Tom Hardy In Batman Begins?

We all know Tom Hardy is cast as Bane for Christopher Nolan’s third and final installment of his Batman series in The Dark Knight Rises. Bane is a primary villain in the Batman series and famously broke Batman’s back in one of the comics.

I found something startling the other day as I was watching Batman Begins. You know, that movie which gave us hope that the Batman franchise was still alive? That one. Apparently, Chris Nolan stuck Bane in the movie, and hoped no one would notice. Nolan always repeats his supporting cast (Tom Hardy was Eames in Inception) so I thought he put in Hardy just for the heck of it. But now, I find out that Hardy is Bane. I’m pretty sure The Dark Knight Rises will feature Bane coming from Arkham Asylum.

The scene: Batman has just decapitated Dr. Crane and his fellow goons and his rushing through Arkham, when he chooses to open the door of one the cellmates. He says, “Excuse Me” (or something like that). And we see this.

Here’s Tom Hardy.

Tom Hardy

And here’s Tom Hardy (the guy on the left).

Tom Hardy in Batman Begins

Correct me if I’m wrong, but that looks exactly like Tom Hardy. Well done, Chris Nolan. Well done.

Here’s a clip from the movie. All rights belong to Warner Bros.

Eddie

His name’s Eddie. Eddie is the Heart of Gold’s shipboard computer, and is always in a constant state of amazement and excitement. That’s how this new PC is.

It was a real pain to get this one. My older PC was pretty much dead. It wasn’t broken down, but all support for hardware had ceased. Intel’s graphics drivers for 82845G had a virus which disabled the Task Manager and Registry, and I was forced to use Process Explorer, which, for the record, is fantastic.

Right, so I had to persuade dad to get a new PC. He delayed it till the boards ended, and little further away till the holidays started. Then I really began to pester him, with constant reminders. He gave an offer for a Dell desktop, which didn’t have even half the configurations I actually wanted, and cost nearly as much.

With Digit magazine’s help, I could design a PC which fit my budget, and conveniently forgot to include a PSU. The Zebronics cabinet I mentioned was not designed for the motherboard, and I now have this iBall cabinet. Dad was getting my PC assembled with the help of his office’s technicians. Apparently, none of them understood by AMD-based configuration. After a lot of “please papa”, he finally relented, gave the go, and here the PC is ready.

2×2 GB Corsair 800MHz DDR2 RAM

AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.00 GHz per core

Leadtek GeForce GT 240 1GB

ASUS M4A785D-M PRO Motherboard

Seagate Barracude 7200.12 SATA 500GB Hard Drive

No floppy drive 😦

While it may be a “far cry” (pun intended) from a gaming rig, it is enough for me. I’ll just play the occasional game at medium settings, but I really wanted to watch videos in HD. A friend handed over a Blu-Ray rip of Avatar. Bliss…

I have Windows 7 installed, and a download of Ubuntu’s Lucid Lynx has just been stopped. It’s Isadora all the way.

Now why did I go for AMD? Simple. It’s cheaper. Way cheaper. Core i7 began at Rs 14000/- and I could get my Phenom at 7500/-. Nice, huh?

Well, I’ve already finished Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. As usual, don’t expect any reviews.

*

Do watch this.

Don’t forget to watch in full screen high definition.

“Ronal–d’oh!”

**

Also, the UEFA Champions League final was epic. Hats of, Milito, though I was really was supporting Ribery-less Bayern Munich. Seems like Jose has got a magic wand with him.

Don’t worry, the best football club in the world will win the League next time.

Prepare for trouble treble

And make it double!”

Review: Avatar

Avatar Release Poster

Avatar Release Poster

Director: James Cameron

Producer: James Cameron

Jon Landau

Writer: James Cameron

Cast: Sam Worthington as Jake Sully

Zoe Saldana as Neytri

Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch

Review

When was the last time you saw a film which had you awed, and you thought about it even days later? When was the last time you saw something so divine, and saw flawless, that you felt like applauding? Probably, the last time that happened for me was when I saw Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Never. Ever. Before. Has a movie been made like Avatar, which combines an extremely high budget ($230 million plus $150 million for promotion), great acting and a fairly good plot along with a message to make a thundering impact on the souls of all viewers? I doubt it.

Avatar has taken India by storm. Tickets had been booked a day in advance, and watching the current show in 3D is out of question, unless you plan it a day in advance. I saw Avatar at PVR Plaza in Rajiv Chowk, and the cinema hall was jam-packed.

The main character, Jake Sully, is a crippled US Marine who signs up for an Avatar programme which involves mining this mineral called Unobtanium, so that an energy crisis gripping the earth can be solved. (For those who don’t know, Unobtanium is a name given to any material which is “un-obtainable” to run anything. For example, an unobtanium-made-pulley may be frictionless, which is pretty impossible). This wicked stuff is available on a moon (Pandora) which orbits a planet which further orbits Alpha Centauri. This stone can be obtained only with the cooperation of the Na ‘vi, tall, blue-skinned inhabitants of Pandora. They’re primitive as compared to the humans, but more physically capable. They also have these USB ports in their hair, which they can plug into trees and horses. Badass, this.

Basically, the main character, Jake Sully, is on Pandora to control an “avatar” of himself, and become a Na ‘vi mentally, when physically wired up in a bunker. He’s got to convince the Na ‘vi to give him the Unobtanium, but finally realises that the humans are wrong. And he fights (in the end; this was inevitable) for the Na ‘vi against the humans.

You’ll notice that the plot is simple, and even predictable in some parts. But it’s not the plot you’re basically concentrating on here. It’s the visual effects. Of course, there are movies in the past which have made exactly the same blunder, thus compromising on other aspects and some who focus more on the plot, and not just visual effects. But Cameron does both, and makes a surprisingly good balance between both. The fact that Avatar is so visually pleasing, makes you forget the plot and think more about how Cameron made the environment? Remember: it’s a whole new world, and all new creatures, so it has to be made from scratch. Hundreds of people cannot by physically dyed blue, so that had to be CGI as well. What James Cameron has created and visualised is not mere scenery – it’s an entire universe, like the Middle Earth in LOTR, and unlike it as well, as Avatar cannot simply be shot in New Zealand. Cameron attached probes to all of his actors and used revolutionary new motion capture technology.

Everything you see here, is computer generated.

The acting is also great, although there is not much scope of acting. The emotions do come out well, especially in those scenes when the Na ‘vi’s homes are felled cruelly by the army. Their cries will echo even after a long, long time. Its that brief period of emotional connections that probably sets the pace for the next hour of the movie.

Something else is the totally believable universe Avatar is set in. I mean, the technology is not something which can make you go “Come on!”. Its something humans are close to achieving. In the end, it also gives an important message about saving the environment, and not getting into energy crises (which is not very far). But all this is unimportant; where Avatar really trumps is the overall experience of it. Of how everything seems to be there in the movie. Love, action, drama, emotion, jealousy, power, and so on. It may not be the best film ever, but it’s certainly one of the most complete and entertaining film. Do watch it, and do so in 3D, as that is how Cameron would like you to experience it. Looks like the huge $230 million dollar gamble, like Titanic, paid off.

Here’s the theatrical trailer for Avatar. Do watch it in full screen HD.

Detailed Ratings (out of 10)

Plot: 8

Acting: 9

Visual+Sound Effects: 10

Direction: 10

Feel: 10

Overall Rating: 9.4/10 [Fantastic]

Watch (Hollywood) Movies Online On QuickSilverScreen

Unfortunately, not all have the convience to download movies via torrents. Lets face it: torrents do take time to download an entire movie to your HDD. Also, you may want to watch only a portion of a movie. So download the entire freakin’ clip?

This is where QuickSilverScreen (or QSS, as they’d like to call themselves) comes in. Its great for watching new movies, with respectable video quality, especially if they’re atleast a week old.

The service is just so amazingly fast, you wouldn’t even realise you’re actually through. No sign-in and other hassles required at all! And most importantly, its free.

In case you’re wondering, this is not a sponsored post.

Review: District 9

District 9 Poster

District 9 Poster

Director: Neill Bolmkamp
Producer: Peter Jackson
Writers: Neill Bolmkamp
Terri Tatchell
Cast: Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley)
The rest are unimportant

First of all, you must know that District 9 was made on a measly budget of $50 million (thats about Rs. 144 Crores) only, which is about 4 times lesser than Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen‘s budget of $200 million (Rs 962 Crores. Yikes). And, District 9 is approximately four times better than the latter. It puts big-budget films like Transformers to shame, with a cast and director not widely known at all.
District 9 is a movie based around an alien invasion. It’s not at all like your stereotypical alieninvasion film. In fact, it stands out distinctly. District 9 is does not focus on the alien invasion itself, but on the way it affects the entire society. But first, I must tell you about the simple, yet gripping plot.
An alien ship arrives in the 1980s, hovering over Johannesburg (South Africa), but instead of launching a hostile attack, it simply stays there.
The "prawn" spaceship hovering in Johannesburg

The "prawn" spaceship hovering in Johannesburg

Further observation within the ship reveals that it consists only of a number of malnourished aliens (nicknamed “prawns”), who are too weak to attack. The SA government decides to throw them in some camp in Jo’burg, which eventually turns into a slum, courtesy MNU
Fast-forward to present day South Africa. People accept them as a part of their lives and (dis)integrate them into their society, and you often catch glimpses of hilarious signs, which is an obvious indication of the mindset of the people – Chuck. Prawns. Out.
Signs of Their Times

Signs of Their Times

Multinational United (MNU) has been put in-charge of the aliens, although the name sounds more like a soccer club. MNU is responsible  for turning District 9 into a slum. And now, things get sinister when Head of Operations Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) gets infected, and begin transforming into a prawn. Superbly directed by Neill, District 9 always keeps you on the edge of your seats, even when the entire cinema hall is empty and the popcorn tastes revolting (I was a victim). It is clear that all humans want from the aliens is their sophisticated weapons, which work only with their DNA, where renders any human incapable of operating it. MNU uses employee Wikus to their own advantage – to operate weapons, and rip apart his heart and bone marrow to transfer the DNA to other individuals.

I don’t want to reveal any more of this plot, but I can safely say that basing this film in South Africa was very ingenious indeed, as it reminds you of the apartheid system. Aliens bound in chains by the MNU and the government, who rip apart their houses at will. Of course, there is a message from the movie, but unlike others, you grasp it without it being dinned into your head.

Also, the way the characters are written also makes the movie an engaging watch. Look out for Copley, who acts superbly as Wikus. The pain he has to go through is so severe and so well depicted, that you feel it too. Watch out for the alien scientist Christopher as well, and the odd bond which develops between Wikus and Christopher. Director Neill Bolmkamp has also paid great attention to detail, showing how the crime never stays clear of slums, and how locals take advantage of the aliens, by enticing them with their favourite cat food.

However, you will never miss the action and violence. There is plenty. A lot of heads are severed from the bodies and crushed upon my walking people. Aliens and humans are electrocuted alike, with blood and flesh falling on camera.

Of course, District 9 does have its fair share of worries. But the best part is, they may never seem to intrigue you. The film starts off more like a documentary, which may lead to slight boredom. Also, the ending of the film may not please you, as Wikus is stuck as a prawn forever. (Did I mention a spoiler warning?)

In the end, District 9 turns out to be an excellent film. See it for sure, as it is a mixture of a superb plot and stunning visual effects as well as sincere acting. Most of which other big budget films lack.

Plot: 9
Acting: 10
Visual+Sound Effects: 9
Direction: 9
Screenplay: 8

Rating: 9/10 (Brilliant!)

Review: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Poster

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Poster

Director: Michael Bay
Producer: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf)
Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox)
ExPlOsIoNs!!!!!!11111111111!!!1!1

Review:
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was probably the most awaited movie of this year. Probably even more than Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It is a sequel to Michael Bay’s super duper hit Transformers, as you may already know. However, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen fails to capitalize on the superb head start it knows it gets from its prequel.

The movie starts off with Optimus Prime (leader of the Autobots) telling a story in that monotonous robotic-cum-human voice of his. You come to know that the Autobots have formed an alliance with the Americans to destroy Decepticons hidden in parts of the world to help prevent resurrection of Megatron, whom Optimus destroyed and threw into the ocean. Funnily enough, the Decepticons are simply lying there and doing nothing, not even hurting a fly, when the Autobots show up and tear them to shreds. Poor guys. Er… robots.

And the best part is that all this Autobot-American-friendship thingy is supposed to be a secret. They’re actually doing a very, very good job actually. I mean, come on. Who’s going to notice ten-odd twenty-foot robots ripping apart Shanghai to search for another twenty-foot dormant robot, and destroy him in a major explosion? No one, of course.

Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky is going to an expensive collage, and still loves Megan Fox, who still works as a mechanic in her dad’s garage. Now as usual, Megan Fox is hot and sexy, but still has no trace of emotion on her face. She is as expressive as a very beautiful block of wood. Shia, meanwhile, is 0.1% better than her (I measured), but still doesn’t manage to impress you a lot. Its only his cuteness which will make a couple of you go “Aww… He’s cho cute!”, but that’s it.

Coming back to the ridiculous plot now. There are only two parts of the All Spark cube left, as it was destroyed while destroying Megatron. The Decepticons use one of them to resurrect Megatron. When Optimus Prime dies, and Sam still has access to the All Spark shard, it doesn’t even strike that kid to use it to resurrect Optimus. No! Let us do it the hard way. That’s the only way we can make a movie out of this crazy plot. Our friend Sam, while mourning Prime’s death, attends collage, and starts drawing all sorts of strange symbols. A Decepticon-seductress tries to kill him there for no apparent reason. His eccentric room mate takes him to that Sector Seven guy Agent Simmons, who now owns some kind of bakery/cookie shop, who takes them to some museum, where they find Jetfire so that he could read the symbols, who teleports them to Egypt, where they learn about the legend of the Fallen and some Matrix key. Only Jetfire the Old could read the symbols. Not even Bumblebee could, so should be more educated.

Lets keep the plot at that. You would have realised the flaws in it. There are more, but then that’s another post novel altogether. The last half-hour of the movie are merely explosions. Boom ka-boom is all you hear.

The screenplay is a bit wacky as well. You may often tend to get confused between scenes, and will ask the guy beside you about what just happened and why it is happening. But its not that bad. Not as bad as the plot, at least.

But what actually saves the film, is an excellent soundtrack, featuring those great songs – New Divide by Linkin Park and 21 Guns by Green Day. The filmmakers had to turn to someone other than themselves to rely on making a movie a success. It does work. You’ll hum those tunes for a long time.

But the main forte of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the visual effects. Spectacular stuff. Amazingly created robots and explosion, with an accurate reproduction of reflections, scratches and dirt on their metal bodies. Especially those few slow-motion action sequence will make you go “Whoaaaaaa”. This saves the film from becoming a complete fiasco. The visual effects are just so bloody awesome, that they are beyond description.

In the end, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is just an average film. But the amazing visual effects make it a must watch. This is just an entertainer to make your mind stress free.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Trailer. Do watch it in Full Screen HD.

Detailed Raitings (Out of 10)

Plot: 5

Acting: 4

Visual+Sound Effects: 10

Direction: 8

Screenplay: 7

Rating: 6.8/10 (Fair)

Tweetable Shadow Line Bottom Line: Transformers 2 has a fair plot and bad acting, but superb visual effects make it a must watch.

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