Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, May 24, 2007




Review by Gokhra

Wives and female significant others are not in demand this week. That is when you check out the couple of movies on offer. They are getting killed in both flicks and that's about all they have in common. 'Fracture' is about an old, wealthy husband, a young, beautiful wife and a torrid affair leading to a dead woman. Or apparently dead. It has a brilliant twist ending.

Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) is the owner of a giant aeronautics company. He is rich, drives fast cars and is married to Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz), a stunning younger woman having an affair. Crawford finds out and feeling jilted knows exactly what he must do.

Crawford is an intellectual genius. His job specialises in mathematical science that requires great discipline and precise attention to detail. He uses them to his advantage as he confronts his wife at home and shoots her point-blank in the face.

Crawford confesses his crime to Detective Rob Nunally (Billy Burke). Turns out, Nunally was the other man. Jennifer is not dead but in a coma and Crawford is indicted for attempted murder. End of story? You would think!

The movie is loaded with a thick plot and many sub plots that are nicely intertwined. You are left breathless in excitement not out of dizziness. It draws in the audience making every viewer a sleuth. You watch the whole flick trying your damndest to work out the crime as it unfolds on the screen. Everything seems to have a purpose, a hidden meaning.

Just when you start wondering what could happen, in comes Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling), a hugely successful deputy district attorney who is in his last week of work for the D.A.'s office. He has the best conviction rate in the office but somehow finds himself in court, prosecuting Crawford and finding out he is woefully unprepared for what ensues.

The best thing about the movie is that it lives in the real world with real problems. The scenarios are not entirely implausible with genuine dialogue and grad 'A' actors. It's a movie that's carried equally by Gosling as well as Hopkins. That makes it the perfect thriller with the good guy and the bad guy both being intelligent and strong.

"Perfect Stranger" on the other hand is a screwy thriller with a bit of murder thrown in for good measure. Well, maybe not such good measure. Halle Berry plays Rowena Price, an ace investigator for a New York paper called the Courier. Rowena learns from childhood pal Grace (Nicki Aycox) that she's been sleeping with Manhattan's lord of advertising, Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis). When Grace turns up dead, Rowena poses as a temp and, with supernatural ease, catches the perpetually roving eye of prime suspect Hill. There's a lot of Basic Instinct-esque intrigue as evidne tin the dangerous cat and mouse games played b the prime characters. You wonder who is going to be killed and how. But not for long. The movie carries on barley being more of a silly romp with Halle Baerry's good looks and Willis' cool guy attitude. Ribisi provides his usual sceptical performance with his trademark furrowed look. But near the end the movie is a bit ridiculous to say the least. Interesting to start with, gets silly and becomes sillier.

While 'Fracture' is a smart, greatly entertaining fast-paced and intriguing thriller, “Perfect Stranger” is a watch-it and forget-it movie.

Trends sprout out of nowhere and become popular overnight! Atleast thats how it seems. Like say times when mp3 players first came out, they were quite expensive. People rushed to the shops and almost everyone had to have one. Then when piercing at the weirdest places became a cool thing, all folks associated with the music world got it done. Right now, another trend is brewing over the city skies. What I'm talking about is a funky, comfortable and fashionable form of footwear- All Stars.

All Stars are the ones made of canvas and rubber. In 1917 the All-Star came into production, and after Chuck Taylor(the famous basketball player) signed on them, they were referred to as the "Chuck Taylor" All Star basketball shoe. In 1966 Converse started adding color choices to the basic red and white Chuck Taylor All Star.

Till date, over 750 million pairs have been sold worldwide. The baskteball players (the original target market) have moved onto more advanced forms of footwear(such as the latest sneakers) and instead, teenagers have become the main consumers. Youngsters involved with the rock music scene or those who are into sub-cultures(the growing emo scene) find these babies to be really cool. Chuck Taylors are becoming more and more popular with the hip hop scenes and pop music scene or just fashion.

So while you're out, observe the Dhaka City scene. You'll see youngsters walking with a carefree smile, enjoying life. Yeah ok, look a little down, at their feet, and you'll see a rainbow of moving colours. And if, reading this article is making you want to own a pair then why not? You can get yourself a pair anytime! Well there are a lot of choices available since they come in soo many different core colors, seasonal colors, and a variety of print styles that its simply eye-candy!

You can get them from abroad and here too at places like Navana Tower or Etectra(not all stars but look alikes by different companies) at 2100 to 4000 taka. The recent trend has even brought Bata to produce canvas shoe that looks a whole lot like All Stars, but there are only two colours(black and blue) available. My advice to you would be to take a black felt tip pen and cover the writing "North Star" in white. That way, no one(hopefully) will be able to tell the difference! They cost around Tk300 to Tk.500. If you want a wider range of colours, you could always go to Chowrongi Market where they have amazing fake one's that look pretty much like the real thing! And even though they are cheap, they last for a long time and are highly appropriate for rough use.

Therefore, we can see why teenagers are getting crazier for All-Stars these days. The reason is that they admire the distinctive colors, design, and sole of the shoe. Many of them are so enthusiastic that they are proud owners of really huge and ever-growing collections! I asked such a friend as to why he liked converse and his cheerful reply was 'Converse shoes are the best! They look great and are the most comfortable things on Earth'. That was predicted(he's got loads of em!), given that he's in a band. But another one went like- 'It's cool, it's in. The lively colours are awesum...I love them!". Again there are some who take great care of their All-Stars. This guy I know, from NSU, almost walks on his toes during rainy days, cursing himself for wearing his expensive pair! See... everyone is loving it! Get yourself one if you haven't yet. Enjoy while you can!

By Ahmed Ashiful Haque

Found Magazine

Found Magazine collects and catalogs found notes, photos, and other interesting items, and publishes them in an irregularly-issued magazine, in books, and on its website. Items found and published range from love letters to homework assignments, found by people in a variety of places such as city streets, bus seats, inside school desks, and so on. Check it out. We should have a Bangladeshi version of this someday!

The Centre for Improved Living

This one's a nice little blog where everyday, the blogger tells the readers to do something simple, like telling everyone in the blog what's the bravest thing they've done. Everyday, a different action is posted, and with a lot of people participating on topics like "Invent something useless, tell us about it." and "If you could be any building in the whole world, which building would you be?", it end up being a nice and fascinating read.

We make money not art

We make money not art has latest designer tech news, insight into gadgets. It also has interviews of "nomadic scientists", which are fun to read for the technologically advanced.

GSM Arena

This is one of the best places to go to when you're doing research before buying the cellphone of your dreams. The site is very useful and not many people knows about this one.

It's got a user-friendly look and a feature that allows you to compare between different phones and their features to find a cellphone that suits all your requirements. GSM Arena also has lively community and very useful user reviews that lets you know about all the unofficial details and user experiences that you could ask for. For almost every phone there are dozens of pages full of people discussing every little detail, but with so many users talking about any phone, it can be hard finding the best user reviews and comments.


This site is extremely helpful for those who want to know the minute details of any cellphone. It contrain very discrtptive reviews on different brands of mobile phones and teir respectevice models, with in-and-out facts about what makes this phone good or bad. With photos of menus, buttons, photo-comparisons with other phooens, this site is perfect for anyone on a tight busdget and wants to get their best buy. I picked my girlfriend the perfect cellphone thanks to this site.

Boing Boing

The people who made this site call it "a directory of wonderful things." Gives latest tech updates, insight into gadgets and other "wonderful things." However, the name of the site is more attractive than what the site offers.

By Le Chupacabra

I remember someone once asking me about this particular Naruto PlayStation 2 title he saw at a games store; he requested a review so that he and his friends could decide whether it was worth purchasing. Well, this does come rather late (sorry!), but instead of just one review, I thought I'd compile a list of videogames based on anime. This one's for the fans of both worlds or either!

As an aside, some of these games will be in their native Japanese language (text, voices, et al) - so do be prepared to resort to a guide when playing through. I find GameFAQs.com quite valuable in promulgating the necessary information.

Naruto: Narultimate Hero 3 (JPN)
The first iteration of this energetic series has already been localised, but the latest is really the one you're after! Boasting a comprehensive roster of characters, each painstakingly channelling the abilities and idiosyncrasies of his/her respective avatar, NH3 is the finest Naruto gaming experience available. The game spans from the very beginning of the anime and covers most of the minutiae up until the beginning of the filler arcs. The gameplay is fast-paced and frenetic and is only helped by the augmentation of eye-popping special attacks. Bursting to the brim with wholesome Naruto energy, this game is perfect for fans and non-fans alike.

Super DBZ (ENG)
A much slower, deliberate alternative to the insane Budokai series, Super DBZ is more about the techniques of the controls as opposed to the fighting itself. If Budokai 3 is the Soul Calibur (III) of DragonBall Z, then this one is Street Fighter II. It does require more dexterity as opposed to good timing and initially, the limited number of characters is a detriment. However, once you've slogged through for a while, the singularity of each personality and the deep albeit clunky controls somehow make this quite an involving game. While I'll wholeheartedly recommend Budokai 3 to almost anyone, Super DBZ is reserved for the DBZ diehard.

Bleach Blade Battles (JPN)
While I was generally excited with getting a Naruto game, the same treatment for Bleach was truly a guilty pleasure. Incorporating all the characters up until the beginning of the filler arc, this game does a fine job of letting you get a true feel for each character as portrayed onscreen. While the controls are somewhat awkward at times and lack depth, everything else is quite solid. The Bankai forms are represented quite ingeniously and the fighting itself is addicting if a little too simple. The ability to play with three other people is probably the best inclusion making this PS2's anime alternative to Smash Brothers.

Berserk (JPN)
What could have ended up as a mere Drakengard clone with a license pasted on ended up as a surprisingly excellent romp through the dark fantasy realm of Midland. The fighting is stylishly accomplished with all manner of combat manoeuvres, secondary weapons, arcane imbuement and other action-related sundries. Through a rather exquisite visual system, the game truly evokes, via intelligent extrapolation, the superb fluidity of animation from the manga. The boss fights vary in difficulty but all of them are equally momentous. It's quite a feat indeed when this game is really able to make you play as, nay, feel like you're Gutts. Absolutely essential for fans of the manga and action in general.

FullMetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir (ENG)
A surprisingly competent and deceptively fun game awaits those who seek the Philosopher's Stone alongside Ed and Al. The RPG elements are trite, but it's really about finding those rare items and giving yourself interesting stat boosts. The Alchemy aspect is integrated neatly albeit without much risk or adventure; with more proficient developers, the already fun mechanics could have become something deeper. The cel-shaded graphics are quite pleasing and the voice-acting is superb as always. The story serves as a well-rounded distraction that fits smartly within the anime. Lastly, including one of the intro songs from the anime itself was an inspired touch.

Rurouni Kenshin: Enjou! Kyoto Rinne (JAP)
This game was a bit of a surprise to be fair; if there was one anime I ever, ever wanted to see in playable form, that was the one and only Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X to some). Beautifully brought to life with a chunky cel-shaded outlook, the game immediately commits itself to a fan's memory by offering the mellifluous music from the evocative soundtrack. This is a rare treat in this gaming niche and one that is much appreciated. The focus on the fanbase doesn't end here; careful attention is proffered to the movesets of each character in order to cover all the signature attacks as well as some of more esoteric moments in the swordplay. A few technical flaws may elicit frustration from casual gamers, but the fans will have found their Canaan.

Robotech: Battlecry (ENG)
There must be some intangible magic about the world of Robotech that makes one return to it despite the years gone by. The game is undoubtedly a labour of love, boasting slickly transforming Veritech fighters, missile barrages galore and an intense focus on action, however clunky. The graphics are cel-shaded and composed of vivid colour, heightening the animated outlook. Even the old voice-actors reprise their roles here. However, this is still an old game and naturally, there are various hitches in all aspects. Despite that, it's a rather fun and heartfelt trip down memory lane.


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

© 2007 The Daily Star