Nostalgia: New Version

While we were shifting, I found something which was thought to be lost, a memory of something which goes back fourteen to fifteen years or so, and the one reason for which there will be more nostalgia than most of the things of that time. I wouldn’t call these toys, but the remnants of what used to be my little life which was lost, and even as it remains pretty much aimless, I find this discovery as a good omen.

It becomes only a necessity to dig up all of that nostalgia, as it is what defines us and makes us ponder about that past which has been lost and buried in a coffin under the soil of all that nonsense which we had to put into our heads. There is always the need for some of it to come alive – for we have none of them right now, as we move on through an artificial life, unlike what we know during our childhood days.

Remember the GI Joe Ads on Doordarshan, "Go GI Joe"? :D

Remember the GI Joe Ads on Doordarshan, “Go GI Joe”? 😀

The first part of my nostalgia consists of those G.I. Joe action figures. Yes, now you know why I have been rating those two G.I. Joe movies, Rise of the Cobra and Retaliation very high – it comes from the childhood memories, of that world which had very high opinion of them right from the moment they replaced the toy cars which had replaced those cute little dolls themselves a lot earlier.

Introduced to me by my cousin brother, I had nine of those action figures from Hasbro. He was the expert right there. I always prefered the evil ones though, belonging to the side of the Cobra, as the soldiers looked too normal, and I was the fan of the Dracula lineage of vampires at that time too. Among the figures that I have, the only ones which I can recognize now are Storm Shadow and Cobra Commander, and as I don’t have the enclosing covers any more, I hope some of you can recognize these people for me.

The second part of my nostalgia goes back further into my childhood. It belongs completely to Hot Wheels, that little collection of cars which I had. Yes, there were others too, but Hot Wheels car completely took over my world with ease. There were not only cars, but also those trucks and buses which were small enough to run all the small paths that I managed to find at random places in my house.

Hot Wheels; they also had the Ads for us kids, right?

Hot Wheels; they also had the Ads for us kids, right?

My favourites were those yellow truck, the blue truck and the yellow car. Forget the other things which form the background to those cars, as they are not part of this nostalgia stuff. I would be glad if you could tell the names of some of the models if you know any. I am looking forward to naming them any way. I have been searching for them in google with random information, but haven’t found success.

Did you have such toys which you still have in possession, or to be found somewhere in a store room of your house or the showcase? May be you can search and find them to bring yourself back to the past, and have some fun with the same along with immersing yourself in nostalgia. If you can find or remember something similar, do share it here. Until then, long live the G.I. Joe and Hot Wheels 😀

TeNy

Creating New Destinations

There have been lots of occasions when movies have created future travel destinations for us, just like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara created and developed Spain as a popular destination among us, even as I don’t have that much of a high opinion about that bourgeoisie movie rooted in Carpe Diem. Some of the popular destinations include the United States, UAE and Malaysia as far as Malayalam movies are concerned, but these won’t be part of this, as I would rather talk about some movies which has given us certain destination to keep in our minds.

The movies that I have listed here are all recommended, even as I can’t guarantee that they will work for everyone. But there is certainty about its assertion of location, and we shall not go on without feeling something for the places where these movies were shot. There will always be people who are not in need of magic or imagination in their lives, and for such people, I hope they will find their own movies of this kind. All the images used in this post are from the official pages of these movies (Amen, Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal and London Bridge).

The masterpiece which was Amen; it is also a visual spectacle at its best

The masterpiece which was Amen; it is also a visual spectacle at its best

5. Mazhavillu (Germany)
This is a tragic love story set in Germany, and the songs as well as the cinematography makes one fall in love with a location which was not much popular in Malayalam movies. The movie has about five beautiful songs, two of them powerfully linked to the seasons of the place, and clearly reflecting the moods of nature. Even as there is city life, the rural locations are given a lot of significance in this movie as it focuses on the romance and the terror that awaits the lovers which would break down their life and can send them into the depths of a never-ending abyss. I would strongly recommend the songs of this movie with the video, especially “Ponnolathumbi” – the lyrics and the tune nicely works in the minds of the viewers with the visuals.

4. Yodha (Nepal)
Nepal has been one of my favoured destinations since the first time watched this movie, and with its wonderful monuments, and the feeling that this movie gives, there should have been a lot of visitors to Nepal. But that time of release was not really a period of travel, wasn’t it? The human life used to be so simple at that time, and we could live life as it was meant to be. One thing certain about Yodha is that it has undoubtedly created that spark for one day traveling to Nepal in the minds of a lot of people, and even as it won’t come alive now, that factor will show its flame sooner or later. Such is the influence that this movie, its situations and dialogues got for its viewers.

Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal nicely portrays the scenic beauty and connects it to the idea

Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal nicely portrays scenic beauty & connects it to the idea

3. Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal (Lakshadweep and Andaman)
This movie takes its viewers to that enchanting world of islands, lagoons and sea like never before, as it explores human selfishness in comparison to the sword-fish, and a love story that stands the tests of the world, and another which blossoms into beauty. With its excellent style of narration and the beautiful world that it brings to its viewers in the form of seaside splendour, Mosayile Kuthira Meenukal is a thought-provoking adventure with a strong romantic side, working strongly to create an eternal bond with the islands off the Indian coast and will surely boost its tourism up-to an extent – only if people had the brains to understand its idea better! Read review at: http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/mosa/

2. London Bridge (London and Scottish Highlands)
Despite its average performance, London Bridge is a powerful display of the beauty of the city of London as well as the natural splendour of Scotland. If you get a chance to go through any of the songs of this movie, it would be perfectly clear. As a beautiful movie with beautiful people and beautiful locations, this movie has got complete control of its locations as it uses them to full advantage, especially the seasons of autumn, winter and spring. The bridge itself is the symbol of the connections in this movie, and we can see it quite often. If nothing much has inspired you enough to visit the United Kingdom, this surely will, as long as you have the eyes to appreciate beauty and a mind worth enough. Read review at: http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/london-bridge/

London Bridge has that beauty which can make Dracula take a stake through his heart

London Bridge has that beauty which can make Dracula take a stake through his heart

1. Amen (Kerala Backwaters)
The visual glory of Amen is something that can never be questioned even in the least spectacular shot that the movie can offer. It is undoubtedly Lijo Jose Pelllissery’s magnum opus, and along with itself being a magical movie, the visuals are also simply out of this world. Set in Kuttanad, the movie tells the story of a group of people living around a church, and there is a romantic love story nicely woven around music and a competition among the music bands. Supposed to be remade in Bollywood with Ranbir Kapoor in the leading role, one has to wonder if the beauty of the backwaters which this movie has so efficiently using in portraying its message and visually mesmerizing the audience can work this well anywhere else. Read review at: http://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/amen/

TeNy

Life’s Gaming Lessons

People say that movies teaches us things, and books are supposed to be our best friends ever. But can we say the same about anything else? If there is a third in that list, I would say that would be the computer games, because it has made me realize more than any other medium. There are many things that a gamer achieves from one video game, and it is not just limited to finding one or two more friends to play the game with. I shall share a few realizations. The images are screenshots from the games which I captured.

Age of Empires: History can be a lot of fun :: History has never been this much fun before Age of Empires, especially the Conquerers Edition, as it instantly transports us to a world full of historical mission that we have to complete, including that of Montezuma, Joan of Arc, William Wallace, El Cid and many others. It is a clear history book with entertainment written all over it. The game was also the main reason for my love for history which never really materialized completely due to nobody willing to grant me the permission to take the subject for study further.

There is my army, or a part of it :D

There is my army, or a part of it 😀

Mass Effect: There is the need to explore and discover :: This game is a huge world, a universe by itself, as we travel through the galaxy, exploring planets and fighting enemies along with making friends. It is a wonderful world, as we get to communicate with people belonging to a lot of species and fight alien creatures, but at the same time, wander through strange planets and also enjoy the beauty of the animated world which is incredibly good for the graphics standards of that time. It only gets better with navigation. Also consider Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the same reason. We are never complete unless we explore.

Why would someone not explore such a beautiful universe?

Why would someone not explore such a beautiful universe?

Prototype: The possibilities in life are endless :: Prototype is a game full of immense possibilities, as we take control of a character with incredible powers and no memory as he roams free through the streets with no need to control his actions. It is like he can do almost anything he wants, and is nearly indestructible as long he ends up being too stupid. This free-roaming world without artificial barriers means that we can go around and choose some objective if we want to, or just be normal or highly abnormal. This deviation from the usual restricted gameplay is something that the life needs too.

What is an open world without ourselves not being able to be the Hulk?

What is an open world without ourselves not being able to be the Hulk?

Age of Mythology: The myths and legends are part of life :: The game takes it from the Greeks, Egyptians and the Norse as there are so many gods and godesses to worship and gain favour. There is also the chance of feeling the wrath of the enemy gods. So, mythology is also fun and it is immensely interesting with this game. It brings us closer to the great ancient myths which are not proving to be of much concern for the modern world. Yes, they are some beautiful stuff and really needs our attention.

Show some attention to the myths and legends, as there is beauty in it

Show some attention to the myths and legends, as there is beauty in it

Tomb Raider :: You have to solve the riddles of life yourself :: Almost the same as the Prince of Persia franchise had taught us, this game franchise also says the same. The lady protagonist Lara Croft is one person who doesn’t care about the dangers that she has to face, and goes on to solve puzzles and get her hands on some artifacts. It is the same with our lives, as the game tells us to solve our own problems of life as it is our own future at stake – just take the risk and gain what is there to achieve.

The life of Lara Croft does arouse some jealousy, doesn't it?

The life of Lara Croft does arouse some jealousy, doesn’t it?

I have been a big gamer throughout my life, and used to play them till the last night before my board exams started, or sometimes even between them. It included broadband as well as LAN gaming too, and such games were Unreal Tournament, Age of Empires II: Conquerers, Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, Quake III Arena and Age of Mythology. Only the first three remain with me now, and even as I am not that much of a gamer as I used to be, I shall still continue the gaming process very rarely.

TeNy

What Comes Next

We are left with just about three months to Christmas, and as the year comes to an end, we have a lot of interesting movies coming up. A good number of them are worth a lot more than most of the movies which have already released, even as I do wonder if any movie is capable of breaking this year’s top grossing record set by Transformers: Age of Extinction – may be there is a slight chance for two movies which come as the third part of two popular book adaptations. There are five of those movies that I particularly look forward to.

5. Ouija :: There is nothing that arouses the curiosity of the common youth like the Ouija board, and this movie can easily capitalize on the same as far as it is used wisely and with the ability to connect with the audience. With the summoning of the dark forces and everything going beyond control, the movie can easily generate a lot of moments of horror and satisfy the fans. Let the demonic possession and the unleashing of evil begin with this movie. Will you still consider the Ouija board as just an instrument for entertainment, or can the movie make it seem a lot more demonic?

A hero will turn monster in Dracula Untold (pic from movie's FB page)

A hero will turn monster in Dracula Untold (pic from movie’s FB page)

4. Interstellar :: As the next movie from Christopher Nolan, Interstellar needs no introduction, as it would bring the audience right into it, even with an ordinary trailer that it came up with – but that could be for nor giving away much of the plot. As a fan of the science fiction movies, I do have hopes on this one, even as there was the movies like Transcendence which has made me a partial sceptic. This should be the movie which is to rule November if it could develop its idea of the wormhole nicely, with those elements of curiosity and terror nicely explored. Well, when was the time when Nolan last disappointed us? I can’t remember.

3. Dracula Untold :: An origin story of Dracula showing the life of Vlad the Impaler who struggled and fought hard to defend his small kingdom against the might of ruthless Ottoman Turks. I have always thought of Dracula as a misunderstood hero who had to turn evil, and I am glad that they are coming up with something like this with the support of some history. The trailer was impressive, and I hope that this will also stand up-to the feeling that it has created. I am surely placing by bet on this one, as it has immense potential to develop its idea which is something that can easily work with the present audience.

2. Exodus: Gods and Kings :: Another Biblical Epic arrives, this time directed by Ridley Scott, and it actually arrives in the same year as another one from Darren Aronofsky which was Noah had highly disappointed me. I should have had my doubts about this one, but I would trust Christian Bale’s choice of movies and the scope that the Book of Exodus has for making a fantastic epic. Noah might not have had enough to make a movie, but Moses do have a lot of it, and as of now, I am pretty confident that this is going to work well and create that Biblical Epic for which we have been waiting for so long.

You should definitely have this doll at home (from Annabelle FB page)

You should definitely have this doll at home (from Annabelle FB page)

1. Annabelle :: Disaster had struck during last Gandhi Jayanthi as Bollywood terrorized us with the disgusting stuff which was Besharam, and this year, we hope to get rid of that pain with Annabelle, a spin-off from the nicely scary story which had a small part to play in last year’s The Conjuring. The name of the leading actresss is also the same – Annabelle Wallis. Is it also supposed to contribute in a spooky manner? Lets watch the movie and find out as the Annabelle doll awaits you like Chucky awaits his next victim in the vast ocean of dead silence. Most of us have been waiting for a sequel to The Conjuring, and let this prequel be enough for us for the moment.

The rest of the movies include another horror flick Jessabelle and also The Pyramid which can boost the genre. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is going to be a big contender for the title for the highest grosser of the year with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, both capable of showing some great sequel power, hoping to take the place of Transformers. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb should also shine – loved the first two movies of the franchise a lot and Ben Stiller can do it again.

TeNy

The British Adventure

Below listed are 10 locations during my visit to the UK which I loved more than the rest. There are more among my favourites – and a lot remains to be seen some time later. All photos were taken by me with a Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

10. Sandal Castle: A setting of Shakespeare’s play Henry VI, Part 3, this is the first British historical monument that I visited, and the structure had witnessed the War of the Roses as well as the English Civil War during which it ended up in ruins.

Here I stood on the land fed by blood from those battles B-)

Here I stood on the land fed by blood from those battles B-)

9. Liverpool Cathedral: This Anglican cathedral is huge, as well as beautiful in a different way, deviating from the usual colours of the other churches which I saw in the other parts of the country, and check out for the light reflecting through the glasses.

This is one massive structure that reminds us of our minuteness.

This is one massive structure that reminds us of our minuteness.

8. Thackray Museum: This museum was one of the best experience of history that I ever had, as we get to walk through a recreation of the old British Leeds with its own sights and sounds as we follow the lives of certain Victorian characters.

I highly recommend this museum which will change your idea of history.

I highly recommend this museum which will change your idea of history.

7. Undercliffe Cemetery: I have seen many cemeteries, but this one certainly caught my attention. This world of the dead at Bradford made me interested in death a lot more. Here is one fine resting place for what the soul leaves behind.

I do wish to visit the graves of New Orleans, but this is a nice preface.

I do wish to visit the graves of New Orleans, but this is a nice preface.

6. St. Paul’s Cathedral: It is clear that I won’t go to visit St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica any time soon, and for the same reason, St. Paul was very important to visit, and this is one magnificent church which even makes us feel the need to go to Rome and see the inspiration.

St. Paul and St. Peter - don't I need to visit Rome for the latter? :D

St. Paul and St. Peter – don’t I need to visit Rome for the latter? 😀

5. Westminster Abbey: The place where coronations of monarchs were held, and that which holds the Poet’s Corner; it also has my namesake, Lord Alfred Tennyson. All English Literature students, mark this place.

Enter the world of famous monarchs and the great poets.

Enter the world of famous monarchs and the great poets.

4. Glasgow Necropolis: This Victorian cemetery made me want to die in Glasgow and get buried there so that I can come back as a zombie and take some photos of the most beautiful graveyard I have seen in my whole life.

One day, I shall lie at an awesome necropolis like this - add to bucket list :D

One day, I shall lie at an awesome necropolis like this – add to bucket list 😀

3. Canterbury Cathedral: The leading cathedral of England, and what reminds us of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is no far behind in its beauty and splendour, as comes to our minds every time we read about the pilgrims to the shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett.

The Canterbury Tales - only if I had a time machine at that moment.

The Canterbury Tales – only if I had a time machine at that moment.

2. York Minster: Even as it was not among my top places to visit, this one quickly became my favourite cathedral of all time, as this Gothic structure and the second-highest office of the Anglican Church needs another visit.

Couldn't go to the top of the building as it closed early :(

Couldn’t go to the top of the building as it closed early 😦

1. The Lake District: The home to the Lake Poets, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Southey; can any English Literature student ask for anything more than to be motivated and blessed by what inspired the best?

I would guess that the sheep did find something fishy about me :D

I would guess that the sheep did find something fishy about me 😀

TeNy

Let the Predator Hunt

In 1987, Major Alan Schaefer a.k.a. Dutch killed someone wearing highly advanced weapons, and whom they called the Predator. It is not something for which we can conduct an anniversary gathering every year, but Arnold Schwarzenegger needed to kill that one, because otherwise the movie would not have gone on to become a huge hit and later come in the all-time favourite list of many movie fans. Predator is one of the best movies of Arnold, no doubt about that, but the question is about the predicament of the Predator, the name that was so ruthlessly presented by the movie makers.

Predators are known for hunting of other species and collecting their heads as trophies. But in that case, they are not so different from the humans who collect animal heads after hunting them. It is only normal to feel that the Predators see humans as the mankind sees the other species. After all, Predators belong to an advanced species with better scientific equipments and a superior technology. As the name suggests in another way, a Predator predates, and thus there is another reason to assert its superiority as what came and thrived before humans.

You can't escape the eyes of the Predator (pic from Predator FB page)

You can’t escape the eyes of the Predator (pic from Predator FB page)

Unlike the Predators, the humans are even interesting in hurting their own kind and enjoy a lot from their suffering. If it was just another sport for the Predators, it becomes a case of sadomasochism for the humans who love each and every moment of inclicting pain upon their own kind, both physical and psychological. It is a certain kind of personal pleasure and happiness which they take out of it. Meanwhile, Predators only attack when the enemy is good enough for them, usually as part of a bigger cause. They follow a honorable path, and never see the need to deviate from the same.

There are not many people in the world who can prove to be better than Predators in quality. The hunt for fame and money becomes a man a Predator sooner or later. In this never-ending hunt for more, as they are never satisfied, means that the world has its own Predators already. Predators had honour in their dealings. Do humans have any? As they keep on trying to take others down along with going up the ladder, there is no doubt about the fact that humans can thrive well in another planet which has an alien species exhibiting goodness, on which they can feed and spread hatred.

If you have watched The Cabin in the Woods, you will know that the end of the movie was about total extinction, which is not really a bad thing, and the end of one species will only make way for another, and it could possibly be a better one as it might have known about the mistakes created by the former. The Predators could have actually brought that, restricting humans to their world of challenges and adventurous entertainment. But they decided to choose the higher path and rise above the humans, and for that, there is the need to be thankful to them.

Keep Calm & support the Predator (pic from AVP: Evolution FB page)

Keep Calm & support the Predator (pic from AVP: Evolution FB page)

Meanwhile, the miserable humans will continue to fight each other over small things which are not of importance. There are many things that they can do, but they would choose to hold on to the so called ambition and push the other down, and ridicule those who haven’t reached close to their achievements. Humanity doesn’t love its own people, and co-existence is difficult, or rather one of the most impossible things in the history of the planet. There will always be many reasons to hate each other. There will also be new reasons coming up. They conduct rallies and demonstration for ridiculous reasons, and for the real needs, there is none.

People blame religion, but no, the mankind will always find some new reason to kill one other. Blaming religion is the dumbest thing that one can do, as there will be a new ideology coming up every time to replace religion and spread hatred. There will be politics, race, caste, death of some so called important person, cricket matches, football rivalry and finally more reasons which has no meaning. Now, can we blame Predator if he is killing a few people on the screen. No, he is not even scary compared to the humans. I would say we welcome him to our world. If we can kill each other, why not let the Predator do his job in a decent way? May be he will keep our heads as trophies, and we will be popular among aliens.

TeNy