Shazam! - Movie Review

DC has really been struggling to get their act together but in Shazam! I truly believe, that they have found their most "bankable" superhero. The irony being that it essentially took a sillier premise of a fourteen year old kid forced to take on the mantle of the world's "pure-hearted" savior to actually save them the blushes.

The question posed by the movie seems logical enough. What happens if a fourteen year old kid is granted super hero powers? The answer is in the hilarious scene when Billy and Freddy, teenage boys - one a nerdy DC super-fan, the other in the body of a newly-anointed superhero still figuring out his prowess - go inside a super-market to try out 'adult' gimmicks. This sort of sets the tone for the entire movie. Firmly tongue-in-cheek, irreverent to the core and yet, balanced by a believable 'super-villain' in Mark Strong playing the role of Dr. Thaddeus Siva, who takes on power in its corrupt form [ as gifted by the seven s…

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James [ Dark Star Trilogy # 1]

I have not been enchanted and bewitched by a book like Black Leopard, Red Wolf , in recent times. Period.

I don't know what Marlon James was smoking as he wrote this opening chapter to the proposed Dark Star trilogy but this one's a psychedelic experience, a dazzling journey through magical lands teeming with danger and explosive violence, land that is brimming with elements from Marlon James' frenzied hyperactive imagination, and resembles a fantasy version of pre-colonial Africa. But it's a journey that will horrify you and amaze you in equal measure - for the man doesn't shy away from violence or skin-crawling descriptions of sex. Cinematic violence on a scale and form un-imagined before. [ think hatchets flying through the air, arrows bursting through from the back, hearts ripped out and eyeballs plucked dry and scores of bodies mutilated and hacked down, at random or on purpose. And it doesn't stop here!]

This is an Africa you haven't even dreamed of.…

The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky

I admit, I have never read the Olympian Bound trilogy - the first series by Jordanna Max Brodsky. So I came into The Wolf in the Whale, fairly oblivious to Jordanna's amazing talent. Which kind of heightens the joy of having read this absolutely epic magnum opus. Jordanna picks up an off-beat little known account of a meeting between the Inuits and the first expedition from the Vikings land and then spins that off into a highly engaging, magical and sprawling epic full of timeless mythologies and peerless magic, building it up as a historical fiction that soars. In terms of the originality and the stunning language, The Wolf in the Whale stands way above many other books that I have read, in the recent past. 

It is the story of the coming of age of Omat - a fearless Inuit hunter and shaman living on the edge of the world, living off the frozen nature and the bounties that the Ancient Spirits like Sea, Wind, Moon,Sun and the Animal spirits like the Wolf or the Whale, allow the ice-d…

Movie Review: Vada Chennai

Vada Chennai (meaning North Chennai - and not, 'come to Chennai' !) sees the stars of Aadukalam get together again - in what is termed as Vetri Maaran's dream project, slated to be released as a trilogy, this is part one of this highly ambitious outing.

Coming fresh off the success of the viscerally engrossing and equally disturbing Visaranai (the interrogation) that plays off our deepest fears and misgivings about the System which screws us over pitilessly and brutally, the grander and more ambitious Vada Chennai perhaps pales in comparison. But just a wee bit. But patience. Because this is Vetri Maaran's grandiose dream taking shape in celluloid and we cannot go wrong, in trusting this genius. As is proved in the final twenty minutes of the movie, where we see the metamorphosis of Anbu, the protagonist played by Dhanush (as usual in absolutely crackling form) The part two - titled Rise of Anbu has us waiting with bated breath.
But the first half personally for me, was …

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that first originated at Breaking the Spine but has since linked up with “Can’t Wait Wednesday” at Wishful Endings now that the original creator is unable to host it anymore. Either way, this fun feature is a chance to showcase the upcoming releases that we can’t wait to get our hands on! 

Coming fresh off the opening salvo, in the Age of Tyranny series, I am eagerly awaiting the second book, God of Broken Things by Cameron Johnston. Edrin Walker is not a pleasant man to be around but he attracts trouble. And that leads to some kick-ass action and wild savage magic that can rend the flesh off bones and break a mind, or two. 
Here's the synopsis:

Tyrant magus Edrin Walker destroyed the monster sent by the Skallgrim, but not before it laid waste to Setharis, and infested their magical elite with mind-controlling parasites. Edrin’s own Gift to seize the minds of others was cracked by the strain of battle, and he barely survives the interrogat…

Traitor God by Cameron Johnston

I am surprised at the lower-than-expected levels of hype around this brilliant debut, that burst onto the scene last year - Traitor God by Cameron Johnston. Like how did this book, not make it into the Best-Of-2018 lists mushrooming around? Why didn't people read this absolute doozy of a grim-dark badassery with a bastardly wisecrack of a protagonist headlining the damaged act in a gorgeously realized, gutter-fest of a city that is seething with magic and roiling with horrors from the dark deep? Why didn't I read this earlier?

Anyways - with the second act of Acts of Tyranny coming right up, it was best that I do amends for the damages sooner than later. In the first few chapters of Traitor God, it is quickly established that Edrin Walker - professional loaded-dice player, peoplemancer and an inveterate drunk, is essentially an escapist. Having escaped from his birth city of Setharis - plagued with debts and chased by daemons, Walker is not (definitely not!) a blast of pleasa…

Movie Review: Captain Marvel

So the first big movie for 2019 for the MCU, Captain Marvel dropped last week on Friday - and I managed to catch it, first day. The International Woman's Day datelines aren't a coincidence. The first big Marvel act headlined by a woman (also co-directed by another: Anna Boden. Go girl power!), Brie Larson dons the big fiery gloves of the super-saver of the Universe. She strives her best to bring in the big-bangs (literally, photon blasts of pure fury shot from bare hands) while juggling the flawed, human act ( amnesiac, prone to a temper with an ego to spare) and is tons of fun to watch. But is the movie good? The numbers do the talking. I think, as I write, this one's going to be become one of the top-grossing Marvel movies of all times.

But is this my favorite Marvel movie? Nope. That honor still goes to...Black Panther? Captain America: Civil War? Infinity Wars? Sigh. Tough one, but getting back to Carol 'Vers' Denvers.

The movie opens onto a hazy battle-field …