Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Fair Warning: this review contains details till season 2 episode 1 so consider this a spoiler warning.
The reinventing of the classic Archie Comics at first seem sort of odd at first as we knew Archie and friend as fun goofy bunch with funny stories.
The show takes a different approach to these classic characters that involves a more serious tone and a plot surrounding a murder mystery.
It is a refreshing take on the classic Archie something that is a change of pace. It's not something new as the comics did started publishing horror stories in recent times with titles like Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina also the upcoming Jughead the Hunger.
Season 1 main plot line focus on the murder of Jason Blossom and we are kept guessing through to the end. the twist and turns keeps you hooked. Moreover the other story lines gets you invested as well. This doesn't shy from tackling social issues like slut-shaming and privilege.
But the biggest driving force and what keeps to interested is the characters and the range of emotions they carry.
Central characters are the people you invest the most in but supporting characters also carry quite a weight.
Another thing that would captivate you is the look and the feel of the show, the entire atmosphere is nostalgic. You could easily think of it as a 80s style if they had the morden technology like cell phones.
The monologues by Jughead are easier some of the best lines from the show. Two friends Jughead and Archie can't be more different from each other as one is a lonesome outsider and other is a popular jock respectively.
And the romance between the main characters is very different from that of the comics; while it starts with the feeling between Archie and Betty and then Archie's attraction to the new girl in town Veronica. But it quickly moves away from that and Betty falls in love with Jughead and Archie after a series of affairs (including Miss Grundy) falls in love with Veronica.
Archie is a player like in the comics but he has more serious moment and real teen problems. To me Archie is not the main guy for me, it as to me Jughead. He carries a lot of the story forward and his romance with Betty is real a treat.
A silent character is Hiram Lodge who was missing from the entire Season 1 and only appeared at the end of episode 1 of season 2.
Could he be the antagonist of season 2? Only time will tell, but even as a mentioned-only character in season 1 he still carried a presence and it would be great to final see him on screen.
Deaths are happening in this show from time to time and these elements keep the show grounded.
Season 2 will introduce Sabrina before she will get her on show on The CW, like they did for Flash on the TV show Arrow. Fans are eagerly waiting for Sabrina to come to Riverdale and start her own show soon.
Riverdale treatment is a good formula and would be interesting for future episodes as well as Sabrina's own show.
The new movie Blade Runner 2049 doesn't exactly answer this question; Is Deckard a replicant?
This is a long debated question among fans with the unicorn origami, the logic being the implanted memories. The theme of implanted memories does appear, we still don't have any concrete evidence to the age old question.
Still we can speculate and from my point of view Deckard is not a replicant.
Here are my 2 cents:
I was never convinced from the evidence from the first movie as well. The premises is implanted memories of Deckard mean that he is a replicant. However In the first movie we know the memories that are implanted in Rachael are of a real person i.e. Tyrell's niece, where does Deckard's memories come from?
This could be someone who is not mentioned or it could be Deckard's own memories and since he is a Blade Runner his memories have been recorded by Tyrell Corporation.
Now why would they do that and why would it be in the movie.
Firstly we need to acknowledge that Deckard has been forced to do things against his will, like the job of killing the 4 replicants at the start of the movie. So he may had to give his memories since he is an exceptional individual.
Why would they show it in the movie? this could be to imply Deckard is a replicant or it could be just a cool shot Mr. Scott wanted to add.
It could mean that Tyrell had been manipulating Deckard through understanding his memories. By studying his memories Tyrell made Rachael in a way Deckard would be fall in love with her. Thus insuring her survival by not getting retired by him.
Moving to the sequel Blade Runner 2049 it is revealed that it was Tyrell's experiment to give replicants the ability to reproduce as it was discussed between Wallace and Deckard. He goes on to explain how his meeting with Rachael was premeditated by Tyrell to make sure Deckard falls in love with her and make the miracle baby.
Now there is an ambiguity to this logic as it can be argued that, would Tyrell want 2 replicants to make the miracle baby?
To analyse this we have to take into account that the events of the previous movie had Deckard killing runaways and if the purpose of Deckard was to make a baby it would be just logical to have a simple narrative for him to fall in love.
Not to mention these events are what lead to Tyrell's death and he was a highly intelligent being, he would go through unnecessary steps which would lead to his death in his experiment. Also it would make sense to have a hybird of human replicant as the miracle baby as it would have more chances of success.
Hopefully we would get another sequel soon and not decades later and would give us more answers.
Till then we could only speculate.
Friday, January 23, 2015
There are many naysayers out there who says DC cinematic is destined to doom but many others also believe that DC's cinematic universe is headed on the path of glory and here are 10 reasons why
Number 1: DC≠Batman/Superman
As many of us know that DC publish some of the most amazing story with a great cast of characters, but for decades Hollywood had only produced Batman and Superman movies while other great superheroes had no silver screen offerings.
But now finally after half a century we will finally get a line-up of many other superheroes for the first time. Since they have the rights to most of their characters they will have no problems with right and can expand the current line-up further as much as they want. Think about the phase 2 of this series it can be as much close to DC as it can be without worrying about intellectual properties. Marvel is facing this problem right now for their Civil War story line which will be adapted to Captain America 3, Civil War is a big crossover story with many Marvel characters in important role like The X-men and Spider Man whose right Marvel studios doesn’t have.
Current line-up is:
1 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
2 Suicide Squad (2016)
3 Wonder Woman (2017)
4 Justice League Part One (2017)
5 The Flash (2018)
6 Aquaman (2018)
7 Shazam (2019)
8 Justice League Part Two (2019)
9 Cyborg (2020)
10 Green Lantern (2020)
Number 2: Realism
Call it a Nolan trend but ever since Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy came out it changed the whole Superhero genre of movies. The realistic imagination of the superheroes is the current trend that almost everyone is adapting to, Man of Steel the first of the DC movie followed on the same path and while many would put this movie down it still combined superpowers in realism magnificently. While we like to remember and still enjoy the old incarnations the new slightly darker tone is what the people want now and apart from movies many other fine products have been produced on the same trend like The CW's Arrow. For DC this trend has been savior before Nolan’s Batman Begins the movie series was in ruin with no movie after Batman & Robin in 1997 for 8 years, and let’s not forget The Dark Knight probably the best superhero movie till date.
Number 3: DC Television Universe!?
If you are a DC fan then you are probably following the TV shows based on DC characters, which started with CW's Arrow in 2012 and was dubbed as a spiritual copy of the Nolan's trilogy. But soon it became a hit show in its own right and followed by other DC series like The Flash and Gotham that expand the DC’s presence on the small screen. There is also Constantine but since he is exorcist not a superhero and vertigo the imprint of DC let's leave him out.
The matter of fact is these show are doing amazingly well and that shows the potential in the DC universe. CW is already has Arrow and The Flash crossing over with each other and doing a great job at it, the tone of both shows is slightly different but still they do not feel mistuned together in fact both seems like one series all together.
Moreover more shows are in the line Vixen animated show is in development and there is an live-action show based on Teen Titans titles 'Titans' for TNT. Also CW is possibly looking into another spin-off from Arrow to be based on A.T.O.M.
Number 4: Batman V Superman
Ok so I have said that DC is just more than just Batman and Superman but still this will be the first time they will share screen space together. Till date there is no live-action media that has both Batman and Superman together (Not counting fan films) and from all the updates from the sets and studio one can guess is going take cue from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. Since it is a verses story it will be amazing to see both of them fighting it out, one a powerful alien with incredible powers and other a mortal man with his wits and tactics going one-on-one.
There is a long debate who’ll win a fight between Batman and Superman and this movie plays on that, it’s still some time till we can see what the final result will be but one thing is sure fans do want to see it played out.
Number 5: The Darker Edge
DC has always been producing darker theme storylines for decades and that has been their USP and their way of presenting these stories has been well praised. This gives them an edge that draws more emotional involvement from the audience with their engaging stories. However DC and WB should keep in mind to go more on the route of Arkham games rather than Nolan trilogy. Arkham games are simply one of the best games out there that has place for a wide array of villains and the realistic environment doesn’t does push it away from its comics. Unlike Nolan’s trilogy which has no place for villains like Clayface or Killer Croc Arkham turn loose with all the comics' imaginations. By that DC cinematic universe can be the biggest offering of not only the heroes but also villains that’ll put up a show of some of the greatest battles in superhero history.
Number 6: Multiverse
The producers have announced that Ezra Miller will be playing The Flash in 2018 movie while Grant Gustin is playing The Flash in the CW's TV series. To sort it out it is explained that both cinematic universe and the TV universe are part of the multiverse. This means that Ezra Miller’s Flash is the different dimension version running parallel to Grant Gustin’s dimension.
What this could mean is in the future maybe a crossover can be done between them in cross dimension story which has been pretty great in the comics. Imagine both Ezra Miller and Grant Gustin as Flash running sideways through the Speed Force shattering the dimensional barrier.
Cross dimension stories have been some of the major crossover stories in comics like the Crisis on Infinite Earths and Flashpoint storylines. Imagine what Hollywood can do with them it can be done on a whole new level and on a grand scale that can be nothing short of an epic.
Number 7: Wonder Woman
Finally in 2017 we will get a Wonder Woman movie and it's really overdue. She is not only the first female superhero but also one of the most famous superhero in comic book history, yet she still doesn't have her own movie. Collectively Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman are known as the DC trinity and these along with Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter are the founding members of the Justice League. So you can guess how important of a Gal Gadot’s role as Wonder Woman will be in the entire series. It’s time that we get a Wonder Woman movie she has many great story lines in the past that can make a mark in the entire DC cinematic universe. Not only is she important but also one of the strongest superhero in DC, what else can you say about a woman who can go toe-to-toe with superman.
Number 8: Young Justice
In the past DC's Animated series have done tremendously well from the Batman and Superman’s separate animated TV shows to Justice League animated TV show to the current direct-to-video animated movies. The recently cancelled Young Justice was probably the most appreciated and most watched DC animated show focusing on the heroes’ sidekicks who grow out of their mentors shadows and form their own team. Since it was cancelled after only 2 seasons even after a wide acclaim it has left a void which can be filled by the current cinematic line-up.
While there is no standalone movie for the sidekicks they can make their mark along their senior superhero mentors. Same as the senior members made their appearances in Young Justice, we know in Batman V Superman Ben Affleck is playing a older version of Batman so it's like he may have Robin with him and other sidekicks can also appear along with their mentors. Maybe we will get a great Wally West.
Number 9: Justice League
Justice League is the best known superhero team with some of the most powerful heroes in DC so the excitement is quite high since not one but two Justice League movies have been announced for 2017 and 2019. The best superheroes in DC are coming together to fight a threat that they alone can't fight what can be greater than that. Superheroes are great but superhero team are even more great, take Marvel's Avengers or Guardians of The Galaxy for example they are such amazing movies and now imagine the team of DC's finest together and you get the idea.
Justice League animated TV show was such a huge hit and living up to that can be a taunting task and if done right could become a great movie. The biggest challenge for the studio would be to fit all the characters together so every character has equal importance and not become a Superman and Batman centered movies with other characters thrown in.
Number 10: Effort
DC and WB is in a tight spot not only are they facing competition from the Marvel cinematic universe that is doing tremendously well but also facing backlashes from the fans on the current flow of things. First Man of Steel the first of the DC cinematic universe movie has a mixed response over that the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman received with a lot of criticism. With all this in play the studio is doing all it can to create hype for the future line-up particularly for the Batman v Superman, from the updates from the movie sets to press releases they are leaving no stone untouched.
Now with all this hype build up it’s their responsibility to live up to this hype and according to current news both DC and WB are putting in a lot of effort into it.
Perhaps DC cinematic universe will become one of the greatest movie series of all time let’s hope and wait.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Passport is a symbol of freedom, whole new travel possibilities, something to be proud of. While certain countries’ passports give more freedom of movement cause of their level of visa exemptions, there is another reason to appreciate a few of them even more for their looks.
Here are the top 10 best looking passports in the world to be envy of.
United States passport is simple cover is quite eye catching the blue background with the government seal of an eagle holding 13 arrows in its left talon and an olive branch in its right talon with simple inscriptions ‘PASSPORT’ on top and ‘United States of America’ on the bottom. The beauty of this passport lies in its simple design and its insignia. The 13 arrows representing the 13 original British colonies which are the founding settlement states of North America and collectively they later formed the United States of today now with 50 states stretching from coast to coast. The olive branch itself has 13 leaves and 13 olives, it’s interesting that for a country where number 13 is considered bad luck it has been widely used in its symbolize. The olive has another meaning as well it represents the Olive Branch Petition adopted in 1775 to avoid a war between the original 13 colonies.
Indian passport is of a deep dark blue cover with inscriptions in Hindi and English and Emblem of India at the center. On the top is the inscription ‘पासपोर्ट’ followed by its translation ‘PASSPORT’ and on the bottom ‘भारत गणराज्य’ (Bhārat Ganarājya) followed by its translation ‘REPUBLIC OF INDIA’. The emblem is the most beautiful aspect of the Indian passport symbolizing power, courage, pride, and confidence as four lions facing the four directions, which is why you only see the three loins in the front. Below the four lions is the Ashoka Chakra which is also at the center of the Indian flag along with a horse on its left and a Bull on its right. The emblem is adapted Lion Capital of Ashoka placed on top one of the Ashoka pillars erected by the great Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Dynasty. Also in the center right below the Emblem is the national motto ‘सत्यमेव जयते’ (Satyamēva jayatē) which can roughly be translated as ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’. The golden color of the inscription and the emblem gives it a royal look.
Russian Federation has two passports one is the internal passport as identity proof and international passports for travel, they both look almost the same with a few minor differences. The red color passport of The Russian Federation has the coat of arms of the Russian Federation at the center with the inscription ‘РОССИЙСКАЯ ФЕДЕРАЦИЯ’ (Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) and ‘RUSSIAN FEDERATION’ on the top with ‘ПАСПОРТ’ (Pasport) and ‘PASSPORT’ at the bottom. The coat of arms depicts Gules, a crowned double-headed Imperial Eagle grasping the imperial sceptre in the dexter claw, and an imperial orb in the sinister claw. The double headed eagle has a long history of being associated with many great empires throughout history, notably with the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire and is presently also used by many other countries on their coat of arms like Coat of arms of Albania and Coat of arms of Montenegro.
Palestinian passport is one of the weakest passports to travel with as only 36 countries grant visa free or visa on arrival access on this passport. Palestine itself is not fully recognized as a country as of October 2014 there are 135 countries that international recognize it. The dark green color passport with gold inscription in both Arabic and English has a mystic touch to it. On the top is the inscription is Arabic ‘السلطة الفلسطينية’ (As-Sulṭah Al-Filasṭīniyyah) with its translation ‘THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY’ below it and on the bottom is the inscription ‘جواز سفر’ (Jawaz Safar) with its translation ‘PASSPORT’ followed by the English text ‘TRAVEL DOCUMENT’. On the center is the symbol of an eagle with a shield at the center, the slant shape of this eagle gives it a Middle Eastern appeal. This eagle is the Eagle of Saladin but unlike Russian coat of arms it’s not double-headed, here this symbol represents Arab nationalism.
Venezuelan passport of maroon color has the inscriptions in gold at top ‘República Bolivariana de Venezuela’ (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) and at bottom ‘PASAPORTE’ and ‘PASSPORT’. At the center is the coat of arms of Venezuela which has a shield divided into three parts in the tri-color of the national flag, the bottom part takes up the whole bottom of the shield in an arch shape with a horse running free that represents freedom. The upper half is vertically divided into two parts on the left side has a stack of wheat representing the union of the states and the wealth of the nation, while the right side has three lances with two national tri-color flags and a sword and a saber which represent power and triumph. On the top of the shield are two horns pouring out wealth and at the sides there is an olive branch on the left and a palm branch that tie the ribbon at the bottom of the shield. On the ribbon is inscribed at top left ‘19 de Abril de 1810’ (April 19, 1810), center left ‘Independencia’ (Independence), top right ‘20 de Febrero de 1859’ (February 20, 1859), center right ‘Federación’ (Federation) and at the bottom ‘República Bolivariana de Venezuela’ (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela).
The Swiss passport is of the red color with inscriptions in five languages, four of the official languages of Switzerland which are German, French, Italian, Romansh along with an English inscription. These five inscription are on the top right side arranged vertically from top to bottom 'Schweizer Pass' (German), 'Passeport suisse' (French), 'Passaporto svizzero' (Italian), 'Passaport svizzer' (Romansh) and 'Swiss passport' (English) followed by the Swiss cross. But the most distinguish feature of the Swiss passport and attributes most to its beauty is the pattern of raised Swiss crosses done through relief printing on the front cover. This is an extremely simple yet beautiful design the raised crosses are arranged in circular succession in multiple arcs. This is probably one of the most simple design passports that look so good, as this whole pattern with minimalistic text on one corner presents itself with elegance. Since Swiss coat of arts is just a simple Swiss Cross they didn’t have a lot to present unlike the other countries’ passport in this list but still they presented a case of taking the simple things you have and present it beautifully.
While the Old Norwegian passports have nothing remarkable the new redesigned passports are quite extraordinary. The old passports were just simple and boring without much to present but the new passports created by Neue Design Studio these are still in the process of replacing the old design passports. The new passport is of a lighter maroon color with the Norwegian coat of arms of the top left side which consists of a shield that has a crown on top, at the center of the shield is a standing golden lion bearing a golden crown and holding an axe. At the left bottom side are the inscriptions 'NORGE' 'NOREG' 'NORWAY' 'PASS' 'PASSPORT' in that sequence. But the most attractive feature is not on passport but inside the passport, the pages of the depicts a daytime Lakeside Mountain view on an double page spread which when placed under UV light transform into a nighttime view of the same with the purple and blue northern lights glowing in the sky and a few security text that can’t be read otherwise.
3. New Zealand:
The passport of this former Dutch colony is of black color and silver inscriptions that alone set it apart from other passports and give it a distinctive and elegant look. The silver ferns dominate the design as they are embossed on the right edge of the cover, they vary in size as they grow bigger from top to the bottom. These silver ferns on the edges of both front and back cover give its most beautifying feature. On the front there are the inscriptions 'NEW ZEALAND PASSPORT' and 'URUWHENUA AOTEAROA' which is the Maori translation, below them is the coat of arms of New Zealand. Other great thing about this passport is on the back cover, aside from the silver ferns on the left side there is an embossed impression of the country’s map and the inscription ‘NZL’. Everything combined it makes a beautifully crafted passport that combines most of the nationalistic symbolism from the black background and silver ferns to the outline of the country itself.
The small island nation of Maldives has a stunningly beautiful passport everything about it fit very well together to make an excellent work of art. The deep blue color of the cover reminds of the ocean water with the schools of raised fishes printed in the middle. On the top right side is the inscription in Maldivian Dhivehi written in Thaana script ‘ދިވެހިރާއްޖޭގެ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ’ followed by the English translation of it ‘REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES’ followed by the Maldivian National Emblem which consists of a palm tree at the center with two national flags on both sides and an Islamic crescent above a ribbon with the motto inscribed on it in Arabic ‘الدولة المحلديبية’ (Ad-Dawlat Al-Mahaldheebiyya) in the middle. Below that is the PASSPORT inscribed in Maldivian Dhivehi written in Thaana script and English. All this gives it an Islamic feel as well as a tropical appeal and it represents the country beautifully.
In the first place is the Portuguese passport as this deep red colored and golden print is a royal looking passport and has the best balanced and overly appealing look. On the top left is the coat of arms of Portugal which consists of a shield on an armillary sphere between two olive branches bounded together at base by a ribbon. On the shield are seven castles and five blue escutcheons azure. Right alongside the coat of arms on the right is the inscriptions ‘UNIÃO EUROPEIA’ (European Union) below that is ‘PORTUGAL’ and ‘PASSAPORTE’ and the most distinguishing feature is a semi circle of interwoven branches on the bottom right edge. It gives the passport a unique appeal the golden print of this semi circle of a branch that is growing upwards is quite eye catching. Another thing about this passport is the invisible print which is visible under UV light.