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Italian Opera Take 1: La Scala, Milan

Posted on July 10th, 2006 filed in travel articles
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La Scala, arguably the most famous and prestigious opera theater, is an upscale venue located at the Piazza Del Scala, at the heart of Milan within close proximity to the Galleria and Duomo, two of Milan’s most famous landmarks. Best way to reach the theatre is via the Metro Duomo station. Italians take their opera here very seriously as evidenced by the Gucci, Armani and other super expensive formal dress code and the ubiquitous high heels, full makeup and jewelry.

The performance usually starts at 8 pm, unless the showing is exceptionally long when it would start earlier (All Scala performances must end before midnight). Late arrivals are denied entry until the intermission. Ushers, however, at their discretion, may allow late arrivals to watch the show while standing at the theater entrance irrespective of what seats the tickets are actually for. Around 30 minutes later, and based on availability, tardy folks would be seated on one of the top level cubicles, again until the intermission. No exceptions are ever made (Richard Burton was reportedly denied entry once when he failed to arrive on time).

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Inside Man Movie Review (8/10)

Posted on May 18th, 2006 filed in Movie Reviews
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Four masked people lead by Dalton Russell (Clive Owen) overtake a crowded Manhattan Bank and render the emloyees and customers hostages. New York Police rushes to the scene and so does hostage negotiator Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) who is under investigation for the disappearance of $140,000 evidence cash. Frazier soon realizes that the criminals’ behavior is not typical of a robbery/hostage situation and gets even more curious when a high-powered P.R. woman (Jodie Foster) arrives at the scene with her own agenda in mind.


Spike Lee is back with “Inside Man”, a serious departure from his prior work, and arguably one of his best. This a clever robbery/hostage film that is well acted and masterfully executed.

First comer, Russell Gerwitz, gets a solid start with his very smart, quite elaborate, and extremely well plotted script that makes it very difficult for one to poke holes into.

The opening monologue is quite smart leading one to make all kinds of assumptions and thus get quite amazed later on as plot unveils. The film then moves back and forth in time while always adding new characters and story elements with Lee remaining faithful to using specific camera angles and film grains for each time frame making it trivial for the audience to be clear of where in time each scene belongs to.

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Travelogue: A Chicago Tour with a Twist

Posted on May 12th, 2006 filed in Travelogues
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I’ve been to Chicago many times and I am quite fond of the city, its downtown, night scene, shopping experience, pizza joints, and the Sears Tower. And, as with all that is familiar, my Chicago trips, while very rich, lack as they no more have the novelty factor, the feeling you have when you first visit a place for the first time. Try to recall the first time you visited the Niagara Falls and compare that with the subsequent visits. Sure it is comforting to know a place very well but it takes an ingredient of novelty for that essential je-ne-sais-quoi to make a travel experience unforgettable.

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V for Vendetta Movie Quotes

Posted on May 4th, 2006 filed in Movie Quotes
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Saw this movie for the second time and loved it even more. Simply fabulous.

By sun-up if you’re not the sorriest piece of ass in all of London… then you’ll certainly be the sorest!

This may be the most important moment of your life… commit to it.

And now, for the crescendo!

There’s no certainty – only opportunity.

Fear became the ultimate tool of this government.

A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having!

One thing is true of all governments – their most reliable records are tax records.

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Memorable Movie Quotes: Closer

Posted on April 20th, 2006 filed in Movie Quotes
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A) These are my favorites lines for Natalie Portman and Jude Law


Alice: What’s your work?
Dan: I’m sort of… journalist.
Alice: What sort?
Dan: I write obituaries.


Dan: And you left him, just like that?
Alice: It’s the only way to leave. “I don’t love you anymore. Goodbye.”
Dan: Supposing you do still love them?
Alice: You don’t leave.
Dan: You’ve never left someone you still love?
Alice: Nope.

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Memorable Movie Scene: Closer

Posted on April 20th, 2006 filed in Memorable Movie Scenes
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[Clive Owen (larry) has just been told by his wife Anna (Julia Roberts) that she has been cheating on him with his best friend. Amazing scene. So raw, so powerful. Clive owen at his best and Julia Roberts as never seen before]


Larry: You’re seeing him now? Since when?
Anna: Since my opening last year.
Anna: I’m disgusting.
Larry: You’re phenomenal. You’re so clever.


Larry: I think you owe me for deceiving me so exquisitely.

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