Kamal’s Ponmaanai Theduthey


Kamal-Haasan-Movies-711113

(The many faces of the great man in multiple roles all these years and he still making headlines even now. Image source: http://www.bollywoodlife.com)

In terms of acting, after the great Sivaji Ganesan, we were lucky to have Kamal Haasan taking up the lead when it comes to powerful acting. And over the years, he has not let us down with powerful storyline and acting (still remember this?).

Kamal Haasan is also a good singer when he wants to be and he takes the lead (again) with being the first actor (an “A” star actor that is) to sing for another actor (Mogan – another well name from the 1980s). This was back in the 1980s – after his hit “Sakalakalaa Vallavan” and for this, maestro Illayaraja gave Kamal one of the best compositions as well (rest assured it is in my collection). The fast & easy going tune has been in my mind for the past 2 weeks and it does not seem to be getting any boring even if I am humming the tune whilst I am doing up this post.

Enjoy…

Original Tune (I could not find the original movie song scene)

And there is a remix version too (it sounds good too)

P.s. there is no clear sign of the next generation of actors who can produce, write, act and sing (an all rounder) as well as Kamal Haasan but let me tell you this upfront, Vijay is not one of those in the lead. He is a good actor but not in the same class as Kamal Haasan.

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Larry Hagman: 1931 – 2012


(The character itself is an icon and there was no other better to play the role than Larry Hagman. Image source: Wikipedia)

From CNN:-

Actor Larry Hagman, who created one of television’s iconic villains with the treacherous J.R. Ewing of “Dallas,” died Friday, according to a family statement. He was 81. Hagman died at a Dallas hospital of complications from cancer, said the statement posted on Hagman’s official web site early Saturday.

“Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,” it said. “Larry’s family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday.

When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time.”

“Dallas” was an iconic TV show back in 1980s and the main role in the series was the ruthless J R Ewing played by Larry Hagman. But back then Dallas was heavy stuff for us kids although my parents watch them often. For us, we prefer the funnier side of Larry in the sitcom “I Dream Of Jeannie” which was more entertaining and funny.

Andy Griffith: 1926 – 2012


From CNN:-

Actor Andy Griffith, who played folksy Sheriff Andy Taylor in the fictional town of Mayberry, died Tuesday at the age of 86, his family said.

Griffith died at about 7 a.m. at his home on Roanoke Island, according to Dare County, North Carolina, Sheriff J.D. “Doug” Doughtie. He passed away after an unspecified illness and “has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoake Island,” the family said in a statement.

Other than the Little House on the Prairie, The Andy Griffith Show (that featured Ron Howard as Andy’s son Opie) was one of “the” shows that we often watched during tea-break when we were still little kids. Even as kids, Andy’s situational jokes and family oriented storyline was easy to follow. Andy Griffith also starred in Matlock but it did not come close to the more famed The Andy Griffith Show.

Rest in Peace, Sheriff Andy.

Childhood Memories – Part 21


Read the rest of the series here

Lately I have been watching M*A*S*H (the series) – last seen on national TV in the 1980s (or earlier, I can’t recall) and I must say that I almost missed something rather brilliant. Then again, I was too young to understand the double meaning jokes in M*A*S*H. Now it makes sense to me.

Still remember the other shows back in 1970s & 1980s?

(The dependable Sergeant Saunders. Image source : http://www.crazyabouttv.com/)

Combat!

It was THE World War 2 TV series back then. Who can forget Vic Morrow as the no-nonsense Sergeant Chip Saunders? As far as my Dad was concern, Combat! was the baseline from which all other World War 2 movies are judged. Whenever we see some World War 2 movies on TV, my Dad will always say – Combat! was better. That is until he watched Saving Private Ryan and was blown away with the realism of the massacre on the beach. The story of Combat! was re-told again in another well made TV war series – Tour of Duty (instead of World War 2, it is Vietnam War and Terence Knox played the role of the no-nonsense Sergeant Clayton ‘Zeke’ Anderson).

High Chaparral

One of the main attractions of this Western show is the opening theme. We had plenty of Western movies in the early 1980s but this was the series to watch for. My favorite character was Manolito – the kind of uncle that every nephew should have – wild, loose cannon, good with the ladies but always there to back you up any time of the day.

(Ponch and his trusted retro looking Kawasaki police bike, flagging down a motorist. Image source: http://media.monstersandcritics.com/)

ChiPs

The show that got me attracted to police bikes and me wanting to be traffic policemen too. Interestingly the CHiPs was using Kawasaki Police bike which looked somewhat similar to our PDRM’s Honda police bikes. There was not much “traffic policising” in the series which was a big disappointment to us. We would be sitting in anticipation when Officer Francis Poncherello and Officer Jonathan Baker would fire up their bikes and speed along the highway to catch some bad guys or to attend some emergencies. The power of the Kawasakis was awesome!

MacGyver

All can do but no violence please, hero and one who introduced the concept of “macgyverism”. It was interesting to see what one can do with a little application of knowledge of science, technology and common sense. Reading into MacGyver Handbook many years later, I realised not all quick fix by MacGyver was workable – it was only made for the fun of the series.

(The truck that started the love for huge trucks. Image source: http://www.hollywood-diecast.com)

BJ and the Bear

Watching this series – I wished the long trailers in Malaysia were as beautiful as those in the US. Most of the long haul trucks in Malaysia were too bland. Most does not even have a separate cabin for the drivers. The best colored long haul truck that I had ever seen was a lonely Goodyear truck in Taiping. It was a standard Mercedes Benz truck (the usual ones that plies down Malaysian roads) but the paint work was brilliant.


(I had always thought the short guy was kind of creepy. Image source: http://www.youaintrock.com)

Fantasy Island

“The plane, the plane” was the call sign of the day in an island where one’s fantasies comes true (including one I recall, to be assassinated by a professional hit man). Interesting part of this series was the storyline – there is no limit to one’s fantasies, so content wise, it was not so boring. There is always something refreshing every week. I guess the short guy was the main attraction of the show although when we were still small kids, the short guy looked kind of creepy.

A-Team

Very similar to MacGyver but there is more of them here and this time, they are loaded with heavy weapons to the teeth. Memorable characters – scared to fly Mr T, the crazy Murdoch and the black themed van. Incidentally a newer version of the A-Team is soon coming to the big screens, starring Liam Neeson as the team leader, Hannibal. That should make the movie more interesting.

Of course, there were more – Stingray, Thunderbirds, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in 21st Century, Star Trek (starred William Shatner), Hawaii-Five O, The Equaliser, TJ Hooker, Dallas, Dynasty, Magnum PI, Airwolf, Knight Rider, Love Boat, Three’s a Company, The Jeffersons, The Cosby Show, Different Strokes and more (too many to be listed here)

Read Also

Little House of the Prairie

Childhood Memories Part 16


Read the series here

(Image source: http://mediaimages.boxedart.com)

I don’t why but I recall of the good old 80’s as I sat in front of the laptop doing work and listening to A-Ha’s “Take on me”. That song and other songs in my collection bring back a sense of déjà-vu.

Things were more fun back then in 1980s especially at school. The 1980’s was the time I started my primary schooling and had one of the best times of my schooling life, full of memorable events and teachers and school mates.

If there is one piece of evidence that the 1980s was indeed a good era, I guess one need to look from one main aspect – music. This has to stand out at the very front – both in the western world (English songs) and in India namely in Tamil Nadu (Tamil songs). The 1980s may have been one of the best eras for music with some of the more memorable song was composed.

Tamil Songs

In Tamil Nadu, a great music director by the name of Illayaraja was holding the crown in the 1980’s when it comes to music and accompanying movies. After all, all great Tamil movies in the 1980’s have great songs composed by Illayaraja (before AR Rahman came into the picture in 1990s).

The ultimate combination would be Illayaraja composing, SP Bala singing and Mohan acting. One example would be the movie, Mouna Ragam and the song Nilave Vaa (the other movies that had memorable SP Bala 1980’s hits was Mella Thiranthathu Kathavu, Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal and Punnagai Mannan).

When I was still young, there only way for us to enjoy those songs was when we are watching Tamil movies on the TV (usually on the Saturday afternoon) or listening to Tamil song cassettes in someone else’s house. Later in life, when we had enough money to buy audio cassettes, we go to the audio shop in Leboh Ampang and get them to specially record our most liked songs (the price was almost the same with normal “commercial” cassettes on display).

Either that or we get buy empty audio cassettes and borrow cassettes from friends or other family members and record them (it was a good thing that my Dad had bought a cassette player which had separate compartments for 2 cassettes).

When I started working and had time to buy my own CDs, what I normally do is to list out all those movies where there was Illayaraja-SP Bala-Mohan collaboration and presto, I would get a good selection of 1980s songs. Of course, for now, with the advent of internet and large capacity storage, I have been gathering best of 1980s Tamil songs from various sources (as at todate 131 songs and counting). Cream of the list is usually burned into audio CDs, stacked away for the long drive on Malaysian highways.

English Songs

The eightiesclub reports:-

The 1980s was a decade of revolutionary changes on the music scene. The two major developments were the advent of MTV and the compact disc

MTV was born on August 1981 giving rise to music videos – one of the first “music videos” that we got addicted was Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”.

On the western front, we have plenty of names – both single singers and group singers, from the both side of the Atlantic and Australia. The list is almost limitless but to name few of well known groups, there is A-Ha, Mr. Mister, The Police, Modern Talking, The Bangles, Duran Duran, Starship, Kool & the Gang, Tears for Fears, Thompson Twins, U2, Culture Club, Bananaraman, Wham, Toto, Eurythmics and many more.

On the singles, still remember Sheena Easton, Madonna, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Irene Cara, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, Prince, David Bowie, Phil Collins, Billy Ocean, Bruce Springsteen, Amy Grant, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, George Michael, Robert Palmer and Tracy Chapman? There is more but the names would be almost limitless.

Some came with just one hit and then disappeared forever from the music arena for forever. Some like Michael Jackson went on to be one of the biggest names all time.

I recall of the evenings when we had just finished school and rush back to get onto our school bus. My school bus had a very young guy as the driver’s assistant and he has a collection of cassettes with good and popular English songs (and also one with Alan Tam’s songs – “Friends of Mine” being my favourite and which still gives me the goosebumps when hearing it on quiet nights). I would go inside the bus, find a good place to sit and just lay back to enjoy the music.

It did not matter if those songs were repeated on a daily basis – I just could not get enough of it.

Read Also

1980s in Music

Childhood Memories Part 15


Please read the rest of the series here

Still remember the time when Formula 1 was unknown and a distant away? All we had back then was Rothmans Honda, Lucky Strike Suzuki and Marlboro Yamaha. I still remember entering my uncle’s room one day and there on the wall, was a large poster of Kevin Schwantz taking a corner on his Lucky Strike Suzuki.

Me and my cousins used to get excited whenever we see replicas of the Rothmans Honda, Lucky Strike Suzuki or Marlboro Yamaha on Malaysia roads (although it is not of the same model). The Motorcycle Grand Prix came in 3 classes – 125 cc, 250 cc and 500 cc. One needs to agree that the most intensive competition lies in the 125 cc class but at the end of the day, the juicy stuff lies in the 500 cc class.

Rothmans Honda

Freddie Spencer / Wayne Gardner and Rothmans Honda

One of the most outstanding achievement by Freddie is being the 250cc and 500cc World Champion on the same year. I still recall watching Fast Freddie way up in the front, riding rather casually whilst the nearest competitors fighting off for the second place. Wayne Gardner continued carrying the Rothmans Honda challenge thereafter to be the first World Champion from Australia (way before Mick Doohan came into the picture)

Malboro Yamaha

Eddie Lawson and Marlboro Yamaha

The 4 times world champion and was the one who everyone else would try to outrun. Steady Eddie was Kenny Roberts’ partner before taking helm at the team.

Lucky Strike Suzuki

Kevin Schwantz and Lucky Strike Suzuki

Kevin Schwantz was a blast with the corners – he introduces the sliding when taking corners. This way he was able to catch up with the front runners when they slowed down for the corners. He was battling with Wayne Rainey for the championship and managed to be one in 1993.

Whilst the riders are the main focus when we were watching the Grand Prix on the television, the colourful bikes was the focus especially on the colour of the tire rims as the riders were taking the corners.

MacGyverism – can we apply it too?


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(Remember this guy in the late 80s? He used to be and still is one of my role model and “super” hero. Picture source: http://www.davegeeonline.com)
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For those watched the TV series MacGyver in the late 80’s, you will appreciate this. MacGyver (acted convincingly by Richard Dean Anderson) never really used violence to solve problems; he always used his mind to solve one. He is the guy who hated the use of guns, played ice-hockey and help out in the charity homes (a parents’ dream for an ideal son in law).

What I like about MacGyver is that when faced with danger, his first reaction was always to stop for a moment and think. With a good imagination and resourcefulness, he always wins the day. That series started something called MacGyverism.

So, what is MacGyverism anyway? According to one site, it means something clever that MacGyver does which other action heroes wouldn’t normally think of doing. This may include such things as using household cleaners to make a smokescreen or building an ultra light plane from materials at a construction site

The very 1st episode was fully packed with MacGyverism and it found a die-hard fan in me. Did you notice this in the 1st episode?

1. Disarmed missile with a paperclip
2. Matches & rope got rifle to shoot itself
3. Smashed pistol barrel to use as rocket thruster
4. Kicked grate to test for hidden laser
5. Lit cigarette with hidden laser
6. Smoked cigarette to find hidden laser
7. Used binocular eyepiece to catch laser beam
8. Aimed laser beam at source to “kill” it
9. Knotted fire hose to build up water pressure
10. Used said hose to lift steel beam
11. Tested heat on door with a stick (it caught fire)
12. Milk Chocolate candy stops sulphuric acid leak
13. Used shirt to filter gases
14. Sodium metal & cold capsule explosive
15. Flipped lights in morse code

I think we should be more exposed to TV shows like MacGyver, not because we can learn to build bomb from ordinary things but rather using it to make a point that we can indeed work things out if we can stop and think about it. The value of education especially science and moral certainly comes in handy and is shown in practice.

Read more about other creative things done by MacGyver at here
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(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: TV)