Movie Review: Alvin And The Chipmunks – disappointing!

Alvin And The Chipmunks Review on AngadSodhi Dot Com

CAST: Jason Lee (David Seville), David Cross (Ian Hawk) and Cameron Richardson (Claire).
WITH THE VOICES OF: Justin Long (Alvin), Matthew Gray Gubler (Simon) and Jesse McCartney (Theodore).

I’m a computer engineer in the making and hence, animated movies are really my kind of movies. 300, Shrek, Ice Age… I loved em all. Alvin and the Chipmunks promised to fit the bill, but then it simply didn’t.

Three chipmunks join a not-so-successful song writer. Do the chipmunks talk? “well, our lips are moving and words are coming out!”, as Alvin puts it. Let alone talk, they sing their way to glory.

Problems come. Problems go. Everything is rosy in the end. How lame! How predictable! I dunno if I slept through a part of the movie, but Alvin is no way superior to his fellow chipmunks. I would rather have called the movie “And the Chipmunks (Alvin included)”!!!

But then not everything’s bad. The chipmunks are really cute. The animation is enthralling. They sing well. Their lips are in sync with what they speak. Hats off to that!

AngadSodhi Dot Com Rating: 6.5/10

Conclusion: Really good animation but lacks a gripping story. For those who don’t know anything about the cartoon series (me for e.g.), the movie seems lackluster.

Dogs = Best hope for the disabled!!

Dogs for the disabledLife must be really tough if you have a physical handicap. Picking up dropped keys when you can barely bend over in a wheelchair, attending the door when you don’t even hear the doorbell, waiting for someone to take you to the park. Little things that are trivial to us are an impediment to their independence. Sure, technology does come in handy here. But then one gadget can’t do all your tasks. Moreover, how do you teach a gadget to bestow love? No gadget could possibly do that. What you need is something with a heart and soul. Someone who can complement you. Someone who’ll be there with you, for you, all the time. Probably even a human being could never fit this post. Then, who am I referring to?? Why man’s best friend ofcourse! They ain’t called man’s best friend for no reason at all!!

There are organizations (see below for a short list) which train dogs for the disabled. Here, dogs are trained according to the disability of their owners. For e.g. dogs meant to assist the blind, called guide dogs, are taught to walk their masters to the park, hand them their phones, guard homes, warn their masters of fires and stuff. Hearing dogs, which aid the hearing impaired, are trained to alert their masters of smoke alarms, phone rings, doorbells, baby cries etc. Service dogs are trained to help the physically handicapped open doors, pull wheelchairs, activate switches etc.

The best part is that these institutes do all this at absolutely no cost to the disabled. They function only on our donations. We can (or rather must) show our support either through donations or by paying a visit to these training centers. Even those dogs could do with some love. Training must not be easy too. Imagine a dog takes his master to the park and runs off chasing a cat!!

It is heartening to know that these institutes are gaining the much required attention. In the US, laws now permit entry to dogs for the disabled in public parks (comes as a surprise to us Indians coz in India you’ll even find buffaloes in public gardens!!).

I write this post to thank all those charitable organizations which are doing this noble deed. We’ll always be grateful for bringing smiles to the disabled and giving them a whole new meaning of life. An even bigger pat on the head to those finest and most lovable of God’s creations. Thank You!!

Dogs helping the disabled - Angad Sodhi Dot ComDogs helping the disabled - Angad Sodhi Dot Com

Dogs helping the disabled - Angad Sodhi Dot ComDogs helping the disabled - Angad Sodhi Dot Com

Dogs helping the disabled - Angad Sodhi Dot ComDogs helping the disabled - Angad Sodhi Dot Com

Listed below are some of the organizations that train dogs for the disabled. Check them out!

Also check out this video by http://www.dogsforthedisabled.org/ A bit long but a must watch.


PS: The doggy and wheelchair logo is a trademark of http://www.dogsforthedisabled.org/

WinterWolves’ Universal Boxing Manager – Game Review

This is my very first assignment with ReviewMe.Com
If you want me to review your product/website, contact me at angad619<at>gmail<dot>com

Those addicted to playing manager in FIFA titles must know the thrills and frills of playing manager. But why play manager when you could yourself step onto the football field! Logic tells me that I would love to play manager in a sport I wouldn’t dare play myself. A sport that gets you all sweaty, bruised and banged up. A sport like boxing!!

http://www.winterwolves.com‘s Universal Boxing Manager lets you play manager to a bunch of professional boxers. Hire more boxers, train them, setup and schedule matches. Manage infrastructure, medical staff, sponsors etc. If need be, even fire underperforming boxers! Feels powerful right? But with great power, comes great res…. (Yeah! Yeah! We all know that)

When you begin your new profile, you are given 150 points and two boxers to begin with. Improve training facilities, hire medics with the available points. The manager has to set up matches and schedule them in such a way that he gives his players enough rest.

Manager screen of UBM

The manager himself has attributes various attributes, charisma being the most of them. With enough charisma, he can boost the morale of his boxers. But that’s before the match. The real deal comes only when the fight begins.

During the fight, you get to instruct your boxer in between two rounds (very much like the pep talk boxers have with their managers in between rounds). You have 3 aspects to control:
Boxer Strategy: You can choose between ‘Strike Body’, ‘Strike High’ and ‘Mixed’.
Boxer Fighting Style: Choose between ‘Offensive’, ‘Defensive’ and ‘Movement’
Choose the right combination according to the fitness of your boxer and he will come out victorious. Making a bad decision could have your boxer Knocked Out!! Further depending on your points tally, you can choose to ‘incite’ your boxer, ‘heal’ your boxer or do nothing at all!

AS your wins matches, he climbs up the rankings. Higher ranked players earn more for each win/loss. In the process even your own attributes increase.

Overall, it’s a fun game to play. The 20min free trial is just a 4MB download and can be found at http://www.winterwolves.com. No harm in trying it out guys. Even the full version is a mere 24.95$ Check it out!!!

UMA screen UMA screen

http://www.winterwolves.com has many more Mac Games. Check them out too.

The best joke Ive ever read!!

This is probably the best joke I’ve come across in a very long time. Very modest and extremely hilarious!! A bit long but definitely worth the wait. Enjoy!!!

One day I met a sweet gentleman and fell in love. When it became apparent that we would marry, I made the supreme sacrifice and gave up beans.

Some months later, on my birthday, my car broke down on the way home from work. Since I lived in the countryside I called my husband and told him that I would be late because I had to walk home.

On my way, I passed by a small diner and the odor of baked beans was more than I could stand. With miles to walk, I figured that I would walk off any ill effects by the time I reached home, so I stopped at the diner and before I knew it, I had consumed three large orders of baked beans. All the way home, I made sure that I released all the gas.

Upon my arrival, my husband seemed excited to see me and exclaimed delightedly: “Darling I have a surprise for dinner tonight.”

He then blindfolded me and led me to my chair at the dinner table. I took a seat and just as he was about to remove my blindfold, the telephone rang.He made me promise not to touch the blindfold until he returned and went to answer the call.

The baked beans I had consumed were still affecting me and the pressure was becoming most unbearable, so while my husband was out of the room I seized the opportunity, shifted my weight to one leg and let one go. It was not only loud, but it smelled like a fertilizer truck running over a skunk in front of a pulpwood mill. I took my napkin from my lap and fanned the air around me vigorously then, shifting to the other cheek, I ripped off three more. The stink was worse than cooked cabbage.

Keeping my ears carefully tuned to the conversation in the other room, I went on like this for another few minutes. The pleasure was indescribable.

When eventually the telephone farewells signaled the end of my freedom, I quickly fanned the air a few more times with my napkin, placed it on my lap and folded my hands back on it feeling very relieved and pleased with myself.

My face must have been the picture of innocence when my husband returned, apologizing for taking so long.

He asked me if I had peeked through the blindfold, and I assured him I had not. At this point, he removed the blindfold, and twelve dinner guests seated around the table chorused: “Happy Birthday!” I nearly died!!!

Taare Zameen Par MOVIE REVIEW – Spoiler Warning!

Taare Zameen Par Movie Review on angadsodhi dot comSpoiler warning?? That means I’ll be giving the details away!! Actually yes. If I don’t do that, all I can say is that it’s a flawless movie. Every creature on this planet (Yup. I took my pet roach to the movie and he came out sobbing too!!) would say that it’s a must watch. But that’s not all I have to say. At AngadSodhi Dot Com, things are done differently! OK enough bragging…

First of all I’d like to clarify that the movie is not at all about parenting. Maybe people have interpreted it wrongly, but it is definitely not about how parents must behave with their kids. What I mean to say is, what if your child is not dyslexic at all? And even if he is, a 3hr movie won’t do you any good! It’s just the chemistry between the two and the little guy’s acting skills that take you off your feet!

Ishaan Awasthi (Darsheel Safary) is a sweet innocent child whose dyslexia is detected only in the mid second half of the movie by his arts professor Nikumbh Sir (Aamir Khan). Just as they say that people with such disorders have some other talent etched onto them, Ishaan is good at drawing (hence those weird promos showing octopuses which relate neither to taare (stars) nor zameen (land) from the title).

Dyslexia (“Dys – impaired | Lexis – word” as my Homeopath sis clarifies every time the word is mentioned) is a disorder where the brain maps certain characters as a mirror image of how they actually are. So ‘d’ will look like ‘b’ and so on. A list of famous people with dyslexia include Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo DaVinci and (surprise! surprise!) our very own Abhishek Bachchan.

Ishaan’s falling grades prompt his parents to put him in a boarding school because they want him to excel in life. But the separation traumatizes the poor kid. Aamir is actually a teacher at an institute for the mentally challenged and detects Ishaan’s disorder. People do overcome this disorder and Nikumbh Sir (Aamir) himself had had that problem in his childhood! Thus the two bond well and their chemistry steals the show. Aamir is a temporary arts teacher at the boarding school and Ishaan loves drawing. Together they work hard to improve his writing and Ishaan shows signs of improvement.

The movie has plenty of scenes that bring tears down your cheeks. A very touching song titled ‘Maa’ just fits the bill. Ishaan makes a flipbook that shows his being drafted away from his family. In the end there’s an all school drawing competition that has plenty of emotional scenes (OK I won’t reveal those! See them for yourself).

The first half is all about the little boy’s carefree, sometimes careless but very innocent nature. Reminded me of my school days – almost always late to school, many a times out of the class if not on the bench! The lad’s acted really well I must mention. Does some really tough scenes really well. Put Aamir in his place and probably even he’ll make a fool of himself. But the kid does it really very beautifully.

+ves:

  • The little guy’s acting.
  • Aamir’s acting.
  • Aamir keeps himself offscreen wherever not necessary.
  • The little guy’s acting.
  • Other actors too chip in well.
  • Just the right use of animation in the movie.
  • The little guy’s acting.
  • The song ‘Maa’.
  • Well thought about characters. No villains here! (Is this actually Bollywood??)
  • Err.. The little gu…… (Heck! I’ve already become a fan of this guy)

-ves:

  • Rest of the songs are crap!

AngadSodhi Dot Com Rating: 9/10

Conclusion: A movie worth watching. It can probably win us the Oscar! But my foresight tells me that we’ll submit OSO. Why? Because it has SRK in it!! TZP is now taxfree! Do check it out in a theatre. If you find your eyes getting moist, “Ya Bindhaas”, as Ishu cutely puts it. Don’t hesitate. The entire theatre would be having tears streaming down their cheeks in a while!!


Useful Links:
The very cute official website
Lyrics of the song ‘Maa’ (also it’s English translation)