Quarantine (2008)

Quarantine 3/5
Browsing the channels on a sunday night, I came across what looked like a documentary. The camera work was done on a hand-held camera with a lot of shaking and unfocused shots. Then things started taking a bizarre turn. A Lady, who looked like she was suffering from a bad case of post alcoholic vomiting, suddenly attacks her helpers. She manages to rip off the neck of one of them with her teeth. From that point on, it just gets crazier and crazier.
The movie is taken by a reporter crew who are following up on a case of a screaming woman (mentioned above) in an apartment block. It is later found out that the lady is suffering from a particularly virulent form of rabies. The apartment is quarantined by the authorities and the inmates are left to fend for themselves. The movie is about the TV crews struggle for survival within the quarantine and their attempt to escape.
This movie is definitely not safe for epileptics and people with a weak heart would be advised to avoid it. The heroine is really irritating and spends most of the movie, screaming and shaking like a drug addict. The acting otherwise is quite good.
The movie keeps fulfils its task of keeping you on the edge of your seat admirably, with a few steamy scenes thrown in for good measure. For all you horror lovers, this is worth a watch.

The End of Eternity (Asimov)

4/5
After weeks of focussed attention on a computer screen and decoding obfuscated messages from gdb and other “tools” I needed a break. I wanted something small and fast. The first book I picked up, “Calcutta chromosome” by Amitav Ghosh, turned out to be a mistake. Amitav Ghosh writes high literature about common-place life, not suited, at all, for a person suffering from attention deficiency.

After about 10 pages, I gave up on that (mind you I will pick that up again when I can bring myself to focus). Then on the way to a disappointing movie on the importance of greed (“Wall Street II”) I came across a nice small Asimov book. Having read (and liked) the foundation series and a couple of short stories of his, I scanned through the first few pages. I couldn’t put it down. 2 days later, I finished it!

The book, in story format, is a study in time-travel and discusses the pros and cons of time travel. Going into much detail about a possible way in which time-travel can be “discovered” and its maintenance thereof, Asimov’s ideas are beautifully detailed and connected with a lot of logic and, more importantly, imagination. Science is never boring with professor Asimov, especially with his characteristic twist in the tail.

Andrew Harlan is a technician, his job is to “fix” reality in various centuries, for the “greater good” of mankind. By using Tensor calculus he is able to arrive at, and implement, the “Minimum Necessary Change” required in a current reality to bring about a preferred target reality. All goes well until Cupid’s arrows, travelling in time, prick him. How will reality change?

The book has quite an interesting background as well. But its full of spoilers, I would advise reading the book first and then reading the link.