Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Movies: Heat

All the packages I sent from Manipal arrived safely here today and I setup the computer I was using in Manipal again.  There are now two computers at home and I am thinking of networking them.

I read more than a thousand Calvin & Hobbes strips today.  I got a collection of these strips in PDF format (one file per year starting from 1985) from one of my friends at TAPMI.  Read the 1985, 86, 87 and most of 88 strips today.  Many of these I have read before, but they are awesome as always.

Finally finished watching Heat.  I watched the second CD this afternoon, and the third CD just got over.  The movie is about two men who are extremely good at what they do — Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) is a professional criminal, and Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) is a cop.  Hanna only lives for who he's going after, and therefore his personal life is a mess.  McCauley's policy is "never to get close to anything that he can't leave behind in thirty seconds when the heat's around the corner", however things change when he meets Eady (Amy Brenneman).  The movie explores these two characters and their personal lives, carries on with a thrilling bank robbery sequence, and then leads to Hanna's pursuit of McCauley.

Aside from the fact that it has an awesome cast (including also, Val Kilmer, Natalie Portman, etc.), what made Heat a standout movie for me was writer/director Michael Mann's superb characterisations (an extraordinary scene is the one where De Niro and Pacino's characters meet over coffee).  He goes into much detail on everything in the movie and though it's almost three hours long it was always interesting to watch.  I also liked Elliot Goldenthal's music score, which was subtle and effective (bank robbery sequence is an example).  Heat I would say is a must-watch movie.

Another very positive review of Sin City at Arrow in the Head.  Looking forward to this!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Cold and Dark Script, The Hellbound Heart, Heat

I read the script for Cold and Dark yesterday.  This is a British horror/crime movie made by Sheer Films.  I don't know whether I will ever get to see the actual film, so I read the screenplay, which can be downloaded on the site (along with the trailer and lots of other stuff — now this is what a film website should be like).

The script is by Joanne Reay (also producer of the movie), and the movie is directed by Andrew Goth.  It is about a vice detective, John Dark (Luke Goss) who has a great amount of respect for his mentor, DCI Mortimer Shade (Kevin Howarth) (who as he says, taught him what being a good copper was all about).  Dark and Shade are troubled when bad guys get away by exploiting legal loopholes, but there's nothing really they can do.  However, when certain high-profile criminals start ending up dead, Dark realises that Shade has changed into something not entirely human.  He has been taken over by a parasite called the Grail, that feeds off the blood of humans.  An interesting story.  The trailer has Linkin Park's "Numb" on the soundtrack.

I also read the Clive Barker book The Hellbound Heart yesterday evening.  Barker himself wrote and directed Hellraiser, the film adaptation of this story.  If you have seen the movie, the story here is quite similar — a young woman, Julia, discovers that her lover Frank has returned from the dead, and is existing in a skinless, semi-human state in one of the rooms in her house.  Frank has spent quite some time in the realm of the Cenobites, who specialise in sensory experiences that this world simply cannot hope to offer.  The gateway to their dimension can be opened by solving the Lemarchand Configuration, a puzzlebox.  Like the film, this is not just a horror story but is a lot deeper and very fascinating.

Finally, I watched the first CD of Heat yesterday and it seems like an excellent film.  It's a pretty long film though, and I have two more CDs to watch, before giving comments.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Movies: The Transporter

I watched The Transporter last night on CD.  The premise is interesting, Frank Martin (Jason Statham) is an ex-military man who now works as a transporter — he delivers sensitive packages for clients in his black BMW (apparently a one-of-a-kind model made for the movie).  He plays his game by three rules — one, no changes in the deal; two, no names; and three, never open the package.  As it happens, one of the packages he is hired to transport actually contains a young Chinese woman named Lai (Shu Qi).  Martin opens the package thereby violating his own rules — and soon the people who hired him want him and Lai dead.

The movie is an entertaining action thriller, and has plenty of stylish action and martial arts sequences, and some well-filmed car chases.  It is written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and is directed by HK action director Corey Yuen.  The film credits Louis Leterrier as "Artistic Director" as well (first time I am seeing something like this in a movie).  The music score is by Stanley Clarke, and it is the second score I am hearing from him after the excellent Passenger 57 music.  It gives the movie a light-hearted and fast-paced tone and it was an unconventional kind of score.

Apparently there is a The Transporter 2 in the works, and it is set in America, as opposed to the first film which has some very nice French locations (the car chase that opens the film is set in Nice).

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Back Home!

My parents and Varun arrived in Manipal at around 4:30 PM on 25th March.  They met many of my friends in the hostel on that day.  Later on that night I finished my packing, and the next morning, I signed out of the hostel and sent some of my stuff through XPS.  Collected my grade sheet for the Second Year as well.  Then got ready for the Convocation ceremony.

The 19th Annual Convocation of the T.A. Pai Management Institute got over on 26th evening, and I was awarded the Post Graduate Diploma in Management.  The function itself went off very well and everything got completed on time.  Congratulations to Guruprasad Jambunathan for receiving several of the academic prizes for outstanding performance, and to Rajesh for receiving the AgrEvo Student of the Year Award.  The Convocation Address was delivered by Mr. Vikram Mehta, Chairman of Shell India.

Update 2005 was also released at the Convocation ceremony, and it has come out really well.  Returning editor Prof. R.C. Natarajan and the student editors put in a lot of work on it.  The cover of this issue is by myself, and this is my second Update cover.

I was very happy that my parents and Varun could be present there.  We met several faculty members, friends, and their family members after the convocation, and Varun took plenty of photos.  I will be posting relevant ones at various places as time and Internet speed permit.  Later on that night, I went to KMC Greens for one last gathering of the T-Flankies, a group I was part of, for the major portion of two years.

The next morning (27th) I left Manipal with my family.  We left by cab to Mangalore airport, reached Bangalore airport by around 1:30 PM.  The flight to Hyderabad left at around 4:30 PM, and I was back home by 7 PM yesterday.  I think I finished reading all the comics that I bought recently.

Kamal had sent an email to our T-Flankies group about the consolidated rank list that was announced back at TAPMI.  My consolidated rank for the two years is 16.

Later in the evening yesterday, I unpacked my CDs, and Varun and myself watched Constantine.  Slept early (midnight) in the night as I was tired.  Visited Rob Zombie's Blog just now.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Comics Gold Mine!

I walked into this place called "Decks and Cards" (or something like that) yesterday — it is a small shop opposite TAPMI on the main road — because I was looking for one particular Gotham comics Super Special issue (Spider-Man/Venom).  That was not available, however, I did walk away with 11 single issues plus one super special (Batman Super Special 06), at a total cost of Rs. 140, a very good deal indeed!  These comics are old, but most are in very good condition.  This guy is selling them at half-price, so those interested might want to check it out.  Apparently he buys these issues from students in Manipal.  They do not know what they are giving away, seriously!

Read the first review for Sin City at yesterday.  This looks like an awesome movie and I cannot wait to see it.

Last days at Manipal

Varun and my parents are right now in the Bangalore airport, waiting for the flight to Mangalore, which has been delayed by a couple of hours.  They'll reach Manipal therefore at around 4 PM I think.

We have a rehearsal for our convocation proceedings today at 3:45 PM.  There's apparently another one tomorrow morning at 10 AM, although I think it is not really practical due to lack of time.  The actual convocation will start tomorrow afternoon.  I would leave Manipal with Varun and my parents on 27th morning, and if all goes well, we would reach Hyderabad the same evening.

I have sent whatever luggage I can from here to Hyderabad through XPS courier.  Yesterday I finished my CD writing, clearing dues, etc.  Now only final packing is to be done, and I also have to dismantle my computer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

TAPMI Class of 2003-05 Wallpaper

Dear All,

We hope you enjoyed flipping through this year's issue of Interface.

We have attached the wallpaper made out of the Interface poster by our Chief Interface Caricaturist — Karthik.

We once again thank all the people who have been a part of making Interface as we see it today.

The Corporate Communication Group
Taking TAPMI Places....

I sent CCG the wallpaper before leaving for Kodaikanal, and I was busy at the time with packing and other things.  That's why I am posting the wallpaper only now.

Here is a scaled down version of the image.  Click it to open the 1024x768 JPEG wallpaper in a new window.  It's about 300 KB in size.

TAPMI Class of 2003-05 Wallpaper [click to open full size image]

Some fun facts about the poster:
  • The size of the poster is approximately 22 inches wide by 17 inches high.
  • The number of caricatures on the poster is 131.
  • There were nine artists in total who worked on the caricatures.  I did almost a fourth of the caricatures, numbering 32.
  • It took around 10 hours to assemble the poster.
  • The image sent to the printers was around 8400x6400 pixels in size.
  • The Photoshop file with all the layers is larger than 100 MB in size.

I have to figure out some way of putting up a larger version of the poster itself over here.  I will probably make a JPG version of a 2000-pixel or so wide image.

The Kodaikanal CD (photos and videos from three cameras — Abdul's, Anirudh's and Rupak's) is a little more than 500 MB in size.  I'll post a couple of pictures from these too, later.

Back from Kodaikanal

I am now back in Manipal after the Kodaikanal trip of our T-Flankies.  I've just been catching up with what has been going on in the past few days.
  • CCG emailed the official TAPMI Class of 2003-05 Wallpaper I sent them.
  • I got an email from Alexander Repko, informing me that a couple of my Doom levels were recently used for demo contests at Doom Power.  Thanks Alexander, and thanks to the organisers of the contests and the players!  Perhaps I will pay a visit to the Systems Lab today and download all this stuff.  I thought I'd settled all the downloading and CD writing business earlier, but apparently it's not over just yet!
  • According to, The Ring Two is a bad movie.
  • Director Paul Greengrass offered an insightful interview on his upcoming Watchmen adaptation.  I am very eager to read the book.  Judging by the interview, I guess the movie adaptation is in good hands.
  • Some interesting new levels in the latest edition of the Doomworld /newstuff Chronicles are also to be downloaded.  I suppose that Systems Lab trip is inevitable.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Skulltag v0.96b

I am downloading the freshly released Skulltag v0.96b.  The bots are back!

Going to go to KC for breakfast now.  By that time the download will be done.  Then I have to pack stuff for our trip to Kodaikanal (that won't take long though), and then send one more package of stuff (books, papers, etc.) home.

I made three personalised wallpapers out of my Interface caricatures last night.  Mailed them to the three people concerned — Krish, Shanbhag and Abdul.  They liked them a lot.

On Kamal's and Rama's recommendation I watched Deewar (1975) last night.  I liked it.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Hard-Boiled (DVD) and Interface Caricatures CD (Planned)

I just finished watching a DVD version of Hard-Boiled.  Abdul had rented a DVD with four Chow Yun-Fat films, and it was on this DVD that this film was present.  Now when he told me about this DVD, I was very excited because I thought it contained four of Chow's Hong Kong movies, but when I found out what the films were, my excitement lowered.  There was Bulletproof Monk, a movie that was amusing but nothing too great.  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is not exactly my type of movie, I just didn't like it as much as everyone seems to.  At least The Replacement Killers is a pretty decent action movie (imitation John Woo?), and as Chow's US debut it is certainly an important movie, but that doesn't mean it's up to the standards of some of the star's HK films.  Now the fourth film made everything worthwhile — this is an actual John Woo-directed HK film — it's the amazing police thriller Hard-Boiled!

I first watched this movie in May 2002 on a videotape, but it was a totally different experience watching it on DVD.  This was in Cantonese with English subtitles, and was actually the complete film (as opposed to a randomly cut 107 minute version)!  I actually transferred the VOB files from Abdul's laptop (where the image was very much squished) to my hard disk to watch it (and this was achieved by writing spanned RAR files on 2 CDs + 65 MB).

Tomorrow I am planning to put together a CD with all the content related to the caricatures I did for the Interface poster.  This includes the raw scans, the cut out individual caricatures, the Photoshop files for the poster, a JPG version, a wallpaper, a short video that Rupak recorded while I was drawing, and anything else that I can think of while actually compiling the CD.  I'm sure this is going to take some time, but if I can I am also going to include notes on the caricatures that I did.

So I won't forget...

A couple of things that will be expanded (probably) in later posts...  I'm writing this now, so I won't forget to write later!  It's sort of like a disambiguation page on Wikipedia!
  • I watched John Carpenter's The Thing last night (after probably nearly a year of having the CD with me).  Very good movie, suspense filled, with some great (icky) effects, and a terrific John Carpenter-esque music score by Ennio Morricone!
  • A couple of days before that, I watched the very entertaining Torque.  So what if it is #77 on the Internet Movie Database's Bottom 100 List?  Those who gave it a low rating just "didn't get it".
  • Yesterday was my LAST class at TAPMI.  With this all the loose ends have been nearly tied up, only the final report submission for the RBSC course remains.
  • At the valedictory function yesterday, TAPMI Systems Group was voted the Best Academic Forum of the Year (we're getting this honour the third year in a row!) and Corporate Communication Group was the Best Non-Academic Forum of the Year.  Thanks to CCG for their appreciation of my work on the Interface caricatures poster.
  • Kuldeep has set up the official messageboard for our TAPMI Hostel Second Floor T-Flank at the Virtual T-Flank.

Can't believe there's only two days to go for our T-Flank's trip to Kodaikanal.  After that there's only a few days to go for our Convocation.  Time goes by so fast.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Interface and Update

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of CCG's Interface for quite a while now.  The wait came to an end today.  At 12:45 PM, we had the valedictory function that concluded BrandScan 2004 (the biggest and best BrandScan in TAPMI's history yet) — and at the end of this function, the CCG members released Interface.  We all got our copies in the evening.

As a souvenir for us to remember the two years spent at TAPMI, this year's Interface is, I must say, an extraordinary piece of work.  I say this because I know the kind of constraints CCG was working under (budgetary, time), and at the end of it all, this magazine is something I will treasure.

This year's souvenir included a poster with caricatures of all 131 seniors.  This is something that I was closely associated with — nine artists worked on the caricatures in total, and I did 32 caricatures apart from putting the whole poster together in Photoshop.  It was a huge amount of work, and my computer also strained under the load of opening and working with Photoshop files over 100 MB in size.  It was more than worth the effort though, as the poster has come out really well.

It's that time of the year when work starts on TAPMI Update, and returning editor Prof. R.C. Natarajan's office is the place where everything comes together.  The junior members of CCG and other volunteers are working on the magazine along with Prof. RCN.  As I mentioned before, I am a returning cover designer for the magazine, and today I completed the artwork for it, and also assembled the actual thing.  Unlike last year's cover, which had greyscale pencil artwork, this time Prof. RCN wanted it to be in colour, therefore I did the drawings for it in colour pencils this time.  I am quite happy with the concept I came up with and the artwork.  We made some 4 or 5 variations of the cover design, and which one is finally used will be decided by Prof. RCN and other faculty members.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

A couple of links

I wrote my Advertising Management exam today and that is the LAST exam I will be writing in my entire Management course at TAPMI.

We had a great farewell party today from our juniors.  I returned at around 1 AM to the hostel, and I spent quite a bit of time from then till now, finishing up the report for the Research Methodology in Behavioural Science course.

While doing that I came across this pretty interesting webcomic: OK/Cancel.  Well, just wanted to post that.  Going to sleep now.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Tha Book Review!!

So I finished over half of the book The Marketing Imagination by Theodore Levitt.  Now Vivek Janardanan and myself decided to split the task of reviewing the book, and initially we decided that I'd do chapters 1 thru 6 and he'd do the rest.  I've written notes on the first six chapters, but seeing as how I've got this far, I thought I'd read the rest very quickly (not going to make notes on these though).  It's like watching half of a movie — even if there isn't actually any suspense in it, I'd still want to sit through and finish it off.  Otherwise it's as good as not having seen the film at all, and that doesn't make sense.  So I've decided to spend the next 30-45 minutes or so reading this book — and I am going to complete it by then.  After that I will start studying for Advertising Management end term.

Grand plans are often made, let's see if this one works out.

EDIT (2:15 AM): I finished the book.  Took longer than 30-45 minutes, but I DID say "30-45 minutes or so", didn't I?  Now I will go and read the Advertising Management slides for some time and then fall asleep.

Some loose ends...

I had my CTPL (Competitiveness Through People) end term exam this morning.  With this, I have just one more end term to go (Advertising Management, which is tomorrow), and one project submission (the day after).  And a book review which is going drudgingly slow.  These are a few loose ends that need to be tied up before completion of my TAPMI course.  I also need to pack my books and other stuff and send it off home.  After all this I also have some other things to do as I am a "returning cover designer/artist" for TAPMI Update.

We seniors have a farewell party tomorrow night.  Next week at this time myself and a group of friends will begin our trip to Kodaikanal.  We will return on 24th, and then the convocation's on 26th.  My parents and Varun will be coming to Manipal for that.  Apparently they booked the flight tickets today.

The Arts and Aesthetics Forum here is organising a movie screening.  They asked for suggestions on award-winning movies to show.  The first thing that came to my mind was Pulp Fiction, but I read the fine print on the email that said * the movie should not have any obscene content.  Hmmm... never mind, I suggested that anyway.  That, and The Usual Suspects.

In other news Arun Panicker started a blog today.  The bots are going to return in the next version of Skulltag which will be released in a week's time.  That, I am eagerly waiting for.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

More Drew Struzan Links

I did a bit more searching about artist Drew Struzan and came up with this wonderful site — The Drew Movie Poster Page — that has a collection of all his movie posters online.  Remember I mentioned the Star Wars Special Edition posters he did?  Well, this site gives a bit more information on them:

After reading about how the posters work together as a single piece of art, I decided to put them together, and this is the result:

This is just beautiful.  I can't think of any other words to describe it.

EDIT (10:51 PM): I have been reading about all the posters on that site.  Reached the 1980s poster descriptions so far.  Will probably resume this tomorrow, as I will go to have some coffee now and then go on to reading The Marketing Imagination by Theodore Levitt for a book review that I have to give on 14th.  Oh, there is also an endterm exam on IT for Competitive Advantage tomorrow, that I am not going to study for.

Doom stuff, Man on Fire

"Here's the great thing about Doom... It's rated 'R', it's unapologetic, just like the video game..."

I was very relieved to see the above quote from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in this interview about the upcoming Doom movie from Universal Pictures.  JoBlo, Arrow and Doomworld reported the arrival of the first actual picture from the Doom movie, which I must say looks pretty good.  Has a sort of Aliens-feel to it, in my opinion.  The movie is going to be directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak (Romeo Must Die, Cradle 2 the Grave), and is written by Dave Callaham and Wesley Strick.  The effects are by Stan Winston Studios.  Well, I am optimistic about this movie and I hope it turns out to be a fun experience.

Oh and that Rock interview linked above also has some info on the Johnny Bravo movie, which he is starring in!  I love the Bravo cartoons, but I'm not sure how a movie adaptation will turn out.

JoBlo also reported about the final poster for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which is also really good-looking.  It is painted by Drew Struzan.  I remember observing the name "drew" on all the Star Wars posters (subsequent to 1997), the Back to the Future posters, the Police Academy posters and several others, and I've always wondered who the person was.  Now I know.  BTW: I LOVE the artwork he has done.

I watched Man on Fire last night.  A WARNING for those of you who are considering buying the VCD released by Excel Home Videos in India: this version REMOVES ALL ON-SCREEN TEXT from the movie — so there are no opening credits, and, get this — no subtitles!  For a movie that has a lot of dialogue in Spanish, this means that a substantial part is missing from this version.  Also, director Tony Scott uses on-screen text to emphasise dialogue, and that is also missing in this version.  His BMW Films short Beat the Devil is an example of this technique in action, and I was eager to see it in Man on Fire.  Sadly I was disappointed.

Anyway, I liked the movie, it was brilliantly acted, and I loved the relationship portrayed between the characters played by Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning in the movie.  Tony Scott gives this movie a very stylised (sometimes excessively so) look, utilising lots of camera tricks.  Some might find this over-use of style annoying, but I kind of like it, and after viewing Beat the Devil some five times, it has grown on me.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

BMW Films, ADMT and others

I managed to download ALL EIGHT of the BMW Films yesterday, including the "Making of" video for the first season films.  I will put together all these on CD tomorrow.

Time passes and my course at TAPMI gets closer and closer to completion.  Our convocation is on the 26th of this month.  Many of our courses are ending, with Advertising Management getting over today (great ad campaign presentations by all!).

I better sleep now.

EDIT (4:17 PM): I assembled the CD for the BMW Films this afternoon (around 1 PM).  It has all eight films, the "Making of" video, four wallpapers and some webpages with info about the films.  I've also thrown in the setup package for Windows Media Player 10 and Media Player Classic.  A cool compilation if I do say so myself.

Oh, apparently a newer version of Media Player Classic ( has been released.  Downloading it now.

EDIT (7:49 PM): I watched all eight films this evening.  They're great, all of them.  I'll write short reviews for them soon.

Movies: Constantine

So I finally watched Constantine last night, and I thought it was really good.  I know not everyone sees it that way, people have said that they found it boring, or that it was a bit too "all-over-the-place".  I have never read the DC/Vertigo comic Hellblazer that the movie is based on, but I had read about the books before watching the movie.  And after reading a couple of reviews, I knew not to expect a conventional action-horror movie (which is what I was expecting when I saw the trailer a few months ago).

The movie has certain interesting concepts — heaven and hell are two sides basically trying to control humanity.  However, angels and demons cannot cross into our plane.  There are half-breeds (some angel, some demon) among us who try to influence us to go to one side or the other.  Keanu Reeves is John Constantine, a guy who was born with a gift/curse — he could see these half-breeds as they were since he was a child.  After dying he spent some time in hell and returned to our plane, where he now works as a investigator and exorcist.  He is trying to buy his way into heaven as he knows that his soul is damned and that the devil wants him in hell.

Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) is a cop whose twin sister, Isabel, commits suicide.  She asks Constantine for help in finding out exactly why her sister — a Catholic — would do something like that.  A plot with demons attempting to cross over, the Spear of Destiny, and the Devil's son being born into the Earth follows, and it's quite an absorbing story.

I liked the way the filmmakers fleshed out Constantine's world.  Of course, the character is also unique and played well by Keanu Reeves.  Apparently in the comic books Constantine is blond haired and a Brit, something which was changed for the movie, though the essence of the character is retained (according to certain reviews that I've read).  The story is more well-developed than one would expect, which I think is because the screenwriters had a sufficient amount of story elements to work with, given the comic books.  However, I also thought that some of the characters (like Papa Midnite, Balthazar) were introduced without much of backstory.  A bit more explanation would have made a more comprehensive film, but I guess it would have become very long then.

That aside, I liked the dark mood that the director (Francis Lawrence, who has done several music videos) brought to the film.  It was stylish without being overly so, and the look suited the overall film very well.  The visual effects were very good indeed.  I also loved the music score (by Klaus Badelt and Brian Tyler) which was subtle and very effective at the same time.

I am going to watch it a second time because I'm sure that there are lots of little details that I'd have missed the first time around.  Probably tomorrow.

Friday, March 04, 2005

BMW Films Update...

Here is the status on my downloads of the BMW Films:

  • Hostage: DONE
  • Ticker: DONE
  • Beat the Devil: DONE
  • Powder Keg: DONE
  • Star: DONE
  • The Follow: IN PROGRESS
  • Chosen: IN QUEUE
  • Ambush: IN QUEUE

Kamal started a blog recently.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Movies: The Hire: Hostage

Abhishek Shanbhag told me quite sometime back about BMWFilms, where a set of short films (made to promote BMW's Z4 Roadster) by acclaimed filmmakers like John Woo, Tony Scott, etc. were available.  Apparently, the idea of promoting the car through these short action films originated from David Fincher.

A couple of days back, I was checking John Woo's filmography on the IMDb and was surprised to see an entry on it called The Hire: Hostage.  When I looked at the details page for that film, I realised that it was one of the BMW films.  A 66 MB download, I got the file yesterday after a couple of failed attempts, and watched it a few times.

All the short films in the The Hire series star Clive Owen as the Driver of the BMW.  The John Woo short is about 9 minutes long, and has the Driver racing against time to rescue high-profile CEO Linda Delacroix (Kathryn Morris) who has been abducted by former employee Harry Baumgartner (Maury Chaykin), and is now in the trunk of a sinking car.

Hostage is a stylish movie that's compactly told, though I guess it would have been better had Woo got more time to show off his usual movie trickery.  It's granted, though, that the point of the movie is to show off the car, and that it does very well.

I'm eager to see more of these, especially Tony Scott's Beat the Devil.

EDIT (3:18 PM): I am downloading Beat the Devil now, and plan to download Joe Carnahan's short Ticker after that.  I want to get all eight films in the series, and put them together on one CD.

EDIT (5:27 PM): Yes!  Beat the Devil finished downloading.  Started downloading Ticker.