Saturday, 16 April 2016

Batman v. Superman A Movie review

Wassup peeps. Last week has been a bit busy, so this is a little late. I meant to watch and review this movie earlier than this but even though I did manage to do the watching part, I did not feel like reviewing it. Why you ask? Because they messed up a potentially epic movie.

Starting off Batman as a seasoned crime-fighter is great. It gives us a perspective few super-hero movies do. However, even though they make him a grizzled veteran, they cannot but help show his origin story of parents dying and falling into a cave of bats. Make that the first scene and we are already into 15 minutes of logos (yeah, call out to cinema sins) and a story shown in a much better and detailed manner in Batman Begins a decade ago. Batman is portrayed decently by Ben Affleck, who has found his acting chops since the horror known as Daredevil- the movie. Thankfully both Affleck and Daredevil seem to have moved on to bigger and better things.

As far as Superman goes, I have never liked Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel and I did not like the movie either. I am glad they kept continuity from the movie and turned the mass destruction of Metropolis into a plot point but the story feels hollow even with the bone-structure of a great movie. Superman is conflicted but not conflicted enough to hang up his cape. Lois is ever present and irritating (I cannot believe I said that about Amy Adams) and is supposed to be his human anchor but again feels forced.

Luthor - well...sigh. While they alluded to the fact that this is Alexander Luthor not Lex Luthor, I wonder why they would not pull the trigger on one of the most iconic villains of all time. With the story backdrop, he would have been perfect as a foil to bring down Superman. Instead, we get a Joker ripoff trying to build Doomsday and kidnapping Superman's mother to goad him into a fight with Batman. Talk about lame and cliched.

As far as the fight is concerned, it is a good fight but the end of the fight is contrived and guessed it...forced. I mean, who in their right mind would say, "Save Martha", instead of  "Save my mother"? I want to slap the guy who came up with the cool realization that both Batman's and Superman's mother share a name and would be a cool plot point to use that to stop their fight.

The only breath of fresh air is Wonder Woman who is mysterious and understated and her reveal is very well done. She looks every bit Superman's equal in the fight against Doomsday. The fight was well done and Superman sacrificing himself was a good twist...except that it wasn't.

Everyone and their three next generations know a Justice League movie is coming and Justice League cannot not have a live and flying Supes. Ending the movie without showing his casket move would have been brave for the new Justice League. Let it be formed without Superman. Let him join in a dire hour. Make his return monumental. But nah...DC has no cojones.

And as far as the random teasers for the Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman sprinkled throughout the movie, they feel ...gah...yes ...forced and unnecessary. They could have just mentioned their names without having video trailers for each of them. Learn from Marvel, Thordamnit!!

Anyhow, I am disappointed even though I never had much hope to begin with, which shows how poor a job they have done. And I am forced to stop myself from ranting.

Signing off,


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Daredevil Season 2 Full review

Yeah, yeah, I know, this is a little delayed but I have been doing a bunch of things and I have several things to write about. Besides, I needed to rewatch the entire thing again because...well, I don't need a reason, do I?

The second season was grimmer, darker, bloodier and edgier than the first, which is saying a lot.

Let me break the 13 episodes down into three separate arcs, although the line between them is kind of blurry.

1. The Punisher arc - As I said before, what this series does amazingly is the tease before the introduction of a major character- Punisher in this case. The Punisher is bloodthirsty, crazy violent and when you meet him, you either feel like yeah, we need this kind of a badass who hunts down criminals like filth or woah, keep that deranged lunatic behind bars for life. Essentially, it deals with Daredevil tracking down the Punisher after Frank Castle goes on a rampage eliminating all drug dealing gangs in Hell's Kitchen. The only piece of humanity the Punisher shows is when he shoots Daredevil in the head (yeah, that's human) purposely on his helmet, in a sniper-like way just as a warning shot, when he could have killed him. Doesn't stop him from laying a beating on our hero, yo! The end of the arc is with the Punisher getting arrested thanks to Daredevil saving him from an Irish mobster who captures him and giving him up to the police to account for his crimes. My only gripe is the reveal of Punisher's past via a typical crying monologue. It fits the character to a tee but I still expected something more...unique.

2. The Elektra arc- Unlike the other characters, we are introduced to Elektra straight away in Daredevil's apartment. A departure from the tested route but well done. Telling Matt Murdoch's and Elektra's college romance story in flashbacks is well done but again cliched and in my opinion takes away from the gripping present story where Elektra baits in Matt to play Daredevil (revealing his secret identity is no secret for her) and also making him feel like he missed fighting alongside her all the while. The brilliant part is that Daredevil fails to juggle his normal day job as a lawyer and a vigilante by night, which screws up his relationships with his friends and colleagues. Why this doesn't happen to more superheroes is beyond me! If I was away saving people/world half of my office time, I would get fired and rightfully so (cue Superman). Elektra is trying to hunt down plans for a mysterious organisation and the arc ends with Elektra leaving having failed her mission.

3. Punisher + Elektra arc - This arc is amazingly built up from the previous two with the Punisher arc going from a short courtroom episode to the baddie from Season 1 - Wilson Fisk getting Punisher in jail to do his dirty work. That is how you use a villain! You don't forget him once he is put away because he is the BIG BAD, who obviously will try and get out of prison. There is a brilliant yet horrific scene where the Punisher kills a block full of prisoners and it is amazingly choreographed. I usually snort at scenes where one guy takes out 15 men alone, but it seemed completely realistic and believable here. The Elektra part is more to do with the slight turn of Daredevil to the dark side to be with Elektra and Elektra's redemption to be with him. There is an introduction to the mystic arts (probably a shout out to the upcoming Iron Fist series), whereby the shady ninja organisation has developed an immortality solution (again not an elixir - more like a bloody blood draining evil contraption, which looks like it takes away your soul). The twist at the end with Elektra's death and exhumation of her body by the ninjas to bring her back to life was a tad predictable, but again well done.

Final impressions - A very good season 2. New characters were handled superbly, specially the Punisher since it is very difficult to pull of a bloodthirsty vigilante with just enough morals. However, as you might have noted in my review, it didn't surprise me as much, probably because I'm holding it to an impossibly high standard. I still believe Jessica Jones season 1 is the best among the three Marvel Netflix TV series out as of this date.

But still if you haven't watched it, slap yourself for not doing so and go watch it!!

Signing off,


Monday, 4 April 2016

Wrestlemania 32 Review

Ha, betcha you didn't know that I am a wrestling fan! But why are you surprised? Didn't I say I love fantasy? This is the ultimate scripted fantasy where mere mortals act as superhumans. Don't believe me - this is from yesterday, where a man jumped from 20 freaking feet and through a table. Oh and he's 46 years old and seems to be alive and well. If this isn't superhuman, I don't know what is.

So, for the uninitiated, Wrestlemania is like the annual Superbowl/World Cup of Wrestling from WWE, which showcases the best (they think) they have to offer. Sometimes, it is grand and breathtaking, sometimes it is boring but it draws people to watch anyway. Last nights attendance was a whopping 100,000 people. Let that number sink in. Armies can be formed from the people in that stadium!

Anyhow, the show was broken into two parts - the pre-show and the main show. I didn't watch the pre-show, so I won't write about that but the main show was about 4 hours long, so that took some watching. I won't review all matches or in any depth whatsoever but these are my impressions from the show.

The first ladder match had seven men climbing a ladder to grab a title belt dangling above (the Intercontinental Title). Yeah, they also wrestle and fight. It isn't just seven men climbing a ladder at the same time, fastest feet and hands wins. The match was exceptional with people jumping and dropping from ladders and on one occasion breaking a steel ladder in half! Yeah, like I said, as scripted as pro-wrestling may be, it is still amazing and real. They went with a true underdog, who wasn't given a chance - ZACK RYDER. The guy is a self-made wrestling star, literally and deserves all the kudos. The explosion of noise when he won was amazing.

The next moment of interest was the Women's match, which was amazing because all three of the competitors - Charlotte (Champion), Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks are amazing wrestlers. They put on heck of a match and what made it even more interesting was the fact that the winner Charlotte got the Women's Title instead of the pre-existing Divas title and received a Champion's celebration (the same as men). This is a great move for WWE, where traditionally Women's division was treated as an afterthought. Hopefully, the tag team division gets the same treatment.

I won't speak about the Undertaker-Shane McMahon match because all you need to know is in that 1 minute clip above.

The title match between Triple H and Roman Reigns was a great match. But as expected the evil Triple H was cheered by the crowd while the hero Roman was jeered and booed (yeah, we wrestling fans are weird). The match ended with Roman winning and being booed out of the stadium.

So, as a complete show review, it was quite good. WWE pulled out quite a few swerves I didn't expect (Zack Ryder yo!) but stuck to the safe routes with the big matches. Shout out to Baron Corbin for an amazing debut, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Stone Cold for an interesting interlude and the ROCK for setting his name on fire, literally.

All in all, a fun watch but and there's the but, it didn't blow my mind, which it may have given its potential.

Anyways, I have a few blog posts to write - more on the normal books and TV series, so you'll be home! But as me and Brighton say, what's life (or a blog) without some craziness.

Signing off,


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Book Review: The Final Empire (Mistborn Book #1)

So, yeah, I'm back to the roots on which this blog is based - Books!!

And today I have for you, on of my absolute favourite fantasy authors - Brandon Sanderson who has been surprising me with the kind of magic systems he can come up with. He's also the author who completed the extra long yet super amazing Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, who unfortunately passed away before completing the 14 book series (Yes, 14 fantasy books - buy them, take a holiday and grow a beard)

I still have the other two books of the trilogy to read, which I promise to, very soon - Not promising you guys, I'm promising myself. Fine, I'll promise to you as well. I've been reading ebooks for a while now and although I would prefer owning hard copies, a friend gifted me the entire series, so ebooks for this series it is.

Anyway, I digress. As I mentioned, the book introduces a very cool magic system called Allomancy. This allows certain people to "burn" certain ingested metals for cool powers. There are ten known metals which can be used for allomancy and the powers range from using metal to enhance strength and stamina to jumping long distances to mind control. Of course, if you try and burn other or impure metals, you get sick and die. But very cleverly, Sanderson, through the eyes of the protagonist not only doubts this information, he also challenges the rules of the game.

As far as the characters are concerned, mostly the story is told from the viewpoints of two characters. Vin, a beaten down teenage thief in the capital city full of nobles and slaves (called skaa), who has allomancy but obviously doesn't know it and Kelsier, a proficient thief-cum-rebel, who is trying to organise a rebellion to bring down the all powerful Ruler and his centuries old empire.

There are of course a multitude of other characters like the other thieves in Kelsier's group who are proficient in the use of one metal each and therefore, one set of powers. These uni-powered guys/gals are called Mistings, while Kelsier and Vin are the far more rarer two or more metal burners called...yes you guessed it...allomancers.

Vin's character arc starts from a mistrusting kid who slowly starts trusting while parallely rising from hating nobles to understanding them, while Kelsier's the bright teacher who undergoes some transformation into a hero but mostly is already there. Their interactions, however, and Vin's training is gold.

Love is used sparingly and mostly as a plot element and nicely set as a teenage first love kind. The setting is bleak with ash-rains happening through and the general mood of the populace being dull and beaten, something which Kelsier changes with a heroic sacrifice. Politics and nuances are well handled, although not Martinesque but Sanderson has his own charm.

I have a slight complaint about the final antagonist - the all supreme Ruler. While he is formidable in his own right, the only reference to him is through entries of a book which our heroes manage to steal quite early. We never really learn much about him to really connect with or against the character, so his defeat feels just a tad hollow. But maybe this all will be corrected in the next two books.

As I said before the magic is refreshingly new- no one is chucking fireballs and elves are not  firing arrows by the dozen. All in all a very engaging page turner.

Signing off,


Friday, 25 March 2016

Shank 2: A Game review

As you guys probably already know, I am an avid gamer. Or was and well..trying to be again. Don't hold me against it. I kept on writing my novel and with moving to another country, something had to give (not to mention the dearth of good gaming devices - yeah, I'm back to being a broke student for the time being).

Anywho, I was inspired to game again by my good friend, Devospaz, who runs a gaming channel of his own - Subscribe to it fellows. Sure is worth it. Especially check out his Assassin's Creed India videos - his commentary is way beyond hilarious and best, an Indian guy gives you his perspective on what the game developers got right and what they muffed up.

So he put up videos of a hack-slash comic book appearing (you say whaaa....yeah I said it too) game from EA called Shank and I loved the not-so-mindless innumerable hacking and slashing it offered. So, I decided I would try it for myself. Guess what, when I searched for it, I realised a sequel to the incredibly popular 1st part had already been released. So, I got SHANK 2! I can play Shank - the originaaal vicariously through Devo's videos, while I play the future of the chain-saw wielding, pistol-firing, shotgun-shooting, shark-teeth grabbing (yes, that happens) sequel.

As rightly captioned in the video, this is the most epic gaming scene ever in the history of every game ever created ever. If you started counting my evers, you will forever be counting evers. Anyever, the game has a cool storyline, well a semblance of a storyline (actually I have not finished the game - only about halfway through it).

Shank is a homely ex-hit mobman who goes back to his loving homeland only to horrifyingly find it under the atrocious flames of war and his mentor leading the rebellion against General Magnus' militia. His mentor - a lady (see it is a progressive game already) is captured and Shank must rescue her through wild west saloons, docks and ships, flaming infernos, and tribal pygmies who bite your face-off - literally. Still not sold on it?

Well, the gameplay will make you drool then. You have three main weapons you use at any time - knives, pistols and grenades. You gain more weapons as you go along - the trusty chainsaw comes in soon enough and you can execute a million different ways to kill bad guys. Stabbing them is easy, as is squashing them under huge crates. You can also fly in the air for a long while by firing your pistols continuously (seriously my superpower list just got rearranged - you can kill while flying at the effing same time - Superman can kryptonite himself).

Of course, the fights are not mindless hack and slash. The bosses specially require a lot of strategy and every boss is different and just tough enough to make you work for the bloody kill. The good part is even if you die, you start the game with full health pretty much just before the short segment you died in (applicable to boss fights as well), so the frustration levels never creep in too much.

There is one tiny downside. You will have to sit through an entire chapter, which takes about half an hour to get through, to save, otherwise you lose the entire progress. A small price to pay for such exhilaration.

So go play both Shank and Shank 2 or at least watch Devospaz's journey through the bloodthirsty lands of one of the ever best games ever.



Saturday, 19 March 2016

Review of Season 2 Episode 1 of Daredevil

Since I have been watching a lot of superhero shows, it only makes sense that I review them. I intend to give my thoughts on each show I watch. I will probably end up clubbing together Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow in one post.

But in other news, Daredevil Season 2 is finally here - in all its glorious...glory! All 13 episodes waiting to be watched (well I cheated and already watched 2...but it is my resolution to spread them out at least over a week). We will see how I hold up on the resolutions.

If you have not watched Daredevil season 1, you should probably slap yourself three times and go watch it like ASAP. Oh and slap yourself another four times for missing up on the even more awesome Jessica Jones Season 1 - which will probably need another post altogether. Marvel's TV series is far outdoing the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in my not-so-humble opinion (in Brighton's absence, I'm taking over the role of world-dictator-to-be temporarily - you cannot disagree with this opinion and no, I do not respect your disagreement on this topic).

Season 2 Episode 1 starts off with a typical Spiderman style catching of diamond thieves by Daredevil, except it isn't really typical. It has a Batman trilogy feel to it, which meshes in well with the dark and sombre tone of the show. Foggy (who as a child actor played an iconic role - comment below if you which movie(s) I am talking about) provides the witty banter release without being over the top, but is a kick-ass lawyer in his own right. We don't see much lawyering from Daredevil himself because well he is engaged in finding out who the heck is slicing and dicing mobs across Hell's Kitchen like an army (no literally like an army).

Enter the Punisher - one of the most violent vigilantes in the history of comic books. He isn't really shown much in the first episode but what these Marvel shows do brilliantly is to organically tease out the appearance of a villain (anti-hero in this case), so that you actually become excited for the reveal. Another thing they do brilliantly is leave every episode ending in a cliffhanger which makes you binge watch (hence the Netflix dropping entire seasons on one day).

If you do decide to binge watch, dare not spoil anything for me - I haven't spoiled anything from the first episode. I will however do a full review of the season once I finish sometime next week.

Speaking of next week- it heralds the Dawn of Justice. I mean Batman v. Superman, the super short fight. Jokes apart, while I am circumspect about DC's forays into movies (except the Batman trilogy), this may have the potential to break the bank. I certainly hope it does, because DC deserves a win to force Marvel to up its game (which I am sure they will in Captain America: Civil War - Holy Moly that last trailer).

Anyways, buzz off people, there is binge-watching to do. What? You didn't think I was going to keep my resolution did you? If you did, you haven't watched Daredevil Season 1, in which case slap yourself thrice again and four times for missing Jessica Jones and three times for Season 2 of Daredevil.

Signing off,


Thursday, 17 March 2016

Of Renewed Beginnings

Too long has it been that I have myself ventured into the lost pages of pineapple lightning. Yet as I traverse through my first sojourn as a budding author, the memories reflected in this blog bring a smile. The enthusiasm behind writing, the excitement of a blog which fell victim to the drudgery of work and the worst weapon that isn't - laziness.

Yet, I did keep writing, as a few may know. Three years it took but the novel called Tides of Magic is complete and edited with a full manuscript request already out. And it is in this bright hour that I return to you with the blog that started it all.

I will not make promises I can keep. I will not make promises. But there will be posts - more than I can manage and more than the magic number of nothing. About what? Anything and everything - except my day job that is.

Video games, television shows, movies, youtube videos (the good kind).

Let me lightning your way into an awesome world.  Hopefully pineapple (Brighton) will join in soon too.

Signing off,