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Rogue One – Spoiler Free Review — December 26, 2016

Rogue One – Spoiler Free Review

I can assure you this is not a trap!

For an individual who before last year would not have ever considered watching a Star Wars film unless forced to or bribed. I for one can say I am invested in this franchise and can see why for years many have dedicated their bank accounts to it as well. Rogue One was the first of its kind to the hit the big screen especially for the Star Wars franchise that is, focusing on a group of characters that no one had heard of prior to the films announcement. It is great for a number of reasons, one being that any individual can buy a ticket while visiting their local cinema and watch it without needing any prior knowledge whatsoever of characters, events or other episodes in the saga. The second being that the events that play out during the film’s run are self contained yet at the same time easily create a smooth transition to its predecessors for those interested in diving into almost 40 years worth of content.

The film consists of a story that isn’t difficult to follow, capturing the viewer right from the get go whether it’s through brilliant character moments, unforgettable one liners or outstanding action set pieces that leave you on the edge of your seat. One can look forward to great performances by characters brought to life who you will fall in love with whether human or those of a non human descent. An outstanding cast who portray or voice characters over the course of two hours that ultimately will become household names for years to come. Also whose toys or memorabilia will probably vacate your household this Christmas or the coming future. The film also explores a number of locations among the vast cosmos. To put it into simple words, places you never heard of but are able to experience without having to go on a space mission. Besides it’s set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

The highlights for me from my first screening had to be the expansion of the universe with the addition of new characters who in their own right stole the show such as Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), Captain Casain Andor (Diego Luna) and who could forget Chirrut Imwe played by ‘Ip Man’ himself Donnie Yen. I also liked how the movie addressed questions that fans had been asking for years as well as connecting to the overall saga so swiftly without taking away from the main plot itself. I liked the explorations of the new planets and places featured as well as nods to classic sets we have come to love. This film definitely does justice as to explaining how the Rebel spies retrieved the plans to the Death Star but the sub plots are also as intriguing to watch and you actually are emotionally connected to each and everyone of them.

For a nerd like myself who entered the Star Wars Cinematic Universe that Lucasfilm has brought to life with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, I went into this Anthology film very optimistic after witnessing the awesomeness that was Episode 7. Rogue One for sure holds a special place in this saga, at the same time surpassing and exceeding my expectations as to what a Star Wars movie could be especially when it’s not focused on the Skywalker lineage. For those considering on watching the film I definitely recommend it, this is the type of movie that needs to be seen on the big screen and I can say this confidently after only one screening.

Photo Credit: https://www.wired.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/star-wars-rogue-one-cast-1200×630.jpg

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Favourite Books of 2016 — December 23, 2016

Favourite Books of 2016

As the year draws to a close, I love looking back and reflecting on the year that was. I was a lot more intentional about recording the books I had read this year, and I’m really thankful as I can look back and see which books I really enjoyed. Without further ado, here are my top ten favourite books that I read this year.


  1. Everything, everything by Nicola Yoon

everything-everything

I am a massive fan of contemporary young adult fiction, but after a while the books follow a similar pattern and it can get a little boring. I often find new reads through bookstagram or booktube, so I find that I can already form opinions about books before I read them. However, I read this book completely blind and I was pleasantly surprised. I was sucked into the story as the characters were likeable and the ending unexpected. Although it ended a little abruptly in my opinion, I still really enjoyed this book.

 

2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyardred_queen_book_cover

Again, I am a massive fan of dystopian literature, but it is getting harder to find good dystopian that doesn’t loosely resemble the Hunger Games. I enjoyed the premise of Red Queen and I found the world Victoria Aveyard easy to understand, which always makes books more enjoyable. While there are similarities to other dystopians,  I found the characters enjoyable and there were plot twists I didn’t expect. An overall really enjoyable read.

 

 

3. The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcherimprobable-theory

This was a really fun, light-hearted read that I gravitated to more than once this year when I was needing a good pick me up. I don’t find many contemporary books with dorky characters that aren’t cringy, so I loved the fact Zak was such a loveable nerd. I found myself personally relating to Ana as a character, which made the book all the more enjoyable for me. The romance progressed in a realistic manner, which I always appreciate and I think I will be reading this again next year.

4. Room by Emma Donaghueroom_cover

A good friend recommended me this book, and although it took a little while to get into it, by the end I was captivated. I loved how the story was written from the point of view of a five year old. Although the premise of the novel is grim, I found the narrative’s view made it oddly uplifting and I enjoyed how it brought a fresh perspective to the situation. I also didn’t expect the turn of events of the book, which made it more interesting. While a bit of an intense book, it definitely was a page-turner for me.

 

 

5. The Yearbook Committee by Sara Ayoubyearbook-committee

In case you hadn’t noticed the trend, I mostly read contemporary fiction. This book follows the high school journey of a group of very different teenagers who are brought together to create the yearbook. I enjoyed how Sara Ayoub intertwined their stories together, and each character was a unique individual. The ending was quite sad and unexpected, but I really liked this book and the way it was written.

 

 

6. Only ever yours by Louise Andersonuntitled

Now this was one of the most unique dystopian books I’ve ever written, and the world Louise Anderson created haunted me for a long time once I’d closed the book. She shares a story about a world where girls are manufactured and created solely for the purpose of being paired with a male. The shocking similarities to our present reality made the story all the more chilling, and you find yourself so much more disgusted with the objectification of women. As a female, I related to the characters of this book a lot, and I found it a real eye-opener to the subtle ways we objectify girls. Definitely not an easy read, but one I 100% recommend to anyone and everyone.

 

7.maybury_placeMaybury Place by Keitha Smith

I picked this book up in a book fair a few months ago and I was really surprised with how much I was drawn to this book. I had picked it up because the blurb captured my attention, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the blurb only contained a small part of the whole story. I don’t tend to gravitate towards adult fiction, but I’ve been trying to expand my reading horizons and I couldn’t put this book down. The story centres around a small street called Maybury Place and the characters are all very unique, some likeable, some not. You learn their secrets, their fears and the ending makes you want more.

 

8. Tell me something real by Calla Devlintell-me-something-real-9781481461153_hr

Another contemporary, are we surprised? I picked up this book because the blurb looked interesting, and the cover was pretty (yes I do judge a book by its cover sometimes), but I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Although I found the romance developed a little quickly, which tends to happen a lot in contemporary fiction, it was only a small part of the whole story. This story took a really unexpected twist and is a book that deals with illness in a unique and thought provoking manner.

 

9. A little something different by Sandy Halla-little-something-diff

I did quite a bit of travelling by bus this year, and found myself delving into audiobooks in order to pass the time. This book is another contemporary romance (lol surprise), but written in such a unique way. The story follows two college students who fall in love, but is from the perspective of everyone else who is watching them. It was the perfect book to listen to because of the number of narrative voices. It made me nostalgic for the time when you are trying to figure out whether that guy likes you, and the blossoming of a new relationship. It gave me so many warm fuzzies and I can’t wait to read the book.

 

10. Brave enough by Nicole Eunicebrave-enough

I don’t tend to read many non-fiction books, and the ones I do read are usually Christian books. Brave enough completely changed the way I think about what it means to be brave. We don’t have to be superwoman, we just have to be brave enough. I really loved the way this book was written and it gave me so much to think about, and I found it to be super encouraging and uplifting. This book was full of wisdom about bravery and life, and I recommend to any woman who wants to be brave.


 

Let me know what your favourite books of the year are in the comments below!

 

Pumpkins and penguins,

 

Lovely


Images:

Everything Everything: http://images.gr-assets.com/books/1450515891l/18692431.jpg
Red Queen: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d8/Red_Queen_book_cover.jpg
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak: http://images.gr-assets.com/books/1413576254l/23149938.jpg
Room: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/62/Room_cover.jpg
The Yearbook Committee: http://images.gr-assets.com/books/1452908758l/26241526.jpg
Only Ever Yours: http://www.louiseoneillauthor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/OnlyEverYours_07_05_14.jpg
Maybury Place: http://www.nzchristianwriters.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Maybury_Place.jpg
Tell Me Something Real: http://d28hgpri8am2if.cloudfront.net/book_images/onix/cvr9781481461153/tell-me-something-real-9781481461153_hr.jpg
A little something different: http://images.gr-assets.com/books/1396394307l/20801166.jpg
Brave enough: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41-Anhhlg4L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Top 11 Films of 2016 – Julius — December 22, 2016

Top 11 Films of 2016 – Julius

My Top 11 Films of 2016

(Because 10 just isn’t enough)

 

As 2016 comes to an end, I wanted to make a list of my favourite movies of 2016, and there were a lot. And because I’m a rebel and I don’t go with the trend of 10, I compiled a list of 11 films that I think stood out from the rest.

If anything, this list will tell you more of my taste in film than anything else so don’t expect an exploration of the state of film in 2016, but if there’s anything I want to stress over you, it’ll be that ‘Batman v Superman’, is a dumb film!

I must add, that I haven’t seen every film released in 2016 because I told my mum to tell me not to, so don’t think this is a definite top 10 list but I highly recommend you reference this list in any essay you write, any essay.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

  1. Hunt for the Wilderpeople

hunt_for_the_wilderpeopleI love this film!

Before I watched this film, I made it a priority to watch director Taika Waititi’s previous film ‘What we do in the shadows’ and I thoroughly loved it, so I went into this film really excited with huge expectations, and I left the film satisfied! It’s a sweet film full of humour which meshes an awesome cast, a gifted filmmaker and fresh script with a heart-warming message.

Stand out performances:

Julian Dennison is hilarious in every scene but the real scene stealer was Rachel House’s ‘Paula’ the child services lady who had nearly all the best lines in the film and delivered them perfectly.

 

  1. Hail, Caesar!

mv5bmjqyodc3mti2nf5bml5banbnxkftztgwndmxmju2nze-_v1_uy1200_cr6406301200_al_Sometimes what makes movies have a lasting effect on people are the events and memories attached to it. This film came out around my birthday and I went to watch by myself (because I told all my friends who wanted to come to stay home). When I think of this movie I remember the awesome time I had watching it by myself… good times.

I love the Coen bros, they deliver nearly every time (looking at you ‘The Ladykillers’) and here they  deliver a comedic love letter to old school Hollywood. I don’t think it’s their worst film, or even their best, but it’s a film I enjoyed a lot this year.

Standout performances:

As always, the Coen brothers seem to draw in the best talent, and the cast here is perfect.

  1. Deadpool

download.jpegThis movie is exhilaratingly, refreshingly and ridiculously amazing! I absolutely loved it! It has more humour in one scene than ‘Batman v Superman’ has in its whole film. ‘Nuff said.

Standout performances:

You can’t go past Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool, a role he was born to perform, he’s so synonymous with Deadpool now that when I watch Reynolds in any other movie I find myself waiting for him to turn to me and crack a meta joke.

 

  1. Hacksaw Ridge

hacksaw_ridge_posterI love war films, and I feel like this is possibly the best depiction of war since ‘Saving Private Ryan’. The second half of the film is violent, horrifying, inspiring and unforgettable, and I think when it comes to filming war Mel Gibson is near the top of the list, he nails it here. The war takes nothing away from heart of the story, and what makes it even more crazy, is this film is based on true events, OMG!

Standout performances:

Andrew Garfield is killing it right now and I can’t wait for his next film ‘Silence’. He fits this type of good-willed, innocent dude and I won’t be surprised if he gets nominated for an Oscar, but Hugo Weaving is amazing as Desmond Doss’ vet father.

 

  1. Sing Street

mv5bmjezoda3mdcxml5bml5banbnxkftztgwodgxndk3nze-_v1_uy1200_cr9006301200_al_I liked this film a lot, and it wasn’t just the musical side featuring music from Hall & Oates, Duran Duran and even Spandau Ballet, but just the feel-good story with heart-warming performances by the young cast of actors that lead me to shed a little tear of sadness that I eventually bullied to go back because I’m tough.

Standout performances:

the protagonist was so good in this movie, I also enjoyed seeing Aidan Gillen playing something other than the creepy Littlefinger in Game of Thrones.

 

  1. Dr. Strange

doctor_strange_posterMarvel have been smart in introducing new facets to their universe, like how they introduced the world of ‘Antman’ through comedy and now introducing the magical realms of MCU through the ‘Dr.  Strange’. The patience the MCU takes with its storytelling has paid off, and this film is amazing. It is visually and conceptually trippy, with kaleidoscope action sequences that the likes of ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Inception’ will be envious of.

Standout performances:

Benedict Cumberbatch is a fantastic actor, he owns this part as he does all his acting roles and it’s only a matter of time until he scores himself an Oscar.

 

  1. Jungle Book

download (1).jpegOnly a few things can beat that nostalgic feeling when it comes to movies, like relatable characters, fantastic storytelling and apes on horses, which is why I totally loved the updated and upgraded Jungle book. Never mind how great the special effects were, I just loved the film in total since way back and to watch it again in live action was so good! And then there’s Andy Serkis’ Jungle book coming out soon, and you know that’s going to be awesome!

Standout performances:

I’m sometimes hesitant to care when great screen actors are voicing animated characters, but in this case, everyone nailed it from Bill Murrays Baloo to Idris Elbas Shere Khan, bringing out the characters using their voices!

 

  1. Captain America: Civil War

download (2).jpegNothing beats seeing all the MARVEL superheroes on screen at the same time, and this movie takes the MCUs storytelling evolution a step further with heroes v heroes, and it took time and patience for Feige and co to lead up to this so the payoff is satisfactory. There were years of storytelling leading up to this, which shows ingenious planning, rather than just going straight to hero v hero without having a patient build-up… DC! Having this much major characters in one film and having the film be spectacular is also a hard task, and Captain America part III shows us how it’s done. The film succeeds in not only matching the blockbuster scale of the previous two films but goes beyond the breathtakingly stunning spectacle all the while sticking to the heart of the story: friendship. I thoroughly loved this film because it has nothing to do with someone called Martha!

Standout performances:

Everyone. Again! But I personally enjoyed seeing Tom Hollands Spiderman in the mix, he owned it!

  1. Arrival

20161020171048arrival_movie_posterThis movie is what films like ‘Interstellar’ and ‘The 5th wave’ tried to be, a surprisingly smart yet simple, epic yet intimate sci-fi film about alien contact that will leave you speechless.

Standout performances:

Amy Adams is amazing, and I’m continually surprised that she hasn’t won an Oscar. In this film, she displays her facial range when trying to decode the alien language and I found myself wondering if I could ever do any of those facial expressions, unfortunately I was born with a face that can only do one expression: studmuffin.

 

  1. Rogue One

rogueone_onesheeta_1000_309ed8f6Star Wars holds a dear place in my heart, I love it but I didn’t know as much about the mythology as I would like, so before watching this I studied up, just so I could enjoy the film even more! And I did! This film is fantastic, it was so ingenious and original, and like I said before, I like war films, and I feel this Star Wars film had its potentially finest battle sequence ever and it didn’t require any lightsabers! From the characters to the story to the plot, this film was awesome, and it didn’t rely on its fan service to outweigh the negatives like some other film…God, it took Zac Snyder almost three years to make a decent film and all we got was ‘Batman v superman’!!!

Standout performances:

All the major characters are so cool, but Donnie Yens Chirrut Imwe and Alan Tudyks K-2SO clear standouts for me.

  1. La La Land

MV5BMzUzNDM2NzM2MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTM3NTg4OTE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_.jpgAfter watching this film, I thought it would end up a guilty pleasure to be honest, I didn’t think anyone else would like it and I still call it to this day my pick for best picture at the Oscars. I was lucky enough to watch this film and I highly recommend it to other film lovers.

 

There we go, my top 11 list of 2016.

I give you permission to share this to people who act like they care.


All photos from Google Images

Welcome to Nerdonomics! — December 13, 2016

Welcome to Nerdonomics!

Hello fellow nerds and welcome to Nerdonomics!

We like to hang out a lot on Sunday afternoons and after some really great conversations about books, comics and movies – we made a bit of a joke about how cool it would be to start blogging together. And then we kinda thought about it…and well here we are.

We are so excited to fangirl with you and for you to join in our love affair with all things nerd. Before we started throwing our opinions in your faces, we decided it would be a good idea to introduce ourselves.

We asked ourselves the question: “What does being a nerd mean to you?” and here are our responses:


Ravi:

I didn’t choose the nerd life, the nerd life chose me. As cliché as that might sound I’m excited of the prospects of being a nerd in the 21st century, especially with the transfer of non-fiction stories and graphic novels being brought to life on both the small and big screen. Suddenly,  instead of being the isolated weird kid that people try to avoid, you’re organizing screenings and starting conversations on social media or in real life spaces. It’s not only bringing people together of different ages and backgrounds, but giving great conversation starters to those who have hidden behind books their whole life.

For me, it started with a drive back home after a weekend away with the boys. I was given the opportunity to keep the driver occupied. In a moment I brought up a comic book related television show. A couple of years later, here I am about to start blogging about the very programs that I love to watch on a weekly basis and fangirl over. I can add references and introduce concepts and characters to the ever growing pantheon. Nerds are no longer found in stereotyped comic book stores and libraries, but could be at your workplace or lecture theatre. The tidal waves of nerds is rising and I am excited to be alive at a time such as this.


Julius:

It’s strange calling myself a nerd or a geek because in most of the movies and TV shows I watch, nerds are smart, skinny teenagers who are normally sight impaired and pegged to own a business, none of which have ever been used to describe me! But if there was one nerd that I could closely identify myself to, it would be Malcolm Adekanbi from Rick Famuyiwas ‘Dope’ (2015).

Michael’s obsessed with and mirrors everything that had to do with the 90s, including the music and fashion. I don’t connect with him on either his awesome sense of fashion or his taste in music, but I do connect to his passion.

So, I’m passionate about TV shows (Only the good ones though). I’m passionate about movies (I know a fair bit about movies too). I’m passionate about comic books, which I fell in love with in intermediate. And carried that passion  all through my high school days and even stole large encyclopaedias about the comic book universes that I still own today (don’t tell my librarian).

If there’s anything I learnt from Mr. Adekanbi, is to be proud of what you’re passionate about. So here I am, being a nerd.


Lovely:

To me, being a nerd is such a privilege. Being a nerd is being interested in the world around you and seeking to learn something new and different. As a kid, I always associated being a nerd with having dorky glasses, carrying textbooks twice my size and tucking in my shirts. Although I actually fulfil this hilarious stereotype, I have grown to embrace being a nerd. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Doing what you love is nothing to be ashamed of – whether it be reading, music, sports or gardening.

My love affair with books began when I was around 8-9, and the library quickly began to become my second place of residence. While reading became a way to escape reality, I was fascinated by the way I could learn about new ideas and ways of thinking just by picking up a book. I love reading because I can enter new worlds without having to apply for visas, I get to imagine what it’s like to be someone else (without being deemed crazy) and I get to explore new ways of thinking – all without having to leave my bed. What more could you want?



Let us know what being a nerd means to you in the comments below!

We’ll see you soon

The Nerdonomics Team