Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Movie Magic: Where Has It Gone?

I have gained somewhat of a reputation for being a movie buff over the years, something that my work-mates take advantage of by borrowing from my rather small but well-maintained library. I enjoy sharing my collection, but of late there has been a sharp drop in, well, distribution. This can be traced directly to the reduction in the number of movie downloads I make of late, and this can be traced to the drop in the number of good movies being released of late.

The last decade or so have belonged to the 'franchise movies'; movies that are part of a series, book or comic adaption. Studios these days are all looking for the next big thing they can launch not just one, but two, three or four movies from. So we have the Spiderman franchise, X-men, Christopher Nolan's Batman, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Transformers, LOTR, Harry Potter, Twilight; the list goes on. These are the big movies that will define the decade, along with a few dotted 'restarts' from old hits such as Die Hard, Terminator, Star Wars, Rambo and Rocky.

While this can be sort of awesome in some cases, more often than not we are left with movies that are good fun for about 2 hours and then we never watch them again. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is one such tale; I loved the movies, loved Johnny Depp, but I'm sure I've only watched each movie once. Of course, this form of movie making 'strategy' leads to ridiculous sequels such as the Big Momma's House 'franchise' (can you believe that's a 'franchise'??) and the beyond terrible Nutty Professor movies.

It's rare to find a gem these days amongst all the commercialised made-for-money-and-action-figures movies that are doing the rounds out there. The lucky few often don't get the hype or excitement that the big blockbusters do. Heck, these days all you need is an adolescent pop singer with cockerspaniel on his head to star in your 'documentary' and you've got yourself a guaranteed big opening.

Don't get me wrong: I love a fun movie. I'm actually looking forward to 'Transformers 3', simply because Michael Bay surely can't make a movie worse than the last one (who am I kidding; someone say Rosie. Huntington. Whiteley). Let's not forget 'Thor' and 'Captain America'; all fun, summer blockbusters, but all built towards that franchise mentality in mind. But sometimes, fun equals ridiculous. Take for example, 'The Green Hornet', which I had the misfortune to see recently. It was a toss-up between that and 'Season of The Witch', some movie with Nicholas Cage and witches. Amazingly, this was still not enough to sway me either way, so I went to imdb.com, which graded the 'Green Hornet' with a respectable 6.5 over 'Seasons' 5.5.

In hindsight, I should have known better. I mean, Seth Rogen as a superhero?? Come on, Seth Rogen hooking up with Katherine Heigl was a huge stretch for an audience to accept, but seriously; Seth Rogen as a superhero?? That was clearly pushing it too far. Not even funky martial arts, Cameron Diaz's extreme blondeness and cool gadgets could save this movie, which was as entertaining as the cricket World Cup matches so far a Pitbull music video without girls.

So as I settle for watching reruns of Entourage and discovering new TV shows to fill my time, I wait anxiously for this years breakout movie that doesn't have a ambigious ending that could leads to a sequel; a movie that isn't a re-imagination of some 90's classic, or another animated comedy with a feel good ending. Come on, Hollywood, dazzle me with something original that will proudly stand alongside other classics like Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, Memento, Se7en and last years Inception. Make me believe in the magic of cinema again, and not the magic of some bespectacled teenager. Take me to a place I've never been before.

And give me something to burn to DVD.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Evolution And Eating

What is it about growing up that makes us increasingly more rebellious towards our parents? It's a tale as old as time; child grows up as the darling of the family before puberty triggers repressed rebellion he/she never even knew he/she had (this is however not applicable to kids without siblings; they're 9 times out of 10 forever ensconced in their parents collective womb bosom).

Why is this though? Is it some remnant of evolution, wherein we are genetically programmed to not function with our parents to ensure we leave the nest/hive/tree once we become adults?

As much as I love my quirky and semi-dysfunctional family, recently there are certain activities that I can only get through if I bite my tongue into submission or if I trick myself into thinking it's some form of survival test. Chief among these is the dreaded 'family meal out'. Please, join me, as we run through one together.

1. Where?

The first hurdle is always: where to eat. This is usually preceded by the "shall we have dinner/lunch out?" argument, where both parents argue about whether to do it or not, and whether there is food in the fridge that "needs to be finished first". Of course, since that argument usually ends in a stalemate, the two sons are involved, and as usual, we don't really care either way. Somehow, we make it all the way to the car, and then start deciding on a venue. The choices vary in number, depending on whether we're in Kandy or not (Kandy = 3-4 options. Elsewhere on the planet = infinitely more), but in actuality, the choices are limited to a) places we've already been to and b) random newspaper clipping/flyer discovered by Mom. Once we went to a place that Mom had found in a (very) old newspaper clipping, only to find that place had been closed down 6 months previously and been replaced with a dry cleaners. And then we went to KFC.

2. What to order?

Once we've made it to a venue that is agreeable to all, we sit down and begin the hardest part of the evening: ordering. Be it a fast food joint, Italian, Sri Lankan, Indian or Chinese, no one can agree on what to order. Bro wants something ridiculous. I convince him against it. Mom wants something small and healthy. No such item exists on the menu. Dad is usually the best; he sticks to something safe, with the odd experimentation (he once ordered a Birizza at Pizza Hut. That didn't go well). If rice or noodle portions are involved, the waiter gets involved with us to figure just how many portions the four of us really need, taking into account how we all eat differently. After that mathematical calculation is done ("bring one big plate and two small plates with a little extra on each...") we wait. Anxiously.

3. The eating.

The food always arrives a tad bit late, and more often than not, it doesn't look like the picture. No, not the picture in the menu (it never looks like that) but the picture in our heads. Comments are made. Noses are wrinkled. Prices from other restaurants are stated and compared. Sighs are uttered. Eyes are rolled. And then the waiter leaves the table, awkwardly. I always ask the parents, why do they make all these comments while we're still at the restaurant?? They simply don't realise it. And if the food is bad, heaven help the person that suggested we eat here in the first place instead of going to the other place that someone else wanted to go to all along...

4. The dessert.

This is really dependant on the meal. Sometimes, if the meal is bad, we don't get the luxury of picking dessert, just in case the dessert is of the same (low) standard. Which is sad, because Dad loves him some ice cream, but he'll only have one if either Bro or I are having too. I think this minimizes the power of the disapproving look from Mom. However, by this time, I'm already begging for the bill so we can bail.

And so, another eventful meal comes to an end. The thing is, I'm not really sure whether it is the family that has become more picky and annoying over the years, or whether it's just me not being able to put up with their usual idiosyncrasies. Perhaps I just got used to going out with my friends, during my college years and when I started working, who were a lot less likely to grumble and complain about eating in a restaurant, given that the alternatives were either to eat in the canteen or cook for ourselves. Whatever it may be, all I know is that as much as I love spending time at home and with the family, this is one of the small things that really make me want to flip the final switch of rebellion and demand my own place.

And don't even get me started on travelling with my family....!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Do You Understand The Words Coming Outta My Mouth?

It's one of those days at work where no explanation is required as to why everyone hates Mondays. The long weekend has only served to increase the workload for Monday morning, and the pending issues from last week require darker shades of red highlighter on them. Add to that the sudden frenzy within our departments to get budgets approved by ye finance gods, and I literally don't know where to look.

So it's only natural I suppose that I sit down and try to blog.

Today has been one of the busiest days of the year for me so far, fielding calls from so many different offices, clients, and of course my superiors. On top of that I am trying to schedule meetings in Colombo, plus get out of a presentation to the board that was thrust upon me, as well as justify the company spending close to Rs. 100 million on us to - wait for it - save money.

Amidst all this chaos, I find myself getting beyond frustrated at people's inability to communicate clearly. Emails are vague and abrubpt. Calls are dodgy and unclear. Data sheets are incomplete and flooded with typos, leaving it up to the reader to discern what is what. I mean, seriously, who spells "Tonne" as TUN?!

But communication problems are not only at the workplace. No, they are generally the root cause of all strife, be it financial, logical or personal. Those of you who know me personally know that I am not the easiest person to get along with. My rather notorious temper has gotten the best of me time and again, despite my valiant efforts to tame it (or at least render it mute!). My moody-broodiness does not translate well either, giving people the impression that I am sulking in a corner, contemplating the most painful way to die, when more often than not I'm just very, very tired hungry.

I suppose I could blame it on the email and Facebook generation, that sends wedding invitations through Facebook 'event invites' and shares intimate personal information with the click of a check box or two. I suppose I could blame it on people that find it easier to express how they feel in some vague pseudo-intellectual 'status message' or some incoherent babbling via an anonymous blog, rather than to open their mouth and speak to someone face to face.

Or, I could blame it on myself, and realise that perhaps I really just don't know how to communicate to people.

Yes, sadly that sounds rather likely. Help, anyone?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...