Thursday, April 30, 2009

Horton Hears a Who!

Here is a film that should be seen by both believers and non-believers. Although it may not convert one camp into the other, it nevertheless hopefully will serve as an enlightening experience to bridge the gap in communication and understanding between the religious and the skeptic mind.

In fact, this film is so relevant to the frightening level of extremism, religious conservatism, intolerance, and narrow-mindedness currently gripping our small society in Maldives, I suggest that no one -- who wants his or her vision of existence expanded and tolerance level increased --  miss this entertaining and yet enlightening film. Read full review from

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The night is darkest just before the dawn...

Adaptations are a tricky business. Just ask Alan Moore or Uwe Boll – though, admittedly, not for the same reasons.

Promotional Art for Frank Miller's 'Batman Year One' Trade Paperback

At the best of times your source material has a rabid following who will, once you've announced your intentions, scrutinize your every move – down to the the colour of underpants your hero may, or may not, wear under, or over, their costumes.

And at the worst of times... well... you should click on the Alan Moore link (above) before you go on to the rest of what I've got to say...

Most times our worst fears are realised (see Uwe Boll for the worst case scenario) but sometimes... sometimes the  improbable does actually happen... [full 'story' at Nuances]

Friday, April 24, 2009


[Originally posted at Nuances]

[also berakhah] in Judaism, a blessing usually recited
during a ceremony, OR
[also barakah] in Arabic, Islam and Arab-influenced
languages such as Swahili, Urdu, 
Persian, Turkish, meaning
spiritual wisdom and blessing transmitted from God;
or in a Sufi context, "breath of life."

Baraka, means 'Blessing' a spiritual power believed to be
possessed by certain 
persons, objects, tombs, in Arabic,
Swahili, Urdu, Persian and Turkish.

A few months ago I became the proud owner of a Baraka (1992) Blu-ray. I first watched it as part of a college assignment focusing, as I recall, on non-verbal films.

It was enthralling, to say the least. And this was a viewing in standard definition on a 21 inch monitor accompanied by a loud, somewhat agitated, group of college students with a healthy dose of ADD – oh not to worry... I count myself along with the ADD crowd.

Five minutes into the film everyone quieted down – most of us were either trying to figure out where the 'no talking' was headed OR it could have been that the almost serene imagery and music started to resonate with their brain waves... or maybe a bit of both.

Cover art – Baraka [Blu-ray]

In the next 91 minutes we, through no conscious will of our own, found ourselves soothed and calmed to the point where some of us experienced something totally alien – a silence that is never seen (heard?!?! unheard?!?! witnessed?!?! experienced!)... experienced in a college much less a tight screening room packed with students!

Beautiful, peaceful, serene images washed over us – even in the moments where the motion lapse technique was used to show 'herds', repetitions and juxtapositions we were not jarred out of our trance like state... not even when we where shown the 'cruelty' that man, and war, unleash upon nature did we flinch – the 'no blood and gore' philosophy helped... every 'point' that the film made... it made peacefully... serenely... beautifully...

And then we were done... and were faced with the horror of writing about a film with no dialogue... YIKES!

Fast forward five years to two months ago – there I was, holding nostalgia at bay... surely this wouldn't stand up to the first experience ... would it?

In a small-ish room with no natural light, I saw nature unfold and unleashed before me in glorious High Definition...

And I kid you not my friends it DID surpass my first viewing.

A scene from the film

Whether it was the new transfer OR the five year gap that erodes the memory of the first viewings (I saw it multiple times in standard definition that semester in college) I cannot tell...

Oh who am I kidding... it's the HD and the larger TV (36 inches now) AAand the lack of a fidgety, ADD-ish college crowd... and the HD... did I say that already?!?! Well it bears repeating...

Baraka looks AMAZING in High Definition - AM. Ay. ZING!

Filmed at 152 locations in 24 countries which includes several natural wonders of the world (sadly no Maldives) this is a MUST for any film fan AND any human with a cranial space.

I can't wait for Ron Fricke and Co. to unveil Samsara, the sequel to Baraka which is planned to be released around 2009/2010.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

...This Keanu Reeves one is not a classic I have to admit. For me, it was just another guilty pleasure (like the surf chick flick Blue Crush :-)). If you passed on this film, you are not missing anything. So I shan’t advise anyone to make an effort to see this.

But for hard core sci-fi fans like me who at least needs to check out the few sci-fi films that come out every year to enjoy the visual and sound effects, I recommend them to at least check this film. I don’t think it will be a great disappointment or that great a waste of time. Full story from