Pacific Rim: Uprising: Film Review – These Jaegers Know How to Bomb

Verdict: A fair effort on the follow-up, it’s enough to impress the fans of the original.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim released in 2013 to surprise its critics. The sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising, is a fairly good follow-up directed by Steven DeKnight in his directorial debut. It was also written by him and produced by del Toro.

What’s Pacific Rim: Uprising About:

Here’s the premise set in the first movie. The planet is attacked by monsters named Kaijus, so the world needs the help of giant robots, reminiscent of Transformers, named Jaegers. These robots are controlled by two pilots, whose minds need to be “in sync” in order to control the colossal machine. Here, Stacker Pentecost sacrifices himself in order to save humanity and is celebrated as a war hero.

The sequel is set 10 years after the battle, where his son, Jake Pentecost (Jake Boyega), is not like his father at all. A thief, he makes a living by selling Jaeger parts on the black market. Before he knows it, he and another young girl Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) get involved with the cops for their criminal activity revolving Jaegers. They are then given a choice by the authorities – to either go to prison, or use their skills to train and get trained at the Pan-Pacific Defence Corps, the corporation in charge of the Jaegers. The rest is about the involvement of another corporation and the return of the Kaijus, albeit in unprecedented forms.

What Works:

The action sequences in Pacific Rim: Uprising are definitely on a grander scale, with an impressive cinematic location for the epic finale. The splendid visuals are definitely brighter, compared to the previous film’s “darkness”. Clocking in at 1 hour and 40 minutes, the film never drags on, as many action films involving robots might…

What Could’ve Been Better:

The humor sort of misses the mark in the first half but thankfully picks up in the second half, helping you to a couple of chuckles. The film tends to get a bit loud in a few parts, and a little subtlety would’ve only improved the scenes.

Why You Should Watch This Movie:

The film makes for a great one-time watch. All action fans, this would be a good movie to catch this weekend, as you can expect a spectacle.

Tomb Raider: Film Review – Alicia makes this Resurrection a Success

Verdict: This realistic take is surely worth the reboot.

Reboots are a major part of discussions around studios today. Some hit the spot, while many may not. There's no reason that Tomb Raider doesn't. With a cast and crew comprising names most may not be aware of, they do not disappoint. The film is directed by Roar Uthaug, with a screenplay by Alastair Siddons and Geneva Robertson-Dworet.

What's Tomb Raider About?

Unless you've been trapped inside a tomb, you'd know that the film, Tomb Raider, is a reboot of the 17-year-old franchise. And we've got to say – it is worth the reboot. Not to forget, the film series itself is based on a video game of the same name. This means it inherently incorporates tons of puzzle-solving, navigating through traps, and exploring of territories nobody dares to.

Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) works as a courier, and after her father Richard Croft (Dominic West) is announced dead, she has to take over his business. While officially doing so, she begins to discover an entirely divergent side to her old man. She wastes no time in setting off on an adventure – a path that paves itself through a literal box of clues he leaves behind for her in the event of his death.

With the help of a drunken sailor named Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), she sets off to visit a dangerous island to get to, and an even more dangerous island to get out of. Trinity, an army of militants and slaves, led by Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins), works on excavating the tomb of Himiko, the mythical Queen of Yamatai, who was said to command the power over life and death. Their plan is to weaponize Himiko's supernatural powers to take over the world. Richard gave it his all to prevent them from finding the tomb, and in a video he leaves behind for Lara, he warns her to destroy his research. But Lara decides to investigate further.

From there on, this poor girl only suffers. It's as if every step she takes tries to ward her off with a warning, but she is too determined to stop. She's not got guns, but she's pretty fluent with her arrows. Got to commend her amazing upper body strength too! It sure helps her get out of tight situations.

More than anything, she's real. Apart from her skills with arrows, she could be you or me (unless you have a way with arrows too). She isn't trained in any aspect, but learns on the job and is driven by her bravery. While she may be naive, her confidence is fuelled by courage. She also happens to be the most intelligent Croft around.

What Works:

Somebody said that Alicia Vikander is no Angelina Jolie. Well, Angelina is no Alicia either. While the earlier films received mostly negative reviews, Jolie was praised for her portrayal of Lara Croft. Sure, Jolie was badass, but the reason why Alicia's vulnerabilities come across as convincing is because that's what the character is about. Let's not forget we're talking about a young girl who just lost her father, and now has to take on daddy's legacy. Not to mention, her mother's disappearance when Lara was a child.

Some sequences, including her escape from captivity, are impressive. Such scenes make it worth the 3D rendering of the film. Barring a few supernatural instances, the storyline remains realistic. And we think that's where the film really works, in bridging the gap – if not just knowing the difference – between myth and reality.

What Could've Been Better:

Maybe a less stereotypical villain? Also, while a few scenes may be predictable, the screenplay manages to be engaging enough.

Why You Should Watch This Movie:

If you're into adventure films, and if you have been a fan of the series (games or films), this is definitely worth a watch. It's certainly different compared to its predecessors, but that's a good thing.

Everything You Missed at Vh1 Super-Duper-Ultra-Sonic!

We hope you had a weekend as good as mine. If you were at Laxmi Lawns in Pune from the 9th to the 11th of February, you'd know what we were talking about. Vh1 Supersonic has surely given all its attendees a reason to smile, to say the least.

While the spectacular mainstage, Sonic Realm, was easily the highlight, every stage was designed to its max potential, being pertinent to its relevant genre. From the Live Arena to Spectrum (the techno stage hosted by festival giant, Awakenings) and Laboratoire Supersonique, every stage was lit. Each and every artist that performed – right from the openers to the headliners – delivered with conviction. And how can I forget the ones who knew how to keep the afterparties going? The venues – UnwindHard Rock CafeMedici, and [email protected] – were unforgettable!

With countless experience zones placed throughout, one could easily spend more than an entire day just frolicking there itself. From a playground (comprising slides, swaying ramps, etc.) to massage spots (you needed it then more than ever), it was more than one could ask for. A beer garden, coupled with a special reggae zone with the 10,000 Lions Soundsystem saw people dropping in while shuttling between stages. A flea market and food court with various tastes took care of all needs and desires.

The fest partnered with Uber and other brands at the nearby Seasons Mall, to make life easier for its attendees. There were also arrangements (entry, zones, etc.) made for specially-abled people. Anyone going to a music fest knows how inconvenient the toilets can get (shout out to PeeBuddy for making it easier for women)! That's just one feature of the many that made the fest a safe an enjoyable experience for its women.

A complaint often heard at many fests is the price of the beverages, even for something as basic as water. Not only was the alcohol very friendly on the pocket, the water was offered for free, with stations placed throughout the fest. Bonus points for having a water station inside as well as right outside the techno stage. They know how important it is to stay hydrated at these things!

What more can we say about a fest which has raised the bar too high?

Check out more events near you this weekend!

Vh1 Supersonic Releases an Impressive Line-up yet again!

Vh1 Supersonic has, from its very inception, had a consistently heavy lineup. Very few fests can boast of a great lineup in their inaugural edition but Supersonic has not only achieved that but also made it a habit – with last year's headline booking of Eric Prydz being a path-breaking one. Now in its 4th edition, the fest will take place at Laxmi Lawns in Pune on Feb. 9, 10, and 11. Breaking away from the idea of being a purely electronic fest, last year they also brought ace rapper Macklemore to India, for the first time ever. And this year, they continue to bring in other such live acts. Have a look at the Super Line-up:

​​

Headliners:

Major Lazer – Easily one of the biggest Supersonic regulars.

Marshmello – After making his India debut almost 2 years ago, he can't seem to get enough of India.

Sean Paul – Who doesn't know this guy and his hits? This Jamaican legend has been raising the Temperature since last decade.

Alt-J – This eclectic rock band has been making waves since its inception a decade ago.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Can't wait till this eight-piece band hypnotizes us.

Incubus – This rock and metal band has great things in store for us.

Special Guests:

Dillon Francis – We have a feeling this crazy guy has something up his sleeve along with his good friends over at Major Lazer.

Joseph Capriati – This techno lad played for 25 hours straight in Miami, just a couple of months ago. 

Nucleya – Udyan currently shows no signs of stopping.

Seven Lions – A rare act who somehow joined the dots between trance and dubstep. And with a mane like a lion's.

Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano – This iconic duo loves performing in India and does so annually.

Artists:

Adana Twins – This Uncompromising techno duo is surely going to rip it up.

Enrico Sangiuliano – The Italian Drumcode producer finally makes his way to India!

Gabriel and Dresden – Yet another iconic duo, whose tracks have already become all-time classics.

Truncate – Let's all take a moment to appreciate this ace booking.

Well, the list goes on, these are just some of the international names flying down to the fest. That's not all, India's biggest artists themselves are all going to perform. We actually can't think of a name that is missing. Everyone is in for one big party! Also, techno heads especially are in for one big treat, with the specially curated Awakenings stage from Amsterdam. So, who do you look forward to the most?

Book your tickets now!

[Images source: Vh1 Supersonic]

Enchanted Valley Carnival Returns In Style

A property of Twisted Entertainment and Universal Music GroupEnchanted Valley Carnival returned for its 5th edition on December 16 and 17. With a new home this year, everybody's favorite festival took place at the NESCO Centre in Mumbai. Due to reasons completely out of the organizer's control, the party had to be moved from Aamby Valley to the city. While we miss the lovely vibe of Aamby, we must say, EVC Mumbai was still very much a top-notch experience. Headlining the two-day concert was trance legend, Armin van Buuren, and Bollywood favorite, Arijit Singh.


DAY ONE: ELECTRONIC FAMILY

Armin van Buuren
Markus Schulz
MaRLo
Ruben de Ronde
Rodg
Get Massive
Snow Flakes

The Electronic Family stage hosted the biggest names in trance and then some. It kicked off at 3 PM, with local talents Snow Flakes and Get Massive. The tempo increased steadily with sets by Ruben de RondeRodgMaRLo, and Markus Schulz. It was now time for Armin to take over for 2 hours, making it the longest set of the day. Even then, it felt like it ended too soon, because how can one ever get enough of Armin? Respect to the man who sticks to his roots and stays faithful to his sound. He played a few of his older tracks, getting everyone nostalgic. He also played a track where he "tested" each technical aspect of the production. Armin always comes up with a way to surprise the crowd. He culminated with a very special track called 'Christmas Days', which he released earlier this month, making sure we left with the warm spirit of Xmas in our hearts. For those who wanted more, the afterparty at Vortex went on till the after hours, with some of the trance stars returning to the console.


DAY 2: COSMOS STAGE

Arijit Singh
Robin Schulz
Nucleya
DJ Chetas
Shirley Setia
Hugel
Almost Famous
Unknown

The Cosmos Stage, too, was lit. Unlike the previous day, which was purely trance, Day 2 saw the audience experience a spectrum of sounds. Right from the lovely vocals of Shirley Setia to the bass-jacking sounds of Robin Schulz, who received positive acclaim on his debut India gig, there was something for everyone. Robin not only played his latest productions that he's known for, but even his earlier classics. The highlight would have to be when he dropped an absolute swinger right from the 60s. After grooving us up, it was time for Nucleya to make us sweat with a power-packed set, as always. The storm was calmed by Arijit's soulful voice, where the audience sang along to all their favorite hits. It was quite an emotional spectacle. This was followed by a DJ set by DJ Chetas, where Shirley also hopped in to sing, much to the delight of the crowd.

The venue was massive – it was basically a giant black room with the AC on full blast, to make sure nobody suffered from the heat. With a capacity for thousands, the venue allowed the production team to go all out. The LEDs on the stage stretched far into the sides, effectively surrounding the crowd with stunning visuals.

Comio, being the title sponsor of the event, had an entertaining zone with an engaging brand experience. Additionally, the VIP Zone, Red Bull Zone, Absolut Bars, food court, token counters, washrooms, etc. were all set up strategically, with no issues of crowd control. The show's entry and exit, along with the box office, were all managed efficiently, with a smooth flow throughout for people and traffic alike. I wasn't hassled on either day of the fest. Kudos to all the teams who made this happen.


I already wonder what EVC has in store for us next year. 
 

Images sourced from EVC.

Your Personal Handbook to this Festival Season

December has only just begun and it's been so eventful already. And the festival season too has just kicked off! And we don't mean just Christmas, but music festivals! We don't know about you, but this is the most exciting season of the year for me. These few winter months make for the perfect setting for a music festival. Ask anyone who attended the surreal Echoes of Earth festival in Bangalore last month.

But wait till I show you what's in store for this month – Sunburn Festival 2017 in Pune, Timeout 72 Hours in Goa, Enchanted Valley Carnival in Mumbai and We Are Connected Kolkata in Kolkata. That's just this month. February in 2018 will also see the sultry SulaFest and the sublime Vh1 Supersonic!

Are you ready for the season? In case you're not, don't you worry. If there is something we're good at, it's got to be at experiencing music festivals. We have prepared a little guide for you to make sure you enjoy as much as we do. Do keep in mind that each fest comes with its own features, and what I've listed below is a generalized guide. Check it out!

Bookings

Always book in advance – early birds end up saving half your money. Before heading to the fest, make sure you have all booking details in place. A quick read through the ticket T&Cs will help you with what's required. The usual vital items are a photo ID, e-ticket, booking ID, credit card, etc. You don't want to stress out at the venue due to missing details.

Travel

Always plan your travel and logistics according to the venue. Most times, public transport is the way to go. That diminishes the concern of parking. Once the event ends, you may end up taking hours to escape due to traffic. Be smart. Also, if the venue may take forever to reach, don't forget to make yourself a drink or two for the road. Pre-gaming on the way to a fest is the best way to get into the mood.

Things to Carry

Sunglasses: While winter here means pleasant nights, the days are still sunny.
Jacket: Do carry a pullover for the night, it's likely to get chilly. A wise lady once said, "Beta, sweater
pehno."
Accessories: Now's the only time you can wear that Guy Fawkes mask. Or if you want to avoid being generic, go for something unique, there
is all sorts of offbeat stuff available online and otherwise. Just keep it simple.
An open mind: No harm in trying out new music. Nothing as good as discovering fresh sounds.

Things Not to Carry

Outside food and beverage: But you know that already. They have some yummy stuff inside.
Ciggies: Don't carry cigarettes either, since some fests don't allow even packed boxes. That's fair since you can buy them inside for the same price.
Valuables: Wear all the quirky stuff you want, but wearing expensive items or carrying valuables is rather unnecessary. There is a sense
in simplicity.
Attitude: Keep it in check. Keep smiling.

Clothing

The best part about festivals? People wear whatever they want, without caring what others might think. That tee you hesitantly bought and never worn? Time to finally bring it out. Seriously, no one cares. If at all, it could be a conversation starter. Just make sure you're in light and comfortable clothing.

Shoes

Well, only the toughest survive at festivals. They can be as funky as they want but make sure they're comfortable too – apart from dancing, you'll be walking way more than you'd expect! Trips to the bars, loos, shuttling from stage to stage, etc. Always on the run.

Planning

A little planning goes a long way. Make a sincere effort to get there early. Everything is just way smoother, thanks to easier crowd management. This way you enter without any hassle and get to explore the entire festival. You can familiarise yourself with the venue for better planning. For example, it always helps to know where the first aid, toilets, bars, etc. are located.

Schedule

The trickiest feature. Festival managers break their heads over forming the schedule. After all, how do you fit in so much talent in one day? Be assured, whoever is playing, at whatever time, will be killing it! So make sure you get there early and get a taste of all the acts out there.
One of the biggest decisions of my life came when I had to choose between two of my favorite acts on at the same time at EVC last year. Then I asked myself, why not both? Hustle, hustle!
Sometimes, your friends may want to stay in one place. With no disrespect, feel free to bail on them and head to the stage of your choice. Always choose music over people.
You can always catch up with your friends later. Be particular about arriving at the dedicated meeting points, since your network is likely to be jammed. In case you can't find those buggers, avoid wasting time looking for them and just dance where you are. You can always make new friends.

Sneaky

Don't be. Music is the drug.

Khana-peena

Eat wisely.  Drink responsibly. Most importantly – stay hydrated. Don't hesitate to offer water to your nearest raver. You are part of a family now.

Camping

If your fest has a campsite, get ready for an 'in-tents' experience. See what I did there? While they may provide you with some essentials, you must make sure you have all your toiletries in place, and carry an abundant amount of tissues. Trust me, lads!

Don't Forget

At the end of the day, don't forget that you are here for a good time. Remember that music is always the answer. Driven by the music, these lovely people make the vibe. And vibes don't lie.

Hope this helps you! In case it doesn't, feel free to reach out to me in the comments below!

 

 

Have you Experienced the Unique Rann Utsav yet?

Rann Utsav has already begun. From Nov. 1, 2017 to Feb. 20, 2018, the unique festival allows attendees to see the magnificence of the white desert, or salt flats, in a truly grand proportion. The luxury campsite comprises 350 well-appointed tents on the outskirts of Dhordo Village, just at the edge of white Rann, about 85 km from the Bhuj City.

People from many parts of the world visit Kutch to indulge in the euphoria of the festivities. It is a carnival of music, dance and the beauty of nature. The spectacular sight of the boundless white desert under the moonlight presents the stunning creation of nature. A family-friendly fest, it has become a holiday destination during these winter months.

Some of the activities include Golf Cart Ride, ATV Ride, Camel Cart Excursion, Paramotoring, Meditation, Yoga and of course, Gujarati Culture. The distinctive folk dances and music, intricate arts and crafts, gracious people and nature along with the affluent handicraft culture of the district like folk textiles, exquisite embroidery, Bandhani sarees, traditional ornaments and mirror work are some of the specialties of Kutch.

Kutch, located in the State of Gujarat, is blessed with one of the most ecologically and culturally abundant landforms. The brimming profusion of nature’s beauty, culture and tradition, superfluity of colors and celebration, cornucopia of joy and beauty, all together reflect the magnificence of the kaleidoscopic Kutch.

So, have you experienced the unique Rann Utsav yet?

With numerous packages to choose from, book your tickets here!

Image courtesy: Rann Utsav

Justice League: Film Review – Are you a fan of Justice?

Verdict: As it tries to redeem itself from previous DC films, it sure does justice to the DC Universe.

DC's fifth installment, Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder, with an ensemble cast at hand. With an estimated production budget of $300 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made. Did you know that Gal Gadot was pregnant during the shoot, throwing up all the time? There were numerous reshoots (and hence rewrites) and Snyder had to leave the project in May 2017 following the sudden death of his daughter. The film's screenplay writer Joss Whedon has to fill in and oversee the remainder of the production, including the reshoots. Even after all these challenges, I've got to say, the film is not bad at all.

What's Justice League About?
Picking up where 'Batman v Superman' left off, the film sees the forming of the Justice League which comprises Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. They need to save the planet from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and also form to honor Superman following his death. Steppenwolf needs to collect three 'mother boxes' to gain power, along with his army of Parademons, who feast on fear. Bruce Wayne identifies the threat first and promptly begins to approach these heroes, hoping they jump on board. Typical, but quintessential.

What Works?
The runtime of just 2 hours is a relief. Even with such a simple plot, it manages to not get boring at any given point. Snyder's signature style is easily noticeable, with the right amount of slow-motion scenes which he is fond of – with Flash and Wonder Woman, of course. Flash sure has his flashes of brilliance, even though he may get annoying with his ignorance at times, like he is supposed to. Batman, Aquaman, and Cyborg are all sufficient. Wonder Woman is simply sensational and is easily the best of the lot and that's not just my opinion. The stellar cast members are all comfortable in their roles. What really helps the film is that it has a much lighter tone, thanks to its humor and punchlines, some even worthy of applause.

What Could Have Been Better?
Over the years, we have seen villains with such well-thought-out back-stories, that we even tend to be compassionate about them. Sadly that is not the case here, where the bland villain's motives are too one-dimensional. There are cliches throughout, mainly sprouting from the plot itself, which is adamant about being too simple.

Why You Should Watch This Movie:
It may not be the best film around, but probably the best of DC, so far. The only film that comes close is Wonder Woman, which was praised heavily by most. Batman v Superman was bashed, as was Suicide Squad. So, this one is definitely worth a watch, and may just be on course for the much-needed redemption DC deserves.

Read the Justice League review in Bahasa on the BookMyShow Indonesia blog. 

India, Are You Ready For Vini Vici?

Psytrance artists Vini Vici have taken the world by storm in almost no time. It is the new project of Aviram Saharai and Matan Kadosh, both well-known and experienced electronic music producers for over a decade. The concept of Vini Vici was formed by the boys with an intention to express their love for the old school sound paired with their progressive ideas. Did you know that they have collaborated with the trance god Armin van Buuren and the trance pundits Hilight Tribe, for a track called Great Spirit? Quite the banger, we'd say. And they are here in India to celebrate such music with you. Check out the gigs below.

Kolkata's JW Marriott is going to be lit. Book here.
Hyderabad's gig will also feature DJ Gaurav Mehta and DJ Lil-B. Book here.
Bengaluru's Future Sound Festival will also be featuring another great, Ajja. Book here.
Delhi too will feature Ajja. Book here.

Here are the duo's top five tracks to get you into a state of trance for their gigs in the country.

 

The Echoes of Earth Summon You!

Spread across 150 acres of green vistas, Echoes of Earth is the epicenter of artistic convergence. The fest will be held at Embassy International Riding School, Bengaluru, on November 18th and 19th. Now in its second edition, the fest is getting even closer to the pulse of great live music. Follow the music into the wilderness, into the lap of everything as pure as the art we love. All together in the lap of nature – which serves as the perfect location to have a truly unique music festival experience that is unlike any other.

Organized by Watsons, Swordfish and Krunk, the lineup is a beautiful mix of multiple genres. The festival will see over 40+ international and Indian artists and musicians come together to display their aural wares and artistic expressions. The 4 stages will host talents like Arjun Vagale, BLOT, Prateek Kuhad, The Jass B'stards, Emancipator and even Hilight Tribe, amongst numerous others.

It will also feature workshops conducted on music, wellness, and the green lifestyle. Another hallmark of Echoes of Earth will be the museum of lost instruments – a celebration of musical tools of yore that have come to be lost and buried under the digital mass that they've come to make their habitat today. At Echoes of Earth, architects and artists from the world over will collaborate to showcase their art using solely their skills, and the practices of upcycling and recycling.

Let's hear it in the words of the festival director himself, Roshan Netalkar, who says, “Echoes of Earth is a celebration of music, nature, and design. A festival that celebrates music from around the world with a focus on the environment and sustainable living. Our endeavor is to reduce, reuse, recycle, and upcycle. Throughout the festival, you will witness ecological approaches and practices at play, made possible by adopting the most sustainable means of construction, energy and waste management. Echoes of Earth welcomes those with similar aspirations and dreams to join this endeavor to create a better tomorrow, all the while appreciating and enjoying our biggest gift to the Earth yet – music.

Well, need we say more? Go ahead and book your tickets!

Images Source: Echoes of Earth Facebook Page.