known as a teen idol thanks to his role on 21 Jump Street and tortured
pretty-boy looks, Johnny Depp survived the perils of adolescent heartthrob
status to earn a reputation as a respected adult actor. His numerous
collaborations with director Tim Burton, as well as solid performances
in a number of critically acclaimed films, have allowed Depp to carve
a niche for himself as a serious, if idiosyncratic performer, a real-life
role that has continuously surprised critics intent on writing him
off as just another photogenic Tiger Beat casualty.
Born in Kentucky
and raised in Florida,Depp had the kind of upbringing that would readily
lend itself to his future portrayals of brooding lost boys. After
his parents divorced when he was 16, he dropped out of school a year
later in the hopes of making his way in the world as a musician. Depp
fronted a series of garage bands; the most successful of these, The
Kids, was once the opening act for Iggy Pop. During slack times in
the music business, Depp sold pens by phone. He got introduced to
acting after a visit to L.A. with his former wife, who introduced
him to actor Nicolas Cage, who encouraged Depp to give it a try. The
young actor made his film debut in 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street
(years after attaining stardom, Depp sentimentally played a cameo
in the last of the Elm Street series), and his climb to fame was accelerated
in 1987, when he replaced Jeff Yagher in the role of undercover cop
Tommy Hanson in the Canadian-filmed TV series 21 Jump Street. Biding
his time in "teen heartthrob" roles, Depp was first given
a chance to exhibit his exhausting versatility in the title role of
Tim Burton's fantasy Edward Scissorhands (1990).
success of Edward Scissorhands, the actor made a conscious and successful
effort never to repeat himself in his subsequent characterizations.
He continued to gain critical acclaim and increasing popularity for
his work, most notably in Benny & Joon (1993), in which he played
a troubled young man who fancies himself the reincarnation of Charlie
Chaplin and Buster Keaton, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993),
which cast him as its title character, a young man dissatisfied with
the confines of his small-town life. Following Gilbert Grape, Depp
outdid himself in Burton's Ed Wood (1994), with his outrageous but
lovable portrayal of the angora-sweater-worshipping World's Worst
Film Director. The same year, he further exercised his versatility
playing a 19th century accountant in Dead Man, Jim Jarmusch's otherworldly
Western. With his excellent portrayal of the titular undercover FBI
agent in Mike Newell's 1997 Donnie Brasco, Depp continued to ascend
the Hollywood ranks.
After a starring
turn as Hunter S. Thompson's alter ego in Terry Gilliam's trippy adaptation
of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Depp tried his hand at sci-fi
horror with The Astronaut's Wife in 1999. That same year, he again
collaborated with Burton on Sleepy Hollow, starring as a prim, driven
Ichabod Crane in the remake of Washington Irving's classic tale of
gothic terror. Appearing the following year in the small but popular
romantic drama Chocolat, Depp jumped back into the big time with his
role as real-life cocaine kingpin George Jung in Blow (2001) before
gearing up for roles in the Jack the Ripper thriller From Hell (2001)
and Robert Rodriguez's Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2002).
In addition to
his acting, Depp has also gained a certain dose of fame for his romantic
involvements with several female celebrities, including Winona Ryder,
Sherilyn Fenn, and Kate Moss, and in 1999 fathered a daughter with
French singer/actress Vanessa Paradis. He was also the owner of the
Viper Room, a popular L.A. nightspot which gained notoriety when actor
River Phoenix died of a drug overdose on its doorstep in 1993.
PC Game Review
Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight
Score: 8.8 in 10. Publisher\Developer: Microsoft. Genre: Simulation.
Release Date: July 29, 2003. Requirements: 128 MB RAM, 8 MB VRAM,
1800 MB disk space, mouse, sound card, DirectX v9.0
For more than a century, human beings have used engines
to pull, push, or lift themselves into the air, and for the past two
decades, Microsoft Flight Simulator has let armchair pilots explore
the exciting world of aviation on their PCs. Microsoft Flight Simulator
2004: A Century of Flight commemorates this double anniversary by
offering more planes, better graphics, and more options than ever
before right out of the box, but the game will likely reach its full
potential only if it receives great support from its player community.
Fans of the previous games in the series will be up
and running in no time thanks to the new game's familiar interface,
but Flight Simulator 2004 also happens to be the most beginner-friendly
game in the series. It's easier to access game options, and each option
is actually explained by the game. There's also an excellent interactive
flight school hosted by aviation veteran Rod Machado that serves as
a surprisingly deep training tool.
There is enough written material included about the planes, the history
of flight, and flying tips to fill an encyclopedia. As such, Flight
Simulator 2004 represents one of the rare instances in which online
documentation is wholly superior to a printed manual. The documentation
includes articles that are supplemented with Web-page-style hyperlinks,
which lead to more detailed information about a particular topic.
And you'll need all the information you can get, because
most of the new planes in Flight Simulator 2004 are cranky old antiques
that require your undivided attention. The entire history of civilian
flight is represented in the game, from the original Wright Flyer
that can't even struggle its way out of ground effect to a Boeing
747-400 that can haul hundreds of people higher than 40,000 feet at
Mach .85. You can retrace Lindbergh's steps across the Atlantic in
a re-creation of the Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis," see
what Amelia Earhart's trip across that same ocean was like in a Lockheed
Vega, and haul freight over the mountains in a Douglas DC-3, among
other things. The Sopwith Camel was not brought over from the previous
game into the new game--this is strictly a civilian flight simulator,
without any military prop planes or jets, but it still offers plenty
of different aircraft to fly.
The overall flight model feels very similar to that
of Flight Simulator 2002 and is well suited to capturing the nuances
of the game's slow and underpowered historical planes.
Aside from the historical aircraft, Flight Simulator
2004's big news this time around is its weather effects. You can set
up in-flight weather any way you like or go for the ultimate in realism
by having the game automatically download real-world weather reports
from the Jeppesen database every 15 minutes.
Even if you don't choose to use the real-world weather
option, the game can dynamically change its weather conditions so
that a flight that begins in clear blue skies might end up in pure
instrument conditions as you try to feel your way down to the runway
in a violent thunderstorm. The addition of true 3D clouds that drift
through the sky and merge into one another as weather conditions change
adds a realistic touch to the game that static screenshots simply
Flight Simulator 2004's graphics are improved over
those in the previous game, but they're not exactly photo-realistic
just yet. Buildings still use low-resolution textures, and the ground
looks much better from a high altitude than it does when you're flying
low and slow. The game's interactive virtual cockpits are a great
new feature, since the ability to control most switches, knobs, and
dials with the mouse when the 3D cockpit is enabled adds some much-needed
functionality to that view. Unfortunately, the textures used in the
virtual cockpits are low resolution and very ugly--hopefully this
is something that inventive computer artists among the Flight Simulator
fan community will address. On the outside, the planes look beautiful,
with vastly more-complex models adorned with gorgeous high-res textures
that sparkle in the sun, and the game also sounds impressively realistic,
since the developer recorded engine noises from actual planes for
use in the game.
are hot…they are happening…they are the heartthrobs of the music scene
in town. They are the prodigies who know how to rock people and get
them on their feet in a flash. There's only one word to describe them-
genius. They are simply…Nemesis.
Now, one of the
most coveted bands in Dhaka, Nemesis is now reaching for the stars
if not already there. But what is Nemesis? How much do people really
know about the faces behind the name? How much do they know about
the people who made Nemesis? Very little. For some, almost nothing.
But rest assured all you Nemesis fans out there, because RS just managed
to get a one on one interview with Nemesis at band drummer Dio's house.
All the members of the band: Zohad, Dio, Omayr, Yawar, Ratul, Nandito-
except for lead guitarist Maher and special vocalist Nabila were present
for the one-on-one with RS where they talked frankly about themselves,
their experiences, their up-coming album and their rise to stardom
(which by the way they claim is "we don't think we have mass
popularity"). So here you have it people- Nemesis unmasked and
RS: When did the
NEMESIS: The band started in December 1999.
RS: Who were the
NEMESIS: The initial members of the band would have to be Yawar, Saber,
Maher, Sabin, Faria and Fariza.
Of these initial members, who left, who remained and who came as new
NEMESIS: Saber left for USA. Sabin left as well. Faria and Fariza
went off for their studies. Nondito, Zohad and Ratul joined during
the second gig. Dio and Omayr came later in place of Nandito and Yawar
(they study abroad).
RS: Why did you
choose the name "Nemesis"?
NEMESIS: It was a spur of a moment decision. We were about to get
up and perform and we needed a name. And we just came up with Nemesis.
RS: What do you
categorize yourselves as?
NEMESIS: Ummm, we categorize ourselves as a Rock/Alternative band.
RS: What type
of music or what bands do you play?
NEMESIS: We play (chorus) U2. Dire Straits, Guns And Roses, Pearl
Jam, Creed, Satriani. And we'll soon be doing our own tracks.
RS: Whom are you
most inspired by?
NEMESIS: We are inspired by each other, by Nemesis. (Ratul) Musically,
I'm inspired by heavy metal- bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden. (Zohad)
U2, Pearl Jam. (Nondito) Rock music. (Zohad) Maher is inspired by
Satriani, Mettalica and Dream Theatre. (Yawar) Dire Straits, Santana.
(Dio and Omar) U2.
RS: Does the song
"With Or Without You" (U2) have a special significance?
NEMESIS: Actually, it was the first song we performed on stage and
they loved it.
RS: What led you
to choose your individual areas of music?
NEMESIS: (Zohad) I never knew I could sing. It happened coincidentally
and I enjoyed it. (Yawar) I was just too lazy to play other stuff.
(Nondito) I started off with drums but took up guitar. The guitar
allows me to express myself creatively. (Zohad) Maher is just a natural
genius. (Ratul) It just happened for me. (Dio) I don't know. Like
him (Ratul) it just happened. (Omayr) Just happened for me too.
RS: When did you
NEMESIS: On Valentines Day in 2000 at Russian Cultural Centre.
RS: When you started
out, did you ever predict this mass popularity?
NEMESIS: Well, we never expected mass popularity. We don't think we
have mass popularity. But the fans have been great and we are grateful
to them for it.
RS: Does the fact
that you're labelled with other underground bands bother you?
NEMESIS: No it doesn't bother us. It's like a family and it's great
being a part of it.
RS: Did you participate
in Benson & Hedges?
NEMESIS: Yes we did.
RS: Did you win?
If no, were you disheartened?
NEMESIS: No we didn't win. We weren't disheartened because we had
started out maybe two-three months ago and we just wanted to perform.
We didn't want to win. We were doing everything. Going to whatever
shows we could. We were in the growing process and we never had any
aspirations for it.
RS: When are we
going to see your own album?
NEMESIS: We're working on it. (Zohad) Somewhere in 2004.
RS: Who are going
to perform in it?
NEMESIS: Everyone is. Everyone who is a part of Nemesis. There's also
our guest performer Nabila. She's actually a member. She's our permanent
RS: Will you have
both English and Bangla tracks?
NEMESIS: Yeah. We'd prefer to have all English songs but the label
requires us to have Bangla tracks.
RS: Who did the
composition and lyrics?
NEMESIS: Everyone. It was a united group effort.
RS: Does the overwhelming
number of female fans bother you or your private lives?
NEMESIS: I think Zohad has something to say…. (Zohad laughing out
loud) No it doesn't bother us. Actually it's very flattering.
RS: Have your
expectations as musicians been fulfilled by now?
NEMESIS: No definitely not. We have a long way to go.
RS: Do you all
plan to make a professional career out of this or is it just a temporary
phase that you will eventually abandon?
NEMESIS: We would love to. But we don't know what will happen. We
don't know what the future holds for us. We would love to be professional
What do you want to say to all your fans out there?
NEMESIS: It's a beautiful day. Thank you for making it a beautiful
day for us. Thanks for the support. Rock on!
(The band is son going to complete its website which is still under
construction. The address is www.nemesisbd.tk)
So there you have it! All you need to know, all you wanted know and
all you didn't know! Till their next concert and the launch of their
very own album- hats off to Nemesis! You guys simply rock!
Md. Zohad Reza Chowdhury (Zuperman). DOB- 8th January 1983
Lead guitarist: Maher A. Khan. DOB- 13th November 1982
Bassist: Md. Raquibun Nabi (Ratul). DOB- 24th December 1979
Guitarist: Omayr Khan. DOB- 3rd August 1985
Guitarist: Nandito Noor. DOB-14th May 1982
Drummer: Dio S. Haque. DOB- 12th July 1985
Drummer: Yawar Mehboob. DOB- 16th January 1982
Special Guest Vocalist: Nabila Khan. 25th July 1982
A very special thanks to Dio for setting up the interview and assembling
the band. Thanks to Nemesis for their time and co-operation.)