Captain America : Civil War Review

**** Star movie!

Captain America: Civil War could very well have been named Avengers as it includes one and all from the Marvel universe.  We have Captain America, Iron Man, Ant Man, Spider Man, Black Panther, Bucky or the Winter soldier, Black Widow, Falcon, Hawkeye, War machime, Vision, and many more appear in the movie.

Captain America wants to save Bucky and Iron Man wants to kill him.  There is another trajectory about the government wanting to possess more control over the Avengers as they have had some civilian fatalities and there are a few that think that they are a hindrance if left to be on their own.  Russo brothers do an amazing job with direction and so does the cast.  There is a scene with Robert Downey Jr. as a teenager that has really good VFX as well as the sequence where the two sides fight each other at the airport is a nail-biting action sequence.  The starting chase scenes are also nicely done and there is no dull moment in the movie where you feel bored.

Lately we have had a lot of movies that are dark and grim with the superhero brooding over the meaning of his existence and it is a relief to have movies like Captain America Civil War bring a fresh perspective to superhero movies.  There are some really witty one-liners especially from Spidey, Iron man (as usual) and Ant-Man.

I would say the movie is a must watch for all superhero fans… Marvel has got movie making business perfectly taken care of and are bound to make Stan Lee millions.

The Comcast Nightmare

After using streaming services like Netflix, hulu, etc. I found a deal with Comcast where they offered a nice TV and Internet bundle for around 50 bucks.  I signed up for a deal after being on a chat for about an hour!  The shipment for the settop box was shipped via UPS and was scheduled to arrive in 3 days.  So far so good!

I had to go out of town for a few days and I was not able to pick the box from UPS at which point I was anyways using the xfinity streaming services so didn’t miss the set top box.  It seems like if you don’t pick the box for cable tv, comcast cancels the other subscription services like HBO thinking you don’t want cable anymore.  They never verified with me or confirmed before cancelling the service for cable TV.  I went into a store and had to ask them to resume the service which after a hour of haggling, the rep agreed to start a new service at the same price.

Today, I finally got the Set top box in mail but they sent me incorrect remote.  Now I can get cable but not use remote to change channels or do anything on the box.  Now I am paying for service that I cannot use and need to walk into a store again to get the right remote.

Although, I have to admit that the customer service has kinda improved since last I contacted them a year ago.  However, a lot seems to be missing with their service.

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo : Maine Sardard payo

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo

The Cast

As in all Sooraj Barjatya directed movies, there is a huge starcast here.  The primary stars are Salman Khan in double role, Sonam Kapoor, Deepak Dobriyal, Anupam Kher, Armaan Kohli, Neil Nitin Mukesh, two sisters to Salman Khan (I don’t want to call them actors because they have no idea on how to act!) and bunch of others.

The Story

This movie is a royal family saga with lots of drama and huge amounts of songs.  Salman Khan plays the role of Prem Dilwala who is a singer in some small scale Ram Leela.  His sidekick is played by Deepak Dobriyal.  Prem falls in love with a royal princess who runs some NGO.  He travels to meet her to neighboring village but finds that the prince of the neighboring village resembles him.  There has been an attack on the life of Prince Vijay Singh (played by Salman again) and there is a coronation ceremony coming up.  The security staff decide to use Prem instead of the Prince so that nobody figures out that Vijay is hurt and the coronation would go as planned.  Armaan Kohli (Estate manager) and Neil Nitin Mukesh (Younger prince named Ajay Singh) along with some idiotic female lead play the role of villains.  There is also a side story where the King had an affair with some other lady and Salman had 2 step sisters from this relation.  The sisters hate Vijay Singh and want more moolah which the actual prince declines but Prem Dilwala gives out.  Essentially, Prem fixes all problems with the relationships, fixes up the bad guys and gets the princess in the end.

The Good

  • Salman Khan is back to looking amazing and he surely entertains.  His comic timing is wonderful especially when he pulls Anupam’s leg calling him Virgin Bapu.
  • Lavish sets and nice royal dresses all throughout and Sonam carries herself really well

The Bad

The movie is waaaaayyy too long at 2:45 hours.  The part after the prince has been found seem overstretched and the action in the movie is poorly executed.

The sisters don’t know how to act and are boring to see on screen

The football game where a team that is up by 12:1 still ends up losing!

Too many songs… Except for Prem Leela and the title song the other songs are not something to remember

Conclusion

The movie is doing good business and will most likely recover the money spent.  I had huge hopes for Sooraj and Salman getting together after ~15 years but this movie has brainless execution and poorly written script.  This time Bhai tries to save the movie but ends up giving a sardard to the moviegoers.

I would rather watch the parody which is more entertaining than the movie itself.  I give the movie 1.5 stars (1 star for Salman and 0.5 for the movie itself)

MiO Liquid: Water Enhancer

I have been watching the television ads for the MiO liquid enhancer for quite some time but never felt the need to try it out.  However, the ads are pretty cool with people adding MiO to water after a workout or just for taste.  Recently, on my visit to Safeway for grocery shopping, I saw the small bottle tucked away in the corner and I just wanted to try it out.  The front claims that this small pack consists of Vitamins as well and so no harm in trying it out.  There were many flavors available but to be safe, I picked Orange Tangerine.  I have realized that Orange flavor is something that people hardly screw up and it is a safe bet.

The Packaging

The MiO comes in a plastic bottle that allows for easy squeezes of the liquid onto the glass.  It seems like a water droplet at first glance and the small size allows to easily carry it around in your pockets or gym bags.  The package is cute and sexy simultaneously   The lid on top is also very tight and doesn’t flip open by mistake.  This prevents occasional unwanted drips that I have experienced with several other products.  Also, carrying this small pouch is preferable to carrying a full bottle of vitamin water or Gatorade kind of liquid.  The labels are very vibrant and stylish and you can easily guess some of the flavors by looking at the color of the M on the front.

The Taste

I personally squirt one squeeze into my water bottle of about 500ml.  The taste is very similar to TANG Orange available in the market.  However, the advantage this has is it is liquid and it dissolves very fast and easily.  The drink is uniformly flavored and I also love the colors when it is still dissolving.  The pattern of colors is very nice. I also like adding a few drops in my green tea and sipping it at leisure.  However, I did notice that adding more of it causes the taste to degrade and throat starts feeling itchy.  After a few practice drinks, you will find the taste that best suites your buds.  I am gonna try the Mango-Peach next.

I would really recommend this product and am gonna try out more flavors soon.  The taste is much better than powdered flavors and it dissolves easily with just one shake of the bottle.  So, Grab a MiO for $3.99 flip it, tip it and sip it  😀

Life of Pi: Or Life of Pi and Tiger

The life of Pi

The life of Pi

The Cast

Life of Pi is a movie directed by Ang Lee (Maker of Brokeback mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and stars Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Suraj Sharma and Adil Hussain in the main roles.  The other characters are mainly animals particularly the Bengal Tiger who is named Richard Parker lolzzz.

The Story

This movie is based on the Booker Prize winning novel by the same name penned by Yann Martel.  As the name suggests, the movie is about Piscine Molitor Patel also knows as Pi.  The movie starts with the present day Pi, played by Irrfan Khan, retelling a story of his survival in the Pacific Ocean to a novel writer played by Rafe Spall.  Pi is born in Pondicherry and is currently an immigrant in Canada.  The story begins with Piscine’s childhood where everyone teases him as “Pissing” because of his name.  He is named after a swimming pool in France that his Uncle was fond of and thus his parents named him Piscine so that he has a clean soul like the water in that incredible pool.  Pi is taught swimming at a young age by his uncle Francis, who is portrayed rather hilariously with having a large chest and chicken legs.  His father runs a zoo and owns a bunch of animals and is rather non-religious.  Tabu plays the role of Pi’s mother, a devout Hindu and a vegetarian female lead.  Because of his failing business, Pi’s family decide to move to Canada in Winnipeg where they could then sell off the animals in North America, earn some money to start fresh in the new country.  While travelling in the Pacific Ocean, their Japanese ship is hit with thunderstorm and that causes the ship to sink leaving Pi, zebra and Orangutan on the boat along with a ferocious tiger named Richard Parker.  The movie revolves around how Pi survives and swims ashore along with the Bengal Tiger.  There is a twist in the end that I rather not disclose 🙂

My Verdict

The real actors in the movie are the background visuals and the cinematography.  Each and every frame feels like a wonderful piece of art.  The vast Ocean at night, the fishes swimming in the water, the thunderstorm and the rainbow after the storm subsides all make for amazing imagery.  The special effects really are beautifully executed and to watch the movie in 3-d is a real joy.  Ang Lee also uses the animals wisely and the viewer is exposed to each and every expression of the animals be it fear, compassion or sadness.  Some scenes in particular like the sea filled with jelly fishes, the whale jumping out of the sea and the 5 minute duration when Pi and Richard Parker are looking in the ocean make for a great watch.

Life of Pi has beautiful visuals and a good story to back it up.  The beginning credits roll out with an ensemble of animals walking around.  We get to see Rhinos, hippos, elephants, birds, etc.  The city of Pondicherry is shown brilliantly and Ang Lee has captured an Indian city without going overboard with the stereotype that other directors follow.  Pi’s childhood (played by Gautam Belur) provides some humor quotient in the movie with scenes like his schoolmates making fun of his name, the way he tries to get the nickname of Pi and his interest in different religions.  Tabu and  Adil Hussain portray their short roles rather nicely as Pi’s parents.

The adoloscent Pi is portrayed by Suraj Sharma and has the most substantial amount of role in the movie along with the Bengal Tiger.  The way Suraj interacts with the tiger and trains it, fetches food for it or when the tiger jumps in the water, all will make the viewer ask for more.  I did find some parts of the movie stretched especially the divine intervention that Pi seeks near the end… It seemed unnecessary and repetitive.

I would rate the movie a must watch for everyone just for the great visuals, Richard Parker and some good 3-D special effects.