Night Shyamalan's "The Village" opens with the funeral of
a small child and a large meal for all its inhabitants. There is no
electricity, magazines called Rising Stars, cable TV (or even TV for
that matter) or cars. You will be forgiven for thinking this community
is Amish. The truth is it is set in a Pennsylvania community named
Covington in 1897.
From time to time a big, twisting groan will escape from the trees,
giving the gentle people of this community a reason to look nervously
up from their plates. It turns out there are creatures that reside
in the woods and who are referred to, in a typical phrase, as "those
we don't speak of." There's a border that neither the Covingtonians
nor the creatures are supposed to cross. Solemn violin dirges permeate
the sound track. It is autumn, overcast and chilly. Girls find a red
flower and bury it. Everyone speaks in the passive voice. The vitality
has been drained from the characters from fear.
guard the periphery of the village, and flares burn through the night.
But so far there has been a truce between the village people and the
creatures. They stay in the forest and the villagers stay in the village.
however, the young people in the town have been slipping into the
woods. There is a deft love triangle going on in the movie with the
besotted going into the forbidden woods. The chief culprit is Lucius
Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix). He wants to take a closer look into the forest
to see what is going on and sends a petition to the elders. The adults
know this will incite the creatures to kill. But death will keep visiting
Covington if no one fetches a vaccine, and the creatures already seem
vexed. There've been a number of animals left dead and peltless around
town, and one night ominous slashes in red, known as "the bad
color," are left on everyone's front doors.
is it that young people always want the forbidden? Anyways, Kitty
Walker (Judy Greer) is in love with Lucius, who silently loves Kitty's
blind sister Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard). Ivy is of course best friends
with the smitten village idiot who has a thing for her. This last
character is played with spectacular derangement by Adrien Brody as
Noah Percy. So it's not really a triangle but more of a square.
this isolated village, surrounded by a menacing dark woods filled
with unnamed and menacing creatures a crisis suddenly develops. Lucius,
Ivy and Noah venture into the woods and one of them is nearly killed.
goes to the town elders with a request to go through the forest to
reach "the towns" for medicines. This leaves the elders,
headed by dolorous Edward Walker (Hurt), grim August Nicholson (Gleeson)
and Lucius' sturdy mother Alice (Sigourney Weaver), the painful problem
of deciding whether to go for much-needed medical help in the distant
city when the creatures are still on their rampage.
Walker decides reluctantly to send someone to "the towns"
to bring back medicine for whoever was injured. So off goes his daughter
Ivy, a blind girl in a yellow riding hood walking through the forest
inhabited by strange creatures. Sounds a bit like a fairy tales now,
doesn't it? Worse still, why send a blind girl through a menacing
forest? This all sounds sinister enough and you start wondering how
little sense it makes. But you are not given much time to wonder because
things keep happening one after the other leaving you in a trance.
mysterious going ons keep you on the edge wondering what is going
to happen. Its a brilliantly made film in the sense that you are drawn
into the gloom that Shyamalan is trying to create. Its all an expertly
crafted illusion to keep you from thinking about the subtle nuances
that would normally make you think in very unsubtle terms, DUH? Problem
is that the climax of this romantic horror film comes up with a surprise-shocking
ending that isn't especially shocking or surprising. Its good but
then in common human nature we end up comparing with past Shyamalan
greats like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable.
This is the tale of Bilbo Baggins...
Entertainment's The Hobbit is the first major computer game based
on the 1937 JRR Tolkien classic with the same title of "The Hobbit".
The book, of course, is the prelude to The Lord of the Rings and the
game is about its most important character Bilbo Baggins, "a
Hobbit from the Shire with no idea of the adventures about to befall
him"! Although the game doesn't have something revolutionary
to boast about, just the fact that you can now be the hobbit taking
part in crazy adventures throughout Tolkien's world is something glorious
game sets off pretty much as the book does. Gandalf the Wizard shows
up out of nowhere with thirteen Dwarves, including the rightful king
Thorin, and asks Bilbo to be the burglar of the company in their quest
to the Lonely Mountain where the great Dragon Smaug has kept hold
of the treasures that belong to the Dwarves; and Bilbo agrees to go
to his own surprise. Well, you begin in the Shire all right but now
you must make your way through the most perilous lands of Middle-earth.
Oh yes, be it the Misty Mountains or Mirkwood, you've got to get through
it, mate! And before the end you will have crossed 11 different levels.
the game you will have the feeling of being the underdog and, really,
about three feet of hobbit isn't exactly 'hero material'. And here
is that awesome thing about this unlikely hero trying to justify his
inclusion in the company and to gain the respect of his more powerful
companions. But hobbits are tougher than they look and you'll find
out exactly that as Bilbo tries to battle his way out against the
deadliest of foes ranging from wolves and goblins to gigantic spiders!
Of course, he will be getting the help of the famous elven-sword called
Sting and of the magical Ring (guess which) that makes its wearer
invisible! (And you thought the cloak was cool. Yeah, if 'The Hobbit'
was stolen from a refrigerator, maybe!) Anyway, the sword will give
you light in the darkest of places to help you find the way and you
will have to pick up skills as you pass levels to help you wield it
better causing more damage. You can slip in the Ring to sneak past
enemies that you'd rather avoid. It kind of gives you the feeling
of a spy-game. But you'll have enough adventures before you can acquire
these, and until that you'll have to stick to the good old hobbit-ways
like stone throwing. But mostly you'll have to use your brain and
find the right strategy to beat the sometimes overwhelming amount
of enemies and to solve the tricky puzzles. The game sticks to the
original story but with a few additions and reductions. What you can
do in the game is, as the makers put it: Explore Middle-earth (Battle
and adventure through Tolkien's breathtaking world), Engage in hair-raising
combat (Combine attacks using weapons like the legendary sword, Sting),
Wield the power of the Ring (Use the Ring to become invisible and
sneak past enemies), Encounter legendary characters (Meet legendary
characters, including Gandalf and Smaug) etc. The game goes deep enough
into the Middle-earth culture to even let the knowledge on 'runes'
graphics of the game aren't exactly the best in the market, but it's
pretty good. I mean, it's no easy job trying to recreate a landscape
so diverse and so big. They've done a good job with the hobbit-country.
Details go as far as falling leaves and fishes in the water. I'm not
being poetic, dudes: that's how it is. The Lake-town left me staring.
I actually went running around simply looking at it, forgetting the
objectives! The character details have a nice cartoonic edge about
them, which is quite appropriate. Much attention has been given to
the little but important facts, like elven-blades glowing with a dim
light. In-game movies are pretty motivating and polished. The audio
is good enough, although the background music can be repetitive. But
you have no idea how glad I was to see that there isn't one single
character with an American accent. Big relief! Voice talents are,
well, character-perfect, especially that of Bilbo and Gandalf.
I never thought I'd be a critic doing
a review, but I have no problem in doing this one, being something
of a Ringwraith (honestly, I used to be 'Isilhir')! So I'll go as
far as star-rating it. Forget any other ratings, this how I, Shuvom,
rate it: Four stars solid! Well you can't expect me to give it five!
I didn't make it! And anyway, I think gamers might find some of the
quests frustratingly difficult and confusing, even boring sometimes.
There could have been much more for strategy-lovers, as well. The
camera moves to weird positions at times and it might make you wish
that the keyboard didn't hurt you when you hit it. Having said that,
the game overall is pretty complete and has almost everything, even
though it is of action/adventure genre. You can actually have the
feeling of playing GTA or Mafia being a hit-hobbit (!). It's pretty
Anyone who has read the book and liked
it will find the game to be quite enjoyable. Probably more so than
the ones that haven't read it. But you can't expect a better storyline
and gamers will feel like playing out a movie. So pick up your keyboard
and embark on a journey that is to change the fate of Middle-earth
election-war in the US is becoming tenser. And Bush is dramatically
catching up with Kerry. Americans are wholly ignoring the plight Bush
brought them and are focusing on whether Kerry will be "up to
the task". Almost the whole world is against Bush now, but still
Americans are thinking that he is the "tough" man for the
job. Oh yeah, he is a tough man. Not everyone can invade a country
without even some lame excuses.
A man with below-average level of
intelligence… whatever… you've heard enough of these already.
I just never thought that I would
live to see the smouldering ruins of the earth.
On the brighter side, the best game
developed by the human species was released on October 26 (the day
before yesterday). Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been released
at last! Although we PC gamers in Bangladesh won't be able to play
it until May 2005, for the lucky PS2 owners, it's total paradise.
I personally don't own a PS2, but by the time you will be reading
this, I will be playing the great game and will be working on the
review. Mind you, it won't be a full review… because it's simply impossible
to fully review something so awesomely huge… There are fourteen cities
in it for God's sake!
Games also released Grand Theft Auto Advance for the Gameboy Advance
on October 25. Although GTA Advance isn't as grand as the GTA: SA,
it's still a superb game. In the GBA, this game has 2D top-down graphics
like GTA 2, and mind you, GTA 2 wasn't a bad game. The city is thrice
as large as Liberty City and has everything and more from GTA 3. This
game can be considered as something of a consolation for the PC gamers,
because although we'll be missing the good stuff, the GBA Advance
is good enough to keep us busy until we can play the big thing itself!
I'll review it after right after I review San Andreas.
And as for the Anime fans, I'm sorry,
but you failed to prove that Anime aren't cartoons. Yes, Anime is
different, catered mainly towards adults, usually has complex plots,
and the art style is way Japanese! But that doesn't mean that they
aren't cartoons. Nevertheless, thanks for your mails.
The price of deception
By August, one thousand Americans have died in the Iraq War. And they
didn't die for a justifiable reason. This flash animation is a tribute
to them. 2.5 MB
I hear there're rumours on
the... the internets.
The word "internet" is a single noun. George W. Bush, the
most powerful man on earth, needs to know that.
The Dream of Flight
From biblical tales of Elijah's fiery chariot in the sky to the Greek
legend of Daedalus and Icarus, plus countless winged angels and flying
carpets, humans have imagined themselves soaring through the air like
birds. The timeline of flight starts with kites, invented by the Chinese
around 1,000 B.C.E., and takes off past Leonardo da Vinci's flying
machines in the Renaissance. But it wasn't until the Wrights that
the dream really got off the ground.
Put your tray tables up, return your
seat backs to their upright and locked position, and prepare for a
celebration of the anniversary of human flight.
The Vampire Cult Magazine
A site for the vampire fans, phobics and maniacs. The site also doubles
as a magazine.
Nice snowboarding game
Skate downhill and go past stunt-gates while avoiding the obstacles.
WHOA! Drive yourself nuts!
Screen full of tiny little people running like mad! Pretty useless,
unless you want drive yourself crazy.
Lot's of things were discussed in this issue. If you need to contact
me for anything, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org