Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Best War Epic On Film

"Braveheart" has always been my all time favorite movie since the first time I saw it in 1997 or was it 1998? Anyway, I'm never fond of war movies, just the exceptional ones like Braveheart, Gladiator, Band of Brothers, and Saving Private Ryan while the rest belong in the trash.

Lets all just admit it, war movies before Braveheart were just plain lame. They're always mixed with this superficial American patriotic crap. Even at a naive age of 10, I always thought Hollywood portrayal of patriotism seemed so superficial to me. I've seen many war movies mostly involving the US. US in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and so on.

There was this TV series "Tour of Duty" that I used to watch in the 80s. It was about these young US soldiers in the end days of the Vietnam war. I swear to God, never in a million years I could have ever known that the US lost in Vietnam from watching that show or any other war movie I've seen on the Vietnam war. Thanks to my high school history book, it came as a shock to me when I learned the real history about the Vietnam war in my history class. When my teacher told the class that the US lost to the communist/socialist in Vietnam, I went "huh?". I said it out loud in class "Quit screwing around with my mind!". :)

Braveheart was first released on May 26, 1995. I saw its trailer, but I just wasn't interested enough to watch the movie. If there is anything worse than a movie with modern warfare then its a movie with medieval warfare. But Braveheart changed all that. Because before Braveheart, sword fights and shooting arrows looked so fake in the movies. Even the killing, the agony of dying, body piercing [swords, arrows, bullets], and gushing blood seemed so unrehearsed. But when I accidentally saw Braveheart, I was blown away by the well choreographed battles unlike in some movies, where they show random scenes of battles and can't make out the head from the tail. Braveheart appealed to me as an outstanding movie for mainly [4] reasons:

  1. Story: Randall Wallace wrote an extraordinary script. William Wallace is not your typical fairytale hero. Wallace faces problems of what any real freedom fighter goes through, getting the oppressed to see and share his vision, to change the status quo, to weed out the traitors in his own camp, take on his powerful adversaries head on, and in the end pay the ultimate sacrifice.
  2. Score: James Horner composed an excellent score for this movie. The score really gave the audience a Scottish feel.
  3. Realism: The fights and battle sequences seemed so real. The film makers didn't go for that convenient scene change whenever a sword went through somebody's abdomen. Someone always got bruised or cut anywhere on their body wherever the sword struck.
  4. Context: I am so sick of watching movies, where Americans are portrayed as the good guys, risking life and limb to save the very indigenous people they invaded. The movies overlook all the atrocities that they committed in reality. Probably that's why it seemed believable and I didn't get that being disgusted feeling when I watched it. Wallace wasn't fighting for glory or the likes, I mean he didn't have that Achillian attitude like most Americans do.

Some parts in the movie did look over dramatized and historically very inaccurate, but overall it was a great movie. Although the real William Wallace didn't show any mercy to any of his enemies and killed them as he saw fit like burning them alive, but the Wallace in the movie is what I prefer to remember.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

All Time Favorite Songs

New songs come and go on the radio. Over time one gets tired of listening to the same song over and over again. Same is with my liking of song/music. If I find a good song then I listen to it until I can't bare to hear it ever played again. I've come to notice a pattern in my music liking and it might be the same for everybody.

Whenever I become fond of a particular song, this song goes through three phases of fancy. In the first phase, I can't get enough of the song, I want to hear it as much as I can over and over. As the number of times hearing that song increases, my desire to hear it goes down to a point, where I don't enjoy listening to it. This is where the degree of fancy enters the second phase. In the second phase, the degree of fancy is neutral, where I don't enjoy hearing the song, nor do I mind it being played or am irritated by it. As time progresses, my degree of fancy completely diminishes in the third (last) phase. In this phase, I can hardly bare to hear the song being played, even in the background. The very sound of it is like a sharp sting in my brain. It feels as if the sound waves of the song are jamming my brain waves. Every time I driven along with a friend in a car with that song playing becomes a traumatic experience. I always go "find a happy place, find a happy place"!

The time span for a particular music/song to go through this process is usually between one day to a few of months. Some songs or music tracks I don't ever get tired of listening. These songs/tracks are few in number, but each time I hear them is just like the first time I heard it.

Those tracks are:

  1. Anggun - Snow on the Sahara feat. Enigma
  2. Avril Lavigne - I'm With You
  3. Billie Myers - Kiss The Rain
  4. Braveheart - Theme (Techno Remix)
  5. Gladiator - Elysium, Honor Him, Now We Are Free (Merged)
  6. Linkin Park\Jay-Z - Numb/ Encore
  7. K-Pax OST - Grand Central (Edward Shermur)
  8. Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
  9. LeAnn Rimes - Cant Fight The Moonlight (remix)
  10. Liz Phair - Why Can't I Breathe
  11. Matrix OST - Clubbed to Death (Rob D)
  12. Michelle Branch - You Set Me Free
  13. Seal - Kiss From A Rose (Acoustic)
  14. Silent Hill 2 - Theme Of Laura (Reprise)
  15. Silent Hill 2 - True
  16. Sixpence None The Richer - Don't Dream It's Over
  17. Switchfoot - I Dare You To Move
  18. U2 - Mission Impossible Theme
  19. U2 - Stuck In A Moment
  20. Unreal - Straylight
  21. Vertical Horizon - Best I Ever Had
  22. Vertical Horizon - Everything You Want

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Brass Crescent Awards

There was a Muslim Blog awards held a few weeks ago known as "The Brass Crescent Awards" held by the "City of Brass" and "Alt.Muslim". I came to know about it through Abdusalaam Al-Hindi. When I first heard of this, I thought there would be thousands of Muslim Bloggers out there who would be nominated. But, as the nomination phase came to an end, it turned out that only a handful of Bloggers including myself (Knightmare) were on the list of nominees. From the looks of the short list of nominees, only 4 to 5 bloggers make up the Muslim voice in the blogging community. Even though I didn't win in any category or even get a honorable mention, it felt weird to see my name and blog on the voting list. Well at least they nominated me just for applying, then again who didn't?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Jib Jab: Second Term

Another installment of Jib Jab's funny political animated shorts. This one is called "Second Term". I have to say, this one is probably the least funny of all their past work. To tell you the truth, its not funny at all. There is not even a trace of funny in it! Seems to me that the creator's had some kind of deadline to live up to or something then they rushed the production and uploaded this crap for our disgust.

Well, I can't say that I blame them, after all the Retard(Bush) won. Anyway, If you want to watch it, click here or click on the title of this post.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Many Uses of Corn

There are many, many uses of corn. Corn is so widely used in so many products that not everybody knows about, which ones. One can discover the many uses of corn from this website. Of all the many uses of corn, making bread from it should not be one of them!

Corn bread is made from Cornmeal. In the southern part of USA, corn bread is consumed like normal bread. Let me forewarn, corn bread doesn't taste like regular bread, in fact it tastes terrible. I have eaten corn bread on many occasions and never did it register in my mind why do they still waste time and resources to make it? I can understand the Red Indians living on it 200 years ago but why do southerners still feast on it in the 21st century?

Song: Everything You Want

My Favorite Song for four years. Vertical Horizon don't have more the two or three good songs to their name but this one is the best. Probably their best work from their whole music career. Their past albums were not even mediocre and neither was their next album either. If anyone wants to listen to their songs then just try listening to "Everything you want", "Best I ever had", and "Your a God".

By Vertical Horizon

Somewhere there's speaking

It's already coming in

Oh and it's rising at the back of your mind

You never could get it

Unless you were fed it

Now you're here and you don't know why

But under skinned knees and the skid marks

Past the places where you used to learn

You howl and listen

Listen and wait for the

Echoes of angels who won't return


He's everything you want

He's everything you need

He's everything inside of you

That you wish you could be

He says all the right things

At exactly the right time

But he means nothing to you

And you don't know why

You're waiting for someone

To put you together

You're waiting for someone to push you away

There's always another wound to discover

There's always something more you wish he'd say


But you'll just sit tight

And watch it unwind

It's only what you're asking for

And you'll be just fine

With all of your time

It's only what you're waiting for

Out of the island

Into the highway

Past the places where you might have turned

You never did notice

But you still hide away

The anger of angels who won't return


I am everything you want

I am everything you need

I am everything inside of you

That you wish you could be

I say all the right things

At exactly the right time

But I mean nothing to you and I don't know why

And I don't know why


I don't know

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Titan: The Orange Moon

Titan's surface by "Huygen"

Huygen, the first probe after Pathfinder to go beyond Mars to send back pictures of an unexplored Moon/Planet. I remember seeing pictures of the Martian surface on TV in 1997. It was surreal for a moment then it started to look like some artist rendering from a movie. They say, Titan is like earth 3 billion years ago.

The Titan probe is named after Christiaan Huygens a 17th century Dutch mathematician.

According to CNN, Huygens discovered the Saturn moon Titan some time in the last half of the 17th century.

For more on the story click here (Yahoo News).

For more on the Cassini-Huygens probe click here.