Google Research Picks for Videos of the Year

Since the goddamned government of Pakistan blocks the Google research weblog, I’ve reposted their list of the best videos of 2006 below for future viewing. It’s a real pain to have to go through proxy servers and what not all the time as the various proxies used to route around censorship generally rewrites the links through the proxy, effectively killing large downloads. So direct links to the videos are below, which are so far uncensored by the Govt. of Pakistan.

Continue reading Google Research Picks for Videos of the Year

An Inconvenient Truth

“!(big)http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/images/2006/An_Inconvenient_Truth.jpg 490×135 (The Early Days)!”:http://www.climatecrisis.net/

A film on the dangers of global warming. It’s basically Al Gore presenting a very slick slideshow, but there is no more important subject. It’s ‘illuminating, fascinating and sometimes frightening.’:http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/2006-05-23-inconvenient-truth_x.htm:

bq.. Gore’s point is a simple one: We have a moral imperative, as individuals and as a nation, to do something about global warming, the dramatic, precipitous rise of world temperatures in the atmosphere, on land and in bodies of water, caused by greenhouse gases.

Gore has a gift for making scientific data digestible, understandable and intriguing. He is so consumed by the subject and impassioned in his efforts to change minds that it is hard not to get caught up in his fervor.

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Ray

!http://photos11.flickr.com/12345025_565840450d_m.jpg! Rating: 85/100

A great movie, but the ending is too Hollywood. Jamie Foxx is amazing as “Ray Charles”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Charles – the acting from the entire cast is brilliant.

bq. The real driving force of the film though is the music of Ray Charles and the flat out greatness of watching Jamie Foxx play Ray in the middle of a performance.

Review links: “Rotten Tomatoes: Ray”:http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ray/ and “Google Movies: Ray”:http://www.google.com/reviews?cid=bf3cec1cfee05185&fq=movie:ray

Couples Only

‘!http://photos9.flickr.com/12352919_3f774ea36b_m.jpg!’:http://www.aural-visual.com/couples_only A new movie by a trio of local talents. The trailer is brilliant – it’s on the movies website: “Couples Only: The Story of Youth”:http://www.aural-visual.com/couples_only/.

It’s the only local movie I’ve ever looked forward to watching… should be out by the summer.

bq. Title: Couples Only!

Tagline: The Story of Youth, in their own language

Synopsis: Couples Only! is a larger than life portrayal of an everyday

story of the youth. Its a tale of three ordinary guys with an

extra-ordinary problem, soon to become bigger when their friendship

comes on line.

Written, Directed & Produced by: Adeel & Khurram Suhrwardy

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I, Robot

Hollywood has been making a ton of movies based on books these days. Even when the movie is really good, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it still falls far short of the book. This isn’t because the movies could have been improved, for LOTR was very good, but an inherent failure in the ability to represent a book as a video/audio narrative.

Anyways, ‘I,Robot’:http://imdb.com/title/tt0343818/ takes a great book, throws out just about everything, then rips it’s arms off and beats it with the bloody stumps to make sure nothing is left of Asimov’s ideas and proceeds to make the standard Hollywood movie. Ironically, Asimov was portraying exactly the opposite of what this movie does.

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BBC to Put Entire Radio & TV Archive Online

Not so long ago, a number of media companies were complaning about the BBC as unfair competition, as it’s governement funded. They’re going to be even more upset now.

bq.. The BBC is to to put “it’s entire radio and television archive online”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3177479.stm, free for everyone, as the BBC Creative Archive. The article is a little thin on how far back these archives go, but regardless, this in a giantic amount of data, and to see it go online, and open to the public is very cool.

>> Slashdot | BBC to Put Entire Radio & TV Archive Online

p. Update: Danny O’Brien has “posted a stirring piece to his blog”:http://www.oblomovka.com/entries/2003/08/24#1061749500, explaining what makes this so darned cool. [Via “BoingBoing”:http://boingboing.net/]

Another great explanation at Hanging Day: “The BBC Creative Archive: what the Internet was invented for”:http://www.hangingday.co.uk/archives/000603.shtml.

The BBC has been “around since 1922”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1231593.stm. That’s more content than can be watched in a lifetime! “BBC Radio”:http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/ has been broadcasting online for quite a while now.

More discussion/thoughts at:

* “PlasticBag.org”:http://www.plasticbag.org/archives/2003/08/tories_would_close_bbc_website.shtml

* “Metafilter”:http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/27892

Continue reading BBC to Put Entire Radio & TV Archive Online

Bollywood FAQs

A “faq on bollywood”:http://www.time.com/time/columnist/printout/0,8816,471885,00.html by an American.

bq. I traveled the length of Indian cinema ? from the 1935 “Devdas” to the latest films ? though not the breadth; there’s still so much to discover. So where have I been? I’ve gone Bollywood. And I haven’t come back. This is a message from deep inside the fever.

>> “Time: Bollywood FAQs”:http://www.time.com/time/columnist/printout/0,8816,471885,00.html

The Matrix Reloaded

One line review: The trilogy once complete will be a classic and watched in 6 hour sessions in college dorms all over the world.

Discussions and reviews of the Matrix Reloaded from all over the web:

bq. ….hundreds (over a thousand) of posts about what people thought of the movie, what people thought the movie was about, and ultimately, who the participants are themselves.

>> “Kottke.org: The Matrix Reloaded”:http://kottke.org/plus/misc/matrixreloaded.html

*Update:* I saw the movie for the second time, in the “IMAX cinema”:http://www.bfi.org.uk/showing/imax/about.html. While many people were disapointed in it, in the end it is a good film, albeit very different from the first one. The rave scene in it should have been left out, and I think they spent too much time and money on the things like the freeway chase. It does leave you with one of the best cliffhangers ever, with the entire plot wide open. Some people were unhappy with it becasue they said the movie is too ‘unrealistic’. Well that is the point of the matrix! These people are in a virtual world where the laws of physics don’t apply! Not only that, the viewer has to put effort into it to understand what exactly the subplots are, which not many people are willing to do. While not as good as the first, tremondous effort went into the film, and it shows on the screen.

The third part is out now, Matrix Revolutions, but it will be a while before its available in Pakistan.