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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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.

We Are The Fandoms United

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It all began one lazy Sunday afternoon, I was merely having a quite lunch at a cafe, and in came Matt Smith with his ancient tweed jacket, that oh so bright bowtie, and the inevitable suspenders. Well, of course it wasn’t really Matt, but a fan in a cosplay. Heart thudding, I approached her, and viola, the rest is history. 

Immediately I was sucked into (quite pleasantly, I assure you) this alternate reality that is the Doctor Who Group, India, and later the Fandoms United India, where everyone is just as much into various fandoms as I am. People take insults to their fandoms quite seriously, something for which I had been mocked for my entire life! Finally, a decade after having been hit by the magic wand that introduced me to Harry Potter, I had a found a place where I belong.

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Here, age is irrelevant, and so is your geographical location, so long as you are passionate about the things that automatically render you socially inept, you are more than welcome. Any and every fandom is offered equal face time (unless you are a fan of the Twilight series, then you will be dragged into a dark alley and be politely beaten up with words that will hurt more than sticks and stones ever will). The only requirements to be a part of the Fandoms United is to be fun, geeky, passionate, bat shit crazy, and of course intellect.

For the first time, you may have more friends than you can count on both your hands (WIN). We come off as normal, with our fancy professional degrees, and our calm demeanour, but dare you bad mouth the characters we worship, and the force shall be with you, and not in a good way. We know what it is like to stay up until late into the night and obsess over things that can so easily be trivialised, and wake up early the next morning only to continue where we left off the previous night even before we have had our first cup of coffee. 

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There are things about us that can be categorised as weird or borderline OCD. Like say for example, crying every time our Doctor regenerates or suffers a major loss, rejoicing at the possibility of a deadly and evil villain being alive, reading a book into the night just cos our favourite character is in a fix, or waiting out in a long queue at the doors of a bookstore braving all kinds of climatic conditions when a new book in the series is about to be released. We laugh reminiscing about something geeky at completely inappropriate times, and we are so, so not sorry about it *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*.

We urge you to come and join us, so long as you do not spam our timeline, bore us with nonsense, and are genuinely geeky, for there is finally a place for you to belong. Signing off, Allons-y, Mischief Managed, Geronimo, Live Long and Prosper, You Shall Pass!

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Movie review: Frozen

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If you are looking for a completely new spin on the age-old concept of ‘true love’, then Frozen is the way to go. With a simple yet brilliant storyline, Frozen conveys in a span of mere one hour and twenty five minutes all that is wrong with the way we perceive love, relationships and everything in between.

Set in a land called Arendelle, Frozen is about two princess sisters, Elsa and Anna. Elsa is born with the gift to create ice and snow, a fact that the king and the queen have tried to suppress and keep secret from the entire kingdom, including her younger sister Anna after a tragic accident that almost costs Anna her life. Elsa is made to keep away from her beloved sister, as per her parent’s wishes. However, a secret this gigantic in proportions is impossible to hide, and soon Arendelle is in a tragic state, with Elsa and Anna at the centre of the storm. It is up to Anna to leave behind her inhibitions and save the one thing that matters the most to her: Elsa.

Frozen sends across a strong message across to one and all. It teaches parents to quit trying to constantly make their children ‘fit in’, and instead encourages them to revive in the quirks that make them stand apart without being afraid. In this time and age when women are women’s worst enemy, Frozen shows us the irrevocable bond that can exist between two women, despite a long period of estrangement. Frozen brings about a whole new perspective on what true, selfless love is, and guess what? It’s not always about a kiss!

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Movie review: The Wolf of Wall Street

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This review is long overdue, since my writing streak has been eluding me lately. By now the Torrents are probably raging full force, number of screenings at a multiplex reduced. However, if you are yet to watch this fantastic adaptation of Jordan Belford’s memoir, it is not a tiny feat that can be devoured in a space of a couple of hours. The Wolf of Wall Street is an expansive movie, colourful and massive in all its glory.

Jordan Belford (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a fresh faced newly married enthusiastic young man, who wishes to make it big, thus taking up the job of a stockbroker at a Wall Street firm. With obscenities flying about left, right and center, Jordan feels right at home, but not for long. The firm falls through owing to Black Monday, forcing Jordan to move to Long Island with his wife Teresa (Cristin Milioti) boiler room where penny stocks are traded. With his skillful pitching style, he soon amasses a minor fortune, and decides to create his own brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont along with Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), and a number of other friends who are in reality petty yet experienced weed dealers in order to fry ‘bigger fish’ and get richer by the minute.

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Soon enough, Forbes magazine proclaims Jordan to be the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, and the name sticks leading to fame and immense fortune. With this, step in the drugs, the endless parties, and of course the sex. It is at one of these extravagant parties that Jordan spots Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie) and out goes his wife Teresa. Well, who can blame him? One look at Naomi and anyone person would go, “Teresa who?”

But of course all this too good to be true, and eventually all the fame and drugs are bound to go to anyone’s head, and that is exactly what happens with Jordan, leading to the FBI and the Securities Exchange Commission to land on his case. What follows is a classic and obviously hilarious cat and mouse chase, where Jordan bests both these agencies time and time again.

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The Wolf of Wall Street is quite well presented, and the humour and the constant twists make up for the length of the movie. There are moments when you want to leap off of your seat and cheer along with Jordan at his success, as despite all of his flaws he is unmistakable adorable and his charm infectious. When he makes the ‘rich-man-poor-man’ speech, you want to cry from joy and yell out, “Give him his Oscar already!” Jonah Hill does a brilliant job as the supporting actor, and comes off as the kind of friend you would want by you through high and low (read: drug induced and not-very-drug-induced-state).

Leonardo DiCaprio has out done himself this time, just as he does every time, and maybe there is a tiny hope (fingers crossed) that The Wolf of Wall Street would be his break at the Academy Awards, as this is the kind of movie you want to watch after having had a b!t@h of a day at work. It will make you howl with laughter, and also humble you to the inner turmoil that Jordan faces when it comes to saving his friends and the company he has built from the ground up.

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Review: Sherlock Season 3 Finale- His Last Vow

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I won’t be exaggerating when I say that His Last Vow has shaved off at least half a decade, if not more, from my lifespan. Not even Sherlock jumping off of the hospital’s rooftop affected my brain and heart activity as some of the things in this episode did. It all begins as always with fun and games, this time with a little extra on the fun with Sherlock hooking up on ‘life enhancing’ drugs. He says he is on a case, but I am sure Molly Hooper’s resounding slap(s) has surely cured him of that delusion. Yes, you read right, Molly slaps Sherlock, and not just once. I must say, time and time again Molly surprises me, but I shall leave the intricacies of Molly Hooper’s mind palace to another blog post and get on with the review.

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A client comes along, bearing gifts for Sherlock in the form of Charles Augustus Magnussen, so how can he resist? Instantly, Sherlock is thrown into Magnussen’s world, but he is not alone. Remember the time you fell in love with Mrs. Watson; yes, Mary, charming, adorable, utterly understanding, and for once someone who loves Sherlock? Turns out she isn’t the miss-goody-two-shoes that we thought her to be. In Magnussen’s own words, she is a ‘bad, bad girl’, and he seems to have irrevocable proof. Mary is all set to handle the blackmailer on her own, but in comes Sherlock, and bang, bang! Down goes Sherlock.

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I won’t go into the details of how excruciatingly painful it was to watch Sherlock plunge down the path of death once again, but it was nothing compared to watching him claw (dead literally) his way back from death to life just because John is in trouble. To have someone care for you so much that he would come back from the very dregs of death to protect you, you are a lucky man, John Watson.

 

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Once john learns of his wife’s possible ‘escapades’, there comes a moment when you think that the Watsons are doomed now, as their marriage lies in shambles. But John is a stronger man than that, and together he and Sherlock take on Magnussen in order to protect Mary. Sherlock promises him Mycroft’s laptop brimming with state secrets in exchange for a visit to Appledore, Magnussen’s mansion which has an underground ‘basement’ that contains all the ‘dirt’ he has on various high profile people. However, turns out, Magnussen has a mind palace of his own, which is actually his ‘vault’ in which he preserves all the blackmail-worthy sensitive information. When push comes to shove, Sherlock shoots Magnussen in the head, this irradiating the very vault that could have put Mary in danger.

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Sherlock is immediately rounded up and arrested for committing treason and is about to be sent off on an MI6 mission into Eastern Europe, when there is a national broadcast of Jim Moriarty making a comeback with a funny yet chilling ‘Did you miss me?’ chant which ensures the return of Sherlock Holmes to Britain in order to face the man that made him take the leap.

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My only complaint is that when Magnussen first visits Sherlock at Bake Street, both Sherlock and John are searched for weapons, but when they visit Appledore they are not searched, and John manages to smuggle in a gun without breaking a sweat. That security breach seems a little silly to swallow, and something that someone of Magnussen’s intelligence would never overlook. Lars Mikkelsen is simply magnificent and bone-chilling as Charles Augustus Magnussen, and is a contrast from Moriarty’s playful psychopathic tendencies.

The fact that Mycroft still thinks of Sherlock as a little boy who needs to be look after and rescued is simply adorable, and a testimony to the fact that Mycroft is not without a heart after all. Moriarty’s return made me jump up and down like a little girl who was promised a real pony for her birthday. Come on, admit it, despite being deadly and vicious he is adorable. A lot of people are questioning his survival, and deem it to be a plot hole. Seriously? If Sherlock could come up with 13 alternative routes of preventing his death, do you really think it is too far-fetched to think that Moriarty, who is Sherlock’s intellectual equal, wouldn’t have thought of a couple of them himself?

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Review: Sherlock Season 3 Premier- The Empty Hearse

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Phew! Its finally here. After the life-altering trauma and the heartbreak, after all the speculation and the endless obsession, Baker Street’s favourite detective is back. However, things are not as hunky-dory as he would have pleased them to be. Things have changed, and maybe not for the better (of course the reference is to the little snail under Watson’s nose).

After burying Sherlock, John seems to have left Baker Street behind. I understand that, anyone would want to get away from all those memories. However, John, how could you leave Mrs. Hudson behind? Why didn’t you call, John?! Hell, I would have called her! If only I knew her number.

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It took two years for Sherlock to break Moriarty’s terrorist cell, and with the help of Mycroft he once again returns to London with another terrorist threat in the horizon. Sherlock couldn’t be more pleased, and despite his well-meaning ‘I-want-to-jump-out-of-a-cake-and-surprise-John’, he clearly has a lesson to learn about ‘human nature’. After delivering a split lip and a broken nose, John makes it perfectly clear that he wants Sherlock around him as much as he does Moriarty.

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Mary Morstan, played by Amanda Abbington is a brilliant addition to the show as John’s girlfriend-soon-to-be-fiancé. This time it isn’t some lowly little imbecile screaming, “Don’t make me compete with Sherlock Holmes!”, instead, she likes him! Charles Augustus Magnussen is going to be the foe that Sherlock is up against this season. Although, in the books he is supposed to be a blackmailer, let’s see what his character turns out to be like this season.

Anderson is without a doubt the nut job that he always is, and has the most bizarre theories about how Sherlock pulled off his suicide attempt, and every time Lestrade ‘bollocks’ his off. Anderson believes that Moriarty is locked up in Sherlock’s grave, as Sherlock ‘switched’ places with Moriarty. I found this to be quite epic, however there was a nagging feeling at the back of my mind which I couldn’t place immediately, but then I realised this: Moriarty is a little too short to pass for Sherlock. Small technicality, I know, but I am sure someone would have noticed. Ugh! Typical Anderson!

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There are quite a number of kisses galore, and the most impossible kind at that. Like say for example, Sherlock kissing Molly Hooper (poor gal got lucky in Anderson’s imagination), and Moriarty having an ‘intense’ moment with Sherlock, leaning in for a… if only.

All in all, The Empty Hearse is quite entertaining and exhilarating, and yet the biggest mystery still remains just that: how did Sherlock pull it off? There are a number of possible scenarios that are drawn out (I am rooting for the intense moment between Sherlock and Moriarty), but nothing definite. Gatiss is most definite taking a leaf out the evil genius a.k.a Moffat’s diary about how to leave the fans damn near a stroke if not a full blown heart attack. Let me tell you sir, we are not amused! Just kidding, please don’t leave us or quit on Sherlock!

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