Monday, October 14, 2013

Just watched Gravity

So, I caught the upcoming Oscar hopeful and fantastically reviewed space thriller 'Gravity' this weekend and I have to say, I was blown away by the special effects. Not to dwell on a point that has been dissected every which way by other 'Professionals' but I have to say, that the movie looked stunning. The only movie that made the post 3D headache worth it.

Not to be too cliche, but it was like I was there, literally floating in space. It was breathtaking and terrifying at the same time. Which is exactly what I was hoping to experience from 'Gravity', and I have to say it did not disappoint.

The George Clooney shoutout to the Ganges was a nice touch, (George saying that the sun hitting the Ganges was one of the most beautiful sights he had ever seen made me beam with pride. Now, I have to say, (I know I'm over using I have to say, but please bear with me), the movie was far from perfect.

Here are a few nitpicky gripes I have with the otherwise excellent movie 'Gravity':

Spoiler alert

1. YOU CANNOT CRY IN SPACE. In microgravity, says astronaut Chris Hadfield, "your eyes make tears but they stick as a liquid ball." As told to TheAtlantic. Your tears sure as hell won't float like 3D globules through the air. 

2. Sandra Bullock performs a Wall-E maneuver, she literally flies through space using a fire extinguisher. Just like Wall-E does in the movie Wall-E.

I have more, but I'm just going to stick with these two gripes for the time being. anyway, catch the movie, it's awesome. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ben Affleck is the New Batman

Just found out that Ben Affleck is the new Batman. It was announced by Warner Brothers.

Now I don't know how to take this news. Ben Affleck, is a better director than an actor, and his last superhero outing wasn't all that memorable. Hopefully this time it'll be different. But what he needs to keep in mind is that though this new Superman/ Batman team up movie may turn out to be a bonafide hit, but that will be because of the reputation of the iconic characters that will be portrayed and the fact that this will be the first time they will be sharing screen time. And if his performance as Batman tanks, not even Superman will be able to save him.

What do you think? Is Ben Affleck the right choice to play Batman? 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Just watched World War Z

I caught Max Brook's book on the big screen this weekend, and I have to say Brad Pitt's version of Max Brook's vision does the original source material justice, especially if they're planning sequels like I heard they were after it's glorious opening weekend of 112 million  dollars.

World War Z is an evenly paced movie with enough thrills to keep you jumping back in your seat, and for a movie of such a grand scale to have such itimate horrors is commendable. Not to say that it's broad scope diminishes its scare factor, quite the contrary, one of the most memorable sequences in the movie is the assault of Jerusalem by a massive zombie horde.

I would also like to say that India gets quite an honourable mention here. In the movie it is believed that India was the first place to identify and fight the zombies, and its an Indian general that sends out a communique to warn the world that they were fighting Rakshasas or demons of hindu mythology, which prompts israel to take premptive measures against the zombies. This is where the movie borrows from the book, the rationale behind the actions of humanity against the zombies. The mindless running around and the explosions are used at the liberty of the director and the production team, explanations to those actions, refer to the book. Now at this point Brad Pitt's character wants to go to India to see if he can find patient zero there, but don't hold your breath. You won't be seeing any zombies hurtling towards the Taj Mahal. If only we had given Plan B productions some kind of tax break or something, but we still have hope for the sequel.

Spoilers ahead

Brad Pitt's character comes to a startling realisation during the siege of Jerusalem, that the zombies cannot sense humans who are terminally ill. Which causes him to go to the nearest medical research facility he can find, which is in Cardiff by the way. And why does he need to go to a medical research facility. I'll tell you why, to infect himself with the deadliest diseases known to man.

I won't spoil it further, all in all, the movie is a good watch, and you should definitely watch it.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Just Watched The Man of Steel

First of all, let me start of by saying that the Man of Steel is a successful reboot of an iconic character, the 125 million dollar opening reaffirms this.

The movie is dark, gritty and full of Super action, though CGI heavy, it is worth your buck. Its the action Superman deserves and the one he needs right now. The changes to characters are minuscule and do not register in the over all scope of the movie and the larger DC universe. For example, Jimmy Olsen is now Jenny Olsen, and from what I could make out, shes not even a photographer, shes an intern. Lois Lane takes her own photographs in this one. And this movie also answers the age old question, If Lois Lane is such a good reporter, a Pulitzer Prize winning one even, how does she not figure out Clark Kent is Superman?

This was also a question Batman has asked himself, If Jim Gordon is such a good detective, Why hasn't he figured out who Batman is yet? Well, the answer in that case would be much simpler, because he doesn't want to, he supports Batman's actions and wants some kind of plausible deniability when push comes to shove I guess. But moving on.

Spoliers Ahead

She does, In the beginning of the movie, Lois Lane is rescued by Clark Kent and he uses his heat vision to cauterise her internal bleeding caused by the security drone of the Fortress of Solitude. She then goes on a painstaking journalistic endeavour to track down her "Rescuer".

This movie kind of plays like Spiderman 2, where the entire world knows who Superman really is, in fact, he outright tells a US Army colonel who is trying to track down Superman's relocated Fortress of Solitude, that he was raised in Kansas, now in a town with a population of 3 people, I don't think it will be very difficult for the military to zero in on the Kent farm. Now if the military has such a lead, do you think, it will be a stretch for Lex Luthor to figure out who he is? I'd like to see them tackle that in the sequel. Which is another question, this movie was a toe in the water, it has been said that there will be a Man of Steel sequel, and I'm guessing the setup to the Justice League will be tackled in it.

One of my favourite scenes in the movie is the final showdown between Zod and Superman, where the latter pleads with the former. In this scene, I think Henry Cavill pefectly captured Superman,
Zod is trying to kill a family of tourists with his heat vision, while Superman has him in a headlock. Superman pleads with him, don't do this, please stop. The emotional angst and the inner turmoil of what Superman will have to do if Zod doesn't stop was captured beautifully. In the end, Superman has to make the tough choice, he kills Zod. Yep, Superman kills.

This development makes me all the more excited for the Justice League movie, because now, Batman is quintessentially, THE MOST IMPORTANT member of the Justice League, especially with his stand against killing, no matter what the stakes. And now that Superman has killed once, it will make him all the more vulnerable. And it he will be all the more reluctant to kill again. It would be great o see that dynamic, where Batman can literally accuse Superman of being a murderer if he pisses him off or the more likely where Batman defends Superman's actions by saying that it had to be done. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The wait maybe a real long one if DC and Warner Bros. need to get it right.

The most important thing they'll have to get right is the Batman reboot. Which may need a three year hiatus atleast. In the meantime, they can get intro movies for the others, like The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and The Martian Manhunter.

I guess, they could introduce the Martian Manhunter in the Man of Steel sequel, just like they brought Nick Fury and the Black Widow in Iron Man 2. Th rest of them will need standalone movies. No word from Warner Brothers on those yet.

All in all, the movie is a great watch.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Superman's new suit, a giant Underwear?

So I just read on the interwebs about Superman's new suit in The Man of  Steel.

According to the the costume designers of the movie and the Director himself. To re-imagine Superman's costume for 2013 meant that they would have to tweak the Kryptonian mythology that goes with it.

Previously it was believed that Superman's suit was made from the cloth found in his spaceship, or the cloth he was wrapped in when he came to earth. And now for the new movie, it is being re-imagined as an undergarment that almost all Kryptonians wear, armour can be added on top of it, so that essentially makes Superman's new suit a giant underwear.

Don't get me wrong, as it is evident for all to see, the suit is amazing, completely in tune with the new 52 reboot of DC sans the red underwear, but the explanation the moviemakers are giving for the re-imaging can open it up for interpretation. One can also argue that the stretchy body suit serves as a kind of Kryptonian chain mail. But the creators of the movie are essentially calling it underwear. Hightech stretchy underwear, but underwear nonetheless.

This in no way is going to even remotely diminish or hell even register on the legend that is Superman, but the movie makers need to be a little more clear when describing iconic pieces of clothing. Especially something as iconic as the Superman Suit and cape.

On a related note, I also noticed that Zack Snyder switched Superman and Clark Kent's hairstyles, Superman doesn't have the signature curl on his forehead while Clark Kent does. Ever since the characters inception, the curl of hair on Superman's forehead has been as important to his identity as Clark Kent's spectacles. So, Zack Snyder, what gives?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Just watched The Lego Batman Movie

I just watched The Lego Batman movie and I have to say, it was delightful. Right from the opening credit sequence which has a lego Bat-sign unravel in front of you. Add to that the goose bump inducing theme from the Batman animated series of the nineties, and the movie was off to a good start.

Now, I can't emphasise enough how good it felt listening to the music from the 90s TAS. It really did.

The movie starts with both Batman and Superman, apparently getting killed by the Joker and Lex Luthor. And by killed I mean Lego'd. It was a really good move, and the scene would have really grabbed a person and put him on the edge of his seat, if that person was not indoctrinated in comic book mythos, lore and the general invulnerability of the greatest superheroes on earth, and maybe even the universe.

Spoiler alert

But any way, as expected, the superheroes are not dead (surprise), and they, along with the rest of the Justice League go on to thwart Lex Luthor's evil plot to become President by using Joker's toxin to make people like him. (I know, but c'mon, it's a Lego Batman movie).

The story is intense and has all the hallmarks of a good Batman animated feature. The pacing is strong and fast. The plot has enough thrills and serious action that the creators interspersed it with classic Lego humour that reminds you that you're watching a movie rated G. The Lego set pieces and their execution is gorgeous. The voice work is surprisingly good. especially the Joker, which seems different at first but as the narrative continues, seems to meld  into a smooth rendition, that comes quite close to that of the classic TAS Joker (portrayed by the ever popular Mark Hamill).

All in all The Lego Batman movie is good fun all the way and you should watch it. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Preparing for the Man of Steel

In Preparation for the Man of Steel, down below, I've cobbled together almost all the trailers of the latest Superman outing. So enjoy and see if you can spot the Batman easter egg hidden in them.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Updating Snippets of Fiction

So, I was thinking about being a little bit  more regular with Snippets of fiction, not that anyone cares.

I hopefully will be able to give you snippets of a much larger story at the end of it. I'll be posting chapters here and hopefully on wattpad as well. So please , for the love of all that is good on god's blue earth just check it out. This time around, the snippets will be more cohesive and one will flow properly into the next. It won't be a random jumble of abstract stories. It will be better, not that anyone cares.

But if you do, check out my previous Snippets of fiction posts:

Again, the new ones will be better, much better, or at least I hope they will. I guess we'll just have to wait and find out. So check out this space for more snippets of fiction, not that you will, but a guy can dream can't he?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Finished Dan Brown's Inferno

So, I finished Dan Brown's Inferno, and I got to say. It was mildly disappointing. Don't get me wrong, it's still a Dan Brown thriller, fast paced and full off twists. But the twists here are really predictable, well at least for me they were.

Brown has tried to change a few things, but these changes are not significant and may go unnoticed. His narrative this time around is not the relentlessly fast paced paper cut page turner we have come to expect a la The Da Vinci Code, but rather a lethargic tourist guide sprint through Florence. His descriptions of famous Florentian landmarks reads like a literal guided tour, at some points these overt descriptions become so tedious that you are tempted to skip them altogether, so that you can continue with the plot.  There is also a lot of unnecessary repetiition of a single plot point, again and again and again. It almost feels like it was done to meet some kind of word count.

The plot components stay more or less the same. There's a high powered organisation with a head who has a cool nickname. This time it's The Provost, the head of an organisation called The Consortium, which is so secretive that even Dan Brown wasn't allowed to name who they really were, and as a result, The Provost remains a mystery throughout the book. Even with all the mystery surrounding The Consortium, and even with Mr. Brown's statement that such an organisation exists and he was compelled to change their name to protect their identity, it doesn't make one curious to find out what The Consortium really is in real life like his previous books, which had me researching the NRO and the Delta Force in great detail.

The other change is the muscle/thug like Silas in the Da Vinci Code or the Delta Force in Deception Point. In Inferno, it's Vayentha a Consortium Agent who isn't much of a thug and is killed off in the middle of the book.

And the usual bait and switch you come to expect from Dan Brown when it comes to the real villain of the story, this time around is disappointing and quite predictable, even with the narrative trying so hard to take you in a completely different direction. The attempt at misdirection seems like it's trying too hard and at times feels contrived.

The only bit of the book that had some kind of intense pacing to it was the ending, which takes Robert Langdon to Istanbul. And it's here that Brown seems to find his Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons mojo again, the descriptions here are engaging and drive the intensity of the climax higher. The ending is the only bit of the book where I could find the Da Vinci Code Dan Brown. The ending was the meat of the story and the rest was just useless stuffing without the gravy.

This story left me wanting more and as a result, next time I just might wait for the paperback rather than pay premium for the release date hardback.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Began Dan Brown's Inferno

So, I received Dan Brown's Inferno yesterday. The cover art is spectacular, so is the hardcover beneath the dust jacket.

I only read a couple of chapters yesterday. Why do I mention this? Well because, for one, in the past, I would have finished the book in a few hours. And I have to say, so far it lacks this one lacks hook you in and keep you flipping the pages pace that were a hallmark of his previous works.

Now I won't simply judge the book from it's first few chapters, I still have a long way to g o, and I'm pretty sure that Dan Brown and Robert Langdon will deliver in the end. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness, a Classic Retelling

That's all I can say about the new Star Trek movie. J.J Abrams has made an incredibly entertaining sci fi adventure in Star Trek. Into Darkness is fast paced and and a truly entertaining action adventure which pays homage to the Gene Rodenberry's world while also paving the way for a new generation. This movie will make new fans out of people born after the new millennium even, who may not even know what Star Trek is, and believe me, there are a quite a few of them out there.

One more thing, Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the most charismatic and deadly villains I have seen on a screen after a long time. And yes, he is who we thought  he is.

Major Spoilers ahead

John Harrison is Khan, Benedict Cumberbatch is Khan. Boy, I needed to get that off my chest. We see classic quotes and references from the very first minutes of the film and towards the end we also get to see the revered Vulcan nerve pinch.

But this movie is so cleverly crafted that even till the end you might think that this version of Khan may be different. Especially after the events of the first film, in which J.J Abrams gave us a time travelling Romulan who changed the course of history and reality as we know it, with Spock meeting Spock and all. By the way, the elder Spock makes a cameo in the sequel as well, where he tells the younger Spock what Khan is capable of, all while Jim Kirk is dying. Oh and yeah, Jim Kirk dies in this. But not to worry, he comes back to life. I won't go into any more details, not that there are any more details, but still. Star Trek Into Darkness pays homage to the Trek mythos while laying the groundwork for it's own legacy and it's own future.

The 3D conversion didn't give me a headache, which is always a plus.

The movie is awesome and everyone should watch it, there is no false advertising or misdirection here. Just pure fanboy entertainment.



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Iron Man 3, The Mandarin, False Advertising or Misdirection?

So, I caught Iron Man 3 this weekend. And it was everything you'd expect out of a summer blockbuster. Especially a Marvel summer blockbuster.

The third instalment in the superhero franchise had tons of action, humour and the right amount of Robert Downey Junior to make it a bonafide hit. And judging by the 195 million dollars it made overseas, it's going to make its money for sure. But I do have a single gripe with this Iron Man Outing. And that gripe is the Mandarin.

When it was first announced that Ben Kingsley had been cast as the Mandarin, I was a bit skeptical o begin because in the comics, and people may disagree here, the Mandarin is depicted as Asian. I didn't nit pick though. Because hey it was Sir Ben Kingsley, so at least the villain will be in good hands. Or so I thought, until I saw the movie that is.

Possible Spoilers ahead

The Mandarin is not at all what he was advertised as. Now I don't know if it was some clever misdirection on Shane Black's part but if it was, it was a little disappointing. You see, in the movie, the Mandarin isn't at all what he seems, I mean literally. And if you're waiting for something more, you'll be sorely disappointed. Granted, theres plenty of action and explosions and cool armour that flies remote controlled. But at the end of the day I have to say that the supposedly main villain of the movie disappoints. And fans of the comics may feel a little cheated when they see whats been done to the Mandarin, arguably one of Iron Man's most notorious villains.One more thing Guy Pierce is not doing an extended cameo, he's a proper player in this movie. He was great, don't get me wrong. But the part he plays may surprise you a little.

One of the highlights of the movie was the after credits easter egg, which finds tony on a therapist's couch, and guess who the doctor is.

All in all, the movie is great, and you should watch it. But don't expect it to follow comic book lore to the letter.




Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Batman: Arkham Origins Release date Announced

Batman: Arkham Origins the Prequel/ Sequel to Batman: Arkham City will hit stands on October 25th.
But heres some news that may not be so welcome. Rocksteady Studios will not be developing the game.

Heres a link to the original article at:

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Arkham City sequel to be called Arkham Origins?

Got the latest news from that the New Batman Arkham Game, tentatively titled Arkham Origins will be announced at E3 in June. And it looks like the Justice League will be a certainty.

The game is believed to be set in the Silver Age, but since the announcement may happen soon. There's no point in speculating. Just to be clear, this announcement at E3 at this point is just a rumour, so take it with a pinch of salt. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Snippets of Fiction 2

She looked at him with forlorn eyes. He was nursing a cup of camamile tea as he spoke on the phone. She didn't know who was on the other end.In fact, she didn't want to know. Right now, he was an attractive man, seated opposite her at a cafe in Paris. What could be a more romantic setting? Now all that was left was their eyes to meet.

She had been willing him to look up from his tea for the past quarter of an hour. He was engrossed in the conversation. He was dressed casually in Jeans and an LL Bean Jacket, but he did have a very formal looking briefcase by his side. Who was he? She wondered. A corporate big shot,a journalist maybe or even a spy. Maybe he was getting instructions on his next assignment on the phone, maybe it was an assassination. She smiled. Her imagination did get away from her sometimes. She cointinued to stare at him discreetly. All he had to do was look up, and he would see her, maybe he would  walk up to her, maybe they would strike up a conversation, maybe they would begin dating, maybe he would be waiting by the altar. She smiled again.

As she looked at him again, she paused, he was looking right at her. He had caught her staring. She felt herself blush. He raised his cup and gave her a smile and a nod, acknowledging her.

She watched silently as he drained his cup, left change on the table and walked out the door and out of her life.Well, she shrugged, you win some, you lose some.

Friday, February 15, 2013

12 things to do while unemployed

In this economy, these tips will come more than handy

1. Look for a new Job (Pimp yourself out to everyone and anyone who’ll have you, dump your pride out the window)

2. Cry yourself to sleep in the wee hours of the morning when you don’t find a job

3. Sleep in everyday; don’t wake up before noon (No matter what anyone says)

4. Finish the ‘One hundred books to read before you die’ list (It’s a fabulous collection, a definite must read, 
and hey, now you have the time; use it.).

5. Watch re-runs of all the tv shows you missed when you were busy working (That is if you can still afford cable, if not, go for Netflix)

6. Watch all the Disney animated movies ever made from Silly Symphonies to Monsters University; you need to be a kid again

7. Eat like crazy, binge on crappy fast food that has zero nutritional value, you need to let yourself go (Your severance package and unemployment benefits aren’t going to last forever anyway)

8. Feel sorry for yourself

9. Blog about being unemployed

10. Follow your creative pursuits, finish that book of poetry that your professor in college said reminded him of Keats or get around to writing the Great American Novel (God knows, how we need more of those)

11. Stalk your successful friends on facebook and twitter while being overcome with self loathing

12. And last but not least; make piece with the fact that you may never be employed again and that you may die in poverty, utterly penniless (This should fit in perfectly with your creative pursuits, the struggling artist and all that)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

American Sitcoms vs Indian soap operas

American television shows are vibrant and try to re-invent themselves at every possible turn, there is a variety to their themes and characters. If one sitcoms deals with a bunch of nerdy scientists and their hot neighbor, the other deals with a gay couple trying to adopt a baby through a surrogate while another still has a genius doctor diagnosing and curing rare diseases. Each and every series is unique. While in India, every channel you flip through, you have the same tired old saas bahu serial, albeit different permutations and combinations that ultimately boil down to the classic Cinderella story, a tyrannical Mother in law who abuses her timid yet vivacious daughter in law. Even the reality shows on Indian television are sub par and mediocre rehashes of their American counterparts, be it Dance India Dance, Indian Idol or Bigg Boss.  American series may run the tired old gag once in a while but it still manages to make you laugh. While Indian comedy serials run the same old slapstick humour that has been done to death by their American counterparts and make it intolerable. For instance, the show ‘Jeannie Aur Juju’ is a direct rip off of ‘I dream of Genie’, the classic Sydney Sheldon sitcom from the sixties. And if you pay close attention, you’ll get to see that many of the Indian soaps, drama and comedy alike bear striking resemblances to stories that have been told in American series over the years. Though to be fair, Indian serials do adapt it to incorporate the veil and the Saas Bahu dynamic, but the rest of the plot, if there is any, lacks any modicum of originality.  American series have followed the pilot and the season format for years, a pilot, is the first episode in an American series which decides whether the series will get an order on a network or cable TV, where once a series pilot is liked by the producers, it is given a series order for a maximum of twenty to twenty five episodes. These twenty episode seasons are tight and as such keep value in quality. American serials have to do their best with each episode that they put out because they have such a narrow window to entertain, and if they don’t entertain, they’re cancelled on the spot. Not to say that Indian serials are not cancelled, they are, but they have an unbearable long line up of episodes before that happens. Indian serials don’t work as seasons, except for the reality shows that have seen so much success. See, once they follow the American season format, even unwatchable shows become bearable, like Bigg Boss for instance. The Indian television experience is still stuck in the Saas Bahu rut. Granted, Ekta Kapoor had phenomenal success with the genre, but if Indian television has to truly entertain, it really needs to move on and re-invent itself, like its American counterparts. It is no secret that the youth in our country prefers watching American shows, ask a person if they watch ‘Hitler Didi’ or ‘The Big Bang Theory’, the answer more often than nought is ‘The Big Bang Theory’. And why is that you ask, here are the reasons:

American Sitcoms                                                                    Indian Soap Opera

Original Comedy                                                                   Rehashed slapstick comedy

Relevant topics and themes                                                    Saas Bahu relations

Engaging characters                                               One dimensional and wooden characters      

Stellar writing                                                                        Sub-par rip- offs

Coherent and engaging plot and narrative                               Long winding and incoherent plots

Unbelievable (fantastical) drama            Believable and relatable, yet boring and annoying drama

Focus on crisp and tight entertainment                                    Focus on Saas Bahu dynamic

The current television scene in America is quite spectacular with series like ‘Breaking Bad’ about a chemistry professor suffering from Cancer, cooking meth to support his family and ‘Modern Family’, that takes a funny and charming look at family dynamics whether they be straight or gay. Moreover, all of these series feature breakthrough performances in writing, acting and many other fields and they are at par with their big brother, the silver screen. Which Indian serial on TV can honestly say that it can compete with a two hour bollywood movie for viewers? The answer is none. There is always room for improvement and I think Indian soap operas should occupy that room.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

How to become Batman

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year! Everybody. Another year has passed and we're all the wiser to face the next. I hope each and every one of you has a joyous and prosperous new year and as always enjoy it to the fullest