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Back from Vista, Varun's CDs, Blade Runner, and more

Wednesday · 10 Nov 04 · 01:51 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

If you were wondering why there was a few days of silence on the site, it's because I was away at Bangalore between the 5th to the 8th of this month.  That and more news is presented here, in bulletted form!

  • The last post was on the first of this month, after that I was very busy for a few days working on a game in Visual Basic.  This game was to be held on 4th, during TechFest 2004 at TAPMI, organised by our TAPMI Systems Group.  Arun Panicker and myself made this game — called Treasure Hunt.  We finished the game at around 2:30 AM on 4th, and the game was played that night.
  • On 4th afternoon, I took part in a short story writing competition organised by the Arts and Aesthetics Committee.  They showed us a picture of Edvard Munch's 1893 painting "The Scream", and asked us to write a story inspired by that.  My story was called "Suspension of Disbelief", and turned out as a pulp science-fiction/horror story (slightly inspired by Hellraiser as well).  I don't know what the judges (Mrs. Usha Rajagopalan and Prof. Jaba M. Gupta) are going to think of it!!  That evening Arun, Anjani and myself set up our Treasure Hunt game on eight computers in the Systems Lab.  Apparently, TechFest went off very well, and aside from a few glitches the game was also appreciated by those who played it.  We'll be upgrading and updating it for Atharva 2004.
  • After setting up the game that evening, Arun and myself joined six others and we left to Bangalore, to take part in events at IIM Bangalore's Vista 2004.  We reached there on 5th morning, and Amit Jain, Jayesh and myself visited the Coats India office on some BrandScan work.  After that Amit and me went to the IIM B hostel, and that night, we won some prizes in Vista's first game.  We took part in several events after that, and the teams from TAPMI did very well — though we did not win the first or second prize, we did get to the finals in practically every event we took part in.  Thanks to Sagar Sahu at IIM B (he was our "buddy" during our stay there) for making our stay that much better.  I watched half of the Business Quiz on the last day of Vista (hosted by Derek O'Brien) before leaving back to Manipal.
  • Reached Manipal on 8th morning, wrote the OOAD Midterm that afternoon.  I then brought the CD of Blade Runner: The Director's Cut, which I watched that night.  It was a brilliant film.
  • Yesterday I wrote the recent batch of downloaded stuff on CD, which included the exciting Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Teaser Trailer [ Trailers Page has multiple links for it, like this or this — 11 MB size], and the trailer for The Devil's Rejects (Rob Zombie's sequel to his House of 1000 Corpses).  I also started compiling CDs to send to Varun.

And that brings us to today.  I finished putting together 10 CDs and a Manipal sweatshirt (plus a surprise) in a package for Varun.  I'm going to go and courier it now.

While at Bangalore, Arun Panicker jokingly suggested that the next version of our Treasure Hunt game should be called Screw Your Happiness: The Ultimate Management Game!

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Exorcist: The Beginning

Monday · 1 Nov 04 · 11:12 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

I watched Exorcist: The Beginning last night (well, to be precise it was between about 12:30 AM to 2:30 AM this morning) on CD.

The film details the first encounter of Father Lancaster Merrin (Stellan Skarsgåard with the demon Pazuzu in East Africa, in 1949.  After a disturbing experience in WW2, Merrin has lost his faith and now pursues archaeology.  While in Cairo, he is asked to investigate a strange discovery in Kenya — a church, apparently built circa 5 A.D., buried underground.  He arrives there only to find that some mysterious evil is slowly getting stronger over there.  Of course, we are in the know about the identity of the evil — it is the demon Pazuzu, which Father Merrin would again encounter in The Exorcist.  The movie also stars Izabella Scorupco as Sarah, a doctor working at the excavation site.

As a prequel to a horror classic, I thought this movie was very well done.  The acting is good and the photography by Vittorio Storaro is beautiful.  There is a good amount of scares and a general sense of uneasiness that pervades this movie, which I thought was a big plus point.  While the story is interesting, there are are probably some flaws you will discover in retrospect (as in where did Joseph the boy fit into everything?).  Overall though, I liked the movie and it is probably comparable to the well-made sequel The Exorcist III: Legion (I haven't seen the second movie, which is supposed to be quite bad).

The film's director is Renny Harlin, who earlier made the bonafide action classics Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, and a couple of lesser movies (by that, I am specifically referring to Deep Blue Sea!).  I thought this movie was well done too, and the director was able to craft some very memorable scenes.  A completely different version of the film was supposed to have been made by Paul Schrader, before the studio threw it out for not being gory enough!  When Harlin took over the project, there were significant changes made to the script.  Anyway, I hope I get to see the other version also sometime in the future!

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Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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