Friday, March 30, 2007

Doomsday Humour at its Razzie Best

There are films that are intentionally hilarious and there are films that are unintentionally hilarious. 'End of Days' is one such film. It tickles every sensibility till it gets offensive. 'End of Days' was an independent venture starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gabriel Byrne. Released very aptly in the year 1999,it came up with yet another bizarre doomsday theory, outdoing 'Rosemary's Baby','The Omen' and other Lucifer-infested films at apocalyptic histrionics.The film swept the U.S Box office and 'The Razzies' with equal panache.

Arnie plays Jericho,a decent yet drunken cop, disillusioned with God after the death of his wife and daughter. Gabriel Byrne plays a suave industrialist who is possessed by Satan,two days before the 1st of January 2000 (the supposed beginning of doom).Gabriel Byrne's Satan is an Armani clad smooth talker with an eye for the ladies. He is particularly interested in Christine York, the young woman ill-fated enough to bear the progeny of Lucifer (it has been decided well in advance, we know because she was born with a special mark on her arm). Christine York (played by Robin Tunney) is a troubled young woman who sees visions of being seduced by Byrne's character. She loathes him because she fears that she might end up liking him.

As I mentioned earlier, the film is a winner for its idiotic premise. Satan is slated to reproduce and swarm the world with baby Lucifers on the 31st of December 1999. It is important to note that 1999 has special significance. Since 666 is the ultimate Satanic numerical, when inverted it reads 999 as in 1999. Thus at the start of the new millennium, the world is in for a sinful treat! The catholic church is on a hunt to find Christine York and kill her so that she doesn't abet Satan in his quest to taint the saintly globe. Jericho becomes aware of all this through an illogical and grotesque sequence of events and vows to protect Christine from the devil and his advances.

The film has its share of one liners. 'I have come for my wife,Christine come to me!' seems to be the best pick up line Satan can come up with. Satan is anatomically very similar to the terminator. He is entitled to automatic recovery from gun shots, punches and grenade attacks. Arnie tries very hard to make it appear that he has been taking acting lessons. The dialogue is painfully crass and the plot even more so. The acting is wooden and had me rolling with laughter. It is sad that an actor of Mr. Byrne's caliber felt compelled to be a part of such a mindless box-office bungle. The ending is predictable and lame. Thankfully, as one of my girlfriends said, 'Gabriel Byrne looks hot!' He is definitely worth all the eye-candy.

Watch it at your own risk!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Death Blow to Blogging

I read an article by a journalist who, apparently with a lot of glee, wrote of the phenomenon called the 'zombie blog'. A zombie blog is one that floats around blogosphere; obsolete from years of neglect. The writer goes on to cite the example of Lindsey Lohan's zombie blog( the latest entry dates back to the year 2003). I have decided to go undercover to reveal the cause behind this alarming new trend.

Hypothesis 1- As stated by the writer of the article, bloggers have lost the time and the inclination to blog and have thus moved on to greener pastures. Apparently their minds are not as flourishingly green as they were previously!j

Hypothesis 2- I think that blogging has done some people a ton of good. They have either met 'that special person' who made them say 'sayonara' to singlehood, or they have a new lucarative writing contract after getting a lot of attention from publishers, pop-culture enthusiasts and probably even legal quarters.

Hypothesis 3- The conspiracy theory! There are way too many politicians with blogs. Segolene Royal, the French socialist presidential candidate has one, Derek Obama, Hillary Clinton several others are hopping on to the blog-wagon. Where on earth are regular folks ,like you and I , going to find available domains with unlimited space to chronicle every thought and sentiment ?

Hypothesis 4 - An extension of the conspiracy theory ; last year 'Time' magazine chose the average human being as 'the person of the year'. I can sense the curling of blood in celebrity veins.....

Enough speculation! What do you think?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

When Literary Giants Speak.......

When literary giants (the ones of medium stature, not small enough to be insignificant and not large enough to be humble) speak in alien tongues, they often confound the masses in order to mask the juvenile sense of what they truly intend to say. Read on for some clarity as the Diva attempts to decrypt 'writergab'.

'Writers block' - A phenomenon used by the Hollywood blockbuster to exonerate the shallow screenwriter. This form of comic relief can also be adopted by struggling writers who don't have a 'masterpiece' and need the most lame excuse to explain their condition.

'The creative process' - A phrase used when writers use tissues, table napkins, and discarded pieces of paper to chronicle their thoughts. (Shhhh! Don't bring up the word processor!)

'Literary genius'- Someone who says 'I need a fair cup of inspiration to stir my soul' instead of saying 'One cup of coffee please'.

'Poetic License' - Not all writers excell in spelling and grammar, but publishers will cut them some slack if they call it 'poetry'.

'Coffee' - It really means coffee, but all writers love to come across as caffine addicts. After all, a caffine addiction is legal and adorable. (Writers like coffee because Red Bull is illegal in some countries.)

'Existentialism' - When a writer claims to be an existentialist, it means that he or she has written the most meaningless mangle of words ever.

'Metaphor' - The signature of literary genius. (Refer to the definition of 'literary genius' given above.)

To be continued....

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Truth about Alice and Bob

This story took place centuries ago, in the quaint Mediterranean city of art and culture, Florence. The Renaissance was at its peak. There are no instances of threats to network security, plagiarism or the likes in this simple story that inspired the need for secure communication.
When Roberto beheld Alicia's face for the first time, little did he know of the impending repurcussions of that single gaze. He saw her at the festival of the sacred Madonna. There was to be a masque after the divine procession. The sun was about to set, the street was covered by swarms of people wearing masks. Roberto had slipped out of his mansion without the knowledge of his father and his servant Lorenzo. Masques were for common folk, not for pure aristocratic blood. Roberto had a protected childhood, away from the streets of Florence, so that his mind wouldn't be tainted by the radicals who preached new things. Roberto heard the commotion in the street and sauntered quietly out of the house to satisfy his curiosity.
She was beside him. He noticed her uncanny beauty when she took off her mask to gain respite from the heat. She had raven coloured hair, deep blue eyes and a startled expression. She noticed him and covered her face quickly. He later came to know that she was Alicia, daughter of Alonso the skilled cobbler. Thereafter, Roberto made several trips to Alonso's workshop, everytime with a pair of boots that needed mending, with the hope of seeing Alicia. She would come in occasionally, bearing refreshment for Alonso's customers, casting a cursory glance in Roberto's direction. Within a few weeks the two found themselves in the middle of a whirlwind romance, to the knowledge of almost everyone in Florence. The families soon became aware of this affair. 'It is shameful! You are a disgrace!' , hollered Roberto's father. 'They are not people like us', dismissed Alicia's father, as he locked her up in the basement. Young lovers back then didn't have the luxury of computers or the internet, but they had the sympathy of their friends and servants. Alicia's trusted friend Maria and Roberto's servant Lorenzo devised a cunning scheme that would enable the lovers to correspond with each other through letters. Roberto would send Lorenzo on an errand. Lorenzo would carry 'the letter' in a special crevice in the sole of his boot. He would travel through a forgotten underground passage to meet Maria and hand the letter to her.
The correspondence served no purpose. In a few months Roberto was married, against his wishes, to the plain daughter of a wealthy landlord. (It is said that the keeper of records in the mayor's office detested Roberto's wife so much that he erased any trace of her existence from the official books. People prefer to call her Trudy for no apparent reason.) Alicia was married to Gattusso, the local idiot, as punishment for her disobedience. The lovers felt more vulnerable than they ever had. Trudy was a shrewd woman who did more than mind her own business. She soon became aware of her husband's illicit affair. Alicia started to receive anonymous death threats.
Alicia and Roberto started to use codes for their messages. The letters were routed cleverly, they passed through several hands before they reached their rightful receipients. Still, Trudy wasn't to be deterred. Not only did she figure out the codes, she also worked out the way the letters travelled on different days of the week. Roberto and Alicia were found guilty of adultery by the church and the government. Alicia's father, knowing that his life in Florence was doomed, moved with his family to the quiet town of Tuscany. Roberto, disillusioned and devasted, died an untimely death at the age of 30. It is not known what became of Alicia and Trudy.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Reverse Effect

The effects of reverse psychology in actually reversing the present psychological state of an individual are questionable. In unfortunate instances of its use, reverse psychology tends to exacerbate the irreversible mental damage already incurred to its victim. Alternatively, it tends to exaggerate the inept abilities of the one who administers it. Therefore, reverse psychology is a crime against literary propriety. Another platitude gets the axe!