The Limehouse Golem

The Limehouse Golem

Capsule Review

Cast: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke and Henry Goodman
Director: Juan Carlos Medina
Rating: 6/10

The British film centers on a murder, where the suspect is the person’s wife: Elizabeth Cree but meanwhile, Scotland Yard Inspector John Kildare is on the trails of a ‘Limehouse Golem’, which has a reputation of swiftly remaining uncaught and during it, it soon emerges that Elizabeth’s husband is one of the suspects in the Limehouse Golem murders. In the midst of a sea of eyesores, an underlining suspense running through the script to find out the identity of the Limehouse Golem, as well as discover what really happens of Elizabeth in the end, very much recycles the movie around from a piece of trash to something worthwhile; also noteworthy is the elaborately-detailed backdrop, which gets the tone of the film right – it’s not gay Victorian London anymore, because the atmosphere has suddenly gone from happy to (pressingly) gloomy and dark.

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It

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Capsule Review

Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer and Chosen Jacobs
Director: Andy Muschietti
Rating: 8/10

It is a horror film about a terrifying clown, who lives off children and surfaces in an otherwise normal small town, every twenty-seven years (for it). Pennywise the Dancing Clown has special abilities which help him in his pursuits, here – he can morph into a child’s biggest fear. It is the late eighties and there’s a group of young societal misfits called ‘The Losers Club’ – a fat new kid, who likes to read and research a lot, a foul-taking best friend of the brother of a Pennywise victim (George), a homeschooled orphan, and a sickly boy, are amongst the children on the run from Pennywise’s terrors. All this unravels after Pennywise drags George to a sewer, on a very rainy day – George is never seen in town after that incident. I liked that the movie wraps up with the children promising to hunt down Pennywise for good in the end (if he was to return) and there are no ramblings, which fall off the main plot of the film – the scary relationship that Pennywise shares with young children; given that the scary clown appears a little over every two decades or so, it was very interesting to have a new story bring to surface, what that scary experience of being hunted by a clown feels like for some (new) children. It is a must-watch for lovers of classic horror because it’s a new kind of scary experience – a clown (these days) instead of just entertaining in a silly avatar, also hunts terrifyingly mercilessly.

Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards

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A documentary puts the spotlight on legendary footwear designer: Manolo Blahnik.

Capsule Review

Cast: Manolo Blahnik, Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Karlie Kloss, Iman, Naomi Campbell, Rupert Everett and Issac Mizrahi

Director: Michael Roberts

Rating: 7/10

A documentary exploring the life and times of the legendary accessories designer Manolo Blahnik, dotted with quotes from the people who knew him best? It sounds like a novel idea (on paper). And that is just what I liked about this movie – that it focuses on being an informative documentary on the Spanish fashion designer, and nothing else. The storytelling centers on getting the opportunity to learn more about who exactly is, Manolo. Some interesting tidbits about Manolo included in the fold: his first shop was in London (during the ’60s), Manolo’s very personally involved with the renowned creativity displayed in his brand’s handcrafted shoes, which are manufactured in his factories in Italy, and a remarkable story – Manolo’s journey to the top, impressively began with the crafting of shoes from chocolate wrappers in Canary Islands, for lizards. The film manages to caricature Manolo as a humane person, someone who’s quite uncommon, and it really helps to connect with him for that, which makes learning about the fashion designer, all the more interesting and worthwhile.

Dalida

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Capsule Review

Cast: Sveva Alviti, Alessandro Borghi and Niels Schneider
Director: Lisa Azuelos
Rating: 3/5

Dalida can only be two things: portraiture and a tragedy. The French biographical film is about a talented musician, Dalida (Sveva Alviti), with a troubled romantic life – three of her romantic liaisons had committed suicide. Dalida always thought it was important how people view her – she started her career after getting discovered by a Parisian radio programmer, who she had such a romantic equation with that he eventually left his wife for her. Dalida indulges in many romances but perhaps the one that meant the most to her was this one which began in Paris. Dalida eventually commits suicide in 1987 – the film is an insightful and pretty comprehensive take on the life of this Italian music artist, who was born in Egypt. Although, the film focuses on Dalida’s romances more than her musical journey, it still utilizes the film frames in a thoroughly entertaining manner.

A Gentleman

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Capsule Review

Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Jacqueline Fernandez Suniel Shetty, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Rajit Kapur
Directors: Raj & D.K.
Rating: 4/5

Fox Star StudiosA Gentleman, starring Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez is a roller coaster ride of fun and modernity. The film released this Friday, and it is an Indian ode to a largely contemporary American-style of filmmaking: slickness and an excitable, fast-paced plotline. The plotline involves two young boys, Gaurav and Rishi, who look the same but have very different personalities. Both played by Siddharth Malhotra, Gaurav’s the good Miami boy, with a high-flying career, while Rishi’s a risqué character, working for Colonel Vijay Saxena (Suniel Shetty in a feature moment), with sleek action moves – Rishi’s an assassin. Jacqueline Fernandez’s character, Kavya, reigns in the romantic arc in the movie in a thoroughly enjoyable manner – Kavya has a slight romantic interest in Gaurav, her best friend but doesn’t do anything over it. Meanwhile, Supriya Pilgaonkar and Rajit Kapur, if only briefly, makes appearances as Kavya’s parents but it was great to have them in those avatars.

The film has ‘masala’ written all over it, which is why it’s entertaining: there’s heart-pumping action, comedy elements, great dancing, romance and glamorized avatars. Sidharth proves he’s more than just a good looking young hero, in the movie, because essaying two roles meant demonstrating plenty of character-depths. Sidharth switches from the good boy image to a dangerous one in typical Bollywood-fashion – Rishi wants to quit his work as an assassin and become a man with a wife and a dog, and soon, you discover all of that can even be a possibility, since Rishi and Gaurav are alike in more ways than you imagined. The bottom line is that a good script, good looking actors, great outfits and catchy music might spell formulaic but it works and sometimes it’s brilliant to have a film like this that only runs on lighthearted entertainment-value and nothing else.

Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years

Queen Elizabeth I is one of the most fascinating emperors to have ever ruled the United Kingdom. She is a vision in portraiture, literature and history for centuries now but much of her term in power is shrouded in some of the most catastrophic decisions ever made by an English ruler: from being an avid Protestant to granting lifetime imprisonment to the Queen of Scots, Mary. A new book by John Guy speaks in a similar tone of disagreement over Queen Elizabeth’s rule in England, although for quite a different set of reasons.

A captivating new look inside the life of one of the greatest English monarchs of all time
A captivating new look inside the life of one of the greatest English monarchs of all time

The book talks about the Spanish Armada episode and how the Queen successfully defended her kingdom from it. Moments such as these demonstrate what a great Queen she was despite Elizabeth’s many faults. It’s tough to imagine every ruler so wicked and steely, that the country manages to protect itself from a Spanish invasion for as long as Elizabeth I ruled the United Kingdom. John uncovers new historical documents which showcase negotiations the Queen was always ever busy in, with the Spanish to keep her kingdom very safe and secure. A subject of many foiled attempts to take Elizabeth’s life, the Queen always exudes a sense of calm and poised-strength that is hard to gather from other monarchs.

But Elizabeth I’s faults far outshadow her commitment to coming off as a great Queen. She must have given her secretary Sir Francis Drake numerous headaches despite his entrenched loyalty to his duty, Elizabeth was filled with lies and also liked to divide and rule her kingdom, which was unfair to say the least. And to top all that off she also had an affair with the Earl of Leicester, who she never married because her throne depended on it. The book is a good counterargument against picturing Elizabeth I as a stuffy (and powerful) woman-in-control, and for that alone it is a remarkable historical narrative about a Queen and her glorious rule in the United Kingdom as a monarch, which should really always be taken at face value.

Best Journaling Apps

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The greatest apps in the market for writing your diary entries

One of the biggest tasks that you have daily is writing down your experiences for the day in a beautiful diary. It makes you feel good about daily activities, and also helps you reflect on what happens in your life everyday. Every day may not be an insomniac whirlwind – days go from mundane to exciting and vice versa and a diary comes in handy to record all those precious moments that make life so amazing.

Technology has made it easy to jot down your thoughts because not only is going digital a rather cost-effective alternative in our society for beautiful diary writing in comparison to the more traditional approach to keeping a diary (think: papers, ink and a crafty DIY diary you have put together yourself), it also aids ‘the paperless agenda’. Going digital with diary writing is also very well suited for people who love technology (like me).

Penzu

Penzu is a great online app in the market for writing your diary entries. The app is cross-platform (supported for iPad, Android and iPhone as well) and the interface will quite simply take your breath away – it boasts a word count function, you can add images to your diary entries if you like and my favourite thing about the app is that it has a good range of text edit options for writing your diary.

Everyday (for iPad and iPod Touch)

The Everyday diary app is a simple diary option. I loved the personalization feature for it – there are a good range of themes there and there’s also a unique-looking stats (number of posts and words used), as well as reminders to jog your memory that it is time to write in your diary.

Moleskine Journal (for Android and iPad)

It’s a personal favourite because the app is a digital alternative to a traditional (and very amazing) Moleskine Journal. There are options to have several diaries, all stacked across a shelf-like space or as note patches which looks nice enough but my favourite features on the app are the page-like writing interfaces (lined-or-not), a sync feature with Evernote and the ability to scribble whenever and however I please.

JotterPad (for Android)

With JotterPad, you can write simple diary entries. My favourite feature in the app: it comes with a dictionary.

Momento (for iPad and iPod Touch)

If you like to keep a private diary then this is the app for you. One of my favourite features in the app is that it provides seamless connectivity with Spotify, Flickr, Medium and Moves to name a few, which will record your activities on all of the platforms, right into Momento.

Journey (for Google Chrome and Android)

With the Journey app, you can publish your diary thoughts to WordPress, and selected social networks, which I really liked the sound of but other than that it is a rather simple diary app, in comparison to it’s contemporaries.

Collect (for iPad and iPod Touch)

If you like to keep a photo-based diary instead of a traditional diary, then Collect is the app for you. You can add photos from Flickr and Dropbox if you like, apart from manually taking one with a camera. But the best thing about it is that the app lets you build your own collages.

DayJournal (for iPad and Android)

What I liked about DayJournal is that it comes with emojis. The interface is pleasantly uncluttered and there is also a magical route to learning what you were upto this time in the year past.

Quiller (for iPad and iPod Touch)

Quiller is an eccentric journaling app. My favourite features in the app are the enormously long range of fonts and the paper-feel of the writing space – this is also complimentary to how the app amazingly looks traditionally like a glorious diary.

Diaro (for Kindle Fire, iPad and iPod Touch)

I think Diaro is growing on me. The interface is uncluttered, the app boasts a customizable UI colour, and it is a pretty simple diary app but it’s really excellent for taking small (and fast) notes just when you need to.