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The World of
U N D E R W O R L D

Action/Adventure, Romance and Suspense/Horror. 2 hrs. 01 min.
Set in the secret nocturnal and supernatural world of vampires and werewolves, two groups that have been at war for centuries, this is the story of a romance between a female vampire warrior, Selene (Beckinsale), who's famous for her strength and werewolf-hunting prowess, and a peace-loving human, Michael (Speedman), who wants to end the war. Release Date: September 19th, 2003 (wide).

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence/gore and some language. Distributor: Screen Gems (Sony) Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, Danny McBride, Michael Sheen Directed by: Len Wiseman Produced by: Robert Bernacchi, Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg, Richard S. Wright.

Movie Momís Review

Imagine West Side Story with vampires and lycans (wolfmen) instead of Sharks and Jets and guns, blades, and teeth piercing necks instead of musical numbers, then dress them all in Matrix-inspired goth-bondage attire and you'll have "Underworld," a pulpy, punk-ish story filled with runes and ruins. This is the kind of movie where characters with names like Craven say things like "But what about the Covenant?" and the exposition explanation begins in the 5th century, dust is blown from the cover of weighty medieval tomes, and huge heavy chains hang down for no particular reason. The action begins before we know which side we're on, with a stylish subway shoot-out. It turns out that there has been a centuries-long war between the vampires and the lycan. Now the lycan are very interested in a human doctor named Michael (Scott Speedman) and the vampires want to know why. Michael is rescued by Selene (Kate Beckinsdale), and he rescues her in return. She is ordered to kill him. But he did save her life. And he is kind of cute. And you can tell they are meant for each other because while everyone else in the movie has slicked-back hair, Michael's and Selene's hair falls adorably over their eyes. If this movie doesn't quite rise to the category of silly fun, it is a tolerable comic book-style time-waster with some stylistic flair and some energetic action sequences. Parents should know that the movie has extensive and graphic violence. There is a reference to "misegenation" and adulteration of bloodlines. Characters drink and smoke and use strong language. Families who see this movie should talk about how centuries-old conflicts can be resolved in a way that feels fair to all sides. Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy The Matrix and Blade.

Audience: 15 and up MPAA Rating: R for strong violence/gore and some language. Profanity: Some strong language Nudity/Sex None Alcohol/Drugs: Smoking, drinking Violence/Scariness: Intense action violence, graphic injuries, characters killed Diversity Issues: A metaphorical theme of the movie, strong female character Release Date: September 19, 2003.

Kate Beckinsale

First making an impression on international audiences with her role as the sweet, virginal Hero in Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing (1993), pale-skinned, fine-boned British actress Kate Beckinsale has since stepped beyond period pieces to prove that she is anything but a fragile English rose.

The daughter of a BBC casting director and famed television actor Richard Beckinsale (known for roles on Porridge and Rising Damp), Beckinsale was born July 26, 1973. After her father's death from a heart attack in 1979, the actress was raised by her mother.

By her own account, Beckinsale's childhood and adolescence were fairly troubled, marked by struggles with anorexia. She decided to follow in her father's acting footsteps while still a teenager and in 1991, had her major television debut in Once Against the Wind, a World War II drama in which she played Judy Davis' daughter.

The same year, Beckinsale enrolled at Oxford, to study French and Russian Literature, and pursued her education until committing herself full-time to acting. In 1993, while still a student at Oxford, Beckinsale was cast in Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing. Her supporting role was a memorable one, winning the actress a limited amount of recognition amongst American audiences, but it was not until 1995, when she starred in John Schlesinger's adaptation of Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm, that her wattage began to increase, at least in art houses everywhere. The film, which was initially made for BBC television, proved to be a modest hit, bringing in respectable box office and glowing reviews.

Beckinsale followed the film's success with another two years later, starring as an altruistic con artist in the quirky romantic comedy Shooting Fish. The film was an unqualified hit in its native country, becoming the third-highest grossing film in England for 1997. The same year, Beckinsale further increased her visibility with the title role in A&E's Emma.

She next graced American movie screens in Whit Stillman's The Last Days of Disco (1998). She received good reviews for her portrayal of a cool and catty WASP college graduate (for which she assumed an American accent), although the movie itself met with a deeply mixed reaction. The following year, Beckinsale, in addition to giving birth to a daughter (fathered by longtime boyfriend Michael Sheen), starred in her first big-budget Hollywood feature. Playing opposite Claire Danes in Brokedown Palace, the actress portrayed an American girl who, while on vacation with best friend Danes in Thailand, gets caught with heroin and is sentenced to 33 years in a Thai prison. That mid-budgeted film, however, was nothing compared to her next major Hollywood production.

After essaying roles in a television production of Alice Through the Looking Glass (1999) and the Merchant/Ivory production of Henry James' The Golden Bowl (2000), Beckinsale was plucked from relative obscurity by director Michael Bay for his lavish World War II epic, Pearl Harbor (2001). Boasting a record-setting, nine-digit price tag and one of the most aggressive marketing campaigns ever waged on the American public, the film featured the actress as Evelyn, a plucky nurse torn between the affections of two soldiers.


Freedom Fighters

It must take a lot of work to make a squad-based action game. On top of having to deliver all the core aspects that any shooter should have--things like responsive gameplay and great graphics and sound--a game designer also has to worry a lot about artificial intelligence. Freedom Fighters, the new game from the developers of last year's great Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, deftly avoids the many pitfalls of AI squad tactics, and this, combined with great control, mission design, and presentation, makes for a truly fantastic game.

Freedom Fighters takes place in an alternate reality that never saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Instead, the Red threat has continued to grow since the end of World War II, taking hold in countries as close to home as Cuba and Mexico. The game opens with the plumbing team of Chris and Troy Stone paying a visit to the clogged sink of Isabella Angelina, who also happens to be a vocal member of a watchdog organization devoted to informing the American public about the evils of the Soviet Union. The duo enters her apartment to find that it has been hastily evacuated, and soon after, Soviet troops bust in to try to find her, only to capture Troy instead. The Soviet invasion of the US has begun.

After that brief setup, you're thrust into the role of Chris Stone, and you hook up with Isabella's resistance movement almost immediately. Operating from the sewers beneath New York City, the movement aims to overthrow the invaders and drive the communists out of the country. You'll start as a lowly member of the team, but you grow in popularity and influence as the game goes on, and Chris will slowly transform from an average 32-year-old plumber into a battle-hardened leader.

Most of the game's plot is advanced by a series of humorous Soviet-run newscasts, which cover your actions as terrorist activities. Your missions are laid out in the rebel base, and the briefings are great at explaining the strategic significance of, say, reclaiming a high school building for the red, white, and blue.

Though the story is told well and works great in the context of the game, it's pretty short on substance. Aside from a foreshadowed plot twist that you can see coming from a mile away, not a whole lot happens in the game. It must also be said that the game doesn't provide much closure at the end, simultaneously setting up for a sequel while not really leaving you with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. A more climactic final mission would have gone a long way. These things hardly affect the incredible quality of the game's action, though.

At the outset, Freedom Fighters plays like a rock-solid third-person shooter, with smooth and responsive controls. Once you've operated on your own for a little while, the game gives you the ability to command up to two other squad mates. By increasing your charisma rating--which goes up as you complete missions and can also be given optional boosts if you rescue prisoners or heal civilians--you can eventually control up to 12 soldiers simultaneously. Running with a crowd definitely makes Freedom Fighters feel like a much larger game, and the late-game firefights that erupt when you have a larger squad are extremely impressive and, more importantly, a lot of fun.

Each mission in the game has one main goal, but that goal is usually impossible to attain without performing a collection of secondary tasks. For example, you'll never be able to blow up a supply bridge while attack choppers are covering it, so you'll have to acquire some C4 and take out a nearby helipad to remove all choppers from the area. And you can't make your way into the police station while snipers are covering it from the roof of a nearby gas station. So you'll have to get behind the station and blow it up. Each mission usually has multiple locations, and you can move freely from one area to another via manholes found throughout the city.

Manholes also serve as the game's save system. The game is saved automatically whenever you move from one location to another, and you can also make quick saves there.

While the enemy AI doesn't seem to be quite as smart as your team, the Soviet troops are good at taking cover and using nearby gun turrets to ensure that your advance is a difficult one. They'll also use cover and will take advantage of their superior numbers, making them a consistently challenging foe.

The only real problem with Freedom Fighters is that there simply isn't enough of it. While the game does a good job of making you think you're nearly finished, only to toss another set of missions at you, veteran action gamers should be able to get through the game on the second or third difficulty setting in eight to 12 hours.


Sending e-mails in Bangla

By Mohammad Hammad Ali

THERE can be little doubt about the fact that for those who are comfortable with its use, e-mailing is now the pre-dominant form of communication with other people. But there are often times when one wishes that it were possible to write a mail to someone in Bengali. When writing to friends abroad, or some member of the family, using our own language provides an added touch of warmness. Recently we have seen the emergence of several software like bijoy mail and bornosoft. But none of them have yet been able to be the absolute choice whenever an user wants to send e mails in Bengali. But there are some other methods that can be used in order to send Bengali e mails, even without the use of any special software.

By embedding true type font: with this method it is not necessary for both the sender and the receiver to have the same Bengali font. But there can be exceptions to that. If your word processor supports true type font embedding then you can e mails in Bengali using any software that you want. In such a case the receiver will not have to have the same font in his computer. What you have to do is, first of all type out your mail in any true type Bengali font (you can use any of the Bijoy fonts, they are all true type). Before saving the document, go to the "tools" menu and select "options". Within options, click on the "save" tab. Now look for the "embed true type font" option. It should be somewhere right under the save options that are all listed in order. Check the box that contains this option and click ok. Now save the file from "File" -> "Save As". Now you can send this file as an attachment to your e mail. That way, even if the receiver of the mail has no Bengali fonts whatsoever, they will be able to read the document just fine, and even print it out.

As graphics file: after you are done with the letter, press the "Print Screen" button on the keyboard. Then open the paint program as follows: go through "Start" > "Programs" > "Accessories" > "Paint". Once the paint program has opened, click on "edit" and then "paste". Now you should be able to see a picture of your entire desktop, along with the letter that you just typed. Now save this file by clicking on save as. Once you have saved the file, you can once again send it with your e mail as attachment. However, using this method will mean that the attachment file will be rather large in size, and might take really long to be attached properly. What you can do help this situation a bit is this: while saving the file, go to the "save as type" options and find and select "monochrome bitmap" format. Click yes on any dialogue box that may appear. This way the file is much smaller than in the previous case. Even when using this way, the receiver does not need to have any Bengali fonts in their pc. This is because the file is being sent as a graphics file and not as a word document.

Attaching font: this is the last and rather crude way of solving the problem of how to send someone a Bengali e mail. What you do here is type out the letter using any Bengali font of your choice. Then find out the files for that font from within the fonts folder, which you can find within the windows folder. Now just find the font that you used to type the letter and copy it on to any location that you think is suitable. Now all you need to do is send this font as an attachment to the mail that you wrote using that font. Now all that the receiver of the mail has to do is download the font and save it in the windows fonts folder of his own pc. That will enable them to read whatever it is that you wrote to them using the Bengali font. One more thing, it is generally a good idea to write a mail to the receiver beforehand, using English, informing them of this mail that you will be writing to them in Bengali, giving the some pointers about how to download the fonts attachment in order to read the Bengali mail.


As a last resort, there are some websites which provide you with an opportunity to send e mails in Bengali. Here are the links to some such websites:
www.epatra.com
www.bangsee.com
www.bornsoft.com
www.akshor.com
www.akkhor.com

That will be all for now. I hope you are able to send and receive Bengali e mails using any of the methods descried here. Of course, in the event of you having any more questions, you are always free to mail me at: hammad2032@hotmail.com.



 

Kazaa Hits Back Against Record Labels

Turning the tables on record labels, makers of the most popular file-sharing network are suing the companies for copyright infringement. Sharman Networks, the company behind the KaZaA file-sharing software, filed a federal lawsuit on Monday accusing the labels of using unauthorized versions of its software in their efforts to snoop out users.

Sharman said the companies used KaZaA Lite, an ad-less replica of its software, to get onto the network. The lawsuit also claims efforts to combat piracy on KaZaA violated terms for using the network. Labels have allegedly offered bogus versions of copyrighted works and sent online messages to users.

Sharman's lawsuit also revives its previous allegation that the labels violated antitrust laws by stopping Sharman and its partner from distributing authorized copies of music and movies through KaZaA. U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson rejected those claims in July but last week allowed Sharman to try again. Last year, the labels filed suit against Sharman, accusing it of providing free access to copyrighted music and films.

The Recording Industry Association of America called Sharman's "newfound admiration for the importance of copyright law" ironic and "self-serving." Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group declined comment on the lawsuit.

In related news, the software developers who wrote KaZaA have launched an Internet phone service they claim could put traditional phone companies out of business. The service, called Skype, purports to offer free, unlimited phone service between users -- with sound quality near to what its developers derisively dub "POTS" -- a Plain Old Telephone Service.

Unlike KaZaA, which drew the wrath of the music industry, Skype shouldn't stir up a legal hornet's nest. "The goal here is that we want Skype to be the telephone company of the future," said Niklas Zennstrom, the firm's chief executive. "Traditional network technologies date back to the 1870s. They're inflexible and costly to maintain.Ē (Agencies).

 

 

 

 


 
 

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