Monday, December 24, 2012

Mythical Movie Blunders


All right, this post comprises a small yet heavily detailed account of the typical Mythical/Fantasy/Epic Movie stereotypes. So, without much ado, read on.

Wait, in this post for the purpose of convenience, The Supreme Hero (Singular main Goody-Good Guy) shall henceforth be called as, well the Supreme Hero, and The Supreme Villain (The Big Daddy of all bad guys on Earth) shall be referred to as Supreme Villain.


  • There is a SEC (Supreme Evil Creature) that has its jurisdiction in a varying number of nearby lands that lives in absolute darkness and in caves with deep chasms and very narrow and weak wooden/stone bridges with insufficient supporting and weak structural integrity connecting the ends that some architect gets built (yes, a man with an ability to design and build staircases and wooden/stone bridges in such difficult terrain gets out of the safety of the city in search of challenging architecture in such far-off and otherwise impenetrable lands and of course supposedly no monetary compensation in return for the said construction) for brave warriors in case they come to vanquish the said creature.


  • However, as this author later researched, it is also possible that such construction is actually accomplished by the SEC itself in its free time in order to ease the accessibility for such BWs (Brave Warriors) to reach it at which time the said creature will show its might by destroying such bridges and gobbling up the warriors if they are unable to vanquish it.



  • It just so happens that such caverns are strategically situated such that they become shortcuts to the destination that our warriors seek, and that the warriors have just enough time (poor project management on their part) that they absolutely cannot take the longer yet safer path, for any delay will result in end of the world.



  • There are also times when the SEC in utter futility and lack of foresight, captures and imprisons the fairest and most beautiful maiden of the lands in the tallest tower of its custom-built abode. On further deep thought, the author realised that said fair maiden may have been captured as insurance for the time when the evil dark creature (previously referred to as SEC) gets old and unable to hunt on its own, to relish a last "hearty" meal; since being of different species and vastly differing physical attributes, starting a family with the said fair maiden does not seem practical. Also, as a result of her unique predicament, the said fair maiden gets an alternative terminology, that of DID (Damsel in Distress).



  • It just so happens that the group of BWs (Brave Warriors) in question end up defeating or otherwise killing the dark creature (also called SEC) which had otherwise been so indomitable in the past that no other living soul entered the creature’s abode and lived to tell the tale.



  • The structural stability of the entire cavern inhabited by the SEC is such that just when the said creature is slayed, rocks and boulders begin to fall from the roof, and the cavern that had otherwise been standing for a thousand years gets destroyed. Now, that’s called Extreme Engineering.



  • Our BWs (Brave Warriors) time their exit from the said cavern such that just when they all come out of the said structure safely, it collapses into a great valley, with the hero doing the honors of pulling up one of his companions from near certain death.


  • During battle with a large army (with the hostile army counting at least 3 to 1 to that of the Supreme Hero’s), the Supreme Hero seems to repel all the arrows aimed at him or in his general direction by the enemy archers, keeping his face and general body posture such that all the arrows miss his body by mere millimeters. However, that is not the case with the unfortunate enemy foot soldiers who mistakenly come within his near infinite range for our Supreme Hero, being one of the best warriors since the Dawn Of  History in the use of a sword, a bow and arrow or just plain hand to hand combat,  has an excellent aim and just a single arrow is almost always sufficient in killing his target.



  • It is worth mentioning that our Supreme Warrior (previously referred to as Supreme Hero) has incredible stamina, since he just defeated most of the army/minions/cronies of the said Supreme Villain before beginning the ultimate battle between Good and Evil, and even though the Supreme Villain is a great sorcerer with enormous power, and near-infinite knowledge, he almost certainly ends up getting killed by the Supreme Hero.



  • On at least one occasion, there comes a time when the Supreme Hero has to choose between saving the DID (Damsel In Distress) who also happens to be the love of his life, and saving the world from destruction and utter chaos; and our supreme hero, in all the stupidity befitting well, a Supreme Hero, chooses to save the damsel. But almost always, things work out fine and the world is saved by some fluke incident.



  • There almost always is a SS (Special/Supreme Sword) with the unique distinction of being one of its kind (for when it was being forged by a special heat treatment process which was way too advanced for its time, the metallurgist decided to make just a single piece, not accounting for the off chance the sword might fall off into one of the hundreds of valleys frequented by our Supreme Hero, or just go missing out of sheer negligence on his part). It also so happens that the said sword can never be built again and you have to search through the entire world for where the last Supreme Hero left it after leaving weird instructions to locate it which are difficult to comprehend for an ordinary mind. Anyways, so this sword is the only one that can vanquish the great evil plaguing the lands and like always is the case, the metallurgy of the sword and the legend behind it proves just right, for when the Supreme Hero confronts the great evil with said sword he always succeeds in vanquishing the evil using this sword.



  • And finally, there is the case of the Supreme Hero and the Supreme Villain who come prepared having memorised well-crafted speeches that they recite to each other during their pre- and post-battle verbal jostle. There almost always comes a time during the course of the battle when it seems that the villain has gotten the upper hand, at which time he gets all boastful in front of the Supreme Hero, who utilizes this time to catch his breath before surprising the villain with a sudden attack and an awesome punch line before vanquishing him once and for all.


That's all I could think of for now. Do contribute to this discussion if you can think of something else. 

Ta Ta.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Nolanification of Hollywood


"Look, up in the sky!"
"It's a bird."
"It's a plane".
"It's Superman!"

That is how I remember Superman from my childhood. The ultimate symbol of super-strength. And as far as this eight year old was concerned, Superman easily obliterated Batman and Spiderman put together simply using his Heat vision.


That was the time when there were essentially three characters in the average superhero movie. The superhero himself, of course, occupied the prime spot. He would single-handedly bash up the cronies/minnions of the villain, give a lecture or two to the repeat offender of a villain before beating him up too and saving the damsel in distress as the cops looked on or cheered. There were a few minor details here and there about the superhero's parallel life as a simpleton, but that's about all there was to the movie.

In a way, everyone in the superhero movie functioned essentially as 10 year olds. And so the movie itself was meant for the 10 year olds.

  
                                       




That innocence has all but died. Come 2013, and we are going to be in another world. A world where nobody will look up into the sky and guess stupidly about planes and birds before finally getting it right. A world where Clark Kent has to ask himself,"Is the world ready for Superman?" It is like asking,"Is the world ready for incredible awesomeness?" It sounds incredibly lame.


This is the new world that we live in. A world of superheroes inspired by the creative brilliance of Christopher Nolan. A man who has given depth and meaning to these out-of-the-world characters, thus making them and their villains, well much more life-like.

The average superhero today does not just beat up the bad guy. He has a complicated life of his own, as does the villain. The Hero has become a selfless guardian who needs to comprehend the morality and consequences of his actions on the city, despite all the inherent good intentions.

We have a villain with a scary, yet noble vision for the failing city. An evil, violent man with a philosophy of his own on how the world should function.

There are times when the villain seems much more relatable, much more human. Even the average guy on the street has deep insights to offer. Every character has a shade of grey and the viewer is left flummoxed whom to root for.

Besides, there are a large number of back stories of minor characters all supporting the overall narrative. Politics, History, Economics and Foreign Policy are inter-mingled such that the city doesn't function by itself as previously portrayed but instead has a large number of outside factors influencing it.

This is a world where the superhero himself at times seems the reason behind such crazy villains plaguing the city.

So, we have a Joker, telling the sad series of events that happened to his family before he became the psychotic maniac that he is.

We have Rachel Dawes, the Damsel, who after being saved from the jaws of evil, leaves the Superhero in spite of all the muscles and charisma, to be with an average simpleton without superpowers or big money.

We have Alfred the Butler telling his Master how the Gotham city needs Bruce Wayne, his resources and knowledge much more than his alter-ego, the Batman to save the city from the latest villains.


And finally, as this trailer shows, we have a Superman in handcuffs being escorted by a bunch of policemen to prove that even the incorruptible and indomitable Superman isn't above the law.

These are exciting times indeed for the Superhero genre. Hopefully, the best is yet to come.   

Note: This post has been submitted for the Blogathon organised by A Potpourri of Vestiges. If you are a movie buff like me, do check it out, it has some nice reviews.               


       

Sunday, December 16, 2012

And it rained Credit Cards!!!

If the people named in this article are in a vengeful mood, then I am in for a lot of trouble. May be they will file an FIR against me and get me arrested; May be that will lead to the media rallying behind me and making me a Hero of the masses. Then, I will be made the Indian Prime Minister. Then, in a crazy fit, I will become a Dark overlord...Mwahahaha!!! 
Don't mind my mindless musings...Read on...


Following the recent expose by IAC activist Arvind Kejriwal regarding the nexus behind accumulation of black money in Swiss banks, the Central Government came up yesterday with a bizarre scheme to check the circulation of black money.


The central government has decided to provide credit card swiping machines as part of a national strategy to integrate the poverty ridden masses and check the flow of black money in the economy.


In a press conference attended by senior UPA leaders Kapil Sibal and P. Chidambaram, the government announced the ambitious scheme. Mr. Chidambaram informed the assembled journalists that the move, the brain-child of Congress’s PM-in-waitng Rahul Gandhi, is aimed to curb the flow of black money in the economy and integrating the lakhs of beggars into the mainstream, besides decreasing the economy's fiscal deficit through taxes from the beggars. The Union minister claimed that in a recent government sponsored survey, it was found that begging, if seen as an organized industry employed the largest number of employees in the country with all transactions in black. The minister claimed that with this scheme the government could recover at least 45% of the black money circulating in the system.


However, political analysts and our sources in various political parties are of the opinion that the move may backfire since nobody likes being taxed more or being taxed at all.


Meanwhile, reactions from various political parties started pouring in by the end of the day.


The BJP spokesperson slammed the government for being insensitive over the issue of poverty by aiming to tax the already poverty-ridden masses.


Apart from the BJP central leadership, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, on campaign trail at a rally in Vadodara claimed that the real Black Money was stored in Madam Sonia’s lockers in Swiss Banks and not minuscule alms obtained by the beggars.


Within an hour of this statement, Information & Broadcasting Minister and Congress spokesperson Mr. Manish Tewari condemned Mr. Modi’s authoritarian attitude, comparing him to Hitler while Ex-cop Sanjiv Bhatt wrote a letter to Modi, asking him to apologise to the nation for the 2002 riots.


The CPM alleged that the UPA government was anti-people and this move by the government was at the behest of the US government in order to benefit their banking institutions and Credit card swiping machine manufacturers.


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the government for its anti-people schemes and proposed yet another No confidence motion against the UPA in the Lok Sabha.


SP and BSP leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati threatened to withdraw their outside support from the government if it does not allow reservations for Minorities and Backward classes respectively in this scheme.


Meanwhile, MNS chief Raj Thackrey gave a new direction to the debate, alleging that the beggars hailing from Bihar will eat into the Marathi beggars’ share and challenged that either Marathi beggars should get preference in the allocation of the Credit card swiping machines or beggars from Bihar and other northern states shall be driven away from Mumbai.


Amidst the ensuing political controversy, this reporter had an opportunity to meet a recently upgraded beggar as part of the government’s pilot project before implementing the scheme nationwide. The Beggar, Mr. Ram Das enlightened this reporter about how any donation made to him being electronic in nature shall be exempt from taxation.


On being asked, if the scheme had empowered him or helped improve his and his family's condition, Mr. Das smiled and said,”Let us just say, that now I have to worry about investments and tax saving”.