I've had the opportunity to see several good movies this month, and one excellent movie (that would be Panic Room). I've reviewed that. Among the others, I thought I would write reviews for some recent releases. Here they are!
- Panic Room (2002) - I knew this movie would be very good because it's directed by one of my favourite directors, David Fincher (who made Seven and the awesome Fight Club). And it surprised me by exceeding my very high expectations! Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart play Meg and Sarah Altman, mother and daughter who buy a large house with a "Panic Room" (a safe room for protection from intruders) fortified with six inch thick steel doors, with all the latest high-tech surveillance equipment installed. And the very night they move in, their house is broken into by three men - Junior (Jared Leto), Burnham (Forest Whitaker) and Raoul (Dwight Yoakam) - who want something in the house. Meg and Sarah run to the Panic Room and lock themselves in... only to find out that the intruders want something from that very room! That bit of plot is almost all there is in this two hour thriller, but it's probably the most tense two hours I've ever sat through. The acting is uniformly first-rate, the music (by Howard Shore) adds tremendously to the atmosphere (the music was very much in the style of the score he did for Seven). The characters are all well written and you get to see a LOT more of Fincher's visual trickery (remember the refrigerator-blowing-up scene in Fight Club?). The camerawork is literally another character in this movie. Do I really need to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it (when I could catch my breath, that is)? There are several great dialogues in the script: the "GET TH F**K OUT OF MY HOUSE!!" bit was my favourite. And in the tradition of Seven and Fight Club, it has a terrific and very inventive opening credits sequence. Written by David Koepp. The movie gets a 10/10 from me, no doubts about that.
- The Time Machine (2002) - H.G. Wells's original story is here updated to feature-length by screenwriter John Logan and director Simon Wells (great grandson of H.G. Wells). Guy Pearce is perfectly suited to the role of Dr. Alexander Hartedgen, a scientist in 1896, who sees his fiancÚ shot dead in a robbery. He spends four years and invents a machine that can travel in time, and returns to the past to see if he can change it. But no matter how much he tries, he is unable to do so. He therefore decides that he must search for his answers in the future - and travels to 2030, and 2037, and later, by an accident, to the year 802,701 - where he finds that there are two different races populating Earth - the peaceful Eloi, who live above the ground, and the ape-like and savage Morlocks, who live underground. The movie also stars Samantha Mumba as one of the Eloi who helps Alexander in this strange world. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie, because it was actually better than I thought it would be. The visual effects are very good (the time travel sequence to 802,701 in particular), and I really liked the music by Klaus Badelt (again, the music in the time travel scenes in particular). The movie is more "inspired" by the H.G. Wells story than actually "based" on it. The movie does have it's share of logic lapses and unexplained elements though, but it's easy to overlook them. I definitely think this movie is worth watching.
- The Scorpion King (2002) - The Rock's character from The Mummy Returns gets a movie all to himself, directed by Chuck Russell, and written by Mummy writer Stephen Sommers. It is 3000 B.C., and Memnon (Stephen Brand) is a powerful king who has enslaved all the races of people in the desert, with a little help from a Sorceress, Cassandra - played by Kelly Hu. A few of the rebel tribes who still oppose his power have to put their trust in a warrior, Mathayus (The Rock) and his fellow assassins, who are hired to kill the Sorceress. But Mathayus is betrayed, his brother is killed - and so he kidnaps Cassandra and swears revenge on Memnon. The rest of the movie is about how Mathayus gets his revenge on Memnon, with help from Cassandra, a thief, and other tribes. Now you can probably make out from this description that the plot is basically put together from other similar stories... and the thin plot is all there is in this movie. But fortunately it's a very short movie (running just a little over 80 minutes), and a lot of fun too. The best thing about this movie in my opinion, is The Rock himself. I enjoyed his performance as Mathayus (he seems to be enjoying himself too) and it's especially surprising since I was never a fan of wrestling. There is lots of action, some visual effects thrown in here and there, and good helpings of humour. And there's a rock/metal soundtrack! Overall, I couldn't help liking this movie, and I would definitely recommend it, if you don't take it seriously. I don't know if it will stand repeated viewings though.
I finally made the time to update this site. Long overdue, isn't it? To all the people who came here expecting to see new updates, I'm sorry I took so long to do that. I'll try not to let it happen again. I seem to have got a lot of visitors in the intervening time though, I have crossed 7000 hits! So thanks, and here begins the long update which I should have not put off for so much time...
- Tue, Jun 18 - Installed the new version of the Doomsday Engine. I also started downloading a sneak preview of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in the form of a 20 MB video clip. The Matrix Website also has a teaser trailer for the next two Matrix movies - The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions which will be released in 2003. I downloaded the low res version of the trailer (a little more than 3 MB), and it's pretty cool. I also did a Doom related drawing which you can now find on Karthik's Doom Pages. I also started work on two Doom III-related wallpapers.
- Wed, Jun 19 - Went to the theatre to buy tickets for Panic Room. Finished the Doom III Wallpapers. They have been uploaded to Karthik's Doom Pages. Have a look at them, there is one called "Things are about to go Wrong" which I'm particularly proud of. I never made a wallpaper like that before.
- Thu, Jun 20 - Watched the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Glory creates a snake demon to search for the "Key" (Dawn), and Buffy's mom gets diagnosed with a brain tumour. I think this was the last Buffy episode I watched, I got bored of the show several episodes back. I was pleasantly surprised to see the update at my teacher's site Kalpana's World that day, because there were belated Birthday wishes for me. Nagesh also signed my Guestbook. Also watched Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
- Fri/Sat, Jun 21/22 - I finished downloading the trailer of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. And I also downloaded Vavoom. On 22nd, I got some comics - The Ultimate Spider-Man Issue #1, Batman: Detective Comics Issue #6, and the Official Comic Adaptation of the Spider-Man Movie. These are all priced at Rs. 10 (the movie comic was Rs. 20), and are published in India by Gotham Comics. You can see their site for the range of titles that they have. They publish DC Comics as well as Marvel Comics titles. That evening my father, brother and myself went to see Panic Room. It was a terrific movie.
- Sun/Mon/Tue/Wed, Jun 23/24/25/26 - Got several MP3s, "All Rise" and "Fly By" by Blue, "Smooth Criminal" by Alien Ant Farm, "The Call" by Backstreet Boys. Watched Star Trek The Next Generation: "Suspicions", in which Dr. Beverly Crusher investigates a possible conspiracy to undermine the work of a Pherengi scientist - who has invented multiphasic shielding. Then I also watched Kevin & Perry Go Large on STAR Movies. I didn't like it. On Monday I watched Sublet on Hallmark Channel. In this thriller, Stuart Dempsey (Danny Nucci) is mistaken for a dangerous assassin called the "Jaguar". Also starring Victoria Sanchez. Not a very good movie but entertaining enough. On Tuesday I started work on a resource WAD for my new Doom II level. I borrowed textures from Final Doom: The Plutonia Experiment and some from Doom I. I worked on this map a little on Wednesday. You can see an in-progress screenshot and a drawing of the map itself at Karthik's Doom Pages.
- Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun, Jun 27/28/29/30 - My mother had gone on a trip to Chennai on Friday so she didn't see Panic Room. Myself and my mother went to see it again on Thursday. I enjoyed it even more the second time. On Friday I updated my Doom site with the screenshot and the map layout, and also two new drawings, and the wallpapers I talked about earlier. I worked on my map again on Saturday. On Sunday, there was a mock CAT exam conducted by TIME. I wrote that, but they later announced that they had given us the wrong paper by mistake and we would have to write the test again the next day. In the afternoon I watched the World Cup Finals. And at night, I watched Star Trek The Next Generation: "Rightful Heir" in which Worf goes to a Klingon temple and encounters a Klingon who claims to be the centuries-old Kayless, the greatest Klingon warrior of all time.
- Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun, Jul 1/2/3/4/5/6/7 - My college reopened after two months of summer vacation. But I had to write the All India Mock CAT 1 (AIMCAT01) Test at TIME (at 6:15 AM!!!) so I didn't go to college that day. The test was really difficult, and I thought I could definitely have done better. But as I discovered later, my performance wasn't too bad. I went to college on 2nd (Tuesday). On 3rd, I watched the first half of Star Trek: Generations. On 5th, I watched Bedazzled on STAR Movies. Strange thing: they were supposed to show the 2000 version at 9:30 PM, but they accidentally showed the 1967 version for about 45 minutes, after which they abruptly started the proper movie. Anyway, I watched it and I thought it was a very enjoyable movie. Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley seemed to be having a lot of fun with their roles, and I liked the ending too. On 6th, Varun made some textures for my WAD... and really good ones too. Especially a terrific looking UAC door. When I complete and release the level, you will be able to see his work. On Sunday I attended a most excellent seminar on Test Taking Strategies at TIME. Also, I found out my AIMCAT01 score (43.67/150). My rank in the country was 235 (out of 3200) and my city rank was 74. I watched The Sign of Four on Hallmark. This movie version of Arthur Conan Doyle's story was scripted by Joe Wiesenfeld and directed by Rodney Gibbons.
- Wed/Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun, Jul 10/11/12/13/14 - I didn't go to college that day because I found out the previous day that I was supposed to give a seminar on Friday. And so I spent two and a half hours on the net in the morning, saving several pages on DVD (which is what I decided to speak on). In addition to that I downloaded several desktop themes (Dragonball Z, There's Something About Mary, Alien Commemoration, Buffy the Vampire Slayer). And my Doom site crossed 11,000 hits. On Thursday I made a PowerPoint Presentation for my seminar. By that time the talk wasn't just on DVD, but also covered other CD technologies. So I called it Optical Storage Technologies and DVD. I gave the seminar on Friday and I watched Cast Away on STAR Movies that night. That Sunday we had the All India Mock CAT 2 (AIMCAT02) at TIME. This test went better than the last one. That afternoon, my parents, my brother and myself went to see The Time Machine. This was a good movie (better than I expected actually) with very nice visual effects. I especially liked the music (by Klaus Badelt). I enjoyed the movie, although it wasn't totally logical always. After coming back home I read the H.G. Wells book (I have an abridged version), and watched The Godfather on STAR Movies.
- Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri, Jul 16/17/18/19 - Event Horizon on STAR Movies! I watched this movie again (probably for the 4th or 5th time), and I liked it! After that I watched Meet the Parents, which I thought was funny at times, but also, unfunny other times. Anyway I'd recommend you watch it if you have nothing better to watch. On Wednesday I made a small Calculator in Visual Basic. This time in college our subjects are - Java, Visual Programming (VB, VC++), Distributed Systems, Software Engineering, Advanced Computer Architecture and Neural Networks (paired with Digital Image and Speech Processing as an elective... I've picked Neural Networks). Practical classes are in Java and Visual Programming, and I'm liking Visual Basic more and more as I work with it! On Friday I stayed back in college for an IEEE Students Chapter session and got home late.
- Sat/Sun, Jul 20/21 - Happy Birthday Varun!! Yes, my brother is 15 years old as on July 20! I had a CAT class in the morning but after I got home I made a card for him. And I also started work on a Doom Game/Demo Launcher in VB. I've got several options working already, you can pick your favourite port's EXE through the launcher, pick your WADs to load, DEH files and skill level, and launch the game. I've got the other game settings like Fast Monsters, No Monsters, etc. also working. I've got to code the demo options, and other things like choosing a map, etc. In the morning class I took part in my very first proper Group Discussion session. The topic our group had to discuss was "Filmmakers are indulging in Cinematic Prostitution in the name of Folk Culture" - interesting stuff. The next group's topic was "Education System should be Privatised". I really like the CAT Coaching Classes at TIME... I never thought coaching classes would be this nice. All the faculty there are really professional and very nice people who are very good at what they do. On Sunday Varun, six of his friends and myself went to see The Scorpion King at Sangeet Theatre. I liked the movie, and I thought the best thing about it was The Rock in the lead role.
Well, that's about it for now. I'm also going to write some movie reviews on this page. STAR Movies as usual has a very interesting line up of movies for August - The Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project 2: Book of Shadows, etc. And movies I want to see (coming soon to theatres) are Minority Report, Men in Black II, Windtalkers and Ice Age. I wouldn't mind watching Scooby-Doo, but I heard it wasn't very good.
I will try to update more regularly from now on.
The problem with delaying updating my site for so long (as I have this time) is that I'll have to spend a lot of time in actually writing the update! Well, I have to start somewhere, so I'll start with short summaries of all the Star Trek: Voyager episodes I saw during the past month. You can read about them in more detail at the Star Trek Website.
There are 33 (count them) episode summaries (for 30 stories if you consider the two-part episodes as one) here!
- Jun 19 - Future's End Part I and II - Fantastic two-part episode where a 29th century Federation "Time Ship"'s captain says the U.S.S. Voyager's going to be the cause of an explosion that will result in the destruction of the entire solar system! A temporal rift causes Voyager and the time ship to go back in time - Voyager to 1996 and the time ship to 1967. The Voyager crew find that an industrialist, Starling, has the time ship in his possession - and plans to use it - which could lead to dangerous consequences. The Doctor gets his mobile emitter in Part II.
- Jun 20 - Warlord - Voyager rescues three aliens from a spaceship and one of them, a warlord, dies - but not before transferring his consciousness into Kes.
- Jun 21 - The Q and the Grey - A civil war has started in the Q continuum - and Q thinks mating with Captain Janeway might put an end to it! Brilliantly written episode.
- Jun 23 - Macrocosm - Captain Janeway and Neelix return to Voyager from a diplomatic mission only to find it infested with "macro viruses" - viruses that have emerged from the microscopic world into ours.
- Jun 24 - Fair Trade - Voyager stops at a trading outpost and Neelix meets his old friend Wixiban. The two of them get caught in some shady dealings that might endanger Neelix's position on the ship.
- Jun 24 - Alter Ego - Harry confesses to Tuvok that he has fallen in love with a holodeck character - but on investigation, Tuvok finds she may not be what she seems.
- Jun 26 - Coda - Captain Janeway is caught in a time loop - where she finds herself caught in several near-death and death experiences.
- Jun 27 - Blood Fever - Ensign Borik experiences the Vulcan mating urge that occurs every seven years - and transfers the "blood fever" to B'Elanna.
- Jun 27 - Unity - Chakotay's shuttle crashes on a planet near a Borg cube that has been disabled for several years - and finds a unique society on that planet - humanoids who were former Borg drones. Directed by Robert Duncan McNeill.
- Jun 28 - Darkling - The Doctor adds personality subroutines to his program (taken from several great figures in Earth's and alien history) without anticipating that they might interact in complex ways to produce a new "alternate personality" - an evil one.
- Jul 1 - Favorite Son - As Voyager nears an alien planet, Harry begins showing genetic mutations... could he actually be one of their race - and not a human as he thought he was all these years?
- Jul 1 - Before and After - A very strange set of events cause Kes to start travelling backwards in time - starting off just a short while before her death - and jumping to different points in her life. Very interesting episode that introduces the possibility of the "Year of Hell" - an attack by the Krenim race on Voyager in the future that might cause the ship to be destroyed.
- Jul 2 - Rise - Caught on a planet about to be bombarded with a huge meteor, Tuvok and Neelix must work with some of the inhabitants of that planet to get to safety on a magnetic lift that can get them far enough from the planet's surface to be transported on Voyager.
- Jul 2 - Real Life - The Doctor experiences the joys, sorrows and difficult times of family life through a holodeck simulation.
- Jul 3 - Distant Origin - An alien scientist believes his entire race may have originated on Earth! His government is not too happy about this and it might cause great danger to Voyager.
- Jul 4 - Worst Case Scenario - B'Elanna discovers a holodeck program which has Chakotay and the Maqui crew taking control of the ship - with the help of a holographic Seska. The simulation becomes very popular with the crew - but is it as safe as everyone thinks it is?
- Jul 6 - Displaced - Members of an alien species begin mysteriously appearing on Voyager while crewmembers keep disappearing - could this be a unique way of invasion?
- Jul 6/Jul 7 - Scorpion Part I and II - Season 3 of the show ends and Season 4 begins - in a truly great two part story that introduces a confrontation with the Borg, an even deadlier species, and the character of Seven of Nine. Voyager enters Borg space but finds that the Borg themselves are being defeated by Species 8472 - a very very powerful alien race which they cannot assimilate! Captain Janeway makes a deal with the devil - they help the Borg in return for safe passage through Borg Space. The holodeck version of Leonardo DaVinci is featured too.
- Jul 8 - The Gift - As Seven of Nine makes the transition from Borg to human, Kes finds herself transforming into a "higher" state as her telepathic and telekinetic powers rapidly increase.
- Jul 9 - Day of Honor - On the Klingon "Day of Honor", B'Elanna and Tom find themselves drifting in space after their shuttlecraft explodes.
- Jul 10 - Nemesis - A very unusual episode where Chakotay crashes on a planet and joins a group of soldiers caught in a war with the other race on the planet - their mortal enemies. There is a brilliant twist towards the end of the story. Thoughtful episode. Written by Kenneth Biller.
- Jul 12 - Revulsion - B'Elanna and the Doctor go on an away mission onto an alien spaceship - where all the crewmembers have died - leaving behind a seriously psychopathic hologram!
- Jul 13 - The Raven - Seven of Nine has strange visions of herself running from the Borg... all these visions also feature a raven. While the Voyager crew tries to find a meaning behind this they may be faced with greater problems when Seven's Borg implants begin reactivating.
- Jul 15 - Year of Hell Part I and II - A Krenim scientist on board a time ship - which exists outside our space-time - is using his technology to alter timelines - and Voyager gets trapped in Krenim space. The "Year of Hell" thus starts... will Voyager be destroyed by the Krenim's temporal weapons? Note: this was the episode where Voyager's Astrometrics Lab came online, and also the episode where Captain Janeway changed her hairstyle.
- Jul 17 - Random Thoughts - On an alien planet populated with telepaths, everyone has learned to contol their violent thoughts, and thus there is no crime. But a shocking incident involving the violent beating among the telepaths leads to B'Elanna being accused of causing it - because of her violent thoughts! I noticed a small bit of footage taken directly from Event Horizon spliced into this episode towards the end.
- Jul 17 - Concerning Flight - As Voyager passes near an alien planet, technology from the ship - including it's main computer processor - is stolen! It's up to Captain Janeway to recover it, with a little help frm none other than Leonardo DaVinci himself!
- Jul 18 - Mortal Coil - Neelix is killed and later revived with a little help from Borg technology. But his spiritual beliefs that he will meet his loved ones after death are shattered.
- Jul 20 - Waking Moments - Voyager's crew begins experiencing nightmares apparently caused by an alien race that "live" in the dream world.
- Jul 20 - Message in a Bottle - Voyager's Astrometrics Lab discovers an alien data transmission network (run by the Hirogen) that can transmit messages over light years of distance - and they use it to transport the Doctor onto the U.S.S. Prometheus, an experimental Starfleet Battleship 60,000 light years away. After four years of being lost in the Delta Quadrant, Voyager finally has a chance of letting Starfleet know where they are. But the Doctor finds the ship taken over by Romulans and it's up to him and the Prometheus' own EMH - an improved Emergency Medical Hologram - to save the day! The episode features lots of action and tense moments - but the dialogues between the two EMH's are alone worth watching it.
- Jul 21 - Hunters - Starfleet is using the Hirogen data transmission network to send letters and messages to the Voyager crew. Tuvok and Seven take a shuttle to try to get closer to a relay station, and they are captured by two Hirogen hunters.
Star Trek: Voyager was a brilliant TV show when I started watching it, and it only keeps getting better with each episode! This is one show that I truly enjoy watching, and I think the amount of creativity that goes into each episode is amazing.
It's been about two weeks since I updated last, and I would have updated earlier if it wasn't for a power surge which took out our modem!
- Tue, Jun 4 - I did a Nelly Furtado drawing (one of the pictures on the inside cover of the album Whoa, Nelly!), which has now been featured on Karthik's Drawings Gallery. I also got comments in my Guestbook from Chris Hawley and Jacob, thanks for that! I tried once again to download the leaked Doom III video using Opera - but after downloading 17.5 MB the download stopped, and Opera said the file transfer was finished, but with a size mismatch!
- Wed, Jun 5 - After being disappointed with Download Accelerator Plus 5 on more than one occasion, I asked Ganeshan to tell me about a proper download manager, and he did. He told me about this program called FlashGet, which I downloaded. With it, I got the MP3 of Eminem's latest song, Without Me (my favourite Eminem song now). And I again started the download of the Doom III leaked video. Varun updated his site Varun 20787 too, adding a Doom III Wallpaper (and some others too) he made.
- Thu, Jun 6 - At 10:05 PM, the download of the leaked Doom III video finally got over, and the file unzipped properly! Thanks to Ganeshan and FlashGet, I was finally able to watch the video (after several days of trying to get it)!!! The 11 minute, 44.45 MB video shows off Doom III in action - spectacular, gory stuff! Of course, I highly recommend you get the video if you can! Use FlashGet to download it. Later that night I downloaded some movie MIDI files.
- Fri, Jun 7 - Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones was released in theatres. And at 9:30 PM on STAR Movies, I saw Titan A.E. This was a very nicely made animated movie, and I enjoyed watching it. It was quite different from the usual animated movies, for example it's soundtrack has rock and techno-ish songs, and it has more violence than you'd normally expect from this type of movie. The movie takes place in the 31st century. A race of aliens called the Drej destroy the Earth (a spectacular scene) in 3028 - and after that, humans are scattered in drifter colonies all over the galaxy, facing extinction. But a young man named Kale may just be able to change all that, because in his hand is a genetically encoded map to the ship Titan, which has the power to save humanity. One of the screenwriters is Buffy creator (and Alien: Resurrection writer) Joss Whedon.
- Sat, Jun 8 - There was a power surge which fried some circuits inside our modem. For the next several days I was unable to connect to the internet! I saw Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. This is a must-see for any Star Wars fan, as it has several important plot developments, without which Episode III (whenever it is made and released) would not make much sense. Taking place ten years after the events in Episode I: The Phantom Menace, this movie has Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) falling in love with Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) while assigned to protect her from an unknown assassin - thus taking one more step towards the Dark Side. His master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) tracks down the bounty hunter Jango Fett (father of The Empire Strikes Back's Boba Fett) who has been used to create an army of Clones. Obi-Wan also finds treachery at work as Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) has aligned with the Dark Side of the Force. Although the movie's second half has some extraordinary action and battle scenes, I liked the first half (which focused on plot and characters) more. Anyway, I found the movie enjoyable and I am really looking forward to Episode III.
- Sun, Jun 9 - I did a little bit of work on my E4M3 for The 9th Gate. I changed textures in many places to give a more hellish look to the areas. That night they were showing The Prophecy (a.k.a. God's Army) on AXN which is a very interesting horror movie, about angels fighting a war in heaven (angels are portrayed as vengeful creatures - as the movie says , anytime God takes a life, he sends an angel to do the job) because God doesn't love them as he cares for the humans. Unfortunately I couldn't watch the entire movie.
- Mon, Jun 10 - I did two drawings, one of Nelly Furtado, a still from her video of ...On the Radio (Remember the Days), directed by Hype Williams. This image is available on my Art Gallery. If you want to watch that music video (and in fact, other Nelly Furtado videos) you should see UKNellyFurtado.com. The second drawing is of director David Fincher. You'll get to see this drawing soon. At midnight on STAR Movies I watched Dirty Work, a funny comedy about two mischief makers who go into business and start a company, Dirty Work Inc. And the movie after that was Armageddon, which I also watched from 1:15 AM, to past 3:30 AM! I enjoyed this movie, it was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. The plot is well known - when NASA detects an asteroid the size of Texas heading straight for Earth (it will hit in 18 days, and when that happens, it will destroy all life on the planet!), they recruit driller Harry Stamper and his crew to drill the asteroid, deposit a nuclear weapon in it, and get out of there. NASA can then detonate the bomb from Earth, splitting the asteroid into two pieces, which will miss Earth. Of course, things don't go exactly as planned. I found this movie to be very very entertaining, and although it's running time is two hours plus, it never got boring. I guess I should have trusted director Michael Bay (who can be glimpsed as a NASA scientist in an early scene) a little more - after all he did make The Rock.
- Tue, Jun 11 - The modem still wouldn't work and I still couldn't connect to the internet!
- Wed, Jun 12 - Scanned more of my drawings. I watched Alfred Hitchcock Presents that night on AXN, there were two episodes, one of which was called Animal Lovers (about a woman who catches criminals with help from her dogs), which I didn't like. The episode just before that though, was very good. It was called The Specialty of the House, and starred John Saxon as food critic Garth December. After eating delicious lamb fritters at a restaurant run by Betty Jo (Jennifer Dale), Garth wants to know the recipe, but she won't give it to him because it's a family secret. Garth tries to do all he can to find it out - this episode is very funny, very involving, and has a nice twist at the end.
- Thu, Jun 13 - Tried my hand at the Phtga demo again, but I still die on MAP28. I did a drawing of director Quentin Tarantino (I'll put it up soon on my Art Gallery). Watched the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode on STAR World. In this one Buffy tries to find out how the slayers before her died - so that she can be stronger. And since Spike was responsible for killing two slayers, she asks him. The episode explains a great deal about Spike's past (in London 1880, 1890, etc). Watched Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Prism" on AXN. In this one a cop (Michael Sarrazin) tracks the killer of Jason Forrester - his suspect is Forrester's wife, who has a BAD case of split personality - she has five of them!! Interesting twist at the end. I also installed some stuff from the June 2002 "Gamestation" Digit Magazine CD - Demon Star shareware, Game Maker 4.
- Fri, Jun 14 - My father brought a temp modem from his office, and I could finally check my mail, etc. Karthik's Doom Pages was at 10170 hits!! And Pablo Dictter sent a picture, according to which Varun and me are among the Top Ten Fugitives wanted by the FBI!! Worlds of Toby M. and Fehler 404 were updated. And I watched X-Men on STAR Movies that night. I already saw this movie in the theatre when it came out, but I enjoyed watching it again. It had a lot of flashy action scenes, and nice visuals, but what appealed to me most about the movie were the way the characters were dealt with - each character was developed very well, and of course the fact that they were played by excellent actors (including Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen) helped things. Hugh Jackman made a terrific Wolverine!
- Sat, Jun 15 - Downloaded What We're All About by Sum 41. Very nice song. Also went to Prank Calls Unlimited and got several MP3 and Real Audio clips of Prank Calls made by these guys, some of these are incredibly funny! Updated my Art Gallery. Downloaded Dark 7 and Dark 7 Mission Pack for Doom II as well.
- Sun, Jun 16 - Downloaded the latest version of XWE. And I put together a collection of 5 drawings of mine (special versions) for submission to DavidFincher.net. These drawings are all related to David Fincher's movies, there are two posters of Seven, one of Alien 3, a Seven-ish credits image of Seven, and one drawing of the man himself. I sent these pictures to the site for their Fan Art section. Still haven't got a reply from them though. I also sent Pablo a cartoon (by Sudhir Dar) that I scanned earlier. I also started a download of Alien Trilogy (the game). Read some interviews with, and articles about David Fincher (from the first ten or so links from Google if you type in "david fincher"), and played a little of Abuse.
- Mon, Jun 17 - Downloaded lots of stuff today! Got the Winamp3 Beta 3 (if you want to check out their latest technology, you can get it, but it's buggy and hanged the computer several times). Got the latest version of EDGE (although now I think I already had it). And I finished the Alien Trilogy download (the game is 15 MB in size). That's a pretty good game, not as good as Doom, but still scary and fun. I got it from Lost Treasures-Fr.
Well, that's it until the next update. Tomorrow I will probably go and get tickets for Panic Room (which releases on 21st). That is one movie I've been waiting to see.
Another important thing. It seems my email address email@example.com is not working properly. So if you sent me something there and I didn't reply, it's because I didn't get it!
Please send all mails to me at firstname.lastname@example.org only.
It seems STAR Movies has got it's hands on some great movies, Cast Away is coming next month! So is Bedazzled (which I haven't seen). Wonder what else they have up their sleeves...
These are all the Star Trek: Voyager episodes I watched in the time between this update and the last. You can of course read more detailed episode summaries at the Star Trek Website.
- Jun 4 - Lifesigns - Voyager rescues a Vidiian woman from a damaged ship, and while her body is being regenerated, her consciousness is transferred into a hologram.
- Jun 5 - Investigations - Tom Paris leaves Voyager to join a Talaxian ship, and the Kazons attack it. Obviously, Seska is behind it. Neelix does some investigation (for his daily programme "A Briefing with Neelix") and uncovers treachery on Voyager.
- Jun 6 - Innocence - Tuvok and Ensign Bennet (who dies) crash land on a moon of a planet. Tuvok takes care of some children who are also stranded on the moon - and who are afraid as the others in their group all disappeared.
- Jun 7 - Deadlock - A freak accident duplicates all matter on Voyager, creating two different ships (one damaged, one normal) that exist in the same point in space and time. Notable episode also for the birth of Naomi Wildman, the first child born on Voyager.
- Jun 8 - The Thaw - Voyager beams some humanoids who have been in stasis for 19 years on board and they discover that while their bodies are in suspended animation, their minds are kept alive, interacing in a computer simulated world. When B'Elanna and Harry enter this world they encounter the humanoids - who have been imprisoned there by a clown (the manifestation of their fears).
- Jun 9 - Tuvix - Tuvok and Neelix are transporting an alien orchid sample onto Voyager - the genetic material in the plant interacts with their two genetic patterns and creates a hybrid being - who calls himself Tuvix.
- Jun 9 - Resolutions - Janeway and Chakotay may have to spend the rest of their lives on an alien planet because that's the only environment where they can stay alive after having contracted a fatal disease from an insect bite.
- Jun 11 - Basics, Part I and Basics, Part II - Voyager answers a distress call from Seska (who has given birth to Chakotay's son) - and falls into a trap set by her and the Kazons. The finale of Season II and the beginning of Season III of the show. Remarkable episodes. Features Brad Dourif as the Betazoid crewman Ensign Suder, who has by now managed to control his tendency for extreme violent behaviour (thanks to a mind meld with Tuvok in Meld).
- Jun 12 - Flashback - Tuvok experiences a flashback - a repressed memory - with him as a boy on the edgo of a precipice trying to save a little girl who falls to her death. The strange thing is, that event never happened! Janeway and Tuvok establish a special mind meld, where she takes a journey through his memories, trying to get to the root of the matter. Fascinating episode, with flashbacks from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. (Tuvok was supposed to have served under Captain Sulu on the U.S.S. Excelsior eighty years before).
- Jun 13 - The Chute - Tom Paris and Harry Kim find themselves in an Akritirian prison, suspected of a terrorist bombing they had nothing to do with, and they must find a way out.
- Jun 15 - The Swarm - Voyager must cross a region of space that is known to belong to a race that has a swarm of ships that they use to destroy any other ships that pass there. Also, the Doctor's program is degrading rapidly.
- Jun 15 - False Profits - Voyager discovers a wormhole that leads to the Alpha Quadrant. This wormhole is fixed there but keeps shifting rapidly in the Delta Quadrant. They attempt to find a way to go through it. During that time, they discover that two Pherengi landed on a nearby planet several years ago - and are now exploiting the primitive people there because they believe the two of them are gods!
- Jun 17 - Remember - While Voyager is transporting some Enarans (who are telepathic) to their home planet, B'Elanna experiences intense dreams that may be caused by one of their Enaran guests. It also appears that these dreams are actually manifestations of memories.
- Jun 17 - Sacred Ground - On an alien planet, Kes accidentally enters a sacred shrine, and that puts her in a coma-like state. It's up to Captain Janeway to save her - but she may have to put faith in spirits and not technology to do that. Directed by Robert Duncan McNeill.
As the title says, this is going to be a big one. Here goes...
- Fri, May 17 - Watched Me, Myself & Irene. I didn't find this movie to be that funny, and although Jim Carrey was amusing as Charlie Baileygates, the cop with the split-personality disorder, I expected it to be better. The three black kids were hilarious in every scene they appeared though.
- Sat, May 18 - Downloaded several wallpapers from the Lord of the Rings Website. Also, I got The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Training Day on Video CD! I watched the first one and a half CDs of The Lord of the Rings at night.
- Sun, May 19 - Watched the remaining one and a half CDs of The Lord of the Rings. Varun went to write a test for EAMCET coaching at Little Flower High School, so in the meantime my father and myself went browsing for books. I got two MAD Magazine issues, an issue of Cinescape (a special on horror movies), Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien! I'm reading the book nowadays. This book is a complete edition that includes all the three stories (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King) as well as the appendices and maps. I've made a new friend too, his nickname is Lyc Terr, and he mailed me because he liked my drawing of The Matrix. The drawing can be found at my Gallery.
- Mon/Tue/Wed, May 20/21/22 - I updated my Art Gallery and did a drawing of Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The picture doesn't look much like Sarah though, but the drawing itself is very good. That's what people have told me. On Tuesday I did a couple of demos for Christian Hansen's Doom Episode, CH_RETRO. I also watched Blood Surf that night (pretty ridiculous movie with bad acting, although there were some interesting scenes). On Wednesday I got tickets for Spider-Man (for 27th!!). Varun did some CH_RETRO demos himself (great ones), inspired by that I did a couple too. Pablo sent me a birthday gift (a Quake map and screenshots of another Quake map he's working on). And I scanned some stuff as well (pages from that MAD Magazine). 22 May was also the start of the 2002 E3 (Electronics Entertainment Expo), and the recent Doom III madness (with lots of info coming out about the game on various sites).
- Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon/Tue, May 23/24/25/26/27/28 - Varun had downloaded the Official Alien Vendetta Demopack the previous day, and I watched some demos from that pack. They are absolutely incredible. On Friday I did some work on my E4M3 of The 9th Gate and also watched director Spike Jonze's Being John Malkovich - one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen - but also very good. A 7 minute video called Doom III: The Legacy was released on 23rd, and I tried to download it several times and was unsuccessful. I updated my Art Gallery on 26th. On 27th we all went to see Spider-Man - and it was a terrific movie. On 28th I got some demos and information from Ledmeister's site. I tried doing a Skill 1 demo of all 30 levels of Wim Vanrie's Phouse: The Great Arena (Phtga). And I finally succeeded in getting the Doom III Legacy video (at 1:25 AM, May 29) from Doom Center - this is a documentary featuring interviews with the id Software people, footage from Doom, Doom II, and of course, glimpses of Doom III.
- Wed/Thu, May 29/30 - Downloaded two of Christian Hansen's Star Trek: Voyager based WADs. It seems someone sneaked in a video camera into the Doom III booth at E3 and recorded the entire 11 minute presentation - and then made the video available on the net. I found a place that had the leaked video - and (it's 44.45 MB in size) started downloading it. 17 MB downloaded and then it stopped! Anyway that afternoon I recorded Nick of Time from STAR Movies (the previous night they showed it without censoring the language, but this time it was cut). Started doning a Doom III drawing. The next day I downloaded Download Accelerator Plus 5 and started downloading the leaked video again. This was at around 2:30 PM. At 9:30 PM the download finished - and the ZIP file refused to extract the video because of a CRC error!!! Anyway I finished the Doom III drawing and scanned it.
- Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon, May 31/Jun 1/Jun 2/Jun 3 - My father's birthday! I updated Karthik's Doom Pages with a gallery of my Doom drawings. That night I saw Inspector Gadget on STAR Movies and I didn't like it. The best thing about the movie though, was that it was just a little over an hour and fifteen minutes long. Saturday was my parents' wedding anniversary. Karthik's Home Page is TWO YEARS OLD! Sunday was the birthday of my Sem-B teacher at NIIT, Mrs. Kalpana. I tried getting the leaked Doom III video again - this time DAP 5 couldn't reassemble the file fragments after downloading! Downloaded Shadowcaster for Heretic by The Ultimate Doomer and Ruma for Doom II by Espi. That night I saw an episode of The X Files that was made just like an episode of COPS. And watched Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Lessons". After that I saw Candyman: Day of the Dead on STAR Movies. And on Monday I updated the Art Gallery and watched Star Trek: Voyager - "Death Wish" twice.
I'm just about to write a large update that covers stuff that happened in the past days. Since I've watched Star Trek: Voyager episodes everyday during that time, I thought it would be better to just list the names here. So, where did we stop last time? Let's see... it was May 16, the episode was "Learning Curve" (the last Season 1 episode). After that, these are the episodes I've seen -
- May 17 - The 37's - The Voyager crew discover several historical figures (including Amelia Earhart) from the 20th Century - in suspended animation - on a planet in the Delta Quadrant - and a very Earth-like civilisation there.
- May 18 - Initiations - Chakotay saves the life of a Kazon boy, but in doing so he may have taken away all hopes of the boy being recognised as a warrior.
- May 19 - Projections - The Doctor's program is suddenly activated during what seems to be a crisis on Voyager - and he finds the ship deserted. But soon, the ship's computers start telling him that he is actually Doctor Zimmerman, and not a hologram!
- May 20 - Elogium - The Voyager enters an energy cluster of some sort - and this triggers the Elogium (the beginning of the Ocampa mating process) in Kes.
- May 21 - Non Sequitur - Harry Kim wakes up only to find himself back on Earth... he soon realises he is trapped in an alternate reality that may have been caused by a shuttlecraft accident - and he must figure a way to get back.
- May 22 - Twisted - Voyager enters a strange space anomaly that starts "twisting" the ship - literally rearranging all the matter in it's way!
- May 23 - Parturition - Tom Paris and Neelix (who is jealous of Paris because of his involvement with Kes) set aside their differences when they are caught on a hostile planet - and must take care of a baby creature until it's mother comes to claim it.
- May 24 - Persistence of Vision - It starts with Captain Janeway seeing characters from her holo-novel in real life. Soon everyone on the ship starts having hallucinations - caused by a mysterious mind controlling entity.
- May 25 - Tattoo - While on an away mission on a seemingly uninhabited planet, Chakotay experiences strange parallels to the events that happened when his father introduced him to their tribal ancestors many years ago.
- May 26 - Cold Fire - Voyager makes contact with a race of Ocampa on a space station similar to the one that they saw when the Caretaker brought them to the Delta Quadrant. The leader of these Ocampa - Tanis (Gary Graham) says that he can contact the female Caretaker Suspiria - which might just be a way for Voyager to get back home!
- May 28 - Maneuvers - Seska (who has now allied with a Kazon sect) steals a transporter module from Voyager - and Chakotay takes it as his responsibility to stop her.
- May 28 - Resistance - While searching for fuel needed by Voyager, Janeway finds herself trapped on an alien planet and aiding a resistance movement against the government. Tuvok and B'Elanna are prisoners on the same planet, and the Voyager crew must find a way to get their officers back.
- May 29 - Prototype - Voyager finds a curious piece of debris floating in space - a non-functioning android. B'Elanna finds a way to repair the robot and finds it to be a sentient being - which wants her to construct a new prototype for it's kind - by force if necessary!
- May 30 - Alliances - Captain Janeway realises that life in the Delta Quadrant may be easier if they allied with the Kazon - but this idea just might cause more trouble than good.
- May 31 - Threshold - B'Elanna, Tom and Harry figure out a way for a shuttlecraft to travel at the previously "impossible" Warp 10 speed (infinite velocity!)... and Tom makes the first manned flight. Unfortunately this has the serious side effect of causing Lt. Paris' DNA to mutate rapidly - apparently to a fatal end. Story by Michael DeLuca (who scripted In the Mouth of Madness).
- Jun 1 - Meld - A murder on the Voyager leads Tuvok to a former Maqui officer (played by Brad Dourif) with extremely violent impulses. A mind meld with the crewman has the unfortunate side effect of causing Tuvok to lose control of his emotions!
- Jun 2 - Dreadnought - Dreadnought is a missile that was originally built by the Cardassians and later appropriated by the Maqui. B'Elanna had reprogrammed it to be practically unstoppable and later regretted what she had created - until it disappeared. When it is found in the Delta Quadrant, B'Elanna must figure out a way to outwit her own creation before it annihilates a planet.
- Jun 3 - Death Wish - Voyager comes across a comet and decides to beam a sample of it on board - and this frees a Q being (Gerrit Graham) who was imprisoned there. Soon, Q (John DeLancie) shows up, and says that the other Q is one of the most dangerous beings in the Q continuum - his desire to end his immortal life might bring dramatic changes to the continuum! When the Q who wants to commit suicide asks for asylum on Voyager, Captain Janeway decides to conduct a hearing to decide what to do. Brilliant, inspired episode, very witty and engaging. I've now recorded this episode on one of my tapes and plan to keep it. Special appearance by Jonathan Frakes. Story by Shawn Piller, Teleplay by Michael Piller.
Hallmark Channel shows Star Trek: Voyager every day at 7 PM and 11 PM. I record the 11 PM episode each day and watch it the next day. The 7 PM episode on any day is one behind the 11 PM episode (which means today's 11 PM episode will be shown again tomorrow at 7 PM).
Perhaps that will be clearer with an example. On June 2 at 11 PM I recorded Death Wish and watched it at noon on June 3. They showed that again on June 3 at 7 PM.