Friday, June 02, 2006

World Cup 2006!

Soccer world cup is a heck a lot more fun that Cricket, Wimbledon, Superbowl and World series all put together. The characters (and not just players) are so much more diverse, so much more action gets packed into a short time of play, and the energy on the field and the stadium is just electrifying. I can't wait for the world cup to start in another week!

I discovered today that the coffee shop next door is going to be opening shop early morning and will be showing hte matches on TV. They are rooting for Italy. I suspect it might be an England and Brazil showdown in the finals. Whatever happens, plenty of action is on the cards for next month!

Talking of action, I just saw X-Men 3 a few days back. I was a bit disappointed -- it seemed like a lot of buildup for.. nothing. Mystique used to light the screen in the earlier movies and here her role ends early. They give incredible powers and personality (two of them, in fact) to Jean, and for most part of the movie she just stands and stares in space while kids fight it out. Magneto seemed like a caricature of his earlier roles. Halle Barry should really do more stuff like Monster's Ball or James Bond. She seems almost out of place in this movie. But then everyone in the movie seemed a little confused about what they were doing.

Last night I saw this beautiful gem of a movie called "Mongolian Ping Pong." It's a story of a couple of kids in Mongolia who find a ping pong ball and don't know what it is. They think it is a glowing pearl at first, and then they discover that it is a Ping Pong ball -- the "national ball" of China. So they conclude that it must be a very important thing to the nation, and they must return it. It is never hilarious, but it always keeps you engaged with its charm. The innocence and childhood is packaged with phenomenal landscapes of Mongolian grasslands -- making it a very beautiful film to watch. This movie was a part of the San Francisco film fest, but I missed it then. Be warned -- the movie is slow and at no time is in any kind of rush to get anywhere and the majority of screen time is taken by three kids who do not seem to be professioanl actors. But the movie is a total charmer -- packed with a Mongolian shepherd with quixotic ambitions (including one to build a windmill -- made me wonder if there was a reference to Quixote), and the constant bewilderment on the part of kids who seem to be adept at everything else around them.

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