Sherlock: The Tormentor Tormented

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The wait is nearly over. The dawn of the year 2017 will set us on the trail of the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes. The Abominable Bride shocked and awed us with its brilliant storytelling and an unpredictable ending. We know that Sherlock got off the plane because somehow Moriarty managed to haunt Sherlock’s homeland. However, is it really Moriarty or another vile villain gleaning off some of Moriatry’s notoriety to facilitate his own devious plans? Or perhaps it is Sherlock himself who orchestrated the whole show, ensuring his release from exile.

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The official trailer of season 4 shows us a more vulnerable, nearly unstable Sherlock. A man haunted by the demons he had time and time again so efficiently managed to brush under the rug. He is clearly tormented, but why? That remains to be seen. January 2017 cannot come soon enough!

Sherlock Season 4 Official Trailer

Dahl-ing with Adulthood

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BookNotes and FootMarks

ADULTHOOD IS THE WORST. I’ve been whining about this for the past few weeks, nay, months, but I’ll happily say it again. Five months after I reluctantly donned the mantle of adulthood and started working full-time I’m still not used to it. And I definitely don’t enjoy it. I miss the days when my only worries were completing an essay on time, wondering what to eat for lunch (I still worry about that), and deciding what to do with ALL MY FREE TIME. Now, working nine hours a day means that I have hardly any time to pursue any kind of hobbies post-work. I’m usually so exhausted that I cannot handle any activity that requires even a small amount of intellectual exertion. Mercifully, I do get the weekends off. A while ago I had a particularly exhausting week at work coupled with being slightly ill. Desperately  in need of something…

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5 Things We Expect from The 12th Doctor

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With the 8th season and a brand new Doctor set to premier less than 3 weeks from now, it is not completely unrealistic to set a few expectations for the 13th Doctor. However, given that Moffat is still the show runner *sigh*, I highly doubt any of them are actually going to be met. But that doesn’t prevent me from taking a stab at it, now does it? So here goes!

Less flirting, more adventures: SERIOUSLY! Please stop behaving like Casanova on Viagra and actually try to quit ‘fancying’ pretty, young Earthlings, and use your time having some breathtaking adventures for crying out loud. You have a TARDIS for fuck’s sake, do you have the slightest clue what regular people would give to be able to travel in her? So please do get your act together and take us to see scary planets and not-so-friendly aliens, pretty please.

Don’t make it all about yourself: Yeah, we get it, you have some extremely loyal companions who would go to any lengths to save your ass, but really, how much sense does it make when Earthlings who’s age is a minute fraction of yours, are able to save your sorry nether region? Aren’t you supposed to be super smart and a wiseass? Might I remind you that you’re the Doctor, you go about saving planets, and races, and species, don’t belittle yourself by behaving like a hapless ninny!

Visit Donna: Can I stress this point enough? She was your best friend, and the coolest companion you have has in the past couple of lives, and yet you find it so hard to go back for a bit and see how she’s doing. Why? You don’t have to explain who you are, cos we all know how that would end *shivers*, but you can drop by and pretend to be a mere stranger, waving to her from across the street, or offering here a seat on the tube, or SOMETHING! Don’t you miss THIS: 

Revisit Leonardo Da Vinci: You have spoken about it enough, but can’t you visit him for once while we are peeping into your daily adventures? He is after all the most profoundly gifted person in the history of the human race and we deserve a glimpse into his day-to-day life. We aren’t asking you to drop in when he is painting the Mona Lisa, which would be a bit much to ask; I suppose a regular day in the life of Leonardo Da Vinci would be a good enough treat, wouldn’t it?

A more mature, less clownish persona: It’s not that you’re not adorable that way, but I think we have had enough of tomfoolery to last at least a couple of your future lives. Also, now that you know that you haven’t obliterated your entire home planet and your race, I think you could give the childish persona that you had adopted to keep the pain and the guilt at bay, and instead behave like the 1000-something year old Time Lord that you are. Is that too much to ask?

 

Hannibal Too REAL for Emmy?

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With the Emmy nominations out, there is a lot of gung-ho about the two brilliant series that have been left out, or should I say SHUT OUT of the nominations. Orphan Black and Hannibal are two absolute GEMS that premiered in the year 2013, and have changed the way the horror/thriller/psychological drama genre has been perceived ever since. Orphan Black was possibly left out because it is a Canadian series, and everyone knows anything made in Canada is immediately discounted to be of no consequence by America even if it is BETTER than some of the BEST shows in the US. Yes, you read that right.

So what’s the reason behind Hannibal receiving the figurative axe from the Emmy? In an age where fictional television is getting lamer by the minute, and reality television has lost any remote semblance it had to the word ‘real’, Hannibal came along and swept the ground from under our respective feet. It is gory, scary, and turbulent, not because of ghosts, or supernatural elements, but because it depicts just how terrifying and sick a human mind can be. And trust me, there is no greater horror in the world than watching the appalling things that humans are capable of putting other human beings through.

Television is supposed to make is forget our ever so crappy lives, and make us feel better about ourselves. Instead, Hannibal deals in everything that’s ugly and crass about the human nature. With stunning and mind-wrinkling performances by the main cast, Hannibal is nothing if not a piece of art, a jarring symphony, that shall remain long after your crappy awards have lost their sheen, Emmy, I assure you of that.

Does that scare you, Emmy? Too real, is it? Do you feel like you have no category that could do justice to Hannibal? Here, I have a number of suggestions as to which category Hannibal would best fit into:

I-have-extra-wrinkles-on-my-brain-cos-of-this-show Category

Bryan-Fuller-is-the-shit Category

FOOD-FOOD-FOOD Category

Best-shit-on-TV-till-date Category

And if these didn’t fit onto you uptight, archaic, and extremely ‘limited’ spectrum, then why didn’t you nominate at least ONE of these:

 

PS: I don’t care a hoot anymore about whom you award what to, so screw you, Emmy! Also, get OVER The Big Bang Theory, it’s just not funny anymore. 

Movie Review: The Fault in Our Stars

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There are very few if any movies based on books that manage to resonate and keep up with the book, let alone surpass it. However, The Fault in Our Stars seems to be the exception to the rule. I can name a dozen movies over the top of my head where you simply cannot find the essence of the book in the movie. There is always that missing element, and more often than not, it’s the emotion that is missing out. When watching the movie, sometimes you simply cannot feel the feels that you felt when reading the book.

The Fault in Our Stars tells us the unglamorous yet extraordinary story of Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), a teenage girl suffering from terminal thyroid cancer which has metastasised into her lungs for the better part of half a decade. Reality shows and books make up most of her days, when her mother suggests that she attend a support group in order to make friends. Little does she know that that is where she shall cross path with Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), a young and dynamic personality who suffers from osteosarcoma which has already claimed one of his legs, and her life shall never be the same again.

Woodley delivers a brilliant and unforgettable Hazel Grace, and her large, looming, and penetrating brown eyes will pierce your heart in a way that will have you gasping for breath. Her quite intelligence and train of thought is beyond her years, making you want to take a step back and re-evaluate your life. Elgort seems to be born to play Augustus Waters, and within minutes of appearing on screen, he shall take over your entire being in a way that his suffering will tear through you in the most gut wrenching manner possible.

A piece of advice, when going to watch the movie do stock up on tissue if you don’t want your clothes to be drenched in salty tears. I ran out of the meagre supply I had, and trust me, you don’t want that happening to you. What I loved best about The Fault in Our Stars was that the emotions on screen are palpable in a manner that they ebb out of the screen, make their way past your rib cage and grasp your heart in a manner which makes your heart want to get up behind your eyeballs and flow out in the form of tears.

The Fault in Our Stars makes you realise that the biggest delusion that we live in is that we have time, that we can postpone living life to another day just because we have so many seemingly ‘important’ things to do, when there are so many people around just trying to have a better day today than the last. It’s a jolt that makes you wake up for real and live in the TODAY and NOW. Okay? Okay.

 

Dracula Untold: How It All Began

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Bram Stoker’s timeless character Dracula gets an origin story that’s gonna be EPIC, if the trailer is to be believed. It shows a young Dracula trying to protect his wife and child from forces bigger than himself. This makes him turn to the dark side himself, and thus begins the bloodline that has intensified the very foundations of the mystery/horror/drama genre. Take a look for yourself!

PS: Doesn’t it look like they have taken a leaf out of the stack of The Dark Knight trilogy posters when designing Dracula Untold’s poster? *nudge, nudge, wink wink*

Dracula Untold is scheduled to release on 17th October, 2014

Series Premier Review: Tyrant

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After 24 and Homeland, its Tyrant for producer Howard Gordon. Undoubtedly, the Arab world has become a hot topic not just for the media, but also for TV series producers looking for a lucrative yet engaging plot, with a message. Only this time, the show runners have created a fictitious country of Abbudin, with a history and political scenario much like any Arab country that you may come across in your newspaper’s headlines.

Bassam ‘Barry’ Al Fayeed (Adam Rayner) is the son of the leader/dictator/king/president (phew!) of Abbudin. However, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and family, due to ‘issues’ with his father for almost two decades. Seems like daddy issues don’t just mess up hot strippers and bottle blonds! Anyhow, his nephew’s wedding beckons, and Barry takes a much detested trip back home on the insistence of his wife and son, and much to the chagrin of his daughter. Everything isn’t hunky-dory back home, protests and attacks are rampant, even threatening his nephew’s wedding. Things take a turn for the worst when… wait, no spoilers! 

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Tyrant seems legitimate enough, with the dusky and sandy streets of Abbudin, and you constantly have that prickly feeling at the back of your neck and in the bottom of your stomach that things are going to turn nasty soon. The show runners obviously want to keep away from naming names and at the same time be as accurate as possible, taking cues from past and current global events.

The only issue I had was with the costumes and the lack of ethnic wear, even during the wedding. Having been brought up in the Middle East I know for a fact that they would not constantly wear tuxedoes and gowns, at least not to a royal wedding; that’s just not how they roll, honey!

Tyrant is a far cry from Homeland, with the obvious glamour and fictitious settings. I am not completely sold on the show after viewing the premier, let’s wait and watch.

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3 Brilliant, Geeky Shows Premiering This Fall

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It is basically going to be Christmas this fall for DC Comics, with some of its better characters and stories being retold on TV. With Arrow doing so well, and three hopefully amazing and highly anticipated shows set to premier this fall, DC Comics is back in the game and how! Here is a slight yet breathtaking preview of these exciting shows:

Gotham:

After The Mentalist, Bruno Heller is back in business with Gotham. This is undoubtedly going to be one stunning show, as its set to depict the story of Gotham in its early days, before the Batman. Detective James Gordon is going to be the central character played by Ben McKenzie, and the show will also revolve around the stories of Bruce Wayne, Riddler, Catwoman, Joker, Two-Face, Penguine, Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy before they became the people they grew up to be.

Constantine:

Fans of the comic Hellblazer, listen up! John Constantine played by Matt Ryan is soon to light your television set on fire, or at least the monsters in it. This is also going a treat for fans of the show Supernatural, as the concept of fighting the unknown and the ‘supernatural’ is predominant in Constantine as well, only, there is going to be magic involved!

The Flash:

Even though The Flash is a spin-off series to the already hit show Arrow, this doesn’t prevent the fans from rooting for the show with all their might. Barry Allen, who portrays The Flash has already been spotted on Arrow, where he has been struck by lightning. What is it that they say about what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger?!

6 Reasons Why Everyone MUST Watch the Show ‘Once Upon a Time’

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When I started watching Once Upon a Time, I was fully prepared for it to be one of those guilty pleasure shows that I would soon tire of and give up on it even before the end of the first season. What with all the fairytale links and pretty princesses, I presumed the show would be one to please the air-headed masses. Alas, I was oh so wrong. Till date, Once Upon a Time is one of the most inspiring, teaching, and well-depicted show I’ve ever come across. If there was ever a show that reminded you of your childhood and yet gave you a dose of reality in an in-your-face manner, then this is it! Here are some of the reasons I think this show MUST be watched EVERYONE who is human; hell, even get your dog to watch it, if possible!

Strong Female Characters: When you hear that this show is a cross between fairytales and the real world, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that there would be cute little princesses, with innocent, docile smiles, and a demure attitude. Well you thought wrong! All, I repeat, all the female characters in Once Upon a Time are not in the least bit docile. If I had a penny for all the times Snow White saved Prince Charming’s nether regions, I would be a rich gal indeed! And its not just Snow, its every woman on the show, they just wont sit around in their ivory towers waiting for princes to rescue them. Instead, they fight, for themselves, for people they care for, for the general good for everyone; sometimes even to serve themselves, but what’s a good story without a good old-fashioned villain, right?! Its such a strong message for all the girls and women out there, to take charge of their own lives, and to all the people who say Disney princesses set a bad example, go home! 

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Real-life Lessons in the Fairytale World: Once Upon a Time is full of invaluable lessons that make so much sense even when applied to our real world. If you only open your eyes and ears, there is so much that you could learn. Its a show you can watch with your kids without having to endure explicit and unsuitable scenes. The most important thing I have picked up from this show is that good intensions don’t always make for good results. Sometimes, even when you have the purest of intent in your heart, you could end up doing immeasurable harm to someone, without meaning to. 

Parenting 101: There are some interesting takes on parenting in the show- it depicts how kids tend to bring out the best in their parents, even when the entire world has given up on them. Its about teaching your kids the importance of being their own person, even when society, media, and the entire world says otherwise. And sometimes, your kids can make you aware of things that you had no idea you were capable of. 

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Round Characters: In literature, the term ‘round characters’ means characters who start off with a specific personality, and then change as the story proceeds, influenced by circumstances. Here, characters like the Evil Queen who is inherently bad, and spiteful, along with Rumpelstiltskin, who is equally cunning and manipulative, change for the better, owing to a number of factors. There is a sliver of good, however tiny, in everyone if only we attempt to find it. Despite all the things that once went wrong, all we need at the end of the day is someone willing to bring that sliver out and turn it into a full-blown rainbow of goodness.

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Hope and Cynicism Wrapped Up in a Neat Lil’ Bow: Just because the show is all about fairytales and magic, doesn’t mean that its always hunky dory. The characters have real problems, and experience times of despair that make it so much more relatable, that you will surely find at least one character who’s experiences you will associate with. This keeps things real and so much more interesting than it would have if it was always sunshine and daises all year long.

Brilliant Plot, Casting, and Sets: Once Upon a Time brings back to life all the fairytales that you once adored, with style! The casting is so brilliant, it seems like the entire universe conspired to bring these amazing people together in this enigmatic show to portray their respective characters. Its an absolute pleasure to watch the Enchanted Forest and Storybrook so carefully created, keeping the tiniest details in mind.

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Movie Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

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It took me a while to figure out exactly what I felt after watching X-Men: Days if the Future Past, hence the delayed review. Agreed, some of the effects and the mutants were fantabulous, but that didn’t prevent the movie from being a bit of a drag, especially when featuring the past.

Presently, all of humanity, or what’s left of it, has waged a war against mutants, and humans who possess mutant genes. The elite few, Professor Xavier, Storm, Wolverine, and Magneto manage to avoid the attack of the Sentinels with the help of Kitty Pryde’s powers that help her project anyone’s consciousness back in time. Once its obvious that the only way to prevent the mutants from going extinct, and avoiding this war is to alter the past and avoid that one event that lead to the domino effect, causing humans to fear and rise up against the mutants. 

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While the storyline is an improvement on the previous X-Men instalments, it still lacks the ultimate ‘wow’ factor. Maybe this could have been remedied if the cooler mutants along with the ingenious and diabolic Sentinels would have been given more screen time. Jennifer Lawrence seems to have become the undisputed princess of the Geekverse, and rightfully so. James McAvoy brilliantly portrays the younger Professor Xavier, pat down to all the struggles and the personal battles that his once tormented mind underwent; making him the man he is today.

However, despite possibly having one of the smallest role to play, Quicksilver (Evan Peters) steals the show, and with such ease! Ask anyone who’s watched the movie what their favourite scene was, and they shall all have a reminiscent, yet mischievous smile on their face when they say, “The one with Quicksilver in it!”.

 

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Hugh Jackman is just fine as Wolverine, and yeah, he is my least favourite Marvel mutant, so don’t mind if I don’t sing his praises in this review (honestly, there is nothing to really sing about). A little less drama and fewer wannabe inspirational speeches, and X-Men: Days of Future Past would have made it to the list of one of the better made Marvel movies.