Author: Aditya Mallya

Wrestlemania 32 | Review – ‘The Force Refuses to Awaken’

The buildup to last year’s Wrestlemania 31 was shockingly uninspired and disappointing, the worst I had experienced in my decade or so as a wrestling fan. I had low expectations going into the show, but was pleasantly surprised by a top-to-bottom strong showing, capped off by Seth Rollins’ historic heist of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event. Most fans shared my opinion. A year later, we found ourselves in a similar position. Wrestlemania 32 was around the corner. The build had been uninspired and disappointing, but this was no longer shocking. WWE has been in an...

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‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ – Dope, Nope, Hope

My Indian Nerve brethren have already expressed eloquently their thoughts on Batman v Superman (make sure to read Asif Shaikh‘s and Arindam Sen’s reviews). Since they’ve covered good ground between them, I thought I’d take a different approach to talking about this movie, and so I offer thoughts on what I liked, what I disliked and what excites me about the future. I hereby title these lists Dope (adjective), Nope (exclamation) and Hope (noun). Be warned – this article contains SPOILERS, as well as speculation about future movies. DOPE The Boyhood Dream Comes True As a boy, I spent countless hours in my local library reading superhero comics. While Marvel has perfectly translated the comic book experience to the screen, I’ve always leaned towards the DC side of the fence, and longed for an adaptation that does justice (Haha, pun) to my childhood heroes. The Richard Donner Superman films, though wonderful, were limited by the constraints of their time. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was magnificent, but too grounded to be an out-and-out comic book experience. The other scattered films that appeared over the years have ranged from decent to awful. But something about BvS just clicked for me: the sheer beauty of the visuals, the awe-inspiring action, the fight sequences choreographed with reverent nods to iconic comic book storylines and the delicious promise of more to come. Have you...

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Eye in the Sky | Movie Review – ‘Far Wars’

An out-of-control trolley is hurtling down a railway track, heading for a group of five oblivious children who are playing on the track. The children don’t have the time to escape before the trolley reaches them. They are doomed, unless someone diverts the trolley. You happen to be watching from afar, standing next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will be redirected to an adjoining track, and the five children will be saved. The catch of course, is that a single child is playing on the adjoining track, and she will be killed if you pull the lever and send the trolley her way. What would you do? Do you choose not to intervene, and allow five children to die, knowing you could have saved them? Or do you pull the lever, sacrificing one child to save five? Are you morally compelled to act one way or another? The ‘trolley problem’ will be familiar to anyone who has attended an ethics class. But while it will remain nothing more than a fascinating thought experiment for most of us, leaders who venture into politics and warfare have to make similarly wrenching decisions on a frequent basis. The superb new British thriller, Eye in the Sky, takes us through the moral agony of one such decision. The United Kingdom is working with the government of Kenya to...

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Zootopia | Movie Review – ‘You May Say I’m a Dreamer’

One of the most heartwarming film stories in recent years has been the resurgence of Walt Disney Animation. Having loved the studio’s classic cartoons as a child, their nearly two decade-long creative lull following The Lion King saddened me. However, with Tangled (2010), Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Frozen (2013) and Big Hero 6 (2014), Disney rediscovered the mysterious, beloved sorcery associated with their name. The magic was back, as was the box-office, as was the acclaim. The studio’s newest release, Zootopia, continues the winning streak with panache. Zootopia, as seen through the eyes of rabbit Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin), is a wondrous city where the two major animal groups (predator and prey) live in harmony. In this magical metropolis, anyone can be anything. The Zootopian dream inspires young Judy to leave behind the rural serenity of Bunnyburrow and embark on a quest to become a police officer in Zootopia. If she succeeds, she will be the first bunny officer in the city’s history. She departs for the city bursting with enthusiasm and idealism, but also with a worried warning from her parents to watch out for the predators. Even though predators and prey have been living together peacefully for hundreds of years, one can never be too careful. “We’re not speciest or anything, but it’s best not to trust foxes…”  You’ve seen your share of animated movies, and you’ve...

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A Long Overdue Victory, And Other Stories: A Review Of The 2016 Academy Awards

Alfred Hitchcock never won a competitive Oscar. Martin Scorsese had to wait three decades for one. Living legend Gary Oldman only got his first nomination four years ago. It is obvious that almost everybody who wins an Oscar deserves it, but not everybody who deserves it wins. As Quentin Tarantino said, “The only thing more prestigious than the list of people that have won the Palme d’Or is the list of people that haven’t.” Thankfully, one of the longest reigning oversights in Academy history now stands corrected. Film buffs can breathe easy: Maestro Ennio Morricone finally has his first non-honorary Oscar. If you’ve never heard of the legendary composer, you are still likely to know his music, especially his iconic themes for Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western films. If that still doesn’t ring any bells, listen to ‘Ecstasy of Gold’, and continue reading after you’ve wiped away your tears of joy with a dazed and trembling hand. Musical Legend #1 Morricone receiving his statue from Musical Legend #2 Quincy Jones, and paying tribute to fellow nominee and Musical Legend #3 John Williams was a special moment. The Academy doesn’t keep historical age-related data for all nominees, but Morricone may be the oldest-ever recipient of a competitive Oscar. Okay, okay, let’s talk about Leonardo DiCaprio. The actor’s tough run of luck at the Oscars has spawned one of the funnier internet memes over the years,...

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