Saturday, February 28, 2009

God is immanent in the five elements - Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Ether. Since there is no place in creation where the five elements do not exist, it can be concluded that God is all-pervasive. And yet, why is man unable to experience this divinity? Though water reflects objects, the image, unlike the object, is not steady. Similarly, man cannot be a perfect image of God if he has a wavering mind. Such a mind leads to confusion and depression, and with such a mind, a seeker can never realise the divinity within. What is essential for a steady mind is the control of the five senses and a ceiling on desires.

Thought for the day as written at Prasanthi Nilayam today
28th February 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tropic Thunder - available now on DVD

Well, Tropic Thunder didn't win anything Sunday night. But that doesn't take away the fact that Robert Downey was the funniest thing in this movie. He an Aussie playing a white American playing An African-American soldier. Actually its a movie about a movie about Vietnam. Do I have that right?

From the fake trailors to the bridge explosion, this movie had me laughing until my belly hurt. This is a great movie with excellent acting, specifically Robert Downey Junior. This is a must have for any movie collection, especially those who enjoy comedy. The only drawback was I hoped for more outakes. But the movie alone was hilarious, and see if you can spot Tom Cruise!

Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted (Limited Edition CD/DVD) [DELUXE EDITION]

Kelly Clarkson’s new album All I Ever Wanted is more than a return to form; it simply surpasses anything Kelly has done before. The 1st single, “My Life Would Suck without You” is another guaranteed hit from Max Martin & Dr Luke, a forward step for Kelly that’s still true to her core. Other songwriters Ryan Tedder, Katy Perry and Howard Benson deliver more future hits to the album like “I Do Not Hook Up,” “Already Gone” and “Cry.” The new album is also available in Deluxe Version. The standard version contains 13 tracks, while the Deluxe Edition comes with 2 additional audio tracks & a bonus DVD containing the making of the album & video plus the music video of “My Life Would Suck Without You”

In her career to date, Clarkson has sold 16 million albums worldwide. She is the recipient of 2 Grammy Awards, 2 American Music Awards, 2 MTV Awards and 11 Billboard Awards.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I was very intrigued by the trailers for this movie and was surprised at what the move really was about. Frankly, I was greatly surprised. More and more, lately, Will Smith has been doing upbeat movies with a message. Similar in genre to what he did with "Pursuit of Happiness", pounds has more of a 'pay it forward' theme. The story is one of redemption for how he ruined his life in seven seconds as the trailers tells us. Too many movies offer trite stories with little or no meaning. It is really enjoyable to see a very gifted actor, working across from other gifted actors and delivering top performances. This is a happy/sad movie. Happiness toward the ones receiving and grieving along with those who suffer. Rosario Dawson does a very credible role as a very nice person whose life is slowing ebbing as she awaits a heart donor. I first saw Dawson on Million Dollar Password and she was a really nice person, looks like Smith really likes to have nice people around him in his movies. Harrelson does a believable job as a man suffering from blindness, but, with all his troubles, he is an affable human being. Throughout the movie, Smith looks for kind/humble people who he feels are deserving of special attention. He has friends, had a great career and a brother who cares about and worries for him. Touching and a bit of a tear jerker, Seven Pounds delivers emotions and will get you thinking about your neighbor. Hooray for great movies and stories like 'Seven Pounds.'


Jon Chu directs this feel-good sequel about pursuing what you love and finding yourself along the way. Andie (Briana Evigan, daughter of actor Greg Evigan) is a tough Baltimore teen who grew up dancing and is now part of the 410, the hottest dance crew in the city and reigning champions of the Streets, an underground dance competition. Unable to control Andie's rebellious ways, her guardian, Sarah (Sonja Sohn), has decided to send her to Texas to live with her aunt. But Andie has one last chance to stay with her crew in her beloved Baltimore: the Maryland School of the Arts (MSA). Unfortunately, maintaining her studies at MSA means less time with the 410. To make matters worse, Andie is having a hard time fitting in at her new high school, where tradition is revered and being outside the box is frowned upon. Luckily, she has a partner in crime in classmate Chase Collins (Robert Hoffman), whose stuffy brother, Blake (Will Kemp), is the school's director and a constant thorn in his younger brother's side. When the 410 boots Andie out, she and Chase find their own crew of overlooked MSA dancers and take it all the way to the Streets.

The real star of STEP UP 2: THE STREETS is the amazing dancing and there's plenty of it. From the opening scene in a Baltimore subway to the playground to studio rehearsals to the Streets, these kids give it everything they've got. Channing Tatum briefly reprises his role as Tyler Gage, who knows Andie from the neighborhood. All of the MSA and 410 dancers are exceedingly talented, but Mari Koda's few lines as Jenny Kido are scene-stealers.



Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The city of Metrofulus is in chaos due to a terrible water pollution crisis caused by Profesor Klon's "Planet Hitam" scheme, a diabolical plan to take over the water supply. Profesor Klon hires Rrama to eliminate all enemies, especially Cicak-Man. Meanwhile, Ginger Ghosts 1 and 2 return to take revenge upon their deaths and Tania struggles to reveal Cicak-Man's true identity. Cicak-Man continues to maintain peace within the city and to fight evil.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Milk is an excellent movie. Sean Penn gives a moving performance as city supervisor and gay rights activist Harvey Milk. I love Gus Van Sant's direction. The shots of San Francisco's Castro district in the seventies. look very authentic. I love the candlelit vigil shot at the end of the movie. The performances by everyone in this movie are so good. I love James Franco in his role as Harvey Milk's boyfriend. Josh Brolin plays rival Dan White perfectly. I love Danny Elfman's score and the songs "Everyday People" and "Rock The Boat". Everything about the film is flawless.

Monday, February 23, 2009

'Slumdog' rules Oscars with 8 prizes including Best Picture

LOS ANGELES - "Slumdog Millionaire" took the best-picture Academy Award and seven other Oscars on Sunday, including director for Danny Boyle, whose ghetto-to-glory story paralleled the film's unlikely rise to Hollywood's summit.

The other top winners: Kate Winslet, best actress for the Holocaust-themed drama "The Reader"; Sean Penn, best actor for the title role of "Milk"; Heath Ledger, supporting actor for "The Dark Knight"; and Penelope Cruz, supporting actress for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."

A story of hope amid squalor in Mumbai, India, "Slumdog Millionaire" came in with 10 nominations, its eight wins including adapted screenplay, cinematography, editing and both music Oscars (score and song).

"Just to say to Mumbai, all of you who helped us make the film and all of those of you who didn't, thank you very much. You dwarf even this guy," Boyle said, holding up his directing Oscar.

The filmmakers accepted the best-picture trophy surrounded by both the adult professional actors who appeared among the cast of relative unknowns and some of the children Boyle cast from the slums of Mumbai.

The film follows the travails and triumphs of Jamal, an orphan who artfully dodges a criminal gang that mutilates children to make them more pitiable beggars. Jamal witnesses his mother's violent death, endures police torture and struggles with betrayal by his brother, while single-mindedly hoping to reunite with the lost love of his childhood.

Fate rewards Jamal, whose story unfolds through flashbacks as he recalls how he came to know the answers that made him a champion on India's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

As he took the stage to accept his prize for playing slain gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk, Penn gleefully told the crowd: "You commie, homo-loving sons of guns."

He followed with condemnation of anti-gay protesters who demonstrated near the Oscar site and comments about California's recent vote to ban gay marriage.

"For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think it's a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect on their great shame and their shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that support," Penn said. "We've got to have equal rights for everyone."

For his demented reinvention of Batman villain the Joker, Ledger became only the second actor ever to win posthumously, his triumph coming exactly 13 months after his death from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.

His Oscar for the Warner Bros. blockbuster was accepted by Ledger's parents and sister on behalf of the actor's 3-year-old daughter, Matilda.

"I have to say this is ever so humbling, just being amongst such wonderful people in such a wonderful industry," said his father, Kim Ledger. "We'd like to thank the academy for recognizing our son's amazing work, Warner Bros., and Christopher Nolan in particular for allowing Heath the creative license to develop and explore this crazy Joker character."

Since his death, the 28-year-old Ledger has gained a mythic aura akin to James Dean, another rising star who died well before his time.

The Joker was his final completed role, a casting choice that initially drew scorn from fans who thought Ledger would not be up to the task given Jack Nicholson's gleefully campy rendition of the character in 1989's "Batman."

In the months before Ledger's death, buzz on his wickedly chaotic performance swelled as marketing for the movie centered on the Joker and the perverted clown makeup he hid behind.

Ledger's death fanned a frenzy of anticipation for "The Dark Knight," which had a record $158.4 million opening weekend last summer.

The previous posthumous Oscar recipient was Peter Finch, who won best actor for 1976's "Network" two months after his death.

Cruz triumphed as a woman in a steamy three-way affair with her ex-husband and an American woman in Woody Allen's romance.

"Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one," Cruz said, who went on with warm thanks to Allen. "Thank you, Woody, for trusting me with this beautiful character. Thank you for having written all these years some of the greatest characters for women."

"OK, that fainting thing, Penelope," Winslet joked later as she accepted her best-actress prize for "The Reader," in which she plays a former concentration camp guard in an affair with a teen. "I'd be lying if I haven't made a version of this speech before. I think I was probably 8 years old and staring into the bathroom mirror, and this would be a shampoo bottle. But it's not a shampoo bottle now."

It was Winslet's first win after five previous losses.

"Slumdog" writer Simon Beaufoy, who adapted the script from Vikas Swarup's novel "Q&A," said there are places he never could imagine being.

"For me, it's the moon, the South Pole, the Miss World podium, and here," Beaufoy said.

The epic love story "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which led with 13 nominations, had three wins, for visual effects, art direction and makeup.

"The Dark Knight" had a second win, for sound editing.

"Milk" writer Dustin Lance Black offered an impassioned tribute to Milk.

"If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than by the churches, by the government, by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours," Black said.

"Man on Wire," James Marsh's examination of tight-rope walker Philippe Petit's dazzling stroll between the towers of the World Trade Center in 1974, was chosen as best documentary.

The acting categories were presented by five past winners of the same awards, among them last year's actress winners, Marion Cotillard and Tilda Swinton, plus Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, Kevin Kline, Sophia Loren, Anthony Hopkins, Shirley MacLaine and Robert De Niro.

It was a much different style for the Oscars as each past recipient offered personal tributes to one of the nominees, without clips of the nominated performances. Awards usually are done in chit-chat style between a couple of celebrity presenters.

After last year's Oscars delivered their worst TV ratings ever, producers this time aimed to liven up the show with some surprises and new ways of presenting awards. Rather than hiring a comedian such as past hosts Jon Stewart or Chris Rock, the producers went with actor and song-and-dance man Hugh Jackman, who has been host of Broadway's Tony Awards.

Instead of the usual standup routine, Jackman did an engaging musical number to open the show, saluting nominated films with a clever tribute.

Jackman later did a medley staged by his "Australia" director Baz Luhrmann with such performers as Beyonce Knowles and "High School Musical" stars Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron.

"Slumdog Millionaire" went into the evening after a run of prizes from earlier film honors.

The film nearly got lost in the shuffle as Warner Bros. folded its art-house banner, Warner Independent, which had been slated to distribute "Slumdog Millionaire." It was rescued from the direct-to-video scrap heap when Fox Searchlight stepped in to release the film.

"Slumdog" composer A.R. Rahman, a dual Oscar winner for the score and song, said the movie was about "optimism and the power of hope."

"All my life, I've had a choice of hate and love," Rahman said. "I chose love, and I'm here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thought for the Day

All experiences of pleasure and pain have their origin in the thoughts of man. A thought is like the seed of a tree, which in due course puts forth branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. All that you see in a tree has come from a small seed. Likewise, although man's thought is subtle, it contains potentially the entire universe. The atom is the microcosm of the Universe. One may have noticed the huge size of the banyan tree; however its seed is very small. Intrinsically, the seed and the tree are essentially one.- Baba
Thought for the day as written at Prasanthi Nilayam today22nd February 2009