Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, August 16, 2007




By Adnan M. S. Fakir

It was a stunningly elegant candlelight dinner that anyone can ever plan. The moon was floating on the lake beside the restaurant, the werewolves were most certainly tucked away into their own world of mustard filled bunnies and the owls were hooting at the most graceful basic scale of C major making the night more prosperous than it already was. And when she came, the moonlight became her golden carpet of invitation, and exactly at that moment I was struck by the premonition that my funeral was near; she was looking drop dead gorgeous.

I assume that you are interested in knowing how the night went. Well, everything went as smooth as humanely possible: the candle-light amazingly did not go off and stayed lit the entire dinner, the electricity behaved well, I managed to constrain myself from voraciously burping, well…at least till the very end, her lissome hands were washed in silken rose water after the meal and I freaked out just a minimal amount after seeing the bill; but the only single problem made its appearance when a crashing enlightenment came upon me about an object that fascinates primarily the female and a minority of the male species of the human kind: “shoes.”

One word of advice: never say “your shoes are really beautiful, they represent succinctly the higher middle elegant class of people and your glamorous attitude that you are portraying now,” in a romantic candle-light dinner. Luckily my girl is not into shoes, but she did warn me that if she were, those words would stand out to be a very offending remark. Apparently, regardless of what the shoe looks like, you're supposed to say, “Your shoes are simply amazing! You have a very unique taste in fashion!”

My enlightenment: Did you ever notice how amazingly shoes portray one's gender (like duh!), class in a society, a probable pinch of the person's attitude, and in a broader sense, several ethnicities. Shoes are a part of ourselves; we spend most of our waking lives on these soles, and we have embedded parts of our culture in it. Seriously, in majority, no Bangladeshi shoe and Burmese shoe are the same. The CEO of Pierre Cardin had once said that, “a person's class and financial status can be determined by the height of the heel.” Of course this is not the same for all cases, but certainly, in general, a person does get more cautious about his or her looks (and consequently shoes) as his/her standard of living increases. I am definite that shoes were an important tool for Sherlock's deductions. Let's try to identify the status of the categories of shoes in Bangladesh as much as possible:

So, how many of you have heard of this? I am assuming not many; and with that my assumption is that you are also not much attached to the rural areas of the country. Am I the reincarnation of Holmes or what! Ehmmm… never mind. Khoroms are wooden shoes of the rural past, which are strapless and seriously heavy. It's simply amazing how the people in the olden days used to walk with them; I couldn't even take more than 10 steps properly. Its torture for the toes I tell you, but guaranteed life long lasting.

Hawai choppols
Okay they are not exactly classified with this name, but no they are not from Hawaii, but our very own choppols! I miss hawai choppols… no seriously! They were the most economical, comfortable and long-lasting shoes… or more correctly, sandals anyone can ever invent. Grasping the public of rural Bangladesh mostly, these shoes face the huddled rage of mud and storms and persist through… at least for a while. Then there is also Cox's bazaar's reputation for higher standard choppols which people get crazy for instead of actually seeing the magnificent sunset in the beach.

School Shoes
Let's get nostalgic with our shoes. Remember the time in middle school when white was the regulation. The perfectly white shoes were the ones from Bata but hardly anyone in the 'rich' English medium and a few Bengali medium schools actually wore them. Some used the excuse that they were uncomfortable, but the actual terminology was that they were “un-cool.” Wearing black shoes, better if branded, were the “cool” items used to impress the girls of that age. On the other hand of the picture, most non-private school goers are perfectly satisfied with the white supposedly “un-cool” Bata shoes.

Athletic Shoes
This is where Nike and Reebok mainly come in, and plays God in the field. With the Stadium and Gulshan, Elephant markets being the prime suppliers of the shoes, due to their relatively low price, we often find one of the pairs floating in a drain or stranded in a field somewhere half torn and dilapidated. The Nike and Reebok shoes are certainly a hell lot more expensive, lasts a longer time but still ends up, for some cases, the same.

Women, Men & Shoes
I really don't mean to stir another chaotic uprising similar to the “girls in pandemonium” article but this is the best part of the show! What the hell is up with most well off girls' fascination about shoes? It's almost like they worship them. When girl's say that they are going to go shopping for shoes, expect them to takes at least 4 hours for the initial scourge over the shops, 3 to make a choice, and 1 more to do the bargaining. On average every girl has over 20 shoes compiling of decent ones, flashy sparkling ones, platform and pencil and what not other heeled shoes to make them feel taller. The fascination has driven the business so far as to embed shoes with diamonds and label one, the Cinderella slippers, with a price tag of 2 million dollars! No offense but do you get to even wear all of them, as in maximize the utilization? Think of the other girls who can't even afford one. I even know girls who stack up their shoes in wardrobes just for display and look at them everyday for satisfaction proclaiming, “Shoes are so pretty to look at!” What else am I to say? Of course the high heels do come in handy when potential double crossing form their boyfriends or threats from muggers are sensed. However, it has also been proven that high pencil heels cause excess pressure on the back and are partly responsible for eventually developing back pain, but that is obviously of no concern.

Finally, there are also a few men who would shave their head for shoes. They have separate shoes for different shades of every suit they have (and trust me, they have a lot). There are again those who like to collect expensive shoes just for fun… which I am sorry, I was never able to comprehend.

I have no idea what made me ramble on about shoes like this; but think about it, shoes play a vital role in our daily lives and society. In the end, yes shoes are important but it's just a shoe people! Spending thousands behind a shoe or bothering excessively about it is not the best idea. Not every one is staring at your feet all the time, except maybe when you come to give an interview in RS and Sabrina Ahmad and E. R. Ronny are scanning your entire façade of presentation. Then you better get the Cinderella Slippers if you want to get through the interview with a smiling face. Hey, presentation matters people!

By Osama Rahman

In the past two years, super-hero based movies and games have made a very successful and hyped come back. The iconic Superman, the secretive Batman and the ever innovative Spider-man all came back with a vengeance, taking over the box office. But, it did not all end there, since after that, they moved on to a whole new platform. Yes, I am taking about games. With the astonishing progress in the world of consoles, the superheroes were resurrected for X-Box 360 and PS-II and this time they looked so good, that it had both fans and gamers alike, drooling over the graphics. The gaming worlds has been bombarded with such games and now let's see whether the most famous of them have justified the anticipation or not.

1. Justice League Heroes- The game did not fully live up to all that it was hyped to be. This was largely due to the fact that the game resembled something resurrected from the Arcade Crazy generation of the times of Golden Axe, Mustapha, Streets of Rage etc. Walk about in a detailed yet constricted environment and beat up stupid robots, who couldn't win a battle with a fly. The graphic is pretty good and the destructible environment gives it an edge over Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. This game however drags on with the same activity for a bit too long and thus the average gamer loses interest very fast while a Fan manages to yawn onwards. Also, due to the discriminating environments, gamers are forced to play with a character who they would rather not have played with. However once more, the beauty of this game and its rather engaging story line denounces its failures and keeps the patient gamers on their toes as they progress. The cut-scenes are really neat and the sound effects deserve a sort of applause. In the end taking control of your favorite character is a joy on its own and thus with that and by lifting up cars and trees to launch on the bad guys, JLH promises a future of perhaps a successful and ever improving franchise.

****/***** (4 stars out of 5)

2. Spider-Man 3- The whole hype about how this was going to be the best superhero action game was a complete let down. I was surprised and also appalled after playing the game for the first time. For a non-fan it would take 30 minutes to get bored and for a fan it would take an hour. Spider-Man 2 was honestly better than this, when you consider all the “changes” and “progression” in the new version. Unlike the last time, this time Spider-Man loses his spider sense and you cannot enter any building. Those which you can enter are extremely hard to come by. Forget the villains and the graphics, because the story mode itself is very stale. Though some of the missions are extremely exciting, most of them are a redo of the old ones. The graphics could have been improved even more but I guess the developers were concentrating more on launching a better game for the PS-III platform. There is also this trend of continuous loading screens which becomes extremely frustrating after a while. Once more the free-mode becomes monotonous and even exploring the city doesn't increase the tempo any further. The arrival of Spidey's dark side is the only highlight in this game but that too is not long lasting. The game eventually, falls flat on its face. I wonder why Spider-Man didn't have his senses ringing before the release of this game…perhaps he had lost it by then or something. That's eight toes down!


3. Fantastic 4: Rise Of the Silver Surfer- I watched the movie and I really liked it. I bought the game and after playing it for 25 minutes 15 seconds, I torched down my house. That is exactly what this game makes you do. For a start, there are no cut-scene introductions but just talking heads, stupid captions and lame dialogues. All four of the “Fantastics” are in the screen at the same time and you can switch characters by pressing the D-Pad, something very unoriginal as it was used long ago in X-Men Legends. It's a 4 player game so you can invite three of your worst enemies and bore them to death by making them participate in all the “action”. The object in every mission is to go in rooms, get locked in, beat up waves of clumsy enemies and then go to another place, which looks exactly like the previous place and do the exact same thing that you did before. If one of the 4s dies, they do come back after 30 seconds, provided at least one of the heroes is alive. The graphics are ok but the repeated environment kind of ruins the only “ok” aspect of the game. Don't buy this game, unless you want to turn your house into the Human Torch. Stupid game in the end. Lame On!


Review by Gokhra

Cast & Credits
With the voices of:
Homer/Krusty the Clown/Itchy: Dan Castellaneta
Marge: Julie Kavner
Bart: Nancy Cartwright
Lisa: Yeardley Smith
Moe/Apu: Hank Azaria
Mr. Burns/Scratchy: Harry Shearer
Sideshow Bob: Kelsey Grammer
Fat Tony: Joe Mantegna

Sometimes a movie comes out that is a hit even before it hits the screen. And then there is The Simpsons. This became a hit simply when rumours came out that the half hour show would be triple in length.

That is a pretty surprising fact. In fact, it even surprised the Simpsons themselves as they can't believe "anyone would pay to see what we did on TV for free."

The plot:
It is definitely a plot in the same way as a drunken turtle stumbling across can be said to be following a specific goal in life. And that's how we love a Simpsons tale.

The movie starts off with Homer's idealistic daughter Lisa going around lobbying for an environmental crusade. Except, no one cares.

Homer ignores his daughter's plea to save the environment and goes about doing what he does best. He adopts a pig and destroys the environment. Sort of.

You may wonder how this could happen but when you consider Homer, anything is possible. He fills up an entire silo with the pigs poop. When it fills up he needs to get rid of it and dumps it into Lake Springfield.

He has defaced priceless art, destroyed memorials and worse still, he has finished of countless donuts. But he always got away with it. This time around he pollutes the lake in Springfield and still manage to get away with it. The Environmental Protection Agency is mad at him. No, they don't just write an angry letter stating how mad they are but actually do something. With President Arnold Schwarzenegger's approval they put a lockdown on Springfield putting the entire population of the small town in peril. Sort of.

The entire family flees to Alaska with forest creatures helping them along the way. Sort of.

The verdict:
'Sort of' is how the movie plot goes forward. The movie version is very like the cult classic early versions of The Simpsons. The story is crafted in a loose, offbeat manner as opposed to a tight logical tale. And surprisingly, this movie works all the better for not adhering to any logic.

It has tons of in-jokes, slapstick and the brilliant deadpan one-liner. It also continues amazing with its zany sense of picking on details. Suffice to say this is bigger and louder.

The movie offers a lot more bombastic computer generated effects which cold have been done without. Probably the makers thought that a big screen version needs bigger effects.

But Simpsons is a concept that is so good it doesn't need special effects. It's the witty dialogue and ramblings that entertain. And with an astounding 11 writers credited to this script, it has plenty of lines bound to become classics.

After completing 18 long seasons to become the longest running show on TV, the movie is nothing more different than the regular series. But that in itself is not a bad thing. It is funny and intelligent through Homer's moronic behaviour.


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