About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

27 September 2006

Movie: Hard Candy

The subject of the movie is quite difficult - on the surface, it is about a pedophile trying to pick up a 14 year old girl over the Internet. But that is only the first 20 minutes of the film - and nothing is what it seems to be. Primarily, it is a story about revenge; but you never really feel sorry for the victim - maybe because he is a pedophile; and possibly a murderer - and while many parts of the story is quite tragic; there is also quite a bit of comedy - situations where you can't really stop laughing ... even though it is rather cruel. It is definitely one of the best pieces of acting I have seen for a long time; and that alone should be a reason to watch the movie.

26 September 2006

Cape Town International Comedy Festival

I had sent out an email a bout a month or so back, about people who would be interested in going to the comedy festival. Since I did not really get much positive feedback; with most people unimpressed by the R120 price tag; I decided to go alone; to the last show - Best of Fest, on Sunday night.

It was definitely worth the money - 6 comedians; plus the MC; in a show, including the interval; lasting around 3 hours. It started of rather sedately, with the host, Sugar Sammy, regurgitating some old jokes; but then he spotted some late-comers, and they provided the perfect fodder to really launch the show. The first comic, Kagiso Lediga (SA), was rather bland, until the end - with his skit on Zuma, Mbeki and Madiba bringing down the house. The next act, Reggie Watts (USA), can be best described as weird - it was funny; but it was nothing like regular comedy acts. Describing it is very difficult, it is one act that needs to be seen and heard in person. In between all these acts, the MC befriended the front row, picking on a number of front row audience members; including a man who was dressed in a pink shirt and hitting on the women. Charlie Pickering (AUS), the last act before the interval, really brought the house down; first with his banter with the MC (who was congratulated for being so professional, despite his desperate fight against impotence); then relating an interview where he talked about Crocodile Hunter, not knowing he had just died. It was a varied act; but well delivered; and in the end he really related well to the audience.

After the interval, the fireworks really started. First, Trevor Boris (CAN) who described himself as a gay farmer, hit on the man with the pink shirt. Most of his comedy delivery, centered around gay marriage and divorce; and he was really impressive. He was followed by John Vlismas (SA), who managed to probably insult everyone in the room - starting with thin people, then fat people, then women, and then people of every colour. And he brought the house down; because; it was amazingly brilliantly put together; and delivered. I was expecting a woman to end the show; especially after John Vlismas, but the last comic was Jason Wood (UK); and he was something totally different. Firstly, much of his act was delivered in songs, impersonating the singers; a brilliant feat considering the range of singers he covered. He was a great choice as the final act; and brought the show to a brilliant finish.

Health of the Nation: 50 Hour Sport Challenge

This past weekend, I was involved in the 50 Hour Sport Challenge; and initiative mainly geared to expose kids to sport, so that they can hopefully pick up a sport, and keep healthy. With a number of major sponsors, including Old Mutual, Supersport etc, it was a very slick, and well organised event.

I was helping out with badminton, as part of the Western Province Badminton Association, and it was very interesting experience; because unlike traditional sports like cricket, rugby or soccer, badminton is almost unknown; and it is also quite difficult to get into. On the other hand; it is possibly the only sport in the world, that does not really have any distinction between ladies' and men's game; with mixed doubles being one of the key components of the game.

Ultimately, badminton is a dying sport in South Africa; and ironically; it has lost a lot of players after 1994. In an attempt to re-ignite the sport; we need to grow the sport with the kids; and this was a great opportunity. In the end, we made a few contacts with teachers and community leaders who are interested in getting the sport going in their schools/communities; and hopefully this will be a new start.

Movie: Nacho Libre

Starring Jack Black the story is simple - it is about a priest, who enters wrestling contests (wresting, WWF style off course) to earn money for the orphanage where he grew up, and now works. Interweaved, there is the story of his sidekick (a homeless man), a beautiful nun (the love interest which can never succeed) and some orphans.

In many ways, the movie reminded me about classic comedy movies; the Charlie Chaplin style ... where there is some sort of moral, and humor is very much PG rated, and not dependent on sexual prowess (or lack thereof), relationships or body excrement. It is almost like watching a cartoon ...

The acting is not amazing, and neither is the story; but it is still a very funny movie, and well worth watching. And the nun (Ana de la Reguera) is really hot ...