Thursday, July 22, 2004

Clerks - Movie Review

"The only trouble with this place is the customers"

Poor white America is fucked up. That is the most common opinion that most people have. Kevin Smith has made a living out of that opinion. He makes presumably fucked up characters and gives them lots of respectability (I am NOT talking about Jay).

He characterizes their frustrations, tribulations and their reactions in probably the best satire among all his works in Clerks. The work is true and close to his heart, since his characters seem like people whom he grew up with. He himself plays the Buddha-like Silent Bob in all his movies.

What is different about Clerks? How is it different from other movies? Nothing great you see a glimpse of all the bigger characters he created later on but in this movie like the self righteous boyfriend (Chasing Amy), the matter of fact and practical girl (Chasing Amy, Dogma again), the lazy sidekick who makes some very astute observations (all his movies), the tobacco activists (Mallrats), Jay and Silent Bob (all his movies)? the list goes on and on.

The movie is also peppered with dialogues that will make you give a wry smile. The satire is almost too good to resist if you have seen his other movies. You will be able to see why Kevin Smith is such a great script writer. He characterizes and supports his characters so well! Here are some lines from the movie that I found good.

VERONICA
(to the crowd)
And you people: Don’t you have jobs
to go to? Get out of here and go
commute.
In obvious satire of the customer's sub-urban residing place
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DANTE
I hate this fuckng place.
Well? he is a clerk in a poor sub-urban convenience store. The passion with which he says it is unnerving.
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DANTE
Making a male climax is not all
that challenging: insert somewhere
close and preferably moist; thrust;
repeat.
Lol combination of frustration and ennui can be a dangerous thing. Our man satirizes about everything he comes across.
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DANTE
I’m sure he wasn’t sleeping.

IMPATIENT CUSTOMER
You calling me a liar?

DANTE
No; he was probably just resting
his eyes.

Dry humour is often the resort of the bored. Don?t watch this movie if you cannot laugh at yourself a few times.
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DANTE
Empire had the better ending: Luke
gets his hand cut off, and finds
out Vader’s his father; Han gets
frozen and taken away by Boba Fett.
It ends on such a down note. And
that’s life-a series of down
endings. All Jedi had was a bunch
of Muppets.

More dry humour. I associated with this quite a lot. The conversation goes on to a theory about the ?death star? from the Star Wars movies. Funny would an understatement.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RANDAL
Who cares? That lady’s an asshole.
Everybody that comes in here is way
too uptight. This job would be
great if it wasn’t for the fucking
customers.

From a video store clerk... :)... the movie I funny juxt because it is too commonplace.
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So happy laughing!! And enjoy.

Friday, July 09, 2004

State of Fear - Book Review

I will start my lambasting of this book from where I left out the last time I reviewed a Crichton book. I had mentioned after reading Prey, that MC should probably once again start writing books like Eaters of the Dead and Jurassic Park and stop trying to blind us with his purported scientific refulgence. He, in plain and simple words, is NOT qualified to write such ’scientific’ books. It is not possible to consider him as a serious science fiction or fantasy writer either.

State of Fear only reinforces my opinion of MC. See? this is his MO. He reads way too many scientific journals? and writes a research paper with pseudo-sensational discoveries that he sends to The International Scientific Journal of Burundi and Neighbouring Villages. His journal paper gets turned down even there, and so he publishes it as a book with equally boring and predictable characters for us to read. The book sells a few million copies just for the curiosity value and he makes a wad out of it. MC is a big time sham.

The story in short:
> Radical Environmentalists (REs henceforth) want to keep spreading fear.
> REs are disappointed that Global Warming is not as fearsome as had previously sounded since quite a lot of statistics contradict it.
> So REs go about starting seemingly natural calamities that would once again start frightening people. They have in their agenda,
  • Earthquakes
  • Tornados
  • Storms
  • Tsunamis
Did I leave anything out?
The REs find ways to cause all those at the drop of the hat.

For eg, they seem to have found out a way to cause an earthquake with the help of earth vibrating machines producing standing waves? I don?t know what to say. I got a lot of flak when I theorized the tsunami as an American conspiracy? and that they had used something called the HAARP to start the earthquake. Probably I should start writing conspiracy theory under the name of MC. It will get a million hits then.

> Going on, an all knowing philanthropist, a cynical lawyer who is yet good at heart, two women, and a multi-purpose computer guy (I don?t know what he does except tap on his keyboard and come up with statistics all the time) try to thwart the radicals.
> They are successful otherwise all of us would be dead by now. Duh!

Taking him seriously - where is MC wrong
He wants us to assume that global warming is cased by the green house gases alone. So if there is no one-to-one correlation between the temperature rise and the increase in green house gases (there could be a million other reasons that have been maintaining the earth's atmospheric and surface temperatures), it is no proof to say green house effect is bogus. If we don't assume that, 90% of the logic in the book is repudiated.

He gives us statistics from selected cities and does not show us the collective global trend. After-all this is Global warming not Local warming? he comfortably shows us only the date collected from specific locations that have shown trends that contradict the global warming phenomenon. That is pretty biased I would say.

When I started feeling that way, I did not waste any more time with this book? it is just too long and boring.

To sum up?
This book can be gauged neither as a science fiction novel nor as a scientific journal. It has neither entertainment value nor sound scientific reasoning. It is replete with boring graphs and equally boring characters who can be dismissed with contempt pretty much like Sehwag dismisses a half volley with contempt to the cover boundary Ball ka ghar hai boundary types. This book belongs to the trash can. Send it there.