competitively, it would be easier for them to sell it here.

This is surely the easiest way to push up Android's popularity in India. Given that the 3G spectrum's auctions are coming up in January 2010, this move would surely drive up Google's advertising revenues.

Shyam

PS: Hey Google, if you want someone to write an unbiased review of your Nexus one tailored to Indian markets, you know the buttons to push ;-)

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:36 AM 1 comments

13 December 2009

Bangalore Midnight Marathon

Bangalore Midnight Marathon was hunted down in 2:15. Considering that I had aimed for a 2:06 finish, I am not all that disappointed with the time. A few points:

1. The course was a bit boring, but had almost 1 KM of uphill and 1KM of downhill. The 2 KM lap was to be done 10 times.

2. The Domino's pizza joint along the course did roaring business. The Mexican green wave is probably one of the better pizzas that Domino's makes.


Now, the full marathon in Bombay beckons, and in probability, the full marathon in Auroville too.

Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:52 AM 0 comments

12 December 2009

In Bangalore

I am in Bangalore to do the Bangalore Midnight Marathon. Yes, we must be a bunch of crazies to run on a Saturday night when all, or rather, most parts of Bangalore would be drowned in some or other form of alcohol. Well, that is a runner for you !

Shyam

PS: Needless to say, the traffic sucks and sucks big time. The roads are filled with Saturday idiots -- idiots who have just bought a car, are learning to drive it, and take it out only on Saturday's and Sunday's.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 4:50 PM 0 comments