Sunday, April 27, 2014

Movie Review (Eros Int. Box set, Part 1): Haal-e-Dil (2008)

Director: Anil Devgan
Starring:Amita Pathak, Nakuul Mehta, Adhyayan Suman
Eros International, Big Screen Entertainment, India, 2008.

I found a copy of this movie as part of a three movie budget set published by Eros International and will review the other two movies later (Money Hai Toh Honey Hai and One Two Three). 

Haal-e-Dil tells a story about Sanjana (Amita Pathak) who has lost her boyfriend Rohit (Adhyayan Suman). After visiting her family, she finds herself traveling with a happy-go-lucky magician Shekhar (Nakuul Mehta) who falls in love with her. Sanjana shows cold shoulder to him, but when she loses her train ticket they are forced to travel by taxi. Shekhar uses every trick to attract Sanjana, but fails. Finally he decides to prove his love by fasting seven days in front of her home.

The movie starts as a romantic comedy, but the second half of the film turns into melodrama and begins to drag heavily. The movie flopped badly at the box office. However the film is not without its merits. There are lots of beautiful sceneries and the songs are mostly nice. Nakuul Mehta is great as a funny guy, who later becomes a more serious person. Also some supporting characters are funny, such as perky auntie traveling in the train (Bharati Achrekar).

Here's a happy song "Oye Hoye" where Shekhar sings about being a crazy love worshiper. 

Rating: Average

Monday, April 21, 2014

Book review: Kapinallinen (Range Rebel)

Kapinallinen (Range Rebel)
by Gordon D. Shirrefs
translated to Finnish by M. Hossa
Oy Kodaprint Ab 1961
 This review is based on the Finnish paperback edition 

In this western adventure a former Confederate soldier Dave Yeamans is living as a hermit on mountains. One day a search party almost lynches him and accuses him for being a cattle thief. Dave clears the accusations but decides to move to some less dangerous place. On his way he meets a pretty rancher Leslie Waite and decides to help her find her missing father. As father is found murdered, hero decides to stay and help the girl to defend herself against local cattle baron Edrick's men.

More cattle is stolen and soon the hero gets into trouble with local gunmen and corrupt sheriff. After the ranch lady hires some more gunmen to defend the cattle, Dave soon finds himself accused of murder and flees. He gets into contact with an underground bunch of worried cattle owners and becomes their agent trying to find the stolen cattle.

The book is kind of mixture of western and detective novel with usual fist- and gunfights. Towards the end the real bad guys are exposed and some romance follows. Some books of Shirreffs have been made into less known westerns, such as A Long Ride from Hell (1967) and The Lonesome Trail (1955). The book Range Rebel was pretty basic pulp western, not a lost classic but fun while it lasted.

Rating: Average

Book review: Minä Zlatan Ibrahimovic (I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic)

Minä Zlatan Ibrahimovic (I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic)
by David Lagercrantz and Zlatan Ibrahimovic
translated to Finnish by Miika Nousiainen
WSOY 2013
This review is based on the Finnish paperback edition (Minä Zlatan Ibrahimovic)

Zlatan is one of the best modern football players, and his autobiography tells his story from his childhood years until the AC Milan's Italian Super Cup 2011 victory. Born in Rosengård, the Malmö suburb to an immigrant family, Zlatan tells about his difficult childhood, shoplifting and stealing bikes. One time he even accidentally stole his football coachs bike! Rejecting a bad boy image, Zlatan tells however that he has been quite moderate in partying and was seldom very drunk besides the time when he fell asleep in a bathtub after Juventus victory party.  Besides football Zlatan also gets his kicks from fast cars and video games.

Zlatan has a direct approach to things and says what he thinks. This sometimes led to trouble with coaches and other players. In his football career a big setback was the clash with Barcelona's coach Pep Guardiola, who did not like strong personalities such as Zlatan. It was only resoved when Zlatan was sold to AC Milan. Zlatan also tells how a player can one day be a hero and hated next day. Often getting angered by fans helps him play better.

The book was interesting and fun to read. In this book Zlatan gives hope to kids who are different to pursue their dreams, although the success requires hard work.

Rating:Very good

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Movie review: After Earth

After Earth
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith
Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. 2013

The movies of M. Night Shyamalan are known for wild plot twists, but After Earth is a more straightforward story.

In the future human rage has left Earth after a catastrophe and aliens are sending Ursa-beasts to destroy humanity. The Ursas smell fear so the only way to survive is a fear control techinique called ghosting.

General Cypher (Will Smith) and his son Kitai (Jaden Smith) crash-land their spaceship into a hostile planet, and Cypher breaks his leg. So Kitai must go and search the distress signal beacon.  Jaden Smith is good in his role as a terrified young space cadet. Will smith is very serious in this role as tough officer, so no buddy comedy this time.

Somehow the movie reminds me of some folk stories about a young hero who must win difficult trials and kill the beast as a rite of passage. Also there are no ray guns this time but the weapon used by Kitai is a shapeshifting spear/knife. One theme of the movie is the conquering of ones worst fears. The critics and audiences did not like the movie. I liked it and think it deserves to be seen.

Recommended for fans of emotional and metaphoric type of sci-fi.

Rating: Good

Book review: The Strange Story of False Teeth

The Strange Story of False Teeth by John Woodforde
Universal-Tandem Publishing Co. Ltd, 1971, Great Britain

In one of the first season Monty Python sketches ( a man goes to a book shop and wants to buy a copy of "An Illustrated History of False Teeth". Well I don't surely know if there is really such book, but the closest one I found was a small book "The Strange Story of False Teeth"  by John Woodforde.  Since the book was first published in 1968, it is possible that this book is referred in the Monty Python sketch made during 1969-1970.

In this book the history of dental care from Bronze age to modern times is presented. The first false teeth were unpleasant to use, and often had to be removed while eating. The dental treatment business was attractive to many quack dentists, and often the treatment caused more damage to the patient. Also the teeth used in the dentures or implants were often acquired from unpleasant sources. 

Woodforde uses a lot of literary sources and images of old drawings, paintings and caricatures. Also stories are told of historical figures who used false teeth, such as Abraham Lincoln and Grover Cleveland. The book was quite fun to read, and gave a lot of insight about the social history of teeth.

Recommended but with reservation for those who are afraid of dentist.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hello World!

This blog is currently under construction.
My purpose is to add here reviews of various subjects such as movies, books, music, videogames etc.
See you later!

Recommendations by Engageya