Aharr mateys. Let's set sail. This is where your favourite or less favourite movies, DVD's and TV Series get trashed or praised. Depending on my mood, lol.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Tribute to Carrie Fisher, a wonderful actress

A true legend. 

Best of the Venice Biennale 2017: Palazzo Bembo Personal Structures
Photographs: www.kookyphotography.com

This photo was part of a FB photo challenge, taking photos of everything but people and animals.

Interview Shobhit Mishra



Name: Shobhit Mishra

Age: 23

Occupation: Final Year Mechanical Engineering Student And Book Reviewer( Blogging At House Of Review)

Favourite Books: Goals By Brian Tracy,How To Win And Influence Friends By Dale Carnegie, Robinson Crusoe By Daniel Defoe, Rich Dad Poor Dad By Robert T Kiyosaki, Only The Time Will Tell By Jeffrey Archer, Treasure Island By R.L Stevenson, Think And Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill And No Man’s Land By David Baldacci.

At what age did you start reading?

My reading journey did not actually begin with a novel. My childhood days were mostly spent on comics of superheroes like Superman, Batman, The Incredible Hulk And Spiderman.I remember the day when I took my first comics at the age of 6 from my grandfather’s old bag. It was Adventures Of Tintin “The Broken Ear”. Just after a reading a few pages, I got intrigued by the content and pictures of the characters and read it until the very end and from that day onwards ,my love for reading began to grow deeper.I started collecting more and more comics from the local store, read them throughout the day after my school time was over..This is how the habit of reading came into my life.

What was the first book you read? 

I got my first novel when I was 10 years old and it’s still there with me in my drawer,”Famous Five:Five On A Secret Trail” By Enid Blyton.I still remember the scene from this book when the guys go out to camping and how something mysterious draws their attention to an unsolved puzzle…In those days,Enid Blyton was my source of entertainment and I preferred that over television and video games that my school friends were very fond of.

Which genres do you like and why? 

I am a person who loves action, creativity and imagination.
So when it comes to reading books,I prefer to read thriller/crime fiction, science fiction and motivational books.

Are you a fast reader or do you slowly devour the book?

When it comes to reading,I look for the key element that defines a whole book.I always try to dig deep down, read the same page one more time in order to develop an image of the whole plot described by the words, which is why whenever I read a book ,I always like to take a snail’s pace to cover the entire book.

Do you see visuals when you read, almost like in a movie?

Yes..I tend to imagine the whole plot inside my mind by turning the words into thoughts and connecting them to get a picture.I especially love to visualize the moments whenever there is a sudden turn of events mentioned with a paragraph or a few lines and this particularly happens when I read crime fiction.

Which criteria do you use for your reviews?

When it comes to reviewing the books,I do that with my partner ,who reads books genres of his choice.I take his help when it comes to drafting and we both do it together.My blog (Me and My Co Partner) at the blog keep it very simple by sharing our own personal experiences after reading a book.We define it to through three sections.What We Liked,What According To Us Is Not Very Attractive and Conclusion with Ratings….

Have you ever been tempted to write something yourself?

I have an ARTICLE SECTION in the blog and at the moment I look forward to write different types of articles that cover a variety of subjects.As far as where the books are concerned, currently I am residing on reviewing them only.In the field of writing a book or a novel, right now I have no major plans.

What inspires you? 

My inspiration comes from observation and continuous learning.Whenever I read a book,I learn at least one thing new irrespective of what genre I read.I write down the take aways in my personal diary.One of the things I before reviewing overtime is that I look at cover of the book too.That is where the role of observation comes into play.Along with each review,I put a special background picture that defines the theme of the whole book.

Who is your favourite author?

Brian Tracy.

Are you looking for diversity in a book?

It depends on what type of book I am reading. When I am reading a fiction novels, almost all the books are written around a single plot while non fictions have every chapter having a new concept detailed.I find this especially in the motivational books.

Are you a picky reader? 

I prefer reading the genres I like to read, but when it comes to reviewing books out of my zone of preference ,I am fine with it and enjoy working on different kinds of author assignments.

Do you think that you have a more open perspective of the world if you read a lot?

Books are a great teacher no doubt.Also you learn the art of imagination and creativity when you read a lot.One important thing that I would like to highlight here is that the practical world is and will always differ in some aspect from the lessons that we get from the books.That is just like the contradiction that arises between theory and practicality, but we should always have the spirit to explore untouched boundaries and areas.This is where books help us by acting as a catalyst that fosters the foundation of critical thinking

Do you like critical books? For example books which critisize a political system?

Sometimes only, but not very often.It is because opinions of people differ.We all will have different answers which are influenced by views on things like religion, caste system, traditions to even a single question on such matters.

I have read a few personal finance books by best selling authors and I have seen criticizing each other on the things like savings, mortgage etc.One author highlights the benefits of taking a mortgage while the other calls it a burden, which is why such books I usually do not prefer reading again and again..

Do you sometimes look for a hidden meaning or poetry between the lines of a book? 

Well yes.Haha..I always search for every meaningful and significant element of the book while I am reading..

Do you prefer books by female or by male authors?

I am the one who judges by what any author wrote being a book reviewer.In the world of authors and writers ,gender is not of much significance I believe.It is actually their work that defines them.

Do you sometimes cheat and read the ending first? 

No.It is because I have empathy for all the authors and I welcome them all on my blog with their novels .It takes a lot of hard work, patience to write a book ,whether it’s the first time you are writing or for several years, which is why I begin from the introduction and go through the whole book.

How do you feel about how Western books reflect different cultures? Do they stereotype too much? 

The circumstances, traditions and customs in western countries are different from the place where I live no doubt on that.There are many autobiographies of great people like Martin Luther King Jr.,where you will find how he stood up against racial segregation.
I have read a few books based on true experiences, where the conditions in their areas have been highlighted and in some way they have been criticized.For example, I am recently read a book in which the author has described about the child abuse in the United States and how children are falling prey to drug addiction and bullying which is a major issue in the country.
Personally I am not in favor of stereotypes related to religions, castes and other such practices which are being followed anywhere across the world.After all, we all are human beings.

Do you have many friends who read? 

There are many friends in my company who love to read, but they stick to genres Indian romance and adult only.My best friend though, who is my co partner and the co-founder of the blog House Of Review is an open minded person and has been reading along with me since our childhood days.We used to share novels, comics and posters with each other.Those days still remain in my memory.I still remember the day, he and I together paid for a book at the local shop for the “Journey To The Centre Of The Earth” By Jules Verne.That was 11 years ago however..Haha..Since then he has been my best reader buddy.

Are you part of a book club? Do you think that book clubs are a good idea? 

I follow clubs Facebook(Book Nifflers,Intentional Writers) and I believe that they are great way to share your opinions on the books you have read with others.In fact at these clubs, reviewers like me meet many new and veteran authors.They tell us about their writing experience, novels they have written, their own inspirations and we in turn help them reach more readers.

Why did you decide to review books and how do you decide which ones to review?

I have been reading for 14 years straight now.Throughout the years I have come across so many books which taught me several different things too.

There are thousands of good books that I have come across which have good language, great lessons for life and most entertaining plots, but many people are not aware of them.There are many authors who people never heard of before, but their books have great content to read. Everyday so many new authors bud and some of them have got such amazing stories, but due to many reasons it fails to reach out readers worldwide..
Also as times have changed, so has our lives.Earlier we did not have social media, online gaming etc.In those days ,the habit of reading was more popular among, even if they chose to read comics..But now with the advent of such new platforms which are essential , our younger generation especially spends more time on such activities ,which I believe are not so beneficiary either.

These thoughts gave me an idea of reaching out to people with the help of book reviews for revealing the unexplored world of reading to the readers out there and introducing this beautiful world to the audience who have not yet seen it.

And House Of Review was born..A place where the people of the reader and author universe connect with the help of reviews..That is how I turned my passion into a platform of social interaction, knowledge and entertainment..

It is something which is very close to my heart..I enjoy every second of it when I write reviews.I talk with readers and authors both, take their feedbacks which help me know more about how they feel and connect them with the help of this platform.

My mission is to help thousands of authors and influence millions of readers across the globe with my reviews and as my site grows further I will provide much more to read rather than reviews, offer services related to reading, reviewing and buying products..These projects are currently under experimentation phase and I and my partner are working them out…

Reviewing books needs planning.We keep the assignments that we get from authors separate from the books we read after buying them..The author assignments are given a higher priority and a definite time is set to give the review on the site which we decide upon talking with authors…

With all this I would like to thank Barbara for this interview.I grateful to her for this opportunity to share my views with the people..

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


A sweet title - not a sweet movie. Take a good, hard look at this movie still, and you might notice two things: the amazing cinematography and the main actress, Amy Adams. This is Tom Ford's long awaited 2nd film after the fabulous "A Single Man" which came out 7 years ago. This time the cinematography is by Seamus McGarvey and it is beyond flawless. Mc Garvey's captivating cinematography will make anything look beautiful, even a weird curtain hanging in a Texan hut with a fly on it. So that part of the movie is stunning. Unfortunately the plot however isn't, Ford chose to adapt the book of Austin Wright called Tony and Susan and it's a story within a story.
Susan hasn't spoken to her estranged ex husband in 19 years, which can happen, and one day she receives a book dedicated to her. When she opens it, the packaged paper gives her a paper cut and you'll know this is going to be a strange movie. But there is good strange, in an intriguing way and bad strange, in a more what the hell is gonna happen now, way. This movie tends to cling to the idea of the latter. What starts as a semi-intriguing, somewhat exciting idea, quickly becomes very bizarre and very misogynist indeed. A road trip gone very wrong meets a relationship which has also gone pretty wrong. And a main male character, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who has got serious issues. The issue of him being too romantic and too weak for Susan seems to be a big deal in this film, but I couldn't exactly detect much romanticism in this particular character. I do however, shockingly so, detect serious issues of the director with his female characters and full-on misogyny, as well as victim blaming.
Susan could be a pretty strong woman and Amy Adams is doing her best to embody her, but the plot lets her believe that she's nothing without a man on her side. The stuff that happens to her is full on, the book variation is just downright painful to watch and Ford torments his audience and juggles the story between massive drama and creepy art house horror. But perhaps we have gotten used to a lot of casual misogyny around us, so we don't even notice this anymore? None of the early reviews were even the slightest bothered by this. Ford's other female figures are brief, bizarre and grotesque and it's not very satisfying to get a few scenes with actual well written dialogue, only to have them snatched away and being fed more art house horror madness. Fact is: not enough background story, not enough good dialogue and certainly not enough character development. This could have been a lot better! I expected much more from a film maker I so fell in love with 9 years ago.
So what remains of watching this movie is a deep disappointment of the story in itself and the fact that the director succumbed to the bizarre temptation to have to maybe cater to a wider audience with a greater appetite for casual horror. A story that could have been very interesting but the other story kept interfering and tried to complicate things in an unnecessary and annoying way. Needless to say the actresses and actors are doing their best. Very interesting beginning, a pretty strange middle part and a very, very weak ending. Not your average thriller I guess but not incredibly memorable either. So Mr. Ford, it's a shame that you seem to have an issue with Modern Art, but you don't hesitate to use it to a very obvious point, and with women who seem to be too complex and kaleidoscopic for you to truly be able to show all their interesting facets and colours. But you did prove one obvious point: we really need more stories written by women and films directed by women. Case closed.

Monday, September 7, 2015


Watching this film is an incredible experience, it received 10 minutes of standing ovation at the premiere in Venice and I would like to predict that it will become an absolute cult classic and will be showered with oscars. At least Eddie Redmayne's and Alicia Vikander's performance. In terms of oscars and in comparison, Eddie Redmayne is giving Johnny Depp a run for his money (both have already been mentioned in connection to the oscars). Redmayne really ventures into depths of acting where other actors might fear to tread. The film opens with beautiful shots of the reflection of a tree and other images of the childhood of Einar Wegener, a Danish painter who was born in 1882. Wegener got married to the wonderfully vivacious painter Gerda Gottlieb, both of them being painters you just know that something might go wrong, maybe one of them will be more successful than the other? Their relationship is changing slowly when Gerda playfully asks Einar to put on women's clothes in the absence of her actual model and Einar discovers that he enjoys wearing women's clothing and that for the first time in his life he really feels really himself. Eventually Einar Wegener becomes the famous Lili Elbe and stops painting altogether. Redmayne's performance is as beautiful and delicate as Einar Wegener's tree paintings. He allows himself to really become this other person right in front our very eyes without ever being pathetic, alienating or cheesy. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is the second main character in this picture and just as important, this story is as much hers as it is his. Vikander owns the movie effortlessly, by showing a lot of facets and has a wide range of emotions. The film has a wonderful flowing rhythm and doesn't ever drift off into a boring costume drama mode, but takes its subject very seriously. It's a true story and a bit of research quickly shows that Gerda became very successful with the Lili portraits and later also became the leading illustrator of the art deco movement, but by then the film strongly foccuses on Lili who decides to have an operation to actually become a real woman. The relationship between Gerda and Einar/Lili is very important in the movie, the fact is that they got divorced in 1923, because they were now both women and couldn't be married under Danish law. The film comes across as timeless, the time might be the early 19th century but it has a very modern feel to it. The cinematography by Danny Cohen (The King's Speech) is stunning and makes you feel like you are in a painting for most of the time. Overall this film is a beautiful, delicate gem and it will remain on your mind and in your memory long after you've emerged back from the movies into your own reality. 

Friday, September 4, 2015


The title says it all, it's a dark, gritty, slow paced, violent and very dramatic movie which previewed today at the Venice Film Festival.  It's a true story about the unholy alliance between the FBI and Whitey Bulger who is said to be one of the most notorious gangsters in the U.S The year is 1975 and John Connely, who works for the FBI, convinces Bulger, who has been his friend since they were children, to collaborate with the FBI to bring down the Italian mafia. Johnny Depp is tremendously scary and ice cold in this film and executes an amazing, oscar worthy performance. At the press conference at the Palazzo Casino in Venice, Depp claimed that he tried to show him as a human being but I must say that his Whitey Bulger is one scary human being and you don't feel like that you could go for a quick pint with him. Depp's performance is astoundingly different to the gangster in Blow, George Jung who is a much more flamboyant personality, or to Denzel Washington's glamorous Frank Lucas in Ridley Scott's American Gangster. The film is set in Boston and cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi (Silver Lining) sets a sober visual tone with some scenes shot in grey Brutalist architecture which underlines the brutality of the movie greatly. It seems to me that there are many different ways to show the 70's in movies. Takayangi's prefered colour palette is rather dark and pale, he avoids bright colours and strong sunlight. Remarkable about this movie is also that every tiny part in the film has been cast with the best actresses and actors that you can find. The list is long: Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnsson, Joel Edgerton, Peter Sarsgaard, Juliette Nicholsson, Kevin Bacon and Juno Temple all deliver fantastic performances. The film music by Dutch composer Junkie XL is a very important element in the film and weighs down on it like heavy fog. The film and Depp's performance carries the aura of a thoroughly haunted man who committed a lot of crimes and in the end it leaves you wondering what the point of his existence was. Bulger himself wrote in a letter to some students "My life was wasted" which is very sad, but carries an important message: "Don't waste your life!" One thing is for sure: watching this movie and these amazing performances directed by Scott Cooper is not a waste of your precious time.