I Give It a Year Review

Brilliantly laugh out loud Rom-Com with a perfect 50/50 blend of British bad gags accompanied with warm fuzzy lovely scenes between the unlikely (and obviously likely) couples. Overall the cast was perfectly handpicked for this movie (Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Anna Faris, Simon Baker and Stephen Merchant) , which was scripted in a way that offers cringe, funny, witty and smug moments to tickle your emotions.


The films starts off with a sped up whirlwind romance – cue the lead actress and actor (Rose Bryne & Rafe Spall). The scene skips to their marriage and the best man’s (Stephen merchant) speech that is cringingly awkward but very amusing to watch. Cracks beginning to show in their relationship on the wedding day with the differences of bride and groom massively exaggerated. She is a slick looking, a bit uptight professional striving for romance, and a charming gentleman as a husband.


He is a lad’s lad who mucks around, is messy, free spirited – He’s not cool, even though he thinks he is but he is a softy a heart (which only shows when he talks to his ex)


Through the course of the films you see the downs and downs of a marriage between the two and you are sit there thinking – “how did they ever get together in the first place”. It then becomes apparent they are not made for each other when hunky client Guy (Simon baker) and hippy ex-girlfriend Chloe (Faris) are introduced so soon in the film.


With Ying and Yang couple developing twinkly starry feelings with their perfect matches they start to grow distant from each other – It’s as though Nat and Josh has split personality disorder the way they interact with each other compared to their love interest. In real life – this story line would seem quite sad when you are growing distant from someone you just married – but cameos from Minnie Diver (Nat’s sister) and other family members makes it all the more comical as it there are some painful but hella funny situations Josh gets into with his in laws. (One to watch here is the game of charades, which was shown in the trailers.).


It’s not all bad as there are moments where we can see the desperation with Nat and Josh to make it to a year and compromise with each other’s bad singing, bad dancing in order to “stick to it”… and just when you think you know how the movie ends – you got it- predictable! But with a twist which I won’t spoil for you.


With general release so close to Valentine’s Day it’s definitely one to watch as it has a simple story line filled with gags to make you laugh out loud (and last time that’s happened was the release Bridesmaids)

 I Give It A Year is in theaters now!

This is a guest post by our corrrespondent Lin who you can follow on twitter @Lin_To.

and here is a Red Band clip:


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Hunger Games Upodcast

A podcast we recorded earlier this year but never got a chance to post it, but now since Hunger Games has just released on DVD and Blu Ray, we thought it was the right time to revisit our chat with this episode’s guest avid Young Adult novel devourer and Harry Potter expert Anandini from and Bollystalgia as well as all round awesome internet person Erin Georgiana, check out her Vlogs on YouTube.

We talk about the how the Hunger Games franchise stands up against other YA novels, if the book are better than the movie, what we hope and expect from the next installments and some of the major controversies and critics about the movie adaptations.

The Article from MovieCityNews we mention in our show can be found here.


Check out Amaluu’s  work on, or follow her on twitter!

Erin on and her twitter handle is here!

Listen/download/stream the show below and let us know in the comment section what you thought of our chat!



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Tut Gaya Dil- RDB’s Kuly Tribute Track

We usually don’t dabble in obituaries as it seems a bit tasteless but Kuly was such a nice guy we wanted to at least post this.


Here is the tribute track by Smooth featuring Nindy Kaur (his sister in law) and the attached press release:



Bollywood Songstress Nindy Kaur’s Musical Tribute to RDB Brother Kuly

International Urban-Bhangra artist Nindy Kaur will lend her soulful voice to a special song in memory of RDB’s Kuly Ral.

The moving song, titled ‘Tut Gaya Dil’, features the vocal talents of rising urban rap star Smooth, whose collaboration on Nindy’s track Aloo Chat saw him come to the attention of music moguls around the world. He was immediately signed to the RDB label Three Records Ltd to work on new material, with his debut being a feature on Nindy’s tribute track to Kuly.

The track has been written by Nindy, Smooth and Kuly’s father Harjog Singh, and is scheduled for release later this month through Three Records Ltd.

Nindy said of the project: “Not only did I lose my brother-in-law but a true friend, my biggest support and studio buddy. The atmosphere in the studio will never be same.

“I had to pour out my feelings to Dad (Harjog Singh) when writing my lines, and I must say Dad did an amazing job of writing those emotion filled lines. Smooth is like a brother and we’ve shared many good times with Kuly when making songs like Aloo Chaat. When he asked me to be part of this song there was no way I would ever refuse. Smooth defines talent and his lyrics throughout the track sum up everything we are going through”.

Billed as a ‘one to watch’ star for 2012, Nindy has successfully released her first two hit singles from her debut solo album, Nindypendent, which entered straight into the number one spot. Earlier this year, she came to the attention of mainstream music pundits with the release of Save The World, a fusion track of pure adrenaline dance coupled with Nindy’s trademark Punjabi kick, produced by the Canadian music group Culture Shock behind hits for Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Nicole Scherzinger.

Kuly’s tribute track ‘Tut Gaya Dil’ is available for download at:
Follow Nindy on Facebook and Youtube by clicking on the following links:

Quite Sad!

Do check out the interview we did with him earlier by clicking here, I’m sure you will agree he was an all round awesome dude!


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Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Upodcast Review

The Rom Com season is upon us and the first to kick off is Dharma’s Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu directed by newcomer Shakun Batra and staring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor. Who else can we invite to sweeten up Upodcast than the charming and bubbly Honey from the very popular site The Daily Honey.


We break down the movie, the performances and how Shakun Batra scored on his first directorial venture but we also widen the discussion by talking about quirkie rom coms in general and how Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu stacks up to them.


We discuss the merits of attaching fake bangs. Wonder if cool people still have sex in bathroom restaurants and what the future would hold for Riana and Rahul when the movie ends?


Check out the Podcast below and download to your hearts content. You can also subscribe to our iTunes feed or RSS in the links below so you never miss an episode.


A special shout out to Reena Mumbai’s podcast Mumbai Talkies that we discuss in our review of Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. You can also find her on iTunes by clicking here!(Reena has been a guest on Upodcast too so do check out her appearance in our Pan Am special)


Big thanks to Honey for joining us, check out her amazing work on her website , her video’s on Youtube called The Sticky and of course she is on twitter.

Check out the episode below and leave us a comment!




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Review Kaakha Kaakha (and what should be fixed for its Hindi remake “Force”)

So this 2003 cop drama starring Surya, Jyotika and directed by Gautham Menon was available on Youtube (probably temporarily so check it out!) on some extremely shady channel but with some funtastic “paagal” subtitles. Having lamented the fact that there is no proper distribution system set up for South Indian movies, making it impossible to be completely up to date with new releases. I take any chance I get to catch up with this flamboyant film genre. Releasing in September in a Hindi remake directed by Nishikanth Kamat starring John Abraham and Genelia. We analyzed the trailer in an earlier post, but now check out our review of the original after the jump! Read More

New Thundercats Trailer and 10 minute footage!

Cartoon Network’s reboot of the 80’s animated Show
Thundercats is ready to air on TV in the next few months. And a new trailer and
some footage of how the show looks like have just been released on YouTube.
Check out both clips after the jump! Read More

College Humor!!

So, I have been a huge fan of college humor for a bit of time now, ever since I saw my first Youtube clip which is acted by one of my favorite comedians Donald Glover and of course you can catch him on the best comedy show for the past two years Community!

In any case this clip caught my attention well it’s more like it spoke for the simple reason that it shares my hate for Facebook! Anything or anyone who hates that platform is automatically my very good friend! 🙂

Check out the clip and leave some comments!

The Ultimate Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 Review

THE BEGINNING OF THE END: A Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 by a self-proclaimed Potterhead, Anandini Sekhar

The anticipation for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 has been building for much longer than these last few months for us uber-geeky fans of Harry Potter. Conversations began just moments after many of us finished reading the Epilogue of J.K. Rowling’s final volume — what scenes would they include? How would Daniel Radcliffe portray this scene? Who would they cast as the young Snape? How many familiar faces from the early films would come back for the Final Battle scenes? The plans were being made back in July 2010 as thousands of fans gathered at Infinitus, a 3-day Harry Potter Educational Forum Conference (which included academic panels, wizarding fashion shows, a full-length musical and countless Wizard Rock, or Wrock, performances) in Orlando, Florida. Groups of unlikely friends planned to visit each other from across the country and attend the midnight premiere of Deathly Hallows Part 1 together, and creative fans started sewing special costumes to wear in the mile-long lines outside the movie theatres.

I count myself as one of the more obsessive fans of the Harry Potter series … one of the ones who spent hours upon hours on various fansites and forums posting theories before the series ended, discussing favorite characters and their motivations, reading fanfiction when the wait for the next volume got unbearable, and of course, attending midnight premieres of the films, dressed to the nines in my Gryffindor gear.

Like many fans of the books, I find the films problematic. The filmmakers started this series running blind, not knowing what was to come in J.K. Rowling’s final books, having no clue as to what characters would become significant and which would be bumped off – to put it delicately. Due to this, or perhaps because they haven’t read the books 8-9 times as I have, things that the fans have noted as significant and that have been discussed for hours online or with friends weren’t focused on in the films. Obviously it’s impossible to condense the depth and the detail of the books, which are filled with incredible moments of both hilarity and deep sadness, into a commercial-length film. After being slightly disappointed by the lack of a specific storyline (The Marauders backstory) in Alfonso Cuaron’s take on the 3rd book Prisoner of Azkaban, I began to change my approach to the films. If I went in expecting to see every moment that I loved from each of the books, I was sure to be disappointed. I began to see the films as a supplement to my reading, and felt that these movies were made for the fans, so that we could fill in the blanks with information we knew from the books. And while there were choices made in the films that I didn’t exactly agree with (such as the degradation of Ron Weasley’s character to simple comic relief while Hermione took on his best, bravest moments), I am appreciative of the films because they paint the pictures in my mind on the big screen. After some time, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson became the Harry, Ron and Hermione in my mind as I read and re-read the books, and I’m grateful to even have a glimpse of this amazing world of wizardry that I’ve fallen in love with.

So it was with a grain of salt in mind that I got into line at the AMC Boston Common at roughly 9:45 pm on Thursday November 17th to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: The IMAX Experience. I was surrounded by teens and 20-somethings, including a group of young boys in the requisite hoodies right in front of me. Though I rolled my eyes as I first got behind them, I was soon smiling at their jokes. These boys, who looked to be in the first year or so of college, were making references to BOOKS. They had read the series, obviously multiple times by the detail of the jokes and references they were making. I started to feel proud to be a part of this phenomenon … a book series that has inspired a generation that is inundated with mobile apps and texting to pick up not only an ink-and-paper book, but 7 books, some of which are considerably huge. The creativity that it has inspired is also incredible; there were young people costumed not only in Hogwarts Student costumes, but several Dumbledores, House Elves, a Hedwig the Owl and even a Silver Doe Patronus. It was a freezing cold night in Boston, and the line wrapped all the way around the entire city block, but the fans were chatting, smiling and singing songs by their favorite Wrock bands or tunes from the YouTube sensation ‘A Very Potter Musical’. When I finally got into the theatre around 11:30, the crowd thawed quickly and there was an air of celebration. Fans started up chants of “Snape, Snape, Severus Snape. DUMBLEDORE!” (from another YouTube sensation, the Potter Puppet Pals). The crowd cheered for every preview and chatted loudly, but then the dark, cracked WB logo appeared and there was pin-drop silence as we entered Harry’s world.

I absolutely LOVED this film. I think that it was the most faithful installment of the books since the first film, which can’t be judged in the same way because it was the introductory film to this world. This film had the perfect tone; dark, tense and desperate. It conveyed all the confusion and frustration that the characters SHOULD be feeling at this time. That is not to say that I didn’t have a dozen nitpicks, I most certainly do. My feelings on the Harry Potter films is incredibly contradictory … I will list 20 things that frustrated me about the film, and yet I will watch the film over and over. This film in particular fell more on the positive side for me – I have some gripes but am pleased with how close this film is to the book. Those who haven’t read the books will probably feel frustrated by the pacing and the length of time given to camping in the woods, and this is PERFECT because this is how we felt as readers when experiencing Deathly Hallows the first time. This is how these characters feel in these scenes … they are scared, confused, isolated and completely lost. I do feel that there are many things that will slip past those that haven’t read the books, or that they might even find themselves confused about the events they are watching. The actions scenes are incredibly fast-paced and there is a great deal of emotion as well as exposition in this film. It is a lot of information to absorb! This, more than any of the other Harry Potter films, feels like it was made for the fans of the books … it feels like things have been placed in without explanation as a nod to the fans who will note and recognize the smallest of details.

The acting by the young trio is vastly improved in this installment. This film focuses almost exclusively on Harry, Hermione and Ron, who are forced to escape the safety of school and home and take to the wilderness. Rupert Grint is, as always, the most natural and talented of the three young actors. His character has new complexity in this film; no longer just Harry Potter’s funny friend with the clownish expressions, Ron is now dealing with deep insecurity and jealousy while also battling mortal fear for his family – each member of which is marked as a traitor to the new regime. Rupert has always been the most outstanding of the three for me, and every single frame he is in is incredibly moving. Emma Watson is by far the most improved in this film. Previously criticized for her acting by many in the fandom, in this film she truly is a scene-stealer. Hermione is the heart of this film, imbuing every moment with emotion. Emma truly shines in several scenes, and her dialogue delivery has become less methodical and more subdued, which was much needed. And speaking of subdued, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter gives a very heartfelt and moving performance as Harry. Though never my favorite of the three, Dan’s acting has improved since his experience on Broadway in Equus. He has been criticized for being wooden in the Potter films, and I have to say for me, this works. In this film he is more vulnerable and emotional that previous films, and that actually was a detriment to me. Harry IS stoic, he IS reserved, he does not wear his heart on his sleeve (that’s Hermione). He’s prone to silences, to being absorbed in his own thoughts and preoccupied with the task ahead of him, and so I don’t want an overly expressive actor. Where Dan shines is in the subtle moments, the small reactions.

The films are lucky enough to be graced by some of the greatest British actors in existence, and the adult actors are of course brilliant in their roles, however limited or diminished they may be. Alan Rickman as Severus Snape is given minimal screen time but makes a great impact, and Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham-Carter are deliciously frightening as Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange, respectively. Bill Nighy as Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour is unfortunately not given enough time to make a mark, and Richard Griffiths is barely seen in two shots as Vernon Dursley. The Order of the Phoenix members are featured, and Brendan Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), Julie Walters (Molly Weasley), David Thewlis (Remus Lupin), Natalia Tena (Tonks), George Harris (Kingsley Shacklebolt) and Andy Linden (Mundungus Fletcher) are joined by the younger recruits, including the newest Weasley addition Dohmnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley), Clemence Poesy (Fleur Delacour), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley) – but their appearances are so brief they may as well not be there at all (apart from the Weasley Twins who always provide some wonderful humorous moments).

Notable performances include Jason Isaacs and Tom Felton as Lucius and Draco Malfoy — you really sense how far they have fallen from grace and how much they fear Voldemort despite being in his inner circle. Both convey their conflicted loyalty and shades of grey in the evil/good dichotomy beautifully.

David O’ Hara (Albert Runcorn), Steffan Rhodri (Reg Cattermole) and Sophie Thompson (Mafalda Hopkirk) were particularly funny in portraying Harry, Ron and Hermione disguised with Polyjuice Potion to sneak into the Ministry of Magic. These scenes also featured the return of Imelda Staunton as the wicked, power-hungry Dolores Umbridge. Matthew Lewis had only one major scene as Neville Longbottom but got roaring cheers from the audience, and Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) had her second clinch with Dan Radcliffe but again lacked any sort of chemistry with him. Evanna Lynch incited a few laughs from the audience as Luna Lovegood, and new cast member Rhys Ifans had a fair amount of screen time and was WONDERFUL as her father, Xenophilius Lovegood.

And the CGI/House Elf cast members Dobby and Kreacher were also greatly appreciated by the audience, particularly Dobby!

There were many outstanding scenes in the film, and I wanted to make sure I summarized them, but I HAVE to also mention the moments/scenes that I DIDN’T like or that I missed …



The film begins with a moving montage of the trio preparing to go on their epic journey to find Horcruxes, evil objects enchanted with part of Lord Voldemort’s soul. They must locate and destroy them or there is no hope of ever defeating Voldemort. Hermione’s scene is particularly heartbreaking — she performs a memory charm on her parents so they completely forget her existence, and we watch as her childhood photos disappear from frames around the house. Harry re-visits the Cupboard Under the Stairs that he slept in for the first 10 years of his life, and Ron prepares to say goodbye to his entire family, knowing they are in as much danger as he is.

Both scenes at Malfoy Manor are incredibly good. The first features a meeting of Death Eaters, with Voldemort seated at the head of the table. We are shown that the Malfoys have been disgraced, and that Lucius is still being punished for his failure to procure the prophecy Voldemort sought in Order of the Phoenix. Draco Malfoy also is terrified to find himself a Death Eater, forced to not only witness but now participate in torture and murder plots. This is a chilling scene because it is clear that even Voldemort’s inner circle is not safe from his fury – he could turn on them at any moment. The second scene is at the climax of the film – Harry, Ron and Hermione are captured by the snatchers and being held by Bellatrix. Hermione is tortured in one of the most intense scenes in both the book and film – her bloodcurdling screams will make you squirm in your seat. The addition of having Bellatrix carve ‘Mudblood’ into her arm is horrifyingly perfect – it conveys the hatred and the senselessness of Voldemort’s new order. Dobby is, of course, extremely prominent in this scene, and has a wonderful mini-speech that had the crowd whistling and cheering.

This scene was one of my favorites from the book – and the only time I cried in reading the entire HP series (I have a soft spot for Ron). It gives Rupert a chance to really showcase his abilities, and I think he did so with incredible skill. Ron’s worst fears come to life to taunt him when the Horcrux is opened, and he is forced to face his deepest insecurities. The filmmakers clearly put a lot of effort into the special effects for this scene, creating the “more terrifyingly beautiful versions of Harry and Hermione” described in the books. This also the source of the “brief sensuality” that got the film its PG-13 rating from the MPAA. It was perfectly done, perhaps because Dan Radcliffe and Emma Watson have really powerful on-screen chemistry. Beautifully acted by Rupert Grint and a moment I’ve been waiting to see him depict since I read the books.

As seen in the trailers, early on in the film the Order of the Phoenix members use Polyjuice Potion to tranform seven of their members into doppelgangers of Harry Potter to ensure his safety. This provided some lighthearted moments and also displayed the filmmakers technical wizardry (no pun intended). The scene was done with 90+ takes layered to insert Dan Radcliffe into the shot seven times. Apparently he was also given the task of studying his co-actors in order to emulate each of them as they are disguised as him. It was quite a spectacle! This scene is followed by, in my opinion, the most thrilling sequence in the film – they are attacked by Death Eaters almost as soon as they take to the skies. Hagrid and Harry are chased in the flying motorcycle and take to the streets and the skies. The action is so fast-paced that your eyes almost can’t take it all in. Harry’s identity is given away in a tragic moment, and Voldemort himself arrives – but Harry is miraculously saved and reaches the safety of the Weasley home. Emotions run high as each individual team returns, and there are gruesome and sad repercussions. I wasn’t expecting to be moved by this scene, and found myself incredibly affected. I had an actual physical reaction — my teeth were literally chattering! It is wonderfully chaotic and I found myself wanting more of the aftermath.

As I mentioned above, the three actors featured in this sequence did a brilliant job mimicking the mannerisms and expressions of Dan, Rupert and Emma. Audiences reacted wildly to seeing Imelda Staunton as Umbridge again, and there were wonderful moments of hilarity to balance the tension of these scenes. Also very powerful were the undertones in these scenes – we see the Ministry as it’s been overtaken by the Dark Side. Uniformed guards evoke Nazi soldiers – a very deliberate choice by the filmmakers. The underlying political messages are driven home here as the Ministry works to separate ‘Mudbloods’ from Wizarding Society.

At the height of the frustrating scenes in the woods is the fight scene between Ron and Harry, when Ron, affected by his injury (splinching), the Horcrux locket, and his own jealousy of Harry, unleashes all of his anger. Rupert is particularly brilliant in this scene, but this is also Dan’s best scene in the film. His own helplessness at his situation, his anger at Dumbledore for not giving him more instructions, and his lack of knowledge about what to do next is evident here. Also it seems clear that Ron is incredibly important to Harry — Ron has always been his right-hand man; his most loyal supporter. To lose Ron is a terrible blow for Harry, and even as he yells at Ron to leave, you see how much it breaks his heart to say so. Emma also does a lovely job in trying (and failing) to pacify Ron, and her moment of having to choose between the boy she loves and the boy she’s sworn to stand by is very powerful. In the very next scene, after they’ve apparated away and she finally has to accept that Ron is truly gone, she breaks down into tears. Emma is outstanding in this scene.

In a fascinating work of animation, the story of the Deathly Hallows is told with narration by Emma Watson during a visit to Xenophilius Lovegood’s house. The shadow-puppet like animated storytelling is extremely effective and makes the story even more compelling. It was an unexpected treat for the viewers and everyone I’ve spoken to has pointed to this sequence as a highlight of the film. It’s deliciously creepy and almost feels like a Tim Burton production — it in fact made me realize that if a film-version of J.K. Rowling’s dark fairytale book The Tales of Beedle the Bard is ever made, Tim Burton would be a perfect director for it!

Some of the scariest moments are contained in this sequence where Harry and Hermione visit the village where Harry was born, and where his parents were killed. Bathilda Bagshot, played by Hazel Douglas, was beyond my expectations. The look, the gait, and the sinister feeling of the whole scene with her is perfectly played. I almost expected more of an action sequence than we actually got here; it goes by very quickly but is certainly effective and has great shock value. The preceeding cemetery scene is appropriately heartwrenching and is probably Dan’s second-best scene in the film.

There is a very small moment that I noticed only in my second viewing of the film, right as the Death Eaters attack Bill and Fleur’s wedding where chaos erupts and Harry, in a panic, shouts “Ginny!” just as Remus stands in his way and insists that he run. Since the Harry and Ginny romantic angle is woefully bland in the films, I was grateful for this little moment where Harry actually shows that he cares for her deeply. We never got to see him develop a relationship with her in the sixth film, much less break up with her because he fears for her safety. That small moment where Harry throws all of his restraint out the window and tries to fight his way to protect her gave me the warm fuzzies. Another very subtle but great moment for Dan Radcliffe.


Though the filmmakers and actors have all mentioned this as being one of their favorite scenes, it was distinctly uncomfortable for me. Soon after Ron leaves, Harry and Hermione share a tender, intimate dance which is positioned as Harry trying to cheer Hermione up. The filmmakers intended for their relationship to be very ambiguous at this point, to show that there is indeed a possibility for romance between them, but then it passes. While it was a sweet and funny scene, I found it completely unnecessary and incredibly out-of-character for Harry in particular. The problem is that Dan Radcliffe and Emma Watson have great chemistry together. So much chemistry that it is incredibly confusing for the viewer. For those that have not read the books it is unfathomable why Hermione would choose Ron, because they have never seen his good side. Ron in the films is all but reduced to comic relief. His best and brightest moments have always been given to Hermione. So for the average viewer, it seems natural that Harry and Hermione are meant for each other. It seems like the filmmakers have been positioning Harry and Hermione in the forefront as hero and heroine throughout the series. They already seem too intimate, too close, and too intense together. The way it was played, it made it seem as though Harry was in love with Hermione, and Hermione was torn between her two best friends. What is this, Twilight: New Moon?

Not to mention that a sad, sweet moment of tenderness and borderline romantic tension is already present in the books, when Harry and Hermione visit his parents’ graves in Godric’s Hollow. J.K. Rowling herself has stated that in that scene there is sense that things could have gone that way, perhaps. The effect of that scene is downplayed by the creation of this whole new scene, and it has less impact overall.

Also, since Harry and Hermione already have so much chemistry, if they needed lighthearted scene to break up the tension then it would have made sense to give this dance moment to RON and Hermione — they NEED the build-up of their relationship. It’s only ever been hinted at in the films, and in the wake of all the intense Harry/Hermione moments, the Ron/Hermione dynamic is hardly going to make sense to the audience when it comes to fruition in the next installment. It would have been a great opportunity for them to show WHY Hermione loves Ron, why she would choose him. Because even if he is just the gangly, goofy sidekick, he can show her sincere love and tenderness.

And lastly, the moment is terribly out-of-character for Harry. Book Harry would never have the sensitivity or inclination to go and try to break Hermione out of her gloom. He wasn’t sitting around thinking about how to make Hermione feel better … he was thinking about Horcruxes and how to find them. He was despairing about the loss of Ron for HIM and feeling angry at Dumbledore for not preparing him better. He was too consumed with his task to be devising ways to make Hermione feel better. And while Book Harry recognized that Hermione was miserable, he was distinctly awkward and unsure about what to do about it, so he simply pretended that nothing was happening. The way Dan portrayed this scene made it seem as though he cared about Hermione more than anything else, and the casual moviegoer could easily have thought that they were in love and meant to be.

There is a great deal of time given to Hermione in this scene for her to sit and blabber about the river and the trees, and I found it off-putting rather than sad and sentimental. She sits and waxes poetic about things changing, and the scenery looking just as it did when she was a girl. Interestingly the movie only seems to drag in the moments that the filmmakers inserted — the moments that weren’t from the books. Most disturbing was the line where Hermione says “Why don’t we just stay here Harry … grow old.” It just seems so ridiculous. Understandably they are scared and tired and Hermione has been bearing the brunt of being the brains of their entire operation, but again, it gives more of a sense of Harry and Hermione being the only central characters. In the books, the lack of Ron was a constant source of pain for both of them … they were unable to be their normal selves without him there with them. Frankly the way Harry and Hermione behave in this film, I can hardly blame Ron for walking out, and I probably wouldn’t have come back.

Also, the time spent on this drivel would have been better spent on other things that were condensed or cut completely.

The 2-way mirror that Sirius Black gifts to Harry in Order of the Phoenix miraculously finds its way into Harry’s hands in this film, though it was never featured in previous films. They make no attempt to explain what this mirror fragment is, what it does or where he got it, which is highly odd. Fans of the books will understand what it is and what it means, but for those who are following the story only through the movies, this will come as completely out of left field. The strangest thing is that it’s never explained, the audience is simply supposed to accept that Harry suddenly has some broken mirror that he carries around with him for no apparent reason. I accepted it, assuming the filmmakers expect us to fill in the blanks with what we know from the books. But it seems like a strange choice for them to introduce a magical object and focus on it heavily but never explain its origins.

While I was thrilled to have Kreacher brought into the picture, and they obviously worked very hard on the CGI for the House Elf, I really missed the fleshing out of his back story. Kreacher’s tale in the book is quite significant, and it was completely drained of emotion in the film. I wanted to see Kreacher’s facade fall, to see him display his pain openly and weep for his lost master. There was no opportunity to see Kreacher’s personality turn around, to see how kindness can rehabilitate even the most vile of characters!

Because the film focuses so narrowly on Harry and Hermione (and only a little bit on Ron, too), there was a real missed opportunity to convey, even briefly, the greater threat that Voldemort is to the world at large. While we see little glimpses here and there in a newspaper headline, or witness Neville Longbottom standing up to Death Eaters on the Hogwarts Express, we don’t get a true sense of the dangers out there … what the Snatchers are and what they are doing, how the Ministry is rounding up Mudbloods and forcing them to relinquish their wands and their status in society. There’s no sense of what is happening at Hogwarts now that Snape is Headmaster. I think it would have taken just a few moments to show us what was happening in the greater world, just snippets or quick flashes of the remaining members of Dumbledore’s Army standing up to Snape and the Carrows, the members of the Order being attacked or followed, Muggles disappearing, etc. Though the book is also tightly focused on the trio, the film drags a bit by doing so. Perhaps instead of Ron telling us about how he finds his way back to Harry and Hermione, we could have seen a glimpse of him hiding from snatchers and then using the Deluminator to return to them.

One of the major themes of the first half of the book is discovering new information about Dumbledore and the break-down of Harry’s hero. Though the question of Dumbledore’s past is brought up in the wedding scene through a conversation with Ron’s Aunt Muriel, it is not touched on again. The confusion and questioning of Dumbledore’s motives is a major theme of the book. Harry has been given this task, but he deals with a real crisis of faith in terms of whether or not Dumbledore is truly to be trusted. Perhaps they plan to save that storyline till part 2, where it can complete it’s arc within one film. I certainly hope that they will give it proper attention.

Also in reading books 6 & 7, a major question is whether or not to trust Snape. The movies have seemingly dropped the ball on this question, and make it fairly obvious where Snape’s loyalties lie. Harry doesn’t seem concerned with Snape at all, he isn’t infuriated by Snape’s betrayal the way he is in the book, he isn’t infused with rage and the need for revenge. He doesn’t see Snape as responsible for the deaths of Sirius AND Dumbledore, and therefore when all is revealed in the final installment it will have little to no impact.

This I think is the weakest part of the film. Though emotions run high with the death of a beloved character, and Dan has acted beautifully in that portion of the film, the final sequence fails to really show how the threat has heightened with Voldemort’s new acquisition. This could have been achieved by the trio having their conversation about which Hallow they would choose, and Ron emphasizing the lure of having an unbeatable wand. Also missing was the VERY significant moment where Harry makes the choice between pursuing the Hallows vs. continuing his hunt for the Horcruxes. His decision and it’s implications would have made the cliffhanger way more powerful. This is where Harry really starts to grow up – the first moment where he chooses inaction vs. action. Every move after this is incredibly deliberate on his part. The set-up for the final film would have been far more pronounced if he had voiced that there was this choice for him and he had made his decision, knowing the consequences of allowing Voldemort to attain the Elder Wand. Again, they could have chosen to whittle down some of the Harry/Hermione tenderness scenes to highlight this far more poignant moment from the books.

There are definitely more nit-picks I have, but I will limit myself to these for this review. In considering the entire film as a whole, it was rich with emotion, visually stunning, set to a bittersweet and lovely musical score, and had the right tone. There are certainly many loose ends to tie and a number of new pieces of information that will need to be introduced in order to carry the next film forward, and I am concerned as to how they will bring in so many points and then resolve them within one film.

My overall opinion is wholly positive. As a fan, I loved this film and am grateful that the filmmakers finally decided to rely primarily on the source material, which is so rich and detailed that it doesn’t need modification. Much of the dialogue is extremely close, if not exactly as it is in the books and the sense of urgency and foreboding is communicated effectively. The scary moments are positively frightening, the emotional moments are truly tearjerkers and the fun moments are heartwarming. Having already seen the film twice, I look forward to a third viewing and know that I will enjoy it just as much!

The ultimate Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows fan review by guest blogger Anandini. You can find more of her writings on Harry Potter on or her Bollywood blog and podcast on Bollystalgia, and she has been a guest on Upodcast’s Dabanng podcast. We do not know a bigger Harry Potter fan so there was no better person to write up a review/ in depth analysis of this first half of the final installment. Besides being a Potterhead she is also a Bharata Natyam Dancer, a singer and an avid reader. You can also follow anandini on Twitter or Tumblr.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Pistol Shrimp A.K.A The Killer!

One night I felt like cooking some shrimps for dinner, so I went to YouTube to get new ideas, Have got no clue how but that when I saw that little guy crawling around minding his business when out of nowhere the shrimp aimed his claw at a fish, then I heard his claw been cocked exactly like a gun and boom he fired at another fish and killed it!!! Now I was mind blown completely, so I decided to actually look into it and share it with everyone!

So, here is what I managed to get from here and there:

“Alpheidae is a family of caridean snapping shrimp characterized by having asymmetrical claws, the larger of which is typically capable of producing a loud snapping sound. Other common names of these species include pistol shrimp or alpheid shrimp.

The snapping shrimp grows to only 1–2 inches (3–5 cm) long. It is distinctive for its remarkably disproportionate large claw, larger by half than the entire body. The claw can be on either arm of the body, and unlike most shrimp claws does not have pincers at the end. Rather, it has a pistol-like feature made of two parts. A joint allows the “hammer” part to move backward into a right-angled position. When released, it snaps into the other part of the claw, emitting an enormously powerful wave of bubbles capable of stunning larger fish and breaking small glass jars.

The snapping shrimp competes with much larger animals like the Sperm Whale and Beluga Whale for the title of ‘loudest animal in the sea’. The animal snaps a specialized claw shut to create a cavitation bubble (As it collapses, the cavitation bubble reaches temperatures of over 5,000 K (4,700 °C). In comparison, the surface temperature of the sun is estimated to be around 5,800 K (5,500 °C)) that generates acoustic pressures of up to 80 kPa at a distance of 4 cm from the claw. As it extends out from the claw, the bubble reaches speeds of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) and releases a sound reaching 218 decibels. The pressure is strong enough to kill small fish.”

Now, if you still can’t picture all of this just check how awesome the clip is!

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Retro Ads: Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Youtube

With Season 4 of Mad Men starting I came across these cool looking retro ads for contemporary services like Twitter, Skype, Youtube and Facebook.  Check out the full images after the jump! Read More

First look Disney’s first Bollywood: Zokkomon

The superhero bug has bitten the entire world and the Indian film industry is no different.
Except for the ridiculous Govinda- Kimi Katkar  Indian Superman scene on YouTube, the first real superhero that I can remember was Amitabh Bachan in the awesome Shahenshah. I remember there was a 3 week waiting period in our Karachi video rental store.
But I’ll let that memory back in the campy 80’s where it belongs.
We had the Hritik Roshan starrer Krrish which really wetted our appetite for a proper Bollywood superhero.(Good effort but doesn’t have originality or repeat value unless you actually think you can be Krrish when you grew up)
Shahrukh Khan, the supreme superstar of Bollywood (aka King Khan) is taking a swing on the genre with a cutting edge mix up hi-tech and skin tight Lycra insanity. My worry is that Bollywood is making the first type of superhero movies  as we saw back in the 70’s -80’s with a supreme good guy as a heroe with no human flaws whilst the audience has now grown up, moved on and prefers a more  darker approach( more real?) eg The Dark Knight, The Watchmen and the forthcoming Kick Ass.

But in the meantime Disney have released the first images and trailer to Zokkomon, their foray into live action Bollywood production.
Their previous animated release was Roadside Romeo which to me it felt like an incoherent mish mash of deja-vu sequences with strained voice work of super couple said ali khan and Kareena kapoor. It was clear that the actors were not yet comfortable with the animated medium.

But now we have Zokkomon starring the revelation of Taare Zameen Par(masterpiece by Amir Khan about a child coming to terms with dyslexia- a strong recommendation from my end).
The costume design kinda reminds me of Red Mist in the kickass posters but to me that’s a minor detail and still I’m excited!

Red Mist-Kick Ass (I’m not crazy that i see a similarity right?)

let us know what you thought of the trailer in our comments section!

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Gold 4 Macs and the effects of the Global Economic Meltdown

Let’s Agree 2009 kinda sucked!
Since last year, the economy is in shambles which has effected the day to day lives of pretty much for everyone except for the crazies on MTV’s Cribs.

Michael Jackson is no more, the James Cameron Avatar hype has almost died down (with the exception of weekly Box Office updates and if the movies has beaten Titanic or Gone with the Wind) most of the banks have caught their second breath and are running ads on TV like nothing happened in 2009.

( I’m looking at you Barclays…)

But the one thing that has annoyed me the most except Banks trying to be our friends again is the worrying trend of:
People wanting my Gold…

I’m just glad I don’t watch day time TV as you would be bombarded by horrible, cheap looking ads to the point where you start feeling guilty and want to buy gold so you can give it to these companies!
I came across this little mock up video on Geekologie.
Nice tie in to the Ipad launch…