April 30, 2007

Ta Ra Rum Pum

No major spoilers ahead. :-)

Its been movie-time here at San Diego and 'Ta Ra Rum Pum' happened purely by chance. Lazing arond on a Sunday afternoon, Sandy and I decided to check out if there were any Desi movies. And we chanced upon this one. I was certain that we weren't going to get tickets for the show an hour later. And it was a PayPal deal. Before I knew how, we had tickets and we rushed...

The Desi public had turned up in fullflow for this brand-new movie. I barely knew anything about the movie and had no expectations whatsoever. This was probably the YashRaj's next movie after Dhoom II. So, I thought we could expect another movie full of exotic locations, extravagant clothing n accessories, etc. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that the movie was all set in New York (with a hint of Mumbai here n there) and was paced pretty swiftly. There was no drag between the "love-at-first-sight" (or close) to marriage to kids.. Or the story from tyre-changer - ace racer... The whole race thing had the audience's adrenaline racing.. And the couple of Saif n Rani reuniting after Hum Tum couldnt have been cuter. I was pleasantly surprised at the subtle make-up that the two had on so much that you could see the freckles on Rani's nose. It was natural.

As in all stories, something had to go wrong and the ace-racer becomes a 'loser' and the rich lifetsyle gives way to poverty. And the protective parents tell the kids that they are a part of a reality show in which they had to live on a budget to win a fictitious reward. The kids called Princess and Champ (never revealed if these were nicknames or not) are sweet but annoying sometimes. And as poverty strikes, the man loses is values and stoops to low levels to try and save the family he loves. To cut a long story short, through a quirk of fate, his morals fall in the right place and then follows the rise of the phoenix from the ashes. The movie actually is very 'child-friendly' and is very enjoyable for kids with an animated song n everything. And in fact the whole movie is narrated by a child and so is all in all a "family movie".

All in all, the movie is definitely worth a watch,a chick-flick feel to it, some catchy songs, a fast-paced entertainer and a pleasant family movie with an underlying theme for kids to 'save' the day... which is revealed through the movie.

Return to Innocence - A trip to Disneyland

A day-long trip trip... very memorable and totally worth it. For all those who think a trip to Disney is for kids or for those with kids, think again... With 7 theme-parks within one huge circumference Disneyland has a lot to offer for one and all.. I could go on n on.. but I m going to make it short n sweet..

Do not miss...
1) The Pirates of the Caribbean ride - check out the likeness of the Jack Sparrow within and be bowled over
2) The Indiana Jones adventure
3) The Space Mountain
4) The Aladdin narration..
5) The Toon Town - Mickey land - things just couldnt get cuter
6) The "Honey I shrunk the audience" 3-D show (if you have been to Universal and seen better 3-D stuff, you may wanna skip this..)
7) The Water-Sled (i forget what exactly its called) ride
8) Fantasy land - particularly Peter Pan.
9) The lit-up glory of the Anaheim Fantasy Castle (and fireworks above it)
and last but NOT the least....
10) The expressions of ecstasy on all those kids faces... Its incredible. :)

April 25, 2007

La Jolla Coves

Maybe not the best picture... but it wasn't the best day either.. The La Jolla Coves... utterly gorgeous.

April 22, 2007

The San Diego Wild Animal Park

Thats just one of the many brilliant colors we saw at the San Diego wild animal park today.. It was a total day of funnnnnnn.. And its something that everyone HAS to do on a decent-length visit to SD. Sandy told me that the Wild Animal park was a lot more fun than the zoo and after the day I am guessing she was probably right... There were far more birds than animals on retrospect. The birds were all brilliantly colored and flew from far corners of the world. We sat through a bird show at an amphitheatre which was soo cute.. All these birds of prey swooping in from different places of the theatre was a sight to see.. they had everything from talking parrots to overgrown condors and it was such fun..

We also got to catch the elephant show where 'Cha cha' who almost danced Cha-cha-cha.. It was a pretty cool show as well. As for the wilderness, we got the majestic Lion, the king of the jungle in a habitat that I felt constrained them too much. They had an island kind of thing for 4 lions that was about 200 feet radius... A li'l small.. whereas for one lone boring white tiger they had yaaaaards of space. Hmph. I love tigers.. but this one was a little bit of the let-down. We felt most bad for the poor gorillas that looked bored out of their wits. Indeed Sandy and I were taking turns to make faces like the expressions those gorillas had which was basically staring into eternity and scratching their head probably wondering why the hell such similar looking creatures were gawking at them.

All in all, I must say that the park is sooooooo well planned... so well chalked out... tonnnnnnns of open space, natural habitats for allll the animals, loads of food places, restaurants, rest rooms and gift shops - a cool tram ride around the "African" region and a lotta more perks.. It was a lot of walking but it was worth every calorie burnt... So, if you are in San Diego, dont forget to invest a day in the Wild Animal Park... there's something for everyone out there. :)


So me and Sandy decided we had to make most of an evening that she had worked very late here at San Diego.. And what better relaxing thing to do but to catch a latest flick?! So, we like good diligent people went to yahoo! movies and read reviews of a multitude of movies before choosing 'Fracture' after all the good reviews and the fact that we were both suckers for courtroom dramas.

I'd seen the trailer before and I knew that that Anthony Hopkins was accused of shooting his wife in what seemed like an open-n-shut case. But what followed was a classically different no-nonsense movie. It was refreshingly different in that it didnt leave you guessing at any stage EVER and had no weird inexplicable twists and turns. It was subtle, slick and pretty much to-the-point. I was very impressed with Ryan Golsing as well. This was the first movie I was seeing him in and I had heard rave reviews of him and I must vouch for his performance in this one. He was all character.. the accent, the walk, the talk... Was pretty cool.

The plot in itself is simple... You know who shot who... You see it happen in the movie. The plot relies on the loopholes in the US judicial system. And its pretty cool.. And while it comes together, most of us would've guessed what really happens.. And they didnt dwell on that too much either. All in all, it was fast-paced, sleek and totally worth the watch... And Ryan's quite cute... :)

April 19, 2007

The VTech Tragedy

Its one of the saddest things that happened. On April 16th. If you haven't heard of it, read all about it here. What makes it the worst thing is that this could have been any of our schools. Its very shocking.. And it just shows how unpredictable everything in life is.. And how much of it is not even in your control. The whole world mourns this loss... Yes there have been far bigger tragedies.. This is just another one of them.. There was an Indian girl who was killed in all this. She has an Orkut account. I could understand people sending her - "Hope you are okay" messages when it was unconfirmed if she was dead. But to keep sending 21000+ messages of "May your soul rest in peace"? I am not so sure. Then again... maybe thats the way people make peace with themselves. But messaging the wrong girl with the same name? And that too the RIP messages? Inexcusable. And one message I read was - "May your sole rest in piece". Whats that? Black humour? May your broken shoe lie in a corner? Guys... good will is all understandable. When you send condolence messages, wouldnt you have the sensitivity to verify who you are messaging and what!? Open your eyes people!

May the victim's souls rest in peace.

April 10, 2007


Inspired by my bro's this post, I decided to mark my own territory around the US with Google's My Maps feature. 19/50 states. View it here. A small percentage.. just 38%. But in student life? Pretty good I must admit! And it looks like the midwest and a lot of the south has been covered. The Northern, Eastern and the central portions leave a lot to desire. With the current H-1B situation, its anyone's guess where else I'll get to go. Good luck to me!!

April 8, 2007

Meet the Robinsons

Warning: Spoilers ahead

I soo feel at home now... Another movie review!! And make way for the Robinsons! This was my first 3-D experience after I grew up (I dont remember Chotta Chetan or Kutti Satan) So I was really excited. Two versions of the movie released, a normal one and the 3-D one. Me and Sachin were really enthused to see the 3-D version.. I imagined the red and blue paper glasses and everything as we went to catch the 11:50 PM show. And we were in for a surprise.. the glasses had become suave.. They looked like sunglasses but unfortunately carried a warning that they had no UV filters and werent to be used as sunglasses. Hmph.

So back to the movie... It starts out with the awesome animation that Pixar has come to be known for... This baby, the hero of our story, Louis being left at the orphanage... a sort of Harry Potter feel to it. He grows up to be a boy genius and ends up scaring away most prospective parents with explosive science experiments. He has this jock roomie, Goob, who loses night after night of sleep over his nerdy roomie's experiments. At the center of the plot is a Science Fair where all the students are falling over one another to showcase their talent. And Louis has his memory machine... And ofcourse there is a villain - a man in a bowling hat, who foils the brilliant invention. Why? And how? I am not going to go into the details coz that will just plain give it away. And this "boy from the future" - Wilbur sees through the bowling hat guy and his plans! But to credit it, the movie had oooooodles of imagination... and a lotta fundu stuff, even if scientific - a time machine, singing frogs, an artificially-intelligent hat (which learns and grows against you!), a memory machine, and even a dinosaur! The plot was pretty cool and was woven together in an adorable manner. It almost felt like it was dragging a little in between when we actually Meet the Robinsons. But the movie quickly slides back on track with a brilliant twist.

With its awesome effects (I took my glasses off ever so often to compare the effects), sweet storyline, fabulous imagination and fantastic animation, you all have got to Meet the Robinsons atleast once. This may not be one of those animation movies people speak about for yeaars (Shrek), but its definitely worth your while.