Monday, June 24

Film: World War Z Click for more info

Apparently there's a book that this film is based on, but has totally trounced over. Personally I'm glad that I've never read it, because I thought the film was actually really good. A very old looking Brad Pitt does a good job leading us across the world (on a possibly wasted journey) while he investigates the cause of the outbreak in question.

It's a bit episodic and possibly video-game-levelish, and as such it does feel a little middle heavy and perhaps even anti-climatic. But it's certainly a lot of fun throughout and there aren't any times I remember when I was bored.

A good solid time-pass. Recommended.

Friday, June 21

SMBC Click for more info

I know this is supposed to be metaphorical... but it did actually happen each time I've climbed a mountain too:

Be happy with what you have folks, and stop chasing stuff that has no end to it. YES, YES I KNOW.

Wednesday, June 19

Film: Man of Steel Click for more info

Oh my, what a train wreck this film was. It was too long, too boring and too stingy with the payoff, and so... normal it felt like a waste of an Orange Wednesday voucher.

I think my main issue is with the identity crisis the film goes through. It just doesn't know what it wants to be - apart from different from other Supermen perhaps. The trouble is that it seems to have gone a little too far. Okay, the disdain for shaky-cam and super-zoom might be just my personal gripe, but if I wanted to watch a apocalyptic sci-fi disaster movie I would have picked one. And really, don't get me started on the dodgy editing. Here's a tip, movie makers: explicit will always trump implied action.

I've heard some reviews make that now typical and elitist justification for bad re-imaginings like this, that only real fans will "get it". Well perhaps I'm not a real fan, but I'm hardly a Batman or Marvel expert either that didn't stop me from enjoying The Dark Knight or The Avengers multiple times. I see niche appeal as a flaw, not a strength, and if you need some kind of affinity with a subject to enjoy a film I don't see that as a good thing.

So no, no recommendations here. Perhaps it's one to wait for the DVD of; just skip to chapter 10 or so and you might just get to see a decent superhero movie.

EDIT: for those of you who have seen this film and enjoyed it as much as I did, here's a link you might enjoy.


Muhtashim Ayub

1 month ago  -  Shared publicly
yeah it's awful. Right after watching it I thought it was a solid 3 * film but in the week since it's gone even lower in my estimation. The basic fault is one of narrative, it has no story most glaringly it has no 2nd act. It begins then it ends with a 40min fight scene.

Sahil Dhingra

1 month ago  -  Shared publicly
I still have to watch it. It can't be that bad :|

Monday, June 17

Dubai, Day Four: Dilliwaali Girlfriend

And here it is, my final day in Dubai. And I am sad.

Of course with the wedding over today was pretty much left to just doss. And so it was, with us visiting the bride, grabbing a burger at a mall and listening to music while driving through the highways of Dubai. Good times that. Oh and of course I had to say fond farewells to friends both new and old. Multiple times, naturally. After a quick dinner at home I headed to the airport, and that was that - my spontaneous stint in Dubai was over.

As I write this I realise that I do indeed go to Dubai for exactly the same reasons as those I called out in my post four days ago: in order to experience a crossing of cultures. But it is the crossing of cultures of the people that they effortlessly create within their homes and themselves that I love rather than that of fancy glossy malls next to mosques and Halal KFC (and yes, yes, I realise there's a definite correlation there). It's something that I don't really see in London too often if at all, and quite likely something that counts as evidence to my own identity issues.

So in a nutshell: Dubai offers good, clean, simple and wholesome fun, something which seems way too difficult to achieve over here.


Humaira Gulzad

1 month ago  -  Shared publicly
I know your Dubai posts have next to no private info (I am the queen of sharing), but I loved reading them :)

Sunday, June 16

Food: Shake Shack Click for more info

Okay I admit it - the main reason I ate here was because it's as close as I'm going to get to having a restaurant named after me. But egotistical decision making aside, it did turn out to be a relatively good choice with some pretty decent burger and fries accompanying a solid milkshake and pretty heavenly red velvet ice cream dessert. My only criticisms are that it was a bit on the small side - in hindsight I should have just gone for the double - and maybe a little unexciting in terms of taste. I'm also not sure how much it all cost exactly but I suspect it wasn't as budget as the McDonald's next door.

But it wasn't bad at all, and I'll definitely be checking out the new branch opening soon in my own home town (halal permitting of course).


Rohit Alimchandani

1 month ago  -  Shared publicly
Shack Shake  would have been a much better name n'est ce pas?

Humaira Gulzad

1 month ago  -  Shared publicly
I found this on my way to work this morning!

Dubai, Day Three: Badtameez Dil

So yes, I've totally given up on having any kind of morning during my stay here. On the bright side today apparently has much less to prepare for than last night. After picking up some flowers from a shop accompanying a mandir (the place to get flowers from apparently), we made our way to the venue.

Most of the afternoon was spent hanging out with the bridal party while everyone got ready, joking around and watching the Disney Channel. The wedding itself was great: simple yet elegant and beautiful - pretty much like the host family. And poignant - both for the typical wedding reasons of a bride leaving her home but also for the fact that the reason I had even come to Dubai was coming to an end.

Amazingly we managed to break all records and finally sit to eat at around three, the hall being dismantled around us while we dined. It was great.

And the night didn't end before delivering another first for me - Halal MacDonald's at 3:45am. As my friend-cum-babysitter said to me, this was as close to clubbing as it was going to get for us.


Humaira Gulzad

1 month ago  -  Shared publicly
I can't believe this was 5 days ago!

Saturday, June 15

Dubai, Day Two: Balam Pichkari

I have a feeling that the late end last night will set the pace of the holiday these next few days - it wasn't even an official wedding event or anything.

After just about getting up for Jummah, we headed off to the venue for tonight's mehndi. I really want to say I went to help but it was just more chilling and dossing for me really - still, it was nice to be involved.

The mehndi itself was bags of fun, and I'm shocked by how late events can run here. It was all (and I'm including my flight fare in that too) worth it for the dancing though. There were four tracks from Yeh Jeewani Hai Deewani for heaven's sake.

Oh and I'm sure you can all guess by now what the soundtrack of this holiday was for me.

Friday, June 14

Dubai, Day One: Ghagra

It's not like I totally hate Dubai but I definitely don't understand why so many people come here for holidays. I guess Sun, sand and halal McDonald's just isn't quite enough for me. I can see why the whole crossing of cultures appeals - even though I not so secretly see that as a clich├ęd manifestation of identity crises.

And yet this marks the third time that I've visited here. I managed to pretty much exhaust the tourist trail on my first visit, and so it's quite telling that two out of the three visits have been so I can attend weddings. You see the thing is that although I don't feel Dubai as a geographical place, I (and I say this without reservation) love the people here - and as I found out almost a decade ago weddings are a wonderful, brilliant way to hang out with them.

So even though it was massively fun on this, my first day here, it was kind of expected that I would hang in parlours while ladies got their make-up tested, learn to sew sequins on a dupatta, be taught dance steps to Balam Pichkari and end up driving almost the height of Dubai at 3am in a tank of a 4x4 that passes as normal in these parts. This is why I came.

The truth is that I had only decided to come less than a week ago, and that only after the invite had literally dropped through my letterbox. I still don't quite believe that I left work on Wednesday to take the night flight that got me here this morning.

And already it's a decision I'm utterly glad to have made. Spontaneity rocks - who knew?


Humaira Gulzad

1 month ago  -  Shared publicly
Sun, sand, halal McDonald's and tanks is why Dubai is the best

Saturday, June 8

Food: BBQ Express Click for more info

In a time when chicken shops have become pretty ubiquitous, it's nice to see something a little different. Handmade beefburgers with a selection of sauces? Yes. Good value? Yes. Decent service? Yes. A clean looking restaurant? Yes.

These things alone make BBQ Express unique in the world of cheap fast food, but it really helped that the food tasted good too. For the sake of impartiality I will say that I might have had a few issues the next day, but I'm hoping hard that it wasn't BBQ Express - I guess I'll confirm that the next time I go, which I think will be very soon.


Tuesday, June 4

Film: Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Click for more info

At first there isn't much not to like about YJHD. It was cute, fun and oh so pretty. We're talking an FGF of at least 50 here. After a while however I begun to see the film for what it was: insubstantial, with a loose plot hanging on charm, chemistry and a most awesome soundtrack (really - there's only one song I don't really like on it).

And not that it's at all relevant, but (music numbers aside) Deepika really didn't look as droolworthy as she otherwise always does. To be frank she was almost mortal, but I'm just going to put that down to bad make-up. Oh but I do have to give a special mention to the gravity defying single strapped sari blouse though. Purely from an academic perspective of course.

So standard Bollywood then? Well yes; and ultimately it was a film that did suck me in like a cheap drug. But you know what? I'm not even ashamed in admitting that here.


Humaira Gulzad

2 months ago  -  Shared publicly
Naina: And, after realising what fun being a free spirit can be, I also fall for Bunny... despite his name being Bunny