Directed by JJ Abrams Cloverfield came out in 2008 and is a first hand account, a style of movie that has become quite popular in recent years, about a monster attack in Manhattan. The film follows a group of young New Yorkers attending a going-away party on the night that a gigantic monster attacks the city. The events are shot on a handheld camera that one of the friends was using to film the party, although we also get to see some events from just before the party and even a few days before that. The movie stars Michael Stah-David, Mike Vogel, Jessica Lucas, Odette Justman, TJ Miller & Lizzy Caplan.

The film is promoted as having been found by the American military in some rubble after the attack of the monsters happens, giving off the impression as actually having happened. This is typical of a lot of movies shot on handycams or other hand-held devices. Anyways, at the party an apparent earthquake strikes the city and the party attendees rush to the check the news on the tv, which initially reports an oil tanker exploding. As another explosion in the sky shakes the group, they rush out onto the streets to join several people. Something huge comes flung from afar and as it crashes onto the street, they see that it is the head of the statue of Liberty,  damaged by what looks like giant claw marks.

A giant monstrous creature is running amok on the streets, destroying giant skyscrapers, vehicles and whoever comes into it’s path. The military is already dispatched and fighting the creature but seemingly losing the battle. The group of friends must make their way across the Brooklyn bridge along with the rest of the people but one of them is killed when the tail of the creature lashes out onto the bridge. The guy from whom the going away party was being held, tries to contact his friend with whom he had a falling out after they had sex. She is trapped and injured in her apartment building which has partially been destroyed. The remaining friends make their way over and retrieve her. Another friend is killed after she gets attacked and infected by one of the parasitical creatures, which are the size of big dogs, that fall from the larger one.

The remaining 4 meet up with groups of military soldiers who are evacuating people in helicopters. One of them presumable escapes and survives while the other three are taking off when the creature is being bombed. In a huge puff of smoke the creature suddenly jumps up and attacks the chopper which crashes killing everyone but the 3 friends. As they try to run for it, making their way to central Park, the friend who has been filming the events of the night is killed by the creature, which bites him in half. The lead pair take the camera and run under an arch for shelter as air raid sirens blare and the bombarding starts, presumably killing the creature. The two leave a last testimony on the camera as the bridge above them crumbles with debris falling on them killing them and covering the camera, from where we assume that the military found it along with their dead bodies.The film then cuts to the footage of Rob and Beth’s Coney Island date on April 27. In the distance, unnoticed by Rob and Beth, a large object falls into the ocean.

What did I think of this movie? It certainly is one of the better big budget movies that have come out in the last few years. Good job with focus away from the creature, although a lot of movie lovers have adopted the creature, nicknamed Clover, as a symbol of adoration! It is clearly a young one, so just imagine the size of it’s parents, afraid in the strange world it finds itself in and is probably scrambling for shelter when it crashes into buildings and does all that destruction. Perhaps looking for it’s mother, it then kills the humans in it’s path as we attack it with missiles, guns & bombs. The creature’s design is unique and cool looking. You will find this to be quite similar in theme to JJ Abrams’s Super 8, one of the latest movies that combines scifi & action in a similar manner. Shot well & cast well – with the sexy Jessica Lucas & Odette Yustman also providing eye-candy – but don’t you think that the latter is such a whiny character? She’s like that in the another movie I have seen her in, whiny & crying – ugh! 8 outta 10!

RIP Mario Miranda

Mario de Miranda, Goa’s & India’s premier cartoonist passed away this morning. He was 85 years old. Awarded the¬†Padma Bhushan¬†in 2002, and¬†Padma Shri¬†in 1988, two of India’s biggest civilian honours, Miranda has been a regular with¬†The Times of India¬†and other newspapers in Mumbai, including¬†The Economic Times, though he got his popularity with his works published in¬†The Illustrated Weekly of India. In a 1999 “slide show” on the work of Mario Miranda, the site says: “Nobody is better equipped to capture vignettes of Goan life than Mario Miranda.”

Goa-based editor Manohar Shetty has praised the prominent cartoonist for “his eye for detail, his skills as a draughts-man, and the total absence of malice.”¬†Miranda’s big break came in 1974, when, at the invitation of the United States Information Services, he travelled to America, which enabled him to promote his art and interact with other cartoonists in the United States and also got a chance to work with¬†Charles M. Schulz, the creator of¬†Peanuts) and met¬†Herblock, the editorial cartoonist of the Washington Post. He has held solo exhibitions in over 22 countries, including the United States, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, France, Yugoslavia, and Portugal. Miranda’s cartoons grace the walls of one of South Mumbai’s most famous hotspots, Cafe Mondegar, in Colaba.

Outside of cartooning he also did paintings & has published several books, including Laugh it Off, Goa with Love, and Germany in Wintertime.

Mario Miranda (or Mario de Miranda) (1926- 11 Dec 2011)

Mademoiselle Lounge Singer

Singing in many languages and wowing audiences & patrons at the Polo Lounge (Hyatt Regency, New Delhi) Monia Lamarche has been in India from September. She has a contract with the Hyatt. Having performed in more than 800 shows, worked on over 40 film and TV sets, and participated on over 300 fashion shows, this pop-jazz & top 40 hits chanteuse is a hit with audiences wherever she sings. Monia is a University graduate from UQAM with a Bachelor degree in Political Sciences and International Relations (classes completed in Canada, USA, and Germany) & she also graduated from ProMédia (Montreal) in Presenting for Radio and Television.

Monia started to sing in Canada, while she was studying. She has then performed in Canada, Egypt, Singapore, Morocco, Maldives, and currently in India. She sings in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese & Italian and is accompanied by a pianist & bassist. Not only that; she is one hot lady.