Tag Archives: Rocky

Bye Bye Worldspace Satellite Radio!

My Mom gifted me my Worldspace satellite radio around 5 years ago, knowing how much I liked music. Though it was available in India for years before this, it was not very affordable and their receivers were huge and bulky.  My mom got mine for around 5k with a yearly subscription of around 1200 Rupees in 2006.
I took it with me to Nagpur, where, reaching at 11:00 at night, the first thing I did was install the receiver on the roof and listen to music all night long. After that, I knew which direction “South-East” was, in every house I lived. After moving to Kolkata, we went to great lengths to install the receiver on the apartment roof, run the cable down to our flat. Did the same when I moved to 2 different houses in Gurgaon.
While satellite radio might not a hit amongst the general population in India (“Who listens to Radio at home when you have TV?” or “Who pays a subscription fee to listen to radio when you can download pirated songs for free?”), it was a boon for music lovers. Almost every genre of music imaginable, spread across more than 50 channels, with excellent sound quality, it was everything a music lover had been waiting for.
My favorite channels used to be Orbit Rock and Voyager. It was on Orbit Rock that I first listened to Echoes by Pink Floyd. I had tuned in mid-way and the haunting nature of the music instantly mesmerized me. The music went on for 20 minutes and I was left with an overwhelming desire to listen to it again. Thankfully, the Worldspace India website provided a way to find out which song played when and there was also a section to request new songs.
After moving for the second time in Gurgaon, the Radio fell in bad times. I did not get to install it for almost 5-6 months, and even after I did, I didn’t listen to it much, partly due to my hectic schedule.
Then one day, I read in the newspaper that Worldspace had broadcast it’s last song in India on December 31, 2009, the company already having filed for bankruptcy in the US a year ago. I immediately turned on my receiver and as expected, there was no Pink Floyd; just silence.
I felt bad as well as nostalgic. Bad because I didn’t listen to it much during it’s last days. Nostalgic because I had great memories associated with it and there is no alternative to it in India at the present.
Still, I refused to take down the cabling and the antenna placed on the rooftop, braving rain and cold and the harsh Gurgaon summers. I was hopeful that somehow the company would be revived or there would be a different company which would launch services compatible with the existing hardware.
More than a year later, there is no Satellite Radio Service in India and while tidying up my place, I decided to take down the antenna from the rooftop and remove the cabling (due to which I had been unable to fully close my window for years).
From what I can surmise, worldspace failed in India primarily because they didn’t launch a car version of their radio. No one really listens to Radio at home when they have TV and no one would dare to pay to listen to Radio. True blue music lovers are quite scarce, not enough to keep the company afloat. They did team up with airtel DTH TV services for bundled services, but apparently that didn’t help.
However, people do listen to music in their cars. Worldspace should have taken a note from What Sirius and XM have done in the US and teamed up with car  and car stereo manufacturers to put a Worldspace module in mid and high-end car stereos.
Even if Worldspace does return, people would have a hard time trusting them with a pre-paid yearly subscription, having been cut short the last time. I myself am not much fond of Internet Radio, with the lack of dedicated Internet Radio receivers available in this country and unwilling to keep the whole computer running just for radio.
Worldspace, we will miss you. may you R.I.P!!

Rocky Balboa

The most exciting event I’m expecting for this holiday season(except for my results) is the release of Rocky Balboa. Damn, I’m gonna watch this movie first day first show no matter what. I’m sure it’s gonna be great. Poor adrian is dead. So are many others. I can only make out Pauli from the original cast except little Marie(Remember “Screw you creepo!!!). Also a new doggie has entered the scene to replace Butkus.
The official blog for this Movie is here. Wonder why the MGM people are using blogspot…
You can download the trailer here.(11M)

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My List Of Favorite Movies

Well, since everyone is doing it, I have also decided to compile a list of my favorite movies. These are the movies which I can watch again and again and again….. They are arranged in no particular order. Please don’t mind if you find the list a little biased towards sly.
1. Rocky:- Undoubtedly, the Rocky movies are my favorite movies of all time, Rocky(1976) being my most beloved movie of all. This movie combined just the right mix of emotions, action and sentiments. However, I liked the rest of the movie much more than the fight sequence at the end. Slowly, the emotional content rapidly diminishes from Rocky II onwards till Rocky V where John G. Avildsen returns to the director’s chair. Even though the movie(V) didn’t do particularly well, I liked it a lot. I think Sylvester “Sly” Stallone looked his best in Rocky III while the lean look in Rocky IV was excellent. Dolph Lundgren was the perfect choice for Ivan Drago’s character in Rocky IV. All the characters – Adrian, Mickey, Pauli, Gazzo, Butkus are perfectly casted. It was after seeing this movie that I went on an exercising spree 😉 The greatest movie series of all time excellent soundtrack by Bill Conti, Vince Di Cola, Survivor etc.!!
2. Godfather:- I have nothing much to say about the Godfather movies. I think Grooveguru will be a much better judge than me. Excellent acting by Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, although I found the 3rd part a bit disappointing(I slept through it.. Yawn!!) One of the best dialogues of movie history “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse…”
3. First blood/ Rambo II/Rambo III:- My favorite action movie. I saw first blood around 12 years ago. You can’t but feel sorry for Rambo John J. as he is picked on by the town sherrif and his deputies. Soon, you feel sorry for the sherrif as Rambo goes on a killing spree through town. Actually, I felt so much hatred for actor Brian Dennehy(who played the sherrif) that I won’t watch any of his movies any more. No doubt Sylvester Stallone looked his career best in this movie. The sequels Rambo II and Rambo III were also excellent though not as good as First Blood. Excellent acting by Sly and also great song “It’s a long road” by Dan Hill.
4. School of Rock:- I agree that this wasn’t such a great movie. But it inspired me to start playing guitar so I thought it deserved a spot in my list. If those twerps can play guitar, so can I. Jack Black is a great actor and a great guitarist. Great soundtrack by The Who, No Vacancy, The doors, Led Zeppelin, The Ramones and many other artists. The kids played “It’s a long way to the top” perfectly.
5. Back to the Future I,II,III:- Steven Spielberg churns out a masterpiece again!! I am a science fiction fan and this movie is my favorite sci-fi flick.. All the three movies of this trilogy are excellent. Michael J. Fox(Playing Marty Mc Fly) travels into the past and future with the help of the whacky scientist (Christopher Lloyd). These movies are quite hilarious and fast paced. The expressions used by Fox are excellent and makes the viewer break up into peals of laughter.
6. October Sky:- I am surprised to know that not many people have watched this wonderful movie. It’s based in 1957,Coalwood, West Virginia. Homer Hickam(Jake Gyllenhaal) strives to break away from mining(which is the profession of his dad and the whole town) and become a rocket scientist. Slow paced, this movie touches an emotional chord. Excellent cinematography and great acting makes this movie worth watching many times.
7. Enter the Dragon:- This is the best martial arts movie of all time. Bruce Lee is just electrifying as he goes to Hahn’s island to avenge the death of his sister and expose his drug racket. Great fight scenes, especially the one with the mirrors. Bruce Lee’s last movie and probably his best too. Great fight performances by Bruce Lee and John Saxon. I am sorry but no one including Jet Li, Jackie Chan(Duh!!), can match the acting or fighting performances of Bruce Lee.
8. Alien/Aliens:- My favorite horror/sci-fi movies. My favorite of this series is Aliens(second part of the sequel). Sighourney Weaver proves her capability as an action star. The first movie is very primitive while the second part is much modern filled with non-stop action. Even after I have watched the movies several times now, the sudden appearances of the Aliens sends a chill down my spine. Great acting by Lance Henriksen(Bishop), Michael Biehn accompanied by great cinematography, the constant tension in the air makes this a horror movie worth watching.
9. Star Wars:- A great movie series. The series is so long and has so many actors that describing all of them will be a bore. However, George Harrison’s acting is commendable. Soundtrack is also great. R2D2, C3PO and Chewie have become immortal characters even though they weren’t even human. Also commendable is the decision to make the movie starting from the 4th episode and the ultimate twist in the 6th Episode.
10.Forrest Gump:- A truly emotional as well as funny movie showing the exceptional life led by a dim guy called Forrest Gump(Iq of only 75). From school-to football star-to the army-to ping pong star-to fishing tycoon, life leads him from one adventure to another.The scenes where he meets great celebrities like John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and John Lennon(Surprisingly, they all die). Anyways, the greatest point of the movie may be the dialogue “I’m not a smart man. But I *know* what love is…”