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Posts Tagged ‘thursday’

I’d wax eloquent about the joys of brevity, but it is as much an art form as a goat’s tonsil tethered to the business end of a woodwind instrument. I have merely realized that it takes a week or two for me to forget why I loved or loathed certain films. Hence, the frantic and discourteously blunt dialogue on various films, good, bad and those starring Abhishek Bachchan.

Thursday: Skip Woods is best known for writing brain-dead masala flicks (Swordfish, GI Joe). Before his inglorious pilgrimage towards questionable stardom, he wrote Thursday – a brutish white-knuckled urban thriller. Thomas Jane and Aaron Eckhart are glorious as main characters, Casey and Nick; one a drug dealer and general practitioner of chaos and the other well versed in both, but unwilling to participate. The cameos are so good that if it were up to me I would piss and moan in the parking lot until someone made full-length feature films with the Rasta assassin (Glenn Plummer), the skittish adoption agency executive (Michael Jeter) and the corrupt copper (Mickey Rourke) as lead protagonists.

Good Intentions: I enjoy small-town comedies about blackmailing, dysfunctional families and oddball sheriffs as much as the next blogger drunk on his/her own pathos of fashionable city life. Unfortunately, Jim Issa’s Good Intentions is so mediocre that if you squint one of your eyes you can actually see a silhouette of Tom Hanks in every second frame. The film has one good joke that it beats the crap out of until all the horses drop dead quicker than Luke Perry should actually retire from acting.

Hard Eight: Paul Thomas Anderson always gives us something different to play with every single time. How a single brain can conceive both Boogie Nights and Magnolia I’ll never understand. His debut Hard Eight a.k.a Sydney stars two of my favourite actors – John Reilly, Philip Baker Hall – has Samuel Jackson in his second best role ever and Philip Seymour Hoffman doing what he actually does best, play an ostensibly unlikable tub of lard. They share incredible chemistry too, feeding off each other’s intensity like real performers should. If only Hope Davis, Juliette Lewis or Chloe Sevigny were cast as Reilly’s love interest instead of Gwyneth Palthrow, I would have had a tough time explaining why salt-crusted tears sometimes leave a happy trail on my cheeks.

Raavan/ Raavanan: People treat Mani Ratnam’s films like chunks of yak cheese. They stick a piece in inside their cheeks and chew on it for hours, desperately looking for nuances to hate and love. I’d feel better comparing his films to the now defunct Cadbury’s Dollops chain of ice cream stores; never spent nights wondering how scrumptious their ice creams were; never really playfully tore the dead skin of my palm, thinking about all the wonderful new flavours that could be…sure, I enjoyed a scoop or a cone every now, but that’s because I generally liked ice cream. It didn’t really matter if it were Arun, Kwality or Dollops. The Tamizh version of Ravanan would have been worth a second watch if it weren’t for the lame cinematography/music that sounds/looks ripped off from some unfashionable first-person shooter Playstation game, and Aishwarya Rai. The Hindi version had Abhishek Bachchan…so uhmmm no thanks.

Next Stop Wonderland: Yes, this is a romantic comedy from Miramax Films, but no, it doesn’t suck at all. It’s probably one of most likable romantic films ever made. Director Brad Anderson is man of proven genius (Transsiberian, The Machinist, Session 9, Happy Accidents), but the spotlight from Next Stop Wonderland righteously gleams on the lead couple – Hope Davis and Alan Gelfant and ever so slightly on Seymour Hoffman, who is hilarious as a disgruntled hippie. The couple’s love story is in fact reminiscent of that film in which Amala and Mohan play star-crossed lovers who never get to see each other, with all the melodrama stifled and replaced instead with melancholy. The ending is just perfect even with nobody really dying or carrying the burden of such.



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stevie-wonder-13Today wasn’t supposed to be a very pleasant day. For one, it’s Thursday – a day that corporate life has taught me to loathe for various logistical reasons. Not helping was the fact that I had a bunch of stuff I had to write for my company’s Manufacturing domain, which (as glamorous as it sounds) makes watching paint dry seem like attending a Tool concert, high on LSD and surrounded by the entire cast of Harold & Kumar.

To prepare myself for days like these, I listen to a lot of music on my way to office. Yesterday, I downloaded a bunch of sounds from the mp3 blog – Souled On – one of my favourite places to haunt online. I came across this song ‘As’ by Stevie Wonder and a recent cover version by George Michaels and Mary J. Blige I had heard the cover version a couple of times on the now defunct and quite possibly France’s greatest contribution to Chennai – The MCM channel. It was straight-up, white ass R&B with Ms Blige channeling the spirit of Gloria Gayner. But it sounded alright. But since it never could match up to the deranged pop styling of “Killer Papa Was A Rolling Stone”, “As” turned out be my second favourite Michaels’ track (possibly the last).

The good blokes at Souled On also included the original version sung to perfection by Stevie Wonder. The song itself is a whiff of summer breeze, the sort that encourages the mind wander off to unchartered places at a pace that will have you tapping your feet. The chorus is a different beast altogether….with a melody that will stick to your brain like peanut butter on broken glass. The Blues-inspired closing sequence will have you reaching for as many versions of “Little Red Rooster” as you can get your grubby hands on.

stevie-wonderNo seriously, this is one of the most fantastic sounds I have heard all year. With Stevie’s vocals soaring like it hasn’t since “Pastime Paradise”, “As” is living proof that intention behind creating the Rhythm and Blues genre was a perfectly soulful one.

Damming evidence too that music can save your sorry ass.

Fuck you, Thursday. Thank you, Stevie Wonder.

Watch

Stevie Wonder – As

Mary J Blige & George Michael – As

Download

http://souledonmusic.blogspot.com (you’ll find mp3 versions of both tracks when you scroll down to the Love Lockdown: The Go Nicole Yourself Edition)

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Random acts of violins

I consider myself to be largely indifferent to most things tragic and beautiful. I find it abundantly funny that because of this, people consider me to be an idealist.

They assume that I have a greater war to wage, a sense of purpose that is so complex that the average man cannot fathom its length or its breath.

This is a blatant misconception since I have neither form nor function. Most of the time, I am bored. I merely am an idealist by default and the only purpose it serves involves bad migraines and aspirin tabs.

Feeling tremendously sad also gives me a headache. It wakes up the demented songbird inside my head, which then goes on to belt the most horrific rendition of ‘Leaving On A Jet Plane’ at the most inappropriate moment.

Man, I hate Thursday mornings.

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