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The Bonnie Situation and Doom

Friday · 19 Sep 03 · 03:15 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

This update will primarily talk about the movies I've watched since 11th August, and also discuss the Doom stuff I have been working on.  First the Doom news:

  • Mapping: I started an as-yet-untitled Doom project at TAPMI, and as I mentioned earlier it is going to be a collection of small maps.  The current position is like this - I have almost completed MAP01 (textures have to be fixed, detail has to be added, some monsters and tricks have to be put in... otherwise it's done), and started MAP02.  MAP01 basically has a Plutonia influence on the style.  For MAP02 I decided to do something different.  It has a Wolfenstein theme, which means it uses a lot of Wolfenstein textures... but then it has Doom-style layout and monsters.  You might say it is a Wolfenstein map done in Doom style.  I know it's difficult to explain.  It's not the first time I'm blending different styles, and I like to think I'm pretty good at it too - so I hope it turns out well!  This map has just been started and I've only built a few rooms until now.
  • Demos: Maikl Novikov continues his alphabetical-order demo-ing of Ultimate Doom maps from the /idgames archive.  He reached the C's recently - and in the batch of demos that Opulent uploaded to his Doomed Speed Demos Archive on 23rd August or so, Maikl's demo of my map Chaos Punch was there.  The demo is 5:28 long and is good fun to watch (as Maikl's demos usually are!).
  • Other stuff: I got to play some of the recently released levels (some three or four weeks worth).  I also keep going back to Erik Alm's superb Scythe, and I love MAP19: AD for it's cool design, look and music!  In the past few weeks there has been lots of praise for the new editor Doom Builder and I must try it out.  This will be one of the things I will take back to Manipal with me!

Now, we go on to a set of short reviews for all the movies I watched recently...

  • Koi... Mil Gaya (15 Aug): I wrote a post about this.
  • American Wedding (17 Aug): This is the third movie in the American Pie series and it was a fun movie.  Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) want to get married, and their friends decide to help, resulting in all kinds of complications.  Not for the easily offended, definitely!
  • Freddy vs. Jason (31 Aug): Two legendary horror movie villains, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and Jason Voorhees (here played by Ken Kirzinger) are brought together in one movie!  The film dispenses with logic early on, and quickly brings Jason to Elm Street, where he starts his usual killing spree.  Meanwhile, Freddy tries to regain power and invade the dreams of Elm Street's teenagers again, through the fear created by Jason.  In the final act of the film, we have the long awaited Freddy vs. Jason fights!  The movie has plenty of splatter and violent murders, and creative death sequences... in other words, just the kind of film that horror fans will like.  Very creatively made by director Ronny Yu (who directed Bride of Chucky also, which I haven't had the pleasure of watching).
  • Boom (9 Sep): Kaizad Gustad's gangster movie which involves, of course, gangsters, stolen diamonds, and three supermodels.  Very stylishly made, with some good action sequences, a warped sense of humour... but at the end of it all it seemed to lack flow and coherency.  This could be due to the fact that I watched a "Working Copy" which was shown in the video theatres at Manipal - the film's official release date is 19th September!
  • Girl Friend (13 Sep): I watched this on the bus ride from Manipal to Hyderabad.  The guy showed two Telugu movies, this was the first.  The only good thing I can say is that the CD quality was decent.  The movie itself was terrible.  Two and a half hours of scenes linked to the typical "guy meets girl and decides to marry her" theme.  I think it was supposed to be some sort of comedy.
  • Nijam (13 Sep): The second Telugu movie shown on the bus trip from Manipal to Hyderabad.  This one was a good movie.  A young man's father is killed by corrupt cops and gangsters, and when they push him too far, he decides to kill them all.  This violent and bloody revenge saga stretched credibility during it's last hour or so, but was overall well done.
  • Project A Part II (14 Sep): The sequel to my favourite Jackie Chan movie is equally good!  Dragon Ma is put in charge of the West Side Police Department, where he must clean out corruption, deal with gangsters and also a small group of pirates who want revenge.  The movie has terrific action, is very funny, and looks great.  Excellent movie.  Samo Hung and Yuen Biao are not to be seen, though!  I asked my mother to record this when STAR Movies showed it (Sep. 1) and watched it on 14th.
  • Slugs the Movie (16 Sep, 1 AM): Directed by J.P. Simon, this is a horror movie about oversized man eating slugs terrorising a small town.  The icky stuff is decently done but it features some bad acting and bad dialogues.
  • Dead Awake (16 Sep, 2:30 AM): Stephen Baldwin is a businessman who doesn't sleep at night - he goes for long walks and meets eccentric characters.  He sleeps during the day (he can sleep with his eyes wide open!).  On one of his night walks, he sees a murder being committed.  The movie is told in a flashy style, and has good music.  Directed by Marc S. Grenier, written by Terry Abrahamson.  Not bad at all.
  • Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (16 Sep): Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara return as the Spy Kids Carmen and Juni Cortez, and this time they must recover a "Transmooker" device that is somewhere on a strange island.  Of course, they are not the only ones after the device, and there are also strange animals on the island (created by a Dr. Moreau-type crazy inventor, Romero - played by Steve Buscemi).  I loved this movie, it was probably even better than the first one.  Edited, photographed, produced, written and directed by Robert Rodriguez (the man behind Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn).
  • Assassins (17 Sep): Sylvester Stallone is hitman Robert Rath, the best in the business.  He is assigned to kill Electra (Julianne Moore), who possesses a disc with some secret stuff.  Antonio Banderas is Miguel Bain, who wants to prove that he is #1... as events turn out, he is soon contracted (by Rath's boss) to terminate Rath and Electra.  A well handled action movie (director is Lethal Weapon's Richard Donner) featuring an excellent performance by Antonio Banderas.  I was pretty surprised to see the writing credits at the end of the movie - the story is by none other than the Wachowski Brothers, who also wrote the script, with Brian Helgeland.

Before coming home for my Term Break, I was determined to watch Pulp Fiction again, and I did on 16th night.  This is one of my all-time favourite movies, so it's no surprise that I watched my favourite segment from it, "The Bonnie Situation" again the next day.  Not only that, as you would have read, my father also bought me the movie on Video CD, which I am going to take back to Manipal.  As we would say at TAPMI, I have totally "internalised" this movie!

On September 12th, Robert Rodriguez's latest film, Once Upon a Time in Mexico was released in the US.  This is the third film in his "El Mariachi" series (the first being El Mariachi, and the second, Desperado), and I can't wait to see it.  I hope I will be able to see it soon after I return to Manipal!

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News from the Past

Friday · 19 Sep 03 · 12:51 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

This is the promised update of all the news from August 11.  This concerns all the general news - a separate update will deal with all the movies I've seen since then.  As usual, this is going to be a big post... so I will go week-wise.  Also please note that since I am summarising more than a month's worth of news, this update is a highly "compressed" one!

  • Mon-Mon, 11-18 Aug: This week was basically taken up by assignments, and other work.  13th August made it one month to go for the holidays.  15th was Independence Day, on which I donated blood as part of the blood donation camp organised by TAPMI.  Other than those things I worked on my Doom maps.  There are currently two in progress now, one almost complete, another just begun.
  • Tue-Tue, 19-26 Aug: On Tuesday, our entire TAPMI Episode 2003 Team went to the Suratkal beach, and we had a lot of fun there.  But that was not all, when we returned we went to Hotel Lake View for another party, which lasted till 11 PM.  It was here that I heard the song "Suzanna" (thanks to Prakash, my senior), which I now have!  On 21st we had group presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint for Managerial Communication class.  My group's presentation went well, and in the evening, I got the chance to visit Shathabdi Graphics (the people that designed and maintain the TAPMI site).  Since the Systems Committee would be responsible for the Atharva (TAPMI's annual festival) and BrandScan (annual market research fair) websites, we went to the company to enquire about getting some work done through them.  On 22nd, Sting was opened - this is our Systems Committee Message Board.  If you are on a computer at TAPMI, then you can access it from here (intranet site).  I picked Cartman from South Park as my Avatar, heh.  On 23rd a Scrabble tournament was held, and I took part; later watched some of Desperado on STAR Movies; and got Rs. 100 as prize money for the Systems Forum game held during Episode 2003.  On 25th I got back the evaluated "Athens Glass Works" case, (which I had completed the day I watched Darna Mana Hai) and was happy to see Prof. Rajagopalan's comments on it!
  • Wed-Wed, 27 Aug-3 Sep: In this week, an event called "Funtakshari" was organised at our college.  And Ramakrishna, Guru and myself decided to take part in the preliminaries just for the heck of it.  As it turned out, we went through to the finals (on 30th), and came second place in that!  On 30th afternoon I gave a short presentation on databases (heh).  A project on Microsoft Access was announced about two weeks earlier (as part of the IT Skills for Management course), and our group's project was finished on 31st (I was the project leader).  The next couple of days was spent in preparing for the final presentation for the Managerial Communication course.  Our group had to present different perspectives on whether the Internet has changed Selling.
  • Thu-Thu, 4-11 Sep: 4th September was the final presentation (dress code was ultra-formal - I had to wear my blazer) and it went very well.  I also bought four blank CD-Rs that day.  In the evening, all the committees involved with BrandScan went for dinner at Woodlands, Udupi.  The food there is fantastic!  On 5th, I attended a guest lecture by Mr. Sridhar Subhramanyam, CEO Coats, on Leadership.  On Saturday afternoon, I took one of those blank CD-Rs with me to the Computer Center in our institute and filled it up with MP3s.  Unfortunately I'd written it at 48x write speed, so it doesn't work on my computer at Manipal... so I'm going to make a copy of it (at 36x) here.  I also did some Doom mapping, and in the evening, Ramakrishna, Guru and myself went again to Woodlands for dinner.  The next day, Arun Ravindran (my senior) and me did some work on a design for the Atharva site, and a Flash intro for the BrandScan site.  My site's hit counter crossed 14,800.  On 8th, I tasted black coffee, updated my site on 9th, and had a very interesting experience on 10th (the last Managerial Communication class) - we had Impromptu speeches that day.  10th also was the LAST day of classes for Term I, and I packed my things to go home for the Term Break.  Another important thing: 10th was the day my site completed ONE YEAR online, and I also crossed 15,000 hits.  Pablo Dictter was visitor #15,000 and he sent me a screenshot.  On 11th, the End Term Exams started, I had Organisation Theory & Practice (OTP) at 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM, followed by Managerial Statistics at 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM.  The OTP test was an open-book one, and while writing it I read the Ezekiel 25:17 dialogue from Pulp Fiction which I had written on a page in that book!  Also booked tickets for the trip home.
  • Fri-Fri, 12-19 Sep: On 12th we had Microeconomics in the morning followed by Financial Accounting in the afternoon.  13th was an important day - of course there was the IT Skills for Management exam in the morning (mine was actually scheduled in the afternoon, but I got it changed) - but more important than that was that I was going home!!  Left by bus in the afternoon, watched two Telugu movies during the trip, reached home on 14th.  The rest of the events have already been written about in the previous post.  I also watched a couple of music videos recorded or downloaded by Varun, heard some new songs, and played Quake III Arena.  I've also watched a few episodes of The Simpsons and Home Improvement (1998 nostalgia for me!).  On 17th I did a new drawing, one of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

So there you have it, everything since 11th August!  Now in the next post, I'll talk about some of the Doom stuff I've been working on, and also give a quick summary of all the movies I watched from August 11 till date!

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Back Home for the Holidays!

Friday · 19 Sep 03 · 02:41 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

I think it was sometime after our Mid Term Exams got over at TAPMI, that I started counting the days left for the holidays!  Time moves so fast - it's quite surprising when I think about it... the Mid Terms got over, days went by in speedy succession, the End Terms came, and they got over, and I am now home!  One-sixth of my Management Course at TAPMI is complete!

I started from Manipal on 13th afternoon (1:30 PM), by bus - and reached Hyderabad on 14th morning (11:15 AM).  By afternoon (12:15 PM) I was at home.  That day I was able to use the computer, but after that there was a bit of a problem.  You see, the hard disk in the computer at home (an 80 GB one) had failed, and had to be replaced.  My parents and Varun made sure that there was a temporary hard disk installed by the time I got here, but as things turned out, that hard disk also failed on 14th night.  Some days passed and it was only today that we got a new hard disk (20 GB).  The replacement 80 GB one will also be coming in a week's time.  Anyway as a result of all that, I'm only getting to update my site now!  Anyway, all that aside, it is GREAT to be back home (could it be any other way?)!!

A strong feeling of déjà vu...  Lots to do and not much time to do it in!  The second term at TAPMI starts on 24th morning.  That means I will most probably leave Hyderabad on 22nd night (by bus to Bangalore, then to Manipal).  That leaves me with just a few days to do all these things -

  • First order of business is to rewrite some PHP code on Varun's site.  Then the whole site has to be re-uploaded.  This I am planning to do tomorrow (I have to first install PHP, MySQL and Apache on this computer).
  • There are several songs and videos that I have to take back with me on CD.  Notably, "Zombie" by Cranberries, many Linkin Park songs, and a song and video by Evanescence.  Also, I have Star Trek Voyager: Endgame as a DivX clip, which I also intend to take.  Then, there is the matter of a whole CD of Hindi songs (mostly) which I wrote at TAPMI.  That was written at 48x, I am leaving that CD at home.  I need to make a copy for myself at a lower write speed.  Also, a lot of Pablo Dictter's stuff has to be written!!
  • Then comes some modifications for my site.  Some of the pages have to be updated and re-uploaded.
  • I have to upload some images and thumbnails to my site.  These are for movie reviews that I will write later.
  • Yesterday, I made a new drawing: a picture of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (done with a ballpoint pen).  I have to scan this and upload it.
  • I don't know whether I will have the time for this, but I wanted to also compress some Video CDs of mine into WMV clips, put a number of them on a CD or two.

Let's see how things turn out!  Today, I got Pulp Fiction on VCD and tomorrow I am going to get Minority Report.  These two movies are basically a gift from my father (also, part of it is from the Rs. 150 that I won as prize money in events at TAPMI).

The summary updates for all the events from August 11th are still pending.  They will be attended to tomorrow.  I would have written those right now, but it's already almost 3:30 AM!

I checked my Guestbook today and was pleasantly surprised to find two entries from my TAPMI Professors - Prof. Sivakumar and Prof. Chowdari Prasad!  It was nice of them to take the time to write comments for me, and I thank them for that!  Also, thanks to Amrita of for her comments.

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The Most Important of the Important

Tuesday · 9 Sep 03 · 06:49 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Just a short update to let you know about some important things.  A longer update, with all the news of the past one month is pending still, but these are some essentials!

  • I am going back home for the holidays on 13th!!  Yes, there are only four days left for the First Term at TAPMI to get over, and on 11th my End Term exams are starting!  I will leave here (Manipal) on 13th afternoon, and reach Hyderabad the next morning at 10 AM.  I am really waiting for this!
  • My site will be one year old tomorrow!  I'd like to thank all the people who have come here (and those who regularly keep visiting) and hope that you'll keep doing so!  My hit counter currently reads 14,907 and I'm hoping it'll break 15,000 tomorrow.  Oh yes, whoever is the 15,000th visitor, please send me a screenshot if you can!

More on everything else after I get back home... but before I go, let me tell you that I watched Freddy vs. Jason (and enjoyed it!) recently, and tonight at 9 PM I'm going to see Kaizad Gustad's latest movie Boom.

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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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