[Movie Review] Ardh Satya (1983)

Happened to see this movie in memoriam Om Puri. I was told that this was a really great ‘art’ film ( as opposed to a commercial one). Named after a short poem by Dilip Chitre, it is a cop’s story that depicts his struggle against the corruption of values.

[Book Review] Animal Farm - George Orwell (1945)

While intended as a satire of the Russian revolution, I think this book has far wider applications. It delivers the quintessential communist microcosm in an amazingly crisp but understandable manner.

[Movie Review] The Intern (2015)

It’s always fun to see the old boy in a new suit trope in action. This one comes with a retired Robert de Niro in a suite, complete with the gawking faces of onlookers, an workplace romance and him being a champ at his job.. ahem internship.

[Movie Review] Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)

I’ve been told that Farhan Akhtar has a reputation for making movies about rich people. This seems to be a continuation of the trend.

[Movie Review] About Cherry (2012)

How a girl with conventionally good looks enters the adult entertainment industry. It doesn’t work as she’d planned but then at the end everything is okay because her ex-boyfriend is a druggie asshat, she catches her best friend masturbating to her own porn, but then doesn’t understand why he is doing it and finally becomes the lesbian partner of her porn producer/director.

[Book Review] Jaya - Devdutt Pattanaik (2010)

An amalgamation of the various versions of the Mahabharat, consolidated by one Mr. Pattanaik. This version encourages one to achieve inner peace in their life, but portrays how people actually end up doing the completely opposite in their life.

[Movie Review] 9 Songs (2004)

As is evident from the poster, the movie is a full sixty-nine minutes of sex and rock-n-roll music. It looks like an art film of sorts, where the focal point is the sexual relationship between a man and a woman and their shared enthusiasm for attending rock music concerts.

[Book Review] The Colour of Magic - Discworld 1 - Terry Pratchett (1983)

Having looked at various recommended reading orders and the litany of books that is Discworld, I am unsure if I will ever be able to read through Sir Pratchett’s legacy. Having decided to at least taste the series, I started with the first book, ‘The Colour of Magic’.

[Movie Review] 300: Rise of an Empire (2014)

This movie depicts the events that take place parallel to the original 300. The other side of the story where Leonidas’s brother is preparing for war against the forces of Xerxes’ sister.

[Movie Review] Sully (2016)

I had no clue of the events following the mildly amusing news that a plane had successully landed on the Hudson river. It didn’t seem like a big deal back in 2009, partly because it didn’t take place in my home country and otherwise because I am not an aeronautics geek. This movie portrays the investigation that followed the plane crash.

[Movie Review] Boss Baby (2017)

Cute things. This is not Hollywood’s first attempt to pitch two species against each other. There have been quite a lot of movies that try to embattle cats vs dogs, mice vs cats, aliens vs predators; all in an effort to attract cute-chasers. In classic American capitalist fashion, everything in the movie world comes out of a corporation. And this movie becomes the story of BabyCorp vs PuppyCo.

[Movie Review] Life (2017)

Survival Horror. The genre that doesn’t need a story. All you need to do is bring a cast of big names on board and kill them one by one. Where how great a movie is, is defined by the most creative way the director can come up to kill a beloved actor and his career.

[Book Review] Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki (1997)

This book made a lot of waves back in 2000 when it came out. People were recommending it left and right. Most of what the book claims makes sense and is probably common knowledge in certain circles.

[Book Review] Zero to One - Peter Thiel (2014)

I started reading this book after having already attempted ( what felt like) a startup and working in a new one right now. The best way to keep up with this book is constant mental questions and thinking about how you’ve been thinking before. An good exercise is to evaluate your own experience or companies that you’ve seen closely as you read through the various ideas presented in this book.

[Book Review] Sultan - Mahesh Elkunchwar (1989)

This is a collection of one act plays; another recommendation from my Mother as a nice way to get used to Elkunchwar’s style. The book is named after the first play and the name seems unrelated to the remaining ones.

[Movie Review] Bajirao Mastani (2015)

This is another Sanjay Leela Bhansali flick that I managed to pull through (the other being Ramleela).

[Movie Review] Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Another day, another Marvel movie. This one is no different with it’s plot if you leave the setting alone. Funny in a formulaic way, it manages to keep you entertained with it’s trademark spectacles.

[Book Review] Ranga Half-Pants - Suman Kumar (2016)

The book’s name and cover led me into believing that it was about how Ranga got his full-pants but that’s only half the book. You have to read the synposis to find out about the other half, which is a different tale set in the same village.

[Movie Review] Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

I’d expected the movie to portray how the namesake book came about in the Wizarding World: a jolly adventure through ‘murica messing around with fantastic animals. But it soon becomes a lengthy detour back to the ‘dark side’ of the wizarding world.

Thunderbird Mail Merge addon Quirks

Just decided to put this out there and save an hour for anybody trying to figure out why the Mail Merge addon won’t work for them.

[Movie Review] The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

Once released, the ingenious trailer sparked quite a few interesting reactions. My mother, an animal lover basically kept enquiring throughout the year of whether the movie had released. The teaser promised a different perspective on an otherwise unsuspecting concept.

[Movie Review] Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

The first movie in the Hitman franchise was bad enough to also make it the last. As a fan of the Hitman series of games, I can say that it did not capture any of the Hitman ‘essence’ and also failed at being a good action movie. Naturally, I was quite surprised when they announced another Hitman movie. I hoped that they would do good on atleast one of the fronts and get things right this time.

[Movie Review] Inferno (2016)

The name Inferno and the fact that Dan Brown is involved should be enough to tell you that the movie is about Dante. I am tempted to think that Dan Brown is becoming greedy or being coaxed by his publishers or employing ghost writers, because of the lack of experimentation in the Langdon recipe.

[Book Review] One Thousand Days in a Refrigerator: Stories - Manoj Kumar Panda (2016)

We’ve been told to not judge a book by it’s cover. I, for some reason, always took it in the sense that one shouldn’t think a book is bad because of it’s cover. Never had I ever seen a bad book with a good cover. Well, there’s always a first time.

[Movie Review] Doctor Strange (2016)

This movie reminds me of Ant-Man, a different take on the superhero. It’s very clearly a Marvel film and also quite unlike one. You have all the familiar trademarks including the predictable but funny jokes, the disposable villians to support the origin story, a genius but sassy protagonist and of course a post credits scene. But it also comes with a fairly new visual style, less romance and the supposed attraction of casting Benedict Cumberbatch.

[Book Review] Why I Am Not a Hindu - Kancha Ilaiah (1996)

For the uninitiated, this can be a very eye-opening read. For others, it’s an amusing treatment that spends quite some time establishing theories. I belong to the former category and I concede that this book made me look more closely at the caste system in India; something that I’d managed to ignore for quite some time now.

[Movie Review] Happy Bhag Jayegi (2016)

Happy is a go-lucky girl, whose escapist habits result in a botched wedding and her ending up in Pakistan. She literally bolts out of awkward situations with express disregard to the outcome, which is abundantly taunted in the film.

[Movie Review] You've Got Mail (1998)

You’ve got mail is basically “Love in the time when email was vogue”. It is set in the period when email and Instant Messaging (IM) had just entered the general public’s usage and were common enough that most people would get it without much explanation.

[Movie Review] Groundhog Day (1993)

A movie with an amusing premise where a TV meteorologist Phil Connors, keeps reliving literally the same day again and again indefinitely. The general idea has probably been abused by, inspired and influenced quite a few other films since it’s release.

[Movie Review] Back to the Future II (1989)

As a sequel to a really well done movie and given the 4 years of waiting, this one probably had a lot of fans and stakeholders to satisfy. I presume that it was probably a much harder problem to solve because unlike the previous movie, the filmmakers didn’t have any reference to work with. They have no idea of how the future turns out and are going to rely entirely on the predictions of the writers.

[Book Review] Life, the Universe and Everything - Douglas Adams (1982)

The third installment in the series, Life, the Universe and Everything continues the pan-universal adventure of one earthman Arthur Dent. As bizzare and british as it’s predecessors it tries to resolve Arthur’s search for the question to the answer of The Life, Universe and Everything else.

[Movie Review] Back to the Future (1985)

This movie is often listed as one of the best time travel movies. I’d watched this movie in bits and pieces before but never as a whole. The movie is as they say, light, and can act as a decent introduction to the concept of time travel.

[Book Review] वनवास - प्रकाश नारायण संत (1994)

This is the first real Marathi book that I’ve read. It discusses the childhood village life of लंपन, a character that represents the author’s childhood self.

[Movie Review] YZ (2016)

Gajanan is a 33 year old teacher who has self-esteem issues. Things take a turn when he meets one of his unnaturally confident students who runs by the name of बत्तीस (32). The movie is named after “YZ”, a पुणेरी slang word. However it puts a different spin on the idea and has it’s own philosophy on what exactly a YZ attitude is.

[Movie Review] Dirty Grandpa (2016)

Essentially a barrage of dirty jokes first from Robert de Niro and then from the rest of the cast.

[Movie Review] Suicide Squad (2016)

Suicide Squad is a menagerie of not-so-covert convicted criminals, who have been tamed to fight other criminals because it’s such a good idea. It runs on the belief that two wrongs can make a right. A character literally says that defeating the villain will remove 10 years off their sentences. The movie takes place after Superman is (not?) dead and Batman is in the process of forming Justice League.

[Movie Review] Zootopia (2016)

On the cover, Zootopia may appear to be a lazy play of words, a rehashed cobbling of a buddy cop story with added anthropomorphic animals; all the makings of an average film. In reality, it is all that along with an intelligently written satire with pop culture references that keeps both the kids and grownups engaged throughout the film.

[Movie Review] Udta Punjab (2016)

Regardless of whether people like or hate this movie, it is different from the usual fare you’ll find in Bollywood. As may not be readily apparent from the title, the movie is about the problem of rampant drug addiction in the Indian state of Punjab. It is a well known fact that it is a systemic problem; one that cannot be fixed overnight or through the efforts of a few individuals. The movie depicts three sets of people who have encountered drug problems in various ways and how their stories converge in a disturbing fashion.

[Movie Review] John Wick (2014)

Retired hitman John Wick receives a dog from his dying wife as a final gesture to help him cope with her death. His mourning is cut short when he crosses paths with the local kingpin Viggo Tarasov’s son, who breaks into his house, kills the dog and steals his car. Obviously this isn’t taken lightly by Mr Wick and the bloody quest to exact revenge is on.

[Movie Review] Spotlight (2015)

I don’t know what these kinds of movies are called but they sure do make investigative journalism look like an intriguing job. The last movie in this genre that I’d seen was The Insider and this one is equally shocking and bound to attract regular gasps from the audience. The movie portrays the Boston Globe’s Spotlight journalist team’s investigation into the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Boston.

[Movie Review] Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man has the unconventional superpower of being able to shrink in size and grow back on demand; and the ability to control real ants. With a modest attempt at a scientific explanation, the movie runs with what it has and delivers a comic superhero capable of making the audience sympathize with the death of a single ant.

[TV] Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (2016)

Having seen the first three seasons I was expecting more abuse of the mind palace, even more unbelievable cases and more of Moriarty. Turns out I was right.

[Movie Review] Masaan (2015)

This is one of those films that begins with a major bait and then slowly reels-in the audience. It begins with a suicide and seems like it is setting up for one of those well publicised murder/suicide trials and the shock value that comes with it.

[Movie Review] 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Romantic comedy plots have a tendency to be highly predictable and this one is no exception. I suppose there’s a really fine line between a romantic comedy and a romantic cringey.

[Movie Review] X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

This is probably going to be the last comic book movie I watch without proper pre-evaluation. There is literally nothing new in the movie. Bland would be an understatement.

[Movie Review] Captain America: Civil War (2016)

I haven’t read any of the comic books and so am not a fan of the Avengers. I can’t help but compare this movie to Batman v Superman. Both movies were released roughly at the same time and deal with the problem of collateral damage and the accountability of superheroes.

[Book Review] The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand (1943)

It’s almost impossible to have not heard enthusiastic mentions of The Fountainhead before you start it. Consequently it’s also impossible to have not formed a notion of how the book might be. This plays both for and against the book’s experience.

[Movie Review] Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

The central theme of this movie is the idea of an immortal God versus the intelligent human. It should be evident that Superman is the ‘God’ while the mortal Batman is the ‘man’.

[Movie Review] Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

This is the kind of movie that you’d expect the bean counters at Disney to readily fund given that the public adores the cute penguins. I did not have a lot of expectations from this film but the trailer looked interesting enough to make me sit through and bear what they came up with.

[Movie Review] Big Hero 6 (2014)

Even though the movie is called ‘Big Hero 6’, the story is about a 14 year old Hiro and his brother’s cute and lovable healthcare robot: Baymax. The remaining time is unevenly distributed between the other four members of the team.

[Movie Review] The Revenant (2015)

A movie about how a man comes back from a near death experience and exacts revenge on his deserter for killing his son. Stunning visuals and superb acting are the major facets of this movie. But I think there’s more to it than meets the eye.

A Note on Web Middlewares

The word Middleware is an ambiguous term that means different things to different people. We’ll try to find out what ‘Middleware’ means in commonly used frameworks and platforms for web development and how they are implemented.

[Movie Review] Deadpool (2016)

This is a superhero movie about one Wade Wilson, who’s alter ego is Deadpool. Also known as the merc-with-a-mouth he is known for being absurdly immortal, funny and unconventional.

[Movie Review] The Hateful Eight (2015)

This is Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film. He describes the film as: “Just a bunch of nefarious guys in a room, all telling backstories that may or may not be true. Trap those guys together in a room with a blizzard outside, give them guns, and see what happens.” And trust me; that’s exactly what happens. Things are bound to get nasty.

[Movie Review] Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

I am not a major Star Wars fan, but I had seen all of the first six movies in the order they were released. I had enjoyed most of them and was curious to see what new stuff Disney could put out. The Force Awakens takes place about 30 years after the events of the Return of the Jedi and all of the returning actors show their age. I’ll admit that I haven’t read the literature and other lore, and will be basing this review purely on the movies without taking into account all the fan fiction and even the books that are considered canon.

[Movie Review] Children of Men (2006)

This is a gem of a sci-fi movie released in 2006 and takes place in the year 2027 where the world is struggling with mass infertility and no new child has been born for 18 years in the whole world. The United Kingdom is the last functioning government on the planet and is actively oppressing immigrants and refugees. The film depicts how society crumbles as it helplessly tries to deal with its own extinction.

[Book Review] Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)

Bravo! That’s all I have to say to Rowling. A fitting ending to a fantastic series. This is one of the few books that has maintained it’s quality consistently throughout the series making for a very entertaining read.

[Movie Review] Spectre (2015)

James Bond, the spy with a license to kill is back with his effortless charm and worldly vices. As an anachronistic spy, operating on intuition, trashing costly tech and discarding useful intel: James Bond is dead on arrival. Running blindly into the field is something that no spy worth his money would do.

[Movie Review] Thor: The Dark World (2013)

The second Thor movie that takes place after the events of The Avengers appears to be a pure milking scheme for Marvel Studios and friends. Thor must save his mortal girlfriend Jane Foster from the aether that she’s mistakenly infused herself with. This aether is the most powerful weapon in the nine realms and used by the Dark Elves to convert matter to dark matter.

[Book Review] Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn (2012)

Marriage. That’s what this book is about. Long term relationships between a husband and a wife. Nick Dunne and Amy Elliot are a couple in Missouri and Amy is missing. Nick is the prime suspect. Shit’s finally hit the fans on a stale five year old marriage and no one has a single clue about what is going on.

[Movie Review] Sicario (2015)

This is a movie about the drug cartels that operate around the Mexico-USA border near Texas and Arizona. Primarily an USA centric film, it tries to depict the struggles faced and tactics used by various government agencies such as the CIA and the FBI when dealing with the drug cartels. Sicario in español translates to ‘hitman’. It is however never clear who the hitman actually is, till halfway in the movie.

[Book Review] Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian (2012)

This is the last book in the series of eight and Eoin Colfer has promised to conclude the Artemis Fowl saga. I was quite excited when I heard that the serie had finally ended. This has been one of my favorite series and I have been hooked since the first book.

[Movie Review] The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2013)

This is a movie adaptation of the book ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower ( 1999)”. It is about high school, coming-of-age and finding what you love in the process.

[Movie Review] The Insider (1999)

The movie is based on real life events involving tobacco whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand’s controversial 60 Minutes interview about Brown and Williamson’s tobacco manufacturing malpractices.

[Book Review] The Demon-Haunted World - Carl Sagan

An excellent book for people who were recently introduced to skeptical thinking and want to understand the idea further.

[Movie Review] Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

If mindless henchman bumping, aged Scientology believers performing average stunts coupled with eyebrow raising twists are your cup of tea then you’re going to like this movie. Ethan Hunt is on a mission to prevent the rogue Syndicate programme from taking control of $2.5 Billion in untraceable funds around the globe.

[Movie Review] The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

This is a tongue-in-cheek story of the concierge and lobby boy of The Grand Budapest Hotel as narrated to an author.

[Movie Review] Psycho (1960)

I’d first heard of Psycho when I read that there was a tribute to it in Pulp Fiction. This is also supposed to be Hitchcock’s most acclaimed movie.

[Movie Review] Rear Window (1954)

This movie has a very interesting plot where professional photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries is confined to his apartment due to a broken leg. To pass time, he takes to peeping into the lives of his various neighbors through his rear window.

[Movie Review] Taken (2008)

I’d heard a lot of good things about this movie. I happened to watch it on TV even though that is not my preferred medium. The movie is quite short as Bryan Mills must rescue his daughter within a 96 hour window.

Notes on the Rating System

I wanted to record a few thoughts on the rating system that I am using for movies and books.

[Movie Review] The Imitation Game (2014)

This movie is a historically inaccurate account of Turing and how he cracked the Enigma.

[Movie Review] Yes Man (2008)

A man is so set in his ways that nothing new happens for him. He then chances upon a weird programme that requires followers to answer ‘Yes’ to any question/favour asked of them.

[Movie Review] Foreign Correspondent (1940)

Another day, another Hitchcock movie. I intend to slowly wade through all of them. This one is a supposed thriller where an American reporter is assigned as the foreign correspondent in Europe to cover the events that lead up to a fictionalised World War II.

[Movie Review] Terminator: Genisys (2015)

You’re not going to be able to follow this movie till you’ve seen the first two terminator movies. Since this movie spends most of it’s time rewriting the stories from the first two movies you should go do it.

[Movie Review] Spy (2015)

A run of the mill spy movie where a support agent is moved on field after her partner is presumed dead. She performs daring stunts which are obviously not possible for people of her size and this is supposed to be funny to the audience.

[Movie Review] The Conjuring (2013)

One of the few horror movies that I ended up watching in the past few years. It’s mostly like any other horror movie where a family moves into a new home which unbeknown to them is haunted. As time passes the haunting becomes obvious and they decide to take help.

[Movie Review] Dial M for Murder (1954)

This was my third Hitchcock movie after Vertigo and The Birds. Was only able to really follow it till the intermission. Beyond that things started to get confusing. But I think that’s mostly because it was 0400 in the morning. Things got especially confusing when multiple keys to different locks were introduced. Wouldn’t mind seeing the movie again to get a better idea.

[Movie Review] Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

I had only seen glimpses of the original Mad Max movies on TV. The post apocalyptic setting never particularly interested me. I still ended up in the theatre when Fury Road was released.

[Book Review] The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)

I’ve not seen the movies. I’ve not read the Lord of the Rings ( yet). This book is Bilbo’s story of how he finds the ring and helps Thorin and Company take back the Lonely Mountain.

[Book Review] The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga (2008)

This is an interesting book. It presents a different kind of entrepreneurship. One that requires a person to kill, bribe and lie through their way in the system in order to be successful. One where people are denied their chance to succeed in the world due to various societal factors.

subscribe via RSS