Shang-Chi and The Legend of Ten Rings Movie Review

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It has been 2 years since a Marvel film came out to the theatres. Black Widow was supposed to be the one to follow Endgame(2019), but sadly due to COVID restrictions, it was released on Disney+Hotstar. Naturally, I was supercharged for this but still had my fingers crossed because some moments from the trailer reminded me of The Iron Fist on Netflix. That was a horrible show, scoring below par in everything from writing to the authenticity of action sequences. ... 

He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe Omnibus – Book Review

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I had not read anything on He-Man and The Master of the Universe till now. In spite of that, He-Man was a big part of my childhood. I was addicted to the He-Man cartoon and would always be ready to do the ‘I Have The Power’ bit with all my passion whenever we had guests. I used to watch it every day because I got dad to record all the episodes on our VCR and I still have those tapes (sadly, no VCR). So when I saw the He-Man Omnibus at my neighborhood bookstore, I was overjoyed. ... 

Invincible Compendium 1 Book Review

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Invincible is a superhero comic series that has a slightly different take on the genre. The series consists of a mammoth 144 issues, running for over 15 years, from 2003 to 2018. Compendium 1 (featured in this post) covers issues 1 to 47. It is the coming of age story of teenager Mark Grayson who uses the alter ego 'Invincible' to fight crime. He is the son of Omni-Man who is not from earth and is the most powerful man on the planet. ... 

Mare of Easttown (Spoiler Free) Review

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Mare of Easttown is a highly potent mini series that centers around the murder of a young girl. The mystery series consisting of 7 episodes is based in a little township in Pennsylvania USA. Kate Winslet plays detective Mare Sheehan who is leading the case ... 

Friends Reunion Review

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Friends is probably the most special show for me, as it would be for millions of people across the globe. I started watching it when I had just got into college and it was the time when my 'Friends' were my 'Family'. That time came and went, but Friends stayed within all of us. The beauty of the show was its repeat value. You could keep watching it over and over again. It was always funny, it was always warm, it was Friends. We all went through countless ups and downs in life, but the bond we made with these 6 friends was the one constant thing in our lives. ... 

Gullak Season 1 & 2 Review

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It is both fortunate and unfortunate that there has been an exponential rise in content. Not too long ago, when there was no Indian content other than the sappy Balaji Telefilm shows, we used to hunt for torrents of our favorite shows from the U.S. That changed dramatically with Netflix coming to India. Others followed suit so as to not miss the bus. Today, with so many platforms and so much content, the problem has only changed shape. We are surrounded by content, but finding what's right for you is a big challenge. To be fair, this is a good problem to have. I would rather have too many choices rather than no choice at all.  ... 

Project Power Movie Review

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Project Power is a new addition to the family of Netflix Original films. Starring Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and, Dominique Fishback, Project Power is a Sci-Fi action film. It combines the underworld, drugs, and cops with superhuman powers, albeit with a twist.  ... 

Mad Max Fury Road Prequel Comic Review

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Mad Max: Fury Road was a fantastic film. I loved everything about it. Mad Max gave us some breathtaking action and the most awe-inspiring chase sequence ever seen on the big screen. Along with all these, the film gave us the phenomenal Charlize Theron as Furiosa. She was a true warrior, fierce, courageous, and loyal to her cause. It is because of all these reasons that Mad Max: Fury Road features in my list of all-time favourites films. ... 

Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl Movie Review

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“Jo log mehnat ka saath nahi chodhte, kismet kabhi unka haath nahi chodhti”

This line perfectly epitomizes the lives of at least 2 people connected to Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl. The first one is undoubtedly Flt Lt Gunjan Saxena. Her resolve and resilience are par excellence and she deserves all the applause. In fact, much more than what this film showers upon her. The other is an actor who has come through the ranks after years of struggle, and now gets trolled for acting in a Dharma Production alongside Jhanvi Kapoor - Pankaj Tripathi.  ... 

Shakuntala Devi Movie Review

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Vidya Balan plays a genius mathematician named Shakuntala Devi, which is also the title of the film. And yet, the film is not to be seen as a biography according to its makers. What is it with Bollywood’s obsession of making films on real-life characters but only after fictionalising them to a point where they fit a certain archetype. It is not enough for Milkha Singh to be a world-class athlete. So what if he is a sprinter? He needs to sing, dance and show his 6 pack abs paired with bulging biceps. ... 

The Umbrella Academy Season 2 Review

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The superhero genre has exploded with many shows and films coming up in the last few years. So it is a huge challenge for any show/film in this genre to create its own space. Hence, The Umbrella Academy deserves big applause for doing it not once but twice.  ... 

Lootcase Movie Review

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Lootcase directed by Rajesh Krishnan is a satirical comedy that is elevated way beyond its predictable plot by a magnificent ensemble cast and memorable dialogues. Kunal Khemu plays Nandan, a simple technician in a printing press, living in a typical Mumbai Chawl. Rasika Dugal plays Nandan’s wife Lata, whose name is part of one of the legendary dialogues towards the climax. The banter between Nandan and Lata is very cute, so is their love-talk full of Chinese dishes. ... 

Raat Akeli Hai Movie Review

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A Noir Whodunit

Raat Akeli Hai is an investigative thriller that beautifully mixes the classic 'whodunit' with noir elements. It is the debut film for Director Honey Trehan, making this the second directorial debut for a casting director this month (Dil Bechara was the first). The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, playing Inspector Jatil Yadav, the unmarried cop with old school ideologies about the appropriate life partner. In true noir style, Jatil is a loner who gets smitten by the key suspect, Radha, played by Radhika Apte. Every scene they have together is oozing with unbridled chemistry and is a treat to watch.  ... 

Preacher Comic Series Review

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Caution

If you have a low bar for violence, you should not read Preacher. If you are easily disgusted by graphic details, please do not read Preacher. If profanity makes you uncomfortable, stay away from Preacher.  Last, and not the least, If you are religious, do not dare to read Preacher. If, by chance, the answer to all these is 'No', consider yourself extremely lucky because you will have the time of your life reading this brilliant comic series published by Vertigo. To me the audacity of Preacher is phenomenal. Amazingly, Vertigo was able to get this published, because today, it looks even less likely, with the ever-shrinking tolerance levels of people all around. ... 

Dil Bechara – A Biased Movie Review

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Dil Bechara is the last time we see Sushant Singh Rajput on screen. But like so many other things 2020 has taken away from us, being able to see Sushant on the big screen in his last film is also one of them. Hence, there is absolutely no way Dil Bechara can be reviewed in an unbiased manner. And I don't want to try and fool myself thinking that it is possible. The only way forward is to embrace it, and so, this is a completely biased review of Dil Bechara.  ... 

The Old Guard Movie Review

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Overview

The Old Guard is the latest film to enter the Netflix Original family and is one of many films/tv shows adapted from graphic novels. The film starts off in an almost poetic fashion. The first frame shows us Andy (Charlize) lying dead with her partners, a flashlight illuminating her blood spattered face. That face has now turned pale as she lies there, cold, and drained of blood, owing to the bullet holes all across her body. The voiceover starts with Andy talking about how every time she dies, she wonders if this will be the last time, or, will she get up again. The scene cuts to broken walls and small lanes. Camera pans to the back of Andy walking across and at the same time, we hear Madalen Duke’s beautiful song ‘Born Alone, Die Alone’ in the background. Another cut and we finally see the title of the film, one word at a time.  ... 

Upgrade Movie Review

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Sample the fact that District 9, the 2009 Sci-fi film was considered by the Industry to be a low budget marvel. That is because District 9 was made at a budget of 30 million USD while Star Trek (2009) had a budget that was 5 times. Now that the context is set, let's talk about the film in question. Upgrade is a 2018 Sci-fi film that beautifully mixes various genres. It has elements from cyberpunk sub-genre along with the obvious 'action' overtones. The film also has ample flavour of the dark comedy genre, in addition to an evident stamp of body horror. Though Upgrade has enough highlights from a creative standpoint, all those are elevated many notches when seen alongside the film's paltry budget. Upgrade had a budget of 3 million USD and was made 9 years after Neill Blomkamp's District 9, the low budget marvel of the time.   ... 

Bulbbul Movie Review

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The phrase ‘there is beauty in everything’ is epitomised in every single frame of the new Netflix original film, Bulbbul. Produced by Clean Slate Filmz (Anushka Sharma-Karnesh Sharma), Bulbbul is a Supernatural Drama directed by long time dialogue writer and lyricist, Anvita Dutt. Tripti Dimri plays the critical role of Bulbbul and gets support from her Laila Majnu (2018) co-star Avinash Tiwary, along with Rahul Bose, Paoli Dam, and Parambrata Chattopadhyay. The film is set around the Bengal region in the late 1800s’, with a wealthy 'Thakur' (feudal landlord) family at its centre. ... 

Jackie Shroff: A journey that is remarkable and rare

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Jackie Shroff has always intrigued me. Since the first time I saw him in Ram Lakhan (1988), I was in awe of his unconventional demeanour and body language. His screen presence was so overpowering that one could not look at anyone else while he was in the frame. Jackie came from a modest background. Born as Jai Kishan Kakubhai Shroff, he left school and did odd jobs before getting spotted by an ad-agency executive. That started his journey into modelling and subsequently led to his debut film Swami Dada (1982) where he had an uncredited role. Jackie's big break came in 1983 with Subhash Ghai's Hero.  ... 

Gulabo Sitabo Movie Review

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Gulabo Sitabo, directed by Shoojit Sircar and written by Juhi Chaturvedi had become a landmark film even before its release. That's because it was the first big Bollywood film that had decided to release via online streaming on Amazon Prime Video. So for the first time in my life, I sat down with my family and enjoyed a movie premiere, from the comfort of my home. In case anyone is wondering, let me tell you, Gulabo Sitabo is as enjoyable from the cosy corner of your home, as it would be on the big screen.  ... 

Upload Season 1 Review

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Upload is a new Amazon Original series starring Robbie Amell and Andy Allo. I would classify it as a sci-fi rom-com satire, and that makes it quite novel. I will be honest, I started the show because I was looking for a guilty pleasure. I am sure we all watch shows which we know are slightly stupid or obvious or just easy. I do it when I don’t want to indulge. At that time, I want to watch something easy and even pick up my phone to check a notification or two, without having to worry about what I have missed. Based on the trailer, I was confident that I have found it, but halfway through the first episode, I was so smitten that I did not want to look at my phone, even when it was ringing. Clearly, I was wrong, and as luck would have it, Upload turned out to be sheer serendipity. ... 

The Last Dance Series Review

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 Sports Documentaries are not only meant for people who understand a particular sport or enthusiasts in general. A good sports documentary can be relished by anyone who appreciates an engaging narrative, edge of the seat action, the mystery of who will come out on top, or the drama behind the scenes. The Last Dance is not a good sports documentary but a great one, because it is not just informational but also inspirational in equal measure. This 10 part series created by ESPN offers so much that I would recommend each one to binge-watch this right away. There is an underdog story that turns into a dream run that finally becomes a phenomenon as Chicago Bulls become world champions not once, not twice but an insurmountable 6 times in 8 years (1991 to 1998). There is also a coming of age story of the most incredible athlete the world has ever seen, who also happens to be the greatest superstar in the world of sport. ... 

Dark (Netflix) Review – Season 1 + Season 2

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Dark will soon be releasing its third and final season in a few months, and hence, I thought this is the right time to talk about this amazing show. Dark is a rare show because of many reasons, the first being that it is the first German TV series coming out as a Netflix original. That's an amazing reach for a show that otherwise no one would have even heard of halfway across the globe. Hats off to Netflix for being able to scout for such brilliant shows and having the eye to know their global appeal. Dark is set in a fictional small-town called Winden in Germany and going by the season 1 trailer, it may come across as a murder/kidnapping mystery, falling very much into the Crime genre. But that may not be a correct assessment.   ... 

Malice by Keigo Higashino – Book Review

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Keigo Higashino has a perfect record in my book. The author was recommended by my favorite bookstore and I started by reading The Devotion of Suspect X. Then I picked up Journey Under the Midnight Sun. I loved both of them - Suspect X is probably one of the best thrillers I have read, the other is possibly one of the most unique mystery books I have come across. What I love about Keigo Higashino’s writing is that he does not follow the who-done-it template. He finds other means to keep the readers hooked, such that it is impossible to stop reading. ...