Sunday, 21 February 2010

Tiger, mate.

1411 is an odd number. In a hypothetically ideal event of a 50-50 gender proportion, some of the either male or female tigers will have to be...non-monogamous.

But I guess fidelity is the least of their problems. The real one lies in them being not 'gamos' at all. Now, I'm not an expert on this topic, but I have read/heard somewhere that these cats are difficult to breed. I am assuming this translates into them being not very bunny-like in their libido. Otherwise, imagine, tigers breeding like fish, or pigs (if you want a mammary example). But no. They seem to be the silent loner types who would walk into a single's bar and walk out alone after a few Tigers.

On a serious note, I'd be obviously expected to say that we, as humankind, should stop poaching. Of course. We have been saying this for decades now. Isn't helping much. So an out-of-the-box idea for the tigers would be to start hitting the sack with their own kinds and spawn till the dawn breaks.

That ad tells us to 'speak up' and 'blog' about tigers. I am assuming a lot of you are already spreading stripey messages to the human species. So I thought mine should be directed towards panthera tigris. Fuck much dudes, or you're gonna follow the dinos to fossiland.

Speaking of extinction, I think evolution (or God, if you're that kind) botched up big time. I mean look at the animals that have gone. Starting from cool pterodactyls to awesome saber tooths to mammoths. These were all such kick ass beings. EPIC. Imagine having these around today. But no, they didn't survive evolution. And guess who did? Mosquitoes and pigs and earthworms. That's who. Couldn't it just have been the other way round? I mean, the whole population of the world is killing mosquitoes and flies by the trillions everyday. But I don't see a "Just 5455 mosquitoes left" campaign anywhere. Heck, evolution/God even chose cockroaches to be nuclear-attack-immune. Yeah right. Like they will single-handedly rebuild the earth after an apocalyptic event.

Coming back to tigers, the layman in me often asks - how difficult it would be to artificially inseminate a tigress? I mean, we have put robots on red planets. And Attenborough (Speilberg) almost brought back dinos from...guess who... mosquito fossils. So why don't a bunch of Nobel winning biologists do something about getting two tigers together. Make one of them watch porn, and get his stuff in a test tube? Too much sci-fi? I don't think so.

Yes of course. Bottom line still remains that we need to hold back our spears. Especially when it comes to awesome cats such as these. I mean, look at them. Try getting that badass attitude from a pig. No, we really can't afford to lose these kinds. I am sure you can get aphrodisiacs from, say a donkey's penis, or medicinal value out of rat bones. Leech pelts will look good on ramps too. Just leave the goddamn Tiger alone. For a while at least; till they get back to being like their golfing namesake.

Image source:

Monday, 15 February 2010

Reality v/s Realism. Or why the Oscars are going to disappoint.

This post is about movies; fairly recent ones. Spoilers will be thrown around. All of the four and half people who read my blog are hence forewarned.

If a pre-historic John Wayne had a one-night-stand with B-movie’d Steven Seagal, you’d get one of the hottest contenders at this year’s Academy. Yeah, that’s right. Jeremy Renner, he of cigarette chewing bravado and cowboy swagger. You have been hailed as one of the performances of the year in The Hurt Locker. And I have an issue with the movie, not so much about the lead actor.

It’s a good-ish movie, yes. The first Iraq war movie of any substance. Seemingly realistic. Well shot. A couple of cool blasts. But that’s about it. There’s no character arc, no one you care for. I don’t want Transformers-like explosions or cleavages every nano second, no. But Locker becomes pretentious after a point. Renner’s James just walks into a bomb disposal scene, takes off his bomb suit, lits a cigarette and wades his way through wires to finally figure out the stereotypical blue v/s red one. You almost expect the brown onlookers to clap. He does this about half a dozen times in the movie. Along the way also helping a bunch of British mercenaries kill the bad guys with long-range rifles. (That’s another ridiculous set piece – who would stay in the same position in a gun fight where a minute earlier, someone has been killed by enemy bullets).

If this was just an under-hyped war movie with a decent one look, I’d be okay watching it. But the buzz it’s getting is far too much. It’s just not that great a movie. And please, don’t even get started about how it’s a woman director (that too Cameron’s ex wife) who has redefined feminism in camouflage. That is incidental. And also, don’t get started about the whole “so realistic” thing. There have been far better realistic war movies that don’t have cowboy heroes. And have much better stories to tell. And are more effective. Saving Private Ryan obviously comes to mind. Black Hawk Down too. No heroes.

Making a whole movie to justify your opening quote about war being addictive is a bit of an overkill Ms. Bigelow/Boal. It defeats me why this movie has so unanimously scored with critics everywhere.

My favourite realistic movie this year is about aliens. (I was dying to put “realistic” and “aliens” in the same sentence.) Ladies and gentlemen, I give you District 9. Or how Neil Blomkamp has blown brains with his debut feature. It’s more realistic than Locker. More effectively allegorical than Avatar. And has the coolest special effects; shot in documentary style. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie. That’s how sci-fi movies should be made. It has a story and a character you warm up to. No, really, no spoilers here. Just watch this gem from South Africa. Sharlto Copley is the most unlikeliest of heroes. And he’s not even a proper actor.

I also have a grouse with Up. It is a heartwarming story, obviously beautifully animated and rendered. But the story takes an unnecessary turn in the third act. And it's all stupid from there on. Talking dogs, a hero turned villain for no apparent reason, and a tree-hugging message. Wall-E without any dialogue, had more heart. Too bad none of the other contenders come even close to Up in the best animation category. (Though I'll be rooting for the fantastic Fantastic Mr. Fox).

Having vented out enough, here’s my predictive list of who should and who will win this year at Oscars.

The only “no-contests” this time are Cristoph Waltz ("Bingo") for best Supporting Actor and UP for best animated movie.

Should: District 9 (Very wishful thinking. We all know who'll win this)
Will: Avatar (Populist, yes, but Cameron has made a game-changer, for sure. So this is deserving)

Should: Quentin Tarantino (Oh, yes)
Will: Katherine Bigelow (shudder)

Original Screenplay
Should: QT (Who else loved Landa's rat analogy?)
Will: QT

Adapted Screenplay
Should: Jason Reitman (listen to the baggage speech)
Will: Jason Reitman

Actor Male
Should: George Clooney (Even though he "almost" plays himself again, but this time it works)
Will: Jeff Bridges (sentimental favourite. This year's Rourkee)

Actor Female
Only watched Streep in Julie & Julia, and she rocked in that one.

Visual Effects
Do they even need nominations for this one. Just Fedex it to Cameron's office.

Original Score
Should: Sherlock Holmes
Will: Up