The Five, definitely binge worthy !

Netflix continues to spoil fans of mystery drama with more of the same awesomeness that we saw in  some of the Netflix originals like Stranger Things, Glitch, HOC, Black Mirror, Sense 8, Ozark et all albeit this time with a hit British series, The Five.
Without going into the spoilers, this mystery thriller starts 20 odd years ago with the disappearance of a young boy and follows into the present where it surrounds the lives of the 4 individuals  (kids then), who were present that day with the kid. All hell breaks loose, when the DNA of the kid mysteriously presents itself in the scene of a murder and the four friends who were leading distraught lives in separate locations reunite to get to the root of it all. Harlan Coben succeeds in keeping us interested throughout with enough drama, mystery and thrill. The cast does justice to the entire act and so does the background score. 
This one is for the binge-watching list !  4/5 from my side.
#NetflixFTW

The Millionaire Next Door – Book Review

I do not know why but I am into Financial Blogs these Days. And one of the books I came across on multiple blogs is ‘The Millionaire Next Door’. This book was available on EBay for 2$ with free shipping so I got a copy for myself*.

Anybody who is $ conscious should read this book. It is about 2 researchers who study common habits of millionaires. Here the term Millionaire is someone who has 1 million in savings\investment\worth. Why should you read it? Because it answers the following questions

  1. Where is my money going?
  2. Can we live happily and save with 1 person’s salary in the USA.
  3. Kids are so expensive these days. It is impossible to save with kid(s) in USA?

Some of the most interesting things I learnt from the book

  1. People who drive Flashy and expensive Cars are not necessarily millionaires.
  2. You cannot point out millionaires by their attire\car or their house.
  3. Most Self-Made Millionaires’ households run on budget.
  4. Ivy League Education may guarantee a high paying job but not necessarily a high bank balance.
  5. Millionaires don’t necessarily eat fancy food or at fancy restaurants.
  6. There are more millionaires than we think of.

Maybe if those aren’t the things that you are looking for in a book, the following might be interesting. The authors have presented the book as a case study with detailed math charts. Most of the case studies are presented in a way that one could easily relate to. It is easy to find yourself as a character in the book. So, if not to gain a new perspective on the world of millionaires, read it to judge yourself on the scale set by average millionaire next door. The presentation and point of view of the authors is presented in a practical yet humorous way.

What the book does not do is give you recommendations on what you should do with your money. It just tells you what Millionaires so with their money. Even if it is just for fun, go read it!

 

*Most FI Blogs don’t recommend buying books. They recommend Library.

Fate of the Furious – the No-Spoiler movie review

My rating: 8/10

This movie has more ups than downs. The scenes are amazing and I have a feeling that small screen will not do them justice. If 10$ is too steep for you, wait for a Saturday morning show at a local AMC or use the free movie ticket options that mobile carriers hand out on Tuesdays. Do what you have to do, go check this one out at a theater.

Good

  1. The sequence the movie begins with is quite cool where Dom is challenged to race with a pitiful excuse of a car.
  2. Rock and Jason Statham. The chemistry they have is amazing. Their witty interaction makes you smile every single time.
  3. I loved the Car\Van\Jeep\Tank\Submarine Chase on the snow. It was something new that I had not seen before and this sequence alone is worth watching the movie for.
  4. It is the right dose of comedy and action and it does have its thrills.
  5. Scott Eastwood is a fresh face and looks like he will be here to stay. (I Cannot help it, I am a sucka for a pretty face).
  6. The individual stunt scenes are as amazing as the ones with the cars. Jason Statham wins the day.

Bad

  1. I know the movie is about Fast cars and its share of car crashes. But sometimes, there is a limit on the number of cars that you can watch getting crashed.
  2. Cheesy Dialogues. Let us be thankful that there are very few non-comic scenes where people are talking. And most of it is very cheesy. I personally love cheesy but I can picture a few folks twitch every time Vin Diesel said ‘Family’.
  3. I am a huge fan of Charlize Theron. I believe they could have made her look more glamorous. I personally did not dig her look in the movie.
  4. Didn’t Statham kill one of their own? wonder what happened to put them all on the same side. So much for Familia.
  5. Scott Eastwood character flip. He started out goofy and towards the end, he was one of them? Transition was too quick to be true.
  6. I love Michelle Rodriguez. They could have done so much more with her character.

The future:

  1. It would be interesting to see what they have in store for Luke Evans. (Owen Shaw)
  2. It would interesting to see if Charlize Theron makes a come back in the next movie(s).
  3. It would be interesting to see if we get #JusticeforHan.

Life – the movie review

My Rating 8/10.

This movie has more ups than downs. So, I am going to give it a 7 on 10. The +1 is for Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal. It is a thought provoking movie so be prepared to come out with a lot of questions about Life.

The Good

  1. Amazing Acting by everyone. There isn’t one person in the cast who hasn’t done justice to their roles. Simply brilliant.
  2. Amazing concept. The storyline deserves a round of applause. I loved the way they started with what proof of life outside earth could mean and the possible cures for most of the health problems faced by the world today.
  3. Literally, some of the best out-of-the-world Cinematography (I can say ‘Literally’ without cringing). Loved the picturization and the rebirth of the alien form. Those were well enacted scenes.

The Bad

  1. There wasn’t enough background on the characters to justify their emotions. There was a lot of disconnect and a whatever information was provided, was done so in few disconnected scenes scattered throughout the movie.
  2. Lack of screen time for Ryan Reynolds. Sorry, couldn’t resist but he should have had more time.
  3. Has a few unanswered questions and doesn’t leave a lot of hope for the viewers. I can’t help but think what happened to the other samples? Did it make its way to the earth?

I should have read about the storyline or watched the trailer before watching this movie. Lesson learnt for the next time. Would I recommend a theatre watch for this one? Probably not. Better wait for a streaming service.

What will stay with me forever: ‘Calvin is not bad or evil. He is simply doing what he should to survive’

Beauty and the Beast – 3/5

**No Spoilers in this post. I wonder what spoiler you are looking for in a story that we all grew up reading about!

My 7 yr old niece’s reaction my rating for this movie – ‘ You will not get it. You are a grown up. I loved the movie’

This movie is not worth a theater visit. I would suggest folks to wait for the rental. There are a few small things that make or break a movie. In this movie, the small things were enough to break it for me. My reasons are simple.

The Good

  1. The Beast’s Expressions and dialogues – I loved the way the emotions were displayed on the beast’s face. The dialogues were well written. I could feel his emotions – the pain, the hopelessness, the weariness and hope and in the end- love, all through the beautiful expressions.
  2. Gaston and Lefou – They carry the weight of the movie on their shoulders. It was a pleasure to see them interact.
  3. The music – It was a bit irritating to see that the music type kept changing throughout the scenes. Nevertheless, it was an amazing musical treat.
  4. The Dance – This is one scene that I wish did not end. I could have taken at least 5 more minutes of this. The one perfect scene ended a little too soon.

The Bad

  1. Emma Watson – could have done better. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Emma Watson Fan. But for the life of me, I could not relate to her character\acting in the movie. I found that she could not match the beast’s expressions.
  2. The Curse – This scene could have been something amazing (remember Maleficent?) instead the angel looked tired and haggard even when she was supposed to look beautiful.
  3. The lack of screen time between the beauty and the beast. They hardly had any screen time together. The back stories and the inanimate objects took most of the screen time.

So, long story short. If I were you, I would wait for a few months to watch it on the television. Disney movies have a charm about them. They take you to fantasy land and you get to forget everything else till the movie ends. This movie did not do that for me.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them : Review

I should start by saying that this was probably one of the most awaited movies of the year for me. So pardon me if i had set too high an expectation.  What awaited me was an entertainer with quite a few amazing moments, plugged into a magical journey.

Five Reasons to watch :

  •  A glimpse into the Magical World of Harry Potter. The fans love this world unconditionally and those who aren’t fans are ever so curious about whats around the corner. This movie has subtle hints to Harry Potter if you are looking for it – an occasional mention of Hogwarts and Dumbledore, a Gryffindor scarf etc bring the familiar world back to us.This movie is guaranteed to bring a smile on your face.
  • The animation and the colors makes the movie surreal. The vibrant blues and golds bring the imaginary creatures to life and there are moments one wishes they were real.The graphics around the Obscurus was unnerving and was Scary without being gross, I would say they nailed a difficult scene perfectly. I can list the creatures and their beauty all day and I am sure they are going to live in my mind for a long time to come
  •  Mr.Farrell’s acting has me convinced that he is a wizard. Such is the flair with which he has performed this role. Miller on the other hand had a difficult role to play and has done justice to the short role. Dan Fogler brings a breathe of fresh air into an otherwise grim movie. Eddie Redmayne had a hesitant\curious\shy character and I am not entirely sure why. Much as I loved seeing him, his character could have had better dimension.
  •  A glimpse of New York from the past.This has been done in multiple movies before but not with the imagination of JK Rowling. The life of NoMajs(Muggles) has an old world charm and appeal. The bakery scene almost made me want to jump out of the seat and get into the screen just to smell the freshness of a newly baked bread that they were picturing.
  •  Meet the Pre-Voldemort Baddie. Fables come to life as we have a glimpse of a not-so-mad and ever-so-sensible Grindlewald.

Where it could have scored better:

  • Newt Scamander deserves a book, before the movie. JK Rowling should have explained to us why he is the way he is.
  • I have often been at a loss of words on why people think that every single thing needs to be ‘Americanized’. The heavy British accent that shouted out ‘Hogwarts!!’ was missing from the word go as FB (Fantastic Beasts) is based out of New York.
  • Unlike their present day counterparts, New York City is painted out to be a dull, boring, slightly OCD’d world from both the No-Maj (Yeah, Americans like to rename everything, even if we Muggles do not mind being called muggles) and wizarding world point of view. 
  • There were so many situations that warranted a better explanation, unless you are absolutely thorough on your knowledge of the Harry Potter World.
  • ‘The Flash’, was a pretty odd choice for an odd character.

 

A movie that could have been a lot better had there been a proper JK Rowling book that preceded it and yet, something the HP fan in me would never have missed for anything !!