the PURSUIT of HAPPYNESS
Review by Gokhra
The movie is set in San Francisco in the mid '80s. If you ask why then it's because it is based on a true story. Smith plays Chris Gardner, the kind of man who has great street smarts but makes a few misses here and there that land him in rags. Having sunk his savings into a line of medical scanners that aren't selling, Chris is beginning to fray at the seams. His wife, Linda (Thandie Newton), can't handle the stress. Rent is due, but Chris thinks he can pursue happyness (the misspelling is on a mural at the kid's day-care center) by getting a stockbroker's job at Dean Witter.
Soon enough, Chris has to single-handedly take care of his 5-year-old son, Christopher (played by Smith's own son, Jaden) whom the mother leaves behind as too much baggage. Using his natural bravado and a knack with a Rubik's Cube, the 30-something high school graduate talks himself into a six-month internship at Dean Witter, with a long-shot chance for a job at the end. The catch is that it's a training program that doesn't pay until he gets hired, if he gets hired. Soon, father and son are scrounging for food and living in homeless shelters and train-station toilets. While the other interns work late, he has to get his son out of day care. Casual misfortunes pile up with impending doom in the form of homelessness nears.
The film has been lightly fictionalized from the life of the actual Chris Gardner, who has since written his own inspirational autobiography of the same name. You can catch his story in last the January issue of Reader's Digest.
Chris is a charmer, and he never stops running. Simply stopping to take a breather would be an admission of defeat to his son. It perfectly portrays the fears of fatherhood amidst crisis as Chris becomes snappy with stress and then lavishing the waves of love. He's too busy worrying about Christopher to be with him. As a result he ends up giving little attention to the kid.
By and large, though, the film does not got eh usual route of mucking up the story in spectacular Hollywood style. Smith's paints a visceral portrait of resilience providing a stinging performance as a single father running hard. The role needs gravity, smarts, charm and humor that Smith provides in spades. The movie is a celebration of the fact that crisis can lead to panic but more so about the resourcefulness it engenders.
A phone that will change everything
By Saiful Azam Zulfiquern
I've never thought that I'd ever see a handheld device which I could describe as “too cool to be true”. However, it seems that that time has come, and the device I'm talking about is one everyone's been expecting for a long time now is apple's iPhone. Heads exploded around the tech world after Apple CEO Steve Jobs finally announced much-anticipated Apple iPhone during his Macworld 2007 keynote in San Francisco. Well without much further ado, I better get into the subject before readers throwing their old cell phone at me.
So what's an iPhone? Easy answer - a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod, a mobile Internet terminal, a digital camera and a portable PIM organizer. Lets start with how the iPhone looks, shall we? Say good-bye to traditional mobile phone button -- this phone is all touchscreen, all the time. With only one hardware control button (a "home" key), iPhone's real estate is dominated by a huge, 3.5-inch multitouchscreen TFT wide-screen display (9 centimeters), the device looks beautiful with a resolution of 320 x 480 by 160 pixels per inch (the highest iPod resolution yet, according to Jobs).So the videos and photos look great.
If you are starting to get impressed then hold back your gear because I've just described a weakness (low resolution). The device has no stylus, so to write or dial phone you have to use soft QWERTY keyboard with fingers by tapping on screen.
A moderate 2.0 mega pixel camera for zapping pictures. If that's not hot enough the device also has Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) and Bluetooth 2.0 with ADR support. In my opinion some of the coolest features iPhone thing has to offer is a pack of sensors. These sensors, namely an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor, allow the phone to react to certain changes in the surrounding environment. For example, it detects when the user has rotated the device from portrait to landscape and then automatically changes the contents of the display accordingly, it adjusts the display's brightness to the appropriate level for the current ambient light, and it shuts down the screen when not in use in order to save power.
The widescreen iPod is one true amazing feature of this phone, you can scroll through the album artwork just like you do in the library for books, with the complete features of iPod. The iPhone will comes with 4GB and 8GB capacities (flash memory) for your ultimate enjoyment of audio and visuals. iPhone include the OS X operating system that might make every user buy software applications through iTunes, apple kept many things still in shadow about that.
The phone will also supports widgets (small xml app that runs on desktop screen to see information) that we see in the desktop operating system. iPhone's CPU is made by Intel, while the German company Balda will manufacture the touch-screens used by the device. With the touch of apple you can expect one god of cellphone. The iPhone features full true multi-tasking, so you'll be able to listen to music, watch videos, browse the web and even make calls when it will take care of your email business. According to Jobs, the product will be available in June in the US, Europe will have to wait until late 2007, while Asia will get to see the iPhone in 2008 (Our beloved mobile shopkeepers won't wait that much longer …. they will get it for you, trust me!).
Apple's website claimed that, iPhone's battery can last up to 5 hours in talk/video/playback mode and up to 16 hours when used for audio playback solely and will not going to feature no replaceable battery. At last the price The fabulous iPhone will also have quite a fabulous price, since it will be available for $499 and $599, respectively 4 and 8 GB models.
There you go, I summed up almost every reliable info given by apple. To get the best idea how this motherload phone operates with all its eye candy features, here is trusty video from youtube tinyurl.com/ych8nn . So better get ready for some revolutionization cause when iPhone hits on the market it will change everything you know about cell phone.
Okay, so this game is about a year old but it is so good it needs a mention. More movie with an interactive progression than video game pretending to be a movie, Indigo Prophecy eschews practically any modern gameplay convention in favor of a significantly more subtle mechanical interface. You take part in every action in Indigo Prophecy--from the biggest fight sequence, to the most minor of day-to-day tasks--and you do it all with simple movements of the analog sticks on your PC gamepad or with some quick button presses.
Is Lucas Kane a murderer? Or is he just an unwitting pawn? It's up to you to figure it out in Indigo Prophecy. The average man in question is Lucas Kane, a handsome but worn gentleman who lives his life as any IT professional in the great city of New York would. Kane's life takes a dark turn one night, however, when he decides to visit a local diner. In the very opening scene of the game we find Lucas sitting in a bathroom stall, convulsing and carving bizarre symbols into his forearms. An unlucky schmo happens into the bathroom during this period, and Lucas, seemingly unable to control his actions, attacks him, stabbing him multiple times. Moments after the killing, Lucas returns to his senses, only to be equal parts horrified and stupefied by his actions. From here you take control of Lucas, and it's up to you to get him the hell out of there.
This opening sequence gives you an excellent glimpse into how thoroughly intertwined Indigo Prophecy's plot and gameplay are. Presented with a corpse, a murder weapon, and one of NYPD's finest sitting out in the restaurant, you must decide how to proceed. Should you take the time to hide the body, ditch the weapon, clean yourself up, and try to casually make your way out of there? Or will you simply make a run for it as quickly as possible? You can do any or all of these things, and the outcomes will vary from a very quick game-over screen to your getting Kane the hell out of Dodge.
The game is like an unholy mixing of The X-Files, The Dead Zone, and CSI, with sprinklings of The Matrix and Shenmue thrown in for good measure. But the incredible thing is that it never flies off the rails, no matter how ambitious its intentions are. The story dives into some truly morbid territory, with its ritualistic killings, deeply troubled protagonist, and downright intriguing backstory.
You won't just experience Lucas Kane's story, either. Early on you'll be introduced to two other main characters, Detectives Carla Valenti and Tyler Miles. The detectives are the ones assigned to the murder Kane commits, and right from the start we get to know these characters just about as intimately as we do Kane. Carla professes herself to be the obsessive type, transfixing herself on any case that comes her way.
Other characters are introduced into the fold, like Lucas' ex-girlfriend, Tyler's current girlfriend, and Lucas' priest-brother, Markus (who is also periodically playable)--not to mention the villains behind all this.
It also bears mentioning that at times the branching paths of the story lead to problematic conclusions--especially in the end. There are three different endings to the game, and the big final conflict can either be pretty damned good or pretty lackluster, depending on how you end up there and how you play it. In fact, you get the best, most dramatic final battle if you intentionally lose during certain portions. Fortunately, once you've beaten the game, you can go back and select any of the game's 40-odd chapters to replay them however you like, ensuring you won't miss out on the best story paths and endings.
For the most part you'll be moving your characters around in the third person, like you would in a typical non-point-and-click adventure game. When in an environment, you'll frequently be invited to either look for hot areas that can be examined more closely or look for objects that can be picked up or used. Press forward to open that door or up and then around 90 degrees to take a drink from a coffee cup, and so on. It's an odd concept to get used to at first, but it becomes second nature as the game goes on.
Graphically, Indigo Prophecy isn't exactly a looker. Though all the animations in the game are motion-captured, there are more than a few instances where it seems like characters will throw their arms around and jerk their bodies around in ways that aren't quite natural. Some of the more-choreographed action sequences, however, look awesome. So at its worst, the animation is merely hit or miss.
Audio is where Indigo Prophecy really shows its quality. This story wouldn't be worth a damn if the voice acting didn't do its job, and in most every respect it does. The actor playing Lucas Kane nails the part cold. He delivers the lines with just the right tone of confused despair and never comes across as anything but genuine. All the other main characters do excellent jobs, too.
When all is said and done, Indigo Prophecy is the kind of game that will inspire lots of conversation among those who play it. And it won't necessarily take place because of any particularly insidious subtext or brilliant revelations, but just because (like any movie worth its salt) the game leaves a lasting impression.
It is one of the best game stories tocome along in quite a while; deep, richly textured characters you will grow incredibly attached to; inventive gameplay mechanics excellently tie together with the onscreen action; high-quality voice acting and soundtrack; great atmosphere.