The Search For Star Trek DVDs

I have been looking but failing to find all the first 10 Star Trek movies on dvd in India. Unless it’s for some crazy money. This is crazy. It’s Star Trek! STAR TREK! I have the last 3 ones which are from the reboot/alternate universe or Kelvinverse movies from 2009 to 2016 onwards but I want the first 10. The ones that are near and dear to me.

Ofcourse I could get them on Amazon.com but the price in dollars vs rupees is also crazy. I’m gonna wait and see if I get some freelance online work that I was contacted for and if so, some of the payment is pretty good. Like $100 for one job and if I can get a couple of those or more (like I was told) then I can buy these sets that I really like and have them displayed in my collection and watch the movies on dvd finally.

But it’s crazy being a movie fan in India and finding it so difficult to get proper dvd releases at decent prices. Why do you think Indians pirate movies via download a lot? The crazy prices when we want to buy legally would kill us.

My New DVD/Book Shelf

IMG_20181125_123124I am surprised that I didn’t post about this sooner. But I did get my new dvd shelf. I guess you can call it a dvd shelf, though most people would call it a bookshelf. There are a couple of things that the carpenter go wrong though. This was custom made but…the shelves are taller than I had asked for. The gap in between was supposed to be shorter so I don’t have waste of space.

Secondly, I had asked for a dark rosewood finish, like some of the shelves that he had shown me at the shop. But two days before they were scheduled to deliver it to me, he called me and said that they ran out of rosewood finish (which I had really liked and thought would look more awesome) but they had black and would that do.

Now, black is the usual default colour for dvd shelves and when I first thought about getting a shelf I had black in mind. But having gone to the furniture store and seen the finished products of the rosewood finish, I was really looking forward to that. But if I had said no and waited for them to get the rosewood finish then it would have been a long wait.

As it was they were late by a couple of days. Initially he had said that week Tuesday (13 Nov) and I said even Wednesday morning would be fine but that was when he called me and said that they didn’t have any rosewood finish remaining. So we settled for Thursday evening but then the carpenter’s mom was taken to the hospital so we decided it would be Friday evening.

Friday the 16th was that major storm we had in Cochin and the rest of the state and he called me to say that they were trying to get it delivered but the storm was so bad. I told him to wait till 5:30 pm and see if the storm eases and if not to abandon it. Saturday was a sudden harthal called so I ended up getting the shelf delivered to me on Monday the 19th of November.

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Here is my small but growing collection of dvd movies that I have started collecting. My main options to buy dvds from are Amazon India and Flipart. I hope to get a nice collection going.

I Spit on Your Grave

I Spit on Your Grave is a 2010 American rape-and-revenge horror film and a remake of the controversial 1978 cult film of the same name (originally known as Day of the Woman). It was directed by Steven R. Monroe, and stars Sarah Butler, Chad Lindberg, Daniel Franzese, Rodney Eastman, Jeff Branson, and Andrew Howard.

I have heard of this movie, both the original & the remake, for quite a while but I had no intention of watching it. I don’t like movies that depict rape and dwell on it and can take some torture movies but too much of it is really hard for me to take. I finally watched this one today, and it is tough to sit through without me feeling disgusted about men who gang up and physically hurt & rape women. It is also tough not to feel empathetic towards the victim in this case and cheer her on when she gets her revenge in thoroughly brutal yet innovative ways.

Jennifer Hills is a writer who moves to a remote cabin in the woods of Louisiana from NYC to write her next novel. At a gas station, Johnny who runs the place, tries to flirt with her but awkwardly gets rejected in front of his two friends Andy and Stanley. Jennifer settles in the cabin writing her novel, drinking wine and smoking marijuana. When she has plumbing problems, the caretaker sends Matthew, a stuttering plumber who has social anxiety and possibly other mental issues. After he finishes the work, Jennifer impulsively gives him a kiss of gratitude and he runs out before she can pay him. Matthew then tells Johnny and his friends Andy and Stanley about his visit. Johnny, whose ego was bruised after the gas station incident, decide that Jennifer is snobbish and needs to be “taught a lesson”.

At night the four men enter the cabin and taunt Jennifer making her do lewd acts to a gun. She manages to escape into the woods and runs into sheriff  Storch and Earl, the owner of the cabin she is renting. Storch tells Earl to go back home and leads Jennifer back to the cabin but when he finds her drugs and alcohol, he assaults her too. They make Matthew rape her first before they all take turns out in the woods, with Stanley recording it. A naked and injured Jennifer walks and falls into the river and after a brief search the men think she drowned. Jennifer though is still alive and recovers days later and comes back to the town. She stalks the men from afar and steals the tape from Stanley’s camera.

Storch finds the tape sent to his wife and confronts the other men about it. Johnny is taunted by dead birds thrown at his window and Matthew returns to the cabin where she is strangled by Jennifer as he tries to apologize. She next captures Stanley in a bear trap, smears fish guts in his face, then uses his camera to record crows pecking out his eyes. Jennifer then drowns Andy and burns his face horribly in a lye bathtub. Next, she uses pliers to pull out Johnny’s teeth and a pair of garden shears to cut off his penis, leaving him to bleed to death. She then pretends to be a new teacher for Storch’s daughter’s advanced education program and takes her to the school prak.

Storch finds out and rushes to the park but is attacked by Jennifer. When he wakes up, Jennifer anally rapes him with his shotgun and reminds him that she was just as innocent as his own daughter. She attaches one end of a string to the trigger and the other end to the wrist of the unconscious Matthew, who is seated in front of Storch. When Matthew wakes up, his movements trigger the shotgun, which fires a round that tears through Storch’s body and blows apart his face before hitting Matthew in the chest, leaving both men dead. As she hears the sound, Jennifer smiles.

Brutal  Rape isn’t something that I am comfortable in watching. I can tell you that I was so uncomfortable throughout the film from the stalking, the taunting & raping of the girl. What bizarre and innovative ways to exact her revenge. That was brutal. I label this horror and horrific. But dare I say it I got a certain satisfaction when seeing the main character getting her revenge. As a movie…..7 outta 10!

Hereditary

Hereditary is a 2018 American supernatural horror film written and directed by Ari Aster, in his feature directorial debut. It stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro and Gabriel Byrne as a family haunted after the death of their secretive grandmother.

Annie’s estranged mother, Ellen, who has been living with Annie and her family in their house, dies. At the funeral 13-year-old daughter, Charlie, draws her grandmother lying in her coffin, which is disapproved off by her father Steve. Following the funeral, Charlie begins to exhibit strange behavior, asking her mother who will take care of her now that her grandmother is gone. A disturbing fact is revealed when Annie says that Charlie was her mother’s favourite and even breastfed her! Annie sees an apparition of Ellen in her workshop but it disappears when she switched on the light.

Annie also attends a support group to talk about her mother’s death and her family’s history with mental illness. Peter is forced to take Charlie with him when he lies about going to a late evening school event, which is actually a party. While he is smoking pot, Charlie eats some chocolate cake which has nuts in it. Allergic to nuts, she suffers from a angioedema attack and Peter rushes her to a hospital. Charlie however opens a window to stick her head out and breath more easily and is decapitated when Peter sveres to avoid hitting a dear and Charlie’s head hits a telephone pole. Peter is stunned and goes home and lies in bed and Annie finds her daughter’s severed head in the car and screams.

Annie is befriended by Joan, a fellow support group member who says she lost her son & grandson and eventually she goes to Joan’s home for a talk. Annie starts to have violent nightmares while sleepwalking. At dinner that night, Annie explodes at Peter, revealing her harbored resentment and blame towards him in regards to the accident, to which Peter counters by telling Annie that she was the one who convinced Charlie to go; this further stresses their relationship. Joan has Annie taken through a seance but the latter has a breakdown in between. Joan instructs Annie to perform the séance with all of her family members present and one of Charlie’s possessions, which will form a link to Charlie’s spirit during the séance. On her way back home, Annie hears the tongue clicking noise Charlie frequently made in her car.

After another nightmare in which she & Peter are killed in flames, Annie apologies to her son and asks him & Steven to take part in a seance. bjects begin to move and break, terrifying Peter, and Charlie seemingly possesses Annie until Steve douses her with water. In Joan’s apartment, lit candles line the shelves, while a picture of Peter with his eyes crossed out sits in the middle of a pentagram on Joan’s table. Peter spots Joan from across the street during lunchtime at school, who screams at Peter to get out. At her home, Annie sees Joan in several photos of her mothers and is shocked that the two knew each other. Annie discovers a book with information about a demon named Paimon, one of the eight kings of Hell who requires the body of a male host in order to achieve his full potential. Annie ventures into the attic and finds a decapitated body with strange symbols on the wall written in blood and presumes it to be Ellen’s.

At school Peter becomes possessed temporarily and knows his head on his desk until he is knocked out. Steve is called from work to pick him up from school. Once he returns home, Annie shows Steve her mother’s body and the sketchbook. Annie begs Steve to burn the sketchbook so she can sacrifice herself in order to stop the haunting, but Steve assumes she has gone mad, accusing her of desecrating Ellen’s grave herself. When Annie throws the book into the fireplace herself, Steve bursts into flames instead. Annie stares in shock and becomes possessed. Peter later wakes up at night and is chased by his mother  Annie, possessed and levitating, chases him into the attic, where Peter begs her to return to her senses.

Within the attic, Peter is met with decorations of cult imagery as well as more coven members; Annie, floating within the air, beheads herself with a piano wire as the coven members look on. Peter jumps out of the window in order to escape them. As he lies on the ground, Paimon possesses his body and he wakes up. He follows Annie’s levitating corpse into Charlie’s treehouse, where Charlie’s crowned, decapitated head rests atop a mannequin. Joan, other coven members and the headless corpses of his mother and grandmother bow to him. Joan swears an oath to him as Paimon, stating that he has been liberated from his female host, Charlie, and is free to rule over them.

Though some of the movie is a bit dull and it fails to take off for a while, I think by the end the horror kicks in and we get into some scares and atmospheric scenes. Collette’s performance is top notch and adds to the effectiveness of this movie. The movie made over $79 million on a $10 million budget to become A24’s highest-grossing film worldwide.8 outta 10.

DVD Haul From Flipkart – November 2018

Here is a quick haul video. I placed an order for 10 dvds on Flipkart at the end of October for their Diwali discount sale (several dvds priced at Rs.99 or Rs.199 instead of Rs.499/599/699/799) so I had to get a few. Unfortunately, it’s only 7 here as two were duplicates of Batman vs Superman & 300 : Rise Of An Empire instead of Interstellar & Edge Of Tomorrow. I returned them via pickup.

The Meg

A Chinese-American co-production, The Meg is a 2018 science fiction action thriller film directed by Jon Turteltaub with a screenplay by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, and Erich Hoeber, loosely based on the 1997 book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten. The film stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Jessica McNamee, Masi Oka and Cliff Curtis. The film follows a group of scientists who encounter a 75-foot-long (23 m) megalodon shark while on a rescue mission at the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

Haven’t I seen this movie before? Oh wait, right! I was thinking about 1998’s Deep Blue. As the movie opens, a rescue operation for sailors stuck on a damaged nuclear sub goes wrong loans no credit check direct lenders as Jonas Taylor is forced to leave behind two of his team members as it would take too long. A creature attacked the hull and repeated hits causes the sub to explode after the rest leave. Only Jonas saw the damaged and his claims of an as yet unseen large sea creature is dismissed by his teammate Dr. Heller, who blames Jonas for the loss of their friends.

5 years later at the underwater research facility “Mana One”, financed by billionaire Jack Morris, Dr. Minway Zhang and his daughter, Suyin, an oceanographer, are supervising a mission to explore what may be a deeper section of the Marianas trench, concealed by a thermocline cloud of hydrogen sulfide. Morris himself is there to see the results of a mission conducted by Lori (Taylor’s ex-wife), Toshi, and The Wall in a submersible. The mission appears to be going well until a very large creature hits the submersible, causing it to lose contact with Mana One. James “Mac” Mackreides, another crew member at the station, suggests sending Taylor down to attempt a rescue, which does not go well with Dr. Heller but they bring him in anyway. Despite Heller’s objections, Zhang and Mac decide to travel to Thailand to recruit Taylor anyway. Suyin attempts the rescue herself, but a colossal squid intervenes. Before it can destroy her craft, a massive shark appears and kills it.

Taylor arrives and helps Lori & the Wall but on seeing the shark approaching them Toshi sacrifices himself by closing the hatch door and detaching the rescue vessel, allowing Taylor, Lori, and The Wall to escape safely while he diverts the shark’s attention to his sub, causing it to be driven into a thermal vent, causing an explosion. At Mana One, they discuss the shark, which is a a Megalodon, the largest shark ever known, believed to be extinct for millions of years. Meanwhile, Suyin’s daughter, Meiying, goes to the large glass leading to a beautiful underwater view of the ocean, and sees the Megalodon through the glass, and is petrified. When Suyin comes down with Jonas, they see a whale being eaten alive by the massive shark. The crew then realize that it has escaped from the depths of the trench by swimming through a hole in the thermocline created by the thermal vent explosion, briefly raising the temperature enough for it to safely pass.

They use a large boat and Suyin enters a cage to attract the meg and while injecting the Megalodon with a poison, Suyin’s oxygen mask gets compromised, but Taylor revives her with CPR. They capture the shark but celebration is cut short when Taylor comments that the teeth don’t match up with the previous attack. Shortly after, a second, more colossal Megalodon emerges from the water, devours The Wall and the smaller Megalodon, and capsizes the boat. It also devours Dr. Heller, who saves Jaxx’s life by luring it to himself. The surviving crew returns to Mana One in two dinghies, but Dr. Zhang succumbs and dies of his injuries. Morris announces that he has informed local governments and naval forces, but it is out of their hands.

At nightfall, Morris attempts to destroy the Megalodon himself by ordering a helicopter crew to drop modified depth charges at it, citing that the creature’s actions could result in lawsuits. He approaches the carcass of the supposed Megalodon in a boat but discovers it’s a whale and he himself is killed by the meg. Taylor and the remaining Mana One crew discover Morris’ deception and resolve to track and kill the shark, only to realize that it is en route to a crowded beach on the Sanya Bay. The Megalodon kills several beachgoers before the Mana One crew plays audio of a whale call to divert the shark’s attention towards them. Taylor and Suyin attempt to destroy the megalodon with rigged torpedoes, to no avail, and in the process, Taylor’s submersible is severely damaged.

Taylor manages to cut the megalodon with parts of his sub and stab it in the eye with a harpoon. Due to the presence of blood, multiple sharks in the area notice the blood and devour the Megalodon, killing it. During the fight, Suyin was able to evacuate everyone to a boat where a Chinese couple is getting married. Taylor gets on the boat, and he and Suyin consider taking a vacation to celebrate their triumph.

Very predictable and a bit cheesy and corny for a while. But….I did not have much expectation and that made it easier to enjoy the film. It’s ok for a late afternoon watch, eating a pizza from Pizza Hut and drinking a 7Up as I did. The movie looks a bit odd and I guess it looks more like a Chinese production. The production began in New Zealand and ended in Sanya, China. A Chinese-American co-production, it has grossed over $527 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics.

Slender Man

Slender Man is a 2018 American supernatural horror film directed by Sylvain White and written by David Birke, based on the character of the same name. The film stars Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, and Annalise Basso, with Javier Botet as the title creature. Slender Man was released in the United States on August 10, 2018, by Screen Gems, grossed over $51 million worldwide and received a largely negative reception from critics and audiences alike.

It’s no wonder that the movie had mostly negative reviews. This is one lazy movie in terms of moving the story along and scares. Also, teens – ugh! High school teens are usually the worst lot you can have for a horror film. But I still held out some hope. It was not to be!

Small town, 4 close teenaged girls at the high school who have stupid dialogues and cliched stuff. The four friends, Wren, Hallie, Chloe and Katie summon the Slender Man. A week later, Katie disappears and the other three girls go to her house to investigate for clues. The three discover that Katie had been involved in the occult and that she wanted the Slender Man to take her. Abusive alcoholic father and all – he even threatens Hallie and her younger sister Lizzie trying to find out where his daughter was. He is quickly hauled away by the cops.

The three girls decide to make contact with the Slender Man in an attempt to get Katie back in exchange for something else. Wren, who has researched Slender Man mythology, warns Hallie and Chloe not to open their eyes while the three are making contact with the Slender Man for fear of death or madness. Chloe panics, opens her eyes and comes face to face with the Slender Man. Sometime later, the Slender Man enters Chloe’s house and drives her insane.  A short while later, Lizzie, Hallie’s younger sister, suffers a major panic attack and is sent to the hospital and sedated. Hallie discovers Wren had attempted to come into contact with the Slender Man again, with the help of Lizzie.

Hallie confronts Wren about her sister. Wren tells Hallie that the Slender Man only wants them before she is taken by the Slender Man. Hallie, realizing that the only way to save Lizzie is to give herself to the Slender Man, sacrifices herself for her sister. Lizzie is able to recover and reflects on the situation that resulted in the death of her sister and her sister’s friends.

There’s these weird scenes, scare tactics that don’t work on us and some real bad acting by a couple of the lead girls. Otherwise, it’s dull, predictable and boring. I was on my phone a lot. 5 outta 10! And that is generous.

RIP Stan Lee

Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber, December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018 ), the legendary writer, editor and publisher of Marvel Comics whose fantabulous but flawed creations made him a real-life superhero to comic book lovers everywhere, has died. He was 95. He was the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, and later its publisher and chairman, leading its expansion from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation.

The feisty writer, editor and publisher was responsible for such iconic characters as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther and the Fantastic Four – whew! A  heady list of iconic characters that have lasted a long time and will last for a very, very long time. Lee, who began in the business in 1939 and created or co-created Black Panther, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Mighty Thor, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil and Ant-Man, among countless other characters, died early Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

In 2009, The Walt Disney Co. bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, and most of the top-grossing superhero films of all time — led by Avengers: Infinity War’s $2.05 billion worldwide take earlier this year — have featured Marvel characters. Lee launched the internet-based Stan Lee Media in 1998, and the superhero creation, production and marketing studio went public a year later. However, when investigators uncovered illegal stock manipulation by his partners, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001. (Lee was never charged.)

In 2002, Lee published an autobiography, Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee. Survivors include his daughter and younger brother Larry Lieber, a writer and artist for Marvel. Another daughter, Jan, died in infancy. His wife, Joan, was a hat model whom he married in 1947. The never-bashful Lee appeared in cameos in the Marvel movies, shown avoiding falling concrete, watering his lawn, delivering the mail, crashing a wedding, playing a security guard, etc.

The Nun

The Nun is a 2018 American gothic supernatural horror film directed by Corin Hardy and written by Gary Dauberman, from a story by Dauberman and James Wan. A spin-off of 2016’s The Conjuring 2, and the fifth installment in The Conjuring Universe, the film stars Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, and Jonas Bloquet. The plot follows a Roman Catholic priest and a nun in her novitiate as they uncover an unholy secret in 1952 Romania.

As the movie starts we see two nuns go into the tunnels of Saint Cartha’s monastery to retrieve an ancient Christian relic and enter through a door that reads “god ends here” (Really? He is that weak that he has to end at a door after which demons reside?) and are attacked by an unseen force, which later  takes the form of a demonic looking nun. The younger nun runs to her short term loans for students uk room and hangs herself. Her body is discovered by Frenchie, a villager who transports supplies to the nuns. On hearing the news the Vatican, summons Father Burke to Rome, where they ask him to travel with Sister Irene, a nun in her novitiate, to Romania in order to investigate the situation.

The pair travel to Romania and seek out Frenchie, who is in fact a French-Canadian named Maurice, and who leads them to the abbey. There they find a key on her and then enter the abbey where they see the veiled abbess (or mother superior) who informs them that the nuns observe a period of silence during the night and offers them lodging at the attached convent if they wish to return the next day. On his way home Frenchie is attacked by a demon but he manages to escape. Irene reveals that as a girl, she had visions particularly of a nun, causing the Church to take an interest in her. Burke is rescued by Irene after being buried alive in the graveyard by the demonic entity.

The nest day as it is cloistered, only Irene can enter the abbey and she talks to some of the nuns, who are taking turns praying. to keep the entity at bay. Sister Oana reveals the abbey’s history: it was built as a castle by a duke who was obsessed with the occult. The duke summoned the demonic entity through a rift in the catacombs but was killed by Christian knights, who sealed the rift with an artifact containing the blood of Jesus Christ. The bombings during the Second World War caused the rift to reopen, unleashing the entity. Burke identifies the entity as Valak and discovers the Abbess has been dead all along. Frenchie meanwhile heads to the abbey Irene is attacked by Valak and joins the nuns in desperate prayer to fend off the demon.

When the group reunites, Irene discovers that none of the nuns she had seen and talked to were real and she had been praying alone, later realizing that Victoria had been the last nun in the abbey and had sacrificed herself to stop Valak from possessing her body and unleashing evil. The trio retrieves the vial with the key Victoria had. Irene then informs Burke that God has called her to make her solemn vows as a nun and asks Burke to elevate her to the status of a professed nun, which he does in the abbey’s chapel. Irene is lured into a pentagram and possessed by Valak. Frenchie smears some of the blood of Christ on her face, casting out the demon. Burke is wounded by Daniel’s ghost as Valak starts to drown Irene in a flooded chamber. Irene expels the blood of Christ in the demon’s face, banishing it as the blood of Christ seals the rift.

After Frenchie resuscitates Irene, he reveals his real name is Maurice. Unbeknownst to the others, Maurice has been possessed by Valak, as evidenced by an inverted cross on his neck. As the movie ends we see a scene from 20 years later, ata university seminar, Carolyn Perron watches as Ed and Lorraine Warren present footage of their attempt to exorcise a possessed Maurice. In the footage, Maurice grabs Lorraine, giving her visions of Ed dying, which initiate the Warrens’ investigation of the Perron household haunting, as well as their encounter with Valak itself.

Slightly boring though the movie picks up pace towards the latter half, and reliant too much on jump scares, I was let down by this film. It lacks any real charm and sense of foreboding that I was hoping it would have as Valak is a real treat to watch. 6.5 outta 10!

The First Purge

The First Purge is a 2018 American action horror film directed by Gerard McMurray and starring Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Mugga, Luna Lauren Velez, Kristen Solis, and Marisa Tomei. The fourth installment in the Purge franchise, the film is a prequel depicting the origins of the first annual “Purge”, a 12-hour span once a year in which all crime in America is legal. Written and produced by James DeMonaco, it marks the first film of the series not to be directed by him.

This movie offers nothing new to the now 4 movie franchise. It shows us that after a period of turmoil, violence and poverty mixed with lack of opportunities has led to a 3rd party named the New Founding Fathers of America, who have grown into power and form the new government. NFFA members Arlo Sabian and Dr. May Updale announce an experiment to take place on Staten Island where for 12 hours, citizens will be allowed to purge and release their inhibitions in any way they choose. The NFFA offers residents of the Island $5000 to stay in their homes during the experiment and a compensation for those participating as well. They also outfit the participants with tracking devices and contact lenses with cameras in them so that they can monitor all activity.

The movie focuses on anti-Purge activist Nya and her younger brother Isaiah, who is working for drug lord and Nya’s ex, Dmitri. There’s also Nya’s friends Dolores, Luisa, and Selina, Dmitri’s gang and Skeletor, a crazy drug addict who just wants to kill people and use the Purge as his outlet. Other than Skeletor, most purgers on the Island want to loot and steal from stores and otherwise have parties. So the NFFA sends a mercenary team in masks and outfits on to kill a bunch of people. At the NFFA headquarters, Updale starts becoming suspicious due to the Purge’s sudden change in the crimes committed, as well as the presence of masked participants.  Sabian explains that he sent the mercenaries to make the experiment look successful, and eventually to help “balance” the rich and the poor.

Updale protests this tampering of the experiment and informs Sabian her realization that NFFA only wants to eradicate the poor because they don’t want to take care of them. With Sabian’s corruption revealed, he has Updale taken away and killed, before erasing all footage of the event. Dmitri ends up becoming a mix off Die Hard era Bruce Willis and any Arnie shootout movie to kill a bunch of the mercenaries and save Nya, Isaiah and their friends who had escaped to their apartment. He is hailed a hero at the end of the 12 hour cycle and another of those stupid rap songs starts to play.

Not really sure why this prequel was needed. It’s a mix of rap music, lots of struting and posing, Black American culture and the “hood” and people dying. Skeletor was an overacting nightmare. 6 outta 10!

Shopping For A Bookshelf

Well after two weeks I was out again today. Finally got two days off together again so I could go out and enjoy myself.

First up I went to The Burger Junction and got myself a real burger. There’s a few places in Cochin if you want a nice juicy beef based burger and TBJ is the best of the best. I had a double patty with fries and a shake and it wasn’t even that heavy. I stayed there a while and then went to Marine Drive near the High Court junction and went to find the small furniture place where I had bought my bookshelf, slightly altered, to house my Star Trek starship models. I wanted a new one as I am starting a small but decent dvd collection.

So I went there, and it was a hot day, and sweated until I gave the rough measurements that I was looking at and they showed me a couple of shelves  that they already had. Finally it was decided that they would make me one from scratch as I wanted something smaller and less wide. As they were taking more time, I said that I would called later in the day and get the final price (which turns out to be Rs.4,600). I then went to Center Mall and shopped for groceries and essentials in Big Bazaar. By then I was quite thirsty and bit hungry again so I went to Subway in the mall and had a sub and a large ice tea.

By 5pm I came back home and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo: A Star Wars Story (or simply Solo) is a 2018 American space Western film based on the Star Wars character Han Solo. Directed by Ron Howard, produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the second Star Wars anthology film following Rogue One (2016). Alden Ehrenreich stars as Han Solo alongside Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany. The plot takes place approximately ten years prior to the events of A New Hope, and explores the early adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca, who join a heist within the criminal underworld.

When you look at it one way, it’s a movie about when Hanny Met Cheewy! LOL, I could not resist. Anyway, what’s with the prequels that is bogging down scifi these past few years. Lovers Han & Qi’ra who grew up together as orphans on Coreilla, escape from the clutches of a local gang. They bribe an Imperial officer with stolen coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, in exchange for passage on an outgoing transport, but Qi’ra is apprehended by their pursuers before she can board. Han vows to return for her and joins the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. When the recruiting officer asks for his surname, Han says he is alone with no family, so the recruiter gives him the last name “Solo”. 3 years later, due to insubordination he is now an infantry man fighting on Minban.

He meets conmen & smugglers Tobias Beckett, his wife Val & Rio Durant who are posing as soldiers and he is dumped into a pit to be eaten by a beast when he almost rats them out. The beast turns out to be Chewbacca (who eats humans apparently) and he speaks in Woookie language to join forced and escape. Beckett, impressed by Han’s resilience, lets the two on board and enlists them in the gang to steal a shipment of coaxium on Vandor-1. The plan goes awry when the Cloud Riders show up, led by Enfys Nest, resulting in the deaths of two crew members, Rio Durant and Beckett’s wife Val, and the destruction of the coaxium. Knowing his bDryden Vos, a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han and Chewbacca volunteer to help him steal another shipment to repay the debt. They travel to Vos’ yacht where Han finds Qi’ra, who has joined Crimson Dawn and is Vos’ top lieutenant.

Han suggests a risky plan to steal unrefined coaxium from the mines on Kessel; Vos approves but insists that Qi’ra accompany the team. She leads them to Lando Calrissian, an accomplished smuggler and pilot who she hopes will lend them his ship. Han challenges Lando to a game of sabacc, with the wager being Lando’s ship. Lando cheats to win but agrees to join the mission in exchange for a share of the profits. After reaching Kessel in the Millennium Falcon and infiltrating the mine, Lando’s droid co-pilot L3-37 instigates a slave revolt. In the confusion, they steal the coaxium, but L3 is severely damaged and Lando is injured during the escape. With the help of L3’s navigational computer, hotwired into the ship’s systems, Han pilots the ship through the dangerous and uncharted Kessel Run to elude an Imperial blockade. The Falcon, badly damaged, lands on the planet Savareen to process the coaxium.

Lando flees in the Falcon. Enfys explains to Han that she and her crew are not pirates, but rebels trying to prevent the syndicates and Empire from gaining power. Han becomes sympathetic to their cause and tries to trick Vos, but Beckett has already alerted him to the double-cross. Vos sends his guards to kill Enfys, but the Cloud Riders overpower them instead, leaving Vos defenseless. Having anticipated Vos’ strategy, Han tries to take the coaxium, only for Beckett to betray Vos, escaping with it and taking Chewbacca hostage. Qi’ra kills Vos and sends Han after payadvance Beckett; once alone, she contacts Vos’ superior, Maul, to inform him of the mission’s failure and claim Vos’ position. She avoids speaking of Han’s involvement, instead blaming everything on Beckett.

Han catches up to Beckett and confronts him, shooting Beckett before he can return fire. With his dying words Beckett tells Han he made a smart choice. Qi’ra leaves in Vos’ yacht, while Han and Chewbacca turn the coaxium over to Enfys, who then offers Han a chance to join the rebellion against the Empire; when he declines, she gives him a vial of coaxium, enough to buy a ship of his own. Han and Chewbacca locate Lando and challenge him to a rematch in sabacc, once again wagering the Falcon. Han wins, having stolen the card Lando was keeping up his sleeve in order to cheat, and he and Chewbacca leave for Tatooine, where a “big-shot gangster” is putting together a job.

Altogether it felt like a movie put together to show “hey, here is where Han got the Falcon, here is where he met Lando and how Chewbacca became his side-kick”. High praise for Woody, who is always good, and Emilia Clarke who is awesome too in her role. 7 outta 10!

Buying DVDs To Start A Collection

Well I have finally done it! I have dipped my toes into the dvd collection world and made my first proper purchases of dvds. So, usually I would get pirates copies (what are sold as dvds but are copies with cheap print outs of the dvd covers) and the Torrents ofcourse, like most of India and the developing world does. But things have changed a lot since then. Now we have legal options for downloading or streaming movies like Sony LIV, HotStar, Amazon Prime or Netflix. While those are getting really popular and are available for less money on a monthly or yearly basis, I still crave the physical media.

So on checking prices for movies on dvd online in both Flipkart and Amazon India, I finally made my first 3 purchases. I wanted them to be from the original movie series but it’s still Star Trek and that’s fine in my book. So I bought the Kelvinverse trilogy movies of Star Trek (2009), Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) and Star Trek Beyond (2016) on a great deal. They are individual cases and all that, though I do remember seeing a box set I think. But these are for great prices on a limited deal. Infact, I could have gotten it even cheaper had I placed the orders last night. But I waited till morning and thus lost the Star Trek Beyond dvd th instant laons at was selling for a cheaper rate.

It’s gonna be slow and I won’t be able to afford to buy many dvds on a monthly basis but I will build my collection. Blurays are out of the question for now. But someday that too will be easier to buy.

DVD & Bluray – The Indian Debacle

Ok let me just say this out right – in India, when it comes to movies on Dvd & Bluray everyone, barring the really rich, goes to torrents or gets bootlegs. Though a lot of us have also turned to proper legal online streaming options like Amazon Prime, Sony LIV or Netflix, the vast majority of us illegally download our movies. Why is it so?

The price, which is ridiculous. Case in point a) this 6 film collection of the 4 Alien movies plus Prometheus & Alien : Covenant will cost me Rs. 3,399 in dvd format or Rs. 4,999 which are huge sums to spend on movies. Yes compared to direct currency conversions they may be on par or slightly below even perhaps but the differences in what a person has to spend from their salary for this versus what a person here has to spend. That just isn’t the same and it’s a huge difference in what it means to spend that kind of money for an Indian living and working in India.

I have decided to spend some money on getting dvds but for the most part creating a good sized collection is going to be a very costly affair for someone like me. And I earn a pretty good salary here. This is why I feel that they need to really look at the dvd & bluray prices in India for films from Hollywood, Canada & the UK.