Archive for August, 2008

August 29, 2008

Felon – One of the great Prison Movies


Story of most of the Prison movies is almost the same. Usually A nice guy being convicted for a crime that he did not do is sent to prison and face the consequences. I started watching the movie with the same impression. As the movie started I was looking forward for those friends, enemies and traps that are normally involved in these movies.

The movie all about a man who is working hard to start his business and create a comfortable life for his family. The hard work start reaping the fruits of his labour and life suddenly brings some unexpected twist. He finds himself in prison. From here we see his transformations of the man who is forced into a completely new world where he has no control.

This movie gives us a clear picture of the extreme conditions that prevail in American correctional system. It shows how people can get corrupted by power. All the actors (Stephen Dorff, Val Kilmer, Harold Perrineau and others) in this movie have done wonderfully well in their characters. The story is very well told. At the end of the movie, we start thinking how the correctional system has so many flaws and how it makes people to become their worst, both as inmates and as guards. The best part of the film is it also shows that even in these circumstances, there are great acts of humanity and compassion.

Felon, is an excellent film with great acting, a great plot and good dialog. Lots of suspense, good solid action, excellent cinematography and great acting make this film a must see for drama/suspense fans. I would rate it 9 out of 10

August 27, 2008

A New Chapter in AP Politics

Yesterday was a Historic day for the fans of Chiranjeevi. He in a very good cinematic style has launched his party “PRAJA RAJYAM”. He had this party meeting in tirupathi where 9 lacs fans were gathered which seemed like a sea of chiranjeevi’s fans. Before he came on to the stage they played movies of chiranjeevi which were related to some social issues. There were a total of 70 gaint screens to show the proceedings.

He also unveiled the party flag which has White, Green, Red and Yellow colors in it. It meant that the white and green flag with rising sun in the middle, would spread the power round-the-clock to every nook and corner and the yellow lining around the sun is the smile on the faces of the people.

Chiranjeevi gave a speech for more than an hour. The only thing that I did not like about that was reading the same from the paper. The impact would have been much more if he has actually spoke without seeing into the paper. In his speech he spoke about the issues like Telangana, naxalism, corruption and categorization of Scheduled Castes. He said he would take a collective decision after some scientific evaluation.

He was very careful in choosing the words for the speech. One of them I felt was “On these sensitive issues, I cannot take an immediate decision”. He has taken a real good care of the crowd who came there. But, because of that huge crowd there was some bad news of 1 dieing and 35 getting injured.

Finally lets hope he will stand by his cinematic image and do something or at least a little good to the society and his fans. I don’t really have much in depth knowledge or analysis to comment on his stand in politics but I would wish and hope for something good to happen for AP politics.

August 27, 2008

A Tribute to Sir Donald Bradman

1. Best ever batting performance in a test

During 2001, Wisden came out with a list of the 100 best Test innings of all time. Don Bradman’s 270 played at Melbourne in 1937 was adjudged the best ever test innings. This was closely follwed by Lara’s match-winning 153* and Gooch’s 154*.

Playing on a gluepot, Bradman declared at 200 for 9 and Gubby Allen countered by declaring at 76 for 9. The wicket was still very difficult and Bradman sent his tailenders in. Soon they were 97 for 5. Then Bradman and Fingleton added 346 for the sixth wicket, . Bradman continued on and was ninth out at 270. England fought gamely but lost by a big margin. A tactical battle which was won by Bradman, the captain and he also led from the front. A potted summary of the match is given below.

Test # 257. Australia vs England.
Played on 1,2,4,5,6,7 January 1937
at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Australia won by 365 runs.
Australia: 200 for 9 wkt(s)
England: 76 for 9 wkt(s)
Australia: 564 all out (Bradman 270, Fingleton 136)
England: 323 all out

2. The best 10-innings stretch

Bradman’s best 10-innings stretch was during 1937-46, when he scored 1236 runs at an average of 154.50

The scores were 212, 169, 51, 144*, 18, 102*, 103, 16, 187 and 234.

Also relevant here is “Alex”‘s comment, reproduced below.

Also, regarding the ‘best 10-innings stretch’. Bradman scored 1370 runs in 10 innings during 1930 and 1931: 131, 254, 1, 334, 14, 232, 4, 25, 223, 152. There were no not-outs during this period however, so his average was ‘only’ 137.0.

3. The worst 10-innings stretch

Bradman’s worst 10-innings stretch started during the second body line test during 1932-33 and continued until 1934 when he scored 426 runs (in 11 innings) at an average of 38.72. He finished this streak with his monumental 304 at Headingley during 1934.

The scores were 8, 66, 76, 24, 48, 71, 29, 25, 36, 13 and 30.

4. Highest average reached (after 10 innings)

Bradman reached his highest career average of 112.29 after the Adelaide Test against South Africa, in which he scored 299*.

5. Lowest average reached (after 10 innings)

Bradman reached his lowest career average, after passing the initial period of 10 tests, of 89.56 after the Old Trafford Test against England during 1934. Not surprisingly this was the end of his worst streak, referred to elsewhere in this article.

6. When the average of 100.00 was reached

Surprisingly Bradman did not have a great start to his career. He reached an average of 100.00 (agreed very few have ever touched this milestone) only after 15 innings

7. Quality of opposition bowling

Surprisingly the bowling Bradman faced in his career was slightly below all time average. 29.62 against 29.50. However it must be noted that he faced this level of bowling almost all the time. The all-time average arrived consists of 40s and 20s scattered across the 1800 odd Test matches.

8. Runs scored in each batting position

Batting Position      3      4      5       6      7
Runs scored 5078 485 427 681 325
Batting Average 103.63 53.89 142.33 97.29 162.50

The No. 7 total is bolstered by that amazing innings of 270 referred to elsewhere in this article.

9. Analysis by batting position

Bradman’s Batting Position Average is 3.65, indicating that he batted at No. 3 most of the time. For the record he batted at No. 3 a total of 56 times (70%).

10. Analysis of 100s

This is the one measure where he has yielded to a contemporary batsman. The average of the 29 hundreds Bradman has scored in Test cricket is a very high 185.97. Till a few weeks back, he was the No.1 batsman in this regard. Sehwag overtook this figure with his 319 at Chennai. However Bradman’s 100s frequency of 1.8 Tests per hundred is way ahead of any one else.

11. Home/Away runs scored

Not so surprisingly, considering his success in England, Bradman’s away performance is superior to his Australian performances. He has scored 2674 runs away at an average of 102.85 while in Australia, he has scored 4322 runs at an average of 98.22.

12. How far ahead of the next

Just to show how far ahead Bradman is of the other batsmen, a relative scale table is shown below.

Measure          Bradman     %    Next Best    %     Difference

Batting Avge 99.96 100.0 68.38 68.47 31.53 (Hussey)
Runs per test 134.53 100.0 99.54 74.00 26.00 (Headley)
Tests per 100 1.79 100.0 2.20 81.00 19.00 (Headley)
Inns per 100 2.76 100.0 4.00 69.00 31.00 (Headley)

13. Man of the Match awards

Hey what is this, no Man of the Match awards were given when Bradman played. True. So I have gone through the scorecards and using the Innings Rating points, determined which player could have got the MOM awards, if these were given. Bradman would have got no less than 16 MOM awards in the 52 tests played, a frequency of 3.25 tests per award. Compare this with the current leaders. The best is a frequency of 6.00.

Kallis         123     20    6.15
Muralitharan 123 19 6.47
Wasim Akram 104 17 6.12
Shane Warne 145 17 8.52
Ambrose 84 14 6.00

14. Movement of averages

Finally a footnote. I am not sure whether I would jump with joy if someone, as reported recently, conclusively proved that Bradman scored those elusive four runs, by mistake credited to Jack Ryder, during 1929. The figure of 99.94 is etched into the memory of people and sounds far better than 100.00. It also confirms a nice human element to one pervceived to be a super-human.

August 26, 2008

Gambling at Genting

We never had a plan to go for Genting Highlands. I heard a lot about the place but did not really plan for it in this KL trip. As we were able to cover Petronas, KL Tower, Batu Caves, Times Square Berjaya, China Town and the Night life in just one day, we thought of checking out Genting on the second day. Genting is basically a hill top entertainment weekend getaway for the Malays and there is not much for tourists really.

Genting Highlands Resort

View of the Resort from the Flying Coaster Area

Even though it was in the morning 4 that we came back to hotel we were ready by 9AM to go for Genting. We wore 4 KL Tshirts for the trip which would look alike. We had our breakfast at the lodge before heading down to Genting. We took a taxi to the lower station for the rope car which is located near Gohtong Jaya. I was looking forward for Genting Highlands was just for the ropeway. It is currently the world’s fastest and South East Asia’s longest cable car system.

For safety reasons, it undergoes periodic maintenance checks. And we were the most unlucky people as the maintanence started the day we went there. Hence it was closed. During the maintenance period, they use Awana Skyway, which is a bit less exciting than the Genting Skyway. But after seeing the queue there and the time limit that we had we thought of avoiding it. We took a taxi straigh to the Genting resort.

Flying Coaster



Train Experience to see the whole resort

We reached there and took an entry for the outdoor amusement park. There were three different types of entry tickets. One for the indoor, one for the outdoor and one for both. We were excited about the roller coaster and the flying coaster rides. We took some of these exciting rides and then headed for the casino. This is the first time ever that I was going to a casino. Actually speaking it was first time for all 4 of us on the trip. Even though we lost 100 Ringgits which we thought is the limit for first timers, it was a wonderful experience.

Me at the Casino Entrance

People stay in the Genting resort hotel over night to enjoy all this fun. They have bowling games, Indoor theme park, nice buffet for lunch and dinner and a theater. But of all these I would say Genting has three primary attractions which are Casino (Casino de Genting), Theme Parks (Indoor and Outdoor) and the Rope ways (Genting Skyway and Awana Skyway).

Aquarium inside Casino

Fishes at the outdoor theme park
On way back

Things to be taken care are:

It rains there most of the time – take umbrellas, raincoats etc.
You need not stay overnight – best plan to go early morning and come back to KL in evening
Vegetarians – Do carry something
Ropeway – take a call looking at the weather – do not judge weather in Genting with that of KL

August 26, 2008

Night Life at KL

aIn KL we booked a hotel by name Pondok Lodge through the Hostel World. I have read some reviews and just booked it. When we reached there in the morning at 8AM we saw that the street was empty and deserted. We went out for the full day tour of the city and came back to hotel at 8PM. When we reached there we couldnt recognise the hotel. The road which seemed so calm in the morning was looking wild with music and people all around. Now we understood that we were staying in one of most happening streets in KL.

We got ready and started to check out the night life there. First pub we visited was just below our lodge. The crowd and the music there was awesome. As the place was really small we couldnt really stay there for long time. We went forward asking people about the beach pub. Following the directions we reached the beach pub. There was huge crowd dancing around. There was some live band playing really nice songs from different genres. We further went down and reached Aloha pub. The music here was simply superb and I would say one of the best I have seen till date.

The roads at 2AM in the morning were full with cars, taxis, bikes and people. You would never feel that you are on the road at 2 in the morning. While coming back we also saw that McDonalds and KFC were still open and were serving. But avoided both of them and sat at a local food court road side. The time travelled so fast from 9 to 4 that we did not realise that it was already 4 in the morning by the time we reached back to hotel. Finally I would say After Phuket, Night life at KL rocks.

August 25, 2008

Taken is Awesome


My cousin wanted me to watch this movie. He said its a nice fast paced action movie. That sounded good and I immediately downloaded the movie. I didn’t really read any reviews about this movie. Its just with the word of mouth that I started watching the movie.

Actually speaking I was not sure about the story and the starcast.
The film started really well. Right from the start I could sense that the picture was going to be a thriller. Once the movie started and before I could even realise it was over. 93 minutes, gone just like that without any notice. The movie had chasing, fighting, shooting, excitement and even the emotional scenes carried at a good pace.

The direction was so perfect that the movie had all that ingredients which would make us stick to the seat till the end of the movie. The last scene was very touching and emotional. Some of the scenes were so good that I couldn’t stop my excitement that I started clapping. I would rate this movie 10 out of 10 mainly for the pace of the movie. Though the film is short, it was really really really good. I would definitely watch this movie on big screen if that releases in Singapore.

August 25, 2008

Back from Hanoi


After a relaxing tour to Hanoi and Halong Bay today I am back to work. Came at 3.30 in the morning and didn’t really sleep. Now in the office I am feeling very drowsy, so thought of just writing something to change my mood.

August 21, 2008

20.08.2008

Yesterday date has some specialty if we see it properly. Its 20082008. Good to see such dates. The day is more special for me because its my brother’s birthday. Many happy returns Bro.

August 21, 2008

Second visit to Vietnam


Today in another 4 hours I will be starting for Hanoi and Hallong Bay in Vietnam. This will be my second trip to Vietnam in June. My first visit was for the Ho Chi Minh City. This time I am not a solo traveler. I am being accompanied by Nagraj and Srinivas. We will be back on Monday and shall update about the trip.

August 18, 2008

Respite from Activities

This weekend for the first time I didn’t have any plans. My roomies wanted to go out but I wanted to use this for rejuvenating my energy for the next weeks work. The only activity for this weekend was to watch “Journey to the Center of the Earth and Bachna Hai Haseeno” movies and some archery stuff.