Saturday, March 30, 2013

Two Birds In The Bush Are Better Than One!

Movie Review: Himmatwaala

There are three ways to look at Himmatwaala.

1. As a comedy-action movie, set in the 80s. Do that, and you will tear your hair out, and return home with a migraine.

2. As a remake of the old Himmatwaale. Do that, and in addition to tearing your hair out and suffering the migraine, you will also go crazy wondering why in the world would anyone remake such a pathetic movie, and then manage to make it so badly.

3. Remember, this is a spoof of a mediocre movie from the 80s. Do that, and you will evoke beautiful memories of life-as-it-used-to-be-in-the-80s, laugh at the silliness of the jokes, the hamming in the dialogues, the plight of the poor gaav vale, the plight of the budhi maa, the tragedy of the behen, and the bravery of the hero, who does maa behen of the evil sarpanch and his side kick. You will holler and hoot when Ajay delivers his trademark Singham dialogue, you will roll with laughter when the crabs get into the pyjamas and inspire the railgaadi dance. You will enjoy the fight with the bullock cart and the temple bells, you will love the scene with the tiger. Yes, the sad scenes will make you cringe, but then the silly songs will make it all worth while.

And oh yes, DO NOT miss Sonakshi's item song, Thank God It's Friday, right at the beginning of the movie. She looks ravishing, and it's a treat to see her moves.

Ajay does a good job as the Himmatwaala, and is ably supported by a gorgeous looking Tamanna. Paresh Rawal and Mahesh Manjrekar deliver too! And you cannot help but love the desi Richard Parker.

So, should you watch the movie? For 1 and 2 - NO. For 3 - YES!

Movie Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation (3D)

The Cobras have cloned the US Prez, brought the top 6 countries in the world (UK, France, North Korea, China, India and Israel!) to the brink of nuclear war, managed to wipe out their nuclear arsenal in a matter of minutes, and then armed and deployed the deadly space-based Zeus weapons to obliterate them from the face of the earth.

The only thing that stands between them and their deadly plan to rule the world - the G.I. Joes. While most of the G.I. Joes have been wiped out in a strike authorized by the "Prez", three have survived, and they are out for revenge.

Should you watch the movie? Hmmm, let me see. The story is predictable and we've seen variations of the theme over and over again. The action is mediocre, the SFX not worthy of mention.

Except for one amazing scene in the mountains - the execution is breathless and innovative, a sequence that has no parallels in any movie I have seen so far! Just for that, the movie deserves a watch.

Movie Review: Red Dawn

North Korea is the flavor of the season. If they attacked and took over the White House in 13 mins in Olympus Has Fallen, in Red Dawn, the city of Spokane wakes up to see North Korean parachuters descending on their town, and taking it over, promising Americans a new and better way of life.

Unfortunately for them, while the American military and the lone police officer in the city are toothless, an off-duty Marine, his kid brother and their friends, decide to play spoilsport. They train, they acquire sophisticated weapons, they use C4, and they make life hell for the Koreans...

 That's when I decided it was time to switch off the DVD and go to bed.

If you do manage to watch beyond the first 25 mins, do let me know why!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Prakriti Resort at Kashid

We had a great time at the Prakriti Resort in Kashid. Although a tad expensive at around 10,000 per room per night, the resort is excellently maintained, with a decent restaurant. In addition to the swimming pool, there is a mini golf course, tennis courts, and a spa with ayurvedic massage. An electric golf cart acts as internal transport, and a bullock cart takes you to a clean stretch of the beach with ATV, camel rides, and water scooters. The rooms and cottages are very well maintained, airy and comfortable, and perfect for a large family outing.

Here are some pics...

Flora Of Konkan

Cat(s) Of Konkan

Trip to Kashid & Murud-Zanzeera (Day 2)

Day 2 began with a quick trip to the restaurant for chai, and breakfast. By the way, a trip meant calling the electric golf cart and hitching a thrilling ride through the campus! We had a great time riding around on the cart.

After breakfast, we checked out with a heavy heart, and left for Murud. Some beautiful views along the way - including this palatial mansion of the Nawabs of Murud.

Murud beach itself was a disappointment, but check out this amazing sight of this huge bat colony! Unbelievable! And unlike what I have heard, they were very much active in the heat of the afternoon, gliding around like tiny batmen :)

We had lunch at Patil's Khanaval at Murud beach. Nice, open restaurant with very good thali, and the add-ons were great too, but I found it a tad expensive, especially for the extra stuff we ordered.

By early afternoon, we reached the dock from where we caught a quaint sailboat to Zanzeera Fort, an amazing 22 acre edifice (mostly ruins though) off the coast, surrounded by the sea.

I was constantly reminded, all day, of my earlier trip to these parts, way back more than 5 years, when we came on a office trip, and I ended up making some amazing friends on that trip!

Finally, back on shore, we wrapped up the day, and left for Pune, via Roha and Khopoli, home safe and sound by 645 pm.

A great trip, lots of fun, and lots of beautiful memories for ever!

Trip to Kashid & Murud-Zanzeera (Day 1)

Earlier this week, I went to Konkan for a 2 day trip, with my family and a friend's family for company. Wednesday was a holiday, so we took an off on Tuesday, and set off early in the morning with Samara.

First stop was Lonavla at Ramkrishna for breakfast, and I fondly remembered my TBHP meeting here, when we did the Rajmachi trip. After masala dosas and vadas, with some hot tea-coffee, we hit the road again.

Just before the Khopoli toll booth, we left the expressway, and took the pretty decent Pen connector to NH 17, and then via Alibag to Kashid. The NH 17 stretch is a major pain, but we had all day, and a little patience got us through.

Konkan takes Holi pretty seriously, and all along the route, we came across happy and excited people, celebrating holi in their boats! Below you see what looked like a boat race!

We checked in at the beautiful Prakriti Resort in Kashid, in a 3 bed room villa. Just as we were checking into the villa, we were greeted by a beautiful koel. The trees swayed in the cool breeze, and it felt like heaven! All that was needed to complete the picture was a little rain.   After freshening up, we took lunch, and then, in the heat of the afternoon, actually played tennis for half an hour! Amazing experience! I had never played tennis before, but by the time we were finished, I think I could claim some level of competence :)   Tired and exhausted, we went back to the rooms and showered, and rested for a bit. Then, it was time for chai, and bhajis.   Around 530, we took a buffalo ride from the hotel to the private stretch of the beach - lovely white sands, and very clean, for a change!    
  Did some ATV driving, some frolicking in the water, and enjoyed bhutta on the beach, watching the lovely sunset.  

  We walked back to the resort for dinner, then sat down by the pool until later at night, and finally, back to the rooms for mangos, and a game of cards, winding up the day with dumb charades.  A beautiful day, well spent!