Movie Review: The Fifth Estate

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Rating: 3/5

If your bucket list includes watching a movie that is actually less of a movie and more of a PowerPoint presentation, then by all means watch The Fifth Estate; on that score it doesn’t disappoint. However, if you are hoping to have your minds blown away by the story of one of the most prominent internet phenomenon and personalities of the 21st century, a.k.a. WikiLeaks and Julian Assange respectively, then you will be sorely disappointed.

It is a wonder as to how a movie that could have all the markings of an exceptional movie can be such a snooze fest. Despite the great cast that has a surreal amount of talent individually and an earth shattering storyline, The Fifth Estate hits and misses by a long shot. It all comes down to execution. The first hour of the movie is pretty drab despite it being the foundation on which the remaining movie was to stand on, and maybe that is why the entire movie fails miserably.

Benedict Cumberbatch adds yet another feather to his cap with his portrayal of Julian Assange, proving to his peers that he is a force to reckon with, the oncoming storm (yes, I couldn’t help the Doctor who reference). Daniel Bruhl who plays Daniel Berg, one of the first recruits of WikiLeaks, doesn’t break character, and yet you somehow find it hard to sympathise with him in the end. Laura Linney as Sarah Shaw portrays the White House side of the story, and does so wondrously.

The only thing that holds The Fifth Estate together is its cast; if it wasn’t for that the movie would have been a complete disaster, and then some. 

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Batman or Iron Man? The Question that MUST be Answered

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Since a while now I have been brooding over this very question: Batman or Iron Man? Who is the ultimate .., wait, what really are they? They aren’t superheroes, they have no super powers of their own. All of their abilities stem from being brilliant billionaires who have figured out how to use science and technology to their own advantages in order to help humanity. In many ways they are more similar than different, and maybe that is why the Geekverse has always been obsessed with trying to figure out who is the mightier of them both, or at least I have been.

After hours or rather days of mulling over this question I have concluded that I have to side with Batman. Mind you, I do adore Iron Man, and there is nothing but undying admiration for him, but somehow Batman tops him by at least a couple of notches. 

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To begin with, Batman has the classic troubled childhood which leads to him being traumatised in a way that created Batman. His need to fight crime and make Gotham city safe so that no child is left an orphan in a back alley ever again tugs at your heartstrings in a way that makes it difficult to not feel a little more for him. His cause is nothing if not noble and selfless, which has to count for something. Agreed, Iron Man created his ‘suit’ under dire circumstances when he was kidnapped and stuck in a cave somewhere deep in a hostile environment, but that story is not as heartfelt as Batman’s is.

Another notch in Batman’s favour can be described in one word: Batmobile. Man, have you seen the things that magnificent vehicle can do? Yes, I know, it is still cannot fly or reach outer space like Iron Man’s suit can, but isn’t this very aspect of the suit that lead to Iron Man suffering from PTSD as a result of the encounter with the ‘black hole’ in New York? And of course, Batman can fly; short distances, yes, but he still can without the help of something that has to have back-up battery to function properly. 

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Batman functions in secrecy, he has trust issues, and that is why he has no one but his trusted butler who has known him since before he was born. Whereas, Iron Man has A.I. for a butler, has complete disregard for his safety, and goes about blurting out his home address to the world. I am not mocking him in any way; in fact I do believe that Iron Man is quite noble himself as he created the Iron Soldier for the US army. That is proof of his selflessness; however, he does have a penchant for nursing his borderline narcissistic personality.

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Iron Man is of course Marvel’s undisputed knight in shining armour (quite literally) and he deserves being so, however, there are some things that dark and secretive does better than shinny and in-your-face. And that is why Batman wins in comparison to Iron Man; by a small margin, but he does! 

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Movie Review: Gravity

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Rating: 41/2/5
Finally, here is a movie that takes the sic-fi genre up a few notches to another level and beyond. Despite having a very basic storyline, Gravity will make you squirm and pant in your seats so much so that you might as well be in space along with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, who is fresh out of the labs and training sessions on her first mission to space as the Mission Specialist. Matt Kowalski, played by George Clooney, is a seasoned astronaut who is at the end of this game and commanding his final space expedition. However, things soon spiral out of control (note: I do not use the word ‘spiral’ here in a figurative sense, things LITERELLY spiral out of control), and what follows next is beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations ever. 

It is quite riveting to watch Sandra Bullock put away her rom-com mantle and seep into a deeper and much more significant role. It is a pity that we cannot fully admire George Clooney’s devastatingly handsome face as it is shrouded in the astronaut’s suit. However, there is nothing stopping us from using our imaginations, as of course, his face is etched there, never to be forgotten.

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With the most brilliantly captured space photography, Gravity takes you out of the movie theatre that you are seated in and scatters your senses across space in the most artistic manner possible. Agreed, most 3D movies have you reaching for your migraine medication, however, that is not the case here. The graphics are so very believable that more than once you will find yourself ducking in order to avoid the space-debris that come flying your way.

Gravity has all the markings of a thrilling space-movie, and having said that, there is only one aspect of the movie that I found a little convenient (or inconvenient if you may), and that is the fact that tragedy seemed to follow Sandra around in space. One moment everything is perfectly fine, but the minute Sandra is in the picture things start going downwards and how. This is why I have taking one star off of the rating scale, besides this, Gravity is as flawless as it gets, reinstilling your faith in modern movie-making.

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Latest Pictures and Thoughts: Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special

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Okay, so here are some of the latest pictures that have been released by BBC from the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special episode. My head is spinning so fast it is a wonder that it hasn’t fallen off of my shoulders and hit the floor. There are so many thoughts that come to mind when looking at the pictures, so here is what went through my mind when I saw the pictures.

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This has to me Matt Smith, given the skinny pants and the shoes. There is not a shadow of a doubt that this is going to be one heck of a heart thumping moment when the 11th Doctor is dangling from his TARDIS, hanging on to dear life!

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There is definitely no contest when it comes to whether or not John Hurt looks abso-friggin-lutely delectable trying to fly the TARDIS. He would have made a brilliant Doctor, not just for one Special episode, but for a number of seasons. A number of questions are going to be answered through John Hurt, and lets just hope that ‘the question hiding in plain sight’ doesn’t get answered *wink*.

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Now here is a picture that will warranty cardiac arrest on a scale that would be so hard to measure.  Three fantastic, brilliant, and cool Doctors in a row with death-like serious expressions on their faces. What are they staring at?

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Oh yes, this is MY Doctor, the 10th Doctor, David Tennant! Need I say more? It is going to be so magnificent to watch him fly his beloved TARDIS and in action once again, there are no words to express the emotions that will run through the hearts of the fans. However, where is Rose?

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And finally, here is the 11th Doctor. He may not be MY Doctor, but I still love him dearly, and this sad and troubled expression bothers me to no end. Of course, I have witnessed this expression a gazillion times on his face, but it seems so much more intense and meaningful now. Its almost like him saying, ‘my time is running out, and I know it.’

This episode is going to be a whirlwind of adrenalin running high, tears, laughter, nerve-wracking action and so much more that any number of blog posts cannot convey to the fullest extent.

American Horror Story: Coven Thrills, Chills and Then Some

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Ryan Murphy has done it again. After American Horror Story: Murder House and American Horror Story: Asylum, he brings to us another intricate plot that is bound to chill us to our very bones in the form of American Horror Story: Coven. This time, there are witches, sadistic slave owners, and of course voodoo practitioners. This season alternates between the 1830’s and the present day.

In the 1830, there lived a woman named Madame LaLaurine who treated her slaves in the most inhumane manner possible. Ryan Murphy has taken inspiration from this non-fictional character and has gotten Kathy Bates plays Madame LaLaurine in the third instalment of American Horror Story. There are a series of horrific events that revolve around Madame LaLaurine and her brutally treated slaves, and it seems like a lot of it is going to be portrayed in American Horror Story: Coven

In the present day, the storyline reflects the lives of young witches that are enrolled into a ‘school’ where they are taught how to overcome the oppression that is faced by their ‘coven’. The first episode of the third season has created quite a stir, as it rightfully deserves. The groundwork has been laid, and I am sure that American Horror Story: Coven will not disappoint. 

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Being a Geek isn’t Embarrassing, its Liberating!

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Since the beginning of comic books and geeky stuff, since the time people began to love and marvel upon the vast possibilities that books and sic-fi shows bestowed upon us, ‘normal’ people have tagged this group of people as ‘geeks’. So when you hear the word ‘geek’ in reference to someone, you immediately tend to picture someone in thick, gigantic glasses that takes up most of his/her face, dressed in ill-fitting clothes, and obsessing over something fictional in an enclosed space, cut-off from the outside world.

Geeks are so wrongfully looked down upon. A geek isn’t someone who simply thinks up some crazy controversies, or obsesses over something lame and insignificant, a geek in all his/her glory is someone who believes in a world beyond the one we reside in. He/she is someone who is open-minded to various possibilities beyond our regular existence, and lives in multiple worlds, as they are constantly exploring books, shows and movies that take them places that are far beyond the imagination of a single human being. 

 

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Sure, geeks can get obsessive and sometimes their obsessions make no sense to ‘normal’ people, yet, somehow geeks are ‘free’ in the truest sense possible. Once you admit you are a geek, there is no turning back, and you can simply give up trying to appease people who simply don’t understand you, and are constantly pooping on your party. It is beyond impossible to reason with this category of people, to make them see what makes you tick, and so its best not to try.

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Being a geek liberates you from having to act all ‘cool’ all the time, and trying to fit in. Admitting that you are a geek gives you the freedom to enjoy what you like doing the most guilt-free. It takes a lot of courage admitting that you are a geek in this time and age, where being ‘cool’ is all that matters. You could end up being picked on constantly, and also left out from the ‘it’ crowd.

However, my question(s) is, if you enjoy something tremendously, if you are capable of creating a universe for yourself that revolves around books, TV shows, and even movies what’s wrong with that? Doesn’t that prove that you have the ability to see beyond the obvious and mundane existence that plagues us day in and day out, the ability to dedicate yourself to something?

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Lets face it, reality sucks. I have said this a million times, and I will say it again. There is nothing extremely magnificent in our existence most of the time, so why not escape to a better place? A place where there are platforms numbered 9 ¾; a place where there is a mad man in a blue box who travels the universe, helping numerous species as and when they face an issue; a world where a highly functioning psychopath lives at 221b Baker Street and is willing to help out with police investigation so long as it isn’t ‘boring’?

Oh yeah, and that is one of the most important things- never having to be bored ever again. Being a geek keeps you constantly entertained, and there can be nothing better than that, can it? Everyday there is so much to do, so much to keep up with in the Geekverse, that there is no time for even a moment of boredom to seep into our lives. Simon Pegg has summed up being a geek to perfection:

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Upcoming: Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate

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After playing Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness, Benedict Cumberbatch is all set to make his fans go gaga over his once again in The Fifth Estate scheduled to release on the 18th of October, 2013. He plays Julain Assange, the controversial founder of WikiLeaks. The trailer is mind-numbing, and so is the look that Benedict sports in the movie. If Star Trek did not manage to put all the Otter-references to rest, The Fifth Estate surely will. Go ahead, knock yourselves out!