Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My All Time Favorite Movies

Always thought everybody has his “My All Time Favorite Movies” list. At least when you browse the net you come across so many of them that it seems so. So I asked myself do I have such list. After thinking for a minute the answer that came was: “Not really.” I mean I like some movies a lot but if I want a proper list which lists movies which I like as

1. ZYX
2. UVW
3. ….

No. I can’t put it that way. But then it is not normal. Right? I mean if so many people have “My All Time Favorite Movies” list, then the norm is that normal people have “My All Time Favorite Movies” list. And my ambition of lifetime is to fit in a so-called category: “Normal”. So I started out on the quest of making the “My All Time Favorite Movies” list. And the rest of this post is result of my valiant effort to produce the “My All Time Favorite Movies” list.

1. Titanic
I can almost here your uninterested response, “Oh, OK. Everybody likes Titanic. Boy be original.” But in my case it’s not like that. It is the movie which had a profound impact on life. It changed me from a “Kick ass action rocks!” kind of movie fan to a “Romantic movies are the best!” kind of fan. [ Now that's not the complete truth. Another cause of this "profound" change is I read somewhere that girls like romantic men. ;-) ]

And whether I am original or not. The movie is a original. (I know there are 3 or 4 movies which are based on the sinking of the Titanic. You see, I do visit IMDb from now and then. But I haven’t seen any of them. So for me and for most of my generation this one is the original. It’s a question of perspective.) Whenever I watch a good, original romance movie, I think that’s the last original one. How many variation can one produce of the basic “boy meets girl” theme? But every time a film like this shows that the genre is still alive. And good writers can give you stories that are novel and enjoyable.

Another reason I like this movie is Leonardo DiCaprio. I just loved him in the movie. No I am not a gay. Don’t have slightest doubt about that in your mind. The reason I love him in that movie has nothing to do with his handsome looks. It’s more about the way he stands on the railings of the ship, spread his hands wide and shouts, “I’m the king of the world!” That shot left me mesmerized.

Titanic was released in 1997 and James Cameron hasn’t directed a movie since. (Though he made a few documentaries). From 1997 to 2007 that is 10 years. I don’t know the real reason for this break but I think he didn’t find anything as great as Titanic. Same for me.

2. Forrest Gump
Only three words are enough to describe this movie. “A true masterpiece”. This movie directed by Robert Zemeckis is one of the most inspirational movies I have ever watched. Yes world changes when you see it through the eyes of Forrest Gump. It becomes more easy to accept the life. This movie taught me how to be positive no matter what.

And Tom Hanks is simply great!

3. Lage Raho Munna Bhai & Rang De Basanti
Well there is tie for the third post. Both the movies were released in 2006. Both the movies deal with the current situation in India such as corruption and youth. But the solution provided is totally opposite. The movies apply the solutions suggested by two of our greatest freedom fighters. Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh. Well I writing about movies here so I won’t comment on whose philosophy is better. That will take another post in itself. But I must say both the movies are great.

5. Underworld
I know many of you will pan me for putting underworld in the same category of Titanic and Forrest Gump. But I will defend my choice to death ( I know it won’t go to that far ;-) ). I like the movie very much and I think it deserves a place here. (And this has got nothing to do about the fact that Kate Beckinsale had dressed to kill in the movie.).

I agree that the second movie in the series was big disappointment. But I like the first one for the simple reason that it was one of the most ingenious take on the ‘Romeo & Juliet’ I have ever seen. Ok now you will ask how Underworld is like ‘Romeo & Juliet’? Well, a love story on the backdrop of two clans fighting for superiority. Endless number of movies have been made on the theme. But I think the director Len Wiseman got this one right. Also the action was very aesthetically done. I never understood why critics normally don’t rate action flicks as good as other genres. For me underworld makes it.

Ok that’s it. Finally I have made the “My All Time Favorite Movies” list. Now tell me where is yours?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Review : The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

The most important thing I learned after reading after this book is that there are no immutable laws of marketing. No I don’t mean the whole book is bullshit. In fact it is a good book. It is very concisely written and is filled with practical advice. 

The problem with the book is “marketing.” To market the book the authors used the word “immutable” and while writing the book they have taken a stance like - if you are going to violet the laws, you are bound to fail. To prove this the authors give many existing failures of the companies who ignored the laws and failed. At the same time the authors also make predictions like – xxx company or xxx product is going to fail because they don’t adhere with the laws presented in the book. This is where the problem is. Some of such predictions are bound to fail.

The book was first published in 1993. Now, in 2007 a lot of their predictions about IT industry don’t hold true. For example, take the first three laws mentioned in the book,

The Law of Leadership & The Law of the Category – says that to be successful you must be first in the market, and rather than trying to be better in existing categories you should try to find a new category where you can be the first.

The Law of the Mind – says that if you can’t be the first in the marketplace then using marketing become the first in the customer’s mind.

Which was the first search engine? I don’t know. So googled to find it. It came up with a wikipedia entry which says that the first search engine was - the Archie Search Engine. Have you ever heard of it? Then one of the first full text crawler based search engine was WebCrawler which was launched in 1994. It was later bought by America Online who later sold it to Excite. After Excite went bankrupt it was acquired by InfoSpace in 2001. Is WebCrawler no. 1 today?

Ok so which was the first search engine that became popular? This can be AltaVista or Yahoo. Is one of these the no. 1 search engines today? No. The no. 1 search engine to day is Google. Why? Simply because it is better than the rest.

Also, while explaining the law of line extension the authors criticize Microsoft that it want to become leader in every category. And they predict that –

“Microsoft is setting itself up as the next IBM, with all the negative implications the name suggests.”

Where as Microsoft is one of the most successful software companies of all time. And they have the no. 1 position in key software categories such as operating systems, and office suite. The most of their ventures are successful. Yes their hardware division was not always as successful, but to succeed one has to try. And while trying there are going to be some failures. If Microsoft had never tried, how could have they found out the Xbox 360?

OK, now I am aware you are thinking the Microsoft’s monopoly trade practices and the corresponding lawsuits. But that is another subject altogether. And despite of that we can’t ignore that Microsoft has delivered exceptional financial results over a long period of time.

But despite of the above motioned flaws, the book presents some key fundamental marketing concepts in very simple language that everybody can understand. And if you want to start to read about marketing, this book will make a very good introduction to the field of marketing. And the book is really thin, around 135 pages or so.

My verdict: A must read for every marketing student.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Friday, October 19, 2007

Review : Fishbowl

Just completed reading Fishbowl by Sarah Mlynowski.

It is novel about three girls who become roommates. And one day accidentally they set their apartment on fire. So rest of the novel is about how they try to hide this from their landlord and their effort to fix the apartment so as to make it looks as it was before. And meanwhile one of the girls manages to get a boyfriend and loose her virginity and other two manage to loose their boyfriends. So those of you with Y chromosomes in them will say it’s a book for Homo sapiens with only X chromosomes in them. Yes you are correct. It is in fact chick-lit.

Now those of you with Y chromosomes in them will ask me why I being somebody with Y chromosomes is reading chick-lit. Well, I have a confession to make. (No don’t raise your eyebrows just yet.) It’s just that I like romance novels in general.

The book is funny and the writer has her unique writing style which makes it enjoyable to read. All in all I will suggest if you get your hands on the book then read it.

Overall rating: 3/5


Hi I am Pritam Barhate. Historically I have described myself as,
Reading. I am a bookworm.
Movies. I am addicted.
Programming. I wish I could quit
This is my personal blog. Here I will be writing about the books, movies, programming, computers, web, India, in short about everything that I find interesting.

Another important subject of this blog is going to be the God. God, this one word continues to haunt me. I don’t believe in the God, yet I can’t stop thinking about it. Why we mankind as a whole are so obsessed with the God?